465. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [c. 19 December 1799] *
My dear Wynn
I had hardly patience to copy for you this miserable version of what certainly is a fine story.  it must be rewritten – & on a different plan. the story is not like Lord William & Rudiger  – xx in which the effect of the whole is to be attended to – & not the working up of all the parts. this should be written more at length – the parts made more distinct & finished highly. read it & burn it.
I will try to manufacture something better. the demonical story is curious – I do not recognize the superstition in any other story.  witches had not to my knowledge the power of transporting so unmercifully – I thought it had been peculiar to Scotch judges, & French Directors.  perhaps one day the circumstance may ferment into a ballad – but I see not how at present. the tale from Sully  I suppose gave Dryden or Lee the hint for xxxx <the> Duke of Guise  – & if so, is the remote cause of a simile in Joan of Arc blundered up from Rabadan the Spanish Moor  & that play when I had nothing to refer to. The Dog is a good tale. 
Pausanias & Cleonice  is the Greek story that strikes me as fit for a wild poem. there is another in Pausanias of Euthymus fighting a Demon & delivering a damsel.  But I succeed best either in trifles of this class – as Bruno & Hatto & the Well of St Keyne  – or in narration of more length where there is room to develope character & feeling.
God bless you. my nose is like a fountain of water – xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx & I have scarcely time all day to do any thing but blow it.
* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr/ 5 Stone Buildings/ Lincolns
Postmarks: FREE/ DEC 19/ 99; B/ DEC 19/ 99
Endorsment: Dec. 19 99
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4811D. ALS; 2p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), I, p. 208. BACK
 Muhammad Rabadan, Mahometism Fully Explained (1723–1725), trans. Joseph Morgan (fl. 1720s); cited in the notes to Thalaba the Destroyer (1801). Rabadan was a Spanish Muslim (fl. 1603) who ended his life in exile in Tunis. The ‘simile’ was from Joan of Arc (1796), Book 4, lines 245–252 and concerned the effect produced by a visit from Azrael, Angel of Death; see Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 16 August 1797, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part 1, Letter 249. BACK
 Southey possibly alludes to his letter to Wynn, 28 November  (Letter 457). This cited the story that in France in c. 1400, the Chevalier Maquer murdered a man called Montdidier. Montdidier’s greyhound found the corpse and accused Maquer by attacking him. In a trial by combat between the man and the dog, Maquer was overpowered, confessed to his crime and was executed; see Common-Place Book, ed. John Wood Warter, 4 series (London, 1849–1850), IV, p. 197. BACK
 Pausanias (d. c. 470 BC) was a Spartan general and regent. He accidentally killed Cleonice, a young virgin of Byzantium, and was haunted by her spirit; see Common-Place Book, ed. John Wood Warter, 4 series (London, 1849–1850), IV, p. 163. BACK
 Euthymus of Locris (fl. 484–472 BC) was a famous boxer; Pausanias (2nd century AD), Description of Greece, Book 6, chapter 6 tells the story of how he defeated a demon who was troubling the people of Temessa; see Common-Place Book, ed. John Wood Warter, 4 series (London, 1849–1850), IV, pp. 226–227. BACK