984. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 21 October [1804]

984. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 21 October [1804] ⁠* 

Sunday. Oct 21.

Dear Wynn

Your letter has but just arrived with its contents – & I write thus briefly & hastily to acknowledge it. – About the Preface you are right [1]  – I have cooled upon it. it was my intention to have entered a caveat against being suspected of any affectation of humility, – & in so doing should have xxx xxx for appeared arrogant. & after egotism tho exceedingly interesting to the writer & to those who are interested about him after he is dead, is sure to be resented by the contemporary public – & not without reason. I shall therefore simply say that the poem has been long was written very slowly & corrected very patiently. [2] 

The stockings should be sent by coach from Liverpool – directed as my letters, adding ‘by carrier from Kendal. to Liverpool they may easily be sent from Wrexham by Chester –

As soon as the drawings arrive I will forward them to the engraver. you will be glad to hear that my work draws towards an end – 44 sheets printed, & I this evening shall correct the Lake combat. three sections then will be all that will remain. Rodri shall have the eaglets – & we will leave out Regis on the shield. [3]  Or perhaps the inscription all together should be omitted, as I have given these very eaglets to Madoc in the poem.

God bless you

yrs affectionately


Our house is sold over our head & we must turn out at Whitsuntide. a very great nuisance. [4]  the world is all before [5]  me where to chuse –


* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ Wynnstay/ Wrexham
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] For Southey’s poem Madoc (1805), of which he was correcting the proofs even while still revising the sections of the manuscript not yet sent to the printer. BACK

[2] Southey had written Madoc in 1797–1799 and since then had been intermittently revising it. BACK

[3] Southey was arranging details of the heraldic devices to be included on the engraving of Wynn’s shield for the titlepage of Madoc (1805). For Rhodri, the brother of Madoc from whom Wynn claimed descent, see letter 973 of this edition. ‘Regis’ means ‘of kings’. The published engraving includes the ‘eaglets’ but not the inscription. BACK

[4] Southey’s landlord, William Jackson, was negotiating the sale of his house (which in the end did not take place) to Mr White (names and dates unknown) of Keswick. BACK

[5] ‘The World was all before them, where to choose’, Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 12, line 646. BACK

People mentioned

Jackson, William (1748–1809) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Greta Hall/ Greeta Hall (mentioned 1 time)