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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 2 November 1811

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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“Nov. 2. 1811.
“My dear Friend,

“. . . . . Since our return a larger portion of my time than is either usual or convenient has been
Ætat. 38. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 319
taken up by the chance society of birds of passage; this place abounds with them during the travelling season; and as there are none of them who find their way to me without some lawful introduction, so there are few who have not something about them to make their company agreeable for the little time that it lasts.

“You have seen my article upon Bell and the Dragon in the Quarterly. It is decisive as to the point of originality, and would have been the heaviest blow the Edinburgh has ever received if all the shot of my heavy artillery had not been drawn before the guns were fired. I am going to reprint it separately with some enlargement, for the purpose of setting the question at rest, and making the public understand what the new system is, which is very little understood, and doing justice to Dr. Bell, whom I regard as one of the greatest benefactors to his species. . . . . The case is not a matter of opinion, but rests upon recorded and stated facts. I tread, therefore, upon sure ground, and taking advantage of this, I shall not lose the opportunity of repaying some of my numerous obligations to the Edinburgh Review. . . . .

“Probably you have seen the manner in which the Edinburgh Annual Register is twice noticed* in their last number. . . . . When the first year’s volume appeared it was not even suspected who was the historian; and Jeffrey, a day or two after its publication, went for the first time into the publisher’s shop expressly to tell him how much he admired the history, saying that though he differed from the

* It was recommended for government prosecution.

writer on many, indeed on most points, he nevertheless must declare that it was liberal, independent and spirited throughout, the best piece of contemporary history which had appeared for twenty years. When the second volume appeared he knew who was the author!

Believe me,
Very affectionately yours,
R. Southey.”