1153. Robert Southey to Nicholas Lightfoot, 8 February 1806
1153. Robert Southey to Nicholas Lightfoot, 8 February 1806 *
My dear friend
That I have been thinking of you, will appear by the half letter written last June, – which I send now, because it will save me the trouble of replicating some of its contents.  The pencil too goes at last to its destination, – this very evening Wynn has informed me that he is appointed Under Secretary of State in the Home Office – & xxx xxx the first use I make of his privileges is to frank this large enclosure.
You tell me to write as an egotist, & I am well disposed so to do, for what <else> is it that gives private letters their value? greatest value than <but> the information they bring us of those for whom we are interested? – I saw your marriage in the papers  – & perhaps the reason why my letter has remained so long unfinished in my desk is a sort of fear least I should mention it – after death <might> have dissolved it – a sort of superstitious feeling to which I am subject. I wish you – being a father myself – as large a family – as you can comfortably suppor bring up, – & if you are not provided with a godfather upon the next occasion I beg you to accept of me – as an old & very affectionate friend; – tis a sort voluntary kind of relationship in which it would gratify me to stand to a child of yours, & which I should consider as a religious pledge on my part for any useful xxx kind <& fatherly> offices which it might ever happen to be in my power to perform.
I have for some time looked on with pleasure to the hope of seeing you in the course of next autumn, when, in all probability if the situation abroad do not prevent me, I shall once more visit Portugal, not for healths sake, but to collect the last materials for my history, & to visit those parts of the kingdom which I have not yet seen.  In this case my way will lie thro Devonshire, & I will stop a day or two at Crediton & talk over old times.
You enquire of the wreck of the Seward family – a name as dear to my inmost heart as it can xxx be to yours. No change has taken place among them for some years, as I understand from Duppa, who was my guest here this summer autumn before last, & with whom I have an occasional correspondence. The two sisters still live on within sight of Worcester, where I saw them in 1798. Mrs Severne had been deranged in her intellect – but had recovered, – & her good husband was doing well in the world.  If I remember right in the last letter you received from me poor Williams fate was mentioned.  he destroyed himself, – chiefly it was supposed from domestic uneasiness – heightened by the irreparable loss of two such brothers. Duppa has an admirable likeness of John Seward – I would give half I am worth for such a one of our dear Edmund – All the letters which he ever wrote to me are tied up together – I have never had the heart to open them, & probably never shall.
My school & college friends still continue to be the persons with whom I chiefly associate when I get into the world, & with whom I keep up the closest association from this distance. Bedford – Wynn – Elmsley – . Burnett was with me a few months ago – he had been in Poland in the family of Count Zamoyski,  living among Princes & Princesses, & was returned to England in the hope of recovering from a disease of low spirits little less than madness. He mended here, & is now in London, with some hope & some chance of getting a comfortable situation in some public office. – Poor Allen dropt down in an apoplectic fit last summer – I had not for many years seen him, nor indeed did I much wish it, for his life was very irregular, & it is not desirable to meet an old friend retaining all the form & external of the person you loved yet inwardly so changed. But his death gave me a shock, for he was a man whom it is impossible to recall remember without affection. Charles Collins is the only old acquaintance whom I have purposely dropt, because he grew purse-proud & had no more heart in him than <is in> an empty nutshell. – I heard accidentally of little Daubenys death, in consequence of his irregular life at Corpus.  Cad. Rogers sent me a friendly message lately, he is as you perhaps know a fellow at Balliol, & I am sorry to add, affects to be a very strict disciplinarian.  Scobill I hear keeps a school at Henley  – I heard all my College news from a Scotchman of a later generation than we were ours, who brought letters from Coleridge here last spring. Mr Poole  was in a sad state of nervous imbecillity – I past thro Oxford two years ago & walked thro the town at four o clock in the morning – the place never appeared to me half so beautiful. I looked up at my old windows, & as you may well suppose felt as most people do when they think of what changes time brings about.
