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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Grosvenor C. Bedford, 9 September 1808

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“September 9. 1808.
“My dear Grosvenor,

“Had I been a single man, I should long ere this have found my way into Spain.* I do not perceive any possibility of my going now,—for this plain reason, my pension would not support my family during my absence, and there is no reason to suppose that any salary which might be allotted me, would be more than sufficient for my own expenses abroad. So much the better, for if it were otherwise, and the offer were made me, I believe I ought to accept it, and this could not be done without a great sacrifice. Three children, and a fourth in prospect, are not easily left, and ought not to be left unless some important

* This letter was in reply to one from Mr. Bedford, conveying an offer from Gifford to endeavour to procure him an appointment in Spain, that he might write an account of the transactions then going forward there.

advantage were to be obtained by leaving them. I am obliged to
Gifford, very much obliged to him: it is likely that Frere, from his knowledge of my Uncle, would be disposed to listen to him; but that enough could be obtained to render my acceptance of it prudent, or even practicable, seems out of the question.

“So far was written last night, immediately on the receipt of your letter. In matters of any import this is my way,—to reply from the instantaneous feeling, and then let the reply lie quietly for cooler judgment. You see what my thoughts are upon the subject. I should accept an advantageous offer, but am so certain of being desperately homesick during the whole time of absence, that I am glad there is so little probable chance of any offer sufficiently advantageous. Yet had I 500l. to dispose of, I would go in the first packet for Lisbon, expressly to purchase books. The French have, without doubt, sold off the convent libraries, and perhaps the public ones, and such a collection may now be made, as could never at any other time be within reach.

“As for a history of the Spanish Revolution, Landor is in the country, and if he is disposed to do it, there never was that man upon earth who could do it better.

“God bless you

R. S.”