LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

My father’s apprehensions concerning the state and prospects of the country at this time may, perhaps, to persons reading them now, appear exaggerated and unfounded; and, indeed, we are often apt to think lightly both of our own fears and those of others when the danger has passed by. But these feelings were not confined to himself, for many others shared them fully. Every reader of Sir Walter
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 173
Scott’s life will remember with what fears he had viewed the approach of the present crisis. Mr. Rickman, with a cool clear head and with peculiar opportunities of knowing the feelings and wishes of the various parties in the House of Commons, saw the danger clearly, at the same time that he believed it would be averted. Mr. Wordsworth, too, looked at the prospects of the country and the signs of the times with the darkest apprehension, and not being endowed with such elastic spirits as my father, was occasionally much depressed by his fears.

It must, however, be remembered that, notwithstanding the opinion my father held of the pernicious tendency of the measures the Whig party were then advocating,—opinions confirmed and strengthened by the means adopted to carry those measures, and by the feelings with which so many of the poorer classes regarded them,—yet he had never lost heart, hope, or a confidence that there was that stability in the country which, under Providence, would withstand the shock.

But he had other causes for looking gloomily at the course of events,—private reasons as well as political ones. “The Great Trade,” as it has been called, shared in the general stagnation. Men’s minds were too full of the stirring politics of the time to read anything except newspapers and pamphlets, the sale of his own works was altogether at a stand, and publishers naturally were unwilling to enter into new engagements. The Quarterly Review was suffering from its being on the unpopular side, and he was beginning to fear lest his main support should
fail him; yet his spirits did not fail him, and in a little time the prospect began to look brighter.

To the Rev. Neville White.
“Keswick, June 3. 1832.
“My dear Neville,

“Though the old-fashioned wish of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year would now be after date, it is not too late to express a wish that God’s blessing may be with you and yours in this year and in all the years that shall follow it, and that His special mercy may protect you, whatever evils this nation may be afflicted with.

Lord Althorpe thinks the arrival of the cholera is the greatest national calamity that could befall us; this he says, because being Chancellor of the Exchequer, he dreads the effect which an extended quarantine must produce upon the revenue; and truly, after the experiments in free trade, and the repeal of taxes which has cut down the national income without affording the slightest perceptible relief to any portion of the people, he may apprehend this consequence.

“It is many years ago, long before the Colloquies were begun, that the likelihood of a visitation of pestilence occurred to me, when thinking of the condition of this country and the ways of Providence. Considering the condition of the poor, the miserable population which the manufacturing system had collected in great bodies, and the zeal with which the
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 175
most mischievous opinions were propagated, I thought, with David, that pestilence was the lightest evil that could be expected, and therefore that, perhaps, it was the likeliest.

“The possibility of such a political crisis as the present was never in my thoughts. Who, indeed, could have dreamt that we should ever have a Ministry who would call in the mob for the purpose of subverting the constitution! The fearful question which a few months must resolve is, whether pestilence will arrest the progress of revolution, or accelerate it, by making the populace desperate. Nothing can more dangerously tend to make them so than the opinion which is given in all the newspapers that it is a disease from which the more fortunate classes seem to be exempt; and that unclean habits, crowded habitations, and poor diet render men peculiarly liable to it.

“10th. On the morning after I had written the above, the Ballot for January 1. was sent me, where in the leading article, ——, by whom it is edited, endeavours to excite the populace by means of the cholera, telling them that they and they alone are the marked victims of this pestilence; and that it is oppression which has made them so I and that the rich are safe, because they are rich, and have all the comforts of life!

“The King I am told, will make as many peers as his Ministers choose; and nothing then remains for us but to await the course of revolution. I shall not live to see what sort of edifice will be constructed out of the ruins; but I shall go to rest in the sure
confidence that God will provide as is best for His church and His people.

“My tenderest regards to your dear mother, and those of my fireside to you and yours.

“God bless you, my dear friend!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
To the Rev. James White.
“Keswick, Feb. 6. 1832.
“My dear James,

“The endless round of occupation in which my days are past, has prevented me from thanking you, as long ago I ought and intended to have done, for the trouble and the care which you took for, and of, my daughter. This delay lies on my conscience for another reason, though happily what I have to say is not yet too late; it is to give you my most serious and earnest opinion, that when the cholera reaches Manchester, your duty is not to look after the sick. Upon the Roman Catholic system it would be; it is not upon the principle of the Reformed Church. The progress of the disease is too rapid, and when it proves fatal, its effects are also too violent, to admit of any good being done by religious instruction: this matter I have talked over with Mr. Whiteside here, and he entirely agrees with me. Preach rousing sermons to your people, tell them death is at their doors, and exhort them to hold themselves in readiness for his summons. Do as you are doing to pre-
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 177
pare against the evil by other means, but do not expose yourself unnecessarily to infection when it comes. No man is less likely to take it than you are; your very ardour being the best prophylactic; but you are not to presume upon that.

“I think it would be prudent, if those who have authority were to enjoin that the funeral service should not be performed where the disease is raging in individual cases, nor even over many at one time; but that when the disease has ceased, there should be a general service in every place for those who have died of it; this would much lessen the spread of the contagion, and have a solemn effect at last.

“One good I confidently hope for from this visitation. The preparatory measures of precaution have made the squalid misery of the lower orders matter of public notoriety. What you and I have so long known, and what was always known to those whose business or duty leads them among the poor, is now brought publicly to the knowledge of those who, if not ignorant of it, might at least excuse their gross inattention to this great and crying evil, by affecting to be so. They who are insensible to the moral evils of such poverty, and even to its political dangers, may be roused by the physical consequences, when they see it acting as a recipient and conductor not only for sedition and rebellion, but for pestilence also. . . . .

“There will be only a short paper of mine in the next Quarterly Review upon Mary Colling’s Fables. You will be interested with her story, and amused
perhaps with the Introduction of the Poet-Laureate of Trowbridge.

“Pray remember me to Mr. Swain when you see him. I had been much pleased with his poems, and was not less pleased with him; for, indeed, he seemed to be in all things such as I could have wished to find him.

“To-night I begin the last chapter of the Peninsular War, and you may well suppose that I shall proceed rapidly, seeing the end so near.

“Take care of yourself; that is, do not attempt more than flesh and blood can perform. You can do no greater good to others than by sparing yourself, and keeping yourself in health for the service of some more manageable flock in a different sort of pasture.

“God bless you, my dear James!

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Feb. 18. 1832.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . I know no one who has been pursued by such a series of unmerited afflictions: one may use such language in speaking of calamities that are brought on by the actions of our fellow-creatures. . . . .

If I had been called to Cheltenham, I should certainly have gone on to Bristol. But as yet I have
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 179
received no further intelligence from thence, than a few lines from the poor old
Doctor’s secretary, informing me of his death, and saying that when the trustees arrived, official information would be sent to me.* I persuade myself that it is not likely I shall be called from home, disagreeable as it would be, and especially inconvenient at this time.

“No man can care much about public affairs when his own troubles are pressing heavily upon his heart and mind. But I greatly fear that the time is hastening on when public concerns will affect the vital interests of every individual. Wordsworth is made positively unhappy by this thought. I should be so, if my mind were not constantly occupied, for I see most surely that nothing but the special mercy of Providence can save us from a revolution; and I feel also that we have much more reason to fear the Almighty’s justice, than to rely upon his mercy, in this case; yet I rely upon it, and keep my heart firm in that reliance.

“Feb. 20.

“Yesterday brought me the expected letter from Dr. Bell’s trustees. He has left me 1000l. He had left me also his furniture, &c., but this he revoked in

* “I have just received news of Dr. Bell’s death from his faithful secretary Davies, who says that ‘official information will be dispatched to me when the trustees arrive.’ When it comes, I fear it may call me to Cheltenham; but certainly I shall not go if the business can be done by proxy. Poor old man, he is now at rest from his discovery, which was a perpetual torment to him whatever good it may ultimately produce to others. But I had a great liking for the better parts of his strongly marked character; and his death, though expected, and for his own sake long to have been desired, takes full possession of my mind just now and troubles it.”—To H. Taylor, Esq., Jan. 31.

a codicil a few days before his death, giving some unintelligible reason for so doing, and adding at the same time a bequest of 100l. to my dear
Isabel*, as his godchild; his memory, therefore, had completely failed him at that time. The legacy to me is the largest he has left; and most welcome it is, as something on which I may rely (as far as anything dependent upon the fearful insecurity of human life, and of all our social institutions in these days, may be relied on,) for Cuthbert’s support at Oxford; it relieves me from any difficulty respecting means, if he and I should live so long, and this frame of things should be kept together.

