LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Chapter X. 1822-24.

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I. 1803-1805.
Chapter II. 1805-1809.
Chapter III. 1810-1812.
Chapter IV. 1813-1814.
Chapter V. 1814-1815.
Chapter VI. 1815-1816.
Chapter VII. 1816-1818.
Chapter VIII. 1818-19.
Chapter IX. 1820-1821.
‣ Chapter X. 1822-24.
Chapter XI. 1825-1827.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I. 1828-1830.
Chapter II. 1831-34.
Chapter III. 1834-1837.
Chapter IV. 1838-41.
Chapter V. 1842-44.
Chapter VI. 1845-46.
Chapter VII. 1847-50.
Chapter VIII. 1850
Chapter IX. 1851.
Chapter X. 1852-55.
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The First Part of ‘Italy’—Moore and Rogers in Paris—Wordsworth on his Sister’s Diary—Dorothy Wordsworth to Rogers—Wordsworth at Rogers’s—J. P. Kemble’s Death—Mrs. Siddons’s Letter—Rogers and the Duke of Wellington—Uvedale Price—An English ‘Ginevra’—Walter Scott’s Remuneration—Southey’s Letter—Rogers and Lord Grenville—Lord Grenville on Dante—Lord Ashburnham’s letter—Moore, Wordsworth, and Rogers—Letter of Miss H. M. Williams—R. Sharp to Rogers—Lord Byron’s Death—Rogers and Byron’s Memoir—The Funeral—Rogers’s Commonplace Book—Uvedale Price on Dropmore; on Queen Caroline’s Oysters—Luttrell on a Greek Epigram—Letters of Sir J. Mackintosh and Uvedale Price.

While Rogers was still in Italy his sister carried out her commission, and the First Part of ‘Italy’ was published. It was a small duodecimo volume of 164 pages. The poem was in eighteen divisions and was little more than a mere rough sketch of the First Part of ‘Italy’ as it was issued, in twenty-two sections, in the Illustrated edition, some years afterwards. The secret of the authorship was well kept by the few who knew it, of whom Moore was one. The publishers, Messrs. Longman & Co., who had no idea who was the writer of the poem, sent the manuscript to Moore, asking him to tell them whether it was worth publishing anonymously. ‘Upon opening it,’ says Moore, ‘found to my surprise that it was Rogers’s “Italy,” which he has sent home
thus privately to be published.’ Among the precautions taken to prevent identification was that of leading the reader into Italy by the Great St. Bernard, whereas in both journeys he entered it over the Simplon. The poem was not his first attempt at blank verse. In the same volume with his ‘
Human Life’ he had published; in 1819, the ‘Lines written at Paestum,’ which formed a sort of first sketch of the longer and more developed poem headed ‘Paestum’ in the nineteenth section of the second part of ‘Italy.’ I have already, in Chapter V., showed how the poem grew out of his Diary in Italy in 1814 and 1815. The spirit of that Diary is summed up in the lines—

From my youth upward have I longed to tread
This classic ground.—And am I here at last?
Wandering at will through the long porticoes,
And catching, as through some majestic grove,
Now the blue ocean and now, chaos-like,
Mountains and mountain gulfs, and, half-way up,
Towns like the living rock from which they grew?
A cloudy region, black and desolate,
Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.

The ‘Lines written at Paestum,’ from which the above are taken, were much praised by his friends, but few of them seem to have suspected that ‘Italy’ was by the same writer, though Wordsworth did so, and told Rogers he was detected. The poem had been several years in hand. The lines beginning ‘But the Bise blew cold,’ quoted in the letter to his sister, were written in June 1816, and the rest at various times between the first Italian journey in 1814 and the second in 1821-22.
The poem had not the popularity of his previous efforts. It attracted but little notice, though one reviewer attributed it to
Southey. It was some time before Rogers acknowledged it publicly, though the authorship was soon understood among his friends, and when he did so it added nothing to his fame.

