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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 13 April 1817

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, April 13. 1817.
“My dear Wynn,

“Do you not see that the charge of my speaking acrimoniously against persons for thinking as I once thought is ridiculously false? Against whom are the strong expressions used, to which you refer in the Quarterly Review and the Registers. Against the rank Bonapartists, with whom I had never any more resemblance than I have with the worshippers of the devil in Africa; and against those who, without actually favouring him as Whitbread did, nevertheless thought it hopeless to make our stand against him on the ground where we had every possible advantage? And as for the Jacobin writers of the day,—in what have I ever resembled them? Did I ever address myself to the base and malignant feelings of the rabble? and season falsehood and sedition with slander and impiety? It is perfectly true that I thought the party who uniformly predicted
our failure in Spain to be ignorant*, and pusillanimous, and presumptuous,—surely, surely, their own words, which are given in the Register, prove them to have been so. Can you have forgotten in 1809-10, how those persons who thought with me that there was reasonable ground for hope and perseverance were insulted as idiots, and laughed to scorn? For my own part, I never doubted of success; and proud I am that the reasons upon which my confidence was founded were recorded at the time. Had you been in power you would have thought otherwise than as you did, because you would have known more of the state of Europe. Arms were sent from this country to Prussia as early as the autumn of 1811. Believe me, the terms in which I have spoken of the peace party are milk and water compared to what I have seen among the papers with which I have been intrusted. But enough of this.

“If you saw me now you would not think otherwise of my temper under affliction than you did in the summer. I have never in the slightest degree yielded to grief, but my spirits have not recovered, nor do I think they ever will recover, their elasticity. The world is no longer the same to me. You cannot conceive the change in my occupations and enjoyments: no person who had not seen what my ways of life were can conceive how they were linked with his life. But be assured that I look habitually for comfort where it is to be found.

* “The paper in the Quarterly Review is directed against the Edinburgh Reviewer, whose words are quoted to justify the epithets.”—R. S.

Ætat. 43. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 261

“God bless you! I shall be in town on the 24th, at my brother’s, and leave it on the 1st of May.

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”