2053. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 5 March 1812

2053. Robert Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 5 March 1812 ⁠* 

My dear Harry

You had better get the Crusade Book [1]  (which costs I see some twelve or fourteen shillings) & try your hand upon it. The subject will very well bear two sheets, & two sheets are twenty guineas, – for you may make not merely a justification of the Crusades in point of principle & policy but a sort of abstract xxxx historical <or> essence of their history. If the thing is well done it will be inserted beyond all doubt.

Did Mr Bowyer tell you that I had written to him to express my vexation that the passage in my reviewal of Bell & the Dragon wherein his sermon was mentioned, was had been dropt at the press? [2]  – You do not know how much this vexed me. The article however will soon make its appearance in the shape of a little book, materially altered & considerably enlarged, & there he will find that the passage has been restored.

Xxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx

The inclosed half notes are for payment of my carpet order to Mr Mark Oliver. [3]  Acknowledge the receipt without delay that I may send the other halves, when you will be so good as to settle the account for me. The Bill amounts to 14 £. 12 – 0. which I suppose £14. will settle allowing for the discount.

I was called from home on Saturday last by Lloyd, who was in a miserable nervous state, & his wife expecting every hour to be brought to bed. He had a fancy for seeing me, & has now a fancy that my going to him was ‘critical’ for his disorder. I am glad it was serviceable to him, but as for myself, brother Doctor, I must confess that as I do not receive fees for attendance, I do not by any means like the practise. I remained with him till Tuesday morning, – for Miss Hawkes [4]  luckily arrived from Birmingham on Monday night & relieved me. To day I have heard that Mrs Ll. was safely delivered a few hours after I left there, & that he continues to get better. This was a most unseasonable interruption for me, just at my very busiest time, when my I am up to the ears in employment, & labouring for the double purpose of answering the printers demand upon me, & gaining a holyday in the summer.

I have heard from various quarters of the wise resolution which was formed for summoning me to the Bar of the House of Commons; but Whitbread [5]  & his privy counsellors took wit in their anger, & shewed their teeth without venturing to bite. [6]  It is not xxxxx unlikely that Ld Holland interfered, & prevented them from giving so excellent a proof of their love of the liberty of the Press.

Pelayo [7]  moves on slowly & surely; in about two years God willing it may be in such forwardness ready for the press, not sooner. I never touch it at any other time than before breakfast. The Quarterly gives me much to do, & would give me much more if I could execute it. You would trace my hand upon the Inquisition [8]  in the last number, & upon Montgomery. [9]  For the next I am reviewing the Iceland travellers. [10]  But I have undertaken a great task for it; – a series of articles upon Spanish America, treating separately of Mexico, Peru, Chile, the Plata, Venezuela, & Nuevo Granada. [11]  The Quarterly is gaining ground most rapidly; – it is ridiculous to think how much more credit I get for writing in this journal than for productions of ten times the magnitude & ten times the lab[MS missing] executed equally well.

You have heard perhaps that my Uncle has another boy. Shall we see you this summer? I expect Elmsley, Danvers, & Blanco White El Espanõl, well known in his own country as the editor of the Semanario Patriotico [12]  at Seville, a very able & interesting man.

God bless you


Keswick. March 5. 1812.


* Address: To/ Dr Southey/ Durham
Stamped: Keswick/ 298
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG 1996.5.82. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Possibly a reference to Joseph Francois Michaud (1767–1839), Histoire des Croisades (1812–1822). Henry Herbert Southey was conducting research on the crusades. He does not seem to have reviewed Michaud’s book for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[2] Reynold Gideon Bouyer (1741–1826; DNB), a Prebendary of Durham Cathedral 1791–1826. His A Comparative View of the two New Systems of Education of the Infant Poor, in a Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Officialty of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, at Berwick-upon-Tweed, on Tuesday, May 12, 1811 (1811) had been one of a series of writings on the Bell-Lancaster controversy noticed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. The review had been heavily censored by Gifford prior to publication and Southey expanded it into The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812). BACK

[3] Half-banknotes – a secure way of sending money in the post, by tearing banknotes in half and sending the two halves separately. Mark Oliver (dates unknown), a carpet manufacturer of Durham. He went bankrupt in 1814. BACK

[4] Miss Hawkes of Birmingham. Not identified beyond the information given here. BACK

[5] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815; DNB). BACK

[6] A long aside (attributed by Southey to Brougham) in the Edinburgh Review, 18 (August 1811), 420–423n, had questioned whether the ‘virulent personal abuse … levelled at the most respectable members of the Legislature’ in the Edinburgh Annual Register was in breach of Parliamentary privilege and hinted that action against the author and publishers might be taken. If it had, Southey would have been summoned to attend parliament by the serjeant-at-arms (i.e. the chief law enforcement office in the Houses of Parliament). In the event, the Edinburgh Review’s suggestion was not taken up. BACK

[7] The early name for what became Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[8] Southey’s review of The History of the Inquisitions; including the Secret Transactions of those Horrific Tribunals (1810); Letter upon the Mischievous Influence of the Spanish Inquisition as it actually exists in the Provinces under the Spanish Government. Translated from El Español, a periodical Spanish Journal published in London (1811); Narrativa da Perseguição de Hippolyto Joseph Da Costa Pereira Furtado de Mendonça, Natural da Colonia do Sacramento, no Rio-da-Prata, prezo e Processado em Lisboa pelo pretenso Crime de Fra-Maçon, ou Pedreiro Livre (1811), Quarterly Review, 6 (December 1811), 313–357. BACK

[9] Southey’s review of James Montgomery, The West Indies, and other Poems (1810) and The Wanderer in Switzerland, and other Poems (1811), Quarterly Review, 6 (December 1811), 405–419. BACK

[10] Sir George Steuart Mackenzie (1780–1848; DNB), Travels in the Island of Iceland, in the Summer of the Year 1810 (1811); reviewed by Southey alongside Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865; DNB), Journal of a Tour in Iceland, in the Summer of 1809 (1811), Quarterly Review, 7 (March 1812), 48–92. BACK

[11] This plan was not executed. ‘Nuevo Granada’ covered modern Colombia and parts of Venezuela. BACK

[12] White’s El Semanario Patriótico (1808–1810) and El Español (1810–1814) criticised the French invasion, promoted the fight for Spanish independence and denounced religious dogmatism. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)