392. To Robert Southey Pub. Life and Corres. ii. 146. According to Cuthbert Southey, this letter was waiting for Southey when he returned to England from Portugal in July 1801. Greta Hall, Keswick; April 18. 1801 My dear Southey, I received your kind letter on the evening before last, and I trust that this will arrive at Bristol just in time to rejoice with them that rejoice. Alas! you will have found the dear old place sadly rainused by the removal of Davy. It is one of the evils of long silence, that when one recommences the correspondence, one has so much to say that one can say nothing. I have enough, with what I have seen, and with what I have done, and with what I have ____________________ 1 George Ellis edited G. L. Way translations of select Fabliaux in 1796. A second edition appeared in 1800. -716- suffered, and with what I have heard, exclusive of all that I hope and all that I intend -- I have enough to pass away a great deal of time with, were you on a desert isle, and I your Friday. But at present I purpose to speak only of myself relatively to Keswick and to you. Our house stands on a low hill, the whole front of which is one field and an enormous garden, nine-tenths of which is a nursery garden. Behind the house is an orchard, and a small wood on a steep slope, at the foot of which flows the river Greta, which winds round and catches the evening lights in the front of the house. In front we have a giant's camp -- an encamped army of tent-like mountains, which by an inverted arch gives a view of another vale. On our right the lovely vale and the wedge-shaped lake of Bassenthwaite; and on our left Derwentwater and Lodore full in view, and the fantastic mountains of Borrodale. Behind us the massy Skiddaw, smooth, green, high, with two chasms and a tent-like ridge in the larger. A fairer scene you have not seen in all your wanderings. Without going from our own grounds we have all that can please a human being. As to books, my landlord, who dwells next door, has a very respectable library, which he has put with mine; histories, encyclopaedias, and all the modern gentry. But then I can have, when I choose, free access to the princely library of Sir Guilfred Lawson, which contains the noblest collection of travels and natural history of, perhaps, any private library in England; besides this, there is the Cathedral library of Carlisle, from whence I can have any books sent to me that I wish; in short, I may truly say that I command all the libraries in the county. . . . Our neighbour is a truly good and affectionate man, a father to my children, and a friend to me. He was offered fifty guineas for the house in which we are to live, but he preferred me for a tenant at twenty-five; and yet the whole of his income does not exceed, I believe, 2001. a year. A more truly disinterested man I never met with; severely frugal, yet almost carelessly generous; and yet he got all his money as a common carrier, by hard labour, and by pennies and pennies. He is one instance among many in this country of the salutary effect of the love of knowledge -- he was from a boy a lover of learning. . . . The house is full twice as large as we want; it hath more rooms in it than Allfoxen; you might have a bedroom, parlour, study, &c. &c., and there would always be rooms to spare for your or my visitors. In short, for situation and convenience, -- and when I mention the name of Wordsworth, for society of men of intellect, -- I know no place in which you and Edith would find yourselves so well suited. . . . 1 ____________________ 1 The remainder of this letter, as well as another of later date, was filled -717-