814. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [28 July 1803]

814. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [28 July 1803] ⁠* 

Thursday evening.

Your abortive frank was destined to be a second time abortive, for it miscarried of the post – in plain English you might <have> dried the inside & finished the outside & kept it 23 ½ hours – for it did not reach me till this morning.

I would cross to meet you at Monmouth if I were not sure, as far as mortality & Bonaparte [1]  will let me be sure – of being in town before Xmas – & this makes the warm weather, & the full gallop of willing work on which I am careering, valid reasons for not again going from home. I love warm weather dearly when sitting still – but locomotion in the dog days is purgatory upon earth.

In my ordinary course of stall-reading I found yesterday a mutilated & very filthy copy of a most quaint & curious book. Battering Rams against Rome, or the Battel of John the Follower of the Lamb, fought with the Pope & his Priests, whilst he was a prisoner in the Inquisition Prison of Rome. [2]  this John “the servant of Jesus in the holy & blessed calling of the Quaking & Trembling at the word of the Lord God,” was the Quaker who went to Rome to convert the Pope. of course they sent him to the Inquisition, but as he wrote in English they allowed him pen ink & paper – & this little volume contains all his letters to the Pope & Priests & what he calls his Epistle General to the Romans, written from the Holy Office, & afterwards from the Madhouse whither they removed him. it is the rarest jewel in all the Bibliotheca Fanatica –

farewell in haste

R S.


* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr. M.P./ Circuit/ Monmouth
Postmark: BRISTOL/ JUL 29 1803
Endorsement: July 29 1803
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, First Consul 1799-1804, Emperor of the French 1804-1814). BACK

[2] John Perrot (d. 1665; DNB), Battering Rams Against Rome (1661), no. 129 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK