3630. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 February 1821

3630. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 February 1821⁠* 

9 Feby. 1821 Keswick

My dear G

Substitute revered for excellent if you think it best. [1]  – I cannot make a better beginning, nor indeed do I think it would be more courtly for being more circuitous.

The alteration in the last sentence must run thus – “& that the blessings &c – may under your M’s protection be transmitted to posterity &c – not from generation to generation, for that expression becomes improper if his M. be put in

Two proofs of the Preface, & as many of the notes go back by this nights post. I expect two more, & then the whole will be compleated. Consign the full dressed copy which is for my Master to the Dog-Star’s care. [2]  I wished him to have presented it, but he wishes to put it into Sir Wm Knightons hands, a man very able to serve him in the only way in which he can be served, & apparently disposed to do it; & who will be flattered by being employed on such an occasion. -

That for my Mistress [3]  must come here in a coach parcel with eight others, but concerning this I shall write in due time to the Row.

I may possibly make something of the Coronation, – tho I do not as yet see how. [4]  Is there any book about the ceremonies that you could send me? – But the Devil take all birth-days. [5] 

The Almanacks came yesterday & I am charged to return thanks in the best manner.

God bless you



* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 12 FE 12/ 1821
Endorsement: 9 Feb. 1821
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 26. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] These changes were made in the ‘Dedication’ to A Vision of Judgement (London, 1821), pp. vi, viii. It would have been improper to use ‘from generation to generation’ in reference to George IV, as he had no surviving children. BACK

[2] Southey was arranging for a lavishly bound copy of A Vision of Judgement to be presented to George IV. BACK

[3] A Vision of Judgement (1821), no. 2626 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, described as ‘superbly bound in blue morocco, leather joints, richly tooled and lined with silk’. BACK

[4] Southey wrote a few notes for a oronation Ode, dated ‘Feby 9. 1821’ in his notebook, now at Huntington Library, San Marino, HM 2733, f. 126r. But he did not get beyond this and no ode was written for the coronation on 19 July 1821. BACK

[5] Southey wrote the ‘Ode for St George’s Day’, unpublished until Poetical Works, 10 vols (London, 1837–1838), III, pp. 258–262, for George IV’s official birthday on 23 April 1821. BACK

People mentioned

George IV (1762–1830) (mentioned 2 times)
Knighton, William (1776–1836) (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Paternoster Row, London (mentioned 1 time)
Keswick (mentioned 1 time)