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Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Joanna Baillie to Samuel Rogers, 2 February [1832]

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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‘Hampstead: Friday, 2nd Febry. [1832].

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

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

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