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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Philip Henry Stanhope, 22 October 1833

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, Oct 22. 1833.
“My dear Lord Mahon,

“Long ago I ought to have thanked you for your paper, which had been so unbecomingly interpolated in the Quarterly Review. And now, having just completed that portion of our naval history which has never been brought together, I was about to have done this with my first leisure, when you give me a second occasion for thanks, both on my own part and on Cuthbert’s, whose eyes were lit up upon finding himself thus unexpectedly remembered.

“The French play is French indeed; and in its own way far exceeds Calderon’s Cisma de Inglaterra. I shall place it among my curiosities. The Loi sur l’instruction Primaire I am glad to possess, because the subject must, ere long, take up much of my thoughts, when preparing for the press the Life and Correspondence of Dr. Bell. This task will lead me to inquire into the history of scholastic education, its present state, primary schools, Sunday schools,—the good and the evil,—the too much and the too little. There are no other means by which the cha-
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 219
racter of society might so beneficially and so surely be changed; but even in this the practical difficulties are so many, that the man must have either great warmth of enthusiasm, or great strength of principle, who is not rendered almost hopeless when he contemplates them.

“Your account of the state of affairs in France is almost what I should hare wished it to be. Louis Philippe, in his own country, at least, is a Conservative; and if the Duc de Bordeaux ever succeeds to the throne (which, if he lives, I think, as well as hope, he will), it were better both for him and for France that some years should have their course before this restoration takes place;—better for him, because he must acquire more knowledge in his present condition than he possibly could as a reigning prince; and better for France, because in a few years death will have removed those persons whom it might be alike injurious to punish or to pardon. When vengeance has been long delayed, its just infliction seldom fails to call forth compassion, even for great criminals: and a still worse effect has followed in all restorations when old adherents are neglected, and old enemies not only forgiven, but received into favour, and trusted and rewarded. For these reasons, and because the citizen king will govern with a stronger hand than the legitimate king, I incline to wish that Louis Philippe may reign long to curb his subjects, and break in the people to habits of obedience, by the vigorous exercise of his power.

“This reminds me of the spirit which is breathed in the Corn Law Rhymes. I have taken those
poems as the subject of a
paper for the Christmas Review, not without some little hope of making the author reflect upon the tendency of his writing. He is a person who introduced himself to me by letter many years ago, and sent me various specimens of his productions, epic and dramatic. Such of his faults in composition as were corrigible, he corrected in pursuance of my advice, and learnt, in consequence, to write as he now does, admirably well, when the subject will let him do so. I never saw him but once, and that in an inn in Sheffield, when I was passing through that town. The portrait prefixed to his book seems intentionally to have radicalised, or rather ruffianised, a countenance which had no cut-throat expression at that time. It was a remarkable face, with pale grey eyes, full of fire and meaning, and well suited to a frankness of manner, and an apparent simplicity of character such as is rarely found in middle age, and more especially rare in persons engaged in what may be called the warfare of the world. After that meeting I procured a sizarship for one of his sons; and the letter which he wrote to me upon my offering to do so, is a most curious and characteristic production, containing an account of his family. I never suspected him of giving his mind to any other object than poetry, till Wordsworth put the Corn Law Rhymes into my hands; and then, coupling the date of the pamphlet with the power which it manifested, and recognising also scenery there which he had dwelt upon in other poems, I at once discovered the hand of my pupil. He will discover mine in the advice which I shall
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 221
give him. It was amusing enough that he should have been recommended to my notice as an uneducated poet in the
New Monthly Magazine.

“In such times as these, whatever latent evil there is in a nation is brought out. This man appeared always a peaceable and well-disposed subject, till Lord Grey’s ministry, for their own purposes, called upon the mob for support; and then, at the age of fifty, he let loose opinions which had never before been allowed to manifest themselves, and the fierce puritanism in which he had been bred up burst into a flame. . . . .

And believe me always,
Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”