3310. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 5 June  *
My dear R.
Your note has placed me in a dilemma, the possibility of which I had put out of sight.  My stay in the south cannot be for a shorter time than two full months, so wide must my excursions be, & so manifold my occupations. I have then to determine between putting off this journey till the fall of the leaf, – & giving up my long intended hazard of catching the scratchums in your company.  And this requires some consideration. – If it be true that when men begin to consider how they shall act, they always end in conformity to their inclination, I shall be of your party. But I will decide & tell you in a few days.
You lent me Fletcher of Salou Saltouns speculations upon slavery two & twenty years ago;  – arguments must have something in them which are remembered after so long a lapse of time: There is a note about population in some of the ensuing sheets, wherein if I have committed any error you will correct me.  – I am very very near the end, – within a fortnight; – & have therefore indulged myself with writing the peroration.
Remember us to Mrs R.
God bless you
Sunday 5 June.