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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 8 September 1803

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
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“Greta Hall, Keswick, Sept 8. 1803.
“Dear Tom,

“We arrived yesterday. Yours reached me today. I was glad to hear from you;—a first letter after such a loss is always expected with some sort of fear,—it is the pulling off the bandage that has been put upon a green wound. . . . .

Edith was very ill at Bristol. On the way we staid five days with Miss Barker, in Staffordshire—one of the people in the world whom I like. To escape from Bristol was a relief. The place was haunted, and it is my wish never to see it again. Here my spirits suffer from the sight of little Sara*, who is about her size. However, God knows that I do not repine, and that in my very soul I feel that his will is best. These things do one good: they loosen, one by one, the roots that rivet us to earth; they fix and confirm our faith till the thought of death becomes so inseparably connected with the hope of meeting those whom we have lost, that death itself is no longer considered as an evil.

“Did I tell you that, in this universal panic and palsy, Longman has requested me to delay the Bibliotheca? This is a relief to me. I feel freer and easier. In consequence, I do not go to Richmond, but remain here, where I can live for half the expense. My design is to finish and print Madoc, that by the profits I may be enabled to go to Por-

* Mr. Coleridge’s only daughter.

Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 227
tugal. But my plans have been so often blasted, that I look upon every thing as quite vague and uncertain. This only you may know, that while I am well I am actively employed; and that now, not being happy enough for the quiet half-hours of idleness, I must work with double dispatch.

“I hope you will see the Annual Review. There are some admirable things by Wm. Taylor in it; my own part is very respectable, and one article I hear is by Harry. I shall probably do more in the next volume. You could have helped me in the maritime books. Do you know Harry is an ensign in the Norwich Volunteers?

Edward has written to me; he was to go on board the following day. I could not at that time see to his fitting out as I should have done; but, when once fairly quit of her*, the boy shall not want as far as my means will go. It is you and I who have fared the worst; the other two will have fewer difficulties to cope with, yet perhaps they will not go on so well. Men are the better for having suffered;—of that, every year’s experience more and more convinces me.

Edith suffers deeply and silently. She is kept awake at night by recollections,—and I am harassed by dreams of the poor child’s illness and recovery, but this will wear away. Would that you could see these lakes and mountains! how wonderful they are! how aweful in their beauty. All the poet-part of me will be fed and fostered here. I feel already in tune, and shall proceed to my work with such a

* Miss Tyler.

feeling of power as old Sampson had when he laid hold of the pillars of the Temple of Dagon. The
Morning Post will somewhat interrupt me. Stuart has paid me so well for doing little, that in honesty I must work hard for him. Edith will copy you some of my rhymes.

Amadis is most abominably printed; never book had more printer’s blunders: how it sells is not in my power to say,—in all likelihood, badly; for all trade is suspended, to a degree scarcely credible. I heard some authentic instances at Bristol. Hall, the grocer, used to have tea and sugar weighed out in pounds and half pounds, &c., on a Saturday night, for his country customers. Thirty years’ established business enabled him to proportion the quantity to this regular demand almost to a nicety. He has had as much as twenty poundsworth uncalled for. Mrs. Morgan on a Saturday used to take, upon the average, 30l. in her shop; she now does not take 5l. But this will wear away. I am quite provoked at the folly of any man who can feel a moment’s fear for this country at this time.

“We look to the Morning Post, with daily disappointment, for news of the Galatea. Stuart has sold the paper, having thus realised 25,000l. While his advice and influence upholds it, little difference will be perceived; but whenever that be withdrawn, I prophesy a slow decline and downfall. How comes on the Spanish? you will find it useful before the war is over, I fear,—fear, because the Spaniards are a good and honourable people; and, in spite of the plunder which will fall to the share of the sailors, I
Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 229
cannot but wish they may be spared from suffering in a war to which they assuredly are averse.

“God bless you, Tom. You must enquire of Danvers for Joe*; he will look after him, and drop a card occasionally at his door. Poor fellow, I was sorry to leave him—’twas a heart-breaking day, that of our departure. Can’t you contrive to chase some French frigate through the race of Holyhead up to the Isle of Man, engage her there, and bring her into Whitehaven? Edith’s love.

R. S.”