LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter XI. 1825-1827.

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’s Bank—Retirement of Henry Rogers—Samuel Sharpe a Partner—Letters from Wordsworth—Rogers’s Advice to Wordsworth—Wordsworth and his Publishers—Moore at Rogers’s—Uvedale Price—The University of London—Brougham—Rogers’s Parties—Sir Thomas Lawrence and Lord Dudley—Sydney Smith at Rogers’s—Lord Grenville’s Inkstand—Letter from Lord Holland—Rogers with Wordsworth and Sir George Beaumont—Sir G. Beaumont’s Last Letter—Moore and Rogers—Wordsworth and Rogers—Rogers in two New Characters—Appeal to Lord Lansdowne to join the Junction Ministry—Tom Grenville—Mackenzie’s Appeal for R. Pollok—Rogers at Bowood—Letter from Wordsworth—Rogers at Strathfieldsaye.

There is very little trace through his letters and correspondence of Rogers’s relation to the bank in Clement’s Lane. He was, however, during all these years the chief owner of the business, and was in constant communication with his partners. Henry Rogers was the working head of the bank, and his admirable qualities as a man, as well as his energy and capacity in business, had relieved his elder brother of all anxiety. In the beginning of 1824, Henry Rogers retired from the banking firm, and his place was filled by his nephew Samuel Sharpe. He was the second son of Rogers’s sister Maria Sharpe, of whose death in 1806 I have already spoken, to whom Rogers wrote some lines of tender recollection in his ‘Human Life.’ There are in his letters to his
sister frequent references to this family of nephews and nieces, in whom they felt a very constant interest. Samuel Sharpe had been nine years in the bank, and had deservedly gained the complete confidence of his uncles. Like his uncle Sam he had gone to be a clerk in the bank at sixteen, had shown the utmost diligence in business, and now, at five and twenty, had been made a partner. The period was one of great stress and difficulty. The panic of 1825 must have severely tried even the Rogers’s bank, and it was a period of severe anxiety to the young nephew on whom so large a responsibility had been placed. Samuel Sharpe’s caution and thoroughness were fully appreciated by his uncles, and there is no trace in Rogers’s papers of any change made by the panic in his usual mode of spending his time. His business faculty and experience were always at the call of his friends. There is scarcely any well-known contemporary for whom he did not undertake such commissions as
Wordsworth gives in the following letters.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Rogers,—I take the liberty of enclosing a letter which I have just received from Messrs. Longman, which be so kind as to peruse: it was in reply to one of mine, wishing to know whether they could not make it answer for them to publish my poems on terms somewhat more advantageous to me than hitherto. What those terms were you learn from the letter, and I need scarcely add that after the first expense of printing and advertising was paid out of an edition, the annual expense
of advertising consumed, in a great measure, the residue of profit to be divided between author and publisher. So that, as I frankly told them, it was not worth my while to undergo the trouble of carrying my works through the press unless an arrangement more favourable could be made.

‘The question, then, is, whether there be in the trade more liberality, more enterprise, or more skill in managing the sale of works charactered and circumstanced as mine are, than have fallen to the lot of Messrs. Longman & Co. Of this you are infinitely a better judge than myself; I therefore apply to you for advice and assistance before I make a new engagement with any one, observing, by the by, to you, that I have no positive ground for complaint against my present publishers.

‘Would you be so kind as to try for me wherever you think it most likely to effect a favourable bargain. I am aware that I am proposing a very disagreeable office, but it is not more than I would readily do for you if I had the same advantage of experience, influence, and judgment over you in these matters that you have over me. The letter shows that if Messrs. L. and I part, it is amicably. I must add that they have an interest in the “Ecclesiastical Sketches” and the “Memorials of a Tour,” and which must be given up before I could incorporate them, according to my wish, into a new edition, which I think would contain besides, four or five hundred lines of verses which have not yet seen the light. I have no objection to any publisher whom you might approve.

‘Where were you last summer? Mrs. W., my daughter,
and I spent three weeks in a delightful ramble through North Wales, and saw something of S. W., particularly the course of the Wye above Hereford nearly to its source.

‘I saw Southey the other day; he was well, and busy as usual, and as his late letter shows, not quite so charitably disposed to Don Juan deceased as you evidently are, if I may judge by a tribute to his memory bearing your name, which I accidently met with in a newspaper; but you were the Don’s particular friend, an equal indulgence, therefore, could not be expected from the Laureate, who, I will not say was his particular enemy, but who had certainly no friendship for him. Medwin makes a despicable figure as the salesman of so much trash. I do not believe there is a man living, from a shoeblack at the corner of your street up to the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Lord Chancellor, of whose conversation so much worthless matter could be reported, with so little deserving to be remembered, as the result of an equal number of miscellaneous opportunities. Is this the fault of Lord B. or his Boswell? The truth is, I fear, that it may be pretty equally divided between them.

‘My amanuensis, Mrs. W., says that it is not handsome in me to speak thus of your friend—no more it is, if he were your friend mortuus in every sense of the word, but his spirit walks abroad, to do some good I hope, but a plaguy deal of mischief.

‘I was much shocked when I heard of his death, news which reached me in the cloisters of that college to which he belonged.

‘Where and how is Sharp, and what does he report
of Italy? Last autumn I saw
Uvedale Price, our common friend (so I presume to call him, though really only having a slight acquaintance with him), striding up the steep sides of his wood-crowned hills, with his hacker, i.e. his silvan hanger, slung from his shoulder, like Robin Hood’s bow. He is seventy-seven years of age and truly a wonder both for body and mind; especially do I feel him to be so when I recollect the deranged state of his digestive organs twelve years ago. I dined with him about that time at your table and elsewhere.

‘Poor Mr. Monkhouse, you will be sorry to hear, is wintering in Devonshire, driven thither by a disease of the lungs, which leaves his friends little hope of his recovery. He is one of my most valued friends, and should he sink under this complaint, one of the strongest of my inducements, and the most important of my facilities, for visiting London and prolonging my stay there will be removed.

‘Remember us all most kindly to your sister, and believe me, with all our united regards, my dear Rogers, most faithfully yours,

Wm. Wordsworth.
‘Rydal Mount: 21 January, 1825.

‘Pray send me Longman’s letter back at your convenience.’

Among Rogers’s business qualities, that of promptly answering letters does not seem to have been included. Wordsworth writes again.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: 19 Feb. (1825).

‘My dear Rogers,—I wrote at least six weeks ago, enclosing a letter I had received from Longman, &c., and being unwilling to put you to the expense of double postage upon my own business, I enclosed it to Lord Lowther for the twopenny post-office. Not having had your answer, I am afraid his servant has not attended properly to it.

‘The letter was to beg your assistance in the republication of my poems with some bookseller either more liberal, more adventurous, or more skilful in pushing off unfashionable books than Messrs. Longman. I have been accustomed to publish with them, they facing all risks and halving the profits. This is a wretched way for books of some established credit, but of slow, though regular sale. For the expense of advertising eats away (as conducted by Longman) all the profit which would otherwise accrue after the cost of printing, &c., has been discharged. L. declines publishing on other terms, but says that an edition both of the poems and the “Excursion” is called for, and if not by them, ought immediately to be published by some one. I have no [other] fault to find with Messrs. L. & Co. than is implied above; if we part, it is on good terms, as his letter expressed, and I should not wish for a change without the hope of a better bargain.

‘Now, you may think that I ought to undertake this disagreeable business myself, and so I should think, if I had not so kind a friend who has fifty times the talent for this sort of work which I possess, and who, besides,
could say a hundred handsome things, which, egotist as I am described to be, and as in verse I am willing to be thought, I could not say of myself.

‘I have additional short pieces to the amount of five or six hundred lines, which would not bear separate publication, yet might be advantageously interspersed with the four volumes of Miscellaneous Poems. These ought to be considered in the bargain, as there are many periodical publications that would pay me handsomely for them. But I never publish through those channels. The “Continental Memorials” and “Ecclesiastical Sketches” would also be added.

‘It has sometimes struck me the matter of my Miscellaneous Poems might be [so] arranged (if thought advisable) as to be sold in separate volumes. One volume we will say of local poetry, to consist of the “River Duddon,” the Scotch Poems with additions, the Continental pieces, and others. A volume of sonnets, perhaps, &c. I throw this out merely as a hint, being persuaded that many are deterred by the expense of purchasing the whole, who would be glad of a part. Yet I am aware there might be strong objections to this.

‘Pray let me have an answer at your earliest convenience.

‘My friend Mr. Robinson tells us he had the pleasure of seeing your sister not long ago well. Give our best remembrances to her, and accept them yourself, and let us know how you are and have been, where and how Sharp is, and what he reports of Italy and Italian scenery.

