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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 17 June 1806

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, June 17. 1806.
“Dear Grosvenor,

“There are two poets who must come into our series, and I do not remember their names in your list: Sir John Moore, of whom the only poem which I have ever seen should be given. It is addressed to a lady, he himself being in a consumption. If you do not remember it, Wynn will, and I think can help you to it, for it is very beautiful.
The other poor rhymer is poor old
Botch Hayes, whom we are in duty bound not to forget, and of whom you may say what you will, only let it be in the best good humour; because poor Botch’s heart was always in the right place, which certainly his wig was not. And you may say, that though his talent at producing commonplace English verses was not very convenient for his competitors at Cambridge for the Seatonian prize, that his talent of producing commonplace Latin ones was exceedingly so for his pupils at Westminster. I don’t say that I would wish to plant a laurel upon old Hayes’s grave; but I could find in my heart to plant a vine there (if it would grow), as a more appropriate tree, and to pour a brimming libation of its juice, if we had any reason to think that the spirit of the grape could reach the spirit of the man. Poor fellow! that phrase of ‘being no one’s enemy but his own,’ is not admitted as a set-off on earth, but in the other world, Grosvenor!

“Our last month has been so unusually fine, that the farmers want rain. July will probably give them enough. September and October are the safest months to come down in; though, if you consider gooseberry-pie as partaking of the nature of the summum bonum (to speak modestly of it), about a fortnight hence will be the happiest time you can choose. If Tom and Harry should be with me in time for the feat, I have thoughts of challenging all England at a match at gooseberry-pie: barring Jack the Giganticide’s leathern bag, we are sure of the victory. Thank God, Tom has escaped the yellow fever! and if ever he lives to be an admiral, Grosvenor,—as by God’s blessing he may,—
he shall give you and me a good dinner on board the flag-ship. We shall be so much the older by that time, that I fear good fortune would make neither of us much the happier.

“I have been inserting occasional rhymes in Kehama, and have in this way altered and amended about six hundred lines. When what is already written shall be got through in this manner, I shall think the poem in a way of completion: indeed, it will most likely supply my ways and means for the next winter, instead of reviewing. Elmsley advised me to go on with it; and the truth is, that my own likings and dislikings to it have been so equally divided, that I stood in need of somebody’s encouragement to settle the balance. It gains by rhyme, which is to passages of no inherent merit what rouge and candle-light are to ordinary faces. Merely ornamental parts, also, are aided by it, as foil sets off paste. But where there is either passion or power, the plainer and more straightforward the language can be made the better. Now, you will suppose that upon this system I am writing Kehama. My proceedings are not quite so systematical; but what, with revising and re-revising over and over again, they will amount to something like it at last.

“God bless you.

R. S.”