LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 29 July 1820

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, July 29. 1820.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“It is very seldom that a whole month elapses without some interchange of letters between you and me. And, for my part, on the present instance, I cannot plead any unusual press of business, or any remarkable humour of industry. But, then, I can plead a great deal of enjoyment. I have been staying in the house all day,—a great happiness after the hard service upon which my ten trotters were continually kept in London. I have been reading,—a great luxury for one who during eleven weeks had not half-an-hour for looking through a book. I have been playing with Cuthbert, giving him the Cries of London to the life, as the accompaniment to a series of prints thereof, and enacting lion, tiger, bull, bear, horse, ass, elephant, rhinoceros, the laughing hyena, owl, cuckoo, peacock, turkey, rook, raven, magpie, cock, duck, and goose, &c, greatly to his delight and somewhat to his edification, for never was there a more apt or more willing pupil. Whenever he comes near the study door, he sets up a shout, which seldom fails of producing an answer; in he comes, tottering along, with a smile upon his face, and pica pica in his mouth; and if the picture-book is not forthwith forthcoming, he knows its place upon the shelf, and uses most ambitious and persevering efforts to drag out a folio. And if this is not a proper excuse for idleness, Grosvenor, what is?


“But I have not been absolutely idle, only comparatively so. I have made ready about five sheets of the Peninsular War for the press (the main part, indeed, was transcription), and William Nicol will have it as soon as the chapter is finished. I have written an account of Derwent Water for Westall’s Views of the Lakes. I have begun the Book of the Church, written half a dialogue between myself and Sir Thomas More, composed seventy lines for Oliver Newman, opened a Book of Collections for the Moral and Literary History of England, and sent to Longman for materials for the Life of George Fox and the Origin and Progress of Quakerism, a work which will be quite as curious as the Wesley, and about half the length. Make allowances for letter writing (which consumes far too great a portion of my time), and for the interruptions of the season, and this account of the month will not be so bad, as to subject me to any very severe censure of my stewardship.

“The other day there came a curious letter from Shelley, written from Pisa. Some of his friends persisted in assuring him that I was the author of a criticism* concerning him in the Quarterly Review. From internal evidence, and from what he knew of me, he did not and would not believe it; nevertheless they persisted; and he writes that I may enable him to confirm his opinion. The letter then, still couched in very courteous terms, talks of the principles and slanderous practices of the pretended friends of order, as contrasted with those which he professes, hints at

* My father was not the writer of this article.

challenging the writer of the Review, if he should be a person with whom it would not be beneath him to contend, tells me he shall certainly hear from me, because he must interpret my silence into an acknowledgment of the offence, and concludes with Dear-Sir-Ship and civility. If I had an amanuensis I would send you copies of this notable epistle, and of my reply to it.

“God bless you, Grosvenor!

Yours as ever,
R. S.”