‘Poor Monkhouse is removed from Devonshire to
Clifton, dying, it should seem, as slowly as ever any one did in such a complaint.

‘Mrs. W. and I had a delightful ramble last summer through North and part of South Wales. I had not seen N. W. for more than thirty years. The scenery is much finer than my memory represented. I wish you had been with us.

‘Ever faithfully yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.’

The tenor of Rogers’s answer can only be gathered from what Wordsworth says in his next letter. Crabb Robinson, however, tells a story which probably gives in a distorted shape an idea of the kind of advice Rogers gave Wordsworth in the matter. He speaks of being one evening (on the 20th of May, 1826) at Miss Sharpe’s, who was then living in New Ormond Street, at a small and agreeable party of the Flaxmans and the Aikins. Samuel Rogers came in and spoke with great respect of Wordsworth’s poems, but with regret at his obstinate adherence to his peculiarities. Crabb Robinson says that there was at that time a ‘current anecdote that Rogers once said to Wordsworth, “If you would let me edit your poems, and give me leave to omit some half dozen and make a few trifling alterations, I would engage that you should be as popular a poet as any living.” Wordsworth’s answer is said to have been, “I am much obliged to you, Mr. Rogers; I am a poor man, but I had rather remain as I am.”’ The story is not literally true, because Wordsworth would not have so addressed Rogers. But it probably represents pretty fairly the
advice which Rogers gave, and the reception it got from Wordsworth. In writing to Rogers himself, however, Wordsworth adopts a different tone.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: 23 March [1825].

‘My dear Friend,—I am obliged by your kindness in taking so much trouble about my poems, and more especially so by the tone in which you met Mr. Murray when he was disposed to put on the airs of a patron. I do not look for much advantage either to Mr. M. or to any other bookseller with whom I may treat, and for still less to myself, but I assure you that I would a thousand times rather that not a verse of mine should ever enter the press again, than allow any of them to say that I was to the amount of the strength of a hair dependent upon their countenance, consideration, patronage, or by whatever term they may dignify their ostentation or selfish vanity. You recollect Dr. Johnson’s short method of settling precedence at Dilly’s, “No, Sir, authors above booksellers.”

‘I ought to apologise for being so late in my reply, and, indeed, I scarcely feel justified in troubling even so kind a friend about an affair in which I am myself so indifferent as far as inclination goes. As long as any portion of the public seems inclined to call for my poems, it is my duty to gratify that inclination, and if there be the prospect of pecuniary gain, though small, it does not become me to despise it, otherwise I should not face the disagreeable sensations, and injurious, and for the most
part unprofitable labours in which the preparing for a new edition always entangles me; the older I grow, the more irksome does this task become, for many reasons which you as a painstaking author will easily divine, and with which you can readily sympathise. But to the point.

‘I have seen Southey lately. He tells me that Murray can sell more copies of any book that will sell at all than Longman—but it does not follow from that that in the end an author will profit more, because Murray sells books considerably lower to the trade, and advertises even more expensively than Longman, though that seems scarcely possible. Southey’s “Book of the Church” cost 100l. advertising first edition. This is not equal to my little tract of the Lakes, the first edition, for which I got 9l. 8s. 2d., was charged 27l. 2s. 3d. advertising. The second edition is already charged to me 30l. 7s. 2d., the immense profits are yet to come. Thus my throat is cut, and if we bargain with M. we must have some protection from this deadly weapon. I have little to say; the books are before the public, only there will be to be added to the Miscellaneous vols. about 60 pages of new matter, and 200, viz., the “Memorials” and “Ecclesiastical Sketches,” not yet incorporated with them, and the “Ex.” [“Excursion”] to be printed uniform with them in one volume. I mean to divide the poems into five vols., in this way.

‘1st Vol., as at present, to consist of “Childhood and Early Youth,” “Juvenile Pieces,” and “Poems of the Affections,” withdrawing from it the “Blind Highland Boy” (to be added to the “Scotch Poems”), and “Ruth
Laodamia,” “Her Eyes are wild,” &c., to be added to those of the “Imagination.”

‘2nd Vol. to consist of the “Fancy and Imagination,” as now, the “Scotch Poems” to be subducted, and their place supplied as above with the “Ode to Enterprise,” and others.

‘3rd Vol. “Local Poems”—“The River Duddon,” “Scotch Poems,” with some new ones, “The Continental Memorials,” and “Miscellaneous Poems,” selected out of the four vols., with some additions. Those on the naming of places and the “Waggoner.”

‘4th Vol. To consist of “Sonnets, Political and Ecclesiastical,” meaning the Sketches and Miscellaneous, with the “Thanksgiving” and the other political odes.

‘5th Vol. “White Doe,” “Poems of Sentiment and Reflection,” “Elegies and Epitaphs,” “Final Ode,” &c.

‘6th Vol. “The Excursion.”

‘Now these vols., I conjecture, will run about 340 pages each, and the “Excursion” 450. Of the Miscellaneous, two vols., viz., the local poetry and the sonnets, might perhaps be sold separately to advantage. The others cannot be divided without much injury to their effect upon any reflecting mind.

‘As to your considerate proposal of making a selection of the most admired or the most popular, even were there not insuperable objections to it in my own feelings, I should be utterly at a loss how to proceed in that selection. Therefore I must abide by the above arrangement, and throw the management of the business upon your friendship.

‘I shall not be in town this year, nor can I foresee,
since the loss of
Mr. Monkhouse, when I shall revisit London; the place does not suit me on account of the irritability of my eyes. I must look for you and other friends here. Pray come down this summer. I could let you have a quiet room, this house having lately been added to in a small way. Mr. M. is not only a loss to his friends and kindred but to society at large, as in all his dealings and transactions he was a man of perfect integrity and the most refined honour; he was not bright or entertaining, but so gentle and gracious, and so much interested in most of what ought to interest a pure mind, that his company was highly prized by all who knew him intimately. You say nothing of your sister, nothing of Sharp, but you Londoners have so many notes and letters to write that this must be excused. I often read your “Italy,” which I like much, though there are quaintnesses and abruptnesses which I think might be softened down, and in the versification I would suggest that with so many trochaic terminations to the lines, the final pauses in the middle of the verse should be more frequently on firm syllables on that account. With best remembrances from all,

‘Ever your obliged Friend,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘Pray read what part [you like] of the above to Mr. Murray; you will then hear what he has to say, and I leave it to you to proceed accordingly.’

Rogers carried out these suggestions and brought the negotiation with Murray almost to a conclusion. It
broke down, nevertheless, and the following letters from
Wordsworth show the reason why.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Rogers,—Pray forward the enclosed to Murray when you have looked it over. Copying from your letter, as you will observe, I have confined myself to the words “responsible for the loss,” without using the word expense: ultimate loss I believe there will be none, but there will be a heavy expense, which the sale of the books, if M. does not push, and the leading reviews and periodicals should not take a fit of praising, may be some years in discharging. When am I to become answerable for this? This question I did not like to put directly to M., for it was suggesting a demand sooner than he might otherwise have been disposed to make it; and the new bargain will not eventually be advantageous to me, if I am to advance money and to be long out of it.

‘Many thanks for your kindness on this occasion. I have been slow to reply, not from being insensible of your services, but from the extreme dislike which I have ever had to publication, as it is then that the faults of my writings, to use a conversational expression of your own applied to beauties, “shine out.” How came I by this expression? Sir George Beaumont can tell.


‘You are as mute as a mouse about coming here, and everything else, except a brief remembrance from your brother and sister. I forgive you. A man so prompt in deeds may be sparing in words.

‘God bless you, and long. May you be healthy and happy in your delightful habitation, which is distinctly before my eyes.

‘Ever faithfully yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘Yesterday I had the honor of receiving a book dedicated to my dear self by a lady, a fair one I hope, but I have never seen her or heard of her before. She is clever. Adieu.’

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Lowther Castle: 15 August.

‘My dear Rogers,—Month after month elapses and I receive no answer from the grand Murray. I will not pay him the compliment to say I am offended at this; but really it is so unpromising for my comfort in carrying six vols. through the press, and also for the question of ultimate profit, that I have determined not to proceed in the arrangement; and now write to thank you for your kind exertions which have proved so fruitless. I have sent off a letter to Murray telling him that I have given up the arrangement with him; and shall look out elsewhere. I am persuaded that he is too great a personage for any one but a court, an aristocratic, or most fashionable author to deal with. You will recollect the time that elapsed before you could bring him to terms—for the pains you then took I again thank you. And believe [me], my dear Rogers,

‘Faithfully your obliged friend,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘If I succeed in another quarter I will let you know. Everybody is well here.’

