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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Katherine Southey, 16 July 1825

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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“Amsterdam, Saturday, July 16. 1825.
“My dear Kate,

“. . . . . Tuesday we had a pleasant day on the water, and saw at the sluices of the Rhine enough to undeceive us concerning the common statements about this country. That the sea is higher than the towers of Leyden is altogether false: the truth is, that the general level of Holland is above the low-water mark, and a little below that of high-water; and though the lands are much below the rivers and canals, it is because the beds of the rivers have been raised by what they bring down, or because the lands were formerly large meres, or deep morasses, which have been drained. Wednesday I went with Henry Taylor to the Hague, saw the museum of pictures, called on one of my Dutch curmudgeons, Mr. De Clerc, who is an improvisatore poet, and returned in the evening. Thursday I settled my business as to booksellers.—Oh, joy when that chest of glorious folios shall arrive at Keswick! the pleasure of unpacking, of arranging them on the new shelves that must be provided, and the whole year’s repast after supper which they will afford! After dinner we took what Mr. Bilderdijk calls a walk in a carriage, and drank tea in a village, where we had a very entertaining scene with the hostess—a woman shaped very much like a jumping Joan, supposing the said Joan to be tall, and lean in the upper half. Her birth-day had occurred a few days before, and on that
occasion a poem had been addressed to her by the surgeon’s man: this poem she brought to Mr. Bilderdijk to read, and he read it just as
Mr. Wordsworth would have read a piece of doggrel, if under like circumstances it had been brought to him in some such public house as John Stanley’s. The woman stood by in silent delight at hearing her own praises entoned by his powerful voice, and set off by his gestures and emphatic manner: Mrs. Bilderdijk kept her countenance to admiration. I sat by, not knowing whether the verses were good or bad, but infinitely amused by the scene, and the girl of the public house coming out at the unusual sound, stood among the shrubs of the garden listening—like Eve in the Paradise Lost.

“Yesterday our kind friends accompanied us a little way in the trekschuit on our departure, and we parted with much regret on both sides. If Mr. Bilderdijk can muster spirits for the undertaking, they will come and pass a summer with me,—which of all things in the world would give me most pleasure, for never did I meet with more true kindness than they have shown me, or with two persons who have in so many essential respects so entirely pleased me. Lodowijk, too, is a very engaging boy, and attached himself greatly to me; he is the only survivor of eight children whom Mr. Bilderdijk has had by his present wife, and of seven by the first! I can truly say, that unpleasant as the circumstance was which brought me under their roof, no part of my life ever seemed to pass away more rapidly or
Ætat. 51. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 233
more pleasantly. We got to Harlaem by dinnertime, and to Amsterdam afterwards.

“God bless you, my dear child!

Your affectionate father,
R. S.”