2312. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 16 October  *
Saturday. Oct 16. Streatham
My dear Grosvenor
I move into town pro bono  on Monday, & out of it pro meliore,  as soon as possible afterwards. What with the bust,  & with the dinners which I have to perform, a fortnight will be expended; & if by that time the affair of the Laureateship is not concluded – I shall show my respect for the office by leaving the Lord Marquis-Chamberlain to look out for some xxx object of his high patronage <some body> who will wait his pleasure with more patience. Lord Wm Gordon  told me I might expect every day to receive notice of the appointment; but his part in the drama of patronage is ended, & I plainly see that he knows nothing about what is to be done, or who is to do it: & Croker if I could see him, probably knows as little. However I will make another attempt at the Admiralty on Monday.
Of course I am to meet you at Herries’s on Tuesday but where is Cadogan Place?
I am out of humour, or out of spirits, or both, at finding myself no longer <instead of being> master of my <own> movements depend upon – ant upon the silly & impertinent delays of a great man in office.
Perhaps, if the weather be willing, I may look find my way to your breakfast-table on Monday. – Thursday & Friday I am engaged, – & to let for the rest of the week. Sunday I go to Richmond & return on Tuesday, & for Monday Oct 31. or the following day, it is my present intention to take a place in the Worcester mail. Between ourselves I am as homesick as a <school boy, or a> Swiss,  & shall not be suffer under this mountaineer malady till I pa am quietly packed up in the corner of the coach which is to carry me toward the mountains.
God bless you
 The Flemish chemist, physiologist and physician, Jan Baptist Van Helmont (bap. 1579, d. 1644), a pioneer of pneumatic chemistry, he combined interests in new learning and experimentation with a love of Paracelus and alchemy. ‘Butler’ was the title of the thirteenth chapter of his ‘Tractatus De Morbis’, a fact that would interest Bedford because he and Southey had invented a comical epic hero called ‘the Butler’. Southey owned a 1664 edition of Van Helmont’s Workes, no. 2896 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK