142. Robert Bloomfield to Capel Lofft, 2 October 1804*
Agreably to your Request I send you a Copy of the Preface to the Farmer's Boy marked as my ideas of future Propriety have dictated, which I submit to your consideration; and as I know that your employments are various and urgent I have endeavoured by figures of reference and interleaving to render it as clean as possible; giving my reasons for omissions and tho I think the whole, written at different times, and relating to, subjects which have arisen from the Poem, rather than biographically with it, and which, though proper for a time and season, perhaps you will agree are not of a nature to be allways retained, may, by your good offices be finally arranged, and with no great deminution of subject, as the whole I believe which I wish removed or ommitted amounts to no more than eight pages out of 50, the whole amount of the preface.
In what I am doing I particularly look forward for a time when neither you nor I shall be here to arrange or correct. You have warranted me in such vanity, if it be vanity, by prophesying that 'the work will go down to posterity.' How much local and momentary information, however good in itself, shall we be justified in attatching to it? It seems to require consideration, and I write unreservedly my sentiments, with a full perswasion, that you will, in company with the sound judgement and true taste of Mrs Lofft, think as I do, and bring out the preface much to your own honour.