1370. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 4 October 1807 *
My dear Grosvenor
Ever since the arrival of Harry’s  letter I have been in great uneasiness concerning you, for by the same post Wynn told me he supposed you were by that time here.  This evening your letters from Acton have brought the first intelligence of you, which has been delayed some days by a blunder of the post in carrying it to Birmingham. Now that you are in London, & the shock of meeting is over, I am glad you are there. had you come on I should have endeavoured to detain you as long as possible.
What shall I say you to you? – this is the first heavy loss which you have ever experienced, – hereafter the bitterness of the cup will have past away, & you will then perceive its wholesomeness. This world is all to us till we suffer some such loss, & every such loss is a transfer of so much of our hearts & hopes to the next, – xx xxxxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx & they who live long enough to see most of their friends go before them, feel that they have more to recover by death than to lose by it. This is not the mere speculation of a mind at ease. Almost all who were about me in my childhood have been removed. I have brothers, sisters, friends, father, mother & child in another state of existence, – & assuredly I regard death with very different feelings than I should have done if none of my affections were fixed beyond the grave – To dwell upon the circumstances which in this case lessen the evil of separation, would be idle; – at present you acknowledge, & in time you will feel them.
Pray let me hear from you. I am very anxious about your own state of health.  – Remember me to Harry, & to your father & mother as one who has too often & too long been a guest in their house not to be deeply impressed by any loss which befalls it
God bless you my dear Grosvenor
yours very affectionately
Keswick. Oct. 4. 1807.
I have received the 12 £ of pension.
Here are two notes of Harry’s, the one which he inclosed to me, & that which he sent to Wynn. Here is also a heavier letter than will bear inclosure in an ordinary frank, – what shall I do with them? –
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ OCT 7/ 1807
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), II, pp. 18–19 [in part, omits postscript]. BACK