16. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [c. 21 June 1792] *
My dear Bedford
This is a damnd world & the sooner I quit it the better. God gave me the happiest disposition ever mortal was blessd with had he not I must have sunk long ago — but all will not do I am tired of life I am disgusted with three parts of mankind — one half are knaves those I detest I despise the fools & where am I to seek the residue! reflection Bedford will not do for me so I fly from it — I roam the fields while my strength lasts & return to my pen or my book — what will conversation do where the only subject is damnable.
not one reproach have I heard concerning Westminster. it does not hurt me for I have not acted improperly — Dr V is a fool & a knave both. forgive me for my hurrying home. to take leave of friends is terrible — particularly so when it is doubtful whether you may ever see them again. if I could get an appointment to the East Indies I should like it. the church is a hypocritical line of life — the law as dishonest one — my friends the Doctors have no interest at Calcutta —
I am at No 9 Duke Street Bath — write to me if you can forgive my neglect — but I am not composed enough to write decently since I left Rye the moment I mounted the coach I smelt London & it sickend me. when I left London I smelt a charnel house & when I got home old Nicks brimstone.
I have been looking for wild flowers & found a beautiful one of an unknown species to me — such employments pass the time. I have begun “an improbable tale”  — why it is calld so I will tell you — the world is so bad that any uncommon virtue or tolerant sentiment is unnatural therefore improbable — I will copy some verses which I have just wrote for it
your brother I hear has tyed his hair — there is a plot to crop & dock him.
if you have heard of the fox without a tail — did you ever hear of the Ass in the same situation —
x Tell Collins my direction — & pray write.
* Address: G C Bedford Esqr/ Old Palace Yard/ Westminster
Postmark: DJU/ 21/ 92
Watermark: [Obscured by MS binding, possibly W S]
Endorsement: Recd. June 21st. 1792
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22.