“I collect from the trustees’ letter, that Dr. Bell changed his intention concerning the publication of his works, which he had desired Wordsworth and myself to superintend; but it seems he still wished and expected that I should draw up an account of his life. Upon this I shall have further information, no doubt, in due time. Poor man! the last letter I received from him told me that he had bequeathed to me his furniture, and that therefore I must be prepared to set off for Cheltenham as soon as I should be informed of ‘an event which could not be far distant.’ If I had done so, how uncomfortably should I have felt on my arrival there! . . . . God bless and support you, my dear friend, and bring you through all difficulties into a peaceful port.

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”

* Isabel Southey died in 1826.

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 181
To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, March 2. 1832.
“My dear H. T.,

“. . . . . In how different a situation should we now be if Ministers had looked to the real evils of the country, and left the imaginary ones alone! The great remedy for pauperism can be nothing but constant emigration, to which I would have all pauper children destined who are orphans, or whose parents have deserted them: they are easily transported, easily settled, and in this manner best provided for. Always bearing in mind that the country cannot be healthy unless the great drain of emigration is kept open, the means of more immediate relief which I should look to would be, from bringing wastes into cultivation, thinking it profit enough if those who must otherwise be supported by the public can raise their own food there.

“I wish Government would employ ——— upon a digest of the agricultural surveys,—a work of national importance, for which he is peculiarly qualified, and in the course of which much would suggest itself upon this very subject of the poor.

I like your simile of the pyramid*, and am con-

* “I shall be very glad to see the third volume of the Peninsular War appear. It will be a great work, I suppose the greatest of its kind, and yet I should almost regret to see you engage again in any narrative of so much detail; a great portion of the labour bestowed upon such a work must be not of a kind to bring into play the faculties of your mind in all their extent and variety, and I doubt whether now or henceforward die growth of literature will admit of works being

tent with it,—content that the work should be a lasting one, and though seen by few heard of by many. The commonwealth of Readingdom is divided into many independent circles. Novel and trash readers make by much the largest of the communities; I think the religious public rank next in numbers; then perhaps come those who affect poetry: history is read by those only who are desirous of information, and of these very few like to have it at length, or indeed can afford time for it. But in every generation there are some. My story belongs to a brilliant part of our own history, and to a most important one in that of two other countries; it is sure, therefore, of a place in the Bibliotheca Historica of all three.

“The History of Portugal, if I live to execute it, will be my best historical work. There, as in the Brazil, industry in collecting materials, and skill in connecting them, may be manifested, and a great deal brought to light which will be deemed of no little interest in the history of European society, and of the human mind. A good deal of the Peninsular story required, as you observe, little more than the mere patience of detailing it on my part; but the whole has an entireness of subject which can belong to the history of very few wars, and an interest from the importance of the cause and the peculiarity of the circumstances, which is quite as uncommon. I believe none of my works have been read with more

constructed on such a scale. This sort of Great Pyramid will be allowed to be a wonderful structure, but it will not be commonly resorted to.”—H. T. to R. S., Feb. 28. 1832.

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 183
eagerness by those into whose hands it has come, and you know I never look for a wide public. It is more profitable to have your reputation spread itself in breadth; I am satisfied with looking to the probable length of mine. God bless you!

R. S.”

The next letter was in reply to one containing some overtures from some of the authorities at Durham, as to whether my father would be disposed to accept a Professorship of History in that university. The fact of his being willing to listen to and consider the details of an offer of this kind, at his age, and with his habits, shows that a change had come over him, and that a settled income had become a matter of far greater importance in his eyes than formerly.

This scheme, however, as he anticipated, soon fell to the ground, the remuneration it was intended to offer not being such as he could prudently have accepted.

To George Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, March 3. 1832.
“My dear Sir,

“Your letter which I have this day received proposes for my consideration a question of prudence,

* With reference to the offer he says, in a letter to Mr. Bedford, after stating that it is solely from prudential motives, he “deemed it right to listen to the overture. It is not in the natural or fitting coarse of things that I should be put in harness at an age when I ought rather to be tamed oat to grass for the remainder of my days.”

which can be answered only when the particulars are made known. At present I can say no more than that it is a matter in which my inclinations shall not be allowed to have more than their due weight; but that it must be no inconsiderable advantage which could induce me to alter my habits of life, and divide the remainder of it between two places of abode; for though not so rooted here as to be absolutely irremovable, I am leased to the spot, and my library also binds me to it. Perhaps no consideration could induce me wholly to leave it; but Durham is an easy distance, and periodical migrations, though attended with some discomfort, would probably be wholesome for my family, and not hurtful to myself.

“But I will dismiss from my mind at present all thoughts of this kind, and of the difficulties and objections on one side, and on the other the plans which would readily present themselves to be sketched and shaped. It would be losing time to think of these things now; only I may say, that my estimate of what would be to be done goes far beyond Mr. ——’s. My consideration would be, not with how little labour I might go through the functions of the Professorship, but how I might best discharge them for the benefit of those whom I should have to address, and for my own credit hereafter.

“Farewell, my dear Sir. Present our kind remembrances to Mrs. Taylor, and believe me always

Yours, with great and sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 185
To H. Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, March 7. 1632.
“My dear H. T.,

“. . . . . Most men play the fool in some way or other, and no man takes more delight in playing it than I do, in my own way. I do it well with children, and not at all with women, towards whom, like John Bunyan, ‘I cannot carry myself pleasantly,’ unless I have a great liking for them. Most men, I suspect, have different characters even among their friends,—appearing in different circles in different lights, or rather showing only parts of themselves. One’s character being teres atque rotundus, is not to be seen all at once. You must know a man all round—in all moods and all weathers—to know him well; but in the common intercourse of the world, men see each other in only one mood—see only their manners in society, and hear nothing that comes from any part lying deeper than the larynx. Many people think they are well acquainted with me who know little more of me than the cut of my jib and the sound of my voice.

“The probabilities, I think, are much against the Durham scheme. It will not appear to them worth their while to make it worth mine; they will consider what, according to common prudence, they might be expected to afford; as I must what, upon the same ground, I ought to accept. The two prudentials are
not likely to agree, and they will never know what they lose in failing to engage me, for were I to live and do well, my work would be worth far more to them than my name. God bless you!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, April 1. 1832.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“If you had been within reach of me a week ago, when I wrote Laus Deo at the end of the Peninsular War, I should have taken my hat and my walking-stick, and set out for the satisfaction of singing ‘O be joyful’ in your presence, and with your aid. The volume since I wrote to you in December has outgrown my expectations by more than a hundred pages, so much more detail have I been led into by my materials than at first sight had been anticipated. . . . .

“From this you will conclude that I am in good health, and in good spirits, notwithstanding the dismal prospect of public affairs. On private scores, however, I have uneasiness enough; of which it were useless to speak where no good can be obtained. . . . .

“As for the likings or dislikings, Grosvenor, which are formed at first sight, or upon casual acquaintance, no one who has lived long in the world will attach more importance to them than they deserve. Complicated as every human character must be, we like
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 187
or dislike just that part of it which happens to present itself to our observation; and perhaps the same person, in another point of view, makes a very different impression. It is so with countenances; and it is so even with natural scenery. Upon a second journey I have sometimes looked in vain for the beauties which delighted me on the first; and, on the other hand, I have discovered pleasing objects where I had formerly failed to perceive them. I know very well in what very different lights I myself must appear to different people, who see me but once, or whose acquaintance with me is very slight: not a few go away with the notion that they have seen a stiff, cold, reserved, disobliging sort of person; and they judge rightly as far as they see, except that no one should be deemed disobliging merely for taking no pains to make himself agreeable where he feels no inclination to do so.

“This I think is the greatest disadvantage that notorious authorship brings with it. It places one in an unfair position among strangers: they watch for what you say, and set upon you to draw you out, and whenever that is the case, in I go like a tortoise or hodmandod into my shell. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear G.!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, April 15. 1832.
“My dear G.,

“There are Greek and English Lexicons now; but if your nephew is intended for a public school, the better way, as he would be a day-boy (which I look upon to be the greatest of all advantages), would be to send him to Westminster as soon as he was fit for the second form: I do not say for the petty, because the work of the first two years may probably be as well got at home in six months. Had I lived in London, Cuthbert should certainly have gone to Westminster as a day-boy. There is in schemes of education, as in every thing else, a choice of evils: no safe process—that is impossible. My settled opinion is, that the best plan is a public school, where the boy can board at home: upon this I have no doubt. When he cannot, the question between public and private education is so questionable, that in most cases a feather might turn the scale. With me it was turned by the heavy weights of distance and expense, and the consideration that life is uncertain; and by educating my son at home, I was at least sure of this, that his years of boyhood would be happy.

“Your godson, whom you are not likely to see unless you come to Keswick, is nearly, if not quite, as tall as his godfather, though he completed his thirteenth year only in February last. His knowledge of Greek is about as much as I carried with
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 189
me into the fifth form; his Latin rather less than I brought to Westminster, the truth being that I am not qualified to teach him either critically; but what he lacks can be superadded easily in due time. We went through the Pentateuch (omitting the Levitical parts), Joshua, and Judges, in your present of the Septuagint, and read the same portion of the Bible on the same day in German and Dutch. Having got so far, I substituted
Herodotus for the Septuagint, and added the Swedish to our biblical readings. We now read Herodotus and Homer on alternate days. God alone knows what may be appointed for him or for me. . . . .

