2886. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 23 December [1816]

2886. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 23 December [1816]⁠* 

My dear R.

I have made a proper arrangement with Murray, which enables me to make use of old materials, – & moreover he requests that part of the new ones may be served up in his next number. – This is very convenient – & I am hard at work accordingly [1] 

There are men past all reach of hellebore – I have a letter from one who maintains that the attack upon the gunsmiths was accidental, [2]  – & that our only danger is from arbitrary power! – Ought not the whip to be laid on lustily?


23 Dec.


* Endorsement: 23 Decr. 1816.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 300. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement. BACK

[1] Southey planned, but did not write, a book on the ‘State of the Nation’, which would make use of some material that had already appeared in the Quarterly Review; some of the material appeared in ‘Rise and Progress of Popular Disaffection’, Quarterly Review, 16 (January 1817), 511–552. BACK

[2] Hellebore was an ancient remedy for insanity – Southey means that anyone who held this view must be incurably deranged. On 2 December 1816 part of the crowd at a meeting at Spa Fields, London, broke away and attempted to storm the Tower of London and the Bank of England and instigate a revolution; they raided a gunshop en route and a bystander was shot and wounded. BACK

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