LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Richard Duppa, 23 May 1807

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
“May 23. 1807.
“My dear Duppa,

“Your book and your letter reached me at the same time. I have cut the leaves, collated the prints, and observe many valuable additions and some great typographical improvements. It was accompanied by a note from Mr. Murray of a very complimentary kind. I like to be complimented in my authorial character, and best of all by booksellers, because their good opinion gets purchasers, and so praise leads to pudding, which I consider to be the solid end of praise.

“I have Walter Scott’s promise to do what he can for M. Angelo in the Edinburgh, with this sort of salvo,—that Jeffrey is not a very practicable man, but he would do his best with him. My acquaintance with Scott is merely an acquaintance; but I had occasion once to write to him respecting the sale of a MS. entrusted to me, and bought by him for the Advocate’s Library, and in that letter I introduced the subject. I was greatly in hopes, and indeed expected, that Wordsworth would have done as much in the Critical, by means of his brother, who writes there. Had it not been for this, I might perhaps have done something by applying to Fellowes, the Anti-Calvinist, a very interesting man,—such a one, indeed, that, though I never met him but once, I could without scruple have written to him. Wonderful to tell, he bears a part in that Review, though his opinions are as opposite to Hunt’s, and all his
other steeple-hunting whippers-in, as light is to darkness. The hostile article I have not seen;—one of the advantages of living here is, that I never see these things till their season is over, and then, like wasps in winter, their power of stinging is at an end. I should have been angry at seeing your book abused when the abuse could do any hurt, and should have felt that sort of heat in my cheek which denotes the moral temperature of the minute to be above temperate. Now, whenever it falls in my way, which, very likely, never may be the case, it will come as a matter of literary history,—as what was said by some malevolent and ignorant person when a good book first appeared, and so it will furnish me an anecdote to relate when I speak of the book; or if I should ever live to old age, and have leisure to leave behind me that sort of transcript from recollections which would make such excellent materials for the literary history of my own times.

“You are mistaken about Henry White; the fact is briefly this:—at the age of seventeen he published a little volume of poems of very great merit, and sent with them to the different Reviews, a letter stating that his hope was to raise money by them to pursue his studies and get to college. Hamilton, then of the Critical, showed me this letter. I asked him to let me review the book, which he promised; but he sent me no books after the promise. Well, the M. Review noticed this little volume in the most cruel and insulting manner. I was provoked, and wrote to encourage the boy, offering to aid him in a subscription for a costlier publication. I spoke of him
in London, and had assurances of assistance from
Sotheby, and, by way of Wynn, from Lord Carysfort. His second letter to me, however, said he was going to Cambridge, under Simeon’s protection. I plainly saw that the Evangelicals had caught him; and as he did not want what little help I could have procured, and I had no leisure for new correspondences, ceased to write to him, but did him what good I could in the way of reviewing, and getting him friends at Cambridge. He died last autumn; and I received a letter informing me of it. It gave me a sort of shock, because, in spite of his evangelicism, I always expected great things, from the proof he had given of very superior powers; and, in replying to this letter, I asked if there were any intention of publishing any thing which he might have left, and offered to give an opinion upon his papers, and look them over. Down came a box-full, the sight of which literally made my heart ache, and my eyes overflow, for never did I behold such proofs of human industry. To make short, I took the matter up with interest, collected his letters, and have, at the expense of more time than such a poor fellow as myself can very well afford, done what his family are very grateful for, and what I think the world will thank me for too. Of course I have done it gratuitously. His life will affect you, for he fairly died of intense application. Cambridge finished him. When his nerves were already so over-strained that his nights were utter misery, they gave him medicines to enable him to hold out during examination for a prize! The horse won,—but he died after the race! Among his letters there is a great deal of
Methodism: if this procures for the book, as it very likely may, a sale among the righteous over-much, I shall rejoice for the sake of his family, for whom I am very much interested. I have, however, in justice to myself, stated, in the shortest and most decorous manner, that my own views of religion differ widely from his. Still, that I should become, and that, too, voluntarily, an editor of methodistical and Calvinistic letters, is a thing which, when I think of it, excites the same sort of smile that the thoughts of my pension does, and I wonder, like the sailor, what is to be done next.

“Want of room has obliged me to reserve most of your letters, which I meant for the latter end of Espriella’s remarks*; but when I came to the latter end, the printing had got beyond my calculation of pages so much, that I was fain to stop. I have good hopes of such a sale as may induce my friend to travel again; my own stock of matter not being half exhausted, nor, indeed, my design half completed. The book ought to be published in a month. Palmerin will appear nearly at the same time, and, perhaps, tend to remove suspicion, if any should subsist. The reception of this book will determine whether it is to be followed up or not, but if it be, be assured that you shall have ample revenge upon Fuseli.

“I know nothing of botany, and every day regret that I do not. It is a settled purpose of my heart, if my children live, to make them good naturalists. If you come either into Yorkshire or Northumberland,

* Mr. Duppa had been furnishing him with some information for this book.

you must not return to the south without touching at Greta Hall, and seeing me in my glory. We have papered the parlour this very day. It is not so fine a room as yours,
Mr. Duppa, but it is very beautiful, I assure you,—and the masons are at this time making a ceiling to my study,—and I have got curtains for it, the colour of nankeen,—and there is to be a carpet, and a new fender, and all sorts of things that are proper. Miss Barker tells me she has seen you. I am in good hope of persuading her to come down this summer; and if she comes, she shall not go till I have a set of drawings for the parlour.

“I want to hear, in spite of great trouble and little profit, that you have fixed upon a new subject, and are again at work. There is no being happy without having some worthy occupation in hand.

R. S.”