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...
273. Robert Bloomfield to Hannah Bloomfield, 6 April 1812*
London. April 6th 1812.
I address this to you because you are likely to take the active part in our present affairs. I have just recive'd yours, and am truly rejoiced that the House and place are to your mind, and to all the rest.—But to proceed to business—I cannot at any rate come tomorrow.! but had rather you would say Saturday, for I have more to do than you think of. I have this morning exchang'd agreements for 'The Banks of Wye', and find that at the sale on Thursday Sharp sold his compleat Quarter of my Books to Crosby, for,—what would you guess?—£509!! and consequently, if such coppy rights as his, all in a few years coming back into my own hands, will fetch that price, what is the worth of my entire half, and the other reverting halfs,? certainly not less than £2000.—.
But the black side of the story is this. Sharp sold on the same day 4,500 Books of mine, and gave from 2 to three years credit, and as he is quitting the business, he is very unable, or else unwilling to give me any thing in advance consequently I must get at least £50 by some other means, And if even I could get Fishers Michialmass Bill discounted, it is not here, for it is lockd in the Secretary, and I have the key!* Yet at this moment my hopes and my confidence tell me that I shall raise it, for surely someboddy might take my promisory Note for 50, as well as I took Fishers for 300! I must have 50 pounds, and I will have it before I follow you. You will be glad to hear that we settled the disputed entries at Hoods, without the Book which you have now sent, so I have nothing to do but bring it home again. I lodge with valliry Davis, and have two or three homes. Am going to the Duke's tomorrow or next day, and to Tothhill fields, must see Mr Hill tomorrow. Invited to Constables, to Bristoe's, &c but they will both be dish'd,—for two nights I have slept pretty well, and am midling, but the three preceeding days were too much for mind and body. You must not recon on a Carpet, for I have told you my situation. It would be my pride to bring one, but I always prepare for the black side, not predict it. If you write to me before Saturday direct as before. This of course will be mutualy read and seen, and if your Mother likes the place it may be somthing material towards the mutual pleasure of us all. Love to you 'All of a Lump.'
Your friend and Father.
You want money, but you must all want till I can come.
* I this moment suspect that you have the key with you? If I should write for the Bill it is that markd Nine Months from Dec. Inst. —