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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to an anonymous correspondent, 8 February 1822

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, Feb. 8. 1822.
“My dear ——,

“I heard with sorrow of your ill health. Perhaps you are at this time a happier man than if you were in the enjoyment of vigorous health, and had never known sickness or sorrow. Any price is cheap for religious hope. The evidence for Christianity is as demonstrative as the subject admits: the more it is investigated, the stronger it appears. But the root
of belief is in the heart, rather than in the understanding; and when it is rooted there, it derives from the understanding nutriment and support. Against Atheism, Materialism, and the mortality of the soul, there is the reductio ad absurdum in full force; and for revealed religion there is the historical evidence, strong beyond the conception of those who have not examined it; and there is that perfect adaptation to the nature and wants of man, which, if such a revelation had not already been made, would induce a wise and pious man to expect it, as fully as a Jew expects the Messiah. For many years my belief has not been clouded with the shadow of a doubt.

“When we observe what things men will believe, who will not believe Christianity, it is impossible not to acknowledge how much belief depends upon the will.

“I shall have a large share of abuse in the course of this year. In the first place, my Book of the Church, which I am writing con amore and with great diligence, will strike both the Catholics and the Puritans harder blows than they have been of late years accustomed to receive. The Emancipationists, therefore, and the Dissenters will not be pleased; and you know the temper of the latter. My History of the War smites the Whigs, and will draw upon me, sans doubt, as much hatred from the Buonapartists in France, as I have the satisfaction of enjoying from their friends in England. This volume is in great forwardness; more than five hundred pages are printed. As for Lord Byron and his coadjutors in the Times, Chronicle, &c. &c., I shall of course not
Ætat. 48. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 113
notice the latter, and deal with his lordship as he may deserve and as I may feel inclined. I have the better cause and the stronger hand.

“God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
R. Southey.”