1240. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 8 December 1806 

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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1240. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 8 December 1806 ⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

Elmsley has this evening explained to me certain passages in your late letters, to which I had given in my own mind a different meaning. There is in all good & in all sane minds an xxxxx instinct which as naturally finds out the best comforts & consolations for itself, {as naturally} as the living principle varies its operations to heal a wound. You will find yours in the performance of duties, which most happily your circumstances will enable you to perform. If you had unmarried sisters the calamity would be great; – but as you are, it is rather great in appearance than in reality, & you will most probably feel yourself a happier man for the part you are called upon to act.

On such a subject it would be idle to say much – indeed the main use of saying any thing is to tell you that I know what has happened; [1]  – & to save you the pain of explaining, what – if it had not been painful – you would have explained to me before. Write to me I beseech you & tell me how you are – that is the main point concerning which I am anxious, & concerning that I am very anxious.

God bless you my dear friend –

Robert Southey.

Dec. 8. 1806.


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr
Endorsement: Keswick/ 8 Dec. 1806
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A reference either to the collapse of Horace Bedford’s mental and physical health, or to Grosvenor’s liver complaint. On Horace, see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 2 February 1807 (Letter 1270) and Southey to Henry Herbert Southey, 13 February 1807 (Letter 1275). On Grosvenor’s liver complaint; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 2 November 1806 (Letter 1231) and 2 January 1807 (Letter 1255). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013

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