LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Ch. XXXII. 1829

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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Having now arrived at that portion of my father’s life which comes within the immediate sphere of my
own recollections, I may be permitted to speak somewhat more familiarly than I have yet been enabled to do, both of himself personally and of the habits of his daily life. Being the youngest of all his children, I had not the privilege of knowing him in his best and most joyous years, nor of remembering Greta Hall when the happiness of its circle was unbroken. Much labour and anxiety, and many sorrows, had passed over him; and although his natural buoyancy of spirit had not departed, it was greatly subdued, and I chiefly remember its gradual diminution from year to year.

In appearance he was certainly a very striking looking person, and in early days he had by many been considered as almost the beau idéal of a poet. Mr. Cottle describes him at the age of twenty-two as “tall, dignified, possessing great suavity of manners, an eye piercing, a countenance full of genius, kindliness, and intelligence;” and he continues, “I had read so much of poetry, and sympathised so much with poets in all their eccentricities and vicissitudes, that to see before me the realisation of a character which in the abstract so much absorbed my regards, gave me a degree of satisfaction which it would be difficult to express.” Eighteen years later Lord Byron calls him a prepossessing looking person, and, with his usual admixture of satire, says—“to have his head and shoulders I would almost have written his Sapphics;” and elsewhere he speaks of his appearance as “Epic,” an expression which may be either a sneer or a compliment.

His forehead was very broad; his height was five feet eleven inches; his complexion rather dark,
the eyebrows large and arched, the eye well shaped and dark brown, the mouth somewhat prominent, muscular, and very variously expressive, the chin small in proportion to the upper features of his face. He always while in Keswick wore a cap in his walks, and partly from habit, partly from the make of his head and shoulders, we never thought he looked well or like himself in a hat. He was of a very spare frame, but of great activity, and not showing any appearance of a weak constitution.

My father’s countenance, like his character, seems to have softened down from a certain wildness of expression to a more sober and thoughtful cast; and many thought him a handsomer man in age than in youth; his eye retaining always its brilliancy, and his countenance its play of expression.

The reader will remember his Republican independency when an under-graduate at Oxford, in rebelling against the supremacy of the College barber. Though he did not continue to let his hair hang down on his shoulders according to the whim of his youthful days, yet he always wore a greater quantity than is usual; and once on his arrival in town, Chantrey’s first greetings to him were accompanied with an injunction to go and get his hair cut. When I first remember it, it was turning from a rich brown to the steel shade, whence it rapidly became almost snowy white, losing none of its remarkable thickness, and clustering in abundant curls over his massive brow.

For the following remarks on his general bearing and habits of conversation, I am indebted to a friend:—


“The characteristics of his manner, as of his appearance, were lightness and strength, an easy and happy composure as the accustomed mood, with much mobility at the same time, so that he could be readily excited into any degree of animation in discourse, speaking, if the subject moved him much, with extraordinary fire and force, though always in light, laconic sentences. When so moved, the fingers of his right hand often rested against his mouth and quivered through nervous susceptibility. But excitable as he was in conversation, he was never angry or irritable; nor can there be any greater mistake concerning him, than that into which some persons have fallen when they have inferred, from the fiery vehemence with which he could give utterance to moral anger in verse or prose, that he was personally ill-tempered or irascible. He was in truth a man whom it was hardly possible to quarrel with or offend personally and face to face; and in his writings, even on public subjects in which his feelings were strongly engaged, he will be observed to have always dealt tenderly with those whom he had once seen and spoken to, unless indeed personally and grossly assailed by them. He said of himself that he was tolerant of persons, though intolerant of opinions. But in oral intercourse the toleration of persons was so much the stronger, that the intolerance of opinions was not to be perceived; and indeed it was only in regard to opinions of a pernicious moral tendency that it was ever felt.

“He was averse from argumentation, and would commonly quit a subject when it was passing into
that shape, with a quiet and good-humoured indication of the view in which he rested. He talked most and with most interest about books, and about public affairs; less, indeed hardly at all, about the characters and qualities of men in private life. In the society of strangers or of acquaintances, he seemed to take more interest in the subjects spoken of than in the persons present, his manner being that of natural courtesy and general benevolence without distinction of individuals. Had there been some tincture of social vanity in him, perhaps he would have been brought into closer relations with those whom he met in society; but though invariably kind and careful of their feelings, he was indifferent to the manner in which they regarded him, or (as the phrase is) to his effect in society; and they might perhaps be conscious that the kindness they received was what flowed naturally and inevitably to all, that they had nothing to give in return which was of value to him, and that no individual relations were established.

“In conversation with intimate friends he would sometimes express, half humorously, a cordial commendation of some production of his own, knowing that with them he could afford it, and that to those who knew him well it was well known that there was no vanity in him. But such commendations, though light and humorous, were perfectly sincere; for he both possessed and cherished the power of finding enjoyment and satisfaction wherever it was to be found,—in his own books, in the books of his friends, and in all books whatsoever that were not morally tainted or absolutely barren.”


His course of life was the most regular and simple possible, and indeed in his routine he varied but little from the sketch he gave of it in 1806 (see Vol. III. p. 2.). When it is said that breakfast was at nine, after a little reading*, dinner at four, tea at six, supper at half-past nine, and the intervals filled up with reading or writing, except that he regularly walked between two and four, and took a short sleep before tea, the outline of his day during those long seasons when he was in full work will have been given. After supper, when the business of the day seemed to be over, though he generally took a book, he remained with his family, and was open to enter into conversation, to amuse and to be amused. It was on such times that the most pleasant fire-side chattings, and the most interesting stories came forth; and, indeed, it was at such a time (though long before my day) that The Doctor was originated, as may be seen by the beginning of that work and the Preface to the New Edition. Notwithstanding that the very mention of “my glass of punch,” the one, temperate, never exceeded glass of punch, may be a stumbling block to some of my readers, I am constrained, by the very love of the perfect picture which the first lines of The Doctor convey of the conclusion of his evening, to transcribe them in this place. It was

* Daring the several years that he was partially employed upon the life of Dr. Bell, he devoted two hours before breakfast to it in the summer and as much time as there was daylight for, daring the winter months, that it might not interfere with the usual occupations of the day. In all this time, however, he made but little progress in it; partly from the nature of the materials, partly from the want of sufficient interest in the subject.

written but for a few, otherwise The Doctor would have been no secret at all; but those few who knew him in his home will see his very look while they reperuse it, and will recall the well-known sound:—

“I was in the fourth night of the story of the Doctor and his horse, and had broken it off, not, like Scheherazade, because it was time to get up, but because it was time to go to bed. It was at thirty-five minutes after ten o’clock on the 20th of July, in the year of our Lord 1813. I finished my glass of punch, tinkled the spoon against its side, as if making music to my own meditations, and having fixed my eyes upon the Bhow Begum, who was sitting opposite to me at the head of her own table, I said, ‘It ought to be written in a book.’”

This scene took place at the table of the Bhow Begum*, but it may easily be transferred to his ordinary room, where he sat after supper in one corner, with the fire on his left hand and a small table on his right, looking on at his family circle in front of him.

I have said before, as indeed his own letters have abundantly shown, that he was a most thoroughly domestic man, in that his whole pleasure and happiness was centered in his home; but yet, from the course of his pursuits, his family necessarily saw but little of him. He could not, however he might wish it, join the summer evening walk, or make one of the circle round the winter hearth, or even spare time for conversation after the family meals (except during

* Miss Barker, the Senhora of earlier days, who was living at that time in a house dose to Greta Hall. (See Vol IV. p. 49.)

the brief space I have just been speaking of). Every day, every hour had its allotted employment; always were there engagements to publishers imperatively requiring punctual fulfilment; always the current expenses of a large household to take anxious thoughts for: he had no crops growing while he was idle. “My ways,” he used to say, “are as broad as the king’s highroad, and my means lie in an inkstand.”

Yet, notwithstanding the value which every moment of his time thus necessarily bore, unlike most literary men, he was never ruffled in the slightest degree by the interruptions of his family, even on the most trivial occasions; the book or the pen was ever laid down with a smile, and he was ready to answer any question, or to enter with youthful readiness into any temporary topic of amusement or interest.

In earlier years he spoke of himself as ill calculated for general society, from a habit of uttering single significant sentences, which, from being delivered without any qualifying clauses, bore more meaning upon their surface than he intended, and through which his real opinions and feelings were often misunderstood. This habit, as far as my own observation went, though it was sometimes apparent, he had materially checked in later life, and in large parties he was usually inclined to be silent, rarely joining in general conversation. But he was very different when with only one or two companions; and to those strangers, who came to him with letters of introduction, he was both extremely courteous in manner, and frank and pleasant in conversation, and
to his intimates no one could have been more wholly unreserved, more disposed to give and receive pleasure, or more ready to pour forth his vast stores of information upon almost every subject.

I might go on here and enter more at length into details of his personal character, but the task is too difficult a one, and is perhaps, after all, better left unattempted. A most intimate and highly valued friend of my father’s, whom I wished to have supplied me with some passages on these points, remarks very justly, that “any portraiture of him, by the pen as by the pencil, will fall so far short both of the truth and the ideal which the readers of his poetry and his letters will have formed for themselves, that they would be worse than superfluous.” And, indeed, perhaps I have already said too much. I cannot, however, resist quoting here some lines by the friend above alluded to, which describe admirably in brief my father’s whole character:—

“Two friends
Lent me a further light, whose equal hate
On all unwholesome sentiment attends,
Nor whom may genius charm where heart infirm attends.
“In all things else contrarious were these two:
The one, a man upon whose laurelled brow
Grey hairs were growing! glory ever new
Shall circle him in after years as now;
For spent detraction may not disavow
The world of knowledge with the wit combined,
The elastic force no burthen e’er could bow,
The various talents and the single mind,
Which give him moral power and mastery o’er mankind.
“His sixty summers—what are they in truth?
By Providence peculiarly blest.
With him the strong hilarity of youth
Abides, despite grey hairs, a constant guest,
His sun has veered a point towards the west,
But light as dawn his heart is glowing yet,—
That heart the simplest, gentlest, kindliest, best,
Where truth and manly tenderness are met
With faith and heavenward hope, the suns that never set.”*

What further I will venture to say relates chiefly to the external circumstances of his life at Keswick.

His greatest relaxation was in a mountain excursion or a pic-nic by the side of one of the lakes, tarns, or streams; and these parties, of which he was the life and soul, will long live in the recollections of those who shared them. An excellent pedestrian (thinking little of a walk of twenty-five miles when upwards of sixty), he usually headed the “infantry” on these occasions, looking on those gentlemen as idle mortals who indulged in the luxury of a mountain pony; feeling very differently in the bracing air of Cumberland to what he did in Spain in 1800, when he delighted in being “gloriously lazy,” in “sitting sideways upon an ass,” and having even a boy to “propel” the burro (see Vol. II. p. 109.).

