731. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [c. 2 November 1802]
731. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [c. 2 November 1802] *
Your first emendation stands  – albeit I do hanker to kick the word “note” out of doors because it is a musical word – ergo a damned word – a fiddlers word – curse the fellow – I will lay my life the word must be of the neuter gender – or even epicœne – but the objection to the incipient Rose – is a final objection, & theres an end of it.
Concerning polygamy give me credit till we meet & I show you my written chapter upon the system of Mohammed.  that is a system utterly subversive of individual happiness & general prosperity.
For the opening – I had thought about the commutation act myself. – & you have given me the detail – read therefore accord to the Bedford Edition.
My stop is thus – Myriads of torches fling
Their flaring radiance on the gloom,
Blotting the stars from heaven; –
You may chuse between – rise upward – & ascending – but the image is wanting – at least, to my eye it is a tremendous picture – a sort of hell fire light – a yellow blaze below – & above smoke & blackness.
for chāuntiňg tȟy sōng ǒf prāise – chuse you which be the most falling to your ear – ănd chāunt tȟe sōng ǒf prāise – to me the first has a more jelly-bag sort of a sound.
Multitude I prefer to train – because it is a bigger word. your association with upright – will be nobody elses association – I pray you let Arvalan sit still. your after annotation I will think about
Bright & bridal I likes.
For in that mighty multitude
Was none who loves the dead. – my stupid printer made the error, & the stupid reader did not discover it.
The voice of the coming storm – is perhaps not loud enough. – reserved for the opinion of the Twelve Judges. 
Come on – is not bald Sir – & if it be bald Sir tho you put a wig upon the it – it will still be bald at bottom below it. mark you Sir – what does a big word with a little meaning look like? – Why like me in a Dutchmans breeches.
A noun substantive can stand by itself – the Devil must be in it then if two substantives cannot stand together – arm in arm Grosvenor –
Kehama lights the pile – probatum est. 
The xxxxx remarks which I have not noticed – conclude I do not like – & as they are not a matter of mere liking – the voice potential may as well be subintellects. But you will perceive the use of your remarks by the alterations they have made – so go on.
The more dramatic – the more lyric narrative poetry is, the better. this is a main article of my poetical creed. But Grosvenor I have acquired a relish for the research – & the reasoning, & the authoritative tone of history  that threatens to blast many a laurel bud. nor do I merely like it – I look to my history as a sheet anchor of profit, – as a security of a fair support for age or sickness & a something to remain behind me, more substantial than fame. Look now at the allotment of my time – till twelve my time labour is sold to this Amadis  (N.B. this is a secret –) I must take exercise – I must eat – I have acquaintance – alas from 9 – to – 12 – make 5 hours out of the 15 of my waking day – & eating walking & visiting incroach sorely greatly upon the rest. Kehama will fare the better for you. I shall write sometimes for the sake of the sooner filling a sheet. – Sometimes I stop for pure vexation that there exist in England sources of information which are yet beyond my reach – the views of Hodges  – & Daniel  – & the Costume prints  would be actual food for my brain – the very chyle & blood of my xxx imagination would be digested from them. there are botanical works for my foregrounds – & these books I know not where to see – tho they ought to be always at my elbow –
Dear Grosvenor so much was written immediately on receiving yours – the rest of the first book is also in great forwardness for you – but for many days my eyes have suffered such ‘dim suffusion’  that I am enjoined vigorous absence from book pen ink & paper – & to increase the comfort of this blind-beetle state one side of my face is swolen to the size of a salmon jowl – & I cannot leave the house – So God bless you
Can you not come on the other half way to No 12 St James’s Place Kingsdown? –
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ at J. Bulleys Esqr/ Forbury/ Reading
Postmark: [partial] 2/ BRISTOL/ NOV 2 02
MS: Houghton Library, bMS Eng 265.1 (4). ALS; 4p.
 This letter consists of Southey’s response to Grosvenor Bedford’s criticisms of the draft of Book 1 of the Curse of Kehama which had been sent to him on 7 October 1802, Letter 726. BACK
 In the Book of Judges, the ‘Twelve Judges’ were some of the most famous leaders of Israel after the death of Joshua. BACK
 William Hodges (1744-1797; DNB), the first English landscape artist to visit India, in 1779-1785; he produced Select Views of India (1785-1788). BACK
 Thomas Daniell (1749-1840; DNB), visited India in 1786-1794 with his nephew, William Daniell (1769-1837), also an artist, and produced six series of Oriental Scenery (1795-1808). BACK
 Possibly Francois Balthazar Solvyns (1760-1824), A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings: Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos (1796-1799). BACK