If you have seen, or should see the Annual Review you may like to know that I have borne a great part in it thus far, – & I may refer you for the state of my opinions to the Reviewals of the Periodical Account of the Baptist Mission – Vol. 1. – of Malthus’s Essay on Population, Miles’s Hist. of the Methodists, & the Transactions of the Missionary Society – Vol. 2 & 3 – & the Report of the Society for the Suppression of Vice Vol. 3. In other articles you may trace me from recollections of your own, by family likeness, by a knowledge of Spanish literature – & by a love of liberty & literature freely & warmly expressed.  I was ministerial under Addington  – regarded his successor  with the utmost indignation & contempt – & am exceedingly well pleased at the present changes. Time you say moderates opinions as it mellows wine. my views & hopes are certainly altered, tho the heart & soul of my xxx wishes continues the same. It is the world that has changed – not I. I look the same way in the afternoon that I did in the morning – but sunset & sunrise make a different scene. If I regret any thing in my own life it is that I could not take orders, for of all ways of life, that would have best accorded with my nature – but I could not get in at the door. Now – without being in communion with any particular church or sect – I believe in Christ Jesus as the true teacher, & derive my best hopes from that belief. It will be however necessary for me, for my daughters sake to join some church – & that will be the established one, – I like every thing belonging to it except its articles. 
In other respects time has not much altered me – I am as thin as ever, & to the full as noisy, – making a noise in any way whatever is an animal pleasure with me, & the louder it is the better. Do you remember the round hole at the top of the staircase, opposite your door?
Coleridge is daily expected to return from Malta where he has been now two years for his health.  I inhabit the same house with his wife & children, – perhaps the very finest single spot in England. We overlook Keswick Lake, have the Lake of Bassenthwaite in the distance on the other side, & Skiddaw behind us. But we only sojourn here for a time – I may perhaps be destined to pass some years in Portugal, which indeed is my wish, – or if otherwise must ultimately remove to the neighbourhood of London, for the sake of public libraries.
– My dislike was not to schoolmasters – but to the Rod – which I dare warrant you do not make much use of. – Here is a long letter – & xxx xxx you have in it as many great I’s as your heart could wish – It will give me much pleasure to hear again from you – & to know that your family is increased. If I cannot be xxx godfather now let me put in a claim in time for the next occasion, but I hope you will write to tell me that three things have been promised & vowed in my name by proxy – No man can more safely talk of defying the World the flesh & the Devil – with the World my pursuits are little akin – the flesh & I quarrelled long ago & I have been nothing but skin & bones ever since – & as for the Devil I have made more ballads in his abuse than any body before me.
God bless you Lightfoot!
yours very affectionately
Keswick Feby 8. 1806.
* MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 110. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), III, pp. 20–23 [in part]. BACK
 Southey never returned to Portugal after his second residence there in 1800–1801, and his planned ‘History of Portugal’ was never completed. BACK
 Francis Severn (1751–1828), Rector of Kyre and Abberley, Worcestershire, was married to a sister of Edmund Seward. BACK
 William Seward, a lawyer, based in Ledbury, Herefordshire, who shot himself. BACK
 Count Stanisław Kostka Zamoyski (1775–1856), a Polish nobleman, politician, and patron of arts. BACK
 Perhaps Frederick Daubeny (c. 1776-?), son of George Daubeny (1742–1806), a Bristol plantation owner and MP. BACK