Upon first coming down to the Lakes he rather undervalued the pleasures of an al-fresco repast, preferring chairs and tables to the greensward of the mountains, or the moss-grown masses of rock by the lake shore; but these were probably the impressions of a cold wet summer, and having soon learnt thoroughly to appreciate these pleasures, he had his various chosen places which he thought it a sort

* Notes to Philip Van Artevelde; by Henry Taylor.

of duty annually to revisit, Of these I will name a few, as giving them perhaps an added interest to some future tourists. The summit of Skiddaw he regularly visited, often three or four times in a summer, but the view thence was not one he greatly admired. Sea-Fell and Helvellyn he ranked much higher, but on account of their distance did not often reach. Saddleback and Causey Pike, two mountains rarely ascended by tourists, were great favourites with him, and were the summits most frequently chosen for a grand expedition; and the two tarns upon Saddleback, Threlkeld and Bowscale tarns, were amongst the spots he thought most remarkable for grand and lonely beauty. This, too, was ground rendered more than commonly interesting, by having been the scenes of the childhood and early life of
Clifford the Shepherd Lord. The rocky streams of Borrowdale, high up beyond Stonethwaite and Seathwaite, were also places often visited, especially one beautiful spot, where the river makes a sharp bend at the foot of Eagle Crag. The pass of Honistar Crag, leading from Buttermere to Borrowdale, furnished a longer excursion, which was occasionally taken with a sort of rustic pomp in the rough market carts of the country, before the cars which are now so generally used had become common, or been permitted by their owners to travel that worst of all roads. Occasionally there were grand meetings with Mr. Wordsworth, and his family and friends, at Leatheswater (or Thirlmere), a point about half way between Keswick and Rydal; and here as many as fifty persons have sometimes met
together from both sides of the country. These were days of great enjoyment, not to be forgotten.

There was also an infinite variety of long walks, of which he could take advantage when opportunity served, without the preparation and trouble of a preconcerted expedition: several of these are alluded to in his Colloquies. The circuit formed by passing behind Barrow and Lodore to the vale of Watenlath, placed up high among the hills, with its own little lake and village, and the rugged path leading thence down to Borrowdale, was one of the walks he most admired. The beautiful vale of St. Johns, with its “Castle Rock” and picturesquely placed little church, was another favourite walk; and there were a number of springs of unusual copiousness situated near what had been apparently a deserted, and now ruined village, where he used to take luncheon. The rocky bed of the little stream at the foot of Causey Pike was a spot he loved to rest at; and the deep pools of the stream that flows down the adjoining valley of New Lands—
“Whose pure and chiysolite waters
Flow o’er a schistose bed,”
formed one of his favourite resorts for bathing.

Yet those excursions, although for a few years he still continued to enjoy them, began in later life to wear to him something of a melancholy aspect. So many friends were dead who had formerly shared them, and his own domestic losses were but too vividly called to mind with the remembrance of former days of enjoyment, the very grandeur of the scenery
around many of the chosen places, and the unchanging features of the “everlasting hills,” brought back forcibly sad memories, and these parties became in time so painful that it was with difficulty he could be prevailed upon to join in them.

He concealed, indeed, as the reader has seen, beneath a reserved manner, a most acutely sensitive mind, and a warmth and kindliness of feeling which was only understood by few, indeed, perhaps, not thoroughly by any. He said, speaking of the death of his uncle Mr. Hill, that one of the sources of consolation to him was the thought, that perhaps the departed might then be conscious how truly he had loved and honoured him; and I believe the depth of his affection and the warmth of his friendship was known to none but himself. On one particular point I remember his often regretting his constitutional bashfulness and reserve; and that was, because, added to his retired life and the nature of his pursuits, it prevented him from knowing anything of the persons among whom he lived. Long as he had resided at Keswick, I do not think there were twenty persons in the lower class whom he knew by sight; and though this was in some measure owing to a slight degree of short-sightedness which, contrary to what is usual, came on in later life, yet I have heard him often lament it as not being what he thought right; and after slightly returning the salutation of some passer by, he would again mechanically lift his cap as he heard some well-known name in reply to his inquiries, and look back with regret that the greeting had not been more cordial. With
those persons who were occasionally employed about the house he was most familiarly friendly, and these regarded him with a degree of affectionate reverence that could not be surpassed.

It may perhaps be expected by some readers that a more accurate account of my father’s income should be given than has yet appeared; but this is not an easy matter from its extreme variableness, and this it was that constituted a continual source of uneasiness both to others and to himself, rarely as he acknowledged it. A common error has been to speak of him as one to whom literature has been a mine of wealth. That his political opponents should do this is not so strange; but even Charles Lamb, who if he had thought a little would hardly have written so rashly, says, in a letter to Bernard Barton recently published, that “Southey has made a fortune by book drudgery.” What sort of a “fortune,” that was which never once permitted him to have one year’s income beforehand, and compelled him almost always to forestall the profit of his new works, the reader may imagine.

His only certain source of income* was his pension, from which he received 145l., and the Laureateship, which was 90l.: the larger portion of these two sums, however, went to the payment of his life-insurance, so that not more than 100l. could be calculated upon as available, and the Quarterly Review was therefore for many years his chief means of support. He received latterly 100l. for an article, and commonly furnished one for each number. What

* I speak of a period prior to his receiving his last pension, which was granted in 1835.

more was needful had to be made up by his other works, which as they were always published upon the terms of the publisher taking the risk and sharing the profits, produced him but little, considering the length of time they were often in preparation, and as he was constantly adding new purchases to his library, but little was to be reckoned upon this account. For the
Peninsular War he received 1000l., but the copyright remained the property of the publisher.

With regard to his mode of life, although it was as ample and inexpensive as possible, his expenditure was with difficulty kept within his income, though he had indeed a most faithful helpmate, who combined with a wise and careful economy a liberality equal to his own in any case of distress. One reason for this difficulty was, that considerable sums were, not now and then, but regularly, drawn from him by his less successful relatives.

The house which for so many years was his residence at Keswick, though well situated both for convenience and for beauty of prospect, was unattractive in external appearance, and to most families would have been an undesirable residence. Having originally been two houses, afterwards thrown together, it consisted of a good many small rooms, connected by long passages, all of which with great ingenuity he made available for holding books, with which indeed the house was lined from top to bottom. His own sitting-room, which was the largest in the house, was filled with the handsomest of them, arranged with much taste, according to his own fashion, with due regard to size, colour, and condition;
and he used to contemplate these, his carefully accumulated and much prized treasures, with even more pleasure and pride than the greatest connoisseur his finest specimens of the old masters: and justly, for they were both the necessaries and the luxuries of life to him; both the very instruments whereby he won, hardly enough, his daily bread, and the source of all his pleasures and recreations—the pride of his eyes and the joy of his heart.

His Spanish and Portuguese collection, which at one time was one of the best, if not itself the best to be found in the possession of any private individual, was the most highly prized portion of his library. It had been commenced by his uncle Mr. Hill, long prior to my father’s first visit to Lisbon; and having originated in the love Mr. Hill himself had for the literature of those countries, it was carried forward with more ardour when he found that his nephew’s taste and abilities were likely to turn it to good account. It comprised a considerable number of manuscripts, some of them copied by Mr. Hill from rare MSS. in private and convent libraries.

Many of these old books being in vellum or parchment bindings, he had taken much pains to render them ornamental portions of the furniture of his shelves. His brother Thomas was skilful in calligraphy; and by his assistance their backs were painted with some bright colour, and upon it the title placed lengthwise in large gold letters of the old English type. Any one who had visited his library will remember the tastefully arranged pyramids of these curious-looking books.


Another fancy of his was to have all those books of lesser value, which had become ragged and dirty, covered, or rather bound, in coloured cotton prints, for the sake of making them clean and respectable in their appearance, it being impossible to afford the cost of having so many put into better bindings.

Of this task his daughters, aided by any female friends who might be staying with them, were the performers; and not fewer than from 1200 to 1400 volumes were so bound by them at different times, filling completely one room, which he designated as the Cottonian library. With this work he was much interested and amused, as the ladies would often suit the pattern to the contents, clothing a Quaker work or a book of sermons in sober drab, poetry in some flowery design, and sometimes contriving a sly piece of satire at the contents of some well-known author by their choice of its covering. One considerable convenience attended this eccentric mode of binding,—the book became as well known by its dress as by its contents, and much more easily found.

With respect to his mode of acquiring and arranging the contents of a book, it was somewhat peculiar. He was as rapid a reader as could be conceived, having the power of perceiving by a glance down the page whether it contained anything which he was likely to make use of—a slip of paper lay on his desk, and was used as a marker, and with a slight pencilled S he would note the passage, put a reference on the paper, with some brief note of the subject, which he could transfer to his note-book, and in the course of a few hours he had classified and
arranged everything in the work which it was likely he would ever want. It was thus, with a remarkable memory (not so much for the facts or passages themselves, but for their existence and the authors that contained them), and with this kind of index, both to it and them, that he had at hand a command of materials for whatever subject he was employed upon, which has been truly said to be “unequalled.”

Many of the choicest passages he would transcribe himself at odds and ends of times, or employ one of his family to transcribe for him; and these are the extracts which form his “Common Place Book,” recently published; but those of less importance he had thus within reach in case he wished to avail himself of them. The quickness with which this was done was very remarkable. I have often known him receive a parcel of books one afternoon, and the next have found his mark throughout perhaps two or three different volumes: yet if a work took his attention particularly, he was not rapid in its perusal; and on some authors, such as the Old Divines, he “fed,” as he expressed it, slowly and carefully, dwelling on the page and taking in its contents deeply and deliberately,—like an epicure with his “wine searching the subtle flavour.”

His library at his death consisted of about 14,000 volumes; probably the largest number of books ever collected by a person of such limited means. Among these he found most of the materials for all he did, and almost all he wished, to do; and though sometimes he lamented that his collection was not a larger one, it is probable that it was more to his advantage that
it was in some degree limited. As it was, he collected an infinitely greater quantity of materials for every subject he was employed upon than ever he made use of, and his published Notes give some idea, though an inadequate one, of the vast stores he thus accumulated.

On this subject he writes to his cousin Herbert Hill, at that time one of the librarians of the “Bodleian”:—“When I was at the British Museum the other day, walking through the rooms with Carey, I felt that to have lived in that library, or in such a one, would have rendered me perfectly useless, even if it had not made me mad. The sight of such countless volumes made me feel how impossible it would be to pursue any subject through all the investigations into which it would lead me, and that therefore I should either lose myself in the vain pursuit, or give up in despair, and read for the future with no other object than that of immediate gratification. This was an additional reason for being thankful for my own lot, aware as I am that I am always tempted to pursue a train of inquiry too far.”

To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, Jan. 19. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

You are right in your opinion of the last scene in Eleemon*, but it cannot be altered now, and I am

* This poem is entitled “All for Love, or a Sinner well saved.”

not sure that it ever can, for the bond is there. When you read the original story, you will see how much it owes to the management of it; what was offensive I could remove, but there remained an essential part which I could neither dignify nor get rid of. All I could do was to prepare for treating it in part satirically, by concluding the interest in the penultimate canto, and making the reader aware that what remained was to be between the Bishop and the Arch Lord Chancellor. And after all, the poem is only a sportive exercise of art, an extravaganza or capriccio to amuse myself and others.

“Dear H. T., however fast my thoughts may germinate and flower, my opinions have been of slow growth since I came to years of discretion; and since the age of forty they have undergone very little change; but increase of knowledge has tended to confirm them. My friends—those whom I call so—have never been the persons who have flattered me; if they had, they would not have held that place which they possess in my esteem.

