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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to John May, 7 March 1824

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, March 7. 1824.
“My dear Friend,

“What success this proposal* of my brother’s may meet with remains to be seen. If he can obtain 200 subscribers, Longman will take the risk of printing 750 copies. The book will be respectable and useful; comprising a regular view of all that has occurred in those islands from their discovery to the present time. Take it for all in all, it is perhaps as disgraceful a portion of history as the whole course of time can afford; for I know not that there is anything generous, anything ennobling, anything honourable or consolatory to human nature, to relieve it, except what may relate to the missionaries. Still it is a useful task to show what those islands have been, and what they are; and the book will do this much more fully, clearly, and satisfactorily than has ever yet been done.

“Three weeks have now nearly elapsed since my return, and they seem like so many days, so swiftly and imperceptibly the days pass by when they are

* For the publication of a Chronological History of the West Indies, by Capt. T. Southey.

Ætat. 50. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 171
passed in regular employment and uniform contentment. My old course of life has become as habitual as if it had never been interrupted. The clock is not more punctual than I am in the division of the day. Little by little I get on with many things. The
Peninsular War is my employment in the forenoon. The Tale of Paraguay after tea. Before breakfast, and at chance times, as inclination leads, I turn to other subjects; and so make progress in all. The only thing at present wanting to my enjoyment is to have something in the press, that I might have proof sheets to look for,—and I shall not be long without this.

Sunday 7th.—To-day I have received a letter from Locker, who delivers me a message from the Bishop of Durham, thanking me for what I have done in the Book of the Church. The Bishop of London wrote to express his ‘high satisfaction.’ Both regret that I have not referred to my authorities*,—an omission which appears to be generally thought injudicious. The truth is, that when I began the book it was with an expectation that it would not exceed a single duodecimo volume; and that even when enlarged it is still a mere epitome for the most part, to which I should feel that a display of authorities was out of place. After the proofs of research and accuracy which I have given, I have a right to expect credit; and in fact, the more my credit is examined, the higher it will stand. Whoever may examine my collections for this and for my

* This omission was supplied in a later edition.

other historical works (and doubtless they will one day be inspected), will find that I have always prepared many more materials than I have used. . . . .

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