2781. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 6 May  *
My dear R.
I have been asked for a letter of introduction to you by the elder Koster, an old Lisbonian, & a very estimable man, notwithstanding some wrong notions, & a contradictious manner. By no fault of his own he is at present a ruined man, – with not merely an unsullied character, but a high one. I believe his business in town is partly if not chiefly to try what interest he may have in procuring a consulship in Brazil, – he has claims upon Government for having many years acted as Consul at Lisbon, during Sir John Horts non-residence,  – without the slightest remuneration. In this I do not suppose that you can assist him, – nor indeed do I know that he has any other motive in asking an introduction to you, than the desire of seeing you; – xxxx his house at Lisbon was the only xxxx one where men of all countries were to be found who possessed any literary or scientific attainments, – & in this way few men have made a wider acquaintance among persons worthy of being known.
His family are lodging at Keswick, & Henry (my fellow traveller) is printing his travels in Brazil, a book which for its unaffected manner, & plain detail will remind you of old times when men made books because they had something to relate of their own observation 
I work closely, & have regained strength: – spirits no doubt will follow in course of time 
God bless you
The Irishmen (of whom Christian Curwen  has made large importations into this country) – have introduced their stills here, & manufacture whiskey according to the demand. – This practice will soon extend in England as well as in Scotland
* Address: To/ J Rickman Esqre
Endorsement: 6 May 1816
MS: Huntington Library, RS 281. ALS; 3p.
Previously published: Kenneth Curry (ed.), New Letters of Robert Southey, 2 vols (London and New York, 1965), II, p. 139.
Note on MS: this letter had an enclosure (Huntington Library RS 280) – a letter of introduction – which has survived. See Southey to John Rickman, 6 May 1816, Letter 2782
Dating note: Year from endorsement. BACK