LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John Rickman, 27 May 1807

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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“May 27. 1807.
“My dear Rickman,

“The pleasantest season in the country for one who lives in it, is undoubtedly the month of blossoms and beauty, when we have not only immediate enjoyment but summer before us. The best season for seeing a country, and especially this country, is during the turn of the leaf. September and October are our best months. We have usually long and delightful autumns, extending further into the winter than they do in the south of England. Our harvests, such as
they are, are sometimes not in till the end of October,—every thing with us being proportionably late.

Mrs. Rickman has seen all that water colours can do for our lakes, in seeing them as delineated by Glover, who is of all our artists the truest to nature. But I will show her sights beyond all reach of human colouring,—such work as nature herself makes with travelling clouds, and columns of misty sunshine, falling as if from an eye of light in Heaven, like that upon Guy Fawkes in the prayer-book. Every point of sight is beautiful, and Derwentwater can only be judged by a panorama, such as you will have from our boat. Do not wait for another year for the sake of including your Scotch journey. God knows what another year may produce, either of good or evil, to both of us. There is always so much chance of being summoned off on the grand tour of the universe, that a man ought not, without good reason, to delay any little trip he may wish to take first upon our microcosm. . . . .

What you say about breeding up a boy to understand the Keltic language, has often been in my mind. Have you seen a good book in reply to Malthus by Dr. Jarrold? This disjointed question comes in, because he shows how animals that are the most highly finished are most apt, like looking-glasses, to break in the making; and I have always the fear of too much sensorial power in my children so before my eyes, as never willingly to shape any plan about them which might occasion more cause for disappointment. How easy would it be for the London
Institution, or any society, to look out promising lads, and breed them up for specific literary purposes. Should
Herbert live, I should more incline (as more connected with my own pursuits) to let him pass two or three years in Biscay, and so procure all that is to be found of Cantabrian antiquity—a distinct stock I learn from the Keltic; but I believe that one part of our population came from those shores, of which the prevalence of dark hair and dark complexions is to me physical proof. Nothing can be so little calculated to advance our stock of knowledge, as our inveterate mode of education, whereby we all spend so many years in learning so little. I was from the age of six to that of twenty learning Greek and Latin, or, to speak more truly, learning nothing else. The little Greek I had sleepeth, if it be not dead, and can hardly wake without a miracle, and my Latin, though abundant enough for all useful purposes, would be held in great contempt by those people who regard the classics as the scriptures of taste. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”