3437. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 10 February 1820] *
My dear R.
One of the rascally booksellers in London is at this time publishing in sixpenny numbers a life of the late King by Robert Southy Esqre, printed for the author, “observe to order Southy’s Life of the King to avoid imposition.”  He expects to avoid the law by misspelling my name, & whether it be worth my while to see whether he is mistaken or not, & incur the expence of applying for an injunction, I am very doubtful. Longman & Turner will be the best judges of this. – If it were possible to get the scoundrel in the pillory, I would certainly take some pains & be at some cost to see him there. 
The Kings death  will delay my departure two or three weeks later than I had intended, – while my unwilling Minerva  is at work. To render the task less irksome than it would otherwise be, I use it as the vehicle for an experiment in metre, – & accordingly am writing in hexameters:  me judice,  with good success
They assure me that Brougham will be well beaten in Westmorland.  A stir is talked of for Cumberland; but I think Curwen  has neither will nor means to pay the piper, & Grahame can have no money for such a purpose while his father lives.  But the sooner the dissolution takes place the better.
God bless you
* Endorsement: Fr RS./ 2 March
MS: Huntington Library, RS 389. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Dating from content; the discussion of the rascally bookseller is very similar to that in letters to Mary Barker, 10–12 February 1820 (Letter 3436) and Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 11 February 1820 (Letter 3438). Rickman’s letter of 14 February 1820 is a reply to this. BACK
 Sir James Graham, 1st Baronet (1761–1824), of Netherby was a government supporter and former MP for Ripon 1798–1807. His son, Sir James Graham, 2nd Baronet (1792–1861; DNB), was Whig MP for Hull 1818–1820 and was looking for a cheaper seat; his name was connected to both Carlisle and Cumberland, but he stood for neither. BACK