LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821

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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In the last volume the reader has had several specimens of the obloquy which my father’s political
writings had entailed upon him. It may yet be allowed me once more to say a few words upon this subject before we enter upon this last period of his intellectual life, in which all his opinions and currents of thought were fixed and defined.

It has been the fashion with many of those persons whose opinions were most opposed to those my father held in later life, taking up their cue from the abuse which was for a long period showered upon him in the Liberal journals, to assume, as an undoubted truth, that at some particular period his views had changed totally and suddenly, under the influence of unworthy motives,—that he had veered round (like a weather-cock upon a gusty day) from the levelling opinions set forth in Wat Tyler to high Toryism,—that he was a “renegade,” an “apostate,” an “hireling,” and I know not what; and they attributed this change, on the one hand, to the mortification he felt at the squibs of the Anti-Jacobin, and at the various satirical attacks which he experienced; and, on the other, to the hope of basking in Court smiles, and comfortably “feathering his nest” under ministerial favour. His pension (which the reader need not be reminded, left him a poorer man than it found him) was by some considered as the pivot upon which he had turned round; and the Laureateship, paid by the magnificent income of 90l., and taken at a time when the office was considered as all but ridiculous, was by such persons regarded as the second instalment of a series of payments for this tergiversation. Others, again, unable to find that these had been the agents in effecting the changes in his
views, and determined to discover some unworthy causes for the alteration rather than frankly attribute it to time, experience, increased knowledge, and calm and deliberate conviction, have declared that it was his connection with the
Quarterly Review which chiefly influenced the course of his life and opinions; not choosing to suppose, with greater charity, that the Quarterly Review exhibited those opinions, but did not make them, or to confess that they were the spontaneous growth of his own mind.

I think it needless now to attempt to rebut charges like these, because the candid render of the past volumes, having seen the ardour and frankness with which my father expressed the same opinions in his unguarded correspondence which he advocated in his public writings, will hardly be disposed to acquiesce in them, especially as his reasons for refusing to join the Edinburgh Review, at a period antecedent to the existence of the Quarterly, are on record.

But as my father’s views upon politics have been so often misrepresented and misunderstood, a brief sketch of the chief of these can hardly be misplaced here; and I am the more impelled to make such a sketch, because I have lately seen it asserted that “the only opinions England has cause to dread are those held and advocated by Robert Southey during middle life.” A notable sentence, showing how little his political opponents either know or consider how many of the improvements and changes which he advocated have been, or ore now being, carried into
effect, with the approbation of the heat and most distinguished men of all parties.

Now, as in politics there are two great and opposite evils to be dreaded,—tyrannical government on the one hand, and anarchy on the other,—my father believed that the time for dreading the former was gone by, and that the latter danger was imminent; and on this account, as we have seen, he directed his energies to supporting the supreme authority, by urging the adoption of strong measures towards the seditious writers and speakers of the time,—by opposing such proposals as seemed to have a tendency to strengthen the democratic element,—and by himself proposing and urging the adoption of measures for improving the condition of the poorer classes.

Under these three heads are comprised, I believe, most of my father’s political acts. Of the two first I need not speak; they are sufficiently understood; but on the third I would wish to dilate a little further. Let me, however, first guard against being supposed to claim infallibility for my father in his political opinions. Doubtless, he sometimes erred in his estimate both of the good and the evil likely to result from certain measures. Who, indeed, has not so erred? What politician or what party does not occasionally anticipate exaggerated effects, alike from what they support or what they deprecate? But I would submit that, with respect to the ultimate effects of those great measures he most strongly opposed, time has not yet fully set his seal upon them; that we have not yet seen the whole results either of Catholic Emancipation or of
the Reform Bill; and with respect to Free Trade, when its effects have already so for outrun the calculations of its first movers, surely he must be a bold man, however much he may wish it to succeed, who will say it is not still an experiment.

But while the correctness or the fallacy of my father’s opinions, and of those who thought with him upon these points in great measure has yet to be decided, I would lay much more stress upon his views on social subjects—upon his earnest advocacy of those measures he thought most calculated to ameliorate the condition of the lower orders, and to cement the bonds of union between all classes of society, and this as proving that both in early and in later life the objects he aimed at were the same, although he had learned to think that political power was not the panacea for all the poor man’s evils.

Among the various measures and changes he advocated may be named the following, many of which were topics he handled at greater or less length in the Quarterly Review, while his opinions upon the others may be found scattered throughout his letters;—National education to be assisted by Government grants. The diffusion of cheap literature of a wholesome and harmless kind. The necessity of an extensive and well organised system of colonisation, and especially of encouraging female emigration. The importance of a wholesome training for the immense number of children in London and other large towns, who, without it, are abandoned to vice and misery. The establishment of Protestant sisters of charity, and of a better order of hospital nurses. The establishment
of savings’ banks in all the small towns throughout the country. The abolishment of flogging in the army and navy, except in cases flagrantly atrocious. Alterations in the poor laws. Alterations in the game laws.* Alterations in the criminal laws, as inflicting the punishment of death in far too many cases. Alterations in the factory system, for the benefit of the operative, and especially as related to the employment of children. The desirableness of undertaking national works, reproductive ones if possible, in times of peculiar distress.† The necessity of doing away with interments in crowded cities. The system of giving allotments of ground to labourers; the employment of paupers in cultivating waste lands. The commutation of tithes; and lastly, the necessity for more clergymen, more colleges, more courts of law.

A man whose mind was full of projects of this kind ought, I think, to be safe from sentences of indiscriminate condemnation, and, indeed, when we remember how few of them had occupied the attention of politicians when he wrote of them, it must he allowed that he was one of the chief pioneers of most of the great and real improvements which have taken and are taking place in society in our own times; and though some may still think his fears of a revolution were exaggerated, yet who can say how far the tranquillity we enjoy has not been owing to the preventive and curative measures which he and others

* The changes he advocated in the game laws have long since taken place; but, alas, without the good effects anticipated from them.

† Such as of later years has occurred in Ireland and Scotland.

who thought with him so perseveringly laboured to bring about?

The various literary employments upon which he was engaged in 1819-20 have been frequently referred to in his letters. The Life of Wesley was in the press. The Peninsular War he was busily employed upon; he had also in progress the Book of the Church, and the Colloquies with Sir T. More; and to the Quarterly Review he was, as we know, a constant contributor, not so much from choice as from necessity.

But in addition to all his other manifold employments, the Laureateship was an inconvenient tax upon his time, and a considerable one upon his ingenuity. The regular task-work was still required, and he was at the same time too desirous of rendering the Laurel more honourable than it had been, to be content with merely those common-place compositions; which no one could hold more cheaply than he did himself, often designating them as “simply good for nothing,” and declaring “that next to getting rid of the task which the Laureateship imposed upon him, of writing stated verses at stated times, the best thing he could do was to avoid publishing them except on his own choice and his own time.”

The death of the King, which occurred in January, 1820, now seemed to call for some more particular effort on his part; and as this event had been for some time expected he had been turning over in his mind in what way he could best pay his official tribute, and at the same time produce something of real merit. We have seen that from his youth he had been de-
sirous of making the experiment of writing a poem in hexameter verse, and it has been noticed that in the year 1799 he commenced one in that measure. He now therefore determined upon the plan and structure of the
Vision of Judgment, which it may be supposed was a work of no small time and labour, and with this addition to his other employments he might well say that his “head and his hands were as full as they could hold, and that if he had as many heads and as many hands as a Hindoo god, there would be employment enough for them all.”

One other subject may also be mentioned as occupying his thoughts at this time, though probably in a less degree than it would have occupied the thoughts of most persons. He has mentioned in his autobiography that his great uncle, John Canon Southey, had left certain estates of considerable value in trust for his great nephew, John Southey Somerville, afterwards Lord Somerville, and his issue, with the intent that if he, who was then a child, should die without issue, the estates should descend to the Southeys. Lord Somerville was lately dead without issue, and my father was under the impression that he had a legal claim to the property, and was at this time taking advice upon the subject. It turned out, however, that Canon Southey had not taken proper care that his intention should be carried into effect, for the opinions upon his claim were not sufficiently favourable to encourage him to take legal proceedings in the matter.

This disappointment he bore as quietly as he had done others of the same kind, and while by no man
would a competence have been more thankfully welcomed and regarded as a greater blessing, and I believe I may add, better employed, he was far too wise to disturb himself with unavailing regrets, and never allowed these untoward circumstances to give him one moment’s disquiet. In the present instance he most philosophically looked on the bright side of the matter. “Twice in my life,” he says, “has the caprice of a testator cut me off from what the law would have given me had it taken its course, and now the law interferes and cuts me off from what would have been given me by a testator. It is, however, a clear gain to escape a suit in Chancery.”

To C. W. W. Wynn, Esq., M.P.

“I have two things to tell you, both sufficiently remarkable. Lord Bathurst, supposing that I had a son growing up, called on Croker lately to offer me a writership for him. I never saw Lord B., nor have I any indirect acquaintance with him. The intended kindness therefore is the greater.

