LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter II. 1831-34.

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.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

Rogers and Wellington and Talleyrand—Rogers and Macaulay—Death of Mrs. Siddons—Letters from Wordsworth, Henry Hallam, and Brougham—Campbell and ‘The Metropolitan’—Rogers and Earl Grey—Mrs. Joanna Baillie—Death of Mackintosh and of Walter Scott—Moore on Rogers’s House—Death of Henry Rogers—Letters from Charles Lamb, Wordsworth, Macaulay—Rogers’s Tour—Letters to Wordsworth, Sarah Rogers, and Richard Sharp—Richard Sharp on Ministerial Changes—Rogers and the Gossip at Brooks’s—The King and his Ministers—‘The Queen has done it all’—Lord Brougham’s Eccentricities—Letter from Campbell.

The period in which Rogers was occupied in preparing the illustrated edition of his poems is very barren of correspondence. He had arrived at the time of life at which men learn with a shock that they are being spoken of as old men by younger people. He was beginning to feel the approach of age, though he always urged his friends not to realise that they are old, and himself acted on the injunction. He had a good deal of ill-health, and so many friends were gone that he began to say that a walk through the streets of London was like a walk in a cemetery. In March, 1831, he had one of the conversations with the Duke of Wellington, which is reported in the ‘Recollections,’ and one with Talleyrand, also recorded in the same volume. It was in October of the same year that, meeting Sir Walter Scott on the day
but one before he set sail for Naples, Scott told him the story of the clever boy at school whom he could not pass, who, he noticed, always fumbled with a button on his waistcoat when under examination, but who was utterly dumbfounded and passed at once when Scott had cut off the button, and the boy, during examination, found out his loss.

It is just at this period that the life of Samuel Rogers seems to touch our own times. The names we begin to meet with are those of men, some of whom middle-aged men have personally known. It is not clear when Rogers first met Macaulay; but Macaulay, in writing to his sister Hannah on the 28th of May, 1831, says that on the day before, he had lounged into the ante-rooms of ‘old Marshall’s house’ in Hill Street, where he found Samuel Rogers. ‘Rogers and I,’ he says, ‘sate together on a bench in one of the passages, and had a good deal of very pleasant conversation. He was—as, indeed, he has always been to me—extremely kind, and told me that if it were in his power he would contrive to be at Holland House with me, to give me an insight into its ways. He is the great oracle of that circle. He has seen the King’s letter to Lord Grey about the Garter.’ On the 3rd of June, he says Rogers told him to write no more reviews but to publish separate works, ‘adding what, for him, is a very rare thing, a compliment: “You may do anything, Mr. Macaulay.”’ On the 7th he writes to his sisters Hannah and Margaret

‘Yesterday I dined at Marshall’s, and was almost consoled for not meeting Rammohun Roy by a very
pleasant party. The great sight was the two wits,
Rogers and Sydney Smith. Singly I have often seen them: but to see them both together was a novelty, and a novelty not the less curious because their mutual hostility is well known, and the hard hits which they have given to each other are in everybody’s mouth. They were civil, however. But I was struck by the truth of what Matthew Bramble, a person of whom you probably never heard, says in Smollett’sHumphry Clinker”: that one wit in a company, like a knuckle of ham in soup, gives a flavour: but two are too many. Rogers and Sydney Smith would not come into conflict. If one had possession of the company the other was silent; and, as you may conceive, the one who had possession of the company was always Sydney Smith, and the one who was silent was always Rogers. Sometimes, however, the company divided, and each of them had a small congregation. I had a good deal of talk with both of them; for in whatever they may disagree, they agree in treating me with very marked kindness.

‘I had a good deal of pleasant conversation with Rogers. He was telling me of the curiosity which attached to the persons of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron. When Sir Walter Scott dined at a gentleman’s in London some time ago all the servant-maids in the house asked leave to stand in the passage and see him pass. He was, as you may conceive, greatly flattered. About Lord Byron, whom he knew well, he told me some curious anecdotes. When Lord Byron passed through Florence, Rogers was there. They had a good deal of conversation, and Rogers accompanied him to his car-
riage. The inn had fifty windows in front. All the windows were crowded with women, mostly English women, to catch a glance at their favourite poet. Among them were some at whose houses he had often been in England, and with whom he had lived on friendly terms. He would not notice them, or return their salutations. Rogers was the only person he spoke to.’

Three days later he tells his sister he had met Rogers at the Athenæum, and he had asked him to breakfast and promised to make an interesting party, and, he adds, ‘If you knew how Rogers is thought of you would think it as great a compliment as could be paid to a duke.’ His account of the breakfast is valuable as giving a contemporary description of Rogers’s house. He writes on the 25th of June—

‘I breakfasted with Rogers yesterday. There was nobody there but Moore. We were all on the most friendly and familiar terms possible; and Moore, who is, Rogers tells me, excessively pleased with my review of his book, showed me very marked attention. I was forced to go away early on account of bankrupt business, but Rogers said that we must have the talk out; so we are to meet at his house again to breakfast. What a delightful house it is! It looks out on the Green Park just at the most pleasant point. The furniture has been selected with a delicacy of taste quite unique. Its value does not depend on fashion, but must be the same while the fine arts are held in any esteem. In the drawing-room, for example, the chimney-pieces are carved by
Flaxman into the most beautiful Grecian forms. The book-case is painted by Stothard, in his very best manner, with groups from Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Boccaccio. The pictures are not numerous, but every one is excellent. In the dining-room there are also some beautiful paintings. But the three most remarkable objects in that room are, I think, a cast of Pope taken after death by Roubilliac; a noble model in terra-cotta by Michael Angelo, from which he afterwards made one of his finest statues, that of Lorenzo de’ Medici; and, lastly, a mahogany table, on which stands an antique vase.’

There are the usual accounts of breakfasts and dinners with Rogers in Moore’s Diary this summer. At one of these Rogers violently opposed Moore, who had said ‘after all it is in high life one meets the best society.’ Rogers always maintained the contrary. His father had advised him never to go near titled people, but that was based on his own youthful experience of them in his Worcestershire home in the middle of the eighteenth century. Rogers confessed to his nephew, Samuel Sharpe, that he had not followed his father’s advice, but that there was truth and wisdom in it. On the 26th was the breakfast party Rogers had made for Macaulay, and Tom Moore gives his account of it. ‘Macaulay,’ he says, ‘gave us an account of the present state of the Monothelite controversy.’ Macaulay himself tells a story, which Moore also tells, of this same occasion. Writing to his sister, he says—

‘I have breakfasted again with Rogers. The party was a remarkable one, Lord John Russell, Tom Moore,
Tom Campbell, and Luttrell. We were all very lively. An odd incident took place after breakfast. While we were standing at the window and looking into the Green Park, somebody was talking about diners-out. “Ay,” said Campbell,
“Ye diners out from whom we guard our spoons.”
Tom Moore asked where the line was. “Don’t you know?” said Campbell. “Not I,” said Moore. “Surely,” said Campbell, “it is your own.” “I never saw it in my life,” said Moore. “It is in one of your best things in ‘
The Times,’” said Campbell. Moore denied it. Hereupon I put in my claim, and told them that it was mine. Do you remember it? It is in some lines called “The Political Georgics,” which I sent to “The Times” about three years ago. They made me repeat the lines, and were vociferous in praise of them. Tom Moore then said, oddly enough, “There is another poem in ‘The Times’ that I should like to know the author of: ‘A Parson’s Account of his Journey to the Cambridge Election.’” I laid claim to that also. “That is curious,” said Moore. “I begged Barnes to tell me who wrote it. He said that he had received it from Cambridge, and touched it up himself, and pretended that all the best strokes were his. I believed that he was lying, because I never knew him to make a good joke in his life. And now the murder is out.” They asked me whether I had put anything else in “The Times.” “Nothing,” I said, “except the ‘Sortes Virgilianæ,’” which Lord John remembered well. I never mentioned the “Cambridge Journey” or the “Georgics” to any but my own family; and I was, therefore, as you
may conceive, not a little flattered to hear, in one day, Moore praising one of them and Campbell the other.’

