228. Robert Bloomfield to Isaac Bloomfield, 1 March 1808*
City Road March 1. 1808
Your last letter is to explain, and I write for the same purpose. In my last I advanced nothing but what is true, but I did not undertake to tell the whole truth. I enumerayted such unlucky circumstances as had occur'd to render me unable to assist you now. Which would be the most unkind or imperious man, he who refus'd without giving any reasons, and consequently leaves the applicant to accuse his covetousness or contempt of destress; or, he who refuses by an exposition of his affairs sufficient for his justification, and sufficient to prove that he had by the party's there mention'd, been ungenerously and ungratefully used? I certainly had no thought nor no business with what advantages you gain'd by coming to London, from your sister Sophia, that is good news but it affects not in the least the truth of what I had in my head; that an estimate of probable gain against certain loss (of time) should be reasonably and fairly made, and, I see nothing in this that ought to offend, I spoke it as I would to any one else. I still think the same with respect to the impossibility of your keeping a family on the wages you are able to get from the grinding farmers during the winter. As to my eight turning out to be six, seems to alter the matter but little, especially as, while you cut off two from one end of the reconing, your wife will, in all likelyhood, keep adding at the other. I return your letter that you may see I have a scrupulous kind of feeling on that head; and on reading mine again you will perhaps perceive a disclosure of affairs and of names, that renders it advisable to beg you to do the same when you have opportunity.
You mention, if I understand you right, that you thought that I might show the letter; this, had I been ever so able and ready to engage in the job, I should not have done without your special desire. A discovery may sometimes be made in two lines, I have a worse opinion of the world in proportion as I am ill used, and I could not trust them. I had no desire of mentioning any thing that you have had, any more than another. A good many littles makes a deal. And I had not nor have not now any desire to exculpate myself from blame, I know I have spent too fast. And if it be true that prosperity is harder to bear than adversity, I have had my trials. When you say that you should, in my situation, have acted in family matters as I have done; it is allmost a fair inference to add, that you would in other things have acted as I may have done, or else the inference must be, that you would have had better conduct.
With respect to your mentioning the paying for your board, the thought is honourable to yourself, but it appears to me more strange than perhaps you are aware of, I know it impossible, and you must know so too (unless from expected profits).—And as to myself I should deem the taking pay for my brother's food a kind of disgrace, such as I hope will never stick to my cloth.
One half of the world think that I have have from the D of G nearly sufficient to support my family!! Others, without a moment reflecting how and in what state I was found, or how I have been taken from the seat, and all my expences falling on my profits, think that I am growing rich.! I am in no kind of fear of wanting that is not one of my follys. I have the means in my own head, should the present resources diminish. They certainly will by degrees, and I must then either follow up my popularity by new publications, or pull down my expences and send my children out. This too, I am not afraid of.—
If I husband my income wisely for the future I have nothing to fear, and to die rich never entered into my head.
Love to all yours truly
If this letter comes back with the other when George sends a parcel, I should take it the better.