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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, [25 May 1797]

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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“In every village of the Susquehannah Indians* there is a vacant dwelling, called the strangers’ house. When a traveller there arrives at one of these villages, he stops and hollas; two of the elders of the tribe immediately go out to meet him; they lead him to this house, and then go round to tell the inhabitants that a stranger is arrived fatigued and hungry.

“They do not order these things quite so well in England. We arrived at Southampton at six last evening. ‘Lodgings’ were hung out at almost every house, but some would not let less than eleven rooms, some seven, and so on, and we walked a very long and uncomfortable hour before we could buy hospitality, and that at a very dear rate. I mean to walk to-morrow through Lyndhurst and Lymington

“Here with Cadwallon and a chosen band,
I left the ships. Lincoya guided us
A toilsome way among the heights; at dusk
We reach’d the village skirts; he bade us halt,
And raised his voice; the elders of the land
Came forth, and led us to an ample hut,
Which in the centre of their dwellings stood,
The Strangers’ House. They eyed us wondering,
Yet not for wonder ceased they to observe
Their hospitable rites; from hut to hut
The tidings ran that strangers were arrived,
Fatigued and hungry and athirst; anon,
Each from his means supplying us, came food
And beverage such as cheer the weary man.
Madoc, Book V.

Ætat. 23. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 313
to Christ Church,—that is, if
Edith be better, for she is now very unwell. I hope and believe it is only the temporary effect of fatigue; but, Grosvenor, a single man does not know what anxiety is.

Edith is not well enough to walk out. I therefore have seen only enough of this place to dislike it. . . . . I want a quiet lonely place, in sight of something green. Surely in a walk of thirty miles this may be found; but if I find the whole coast infected by visitors, I will go to Bristol, where I shall have the printer on the one side, Charles Danvers on the other, Cottle in front, the woods and rocks of Avon behind, and be in the centre of all good things.

“Our journey was hot and dusty, but through a lovely country. At one time the coach was full, and all but me asleep. Something fell off the roof, and I had the unutterable pleasure of waking all of them by bellowing out for the coachman to stop. . . . . Would we were settled, aye, and for life, in some little sequestered valley! I would be content never to climb over the hills that sheltered me, and never to hear music or taste beverage but from the stream that ran beside my door. Let me have the sea, too, and now and then some pieces of a wreck to supply me with firewood, and remind me of commerce. This New Forest is very lovely; I should like to have a house in it, and dispeople the rest, like William the Conqueror. Of all land objects a forest is the finest. Gisborne has written a feeble poem on the subject. The feelings that fill me when I lie under one tree and contemplate another in all the majesty of years, are neither to be defined nor expressed, and their inde-
finable and inexpressible feelings are those of the highest delight. They pass over the mind like the clouds of the summer evening—too fine and too fleeting for memory to detain.

“And now, Grosvenor, would I wager sixpence that you are regretting my absence, because you feel inclined to come to tea with us. I could upbraid you*; but this is one of the follies of man, and I have my share of it, though, thank God, but a small share. What we can do at any time is most likely not to be done at all. We are more willing to make an effort. Is this because we feel uneasy at the prospect of labour and something to be done? and we are stimulated to industry by a love of indolence. I um a self-observer, and indeed this appears to me the secret spring,† God bless you.

R. Southey.”