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;  – & 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 –
Dec. 8. 1806.
 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