954. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 16 June 1804]

954. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [c. 16 June 1804] ⁠* 

Dear Rickman

I do not like making so free with you as to make free with the Emperor of the Franks [1]  for my own convenience. but the inclosed relates to the drawings for Madoc, [2]  & it would neither be proper to tax Duppa with a double letter on my business nor yet decorous to say post paid on the direction.

There was a line in Madoc about a cat-a-mountain – which so many objected to that I have altered it to some mountain marten in honour <remembrance> of your favourite. [3] 

We go on well – I, Edith & the Edithling. only when the child starts at a light sound, as she frequently does – it gives me an ominous apprehension lest the brain be prematurely susceptible.



* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqr
Endorsement: RS./ June circa 16:/ 1804
MS: Huntington Library, RS 59. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] ‘Southey’s nickname for the Speaker of the House of Commons, Charles Abbott, who had the power to frank mail. Rickman, his secretary, used this facility on Southey’s behalf. BACK

[2] On the drawings Southey commissioned his friends to provide for engraving as illustrations to Madoc (1805), see letters 897, 904, 906 and 1010 in this edition. BACK

[3] Madoc (1805), Part 1, Book 12, lines 121–122: ‘the bonnet last, / Formed of some forest martin’s costly spoils’. BACK

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