“A curious charge has been bequeathed me,—the papers of a man who destroyed himself on the first day of this year, wholly, I believe, from the misery occasioned by a state of utter unbelief. I never saw him but once. Last year he wrote me two anonymous letters, soliciting me to accept this charge. I
supposed him, from what he said, to be in the last stage of some mortal disease, and wrote to him under that persuasion. And I rather imagined that the religious character of my second reply had offended him, for I heard nothing more till last week, when there came a letter from an acquaintance of mine telling me his name, his fate, and that the papers were deposited by the suicide himself the day before he executed his fatal purpose, to await my directions. I have reason to believe, that with all proper respect to the dead as well as to the living, a most melancholy, but instructive lesson may be deduced from them. His letters are beautiful compositions, and he was a man of the strictest and most conscientious virtue!

“The jury pronounced him insane, which, perhaps, they would not have done, had they seen the paper which he addressed to them. That cruel law should be repealed, and I wish you would take the credit of repealing it. It is in every point of view barbarous. A particular prayer for cases of this kind should be added to our Burial Service, to be used in place of those parts that express a sure and certain hope for the dead. God bless you!

R. S.”

Upon a careful examination of the papers here alluded to, my father found that it would be quite impossible to make any use of them, as they contained the strongest internal evidences of the perfect insanity of the writer. The reader will, probably,
be interested by the insertion here of the letter* which my father conceived had offended the person to whom it was addressed. This, however, it had not done; on the contrary, it had affected him considerably, but he reasoned insanely upon it, and it seems not improbable that it had caused him to postpone for awhile his wretched intention of suicide, which it appears he had determined upon for six years.

To ——,
“Keswick, March 2. 1819.

“Your letter, my dear Sir, affects me greatly. It represents a state of mind into which I also should have fallen, had it not been for that support which you are not disposed to think necessary for the soul of man.

“I, too, identified my own hopes with hopes for mankind, and at the price of any self-sacrifice would have promoted the good of my fellow-creatures. I too have been disappointed in being undeceived; but having learnt to temper hope with patience, and when I lift up my spirit to its Creator and Redeemer, to say, not with the lips alone, but with the heart also, ‘Thy will be done,’ I feel that whatever afflictions I have endured, have been dispensed to me in mercy, and am deeply and devoutly thankful for what I am, and what I hope to be when I shall burst my shell.

“O Sir! Religion is the one thing needful. With-

* My father’s first letter to —— has not been preserved.

out it, no one can be truly happy (do you not feel this?); with it, no one can be entirely miserable. Without it, this world would be a mystery too dreadful to be borne,—our best affections and our noblest desires a mere juggle and a curse, and it were better, indeed, to be nothing than the things we are. I am no bigot. I believe that men will be judged by their actions and intentions, not their creed. I am a Christian; and so will Turk, Jew, and Gentile be in Heaven, if they have lived well according to the light which was vouchsafed them. I do not fear that there will be a great gulph between you and me in the world which we must both enter; but if I could persuade you to look on toward that world with the eyes of faith, a change would be operated in all your views and feelings, and hope and joy and love would be with you to your latest breath,—universal love—love for mankind, and for the Universal Father, into whose hands you are about to render up your spirit.

“That the natural world, by its perfect order, displays evident marks of design, I think you would admit, for it is so palpable that it can only be disputed from perverseness or affectation. Is it not reasonable to suppose that the moral order of things should in like manner be coherent and harmonious? It is so if there be a state of retribution after death. If that be proved, everything becomes intelligible, just, beautiful, good. Would you not, from the sense of fitness and of justice, wish that it should be so? And is there not enough of wisdom and power apparent in creation to authorise us in inferring, that
whatever upon the grand scale would be the best, therefore must be?

“Pursue this feeling, and it will lead you to the cross of Christ.

“I never fear to avow my belief that warnings from the other world are sometimes communicated to us in this; and that, absurd as the stories of apparitions generally are, they are not always false; but that the spirits of the dead have sometimes been permitted to appear. I believe this, because I cannot refuse my assent to the evidence which exists of such things, and to the universal consent of all men who have not learnt to think otherwise. Perhaps you will not despise this as a mere superstition, when I say that Kant, the profoundest thinker of modern ages, came, by the severest reasoning, to the same conclusion.

“But if these things are, then there is a state after death; and if there be a state after death, it is reasonable to presume that such things should be.

“You will receive this as it is meant. It is hastily and earnestly written, in perfect sincerity, in the fulness of my heart. Would to God that it might find its way to yours. In case of your recovery, it would reconcile you to life, and open to you sources of happiness to which you are a stranger.

“But whether your lot be for life or death, dear Sir, God bless you!

R. S.”
“Keswick, Jan. 21. 1820.
“Dear Sir,

“You propose a question* to me, which I can no more answer with any grounds for an opinion, than if you were to ask me whether a lottery ticket should be drawn blank or prize, or if a ship should make a prosperous voyage to the East Indies. If I recollect rightly, poor Scott, of Amwell, was disturbed in his last illness by some hard-hearted and sour-blooded bigots, who wanted him to repent of his poetry as of a sin. The Quakers are much altered since that time. I know one, a man deservedly respected by all who know him (Charles Lloyd the elder, of Birmingham), who has amused his old age by translating Horace and Homer. He is looked up to in the Society, and would not have printed these translations if he had thought it likely to give offence.

“Judging, however, from the spirit of the age, as affecting your Society, like every thing else, I should think they would be gratified by the appearance of a poet among them, who confines himself within the limits of their general principles. They have been reproached with being the most illiterate sect that has ever arisen in the Christian world, and they ought to be thankful to any of their members who should assist in vindicating them from that opprobrium. There is nothing in their principles which

* The question was, whether the Society of Friends were likely to be offended at his publishing a volume of poems.

should prevent them from giving you their sanction; and I will even hope that there are not many persons who will impute it to you as a sin, if you should call some of the months by their heathen names.* I know of no other offence that you are in danger of committing. They will not like virtuous feelings and religious principles the worse for being conveyed in good verse. If poetry in itself were unlawful, the Bible must be a prohibited book.

“I shall be glad to receive your volume, and you have my best good wishes for its success. The means of promoting it are not within my power; for though I bear a part in the Quarterly Review (and endure a large portion of the grossest abuse and calumny for opinions which I do not hold, and articles which I have not written), I have long since found it necessary, for reasons which you may easily apprehend, to form a resolution of reviewing no poems whatever. My principles of criticism, indeed, are altogether opposite to those of the age. I would treat everything with indulgence, except what was mischievous; and most heartily do I disapprove of the prevailing fashion of criticism, the direct tendency of which is to call bad passions into full play.

“Heartily hoping that you may succeed to your utmost wishes in this meritorious undertaking,

I remain, dear Sir,
Yours faithfully,
Robert Southey.”

* “One in the British Friend did impute this as a sin, twenty-five years after this was written.”—Selections from the Poems and Letters of Bernard Barton, p. 111.

To John Rickman, Esq.
“Jan. 28. 1820.
“My dear R.,

“. . . . . My knowledge is never so ready as yours. The less you trust your memory the worse it serves you; and for the last five-and-twenty years I have hardly trusted mine at all; the consequence has been, that I must go to my notes for everything, except the general impressions and conclusions that much reading leaves behind.

“Upon the deficiency of our Ecclesiastical Establishment and its causes, you will find an historical chapter in my Life of Wesley, agreeing entirely with your notes in all the points on which we have both touched. Since that chapter was written I have got at sundry books on the subject,—Kennet’s Case of Impropriations, Henry Wharton’s Defence of Pluralities, Staveley’s History of Churches—each very good and full of sound knowledge; Eachard’s Contempt of the Clergy and Stackhouse’s Miseries of the Inferior Clergy—books of a very different character, but of great notoriety in their day; and two recent publications by a Mr. Yates, which contain a great deal of information. I was led to them by the mention made of them in Vansittart’s speech upon the New Churches. . . . .

“I must borrow from some of the black letter men Sir Thomas More’s works, which are tolerably numerous; and when I am in London, I must ask you to turn me loose for two or three mornings among the statutes at large, for I must examine those
Henry VII. in particular. There is something about the process of sheep-farming in those days, which I am not sure that I understand. The double grievance complained of is, that it appropriated commons and turned arable land into pasture. Now, could this latter commutation answer in a country where the demand must have been as great for meal and malt as for wool and mutton? What I perceive is this, that down to the union of the Two Roses, men were the best stock that a lord could have upon his estates; but when the age of rebellions, disputed succession, and chivalrous wars was over, money became of more use than men; and the question was not, who could bring most vassals into the field, but who could support the largest expenditure; and in Sir T. More’s days the expenditure of the fashionables was infinitely beyond anything that is heard of in ours. So I take it they did as —— is now doing: got rid of hereditary tenants who paid little or nothing, in favour of speculators and large breeders, who could afford to pay, and might be rack-rented without remorse. I shall put together a good deal of historical matter in these interlocutions, taking society in two of its critical periods—the age of the Reformation, and this in which we live.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.

“When you see Gifford (and when you go near his door I wish you would make it a reason for calling), will you tell him that among the many applications to which, like himself, I am exposed on account of the Quarterly Review, there is one from Sir —— ——, concerning whose book I wrote to him some three or four months ago. I very much wish he would get Pasley to review that book. It would hardly require more than half a dozen pages; and I believe the book deserves to be brought forward, as being of great practical importance. If, as I apprehend, it shows that we are so much superior to the French in the most important branch of war in theory, as we have proved ourselves to be in the field, the work which demonstrates this ought to be brought prominently into notice, more especially as the notoriety which the Quarterly Review may give to Sir ——’s refutation of Carnot’s theories may tend to prevent our allies from committing errors, the consequence of which must be severely felt whenever France is able to resume her scheme of aggrandisement. . . . .

“Do you know that one of those London publishers who are rogues by profession, is now publishing in sixpenny numbers a life of the King, by Robert Southy, Esq., printed for the author. ‘Observe
to order Southy’s Life of the King, to avoid imposition.’ J. Jones, Warwick Square, is the ostensible rogue, but the anonymous person who sent me the first number, says, ‘alias
Oddy.’ I have sent a paragraph to the Westmoreland Gazette, which may save some of my neighbours from being taken in by this infamous trick, and have written to Longman, to ask whether it be advisable that I should take any further steps. He must be the best judge of this, and if he thinks I ought to apply for an injunction, he will hand over my letter to Turner, by whose opinion I shall be guided. The scoundrel seems to suppose that he may evade the law by misspelling my name.

“The death of the King will delay my departure two or three weeks beyond the time which I had intended for it. For if I do not finish the poem, which I must of course write before I leave home, my funeral verses would not appear before the coronation. In my next letter, I shall probably horrorize you about these said verses, in which I have made some progress.

“I have about a fortnight’s work with Wesley, not more; and not so much if this sort of holiday’s task had not come to interrupt me. I versify very slowly, unless very much in the humour for it, and when the passion of the part carries me forward. This can never be the case with task verses. However, as I hope not to go beyond two or three hundred lines, I imagine that, at any rate, a fourth part is done. I shall not be very long about it. If I manage the
end as well as I have done the beginning, I shall be very well satisfied with the composition.

“All well, thank God, at present.

“God bless you!

R. S.”
To Walter Savage Landor, Esq.
“Keswick, Feb. 20. 1820.

“Your poem has not found its way to me. It is either delayed or mislaid at Longman’s. Oh that you would write in English! I can never think of your predilection for Latin verse but as a great loss to English literature.

“The times make less impression upon me than upon men who live more in the political world. The present, perhaps, appears to you, at a distance, worse than it is. The future will be what we may choose to make it. There is an infernal spirit abroad, and crushed it must be. Crushed it will be, beyond all doubt; but the question is, whether it will be cut short in its course, or suffered to spend itself like a fever. In the latter case, we shall go on through a bloodier revolution than that of France, to an iron military government,—the only possible termination of Jacobinism. It is a misery to see in what manner the press is employed to poison the minds of the people, and eradicate every thing that is virtuous, everything that is honourable, everything upon which the order, peace, and happiness of society are founded. The recent laws have stopped the twopenny supply
of blasphemy and treason, and a few of the lowest and vilest offenders are laid hold of. But the mischief goes on in all the stages above them.

“Do you remember Elmsley at Oxford,—the fattest under-graduate in your time and mine? He is at Naples, superintending the unrolling the Herculaneum manuscripts, by Davy’s process, at the expense of the Prince Regent,—I should say, of George IV. The intention is, that Elmsley shall ascertain, as soon as a beginning is made of one of the rolls, whether it shall be proceeded with, or laid aside, in hope of finding something better, till the whole have been inspected.

“A fashion of poetry has been imported which has had a great run, and is in a fair way of being worn out. It is of Italian growth,—an adaptation of the manner of Pulci, Berni, and Ariosto in his sportive mood. Frere began it. What he produced was too good in itself and too inoffensive to become popular; for it attacked nothing and nobody; and it had the fault of his Italian models, that the transition from what is serious to what is burlesque was capricious. Lord Byron immediately followed; first with his Beppo, which implied the profligacy of the writer, and, lastly, with his Don Juan, which is a foul blot on the literature of his country, an act of high treason on English poetry. The manner has had a host of imitators. The use of Hudibrastic rhymes (the only thing in which it differs from the Italian) makes it very easy.

“My poems hang on hand. I want no monitor to tell me it is time to leave off. I shall force myself
to finish what I have begun, and then—good night. Had circumstances favoured, I might have done more in this way, and better. But I have done enough to be remembered among poets, though my proper place will be among the historians, if I live to complete the works upon yonder shelves.

“God bless you!

Robert Southey.”
To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, Feb. 22. 1820.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . You know what a rose-coloured politician I was during the worst years of the war. My nature inclines me to hope and to exertion; and in spite of the evil aspects on every side, and the indications which are blackening wherever we look, I think that if we do not avert the impending dangers we shall get through them victoriously, let them come thick and threatening as they may. But it will not be without a heavy cost. The murder of the Duc de Berri surprised me more than a like tragedy would have done at home, where such crimes have perseveringly been recommended in those infamous journals, most of which have been suppressed by the late wholesome acts. The effect of such things (as it is the end also of all revolutions), must be to strengthen the executive power. As no man can abuse his fortune without injuring it, so no people can abuse their liberty
without being punished by the loss of it, in whole or in part. . . . .

“Is it within the bounds of a reasonable hope that an improved state of public opinion, and an extended influence of religion, may prevent the degradation which, in the common course of things, would ensue, after one or two halcyon generations? How justly did the Romans congratulate themselves upon the security which they enjoyed under Augustus; but how sure was the tyranny, and corruption, and ruin which ensued? Our chance of escaping from the same process of decay depends upon the question, whether religion or infidelity are gaining ground: and if I am asked this question, I must comfort myself by the wise and good old saying; ‘Well masters, God’s above.’

“You have heard, no doubt, of the discovery of Cicero de Republica? This was brought to my mind at this moment by a thought whether we might not be verging towards a state of things, in which a general wreck of literature and destruction of libraries would make part of the plans of reform. The proposal of a new alphabet has been made by a German reformer, and approved by an English one, because one of its effects would be to render all existing books useless! It was said of old that there was nothing so foolish but some philosopher had said it. Alas there is nothing so mischievous or so atrocious, but that men are found in these days mad enough and malignant enough to recommend and to defend it.

Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
To John Rickman, Esq.

“Your guess about the Parallel Roads* has this in its favour, that if Glen Roy mean the king’s glen, the word Roy would not have been used before there was an intercourse between the Scotch and the French; they were never such friends with our Normans as to have taken it from them. In point of time, therefore, this would suit well. On the other hand, in that age chroniclers delighted as much in a good show as in a good battle, and Froissart would hardly have failed to describe a hunting party upon so grand a scale as that for which these roads were made. It appears to be impossible that they should have been made for any other purpose; and when our friends at Corpach procure a list of the names of places, and some Gael is found learned enough to translate them, this main fact I have no doubt will be established. There is some possibility that by this means, also, we may come near the age; not by the language (for I believe the Gaelic is not like the Welsh, in which the date of a composition may be

* “I read in Froissart (chap, lxi.) that the king of Scotland (Robert II.) was at that time absent from Edinburgh, being in the Highlands on a hunting party. The Parallel Roads in Glen Roy might be freshly made at that time; the Scottish kings having had recent opportunity of enlarging their ideas as prisoners or auxiliaries in England and France; and the listed field of a tournament might give the hint for a grand apparatus,—a hunting spectacle. Game might be preserved in the neighbourhood for royal diversion.”—J. R. to R. S., Feb. 20. 1820.

inferred with some certainty by its language), but by the names of some of the party, and perhaps of some of the implements used.

“You are quite right in thinking funded property better than landed property for charitable institutions, as being rather more than less secure, safe from fraudulent management, and requiring no trouble. There remains an objection from the uncertainty of the value of money; but it appears to me impossible that money should ever fall in value as it has done since the Middle Ages, perhaps even such an advance in prices as has taken place within our own recollection will never again occur; I mean as affecting every thing. In the view which I take of the improvement of society, stability is one of the good things to be expected.

“I like your Beguinage scheme in all its parts. Endowments (analogous to college fellowships) would grow out of it in due course of time. And great part of the business of female education would be transferred to these institutions to the advantage of all parties.

