42. Robert Bloomfield to Elizabeth Glover, 3 November 1800


42. Robert Bloomfield to Elizabeth Glover, 3 November 1800* 

London. Nov. 3d 1800

Dear Mother,

The enclosed portrait is we think a tolarable likeness, but is thought too old for me. Nat and Isaac and indeed all of us think that the faulty part is at the corner of the mouth. You will see the name of Drummond as the painter and Ridley the engraver [1] 

I shall have to sit to another painter, Mr Edredge; and the plate will be engraved by the same Mr Ridley, and is intended for the poems when publishd. [2] 

I have finally agreed not to venture on the Bury proposal, it is a situation of hazard and I have some fears that any situation would be disagreeable as beeing my Brother's Master. And I doubt that Mr Smy's boarders would expect a continuance of the same attentions and expensive mode of living which they have been used to at Mr Smy's, and by this means would not relish a change, and if I come and can make no change I may expect to be on the loosing side as he has been. Besides — I rather think that Mr Lofft don't entirely approve of the measure. I wish George could or would take it. I assure you we have well weigh'd it, and think it my duty in the singular situation in which I am placed to reject the proposal, and to take advantage of friends and customers here. But not to make any publick venture in a shop and all its attendant cares and expenses. Don't be alarm'd for my safety I am no politician, I have no bad advisers, I am my own master yet, and mean to remain so. You shall hear from me often, and I know your good sence will see and feel the circumstances that surround me as not eminently dangerous. I think I have done for the best. Your Dutiful

R. Bloomfield

* BL Add. MS 28268, f. 41; published in Hart, p. 8 BACK

[1] The portrait of Bloomfield made by S. Drummond and engraved by W. Ridley appeared in The Monthly Mirror, 10 (October 1800). A variant of it was published in The European Magazine, 11 (November 1801). It is reproduced as the frontispiece of Robert Bloomfield: Lyric, Class, and the Romantic Canon, eds. Simon White, John Goodridge and Bridget Keegan (Lewisburg, 2006). BACK

[2] The original portrait by Henry Edridge is held in the National Portrait Gallery (NPG 2926: watercolour, oval, [misdated at] circa 1805, 3 1/4 in. x 2 1/2 in. (83 mm x 64 mm), purchased, 1937). The engraving was published as the frontispiece of Rural Tales and dated 1 January 1802. BACK