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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 13 October 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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“Oct. 13. 1806.
“My dear Rickman,

“You will be glad to hear that my child proves to be of the more worthy gender.

“I would do a great deal to please poor Tobin (indeed, it is doing a good deal to let him inflict an argument upon me), but to write an epilogue is doing too much for anybody. Indeed, were I ever so well disposed to misemploy time, paper, and rhymes, it would be as much out of my reach as the moon is; and I bless my stars for the incapacity, believing that a man who can do such things well cannot do anything better.


“I am also thoroughly busy. Summer is my holyday season, in which I lay in a store of exercise to serve me for the winter, and leave myself as it were lying fallow to the influences of heaven. I am now very hard at Palmerin,—so troublesome a business, that a look before the leap would have prevented the leap altogether. I expected it would only be needful to alter the Propria quæ maribus to their original orthography, and restore the costume where the old translators had omitted it, as being to them foreign or obsolete; but they have so mangled, mutilated, and massacred the manners,—vulgarised, impoverished, and embeggared the language,—so lopped, cropped, and docked the ornaments, that I was fain to set my shoulder stiffly to the wheel, and retranslate about the one-half. As this will not produce me one penny more than if I had reprinted it with all its imperfections on its head, the good conscience with which it is done reconciles me to the loss of time; and I have, moreover, such a true love of romance that the labour is not irksome, tho’ it is hard. To correct a sheet—sixteen pages of the square-sized black letter—is a day’s work; that is, from breakfast till dinner, allowing an hour’s walk, and from tea till supper; and the whole is about sixty sheets.

“Secondly, Espriella is regulated by the printer, who seems as little disposed to hurry me as I am to hurry him.

“Thirdly, the reviewing is come round, of which, in the shape of Missionaries, Catholic Miracles, Bible and Religious Societies, Clarkson, and little Moore (not forgetting Captain Burney), I have more to do
than I at first desired, yet not more than will make a reasonable item on the right side of the
King of Persia’s* books.

“Fourthly, I have done half the Cid, and, whenever I seem sufficiently ahead of other employment, to lie-to for awhile, this is what I go to.

“Lastly, for the Athenæum,—alias Foolæum, for I abominate such titles,—I am making some preparations, meaning, among other things, to print there certain collections of unemployed notes and memoranda, under the title of Omniana. By God’s blessing I shall have done all this by the end of the winter, and come to town early in the spring, to inspect certain books for the Cid at the Museum and at Holland House. God bless you!

R. S.”