LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter II. 1805-1809.

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 and Fox—Visits to Fox—Fox’s Last Illness—Death of Fox—Holland House—Rogers and Lord and Lady Holland—Death of Maria and Sutton Sharpe—Their Children—Catharine Sharpe—Rogers and Thomas Moore—Duel with Jeffrey—Richard Sharp in Parliament—Windham—Mrs Inchbald—Uvedale Price—Rogers and Wordsworth—Brighton in 1808—Rogers and Lord Erskine—Rogers and Walter Scott—Hoppner—The Quarterly Review—Lines on Mrs. Duff—Scott on Mrs. Duff’s Death—Letter from Luttrell—Rogers and the Princess of Wales.

The intercourse which Rogers had with Mr. Fox in the last years of that great statesman’s life always remained among his most cherished recollections. More than a third of his volume of ‘Recollections1 is devoted to Fox, and Rogers records that these scraps of conversation—which year after year he repeated to new friends at his celebrated breakfast parties—were read by Lord Holland with tears in his eyes. They give us the home view of a great political leader—what he was in free talk with a friend. ‘I am well aware,’ says Rogers in a brief prefatory note, ‘that these scraps of conversation have little to recommend them, but as serving to show his playfulness, his love of letters, and his good nature in

1 Recollections, by Samuel Rogers, edited by his nephew, William Sharpe, and published in 1859.

unbending himself to a young man.’ The first meeting with Fox he has put on record was at
Mr. Stone’s in 1792,1 but the first conversation recorded in the ‘Recollections’ took place at William Smith’s house in 1796. At the earlier meeting, Talleyrand, then only known as the Bishop of Autun, was present, with Sheridan, Madame de Genlis (then Madame de Sillery), and Pamela. Sheridan was, or pretended to be, desperately smitten with Pamela, and Madame de Genlis tells us he made her an offer of marriage. On this particular evening Sheridan was busy writing verses to her in very imperfect French. Shortly afterwards she married the unfortunate Lord Edward Fitzgerald. During the evening, Fox’s natural son, a deaf and dumb boy, came in, and Fox flew to receive him with the most lively pleasure. He conversed with the boy by signs, and Talleyrand remarked to Rogers how strange it was to meet the first orator in Europe, and see him talking only with his fingers. The chief political remark of Fox’s, which Rogers records in his diary, is that ‘all titles are equally ridiculous.’ The next record of Fox’s conversation is that with which the ‘Recollections’ open. It was at a dinner at William Smith’s, and Rogers puts on record that he was delighted with Fox’s ‘fine tact, his feeling, open and gentlemanlike manner, so full of candour and diffidence, and entering with great ardour and interest into the conversation.’ The next meeting recorded was at Sergeant Heywood’s, when Lord Derby, Lord Stanley, and Lord Lauderdale were present, and Fox ‘pooh-poohed political economy, and spoke lightly of Adam

1 The Early Life of Samuel Rogers, pp. 244-45.

Smith. From this time Fox seems to have numbered Rogers among his friends. They had much intercourse at Paris in 1802, and Rogers visited him in January, 1803, at St. Anne’s Hill. The last visit to Fox’s country house was in July, 1805. Rogers records that he ‘went down with Courtenay and a brace of Weymouth trout.’ Leaving London at eleven, they reached St. Anne’s Hill at three, and found Fox in his garden, dressed in a light-coloured coat and nankeen gaiters, and wearing a white hat. He complained of the coldness of the summer, and of the gnats, and said he had not seen the Chertsey hills for a fortnight. ‘How d’ye do?’ he exclaimed, when it cleared in the evening, and the hills became visible. The talk during this visit fills nearly thirty pages of the ‘Recollections.’ Fox was very cordial. They arrived on the Wednesday, and proposed to return home on Saturday, but Fox insisted on making them stay till Monday, that they might have a quiet day on Sunday. Such a visit to the great Whig orator, when his life was fast drawing to its premature close, was likely to remain, as it did, among the proudest and most cherished of Rogers’s recollections. In his poem of ‘Human Life’ there is an apostrophe to Fox, in which this and other visits are described:—

Thee at St. Anne’s so soon of care beguiled,
Playful, sincere, and artless as a child;
Thee who would’st watch a bird’s-nest on a spray,
Through the green lanes exploring day by day,
How oft from grove to grove, from seat to seat,
With thee conversing in thy lov’d retreat,
I saw the sun go down. Ah! then ‘twas thine
Ne’er to forget some volume half divine;
Shakespeare’s or Dryden’s, through the chequered shade,
Borne in thy hand behind thee as we strayed,
And where we sat (and many a halt we made)
To read there in a fervour all thine own,
And in thy grand and melancholy tone,
Some splendid passage, not to thee unknown,
Fit theme for long discourse.

In the succeeding February, after Fox had been appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Lord Grenville’s ‘Ministry of All the Talents,’ Fox removed to a house in Stable Yard, Westminster, and there Rogers saw him. At one of these visits Fox was talking earnestly about Dryden, of whom he was so fond that he once thought of editing his works. In the warmth of conversation with a sympathising listener, he forgot that a levee was being held, which, as a Minister of State, it was his duty to attend. When he suddenly recollected it, there was no time to dress, and he set off in his ordinary attire. Reminded that he was not in a Court suit, ‘Never mind,’ he replied; ‘he is so blind, he will never know what I have got on.’

On the 23rd of March Rogers called on him, and found him reading Scott’sLay of the Last Minstrel,’ which Rogers had lent him. They had been together to see ‘the Young Roscius’ a short time before. Fox’s health was already failing, and, early in April, Rogers was summoned to visit him by apathetic letter from Mrs. Fox. This letter shows the esteem in which Rogers was held by Fox and his wife, and proves that Mrs. Fox had been very anxious about her husband’s health a month before she communicated her anxiety to Captain
Trotter, who says that she first spoke to him on the subject early in May.

Mrs. Fox to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Sir,—If you can find time any evening before half-past ten to call here, I am sure Mr. Fox will be very happy to see you, as he has very often wished to do, particularly since he has been ill. He is now, thank God, better, but indeed, my dear Mr. Rogers, I have been very wretched for some days. Pray come soon, as I know he will enjoy seeing you.

‘Yours very truly,
Elizth. Fox.
‘Stable Yard, Saturday.’

