1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

Anonymous, in "The Literary Police Office, Bow-Street, London" Port Folio [Philadelphia] S4 15 (June 1823) 508.



ROBERT SOUTHEY was informed against for sending out his poetical coals to Newcastle, without having the metre's ticket. He offered to take an oath, that he had a right to do as he thought best — but the magistrates would not listen to him. His sack, however, was found to be full measure — which was much in his favour. The officers knew Rob well, and stated that he had often been at that bar before. He is the same person that knocked down Wesley, in Paternoster-row, and that took away Lord Nelson's life in Albemarle-street. On being called upon to account for his mode of living — he declared that he lived upon the lives of others — that he was the only man of unimpeachable morals in the world — that he knew and revered the King, Mr. Croker, and the constitution; and that he would, if the magistrates pleased, write an Ode on the Police-office, which might be stuck up in some conspicuous place, to keep respectable people away. He was fined in the mitigated penalty of 1 and was ordered to be confined until the same was paid. He sold some waste paper, which his publishers held, and got out without a rag being left.