LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter IV. 1838-41.

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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Rogers an Old Man—His active Habits—Carlyle on Rogers—Rogers’s Criticism of Emerson—Mr. F. Goodall’s Recollections of Rogers—Ticknor’s Visits to St. James’s Place—Sir H. Taylor, Miss Jervis, and the Duke—Letter from Ticknor—Rogers at Broadstairs—Appeals to Lord Melbourne and Lord Holland for Cary—Charles Sumner on Rogers—Miss Edgeworth—Lord Wellesley—Archbishop Trench—Daniel Webster—Mrs. Butler—Sydney Smith—Blanco White—Charles Dickens—Haydon—W. H. Prescott—Daniel Webster’s Letters—Ticknor’s Letters—Charles Mackay—Macready—Crabb Robinson—Letter from Dickens—Death of Lord Holland—Moore and Rogers at Bowood—Macready’s ‘Reminiscences’—Rogers in Paris—E. Quillinan on Sir T. More’s House—Rogers and Macaulay at Bowood—Rogers and Mrs. Butler.

Rogers had now become an old man, and it is not the least remarkable thing in his long life that his old age was one of its busiest and most useful periods. He was seventy-five on the 30th of July, 1838, and active as he was, he had so much appearance of age that nobody guessed him a moment younger. Yet at that time he had nearly eighteen years and a half to live; twelve of them busy years—years full of an old man’s enjoyments—
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends.
It was the ‘old age serene and bright,’ which his friend
Wordsworth anticipated for the young lady who had
been reproached for taking long walks in the country. He already, in 1838, spoke of himself as at the end of his course, and though he told
Moore he really could not say that he had any ailment, he was frail-looking rather than strong. He used the flesh brush as old Richard Cumberland had taught him; and kept up, as far as possible, his active habits. ‘Rogers and I,’ says Moore, ‘do not trouble chairs much.’ He walked a good deal, and was not afraid of a flight of steps. For years it was remarked of him that he was to be seen walking home late at night from evening parties, looking so old and frail that nobody wondered when his active career was finally closed by his being knocked down in the street. In November, 1838, he was in Paris, and had chosen a lodging at the top of a flight of a hundred and twenty stairs. Moore puts this on record as characteristic of Rogers, whose system was, in Moore’s words, ‘to keep the physique for ever in play; if ever you once give it up, he thinks it is all over.’ The plan answered for thirteen years longer.

So it came to pass that for twenty years at least of his active life in London society, people spoke of Rogers as an old man. Carlyle always calls him ‘old Rogers.’ Writing to Emerson in June, 1838, to tell him of the reception his ‘Orations’ had met with in England, he says, ‘Old Rogers, a grim old dilettante, full of sardonic sense, was heard to say, “It is German poetry, given out in American prose.”’ In another letter he speaks of ‘old Rogers with his pale head, white, bare, and cold as snow,’ and tells Emerson he ‘will work on you with those large blue eyes, cruel, sorrowful, and that sardonic
shelf chin.’ It is a caricature, yet with a certain life-like look which makes it worth quoting. The “sardonic chin” may be compared with the description a friend of
Cyrus Redding’s gave of Rogers as having ‘an epigrammatic mouth—a mouth characterised by a contractile quality; the power of a sort of pincer’s squeeze lurks about it.’ Yet there was a charm in his manner when he was in genial mood which all his visitors confess. He was ‘cold as snow’ to unsympathising people, and would naturally seem so to Carlyle, who was his opposite in every respect. But there are many men now living who knew Rogers well, whose testimony is that he was all kindness and geniality whenever they saw him. Mr. Frederick Goodall, R.A., has lately given to an interviewer some of his reminiscences. He says of Rogers—

‘One of the most fascinating men to me was old Samuel Rogers, the poet. When I was only sixteen he invited me to one of his famous breakfasts. My father was then engraving the plates for Rogers’s “Italy,”1 and the poet, having seen some of my early work, had asked my father to bring me. I can see it all now: the famous old man coming forward, and taking me by both hands, and his kindly words, “You are at the beginning of the race, my lad, and I am at the end of the course!” And I remember him turning to his butler, who used to show the collection of pictures to visitors, and saying, “Let this young gentleman have the run of the house;

1 This is a slip of memory on Mr. Goodall’s part. The plates had been engraved and the Italy published eight years before this, which must have been in 1838.

let him see the pictures whenever he likes.” After that first visit, which made a great impression on me, I used to be often invited to his breakfasts, and dear old Samuel Rogers remained my very good friend to the day of his death.’

There are three contemporary accounts of him in this year, 1838: one by George Ticknor, the American author, the next by Sir Henry Taylor, and the third by Charles Sumner, the American statesman. Ticknor writes in his Diary—

March 25th, 1838.—After we came home (from church), Senior came in, and was as lively, spirited, and active as ever, and full of projects for our convenience and pleasure. Rogers followed him, and talked, in his quiet way, about all sorts of things and people, showing, sometimes, a little sub-acid. It has always been said he will leave memoirs behind him. I hope he will, for who can write anything of the sort that would be so amusing?’

Two months later he says—

May 27th, 1838 (Sunday).—In the afternoon we had a very long and agreeable visit from Rogers, who showed great sensibility when speaking of his last visit to Scott, which he said he was obliged to shorten, in order to keep an appointment with other friends, and then added, as if the thought had just rushed upon him, and filled his eyes with tears, “and they, too, are dead.” It was some time before he could command himself enough to speak again.’


May 31st, 1838.—We breakfasted, by very especial invitation, with Rogers, in order to look over his pictures, curiosities, &c.; and, therefore, nobody was invited to meet us but Miss Rogers and the Milmans. We had a three hours’ visit of it, from ten till past one, and saw certainly a great amount of curious things; not only the pictures, but drawings, autographs, little antiques; in short, whatever should belong to such a piece of bijouterie and virtù as Rogers himself is. Nor was agreeable conversation wanting, for he is full of anecdotes of his sixty or seventy years’ experience. Among other things he told me that Crabbe was nearly ruined by grief and vexation at the conduct of his wife for above seven years, at the end of which time she proved to be insane.

June 3rd.—We began the day with a breakfast at Miss Rogers’s in her nice house on Regent’s Park, which is a sort of imitation—and not a bad one either—of her brother’s on St. James’s . . . she keeps autographs, curiosities, and objects of virtù, just like her brother. Best of all, she is kind and good humoured, and had invited very pleasant friends to meet us—Leslie, Babbage, Mackintosh, and her brother, who was extraordinarily agreeable and made us stay unreasonably late.’

Sir H. Taylor, writing to Miss Fenwick on the 3rd of August, 1838, says—

‘I have been . . . at two very small evening parties at Rogers’s—only about fifteen persons. He is much oldened these last six months, having been very ill in the winter, and he has no longer the same vivacity of
look that he had, nor the same appearance of vigour. He talked very little, and was almost entirely occupied with the singing of his pet,
Miss Jervis. But it was perhaps more interesting to see him with her, and her ways with him, than it would have been to hear him talk. To all appearance she is a gay, wild, vivacious girl, who cares for nobody and gives full scope to that unmodified naturalness of manner which, in society, amounts to a very considerable degree of eccentricity. This makes some people say that she is half mad, and others that she is as bold as a lion. But Miss Montague, who has seen a good deal of her, tells me that she finds her very rational, and Rogers assures me that she is in reality extremely timid. . . . When she sat down to sing I thought there could not be a more formidable thing for a girl of three or four and twenty to undertake—a small room, and a small audience, and a dead silence; the Duke planted before the piano, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Aberdeen, and others, the gravest of men and statesmen, stopped short in their conversations; and old Rogers, well known to be at all times in agonies of anxiety as to everything going off well in his house. One might have been in a little agony oneself for her if her face did not put one at ease. But she began without a shade of anxiety for herself, sang the first verse of her song and then looked brightly over to the Duke and said, “Do you like that?” and afterwards, when someone made her sing a song which she did not like herself, she seemed to have no difficulty in doing it, only saying, “Now, Duke, you had better talk whilst I am singing this.”’1

