LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter IX. 1851.

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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The Great Exhibition—Sir B. Brodie—Rogers and Macready—Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, Lord John Russell, Crabb Robinson, Mrs. Gladstone, Lord Denman, Lord Glenelg—Lord Brougham’s Letters on Public Affairs—Kenney—Barbara Godfrey—Lady Herschel—Lady Campbell (Pamela)—Rogers as a Letter-writer—Lady Morgan—Mrs. Tom Moore—Moore’s Death—Letter from John Forster—Mrs. Grote—Luttrell’s Death—Turner’s Death—Sir C. Eastlake on Turner’s Will—Lines on the Hon. George Denman’s Marriage—Letter of Lord Brougham—Rogers to Lord John Russell on a Volume of Manuscript Poems.

The year 1851 seems to most middle-aged men to lie so close behind them, that it is with a feeling akin to surprise that one thinks of Rogers in connection with it. That a man whose early life was passed in the eighteenth century, the first volume of whose memoirs ends in 1803, should live to see the Great Exhibition, even though he was only wheeled round the building in an invalid chair, shows how a long life links several generations together. The contemporary of Pitt and Burke and Fox lives to be the personal friend of Mr. Gladstone; a man who had knocked at Dr. Johnson’s door, and spent a day with Adam Smith, and heard Robertson and Dr. Blair preach, entertains Macaulay and Dickens and Mr. Tennyson and Mr. Ruskin. The Exhibition year, when it came in, found Rogers greatly restored, though still lame. Crabb Robinson says that after the return of Rogers
and his
sister from Brighton, in January, they were able to drive out every day. ‘He gives up his numerous breakfast parties, but wishes to have every morning one or two friends to come at half-past ten. . . . His clever lad, Edmund, manages everything for him.’ On the 18th he records spending an interesting two hours with Rogers, meeting Henry Sharpe (his nephew) and Moxon, and he adds, ‘Rogers talks as well as ever.’ He had been attended by Sir Benjamin Brodie, and on his offering his fees, the great surgeon refused to accept them. In a letter in January, 1851, he says—

‘Pray send me no money, but let me have some piece of plate, which may be to me a memorial of yourself and your constant kindness for more than thirty years, and an heirloom in my family afterwards. Oblige me further by not selecting anything very costly, as it is for the sake of the donor, and not for its own sake, that it will be valuable to myself now, and to my son when he inherits it.’

Rogers’s reply begins with the form which I have already said indicated the failure of his powers.

Samuel Rogers to Sir Benjamin Brodie.
‘13th January, 1851.

‘My dear Friend,—What can I say, what can I do when he who has so nobly devoted his life to the service of mankind, and has now, at the close of mine, spared no time or labour in his endeavours to restore to one so unworthy what in a rash, in an unthinking moment, I
had lost, now declines to receive (small as it must be) the return I would make him.

‘What he suggests, however, I will not fail to do, and as much more as I can if he will let me. Forgive me if I venture to subscribe myself,

‘Yours ever most gratefully and affectionately,

Samuel Rogers.’

The gift was made, and in acknowledging it, Sir Benjamin Brodie says—

‘I take the opportunity of expressing how great is the satisfaction which I have derived from my acquaintance with you, since I first met you at Holland House, some thirty-five years ago. The generous and liberal sentiments displayed by you on all occasions were not unnoticed by me when I was yet a young man, and I hope that they have not been altogether thrown away.’

Rogers was one of the stewards for Macready’s Farewell dinner on the 1st of March. On the 18th, Macready writes in his diary, ‘Called on dear old Mr. Rogers—“Heu quantum mutatus!” I shall never see him again. He talked much, and I sat long. He talked much of poetry, quoting passages and citing from his own. He spoke of sonnets, to which he has a great dislike, and thought them the Procrustean bed for thought. He sent his love twice to Catherine, and seemed, as I parted from him, to have the persuasion that it was the last time. I turned as I left the room, and his two hands were lifted up to his head in the action of benediction on me.’ On the 4th of May he writes: ‘Forster called; went with
him to
Rogers. Found the old man very cheerful, thinner than when I last saw him, but in very good spirits. He told all his stories “over again.” Expected the three bachelors to get married. Spoke of Scott, Byron, and Moore, and of his own poetry, quoting, as a particularly fine line, “their very shadows consecrate the ground. . . .” Took leave of dear old Rogers once more, I think indeed, for the last time.’

