LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 14 August 1812

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, Aug. 14. 1812.
“My dear Friend,

“Let me trouble you with a commission which, if it be successful, will essentially enrich my store of historical documents. I have just learnt, by accident, that there is in High Holborn a set of Muratori’s great collection of the Italian historians, which, wanting one volume, is on that account offered for sale at a very low price—some five or six pounds, for a collection which I should joyfully purchase at the price of five-and-twenty, were it entire. . . . The three great works which I want are the Acta Sanctorum, the Byzantine Historians, and Muratori; and it would be folly not to purchase this set, notwithstanding it is imperfect, when the loss of one volume so materially diminishes the price, without lessening the utility of the other volumes. I should think it, at half a guinea a volume, a cheap purchase.

“My article upon the French Revolutionists in the—last Quarterly is a good deal the worse for the muti-
Ætat. 38. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 349
lation which, as usual, it has undergone, but which I regard less than I do the alteration of one single word. Speaking of ‘the pilot that weathered the storm,’ I wrote ‘whatever may have been his merits,’ and this word is altered into ‘transcendant as,’—an alteration of which I shall certainly complain. Had the article been printed entire, it would have done me credit: the hint with which it concludes relates to an essay upon the state of the lower classes, which I have undertaken for the last number.

“I had yesterday the pleasure of cutting open the last volume of the Register,—a greater delight to me than it will be to any other person, I dare be sworn. This is the last and greatest of an author’s pleasures. The London proprietors urge an alteration in the plan, and want it to be brought out in a single volume, like the London Annual Register; the Edinburgh proprietors very wisely negative this proposal, and determine to carry it on upon the present plan, even if they are left to themselves. The change, I think, would have been fatal to the work; whether perseverance may preserve it, is very doubtful. I go to work, however, upon the year 1811, with great good will. You will find, in the second part of this new volume, a life of Lope de Aguirre, written as a chapter for the history of Brazil, but cut out as an excrescence, for which room could not be afforded. The narrative is an extraordinary piece of history, whole and entire of itself, and so little connected with that of any other country, that it would appear equally as an excrescence in the history of Peru, or of Venezuela as in that of Brazil; so it is as well where it is as it could be anywhere else.
. . . . . The
ballad of the Inchcape Rock, in the same volume, is mine also, written many years ago, when I was poet to the Morning Post. I know not to whom it is obliged for its present situation, neither do I know who has been tinkering it. It lay uncorrected among my papers, because I had no use for it, unless I should ever publish a miscellaneous volume of verse. The Life of Nelson is sent to the press. I expect the first proof every day, and hope to finish the manuscript by the beginning of next month. Since my return from my late excursion, I have made good progress with Pelayo, or rather with Roderick, as the poem ought to be called. It pleases me so well, that I begin to wish other persons should be pleased with it as well as myself.

Believe me, ever,
Your affectionate friend,
Robert Southey.”