1 Correspondence of Sir Henry Taylor, p. 92.


Mr. Sumner, in writing to his friend George Hilliard, in December says: ‘A friend told me yesterday what Rogers said the other day to him: “The Americans I have seen have generally been very agreeable and accomplished men, but there is too much of them; they take up too much of our time.” This was delivered with the greatest gentleness.’1

This was Rogers’s own experience for thirty years. Every prominent American went to his house, was kindly entertained, and went home to praise him and to give introductions to him to his friends. There are piles of letters from such persons, many of them full of the warmest expressions of gratitude and admiration. But his youthful recollections of the struggle for American independence, of his father’s good wishes for its success, of Dr. Priestley’s going forth from Rogers’s own house to his American exile, of other friends who had found refuge on American soil, made Rogers more than usually friendly to Americans who came to see him. He was, moreover, gratified to find that the admiration for his poetry which they uniformly expressed, existed and continued among a nation who, as he believed, stood in a relation to us such as that of posterity. Sumner continues (he is writing from the Athenæum)—

Bulwer was here a few moments ago in his flash falsetto dress, with high heel boots, a white great coat, and a flaming blue cravat. How different from Rogers, who is sitting near me reading the “North American,” or Hallam, who is lolling in an easy chair.2 . . .

Lady Morgan . . . had particularly invited me to

1 Sumner’s Life , vol. ii., p. 21.2 Ibid., p. 23,

her party on this evening—“Promise me that you will come on Sunday night and I will have all the literary characters of London. I will trot them all out for your benefit.” Accordingly, there were
Sam Rogers—just returned with renewed youth from Paris—Kenyon, Hayward, Courtenay (the M.P. and great London epicure), and his beautiful daughter, West-Young, the retired actor, Young (Ubiquity), Mr. and Mrs. Yates, Quin, and Mrs. Shelley.’

Mr. Ticknor writes—

George Ticknor to Samuel Rogers.
‘Boston (U.S.A.): 20th Nov., 1838.

‘My dear Sir,—You have always taken a kind notice of American literature, and this induces me to send you a dramatic poem by Miss Park; a lady something more than thirty years old, who lives at Worcester, about forty miles from us. I have not the honour to know her personally; but whatever I have heard is singularly creditable to her, so that I think you will not on any account be sorry to add her little poem to your collection of American books. I pray you, therefore, to accept it. At any rate, if it serves for nothing else, it may serve to remind you of your kindness to Mrs. Ticknor and myself, and, on our part, may be a little token to you that we are grateful for it, and shall always remember it.

‘We arrived at home very safely last July, and I cannot tell you how much we have been struck with the progress everything made during our three years’ absence. Nothing, perhaps, is advanced and advancing so much
as education—or, rather, I ought to say as the demand for it; for the demand of the publick is much in advance of its present condition. In New England, especially, great efforts are making. We have, too, some fruits to show.
Bowditch, the mathematician, Prescott, the author of “Ferdinand and Isabella,” Norton, who has just published a book of much beauty and learning “On the Genuineness of the Gospels,” Channing, and perhaps one or two more, all from this little town, have printed recently what will not soon be forgotten. You will be pleased to hear that Prescott’s “Ferdinand and Isabella,” first published last January, is already going through the fifth edition, and that Dr. Channing is preparing a book containing his views of Society and Government. This last I shall take the liberty to send you as soon as it appears, remembering what you said to me of its author.

‘We are sorry for the troubles in Canada. Nobody, but a few adventurers, chiefly foreigners, wishes to assist the insurgents; and nobody wishes to have the Canadas added to the United States, least of all those who, for private adventure, would create disturbances there. But we all think your own possession of it must hereafter be an unhappy one, dependent merely on the military force you shall keep there. Wounds of deadliest hate have pierced too deep into the different races and factions there, to permit the hope of a true reconcilement. Nor can I see anything in the future prospects of the Canadians but contests, troubles, and suffering, whether united to England or separated from it. Their disease is within themselves.


‘But I did not think to write you a letter, nor do I look for an answer to it. I only wished to send you the little volume that accompanies it, and thank you for the kindness you showed Mrs. Ticknor and myself when we were in England. Please to remember us to Miss Rogers, with our thanks to her also,

‘Very faithfully yours,
George Ticknor.

‘If I can be useful to you or to any of your friends, you can always command whatever I can do, by sending to me through Baring Brothers & Co., my London bankers.

‘G. T.’

A domestic letter gives an account of himself.

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Broadstairs: 11th Sept., 1838.

‘My dear Sarah,—I left home on Saturday and making the usual stages arrived here yesterday and am now as quietly established with Maltby, in the old room, as if we had never left it. Your letter I received as I drove from the door, the postman throwing it in at the carriage window, and I rejoice to think you have done so well, wet and cold as the weather has been. From Cashiobury I went with a little interval to Holland House where I caught a cruel cold, which is not gone and has so dismayed me that I have given up everything beyond Paris. William thinks of coming here for a few days before I go, but has not yet decided between Paris and Liverpool. I think he will go to Liverpool. Lady Cork
dined at Holland House on the 27th, and on September 5 with me, and on Friday I had a family party of Sharpes, Towgoods and Miss Slater. . . . So
Mrs. Charles Kemble is dead and Mrs. Sturch. My present scheme is to set off for Paris in about a fortnight, and a letter afterwards to the P. O. will find me there. The Websters have been staying in Lady Mary’s apartments in Windsor Castle. The Hollands set off on the 5th as you say; Sir Stephen and Allen with them in the first carriage. Travelling post, they slept at Rochester and Canterbury, and a Government packet, price twenty-five guineas, met them at Dover. Pray give my love to Margaret and tell her I have not forgot my promises.

‘Yours ever,
‘S. R.’

Rogers was at this time attempting to get a pension for Cary, the translator of Dante. He had called the attention of Wordsworth to the translation. Wordsworth admired it greatly, as Rogers did, and considered it a great national work. Wordsworth showed it to Coleridge, and Coleridge at once spoke of it in high terms in one of his lectures. But it was little known till attention was called to it by an article in ‘The Edinburgh Review,’ which was written by Foscolo with some assistance from Rogers and Mackintosh. Cary had been for some years assistant librarian at the British Museum, when, in 1837, the chief librarian, Mr. Baber, resigned. Rogers at once wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury urging that Cary should be appointed. The Archbishop in reply told Rogers that Cary had suffered from temporary alienation of mind, a fact which Rogers knew but had forgotten.
He at once agreed that Cary was not fit for the post, and hinted so to Cary himself, who was so deeply offended that he never forgave it. The appointment was given to
Panizzi, who had been introduced to Rogers by a letter from William Roscoe. Cary at once resigned, and his conduct caused some annoyance to Lord Holland and others. The Trustees of the Museum recommended him for a pension, and Rogers backed up the application by a letter to Lord Melbourne.

Samuel Rogers to Lord Melbourne.

‘Dear Lord Melbourne,—Pray forgive me for breaking in upon you when you must have so much to do. You have received a representation from the Trustees of the British Museum (Lord Aberdeen has just written to inform me of it) in favour of Mr. Cary, and I am sure you mean to do something. But at his age every month is a loss, and the time will come, for, I know enough of you to know it—when you will be sorry to have overlooked him. With his translation of Dante you cannot be unacquainted, and perhaps you have looked into his translation of Pindar.

‘Of his genius and his learning there can be no doubt. I can speak from long knowledge of his other merits—for long have I experienced his friendship, though for some time in poverty and in spleen he has withdrawn himself from me.

‘But perhaps you have done it already; and if so, I envy you.

‘Yours truly,
‘S. R.
‘15th August, 1838.’

