2456. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 6 July 1814 

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

2456. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 6 July 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. 6 July 1814

My dear Grosvenor

If your arm is not better, ask some of your medical advisers if the vapour bath may not be tried for it. In Lewis & Clarkes Travels there are two most extraordinary cases of its efficacy, – both in point, – one being of violent rheumatism, another of paralysis. [1] 

Do’nt abuse the poor Longmen. The vulgarity & familiarity of the proposed title were mine, who supposed all Imperials & Majesties were as needless at the head of an ode as Graces & Most Nobles on the superscription of a letter. [2]  My letter to Croker was perfectly explicit, – that is as explicit as it could be when it was matter of doubt whether the Odes would be published or not. It stated that I did not know whether it would be proper or improper to present them to the beöded, – that he did; – & that copies should be sent him to be thus disposed of, at his discretion. [3]  Longman was of course directed to send him 4 copies (the one being for himself) – & Murray, – who I fancy has been taken with some fit of the sulks towards me, God knows why or wherefore – had nothing to do with the business.

As to presenting one to the Prince I suppose it is one of those cases in which there is no choice. Learn of Longman whether there will be a second edition, for only 250 were struck off, on account of haste. [4]  If they be reprinted the insertion which I sent you will be made, [5]  & the errors corrected, – there were two of material consequence – sea – instead of sun, – & breach instead of beach. [6]  In this case the improved copy should be that which should be presented: – tho it is of very little importance, – & indeed it is very likely that 250 should have been sold. So get one bound & put it into Crokers hands; certainly no other copy will ever be bound separately, & therefore this will be so far curious. But I shall make no more presents of this kind, & having done my devoir in xxxxx odifying the Prince, feel neither xxx the {the} propriety nor {the} inclination of dedicating Roderick to him. [7] 

I am very near the end of this long labour. The 22d section is transcribed for you, – the 23d in course of transcription, – & I shall perhaps finish the 24th this evening. The 25th will be the last. Pray send me those in your hands as soon as possible – not to delay the publication. [8] 

As soon as this is compleated I shall begin “A Tale of Paraguay” – the story (a true one) is very simple but very sweet – the x extent from 1000 to 1500 lines. [9] 

I suppose Longman wisely abstained from farther advertisement as being too late. Are you aware that the regular expence of advertising each of my books is amounts to £30? – & that the profit of these Odes will not be thirty shillings. Verily pr Very probably they will not pay their expences. As for them being better known at Murrays than in the Row, – they could of course be at Murrays. – They do me credit however & that is enough.

Thank the Magrot for his official. Remember me most kindly to him & to your mother & Miss Page. Here we are all well. The Ancient (Mrs C) is with Sara at Netherhall trying what the sea will do for Sara. – I had been anxiously looking to hear from you for some days.

God bless you

RS.

If I were upon the spot I should dearly like to have a tool cut for the side of the binding, representing bag, sword & ruffles, – fit ornaments for a full dress court binding.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9 Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 9 JY 9/ 1814
Endorsement: 6. July. 1814
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Meriweather Lewis (1774–1809) and William Clark (1770–1838), Travels to the Source of the Missouri River, and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean, 3 vols (1814), II, pp. 234–236 (rheumatism); III, pp. 210–211 (paralysis). Southey reviewed the book in Quarterly Review, 12 (January 1815), 317–368. BACK

[2] Bedford had objected to Southey’s original titles for the poems published as Congratulatory Odes. Odes to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent, His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Russia, and His Majesty the King of Prussia (1814). BACK

[3] See Southey to [John Wilson Croker], 14 June 1814, Letter 2440. BACK

[4] The Congratulatory Odes did not go into a second edition in 1814. BACK

[5] A new section for ‘Ode to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland’, III; Congratulatory Odes. Odes to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent, His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Russia, and His Majesty the King of Prussia (London, 1814), p. 8; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 June [1814], Letter 2441. BACK

[6] ‘Ode to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland’, III and IV; Congratulatory Odes. Odes to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent, His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Russia, and His Majesty the King of Prussia (London, 1814), pp. 7 and 18. BACK

[7] Southey had considered dedicating Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814) to the Prince Regent, and sent Bedford a draft dedication; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [30 April-1 May 1814], Letter 2412. In the end, the poem was dedicated to Grosvenor Bedford. BACK

[8] Southey had been sending Bedford MS drafts of Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[9] A Tale of Paraguay (1825). Southey’s source was Martin Dobrizhoffer (1717–1791), Historia de Abiponibus (1783–1784). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013