LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Edith Southey, 14 October 1805

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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“October 14. 1805.

“I need not tell you, my own dear Edith, not to read my letters aloud till you have first of all seen what is written only for yourself. What I have now to say to you is, that having been eight days from home, with as little discomfort, and as little reason for discomfort, as a man can reasonably expect, I have yet felt so little comfortable, so great sense of solitariness, and so many homeward yearnings, that certainly I will not go to Lisbon without you; a resolution which, if your feelings be at all like mine, will not displease you. If, on mature consideration, you think the inconvenience of a voyage more than you ought to submit to, I must be content to stay in England, as on my part it certainly is not worth

* Life and Works of Lord Byron, vol. iii. p. 129.

Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 349
while to sacrifice a year’s happiness; for, though not unhappy (my mind is too active and too well disciplined to yield to any such criminal weakness), still without you I am not happy. But for your sake as well as my own, and for little
Edith’s sake, I will not consent to any separation; the growth of a year’s love between her and me, if it please God that she should live, is a thing too delightful in itself and too valuable in its consequences, both to her and me, to be given up for any light inconveniences either on your part or mine. An absence of a year would make her effectually forget me. . . . . But of these things we will talk at leisure; only, dear dear Edith, we must not part. . . . . Last night we saw the young Roscius in Douglas; this was lucky and unexpected. He disappointed me. I could tell you precisely how, and how he pleased me on the other hand, but that this would take time*, and the same sort of thought as in reviewing; and in letter-writing I love to do nothing more than just say what is uppermost. This evening I meet Jeffrey and Brougham at Thomson’s rooms. I know not if Harry knows him; he is the person who reviewed Miss Seward, and is skilful in manuscripts. Among the books I have bought is a little work of Boccaccio, for which my uncle has been looking many years in vain, so extremely rare is it. Its value here was not known, and it cost me only three shillings; being, I conceive, worth as many guineas. I have likewise found the old translation of Camoens.

* In another letter he says:—“Though a little disappointed, still I must say he is incomparably the best actor I have ever seen.”


“. . . . . The third sitting will finish the letter. Thomson brought with him the review of Madoc (which will be published in about ten days), sent to me by Jeffrey, who did not like to meet me till I had seen it. There was some sort of gentlemanlike decency in this, as the review is very unfair and very uncivil, though mixed up with plenty of compliments, and calculated to serve the book in the best way, by calling attention to it and making it of consequence. Of course I shall meet him with perfect courtesy, just giving him to understand that I have as little respect for his opinions as he has for mine; thank him for sending me the sheets, and then turn to other subjects. . . . . Since breakfast we have been walking to Calton Hill and to the Castle, from which heights I have seen the city and the neighbouring country to advantage. I am far more struck by Edinburgh itself than I expected, far less by the scenery around it. . . . .

“God bless you, my own dear Edith.

R. S.”