Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
117. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [3 December 1794] *
Bedford — I have been chewing the cud of reflection — my last perhaps was more harshly expressed that it ought or than I intended. forgive me. my disposition is susceptible & I am prone to warmth when the character of a friend is misunderstood. excuse my failings.
short as this letter is — it will please you. my dear fellow I know my last hurt you. indeed it grieves me. God bless you. & if you are harrassed by doubts settle you in the certainty of right. indeed the firm conviction I feel is an impenetrable armour against misery.
to your friends remember me gratefully. & tell them I feel happy in the hope of sometimes seeing them. but — I shall be the leader of a sect — which you will esteem fanatical & seditious. well well. you will pity & love me — & I must pity & love you.