“The Duc de Berri will do more good by his death than he would ever have done by his life. I had been saying that such a tragedy in France surprised me much more than it would have done in England. The will, I knew, was not wanting, and intelligence soon came that the purpose had been formed. Your Oppositionists will call this discovery* a most unfortunate business, and such I trust it will

* Of the Cato Street conspiracy.

prove for them. The jury who acquitted
Thistlewood and Watson, the Oppositionists in Parliament and out of it who ridiculed the green bag plot, and the subscribers to Hone and Co., are much more deeply implicated in the guilt of this business than they would like to be told. They have given every encouragement to traitors, and thereby have made themselves morally art and part in the treason. What a fortunate thing that the Habeas Corpus was not suspended! in that case these miscreants would most of them have been in confinement, and the Whigs lamenting over them, and promoting subscriptions for them as the victims of oppression. The gallows will now have its due. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”

The following was the “Beguinage scheme” alluded to in the foregoing letter:—

“A local habitation is all I wish for where a secular nunnery is to be established; acres enough to preserve the integrity of aspect from encroachment and to prevent intrusion. . . . . My notion of a female establishment is, that any benefactor erecting a set of chambers shall thereby acquire a right (alienable by will, gift, or sale, like other property) to place inmates there on certain conditions, such as that security shall be given that each enjoy a competent income, not less than £—— while she resides there; that she shall be bound to the neces-
sary rules of female decorum, on pain of instant expulsion; and to such other rules as are indispensable to the well-being of the community; but that nothing like common meals shall be proposed. The ladies to choose their own mutual society,—of which there would be enough,—and to make all minor arrangements among themselves. I believe for external appearance, to prevent expense and vanity, and to restrain the number of idle applications, a uniform dress would be proper; and, for many purposes, as for prayers, bad weather, and peripatetic exercise, a large room would be a respectable adjunct to the edifice, and for which the fundatores might be taxed a per-centage upon their several chambers. Under such easy laws as these, and considering how fashionable and how laudable is the appetite for virtuous patronage, I do not see how it could fail that among the female nobility and other opulent females many would be ready so to invest part of their money. None of it could be spent more for their own reputation and respectability; and, considering that the individuals admitted would not of necessity (nor usually) be maintained by the foundress of the chamber, but recommended to her by those who might have interest or gratification in giving security for the maintenance of the inmate, I cannot but think that the foundress, the immediate patron of the admitted female,—who might thus exonerate himself from care and anxiety, were better motive wanting,—and the admitted female, whose maintenance for life, or, at least, for a specified term of years, must be secured before her admission, would all find motive
enough for falling into a plan, simple and unambiguous in its arrangement, and (if not wofully mismanaged) of the highest respectability.

“I do not know whether you are prepared to agree with me as to the necessity of a secured income to each female, but I have inquired enough in and about such female societies (such there are for clergymen’s widows at Bromley, at Winchester, at Froxfield, at Lichfield, and, I dare say, elsewhere) as to be fully convinced that respectability cannot be otherwise maintained. . . . . In short, there must be a classification of relief, and I treat of the upper classes, observing only that many would be exalted into that upper class were the means of so exalting them easy, and obvious to the wealthy. Few wills would be without bequests of the competent annuity to some humble friend; various societies would be at various rates,—I should say from 50l. to 100l. per annum, or some such minimum,—and, if a wealthy foundress resided herself, she would have larger facility for beneficence than display. The love of the community, so conspicuous among monks in former times, would found libraries, plantations, walks, cloisters, gaudy days, whether obit or birthday, medical attendance, a chaplain, perhaps. For government, the foundresses must legislate.”*

The reader will remember an interesting account of a Beguinage at Ghent in the last volume, and the recurrence to the subject at various intervals throughout my father’s life shows how much interest he felt in it.

* J. R. to R. S., Feb. 20. 1820.


How far this plan of Mr. Rickman’s, without considerable modification, might answer, seems doubtful, and something more of the nature of an asylum for persons of very limited means, or for those left altogether destitute, appears greatly wanted.

Institutions of this kind, however, so long as their object is limited to the benefit of their own inmates, have not in them a sufficient largeness of purpose and general utility to command the interest and admiration of mankind to any wide extent.

But when regarded in another light, as an influential machinery for the moral and religious cultivation of the people, they become highly important. My father has unfolded his own ideas upon this subject in the latter part of the Colloquies with Sir Thomas More, using frequently the same phrases, and making the same suggestions which occur in these letters, whether his own or his friend’s; and he there indicates certain principles which seem essential to the well-being of such communities. There must be a centre of union sufficient to overpower, or at least to keep in harmonious subjection, individual characters; this can only be supplied by religion and the habit of obedience. “Human beings,” he remarks, “cannot live happily in constrained community of habits without the aid of religious feeling, and without implicit obedience to a superior;” but he did not expect that these requirements would be easily met with in this age, and he attributes the little success of some institutions to the want of them.

It seems also an absolute essential that they should have their definite work; an object which may fill
their thoughts and occupy their energies; and this my father suggests, arguing that they ought to be devoted to purposes of Christian charity, and showing how wide a field is open to the members of such societies, in attendance upon the sick, in affording Christian consolation, and in the relief and the education of the poor; and with reference to such offices as these, he concludes with the hopeful prognostic that “thirty years hence the reproach may be effaced, and England may have its Sisters of Charity.”

We have happily seen that in this respect, as in some others, the tide has turned, and some Institutions have sprung up, whose existence is based upon these two principles. While, however, I sincerely rejoice that such a beginning has been made, I may be allowed to express a fear that as yet, with the enthusiasm of persons following a new and exciting idea, they have adopted too much of the minutiæ and austerities of convent discipline to be widely acceptable to the English mind, and consequently to be extensively beneficial. For the rigid strictness of the rules (in some houses at least) is likely to deter any one from entering them, who respects and values the cheerfulness and rational liberty of domestic life, such as it appears in most religious families; and the quantity and fatigue of the duties required, is such as can only be endured by persons in robust health; and thus the very class who most need such a residence as an asylum, and who, under a more moderate system, might be both contented and useful, are altogether excluded. It would seem, indeed, to be desirable that the inmates of such Sisterhoods should aim
at making as small a distinction as possible, consistently with their great objects and principles, between themselves and other sensible, industrious, and devout English ladies. Some differences there must be; but such as, without being necessary, are only likely to offend, should surely be studiously avoided.

In the following letter, my father alludes to his youngest brother Edward, who has not been mentioned in these volumes since his boyhood. The subject is a painful one, and I may be excused from entering into it further than to say that every effort had been made, both by his uncle, Mr. Hill, and his brothers, to place him in a respectable line of life, and induce him to continue in it. He possessed excellent abilities, and had received a good education; and if he would have chosen any profession, they would have prepared him for it. He was placed first in the navy, and afterwards in the army, but in vain; and he finally took to the wretched life of an actor in provincial theatres. My father here sufficiently indicates the course ultimately pursued towards him by his brothers, who, in fact, did everything it was possible to do for him. He died in 1845.

To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“March 1. 1820.
“My dear G.,

“Though I never examined an account in my life (holding it a less evil to be cheated than to cast up long sums, and fret myself about l. s. d.), yet I think
there is an error in yours, for you have not debited me for the Westminster subscription, which must surely have been paid within the last three months.

“I thank you for your solicitude concerning my readiness to give. But you do not know when I turn a deaf ear. The case of poor Page’s family is the only one in which I had not a cogent motive; there, perhaps, there was no better one than a regard to appearances—a tax to which I have paid less in the course of my life than most other persons. My unhappy brother Edward has at least the virtue of being very considerate in his demands upon me. They come seldom, and are always trifling. At present he is ill, perhaps seriously so. All that can be done for him is to take care that he may not want for necessaries while in health, nor for comforts (as far as they can be procured) when health fails him.

“In John Morgan’s case I acted from the double motive of good will towards him and his wife, and of setting others an example,—which has had its effect. There was an old acquaintance there; and for the sake of his mother, at whose table I have been a frequent guest, I would have done more for him than this, had it been in my power.

“People imagine that I am very rich, that I have great interest with Government, and that my patronage in literature is sufficient to make an author’s fortune, and to introduce a poet at once into full celebrity.

Turner is about to take an opinion concerning my claims, both in law and in equity, to the Somersetshire Estates. Were I to recover them, I should
have great satisfaction in resigning my pension. The Laureateship I would keep as a feather, and wear it as Fluellen did his leek.

“Last night I finished the Life of Wesley; but I have outrun the printer as well as the constable, and it may be four or five weeks before he comes up to me. Now I go dens et unguis to my Carmen, which, if I do not like when it is done, why I will even skip the task, and prepare for the coronation. Alas! the birthdays will now be kept; learn for me on what days, that I may be ready in time. I do not know why you are so anxious for rhyme. The rhythm of my Congratulatory Odes is well suited for lyrical composition; and the last poem which I sent you was neither amiss in execution, nor inappropriate in subject. God bless you!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.

“Before I see you, you will receive the Life of Wesley*, whereof only about two sheets remain to

* “There are at this day half a million of persons in the world (adult persons) calling themselves Methodists, and following the institutions of John Wesley; they are pretty equally divided between the British dominions and the United States of America; and they go on increasing year after year. They have also their missionaries in all parts of the world. The rise and progress of such a community is, therefore, neither an incurious nor an unimportant part of the history of the last century. I have brought it no farther than the death of the founder. You will find in it some odd things, some odd characters, some fine anecdotes, and many valuable facts, which the psychologist will know how to appreciate and apply. My humour (as

be printed. Some persons have expressed their expectations that the book will have a huge sale. I am much more inclined to think that it will obtain a moderate sale, and a durable reputation. Its merit will hardly be appreciated by any person, unless it be compared with what his former biographers have done: then, indeed, it would be seen what they have overlooked, how completely the composition is my own, and what pains it must have required to collect together the pieces for this great tesselated tablet. The book contains many fine things,—pearls which I have raked out of the dunghill. My only merit is that of finding and setting them. It contains also many odd ones,—some that may provoke a smile, and some that will touch the feelings. In parts I think some of my own best writing will be found. It is written with too fair a spirit to satisfy any particular set of men. For the ‘religious public’ it will be too tolerant and too philosophical; for the Liberals it will be too devotional; the Methodists will not endure any censure of their founder and their institutions; the high Churchman will as little be able to allow any praise of them. Some will complain of it as being heavy and dull; others will not think it serious

it would have been called in the days of Ben Jonson) inclines me to hunt out such subjects; and whether the information be contained in goodly and stately folios of old times, like my noble Acta Sanctorum (which I shall like to show you whenever you will find your way again to your old chamber which looks to Borodale), or in modern pamphlets of whitey-brown paper; I am neither too indolent to search for it in the one, nor so fastidious as to despise it in the other. In proof of this unabated appetite, I have just begun an account of our old acquaintance the Sinner Saved, in the shape of a paper for the Q. R.”—To Richard Duppa, Esq., March 25. 1820.

enough. I shall be abused on all sides, and you well know how little I shall care for it. But there are persons who will find this work deeply interesting, for the subjects upon which it touches, and the many curious psychological cases which it contains, and the new world to which it will introduce them. I dare say that of the twelve thousand purchasers of
Murray le Magne’s Review, nine hundred and ninety-nine persons out of a thousand know as little about the Methodists as they do about the Cherokees or the Chiriguanas. I expect that Henry will like it, and also that he will believe in Jeffrey*, as I do.