In this month of June Rogers had lost one of his oldest friends in Mrs. Siddons. She had not been quite happy since her retirement from the stage. When Rogers was visiting her she often said, ‘This is the time I used to be thinking of going to the theatre; there was the pleasure of dressing, then of acting, but all is over now.’ Rogers was always fond of telling stories about her. He regarded her as a far greater performer than John Kemble, and sympathised with her disappointment at the little attention that had been paid to her at the time of her retirement, and from that time to her death.

There is a letter of about this date which may be given in illustration of an aspect of Rogers’s character which did not come out frequently, but which his closer friends knew to exist. It was to a relation who had disgraced himself, and had an opportunity of recovering his position, and did recover it. I suppress the name as it is of no interest or importance.

Samuel Rogers to ——.

‘Dear ——,—Many thanks for a letter which, mournful as it was, gave me sincere pleasure, and over which your poor father and mother, could they read it where they now are, would shed tears of delight; for what signifies wealth or poverty, good report or evil report, but inasmuch as they affect our own minds.


‘I need not say, I am sure, how sorry I am for the sad change which has taken place in your circumstances, but much more unhappy I was before it took place; for then how gloomy was the prospect; and how fortunate you must think yourself, how much more so than many, in being roused to reflection before it was too late. Providence has given you an asylum among kind and considerate friends, you have good talents, great attainments, and have still many years before you, and if you resolve to exert yourself, and to assist those who have a natural claim to your exertions, what we now regard as an affliction will perhaps be the happiest event in your life. When I look back on mine, I feel that I am too faulty myself to blame another, and have only on my knees to ask forgiveness.

‘Pray remember me to ——, and believe me,

‘Yours as ever,
‘S. R.’

Wordsworth, as usual, writes to Rogers for advice.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: 14th June [1831].

‘Let me, my dear friend, have the benefit of your advice upon a small matter of taste. You know that while I was in London I gave more time than a wise man would have done to portrait-painters and sculptors. I am now called to the same duty again. The Master and a numerous body of the Fellows of my own college, St. John’s, Cambridge, have begged me to sit to some eminent artist for my portrait, to be placed among “the
worthies of that house” of learning, which has so many claims upon my grateful remembrance. I consider the application no small honour, and as they have courteously left the choice of the artist to myself, I entreat you would let me have the advantage of your judgment. Had
Jackson been living, without troubling you, I should have inquired of himself whether he would undertake the task; but he is just gone, and I am quite at a loss whom to select. Pray give me your opinion. I saw Pickersgill’s pictures at his own house, but between ourselves I did not much like them. Phillips has made coxcombs of all the poets, save Crabbe, that have come under his hand, and I am rather afraid he might play that trick with me, grey-headed as I am. Owen was a manly painter, but there is the same fault with him as the famous Horn one has heard of—he is departed. In fact, the art is low in England, as you know much better than I; don’t, however, accuse me of impertinence, but do as I have desired.

‘We stayed three or four days at Cambridge, and then departed for the North; but I was obliged to leave dear Mrs. Wordsworth at Nottingham, suffering under a most violent attack of sciatica. Her daughter was left with her. We fell among good Samaritans, and in less than a fortnight she was able to renew her journey.

‘Her stay here, however, was short. My sister was summoned to Cheltenham by our old friend Dr. Bell, and as we did not dare to trust her so far from home on account of her delicate state of health, Mrs. W. was so kind and noble-minded as to take the long journey in her stead. The poor doctor thought himself dying, but
he has rallied, and I expect Mrs. W. back with
Southey, who left us this morning for the same place. Southey is gone upon business connected with the doctor’s affairs. Excuse this long story, but I know you are kind enough to be interested about me and my friends in everything. Dora is writing by me, both she and my sister and Wm. join me in kindest regards to yourself and your sister.

‘Most faithfully yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.’

In spite of the objection to Pickersgill’s portraits, he was eventually selected, and went down to Rydal and painted the picture now in St. John’s College. Wordsworth’s sonnet, ‘Go, Faithful Portrait,’ testifies to his satisfaction with it. In the autumn he is anxious about Rogers’s health, and writes for information.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: 7th Nov., 1831.

‘My dear Rogers,—Several weeks since I heard, through Mr. Quillinan, who I believe had it from Moxon, that you were unwell, and this unpleasant communication has weighed on my mind, but I did not write, trusting that either from Mr. Q. or Moxon I should hear something of the particulars. These expectations have been vain, and now I venture, not without anxiety, to make enquiries of yourself. Be so good then as let me hear how you are, and as soon as you can. If you saw Sir Walter Scott, or have met with Mr. and Mrs. Lockhart since their return to town, you will have learned
from them that
Dora and I reached Abbotsford in time to have two or three days of Sir Walter’s company before he left his home. I need not dwell upon the subject of his health, as you cannot but have heard as authentic particulars as I could give you, and of more recent date. From Abbotsford we went to Roslin, Edinburgh, Stirling, Loch Kettering [Katrine], Killin, Dalmally, Oban, the Isle of Mull—too late in the season for Staffa—and returned by Inverary, Loch Lomond, Glasgow, and the falls of the Clyde. The foliage was in its most beautiful state, and the weather, though we had five or six days of heavy rain, was upon the whole very favourable; for we had most beautiful appearances of floating vapours, rainbows and fragments of rainbows, weather-galls, and sunbeams innumerable, so that I never saw Scotland under a more poetic aspect. Then there was in addition the pleasure of recollection, and the novelty of showing to my daughter places and objects which had been so long in my remembrance. About the middle of summer a hope was held out to us that we should see you in the North, which would indeed have given us great pleasure, as we often, very often, talk, and still oftener think, about you.

‘It is some months since I heard from Moxon. I learned in Scotland that the bookselling trade was in a deplorable state, and that nothing was saleable but newspapers on the Revolutionary side. So that I fear, unless our poor friend be turned patriot, he cannot be prospering at present.

‘We, thank God, are all well, and should be very glad to hear the same of yourself and brother and sister.
My son
William is gone to Carlisle as my sub-distributor, how long to remain there, heaven knows! He is likely to come in for a broken head, as he expects to be enrolled as a special constable, for the protection of the gaols and cathedral at Carlisle, and for Rose Castle—the bishop’s country residence which has been threatened. But no more of these disagreeables. My heart is full of kindness towards you, and I wish much to hear of you. The state of my eyes has compelled me to use Mrs. W.’s pen.

‘Most affectionately yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.’

‘Notwithstanding the flourish above, I have written to my son to stay at home and guard his stamps.’

Rogers had before this fully recovered from his illness. Moore calling to surprise him at breakfast on the 16th of October, found him just returned from the country, entirely restored, and full of good humour and playfulness. There is a double interest in a letter received in the course of the autumn from another of his eminent friends.

Henry Hallam to Samuel Rogers.
‘Friday night.

‘My dear Rogers,—I have been unfortunate in missing you twice, yet with the consolation that it proved you were recovered in health, which I had heard was not as good as we all wish. For myself I am a mere rustic, but not as yet oblitus meorum, and therefore, I hope, not obliviscendus illis. But in a fortnight more I shall be once more in the whirl of the world, though I
have always coveted the eddy, and shall probably do so more and more, accedente senectâ. It is no compliment to say that I prefer two hours of your tea to four hours of most men’s claret.

‘I send you another little production of Arthur’s; it is much superior to the other. You have candour to make allowance for the cloudy state of new wine, which will not disguise from a connoisseur’s taste a racy flavour and strong body. You must always keep in mind that he is not quite twenty-one, and with this allowance I am not perhaps quite misled as a father in thinking his performances a little out of the common.

‘Tunbridge, whatever you may fancy, is excellent wintering. We have a very small society of people we like, and play sixpenny whist when it might be dull else, not otherwise. . . .

‘Yours very truly,
H. Hallam.
‘Wimpole Street and Rose Hill, Tunbridge Wells.’

A brief note, not dated, but belonging to the same autumn, is the first I find among Rogers’s papers from another eminent person.

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Wednesday [1831].