“I am reviewing Lord Nugent’s Life of Hampden, with the intention of winding up with some remarks on the present state of affairs. One of the amiable correspondents of the Times asks, in to-day’s paper, whether I am one of the Duke of Wellington’s advisers!—a question which shows how much this fellow knows either about the Duke or me.

“God bless you!

R. S.”

“The Cattery of Cats’ Eden congratulate the Cat-without-a-name upon his succession in Stafford Row.”

To Charles Swain, Esq.
“Keswick, May 1. 1832
“My dear Sir,

“Do not look upon my invitation to you as a matter of politeness, a motive from which I never act further than the common law of society requires.

“Respect for you and your talents, and the use you have made of them, was my motive. Your poetry is made of the right materials. If ever man was born to be a poet, you are; and if Manchester is not proud of you yet, the time will certainly come when it will be so.

“Come when you will and stay as long as you can, I shall be sincerely happy to receive you here. I wish you were with us now; the sun shines, the birds are busy, the buds beginning to open. There is a vernal spirit abroad which carries joy to young hearts, and brings the best substitute for it to those whose season for joy is past, not to return again.

“God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
To the Rev. J. W. Warter.
“Keswick, June 20. 1832.
“My dear Warter,

“. . . . . Oxford or Cambridge are good places of residence
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 191
for men who having stored their minds well want well-stored libraries which may enable them to pursue their researches and bring forth the fruits of them. But the plant which roots itself there will never attain any vigorous growth. The mind must be a very strong and a very active one which does not stand still while it is engaged in tutoring, and both universities now are little more than manufactories in which men are brought up to a certain point in a certain branch of knowledge; and when they have reached that point, they are kept there.

“But, after all, knowledge is not the first thing needful. Provided we can get contentedly through the world, and (be the ways rough or smooth) to heaven at last, the sum of knowledge that we may collect on the way is more infinitely insignificant than I like to acknowledge in my own heart. Indeed, it is not easy for me always to bear sufficiently in mind that the pursuits in which I find constant interest and increasing enjoyment, must appear of no interest whatever to the greater part not merely of mankind, but of the educated part even of our own countrymen. I forget this sometimes when I am wishing for others, opportunities by which perhaps they would not be disposed to profit. . . . .

“I wish I could answer Sarmento’s question to my own satisfaction. If I could follow my inclinations, a week would not elapse before the History of Portugal would be in the press. But this work can only have that time allotted to it which can be won from works of necessity, and that not yet. I
hope my affairs are in such a train that next year it will become my chief object in those subsecive hours, for which I can find no English word. Once in the press it would go on steadily; for the subject has been two-and-thirty years in my mind. So long is it since I began not merely to collect materials, but to digest them, and for at least two thirds of the history, I have only to recompose in the process of transcribing what has long been written. I believe no history has ever yet been composed that presents such a continuous interest of one kind or another, as this would do, if I should live to complete it. The chivalrous portion is of the very highest beauty, much of what succeeds has a deep tragic interest; and then comes the gradual destruction of a noble national character brought on by the cancer of Romish superstition.

“But I have other letters to write by this post, and therefore must conclude. God bless you!

R. S.”
To the Rev. W. Lisle Bowles.
“Keswick, July 30. 1832.
“My dear Sir,

“This morning I received your St. John in Patmos, two months after the date of the note which accompanied it: this is mentioned, that you may not think I have been slow in acknowledging and thanking you for it. I have just read the poem through, and
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 193
with much pleasure. Yours I should have known it to have been by the sweet and unsophisticated style; upon which I endeavoured, now almost forty years ago, to form my own. You have so blended the episodical parts, that they do not in any degree disturb the solemn and mysterious character of the whole.

“You will not, I am sure, suppose that I could for even a moment feel hurt by your remarks in the preface. After haying reviewed in the Quarterly Review Grahame’s Georgics, Montgomery’s Poems, and his World before the Flood, and Lander’s Count Julian, I found it necessary to resolve that I would not review the work of any living poet. Applications to me from strangers, and from others in all degrees of acquaintanceship, were so frequent, that it became expedient to be provided with a general reason for refusing, which could offend no one; there was no other means of avoiding offence. Many would otherwise have resented the refusal, and more would have been more deeply displeased if they had not been extolled according to their own estimate of their own merits. From this resolution I did not consider myself as departing when I drew up the account of Mary Colling; her story and her character interested me greatly, and would, I thought, interest most readers. I wished to render her some service, and have the satisfaction of knowing that this has been in some measure effected. It was a case wherein a little praise, through that channel, might be the means of producing some permanent benefit to one who has gentle blood in her veins, and whose sweet
countenance, if you look at her portrait, will say more in her favour than any words of mine could do.

“I have no wish to encourage the growth of humble authors, still less of adventurers in literature, God knows. But I earnestly wish, especially in an age when all persons can read, to encourage in all who have any love of reading that sort of disposition which would lead them to take pleasure in your poems, and in mine, and in any which are addressed, as ours always have been, to the better feelings of our nature. The tendency of our social system has long been to brutalise the lower classes, and this it is that renders the prospect before us so fearful. I wish to see their moral and intellectual condition as much as possible improved; it seems to me that great improvement is possible, and that in bettering their condition the general good is promoted.

“Would that there were a hope of seeing you here, that I might show you this lake and these mountains, and these books, and talk with you upon subjects which might make us forget that we are living in the days of William IV., Earl Grey, the Times newspaper, and the cholera morbus. God save the first, and deliver us from the rest!

Believe me, my dear Sir,
Yours, with sincere respect and regard,
Robert Southey.”
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 195
To the Rev. Neville White.
“Keswick, August 19. 1832.
“My dear Neville,

“It rarely happens in these times that the post brings me any matter for rejoicing; but it never at any time brought me a communication which gave me more thorough delight than your letter which arrived this morning. You have now the reward of your deserts, and it is no slight comfort to see that desert has been thus rewarded. All circumstances, too, are as you could have wished them to be. For though your lot has not fallen in a beautiful country, it is near Norwich, and therefore a desirable location for you. Walpole is a name which from childhood I have regarded with good will, and henceforth I shall regard it with still better.

“I shall certainly look in upon you on my next journey to London. When that may be I know not; but certainly not before the springs and perhaps not so soon. Engagements will keep me to the desk, and, happily, inclination would never take me from it.

“I shall like dearly to see you in your Rectory: to a certain degree you will once more have to form new habits; but in this instance the change is likely to be salutary.

“I dare say that the duties of your parish will be much less fatiguing than those in which you engaged as a volunteer in Norwich; and they will be more agreeable, because, in a little while, as soon as your parishioners know you, you will perceive the fruits
of them. Any clergyman who does his duty as you will do it, must soon be loved by his flock, and then no other station in life can be so happy.

“I wish James were emancipated from his bondage, and settled as his bishop ought to settle him, where he might enjoy the well-deserved reward of his labours, and some rest from them.

“Much against my will, I am going to Lowther Castle on Friday next, to remain till Monday. Lord Lonsdale asks me in so kind a manner, saying that he is always unwilling to take me from my employments, that I cannot refuse to go; and his object is, to introduce me to Lord Mahon, whom I know only by letter, but whose way of thinking and pursuits make him desire to become acquainted with me. It is gratifying to perceive that there are persons growing up whose minds have been influenced by my writings, and that here and there the seed which during so many years I have been casting on the waters, has taken root, and is beginning to bring forth fruit after its kind.

“God bless you, my dear Neville! With the kindest congratulations and remembrances of my household, and my own especially to your dear mother and your wife, believe me always,

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 197
To John Rickman, Esq.
“Keswick, Oct 15. 1882.
“My dear R.,

“I have been working hard upon a paper on French affairs, which I shall finish to-morrow. A pamphlet by Prince Polignac furnishes the text and much of the matter for it. This was sent me by Sir Robert Adair, who is his particular friend, and I have since, through the same channel, had a letter from the poor prisoner himself.* Adair has also sent me a curious pamphlet, written to vindicate the Belgian revolution from the disgrace of having anything in common with the last French one.

“It is very difficult to foresee anything in the present state of Europe. Nothing could have seemed more improbable than the preservation of peace thus long. If it be still preserved, the struggle between the Government and the Chamber will go on till the nation distinctly see that it is, in fact, a question whether there is to be any government or none; and then the least unlikely termination would be, that Soult would enact the part of Monk, and Louis Philippe make a merit of having acted as king, in order to preserve the monarchy till he could safely transfer it to the legitimate prince. To this, or to another military despotism, it must come.

