2973. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 April 1817

2973. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 April 1817⁠* 

My dear G

As it is proper you should know all that can be known concerning my engagements during my transit – I write to say that I have just engaged myself to meet Lord Sidmouth [1]  & Wilberforce on the 26th Saturday: – which if you see the other Docstor you will let him know.

I was in hopes the proof would have arrived to day.

They tell me that you are abused in the Examiner. [2]  What a wretch must this fellow be to insult an individual for no other imaginable reason than that he is known to be my friend. – And he is as witty as he is liberal, – for he calls me Bobby. [3]  Is not that a keen stroke of satire, & one which must needs wound me. Poor fool! & pityful scoundrel.


11 April

I shall expunge most of what you object to & by removing the roughness made the edge keener. But the uneasiness of WS’s sitting part must remain [4]  – I heard it from Rickman, not from Wynn.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9 Stafford Row
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 2p.
Endorsements: 11. April 1817; 11. April 1817
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844; DNB), Prime Minister 1801–1804, Home Secretary 1812–1822. Sidmouth had originally been a doctor, hence Henry Herbert Southey was the ‘other’ doctor. BACK

[2] Bedford was not mentioned by name in the Examiner. BACK

[3] In the Examiner, 483 (30 March 1817), 195, Hunt wrote of Southey’s conservative defenders, ‘Poor Bob Southey! How they laugh at him!’ BACK

[4] In the draft of A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817), Southey noted that when Wynn, in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817, had defended Southey and questioned Smith’s actions in attacking him, Smith’s ‘countenance & gestures indicated that you were uneasy upon your seat’; see the draft enclosed in Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 April 1817, Letter 2966. The accusation did not survive into the published text. BACK

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