LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Neville White, 25 April 1821

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 25. 1821.
“My dear Neville,

“I heartily give you joy of your dear wife’s safe deliverance, and of the birth of your first child,—an event which, of all others in the course of human life, produces the deepest and most permanent impression.
“Who hath not proved it, ill can estimate
The feeling of that stirring hour,—the weight
Of that new sense; the thoughtful, pensive bliss.
In all the changes of our changeful state,
Even from the cradle to the grave, I wis
The heart doth undergo no change so great as this.

“So I have written in that poem which will be the next that I hope to send you; but I transcribe the lines here because you will feel their truth at this time. Parental love, however, is of slower growth in a father’s than in a mother’s heart: the child, at its birth, continues, as it were, to be a part of its mother’s life; but, upon the father’s heart it is a graft, and some little time elapses before he feels that it has united and is become inseparable. God bless the babe and its parents, and spare it and them, each for the other’s sake, amen!


Tilbrook wrote to tell me his disapprobation of my hexameters. His reasons were founded upon some musical theory, which I did not understand farther than to perceive that it was not applicable. His opinion is the only unfavourable one that has reached me; that of my friend Wynn, from whom I expected the most decided displeasure, was, that he ‘disliked them less than he expected.’ Women, as far as I can learn, feel and like the metre universally, without attempting to understand its construction. My brethren of the art approve it, and those whom I acknowledge for my peers are decidedly in its favour. Many persons have thanked me for that part of the preface in which Lord Byron and his infamous works are alluded to. . . . .

“I am going on steadily with many things, the foremost of which is the History of the War. The first volume will be printed in the course of September next. Whether it will be published before the other two, depends upon the booksellers, and is a matter in which I have no concern. I am proceeding also with my Dialogues, and with the Book of the Church,—two works by which I shall deserve well of posterity, whatever treatment they may provoke now from the bigoted, the irreligious, and the factious. But you know how perfectly regardless I am of obloquy and insult. Your brother Henry gave me that kind of praise which is thoroughly gratifying, because I know that I deserve it, when he described me as fearlessly pursuing that course which my own sense of propriety points out, without reference to the humour of the public.


“In the last Quarterly Review you would recognise me in the account of Huntington. I am preparing a life of Oliver Cromwell for the next. . . . .

Believe me, my dear Neville,
Yours most affectionately,
Robert Southey.”