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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Nicholas Lightfoot, 24 April 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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“Keswick, April 24. 1807.
“My dear Lightfoot,

“Circumstances have prevented me going to Portugal so soon as I intended. I am, however, likely (God willing, I may say certain, as far as human intentions can be so) to procure a whole holiday for your boys in the month of November next. Business will then lead me to London, and when I am so far south I have calls into the west, having an uncle and aunt near Taunton. The Barnstaple coach will carry me
to Tiverton; and for the rest of the way I have shoulders to carry a very commodious knapsack, and feet to carry myself,—being a better walker than when we were at Oxford.

“Your last letter is fourteen months old, and they may have brought forth so many changes, that I almost fear to ask for my god-child Fanny. During that time I have had a son born into the world, and baptized into the Church by the name of Herbert, who is now six months old, and bids fair to be as noisy a fellow as his father,—which is saying something; for be it known, that I am quite as noisy as ever I was, and should take as much delight as ever in showering stones through the hole of the staircase against your room door, and hearing with what hearty good earnest ‘you fool!’ was vociferated in indignation against me in return. O, dear Lightfoot, what a blessing it is to have a boy’s heart! it is as great a blessing in carrying one through this world, as to have a child’s spirit will be in fitting us for the next.

“If you are in the way of seeing reviews and magazines, they will have told you some of my occupations; the main one they cannot tell you, for they do not know it, nor is it my intention that they shall yet awhile. I am preparing that branch of the History of Portugal for publication first, which would have been last in order, had not temporary circumstances given it a peculiar interest and utility,—that which relates to Brazil and Paraguay. The manuscript documents in my possession are very numerous, and of the utmost importance, having been
collected with unwearied care by my
uncle, during a residence of above thirty years in Portugal.

Burnett is about to make his appearance in the world of authors with, I trust, some credit to himself. When we meet I will tell you the whole course of his eventful history,—for more eventful it has been than any one could have prognosticated on his entrance at old Balliol.

Elmsley, I am sorry to say, is fatter than ever he was: he is one of my most intimate and most valuable friends. I hear from Duppa, or of him, frequently. His visit to Oxford at the Installation has been the occasion of throwing him quite into the circle of my friends in London. I sometimes think with wonder how few acquaintances I made at Oxford; except yourself and Burnett, not one whom I should feel any real pleasure in meeting. Of all the months in my life (happily they did not amount to years) those which were passed at Oxford were the most unprofitable. What Greek I took there I literally left there, and could not help losing; and all I learnt was a little swimming (very little the worse luck) and a little boating, which is greatly improved, now that I have a boat of my own upon this delightful lake. I never remember to have dreamt of Oxford,—a sure proof how little it entered into my moral being;—of school, on the contrary, I dream perpetually.

C—— is become a great disciplinarian. Some friend of Dr. Aikin’s dined one day at Balliol, and I was made the subject of conversation in the common room; poor C—— was my only friend: I be-
lieve he allowed that I must be damned for all my heresies, that was certain, but that it was a pity;—he remembered me with a degree of affection which neither a dozen years, nor that heart-deadening and uncharitable atmosphere had effaced. I should be glad to shake hands with him again . . . . . Let me hear from you, and believe me,

Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”