154. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 15 May 1796 *
Thanks be to God I am in England!
Bedford you may conceive the luxury of that ejaculation if you know the miseries of a sea-voyage. even the xxxxx stone who loves nothing & the merchant whose trade-tainted heart loves nothing but wealth, would echo it. judge you with what delight Robert Southey leapt on terra firma.
to night I go to Southampton. tomorrow will past pains become pleasant.
Now Grosvenor is Happiness a Sojourner on Earth? or must Man be cat & ninetaild by Care till he shields himself in a shroud? — my future destiny will not decide the problem. for I find a thousand pleasures & a thousands pains than <of which> nine tenths of the world know nothing of.
to your long letter I shall elaborately reply in verse. you need not read it if you think I am “urging you to a precipice.  Bedford — better is the tempest of passion — than that unwholesome calm that generates pestilence.
Come to Bristol. be with me there as long as you can. I almost add — advise me there — but your advice will come too late.
I am sorry you could ask if you did wrong in showing Wynn my letter. I have not a thought secret from him. even you know not her good sense yet
Come to Bristol. I do not promise you men worthy your friendship for Charles Danvers will not be there. yet you will love Cottle & his oddities & his excellent heart. & you will find a Sister in one who already loves you because you are my friend.
my passage was very good. & I must be the best tempered fellow in Great Britain for the devil a drop of gall is there in my bile-bag.
I intend a hymn to the Dii Penates. 
write to me directly & direct to Cottles. I have as yet “where to chuse — my place of rest.”  I shall soon have enough to place me above want — & till that arrives shall support myself in ease & comfort like a silkworm by spinning my own brains. if poor Necessity was without hands as well as legs badly would she be off.
Lord Somerville  is dead — no matter to me I believe. for the estates were chiefly copy hold — & Canon Southey minded wine & women too much to think of renewing for the sake of his heirs.
remember me to all friends — & “to all your good family.” 
symptoms of cleanliness. our Cook said — I belie[MS torn] God does not take much care of me — for I have not had nor time to wash myself these three days.
symptoms of hunger. I swallowed food of his dressing.
Portsmouth. Sunday May 15th. 1796
we landed last night at eleven o clock. left Lisbon on Thursday 5th. & were becalmed South of the rock till breakfast time on Saturday so that our passage was remarkably good
* Address: Grosvenor Charles Bedford Esqr/ New Palace Yard/
Postmark: MA/ 16/ 96
Watermark: [Obscured by MS binding]
Endorsement: 15. May 1796
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22. AL; 4p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, pp. 272–273 [in part]. BACK
 James Somerville, 14th Lord Somerville (1727–1796), a very distant relation of Southey’s by marriage. Southey hoped to inherit a share of the fortune of John Cannon Southey on the death of Somerville, but his hopes came to nothing. BACK