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

357. Robert Bloomfield to Nathaniel Bloomfield, 6–7 February 1822* 

Shefford, Beds. Feb 6th 1822

Brother Nat

To a man of your habits and powers of thinking and composing, the house from which you date is but little more of a prison than your own garret. You are too old ever to clear away your difficulties by your fingers ends, and I am too old in the world to fret at this blow, where there is no disgrace. You are lucky to have got into such good quarters. Your parade is longer than my garden which is my only walk in general for I shun the hills and fields often by choice, but oftener from suffering with cold, weakness, and illness of several kinds—My sight wont let me read, so that in fact I am a prisoner too.

I have written to Mr Park on the subject of the Doctors Bill, and apprized him that Charlotte will call upon him next week, not before, for he may be out. He lives in Church row Hampstead in the third house from the Church on the south or London side of the way. I find writing extremely difficult and must be short. The designs are done at last, and the printers will soon go to work. Love to all, and I am yours,

Rob Bloomfield

The old house at Honington is going, or gone to the hammer, it has cost me a great deal too much to make it and to keep it what it is, I can get no rent; and to stand repairs without will never do. On a dividend of Will Austins stock I get (if I can) £9 5s 6d for 7 years rent! If I don't grow rich now the devil is in it.

PS.Feb 7th

I wrote the above yesterday afternoon, and in the morning came a letter from Austin inclosing the above sum (all but 16s for a stamp) He says 'your House was sold yesterday at the Fox, it was knocked down to Mr Longwood for one Hundred guineas but I rather think it is for Mr Sparham'.—I own that I expected a higher price, but in times like these we know not what to expect.—

Richard in the play says, 'Off with his head', and in an undertone adds 'So much for Buckenham'! [1]  I say 'So much for Honington'—for I have lived to prove the nonsense of keeping a thing that injures you just for the sake of feeling and public opinion. If my mother left an old shilling with a hole in it, or even an old favourite cat, I would have kept either of them, but I find to my cost that an old house costs more than a cat.

R B.

Address: Mr N. Bloomfield, / 94 Curtain Road, / Shoreditch, / London

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 426–27 BACK

[1] 'Off with his head! so much for Buckingham!' Shakespeare, Richard III, act 4, scene 3, as altered in Colley Cibber's eighteenth-century version The Tragical History of Richard III. BACK

Published @ RC

September 2009

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