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

2000. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [mid December 1811]⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

You have here the latter half of my book of Bell & the Dragon  [1]  – but not the dedication, – for as that will not be wanted till the last, it may as well remain for farther polishing & pointing. [2]  Consign it into Giffards hands, & he must have daily opportunities of safely transferring it to Murray . I do not wish you to puzzle yourself with attempting to read it, – trouble enough for the poor printers who have to trace out all its crinkum-crankum references. However it is unwafered that you may if you like look in the turn ups – & turn-downs.

I have learnd in a round about way from Sharp that Ld Dudley & Ward [3]  told him a motion was to be made in Parl: about the Register upon the hint in the Ed: Review. [4]  It is not very likely that Whitbread & his party [5]  will make themselves such fools. If they should, I shall read a very short & pithy defence pleading privilege of history &c – The journey would be inconvenient, but by no means, I think, unprofitable. A few civil things said in my defence behalf by those who will be able to say it, would help some of my lame quartos over the stile.

God bless you

RS.

How are all in Stafford Row?


Notes

* Address: G.C.B.
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 27
Unpublished.
Dating note: Dating from content; this letter was written shortly after that to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [before 14 December 1811], Letter 1998. BACK

[1] The Origin, Nature, and Object of the New System of Education (1812), an expansion of Southey’s appraisal of the educational systems advocated by Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster in Quarterly Review, 6 (October 1811), 264-304. BACK

[2] Southey’s proposed mock-dedication to Francis Jeffrey was abandoned. BACK

[3] The politician John William Ward, Earl of Dudley (1781-1833; DNB), MP for Wareham 1807-1812. BACK

[4] The threat of parliamentary action was the result of a long aside in the Edinburgh Review, 18 (August 1811), 420-423n, which had questioned whether the ‘virulent personal abuse … levelled at the most respectable members of the Legislature’ in the Edinburgh Annual Register was in breach of Parliamentary privilege and hinted that action against the author and publishers might be taken. In the event, the Edinburgh Review’s suggestion was not acted on. BACK

[5] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764-1815; DNB). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013