‘My dear R.,—I have this instant been commanded by Talleyrand to meet Don Pedro on Friday, and I must obey, as your absolute sovereigns when they go incog., like Peter I., are offended if you take them at their word and don’t treat them as sovereigns.


‘Therefore I hope you will be able to put off Lord P. and your party to any other day, except Monday.

‘Ever yours,
‘H. B.’

There are two examples in this autumn of the kind of service Rogers was always performing for his literary friends. Campbell was in London in October negotiating for a share in the magazine he was conducting—‘The Metropolitan.’ ‘I am ten inches taller than when you saw me,’ he tells Mrs. Arkwright. ‘Let the name of my brother poet Rogers be ever sacred,’ he writes; ‘he has bought me a share in the partnership, and with noble generosity has refused even the mortgage of my Scotch property, as security for the debt.’ He offered to insure his life, but Rogers would not hear of it. Five hundred pounds was advanced, and a third share hi the magazine purchased. There was eventually some hitch in the arrangements, and the partnership was given up. After weeks of agitation and many a sleepless night, poor Campbell got back his money and restored it to Rogers, who, however, offered to let him have it for another purpose. He writes—

Thomas Campbell to Samuel Rogers.
‘St. Leonards: 6th December, 1831.

‘My dear Rogers,—I beg leave to introduce to you Mr. Madden, whose travels and other writings are most probably known to you. He is an extremely sensible and amiable man, and constitutes, I may say, all my conversible society at this place.


‘I am very happy to tell you that the five hundred pounds which you so generously lent me is at my bankers’ in James’s Street, and awaits your calling for it. Blessed be God that I have saved both it and myself from being involved as partner in “The Metropolitan.” Respecting the history of this transaction, though I have made it known to my friends confidentially, yet I should not wish that there should be any public talk, for though I blame the publisher Cochrane for swaggering and putting on the airs of a wealthy capitalist all the time he was but a needy, seedy . . . . still, poor devil, he may keep above water if his credit does not sink; and he has a wife and several children, of whom it pains my heart to think. I therefore abide by him and “The Metropolitan” out of sheer compassion. But I have got out of the scrape of being a sharer in the periodical.

‘The pain I suffered before I made this rescue was not slight. Amidst the horror of bad news, public and private, I felt at times misanthropic enough to pronounce my species all rascals. But still I recalled your loan. Ah, there, I thought to myself, there is a fact to show that benevolence has not left the earth. Aye, and days and sleepless nights went over my head in which I knew not whether even that loan was not to be thrown into a gulf of bankruptcy. All, however, is now safe. And my feeling of obligation to you is as thoroughly grateful as if all my chimerical dreams had been realised. I shall now go on with Mrs. Siddons’s life. Have you seen Haynes Bayly’s song on the “Italian Boy,” the music by “Bishop”? Query, what Bishop? There has been more than one composer of that name.


‘Adieu, my dear friend. Believe me most affectionately yours,

T. Campbell.’

Moore, in recording this loan of Rogers’s, says Rogers does more of such things than the world has any notion of, and Lord John Russell adds, ‘Not only more than the world has any notion of, but more than any one else could have done. Being himself an author, he was able to guess the difficulties of men of letters, and to assist them not only with his ready purse, but with his powerful influence and his judicious advice.’ There is an example in Moore’s own case—for on the very day he records Campbell’s loan, he says that Rogers had undertaken to negotiate for him with Murray as to what sum to get for his name and co-operation in the new edition of Byron. Rogers thought Moore ought to have a thousand pounds. The negotiation failed, and as Moore had a bill for 500l. falling due, Rogers wrote and offered him the money; but an arrangement with Longmans rendered the advance needless.

The accession to power of his political friends necessarily exerted considerable influence on Rogers’s life. It did not bring him back into politics, for he was never wholly out of them nor deeply immersed in them. Lord Lansdowne’s surprise at receiving through him Lord Grenville’s opinion that he should join the Government in 1827 exactly illustrates Rogers’s political position, when it is viewed in connection with the fact that Lord Grenville entrusted him with the message. Rogers was in fact one of the literary Whigs. The time was gloomy.
Perhaps there has never been a period in our history when so much excitement and apprehension was in the air as at the beginning of 1832. ‘My sense of the evil of the times and to what prospects I am bringing up my children,’ wrote
Dr. Arnold, ‘is overwhelmingly bitter.’ There was political unrest at home, there was the dread of the cholera, there was negro insurrection in Jamaica, and there were complications abroad. Rogers communicated some alarming news to Lord Grey, and received in reply the following letter, which I reproduce, though unable to explain it, as it illustrates the terms on which he lived with the most eminent political persons of his time.

Earl Grey to Samuel Rogers.
‘East Sheen: 12th Janry., 1832.

‘My dear Rogers,—I unfortunately allowed the messenger to go back to-day without an answer to your very kind note; but I hope you will not think me the less obliged to you for it.

‘I have no doubt that there are plenty of people at work to do all possible mischief; and as far as I am myself concerned, I care little about it. But in a situation of so much embarrassment and danger, it requires a degree of malignity, not common, to risk all the confusion which, in their desire to overthrow the government, they are exerting themselves to produce. You are quite right. If the question of Reform was settled, all our foreign politics would go right; and the King of Holland, whose obstinacy is encouraged by the belief
that there will be a new administration here which will be favourable to him, would not long hesitate in acceding to an arrangement which is very much for his advantage.

‘If our house had not been full we should have asked you to come to meet the Hollands. They leave us on Saturday, and we go ourselves to town, for good, on Monday; when I hope we shall frequently have the pleasure of seeing you. Holland is suffering from a threatening of gout. Lady Grey desires to be most kindly remembered to you.

‘Ever most sincerely yours,

Rogers lived so completely between the two worlds of politics and literature—as he did also between two literary and political eras—that a letter from Joanna Baillie, one of the vast number he received from her, may properly follow one of Lord Grey’s.

Mrs. Joanna Baillie to Samuel Rogers.
‘Hampstead: Friday, 2nd Febry. [1832].

‘My dear Mr. Rogers,—You once called me, and not very long ago, an ungrateful hussey, and I remember it the better because I really thought I deserved it. But whether I did or not, when I tell you now that I have read Sir John Herschell’s book twice, or rather three times over, have been the better for it both in understanding and heart, and mean to read parts of it again ere long, you will not repent having bestowed it upon me. And
now I mean to thank you for another obligation that you are not so well aware of. Do you remember when I told you, a good while since, of my intention of looking over all my works to correct them for an edition to be published after my decease, should it be called for, and you giving me a hint never to let a which stand where a that might serve the purpose, to prefer the words while to whilst, among to amongst, &c.? I acquiesced in all this most readily, throwing as much scorn upon the rejected expressions as anybody would do, and with all the ease of one who from natural taste had always avoided them. If you do, you will guess what has been my surprise and mortification to find through whole pages of even my last dramas, “whiches,” “whilsts,” and “amongsts,” &c., where they need not have been, in abundance. Well; I have profited by your hint, though I was not aware that I needed it at the time when it was given, and now I thank you for it very sincerely. I cannot imagine how I came to make this mistake, if it has not been that, in writing songs, I have often rejected the words in question because they do not sound well in singing. I have very lately finished my corrections, and now all my literary tasks are finished. It is time they should, and more serious thoughts fill up their room, or ought to do.

‘I hear of your sister from time to time by our neighbours here, and of yourself now and then. I hope you continue to brave this variable winter with impunity. We hear also that your nephew continues to recover, though more slowly than his friends could wish. Being so young a man gives one confidence in the progress he
makes. My
sister and I are both confined to the house, but with no very great ailments to complain of. We both unite in all kind wishes and regards to you and Miss Rogers.

‘Very truly and gratefully yours,
J. Baillie.’

Another eminent contemporary, who was not much in London, and was little seen in society, makes his appearance in Rogers’s correspondence in the same month. The first volume of ‘The Curiosities of Literature’ appeared just before ‘The Pleasures of Memory,’ and had a similar success. But Isaac D’Israeli preferred studious retirement to social pleasures, and hence his name is rarely met with in the memoirs of the time. His letter is interesting from the reference it makes to his own previous writings, but especially in the indication it gives of a literary purpose which was never carried out. The ‘fugitive thing’ he sends to his ‘old acquaintance’ was a pamphlet entitled ‘Eliot, Hampden, and Pym,’ which was published at the beginning of 1832.

