1816. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 10 October 1810
1816. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 10 October 1810 *
Keswick. Oct 10. 1810.
My dear Rickman
It is so much more likely that this weather will continue, than that you should feel at leisure in a better season, that I will say come with all speed. Your place must be taken in the Carlisle & Glasgow mail as far as Penrith. Now there are two Carlisle mails, the one runs thro Manchester, & they are rascals enough at the coach office to take travellers in, Carlisle <tho> it involves a change of coaches on the road, <an additional charge> & two hours delay at midnight in a miserable common room at Manchester. You must come by the Newark & Doncaster road. This mail used to set out from the Bull & Mouth, & I suppose still does. It will land you at Penrith between 11 & 12 <the second day> & from thence you must take chaise for Keswick – 17 miles. The whole journey is performed in 43 hours.
Edith is come up stairs to say that you should lose no time, – & how glad we shall be to see you –
Nil mihi rescribas &c – 
I have obtained a set of the Spanish papers Parl. Proc. of last sessions from Herries, Bedfords friend. – You & I differ a little about the Spanish people. National hatred has much to do in their resistance, but not more than national pride. – I never doubted that the Convention of Cintra  ought to have <been> broken. It was my immediate & instinctive opinion, in which the more I considered the question, the more I was confirmed. Cooperation with the Spaniards is not practicable upon a great scale, but exceedingly advisable on a small one, – that is as we are doing in the North Coast by flying squadrons. A flying force might at this time cut off the besieging army before Tortosa, & might have relieved Hostalrich  & Gerona. 
With the Portugueze <army> this would be the best plan. To begin wholly with British officers, but as speedily as possible promote men from the ranks, – upon the system of the French Revolution. In Portugal no man of rank is to be trusted, but my life & soul upon it, the people are true, & there is not a finer race under heaven.
You will get this on Saturday, – I shall <half> expect you to dinner on Monday.
God bless you
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr./ St Stephens
Court/ Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 10 Octr. 1810
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 13 OC 13/ 1810
MS: Huntington Library, RS 152. ALS; 3p.
 The 1808 Convention of Cintra, under the terms of which the defeated French were allowed to evacuate their forces from Portugal. BACK
 The Catalonian castle of Hostalrich had been successfully beseiged by the French, 16 January–21 May 1810. BACK