639. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [11 December 1801]

639. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [11 December 1801] ⁠* 

I inclose a second note with great pleasure – to announce the real & true second birth of George Burnett. he has found out his blunder – & actually discovered to his own downright conviction – that, he is not fit for an author. his eyes are opened upon his own ignorance.

Conscientiously I believe that he is enough awake now to discharge the manual duties of any situation in which you could place him. do not now curse him for the recollection of the Cock-pit [1]  – for that recollection has risen in him like an evil conscience. for George Burnett I have xxx habitual feelings of affection – but you know they have never blinded me to his faults. I will make a report of his progress in the next week. think of him in any but a claret-humour –


R S.


* MS: Huntington Library, RS 17. ALS; 1p.
Previously published: Orlo Williams, Lamb’s Friend the Census-Taker. Life and Letters of John Rickman (Boston and New York, 1912), p. 70.
Dating note: Enclosed in Southey to John Rickman, 11 December 1801, Letter 638. BACK

[1] Government offices opposite Whitehall, used by the Privy Council office, where Burnett was briefly employed working for Rickman on the census in 1801. BACK

People mentioned

Burnett, George (c. 1776–1811) (mentioned 2 times)