Isaac D’Israeli to Samuel Rogers.
‘Athenæum: Monday [February, 1832].

‘My dear Sir,—Accept a fugitive thing on a permanent topic in my “Reply” to Lord Nugent. Should you have patience and forbearance, you will pick up, I think, some amusement in the fifty pages.

‘But what you will find on the back of the last flyleaf interests me more while I am addressing you. I
imagine that you know how I formerly fully
avenged the cause of Pope in the “Quarterly” against our amiable editor, Bowles. “Modes,” that is myself, triumphed, and stroked his ears with much self-complacency, for he did hear his own words resound in the House of Lords, and more than one edition of Pope followed; and Pope was righted. He has of late again been wronged in the recent “Edinburgh Review.”

‘I recollect that you have many of the first editions of Pope. I have some, particularly the “Essay on Man,” in four parts, as they were published. I never could find, as the anecdote runs, the false claim which Pope expressly made to keep the world in doubt whether he were the writer.

‘Should anything occur to you on the subject of Pope, your communication will delight an old acquaintance of yours, who never imagined he should have written so much poetry and such little verse. My intention is to enter at large into the literary period of Pope, to mark out its influence on him, and trace the consequences in his writings. His friends and his enemies are well known to me, and it is an active era in our literature.

‘My visits to the metropolis are rare and short, and should you have occasion to address me it must be at Bradenham House, High Wycombe, where, should [you] ever stray, the sun will shine on us that day. It is four miles from High Wycombe.

‘Believe me, with great regard, dear Sir,

‘Faithfully yours,
I. D’Israeli.’

In Moore’s diary this year he frequently speaks of talking politics with Rogers; but the political talk is not reported. On the 3rd of April, Moore, Macaulay, Luttrell, Lord Kerry, and Whishaw were at breakfast at Rogers’s, and there were ‘some strong politics talked, condemning Lord Grey’s hesitation to make peers.’ Sydney Smith writing to Lady Grey enumerates Mackintosh, Whishaw, Robert Smith, Rogers, Luttrell, Jeffrey, Sharp, Ord, Macaulay, Fazakerley and Lord Ebrington, and says there would not be a dissentient voice among them on any point connected with the honour, character and fame of Lord Grey. It is literature, however, and not politics that is uppermost in Rogers’s circle even in the most exciting times. The death of Sir James Mackintosh on the 22nd of May, and of Sir Walter Scott on the 21st of September, occupied a larger place in their thoughts than even the passing of the Reform Bill. Mackintosh was two years younger than Rogers, Sir Walter Scott was eight years his junior. Meanwhile Sydney Smith, who was of the same age as Walter Scott, had been appointed by Lord Grey a Canon Residentiary of St. Paul’s, and as his new duties called him frequently to London, had thus become a permanent member instead of an occasional visitor of Rogers’s circle of familiar friends. In September, 1832, Rogers was at Bowood, and Moore reports a conversation in which he enumerated a long list of distinguished men who had been poured into England by Ireland, and expressed the opinion that Irishmen were beyond most other men in genius, but behind them in sense. In March, 1833, Moore was at Rogers’s house and there was again political talk. ‘Even he,’ says Moore (whose views
of politics are in general so manly and consistent), ‘has got bitten a little with this new Whig frenzy, and tries to defend their apostasy; for it is apostasy.’ The Bill which had excited Moore’s wrath was what he calls ‘this new Algerine Act of my friends, the Whigs, against Ireland, the Coercion Act.’ In the same month Rogers was occupied with some business of Moore’s, who describes him as ‘most hearty and anxious on the subject, and (as he never fails to be on matters of business) clear-sighted and judicious.’ In the summer Moore took some friends to see Rogers’s house, and he says, ‘was astonished myself at the variety and rarity of his treasures.’ The house was at this period one of the sights of London. We meet Rogers now and then in Macaulay’s letters. Writing at Christmas, 1832, he tells of a party at which he says Rogers was to have been present, ‘but his brother chose that very day to die upon, so that poor Sam had to absent himself.’ So heartlessly do we sometimes speak and write of those who are not personally known to us. This brother was
Henry Rogers, the youngest brother of ‘poor Sam’; who, but for him, might perhaps have almost deserved Macaulay’s pitying phrase. Henry Rogers was a man of taste and culture, but he had chosen a quieter and more domestic sphere than his older brother. The family of their nephews and nieces, as I have said elsewhere, justly regarded him as a second father. It is sufficient here, however, that I should reproduce what I have said of him in my Life of his nephew, Samuel Sharpe: ‘Henry Rogers is still remembered by friends and neighbours at Highbury as the light and charm of the circle he moved in. He was
the kind of man
Emerson may have had in view when, in his essay “On Character,” he wrote, “I revere the man who is riches, so that I cannot think of him as alone, or poor, or exiled, or unhappy, or a client, but as a perpetual patron, benefactor, and beatified man.”’ Such was the brother about whom Macaulay writes with such unfeeling levity. He writes of Rogers again some months later to his sister Hannah

‘I have been racketing lately [November 1833], having dined twice with Rogers, and once with Grant. Lady Holland is in a most extraordinary state. She came to Rogers’s, with Allen, in so bad a humour that we were all forced to rally, and make common cause against her. There was not a person at table to whom she was not rude: and none of us were inclined to submit. Rogers sneered; Sydney made merciless sport of her; Tom Moore looked excessively impertinent; Bobus put her down with simple straightforward rudeness; and I treated her with what I meant to be the coldest civility. Allen flew into a rage with us all, and especially with Sydney, whose guffaws, as the Scotch say, were indeed tremendous. When she and all the rest were gone, Rogers made Tom Moore and me sit down with him for half an hour, and we coshered over the events of the evening. Rogers said that he thought Allen’s firing up in defence of his patroness the best thing that he had seen in him. No sooner had Tom and I got into the street than he broke forth: “That such an old stager as Rogers should talk such nonsense, and give Allen credit for attachment to anything but his dinner! Allen
was bursting with envy to see us so free, while he was conscious of his own slavery.”’

Moore says of a dinner at Rogers’s, in company with Sydney Smith, Macaulay, Byng, and Greville, ‘Talking of words that had become degraded, Macaulay mentioned “elegant” as a word he would not use in writing, and all agreed with him except Sydney and myself. “You’ll stand by elegant, won’t you?” says he to me, and on my answering—“Here’s Moore,” he exclaimed, “as firm as a rock for elegant.” All agreed that “genteel” was no longer fit for use, though the word gentille, from which it sprang, was still so graceful and expressive. In the course of the evening Smith said to me, “You’ll be pleased to hear that there has been a very respectable captain of infantry converted by your book.”’

A letter from Charles Lamb must be reproduced here, though it has already been printed.1 It was written in acknowledgment of an early copy of the illustrated ‘Poems,’ and Canon Ainger dates it in December, 1833.

Charles Lamb to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Sir,—Your book, by the unremitting punctuality of your publisher, has reached me thus early. I have not opened it, nor will till to-morrow, when I promise myself a thorough reading of it. “The Pleasures of Memory” was the first school present I made to Mrs. Moxon, it had those nice wood-cuts; and

1 Talfourd’s Final Memorials of Charles Lamb, vol. ii., p. 107; and Canon Ainger’s Letters of Charles Lamb, vol. ii., p. 291.

I believe she keeps it still. Believe me, that all the kindness you have shown to the husband of that excellent person seems done unto myself. I have tried my hand at a
sonnet in “The Times.” But the turn I gave it, though I hoped it would not displease you, I thought might not be equally agreeable to your artist. I met that dear old man at poor Henry’s—with you—and again at Cary’s—and it was sublime to see him sit deaf and enjoy all that was going on in mirth with the company. He reposed upon the many graceful, many fantastic images he had created; with them he dined and took wine.

