Sunday. 12. o clock. 29. Nov. 1795.
Bedford our Summons arrived this morning. the vessel goes Tuesday & when you receive this, I shall be casting up my accounts with the fishes.
Grosvenor you have my Will. if the ship founders or any other chance gives me sends me to supper — all my papers are yours. they are with my Mother part, & part with Edith. the relic-worship is founded upon human feelings & you will value them. there is little danger of accidents, but there can be no harm in these few lines. All my letters are at your disposal — but it would be right to return your brothers. & if I be drowned — do not you be surprized if I should pay you a visit. for if permitted, & if it can be done without terrifying or any ways injuring you I certainly will do it.
But I shall visit you in propria personâ in the summer.
Would you had been with me the 14th.  twas a melancholy day yet mingled with such feelings!
you will get a letter from Madrid. write you to Lisbon. I expect to find letters there, & the expectation will form the pleasantest thoughts I shall experience on my journey.
I should like to find your Musæus  at Bristol on my return. if you will direct it to Miss E Fricker (heigh ho! Grosvenor.) at Mr Cottles High Street Bristol — he will convey it to her. & I believe next to receiving any thing from me, something for me & from my friend will be the most agreable occurrence during my absence. I give you this direction as it will be sure to reach her. Edith will be as a parlour boarder with the Miss Cottles (his sisters) two women of elegant & accomplishd manners. the eldest lived as governess in Ld Derbys  family xxx a little while — & you will have some opinion of them when I say, that they make even bigotry amiable. they are very religious, & the eldest (who is but t twenty three) wished me to read good books — the advice came from the heart — she thinks very highly of me, but fancies me irreligious because I frequent no place of worship & indulge speculations beyond reason.
God bless & prosper God bless & prosper you — & grant I may find you as happy on my arrival, as I hope & expect to be.
Falmouth. Monday evening.
Well Grosvenor. here I am waiting only for a wind. your letter arrived a few hours before me. that to Bath came <to> Nanswhyden.
I have seen Lord Butes Chaplain, Mr Maber who goes to Madrid with us. a useful rather than an agreable companion. my heart is sick at the thought of being so long without a friend. who is it says “thou knowest not
How sharper than a serpents tooth it is
To have a faithless friend — 
I recollect as I write that I am altering Lear. this reflection however springs from your [MS torn] my own feelings. I did take a viper to my bosom [MS torn] to injure me was like liking the file.
thank you for your verses. a few alterations would make it an excellent ode. Edith you will see & know & love. but her virtues are of the domestic order & you will love her in proportion as you know her. I hate your daffidowndilly women — aye & men too. the violet is ungaudy in its appearance, tho a sweeter flower perfumes not the evening gale —. tis equally her wish to see you. oh Grosvenor — when I think of our winter evenings that will arrive — & then look at myself arrayed for a voyage in an inn parlour! whilst to xxx xx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx dry my eye I scarcely know whether the tear that starts into my eye proceeds from anticipated pleasure or present melancholy.
I am never comfortable at an inn. boughten hospitality are two ill-connected ideas. — Grosvenor I half shudder to think that a plank only will divide the husband of Edith from the unfathomed ocean! & did I believe its efficacy could burn a hecatomb to Neptune  with as much devotion as ever burned or [MS torn] Phæacia.  farewell —
* Address: G C Bedford Esqr/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Postmark: CDE/ 3/ 95
Watermark: Crown and anchor with G R underneath
Endorsement: 29 Novr. 1795
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, pp. 258–261 [in part, and giving the appearance of being two separate letters: 30 November 1795 and undated]. BACK
 14 November 1795, the day of Southey’s marriage to Edith Fricker. BACK
 Grosvenor Charles Bedford’s translation of Musæus (fl. c. early 6th century), The Loves of Hero and Leander, was not published until 1797. BACK
 Edward Smith Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby (1752–1834; DNB), sportsman and Whig politician. BACK
 A paraphrase of King Lear, Act 1, scene 4, lines 287–289. BACK
 In Roman mythology, the god of the sea. BACK
 An island in the Ionian sea whose inhabitants were renowned for their dissolute behaviour. BACK