He was driven back to Longmans, who, in 1827, published an edition of his poetical works in five volumes, which contained ‘the whole of the Author’s published poems, for the first time collected in a uniform edition.’

There is less than usual about Rogers in Moore’s Diary this year. Moore was very busy and was not much in London. He records several breakfasts at Rogers’s in June, at one of which Sydney Smith and his family were present with Luttrell, Lord John Russell, and Richard Sharp. ‘Highly amusing,’ is Moore’s remark. One of the stories told was that of a man named Forth, who, during the French war, informed Mr. Pitt that two persons from the north of Europe were on their way to England to assassinate him. They were tracked, seized at Brussels, and put in prison. There they lay for years, and at last it was found that they were creditors of Forth, who were coming to arrest him for debt, and that he had invented the plot to assassinate Pitt in order to get rid of them. On another day he went to Rogers’s; looked over the notes he has had from Sheridan’; but either missed, was not shown, or passed over the one which, as I have pointed out, throws light on Sheridan’s pecuniary resources. Rogers was at Lord Grenville’s in July, but Moore records several merry meetings with him in London in August and September.

Wordsworth’s description of the quaint figure Uvedale Price presented in his seventy-seventh year adds to the interest of his letters.

Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
3 July, 1825.

‘This letter will not be objurgatory: we are all (that is, our trio) delighted at the near prospect of seeing you and your sister, and look forward to it with the greatest pleasure. We did hope, indeed, that you would have made us a longer visit than you talk of: three or four days will pass like three or four minutes: they did so when you were here last, but left a very pleasing remembrance, and a frequent wish for their renewal.

‘This second Correggio from Spain I shall hope to see next spring, and—which always so much enhances the pleasure—with you, and under your guidance. What you say of the exquisite tenderness of the tints and the expression gives me a very favourable idea of it, as being according to my notions more truly characteristic of Correggio than splendour. The sum given for it is a large one; but not more than a mezzo bajocco compared with what the Duke of Wellington’s prize cost the nation: “Ce n’est qu’une nuit de Paris,” said the grand Condé when sacrificing a few regiments. “Ce n’est qu’une heure de guerre,” say I; and for my own part wish we had less glory, more fine pictures, and more money to buy them.

‘I do most earnestly hope that the sun will not be less brilliant during the short time you will be with us than he was ten years ago when you saw such a brilliant assemblage of ancient donne e cavalieri in what we call the valley par excellence. I dare say you will see them again, or, perhaps, a new set; for you poets have
the enviable faculty of conjuring up whatever is most delightful to the mind’s eye.

Lady Beaumont wrote me word of the intended wedding, and of the great satisfaction it gave to her and Sir George. I once saw Mrs. Beaumont, when she, her mother, Sir George, and myself went together to the museum. All her beauty, as you say, must be her mind; of which last, however, I could not judge, as she was very modest and silent; she has a look of intelligence, and by all accounts she is an excellent person. If Mr. Beaumont fell in love, it could not have been by looking at her in the usual way, but with his mind’s eye; and a very good way of looking at one’s future.

‘As you mention the 15th or 18th, or thereabouts, I will frankly tell you that the 18th will suit us best, and hope nothing will prevent us from having the pleasure of receiving you on that day.

‘You are not to imagine that this pink note-paper is my own, or of my own choosing; my daughter brought it to me, and insisted upon my making use of it in my letter to you. With all our best regards to you and your sister, believe me,

‘Most truly yours,
U. Price.

‘I am sorry this note-paper will make you pay for a double letter; I thought my son would have been in town, but have this moment heard of his being at Tunbridge.’

One of the most important movements in which Rogers interested himself at this period was that for the
establishment of the University of London. He had an hereditary interest in unsectarian education. His father had taken an active and prominent part in the establishment of the college at Hackney, of which he became chairman, and where his youngest son,
Henry Rogers, was educated. Dr. Price and Dr. Priestley, Dr. Kippis, the learned editor of the ‘Biographia Britannica,’ and the Rev. Gilbert Wakefield, who were all connected with Hackney College, were not only Samuel Rogers’s early friends, but were apostrophised by him in the First Part of ‘The Pleasures of Memory’—
Guides of my life, instructors of my youth,
Who first unveiled the hallowed form of truth;
Whose every word enlightened and endeared,
In age beloved, in poverty revered.
And again in the Second Part—
The friends of reason and the guides of youth,
Whose language breathed the eloquence of truth;
Whose life, beyond preceptive wisdom, taught,
The great in conduct and the pure in thought.

The project was Campbell’s, who broached it at a dinner at Brougham’s, where it was well received. Hume, Mill, Brougham, and John Smith took it up warmly, but Irving and his friends almost wrecked the scheme by their determination to have a theological faculty. Campbell succeeded in convincing them that the University should be, in his own words, ‘without religious rivalship,’ and it was eventually resolved to found it by the issue of shares of a hundred pounds each. Campbell retired from active participation in the business arrangements, but he regarded the successful
establishment of the University as the only important event in his life. Brougham’s active share in the work has somewhat eclipsed Campbell’s, to whom, however, the honour of first starting the scheme belongs. Two letters from Brougham to
Rogers show how far it had advanced in the summer of 1825. The deed of settlement was not completed till the succeeding February; the foundation stone of the College in Gower Street was laid by the Duke of Sussex on the 30th of April, 1827; the building was opened by Professor Bell on the 1st of October, 1828; but the charters were not obtained till 1836, when the college took the name of University College, and the existing University of London was established. Every step in this process was carefully watched and aided by Rogers and his friends.

Henry Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Penrith, Brougham: 5 August, 1825.

‘My dear Rogers,—I sent you at length the large paper copy of my Discourse the day I left town, viz., Friday last, so pray give directions not to have it thrown among your rubbish, as it deserves.

‘Also tell me how many shares of the London University stock you will have. It pays six per cent.—for we only call for sixty-six pounds a share, and pay four per cent, on a nominal hundred. So, in the market, we should be overrun with jobbers, and defeated in the vote at every turn. We are therefore anxious to get as many good men and true as we can to hold the shares, and already we have eleven hundred shares so disposed of.
Proxies vote. The Monasters (Oxford and Cambridge) are howling, and the
Bishop of Chester preaching already. This is enough.

Direct your commands to me here. Yours ever,

H. Brougham.’
Henry Brougham to Samuel Rogers.
‘London: 20 August, 1825.

‘My dear R.,—I have chosen the number two for you—although not that in which gods delight—but as I have taken one myself, and Lord Fitzwilliam five, and Lord Lansdowne as many, I thought you would be better to excel me in glory—besides, you may transfer one to your brother, or any other trusty friend, if you don’t like to keep both. It is a great matter to keep them in good hands. I rejoice to say we have now fifteen hundred so placed, and are going to begin.

‘Do you know anything of the architects of the day (I mean excepting always Bernasconi, whom I know you to be very intimate with). We shall of course advertise for plans. But the first-rate men will probably keep aloof from such a competition, and it would be as well to sound them a little, although in our situation the advertisement will be necessary.

‘Yours ever,
H. Brougham.’

Moore, who was in London in September, and found Rogers at home, makes the curious remark on dining at the Athenæum with Rogers, that it was ‘the first time he ever dined at a club.’ Every reader of my ‘Early Life of S. Rogers’ knows that his Diary in earlier days contains some instances at least of his dining at clubs.
The remark, however, throws much light on Rogers’s habits. Much as he loved society, he was not a great frequenter of clubs, and, much as he visited, he was never a ‘diner out.’ His name is met constantly as forming one of some party of choice spirits, the meeting of whom some one or other of them has put on record; but his preference was to entertain his friends at his own house. He did this, however, in no promiscuous spirit. The company at his table was carefully chosen, and men and women who met there rarely found themselves antipathetically mixed. The table was not too large for the conversation to be general; the company was not numerous enough to break up into groups. When the host spoke his guests listened. His good things were not for his next neighbour only, but for all. So with his chief guests. They had the whole company for audience.
Sharp’s acute observations, Mackintosh’s wonderful talk, Wordsworth’s monologue, Sydney Smith’s irrepressible fun, were not confined to their next neighbours, but were for the whole group. People went away, therefore, not merely remarking what agreeable people sat by them at dinner, but what a pleasant party it was. Rogers once wrote as an epigram:—
When at Sir William’s board you sit,
His claret flows, but not his wit.
There but half a meal we find:
Stuffed in body, starved in mind.
And he carefully avoided providing for his guests in this sense but half a meal. The intellectual entertainment was as much cared for as the other part of the food.

