254. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 6 September 1797

254. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 6 September 1797 ⁠* 

Wednesday. Sept. 6. 1797.

I am sorry that any expression in my last gave you one uncomfortable thought. certainly you appear to me to want perseverance, but so far am I from blaming you on that point as it regards the law, I again advise you to abandon the study. you have not time for it, & before you could professionally acquire independance, according to all human probability it will devolve to you. the hours of leisure from your office may be better employed than in plodding thro a science which its end can only make can make tolerable. is not this enough to say to Wynn? & why should you feel a moments pain in abandoning what you cannot pursue? my dear Grosvenor what have <you> to care for the opinion of others? my best opinion you know you possess. it is now nearly six years since you have known my feelings as they passed — I believe none of my old friends are so intimately with me as you are — & I neither wish or expect to make new ones.

But you ought to be indifferent of my opinion. I think it of high importance to be careless of the applause or censure of any existing being, & to act wholly in reference to x our own judgement. how happy should I be Grosvenor with some half a dozen others to erect the standard of defiance!

I forgot to announce George Burnetts visit.

Thank you in anticipation for Tom’s Musæus. [1]  I have some large paper copies to ship off for to you. they are all directed in the inside — you will find one for yourself — Horace & Carlisle, whom I pray you beg to send two tied up to Bedford Square when his man John goes that way. one for Wynn — & admire my civility Grosvenor I have put in one for Mr Richards. [2] 

You must know I am always afraid a wrong construction may be put upon these things.

I wrote this half letter to remove all possible unpleasant feelings that my last excited. believe me

yrs as ever as I <I> was in the beginning, am now, & ever shall be

Robert Southey.

By the Lord I will send you some verses for Monday.


* Address: G C Bedford Esqr/ Palace Yard/ Westminster
Postmark: BSE/ 7/ 97
Watermark: 1794
Endorsement: 6 Septr 1797
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Grosvenor Charles Bedford’s translation of Musæus (fl. c. early 6th century), The Loves of Hero and Leander (1797). BACK

[2] Probably Sir Richard Richards (1752–1823; DNB), an eminent lawyer in Chancery. BACK