LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 11 November 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, Nov. 11. 1821.
My dear Grosvenor,

“Lakers and visitors have now disappeared for the season, like the swallows and other birds who are lucky enough to have better winter quarters allotted to them than this island affords them. The woodcocks and snipes have arrived, by this token, that my bookbinder here sent me a brace of the latter last week; and this reminds me to tell you, that if you ever have an owl dressed for dinner, you had better have it boiled, and smothered with onions, for it is not good roasted. Experto crede Roberto.

“Two or three weeks ago, calling at Calvert’s I learnt that Raisley C. had committed the great sin of shooting an owl. The criminality of the act was qualified by an ingenuous confession, that he did not know what it was when he fired at it: the bird was brought in to show us, and then given me that I might show it to your godson, owls and monkeys being of all created things those for which he has acquired the greatest liking from his graphic studies. Home I came with the owl in my hand, and in the morning you would have been well pleased had you seen Cuthbert’s joy at recognising, for the first time, the reality of what he sees daily in Bewick or in some other of his books. Wordsworth and his wife were here, and as there was no sin in eating the owl, I ordered it to be dressed and brought in, in the place of game that day at dinner. It was served up with-
out the head, and a squat-looking fellow it was, about the size of a large wild pigeon, but broader in proportion to its length. The meat was more like bad mutton than anything else. Wordsworth was not valiant enough to taste it.
Mrs. W. did, and we agreed that there could be no pretext for making owls game and killing them as delicacies. But if ever you eat one, by all means try it boiled, with onion sauce.

“I asked your opinion, a good while since, concerning a dedication for the Peninsular War, and hitherto you have not opined upon the subject in reply. It has this moment, while I am writing, occurred to me, that I could, with sincere satisfaction in so doing, inscribe it to Lord Sidmouth. I have always felt thankful to him for the peace of Amiens, and should like to tell him so in public, as I once did vivâ voce. And I should do it the more willingly if he is going out of office, which I rather think he is.

Gifford will have a paper upon Dobrizhoffer from me for this next number. Will you tell him that in a volume of tracts at Lowther, of Charles I.’s time, I found a Life of Sejanus by P. M., by which initials some hand, apparently as old as the book, had written Philip Massinger. I did not read the tract, being too keenly in pursuit of other game; but I believe it had a covert aim at Buckingham. I have not his Massinger, and therefore do not know whether he is aware that this was ever ascribed to that author; if he is not, he will be interested in the circumstance, and may think it worthy of farther inquiry.


“My History is in good progress. I am finishing the longest chapter in the volume, and one of the most interesting. It contains the events in Portugal from the commencement of the insurrection in Spain till the arrival of our expedition.

“God bless you!

R. S.”