LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828

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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Ætat. 53. Ætat. 53. 299

My father had now for some years found that a summer journey was absolutely necessary for his health, especially for the purpose of warding off, or at least breaking the violence of, the ‘hay asthma;’ a complaint which, by its regular periodical visita-
tions, seemed to have rooted itself in his system, and threatened to undermine his constitution.

His greatest delight and most complete relaxation was, as we have seen, a foreign excursion; but finding that several of his household required some change of air, he determined to take them to Harrogate, where he had the additional inducement of being joined by Mr. Wordsworth and some of his family.

From thence he writes in somewhat low spirits respecting a distressing infirmity which had now afflicted him for many years, and latterly had rendered all walking exercise extremely painful, and from which he had not at that time any hopes of being relieved.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Harrogate, June 10. 1827.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“. . . . . At my age there can be no expectation that time will remove any bodily infirmity. The probability is, that I shall, ere long, be totally unable to walk; and to look for any chance of good fortune that would set me upon wheels, would be something like looking for a miracle. I am thankful, therefore, that my disposition and sedentary habits will render the confinement which appears to await me a less evil than it would be to most other persons. The latter years of our earthly existence can be but few at the
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 301
most, and evil at the best; but he who is grateful for the past, and has his hopes in futurity, may very well be patient under any present privations, and any afflictions of which the end is in view.

“There is enough in this neighbourhood to repay me for a short tarriance here, even with the discomforts which, especially in my case, are felt always in an absence from home. As yet I have only seen William Herbert’s garden, where there is a splendid display of exotics; the grounds at Plumpton, where the rocks very much resemble the scenery of Fontainbleau; the cave where Eugene Aram buried the body of Daniel Clarke; the hermitage carved in the rock at Knaresborough; and the dropping well, which, in my childhood, I longed to see, as one of the wonders of England. Knaresborough is very finely situated, and I should spend some of my mornings in exploring all the points of view about it if I were able to move about with ease. I wish you were here; the place itself is pleasanter than I had expected to find it. We are on a common, with a fine, dry, elastic air; so different from that of Keswick, that the difference is perceptible in breathing it, and a wide horizon, which in its evening skies affords something to compensate for the scenery we have left. The air would, I verily believe, give you new life, and among the variety of springs there is choice of all kinds for you. . . . .

“So much for Harrogate. Now for a word or two concerning my own pursuits. You will or may, if you please, see a paper of mine upon the Moorish History of Spain in the first number of the Foreign
Quarterly, when it is published. The
Foreign Quarterly pays me 100l. for my paper, but I do not calculate upon doing anything more for it. There are hardly readers enough who care for foreign literature to support a journal exclusively devoted to it, certainly not enough to make it a very lucrative speculation. And unless it were so, it could not afford to pay me as I am accustomed to be paid.

“A lady here, whom we never saw, nor ever before heard of, sent her album for Wordsworth and myself to write in, with no other preliminaries than desiring the physician here, Dr. Jaques, to ask leave for her! When the book came, it proved to be full of pious effusions from all the most noted Calvinist preachers and missionaries. As some of these worthies had written in it texts in Hebrew, Chinese, and Arabic, I wrote in Greek, ‘If we say that we have no sin,’ &c., and I did not write in it these lines, which the tempting occasion suggested:—
“What? will-we, nill-we, are we thrust
Among the Calvinistics—
The covenanted sons of schism,
Rebellion’s pugilistics.
Needs most we then ourselves array
Against these state tormentors;
Hurrah for Church and King, we say,
And down with the dissenters.

“Think how it would have astonished the fair owner to have opened her album, and found these verses in it, signed by R. S. and W. W.

“It will be charity to write to me while I am here, where, for want of books, I spell the newspaper. God bless you!

R. S.”
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 303
To John Rickman, Esq.
“Keswick, July 30. 1827.
“My dear Rickman,

“I am out of humour with myself respecting Lord Colchester*, as if from shyness on my part there had been a want of due attention to him. He called on his arrival to thank me for having made all arrangements for his movement in this neighbourhood, and came just as I had a party assembling for dinner; and having that party I did not, of course, ask him for the evening, which otherwise I should have done. The next day I went to his inn a little after seven in the evening, meaning, if he had not been wearied with the round which he had taken, to have asked him to drink tea in a pleasanter room than the Inn affords. But he proved to be at dinner, for which reason I merely left my card; and then, because his rank stood in the way, and made me fearful of appearing to press myself upon him, I did not write a note to invite him up, which I should have done had he been Mr. Abbott. The next day brought me a very obliging note from him, after his departure. He has had from us good directions and commissariat services, but not that personal attention which I wished to have paid him.

“In this way, through a constitutional bashfulness, which the publicity of authorship has not over-

* Mr. Rickman had written to tell him that Lord Colchester was going to the Lakes, and intended calling upon him, and requesting him to give him some information as to the best mode of seeing the country.

come, and through the sort of left-handed management (I do not mean sinister) which that bashfulness occasions, I have repeatedly appeared neglectful of others’, and have really been so of my own interests. Upon the score of such neglect, no man living has more cause for reproach than I have; but it passes off with only a transitory sense of inward shame, occurring more or less painfully when occasion calls to mind some particular sin of omission. . . . .

“I believe, my dear R., that most men by the time they have reached our age are ready, whatever their pursuits may have been, to agree with Solomon, that they end in vanity. If they are not mere clods, muckworms, they come to this conclusion,—wealth, reputation, power, are alike unsatisfactory when they are attained, alike insufficient to content the heart of man, which is ever discontented till it has found its rest. This it finds in the prospect of immortality, in the anticipation of a state where there shall be no change, except such as is implied in perpetual progression. When we have learnt to look forward with that hope, then we look back upon the past without regret, and are able to bear the present, however heavy and painful sometimes may be its pressure. There is no other support for a broken spirit; no other balm for a wounded heart.

