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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 15 December 1815

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, Dec. 15. 1815.
“My dear Wynn,

“. . . . . The infrequency of my letters, my dear Wynn, God knows, is owing to no distaste. The pressing employments of one who keeps pace with an increasing expenditure by temporary writings,—the quantity which, from necessity as well as inclination, I have to read, and the multiplicity of letters which I have to write, are the sufficient causes. You do not know the number of letters which come to me from perfect strangers, who seem to think a poet-laureate has as much patronage as the Lord Chancellor. Not unfrequently the writers remind me so strongly of my own younger days, that I have given them the best advice I could, with earnestness as well as sincerity; and more than once been thus led into an occasional correspondence. The Laureateship itself with me is no sinecure. I am at work in consequence of it at this time. Do not suppose that I mean to rival Walter Scott. My poem will be in a very different strain. . . . .

“During my stay in London, I scarcely ever went out of the circle of my private friends. I dined in company with Mina and some other Liberals—a set of men who (while I cannot but respect them as individuals, and feel that under the late Administration I myself might probably have felt and acted with them,) do certainly justify Ferdinand, not in his ca-
Ætat. 42. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 145
pricious freaks of favour and disfavour, but in the general and decided character of his measures. They are thorough Atheists, and would go the full length of their principles, being, I believe, all of them (as is, indeed, the character of the nation,) of the same iron mould as
Cortes and Pizarro. Mina is a finer character,—young and ardent, and speaking of his comrades with an affection which conciliates affection for himself. . . . . .

“There is but one point in your letter in which I do not agree with you, and that regards the army. The necessity of maintaining it appears to me manifest, and the contingent danger imaginary. Our danger is not from that quarter. If we are to suffer from the army, it will be by their taking part against the Government (as in France), and siding in a mob revolution. In my judgment, we are tending this way insensibly to our rulers and to the main part of the people, but I fear inevitably. The foundations of Government are undermined. The props may last during your lifetime and mine, but I cannot conceal from myself a conviction that, at no very distant day, the whole fabric must fall! God grant that this ominous apprehension may prove false.

“God bless you, my dear Wynn.

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”