On his return homewards in the early part of May he again visited Moore in his temporary exile in Paris. Moore, in his Diary, gives an account of the visits to various distinguished people they paid together during the four or five days Rogers remained in the French capital. At a dinner at Roberts’s, ‘at fifteen francs a head exclusive of wine’—of which Moore says, ‘Poets did not dine so in the olden time’—he records that Rogers told him a good deal about Lord Byron, whom he saw both going and coming back, and who ‘expressed to R. the same contempt for Shakespeare he has often expressed to me.’ There is not a hint that Rogers had complained of Byron’s treatment of him, but the significant statement that he ‘treats his companion Shelley very cavalierly.’

The letter in which Wordsworth referred to ‘Italy” was on another subject of literary interest.

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Lowther Castle [16 Sept., 1822].

‘My dear Rogers,—It gave me great pleasure to hear from our common friend, Sharp, that you had returned from the Continent in such excellent health, which I hope you will continue to enjoy in spite of our fogs, rains, east-winds, coal fires, and other clogs upon light spirits
and free breathing. I have long wished to write to you on a little affair of my own, or, rather, of my
sister’s, and the facility of procuring a frank in this house has left my procrastinating habit without excuse. Some time ago you expressed (as perhaps you will remember) a wish that my sister would publish her recollections of her Scotch tour, and you interested yourself so far in the scheme as kindly to offer to assist in disposing of it to a publisher for her advantage. We know that your skill and experience in these matters are great, and she is now disposed to profit by them, provided you continue to think as favourably of the measure as heretofore. The fact is she was so much gratified by her tour in Switzerland, that she has a strong wish to add to her knowledge of that country, and to extend her ramble to some part of Italy. As her own little fortune is not sufficient to justify a step of this kind, she has no hope of revisiting those countries unless an adequate sum could be procured through the means of this MS. You are now fairly in possession of her motives; if you still think that the publication would do her no discredit and are of opinion that a respectable sum of money might be had for it, which she has no chance of effecting except through your exertion, she would be much obliged, as I also should be, if you would undertake to manage the bargain, and the MS. shall be sent you as soon as it is revised. She has further to beg that you would be so kind as to look it over and strike out what you think might be better omitted.

‘I detected you in a small collection of poems entitled “Italy,” which we all read with much pleasure.
“Venice” and “The Brides of Venice,” that was the title, I think, please as much as any, some parts of the “Venice” are particularly fine. I had no fault to find, but rather too strong a leaning to the pithy and concise, and to some peculiarities of versification which occur perhaps too often.

‘Where are the Beaumonts, and when do they come to England? We hear nothing of them.

Lord and Lady Lonsdale are well, Lady Frederic is here, so is Lady Caroline; both well. Before I close this I will mention to Lady F. that I am writing to you. My own family were well when I left them two days ago. Please remember me kindly to your sister, and believe me, my dear Rogers,

‘Faithfully yours,
Wm. Wordsworth.

‘P.S. Lady F. says, if Holland House were but where Brougham Hall is, we should see more of Mr. Rogers. She adds that we have really some sunshine in this country and now and then a gentle day like those of Italy. Adieu.’

In November Moore was again in London, and makes the usual record of visits to Rogers and with Rogers. He records one bon mot of Rogers’s told him by Shee. On somebody remarking that Payne Knight had got very deaf, ‘’Tis from want of practice,’ said Rogers—Payne Knight being a very bad listener. The sequel of Wordsworth’s request about his sister’s Diary is contained in two letters from her. Both are in reply to letters from Rogers.

Dorothy Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rydal Mount: Jan. 3rd, 1823.

