1714. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 26 November 1809 *
Nov. 26. 1809
Get a name potential  for me upon the inclosed, which contains the three concluding sections of Kehama.  I finished it yesterday, – but it goes wafered  because you have not seen the all the foregoing parts. As fast as possible I shall compleat Toms copy, – you must I think already have been struck with the resemblance between the Man-Almighty  & the Butler  & you will be still more so as you proceed.
Huzza! I have made such a brave Hell  that you will almost wish yourself there for the pleasure of seeing it. When you see Elmsley tell him the Poem is done – he is one of the very few persons who encouraged me to go on with it. Tell him also that I rhymed it to please myself & not the public, & that I have the consolation of foreseeing that xxx such> rhymes will be infinitely more obnoxious than the Thalaban  blank verse.
Next week I suppose will bring me the new number of the Quarterly & the last with it.
Tom is in the Lyra Brig,  made acting Commander by Sotheby.  We are applying to get him confirmed, – which will not be done, being contrary to system, – but there is some hope that they will promote him shortly after having set him aside
My Uncle has had his choice of two livings offered him, St Pauls Covent Garden, or Streatham by the D of Bedford.  I believe he can accept of neither, – but this is as yet undetermined. At present he seems to prefer his fine situation in Herefordshire with 600 a year to Streatham 1000£ – in my judgement very wisely.
God bless you
RS. O.P 
 Southey had begun to plan a romance on this subject in 1804; it was not until 1823 that he began drafting the verse, in collaboration with Caroline Bowles. The poem remained unfinished, and was published posthumously as a fragment in an edition by Bowles: Robin Hood: a Fragment by the Late Robert Southey and Caroline Southey, with other Fragments and Poems (1847). BACK
 A reference to the ‘OP’ or ‘Old Price Riots’ of 1809 which were caused by rising prices at the new theatre at Covent Garden after the previous one had been destroyed by fire. The riots began 18 September 1809 and lasted three months, ending with the theatre manager, John Philip Kemble (1757–1823; DNB) being forced to make a public apology. The rioters referred to themselves as OPs. BACK