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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 4 January 1812

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, Jan. 4. 1812.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“Concerning Whitbread, I believe, in every instance, the text of his speech will justify the comment.
You have heard of taking the wrong sow by the ear: he had better take a wild boar by the ear than haul me up to London upon this quarrel. I should tell him it was true that I had said his speeches were translated into French, and circulated through all the departments of France, but I had not said—what has since come to my knowledge—that, when they were thus circulated, nobody believed them genuine; nobody believed it possible that such speeches could have been uttered by an Englishman. I should ask the House (that is, his side of the House; and, of course, in that humble language becoming a person at the bar) at what time they would be pleased to let their transactions become matter for history; and I should give the party a gentle hint not to delay that time too long, for reputations, like every thing else, find their level; and if he, and such as he, do not get into history soon, they may run a risk of not getting into it at all. I should speak of the situation in which Spain and England stand to each other, and contrast my own feelings with those which he has continually expressed. I should appeal to the whole tenour of the book whether the design of the writer was to vilify Parliament, or to bring the Government into contempt. And, as an Englishman, a man of letters, and an historian, I should claim my privileges.

“Phillidor has made his appearance, and shall be returned in the first parcel, with the reviewal of Azara. Out of pure conscience, I have promised Gifford to take all these South American travellers myself, because I cannot bear that the Edinburgh should gain credit upon this subject, when I am so much better versed in it than any other man in
Ætat. 38. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 325
England possibly can be. I am heartily glad the state of
South America is in Blanco’s hands; it will be highly useful to the Review, and, I hope, to himself also; for he works hard, with little benefit, and, when he has once tried his strength in the Review, it will not be difficult to find other appropriate subjects for him. I have a high respect for this man’s moral and intellectual character, and earnestly wish it were possible to obtain a pension, which never could be more properly bestowed. Canning has smitten the Quarterly with a dead palsy upon the Catholic Question, or else Blanco could supply such an exposition upon that subject as would entitle him to anything that Mr. Perceval could give.

“Here is a man at Keswick, who acts upon me as my own ghost would do. He is just what I was in 1794. His name is Shelley, son to the member for Shoreham; with 6000l. a year entailed upon him, and as much more in his father’s power to cut off. Beginning with romances of ghosts and murder, and with poetry at Eton, he passed, at Oxford, into metaphysics; printed half-a-dozen pages, which he entitled ‘The Necessity of Atheism;’ sent one anonymously to Coplestone, in expectation, I suppose, of converting him; was expelled in consequence; married a girl of seventeen, after being turned out of doors by his father; and here they both are, in lodgings, living upon 200l. a year, which her father allows them. He is come to the fittest physician in the world. At present he has got to the Pantheistic stage of philosophy, and, in the course of a week, I expect he will be a Berkleyan, for I have put him
upon a course of
Berkeley. It has surprised him a good deal to meet, for the first time in his life, with a man who perfectly understands him, and does him full justice. I tell him that all the difference between us is that he is nineteen, and I am thirty-seven; and I dare say it will not be very long before I shall succeed in convincing him that he may be a true philosopher, and do a great deal of good, with 6000l. a year; the thought of which troubles him a great deal more at present than ever the want of sixpence (for I have known such a want) did me. . . . . God help us! the world wants mending, though he did not set about it exactly in the right way. God bless you, Grosvenor!

R. S.”