Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
139. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 17 November 1795 *
Bedford — the week is over. I am at Bath — & have left for six long months — my wife. —
Why am I going abroad — I ask myself the same question — & can to return no answer — but that it is to please my Mother. when I have found out the reason myself, you shall know. why did I marry — do you ask? it is Grosvenor a satisfaction to myself — if the tongue of malice should whisper that I have forsaken her (& calumny has been busy with me) there is now an answer that will make it dumb. & what is more of consequence — if I should not return alive — she has a claim upon the protection of those I am now satisfying — for the “bitter little that would then be left of life.” 
mutually did we press each others hand & parted in silence. the moment I had left her I burst into tears. she still keeps her own name — for it may not be convenient for us to live together immediately upon my return.
God bless you. tell Wynn this — & remember me to him — we go hence on Thursday. — & I hope that in spite of winds waves wolves & banditti we shall meet in May.
yours most affectionately
Tuesday. Nov 17th.
* Address: G C Bedford Esqr/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Postmark: ANO/ 18/ 95
Watermark: Crown and anchor with G R underneath
Seal: Red wax [design illegible]
Endorsement: 17. Novr 1795/ Marriage 14. Novr
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 22
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 102–103. BACK
 A paraphrase of Robert Burns (1759–1796; DNB), Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, 2 vols (Belfast, 1793), II, p. 63, ‘On seeing a wounded hare limp by me, which a fellow had just shot at’, line 6. BACK