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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 31 July 1796

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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“July 31. 1796.

“Oh that you could bring Bristol to the sea! For as for bringing the sea to Bristol, that could not be done, as Trim says, ‘unless it pleased God;’ and, as Toby says, how the devil should it? I must not ask you to come to me, and I cannot come to you. . . . . For your club, I grant you a few hours once a fortnight will not make me worse; but will they make me better? and if they will not, why
Ætat. 22. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 287
should I quit the fireside? You will be in a state of requisition perpetually with me; and it seems you have bespoke a place in my heart for
Carlisle, but I will not let in too many there, because I do not much like being obliged to turn them out.

Lenora is partly borrowed from an old English ballad—
“Is there any room at your head, William?
Is there any room at your feet?
Is there any room at your side, William,
Wherein I may creep?
“There’s no room at my head, Margerett,
There’s no room at my feet;
There’s no room at my side, Margerett,
My coffin is made so meet!”
But the other ballad of
Bürger, in the Monthly Magazine, is most excellent. I know no commendation equal to its merit; read it again, Grosvenor, and read it aloud. The man who wrote that should have been ashamed of Lenora. Who is this Taylor? I suspected they were by Sayers.

“Have you read Cabal and Love? In spite of a translation for which the translator deserves hanging, the fifth act is dreadfully affecting. I want to write my tragedies of the Banditti—

“Of Sebastian,

“Of Inez de Castro,

“Of the Revenge of Pedro.

“My epic poem, in twenty books, of Madoc.

“My novel, in three volumes, of Edmund Oliver.

“My romance of ancient history of Alcas.

“My Norwegian tale of —— Harfagne.


“My Oriental poem of The Destruction of the Dom Daniel.

‘And in case I adopt Rousseau’s system—

“My Pains of Imagination.

“There, Grosvenor, all these I want to write!


“A comical Cornish curate, who saw me once or twice, has written me a quaint letter, and sent me a specimen of his Paradise Found!!!!

Wynn wishes me to live near Lincoln’s Inn, because, in a year’s time, it will be necessary for me to be with a special pleader; but I wish to live on the other side of Westminster Bridge, because it will be much more necessary to be within an evening’s walk of Brixton. To all serious studies I bid adieu when I enter upon my London lodgings. The law will neither amuse me, nor ameliorate me, nor instruct me; but the moment it gives me a comfortable independence—and I have but few wants,—then farewell to London. I will get me some little house near the sea, and near a country town, for the sake of the post and the bookseller; and you shall pass as much of the summer with me as you can, and I will see you in the winter,—that is, if you do not come and live by me; and then we will keep mastiffs like Carlisle, and make the prettiest theories, and invent the best systems for mankind; aye, and become great philanthropists, when we associate only among ourselves and the fraternity of dogs, cats, and cabbages; for as for poultry, I do not like eating what I have fed, and as for pigs, they are too like the multitude. There, in the cultivation of poetry and potatoes I will be inno-
Ætat. 22. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 289
cently employed, not but I mean to aspire to higher things; aye,
Grosvenor, I will make cyder and mead, and try more experiments upon wine than a London vintner; and perhaps, Grosvenor, the first Christmas-day you pass with me after I am so settled, we may make a Christmas fire of all my law books. Amen, so be it. . . . .

“I hope to get out my Letters by Michaelmas-day, and the Poems will be ready in six weeks after that time. That done, farewell to Bristol, my native place, my home for two and twenty years, where from many causes I have endured much misery, but where I have been very happy. . . . .

“No man ever retained a more perfect knowledge of the history of his own mind than I have done. I can trace the development of my character from infancy,—for developed it has been, not changed. I look forward to the writing of this history as the most pleasing and most useful employment I shall ever undertake. This removal is not, however, like quitting home, I am never domesticated in lodgings; the hearth is unhallowed, and the Penates do not abide there. Now, Grosvenor, to let you into a secret; though I cannot afford to buy a house, or hire one, I have lately built a very pretty castle, which is, being interpreted, if I can get my play of the ‘Banditti’ brought on the stage, and if it succeed—hang all those little conjunctions—well, these ‘ifs’ granted,—I shall get money enough to furnish me a house

God bless you!
R. S.”