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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1463. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 June 1808 ⁠* 

Dear Grosvenor

The half of forty pounds, which in this case is not twenty, has safely arrived. [1] 

There has been a good deal of sickness in my house since you heard from me. An epidemic bilious fever which has attacked all the children in the place found its way here, – I had some uneasiness respecting little Edith who was first attacked, – & afterwards a serious alarm for Herbert, who has been very ill. He began to show symptoms of recovery on Friday night, & is still mending. I have had a good deal of anxiety & sleeplessness, & am thank God am not the worse for it. – Yesterday he wanted to walk {go} about as usual, & was angry at being held, – but it was quite affecting to see his fear when he found himself unable to walk. It was the first shudder of human nature upon discovering its own infirmity.

You are wrong about Kehama [2]  in supposing that the catastrophe is to be foreseen. So far as that the Gods must ultimately triumph it necessarily must; but the how will be compleatly mysterious till the very moment when it takes place. I have lately begun to rise at an earlier hour, for the sake of creating time which may lawfully be thus employed; – & in that time have advanced some little way in the poem, till this sickness stopt my career. You know I believe I have revised what the part which you have seen, & introduced a good deal of rhyme into it.

Remember me to your father & mother – & to Harry – I have much to do, & many letters to write. What is become of Wynn? I have not heard from him since my return.

God bless you

RS.

Sunday. June 5. 1808.


Notes

* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqr/ 9. Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate/ London/ Single
Endorsement: 5 June 1808
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ JUN 8/ 1808
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 24
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A secure way of sending money in the post was to tear banknotes in half and send the two halves separately. BACK

[2] The Curse of Kehama (1810). BACK

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August 2013