1039. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 19 February 1805

1039. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 19 February 1805 ⁠* 

Dear Wynn,

How my Articles in the third Annual may appear when cut down to the taste of Arthur Aikin, who cuts out all the oddest things I say, Heaven knows. I do not remember any of them with sufficient satisfaction to wish them to be known out of the circle of my nearest friends. But if you like them better than I do at present, make what use of the subjoined list you like, – only don’t send it abroad till you have tested & tried.

– Woodards Narrative. McKinnens Tour thro the W Indies. Percivals Cape of G. Hope. Barrows Travels in Africa Vol 2. Barrows China. Gardiners Essays. Heriots Hist of Canada. Indian Recreations. Irvings Lives of the Scotch Poets. Miss Sewards Life of Darwin. Clarkes Edition of Falconers Shipwreck. xxxxx Address of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. Cupid turned Volunteer. Dallas’s Aubrey. Churchills Works with notes. Froissart. Rousseaus Correspondence. Celtic Researches by Davies. Ledwicks Antiq. Of Ireland. Transactions of the Auss Society. No Slaves No Sugar. Sir Tristram. [1] 

In some of these there is something good, but on the whole they are no great things, & the less you expect from them the better. The books of information are as usual – analysis with a running commentary, & are well enough. For the rest there was no good text, or at least none which could make me serious. The list is short. I was glad of it at the time & shall be sorry at the reckoning.

I have been over with Wordsworth who is almost heartbroken, [2]  & am going again in the tomorrow. Meantime I have uneasiness of my own. Some symptoms in little Edith make me very apprehensive – we have blistered her ears & are giving calomel. [3]  – I hope in time. A few weeks will decide & would to God they were over.

Your Eaglets will be lengthened in the tail. The Cross I fear cannot be altered [4]  – but it will if possible. You will soon have the book. Did Longman send you the Metrical Tales [5]  according to his instructions?

Sir Al. Ball has made Coleridge his private Secretary. [6]  He has been in Sicily, & has been endeavouring to change the politics of this country with respect to the rascally court of Naples – in the hope of saving Sicily Sicily from the French. [7]  Heaven send us a ministry who may be disposed to listen to good advice!

I shall send my book to Fox – having been told that he would not be displeased at receiving it. [8]  My Uncle sees much of Lord Holland who it seems was disappointed at not finding me in Lisbon. I mean also to send one to Lord Bute, [9]  who corresponds with my Uncle, – because he has shown a wish to keep up an acquaintance with me – & I shall want to consult some of his books at Luton. Lord Holland has been bit by the Spaniards; he thinks nothing good can come out of Portugal & seems determined to exclude all Portuguese books from his collection: which will make mine the more valuable. I travel steadily on, & if my Uncle were to come to England should prepare my first volume for the ensuing winter. [10]  He would take as much delight in revising & collating & correcting the proofs as I myself.

I have not seen the Lay of the Last Minstrel. [11]  Scott has sent it to Wordsworth, & when it arrives I shall have an opportunity of reading it. Your account of it agrees with what I should expect. My brother Harry visits Scott often & they fight over Froissarts [12]  battles together.

God bless you


Tuesday. Feby 19. 1805.


