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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Margaret Holford Hodson, 16 November 1827

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, Nov. 16. 1827.
“My dear Madam,

“Mr. Charles Hodson may, perhaps, have told you that I was likely to bring forward the rhymes of an old servant for publication by subscription, and that, in that case, it was my intention to solicit your assistance in procuring names for my list.

“The man’s name is John Jones,—it could not be a more unpoetical one, but he could not help it,—the Muses have forgiven him for it, and so I hope will you. He lives with Mr. Bruere of Kirkby Hall near Catterick, and has served the family faithfully for twenty years. Mr. Otter (the biographer of Dr. Clarke) assures me of this. Jones is just of my age, in his fifty-fourth year. If I can get a tolerably good list of subscribers, I will offer the list and the book to Murray, and get what I can for it. The price may be from 7s. 6d. to 10s. If we have any good success, something may be obtained which would assist him in the decline of life.

“Do not suppose that I present him to notice as a heaven-born genius, and that I have found another Bloomfield. There is enough to show that Nature had given him the eye, and the ear, and the heart of a poet; and this is sufficient for my purpose; quite so
to render any reader satisfied that he has bestowed his bounty well in subscribing to the volume. The good sense and good feeling of the man are worth more than his genius; and my intention is to take the opportunity for showing how much intellectual enjoyment, and moral improvement in consequence, is within the reach of persons in the very humblest ways of life; and this moral cultivation, instead of unfitting them for their station, tends to make them perform their duties more diligently and more cheerfully; and this I mean to oppose to the modern march of intellect, directed as that is with the worst intentions and to the worst ends. This will be the subject of my introduction, with some remarks upon the poetry of uneducated men.
Jones tells his own story, and I am sure you will be pleased with it and his manner of telling it, and with the simplicity and good sense of his letters.

Reginald Heber’s Journal (his East Indian one), will very soon be published. There was a man whom the world could very ill spare; but his works and his example will live after him. Alas! the works of the wicked survive them also; but the example of thenlives too often is forgotten. My household desire their kindest remembrances to you and Mr. Hodson, to whom I beg mine also. We were some of us much the better for the Harrogate waters, and, indeed, I myself continue to feel the benefit which I derived from them.

Believe me, my dear Madam,
Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”