‘My dear Sir,—As you have no doubt heard, by a message sent from my brother through Mr. Sharp, I happened to be in Scotland when your letter arrived, where (having intended to be absent from home only a fortnight) I was detained seven weeks by an illness of my fellow traveller. Having not had it in my power to thank you immediately for your great kindness to me, and your ready attention to my brother’s request, I was unwilling after my return to write for that purpose merely, many circumstances occurring to prevent me from coming to a decision upon the matter in which you are inclined to take so friendly an interest. The most important of these was a protracted and dangerous sickness of my nephew William, which began the day after my arrival at home, and engrossed the care and attention of the whole house. He is now recovered, but his looks continue to show that his frame is far from being restored to its natural strength.

‘I cannot but be flattered by your thinking so well of my Journal as to recommend (indirectly at least) that I should not part with all power over it till its fortune has been tried. You will not be surprised, however, that I am not so hopeful, and that I am apprehensive that after having encountered the unpleasantness of coming before the public I might not be assisted in attaining my object. I have, then, to ask whether a middle course be not possible, that is, whether your favourable opinion, confirmed perhaps by some other good judges, might not in-
duce a bookseller to give a certain sum for the right to publish a given number of copies. In fact, I find it next to impossible to make up my mind to sacrifice my privacy for a certainty less than two hundred pounds—a sum which would effectually aid me in accomplishing the ramble I so much, and I hope not unwisely, wish for. If a bargain could be made on terms of this sort, your expectation of further profits (which expectation I would willingly share) need not be parted with, and I should have the further gratification of acting according to your advice.

‘I have nothing further to say, for it is superfluous to trouble you with my scruples and the fears which I have that a work of such slight pretensions will be wholly overlooked in this writing and publishing (especially tour-writing and tour-publishing) age; and when factions and parties, literary and political, are so busy in endeavouring to stifle all attempts to interest, however pure from any taint of the world, and however humble in their claims.

‘My brother begs me to say that it gratified him to hear you were pleased with his late publications. In the “Memorials” he himself likes best the “Stanzas upon Einsiedeln,” the “Three Cottage Girls,” and, above all, the “Eclipse upon the Lake of Lugano”; and in the “Sketches” the succession of those on the Reformation, and those towards the conclusion of the third part. Mr. Sharp liked best the poem on “Enterprise,” which surprised my brother a good deal.

‘We hope to see you in summer; you will be truly welcome, and we should be heartily glad to see your sister as your companion, to whom we all beg to be most kindly remembered.


‘If you knew how much it has cost me to settle the affair of this proposed publication in my mind, as far as I have now done, I am sure you would deem me sufficiently excused for having so long delayed answering your most obliging letter. I have still to add, that if there be a prospect that any bookseller will undertake the publication, I will immediately prepare a corrected copy to be sent to you, and I shall trust to your kindness for taking the trouble to look over it and to mark whatever passages you may think too trivial for publication, or in any other respect much amiss.

‘My brother and sister join with me in every good wish to you for the coming year, and many more.

‘Believe me, dear Sir, yours gratefully and with sincere esteem,

Dorothy Wordsworth.’

It is evident from this letter that Rogers had advised the publication of the Journal, and was ready to negotiate with a publisher for its issue. The scruples and apprehensions of which Miss Wordsworth speaks in the next letter seem to have stopped it. The Journal afterwards appeared in pieces, and considerable extracts from it were given in the ‘Life of Wordsworth’ by his nephew the late Bishop of Lincoln. The whole diary was not published till 1874.

Dorothy Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers.
‘17th February, 1823.

‘My dear Sir,—I cannot deny myself the pleasure of thanking you for your last very kind letter as Miss Hut-
chinson is going directly to London, and, through her, you will receive this. At present I shall do no more than assure you that I am fully sensible of the value of your friendly attention to the matter on which I have troubled you, as I hope that my
brother and sister will soon have the pleasure of meeting you in London, and he will explain to you all my scruples and apprehensions. They will leave home to-morrow with Miss Hutchinson and (parting with her at Derby) will turn aside to Coleorton, where they intend spending about three weeks with our kind friends Sir George and Lady Beaumont, and will then, if nothing intervene to frustrate their present scheme, proceed to London. Their visit will be a short one, but I hope they will have time to see all their friends.