* Address: To C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ Lincolns Inn/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ FEB 22/ 1805
MS: National Library of Wales MS 4812D. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey reviewed, in the Annual Review for 1804, 3 (1805): John Barrow (1764–1848; DNB), An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa, in the years 1797 and 1798, including Observations on the Geology & Geography, the Natural History ... and Sketches of the Various Tribes Surrounding the Cape of Good Hope, Vol. II (1804), 22–33; Robert Percival (1765–1826), An Account of the Cape of Good Hope (1804), 34–41; Daniel Mackinnen (1767–1830), A Tour Through the British West Indies, in the years 1802 and 1803 giving a Particular Account of the Bahama Islands (1804), 50–56; John Barrow, Travels in China: Containing Descriptions, Observations and Comparisons Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-min-yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey from Pekin to Canton (1804), 69–83; Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France, and the Adjoining Countries, from the Latter Part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry IV, trans. Thomas Johnes (1748–1816; DNB) (1804), 189–194; George Heriot (1766–1844), The History of Canada, From its First Discovery: Comprehending an Account of the Original Establishment of the Colony of Louisiana, 194–197; Part the First of An Address to the Public from the Society for the Suppression of Vice, Instituted, in London, 1802, Setting Forth, with a List of the Members, the Utility and Necessity of such an Institution, and its Claim to Public Support (1803), 225–231; Edward Ledwich (1738–1823), The Antiquities of Ireland (1804), 398–413; Original Correspondence of Jean Jacques Rousseau, with Mad. La Tour de Franqueville and M. Du Peyrou (1804), 485–488; Anna Seward, Memoirs of the Life of Dr. Darwin, ... with Anecdotes of his Friends and Criticisms on his Writings (1804), 488–93; David Irving (1778–1850), The Lives of the Scotish Poets; with Preliminary Dissertations on the Literary History of Scotland and the Early Scotish Drama (1804), 493–499; Walter Scott, Sir Tristram: A Metrical Romance by Thomas of Ercildoune (1804), 555–563; Charles Abraham Elton (1778–1853), Poems (1804), 564–565; William Day (dates unknown), The Shepherd’s Boy: being Pastoral Tales (1804), 567–568; E. Warren (dates unknown), The Poet’s Day, or, Imagination’s Ramble (1804), 568; Cupid turned Volunteer: in a Series of Prints, Designed by her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth; and Engraved by W. N. Gardiner, B.A., with Poetical Illustrations by T. P [Thomas Park (1758/9–1834; DNB)] (1804), 568–580; Thomas Green Fessenden (1771–1837), Original Poems (1804), 571; John Blair Linn (1777–1805), The Powers of Genius (1801), 571; Thomas Clio Rickman (1761–1834; DNB), An Ode in Celebration of the Emancipation of the Blacks of Saint Domingo, November 29, 1803 (1804), 572; Robert Bloomfield, Good Tidings (1804), 574; William Robert Spencer (1770–1834; DNB), The Year of Sorrow (1804), 574–575; British Purity: or, the World we Live in. A Poetic Tale, of Two Centuries…By Lory Lucian and Jerry Juvenal, … Assisted by S. Scriblerus, etc. [pseud.] (1804), 575; William Falconer (1732–1769), The Shipwreck (1804), ed., James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834; DNB), 577–580; William Tooke (1777–1863), ed., The Poetical Works of Charles Churchill: with Explanatory Notes and an Authentic Account of his Life (1804), 580–585; J. Amphlett (dates unknown), Invasion: a Descriptive and Satirical Poem (1804), 585; Joseph Jefferson (1766–1824), Horae Poeticæ. Poems, Sacred, Moral and Descriptive (1804), 586–587; Alexander Campbell (1764–1824; DNB), The Grampians Desolate, a Poem in Six Books (1804), 587–591; William Crowe (bap. 1745, d. 1829; DNB), Lewesdon Hill (1804), 593–594; John Finlay (1782–1810), Wallace, or, The Vale of Ellerslie, and other Poems (1804), 594–596; Jessie Stewart (dates unknown), Ode to Dr. Thomas Percy (1804), 597; John Belfour (1768–1842), Fables on Subjects Connected with Literature. Imitated from the Spanish of Don Tomas de Yriarte (1804), 597–598; Transactions of the Missionary Society (1804), 621–634; Edward Davies (1756–1831; DNB), Celtic Researches, on the Origin, Traditions, & Language, of the Ancient Britons; with some Introductory Sketches, on Primitive Society (1804), 634–644; [Anon.] No Slaves - No Sugar: Containing New and Irresistible Arguments in Favour of the African Trade by a Liverpool Merchant (1804), 644–648; William Tennant (1758–1813), Indian Recreations, Consisting Chiefly of Strictures on the Domestic and Rural Economy of the Mahommedans and Hindoos (1803), 658–670; John Gardiner (fl. 1758–1792), Essays Literary, Political and Economical (1804), 670–674; Richard Duppa, Heads from the Fresco Pictures of Raffaele in the Vatican (1802), 918–923. Southey’s review of David Woodard (1759–?), The Narrative of Captain D. W. and Four Seamen, who Lost their Ship while in a Boat at Sea, and Surrendered Themselves up to the Malays, in the Island of Celebes (1804) does not appear in the volume. The review of Robert Charles Dallas (1754–1824), Aubrey: a Novel (1804) which appeared in the Annual Review for 1804, 3 (1805) 551–553, does not seem to have been by Southey, according to letter 1093, which states his article had been suppressed. BACK

[2] Wordsworth’s brother, John Wordsworth (1772–1805), captain of the East Indiaman, the Earl of Abergavenny, went down with his ship on the Shambles rocks off Portland Bill, on 5 February 1805. BACK

[3] The common name for mercury chloride, which was taken for various ailments. BACK

[4] Wynn, the dedicatee of Madoc, wished the blazon of his family shield and the cross representing the faith of Madoc his ancestor, to be altered. See letter 1037 of this edition. BACK

[5] Southey’s contributions to the Annual Anthology (1799–1800) were republished by Longman in Robert Southey, Metrical Tales and other Poems (1805). BACK

[6] Alexander John Ball, 1st Baronet (1757–1809; DNB): Rear Admiral who directed the blockade of Malta (1798–1800). BACK

[7] Coleridge discussed the politics of the ruling Neapolitan court of Sicily in The Friend (1809–1810). See S. T. Coleridge, The Friend, ed. Barbara E. Rooke, 2 vols (London and Princeton NJ, 1969), I, pp. 559–560, II, p. 99. BACK

[8] Southey’s Madoc (1805). BACK

[9] John Stuart, 1st Marquess of Bute (1744–1814; DNB), son of the 3rd Earl of Bute (1713–1792, Prime Minister 1762–1763; DNB) a literary patron, whose library the Marquess inherited. BACK

[10] Southey’s ‘History of Portugal’, which was never completed. BACK

[11] Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel, a Poem (1805). BACK

[12] Jean Froissart (c. 1337–c. 1405), chronicler of medieval history consulted by Scott when composing his chivalric romances. Scott reviewed Sir John Froissart’s Chronicles of England, France, and the Adjoining Countries, from the Latter Part of the Reign of Edward II to the Coronation of Henry IV (1804), trans. Thomas Johnes (1748–1816; DNB), in the Edinburgh Review, 10 (January 1805), 347–362. BACK