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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 23 April 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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“April 23. 1804.
“Dear Grosvenor,

“I thought to have seen you before this time, and am daily, indeed hourly, in anticipation of being able to say when I set out. You know that I design to take up with me the first part of Madoc, and leave it with the printer. Now have I been thinking that your worship would, perhaps, be not unwilling to stand man-midwife upon the occasion, and be appointed grand plenipotentiary over commas, semicolons, and periods. My books have all suffered by misprinting. In fact, there is a lurking hope at the bottom of this request, that when you have once been brought into a habit of dealing with the devil on my account, you may be induced to deal with him on your own.

“I shall bring up with me as much towards the Specimens as can be supplied by Anderson’s Collection, Cibber’s Lives, and an imperfect series of the European Magazine. The names omitted in these may, beyond all doubt, be supplied from the obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine, alias the Oldwomania, a work which I have begun to take in here at Keswick, to enlighten a Portuguese student among the mountains, and which does amuse me by its exquisite inanity,
and the glorious and intense stupidity of its correspondents; it is, in truth, a disgrace to the age and the country. My list of names is already long enough to prove, that there will be some difficulty in getting at all the volumes requisite, not that it is or can be a matter of conscience to read through all the dull poetry of every rhymester. The language of vituperation or criticism has not yet been so systematised as to afford terms for every shade of distinction. I had an idea of applying the botanical nomenclature to novels, and dividing them into monogynia, monandria, cryptogamia, &c., but for poems the pun will not hold good.

“’Tis a long way to London! I wish I were on my way, and then shall I wish myself arrived, and then be wishing myself back again; for complete rest, absolute, unprospective, rooted rest, is the great object of my desires. Near London must be my final settlement, unless any happy and unforeseen fortune should enable me to move to the south, and thus take a longer lease of life; in fact, if I could afford the money sacrifice, I would willingly make the other, and keep my History unpublished all my life, that I might pass it in Portugal. Society, connections, native language,—all these are weighty things; but what are they to the permanent and perpetual exhilaration of a climate that not merely prolongs life, but gives you double the life while it lasts? I have actually felt a positive pleasure in breathing there; and even here, in this magnificent spot, the recollection of the Tagus, and the Serra de Ossa, of Coimbra, and its cypresses, and orange
Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 283
groves, and olives, its hills and mountains, its venerable buildings, and its dear river, of the Vale of Algarve, the little islands of beauty amid the desert of Alentego, and, above all, of Cintra, the most blessed spot in the habitable globe, will almost bring tears into my eyes.

R. S.”