 Thomas Cooke Rogers (b. c. 1777), the son of Edward Rogers of St Asaph. A contemporary of Southey’s at Balliol, nicknamed by him ‘Cadwallader’, he went on to become a Fellow and Bursar of the College. BACK
 George Pender Scobell (1775?-1837). A fellow student at Balliol (graduating BA in 1795) and later a clergyman, Scobell was master of the grammar school at Henley-on-Thames. BACK
 Southey had been reviewing for the Annual Review since it began. He reviewed, in the Annual Review for 1802, 1 (1803): Martin Sauer (dates unknown), An Account of a Geographical and Astronomical Expedition to the Northern Parts of Russia Performed by Joseph Billings in the Years 1785–1796 (1802), 7–17; Alexander Mackenzie (1763/4–1820; DNB), Voyages from Montreal, on the River St Laurence, through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in the Years 1789 and 1793 (1802), 18–30; Frederick Augustus Fischer (1771–1829), Travels in Spain in 1797 and 1798 (1802), 35–43; Giuseppi Acerbi (1773–1846), Travels through Sweden, Finland and Lapland, to the North Cape, in the Years 1798 and 1799 (1802), 45–56; Maria Guthrie (dates unknown), A Tour Performed in the Years 1795–6, through the Taurida, or Crimea (1802), 62–66; Peter Simon Pallas (1741–1811), Travels through the Southern Provinces of the Russian Empire, in the Years 1793 and 1794 (1802), 66–73; Guillaume Antoine Olivier (1756–1814), Travels in the Ottoman Empire, Egypt and Persia (1801), 89–101; Periodical Accounts Relative to the Baptist Missionary Society (1800–1801), 207–218; Augustin Louis Josse (1763–1841; DNB), El Tesoro Espanol o Biblioteca Portatil Espanola (1802), 557–566; Henry Kett (1761–1825; DNB), Elements of General Knowledge, Introductory to Useful Books in the Principal Branches of Literature and Science (1802), 579–584; Henri Louis Cain (1728–1778), Memoires de Henri Louis Le Kain (1801), 595–599; William Coxe, Memoirs of Horatio, Lord Walpole (1802), 599–601; Francis Wrangham (1769–1842; DNB), Poems (1802), 655–657; Walter Savage Landor, Poetry by the Author of Gebir (1802), 663–666; Pierre Lambinet (1742–1813), Recherche Historiques, Litteraires et Critiques sur l’Origine de l’Imprimerie (1799), 704–711. Southey reviewed, in the Annual Review for 1803, 2 (1804): James Burney, A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean ... Illustrated with Charts (Vol. 1; 1803), 3–12; James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834; DNB), The Progress of Maritime Discovery, from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Eighteenth Century, Forming an Extensive System of Hydrography (1803), 12–20; James Curtis (dates unknown), A Journal of Travels in Barbary in 1801 ... With Observations on the Gum Trade of Senegal (1803), 20–23; Louis Maria Joseph, Count O’Hier de Grandpré (1761–1846), A Voyage in the Indian Ocean, and to Bengal ... To Which is Added a Voyage in the Red Sea, Including a Description of Mocha, and of the Trade of the Arabs of Yemen (1803), 48–54; John Davis (1774–1854), Travels of Four Years and a Half in the United States of America, During 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, and 1802 (1803), 54–59; Lockhart Muirhead (dates unknown), Journals of Travels in Parts of the Late Austrian Low Countries, France, the Pays de Vaud and Tuscany in 1787 and 1789 (1803), 59–63; Charles William Doyle (1770–1842), A Non-Military Journal; Or, Observations Made in Egypt, by an Officer upon the Staff of the British Army: Describing the Country, its Inhabitants, their Manners and Customs (1803), 63–66; William Wittman (fl. 1799–1804), Travels in Turkey, Asia Minor, Syria, and Across the Desert into Egypt During the Years 1799, 1800, and 1801, in Company with the Turkish Army and the British Military Mission (1803), 66–71; [Ann Blund (dates unknown)], Journal of a Short Excursion among the Swiss Landscapes (1803), 79–80; Isaac King (dates unknown), Letters from France (1803), 88–90; Part the First of An Address to the Public from the Society for the Suppression of Vice, Instituted, in London, 1802, Setting Forth, with a List of the Members, the Utility and Necessity of