2948. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 19 March 1817

2948. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 19 March 1817⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Here is a second & a much better epistle to Wm Smith. [1]  If you have not sent the first to the Courier, [2]  draw your pen thro the first two lines of this. This would do without the former, – but the former does not lessen the fitness of this. – There is no occasion for mincing the matter, & affecting courtesy in reply to a gross insult. He will not challenge me, & if he were to, I should fight him nowhere but in the newspapers.

I think you will like this letter, as being full, frank & in a proper tone. Pray send it without delay. – I have heard nothing concerning the injunction, [3]  –– which is indeed now a matter of no importance: so I have spoken about it in a way which will be equally proper, whether it be pursued or abandoned.

God bless you


Wednesday. 19 March. 1817


* Address: [deletions and readdress in another hand] To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqre M.P./ Hamilton Place/ London/ <Norton Priory/ Warrington>
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: FREE/ 22 MR 22/ 1817; [partial] FREE
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] This letter contained an enclosure: Southey to the Editor of the Courier [19 March 1817], Letter 2946. Southey hoped that Wynn would send this to the Courier. Wynn’s absence from home meant there was a delay in his receiving it. By the time he did so, the public debate had moved on and Southey therefore decided to incorporate the letter into his pamphlet A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817). BACK

[2] The ‘first’ letter Wynn had been asked by Southey to read and then send to the Courier was Southey to William Smith, 17 March 1817, Letter 2943. Again, Wynn’s absence from home had delayed his receipt of the letter, which meant that it was not sent to the newspaper for publication. This letter too was incorporated into Southey’s A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817). BACK

[3] In 1794 Southey sent James Ridgway (1755–1838), and Henry Symonds (1741–1816), radical booksellers, then in Newgate prison, a copy of his Jacobin drama Wat Tyler; see Robert Southey to Edith Fricker, [c. 12 January 1795], The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part One, Letter 123. Ridgway and Symonds did not publish it and it remained in manuscript until a pirated publication, designed to embarrass the now anti-Jacobin Southey, appeared in 1817. Having taken advice from Rickman, Wynn and Turner, Southey launched a suit in Chancery in order to gain an injunction suppressing the publication. His case was not heard until 18–19 March 1817. BACK

People mentioned

Smith, William (1756–1835) (mentioned 1 time)
Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 1 time)
Turner, Sharon (1768–1847) (mentioned 1 time)