For the present the appeal was ineffectual, and Lord Holland, having told Rogers of the feeling against Cary, Rogers replied—

‘My dear Lord Holland,—The more I reflect on it, the more I am convinced it could not be; for a gentler, meeker spirit does not exist than Cary’s. He may write with warmth under a wrong impression—he may turn, when he thinks himself trodden upon—but, if ever I knew a man, and I have known Cary in all weathers, he cannot be what you say he was thought to be—insolent. His case is a very cruel one. He laboured long in a subordinate place; and, when a vacancy occurred, an under servant was put over his head. The measure was perhaps a just one—I cannot say it was not—but the reason could not be explained to him, though it was a reason to create an interest in every generous mind, and he gave in his resignation.

‘Well, there he was—a man of great merit, great learning and genius—such the cruelty of his case that the Trustees of the Museum went out of their way, opposite as most of them were to him in political sentiments, and recommended him as a proper object of bounty to the government—yet nothing has been done!

‘Was the Pension List Committee averse to such pensions? Quite otherwise, as I am assured by Lord John Russell.

‘But he has written a sonnet. What had not Montgomery done, when Sir Robert Peel gave him what he did? If Dryden and Johnson were still alive and pouring forth toryism or bigotry, would not I serve them, if I
Cary has now withdrawn his friendship from me. He thinks I was his enemy in this matter, but that shall not make me less anxious to render him any service in my power. But power I have none.

‘Yours ever,
‘S. R.
‘Christmas Day, 1838.

‘He is now slaving for the booksellers.’

Nothing was done for a couple of years, and Rogers continued to plead. At length Lord Melbourne sent word there was a hundred a year to dispose of, and Cary should have it. That was after the defeat of Lord Melbourne’s government at the elections in 1841. Rogers sent word back that he would not mention such a sum to Cary but would wait and ask Sir Robert Peel for a larger amount. Lord Melbourne then said Cary should have 200l., and Cary told Rogers he was better pleased with it than with double the sum from Peel.

What Rogers was at this period of the very ripeness of his fame and of his social influence is shown in the Diary and Letters of Charles Sumner, who spent this winter in London. He writes in his Diary—

January 16th, 1839.—This London is socially a bewitching place. Last evening I first dined with Booth, a Chancery barrister; then went to Rogers’s, where was a small party: Mrs. Marcet, Mrs. Austin, Miss Martineau, Mr. and Mrs. Lyell, Mr. and Mrs. Wedgewood, Harness, and Milman. We talked and drank tea, and looked at the beautiful pictures, the original editions of Milton and
Spenser, and listened to the old man eloquent (I say eloquent indeed), and so the time passed.’

He writes to his correspondent G. S. Hilliard on the 23rd of January—

‘I believe I have often written you about Rogers. Of course, I have seen him frequently in society, never did I like him till I enjoyed his kindness at breakfast. As a converser Rogers is unique. The world, or report, has not given him credit enough for his great and peculiar powers in this line. He is terse, epigrammatic, dry, infinitely to the point, full of wisdom, of sarcasm, and cold humour. He says the most ill-natured things, and does the best. He came up to me at Miss Martineau’s, where there was a little party of very clever people, and said, “Mr. Sumner, it is a great piece of benevolence in you to come here.” Determined not to be drawn into a slur upon my host, I replied: “Yes, Mr. Rogers, of benevolence to myself.” As we were coming away, Rogers, Harness, Babbage, and myself were walking together down the narrow street in which Miss M. lives, when the poet said, “Who but the Martineau could have drawn us into such a hole?” And yet I doubt not he has a sincere liking for Miss M., for I have met her at his house, and he afterwards spoke of her with the greatest kindness. His various sayings that are reported about town, and his conversation as I caught it at evening parties, had impressed me with a great admiration of his powers, but with a positive dislike. I love frankness and truth. But his society at breakfast has almost

1 Life of Sumner, vol. ii., p. 41.

obliterated my first impressions. We were alone, and he showed all those wonderful paintings, and we talked till far into the afternoon. I have seldom enjoyed myself more; it was a luxury, in such rooms, to listen to such a man, before whom the society of the last quarter of a century had all passed—he alone unchanged; to talk, with such a poet, of poetry and poets, of
Wordsworth, and Southey, and Scott; and to hear his opinions, which were given with a childlike simplicity and frankness. I must confess his great kindness to me. He asked my acceptance of the new edition of his poems, and said, “I shall be happy to see any friend of yours, morning, noon, or night;” and all his kindness was purely volunteer, for my acquaintance with him grew from simply meeting him in society. He inquired after Mrs. Newton with most friendly interest, and showed me a little present he had received from her, which he seemed to prize much. I shall write to her to let her know the good friends she has left behind. Rogers is a friend of Wordsworth, but thinks he has written too much, and without sufficient limæ labor. He says it takes him ten times as long to write a sentence of prose as it does Wordsworth one of poetry; and in illustration, he showed me a thought in Wordsworth’s last work—dedicated to Rogers—on the saying of the monk who had sat before the beautiful pictures so long, and seen so many changes, that he felt tempted to say, “We are the shadows, and they the substance.”1 This same story you will find in a note to the “Italy.” Rogers wrote his note ten times over before he was

1 Yarrow Revisited, and other Poems, 1835.

satisfied with it; Wordsworth’s verse was published almost as it first left his pen. Look at the two.’

A few letters and notices which may be strung together in chronological order keep Rogers in sight through another year. The first is a pathetic note from an old friend who died eight days after it was written—

The Dowager Duchess of Sutherland to Samuel Rogers.
‘Monday, 21st [Jan.], 1839.

‘My dear Mr. Rogers,—I must at last submit to the mortification of sending my excuse to you for to-day, which I have too long delayed, and to which I looked forward with the pleasure anticipated by a long confinement; but since I saw you, I have been quite confined by an unaccountable sickness and fits of nausea, that come on incessantly, and plague both Sir H. H. and myself, as he will tell you. I do not know what my disorder is—I know I may as well die of that as of anything else, but I still hope to have the pleasure of seeing you first.

‘Ever most truly yours,
E. Sutherland.’

Here is a glimpse of an interesting person who was in London in the winter. It is in reference to a question which had arisen in conversation.

Samuel Rogers to Miss Edgeworth.

‘My dear Miss Edgeworth,—Not relying on myself, I have put the question, as far as I could, to the London
world; and the votes are one and all, as you knew they would be, for
‘Did the bell ring?

‘Are you to learn of us, you who have taught us all how to speak and how to write? And are we never to. see you here again? If you don’t come soon I shall not be to be found; but wherever I am, in this world or another, I hope I shall never forget your kindness.

‘Your affectionate Friend,
S. Rogers.
‘2nd March, 1839.’

Sir Henry Taylor writes on the 9th of April—

‘Dined with Rogers; the company were Colonel and Lady Mary Fox, Mr. and Madame Van de Weyer, Mr. and Mrs. Brinsley Sheridan, Lady Seymour, Mrs. Norton, Mons. Rio, Charles Sheridan the elder, and Edmund Phipps. The dinner was very agreeable to me, and I thought that Mrs. Brinsley Sheridan was very pretty.’

An interesting letter from Lord Wellesley may be fitly introduced by a remark made by Rogers about him, which is reported by Lord Stanhope in his ‘Notes of Conversations with the Duke of Wellington.’

Friday, March 15th, 1839.—Macaulay, Hallam, Gurwood and Rogers came to breakfast with me. India being mentioned, “I think,” said Rogers, “that the most remarkable contrast that history affords, is between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Wellesley, the one scorning all display, the other living for nothing else.” “Yes,”
said Macaulay; “no two brothers, to be eminent men, were ever so unlike.”’

Lord Wellesley to Samuel Rogers.
‘Kingston House: 20th April, 1839—Saturday.

‘My dear Mr. Rogers,—Your very handsome present has delighted me, and demands my warmest gratitude. The book is magnificent, and quite suitable to the value of its contents.

