1288. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 March 1807

1288. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 March 1807 ⁠* 

Dear Grosvenor

You will do as you think best about Errata [1]  – I had given up the thoughts of any in utter despair, for to enumerate all would I believe fill a whole sheet & to give only a short list when they are so out of all numeration would be impudent. Not to mention that in most instances the emendation can only be conjectural, & in many the blunder is so great that it leaves no ground even for a guess. here follow some which are in the prose-work –

Vol 1. 361– for Werter – read – Winter
444 – – have has
V 3 – 150 – descended – ascended
269 – to be too
423 – line 1 – was – is
434 – Do 1 – made – make –

& in the account of Glover [2]  bad language should have been bald language – see how these printers contrive to murder ones meaning!

I gave no directions about sending you a copy – because I conceive you entitled to as many as you please – & to half the profits of the book, be that what it may – (i-e- half the Editors profits, who also <& therefore> one fourth of the whole) be it xxx between three & four pound like the remuneration of Madoc – or between one & two thousand like the guerdon of Walter Scotts Lay [3]  – ‘Oh sweet guerdon – better than Remuneration’ [4] 

I do not think it was necessary to cancel the 2d sheet of the Preface – but am not sorry it is done. About Amhurst you have seen my opinion [5]  – I wish it had not been there – tho its <it> is certainly offensive only in its subject, it may stand. But Ld Chesterfields wit, & the grossness of Gildon & Hinchcliffe must out. [6]  I would rather see my name nailed upon the gallows, than prefixed to a book containing them. And that doleful blunder about Wartons Sonnet [7]  will cost two leaves – that was a dismal oversight indeed. – Have you look Your second Catalogue is as defective as the rest of the book – not half – not a tithe of the Academical titles are specified. But if I were to find out all the abominations of the books I should make you waste like a Newmarket jockey in training

You tell me nothing about Horace. I was very serious in the advice I gave you about him, whatever you may have thought, – & am fully persuaded that there is nothing else to be done. [8]  – It would rejoice me to hear you had found a house – once settled & you will find that you have lost little. Shall I give you an example of true philosophy? – My daughter has this day lost her two cousins [9]  – After staring a little when they were gone, & she understood they were not to come back – I can xxxxxx xxxxx play by myself – said she. Presently she began to rejoice at the thoughts that Daniel would come in the evening – (a playmate of Derwents) – but hearing also that he would not come – she answered after another pause – I can do without him.

Well said my true daughter!

God bless you


Sunday March 15. 1807.


* Address: To/G. C. Bedford Esqr
Endorsement: 15 March 1807
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), I, pp. 421–423 [in part]. BACK

[1] For Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807). BACK

[2] Richard Glover (1712–1785; DNB) is discussed in the third volume of Southey’s and Bedford’s Specimens of the Later English Poets, 3 vols (London, 1807), p. 329. BACK

[3] The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805) went through six editions in three years and sold 27000 copies in ten years. BACK

[4] Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act III, scene i, line 116. BACK

[5] Nicholas Amhurst (1697–1742; DNB), a poet and political writer, who published the satirical Terræ Filius; or, the Secret History of the University of Oxford (1726). A selection from his works is featured in the Specimens of the Later English Poets, I, pp. 394–398. For Southey’s opinion, see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 2 January 1807, Letter 1255. BACK

[6] Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773; DNB), Charles Gildon (1665–1723; DNB) and William Hinchcliffe (1692–1742); see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 March 1807, Letter 1286. BACK

[7] See Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 14 March 1807, Letter 1286. BACK

[8] For Southey’s advice regarding Horace Bedford, see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 2 February 1807, Letter 1270. BACK

[9] Derwent and Sara Coleridge. Sarah Coleridge had gone to join her husband and Hartley, who were on their way to Devon. BACK

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