2640. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 23 July 1815

2640. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 23 July 1815 ⁠* 

23. July. 1815

My dear R.

So we have got (not caught) him at last, – & what the Devil shall we do with him? [1]  – Do you ever see the Monthly Magazine? Sir Rich. Phillips says that after the Battle of Waterloo Buonaparte continued his retreat to Paris, & soon after ‘magnanimously sacrificed himself a second time to the welfare interests of his country!” [2]  – Strictly enough he will not be kept in England, – perhaps not safely enough, & it is provoking that we should be plagued with keeping him at all. The right course would be to transfer him to Louis, [3]  if he had courage enough to put him to death.

The Courier talks well about what ought to be done in France. [4]  I suspect that its tone is influenced by Wordsworths conversation intercourse with Stuart; – still I hope that it accords with the meaning of Ministers, for otherwise it would hardly appear in that paper. – I cannot understand Louis’s conduct toward Fouche & Carnot, [5]  & incline to think that Wellington should <not> have let the army leave Paris, but have treated them with a few rockets & shells from time to time till they submitted at discretion.

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: July 1815
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 26 JY 26/ 1815
MS: Huntington Library, RS 257. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Napoleon Bonaparte had formally demanded political asylum from the British on 15 July 1815. He was imprisoned and then sent to exile on St Helena, where he died in 1821. BACK

[2] Monthly Magazine, 39 (July 1815), 563. BACK

[3] Louis XVIII (1755–1824; King of France 1814–1824). BACK

[4] The Courier on 19 July 1815 had advocated: the ‘punishment’ of Napoleon; that France should pay all the costs of the war in 1815 and return all looted works of art to their country of origin; and that France should lose Alsace and Lorraine, among other territories. BACK

[5] Two old Jacobins: Joseph Fouché (1759–1820), who was Chief of Police under Napoleon 1804–1810 and 1815. Louis XVIII retained him in this role for a few months in 1815; Lazare Carnot (1753–1823), member of Committee of Public Safety 1793–1794, Member of the Directory 1795–1797 and Minister of the Interior March-June 1815. Banished later in 1815. Both were members of the 5-man Commission of Government that was briefly the executive authority in France 22 June-7 July 1815. BACK

People mentioned