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

1916. Robert Southey to Andrew Bell, 4 May 1811 ⁠* 

Keswick, May 4, 1811.

Dear Sir,

I am this evening honoured with your letter. [1]  I shall be in London the first week in June, and continue there and at Streatham from four to five weeks. Pressing employment, [2]  which seems to lengthen under my hands, and which cannot be deferred, detains me thus late in the spring; otherwise it was my intention to have been at this time in the south. It will grieve me, if this unavoidable delay should deprive me of the pleasure of seeing you. If, however, that should unfortunately be the case, any communications with which you may favour me by letter, shall be received with the attention which every thing coming from Dr Bell must deserve. Few circumstances could be so gratifying to me, as to be made in any way instrumental in furthering your most important plans for the improvement of society.

The late events in Portugal [3]  have given me more joy than I can express, from the peculiar interest I take in every thing relating to that country, and the affection, as it may be called, which I have acquired for the Portuguese people, from my long and intimate acquaintance with their history. I hope and trust that this successful campaign has firmly established the present ministry, and delivered us from all danger of seeing the Greys, [4]  and the Grenvilles, and the Whitbreads [5]  in power; from that crew, good Lord deliver us! And then, with his blessing, we shall deliver ourselves and the world also from this barbarian, [6]  who is labouring to extinguish the light of liberty and of knowledge.

Believe me, my dear sir, yours with the highest respect.


Notes

* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Southey, Caroline Southey and Charles Cuthbert Southey, The Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 3 vols (London, 1844)
Previously published: Robert Southey, Caroline Southey and Charles Cuthbert Southey, The Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 3 vols (London, 1844), II, pp. 626–627. BACK

[1] Bell had written to Southey on 2 May 1811 expressing the hope that they could meet; Robert Southey, Caroline Southey and Charles Cuthbert Southey, The Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 3 vols (London, 1844), II, pp. 625–626. BACK

[2] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809 (1811). BACK

[3] French forces had been unable to break through the Lines of Torres Vedras in 1810–1811 and had started to withdraw from Portugal on 3 March 1811. They were defeated at Sabugal on 3 April 1811. BACK

[4] The leading Whig politician Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764–1845; Prime Minister 1830–1834; DNB). BACK

[5] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815; DNB). BACK

[6] i.e. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013