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...
278. Robert Bloomfield to Dr John Martin, 28 September 1812*
Shefford, Sep 28. 1812.
Dear Doctor, without a Wig.
I send a packet to London—and you thus recieve a how d do? My neighbour Weston supposes that Mr Mariner found his querie too trivial for serious attention. Indeed he only proposd it as a matter which had formerly employd his thoughts benificialy, and not as a matter of importance. I still feel a strong interest in Mr M's narrative,  and hope that nothing will occur to prevent its completion in MS. at least. My travels here are of a humble kind, seldom exceeding a Nutting expedition, or a gossip at the neighbouring farms. My mind has been remarkably vacant, whither leisure and this charming rest from publicity will conduce to my good, I have not yet prove'd; but it is the most agreeable phisic I ever took in my life. We are all well, and hold our evening readings with great ease and satisfaction. We had no illumination on the late victory,  but a number of loyal souls mounted the steeple with an old flag and some gallons of beer, and drank to the fullmouthd chorus of 'God save the King.' With respects to Mr Mariner, and your devil, I am yours,
NB A note left at any time with Mr Binley will come in due time,
 Bloomfield comments on the narrative of William Mariner, who as a boy was shipwrecked in the South Pacific and spent some months living among the Tongans. The account was prepared for publication by his correspondent John Martin. The book appeared as An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, with an Original Grammar of their Language ... Compiled ... from the ... Communications of W. M. ... by J. Martin, 2 vols. (London, 1817). BACK