“The experiment of pauper colonies has been long enough in progress to satisfy such a man as Jacob of its success. Remember what a matter-of-fact man he is: all the travels which have fallen in my way agree with him.

“I require a first outlay, from the money expended in workhouse and poor-rates. Feed the pauper while he builds his cottage, fences his allotment and digs his garden, as you feed him while he breaks stones or lives in idleness. You think of the plough, I of the spade; you of fields, I of gardens;
you of corn land, I of grass land: and I treat these measures not as substitutes for emigration, but as co-operatives with it; I want to increase potatoes and pigs as well as peasantry, who will increase whether pigs and potatoes do or do not. The land on which this is going on in Germany and Holland is worse than the worst of our wastes. The spade works wonders. God bless you!

R. Southey.”
To the Rev. Neville White.

“Among the other causes which have from day to days, and from days to weeks, and from weeks to months, put off the intention of writing to you, one has been the hope and expectation of hearing from you. Of you I heard an ugly story—that my head had fallen on yours*; in which accident I, as well as you, had a merciful escape, for if that bust had been your death, it would have left a life-long impression upon my spirits. . . . .

“I am very much taken up with reviewing, without which, indeed, I should be in no comfortable situation; for the sale of my books in Longman’s hands, where the old standers used to bring in about

* A bust of my father, which Mr. Neville White possessed, had fallen upon him, but fortunately without doing serious injury.

200l. a-year, has fallen almost to nothing: at their present movement, indeed, they would not set my account with him even before seven years’ end. The
Book of the Church, too, is at a dead stand-still; and for the Vindiciæ that book never produced me so much as a single paper in the Quarterly Review. The Foreign Review enables me to keep pace with my expenditure; but the necessity of so doing allows far too little time for works on which I might more worthily be employed.

“Though I am not sanguine, like my brother Tom, and have no dreams of good fortune coming to me on one of the four winds, I have, God be praised, good health, good spirits, and goodwill to do whatever work is necessary to be done. Next month I trust you will receive a volume of poems, which I hope may have better fortune in Murray’s hands than the Tale of Paraguay had in Longman’s; for of that 1500 copies have not sold, nor are likely to sell. My Colloquies, also, will follow it, if they are not ready quite as soon. These will be read hereafter, whatever be their fortune now. I should tell you that Murray sent me an extra 50l. for my paper on the Roman Catholic Question.*

“My last paper in the Foreign Review was upon the Expulsion of the Moriscoes; a subject chosen because it was well timed, showing what dependence

* “You will have seen my paper upon the Catholic Question in the Quarterly Review,—very deficient, as every thing must he which is written upon the spur of the moment. There is so much more to he said which was not said for want of room, that if I thought it would avail anything I would have a pamphlet ready for the meeting of Parliament”—R. S. to J. R. Nov. 1. 1828.

may be placed upon the most solemn engagements of any Roman Catholic Power. For the next I have promised a
Life of Ignatius Loyola, and, for the Quarterly Review, a paper upon SurteesHistory of Durham. In the forthcoming number I have an article upon Elementary Education and the new King’s College. . . . .

“Our best and kindest remembrances to all who are near and dear to you. Mine, in particular, to your excellent mother. I can hardly hope to see her again on earth, but assuredly we shall meet hereafter, and in joy; in the land where all things are remembered.

“God bless you, my dear Neville!

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
To Mrs. Hodson.
“Keswick, Feb. 10. 1829.
“My dear Madam,

“If it were true that misfortunes never come singly, it would be a merciful dispensation of them. I at least should choose (if there were the power of choosing) to have my sorrows come thick and threefold, and my pleasures one by one; to drink of misery at a draught, however deep the bowl, but to sip of enjoyment, and taste its full flavour in every glass. The same post brought me the news from York*, and

* Of the burning of York Minster.

King’s speech, and I believe each would have weighed more heavily upon my spirits had it come separately, than both did together. Better a disturbed grief than a settled one. And, to confess the truth, the minster bore a larger part than the constitution, not only in our fireside talk, but in my solitary feelings; for the other evil is the more remediable one, and, moreover, Sir Robert Inglis had prepared me for it.

“We have been betrayed by imbecility, pusillanimity, and irreligion. Our citadel would have been impregnable if it had been bravely defended; and these are times when it becomes a duty to perish rather than submit; for
‘When the wicked have their day assign’d,
Then they who suffer bravely save mankind,’
If we have not learnt this from history, I know not what it can teach.

“And now, you will ask, where do I look for comfort? Entirely to Providence. I should look to nothing but evil from the natural course of events, were they left to themselves; but Almighty Providence directs them, and my heart is at rest in that faith. The base policy which has been pursued may possibly delay the religious war in Ireland; possibly the ulcer may be skinned over, and we may be called on to rejoice for the cure while the bones are becoming carious. But there are great struggles which must be brought to an issue before we shall be truly at peace; between Infidelity and Religion, and be-
tween Popery and Protestantism. The latter battle must be fought in Ireland, and I would have it fought now: two or three years ago I would have prevented it. Fought it must be at last, and with great advantage to the enemy from the delay; but the right cause will triumph at last.

“About three years ago I wrote a paper in the Quarterly Review on Britton’s Cathedral Antiquities, and spoke then of the danger to which these edifices are always liable, in a manner that ought to entitle me, if I were but a little crazy, to set up for a prophet God grant that other and more definite fore-feelings may not be in like manner confirmed.

Believe me, my dear Madam,
Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”
To Sir R. H. Inglis, Bart.
“Keswick, Feb. 22. 1829.
“My dear Friend,

“You need not be assured that I most heartily wish you success at Oxford, and that if I had a vote to give you I would take a much longer journey than that from Keswick to Oxford for the satisfaction of giving it. So would Wordsworth, who was with me yesterday, and entirely accords with us in our views of this momentous subject.

“Some old moralist has said that misfortunes are blessings in disguise; and I am trying to persuade myself that this turn of affairs, which upon every
principle of human prudence is to be condemned, may eventually verify the saying, and be directed by Providence to a happier end than could otherwise have been attained. We are now placed in somewhat like the same situation with regard to the Irish Catholics that we were thirty years ago to
Buonaparte; and are yielding to them as we did to him at Amiens. Will the peace be concluded? and if so, will it last quite as long?

“The feeling of the country is so decidedly Protestant, that I verily believe a man with Pitt’s powers of elocution and Pitt’s courage in the House of Commons might do as he did with the Coalition. Our pieces are lost, but we are strong in pawns, and were there but one of them in a position to be queen’d we should win the game. But this would now be at the cost of a civil war; and this it is that constitutes the gravamen of the charge against Ministers. They took none of those measures which might have prevented this alternative; they suffered the danger to grow up, knowingly, wilfully, and I cannot but add treacherously; and now they make the extent of that danger their excuse for yielding to it. They have deceived their friends, and betrayed the constitution.

“Now any war is so dreadful a thing, that even when it becomes (as it may) a duty to choose it as the least of two evils, a good man in making such a choice must bid farewell for ever to all lightness of heart There will be hours of misgiving for him, let his mind be ever so strong; and sleepless nights and miserable dreams when the thorns in his pillow
prevent him not from sleeping. This we shall be spared from. It is not our resistance to this pusillanimous surrender that will bring on the last appeal. It must be made at length; but under circumstances in which our consciousness will be that the course which we should have pursued from the beginning would have prevented it.

“This is our position. Let us now look at that in which Mr. Peel and his colleagues have placed themselves. They have pledged themselves to impose securities; the more violent Catholics have declared that they will submit to none: and the Bishop of London (who said he should be satisfied with the minimum of security) has said in Parliament that he can devise none. And here Phillpotts, who, I daresay, was honestly upon the quest, is at fault. The difficulties here may again break off the treaty, and in such a manner that those Emancipators who think securities necessary must come round, in which case as much may be gained by an accession of strength as has been lost by this pitiful confession of weakness. I am inclined to think that these preliminary difficulties will not be got over.

“But if the measure be passed, and the Protestant flag should be struck, and the enemy march in with flying colours, there may possibly be a sort of honeymoon session after the surrender. Then comes the second demand for despoiling the Irish Church, and the Catholic Association is renewed in greater strength, and upon much more formidable grounds. Meantime the Irish Protestants will lose heart, and great numbers will emigrate, flying while they can
from the wrath to come. Grief enough, and cause enough of fear, there will be for us in all this; but as to peace of mind, we should be in a Goshen of our own. And there is hope in the prospect; for all pretext of civil rights is then at an end. It becomes a religious claim leading at once to a religious war. The infidel party may still adhere to the Papists; their other partisans can no longer do so. And I think, also, that France is not so likely to take part in a war upon papal grounds, as in one which would be represented as a liberal cause.

“I know but one danger in the present state of things which might have shaken a constant mind; that arising from the great proportion of Irish Catholics in the army. The Protestant strength of Ireland was enough to counterpoise it. But if the Duke was affected by this danger, he will take means for lessening it before the crisis comes on.

“These are my speculations, partaking perhaps of the sunshine of a hopeful and cheerful disposition. Had I been intrusted with political power at this time, I would, upon the principle that we are to trust in Providence, but act according to the clear perception of duty, have resisted this concession even to blood. In this I differ from Blanco White. I am sorry to see the part which he is taking; but I am quite sure he has a single eye, and casts no sinister looks with it.

“God speed you, my dear friend, not in this contest alone, but in every thing. I wish you success the more, because it will be creditable to the University,—to the national character. The mass
of mankind, while we are what our institutions make us, must be time-servers. (The old Adam in our nature is less active than the old Serpent in our system of society.) When they shift with the wind they only change professions, not principles, upon questions which they understand imperfectly. But if I see a good majority of persons who have preferment to look for, either in the Church or the Law, voting according to their former convictions, when tergiversation is the order of the day, it will be a hopeful symptom, and serve in a small degree as a set-off against the mortification which individual cases of defection cannot but occasion at this time.

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”

My father’s Paper on the Catholic Question in the Quarterly Review appears to have met with royal approbation, for the King expressed a wish that it should be printed in a separate form for more general circulation. This, however, Mr. Murray, apparently having more regard to profit than loyalty, would not consent to, saying that those who wished to read the article might purchase the number which contained it. But as it found favour with many persons, as might be expected, it was extremely unpalatable to those who held views of an opposite nature; and in a pamphlet upon the Roman Catholic claims by the Rev. Mr. Shannon, it was alluded to in very strong terms, and the writer further expressed his confident hopes that my father was not the author, because there was a spirit in it so “utterly inhuman” towards
Ireland and its Catholic population, and because, when in his company several times more than twenty years previously, he “remembered well the enthusiasm of his feelings in speaking of the wrongs and sufferings of Ireland, and the energy of language in which he expressed his ardent wishes for the restoration of Catholic rights*;” and he went on to say,

* This passage was extracted in the Times newspaper with this remark:—“The Article against the Irish Roman Catholics and their claims, which appear, in the last number of the Quarterly Review, has generally been ascribed to the pen of Dr. Southey; we are not in the secret on such matters, nor do we think it of any consequence to settle the authorship of such a piece of acrimonious declamation; but we allude to it for the purpose of introducing a note relative to the doctor from a convincing and able Address to the Clergy on behalf of the Roman Catholic Claims; just published by the Rev. Mr. Shannon of Edinburgh. As we take it for granted that the reverend gentleman is stating a fact, we must conclude, that if Dr. Southey be the author of the article in question, he has to add another inconsistency to that long list of tergiversations and conflicting professions which have occurred in his transition from the Jacobin leveller of altars and thrones to the loyal and high church Poet-Laureate, of which he ought to be reminded every year by receiving a copy of Wat Tyler along with the annual butt of sack.”

