418. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [24 June] 1799 

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418. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [24 June] 1799 ⁠* 

Monday. Midsummer day. 1799

My dear Wynn

I seize a leisure minute & a disfurnished {room} room or what the Dutch would call an ungemeubeleerde kamer, [1]  to write to you. we are in all the bustle of quitting house, I go the latter end of the week to Burton to see the place which has been taken for us there & superintend the necessary alterations. it will not I suppose be quite a palace, for the rent is to be 8 guineas. but I expect to make it thoroughly comfortable.

I had neglected to write so long that the very recollection has half kept me silent. since my return my health has continued better. My poems (the first volume) are again going to Press. [2]  you were to point out alterations in the Hymn to the Penates. I think of removing the two odes on New Years Day & December, because they will make a part of the Kalendar [3]  hereafter, & in their place inserting the Retrospect cut down to half its present length. I wish Donica could be mended − it is a very fine story & I have made a very indifferent ballad of it. Mary too does not half please me. there is an Irish word in the last stanza which has annoyed me when ever I have remembered it − engages the eye. [4]  − Of the other Poems the best need no correction, & the worst deserve none.

think of the Penates will you & propose your corrections − in the mean time receive this as an apology, & a promise of a longer & leisure letter.

God bless you.

yrs truly.

R Southey.


Notes

* Address: To/ CWW Wynn Esqr/ 5 Stone Buildings/ Lincolns Inn/ London
Postmarks: BRISTOL JUN 25 99; FREE JU 26 99; B/ JU 26/ 99
Endorsement: June 25/ 99
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D
Previously published: John Wood Warter (ed.), Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey, 4 vols (London, 1856), I, p. 73. BACK

[1] The Dutch translates as ‘unfurnished room’. BACK

[2] A third edition of Southey’s 1797 collection Poems. The poems mentioned in the rest of the paragraph had all appeared in the first and second editions, both published in 1797. The third edition appeared later in 1799. BACK

[3] Southey’s planned – but unexecuted – project for a series of poems based on the calendar. BACK

[4] Southey did not carry out any of these proposed changes to the third edition of his Poems (1797). BACK

Published @ RC

August 2011