LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Walter Savage Landor, 9 February 1809

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“Keswick, Feb, 9. 1809.

“You have a bill coming before Parliament. The Speaker’s secretary happens to be one of my very intimate friends, and one of the men in the world for whom I have the highest respect. It may be some convenience to you on this occasion to know him, because he can give you every necessary information respecting Parliamentary business, and thus, perhaps,
spare you some needless trouble; and there needs no other introduction than knocking at his door and sending up your name, with which he is well acquainted.
Rickman is his name; and you will find it over his door, in St. Stephen’s Court, New Palace Yard, next door to the Speaker’s. I will tell you what kind of man he is. His outside has so little polish about it, that once having gone from Christchurch to Pool, in his own boat, he was taken by the press-gang,—his robust figure, hard-working hands, and strong voice all tending to deceive them. A little of this is worn off. He is the strongest and clearest-headed man that I have ever known. ‘Pondere, numero et mensurâ,’ is his motto; but to all things he carries the same reasoning and investigating intellect as to mathematical science, and will find out in Homer and the Bible facts necessarily to be inferred from the text, and which yet have as little been supposed to be there intimated, as the existence of metal was suspected in potash before Davy detected it there. I have often said that I learnt how to see for the purposes of poetry from Gebir, how to read for the purposes of history from Rickman. His manners are stoical; they are like the husk of the cocoa nut, and his inner nature is like the milk within its kernel. When I go to London I am always his guest. He gives me but half his hand when he welcomes me at the door, but I have his whole heart,—and there is not that thing in the world which he thinks would serve or gratify me that he does not do for me, unless it be something which he thinks I can as well do myself. The sub-
Ætat. 35. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 217
ject which he best understands is political economy. Were there but half a dozen such men in the House of Commons, there would be courage, virtue, and wisdom enough there to save this country from that revolution to which It Is so certainly approaching.

“I should not have written just now, had it not been to mention Rickman; thinking that you may find it useful to know him; for I wished when writing to tell you of Kehama; a good many interruptions have occurred to delay my progress, indispositions of my own, or of the children,—the latter the only things concerning which I am anxious over much. At present my wife i seriously ill, and when I shall be sufficiently at rest to do anything—God knows. Another heat will finish the poem.

Coleridge’s essay* is expected to start in March.

“My uncle, Mr. Hill, is settled at his parsonage, at Staunton-upon-Wye,—in that savage part of the world to which your cedar plantation will give new beauty, and your name new interest when those cedars shall have given place to their offspring: it is probable that you have no other neighbour so well informed within the same distance. Next year, God willing, I shall travel to the South, and halt with him; it is likely I may then find you out, either at Llantony or somewhere in the course of a wide circuit. Meantime I will still hope that some fair breeze of inclination may send you here to talk about Spain, to plan a great poem, and to cruise with me about Derwentwater. God bless you!

R. Southey.”