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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 11 July 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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“Burton, July 11. 1797.

“I thank you for Chapelain: I read his poem with the hope of finding something good, and would gladly have reversed the sentence of condemnation which I must, in common honesty, confirm; it is very bad indeed, and can please only by its absurdity. . . . .

Ætat. 23. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 319

“I thank you also for your good opinion of me: I would fain be thought well of by the ‘ten righteous men,’ and communicate frequently with you as one of them I suffer no gloomy presages to disturb the tranquil happiness with which God has blest me now, and which I know how to value, because I have felt what it is to want everything, except the pride of a well satisfied conscience.

“The sister and niece of Chatterton are now wholly destitute: on this occasion I appear as editor of all his works for their relief; this is an heinous sin against the world’s opinion, for a young lawyer, but it would have been a real crime to have refused it. We have a black scene to lay before the public: these poor women have been left in want, while a set of scoundrels have been reaping hundreds from the writings of Chatterton. I hope now to make the catastrophe to the history of the poor boy of Bristol; you shall see the proposals as soon as they are printed. Cottle has been with me a few days, and we have arranged everything relative to this business; he is the publisher, and means to get the paper at prime cost, and not receive the usual profit from what he sells. The accounts will be published, and we hope and expect to place Mrs. Newton in comfort during the last years of her life.

Cottle brought with him the new edition of Coleridge’s poems: they are dedicated to his brother George in one of the most beautiful poems I ever read. . . . . It contains all the poems of Lloyd and Lamb, and I know no volume that can be compared to it. You know not how infinitely my happiness is
increased by residing in the country. I have not a wish beyond the quietness I enjoy; everything is tranquil and beautiful; but sometimes I look forward with regret to the time when I must return to a city which I so heartily dislike. . . . .

“God bless you!

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”