1261. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [on or after 17 January 1807]

1261. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [on or after 17 January 1807] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

My friend John [1]  will drop the inclosed in the Twopenny. [2]  I have desired his Doctorship to show himself to you. You will find him less a coxcomb than is to be apprehended from such a person, excellently-good-natured, & better informed than most men of his years. He does not love hard work I believe – whatever knowledge he gets – he gets at a heat like a greyhound, – but I do not think he will ever nose out any thing, like a good hound, tho his nose like mine is quite long enough for all useful purposes. However he is a very likeable personage, & if he were not, I would not pin a direction upon his back & send him to your door, tho he were tentimes my brother.

I have something else to say. You are no picturesque man – but notwithstanding that – is it not possible to prevail upon you to spend your next summer leisure here? – & if there be no cogent reason against it Mrs Rickman with you? – We shall have ample house room – the Coleridges all migrating in the early spring – that we shall be heartily & most heartily glad to see both – need not I hope be said, – & this I will vouch for, that if you were here, long as the journey is you would think the trouble well bestowed. You might see Liverpool on the way returning – & York on the way coming – two places which should be seen – I have a boat on the lake – am the best guide in the country, & will walk with you to all the out-of-the-way places. You cannot well understand what an extraordinary country this is unless you were to see it. Think of this.

God bless you


The box not yet come. I expect it next Wednesday [3] 


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS. Middle of/ Jany. Feb. 1807.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 101. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: The letter in which Southey ‘desired his Doctorship to show himself to you’ is dated 17 January 1807 (Letter 1260), and must have been written before this letter to Rickman. This letter was therefore written on or after 17 January 1807. BACK

[1] Rickman’s manservant (his last name and dates are unknown). BACK

[2] The Two-penny post, for the transmission of letters from one part of London and its environs to another. BACK

[3] Rickman had sent Southey a box of materials required to write his History of Brazil (1810–1819). BACK

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