2517. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 December 1814 *
16 Dec. 1814.
My dear Grosvenor
I have a letter tonight from Croker in reply to an enquiry of mine,  saying that tho the Annual Ode ought to be abolished, it is not yet, – & therefore I must write one. So instead of pesting the custom I shall set about the ode: however bad it may be, it xx will be better than the occasion deserves.  Pray send me in your next, which you may do from a directory, the Mus Doc Sir Wm Parsons’s address; for to him I x suppose it must be sent, – I really believed that the ceremony had been dropt last year. It matters very little; being fully sensible that I have no right to be out of humour, I shall take the thing a la Napoleon, – that is to say bonâ parte.  There is a pun for you which has grown from the pens point.
I am glad to hear the Quarterly is in such forwardness having a most lively interest in its early appearance: but I hope & trust my article upon Forbes  will be there, having reckoned upon it.
About the vivified hair in my next.  To my great joy I have got scent of the Squid-Hound whom I inquired for in the Omniana, – it is a sort of cuttle fish as big as a whale, & uglier than the Devil 
 ‘Ode, Written in December 1814’. It was thought unsuitable by the authorities, and was not published until Southey’s Minor Poems, 3 vols (London, 1815), II, pp. 227–238. It was retitled ‘Ode, Written During the War with America, 1814’ in The Poetical Works of Robert Southey, 10 vols (London, 1837–1838), III, 221–228. BACK