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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Jebb, 6 December 1817

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. 6. 1817.

“A volume like yours needs no other introduction than its own merits. I received it last night, and rejoice to see such topics treated in a manner so judicious, so forcible, and so impressive. You are treading in the steps of the great and admirable men by whom our church has been reformed and supported; and those who are to come after us will tread in yours. Unless I deceive myself, the state of religion in these kingdoms is better at this time than it has been at any other, since the first fervour of the Reformation. Knowledge is reviving as well as zeal, and zeal is taking the best direction. We stand in need of both when evil principles are so actively at work.

“I am writing the Life of Wesley in such a manner as to comprise our religious history for the last hundred years. It is a subject which I have long meditated, and may God bless the labour. Perhaps you can give me some light into the reasons why Methodism should have made so little progress in Ireland, where the seed seems to have fallen upon a most ungenial soil, though it was scattered with abundant care. In Scotland its failure may be explained by the general respectability of the Scotch clergy, the effect of education, the scattered population, and the cold and cautious character of the

* Afterwards Bishop of Limerick. The book referred to is his first publication: a volume of sermons with notes.

people. Is the jealousy with which the Romish priests watch over their deluded flocks sufficient to account for its failure in Ireland? If so, why was not Quakerism equally unsuccessful?

“I will not apologise for asking your opinion upon this subject. Even if we were not both fortunate enough to possess the same valuable friends, we are now known sufficiently to each other; and men of letters, who hold the same faith, and labour, though in different ways, for the same cause, are bound together by no common ties.

Believe me, Sir,
With sincere respect.
Your obedient servant,
Robert Southey.”