67. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 5 November 1801


67. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 5 November 1801* 

Thursday Night, Nov. 5, 1801

Dear George,

You will not refuse to do me a kind office. You know the anxiety I formerly felt on the subject of the preface and Apendix to the Farmer's Boy when they were objected to: (the preface as originally written I never heard anything against) and you know that presuming on my correspondence with Mr Lofft I had incurred allmost his displeasure by communicating as much as I dare of the matter. In this present publication I begd the same original friend to see the pieces which had his approbation, through the press. It unfortunately happend that the notes to this vollm did not meet the opinion of people here as to their situation. I presumed on the friendship of Mr Lofft and ventur'd to tell him. The consequence has been that I am forbidden to write to Troston. My last letter informd him that the vollm would now be printed as intended by him, with the notes attachd to each piece. for I had venturd to suggest the putting the notes at the end, which Mr Lofft will not agree to. Remember the despute is not about the exclusion of the notes, or of Mr Lofft's name, no one has thought of such a Thing; but tis whither it be prudent to place notes at the foot of each piece, or at the end. I in a private letter to Troston forewarned my once friend of this opinion, which I knew existed, and I have lost him! My wish is then, that you will somehow, as I must not, let Mr Lofft know that this day the publisher has been to the printer's, and orderd the notes to stand at the end of the Voll. I was not consulted. And if I had, must in truth have answerd that I had brought myself into trouble by the mention of it. As I know that Mr Lofft does not consider the notes in their present shape fit to stand at the end; and he has desired me to strike them and his name out of the work; and as I wish most ardently not to do any such thing; will you ask him to say to you, as he has discarded me, whither he has any particular dislike to the notes appearing at the end in their present shape, and whither he will calmly reflect on it, and say the same in some other shape. You see George; that I am driven to this delema. By Mr Loffts refusal to alter the place of the notes I must either suffer them to be printed at the end against his consent; or he will withdraw his name entirely from it. I have acted in the best manner I am able. It is a distressing situation. pray say to this effect, or copy thus far of this letter, and give me news on this head as soon as you can.* You know that I, and I only, prevented the striking out of some of the matter from the Farmers Boy. I found that I must meet what I now meet if I sufferd it. I must now oppose Hood to the utmost if I wish to please at Troston. this I will not do!! but take my chance, my friend perhaps will turn enemy. 'But while I keep conscience in health, Ive a mine that will never grow poor' [1] 

Copy this letter for him down to the *, but no further; and Remember for that is one principle point for which I write, pray let the parcell with the five letters be here on Saturday night, instead of Monday.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 72–73; extract published in Hart, p. 17 BACK

[1] 'But while I keep conscience in health, / I've a mine that will never grow poor': Bloomfield quotes from his own 'Winter Song' (published in Rural Tales, p. 119). BACK