I was absent when your last letter arrived –
hunting a house in South Wales – for after all Cumberland
will not do – & if my present treaty  end well – you will be a nearer neighbour
by a hundred miles.
first to my picture. Keenan  painted it – then lodging at a Mr Kleboes  (name on the door)
Gerard Street – Soho. he means to exhibit it next year. I do
not wish it to be engraved – I should object to it – unless
Keenan got enough by it to remedy the objection on that
account – for he is a worthy man struggling with the
next – no by the Lord – something else first.
your friend Smith  desired
me to send him all my operas.  he returned me a very handsome letter
& two ten pound notes.
next then – I shall & will go on with
Kehama  – &
will send you it by letters full – & will begin the
first letter forthwith & without delay, & will write
you all the primary ideas about it – & you shall have
the first letter by Saturday – So help me – Amen. But
history  has almost
monopolized me – & you know I have a money getting
job  in hand – a sixty pound piece of
journeywork that massacres a good deal of time else I should
have raised my hurricane before now, & made my
Glendouver, & ridden my Crocodile, & set my Temple
on Fire & perhaps have gone to Hell – & turned
Heaven topsy-turvy. 
I am sorry about the old house at Brixton.
for I have known it long enough to regret its going to a
Oh send me the snake necklace.
Hero & Leander  – I will send you
piecemeals about them. for I have never had all my books at
hand to connect an account – & when you think there are
enough they may be tacked together.
I care not so much what you are about – as
that you should be about something – some classical business
probably of more self-amusement than use. that sort of
literature is like the ring in Hyde Park  – I would
ride thro it once – & no more. there is nothing to glean
You guess right. I do most villainously
miscall young Margaret. her usual name is the Doctor. for
as Doctor Dodd  made his exit in
like manner did she enter – all alive & kicking. the
Doddity of her motion discovers itself when she is being
washed & dressed, to most advantage. She can make as
much noise as I can almost – I sing to her till she cries –
N.B. this was <is> a philosophical
experiment. tickle her nose with a feather to teach her
sensations, & put my thumb in her mouth – because it
must be as nice as her own. What a change in a house &
in the whole oeconomy does one of these helpless little ones
I have been to visit my rich Uncle at
Taunton. a strange old man whom I had not seen for six &
twenty years. he was very civil, & I was somewhat made
melancholy to see a man of good sense & good feeling
whose affections & talents are all rusted & ruined
& whose death will cost no tear to any living being.
God bless you.
Tuesday. Oct 5. 1801.
To/ G C Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer /
Postmark: [partial] BRISTOL/ OCT
Endorsement: 5 Octbr
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c.
Dating note: Misdated 1801 by
 Southey was negotiating a
lease on a house called Maes Gwyn, near
 John Keenan (fl. 1780-1819),
Irish painter. He had met Southey in Exeter in
 Thomas Woodroffe Smith (c. 1747-1811), a wealthy Quaker
merchant who lived at Stockwell Park, Surrey, near the
Bedfords. In 1789 he married, as his second wife, Anne
Reynolds (dates unknown) of Carshalton. BACK
 i.e. all of Southey’s published
Curse of Kehama, published in 1810. Southey
had begun drafting Book 2 on 4 June 1802. BACK
unfinished ‘History of Portugal’. BACK
translation of Amadis of Gaul
 Incidents in The Curse of
Bedfords had presumably sold their house in Brixton,
near London, the place where in 1793 Southey had
completed the first draft of Joan of
 Tragic lovers from Greek mythology whose
story had been popular with poets and dramatists.
Bedford had published a translation of Musaeus’ (fl. c.
early 6th century) The Loves of Hero and
Leander (1797). BACK
 A part of Hyde Park, London,
much used by horses and carriages and a popular
recreation place for the fashionable. BACK
William Dodd (1729-1777; DNB), clergyman
and man of letters who was hanged for forgery – hence
his exit ‘alive & kicking’. BACK