2496. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 4 November [1814]

2496. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 4 November [1814] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I shall have an opportunity ere long of sending up the Buccaneers [1]  to the Capitaneus. He will see that I considered it as a gift from him, & have had put in a decent dress. At the same time I will put together some notices which have been marked in my books for his use.

Longman is instructed to send you Roderick. [2]  It was written under the disadvantage of wanting costume (the age being without any documents for it) & the advantage of some knowledge of the scenery & natural images.


4 Novr.

Do you know that the Emperor of China was attacked in his Palace on the 8 Oct. 1813 by the Tienlikans; who are the United Irish of China? [3]  The contest lasted two days & a night, & it is attributed to the personal exertions of his second son, that the insurgents were defeated. The official account from the Pekin Gazette is in a Portugueze Journal. [4]  It is a proclamation by the Emperor, – He says he knows no cause for these troubles but <except> his own Defects, & therefore it xxxxxx behoves him to reprehend himself; – but he reprehends still more severely his Governors; calling upon those who are good <for anything> to exert themselves strenuously, & desiring those who are good for nothing to resign their posts. The article is very curious, & mor bears every mark of being genuine. –


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 16 Octr. 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 7 NO 7/ 1814
MS: Huntington Library, RS 236. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Alexandre Exquemelin (1645–1707), De Americaeneche Zee Roovers (1678). The copy in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, no. 927, is described as ‘Presentation Copy from Capt. Burney’. BACK

[2] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[3] A very garbled reference to the Teen-le (Celestial Reason or Eight Trigrams) rebellion of 1813. The Teen-le were compared by many Western contemporaries to the Illuminati, rather than the United Irishmen, see The Examiner, 366 (1 January 1815), 3–4. BACK

[4] The ‘Pekin Gazette’ was actually the Jing Bao (‘Capital Report’), a daily bulletin of government information published since the eighth century. Southey could have seen its account of the rebellion in the Jornal de Coimbra (1812–1815), no. 3498 in the sale catalogue of his library. The ruler of China at the time was the Jiaqing Emperor (1760–1820; Emperor of China 1796–1820) and his second son, who was instrumental in defeating the rebellion, was Prince Mianning (1782–1850; Daoguang Emperor 1820–1850). BACK

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