641. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 19 December 1801 *
Saturday. 19 Dec. 1801.
Yesterday your note arrived. this morning I have executed your commission – tho had not Xmas been so close at hand I should probably have presented a remonstrance against the wretched calvinistical cant of Hannah More – & recommended any thing instead – any chance number in Mr Lanes  catalogue of novels in preference.
When I called with Allyballycarrickoshauglin  at the Cockpit  I immediately discovered the Goul.  I wish his picture were before me – it would call up uglier phantoms than Fuseli  can create xx by digesting raw pork.
My comforts are sadly lessened here. my Mother is very ill – she will hardly live out the winter. so much of our time & attention is necessarily taken up in a sick room – that little is left for any thing else. – xxxx xxxxxx I continue unemployed – except in attending Walkers Lectures.  in all probability – from being no secretary at all I shall soon be transmuted into a sort of semi-tutor. Corry is familiar & friendly. but it is certainly odd that he has never asked me to dinner.
 The bog which Castle Rackrent looks out over in Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849; DNB), Castle Rackrent (1800). Southey was presumably calling in on Rickman to leave the copies of Castle Rackrent that Rickman had ordered as gifts; see Rickman to Robert Southey, 5 December 1801, in Orlo Williams, Lamb’s Friend the Census Taker. Life and Letters of John Rickman (Boston and New York, 1912), pp. 67-68. BACK
 ‘The Goul’ was a nickname for a Mr Simonds (or Simmonds), who worked for Rickman on the 1801 Census; see Rickman to Robert Southey, 7 November 1801, in Orlo Williams, Lamb’s Friend the Census Taker. Life and Letters of John Rickman (Boston and New York, 1912), p. 58. BACK