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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Chauncey Hare Townshend, 16 May 1816

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, May 16. 1816.

“. . . . . The loss which I have sustained is, I believe, heavier than any like affliction would have proved to almost any other person, from the circumstance of my dear son’s character, and the peculiar habits of my life. The joyousness of my disposition has received its death-wound; but there are still so many blessings left me, that I should be most ungrateful did I not feel myself abundantly rich in the only treasures which I have ever coveted. Three months ago, when I looked around, I knew no man so happy as myself, that is, no man who so entirely possessed all that his heart desired, those desires being such as bore the severest scrutiny of wisdom. The difference now is, that what was then the flower of my earthly happiness is now become a prominent object of my heavenly hopes,—that I have this treasure in reversion, instead of actually possessing it; but the reversion is indefeasible, and when it is restored to me it will be for ever; the separation which death makes is but for a time.

“These are my habitual feelings, not the offspring
of immediate sorrow, for I have felt sorrow ere this, and, I hope, have profited by it.

“The Roman Catholics go too far in weaning their hearts from the world, and fall in consequence into the worst practical follies which could result from Manicheism. We lay up treasure in heaven when we cherish the domestic charities. ‘They sin who tell us love can die,”and they also err grievously who suppose that natural affections tend to wean us from God. Far otherwise! They develope virtues, of the existence of which in our own hearts we should else be unconscious; and binding us to each other, they bind us also to our common Parent.

“Let me see your poem when you have finished it, and tell me something more of yourself, where your home is, and where you have been educated. Anything that you may communicate upon this subject will interest me. In my communication with Kirke White, and with poor Dusautoy, I have blamed myself for repressing the expression of interest concerning them, when it has been too late. Perhaps they have thought me cold and distant, than which nothing can be farther from my nature; but may your years be many and prosperous. God bless you!

Your affectionate Friend,
R. Southey.”