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...
252. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd Baker, 12 July 1810*
City Road July 12. 1810
To Mrs Baker
When I promised myself the pleasure of meeting with you at Clare Hall I undoubtedly meant what I said but who shall say exactly what the obstacles may be that may obtrude themselves between the wish and the accomplishment! I tarried longer in Bedfordshire than I proposed, and could not do otherwise, and I learn'd from Catharine's communication that you would leave on the 2d of this month. I therefore could not meet you. Yet it is a great consolation to hear that you are so well, and that I have therefore so fair a chance of seeing you at some future time. I told Mr Baker my business with Sir G Osborn I dined with him, and felt at home. Mr Whitbread allso behaved handsomly and gave his Bedfordshire invitation &c. &c. When I said that I felt myself at home I ought to have said that I wishd the Country my home; and that radical first-planted principle in my composition can never be blotted out by London and all it can produce.
Mr Baker expressed a particular desire to see my Journal, tell him that I am going over it once again and he must have patience untill the Autumn.
Charles is walking without a Crutch, and myself and Family have little to complain of.
I imagine that this will find you at Stouts Hill, and if not it will follow you no doubt. In the mean time I rest assured that you will, when convenient, write to me and inform me of the health of yourself and Children whom I should like to see, and allso to remember me to Mr B, and All Friends at Stouts Hill, And with these hopes, being much fatigued with writing and other persuits, I take my leave for the present, and Am
Most truly yours