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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 26 March 1820

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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“March 26. 1820.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“Before I see you, you will receive the Life of Wesley*, whereof only about two sheets remain to

* “There are at this day half a million of persons in the world (adult persons) calling themselves Methodists, and following the institutions of John Wesley; they are pretty equally divided between the British dominions and the United States of America; and they go on increasing year after year. They have also their missionaries in all parts of the world. The rise and progress of such a community is, therefore, neither an incurious nor an unimportant part of the history of the last century. I have brought it no farther than the death of the founder. You will find in it some odd things, some odd characters, some fine anecdotes, and many valuable facts, which the psychologist will know how to appreciate and apply. My humour (as

be printed. Some persons have expressed their expectations that the book will have a huge sale. I am much more inclined to think that it will obtain a moderate sale, and a durable reputation. Its merit will hardly be appreciated by any person, unless it be compared with what his former biographers have done: then, indeed, it would be seen what they have overlooked, how completely the composition is my own, and what pains it must have required to collect together the pieces for this great tesselated tablet. The book contains many fine things,—pearls which I have raked out of the dunghill. My only merit is that of finding and setting them. It contains also many odd ones,—some that may provoke a smile, and some that will touch the feelings. In parts I think some of my own best writing will be found. It is written with too fair a spirit to satisfy any particular set of men. For the ‘religious public’ it will be too tolerant and too philosophical; for the Liberals it will be too devotional; the Methodists will not endure any censure of their founder and their institutions; the high Churchman will as little be able to allow any praise of them. Some will complain of it as being heavy and dull; others will not think it serious

it would have been called in the days of Ben Jonson) inclines me to hunt out such subjects; and whether the information be contained in goodly and stately folios of old times, like my noble Acta Sanctorum (which I shall like to show you whenever you will find your way again to your old chamber which looks to Borodale), or in modern pamphlets of whitey-brown paper; I am neither too indolent to search for it in the one, nor so fastidious as to despise it in the other. In proof of this unabated appetite, I have just begun an account of our old acquaintance the Sinner Saved, in the shape of a paper for the Q. R.”—To Richard Duppa, Esq., March 25. 1820.

enough. I shall be abused on all sides, and you well know how little I shall care for it. But there are persons who will find this work deeply interesting, for the subjects upon which it touches, and the many curious psychological cases which it contains, and the new world to which it will introduce them. I dare say that of the twelve thousand purchasers of
Murray le Magne’s Review, nine hundred and ninety-nine persons out of a thousand know as little about the Methodists as they do about the Cherokees or the Chiriguanas. I expect that Henry will like it, and also that he will believe in Jeffrey*, as I do.

“God bless you!

R. S.”