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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1950. Robert Southey to John Murray, 6 September 1811 ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I reached home only on Monday last, & had not yet arranged my books & papers, & relapsed into habits of regularity when your letter arrived. The length of time which elapsed during my journey made me almost despair of being ready for your next number, & I was on the point of writing to say so, but as you speak of Oct. 1. as the intended day of publication there is little doubt that I shall be prepared in time. The subject is very important, & I will do my best. [1] 

For your subsequent numbers there are two subjects on which I could probably produce something striking – Chalmers’ Poets, [2]  & the biographical work which Longman announces upon the French Revolution, [3]  a history of which I believe That history I am well versed in – better versed than Walsh when he treated it for the Edinburgh. [4]  it is a topic upon which much may be said that will secure attention. – Another subject is the S African Mission upon which an article has long been begun. [5] 

The little parcel which your letter announced did not arrive till a day later than it ought to have done, according to its date & it came with a charge for carriage, tho’ carriage paid is written upon it, & there is also what appears to me be the coach office mark to the same purport. Upon my remonstrating here I was {am} told that there was {is} an apparent fraud upon the face of the charge, but that my only way was {must be} to write to London, ascertain that the carriage had been paid, & then deliver the wrapper to the people here, who would {will} return me the overcharge, & detect the fraud. M I beg the favour of a line from you upon this subject; it is the more desirable that the matter should be traced, as it is not the first time that I have been imposed upon in the same manner.

There is one book in Dulan’s [6]  list which might introduce a sketch of the history of the Blacks in S Domingo, if you think {of} such a sketch, with the speculations to which it would lead, as favourably as I shou do. Its title is Precis historique des evenements de la partie de l’Est de St Dominique &c – 16/. [7] 

believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

R Southey.

Sept 6. 1811. Keswick.


Notes

* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 9 SE 9/ 1811
Watermark: IPING/ 18[seal repair]6
Endorsement: 1811 Sept 6th Keswick/ Southey R/ Inclinaborium – what kind of quadrant? Haleschen – Hale’s machine? a species of thermometer?
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey was writing an article on education for the Quarterly, in which he advocated the educational system of Bell over that of Lancaster; see his review of Joseph Fox (1775–1816; DNB), A Comparative View of the Plans of Education as detailed in the Publications of Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster, and Remarks on Dr. Bell’s Madras School, and Hints to the Managers and Committees of Charity and Sunday Schools, on the Practicability of extending such Institutions upon Mr. Lancaster’s Plan, 3rd edn (1811); Herbert Marsh (1757–1839; DNB), A Sermon, Preached in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, on Thursday, June 13, 1811. To which is Added, a Collection of Notes and Illustrations (1811); Reynold Gideon Bouyer (1741–1826; DNB), A Comparative View of the two New Systems of Education of the Infant Poor, in a Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Officialty of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, on Tuesday, May 12, 1811 (1811), in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. (This number of the Quarterly was published in October 1811.) The article was heavily censored by Gifford prior to publication and personal attacks on the Edinburgh Review were removed; see the account in Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. BACK

[2] Alexander Chalmers (1759–1834; DNB), The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper (1810), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 11 (July 1814), 480–504; and Quarterly Review, 12 (October 1814), 60–90. BACK

[3] Biographie Moderne: Lives of Remarkable Characters who have Distinguished themselves from the Commencement of the French Revolution to the Present Time (1811), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 7 (June 1812), 412–438. BACK

[4] Robert Walsh (1772–1852; DNB). The 1807 French edition of Biographie Moderne had been reviewed in Edinburgh Review, 14 (April 1809), 211–243. BACK

[5] This was not published. It might have been inspired by accounts of the Moravians’ and London Missionary Society’s work in the Cape of Good Hope. BACK

[6] The London-based booksellers and publishers A. Dulan & Co., who specialised in books in French. BACK

[7] Gilbert Guillermin de Montpinay (dates unknown), Precis historique des derniers evenemens de la partie de l’est de Saint-Domingue, depuis le 10 aout 1808, jusqu’a la capitulation de Santo-Domingo (1811). Southey did not review this book. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013