LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 12 July 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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“Friday, July 12. 1799.
“My dear Tom,

“I write to you from Danvers’s, where we are and have been since we left Westbury. I have been to Biddlecombe’s*, and surveyed Southey Palace that is to be. We shall not get possession till Michaelmas. The place will be comfortable; the garden is large, but unstocked, with a fish-pond and a pigeon-house. My mother is in the College Green. Edith and I are going into Devonshire, first to the north coast, Minehead, the Valley of Stones, and Ilfracombe, the wildest part of the country; perhaps we may cross over to the south on our way to Burton. I wish to see Lightfoot at Kingsbridge, and there would be a likelihood of seeing you.

“My miscellaneous volume, which is to be christened Annual Poems, comes on rapidly; they are now striking off the eleventh sheet.

“Yesterday I finished Madoc, thank God! and thoroughly to my own satisfaction; but I have resolved on one great, laborious, and radical alteration. It was my design to identify Madoc with Mango

* The name of a friend residing at Christchorch, Hampshire.

Capac, the legislator of Peru: in this I have totally failed, therefore Mango Capac is to be the hero of another poem; and instead of carrying Madoc down the Marañon, I shall follow the more probable opinion and land him in Florida: here, instead of the Peruvians, who have no striking manners for my poem, we get among the wild North American Indians; on their customs and superstitions, facts must be grounded, and woven into the work, spliced so neatly as not to betray the junction. These alterations I delay. . . . . So much for Madoc; it is a great work done, and my brain is now ready to receive the
Dom Daniel, the next labour in succession. Of the metre of this poem I have thought much, and my final resolution is to write it irregularly, without rhymes: for this I could give you reasons in plenty; but, as you cannot lend me your ear, we will defer it till you hear the poem. This work is intended for immediate publication.

“My first poems are going to press for a third edition; by the time they are completed, I shall probably have a second volume of the Annual Poems ready; and so I and the printers go merrily on.

“Oh, Tom! such a gas has Davy discovered, the gaseous oxyde! Oh, Tom! I have had some; it made me laugh and tingle in every toe and finger tip. Davy has actually invented a new pleasure, for which language has no name. Oh, Tom! I am going for more this evening; it makes one strong, and so happy I so gloriously happy I and without any after-debility, but, instead of it, increased strength of mind and body. Oh, excellent air-bag! Tom, I am
sure the air in heaven must be this wonder-working gas of delight!

Robert Southey.”