In those days men made conversation, as Uvedale
Price made letter-writing, a fine art. They read for it, prepared it. I have read of one eminent talker, that he kept a kind of ledger account of his stories and witticisms, and entered down the times and places at which he used them, and the names of the company present to hear them, so avoiding the repetition which is the weakness of story-tellers. Many men sketched out their dinner-table talk or their evening conversation as they might sketch out a speech, and learned it, as Ward did his speeches, by heart. Rogers, however, had another resource. He had the whole volume of his ‘Recollections’ in manuscript in his Commonplace Book, and conversation was often enlivened by his bringing it out, as Moore says he did in 1825. Some of the men whose observations he had thus recorded—like Talleyrand and the Duke of Wellington—were still alive; others had only lately left the world, and their memories were fresh. Rogers tells us that his ‘Recollections of Fox’ ‘were read by his nephew with tears in his eyes.’ These, and the other ‘Recollections,’ were heard with ever-increasing interest as the years rolled on, and Rogers himself became to a new generation a venerable and dignified relic of a reverend past. His choice of visitors was almost as large as the London Society of his day, the most distinguished men of the time were glad to meet at his table, the less known felt honoured by an invitation, and everybody knew that a morning or an evening at Rogers’s house was sure to bring them into contact with people whom it was a pleasure and a profit to meet.

There are plenty of proofs in these volumes and in the ‘Early Life’ that Rogers did not spend his whole
time and fortune in entertaining and being entertained. He was always being appealed to for counsel, for business assistance, for pecuniary help. One night, towards Christmas, 1825, he found at his door his friend
Sir Thomas Lawrence in a state of alarming agitation.1 He had come to implore him to save the President of the Royal Academy from disgrace. Unless a few thousand pounds could be raised in twenty-four hours he could not be saved. He had good security to offer—drawings he would give in pledge or sell, as might be required. This was beyond Rogers’s means of help, and he had to tell him he would see next morning what could be done. Next morning early he went to Lord Dudley, told him the story, and urged him to advance to Lawrence the sum required. Lord Dudley consented, and went off with Rogers to Sir Thomas Lawrence’s house to see his pictures. There was some difficulty in settling what pictures Lord Dudley should have, and Rogers seems to have gone away before the negotiation was completed. Lawrence wanted him to have a Rembrandt, while Lord Dudley’s fancy was for a Raphael. He writes on the same day.

Lord Dudley to Samuel Rogers.
‘Park Lane: Friday morning.
‘My dear Rogers,—
‘Fugit improbus et me
Sub cultro linquit.

I am sorry you did not stay, as it might have saved some embarrassment by enabling us to settle everything

1 See Crabb Robinson’s Diary, vol. ii., p. 525.

at once, which we agreed was very desirable. The case, I found, was too urgent to admit of delay. I therefore engaged to finish what is required before dinner-time to-day. He also expressed a wish that the transaction should not be talked of just yet; and to that I, of course, readily consented. But the difficulty about the
Raphael still remains. This is unluckily, but naturally, the object I most desire to possess, and which he is most unwilling to part with. You will, I am sure, recollect that in our first conversation in this room, even before I had seen it, I spoke of it as my greatest inducement, except that of rendering a service to Sir T. L., to entertain the proposal made to me. Besides, the arrangement cannot be easily made without it. The Rembrandt I must absolutely decline taking. It’s merit is of a sort which my ignorance of art prevents me from perceiving, and the price of it, though not too high for so great a work, is vastly beyond what I can think of giving for a single picture. But if I bar the Rembrandt, and he also bars the Raphael, the remainder of the pictures will fall too far short of the value to which we ought at least to approximate. All this makes a difficulty, out [of] which I shall not be able to extricate myself without your friendly aid and mediation. I should be really sorry to insist upon a condition that should be painful to Sir T. L., and yet you will, I am sure, feel that it is rather hard upon me to take a picture that I want knowledge and taste to admire, particularly as the very nature of the case cuts me off from all those advantages of consultation and consideration and botheration that generally precede transactions of this kind. Pray
think of this matter and tell me what you think when I see you.

‘Your’s ever truly,

The matter was eventually arranged. The Raphael was to be his at a price of more than a thousand guineas, and a further large sum was to be advanced. Meanwhile Lord Dudley left London, and the completion of the transaction was left to Rogers, who reported to Lord Dudley what he had done. Lord Dudley answered.

Lord Dudley to Samuel Rogers.
‘Bowood: Christmas Day, 1825.

‘Quite right—your note will serve as a memorandum to which, however, as the transaction is not very complicated, and as the parties understand each other, it is not likely that we shall be obliged to have recourse.

‘He desires secrecy, and so do I. Pray, therefore, say nothing about the matter to anybody. If he thinks that his sending the picture immediately will set people talking, and that any advantage on that side is to be gained by delay, I shall be quite willing to wait till a more convenient season. However, I had rather you would use your own discretion in what you say to him on this point.

‘My horse fell with me yesterday, and I narrowly escaped breaking my neck. However, I pursued my journey, and in the evening began to study Crambo with tolerable success.

‘We have the Abercrombys here, and the Ords, and
Macdonald, and Macdonell, and
Miss Fox, and yesterday we had Pamela, who is delightful, more so (if possible) than her husband, Sir G. C.

‘Ever truly yours,

Crabb Robinson says that Lord Dudley was no loser by the transaction. He was not, so as far as the purchase of the picture was concerned; but the further loan was never repaid. Rogers himself frequently helped Sir Thomas Lawrence in his money difficulties. A promise to pay ‘Samuel Rogers or his order,’ 260l. on the 25th of this present month, written on an old-fashioned five-shilling bill-stamp and dated the 11th of January, 1829, is still among Rogers’s papers. He never asked for the money, and it was never paid. A year later Sir Thomas Lawrence was lying dead.

Moore’s Diary for 1826 is, as usual, greatly occupied with Rogers. Moore was in London in May and met at Rogers’s, Lord John Russell, Milman and his very handsome wife, Brougham, Sydney Smith, Sir George Beaumont, and other celebrities of the time. Rogers was trying to make up Moore’s quarrel with Murray, and consenting to go with him to Murray’s house, when Moore should offer Murray his hand and have done with it. Moore met Murray by accident and they made up the quarrel; the next day he dined at Rogers’s with Lord John Russell, Lord Lansdowne, Brougham, Barnes, Kenny, and Sharp, and on the next day to that Rogers introduced him to Danby, the painter, at Lord Stafford’s gallery, where Moore says he was ‘ciceronied very agree-
ably round the room by Rogers, upon whose taste I have more dependence than on that of any of the connoisseurs who are about.’ On the 27th of May he records a breakfast at Rogers’s with Sydney Smith and three others. Smith, he says, ‘full of comicality and fancy, kept us all in roars of laughter. In talking of the stories about dram-drinkers catching fire, Sydney Smith pursued the idea in every possible shape. The inconvenience of a man coming too near the candle when he was speaking. “Sir, your observation has caught fire.” Then he imagined a preacher breaking into a blaze in the pulpit, the engines called to put him out, no water to be had, the man at the works being a Unitarian or an Atheist. He remarked of some one, “He has no command over his understanding, which is always getting between his legs and tripping him up.”’ These recollections of Sydney Smith’s talk at Rogers’s may be supplemented by one or two of Rogers’s own. Speaking of a well-known lawyer who had a great liking for pâtés de foie gras, Sydney Smith said of him that his idea of heaven was that of eating pâtés de foie gras to the sound of trumpets. His physician advised him to take a walk upon an empty stomach, and Smith asked, ‘Upon whose.’

Rogers was again at Dropmore in the early summer. Lord Grenville had given him, as a memento of their friendship, an inkstand, modelled in silver after that of Petrarch, which is preserved in his house at Arqua.1 The inkstand bore an inscription on the rim, ‘Samueli

1 Petrarch’s inkstand is described by Rogers in his Italian Diary See ante, p. 177.

Rogers, hoc amicitiæ pignus, W. W. B. G. MDCCCXXVI.’; and there were engraved upon it some Latin verses of Lord Grenville’s—

Quod gratum tibi sit, poeta suavis,
Adsum, ΜΝΗΜΟΣΥΝΟΝ sodalis illa
Non indigna tuâ putantis arma
Dextrâ, qualibus utier solebat
Doctam mille iterans modis querelam
Ipse, deliciæ tuæ tuæque
Ingens Italiæ decus, Petrarca .
Dulce tuum ingenium hinc seros mansura per annos
Castalii spargat lumina pura Chori;
Defluat, hoc de fonte probæ facundia Musæ
Virtutum interpres fida animique tui;
Ut simili in longum studio sapiensque bonusque
Vitam hominis laudent, carmina vatis ament.
Amice, temporis fugâ
Pranguntur hæc, et corruunt
Ceræ, tabellæ, imagines,
Ductumque cœœlatumque opus;
Solum artis est tuæ viros,
Utcunque morti debitos,
Famæ perenni tradere.

