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...
66. Robert Bloomfield to Elizabeth Glover, 1 November 1801*
London Novm 1. 1801
My Dear Mother
My family are all well: and myself better than last week. My mind is not easy; though it may be very unwise to tell you so, as it is quite impossible for you to do me any good. My perplexity arises solely from my singular situation; and from the necessity I find of exerting my own opinion, and my own will, as far as I can or dare. The publick opinion towards me, and the Merit of my Writings, never stood higher than at this moment. If you will vex yourself with the impossible wish of helping your Children: I know of no Better balm for your mind, than recommending the words of Old Richard in the Ballad 'We've nothing for u'n but our prayers'.  Believe me, dear Mother that the inexpressable pleasure I feel in composing these tales and Ballads; and the honest pride of haveing proved; (against the imperious and unnatural opinions of some of the learned,) that a poor man may possess qualities which they are forced to admire, will allways be equal to any temporary vexations which are likely to fall to my lot.
I am at least as happy as any of my neighbours; and shall hope to make my happiness known to you for many years to come.
Our best respects to My Father.
Remember us to Isaac and Family
All well here, and at Nat's; all joining in every wish for your health, with your Dutiful Son