Friday Aug 2. & Saturday. 3. 1799
My dear Grosvenor
I write to you from Minehead – where I have past the longest week
that ever uneasiness lengthened out. Edith has been very ill & is recovering so very slowly as hardly
to render the daily amendment perceptible. I know not her complaint – it is a
general debility – a wasting away – want of appetite – want of sleep – Grosvenor
you have no anxieties of this kind.
Your ballad  is so
good that I found it an effort of great self-denial not to print it – voila – my
reason. the book will circulate much among Ladies who read poetry more than men;
there is nothing objectionable to <in> the
point – but a woman who should be reading the book aloud at haphazard – would
feel very awkward when she came to the conclusion. I took counsel &
reluctantly yielded to an unanimous opinion, for the ballad is admirable. I did
not expect one so good. write more in this way & you will find a talent rich
Cottle is commissioned to forward
your copy  as soon as the book is
done – with one for Horace.
there is a delay about paper – but it cannot be many days longer I think. the
Endor Witch is in status quo in my desk – one of the corps de reserve for Volume
2 which is now preparing.  you will find many pieces to amuse you & some few of a
higher order. the first poem  – (by Wm Taylor –) is in my judgement of uncommon excellence, more
profuse in new & rich imagery than almost any piece that I remember. I look
to you for some supplies in the succeeding volumes – I look on this volume <Anthology> with very interesting
feelings – it reminds me of many friends. let me never wreathe a garland
Grosvenor without one flower from you.
I write under the impression of uneasy thoughts, we meant to go
round Devonshire & I am fearful that we must return to Bristol that Edith may be under Beddoes. she is however recovering
I think. bad weather keeps me within doors, & anxiety takes away the power
of employing myself there.
Some day when you are in the library & with no immediate
employment refer to Picart for me.  there is (or I have dreamt so) a custom among some American
savages of digging up annually all their relations who have died in the
preceding year. see if you can find it mentioned & just give me the outline
of the ceremony. I think it was the Floridans who observed it.
Duppa sent me his book.  I thankd
him & feel obliged. If you have a ready written letter, or one ready to
write, direct it to me at Mr Alloways Minehead <Somersetshire>. 
Edith is certainly recovering &
we shall proceed on Friday next. if you delay writing for ten days direct then
Post Office Ilfracombe Devonshire to remain till called for.
Grosvenor I have more than once felt an inclination to write to
you respecting Carlisle. you
perhaps overrated his good qualities once – but do you not under-rate them now?
& subtracting the due deficit from them, are there not enough remaining to
constitute him – if not quite a friend – yet something very near it – one to
regard & from whose company much pleasure may be derivable? it is very
painful – I know it by much experience, to have your friends sink in the
thermometer of your esteem, but I am afraid we like [MS obscured] xxxx we are with friends like Astronomers, who
when they discover a spot in the sun look at nothing else. friendship on the
wane is like the sick person who loathes the favourite food of his health. by
all this I only mean that tho Carlisle has some faults he has more good qualities, that tho
bipennated beings 
may be are much better, a great proportion of
bipeds are much worse. I do not want you to throw away your heart upon him – but
I would have your hand ready to receive him with the grasp of cordiality – this
last phrase makes my fingers itch for a shake of the hand with you –
God bless you.
yrs in sæcula sæculorum 
do not forget my remembrances to Mr
& Mrs B.
* Address: To/
G.C. Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer/ London/
August 2d & 3d 1799
Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 23
‘Hag’s Disaster’, which Southey had decided not to include in the
Annual Anthology (1799); for the poem see Robert Southey
to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 14 October , Letter 446. BACK
 Bedford’s copy of the
Annual Anthology (1799). BACK
 Bedford’s ‘The
Witch of Endor’ was not published in Annual Anthology
Topographical Ode’, Annual Anthology (Bristol, 1799), pp.
 Bernard Picart (1673–1733), Ceremonies et Coutumes de tous les
Peuples du Monde, 7 vols (1723–1743). Southey was mistaken.
Picart contained no such account, and the custom was attributed elsewhere to
the Huron and Iroquois. See his letter to Bedford, 24 October 1799, Letter
 Richard Duppa, A Journal of the Most
Remarkable Occurrences that took place in Rome after the Subversion of
the Ecclesiastical Government in 1798 (1799). BACK
 Samuel Allaway (dates unknown), a
 i.e. a being with two
 The Latin translates as ‘for ever and