2900. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 17 January 1817

2900. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 17 January 1817⁠* 

My dear G.

I hope, & conclude from the temper of your letter, that your beauty is all that has suffered any serious injury in these providential escapes. – A few lines I write in haste, – because this is an opportunity of conveying them. It was desirable to include in the book the matter of certain former articles: & as it is proper to state this in a prefatory advertisement that acknowledgement may cover as much or as little as is convenient. So the present article goes first into the Review, & then great part of it is transferred to the book; – the first part with little alteration; the latter with omissions, & additions, & in a different arrangement. [1] 

The sauces I ought to have told you are sold in little cases, which Burgess will send per wagon, per se. [2] 

It does not surprize me that I guest rightly at the scheme of the Noddles in office – to call them Heads would be paying them an undeserved compliment. What else indeed could they mean? – I wish M Wellesley were in their place.

Gifford is right about Rectum, & perhaps he will strike out the quotation from

Hobbes also, – if he does he will be wrong. [3] 

My table is covered with sedition. How is it that they suffer these things to be printed without stamps – Cobbett thus sells from 40 to 50,000 per week & is sold at two pence each. [4] 

Remember me to all at home

God bless you


17 Janry. 1817


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9 Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate/ W G
Endorsement: 17 January 1817
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘Parliamentary Reform’, Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 225–278 (published 11 February 1817), which Southey at this stage intended to form part of a book on the ‘State of the Nation’. BACK

[2] Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 7 December 1816 (Letter 2874) had requested that Bedford procure sauces for Southey from the firm of John Burgess and Son, sauce manufacturers, 107 Strand, London. BACK

[3] Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 December 1816 (Letter 2888) contained a passage for a forthcoming article, ‘Parliamentary Reform’, Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 248 (published 11 February 1817), which he was so sure would be cut out that he placed it in brackets. The passage was indeed not published, though his quotation from Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679; DNB), Leviathan (1651), Chapter 29, ‘Of Those Things That Weaken or Tend to the Dissolution of a Commonwealth’, did appear. BACK

[4] In November 1816, by removing news items but retaining comment, Cobbett had avoided stamp duty on his weekly journal the Political Register (1802–1835) reducing its price to two pence, and so reaching a wider readership. BACK