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...
55. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 27 August 1801*
Thursday, Aug. 27th, 1801.
I hope you will not be gone before you have this. I know not how to apologize for not writing before. Yesterday the damn'd creaking of the door almost harrow'd my soul to rags. Every noise was a dagger in my ears. I tried to sooth my pain with poetry, to exert myself forcibly, and to conquer by a coup de main, the imaginary evils that beset me, for imaginary they certainly were in a great degree. I think a man really mad is far happier than one who has this dastardly sinking of the soul, and retains his reason seemingly for no other purpose than to prove its weakness. I had been made most outrageously angry the day before; and, on Sunday last, some verses of Nat's about my parents and the enclosing of Honington Green, had melted me into salt water, and opened every latent weakness of my heart to a very uncommon degree. 
I now take the first measure that suggests itself to help you. I write to Mr C Bloomfield and offer bond and payment in six months for 40 or £50 from him or any one at Bury who may do you the favour. If Mr B do not do it, use my name and promise it to any one else. Dun any of your customers till I can have inteligence, and try some other means if this should fail.
P.S. — I have oil'd the hinges of the door. To hear that you can get along will be oil to my own hinges. I have been composing a 'Ditty for a Highland Drover returning from England,' but have not patience to copy it now, it compleats the coming Vollm, but the winter Song shall stand last.  I wish Isaac would send me compleat copies of the tunes, I wait for them.
My head swims a little. I must take a turn amongst the brickfields and snuff up the smoke; and, perhaps tomorrow shall feel the return of my usual spirits, or more. O Lord! what a poor creature is Man! and of Men what a poor creature is a Bloomfield!!
 Nathaniel Bloomfield's verses on the enclosure of Honington Green were published in his An Essay on War, in Blank Verse; Honington Green, a Ballad... and Other Poems (London, 1803). The text is here. BACK