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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1085. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [14 July 1805] ⁠* 

Dear Wynn

Frank the inclosed for me – to Miss Southey, Bishops Lydiard, near Taunton.

I have found a very curious passage in Socrates Scholasticus. L1. C. 17. [1]  which affords strong presumption that the oldest & most prevalent of the Oriental superstitions is posterior to Xtianity. – that of Boodha, – which prevails in Japan & China, x is established in Siam & Ceylon, & in a certain degree retained by the Hindoos, tho their mythology has in PART conquered it. If the Buddas of Socrates be Boodha, the antiquity of all these superstitions is destroyed, & their immaculate conceptions (for they all have them) clearly borrowed from from the Xtians.

The Bishop of Llandaff has sent to say he is sorry I should have been two years in the country, without his having seen me.

God bless you

RS.

Sunday.


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ [Deletions and readdress in another hand] Lincolns Inn/ London/ Oswestry/ N. Wales
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298; Chancery Lane
Postmarks: [partial] FREE/ JUL 17; [partial] JUL/ 1805
Endorsement: July 1805
MS: National Library of Wales MS 4812D
Unpublished.
Dating note: Southey dates this letter ‘Sunday’, and the Sunday before the postmarked date of 17 July 1805 was 14 July. BACK

[1] Socrates Scholasticus (c. 380–c. 450): Byzantine church historian, who recorded early church history in his Historia Ecclesiastica (c. 439). BACK

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August 2013