3306. Robert Southey to John Cawood, 30 May 1819

3306. Robert Southey to John Cawood, 30 May 1819⁠* 

Keswick. 30 May. 1819


I thank you for your pamphlett, for the manner wherein you have been pleased to mention me in it, & for your obliging letter. [1] 

– A cordial Hand-shake you shall have, whenever you may find your way to Keswick, & should any circumstances lead me to Leeds, I will not fail to enquire for you.

It is demonstrable in the present state of things that the poor who want employ, cannot be employed advantageously in any other way than in raising food <or in public works>. The manufacturing <system> will have its ebbs & its flows, & possibly may have a higher tide than has ever been known before, – but then it will be followed again by low water. Other nations will manufacture for themselves, & the more prosperous they are the sooner they will begin to do so, tho the first effect of their prosperity will be an increasing demand for British goods. If Government would bring the waste lands into cultivation, gradually, as national domains, in the course of a few generations the rents would xxxxxxx <would> form a material item in the yearly income. Your poor at Leeds are probably not very well adapted for agricultural labour, – but a little practise will enable man to handle a spade, – & if you had land for the experiment (your county is full of waste land!) surely it would be possible to convince the necessitous that is as easy to cultivate a common in England, as a prairie in America.

Wishing you success in your meritorious endeavours

I remain Sir

Yrs faithfully

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ John Cawood Esqre/ Leeds.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library, Misc 3210. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Probably A Plain Statement, Exhibiting the Whole of What Has Been Hyperbolically Designated, The Parish Controversy, published in Leeds by W. Gawtress and Co. in 1819. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)