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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Scott, 16 June 1809

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, June 16. 1809,
“Dear Scott,

“My friends leave Bristol on Monday next, on their way hither; you thus perceive how impossible it is that I can now accompany you to Edinburgh, as I should else willingly have done.

“The latter part of your letter requires a confidential answer. I once wished to reside in Portugal, because the great object of my literary life related to that country: I loved the country, and had then an uncle settled there. Before Fox came into power this was told him by Charles Wynn, and, when he was in power, he was asked by Wynn to send me there. It so happened that John Allen wanted something which was in Lord Grenville’s gift, and this was given him on condition that Fox, in return, provided for me. There were two things in Portugal which I could hold—the consulship, or the secretaryship of legation. The former was twice given away, but that Fox said was too good a thing for me; the latter he promised if an opportunity occurred of promoting Lord Strangford, and that never took place. Grey was reminded of his predecessor’s engagement, and expressed no disinclination to fulfil it. The party got turned out; and one of the last things Lord Grenville did was to give me a pension of 200l. Till that time, I had received one of 160l. from Charles W. Wynn, my oldest surviving friend. The exchange leaves me something the poorer, as
Ætat. 35. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 239
the Exchequer deducts above sixty pounds. This is all I have. Half my time I sell to the booksellers; the other half is reserved for works which will never pay for the paper on which they are written, but on which I rest my future fame. I am, of course, straitened in circumstances; a little more would make me easy. My chance of inheritance is gone by: my father’s
elder brother was worth 40,000l., but he cut me off without the slightest cause of offence.

“You will see by this that I would willingly be served, but it is not easy to serve me. Lisbon is too insecure a place to remove to with a family, and nothing could repay me for going without them. I have neither the habits nor talents for an official situation; nor, if I had, could I live in London,—that is, I should soon die there. I have said to Wynn that one thing would make me at ease for life,—create for me the title of Royal Historiographer for England (there is one for Scotland), with a salary of 400l.: the reduction would leave a net income of 278l.; with that I should be sure of all the decent comforts of life, and, for everything beyond them, it would then be easy to supply myself. Of course, my present pension would cease. Whether Mr. Canning can do this, I know not; but, if this could be done, it would be adequate to all I want, and beyond that my wishes have never extended. I am sorry we are not to meet, but it would be unreasonable to expect it now; and, at some more convenient season, I will find my way to you and to the Advocate’s Library. You will hear from Bal-
lantyne what my plan is for Rhadamanthus, concerning which I shall think nothing more till I hear from him upon the subject. Since last you heard from me, I have lost one of my children; the rest, thank God! are well.
Edith desires to be remembered to you and Mrs. Scott.

Believe me,
Yours very truly,
Robert Southey.”