3104. Robert Southey to Daniel Stuart, 25 March 1818

3104. Robert Southey to Daniel Stuart, 25 March 1818 ⁠* 

Keswick. 25th March. 1818

My dear Sir

The Courier which you have been friendly enough to send us for so many years, for about six weeks past has always come a day later than it ought, & very much worn at the folds as if it had been carried in the pockets: it has wholly failed several times, & never arrived when it ought. Rather than trouble you upon the subject we wrote to Mr. Freeling; & I inclose to you the result of his investigation at the Post Office. [1]  – It comes always in the regular wrapper.

I have not seen Wordsworth since his return from London. My time is indeed fully employed at my desk & among my books. You will probably see in the next Q Review a plan proposal (in a paper upon the Poor Laws) for organizing an efficient civil force, by which any disturbances to be excited upon that ground may speedily be suppressed. [2] Xxxxxx xxxx xxxx <Do not hint at> me xxxxxxxxx as the author of this paper, do not hint at it in The Courier; – from its matter & manner I am not likely to be suspected, & I have desired that it may be kept secret, having no desire to draw upon myself any cut-throat libels upon that subject. The Suspension [3]  & the last harvest [4]  & the effect of time in opening new channels for capital to employ itself, have done much for us: – but another unfavourable season would throw us back into confusion, nor can any Government be safe which suffers itself to be continually libelled with impunity. Oh that it were as easy to counteract the mischief which the Opposition are effecting out of door, as it is to expose their folly & their falsehood, & to trample upon it in argument.

Mrs S. & her sisters [5]  beg their remembrances to Mrs Stuart. [6] 

Believe me, my dear Sir

yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Daniel Stuart Esqr/ 9. Upper Harley Street
Stamped: [partial] PY Post/ 122 St W B
Postmark: 2 o’Clock/ 28 MR/ 1818 ANn
Endorsement: Southey 1818/ Poor Laws
MS: British Library, Add MS 34046. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Letters from the Lake Poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Robert Southey, to Daniel Stuart (London, 1889), pp. 420–422. BACK

[1] Southey’s letter and the reply from Freeling appear to have not survived. BACK

[2] ‘On the Poor Laws’, Quarterly Review, 18 (January 1818), 259–308. This issue was published on 9 June 1818. The article was mainly written by Rickman. Southey paraphrases a section (306–308) that began: ‘Without venturing to prescribe the mode, we may assume that some military array ought to be formed, which would annihilate all final hope of success in a modern jacquery or insurrection of the poor against the elements of human society … Every agricultural parish might be called upon to find a quota of special constables, composed of farmers and proprietors, who would promptly range themselves under the direction of the parish constable, in case any breach of the peace were committed or threatened’ (306). BACK

[3] Habeas corpus was suspended for one year in February 1817. BACK

[4] The harvest of 1817 had not been as good as hoped, but imports kept prices down in 1818. BACK

[6] Mary Napier Stuart, née Schalch (1795–1872). She had married Stuart in 1813. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)