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512. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 19 April 1800 ⁠* 

Falmouth. Saturday Apr. 19. 1800

My dear Rickman

We arrived here last night, after a five days journey [1]  – the packet by which I wished to go has been detained since the first of this month by the weather – & I am now {as} anxious for a N. East wind as I was yesterday for a South Wester. – We found a companion in our chaise [2]  – a patient of Beddoes, on his way to Lisbon, to compleat a cure which the digitalis seems to have performed. he wished to go thro Plymouth & I was not unwilling to shake Tom by the hand on the my road to a foreign country. My brother met us one stage before Plymouth – we staid there 24 hours, & he accompanied us a stage on. I was more depressed at leaving him than I had yet been – the fatigue of travelling had exhausted me. here however I am, safe after sundry accidents such as knocked up horses – restive ones – & a break-down. I am heartily tired, impatient to be gone – half-sick with expectation – & restless enough to require a page of Epictetus. [3] 

Thank you for performing the Inspectors part. it is needless to search for the Enchiridion, but if you want any book which you saw among them, I pray you let it not lie useless. a book in a box is the candle under a bushel. [4] 

My direction will be with the Reverend Herbert Hill, Lisbon. remember the value of a letter in a foreign country, & do not let me be disappointed often when a Packet arrives.

Ediths remembrance.

yrs truly

Robert Southey

April 19, 1800.


Notes

* Endorsement: April 19 1800
MS: Huntington Library, RS 6
Unpublished. BACK

[1] For Southey’s journal of this trip see Common-Place Book, ed. John Wood Warter, 4 series (London, 1849–1850), IV, pp. 524–526. BACK

[2] Possibly a Mr Rundell (first name and dates unknown), who travelled to Portugal with Southey in 1800. He may have been a member of a prominent Bath family of silversmiths, jewellers and surgeons. BACK

[3] Epictetus (c. 55–135), Greek Stoic philosopher. His thought was preserved in his pupil, Lucius Flavius Arrianus’s (c. 86–after 146) Enchiridion, or ‘Handbook’ of Epictetus’s thought. BACK

[4] Mark 4: 21. ‘Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel?’ BACK

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August 2011