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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, [August?] 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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“My dear Wynn,

“Whenever the encouragement of literature is talked of again in the House, I should think a motion for letting proof-sheets pass as franks would not be opposed; they cannot produce 100l. a year to the post-office, probably not half the sum, but it is a tax of some weight on the few individuals whom it affects, and a good deal of inconvenience is occasioned to the printers by waiting for franks, while their presses stand still. Few persons have greater facility for getting franks than myself, yet the proofs which come without them, and those which are over-weight from being damp, or which are misdated, do not cost me less than 30s. a year. The proofs of Madoc cost me 50s.—rather too much out of five-and-twenty pounds profit.

“I have by me Bishop Lavington’s Tracts concerning the Moravians; and as I can in great part vouch for the accuracy of his Catholic references, there seems no reason to suspect him in the others. At first these Tracts left upon my mind the same impression which has been made upon yours; nor have I now any doubt that Zinzendorff was altogether a designing man, and that the absurdities and obscenities charged upon them in their outset are in the main true. But it is so in the beginning of all sects, and it seems to be a regular part of the process of fanaticism. Devotion borrows its language from
carnal love. This is natural enough; and the consequences are natural enough also, when one who is more knave than enthusiast begins to talk out of Solomon’s Song to a sister in the spirit. But this sort of leaven soon purges off, the fermentation ceases, and the liquor first becomes fine, then vapid, and at last you come to the dregs. Moravianism is in its second stage; its few proselytes fall silently in, led by solitary thought and conviction, not hurried on by contagious feelings, and the main body of its members have been born within the pale of the society. They do not live up to the rigour of their institutions in England; even here, however, it is certain that they are a respectable and respected people; and as missionaries they are meritorious beyond all others. No people but the Quakers understand how to communicate Christianity so well, and the Quakers are only beginning, whereas the Moravians have for half a century been labouring in the vineyard.
Krantz’s History of what they have done in Greenland is a most valuable book; there is also a History of their American Missions which I want to get. Among the Hottentots they are doing much good. The best account of the society, as it exists here, is to be found, I believe, in a novel called Wanley Penson. A great deal concerning their early history is to be found in Wesley’s Journals. He was at one time closely connected with them, but, as there could not be two popes, a separation unluckily took place;—I say unluckily, because Methodism is far the worst system of the two.

“If you have not read Collins’s book on Bantry Bay, I recommend you to get it before the business
Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 347
comes on in parliament. It is unique in its kind; the minute history of a colony during the first years of difficulty and distress. There was one man in power there precisely fit for his situation—
Governor King, and if it had been possible to induce him to stay there, governor he ought to have been for life, with discretionary powers. One thing is plain respecting this colony, and that is, that no more convicts ought to be sent to the establishments already made. Send them to new settlements, and let the old ones purify; at present the stock of vice is perpetually renewed. Instead of doing this, the fresh convicts should be sent at once to new points along the coast; for new settlements must necessarily consume men, and these are the men who are fit to be consumed.

“Are you right in thinking that Sallust has the advantage in subject over Tacitus? To me it appears that the histories which Sallust relates excite no good feeling, treating only of bad men in bad times; but that the sufferings of good men in evil days form the most interesting and improving part of human history. I prefer Tacitus to all other historians—infinitely prefer him, because no other historian inculcates so deep and holy a hatred of tyranny. It is from him that I learnt my admiration of the Stoics. God bless you!

R. S.”