‘I sought immediately my old and highly prized friend, “The Pleasures of Memory,” which I have read over more than three times, with increased admiration. I should like to hear what your opinion is of the famous passage in Dante
—‘Nessun maggior dolore
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.—

Milton has the same idea—
‘For now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him.

‘This would seem inconsistent with the notion of pleasure in the recollection of past happiness; Goldsmith too—
‘To our past joys recurring ever,
And cheating us with present pain.

‘Not so T. Moore
‘The memory of the past shall stay,
And all our joys renew.


Dante hints that there is some such sentiment in Virgil
‘e ciò sa il tuo Dottore.

‘But I do not remember any passage in Virgil of that description, although several where the recollection of past pain is described as a pleasure—
‘Hæc olim meminisse juvabit.

‘I shall read the other poems in the book with great attention, and I have no doubt with the same admiration as that with which I am more particularly acquainted.

‘Believe me always, my dear Sir, with sincere regards and esteem, your faithful and obliged servant,


Archbishop Trench writes—

‘The poet Wordsworth is in town. I met him at breakfast this morning at Rogers’s, who was very kind and cordial, speaking with real feeling and admiration of my mother. “Philip van Artevelde” was present, and I liked him better than when I met him on a former occasion.’

Daniel Webster was in London in the spring, and, with his wife, was a frequent visitor at Rogers’s house. Crabb Robinson, who met them at Kenyon’s in June, says that he had an air of imperial strength, such as Cæsar might have had, and that his wife also had a dignified appearance. Mr. and Mrs. Ticknor alone resembled them in this particular. Moore records his
meeting with Webster at
Miss Rogers’s. Another American, Miss Katharine Sedgwick, came too, with an introduction from Fanny Kemble (Mrs. Butler), who had known Rogers from her childhood, as the intimate friend of her father and her aunt. Her letter has an interest of its own.

Mrs. Butler to Samuel Rogers.
‘New York: Tuesday, 30th April [1839].

‘My dear Sir,—I have a great favour to request of you, and hope that you will not pronounce me a very impertinent person for so doing. A very interesting and excellent woman, an especial friend of mine, Miss Katharine Sedgwick, is about visiting England with her brother, who is travelling to recover entirely from the effects of a paralytic stroke, from which he is already partially restored. Her name may possibly be known to you, as her books have been both republished and reviewed in England; at any rate, she is a very dear friend of mine, and upon that ground I venture to recommend her to your kindness. The celebrity of American writers has but a faint echo generally on your side of the water, but her writings, which are chiefly addressed to the young and the poor of her own country, are very excellent in their spirit and execution, and she is altogether a person whom even you might be well pleased to know, rare for her goodness, and with talents of no common order. Pray, my dear Sir, if it is not asking too much of you, extend some courtesy to my friend. I have indeed but little claim upon you to justify such a petition, but the request, I think, recom-
mends itself, for it is a good work to bestow kindness on those who need it; and who do need it so much as forlorn sojourners in foreign lands? Although you say most cruel things (as I remember), you do, I know, many most kind ones, and I feel, therefore, the more courage in addressing this prayer to you. I do not know that you take sufficient interest in me to care much for any particular information about my proceedings, and having done my errand, I will cease troubling you, with merely the observation that I understand you express an opinion that I am in love with the idea of my husband, to which I can only say that you are perfectly right, for five years of the intimate intercourse of reality have yet left me in love with the idea of my
husband, and in that respect, I believe, I have the advantage over not a few married women.

‘I am, my dear Sir, yours very truly,
Fanny Butler.’

Those who care to compare two reports of a conversation with the Duke of Wellington will find on pages 199 and 201 of Rogers’sRecollections’ an account of Wellington seeing Soult, and Soult afterwards seeing the Duke. Lord Stanhope says (Conversations, &c., page 143), Rogers was told this at a dinner at his house in Grosvenor Place on the 2nd of June, 1839, when the party to meet the Duke ‘consisted of Lady Frederick Bentinck, Mdlle. D’Este, my sister, Lord Clare, Lord Alford, and Mr. Rogers.’

Sydney Smith had published in the spring his ‘Contributions to ‘The Edinburgh Review,’ and the death of
Courtenay, in the summer of 1839, made him a comparatively rich man, and enabled him to take the house in Green Street, Grosvenor Square, in which he lived till his death in February 1845. He was eight years younger than Rogers, and died more than ten years before him. The relations between them were most affectionate. He joked Rogers as nobody else dared. ‘My dear Rogers,’ he said one day, ‘if we were both in America, we should be tarred and feathered, and lovely as we are by nature, I should be an ostrich and you an emu.’ He went with Moore and Rogers one day to see Dryden’s house. It was very wet, but Rogers, always enthusiastic about Dryden, got out of the carriage, but Moore and Smith refused. ‘Oh, you see why Rogers don’t mind getting out,’ exclaimed Sydney to Moore, ‘he has got goloshes on; lend us each a golosh, Rogers, and we will each stand on one leg and admire as long as you please.’ Responding to an invitation to breakfast, Sydney Smith writes, ‘To breakfast with you in return for your breakfasting with me, is to give you a shilling for a guinea, but if you are generous enough to accept such payment, I shall be most happy to make it.’

There can perhaps be no greater transition than from the merry and light-hearted Sydney Smith to the unfortunate, and in some respects unhappy, Blanco White. Readers of Mr. Thom’s biography of him will, however, recognise him as one of the most remarkable men of his time. He made some stir in London Society, and came frequently into contact with Rogers, who heartily sympathised with him, and showed him some kindness. The
only letter from Blanco White I find among Rogers’s papers is worth preserving.

The Rev. J. Blanco White to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Friend,—I owe a debt of gratitude to you; and I know that you will not grudge me the pleasure of acknowledging it, though it must be by troubling you with a letter.

‘If you knew how great is my love to that son of my misfortunes, to whom you have shown so much kindness and friendship, you would also know how to value the sincerity of my gratitude to you. Never was, I believe, a more surprising combination of adversity and success than appears in our mutual relations. Heaven has rewarded me for whatever I may have done or suffered in performing my duties. That Ferdinand White has been found not unworthy of your attention is indeed a very delightful part of that reward.

‘I must tell you that during the most afflicting period of the miserable disease which makes me linger so long on the brink of the grave, I have found a constant source of relief to my mind and feelings in your inimitable “Italy.” I have read it twice over, when my tortured mind rejected every other reading except Shakspeare. Happy the man who, by transfusing his soul into that work, has imparted to it a spirit of refined, benevolent humanity, which must secure it admirers as long as Nature and true taste shall exist among those who speak the English language.

Take this, my friend, as the language of the heart.
I am not in a state to flatter. Believe me, ever your obliged and affectionate friend,

J. Blanco White.
‘22 Upper Stanhope Street, Liverpool: 13th June, 1839.’

Crabb Robinson gives an example which came under his own notice of Rogers’s patronage of poor and deserving authors.

‘August 8th, 1839.—Breakfasted at Samuel Rogers’s with W. Maltby. There came in a plain-looking man from the North, named Miller, of free opinions and deportment. He had risen by his talents; and Rogers told us his history. “He called on me lately,” said Rogers, “and reminded me that he had formerly sold me some baskets—his own work—and that on his showing me some of his poems I gave him three guineas. That money enabled him to get work from the booksellers, and he had since written historical romances, “Fair Rosamond,” “Lady Jane Grey,” etc.’

In the summer Rogers gives an account of himself to his sister.

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Holland House: 23rd August, 1839.

