2117. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 27 June 1812]*
My dear R.
My yearly task was finished ten days ago, concluding dully enough with Regency debates;  – but on the whole it is a respectable volume, rich in the attack against Bankes  &c, – & with some good Spanish Chapters. I am now doggedly & against the grain toiling at an article for the Q. after which I start for a fortnights run into the bishoprick, as Durham is calld by the Durhamites, – a convenient distinction, where the name of the town & the county happens inconveniently to be the same.
You are going on at St Stephens  worse that I feared, – the only comfort is that as the present men have no longer any one principle, or settled system of conduct, one cares not how soon they may be kicked out, nor by whom. 
Ld Wellington I suppose means to threaten Madrid, & Soult  must either evacuate Andalusia or consent to see Joseph  driven to the Ebro. How easy would it be by a great effort, commensurate with the importance of the object to destroy the French in Spain while Buonaparte is in the North! But it is sickening to think of the opportunities that are thrown away upon us.
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ July 1812’ and ‘Circa./ 1: July 1812
MS: Huntington Library, RS 191
Dating note: This letter was written ten days after 17 June, when Southey completed his work on the Edinburgh Annual Register; see Southey to Thomas Southey, 17[–19] June 1812, Letter 2116. BACK
 Henry Bankes (1757–1834; DNB), MP for Corfe Castle 1780–1826. His campaign against sinecures and selling the reversion to offices was attacked in Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810, 3.1 (1812), 207–218. Spain was dealt with in ibid., 353–508. BACK