1312. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 29 April 
1312. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 29 April  *
I xx <am> in great perplexity about writing to you least the letter should be chargeable – & yet unwilling to xxxx delay writing – but chargeable it ought not to be & I will at all rates risk it, having really something to reply to & something to say.
Your recollection is right – the M.S.S. consisting of nine folios on the shelf below stairs, & three or four smaller ones in the cupboards there, & one folio above stairs, on the same shelf with Corneilles works  – bound but not lettered), & therefore of uncouth appearance to come by waggon: & any spare room in the box to be filled with Spanish or Portugueze books in preference to any others, & with S Americans in particular – if they come to hand. All the rest by water – & all at your leisure, there being no hurry. There is sealed up in some sort of wrapper a carpet which may come by waggon also to be put in use on its arrival. 
What I have to say is that tho proof franking is over the proofs as long as you continue in town will still visit you: for this reason. that my secret may not be known either by Taylors  or by Longmans people, which it would needs be if they were put in the office from either place. Besides I like them to pass under your eye, for what I can avail myself of now, I do, & what I cannot, lies over for other a more convenient season. Double them up, without any inclosure, & write on the direction Single proof sheet. I have not been informed either by xxpaper or otherwise whether Wynn is UnSecretaryfied or not.  If he be not he still franks, & in that case you can either direct the printers devil to carry them to him, – or trouble John. 
Of Tythes Espriella knows nothing. If it please the public to let him be taken prisoner crossing from Barcelona to Majorca – & brought to England he will have much to say. – for I had not leisure to make a fourth volume – nor indeed would one volume more have held all I failed to say. You have xxxx some curious letters to see concerning the Quakers – the Society at Avignon – & Joanna Southcott  —
It is little likely that the Tantara-rares  will meet at midsummer – I trust they will govern without a Parliament long enough to let you make your northern journey in full comfort. My daughter is familiar with Mrs Rickmans name, by reason of the silver cup  – & will be exceeding disappointed if the prophecy of her appearance this summer should not be fulfilled.
God bless you
Wednesday. 29 April.
* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr.
Endorsement: RS./ 29 Apr 1807.
MS: Huntington Library, RS 108. ALS; 4p.
Dating note: Year from JR’s endorsement BACK
 This paragraph concerns the books and manuscripts which Southey was having sent to Keswick now that he had decided to stay in Greta Hall. BACK
 Southey had been sending copy for Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella. Translated from the Spanish (1807) to the printer Richard Taylor (1781–1858; DNB) and wanted his authorship to remain a secret. BACK
 The so-called Ministry of All the Talents, in which Wynn had served as Under Secretary of State in the Home Office, had broken up in March 1807. BACK
 Letters from England included sections on the visit of William Bryan (dates unknown) and John Wright (dates unknown) to the Société des Illuminés d’Avignon, and the self-proclaimed prophet Joanna Southcott. For these sections see Robert Southey and Millenarianism: Documents Concerning the Prophetic Movements of the Romantic Era, ed. Tim Fulford. BACK
 Southey’s disparaging term for the noisy MPs in the House of Commons. Tantara-rara, Rogues All was the title of a 1786 play by John O’Keeffe (1747–1833; DNB); see The Dramatic Works of John O’Keeffe Esq., 4 vols (London, 1798), III, pp. 349–90. ‘Tantara-rara, Fools All Fools All’ was also a popular song from Henry Fielding’s (1707–1754; DNB) play The Lottery (1732). BACK