‘My dear Sarah,—. . . Last week I passed a night at the Castle at Richmond with the Hollands, and next day saw the Dunlops, and also Mrs. Fox, who was there on her way to a dentist in town. Miss Willoughby and Miss Marsden were with her, and she looked as well as she could do with a bad cold. I passed two nights
too at Walton with the
Tankervilles, and took a peep at Hampton Court. I have twice drawn upon Edmund and Mrs. Allen, once to dine Lady Holland and once the Carlisles, who have returned from Italy. Last night the Queen dined at Stafford House, and I went in the evening. Who should call one day between eleven and twelve, but Lady Essex and Miss J.! They are frightened at the distance of Bareges, which Dr. Chambers recommended, but mean to go somewhere next week, and have set their hearts upon meeting you at Paris. They have bought a very small britzka, too small they fear to carry anything, and with a maid and a courier mean to make their way. They have parted with every face in the house, and felt never so free and happy as when the last went out of it. Maltby went to-day to Broadstairs, having no alternative, his maid wishing to go to Scotland. I shall follow him in a week or so, when I have remained a little while here. Millingen and Wilkinson are still here, and I see them often. The other day I asked the Sharpes, and M., and W., and Eastlake, and Stanfield, and Maltby, and Dr. Lepsius to dinner at a venture, and they all came. Mary, and Patty, and Sarah, and Dan are gone to the sea near Liverpool, and wish the newspapers sent there. Farewell, my dear Sarah; give best remembrances to your fellow-traveller, and believe me to be ever yours affectionately,

S. Rogers.’

The first letter from Dickens 1 is in the following autumn.

1 I have to thank Miss Georgina Hogarth, Dickens’s sister-in-law, for her kind permission to publish the letters from Dickens which

Charles Dickens to Samuel Rogers.
‘Doughty Street: Thursday, 14th November [1839].

‘My dear Sir,—I was concerned to hear, at Holland House yesterday, that you had left there in consequence of not feeling very well. I hope it was but a temporary ailing, and that this will find you as well as I wish you—in which case you will not have felt better in all your life, believe me.

‘I intended to have asked you yesterday to let me send you a copy of “Nickleby.” Being prevented, I send it you now without permission, begging you to receive with it, my dear Sir, the warm assurance of my esteem and admiration.

‘Did you ever “move”? We have taken a house near the Regent’s Park, intending to occupy it between this and Christmas, and the consequent trials have already begun. There is an old proverb that three removes are as bad as a fire. I don’t know how that may be, but I know that one is worse.

‘Always believe me, my dear Sir, faithfully yours,

Charles Dickens.’

R. B. Haydon, who was painting a picture of the Duke of Wellington, says, towards the end of November—

Rogers called and was pleased with the Duke. He said it was the man. He said he wished I would paint Napoleon musing at St. Helena, not so fat as he really was; that that was the only thing Talleyrand and the

appear in this volume. Miss Hogarth correctly describes them as ‘charming and characteristic.’

Duchess De Dino objected to in my picture at Sir Robert Peel’s. I asked him what they thought of the picture. He said, most highly, but that the fatness always pained them, as they never saw him so. He said he saw him with Mr. Fox in 1802, and nothing could be handsomer than his smile. Rogers is a Whig; he lingers about Napoleon, and did not seem to think the Duke half so interesting. He told me I was a great poet, etc., and went away.’

Four letters from three eminent Americans, one of which introduces to Rogers a fourth, almost equally eminent, may here be grouped without regard to chronology. They all belong to the same year.

William H. Prescott to Samuel Rogers.
‘Boston: 27th Jan., 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—I yesterday received the copy of your poems, which you did me the honor to send me, for which I heartily thank you. They have been my study and delight, some of them, I may truly say, from boyhood, and to possess a copy of them from the author, in any form, would have been highly gratifying to me. How much more so is it in this magnificent edition, in which the text seems to derive additional beauty from that of the illustrations. It is a further pleasure for me to regard it—I hope not presumptuously—as an expression of your approbation of my own humble efforts in the field of letters.

‘Believe me, my dear Sir, with sentiments of the highest respect, your much obliged and obedient servant,

Wm. H. Prescott.’
Daniel Webster to Samuel Rogers.
‘Washington: 10th Feb., 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—If what Dr. Johnson says be true, I am somewhat “advanced in the dignity of a thinking being,” as the past and the distant at this moment predominate in my mind strongly over the present. From amidst the labors of law and the strife of politics, I transport myself to London. No sooner am I in London, than I go off to find you, to grasp your hand, to assure myself of your health, and then to sit down and hear you talk. I enjoy all this, my dear Sir, most highly, and mean to enjoy it, so long as you and myself remain on this little bit of a globe. The pleasure of your acquaintance is not, with me, the felicity of a few months only. I fund it, and intend to get a very nice annuity out of it, as long as I live. I shall be receiving a dividend whenever I think of you; and if I can persuade myself into the belief that you sometimes remember me and mine, the treasure will be so much the more valuable.

‘To that end, my dear Sir, as well as for other purposes for which one writes a friendly letter, I transmit you this. You will learn from it that we are all alive and safely landed on our side of the ocean. Our passage was of thirty-five days, with the alternations of head winds and calms; and an approach to the shore, a little dangerous, perhaps, from the season of the year and the state of the weather. But no accident happened to us. One of the greatest annoyances in such a voyage, at such a time of the year, is the shocking length of the
nights. They reminded me of the six months’ obscuration of the unhappy souls about the north pole. When you come over, look out for short nights and long days.

‘My wife is at New York, passing a few weeks with her father, an aged gentleman who has been a good deal out of health. Mrs. Paige is in Boston, entertaining the circles around her with the wonders of London and Paris. Julia is also in Boston, and if she knew I was writing, would be eager to put on to my sheet her warm recollections. You have many older admirers, but none more ardent or enthusiastic. If it were proposed to her to visit Europe again, the pleasure of seeing you, I am sure, would be a very powerful inducement.

‘Having visited Boston, I came hither a fortnight ago. Congress is in session, and will remain so, not probably quite so late as Parliament will sit, but until June or July. Our affairs are bad enough. The currency is terribly deranged, and the important and delicate questions which always belong to such a subject are sadly handled when they become topics for heated and violent parties. I see, too, that the money crisis is not over in England. Our concerns are, indeed, much connected, and the same causes affect them all.

‘I am coming to the opinion fast, that some new modes of regulation must be adopted in both countries; or else these frequent contractions and expansions of the paper circulation will compel us to give it up and go back to gold, or iron, or the Lord knows what. But I will not bore you with politics. Let me, rather, say that I have answered a hundred questions about you, made many persons happy by speaking of you, and that
I make it a point to boast, perpetually, of your kindness to us. I wish I had something to send you worthy of your perusal. If I should be so fortunate as to see anything shortly which I may think possesses that character, it will furnish me an apology for writing to you again. I pray you to present our kind and grateful remembrance to
Miss Rogers, whose attentions we shall never forget, and when at Holland House will you dome the honor to tender my best respects to Lord and Lady Holland?

‘I am, my dear Sir, with the most sincere attachment and regard,

Daniel Webster.
Daniel Webster to Samuel Rogers.
‘Washington: 25th May, 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—Some time in August I hope this letter will be put into your hand by my personal and particular friend, Mr. Everett. Twenty years ago Mr. Everett was in England, and made the acquaintance of Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Stowell, and others who have since joined the great congregation of the dead. He missed you, and he has therefore a great pleasure to come.

Mr. Everett is a scholar, if we may be thought to have reared one in America. For some years past he has been engaged in political life as a member of Congress and Governor of Massachusetts. He now goes abroad with the intention of passing some years in France and Italy. His family is with him, but he has
informed me that he thinks of leaving them in Paris, and of making a short visit to London, before he goes into winter quarters on the Continent. As he is my fast friend, I commend him to you, my dear
Mr. Rogers, as a sort of alter ego; but he is a much more learned, a more wise, and a better ego than he who writes this. Have the kindness to make him known at Holland House and also to Miss Rogers.

‘A thousand blessings attend you, my dear Sir. And many happy years yet be yours.