‘I have ventured at an antagonist copy of verses in “The Athenæum” to him, in which he is as everything and you as nothing. He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides. But I am jealous of the combination of the sister arts. Let them sparkle apart. What injury (short of the theatres) did not Boydell’s “Shakespeare Gallery” do me with Shakespeare?—to have Opie’s Shakespeare, Northcote’s Shakespeare, light-headed Fuseli’s Shakespeare, heavy-headed Romney’s Shakespeare, woodenheaded West’s Shakespeare (though he did the best in “Lear”), deaf-headed Reynolds’s Shakespeare, instead of my, and everybody’s Shakespeare. To be tied down to an authentic face of Juliet! To have Imogen’s portrait! To confine the illimitable! I like you and Stothard (you best), but “out upon this half-faced fellowship.” Sir, when I have read the book I may trouble you, through Moxon, with some faint criticisms. It is not the flatteringest compliment in a letter to an author to say you have not read his book yet. But the devil of a reader
he must be who prances through it in five minutes, and no longer have I received the parcel. It was a little tantalizing to me to receive a letter from
Landor, Gebir Landor, from Florence, to say he was just sitting down to read my “Elia,” just received, but the letter was to go out before the reading. There are calamities in authorship which only authors know. I am going to call on Moxon on Monday, if the throng of carriages in Dover Street on the morn of publication do not barricade me out.

‘With many thanks, and most respectful remembrances to your sister,

C. Lamb.

‘Have you seen Coleridge’s happy exemplification in English of the Ovidian elegiac metre?—

‘In the Hexameter rises the fountain’s silvery current,
In the Pentameter aye falling in melody down.

‘My sister is papering up the book—careful soul!’

Wordsworth and Macaulay write on the same topic.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘14th Jan. [1834].

‘My dear Friend,—Yesterday I received your most valuable present of three copies of your beautiful book, which I assure you will be nowhere more prized than in this house. My sister was affected even to the shedding of tears by this token of your remembrance. When a person has been shut up for upwards of twelve months
in a sick room it is a touching thing to receive proofs from time to time of not being forgotten.
Dora is at Keswick to attend as bridesmaid upon Miss Southey, who loses her family name to-morrow. Your book has been forwarded, and we hope it will be received at Greta Hall to-day.

‘Of the execution of the plates, as compared with the former vol., and the merit of the designs, we have not yet had time to judge. But I cannot forbear adding that, as several of the poems are among my oldest and dearest acquaintance in the literature of our day, such an elegant edition of them, with their illustrations, must to me be peculiarly acceptable. As Mr. Moxon does not mention your health, I hope it is good, and your sister’s also, who, we are happy to hear, has drawn nearer to you. Pray remember us all most kindly to her, and accept yourself our united thanks and best wishes.

‘I remain, my dear R., faithfully yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘We were grieved to notice the death of the veteran Sotheby.1 Not less than fourteen of our relatives, friends, or valued acquaintance, have been removed by death within the last three or four months.’

T. B. Macaulay to Samuel Rogers.
‘Gray’s Inn: 14th Jany., 1834.

‘My dear Sir,—Many thanks for your beautiful present. Beautiful as it is, the scrap of your writing in

1 William Sotheby—translator of Wieland’s Oberon, of the Georgics, the Iliad, and the Odyssey, dramatist and poet, of whom Byron said that he imitated everybody and occasionally surpassed his models—had died on the 30th December, 1833, aged 76.

the first page is more valuable to me than the finest engraving in the volume.

‘The poems, as far as I have yet examined them, are all such as I have long known and admired. I do not perceive anything new. But such a series of illustrations I never saw or expected to see. I used to say that if your “Italy” were dug up in some Pompeii or Herculaneum two thousand years hence, it would give to posterity a higher idea of the state of the arts amongst us than anything else which lay in an equally small compass. But Italy is nothing to the new volume. Everybody says the same. I am charged with several copies for ladies in India. How the publishers of the annuals must hate you. You have certainly spoiled their market for one year at least.

‘Ever, my dear Sir, yours most truly,
T. B. Macaulay.’

Moore writes on the 3rd of February—

‘Dined early with Rogers. Nobody but himself, his sister, and young Mason, for whom he had got a situation (a writership, I believe) in India, and who is to sail in the same ship as Macaulay. . . . Rogers to-day quoted as a fine specimen of Addison’s humour, the parson threatening the squire that if he did not reform his ways, he should be obliged “to pray for him the following Sunday, in the face of the congregation.”’

Mr. C. Grey writes from Downing Street on the 25th of April that his father, being very busy, desires him to say that he has spoken to the King about Mr. Millingen,
‘and that he has great pleasure in announcing His Majesty’s consent to give him a pension of 100l. a year.’

On the 20th of July Moore writes—

‘To breakfast at Rogers’s, where we had Lord Lansdowne, Whishaw, and afterwards the Duke of Sutherland, whom Rogers had asked and forgot, till Lord Lansdowne informed him that he was coming. “Asking Dukes and forgetting them,” as I told Rogers, “is now-a-days the poet’s privilege.” Conversation agreeable. The great Correggio just purchased by the Government is pronounced, it seems, by some critics not to be a Correggio; such is the uncertainty of all picture knowledge. Rogers, too, showed me after breakfast a small picture of Ludovico Caracci’s, for which he himself gave twenty-five louis at Milan; while Lord Lansdowne, for apparently the same picture, gave, some years since, more than 500l. in London. Wishing to compare the two, Rogers one morning, having some artists with him to breakfast, wrapped up his Caracci in a napkin, and all went off together to Lansdowne House (the Lansdownes being out of town) for the purpose of comparing the two pictures, when, as he told me, the only difference the artists could see between them was a somewhat greater degree of finish in some parts of his.

August 3rd.—Took the boys to breakfast at Rogers’s, where he had Hughes the American. Some discussion about the existence of slavery in America, and the sort of incubus it is on the breast of that country. Difficulty of shaking it off; “the highest gentlemen,” Hughes said,
are to be found in the Slave States, and seemed to argue as if they were the more high and free-minded from having slaves to trample upon. Rogers opposed to this the instance of England; but certainly almost all free nations have had some such victims to whet their noble spirits upon, and keep them in good humour with themselves. The Athenians had their οίκέται, the Spartans their Helots, the Romans their Servi, and the English, till of late, their Catholic Irish.

August 6th.—Out early for the purpose of seeing Rogers off on his tour. Met him in his carriage in St. James’s Place, quarter-past nine, and got in with him. Had wished me to go as far as the lakes with him, and I should have liked it much could I have spared the time. Left him in the New Road, and went to Moore’s (the sculptor) to breakfast.’

The story of this autumn is told in a series of letters.

Samuel Rogers to Wordsworth.
‘St. James’s Place: 5th August, 1834.

‘My dear Wordsworth,—I intend to set out for the North to-morrow, and if my course is prosperous, to be at your door on Monday or Tuesday evening, and if you are at home and disengaged, to drink tea with you. Perhaps, too, if you are inclined, you will accompany me onward to Lowther, where I have led Lady Frederick to expect us.

‘But all this will depend upon circumstances beyond my control. Let me, however, hope for the best, and perhaps you will send me a line to the Post Office at Kendal. Pray, pray say “yes.”


‘Remember me very kindly to one and all, and believe me to be

‘Yours ever,
Saml. Rogers.’
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Bolton Abbey: Friday morning [8th August, 1834].

‘My dear Sarah,—You see I begin at the top of the page like a traveller who has much to tell. I set out at a quarter-past nine, and had just driven from the door when I met Anacreon. Him I conveyed to Portland Place, and set him so far on his way to breakfast with the celebrated H. B., who lives in the region of Fitzroy Square. Leaving Barnet, I met, of course, the Hadley chaise. The Colonel and Isabella were in it, but as they did not observe me, we passed without a parley. The flies soon began to sting, and gave me no quiet for the rest of the day; the sensation was new to me, but I bore it pretty well. The North Road, as it calls itself everywhere in the notices, is a noble road, running with a breadth and a directness such as I was not prepared for, and I was carried along with such a rapidity that before nightfall I had left a hundred miles behind me. At every stage I walked on till I was overtaken, though I seldom was allowed above fifty yards. Still, it was a great refreshment to me, and I arrived in good spirits and with no fatigue at Witham Common, where I slept in a very nice lone house, after a dish of tea. So far well—but I waked many times in the night, though I thought nothing of it, and was in the carriage again before six o’clock.


