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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 June 1814

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, June 16. 1814.
“My dear Rickman,

“It came into my head that it might peradventure be a fit thing for the Poet-Laureate to write certain verses upon the peace to the personages who are now dragging all London after their horses’ heels. I was very well inclined to put the thought out of my head, if some of the very few persons whom I see here had not shown me by their inquiries that it would come into other heads as well as mine. The subjects for their kind were the best possible; so I fell to in good earnest, and have written three odes* in Thalaba’s verse. The Carmen was an oration in rhyme. These are odes without rhyme, but in manner and matter altogether lyric. I shall have no time even to correct the press. I have written to Croker, saying that it may be proper to present copies to the persons be-oded, or that such presentations might be improper, and that in my ignorance of such things I requested him to act for me. . . . .

“I am in some trouble about my old correspondent, Don Manual Abella, a man of letters and a staunch

* To the Prince Regent, the Emperor of Russia, and the King of Prussia.

friend of the old Cortes, though no admirer of the head-over-heels activity of the new ones. I think he is in some danger of coming under a proscription, which seems to make little distinction of persons. That
Ferdinand and the constitution could long coexist was not possible. The king was a mere log, and must soon have been treated as such. But he has gone vilely to work; and I will not condemn him in toto till it be seen what sort of constitution he means to give the people (encore une constitution!). I very much fear that the old system of favouritism will return, and that abominations of every kind will be restored as well as the inquisition, which blessed office, you see, has been re-established, in compliance with the popular cry, as a boon!

“An officer of Suchet’s army, who served at the siege of Tarragona, and was afterwards taken by Eroles, was brought here last week by Wordsworth, to whom he had letters of recommendation from France;—a young man, and apparently one of the best of these Frenchmen. He had grace enough to acknowledge that the Spanish business was an unjust one, which he said all the officers knew; and he amused me by complaining that the Spaniards were very hard-hearted. To which I replied that they had not invited him and his countrymen. He said ‘they did make beautiful defence;’ and I gathered from him some information upon points of consequence. . . . .

“I have sent to the Courier a doggrel March to Moscow, written months ago to amuse the children, and chiefly upon the provocation of an irresistible
rhyme, which is not to be printed. I give you the suppressed stanza; for I am sure if you happen to see the song you will wonder how such a hit could have been missed.*

“The Emperor Nap, he talked so loud,
That he frightened Mr. Roscoe;
John Bull, he cries, if you’ll be wise,
Ask the Emperor Nap if he will please
To grant you peace upon your knees,
Because he’s going to Moscow!
He’ll make all the Poles come out of their holes,
And eat the Prussians, and beat the Russians;
The fields are green, and the sky is blue,
Morbleu! Parbleu!
He’ll certainly get to Moscow!

“There is some good doggrel in the rest, and Morbleu, &c. is the burden of the song. . . . .

Yours most truly,
R. S.”