“Last night we had the M. of Hastings here, who voted with the Ministry, and now apprehends

* See Appendix.

the consequences.
Wynn thinks there is a reaction in the country; C——, on the contrary, believes revolution to be imminent and inevitable. I will not say that every thing depends upon the new elections, but much certainly does; and I suspect that the Radicals, when the time comes, will be found much more alert and active than their opponents are prepared to expect, or, perhaps, to withstand. We are only sure of one Conservative member from this county, Matthias Attwood’s success being doubtful.

“Oddly enough, while American notions of government are obtaining ground in Europe, the United States themselves seem likely to be disunited, and give practical proof of the instability of any such system. No doubt our West Indian planters would call upon America to receive them into the union, and be received accordingly, if the slave question were not likely to be the cause of quarrel between the southern states and the Congress. Most likely I shall write a paper upon this question for the Christmas number. From the way in which the emancipators on the one hand, and the colonial assemblies on the other, are proceeding, we shall soon have those islands in the condition of St. Domingo. . . . .

Murray has published a letter to himself by Lord Nugent, which letter abuses me by name, à-la-William Smith. It has been published more than a fortnight, and he has never sent it me, nor do I know anything of it, except at second hand from a newspaper. If I should think it worth while to take any notice of this attack, it will be very briefly, and
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 199
through the newspapers; bat I must make myself angry before I can bestow even the little time upon such a business which it would require.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, March 1. 1833.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . If any one had told me that I should ever feel an anxious interest in any promise of the Lord Chancellor Brougham’s, it would have seemed a most improbable supposition; and yet I am now solicitous about two of his promises,—that to which you are looking, and that which he made to Henry about the Lunacy Commission. I have known men who make promises without the slightest intention of keeping them, rather with the full intention of never performing them. This is not Brougham’s case: in such things he does not look so far forward; and he is a good-natured man, much too good-natured ever to raise hopes, meaning to disappoint them. . . . .

“This year will not pass away without greater changes than the last. It is already apparent that the reformed Parliament will not work. Government by authority has long been defunct. Government by influence, was put to death by the Reform Bill, and nothing is left but Government by public opinion.


“I have gone through the whole evidence concerning the treatment of children in the factories, and nothing so bad was ever brought to light before. The slave trade is mercy to it. We know how the slave trade began and imperceptibly increased, nothing in the beginning being committed that shocked the feelings and was contrary to the spirit of the age. Having thus grown up, it went on by succession, and of later years has rather been mitigated than made worse. But this white slavery has risen in our own days, and is carried on in the midst of this civilised and Christian nation. Herein it is that our danger consists. The great body of the manufacturing populace, and also of the agricultural, are miserably poor; their condition is worse than it ought to be. One after another we are destroying all the outworks by which order and with it property and life are defended; and the brutalised populace is ready to break in upon us. The prelude which you witnessed at Bristol was a manifestation of the spirit that exists among them. But in the manufacturing districts, where the wages of the adults are at a starvation rate, and their children are literally worked to death,—murdered by inches,—the competition of the masters being the radical cause of these evils, there is a dreadful reality of oppression, a dreadful sense of injustice, of intolerable misery, of intolerable wrongs, more formidable than any causes which have ever moved a people to insurrection. Once more I will cry aloud and spare not. These are not times to be silent. Lord Ashley has taken up this Factory Question with all his heart, under a deep religious
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 201
sense of duty. I hear from him frequently. If we are to be saved, it will be, I will not say by such men, but for the sake of such men as he is,—men who have the fear of God before their eyes and the love of their fellow-creatures in their hearts.

“God bless you, my dear friend! Remember me most kindly to your two daughters; and believe me always yours most affectionately,

R. Southey.”
To the Lord Bishop of Limerick.
“Keswick, March 6. 1833.
“My Lord,

“I am greatly obliged to you for your edition of Burnet’s Lives, made still more valuable by the Introduction, the Prefaces, and the Notes with which they are enriched. No books are read with more interest than such as this, and none are likely to do so much good.

“The Americans seem more awake to the uses of exemplary biography than we are. They lose no opportunity of pronouncing funeral orations; and in what may be called the ordination charge of an Unitarian minister, the old pastor recommends that biographical discourses should be delivered from the pulpit, occasionally instead of sermons, instancing as fit subjects such men as Watts, Lindsey, and Howard. This will remind you of the Roman Catholic practice to which we are indebted for such books as the Flos Sanctorum.


“But the American Unitarians come nearer to the Romanists on more dangerous ground. Two volumes have lately been sent me from New England of sermons by James Freeman, a very old and very amiable man, exceedingly beloved and reverenced by his friends and his flock. Had they come to me as a collection of essays, in which anything religious or devotional might or might not incidentally be introduced, I should have been pleased with the happy disposition that they indicate, the benevolent spirit that pervades them, and their occasional felicity of expression, and I may add with what might then have deserved to be called, their unobtrusive piety. But as discourses from a grey-haired pastor to his people, I could not peruse them without sorrow; nor, indeed, sometimes without astonishment. He tells his congregation, ‘Alms, when they are bestowed from pious and benevolent principles, will carry you to Heaven: they will deliver you from death, and never suffer you to descend into a place of darkness. This is rendering, it may be said, the path to everlasting happiness very plain and easy. True; but I do not render it easier and plainer than the Scriptures have made it.’

“No wonder that the Roman Catholics increase at Boston, as they do in Holland, and elsewhere, wherever such Christianity is preached. ‘The Almighty,’ he says, ‘sent down from His throne such men as Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton to enlighten the world.’

“In an Ordination Charge he says, ‘In this age of the Church it is unnecessary that you should read
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 203
the Fathers, except for improvement in morals and devotion, because others have read them for you, and have extracted from them almost all the facts that they contain.’

“These are some of the fruits which Puritanism has brought forth in America. It seems as if in our own country the experiment was about to be repeated of improving the vineyard, by breaking down the fences, and letting the cattle and the wild beasts in. The crisis is probably very near at hand: I see my way much more distinctly into it than out of it. For the last two years it has been evident that O’Connell has formed an alliance offensive and defensive with the political unions. He relies upon them either to frighten the Ministers out of their coercive measures by a demonstration of physical force, embodied, mustered, and ready to take the field; or, if they fail in this, he expects them to hoist the tricolour flag, and march upon London whenever he gives the signal for rebellion in Ireland. Brandreth’s insurrection in 1817, the projected expedition of the Blanketeers a little later, and the Bristol riots, were all parts of a widely concerted scheme, which has only been from time to time postponed till a more convenient season, and is now thoroughly matured, and likely to be attempted upon a great scale whenever the leaders of the movement think proper. I am not without strong apprehensions that before this year passes away, London may have its Three Days.

“But earnestly as such a crisis is to be deprecated, I do not fear the result. It may even come in time
to save us from the otherwise inevitable overthrow of all our institutions by the treachery and cowardice of those who ought to uphold them. The Whigs will never give over the work of destruction which they have so prosperously begun, till the honester Destructives are armed against them, and threaten them with their due reward. The sooner therefore that it comes to this, the better.

“Meantime there is a comfort in seeing by the London election that a great change has taken place in public opinion there: there is a comfort in knowing that the Church of England and of Ireland could never at any time have been better able to bear hostile inquiry, and to defend themselves than now; above all, there is a never-failing comfort in a constant reliance upon Providence, and this, God be thanked, I am enabled to feel.

“I beg my kindest remembrances to Mr. Forster; and remain, with the greatest respect.

My Lord,
Your Lordship’s obliged and obedient servant,
Robert Southey.”
To the Rev. Neville White.
“Keswick, April 10. 1833.
“My dear Neville,

“Your letter, which I have this morning received, came when I was just about to reply to that of March 11th. You may judge how my other correspondents
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 205
fare, by the length of time that your letters remain unanswered; there being none which I receive more gladly, or to which I reply with more interest. And yet more than half my mornings are consumed in letter-writing; though as far as possible I have, from necessity, cut off all useless correspondence, and curtailed the rest.

“Now, my dear Neville, to the other part of your letter,—the uses and the danger of the Church Establishment. I will touch upon one of its uses which happened to be noticed in conversation yesterday with Wordsworth, by the way-side. He mentioned of what advantage the Church of England had been to that great body of Dissenters, among whom the Unitarian heresy has spread; and your country was particularly instanced. A great part of the Presbyterian congregations lapsed with their preachers, as sheep follow the bell-wether; but of those who remained orthodox, the majority found their way into the right fold. They held the doctrines of the Church before in the main, differing from them only in points where our Articles most wisely have left room for difference; and they now found by experience the insufficiency of their own discipline; and the want of such a standard as the Establishment preserves.

“Public property the Church indeed is; most truly and most sacredly so; and in a manner the very reverse of that in which the despoilers consider it to be so. It is the only property which is public; which is set apart and consecrated as a public inheritance, in which any one may claim his share, who is properly
qualified. You have your share of it, I might have had mine. There is no respectable family in England some of whose members have not, in the course of two or three generations, enjoyed their part in it. And many thousands are at this time qualifying themselves to claim their portion. Upon what principle can any government be justified in robbing them of their rights?

