225. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd
Baker, 22 January 1808*
City Road, London
Jan 22. 1808
Thanks for your excellent letter.
I think that amongst all the pleasures we derive from Biography
that there is manifestly a great injustice done to the correspondents of those
who happen to have their letters collected and published. The poor poets
epistles are exhibited, but the epistles he receives are
kept out of sight, though such epistles perhaps were the chief agents in
eliciting the very thoughts and diction of his own. I am led into these
reflections from recently perusing Southey's 'Remains of H.
K.White'.  If you have not seen this masterly memoir and
contemplated the character of the person it celebrates you have a treat to come
which I should be sorry you should miss.
I lent Mrs Grant's
poems to Miss Ansted who returned it
with the note and memorandum which you will find in the volum. I esteem the
notes to the poems, and the fine picture of Highland manners exhibited through
the work.  Though, as
her letters are so good, I am not certain that her poetry will set her in a new
light to you, who have relished the prose first.
Your account of Miss
Cooper is indeed a subject on which I have allmost got 'the horrors'.
You will see that I have ventured to write to her: having promised a tune which
I cannot get. Hers is a dangerous age, and liable to the seeds of decline. I
hope for all their sakes she will escape this bout, and take care of herself.
N.B. I have mentioned in my letter to her, nothing of you (cause of her illness). I have sent her a song &c.—
And now for the accompanying packet &c—I have already
said that your book has given me much pleasure and amusement and I return it, I
hope, undamaged. With respect to what I have done from it, I wish to remind you
again that I never did but one copy in Indian Ink before I
had your Book, and therfore had some trouble, and found perseverance a highly
necessiry quality.* I have done them all by candlelight. You will find two or
three in your book which for different reasons I did not attempt, that of the
upstream end of Chepstow Castle I thought I never could do so as to satisfy
myself. The view in the Wye meadows is my worst—but it being but the second on
the list, and the view of Mitchel Dean the last, I keep up my courage boldly.
Have mercy on my own scratches from fancy, and be as
favourable as you can towards the two that I have done from my drawings on the spot. They are both erroneous in point of
perspective, and I have in many instances made the distances too dark.
The prose journal might be materially amended as to a whole, but I set no store by it but as a string of
memorandums. Some parts are obscure and some too much in immediate relation to yourself and friends, to be read generally. These I think are necessary provisos between you and I,
that you may not think that I have aimed at perfection. If you judge that my
book could give a moments pleasure to the Lasses of Ferney Hill let them see it, for the
more criticism I have on my attempts, the better I can feel my own ground.
The frost is intensely severe and we are hovering over the fire
at the close of day. All well. I could, methinks, moralise over the situation of
those who have a scarcity of food and fuel!—You mention the pitiable situation
of such as spend sleepless hours in bed. This seldom falls to my lot, but my
sleep is, as I have often told you, full of the most hideous workings of fancy
whenever I am disturbed by vexation, or unwell. I am now happily free from
I rather think that when this letter is gone I shall recollect
somthing or other which I meant to have said, but as it will not come to hand
now, I only add my respects to all your house, and
particularly to the younger objects of your affection. What would you think of
having a ride in Powels Cart  such a day as this?
May you be allways happy up hill and down dale, is the wish of your
Much honour'd and oblidged
*recollect that I did not attempt my own until I had practised by copying
more than twenty of yours.