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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 22 April 1803

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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“Bristol, April 22. 1803.
“My dear Tom,

“Huzza! huzza! huzza! The bottle is a good post, and the Atlantic delivers letters according to direction.


“Yours of May 23. 1802 Lat 33 . 46 N. Lon. 64 . 27 W. was found by Messrs. Calmer and Seymour, of St Salvador’s, Dec 18, 1802, on the N.W. of that island, Lat. 23 . 30 N. Lon. 73 . 30 W. very civilly enclosed by some Mr. Aley Pratt, Feb, 10., sent per Betsey Cains, Capt. Wilmott, and has this day reached me from Ramsgate, to my very great surprise and satisfaction. You had sealed it so clumsily, that some of the writing was torn, and the salt water had got at it, so that the letter is in a ruinous state; but it shall be preserved as the greatest curiosity in my collection. I shall send the account to Stuart.

“I did heartily regret that you were not here; we would have drawn a cork in honour of Messrs. Calmer and Seymour, and Aley Pratt, who, by keeping the letter two months, really seem to have been sensible that the letter was of value. When I consider the quadrillion of chances against such a circumstance, it seems like a dream,—the middle of the Atlantic, thrown in there! cast on a corner of St. Salvador’s, and now here, at No. 12, St. James’s Place, Kingsdown, Bristol; hunting me through the ocean to the Bahamas, and then to this very individual spot. Oh, that the bottle had kept a log-book! If the Bottle-conjurer had been in it, now!

“I think this letter decisive of a current; chance winds would never have carried it 600 miles in less than seven months: and, if I recollect right, by theory there ought to be a current in that direction. Supposing the bottle to have been found the very day it
Ætat. 28. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 209
landed, it must have sailed at the rate of three knots in a day and night; it was picked up 209 days after the post set off. More letters should be thrown overboard about the same latitude; and then, when we have charts of all the currents, some dozen centuries hence, that particular one shall be called Southey’s Current. . . . . The news is all pacific, and I fully expect you will be paid off ere long. All goes on as usual here.
Margaret screams as loud as the parrot, that talent she inherited. . . . .

“God bless you!
R. Southey.”