739. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [30 November 1802] *
The name of an Edinburgh Review  was quite new to me & I have no chance of seeing their notice of Thalaba – but any Review good or bad is a good thing, for I am afraid the dust lies heavy on him in Longmans warehouse. By the by Longman is about to start a new Review  & has applied to me to bear a part therein. the Critical has supplied me of late so very sparingly that I did not hesitate to give the yes – as my old friend the Spanish ballad writers phrase it, – so that in some cases I shall probably have a double voice.
I have two French histories of Portugal. Neufvilles, & la Cledes,  neither printed in columns – but I have seen Vertots  so printed. if it be any other pray secure it for me. I wish now that I had taken that xxx memoirs of the Queens of Spain  mutilated of its prints as it was – it would have answered my use till I found another copy, & then might have been exchanged.
The Ballads of the Cid  are very numerous, & generally very bad. some of them have fine passages – but not one tolerable enough as a whole to bear translation. I expect an older poem upon Rodrigo from Lisbon as soon as it can be procured from Madrid.  a sketch of his literary history will make a good note, from the first ballads down to the Epics of Philip 2ds time  – to Corneille  – & Montengon.  I mean to do this with all the heroes of romance or history that come within my limits.
I have not seen Coleridges letters.  As for the politics of this wicked world – his Majesty & his Majestys ministers  have certainly a very peaceable & well disposed subject in me. all my political irritation goes off in a curse or two at Bonaparte. I have forgiven young Jenkinson for Lord Hawkesburys  sake, & Mr Addington  is got into my good graces. your cousin  puts me in mind of Sir Kay in Mort Arthur  – he never jousts without getting a fall.
God bless you –
 Jacques Le Quien de Neufville (1647-1728), Histoire Generale de Portugal (1700), no. 2101 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library; and Nicolas de La Clede (1700-1736), Histoire Generale de Portugal (1735), no. 612 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK
 Southey had transcribed for Wynn material relating to Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (c. 1040-1099), a Castilian aristocrat and military commander, whose exploits were the subject of numerous poems and tales. Southey’s English translation and compilation of three of these was published in 1808 as The Chronicle of the Cid. BACK
 Coleridge’s two public letters ‘To Mr. Fox’, Morning Post (4 November and 9 November 1802), attacked the leading Whig politician Charles James Fox (1749–1806; DNB) for visiting France and appearing to be complicit with the regime of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, First Consul 1799-1804, Emperor of the French 1804-1814). BACK
 Robert Jenkinson, later 2nd Earl of Liverpool (1770-1828; DNB), Foreign Secretary 1801-1804, Home Secretary 1804-1806, 1807-1809, Prime Minister 1812-1827. His father was Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool (1727-1808; DNB), President of the Board of Trade 1786-1804. BACK