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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Horace Walpole Bedford, 20 July 1794

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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“Bath, July 20. 1794.

Grosvenor, I believe nearly three weeks have elapsed since your last letter at Oxford damped my breakfast with disappointment: to see you at all times would be a source of much pleasure; but I should have been particularly glad to have introduced you to Allen and Coleridge; they shared in my disappointment, but that part of human unhappiness is not alleviated by partition. Coleridge is now walking over Wales. You have seen a specimen of Allen’s poetry, but never of his friend’s; take these, they are the only ones I can show, and were written on the wainscot of the inn at Ross, which was once the dwelling-house of Kyrle.”

July 6. 1794.


[Here follow the well-known lines to “The Man of Ross.”]

“Admire the verses, Grosvenor, and pity that mind that wrote them from its genuine feelings. ’Tis my intention soon to join him in Wales, and then to proceed to Edmund Seward, seriously to arrange with him the best mode of settling in America. Yesterday I took my proposals for publishing Joan of Arc to the printer; should the publication be any ways successful, it will carry me over, and get me some few acres, a spade, and a plough. My brother Thomas will gladly go with us, and, perhaps, two or three more of my most intimate friends; in this country I must either sacrifice happiness or integrity: but when we meet I will explain my notions more fully.

“I shall not reside next Michaelmas at Oxford, because the time will be better employed in correcting Joan, and overlooking the press. If I get fifty copies subscribed for by that time. . . . . Grosvenor, I shall inscribe Joan of Arc to you, unless you are afraid to have your name prefixed to a work that breathes some sentiments not perfectly in unison with court principles. Corrections will take up some time, for the poem shall go into the world handsomely—it will be my legacy to this country, and may, perhaps, preserve my memory in it. Many of my friends will blame me for so bold a step, but as many encourage me; and I want to raise money enough to settle myself across the Atlantic. If I have leisure to write there, my stock of imagery will be much increased. . . . . My proposals will be printed this evening. I remain here till to-morrow morning for
Ætat. 20. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 215
the sake of carrying some to Bristol. Methinks my name will look well in print. I expect a host of petty critics will buzz about my ears, but I must brush them off. You know what the poem was at Brixton; when well corrected I fear not its success.

“I have a linen coat making, much like yours; ’tis destined for much service. Burnett ambulated to Bristol with me from Oxford; he is a worthy fellow, whom I greatly esteem. We have a wild Welshman, red hot from the mountains, at Balliol, who would please and amuse you much. He is perfectly ignorant of the world; but with all the honest warm feelings of nature, a good head, and a good heart. Lightfoot is A. B.; old Balliol Coll. has lost its best inhabitants in him and Seward; Allen, too, resides only six weeks longer in the University; so it would be a melancholy place for me, were I to visit it again for residence. My tutor will much wonder at seeing my name*; but, as Thomas Howe is half a democrat, he will be pleased. What miracle could illuminate him I know not; but he surprised me much by declaiming against the war, praising America, and asserting the right of every country to model its own form of government. This was followed by—‘Mr. Southey, you won’t learn any thing by my lectures. Sir; so, if you have any studies of your own, you had better pursue them.’ You may suppose I thankfully accepted the offer. Let me hear from you soon. You promised me some verses.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Southey.”

* As the author of Joan of Arc.


“P.S. How are the wasps this year? My dog eats flies voraciously, and hunts wasps for the same purpose. If he catches them, I fear he will follow poor Hyder.* I saved him twice to day from swallowing them like oysters.”