3311. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 June 1819

3311. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 10 June 1819⁠* 

My Dear G.

To your wish – I must put off my southwards, – but for more than a month. – I had to chuse between this prorogation, & giving up an engagement which for three years had been put off year by year, from different causes (last year because of the Queens illness) [1]  to meet Rickman in Scotland, & accompanying him to the Highlands Canal. [2]  His journey cannot be delayed another year – & so I alter my arrangements accordingly. This is in some respects unlucky, – but it suits well with Wesley [3] , & with my finances, which will be recruited by this respite.

Mrs Hemans is certainly no common writer. Her last volume is on the lathe. [4]  By all means review it if you can, – for it will be of great service to her, & I believe she is in circumstances which will render such service very acceptable to her. I had a letter from her some years ago.

Gifford has cut out the only good thing in my paper – about Christian in the P Progress & Mr Legality & Mr By-ends. [5]  I have a letter to day from his friend Davison, [6]  saying he shall call upon me soon.

So I shall come to town in November

God bless you


June 10. 1819


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsements: 10 June 1819; 10 June 1819
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Queen Charlotte (1744–1818; DNB) had died on 17 November 1818. BACK

[2] Rickman was Secretary to the Commission responsible for constructing the Caledonian Canal 1803–1822. BACK

[3] Southey’s The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820). BACK

[4] Felicia Hemans (1793–1835; DNB), Tales and Historic Scenes (1819). She had just separated from her husband, and so was in need of a successful publication. The book was reviewed, with others, by John Taylor Coleridge, in Quarterly Review, 24 (October 1820), 130–139. BACK

[5] Southey’s ‘Inquiry into the Copyright Act’, Quarterly Review, 21 (January 1819), 196–213, published 4 June 1819. These references to John Bunyan (1628–1688; DNB), Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), in which Mr By-ends is a false pilgrim and Mr Legality an unhelpful guide, were removed. BACK

[6] John Davison (1777–1834; DNB), clergyman and writer for the Quarterly Review. BACK

People mentioned

Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 1 time)
Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 1 time)