Lord Holland writes—

Lord Holland to Samuel Rogers.
‘Brighton: 30 May (1826).

‘Dear Rogers,—It happens in small as in mighty matters that an endeavour to do too much prevents one
often from doing anything. I had not been here five days before I conceived the project of writing you, not a letter, but a dissertation—a book; the consequence has been that I have appeared ungrateful for your kind letter to
Lady H., and unmindful of your wish to hear of her health—but I have nearly completed my long undertaking, and shall have my letter from Brighton ready to deliver to you with my own hands at Holland House next week. You will, I think, find Lady H. improved in looks, health, and spirits, though she is far from well to-day. Brighton affords no topics for correspondence. Poor Lord Banbury or General Knollys seems broken-hearted at the unjust decision of the House of Lords, and embarrasses his acquaintance as much as a heathen god to know by what name to address him. I am so tired of writing long reasonings on the Test Act and condolences on the loss of the Catholic question, that I must waive all parliamentary topics.1 Could I see my way through Continental events, I should not dislike that subject, but I am at a loss to understand the history, motive, and probable effect of this Congress at Prague. I long for peace so much that I hardly dare believe my own judgment when it represents it to me as probable or possible—and yet—but I will not speculate on so large a subject. We have heard of, not from, Charles, nor does it appear that he had heard from us on the 16th of April last.

Vassall Holland.’

1 The Lords had thrown out the Catholic Bill on the 18th of May by a majority of 48 in a House of 308. (Martineau, vol. i., p. 392.)


Two letters to his sister are full of glimpses of interesting people whom he met in a journey to the Lakes in September.

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Lowwood Inn: 12 Sept., 1826.

‘My dear Sarah,—We arrived here on Friday at four o’clock, and were very glad to look upon the old lake again. Sir George’s passion are the Langdale Pikes, and he is sketching them from morning till night. He uses white chalk upon a blue paper, and strongly recommends it to you for catching the momentary lights in the sky. I believe you have hitherto confined yourself to terrestrial objects. We set out on Tuesday and breakfasted at Derby, and saw Kedleston and slept at Matlock old Bath, as we had done so often before. At Derby I called upon Lucy,1 and was shown up instantly by the maid into a large room looking to the garden and the river. She was sitting alone, and not a little surprised at the sight of me. She is very thin, and so much altered that I am not sure I should have known her at once elsewhere, but she is the same amiable, kind creature she ever was, and discovered at least half as much pleasure as she did once at Highbury, when she made one jump of it downstairs to meet her father. Her reception quite affected me. At Matlock we took a long walk till sunset, and returned an hour after the dinner hour, much, I believe, to the disappointment of the company, who had waited

1 Lucy Rogers, daughter of Daniel and niece of Samuel, married Mr. Bingham of Derby.

half an hour for us—a company, however, not very numerous, six in number, one of them a sister-in-law of
Sir Wm. Gell. At Sir George’s desire we dined alone and saw nothing of them. Next morning we saw Haddon Hall with great delight and breakfasted at the Chatsworth Inn—when a heavy rain came on and lasted all day. Chatsworth is really little worth seeing, though full of Canova.

Abercromby was there and I saw him for five minutes. At Sheffield I wished to call upon Montgomery, but the rain prevented me. We slept at Barnsley (the inns in these manufacturing towns are most uncomfortable). Next day it cleared up and we had a sight of Gordale Scar, sleeping at Settle. The next day we sat down, as I said, at Lowwood Inn, and despatched a note to Wordsworth, who came next morning to breakfast and spent the day with us. Next day (Sunday) we returned the visit, and went to Rydal Church (a new and very pretty one built by Lady Fleming), and dined with them; at night came a mob to tea—young men with letters of introduction, ladies on short visits to neighbours—and the rooms were crowded. Dora, the daughter, is much improved and not now ill-looking. Miss Hutchinson much softer and more agreeable. The dinner very good and all very neat. The place still more beautiful than I remembered it to be, but they have notice to quit and have bought a field to build in, a measure that disturbs Sir George mightily, but may never take place. Sir G. is very amiable—perhaps a little too talkative—for he talks for ever and [is] more helpless than Miss Fox! Sharp was here a week,
and a week at Ambleside. He saw but little of Wordsworth, who was electioneering.
Miss Kinnaird, the waiter says, sang from morning till night to a small pianoforte that belongs to the house. Wordsworth has much to do. A wedding dinner at Grasmere yesterday; a christening, where he stands sponsor, at Ulverstone next Friday. Sir G. is gone for the day to him now, and has left me behind in another bilious fit, but it is a slight one. On Thursday we go to Keswick for four or five days, and then to Lowther for a week or so, and then I mean to fly home. This house is kept by Scotch people, and is very dirty. Their book for the season is tolerably full of names, but of hardly any I ever heard of. The quality perhaps go to Ambleside, if they come at all. . . . The Ws. lament your absence very much and make many enquiries after you. I fear they will not be soon in London again. We have written for a« private lodging if we can get one at Keswick.

Wordsworth is to come to us next Monday, and will go with us to Lowther, I believe, but we have not yet offered ourselves. There has been no regatta here this summer, but a very gay one last week at Keswick. Quincey, the opium-eater, lives in the house where we first found Wordsworth and dines with him to-day. W. keeps a pony-chaise, and I fear is as much eaten up as Dan—and even more—for all bring letters to him. In Grasmere Churchyard is the inscription I sent you once—
‘Six months to six years added he remained
Upon this sinful earth, by sin unstained.
O blessed Lord, whose mercy then removed
A child, whom every eye that looked on loved,
Support us, teach us calmly to resign
What we possessed and now is wholly thine.
He died in 1812. There is also another on a little girl who died six months before, four years old, being only the words, “Suffer little children,” &c. They lie side by side. Farewell, my dear
Sarah; give my love to Henry. I long much to return and would set off tomorrow but for Sir George. I hope to receive a line from you to-morrow, and will wait and keep this to acknowledge it.

‘Yours very affectionately,
‘S. R.

‘Your letter is come, many thanks for it. Poor Caroline, I hope she will soon be well. As for you I don’t like your prudence, much as I may commend it, for it shows how much you have suffered. My bile is almost gone, and here I sit by the fireside, Sir George at the window sketching the effects of a shower. We have had no right to complain altogether, but I believe scenery has lost much of its power with me. Not so with Sir George, who is always going to the window and looking earnestly out as if he saw somebody he knew, though it is only a cloud or a gleam of light on the water. I have had the sphinx, too—at Ampthill in the flower garden below, two or three times before breakfast. I watched it for twenty minutes at a time, and the ladies saw it while I was at Oakley. So its flight must have been a long one. Becky must have been a great comfort to you, but don’t you keep Patty, now all are gone to the sea? You don’t say she is gone. I wish Henry much
pleasure on his journey. I wish myself back again and count the days, but Sir George is so happy, I have not the heart to turn. He desires to be remembered kindly to you both.
Rubens, and Guido, and Claude, and Poussin, and Haydon, and Lawrence, are so much in my ears all day that I dream of them. My next direction is Post Office, Keswick, but we shall be gone in a week and I will let you know where we move next. We have excellent scalded codlins here, and so we have had all along—a luxury you know we had in Wales last year. We have not once been on the water, nor shall we.

Keswick, September 15.—We came here on Thursday and drank tea with the Southeys in a company of sixteen people; among others, William Taylor of Norwich. Southey dined with us to-day and left us at six to entertain a party at home. What a bustle these poets live in! To-morrow we drink tea with him, and on Monday dine with him and Wordsworth, who comes here. Our mornings are taken up in laking, or, rather, mountaineering. The weather so far very fine. Pray direct to me on or before the 26th under cover to the Earl of Lonsdale, Lowther Castle, Penrith.’

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Keswick: 26 Sept., 1826.

