378. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [started before and continued on] 10 February 1799 *
Well Grosvenor our meeting is delayed, which is not well. do not however be alarmed, – the journey might not possibly have hurt me but I did not feel equal to it, the fatigue appeared tremendous to me in my present state, & I was fearful of fixing a cough which I am getting rid of. the advice I have is good, & perfectly understandable – it comes too from a man on whom I can rely – & were there any occasion, which there certainly is not, for higher authority, I frequently see Beddoes.
Thank you for your letter, the trouble of copying the Barber was needless, as I could have done it from the Magazine.  it was leave to print it that I askd.  do you know for what I wanted it? for a volume like the Almanachs of the Muses, once famous in France, & now more famous in Germany, where the best of their living writers appear as Editors. help me if you can to a title – I thought of Poetical Gleanings – & help me to any thing else.  Your Barber is incomparable in its way – it was a happy thought – & as well executed as conceived. the plan of the Witch  is better than the execution, but it will make a fine ode. the hymn  I do not like; it is difficult to write a good hymn & when they are very good they are good for nothing – except to sing at church. of your other pieces send me what you think best & the more you send the better – I will find as many faults as I can & mend them on xx xxxx xxxx with your xxxxx leave as well as I can. oh what signature shall you chuse? your name – or initials – or will you be the Translator of Musæus? 
Early in the <next> week I expect to send you my Poems. 
Should you survive me Grosvenor, I not only wish my letters but all my papers to be consigned to you – Excepting letters you will not find much to burn, for I have made magnificent bonfires. but it is possible that you may essentially serve the relations I may leave, by editing what you may find. it is my hope this summer to finish Madoc – but to keep it at least ten years.  so if I die during that period, there will be that. however I should rather live to print it myself – & you see I take care to avoid the slightest danger of injuring myself.
When I come to town in May it will be to keep the two terms – & for part of that time I can gladly be your guest. I look on with little pleasure to a journey – my time passes pleasurably in uniform employments, to-day like yesterday, tomorrow like to-day. indisposition affects my spirits but little, & that only at night when it keeps me waking – from the advance of spring, tonic medicines & the cold bath, I expect assistance, & still more from the sea & the exercise to which the shore will tempt me.
Sunday Feby. 10.
This has been for some days delayed – I have nothing to add except that I continue to be unwell & hope benefit from this thaw, which soaks thro every part of our old house. I will write with the Poems which will be finished tomorrow – so that by the end of the week I may safely promise them. God bless you.
I am setting off thro a fine snow-soup for my walk.
 Bedford’s ‘The Rhedecynian Barbers, An Ode’, ‘Monthly Magazine, 3 (May 1797), 328, under the signature ‘P.H.’ (‘Peter the Hermit’, a psedonym used by Bedford during his and Southey’s time at Westminster School). BACK
 ‘The Witch of Endor’ was an early work; see Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, [before 15 October 1794], The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part 1, Letter 108. It did not appear in the Annual Anthology. BACK