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

2673. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 6 December 1815 ⁠* 

Wednesday 6 Dec. 1815

My dear Grosvenor

Here we are, safe & sound, & without accident, & we have found all well, – God be thanked. Our return was a sort of triumph, – & you would have been as well pleased at the children had you heard me harangue like a show man as we unpackd the play things & exhibited them one after the other.

My table is spread with letters, – by the next post I shall endeavour to draw up the memorial [1]  & send to you thro Rickman. [2] 

I have a farther cause of quarrel in the Q Review. [3]  Look at p 476 & see what is said of the Convention of Cintra. [4]  My words were these (for luckily we preserved the sheets as originally printd) – ‘a transaction of which the pernicious moral effects would have outweighed its political advantage had these even been ten times greater than its most interested defenders could ever have th imagined it to possess. This disgraceful event came fearfully in aid of the despondents” [5]  &c – You may be sure I shall decry the impudent alteration which has been made. These people little know the man whom they have to deal with!

God bless you. Remember me to all at home, & tell your brother I shall never enjoy his society as I wish to do, until he makes a holy day & comes down to spend it here.

RS.

I must beg to remedy a neglect xxxxxxxx occasioned by a forgetfulness of always carrying silver about me. Give Knox [6]  10/6, & request him to give it for me, or more properly for Edith to Mrs Vardons servant Mary. [7]  The black Night [8]  will have opportunities of executing this commission.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 9 DEC 9/ 1815
Endorsement: 6 Decr. 1815
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A memorial to request that the import duty on the books Southey had bought on his recent travels be waived or reduced; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 16 December 1815, Letter 2683. BACK

[2] The memorial was enclosed in Southey to John Rickman, 8 December 1815, Letter 2680. BACK

[3] Southey was unhappy with changes made by Croker to his review of Eustache-Auguste Carel (1788–1836), Précis Historique de la Guerre d’Espagne et de Portugal, de 1808 à 1814 (1815); Jean Sarrazin (1770–1848), Histoire de la Guerre d’Espagne et de Portugal, de 1807 à 1814 (1814); General View of the Political State of France, and of the Government of Louis XVIII (1815); An Answer to the Calumniators of Louis XVIII (1815); Official Accounts of the Battle of Waterloo (1815); Lieutenant-General W. A. Scott (dates unknown), Battle of Waterloo (1815), Quarterly Review, 13 (July 1815), 448–526. See Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 17 November 1815 (Letter 2670), Southey to John Murray, [22 November 1815] (Letter 2671) and, for the fullest surviving account of events, Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 15 December 1815 (Letter 2682). BACK

[4] Under the terms of the Convention of Cintra (30 August 1808) the defeated French were allowed to evacuate their troops from Portugal. BACK

[5] Southey objected that a section praising Wellington’s reaction to the Convention as ‘a presage of [his] … extraordinary military foresight’ had been interpolated; Quarterly Review, 13 (July 1815), 476. BACK

[6] John William Knox (1784–1862), clergyman, scholar and usher at Westminster School 1806–1821. BACK

[7] Mary’s surname and dates are unknown. BACK

[8] i.e. Atra Nox, a nickname for Knox. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013