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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1979. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 November 1811 ⁠* 

Nov 5. 1811.

My dear Grosvenor

I shall soon send you a longer letter in a less packet, – the present is Dr Bell’s business, not my own. Will you drop it at Giffords & request him to let it be conveyed to Murray when x next he sends there.

Can you supply me with another quarters pension? – for I am in want. – This application I shall have no need to repeat a third time, – for after the next number of the Q. I shall have money enough.

My last article when enlarged in its seperate shape, will be most compleatly decisive of the controversy. [1]  Never perhaps did any case admit of such full & entire proof in all its parts. I dedicate it in an epistle to the Editor of the Ed: Review, [2]  telling him among other things that he & I xxxxx each other – that I have stood many of his buffets, & he must now stand one of mine. – Walter Scott will explain the allusion to him, & tell him how Richard Cœur de Lion [3]  split the head of the Duke of Austrias son. [4] 

De meipso  [5]  this is all that I shall condescend to say. But concerning Dr Bell – Oh Grosvenor – the Philistines are delivered into my hands, [6]  & I will maul them as unmercifully as ever Samson [7]  himself did.

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s defence of Andrew Bell’s system over Joseph Lancaster’s appeared in the Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. It was, however, severely edited before publication, and his personal attacks on the Edinburgh Review were removed; see the account in Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. Southey’s wrath had been provoked by an article in the Edinburgh Review, 17 (November 1810), 58–88, which had criticised Bell and proclaimed Lancaster’s methods superior. Southey’s article in the Quarterly formed the basis of his The Origin, Nature, and Object, of the New System of Education (1812). BACK

[2] Southey’s book was not dedicated to Jeffrey. BACK

[3] Richard I (1157–1199; King of England 1189–1199; DNB). BACK

[4] Leopold V (1157–1194; Duke of Austria 1177–1194) held Richard I captive in 1192–1193, when he was on his way back from the Third Crusade. His two sons, who both succeeded to parts of his duchy, were Frederick I (d. 1198) and Leopold VI (d. 1230). The 13th-century French romance, Richard Coeur de Lion, contains a story of Richard’s captivity: Wardrewe, son of Duke Leopold, challenges Richard to a contest. He will strike the King one blow, and if Richard survives he can return the favour the following day. Richard agrees, survives Wardrewe’s blow, and kills him the next day with one punch to the jaw. BACK

[5] ‘Of myself’. BACK

[6] 1 Samuel 23: 7. BACK

[7] Central figure in the Book of Judges, who slew 1,000 Philistines with the jaw-bone of an ass. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013