2841. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 11 September 1816*
My dear Wynn
There are but few points upon which you & I should disagree when we understood each other.  Upon that of the farms we are perfectly agreed, – my position being that the smallest which can be cultivated with adequate advantage to the cultivator is best. – Your plan respecting the churches is so simple & so good that one wonders it should not have been hit upon before, – & the very means proposed would include good in itself – for the service is at present too long. I have not seen the E Review – but from all I hear it seems xxx fit that I should regularly see it, for the advantage which it would give me. Some day I shall come it upon it with a heavy hand & a whip of scorpions. Malthus’s proposal which this precious Review has reviewed, you will see treated, exactly as you regard it, in my former paper upon the Poor (No 16.)  x & I wish you would cast your eye upon <over> those pages of that paper which speak of the state of public opinion as influenced by the newspapers. for some years I have believed (& most reluctantly believed xx) that we are hurrying on towards a Revolution, which according to all xx symptoms will not be less bloody nor less destructive than what has been witnessed in France.  The three men in the world of <in> whose judgement I have the highest most confidence have, I know, the same ominous apprehension; & each has formed it for himself, uninfluenced by, & even unknown to, the others.  I am afraid that this danger will never be perceived on your side the house, – it seems in the nature of partys spirit to make men suppose that they can always direct the whirlwind, & believe that the storm which wrecks their rivals will blow them into port. I wish you were in office for many reasons & for this among others, – that if you were, I think you xxx would lend your aid manfully & efficiently towards checking an evil, which if it be not checked will, I verily believe, involve us in utter ruin. Nine tenths of the provincial papers are now as mischievous as ever Paine  was, – & you know better than I do what is the complexion of the London weekly magazines of sedition. 
From what you told me of Reginald Hebers notions I imagine that he & I should agree in the main in your <our> views respecting a sort of comprehension of the Methodists, -  toward which your plan for the xxx service in the school houses would contribute greatly.
Since you were here I have been much in company, to the dissipation of more time than I can well afford to lose. We have had here the Secretaries of the Bible Society one of whom I knew formerly at Bristol  – the King of Prussias Librarian,  – Rogers, – Glover,  young Westall who is lodging here, Sir G Beaumont (also resident) – Owen of Lanark  – a son of the Duke of Brescia  &c &c &c – My Tea – Table d’hote as I call it is supplied with as curious a succession of guests at this season of the year as could be found perhaps any where in England. x xx Heber talks of coming. – I have been twice on Causey Pike since our expedition there, – on one of these walks the two Ediths  & Bertha were with me, – they carted it to the foot of the hill, – & on our descent we dined beside the stream in the bottom. The other was with Rogers, Wordsworth, & Sir George Beaumont – neither of whom had been there before: – Wordsworth agrees with me that there is no finer point in the whole land of mountains.
What think you of a club of Atheists meeting twice a week at an Alehouse in Keswick, to enjoy the pleasure of denying God & Devil, – & the Landlady of their way of thinking? – Our Reverend Porpoise here is a Magistrate also;  – but he nods in the reading desk, & sleeps on the bench.
God bless you
11 Sept. 1816
 Southey’s article in Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356. It contained (320–327) a denunciation of Thomas Malthus (1766–1834; DNB), An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) and in particular Malthus’s proposal in the second edition of 1803 to abolish poor relief for children born after a certain date. Malthus was a Whig and his work received a number of supportive comments from Whig journals, e.g. Edinburgh Review, 11 (October 1807), 100–116. BACK
 The Secretaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society (founded 1804): John Owen (1766–1822; DNB), Curate of Fulham 1795–1813; and Joseph Hughes (1769–1833; DNB), Baptist Minister who held various posts at Bristol’s Broadmead Baptist Church 1791–1796, where he met Southey. BACK
 Samuel Heinrich Spiker (1786–1858). An English translation of his account of his experiences in Britain was later published as Travels through England, Wales, & Scotland, in the Year 1816, 2 vols (London, 1820). His meeting with Southey was described on I, pp. 269–272. Naturally, Spiker was most interested in Southey’s library. BACK
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