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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 15 November 1807

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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“Nov. 15. 1807.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“I do not know that I should have taken up my pen with the intention of inflicting a letter upon you, if it had not been for a suspicion, produced by your last letter, that you expect me in London sooner than it is anyways possible for me to be there, and that peradventure, therefore, you may think it is not worth while to look after my pension till I arrive in proper person to receive it. Now, Mr. Bedford, touching this matter there are two things to be said. My going to London seems to me no very certain thing. It depends something on my uncle’s movements, of whose arrival from Lisbon I daily expect to hear; and, of course, if I go, my journey must be so timed as to meet him. It depends, also, something on my finances; and I begin to think that I cannot afford the expense of the journey, for I have had extraordinary goings-out this year in settling myself, and no extraordinary comings-in to counterbalance them. The Constable is a leaden-heeled rascal, and if I do not take care, will be left confoundedly behind. I must work like a negro the whole winter to set things right, and the nearer the time for my projected journey approaches, the less likely is it that I can spare it. My object in going would be to consult certain books for the preliminaries and notes for the Cid; and these books I should assuredly feel myself bound to consult if it required no other sacrifices than those of time
and trouble. But if the necessary expense cannot prudently and justifiably be afforded, I must be content to do the best I can,—which will be quite good enough to satisfy every body except myself. In the second place, if you can, by any interest, get my pension paid, I pray you exert it. I foresee that I shall be kept in hot water by it till I am lucky enough to get some little prize in the lottery of life, which will enable me to wait without inconvenience for arrears. At present the only chance for this is in the sale of
Espriella. Should that go through two or three editions, it will set me fairly afloat.

“I thought to have brought up my lee-way by doing a specific piece of job-work, of which I have been rather unhandsomely disappointed. The story is simply this:—Smirke has projected a splendid edition of Don Quixote with Cadell and Davies. They proposed to Longman to take a share in it, and he was authorised by them to ask me to translate it. While I was corresponding with them upon the fitness of revising the first translation in preference, and forming such a plan for preliminaries and annotations as would have made a great body of Spanish learning, Cadell and Davies, unknown to them, struck a bargain with a Mr. Balfour, who is no more able to translate Don Quixote than he would have been to write it. This is some disappointment to me, as I should have been paid a specific sum for my work, and could have calculated upon it. The Longmans behave as they ought to do in the business. They refuse to take any share in the work, in consequence of this unhandsome dealing towards me, and offer to
Ætat. 33. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 115
publish my edition upon our ordinary terms of halving the profits. This, however, would not serve my purpose.

“My affairs are not in a bad train, except for the present. The profits of the current edition of Espriella, and of the unborn one of the Cid, are anticipated and gone. Those of the Specimens, of the small edition of Madoc, and of Palmerin, are untouched. But if the three send me in 100l., at the end of the year’s sale, it will be more than I expect. The first volume of Brazil will be ready for the press next summer. I think also of publishing my travels in Portugal, for which good materials have long lain by me, and we are now talking of editing Morte d’ Arthur. Reviewing comes among the ordinaries of the year; in my conscience I do not think anybody else does so much and gets so little for it. Have I told you that my whole profits upon Madoc up to Midsummer last amount to 25l.? and the whole it is likely to be, unless the remaining 134 copies be sold as waste paper.

“I shall do yet; and if there be anything like a dispirited tone in this letter, it is more because my eyes are weak, than for any other cause. It is likely that Espriella will bear me out,—I must be more than commonly unlucky if it does not,—and if it does not, I will seek more review employment, write in more magazines, and scribble verses for the newspapers. As long as I can keep half my time for labours worthy of myself and of posterity, I shall not feel debased by sacrificing the other, however unworthily it may be employed. You will say, why do
you not write for the stage? the temptations to it are so strong, and I have made the resolution so often, that not to have done it yet is good proof of a self-conviction that it would not be done well; besides, I have not leisure from present urgencies.

“Now do not fancy me bent double like the Pilgrim, under this load upon my back; I am as bolt upright as ever, and in as wholesome good spirits, and, as soon as this letter is folded and sent off, shall go on with reviewing Buchanan’s Travels, and forget everything except what I know concerning Malabar.

“God bless you!

R. S.”