Here is a characteristic letter from another of the celebrities of the time, then in the hey-day of his fame.

Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton to Samuel Rogers.

‘Dear Mr. Rogers,—I have just received some strawberries from the country—and I venture to request your acceptance of them. If they are a little in advance of the season, they are more appropriate as an offering to you—since to the Poet there are no seasons, or rather, he is Lord over all.
‘Floribus halans
Purpureum Veris gremium, scenamque virentem
Pingis, et umbriferos colles et cærula regna.

‘I quote from a poem with which you perhaps first made acquaintance when strawberries were dainties, at least, for my part, I suppose it is from some association of youth between the first-fruits of the summer and my own early Latin studies, that I find myself quoting Gray’s noble lines, “De Principiis Cogitandi,”1 which I cannot have read for these twenty years, à propos of a basket of strawberries! But indeed, when one writes to

1 Lines 87-89.

the author of “
The Pleasures of Memory,” one is naturally hurried away from March winds and debates on Papal Aggression, to find oneself

‘In the groves of Academe
Or where Ilyssus winds his wandering stream.1

‘Believe, dear Mr. Rogers, in the profound respect of your admiring and faithful friend,

‘Edwd. Bulwer Lytton.
‘Athenæum: 25th March, 1851.’

There are abundant signs that, in spite of some failures of memory such as Macready notes, Rogers still kept up his interest in public affairs. He wrote a good many letters, his servant, Edmund Paine, often acting as amanuensis. His correspondence thus went on almost as largely as in earlier days. Among the innumerable letters which are the relics of these closing years, there is one from Lord John Russell asking his aid as a critic to polish an inscription for Lord Holland. ‘The marble is already polished and awaits my inscription,’ says Lord John. He adds, ‘that on Lady Holland is short, but I meant it to be so.’ Crabb Robinson writes to tell him that he has been to see Thrupp’s statue of Wordsworth in the clay, and to express the hope that Rogers will go to see it. He had gone in by the back way and had a perfect view of the figure, and tells Rogers that if he will drive in at the mews at the east end he may see it from

1 From Rogers’s Human Life. The lines are—

‘Young Byron in the groves of Academe,
Or where Ilyssus winds his whispering stream.’
his carriage without alighting.
Mrs. Gladstone writes from Fettercairn telling him he is always so kind to her she cannot help flying to him in her necessity and asking for some contribution for a House of Mercy at Clewer. A little later Mrs. Gladstone writes again, thanking him for a contribution: ‘I gave your loving messages to my little rosebud,’ Mrs. Gladstone adds, ‘who sends you kisses. I shall bring her to you, please God, before the spring. My husband begs to be allowed to send you his love and best wishes. We hope you approve of his letters to Lord Aberdeen, with whom we have lately been staying and who was much pleased that I could give him tidings of you.’ Lord Denman sends from Stony Middleton a letter which he dates ‘July 14 (Destruction of the Bastille, hurra!) 1851,’ and which begins—
If the lark has lost his feet,
He may nestle in the wheat.
Though the lark should lose his wing,
If he soar not, he may sing.
In another letter he says, ‘We are anxious to know from yourself that this hot weather agrees with you as well as it does with us, that is, perfectly well.’ Lord Denman had resigned the post of Lord Chief Justice of England in the year before. His letters are in an old man’s trembling hand.
Lord Glenelg writes from Paris that he can scarcely tell how much he felt being obliged to leave England without wishing him good-bye. Lord Brougham’s letters have so much of the story of the year in them, that it will be better to string them all together in their order—

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Paris: 19th April, 1851.

‘My dear Rogers,—I lamented exceedingly not having been able to see you before I set out; but I was hurried by business to the last moment. I was so much lowered in January by the influenza that the work of the Session fell heavily upon me, and I found I must go and take a few weeks’ rest. I therefore set out to-morrow morning for the Blue Mediterranean, as you poets call it, or ought to call it, and hope, D.V., to be at Cannes on Thursday evening, sleeping every night but one on the road.

