2808. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 June [1816]

2808. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 June [1816]⁠* 

My dear G

It is not worth while to hammer at the phraseology of a thing so worthless & so insignificant as such a letter, [1]  – so let it go as it is. I hope the Princess may get well for my own sake as well as the public concern in her welfare. It would be curious enough after this half written poem was stifled for two years, to have it finally suppressed by a fresh accident at last. [2] 


Sunday 9 June


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsement: 9 June 1816
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement BACK

[1] See Southey to Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, 4 June 1816 (Letter 2805), requesting permission to dedicate The Lay of the Laureate. Carmen Nuptiale (1816) to the Princess. BACK

[2] Southey had begun composing celebratory verse in March–June 1814 when Charlotte had been engaged to William, Hereditary Prince of Orange (1792–1849; King of the Netherlands 1840–1849). When that engagement was broken off, he had laid the verses aside, only to reuse them in 1816 in an epithalamion, The Lay of the Laureate. Carmen Nuptiale celebrating Charlotte’s marriage to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1790–1865; King of the Belgians 1831–1865) on 2 May 1816. The newspapers at this time (e.g. Morning Chronicle, 7 June 1816) reported that the Princess was not carrying out public engagements because of ‘a very bad cold, accompanied with some fever’. As there was a measles epidemic in London there was some concern over the Princess’s health, her physicians were called and she was bled. BACK

People mentioned