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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 12 September 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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“Keswick, Sept 12. 1804.
“Dear Tom,

“It is a heartless and hopeless thing, to write letter after letter, when there seems so little probability of their ever reaching you. How is it that all your letters seem to find me, and none of mine to find you? I cannot comprehend. I write, and write, and write, always directing Bar-
Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 303
badoes or elsewhere, and suppose that, according to direction, they go anywhere elsewhere than to the Galatea.

“My intention is, God willing, to remain here another year, and in the autumn of 1805 to go once more to Lisbon, and there remain one, two, or three years, till my History be well and effectually completed. Meantime these are my employments: to finish the correcting and printing of Madoc; to get through my annual work of reviewing; and bring my History as far onward as possible. In the press I have, 1. Metrical Tales and other Poems; being merely a corrected republication of my best pieces from the Anthology. 2. Specimens of the later English Poets, i. e. of all who have died from 1685 to 1800; this is meant as a supplement to George Ellis’s Specimens of the Early Poets,—a book which you may remember at Bristol; it will fill two vols, in crown octavo, the size of Ritson’s Engleish Romanceès, if you recollect them. 3. Madoc, in quarto, whereof twenty-two sheets are printed; one more finishes the first part.

Harry has been here since the beginning of July, and will yet remain about six weeks longer. We mountaineerify together, and bathe together, and go on the Lake together, and have contrived to pass a delightful summer. I am learning Dutch, and wish you were here to profit by the lessons at the breakfast-table, and to mynheerify with me, as you like the language; my reason for attaining the language is, that as the Dutch conquered, or rather destroyed, the Portuguese empire in Asia, the history of the
downfall of that empire is, of course, more fully related by Dutch than by Portuguese historians.

“You ask for politics. I can tell you little. The idea of invasion still continues the same humbug and bugbear as when it was first bruited abroad, to gull the people on both sides of the water. Bonaparte dares not attempt it—would to God he did!—defeat would be certain, and his ruin inevitable: as it is, he must lose reputation by threatening what he cannot execute; and I believe that the Bourbons will finally be restored. At home, politics look excellently well; the coalition of Fox and the Grenvilles has been equally honourable to all parties, and produced the best possible effects, in rooting out the last remains of that political violence which many years so divided the country. The death of the King, or another fit of madness, which is very probable; or his abdication, which most persons think would be very proper; or the declining health of Pitt, or the actual strength of the Opposition,—are things of which every one is very likely to bring the Coalition into power, and in that case neither you nor I should want friends. So live in hope, as you have good cause to do. Steer clear of the sharks and the land-crabs, and be sure that we shall both of us one day be as well off as we can wish.

“The H——’s are visiting Colonel Peachy, whose wife was also of Bishop Lydiard,—a Miss Charter; both she and her sister knew you well by name. We are getting upon excellently good terms; for they are very pleasant and truly womanly women, which is the best praise that can be bestowed upon a woman. Will you not laugh to hear that I have
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actually been employed all the morning in making arrangements for a subscription ball at Keswick?

—I!—very I!—your brother, R. S.! To what vile purposes may we come! It was started by Harry and Miss Charter at the theatre (for we have a strolling company at an alehouse here), and he and I and General Peche have settled it; and all Cumberland will now envy the gaieties of Keswick. Mrs. General insisted upon my opening the ball with her. I advised her, as she was for performing impossibilities, to begin with turning the wind, before she could hope to turn me: so I shall sip my tea, and talk with the old folks some hour or so, and then steal home to write Madoc, drink my solitary glass of punch, and get to bed at a good Christian-like hour,—as my father, and no doubt his father, did before me. Oh Tom, that you were but here! for in truth we lead as pleasant a life as heart of man could wish. I have not for years taken such constant exercise as this summer. Some friend or acquaintance or other is perpetually making his appearance, and out then I go to lacquey them on the lake, or over the mountains.—I shall get a character for politeness!

“I have so far altered my original plan of the History, as to resolve upon not introducing the life of St. Francisco, and the chapters therewith connected, but to reserve them for a separate history of Monachism, which will make a very interesting and amusing work; a good honest quarto may comprise it. My whole historical labours will then consist of three separate works. 1. Hist, of Portugal,—the European part, 3 vols. 2. Hist. of the Portuguese
Empire In Asia, 2 or 3 toIs. 3. Hist, of Brazil. 4. Hist, of the Jesuits in Japan. 5. Literary History of Spain and Portugal, 2 vols. 6. Hist of Monachism. In all, ten, eleven, or twelve quarto volumes; and you cannot easily imagine with what pleasure I look at all the labour before me. God give me life, health, eyesight, and as much leisure as even now I have, and done it shall be. God bless you!

R. S.”