Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
57. Robert Southey to Miss Seward, 18 September 1793 *
Brixton Causeway. Wednesday Sept. 18th. 1793
Your request my Dear Madam at once flattered & mortified me — fully sensible of the honor you did me in making it, I could not feel otherwise than mortified at my own incapability. do not however imagine that this proceeds from any dislike to Charlotte Cordè — to me she appears not inferiour to Brutus  & I firmly believe what she herself avowed that no one but a Republican could have accomplished so glorious a deed. a few centuries hence some Bard may celebrate her with safety — when Time has thrown his sacred viel over history & Fancy may pry into it unrestraind.
you see how I attempt to excuse myself — i[MS obscured] reality any recent event ties down Imagination too much — the Poet cannot ornament with safety.
be kind enough to accept of these excuses — & my best respect to Mrs Seward — Miss S & Mr Severne  with many thanks for the favors I have receivd. you will [MS torn] good enough to make my acknowledgements to all friends who may enquire for me.
your much obliged humble servant
I wrote to Edmund at Aberistwyth & fear the letter did not reach him as he has been so long silent.
* Address: Miss Seward/ Sapey/ near Clifton/ Worcestershire
Postmark: SE/ 20/ 93
MS: Tipped into a graingerised copy of The English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, by Lord Byron. Illustrated with Portraits and Views, the First and Fourth Editions, with the alterations from the Fifth Edition (London, 1811), pp. [185–6], Hornby Library, Liverpool City Libraries