This Saturday was either the 5th or 12th of April. Rogers went at once and found Fox lying with Hippocrates open before him. The remark recorded in the ‘Recollections’ was made in an interval of his fits of stupor. He recovered for a time, and on Sunday, the 20th, Rogers dined at his house by formal invitation to a six-o’clock dinner. This was probably the last time Rogers saw him. In May, Mrs. Fox mentioned to Trotter the anxiety her husband’s illness caused her; in June he became worse; and in July, longing to be back at St. Anne’s Hill, set out for home, intending to take Chiswick House on the way. He never got beyond this first stage of the journey, but died at Chiswick on the 13th of September.

The death of Fox gave Rogers occasion for one of the best of his smaller poems. He had for him an unfeigned admiration and affection, and was in complete sympathy
with the feeling of numb despair with which the Whig party saw the disappearance of their illustrious leader just as the way seemed opening before him and them into a better time. In one of his most prosaic pieces
Wordsworth, writing when Fox’s death was hourly expected, spoke of a power passing from the earth. Rogers wrote his ‘Lines in Westminster Abbey,’ when the power had passed:—

In him, resentful of another’s wrong,
The dumb were eloquent, the feeble strong;
Truth from his lips a charm celestial drew,
Ah! who so mighty and so gentle too?
What though with war the madding nations rung,
Peace, when he spake, was ever on his tongue,
Amid the frowns of Power, the cares of State,
Fearless, resolved, and negligently great
Friend of all human kind! not here alone
(The voice that speaks was not to thee unknown)
Wilt Thou be missed. O’er every land and sea,
Long, long, shall England be revered in Thee;
And when the storm is hushed, in distant years,
Foes on thy grave shall meet and mingle tears.

The distant years have come and the poet’s prophecy is fulfilled. Fox’s fame is part of the proud inheritance of Englishmen, to whatever party they belong. After more than eighty years, in which we have had statesmen as fearless, leaders as ‘resolved and negligently great,’ and orators as powerful, it is not possible to realise the disappointment, the distress, and the anxiety for the future, which the passing away of this power from the earth caused to the friends of freedom and progress
everywhere, as well as to his own immediate circle. It was a time when death seemed busy with the great.
Nelson had died on the 21st of the previous October; Pitt had gone on the 23rd of January; and now Fox had followed within eight months. To the Whig party the loss seemed almost fatal. There was no one to take his place. How poignant the personal sorrow and the public and party disappointment were, is illustrated by one of Rogers’s recollections. Many years after Fox’s death he was at a party at Chiswick, and roamed with Sir Robert Adair over the house. They talked of the lost leader, and Sir Robert Adair asked in which room he died. ‘In this very room,’ replied Rogers, and Sir Robert Adair burst into a flood of tears.

In his later years Rogers often told and retold the story of his early intercourse with the greatest of the Whigs. He had introduced Wordsworth to Fox at a ball given by Mrs. Fox. Wordsworth was then little known, but he had already sent Fox a copy of the ‘Lyrical Ballads,’ with a letter in which he had drawn special attention to ‘The Brothers’ and ‘Michael’ as containing pictures of the domestic affections as they exist among the small cultivating proprietors called in the north country ‘statesmen.’ Fox had replied pointing out that ‘Harry Gill,’ ‘We are Seven,’ ‘The Mad Mother,’ and ‘The Idiot Boy’ were his favourites, and expressing his dislike of blank verse for subjects which are to be treated of with simplicity. This correspondence was probably in the minds of both when Fox and Wordsworth met, and accounts for Fox’s greeting, ‘I am glad to see you, Mr. Wordsworth, though I am not of your faction.’


It is easy to understand how Rogers’sRecollections’ of Fox, which every student of English history reads with satisfaction and interest, even in these distant days, told as they were in a manner which all contemporary accounts agree in describing as singularly effective and attractive, endeared him to the Whig circles in which he moved. It is in those ‘Recollections,’ embracing as they did Fox, Burke (through Mrs. Crewe and Dr. Lawrence), Grattan, Porson, Tooke, Talleyrand, Erskine, Scott, Lord Grenville, and the Duke of Wellington, that we have the real Table Talk of Samuel Rogers. The qualities which recommended him to these men, all of whom except Burke he knew personally, and with all of whom except Burke and Talleyrand, and perhaps Wellington, he lived on terms of intimate friendship, must of course be taken into account in any estimate of the causes which made him not only the oracle of the Holland House circle, but of London society generally for so many years. Fox, in illness, often wishing to see him, bears testimony to the pleasure his society gave to men who found a refuge in it from the tedium of weakness, from the anxieties of business, and from the cares of State.

Rogers’s acquaintance with Lord and Lady Holland sprang in all probability out of his intimacy with Fox. He had become a familiar visitor at Holland House before the death of the great Whig orator and statesman, and their common reverence for his memory formed a strong tie between Rogers and Lord Holland, though no two men could more widely differ from each other. They were united by literary sympathies, by political opinions, and by social likes and dislikes; but still more by that
complete dissimilarity which made the one, in many respects, the complement to the other. Writing of Holland House in 1831, after he had received his first invitation to it,
Macaulay calls it ‘the favourite resort of wits and beauties, of painters and poets, of scholars, philosophers, and statesmen,’ and he tells his sister that ‘Rogers is the oracle of that circle.’ Rogers had got very early into high favour with the stern and eccentric guardian of its portals, without whose approval few could enter them and none remain. Lord Holland could not ask a friend to dinner without consulting his wife. One day, shortly before his death, Lord Holland met Rogers at the door. He had been calling on Lady Holland, and Lord Holland asked him if he returned to dinner. ‘I have not been invited,’ answered Rogers, and went away. Macaulay describes her, in 1831, as ‘a large, bold-looking woman, with the remains of a fine person and the air of Queen Elizabeth.’ In three brief sentences he sums up the characters of both host and hostess: ‘Lord Holland is extremely kind. But that is of course, for he is kindness itself. Her ladyship too, which is by no means of course, is all graciousness and civility.’ Rogers told Mr. Dyce that, when she wanted to get rid of a fop, she would beg his pardon and ask him to sit a little further off, adding, ‘There is something on your handkerchief I do not quite like.’ When men were standing with their backs close to the chimney-piece, she would call out to them to stir the fire. In 1843, when Brougham and Lady Holland were abroad with Rogers, Brougham writing to Rogers to propose an excursion remarked,‘Among other inducements don’t forget how very angry
it will make Lady H. She hates anybody doing anything.’ It is a striking proof of the essential gentleness of Rogers’s character that he kept the fast friendship, and, as her letters show, the affectionate regard of this imperious person for over forty years.

