50. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 24 February 1801


50. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 24 February 1801* 

London. Feb. 24th, 1801.

Dear George,

After a long interval of silence, but not of forgetfullnes I sit down to write to you. I am tolarably happy and more than tolarably busy. I have had a complimentary letter sent me from a Mr Swinburne of Leicester he was much pleased with my description of our cheese, his letter did not come alone there came with it a Leicester Cheese of 11lb. — Last night I had a letter enclosing a £2 note from a Mr Gilchrist of Stamford. If Mr Burrell of Cambridge would send me some more Tobacco I might live cheap these hard times, and smoke a health to all my friends. TWO things I wish you would not forget when you send, 1st the Letters for Bet. I think we should send them, 6 months have pass'd, or nearly, since we had hers.

I doubt I must build a song for Mr Guest, not to oblidge him, but to oblidge Mr Lofft. What did you do with the 50 songs? I suppose no further call for them will be found at Bury. I have been too much engaged to attend to Isaac's affairs as I could wish. I will write to him soon. The Boot patterns I had from Horton. The shoe patterns from a Don shoeman: perhaps you may never use them, but they are curious as being cut in the high taste. I have a cold coming, and my head akes, or I would send patterns of my Womans Work. I have a man and a half employd now, and have plenty of good custom lookd out. I like it Better than I did. So much for my mastering. My book affairs go on tolarably. I am getting acquainted with another baronet, Sir J. Bland Burgess, author of 'Richard the First,' a new heroic poem in 18 books, he gave me the book; he is heir to the estate of Ixworth Thorpe. Another fortnight must go before I can have my writings and bargains compleated, and the poems put to press. My double capacity of poet and snobb somtimes plague me, I think I could manage one very well, but I still beat you, I have hitherto known my — from my head, which is somtimes as much as I can say. I send you patterns [illegible word] but I can hear you say,

Plague take his rhimes and his nonsense together
Of what use are patterns without any leather

Remember George that when I offered you the use of £50 I could then have got it, at present I don't know that I can, for I expect part of my affairs settled next month so that I cannot help you nor myself effectually till then. I long to hear how you come on. I know if I had what is now due to me you should not want £20 to wag with.

Mr L says a Dr Clubbe has translated the 1st Quarter of ye. Farmers Boy into Latin, on which I have sent to him

Hey Giles! in what new garb art dress'd?
For Lads like you methinks a bold one,
I'm glad to see thee so caress'd,
But hark ye! Don't despise your old one,
Thou'rt not the first by many a Boy,
Who've found abroad good friends to own 'em;
When, in such coats have shewn their joy,
E'en their own Fathers have not known 'em! [1] 

I have this moment an invitation to supper and an order for 3 'Hannahs' — I hope to get Rover printed and then to advertize the 2 together, they will also be included with the poems with a notice of their being set to music &c &c &c [2]  — I write now to the D of G, to Mr Grant, Mr Park, Mr L and to you; — wrote last night to Stamford. Pray remember me to my Mother I wish I had time to speak to her. Love to all friends.

R Bloomfield

The packett for Troston contains the first Vollm of mr Dyers poems just publishd [3]  — his Letter &c — forward them directly —

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 51–52; extracts published in Hart, p. 9 BACK

[1] These lines were published in The Monthly Mirror, 11 (1801), 271 with the headnote 'Impromptu. On hearing that part of "The Farmer's Boy" was translated into Latin'. BACK

[2] Bloomfield refers to his verses 'Rosy Hannah' and 'The Shepherd and his Dog Rover', set to music by his brother Isaac. The former published as Isaac Bloomfield, Rosy Hannah; a Song Written by R. Bloomfield (London, 1801). BACK

[3] George Dyer, Poems (London, 1801). BACK