402. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 April 1799
402. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 27 April 1799 *
My dear Grosvenor
Tom & I expect to be in town together to breakfast on Tuesday morning, at the Saracens head, Friday Street, Cheapside  Side. I will call at the Exchequer  as near one as I can. before that time we shall have made our arrangements. Tom expects to stay in London but a few days. if Burnett will walk with me I shall eat my dinners  & walk off. Burnett arrives in town from Yarmouth at the same time with us. if he will not ramble & you have a bed at Brixton I will buy a Dutch Grammar & study Jacob Cats.  with my present feelings – it is almost ten o clock & I am tired hand & foot with walking & reviewing – I should look on with more satisfaction to reading & translating Dutch poetry than to wandering over the mountain sublimity of Switzerland. I want books & quietness – the less fatigue the better, & the less mental emotion. agitation is become painful.
I shall bring Madoc with me. 12 books are written out of 15.  should I be your guest at Brixton it will be the second epic poem that I shall finish there.  I wish to read it to you, if you can bear the almost improvisatore tone of one to whose manner of reading you are not accustomed.
Tom is recovered. I am not – & this is my ill time. however I begin to sleep well without opiates, & hope to be soon as drowsy ever as ever at the hour of owl-rising.
I want to be introduced to Pye – & for the same reason fancy he would like to be introduced to me, that we <may> talk about Alfred.  never did I go to London with the prospect of seeing so many friends – yet never did I leave home with more reluctance. exertion, fatigue, alteration are hateful to me. my sensations are such that like certain politicians I think all changes must be needs for the worse.
Now I have no wish for the fortnights vacancy but your library every morning & you every evening. tomorrow I shall think again of my knapsack & a ramble.
yrs – huzza! as sleepily as ever
Saturday night. 27 Apr. 99.
* Address: To/ Grosvenor Charles Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/ London/
Postmarks: [partial] BR/ AP; B/AP/ 29/ 99
Endorsement: 27 April. 1799
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 3p.
 Southey was still – nominally – studying law. He needed to dine at Gray’s Inn in order to fulfil the terms of his legal studies. BACK
 Southey completed a fifteen-book version of Madoc in 1797-1799; the poem was heavily revised before its publication in 1805. BACK
 The first was Joan of Arc, the original draft of which was completed at the Bedfords’ home in Brixton in 1793. BACK