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

2634. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 9 July 1815 ⁠* 

9 July 1815. Keswick

My dear G

I would rather have ascribed your illness to a bilious affection, produced by the unusual heat of the weather, than to any other cause. Rickman has been very ill in this way – & the wife of our Vicar here was carried off in three days by cholera morbus. [1]  Send me a bulletin of your health.

I beseech you now that the xxxxx xxxx lose no time in consulting Hyde [2]  concerning my complexion, – for my back standeth in need of adornment from his hand.

My Courier has failed to day most provokingly, – so that {what} your letter contains is all the news I have. You make me very much afraid that we have been playing the fool at Paris as we did at Cintra. [3]  Wars of this character ought to be carried on in the spirit of vengeance – & if Louis [4]  does not hang all the Marshals who forsook him & banish every General & Colonel, he ought to be hanged himself. [5] 

Supposing all to be quiet on the continent, will you take a run with me there in October?

As for Whitbread [6]  I just wish him ill enough to hope that some body may collect his speeches The Readers cannot fail to compare the events with the predictions, – & may thereby discover of what stuff an opposition statesman is made. – I have been a little out myself about this war, – I thought if it were properly begun it would be ended in about six weeks, – & it seems that was three too much.

Not yet have I seen the Review. [7]  Murray sent off a parcel on Tuesday, & with such is the usual negligence & rascality of coach offices it is not yet arrived.

God bless you

RS.

Quomodo valet Belisarius, X alias

Narses, alias Hodge, alias the Aldercat? [8] 


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsement: 9 July 1815
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Sarah (d. 1815), wife of Isaac Denton (c. 1758–1820), Vicar of Crosthwaite, Keswick, 1786–1820. BACK

[2] Southey had asked Bedford to order him a new coat from his London tailor, Hyde (first name unknown; d. 1820). Southey’s preference was for drab, but Edith Southey had forbidden this; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 24 June 1815, Letter 2621. BACK

[3] The Convention of Cintra (1808) had allowed the French to evacuate their defeated troops from Portugal, without further fighting – a policy that Southey detested. BACK

[4] Louis XVIII (1755–1824; King of France 1814–1824). BACK

[5] The new French government pursued a cautious attitude towards Napoleon’s followers in the army: only Generals Michel Ney (1769–1815) and Charles de la Bedoyere (1786–1815) were executed, though a number of key figures were exiled (most temporarily). BACK

[6] The radical MP Samuel Whitbread (1764–1815; DNB). BACK

[7] The latest issue of the Quarterly Review. BACK

[8] ‘How are you?’; followed by the various names of Grosvenor Bedford’s cat. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013