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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Neville White, 11 December 1821

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 11. 1821.
“My dear Neville,

“When the Life is reprinted, I can modify the passage which expresses an essential difference of opinion upon religious subjects with Henry. That difference is certainly not now what it was then, but it is still a wide one; though, had Henry lived till this time, I believe there would scarcely have been a shade of difference between us. I am perfectly sure
that, with a heart and intellect like his, he would have outgrown all tendency toward Calvinism, and have approached nearer in opinion to
Jeremy Taylor than to the Synod of Dort.

“You wrong the Government with regard to Ireland. They neither now have, nor ever have had, a wish to keep the savages in that country in their state of ignorance and barbarity; and it would surprise you to know what funds have been established for their education. I know Dr. Bell was surprised at finding how large the endowments were, and felt that on that score it was not means that were wanting, but the just direction of them. How to set about enlightening such a people as the wild Irish is one of the most difficult duties any government was ever called upon to perform, obstructed as it is by such a body of priests, who can effectually prevent any better instruction than they themselves bestow. I want more information concerning certain parts of Irish history than I possess at present; but in one or more of the works which I have in hand I shall trace the evils of Ireland to their source. Meantime, this I may safely assert, as a general deduction from all that I have learnt in the course of history, that the more we know of preceding and coexisting circumstances and difficulties, the more excuse we shall find for those men and measures which, with little knowledge of those circumstances, we should condemn absolutely. This feeling leads not to any thing like indifference concerning right and wrong, nor to any lukewarmness or indecision in opinion; but certainly to a more
Ætat. 47. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 105
indulgent and charitable tone of mind than commonly prevails.

“God bless you, my dear Neville!

And believe me yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”