2474. Robert Southey to John Murray, 22 August 1814

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815
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2474. Robert Southey to John Murray, 22 August 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. 22 Aug. 1814

Dear Sir

I have by this days post received yours of the 20th. Inclosing a note for 105£, – for the second edition of the Life of Nelson, [1]  for which I thank you. May I request you to send a xxx xxx handsomely bound copy of this edition in my name to xxx No 4 Tavistock Street, Bedford Square, directed for Mrs May, Richmond.

With regard to the Quarterly I have made considerable progress in reviewing Chalmers Collection, the first portion of the article which relates to the Collection itself & the manner in which the Editor has performed his task will probably be sent off in the course of the week; the remaining portion I design to be a sketch of the history of this branch of our literature, [2]  I xx can also, if it be wished, get Lewis & Clarke ready for this xxx number. [3]  The subject of the Charities & Societies xx is advanced in the way of reading, noting, & making memoranda; <with> xx subject of this kind which must come out of the reasoning & feeling faculties I have always that sort of reluctance to begin, that a man feels when he is about to bathe in cold water. The beginning is like the first plunge. [4] 

My poem [5]  will be out of the press next week, & about the same time the second volume of the history of Brazil, so long promised, will be in. [6]  With regard to the History of the War, [7]  if I were to give to that, or to any other work my undivided attention, all my labours would speedily be terminated for ever. I am utterly incapable of doing it. A weeks undivided attention would deprive me of sleep. It is only by doing many things at once that I am enabled to do much of any thing. The Inscriptions are postponed [8]  because it is my intention, if possible, to go into France next year, – & neither these Inscriptions nor the History would tend to procure me a pleasant reception there. So I shall prudently keep them back. They would not be in xx place in the History, but might very properly be printed in a splendid form so as to correspond with xx & accompany it.

There is a French account of the campaign of 1794 in Roussillon [9]  which I was disappointed in procuring from Dulans catalogue [10]  when last in town. May I request that you will endeavour to procure for me on the continent xxx <some> books of essential importance to me, which I have been unable to obtain: their titles are added on the opposite leaf. [11]  – My sources of information in Spain are cut off: & I fear my worthy correspondent there is involved in the persecution of all men of letters, & all friends of xx liberty! [12] 

Have the goodness to send me two copies of the new edition of Nelson; the last number but one of the Quarterly [13]  which I have not yet had, & numbers 16 & 17. [14]  Lady Hamiltons Letters [15]  which were forgotten in your last parcel may come at the same time, & Duppas Inquiry about Junius – which has been forgotten also, – & to which I should wish to allude, tho perhaps to dissent from its purport, – in speaking of Glover among our poets. [16] 

Wishing you a pleasant journey I remain

My dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey


* Address: [partial] Ray Esqr/arle Street/London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Watermark: [partial] J DIC
Endorsement: 1815 Southey Robt/ Aug – 22
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42551. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The second edition of the Life of Nelson was published in 1814. 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] Meriweather Lewis (1774–1809) and William Clark (1770–1838), Travels to the Source of the Missouri River, and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean (1814), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 12 (January 1815), 317–368. BACK

[4] Possibly a reference to Southey’s article on ‘the Poor’ in Quarterly Review, 15 (April 1816), 187–235. BACK

[5] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[6] The second volume of the History of Brazil appeared in 1817. BACK

[7] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[8] In early 1814, Southey’s ‘Inscriptions Triumphal and Sepulchral, recording the acts of the British army in the Peninsula’ had been advertised as ‘nearly ready for publication’ (e.g. in European Magazine, 65 (January 1814), 77). However, the promised volume never appeared and only 18 of the proposed 30 inscriptions were written. BACK

[9] Pierre Louis Auguste de Crusy, Marquis de Marcillac (1769–1824), Apercus sur la Biscaye, les Asturies et la Galice: précis de la defense des frontiers du Guipuscoa et de la Navarre (1807). BACK

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

[11] The list appears not to have survived. BACK

[12] The liberal Constitution of 1812 was abolished on 4 May 1814 and the leading liberals were arrested on 10 May 1814. Southey’s fears concerning Abella were unfounded; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 25 September 1814 (Letter 2482) and Southey to John Rickman, 9 October 1814 (Letter 2484). BACK

[13] Probably the Quarterly Review for January 1814. BACK

[14] Numbers 16 and 17 of the Quarterly Review were from December 1812 and March 1813 respectively. BACK

[15] The Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton: with a supplement of interesting letters by distinguished characters (1814). BACK

[16] Junius was the pseudonym used by the author – or authors – of a series of letters published in the Public Advertiser between 21 January 1769 and 21 January 1772. The letters took a high Whig line. They opposed the policies of the government and the king and were generally supportive of those of the ex-Prime Minister George Grenville (1712–1770; DNB) and of the radical politician John Wilkes (1725–1797; DNB). There was, from the outset, much debate as to the identity of their author or authors. In 1813 Duppa’s Memoirs by a Celebrated Literary and Political Character (i.e. the poet and politician Richard Glover (1712–1785; DNB)) had attempted to prove the latter was the author of Junius’s letters. Duppa defended himself against his critics in an anonymous pamphlet, An Inquiry Concerning the Author of the Letters of Junius, with Reference to the Memoirs by a Celebrated Literary and Political Character (1814). Southey was asking Murray to send him a copy of the latter. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013

People mentioned

Abella, Manuel (1753–1825) (mentioned 1 time)
Duppa, Richard (c. 1768–1831) (mentioned 1 time)
May, John (1775–1856) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)