“Church property neither is, nor ever has been public property in any other sense than this. The whole was originally private property, so disposed of by individuals in the way which they deemed most beneficial to others, and most for the good of their own souls. How much of superstition may have been mingled with this matters not. Much of this property was wickedly shared among themselves by those persons who forwarded the Reformation as a scheme of spoliation; and in other ways materially impeded its progress. Yet they did nothing so bad as the Whig Ministry are preparing to do; for they, no doubt, mean to give to the Romish clergy what they take from the Irish Protestant Church.

“You should read Townsend’s pamphlet upon Lord Henley’s absurd and mischievous schemes. It is a most able and manly composition; and the name and character of the writer carry weight with them.

“God bless you!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 207
To A. Alison, Esq.
“Keewick, April 17. 1833.
“My dear Sir,

“I am much obliged to you for your History. It reached me on Monday evening last, so that I have only had time to run through the whole, and peruse those parts which arrested me.

“A better book could not possibly have been made upon that subject within the same limits; nor could the subject be treated in a manner more likely to be in the highest degree useful,—if anything in these times could be addressed with effect to the understanding of an infatuated nation.

“The events which you have so vividly described, are fresh in my memory, for I was just old enough to take the liveliest interest in them as they occurred; and young enough for that interest to have all the eagerness of hope. I thought as highly of the Girondistes as you have spoken of them, but was too young and too ignorant to see their errors as you have done. I entered, therefore, warmly into their views; and no public event ever caused me so much pain as the fate of Brissot and his associates,—till I lived to see our own constitution destroyed. Few of that party hold the same place in my estimation now—perhaps only Isnard and Vergniaud, for their speeches (which is all that we know of them), and Madame Roland, whose great qualities cannot be estimated too highly. But of the rest, too many were as profligate as they were superficial and irreligious.
Brissot, who was in some respects the best of them, has been greatly lowered in my mind since I read two volumes of his Memoirs, and a collection of nine volumes of his works. He was an amiable man in his private relations; but as a man of letters not above the third or fourth rank; and that enthusiasm which sometimes supplied to him the place of sound principle could not supply his want of judgment.

“I do not see the name of Helen Maria Williams among your references; if you have not seen her letters you would find in them more particulars concerning this party than in any other work that has fallen in my way. With all the contemporary works I am well acquainted; later ones I have not happened to meet with, and have not sought. The best that I have met with relating to the early period is Puisaye’s,—the two or three first volumes,—his latter volumes relate chiefly to the miserable intrigues among the emigrants; but there is some very interesting matter respecting his own life among the Chouans. I have been twice in company with Puisaye, and never saw a finer countenance, nor one that I could more readily have confided in.

“Are you accurate as to Barrere’s death?* I very well remember that in 1805 or 1806 the newspapers said he was attached to the French embassy at Lisbon; and though this was not the case, the impression upon my mind is, that he was employed under Buonaparte’s government.

* This observation was quite just, and was corrected in the next edition.—A. A.

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 209

“You have a good word for General Biron at his death. If this were the ci-devant Duc, he was altogether unworthy of it, having been one of the most profligate and thoroughly worthless of the French nobility.

Danton and Robespierre quarrelled at one of the political clubs, before the 10th of August: high words ended in a challenge: they met, and the duel was prevented by the interference of an Englishman, who went out as a second to the one, and represented to them how injurious it would be to the cause of liberty if either of them should fall. That Englishman was the present James Watt of Soho; and from him I heard this remarkable fact.

“But I must conclude, once more thanking you for the book, which is everything that such a book ought to be in all respects, except that for my own gratification I wish this part of your subject had been extended to four volumes, instead of being compressed into two; the booksellers and the public would no doubt be of a different opinion, but it is because men are too busy or too idle to read what ought to be read, that they who engage in state affairs are ignorant of what they ought to know; and hence the consequences that we have seen, and those which we may foresee.

“I very well remember, when you and Mr. Hope came in upon our cheerful party. Our friend Mr. Telford, whom I saw here last, was depressed in spirits by his growing deafness; this was more than two years ago, and I fear that the cause is not likely to be removed at his age.


“Should any circumstance lead you into this country, I hope you will give me an opportunity of shaking you once more by the hand, and own me a fellow-labourer in the field of history.

Believe me, my dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”

My father’s fondness for cats has been occasionally shown by allusion in his letters, and in The Doctor is inserted an amusing memorial of the various cats which at different times were inmates of Greta Hall. He rejoiced in bestowing upon them the strangest appellations; and it was not a little amusing to see a kitten answer to the name of some Italian singer or Indian chief, or hero of a German fairy tale, and often names and titles were heaped one upon another, till the possessor, unconscious of the honour conveyed, used to “set up his eyes and look” in wonderment. Mr. Bedford had an equal liking for the feline race, and occasional notices of their favourites therefore passed between them, of which the following records the death of one of the greatest.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, May 18. 1833.
“My dear G.,

“. . . . . Alas, Grosvenor, this day poor old Rumpel was found
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 211
dead, after as long and happy a life as cat could wish for, if cats form wishes on that subject.

“His full titles were:—

“The Most Noble the Archduke Rumpelstiltzchen. Marquis Macbum, Earl Tomlemagne, Baron Raticide, Waowhler, and Skaratch.

“There should be a court mourning in Catland, and if the Dragon* wear a black ribbon round his neck, or a band of crape à la militaire round one of the fore paws, it will be but a becoming mark of respect.

“As we have no catacombs here, he is to be decently interred in the orchard, and cat-mint planted on his grave. Poor creature, it is well that he has thus come to his end after he had become an object of pity. I believe we are each and all, servants included, more sorry for his loss, or rather more affected by it, than any one of us would like to confess.

“I should not have written to you at present, had it not been to notify this event. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.

“Did I tell you that my History of Brazil has led the English merchants who trade with Monte Video to claim an exemption from certain duties; the Attorney-General pronounces that they have established a primâ facie claim to that exemption; the

* A cat of Mr. Bedford’s.

officers of the customs are instructed to act upon that opinion; and one house alone saves 1200l. by this, by their own statement to me, for I have had several letters upon the subject, soliciting information during the inquiry. . . . . ”

To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, May 20. 1833.
“My dear Friend,

Dr. Bell’s amanuensis (Davies) has arrived at Keswick, with the poor Doctor’s papers: he is established in lodgings at the bottom of the garden, and I go to him every morning at seven, and remain with him till nine, inspecting a mass of correspondence which it will take several months to go through. Dr. Bell, from the time he went to India, in 1787, seems to have preserved every paper—first, for the interest which he took in them, and latterly, no doubt, with a persuasion that whatever related to him would be deemed of importance by posterity, and with a sure conviction that the more fully he was known the higher would be the opinion formed of his character; and this is certainly the case till the latter part of his life, when his own System obtained such complete possession of his heart and soul as to leave room for nothing else.

“My acquaintance with him began in 1809, but it was not till two or three years afterwards that I
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 213
began to know him intimately, and then I believe there was no person among the connections of his latter life for whom he entertained a more sincere regard. From that time it was his wish that I should undertake the office which has now been committed to me, and I have great pleasure in thinking that his life and correspondence will not disappoint the expectations which he had formed.

“Having been several weeks at this task, I have now become as well acquainted with the first half of his life as the most unreserved letters could make me; and this has made me understand how little we know of men with whom we become acquainted after a certain age, and upon what different foundation the friendships of boyhood, of youth, and of maturity rest; but, withal, the older they are (like good Rhenish wine) the finer is the relish. If you and I had first met in London ten years later than we did in Lisbon, our intimacy could never have been what it is.

“This Session of Parliament is not likely to pass over without some fearful struggle. The mob in London stand in fear of the soldiers, and still more of the police. The want of such a police has given them the upper hand at Manchester, Birmingham, and Sheffield, and elsewhere; and, in the confidence of their union and their numbers, it seems to me more than probable that they will attempt a simultaneous march upon London, such as the Blanketeers intended about fourteen years ago. In that case there will be an insurrection in London, unless they are stopped on the way and defeated; and well will it
be if the metropolis suffers nothing worse than it did in 1780. This is certain, that if any resistance to the revolutionary spirit is intended by the Government, it must be made soon, and made effectually, otherwise there will be no security for life or property in England. Meantime, I am not distressed with anticipations of evil: near as it may be, it does not yet disturb me when I lie down at night, nor enters into my dreams. We are in the hands of Providence; and though I do not see by what human agency it is to be brought about, I know that the Almighty can deliver us, and feel as if he would.

“God bless you, my dear old friend!

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
To Allan Cunningham, Esq.
“Keswick, June 3. 1833.
“My dear Allan,

“Thank you in my own name, and in my daughter Bertha’s, for the completing volumes of your Painters. The work is very far the best that has been written for the Family Library, and will continue to be reprinted long after all the others with which it is now associated. I do not except the Life of Nelson from this; the world cares more about artists than admirals after the lapse of centuries; and as long as the works of those artists endure, or so long as their conceptions are perpetuated by engravings, so long will
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 215
a lively interest be excited by their lives, when written as you have written them.

