2067. Robert Southey to John Wilson Croker, 27 March 1812 *
Keswick. March 27. 1812.
My dear Sir
I must not avail myself of your name to cover these Quarterly contributions, without thanking you for Talavera, – a poem which has been one of the most successful of modern times, or indeed of any times, – & yet not more so than it deserves to be.  You have done for Sir Arthur Wellesley what none of his contemporaries could do for Marlborough.  I must not wish you leisure to do as much for Earl Wellington,  – yet I have good hope that he may be destined to atchieve a victories as splendid in itself <themselves> as Blenheim,  & more important in their consequences, – & then perhaps even your avocations will not prevent you from finding time to celebrate it his career.
Believe me my dear Sir
Yrs very truly & respectfully
 Wellesley was the hero of Croker’s poem, and remarked that he had not thought ‘that a battle could be turned into anything so entertaining’ (L. J. Jennings (ed.), The Croker Papers: The Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, 2 vols (London, 1884), I, p. 25). The comparison is with the British hero of the War of the Spanish Succcession, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722; DNB). BACK