In consequence of this, a long letter was addressed to the editor of the Times by Mr. Henry Taylor, some portions of which I subjoin here as answering well both Mr. Shannon’s charges and those of the Timeseditor.

Mr. Shannon has found in the article ‘an inhuman spirit towards the Irish.’ I have searched the article through, and I know not where in it Mr. Shannon could find a trace of such a spirit, or a pretext for his charge. At page 573. the writer speaks of the readiness with which the Irish would rebel for the sake of their religion. ‘In that faith,’ he says, ‘they would be ready to inflict or to endure any thing, to deserve the heaviest punishment that outraged humanity might demand, and offended justice exact, and, to undergo it with a fortitude which, arising from deluded conscience, excites compassion even more than it commands respect.’ If these are the feelings with which the writer would regard the Irish in rebellion, what are the measures by which he would keep them out of it? ‘The Emperor Acbar bore upon his signet this saying—“I never saw any one lost upon a straight road.” This is a straight road,—to restrain treason, to punish sedition, to disregard clamour, and by every possible means to better the condition of the Irish peasantry, who are not more miserably ignorant than they are miserably oppressed. Give them employment in

that “The generous warmth of indignant feeling may easily be supposed to abate in the cooler temper-

public works, bring the bogs into cultivation, facilitate for those who desire it the means of emigration. Extend the poor laws to Ireland; experience may teach us to guard against their abuse—they are benevolent, they are necessary, they are just. . . . . Better their condition thus—educate the people, execute justice, and maintain peace. . . . . Let every thing be done that can relieve the poor—everything that can improve their condition, physically, morally, intellectually, and religiously.’

“As far as human feelings and not political opinions are in question, I know not by what spirit Mr. Shannon would desire this writer to have been actuated, nor do I know by what spirit any writer could hare been actuated who could find ‘an inhuman spirit’ in this.

“Surely Mr. Shannon might find it in his power to differ from Mr. Southey (as I do) on the Catholic question, without imputing to him malevolent feelings, corrupt motives, and an advocacy of gross oppressions. The difference is on a controvertible political question, to the advocates of which, on either side, injurious language is obviously misapplied; and at the same time that I am willing to give due credit to Mr. Shannon for his exertions in a cause to which I wish all success, I regret that he has been betrayed, in this instance, into a mode of proceeding which is no evidence of the abilities attributed to him, and which is, moreover, in more than one respect, rather inconsistent with the feelings of propriety which belong to his profession, and, I have no doubt (political zeal apart), to himself also.

Mr. Southey has been, at all times, an enemy to oppression of all sorts. Mr. Shannon found him so in his conversations twenty-five years ago, and whether in his writings or in his discourse, to those who understand his views, he will never appear otherwise. True it is that at the present time Mr. Southey considers the nearest dangers of society to arise from a too rapid accession of power to the ill-instructed. A man acting under this conviction will naturally apply himself with more solicitude to exhibit to the people the benefits which they derive from existing institutions, than to detect for them their grievances. But, as in this article (if it be his), so in all his other writings, he never stints the language of reprobation, when there is real oppression to be written of. Men may differ from him as to the measures which may be applicable to our system of society; but if they see him aright, they will see him, in spirit and in purpose, as sincere a lover of liberty, and as indignantly opposed to injustice, as ever he was in his boyhood, when he thought that he saw a short way out of the evils of society.

“You, or the writer of your paragraph, have spoken of ‘the long list of his tergiversations.’ In so speaking you have joined the common cry of those enemies of Mr. Southey whom his political writings have reused up against him. The only fact which can be assumed as

ament of an advancing age; but it is impossible that the moral sense should undergo so complete a transformation, except from causes which are liable to suspicion.”

This misrepresentation of a private conversation which had taken place so long ago, naturally surprised and annoyed exceedingly my father, and he wrote to Mr. Shannon on the first instant very courteously, saying, that he had no doubt he had persuaded himself that the statement was correct, but that it was altogether inaccurate in everything which would

a foundation for such charges is, that Mr. Southey had republican opinions in his very early youth, and that he changed them soon after he had arrived at man’s estate. That he profited by the change is wholly false. And to suppose that any worldly considerations could have affected his opinions, or touched for a moment the sincerity of his mind, would seem to any one who knew him as absurd, as to suppose that Nelson wanted courage or that Sheridan wanted wit. When with the growth of his knowledge and understanding, his Utopian systems gave way, he attached himself to the constitution of his country,—and here ‘the long list of his tergiversations’ comes to an end.

Mr. Southey is a public man, and you have a right to animadvert on the opinions of his which are or have been before the public, whether they come out in a way which is usual, or by the means of gentlemen who shall conceive themselves to have mastered them in two or three private conversations at Mr. Southey’s table, and to be enabled to expound them now. You must allow me, however, to express regret that an editor, whose paper owes, I think, a part of its weight to the use of some little discrimination in the language of invective, should have suffered himself to join in a vulgar cry of inferior party writers, and to cast a reflection for what he can scarcely think to be matter of reproach. For the distinguished individual in question, men of ability ought to have at least one sort of respect, and all who know him must have every possible respect. I cannot help thinking, therefore, that you would have better prefaced your extract from Mr. Shannon’s publication, if you had admonished him (with all due acknowledgment of his merits and exertions; that he would do well, in making towards a just end, to be just on the way, and to pursue liberality with a liberal feeling.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
H. T.

appear to him material; and he concluded by saying, that Mr. Shannon owed him a public acknowledgment for a public wrong.

This, however, Mr. Shannon was not inclined to make; and as he persisted in maintaining that his impression of what my father’s opinions had been was correct, and that he had not committed any offence against the established usages of society in thus bringing forward his recollections of a private conversation, the correspondence assumed a somewhat angry tone. The following letter, which concluded it, I insert here, as giving pretty clearly a summary both of these circumstances and of my father’s opinions respecting Ireland.

To the Rev. Richard Shannon.
“Keswick, March 2. 1829.

“I thank you for your pamphlet; but I find that the extract from it in The Times is faithfully given, and I repeat that you have offered me a personal wrong, as unprovoked as it is unwarrantable. You have egregiously mistaken what my opinions were when we met. You have uncharitably misrepresented what they are now; and you have imputed to me suspicious motives for a change, which has no other existence than in your own erroneous recollections and intemperate judgment.

“If what you called the Catholic rights were touched upon in our table-talk, it is likely that a
subject which was not at that time prominent would be lightly dismissed, willing as we both were to dwell rather upon points of agreement than of difference. I remember distinctly our difference concerning the union with England, and no other. Nor do I suppose that we differ now upon anything else relating to Ireland, except upon the question whether concession to the Romanists is likely to remedy the evils of that poor country, or to aggravate them. On that question it is well known to all my friends that my views have never undergone any alteration; and they were formed and declared as early as the year 1801, when the question first came before me. For what possible motive could I have dissembled them to you? I have never expressed an opinion which I did not hold; nor held one which I feared to express,—to maintain when I was persuaded that it was right, or to abandon if convinced that it was wrong.

“With regard to the Quarterly Review, I never will allow that any one has a right to call upon me individually respecting any composition (not of a personal character) which has not my name affixed to it. But I maintain every argument which is urged in that paper; I assent to every assertion which it contains; I hold every opinion which is advanced there. Elsewhere I have published arguments, assertions, and opinions of the same kind, bearing upon the same conclusion. And whosoever charges me with inhumanity for this, or affirms that it is designed to render the Irish objects of horror and execration, calumniates me. I have been used to misrepresenta-
tion and calumny, but I did not expect them, Sir, from you.

“It is a fair course of argument to assert that the miseries of Ireland were not caused by the laws which exclude the Roman Catholics from legislative power, and to infer that they cannot be remedied by the repeal of those laws; and the question is, whether those premises can be proved by historical facts, and that inference established by just reasoning. You cannot condemn the British Government more severely than I do, for having suffered the great body of the Irish people to remain to this day in as barbarous a state as the Scotch and the Welsh were till they were civilised, the first by their Kirk, the second by the laws. That the Irish have been thus barbarous from the earliest times may be learned by their own annals; that they are so still is proved at every assizes in that unhappy country, and almost in every newspaper. That they should be in this condition is the fault of their aristocracy, their landlords, and their priests, and the reproach of their rulers. But in what state of mind must that person be who accuses another of inhumanity, and holds him up as the enemy of the Irish nation, because he has asserted these truths!

“I could say more, Sir, were it not vain to address one whose sense of the usages of society is so perverse that he deems it no breach of honour and hospitality to bring old table-talk before the public for the purpose of depreciating me; whose prepossessions are so obstinate that rather than think it possible his own recollections, after more than twenty
years, may have deceived him, he will believe me guilty of deliberate falsehood: whose Christian charity is so little that because I think the Protestant Church establishments in England and Ireland will be endangered by admitting Roman Catholics into the legislature, he imputes suspicious motives to me, and accuses me of seeking to render the Irish people objects of horror and execration; and finally, whose notions of moral feeling are so curiously compounded that because these heinous charges are accompanied with some complimentary phrases to the injured person on the score of his talents, he is actually surprised that an indignant remonstrance should be expressed in a tone which he calls uncourteous! Finding it, therefore, in vain to expect from you a reparation of the wrong which you have offered, I shall take a near and fitting opportunity for publicly contradicting* your statement, and repelling your injurious charges and calumniatory insinuations.

Robert Southey.”

My father’s convictions upon the subject of the admission of Roman Catholics into the legislature were most strongly rooted in his mind: he had indeed always held, that all rights should be conceded to them, and all restrictions removed in matters which had not a close relation to political power; but to invest them with that power he considered as the most perilous experiment that could by possibility

* This was done by a few brief remarks in the Preface to the Colloquies with Sir Thomas More.

be tried in a Protestant country. Deeply read in Roman Catholic history, and probably more fully acquainted with the principles and practices of that Church, as set forth by her own writers, than most of his contemporaries, he could not divest himself of the idea that her sincere members must necessarily be actuated by the same spirit as of old. He felt that if he were of that faith his whole heart and soul would be bent upon the overthrow of the Protestant Church,—that he would have striven to be a second
Loyola; and believing one of the moving principles of the Roman Catholic religion to be that the end justified the means, he did not see how any securities that might be taken from members of that persuasion could be strong enough to overcome what he considered ought to be a paramount duty on their part.

Some of his friends, indeed, endeavoured to persuade him that Romanism would accommodate itself to the times if it were permitted to do so; but he could not be convinced of this; and he consequently viewed the passing of the Roman Catholic bill with very dark forebodings.

