3581. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 December 1820

3581. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 December 1820⁠* 

Keswick 11 Dec. 1820.

My dear Grosvenor

The half bills are arrived. – The Megistos cannot be influenced by the cause which you suggest in his unaccountable procrastination with my ms. [1]  Because he has no advance to make. There are no set of men who exact such advantages for themselves in all their dealings with others as the booksellers of his order, they take long credit with the printers – eighteen months, – & only allow six to the country publishers, so that their profits come in before their disbursements are made. What the cause is Heaven knows, but it is not impossible that he has xxx mislaid the ms. & is ashamed to tell me so; & if this is the case well he may be, for of one half of it I have no copy. This did not occur to me till this minute, – but I think it very likely.

Dr Bell is here. & his presence has stopt the completion of the Vision. [2]  What you say about Elmsley had occurred to me also as a possible objection, tho I dismissed it as not knowing how far his mind might, at this time be warped by his Edinburgh connections, & as thinking that he would be more likely to take the same line with Wynn. I wrote to Peter about a fortnight ago; – the business of the letter was simply to ask him what books of mine he had not received, owing to his travels, & where they should be sent. [3]  But I filled the sheet, & rather wonder that he has not found time or inclination to answer it.

This day I have a letter from a Methodist Preacher cui nomen James Everett. Upon learning that the sketch of Wesleys life in the Correspondent [4]  was mine he wrote some remarks upon it as long as the Sketch itself, & sent for the Methodist Magazine & sent them to me in MS. [5]  Tho controverting some of my opinions they were written in so courteous a manner that I replied to him in a way which you may easily conceive, & told him of my intention to write Wesleys life upon a proper scale, & promised to send him a copy. [6]  That copy xxxx owing to his changes of place in itinerating, he has only just received. You would be much pleased with his letter. He says that immediately upon receiving my letter he wrote to recall his remarks from the Magazine, but the Editor [7]  declined & printed them against his consent. That he has been requested by the Connection to reply to the Life, & refused the office, – & that tho the principle points of difference between us still exist, he has frequently to act the part of a sturdy advocate in my behalf.

God bless you



* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [illegible]
Endorsement: 11 Decr. 1820
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The first chapter of Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (London, 1823–1832), I, pp. 3–62. BACK

[2] A Vision of Judgement (1821); it was dedicated to George IV, not Peter Elmsley. BACK

[3] See Southey to Peter Elmsley, 17 November 1820, Letter 3560. BACK

[4] In 1817 a new journal was launched, edited by John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB): The Correspondent; Consisting of Letters, Moral, Political, and Literary, between Eminent Writers in France and England; and designed by presenting to each Nation a Faithful Picture of the Other, to Enlighten both to their True Interests, promote a Mutual Good Understanding between them, and render Peace the Source of a Common Prosperity. Southey had contributed a sketch of the life of John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB) in the first two numbers (1817), 26–48, 157–176. BACK

[5] Everett’s letter to Southey, dated 15 January 1818, was printed in the Methodist Magazine, n.s. 15 (April–June 1818), 260–280, 340–353, 419–434. BACK

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

[7] Joseph Benson (1749–1821; DNB), editor of the Methodist Magazine 1803–1821. BACK

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