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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Richard Duppa, 23 February 1806

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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“Feb. 23. 1806.
“Dear Duppa,

“Nicholson, I see, sets up a new review. Carlisle ought to get you well taken care of there. Need you be told the history of all reviews? If a book
falls into the hands of one who is neither friend nor enemy,—which for a man known in the world is not very likely—the reviewer will find fault to show his own superiority, though he be as ignorant of the subject upon which he writes as an ass is of metaphysics, or
John Pinkerton of Welsh antiquities and Spanish literature. As your book, therefore, has little chance of fair play, get it into the hands of your friends. Have you any access to the Monthly?

“For politics. As far as the public is concerned, God be praised! How far I may be concerned, remains to be seen. My habits are now so rooted, that everything not connected with my own immediate pursuit seems of secondary consequence, and as far as relates to myself, hardly worth a hope or fear. So far as anything can be given me which will facilitate that pursuit, I greatly desire it, and have good reason to expect the best. But nothing that can happen will in any way affect my plan of operations for the present year. I go to London in a month’s time, I go to Lisbon in the autumn, and in the interim must work like a negro. By the by, cannot you give me a letter to Bartolozzi? he will like to see an Englishman who can talk to him of the persons with whom he was acquainted in England.

“I am reading an Italian History of Heresies in four folios, by a certain Domenico Bernino. If there be one thing in the world which delights me more than another, it is ecclesiastical history. This book of Bernino’s is a very useful one for a man who knows something of the subject, and is aware how much is to be believed, and how much is not.


“My reviewing is this day finished for ever and ever, amen. Our fathers who are in the Row will, I daresay, wish me to continue at the employment, but I am weary of it. Seven years have I been, like Sir Bevis, preying upon ‘rats and mice, and such small deer,’ and for the future will fly at better game. It is best to choose my own subjects.

“You mentioned once to me certain prophetical drawings by a boy. Did you see them, or can you give me any particulars concerning them? for I find them connected with Joanna Southcote, of whose prophecies I have about a dozen pamphlets, and about whom Don Manuel is going to write a letter. I like our friend Huntingdon’s Bank of Faith so well on a cooler perusal, that I shall look for two other of his works at the shop of his great friend, Baker, in Oxford Street. That man is a feature in the age, and a great man in his way. People who are curious to see extraordinary men, and go looking after philosophers and authors only, are something like the good people in genteel life, who pay nobody knows what for a cod’s head, and don’t know the luxury of eating sprats. Oh! Wordsworth sent me a man the other day, who was worth seeing; he looked like a first assassin in Macbeth as to his costume, but he was a rare man. He had been a lieutenant in the navy, was scholar enough to quote Virgil aptly, had turned Quaker or semi-Quaker, and was now a dealer in wool somewhere about twenty miles off. He had seen much and thought much, his head was well stored, and his heart in the right place.


“It is five or six and twenty years since he was at Lisbon, and he gave me as vivid a description of the Belem Convent, as if the impression in his memory was not half a day old. Edridge’s acquaintance, Thomas Wilkinson, came with him. They had both been visiting an old man of a hundred in the Vale of Lorton, and it was a fine thing to hear this Robert Foster describe him. God bless you!

R. S.”