Lord Holland had a sincere admiration for Rogers’s poetry; and Rogers had a hearty affection for Lord Holland as a man. Macaulay expresses his wonder ‘that such men as Lord Granville, Lord Holland, Hobhouse, Lord Byron, and others of high rank in intellect, should place Rogers, as they do, above Southey, Moore, and even Scott himself.’ His explanation is that ‘this comes of being in the highest society of London.’ But Macaulay here confuses between post hoc and propter hoc. Rogers was in the highest society of London in 1831 because his poems had been so heartily admired for nearly forty years. ‘The Pleasures of Memory’ had made him the fashion before Macaulay was born. There is no doubt that Lord Holland did much to confirm and sustain the fame of his friend. The lines he inscribed on the summer-house in the garden of Holland House are reproduced in the memoirs or the letters of scores of distinguished visitors. It was no ordinary homage from such a man that the summer-house should be called Rogers’s seat, and that he should have inscribed upon it—

Here Rogers sate, and here for ever dwell
For me those pleasures which he sang so well.

The lines were put into Latin by Luttrell

Rogeri solitas sedes hie aspicis—hic mi
Usque voluptates habitant quas tam bene cantat.

Rogers repaid the compliment paid him by Lord Holland. In the ‘Lines written in Westminster Abbey,’ after Fox’s funeral, he had spoken of Fox—
When in retreat he laid his thunder by
For lettered ease and calm philosophy.
There, listening sate the hero and the sage,
And they, by virtue and by blood allied,
Whom most he loved, and in whose arms he died.
His intimacy with the Hollands had not then begun; but when, some years later, he wrote ‘
Human Life,’ it had become very constant and close. At the end of the apostrophe to Fox in that poem he refers to Lord Holland—
Thy bell has tolled!
—But in thy place among us we behold
One who resembles thee.

The gloom which settled down over the prospects of the nation in this disastrous year was reflected in some of Rogers’s domestic relations. Rogers himself has given the world, in a passage in his poem on ‘Human Life,’ a glimpse of what may fitly be described as a domestic tragedy. It is, perhaps, the most pathetic part of his writings; and Macaulay, in his review of Moore’s Life of Byron, describes the last dozen lines as most sweet and graceful. In a letter to his sister, Macaulay tells her why he thus dragged in a compliment to Rogers, but he assures her that it is ‘not undeserved.’ The whole passage, however, is, as I have already shown other parts of this poem to be, taken from his own
personal experience, and is full of testimony to the strength and purity of his domestic affections—
But man is born to suffer. On the door
Sickness has set her mark; and now no more
Laughter within we hear, or woodnotes wild
As of a mother singing to her child.
All now in anguish from that room retire,
Where a young cheek glows with consuming fire,
And Innocence breathes contagion—all but one,
But she who gave it birth—from her alone
The medicine-cup is taken. Through the night,
And through the day, that with its dreary light
Comes unregarded, she sits silent by,
Watching the changes with her anxious eye:
While they without, listening below, above,
(Who but in sorrow know how much they love?)
From every little noise catch hope and fear,
Exchanging still, still as they turn to hear,
Whispers and sighs, and smiles all tenderness
That would in vain the starting tear repress.
Such grief was ours,—it seems but yesterday—
When in thy prime, wishing so much to stay,
‘Twas thine, Maria, thine without a sigh,
At midnight in a Sister’s arms to die!
Oh, thou wert lovely—lovely was thy frame,
And pure thy spirit as from Heaven it came;
And, when recall’d to join the blest above,
Thou died’st a victim to exceeding love,
Nursing the young to health. In happier hours,
When idle Fancy wove luxuriant flowers,
Once in thy mirth thou bad’st me write on thee;
And now I write—what thou shalt never see!
The door on which sickness had set her mark was that of his brother-in-law,
Sutton Sharpe, where, in these
latter years, Rogers had often heard the laughter of his little niece and nephews, the children of his sister
Maria. She was Sutton Sharpe’s second wife, and at their wedding, in 1795, Samuel Rogers had given her away. Her husband, as has been previously said, had taught Rogers all he knew of art, and Rogers owed to him his introduction to and acquaintance with the chief artists of the time. Their married life of nine years and a half had been a very happy one. Mrs. Sharpe had won the affection of her husband’s only child by his first marriage, and this stepdaughter—a girl of thirteen when the marriage took place—had shared with her the family and household cares. In the beginning of the year 1806 the stepdaughter was away from home, and the little girl, Mary Sharpe, then five years old, was attacked by fever. Before she had recovered, a little boy of three, Henry Sharpe, was also attacked; and his mother, reluctant to break her stepdaughter’s holiday, kept the illness from her and undertook the nursing herself. The anxiety proved too much for her. While the children were still only convalescent, another was born, and a fortnight later the mother caught the fever and died, ‘a victim to exceeding love,’ as her brother says. Sutton Sharpe never recovered from the blow, and in five months’ time it was followed by another. His brothers-in-law, Samuel and Henry Rogers, as his bankers, had to tell him that he was ruined, and the next day he was found dead in his brewery.

