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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 13 September 1808

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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“Keswick, Sept. 13. 1808.
“My dear Rickman,

“Your estimate of Spain is right.* The difference- between our age and that of Elizabeth is, that the bulk of the people are better in no respect, and worse in some. The middle classes are veneered instead of being heart of oak, and the higher ones are better classics, and worse in every other possible point of view. Ours is a degrading and dwarfing system of society. I believe, as you do, that the Spaniards have displayed more spirit than we should have done, and that the peace-mongers were ready to have sacrificed the honour of England for their looms and brewhouses; yet in the end we should have beaten France. Religion has done much for Spain; in what light I regard it, you will see by the introduction to the Cid written six years ago, and only re-modelled now, and that before these late events took place. But much has also been done by those awakening recollections of the deeds of their forefathers, which every Spaniard felt and delighted to feel. The very ballads of the Cid must have had their effect. . . . . .

“I am very idle; boating and walking about, and laying in health and exercise for the next season of hybernation. Right glad shall I be when you come

* “I do not know whether you allow credit to my opinion that the Spanish resistance is all from religion. . . . . You know I reckon the state of Spain to be about like that of England under Elizabeth and James the First . . . .—J. R. to R. S., Sept. 10. 1808.

and help me in this laudable and needful part of my year’s work. The last odd thing that has turned up in my reading is, that the Merino sheep were originally English, and transported from hence into Spain; ergo, the quality of the wool depends upon the climate and pasture, and a few generations may be expected to bring it back to what it originally was. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”