3078. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 February [1818]

3078. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 February [1818] ⁠* 

My dear R.

The Courier which ought to have arrived yesterday, came to day, – & tells me that the Q R is advertised for the 23d. [1]  So it does not chuse to wait for me. – I do not know that I have much reason to be offended at this, because when I withdrew the article which they had half-printed, I promised the new one by the beginning of this month. [2]  But the Q. R. does not understand its own interest; – & sometimes is as little judicious in its treatment of me, as in its foolish subserviency to others. – Gifford must have received the last half of the article on Friday. I would send off the beginning this night if I were sure it were lawfull. The importance of the matter might teach them the fitness of inserting it even yet, if there were any reason for calculating upon wisdom in that quarter. But this I must not do, – & I suppose indeed every thing is printed & ready. – This is the first time I believe, that the Review was ever out a week before three months had elapsed since the last publication. [3] 

The next will be promised I suppose in April, & published perhaps in the first of May. [4]  – A loss of precious time in sending forth such matter when it would be most useful.

However it would be absurd to fret for what is what is mischief <in> which what I could not help: We must be content to lead the way in the next number, & I will try to hurry that number, – which it may be in my power to do as I shall probably bring up the rear in it. [5]  – Let me therefore know, quam citissime [6]  when I may send off the ms. – There will be time enough for managing the proofs now.

I shall make use of the matter which Stoddart diluted at fit season, [7]  – & of the Exeter note, [8]  – which is curious.

God bless you


Monday 16 Feby.

The extent of your matter does not by any means ‘oerstep the modesty’ [9]  of an article


* Endorsement: RS/ 16 Feby 1818
MS: Huntington Library, RS 328. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Year from endorsement. BACK

[1] The Courier, 13 February 1818, had advertised the next issue of the Quarterly Review as due to be published on 21, not 23, February. BACK

[2] Southey had not been able to submit his article on the poor for Quarterly Review, 18 (October 1817) (the issue published on 21 February 1818), so as to have more time incorporating Rickman’s work on the subject. The fruits of Rickman’s analysis appeared in ‘On the Poor Laws’, Quarterly Review, 18 (January 1818), 259–308. BACK

[3] Quarterly Review, 17 (July 1817) was published on 29 November 1817. BACK

[4] Quarterly Review, 18 (January 1818) was published on 9 June 1818. BACK

[5] ‘On the Poor Laws’, Quarterly Review, 18 (January 1818), 259–308, was the first article in this issue; but it contained no other articles by Southey. BACK

[6] ‘As quickly as possible’. BACK

[7] Rickman’s letter to Southey of 12 February 1818 contained the manuscript of an article Rickman had written for the New Times in 1817. When published, this had been ‘diluted’ by the newspaper’s editor John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB). BACK

[8] Rickman’s letter of 12 February 1818 also included an article Rickman had sent to an Exeter newspaper in 1816 and which he hoped might be useful if Southey published a second volume of Letters from England: By Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807). BACK

[9] Hamlet, Act 3, scene 2, line 19. BACK

People mentioned

Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 1 time)