1199. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 July 1806 *
My dear Grosvenor
I thought it so likely you would hear from Wynn the particulars concerning John Southeys will, that I felt no inclination to repeat the story to you – which would not have been the case had the old man done as he ought to have done. Good part of his property consisting in an newly purchased <estate> is given to a very distant relation of his mothers family, & of course gone for ever. About 2000 £ in legacies the rest falls to his brother as Sole Executor & residuary Legatee. Neither my name nor either of my brothers is mentioned. Thomas Southey apprized me of this the day of the old mans death. With him I am on good terms – that is, if we were in the same town we should dine together, for the sake of relationship, about once a month, – & if any thing were to happen to me of any kind of family importance – such as the birth of a child – I should write him a letter beginning dear Uncle. He invites me to his new ‘the Cottage, – & I shall go there on my way to Lisbon. I think it likely that he will leave his property rather to Tom than to me – for the names-sake; – but not likely that he will leave it out of the family.  He is about three or four & fifty, – a man of no education – nor indeed of any thing else – & so you have all that I can tell you about the matter, except that there’s an end of it. Some people, they say, are born with silver spoons in their mouths, & others with wooden ladles. I will hope something for my daughter upon the strength of this proverb inasmuch as she has three silver cups,  – but for myself I am of the fraternity of the wooden ladle.
Andres whole poem is too long – & if the part be unintelligible – which I think is very likely – even omit it altogether.  Last night I began the Preface – huzza!
And now Grosvenor let me tell you what I have to do. I am writing 1. A History of Portugal. 2 The Chronicle of the Cid. 3 The Curse of Kehama. 4. Espriella’s Letters.  look you all these I am writing, – the one is in the press, & both the second & third must get into it & out of it before this time twelvemonth, or else I shall be like the Civil list. By way of interlude comes in this preface – Dont swear, & bid me do one thing at a time – I tell you I can’t afford to do one thing at a time, no nor two neither & it is only by doing many things at a time that I contrive to do so much, for I cannot work long together at any thing without hurting myself – & so I do every thing by heats, that by the time I am tired of one my inclination for another is come round.
Dr Southey is arrived here.  he puts his degree in his pocket – summerizes here – & will winter in London to attend at a Hospital – about this, of course I shall apply to Carlisle – & if it should so happen that you do not see him here, shall give him a direction to you when he goes to London. he is now in thr his three & twentieth year, & is about as fine a young man ‘as ever the sun shone on’.  If he had been only a Lord Henry – you would have seen his portrait in every print shop, & his panegyric in every newspaper.
God bless you
July 5. 1806.
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ JUL 8/ 1806
Endorsement: 5 July 1806
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), III, pp. 45–47. BACK
 These had been sent to Edith May Southey as presents by the wife of Thomas Woodruffe Smith (c. 1747–1811), Mrs Gonne, and Susannah Rickman; see Southey to Charles Danvers, 13 May 1806, Letter 1179. BACK
 Southey is discussing entries for his jointly edited project with Grosvenor Charles Bedford, published as Specimens of the Later English Poets in 1807. John André (1750–1780; DNB), army officer, spy and poet is not included. BACK
 Southey’s projected ‘History of Portugal’ was never completed; his Chronicle of the Cid was published in 1808; The Curse of Kehama was published in 1810; Letters from England: by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella; Translated from the Spanish was published in 1807. BACK