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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 20 February 1811

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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“Feb, 20. 1811.
My dear Rickman,

“. . . . . I have it under the hand of —— that any new ministry must recall our troops from Spain and Portugal,—to which I replied by praying that he might stay out of place so long as he thought so. . . . .

“. . . . . When I read L. Goldsmid’s* book about France, the impression it made upon me was, that he was sent over by Bonaparte to further his purposes here. God knows by what other means, but specially by publishing such outrageous and absurd stories against him as should give his good friends a plea for disbelieving anything against a man who was so palpably calumniated. For instance, that B.,

* L. Goldsmid was editor of the Argus in 1801; and was at this time editing the Antigallican Monitor.

when at the military college, poisoned a woman who was with child by him; that this is a lie, I know, because I happen to know a person resident in the same town, at whose house B. was in the habit of visiting, and from whom I learnt that his character was exactly what you would suppose—very studious and very correct. That it must be a lie is obvious, because such things could not be done with more impunity in France than in England; and to say that it might have been concealed, leads to the obvious question, ‘If so, how came L. Goldsmid to know it?’ A still grosser and more ridiculous story is, that Bonaparte makes his poison by giving arsenic to a pig, and tying the pig up by the hind legs, and collecting what runs from his mouth. . . . .

“Now, the man is no fool, and it is not possible that he can believe this himself, or that he can suppose it can be believed by any person of common sense. For what purpose, then, can he publish such lies?

“If he be the rascal which I take him to be, his newspaper shows what is the main purpose for which he has been sent over—to put the Bourbons into Bonaparte’s hands. He recommends a Bourbon to be at the head of the army in Spain—a Bourbon to land in France. Now, there can be no doubt this is what B. would above all things desire. . . . .

R. S.”