3102. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 23 March 1818

3102. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 23 March 1818⁠* 

My dear G.

An acquaintance [1]  of the Doxtors afflicts me with letters about a correspondence between Lord Wellington & Dumouriez concerning the defence of Portugal, which he says Dumouriez is proud of showing, & which he teazes me to apply for. [2] 

This I will not do. But if you should happen to meet D. at Ealing, [3]  – (as peradventure you may do) bear it mind, & ask to see it if it be worth while.

Wynn will show you two other specimens of this Prospectus, [4]  – Haruth & Maruth [5]  look very much as if they had their tails between their legs. – There is a great deal of merit in some of the specimens which have sent me. I know nothing of the Artist except that he introduces himself as being known to Mrs Lloyd. You may subscribe if you please, – & if you can get a few names for him, so much the better.

Longman must have detained the box much beyond the time that you expected, – for it has not arrived yet. [6] 

The French book came yesterday from Murraymagne. [7]  & I shall now finish the introductory chapter, & so to press forthwith.

Poor Sotheby! those stanzas in Beppo will half kill him. [8] 



23 March 1818.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9 Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate
Endorsements: 23 March 1818; 23 March 1818/ Designs for Thalaba
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Note on MS: the letter is accompanied by an enclosure, an advertisement for William Hawkes Smith, Essays in Design From Southey’s Poem of ‘Thalaba’ (1818). BACK

[1] This ‘acquaintance’ was Elton Hamond; see Robert Southey to Elton Hamond, 21 February 1818, Letter 3079. BACK

[2] Charles-François du Périer Dumouriez (1739–1823) was a French Revolutionary general who defected to Austria in 1793 and lived in Britain from 1804. Dumouriez corresponded with Wellington during the Peninsular War, advising him on the topography and geography of Portugal – advice Wellington found largely inaccurate. BACK

[3] In 1812 Dumouriez had moved to Rochester House in Ealing. Bedford was a regular visitor to the area as his friend (and Southey’s correspondent), Edward Roberts, lived there. BACK

[4] William Hawkes Smith, Essays in Design Drawn and Etched by W. H. Smith, …Illustrative of the Poem of ‘Thalaba the Destroyer’ by R. Southey (1818). An advertisement and two plates from this work accompanied Southey’s letter; see Southey to William Hawkes Smith, 21 March 1818, Letter 3099. BACK

[5] Two angels whose judgement for their wrongdoing is described in Southey’s Thalaba the Destroyer (1801), Book 4, lines 102–167. BACK

[6] Southey awaited a consignment of books from Milan, which he had bought in June 1817. BACK

[7] Murray had previously sent Southey the first two volumes of Jean Baptist Germain Fabry (1770–1821), Le Génie de la Révolution Considéré dans l’Education ou Mémoires pour Servir a l’Histoire de l’Instruction Publique, Depuis 1789 jusqu’à Nos Jours (1817–1818). He had now sent the third so as to aid Southey’s researches for History of the Peninsular War, 3 vols (London, 1823–1832), I, pp. 3–62. BACK

[8] Incensed by an anonymous letter criticising his poems that he took to be by William Sotheby (1757–1833; DNB), Byron published some excoriating lines about Sotheby in Beppo, a Venetian Story (1818), stanzas 69–71, in which Sotheby appeared, among many other things, as ‘the sublime/ Of mediocrity’. BACK

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