1555. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 December 1808

1555. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 December 1808 ⁠* 

Grosvenor Bedford if it be possible to ruin the Spaniards we shall ruin them. For if we have only marched two armies upon the worst of all possible plans, into Spain; – just for them to run out of it, – & if we leave Romana [1]  & his men to the vengeance of Bonaparte, – instead of standing by them to the last drop of blood – then indeed do I fear that the Spaniards may feel their contempt & indignation against us, stronger than their hatred of Bonaparte: & the measure of our folly <& our shame> will be full. – What is to be done – do you say? – what? – why keep the mountains & the strong frontier xxx towns with the men we have there, – & send over every disposable man we have. But we are disembarking troops! – The ministry will hardly be able to stand this – they ought not to stand it – but what benefit is to be hoped from turning one set of wretches out – just that another set of wretches may go in – the last set always progressively worse than the former!

I shall endeavour – i.e – am endeavouring to get the Reviewal ready by the time Mr Gifford wishes it. But I have advanced so far in it as to perceive that it is impossible to comprize more than the Indian Mission, & the consequent controversy in one article. [2]  The African & Polynesian Missions must there fore be reserved for a subsequent one, [3]  – or should I find it most expedient for two distinct articles, – for in these I shall not xxx condense all the information which these societies have given of the countries in which they act, – as well as the history of their proceedings.

God bless you


Dec 14. 1808


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ [in another hand] Exchequer
Endorsement: 14 Decr 1808
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Don Pedro Caro y Sureda, 3rd Marquis of la Romana (1761–1811), commanded, from 26 November, the remnants of the Spanish army of Galicia that was destroyed by the French on 11 November. Romana’s troops assisted the British while they retreated to Corunna in December and in January 1809. BACK

[2] Southey reviewed Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Missionary Society, Quarterly Review, 1 (February 1809), 193–226. BACK

[3] Southey reviewed Transactions of the Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands in Quarterly Review, 2 (August 1809), 24–61. Missionary work in South Africa was discussed in the Quarterly by John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB), for example in volume 22 (July 1819), 203–246. BACK

People mentioned

Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 1 time)