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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Savage Landor, 15 July 1811

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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“London, July 15. 1811.

“It is utterly unaccountable to me why you of all men should care either for good or evil report of your poems, certain as you must be of their sterling value. I look upon Gebir as I do upon Dante’s long poem in the Italian, not as a good poem, but as containing the finest poetry in the language; so it is with C. Julian, and so no doubt it was with the play which you have so provokingly destroyed.

“In about three weeks I hope to see you in your turret. We leave London this day week, and I will
Ætat. 36. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 313
write from Bristol as soon as I can say when we shall depart from it. I was at Llanthony in 1798, and forded the Hondy on foot, because I could not find the bridge. Have you found St. David’s cavern, which
Drayton places there, and for which I inquired in vain?

“I am no botanist; but, like you, my earliest and deepest recollections are connected with flowers, and they always carry me back to other days. Perhaps this is because they are the only things which affect our senses precisely in the same manner as they did in childhood. The sweetness of the violet is always the same, and when you rifle a rose, and drink as it were its fragrance, the refreshment is the same to the old man as to the boy. We see with different eyes in proportion as we learn to discriminate, and, therefore, this effect is not so certainly produced by visual objects. Sounds recall the past in the same manner, but do not bring with them individual scenes, like the cowslip-field or the bank of violets, or the corner of the garden to which we have transplanted field flowers. Oh, what a happy season is childhood, if our modes of life and education will let it be so! It were enough to make one misanthropical when we consider how great a portion of the evil of this world is man’s own making, if the knowledge of this truth did not imply that the evil is removable; and, therefore, the prime duty of a good man is by all means in his power to assist in removing it. God bless you!

R. S.”