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...
362. Robert and Hannah Bloomfield to Charles Bloomfield, 30 September 1822*
Little old Shefford, Sept 30. 1822
My Dear Charles
This is a pen of my own making, what think you of that? We left London at 3 on thursday last, and came home in 4 hours and a half. We left Rob well and I calld on Mr Evans, now Doctor Evans, who is totally lame from his chest downwards, yet he contrives to perform the duties of his school, and the duties of the pulpit too. He about 20 years ago wrote his 'Sketch of the denomination &c', and sold it to Crosby for £20.  When the latter broke and died, Baldwin gave him or his assignees no less than £500 for the copyright!! So that the Booksellers have been getting at least £100 a year by it for 20 years past! It still sells rapidly, and an edition now printing will compleat Ninty thousand copies!—We were glad to receive your very interesting journal of your voyage, and your reception amongst my friends and yours. You see what great movements may be accomplished by asking about them with vigour, and at the right end. I join in the plan of improving yourself in every possible way. You are young and able, and though you know 3 times as much as your father did at your age, you are capable of acquiring more, and that of usefull and solid stuff. Try to gain the goodwill of every body, boys ands all; except the goodwill of the vile, the cunning and the vicious; if you should find such; start from their intimacy boldly and let them see that you have a will of your own. We do not expect miracles from you, but we anxiously wish and hope that you will succeed in gaining in the long run somthing like a livelihood, and never forget that the line of life into which you are thrown is capable of almost unbounded improvement, if ever you should be able to take boarders &c &c——We left Rob well, so he is settled—By the time you receive this you can better judge what books we can send you to be of service besides Butler, and be sure tell us by what conveyance whither by the Ramsgate coach or otherwise. I cannot say half what I wish for the post is going. Hannah has a cold and a headache, and I have stiff neck; that is all the bodily complaint I have to make. Give my best regards to Mr Freeman and family and, we will write more next time, yours ever
I have scarcely time to tell you that we wish you to write soon and inform us how we are to direct to you, and we will send you a pair of shirts and all we think you will much want besides. Yours ever
Address: Mr C. Bloomfield / at R. Freeman Esq, / Surgeon, / Minster, / Isle of Thanet