55. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 27 August 1801


55. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 27 August 1801* 

Thursday, Aug. 27th, 1801.

Dear George,

I hope you will not be gone before you have this. I know not how to apologize for not writing before. Yesterday the damn'd creaking of the door almost harrow'd my soul to rags. Every noise was a dagger in my ears. I tried to sooth my pain with poetry, to exert myself forcibly, and to conquer by a coup de main, the imaginary evils that beset me, for imaginary they certainly were in a great degree. I think a man really mad is far happier than one who has this dastardly sinking of the soul, and retains his reason seemingly for no other purpose than to prove its weakness. I had been made most outrageously angry the day before; and, on Sunday last, some verses of Nat's about my parents and the enclosing of Honington Green, had melted me into salt water, and opened every latent weakness of my heart to a very uncommon degree. [1] 

I now take the first measure that suggests itself to help you. I write to Mr C Bloomfield and offer bond and payment in six months for 40 or £50 from him or any one at Bury who may do you the favour. If Mr B do not do it, use my name and promise it to any one else. Dun any of your customers till I can have inteligence, and try some other means if this should fail.


P.S. — I have oil'd the hinges of the door. To hear that you can get along will be oil to my own hinges. I have been composing a 'Ditty for a Highland Drover returning from England,' but have not patience to copy it now, it compleats the coming Vollm, but the winter Song shall stand last. [2]  I wish Isaac would send me compleat copies of the tunes, I wait for them.

My head swims a little. I must take a turn amongst the brickfields and snuff up the smoke; and, perhaps tomorrow shall feel the return of my usual spirits, or more. O Lord! what a poor creature is Man! and of Men what a poor creature is a Bloomfield!!

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 55–56; extract published in Hart, p. 11 BACK

[1] Nathaniel Bloomfield's verses on the enclosure of Honington Green were published in his An Essay on War, in Blank Verse; Honington Green, a Ballad... and Other Poems (London, 1803). The text is here. BACK

[2] Bloomfield's 'Ditty for a Highland Drover' appeared as 'Song, for a Highland Drover, returning from England' in The Monthly Mirror, 12 (September 1801), 197–98, and was then collected in Rural Tales, as was the 'Winter Song', pp. 97–100; 117–19. BACK