30th April 1825

Recievd another letter from the editor of Bloomfields Correspondence requesting me to alter a line in my sonnet on Bloomfield 'Thy injured muse & memory need no sigh' & asking permission to publish only 2 of them which I shall not agree with either way Editors are troubled with nice amendings & if Doctors were as fond of amputation as they are of altering & correcting the world woud have nothing but cripples.

29th April 1825

The hedge-Sparrow in the Box tree has been about 12 days building her nest the Robin in the wall about 14 & the Jenny-wren near 3 weeks heard all through last night the sort of watch-ticking noise calld a death-watch I observed there was 1 on each side the chamber & as soon as one finished ticking the other began I think it is a call that the male & female use in the time of cohabiting a Jenny wrens nest with the outside just built I mean to see how long she is about the lining

28th April 1825

Hedge-Sparrow finished her nest in Billing's Box-tree & laid l egg — Walnutt showing leaf — Sycamore & Horse-chestnutt nearly coverd I observed a snail on his journey at full speed & I marked by my watch that he went 13 inches in 3 minutes which was the utmost he coud do without stopping to wind or rest It was the large garden snail

27th April 1825

Heard the Cuckoo for the first time this Season — it was said to be heard a week back by a Shepherd — Saw the large Grey Wagtail. I think it a bird of passage as I have never seen it in winter — some young Plants of Ash & Maple showing leaf — Saw a bird with a dark line over each ear I think it one ot the fly catchers

26th April 1825

This used to be 'Breakday' when the fen commons used to be broke as it was calld by turning in the stock it used to be a day of busy note with the villages but Enclosure has spoiled all

25th April 1825

Heard a terrible kick-up with the Rats in the ceiling last night & might have made up a tollerable faith to believe them ghosts — A thunderstorm several claps very loud in the distance came from South West

24th April 1825

No Proofs of the New Poems yet — Recievd a Letter from Lord Radstock & Mrs Emmerson

23rd April 1825

Saw the redstart or Firetail today & little Willow wren the blackthorn tree in full flower that shines about the hedges like cloaths hung out to dry — Saw in the Stamford paper that the lost leaf of Domesday book was found & had no time to copy out the account

22nd April 1825

[Two fieldfares]

Went to Milton — Saw the red-headed brown linnet smaller than the brown — saw a Pettichap or hoverbird— & a large flock of Fieldfares — brought home a white Primrose heard a many Nightingales — in the evening I heard a bird make a long continued noise for a minute together like a childs skriecker or a cricket but much louder — Henderson promises to give me some information respecting the birds about Milton

21st April 1825

Heard the Nightingale for the first time this season in Royce Wood.

20th April 1825

Recievd a letter from Taylor in answer to mine to Hessey of last Sunday — He is very pettish respecting my anxiety & irritation & says that if my friends who gave me the advice & cautions &c respecting the neglect & mystery of booksellers or myself can find a Publisher who can do better by them than he does he will readily return the M.S.S. — but he throws a river in the way for me to cross by saying that tho none of their distrust can do no good it may do harm — now if it can do harm to find fault with actions that can find no commendation I am sure it can do no good to speak in their praise

19th April 1825

The Swallows have made their appearance I saw one to-day & I heard by a cowboy that they were come 3 days ago

18th April 1825

Resumd my letters on Natural History in good earnest & intend to get them finished with this year if I can get out into the fields for I will insert nothing but what has come under my notice

17th April 1825

I have waited 3 weeks for a new proof of the Shepherds Calendar & nothing has come which was to be in 3 days—I have sent for some rough copys of Poems which I sent up to Taylor when the Village Minstrel was in the press & I have not got them yet & never shall I expect—-I want them to finish some for a future publication & correct others—[4 lines scored out and indecipherable] I have never as yet had a settling—Recievd a letter from Dr. Darling—no proofs yet— sa'w a solitary Field fare in Oxey wood I never observed one so late before — wrote to Hessey in a manner that I am always very loath to write but I coud keep my patience no longer

