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...
253. Robert Bloomfield and Mary Bloomfield to Hannah Bloomfield, 5 August 1810*
Troston, Aug 5th 1810
My dear Girl
I am writing on Sunday morning before breakfast. I came from Bury to this place on Tuesday evening and was prevaild on to promise to stay here on the Wednesday; but in the Afternoon of that day an express came from Ipswich to fetch Mr Lofft on particular business as a Councellor. Mrs L and Miss Finch wanted to go, and here again I was drawn into a fresh scrape, for I had not fulfilld my visit as to time, and so I agreed to go with them, The distance is 26 miles Mr L and I rode on the Dickey, they drive their own Carriage, and hire horses. We arrived there at eleven at night, and returnd on Friday night. Yesterday (Saturday, and the day on which I first proposed to be home) Mr L walkd with me to Honington, there I found your letter, a most wellcome one, as George had sent it to Isaac. I find them all well, but have not been to Mr Austins yet. I am going now when I have had breakfast, and shall dine at Mothersoles —From this statement you will perceive that I have no news yet as to your proposed visit to Suffolk, I only learn that Mrs Austins Father being dead, and having left her part of his property at the disposal of her Husband, has render'd her a more silly and ungovernable devil than before. Their case is a desperate one, and he is much to be pitied. We have dreadful thunder storms allmost dayly, how will you get home?—Mrs L has offerd to be my Banker, and I have accordingly sent relief to our fortress in the City Road. When I got to Bury I saw George going cross the Angel hill, he was then going to the post Office with his wife's letter for two pound as Usual!! and yesterday at Honington I found that Isaac had just written to me in Town, somthing perhaps concerning Mrs Austin. Isaac set out at 5 in the morning of saturday from London and reachd Bury by ten the next morning! so much for good legs. With respect to my coming round your way I doubt that is now impossible. I never saw Cambridge and [line obscured] there; besides, If you [words obscured] at all, it will not be before I could get to you, which would not be earlier than Friday next, and then we could not reach Town till Tuesday I believe, if this finds you at Mr Weston's, you may be sure of my recieving your letter should you write again before Thursday, but not later. You must not expect me in Bedfordshire, And yet should you realy be induced or have allready agree'd to stay till tomorrow week, of course I should find you there if I come; And thinking that you may not be there, I will before starting for home on either road, write to Mr Weston. Your last letter does you credit, all but in the writing. I will endeavour to see Aunt Kitty. And when I have visited the Farmers, will in a day or two return to Bury and go a 'how d doing' there, and then write to shefford and then ride home, and then tell you all about it and both then and now I am your Affectionate Father.
I am glad to find that Mr Inskip is still with you. It is so old fashiond to say give my remembrances so; tell them they are two Noble fellows and give my love to Miss W.—
Here is A Letter properly full for you it is from father to you, and as it Came to us first I took the oppertunity of writing a few words, though I have not much to say, except that we are all Very well, and that we Received this letter this morning which is to be sent to you. I am Almost that our juant to suffolk will not be this summer, we hear by the news paper that Mr Swans House is quite Down but the printing office has escaped, the Chickens grow very fast, thats is all so good bye to you your affectionate sister