308. The 4th Duke of Grafton to Robert Bloomfield, 10 February 1817*
The Duke of Grafton's compliments to Mr. Bloomfield, & is glad to have been reminded by him of the arrear of the annual allowance, which he has by this post, directed Messrs. Drummonds, in Charing Cross, to pay, in full, to Mr Bloomfield when he calls for it, or authorises anyone to receive it for him, to the amount of thirty pounds, being up to next March.
The Duke of Grafton regrets that Mr. B.s' muse should have been so long silent; an occurrence such as was witnessed by several persons in a neighbouring forest (Salsey), might have roused her from her lethargy, if she had been within reach of surveying the remains of the largest oak in the forest, which fell with a prodigious crash, a few days ago, within a hundred yards of the principal lodge, of which it had been for an age the chief ornament; the noise attracted the notice of all, but of none more than the forest deer, which assembled & remained for some hours around it, as if to perform the funeral obsequies of a departed & reverend friend; at last, they seemed mournfully to retire, their movements being silent and slow.
If Mr. B., when he was on a visit at Wakefield Lodge, rode over, as I think he did, to Salsey Forest, he will have had pointed out to him a particular Oak, which is supposed to be the largest in circumference, as well as the oldest in the forest; but in point of height, character, & magnificence, it is not to be compared to the Oak to which the D. of G. alluded, as having, by its fall, occasioned such a sensation among the wild as well as civilized inhabitants of the forest.
The D. of G. will be very glad to hear of Mr Bloomfield being well, & that he has received the sum directed to be paid to him.
near Stony StratfordFeb'y 10: 1817