2133. Robert Southey to John Murray, 5 August 1812 *
Keswick. August 5. 1812.
My dear Sir
The thought of such a dedication  as you hint at had past across my mind, – arising equally from a feeling of respect toward C – as the author of Talavera,  & from a sense of some very essential kindness shown me in the person of my brother when I was last in town.  Things of this kind I am apt to think of, with some degree of eagerness at first, – then to hesitate about, & usually to omit them – rather from the want of any person upon the spot who should say to me ‘do this’ – than from any better reason. This therefore shall be done. – There is a quotation from Ulm & Trafalgar placed at the end of the sketch in the Review by Mr Gifford,  – not by me, – for to confess the truth I never saw the poem. If you think it contains a more appropriate one, send it me that I may have the pleasure of selecting for myself, – otherwise this may stand. – I have been looking over the Songs of Trafalgar  since your letter arrived. – It will be very easy to add the contents of each chapter in each <the> proof. –
I could wish to give plans of the three battles  if there did not seem to be two objections, – first the difficulty of making them distinct upon so small a scale, & secondly because the readiest way would be <to> copy those in these xxxx huge twenty-pounder volumes before me, a thing not to be done without leave, & the leave is not to be asked, after the manner in which I was compelled to speak of the execution of that work.  By the time I am as competent a judge of that work as any person is likely to be, & the more I farther I proceed with it, the more feelingly do I perceive the value of the materials, & the incapacity of the compilers to whom they were entrusted. – However there must be other plans in existence which there need be no delicacy about appropriating to our use, – & if they can be so compressed as reduced as to remain distinct within the compass of a page they would materially elucidate the description. Perhaps this might be contrived by giving the whole page to the plan, & placing the references on another leaf. – Having got thro the Battle of the Nile to day I have felt the xxx <importance> of such auxiliaries.
But my principal reason for replying thus immediately to your letter is to say that for the two articles proposed for your next number,  there are two books which ought to be before me, & which may conveniently come with the number now about to be launched. Balfours Battle of Roncesvalles,  – a worthless poem I dare be sworn, – but it is upon our text & ought to be alluded to, – & an Account of the Public Charities,  there is such a book tho I do not know its title.
I will take care of the Nicobar Islands  – Books of Travels I am always glad to review.
Believe me my dear Sir
Yrs very truly
* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 8 AU 8/ 1812
Watermark: shield/ 1806
Endorsement: 1812 August 5th/ Southey. R –
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 3p.
 Southey was thinking in particular of James Stanier Clarke (c. 1765–1834; DNB) and John McArthur (1755–1840; DNB), The Life of Admiral Lord Nelson, K.B. from his Lordship’s Manuscripts (1809), which he reviewed in Quarterly Review, 3 (February 1810), 218–262. BACK
 Southey’s article on the poor, Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356, described as ‘an attack upon Malthus’, amongst others, see Southey to Charles Danvers, 5 January 1813; and his proposed article on Spanish ballads, which was not written. BACK
 Possibly Anthony Highmore (1758/9–1829; DNB), Pietas Londinensis: the History, Design, and Present State of the Various Public Charities In and Near London (1810). Highmore was a solicitor who took a keen interest in charitable concerns, serving as secretary to the London Lying-In Hospital. BACK