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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 6 December 1805

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Dec. 6. 1805.

“William’s iron-grey had his advantages and disadvantages. He never required shoeing, for as the hoof is harder than the flesh, so in just proportion to his metallic muscles he had hoofs of adamant: but then, he was hard-mouthed. There was no expense in feeding him; but he required scouring, lest he should grow rusty. Instead of spurs, William had a contrivance for touching him with aquafortis. It was a fine thing to hear the rain hiss upon him as he galloped. . . . . The Butler wears a chest of drawers—sometimes a bureau.

Bedford, I will break off all acquaintance with you if you do not publish the Butler. Who would keep a Phœnix with a spaniel’s ear, a pig’s tail, C——’s nose, and W——’s wig, all naturally belonging to him, in a cage only for his own amusement, when he might show it for five shillings a-piece, and be known all over the world as the man who hatched it himself?

“. . . . . By the 1st of January, send me the first chapter, being the Mythology of the Butler,—or else——I will, for evermore, call you Sir when I speak to you, and Mr. Bedford when I speak of you; and, moreover, will always pull off my hat when I meet you in the streets.

“I perceive that the reviewals of Madoc have in a certain degree influenced you, which they will not do, if you will look at them when they are three months old, or if you recollect that a review is the
opinion of one man upon the work of another, and that it is not very likely, that any man who reviews a poem of mine, should know quite as much of the mechanism of poetry, or should have thought quite so much upon the nature of poetry as I have done. The
Monthly is mere malice, and is beneath all notice; but look at the Edinburgh, and you will see that Jeffrey himself does not know what he is about. He talks of Virgil, and Pope, and Racine, to what I have set up against. I told him Pope was a model for satire. That, he said, was a great concession. ‘No,’ said I, ‘if his style be a model for satire, how can it be for serious narrative?’ And he did not attempt to hold up his Homer for imitation, but fairly and unequivocally declared he did not like it. And yet Jeffrey attacks me for not writing in Madoc like Pope! The passages which he has quoted, for praise or for censure, may just as well change places; they are culled capriciously, not with my sense of selection. The real faults of Madoc have never been pointed out. Wm. Taylor has criticised it for the Annual, very favourably and very ably; there are remarks in Ms critiques to set one thinking and considering;—but W. Taylor is a man who fertilises every subject he touches upon.

Don Manuel; how could you not understand it was a secret? Do you not remember how covertly I inquired of you the text in Field’s Bible? . . . . . The use of secrecy is to excite curiosity, and, perhaps, to pass through the reviews under cover; Rickman particularly recommended the foreign cast of remarks through the whole of the journey. Thus do doctors differ. As for the queerities, let them
Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 357
stay: it is only they who know me pretty nearly, know what a queer fish I am; others conceive me to be a very grave sort of person. Besides, I have not the least intention of keeping the thing concealed after the purpose of secrecy has answered.

“That wretch Mack has very likely spoilt my voyage to Lisbon. If there be not peace, Bonaparte will show himself master of the Continent and turn us out of Portugal, if only to show that he is more powerful in that peninsula than Charlemagne was. I am afraid of France, and wish for single-handed war carried on steadily and systematically. We ought to have Egypt, Sicily, and the Cape; if we do not, France will. But nothing good ever will be done while that wretched minister is at the head of affairs. . . . .

Tui favoris studiosissimus,
R. S.”