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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Wood Warter, 12 January 1831

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Crediton, Jon. 12. 1831.
“My dear Warter,

“Here I arrived last night on my way home, and at the farthest point from it to which my circuit has extended; and, here at last, I have some hours upon which no demand will be made. This is the first use of my first interval of leisure. How I have been distracted in London no one can fully understand, unless they have been living with me there; and how I have been busied tooth and nail during

* To Mrs. Southey, Dec. 30. 1830.

Ætat. 57. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 127
eleven days after I left it and got to
Miss Bowles’s, near Lymington, you may judge when you know that in that time I wrote the concluding article of the Quarterly Review all but the first seven pages. . . . .

“As to the state of the country, I am more hopeful than most persons. The change of Ministry was the best thing that could have occurred, because the Whigs must do what they would never have allowed the Tories to do; they must unsay much of what they have said; they must undo (as far as that is possible) much of what they have done. They are augmenting the army, which they compelled their predecessors to reduce. They have called for a yeomanry force, which they made their predecessors disband. They are endeavouring to curb the licence of the press. I think they must suspend the Habeas Corpus Act. I believe they must restore the one pound bills; I expect that they will find it impossible not to go to war; and I am sure that if the question of Parliamentary Reform should not be thrust aside by other events, it could not be brought forward so well by any other persons as by the Whigs in power. They have great stakes in the country; and they are now heartily afraid of the democracy which they have so long been flattering. They have raised the devil, and it is proper that they should have the task of laying him. But in this, all who think and feel as I do will lend them a cordial support; not for their sakes, but for the sake of ourselves and of the nation. While the Government
is what it is, we must support it in whatever hands it may be.

“We shall get through our difficulties, and the better if there be war to help us. The property of the country is yet strong enough to restore order. And if we have a change in the form of representation grounding it on property, and nowhere on numbers, we may gain by such a change more than we should lose by it. Soon we shall have a stronger Government, and something like police in the country as well as in London. . . . .

“I leave this place (whither I came only to spend three days with my old-fellow-collegian Lightfoot) on Saturday morning for Taunton, there to see my Aunt Mary, the last of my father’s generation; a dear excellent old lady, in whom I see what I am indebted for to the Southey part of my blood. Monday I go to Bristol, where I have not been for twenty years. I mean once more to look at the scenes of my birth and childhood, and have so much love for the place that I have the serious intention of writing a poem, descriptive, historical, and desultory, in honour of my native city.

“You may suppose how impatient I am to reach home, and resume once more the even tenour of my usual life. I bought a good many books in London, three or four consignments of which have arrived, and others are on the way. Some skill in packing will be required for arranging them. Neither my head nor hands were ever so full as at this time, and
Ætat. 57. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 129
I hope, with God’s blessing, to get through a world of work.

“And now, my dear Warter, God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”