August 3 1812: Southey to Wynn

On August 3, 1812, Robert Southey writes to his good friend, Charles Watkin Williams Wynn:

My dear Wynn:
I come to you once more for a frank, & leave the letter open that as you have seen Adderley’s paper you may see my reply to it, – a reply which will be as little satisfactory to you as to him. You will carry your point, – but if there must be another civil war, as I believe there will, if I were Prince Regent it should be upon this point, & not upon the next which must follow.

Revolutions in the moral world, like plagues in the physical one, will pursue their course. England I believe must have its turn, – the end may be good, but the operation xx of the medicine <must be> long & painful. The best hope I have is that we may be completely victorious abroad before the evil day comes on, & so have a clear field to ourselves as we had in the days of Charles I. 

I will get Burkes works  when I can meet with them at a sale price. In general I should most probably agree with him, – but not often in the application of his general views, – for never was there any man who so completely
To party gave up what was meant for mankind [1].  

God bless you


I am in hopes of seeing the Czar Peter here shortly. I wish you could drive down during your batchelor state to meet him. You have never seen me with my books about me. There is an easy way of coming by a mail from Liverpool, reaching Kendal in time for a six-o-clock coach to Keswick on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday mornings. Secure a place at Liverpool, & you are here in 24 hours from Acton. 

1. Quote from Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774; DNB), ‘Retaliation; a Poem’ (1774), lines 28–31, ‘Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,/We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much;/Who, born for the universe, narrow’d his mind,/And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.

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