2217. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [early February 1813]

2217. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [early February 1813] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I have been wishing Coleridge joy of his Remorse: [1]  the success of which will occasion some proper chagrin, if not shame, in Sheridan [2]  & Kemble. [3]  Had they brought it out when it was written, [4]  C. might probably (yea probably, – for the applause of pit, box & gallery would are the best stimulant for him) – have produced a dozen other such plays, or better, in the years which have intervened since they rejected this. Better however late than ever, – & it is a most seasonable prize in the lottery for his family.

I liked Rokeby [5]  as well as the elder brethren of the same family, – but what I hear others say of it induces a suspicion that there will not be an advance of another thousand in the price of the next poem.



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: Fr. RS./ Feby 1813
MS: Huntington Library, RS 198. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: the content of this letter suggests a date in early February 1813. BACK

[1] Remorse was staged at Drury Lane, London, 23 January–12 February 1813. This made it a moderate success and Coleridge sent his family £100. BACK

[2] The playwright, theatre proprietor and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816; DNB). BACK

[3] John Philip Kemble (1757–1823; DNB), actor. BACK

[4] i.e. In 1797, when it was titled ‘Osorio’. BACK

[5] Walter Scott, Rokeby (1813), set in Yorkshire during the civil war of the seventeenth century. BACK

People mentioned