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

2161. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 October 1812 ⁠* 

Oct 21. 1812. Keswick.

My dear Grosvenor

I should not expend your money or my paper upon this letter were it not in reply to the most important part of that which I have just received. The Senhora says it is useless for her to write, unless she could encourage you {explain to} Mr Whatshisname the kind of eruption with which your mother is troubled. Explain State this as clearly as you can, & then she will without delay transmit the case to him & procure for you the prescription.

I have begun a transcript of Pelayo [1]  which is to serve for the Printers, – but I begin it now that it may serve your honour, & as soon as you can open a channel of franking, you shall have the first two books, & the rest in sequence with as little delay as possible. I have begun the 9th book. The Senhora who is my touch-stone, commends the 8th much. The My progress x {in} a poem like this, as far as plan is concerned, is very much like that of the what I had many opportunities of seeing in Spain, – the opening of a xx xxxx the country at d in day light. First you I a dim outline is all, – & objects for some time appear just as imagination shapes them, – their forms change as the dawn advances, till at last every {all} things appear as {settle into} their true place & proportion in full day light.

It is now in that state that it would be easy for me to finish it during the winter, if other things of which weigh heavier in the among the Ways & Means could be laid aside. However I look forward with good hope, & think it may go to press in twelve months from this time, – if I live & do well.

Shall I call it Roderick the Last of the Goths, – or, Spain Restored? Think of these two titles. Pelayo must be given up.

I begin to think Lord W. will blockade Pamplona. & very wise he will be in so doing, if Minas [2]  account of the state of supplies there be well-founded.

Have you seen my brother Henry? If he is not with Dr Gooch in Aldermanbury, he is at Streatham, – but about this time he purposes settling himself, if he can find a house to his suit him. You will find him a very presentable person (in Sharps phrase) – & I need not say that I wish you to present him wherever you may think it useful.

It was Wordsworth whom Sharp called a presentable man. And this reminds me of something truly Wordsworthian. He was here yesterday, for on his return from another Borrodale excursion, during which excursion, he, by his own account, rather than sit up all-night, or lie down on three chairs by the kitchen fire, – went to bed to a Scotch pedlar. I swore upon hearing this that I would rather have foresworn going to bed for the rest of my life. Mrs Coleridge replied that she would not, – xx which happy declaration you may be sure did not pass unnoticed, & will not be forgotten.

There Grosvenor, that story is worth the postage of the letter.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/ Westminster.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 24 OC 24/ 1812
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The early name for Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[2] Francisco Espoz y Mina (1781–1836), since 1810 he had been commander of the guerrilleros of Navarre against French troops. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013