To George Ticknor, Esq.
“Keswick, March 17. 1829.
“My dear Sir,

“Mere shame has for some time withheld me from writing, till I could tell you that my Colloquies, which have so long been in the press, were on the
way to you. They will be so by the time this letter is half seas over. I am expecting by every post the concluding proofs; and you will receive with them a little
volume consisting of two poems*, from the subjects of which (both are Romish legends), and perhaps a little from the manner also, you might suppose the writer was rejuvenescent. Both were, indeed, intended for some of our Annuals, which are now the mushrooms of literature; but the first in its progress far outgrew all reasonable limits for such a collection; and the latter was objected to because it might prevent the annual from selling in Roman Catholic circles,—an anecdote this which is but too characteristic of the times.

“Rejuvenescent, however, in a more important sense of the word, thank God, I am. When your consignment arrived at Keswick last summer, I was in London under Copeland the surgeon’s hands. By an operation which some years ago was one of the most serious in surgery, but which he (more than any other person) has rendered as safe as any operation can be, I have been effectually relieved from an infirmity which had afflicted me about twelve years, and which often rendered me incapable of walking half a mile. Now I am able to climb the mountains; and as then I was never without a sense of infirmity when I moved, I never walk now without a consciousness of the blessing that it is to have been thus rendered sound. This sort of second spring

* The titles of these were—“All for Love, or a Sinner well saved;” and “The Pilgrim to Compostella.”

prevents me from feeling the approach of age as I otherwise might do. Indeed Time lays his hand on me gently: I require a glass only for distant objects; for work, my eyes serve me as well as ever they did; and this is no slight blessing when most of my contemporaries have taken to spectacles.

“Nevertheless I have mementos enough in myself and in those around me. The infant whom you saw in his basket, has now entered upon his eleventh year, and is making progress in Dutch and German as well as in Greek and Latin. The youngest of my remaining daughters has ceased to be a girl. She who was the flower of them (and never was there a fairer flower)—you will remember her—is in heaven; and were it not for the sure hope we have in looking forward, I could not bear to look back.

“This year, I trust, will see good progress made in Oliver Newman, the poem being so far advanced that it becomes an object to take it earnestly in hand and complete it. With us no poetry now obtains circulation except what is in the Annuals; these are the only books which are purchased for presents, and the chief sale which poetry used to have was of this kind. Here, however, we are overrun with imitative talent in all the fine arts, especially in fine literature; and if it is not already the case with you, it will very soon be so. I can see some good in this: in one or two generations imitative talent will become so common, that it will not be mistaken, when it first manifests itself, for genius; and it will then be cultivated rather as an embellishment for private life, than with aspiring views of
ambition. Much of that levelling is going on with us which no one can more heartily desire to promote than I do,—that which is produced by raising the lower classes. Booksellers and printsellers find it worth while now to publish for a grade of customers which they deemed ten years ago beneath their consideration. Good must result from this in many ways; and could we but hope or dream of any thing like long peace, we might dream of seeing England in a state of intellectual culture and internal prosperity such as no country has ever before attained. But all the elements of discord are at work; and though I am one of the last men to despair, yet I have no hope of living to see the end of the troubles which must ere long break out,—the fruits of this accursed Catholic question, let it now take what course it may.

Wordsworth has had a most dangerous fall, headlong, from his own mount, but providentially received no serious injury. He is looking old, but vigorous as ever both in mind and body. Remember me to all my Boston friends, and present my thanks to Mr. Norton for his edition of Mrs. Hemans’s poems, which reached me safely. I was very sorry that he found me here in a crowd, in consequence of which I saw much less of him and his very agreeable companions than we all wished to have done.

“God bless you, my dear Sir!

Yours, with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”

My father had given commission for a considerable number of books to the great “bibliopole” of Brussels, which were so long in making their appearance that Mr. Taylor had expressed some opinions derogatory to his qualities as a good and punctual bookseller, which called forth the following amusing letter in his defence.

To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“April 13. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

“I must not let you think ill of Verbeyst. He had sundry books to provide for me, some of which are not easily found; for example, the continuators of Baronius, a set of Surius, and Colgar’s very rare Lives of the Irish Saints, without which I could not review O’Connor’s collection of the Res Hibernicarum Script. Last year, when he had collected these, his wife fell ill and died. Bien des malheurs, he says, he has had since he saw me, and that they had left him in a lethargic state, from which he is only beginning to recover. . . . .

“You must not think ill of Verbeyst: he has the best stock of books I ever met with, and at the lowest prices. . . . No, H. T., if you had bought as many books of Verbeyst as I have, and had them in your eye (as they are now in mine), and had talked with him as much as I have done (and in as good French), and had drunk his Rhenish wine and his beer, which is not the best in the world because
there is, or was, as good at West Kennet, but than which there is not, never was, and never can be better;—no, H. T., if you remembered the beer, the wine, and the man himself, as I do, you would not and could not entertain even the shadow of an ill or an angry thought towards Verbeyst. Think ill of our fathers which are in the Row, think ill of
John Murray, think ill of Colburn, think ill of the whole race of bibliopoles, except Verbeyst, who is always to be thought of with liking and respect.

“A joyful day it will be when the books come, and he promises them by the first ship,—perhaps it may be the second. But come they will at last, if wind and waters permit; and, if all be well, when they arrive I shall not envy any man’s happiness (were I given to envy) on that day.

“I have told you of the Spaniard who always put on his spectacles when he was about to eat cherries, that they might look the bigger and more tempting. In like manner I make the most of my enjoyments, and, though I do not cast my cares away, I pack them in as little compass as I can, carry them as conveniently as I can for myself, and never let them annoy others. God bless you!

R. S.”

The next letter is out of place as to date, but, I think, so peculiarly in it as to subject, that I may be excused the anachronism.

To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Oct 8. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

“I have been jumping for joy: Verbeyst has kept his word; the bill of lading is in Longman’s hands, and by the time this reaches you I hope the vessel, with the books on board, may be in the river, and by this day month they will probably be here. Then shall I be happier than if his Majesty King George the Fourth were to give orders that I should be clothed in purple, and sleep upon gold, and have a chain about my neck, and sit next him because of my wisdom, and be called his cousin.

“Long live Verbeyst! the best, though not the most expeditious of booksellers; and may I, who am the most patient of customers, live long to deal with him. And may you and I live to go to the Low Countries again, that I may make Brussels in the way, and buy more of his books, and drink again of his Rhenish wine and of his strong beer, better than which Jacob von Artevelde never had at his own table, of his own brewing; not even when he entertained King Edward and Queen Philippa at the christening. Would he have had such a son as Philip if he had been a water-drinker, or ever put swipes to his lips? God bless you!

R. S.”
To Walter Savage Landor, Esq.
“April 11. 1829.

“The bookseller sent me the first volume of your unpublished series. Some things in it I wished away; with very many more you know how truly I must be delighted. Lucullus and Caesar especially pleased me, as one of the most delightful of these conversations throughout.

“You will not suppose that I am one of the sudden converts to Catholic Emancipation. Those conversions have the ill effect of shaking all confidence in public men, and making more converts to parliamentary reform than ever could have been made by any other means. For myself, I look on almost as quietly at these things from Keswick as you do from Florence, having done my duty in opposing what I believe to be a most dangerous measure, and comforting myself with the belief that things will end better than if it had been in my power to have directed their course. I suppose the next movement of the Irish Catholics, when the next movement of the drama begins, will be put down by the Duke of Wellington with a high hand; but the ghost of the Catholic Question will be far more difficult to lay than the Question itself would have been: there will be a great emigration of Protestants from Ireland; the struggle will be for Catholic domination there, and we shall have the war upon a religious ground, not upon a civil pretext.

“We are likely to have Historians of the American
War on both sides of the water.
Jared Sparks, who is to publish Washington’s correspondence, came over to examine our state papers. In his search, and in that which took place in consequence of it, so much matter has been ferreted out that the Government wishes to tell its own story, and my pulse was felt; but I declined, upon the ground that others could perform the task as well, and that I have other objects which it was not likely that any other person would take up with the same good-will, and equal stock in hand to begin with.

“My health, thank God, is good, and the operation I underwent last June has restored me to the free use of my strength in walking, a matter of no trifling importance for one who was born to go a-foot all the days of his life. I can now once more climb the mountains, and have a pleasant companion in my little boy, now in his eleventh year. Whatever may be his after fortunes, he will have had a happy childhood, and, thus far, a happy boyhood. The change which my death would make in his happiness, and in that of others, is the only thing which casts a cloud over my prospect towards eternity, I wish I could see you and your children; and I have a hope that this may yet be, though I know not when.

“God bless you!

R. S.”

At the close of the last volume my father speaks of an intended visit to the Isle of Man in the following May, and all preparations were now made for this
excursion, which was, however, destined to be cut short by what seemed an untoward circumstance, though it did not prove so in its results. On arriving at Whitehaven we found some accident had occurred to the machinery of the steam-vessel in which we were to have crossed, and in consequence it was determined that we should fix ourselves for a time at some watering-place on the coast. Chancing, however, on our road to call at Netherhall, the seat of my father’s old friend and fellow-traveller,
Mr. Senhouse, he found him just recovering from an illness, and glad of the cheerful change my father’s company afforded him; and our morning call was prolonged, by his hospitable pressure, to a five weeks’ visit.

This led further to Mr. Senhouse being induced to remove with his family to Keswick for the latter part of the summer and the autumn, which he did for several successive years, and a great addition was thus made to the pleasant summer society there. Many were the morning excursions and evening dances held in consequence; and although my father was at no time a partaker of the latter, and occasionally looked grave at late hours, yet no one rejoiced more to see others enjoy themselves.

These were the best days of Keswick in my recollection: there were always parties of Oxford and Cambridge students passing the long vacation there, and with the resident society and the frequent presence of visitors, for some years our season was a very gay and joyous one. My father’s occupations, however, though suffering some necessary interruptions, slackened little because of the idleness around him.

To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“June 20. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

“Here is a tit-bit of information to you respecting publishers and public taste. One of ——’s best novelists writes to me thus: ‘You are not aware, perhaps, that my publisher employs supervisors, who strike out anything like dissertation, crying out ever for bustle and incident, the more thickly clustered the better. Novel readers, say these gentry, are impatient of anything else; and they who have created this depraved appetite must continue to minister to it.

“I have been amused by reading in the Atlas that I resemble Leigh Hunt very much both in my handwriting and character, both being ‘elegant pragmatics.’ A most queer fish, whose book and epistle will make you laugh when you come here next, calls me, in verse, ‘a man of Helicon.’ ‘Elegant Pragmatic’ I think pleases me better.

“I am now working at the Peninsular War. Canga Arguelles has published a volume of remarks upon the English histories of that war: it is in the main a jealous but just vindication of his countrymen against Napier. In my case he has denied one or two unimportant statements, for which my authorities are as good as his; and pointed out scarcely any mistake except that of paper money, for stamps, in a case where the people burnt those of the intrusive government. I am not a little pleased to see that he has not discovered a single error of the slightest im-
portance; but I am justly displeased that professedly writing to vindicate his countrymen against the injurious and calumniating representation of the English writers, he has not specially excepted me from such an imputation, as he ought in honesty to have done.

