1875. Robert Southey to John Murray, 27 February 1811

1875. Robert Southey to John Murray, 27 February 1811 ⁠* 

Keswick. Feby 27. 1811

My dear Sir

I have sent off this evening the greater part of a long, &, I hope, a stirring article, – the conclusion to which I am now working up. In the statistic part I have had some assistance of great value from a quarter which I am not allowed to name. [1]  & which I hope will not even be guessd at. It comes from one of first rate acquirements & practical knowledge. There are some figures in the detail which require a careful correction, if you will send the proofs to Mr Rickman, next door to the Speakers, they will be franked down to me.

– I have not yet thanked you for your last parcel. Weber’s Collection [2]  is to me an exceedingly interesting work, & tho the flower of our romances had previously been culled by Ritson, [3]  I have perused them with great pleasure. Sir Amadas [4]  was an old acquaintance, – it having fallen to my lot to discover it. [5] 

Is there any hopes of a new edition of Malthus; [6]  or must we look elsewhere for a text? It lies like a sin upon my conscience to think that I have not yet set foot upon the full-blown bladder of that philosophical reputation.

believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

R Southey.

When you have occasion to send another parcel, do not forget to inclose a copy of Duppas Subversion of the Papal Government [7]  – which he designed to have sent me long ago.


* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [illegible]
Watermark: 1807
Endorsement: 1811 Feby 27th/ Southey R –
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Sir Charles William Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810). It was sent to Southey for review and Rickman provided him with information and briefing notes. His article was deemed by Gifford to be ‘perfectly incorrect and dangerous’ with the result that the version published in the Quarterly Review, 5 (May 1811), 403–457, was much altered by Croker, in consultation with Gifford and Murray; see Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. BACK

[2] Henry Weber (1783–1818; DNB), Metrical Romances of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Centuries (1810); no. 2990 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] The antiquary Joseph Ritson (1752–1803; DNB). His edition of Ancient English Metrical Romanceës was published in 1802. Southey’s copy was no. 2446 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[4] Weber, Metrical Romances of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Centuries, 3 vols (London, 1810), III, pp. 243–275. BACK

[5] Southey had discovered the medieval English chivalric romance Sir Amadas in ‘an old MS. volume of poems’; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 3 October 1805, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Three, Letter 1109. BACK

[6] The political economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834; DNB). His Essay on the Principle of Population went into four editions from 1798–1807, a fifth edition was published by Murray in 1817. BACK

[7] Duppa’s A Brief Account of the Subversion of the Papal Government, first published in 1798, a third edition appeared in 1807. Southey eventually owned 2 copies, nos 874 and 875 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

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