“God bless you!

R. S.”

In April, May, and June my father was absent from home, during which time he visited his friend Mr. Wynn, in Wales, spent some wearisome weeks in society in and about London, and finally received the honorary degree of D.C.L. at the Oxford commemoration.

The following letters are selected, because they give some slight idea of that affectionate playfulness which, in a character like his, ought not to be wholly passed over in silence.

* Jeffrey was the name given to the invisible cause of certain strange noises which annoyed the Wesley family.—See Life of Wesley, vol. i. p. 445.

To Edith May Southey.
“Shrewsbury, April 25. 1820.

“Having nothing else to do for a dismal hour or two, I sit down to write to you, in such rhymes as may ensue, be they many be they few, according to the cue which I happen to pursue. I was obliged to stay at Llangedwin till to-day; though I wished to come away, Wynn would make me delay my departure yesterday, in order that he and I might go to see a place whereof he once sent a drawing to me.

“And now I’ll tell you why it was proper that I should go thither to espy the place with mine own eye. ’Tis a church in a vale, whereby hangs a tale, how a hare being pressed by the dogs and much distressed, the hunters coming nigh and the dogs in full cry, looked about for some one to defend her, and saw just in time, as it now comes pat in rhyme, a saint of the feminine gender.

“The saint was buried there, and a figure carved with care, in the churchyard is shown, as being her own; but ’tis used for a whetstone (like the stone at our back door), till the pity is the more, (I should say the more’s the pity, if it suited with my ditty), it is whetted half away,—lack-a-day, lack-a-day!

“They show a mammoth’s rib (was there ever such a fib?) as belonging to the saint Melangel. It was no use to wrangle, and tell the simple people, that if this had been her bone, she must certainly have grown, to be three times as tall as the steeple.


“Moreover there is shown a monumental stone, as being the tomb of Yorwerth Drwndwn (w, you must know, serves in Welsh for long o). In the portfolio there are drawings of their tombs, and of the church also. This Yorwerth was killed six hundred years ago. Nevertheless, as perhaps you may guess, he happened to be an acquaintance of mine, and therefore I always have had a design to pay him a visit whenever I could, and now the intention is at last made good. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”

A very different record of the same scenes is preserved in my father’s poems. One of the guests at Llangedwin during his stay there, was Bishop Heber, and the meeting was remembered on both sides, for in Heber’s journal there is an allusion to Oliver Newman, which must have been read to him at this time; and ten years later my father embodied, in his lines On the Portrait of Bishop Heber, a graceful memorial of his friends, and the spots which he visited in their company.

“Ten years have held their course
Since last I look’d upon
That living countenance,
When on Llangedwin’s terraces we paced
Together, to and fro.
Partaking there its hospitality,
We with its honoured master spent,
Well-pleased, the social hours;
His friend and mine, . . my earliest friend, whom I
Have ever, thro’ all changes, found the same,
From boyhood to grey hairs.
In goodness, and in worth and warmth of heart.
Together then we traced
The grass-grown site, where armed feet once trod
The threshold of Glendower’s embattled hall;
Together sought Melangel’s lonely Church,
Saw the dark yews, majestic in decay,
Which in their flourishing strength
Cyveilioc might have seen;
Letter by letter traced the lines
On Yorwerth’s fabled tomb;
And curiously observed what vestiges,
Mouldering and mutilate,
Of Monacella’s legend there are left,
A tale humane, itself
Well nigh forgotten now.”*
To Bertha, Kate, and Isabel Southey.
“June 26. 1820.

Bertha, Kate, and Isabel, you have been very good girls, and have written me very nice letters, with which I was much pleased. This is the last letter which I can write in return; and as I happen to have a quiet hour to myself, here at Streatham, on Monday noon, I will employ that hour in relating to you the whole history and manner of my being ell-ell-deed at Oxford by the Vice-Chancellor.

“You must know, then, that because I had written a great many good books, and more especially the Life of Wesley, it was made known to me by the Vice-Chancellor, through Mr. Heber, that the University of Oxford were desirous of showing me the only mark of honour in their power to bestow, which was that of making me an LL.D., that is to say, a doctor of laws.

“Now, you are to know that some persons are ell-

* In both the ten vol. and one vol. edit. of my father’s poems, this poem “On the Portrait of Bishop Heber” bears the wrong date of 1820. It was written in 1830.

ell-deed every year at Oxford, at the great annual meeting which is called the Commemoration. There are two reasons for this; first, that the university may do itself honour, by bringing persons of distinction to receive the degree publicly as a mark of honour; and, secondly, that certain persons in inferior offices may share in the fees paid by those upon whom the ceremony of ell-ell-deeing is performed. For the first of these reasons the
Emperor Alexander was made a Doctor of Laws at Oxford, the King of Prussia, and old Blucher, and Platoff. And for the second, the same degree is conferred upon noblemen, and persons of fortune and consideration who are any ways connected with the university, or city, or county of Oxford.

“The ceremony of ell-ell-deeing is performed in a large circular building called the theatre, of which I will show you a print when I return, and this theatre is filled with people. The undergraduates (that is the young men who are called Cathedrals at Keswick) entirely fill the gallery. Under the gallery there are seats, which are filled with ladies in full dress, separated from the gentlemen. Between these two divisions of the ladies are seats for the heads of houses, and the doctors of law, physic, and divinity. In the middle of these seats is the Vice-Chancellor, opposite the entrance which is under the orchestra. On the right and left are two kind of pulpits, from which the prize essays and poems are recited. The area, or middle of the theatre, is filled with bachelors and masters of arts, and with as many strangers as can
obtain admission. Before the steps which lead up to the seats of the doctors, and directly in front of the Vice-Chancellor, a wooden bar is let down, covered with red cloth, and on each side of this the beadles stand in their robes.

“When the theatre is full, the Vice-Chancellor, and the heads of houses, and the doctors enter: those persons who are to be ell-ell-deed remain without in the divinity schools, in their robes, till the convocation have signified their assent to the ell-ell-deeing, and then they are led into the theatre, one after another in a line, into the middle of the area, the people just making a lane for them. The professor of civil law, Dr. Phillimore, went before, and made a long speech in Latin, telling the Vice-Chancellor and the dignissimi doctores what excellent persons we were who were now to be ell-ell-deed. Then he took us one by one by the hand, and presented each in his turn, pronouncing his name aloud, saying who and what he was, and calling him many laudatory names ending in issimus. The audience then cheered loudly to show their approbation of the person; the Vice-Chancellor stood up, and repeating the first words in issime, ell-ell-deed him; the beadles lifted up the bar of separation, and the new-made doctor went up the steps and took his seat among the dignissimi doctores.

“Oh Bertha, Kate, and Isabel, if you had seen me that day! I was like other issimis, dressed in a great robe of the finest scarlet cloth, with sleeves of rose-coloured silk, and I had in my hand a black velvet cap like a beef-eater, for the use of which dress I paid one guinea for that day. Dr. Philli-
more, who was an old school-fellow of mine, and a very good man, took me by the hand in my turn, and presented me; upon which there was a great clapping of hands and huzzaing at my name. When that was over, the Vice-Chancellor stood up, and said these words whereby I was ell-ell-deed:—‘Doctissime et ornatissime vir, ego, pro auctoritate mea et totius universitatis hujus, admitto te ad gradum doctoris in jure civili, honoris causâ.’ These were the words which ell-ell-deed me; and then the bar was lifted up, and I seated myself among the doctors.

“Little girls, you know it might be proper for me, now, to wear a large wig, and to be called Doctor Southey, and to become very severe, and leave off being a comical papa. And if you should find that ell-ell-deeing has made this difference in me you will not be surprised. However, I shall not come down in a wig, neither shall I wear my robes at home.

“God bless you all!

Your affectionate Father,
R. Southey.”
To the Rev. Neville White.

