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

2534. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 31 December [1814] ⁠* 

My dear G.

When you have read the inclosed, seal it & dispatch it by the twopenny post. See what it is to move in fetters! In my own opinion the Ode is just fit to be fiddled first, & bum-fiddled afterwards. – Is the other worth altering to suit the peace change of circumstances, & publishing in the newspapers? Better not perhaps – [1] 

Use your own discretion with regard to Mr. R. [2]  the whole circumstances are before you.

I have a letter from Murray to night, catching at the Register, [3]  but requesting that I will not allow it to transpire, as he has many reasons for wishing the first volume may be sold before the author is known. Secresy I well know, is very useful in such cases, – but I know likewise that the first ten pages would suffice to swear the book to its father. We shall begin with the peace, [4]  – for I learn from him that the Ballantyne has just published a volume for 1812. [5]  – It is a heavy load which I am taking upon myself, – but it will lighten me in other respects, – for I never was more in want of money. This will set all to rights.

Do not detain the Mus: Doc:’s verses, for I promised them by the post.

God bless you

RS.

31 Dec.

Do not forget to send Rickmans reviewals remarks on the value of money


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer.
Endorsement: 31. Decr. 1814/ with 2d. Ode.
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey enclosed with this letter his second attempt at a New Year’s ode for 1815, ‘The palm of peace is won’. The enclosure does not survive and the poem only exists in one draft version, dated ‘29 Dec. 1814’ in Southey’s notebook, now Huntington MS 2733, ff. 16v-17r. The ‘other’ was Southey’s first attempt, which was not published in the newspapers and first appeared as ‘Ode, Written in December 1814’, Minor Poems, 3 vols (London, 1815), II, pp. 227–238. BACK

[2] Possibly Edward Roberts. BACK

[3] Murray was suggesting he might take over the Edinburgh Annual Register and that Southey might write for this publication again. BACK

[4] The Treaty of Paris, signed 30 May 1814, which ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition. BACK

[5] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1812 (1814). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013