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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Henry Southey, 27 June 1831

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 27. 1831.
“My dear H.,

“I returned home* on Friday, and Bertha arrived the same night, safe, and if not sound, yet much

* The next letter explains the object of this journey fully.

better than she had of late been, and I hope on the convalescent list. My journey ended as I expected, in my declining the proposed executorship, and giving good counsel to no purpose. The poor old
doctor* may live long, or soon be taken off. He is completely speechless, but in full possession of all his other faculties, and his mind is as quick and vigorous as ever. Nevertheless, I have reason to believe that the will will be contested, on a most untenable plea of insanity in the testator. If so, I must appear as a witness.

“The proofs which awaited my return I have got through; not so the letters, which are, as usual, de omnibus et quibusdam aliis. There were the proofs of an article upon the New Christianity and New System of Society, started by the St. Simonites in France; proofs of my Essays, of which half the first volume is printed, and which I dedicate to Inglis; and proofs of the Peninsular War. This will be ready for publication in November. You have got my Brazilian small stock out of the fire in good time: I should have thought myself lucky to get out at 50; and wonder that they have not fallen so low as to prove that there are no purchasers. No other revolution could be so injurious to the commerce of this country, nor produce such interminable evils in its own.

“Recommend Ivan Vejeeghan, a Russian Gil Blas, to those who wish to see a lively description of society in Poland and Russia. It contains a better account

* Dr. Bell.

Ætat. 57. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 151
than can anywhere else be met with. Were the rest of the world undisturbed and unaffected by what may happen in and around Poland, the war there might be regarded with much indifference, as a process which cannot worsen the moral condition of either people, and might possibly improve it; though that possibility is a very poor one. But how anything better than a barbarous government, whether it be an oligarchy or a despotism, can be constructed in a country where there is no middle class, nor any persons in a condition to be raised into such a class, I do not perceive. The peasants are serfs, and trade is in the hands of Jews, the vilest, filthiest, and most superstitious of their race.

“If I had Aladdin’s lamp, the genius should transport me, and my household and my books, to Cintra; though, just now, perhaps, one might be safer under the paternal protection of Ferdinand than of Miguel. But I verily believe that Spain and Portugal are the safest countries in Europe; and that Spain will be a most peaceable and flourishing one for some years to come. God bless you!

R. S.”