2287. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 7 August 1813
2287. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 7 August 1813 *
Keswick. Aug 7. 1813.
My dear Grosvenor
I expect to leave home on this day week, or the Monday following, according as the Coach day may fall out, – for I am not quite sure what the alternate days are at present. – You shall see or hear of me the day of my arrival, but Queen Ann Street will be a nearer post than Stafford Row. Most probably I shall make my way to Streatham the same day, – or certes the next, – & employ the morning in paying my respects to Hyde,  & looking in at the Exchequer & St Stephens Court. 
Thank you for the Bag hint  which will certainly be adopted. The sisters  are this moment in close conclave about it
I am exceedingly pleased at the thought of seeing Von Hesse.  Learn also from Blanco if Estrada  be in England. It is of consequence that I should find him out, for I know not by what other quarter to obtain information of the affairs of Asturias.
B. & I are at issue at last. He has declared his intention of cheating me, & I have declared mine of resisting defending myself as well as I can. So I bring up with me the concluding mss. (about 4 sheets) without which the volume  cannot be published, & all the documents to put into Turners hands, in case Scott should not bring him to act honestly. We have not yet come to hard words; – but he sees enough to know that he cannot succeed in his scheme without being exposed for a scoundrel. I shall write to Scott tomorrow.  This evening is likely to be more agreably employed in finishing the 11th book of Roderick.  A paltry difficulty of which those only who are in the habit of such compositions can form any adequate notion has in truth, stopt me for many months; & now it is got over. No doggedness can get over these things; – I always find out the way in time, – but it is never by looking for it. And now the whole way is plain. The 10th book is better than any thing you have seen, & will hardly be surpassed in the course of the poem, – tho there are situations in store which are not inferior. I consider myself so far advanced, & the termination so clearly in view, that I shall go to press soon after my return. The stimulus of a proof sheet is my best spur, & I must publish in the spring because vivendum est  while the history is in hand,  & you know all I have to reckon upon is what passes thro your hands, except what can be distilled from the point of the gray goose quill.
Do you not expect to see a peace patched up? I am fully prepared for it, & I execrate the miserable councils which can lead to any thing so preposterous. The Russians are tired of the war; – their commissariat is the worst in the world, – they have no feeling in the cause now that it is removed from their own country, – & worse than all Alexander is a block head.  This is Sir R Wilsons account!  Prussia on the contrary is sound wind & limb, – just as Von Hesse would wish it to be, – but Prussia cannot stand alone, nor I fear with the assistance of Sweden. If indeed Germany were but true to itself all would be well, but the moment was let pass, & for this we are mainly to blame. We had as much time to raise a Hanov an army in Hanover as B. had to raise one in France. – Hamburgh too ought to have been defended like Zaragoza, & it could not have been destroyed in the same manner, because it could cannot be mined. 
But to use the fine phrase of the Persians ‘farther the light-footd steed of the pen must not find permission to proceed upon the plain of prolixity’.  So God bless you –
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 10 AU 10/ 1813
Endorsement: August 7. 1813
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 4p.
 Southey’s wife, Edith, and two sisters-in-law, Sara Coleridge and Mary Lovell. BACK
 Jonas Ludwig von Hess (1756–1823), who organised the defence of Hamburg against French and Danish forces in 1813. BACK
 Alvaro Florez Estrada (1765–1853), Spanish economist, lawyer and liberal. He was a prominent member of the Cadiz Cortes. BACK
 Southey delayed. He sent Scott a summary of his dealings with Ballantyne on 31 August 1813 (Letter 2294). BACK
 Alexander I (1777–1825; Tsar of Russia 1801–1825). There was a temporary truce between France and the forces of the Sixth Coalition in Germany 4 June-13 August 1813. BACK
 The army officer Sir Robert Wilson (1777–1849; DNB). He had travelled to Russia in 1812 and was a first-hand witness of the campaign against the French invaders. BACK
 Hamburg had been re-captured by the French on 28 May 1813; it was not defended as the city of Zaragoza was through two protracted sieges in 1808–1809. BACK