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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 3 August 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, August 3. 1801.

“Following the advice of the Traumatic Poet*, I have been endeavouring to get money—and to get it

* The “Traumatic Poet” was a Bristol acquaintance of my father’s and Mr. Coleridge, who somewhat overrated his own powers of poetical composition; two choice sonnets of his, on “Metaphor” and “Personification,” were printed in the first volume of the Annual Anthology.

Ætat. 27. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 155
honestly. I wrote to
——, and propounded to him Madoc, to be ready for the press in six months, at a price equivalent to that of Thalaba, in proportion to its length; and I asked for fifty pounds now, the rest on publication. —— writes to beat down the price. . . . . And I have answered, that the difference about terms sets me at liberty from my proposal.

“And so, how to raise the wind for my long land voyage? Why, I expect Hamilton’s account daily (for whom, by the by, I am again at work!), and he owes me I know not what; it may be fifteen pounds, it may be five-and-twenty: if the latter, off we go, as soon as we can get an agreeable companion in a post-chaise; if it be not enough, why I must beg, borrow, or steal. I have once been tempted to sell my soul to Stuart for three months, for thirteen guineas in advance; but my soul mutinied at the bargain . . . . . Madoc has had a miraculous escape! it went against my stomach and my conscience—but malesuada fames.

“Your West India plan is a vile one. Italy, Italy. I shall have enough leisure for a month’s journey, Moses, and the young one with the heathenish name, will learn Italian as they are learning English,—an advantage not to be overlooked; society, too, is something; and Italy has never been without some great mind or other, worthy of its better ages. When we are well tired of Italy, why, I will get removed to Portugal, to which I look with longing eyes, as the land of promise. But, in all sober seriousness, the plan I
propose is very practicable, very pleasant, and eke also very prudent. My business will not be an hour in a week, and it will enable me to afford to be idle—a power which I shall never wish to exert, but which I do long to possess. . . . .
Davy’s removal to London extends his sphere of utility, and places him in affluence; yet he will be the worse for it. Chameleon like, we are all coloured by the near objects; and he is among metaphysical sensualists: he should have remained a few years longer here, till the wax cooled, which is now passive to any impression. I wish it was not true, but it unfortunately is, that experimental philosophy always deadens the feelings; and these men who ‘botanise upon their mothers’ graves,’ may retort and say, that cherished feelings deaden our usefulness; and so we are all well in our way.

“. . . . . Do not hurry from the baths for the sake of meeting me; for when I set out is unpleasantly uncertain; and as I suppose we must be Lloyd’s guests a few days, it may as well or better be before your return. My mother is very unwell, perhaps more seriously so than I allow myself to fully believe. If Peggy* were—what shall I say?—released is a varnishing phrase; and death is desirable, when recovery is impossible. I would bring my mother with me for the sake of total change, if Peggy could be left, but that is impossible; recover she cannot, yet may, and I believe will, suffer on till winter. Almost I pre-feel

* His cousin, Margaret Hill, to whom he was greatly attached, then dying in a consumption.

Ætat. 27. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 157
that my mother’s illness will, at the same time, recall me . . . . . The summer is going off, and I am longing for hot weather, to bathe in your lake; and yet am I tied by the leg. Howbeit,
Hamilton’s few days cannot be stretched much longer; and when his account comes I shall draw the money, and away. God bless you!

R. Southey,”