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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 11 February 1805

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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“Feb. 11. 1804.
“Dear Tom,

“It is not possible that my letters can give you more pleasure than yours give me. You have always reason to suppose that all is well with me when you hear nothing to the contrary. I am only exposed to the common accidents of life, but you are in the way of battle and slaughter, pestilence and hurricanes, And every letter that arrives from you relieves me from a certain kind of apprehension. . . . . As this letter was not finished at a heat, it has lain two or three weeks; to own the truth fairly, I had such a fear about me of the yellow fever, because you mentioned indisposition on the night preceding the date of your last, that I had not heart to go on with
Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 257
it. Once I received a letter from a poor fellow three months after he was dead,—it excited a most painful feeling; and it is little less unpleasant to address one to a person whom you fear may not be among the living. However, yours of Dec 4. has just come to hand. You do not tell me whether the fever is out of the ship; but I conclude it must almost have done its work, and will go out like a fire when it no longer finds anything it can destroy. I have a sort of theory about such diseases which I do not understand myself, but somebody or other will, some of these days. They are so far analogous to vegetables as that they take root, grow, ripen, and decay. Those which are eruptive, blossom and seed; for the pustule of the smallpox, &c. is, to all intents and purposes, the flower of the disease, or the fructification by which it is perpetuated. Now these diseases, like vegetables, choose their own soil,—some plants like clay, others sand, others chalk; so the yellow fever will not take root in a negro, nor the yaws in a white man. There is a hint for a new theory; you will see the truth of the analogy at once, and I can ho more explain it than you can, but so it is. . . . . We have been dreadfully shocked here by the fate of
Wordsworth’s brother, captain of the Abergavenny East Indiaman, which has just been lost in Portland Bay; almost as shocking as the Halsewell—300 lives. . . . . Bonaparte wants peace; a continental war is a far more probable event. What will become of Portugal, heaven knows: and till that be decided, I can as
little tell what will become of me. Meantime I shall continue to work hard and to economise.

“God bless you!

Yours very affectionately,
R. S.”