98. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 1 November 1802


98. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 1 November 1802* 

London. Nov 1st 1802

Dear George

I have been writing the enclosed to my Mother, to Isaac and to Mr Lofft, and now it is your turn.—

One of Corley's sons brought me a packet containing a Vollm of Gregory's Oeconomy of Nature, [1]  which was at Honington, and I now send the second Vollm.—I had a letter of Lamentation from my Mother, and one from Isaac by which I can find that much unhappiness must have been felt by you all. The Irishman when he was going to be tried for horsestealing observed as he enterd the court 'Now here they are going to make a Hundred words about this D——d Old Horse.' If he had seen my Father and Isaac begining to strip the Thatch off he might have used the same observation with the alteration of one word. On so delicate a subject as a family squabble how can I advise? What I have written to my Mother is my best answer to it all. And realy it is destressing that she should be made to feel more than her natural temper may subject her to, either by the effects of poverty in one Son or the Worlds crosses in another, for I realy suspect that you felt, and still feel some pressure of trouble that is unknown to me. Speak ingenuously, have you any other objection to my standing the whole expense besides that of its being expensive and appearing in you eyes unfair?? Or do my part of the business appear like swallowing the House, Tiles and all, against your will? I don't want the House! I only say that nobody out of the family shall have it if I can help it. and this, with your permission, I will stick to. In thus looking forward you cannot pretend to set bounds to my Fancy nor I to yours. suppose I say that, 'twenty years hence I mean to buy what was Honington Green and throw it open and erect upon it a pedestal in honour of the pastoral Muse! This is dreaming with a vengence; but if you dislike it you may say somthing to wake me. I have a great and an inexplicable veneration for the House and the place of our birth. Trudge says to Inkle in the play—

'What! Sell the Girl that saved my life!
No; hang me like a Dog if I do.' [2] 

I feel myself alive George just now in rather an extraordinary degree, and I do wish, and it is a good wish, that you would all make peace; and trust to Heaven, and to the growth of your infant children for joys to come, and for the expansion of brighter views. And to induce you to it I have to add, that it is the intention of the Booksellers, Mr Hood, and Longman & Rees, to better my last bargain as to 'Rural Tales,' which was made under disadvantageous circumstances as you well know, by the further compliment of £100, in consequence of their great sale. As this is but a verbal promise I say nothing of it to Mr Lofft. You will find that I have given Mr Austin an assurance by the enclosed Note to him, and under all these circumstances I trust with a strengthened confidence in the ultimate triumph of affection over the yowls of our bosom pride, and the crackers of resentment.

Our love to your Wife and Children


Robert Bloomfield

I send my Mother a little cheese; and Isaac a little further profit on Rosy Hannah [3] 

Look at the critick on Miss Wellers poems at the bottom of page 255 of the Mirror, [4]  and take courage!!

* BL Add. MS 28268, ff. 111–12 BACK

[1] George Gregory, The Economy of Nature Explained and Illustrated on the Principles of Modern Philosophy, 3 vols. (London, 1796). BACK

[2] George Colman, Inkle and Yarico (1787), act 3, scene 3. BACK

[3] Profit on Isaac's musical setting of the poem, Rosy Hannah; a Favourite New Song The Words Written by Robert Bloomfield, Author of 'The Farmer's Boy', The Music, Composed by his Brother Isaac Bloomfield (London, [?1801]). BACK

[4] The critique of Miss Weller's poetry, Monthly Mirror, 14 (October 1802), 255–56 begins 'In labouring through 140 pages, of which this volume is composed, we have scarcely been able to find two lines, following each other, that do not trespass on the fences of grammar or common sense. Had Miss W. taken words indiscriminately from a dictionary, and arranged them in lines, she could not have been less successful, and she might, by chance, have written better.' BACK