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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to William Gifford, 6 March 1809

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, March 6. 1809.

“Your letter, and its enclosed draft, reached me this afternoon. I have to acknowledge the one, and thank you for the other. It gratifies me that you approve my defence of the missionaries, because I am desirous of such approbation; and it will gratify me if it should be generally approved, because I wrote from a deep and strong conviction of the importance of the subject. With respect to any alterations in this or any future communication, I am
perfectly sensible that absolute authority must always be vested in the editor. The printer has done some mischief by misplacing a paragraph in p. 225., which ought to have followed the quotation in the preceding page. The beginning of the last paragraph is made unintelligible by this dislocation; and indeed you have omitted the sarcasm, which it was designed to justify. I could have wished that this
Review had less resembled the Edinburgh in the tone and temper of its criticisms. That book of Miss Owenson’s is, I dare say, very bad both in manners and morals; yet, had it fallen into my hands, I think I could have told her so in such a spirit, that she herself would have believed me, and might have profited by the censure. The same quantity of rain which would clear a flower of its blights, will, if it falls heavier and harder, wash the roots bare, and beat the blossoms to the ground. I have been in the habit of reviewing more than eleven years, for the lucre of gain, and not, God knows, from any liking to the occupation; and of all my literary misdeeds, the only ones of which I have repented have been those reviewals which were written with undue asperity, so as to give unnecessary pain. I propose to continue the subject of the Missions through two other articles, neither of which will probably be half so long as the first; one respecting the South Sea Islands, the other South Africa. Lord Valentia’s book I shall be glad to receive, and any others which you may think proper to entrust to me. Two things I can promise,—perfect sincerity in what I write without the slightest assumption of knowledge which
Ætat. 35. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 223
I do not possess; and a punctuality not to be exceeded by that of
Mr. Murray’s opposite neighbours at St. Dunstan’s.

I am, Sir,
Yours very respectfully,
Robert Southey.”