2922. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 17 February  *
My dear R.
Stoddart has sent me the first number of his New Times,  – you characterise his qualifications very happily, – it is an odd talent, & renders him useful; – while the same talent & in pretty much the same degree makes some of his contemporaries equally mischievous, – & the power is greater when mischievously employed. – I have no such facility in writing. But think over what I am about it, & sometimes dream over it, – turning the end of my pen & eating it as I go on.
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 21 FE 21/ 1817
Endorsement: RS/ 17 Febry 1817
MS: Huntington Library, RS 308. ALS; 2p.
 John Stoddart (1773–1856; DNB) was editor of The Times 1814–1816 until dismissed for the intemperate Toryism of his articles by the proprietor John Walter II (1776–1847; DNB), variously manager, editor and owner of The Times, 1803–1847. He had just been appointed editor of the pro-government New Times (1817–1828). BACK