To Hessey
April 17 1825

I have waited a long while for a proof of the book & my patience being exhausted I must write tho I have neither the inclination or wish to be offended — Artis brought down a story that made me perfectly satisfied that letter writing was but waste time & paper a thing is easily written tho it is never to be done & he said that he found on his second application for the M.S.S. which I have written for about twelve times that you did not mean to send them for what reason I cannot tell — I shall want them & cannot get on with my present occupation without them tho I have been unable latly to do anything if I had them — another thing that surprised me very much was the confession that Van Dyk made at my plan for the new book by saying that he had not many of the poems mentioned therein — now this is very strange that an editor should be employed by Taylor to get out my poems & that he should still neglect even to make him aquainted with the M.S.S. this is a very odd way of taking in a substitute for tho he could not find time to correct them himself he might certainly have found time to have put them in his hands — I felt very vext at the time & I am far from satisfied with the neglecting manner that has been going on latly Van Dyk said I should have a proof in three days it is now three weeks & none, has yet come if this is to be the plan of proceeding I would really from my heart that my M.S.S. were returned Altogether & I left to do them myself — I cannot meet with worse success than I have lately be as it will — my friends have been long busy with advice & cautions &c but I did not heed it then tho I find at the wrong end of the story that it would have been much better as a preventive to an often uneasy mind of restless anxietys had I taken an earlier heed of what they told me as to the determined neglect & mysterious manner of the profession in general I do not wish to hurt the feelings of anyone nor do I wish they should hurt mine — but when delay is carried into a system its cause must grow a substitute for a worse name — I will go on no further but I will just ask you to give a moments reflection to my situation & see how you would like it yourself


These never were returned nor accounted for*
How this comment of Clare's appears on a sent letter is a mystery. The only solution is that Clare looked over his letters to Taylor and Hessey while in London in 1828.

16th April 1825

Took a walk in the field a birds nesting & botanizing & had like to have been taken up as a poacher in Hilly wood by a meddlesome conseited keeper belonging to Sir John Trollop he swore that he had seen me in act more than once of shooting game when I never shot even so much as a sparrow in my life — what terrifying rascals these woodkeepers & game-keepers are they make a prison of the forrests & are its gaolers

15th April 1825

Recievd a letter from Lord Radstock in which his Lordship says that Van Dyk is going out of town for a while this is the man that was to get my new book thro the press in 6 weeks & with the assistance of Taylor & Hessey has been a month about one proof of it [2 lines scored out and indecipherable]

14th April 1825

My mother is 67* years old this day she has been afflicted with a dropsy for this 20 years & has for all that outlived a large family of brothers & sisters & remains 'the last of the flock'. The Snakehead or fritillary in flower also the light-blue pink & white Hyacinths — Bluebell or Harebell in flower the Primrose Violet & Bedlam Cowslip fading out of flower.

* Ann Stimson was baptized 17 April 1757 — Registers of Castor Parish.

13th April 1825

The black thorn showing flower

10th April 1825

Found a branch of white thorn in Porters Snow close knotted & nearly in flower it is considerd very early if a branch of May as it is calld can be found on the first of new May

8th April 1825

Recievd a letter from Lord Radstock & one from Mrs Emmerson with an offer that Mr Clutterbuck the Attorney will draw up my will if I chuse which oppertunity I shall certainly take hold of.

Letter - To Artis

March or April, 1825

How are you getting on nay I may be like the Irishman & ask Were you are for I dont know were to find you nor know wether you are at London or York as I write at a venture & the purport of this is to beg your kindness to get a frank for the enclosed letter if in case the pensil marks be rubbed out the Direction is to 'Mrs William Wright Clapham Surrey'. How are you -getting on with your 'Fossil Plants' & 'Antiquitys' I have found some more fragments of pot in Harrison's close near Oxey & am now convinced myself that there is some more worth the trial one of the bits had the letter 'V on it a mark of the potters I suppose I have saved them 'all for your inspection when you next come to Helpstone — have you been to see Hessey I suspect you have as they have begun printing the New Poems — lets hear from you — a little news of any sort is acceptable here — did you see the poems in Montgomery's ' Iris ' I think you heard me talk of it when you was last here.
I am dear Artis
Yours very sincerely

3rd April 1825

A cold wintry day 2 gentlemen came to see me from Milton one of them appeared to be a sensible & well informed man he talkd much of the poets but did not like Wordsworth & when I told him I did he instantly asked me wether I did not like Byron better I don't like these comparisons to knock your opinions on the head with I told him that I read Wordsworth oftener than I did Byron & he seemd to express his supprise at it by observing that he coud not read Wordsworth at all

2nd April 1825

'The Langfield & Crowhurst choir sung several select pieces from Handel in the Cavity of a yew tree in the church yard of the latter place the tree is 36 feet in Circumference & is now in a growing state — the hollow was filled up like a room & sufficiently large to contain the performers — on cleaning out the interior of the tree some years since a 7 Ib cannon ball was discovered which no doubt had been fired into it; it was cut out from the solid part of the tree' Stamford Mercury

1st April 1825

My Sister Sophy is 27 year old today Recievd from Wilson Vyse's Tutor's Guide 2 Vols.*

* 'Being a Complete System of Arithmetic; with various branches in the
Mathematics' by Charles Vyse(1772).