Jan 31. 1802
The first thing I tell you, for fear I forget it, is that Nat
lives 'at No 16 Daggets Court, Broker Row. Moorfields London'
And now where shall I begin? For I think you and I could talk as
much in walking from Thetford to Honington as I could write in a week. And yet what a glorious thing
is this art of writing! To talk over Hills and dales at fourscore miles
I had your letter by the twopeny post, but have not been able to
call in Norfolk Street yet. I like John High well enough, but if the councellor
wishd to see me he has had plenty of opportunities, and I had rather it should
arise from himself if there is such a desire or such a request. This, upon
reflection you will see to be reasonable on my part. I am glad you like Walter
and Jane ;  I like it too, and have the pleasure of finding most people of
the same opinion. Last night as passing through Exeter Change I stopd at a Book
stall and observed the Farmer's Boy laying there for sale, and the new Book too;
mark'd with very large writing, 'Bloomfield's Rural Tales,' a young man took it
up, and I observed he read the whole of the preface through, and perhaps little
thought that the author stood at his elbow. Noboddy can describe my feelings on
such occasions. My whole stock of vanity is stir'd up, and I instantly take into
view the situation in which I now stand contrasted with my former wants; the
different prospect my four children have before them to what they would
otherwise have had, had the publick never known that their Father had the gift
of Song. I am proud Kitty, confoundedly proud, and you must excuse it; and I
feel something more than pride, I feel new concerns, and new duties press upon
me, both as to worldly affairs, and as to my reputation too. I feel myself
capable of meeting them all; and, as few Men have been placed in so arduous a
situation, I hope to answer fully the publick expectation, and to sail with a
calm breeze through Life, and always feel the truth of the last 2 lines of the
Volumn  and rest upon them as upon a Rock. I do not wonder at my Mother's fears, they are
natural, and bespeak true love, and a Mother's tenderness.—
The Book is selling rapidly. I am oblidged to your Thetford
neighbours for every mark of approbation; but I must now write to George. If you get sight of
'Little Davy' I beg you to keep it no longer than you can read it, then return
it to George, or my Mother; and I should like your
opinion upon it, as to its language and construction, is it too silly, or only
simple enough for a young reader?
P.S. If you have my last Northamton 'journal'  pray
send it to George directly,
or as soon as you can.
Address: Catharine Bloomfield / at James Mingay Esq / Thetford / Norfolk.
* Misc. MS 371 Pforzheimer
Collection, New York Public Library BACK
 'Walter and Jane: or, the Poor
Blacksmith. A Country Tale' was published in Rural Tales, pp.
 i.e., the last lines of
'Winter Song' (lines 31–32) in Rural Tales: 'Yet while I keep
conscience in health,/I've a Mine that never will grow poor' (p.
 This journal is not extant; to judge by Bloomfield's many
enquiries of different relatives, he never recovered it. BACK