80. Robert Bloomfield to the Earl of Buchan, 16 February 1802*
City Road, London Feb 16 1802
Your solicitude so kindly exprest for my success and reputation, demands acknowledgments and thanks such as do not allways come readily to the nib of my pen, but lie skulking about my Heart in various shapes and colours, refusing to be brought forward but by force; and then, like many other forced fruits are apt to come, from my hand, very imperfectly and without relish. I cannot write formal epistles.
I thank your Lordship for your Letter; [in BL copy only: and if you had not known that I should thank you heartily I should not have been honour'd with it.] and will henceforth when the spirit moves me poetically or otherwise, obey the impulse and transmit the news of the moment. Your Lordship's invitation to the shades of Dryburg is noble. I have ardent wishes on that point, and have some reasons rising up against their completion, two of which are,—Burns is dead!! or I might have seen him—I am married—
The Five Thousand small copies of my 'Rural Tales' are nearly sold, and the publisher talks of a second edition [BL copy only: very soon].
Somtimes I have seen the clouds move majestically slow, leaving one small opening through which the Sun looks down upon a Field, and even seems to dwell upon one forward Field-flower with peculiar fondness, But he leaves it—and shines upon another.—
The Sunshine of Fortune when vertical, may perhaps require an Umbrella, but if it is given to Prudence to hold, I hope she will suffer me to be warm and to retain both heat and light whenever the Goddess thinks propper to withdraw.
I have a letter from Sir J. B. Burgess, and some other tokens of approbation from other quarters.
We have two guests in the house whose value we overlook too often untill they leave us—Health and Happiness. The Buds are in some places allready out, but the wind now rushing from 'Nova Zembla, or the Lord knows where' will damp their ardor. I love news from Scotland, but I wish the wind would blow from France.
Your Lordships Most Humble and Obed Servant
Address: To Earl Buchan.