1527. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 November 1808
1527. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 November 1808 *
Did you ever eat a soup in the first course so highly seasoned as to destroy your palate for the venison in the second? – xxx just so has the first section of Kehama  served you. – If any thing good has been left out, your worship has only to show cause why it should be put in again & put in it shall be; – when the whole is compleated you will see that none of its parts can possibly change place, (it must be wretchedly constrained if they could) – & then the more closely he find fault the better, – for tho I will for no mans pleasure change a syllable or measure  – yet I will make huge alterations for my own, if but once convinced that they ought to be made.
There is nothing false in the Cid except the miracle, – the story of the Emperor, – all that relate to his death & burial, – & some exaggeration of numbers in the battles. – That translation of Freres instead of deserving your turn up of the nose, is the admiration of every body who has seen it. 
The book of Kehama brings the poem half as far as it is written. Take care of yourself.
God bless you
Friday Nov. 4. 1808
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr
Endorsement: 4 Novr 1808
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 2p.
 Southey quotes from ‘Faire-Virtue, The Mistresse of Philarete’, a poem by George Wither (1588–1667; DNB). He used the lines as an epigraph to the published Curse of Kehama (London, 1810). BACK