LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Charles Swain, 9 March 1838

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, March 9. 1838.
“My dear Sir,

“Since you heard from me last I have been so much shaken that there is little likelihood of my ever being myself again. But it would be ungrateful indeed, in me to complain, who have had a greater share of happiness than falls to the lot of one in ten thousand, and that happiness of a higher degree, and of much longer continuance, with health that had scarcely ever been interrupted, and with a flow of spirits that never ebbed. I cannot be too thankful for these manifold blessings, let the future be what it may.

Cuthbert comes home the first week in April, for about a month’s vacation. Can you give yourself a holiday, and pass with us as much of that month as you can spare?—I cannot now climb the mountains with you,—not for want of strength, still less of inclination, but because of an infirmity (I know not how or when occasioned) but recently discovered,
which condemns me to caution at least, for the rest of my life. But I shall be heartily glad to see you, and to make your visit as pleasant as I can. You were the last guest whom my dear
Edith received with pleasure.

“Most persons, I believe, are displeased with any alterations that they find in a favourite poem; the change, whether for the better or the worse, baulks them as it were, and it is always unpleasant to be baulked. In tinkering one’s old verses there is a great chance of making two flaws where you are mending one. However, to my great joy, I have now done with tinkering; the last pieces which required correction on the score of language are in that volume of Ballads (beginning with The Maid of the Inn), which come next in order of publication. I know not yet how the adventure is likely to turn out. The number struck off at first was 1500, which the publishers say will just about cover the expenses, leaving the profit to arise from any farther use of the stereotype and the engravings. Something may be expected from the occasional sale of separate portions, for which merely a new title-page will be required; in that way the long poems may tempt purchasers by their cheapness. But apart from all other considerations I am very thankful that I was persuaded, against my inclination and in some degree also against my judgment, to undertake such a revision of my poetical works. The sort of testamentary feeling with which it was undertaken may prove to have been an ominous one: certain it is, that if the task had been deferred but a few months, I should never have had heart to per-
Ætat. 64. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 363
form it, though it was a duty which I owe to myself and to the interests of my family.

“And now, my dear Sir, God bless you!

Yours with sincere regard,
Robert Southey.”