1234. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 November 1806

1234. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 November 1806 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Here you have the Preface [1]  – & the sketch of Merry. [2]  I have nothing now to send you but that of Churchey respecting which I have written again to Cottle. [3]  Have you one of Mrs Robinson? [4]  if not I will send you that also.

Send me would by way of the Emperor in G. George Street all the sheets – for I lent what I had to Wordsworth & he is gone away. I must see them to order what cancels are necessary. one must be made on account of that poem about Felton – which is not Buckinghams [5]  – how the Devil should it! – & two others on the score of decency – from Gildon [6]  & Amhurst. [7] 

Hollingsworth [8]  may print the Preface instantly, & send me the Proofs – there must be to l a list of the authors in their orders (as in Ellis  [9] ) in the first Vol – & alphabetically in the last.

How are you? – I care more for a bulletin of your health than for one from the Grand army – [10] 


Tuesday. Nov. 4. 1806.


* Endorsement: 4. Novr. 1806.
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey is discussing his joint project with Bedford, entitled Specimens of the Later English Poets, which was published with Longman in 1807. BACK

[2] Robert Merry (1755–1798), a poet who moved to Florence and published collections of poems entitled Arno (1784) and Florence Miscellany (1785). Selections of his poems are included in Specimens of the Later English Poets, 3 vols (London, 1807), III, pp. 446–454. BACK

[3] Walter Churchey (1747–1805; DNB), a Welsh poet who published Poems and Imitations of the British Poets in 1789. He is not included in Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807). For the letter to Cottle mentioned here; see Southey to Joseph Cottle, 2 November 1806, Letter 1232. BACK

[4] Mary Robinson (1757–1800; DNB): poet, novelist, woman of fashion, courtesan, who contributed poetry to the Morning Post. She is not included in the Specimens. BACK

[5] George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (1628–1687; DNB): politician, wit and writer, whose father, also George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (1592–1628; DNB), favourite of James I (1566–1625; DNB), was murdered by John Felton (c. 1595–1628), an army officer, in Portsmouth. The 2nd Duke’s poems are included in the Specimens of the Later English Poets, 3 vols (London, 1807), I, pp. 29–32. Here Southey is arranging to omit a poem about Felton. For the text of the poem, see Poems and Songs Relating to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham; and his Assassination by John Felton, August 23, 1628, ed. Frederick W. Fairholt (London, 1850), pp. 77–78. BACK

[6] Charles Gildon (c.1665–1724; DNB): poet and critical writer, slated in Alexander Pope’s (1688–1744; DNB) The Dunciad (1728) and Epistle to Arbuthnot (1735). See Specimens of the Later English Poets, I, pp. 243–246. BACK

[7] Nicholas Amhurst (1697–1742; DNB), a poet and political writer, who published the satirical Terræ Filius; or, the Secret History of the University of Oxford (1726). A selection from his works is featured in the Specimens of the Later English Poets, I, pp. 394–398. BACK

[8] S. Hollingsworth (first name and dates unknown) of Crane Court, Fleet Street was the printer of the Specimens. BACK

[9] George Ellis’s Specimens of the Early English Poets (1790, 2nd edn 1801, 3rd edn 1803), for which Southey’s Specimens of the Later English Poets was a companion work. BACK

[10] The ‘Grand Army’ or Grand Armée was the name given by Napoleon Bonaparte to the French forces assembled to invade Britain in 1805. Thereafter, the name was used for the principal French army deployed in the military campaigns of 1805–1807 (and was later used to refer to all the multinational forces gathered by Napoleon in his campaigns of the early nineteenth century). BACK

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