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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Savage Landor, 26 November 1808

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, Nov. 26. 1808.

“In the height of our indignation here at the infamy in Portugal, one of our first thoughts was what yours would be. We in England had the consolation to see that the country redeemed itself by the general outcry which burst out. Never was any feeling within my recollection so general; I did not meet a man who was not boiling over with shame and rage.

“The Spaniards will be victorious. I am prepared
to hear of many reverses, but this has from the beginning been as much a faith as an opinion with me; and you, who know the Spaniards, will understand on what ground it has been formed. I am glad you know them, their country, and their language, which, in spite of your Romanised ears, becomes a man’s mouth better than any other in present use, except, perhaps, our own. Come and see me when you have nothing to call you elsewhere, and the wind of inclination may set in this way, and we will talk about Spain, and retravel your route, a part of which I remember as vividly as I do my father’s house.

“Find out a woman whom you can esteem, and love will grow more surely out of esteem than esteem will out of love. Your soul would then find anchorage. There are fountain springs of delight in the heart of man, which gush forth at the sight of his children, though it might seem before to be hard as the rock of Horeb, and dry as the desert sands. What I learnt from Rousseau, before I laid Epictetus to my heart, was, that Julia was happy with a husband whom she had not loved, and that Wolmer was more to be admired than St. Preux. I bid no man beware of being poor as he grows old, but I say to all men, beware of solitariness in age. Rest is the object to be sought. There is no other way of attaining it here, where we have no convents, but by putting an end to all those hopes and fears to which the best hearts are the most subject. Experto crede Roberto. This is the holy oil which has stilled in me a nature little less tempestuous than your own.

“I have 1800 lines of Kehama to send you as soon
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 197
as they can be transcribed, which will be with all convenient speed. Seven sections, cantos, or canticles more will finish the poem. The sight of the goal naturally quickens one’s speed, and I have good hope of completing it before the spring.
Pelayo, whereof I wrote in my letter to Coruña, is not yet begun, the materials not having quite settled into satisfactory order. It is a grand subject, and I feel myself equal to it in everything except topographical knowledge. I ought to have seen Gijon and Covadonga. Asturian scenery, however, must resemble that of the contiguous parts of Leon and Galicia, and I have the whole road from Lugo to Astorga in my eye and in my heart.

“We used our endeavours here to obtain a county meeting and send in a petition which should have taken up the Convention upon its true grounds of honour and moral feeling, keeping all pettier considerations out of sight. Wordsworth,—who left me when we found the business hopeless,—went home to ease his heart in a pamphlet, which I daily expect to hear he has completed. Courts of Inquiry will do nothing, and can do nothing. But we can yet acquit our own souls, and labour to foster and keep alive a spirit which is in the country, and which a cowardly race of hungry place-hunters are endeavouring to extinguish.

“The ill news is just come, and ministers are quaking for Sir John Moore, for whom I do not quake, as he and his army will beat twice their number of French. The fall of Madrid must be looked for, and, perhaps, Zaragoza may be the Sa-
guntum of modern history. That may God forbid! but Spain is still unconquerable, and will still be victorious, though there should be a French garrison in every one of its towns. We, as usual, are in fault; thirty thousand English at Bilboa would have secured that side, and England ought to have supplied thrice that number if she supplied any. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”