1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bernard Barton

Robert Southey to Bernard Barton, 1822; E. V. Lucas, Bernard Barton and his Friends (1893) 165-66.



To be "writing after midnight" and "with a miserable headache" is what no man can do with impunity; and what no pressure of business, no ardour of composition, has ever made me do. I beseech you remember the fate of Kirke White; — and remember that if you sacrifice your health (not to say your life) in the same manner, you will be held up to your own community as a warning — not as an example for imitation. The spirit which disturbed poor Scott of Amwell in his last illness will fasten upon your name; and your fate will be instanced to prove the inconsistency of your pursuits with that sobriety and evenness of mind which Quakerism requires, and is intended to produce.