643. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 22 December 1801

643. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 22 December 1801 ⁠* 

Tuesday 22 Dec. 1801

Your letter with the draft arrived this morning. our two earlier ones past each other on the road. My Mother is rather worse than better – yet in such a mood of mind – that the sight of her daily decay (which I bless God is wholly free from all pain – has nothing in it to shock & mangle the feelings – like the sight of death when it comes in agonies – it is such a decline that to the last breath there must be hope –

I was to day with Corry & adverted to a wish he had expresst that I would read Gregorys Elementary book of Natural Philosophy [1]  with his son – it was right to offer any service that way – & I did it with a willing earnestness that he seemed to feel – to night therefore I give an hours tutoring –

God bless you Wynn

Robert Southey –

I have only seen the first volume of xxx Turners book [2]  – & gladly forgave its unequal style for the pains-taking wisdom of his research – he has not had due applause for it. I was this day contriving how to get introduced to him for the love of the Archaiology – & a scheme I have to raise a subscription sum for translating it – [3] 

You wish me “contented” – now if I understand my own feelings there lives not a more contented – nor happier man. if you wish my advancement in life – it is that very contentment that most stands in its way – that Epictetism [4]  that will not leave willingly its bread & cheese – to dress & go abroad & dine on venison.


* Address: To/C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ Wynnstay/ Wrexham
Stamped: [partial] BRIDGE ST
Postmark: FREE/ DEC/ 22/ 1801
Endorsement: Dec 22 1801
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] George Gregory (1754-1808; DNB), The Economy of Nature Explained (1796). BACK

[2] The book was probably Turner’s History of the Anglo-Saxons (1799-1805). BACK

[3] Nothing came of Southey’s scheme to organise an English translation of The Myvyrian Archaiology (1801-1807), a compendium of early Welsh writings. BACK

[4] The Stoic philosophy of Epictetus (55-135 AD). BACK

People mentioned

Turner, Sharon (1768–1847) (mentioned 1 time)
Southey, Margaret (1752–1802) (mentioned 1 time)
Corry, Isaac (1753–1813) (mentioned 1 time)