3678. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 29 April 1821

3678. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 29 April 1821⁠* 

My dear G.

Giffords enquiry of Murray reminded the latter that my draft had been inclosed, – & then forgotten. [1]  I did not write to you for money, while I was reckoning upon this, – & moreover I knew not whether what was in your hands had xxxx been transferred to the Stocks. I have in de Stokes 100£ besides the sum which you bought in for me, with the money recovered from Ballantyne. [2]  Upon the first hundred no dividend has been received since November 1815 – never any upon the other. There was no inconvenience in letting so inconsiderable a sum lie. The irons which I have in the fire will, I trust, enable me to increase it, so as to make it worth while regularly to receive the dividends. – John May is one of the Directors of the Office in which my life is insured, [3]  – he regularly pays the premium for me when it becomes due, – to which, as you know, the whole proceeds of the Laureateship go, – &, as you may not know, something short of 40£ more. – If you continue to receive your own Dividends the trouble of receiving mine will be little in addition, tho it may have some weight as a motive for going to receive both. If you do not, – why let the matter rest, & I will make arrangements when next I xxx may be in London.

I wish you would come out of London, with as little delay as possible leave your sciatica behind you, & take a course of moutaineering with me. The fine season has begun a fortnight earlier than usual, & had you been here, we should ere this have been on the summit of Skiddaw. You will do me good by coming, – & yourself no harm.

I admire your solution of the Zombis notturno. [4]  Alas he has gone beyond Space once more, – & has never returned. He has vanished, – without a hope of his reappearance, or a vestige of him remaining. We are promised to succeed him a black Tomling, whom I have named Prester John, [5]  – that Hierarch being the most xxx remarkable black Potentate whom I could call to mind. Long live Prester John, & may be more fortunate than his predecessors Othello & Pulcheria.

Have you had the sheets of the Peninsular War [6]  from Murray, – whom I desired some time ago to send them to me thro you?

All tolerably well. Cupn was introduced last week to a caravan of wild beasts, & admired the Lions greatly. There were four cubs of a year old, whom he calls Cupns, Cupn with him signifying any thing young, or little.

Thank you for the seeds. – Tell me in your next that you are coming, – & let that next be soon. I was on the point of writing a letter to Grosvenor Dumbee [7]  when yours of yesterday arrived.

God bless you


29 Apr. 1821. Keswick.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer
Endorsement: 29 April 1821; 29 April 1821
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 26. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The payment for Southey’s review of The Works of the Reverend William Huntington, S. S. Minister of the Gospel, at Providence Chapel, Gray’s Inn Lane, Completed to the Close of the Year 1806 (1811), which appeared in Quarterly Review, 24 (January 1821), 462–510, published 6 April 1821. BACK

[2] Either James or John Ballantyne. Southey had been repaid the £209 he invested in their Edinburgh Annual Register, for which he wrote the historical sections in 1810–1813. BACK

[3] The Equitable Life Assurance Company. BACK

[4] A nocturnal serenade by the Southeys’ cat; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 3 April 1821, Letter 3662. BACK

[5] Legendary Christian patriarch and king, who ruled a realm in the East. This country was increasingly identified with Ethiopia by the sixteenth century. BACK

[6] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[7] One who appears to be dumb. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Skiddaw (mentioned 1 time)
Keswick (mentioned 1 time)