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

2032. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 7 February 1812 ⁠* 

My dear R.

Thank you for your Catholic Comments. – The common sense of the question is so plain that I have scarcely common patience at the impudent absurdity of the Emancipators. Did I tell you of my meeting with one Irishman [1]  (& one only in my life of the Liberals) – who did not wish for a separation of the two Countries, – but that he said, would be injurious to both, – but then it was clear that Ireland ought to be the governing country.

My Uncle has a worthy bookbinder cui nomen [2]  Parsons, [3]  – he lives in Fleet Street, a shop at the corner of a court, some way beyond St Dunstans & the same side of the way.

I hope the young Maurique [4]  is doing well, & looked with some disappointment for xxxx mention of him & his Mother.

Ciudad Rodrigo [5]  I reckon an equivalent for Valencia, [6]  at least. It imposes another siege upon the French & a before they can renew the invasion of Portugal by that route – which is the x practicable one. The last siege cost Massena [7]  ten weeks – (from April 25 to July 10.) – The capture of Blake [8]  is also to be set off against that of the city in which he was taken, – for now it is to be expected the Spanish Government will let us form armies for them, – & then for a career as brilliant as Marlboroughs. [9] 

RS.

Feby 7. 1812


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS/ Feb 1812
MS: Huntington Library, RS 179
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Unidentified. BACK

[2] ‘Who is named’ BACK

[3] William Parsons (fl. 1776–1845). BACK

[4] Rickman’s only son, William Charles Rickman (1812–1886). BACK

[5] Ciudad Rodrigo had been captured by an Anglo-Portuguese force on 19 January 1812. BACK

[6] Valencia had been captured by the French on 9 January 1812. BACK

[7] The French Marshal André Massena (1758–1817). He had besieged Ciudad Rodrigo April-July 1811. BACK

[8] The Spanish general Joaquín Blake y Joyes (1759–1827) had been captured at Valencia. BACK

[9] John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722; DNB), British general who had achieved a series of vital military victories during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714). His most famous victory, Blenheim (1704), provided a backdrop to Southey’s anti-war poem ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ (1798). BACK

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August 2013