‘My dear Sarah,—You will be surprised to hear that I am still here, but Sir George cannot stir, though he is wringing his hands all day long at the improvement of roads and bridges. Wordsworth came last Tuesday and, though he lives at Southey’s, he rides out with us every
day, and almost every evening we are all together. On Tuesday, W., Sir George, and I go to Ulleswater, and on Friday to Lowther, where Southey joins us for a day or two. We shall stay till the seventh or eighth of October, and then Sir George goes to Mulgrave. Almost all the way is homeward, and I shall most likely avail myself of his carriage as far as I can. He wants me to go to Mulgrave, which, I believe, is very beautiful, on the Scarborough coast. If I do I must go to Castle Howard, if but for a day or two. I wish much to come back to town, but I can’t be in two places, and have decided nothing. It was
Mr. Wm. Taylor we had at Southey’s. We have since been at three crowded evenings there (they have entertained seventy-five people in the last fortnight) and once have dined at General Peachy’s on the island. So we are not idle. I forget whether you know that Rothermirkus Grant is so ruined as to be going out to India as a counsel, where the ground is almost entirely pre-occupied. His son has behaved so nobly, sacrificing himself to his father and the creditors, that they have entrusted him with the whole management of the estate. This I had from Mackintosh—a sad prospect for them. We have had delightful weather, and Sir G. is every instant crying out, “This alone is enough to repay us for all our labours,” but the country is certainly beautiful, and fascinates as much as ever. We have been to Buttermere and Watendlath, and most of the places. Last week Filler went up Skiddaw, a great effort for him. Mrs. Opie is said to be at Ambleside, and there appear to be as many lakers as ever. Our horses are very good and safe. I wish you were upon one of them. Have you
met with a house to your mind yet. I fear not. Perhaps this will find you at the sea—but if not, I shall be very glad to be with you there by and by. We rise at seven, walk from eight to half-past nine, ride out from eleven till four, dine, and walk again till dusk—exercise enough perhaps to wear us out—but I am never out of bed at eleven at night. I wish much I had met with
Sutton, and hope he was pleased. The Attorney-General has been here, and Wordsworth learnt a long history of the Wakefields from him. How does your new maid wear? I hope, when you call, you find Ellwood content, and going on well in St. James’s Place. Next week are the Carlisle races, which, among other reasons, delays our visit to Lowther. The children here are innumerable and all shod with wood or iron, and as they are always clattering along under the window, they put one in mind of the French children in the villages, formerly. I will write again from Lowther, where I hope to receive a letter from you. My love to Henry. I hope Caroline is well again, and George still mending.

‘Yours ever most affectionately,
S. R.

Mrs. Opie is living at Grasmere on a visit to Mr. Barber, who drives her about in an open carriage.’

Sir George Beaumont to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Rogers,—It was some comfort to me in my disappointment to find it was not caused by violent illness on your part; indeed I had the satisfaction to find
it was very slight indeed, and hardly deserved the name; moreover, the reception I met with from my noble host and hostess was so gratifying that it must have been a great evil indeed which could have been felt at all. I hope you are now quite well.

‘You thank me for my kindness, and, as I am a very Frenchman at interpreting things in my own favour, I am in great hopes, that is as much as to say our journey has been a pleasant one, to which I can fairly add, that to me it has been delightful and profitable also.

‘My good fortune did not quit me with you, for in my journey from Mulgrave, about two miles on the other side of Malton, I had an escape little short of a miracle. The postilion’s horse stumbled, and in saving himself he gave a jerk to the rein by which he held the other horse, broke it, and the horse, who was blind, swerved towards a precipice which was guarded by a strong rail—the rail gave way, and both wheels went down the bank so far that I can form no idea how the carriage preserved its balance. My man with great activity leaped from behind, and held the carriage with all his strength, afraid to open the door lest, during the time, wanting his assistance, it would certainly upset; with difficulty I opened it myself, and it was so much on one side it was hardly possible to get out. Providentially, however, I escaped, and was very glad to find myself on terra firma. Observe my good fortune: had the horse not been blind his situation must have made him restless, and the least motion on his part would have precipitated me into the ditch, which was eight or nine feet deep at least, so that the carriage, followed by both the
horses, would have been dashed on its top with inexpressible violence against the bottom, and I cannot form an idea how I could have escaped a fractured skull. Then came the difficulty of extricating the carriage, which took up an hour at least; six or seven lusty honest Yorkshiremen heartily set to work, and with the assistance of a lot of Quakers who were passing, and lent their heads on the occasion with great effect, it was recovered without much damage. I was so much pleased by the zeal of the Quakers that I forgive
Mrs. Opie her whim and am almost inclined to applaud her. I must add, I find I was saved by a stone which was left (of an old bridge) in the bank and caught the carriage; had it been only the soft bank I had been gone! I hope I have piety enough not to attribute all this to mere chance. It made me too late to see the Marys to advantage, but I was in full time for dinner.

‘I am afraid I have given you a puzzling account of this accident, but I was led into it somehow or other, and I hope you will forgive me.

‘I know you will not be sorry to hear of the pleasure you have given my poor old friend and his family by your visit to Mulgrave. To-morrow I set off for Coleorton, where I hope to remain some months in perfect quiet.

‘The post is just going out.

‘Most truly yours,
G. H. Beaumont.
‘Castle Howard: 18 Oct., 1826.’

The last letter from Sir G. H. Beaumont to Rogers followed in the next month; and in February, 1827, he died.

Sir George Beaumont to Samuel Rogers.
‘Coleorton Hall: 13 Nov., 1826.

‘My dear Rogers,—By the time, or perhaps before, you receive this, Lord Hastings’s library will be in the hands of Mr. Robins for sale. This was privately communicated to me, and as I thought there might be some things in it which you might wish to possess, I thought it not amiss to give you this hint in case you might choose to negotiate before the sale.

‘I confess your observation upon parapets seems at first sight a “palpable hit, egad,” but you mistake. I am no enemy to reasonable parapets, but I do not like to see a bridge overloaded; the guards, for instance, of the Simplon are not more than half a yard in height, and I never heard them complained of as insufficient—indeed, when a horse is alarmed nothing can protect you, and I rather think a moderate fence better than a very high one, because the animal can see his danger. Now, I hope I have parried this severe thrust, but whatever sentence you may pass upon me I shall not cease to do justice to your quick philanthropy, and should I survive you, which is not very likely, it shall not be my fault if you are not placed side by side with Howard (not him of Corby, though a very humane man) in the cathedral-church of St. Paul’s. In the meantime I recommend for safety Westminster Bridge in preference to Waterloo.

‘I have just received Ottley’s catalogue, which I like very much on the whole. I hope you approve of it. The N. Poussin is well done, although I cannot agree
with him in supposing the trees are intended for evergreen oaks, they are far more like the chestnut; but, in fact, his general practice is only to make the grand distinctions and not enter into the detail of ashes, elms, &c., which I, who am passionately fond of the heroic style of landscape, cannot but approve; to have given the beautiful variety of
Claude would have been inconsistent with his plan, it would be like introducing silks and satins into the cartoons. I think he might have said a little more of the Rubens; he should, for instance, have introduced the fowler and his dog, both glowing with congenial instinct, and as animals much upon a par. Have you Bowles’s poem? I wish you would show it to him. Am I giving you too much trouble in requesting you to talk with him on the subject? It would save him the trouble of a letter. Only assure him I am highly pleased with his work on the whole. I could almost wish he had said nothing derogatory of Rembrandt. Fuseli adored him, and thought the sublimity of his light and shadow made ample amends for his occasional vulgarities, the unlucky prejudices of his country. On the whole I have heard him say: Rembrandt’s genius was equal to any, and that by his magic power he could make a dunghill “subloim.” We expect Mrs. Siddons to-day!! and Lord and Lady Lonsdale in the course of the week. Now, if you were man enough to join the party, how I should admire you. Lady B. is flattered by your remembrance, and I must thank you again and again for our delightful tour.

‘But I am afraid I have bored you so much with
this long letter you will never forgive me. Come and set my mind at ease.

‘Ever truly yours,
G. H. Beaumont.

‘Do you know anything of Charles Mills, the editor of the travels of Ducas. We have been much entertained by the book, although it would have been more agreeable, I think, if he had given it more of the tone of the times. Excuse repetitions, &c. I write in haste.’

Moore had been in London again in October, and once more had recourse to Rogers for business help and counsel. He records meeting Rogers at Walter Scott’s, when Rogers told the story of a tipsy man who had been rolled in currant jelly and then in feathers, and who, catching sight of himself in a glass, exclaimed, ‘A bird, by Jove!’ Rogers went with him to Murray, Moore walking about outside till Rogers had seen him first. On another day Rogers tells him some flattering things he had heard about the ‘Life of Sheridan,’ administering with the pleasant draught a little wholesome criticism on Moore’s mode of telling some of the stories in the volumes. Later in the month Rogers was at Bowood, and Moore records his kind appreciation of the beauty of his ‘Bessy.’ Moore was busy with ‘The Epicurean,’ and the story was talked over with his friend. Early next year he was in London again, and the business with Murray occupied much of their attention. He tells in his Diary one or two of Rogers’s stories. Lord Erskine said of a man who left a quarter of a million,
that it was a fine sum to begin the other world with—an observation Rogers often quoted.
Fuseli, standing with his back to Rogers’s fire on a cold day, remarked, with his peculiar accent, ‘Hell fire kept within bounds is no bad thing.’ Moore records Rogers’s story told him by the Duke of Wellington, that when Bonaparte’s escape from Elba was told to the persons assembled in Congress they all burst out laughing. The Duke had sent a special despatch to the Emperor with the news, and the bearer of it afterwards remarked, ‘What could there possibly have been in that despatch, for the moment the Emperor read it he burst out a-laughing.’ After Cintra, the Duke of Wellington said to Rogers’s early friend, Sir John Moore, ‘There is now only you and me left, and if you are appointed chief I will serve under you.’ Of Waterloo the Duke said to Rogers, ‘It was a battle of giants.’

