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...
50. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 24 February 1801*
London. Feb. 24th, 1801.
After a long interval of silence, but not of forgetfullnes I sit down to write to you. I am tolarably happy and more than tolarably busy. I have had a complimentary letter sent me from a Mr Swinburne of Leicester he was much pleased with my description of our cheese, his letter did not come alone there came with it a Leicester Cheese of 11lb. — Last night I had a letter enclosing a £2 note from a Mr Gilchrist of Stamford. If Mr Burrell of Cambridge would send me some more Tobacco I might live cheap these hard times, and smoke a health to all my friends. TWO things I wish you would not forget when you send, 1st the Letters for Bet. I think we should send them, 6 months have pass'd, or nearly, since we had hers.
I doubt I must build a song for Mr Guest, not to oblidge him, but to oblidge Mr Lofft. What did you do with the 50 songs? I suppose no further call for them will be found at Bury. I have been too much engaged to attend to Isaac's affairs as I could wish. I will write to him soon. The Boot patterns I had from Horton. The shoe patterns from a Don shoeman: perhaps you may never use them, but they are curious as being cut in the high taste. I have a cold coming, and my head akes, or I would send patterns of my Womans Work. I have a man and a half employd now, and have plenty of good custom lookd out. I like it Better than I did. So much for my mastering. My book affairs go on tolarably. I am getting acquainted with another baronet, Sir J. Bland Burgess, author of 'Richard the First,' a new heroic poem in 18 books, he gave me the book; he is heir to the estate of Ixworth Thorpe. Another fortnight must go before I can have my writings and bargains compleated, and the poems put to press. My double capacity of poet and snobb somtimes plague me, I think I could manage one very well, but I still beat you, I have hitherto known my — from my head, which is somtimes as much as I can say. I send you patterns [illegible word] but I can hear you say,
Remember George that when I offered you the use of £50 I could then have got it, at present I don't know that I can, for I expect part of my affairs settled next month so that I cannot help you nor myself effectually till then. I long to hear how you come on. I know if I had what is now due to me you should not want £20 to wag with.
I have this moment an invitation to supper and an order for 3 'Hannahs' — I hope to get Rover printed and then to advertize the 2 together, they will also be included with the poems with a notice of their being set to music &c &c &c  — I write now to the D of G, to Mr Grant, Mr Park, Mr L and to you; — wrote last night to Stamford. Pray remember me to my Mother I wish I had time to speak to her. Love to all friends.
 Bloomfield refers to his verses 'Rosy Hannah' and 'The Shepherd and his Dog Rover', set to music by his brother Isaac. The former published as Isaac Bloomfield, Rosy Hannah; a Song Written by R. Bloomfield (London, 1801). BACK