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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 13 October 1808

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, Oct. 13. 1808.
“Dear Tom,

“An Irishman who was abroad, came in one day and said that he had seen that morning what he had never seen before,—a fine crop of anchovies growing in the garden. ‘Anchovies?’ said an Englishman, with a half laugh and a tone of wonder. And from this the other, according to the legitimate rules of Irish logic, deduced a quarrel, a challenge, and a duel, in which the poor Englishman, who did not believe that anchovies grew in the garden, was killed on the spot. The moment he fell, the right word came into the challenger’s head. ‘Och! what a pity!’ he cried, ‘and I meant capers all the while!’ Mr. Spence knew the parties, and told this story the other day at Calvert’s, from whence it travelled to me.

“What, think you, was announced the other day
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 171
in the Keswick play-bill? A tale in verse, by
R. Southey, Esq., to be recited by Mr. Deans. There’s fame for you! What the tale was I have hot heard: most likely the Maid of the Inn, which is right worthy of such recitation.

“It occurred to me last night, I know not how, that I have never, to the best of my recollection, seen one of the large house-snails in this country, and very few indeed of the smaller kind, which are so numerous, and of such beautiful varieties in our part of the kingdom. You know what a collector of snail shells I was in my time, hoarding up all the empty ones I could find. The rocks used to be my hunting place. That amusement has made me familiar with every variety in that neighbourhood, and certain I am that the greater number are not to be found here. Slugs we have in plenty. By the by, I have lately seen it mentioned in an old French book, that frogs eat snails, shells and all.

“I wish you had the Cid to have shown the Spaniards; they would have been pleased to see that the Campeador was beginning to have his fame here in England, 700 years after his death. Unquestionably that Chronicle is one of the finest things inthe world; and so I think it will be admitted to be. Coleridge is perfectly delighted with it. Frere, passionately as he admired the poem, had never seen the Chronicle, which is remarkable enough. You will see, by comparing the Dumb-ee scene in both, that the Chronicle is sometimes the most poetical of the two.* I am so fond of this kind of contemporary his-

* Cid, Book ix. c. xiii.

tory, and so persuaded of the good which it is likely to do, by giving us a true knowledge of other times, and reviving those high and generous feelings which all modern habits of life tend to counteract, that I think seriously of translating the works of
Fernan Lopez as soon as my history is completed. There is the Chronicle of Pedro the Just, which is a very small volume, my great MS., and the Chronicle of Joam I. The whole would fill three such quartos as the Cid. I should like to do it for the pleasure of the thing,—as the man said when he was to shoot Shepherd’s goat. . . . .

“I am getting on with my Letters from Portugal. The evenings close in by tea-time, and fire and candle bring with them close work at the desk, and nothing to take me from it. The Long-man of the Row recommends the small size in preference to quarto, as producing greater profits, in consequence of its readier sale. To this I willingly assent. They will probably extend to three such volumes as Espriella. When they are done, the fresh letters of Espriella will come in their turn; and so I go on. Huzza! two and twenty volumes already; the Cid, when reprinted, will make two more; and, please God, five a year in addition as long as I live.

Edith has just been in with her kiss—as regular as the evening gun. She wants to know when Uncle will come home. Sooner perhaps than he himself thinks, for the glorious revolution in Spain will bring Bonaparte down. It is morally impossible that such a nation can be subdued. If King Joseph should fall into their hands, I pray that —— may
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 173
be on the spot; he will take care that no mischief shall happen by keeping him prisoner. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”