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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 30 March 1807

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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“Keswick, March 30. 1807.
“My dear Friend,

“I am just now enabled to give you some intelligence concerning myself. In this topsey-turveying of ministers, Wynn was very anxious, as he says, ‘to pick something out of the fire for me.’ The registership of the Vice-Admiralty Court in St. Lucia was offered, worth about 600l. a-year. He wrote to me, offering this, or, as an alternative, the only one in his power, a pension of 200l.; but, before my answer could arrive, it was necessary that he should choose for me, and he judged rightly in taking the latter. Fees and taxes will reduce this to 160l.†, the precise sum for which I have hitherto been indebted to him; so that I remain with just the same income as before. The different source

* March 27. 1807.

† The deduction proved to be 56l. reducing it to 144l.

from which it is derived is, as you may suppose, sufficiently grateful; for though Wynn could till now well afford this, and I had no reluctance in accepting it from one who is the oldest friend I have in the world (we have been intimate for nineteen years), he has now nearly doubled his expenditure by marrying. . . . . This, I suppose, is asked for and granted to me as a man of letters, in which character I feel myself fully and fairly entitled to receive it; and you know me too well to suppose that it can make me lose one jot of that freedom, both of opinion and speech, without which I should think myself unworthy, not of this poor earthly pittance alone, but of God’s air and sunshine, and my inheritance in heaven.

“I sent you the Specimens, and shall have to send you, owing to some omissions of Bedford’s, a supplementary volume hereafter, which will complete its bibliographical value. Of its other merits and defects, hereafter. It will not be long before, I trust, you will receive Espriella: the printer promises to quicken his pace, and I hurry him, anticipating that this book will give you and my other friends some amusement, and deserve approbation on higher grounds. Thank you for all your kindness to Harry. . . . . This change of ministry—I am as hostile to the measure which was the pretext for it as the King himself; but, having conceded that measure, the King’s conduct is equally exceptionable. Neither the country nor the Commons called for the change, and they were getting credit, and deserving it, by the ‘Arms Bill,’ the blessed ‘Aboli
tion of the Slave Trade,’ the projected reforms, and the projected plan for educating the poor. And now their places are to be filled by a set of men of tried and convicted incapacity, with an old woman at their head! But I must refer you to my friend, Don Manuel Alvarez, for the reason why there is always a lack of talents in the English Government.

“God bless you!

Yours in haste,
R. S.”