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

2385. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 7 March 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. March 7. 1814.

My dear Wynn

This place is the land of nurserymen. I have just seen Mr Clarke, [1]  – 30s/ per thousand he says is a fair price, & for that sum he will deliver the trees in Liverpool & plant them, & he does not seem to demur about maintaining the plantations, saying only if the ground is not wet. He goes soon occasionally to Liverpool & could from thence he says ride over & look at the grounds. Should you contract with him, I believe it would not be possible to meet with a man who would act more fairly by you.

So there is yet to be another part to the bloody tragedy of the French Revolution! [2]  I do not think it possible that peace can last two years unless Buonaparte should happen to die in the meantime. But this evil may be avoided to If this country had taken advantage of the abominable usurpation of Spain to xxxxx xx xxx declare that it would never make peace with Buonaparte, he might at that time this evil would never have happened. Spain & Portugal would most sincerely have joined in this political excommunication, & it is scarcely possible that under such circumstances the house of Austria should have given its daughter in marriage, – capable as that house is of any baseness. [3]  Did I tell you that Adair told me, [4]  – that Hofer [5]  actually took shelter in a prison in Vienna, having found means to be arrested under a feigned name, – & that the Austrian Government turned him out? – I will not say what the Emperor [6]  & his ministers deserve for this in the next world, – but I am sure they deserve the gallows & everlasting x infamy in this.

If the present affairs of the world were my business, as they are yours, I should perhaps make myself unhappy at seeing them managed so wretchedly. But half my time is spent in the past & a large portion of the other half in a world of my own. I am getting on with Roderick [7]  & with my Brazilian history. [8]  For {With} the former the Printer is seasonably spurring me on. The 12th proof is now on the table. I am in the vein. – & go on with better spirit because the end of the journey is in sight. – It is time that I should determine upon which of my many plans to begin next, for tho I build slowly I must always have a ship on the stocks.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ Wynnstay/ Wrexham
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 10 MR 10/ 1814
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), II, p. 347. BACK

[1] Thomas Clark (dates unknown), who ran a nursery and seed business at Crosthwaite. BACK

[2] The forces of the Sixth Coalition had successfully invaded France, but Paris did not fall until 30 March 1814 and Napoleon did not abdicate until 6 April 1814. BACK

[3] Marie-Louise (1791–1847), Princess of Austria, married Napoleon on 11 March 1810. BACK

[4] The politician and diplomat Sir Robert Adair (1763–1855; DNB), who had been posted to Vienna from 1806–1809. BACK

[5] The Tyrolean patriot Andreas Hofer (1767–1810), executed for his leadership of a failed rebellion against France’s ally, Bavaria. BACK

[6] Francis II (1768–1835), Holy Roman Emperor 1792–1806, Emperor of Austria 1804–1835. He was Marie-Louise’s father. BACK

[7] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[8] The second and third volumes of The History of Brazil appeared in 1817 and 1819. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013