“I am also in the last part of a queer poem for Allan Cunningham. The hay asthma keeps off and on with me, sometimes better sometimes worse, sometimes wholly suspended, and never much-to-be-complained of. As soon as my despatches are made up I shall set off with it, in the intention of bathing in the Greta, unless a shower should prevent me.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“July 8. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

“. . . . . I have no wish to see the Examiner.* What there is there proceeds either from the Elegant Pragmatic himself, or from Hazlitt, both of whom hate me, but have a sort of intellectual conscience which makes them respect me in spite of themselves. But it is evident that the constant hostility of newspapers and journals must act upon an author’s reputation, like continued rain upon grass which is intended to be

* A review of the Colloquies had appeared in that paper, and Mr. Taylor had offered to send him the number that contained it.

cut for hay; it beats it to the ground and ruins the harvest, though the root may remain unhurt. Booksellers, if they understood their own interest, ought to counteract this.

“As for my readiness to admit any exculpation of the Spaniards, I shall not acknowledge any such bias, till I see that any writer has more distinctly perceived their manifold errors, or more plainly stated them.

Lockhart has sent me Doddridge’s Correspondence to review: a pleasant and easy subject, though the first half volume, which is all I have read, is a most curious specimen of elaborate insipidity. From his youth Doddridge kept short-hand copies of all the letters which he wrote! and the series begins in his nineteenth year, and anything so vapid, so totally devoid of easy and natural playfulness, I could hardly have conceived. Withal he was an excellently good man, and when I have read his works (to which I am an entire stranger at present, but I have sent to Lockhart for them), I may then perceive that he has deserved his reputation as a writer. At any rate, insipid materials may be made into a good dish by the help of suitable seasoning and sauces, and I like to deal with no subjects so well as those which I can play with.

Blackwood I have not seen.

“I have the raw materials of more ballads ready to be worked out, and am about a prelude, which I think you will like, to the next. Allan offers 35l.
per sheet, which is good pay for light and pleasant work, and I retain the right of reprinting hereafter.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To John Rickman, Esq.
“Keswick, July 9. 1829.
“My dear R.,

“Do you know anything of an association which began at Brighton about two years ago, and which Gooch writes me word from thence ‘is prospering splendidly considering the paucity of its means.’ It is a slip of Owenism grafted upon a sound common sense stock.* The whole principle is (Gooch loquitur) for a number to join to form a common property by small weekly subscriptions, which, instead of being vested in savings’ banks or benefit societies, is vested in business. They have already got a shop, a mackerel boat, and a garden of twenty-eight acres, all of which are prospering; so that the common property in capital accumulates in two ways, by the weekly subscriptions and by the profits of trade. In conducting these trades they employ their own members, and as they increase their trade they will employ more, till the whole number will be employed in the service: then the community will be complete, although scattered; but they hope, ultimately, to live together on their own land in a kind of village, like the Beguines of Ghent. The practice is spreading among the working classes in various parts of the
island, and seventy similar institutions have already been formed. The knowledge of it has been diffused by a weekly paper called the
Co-operator, consisting of four pages, price one penny; it sells upwards of 12,000. I have drawn up (Gooch loquitur) an account of it for the Quarterly; but will the editor put it in? ‘Brighton is near enough to one of your haunts for you to inquire further into this, if it strikes you as it does me at this distance and Gooch upon the spot. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To the Rev. Nicholas Lightfoot.

“The very wish which you have expressed to me, that your sons should become acquainted with my kinsmen (who, though my first cousins, are of their generation, not of yours or mine), I had formed, and was thinking of expressing to you. I dearly love inherited attachments, and am never better pleased than when I see a likelihood of their striking root.

“Your bishop (Dr. Philpotts) was at the head of the school when I entered it in its midway form, so there should be four or five years’ difference in our age. Of course I well remember him, because of his station; but had he been in any other part of the school among the οι πολλοι, I should call him to
mind as distinctly by his profile as he does me by my name; though I do not suppose that a single word was ever exchanged between us.

“Whether the seed which I have scattered in my Colloquies will produce fruit in due season I perhaps may not live to see; but some of it appears to have taken root. Among the letters pertinent and impertinent which have reached me relating to it, there are two from strangers which show this. The one is from Sir Oswald Mosely, about the Church Methodists, entering into the views which I have expressed, and proposing to form an association for furthering their progress. Upon this subject I have declined giving him any opinion till I shall have seen Sadler the member for Newark, whom I have engaged to see at Lowther in the autumn, and who, I know, takes much interest in this attempt. The other relates to the scheme for directing the personal charity of females to hospitals rather than prisons; to the sick rather than to the profligate. This is from Mr. Hornby, the Rector of Winwick, who had before hinted at such a thing in a sermon preached upon the opening of the Liverpool Infirmary, and who now offers his purse and his personal exertions to promote it. You will readily suppose that I am gratified by this. But I have neither time nor inclination, nor talents to take upon myself any part in forming such societies. If the voice of one crying in the mountains is heard, all that I am capable of doing is done. . . . .

“One way in which I feel the effect of time is that I
neither walk so fast as formerly nor willingly so far, and that I have sometimes a sense of weakness, which is, no doubt, as a memento that I shall presently be an old man. And yet I hope to have some pleasant days with you upon the lakes and the mountains yet. God bless you, my dear old friend!

Yours most affectionately,
R. Southey.”
To Allan Cunningham.

“I have read your first volume, and with very great pleasure. You need not ask any one how biography ought to be written. A man with a clear head, a good heart, and an honest understanding will always write well; it is owing either to a muddy head, an evil heart, or a sophisticated intellect that men write badly, and sin either against reason, or goodness, or sincerity.

“There may be secrets in painting, but there are none in style. When I have been asked the foolish question, what a young man should do who wishes to acquire a good style, my answer has been that he should never think about it; but say what he has to say as perspicuously as he can, and as briefly as he can, and then the style will take care of itself.

“Were you to leave nothing but these Lives, you need not doubt of obtaining the remembrance which you court and desire.


“I wish I could tell you any thing which might be found useful in your succeeding volumes. I knew Barry, and have been admitted into his den in his worst (that is to say, his maddest) days, when he was employed upon his Pandora. He wore at that time an old coat of green baize, but from which time had taken all the green that incrustations of paint and dirt had not covered. His wig was one which you might suppose he had borrowed from a scarecrow; all round it there projected a fringe of his own grey hair. He lived alone, in a house which was never cleaned; and he slept on a bedstead with no other furniture than a blanket nailed on the one side. I wanted him to visit me. ‘No,’ he said, ‘he would not go out by day, because he could not spare time from his great picture; and if he went out in the evening the Academicians would waylay him and murder him.’ In this solitary, sullen life he continued till he fell ill, very probably for want of food sufficiently nourishing; and after lying two or three days under his blanket, he had just strength enough left to crawl to his own door, open it, and lay himself down with a paper in his hand, on which he had written his wish to be carried to the house of Mr. Carlisle (Sir Anthony) in Soho Square. There he was taken care of; and the danger from which he had thus escaped seems to have cured his mental hallucinations. He cast his slough afterwards; appeared decently drest and in his own grey hair, and mixed in such society as he liked.

“I should have told you that, a little before his illness, he had with much persuasion been induced to
pass a night at some person’s house in the country. When he came down to breakfast the next morning, and was asked how he had rested, he said remarkably well; he had not slept in sheets for many years, and really he thought it was a very comfortable thing.

“He interlarded his conversation with oaths as expletives, but it was pleasant to converse with him; there was a frankness and animation about him which won good will as much as his vigorous intellect commanded respect.

“There is a story of his having refused to paint portraits, and saying, in answer to applications, that there was a man in Leicester Square who did. But this he said was false; for that he would at any time have painted portraits, and have been glad to paint them. God bless you!

Yours very truly,
R. S.”
To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, Aug. 6. 1829.
“My dear H. T.,

“I have declined a proposal from Fraser to write a popular history of English literature, à-la-mode Murray’s Family Library; in four volumes. Because, in the first place, it cannot be prudent to engage in schemes where, besides author and bookseller, there is a certain middle man, or undertaker, to have his portion of the profits: secondly, because I hope to execute such a work upon a fitting scale, and in a
manner correspondent to the subject: and lastly, because I will clean my hands of all existing engagements and projects before I admit even a thought of any thing new, except in the way of mere recreation.

Lockhart tells me my paper upon Portugal has had the rare fortune of pleasing all parties: I looked at it therefore to find out what there was wrong in it, but I could not discover. He asks for a similar paper upon Spain, but cannot have it; because much that is true of the one country is true of the other, and because I am not so thoroughly acquainted with the subject. Concerning Portugal no other foreigner can know so much; concerning Spain many may know more.

“It is well for me that I like reviewing well enough to feel nothing irksome in the employment; but as life shortens on me I cannot help sometimes regretting that so large a share of the little which is left, must continue so to be employed, till the last.

“When are you coming? we talk of you and wish for you every day. . . . .

“You think me easily pleased with people. Perhaps no one tolerates them more easily; but I am not often contented, in the full sense of that term, any more with men than with books. In both I am thankful for the good that is mixed with ill; but there are few of either which I like well enough to take to my heart and incorporate them, as it were, with it.


“But I must go on with the Life of Loyola, so God bless you!

R. S.”
To Dr. Gooch.

“If your letter had contained a pleasanter account of your own convalescence, it would have been one of the most agreeable that I ever received. There is zeal enough in the world and good will enough to do all the work which is wanted if they can but be rightly directed. It is neither a natural nor a fit state of things that there should be more zeal and activity on the wrong side than the right.

“I believe, as you do, that great and permanent good may be effected by colonisation, by cultivating waste lands, and by co-operative societies. There will be difficulties in these latter, when the question arises where the limits of private property are to be fixed. In every Utopian romance which has fallen in my way a despotism of laws, as strict as any military discipline, is always part of the scheme.

“Such a man as is wanted in Parliament I think we shall find in Sadler, whom I am to meet in the course of next month at Lowther. I have to talk about Church Methodism with him; the first time I ever heard his name was in connection with that subject, as being the person on whose countenance and support the prime mover (Mark Robinson of
Beverley) most counted.
Sir Oswald Mosely has been moved by my Colloquies to consult me about the fitness of forming a lay association for promoting this scheme; in my reply I deferred answering that question till I should have conversed with Sadler. I will talk to him also about the co-operation and the poor. We have ground on which to fix our levers, and strong arms with which to work them.

“As for the political economists, no words can express the thorough contempt which I feel for them. They discard all moral considerations from their philosophy, and in their practice they have no compassion for flesh and blood.

“I am writing a life of Ignatius Loyola for the Christmas number of the Foreign Review. The last number has not reached me, and of its contributors I only know that an Edinburgh person, by name Carlisle, has written the most striking ones upon German literature, and that the paper upon Klopstock is by a young man whom I introduced to it, whose name is Heraud,—a man of extraordinary powers, and not less extraordinary industry and ardour; he seems capable of learning any thing, except how to check his own exuberance in verse.

“God bless you, my dear Gooch! With hands fuller than I could wish them, and with a head fuller than my hands, and perhaps a heart fuller than my head, I must leave books and papers to go pic-nic-ing upon the hills, where I wish you could be with us.

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”
To the Rev. Neville White.

“. . . . . I am very glad that you have got through your degrees, and in a way to satisfy yourself as well as others, which in your case (contrary to most other cases) was the more difficult thing. Set your heart now at rest with the certain knowledge that you have taken more pains to qualify yourself for your profession than most members of it who have entered it in the ordinary course of education for that purpose. One great evil of our church is, that men are ordained at too early an age. How it could be otherwise I do not know in our state of society, but of this I am very sure, that at such an age it must be by rare circumstances that either the heart or understanding are ripe for such a charge.