‘I have letters from Lady Susan Hamilton, now at Venice, which show all the stories of Walpole having left her to be pure fabrications, as I always believed they would turn out to be.

‘I can give you no public news from this place. All seems unsettled and uncertain. But I feel confident there will be no mischief now, and most likely none before the election in 1852, or even then. This however is not the general opinion. I rely for my view on the universal fear of violence which constrains all parties.

‘Yours ever sincerely,
H. Brougham.’

Lord Brougham’s letters from France in 1851 bear constant testimony to the unrest and fear of violence which prevailed among the upper classes of the French Republic in that year. He had however, as is pointed out in Mr. Hayward’sCorrespondence,’ no prevision of
the coup d’état. Everything was unsettled and uncertain, but public apprehension had fixed on the Presidential Election of 1852—‘the inevitable 1852’ as
Louis Napoleon’s enemies were always calling it—and the coup d’état of December took Lord Brougham, as it took the world, altogether’ by surprise. Brougham was soon back again from the blue Mediterranean.

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Wednesday morning [2nd July, 1851].

‘My dear R.,—The day is very unpropitious for an expedition. But even had it been ever so fine, I am ordered to the House of Lords to be imprisoned in a committee on a Bill brought in to help, perhaps mainly to puff, the Court hobby, the Glass Palace, and as I was the person who made them refer the Bill to a Select Committee (for it was on the point of altering the whole Patent Law1!!) I must attend. This will lock me up till Friday, when I hope we may meet at two.

‘Yours ever sincerely,
H. Brougham.’
Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Lichfield: Wednesday [16th July, 1851].

‘My dear Rogers,—I was exceedingly vexed at not being able to call before I left town, but the whole of last week I was locked up in the House of Lords from ten o’clock. Sunday I went into the country and Monday again in the Lords all day; and even yesterday I had to be there till the moment I set out.

1 This was the Patent Law Amendment (No. 3) Bill, which was passed into Committee on the 1st of July, 1851.


‘My journey has even already been of service to me, and I expect to profit much by the change of air, and above all the quiet of Brougham, where I hope to arrive late to-day.

‘I have been to the Cathedral service; the music is certainly fine, but it is never at all an impressive thing, except to the multitude. The simple liturgy is worth a hundred of it for effect. I remember that Wilberforce’s funeral in Westminster Abbey affected no one. It was all chanted. Campbell’s, which was all read, was the most affecting thing I can remember.1

‘I had not been in the Cathedral here since 1798, therefore Chantrey’s famous group (1817) was quite new to me. It has great merit, but I recollected the remark (on examining it) that the difference of ancient and modern sculpture is this—the latter gives form and flesh, the former skin also. I believe it to be quite true.

‘The Johnson stone statue painted over is really not so bad as I expected to find it. So here ends my travel.

‘I hope to find you as well as ever, if not better, when

1 Rogers himself took a very different view of Campbell’s funeral. His nephew Samuel Sharpe, says in his Diary, under date the 4th of July, 1844: ‘I spoke to my Uncle Sam of Campbell’s funeral yesterday in Poets’ Corner, and of his not being there. He said: “I did not attend your uncle Henry’s nor your brother Sutton’s, and so, of course, I did not go to Campbell’s. Besides, I did not want to be elbowed by lords who never did anything for him when alive.”’ Again, on the 20th of October in the same year, Mr. Sharpe writes: ‘My uncle again spoke of the folly of burying Campbell in Westminster Abbey, and praised Pope for refusing to be buried there. He thought the sentiment of seeing the poet’s tomb in the village churchyard so much more valuable than seeing it among a crowd of vain candidates for fame in Poets’ Corner.’ (Samuel Sharpe, Egyptologist, &c., p. 175.)

I return to London on my southern flight for the winter. Meanwhile, make some one give me a bulletin of you.

‘Yours ever most truly,
H. Brougham.

‘I wish you would let Luttrell know why I could not call again, also how happy I am to have such good accounts of him.’

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Brougham: 31st August, 1851.

‘My dear Rogers,—I am truly obliged to you for your kind and friendly letter, and, as you say nothing to the contrary, I conclude you are well. It is not, however, the weather that will do either of us much good, for I have been these last two weeks in a climate more like Christmas than the dog-days. Nevertheless, I am going on mending, and hope to have got quite round before the real winter comes.