‘I shall now take a new paragraph, as I must in more senses than one turn over a new leaf; for when I tried to walk at the next change, I could not stir a foot. At first I thought nothing of it, and endeavoured to walk it off. But alas, to no purpose. All would not do, so I gave up the point. The evil, when I examined further, was in what Lady Cork would call the third finger of the right foot. I pronounced it to be a corn, and procured some corn plaster. Then a sore, and bought some lint—in the carriage it gave me no pain, only when I walked—but now it burns a little. So I shall treat it as the gout, and have just taken some physic.

‘I am here, alas, at the gates of Paradise and a cripple. What to do I am utterly at a loss, but I have this great consolation that I am no incumbrance to others; the inconvenience is all my own. I shall write to the Dunmores to prepare them for a change of measures in case I cannot surmount the obstacle. Small, indeed, it is in appearance, but, as the Italians say, there is no little enemy.

‘Yours ever,
Samuel Rogers.

‘The Hollyhocks are splendid everywhere in the cottage gardens. On the first day the showers were very frequent and heavy, but it was pleasant in the intervals. Yesterday no rain; this morning rain, but clearing off a little. Pray give my love to Patty. I shall write again soon, but take it for granted that no news is good news. I arrived here last night at dusk, and as I am comfortably lodged shall stay till to-morrow at all events. Of the
future I can say nothing. I have just taken a drive in an open carriage through the woods, and have seen the Strid and had delicious glimpses of the abbey, the river, and Barden tower, which were enough to repay me if I returned to-morrow. Barden tower, if
Turner meant it at all in the first view, he must have drawn, as well as most others, from his imagination, not his memory. The whole is a glen, but infinitely on a greater scale, like Roslin, with a religious house at one end and an old mansion at the other. I am now reading the “White Doe,” which, strange to say, is not forthcoming here, but which I brought among other things.’

A letter from Campbell received during this journey is so characteristic that a portion of it is worth giving. I have omitted a long paragraph which explains and supports a request for a loan, which he afterwards found he did not want.

Thomas Campbell to Samuel Rogers.
‘Paris: 15th August, 1834.

‘My dear Friend,—This is the anniversary of the Ascension, and all the church bells in Paris (God damn them!) are pealing away as if it were for a wager—at the expense of my heretical ears. In the midst of all the confusion of ideas which this jangling has produced, I have recollection enough left me to consider that, as my letter is to contain a request, I had better get over that disagreeable part of it first in order to have more pleasure in writing the rest. [Having explained about the loan, and said that he was going to Algiers, and
meant to write a book about the colony, he proceeds.] When I explain my sole reason for wishing to visit Algiers, provided the means reach me, not to be known yet for a little time, I am sure your kind heart will enter into my feelings, though I have not had the means of joining my fate with a certain inestimable person whom you have seen, and whom I perhaps need not name, yet our friendship is unabated, and her anxiety about my health and welfare is as watchful as ever. In good time I shall communicate to her my intention, but if I did so suddenly and at present her imagination would conjure up all manner of deaths and dangers as awaiting me—fevers, Arabs of the desert, &c. Now though I know there is a sort of fever at present in the colony, yet I have not the least apprehension of the climate in November, and I am one of the fearless creatures who never catch contagion. Altogether I would rather wish that my African scheme were not mentioned at present. I am sorry to find that neither you nor I are half so popular in Paris as either
Galt or Bulwer. They call us the two Purists—“sed mallem mehercule cum Platone errare quam cum aliis recte sentire.” We have both, however, gone through more than one edition. I have said Galt. No, I am wrong. It is Allan Cunningham who is the fashion at present, and the arrivals that have been most frequently announced are those of the celebrated Dr. Bowring and Dr. Lardner!!!. . . . At the distribution of prizes, however, among the élèves of the Institution for the Sourds-Muets, a French lady sent in my name to the President, and we were transferred from a bad station near the door to the dais, and were seated
fast by the President’s chair. One of the ex-élèves, a remarkably sprightly young man, came up to me making signs of great cordiality, and wrote a very complimentary note on the crown of his hat, saying that he knew English well, and proved to me that he had read my poems, by a quotation. He sat near me and we conversed on paper. He mentioned also your works with evident acquaintance and admiration. I was going to say he spoke, for there was almost speech in his gesticulations. The exhibition of the poor young creatures was touchingly interesting—but the effect was a little spoilt by a pedantic schoolmaster, who was their showman. I saw at one exchange of looks that my friend, the ex-élève, had the same opinion of him with myself, and I wrote to him, “My faith, your orator makes me begin to doubt if speech be such a blessing, for I have been this half-hour wishing myself deaf and him dumb.” My dumb friend rubbed his hands with a look of delight, and immediately turned round to another ex-élève, telling him my joke on his fingers. He again told it to his neighbour, and in a few minutes it was telegraphed through the whole benches of the ex-élèves, and was everywhere received with nods and smiles.

‘The heat has been intolerable here; I hope your weather is behaving better. Somehow or other I have not seen so much of Paris as I ought, though I have been at the opening of the Chambers, and was hugely delighted. But I am sanguine in the hope that I shall glean a good deal of instruction in my tour to come, and be able to send you some more interesting accounts of it. Have the kindness to address to me: Chez
Madame Fleury, No. 43 Rue Neuve St. Augustin, Paris.

‘I beg to be kindly remembered to Miss Rogers.

Thos. Campbell.’

Rogers meanwhile had been continuing his northern tour, meeting with some of the most interesting people of his time.

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Dunmore Park: Tuesday [9th September, 1834].

‘My dear Sarah,—Your kind letter I found on Saturday last on my way from the Marshalls at Ulleswater. I slept there two nights, coming back so far with Wordsworth from Lowther. At Carlisle Jno. W., who stamps there for his father, sat with me while I breakfasted, and a very amiable and pleasing young man he is. I came on to Selkirk, having travelled only eighty miles that day—a short journey for me, and next Sunday saw Abbotsford, Melrose, and Roslin, and slept at Edinburgh, where I stopt till noon on Monday to get my bandage re-adjusted, and then came on to Dunmore, where I need not say how I was received. They are all alone, and I must stay here at least a fortnight. Indeed, they will not hear of my going then—but I hope by that time I may be off, for, as the Greys are now at Howick, I must look in upon them as I go by, if they are then there. But my malady, my dear Sarah, has so damped all the little pleasure I looked for, that sometimes I think I had better give all up at once and come back to my own home directly. My foot is no better, and at every step
I have to drag it after me, but when I sit I forget it. However, when I leave this door, I have done all I came out for, and may come back as fast as I like. At Abbotsford all is as he left it, a small closet excepted, which is hung with his hat, his boots, his gaiters, his pruning-knife and gardening, or rather farming, coat—a melancholy sight, but which will become every year more and more sacred in the eyes of his countrymen. He died in the drawing-room, in a bed fitted up for him there. The house is really very prettily furnished in the old style; the walls wainscot and the rooms larger than I expected to find them. Over the chimney in his study are
Stothard’s “Canterbury Pilgrims.” I made that roundabout, as I was afraid of arriving before my letter at Dunmore. Pray write, and let me know your plans, and how you are. I wrote to you from Lowther, and write to-day to Patty.

‘Ever yours,
‘S. R.

‘P.S. I have said nothing of Dunmore. It is a very nice house in the Gothic style, and the views across the Forth are very pleasing. Sails and steamers are passing continually at a quarter of a mile’s distance, intercepted here and there by the trees in the Park.

