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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 9 November 1808

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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“Keswick, Nov. 9. 1808.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“I am ready, desirous, and able to bear a part in this said Review. You will, however, think it odd, that the very subject on which you think me most able, is one which I should rather avoid. I have not the sort of talent requisite for writing a political pamphlet upon the state of Spain; these things require a kind of wire-drawing which I have never learnt to perform, and a method of logical reasoning to which my mind has never been habituated, and for which it has no natural aptitude. What I feel about Spain you know; what I think about it is this,—the country has much to suffer, in all probability there will be many and dreadful defeats of the patriots, and such scenes as have never been witnessed in Europe since the destruction of Saguntum and Numantia may perhaps be renewed there. Joseph will very likely be crowned at Madrid, and many of
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 183
us may give up the cause of Spanish independence as lost. But so surely as God liveth, and as the spirit of God liveth and moveth in the hearts of men, so surely will that country eventually work out its own redemption.

“Now Grosvenor, understand me clearly. I could not fill half a score of pages by dilating and diluting this—that is, I should be a sorry pamphleteer; but I believe myself to be a good reviewer in my own way, which is that of giving a succinct account of the contents of the book before me, extracting its essence, bringing my own knowledge to bear upon the subject, and, where occasion serves, seasoning it with those opinions which in some degree leaven all my thoughts, words, and actions. If you had read the Annual Reviews, you would comprehend this better by example than I can make you in a letter. Voyages and travels I review better than anything else, being well read in that branch of literature; better, indeed, than most men. Biography and history are within my reach; upon any of these topics I will do my best. . . . . You know my way of thinking upon most subjects. I despise all parties too much to be attached to any. I believe that this country must continue the war while Bonaparte is at the head of France, and while the system which he has perfected remains in force; I therefore, from my heart and soul, execrate and abominate the peace-mongers. I am an enemy to any further concessions to the Catholics; I am a friend to the Church establishment. I wish for reform, because I cannot but see that all things are tending towards revolu-
tion, and nothing but reform can by any possibility prevent it.

“Thus much is said to you that it may be said through you. To yourself I add that the pay proposed will be exceedingly suitable to my poor finances, and that the more books of travels they send me the better. I had almost forgotten to say, that if a fit text be sent me, the subject of converting the Hindoos is one upon which I am well prepared.

“Farewell, and God bless you!

R. S.”