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

2468. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 12 August [1814] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I was on Skiddaw the day before yesterday, & had just such a scene in the clouds as when you was there, – but you would hardly know Skiddaw again, the ploughman & the planter have travelled so far up his sides. There is corn at this time growing on the summit of Latrigg, his cub.

Clarkson is going from {to} Vienna as Ambassador from the Abolitionists. I wish him success, – but expect it rather from the natural course of things than from any political efforts. [1]  St Domingo [2]  cannot be so far reclaimed in our days as to render it safe to introduce any great number of fresh negroes into the W Indies. – As for dictating to Portugal – my second volume will give the history of the Tupi & Guarani slave trades, & show what it is to attempt abolitions in Brazil. [3] 

RS.

12 August.


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 12 Aug 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks:’E/ 15 AU 15/ 1814; FREE/ 15 AU 15/ 1814
Seal: black wax, flying horse
MS: Huntington Library, RS 231
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The Treaty of Paris on 30 May 1814 had set out a plan to abolish the French slave trade. At the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) British delegates put pressure on France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain to abolish the slave trade, but the Congress merely condemned the practice. BACK

[2] The French colony of St Domingue had become the independent state of Haiti in 1804 after a successful slave revolt. BACK

[3] History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, pp. 261–331, 501–511, 588–603. BACK

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August 2013