“There is no better proof that two fellow-travellers are upon a proper understanding with each other, than when they travel together for a good length of time in silence, each thinking his own
thoughts, and neither of them feeling it necessary to open his lips for the sake of politeness. So it is with real friends: I have not written to congratulate you on your change of state till now, because I could not do it at leisure, I would not do it hastily, and I knew that you knew how completely every day, hour, and minute of my time must be occupied in London. Never, indeed, was I involved in a more incessant succession of wearying and worrying engagements from morning till night, day after day, without intermission; here, there, and everywhere, with perpetual changes of every kind, except the change of tranquillity and rest. During an absence of nearly eleven weeks, I seldom slept more than three nights successively in the same bed. At length, God be thanked, I am once more seated by my own fireside—perhaps it is the only fire in Keswick at this time; but like a cat and a cricket, my habits or my nature have taught me to love a warm hearth: so I sit with the windows open, and enjoy at the same time the breath of the mountains and the heat of a sea-coal fire.

“And now, my dear Neville, I heartily wish you all that serious, sacred, and enduring happiness in marriage which you have proposed to yourself, and which, as far as depends upon yourself, you have every human probability of finding, and I make no doubt as far as depends upon your consort also. Such drawbacks as are inseparable from our present imperfect state, and such griefs as this poor flesh is heir to, you must sometimes expect, and will know how to bear. But the highest temporal blessings
as certainly attend upon a well-regulated and virtuous course of conduct now, as they did during the Mosaic dispensation; for what other blessings are comparable to tranquillity of mind, resignation under the afflictive dispensations of Providence, faith, hope, and that peace which passeth all understanding? However bitter upon the palate the good man’s cup may be, this is the savour which it leaves: whatever his future may be, his happiness depends upon himself, and must be his own work. In this sense, I am sure you will be a happy man; may you be a fortunate one also.

“I had the comfort of finding all my family well, the children thoroughly recovered from the measles, though some of them somewhat thinner, and the mother a good deal so, from the anxiety and the fatigue which she had undergone during their illness. You hardly yet know how great a blessing it is for a family to have got through that disease; one of the passes perilous upon the pilgrimage of life. Cuthbert had not forgotten me; five minutes seemed to bring me to his recollection; he is just beginning to walk alone,—a fine, stout, good-humoured creature, with curling hair, and eyes full of intelligence. How difficult it is not to build one’s hopes upon a child like this.

“I am returned to a world of business; enough to intimidate any one of less habitual industry, less resolution, or less hopefulness of spirit. My time will be sadly interrupted by visitors who, with more or less claims, find their way to me during the season from all parts. However, little by little, I
shall get on with many things: of which the first in point of time will be the long-intended
Book of the Church. I told you, if I recollect rightly, what the Bishop of London had said to me concerning the Life of Wesley. You will be glad to hear that Lord Liverpool expressed to me the same opinion, when I met him at Mr. Canning’s, and said that it was a book which could not fail of doing a great deal of good. Had that book been written by a clergyman, it would have made his fortune beyond all doubt. But it will do its work better as having come from one who could have had no view to preferment, nor any undue bias upon his mind. If I live, I shall yet do good service both to the Church and State.

“My visit to Oxford brought with it feelings of the most opposite kind. After the exhibition in the theatre, and the collation in Brazenose Hall given by the Vice-Chancellor, I went alone into Christ Church walks, where I had not been for six-and-twenty years. Of the friends with whom I used to walk there, many (and among them some of the dearest) were in their graves. I was then inexperienced, headstrong, and as full of errors as of youth and hope and ardour. Through the mercy of God, I have retained the whole better part of my nature, and as for the lapse of years, that can never be a mournful consideration to one who hopes to be ready for a better world, whenever his hour may come. God bless you!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.

“It is very seldom that a whole month elapses without some interchange of letters between you and me. And, for my part, on the present instance, I cannot plead any unusual press of business, or any remarkable humour of industry. But, then, I can plead a great deal of enjoyment. I have been staying in the house all day,—a great happiness after the hard service upon which my ten trotters were continually kept in London. I have been reading,—a great luxury for one who during eleven weeks had not half-an-hour for looking through a book. I have been playing with Cuthbert, giving him the Cries of London to the life, as the accompaniment to a series of prints thereof, and enacting lion, tiger, bull, bear, horse, ass, elephant, rhinoceros, the laughing hyena, owl, cuckoo, peacock, turkey, rook, raven, magpie, cock, duck, and goose, &c, greatly to his delight and somewhat to his edification, for never was there a more apt or more willing pupil. Whenever he comes near the study door, he sets up a shout, which seldom fails of producing an answer; in he comes, tottering along, with a smile upon his face, and pica pica in his mouth; and if the picture-book is not forthwith forthcoming, he knows its place upon the shelf, and uses most ambitious and persevering efforts to drag out a folio. And if this is not a proper excuse for idleness, Grosvenor, what is?


“But I have not been absolutely idle, only comparatively so. I have made ready about five sheets of the Peninsular War for the press (the main part, indeed, was transcription), and William Nicol will have it as soon as the chapter is finished. I have written an account of Derwent Water for Westall’s Views of the Lakes. I have begun the Book of the Church, written half a dialogue between myself and Sir Thomas More, composed seventy lines for Oliver Newman, opened a Book of Collections for the Moral and Literary History of England, and sent to Longman for materials for the Life of George Fox and the Origin and Progress of Quakerism, a work which will be quite as curious as the Wesley, and about half the length. Make allowances for letter writing (which consumes far too great a portion of my time), and for the interruptions of the season, and this account of the month will not be so bad, as to subject me to any very severe censure of my stewardship.

“The other day there came a curious letter from Shelley, written from Pisa. Some of his friends persisted in assuring him that I was the author of a criticism* concerning him in the Quarterly Review. From internal evidence, and from what he knew of me, he did not and would not believe it; nevertheless they persisted; and he writes that I may enable him to confirm his opinion. The letter then, still couched in very courteous terms, talks of the principles and slanderous practices of the pretended friends of order, as contrasted with those which he professes, hints at

* My father was not the writer of this article.

challenging the writer of the Review, if he should be a person with whom it would not be beneath him to contend, tells me he shall certainly hear from me, because he must interpret my silence into an acknowledgment of the offence, and concludes with Dear-Sir-Ship and civility. If I had an amanuensis I would send you copies of this notable epistle, and of my reply to it.

“God bless you, Grosvenor!

Yours as ever,
R. S.”
To Bernard Barton, Esq.
“Keswick, Nov. 24. 1820.
“My dear Sir,

“In reply to your questions concerning the Life of George Fox, the plan of the work resembles that of the Life of Wesley as nearly as possible. Very little progress has been made in the composition, but a good deal in collecting materials, and digesting the order of their arrangement. The first chapter will contain a summary history of the religious or irreligious dissensions in England, and their consequences, from the rise of the Lollards, to the time when George Fox went forth. This will be such an historical sketch as that view of our ecclesiastical history in the life of Wesley, which is the most elaborate portion of the work. The last chapter will probably contain a view of the state of the society at this time, and the modification and improvement which it has gradually, and almost insensibly re-
ceived. This part, whenever it is written, and all those parts wherein I may be in danger of forming erroneous inferences from an imperfect knowledge of the subject, I shall take care to show to some members of the society before it is printed. The general spirit and tendency of the book will, I doubt not, be thought favourable by the Quakers, as well as to them; and the more so, by the judicious, because commendation comes with tenfold weight from one who does not dissemble his own difference of opinion upon certain main points. Perhaps in the course of the work I may avail myself of your friendly offer, ask you some questions as they occur, and transmit certain parts for your inspection.

“Farewell, my dear Sir; and believe me,

Yours with much esteem,
Robert Southey.”

It would seem that a rumour had got abroad at this time, that the society of Friends were somewhat alarmed at the prospect of my father’s becoming the biographer of their founder; for a few weeks later, Bernard Barton writes to him, telling him that he had seen it stated in one of the magazines that “Mr. Southey could not procure the needful materials, owing to a reluctance on the part of the Quakers to entrust them to him.” And he goes on to say:—“But although I have stated that I see no objection to entrusting thee with any materials which thou mayest consider at all essential to thy undertaking, I think I can see, and I doubt not thou dost, why some little hesitation should exist in certain quarters. Thy
name is, of course, more likely to be known as that of a poet; and though poets as well as poetry are, I should hope, of rather increasing good repute amongst us, yet some distrust of their salutary tendency, which too much of our modern poetry may perhaps justify, still perhaps operates to their disadvantage. Then again, many of us are very plain matter-of-fact sort of people, making little allowance for poetical licence, and little capable of appreciating the pure charm and hidden moral of superstition and legendary lore. Now supposing thy
Old Woman of Berkeley,—St. Romuald,—the Pope, the Devil, and St. Antidius,—or the Love Elegies of Abel Shufflebottom, to have fallen in the way of such personages, and then for them to be abruptly informed that the author of them was about compiling a Life of George Fox, &c., thou wilt, I think, at once see a natural and obvious cause for hesitation in really very respectable and good sort of people, but with little of poetry in them.”

In this there is some reason as well as some humour; the report, however, was without foundation; and it was not from want of the offer of sufficient materials that the Life of George Fox was never written. Other labours crowded closely one upon the other, and this was only one more to be added to the heap of unfulfilled intentions and half-digested plans which form the melancholy reliquiæ of my father’s literary life, leaving us, however, to wonder, not at what he left undone, but at what he did.

To W. Westall, Esq.

