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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 29 December 1837

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, Dec 29. 1837.
“My dear G.,

“I was not aware that it was so long since you had heard from me; of me you could only have heard from H. T., with whom I have a pretty constant communication, owing to the transmission of proofs. These come thick; there has been little tinkering in the third volume but the sixth, on which I am at work, requires a good deal, in repairing some old wefts and strays, and preparing prolegomena. Moreover, I am reviewing Barrow’s Life of Lord Howe; so you see I am not idle.

“In other respects, I can give no good report of myself. There is every possible reason to be thankful for my poor Edith’s release, and God knows I am truly thankful for it. But my spirits, which bore up through three trying years, and continued to do so while there was immediate necessity for exertion, show as yet no tendency to recover that elasticity which they lost when the necessity ceased. Time will set all to rights. As the days lengthen, I shall be able to rise earlier, which will be a great benefit, the worst hours being those in which I lie awake, and
they are many. The best are those when I am employed, and you know I am not given to idleness; but it behoves me to manage myself in this respect. Except in the main point of sleep, the bodily functions go on well. I walk duly and dutifully. But I am as much disposed to be silent in my own family now, as I ever was in company for which I felt little or no liking; and if it were not plainly a matter of duty to resist this propensity, I should never hear the sound of my own voice. . . . .

“Nothing more has been heard of Baldwin and Cradock’s affairs. But I must tell you what it will give you pleasure to hear. As soon as Lightfoot learnt that the sum which I had (as I thought) provided for carrying Cuthbert through the University, was supposed to be in danger of being lost, he offered to relieve me from all anxiety upon that score. Knowing the sincerity of that offer, I am just as much obliged to him as if there were any necessity for accepting it. But Dr. Bell’s legacy is available for that purpose. And as for my Cowperage, if it be recovered, as I think it will, so much the better; if it be lost, it will never enter into the thoughts that keep me wakeful at night, or in the slightest degree trouble me by day. . . . .

“To-day (30th) the sun shines, and it is some satisfaction to see that there still is a sun, for he has been so long among the non-apparentibus, that if I jumped to my conclusions as eagerly as some of our
Ætat. 64. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 359
modern philosophers, I might have pronounced him to be not in existence.

“Your brother ought to reflect that though it is many a poor fellow’s duty to expose his life upon deck, and to lose it there, it is no man’s duty to die at the desk. And as I once heard a medical student say, when he expressed his satisfaction at having escaped being taken upon a resurrectionary party, ‘there is no glory in it.’ The first duty of any man, upon whose life the happiness or the well-being of others is in great degree dependent, is to take care of it God bless you! Our love to Miss Page.

R. S.”