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The Letters of Robert Bloomfield and His Circle, Edited By Tim Fulford and Lynda Pratt
TEI

197. Capel Lofft to Thomas Hill, 16 November 1806* 

(Extract)

Troston. 16 Nov: 1806

Dear Sir

... As to the Farmers Boy & all future works of Mr Bloomfield I have done with them. Had the printer & publisher done me justice this would have sufficiently appeared in my postscript to the preface.

Mr Bloomfield has compelled me by a letter most unworthy of himself & me to renounce all correspondence & conversation with him for the future. And I have at length after 5 years plague & torment which he has been continually almost giving me done with him. It was time I should when he could say by leter that he suspected the character he had heard of me was false of my being a man of feeling & unwilling to give any one harm: and that if I came to town as I informed him I meant to do against Mr Fox's funeral he was not in a train to see me and should do every thing in his power to avoid me.

I wrote an answer of about 3 lines renouncing of course all future correspondence & conversation with a clown who would so forget himself to me.

He took a months time and then yesterday I received a note from him in the Magazine Parcel just as if nothing had happened informing me of his tour in Kent & that since his return the printer had shown him my Postscript that he askd whether they had printed it and was told no.

I wish you to see the postscript and to judge whether after repeated [illegible word]-tions 4 or 5 times within 5 years every one nearly as bad as the letter from which I have given you a specimen, that postscript were not necessary and whether it were not mild moderate & favourable. Be it remembered with all this that mr Bloomfield never pretended to me any quarrel or ground of quarrel with me but about the preface with which he seemd quite content from the publication till after the 3rd edition unless it be that I told him of 7 or 8 lines which are like any thing rather than blank verse or any kind of verse which he chose to publish as a fragment and which I wisht him to omit as disgracing several good verses of which these were a part. May I request that if the Monthly Mirror & Ladies Magazine are still sent thither they may be sent in future to Mr Ingram of Burys London booksellers Messrs Longman & Co—They will thus reach me much more conveniently & earlier....

I am Dear Sir yrs with much regard

Capel Lofft

Address: Thomas Hill Esq, / Merchant, / Queenhythe, nr London.

* James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Collection 17614, Beinecke Library, Yale University. Extract BACK

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September 2009