3310. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 5 June [1819]

3310. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 5 June [1819] ⁠* 

My dear R.

Your note has placed me in a dilemma, the possibility of which I had put out of sight. [1]  My stay in the south cannot be for a shorter time than two full months, so wide must my excursions be, & so manifold my occupations. I have then to determine between putting off this journey till the fall of the leaf, – & giving up my long intended hazard of catching the scratchums in your company. [2]  And this requires some consideration. – If it be true that when men begin to consider how they shall act, they always end in conformity to their inclination, I shall be of your party. But I will decide & tell you in a few days.

You lent me Fletcher of Salou Saltouns speculations upon slavery two & twenty years ago; [3]  – arguments must have something in them which are remembered after so long a lapse of time: There is a note about population in some of the ensuing sheets, wherein if I have committed any error you will correct me. [4]  – I am very very near the end, – within a fortnight; – & have therefore indulged myself with writing the peroration.

Remember us to Mrs R.

God bless you


Sunday 5 June.


* MS: Huntington Library, RS 369. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey had been intending to visit London, but Rickman proposed that they should visit Scotland together. BACK

[2] An effect of the midges prevalent in the Scottish Highlands in summer. BACK

[3] Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (1655–1716; DNB), Two Discourses Concerning the Affairs of Scotland (1698), which argued for the enslavement of vagrants. BACK

[4] History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, pp. 837–838. BACK

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