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...
355. Robert Bloomfield to Robert Baldwin, 5 June 1821*
(Copy —to Mr Baldwin)
Shefford, Beds. June 5. 1821
I long to hear how the new work  proceeds &c. but I have to say what necessity bids. As you do not seem inclined to purchase any part of my venture, if venture it must be called where I think there is none, I propose this, that you should possess one quarter of the Copyright on conditions something like the following.
I have claims upon me now, which should be satisfied, to keep up my credit, which is very good. I am rejoiced about the news of the new Editions, it looks well for all parties. I ask then, that you should advance me, not as purchase, (for that I forgo) the sum of one hundred and forty pounds in as short Bills as possible, to be repaid you out of my profits in 2 years, by instalments as the proceeds of sale, may permit allowing me to subsist through the time. This is surely giving you ample interest on the loan! And you will hold in your hands the most unquestionable security? But this is to be understood as allowing me to draw upon you next Jany and March to satisfy my tradesmen.
I am at least £90 worse than I had any reason to expect from the misfortune of my sons being unemployed, and my poor nephew being dependant on me in sickness ever since last September. Pray give me your answer, (enclosing the very commodity I stand in need of) as soon as possible, and I will send you my preface and small emendations next week.—
Who is to correct the press? I ought certainly if I may be judged capable, but it will enhance the expense. And though I have the fullest confidence in your ability and honour I have no right to ask the favour. You see Sir that I work with difficulty, my sight is very bad, and I can go no further, but remain your Obednt Servt