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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 24 April 1816

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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“Wednesday, April 24. 1816.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“You remember the two remedies for grief of which Pelayo speaks.* I practise what I preach, and have employed myself with a power of exertion at which I myself wonder; taking care so to vary my employments as not for any one to possess my mind too fully. I take regular exercise; I take tonics; I eat, drink, and sleep. See if this be not doing well. I converse as usual, and can at times be cheerful, but my happiness can never again be what it has been. Many blessings do I possess, but the prime blessing, the flower of my hopes, the central jewel of the ring, is gone. An early admiration of what is good in the stoical philosophy, and an active and elastic mind, have doubtless been great means of supporting me; but they would have been insufficient without a deeper principle; and I verily believe that were it not for the consolations which religion affords,—consolations which in time will ripen into hope and joy,—I should sink under an affliction which is greater than any man can conceive. You best can judge what the privation must be, and you can but judge imperfectly.

“Nature hath assigned
Two sovereign remedies for human grief:
Religion,—surest, firmest, first, and best;
And strenuous action next.”
Roderick, Canto xiv.


“Enough of this. I shall soon find a better mode of at once indulging and regulating these feelings. Upon this subject I have thoughts in my head which will, by God’s blessing, produce good and lasting fruit.

“At present one of my daily employments is the Carmen Nuptiale, which is now nearly completed. It will extend to about a hundred and ten stanzas, the same metre as the Pilgrimage, which printed in the same manner may run to seventy pages,—say three sheets. Its English title the Lay of the Laureate, which is not only a taking title for an advertisement, but a remarkably good one. It is for Longman to determine in what form he will print it, and what number of copies: quarto pamphlets I think are not liked for their inconvenient size.

“There must be a presentation copy bound for the Princess. Through what channel shall I convey it? Lord William Gordon would deliver it for me if I were to ask him. Can you put me in a better way? Would Herries like to do it, or is it proper to ask him?

“In a few days I shall send you the MSS.; the printing will be done presently. It comes too close upon the Pilgrimage; but whatever may be thought of it at Court, it will do me credit now and hereafter. I am very desirous of completing it, that I may have leisure for what lies nearer my heart.

“I will have a copy for Edith bound exactly like the court copy. What would it cost to have both these printed upon vellum? more, I suspect, than the fancy is worth.

Ætat. 42. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 171

“Press upon Gifford my earnest desire that the article of which the first portion accompanies this note may appear in the present number. It is of consequence to me, and the subject is in danger of becoming stale if it be delayed: dwell upon this point. It will be as interesting a paper as he has ever received from me.

“God bless you!

R. S.”