3076. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 February 1818

3076. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 February 1818⁠* 

11 Feby. 1818.

My dear G.

Nash will cause enquiry to be made at Brussels if the books are sent off [1]  – as I think they must have been long since. They are to come from a bookseller cui nomen Verbiest, [2]  who had full directions how to direct, & how to advise concerning them. & they would fill three cases, – if not four: – but most likely three would contain them. I am very anxious about them, – & it is expressing the least part of their value to me when I say that I paid a thousand franks for them.

K. Nicolas may well puzzle you. It puzzles me who know more about that matter than any man in England. To me however this brochure is a very great curiosity, & you will know more about it when my third volume comes out, which is in excellent progression. [3] 

Poor Shedaw has too much reason for often enquiring when Mr Bedford will send the Tincture of Pellitory. [4]  Well-tied up it may come in one of Murrays consignments. Had I thought of it in time it should have come from the Dogstars with Dobrizhoffer, [5]  by the coach: – but I suppose he will have dispatched the said Dobrizhoffer to Longmans for xx conveyance by the desiderated box.

Osiris [6]  is Sirius, – so learned Mythologists say.

Oh! dear Grosvenor, in compassion to me, buy me a razor to come with the Tooth-Tincture, – for by two vile accidents, the only <two> decent razors which I possessed have both been demolished, – & the loss is irreparable here.

Beautiful weather.

God bless you



* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsement: 11 Feby 1818
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A consignment of books that Southey bought on his continental tour in 1817. BACK

[2] ‘Whose name is Verbeist’. Jean-Baptiste Ver Beyst (1770–1849), a famous bookseller in Brussels. BACK

[3] Southey had, as he records in the History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, p. 474, bought in Geneva (on 4 June 1817) Histoire de Nicolas I, Roi de Paraguai et Empereur de Mamelus (1756), no. 2035 in the sale catalogue of his library. This book sought to cash in on the fable spread in Portugal that the Jesuits had established their own kingdom in Paraguay, amassing huge wealth. Both the kingdom and the king were fictitious. BACK

[4] Used to numb toothache, the tincture contained the herb pellitory, cloves, camphor and opium. BACK

[5] Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus, Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariae Natione (1784), no. 843 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. It was needed for Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

[6] Osiris was the god of the afterlife in Egyptian mythology. In fact his consort, Isis, was associated with the star Sirius; Osiris was associated with the constellation Orion. BACK

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