LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 16 March 1825

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, March 16. 1825.
“My dear Friend,

“It is a very old remark that one sin draws on another; and as an illustration of it, I believe one reason why you have not had a letter from me for so long a time is that my Autobiography has been standing still. This is the first symptom of amendment, and in pursuance of it when this letter is despatched I propose to begin the 17th of the Series.

“Thus much has been left undone, and now for what I have been doing. You may have learnt from John Coleridge that I sat to work for him as soon as he was installed into his new office*, and sent him a paper upon the Church Missionary Society, and a few pages upon Mrs. Baillie’s Letters from Lisbon.

“You must have heard of Mr. Butler’s attack upon the Book of the Church. My uncle says of it—his contradicting you and saying that you had misstated facts may have the same answer as Warburton gave to one of his antagonists: ‘it may be so for all he knows of the matter.’ The Bishop of London wrote to ask if I intended to answer it, for if I did not they must look about for some person who would, ‘as it had imposed upon some persons who ought to have known better, and he hoped I should demolish what he called his flimsy structure of misstatements and sophistry.’ Upon my replying that

* As successor to Gifford in the editorship of the Quarterly Review.

Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 205
it was my intention so to do, he communicated to me an offer of any books that might be useful from Lambeth. But it does not do to have bulky volumes sent 300 miles, when the object is to consult them, perhaps only for half an hour. However, I shall avail myself of this permission when next I may be at Streatham. My reply will bear this title, ‘
Vindiciæ Ecclesiae Anglicanæ’—the Book of the Church Vindicated and Amplified. The first portion of the manuscript would reach London this morning on its way to the press.

“Last week I spent at Rydal with Wordsworth, going thither partly in the hope that change of air might rid me of a cough, which, though apparently slight, has continued upon me long enough to show that it is deep seated. It was left behind some two months ago by an endemic cold that attacked the throat in a peculiar manner. I am better for the change. But it will be necessary for me to take a journey as soon as the summer begins, in the hope of escaping that annual attack which now regularly settles in the chest. I meant to have visited Ireland, but this I must give up on Edith’s account, for I was strongly advised not to go by a man in power, who knew the country well, and said he would not insure any man’s life there for three months; and this, with a sort of cut-throat anonymous letter from an Irishman (the same that made that infamous attack upon me in the Chronicle) abusing me as an Orange Boy in the foulest and most ferocious terms, has made her believe that I should be in danger there: and of course I should not think it right to
leave her with that impression upon her mind. My intention therefore is to make a hasty visit to Streatham, and run down again to the west, unless I should meet with a suitable companion who would go over with me to Holland for three or four weeks.

“God bless you, my dear Friend!

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”