1356. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [end of August 1807] *
My dear Wynn
It is well your accident was no worse, & will be well if it make you cautious of such danger in future.
I wish instead of falling foul upon the partridges in any other way than that of eating them, you would drive Bedford here, & let him give me earnest <how> of the visit he is to pay next year. My beds are full – for Tom is here, on leave of absence to recover his health – this however is of little matter when the town is so near. You would see me not indeed in all my glory, but still in great glory – all my books from Bristol have arrived,  – that is all my Uncles as well as my own, & by the time you can arrive, the shelves will be finished & filled with them. Among other things for your inspection is a small collection of coins, where you will find demi letters & semi-demi-letters, & demi-semi-demi-letters enough for half a days delight. There are some very fine ones among them.
Bedford sent me a blank receipt to sign for my pension some three weeks ago. I signed it – but who received the money Heaven knows. He told me little was to be expected, & none has arrived. 
I am going to press with the Cid.  My possible profits by a quarto edition of 50 will be from 130 to 150 £. I would have sold the edition – the Longmen object to this, & offer advances instead. They write very civilly – indeed friendlily, – still all this is proof that my books have not the sale which they ought to have. In all probability I shall agree with them to edite Don Quixote – which they talk of printing, somewhat splendidly with prints from Smirke.  I recommend them to have the old translation  revised, instead of getting a new one – (which they proposed to me & I instantly refused) – & I offer to write a life of Cervantes – an account of his works, – an account of his library, as far as my own & those to which I have access will enable me, – & to annotate the whole.  pleasant & easy work this, which will be in the way of my future works, & will, I hope produce enough to balance my account.
They ask my advice about a classified Catalogue Raisonnés of English Books – for those who form Libraries & for Booksellers – I can do so much of this so very easily, that if they undertake it, I shall probably engage for the main departments.  These things are work of over hours which I look to to meet the extraordinaries of settling myself & collecting my books.
God bless you
* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ Wynnstay/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4813D. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: Southey says that he received ‘a blank receipt’ to sign for his pension from Grosvenor Charles Bedford ‘some three weeks ago’. This was returned in his letter to Rickman on 8 August, which suggests this letter probably dates from the end of the month. BACK
 Thomas Shelton (fl. 1598–1629; DNB), The History of the Valorous and Witty Knight-Errant, Don Quixote of the Mançha (1612–1620). In his 25 August letter to Longman, Southey advised that the ‘old edition of Don Quixote, if carefully collated and corrected, will, I believe, be very superior to any other’; see Southey to Longmans, 25 August 1807, Letter 1354. BACK