1245.1 Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [20 December 1806]

1245.1 Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [20 December 1806] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Thank you for the Catalogue.  [1]  There are many books which set me longing, – but only five which I ought to possess. These are

1010. Linschotens Voyages in the original Dutch.  [2] 

1150. Busnots Reign of Muley Ismael.  [3] 

1278. Herberts Persian Monarchy.  [4] 

1465. Hottingeri Hist: Orientalis [5] 

1690. Whitefields acc: of Processions seen at Lisbon.  [6] 

If you could procure these for me I should be very glad – but the first of them is in Mondays sale. – I could not write last night – there was not time, & my brother Tom was just leaving me to set out again to sea, being appointed Lieutenant to the Pallas Frigate.  [7] 

Linschoten is a book of great importance to me, the most so respecting Portugueze India of any xxx foreign writer. {– But I recollect that I am too late for it, unless it should happen not to have been sold – being Dutch.}  [8] 

I am learning Dutch which is indispensable. Will you (- I know not to whom else to apply) secure for me at Mr Bedfords sale [9]  Jacob Cats’ works.  [10]  It will help me in this language – & I have coveted & desired that book ever since I knew that I must one day learn the sweet language in which it is written. The copy is a very fine one, & it would grieve me to lose it. I know by experience how much is to be gleaned from books of poetry fxx by one who reads for history.

God bless you



* Endorsements: “Southey”; Mr Williams Wynne
MS: University of Kentucky Library. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: the letter dates from 20 December 1806. Tom Southey left Keswick on Friday 19 December to take up his new posting; see Southey to John Rickman, 23 December 1806, Letter 1247. This letter was written on the following day. BACK

[1] A Catalogue of the Entire, Extensive, and Curious Library of the Late Mr. John Voight, formerly of the Custom-House (1806). The sale was at Leigh and Sotheby, 145 The Strand, London, beginning on 18 December 1806. BACK

[2] Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563–1611), Itinerario: Voyage ofte Schipvaert van Jan Huyghen van Linschoten near Oost ofte Portugaels Indien, 1579–1592 (1596). The annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, suggests Wynn did not buy this book. Southey later acquired a copy, no. 1680 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] Dominique Busnot, History of the Reign of Muley Ismael, King of Morocco, Fez &c. (1715). BACK

[4] Thomas Herbert (1606–1682; DNB), Description of the Persian Monarchy now beinge the Orientall Indyes, Iles and other ports of the Greater Asia and Africk (1634). The annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Bodleian Library indicates that Wynn purchased this. However, it is not listed in the sale catalogue of Southey’s own library. BACK

[5] Johann Heinrich Hottinger (1620–1667), Historia Orientalis (1682). BACK

[6] George Whitefield (1714–1770; DNB), Account of some Lent and other Extraordinary Processions seen Last Year at Lisbon (1755). BACK

[7] HMS Pallas, a frigate launched in 1804. BACK

[8] {– But …Dutch}: appears to have been added by Southey as an afterthought. BACK

[9] Charles Bedford, father of Grosvenor Bedford, sold most of his library in March 1807, see A Catalogue of the Entire, Elegant and very Valuable Library of Charles Bedford, Esq., Late of Brixton-Causeway (1807). BACK

[10] Jacob Cats (1577–1660), statesman and poet. Southey possessed his Alle de Wercken (1726), no. 687 in the sale catalogue of his library, where it is described as containing ‘portraits and numerous fine plates’. Southey had begun to learn Dutch and to read Cats’s poetry in 1799, while staying with the Bedford family at Brixton. BACK

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