798. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [20 June 1803]

798. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [20 June 1803] ⁠* 

Dear Rickman

I thank you for your letter – which has made the whole matter plain to me.

Danvers has business which calls him to London. & I have agreed to set out with him on Sunday next. now will you have the goodness to take a bedroom & sitting room for him in your neighbourhood – xxx I think Manchester Buildings would be a good situation. poor fellow, his spirits are far worse than they were at the time of his mothers death. his whole habits of life are broken up – & he is distressed about an unhappy & unthrift brother [1]  who will be a burthen upon him as long as he lives. I should not have gone to town so soon had not he been very desirous that I should accompany him. – if it should be anyways inconvenient to you to receive me, only let me know in time & my departure may be postponed – if not – you will see <me> on Monday next in the forenoon.

Spanish America & Brasil pant for a free trade – & that is all they pant for. they will not readily enter into any friendly connection with England, for both countries are as deplorably bigotted now as Spain was a hundred & fifty years ago – & in the Spanish main they detest us for the recollection of the Buccaneers. Lisbon has a better security than this check. it is supplied with corn by sea for 39 weeks in the year, & if the French take it they must be starved – & if they go to make the natives work to prevent that, I suspect the Portugueze will <prefer> using the snick-a-snee [2]  – to the spade or the plough.

If I was really afraid of invasion I should leave Bristol – as the most exposed part of the Island. if the French can come any where it must be up this channel.

in haste –

yrs RS.



* Endorsement: June 20. 1803
MS: Huntington Library, RS 36. ALS; 1p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Probably the surgeon and apothecary, John Danvers (d. 1812), then of Woolwich, London, declared bankrupt in The National Register (3 July 1808), 426. BACK

[2] ‘snickersnee’, slang term for a large knife. BACK

People mentioned

Danvers, Mrs. (d. 1803) (mentioned 1 time)