such an Institution, and its Claim to Public Support (1803), 187; Transactions of the Missionary Society (Vol. 1, 1803), 189–201; William Myles (1756–1828), A Chronological History of the People called Methodists ... With an Appendix, Containing Two Lists of the Itinerant Preachers ... With the Last Will and Testament of the Rev. J. Wesley (1803), 201–213; Thomas Malthus (1766–1834; DNB), An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society; with Remarks on the Speculations of W. Godwin, M. Condorcet and Other Writers (1803), 292–301; William Godwin, Life of Geoffrey Chaucer ... Including Memoirs of ... John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; with Sketches of the Manners, Opinions, Arts and Literature of England in the Fourteenth Century (1803), 462–473; George Mason (1735–1806; DNB), The Life of Richard Earl Howe (1803), 499–501; Joseph Ritson (1752–1803; DNB), Ancient Engleish Metrical Romanceës (1802), 515–533; George Ellis, Specimens of the Early English Poets (3rd edn 1803), 538–542; Richard Mant (1776–1848; DNB), The Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Warton (1802), 543–546; William Hayley (1745–1820; DNB), The Life and Posthumous Writings of William Cowper, Esq. (1803), 457–462; Peter Bayley (bap. 1778–1823; DNB), Poems (1803), 546–552; Henry Kirke White, Clifton Grove, a Sketch in Verse, with other Poems (1803), 552–554; Josiah Walker (d. 1831), The Defence of Order, a Poem (1803), 557; The Inquiry. Part 1, 557–558; William Barnes Rhodes (1772–1826; DNB), Epigrams (1803), 558; James Woodhouse (bap. 1735–1820), Norbury Park, a Poem with Several Others Written on Various Occasions (1803), 558; Henry William Tytler (1752/3–1808), The Voyage Home from the Cape of Good Hope (1803), 559; Luke Booker (1762–1835; DNB), Calista, or a Picture of Modern Life, a Poem (1803), 564; D. A. G. B. Cassano (dates unknown), Il Fiore della Poesia Italiana (1802), 562–563; Percy Clinton Sydney, 6th Viscount Strangford (1780–1855; DNB), Poems from the Portuguese of Luis de Camoens (1803), 569–577; William Lisle Bowles, The Picture, Verses Suggested by a Magnificent Landscape of Rubens (1803), 582; John Peter Roberdeau (bap. 1754–1815), Fugitive Verse and Prose (1803), 582–583; George Owen Cambridge (d. 1841), Works of Richard Owen Cambridge, Esq. with an Account of his Life and Character (1803), 583–585; Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baroness de Staël-Holstein (1766–1817), A Treatise of Ancient and Modern Literature (tr. 1803), 643–650; Asiatic Researches; or Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal for Enquiring into the History and Antiquities, the Arts, Science and Literature of Asia (vol. VII, 1803), 898–908. Southey reviewed, in the Annual Review for 1804, 3 (1805): John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB), An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa, in the years 1797 and 1798, including Observations on the Geology & Geography, the Natural History ... and Sketches of the Various Tribes Surrounding the Cape of Good Hope, Vol. II (1804), 22–33; Robert Percival (1765–1826), An Account of the Cape of Good Hope (1804), 34–41; Daniel Mackinnen (1767–1830), A Tour Through the British West Indies, in the years 1802 and 1803 giving a Particular Account of the Bahama Islands (1804), 50–56; John Barrow, Travels in China: Containing Descriptions, Observations and Comparisons Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-min-yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey from Pekin to Canton (1804), 69–83; Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France, and the Adjoining Countries, from the Latter Part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry IV, trans. Thomas Johnes (1748–1816; DNB) (1804), 189–194; George Heriot (1766–1844), The History of Canada, From its First Discovery: Comprehending an Account of the Original Establishment of the Colony of Louisiana, 194–197; Part the First of An Address to the Public from the Society for the Suppression of