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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 20 September 1813

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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“Streatham, Sept. 20. 1813.
“My dear Wynn,

“I saw your letter about the Laurel, and you will not be sorry to hear how completely I had acted in conformity with your opinion.

Pye’s death was announced a day or two before my departure from Keswick, and at the time I thought it so probable that the not-very-desirable succession might be offered me, as to bestow a little serious thought upon the subject, as well as a jest or two. On my arrival in town Bedford came to my brother’s to meet me at breakfast; told me that Croker had spoken with him about it, and he with Gifford; that they supposed the onus of the office would be dropt, or if it were not, that I might so execute it as to give it a new character; and that as detur digniori was the maxim upon which the thing was likely to be bestowed, they thought It would become me to accept it. My business, however, whatever might be my determination, was to call without delay at the Admiralty, thank C. for what
was actually intended well, and learn how the matter stood.

“Accordingly I called on Croker. He had spoken to the Prince; and the Prince observing that I had written ‘some good things in favour of the Spaniards,’ said the office should be given me. You will admire the reason; and infer from it that I ought to have been made historiographer because I had written Madoc. Presently Croker meets Lord Liverpool, and tells him what had passed; Lord Liverpool expressed his sorrow that he had not known it a day sooner, for he and the Marquis of Hertford had consulted together upon whom the vacant honour could most properly be bestowed. Scott was the greatest poet of the day, and to Scott therefore they had written to offer it. The Prince was displeased at this; though he said he ought to have been consulted, it was his pleasure that I should have it, and have it I should. Upon this Croker represented that he was Scott’s friend as well as mine, that Scott and I were upon friendly terms; and for the sake of all three he requested that the business-might rest where it was.

“Thus it stood when I made my first call at the Admiralty. I more than half suspected that Scott would decline the offer, and my own mind was made up before this suspicion was verified. The manner in which Scott declined it was the handsomest possible; nothing could be more friendly to me, or more honourable to himself. God bless you!

Yours very affectionately,
Robert Southey.”