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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 22 April 1811

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, April 21. 1811
“My dear Grosvenor,

“I have some news to tell you of my own family. Mr. T. Southey is dead: about half his property he has left to the son of a friend of his at Bristol, and the rest to his man Tom, and a few other such objects of his regard. This conduct towards me and my brothers is neither very surprising nor very blameable; we lived at a distance from him, and, when he did see us, he saw animals of so very different a nature from himself, that the wonder would have been if he had taken any pleasure in their society. But he has a sister, now advanced in life, and ill provided for; and she kept his house till he turned her out of it, for no other reason than that she discovered some regret at seeing the foot-boy Tom preferred to her nephews; and he has not left her anything. This is wicked and unnatural conduct. My account comes from her. She says nothing of herself, and, I verily believe, thinks nothing upon that score; but her letter is an affecting one. ‘I hope God will forgive him (these are her concluding words). John made himself a slave to get this trash: Thomas has made himself a fool to give it away.* I hope neither you nor yours will ever want it.’ The property thus disposed of is about 1000l. a-year. An estate of half that value was left by the elder brother

* This property had been left to Thomas Southey by his elder brother John.

to a farmer’s son, whom the father used to send sometimes with a hare.

“You know me well enough to know that no man living more thoroughly understands what Shenstone called the flocci-nauci-nihili-pilification of money. I had no expectations, and, consequently, have experienced no disappointment. God be praised for it! I have, also, no want. My employment (provided I write prose) is sufficiently paid; I have plenty of it; and like it as well as if it were merely the amusement of leisure hours. And, in case of my death before I shall have been able to make a provision for my family, my life is insured for 1000l.; and the world must be worse than I believe it to be if my operas should not produce enough in addition to that. . . . .

“I have another piece of news, which did surprise me. Brougham has been commissioned to apply to my uncle for the purpose of discovering whether I would undertake to translate Lucien Bonaparte’s poem. My uncle replied, he supposed not, but referred the plenipotentiary to me; and no further proceedings have taken place. When I hear from B. I shall recommend Elton for the task, who translates well, and will, probably, be glad of a task which is likely to be so well paid. This has amused me very much; but it has rather lowered Lucien in my opinion, by the vanity which it implies. If his poem be good for anything, he may be sure it will find translators: it looks ill to be so impatient for fame as to look about for one, and pay him for his work. From whom the application to my worship came I do not know; Lucien has probably applied
Ætat. 36. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 311
to some friend to recommend him to the best hand; and, dispatch being one thing required, the preference has, perhaps, on this score, been given to me over
Mr. Thomas Campbell; by which, no doubt, I am greatly flattered.—To Grosvenor Bedford I may say that, if the poem in question be a bad one, it will not be worth translating; and, if it be otherwise, I humbly conceive that the time which would be required to translate it may quite as worthily be bestowed upon some work of my own.

“God bless you!

R. S.”