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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 9 May 1799

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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“Brixton, May 9. 1799.

“Your letter, my dear Edith, reached me not till late last evening, and it could hardly have arrived more opportunely, for it was on my return from a visit to Mr. ——, that I found it. We had dined there; B., and C., and I, with fourteen people, all of whom were completely strange to me, and most of whom I hope and trust will remain so. There were some blockheads there, one of whom chose to be exposed, by engaging in some classical and historical disputes with me; another gave as a toast General Suwarrow, the man who massacred men, women and children for three successive days at Warsaw, who slew at Ockzakow thirty thousand persons in cold blood, and thirty thousand at Ismael. I was so astonished at hearing this demon’s name, as only to repeat it in the tone of wonder; but, before I had time to think or to reply, C. turned to the man who gave the toast, and said he would not drink General Suwarrow, and off we set, describing the man’s actions till they gave up all defence, and asked for some substituted
name; and
Carlisle changed him for Count Rumford. It was a hateful day; the fellows would talk politics, of which they knew nothing. . . . . After being so put to the torture for five hours, your letter was doubly welcome.

G. Dyer is foraging for my Almanac, and promises pieces from Mrs. Opie, Mr. Mott of Cambridge, and Miss Christall. I then went to Arch’s, a pleasant place for half an hour’s book news: you know he purchased the edition of the Lyrical Ballads; he told me he believed he should lose by them, as they sold very heavily. . . . . My books sell very well. Other book news have I none, except, indeed, that John Thelwall is writing an epic poem, and Samuel Rogers is also writing an epic poem; George Dyer, also, hath similar thoughts. . . . . William Taylor has written to me from Norwich, and sent me Bodmer’s Noah, the book that I wanted to poke through and learn German by. He tempts me to write upon the subject, and take my seat with Milton and Klopstock; and in my to-day’s walk so many noble thoughts for such a poem presented themselves, that I am half tempted, and have the Deluge floating in my brain with the Dom Daniel and the rest of my unborn family.

“. . . . . As we went to dinner yesterday a coachful of women drew up to the door at the moment we arrived there; it rained merrily, and Carlisle offered his umbrella, but the prim gentry were somewhat rudely shy of him and me too, for his hair was a little ragged, and
I had not silk stockings on. He made them ashamed of this at dinner. Never did you see anything so hideous as their dresses; they were pink muslin, with round little white spots, waists ever so far down, and buttoned from the neck down to the end of the waist. . . . .
Horne Tooke’s letter to the Income Commissioners has amused me very much: he had stated his under sixty pounds a year; they said they were not satisfied; and his reply begins by saying he has much more reason to be dissatisfied with the smallness of his income than they have. . . . .

“God bless you.

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”