71. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 17 December 1801


71. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 17 December 1801* 

Thursday Night, Dec 17th 1801

Dear George

I had the parcel this morning: so much for that —

Yesterday I met at Lord Buchan's two or three other notable characters. Sir John Sinclair, Mr Stevens, and three sons of Councellor Erskine (fine Boys) who came to see their uncle L — B. —. Lord B was very conversant, he is about 60, but surprisingly active and brilliant in conversation, he askd me for a sight of some of the pieces of the coming Vollm; but this not being possible, Mr Park intimated that I could recite one. He fixed on Richard & Kate [1]  which I spoke with more effect than usual, for the water made its passage at my eyes, and I dare not stop, so I dash'd through it. L Buchan rose and shook my hand violently, and said several things which even to me, were new compliments — Dined at Mr. Parks — Had through ignorance, and neglect, and vexation, and two or three other Bloomfieldisms omitted to stamp my Agreements with Mr Hood, thought that a month was the limited time; but on presenting them at the Stamp Office found they had exceeded 21 days, and could not be stampd without paying a penalty of £5. glorious news for a man half crazy already! Stated this yesterday to Mr Park who, being acquainted with — Bindley, Esq, one of the commissioners, we calld there last night, and I was ordered to bring the papers to him this morning at eleven — I called for your parcell, and opend it in the street, was glad to find money as well as notes, for my time was short — Went to the Stamp Office, and got the Agreements stampt without the penalty, but paid the regular 20 Shillings.

Huzza !!

If you hear any more stories, tell them that three years will produce me a thousand pounds besides £150 in considerations. tell them that I have signd and exchanged agreements for my children's sake, that for 14 years I have to expect a good Annuity; and tell 'em that if I live 14 years the whole is my own again. And lastly — tell 'em, Dam 'em — for I don't care nothing about 'em, &c., &c., &c ———

Seriously, George, the only way in which I, or any other Author may be cheated wholesale, is, in the publisher's printing more copies than he accounts for to me — dont for God's sake meet troubles, they come fast enough. — I have done my best and my conscience is clear. But you may perceive that I have been hamperd strangely — All well, the worst is over

R Bloomfield

Address: Mr G Bloomfield / Great Market / Bury.

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 78–79; extract published in Hart, p. 19 BACK

[1] 'Richard and Kate: or, Fair-Day. A Suffolk Ballad', published in Rural Tales, pp.1–14. BACK