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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Scott, 13 January 1813

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, Jan. 13. 1813.
“My dear Scott,

“I received Rokeby on Monday evening, and you need not be told that I did not go to bed till I had read the poem through. It is yours all over, and, like all its brethren, perfectly original. I have only to congratulate you upon its appearance, upon its life and spirit, and (with sure and certain anticipation) upon its success. Let me correct an error in your last note, in time for the second edition. Robin the Devil lived not upon one of our islands, but on Curwen’s in Winandermere, which then belonged to the Philipsons’. You may find the story in Nicholson and BurnsHistory of Westmoreland, pp. 185-6.

“I enjoyed your poem the more, being for the first time able to follow you in its scenery. My introduction at Rokeby* was a very awkward one; and if the old woman who would not let me through the gate till I had promised her to call at the house, had been the porter or the porter’s wife on the day of your story, Edmund might have sung long enough before he could have got in. However, when this awkwardness was over, I was very much obliged to her for forcing me into such society, for nothing could be more hospitable or more gratifying than the manner in which I and my companions were received. The glen is, for its extent, more beautiful than any thing

* See vol. iii. p. 345.

I have seen in England. If I had known your subject, I could have helped you to some Teesiana for your description—the result of the hardest day’s march I ever yet made. For we traced the stream from its spring-head, on the summit of Crossfell, about a mile from the source of the Tyne, all the way to Highforce.

“In the course of next month I hope you will receive my Life of Nelson, a subject not self-chosen—and out of my way, but executed . Some of my periodical employment I must ere long relinquish, or I shall never complete the great historical works upon which so many years have been bestowed, in which so much progress has been made, and for which it is little likely that any other person in the country will ever so qualify himself again. Yonder they are lying unfinished, while I suffer myself to be tempted to other occupations of more immediate emolument indeed, but, in all other respects, of infinitely less importance. Meanwhile time passes on, and I who am of a short-lived race, and have a sense of the uncertainty of life more continually present in my thoughts and feelings than most men, sometimes reproach myself for not devoting my time to those works upon which my reputation, and perhaps the fortunes of my family, must eventually rest, while the will is strong, the ability yet unimpaired, and the leisure permitted me. If I do not greatly deceive myself, my History of Portugal will be one of the most curious books of its kind that has ever yet appeared—the matter is in itself so interesting, and I have hunted out so much that is recondite, and have so much strong light
to throw upon things which have never been elucidated before.

“Remember us to Mrs. Scott, and believe me,

My dear brother bard.
Yours most truly,
Robert Southey.”