“You have overworked yourself, which I have ever been afraid of doing. The wonder is that you have not suffered more severely and irremediably; and that while so working you should have yet been
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 305
able to lay in that knowledge of other kinds, which renders you (as I have found you during well nigh thirty years) the most instructive of all companions. Ant-like, you have toiled during the summer, and have stored your nest: my summer work leaves mo as little prepared for winter as the grasshopper; but this is rather my fortune than my fault, and therefore no matter of self-reproach.

“What you have to do is to extricate yourself from all unnecessary and ungrateful business, and give the time which you may thus gain to more healthful and genial pursuits,—books, to which inclination would lead you, and, above all, travelling. I wish you could have gone with Henry Taylor and his father—a man whom you would especially like; still more do I wish you would come here and take a course of mountaineering,—upon which I should very gladly enter, and which would be to my bodily benefit. And then we might talk at leisure and at will over the things of this world and the next.

“God bless you, my dear friend!

R. S.”
To John Rickman, Esq.
“Keswick, August 15. 1827.
“My dear Rickman,

“I am about to reprint in a separate form such of my stray papers as are worth collecting from the Quarterly Review, &c., beginning with two volumes of Essays, Moral and Political. For this I have the
double motive of hoping to gain something by the publication*, and wishing to leave them in a corrected state. Shall I print with them your remarks upon the economical reformers in the
Edinburgh Annual Register of 1810, and your paper upon the Poor Laws? Certainly not if you have any intention of collecting your own papers, which I wish you would do. But if you have no such intention, or contemplate it at an indefinite distance, then it would be well that so much good matter should be placed where it would be in the way of being read; and there I should like it to be as some testimony and memorial of an intimacy which has now for thirty years contributed much to my happiness, and, in no slight degree, to my intellectual progress. In this case I will take care to notice that the credit of these papers is not due to me, either specifying whose they are, or leaving that unexplained, as you may like best. . . . . .

“Your foresight concerning poor Mr. Canning has been sadly realised. Sorry I am for him, as every one must be who had any knowledge of the better part of his character. But I know that his death is not to be regretted, either for his own sake or that of the country, for he had filled his pillow with thorns, and could never again have laid down his head in peace. I do not disturb mine with speculating what changes may or may not follow; nor, in truth, with any anxieties about them. Perhaps

* This hope was not realised; they never paid their expenses!

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 307
it may be desirable that the Whigs should be allowed rope enough, and left to plunge deeper and deeper in the slough of their Irish difficulties. They can never satisfy the Macs and the great O’s without conceding everything which those gentlemen please to demand, and that cannot be done without bringing on a civil war.

“I am about to write a Life of General Wolfe*, which will be prefixed to his letters. The letters will disappoint every one. Can you tell me or direct me to anything that may assist me in it? There is the taking of Loisbourg, and the campaign in which he fell. The rest must be made up by showing the miserable state of the army; his merits as a disciplinarian, being in those days very great; my memorabilia concerning Canada, abundance of which are marked in books which I read long since, and by whatever other garnish I can collect. My pay for the task-work is to be 300 guineas.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, Sept. 13. 1827.
“My dear H. T.,

“I am sorry to hear that cares have been knocking at your door; they must have gone out of their way, methinks, to call there. I thought that you had no

* This intention was never carried into effect, it being found impossible to procure sufficient materials.

thorns either in your sides or your pillow. Tidings after an absence of a few weeks afford indeed at all times matter for uneasy apprehension; and if you and I had this to learn, the two journies which we have taken together would have taught it us.

“I found a great want of you (as they say in this country) during your absence. One likes to have one’s friends in a local habitation where at any time they may be found; to be out of reach is too like being out of the world. It often came into my thoughts that if H. T. were in London I should have written to him upon such and such occasions, and quite as often that I should have had some brief notices of the strange turns of the wheel.

“You distrust opinions, you tell me, when you perceive a strong tenour of feeling in the writer who maintains them. The distrust is reasonable, and is especially to be borne in mind in reading history. My opinions are (thank God!) connected with strong feelings concerning them, but not such as can either disturb my temper or cloud my discernment, much less pervert what I will venture to call the natural equity of my mind. I proceed upon these postulates,—1. That revealed religion is true; 2. that the connection between Church and State is necessary; 3. that the Church of England is the best ecclesiastical establishment which exists at present, or has yet existed; 4. that both Church and State require great amendments; 5. that both are in great danger; and 6. that a revolution would destroy the happiness of one generation, and leave things at last worse than it found them.

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 309

“If our institutions are worth preserving we cannot be attached to them too strongly, remembering always that the only way to preserve them is by keeping them in good repair. The two duties upon which I insist are those of conservation and improvement. We must improve our institutions if we would preserve them; but if any go to work upon the foundations, down must come the building.

“How is it possible to reflect upon the history of former times without inquiring what have been the good and evil consequences of the course which things have taken at the age which you are considering? It is, surely, no useless speculation to inquire whether good results which have been dearly purchased might not have been obtained at less cost. If I were to build a house, I should consult my neighbour, who might tell me how I might go to work more advantageously than he had done. What might have been is a profitable subject for speculation, because it may be found useful for what yet may he.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Sept. 15. 1827.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . I can very well enter into the melancholy part of your feelings upon this transplantation to a strange city, though that city is to
me the place in the world, as far as mere place can go, where I should feel myself most at home. Where is your bank, and where your dwelling-house? Tell me, that I may see them in my mind’s eye, when I think of you. I never thought to have seen Bristol again; but now that you are there I may find in my heart to revisit it, and show you the houses where my childhood and youth were past.

