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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 20 May 1815

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, May 20. 1815.
“My dear Wynn,

“It is surprising to me that men whose fortunes are not absolutely desperate at home will go to India to seek them; that is, men who have any feelings beyond what is connected with the sense of touch. Fourteen years’ transportation is a heavy sentence; Strachey, I think, has been gone seventeen. What a portion of human life is this, and of its best years! After such an absence the pain of returning is hardly less severe, and perhaps more lasting, than that of departure. He finds his family thinned by death; his parents, if he finds them at all, fallen into old age, and on the brink of the grave; the friends whom he left in youth so changed as to be no longer the same. What fortune can make amends for this! It is indeed propter vitam vivendi perdere causas! I grieve to think sometimes that you and I, who were once in such daily habits of intimate intercourse, meet now only at intervals of two or three years;
though, besides our communication by letter (too seldom, I confess, rather than complain), what we do in public serve to keep us in sight of each other. However indifferent may be the matter of the debate, I always look to see if
Mr. C. Wynn has spoken. But Strachey must almost feel himself in another world.

“I thought that rascal Murat might have done more mischief. The proper termination of his career would be that the Sicilian Bourbons should catch him, and send him to Madrid; and I think Louis the Eighteenth would now be fully justified in sending Prince Joseph to the same place. The contest in France cannot surely be long; if Bonaparte could have acted with vigour on the offensive, he would have found perilous allies in Saxony, and little resistance from the Belgians. But the internal state of France paralyses him; and if he acts on the defensive, he can derive no advantage from the injustice of the great German powers. Two things were wanting last year,—the British army did not get to Paris, and the French were neither punished as they deserved, nor humbled as the interests of the rest of the world required. It will, I trust, now be put beyond all doubt that they have been conquered, and that their metropolis has been taken.

“The second edition of Roderick is selling well. It will probably soon reach to a third, and then fall into the slow steady sale of its predecessors. The sale will become of importance, when by the laws of literary property it will no longer benefit the author in his family. This is an abominable injustice, and
Ætat. 40. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 111
will, I suppose, one day be redressed, but not in our times. I am misemploying much time in reviewing for the lucre of gain, which nothing but filthy lucre should make me do. My
History of Brazil, however, gets on in the press; and you would be surprised were you to see the materials which I have collected for it. I did not think it right to postpone this second volume till my History of the Spanish War was done; for it had already been postponed too long. But it is a considerable sacrifice which I thus have been making. As soon as this work is off my hands I shall be able to put the History of Portugal to press without impeding the more profitable work. It is on this that I should wish to rest my reputation. As a poet I know where I have fallen short; and did I consult only my own feelings, it is probable that I should write poetry no more,—not as being contented with what I have done, but as knowing that I can hope to do nothing better. I might were my whole heart and mind given to it, as they were in youth; but they are no longer at my own disposal. As an historian I shall come nearer my mark. For thorough research, indeed, and range of materials, I do not believe that the History of Portugal will ever have been surpassed.

“God bless you, my dear Wynn!

Yours very affectionately,
R. S.”