3463. Robert Southey to John Murray, 5 April 1820

3463. Robert Southey to John Murray, 5 April 1820⁠* 

My dear Sir

My movements are fixed for the 17th & I shall be in London about the 28th. Before I leave home, I shall send you the paper upon the Churches, [1]  – & I shall bring up Huntington, the Sinner Saved, to finish at Streatham. This fellows life & writings will form a very amusing & uncommon article. [2]  Cromwell is next on the list, [3]  & this with a life of Camoens, [4]  & some forthcoming travels in Brazil, [5]  will make up my <a> years work for the Review, – unless the state of Affairs in Spain should make you desirous of a paper upon that subject. [6]  I have that History of the Inquisition here, of which you once formerly sent me the Spanish manuscript; this might furnish an important paper, for which <where> the present prospects of Spain (very dismal ones I fear) might be brought in at the conclusion. [7]  – I had nearly forgotten to mention Antar, for which I have been reading widely concerning Arabia, & other points connected with it. [8] 

That poem of Mrs Hemans upon the King is very beautiful. [9] 

Am I wrong in ascribing your articles of Norse learning to William Herbert? [10]  This last of his is very curious, & the conclusion in its style both of thought & feeling reminds me of Sir Thomas Brown, – which is high praise. [11]  Will you tell the writer that I know a person who has the faculty of discovering water by the hazel twig. [12] 

My Life of Wesley, I hear, has been noticed in the Literary Gazette before it is published. [13]  I suppose it will be ready next week. It will not please any particular set of men, & will violently offend all the bitter part of the Dissenters, who are the larger part. Attacks no doubt will be made upon me from all quarters, & of course I shall reply to none.

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

Keswick. 5 April. 1820.


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqre./ Albemarle Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 8 AP 8/ 1820
Seal: black wax; arm raising aloft cross of Lorraine
Endorsement: R Southey/ April 5. 1820
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42552. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Samuel Smiles, A Publisher and His Friends. Memoir and Correspondence of the Late John Murray, with an Account of the Origin and Progress of the House, 1768–1843, 2 vols (London, 1891), II, p. 110 [in part]. BACK

[1] Southey’s review of Benjamin Haydon, New Churches, Considered with Respect to the Opportunities they Offer for the Encouragement of Painting (1818) and other volumes, which appeared in Quarterly Review, 23 (July 1820), 549–591. BACK

[2] The preacher and religious writer William Huntington (1745–1813; DNB) had added ‘S. S.’ – ‘Sinner Saved’ – to his name to indicate his spiritual state. Southey’s review of The Works of the Reverend William Huntington, S. S. Minister of the Gospel, at Providence Chapel, Gray’s Inn Lane, Completed to the Close of the Year 1806 (1811) appeared in Quarterly Review, 24 (January 1821), 462–510. BACK

[3] Southey’s ‘Life of Cromwell’, Quarterly Review, 25 (July 1821), 279–347. BACK

[4] John Adamson, Memoirs of the Life and Writing of Luis de Camoens (1820), no. 10 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 27 (April 1822), 1–39. BACK

[5] Prominent among these travels was Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (1782–1867), Reise nach Brasilien in Denjahren 1815 bis 1817 (1820), which was translated into English as Travels in Brazil in the Years 1815 to 1817 (1820). Southey did not review it, or any other accounts of Brazil, for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[6] An army revolt in Spain in January 1820 led to the re-establishment of the liberal Constitution of 1812 in March 1820. BACK

[7] Juan Antonio Llorente (1756–1823), Histoire Critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne (1817–1818), no. 1738 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Murray had asked Southey to read the Spanish manuscript of this work and advise on whether an English translation should be undertaken. Southey’s opinion was favourable, but Murray did not take his advice; see Southey to John Murray, 17 November 1816, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Five, Letter 2864. BACK

[8] Southey did not review Antar, A Bedoueen Romance. Translated from the Arabic by Terrick Hamilton (1819) for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[9] Felicia Hemans (1793–1835; DNB), Stanzas to the Memory of the Late King (1820). BACK

[10] The clergyman and scholar William Herbert (1772–1851; DNB), whose Select Icelandic Poetry, Translated from the Originals with Notes (1804–1806) broke new ground in making more accurate versions of ancient Scandinavian literature accessible to English-speaking audiences. He did not review for the Quarterly, but did contribute non-partisan articles to the Edinburgh Review. BACK

[11] ‘Popular Mythology of the Middle Ages’, Quarterly Review, 22 (January 1820), 348–380, was a review by Francis Cohen (later Palgrave). Southey compares the conclusion (379–380) to the works of the physician and author Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682; DNB), which he greatly admired. BACK

[12] Quarterly Review, 22 (January 1820), 374 n., related an account of discovering water by using a ‘forked hazel twig, about 16 inches long’. It is not clear which of Southey’s friends possessed water-divining abilities. BACK

[13] Southey’s The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820) was noticed prior to publication in the London Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c., 166 (25 March 1820), 203–206; 167 (1 April 1820), 213–215; 168 (8 April 1820), 231–233; 169 (15 April 1820), 246–248; 170 (22 April), 263–266. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Streatham (mentioned 1 time)
Keswick (mentioned 1 time)