“Give your history of the rustic poetry of Scotland the form of biography, and no bookseller will shake his head at it, unless he is a booby. People who care nothing about such a history would yet be willing to read the lives of such poets, and you may very well introduce all that you wish to bring forward under cover of the more attractive title. The biography of men who deserve to be remembered always retains its interest.

“Are you right as to Lawrence’s birthplace? The White Hart, which his father kept at Bristol, is in the parish of Christ Church, not St. Philip’s, which is a distant part of the city.

Sir George Beaumont’s marriage was in 1774, the year of my birth; he spent that summer here, and Faringdon was with him part of the time, taking up their quarters in the little inn by Lowdore. Hearne, also, was with him here, either that year or soon afterwards, and made for him a sketch of the whole circle of this vale, from a field called Crow Park. Sir George intended to build a circular banqueting room, and have this painted round the walls. If the execution had not always been procrastinated, here would have been the first panorama. I have seen the sketch, now preserved on a roll more than twenty feet in length.

Sir George’s death was not from any decay. His mother lived some years beyond ninety, and his health had greatly improved during the latter years of his life. He was never better than when last in
this country, a very few months before his death. The seizure was sudden: after breakfast, as he was at work upon a picture, he fainted; erysipelas presently showed itself upon the head, and soon proved fatal.

“I know that he painted with much more ardour in his old age than at other times of his life, and I believe that his last pictures were his best. In one point I thought him too much of an artist: none of his pictures represented the scene from which he took them; he took the features, and disposed them in the way which pleased him best. Whenever you enter these doors of mine, you shall see a little piece of his (the only one I have), which perfectly illustrates this: the subject is this very house, and scarcely any one object in the picture resembles the reality. His wish was, to give the character,—the spirit of the scene. But whoever may look upon this picture hereafter, with any thought of me, will wish it had been a faithful portrait of the place.

“He was one of the happiest men I ever knew, for he enjoyed all the advantages of his station, and entered into none of the follies to which men are so easily tempted by wealth and the want of occupation. His disposition kept him equally from all unworthy and all vexatious pursuits; he had as little liking for country sports as for public business of any kind, but had a thorough love for art and nature. And if one real affliction or one anxiety ever crossed his path in any part of his life, I never heard of it. I verily believe that no man ever enjoyed the world more; and few were more humbly, more wisely, more
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 217
religiously prepared for entering upon another state of existence.

“He became acquainted with Coleridge here, before I came into this country; this led to his friendship with Wordsworth, and to his acquaintance with me (for more than acquaintance it can hardly be called). He has lodged more than once in this house, when it was in an unfinished state: this very room he occupied before the walls were plastered.

“Next to painting and natural scenery, he delighted in theatricals more than in anything else. Few men read so well, and I have heard those who knew him intimately say, that he would have made an excellent actor.

“Thank you for your good word in the Athenæum. I had not heard of it before: little of the good or evil which is said of me reaches this place; and as I believe the balance is generally largely on the wrong side (enmity being always more on the alert than friendship), my state is the more gracious. The new edition of Byron’s works is, I think, one of the very worst symptoms of these bad times.

“I am glad to hear of your sons’ welfare; they will all find your good name useful to them through life.

“Since this letter was begun, the influenza laid hold on me and all my children; all except Cuthbert had it very severely. I was completely prostrated by it for a full week, and it has left me emaciated and weak, nor, indeed, is my chest yet completely rid of it However, I begin to walk about, and have resumed my usual habits.


“God bless you, my dear Allan! My daughter joins in kind remembrances to Mrs. Cunningham. Believe me always,

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.
To Lord Mahon.
“Keswick, Oct 22. 1833.
“My dear Lord Mahon,

“Long ago I ought to have thanked you for your paper, which had been so unbecomingly interpolated in the Quarterly Review. And now, having just completed that portion of our naval history which has never been brought together, I was about to have done this with my first leisure, when you give me a second occasion for thanks, both on my own part and on Cuthbert’s, whose eyes were lit up upon finding himself thus unexpectedly remembered.

“The French play is French indeed; and in its own way far exceeds Calderon’s Cisma de Inglaterra. I shall place it among my curiosities. The Loi sur l’instruction Primaire I am glad to possess, because the subject must, ere long, take up much of my thoughts, when preparing for the press the Life and Correspondence of Dr. Bell. This task will lead me to inquire into the history of scholastic education, its present state, primary schools, Sunday schools,—the good and the evil,—the too much and the too little. There are no other means by which the cha-
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 219
racter of society might so beneficially and so surely be changed; but even in this the practical difficulties are so many, that the man must have either great warmth of enthusiasm, or great strength of principle, who is not rendered almost hopeless when he contemplates them.

“Your account of the state of affairs in France is almost what I should hare wished it to be. Louis Philippe, in his own country, at least, is a Conservative; and if the Duc de Bordeaux ever succeeds to the throne (which, if he lives, I think, as well as hope, he will), it were better both for him and for France that some years should have their course before this restoration takes place;—better for him, because he must acquire more knowledge in his present condition than he possibly could as a reigning prince; and better for France, because in a few years death will have removed those persons whom it might be alike injurious to punish or to pardon. When vengeance has been long delayed, its just infliction seldom fails to call forth compassion, even for great criminals: and a still worse effect has followed in all restorations when old adherents are neglected, and old enemies not only forgiven, but received into favour, and trusted and rewarded. For these reasons, and because the citizen king will govern with a stronger hand than the legitimate king, I incline to wish that Louis Philippe may reign long to curb his subjects, and break in the people to habits of obedience, by the vigorous exercise of his power.

“This reminds me of the spirit which is breathed in the Corn Law Rhymes. I have taken those
poems as the subject of a
paper for the Christmas Review, not without some little hope of making the author reflect upon the tendency of his writing. He is a person who introduced himself to me by letter many years ago, and sent me various specimens of his productions, epic and dramatic. Such of his faults in composition as were corrigible, he corrected in pursuance of my advice, and learnt, in consequence, to write as he now does, admirably well, when the subject will let him do so. I never saw him but once, and that in an inn in Sheffield, when I was passing through that town. The portrait prefixed to his book seems intentionally to have radicalised, or rather ruffianised, a countenance which had no cut-throat expression at that time. It was a remarkable face, with pale grey eyes, full of fire and meaning, and well suited to a frankness of manner, and an apparent simplicity of character such as is rarely found in middle age, and more especially rare in persons engaged in what may be called the warfare of the world. After that meeting I procured a sizarship for one of his sons; and the letter which he wrote to me upon my offering to do so, is a most curious and characteristic production, containing an account of his family. I never suspected him of giving his mind to any other object than poetry, till Wordsworth put the Corn Law Rhymes into my hands; and then, coupling the date of the pamphlet with the power which it manifested, and recognising also scenery there which he had dwelt upon in other poems, I at once discovered the hand of my pupil. He will discover mine in the advice which I shall
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 221
give him. It was amusing enough that he should have been recommended to my notice as an uneducated poet in the
New Monthly Magazine.

“In such times as these, whatever latent evil there is in a nation is brought out. This man appeared always a peaceable and well-disposed subject, till Lord Grey’s ministry, for their own purposes, called upon the mob for support; and then, at the age of fifty, he let loose opinions which had never before been allowed to manifest themselves, and the fierce puritanism in which he had been bred up burst into a flame. . . . .

And believe me always,
Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”
To the Rev. J. Miller.
“Keswick, Nov. 16. 1833.
“My dear Sir,

“The ‘suggestions,’* which I have to thank for your welcome letter, came to me about three weeks ago, from Mr. Charnock of Ripon, through Mrs. Hodson—the Margaret Holford of former days.

* “The ‘Suggestions’ here spoken of were entitled—‘Suggestions for the Promotion of an Association of the Friends of the Church;’ but the association never was formed. The practical result was ‘The Oxford Tracts;’ but the whole theory and management fell into other (and exclusive) hands; so that any direct influence and work of the ‘Suggestions’ must ever remain unknown and undefined. Perceval’s and Palmer’s Narratives of the Theological Movement tell all that is to be told on the subject.”—J. M.

With whom they have originated I have not heard, nor do I sufficiently understand what is hoped for from the proposed association, or how it can act. But that any association formed on such principles will have my cordial good wishes, and all the support that I can give it in my own way, you need not be assured.

“Among the many ominous parallelisms between the present times and those of Charles the First, none has struck me more forcibly than those which are to be found in the state of the Church; and of those, this circumstance especially—that the Church of England at that time was better provided with able and faithful ministers than it had ever been before, and is in like manner better provided now than it has ever been since. I have been strongly impressed by this consideration; it has made me more apprehensive that no human means are likely to avert the threatened overthrow of the Establishment; but it affords also more hope (looking to human causes) of its restoration.

