3762. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 December 1821

3762. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 December 1821⁠* 

My dear G.

Anubis has certainly suggested the shortest & easiest mode of proceeding. The dividends [1]  you will retain for me, because I am not certain whether my article in the Q.R will be inserted now, or stand over, as xxxxx usual to the next number. [2]  & if it be deferred I shall need this money. Otherwise I should have been glad to have transferred it. These postponements are much more inconvenient to me than G supposes – as I could explain to you if it were worth while.

I shall be very glad to hear that any arrangements in your office may be to your advantage. The scheme which you explained in a former letter is of such absurd & palpable injustice that I should think it cannot be carried into effect, if I had not lived long enough to see how easily absurdities of every kind are swallowed.

Wynn announces his appointment to me by a letter this day. [3]  Am I to Rt Honble. him [4]  in future? And does he become hereby (the xxxx which is of some importance to me) – a franker-maximus Rickman is only a franker-major to the extent of two ounces. I want to send a book [5]  in paper covers, to my Uncle, if Wynns frank will cover it I will direct it to you & you can leave it at Rickmans.

The girls thank you for the Almanachs before they arrive. You will be pleased to see what an aptitude Edith has for drawing. [6]  She sketches with great rapidity & power. – Your godson is a fine creature

I am hammering at an ode for Shields [7]  – doggedly hammering at it, – on Tuesday I hope to send it off.

Government is certainly strengthened by these changes. I think also that if it were thought desirable to bring MacIntosh into office at any time the insuperable objection to his acceptance of it has been removed. [8] 

God bless you


16 Dec. 1821.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 19 DE 19/ 1821
Endorsement: 16 Decr. 1821/ Dividend to be reserved
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 26. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Dividends on Southey’s government stocks; he had agreed to lend the capital to John May, who was in financial difficulties. BACK

[2] Southey reviewed Sara Coleridge’s work, An Account of the Abipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay (1822), in Quarterly Review 26 (January 1822), 277–323. The book was a translation of Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus Equestri, Bellicosaque Paraquariae Natione (1784). He had hoped it might appear in Quarterly Review, 26 (October 1821), published on 21 December 1821. BACK

[3] Negotiations had started in June 1821 to bring the followers of Lord Grenville, including Wynn, over to the government. Wynn was their most prominent spokesman in the House of Commons and it was always intended he would receive a Cabinet post. However, Wynn wished to be Home Secretary or Secretary for Ireland and for there to be a wider reshuffle, including moves to include some Whigs. He did not finally take up the post he had initially been offered, President of the Board of Control, until January 1822. BACK

[4] As Wynn was joining the Cabinet, he was admitted to the Privy Council on 17 January 1822, making him a ‘Right Honourable’. BACK

[5] Landor’s Idyllia Heroica Decem Phaleuciorum Unum Partim jam Primo Partim Iterum atq Tertio Edit Savagius Landor (1820), no. 1598 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[6] The MS contains a sketch by Edith May Southey on fol. 2 r. BACK

[7] Southey’s New Year’s Ode for 1822, as Poet Laureate: ‘Ireland’, published in Sir Thomas More: or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, 2 vols (London, 1829), I, pp. 295–302. BACK

[8] Sir James Mackintosh (1765–1832; DNB), lawyer, author and Whig MP for Nairnshire 1813–1818, MP for Knaresborough 1818–1832. He did not join the government. BACK