2579. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 24 March 1815

2579. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 24 March 1815 ⁠* 

24. March 1815.

My dear R.

These devils in France seem all to be going one way, & we shall have the whole work to do over again, for there can be no peace on earth till that generation of soldiers is cut off. I suspect that there will not even be found a La Vendée [1]  in favour of the Bourbons now, the soldiers will be all against them, the people indifferent, & the wealthy classes there, as they will be every where, willing to submit to the ruling power. [MS torn] then must fairly propose to themselves the conquest of France, by their own military force; – the presence & name of the Bourbons will xxx be useful in reminding the country that they may occupy, & perhaps some of the strong places may be held for them, – but this is very doubtful. – xxx We begin however with better auspices than in 1793. The necessity is apparent, the object definite, the allies are less likely to fall asunder, & the state of our military force is an advantage which counterbalances the weight of our public debt. But I wish M. Wellesley was at the head of affairs, that the immediate effort might not fall short of the emergency.

This comes of magnanimity & liberality. A halter properly applied would have saved all the evil to come! Or even if the wise heads at the Congress [2]  had remembered the old proverb safe bind safe find.

My Brazil, [3]  I suppose, sticks somewhe between G C Bedford & Streatham. I have been, & still am, working steadily at this Opus. You will find the Chapters de moribus [4]  full of very curious matter.

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 24 Mar/ 1815
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 27 MR 27/ 1815
MS: Huntington Library, RS 246. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] A region of western France where there was a Royalist rebellion in 1793–1796. In 1815 it stayed loyal to the Royalist cause. BACK

[2] The Congress of Vienna (November 1814-June 1815), which was drawing up the post-war map of Europe. BACK

[3] The second part of Southey’s History of Brazil, published in 1817. BACK

[4] i.e. on customs or morals; see History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), II, pp. 333–380, 632–692. BACK

Places mentioned

Streatham (mentioned 1 time)