Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
204. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd Baker, 25 March 1807*
City Road. March 25 1807
I thank your for your account of the safe arrival of Homer but I must at present defer the perusal of the other Vollm, having other work on my hands, as per example, a little round fac'd Boy came to Town on Monday morning at 3, after a seven hours warning. The Child is perfectly well, the mother very indifferent at present but likely to mend hourly. This is great good news for me to have to communicate and I feel accordingly! the Blue Gentlemen you mention'd in your last are all unmask'd!!
How particularly I feel myself oblidged to Mr G. Sharp for his kindness in giving his name to my Brothers undertaking.  He is the first, and though he may not superstitiously feel the situation, yet he certainly has the start of them all, and the more there may be that sett off after him so much the better fun for the composer. I never untill now undertook to solicit for any one, and I am an awkward hand. You have my very best thanks! I send you a Bill just to shew you how we proceed in the matter &c—I am writing on his account to Cambridge, Stamford, Hadleigh, Bury, Sidhurst &c &c—
Madam you did not know 'Moll Fuller' but I did; yet both of us know that the custom of throwing an old shoe after a person setting off on a journey 'for luck' is common enough in many parts of the country. Her Cottage stood high on a Bank beside a green lane, and on her descent from the door, her daughter, a great [illegible word] inadvertently threw after her her fathers High-Low or half-Boot, very ponderous, and filld with nails in the heel. The salutation took place on the back of her head, and she was obidge'd to turn back to have the wound dressd!!! Now as you have not yet found out all my prepensities you cannot perhaps immagine how such ridiculous things as these provoke me to laughter when I hapen to be in the humour, viz. when I am just as silly as I am somtimes sad.
Our best regards to all friends
Yours Dear Madam