2449. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 22 June 1814
2449. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 22 June 1814 *
22 June 1814.
My dear Grosvenor
I expected the termination which your letter communicates.  A prolongation of life could only have been feebleness & pain to himself, & fear & suffering to all around him. The passage now has been short & easy, – & what more could xxxxx have <be> prayed for than thus to fall asleep in ripe old age?
If I were to look round the world & ask myself what man there is in it whom I should miss the most if he were removed, – you would be the man. Excepting Wynn you are the oldest friend I have, & with no one has by my communication been so uninterruptedly frequent. For many very many years there has never occurred a day in which some circumstance or other has not brought you to my mind. Brixton is perhaps the most important scene of my literary life, – x whenever I arrive at that sort of canonization which Poets as well as Saints must die before they can attain, y the summer house there (if it be standing) will be given as a vignette to one of the chapters of my life Memoirs – With the recollections of that time,  – & of many others, your fathers memory is blended, – & among all your friends I venture to say that none knew him better, or xxxxx him or valued him more. The only mistake which Nature made was in not making him a Prince. But his elements were happily mixt, & when a tale touched him there was a look in his eye which I shall never forget.
Remember me most kindly to your mother & Henry & believe me
ever most affectionately yours
A momentary recollection has just brought an April smile  upon my cheek, – the letter which you wrote to Wynn upon an occasion like this, & the use to which the Welsh God Almighty in reversion applied it.
* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9. Stafford Row/ Buckingham
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 25 JU 25/ 1814
Endorsement: 22 June 1814
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), II, pp. 354–355 [in part]. BACK
 Southey had completed the first draft of Joan of Arc, the poem that made his name, in 1793 at the Bedfords’ house at Brixton. BACK