[You] may say what you will of Devonshire: the truth is, it is a splashy, rainy, misty, snowy, foggy, haily, floody, muddy, slipshod county. The hills are very beautiful, when you get a sight of 'em; the primroses are out, -but then you are in; the cliffs are of a fine deep colour, but then the clouds are continually vieing with them. The women like your London People in a sort of negative way - because the native men are the poorest creatures in England - because Government never have thought it worth while to send a recruiting party among them. When I think of Wordsworths's Sonnet 'Vanguard of Liberty! ye Men of Kent!' the degenerated race about me are Pulvis Ipecac. Simplex - a strong dose. Were I a Corsair I'd make a descent on the South Coast of Devon, if I did not run the chance of having Cowardice imputed to me: as for the Men they'd run away into the methodist meeting houses, and the Women would be glad of it. Had England been a large Devonshire we should not have won the Battle of Waterloo. There are knotted oaks - there are lusty rivulets there are Meadows such as are not - there are vallies of feminine Climate but there are no thews and Sinews - Moor's Almanack is here a curiosity - Arms Neck and Shoulders may at least be seen there and the Ladies read it as some out of the way romance. Such a quelling Power have these thoughts over me that I fancy the very Air of a deteriorationg quality - I fancy the flowers, all precocious, have an Acrasian spell about them - I feel able to beat off the devonshire wave like soap froth. I think it well for the honor of Britain that Julius Ceasar did not first land in this country: A Devonshirer, standing on his native hills is not a distinct object; he does not show against the light; a wolf or two would dispossess him. I like I love England. I like its strong Men. Give me a long brown plain for my Morning so I may meet with some of Edmond Ironside's descendants. Give me a barren mould so I may meet with some Shadowing of Alfred in the Shape of a Gipsey, a Huntsman or a Shepherd. Scenery is fine - but human nature is finer, Achilles is fine, Diomed is fine, Shakspeare is fine, Hamlet is fine, Lear is fine, but dwingled englishmen are not fine- Where too the Women are so passabel, and have such english names, such as Ophelia, Cordelia &c - that they should have such Paramours or rather Imparamours. As for them I cannot, in thought help wishing as did the cruel Emperour, that they had but one head and I might cut it off to deliver them from any horrible Courtesy they may do their undeserving Countrymen. - I wonder I meet with no born Monsters - O Devonshire, last night I thought the Moon had dwindled in heaven.
From a letter to Benjamin Bailey