29. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, May 1800


29. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, May 1800* 

London. Tuesday night

May 1800

Dear George

During the first fourteen miles of my journey I had composed a dozen or fourteen lines on a subject which you may guess at: but it happened that at Newmarket we took up two ladies and a child; these people put their nursery maid outside: and it became my lott (as well from necessity as choice) to put round her my mighty arm to keep her from falling: this, though it did not destroy the fire of the Muse, destroyed its consistency, and method &c &c &c. ——

She was about seventeen; and from a fancy'd similarity of manners reminded me of Phoebe in the Tale; [1] 

I was safe landed in Bishopsgate Stt — breakfasted at Newmarket at 8, Oclock, and rode 7 hours before dinner, dining at Epping at 3, — found all friends well

R Bloomfield

P.S.my wife says that I have wrote the latter part of my letter backward, that the story don't go from Epping to Bishopsgate but from Bishopsgate to Epping. You may lay it to Phoebe if you will —

* BL Add. MS 28268, f. 32 BACK

[1] That is, Phoebe, the shepherdess in The Winter's Tale. BACK