“You ought to become acquainted with my old friend Joseph Cottle, the best-hearted of men, with whom my biographical letters will one day have much to do. It would give him great pleasure to see any one with whom he could talk about me. Make an hour’s leisure some day and call upon him, and announce yourself to him and his sisters as my friend. You will see a notable portrait of me before my name was shorn, and become acquainted with one who has a larger portion of original goodness than falls to the lot of most men.

“I would have you know King, the surgeon, also, with whom I lived in great intimacy, and for whom I have great and a sincere regard. His wife is sister to Miss Edgeworth. A more remarkable man is rarely to be found, and his professional skill is very great.

“These are the only friends in Bristol who are left to me, and perhaps I can say nothing that will recommend them more to you than when I add that they are both warmly attached to me.

“Now for my household and personal concerns. The Harrogate expedition answered its purpose in some degree for us all. . . . . Your god-daughter
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 311
has been living a most active life between this place and Rydal Mount, with which a constant interchange of visits has been going on since our return, not to speak of occasional meetings half way; and for a mountain excursion with the
Bishop of Chester, who went up Saddleback with us last week. My hay asthma was not prevented by the journey, but it was shortened. I escaped with a visit of one month instead of a visitation of three, and am willing to think that the last two years, by cutting the disease short, have weakened its habit, and shaken its hold. The Harrogate waters have also materially benefited my digestion, so that on the whole, though far from a sound man, I am in better condition than for some time past.

“The Quarterly Review and I have made up our differences, and my paper, which had been unceremoniously postponed since January last, leads the van in the new number. I learn from John Coleridge that his mind is made up in favour of what is called Catholic Emancipation, and therefore I am very glad the Review is in other bands; for, if it had taken that side, I should certainly have withdrawn from it, and have done everything in my power to support a journal upon my own principles, which as certainly would have been started; and which, in fact, has been prevented from starting by my refusal to conduct it, on the ground that the Quarterly Review will keep its course. I am reviewing Hallam’s Constitutional History for the Christmas number, and have engaged to review BarantesHistory of the Dukes of Burgundy for the Foreign Quarterly.
Gillies, a nephew of the historian, is the projector of this, and edits it conjointly with a Mr. Frazer, whom I know only by letter. Scott writes in it. . . . .

“God bless you!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
To John Rickman, Esq.
“Keswick, Sept. 18. 1827.
“My dear Rickman,

“. . . . . Your scheme for putting an end to previous imprisonment for all minor offences, has always seemed to me one of the most practicable and useful suggestions that has ever been offered for preventing much evil and saving much expense. And I cannot but hope it will be carried into effect, in the way of which good it will at least be put by bringing it again forward.

Wordsworth, in his capacity of Stamp Distributor, received a circular lately requiring him to employ persons to purchase soda powders when sold without a stamp, and then lay an information against the vendors. It seems as if they were resolved so to reduce the emolument in the public services, and connect such services with them, that no one with the habits and feelings of a gentleman shall enter or continue in it.

“Mr. N. breakfasted with me, and we talked of you and Mr. Telford. He maintained what seemed to me a most untenable assertion, that pau-
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 313
perism has decreased since the Restoration, and says the returns prove this. Now it is certain that the poor laws were not so misapplied as to breed paupers till within our own times; nor did the manufacturers in those days increase and multiply in whole districts.

“In looking through the statutes of Henry VII., I have found that an abatement or allowance as it is called of ‘6000l. in every fifteenth and tenth (i. e. upon the two) was made in relief, comfort, and discharge of the poor towns, cities, and burghs in the realm, wasted, desolate, and destroyed, or over greatly impoverished, or else to such fifteenth or tenth over greatly charged.’ This allowance to be divided according to former example. I will hunt this subject back, and endeavour to ascertain whether a deduction was made from the impost on the money distributed in relief.

“The statutes I clearly see have not yet been read as you have taught me to read. Though I have only examined this reign, several curious inferences have appeared which I believe others have neglected to make. I find a disposition in the older laws to keep the lower classes in castes, making the child follow his father’s calling, and a law allowing no one to be apprenticed in any town, unless the parents had lands or rent to the amount of 20l. a-year. The laws opposed the strong desire of bettering their condition which the labouring people manifested, and the only liberty allowed was of breeding their children to learning. Henry VII. repealed the restrictions upon apprenticeship, upon the petition of the Norwich
people, but for that city only, going to work experimentally in his laws.

“I learn, too, that the cross-bow would have superseded the bow and arrow, even if fire-arms had not been introduced, and that there was a great anxiety to keep that weapon from the people. The higher orders had an obvious interest in continuing the use of those weapons which were least effective against armour; and the cross-bow, like the musket, was a leveller a weak hand could discharge, it required as little practice as a gun, and generally went with surer aim than the arrow, perhaps with greater force.

H. T. tells me that Huskisson’s health can never stand the fatigue of his Parliamentary business. Do not you overwork yourself, however much it may be the taste of Ministers and post horses to be so sacrificed. God bless you!

R. S.”

During the few weeks my father passed at Harrogate in the early part of the summer, he received an application from a poet in humble life, John Jones by name, to peruse and give his opinion of some poems. He was struck with the simple-hearted frankness of the writer, and with the feeling and natural piety displayed in his verses; and he replied to him in such a manner as to give encouragement to a further communication of his productions; and finally he undertook to edit a small volume of poems, prefacing it by a biographical sketch of the lives of uneducated poets.

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 315

As in many other cases, his good nature in this one drew on him much more expenditure of time and trouble than he at first anticipated; but he thought himself well repaid by the perfect happiness he had been the means of affording Jones, and by his warm gratitude, and also by having been enabled to put him in possession of a sum of money which might assist in procuring comforts for his latter years. Some further particulars concerning him will be found in the following letters.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Oct. 31. 1827.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“. . . . . Thank you for the interest you take in my scheme for serving honest John Jones. There is no one point, Grosvenor, in which you and I accord more entirely, than in our feelings concerning servants, and our behaviour towards them. The savings’ banks may do for this class all, or almost all that you desire, if there be but religious education to give them an early sense of duty, which I think it will be more easy to give than to bring about the desired amendment in the behaviour of their superiors. To amend that, there must be a thorough reform in our schools, public and private, which should cut up the tyranny of the boys over their juniors by the roots.

