499. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 March 1800

499. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 21 March 1800 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

I am going to Lisbon – & with all speed. my arrangements are making to leave this place on Monday fortnight – on my way to Falmouth. climate will I trust cure me.

You laid by for me a copy of Musæus [1]  for my Uncle, will you be kind enough to get it bound, & send it to me here? they will bind [MS cut] in London than I could have it done. [MS cut] good spirits. & I have a definite & important object in view [MS cut] to write the History of Portugal, [2]  a work in which I will bestow [Ms cut] labour & which, if not miserably self-deceivd, I can do as [MS cut] it ought to be done.

Wynn has been with me – we went to Berkely together & met The Old Woman. [3]  she muttered God bless ye my children – God bless ye my children – twice she muttered these words – & as she that instant a cart took the wheel of our chaise – & if St David [4]  himself had not miraculously interposed in the shape of the reins ––––

But I am hugely busy, & allowed myself only half a sheet. my time & paper running equally short – So

God bless you Grosvenor –

yrs here, there & everywhere

Robert Southey.

March 21. 1800.


* Address: To/ Grosvenor Charles Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: [partial] TOL
Postmark: [illegible]
Endorsement: 21 March 1800
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Adolfo Cabral (ed.), Robert Southey: Journals of a Residence in Portugal 1800-1801 and a Visit to France 1838 (Oxford, 1960), pp. 66–67. BACK

[1] Grosvenor Bedford’s translation, The Loves of Hero and Leander (1797). BACK

[2] Southey’s uncompleted ‘History of Portugal’. BACK

[3] The central figure in ‘A Ballad Shewing How an Old Woman Rode Double and Who Rode Before Her’, Poems, 2 vols (Bristol, 1799), II, pp. [143]–160. BACK

[4] St David (6th century), Bishop and patron saint of Wales. Southey is referring to the legend that St Aidan, one of David’s disciples, preserved a pair of oxen and a cart from harm when they fell over a cliff into the sea, by making the sign of the cross over them. BACK

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