2412. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [30 April-1 May 1814]*
Last night Sir Grosvenor I wrote the following lines. Tellez-vous me votre opinion whether they are too much in character to be prefixed to Roderick
I give it to you with its variæ lectiones  as it at present stands. The conclusion grew out of the rhymes, & is not what was at first intended. I meant to have wound it up in this manner – that no age would have left more for posterity than that of his administration, – & that when all those things were remembered which were worthy of remembrance this (poem) perhaps would be one of them. How this might look in rhyme I am too busy & too idle to try, since the other rhymes came in my way. – It will be some time before the poem is published as you well know, – quite long enough to deliberate upon the fitness or unfitness of such a dedication, – for if I were ever so much in love with it now, that love would have leisure to cool. I am a little afraid of sending it to Croker, as foreseeing a very likely dilemma, – that he may object to the manner of this & that yet having offered it to his notice I contract an obligation of dedicating <find myself obliged to dedicate> it to the Prince, in some other manner, – to which I am altogether disinclined
Tomorrow I shall send you the 17 Book of Roderick viâ Gifford. return it as soon as it has made its rounds. I am far advanced in the 18th
There is a tragedy dedicated to me, called Mustapha: a good play, written with dramatic ability, but an absence of poetical beauty, which I know not whether to think intentional, or natural.  Of the author I know nothing except his name, which he has desired me not to repeat – And as another of the honours of this world – I was invited to d I have received a card to dine yesterday at the Royal Academy. 
God bless you
The Bust? the Bust?
the Bust? 
Inter honores  – I forgot to tell you that the Proprietor of the European Magazine asks for my portrait.  xxxxx b had Isaac Reid  been living I should have been felt uncomfortable in refusing it.
 Captain William Lewis Herries (d. 1857), Deputy-Assistant Quarter-Master-General, was reported as ‘severely wounded’ at the Battle of Bayonne, 14 April 1814. He had lost a leg and been made prisoner, but survived and continued in the army until 1854, rising to be a Commissioner of the Board of Audit. BACK
 Cornelius Neale had dedicated his Mustapha: A Tragedy (London, 1814) to Southey ‘AS A TESTIMONY OF ADMIRATION/ FOR THE GREATEST POET OF HIS AGE’; see Southey to Cornelius Neale, 15 January 1814, Letter 2363. BACK
 James Asperne (1757–1820), bookseller and proprietor of the European Magazine. A ‘Memoir of Robert Southey, Esq.’ and a portrait ‘Engraved by Blood, from an Original Drawing by Edridge, in the Possession of G.C. Bedford, Esq.’, appeared in European Magazine, 66 (July 1814), –5. BACK