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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Richard Duppa, 14 December 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, Dec. 14. 1803.
“Dear Duppa,

“I have not had the heart to write to you, though the long silence had lain like a load upon my conscience. When we parted I had as much present happiness as man could wish, and was full of all cheerful hopes: however, no man, if he be good for any thing, but is the better for suffering. It has long been my habit to look for the good that is to be found in every thing, and that alchemy is worth more than die grand secret of all the adepts.

“I had almost completed my arrangements for removing to Richmond at Christmas, and here we are at the uttermost end of the north, and here for some time we shall probably remain; how long, God knows. I am steady in my pursuits, for they depend upon myself; but my plans and fortunes, being of the τά ούκ έϕ΄ ήμιν, are more mutable; they are fairly afloat, and the winds are more powerful than the steersman. Longman caught the alarm—the Bonaparte ague or English influenza—after I left town, and sent to me to postpone my Bibliotheca, at the very time when I wished the engagement off my mind, not being in a state of mind to contemplate it with courage. He shall now wait my convenience, and I shall probably finish off my own works of choice here, where living cheaper, I have more leisure. My History is in a state of rapid progression. The
last time I saw Mr. —— in town he gave me a draft for fifty pounds as his subscription, he said, to this work. I tell you this because you know him, and, therefore, not to tell you would make me feel ungrateful for an act of uncommon liberality, done in the handsomest way possible. I little thought, at the time, how soon an unhappy circumstance would render the sum needful. This work I am alternating and relieving by putting
Madoc to the press, and my annual job of reviewing interrupts both for awhile; but, happily, this job comes, like Christmas, but once a year, and I have almost killed off my contemporaries.

Haslitt, whom you saw at Paris, has been here; a man of real genius. He has made a very fine picture of Coleridge for Sir George Beaumont, which is said to be in Titian’s manner; he has also painted Wordsworth, but so dismally, though Wordsworth’s face is his idea of physiognomical perfection, that one of his friends, on seeing it, exclaimed, ‘At the gallows—deeply affected by his deserved fate—yet determined to die like a man;’ and if you saw the picture, you would admire the criticism. We have a neighbour here who also knows you—Wilkinson, a clergyman, who draws, if not with much genius, with great industry and most useful fidelity. I have learnt a good deal by examining his collection of etchings.

Holcroft, I hear, has discovered, to his own exceeding delight, prophetic portraits of himself and Coleridge among the damned in your Michael Angelo. I have found out a more flattering antetype
Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 239
of Coleridge’s face in
Duns Scotus. Come you yourself and judge of the resemblances. Coleridge and our lakes and mountains are worth a longer journey. Autumn is the best season to see the country, but spring, and even winter, is better than summer, for in settled fine weather there are none of those goings on in heaven which at other times give these scenes such an endless variety. . . . . You will find this house a good station for viewing the lakes; it is, in fact, situated on perhaps the very finest single spot in the whole lake country, and we can show you things which the tourists never hear of. . . . .

Edith desires to be remembered to you; she is but in indifferent health. I myself am as well as I ever was. The weather has been, and is, very severe, but it has not as yet hurt me; however, it must be owned the white bears have the advantage of us in England, and still more the dormice. If their torpor could be introduced into the human system, it would be a most rare invention. I should roll myself up at the end of October, and give orders to be waked by the chinmey-sweeper on May-day.

“God bless you. Yours affectionately,
R. Southey.”