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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to C. W. W. Wynn, 9 January 1802

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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“Saturday, Jan. 9. 1802.
“My dear Wynn,

“You will not be surprised to learn that I have lost my mother. Early on Tuesday morning there came on that difficulty of breathing which betokened death: till then all had been easy; for the most part she had slept, and, when waking, underwent no pain but that wretched sense of utter weakness; but then there was the struggle and sound in the throat, and the deadly appearance of the eyes, that had lost all their tranquillity. She asked for laudanum; I dropt some, but with so unsteady a hand, that I knew not how much; she saw the colour of the water,’ and cried, with a stronger voice than I had heard during her illness, ‘That’s nothing, Robert! thirty drops—six and thirty!’

“It relieved her. She would not suffer me to

* Jan. 6. 1802.

remain by her bedside; that fearful kindness towards me had, throughout, distinguished her. ‘Go down, my dear; I shall sleep presently!’ She knew, and I knew, what that sleep would be. However, I bless God the last minutes were as easy as death can be; she breathed without effort,—breath after breath weaker, till all was over. I was not then in the room; but, going up to bring down
Edith, I could not but look at her to see if she was indeed gone; it was against my wish and will, but I did look.

“We had been suffering for twelve hours, and the moment of her release was welcome: like one whose limb has just been amputated, he feels the immediate ceasing of acute suffering;—the pain of the wound soon begins, and the sense of the loss continues through life. I calmed and curbed myself, and forced myself to employment; but, at night, there was no sound of feet in her bedroom, to which I had been used to listen, and in the morning it was not my first business to see her. I had used to carry her her food, for I could persuade her better than any one else to the effort of swallowing it.

“Thank God, it is all over! Elmsley called on me and offered me money if I needed it; it was a kindness that I shall remember. Corry had paid me a second quarter, however.

“I have now lost all the friends of my infancy and childhood. The whole recollections of my first ten years are connected with the dead. There lives no one who can share them with me. It is losing so much of one’s existence. I have not been yielding to, or rather indulging, grief; that would have been
Ætat. 28. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 181
folly. I have read, written, talked;
Bedford has been often with me, and kindly.

“When I saw her after death, Wynn, the whole appearance was so much that of utter death, that the first feeling was as if there could have been no world for the dead; the feeling was very strong, and it required thought and reasoning to recover my former certainty, that as surely we must live hereafter, as all here is not the creation of folly or of chance.

God bless you!
Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”