2922. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 17 February [1817]

2922. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 17 February [1817] ⁠* 

My dear R.

Stoddart has sent me the first number of his New Times, [1]  – you characterise his qualifications very happily, – it is an odd talent, & renders him useful; – while the same talent & in pretty much the same degree makes some of his contemporaries equally mischievous, – & the power is greater when mischievously employed. – I have no such facility in writing. But think over what I am about it, & sometimes dream over it, – turning the end of my pen & eating it as I go on.

Here are fellows selling Cobbett & other seditious writings about the country, in these remote parts. [2]  But I hope the tide is turning.


17 Feby.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 21 FE 21/ 1817
Endorsement: RS/ 17 Febry 1817
MS: Huntington Library, RS 308. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB) was editor of The Times 1814–1816 until dismissed for the intemperate Toryism of his articles by the proprietor John Walter II (1776–1847; DNB), variously manager, editor and owner of The Times, 1803–1847. He had just been appointed editor of the pro-government New Times (1817–1828). BACK

[2] Cobbett’s weekly Political Register (1802–1835). BACK

People mentioned

Cobbett, William (1763–1835) (mentioned 1 time)