710. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [31 August-]1 September 1802
710. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [31 August-]1 September 1802 *
I told Duppa to tell you I should soon write – & lo if he make not good speed from Salisbury my letter will reach you before him. he has passed a week between this house & Mr Smiths  – the guest of one or the other – whereby I have seen something more of your Stockwells friends – who improve greatly upon acquaintance. I wish sincerely that Mrs Smith were in better hands – that surgeon is trifling with her merely to swell his bill. he drenches her with medicine – which cannot possibly be necessary for a blow on the head. besides he is a fellow of no talents & nothing but a coach to recommend him.
You will not be pleased to hear that I design to pitch my tent at Keswick but the reasons are valid. I get part of a house furnished – quite room enough for less than the bare rent of a house elsewhere. & thus save the embarrassing expence of furniture. & the expence of living there is about half the London price. climate is the only objection. a winter in London is more trying & that I have stood. if I ail in Cumberland why I must take ship from Liverpool two years sooner than business xxx would call me to Lisbon.
I did & do design to send you the Curse of Kehama  as it proceeds – but the truth is that it does not proceed – for half a book in three months is in fact nothing. I have a job upon hand  which wastes a good deal of time – & it goes against me sorely to spare any time from the history  which will pretty evidently be my opus majus  in all points of view & upon which I calculate is the foundation of an independance. at this I have worked well since we left London – you saw the rudiments of some remarks upon the religion of Mohammed.  they have been shaped into a chapter of I think fair & prof rememberable reasoning. the life of the Cid  I have compleated – & rough hewn that of S. Francisco. 
There broke off my letter – for a better finis – yesterday evening I had a daughter born whom I hope you will one day know by the names of Margaret Edith. all hitherto as well as could be wished.
God bless you
Sept. 1. 1802
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer./ Westminster/
Postmark: BRISTOL/ SEP; [partial] B/ SEP
Endorsement: 1 Septr 1802/ 1 child born? now Edith May Southey
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 3p.
 Thomas Woodroffe Smith (c. 1747-1811), a wealthy Quaker merchant, who lived at Stockwell Park, Surrey, near the Bedfords. In 1789 he married, as his second wife, Anne Reynolds (dates unknown) of Carshalton. BACK
 Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (c. 1040-1099), a Castilian aristocrat and military commander, whose exploits were the subject of numerous poems and tales. BACK