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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 11 July 1801

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, July 11. 1801.

“Yesterday I arrived, and found your letters; they did depress me, but I have since reasoned or dreamt myself into more cheerful anticipations. I have persuaded myself that your complaint is gouty; that good living is necessary, and a good climate. I also move to the south; at least so it appears: and if my present prospects ripen, we may yet live under one roof. . . . .

“You may have seen a translation of Persius, by Drummond, an M.P. This man is going ambassador, first to Palermo and then to Constantinople: if a married man can go as his secretary, it is probable that I shall accompany him. I daily expect to know. It is a scheme of Wynn’s to settle me in the south, and I am returned to look about me. My salary will be small—a very trifle; but after a few years I look on to something better, and have fixed my mind on a consulship. Now, if we go, you must join us as soon as we are housed, and it will be marvellous if we regret England. I shall have so little to do, that my time may be considered as wholly my own: our joint amusements will easily supply us with all expenses. So no more of the Azores; for we will see the Great
Turk, and visit Greece, and walk up the Pyramids, and ride camels in Arabia. I have dreamt of nothing else these five weeks. As yet every thing is so uncertain, for I have received no letter since we landed, that nothing can be said of our intermediate movements. If we are not embarked too soon, we will set off as early as possible for Cumberland, unless you should think, as we do, that
Mahomet had better come to the mountain; that change of all externals may benefit you; and that bad as Bristol weather is, it is yet infinitely preferable to northern cold and damp. Meet we must, and will.

“You know your old Poems are a third time in the press; why not set forth a second volume? . . . . . Your Christabel, your Three Graces, which I remember as the very consummation of poetry. I must spur you to something, to the assertion of your supremacy; if you have not enough to muster, I will aid you in any way—manufacture skeletons that you may clothe with flesh, blood, and beauty; write my best, or what shall be bad enough to be popular;—we will even make plays à-la-mode Robespierre Drop all task-work, it is ever unprofitable; the same time, and one twentieth part of the labour, would produce treble emolument. For Thalaba I received 115l.; it was just twelve months’ intermitting work, and the after-editions are my own. . . . .

“I feel here as a stranger; somewhat of Leonard’s feeling. God bless Wordsworth for that poem! ‘What

* “The Brothers” is the title of this poem.

Ætat. 27. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 151
tie have I to England? My London friends? There, indeed, I have friends. But if you and yours were with me, eating dates in a garden at Constantinople, you might assert that we were in the best of all possible places; and I should answer, Amen: and if our wives rebelled, we would send for the chief of the black eunuchs, and sell them to the Seraglio. Then should
Moses learn Arabic, and we would know whether there was anything in the language or not. We would drink Cyprus wine and Mocha coffee, and smoke more tranquilly than ever we did in the Ship in Small Street.

“Time and absence make strange work with our affections; but mine are ever returning to rest upon you. I have other and dear friends, but none with whom, the whole of my being is intimate—with whom every thought and feeling can amalgamate. Oh! I have yet such dreams! Is it quite clear that you and I were not meant for some better star, and dropped, by mistake, into this world of pounds, shillings, and pence? . . . .

“God bless you!

Robert Southey.”