“You have seen exactly in the true light what my views and motives are with regard to Jones. I
want to read a wholesome lecture in this age of Mechanics’ Institutes, and of University College. I want to show how much moral and intellectual improvement is within the reach of those who are made more our inferiors, than there is any necessity that they should be, to show that they have minds to be enlarged, and feelings to be gratified, as well as souls to be saved, which is the only admission that some persons are willing to make, and that grudgingly enough; and if I can by so doing, put a hundred pounds into Jones’s pocket (which, if a few persons will bestir themselves for me, there is every likelihood of doing), I shall have the satisfaction of giving him a great deal of happiness for a time, and of rendering him some substantial benefit also. . . . .

“Did you see my paper upon the Spanish Moors in the Foreign Quarterly? I have another to write for one of the journals into which it has split, upon M. de BarantesHistory of the Ducs de Bourgogne. This and a paper upon the Emigration Report for the Quarterly Review will be taken in hand immediately on my return. Lope de Vega will arrive about the 15th, and I look for a noble importation from Brussels before Christmas, consisting of the books which I purchased there last year, and others of which a list was left with Verbeyst, the best of booksellers, who gives me when I deal with him as good Rhenish as my ‘dear heart’ could desire, and better strong beer than ever hero drank in Valhalla out of the skull of his enemy. . . . .

“We are fitting up an additional room for books, and if you do not next year come to see me in my
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 317
glory among them, why you will commit a sin of omission for which you will not forgive yourself when it is no longer to be repaired.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Mrs. Hodson.
“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.”
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 319

My father’s residence at Keswick placed him so much out of the world, that his friends naturally often endeavoured to persuade him to move nearer London, not only because they wished to have more frequent opportunities of seeing him, but also because they thought a less remote part of the country would be better in many respects, both for himself and his family.

But the time was now past when such a change was practicable. He was, as it were, fast anchored by his large Library; and this, with other causes, combined to keep him to the end in his mountain home.

In the following letter he refers to a possible motive for removal. What this was does not appear, but from other letters I conjecture it to have been the chance of one of his daughters settling in the south.

To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, Nov. 22.1827.
“My dear H. T.,

“My lease expires in the spring of 1831. So long, if I should live so long, I shall certainly remain where I am, and, indeed, at this time the house is undergoing some alterations to render it more habitable in its worst parts, and to afford more accommodation for my books, the last cargo from Verbeyst’s being on the way. The obstacles to a removal afterwards are so great on the score of inclination, inconvenience, and expense, that among all possible chances,
I see but one which will overcome them. . . . . Supposing the motives to exist, and the obstacles to be surmountable, Bath is the place on which I should fix. I should like my old age to be past in the scenes of my childhood, and if I am not to sleep the ίερον υπνον with my children here, I should wish to be gathered to my fathers.

“I hardly think you would be sorry if I produced another such volume of controversy as the Vindiciæ of which historical and philosophical disquisition would be the meat, and controversy only the seasoning. For the form of a second volume is what I should choose, having, in fact, begun one sixteen months ago, and made abundant notes for it.

“It is very certain that when two sets of cut-throats played their favourite game against each other during the Peninsular War, my wishes were always with the Spanish party, though they might have been just as great ruffians as the other. But, surely, I have neither dissembled nor extenuated the cruelties of the Spaniards; and it is upon the leaders of the French army that my reproach falls, who had their full share in Bonaparte’s guilt. I have not relied rashly upon Spanish and Portuguese authorities, but the scale on which I have related events in which the British army had no share is not what —— likes. . . . . I take my side, and that warmly, but my desire is to be just, and so far strictly impartial. Now, when I add, that in proceeding with my third volume I shall bear your observations in mind, you will not do me the injustice to suppose
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 321
that they needed, or could need, anything like an apology.

“It would have been well for me, if I had always had friends as able and as willing to stand forward in my defence as you are. But I have had back-friends instead, as well as enemies. They have done me some injury, as far as regards the sale of my books; other harm it has been out of their power to do. My character is not mistaken by those who know me; and for the world at large (the world! that little portion of it I mean which concerns itself with such things), it may safely be left to the sure decision of time. Under more favourable circumstances I might have accomplished more and better things. But when the grave-digger has put me to bed, and covered me up, it will not be long before it will be perceived and acknowledged that there are few who have done so much. . . . .

“God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”
To Allan Cunningham, Esq.
“Keswick, Feb. 24. 1828.
“My dear Allan Cunningham,

“I will do anything for you*; but I wish you had been fifteen days earlier in your application. For just so long ago, young Reynolds (son of the dramatist), called here, and introducing himself by

* Mr. Cunningham at this time had accepted the editorship of Sharpe’s forthcoming annual, called The Anniversary.

a letter, then introduced
Charles Heath. Charles Heath proceeded expeditiously to business, presented me with a ‘Keepsake’ from his pocket, said that he had been into Scotland for the express purpose of securing Sir Walter’s aid, that he had succeeded, that he now came to ask for mine, and should be happy to give me fifty guineas for anything with which I would supply him. Money,—money you know, makes the mare go,—and what after all is Pegasus, but a piece of horse-flesh? I sold him at that price a pig in a poke; a roaster would have contented him: ‘perhaps it might prove a porker,’ I said; improvident fellow as I was not to foresee that it would grow to the size of a bacon pig before it came into his hands! I sold him a ballad-poem entitled ‘All for Love, or a Sinner well saved,’ of which one-and-twenty stanzas were then written. I have added fifty since, and am only half-way through the story. It is a very striking one, and he means to have an engraving made from it. First come, first served, is a necessary rule in life; but if I could have foreseen that you would come afterwards, the rule should have been set aside; he might have had something else, and the bacon pig should have been yours.