‘I have been reading Barente’sHistoire de la Convention,” and it is very well and fairly written. I expect to have far less satisfaction from La Martine. But my good friend Mignet’sHistory of Mary Stuart” will tempt me on that old and beaten ground, I doubt not.

Glenelg, from whom I heard lately, gave me a good account of you, and he could not have given me any more agreeable intelligence.

‘I have just heard from the Hollands, who are taking the baths at Aix (in Savoy). They describe the Prince of Joinville’s coming forward1 (if he really does) as a very

1 As a candidate for the Presidency in the election which was to have taken place in 1852.

alarming thing to
Louis Napoleon. If the said Prince has a chance, it is on account of the very worst defect he can have, namely, being likely to give the army what they want—a war. Of this you may be assured.

‘Believe me, most sincerely yours,
H. Brougham.

‘Remember me most kindly to Luttrell. I hear often from Denman, who is quite well, thank God.’

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Walmer Castle: 20th Sept., 1851.

‘My dear Rogers,—I was obliged to come away between ten and eleven this morning, and prevented from sending to you as we had agreed. I told the great man of this Castle that you desired your kind remembrances and respects to him, and he said he was much gratified and asked me very kindly after you, being quite pleased with the good account I gave of you. When I told him I had seen you in the hands of the operator, and quoted the Sheridan anecdote1 as given me by you, he was much amused, but he did not admit his own repugnance to undergoing it, probably because he feels that he has been compelled to do so repeatedly.

‘There is no one here except Lady Charles, and I don’t think that in all the agreeable evenings I have passed with him I ever had one so pleasant and so interesting as this.

‘To-morrow, I hope to dine at Paris (D.V.), as the boat sails early.

1 See vol. i., p. 218.


‘I shall let you know from there if I hear anything interesting.

‘Believe me most truly yours,
H. Brougham.

‘Don’t omit to remember me to Luttrell, whom I was extremely vexed not to be able to see.’

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Cannes (Var), Chateau Eleanor-Louise:
‘12th Oct., 1851.

‘My dear R.,—I have to thank you, which I do most heartily, for your kind letter. I wish I could afford you any return by giving you information as to the state of this unhappy country—unhappy, with all the elements of the greatest prosperity. But the fatal effects of a sudden, and utterly groundless, revolution (1848) continue to be felt in every way. There is a general sense of insecurity which pervades the whole people, and all feel gloomy and alarmed. I really consider that there is no foundation for this alarm, as far as regards general convulsion, because there is among all parties such a dread of it, that this is likely to prevent violence, except from the rabble. But partial outbreaks may very probably take place. However, the bad effects of the prevailing sense of insecurity are everywhere to be seen. No speculations are entered into and all manufactures and trade are kept in as much suspense as possible, in order to wait and see what may happen. The feeling which I find most universal, except, perhaps, among the Socialists and Rouges, who, of course, one never sees, is indignation at the shelter given in England to all insur-
rection-mongers; and now this feeling is increased by the reception of
Kossuth, though he is not, by any means, of the same class with the London Committees of Insurrection. Indeed, our good folks are not aware that the Hungarian affair was almost entirely an aristocratic movement.

‘I found nobody at Paris except Madame Lieven, and the diplomatic people, and also Thiers. The almost universal feeling is against this proceeding of Joinville.1 The violent Republicans like it, because it hurts the President’s chance, who, however, is pretty sure to be re-elected in one way or another. But the general wish is for Royalty as the only means of living tolerably secure from perpetual change, only there is no Royalist party ready to take the Government, and they all must submit to a Republic nearly all despise and hate.

‘I am here in a sultry summer, but I hope to see you before Christmas or very soon after it, and to find you as well as when I left you.

‘The journey here is now so easy that I could have arrived the fourth day from Paris, had I not stopped to pay a visit on the road.

‘Believe me ever most sincerely yours,
H. Brougham.’

