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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 15 August 1798

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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“Hereford, August 15. 1798.
“My dear Wynn,

“You will, I think, be somewhat amused at this copy of a note from a west-country farmer’s daughter: it is genuine I assure you:—

“’Dear Miss,

“’The energy of the Races prompts me to assure you that my request is forbidden; the idea of which I had awkwardly nourished, notwithstanding my propensity to reserve. Mr. T. will be there; let me with confidence assure you that him and brothers will be very happy to meet you and brothers. Us girls cannot go for reasons; the attention of the cows claims our assistance in the evening.

Unalterably yours.’

Is it not admirable?

“I have seen myself Bedfordized*, and it has been a subject of much amusement. Holcroft’s likeness is

* This is explained in the next letter.

Ætat. 23. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 345
admirably preserved. I know not what poor
Lamb has done to be croaking there. What I think the worst part of the anti-Jacobine abuse, is the lumping together men of such opposite principles; this was stupid. We should have all been welcoming the Director, not the Theophilanthrope. The conductors of the Anti-Jacobine will have much to answer for in thus inflaming the animosities of this country. They are labouring to produce the deadly hatred of Irish faction; perhaps to produce the same end. Such an address as you mention might probably be of great use; that I could assist you in it is less certain. I do not feel myself at all calculated for anything that requires methodical reasoning; and though you and I should agree in the main object of the pamphlet, our opinions are at root different. The old systems of government I think must fall; but in this country the immediate danger is on the other hand,—from an unconstitutional and unlimited power. Burleigh saw how a parliament might be employed against the people, and Montesquieu prophesied the fall of English liberty when the legislature should become corrupt. You will not agree with me in thinking his prophecy fulfilled.

“Violent men there undoubtedly are among the democrats, as they are always called, but is there any one among them whom the ministerialists will allow to be moderate? The Anti-Jacobine certainly speaks the sentiments of government.

Heywood’s Hierarchie is a most lamentable poem, but the notes are very amusing. I fancy it is in most old libraries. I do not see anything that promises
well for ballads. There are some fine Arabic traditions that would make noble poems. I was about to write one upon the Garden of Irem; the city and garden still exist in the deserts invisibly, and one man only has seen them. This is the tradition, and I had made it the groundwork of what I thought a very fine story; but it seemed too great for a poem of 300 or 400 lines.

“I do not much like Don Carlos: it is by far the worst of Schiller’s plays.

Yours affectionately,
R. Southey.”