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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 4 May 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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“Keswick, May 4. 1816.
“My dear Uncle

“My estimate of human life is more favourable than yours. If death were the termination of our existence, then, indeed, I should wish rather to have been born a beast, or never to have been born at all; but considering nothing more certain than that this life is preparatory to a higher state of being, I am thankful for the happiness I have enjoyed, for the blessings which are left me, and for those to which I look with sure and certain hope. With me the enjoyments of life have more than counterbalanced its
Ætat. 42. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 181
anxieties and its pains. No man can possibly have been happier; and at this moment, when I am suffering under almost the severest loss which could have befallen me, I am richer both in heart and hope than if God had never given me the child whom it hath pleased him to take away. My heart has been exercised with better feelings during his life, and is drawn nearer towards Heaven by his removal. I do not recover spirits, but my strength is materially recruited, and I am not unhappy.

“I have employed myself with more than ordinary diligence. You will receive portions of my History in quick succession. I find abundant materials for a third volume, and have therefore determined not to injure a work, which has cost me so much labour, by attempting to compress it because the public would prefer two volumes to three. . . . . You will see that the story of Cardenas* is not an episode: it is the beginning of the great struggle with the Jesuits. This volume will bring the narrative down to the beginning of the last century, and conclude with the account of the manners of Brazil at that time, and the state of the country, as far as my documents enable me to give it. . . . .

“You see I have not been idle; indeed, at present there is more danger of my employing myself too much than too little. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”