“Your letter arrived yesterday, by which post, you know (being Thursday), it could not be answered. By this night’s I shall write to Murray, saying that you will deliver the drawings to him, and informing him of the price. That they have in them that which is common to poetry and painting I do not doubt, and I only wish it were possible for you to engrave them yourself. The first edition of the book would then bear a high value hereafter. In describing that scene on the side of Walla Crag, I have introduced your name in a manner gratifying to my own feelings, and which I hope will not be otherwise to yours.

“I am glad to hear you are employed upon your views of Winandermere. My topographical knowledge in that quarter is but imperfect; but, when you want your letter-press, if you cannot persuade Wordsworth to write it (who would be in all respects the best person) I will do for you the best I can.

“Allow me to say one thing before I conclude. When you were last at Keswick there was an uncomfortable feeling in your mind towards Nash: I hope it has passed away. There is not a kinder-hearted creature in the world than he is; and I know that he has the truest regard for you, and the highest possible respect for your genius. Any offence that he may have given was entirely unintentional. Forget it, I entreat you: call upon him again as you were wont to do; it will rejoice him, and you will not feel the worse for having overcome the feeling of
resentment. I need not apologise for saying this; for, indeed, I could not longer forbear saying it, consistent with my regard both for him and for you.

“All here desire their kind remembrances. We cannot send them to Mrs. Westall, because you did not give us an opportunity of becoming known to her; but, I pray you, present our best wishes, and believe me,

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”

The prints referred to in the commencement of the foregoing letter were for the Colloquies with Sir Thomas More. The concluding paragraph of it had a special interest in Mr. Westall’s eyes, as, with a rare willingness to receive such advice, he had immediately acted upon it, and renewed his friendly intercourse with Mr. Nash. And he reflected upon it with the more satisfaction as a few weeks only elapsed before Nash was suddenly cut off.

Nash was a mild, unassuming, and most amiable person, bearing meekly and patiently a severe bodily infirmity, which, in its consequences, caused his death. My father first became acquainted with him in Belgium in 1815: he spent several summers at Greta Hall, a guest dear both to young and old; and to his and to Mr. W. Westall’s pencil the walls of our home owed many of their most beloved ornaments.

Since the commencement of the publication of these volumes, Mr. Westall has also “departed to his rest;” and I will take this opportunity of noticing
the sincere regard my father entertained for him as a friend, and the estimation in which he held him as an artist, considering him as by far the most faithful delineator of the scenery of the Lakes.

His death has taken away one more from the small surviving number of those who were familiar “household guests” at Greta Hall, and to whom every minute particular of the friend they so truly loved and honoured had its own especial interest.

To the Rev. Neville White.

“. . . . . I shall have a poem to send you in the course of a few weeks, planned upon occasion of the King’s death (which you may think no very promising subject), laid aside eight months ago, when half written, as not suited for publication while the event was recent, and now taken up again, and almost brought to a conclusion. The title is, ‘A Vision of Judgment.’ It is likely to attract some notice, because I have made—and, in my own opinion, with success—the bold experiment of constructing a metre upon the principle of the ancient hexameter. It will provoke some abuse for what is said of the factious spirit by which the country has been disturbed during the last fifty years; and it will have some interest for you, not merely because it comes from me, but because you will find Henry’s name not improperly introduced in it. My Laureateship has not been a sinecure: without reckoning the annual odes, which
have regularly been supplied, though I have hitherto succeeded in withholding them from publication, I have written, as Laureate, more upon public occasions (on none of which I should otherwise have ever composed a line) than has been written by any person who ever held the office before, with the single exception of
Ben Jonson, if his Masques are taken into the account.

“The prevailing madness has reached Keswick*, as well as all other places; and the people here, who believe, half of them, that the King concealed his father’s death ten years for the sake of receiving his allowance, and that he poisoned the Princess Charlotte (of which, they say, there can be no doubt; for did not the doctor kill himself? and why should he have done that if it had not been for remorse of conscience?), believe, with the same monstrous credulity, that the Queen is a second Susannah. The Queenomania will probably die away ere long; but it will be succeeded by some new excitement; and so we shall go on as long as our Government suffers itself to be insulted and menaced with impunity, and as long as

* Some riots had been expected on the occasion of the Queen’s trial. My father writes at the time, “King Mob, contrary to his majesty’s custom, has borne his faculties meekly in this place, and my windows were not assailed on the night of the illumination. I was prepared to suffer like a Quaker; and my wife was much more ‘game’ than I expected. Perhaps we owed our security to the half dozen persons in town who also chose to light no candles. They had declared their intention of making a fight for it if they were attacked, and they happened to be persons of consideration and influence. So all went off peaceably. The tallow chandler told our servant that it was expected there would be great disturbances; this was a hint to me, but I was too much a Trojan to be taken in by the man of grease.”—To G. C. B., Nov. 17. 1820.

our Ministers are either unwilling or afraid to exert the laws in defence of the institutions of the country.

“I have a book in progress upon the state of the country, its existing evils, and its prospects. It is in a series of dialogues, and I hope it will not be read without leading some persons both to think and to feel as they ought. In more than one instance I have had the satisfaction of being told that my papers in the Quarterly Review have confirmed some who were wavering in their opinions, and reclaimed others who were wrong. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear Neville!

R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.
“Keswick, Jan. 5. 1821.
“My dear G.,

“As for altering the movement of the six stanzas*, you may as well ask me for both my ears, or advise me to boil the next haunch of venison I may have, which, next to poaching a Simorg’s† egg, would, I conceive, be the most inexpiable of offences. I cast them purposely in that movement, and with forethought.

“Why should the rest of the world think meanly of me for offering a deserved compliment to Haydon?‡ or for what possible reason consider it as a piece of flattery to a man who might fancy it his interest to

* Of the ode for St. George’s Day, published with the Vision of Judgment.

† See Thalaba, book xi., verse 10.

‡ This refers to an allusion to Haydon in the Vision of Judgment.

flatter me, but whom I can have no imaginable motive for flattering? That point, however, you will press no farther when I tell you that the very day after the passage was written Haydon himself unexpectedly appeared,—that I read him the poem as far as it had then proceeded,—and that he, who, from the nature of his profession, desires contemporary praise more than anything in the world except abiding fame, values it quite as much as it is worth. You have shown me that I was mistaken about
Handel, yet I think the lines may stand, because the King’s patronage of his music is an honourable fact.

“I have to insert Sir P. Sidney among the elder worthies, and Hogarth among the later; perhaps Johnson also, if I can so do it as to satisfy myself with the expression, and not seem to give him a higher praise than he deserves. Offence I know will be taken that the name of Pitt does not appear there. The King would find him among the eminent men of his reign, but not among those whose rank will be confirmed by posterity. The Whigs, too, will observe that none of their idols are brought forward: neither Hampden, nor their Sidney, nor Russell. I think of the first as ill as Lord Clarendon did; and concerning Algernon Sidney, it is certain that he suffered wrongfully, but that does not make him a great man. If I had brought forward any man of that breed, it should have been old Oliver himself; and I had half a mind to do it.

“I have finished the explanatory part of the preface, touching the metre—briefly, fully, clearly, and fairly. It has led me (which you will think odd till
you see the connection) to pay off a part of my obligations to
Lord Byron and ——, by some observations upon the tendency of their poems (especially Don Juan), which they will appropriate to themselves in what proportion they please. If —— knew how much his character has suffered by that transaction about Don Juan, I think he would hang himself. And if Gifford knew what is said and thought of the Q. R. for its silence concerning that infamous poem, I verily believe it would make him ill. Upon that subject I say nothing. God bless you!

R. S.”
To the Rev. Neville White.

“It appears to me that whatever time you bestow upon the classics is little better than time lost. Classical attainments are not necessary for you, and even if you were ten years younger than you are, they would not be within your reach. This you yourself feel; you had better therefore make up your mind to be contented without them, and desist from a study which it is quite impossible for you to pursue with any advantage to yourself.

“My dear Neville, it is a common infirmity with us to over-value what we do not happen to possess. In your education you have learnt much which is not acquired in schools and colleges, but which is of great practical utility,—more probably than you would now
find it if you had taken a wrangler’s degree, or ranked as a medallist. You have mingled among men of business. You know their good and their evil, the characters which are formed by trade, and the temptations which are incident to it. You have acquired a knowledge of the existing constitution of society, and situated as you will be, in or near a great city, and in a trading country, this will be of much more use to you professionally, than any university accomplishments. Knowing the probable failings of your flock, you will know what warnings will be most applicable, and what exhortations will be most likely to do them good.

“The time which classical studies would take may be much more profitably employed upon history and books of travels. The better you are read in both, the more you will prize the peculiar blessings which this country enjoys in its constitution of Church and State, and more especially in the former branch. I could write largely upon this theme. The greater part of the evil in the world,—that is, all the evil in it which is remediable (and which I take to be at least nine-tenths of the whole)—arises either from the want of institutions, as among savages; from imperfect ones, as among barbarians; or from bad ones, as in point of government among the oriental nations; and in point of religion among them also, and in the intolerant Catholic countries. In your own language you will find all you need,—scriptural illustrations, and stores of knowledge of every kind.