“The Church will be assailed by popular clamour and seditious combinations; it will be attacked in Parliament by unbelievers, half-believers, and misbelievers, and feebly defended by such of the Ministers as are not secretly or openly hostile to it. On our side we have God and the right. Οίστέον καί έλπίστεον must be our motto, as it was Lauderdale’s in his prison. We, however, are not condemned to inaction; and our hope rests upon a surer foundation than his.

“He, no doubt, built his hopes upon the strange
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 223
changes which take place in revolutionary times. Some of those changes are likely to act in our favour. The time cannot be far distant when the United States of America, instead of being held up to us for an example, will be looked to as a warning. Portugal and Spain will show the egregious incapacity and misconduct of the present administration. And
Louis Philippe, becoming a conservative for his own sake, must also seek peace and ensue it; ‘because the liberal principles to which France would appeal in case of a continental war would overthrow his throne. It cannot be his policy to excite revolutionary movements in other countries, while all his efforts are required for repressing them at home. Our revolutionary ministers, therefore, will not find so ready an ally in him, as he might find in them, if it were his object to bring on a general war. And if we get on without any financial embarrassments (which we may do, as long as peace is maintained), there will be no violent revolution here. We may have an easy descent; and when the State machine has got to the bottom, and is there fast in the quagmire, the very people who have made the inclined plane for it, and huzzaed as it went down with accelerated speed,—when they see what the end of that way is, will yoke themselves to it to drag it up again, if they can, with labour and with pain.

“I am constitutionally cheerful, and, therefore, hopeful. God has blest me with good health and buoyant spirits; and my boyish hilarity has not forsaken me, though I am now in my sixtieth year.

“Of late I have been employed, profitably for
myself, and, therefore, necessarily, in Messrs.
Longman’s great Cabinet manufactory. I am now preparing a friendly lecture to the Corn Law Rhymer in the Quarterly. I taught him, as he says, the art of poetry, and I shall now endeavour to teach him something better, and bring him to a sense of his evil ways. I shall endeavour also to prepare for the same number, as a sort of companion or counterpart to the lives of Oberlin and Neff, a life of the Methodist blacksmith, Samuel Hick, who was born without the sense of shame, and, nevertheless, was useful in his generation.

“But I am preparing for an undertaking of some importance—the Lives of the English Divines, upon a scale like that of Johnson’s Lives of the Poets—to accompany a selection from their works, in monthly parts. An introductory part, or volume, will bring down the history of religious instruction to the reign of Elizabeth. If this plan be executed as it is designed, it cannot but be of great use. It has been long in my thoughts; but I have so much to do that it cannot possibly be started till the commencement of the year after next; and I do not look to so distant a date without a full sense of the instability of human life. Meantime, however, I work on, and lay new foundations, and form new schemes; and am not only eating and drinking and buying books (the only ‘buying and selling’ with which I have any concern), but, moreover, giving in marriage. . . . .

“And now that I have told you all that most
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 225
concerns myself, dear Sir, farewell! Remember me to your brother and sister; and believe me always,

Yours with sincere respect and regard,
Robert Southey.”

Various allusions have already been printed respecting The Doctor, the most extraordinary and perhaps the most original of any of my father’s works. It seems probable, that in the first instance the idea of this book arose out of the plan of The Butler (see Vol. II. p. 335.), in which he so vainly endeavoured to persuade Mr. Bedford to engage; but The Butler was to have been pure nonsense, relieved only by occasional glimmerings of meaning, to deceive the reader into the idea that there was meaning in all the rest, while the nonsense in The Doctor bears only a small proportion to the other portions.

What the original story of The Doctor and his Horse was I am not able to say accurately. I believe it was an extremely absurd one, and that the horse was the hero of it, being gifted with the power of making himself “generally useful,” after he was dead and buried, and had been deprived of his skin. There was to have been a notable horse in The Butler also, but he was of different “metal” to this one (see Vol. II. p. 355.), and to skin him would not have been an easy matter—being akin to—
“That famous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did pass,”


The Doctor being once commenced (in 1813), was occasionally taken up as an amusement; and the earlier portions of it are plainly written at a time when his spirits rose higher than they ever did in later years. It then became, as it were, a receptacle for odd knowledge and strange fancies, and a means of embodying a great deal—both of serious and playful matter, for which a fitting place could not easily be found in other works.

It had now lain by for many years, additions having been made to it from time to time; and its existence being known only to few persons, my father determined upon publishing two volumes anonymously, and continuing it if it paid its expenses. Mr. Bedford had long been in the secret, and Mr. H. Taylor had lately been admitted; through them, therefore, all arrangements were made for the publication; and that his well-known handwriting might not betray him, the MS. was all copied before it went to the press.

This book, or at least the greater part of it, having been written before I was born, and not much thought of for some years, it happened at first from accident that I was ignorant of its existence, and it then occurred to my father to preserve this ignorance intact, that it might both afford amusement to himself, and be of use in mystifying others. All the copying, correcting, &c. had, therefore, been carried on without my knowledge,—no easy matter, for, with a boy’s inquisitiveness, I had been used to take great interest in the progress of everything of the kind.

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 227

When, therefore, the first two volumes were published, and arrived, bearing “from the Author,” written in a disguised hand, I well remember my father putting them aside with a kind of disdain, with the expression “some novel, I suppose;” although to seize upon them, and cut them open would have been a great delight to him; and the rest of the family, though equally anxious to see the long-looked-for Doctor on his first appearance as a book, were obliged to wear an indifferent aspect towards it.

It happened fortunately for the furtherance of their plan, that the Rev. James White (brother of Kirke White) was then a visitor in the house, having come to officiate at the marriage of my eldest sister with the Rev. J. W. Warter; and as he thoroughly appreciated the book, and knew enough of my father to have some faint suspicions now and then of the truth, my ignorance aided considerably to mystify him; and our combined enjoyment of the humorous parts, and the conversation we carried on about it, was a source of infinite amusement to those who were more enlightened. After some weeks had elapsed, my father came down one day, and saying to me that I had often asked him for one of his manuscripts, and that now he had one for me he thought I should value, he put into my hands the MS. of The Doctor. My amazement can be more easily imagined than described.

But these were almost the last bright moments of our home. My eldest sister was on the point of leaving it for another; and deeper sorrows were hard at hand.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Jan. 10. 1834.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“. . . . . The books arrived a few days since; this I believe you have already been told. But I have not told you how much amusement Cuthbert afforded us on this occasion. The whole business of transcribing, receiving, correcting, and returning proof sheets (to say nothing of the original composition), has been so well concealed from him, that whenever he knows the truth it will be difficult for him to conceive how he can possibly have been kept in ignorance. From this ignorance we anticipated much entertainment, and have not been disappointed, When I went down to dinner he told me with great glee, that the book which had come that morning was one of the queerest he had ever seen. He had only looked into it, but he had seen that there was one chapter without a beginning, and another about Aballiboozonorribang (for so he had got the word), which whether it was something to eat, or whether it was the thing in the title-page he could not tell; for in one place it was called the sign of the book, and in another you were told to eat beans if you liked, but to abstain from Aballiboozo.

“At tea he was full of the chapter about the warts and the moonshine, and all the philosophers in the dictionary. At supper he was open-mouthed about the sirloin of a king, and the schoolmaster’s rump; he would read to me about the lost tribes of Israel;
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 229
and concluded by wishing he had not seen the book for he should be troubled by dreaming about it all night.

“To-day he says that there is more sense in the second volume, but he does not like it so well as the first. That there is not much in the book about the Doctor; and, indeed, he does not know what it is about, except that it is about everything else; that it was very proper to put &c. in the title-page; that the author, whoever he is, must be a clever man, and he should not wonder if it proved to be Charles Lamb. You may imagine how heartily we have enjoyed all this.

“A letter from Wordsworth tells us that the book has just arrived there, and that one of W.’s nephews (a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a very clever and promising person,) had got hold of it, was laughing while he looked over the contents, and had just declared that the man who wrote the book must be mad.

“God bless you, my dear Grosvenor!

R. S.”
To Henry Taylor, Esq.
“Keswick, Jan. 16. 1834.
“My dear H. T.,

Edith departed yesterday from the house in which she was born. God grant that she may find her new home as happy as this has been to her,—
though the cheerfullest days of this have long been past. Her prospects are fair; and, what is of most consequence, she is entrusted to safe hands.

“As my household diminishes, there will be room for more books. These I shall probably continue to collect, as long as I can; living in the past, and conversing with the dead,—and The Doctor,

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, May 2. 1834.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . The days pass so rapidly with me because of their uniformity, that I am made sensible of their lapse only by looking back, and feeling with surprise, and sometimes with some sorrow, and some shame also, the arrears which they have brought upon me in their unheeded course.

