1614. Robert Southey to John Murray, 14 April [1809]

1614. Robert Southey to John Murray, 14 April [1809] ⁠* 

Dear Sir

The Portugueze article shall be sent in a few days in the manner you direct: [1]  but its text is hardly of consequence enough for it to lead the way. Both articles are in some forwardness, & would probably have been done, if a good deal of illness in my family had not kept me for many days in a state of too much anxiety for composition. Both I believe may easily be accommodated to the limits which you propose, but it appears to me both from the practise of all other reviews, & a good deal of experience, that books occasionally appear which cannot be reviewed with justice either to the author or the critic in less compass than a sheet & half or two sheets.

I am glad to hear that the Review is succeeding. The requisite talent being the same I have no doubt that good-nature will recommend it, & that a disposition to praise rather than to detract will would be politick as well as right. – The Bishop of Durham [2]  will find more flaws in my creed than my logic, – the mis-translation depends upon evidence, which to me seems satisfactory; – in itself it is a matter of no consequence, as I have fully admitted an intemperance of language in the missionaries, at one time, – & am if occasion requires as fully prepared to defend it.

I am Sir


Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

Keswick. April 14.


* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ APR17/ 1809
Watermark: J BUDGEN/ 1805
Endorsement: 1809 April 14 Keswick/ Q.R. 2/ Southey R./ Portuguese Article/ in few days/ American do
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey reviewed Extractos em Portuguez e em Inglez; com as Palavras Portuguezas Propriamente Accentuadas, para Facilitar o Estudo d’Aquella Lingoa (1808) in the Quarterly Review, 1 (May, 1809), 268–292. BACK

[2] According to John Murray, Shute Barrington (1734–1826; DNB), Bishop of Durham from 1791 to 1826, had objected to aspects of Southey’s first review for the Quarterly; see Southey to Thomas Southey, 18 April 1809, Letter 1615. This article was a review of the Periodical Accounts Relative to the Baptist Missionary Society (published from 1794); [John Scott-Waring (1747–1819; DNB)], Vindication of the Hindoos from the Aspersions of the Reverend Claudius Buchanan, M.A. With a Refutation of the Arguments Exhibited in his Memoir, on the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India, and the Ultimate Civilization of the Natives, by their Conversion to Christianity… By a Bengal Officer (1808); Thomas Twining (1776–1861; DNB), A Letter to the Chairman of the East India Company, on the Danger of Interfering in the Religious Opinions of the Natives of India; and on the Views of the British and Foreign Bible Society, as Directed to India (1807), in the Quarterly Review, 1 (February 1809), 193–226. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)