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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Henry Taylor, 10 September 1836

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, Sept 10. 1836.
“My dear H. T.,

“The papers may have told you that Wordsworth’s evidence was not received. The point at issue was, whether certain letters produced in the testator’s handwriting could all be composed by the same person, or whether they did not imply such a difference of intellect, and contain such different peculiarities of spelling and style, as to be proofs of a long-laid scheme for defrauding the heir-at-law.

“The argument whether this course of inquiry should be gone into was raised as soon as W. had been sworn in the box, and was yielded by the plaintiff’s counsel (Cresswell)—less, I think, in deference to the advice of the judge, than because he saw that, in the event of a favourable verdict, Pollock was preparing to make it the plea for another trial.

“I wish you could have seen us at a board of law the preceding evening; and how Pollock was taken aback when he heard Wordsworth called into the box; and how well he recovered, and skilfully took his ground, though every step of his argument was sophistical. Wordsworth is now a ‘Sworn Critic,’ and Appraiser of Composition; ‘and he has the whole honour to himself,—an honour, I believe, of which there is no other example in literary history.

“We went on Tuesday, Quillinan accompanying us. On Wednesday we returned to Rydal, where I slept that night, and the next morning I walked
Ætat. 60. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 299
home without the slightest fatigue. But when
Wordsworth marvels that I can do this, and says that I must he very strong to undertake such a march, it shows that he is an old man, and makes me conscious that I am on the list of the elders.

“The journey has been useful as an experiment: and my plans are now laid for a long circuit. About the middle of October, as soon as the volume of Admirals can be finished—upon which I go doggedly to work from this day—I hope to start with Cuthbert for the West of England. We shall halt in Shropshire, and perhaps in Warwickshire, on the way to Bristol, thence to Taunton, Devonshire, and the Land’s End. I shall show him all the scenes of my childhood and youth, and the few old friends who are left; convey him to Tarring, and then come to London for two or three weeks, taking up my abode there with Rickman. God bless you!

R. S.”