2967. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 5 April] 1817 *
My dear R
The inclosed is not finished, – about four pages more by the next post, – written for use as well as for amusement of xxxx the Slandersmith, & a flourish of the cat & 9 tails at the end.  Transfer the papers to Bedford when you have read them. – I have no time to tell you all the unacc strange interruptions which have been thrown in my way by all sorts of odd accidents, – & among others an Extent in aid against the place which I rent  –
God bless you
* Address: [partial]man Esqre/ phens Court/ w Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 5 AP 5/ 1817
Seal: black wax, with ‘S’, ‘In Labore Quies’ motto below
Endorsement: RS./ April 1817; 5 Apr
MS: Huntington Library, RS 315. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Dating from postmark and endorsement.
Note on MS: the enclosure has not survived with the letter. BACK
 William Smith had denounced Southey in the House of Commons on 14 March 1817 in the debate on the Seditious Meetings Bill, condemning ‘the settled, determined malignity of a renegado’ and comparing Southey’s arguments against radical views in the Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 227, with those expressed in Wat Tyler (1817), Act 2, lines 103–112. Southey’s response was his A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817). BACK
 A writ of extent in aid was a legal process to recover debts, under which the belongings of a debtor were seized and the debtor was jailed; unless the debt was paid in seven days, the debtor’s goods were sold to meet their liabilities. Greta Hall had suffered from the complicated financial and legal entanglements of its owner, Samuel Tolson Jnr (dates unknown), who was by April 1817 in Carlisle jail for debt. BACK