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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Nicholas Lightfoot, 13 May 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, June 2. 1821.
“My dear Lightfoot,

“Your letter brings to my mind how it happened that the last which I received from you remained unanswered. I began a reply immediately, but having expressed a hope that business might probably soon lead me into the west country, and intimated a little too confidently the likelihood of my succeeding to some good family estates there in consequence of Lord Somerville’s death, the letter was laid aside, till I could be more certain. Shortly afterwards I went to London, and the result of my legal inquiries there was, that owing to the clumsy manner in which a will was drawn up, estates to the value of a thousand a year in Somersetshire, which according to the clear intention of the testator, ought now to have devolved upon me, had been adjudged to Lord Somerville to be at his full disposal, and were by him
either sold or bequeathed to his half-brothers, so that the whole is gone to a different family. You know me well enough to believe that this never deprived me of an hour’s sleep nor a moment’s peace of mind. The only ill effect was that I fancied your letter had been answered, and wondered I did not hear from you again, which wonder, nothing but never ending business has prevented me from expressing to you long ere this.

“God knows how truly it would have rejoiced me to have seen you at Oxford. My heart was never heavier than during the only whole day which I passed in that city. There was not a single contemporary whom I knew; the only person with whom I spoke, whose face was familiar to me, was Dr. Tatham! except poor Adams and his wife, now both old and infirm. I went in the morning to look at Balliol, and as I was coming out he knew me, and then I recognised him, which otherwise I could not have done. I dined there in the hall, at ten o’clock at night, and the poor old woman would sit up till midnight that she might speak to me when I went out. After the business of the theatre was over I walked for some hours alone about the walks and gardens, where you and I have so often walked together, thinking of the days that are gone, the friends that are departed (Seward, and C. Collins, and Allen and poor Burnet), time, and change, and mortality. Very few things would have gratified me so much as to have met you there. I had applause enough in the theatre to be somewhat overpowering, and my feelings would have been very different if you
had been there, for then there would have been one person present who knew me and loved me.

“My lodging was at Oriel, in the rooms of an under-graduate, whose aunt is married to my uncle. Coplestone introduced himself to me and asked me to dinner the next day, but I was engaged to return to London and dine with Bedford. There is no one of our remembrance left at Balliol except Powell, and him I did not see. The master and the fellows there showed me every possible attention; I had not been two hours in Oxford before their invitation found me out.

“The King sent me word that he had read the Vision of Judgment twice and was well pleased with it; and he afterwards told my brother (Dr. S.) at the drawing-room, that I had sent him a very beautiful poem, which he had read with great pleasure.

“You will be pleased to hear that the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham, and Lord Liverpool told me when I was in town last year, that the Life of Wesley was a book which in their judgment could not fail of doing a great deal of good.

Always and affectionately yours,
Robert Southey.”