‘My brother is glad that you came upon the stone to the memory of Aloys Reding in such an interesting way. He and Mrs. W., without any previous notice, met with it at the moment of sunset, as described at the close of those stanzas. I was rambling in another part of the wood and unluckily missed it. I was delighted with your and your sister’s reception at that pleasant house in the Vale of Schwyz, which I well remember. Mr. Monkhouse and I, going on foot to Brennen from Schwyz, were struck with the appearance of the house, and inquired to whom it belonged—were told, to a family of the name of Reding, but could not make out whether it had been the residence and birth-place of Aloys Reding or not.

‘The passage in Oldham is a curious discovery.

‘You say nothing of coming northward this summer. I hope my brother and sister may tempt you to think
about it. I am left at home with my niece and her brother William, now quite well.

‘Pray make my very kind remembrances to Miss Rogers. You must not leave her behind when you come again to the lakes.

‘Do, my dear sir, excuse this hasty scrawl. We are in the bustle of preparation for the long journey—a great event in this house!

‘Believe me to be, with great respect,
‘Yours very sincerely,
Dorothy Wordsworth.’

This visit of Wordsworth and his wife and sister-in-law to London is spoken of in Moore’s Diary, Crabb Robinson’s Diary, and Lamb’s Letters. Moore met the party at Rogers’s, and his account of it is interesting though rather full of himself.

April 1st, 1823.—Walked, for the first time since I came to town, to Rogers’s. Very agreeable. In talking of the “Angels,” said the subject was an unlucky one. When I mentioned Lord Lansdowne’s opinion that it was better than “Lalla Rookh,” said he would not rank it so high as the “Veiled Prophet” for execution, nor the “Fire-worshippers” for story and interest, but would place it rather on the level of “Paradise and the Peri.” Asked me to dine with him, which I did—company: Wordsworth and his wife and sister-in-law, Cary (the translator of Dante), Hallam, and Sharp. Some discussion about Racine and Voltaire, in which I startled, or rather shocked, them by saying that, though there could be no doubt of the
superior taste and workmanship of Racine, yet that Voltaire’s tragedies interested me the most of the two. Another electrifying assertion of mine was that I would much rather see “
Othello” and “Romeo and Juliet” as Italian operas and played by Pasta, than the original of Shakespeare as acted on the London stage. Wordsworth told of some acquaintance of his, who, being told among other things to go and see the “Chapeau de Faille” at Antwerp, said, on his return, “I saw all the other things you mentioned, but as for the straw hat manufactory, I could not make it out.” Sharp mentioned a curious instance of Walter Scott’s indifference to pictures: when he met him at the Louvre, not willing to spare two or three minutes for a walk to the bottom of the gallery when it was the first and last opportunity he was likely to have of seeing the “Transfiguration,” &c., &c. In speaking of music and the difference there is between the poetical and musical ear, Wordsworth said that he was totally devoid of the latter, and for a long time could not distinguish one tune from another. Rogers thus described Lord Holland’s feeling for the Arts, “Painting gives him no pleasure, and Music absolute pain.”

Wordsworth’s excessive praise of “Christabel,” joined in by Cary, far beyond my comprehension. The whole day dull enough.’

Moore gives an account of a dinner at Mr. Monkhouse’s, on Wordsworth’s invitation, at which Coleridge, Charles Lamb, and Rogers were present. He speaks of Lamb as ‘a clever fellow certainly, but full of villainous and abortive puns,’ and records that ‘Coleridge told
some tolerable things.’
Crabb Robinson, who was present, says that besides the five bards were no one but Mrs. Wordsworth, Miss Hutchinson, Mary Lamb, and Mrs. Gilman and himself at the bottom of the table. ‘Coleridge alone,’ says Crabb Robinson, ‘displayed any of his peculiar talent. I have not for years seen him in such excellent health and with so fine a flow of spirits. His discourse was addressed chiefly to Wordsworth, on points of metaphysical criticism. Rogers occasionally interposing a remark. The only one of the poets who seemed not to enjoy himself was Moore.’ 1 Lamb gives an account of the day in a letter to Bernard Barton, in which he says, ‘I dined in Parnassus with Wordsworth, Coleridge, Rogers, and Tom Moore—half the poetry of England constellated in Gloucester Place. It was a delightful evening. Coleridge was in his finest vein of talk—had all the talk.’