“See how the day is disposed of! I get out of bed as the clock strikes six, and shut the house-door after me as it strikes seven. After two hours with Davies*, home to breakfast, after which Cuthbert engages me till about half-past ten, and when the post brings no letters that either interest or trouble me (for of the latter I have many), by eleven I have done with the newspaper, and can then set about

* Mr. Davies, the late Dr. Bell’s secretary, was then lodging in Keswick, within five minutes’ walk of Greta Hall.

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 231
what is properly the business of the day. But letters are often to be written, and I am liable to frequent interruptions; so that there are not many mornings in which I can command from two to three unbroken hours at the desk. At two I take my daily walk, be the weather what it may, and when the weather permits, with a book in my hand; dinner at four, read about half an hour; then take to the sofa with a different book, and after a few pages get my soundest sleep, till summoned to tea at six. My best time during the winter is by candle-light: twilight interferes with it a little; and in the season of company I can never count upon an evening’s work. Supper at half-past nine, after which I read an hour, and then to bed. The greatest part of my miscellaneous work is done in the odds and ends of time. . . . .

“To make any amendment of the Poor Laws what it ought to be, one leading principle should be, that while relief is withheld from the worthless pauper, or administered only in such measure as to keep him from famishing, it should be afforded to the deserving poor (as it could then be afforded) more liberally; and that none should be condemned to a workhouse but those who deserve it as a punishment. It should be made apparent that all industrious labourers, all of good character, would gain by the proposed alteration. For every possible artifice and exertion will be used to make the people believe that this is a law passed by the rich against the poor; and there never was a time when it was more easy to stir
up a servile war, nor when such a war would have been so greatly to be dreaded. May God preserve us! . . . .

“It is needless to say how gladly I would use any endeavours in my power towards effecting your wishes with regard to the Poor Commission, or in other ways. They are worth little, I well know, but, however little, they shall be zealously made when we know in what channel they must be directed. We may see great changes, and, perhaps, great troubles, before the appointments are made; for, though Louis Philippe has won one great battle for us, we may yet have another to fight at home. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear old Friend!

Yours most affectionately,
R. S.”
To Lord Mahon.
“Keswick, May 12. 1834.
“My dear Lord Mahon,

“Thank you for Sir Robert Peel’s speech. I do not wonder at the effect which it produced. But could it be believed of any ministers, except the present, that in the course of a week after the close of the debate in which that speech was delivered, they should have returned to their old base policy of complimenting and truckling to O’Connell?

“In reading that entertaining paper upon the
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 233
modern French drama in the last
Quarterly Review, I fancied that we were obliged to you for it. It is indeed, curiously characteristic of the people and the times.

“You will, I think, be pleased with the forthcoming play upon the history of Philip van Artevelde. The subject was of my suggesting, as eminently dramatic, and the first part (which is all that I have seen), is written with true dramatic power. But so was the author’s former tragedy, Isaac Comnenus, which met with few readers, and was hardly heard of. To obtain immediate popularity an author must address himself to the majority of the public—and the vulgar will always be the majority,—and upon them the finer delineations of character and of human feeling are lost.

“If you have not seen Zophiel* it is well worth your reading, as by far the most original poem that this generation has produced. If —— or —— had treated the same subject, they would have made it most mischievously popular; but exceptionable as it is, the story is told with an imaginative power to which the one has no pretensions, and with a depth of feeling of which both were by nature incapable. The poem has attracted no notice; the chief cause of the present failure I suppose to be that it is not always perspicuously told. The diction is surprisingly good; indeed, America has never before produced any poem to be compared with it.

“The authoress (Mrs. Brooks) is a New Englander,

Zophiel, or the Bride of Seven, by Maria del Occidente.

of Welsh parentage. Many years ago she introduced herself to me by letter. When she came to this place, and sent up a note to say she had taken lodgings here, I never was more surprised, and went to call upon her with no favourable expectations. She proved, however, a most interesting person, of the mildest and gentlest manners, and my family were exceedingly taken with her. Coming fresh from Paris she was full of enthusiasm for the Poles, for whom the profits of this poem were intended if there should be any: and she had a burning thirst for fame, which seems now to have become the absorbing passion of her most ardent mind. I endeavoured to prepare her for disappointment by moderating her confident hopes. She left her manuscript in my hands at her departure. When I had failed to obtain a publisher for it, some of her American connections engaged with a bookseller in Great Queen Street; and I corrected the proof sheets.

“Believe me, my dear Lord,

Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq,
“Keswick, July 8. 1834.
“My dear G.,

“I have been prevented from writing before, first, by being too busy with proof-sheets and letters; and secondly, by being too idle,—company and the season having idled me. . . . .

Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 235

“The day before yesterday I commanded a cart party to Honister Crag, and walked the whole way myself, twenty-one-and-a-half miles by Edward Hill’s pedometer, without difficulty or fatigue. So you see, that notwithstanding a touch of the hay-asthma, I am in good condition, and have a pair of serviceable legs.

Henry Taylor’s Tragedies are of the very best kind. I am exceedingly glad that you have taken to one another so well. He is the only one, now living, of a generation younger than yours and mine, whom I have taken into my heart of hearts.

“I certainly hope that you may be set free from all official business, with such a pension as your long services and your station entitle you to. For I have no fears of your feeling any difficulty in the disposal of your time, or any other regret for the cessation of your long-accustomed business, than what always belongs to the past; and what in this case may arise from the dissolution of an old establishment, which for the very sake of its antiquity ought to have been preserved. You will get more into the country than you otherwise could have done; and you will come here and take a lease of health and good spirits from the mountains. I shall pass through London with Cuthbert, on our way to the west, in the autumn. Our stay will hardly exceed a week. . . . .

“Just now I am very busy, finishing a third volume of Naval History. This is my sheet anchor. In the way of sale The Doctor has clearly failed; yet it may be worth while to send out another volume,
and so, from time to time, at longish intervals, till the design is completed. This may be worth while because the notice that each will excite will keep the name alive, and act advantageously when it comes to be included in the posthumous edition of my works. Meantime, the pleasure that I and my household, and a very few others who are behind the curtain, will receive, will be so much gain. It will not be amiss to throw out hints that
Henry Taylor may be the author; having shown in his plays both the serious and the comic disposition and power.

“My cousin, Georgiana Hill, is here for the first time, and as happy as you may suppose a girl of eighteen is likely to be on such an occasion. Did I tell you that I have a pony, the best of ponies (given me by Sir T. Acland)? and I have bought a light chair, in which Cuthbert or Bertha drive out their mother. If I could give you a good account of her, all would be well. But her spirits are so wretchedly nervous, and I begin to fear so hopelessly so, that I have need of all mine.

“God bless you, my dear G.! My love to Miss Page.

R. S.”

The following letter was addressed to a party from one of the universities, who were at that time reading at Keswick, and it is inserted for the sake of showing how strong was his abhorrence of all cruelty. I have seen his cheek glow, and his eye darken and almost flash fire, when he chanced to wit-
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 237
ness anything of the kind, and heard him administer a rebuke which made the recipient tremble. Like some other gentle natures, when his indignation was roused,—and it was only such cases that did fairly rouse it,—he was stern indeed.

In reading or speaking of any cases of cruelty or oppression, his countenance and voice would change in a most striking manner.

This letter was sent without a signature, and transcribed by another hand.

“Keswick, July 12. 1834.
“Young Gentlemen,

“It has come to the knowledge of the writer that one of your amusements here is to worry cats,—that you buy them from those owners who can be tempted to the sin of selling them for such a purpose, and that you employ boys to steal them for you.

“A woman who was asked by her neighbour how she could do so wicked a thing as to sell her cat to you, made answer that she never would have done it, if she could have saved the poor creature; but that if she had not sold it, it would have been stolen by your agents, and therefore she might as well have the half-crown herself.

“Neither her poverty nor her will consented; yet she was made to partake in your wickedness because she could not prevent it. She gave up to your barbarity a domestic animal—a fire-side companion, with which her children had played, and which she
herself had fondled on her lap. You tempted her, and she took the price of its blood.

“Are you incapable, young gentlemen, of understanding the injury you have done to this woman in her own conscience, and in the estimation of her neighbours?

“Be this as it may, you cannot have been so ill taught as not to know that you are setting an evil example in a place to which you have come for the ostensible object of pursuing your studies in a beautiful country; that your sport is as blackguard as it is brutal; that cruelty is a crime by the laws of God, and theft by the laws also of man; that in employing boys to steal for you, and thus training them up in the way they should not go, you are doing the devil’s work; that they commit a punishable offence when serving you in this way, and that you commit one in so employing them.

“You are hereby warned to give up these practices. If you persist in them, this letter will be sent to all the provincial newspapers.”

One other trifling circumstance I may briefly notice here, as occurring at this time: a request from the Messrs. Galignani that he would write a brief sketch of Lord Byron’s life and literary character, to be prefixed to their edition of his works, leaving “the remuneration entirely to himself.” It is hardly needful to add that the proposal was not entertained.