3209. Robert Southey to John Murray, 14 November 1818

3209. Robert Southey to John Murray, 14 November 1818⁠* 

Keswick. 14 Nov. 1818

My dear Sir

I expect this night to finish a paper, – in the prosecution of which I have been interrupted by the illness of one of my children. The child is recovering, & I have regained health & spirits, – both which were suffering. The paper will be dispatched by tomorrows post. It is upon the New Churches & Haydons Letter. The Catacombs I must strike off from the list in the heading, – & send you forth by themselves for the present number: for it is better to make two comparatively short articles, than one long one, when there would have been no necessary connection between the one half & the other. [1]  I have spoken a good word for painting, & given Mr Brougham a hard blow by the way.

I shall be at work for you also about the Copy-right question. [2]  And when these subjects are done, my reviewing shall sleep for one or two numbers, while the time which it would have employed shall be given to the Book of the Church. [3]  The Acta Sanctorum [4]  give me both appetite & food. I mean to make a book which xxx may be read by the wisest men for the matter which it contains, & may & ought to be put into the hands of children as a means of impressing them with respect & veneration for the religion of their country.

Whatever success I may have about painting, the artists ought to give me credit for the ardour with which I have pleaded their cause. I have done my best for them, & that with a hearty good will.

Believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

I had nearly forgotten to request that you would send Mr Wilberforce a copy of the Origin &c of the New System of Education [5]  – with my compliments.


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqr/ Albemarle Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 17 NO 17/ 1818
Seal: red wax; arm raising aloft cross of Lorraine
Watermark: R E & S BATH 1814
Endorsements: 1818 Nov 14 Southey, R; Murray 4/11
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42551. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s review of Haydon, New Churches, Considered with Respect to the Opportunities they Offer for the Encouragement of Painting (1818) appeared in Quarterly Review, 23 (July 1820), 549–591. His article ‘Cemeteries and Catacombs of Paris’ appeared in Quarterly Review, 21 (April 1819), 359–398. Southey’s attack on Brougham did not survive into the published text of ‘New Churches’. BACK

[2] Southey’s article on the ‘Inquiry into the Copyright Act’ appeared in Quarterly Review, 21 (January 1819), 196–213. BACK

[3] Southey’s The Book of the Church (1824). BACK

[4] Acta Sanctorum (1643–1794), the massive, 53–volume, compendium of hagiographies, which Southey had purchased in Brussels in 1817; no. 207 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[5] Southey’s pamphlet The Origin, Nature, and Object, of the New System of Education (1812), published by Murray. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)