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

2260. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 May 1813 ⁠* 

Dear Grosvenor

The half bills [1]  are arrived & I acknowledge them in haste. Mr Knox [2]  is certainly rather cool in his request. He wrote me a second letter, which as it rather x entitled him to classed among the fi rather gave me a liking towards him – for

The Earth hath fishes as the water hath
And he is of them [3] 

I have been uncivil in not replying to it, – really for want of time, – for the letter which I began has been weeks unfinished. You will really get me out of a scrape (that is you will relieve me from a sense of incivility) – by lending him the MS [4]  – only desiring him not to let them {it} go out of his hands, & to return it at his earliest convenience –

It is possible enough that you may see me in about four weeks. Some circumstances have occurred which are likely to draw me to town. – I want change of air also. Last Monday I had just such a stomach seizure at dinner as that in January, [5]  – but without any sympathy in the head. But I think in both cases the cause was the same – In the first I had for the first time in my life swallowd a mouthful of celery, – & in the last just after my after my mutton, eaten a raddish radish per se. I thought it necessary however to play Pomp upon the occasion, & shall enact the same part again to night. Torpid bowels, & an exceeding feebleness of pulse are what I have to remedy. You will wonder that a man with such a tortoises pulse should have such squirrel like spirits.

God bless you

RS.

May 21. 1813.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer.
Endorsement: 21 May 1813
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] i.e. a half-banknote – a secure way of sending money in the post, by tearing banknotes in half and sending the two halves separately. Southey had requested the cash in May; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 May 1813, Letter 2257. BACK

[2] John William Knox (1784–1862), an usher at Westminster School 1806–1821, clergyman and Latin scholar. For his previous correspondence with Southey; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 February 1813, Letter 2219. BACK

[3] A reworking of Macbeth, Act 1, scene 3, lines 79–80: ‘The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,/ And these are of them’. BACK

[4] MS copies of parts of Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[5] See Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 3 January 1813, Letter 2196. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013