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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Thomas Southey, 24 December 1797

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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“London, Dec. 24. 1797.
“My dear Tom,

“. . . . . I have also another motive for wishing to live out of the town, to avoid the swarms of acquaintances who buzz about me and sadly waste my time,—an article I can but little afford to throw away. I have my law, which will soon occupy me from ten in the morning till eight in an office, excepting the dinner-time. My Joan of Arc* takes

* He was at present engaged in revising Joan of Arc for a second edition, in which all that part which had been written by Mr. Coleridge was omitted.

Ætat. 23. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 327
up more time than you would suppose, for I have had a mine of riches laid open to me in a library belonging to the Dissenters, and have been disturbing the spiders; add to this that I write now for the ‘
Critical Review,’ and you will see that I cannot afford to keep levee days. . . . . I keep a large copy of my poems for you. They have sold uncommonly well; 1000 were printed, and I hear 750 are already gone. The Joan of Arc is scandalously delayed at Bristol. I have had only five proofs in all, and this delay, as the book is wanted, is a serious loss. A print of the Maid will be prefixed, solely for the sake of giving Robert Hancock some employment, and making his name known as an engraver. I have got a promise of having him introduced to Alderman Boydell, the great publisher of engravings; he is still at Bath, and I am in hopes I shall be the means of essentially serving him.

“You will be surprised to hear that I have been planning a charitable institution, which will in all probability be established. It was planned with John May and Carlisle, and the outline is simply this,—many poor victims perish after they have been healed at the hospitals, by returning to unwholesome air, scanty and bad food, cold and filth. We mean to employ them in a large garden, for many persons may be usefully employed in some manner there. When in good order, the produce of the garden will support the institution; in the long winter evenings the people will be employed in making nets, baskets, or matting; and the women in making sheeting—all things that will be wanted at
home, and for the overplus a ready sale will be had among the supporters of the Convalescent Asylum. My name will not appear in the business: I leave the credit to Lords and Esquires. I will send you our printed plan as soon as it is ready. Six hours’ labour is all that will be required from the strongest persons: for extra work they will be paid; then they may leave the Asylum with some little money, and with some useful knowledge.

“We are much pleased with this scheme, as it will make every body useful whom it benefits; a man with one leg may make holes for cabbages with his wooden leg, and a fellow with one arm follow and put in the plants

“Would you were here to-morrow! we would keep holiday: but ’tis very long since Christmas has been a festival with us. God bless you.

Yours affectionately,
R. Southey.”