2711. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 February 1816

2711. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 February 1816⁠* 

My dear R.

Thank you for the plan of the Battle. [1]  I should judge the scale too small, – or the positions incorrect. It makes the breadth of the battle, from Hougoumont to Papelote two miles, – my legs made it <nearly> three. [2]  At a four miles-an-hour pace I was an hour & half walking from one place to the other & back, – minuting the time for the sake purpose of estimating the distance.

Thank you also for the Mendicity Report, [3]  – inclosed in which came a profile which I suppose to be little Annes. [4] 

I write in the next Quarterly (not that <with> which ofxxxx the press is [MS torn] in gestation) upon the Poor, – or rather upon what has been do[MS torn] is doing, & remains to be done for improving their condition, & lessening the sum of evil that exists among them – a paper upon real practicable reform – versus the reformers. The poor laws I leave alone, respectfully in ignorance. But when your time is come, to attack them I shall comprehend your views will serve a battery for you with all zeal & diligence. [5] 

God bless you


9 Feby. 1816.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 12 FE 12/ 1816
Endorsement: 9 Febry 1816
MS: Huntington Library, RS 265. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A plan of the Battle of Waterloo (18 June 1815). Rickman had sent this to Southey to help him prepare his poem, The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816). BACK

[2] The map was correct. Hougoumont and Papelote were farm houses at opposite ends of the battle. BACK

[3] The Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the State of Mendicity in the Metropolis (1816). BACK

[4] Rickman’s daughter Ann (b. 1808). BACK

[5] Southey’s review article ‘On the Poor’ appeared in Quarterly Review, 15 (April 1816), 187–235. The article ‘On the Poor Laws’, written largely by Rickman, appeared in Quarterly Review, 18 (January 1818), 259–308. BACK