258. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [22 September 1797] *
My dear Wynn
Your letter followed me here, where I came to pass some 5 or 6 days, & enjoy my earthly elysium — a printers office. I immediately ordered old Sir Edward,  & the moment he arrives I shall begin closely & wholly to study him.
Have you a compleat Amadis de Gaul? if so there is a passage which I wish to quote & Tressans book  is not so fit a one to quote from. it is the circumstance of the horse of Amadis being pierced by a spike on the pointral or chafron of another horse, in th one (I believe the first) of the engagements with Lisvart after he attacks the Firin Island to recover Oriana for Patin. it happened immediately after Amadis had defeated Gasquiline — I write from memory — but I believe state it accurately.
I have been reading old Froissart.  after Sir Walter Manny & about a dozen Knights with three hundred archers had sallied out & broken an engine than annoyed them — the Countess of Montford met them in the on their return, & she kissed them all three or four times, like a noble & valiant Lady.
I have a great love for this plain quaintness of speech — it is often ludicrous, but it as often beautiful — & one who wishes to write good poetry now should read old prose.
Do you know Rousseaus Levite of Ephraim?  if not — you will find a poem that has not a word too much. I see Roughs Lorenzino  reviewed. I had not expected much — & yet was surprized to find the extracts so very bad. do you not think too meanly of my friend Miss Anna Sewards lines to me?  the lines upon Crecy & the first in which she describes Henry show an acquaintance with at least the language of poetry. gospel faith & piety to be sure limp a little.
Coleridge has written a tragedy  — by request of Sheridan.  it is uncommonly fine — tho every character appears to me to possess qualities totally which can not possibly exist in the same mind. but there is a man, whose name is not known in the world — Wordsworth — who has written great part of a tragedy,  upon a very strange & unpleasant subject — but [MS obscured] is equal to any dramatic which pieces, [MS obscured] I have ever seen.
God bless you.
* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr/ Wynnstay/ Wrexham/ Denbighshire
Endorsement: Sept 22/ 1797
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, pp. 147–149. BACK
 Jean Froissart (c. 1337–c. 1410), Le Premier (-Quart) Volume De Messire Jehan Froissart Lequel Traicte de Choses Vingts de Memoire Advenues Tant es Pays de France, Angleterre, Flandres, Espaigne que Escoce, ets Aus Tres Lieux Circonvoisins (1530). BACK