1128. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 28 November [1805]

1128. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 28 November [1805] ⁠* 

Dear Rickman

Don Manuel [1]  standeth in need of Feyjoo’s works, [2]  thin small quartos in parchment, part of them are here, having been sent to Bristol – the covers had rotted with sea-damp & have been replaced – if any of the others have suffered in like manner I should be obliged to you to let some bookbinders repair them, to pattern with the sound ones. Will you send them with all the Beauties of England, [3]  & the MS. Calatogue to Longman – & he will forward them in a parcel. the Beauties are for D Manuel also to help his topography as far as they go. If you lay hand upon the Epanaphoras Tragicas that also may come, but this matters not. [4] 

Don Manuel is pretty well I thank you. Bedford thought the remarks not foreign enough. had they been more so they would in my opinion have been overdone. I get on now with this, now with reviewing, according to my humour, as time presses on the one hand, <or as> & inclination preponderates on the other. My Electioneering document would be more compleat if you could send me the Nottingham Report, – & the Middlesex if that be printed. [5]  – I feel certain presentiments of a forced journey to London in the Spring thanks to Bedford  [6]  – but do not hint this or he will strike his work at once & render it inevitable. In that case I shall accommodate my visit to D. M’s travels. & show him many things in London which I have never seen myself. – By this time you are a better judge of the execution: – It seems to me a book that I should like if it fell in my way as a stranger.

Tom has sent me a turtle by the convoy!!! it would have been almost as <xx> fit a present for George Dyer. – I have written to Wynn to look sharp after it & eat it, that in mercy both to me & the beast his journey per coach to Keswick may be saved. [7]  If it had been a crocodile I could have shown him for sixpence x xxxx admittance, in my fur cap, & wolf-skin great coat – but Lord! what should I do with a turtle, not being Lord Mayor! [8] 

God bless you.


Friday Nov. 28.


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ 28 Novr. 1805
MS: Huntington Library, RS 82. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella: Translated from the Spanish (1807). BACK

[2] Southey had asked Rickman to send him Benito-Gerónimo Feyjoo y Montenegro (1676–1764), Teatro Critico (1726–1739) for the contents of Letters 49 and 54 of Letters from England; see Southey to John Rickman, [July-August 1805], Letter 1090. An edition of this, as well as his Obras, or works (amounting to 37 volumes) is listed in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[3] The Beauties of England and Wales (1801–1818) was a series of lavishly-illustrated accounts of the historical features of Britain, produced by John Britton, an antiquary, with his friend Edward Wedlake Brayley (1773–1854; DNB). BACK

[4] Dom Francisco Manuel de Mello (1608–1666), Epanaphoras (1675), no. 3515 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, and requested from Rickman at the end of July; see Southey to John Rickman, 26 July [1805], Letter 1088. BACK

[5] The Middlesex and Nottingham elections are discussed in Letters from England, Letter 48. Southey had earlier received reports for Aylesbury, Ilchester and Knaresborough from Rickman; see Southey to John Rickman, [July-August 1805], Letter 1090. BACK

[6] Southey was growing impatient over delays by Bedford in their jointly edited work, Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807). BACK

[7] For the letter to Wynn; see Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 24 November 1805, Letter 1125. The turtle did not reach Keswick, but died in quarantine; see Southey to Thomas Southey, 1–5 January 1806, Letter 1140. BACK

[8] Turtle was served annually to the Lord Mayor of London and assembled dignitaries on the day of the Lord Mayor’s show. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)