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

2255. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 12 May 1813 ⁠* 

My dear Wynn,

I have seen the last Quarterly today, & found my article [1]  as usual a good deal the worse for omissions, for it so happens that in most instances the passages which Gifford has struck out are referred to in the sentences immediately following.

One part is gone which I wrote under some suspicion that it would be rejected. It proposed that the punishment for libel should be banishment instead of fine & imprisonment. This is the only cure, – & unless some adequate remedy be applied the consequences must be evident to every man.

I have also just got Nelson. [2]  If you wonder at my friendship with Croker the truth is this, – I had inserted no such word as friend. [3]  But Murray unknown to me shewd him the proof sheet, & upon his regretting that the word had not been introduced Murray took upon himself to ent place it there. I am very much obliged to C. both about about my brother’s promotion & for his behaviour upon upon the death of Dutens, [4]  – yet I confess, there is such an appearance {in this} of saying more than I mean in this, – that it gives me a sort of uneasiness in the gizzard.

RS.

May 12. 1813


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ Duke Street/ Westminster
Postmark: FREE/ 15 MY 15/ 1813
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s review of Patrick Colquhoun (1745–1820; DNB), Propositions for ameliorating the Condition of the Poor: and For Improving the Moral Habits, and Increasing the Comforts of the Labouring People (1812), appeared in the Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356. BACK

[2] The Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[3] i.e. in the ‘Dedication’ to the Life. As published, this read: ‘TO JOHN WILSON CROKER, ESQ. LL.D, F.R.S. SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY; WHO, BY THE OFFICIAL SITUATION WHICH HE SO ABLY FILLS, IS QUALIFIED TO APPRECIATE THEIR HISTORICAL ACCURACY; AND WHO, AS A MEMBER OF THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS, IS EQUALLY QUALIFIED TO DECIDE UPON THEIR LITERARY MERITS, THESE VOLUMES ARE RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED BY HIS FRIEND, THE AUTHOR’. Robert Southey to John Murray 9 April 1813 (Letter 2243) contains Southey’s draft of the ‘Dedication’ and confirms he did not propose to include the word ‘Friend’. BACK

[4] On the death of Louis Dutens (1730–1812; DNB) on 23 May 1812 Croker had campaigned, unsuccessfully, for Southey’s appointment as Historiographer Royal. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013