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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 27 December 1799

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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“Bristol, Dec 27. 1799.

“Geese were made to grow feathers, and farmers’ wives to pluck them. I suspect booksellers and

* There is no trace of this ballad to be found. Who can tell the history of this mysterious rotundity? See p. 18.

authors were made with something of the like first cause. With
Thalaba I must make sure work and speedy, for abroad I must go. Complaints of immediate danger I have none, but increased and increasing nervous affections threaten much remote. I have rushes of feeling nightly, like fainting or death, and induced, I believe, wholly by the dread of them. Even by day they menace me, and an effort of mind is required to dispel them. . . . . So I must go, and I will go. Now, then, the sooner the better. Some progress is made in the sixth book of Thalaba; my notes are ready for the whole, at least there is only the trouble of arranging and seasoning them. If the bargain were made, it would be time to think of beginning to print, for the preliminaries are usually full of delays, and time with me is of importance. I must have the summer to travel in, and ought to be in Germany by the beginning of June. Treaty therefore, with Longman, or any man, for me.

“The W.’s* are at Clifton: if they saw the probable advantages of a journey to Italy,—of the possible reach to Constantinople, the Greek Islands, and Egypt,—in a light as strong as I do, they would, I think, wish to delay the new birth of Lessing: but this is, on your part, a matter of feeling; and when I spoke of your joining us, it was with the conviction that it was a vain wish, but it is a very earnest one. Together we might do so much; and we could leave the women for excursions—now into Hungary, now

* The Messrs. Wedgewood.

into Poland, and see the Turks. Zounds! who knows but, like
Sir John Maundeville, we might have gone where the Devil’s head is always above ground! Go I must, but it would be a great satisfaction to have a companion. . . . .

“But Lessing’s life—and I half wish he had never lived—how long after the first of April (an ominous day) will that confine you? Or if you come here to do it, cannot I raise mortar and carry bricks to the edifice? . . . . For Stuart I must make out another quarter. I have huge drains, like the Pontic marshes—a leech hanging on every limb. . . . .

“God bless you.

R. Southey.”