2745. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 25 March 1816

2745. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 25 March 1816⁠* 

Keswick 25 March 1816

My dear Grosvenor

Laus Deo [1]  you have herewith the Amen of my labours. [2] 

We are all provoked about the prints, – that they should not be sent at once without waiting for the Letter Engravers work, – which however necessary for the public is not at all so for those who have been upon the ground. [3]  The Moon has been disappointed every day for this week past. But what is worse he has been very unwell with an influenza which is going off; & with a cough which is keeping its ground to his great discomfort & not less to mine. We cannot give him bark [4]  while the cough continues, – & he stands much in need of it. But I trust whenever the genial weather comes he will shine forth again.

Tell Pople to print fast, & to send me the remaining clean sheets for as yet I have only the first. And I want to fit in the notes. Lord Grenvilles speech upon the Slave Trade comes most opportunely this evening to be touched upon in the concluding note, – for I hope he alludes in it to some provision for the abolition of slavery at a determinate time. [5] 

I shall have at Brougham in the next Quarterly. [6]  His attack upon the Admiralty I suppose originated in personal animosity to Croker. [7]  By the by you had better recover those papers from the Times & send them to the Courier, – & I will put in a verse in the first chapter upon this subject. [8]  It would be easy for me to secure their admission by sending them in my own name to Stuart; – but I think they will be glad enough of them anonymously when the heat of the debates is a little over.

“Of yore, certainly instead of as before for the reason you assign. [9] 

Remember me to all at home

God bless you


And now instanter to the Lay of the Laureate. [10] 


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr./ Exchequer
Endorsement: 25. March 1816
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘God be praised’. BACK

[2] The final copy of The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816), which Bedford was to see through the press. BACK

[3] Southey was eager to see proof copies of the eight engraved pictures that were to illustrate The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816) and did not want to wait until the captions had been added to the images. BACK

[4] Peruvian bark, from the cinchona tree, contained quinine, and was widely used as a medicine. BACK

[5] Southey did not allude in his notes to The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816) to the speech made in the House of Lords on 22 March 1816 by Lord Grenville, in which Grenville argued for the full enforcement of existing laws prohibiting importation of slaves to the West Indies, and proposed a law forcing the colonial authorities to register each existing slave and to submit their records to London. BACK

[6] No such article specifically attacking Brougham was published by Southey in the Quarterly Review in 1816. BACK

[7] On 13, 20 and 25 March 1816 Brougham had, as part of the Whig campaign against government extravagance and corruption, attacked Croker, the Secretary of the Admiralty, in parliament, after it was discovered that Croker’s wartime salary of £4,000 per annum had been renewed in time of peace. Croker defended himself on 13 March and was defended by other ministers on 20 March; on 25 March 1816 Brougham’s excessive rhetoric led to a rallying of support for Croker, who survived the attack when the House voted. BACK

[8] Southey’s parodic attack on Jeffrey, the ‘Book of the Prophet Jehephary’, was, on the advice of his friends, not published in his lifetime, neither in The Times, where Southey had asked Bedford to submit it, nor the Courier. It appeared in John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), III, pp. 35–42. BACK

[9] The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816), Part Two, Book 3, ‘The Sacred Mountain’, stanza 10, lines 1–2; ‘full to the brim/ Of her abominations as of yore’. ‘Of yore’ replaced ‘before’. BACK

[10] Southey turned immediately from The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816) to his next Laureate poem, The Lay of the Laureate. Carmen Nuptiale (1816), so that it could be published in time to celebrate the marriage of Charlotte, only child of the Prince Regent, to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1790–1865; King of the Belgians 1831–1865) on 2 May 1816. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)