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

1987. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 22 November 1811 ⁠* 

Nov. 22. 1811.

My dear Grosvenor

Your remaining halves [1]  came safe. – I am working very hard for Giffard, – & have half put out my eyes for him over some of my worst written Portugueze MSS. [2]  – If articles of this kind were paid for by weight instead of measure, I much question whether one with so much historical knowledge, & such an accumulation of fact was ever brought into the market.

I shall soon finish another section of my poem, [3]  xxx in that which follows Pelayo will make his appearance & the action will advance rapidly. My mind is by this time pretty well decided concerning the tone & manner of the next Poem – i.e – Oliver Goffe – my Quaker-heroic. [4]  I shall take as wide a range of metre as in Kehama, [5]  – but pitch the general key in an undertone, – like the pastoral parts of Spenser. I have a notion of introducing it in a sort of Epistolary Prologue, which very possibly may soon be set about. You must know I am in love with my own conceptions of this story. Perhaps I may give you a second sight of it, whenever I find a leisure hour & inclination for letter writing –

God bless you



* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr./ [in another hand] Exchequer/ J.C.H.
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] i. e. half-banknotes – a secure way of sending money in the post, by tearing banknotes in half and sending the two halves separately. BACK

[2] The History of the Inquisitions; including the Secret Transactions of those Horrific Tribunals (1810); Letter upon the Mischievous Influence of the Spanish Inquisition as it actually exists in the Provinces under the Spanish Government. Translated from El Español, a periodical Spanish Journal published in London (1811); Narrativa da Perseguição de Hippolyto Joseph Da Costa Pereira Furtado de Mendonça, Natural da Colonia do Sacramento, no Rio-da-Prata, prezo e Processado em Lisboa pelo pretenso Crime de Fra-Maçon, ou Pedreiro Livre (1811), Quarterly Review, 6 (December 1811), 313–357. BACK

[3] What became Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[4] ‘Oliver Newman’, left incomplete at Southey’s death. BACK

[5] The Curse of Kehama (1810). BACK

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August 2013