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

2306. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 September 1813 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Jove favente  [1]  – that is using Jupiter for the weather, – which is not using him very respectfully. I will walk in to breakfast with you on Friday next. – I expect to move into London bag & baggage on the 6th or 7th of October, after which removal I hold myself in readiness to accompany you to Ealing at whatever time may Mr Roberts may please to appoint.

I wish this Laureateship were gazetted, for my intention is to make the paltry salary of turn to important account by vesting the whole in an insurance upon my own life. It will nearly or entirely cover a policy for 3000 £. I am already insured for 1000 £. This windfall therefore goes so far towards making a respectable decent provision for my family that I am anxious to effect the insurance, & therefore very desirous that the appointment should be confirmed.

Will you & Henry come & dine here on Thursday next? – There is one bed here, & another can be had at the public house, – a good one. I will walk in with you the next morning, – or that night if you do not like to sleep away from home. Our dinner hour is four, but may be five, or later if it suit you better. – Writez-vous, comez-vous, & so farewelly-vous.

RS.

Tuesday morning. Sept 21. 1813

I have just heard news which seems too good, I xx rather {&} of too much magnitude to be believed. That we are in the last act of this bloody tragedy I believe, – but I can hardly believe {think} that we are in the last scene, which yet xx {the last scene} must be over if this news should prove true! [2] 


Notes

* Address: [deletion and insertion in another hand] To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer {late of} 9. Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate
Postmark: [partial] 7 o’Clo/1813
Endorsement: Streatham 21 Sept 1813
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘If the god [Jove] is willing’. BACK

[2] French forces were in retreat all over Europe. In Germany they had been defeated by the Sixth Coalition at the battles of Dennewitz, 6 September 1813 and Göhrde, 16 September 1813; in Spain, allied forces had taken San Sebastian on 7–8 September 1813, clearing the way for an invasion of France. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013