Heath said that Sharpe was about to start a similar work of the same size and upon the same scale of expense: this I take it for granted is yours; and he seemed to expect that these larger Annuals would destroy the dwarf plants. The Amulet will probably survive, because it has chosen a walk of its own and a safe one. The Bijou is likely to fall, as
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 323
Lord Goderich’s administration did, for want of cordiality among the members concerned in it. Alaric will hold out like a Goth. Ackerman understands the art of selling his wares, and has in that respect an advantage over most of his rivals. Friendship’s Offering is perhaps in the worst way. But these matters concern not the present business, which is—what can I do for you? One of two things.

“I can finish for you an Ode upon a Gridiron*, which is an imitation of Pindar, treating the subject as he treats his, heroically and mythologically, and representing both the manner and character of his poetry more closely than could be done in a composition of which the subject was serious. I should tell you that though I think very well of this myself, it is more likely to please a few persons very much than to be generally relished.

“Or, I can write for you a life of John Fox the Martyrologist, which may, I think, be comprised in five or six and twenty of your pages. This, however, you cannot have in less than three months from this time.

“Now, take your choice; and, remember, that when you go into your own country, you are to make Keswick in your way, and halt with me.

Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.

Heath has sold 15,000 of the Keepsake, and has bespoken 4000 yards of silk for binding the next volume!!!”

* This fragment, which has not been published before, will be found in an Appendix.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, March 30. 1828.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“There used to be a quicker interchange of letters between you and me when we were younger, and each, with less to think of, had a great deal more to say.

“I think you will see me, God willing, about the third week in May; but my way is not as yet quite clear; nor am I sure what stoppages it may be expedient to make upon the road. The only sure thing is, that I shall remain as short a time as possible in and about town, having to make a wide western circuit on the way home. I should take this circuit with much greater satisfaction, if you would make a good honest hearty engagement to meet me at Keswick on my arrival there. The man Grosvenor ought to bear in mind that neither he, nor the man Southey, have any right to put off things from year to year, in reliance upon the continuance of life and ability; that they are both on the high road to threescore, both in that stage of existence in which all flesh may fitlier be called hay than grass, because the blossom is over, and the freshness, and the verdure, and the strength are past. But let us meet while we can. Nothing would do more good both to Miss Page and you than to pass your autumn here, and nothing would do me more good than to have you here.

“The paper upon Emigration in this last Quarterly
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 325
Review is mine, or rather upon the causes which render a regulated Emigration necessary. Our fabric of society,
Grosvenor, is somewhat in the condition that the Brunswick Theatre was before the crash,—too much weight suspended from the roof; and to make things worse, we allow all sort of undermining, and are willing to let every thing be removed that was erected for securing the building. They talk, I see, of abolishing the Exchequer. I will forgive them if they do it in time to emancipate you; yet I wish you to have the next step first, and then, Grosvenor, peradventure, you may be the last auditor, and I the last Laureate. Well, it will matter little to us when we are in the Ghost: you will not haunt Palace Yard, and I shall not haunt the levee.

“God bless you! . . . .

R. S.”

In the last letter my father speaks of an intended visit to London. His object in this was twofold, and neither of them of a cheerful kind: the first, to see his uncle, Mr. Hill, for the last time, who, at the age of seventy-nine, was rapidly approaching his latter end; the second, to place himself under the surgeon’s hands for the removal, if possible, of the infirmity I have before alluded to.

With respect to this latter intention, his careful consideration for the feelings of others was strongly shown. Knowing the weak state of my mother’s spirits, and the natural anxiety which all his family would feel, if they knew he was about to undergo a
painful operation, and one not unattended with danger, he concealed altogether his purpose; nor did they receive the slightest intimation of it until, with a trembling hand, from his bed he penned a few lines communicating the safe and successful result. “God be thanked,” he says, “I shall no longer bear about with me the sense of a wearying and harassing infirmity. . . . and, though you will not give me credit for being a good bearer of pain, because I neither like to have my fingers scorched by a hot plate, nor scarified by that abominable instrument called a pin,
Mr. Copeland will. . . . . Henry Taylor and Bedford have been the most constant of my visitors, but I have had inquiries out of number, and none among them more frequent than the Bishop of Limerick.”

Among his other London engagements after his recovery, he had to sit to Sir T. Lawrence, for Sir Robert Peel, and also to Sir Francis Chantrey, who was very desirous of executing a bust of him. The former of these was, on the whole, the most successful likeness of my father taken in later life; at least it is generally considered so. He used to speak of the process of sitting to Sir T. Lawrence as a very agreeable one; as, the more easy and unembarrassed the conversation, the better for the painter, who also sometimes requested my father to read to him some of his poems, as affording opportunities of catching the various expressions of his countenance in the most natural manner, the blending of which into one harmonious whole is, I suppose, the greatest triumph of art.

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 327

“With Sir Francis Chantrey he was more intimate, and thither their mutual friend, Mr. Bedford, always accompanied him: and there, too, was Allan Cunningham; so the moulding went on merrily, for Chantrey loved a good story, and the reader need not be told that Mr. Bedford would both give and take a joke.

The sculptor, however, was not so successful as the painter; and, though he made several attempts to improve the likeness by after-touches, he never regarded his task as satisfactorily accomplished, though many persons were well satisfied with it; indeed, although he promised my father a marble copy of it, he would never fulfil his promise, always purposing to amend his work.

After his death, I believe it was purchased by Sir R. Peel.

