2484. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 October 1814

2484. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 9 October 1814 ⁠* 

9. Oct. 1814

My dear R.

At length I have news from my buen Amigo [1]  D Manuel, who it seems is in high favour at court, much to his own satisfaction. He has sent me the statement of Escoiquiz (Ferdinands Tutor) concerning the business at Bayonne [2]  [MS torn] contains such some curious facts: & – a transcript of the Poema del Ferran G[MS torn] from a MSS in the Escurial, [3]  (– a metrical history of the 12 or 13 century): & he has also induced the Royal Academy [4]  to elect me an honorary Member, for which, under one of their covers, I have returned my due acknowledgements in form. Concerning present affairs he is altogether silent. But he invites me to Madrid, – & perhaps if I could find a fit companion I might be induced to spend three months next year in the peninsula, in acquiring topographical knowledge for my history, [5]  & seeing the actors chief actors in the war. Mina, [6]  Palafox [7]  &c &c –

I have <been> spending ten days from home, chiefly at Wordsworths, & am returned this afternoon to a world of occupations. Remember me to Mrs R., & plague on the public business for preventing your journey northward when the season has been so unusually fine.

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 9 Octr. 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 12 OC 12/ 1814
MS: Huntington Library, RS 233. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘good friend’. BACK

[2] Juan Escoiquiz (1762–1820), whose Idea Sencilla de las Razones que Motivaron el Viage del Fernando VII a Bayona (1814) (‘Honest representation of the causes which inspired the journey of King Ferdinand VII to Bayonne’) had dealt with the meeting between his former pupil (Ferdinand VII (1784–1833; King of Spain 1808, 1813–1833) and Napoleon Bonaparte at Bayonne in April-May 1808. At the meeting, Ferdinand VII eventually abdicated, leaving the way open for French control of Spain. BACK

[3] The ‘Poem of Fernan Gonzalez’, a 13th-century account of the life of Fernando Gonzalez, Count of Castile 931–970. The poem survived in one 15th-century manuscript in the royal archive at the Escurial; see also Southey to John Hookham Frere, 16 January 1815, Letter 2545. BACK

[4] The Real Academia Espanola, founded 1713. It regulated the use of the Spanish language. BACK

[5] Southey’s three-volume History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[6] Francisco Espoz y Mina (1781–1836), general and commander of the guerrilleros of Navarre. BACK

[7] José Rebolledo de Palafox y Melzi (1780–1847), Spanish general, who in 1808 and 1809 commanded the defending forces at the first and second sieges of Zaragosa. BACK

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