LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Scott, 10 March 1818

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, March 10. 1818.
“My dear Scott,

“I am glad that the first tidings which informed me of your illness, told of your recovery also. There is an enjoyment of our absent friends, even of those from whom we are far distant, in talking and thinking of them, which makes a large part of the happiness of life. It is a great thing to be in the same place with a friend, it is something to be in the same planet. And whenever you are removed to a better, there are few men whose loss will be more widely felt in this, for I know no one who has administered so much delight to so extensive a part of the public. I hope your illness has left no weakness behind it. We stand in need sometimes of visitations which may lead us to look towards eternity; and in such cases the stroke is merciful when it falls on the body. There is a joyousness, too, in the sense of returning health,—a freshness of sensation such as one mi^ht expect from a draught of the fountain of youth.

“About four months ago, John Ballantyne wrote to ask me if he should dispose of my property in the Ed. An. Register to Constable, upon the same terms as those of the other persons who had the same shares in it. As I had given it up for a lost concern, I was very glad to hear that I was to have about the same sum which the share had cost, in a bill from Constable at twelve months’ date; four months, however, have elapsed, and I have heard
nothing farther. Perhaps, if you have an opportunity, you will do me the kindness to ask how the matter stands.

“The neighbouring county is in an uproar already with the expected election. —— has succeeded in producing as much turbulence there as he could desire; and if we may judge of what the play will be by what the rehearsal has been, it may prove a very serious tragedy before it is over. I am out of the sphere of this mischief. We shall have mobs, I think, upon the Poor-Law question, which is as perilous in its nature as a corn bill, and yet must be taken in hand. I know not whether the next Quarterly Review will look the danger in the face, and say honestly that we must be prepared to meet it. Preventive measures are very easy, and would be found effectual. How grievously do we want some man of commanding spirit in the House of Commons to do constantly what Canning only rouses himself to do now and then. There is, however, good promise in the Solicitor-General; to him, I think, we may look with hope, and to Peel.

“I saw Humboldt at Paris; never did any man portray himself more perfectly in his writings than he has done. His excessive volubility, his fulness of information, and the rapidity with which he fled fromevery fact into some wide generalisation, made you more acquainted with his intellectual character in half an hour than you would be with any other person in half a year. Withal, he appeared exceedingly good-natured and obliging. It was at Mackenzie’s that I met him.

Ætat. 44. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 297

“Remember us to Mrs. Scott and your daughter, who is now, I suppose, the flower of the Tweed.

Believe me, my dear Scott,
Ever affectionately yours,
Robert Southey.”