2603. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 23 May 1815]

2603. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 23 May 1815] ⁠* 

My dear R.

I wrote four volumes of the Register, [1]  – viz – 1808–11. who continued it I do not know, – nor have I yet seen the continuation.

I have a large portion of copy [2]  written in unsuitable form for your franks. Half however is gone, & the other half will soon follow – these I will transcribe in suitable shape for the future.

About sixteen inches square seems a good size for the map, – this makes two folds either way. But I would take his judgement & yours rather than my own. [3] 

Longman will soon send you my minor poems collected in three volumes with the fit motto Nos haec novimus esse nihil. [4]  – Roderick [5]  is selling well.

There have been some excellent squibs in the Courier lately. [6]  Whose are they?

God bless you



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS/ May 1815
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 23 MY 23/ 1815
MS: Huntington Library, RS 250. ALS; 2p.
Dating note: dating from postmark. BACK

[1] Between 1810–1813 Southey had written the historical section of the Edinburgh Annual Register, thus producing an account of events in 1808–1811. He had resigned his post in 1813 and been succeeded by the Scottish lawyer and writer, James Russell (1790–1861; DNB). The latter’s narrative of the events of 1812 had just been published in the Edinburgh Annual Register (1814). BACK

[2] Probably proofs for Southey’s review of George Elliott (dates unknown), The Life of the Most Noble Arthur Duke of Wellington, from the Period of his first Achievements in India, down to his Invasion of France, and the Peace of Paris in 1814 (1814), Quarterly Review, 13 (April 1815), 215–275; this issue of the Quarterly was published on 20 June 1815. BACK

[3] The map for vol. 2 of the History of Brazil (1810–1819), published 1817. It was drawn by the Arrowsmiths, a family of celebrated map-makers. BACK

[4] ‘We know these to be nothing’, Marcus Valerius Martialis (AD 38/41–AD 102/104), Epigrams, Book XIII, epigram 2, line 8; the epigraph to Southey’s Minor Poems (1815). BACK

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

[6] Two spoof letters allegedly written by a Quaker from Pennsylvania, Ezekial Grubb, to his friend in the American government, Tobias Brande of Bigmuddy in Maryland, published in the Courier (14 April and 13 May 1814). These described the political situation in Britain and were extremely hostile to the Whig opposition. They were widely reprinted, e.g. in The New Whig Guide (1819). BACK

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