Both the children recovered, and, with their four brothers, grew up under the constant motherly care of their elder half-sister, to form a family of every one of
whom their poet uncle had reason to be proud. Their half-sister—and from this period their second mother—
Catharine Sharpe was twenty-four. The story of this group of tho children of one father covers a period of almost a hundred years. Catharine Sharpe was born on the 2nd of May, 1782; and Samuel Sharpe, the survivor of the group, died on the 28th of July, 1881. There was a story worth telling in every one of their lives. Sutton Sharpe became an eminent Queen’s Counsel, a leader of the Chancery Bar, a Commissioner on Chancery Reform, and when he was struck down by paralysis in 1843, in his forty-sixth year, had before him, as the Examiner said, the most brilliant professional prospects. Of Samuel Sharpe, the eminent Egyptologist, the translator of the Bible, the benefactor of University College and School, and the Unitarian philanthropist, it is needless to speak. Mary married Mr. Edwin Wilkins Field, whose statue in the Law Courts is the testimony of the legal profession to the services he rendered it. Henry, a successful merchant, spent his leisure in various forms of philanthropic work, one of which is recorded in Hampstead Parish Church in a medallion monument raised, as the inscription says, ‘by those who derived benefit in their youth from his disinterested efforts for their instruction and improvement, and who, though scattered through the world, gratefully unite to perpetuate the memory of a life devoted to the good of others.’ William Sharpe, who ably edited Rogers’sRecollections,’ and with Samuel was left by Rogers as his literary executor, was, at one time, President of the Incorporated Law Society, and was consulted by successive Lord Chancellors
His Sister Maria's Children41
on important Bills. There is a story of a Lord Chancellor who one day sent him a Bankruptcy Bill which was to be introduced in the House of Lords on the next day. William Sharpe studied it carefully for a good part of the night, and early the next morning hurried off to report that the scheme would not work. ‘You are quite right,’ said the Chancellor, ‘the Bill won’t work; but it must pass, for we have promised the places.’ The Bill did pass, and did not work. The places were given, and soon after the placemen were displaced and compensated.
Daniel Sharpe, the youngest brother, was a partner with his brother Henry. He was as eminent in geology as his elder brother Samuel was in Egyptology. He was killed by a fall from his horse in 1856, and at the time of his death was President of the Geological Society,1 Fellow of the Royal Society, as well as of the Linnean and Zoological Societies. It is very rarely indeed that all the sons of a family attain distinction or success; and that this group of children, left orphans in their infancy, lived such useful and honourable lives is due, in the first place, to the qualities they inherited, and, in the second, to the careful nurture and the considerate training they received in the home of which their elder half-sister, Catharine Sharpe, was the self-sacrificing guardian and head.

Tragedy and comedy, like laughter and tears, lie so close together in life that the tale of Tom Moore’s duel with Jeffrey wove itself in naturally enough among the

1 I am told by an accomplished geologist that Daniel Sharpe’s views on cleavage and other disputed points are now generally accepted, and that the value of his work is obtaining general recognition.

painful experiences of this fatal year. Moore has devoted a special monograph to this episode in his life, into which he seems to have gone, as he did into most things, by mere impulse. Jeffrey had written a slashing
review of Moore’s ‘Epistles, Odes, and other Poems,’ in the Edinburgh Review for July, 1806, and was apparently conscious that he had done Moore injustice. Rogers met him at Lord Fincastle’s at dinner in the early summer, and the conversation turned on Moore. Lord Fincastle described the new poet as having great amenity of manner, and Jeffrey laughingly replied, ‘I am afraid he would not show much amenity to me.’ The insult and challenge followed soon after this conversation, and a meeting was arranged at Chalk Farm. William Spencer had heard of it, and had told the police, and, when the combatants were about to fire, the police appeared and took them all off to the station. Moore sent for Spencer to bail him, but Rogers had heard of the arrest and was on the spot in time to give the necessary security. This quarrel of two friends gave Rogers an opportunity of playing his favourite part of peacemaker. He carried messages between the combatants, containing, as Moore says, those formalities of explanation which the world requires, and arranged that they should meet at his house. The meeting took place on one of the Mondays in August, and resulted in a warm and lasting friendship between Moore and Jeffrey. In the autumn, Rogers was at Tunbridge Wells, and Miss Godfrey, writing to Moore, tells him that they have had from Rogers the whole history of the affair, even to the slightest particulars. ‘If I had never known you,’ she
says, ‘the story would have interested me, the way he tells it. He makes you out a perfect hero of romance. But what pleased me most was to hear that Jeffrey took a great fancy to you from the first moment he saw you in the field of battle, pistol in hand to kill him. I believe Rogers to be truly your friend on this occasion.’ The romance of which Moore was the hero was not the duel in which Rogers had no share, but the reconciliation of which he was the agent.

Little more than a month after the death of Fox, there was a dissolution of Parliament, and at the general election which followed, many of Rogers’s personal friends found seats in the House of Commons. The Grenville Ministry was so successful at the polls that Horner declared it to be a misfortune for the country that it was deprived of any opposition. The ministry, however, was not strong in itself, and Lord Eldon, anticipating by fifty years a remark attributed to Mr. Disraeli, had declared that Englishmen do not love coalitions. Among Rogers’s friends in the new Parliament were Richard Sharp, who had been returned for Castle Rising, J. W. Ward (afterwards Earl of Dudley), William Lamb, the Lord Melbourne of the Reform era, and Lord Henry Petty (afterwards the Marquis of Lansdowne). The name of Lord Palmerston, then returned for the first time, and spoken of by his contemporaries as a mere lad, seems to link this Parliament of 1806-7, and the transitory gleam of hope it brought to the long-suffering Whigs, with our own times. On the 23rd of March, Sharp, as Mackintosh tells us, greatly distinguished himself by an excellent speech against the
Copenhagen expedition. Ward speaks of it in a letter to Rogers.

J. W. Ward to Samuel Rogers.
‘Thursday Morning.

‘My dear Rogers,—I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of being one of the first to communicate to you the news of our friend Sharp’s success. He made his debut last night in reply to Sturges Bourne. Nothing could be more happy. He was of course a good deal alarmed, but luckily his alarm by no means suspended the exercise of his powers, and the speech was received, as it well deserved, with the utmost applause and favour by the House. His voice and manner both excellent. Take notice, I am not merely telling you my own opinion, but that of far more competent judges.

‘Pray don’t desert my dinner on Saturday in order to behold him in glory at the K. of Clubs.

‘I am far from well, and go not out except in a carriage.

‘Yours always most truly,
J. W. Ward.

‘Don’t forget the present you have promised to make me.’

There were great hopes at this time among Richard Sharp’s friends that he would take a distinguished position in Parliament. Mackintosh, writing to Whishaw in February, 1808, expressed his delight at Sharp’s rejection from the Committee of Finance in the new Parliament, which he hoped would rouse his strength.
Hence the delight expressed by his friends at the success of his speech on the Copenhagen expedition. It was not followed up. Sharp was more fitted to be, as he was for a generation, the private counsellor of statesmen than a prominent politician in that stormy time. His parliamentary career was abruptly closed. This Parliament, short and evil as its days were, stands distinguished in history for performing what
Lord Grenville, without any exaggeration, described as one of the most glorious acts which had ever been done by any assembly of any nation in the world. It abolished the Slave Trade. An attempt to make one further step in emancipation was stopped by the king, the ministry resigned, the Parliament was dissolved, the brief gleam of political spring passed away, and the winter of exclusion and depression closed over the Whigs for more than twenty years.

A personal interest in the political fortunes of his friends constituted in these days the whole of Rogers’s political activity. Fully as he always sympathised with the Whig leaders, he took no part in political life. He had gone to see Gilbert Wakefield in prison in 1800, and he paid a similar visit to Sir Francis Burdett in 1811; he was often at Wimbledon on a visit to Horne Tooke, and nobody sat at Rogers’s table without being conscious that Fox’s memory pervaded the house. But though Rogers had voted for Horne Tooke in the Westminster election of 1796, when his own brother-in-law, Sutton Sharpe, had taken part in his nomination, he never again exercised the franchise till Sir Samuel Romilly stood for the same constituency in 1818. His name is
found in all the Whig memoirs of these times;1 but it is as a figure in society. He was enjoying life, reaping the full satisfaction of his uneclipsed poetic fame, making a young man’s use—for at forty-five he was still young—of his wealth and his opportunities, with only the occasional drawback of imperfect health. Writing to
Miss Godfrey in March, 1807, Moore asks her, ‘How go on Spencer and Rogers and the rest of those agreeable rattles who seem to think life such a treat that they can never get enough of it?’ This seems to show that Rogers at this period gave his friends the impression that he enjoyed life. Yet there is ample evidence that he did not live for mere enjoyment, and that the pleasure he chiefly sought was that of intercourse with the most eminent people of his time.

There are letters of this date from Miss Joanna Baillie and Mrs. Barbauld, which show that he was on close terms of friendship with those eminent women. A call on Mrs. Inchbald,2 then in the height of her fame, brought from her a curious and characteristic apology.

Mrs. Inchbald to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Sir,—I consider myself so much obliged to you for the attention you paid me in calling yesterday

1 For example:—‘July 16, 1808.—Went to dinner at Ward’s. Rogers, Lord Ponsonby, Lord Cowper, Lord Morpeth.’ ‘June 16, 1809.—Dined at Rogers’s. Lord and Lady Charlemont, Elliot, Horner.’—Diary of the Right Hon. W. Windham, pp. 477, 492.

2 Rogers quotes ‘an excellent writer’ in one of his notes to the poem of ‘Human Life.’ The quotation is from Mrs. Inchbald’s Nature and Art. He met her one day in London, and was told that she had been calling on her friends, but none of them would see her. ‘I knew Mrs. Siddons

that I cannot resist my desire to apologise for your reception.

‘For the sake of a romantic view of the Thames, I have shut myself in an apartment which will not admit of a second person. It is therefore my wish to be thought never at home. But when the scruples of the persons who answer for me baffle this design, and I have received a token of regard which flatters me, I take the liberty thus to explain my situation. Dear sir, with much esteem, your most humble servant,

E. Inchbald.
‘16th March, 1808.’

Among the acquaintances made at this time was Uvedale Price, one of the quaintest figures, the best letter writers, and the most eccentric people of his time. He was celebrated as an improver of landscapes, and had published, in 1794, an ‘Essay on the Picturesque as compared with the Sublime and Beautiful, and on the Use of Studying Pictures for the purpose of Improving real Landscapes.’ He became a warm friend of Rogers, and found the comfortable house in St. James’s Place a most convenient lodging in many of his visits to London. Rogers occasionally visited him at his house at Foxley, in Herefordshire, and it was there, in August, 1808, that General Fitzpatrick gave Rogers some of the stories of Fox which are recorded in the ‘Recollections.’ One of the most characteristic of these was told of Uvedale Price himself, who thought himself the most accomplished

was at home,’ she complained, ‘yet I was not admitted.’ She shed tears. Rogers tried to comfort her, and asked her to go home with him and dine; she refused. She died in 1821.

of critics.
Fox allowed him to see the MS. of his ‘History of the Reign of James the Second.’ He made a multitude of verbal criticisms upon it and sent them to Fox, who threw them into the fire. Fitzpatrick told Rogers that Mackintosh had offered, and Fox had accepted, his assistance in that History.

Rogers was already in correspondence with Wordsworth and Walter Scott. The earliest letter of Wordsworth’s which has been preserved, arose out of the collection made for a family in Easdale whose parents had perished in a storm.

Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Grasmere: Sept. 29, 1808.

‘My dear Sir,—I am greatly obliged to you for your kind exertions in favour of our Grasmere Orphans, and for your own contribution. It will give you pleasure to hear that there is the best prospect of the children being greatly benefited in every respect by the sum which has been raised, amounting to nearly 500l. They are placed in three different houses in the Vale of Grasmere, and are treated with great tenderness. They will be carefully taught to read and write, and, when they are of a proper age, care will be taken to put them forward in life in the most advisable manner.

‘The bill you sent me—31l. 8s.—I have already paid into the hands of the Secretary.

‘I was glad to hear that our friend Sharp was so much benefited in his health by his late visit to our beautiful country. We passed one pleasant day together, but we were unlucky, upon the whole, in not seeing
much of each other, as a more than usual part of his time was spent about Keswick and Ulswater. I am happy to find that we coincide in opinion about
Crabbe’s verses, for poetry in no sense can they be called. Sharp is also of the same opinion. I remember that I mentioned in my last that there was nothing in the last publication so good as the description of the parish workhouse, apothecary, &c. This is true, and it is no less true that the passage which I commended is of no great merit, because the description, at the best of no high order, is, in the instance of the apothecary, inconsistent—that is, false. It no doubt sometimes happens, but, as far as my experience goes, very rarely, that country practitioners neglect and brutally treat their patients; but what kind of men are they who do so?—not apothecaries like Crabbe’s professional, pragmatical coxcombs, “all pride, generally neat, business, bustle, and conceit”—no, but drunken reprobates, frequenters of boxing-matches, cock-fightings, and horse-races. These are the men who are hard-hearted with their patients, but any man who attaches so much importance to his profession as to have strongly caught, in his dress and manner, the outward formalities of it may easily indeed be much occupied with himself, but he will not behave towards his “victims,” as Mr. Crabbe calls them, in the manner he has chosen to describe. After all, if the picture were true to nature, what claim would it have to be called poetry? At the best, it is the meanest kind of satire, except the merely personal. The sum of all is, that nineteen out of twenty of Crabbe’s pictures are mere matters of fact, with which the Muses have just about as
much to do as they have with a collection of medical reports or of law cases.

