2642. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 8 August 1815 *
My dear Grosvenor
Correct in the reviewal of Barrés Papers a printers blunder which destroys the sense. last page but one, & in the middle of the page it is you will find these words “The resemblance may be preserved;” this word ought to be presumed. 
You have given me too much panegyric, & you have retained the error of supposing that Siverian suspects Roderick in the scene by the river.  This is the state of Siverians mind, – till he heard Florindas exculpation of his master he had never thought of the possibility of his being alive, because he had never wished it: afterwards, the wish led him to x dream upon the possibility, – but not in any way as connected with Maccabee.  – The strongest objection which has been, or can be urged against the poem is that Roderick should not be recognized – but the fact is strictly possible. A friend of mine (poor Charles Danvers) after a fortnights absence during which he had been exp very exposed to weather, sleeping out of doors, & in an open boat, & had endured the greatest anxiety (in assisting a man  to escape to America who would have been hanged for high treason if he had been taken) was so altered as literally not to be recognized at the end of that time by an old servant of the family. – Think also what a difference grey hairs will make: & how soon grief will produce this change has often been seen. When the Queen of France was murdered her hair was perfectly white.  This I have carefully marked in Roderick. I have also made his mother recognize him upon the first hint, & Siverian also.  As for Julian, it is nowhere implied that he has ever seen Roderick; – on the contrary Africa was his home.
I wish you were here. I have set on foot a grand project: nothing less than that of rejoicing for the Battle of Waterloo  & the capture of Buonaparte,  by a bonfire on the top of Skiddaw upon the Princes birth day.  It will be seen far into Scotland & by all the country round – like Baly’s cauldron in Kehama.  By the Lord Grosvenor if you were here we would sup together as near the stars as the Olympic Gods themselves, & see how the chasms & precipices of old Skiddaw look by fire light.
Send me your journal.  xxxxxxx The Docstor is about to run over to Waterloo & Brussels on his marriage, & if I can mean to go with him, one inducement being that there is a vacant place in the coach, so that my <the> mere conveyance of my corpus will cost nothing. Can you help me to some money between this & the beginning of Sept.? – I work hard in order to start for London tomorrow three weeks. Our stay xx in Flanders is limited to a month, & I shall halt two or three weeks on my return, in xxx & about town.
God bless you
8 Aug. 1815.
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Endorsement: 8 August 1815
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), II, pp. 420–422. BACK
 Grosvenor Bedford’s Letters and Miscellaneous Papers … With a Memoir of His Life (1814) of his cousin Barré Charles Roberts; reviewed by Southey in the Quarterly Review, 12 (January 1815), 509–519 (esp. 518). BACK