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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 8 March 1804

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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“March 8. 1804.

“I have not the Spanish Gil Blas; such a book exists, but, if I remember rightly, with the suspicious phrase restored to the Spaniards, which may imply a retranslation of what they say is translated. Yet it is very likely that the story is originally Spanish, and, indeed, if the Spaniards claim it, I am ready to believe them, they being true men, and Le Sage’s being a Frenchman strong reason for suspecting him to be a thief; however, if he has stolen, there can be no doubt that he has tinkered old metal into a better shape, and I should think your time ill employed in Englishing what everybody reads in French.

“And now let me tell you what to do for me, and how to do it.*

“Take half-a-quartain, or a whole one doubled; write as a title the name of the poet in question; then under that, the time or place of his birth, when discoverable, and the time of his death. After that, a brief notice of his life and works to the average length of a Westminster theme, as much shorter as his demerits deserve, as much longer as apt anecdotes, or the humour of pointed and rememberable criticism, may tempt your pen. . . . .

* See p. 260.

Now for a list of those whom I can turn over to your care at once:—

Henderson—this you will do con amore.

GarrickTom D’UrfeyTom Browne.

Cary, the author of Chrononhotonthologus—see if his namby-pamby be of suitable brevity; the Biographia and a Biog. Dictionary will be sufficient guides. Lady M. W. Montague, Stephen Duck,—kill off these, and put them by till I see you; and kill them off, the faster the better, that you may fall upon more; for so much labour as you do, so much am I saved, which is very good for both of us, says Dr. Southey.

“Great news at Keswick; a firing heard off the Isle of Man at four o’clock in the morning yesterday! The French are a-coming, a-coming, a-coming—and what care we? We who have eighteen volunteers and an apothecary at their head! Did I ever tell you of De Paddy, one of the ‘United,’ who was sent to serve on board Tom’s ship last war? The first day of his service, he had to carry the plum-pudding for the dinner of his mess, and the Patrician had never seen a plum-pudding before; he came holding it up in triumph, and exclaimed, in perfect ecstasy, ‘Och! your sowls! look here! if dis be war, may it never be paice!’ . . . .

“No time for more; farewell!

R. Southey.”