285. Capel Lofft to Robert Bloomfield, 11 March 1814*
Troston: 11 Mar: 1814
I was anxious to save the post and therefore you will excuse as the matter is of great & permanent importance to yourself & your family in my troubling you with two letters by the same post.
I had strangely overlookt your address in town but that oversight I have corrected in the letter which I sent this morning.
By your statement the agreement of 1808 & by the nature of the thing was not to [? interfere] with the agreement of 1801.
The term 14 years candidly in my opinion refers to Mar: 1800 the preceding [illegible word] & date of the publication being the term allowd by the Act and not 14 from the date of the agreement. And after the period 14 years the agreement subjoins in the words of the Act the copyright to the author if living.
As during the 1st fourteen by the agreement you & the publishers were jointly interested in the profits & afterward the copyright was to revert to you & by the agreement they were to have the printing & publication during the term in consideration of the risque at their own expense paying you half the profits it was of [? course] that they should consult you when a new edition should come out as to the number to be printed the form &c.
They then publish an edition in stereotype of all the works in two vol: but they publish them with no greater profit to you than as under the original agreement of 1801 for the Farmers Boy & the other written agreements for the other works.
And publishing in stereotype though it saved them expense whenever more should be demanded within the term by saving the necessity of again setting the press for further editions and consequently was advisable for them & you—as it would encrease the profits upon an establisht work; it gave you no new consideration & therefore could not prejudice your then subsisting reversionary interest in the copy right on the event of your surviving the 14 years.
Whether publisht jointly or in series they were publications of distinct copy rights in works distinctly & separately publisht at different times & remaining each under their separate & distinct agreements.
The Liberty of republishing the Farmers Boy in stereotype with the other works must depend therefore now on your consent the new term having accrued to you.
I think 1500 or 2000 a large number in stereotype where as the press stands there is not the same necessity of striking off a number at once to save expense.
The terms you will make with them will no doubt be liberal to them on your part which I trust will be so on theirs.
Should we make peace with France & Bonaparte, who has proved how well he can defend France, & France how much she can defend him & herself, peace with America will soon follow. And I trust it will not be in the power of Bonaparte or of the war party at home to prevent either. Then will be the time for the works of peace to circulate, at home & abroad, with renewed vigour. Then I trust will be the time of a fresh tide of success to you & your publishers.
A little time would be right because you might like to run over the 3 publications that where in any especially the two latter a slight correction or two might appear necessary it might be made previously to going to press as from the nature of stereotype every thing of this kind should be settled before any more copies are wrought off. I remember sending you some observations tending this way & suggesting some few instances.
I am, yrs most truly
You will of course judge it expedient to make a new agreement for the republication of the Farmers Boy during the new term or any part of it or, (should be settled which has now accrued to you. The other books will have their time to run subject to the expectation of like rights & [illegible word] which I trust you will enjoy.
Excuse my being this explicit though in a very bad scratch, upon what is to be done I [? ask/shall] [illegible word] in a day or two probably for better for worse, once for all. Be so kind to remember me to Mr. Park & Mr Rogers. I hope you will not give (if objections should be made) way to them without further consultation. The terms are for yourself to adjust. I only speak of your Rights.
If you wish for farther advice you may see Sir Samuel Romilly. His address is Russell Square & Lincoln's Inn New Square will readily give it if [you] will call on him. But I think it is a clear case.
Address:To Mr Bloomfield / 19 Doggets Court, / Moorfield, / London / 11 Mar. 1814