LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to William Lisle Bowles, 19 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 19. 1825.
“My dear Sir,

“I am induced to write to you by a letter which I have this day received from G. Peachey. In answer to the request which he communicates, though I am little behind you in the vale of years, and likely, perhaps, to reach the end of our mortal journey by a shorter road, yet, should I prove the survivor, any wish which you may please to signify, I will faithfully, and to the best of my power, discharge. There are three contemporaries, the influence of whose poetry on my own I can distinctly trace. Sayers, yourself, and Walter Landor. I owe you something, therefore, on the score of gratitude.

“But to a pleasanter subject. Peachey tells me that you had begun to print some observations upon Mr. Butler’s book, but that you have suppressed them upon hearing that I was engaged in answering it. I am sorry for this, because the more answers
Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 207
that are called forth the better. False and shallow as the book is (the
Bishop of London calls it, very justly, ‘a flimsy structure of mis statements and sophistry’), it imposes upon shallow readers, and is gladly appealed to as an authority by the Liberals, who are at this time leagued against the Church. Every answer that may appear would have a certain circle, within which no other can act with equal effect. And I am so persuaded of this, that I desired Murray not to announce my intended work, lest it should have the effect of preventing others from coming forward in the same good cause. I hope, therefore, that you will resume the pen. The Church ought not to be without defenders at this time. If the Catholic writers had been put down whenever they appeared during the last five-and-twenty years, as they might and ought to have been, by an exposure of their gross and impudent misrepresentations, that party would not have been so daring as it now is.

Dr. Phillpotts* is answering the theological part of Butler’s book.† My business, of course, must be,

* Now Bishop of Exeter.

Dr. Philpott’s had thus courteously communicated his intention to my father:—

“I know not whether it may interest you to be informed that (feeling as I do the absolute necessity of some detailed confutation of Mr. Butler’s statement of the doctrines of his Church, contained in the Letter X. of his book, especially when so many various misstatements of those doctrines are continually made by other writers and speakers,) I have resolved speedily to undertake that work; indeed, I am at present as busy with it as infirm health will permit. Mr. Butler’s book did not fall in my way until these three or four weeks.

to attack him along the whole of his line, which I am doing most effectually. For the sake of relieving the tone of controversy, I take the opportunity of introducing biographical and historical matter, and call my work therefore,
Vindiciæ Ecclesiae Anglicanae,—The Book of the Church Vindicated and Amplified. My temper is not controversial. I had much rather be industriously and thankfully reading old books, than detecting the defects and vices of new ones. But when I am provoked to it, I can wield a sledge-hammer to as good purpose as my old friend Wat Tyler himself. God bless you, my dear Sir!

Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”