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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Sharon Turner, 20 March 1810

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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“March 20. 1810.
“Dear Turner,

“I thank you for your little volume, which I have read with pleasure, as the faithful transcript of a good man’s mind. It contains ample proof that you possess the perceptions of a poet; and if the diction in which they are clothed has sometimes its defects, it is because you have been too laboriously employed in more dignified pursuits to have had leisure for maturing the mechanical part of an art which, of all other trades or professions, requires the longest apprenticeship.

“What I have written upon the Missionaries I well knew would accord with your feelings and opinions. I have not yet done with the subject, meaning, so soon as my many occupations will allow, to prepare an article upon the South African missions; and, perhaps, to go on at intervals till I have given a view of all the existing Protestant missions; proved my own firm belief that there are but two methods of extending civilisation,—conquest and conversion,—the latter the only certain one; entered fully into the difficulties which oppose the
reception of Christianity; and, finally, connected this subject with that of civilisation.

“I had given Canning credit for the Austrian article, though half suspecting that it was giving him credit for too much, because there was a reference to the principles of human nature and a sense of its dignity rarely, or never, to be found in a politician by trade. The Quarterly does well; but it would do far better if it was emancipated from the shackles of party. It wants also some recondite learning: you should give them an account of the Welsh Archaeology; or, if that be too laborious, should take some of the Welshmen’s publications, Davies or Roberts, for your text, and pour out from your full stores. . . . .

“You will receive the first volume of my greatest labours very shortly; for, after many provoking delays, it has at last got out of the printer’s hands. It is less interesting perhaps than the second volume will prove, or than the history of the mother country; but it will repay perusal, and you will find many valuable hints respecting savage life. I have a poem also in the press, which you will wonder at and abuse. It is, in my own judgment, a successful attempt at giving to rhyme the whole freedom, and more than the variety, of blank verse. But in all its structure and story it is so wholly unlike anything else, that I expect to have very few admirers. This has been a sort of episode to my main employments. . . . . What I am busied upon most intently is the historical part of Ballantyne’s new Annual Register. The perfect freedom and perfect
Ætat. 36. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 283
sincerity with which I am discharging this task has astonished Ballantyne, and I dare say he will find his account in it; for, sure I am, the veriest knave will feel that it is written with honesty. . . . . This evening I have finished the siege of Zaragoza, and my pulse has not yet recovered its usual regularity. The death of
Sir John Moore will conclude the volume. . . . .

Believe me,
Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”