1775. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [c. 2 May 1810]

1775. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn [fragment], [c. 2 May 1810] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

I begin to have the same sort of feeling about the Installation verses [1]  that you may perhaps remember to have experienced at seven o clock on a Monday morning when Bible exercise was not begun – & what is worse the way to begin it had not yet been hit upon. – However I am going to Durham on Monday for three weeks holydays, – & who knows but they may be accomplished as a holydays task. – By Monday I expect to compleat the Register, [2]  – & also to send off the whole of the notes for Kehama, [3]  – thus clearing my hands of two long & weighty jobs, – tho it is only to begin others. – for Ballantyne will be calling on me for his next volume [4]  as soon as this is out of his press. – & Gifford & Murray are pressing me for the Quarterly with flattery & civility, & payment beyond any thing I ever dreamt of receiving. – I have promised Murray a life of Nelson – in a five shilling volume, – to be the young sailors manual. [5]  And here are my own great works of history [6]  to go on with – Judge you how full my hands are. I am thank God getting up hill & may expect in the course of two years to right myself in Longmans books, & xxxx xx make my income exceed my expenditure – till now my it has fallen short, & that God knows neither for want of oeconomy nor labour. But I have never been discouraged nor ever deprest, for being always confident that sooner or later xxxxxxx xxxxxx some future exertion would bring in payment & interest for the part.

Mak[MS missing] Carysfort. It will be a great pleasure to me to renew [MS missing]quaintance with Guendolen & Polyxena. [7]  Send them to [MS missing]hich has not been sent you as it [MS missing]ol at the same time.

This afford[MS missing] shows such an insolent contempt of [MS missing] turning downright Burd[MS missing] will in many part [remainder of MS missing]


* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ London
Stamped: [partial] KESWICK
Postmark: [partial] FREE/ 1810
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. AL; 2p.
Dating note: dating from internal evidence. BACK

[1] Southey had been asked by Wynn to write a poem commemorating Grenville’s (Wynn’s uncle) installation as Chancellor of Oxford University. It was published as ‘Verses. Spoken in the Theatre at Oxford Upon the Installation of Lord Grenville’, Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809, 2.2 (1811), 641–643. BACK

[2] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1808 (1810). BACK

[3] The Curse of Kehama (1810). BACK

[4] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809 (1811). BACK

[5] The Life of Nelson (1813), an expansion of Southey’s article in Quarterly Review, 3 (February 1810), 218–262. BACK

[6] Southey’s History of Brazil (1810–1819) and ‘History of Portugal’ (which he never completed). BACK

[7] Works by Carysfort, included in his Dramatic and Narrative Poems, 2 vols (London, 1810), I, pp. [287]–393 (‘Polyxena’); and II, pp. [1]–155 (‘The Revenge of Guendolen’). A ‘Presentation Copy, uncut, from the Author’ was no. 548 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK