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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1244. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [17 December 1806] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

There is nothing in the inclosed worth your looking at except so[MS torn] Scraps, some of which are curious & some quaint. I should not trouble you with this if it were not to save time – as it will arrive three days sooner than if it were sent by the carrier in the shape of a parcel.

Where is your brother Henry? [1]  I look in the papers x with some anxiety to see if he has escaped from the wreck. As for Saxony it suffers & can suffer no more than it deserves. [2]  The annihilation of Hesse is a good thing for the Hessians [3]  – & I confess I do see something like righteous retribution in the troubles preparing in Poland for the three partitioning powers, & something like vengeance in the fate of the Duke of Brunswick. [4] 

As for ourselves, we are safe, & I hope you will hold a happier language than the Foxites. [5]  I find but one feeling among the people in these parts. – & that is a belief that no peace can be made with Bonaparte {France} while he liv Bonaparte lives, – that it ought not to be thought of, & that the higher language we hold, & the more openly & manlily we proclaim this the better. God send that the war between Turkey & Russia may draw us in [6]  & induce us to take possession of Egypt; – a little of Marquis Wellesleys ambition in the cabinet would be right wholesome here. Nothing will so well reconcile the people to the burthens they must bear as glory.

I shall soon hope to hear good tidings from you of an heir to the three Ws. [7] 

God bless you

RS

Wednesday


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ Whitehall/ London/ Private
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ DEC 18/ 1806
Seal: [partial, illegible]
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Unpublished.
Dating note: the ‘Wednesday’ with which the letter is dated must have been 17 December, as this was a Wednesday in 1806. BACK

[1] Sir Henry Watkin Williams Wynn (1783–1856; DNB), diplomat, who was envoy-extraordinary to the elector of Saxony between April 1803 to October 1806. BACK

[2] Within months of the collapse of the Third Coalition, the Fourth Coalition (1806–1807) against France was formed by Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. However, following the battle of Jena-Auerstedt (October 1806) some of the German states, including Saxony, that had previously fought alongside the anti-French allies changed sides to join with France against the allies. BACK

[3] The German principality of Hesse was annexed by France in 1806. BACK

[4] Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1735–1806), a Prussian Field Marshal whose forces were routed at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt (14 October 1806). The Duke himself was mortally wounded and died two days later. BACK

[5] Whigs with a political allegiance to Charles James Fox. BACK

[6] The Russo-Turkish war of 1806–1812. BACK

[7] Wynn’s daughter was born in January 1807; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 18 January 1807, Letter 1262. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013