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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to George Ticknor, 30 December 1824

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, Dec. 30. 1824.
“My dear Sir,

“I have delayed thus long to acknowledge and thank you for your last consignment of books in the hope of telling you, what I am now at last enabled to do, that Gifford has finally given up the Quarterly Review, and that, after the forthcoming number, it will be under John Coleridge’s management. This is a matter which I have had very much at heart, that there might be an end of that mischievous language concerning your country. I opposed it always with all my might, and forced in that paper upon Dwight’s Travels; yet in the very next number the old system was renewed. You may be assured that they have occasioned almost as much disgust here as in America. So far is it from being the language or the wish of the Government, that one of the Cabinet ministers complained of it to me as most mischievous, and most opposite to the course which they were desirous of pursuing. There is an end of it now, and henceforth that journal will do all in its power towards establishing that feeling which ought to exist between the two nations. Let
Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 195
me be peace-maker; and use what influence you have that the right hand of good will may be accepted as frankly as it is offered.

“I know not what the forthcoming number may contain; but I can answer for the Review afterwards. A friend of mine (Hughes, who wrote a pleasant book about the South of France) is preparing a paper upon your literature; and Buckminster’s sermons are reprinting at my suggestion.

“Now, then, let me thank you for Philip’s War, so long desired; for G. Fox, digged out of his burrows, and their companions. These Quaker books are very curious; it is out of such rubbish that I have to pick out the whole materials for my intended edifice, and good materials they are when they are found. Before this reaches you I shall have finished the Tale of Paraguay, which has hung like a millstone about my neck, owing to the difficulty which the stanza occasioned. As soon as I am rid of it I shall take up the New England poem as a regular employment, and work on with it steadily to the end. A third part is done; I am not making a hero of Philip, as it now seems the fashion to represent him. In my story the question between the settlers and the natives is very fairly represented, without any disposition either to favour the cause of savage life against civilisation, or to dissemble the injuries which trading colonists (as well as military ones) have always committed upon people in an inferior grade of society to themselves. Better characters than the history affords me, or, to speak more accurately, characters more capable of serving
the purposes of poetry, I need not desire. The facts are not quite so manageable. I may say, as a friend of mine heard
Bertrand de Moleville say when, after relating a story, he was told that the facts were not as he had stated them, Ah, monsieur! tant pis pour les faits. So I must deal with them in fiction, as a Frenchman deals with facts in history; that is, take as little truth, and mingle it with as much invention as suits my object. To what an extent the French do this I should hardly have thought credible, if I had not daily evidence in their memoirs upon the Peninsular War, comparing them with the undeniable documents in my hands.

“My niece desires me to thank you for the sweet story of Undine, which is surely the most graceful fiction of modern times. Some other pieces of the same author have been translated here, all bearing marks of the same originality and genius.

“I had made a half promise of going to Ireland, to visit one of the best and ablest persons there, the Bishop of Limerick. But it is not likely that the intention can be fulfilled. An Irishman, well informed of the state of things there, writes to me in these words, ‘Pray don’t think of going to Ireland. I would not insure any man’s life for three months in that unhappy country. The populace are ready for a rebellion; and if their leaders should for their own purpose choose to have one, they may have to-morrow a second edition of the Irish massacre.’

Wordsworth was with me lately, in good health, and talked of you. His brother, the Master of Trinity, has just published a volume concerning the
Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 197
Εικον Βασιλικη, a question of no trifling importance both to our political and literary history. As far as minute and accumulative evidence can amount to proof, he has proved it to be genuine. For myself, I have never, since I read the book, thought that any unprejudiced person could entertain a doubt concerning it. I am the more gratified that this full and satisfactory investigation has been made, because it grew out of a conversation between the two Wordsworths and myself at Rydal, a year or two ago.

“Remember me to all my Boston friends; it is a pleasure to think I have so many there. The only American whom I have seen this year is Bishop Hobart of New York. God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”