2287. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 7 August 1813 *
Keswick. Aug 7. 1813.
My dear Grosvenor
I expect to leave home on this day week, or the Monday following, according as the Coach day may fall out, – for I am not quite sure what the alternate days are at present. – You shall see or hear of me the day of my arrival, but Queen Ann Street will be a nearer post than Stafford Row. Most probably I shall make my way to Streatham the same day, – or certes the next, – & employ the morning in paying my respects to Hyde,  & looking in at the Exchequer & St Stephens Court. 
I am exceedingly pleased at the thought of seeing Von Hesse.  Learn also from Blanco if Estrada  be in England. It is of consequence that I should find him out, for I know not by what other quarter to obtain information of the affairs of Asturias.
B. & I are at issue at last. He has declared his intention of cheating me, & I have declared mine of resisting defending myself as well as I can. So I bring up with me the concluding mss. (about 4 sheets) without which the volume  cannot be published, & all the documents to put into Turners hands, in case Scott should not bring him to act honestly. We have not yet come to hard words; – but he sees enough to know that he cannot succeed in his scheme without being exposed for a scoundrel. I shall write to Scott tomorrow.  This evening is likely to be more agreably employed in finishing the 11th book of Roderick.  A paltry difficulty of which those only who are in the habit of such compositions can form any adequate notion has in truth, stopt me for many months; & now it is got over. No doggedness can get over these things; – I always find out the way in time, – but it is never by looking for it. And now the whole way is plain. The 10th book is better than any thing you have seen, & will hardly be surpassed in the course of the poem, – tho there are situations in store which are not inferior. I consider myself so far advanced, & the termination so clearly in view, that I shall go to press soon after my return. The stimulus of a proof sheet is my best spur, & I must publish in the spring because vivendum est  while the history is in hand,  & you know all I have to reckon upon is what passes thro your hands, except what can be distilled from the point of the gray goose quill.
Do you not expect to see a peace patched up? I am fully prepared for it, & I execrate the miserable councils which can lead to any thing so preposterous. The Russians are tired of the war; – their commissariat is the worst in the world, – they have no feeling in the cause now that it is removed from their own country, – & worse than all Alexander is a block head.  This is Sir R Wilsons account!  Prussia on the contrary is sound wind & limb, – just as Von Hesse would wish it to be, – but Prussia cannot stand alone, nor I fear with the assistance of Sweden. If indeed Germany were but true to itself all would be well, but the moment was let pass, & for this we are mainly to blame. We had as much time to raise a Hanov an army in Hanover as B. had to raise one in France. – Hamburgh too ought to have been defended like Zaragoza, & it could not have been destroyed in the same manner, because it could cannot be mined. 
But to use the fine phrase of the Persians ‘farther the light-footd steed of the pen must not find permission to proceed upon the plain of prolixity’.  So God bless you –
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 10 AU 10/ 1813
Endorsement: August 7. 1813
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 4p.