To Mrs. Hodson.
“Keswick, Aug. 14. 1828.
“My dear Madam,

“I wish there were but one ten thousand of those persons in England who talk about new books and buy them, whether they read, mark, and inwardly digest them or not, that felt half as much interest in any forthcoming or expected work of mine as you are pleased to express, and as I should be unjust, as well as ungrateful, if I did not give you credit for. Alas! my third volume of the Peninsular War is far from complete, very far. It must be a close and
hard winter’s work that will make it ready for publication in the spring.

“My way to London towards the latter end of May was, I confess, through Ripon, but it was in the mail-coach, for I performed the whole journey without resting on the way. It was anything but a pleasant one. I went to see an uncle (my best friend) for the last time in this world; his continuance, at the age of fourscore, in pain, infirmity, and earthly hopelessness, not being to be desired*, even though his deliverance must be, in a mere worldly view, a great misfortune to his family. He married in his sixtieth year, and has six children. I went also in the secret determination of undergoing a surgical operation, if it should be deemed expedient, for an infirmity which had long afflicted me. Thank God! it has succeeded, and I am once more a sound man, which I had not been for some twelve years.

“If I am now not quite as able to skip over the mountains as I was when first my tent was pitched here, it will be owing only to the gradual effect of time, not to any disablement from a painful and dangerous cause.

“I would not, as I saw thee last,
For a king’s ransom have detained thee here,
Bent, like the antique sculptor’s limbless trunk.
By chronic pain, yet with thine eye unquenched,
The ear undimmed, the mind retentive still,
The heart unchanged, the intellectual lamp
Burning in its corporeal sepulchre.
No; not if human wishes had had power
To have suspended Nature’s constant work.
Would they who loved thee have detained thee thus.
Waiting for death.”

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 329

“No publisher I am afraid, in this age, would venture to bring out a translation of Davila. The sale of books is grievously diminished within the last six or eight years (I speak feelingly). To have any success a book must be new—a single season antiquates it; it must come from a fashionable name (nobility is now turned to a marketable account in this way); or it must be personal, if not slanderous; but, if slanderous, then best of all. It is the general diminution of income consequent on the depreciation of agricultural produce, and the experiments in free trade which has affected the booksellers, new books being the first things which persons who feel it necessary they should retrench, find they can do without.

“And who, in this most ignorant age, reads Davila? Most ignorant I call it relative to historical reading; for, if our statesmen, so called by the courtesy of England, read Davila, and such historians as Davila, they could not commit such blunders as they have committed, are committing, and will commit; nor should we at this time have had cause to apprehend changes, and consequent convulsions, from which we must look alone to Providence to preserve us. Were there more of sound knowledge, there would be more of sound principle and of sound feeling. If Davila were published, some two or three of the worthies who dug up and mutilated the remains of Hampden might, perhaps, if they were to know that it was the book which Hampden studied when he was preparing himself and the nation for a rebellion and subversion of the lawful
government, have thought it worth while to peruse it with the same sort of patriotic foresight.

“I am writing some verses describing the whole gallery of my portraits for Allan Cunningham’s annual volume. Such volumes are among the plagues of my life, but Allan Cunningham is a right worthy man, and I owe him something for having carried a remonstrance from me to the editor of the Morning Chronicle, on occasion of some atrocious attacks upon me in that paper.

“I have made an arrangement with Murray concerning John Jones’s rhymes. He will publish them, and give Jones the whole of his subscription copies; they amount to little more than 200 at present, but the list may be increased as much as we can. The verses will go to press as soon as Murray enables me to prepare the introduction by procuring for me the works of certain low and untaught rhymers of whom I wish to speak—Taylor the Water Poet, Stephen Duck, &c.

Believe me,
Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Sept. 22. 1828.
“My dear Friend,

“Before this reaches you, you will have heard
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 331
that my dear
uncle is relieved from the burden of age and infirmity which pressed upon him so heavily in his latter days. This day brought me the news of his deliverance, and it was the first that I had of his illness; but I was prepared for it, knowing that the first breath of wind must shake the dry leaf from the tree.

“It is somewhat remarkable that either on the night before, or after his decease (I am not certain which, but think it was the former) I was very much disturbed throughout the night in dreams concerning him. I seldom remember to have suffered so much in sleep, or to have wept more than I did then, thinking that I saw him, as I had last seen him, bent and suffering, helplessly and hopelessly, and that he reproved or rather reasoned with me for allowing myself to be so affected. This is perfectly explicable; but it impressed me strongly at the time; and if in some of his latter hours his thoughts were directed towards me (as they may have been), I could find a solution which would accord with my philosophy, though it may not be dreamt of in that of other men.

“I have long looked for this event, and however important in one point of view the prolongation of his life might appear, I could not, if wishes or prayers could have done it, have stretched him upon the rack of this world longer.

“There is some comfort in thinking that he now knows, if he never knew it before, how truly I loved and honoured him. I often indulge the belief that
towards our dead friends our hearts are open and our desires known. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear friend!

Yours most affectionately,
R. Southey.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Nov. 28. 1828.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“You may get the whole of Sir Thomas Brown’s works more easily perhaps than the Hydrotaphia in a single form. The folio is neither scarce nor dear, and you will find it throughout a book to your heart’s content. If I were confined to a score of English books, this I think would be one of them; nay, probably, it would be one if the selection were cut down to twelve. My library, if reduced to those bounds, would consist of Shakspeare, Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton; Lord Clarendon; Jackson, Jeremy Taylor, and South; Isaac Walton, Sidney’s Arcadia, Fuller’s Church History, and Sir Thomas Brown; and what a wealthy and well-stored mind would that man have, what an inexhaustible reservoir, what a Bank of England to draw upon for profitable thoughts and delightful associations, who should have fed upon them!

