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...
284. Capel Lofft to Robert Bloomfield, 10 March 1814*
Troston, 10 March 1814
Your former letter I answered as immediately as I could but not so immediately as I ought. Your 2d gives me great pleasure in all respects were it not that I doubt from it your health is not fully recovered.
I suppose the agreement is upon a proper agreement stamp so as to be in a state to be given in evidence if necessary & that you have a duplicate of it in your possession also duely executed and stampt.
I wish to be remembered to Mr Hill whom I hope that you will find well & happy.
A musical friend at Thetford (as all musical friends have been to whom I have shown them) is greatly pleased with your songs to Hooke's lessons.  Might you not while in town make an agreement on that subject with Mr Hooke which would be [? pleasant] advantageous to both for publishing them as separate songs.
It is very [illegible word] that going up at a moment's notice & you know in what roads & weather & scarcely having an instant to spare I did forget, not having your letter by me, that you had written to the Duke of Grafton. I am very happy in the Result and thank you for your friendly attention as to the other matter.
I would write to you in London but you have given me no address.
I think I informed you of the sudden & unenviable fate of poor dear little comet. For some days & while the delightful February days and starlight nights continued we were [illegible word] pleased with the beautiful appearance of Venus and its moon. About 3 days short of the new moon darkness is found with frost I own that I have almost enough of it.
This is the anniversary of our marriage Mrs Lofft Sara & Laura are all well: Capel at school: Nancy on a visit at Stanton.
I am yrs with great esteem
Would not this be the time to propose publishers in a neat but cheap & popular form Richard & Kate. If separately publisht my opinion has always been that there is scarcely a cottage where the owners or any of their children can read in where it would not be. And it is very desirable that it should for the same reason I have wisht an edition of the Farmer's Boy such as [? ]ingham & [? ]by have publisht of the Lessons should be separately publisht for general use.
The case appears to be very distinctly candidly I already stated.
The Law of copy-right, by the case decided, appears [illegible word] thus
Where an authour in his life have parted with his whole copy right generally in a particular work if he survives the 14 years the Purchaser by such general [? consent/covenant] have the benefit of the reversionary 14 years given to the author as his assignee under the [illegible word] of [? mone]y.
But where, as was done properly in the agreement in question, the author makes an agreement expressly for 14 years,—if he survives that term or so much as was unexpired at the term of the agreement he is at liberty to make a new agreement as to that work.
The printing of a stereotype edition of your other works publisht since the Farmers Boy successively does not prejudice that right, but leaves it as it were, as to the Farmers Boy. The other works though publisht with it in this stereotype edition by your consent stand upon their own separate footing & distinct periods of publication.
In this upon the statement of the case I see no difficulty or doubt in point of law or equity.10 Mar: 1814
Address: Mr Bloomfield, / Shefford, / nr Bedford, / 11 Mar; 1814 [re-addressed]: No 19 Dogget's Court, / Moorfields, / London.
 Bloomfield added words to the melodies given in Hook's Guida di Musica. The resultant poems were published in Remains (pp. 51–56). Hook himself set a Bloomfield poem to music: Rosy Hannah, A Much Admired Song, with an Accompaniment, for the Harp or Pianoforte, Composed for Mr. Braham, by Mr. Hook (The Words from Bloomfield's Poems) (London, [? 1810]). BACK