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

2297. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [4 September 1813]⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

I have a letter from Scott, for which you will like him the better. [1]  You know I was half expected this result, & after what the Magister Rotulorum told me yesterday, had had time to reflect upon it. So I have written to C. telling him (of course in a proper manner,) that I will take the office if it be understood that I am at liberty to write upon great public events or to be silent as the spirit moves, – but not if the regular routine be exacted. [2]  This is putting it upon the proper footing; & if it be given me upon these terms, whatever ridicule may be directed toward me upon the at present, the office will be redeemed from it for ever more.

I shall call at the Admiralty on Monday. Will you give Henry the books of Roderic [3]  to take there, as I want them for Tuesday. Thank him for his note.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Postmarks: [partial 4] SP 4
Endorsements: September 4. 1813; 4 Septr. 1813; 4 Septr. 1813
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished.
Dating note: Dating from endorsements. BACK

[1] Scott’s letter of 1 September [1813], told Southey that he had declined the Poet Laureateship and instead recommended him to Croker. Scott also cautioned ‘I am uncertain if you will like it, for the laurel has certainly been tarnished by some of its wearers, and as at present managed, its duties are inconvenient and somewhat liable to ridicule’, H. C. Grierson (ed.), The Letters of Walter Scott, 1787–1832, 12, vols (London, 1932–1937), III, pp. 335–336. For Southey’s reply, see Robert Southey to Walter Scott, 5 November 1813, Letter 2323. BACK

[2] Robert Southey to John Wilson Croker, [4 September 1813], Letter 2298. BACK

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

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August 2013