“. . . . . I am glad you have passed six weeks pleasurably and profitably, though grudging a little that they were not spent at Keswick, where,
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 333
among other things, I should like you to see the additional book-room that we have fitted up, and in which I am now writing, dividing my time between the two book-rooms by spells, so that both may be kept well aired. It would please you to see such a display of literary wealth, which is at once the pride of my eye, and the joy of my heart, and the food of my mind; indeed, more than metaphorically, meat, drink, and clothing for me and mine. I verily believe that no one in my station was ever so rich before, and I am very sure that no one in any station had ever a more thorough enjoyment of riches of any kind, or in any way. It is more delightful for me to live with books than with men, even with all the relish that I have for such society as is worth having.

“I broke off this morning (not being a post day) for the sake of walking to Lodore, to see the cataract in its glory, after heavy rain in a wet season. A grand sight it was, and a grand sound. The walk, however, has just induced enough of agreeable lassitude to disincline me for my usual evening’s penwork.

“Your godson comes on well with his books, and if you are disposed to make him a godfather’s gift, you may send him a Septuagint, that being a book in which Michaelis advises that all who are intended for the theological profession should be grounded at school. Intentions, or even wishes, I hardly dare form concerning him: but this I am sure is the best and happiest profession which a wise man could
choose for himself, or desire for those who are dear to him. . . . . God bless you!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Dec 8. 1828.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“I do not wonder that neither you nor your friend are acquainted with the name of Jackson as a divine, and I believe the sight of his works would somewhat appal you, for they are in three thick folios. He was Master of Corpus (Oxford) and vicar of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the early part of Charles the First’s reign, but his works were not published in a collective form till after the Restoration, when they were edited by Barnabas Oley, who was also the editor of George Herbert’s Remains. In our Old Divines there is generally something that you might wish were not there: less of this in Jackson, I think, than in any other, except South; and more of what may truly be called divine philosophy than in any or all others. Possibly you might not have the same relish for Jackson that I have, and yet I think you would find three or four pages per day a wholesome and pleasant diet.

“If you have not got the sermons of my almost namesake, Robert South (who was, moreover, of Westminster), buy thou them forthwith, O Grosvenor Charles Bedford! for they will delight the very cockles of thy heart. . . . .

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 335

“I cannot give full credit to your story* about the Life of Nelson. It is not likely that the American Government, which is as parsimonious as Mr. Hume would wish ours to be, should incur the expense; and if they had, it is very unlikely that I should not have heard of it from the Americans who find their way to me, or those American acquaintance who give them letters of introduction. If the fact were so, it should be put in the newspapers. But I dare say that, if Henry will cross-question his informant, he will find that it has been asserted upon very insufficient grounds. As for our Government doing any thing of this kind, they must first be taught to believe that it is part of their duty to provide wholesome instruction for the people. This they will learn when they have had sufficient cause to repent of their ignorance, and not till then. For myself I am very far from complaining of Government, to which, indeed, I owe much more than to the public You know what his Majesty is pleased

* “I met a Mr. Brandreth at my brother’s a few days ago, who has lately returned from the West Indies. He says the American Government has printed an edition of your Life of Nelson, sufficiently numerous for a distribution on fine paper to every officer, and on coarse paper to every man in their fleet. This is what should have been done here long ago, and would have been done if our statesmen had been anything better than politicians, or considered the people of the country as anything but mere machines, unendowed with feelings or motives of action. It ought to be in the chest of every seaman, from the admiral to the cabin boy. But our rulers have long been in the habit of calculating the people only by arithmetical figures, and look upon them only in the mass, without taking human character into the account. ‘We politicians, you know,’ said the late Lord Londonderry once to a friend of mine, ‘have no feelings.’ No, indeed, should have been the answer, nor do you reckon upon any in others.”—G. C. B. to R. S., Dec. 1828.

to allow me through your hands. Now from the said public my last year’s proceeds were,—for the
Book of the Church and the Vindiciæ, per John Murray, nil; and for all the rest of my works in Longman’s hands, about 26l. In this account, you know, the Peninsular War and the Life of Nelson are not included, being Murray’s property. But the whole proceeds of my former labours, were what I have stated them, for the year ending at midsummer last; so that if it were not for reviewing, it would be impossible for me to pay my current expenses. As some explanation I should tell you that Roderick and Thalaba, and Madoc are in new editions, which have not yet cleared themselves. They are doing this very slowly, except Roderick, from which, if it had been clear, I should have received 35l.

“There are many causes for this. The Annuals are now the only books bought for presents to young ladies, in which way poems formerly had their chief vent. People ask for what is new; and to these may be added, that of all the opponents of the great and growing party of revolutionists, I am the one whom they hate the most, and of all the supporters of established things the one whom the anti-revolutionists like the least. So that I fight for others against many, but stand alone myself.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 337
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Dec 11. 1828.
“My dear Friend,

“If my long summer absence, and the continual interruptions which followed it to the middle of October, had not brought most heavy arrears of business upon my hands, you would have heard from me ere this. It seems my fate, like yours, to have more business as I advance in life, and less leisure for what I should take more delight in;—however, God be praised who gives me strength and ability to go on, and enables me to support what, even with the best and most careful economy, is necessarily an expensive household.

“Dec. 15.

“I have been prevented from finishing this letter by the unexpected appearance of Lieut. Mawe, who has come from Peru down the Orellana, being the first Englishman who has ever descended that river. He has brought his manuscript to me before it goes to the press. I had seen him at Chantrey’s just on his arrival, and he is wishing now that my History of Brazil had fallen in his way before he began his expedition. You may suppose how interesting I find his conversation and his journal. The account which he gives of Para is not favourable; trade is declining for want of specie; the English and American merchants are obliged to take produce in payment, and on that account price their goods it is said 30 per cent, above what they otherwise would do, and this makes them too dear for the market. Steam-boats, whenever they are introduced, will
alter the condition of that country, and produce apparently a most beneficial effect.

