1223. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 9 October  *
My dear Wynn
I have just received from you two extra-best-superfine-elephant-imperial-franks – containing a compleat apparatus but not one line of directions how to use it, & without such I might as well think of squaring the Circle. Into one of these the inclosed I suppose had slipt – perhaps in place of a letter designed for me –
Is the way to use it thus – place the paper xxxxxx under the black leaf, & the glass under that? But what is to be done with <on the black leaf one of the oiled leaves in the book, or rest the hand on the little piece of mahogany, the duplicate will then be read transparently.  This is the best guess I can xxxx form – but I shall not try it till I hear your directions.
The unborn inheriteth not my punctuality not having arrived when expected.  They who keep others waiting often plead difference of clocks for an excuse – (I remember once putting my watch back twenty minutes & marching up school with it in my hand to convince Beef Steaks  that he had come in too soon) – but the unborns computation of time is sure to be right.
I am working as hard as seven negroes just when canes are xxx cut.
God bless you
Thursday Oct 9 – & now do I xxxx remember that no letters go tonight for London – however if one should come from you by tomorrows post I shall not receive it in time – being to dine upon the Island  – so I dismiss this for the sake of the inclosed.
 In his letter to Wynn of 17–18 October 1806, Southey refers to this ‘apparatus’ as a ‘double writer’, and it is likely to have been an early version of carbon paper, first patented by Ralph Wedgwood (1766–1837) on 7 October 1806 as the ‘stylographic manifold writer’; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 17–18 October 1806, Letter 1228. BACK