2735. Robert Southey to John Britton, 13 March 1816 *
Keswick. 13 March 1816
I congratulate you on the success of your endeavour for a commemoration of Shakespeare, – everything of this kind is honourable to our country.  With regard to myself I am truly sensible of the honour which is done to me by desiring my cooperation, but for poems of this nature I have neither inclination nor power, – & tho the want of the former xxxxx requisite might be overcome, that of the latter could not. In these cases <indeed> want of inclination arises from want of power. And indeed were it otherwise my present engagements are too numerous & too weighty to allow me leisure.
Your wishes shall be communicated to Mr Wordsworth.
Yrs very truly
 Britton had proposed a national commemoration of the bicentenary of Shakespeare’s death. This did not materialize, but the occasion was celebrated in Stratford Upon Avon. Britton’s pamphlet Remarks on the Monumental Bust of Shakespeare at Stratford-Upon-Avon was published in 1816, but he was not able to organise a celebratory volume on Shakespeare with contributions by leading contemporary poets. BACK