A day or two later Moore records a breakfast at Rogers’s to meet Lamb, and on the 10th of April a distinguished party at Rogers’s—Sydney Smith, Luttrell, Payne Knight, Lord Aberdeen, Abercrombie, Lord Clifden, &c. Moore says he had hitherto held out against Smith, ‘but this day he fairly conquered me.’ ‘What Rogers says of Smith very true,’ adds Moore, ‘that, whenever the conversation is getting dull, he throws in some touch which makes it rebound and rise again as light as ever.’ Another day Moore meets Barry Cornwall (Mr. Procter) at Rogers’s house, ‘a gentle, amiable-mannered person in very ill health, which has delayed his marriage with a person he

1 Diary, &c., of H. Crabb Robinson, vol. ii., p. 246.

has long been in love with; she too, an invalid; and somebody the other day described the two lovers supping together at nine o’clock on water gruel.’ It is curious to read this remark now that
Mrs. Procter has lately died, sixty-five years after it was put on record. Moore’s Diary goes on through May and June. There is a hitch in the publication of his ‘Fables,’ and Rogers is consulted. He gives five pounds towards the Greek subscription, in which Rogers was interesting himself. He meets Constable of Edinburgh at breakfast at Rogers’s, and notes that in talking of Walter Scott and ‘the Author of Waverley’ the great publisher ‘continually forgot himself, and made them the same person.’ Another day Rogers shows him Gray’s poems in his actual handwriting, and the original manuscript of a sermon of Sterne’s. Three times in ten days he meets Kenny at Rogers’s at breakfast. Rogers tells stories of Foote, one of which Moore records. A canting sort of lady asked him, ‘Pray, Mr. Foote, do you go to Church?’ ‘No, madam,’ replied Foote. ‘Not that I see any harm in it.’

At the end of February John Philip Kemble died in Switzerland, whither he had retired. He had just reached his sixty-sixth year, being about a year and a half younger than his celebrated sister, Mrs. Siddons. Rogers had always admired him, and used to say that he had never missed going to see Macbeth when Kemble and Mrs. Siddons played Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. He used to repeat the mot, that the way to wealth would be to buy John Kemble at other people’s valuation and sell him at his own. When Kemble was living at Lausanne he was jealous of Mont Blanc, and was vexed to hear
people asking ‘How does Mont Blanc look this morning?’ He was most amusing when he had drunk plenty of wine, but Rogers always regarded him as an over-estimated person. Rogers was present at the dinner given to Kemble when he quitted the stage, and Mrs. Siddons—a far greater performer, as Rogers maintained—alluding to the small attention her own retirement had attracted, said to him, ‘Perhaps in the next world women will be more valued than they are in this.’ He wrote to her on her brother’s death, and she replied as follows.

Mrs. Siddons to Samuel Rogers.
‘Friday [9 May, 1823].

‘A thousand thanks, my dear Mr. Rogers, for your kind and friendly note. The sympathy of the good and wise (after those heavenly consolations which are mercifully accorded to our prayers) is the most efficacious, as it is the sweetest medicine of our sorrows. I know not why, but I did fancy I was almost forgotten by you, and it grieved me; for, alas! death and change have left me also almost a bankrupt.

