2233. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [18 March 1813] *
What a strange thing it is that a man should hang himself with one of Coleridges shirts on, marked at full length!  – Up came Mr Clarke  (the owner of this nursery garden), – this morning, pale as ashes, with the newspaper, – & we should have been grievously shocked if C. had not happened to read the paragraph himself, & J Morgan immediately to apprize me of it.
This is a humorous consequence in store. Many persons who xxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxx will xxx I dare <say will> never believe but that he really did hang himself & that being cut down in time, his friends not liking to have the truth known invented this story to conceal it – For what could be so unlikely as that another man should be found in his shirt! – And if it were matter of old biography, – instead of matter of fact within my own knowledge, – I should be as apt as anybody to draw such a conclusion.
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: Fr./ RS./ Mar. 1813
MS: Huntington Library, RS 202. ALS; 3p.
Dating note: dating from content; see Robert Southey to [Wade Browne], 18 March 1813, Letter 2232. BACK