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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1852. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 11 January 1811 ⁠* 

Thank you for the Accounts. [1]  They are in the Printers hands & I think he cannot mistake the directions which I have sent with them.

The inclosed most sinfully uncouth letter is Mrs Coleridges folding, & I have lectured her upon all its vices.

This curst Regency [2]  fills up the papers & we know nothing of what is going on in the rest of the world. It comes at a most unfortunate time, for it is of the utmost importance that Ld Wellington & the Cabinet should have confidence in each other, & if the Peace Mongers come in God help us! – I have read Pasleys book, & am a believer therein. A sort of political Islam, – which teaches of {us} to propagate freedom & good laws by the sword. Amen say I, – & let us fling away the scabbard, – & huzza for “Bloody news” [3]  as long as we live. – I hope Gifford will trust it to me for the Quarterly, [4]  – but he seals his letters with the Pitt [5]  seal, & that is rather against it. For he cannot admit Pasley to be right, without allowing that this miserable God of his idolatry was uniformly wrong in his war measures.

The books in usum Capitanei [6]  are here. I will send them up in a parcel to Murray.

God bless you

RS.

Jany 11. 1811


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 11 Janry 1811
Seal: [partial]: Red wax
MS: Huntington Library, RS 161
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The detailed information on state finances required by Southey for his section of the Edinburgh Annual Register. Rickman supplied the necessary figures and they appeared in Ibid., 2.1 (1811), ‘Appendix’, i–viii. BACK

[2] George III (1738–1820; King of the United Kingdom 1760–1820; DNB). His mental health had collapsed again in October 1810 and he was incapable of conducting public business. The question of a regency for him was hotly-debated as it was believed that his heir and the natural choice as regent, George, Prince of Wales (1762–1830; Prince Regent 1811–1820; King of the United Kingdom as George IV 1820–1830), favoured opposition politicians. BACK

[3] A standard news-vendor’s cry of the time. BACK

[4] Sir Charles William Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810). It was sent to Southey for review and Rickman provided him with helpful information and briefing notes. The completed article was deemed by Gifford to be ‘perfectly incorrect and dangerous’ with the result that the version published in the Quarterly Review, 5 (May 1811), 403–457, was much altered by Croker, in consultation with Gifford and Murray; see Jonathan Cutmore, The Quarterly Review Archive. BACK

[5] William Pitt (1759–1806; Prime Minister 1783–1801, 1804–1806; DNB). BACK

[6] ‘For the use of the Captain’, i.e. for Burney. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013