‘This last, and I think heaviest of my many afflicting visitations, I have felt, and long shall feel, very severely. Sickness and sorrow have pursued me almost ever since we met, and but for the tender unremitting cares of my darling inestimable child, and excellent friend, I should probably not have lived to meet with you again. I was scarcely recovered from an illness which confined me to my bed for three whole months, when this last sad blow was struck. But it is no less irrational than blameable to cherish an unavailing sorrow, and I have at length
aroused myself to the effort of seeing my friends again, and I hope to meet you at
Sir George Beaumont’s (I believe it is) on Monday; in the meantime present my kind compliments to your sister, and believe me,

‘Your obliged and affectionate,
S. Siddons.

‘I generally take my airing at two, and cannot endure the chance of missing you again, therefore do not give yourself the trouble of calling, for I hope soon to be able to arrange something better than a morning call. There! I have lost the pleasure of seeing you again. How vexatious, but if you are good enough to call any day before two it shall not happen.’

On the day before this letter was dated, Rogers had a remarkable conversation with the Duke of Wellington at Lady Shelley’s in Berkeley Square. It is to be found in the ‘Recollections’ (p. 218), and I am surprised that it has not attracted more general notice. Speaking of Napoleon, the Duke said that he was sure Moscow was burnt down by the irregularity of Napoleon’s own soldiers, and that the pamphlet to this effect, published by the Governor of Moscow, states what he (the Duke of Wellington) was persuaded was the truth.

One of the best letter writers of his time thus acknowledged a copy of ‘Italy’:—

Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
‘Foxley: May 25th, 1823.

‘My dear Sir,—I have to thank you for a most acceptable present in every respect; it tells me in the
pleasantest manner that you have not forgotten me, and the reading of it has afforded me no common degree of pleasure. This work of yours has given me two longings: the one to revisit that enchanting country of which you have drawn so many varied and striking pictures; the other to induce you to revisit this place, where you have left a very pleasing remembrance of the short time you passed amongst us. As to the first, I believe I should view Italy even with increased delight after more than fifty years’ absence. I was then a very young, though a very eager observer; I am now a very old one, and hardly less eager, but age and infirmities, were there no other obstacles, forbid any hope of so long a journey. The second, that of seeing you here, I will not despair of, and of being able to talk to you vivâ voce about many things in your poems, and thence of many others connected with them in your mind, and which I should delight to hear. I also wish to have my revenge and to shew you (anch’ io son pittore) a number of pictures I have been producing since you saw the place, working with the materials of nature; they are, as you may remember, most abundant; and I have endeavoured to form with them such compositions, from the foreground to the most distant objects, as would satisfy the eye of a judicious painter. I have had the satisfaction of seeing more than one excellent artist, and one of them—
Lord Aylesford—extremely averse to have anything pointed out to him as a good subject for a drawing, take his stand exactly where I wished, and where I had secretly conducted him, and draw the composition as if he had discovered it himself, tale quale and con amore. This picture-
making (you well know the delight of it in poetry) is a most amusing and interesting operation; it is, however, a very nice one, and the varied frame of each composition, itself an essential part, is to be studied almost to a twig. You remember, I dare say, a fanciful but ingenious idea, I forget whose, that in every block of marble a beautiful statue lay concealed, and that you had only to clear away the rubbish. It is the same, mutatis mutandis, in this place, and in every place of a similar kind; innumerable pictures are concealed, and I am endeavouring poco a poco to clear away what, after due deliberation, I judge to be rubbish. You have lately been viewing all that is most excellent in real and painted landscapes, and must come here and look at my operations and see whether I have followed the principles of the great masters of composition. All this, I am afraid, will not appear very seducing; but I know you love drawings of the old masters, and have yourself some very good specimens. I particularly remember one of
Giorgione that I envied you. Now I have books full of the old masters which I believe you have scarcely looked into, and though I have no Giorgione I have a Titian or two, and many drawings well worth your notice.

