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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, April 1807

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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“April, 1807.
“My dear Wynn,

“And so I am a Court Pensioner! It is well that I have not to kiss hands upon the occasion—or, upon my soul, I do not think I could help laughing at the changes and chances of this world! O dear, dear Wynn, when you and I used to hold debates with poor Bunbury over a pot of porter, how easily could your way of life have been predicted! And how would his and mine have mocked all foresight! And yet mine has been a straight-onward path! Nothing more has taken place in me than the ordinary process of beer or wine—of fermenting—and settling—and ripening!

“If Snowdon will come to Skiddaw in the summer, Skiddaw will go to Snowdon at the fall of the leaf. I shall work hard to get the Cid ready for publication, and must go with it to London. In that case my intention is to go first to Bristol,
and perhaps to Taunton, and Wales will not be out of my way. But I wish to show you those parts of the country which you have not seen, and which I have since you were here; and to introduce you to the top of Skiddaw, which is an easy morning’s walk.

“The mystery of this wonderful history of the change in administration is certainly explained; but who are the King’s advisers? Are they his sons—or old Lord Liverpool? Mr. Simeon’s wise remark, that ‘the new Ministry was better than no Ministry at all,’ put me in mind of a story which might well have been quoted in reply. One of the German Electors, when an Englishman was introduced to him, thought the best thing he could say to him, was to remark that ‘it was bad weather;’ upon which the Englishman shrugged up his shoulders and replied, ‘yes—but it was better than none!’ Would not this have told in the House? You do not shake my opinion concerning the Catholics. Their religion regards no national distinctions—it teaches them to look at Christendom and at the Pope as the head thereof—and the interests of that religion will always be preferred to anything else. Bonaparte is aware of this, and is aiming to be the head of the Catholic party in Germany.

“These people have been increasing in England of late years, owing to the number of seminaries established during the French Revolution. It is worth your while to get their Almanac,—the ‘Lay Directory’ it is called, and published by Brown and Keating, Duke Street, Grosvenor Square. They
are at their old tricks of miracles here and every where else. St. Winifred has lately worked a great one, and is in as high odour as ever she was.

“I am for abolishing the test with regard to every other sect—Jews and all—but not to the Catholics. They will not tolerate: the proof is in their whole history—in their whole system—and in their present practice all over Catholic Europe: and it is the nature of their principles now to spread in this country; Methodism, and the still wilder sects preparing the way for it. You have no conception of the zeal with which they seek for proselytes, nor the power they have over weak minds; for their system is as well the greatest work of human wisdom as it is of human wickedness. It is curious that the Jesuits exist in England as a body, and have possessions here; a Catholic told me this, and pointed out one in the streets of Norwich, but he could tell me nothing more, and expressed his surprise at it, and his curiosity to learn more. Having been abolished by the Pope, they keep up their order secretly, and expect their restoration, which, if he be wise, Bonaparte will effect. Were I a Catholic, that should be the object to which my life should be devoted—I would be the second Loyola.

“Concessions and conciliations will not satisfy the Catholics; vengeance and the throne are what they want. If Ireland were far enough from our shores to be lost without danger to our own security, I would say establish the Catholic religion there, as the easiest way of civilising it; but Catholic Ireland would always be at the command of the Pope, and
the Pope is now at the command of France. It is dismal to think of the state of Ireland. Nothing can redeem that country but such measures as none of our statesmen, except perhaps
Marquis Wellesley, would be hardy enough to adopt,—nothing but a system of Roman conquest and colonization, and shipping off the refractory to the colonies.

“England condescends too much to the Catholic religion, and does not hold up her own to sufficient respect in her foreign possessions; and the Catholics, instead of feeling this as an act of indulgence to their opinions, interpret it as an acknowledgment of their superior claims, and insult us in consequence. This is the case at Malta. In India the want of an established church is a crying evil. Nothing but missionaries can secure in that country what we have won. The converts would immediately become English in their feelings, for, like Mahomet, we ought to make our language go with our religion,—a better policy this than that of introducing pig-tails, after our own home-plan of princely reform, for which ——, with all due respect to him, or whoever else was the agent in this inconceivable act of folly, ought to be gibbeted upon the top of the highest pagoda in Hindostan. God bless you!

R. S.”