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

65. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 31 October 1801–1 November 1801* 

Saturday Night Oct 31 1801.

Dear George,

I am still more and more behind in my gossip with you and have not a satisfactory apology. I am writing 'an Ode to Perplexity' and never was anything better timed. I have been disappointed and vexed as to Isaac's songs. I want very sadly to tell you all that has passed from Troston; it would take a vollm. I send to your particular care and perusal five letters on a very interesting subject; don't shew them, but send them to me again without spreading the news at Bury, as you see the despute is still undetermined. I am not afraid but I shall get through it. Look at the enclosed for Mr. Lofft; observe the engravings. Rosy Hannah by moonlight is beauty's own self, and to be cut on wood is realy surprising. [1]  Did you see my lines on 'Peace?' Mr L calls it an ode; it is added to the preface. [2]  I sent a copy to Euston, and had a very cordial reply. I wrote last week to Mrs Philips at Barton; shall breakfast to-morrow with Mr Rogers. they print 5 thousand of a pocket size, 500 quartos (at 10s. 6d.), 1500 octavos. Glad shall I be when it is out!!! If I have a whole levee of visitors then, I shall not have to say, 'It will be so many weeks or so many months,' but simply ''Tis done, here it is,' I have at last seen all the pieces in the vollm printed as I pleased; I shall send you a list of what I have rejected and what alterations I have adopted. pray say to Kitty that I meant to write to her now; I have not forgot her love nor her conversation; tell her she will never know till she is a Farmer's Boy what tasks I have to perform, and how I am oblidged to wriggle amongst a quarrelling set of candidates for fame and candidates for money — two pretty things enough if we can get them peacibly.

Sunday Morning.

The notes in dispute I regard as very high praise from Mr Lofft. But as every soul who have mentiond the appendix to 'The Farmer's Boy' have staggered sadly at the dismissal story introduced by my friend, so do I know that the placing the notes now will in many produce ridicule. [3]  You see I must abide the consequence. The public will at least know that I did not write them. And I have acquitted myself. —

We send your Tin back empty. Cousin Will calld and told us you were well. I am realy afraid to ask how you get on with Trade, or rather with want of Money. Never in my Life did I wish so much as now, that you had what was unfortunately wasted in Isaac's journey! I mean to make a general sounding all round my Vessel at Christmas, or when the new Vollm is out, to see my depth and 'ware off shore'. Be so good as to say what you have had at different times (I wish it was more for several reasons) and when done I will send you the statement, and keep a copy to satisfy the very few who have any right to ask.

I shall too, some day send you a whole sheet full of vanity, the froathings of fame. I shall call it my TRIUMPH, you will know it by its title.

Our young one has just been through the innoculation of the Cowpox, is perfectly well. She has learnd how to make a noise, and don't bear so spotless a character as formerly. She differs from the rest when infants, being extreemly fat her limbs measure just the size of Mary's who was 8 years last July. Charles' eye is got well, and he learns to talk — My Wife is well, and consequently gives good milk. I last week found a day or twos touch of my stomach complaint, but it is gone off.

Nats folks well.

Robert.

Give Mr Lofft's parcell a better covering and Direction, and say (if you like) that you have seen it.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 68–69; extract published in Hart, p. 16 BACK

[1] Bloomfield is referring to proofs of the engravings intended for his Rural Tales. That used as a headnote for the poem 'Rosy Hannah' is pictured here. BACK

[2] The lines on Peace appear in the Preface to Rural Tales, pp. vii–ix. BACK

[3] Lofft's notes to Rurtal Tales were indeed criticised by readers. For examples, see Letter 186 and the reviews here and here. BACK

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September 2009

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