2505. Robert Southey to John Murray, [c. 26 November 1814]

2505. Robert Southey to John Murray, [c. 26 November 1814] ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I am sorry to give up all hopes of seeing you, for I should have had much pleasure in shewing you the out-of-door beauties & the in-door resources which outweigh in my estimation all the advantages of the metropolis.

You will have received two large parcels from me. The reason why Lewis & Clarke, [1]  & Humboldt [2]  are returned in them, is that I have copies of both these works given me by Longman; – xx of the latter you sent me two sets by mistake. Humboldt is one of the best books in the world to compress into a review, – but this of course must not be done till the whole of the work is before me. [3]  – I have begun upon Lewis & Clarke, but as I shall have Forbes’s Oriental Memoirs [4]  for your next number, I suppose you would not wish to have two articles so much alike in xxx upon Travels in the same publication.

I hope also to send you Gregoire’s Hist. des Sectes for this number, – an amusing subject. [5]  There was a book published about ten years ago from which I could draw some applicable matter if it be procurable, – Wm Hamiltons Reids Rise &c – of the Infidel Societies. [6]  I should also like to have Newtons Return to Nature, [7]  – for Gregoire has overlooked our Pythagoreans, [8]  of whom Dr Lamb is the philosophic [9]  & Sir Richard Phillips the flourishing example, or fugel man –  [10] 

I suppose M Rocca is M. Staels [11]  friend. In point of picturesque & characteristic circumstances the Memoir is the best I ever remember to have perused. [12] 

Colquhouns Book I shall unite with the Poor Reports, – an arduous subject which puts me on my mettle. [13]  What has been done in the navy comes in good time for this, & to my hearts desire. It is one of those reforms for which I have long cried out. [14] 

Of the little Moravian Journal [15]  nothing can be made by itself. But it would serve as the text to a very interesting chapter if I had Cartwrights Journal of his residence in the Labrador Coast. [16] 

Baron Grimm makes a misstatement in the last number which ought to be corrected, that it may not pass current. He says Hogarth was a foreigner. Hogarths father [17]  was born in Troutbeck in Westmorland, near the lake of Winandermere; & he removed from thence to London, where (I believe) the painter was born. The name <Hoggarth> is a common one in this neighbourhood, tho he dropt a g out of it, in order to soften the pronunciation. – By the bye, I cannot but think it wrong in reviewing French works to give the extracts in French: one specimen of the style is sufficient; the rest should be in our <own> language. [18] 

My History of Brazil is in the press, [19]  – it will be six months work to carry it thro. When it comes out I shall be ready to go in with the History of the War. [20] 

A little volume of poems by a certain xx xxx has been left at your house for me some time ago – I believe the title is Metrical Effusions. –  [21] 


* Address: [partial] John Murray/ Albermarl/ Lon
Postmark: E / 26 NO 26/ 1814
Endorsement: [partial] 1814/ Sou
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42551. AL; 4p.
Dating note: dating from postmark. BACK

[1] Meriweather Lewis (1774–1809) and William Clark (1770–1838), Travels to the Source of the Missouri River, and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean (1814), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 12 (January 1815), 317–368, no. 1631 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[2] Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent during the Years 1799–1804 (1814). Southey’s copy was no. 1463 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] Southey did not review Humboldt for the Quarterly. BACK

[4] James Forbes (1749–1819; DNB), Oriental Memoirs (1815), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 12 (October 1814), 180–227. BACK

[5] Henri Gregoire (1750–1831), Histoire des Sectes Religieuses (1810), reviewed by Southey in Quarterly Review, 28 (October 1822), 1–46. BACK

[6] William Hamilton Reid (fl. 1784–1827; DNB), The Rise and Dissolution of the Infidel Societies in this Metropolis (1800). BACK

[7] John Frank Newton (1770–1827?), The Return to Nature, or, A Defence of the Vegetable Regimen (1811). BACK

[8] i.e. people who abstained from fish and meat; so named after the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570 BC–c. 495 BC). BACK

[9] The physician and vegetarian William Lambe (1765–1847; DNB). BACK

[10] Phillips was a strict vegetarian. BACK

[11] Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein (1766–1817), the writer and salonnière, whom Southey had met and admired during her 1813 visit to England. BACK

[12] Albert Jean Michel de Rocca (1788–1818), Mémoires sur la Guerre des Français en Espagne (1814). Rocca had married de Staël privately in 1811. Their son Louis-Alphonse de Rocca (d. 1842) was born the following year. BACK

[13] Patrick Colquhoun (1745–1820; DNB), A Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis, first published in 1796, it went into several editions and was cited by Southey in his review of Reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor; Anthony Highmore (1758/9–1829; DNB), Pietas Londinensis: the History, Design, and Present State of the Various Public Charities In and Near London (1814); Auguste, Vicomte de Prunelle (dates unknown), Mémoires sur les Moyens de détruire la Mendicité (1814); John Weyland (1774–1854; DNB), The Principles of Population and Production as they are affected by the Progress of Society, with a View to Moral and Political Consequences (1816), in Quarterly Review, 15 (April 1816), 187–235. Colquhoun’s own Propositions for ameliorating the Condition of the Poor: and For Improving the Moral Habits, and Increasing the Comforts of the Labouring People (1812), had previously been noticed by Southey in the Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356. BACK

[14] The Admiralty had reformed the Royal Navy pension system, so that all sailors were entitled to a pension after 14 years service and all could demand their discharge after 21 years service, with a pension of at least 1s. per day. These measures were announced publicly in January 1815. BACK

[15] Benjamin Gottlieb Kohlmeister (1756–1844) and George Kmoch (1770–1857), Journal of a Voyage from Okakk, on the coast of Labrador, to Ungava Bay, Westward of Cape Chudleigh: undertaken to explore the coast, and visit the Esquimaux in that unknown region (1814). BACK

[16] George Cartwright (1739–1819), A Journal of Transactions and Events, During a Residence of Nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador (1792). Southey did not write the proposed article. BACK

[17] Richard Hogarth (d. 1718), a schoolmaster and author. Traditionally, he is believed to have moved to London in the 1680s from the Vale of Bampton in Westmorland. BACK

[18] Fredrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm (1723–1807), Correspondance Littéraire, Philosophique et Critique, addressée à un Souverain d’Allemagne pendant une partie des Années 1775–1776, et pendant les Années 1782 à 1790 inclusivement (1813). The passage relating to William Hogarth (1697–1764; DNB) was cited in Quarterly Review, 10 (October 1813), 408, as part of a review of Parts 2 and 3 of the Correspondance by John Herman Merivale (1779–1844; DNB). BACK

[19] The second and third volumes of the History of Brazil were published in 1817 and 1819. BACK

[20] The History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[21] Bernard Barton’s Metrical Effusions (1812); see Southey to [Bernard Barton], 3 August 1814, Letter 2466. BACK

People mentioned