1819. Robert Southey to Edward Hogg, 20 October 1810

1819. Robert Southey to Edward Hogg, 20 October 1810 ⁠* 

Keswick. Oct 20. 1810

Dear Sir

Your manuscript reached me this evening. [1]  I have perused it carefully, & not with the less interest because its contents we the matter of its contents was already familiar to me. You have done me the honour to ask me to criticize it, a task which is easily performed. The alterations which appear to me desirable are few & very easily made. I would omit the letter of Oct 16. 1799. – because there is nothing remarkable in it, – it cannot be noticed for commendation, & it might be selected for censure by any evil natured critic. In mentioning my poor old friend Charles Fox something should be added to specify who he was, – this is particularly necessary on account of his name. [2]  Only one thing more remains to be mentioned, – the paper in which the poems are bequeathed for publication should assuredly be inserted in the text, not added as a note. It is exceedingly affecting, & should form part of the narrative, for I am sure nothing else in the volume will make so deep an impression. Every body will love Roberts, every body will regret him, every body will, or ought to, acknowledge the promise of excellence which his poems display, – but it is this will which will individualize him in the memory of the reader.

I have obtained a few xxxxx <additional> names for the subscription, & am in expectation of more.

The expressions which have been objected to xx seem to me I must frankly declare, to be objectionable; because if strictly interpreted they bear the meaning imputed to them. I think also that your narrative might advantageously be lengthened by incorporating with it such parts of Mr James’s as convey any additional facts or information, – if my recollection does not deceive me it may <thus> be considerably increased both in extent & interest. Of such a youth as your deceased friend, the more that can be communicated the better.

I thank you for the book which accompanied the memoir. [3]  Your friend the authoress appears to be a very amiable woman. – I am very sorry to hear of Mr Parks ill state of health, he is a very valuable man, & one to whom I hope English literature is much indebted, & will I hope be yet more so. [4] 

believe me Sir

Yrs with respect

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Edward Hogg Esqr/ Hendon/ Middlesex
Postmark: 10oCLOCK/ OC25/ 1810 FNn
Seal: Red wax, ‘S’ with motto ‘In Labore Quies’ below
MS: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. ALS; 3p. (c).
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The manuscript of the poems and letters of William Isaac Roberts, published in 1811. Roberts had asked Hogg and Paul Moon James to prepare an edition of his works for the benefit of his family. BACK

[2] Southey’s concern was that the Bristol-based orientalist Charles Fox (c. 1740–1809; DNB) was not confused with the politician of the same name, Charles James Fox (1749–1806; DNB). BACK

[3] Unidentified. BACK

[4] Thomas Park (1758/9–1834; DNB), antiquary, bibliographer and editor. Southey subscribed to his Sharpe’s Edition of the Works of the British Poets (1808–1813), no. 356 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)