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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 1: 1791-1797, Edited By Lynda Pratt

192. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 19 December 1796 ⁠* 

Monday afternoon. December 19th. 96. Bath.

Grosvenor we shall soon meet — & perhaps never seperate again. we are setting out on the same journey — & if one of us or both be not knocked up on the road, I trust we shall arrive together at the end. I shall see you soon — probably within a month or three weeks —.

how is it that we have changed characters? you so anxious — I so tranquil. is it that I am advanced one stage beyond you in the way of the world? that I have seen more & suffered more? you have been settled comfortably at home trotting from Brixton to Palace Yard after breakfast, & from Palace Yard to Brixton before dinner, your relations happy in you, happy in yourself, without wants, almost without wishes. is not the picture faithful? shall I describe the contrast xx or leave you to supply it? after travelling such different xxxx different paths we have met at the same last.

So you are at your mysteries again! for my part I never dive into darkness. I shall precede Edith to secure look out for lodgings myself — & in that case if you can give me “a sofa & spare blanket” — in Palace Yard, shall comfort myself on the long cold road by expecting to find you & a pot of porter at the conclusion.

my Poems [1]  are done. I expect the copies to night & shall immediately pack up yours. so that perhaps they may arrive as soon as the letter.

Tuesday evening.

the Poems are just arrived. I send three — for you — Horace — & your Mother to whom at the same time remember me with respectful kindness. I will trouble you to send the other two copies by the parcel post. the one is for the author of those incomparable Sonnets on Metaphor & Personification.  [2]  a fellow whose heart is as much better than the mob of mankind, as his poetry is worse than John Miltons. I trouble you because it will save him the expence of carriage which he is little able to afford. the other is for Mary Wollstonecraft to whom as you will see I have dedicated the Triumph of Woman.

fare you well. I am hurried


Notes

* Address: G C Bedford
Watermark: [Obscured by MS binding]
Endorsement: 19 Decr 1796
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s Poems (1797). BACK

[2] The poet James Jennings. For the texts of his sonnets, see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [started before and continued on] 1 September [1795] (Letter 134). BACK

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March 2009