Vice, Instituted, in London, 1802, Setting Forth, with a List of the Members, the Utility and Necessity of such an Institution, and its Claim to Public Support (1803), 225–231; Edward Ledwich (1738–1823), The Antiquities of Ireland (1804), 398–413; Original Correspondence of Jean Jacques Rousseau, with Mad. La Tour de Franqueville and M. Du Peyrou (1804), 485–488; Anna Seward, Memoirs of the Life of Dr. Darwin, ... with Anecdotes of his Friends and Criticisms on his Writings (1804), 488–93; David Irving (1778–1850), The Lives of the Scotish Poets; with Preliminary Dissertations on the Literary History of Scotland and the Early Scotish Drama (1804), 493–499; Walter Scott, Sir Tristram: A Metrical Romance by Thomas of Ercildoune (1804), 555–563; Charles Abraham Elton (1778–1853), Poems (1804), 564–565; William Day (dates unknown), The Shepherd’s Boy: being Pastoral Tales (1804), 567–568; E. Warren (dates unknown), The Poet’s Day, or, Imagination’s Ramble (1804), 568; Cupid turned Volunteer: in a Series of Prints, Designed by her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth; and Engraved by W. N. Gardiner, B.A., with Poetical Illustrations by T. P [Thomas Park (1758/9–1834; DNB)] (1804), 568–580; Thomas Green Fessenden (1771–1837), Original Poems (1804), 571; John Blair Linn (1777–1805), The Powers of Genius (1801), 571; Thomas Clio Rickman (1761–1834; DNB), An Ode in Celebration of the Emancipation of the Blacks of Saint Domingo, November 29, 1803 (1804), 572; Robert Bloomfield, Good Tidings (1804), 574; William Robert Spencer (1770–1834; DNB), The Year of Sorrow (1804), 574–575; British Purity: or, the World we Live in. A Poetic Tale, of Two Centuries…By Lory Lucian and Jerry Juvenal, … Assisted by S. Scriblerus, etc. [pseud.] (1804), 575; William Falconer (1732–1769), The Shipwreck, (1804), ed., James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834; DNB), 577–580; William Tooke (1777–1863), ed., The Poetical Works of Charles Churchill: with Explanatory Notes and an Authentic Account of his Life (1804), 580–585; J. Amphlett (dates unknown), Invasion: a Descriptive and Satirical Poem (1804), 585; Joseph Jefferson (1766–1824), Horae Poeticæ. Poems, Sacred, Moral and Descriptive (1804), 586–587; Alexander Campbell (1764–1824; DNB), The Grampians Desolate, a Poem in Six Books (1804), 587–591; William Crowe (bap. 1745, d. 1829; DNB), Lewesdon Hill (1804), 593–594; John Finlay (1782–1810), Wallace, or, The Vale of Ellerslie, and other Poems (1804), 594–596; Jessie Stewart (dates unknown), Ode to Dr. Thomas Percy (1804), 597; John Belfour (1768–1842), Fables on Subjects Connected with Literature. Imitated from the Spanish of Don Tomas de Yriarte (1804), 597–598; Transactions of the Missionary Society (1804), 621–634; Edward Davies (1756–1831), Celtic Researches, on the Origin, Traditions, & Language, of the Ancient Britons; with some Introductory Sketches, on Primitive Society (1804), 634–644; [Anon.] No Slaves – No Sugar: Containing New and Irresistible Arguments in Favour of the African Trade by a Liverpool Merchant (1804), 644–648; William Tennant (1758–1813), Indian Recreations, Consisting Chiefly of Strictures on the Domestic and Rural Economy of the Mahommedans and Hindoos (1803), 658–670; John Gardiner (fl. 1758–1792), Essays Literary, Political and Economical (1804), 670–674; Richard Duppa, Heads from the Fresco Pictures of Raffaele in the Vatican (1802), 918–923. Southey reviewed in the Annual Review for 1805, 4 (1806): James Bruce (1730–1794; DNB), Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years 1768–73 (2nd edn, 1804–1805), 2–16; Thomas Lindley (dates unknown), Narrative of a Voyage to Brazil; ... with General Sketches of the Country ..., and a Description of the City and Provinces of St. Salvadore and Porto Seguro (1805), 27–32; Joseph Skinner (dates unknown), The Present State of Peru, Comprising its Geography, Topography, Natural History, Mineralogy, Commerce, the Customs and Manners of its Inhabitants; Embellished by ... Engravings of Costumes (1805), 49–60; John Griffiths (dates unknown), Travels in Europe, Asia Minor and Arabia (1805), 67–77; James Stanier Clarke (1765?