‘How comes it that you never favour these mountains with a visit? You ask how I have been employed. You do me too much honour, and I wish I could reply to the question with any satisfaction. I have written since I saw you about 500 lines of my long Poem, which is all I have done. What are you doing? My wife and sister desire to be remembered by you, and believe me, my dear sir,

‘With great truth, yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘We are here all in a rage about the Convention in Portugal. If Sir Hew were to show his face among us, or that other doughty knight, Sir Arthur, the very boys would hiss them out of the Vale.’

The long poem Wordsworth had then in hand was ‘The Excursion,’ from which he seems, after writing to Rogers, to have turned aside to give vent to his rage in a pamphlet on ‘The Convention of Cintra,’ and to express other feelings in two noble sonnets on the same subject.

A short note from Rogers to Richard Sharp curiously illustrates one of the differences between those days and our own. Sharp writes to ask Rogers to go down to Mickleham that they might go together to Leatherhead fair. Rogers replies on the 6th of October, 1808—

‘I shall have great pleasure in accepting your kind invitation. Who can resist round-abouts and see-saws, and gilt gingerbread and King Holofernes? I cannot for
one. Do you go on horseback? If you do, perhaps we can meet on the road. I hope the sun will shine upon us.

‘If I don’t enlist at the fair, it is my intention to go on to Brighton on Wednesday.’

He seems to have gone on to Brighton as he intended, and a letter to his sister Sarah contains glimpses of some interesting people—

Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
‘Brighton: 26 Oct. 1808.

‘When I received your kind letter, my dear Sarah, I felt a strong wish to answer it directly, but at that time Mrs. M. was writing, and I have since put it off from time to time—I am sure I don’t know why—for I never feel more pleasure than when I sit down to write to you. I did indeed fear you would be cruelly disappointed. [He then refers at some length to a picture about which this cruel disappointment had been experienced, and continues.] But the pen-drawing done in the Temple, slight as it is, is however something to remember by. It was done as you sat, and it tells you how you used to sit together, and there are some circumstances about it, my dear, dear Sarah, that would make me value it more than any picture. I rejoice to hear you are passing your time comfortably—pleasantly, I hope. Perhaps you have left Quarry Bank and are now at Cheadle. But I think it best to direct to Mrs. Greg’s, to whom pray remember me very affectionately. Henry, I thought, seemed to like his journey pretty well, though he made it very short, and caught cold at Brighton, as I have done.
I left town to go again to Leatherhead fair, which was very pretty, though the day was not so fine as last year. I dined afterwards at Norbury, and there met a Miss Barton, a cousin of
Mrs. Wm. Lock, who inquired very particularly after you. She had seen you, I believe, at Cheadle. Mrs. Lock’s booth cleared 50l. the first day. Mrs. Fox was there; she had come over from St. Anne’s. Miss Willoughby, she says, is very poorly. She says we must go to her fair next year—and, indeed, I wish now we had paid her a visit. The next night I dined and slept at Chart, Sir Charles Talbot’s, and the day afterwards came here, riding all the way (except one stage in a returned chaise). Alas! I met with a sad misfortune the other day. I was walking the poor old mare very near my lodgings, when down she came and cut her knees to the bone; but she kept her head erect, poor thing! so I felt little or no shock, and I am happy to think she has never thrown me in the fifteen years we have spent together. They say she will never do again, so I must look out for some place of rest for her, if she is not shot, like Golumpus and the other old worthies of the family. I have been here a fortnight to-morrow, and have a very small house in a street leading from the Marine Parade, which last is now very expensive, and which is very gay on a fine day.

‘Before our old house there now stands a group of asses and ponies for the idle and luxurious. My great resource is Lady Donegal and Miss Godfrey, with whom I pass most of my time, though I have twice dined with Lady Jersey, whose daughter is still lingering, very cheerful, but with no chance of recovery. Every evening she flatters herself that her feverish fit will not come on,
and then it comes. She does not leave her room. The weather has been sunshiny but very cold, but now it is very forlorn indeed, and nothing stirring but the winds and waves—a circumstance I am not sorry for, as I seldom stir out but to catch cold. I am now reading the Italian again, and am in the horrors of the Inquisition. I wish you were with me, but wishing does no good. I sometimes go to the music on the Parade, but, as you remember, it is a very cold place. Brighton at present is very full. The warmest place is the front of the Marine Library, and a never-failing scene of entertainment. The scarlet cloaks are innumerable. The
Grattans are at Worthing, where they went the week after they dined with us. Mr. G. is now with them. They come here as soon as lodgings are cheaper. S. Boddington has been there for six weeks with Grace, and has just taken a house here in the New Steyne. He is now in town, but she is here with her gourernante, and I have just been paying her a visit. She is really growing, I think, a fineish girl, but she has a bad cold just now, and is almost as deaf as her mother used to be. I have just received a letter from Wm. Maltby. He stands for Porson’s place at the Institution, “by the deliberate advice,” he says, “of those who are most likely to know the disposition of the electors.” He says he has daily communication with Henry on this subject. John Mallet was here last week, but is now gone.

Westall has been sketching boats and fishermen for a few days here; he went to-day. Lady Donegal goes on Friday, and I go on Monday to Glynde, a seat of Lord Hampden’s near Lewes, for three or, four days, and then return home. I once thought of Crewe and of
Cheadle, my dear
Sarah, but at present I feel chilly and frightened at the thoughts of such an expedition. When do you mean to come back to us? I hope the time won’t he long, but of the time exactly you are not unfortunately complete mistress. Pray remember me very particularly to all at Cheadle, about whom I feel just as warmly as I ever did, notwithstanding the letter which I thought it my duty to write when acting in my commercial character for others, as well as myself. The Prince is not here this season, but his stables are nearly finished, and are exactly like one of those Indian mausoleums in Daniel’s views. They are really very pretty, and are done by Porden, who is building Lord Grosvenor’s near you. Here is hunting, but I am now too old for even such a part as I used to take in it. We have had a most miserable supply of fish, but this place is now a town, shooting out in all directions but one, where the sea presents a small obstacle. The George Edisons are here. Farewell, my dear Sarah! Pray write to me in town, and believe me to be,

‘Ever yours,
Saml. Rogers.

