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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1910.1. Robert Southey to Richard Duppa [fragment], 23 April 1811 ⁠* 

23 Apl 1811

I have pourd out the vial of my wrath upon Whitbread & the peace party,  [1]  which you will not wonder to hear, but you will wonder at is that I am become an enemy to Parliamentary reform, for reasons which you will see, if you think it worth while to look into the book when it is published. –  [2] 


Notes

* MS: the letter survives only in a partial transcript in the hand of Henry Crabb Robinson and dated by him ‘23 Apl 1811’, Dr Williams’s Library, London, Crabb Robinson MSS. The original letter was possibly amongst the letters from Southey to Duppa that Robinson was given by Duppa’s niece, Mrs Stone, and that he ‘made extracts from’ in March 1844; see Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and their Writers, ed. Edith J. Morley, 3 vols (London, 1938), II, pp. 640 and 642.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815; DNB). For examples of Southey’s comments: ‘Mr Whitbread rose, as usual, to play the part of advocate for Buonaparte, and to revile the allies of England’, Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809, 2.1 (1811), 303; and Southey’s account of Whitbread’s speech of 1 April 1811 in the Commons, denouncing the Spanish army’s conduct at the Battle of Barossa – Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1811, 4.1 (1813), 295–296. BACK

[2] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809, 2.1 (1811), 282–294. Southey defended the existing Constitution, but retained some reforming instincts, declaring ‘The real evil of our representation lies, not in the influence of the Treasury, but in the power of a few great land-holders’ (291). BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013