93. Robert Southey to Horace Walpole Bedford, 7 June 1794
93. Robert Southey to Horace Walpole Bedford, 7 June 1794 *
Balliol. June 7. 1794.
In return for your ode to Indolence I know nothing better than these strains to her eldest born. they immortalize a man who is the ne plus ultra of folly. one who in the midst of a moral argument when the principles of morality were discussing by one of most extraordinary merit, declared himself to be a very moral man “for by Gd I have not prostituted my body these six months!” as if (said Lovell) such a body could be prostituted! the first ode is by Lovell. the second my own.
Ode to Griggin
Ode to Griggin. 
DIGNUM LAUDE VIRUM MUSA VETAT MORI. 
[MS missing] has stolen it who knew not half its value. that night [MS missing] of Helicon.  I wish the person who sleeps in it may find it hot as Lukes iron crown. 
Your verses are good but incorrect. the more you write the better will be your verses. send me some more — & write oftener. I am much in the mood for versifying that I was at Brixton. continually at it & satisfied with all.
talking of Helicon I am longing for spruce beer. but between you & I, have a pretty good succedaneum in some strong beer. of which I will lay in another stock against your arrival.
Lightfoot departs on Friday week. alas poor Nicholas! but he lends me his rooms so you <may> wail for him over the pot. I have quarrelld with Jerry Collins. when you & your brother come I shall ask him to meet you some day. if he has sense enough he will come. if he does not ‘his crime will be his punishment.’  aussi bien — n’importe on l’un ou l’autre  as a frenchman said in a good story. I will admit any conversation in my company except smut. but where I go — there shall be serious conversation — there shall be opportunity for improvement. on this head we quarrelld — but revenge & malice cannot exist with my principles & when you come I shall ask him with the usual familiarity.
I am sitting without a fire for no other reason but because tis June. tis a bad reason — my legs & hands ache & my fire shall blaze tho twere the Dog days. what think you of Polish politics.  (remember calling Levett badger to mob Doyly?) do you not feel interested for Kosciusko?  & does not every feeling of Nature militate against — Russia — & Frederic William?  [MS missing]
write soon. friends fall off & Oxford grows duller. Seward is gone. & Lightfoot going. so Burnett & I <shall> have only a great unlickd Welch boy  for a constant visitor. one with good sense & good nature but like a fresh whelpd cub unlike any thing & who is not included in the second commandment.
one hour to dinner! & I have the voracity of ten tygers. Horace I have foresaid (not foresworn for I swear not) sugar. & my mouth is a stranger to gooseberry pye! never again shall the delicacies which human slavery & human misery produce, pollute the lips of
when you sweeten your tea think of this — in my next — more on this subject.
* Address: [deletion and readdress in another hand]: Horace Walpole Bedford — Esqr/ New
Palace Yard Edward Roberts Esqr./ Westminster
Ealing Middlesex/ Single Sheet./ Post Paid
Postmarks: [two partial] AJ/ 9; 2 OCLO/ 11 JU/ A
Watermarks: G R in a circle; figure of Britannia
Endorsement: Recd. June. 9th. 1794
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22. ALS; 4p.
 A heavily revised version, retitled ‘On a Dull Fellow being Elected to a College Fellowship’, was published anonymously in the Morning Post, 21 March 1798. BACK
 Horace (65–8 BC), Odes, Book 4, no. 8, line 28. The Latin translates as ‘the Muse forbids a man to die who deserves praise’. BACK
 A symbol of political tyranny. See Oliver Goldsmith (1728?–1774; DNB), ‘The Traveller, or a Prospect of Society. A Poem’ (1764), line 436. George and Luke Dosa were the leaders of an unsuccessful rebellion in Hungary in 1513. As a punishment for proclaiming himself king, George (not, as in Goldsmith’s poem, Luke) had a red-hot iron crown placed on his head. BACK
 A paraphrase of John Dryden (1631–1700; DNB), Secret Love, or the Maiden-Queen (1668). For the text, see Secret Love: or, the Maiden Queen (London, 1735), p. 47. BACK
 An armed uprising against the partition of Poland between Prussia and Russia had started in March 1794. BACK