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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 25 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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“July 25.

“In about ten days we shall be ready to set forward for Keswick; where, if it were not for the rains, and the fogs, and the frosts, I should, probably,
be content to winter; but the climate deters me. It is uncertain when I may be sent abroad, or where, except that the south of Europe is my choice. The appointment hardly doubtful, and the probable destination Palermo or Naples. We will talk of the future, and dream of it, on the lake side. . . . . I may calculate upon the next six months at my own disposal; so we will climb Skiddaw this year, and scale Etna the next; and Sicilian air will keep us alive till
Davy has found out the immortalising elixir, or till we are very well satisfied to do without it, and be immortalised after the manner of our fathers. My pocketbook contains more plans than will ever be filled up; but whatever becomes of those plans, this, at least, is feasible. . . . . Poor H——, he has literally killed himself by the law; which, I believe, kills more than any disease that takes its place in the bills of mortality. Blackstone is a needful book, and my Coke is a borrowed one; but I have one law book whereof to make an auto-da-fé; and burnt he shall be: but whether to perform that ceremony, with fitting libations, at home, or fling him down the crater of Etna directly to the Devil, is worth considering at leisure.

“I must work at Keswick; the more willingly, because with the hope, hereafter, the necessity will cease. My Portuguese materials must lie dead, and this embarrasses me. It is impossible to publish any thing about that country now, because I must one day return there,—to their libraries and archives;
Ætat. 27. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 153
otherwise I have excellent stuff for a little volume; and could soon set forth a first vol. of my History, either civil or literary. In these labours I have incurred a heavy and serious expense. I shall write to
Hamilton, and review again, if he chooses to employ me . . . . . It was Cottle who told me that your Poems were reprinting in a third edition: this cannot allude to the Lyrical Ballads, because of the number and the participle present . . . . I am bitterly angry to see one new poem smuggled into the world in the Lyrical Ballads, where the 750 purchasers of the first can never get at it. At Falmouth I bought Thomas Dermody’s Poems, for old acquaintance sake; alas! the boy wrote better than the man! . . . . Pyes Alfred (to distinguish him from Alfred the pious*) I have not yet inspected; nor the wilful murder of Bonaparte, by Anna Matilda; nor the high treason committed by Sir James Bland Burgess, Baronet, against our lion-hearted Richard. Davy is fallen stark mad with a play, called the Conspiracy of Gowrie, which is by Rough; an imitation of Gebir, with some poetry; but miserably and hopelessly deficient in all else: every character reasoning, and metaphorising, and metaphysicking the reader most nauseously. By the by, there is a great analogy between hock, laver, pork pie, and the Lyrical Ballads,—all have a flavour, not beloved by those who require a taste, and utterly unpleasant to dram-drinkers, whose diseased palates can only feel

* This alludes to Mr. Cottle’sAlfred.”

pepper and brandy. I know not whether
Wordsworth will forgive the stimulant tale of Thalaba,—’tis a turtle soup, highly seasoned, but with a flavour of its own predominant. His are sparagrass (it ought to be spelt so) and artichokes, good with plain butter, and wholesome.

“I look on Madoc with hopeful displeasure; probably it must be corrected, and published now; this coming into the world at seven months is a bad way; with a Doctor Slop of a printer’s devil standing ready for the forced birth, and frightening one into an abortion. . . . . . Is there an emigrant at Keswick, who may make me talk and write French? And I must sit at my almost forgotten Italian, and read German with you; and we must read Tasso together. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”