3035. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 November 1817

3035. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 November 1817⁠* 

My dear G.

Lay hold of the proofs of Lope de Vega, [1]  – for if there happen to be any part of it which is expressed much to my own liking, it is ten to one but that that part will be castrated or corrected.

Before I went abroad Murray offered me 400 £ for a volume equal in size to Pauls Letters. [2]  I should like much to put together my three Travels, [3]  which would make three such, – or four volumes in the size of my other works. Very likely he would give <offer> me 1000 £ for this, – I would take £1500, – which if he really meant the thousand for the last journey, would be selling him a bargain.

I wish you would cull for me some flowers of Edinburgh from the reviews of Madoc Kehama & Roderic, – I mean such sentences in which the story or character of the poem is most mistaken or misrepresented. [4]  The later reviews I can borrow of Calvert

God bless you


5 Nov. 1817.

May I not say as old Oliver did of the Scotch army – the Lord hath delivered them into my hands! – [5] 


* MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 1p.
Endorsement: 5 Nov 1817
Unpublished. BACK

[1] In Quarterly Review, 18 (October 1817), 1–46, Southey reviewed Lord Holland, Some Account of the Lives and Writings of Lope Felix de Vega Carpio, and Guillen de Castro (1817). BACK

[2] Walter Scott’s Paul’s Letters to His Kinsfolk (1816), describing his travels to Waterloo, had been a popular success; Murray was among the booksellers who profited from its sales. BACK

[3] That is, narratives of Southey’s travels to Portugal in 1800–1801; the Low Countries in 1815; and his 1817 trip to France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. This project was not realised. BACK

[4] The Edinburgh Review had criticised Southey’s poetry in reviews of Madoc (7 (October 1805), 1–29), The Curse of Kehama (17 (February 1811), 429–465) and Roderick, the Last of the Goths (25 (June 1815), 1–31). BACK

[5] Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658; DNB), commanding Parliamentary troops, is reputed to have made this remark before the battle of Dunbar, 3 September 1650, when he observed the Scottish army in a vulnerable position. BACK

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