LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers, 16 September 1812

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I. 1803-1805.
Chapter II. 1805-1809.
Chapter III. 1810-1812.
Chapter IV. 1813-1814.
Chapter V. 1814-1815.
Chapter VI. 1815-1816.
Chapter VII. 1816-1818.
Chapter VIII. 1818-19.
Chapter IX. 1820-1821.
Chapter X. 1822-24.
Chapter XI. 1825-1827.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I. 1828-1830.
Chapter II. 1831-34.
Chapter III. 1834-1837.
Chapter IV. 1838-41.
Chapter V. 1842-44.
Chapter VI. 1845-46.
Chapter VII. 1847-50.
Chapter VIII. 1850
Chapter IX. 1851.
Chapter X. 1852-55.
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‘Glenfinnart: 16 Sept. 1812.

‘No, my dear Sarah, I can truly say I do not enjoy it so much as I did and (I may say I think) as you did, when we were together, but I have no right to complain. I am now with friends who do everything they can do to prevent my most secret wishes. I am glad to think that you are So comfortable. Nothing seems to be wanting but our Fanny to make Cheadle what it once was. It is indeed very unlucky that Quarry Bank should be left the moment you came. You are right as to your conjecture of Moore’s house. The two windows belong to the kitchen, the bay window to the dining-room. Two small parlours (one of them his book-room) look into the garden behind. Their bedroom is over the dining-room, the nursery over the kitchen, and there she was sitting and peeping when I came. At Arrochar I dined between my two voyages, and I saw the landlady, now a matronly but a very nice-looking woman, in her garden. Alas! I had neither grapes nor grouse, and grouse I have only seen twice since I left Lowther, though a man goes out
every day among the hills to shoot some for me. This is a very pretty place; and to give you a notion of where I am, I subjoin an attempt at a map. The house is very small and neat, in a narrow, rocky glen running up among steep mountains, with its small river, and a beautiful beech grove between it and the lake. A ferry is within sight of the windows; and while we sit at dinner, we see the little boat passing and repassing continually. At the ferry-house is kept also a packet-boat, which twice a week sails to Greenock with passengers, and takes and brings back our letters, and brings grapes and peaches from the gardens at Dunmore, so that I can even read of your luxuries without a sigh. Indeed, we are so supplied that we are obliged to consume the peaches and apricots in tarts and puddings. What would Fingal and his family have thought of this? An old laird, who lives on a lake immediately behind these mountains, dines with them once a year generally, and always eats with great relish what he calls their “apples with stones.” Our family consists of my host and hostess, and two little boys—one five years old, one two—and no human being have I seen besides, except the schoolmaster and the ferryman and the passengers on the sea-shore. We breakfast at nine, and dine at half-past three, and go to bed at ten. All the mountains far and wide on our side Loch Long belong to
Lord Dunmore, who is planting everywhere. From the windows you see the lake and the opposite shore a mile off, and also the shore on the other side of the Clyde towards Greenock, and from the ferry-house half a mile from us (my favourite sauntering place) the look up the lake to Arrochar, nine miles, is, as you may
conceive, sublime, mountain behind mountain receding one behind another, on each side of the lake, till the vista terminates in a point, and these clad in the softest and richest colours that mist and sunshine can give them. Indeed, I think in its way it surpasses everything of the kind we ever saw together. Poor Mary! an accident has happened here which has made me often think of her and you. Poor
Lady Dunmore, returning home from a walk in a shower after dusk the other night, and crossing a little stream, one of the stepping-stones slipped from under her, and terribly sprained her foot. I came forwards, as you may suppose, with the vinegar and oatmeal, which worked wonders, and the next day she put her foot to the ground—a fatal measure that has thrown her back again, and she is now on the sofa. This has deprived me of the harp in the evening and has produced still greater consequences. At the end of a fortnight they were to have made a little tour with me to Loch Katherine and Dunkeld, and we were to have concluded with a little visit at Hamilton, from which I meant to have gone to Edinburgh, and so on to Wassall, where I hoped to have met you and Henry; but now my schemes are defeated, and they beg so earnestly that I will wait a week or ten days, when she expects to be able to set out, that I am at a loss how to refuse. Indeed, to make the journey by myself would be very uncomfortable as well as expensive. I am indeed so quiet and happy here, that I ought not to repine, though, as you say, I never think myself quite well. This place is the wettest in Scotland, though the summer has been better than they have long known it (it was remarkably rainy
last year, only think it!), we have seldom two fine days together, and sometimes it rains and shines alternately every five minutes; but I pop in and out continually, and generally tire myself in the course of the day. I have also a charming white pony at my command all day, though I seldom use it. I have made but two excursions since I came, with Lord Dunmore. Once our horses were ferried across, and we rode over to see Roseneath, a beautiful place of the
Duke of Argyll’s, returning round the shore along the Clyde opposite to Greenock till we came back to the ferry again—a beautiful day and a glorious ride—and once we rode along our own shore to the Clyde, and round up Holy Loch, on the banks of which we saw the burial-place of the Argyll family (in our way we saw Dumbarton Castle in a view up the Clyde), and along Loch Eck till we came down our own glen again.

‘I had a very kind letter from Henry the other day, and was sorry to hear such an account of poor Mary. What my plans are now I cannot say, but I fear I shall not leave Scotland before the latter end of October. Adieu, my dear Sarah! Pray give my kind remembrances to one and all who inquire after me, not forgetting Mary and Mrs. H., and believe me to be,

‘Ever yours,
Saml. Rogers.

‘I expect my book now every day.’