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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 4 April 1798

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, Wednesday, April 4. 1798.
“My dear Wynn,

“I should have thought you would have liked the Merida Inscription. It was designed for my Letters, but on consideration the point appears more applicable to our own country, and as one martyr is as good as another, Señora Eulalia must give place to old Latimer and Ridley. Its appearance in the Oracle makes me let out what I intended not to have told you till Christmas. I then thought to have taken you into a house of my own, and shown you the chairs and tables into which I had transmuted bad verses. Immediately before I left town I agreed to furnish the Morning Post with occasional verses, without a signature.* My end in view was to settle in a house as soon as possible, which this, with the Review, would enable me at Christmas to do. I told no person whatever but Edith. I signed the Inscription because I meant to insert it in my letters. Of all the rest Lord William is the only piece that bears the mark of the beast. I did not tell you, because you would not like it now, and it would have amused you at Christmas: Lord William’s is certainly a good story, and will, when corrected, make the best of my Ballads. I am glad you like it. There is one other, which if you have not seen I will send you; it is ludicrous, in the Alonzo metre, called the ‘Ring,’†—a true story, and, like the ‘Humorous

* For this he was to receive a guinea a week. A similar offer was made about this time by the editor of the Morning Chronicle to Burns, and refused.

† This ballad is called “King Charlemagne” in the later editions of his poems.

Lieutenant,’* it is not good for much, and yet one or two stanzas may amuse you.

“I write this from Bath, where I was summoned in consequence of my mother’s state of health. She is very ill; and I hope to remove her to Lisbon speedily,—the climate would, I am certain, restore her, though I fear nothing else can.

“You call me lazy for not writing; is it not the same with you? Do you feel the same inclination for filling a folio sheet now, as when in ’90 and ’91 we wrote to each other so fully and so frequently? The inclination is gone from me. I have nothing to communicate—no new feelings—no new opinions. We move no longer in the same circles, and no longer see things in the same point of view. I never now write a long letter to those who think with me,—it is useless to express what they also feel; and as for reasoning with those who differ from me, I have never seen any good result from argument. I write not in the best of spirits; my mother’s state of health depresses me,—the more so as I have to make her cheerful. Edith is likewise very unwell; indeed so declining as to make me somewhat apprehensive for the future. A few months will determine all these uncertainties,—and perhaps change my views in life—or rather destroy them. This is the first time that I have expressed the feelings that often will rise. Take no notice of them when you write.

“God bless you. If nothing intervene I shall see you in May. I wish indeed that month were over.

* This was probably one of his early poems, which was never republished.

Ætat. 23. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 331
Few men have ever more subdued their feelings than myself,—and yet I have more left than are consistent with happiness.

“Once more, God bless you.

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”