600. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 19 August-6 September 1801
600. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 19 August–6 September 1801 *
Grosvenor Care  – which you will be pleased to translate
& not to understand it as if I called you Mr Carey, which would be calling you out of your name. Wednesday 19 Aug. 1801.
Imprimis – I am going to send you the first book of the Curse poem  – which will this day or tomorrow be finished – but as I shall see Wynn in the course of ten days it shall be delayed to have the name potential on its cover.
2dly De Anthologiâ – which is of or concerning the Anthology.  as I hope to be picking up lava from Etna  – I cannot be tying up nosegays here in England. but blind Tobin whom you know – God bless him for a very good fellow – (tho (in a parenthesis mark you!) he is deadlily tiresome) – but Tobin the blind is very unwilling that no more Anthologies should appear – wherefore there will be more volumes with which all I shall have to do will be to see that large paper copies be printed to continue sets – becoming myself only a gentleman contributor – to which ingenious publication I beg your countenance Sir! & support.
& 3dly did not you write a ballad of the Lady her Dog & her Dolly  that were all buried under the Holly? – for I never saw it. but Wynn thought it was mine, which made me think it was Coleridges, whose it was not – & so for the word disagreeabell which it contained it rests upon your shoulders.
You ask me questions about my foreign plans which I cannot readily answer. only that if I get a decent salary abroad, even should my health take a fancy to this queer climate, I have no estate to retire to at home – & so shall have a good prudential reason for remaining there. my dreams incline to Lisbon as a resting place – I am really attached to the country – & odd as it may seem, to the people. in Lisbon they are like all metropolitanians – rogueish enough – but in the country I have found them hospitable even to kindness, when I was a stranger & in want. the Consulship at Lisbon would of all possible situations best delight me – better than a grand Consulship. tis a good thousand a year – but when one is dreaming you know Grosvenor –
These Lakes are like Rivers – but oh for the Mondego & the Tagus. & these mountains – beautifully indeed are they shaped & grouped – but oh for the great Monchique – & for Cintra my Paradise – this Heaven on Earth of my hopes. & if ever I should have a house at Cintra – as in honest sincerity I do hope I shall – will not you give me one twelvemonth, & eat grapes & ride donkeys & be very happy? – in truth Grosvenor I have lived abroad too long to be contented in England – I miss southern luxuries – the fruits – the wines – I miss the sun in heaven – having been upon a short allowance of sunbeams these last ten days. & if the nervous fluid be the galvanic fluid, & the galvanic fluid the electric fluid, & the electric fluid condensed light  – Zounds what an effect must these damned dark rainy clouds have upon a poor nervous fellow whose brain has been in a state of high illumination for the last fifteen months!
God bless you. I am going in a few days to meet Wynn at Liverpool – & then to see the Welsh Lions. so if you know his direction write to me under cover for the love of the frank. & fail not to send the annotations in Thalabam.
Whenever I get my books together I will draw out the long delayed account of Leandrian  poems – which has really only been delayed because the materials have never before me at once.
Grosvenor Bedford I wish you would write a history – for take my word for it no employment else is one thousandth part so interesting. I wish you would try it. we want a Venetian history – I would hunt Italy for your materials – & help you in any imaginable way – think about it & tell me your thoughts.
Keswick Sept. 6. 1801.
* Address: To/ Grosvenor Charles Bedford Esqr / Exchequer/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ SEP 9/ 1801
Endorsements: 6 Septr 1801; 6 Sept. 1801
MS: Bodleian Library, Eng. Lett. c. 23. ALS; 4p.
Previously published: Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849-1850), II, pp. 161-163 [in part].
Dating note: The first two sentences of the letter were written on 19 August; the rest on 6 September, by which time Southey was staying at Greta Hall, Keswick. BACK
 A draft of Book 1 of the Curse of Kehama (1810). Southey had begun this on 15 August 1801, but did not finish it until 20 November 1801; see Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Robert Southey Papers A.S727. BACK
 A reference to the proposal by Wynn that Southey should become Secretary to Sir William Drummond (c. 1770-1828; DNB), classical scholar, poet and diplomat; Charge d’Affaires in Denmark 1800-1801, Minister-Plenipotentiary in Naples 1801-1803 and 1807-1808, and Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1803. BACK
 A reference to the theories of Thomas Beddoes and Humphry Davy; see Contributions to Physical and Medical Knowledge, Principally from the West of England (Bristol, 1799), pp. 46-47, 141, 207-230. BACK