June 28 1812: Southey's Most Wicked Cold

On June 28 1812, Robert Southey writes to his friend and member of parliament, Grosvenor Charles Bedford. Southey is recovering from a cold but is still busy, as always, writing which he must to  support his family, and, on occasion, Coleridge's family. He writes that he does not want to discuss politics but proceeds to do just that. He is upset with the government for "truckling to America"  by repealing the Orders in Council. He continues into a rant against the Irish and Catholic Emancipation.  Southey's letter is reproduced below.
Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford  
Keswick, June 28. 1812.

My dear G.

I impute it to my most wicked cold that in spite of a dogged application for the last week I have made very little progress for Gifford. Whether I have blown all ideas out of my head thro the nose, or drawn them out by sneezing I cannot tell, – but I am very stupid, & that part of my time which has been most profitably spent, has been when in pure despair, & for the sake of my eyes I have een removed to the sofa & gone to sleep. By way of trying what exercise would do I went one day with Danvers to the top of Causey Pike, & made my sides sore for three days with rolling great stones down the mountain, – which (be it known to you Mr Bedford) is among the amusements xx reserved for you in your sound state. Causey Pike is my Bowling mountain, – & a most grand thing it is to see a huge stone go bounding down to the very bottom.

I start for Durham on Monday July 13 & will sans fail (if no accident occur to prevent me) be home by the end of the month. – Would that this article  for the Q. were off my hands. the Register was finished last week.  

I have no heart to speak of politics. If any thing is gained by truckling to America it will be the first time that a Government xx ever gained any thing by a concession forced from its fears.  – The next Irish que demand will be for a Catholic Establishment, – they who are bent upon a separation from this country can never go upon a more popular ground. I know not upon what grounds they who have concede so much can refuse this proper consequence. I would have given every thing except seats in parliament & fought against that. To fighting Paddy will bring it at last, & then by the help of the bayonet & the halter he will be quiet for another generation, during which it is to be hoped the increasing industry & prosperity of the country will do that for the people which never can be done by Acts of Parliaments or importing red-hot Catholics into St Stephens Chapel. – tame them & civilize them.

God bless you


Arrange your plans if you can, to come with Blanco. 

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