3430. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 2 February 1820
3430. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 2 February 1820*
My dear R.
Dr S. has taken it in his head that I am a very proper person to –– write a hymn for the Humane Society!  – an honour which I have begged leave to decline.
So we have seen the end of a reign of sixty years, the most eventful in history!  – What an ugly coincidence that the proclamation ought to have been on the 30th January!  – It appears that Buonaparte  was very superstitious with respect to days, – which of all superstitions should seem to be the silliest. This book of Fleury’s  (which like all other books from that squad contains some little new information with a great mass of most impudent falsehood) says that one of his schemes after the second abdication was to get to Spanish America (Mexico if he could) & put himself at the head of the insurgents. But he was dissuaded by the remark that they had heads already, & did not want him.
My daughters Kate & Isabel used when I was going to London to desire that I would bring back with me – “a boy-doll – a male-creature.” They now desire that I will bring back – Willy, – nothing but Willy will satisfy them. 
Remember us all to him & to Franco, & to Mrs Rickman. & I must not forget Miss Anne  – who is no longer to be called little.
Gods bless you
2 Feby. 1820.
 The anniversary of the execution of Charles I (1600–1649; King of Great Britain 1625–1649; DNB). BACK
 Pierre Alexandre Édouard, Baron Fleury de Chaboulon (1779–1835), Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, 2 vols (London, 1820), II, p. 295. Fleury had been secretary to Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821; Emperor of the French 1804–1814, 1815) in 1815. Southey had a copy of the French edition, Mémoires pour servir à l’Histoire de la Vie Privée: du Retour et du Règne de Napoléon (1819–1820), no. 563 in the sale catalogue of his library; the English translation was published by Murray. BACK