Daniel Webster.’
George Ticknor to Samuel Rogers.
‘Boston, U. States of America: 30th Dec., 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—I received last summer your very kind letter and the beautiful little copy of your poems that accompanied it; but I have since been chiefly in the country, and not in a position to answer it as I desired. The year, however, must not go out without carrying to you my very sincere acknowledgments. The copy of the “Italy” especially is very beautiful. I do not know that the art of engraving on wood can go further than it does in those woodcuts which, I suppose, were made for it expressly; most of the others being the same with those in the edition of your Poems of 1820, which I remember we thought quite a gem in its time. But I was very glad to get the two little vols. of 1839, which I had never heard of before, for another reason. I now have nearly all the editions of your works, including even the “Ode to Superstition, with some other Poems,” 1786, which I exceedingly value as a proof of what you could do in
your boyhood. I wonder whether you have so complete a series yourself? In particular, I wonder whether you have the American editions of them. If you have not, pray let me know it, and it will give me particular pleasure to send them to you.

‘After I wrote to you about the extraordinary story of what happened at Harrogate,1 I saw the magnificent quarto copy of your poems which my friend Prescott received, and immediately recognized the tale in its Italian mask. It has a particular value and meaning for me, and I was delighted at the grace with which it is told. But if such a story may be told gracefully, what may not? The little edition of ’39 also contains it, and so, I trust, will all that may follow.

‘I need not tell you, I suppose, that your works have a great circulation and success in this country. The octavo edition in particular, with its exquisite vignettes, is found in proportion, I think, oftener in Boston than it is in London—in proportion, I mean, to the population. Of the 12mo, I know no copy but the one you were kind enough to send me, and of the 4to none but Prescott’s. So they are much admired and stared at. They were not known to exist till these copies arrived, and even last week two intelligent booksellers denied the existence of the smaller one. Everybody, indeed, wants the octavo, and everybody who can afford it has it. But all this you must know substantially from your bookseller, who must be aware how many copies came to Boston.

Mrs. Ticknor and my young lady—now really

1 See the letter from Uvedale Price in the tenth chapter, vol. i., pp. 358, 359, ‘An English Ginevra.’

become such—desire to be most respectfully and affectionately remembered to you. We all recollect, with lively gratitude, your kindness to us in London.

‘Yours always very faithfully,
George Ticknor.

‘When you happen to see Mr. Milman, will you do me the favour to thank him for a copy of his poems, which I received with yours, and to say that I shall write to him soon?

‘One thing more. You will be pleased to hear that our excellent friend Professor Smyth’s first series of lectures—those on Modern History—are, at my suggestion, reprinting here, so as to be used as a text-book in our neighbouring University—Cambridge. This comes as near teaching posterity as a man can, and yet keep in this world. Do you remember the beautiful phrase of Tacitus about Germanicus—fruitur famâ. Well, if you or Professor Smyth will come to Boston, you can furnish a beautiful illustration of it. But I suppose you will rather trust the matter to the commentators than take the trouble in person.

‘G. T.’

In the spring and summer of 1840 there are the usual records of meetings with Rogers in Moore’s Diary, but only two are worth quoting.

February, 19th, 1840.—My first visit was to Rogers, whom I found remarkably well and full of kindness. Agreed with me that three men now looked up to by the people of England were the Duke, Lord John, and
Peel. Mentioned, à propos of this, what he had told me of the Duke saying to him last year, in speaking of the ministry, “Lord John is a host in himself.”’

‘26th.—Dined at Holland House. A good deal of talk about Erskine, and the particulars of his first brief, much of which, as now told by Rogers, was quite different from the account given me of it by Jekyll; but Rogers, it seems, took it all down from Erskine’s own lips. Came away with Rogers and went to Lady Minto’s—a large assembly.’

A veteran poet, who is still living, wrote thus forty-nine years ago, and the letter is as honourable to the writer as to the recipient of it.

Charles Mackay to Samuel Rogers.
‘14 Bazing Place, Lambeth: 15th Feb., 1840.

‘Sir,—Perhaps I have committed an error in dedicating the accompanying volume to you without your permission, but if error it be, the doubt only suggested itself to my mind when it was too late to be remedied. After all it requires no permission to be grateful, and in the simple feeling of admiration and gratitude, I have inscribed your name upon this attempt at poetry. You may not, perhaps, remember that five or six years ago, a nameless, friendless, hard-struggling stranger, alone in the wide world of London, upon whom the gaunt fiend of Distress was scowling at no very great distance, as a last resource before despairing altogether, enclosed a small volume of rhymes and sent it to you with a statement of his case. You gave him relief—that was some-
thing; you gave him sympathy, which was something more; and you gave him encouragement, which was dearest of all. You told him there was genius in him—you told him of some errors he should for the future avoid—you recommended
Spenser to his constant perusal, and predicted that on some day or other his own most intimate yearning would be satisfied, and that he would produce something which the world would not willingly let die. . . . He has not the vanity to say that he has succeeded yet, but he has tried for it, and if he has failed, has energy enough to try again and again, cheered even under failure, to find, like Coleridge, “that the love of poetry is its own exceeding great reward.”

‘The gratitude expressed in this dedication and repeated in my letter is not of that sort which the Frenchman alluded to, “A keen sense of favours to come.” Fortune, which did not aid my exertions when I addressed you first, has changed her mind since then, and has not withheld the rewards which are due to honest labour—so that you are to take this dedication purely as it is intended and as it is expressed, of admiration which I feel in common with all readers—and of gratitude for the one act of kindness which shed a light upon a very dreary period of my life.

‘Believe me to remain, ever with respect and esteem, yours very faithfully,

Charles Mackay.’

In Macready’s Reminiscences, under the date of May 24th, 1840, he writes: ‘Talfourd and Dickens called for me, and we went together to Rogers’s, where we dined. Lord and Lady Seymour, Mrs. Norton, Lady Dufferin,
Lord Denman, Luttrell, and Poole, with Miss Rogers, were of our party. I was pleased with the day, liking Mrs. Norton very much, and being much amused with some anecdotes of Rogers. His collection of pictures is admirable, and the spirit of good taste seems to pervade every nook of his house.’

It is needless to say what was Rogers’s response to the following letter.

Charles Dickens to Samuel Rogers.
‘Devonshire Terrace: Thursday, 13th August, 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—I have decided to publish “Master Humphrey’s Clock” in half-yearly volumes, each volume containing, of course, the collected numbers for that period. As the first of these will be out at the end of September, and I want to settle a point I have in my mind, let me ask a favour of you at once.

‘Have you any objection to my dedicating the book to you, and so having one page in it which will afford me earnest and lasting gratification? I will not tell you how many strong and cordial feelings move me to this inquiry, for I am unwilling to parade, even before you, the sincere and affectionate regard which I seek to gratify.

‘If I wrote a quire of notes, I could say no more than this. I must leave a great deal understood, and only say, with a most hearty adaptation of what has passed into a very heartless form, that I am always,

‘My dear Sir, faithfully yours,
Charles Dickens.’

The great event in Whig circles in the autumn of
1840 was the death of
Lord Holland, at Holland House, on the 22nd of October. He was ten years younger than Rogers, but he formed the chief of the few remaining links with the great men of their earlier days. As a Whig leader in the House of Lords, first in the days of Whig depression, and afterwards in the era of their triumphs, he had won a great position in popular esteem and was regarded as the fit inheritor of the traditions as of the name of Fox. This social influence, and that of the brilliant circle he and his wife gathered at Holland House, probably did more service to his party than even his action in the House of Lords. To the Whigs generally his death was a heavy blow at an untimely moment; but to Rogers it threatened the desolation of the circle in which he was himself an oracle. He and Moore were staying at Bowood when they heard of Lord Holland’s death, and Moore tells us how they received the news.

