2777. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 3 May 1816

2777. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 3 May 1816⁠* 

Friday 3 May. 1816

My dear G.

The half bills came yesterday, – of course they could not be acknowledged till this days post.

You will have seen by my last letters that I am not exhausting myself by over-exertion. On the contrary for many days I have been forcing myself to the more difficult necessity of bearing my own recollections; – time will soften them down, – indeed they now have, & always have had all the alleviation which an assured hope & faith can bestow, – & when I give way to tears which is only in darkness or in solitude, they are not tears of unmingled pain. [1]  I begin to think that change of place would not be desirable; & that the pain of leaving a place where I have enjoyed so many t years of such great happiness, is more than should it is wise to incur without xxxx necessity. Nor could I reconcile either Edith or myself to the thought of leaving poor Mrs Wilson, – whose heart is half-broken already, & to whom our departure would be a death stroke. Her days <indeed> must necessarily be few; – & her xxxx life-lease will probably expire before the end of my first <the> term to which we are looking on.

Murray has sent me 50 £ for the Le Vendee article, [2]  – which makes me indifferent when it appears, & proposes to me half a dozen other subjects at 100 £ each, – at which rate I suppose in future I shall supply him with an article every quarter: – this will set me at ease in money matters, – about which thank God & the easy disposition with which he has blest me, I have never been xxxx too anxious.

It is needless to say I shall be glad to see you here, – but rather at some future time when you will find me a better companion, & when your company would do me more good. Nor indeed must you leave your Mother; her deliverance from the infirmities of life cannot be long deferred by any human skill, or any favourable efforts of nature. Whenever that event takes place you will need such relief as change of scene can afford; & whenever it may be I hold myself ready to join you & accompany you to the continent, – for as long a time as you can be spared from your office, & as long a journey as that time may enable us to take. Remember this, & look to it as a fitting arrangement which will benefit us both.

God bless you


Did you receive my letters to Herbert? There should have been one of an earlier date, but I fear it was thrown into the fire with some of his papers which I burnt in haste, when my eyes perhaps were not capable of clearly distinguishing what was before them


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer.
Endorsement: 3 May 1816/ Recd. 6 May
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), IV, pp. 175–177. BACK

[1] Southey's son Herbert had died on 17 April. BACK

[2] Southey’s review of a series of memoirs of the French Revolutionary wars, including the royalist rising in La Vendée, 1793–1796, appeared in the Quarterly Review, 15 (April 1816), 1–69. BACK

People mentioned

Southey, Herbert (1806–1816) (mentioned 2 times)
Wilson, Molly (?–1820) (mentioned 1 time)
Bedford family (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)