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ing a mood of better mind-and then re-issued them, when the evil spirit, which for a time has been cast out, had returned and taken possession, with seven others, more wicked than himself.-I have never abused the power, of which every author is in some degree possessed, to wound the character of a man, or the heart of a woman. I have never sent into the world a book to which I did not dare affix my name; or which I feared to claim in a court of justice, if it were pirated by a knavish bookseller.

-I have never manufactured furniture for the brothel. None of these things have I done; none of the foul work by which literature is perverted to the injury of mankind. My hands are clean; there is no "damned spot" upon them-no taint, which "all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten."

Of the work which I have done, it becomes me not here to speak, save only as relates to the Satanic School, and its Coryphoeus, the author of Don Juan. I have held up that school to public detestation, as enemies to the religion, the institutions, and the domestic morals of the country. I have given them a designation to which their founder and leader answers. I have sent a stone from my sling which has smitten their Goliah in the forehead. I have fastened his name upon the gibbet for reproach' and ignominy, as long as it shall endure.-Take it down who can !

One word of advice to Lord Byron before I conclude. When he attacks me again, let it be in

rhyme. For one who has so little command of himself, it will be a great advantage that his temper should be obliged to keep tune. And while he may still indulge in the same rankness and virulence of insult, the metre will, in some degree, seem to lessen its vulgarity. ROBERT SOUTHEY.

Keswick, Jan. 5, 1822.


"As I returned, I saw Newsted and Althorpe; I like both. The former is the very abbey. The great east window of the church remains, and connects with the house; the hall entire, the refectory entire, the cloister untouch'd, with the ancient cistern of the convent, and their arms on; it is a private chapel, quite perfect. The park, which is still charming, has not been so much unprofaned: The present lord has lost large sums, and paid part in old oaks ; five thousand pounds of which have been cut near the house. In recompense, he has built two baby forts, to pay his country in castles for da→ mage done to the navy; and planted a handful of Scotch firs, that look like ploughboys dress'd in old family liveries for a public day. In the hall is a very good collection of pictures, all animals; the refec


for chests, and you have been content :-but I trust you will find that my Iron Chest will hold together, that it is tolerably sound, and fit for all the purposes for which it was intended.

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....Then how came it to fall to pieces, after four days' wear?-I will explain that:-but alas! alas! my heart doth yearn, when I think on the task which circumstance has thrust upon me.

.. Now, by the spirit of peace, I swear! were I not still doomed to explore the rugged windings of the drama, I would wrap myself in mute philosophy, and repose calmly under the dark shade of my grievance, rather than endure the pain and trouble of this explanation. I cannot, however, cry "Let the world slide:" I must pursue my journey; and be active to clear away the obstacles that impede my progress.

I am too callous, now, to be annoyed by those innumerable gnats and insects, who daily dart their impotent stings on the literary traveller; and too knowing to dismount, and waste my time in whipping grasshoppers :-but here is a scowling, sullen, black Bull, right athwart my road; a monster of magnitude, of the Baotian breed, perplexing me in my wanderings through the entangled labyrinth of Drury! he stands sulkily before me, with sides seemingly impenetrable to any lash, and tougher than the Dun Cow of Warwick !-His front out-fronting the brazen bull of Perillus !-He has bellowed, gentlemen! yea, he hath bellowed a dismal sound!

A hollow, unvaried tone, heaved from his very midriff, and striking the listener with torpor !--Would I could pass the animal quietly, for my own sake !—and, for his, by Jupiter! I repeat it, I would not willingly harm the Bull.-I delight not in baiting him.-I would jog as gently by him as by the ass that grazes on the common: but he has obstinately blocked up my way he has already tossed and gored me severely-I must make an effort, or he batters me down, and leaves me to bite the dust.

The weapon I must use is not of that brilliant and keen quality, which, in a skilful hand, neatly cuts up the subject, to the delight and admiration of the by-standers: It is a homely cudgel of narrative, a blunt batoon of matter of fact; affording little display of art in the wielder, and so heavy in its nature, that it can merely claim the merit of being appropriate to the opponent at whom it is levelled.

Pray, stand clear! for I shall handle this club vilely; and if any one come in my way, he may chance to get a rap which I did not intend to bestow upon him. Good venal and venomous gentlemen, who dabble in ink for pay or from pique, and who have dubb'd yourselves Criticks, keep your distance now! Run home to your garrets!-Fools! ye are but Ephemera at best; and will die soon enough, in the paltry course of your insignificant natures, without thrusting your ears (if there be any left you)

into the heat of this perilous action.-Avaunt ! Well, well, stay if ye are bent upon it, and be pert and busy your folly to me is of no moment.*

I hasten now to my narrative.

I agreed to write the following play at the instance of the chief proprietor of Drury Lane Theatre, who unconditionally agreed to pay me a certain sum for my labour and this certain sum being much larger than any, I believe, hitherto offered on similar occasions, created no small jealousy among the Parnassian Sans Culottes; several of whom have of late been vapidly industrious to level, to the muddy surface of their own Castalian ditch, so aristocraticodramatick a bargain. The play, as fast as written (piecemeal), was put into rehearsal: But let it here be noted, gentle reader! that a rehearsal in Drury Lane (I mean as far as relates to this Iron Chest) is lucus â non lucendo. They yclep it a rehearsal, I conjecture, because they do NOT rehearse. I call the loved shade of Garrick to witness; nay, I call the less loved presence of the then acting Manager to avow, that there never was one fair rehearsal of the play. Never one rehearsal, wherein one, or two, or more of the performers very essential to the piece, were not absent: and all the rehearsals which

* Ye who impartially and conscientiously sit in diurnal judgment upon modern dramatists, apply not this to yourselves. It aims only at the malevolent, the mean, and the ignorant, who are the disgrace of your order.

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