“You will have perceived that in those Colloquies I have been careful not to offend those whom I endeavoured to impress, and that I have sometimes rather pointed at a wound than probed it. Prudence required this. Some effect the book is producing, for it has drawn on some correspondence respecting Sisters of Charity and Church Methodists, and will in all likelihood cost me in this way more time than I can well afford.

“As for the sale of the book I know nothing, which no knowledge is proof sufficient that it has not as yet been great. Nor indeed is it likely to be. But I am satisfied with myself for having written it,
and believe that in due time it will bring forth fruit after its kind; setting many persons to think, some, I should expect, to feel, and some few, I should hope, to act.

“This has been hastily written amid much interruption; and I must now conclude, with our best remembrances to your fireside (for I conclude you have a fire) and my more especial ones to your good mother, who, if we looked at things as we ought, should be considered now as one of the happiest of human beings, sure as she is of her reward, and near it. I thank God for many things, and for nothing more than that he has enabled me to look onward to death with desire rather than with dread.

“God bless you, my dear Neville!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”

In consequence of the subject of Female Hospital Nurses and Church Methodism having been touched upon in the “Colloquies,” my father had been led into a correspondence with the Rev. J. Hornby of Winwick, who took a lively and active interest in both these subjects. The following is the only letter of my father to Mr. Hornby which has been preserved.

To the Rev. J. J. Hornby.
“Keswick, Aug. 27. 1829.
“Dear Sir,

“It is long since anything has given me so much pleasure as your letter. You have looked at the
subject in all its hopeful bearings with the true spirit of Christian philosophy.

“When I received the first communication concerning Church Methodism from Mark Robinson (in February 1824), I thought it of sufficient importance to send a copy to the present Primate, with whom I had personal acquaintance enough to authorise me in so doing. I did not let Robinson know this, because it would have been giving myself a false appearance of consequence in his eyes,—would have been taking upon myself more than I had any right or reason to do; and might also have raised vain expectations in him. In my letters to him, then and afterwards, I could do nothing more than express hearty wishes for the success of what appeared to me a most desirable attempt.

“The answer which I received from Fulham was in these words. [See letter from the Bishop of London, Vol. V. p. 165.]

“It seemed to me at the time that the Bishop of London supposed these seceding Methodists to ask for more than they actually did, that they required nothing like a formal treaty, but merely to have their offered services accepted and countenanced. I thought also that there could be little danger in this case, from the description of clergy to which he alluded; because, such among them as hold Calvinistic doctrines (and these are the only dangerous ones), would not be likely to co-operate with Wesleyan Methodists.

Robinson told me that Archdeacon Wrangham favoured his views: and he counted also, through
his means, upon the good wishes of the
Archbishop of York. He tried to effect a union with the Irish Church Methodists, and some of their preachers came over in consequence; but this attempt failed. And I know nothing more of the connection which he was endeavouring to form. I read, indeed, sundry pamphlets, which related mainly to personal disputes, the sort of matter into which such things easily degenerate: and I made inquiries concerning Robinson’s character, which were satisfactorily answered. When I see Mr. Sadler I shall no doubt be able to obtain full information.

“You and I are perfectly agreed in this, that without some such assistance from without, as well as strenuous exertions within, the Church Establishment of this kingdom cannot hold its place. The Dissenting minister has his subordinate helpers everywhere, the clergyman acts alone. Would I could persuade myself that even with such assistance the overthrow of the Establishment might be averted I But no better means of strengthening it can now be devised, and no likelier ones of preparing the way for its eventual restoration; if, as I too surely fear, this generation should not pass away without seeing it as prostrate as it was in the Great Rebellion.

“You say that you would not ministerially cooperate in any plan of this kind which was disapproved by those to whom ministerial deference and subordination are due. This, of course, I should have expected from you; and, indeed, if the scheme were pursued upon any other principle, it could end
only as Methodism has ended, in producing another schism. In the movers and promoters of such a scheme there is too much probability of meeting either with much zeal, or too little,—with fervent sincerity untempered by discretion, or with mere worldly wisdom,—with wild enthusiasts, or with men who look to it only as a politic expedient for supporting a Church which it is their interest to uphold, which they plainly perceive to be in danger, and which they suppose to be even weaker than it is, because they are conscious that they themselves have none of the spirit whereby alone it can be preserved. I know not whether there is more danger from the hot head or the cold heart, but I know which is to be regarded with most dislike. No good work, however, upon any great scale has ever been undertaken in which fanatics and formalists have not thrust themselves forward to make and to mar. Both must be counted on; and if the work go forward with a blessing upon its purpose, both will be made useful.

“You would not concur in any plan the object of which was to create schism in the body of the Methodists. Neither would I bestow a thought upon any such object. But Methodism is already torn by schisms; the specific schism which a mere politic churchman would have wished to bring about, has been made, and in that schism the only organised Methodists are to be found with whom we could cooperate, or who would co-operate with us. For the Revivalists and Ranters are out of the question; and the Conference have something to lose by such cooperation, and nothing to gain by it. The Conference
would not give up its system of confession, even if it were to concede matters less demonstrably mischievous. It would not allow you to be rector in your own parish, nor the bishop to be bishop in his own diocese. Its ministers would stand upon their privileges, preach during the hours of Church service, and administer the sacrament. Instead of assisting you to feed your flock, their aim would be to collect as many of your sheep as they could into their own fold.

“But the Church Methodists, if they are true to their own professions, would be just such auxiliaries as are wanted. The scheme, as relating to any single parish, should seem not to be difficult with their help; they would bring whatever is good in the Wesleyan discipline, rejecting its watch-nights and its confessions; they would act as catechists when parents are unable to perform that duty in their own families; and by their meetings and their local preachers, they would introduce and keep up devotional habits. Much may be done in this way. But for the work of startling the sinner and making the deaf hear, I think that in most places the aid of itinerant preachers will be wanted; and when we come to itinerancy, we come upon the difficulties and some of the dangers of organising, supporting, and governing such a class pf men. Yet these are the men who can ‘create a soul under the ribs of Death,’ these are the firemen who seem to be in their proper element when they are breathing amid flames and smoke; whom practice has rendered as it were fireproof, and who are thus enabled to snatch brands
from the burning. I know not whether any such men have as yet appeared among the Church Methodists; but when work of this kind is to be done, the supply of labourers seldom fails of being equal to the demand.

“In any parish where a society were once methodized, it might be possible to engraft upon their discipline a plan of looking after the sick for the purpose of administering to their bodily necessities. Women might be found to take upon themselves, if not, like the Beguines, the charge of nursing, yet of assisting in, and in some degree superintending it, avoiding, however, any perilous exposure of themselves, and thereby their own families, to infection; for by such exposure the probable evil that may be incurred exceeds the good that can possibly be done.

“There is some hope also (though fainter), that Methodism, thus regulated and kept in subordination, may be rendered useful in another way. The Cooperative societies are spreading, and must spread. I believe that their principle will act upon the whole foundation of society, with a force like that of crystalization. And every society which is formed into a little community of its own, will surely be withdrawn from the national Church, unless by some such aid as that of Methodism it can be kept or brought within the pale. But this is a wide as well as most momentous subject. And it is time that I should conclude.

Believe me, dear Sir,
Yours, with sincere respect,
Robert Southey.”
Mrs. Opie to R. Southey, Esq.
“Tottenham, 6th mo 8. 1829.
“My dear Friend,

“I did not know till our yearly meeting was begun the obligation which thou hadst conferred on me, so little worthy of such an enviable distinction as that of being noticed by thee. I will own to thee, that my first emotion on reading thy animated and eloquent words* was one of uncontrollable anguish, because the bitter recollection instantly came over my mind that he whom they would most have pleased would never see them; but happier feelings succeeded, attended by a strong sense of gratitude to thee.

“On the important subject which thou hast thus brought before my consideration I have not time even to give an opinion, as I am preparing to set off for Paris next fourth day (Wednesday). . . . . I was in hopes of being able to read thy valuable and interesting book through before I wrote to thee, but I have scarcely had an hour of uninterrupted leisure since our yearly meeting closed, and have not read more than a third of the first volume. The introduction is exquisite I think, and amusing enough to allure even common readers to their benefit.

“I intend to turn my visit to Paris to the best account possible; and shall see their hospitals, prisons,

* In the Colloquies, vol. ii. p. 230., my father had mentioned, only not by name, Mrs. Fry and Mrs. Opie, as women prepared by charitable enthusiasm to take the lead in establishing societies for improving hospitals, &c.

&c.; and I hope to spend a month pleasantly and profitably, though in that city of abominations—past, present, and to come.

“It is twenty-seven years since I was there last; what changes in nations, men, and things, have taken place since that time! And how many individuals whom we admired and respected have gone to their long homes since 1802!

“But there is One above ‘who changeth not;’ and from this conviction I always derive consolation, when the sense of what I have lost presses heavily upon me.

“Farewell! with the best wishes for thy happiness, and that of thy interesting group, which I picture to myself in thy library, welcoming the wet and wandering guest.

To Mrs. Opie.

“I should have replied to your letter immediately upon receiving it, if the answer could have reached you before your departure for Paris; because I suspect from one part of that letter, that the copy of my Colloquies which I requested Murray to send you as soon as they were published, had not found its way to you. Should this be the case, I pray you cause inquiry to be made for it of his people. You
might well wonder that having been moved to call upon you as I have there done, I should leave you to hear of it by chance.

“Though far from any approach to Quakerism myself, I have always justified your transition to it, thinking that under your circumstances the change was both a natural and a happy one. I should have been better pleased if you had not consented to corrupt the King’s English, against which debasement, I think, your example, when you conformed in other things, might perhaps have produced some effect; proud of such a proselyte as, however it may seem, the Society must be; not that this is a matter of any moment, except that I do not like to see you conform to anything which is not reasonable and worthy of yourself. But the mere change to a state of religious feeling, and a strict sect, would not have induced me to address you so publicly and pointedly upon a subject which I have very much at heart, from a deep sense of its utility, if I had not heard an expression of yours relating to ‘prison duties,’ which I think (though highly meritorious in itself) is not the best direction which heroic charity can take. But the words proved that that charity had taken possession of you, and that you were ready to follow wherever it might lead.

“You and I have lived in an age of revolutions, and the greatest, as affecting this country, and ultimately the whole of Europe and of the Christian world, is yet to come. The evils of the manufacturing system, and the misery of the poor, are approaching a crisis; and unless some effectual re-
medies are speedily applied, the foundations of society will be overthrown. You will agree with me that moral and religious discipline must be one of those remedies, though we might differ concerning its form. But forms will not stand in the way between us here. Quakers and Moravians will co-operate in any great and good work with a single mind; where other sectarians have always a secondary motive, lurking in all of them, and uppermost in many or in most. . . . .

“I see so distinctly the dangers which beset us, and the only means by which they are to be resisted, that if the objects which I have at heart could be promoted by my preaching in the fields and market places, I would go forth and do so. But my power is in the inkstand, and my place is here, where I will take every opportunity of enforcing upon such of the public as have ears to hear, truths necessary for their political salvation, did they look no farther.

