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...
246. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd Baker, 1 January 1810*
To Mrs L Baker
City Road.Jan 1. 1810
My Dear Madam
I have heard of your confinement from Miss Ansted and from Miss Sharp. I surely aswerd your letter relative to the devon excursion? If I did not I am still more lost to recollection than I apprehended could possibly arise from ill health or the dumps. I have lately found it expedient to seek advice and have taken moderately of opiates, and decoction of Bark &c. &c. I have amended in strength a little, but am not well, nor unwell enough to allow of unfavourable predictions. My Doctor (Mr Young) talks of good wine and the Country; the former the tax gatherers have interdicted, and the latter is all against me as to season, and the power of efficaciously enjoying it. I therefore look forward allready to Spring, And if that invalluable Lady named Hope had not allready been throng'd and pesterd, nay allmost suffocated with addresses and Sonnets I would talk over my feelings in rhyme to her. Take care of this damp open weather, I have a notion that it is particularly decietful, A good Frost is what I anticipate with pleasure. You shall hear of me more at length when I have more animation and better health. for the present I am with all kind remembrances to Spouse and Children And the Elders
Yours ever sincerely
Be so good as to excuse me to your Bath visitors And say that I wish them and yourselves the pleasure of a family meeting and health to enjoy it, but as I am somthing of a Tortoise I cannot peep out of my shell untill the Sun shines.—