795. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 9 June  *
It has come into my head that France will go to war with Portugal – & if so perhaps we may send an army there, & if so – perhaps it might not be impossible that I could get a civil appointment, of which there were plenty of good berths for the last war. Now by what xx channel & what interest are these things to be obtained? for it is worth trying if the opportunity should offer. To go to Lisbon any how would help my history,  & the flaws in my lifehold lease, but to have pay for going there, & rations, & baugh  & forage into the bargain, would be what they call in Portugal a fat fortune. these appointments are places of emolument – not of honour or rank or advancement – & so the more procurable. My Uncle was made Chaplain to the last staff by the Duke of Northumberlands  desire. I believe that my for my Uncles sake Lord Bute  & the Duke of Bedford  would willingly serve me in this way were he to request it. but I am quite ignorant how these things are got at. & have hurried the thought out of my head upon this paper just as it came in.
Methinks it is my turn now to call you lazy. if I did not see your name in the list of the minority, & your potential autograph upon my proofsheets. I should begin to be doubtful whether you were not translated to the other world.
Luckily I have found just in time for the Preface  a positive assertion that Vasco Lobeira  is the author of Amadis, & the the inventor of the story, in an old Chronicle  written just 60 years after Lobeiras death by the Royal Chronicler of Portugal, a man uncommonly versed in the literature of his age, & whose authority cannot be questioned. I am proceeding triumphantly with the history, & have done considerably more than half a volume since you were here. if this war shuts me from Portugal & cuts off my supplies of books – it will almost break my heart. God send that Bonaparte  may come in person with his Invaders. he had better come with a diving-bell instead of a helmet, in readiness – for if he do not feed the crabs in the channel –
& if he do not feed the crabs the Crows shall have him ashore.
God bless you.
* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr. M.P./ Lincolns Inn/ London
Postmarks: FREE/ JUN 10 1803; BRISTOL/ JN 9 1803
Endorsements: June 9 1803; Mr Wynn
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. 317-318. BACK
 Gomes Eanes de Zurara (c. 1410-1474), in his ‘Chronica do Conde Dom Pedro de Menezes’ (1463), published in Jose Correia da Serra (1750-1823), Colleccao de Livros Ineditos da Historia Portugueza, 4 vols (Lisbon, 1790-1816), II,; no. 3785 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK