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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 30 July 1804

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, July 30. 1804.
“Dear Tom,

“Your three letters have arrived all together this evening, and have relieved me from very considerable anxiety. Mine I find are consigned to the Atlantic without bottles; and three books of Madoc,
Edith copied in them, gone to edify the sharks—gentlemen who will digest them far more easily than the critics. However, there must be yet some other letters on the way, and I trust you will have learnt before this can reach you that I have two Ediths in the family,—the Edithling (who was born on the last of April) continuing to do well, only that I am myself somewhat alarmed at that premature activity of eye and spirits, and those sudden startings, which were in her poor sister the symptoms of a dreadful and deadly disease. However, I am on my guard. . . . . I did not mean to trust my affections again on so frail a foundation,—and yet the young one takes me from my desk and makes me talk nonsense as fluently as you perhaps can imagine.

“Both Edith and I are well; indeed, I have weathered a rude winter, and a ruder spring, bravely. Harry is here, and has been here about three weeks, and will remain till the end of October. He is a very excellent companion, and tempts me out into the air and the water when I should else be sitting at home. We have made our way well in the world, Tom, thus far, and by God’s help we shall yet get on better. Make your fortune, and Joe may yet live to share its comforts, as he stands upon his Majesty’s books in my name, though degraded by the appellation of mongrel. Madoc is in a Scotch press,—Ballantyne’s, who printed the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders,—a book which you may remember I bought at Bristol.

“You ask of Amadis: it has been well reviewed,
Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 301
both in the
Annual and Edinburgh, by Walter Scott, who in both has been very civil to me. Of all my later publications, this has been the most successful,—more than 500 of the 1000 having sold within the year, so that there is a fair chance of the 50l. (dependent upon the sale of the whole. Thalaba has been very admirably reviewed in the Critical, by William Taylor; but it does not sell, and will not for some years reach a second edition. Reviewing is coming round again! one parcel arrived! another on the road! a third ready to start! I grudge the time thus to be sold, sorely; but patience! it is, after all, better than pleading in a stinking court of law,—or being called up at midnight to a patient; it is better than being a soldier or a sailor; better than calculating profits and loss on a counter; better, in, short than anything but independence. . . . .

“July is, indeed, a lovely month at the Lakes, and so the Lakers seem to think, for they swarm here. We have been much interrupted by visiters; among others, young Roscoe; and more are yet to come. These are not the only interruptions; we have been, or rather are, manufacturing black currant jam for my uncle, and black currant wine for ourselves,—Harry and I chief workmen,—pounding them in a wooden bowl with a great stone, as the acid acts upon a metal mortar. We have completed a great work in bridging the river Greta at the bottom of the orchard, by piling heaps of stones so as to step from one to another,—many a hard hour’s sport, half knee-deep in the water. Davy has been here—stark mad for angling. This is our history;
—yours has been busier. As for news, the packet which conveys this will convey later intelligence than it is in my power to communicate.
Sir Francis may, and probably will, lose his election; but it is evident he has not lost his popularity. Pitt will go blundering on till every body, by miserable experience, think him what I always did. . . . . Whensoever the great change of ministry, to which we all look on with hope, takes place, I shall have friends in power able to serve me, and shall, in fact, without scruple apply to Fox through one or two good channels: this may be very remote, and yet may be very near. When Madoc is published, I mean to send Fox a copy, with such a note as may be proper for me to address to such a man. . . . .

“God bless you, Tom! it grows late, and I have two proofs to correct for to-night’s post. Once more, God bless you!

R. S.”