3314. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 11 June 1819

3314. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 11 June 1819⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Murray sent me Llorentes original manuscript, about three years ago, & I made some notes from it at that time. [1]  It is a very curious work, with the best stamp of authenticity – And certainly might furnish ample matter for a review. But a great deal of the original information which I possessed upon that subject was given to the Review some years ago [2] 

I am very pleas much pleased at what you tell me of Elmsley. [3]  It is the very best way in which his acquirements could be turned to account: nor is there any other way by which a Greek scholar could secure to himself so lasting a remembrance, as he must now xxxxx do, if by good fortune any thing of value should turn up.

Instead of travelling south, my plans are altered, & I go northward with Rickman to – the Caledonian Canal. This I have been engaged to do for three years, every year it has been put off, & now it can be deferred no longer, – for it is fitting that he should see it before he draws up the final report. [4] Telford goes with him – so I shall see it to the best advantage. – I may tell you that your old acquaintance Espriella [5]  will be of the party, – he has long been laying up stores, & only wanted some thing of this kind for garnish.

Gifford has put in one sentence in my paper upon the Copy right [6]  which invalidates (if it were just) would invalidate part of my argument, – & he has struck out a fair hit at Christian [7]  (the only good thing in the paper) – & what I am more sorry for, a compliment to poor Sir Egerton which I put in <inserted> for the sole sake of gratifying him. I am really vexed at this. For tho I know the have no personal acquaintance with Sir E. he deserved a civil thing on this occasion, & it would have gratified him very much.  [8] 

God bless you


11 June. 1819


* MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4813D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Juan Antonio Llorente (1756–1823), Histoire Critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne (1817–1818). Murray had sought advice from Southey in 1817 on whether an English translation was advisable, but did not take up the option and no English version appeared until 1826. The French translation was no. 1738 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[2] Southey’s review of ‘Tracts on Spanish and Portugueze Inquisitions’, Quarterly Review, 6 (December 1811), 313–357. BACK

[3] Davy and Elmsley were working on the papyri found at Herculaneum and deposited in Naples Museum. Davy was trying to unroll them using chemical means and Elmsley was attempting to decipher any legible text once they were unrolled. BACK

[4] Rickman was Secretary to the Commission responsible for the construction of the Caledonian Canal 1803–1822. BACK

[5] Southey did not write a successor to his Letters from England: By Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807). BACK

[6] Southey’s ‘Inquiry into the Copyright Act’, Quarterly Review, 21 (January 1819), 196–213. BACK

[7] Edward Christian (1758–1823; DNB), Downing Professor of the Laws of England 1788–1823 and defender of the right of eleven public and university libraries to receive a free copy of all published books. BACK

[8] Southey’s ‘Inquiry into the Copyright Act’ had reviewed, amongst many other things, works by Brydges on the subject. BACK

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