723. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 5 October  *
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 world.
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 stranger. 
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 there.
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 make!
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.
* Address: To/ G C Bedford Esqr/ Exchequer / Westminster
Postmark: [partial] BRISTOL/ OCT 5
Endorsement: 5 Octbr 1801
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: Misdated 1801 by Southey. BACK
 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
 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