3405. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 20 December 1819

3405. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 20 December 1819⁠* 

My dear G.

I have returned Gifford the draft which he has sent me for my paper in the last number. [1]  I think it must have been sent me in mistake & have told him so. But if it should prove otherwise, & Murray should not chuse to send me £100 for the articles I will forthwith pack up all the books of his in my possession, & break off the connection with the Review, whatever may be the present inconvenience to myself. – It is even now sufficiently inconvenient, for I calculated upon this money for my Christmas bills. – But I will say no more upon this till I hear again from Gifford, or from Murray & see how the matter stands.

I have been obliged to complain to Gifford of the mutilations which he has made in this paper. Pray recover the MSS if you can, – or what would be better, the set of proof sheets. – He has played with the Devil with me, – as you will see by comparing the account of Dominic the Cuirassier with the original. [2]  It is very provoking to have an historical paper of that kind, which perhaps no person in England but myself could have written, treated like a school boys theme. Vexed however as I am, I have too much liking for Gifford to be angry with him, & have written to him in a manner which will prove this.

The Greek papers in this & the preceding number of the QR. must certainly be Frere’s, & admirable papers they are, in every point. [3] 

Your Godson, thank God, is going on well: & his father has nothing to complain of, except indeed that he gets more praise than pudding. I had a letter last night which would amuse you. A certain H. Fisher “printer in ordinary to his Majesty, of Caxton Printing Office Liverpool, writes to bespeak of me a Memoir of his present Majesty, [4]  in one or two volumes 8vo pica type, long primer notes, terms five guineas per sheet, & “as the work will be sold principally among the middle class of society, mechanics, & trades-people, the language, anecdotes, observations & facts &c &c to suit them.” – This is a fellow who employs hawkers to vend his books about the country. You see Grosvenor “some have honour thrust upon them’ [5] 

A Yankee also who keeps an exhibition at Philadelphia, [6]  modestly asks me to send him my painted portrait, which he says is very worthy of a place in his collection. – I to have the pleasure of sitting for the picture & paying for it, – & he to show it in Yankeeland x ‘admittance so much’.

God bless you


Keswick. 20 Dec. 1819


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 23 DE 23/ 1819
Endorsement: 20 Decr 1819
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), IV, pp. 362–363 [in part]. BACK

[1] Southey’s review of Thomas Fosbrooke (1770–1842; DNB), British Monachism; or, Manners and Customs of the Monks and Nuns of England (1817), Quarterly Review, 22 (July 1819), 59–102, published 11 December 1819. BACK

[2] Southey’s account of the noted self-flagellant ‘St Dominic the Cuirassier’ or St Dominic Loricatus (c. 995–1060), in Quarterly Review, 22 (July 1819), 79–82. BACK

[3] The reviews of Henry David Hill (1791–1858), Essays on the Institutions, Government and Manners of the States of Ancient Greece (1819), Quarterly Review, 22 (July 1819), 163–203, and Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern, from the German of Frederick Schlegel (1818), Quarterly Review, 21 (April 1819), 271–320, were actually by Thomas Mitchell (1783–1845; DNB), Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 1809–1818. BACK

[4] George III (1738–1820; King of Great Britain 1760–1820; DNB). BACK

[5] Twelfth Night, Act 2, scene 5, lines 144–145: ‘some have greatness thrust upon them.’ BACK

[6] Possibly Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827), owner of the Philadelphia Museum (1786–1837). BACK

People mentioned

Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 4 times)
Murray, John Samuel (1778–1843) (mentioned 2 times)
(mentioned 0 times)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)