In the next two letters Rogers appears in entirely new and widely different characters.

Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: 10 March, 1827.

‘My dear Rogers,—I am going to address you in character of Churchwarden of Little St. Clement’s, East Cheap: how came you by this odd distinction?

‘My friend Mr. Johnson is minister of that church, and having heard that certain pictures, and a fund for the purchase of pictures, exist at the disposal of the British Institution for the decoration of churches, he
has got a notion that, through your influence, one might be procured for his own church, and has begged me to intercede with you for that purpose. I have therefore readily complied with his request, though I should fear he may be too sanguine in his expectations.

‘And now, my dear friend, let me condole with you on the loss we have sustained in the death of Sir George Beaumont. He has left a gap in private society that will not be filled up, and the public is not without important reasons to honour his memory and lament his loss. Nearly five and twenty years have I known him intimately, and neither myself nor my family ever received a cold or unkind look from him. With what tender interest do I think of the happy hours we three spent together last summer.

‘I prized every hour that went by
Beyond all that had pleased me before;
And now they are passed and I sigh,
And I grieve that I prized them no more.

‘The printing of my poems is going on pretty rapidly.

‘Ever, with kindest regards from all here,

‘Most faithfully yours,
‘W. W.

Dora is improved in health, but the severe weather confines her to her room.’

Moore records that on the 22nd of April he met the Duke of Devonshire at Bowood. The Duke had come to persuade Lord Lansdowne to join Canning’s administration as Irish Secretary. Two days later, after the
Duke of Devonshire had gone back to London, Lord Lansdowne said to Moore that he had that morning received a letter from a person he would little suspect as offering counsel on such a subject, ‘one,’ added Lord Lansdowne, ‘more likely to counsel you than me.’ It was this letter from
Rogers at Dropmore.

Samuel Rogers to Lord Lansdowne.
‘Dropmore: 20 April, 1827.

‘My dear Lord Lansdowne,—I am just now under the roof of an old retired Statesman, whose sentiments all men, however they may differ from him, must listen to with respect; and perhaps at a crisis like the present you will not be sorry to hear what has fallen from him on the subject.

‘When I mentioned, on my arrival here last night, the rumour in town that it had been proposed to form a Cabinet, the majority of which should be Catholic—the Home Secretary to be a Catholic, and the Irish Secretary a Catholic—and that the Home Secretaryship had been offered to you,—

‘He said in reply, I have the highest opinion of Lord Lansdowne, and I can never believe that he would refuse such an offer under such circumstances if he was fully aware of what he refused. A Lord Lieutenant is little more than a mere pageant; with the Home Secretary, as I know well, rests, and I may say entirely, the government of Ireland; for with him rests the due execution of the law, now almost a dead letter to the Catholic. The Lord Lieutenant has only to further the
orders he receives from the Home Office, little more, and if the Irish Secretary throws no obstacle in the way, everything that can be desired may in time be brought about. Whether the Lord Lieutenant is Catholic or Protestant is comparatively speaking of little or no importance. A Protestant Lord Lieutenant is perhaps the least thing the King can ask for. He thinks he is asking for much, while he is asking for little or nothing; and why refuse him? He must have his pride and his feelings like other men, and why not let him down gently?

‘I wish I could give you all he said on the subject; but I believe I have given you the purport. By some men it may be thought that he once threw away such an opportunity as this himself, and now and then (is it not possible?) he may think so in his solitary hours. Perhaps I am mistaken, but the suspicion crossed my mind while he was speaking. There was a melancholy, a sadness, a something so like regret in the tone of his voice, that I was affected not a little by it. I write not unknown to him, and when I told him of my intention this morning he replied, “You are welcome to repeat all I have said. I am the last man to obtrude my opinion on anybody, but he would be welcome to it at all times. Whatever he does he will do for the best; but this I must say” (and it was with some agitation he said it, a thing now unusual to him), “whoever rejects such an offer is, in my opinion, guilty of a great dereliction of public duty. He may make motions and speeches for another twenty years to come, but he will never repair his loss. What a benefit, among others, to prevent the return of such people, exclusively, to power. They must now
wonder at their folly; but still more must they wonder to find folly as great as their own. I hope and trust that Lord Lansdowne will not listen to such counsels. It is inconceivable what good may be done and what evil prevented. Such an opportunity can never occur twice to one man. A wedge, as you say, has a broad end and a sharp end. Who in his sober senses would think of driving it in at the broad end?”

‘Pray forgive me, my dear Lord Lansdowne, for troubling you with so long a letter at such a time; and yet why should I make any excuse for it? I have now known you for many a year, and I am very sure you will receive it in good part, and as a testimony of the esteem and regard with which I am always yours,

Samuel Rogers.

Mr. Grenville was present and went along with him in every syllable. A man who, like Lord Grenville, has filled so many high offices of the State, and who has himself discharged the duties of Home Secretary and Irish Secretary, must be supposed to know the degree and extent of the influence belonging to each. On that part of the subject he spoke with great confidence. He has once, I believe, if not twice, refused office under circumstances not very unlike the present, and may here be said to have given the result of his experience while in public life and of his meditation since he has left it.’

The effect of this letter was to decide Lord Lansdowne to join the Junction Government. ‘If you find me gone,’ he said to Moore when he told him of the receipt of this letter, ‘you may conclude all is settled.’ Next morning
he was gone. He accepted the Home Secretaryship and discharged its duties with universal approval.

The Mr. Grenville whom Rogers mentions in the postscript was Mr. Thomas Grenville, an elder brother of Lord Grenville. He was usually spoken of as Tom Grenville. Uvedale Price, writing to Rogers on July 27th, 1827, says of him:—

‘I always liked Tom Grenville, as he was familiarly called, and like him much better now, both outwardly and inwardly; his unpowdered head, to my mind, suits the character of his countenance more than powdered curls; as to the interior, in addition to the general quickness and pleasantness of his conversation, I found, during our walk together at Dropmore, that he was an eager observer on my particular line, and to a part of it that has so much employed my thoughts—to composition; and he pointed out several trees, bushy thorns, &c., which appeared to him to interfere with it; and I, of course, approved of his notions, as they exactly coincided with mine. There are few persons that I should be so glad to see here, and I will not despair of a visit. I nearly despair of a second from Lord and Lady Grenville; the first, and I fear the last, as ill-luck would have it, was to the place only.’

A melancholy interest attaches to a letter from the ‘Man of Feeling’ appealing to Rogers for assistance to the author of ‘The Course of Time’—a book immensely popular forty or fifty years ago, of which Professor Wilson truly said that, ‘though not a poem,’ it ‘overflows with Poetry.’

Henry Mackenzie to Samuel Rogers.
‘Heriot Row, Edinburgh: 8 August, 1827.

‘My dear Sir,—I hope I am not, as a satirist said a good many years ago of an obnoxious monster, “the most impudent man alive”; but certainly this is one of the most impudent letters I ever wrote. Without, however, troubling you with a long preface, I will state the fact. There is a poem lately published, written by a young man of the name of Pollok, a dissenting clergyman here, which I really think in point of genius and poetical power a very wonderful one. It is called ‘The Course of Time,’ and contains, among many passages liable to criticism, others, moral and descriptive, of infinite genius and merit, if I, whom age only entitles to speak of such things, may be trusted. Knowing the author a little, and more from other impartial persons, I believe him to be as amiable as a man as he is ingenious as a poet. But alas! young as he is, he has the seeds of disease and death in his frame, which make his life very uncertain and likely to be short. A journey, and short residence, to a warmer climate, his benevolent physician, whom he has interested in the strongest manner, thinks the only chance he has for life or health; but, alas! like most poets, the expense of such an emigration is beyond his means. To supply these, a subscription has been set afoot here, and there are great hopes that 100l. or 150l. may thereby be raised for his journey and other expenses. Now for my impudence—it is to lay your beneficence under the tax of two or three guineas to this subscription,
to which the Muses, Bo much the friends of poor Pollok, have excited patrons. Mr. Rogers is one of their greatest favourites, and I may use their names in behalf of one of their youngest sons.
Mr. Cadell’s correspondent here, Mr. Blackwood, has taken a kind concern in Pollok, and any subscriptions which literary persons in London may contribute, may be paid in to him. If you can take that liberty with any poets who can afford it, you may use my name as certifying the merits of the man, and, though with more diffidence, of the poem. Again asking pardon for this letter, and wishing, at all events, to have the pleasure of hearing from you,

‘I remain, my dear Sir, with the most sincere regard, your most faithful and obedient servant,

H. Mackenzie.’

Poor Pollok did not benefit much by the generosity of literary friends. He came to winter in the South, but died at Shirley Common, near Southampton, on the 17th of September.

