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

2544. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [16 January 1815]⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Frere has sent me an Epitaph upon Nelson which he wishes to have annexed to the Life, [1]  – he has not given his address & I do not know it. Will you therefore beg Gifford to direct the inclosed to him. [2] 

I have by this evenings post a letter from a Frenchman to this effect; – that many of my compatriots have spoken to him in high terms of my terms {works} & particularly of Roderick, that he is an interpreter & translator, whose last performance has been a translation of the Castle of Indolence, [3]  – that he is very desirous of making my book known in France, but upon seeing its price in the Times he confesses that it is above his faculties, (I wish the poem may not be more so!) that if I have a defective copy provided it be compleat, & will lend have the good goodness to send it to Paris, he will immediately make his version with all possible with all possible care & religiously return the copy. There is a bookseller who will print it. And if I will send any other of my works which I may wish to have known by the French people, – he will be happy to translate them also!!! Here’s a fine fellow for you. His name is Mierre, & he ends with a flourish about the Republic of Letters [4] 

I have got your Letters [5]  & Rickmans paper. [6]  Ballantyne sent all the MSS [7]  which you have at the same time, & the rest I doubt not has been lost, but I will inquire for it, if only to make him feel that he has done an uncivil thing

RS.


Notes

* Address: To / G. C. Bedford Esqre / Exchequer
Endorsement: 16 Jany. 1815
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Frere had sent an epitaph to be annexed to a future edition of Southey’s Life of Nelson. It was not attached to the third edition of 1825. BACK

[2] The inclosed was Southey to John Hookham Frere, 16 January 1815, Letter 2545. BACK

[3] James Thomson (1700–1748; DNB), The Castle of Indolence (1748). BACK

[4] Auguste-Jacques Le Mierre d’Argy (1762–1815), Le Château de l’Indolence, Poème en Deux Chants, suivi de Deux autres Poèmes, Traduit, Avec le Texte en Regard (1814). Although he did not live to translate Roderick, two French versions were published: Roderic, dernier roi des Goths. Poème, traduit de l’anglais de Robert Southey, Esq., poète lauréat, par M. le Chevalier *** (1821) and Roderick, le dernier des Goths, poëme, 3 vols, in Oeuvres poétiques de Robert Southey, traduites de l’anglais par M. B. de S. (1820). BACK

[5] Grosvenor Bedford’s Letters and Miscellaneous Papers … With a Memoir of His Life (1814) of his cousin Barré Charles Roberts, who had died in 1810 aged 21. It was reviewed by Southey in the Quarterly Review, 12 (January 1815), 509–519. BACK

[6] Unidentified. BACK

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

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Published @ RC

August 2013