2022. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 28 January 1812
2022. Robert Southey to Mary Barker, 28 January 1812 *
I suppose Senhora your letter has given me some vexation, if the utter astonishment into which it has thrown me would as yet let me feel it. — but you know when a man is knocked down in battle, the blow prevents him from feeling the wound. If you fancied in any expression of mine that you perceived the language of wounded pride & wounded feeling, — in your fancy alone could it possibly have existed. Nature has given me enough of both, but time has taught me not to make a fool’s use of the one, & the other being of the right kind, has never been in any danger of being misdirected. What I said, I do not remember; — for it was in perfect good-humour & forgotten as soon as said; — but whatever it was, the Devil take to, I say now, & no farther comment will I make upon it. You ought to have known that I neither could have been offended myself or have intended to hurt you, — & you ought to be cart’s-tailed for not knowing it, & waggon’s-tailed for chewing the cud of your anger for ten days. Enough, & too much of this. 
I cannot tell what you mean about Ennerdale  — all I know is that it was sold for 7000£, which was thought a good bargain, & that if I had been rich I would have bought it.
There is a criticism upon Miss Seward’s letters in the British Review which undervalues both them & her. Perhaps you have not seen this journal, which is one from the Long-Man’s manufactory.  It is set up by persons who are Addingtonians  in politics & Hannah-Morians in religion. Of course they are a little over-godly, a good deal over dull, even to being “gay and dull”  otherwise with good notions in the main. Miss Seward is not religious enough for them, nor moral enough — You do not tell me whether Lister is reviewing her Letters.  Murray expects that he is from what I told him, — but do not misunderstand this phrase, — it is not that I have pledged L. to do it, — but that I have prepared Murray to receive it from him, & secured for him the ground if he chuses to occupy it.
I am closely busied upon the Register for 1810, of which the sixth proof is now before me.  Have you seen that for the preceding year? the second siege of Zaragoza, & that of Gerona would interest you. — & I think you will enter into the feeling with which I have written concerning Sir J Moores retreat.  — My reviewal of the Bell & the dragon business is reprinting in an enlarged form & will make a little volume.  As giving the real history of the invention, & shewing more clearly than has been done elsewhere what the principle of the New System is, & what its fundamental laws, it has some permanent utility. It shall be sent you as soon as it is published.
The Shelleys  are going to Ireland, where he imagines he shall tame the wild Irish, — about as good a scheme as that of Atheisticating the Bench of Bishops. He had better have remained here, where he would have learnt more in a few months from my experience, than his own can possibly teach him in as many years. I am sorry he is going for he had interested me much.
Farewell Senhora I have written that you may no longer mistake the meaning of my last, — & the cause being thus removed I trust the effect will cease. So God bless you & forgive you your trespasses.
Keswick. Jany. 28. 1812.
* Address: To/ Miss Barker
MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick, ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (unpublished PhD, Harvard, 1967), pp. 380–382
 Ennerdale, a small lake southwest of Derwentwater. The identity of the estate at Ennerdale being discussed is unclear. BACK
 Letters of Anna Seward: Between 1784 and 1807 (1811) was reviewed unfavourably in the British Review, 2 (September 1811), 171–188. BACK
 Henry Addington, Lord Sidmouth (1757–1844; DNB), Prime Minister 1801–1804, Home Secretary 1812–1822. In other words, the Review was Tory, Anglican and pious. Its editor was William Roberts (1767–1849; DNB). BACK
 Thomas Lister (1773–1828) of Armitage Park, near Lichfield. He was a lawyer and landowner, who in his youth had been a writer and protégée of Anna Seward. No review of her Letters (1811) appeared in the Quarterly. BACK
 For Southey’s account of the sieges of Zaragoza (1808–1809) and Gerona (1809) and of Sir John Moore (1761–1809; DNB), see Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809, 2.1 (1811), 508–525; 768–786; 56–108. BACK
 The Origin, Nature and Object of the New System of Education (1812), an expansion of Southey’s review in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. BACK