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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Miller, 16 November 1833

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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“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
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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.”