“When I designated you so plainly in that Colloquy, I wrote under the influence of strong feeling; but I have ever since been calmly convinced that I neither spoke too strongly, nor said too much. Amelia Opie, I know no person so qualified, and let me say so prepared, as you to take the lead in a great work of goodness; and if you are of one mind with me in this, I verily believe it will be done.

“God bless you!

Yours with sincere regard,
R. S.”

I place the next letter a little out of order in respect of date as being a reply to the preceding one.

Mrs. Opie to R. Southey, Esq.
“Norwich, 11th mo. 24. 1829.
“My dear Friend,

“Illness and other circumstances over which I have seemed to have no power, have ever since my return to Norwich prevented my writing to thee, though I can say with truth that I have thought of thee every day, and pondered often over thy letter with grateful and increasing interest.

“It reached me at Paris. I did not for a moment think of answering it then, because I was wholly unacquainted with the societies to which it alludes, and could not obtain the necessary information. But on my return to England I found Elizabeth Fry deep in thy book, and believing that she had already made a few steps at least in the career to which thou hast pointed in thy eloquent address to me.

“I did not agree with her as to the expediency of the delay, but consented to accompany her on a visit to Dr. Gooch, the result of which he has probably communicated to thee. He gave us ample information relative to the Co-operative societies, and last night the friend with whom I am staying read aloud an excellent article on that subject in the Quarterly, and I greatly admire many of the plans on which
the society act. I wish it was indispensable for every member to be a religious as well as a moral character. . . . .

En attendant, let me know more of thy views in relation to Elizabeth Fry and myself. Thy letter was truly gratifying to me, but humbling also, as it led me to look into myself and feel how little worthy I am of such an appeal, and how little able to answer it as it ought to be answered.

“I left Paris (where I staid four months and a fortnight at the house of a near and dear relation) with a heart full of love and gratitude towards every person there, but also filled with pity, strong disapprobation, and alarm. Still, when I consider the efforts making by many pious and good persons to spread the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus amongst them, I can answer the question, ‘Can these bones live!’ not only ‘Thou knowest,’ but that I think they will. Farewell!

“I am thy grateful and affectionate friend,

I do not find traces of any further correspondence with Mrs. Opie upon this subject; several other letters, however, passed between my father and Mr. Hornby, chiefly upon the plan of educating a better order of persons as nurses for the poor; and through the exertions of the latter, a beginning was made, which unfortunately was prevented by untoward circumstances from producing any permanent results.

It appears that Mr. Hornby, in concert with Adam Hodgson, Esq. of Liverpool, undertook to
set on foot an institution for this purpose as an experiment, and to maintain it for two years. They hired a house, engaged a matron, received a number of inmates, and had educated and sent out some few as nurses. Other individuals now became anxious to join them in the responsibility and superintendence; and there not being a sufficient unity of purpose among all the managers, the scheme, which was prospering admirably, fell to the ground. As soon as it appeared that they were educating a valuable class of persons, it was sought to make them available to the upper classes as monthly nurses; and this being an entire perversion of the original plan, Mr. Hornby and Mr. Hodgson withdrew at the end of the two years, and the whole scheme quickly fell to the ground.

The autumn of the year was marked by a great change in the household at Greta Hall. From the time of my father’s first settling at Keswick, where it will be remembered he found Mr. and Mrs. Coleridge residing, she and her only daughter had formed part of the family circle, and now the latter was to change, not her name (for she was about to marry her cousin, the late Henry Nelson Coleridge), but her state and residence; and Mrs. Coleridge was about to take up her permanent residence with them. This, of course, was like the parting with a sister.

To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Sept 19. 1829.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . I will tell you Murray’s opinion of the Colloquies. The sale, he says, would have been tenfold greater if religion and politics had been excluded from them! The profits, I dare say, will be very little. . . . .

“My third volume of the War is in the press, and my hand has been only taken from it for a short interval, that I might do the needful work of reviewing, by which alone does it seem practicable for me to keep clear with the world. I have written for the London Review a short, but very interesting account of Lucretia Davidson, an American poetess, killed, like Kirke White, by over-excitement, in her seventeenth year. It is a most affecting story. There have been three papers of mine in that work; in the first, second, and fifth numbers; and, as they promise that there shall be no farther delay in payment, I should not like to withdraw from it. . . . .

“I might be paid at the same rate for Sharpe’s London Magazine; but, when that was converted into a magazine, it passed from the hands of Allan Cunningham into those of Theodore Hook and Dr. M’Ginn, with neither of whom did I wish to associate myself. . . . .

“But I am looking forward with much satisfaction
to next year, as setting me free from the
Peninsular War, and thereby leaving me at liberty to commence printing the History of Portugal. I shall be able to live by reviewing, and yet win time enough from that employment to compose this history from the materials which have been so long in preparation, and to carry it through the press. And I shall get by it something better than money: the profits, indeed, cannot be so small as to disappoint me, or to make me in the slightest degree indisposed to the task.

“The best news I can send you of myself must be something like an echo of your own letter,—that I go on working steadily, with little to hope, but cheerfully, and in full belief that the situation in which I am placed is that which is best for me. Had I kept the path wherein I was placed, I might have been a bishop at this day,—probably should have been; and therefore I bless God even for having gone astray, since my aberrations have ended in leading me to a happier, a safer, and (all things considered) a more useful station.

“If there be a later history of Bristol than Barrett’s, it must be a better one; there is no earlier. I do not know the spot which you call the Furies’ Parlour by that name; but I could show you some haunts of mine upon those Downs, and in that neighbourhood, which I know not whether I should have most pain or pleasure in revisiting. Henry Coleridge and his bride are now lodging in Keswick: her mother departs next week, and then we part after six-and-twenty years’ residence under the same roof.
All change is mournful, and, if I thought of myself only, I should wish to be in a world where there will be none. . . . .

“I want to finish the biographical letter in my desk; but you would pity me if you knew what I have in head, and in hand, and at heart, and saw the continual interruptions which cut up my time in large slices, or fritter it away. Withal I have the blessing of being sound in body once more, and can ascend the mountains with something like the strength, and all the spirits of youth. I had more to say of projects, and of approaching evils and dangers; of which we are likely to see the beginning, but not the end. I was born during the American Revolution, the French Revolution broke out just as I grew up, and my latter days will, in all likelihood, be disturbed by a third revolution, more terrible than either. God bless you, my dear friend!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
To —— ——
“Oct 1829.
“My dear Sir,

“I have not seen Landor’s second edition, though Colburn was desired to send it me. Your judgment of the book is quite in conformity with mine, if (as I suppose) you except a few dialogues from the general censure, one or two being (to my feeling)
nearly perfect. What you have heard me say of his temper is the best and only explanation of his faults. Never did man represent himself in his writings so much less generous, less just, less compassionate, less noble in all respects than he really is. I certainly never knew any one of brighter genius, or of kinder heart.

“I am pleased, also, to find you expressing an opinion respecting Milton and Wordsworth which I have never hesitated to deliver as my own when I was not likely to do harm. A greater poet than Wordsworth there never has been, nor ever will be. I could point out some of his pieces which seem to me good for nothing, and not a few faulty passages, but I know of no poet in any language who has written so much that is good.

“Now, ——, I want you, and pray you to read Berkeley’s Minute Philosopher*; I want you to

* To the same friend he writes at another time:—“It is because your range of reading has lain little in that coarse that you suppose religious subjects have rarely been treated in a philosophical spirit I believe you have cast an eye of wonder upon the three folios of Thomas Jackson’s works, and that it would be hopeless to ask you to look into them for the philosophy and the strength of faith, and the warmth of sincere religious belief with which they abound. I do not recommend you to Dr. Clark as a philosophical writer, because I have never yet had an opportunity of reading him myself; but I believe you would find head-work to your heart’s content there. But I again recommend you to Berkeley’s Minute Philosopher and to Philip Skelton’s works.

“But he did not arrive at his belief by philosophical reasoning; this was not the foundation, but the buttress. Belief should be first inculcated as an early prejudice,—that is, as a duty; then confirmed by historical evidence and philosophical views. Whether the seed thus sown and thus cultivated shall bring forth in due season its proper fruit, depends upon God’s mercy. Butler, I believe, was a very pious man, though the bent of his mind was towards philosophical inquiry; but you may find among our divines, men of every imagin-

learn that the religious belief which
Wordsworth and I hold, and which—I am sure you know in my case, and will not doubt in his—no earthly considerations would make us profess if we did not hold it, is as reasonable as it is desirable; is in its historical grounds as demonstrable as anything can be which rests upon human evidence; and is, in its life and spirit, the only divine philosophy, the perfection of wisdom; in which, and in which alone, the understanding and the heart can rest. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Herbert Hill, Esq.

“Last year we were at this time looking for your arrival, and well pleased should we all be could we look for it now. I have been somewhat of a rambler of late. Having paid a short, though long-deferred visit at Lowther towards the latter end of last month, I joined Henry Coleridge and Sarah at Penrith, on their way to London, at noon one day, and, on the evening of the next, they dropped me at Ripon. We saw Rokeby in the morning (a singularly beautiful place), where I called on Mr. Morritt, whom I

able variety of disposition and genius coming to the same centre of truth. The older I grow, the more contentment I find in their writings.”

had not seen for seventeen years; and, on the way to Ripon, we saw Richmond.

“My visit near Ripon was to Mrs. Hodson, known as a poetess by her maiden name of Margaret Holford. One day I dined at Studley, but it was so wet a day that it was impossible to go to the Abbey, or see the grounds there. Another day Mr. Hodson took me to Aldborough, where are many Roman antiquities, and to the place where Paulinus is said to have baptized some thousand Saxons in the river Swale. Another day I was at Newby (Lord Grantham’s), where there is a fine collection of statues. Lady —— had contrived to introduce herself to me in the morning by a move which it required a good deal of the effrontery of high life to effect. The most interesting person whom I saw during this expedition was Mr. Danby of Swinton Park, a man of very large fortune, and now very old. He gave me a book of his with the not very apt title of ‘Ideas and Realities;’ detached thoughts on various subjects. It is a book in which his neighbours could find nothing to amuse them, or which they thought it behoved them to admire; but I have seldom seen a more amiable or a happier disposition portrayed than is there delineated. . . . .

“This was a ten days’ absence. I have since made a three days’ visit to Colonel Howard at Levens, between Kendal and Milnthorpe, whom I knew by the name of Greville Upton when he was in college at Westminster, and had not seen since. He married an heiress, and took her name, taking with it
four large estates, with a mansion upon each, in Westmoreland, Staffordshire, Surrey, and Norfolk. Such fortune has not often been so bestowed upon one who has made so good use of it. Levens is an old house of Elizabeth’s age, and fitted up as in that age, with carved chimney-pieces, oak wainscots, and one room is hung with gilt leather. The gardens are in the old fashion, and, perhaps, the best specimen now remaining of their kind. They are full of yew trees cut into all imaginable and unimaginable shapes. One of them is called
Dr. Parr, from its likeness to his wig. A guest who dines there for the first time is initiated by a potent glass (called the Levens’ constable) of a liquor named Morocco, the composition of which is a family secret. It is like good strong beer, with a mixture of currant wine. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear Herbert!

R. S.”