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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 1 June 1824

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, June 1. 1824.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“You deserve to be rated for saying that nothing is so cold as friendship, in saying which you belie yourself, and in inferring it as my opinion from what I said*, you belie me. A friend will not take half the trouble to do you a trifling service, or afford you a slight gratification, that an enemy would to do you a petty mischief, annoy your comfort, or injure your reputation. But this same enemy would not endanger himself for the pleasure of doing you a serious injury, whereas the friend would go through fire and water to render you an essential benefit; and if need were, risk his own life to save yours. Now and then, indeed, there appears a devil-incarnate who seems to find his only gratification in the exercise of

* “I could not but smile at the mode in which you speak of the difficulties of getting 200 subscribers to your brother’s book. Had I said anything half as censoriously true, how you would have rated me! But true it is there is nothing so cold as friendship, nothing so animated as enmity.”—G. C. B. to R. S., May 13. 1824.

Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 181
malignity; but these are monsters, and are noted as such. If I formed an estimate of human nature from what I observed at school, I should conclude that there was a great deal more evil in it than good; if from what I have observed in after life, I should draw the contrary inference. Follies disappear, weaknesses are outgrown, and the discipline of society corrects more evils than it breeds. You and I, and
Wynn, and Elmsley, and Strachey are very much at this time what each must always have expected the others to be. But who would have expected so much abilities from the two A.’s (mischievously as those abilities are directed)? Who would have thought that B——, boorish and hoggish as he was, would have become a man of the kindest manners and gentlest disposition; and that C—— would have figured as a hero at Waterloo? It is true that opposite examples might be called to mind; but the balance would be found on the right side.

“I am much gratified by what you tell me from Mr. Roberts.* Such opinions tend greatly to strengthen my inclination for setting about a Book of the State; which, though not capable of so deep and passionate an interest, might be made not less useful in its direct tendency. The want of books would be an obstacle, for I am poorly provided with English history, and have very little help within

* “Mr. Roberts is delighted with the Book of the Church, and desires me to say that he never read anything that afforded him so much at once of entertainment, and information, and general instruction upon any subject.”—G. C. B. to R. S., May 13. 1824.

reach. I should want (and do want for other objects also) the publications of the Record Committee. They were originally to be purchased; but they were beyond my means. The sale of them is given up I think (at least there was a report recommending that it should be discontinued, as producing little), and the remaining copies must be lying in lumber; and yet, though there is a pleasant opinion abroad that I can have any thing from Government which I please to ask for, I might as well whistle for a South wind against this blast from the East, as ask for a set of these books, well assured as I am that there is no man living to whom they would be of more use, or who would make more use of them. My end is not answered by borrowing books of this description, and I will explain to you why; when a book is my own, I read or look through it, and mark it as I proceed, and then by very brief references am enabled to refer to and compose from it at any future time. But if it is a borrowed book, the time which it costs to provide myself with extracts for future use may be worth more than the cost of the work; a lesson which I have learnt of late years at no little price. God bless you!

R. S.”