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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Humphrey Senhouse, 22 March 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, March 22. 1817.
“My dear Senhouse,

“You see I am flourishing in the newspapers as much as Joanna Southcote did before her expected accouchement. And I have not flourished in Chancery* because a Presbyterian parson has made oath that I gave the MSS. to him and to another person whom I never saw in my life. There is no standing against perjury, and therefore it is useless to pursue the affair into a court of law. I have addressed two brief letters to William Smith in the Courier; and there the matter will end on my part, unless he replies to them. In the second of those letters you will see the history of Wat Tyler, as far as it was needful to state it. There was no occasion for stating that about a year after it was written I thought of making a serious historical drama upon the same subject, which would have been on the side of the mob in its main feelings, but in a very different way; and, indeed, under the same circumstances, I should have brained a tax-gatherer just as he did. The refaccimento proceeded only some fifty or three score lines, of which I only remember this short passage; part of it having been transplanted into Madoc. Some one has been saying, a plague on time! in reference to Tyler’s gloomy state of mind, to which he replies—

* My father seems to have mistaken the grounds of the Chancellor’s decision. Probably he had only been informed of the result, and had not seen the judgment.

‘Gently on man doth gentle Nature lay
The weight of years; and even when over laden
He little likes to lay the burden down.
A plague on care, I say, that makes the heart
Grow old before its time.’

“Had it been continued, it might have stood beside Joan of Arc, and perhaps I should have become a dramatic writer. But Joan of Arc left me no time for it then, and it was dismissed, as I supposed, for ever from my thoughts. I hear that in consequence of this affair, and of the effect which that paper in the Quarterly produced, Murray has printed two thousand additional copies of the number. And yet the paper has been dismally mutilated of its best passages and of some essential parts. I shall have a second part in the next number to follow up the blow.

“My fear is that when commerce recovers, as it presently will, Government should suppose that the danger is over; and think that the disease is removed because the fit is past. There are some excellent remarks in Coleridge’s second lay sermon upon the over-balance of the commercial spirit, that greediness of gain among all ranks to which I have more than once alluded in the Quarterly. If Coleridge could but learn how to deliver his opinions in a way to make them read, and to separate that which would be profitable for all, from that which scarcely half a dozen men in England can understand (I certainly am not one of the number), he would be the most useful man of the age, as I verily believe him in acquirements and in powers of mind to be very far the greatest.

Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”