1 This is a reference to his candidature in the pending Presidential election. The Constitution forbade the existing President to be re-elected. Louis Napoleon demanded a revision ot the Constitution, because the chiefs of the parliamentary majority had broken faith with him, and had put forward the Prince de Joinville as a candidate, demanding the abrogation of the Law of Exile, in order to permit the Prince to return to France, and to stand as a candidate. The refusal of the Assembly to revise the Constitution in the above sense was followed by the coup d’état of Dec. 1851.


The next letter was written after the coup d’état, and it presents Lord Brougham in the attitude of partial approval of Louis Napoleon’s action.

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Château Eleanor-Louise: 11th Dec., 1851.

‘My dear R.,—As you probably have not often received letters from correspondents under Martial Law, I write you this. The état de siége was proclaimed in this department two days ago, to the great delight of all the inhabitants who had anything to lose, and of many who had even their lives to lose, for nothing can exceed the ferocity of the Socialist mobs wherever they have had the upper hand. I am sorry to say our department (the Var) has been very bad, most of the towns having for a day or two been in possession of the Sovereign People, with mayors and other functionaries in prison; in some places pillage, murder, and all kinds of violence were committed. But the troops very soon defeated them, and after some attempts to escape and carry off the chief people in the places as hostages, to-day we find that they have everywhere failed, and the hostages have been recovered. It is curious to see how completely the fear of these Socialists and their madness and villainy has reconciled the country to the most outrageous act that ever was done. And it will make that act perfectly successful, at least for the present, I suppose.

‘L. N. [Louis Napoleon] is ready to prove that there was a general conspiracy against all society by the Rouges and the Socialists. If he cannot prove that, it will be impossible to defend his conduct or to bear with
him except as preventing worse. He will find it comparatively easy to succeed to a certain extent, but his great difficulty will come with his Assembly or Assemblies. The vehement desire of strong measures to repress the miscreants who would plunge the country in blood and anarchy exceeds belief, and that desire is his strength.

‘I shall remain here till things are quiet. We have had two threatenings here, but both failed. In the next department they are far from being in a quiet state.

‘Yours ever truly,
‘H. B.’

Lord Brougham’s letters are sufficient to prove how vivid was Rogers’s interest in public affairs. Of his more private correspondence it is almost impossible to give any adequate account. There are a number of letters from the old dramatist, Kenney, and his daughters which extend over the years 1849, 1850, and 1851, and are full of proofs of Rogers’s kindness to an old friend. Not long before his accident Barbara Hughes (once Barbara Godfrey, the Miss Godfrey of Tom Moore’s letters) had written to tell him of the loss of her husband, and to remind him that he was one of the very few remaining old friends. ‘Indeed, there is scarcely one left belonging to the days of aunt Donegal.’ He had once said to Lady Herschel, ‘I can never gaze at a sunset without uttering a prayer;’ and Lady Herschel, writing to him in this period of his decline, and speaking of her grandchildren, tells him, ‘Your name is planted in their young hearts, where it will bloom and fructify in beauty
and fragrance when our generation is transplanted beyond the most glorious of sunsets.’ She concludes, ‘With every feeling of love and veneration from
Sir John Herschel and myself.’ There are affectionate letters from various members of the Fitzwilliam family; from Lady Campbell (Pamela) whom he had met at William Stone’s house when Fox and Sheridan and Talleyrand (then only known as the Bishop of Autun), were there in I792;1 from the Duke and Duchess of Bedford; from Mrs. Meynell Ingram of Temple Newsam; from Lady Mount-Edgcumbe, Lord Braye, and Lord Carlisle. The one characteristic feature of all these letters is the deep personal regard they express for the venerable friend to whom they are addressed. Many of them are in reply to his own. In a letter to Moore, written in 1809 and published in the eighth volume of Lord John Russell’sMemoirs of Moore’ (page 79), Rogers says, ‘I cannot write; and continually do I walk miles to save the necessity of writing a single line.’ This expression was interpreted by Mr. Hayward to mean that he had a confirmed dislike of letter-writing, and this impression has been repeated by nearly all who have written about him. Yet these piles of letters conclusively prove that towards the close of his life at least, if not much earlier, the dislike of letter writing had been entirely overcome.

