1768. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 April 1810

1768. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 April 1810 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Thank your brother for me, – I am much obliged to him for satisfying me that no better account is to be obtained than the lame one which I have made up from the gazettes & newspapers. Unless I had the good fortune to fall in with Keat Sir R. Keats [1]  or some intelligent officer who was on the spot. [2]  – Thank you also for your zeal in the service of Poor Roberts’s family, – you will certainly find a season at Ealing, [3]  when the matter may be mentioned xxx merely without indelicacy, – I have written to Stockwell [4]  & shall attack Wynn.

When you see Elmsley remind him that I want my motto for Kehama put into Greek. [5]  It was one of the thousand & one odd sayings of my Uncle William, [6]  a strange half-witted man whose history would make an interesting page in the memoirs of my own life should I ever have leisure to leave such a work behind me. As some memorial of him I shall like to see him gravely quoted in Greek. Elmsley is therefore desired to refer to the sayings of Uncle William in good Christian Greek, – & he will pass for one of the Greek fathers.

God bless you


April 4. 1810


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ [in another hand] no 9 Stafford Row/ Pimlico/ J. C. Herries
Endorsement: 4 April 1810
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats (1757–1834; DNB). BACK

[2] Southey had hoped to obtain an account of the evacuation of the Spanish army from Denmark in 1808 from Captain Thomas Graves (d. 1834); see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 March 1810, Letter 1763. For Southey’s account of these events, see Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808, 1.1 (1810), 333–335. BACK

[3] Barré Charles Roberts was from Ealing, so this may be a reference to his father, Edward Roberts. BACK

[4] To solicit a subscription from Thomas Woodruffe Smith. BACK

[5] The motto (‘Curses are like young chicken, they always come home to roost’) was put into Greek and appeared on the title page of The Curse of Kehama (1810). It was attributed to ‘the unedited sayings of William of Met’. BACK

[6] William Tyler (dates unknown). BACK