Henry wants me to write to Parsons on his marriage: what am I to say?’

A great part of the correspondence with Richard Sharp during this part of Rogers’s life was devoted to the poem of Columbus. Rogers records in his Commonplace Book that he was fourteen years at work upon this poem. This means that he began it as soon as his ‘Epistle to a Friend’ had been published in 1798, but did not finally issue it till 1812, and that during the
whole of that time he was more or less occupied with it. It was his custom in these days to read parts of it to his friends, among whom it became a familiar topic of conversation. It is mentioned in their letters to Rogers, who is constantly urged to publish it. A characteristic letter from
Erskine shows not only the curiosity Columbus had excited, but the estimation in which Rogers’s poetry was held by the most acute minds when this century was young.

Lord Erskine to Samuel Rogers.

‘Dear Rogers,—As I have always great pleasure in visiting you, I should have been sorry to be engaged (as I am) at York Place on Saturday if I had not resolved not to come to St. James’s Place any more till I see Columbus, as you promised long ago.

‘I had not read the Pleasures of Memory from the time of its first publication till last week, and I cannot find words to tell you how delighted I was with the reconsideration of its beauties. I admit that its author ought to pause before he publishes, as it is not easy not to disappoint those who, in the double sense of the expression, have the Pleasures of Memory; but let me see Columbus, and I will give you my opinion.

‘Yours ever,

There is a further testimony to the literary position Rogers occupied in the desire of Gifford to secure his assistance in the newly-established Quarterly Review, Gifford asked Hoppner to conduct the negotiation which he opened in the following letter:—

John Hoppner to Samuel Rogers.

‘Dear Rogers,—You are too much a man of the world to embark in any undertaking that has not received the sanction of public approbation. I can, with a little more confidence, endeavour now to press you into the service of the Quarterly Review, since the work increases in circulation to an extent that much exceeds the expectation of the most sanguine of the undertakers. It is the wish of the leaders of this Review that you would assist in supporting it with your talents occasionally, leaving it to your own choice to remain concealed, or to claim the honours of your pen. The work they wish you to take in hand, at present, is Shee’s last publication, the notes to which I propose to examine in conjunction with you. I am at present employed in dissecting Hayley’s Life of Romney, which is immediately wanted, and I have neither health nor leisure enough to undertake both for the next number. Have the goodness to inform me, in the course of a day or two, whether you are inclined, or not, to accede to this proposal. It is at the express desire of G. Ellis and Gifford that I press you upon this subject.

‘The last week was an eventful one to me and my family. I arrived on Saturday se’ennight at Hyde, after rather a fatiguing journey on horseback. On Sunday I was with difficulty kept awake the whole day, and went in consequence early to bed. About ten o’clock the same evening Mrs. Hoppner found me on the floor, and I lay from that time in a state of total insensibility for two nights and two days. From this stupefaction I was
with difficulty roused, having cataplasm to my feet, a blister on my head, and one on my back so large as to flay it from the shoulder to the loins. To speak a truth, they used me like a horse, and I believe a less degree of irritation would have [sufficed]. . . The blisters, however, did their business so well that I was enabled to get downstairs on Thursday. On Friday I walked down the town, that people might see I was not dead, as was reported. On Saturday I rode on horseback, and to-day I feel better than I have done for years. You may imagine all this appears to me like a dream. I have no recollection of being taken ill, and can scarce credit my own feelings sufficiently to persuade myself I am well.

‘I have more letters to write, and must therefore take a hasty leave, requesting you to believe me,

‘Yours very faithfully,
J. Hoppner.
‘Ryde, Isle of Wight: Monday.’

Rogers had met Hoppner at the house of his late brother-in-law, Sutton Sharpe. Hoppner, as his letter indicates, was a very choleric person. He and Rogers were members of a club called ‘The Council of Trent,’ because it consisted of thirty persons; and on Rogers once proposing an artist whom Hoppner disliked, he wrote him a letter of violent reproach and abuse. Hoppner was the son of a German attendant at Windsor Castle, and in his boyhood had been a chorister at the Royal Chapel. He and Gifford were closely-attached friends, but their quarrels were the amusement of their acquaintances. He was popular in society and was to be met everywhere, though, like Moore, he accepted invita-
tions to great houses and left his wife to mope in solitude at home. He suffered from chronic disease of the liver, and died a few months after the letter to Rogers was written. Rogers declined to write for the
Quarterly or to be associated with the men who had founded it. He was opposed, moreover, to anonymous writing, and regarded anonymous criticism as a kind of fighting in a mask. His only contribution to this kind of literature was a part of a review of Cary’s Dante in the Edinburgh Review.

A further testimony to Rogers’s literary position is contained in the following letter.

Walter Scott to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Rogers,—I am about to ask a great boon of you, which I shall hold an especial courtesy if you can find in your heart to comply with. I have hampered myself by a promise to a young bookseller, whom I am for various reasons desirous to befriend, that I would look over and make additions to a little miscellany of poetry which he has entitled “English Minstrelsy,” and on which his brother, James Ballantyne, the Scottish Bodoni, intends to exert the utmost extent of his typographical skill. The selection is chiefly from the smaller pieces of dead authors, but it would be very imperfect without a few specimens from the present Masters of the Lyre. I have never told you how high my opinion, so far as it is worth anything, ranks you in that honoured class. But I am now called on to say, in my own personal vindication, that no collection of the kind can be completed without a specimen from the author of the Pleasures of
——,1 and therefore to transfer all responsibility from myself to you, I make the present application. Beggars should not be choosers; therefore I most generously abandon to you the choice of what you will give my begging-box, and am only importunate that you will not turn me empty from your door. I would not willingly exert my influence with you in vain, nor have my Miscellany so imperfect as it will be without something of yours.

‘Why won’t you think of coming to see our lands of mist and snow? Not that I have the hardness of heart to wish you and George Ellis here at this moment, for it would be truly the meeting of the weird sisters in thunder, lightning, and in rain. The lightning splintered an oak here before my door last week with such a concussion that I thought all was gone to wrack. I have pretty good nerves for one of the irritable and sensitive race we belong to, but I question whether even the poet laureate would have confided composedly in the sic evitabile fulmen annexed to his wreath of bays.

‘Believe me, dear Rogers,
‘Ever yours most sincerely,
Walter Scott.
‘Ashestiel by Selkirk: 18 August [1809].’

