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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 1 April 1832

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 1. 1832.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“If you had been within reach of me a week ago, when I wrote Laus Deo at the end of the Peninsular War, I should have taken my hat and my walking-stick, and set out for the satisfaction of singing ‘O be joyful’ in your presence, and with your aid. The volume since I wrote to you in December has outgrown my expectations by more than a hundred pages, so much more detail have I been led into by my materials than at first sight had been anticipated. . . . .

“From this you will conclude that I am in good health, and in good spirits, notwithstanding the dismal prospect of public affairs. On private scores, however, I have uneasiness enough; of which it were useless to speak where no good can be obtained. . . . .

“As for the likings or dislikings, Grosvenor, which are formed at first sight, or upon casual acquaintance, no one who has lived long in the world will attach more importance to them than they deserve. Complicated as every human character must be, we like
Ætat. 58. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 187
or dislike just that part of it which happens to present itself to our observation; and perhaps the same person, in another point of view, makes a very different impression. It is so with countenances; and it is so even with natural scenery. Upon a second journey I have sometimes looked in vain for the beauties which delighted me on the first; and, on the other hand, I have discovered pleasing objects where I had formerly failed to perceive them. I know very well in what very different lights I myself must appear to different people, who see me but once, or whose acquaintance with me is very slight: not a few go away with the notion that they have seen a stiff, cold, reserved, disobliging sort of person; and they judge rightly as far as they see, except that no one should be deemed disobliging merely for taking no pains to make himself agreeable where he feels no inclination to do so.

“This I think is the greatest disadvantage that notorious authorship brings with it. It places one in an unfair position among strangers: they watch for what you say, and set upon you to draw you out, and whenever that is the case, in I go like a tortoise or hodmandod into my shell. . . . .

“God bless you, my dear G.!

R. S.”