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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Allan Cunningham, 24 February 1828

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, Feb. 24. 1828.
“My dear Allan Cunningham,

“I will do anything for you*; but I wish you had been fifteen days earlier in your application. For just so long ago, young Reynolds (son of the dramatist), called here, and introducing himself by

* Mr. Cunningham at this time had accepted the editorship of Sharpe’s forthcoming annual, called The Anniversary.

a letter, then introduced
Charles Heath. Charles Heath proceeded expeditiously to business, presented me with a ‘Keepsake’ from his pocket, said that he had been into Scotland for the express purpose of securing Sir Walter’s aid, that he had succeeded, that he now came to ask for mine, and should be happy to give me fifty guineas for anything with which I would supply him. Money,—money you know, makes the mare go,—and what after all is Pegasus, but a piece of horse-flesh? I sold him at that price a pig in a poke; a roaster would have contented him: ‘perhaps it might prove a porker,’ I said; improvident fellow as I was not to foresee that it would grow to the size of a bacon pig before it came into his hands! I sold him a ballad-poem entitled ‘All for Love, or a Sinner well saved,’ of which one-and-twenty stanzas were then written. I have added fifty since, and am only half-way through the story. It is a very striking one, and he means to have an engraving made from it. First come, first served, is a necessary rule in life; but if I could have foreseen that you would come afterwards, the rule should have been set aside; he might have had something else, and the bacon pig should have been yours.

Heath said that Sharpe was about to start a similar work of the same size and upon the same scale of expense: this I take it for granted is yours; and he seemed to expect that these larger Annuals would destroy the dwarf plants. The Amulet will probably survive, because it has chosen a walk of its own and a safe one. The Bijou is likely to fall, as
Ætat. 53. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 323
Lord Goderich’s administration did, for want of cordiality among the members concerned in it. Alaric will hold out like a Goth. Ackerman understands the art of selling his wares, and has in that respect an advantage over most of his rivals. Friendship’s Offering is perhaps in the worst way. But these matters concern not the present business, which is—what can I do for you? One of two things.

“I can finish for you an Ode upon a Gridiron*, which is an imitation of Pindar, treating the subject as he treats his, heroically and mythologically, and representing both the manner and character of his poetry more closely than could be done in a composition of which the subject was serious. I should tell you that though I think very well of this myself, it is more likely to please a few persons very much than to be generally relished.

“Or, I can write for you a life of John Fox the Martyrologist, which may, I think, be comprised in five or six and twenty of your pages. This, however, you cannot have in less than three months from this time.

“Now, take your choice; and, remember, that when you go into your own country, you are to make Keswick in your way, and halt with me.

Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.

Heath has sold 15,000 of the Keepsake, and has bespoken 4000 yards of silk for binding the next volume!!!”