There are many glimpses of him in the Exhibition year. Sir Wentworth Dilke writes on the 7th of June to tell him that the Russian Commissioners have displayed

1 The Early Life of Samuel Rogers, pp. 244, 245.

the malachite productions, and sends him a Bath-chair ticket that he may go and see them.
Lady Morgan, writing about him, says—‘Poor Rogers, I sat an hour with him the other day; he is the ghost of his former ghost; he talked with compassion of Moore’s state, who is now bedridden, and has lost his memory, remembers nothing but some of his own early songs, which he sings as he lies, and which is heartrending to those who are around him.’ Mrs. Moore, in a series of brief letters, all expressive of the greatest affection, keeps Rogers informed of the progress of her husband’s illness. None of her letters are dated. They begin with Moore’s first seizure, when she says, ‘Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell sat with him on the day he was taken ill,’ and adds ‘My mind is full of fears, but God gives me the great comfort of nursing him; he knows me, talks of you and other friends, his evanescent temper is now a blessing to himself and me. . . . He never recovered the sudden death of his beloved sister,1 now almost four years.’ The letters continue at intervals. In one, she says her husband ‘was much affected when he heard of your accident.’ In others, she tells him of her troubles with a bad servant. At length Mrs. Starky writes, on the 26th of February, 1852, to say that Mrs. Moore has tried to write herself, but is unable to do so, ‘to inform him that Mr. Moore has been gradually sinking the last few days, and yesterday evening, at six o’clock, he breathed his last, with the utmost calmness and apparently without pain.’

1 His sister Ellen, who died very suddenly in February 1846. Moore’s Diary and Letters, vol. viii. pp. 12, 13.


The summer and autumn of the Exhibition year brought great numbers of visitors to his door, and a good many were admitted. Rogers had recovered sufficiently to get about in his carriage and to receive visitors in his easy chair or on his sofa, but he never walked again. The call mentioned in the following letter was therefore only a call in his carriage.

John Forster to Samuel Rogers.
‘Fort House, Broadstairs, Kent: 9th Sept., 1851.

‘My dear Mr. Rogers,—I find by a card I have received this morning, that you have been so kind as to call upon me in town. I therefore trouble you with this note as my only present means of returning your call. I came here a few days after I last had the pleasure of breakfasting with you, and am to stay about three weeks longer. I do all my work here, and go up to town every Friday to correct my proofs, coming back early on the Saturday, as the railroad now enables us to do. I am staying with Dickens, who, with all his family, desire their most kind remembrances to you.

‘This place is full of associations connected with you, which make it more pleasant to all of us. A steamer from Hamburg (or Rotterdam), with a large cargo of live cattle, was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands at midnight on Saturday. Early on Sunday the Broadstairs boatmen went out to the wreck to save or to render what assistance they could; and at ten on Sunday night they returned with sixteen oxen and twenty-four sheep, of course all dead. Such of the poor creatures as the boatmen had found alive, still swimming about the wreck,
they were obliged to kill before they could secure them—and several of them had been carrying on the desperate struggle for life in the water more than eighteen hours. The incident made quite a stir on the little pier on Sunday night. But I beg your pardon for boring you, my dear
Mr. Rogers, when I only intended, in writing this note, to say that as soon as ever my sea-side holiday is over, I shall call in St. James’s Place on the chance of your being in town; and I beg you to believe me always

‘Most sincerely yours,
John Forster.’

Mrs. Grote writes in October acknowledging a copy of his poems, and telling him she accounts this proof of his regard ‘as among the most interesting of the consolations I possess, under habitual ill-health and frequent depression of spirits consequent upon it. To be honoured with the affectionate sentiment of the writer of such things as are contained in these two volumes of poems makes me feel joyful in spite of myself and solaces my weariest hours of existence.’

The winter was spent at Brighton, as usual, and just before Christmas he heard of Luttrell’s death. Luttrell had been ill for two years, and Mrs. Groyn says, in a letter announcing his decease, that the illness had been borne with great patience. ‘It was wonderful to see how little he minded a confinement of two years, the last nine months of which, and especially the last three, his sufferings were, at times, very acute, and painful to witness;
yet, whenever he was free from that sad neuralgic pain, his bright mind shone forth with some little, spirited joke, to cheer those around him.’ He was eighty-one, and had been a prominent figure in London society for fifty years. Since the death of
Richard Sharp, no name had been so closely associated as Luttrell’s with that of Rogers. They were, as Charles Greville tells us in his Diary, ‘always bracketed together, intimate friends, seldom apart, and always hating, abusing, and ridiculing each other. Luttrell’s bons mots and repartees were excellent, but he was less caustic, more good-natured, but in some respects less striking in conversation than his companion, who had more knowledge, more imagination, and, though in a different way, as much wit.’

