LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Walter Scott to Samuel Rogers, 30 May 1816

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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‘My dear Rogers,—Mr. Skirving of Edinburgh, an unrivalled artist as a painter in crayons, is going to London with the only good portrait of Burns. I think you will like to look at it, and perhaps you may even be disposed to purchase it, provided the artist’s intention of selling it holds water till he gets to London. Mr. Skirving is a man of great genius in his art, and is in circumstances of perfect independence, although his dress, unless he should rectify it when he gets to London, would argue something very different. In fact, both his dress and address require all the allowance which genius knows how to make for the caprices and eccentricities of its brethren. Do not give yourself any trouble with him beyond what lies exactly in the way of a lover of art.

‘I am sure you will join with me in severely regretting this unlucky business of Lord Byron’s. Who would have expected such a consummation last year when I was in town? It is an unlucky business, since it gives stupidity a momentary triumph over genius—and talents. I trust this will find you well in health and enjoying yourself in a milder climate than ours has been this year.

‘Believe me, dear Rogers, always most truly and affectionately yours,

‘Walter Scott.
‘Edin., 30th May (1816).

‘I should think Mr. Sharp would like to look at the
Ayrshire Ploughman. If Skirving does sell it, which appears to me very problematical, I wish this unique representation of our great poet to fall into good hands. If I had not been buying a sort of Oxmoor, like Tristram Shandy, and building, hedging, ditching and draining, Rob should not have crossed the Border.’