LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 6 July 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Greta Hall, July 6. 1805.

“. . . . . Butler denotes the sensual principle, which is subject or subordinate to the intellectual part of the internal man; because every thing which serves for drinking or which is drunk (as wine, milk, water), hath relation to truth, which is of the intellectual part, thus it hath relation to the intellectual part: and whereas the external sensual principle, or that of the body, is what subministers, therefore by Butler is signified that subministering sensual principle, or that which subministers of things sensual.

“Read that paragraph again, Grosvenor. Don’t you understand it? Read it a third time. Try it backwards.

“See if you can make any thing of it diagonally. Turn it upside down.

“Philosophers have discovered that you may turn a polypus inside out, and it will live just as well one way as the other. It is not to be supposed that Nature ever intended any of its creatures to be thus inverted, but so the thing happens. As you can make nothing of this Butler any other way, follow the hint and turn the paragraph inside out. That’s a poozzle.

Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 337

“Now, then, I will tell you what it is in plain English. It is Swedenborgianism, and I have copied the passage verbatim from a Swedenborgian Dictionary. Allow, at least, that it would make an excellent chapter in your book, if thou hadst enough grace in thee ever to let such a book come forth. Nonsense, sublime nonsense, is what this book ought to be,—such nonsense as requires more wit, more sense, more reading, more knowledge, more learning, than go to the composition of half the wise ones in the world. I do beseech you do not lightly or indolently abandon the idea, for if you will but Butlerise in duodecimo, if you fail of making such a reputation as you would wish, then will I pledge myself to give one of my ears to you, which you may, by the hands of Harry, present to the British Museum. The book ought only to have glimpses of meaning in it, that those who catch them may impute meaning to all the rest by virtue of faith.

“God bless you! I wish you could come to the Lakes, that we might talk nonsense and eat gooseberry pie together, for which I am as famous as ever.

R. S.”