In the same month Turner died, and Rogers was left as one of his executors. It is enough to insert a letter on the subject, written a few days after his funeral in St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Sir Charles Eastlake to Samuel Rogers.
‘7 Fitzroy Square, London: 3rd Jan., 1852.

‘Dear Mr. Rogers,—At the risk of telling you things that you have heard before, about the great man we have lost, I give you, from good sources, but without vouching for correctness, some of the stories which are now current. He had been ill, and almost confined to his bed since October. Mr. Harpur, one of the executors, and I believe a relative, only found out his place of concealment about ten days before his death. He had been residing at Chelsea for some years, with a widow named
Booth or Brooke, and it seems that he was there known only by her name. When his danger was apparent, a Dr. Price, who had formerly attended him, I think they say at Ramsgate, was sent for. On his telling Turner that he must be prepared to quit this world, our friend, perhaps observing some agitation in his doctor, said, “Go down stairs and take a glass of sherry.” When the medical man returned, T. said, “Well, what do you say now?” The same opinion was repeated. “Then,” said T., “I am soon to be a nonentity.” This expression had, I am convinced, no special meaning, but was only one of his grandiloquent phrases, meaning that his end was come. On the morning when he died, it is said that either by his desire or by accident the window-curtains were opened just before he breathed his last, and the red sunlight, struggling through the fog, shone full on his face. The body was removed to his residence in Queen Anne Street, and a cast was taken of his face under
Mr. Jones’s direction.

‘The magnificent funeral procession reached St. Paul’s on Tuesday last through the crowded streets without any obstacle, and the full service, with chanting and anthem, was performed by the Dean.

‘It was not till the following day that rumours began to circulate about his will. Having now conversed with several of the Executors, I believe what follows to be near the truth. He had not more than 80,000l. in the Funds. The property in dilapidated houses and land is not considered important. On the other hand, there is a vast amount of proof impressions of engravings from his works, sketch books, drawings, and unfinished
pictures. All the finished pictures are bequeathed to the nation, provided a room be built for them within ten years; if not, they are to continue to be exhibited in his gallery and house till the end of thirty years, and then to be sold for the benefit of the R. Academy. The unfinished pictures and all drawings and sketches are to be sold, together I presume with the engravings. You doubtless know that he has left his Executors (you being one) 20l. apiece, but almost all his Executors were his warm admirers, and he intended to honour them by the selection. To his (natural) daughter he has left nothing, to his old housekeeper in Queen Anne St. 150l. a year and some bonds; to the Chelsea lady nothing; 60l. a year for a professorship of landscape painting in the Academy, and an annual medal for landscape; 50l. a year for an annual Academic dinner! The great bequest is for a proposed foundation of almshouses for decayed painters on some land of his at Twickenham; some legal difficulty is expected with regard to this, the question being whether the Statute of Mortmain will interfere with his intentions or not. If it does, the bulk of his property will go to the nearest of kin. Many of the bequests are contingent and depend on the residue after the alms-houses are built and endowed. He has left l000l. for a monument to himself.

‘The bequest of his finished pictures excepted, his will has not given satisfaction; the wisdom even of the alms-houses is questioned by many, the Academic dinner is folly; the old housekeeper’s legacy alone meets with universal approval. More will come out by degrees, but I send you what I have heard so far.


‘With best wishes, in which my wife joins, to Miss Rogers and yourself, I remain, my dear Sir, truly yours,

C. L. Eastlake.’

Towards the close of the year Lord Denman’s fourth son, the Hon. George Denman, now Mr. Justice Denman, wrote to him to announce his engagement. Rogers replied on the 29th of December and addressed to him what are probably the last lines he ever wrote. A correspondent of ‘The Illustrated London News’ sent them to that paper, after Rogers’s death, and said, ‘I sat beside his chair, watching their progress, and here quote them as they dropped from his own lips.’

