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

2477. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 2 September 1814 ⁠* 

Keswick. 2 Sept. 1814

My dear R.

To days Courier confirms your history of the reestablishment of the Jesuits. [1]  We now want only the evidence of an Auto da-fe to prove that the Romanist religion is now as it was two centuries ago, & that evidence is likely enough ere long to be afforded.

I have just read Salts Travels, [2]  – he is very ill info uninformed in the Jesuit history of Abyssinia. & seems to have little other information respecting the Mozambique shore than what his short stay enabled him to collect on the spot. He might have found me & my books of signal advantage use to him. – The two first & two last {vols} of Humboldts [3]  travels came to me the other day: a most valuable traveller sans doubt – but a most provoking one, for upon the slightest opportunity down he plunges into the abyss of xxx generalities. He should have written a plain narrative like the Yankee Explorators, & given his disquisitions apart.

Is there any chance of seeing you this autumn? – Remember me to Mrs R.

God bless you

RS.


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS/ 2 Sept 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmarks: E/ 5 SE 5/ 1814; FREE/ 5 SE 5/ 1814
MS: Huntington Library, RS 232
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Pius VII (1742–1823), pontiff since 1800, had restored the Society of Jesus (suppressed since 1773), in a Bull of 7 August 1814; see the Courier (31 August 1814). This confirmed the ‘history’ sent by Rickman to Southey in a letter of 12 July 1814, Huntington Library MS. BACK

[2] Sir Henry Salt (1780–1827; DNB), A Voyage to Abyssinia (1814). BACK

[3] Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent during the Years 1799–1804 (1814). Southey’s copy was no. 1463 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

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August 2013