October 23rd.—While I was dressing this morning the maître d’hôtel came to my room with the distressing and startling intelligence that Lord Holland was dead! He had been sent by Lady Lansdowne to tell me, with a request that I would inform Mr. Rogers of the sad news. Went immediately to Rogers’s room, who was equally shocked with myself at the sad intelligence. Met all at breakfast. Lord Lansdowne showed me a letter from Dr. Holland, giving an account of all the particulars of his death, which took place after a short illness. My own opinion was that our party ought to separate, but I found to my surprise that both Lord and Lady Lansdowne’s wish was that we should stay. Having expressed
my opinion to Rogers, he thought right to mention it to Lady Lansdowne, but her earnest wish was that we should stay, and Rogers returned to me from her crying like a child. It is right to say, however, that both he and all felt (as who would not feel?) that a great light had gone out, and that not only the friends of such a man, but the whole community in general, had suffered an irreparable loss.’

Moore, another day, gives us a scrap of Rogers’s literary criticism.

‘31st October.—Rogers mentioned among other agree able things a curious parallel found in the “Odyssey” to the well-known story of the Indian chief at Niagara, who was lying asleep in his boat, just above the current of the Falls, when some wicked person cut the rope by which his boat was fastened to the shore, and he was carried down the cataract. The poor Indian, on waking up, had made every effort, by means of his paddle, to stop the career of the canoe, but, finding it to be all hopeless, and that he was hurrying to the edge, he took a draught out of his brandy flask, wrapped his mantle about him, and, seating himself composedly, thus went down the Falls. The parallel to this in Homer is when the companions of Ulysses, in spite of all his precautions, let loose the Bag of the Winds, and when, with the same dignified composure, Ulysses submits to his fate. The natural action of wrapping round the mantle is the same in both! Cowper thus translates the passage—

‘I then, awaking, in my noble mind,
Stood doubtful, whether from my vessel’s side
Immersed to perish in the flood, or calm
To endure my sorrows, and consent to live.
I calm endured them; but around my head
Winding my mantle, laid me down below.’

In November Rogers was visiting the Duke of Wellington at Strathfieldsaye, and Lord Stanhope, who joined the party on the 26th, found him there and Lord and Lady Wilton. Lord and Lady Lyndhurst and Miss Copley arrived on the next day, when Rogers left. They had been together to the churchyard in the morning to see an inscription, and Rogers repeated one, taken from another humble country churchyard, and dated, he thought, about 1678.
‘To woo us unto Heaven her life was lent;
To wean us from this earth her death was sent.’

Rogers remarked, Lord Stanhope tells us, that sometimes there were great flashes of humour in Sir Robert Peel’s conversation. At a meeting of the Trustees of the British Museum somebody said, about some expensive purchases by young Tomline, ‘What would his grandfather (the Bishop) say if he could now look up?’ Peel said slyly, ‘I observe you don’t say, look down!’ ‘Rogers told us with some irritation,’ says Lord Stanhope, ‘that yesterday, at dinner, Lady Wilton asked him whether he had ever known Lord Byron.’ The Rev. Gerald Wellesley, afterwards Dean of Windsor, who was present at the dinner, told Lord Stanhope that the question was asked by Lady Wilton in good faith, and ‘that the poet, apparently much annoyed, replied, “Known him—yes, I did know him—too well.”’


There are pleasant glimpses of Rogers in Macready’s Reminiscences. One day, in November, he calls at St. James’s Place with the plan of the monument to Mrs. Siddons, into which Rogers enters warmly, and tells Macready that on the occasion of her brother’s monument (though it was really on the occasion of the great dinner to John Kemble on his retirement) she said, ‘I hope, Mr. Rogers, that one day justice will be done to women.’ On the last day of January, 1841, Dickens calls for Macready, and they go together to Rogers’s to dine. Eastlake is there, and Colonel Fox, Kenney, Maltby, Babbage, and two others, and Macready says of it: ‘A pleasant day. Showed Rogers my Committee list, with which he was pleased.’ On the 22nd of March Rogers drops in to a meeting of the Siddons Committee, and then dines at Macready’s, with Mrs. Jameson, Mrs. Pierce Butler, Kenney, Dickens, Travers, and Harness. Lord Stanhope records meeting him at grand dinners at Apsley House in May and August.

In a letter to Napier, in which Macaulay suggests that if Southey dies Leigh Hunt might very well have the laurel, he asks him to move Rogers to write a short account of Lord Holland’s character for ‘The Edinburgh Review,’ and adds, ‘Nobody knew his house so well, and Rogers is no mean artist in prose.’ It is a calamity that Rogers did not do even more than this, for who could have given such an account of Holland House as he? But he was approaching the end of his seventy-eighth year when Macaulay expressed the wish. Socially, however, he was the same as ever; indeed, the universal testimony is that he improved with age. These letters,
written in the autumn of 1841, show wonderful vigour for a man in his seventy-ninth year.

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Dover: 10th Oct., 1841.

‘My dear Sarah,—What will you say when you hear that I have been over-persuaded by Maltby to cross the water. Indeed, the report was so strong that we were going, that we could not help ourselves. Last Thursday I left Broadstairs for Canterbury, M. having gone to receive permission from Mr. Travers, and returned from London yesterday. I breakfasted and drank tea with Q[uillinan] and Dora twice. She seems as happy as she can be. To-day we came here, and to-morrow embark. To-night we enjoy a coal fire for the last time. To-night the sea is smooth as glass, but to-morrow it may be mountain high. Lady Essex, &c., &c., were detained here some days. I hope you mean, if you can, to see our dear friends at Stourbridge.

‘Yours ever,
‘S. R.’
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.

‘My dear Sarah,—I am so glad your journey has answered in any degree; and your last visit cannot fail, for there you will be discharging a duty, and with those who will rejoice to see you. As for our adventure, perhaps a brief journal and a comment or two will give you the best idea of it.

‘October 7.—Canterbury. I drank tea with the Quillinans.


‘8th.—Breakfasted with them.

‘9th.—Slept at Dover; walked on the parade.

‘10th.—Embarked at 6, landed at Boulogne at 9.30; a pleasant voyage. After breakfast went and slept at Montreuil, after a walk on the ramparts.

‘11th.—Abbeville; Madame, at the Hôtel de l’Europe, asked tenderly after the ladies, you and Miss M. Saw by the book that Dr. Henderson was at Paris.


‘13th.—Chantilly; a sunset.

‘14th.—A fair at St. Denis; saw the Abbey and the tombs. Paris: old apartment at l’Hôtel de l’Europe. Dined and went to the Italian Opera; Maltby reposed at home. So far well. M. is delighted with everything, and desires me to tell you so. He was so afraid of climbing that I thought of an entresol, and now he is enchanted and thinks so little of the staircase, that he has once or twice gone a flight higher by mistake. We dine in the restaurants below and breakfast above. The Martineaus (Miss Batty) breakfasted once with us and are gone; Dr. Henderson more than once and twice. We have been to Versailles. The weather has been rainy, but always fair when we wanted it most. I have been much at the Louvre with Mr. Locke, and Maltby much with the booksellers. When I dine out, which has happened once or twice with the Lockes, M. dines at Very’s and talks with the French. Once we breakfasted with Mrs. Forster, and met the Tricquettis and Mrs. Jameson, who I suspect lodges and boards with Mrs. F., and Miss Courtenay, who was with her on a visit and is gone. Mrs. J. is for ever in the gallery, and evidently
for the Press. Who should I meet there twice but Miss Denman! She was with another lady, and is now gone. Sarah’s affair is, indeed, a great event, and must occupy poor Mary very much. I hope it will turn out well. M. and F. are indeed very unlucky. To be prisoners at Innspruck of all places in the world! Your visit to Quarry Bank must have affected you not a little. What a change there in a few years! Fanny Johnstone, I fear, does not lie in your way home. I calculate that you will be returned by the middle of November; our month here will expire on November 11, and perhaps we shall stay till then, for M., who came with the resolution to go in a week, seems now very willing to stay till he removes to the Père la Chaise. As for me, I have had nearly enough.
Lady Essex and Miss J. doze away their time. They have a premier at number 36 near us, and every other day one or the other is confined to her bed, having never been to the Italian Opera but once, when I took stalls for them, or to the Grand Opera but once and with us. Miss Gregg, one of the Antient Music subscribers, was of the party. When they go out it is in a citadine, unless they walk in the garden, which they profess to do much, but I never meet them there. When they put on their bonnets Mlle. Poppet is enragé. They have not yet got a loge at the Italian Opera, which is very difficult to be had. (They have now one for once a week.) There is a curious opera performing here by boys—“Byron at Harrow”—Sir R. Peel is the principal conspirator, and cries “Marchons!” We must see it. Near my own door I met to-day Sir William and Lady Chatterley. They set off for Nice and Naples, when she fell
AT PARIS IN 1841205
ill by the way, and they are come to stay here. I walked them upstairs and showed them an apartment au premier. Whether they will take it I don’t know. They enquired much after you, as Mme. de Chabannes has done. She called yesterday, and to-day I have seen her. She is in her usual spirits. I have looked about a little, and have seen nothing in the shops to tempt me hitherto, and I think I should return to-morrow but for my companion, who is in higher spirits than I ever saw him, and is trying, by Dr. H.’s encouragement and example, to like French cookery—rather a late attempt. He will now, I tell him, no longer shake his head so repulsively when your entremets are offered to him. He is just gone out to dine with Dr. H. at a table d’hôte. For the three last days there has been a sale at the Ambassade. Everything sold off, from parlour bijouterie down to pots and kettles. The
Granvilles are gone to Nice and the Cowleys not yet come.

