LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 1 October 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, Oct 1. 1831.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . The prospect before me is not so clear as it was. The state of politics has affected every branch of business, and none more than that upon which I have to depend. It cannot be long before it be determined whether the Quarterly Review will continue to pay me at its former rate; or whether I must withdraw from it, and look about for other means of support. Other employment equally profitable and certain in its profit, as this has hitherto been, it may not be easy to find; but I have no fear of getting on well at last, and my disposition saves me from all disquietude which is produced by needless anxiety.

“Your own cares at this time can have left you little leisure for those fears which the moral, political, and physical state of Europe awaken in every one who has leisure to look before him and around him. The spirit of insubordination, connected with every thing that is most false and perilous in po-
litics, morals and religion has extended so widely, so all but generally, throughout the working classes, that the white inhabitants in Jamaica are not in more danger from the negroes, than we are from our servile population. This spirit has been greatly aided by the agitation which the Reform Bill has excited; and whatever plan of reform may be at length agreed on, and to whatever extent it may be carried, the consequences of such a ferment must long be felt. One issue leads to certain revolution, the other gives only a chance of averting it. With these prospects at home, and the cholera rapidly advancing to the opposite coast of the Continent (it is daily expected at Hamburgh), I do not think that England, since it was England, has ever been threatened by such serious dangers. For any pestilence must be more dreadful than in former times, in proportion to the increased density of our population and the rapidity of communication throughout the country. And any revolution, instead of throwing down (as in former convulsions) a few high towers and old houses like a storm of wind, would rend and overthrow the foundations of society, like an earthquake. These reflections occur to me so frequently and with so much force, that the deprecations in the Litany which apply to these specific dangers, have for some time made part of my prayers at night and morning.

“My occupations of late have been the Peninsular War, of which I hope to see the end in a few weeks after my return; the Colloquies on the vulgar Errors of the Age, for which Westall has made some
Ætat. 57. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 161
most beautiful drawings; and a
review of Moore’s Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which I must take with me to finish in Shropshire. The reprint of my Essays might have been completed long since, if Murray had pleased. But he is the most incommunicable of men; and the book hitches upon some notion of his that the papers upon the Catholic question, which were intended to conclude the volumes, would injure their sale. I tell him that those who hate my opinions will not buy my books whether those papers are included or not; and that those who agree with me will like to have what the collection professes to be, the whole of my Political Essays. But here the matter rests, and the press stands still.

“One thing I had nearly forgotten to tell you. A selection from Wordsworth’s poems for young persons has answered so well, that a similar volume from mine is now in the press; and if this succeeds, as it may almost be expected to do, there will be a companion to it of prose selections. In this way I may derive some little profit, now that the sale of the works themselves is at a dead stop. And in this way some good will be done, as far as the selections circulate. Two mottoes have fallen in my way for them, which I think you will deem applicable:—
‘Nullo imbuta Veneno
is the one; both are from
Janus Douza: the other,
‘Quales filiolis suis parentes,
Quales discipulis suis magistri,
Tuto prælegere et docere possint.’

“Believe me always, my dear and excellent Friend,

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”