LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Sir George Beaumont to Samuel Rogers, 12 July 1814

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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‘Ashburnham: July 12th, 1814.

‘My dear Rogers,—I wish I could make you a better return for your friendly patience and attention on Sunday, but as you expressed a wish for the epitaph, I
send it to you; if it be not a likeness, it has nothing else to recommend it. You justly observed, every one should correct his own verses, for this reason, among others, that no one else could be so much interested in them; and although I could not perceive through your kindness any confirmation of this observation, yet, as I am sensible it is almost impossible for another to touch upon a picture or poem without making a spot of something better or worse, I have endeavoured to profit by your advice, and to alter the words objected to. What think you of “each virtue fostered,” and “primeval” instead of “eternal” night?

‘I had a delightful journey to this fine place with Lord Ashburnham. I wish you knew him more. When intimacy has subdued his shyness I assure you he possesses a rich vein of humour, which makes him a delightful companion. He is making great alterations here. Our friend Dance is his architect, and you know his ability. His domain is varied and extensive, and the views are highly interesting.

‘The post is going out, and as we shall, I hope, meet soon, I will finish, with my best wishes, ever truly yours,

G. H. Beaumont.’
Here Johnson reclines in this grave, den, or pit,
The bugbear of folly, the tyrant of wit.
As an ox, overdriven, attacks in the streets,
And gores without mercy each creature he meets,
So this bellowing critic assailed every day
All his friends who had something or nothing to say.
Then he pitched and he rolled with a turbulent motion,
Like a First-rate just after a storm in the ocean
And if modestly silent, his censure to balk,
He exclaimed in a fury—Sir, why don’t you talk?
If you said black was black, still his answer was, No, Sir,
And thundering arguments followed the blow, Sir.
For though lies he disdained from the days of his youth,
Still, the Doctor loved victory better than truth.
But, peace to his shade, if his powerful mind
Would sometimes break loose in expressions unkind,
He himself felt the blow when reflection came in,
For the Doctor had naught of the bear but his skin.
And in streams deep, majestic, o’erwhelming, and strong,
Full tides of morality flowed from his tongue.
Religion in him found a zealous defender,
And he never pretended to garble or mend her.
In his presence profaneness presumed not to dwell,
And sedition and treason shrank back to their hell.