1295. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 24 March 1807]

1295. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 24 March 1807] ⁠* 

My dear Rickman

As soon as this packet of letters is made up (writing to you always puts me in mind of a nest of boxes) I shall endite a letter to Biddlecombe, urging him to dispatch the remainder of my straggling chattels, which thank Heaven, are now about to find a resting place [1]  – – When they have reached you, have some fit person to pack up all, – & ship all off for Whitehaven; & do you make a memorandum of all charges against we meet – which I hope will be this summer. This is the last trouble you will have with what has given you more trouble than sits easy upon my conscience. I cannot tell you what a comfort it is to me to feel that I have pitched my tent & I am not sorry that the ousting of all the Talents will take away the only grounds on which every one <belonging to me> could blame my resolution. [2]  – I am as busy in arranging currants & gooseberry bushes & raspberry & strawberry plants as George III in arranging a new ministry, & have good hopes that my arrangement will produce better fruit than his:, – & this occupation pleases me so well, that I lay down the pen almost too often & take up the spade – which it is true I do not handle quite so well – however I can dig.

If a new parliament puts any thing in your pocket I will wish for one, – because in that case a new parliament does some good – which an old one very rarely does to anybody –

God bless you


The MSS. had better all travel by waggon – & perhaps it would be best to make up a box of the old Spanish & Port: books to come by land also. Many of them – especially the little books of poetry it would be very difficult to replace, – & if ever my books come to sale when I am gone will fetch a very high price – It is right therefore to pay higher carriage by way of insuring them as valuables.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr.
Endorsement: RS./ Beginning. Ap. 1807.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 110. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: Dating from internal evidence and JR’s endorsement; pencil addition on MS folder has ‘10 April?’ BACK

[1] Southey was arranging to have his books shipped to Keswick; see Southey to John Rickman, 23 February [1807], Letter 1278. For the letter to Biddlecombe, see Southey to Charles Biddlecombe, 25 March 1807, Letter 1297. BACK

[2] The fall of the Ministry of All the Talents, in which Wynn served, removed Southey’s chances of gaining government employment abroad and of assisting his brother Thomas Southey gain promotion. Wynn did however secure a state pension for Southey. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)