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An Essay on War, in Blank Verse; Honington Green, a Ballad; the Culprit, an Elegy; and Other Poems, on Various Subjects   By:

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[Transcriber's Note: The page headers in the original text contained one line summaries of what appears on that page within each poem. Due to the difficulty of interleaving these lines without completely disrupting the flow of the poetry, they have been collected and placed in a single square bracketed paragraph at the start of each poem, and separated by em dashes.]


Whoever has read the Preface to the FARMER'S BOY will hardly fail of recollecting the Name of NATHANIEL BLOOMFIELD; the Author of the POEMS here offer'd to The Public.

It will be recollected that he there appears, with his Brother GEORGE BLOOMFIELD, standing in the place of the Father, whom they had early lost, to their younger Brother ROBERT.

It is natural to suppose that this brotherly interference, and it's consequences, greatly and advantageously influenc'd the dispositions, pursuits, and habits of thought and conduct, of all three of the Brothers. And it is the more exemplary when it is consider'd how young the two eldest were at that time.

It is an encouraging instance how much may be effected for each other by the poor and uneducated, if they have prudence, activity, and kind affections; and how unexpectedly, and to an extent far beyond apparent probability, success is given by Providence to virtuous and benevolent efforts.

Beyond question, the Brothers of this Family are all extraordinary Men: and perhaps every one of them is more so than he would have been without the fraternal concord which has animated them all, and multiplied the powers of all by union and sympathy.

Of NATHANIEL, as of ROBERT, my Account shall be taken from communications by Letter, made at my request by Mr. GEORGE BLOOMFIELD.

NATHANIEL BLOOMFIELD was born 23d Feb.[1] 1759.

He was the 3d Child and 2d Son of GEORGE BLOOMFIELD, of Honington: and was deprived of his Father, by the Small pox, when he was eight years old. Like ROBERT, he learnt to read and write of his MOTHER: and had, like him, his farther instructions in Writing, and was taught the first Rules of Arithmetic, by Mr. RODWELL, of Ixworth[2]: where also he seems to have had some instruction in Grammar. But his Mother being then a widow, his Grandfather (Mr. ROBIN MANBY) kindly bound him Apprentice to Mr. HAYLETT, a Tailor of Market Harling: of which business the Father of the BLOOMFIELDS had been.

He was here very kindly treated: and was found to be an excellent Apprentice.

While here he learnt Church Music, (one of the great consolations of energetic and pensive minds) and sung in a company which was conducted by Mr. SYDER. But when his voice broke, he could make no figure among them: for it was not only a Bass of extremely narrow compass, but weak and tremulous.

This latter defect of voice was observ'd in THOMSON: and perhaps it may arise sometimes not from a fault in the natural quality of the voice, but from exceeding sensibility to Poetry and Music.

When about 16 or 17 years of age he entered with the fervor of a vigorous and thoughtful mind into the study of Religion, on the principles of the Church of England: and added to his study of it what is the great end, the practice of Religion as a rule of conduct and life.

At a stall at Harling Fair he met with a Practical Catechism: the Author's name, PRATT: and at the same time he made the acquisition of a large volume of TILLOTSON'S Sermons. Probably the Folio Edition of the Sermons of that excellent Man and Writer: so distinguish'd by his Piety, uniform, mild, and rational; the morality of his excellent Discourses; their simplicity and clearness; and the sweetness and persuasiveness of manner. These, and other religious Tracts, he bought: and "the last" (Tillotson) "he lent," says Mr... Continue reading book >>

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