“God bless you, my dear friend! and bring you through all those difficulties which you had so little reason to expect, and had done nothing to bring upon yourself. The inflictions of injustice are, I suppose, the most difficult of all evils to bear with equanimity—evils which arise from our own faults we receive as their chastisement and our own deserts,—those which Heaven are pleased to inflict are borne as being its will. I hope and trust that there are better days in store for you. Alas! how ill do times and seasons sometimes suit with our views and wishes. Had you been removed to Bristol four-and-twenty years sooner, I should never have been removed from it.

“Once more, with kind remembrances from all here,

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
To Allan Cunningham, Esq.
“Keswick, Dec. 21. 1828.
“My dear Allan,

“Having no less than seven females in family, you will not wonder that as yet I have seen little more than the prints in your book* and its table of contents. It is, I do not doubt, quite as good in typographical contents as any of its rivals. The truth is, that in this respect there can be little to choose between; they are one and all of the same

* The Anniversary.

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 339
kind; the same contributors are mostly to be found in all of them, and this must of necessity bring the merits of all pretty much to an average. I am not sure that it would be for your interest to monopolise three or four writers, whose names happen to be high on the wheel of Fortune, if by so doing you should exclude some of those that are at present on the lower spokes. To me it seems the best policy that you should have many contributors, because every one would, from self-love, wish to promote the sale of the volume; and, moreover, every writer is the centre of some little circle, within which what he may write is read and admired. But the literary department, make what exertions you will, must be as inferior in its effect upon the sale to the pictorial one, as it is in its cost. At the best,
Allan, these Annuals are picture-books for grown children. They are good things for the artists and engravers, and, therefore, I am glad of their success. I shall be more glad if one of them can be made a good thing for you; and I am very sure that you will make it as good as a thing of its kind can be made; but, at the best, this is what it must be.

“I have not seen the Keepsake yet, neither have I heard from its editor. He has ‘o’erstept the modesty of puffing’ in his advertisements, and may very likely discover that he has paid young men of rank and fashion somewhat dearly for the sake of their names. You know upon what terms I stand with that concern.

“You wish for prose from me. I write prose more willingly than verse from habit, and because the hand
of time is on me; but, then, I cannot move without elbow room. Grave subjects which could be treated within your limits, do not occur to me; light ones I am sure will not; playfulness comes from me more naturally in verse. I have one or two stories which may be versified for you, either as ballads or in some other form, and which will not be too long. Want of room, I am afraid, would apply equally to a life of
John Fox, which would better suit the Quarterly Review, if Dibdin should bring out his projected edition. Sometimes I think the Bust may afford me a subject; but whether it would turn out song or sermon, I hardly know, perhaps both in one.

“Your book is very beautiful. The vignettes are especially clever. Of the prints Sir Walter interests me most for its subject, Pic-a-Back perhaps for its execution. It is the best design I ever saw of Richard Westall’s. To make your book complete as exhibiting the art of the age, I should like something from Martin and something from Cruikshank, otherwise I do not see how it could be improved.

“God bless you!

Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Dec. 29. 1828.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“I have two things to tell you, each good in its kind,—the first relating to the moon, the second to myself.

Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 341

“It is not likely that you should recollect a poor, harmless, honest old man, who used to deliver the letters when you were at Keswick; Joseph Littledale is his name, and, if you remember him, it will be by a chronic, husky cough, which generally announced his approach. Poor Littledale has this day explained the cause of our late rains, which have prevailed for the last five weeks, by a theory which will probably be as new to you as it is to me. ‘I have observed,’ he says, ‘that, when the moon is turned upward, we have fine weather after it; but, if it is turned down, then we have a wet season; and the reason I think is, that when it is turned down, it holds no water, like a bason, you know, and then down it all comes.’ There, Grosvenor, it will be a long while before the march of intellect shall produce a theory as original as this, which I find, upon inquiry, to be the popular opinion here.

“Next concerning myself. A relation of my friend Miss Bowles heard at a dinner-party lately that Mr. Southey had become a decided Methodist, and was about to make a full avowal of his sentiments in a poem called the Sinner well saved.* ‘The title,’ said the speaker, ‘shows plainly what it is. But I have seen it; I have had a peep at it at the publisher’s, and such a rant!!’

“I am about to begin a paper upon SurteesHistory of the County of Durham for the next Quarterly Review, a subject which requires no more labour than

* A Roman Catholic legend, taken from the “Acta Sanctorum,” versified, and published in the collected edition of his poems, under the title of “All for Love; or a Sinner well saved.”

that of looking through the three folios, and arranging what matter of general interest they contain in an amusing form; and this is comparatively easy work. Moreover, I am about a
Life of Ignatius Loyola for the Foreign Review. My books having nearly come to a dead stand-still in their sale, it becomes necessary for me to raise my supplies by present labour, which, thank God, I am at present very well able to do. I shall work hard to make provision for a six weeks’ holiday, commencing early in May, when I mean (if we all live and do well, and alas! Grosvenor, how little is this to be depended upon!), to remove my women-kind to the Isle of Man for sea air and bathing if they like it. The island is worth seeing, and there is no place where we could get at so little expense, or live so cheaply when there. We are but two stages from Whitehaven, and from thence there is a steam-packet. There I shall go over the whole island, and write verses when it rains.

Wednesday, 31.— . . . . . I did not know that there was a folio edition of South. Six octavo volumes of his sermons were published during his life, five more after his death, from his manuscripts which had not been corrected for the press. The Oxford Edition comprises the whole in seven octavos. One sermon among the posthumous ones is remarkable, because it was evidently written (probably in his younger days) as a trial of skill, in imitation of Sir Thomas Brown. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear Grosvenor!

R. S.”