1547. Robert Southey to John Murray, 2 December 1808 *
Upon inspecting a little more carefully the books with which you have provided me, I find such information as obliges me to trouble you once more.
It is th the ‘Society for Missions to Africa & the East’  with which Wilberforce the Thorntons  & their party are particularly connected. Of this Society I have never before heard, – so ill have they advertised themselves. There is a volume of their proceedings published by Seeley in Ave Maria Lane,  which I shall be obliged to you to procure, & also a Grammar & Vocabulary of the Susoo language by Mr Brunton the Missionary,  – which may probably be had or heard of at the same place, tho I know not to what Society he belongs; – either to this I believe or to the old sleeping one for the Propagation of the Gospel.  With these I should be glad of David Brainerds Journal. 
I am sorry to trouble you a second time upon the same business, but I replied in haste to your letter,  a few hours only after the parcel arrived, & seeing the word Sermon upon one of the bundles, left it to be opened the last of the assortment. The subject is of great importance, & it will be a great satisfaction to me if I should be able to bring into one view what these various Societies have done towards the accomplishment of their specific object, & what they have added to the stock of general knowledge. Our Propagandists will bear comparison with the Jesuits in their best days, – & instead of deriding them for that zeal & that enthusiasm without which nothing great & good has ever yet been accomplished it behoves us to hold them up to the gratitude & admiration of the Christian world, & to plead for the end at which they aim, while we speculate with full & entire freedom upon the means which they employ.
Keswick. Dec. 2. 1808.
* Address: To Mr Murray/ Bookseller/ Fleet Street/ London/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ DEC5/ 1808
Watermark: 1807/ JW & BB
Endorsement: 1808 Dec 2 – Keswick/ Southey. Robt./ L.Q.R./ 2nd Letr. requiring more Bks of mis/sionaries – his idea of ye/ mission
MS: National Library of Scotland, 42550. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 493–494. BACK
 Henry Brunton (c. 1770–1813), worked as a missionary in Sierra Leone from 1797–1801. He published, on his return, a grammar of the Susu language, spoken along on the coast of West Africa: A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Susoo Language, to which are added, the names of some of the Susoo towns ... a small catalogue of Arabic books, and a list of names of some of the learned men of the Mandinga and Foulah countries (1802). BACK