2032. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 7 February 1812 *
My dear R.
Thank you for your Catholic Comments. – The common sense of the question is so plain that I have scarcely common patience at the impudent absurdity of the Emancipators. Did I tell you of my meeting with one Irishman  (& one only in my life of the Liberals) – who did not wish for a separation of the two Countries, – but that he said, would be injurious to both, – but then it was clear that Ireland ought to be the governing country.
I hope the young Maurique  is doing well, & looked with some disappointment for xxxx mention of him & his Mother.
Ciudad Rodrigo  I reckon an equivalent for Valencia,  at least. It imposes another siege upon the French & a before they can renew the invasion of Portugal by that route – which is the x practicable one. The last siege cost Massena  ten weeks – (from April 25 to July 10.) – The capture of Blake  is also to be set off against that of the city in which he was taken, – for now it is to be expected the Spanish Government will let us form armies for them, – & then for a career as brilliant as Marlboroughs. 
Feby 7. 1812
 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722; DNB), British general who had achieved a series of vital military victories during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714). His most famous victory, Blenheim (1704), provided a backdrop to Southey’s anti-war poem ‘The Battle of Blenheim’ (1798). BACK