1222. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [September 1806]

1222. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [September 1806] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

I have had two reasons for delaying in writing – the one that I waited for knowledge when franking began again – the other that I expected Ediths confinement – & was willing to tell you its result; but it seems the unborn is in no hurry. [1]  This must take place soon & then I will tell you all about myself that is to be told.

I now write to save the poor Count postage which he can afford still less than I can. Poor fellow he is at work & has done far better than I expected – & if he can but keep his heart up I shall yet make author enough of him to live now, whatever he may do hereafter. [2] 

Do you know that George is turned Methodist? – to my great amusement – he is trying to convert all his family. As he had so little head to turn there is no harm in it – for it will not stand in the way of his worldly advancement.

God bless you; the sooner I write again the better. you may be sure I wish for the occasion. At present all I have to add of myself is that my eyes are out of order & that I never was so busy –




* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ Septr. 1806
MS: Huntington Library, RS 93. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: dating from JR’s endorsement; RS gives ‘Sunday’. BACK

[1] Herbert, the Southeys’ first son, was born 11 October 1806. BACK

[2] George Burnett was working on his Specimens of English Prose Writers, from the Earliest Times to the Close of the Seventeenth Century, which was published in three volumes with Longman in 1807. This compilation formed a companion work to George Ellis, Specimens of the Early English Poets (1790, 2nd edn 1801, 3rd edn 1803) and Southey’s own anthology, jointly edited with Grosvenor Charles Bedford, Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807). BACK

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