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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1868. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [early February 1811] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Heartily – heartily – I give you joy, [1]  – for the sake of doing so I turn a half – written letter polemical upon the conduct of the war, – & will repeat no more of it than to beseech you that you will read, mark & inwardly digest Capt Pasleys book, [2]  – which ought to produce a greater change in military land-war than Clarke of Eldons [3]  is said to have made in maritime. I would give one of my ears to make you a convert to that book, – & then I would give the other to see you Premier, & to write your manifestoes for you.

I am not without hopes of convincing you in the next Quarterly that this country is strong enough to cope with France, upon any ground in the world. At this time we xx maintain an efficient military force (exclusive of irregulars) twice as great as that of the Romans under Augustus, [4]  – & yet with the example of Prussia before our eyes we are to be told of husbanding our resources! [5] 

God bless you & the young Englishman

Yrs

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] FREE/ 1811
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey here congratulates Wynn on the birth of his first son, Watkin, on 5 February 1811. However, Watkin died shortly afterwards. BACK

[2] Sir Charles William Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810). BACK

[3] John Clerk, of Eldin (1728–1812; DNB), An Essay on Naval Tactics (1790). BACK

[4] Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (63 BC–AD 19; Roman Emperor 30 BC–AD 19). BACK

[5] Southey’s review of Pasley’s Essay, Quarterly Review, 5 (May 1811), 403–457 (esp. 408–409). BACK

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August 2013