‘As for him, he struck me at first as much altered, and his first question was whether I thought so. To-day he looks as he used to do, and I forget that so many years have gone by since last I was here—twenty-two years, as the old gardener tells me. The inns in Scotland have changed greatly for the better. The hotels in Edinburgh
are palaces, and affect a refinement and luxury that must alarm many a poor traveller. Have you heard from Mary yet? I am glad you went to Cashiobury on every account. As for the Wordsworths, they have an affliction I was not aware of at first. Their daughter
Dora looks cheerful before other people, but is in a sad melancholy way, and eats nothing, says nothing, and goes nowhere. They are very wretched about her. The elder Dora delights, as I told you, in adorning a little rock, four or five yards in circumference, with rock flowers. It is as rich as a little bit of enchantment, and when she goes, as her nephew John said very prettily, will be her monument as long as it lasts.’

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Howick House, Alnwick: 7th Oct. [1834].

‘My dear Sarah,—I am delighted to think you all liked Beaumaris so much. As far as I remember it, it is beautiful, and you cannot be sorry that you had not to see what R. Sharp saw—the hats upon the water. He has published a third edition with many additions, and after a short tour has set down at Torquay for the winter, but this you know already. I left Dunmore on the 27th, spent two days with the Jeffreys at their house two miles from Edinburgh, spent a night with the Lord Advocate in Edinburgh, and on Wednesday came on to Chillingham—Lord Tankerville’s—which I left for Howick on Saturday the 5th. The weather has been very pleasant, everybody but myself complaining of the heat. Here
I think of staying a fortnight, and shall then proceed southward, probably by Castle Howard and Bishopthorpe and Sandon and Trentham. (I fear I shall be too late for Liverpool.) But I have settled nothing. A letter to Howick will, however, always find me, as before, a letter to Dunmore. I am sorry you think me negligent, but perhaps I am not so much to blame, for how could I tell where you were? When I was told to direct to Malvern you were within a day of leaving it. So I sent my frank to Hanover Terrace, from which it might have been forwarded to you wherever you were, the frank not losing its virtue. It must be lying there now, as you don’t seem to know its contents. So, also, if I had written to Beaumaris, you would have gone before it came, staying only so long as you first intended. Perhaps you are not aware how cross the cross-posts are. I was at Dalmeny when your last came to Dunmore. I am sorry to hear your account of Patty. As for my foot, it is certainly better, and
Rees and I can bind it pretty well ourselves; but I never expect it to be quite sound again. However, I have no great right to complain—others are worse off, and as everybody here is kind to me I am on tolerably good terms with myself. I jog on at my age as well as most. Poor Pringle sets off for the Cape in ten days (being ordered to a milder climate) without money, or plan, or the prospect of any. I have just sent him 200l. at his request, and think my money well spent if I never see it again. Poor Miss Leach, when her uncle died, did not know a soul in Edinburgh. He caught cold at Staffa, when he would leave the steamboat in a pouring rain when nobody else did. It
brought on an erysipelas. Pray give my kind love to all, not forgetting my aunt, and believe me to be,

‘Yours ever,
‘S. R.’
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Howick House: Tuesday [21st Oct. 1834],

‘My dear Sarah,—Your kind letter came just after Patty had sent me her namesake’s. I write to thank you, but I have nothing to say—for we go on in one monotonous way here. Before breakfast I lounge a little, all alone, in a very pretty flower garden; then come many newspapers, but not much talk, as the family is rather silent, and there are no visitors but Lord John Russell and Lady Russell, who came here on Thursday last for a fortnight. On Saturday next I think of going for two nights to Lady Mary Monck; on Monday and on Thursday to the Archbishop of York; and on the Saturday afterwards to Castle Howard. I have not yet proposed myself to them, but I must, having left them so abruptly before, when, in the North with Sir George Beaumont, I broke a tooth and hurried to town, as Patty has done, for repair. Here I am left much to myself—my foot is certainly much better, though I cannot stir without binding, which Reece and I manage together pretty well. For the last three or four days I have had a sore throat and a little bile, but am getting better with abstinence. There is a very pretty walk from the house through a deep, woody glen by a brook-side, that brings you out on the sea beach, and the garden and the shrubberies are most luxuriant. It is an inland place by the seaside.
At Chillingham it is wilder and more mountainous, and the wild cattle, as white as snow, in herds at a distance, add to the wildness. I paid them a visit on a pony, but they would not let us approach them. What will become of me, when I leave York, I cannot say. I have certainly a great desire to see Liverpool and the railroad, as you have done, and I have little chance of coming this way again, but I am very anxious to get homeward, as I feel queerish, and should not like to be ill from home. Nothing would delight me more than to join you at Stourbridge, if you remained there, but I fear, indeed I know, I cannot well contrive it. Farewell, my dear Sarah—I have talked too much about myself, and you must be well tired of me. My love to all. I have never thanked young Tom for his landscape, or, rather, his seascape. Pray thank him for me, I think it wonderful, and if I had done it I should have been as vain as possible.

‘Ever yours,
‘S. R.

‘Pray direct to me under cover to the Earl of Carlisle, Castle Howard, York.’

The tour lasted another month, and it was the twentieth of November when Rogers got back. He had meanwhile sent to Lord Grey the lines beginning—
Grey, thou hast served, and well, the sacred cause
That Hampden, Sydney, died for. Thou hast stood
Scorning all thought of Self, from first to last
Among the foremost in that glorious field.
They are headed, ‘
Written in July, 1834.’ Their significance is in the date. Lord Grey had believed it to be his duty to propose a Coercion Bill for Ireland, which Mr. Littleton, the Irish Secretary, regarded as inexpedient and needless. Lord Althorp resigned, and the Whig Government fell to pieces. On the eighth of July Lord Grey resigned, on the ninth he communicated his resignation to the House of Lords. It was a scene almost without its parallel. The old Minister, then in his seventy-first year, full of the conviction that his great political career was closing, was overpowered by his feelings. He rose, began a few words, and sat down. He rose again and sank back. The House cheered, the Duke of Wellington presented some petitions, which gave him a few moments to recover himself, and then he rose a third time, and made a speech which everybody felt to be worthy of his great and honourable career. It was not till October that Rogers sent his lines to Howick, whither he soon followed them, and spent a fortnight in the delightful retirement in which the great Reform Minister was enjoying his well-earned repose. He got back to London during the curious interval which preceded the formation of Sir Robert Peel’s Ministry, and his letters give us important glimpses of the political talk in the Whig circles of the time.

Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp.

‘My dear Friend,—I returned last night and felt a pain and a pleasure, for I discovered two letters, which had never been sent me, and would have been the most
welcome of them all. I rejoice to think that your anxieties are over for the young lady. Give my love to her, and tell her she must not do so again. As for you, I hope you mean to have no return of your complaint. Last week the frost came and now it is gone again.

‘I sent my election-paper to Mrs. Philips, and it will command as many votes as there are vacancies—ten or twelve, I believe. Your criticisms are all right, I should say so, for I had done in every respect as you suggest, in the copy I sent to Howick. The last line but one I felt to be weak, and tried to lift it a little. I sent the lines in October, and it stood thus—
‘That generous fervour and pure eloquence,
Thine from thy birth and Nature’s noblest gifts,
To guard what they have gained.
Good or bad, they were taken in good part; indeed, far beyond my expectations.

‘I spent a month at Dunmore, three days at Jeffrey’s, slept one night in Edinburgh at John Murray’s, three days at Dalmeny, Lord Rosebery’s, three at Lord Tankerville’s, fourteen at Howick, ten at Castle Howard, one at Galley Knight’s, three at the Archbishop of York’s, one at Sir C. Monck’s, three at Lord Durham’s, three at Trentham, five at Lord Harrowby’s, and here I am. I made a day’s excursion from Castle Howard to see Duncombe Park, or, rather, the Riveaux Abbey there, and was richly rewarded. When at G. Knight’s I renewed my acquaintance with Roche Abbey; but altogether Bolton Abbey and its surroundings are worth them all.


