3639. Robert Southey to John Murray, 24 [February] 1821

3639. Robert Southey to John Murray, 24 [February] 1821⁠* 

Keswick. 24th. 1821

My dear Sir

I send you by to-days coach the first vol. of Dobrizhoffer, reduced one third in bulk; [1]  – Belzoni (who has amused & interested me very much) [2]  & Westall’s drawings, [3]  which are placed in Belzoni’s book, & will I trust travel back as safely as they travelled here, in the same company.

Yesterday I sent you copy of the P. War, [4]  under cover to Mr Croker. Please to let me have a set of the clean sheets, & consign them to Bedford for transmission, – for it will gratify him to have a sight of them on their way. Will you send me Townsends Travels in Spain [5]  in your next parcel, – it is five & twenty years since I read them, but I remember that he was at Zaragoza, & there will most probably be some things noticed there which I can make use of to advantage.

Two translations of Roderick have lately been published at Paris, [6]  & a third is said to be preparing. [7]  I am praised & abused in the French journals, & an xxxxx itinerant Lecturer by name Thomas Mulock, makes war upon me manfully in his French lectures, & proves that I am a bad poet because I am a bad Christian, not having, like himself, experienced the New Birth! [8] 

believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqre
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 27 FE 27/ 1821
Seal: red wax; arm raising aloft cross of Lorraine
Endorsement: 1821 –/ R. Southey Esqre
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42552. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Murray had agreed to publish Sara Coleridge’s An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay (1822). It was a translation of Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariae Natione (1784). For the problem that had arisen over the length of the manuscript sent to the publisher, see Southey to John Murray, 28 January 1821, Letter 3619. BACK

[2] Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823; DNB), Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries Within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia (1820). BACK

[3] Westall produced the following six sketches of Lake District scenes that were engraved for Sir Thomas More: or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, 2 vols (London, 1829): vol. I: ‘Druidical Stones near Keswick’, ‘Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite-water, and Skiddaw, from Walla Crag’, and ‘Derwentwater from Strandshagg’; and vol. II: ‘Crosthwaite Church and Skiddaw’, ‘Greta Hall, Derwentwater, and Newlands’, and ‘Tarn of Blencathra’. Murray published the Colloquies. BACK

[4] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[5] Joseph Townsend (1739–1816; DNB), geologist, author of A Journey Through Spain in the Years 1786 and 1787; with Particular Attention to the Agriculture, Manufactures, Commerce, Population, Taxes, and Revenue of that Country, first published in 1791. Southey at some point acquired an edition of 1814, no. 2864 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[6] Pierre Hippolyte Amillet de Sagrie (1785–1830), Roderic, Dernier Roi des Goths (1821), no. 2700 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library; and Antoine André Brugière, Baron de Sorsum, Roderick, le Dernier des Goths (1820), no. 2697 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[7] Probably the material relating to Roderick in Abel Hugo (1798–1855), Romances Historiques Traduites de l’Espagnol (Paris, 1822), pp. 1–32. BACK

[8] Southey had heard reports from Ann Attersoll of the lecture series on English literature given in Paris in 1820 by the Irishman Thomas Mulock (1789–1869), a failed merchant, political reactionary, and associate of George Canning. Something of the tone of Mulock’s lectures is encapsulated by Thomas Moore who was in Paris at the time they were given. On discovering that he ‘was to be one of the victims of … [Mulock’s] tomahawk’, Moore put off his proposed attendance at them until a later day, The Journal of Thomas Moore, eds Wilfred Sellars Dowden, Barbara Bartholomew, and Joy L. Linsley, 2 vols (East Brunswick, N.J., 1983), I, p. 367. Moore had earlier described Mulock as ‘a pedantic young Irishman, and a mighty genius in his own estimation’ (I, p. 63). Mulock found ungodliness in everywhere and in everyone. On his return to England in 1821 he became a dissenting preacher in Staffordshire and, in later life, was confined as a lunatic on several occasions. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)