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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 22 December 1819

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, Dec. 22. 1819.
“My dear G.,

Shields’ note is a curiosity in its kind. It is so choicely phrased. But he is very civil, and I would willingly task myself rather than decline doing what he wishes me to do. If, however, by a general chorus he means one which is to recur at the end of every stanza, an ode must be framed with reference to such a burthen, or else it would be a burthen indeed; and indeed it would be impossible to fit one to stanzas of such different import as these. If, on the other hand, a concluding stanza is meant, more adapted for a ‘flourish of trumpets, &c.’ I am afraid
I cannot find one, but I will try.* The poem, as it now stands, is not a discreditable one; so far from it, indeed, that if I execute the scheme of my visionary dialogue (upon which my mind runs), I should introduce it—that upon the
Princess’s death, and a few pieces more to be written for the occasion, which would come in like the poems in Boethius.

“I thought I had explained to you my intentions about my journey. Being sufficiently master of my time, whether I set out a month sooner or later may be regulated solely by my own convenience, so that I return with the summer. I have to finish Wesley, which will be done in five weeks, taking it coolly and quietly. I have to finish the review of Marlborough, which will require three weeks. One of them is my mornings’, the other my evenings’ work. And if I am satisfied about the payment for my last paper, I shall recast the article upon the New Churches, and perhaps prepare one other also, in order to be beforehand with my ways and means for the spring and summer. But if there be any unhandsome treatment, I will not submit to it, but strike work as bravely as a radical weaver. In that case the time which would have been sold to the maximus homo of Albemarle Street will be far more worthily employed in finishing the Tale of Paraguay, which has proceeded more slowly than tortoise, sloth, or snail, but which, as far as it has gone, is good. Indeed, I

* “If I give the composer more trouble than poor Pye did, I am sorry for it, but I can no more write like Mr. Pye than Mr. Pye could write like me. His pyecrust and mine were not made of the same materials,”—R. S. to G. C. B.

Ætat. 45. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 365
must finish it for publication in the ensuing year, or I shall not be able to keep my head above water. The sum of all this is, that I intend to work closely at home till the end of February, to pass a few days at Ludlow on my way to town, arrive in London about the second week of March, pass five or six weeks, partly at Streatham, partly in town; go to
Sir H. Bunbury’s for a few days, and perhaps stretch on into Norfolk for another week or ten days, and find my way back to Keswick by the end of May.

“A merry Christmas to you! God bless you!

R. S.”