“What you say concerning my correspondence, and the latitude which you allow me is both kind and
considerate, as is always to be expected from
Neville White. I do not, however, so easily forgive myself when a long interval of silence has been suffered to elapse. A letter is like a fresh billet of wood upon the fire, which, if it be not needed for immediate warmth, is always agreeable for its exhilarating effects. I who spend so many hours alone love to pass a portion of them in conversing thus with those whom I love.

“You will be grieved to hear that I have lost my poor friend Nash, whom you saw with us in the autumn. He left us at the beginning of November, and is now in his grave! This has been a severe shock to me. I had a most sincere regard for him, and very many pleasant recollections are now so changed by his death, that they will never recur without pain. He was so thoroughly amiable, so sensible of any little kindness that was shown him, so kind in all his thoughts, words, and deeds; and withal bore his cross so patiently and meekly, that every body who knew him respected him and loved him. Very few circumstances could have affected me more deeply than his loss.

“Remember me most kindly to your excellent mother, and to your sisters. You are happy in having had your parents spared to you so long. The moral influences of a good old age upon the hearts of youth and manhood cannot be appreciated too highly. We are all well at present, thank God.

“God bless you, my dear Neville!

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.

“Yesterday evening I received ‘Roderic, Dernier Roi des Goths, Poëme tradui de l’Anglais de Robert Southey, Esq., Poëte Laureat, par M. le Chevalier * * *.‘ Printed at Versailles and published at Paris by Galignani. It was accompanied by a modest and handsome letter from the translator, M. Chevalier de Sagrie, and by another from Madame St. Anne Holmes, the lady to whom it is dedicated. This lady has formerly favoured me with some letters and with a tragedy of hers, printed at Angers. She is a very clever woman, and writes almost as beautiful a hand as Miss Ponsonby of Llangollen. She is rich, and has lived in high life, and writes a great deal about Sheridan, as having been very intimate with him in his latter years. Me, Mr. Bedford, unworthy as I am, this lady has chosen for her poëte favori, and by her persuasions the Chevalier has translated Roderick into French. This is not all: there is a part of the business which is so truly booksellerish in general, and French in particular, that it would be a sin to withhold it from you, and you shall have it in the very words of my correspondent St. Anne.

“‘There is one part of the business I cannot pass over in silence: it has shocked me much, and calls for an apology; which is,—The life of Robert Southey, Esq., P.L. It never could have entered my mind to be guilty of, or even to sanction, such an imperti-
nence. But the fact is this, the printer and publisher, Mr. Le Bel of the Royal Printing-office Press in Versailles (printers, by-the-bye, are men of much greater importance here than they are in England) insisted upon having the life. He said the French know nothing of M. Southey, and in order to make the work sell, it must be managed to interest them for the author. To get rid of his importunities we said we were not acquainted with the life of Mr. Southey. Would you believe it? this was verbatim his answer:—“N’importe! écrivez toujours, brodez! brodez-la un peu, que ce soit vrai ou non ce ne fait rien; qui prendra la peine de s’informer?” Terrified lest this ridiculous man should succeed in his point, I at last yielded, and sent to London to procure all the lives; and from them, and what I had heard from my dear departed friend
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, we drew up the memoir.’

Grosvenor, whoever writes my life when the subject has an end as well as a beginning, and does not insert this biographical anecdote in it, may certainly expect that I will pull his ears in a true dream, and call him a jackass.

“The Notice sur M. Southey, which has been thus compounded, has scarcely one single point accurately stated, as you may suppose, and not a few which are ridiculously false. N’importe, as M. Le Bel says, I have laughed heartily at the whole translation, and bear the translation with a magnanimity which would excite the astonishment and envy of Wordsworth if he were here to witness it. I have even gone beyond the Quaker principle of bearing injuries meekly.
I have written to thank the inflictor. Happily it is in prose, and the Chevalier has intended to be faithful, and has, I believe, actually abstained from any interpolations. But did you ever hear me mention a fact worthy of notice, which I observed myself,—that wherever a breed of peacocks is spoiled by mixture with a white one, birds that escape the degeneracy in every other part of their plumage show it in the eye of the feather? the fact is very curious; where the perfection of nature’s work is required there it fails. This affords an excellent illustration for the version now before me; every where the eye of the feather is defective. It would be impossible more fully to exemplify how completely a man may understand the general meaning of a passage, and totally miss its peculiar force and character. The name of
M. Bedford appears in the Notice, with the error that he was one of my College friends, and the fact that Joan of Arc was written at his house. The dedication to him is omitted.

“God bless you!

R. S.

“What a grand bespattering of abuse I shall have when the Vision appears! Your walk at the Proclamation was but a type of it,—only that I am booted and coated, and of more convenient stature for the service. Pelt away my boys, pelt away! if you were not busy at that work you would be about something more mischievous. Abusing me is like flogging a whipping-post. Harry says I have had so much of it that he really thinks I begin to like it. This is
certain, that nothing vexes me except injudicious and exaggerated praise, e.g. when my French friends affirm that
Roderic is acknowledged to be a better poem than the Paradise Lost!!”

To John May, Esq.
“Keswick, March 4. 1821.
“My dear Friend,

“Yesterday I received a letter from my uncle with the news of Miss Tyler’s death, an event which you will probably have learnt before this reaches you. My uncle is thus relieved from a considerable charge, and from the apprehension which he must have felt of her surviving him. She was in the eighty-second year of her age. She will be interred (to-morrow, I suppose,) in the burial place of the Hills, where her mother and two of the Tylers are laid, and my father with five of my brothers and sisters.

“Her death was, even for herself, to be desired as well as expected. My affection for her had been long and justly cancelled. I feel no grief, therefore, but such an event of necessity presses for a while like a weight upon the mind. Had it not been for the whim which took her to Lisbon in the year of my birth, you and I should never have known each other: my uncle would never have seen Portugal, and in how different a course would his life and mine in consequence have run! I have known many strange characters in my time, but never so extraordinary a one as hers, which, of course, I know in-
timately. I shall come to it in due course, and sooner than you may expect, from the long intervals between my letters.

“Yesterday’s post brought me also an intimation from my musical colleague, Mr. Shield, that ‘our most gracious and royal master intends to command the performance of an Ode at St. James’ on the day fixed for the celebration of his birth-day.’ Of course, therefore, my immediate business is to get into harness and work in the mill. Two or three precious days will be spent in producing what will be good for nothing; for as for making any thing good of a birth-day ode, I might as well attempt to manufacture silk purses from sows’ ears. Like Warton, I shall give the poem an historical character; but I shall not do this as well as Warton, who has done it very well. He was a happy, easy-minded, idle man, to whom literature in its turn was as much an amusement as rat-hunting, and who never aimed at anything above such odes.

March 20.—I now send you the fourth letter of the promised series, dated at the beginning nearly four months before it was brought to an end. Were I to proceed always at this rate with it, I should die of old age before I got breeched in the narrative; but with all my undertakings I proceed faster in proportion as I advance in them. Just now I am in the humour for going on; and you will hear from me again sooner than you expect, for I shall begin the next letter as soon as this packet is dispatched. It is a long while since I have heard from you, and I am somewhat anxious to hear how your affair goes
on in Brazil. If
O Grande Marquez could have been raised from the dead, he would have had courage and capacity to have modelled both countries according to the circumstances of the age. But I am more anxious about the manner in which these events may affect you, than concerning their general course; that is in the will of Providence; and with regard to the state of the Peninsula, and of Italy, I really see so much evil on both sides, and so much good intent acting erroneously on both, that if I could turn the scale with a wish, I should not dare to do it.

“God bless you, my dear friend!

Yours affectionately,
R. S.”
To Grosvenor C. Bedford, Esq.

“. . . . . I have received invitations to dine with the Literary Fund . . . . . and with the Artists’ Benevolent Institution. These compliments were never before paid me. Cobbett also has paid me a compliment equally well-deserved and of undoubted sincerity. He marks me by name as one of those persons who, when the Radicals shall have effected a reformation, are, as one of the first measures of the new government, to be executed. As a curious contrast to this, the committee of journeymen who propose to adopt
what is practicable and useful in
Owen’s plan, quote in their Report the eleventh stanza of my ode* written in Dec 1814, as deserving “to be written in diamonds.” This is the first indication of a sort of popularity which, in process of time I shall obtain and keep, for the constant tendency of whatever I have written. . . . . Wordsworth was with me last week. Oddly enough, while I have been employed upon the Book of the Church, he has been writing a series of historical sonnets upon the same subjects, of the very highest species of excellence. My book will serve as a running commentary to his series, and the one will very materially help the other; and thus, without any concerted purpose, we shall go down to posterity in company. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”

* The following is the stanza here referred to:—

“Train up thy children, England, in the ways
Of righteousness, and feed them with the bread
Of wholesome doctrine. Where hast thou thy mines
But in their industry?
Thy bulwarks where, but in their breasts?
Thy might, but in their arms?
Shall not their numbers, therefore, be thy wealth,
Thy strength, thy power, thy safety, and thy pride?
Oh grief, then, grief and shame.
If in this flourishing land
There should be dwellings where the new-born babe
Doth bring unto its parent’s soul no joy;
Where squalid poverty
Receives it at its birth.
And on her withered knees
Gives it the scanty food of discontent.”