2613. Robert Southey to William Wordsworth [fragment], [early June 1815]

2613. Robert Southey to William Wordsworth [fragment], [early June 1815]⁠* 

My dear Wordsworth

There is some advantage in writing before I am angry. – I have therefore drawn up a letter for the Courier: [1]  – if you will return send me the provocation [2]  when you return it, I will then prefix an introductory paragraph, alter any thing which may require alteration, & dispatch it. Tell me if you think any thing is said amiss, or any thing which had better be omitted. You will find a direct denial of the specific charge, & of the general one, [3]  just such a denial <qualified one > as the case admits. You will see also that I have taken occasion to notice some of our friends.

As yet I have not heard of the attack from any other quarter. [remainder of MS missing]


* MS: Wordsworth Trust, WL MS A Southey. AL; 1p.
Dating note: this fragment probably concerns Southey’s letter to the Courier, 16 June 1815, and should, therefore, be dated to early June 1815. BACK

[1] Southey to the Editor of the Courier, 16 June 1815, Letter 2616. BACK

[2] James Kirke Paulding (1778–1860),The United States and England: being a Reply to the Criticism on Inchiquin’s Letters, contained in The Quarterly Review, for January, 1814 (1815). The pamphlet claimed Southey had written the article published in the Quarterly Review, 10 (January 1814), 494–530. The author of the review, which was highly critical of the United States, was actually John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB). BACK

[3] The ‘specific charge’ was that Southey had written the offending review; the ‘general charge’ was that Southey was the editor of the Quarterly Review – a charge he had to answer carefully as he did not wish to reveal publicly that the editor was William Gifford. BACK