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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 5 August 1810

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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“Keswick, August 5. 1810.
“My dear Friend,

“Whatever you may think of my part in the Register in other respects, you will, I am sure, be well-pleased with the perfect freedom which inspires it. It will offend many persons and will please no party: but my own heart is satisfied, and that feeling would always be to me a sufficient reward. And even if it should injure me in a political point of view (as it probably may), by cutting off the prospect of
obtaining anything from Government beyond the pension . . . . . still I believe that even the balance of selfish prudence, though Mr. Worldy-wiseman himself were to adjust the scales, would prove in my favour. For I confidently expect that this work will materially increase my reputation among the booksellers; and, indeed, as long as I continue to be engaged in it, I shall need no other means of support. In the second part of the volume you will see me abundantly praised and most respectfully censured. I know not who the critic is, nor can I guess; he is very showy and sufficiently shallow. . . . . . As for my contempt of the received rules of poetry, I hold the same rules which
Shakspeare, Spenser, and Milton held before me, and desire to be judged by those rules; nor have I proceeded upon any principle of taste which is not to be found in all the great masters of the art of every age and country wherein the art has been understood. When the critic specifies parts of my writings to justify his praise, he overlooks every thing which displays either a knowledge of human nature, or a power of affecting the passions, and merely looks for a specimen of able versification. . . . .

“God bless you!

Yours very affectionately,
R. S.”