307. William Wordsworth to Benjamin Haydon, 20 January 1817


307. William Wordsworth to Benjamin Haydon, 20 January 1817* 


Bloomfield the Poet has been and I believe is, in considerable distress, probably owing to the failure of his Bookseller, by whom he has lost several 100 pounds. A subscription was set on foot for his benefit. You know perhaps that he is a native of Euston the Duke of Grafton's parish, his Grace's principal Seat and Residence. This Spot, and its neighbourhood are the scene of the Farmer's Boy; from this bond of connection something was expected from the noble Duke, nor was that expectation wholly fruitless—for he has given five Pounds!!! This same illustrious person sold the Library which his Father had collected—God help the Literati of England if his Grace of Grafton be a fair specimen of the Patrons of the Day. But I know that he is not so.

O may the man who has the muses scorned,
Alive or dead be never of a muse adorned. [1] 

* MS untraced; published in The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth: The Middle Years, Part II, 1812–1820, ed. Ernest De Selincourt, rev. Mary Moorman and Alan G. Hill (Oxford, 1970), pp. 360–63 BACK

[1] Edmund Spenser, 'The Ruines of Time' (1591), lines 454–55. BACK