–1834; DNB), Naufragia, or, Historical Memoirs of Shipwrecks (Vol. 1; 1805), 99–100; Charles François Dominique de Villers (1765–1815), An Essay on the Spirit and Influence of the Reformation of Luther (1805), trans. B Lambert (dates unknown), 177–187; William Roscoe, The Life of Pope Leo X, Son of Lorenzo de Medici (1805), 449–467; Arthur Cayley (1776–1848), The Life of Sir Walter Ralegh (1805), 477–483; Dieudonné Thiébault (1733–1807), Original Anecdotes of Frederic the Second, King of Prussia, and of his Family, his Court, his Ministers, his Academies, and his Literary Friends: Collected During a Familiar Intercourse of Twenty Years with that Prince (1805), 488–495; William Parr Greswell (bap. 1765–1854; DNB), Memoirs of Angelus Politianus, Joannes Picus of Mirandula, Actius Sincerus Sannazarius, Petrus Bembus, Hieronymus Fracastorius, Marcus Antonius Flaminius, and the Amalthei: Translations from their Poetical Works: and Notes and Observations Concerning Other Literary Characters of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1805), 509–515; George Ellis, Specimens of Early English Metrical Romances (1805), 536–544; Henry John Todd (bap. 1763–1845; DNB), The Works of Edmund Spenser (1805), 544–555; William Lisle Bowles, The Spirit of Discovery (1804), 568–573; William Hayley (1745–1820; DNB), Ballads; Founded on Anecdotes Relating to Animals, with Prints, Designed and Engraved by William Blake (1805), 575–576; John Hoppner (1758–1810), Oriental Tales: Translated into English Verse (1805), 576–578; Francis Burroughs (dates unknown), A Poetical Epistle to James Barry Esq. (1805), 578–579; Vincenzo Monti (1754–1828), Penance of Hugo: A Vision (1805), trans. Henry Boyd (1748/9–1832; DNB), 581–588; James Grahame (1765–1811; DNB), The Sabbath (1805), 588–591; Sir Martin Archer Shee (1769–1850; DNB), Rhymes on Art, or, The Remonstrance of a Painter (1805), 592–596; Samuel Whitchurch, (dates unknown), Hispaniola, a Poem (1804), 596–597; Matthew Rolleston (dates unknown), The Anti-Corsican, A Poem (1805), 597–598; Charles Grant, Baron Glenelg (1778–1866; DNB), Poem on the Restoration of Learning in the East (1805), 598; Edward Coxe (dates unknown), Miscellaneous Poetry (1805), 598–600; Malcolm Laing (1762–1818; DNB), The Poems of Ossian, Containing the Poetical Works of James Macpherson in Prose and Verse, with Notes and Illustrations (1805), 615–620; Archibald Macdonald (1739–1814; DNB), Some of Ossian’s Lesser Poems Rendered into Verse [from Macpherson]; with a Preliminary Discourse, in Answer to Mr. Laing’s Critical and Historical Dissertation on the Antiquity of Ossian’s Poems (1805), 620; Philip Massinger (1583–1640; DNB), Plays (1805), ed. William Gifford, 625–634; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781), Nathan the Wise; a Dramatic Poem in Five Acts (1805), trans. William Taylor, 634–639; John Collett (dates unknown), Sacred Dramas: Intended Chiefly for Young Persons (1805), 639; Henry Mackenzie (1745–1831; DNB), Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, Appointed to Inquire into the Nature and Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian (1805), 679–699; Hannah More, Hints Towards Forming the Character of a Young Princess (1805), 708–713; Joseph Lancaster (1778–1838), Improvements in Education as it Respects the Industrious Classes of the Community (3rd edn, 1805), 732–736; Samuel Jackson Pratt [pseud. Courtney Melmoth] (1749–1814; DNB), Harvest-home: Consisting of Supplementary Gleanings, Original Dramas and Poems, Contributions of Literary Friends and Select Re-publications (1805), 736–738; William Henry Ireland (1775–1835; DNB), The Confessions of William Henry Ireland Containing the Particulars of his Fabrication of the Shakespeare Manuscripts (1805), 743–745. BACK
 In the Church of England the 39 Articles of Religion, of 1563, establish the basis of belief. BACK
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