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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 20 September 1816

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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“Sept. 20. 1816.
“My dear R.,

“If I am again desired to come to London, it will be very foolish, after the letters I have written. They are to this purport, to express my full opinion upon the real state of things, and expose the actual danger in broad terms; to recommend, as the only means of averting it, that the batteries which arc now playing in breach upon the Government, be silenced; in other words, that the punishment for sedition be made such as to prevent a repetition of the offence. . . . . I have endeavoured to make the necessity of these measures felt, and show that, for my own part, I cannot be better employed anywhere than here; and that if it be thought advisable that I should either covertly or openly give up some time to political writing, it would counteract, in great measure, the effect of anything, if I were to accept of anything in shape of office or augmented pension. This, therefore, I have decidedly
declined, but have offered to employ my pen zealously in recommendation and defence of vigorous measures. Should I therefore be again desired to visit London, my journey will pass as an ordinary occurrence, and nothing extraordinary will occur in it, except that I shall be introduced to some of the first officers of Government, instead of the second, to whom my acquaintance has hitherto been limited, and this may pass for a very natural occurrence. I can only repeat in conversation what I have already said in writing, and perhaps concur in arranging a journal, of which most certainly I will not undertake the management. That office is beneath me, and would require a sacrifice of character as well as time. The matter of danger is one which could not fail to present itself; and for that matter I know very well what I have at stake in the event of a Revolution, were the
Hunts and Hazlitts to have the upper hand. There is no man whom the Whigs and the Anarchists hate more inveterately, because there is none whom they fear so much. Nothing that I could do could increase the good disposition towards me, and it would be folly to dream of abating it. If the Government will but act vigorously and promptly, all may yet be well; if they will not, I shall have no time to spare from my History of Brazil. . . . .

“I heartily wish you were in an efficient situation. Everything may be done with foresight and intention; without them, everything must go to ruin.

“God bless you!

R. S.”