Printer-friendly versionSend by email
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1510. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 20 September 1808 ⁠* 

No public news has ever vext me half so much as this from Portugal. Defeat is less disgraceful than such victory. Is Sir A Wellesley mad? – for who is the Duc d’Abrantes with whom he has treated? – We know no such title. the Portugueze know it not. Junot he should have signed his name, if he had been suffered to sign it at all, & not delivered up as he ought to have been; to the justice of the Portugueze, & hung with his infamous proclamation about his neck.

The treaty {terms} ought not to be ratified, & the Generals who made them ought to be given up to the French with halters about their necks. [1] 

Damnation!

____

I am going home for six days.

Tuesday. Sept. 20.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ [in another hand] 9 Stafford Place/ Pimlico
Endorsement: 20 Septr 1808
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s exasperation was caused by the Convention of Cintra, signed on 30 August, whereby the French army commanded by Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duke of Abrantès (1771–1813) and defeated by Anglo-Portuguese forces under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the 1st Duke of Wellington) (1769–1852; DNB) at Vimeiro on 21 August, was allowed to retreat intact, with its weapons, from Portugal. Wellesley, who did not sign the Convention, had been superseded in command by two veteran generals, just arrived in Iberia, who were content to make peace: Sir Harry Burrard (1755–1813; DNB) and Sir Hew Dalrymple (1750–1830; DNB). Public outcry led to an inquiry, after which Burrard and Dalrymple never again took command. BACK

About this Page

Published @ RC

August 2013