Meanwhile Wordsworth’s new edition of his poems came out, and Rogers having acknowledged its receipt, Wordsworth replied.

Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
Rydal Mount: 20th September [1827].

‘My dear Rogers,—Some time ago I heard from you in acknowledgment of the receipt of my last edition. Its contents you appear to esteem in a way which cannot but be highly flattering to me. I am now writing to
consult you about a small matter of virtu in which I am inclined to incur a little expense. An advertisement has been forwarded to me of the prints of the Stafford Gallery, at one third of the original price. Are they well executed, and are they likely to be good or at least fair impressions and not refuse? The advertisement says that the public is secured against inferior impressions by the limited number. Do you know if this be true? or could you procure me a copy fairly culled? or, lastly, would it be at all an eligible purchase for one of my slender means, who is a passionate lover of the Art? If you think so, have the goodness to select me one; we have no works of Art near us, and must therefore be content with shadows.

‘My wife and daughter are flown into Hampshire, where they will remain till the first swallow returns, for the sake of a dryer climate, which my daughter’s health requires. I hope your journey to Italy will be deferred for one year, it would admit the possibility at least of my meeting you there. What a treat! How goes on your poem? The papers spoke of a new edition being intended, with numerous engravings, which, if executed under your presiding taste, cannot but be invaluable. I was at Lowther a week lately. I missed you and dear Sir George by the side of that beautiful stream. The weather was exquisite, and one solitary ramble through the Elysian fields and onwards I shall never forget. Could you believe that a flock of geese, tame geese, could on land make an interesting appearance? Yet that day so they did, reposing themselves under an umbrageous oak; thirty at least, all carefully shaded from the bright and over-warm
sunshine, and forming groups that
Rubens would have delighted in; with attitudes as various and action still more so than cattle enjoying like comfort.

‘My sister, sons, and Miss Hutchinson are here; all unite in kindest regards. I wish you would join us for a week or two.

‘Ever faithfully yours,
W. Wordsworth.’

The postscript is by another hand.

‘The Stafford Gallery complete in four volumes, folios, half bound, uncut, 12l. 12s. 0d., published at 35l. 14s. 0d., sold by Samuel Leigh, 18 Strand.

‘My brother has desired me to copy the above from the advertisement, and, with pen in hand and the blank page before me, I cannot help saying a word of friendly and affectionate remembrance to yourself and sister. The season is so far advanced that I fear there is no chance of your being moved hither by my brother’s hint of the pleasure it would give us to see you; yet I will add, if you do come, you must bring Miss Rogers along with you, or I should not be half satisfied. My brother, I see, says nothing of his intention of visiting Mrs. W. at Coleorton, nor of a still larger scheme that he has of visiting London. I was very sorry not to see you at Coleorton, the last week of my enjoyment of dear Sir George Beaumont’s society.

‘Adieu, dear Sir; believe me yours truly,

W. Wordsworth.’

In the autumn there was the usual company at Bowood, and Moore tells us almost as much about Rogers, who was there, as about himself. One or two of Rogers’s stories Moore misreports. According to Rogers’s Commonplace Book, it was of the House of Lords, and not of the House of Commons as Moore says, that Lord Maynard, returning from a visit to the Continent, asked, ‘Is that going on still?’ It was Madame de Staël who asked Talleyrand whether he would save her or another lady if both were in danger of drowning, and to whom Talleyrand replied, ‘Vous savez nager, je crois.’ Moore was then busy with Lord Byron’s life, and there was much talk with Rogers about it, but most of the stories he records I have already given on other authority. Among other stories is Rogers’s statement that Byron was nine months at Pisa without seeing the belfry or the baptistery; and that Canova had told him he was in love at five years old.

A couple of letters finish up the year.

Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Coleorton Hall [1st December, 1827].

‘My dear Rogers,—Ten days ago Mrs. W. (she from the neighbourhood of Hereford, and I from the North) met at this place, which we quit Saturday, 8th of next month, going together into Herefordshire, where Mrs. W. will remain with her daughter till the warm and dry weather of spring returns. Thus is our little family broken up by the troublesome indisposition of my daughter, an affection of the throat, which returns along with a cough on rainy and damp days.


Lady Beaumont was not well a few days after our arrival here, but she is now in good health and as little altered in appearance as could have been expected. She employs herself much in the concerns of this place, and has great resources in reading and religious meditation. You will be aware how much Mrs. W. and I miss Sir George in this house and in the grounds about. There is a little picture on the easel in his painting room as it was left on his seizure there with a fainting fit, the commencement of his fatal illness, which lasted no more than eight days. Lady B. begs that you will be quite easy on the subject of your not answering her letter, as she did not look for a reply, being in general as averse to letter-writing as you are. It seems that it was a consolation to her under her suffering to write to Sir George’s friends. I sincerely believe that she did so without wishing for, or thinking about, any notice of her effusion. She took up the pen from impulse, and it was a relief to her.

‘I am pleased to hear that the Stafford Gallery is thought a bargain, but I will not trouble you any more on the subject. Before I had heard from you I mentioned to Mr. Page, whom I think you saw at Lowther, that I had named this subject to you, and he engaged to knock at your door to learn whether you were at home or in England. I thought you might be gone to Italy. Whether he found you or not, he obligingly offered to inspect the prints himself, and report to me accordingly. I have not yet heard from him; at all events let the purchase be suspended at present. I know, and have often admired, the Rubens Lord Stafford
has given to the British Gallery; it would be worthy of you to follow his example and enrich the same repository, either during your lifetime or by bequest, with some choice work of art, for the public benefit, and thus to connect your name, already distinguished in one of the fine arts, with another of the sisterhood. Think of this, and by so doing, and in fulfilling the prophecy I often made to
Sir George when he was talking of giving his pictures to the nation, that his example would be followed by many others, and that thus, in course of time, a noble gallery would be produced.

‘Italy, alas! is to me an ignis fatuus; every year the hope dances before me only to obstruct my sight of something else that I might attain. Were there no other obstacle, I could not think of leaving England for so long a time till I had disposed of my younger son, who, as I have just learned from him, is bent upon being a beggar either in the honourable character and profession of a soldier or of a farmer. Could you suggest to me anything better for this infatuated youth—any situation in a counting-house or a public office? He dislikes the thought of the University because he sees nothing afterwards open to him but the Church, which he does not think himself fit for, or that he ever can be made so. Excuse th1s weary epistle, and believe me ever, with true affection,

W. Wordsworth.’
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Strathfieldsaye [December, 1827].

‘My dear Sarah,—The weather was so severe as we came that Rees travelled the greater part in the carriage. But we have been out every day. On Tuesday there was a large party to see Anderden’s pictures. It seems he lives about five miles off, and I had no great fancy to go; but the Duke said they were excellent, and as he seemed to wish it, I went. On Wednesday some of us went to Sir John Cope’s and we were rewarded. The gallery, unfurnished, is 130 feet long, and the house, as Lady Holland said, is much larger than Holland House. The passages and staircases are endless, and the views from the windows very extensive. We dine punctually at seven and breakfast at ten. On Tuesday the Duke sent for the Raivier family (the Tyrolese), and for the two last evenings they have sung (yesterday while we dined). Today, I believe, the Duke is gone a-hunting. The church is in the park, and his nephew, Mr. Wellesley, is Rector. The commissioners wished the Duke to decide in favour of Sir John Cope’s, then on sale; but he was deterred by the expense of repairing it. His architect told him that the roof must be taken off and that then the walls would come down—reason enough against the purchase if well founded. On Saturday I shall go to Dropmore and return to town early on Monday. Every day at dinner there has been the addition of some neighbours, and,
among others,
Sir Claudius Hunter. Yesterday some came in the evening.

‘Yours ever,
S. Rogers.

‘Of the society I will say nothing at present: some I like better than before, and some less. Silchester is within six miles of us, but the Roman Camp at Sandwich contents me.’