332. Robert Bloomfield to Samuel Rogers, 8 March 1819


332. Robert Bloomfield to Samuel Rogers, 8 March 1819* 

Shefford. March 8, 1819

Dear Sir

Do not be alarmed at my writing to you, for I have much to say, and none such to speak to. I have composed nearly a thousand lines of a new work to convince you that I have not forgotten to help myself. [1]  A part of these I have sent to the Duke of Grafton, and have his reply in a stile which is flattering and consolatory even to a poet. This work, if it pleases God to continue my health, will be finished by next Michaelmas, and no pecuniary considerations shall throw it out of my hands untill it is done. Since I saw you, (a long time) I have drawn on my publishers for only £50. Added to this is a free and honourable gift unsolicited by me, of £40 from the Litterary Fund.

This £90 I have found inadequate to my expenses with myself and wife and two children to support here, without servant, without company, and without extravagance, besides clothing my Daughter in Town, and assisting my Son at Putney, as sober a lad as ever had a father. This is my present state.

Now Sir you may remember that three years ago Colonel Rushbrook personally offered me one hundred pounds of the Suffolk subscription which I then refused, well knowing that I was likely to want it more at a future day, and knowing also that the subscribers wish'd me to recieve it when it would do me most good. That time is come, for I have determin'd to return to London at Michalmas, for here my eldest Daughter, who lives with me for my sake far more than her own, has no employment, and I will not be her hindrance, for in London she could serve herself and ease my pocket.

Coln Rushbrooks money is in the form of an Exchequer Bill, bearing interest. If it is not paid into your house may I with any prospect of success, or colour of reason, tell him how great a service it would do me now, when no considerations that I can see ought to put me out of my persuit, and when a compleat work should be offerd to the publishers rather than a mutilated cripple, a thing that says, 'pray give me a shilling.'

If you can condescend to give me a reply I shall know I have to proceed.

I rejoice to hear that your muse has not been idle, and as heartily wish success as any man among your numerous friends.

But I have said enough from my lonely den, and with unusual health am,

Dear Sir your most Obedient Servt

Robt Bloomfield

Address: To S. Rogers Esq.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 392–93; published Hart, p. 65 BACK

[1] Probably May Day with the Muses, eventually published in 1822. (See Letters 335 and 340). BACK