3246. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 February 1819

3246. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 February 1819 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Your pencils [1]  ought, within sixpence, to pay carriage for the parcel which contains them & which I send off by this nights mail, – having no other means of transmitting its contents, – & yet not without compunction at plag troubling you with it. Will you send the one for me to Wilberforce – (it contains a Portugueze abridgement of the History of the Abolition of the S Trade – sent thro me – to be printed) [2]  – & will you get a potential frank for Sir Howard Douglas. [3]  His packet contains some papers about Spain which he sent me. They were not worth much, – nevertheless they require as much civility in acknowledging them as if they were of greater value. The commencement of my intercourse with him was curious. He wrote to me saying that a friend of mine Mr Townsend of Sandhurst [4]  (I think) or of Marlow (I forget which) had asked him to communicate papers to me. – I know no person of that name – except Chauncy T. – & he does not know Sir Howard Douglas. – However without attempting to discover the mistake I thanked him – received his papers, & now return them, – in expectation of receiving more, & t in hope that what may come after may be worth more.

I have a severe cold, – & my stomach has been very much disordered. My sick headaches are more frequent than they were wont to be, & the acidity of the stomach such as almost to skin the throat, – leaving it in a most uncomfortable state for many xx hours after the stomach is relieved. Next time I mean to try the experiment of drinking milk instead of warm water, – upon the old sheathing philosophy. Then I think I may mitigate, xx perhaps prevent the annoyance.

I wish I had any better intelligence to impart – but all in good time I trust.

God bless you


15 Feby. 1819.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsements: 15. Feb. 1819/ Dr S. for Heartburn; 15 Feby. 1819
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Keswick was a centre of pencil manufacture because of the nearby graphite mines in Borrowdale. Southey had presumably bought some pencils as a gift for Bedford. BACK

[2] Henry Koster’s abridgement and translation into Portuguese of Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave–Trade by the British Parliament (1808). BACK

[3] At the time of this letter Douglas was Inspector-General of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. BACK

[4] George Townsend (1788–1857; DNB), author and clergyman. Professor at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and Curate of Franborough 1816–1822, Chaplain to the Bishop of Durham 1822–1825, Prebend of Durham Cathedral 1825–1857. BACK