LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 26 December 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, Dec 26. 1804,
“Dear Tom,

“I have made some use of your letters in the third Annual Review. M’Kinnan has published a Tour through the British West Indies; a decent book, but dull. In reviewing it, I eked out his account with yours, and contrasted his words upon the slave trade with a passage from your letters. In doing this, I could not help thinking what materials for a book you might bring home if you would take the trouble: as thus,—describe the appearance of all the islands you touch at, from the sea,—their towns, how situated, how built,—what public buildings, what sort of houses,—the inside of the houses, how furnished,—what the mode of life of the townspeople, of the planter, in different ranks, and of the different European settlers,—in short, all you see and all you hear, looking about the more earnestly and asking questions. Many anecdotes of this, and the last war, you have opportunities of collecting, particularly of Victor Hughes; something also of St. Domingo, or Hayti, as it must now be called, which I find means asperosa in Spanish, rugged. If you would bring home matter for a picture of the islands as they now are, I could delineate what they
were from the old Spaniards, and there would be a very curious book between us

Hamilton is broke, whereby I shall lose from 20l. to 30l. which he owes me for critical work, and which I shall never get;—rather hard upon one whose brains and eyesight have quite enough to do by choice, and are never overpaid for what they do by necessity. For meaner matter,—my little girl is not pretty; but she is a sweet child, so excellently good-tempered; as joyous as a sky-lark in a fine morning, and so quick of eye, of action, and of intellect, that I have a sad feeling about me of the little chance there is of rearing her; so don’t think too much about her.

“Whether this war with Spain will involve one with Portugal is what we are all speculating about at present. I think it very likely that Bonaparte will oblige the Portuguese to turn the English out—a great evil to me in particular; though should my uncle be driven to England, my settling will the sooner take place. At present I am as unsettled as ever, at a distance from my books, perpetually in want of them, wishing and wanting to be permanently fixed, and still prevented by the old cause. Make a capital prize, Tom, and lend me a couple of hundreds, and you shall see what a noble appearance my books will make. N.B.—I have a good many that wait for your worship to letter them. This Spanish war may throw something in your way; but I don’t like the war, and think it is unjust and ungenerous to quarrel with an oppressed people because they have not strength to resist the French.
Ætat. 30. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 311
You know I greatly esteem the Spaniards. As for France, I am willing to pay half my last guinea to support a contest for national honour against him; but it began foolishly, and well will it be if we do not end it even more foolishly than we began.

“God bless you!

R. S.”