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

2387. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 March [1814] ⁠* 

My dear G.

If the Times had been desirous of inserting my Ode [1]  they would have done so without scruple. Were you to send it there it would like an over-solicitude on my part for its circulation. I never see that paper, – but I know the Editor – & that accounts for the praise you tell me of. [2]  – side winds of this kind are very useful.

Return me these books [3]  as soon as you can after they have travelled to the Docster & to Streatham. You will see that in the 14th as in all other parts of the poem, I make the past action understood without entering into any formal narrative of it, – & at the end of the 15th that I am not afraid of being called an imitator. – 12 sheets are printed which contain nearly 7 books.

Did you not rescue from Gifford the mss of the article upon the Poor, [4]  which was mutilated as unmercifully as this last paper.

God bless you

RS.

March 9.


Notes

* Endorsement: March 9. 1814/ with 14th. &15th books of Roderick
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘Ode Written During the Negotiations with Bonaparte’, published in the Courier, 3 February 1814. A ‘corrected copy’, entitled ‘Ode, Written in January 1814’, appeared in The Times, 21 April 1814. BACK

[2] Probably John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB), who played a prominent role in The Times until 1817. Stoddart’s praise of Southey, most likely reported to Bedford in conversation, was not surprising, given his print condemnation of one of the Laureate’s most vociferous oponents William Hazlitt. The latter was Stoddart’s brother-in-law. BACK

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

[4] Southey’s article on the poor in Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356. BACK

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August 2013