869. Robert Southey to John Rickman,
[14 December 1803]
My dear Rickman
I intrude upon you for the last time
concerning this brother of mine. this evening I have
received from him a letter as following –
I am sorry to be obliged to take up my pen to
undeceive you in respect to my being in some things fitted
out for the Navy, as my Aunt took
care to get a person to dispose of my Uniform to a
travelling Jew, that she might have the money to help bear
her expences into Herefordshire, where she gives me to
understand she is gone, but still orders me to direct my
letters to Bristol (by the by I do not know your direction.)
She has not sent me a farthing nor wrote but once. I believe
my information respecting an Ensigns  pay is correct, as you
will find by examining Steels Army List.  I have six shirts &
4 pair of Stockings. I have plenty of brown clothes. at all
events the sooner I get from Exeter the better.
It is evident then that there is a scheme to
get him a red coat as suiting his taste & his Aunts
better than the sea – & she has thought I should bestir
myself the more on the belief that he had quarrelld with her
– for his former letters did assert a quarrel – & here a
correspondence comes out. considering her roguery & his roguery
the sooner I settle the business the better – for his drafts
& letters have already cost me above twelve shillings.
Be so good when you have read the inclosed to send it to
desire him if he approves it to forward it to Exeter. you
had better send him this also that he may see the anecdote
of the Jew – & infer from thence how hopeless it x <would be> to incur
any new expences.
God bless you.
It is very fortunate that he has not
found out my address (tho I dated Keswick) for such
is his total want of all shame that it would not all
surprize me were he to make his appearance here.
To/ John Rickman Esqr / St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/
Endorsement: RS/ Dec. 14.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 47
published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of
Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York,
1965), I, pp. 346-347. BACK
 The lowest rank of commissioned officer
in an infantry regiment. BACK
Steel’s Original and
Correct List of the Royal Navy first
appeared in 1782, but there was no equivalent
publication for the Army. BACK