2939. Robert Southey to Henry Crabb Robinson, 13 March 1817

2939. Robert Southey to Henry Crabb Robinson, 13 March 1817 ⁠* 

Keswick. 13 March. 1817

My dear Sir

Your letter may be answered without deliberation. [1]  No emolument however xxxxx great would induce me to give up a country life, & those pursuits in literature to which the studies of so many years have been directed. – Indeed I should consider that portion of my time which is given up to temporary politics, grievously mispent, if the interests at stake were less important. We are in danger of an insurrection of the Yahoos: [2]  – it is the fault of governments that such a cast should exist in the midst of civilized society, but till the breed can be mended it must be curbed, & that too with a strong hand.

I shall be in town during the last week in April, on my way to Switzerland & the Rhine. – You wrong our country by taking its general character from a season which was equally ungenial over the whole continent.

Believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ H.C. Robinson Esqre/ Barrister/ On the Norfolk Circuit
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial]NCASTER/ 23 MR 23/ 1817/ 239
Endorsement: xxxxxxx 1817/ Southey/ –/ Answers/ to enquiry
MS: Dr Williams’s Library, London, Crabb Robinson MSS. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Thomas Sadler (ed.), Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, 2 vols, 3rd edn (London, 1872), I, p. 308. BACK

[1] Acting on the authority of its proprietor, John Walter II (1776–1847; DNB), Crabb Robinson had written inviting Southey to become the Editor of The Times. BACK

[2] Jonathan Swift (1667–1745; DNB), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Part 4 described a race of beings called the Yahoos, who were ignorant, coarse and incapable of reason. They closely resembled human beings. Here Southey uses the term to refer to the mob. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)