2905. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 25 January 1817

2905. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 25 January 1817 ⁠* 

My dear R.

Thank you for your note, – the matter of which shall not be lost. You will see that I have touched upon the Expenditure cry, – if Gifford does not expunge the passage. [1]  I have inferred from the hitherto unexplained prosperity of the ancient cities, that the it was in consequence of great public expenditure, – of which the magnificent public works all now existing in ruins are the proof.

Pray recommend my Brazil to all amateurs of savage life. This second volume is tolerably rich upon this subject, & the third will be richer than either, when I come to the equestrian tribes. [2] 

The inclosed is a letter from Mrs Coleridge to her husband. The Docter [3]  is to prescr administer <prescribe> it, – & if the patient will not take the letter the Doctor is instructo to administer the business part of its contents!!

Dr Stoddart writes me that he has left the Times, Walter believing that “neither Ministry nor Opposition can stand, & that Hunt [4]  will become a great man!” The said Walter must be a fool as well as knave. Government would do well to start a morning paper for Stoddart. [5] 


25 Jany. 1817


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 28 JA 28/ 1817
Endorsement: RS./ 25/ Janry 1817
MS: Huntington Library, RS 306. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s article ‘Parliamentary Reform’, Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 225–278, argued strongly for the value of increased government expenditure to the economy (277–278). BACK

[2] The second volume of Southey’s History of Brazil was in the press. History of Brazil, 3 vols (1810–1819), III, pp. 374–441, dealt with those Indian peoples who integrated the horse into their culture. BACK

[3] Southey means either his brother Henry, or the surgeon with whom Coleridge resided in London, James Gillman (1782–1839). BACK

[4] Henry ‘Orator’ Hunt (1773–1835; DNB), radical politician. BACK

[5] John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB) was editor of The Times from 1814–1816 until dismissed for the intemperate Toryism of his articles by John Walter II (1776–1847; DNB), variously manager, editor and owner of the paper 1803–1847. Later in 1817 Stoddart became editor of a new ministry-supported paper, The New Times. BACK

People mentioned