‘Farewell, my dear Sarah, and believe me to be yours affectionately,

‘S. R.
‘30th Oct. [1841]: Hootel de l’Europe, Rue de Rivoli.

Sutton called upon us twice before he went and seemed very happy and much engaged. Pray give my best love to everybody at Stourbridge. I hope Patty received my letter. You must now be familiar with railroads. I have heard nothing from Lady Holland, who must now have returned from Brighton. When in England I had a letter twice a week, but I suppose she is displeased at my going. I was for calling upon the , but when Maltby said, in bis usual phrase, “I
have no objection,” I let it alone. On our return I shall hope to find Catherine there. The weather very tolerable, and often with M. a subject for congratulation.’

A letter from Wordsworth’s son-in-law arose out of the visit to Canterbury mentioned in the above letter.

Edward Quillinan to Samuel Rogers.

[With drawing (pen and ink), by M. H., 14th October, 1841, of Residence of Sir Thomas More in Canterbury.]

‘Hendon: 3rd Nov., 1841.

‘Dear Mr. Rogers,—Here is a sketch of Sir Thomas More’s House at Canterbury—I have been promised one, which I expect to be still better, and which I hope to have the pleasure of sending you soon.

‘The following account of the building I copy from a topographical history of Canterbury, which has just fallen in my way. It seems to be pretty correct—

‘“In Orange Street are the remains of the house of Sir Thomas More. It was a spacious and noble building, in the form of a quadrangle, having the entrance through a large gateway now standing on the south side of the street; in front of the house and between the two wings was a large courtyard, which is now called Dancing School Yard. The building is principally of wood, with gable front and a long range of windows extending all along the front of the building, very much ornamented with stained glass, of which little remains. The rooms are spacious and ornamented with carved mouldings or cornices. The walls were painted in fresco, as appears
from the wall of the upper apartment, in which may be seen some very good designs. The building is now converted into a wool-warehouse.”

‘While you were on your way to Dover I got into the house and had some talk with the owner, who told me that when he, some few years ago, took possession, there was a good deal of stained glass in the windows, and that no doubt the whole of that glazed range of gallery had been formerly glazed with painted glass. I saw a small portion of it.

‘I think I mentioned to you that the head of Sir Thomas More is in a vault in St. Dunstan’s Church at Canterbury, the first Church you come to in the suburbs on the right hand side of the road as you come from London. His body was buried, I believe, at Chelsea. As to the head, the story is that it was exposed on London Bridge for a fortnight, and that Margaret Roper “begged it” and carried it to Canterbury and placed it in the church opposite to the dwelling-house of the Ropers—now a brewery—(a brick archway remains and some of the walls of this old building). She is said to have desired that her father’s head should be placed in her arms in her own coffin, but this request appears to have been neglected.

‘We arrived here a fortnight ago, and are more comfortably lodged than we were at Canterbury.

‘We heard by accident, two or three days since, of your return to town, from Signor Prandi, who is the Italian teacher at Mrs. Gee’s school near us.

Dora is quite well, and has the impudence to send you her love. On my taxing her with boldness, she says
put “respectful love.”—You will say that makes it worse, and so say I.

‘Believe me, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,

Edward Quillinan.’

In December there was a gathering at Bowood, of which at least three contemporary accounts have been published. C. Greville arrived there a few days before Christmas, and strongly contrasts the company he found there with that which he had left at Woburn. ‘There, nothing but idle, ignorant, ordinary people, among whom there was not an attempt at anything like society or talk; here, though not many, almost all distinguished more or less—Moore, Rogers, Macaulay, R. Westmacott, Butler and Mrs. Butler, Dr. Fowler and his wife, Lady H. Baring, Miss Fox.’ Mrs. Butler adds Babbage, and speaks of the ladies as ‘charming, agreeable, unaffected women.’ The conjunction of Macaulay and Rogers, the one forty, the other approaching eighty—the waxing and the waning social celebrities—gave the party much amusement. Macaulay was talking perpetually. His sonorous voice, his superabundant physical energy, his generally declamatory style of conversation, carried everything before it. ‘The drollest thing,’ says Greville, ‘is to see the effect upon Rogers, who is nearly extinguished, and can neither make himself heard nor find an interval to get in a word. He is exceedingly provoked, though he cannot help admiring.’ Mrs. Butler is more explicit. She makes a general remark about Macaulay’s ‘speech power,’ and says that Sydney Smith’s humorous and good-humoured rage at his prolific talk was very
funny. ‘Rogers’s, of course,’ she adds, ‘was not good-humoured; and on this very occasion, one day at breakfast, having two or three times uplifted his thread of voice and fine incisive speech against the torrent of Macaulay’s holding forth,
Lord Lansdowne, the most courteous of hosts, endeavoured to make way for him with a “You were saying, Mr. Rogers,” when Rogers hissed out, “Oh, what I was saying will keep.”’ Greville writes, ‘He will revive to-morrow, when Macaulay goes,’ and it was not Rogers only who revived, for Mrs. Butler declares that the company was so incessantly clever, witty, and brilliant, that it gave her a brain-ache. Moore gives a somewhat different account of Rogers. He says Rogers stayed more than a week, and speaks of him as ‘still fresh in all his best faculties, and improved wonderfully in the only point where he was ever at all deficient—temper. He now gives the natural sweetness of his disposition fair play. He walked over to see Bessy one or two days, through all the wretched mud of the Bowood Lane and our own, making, to us and back again, at least six miles.’ Rogers directed Moore’s attention to the passage in Macaulay’s article on Warren Hastings, which had just appeared and of which everybody was talking, and they agreed it was in some parts over-gorgeous. One day Rogers took Lord John Russell over to see Bessy. He was in high spirits for the approaching conflict—the coming event did not cast its shadow before it on this great holiday gathering of Whigs. Mrs. Butler tells of Rogers’s gift of his autograph: ‘After mending a pen for me, and tenderly caressing the nib of it with a knife as sharp as his own tongue,
he wrote, in his beautiful, delicate, fine hand by way of trying it—
‘The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.’
Mrs. Butler did not know that the lines are from
Cowper’sEpistle to an afflicted Protestant Lady in France,’ and half thought they might be ‘an impromptu, a seer’s vision and friend’s warning.’ The lines were great favourites with Rogers—often on his tongue. There were two lines from ‘The Task’ which equally possessed his imagination—

Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.