3161. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 8 July 1818]

3161. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 8 July 1818] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I am truly sorry to receive such an account of my Uncle: – & in writing to him I have assumed false spirits that he may not perceive I am alarmed concerning him. He is of a hale stock, – but change of climate from better to worse, & not improbably also his marrying so late in life; may have made him more aged than his brother who is 12 or 15 years older. [1] 

Did you see Broughams pleasant attack upon me, [2]  every word of which was a lie, – for as it luckily happened I had not moved a finger in the election, nor written a word. His head is in chancery [3]  at this time. In a few days I shall send up a William Smithiad for the [4]  benefit of his digestion. Bedford loves to be employed on such occasions, & I will send the Ms. thro you, that you may cast your eye over it.

He too was for taking the Bull by the horns. I wish him joy of the adventure.

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre
MS: Huntington Library, RS 343. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Dating from content. BACK

[1] Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Hill (d. 1824), Herbert Hill’s older half-brother, with whom he had fallen out in early life. BACK

[2] The Courier had reported on 4 July 1818 that, when Brougham spoke at the hustings for the Westmorland election on 30 June, he had attacked both Southey and Wordsworth for their hostility to him during the election and for insulting the freeholders of Westmorland. Southey was dissuaded from publishing the retort to Brougham that he modelled on his pamphlet A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817). The sections that were completed were published as a ‘Postscript’ to the second edition of Carmen Triumphale (London, 1821), pp. 45–53. BACK

[3] A wrestling hold: a headlock. BACK

[4] Initially ‘his’. BACK