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...
249. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd Baker, 10 May 1810*
City Road. May 10, 1810
Yours is just come to hand and I thank you.—I should have seen you before this time certainly but for a reason which you will not like to hear. My unfortunate Boy so long lame with a White swelling, you may remember fell and broke his leg but little more than a year ago,—He has again fallen and the thigh on the same side is broken in two places!! It happen'd from a casual fall by no means singular in itself, meerly a fall in the Garden on the flat path. The mischief was surgically adjusted in excellant time and all went on well untill at the end of five or six days it was found that from the violent starts which are common in such cases he had misplaced the upper junction of the bone, and the consequence was the necessity of having the work to do again. He has since been comparatively well, and has never lost his appitite and general health, and is now quite free from pain. It was done on the 25 of April and he has required night nursing ever since. I have sat with him about six nights untill 4 or 5 in the morning (hard lines) and the rest of us have shared the mid and morning watches alternately. This I doubt will continue at least a week longer, therefore Fulham with your kind invitation must draw in their horns, I cannot be absent untill he is out of danger. These are heavy visitations, and I am perswaded that whenever I see you I shall have so lively a sence of my own troubles that I shall undervalue yours, and therefore our meeting will not be so painful. I am nervous and sleepy and can only send my true love and respects to Mr B. Children, and Mrs Sharp, And Am yours