933. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [1] May 1804

933. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [1] May 1804 ⁠* 

May day. 1804.

Dear Rickman

A daughter, as ugly as a young dodo. [1]  the daughtership I am well pleased with, but not so well pleased with the dodoship. however it is to be hoped the Edithling (I am sure that word is Saxon by its physiognomy) will improve – as it is certain she will alter.

And now – si placet [2]  or si suits it. I am ready to start, & if it be convenient will be with you within five or six days after the receipt of your reply – which cannot reach me before Sunday


I have found out a punishment in the Gothic Laws which should be added to our penal code. it is called Uglyfication. what a noble invention for all gentlemen-like rogues – & such vagabonds as the Gordons! a little too would be good for Mrs Lee. [3] 

Have you heard of young Corrys [4]  adventures at Lisbon? he has seen something more of Portugal than I have, for he has seen the inside of a prison. & the manner of its inhabitants.


* MS: Huntington Library, RS 57. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s second child, Edith May, was born on 30 April 1804. BACK

[2] The Latin translates as ‘if it pleases you’. BACK

[3] Unidentified. BACK

[4] In July 1802 Southey referred to William Corry (c. 1786–1853), the son of Isaac Corry (1753–1813; DNB), the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer who employed Southey as his secretary in 1801–1802, as an ‘Irish boy of sixteen, who has been found too unmanageable to be kept even at Harrow’; see Southey to John May, 4 July [1802], The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Two, Letter 689. BACK

People mentioned

Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)