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

2654. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 6 September 1815 ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

My brother the Doctor is going to take a months holyday in Flanders with his wife & her Mother & sister, [1]  & I have been persuaded to join them. If the ways & means will reach so far we may get to Spa & Aix la Chapelle at any rate we shall see Ostend Bruges {Ghent} Brussels (Waterloo) Mechlin & Antwerp – to which I shall certainly add Louvaine. There are (or were) Beguines at Bruges & Ghent concerning whom I will make enquiry & procure all the information I can. [2]  You may perhaps assist me in this if you will suggest such specific points of enquiry as may be most proper – direct 15 Q Anne Street, & I shall receive your letter in time. –

I I am in great hopes of procuring two books upon this journey which there is no hope of every obtaining in England – Waddings hist: of the Franciscan order, [3]  & the Acta Sanctorum: [4]  both of great importance to me.

On my way back I shall stay two or three weeks in town: by that time you will have returned. – Tomorrow most probably I start from home, but shall not reach London before Monday.

Remember me to Mrs R. & Little Anne. [5]  Neither they nor you must forget that next summer you come to the Lakes.

God bless you

RS.

Wednesday. 6 Sept. 1815.


Notes

* MS: Huntington Library, RS 258
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The name of Louisa’s sister is unknown. BACK

[2] The beguines were medieval communities of lay women in the Low Countries. Rickman was interested in them as models for his proposed communities of poor single women who would live and work together. Southey later sent him a detailed account; see Southey to John Rickman, 2[–16] October 1815, Letter 2658. BACK

[3] Luke Wadding (1588–1657; DNB), Annales Minorum, seu Trium Ordinum A.S. Francisco Institutorum. Southey eventually acquired two editions, one of 1625–1654, and a second of 1731–1745, nos 2903 and 2904 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[4] Southey acquired an abridged 6 volume series (1783–1794), no. 152 in the sale catalogue of his library; and later, in 1818, a complete 53 volume set (1643–1794), no. 207 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[5] Anne Rickman (b. 1808). BACK

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August 2013