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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 19 February 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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“Feb. 19. 1817.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“This poor wretched paper-hanger* has sent me another letter, because I did not reply to his first. Men are too prone to take offence at importunity, finding anger a less uncomfortable emotion than pity; this indeed it is; and for that reason I scold

* See p. 238.

Ætat. 43. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 245
my wife and my children when they hurt themselves. As to this unhappy man, I hope you have sent him the two pounds; it will do him very little good, but it is really as much as I can afford to give him for the sake of the name, and a great deal more than I ever got by it.

“The tide seems to be turning, and if Government will but check the press they would soon right themselves. In this part of the country I hear that travellers (the bagmen) collect their money more easily than on their last rounds, and receive more orders. A fellow was selling Cobbett’s twopenny Register and other such things at Rydal the other day; he was, or appeared to be, a sailor, and his story was that he was going to Whitehaven, and a gentleman had given him these to support himself on the road by selling them.

“In grief and in uneasiness I have often caught myself examining my own sensations, as if the intellectual part could separate itself from that in which the affections predominate, and stand aloof and contemplate it as a surgeon does the sufferings of a patient during an operation. This I have observed in the severest sorrows that have ever befallen me, but it in no degree lessens the suffering. And whenever I may have any serious malady, this habit, do what I may to subdue it, will tend materially to impede or prevent recovery. But in petty vexations it has its use. I was more vexed than I ought to have been about this publication of Wat Tyler; for though I shook off the first thoughts, or rather immediately began to consider it in the right point of view as a thing utterly unimportant; still there was an un-
easiness working like yeast in my abdomen, and my sleep was disturbed by it for two nights; by that time it had spent itself, and I should now think nothing more about it if it were not necessary to determine how to act.
Wynn will find the thing more full of fire and brimstone perhaps than he imagines; and yet, perhaps, the wiser way will be not to notice it, but let it pass as a squib. Indeed, I could laugh about it with any person who was disposed to laugh with me. I shall hear from him again to-morrow, and probably shall receive a letter from Turner by the same post. Turner has a cool clear head; I have very little doubt that they will coincide in their opinion, and be it what it may, I shall act accordingly. God bless you!

R. S.”