In answer to this letter Rogers seems to have sent a copy of the small poem, addressed to the Duchess of St. Albans,2 on the death of her sister, the wife of James,

1 The word ‘Hope’ is crossed out in the MS., but no other word is substituted for it. It should be ‘Pleasures of Memory.’

2 In the Poems the stanzas have only the heading ‘To . . .,’ with a note at the bottom of the page, ‘on the death of her sister.’

Viscount Macduff, who died at Edinburgh—of a fever it was said at the time—in December, 1805. The lines ‘On a Voice that had been Lost’ belong to the same period. They were addressed to Miss Crewe, who, as we learn from Scott’s letter, lost two notes of her voice in a visit to Scotland in the winter of the same year. The following is Scott’s letter of acknowledgment for the poem on Mrs. Duff—

Walter Scott to Samuel Rogers.

‘Accept my best thanks, my dear Rogers, for your letter with the beautiful enclosure, a delightful though a melancholy tribute to the fate of poor Mrs. Duff, with whom I had the pleasure to be acquainted. I dined in company with her during the time that the hidden infection was in her veins, and have often since reflected upon her manner and conversation during the course of that day. She mentioned the story of the dog repeatedly (indeed, it seemed to hang upon her spirits), but never dropt the slightest hint of his having bitten, or rather grazed, the skin of her face. It is a melancholy recollection, and your pathetic verses have awakened it very strongly. Many thanks to you, however, for the gratification they have afforded me, though chastened by these sad reflections.

‘I rejoice to hear that you are coming forth soon. I hope your little jewel, the Columbiad, is at length to be drawn out of the portfolio and given to the press. I also hope to meet with another old and admired acquaintance, the copy of verses addressed to Miss Crewe when she lost two notes of her voice in our rude climate. Pray do not
linger too long over your proof-sheets, but let us soon see what we have long longed to see.

‘I have been deeply concerned for Mr. Canning’s wound;1 he is one of the few, very few, statesmen who unite an ardent spirit of patriotism to the talents necessary to render that living spirit efficient, and I don’t see how the present ministry can stand without him. That, however, would be the least of my regrets were I certain that his health was restored.

‘The weather here has been dreary indeed, seldom two good days in continuance, and though not much afraid of rain in any moderate quantity, I have been almost obliged, like Hamlet, to forego a custom of my exercise, and amuse myself within doors the best way I can, in the course of which seclusion I have, of course, blotted much paper.

‘Believe me, dear Rogers, ever your truly obliged,

W. Scott.
‘Ashestiel: 4th October, 1809.’

This letter, written nearly three years after the event, gives the only indication of the circumstances which made Mrs. Duff’s death peculiarly painful, and explains the line—
That in her veins a secret horror slept.

One of the few letters from Luttrell which have been preserved illustrates the sort of life Rogers and his friends were living. It is a fit introduction of his name

1 Canning’s duel with Lord Castlereagh took place on the 21st of September. Canning was wounded in the thigh, but on the 11th of October he had so far recovered as to be able to attend the levee held on that day and to give up the seals of office.

into Rogers’s biography, though it suggests the association of Rogers with Luttrell’s schemes of amusement. Rogers had a high opinion of Luttrell’s talent, spoke of him as a pleasant companion and brilliant talker, and expressed regret that he gave up nearly all his time to people of fashion.

Henry Luttrell to Samuel Rogers.
‘Brocket Hall: Wednesday, Sept. 20 [1809].

‘My dear Rogers,—It is singular enough that just as your letter was put into my hands, I had determined to write to you by this day’s post. Now, and at all times, I feel flattered and happy to be associated in any scheme of amusement or any arrangement of society with you, and I was, with this object in view, preparing to communicate my autumnal movements and to inquire into yours. I am desired, on the part of Lord and Lady Cowper, to say that they will be most happy to receive you at Panshanger as soon as they remove there, which will be very early in the next month. Our intended progress in the meantime is as follows. From hence to town on Friday, on Monday next to Woolbeding for four or five days, and thence to Petworth for two or three, after which the Cowpers certainly return to Panshanger, where they will remain for the rest of October. Now what I should like, if it suits you, would be to meet you at the Deepdene on my return from Petworth, and, having paid our visit there, return with you to London for a couple of days. We might then start together for Panshanger. I hold myself in a manner pledged to Hope, deeming it as ungracious not to accept as not to
give a second invitation, as the natural conclusion to be drawn from both is the same, that, on trial, the parties have not been pleased with each other. Yet I should not choose to encounter him alone, as the apprehension of his embarrassment would embarrass me. As it is possible I may be in town even to-morrow, pray let a few lines be deposited in my letter-box at Albany to say how far the arrangement I here propose can be made to square with your convenience. If it should not suit, I am, after the Woolbeding and Petworth visits are spun off my reel, quite at your disposal for any other that may be more agreeable to you.

‘I hope you have not quite abandoned your intention of a trip to Tunbridge, before the possibility of fine weather is extinct, as I have a most longing desire to see the lions of the Pantiles under your auspices. This I would do either after or before Panshanger at your option. God bless you, and believe me, my dear Rogers,

‘Ever most truly yours,
H. Luttrell.

‘Am I justified or no in considering the occasional address attempted to be spoken at the opening of C. G. Theatre1 as the very worst copy of verses in any language, and the following line—
Solid our building, heavy our expense—

1 The new theatre was opened on Monday the 17th of September. The address was spoken by John Kemble in the midst of an uproar which made it entirely inaudible. It contained fifty lines. The last four were:

‘Solid our building, heavy our expense,
We rest our claim on your munificence—
What ardour plans a nation’s taste to raise,
A nation’s liberality repays.’
as the worst in it, and consequently the worst in the world, as I am inclined to do, nisi quid tu docte Trebati dissentis’?

This literary and other correspondence completely exhibits the position of consideration and esteem which Rogers had attained at the close of the first decade of the nineteenth century. His social position may be illustrated by a brief letter addressed to him in the summer of 1810.

‘Kensington: Sunday, 19 August [1810].

‘Dear Mr. Rogers,—I am commanded by H.R.H. the Princess of Wales to say she will call for you in St. James’s Place to-morrow evening at eight o’clock to take you to the play.

‘Pray believe me happy to give you these gracious commands, and allow me to say that I am very sincerely yours,

Charlotte Maria.’