‘What a strange hubbub there is just now! The ex-Ministers come in shoals to Brooke’s, and are hand and glove with everybody, all but Brougham, who has gone nowhere, not even to Holland House. “The Times” and “Courier” have run into him cruelly, as you must have seen, and, by dwelling on the sore places, have damaged him sadly. It seems the general opinion that his antics offended the K. highly, and among other things, his taking the seals into Scotland without asking leave. To the dinner and the savans at Edinburgh I did not go. The Hollands learnt first of the change from that article in “The Times,” and thought it a quiz. Spring Rice was told he was out by somebody in the street. Brougham, I hear, goes to Paris on Monday. His last gift was of a Canonry at Norwich to Sedgwick. He filled up twelve livings the last day. Nothing to Malthus. A very pretty living near Hertford fell to Lord Holland in October, and he offered it to M., but he must have given up the college and he declined it.

‘The British Museum have declined to buy Mackintosh’s papers. M., junr., was with me yesterday, and talks of publishing in the spring. He wants Lawrence’s portrait engraved, but I think I like yours by Opie better. A patent place of 600l. per annum fell to Spring Rice in October, and he wished to give it to him, but nobody knew where he was, so it was given to somebody else.

‘Farewell, my dear friend. I fear I am writing illegibly, but I write against time. Le Marchant is going to marry Miss Smith, a grand-daughter of Drummond Smith, of Tring Park, with 18,000l.


‘The household have behaved nobly—Lord Errol, Lord Falkland, Lord Elphinstone, Lord Torrington, &c.

‘Ever yours,
Saml. Rogers.
‘St. James’s Place: 21st Nov., 1834.’
Richard Sharp to Samuel Rogers.
‘Torquay: 26th Nov., 1834.

‘My dear Friend,—Not hearing from you I began to be afraid that you had been detained at some friend’s house in the North by indisposition. Your letter, therefore, was particularly welcome to me on many accounts. What a remarkable tour you have had! At all times it must be very delightful to spend some time with such excellent and distinguished persons, but just now it must be exciting in the highest degree, and your Conservative visits must have varied your course of conversation instructively.

‘I thank you for your unexpected aid to Mrs. Philips, whom I had prepared to expect that you would be engaged.1

‘Only one word more as to the verses. Pure eloquence will always be somewhat weak. His was rather lofty and noble both in thought and manner.

‘Your last pages were a budget of news indeed, from town, and contained several striking facts, which I had not learnt from Lord Denman, Gurney, or LdAbing1. From the latter I have three long confidential letters,

1 Sharp had written to ask for his votes for a child at the election for the Orphan Working School.

which, of course, I cannot quote, but I shall be glad if, in the struggle, he obtains what at his age is very important—security and station for the latter end of life.

‘I suppose it never happened before that one Cabinet Minister first hears of his dismissal from a newspaper and another from a man in the street. To me it seems to be quite clear that it has long been settled at Court to get rid of our friends as soon as Lord Spencer died. What a treacherous fellow he must be if this be true!

‘The Tories have the King, the House of Lords, the Clergy, nearly all the officers of Navy and Army, the majority of the landowners, and of the opulent commercial classes. This I firmly believe, but I believe also that these will be far from enough to support them in their struggle against the middle ranks and the Dissenters demanding reform in Church and State. Only think of Ireland too, which will send nearly a hundred Radicals or exasperated Whigs. That shameful Church must go.

‘How lucky our friend Macaulay has been! I am vexed that Robert Mackintosh had not prudence enough to leave his address in town. He lost a commission last year in the same way.

‘I could not help smiling at your account of the reappearances at Brooks’s, where, to say the truth, Ministers could not come without being exposed to indiscretion and some impertinence, but then they had other means of showing that they did not forget their old friends.

‘Next to being purse-proud is being office-proud. The Comet Brougham is gone to Paris. Why? But
how can the orbit of such an eccentric planet be calculated? I hope the moon has had nothing to do with it. ‘My sister and
Maria insist upon being mentioned as wishing you all good things, as does

‘Yours ever truly,
Richard Sharp.’
Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp,
‘Holland House: 4th Dec., 1834.

‘My dear Friend,—The long and the short I believe to be this: The K. is by all parties thought to be very honest but very nervous. Now, there are only two men in whom he has much confidence. To them he looks up—in them only does he think there is safety; and having lost one, he resolved on the first occasion to call in the other, though well satisfied with Melbourne. If Lord G[rey] had remained in office, he would never, they say, have had recourse to the Duke.

‘So the Whig ministers may thank themselves for having taken Lord G. too readily at his word. The wish of his heart was to continue another year and to carry the two Church reforms, which he was confident he could have done.

‘The first half of my story I believe, the last half I know to be true.

‘If our friends Lord H[olland] and Lord L[ansdowne] had gone out with Lord G., which they ought to have done, H. would have brought Lord G. back, and we should now have been in office, or it would have brought in the Tories at once—a sad event, for they would then
have had more time for entrenching themselves before another session, and for working mischief abroad.

‘“Would you like a little more of the graphic? Six Ministers were assembled at dinner at H[olland] H[ouse], on the Friday night (the night of Lord M.’s return from Brighton), and dispersed, thinking themselves still in office. On that night, at half-past seven o’clock, Lord Palmerston called at the Treasury, and was shown in to Lord M., who had just alighted, and was sitting in his travelling cap, by two candles, in a large room, his room of business. “What news?” said P. “What will surprise you,” said M., and, saying no more, he put into his hand a paper, containing the result of what had passed.

‘What had passed was nothing like what it is said to be. It was very simple. The K. did not tell the Q. till the next day, when she said, “Ah! England will rejoice in it;” to which he answered, “That is as it may be, Madam.” (A favourite phrase with him.) Lord G. at Howick is astounded—he thinks the measure not only unconstitutional, but illegal—for the D., being dictator, might run away with all the money. Lord M. writes from Melbourne very naturally. “I was never so happy, but I suppose I shall soon be d—d tired for want of something to do, as all are who leave office.”

‘And now a word or two about Brougham. His vagaries in Scotland, for I followed in his wake, would fill a volume. His letter to Lord Lyndhurst and the answer I have seen. If you had any suspicions with regard to the moon before, what do you think now? Scarlett has also another competitor in Wetherall, for W. could not be Irish Chancellor and Scarlett could. I
earnestly wish that S. may have what he wants, and I am told he is sure of it—
Denman tells me so. In that case Wll. must have the Duchy of L[ancaster], for he neither could nor would go to Ireland.

‘To return to the K. He has long taken a great dislike to B., and his conduct lately has settled it. His antics and his taking the great seal across the Border without leave, brought on the crisis. He has worn him out, too, with correspondence, having assailed him with reams of paper, writing through Sir H. Taylor. He thinks he has great admissions in the K.’s answers through the same channel, but forgets that the K., also, has his. His, I am told by those who have seen them, are beyond anything. But why, you will say, did the K. write (or rather dictate)? He thought he must answer his Chancellor. All now is over, however, and I believe all are heartily sick of him. He wrote a second letter to Lord L. from Calais, still more urgent, and he has written a third retracting all. He has taken, I hear, his seat in the Institute.

‘I am delighted to think that you are so well off as to society. The weather here is delightful. What then must it be with you! Remember me most kindly to the ladies.

‘Ever yours,
‘S. R.

B. has taken his new secretary with him to Paris—a dull young man, able only to transcribe; his fellow-traveller in Scotland, Edmonds.

‘Pray write to me, without any thought or scruple
as to postage. The utmost cannot amount to the price of one opera. But having bored you with this long epistle, I shall spare you in future. My lady removes to Burlington Street to-morrow.

‘And now to conclude with what I ought to have begun with—your new volume—which I first saw in Jeffrey’s hand—notice-copy. I cannot say how much I like the nine new articles, though I wish you had given a little more of a Continental tour, particularly in Switzerland; but your additions are invaluable.

Hallam is in town, and Sydney [Smith], and Whishaw. When you like you shall meet them at breakfast. H. is but a step, you know.

Lord M. communicated the news only to three persons over night—the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Chancellor. Next morning it was in the “Times,” and “Chronicle.” Who sent it? The two first say, we did not. The mischievous article was sent by him, I suppose, as a poisonous present to “The Times,” “the Queen has done it all.” These things must destroy all confidence. Allen fights for him against all the world.’