1415. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 January 1808
1415. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 January 1808 *
My dear Grosvenor
My brother Tom is as uncomfortable without a Steels-list  in his pocket, as you & I should be without a handkerchief there if we wanted to blow our noses. Now as it is a two months operation to get one down by any other way, I pray you buy the last, & get Herries  to frank it down, for it will very well go in one of Percevals franks, – & I will reimburse you the shilling when we meet, & add as many thanks as shall make up the interest.
I have seen both the Scotch  & the more rascally British Review of our Specimens, – both a good deal worse than the book itself, which is a great consolation. For they have really not discovered the <its> defects of the book, & have imputed faults to it which it does not possess. If the first edition can be got off of I will make it a curious & good book.
How soon I may see you Heaven knows – the sooner the better. My Uncle is in town, & applications are made to him from all quarters for the information which Lord G.  rejected last year as relating to the wrong side of S. America – a damning fact, between you & I, against his statesmanship. – I am in hopes that he will draw up an account of the Present State of Brazil (which no other person living can do so well) – while I proceed with the history. This removal of the Braganza family is a great event,  – tho it has been done not merely without that dignity which might have been given it, but even meanly & pitifully. In truth nothing better could be expected from the Prince Regent. Still the event itself is a great one, & if I could transfuse into you all the recollections &c – which it brings with it to me, you would feel an interest in it which, no person xxxx can it is not very easy to describe.
I am hard at work; & shall be able to send my first volume to press  as soon as I return from London. Meantime the thought of the journey plagues me, – the older I grow the more do I dislike going from home – Oh dear oh dear – there is such a comfort in ones old coat, & old shoes, – one’s own chair & one’s own fireside, one’s own writing desk & own library, – with a little girl climbing up my neck & saying do’nt go to London Pappa – you must stay with Edith – & a little boy whom I have taught to speak the language of cats dogs cuckoos & jack-asses &c before he can articulate a word of his own – there is such a comfort in all these things, that transportation to London for four or five weeks seems a heavier punishment than any sins of mine deserve. Nevertheless I shall be heartily glad to see Grosvenor Bedford, – provided Grosvenor Bedford does not look as if his liver were out of order. – How are you? whenever you are silent I am apprehensive –
God bless you
Jany 11. 1808
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr –/ Exchequer/ Westminster/
Endorsement: 11 Jany 1808.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: E/ JAN 14/ 1808
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), III, pp. 129–31 [with omissions]. BACK
 Steel’s list of the Royal Navy was published monthly and detailed ships, guns, year built or taken, stations and Commanders - with the addition of the dates of the commencement and conclusion of commissions. BACK
 Bedford’s friend John Charles Herries, who was employed as private secretary to Spencer Perceval, then Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. BACK
 Southey’s and Bedford’s Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807) were reviewed in the Edinburgh Review, 11 (October 1807), 31–40, and in the British Critic, 29 (1807), 245–249. BACK
 The reply given when in late 1806 Southey enquired of the then Prime Minister William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville (1759–1834; DNB) (through his cousin Wynn) whether a report on South America and Brazil would be of interest, given Britain’s recent attack on Buenos Aires; see Southey to John May, 29 December 1806, Letter 1252. BACK
 On 29 November 1807, a British squadron under the command of Sir William Sidney Smith (1764–1840; DNB) had escorted the Portuguese Prince Regent, John VI (the Duke of Braganza) (1767–1826), and the Queen, his mother, across the Atlantic to escape the French invasion of their country. BACK