Forth to the altar, and with her thou lovest,
With her who longs to strew thy path with flowers,
Nor lose the blessed privilege to give
Birth to a race, immortal as your own;
That, trained by you, may make a heaven on earth
And tread the path that leads from earth to heaven.

The lines express a feeling which strongly possessed him in his old age. The occasion on which they were written—the approaching marriage of a son of one of his oldest friends—was eminently characteristic.

It is a sign of his sympathetic nature, and of the affectionate conf1dence he inspired, that young men wrote to him as Mr. Denman did. There are other similar letters among Rogers’s papers, and there is probably not one to which he did not send a prompt and sympathising reply.

Here is another of Lord Brougham’s efforts to keep him informed on public affairs.

Lord Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Grafton Street: 3rd February, 1852.

‘My dear Rogers,—I called this morning in St. James’s Place, being the first hour I have had to myself since I returned the other day, and I was sorry not to find you come back; though much gratified with the good accounts of you.

‘We are now all in suspense as to the course matters will take on Palmerston’s affair, some supposing, as the newspapers of the morning say, that it will lead to no debate or even talk at all; but I am confident that is impossible, and that P. will go into his whole case, and then J. Russell will be obliged to give his account also.1

‘The far more important matter of the alarm from France will, I hope and trust, be delicately handled; and that we shall not be exposed to the frightful risk of a misunderstanding by any offensive expressions in any quarter. It is a sad thing to have outlived all free government in that country, as you and I have done. But it is their own affair and not ours, and there is no use and much harm in abusing them whether they may be deserving of blame or of pity.

‘We are all in hopes of soon seeing you again in town.

‘Believe me very sincerely yours,
H. Brougham.’

Moore’s death on the 25th2 of February has been

1 This anticipation was fulfilled. The fullest explanations were given on both sides in the debate on the Address.

2 The date is given in Lord John Russell’s Preface to Moore’s Memoirs and Correspondence (p. xxxi) as the 26th of February. But

already mentioned. It was so long expected that it took no one by surprise. He had suffered so much and was so complete a wreck that none of his friends felt any regret for the final stroke. He had been long absent from the familiar rooms his merry laughter had cheered, and even
Rogers had ceased to miss him. But he felt that one more peg was drawn, as it were, in the slow process of striking his own tent. Mrs. Moore writes in the course of the spring, to send the inscription she had written for her husband’s grave-stone. He had been quietly buried in the same grave in Bromham churchyard in which the bodies of his children slept; and to the record of their names upon the stone his widow added: ‘And their Father, Thomas Moore, Tenderly beloved by all who knew the goodness of his Heart; The Poet and Patriot of his Country, Ireland. Born, May 28, 1779. Sank to rest, February 25, 1852; aged 72. God is Love.’

In the previous spring, Lord John Russell had sent to Rogers a copy of some charming lines by Lady John Russell, of which he says that he thinks if the subject were more deserving they would be very good. The subject was himself; and the lines had for their theme the rest and relaxation from the toils of public life, and the refreshment for new labours which he enjoyed in the delightful home at Pembroke Lodge. The poem is altogether worthy of its theme, and Rogers read it as all who have been privileged to see the manuscript have read it, with the greatest admiration and delight. But

Mrs. Starky’s letter, quoted on page 403, and Mrs. Moore’s own copy of the inscription on his grave-stone, both show that he died on the 25th.

that poem is not the only work of the same accomplished pen, and when Rogers returned from Brighton in 1852, Lord John Russell brought him a little volume of manuscript poems, beautifully illustrated, of which Rogers wrote as follows.

Samuel Rogers to Lord John Russell.
‘15th April, 1852.

‘My dear Friend,—How could you entrust me with anything so precious, so invaluable, that when I leave it I run back to see that it is not lost? The work of two kindred minds which nor time nor chance could sever, long may it live, a monument of all that is beautiful, and long may they live to charm and to instruct when I am gone and forgotten.

‘Yours ever,
‘S. R.
‘22 St. James’s Place.

‘What may not be done by the pen and the pencil when two hearts are called in to mediate.’

The exquisite volume, within the covers of which Rogers’s letter is preserved, deserves all that he says of it, as those who have seen it know.