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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 16 August 1808

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Aug. 16. 1808.

“Are you not half ready to suspect, Grosvenor, that I have foresworn letter writing? I write as seldom to any of my friends as I do to you; and yet letters of business and of common courtesy accumulate upon me so fast, that they occasion a very considerable, and even inconvenient, expense of time; especially to a man who, in the summer, is troubled with an influenza called laziness, and all the year round with the much more troublesome disease of poverty.

“It is not to be told how I rejoice at seeing my friends the Spaniards and Portuguese proving themselves to the eyes of the world to be what I have so long said they were. Huzza! Santiago and St. George! Smite them, as my Cid said, for the love of charity.

Grosvenor! the most deserving of His Majesty’s pensioners thinketh of his pension,—it is low water with him.

“Have you seen a defence, or rather eulogium, of Madoc, in the last Gentleman’s Magazine, by Miss Seward? who preaches up its praise wherever she goes.

“You will have the Cid in about a fortnight. The translations in the appendix are by Frere, and they are, without any exception, the most masterly I have seen. The introduction, to be what it ought to be, and what I could have made it, would have required
a volume to itself, for my reading is far more extensive on these subjects than almost any person can suppose. It is a rapid sketch,—just sufficient to introduce the Chronicle, by giving the reader a summary view of the previous history and present state of Spain. The Chronicle is well done; and the translation improves so much on the original, by incorporating matter from other sources, as to be unique in its kind. There is a good deal of miscellaneous matter brought together in the notes. The intrinsic value of the work is of a very high order. Romance has nothing finer than all the proceedings at Zamora, and poetry nothing superior to the living pictures which you will find everywhere. The Cid’s speech at the Cortes is perfect eloquence of its kind. If it be remembered that all this was written in all probability before the year 1200 (certainly within half a century sooner or later), I think it must be considered as one of the most curious and valuable specimens of early literature,—certainly as the most beautiful, beyond all comparison.

Tom has been lucky in his admiralty appointment, being first in a flag-ship, the Dreadnought. He says, and very justly, that our troops to Spain might have been conveyed in half the time, at half the expense, and without any risk at all, by putting as many on board some of our large ships of war as they could take (800 or 1000 they could carry very well), and letting each ship make the best of her way to the port nearest the scene of action. A convoy may be wind-bound for months, and any single transport which parts company would fall to the first
Ætat. 34. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 167
privateer, whereas a ship of the line could beat down, take advantage of every start of wind, and defy all upon the ocean. There is very good sense in this. But transports imply jobs, and every thing must be a job in England.

“Farewell! I am getting on with S. America.

“My son is the oddest fellow in the world: I wish you could see his bright eyes. . . . .

“God bless you!

R. S.”