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

2448. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 21 June 1814 ⁠* 

21 June 1814.

My dear Wynn

I conclude you have had no answer from Doyle, [1]  & indeed considering the state of Spain it is equally possible that the letter may never have reached him, – or that he may have been too busy (in chusing sides & in political manoeuvering) – to have noticed it. This I have said to Edward, who tells me he has been studying the Spanish grammar with great assiduity, & expresses a natural anxiety to know the result of your endeavours in his behalf. I dare not & do not augur well of the results of the experiment, & yet am desirous that it should be made. If you write again to his Excellency Don Carlos, [2]  let him know that I am writing the history of the Spanish War. [3]  The part which he has borne in it is such that I dare say he would be very glad to make a friend of the historian. I thought him likely to have made a dashing soldier, but he has proved a mere vapourer, – & luckily got into a land where fanfarronada [4]  passes current.

I am anxious to hear of Bedford. His fathers recovery is not to be wished, for what of life might remain would only be feebleness for himself, & continual fear & anxiety for all about him. Whenever he goes I think it likely that his wife will not long survive him: I never saw two persons of their age so old & feeble. Grosvenor will suffer severely. The order of things has been reversd in that family, – & his parents have become to him as children. – God bless you. How are the measleites?

RS.

I am near the end of my poem: [5]  close employment upon this, & the other things which as PL. I was led to think of, have made me almost as desperate a poet as I was twenty years ago. In this respect Jupiter seems to have rolled back my past years. I owe you a long letter, & will erelong discharge the debt.


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M.P./ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 24 JU 24/ 1814
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Possibly Charles William Doyle (1770–1842; DNB), an officer who had acted as a liaison between British and Spanish forces and had been involved in training Spanish troops. Southey was trying to find a post in the Spanish army for Edward Southey. BACK

[2] Probably an ironic way of referring to Doyle, who had a reputation for political intrigue. BACK

[3] The History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[4] ‘bluster’. BACK

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

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Published @ RC

August 2013