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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 9 January 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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“Greta Hall, Keswick, Jan. 9. 1804.

Infailix homo! infailix homo! said a German to Coleridge, who did not understand for whom he was inquiring by the name of Tωctωr Tωd; infailix homo! suspensus a patibulo! Without any patibulary reflexion, infailix homo is the soul of exclamation that your letter prompts. Zounds! if Giardini were in your inside, what an admirable solo he might play upon guts that must, by this time, have been fretted to fiddle-strings! I verily believe that your gripes must be organic, and not, as in all other men, bagpipical.

“The plain English of all this is, that your metaphysics, as you call them, are to your mind what a regular course of drastic physic would be to your body,—very disagreeable, and very weakening; that, being neither a man of business, nor of fashion, nor of letters, you want object and occupation in the world; and that if you would study Arabic, Welsh, or Chinese, or resolve to translate Tristram Shandy into Hebrew, you would soon be a happy man.

“. . . . . Here we live as regularly as clock-work; indeed, more
Ætat. 29. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 249
regularly than our own clocks, which go all paces! The old Barber has been at work for some days. I take
Horace’s liberty to personify the sky, and then simply barbarise the prosopopœia.

“Of the only three visitable families within reach, one is fled for the winter, and the others flying. N’importe, our dog Dapper remains, and he is as intimate with me as heart could wish. I want my books, and nothing else; for, blessed be God, I grow day by day more independent of society, and feel neither a want nor a wish for it. Every thing at present looks, from the window, like the confectioners’ shops at this season in London; and Skiddaw is the hugest of twelfth-cakes: but when I go down by the lake side, it would puzzle all my comparison-compounding fancy to tell you what it looks like there—the million or trillion forms of beauty soon baffle all description.

Coleridge is gone for Devonshire, and I was going to say I am alone, but that the sight of Shakspeare, and Spenser, and Milton, and the Bible, on my table, and Castanheda, and Barros, and Osorio at my elbow, tell me I am in the best of all possible company. Do not think of getting any subscribers for Madoc; I am convinced the plan of publishing it by subscription was foolish, and shall doubtless convince those who induced me to think of it. Have you seen the Critical Reviewal of Thalaba? I wish to see it, for it comes not only from one of my best friends, but from one of the most learned, most able, and most excellent men within the circle of my knowledge. . . . .
My brother
Harry is at Edinburgh, distinguishing himself as a disputant in the Medical Society. Poor Tom is going for the West Indies! What are our dunces sending troops there for? I could find in my heart to set at them; for, to tell you the truths a set-to at the Methodists in this Review has put me in a very pamphleteering mood. . . . .

“God bless you!
R. S.”