‘I must now ask you a question or two by letter, en attendant mieux. Is the story of Jorasse, his fall into the barathrum, the dreadful canopy of ice, the river that ran under it, his plunge into the deep water, and his rising into Paradise—all true? A more striking one never was invented, and the dénouement is the most sudden and most delightfully surprising of all dénouements. You have done it justice, and that is saying
everything. I pointed it out the other day to a friend of mine of great taste and sensibility, and he was as much delighted with it as I was.

‘Now a word or two about the ancient larch. I wish I had been with you, for I never saw an ancient larch and long very much to see one, and particularly on one account. The larches I have, some of them nearly ninety feet high, are mere infants compared with yours, for they were all planted by my father and are probably about my age, if so old. Several of them have roots above ground of a size and character that seem to belong to trees of at least twice their age, as you shall see when you come here, for come you must. Now I want to know whether you happened to notice the roots of your ancient larch, “majestic though in ruins.” I am afraid you were occupied with the human figure sitting near it, and scarcely observed them. You love a little anecdote, and I will tell you one of Sir Joshua. He mentioned to me his having once gone down the Wye from Monmouth to Chepstow. I asked him whether he was not very much struck with the inside of Tintern Abbey at the opening of the door. “I believe,” he said, “it is very striking, but I was so taken up with the groups of begging figures round the door, and their look of want and wretchedness, that I could not take my eyes from them.” The fact is, that he did not care very much about landscape of any kind in nature, and had only a high relish for it in the works of the greatest masters, particularly in the backgrounds of Titian.

‘Among other numerous longings, you have given me a very strong one for a sight of the Orsini Palace, its
noble gardens, terrace above terrace, and of the
Domenichino, so interesting a subject by such a painter. I did not stop at Modena, shame upon me, and never heard of this Ginevra; but the main part of her story I remember hearing from my mother when I was quite a child, and it made a deep and lasting impression on me. You may perhaps be curious to hear it in its simple English dress, and I believe I can tell it you very much as I had it from my mother. A number of young girls, she said, were playing at hide-and-seek in an old rambling mansion; one of them, a very lovely and beautiful girl and very eager in the sport, could never be found by her companions during the game, and after it was over was still missing. Weeks passed and still no tidings of her, when one of the family going into a lumber-room in a remote part of the house smelt a terrible stench, which seemed to come from a chest that was locked. It was burst open, when the putrid remains of the poor girl appeared, and the spring-lock told the horrible story. The same catastrophe may certainly have happened in England, and the name of the person and the place have been forgotten, but it seems more probable that the whole was taken from Ginevra, though the circumstances are altered. In any case, I was highly pleased to read my nursery story so impressively told, and with so many circumstances that give it both dignity and interest and what mine wants, “a local habitation and a name.” In mine, however, to which I have an early attachment, the play of hide-and-seek seems more naturally to account for an unfrequented part of the house, and a hiding-place being sought after, and there is something peculiarly
terrible and affecting in the idea of the discoverer, the father or mother, or perhaps the lover of the miserable victim, being led by the alarming stench to the fatal chest, and seeing, when it was forced open, the corpse of what they so loved, got green in death and festering in her tomb, and while all her loveliness was fresh in their memory. I never can think without shuddering of the moment
‘When the spring-lock that lay in ambush there
Fastened her down for ever,
of the unavailing screams and struggles, the lingering agonies, and so near those she loved, so near assistance—si forte pedem, si forte tulissent.

‘You have been equally happy in your gay and your gloomy pictures. As to the first, I have no lakes to shew you, no passage boats with peasant girls, fruits and flowers gliding by, nor trellises and corridors, vintages in their hey-day, barks sailing up and down, all pleasure, life and motion on land and water; but as to your dark tints, I have ancient yews that will match the lonely chapel of St. Bernard, or the gloomy silence of St. Bruno. Your ancient larch is probably a child to my yews, some of which must remember the Conquest, and one or two the Heptarchy. Rembrandt would delight in them and give full effect to their black massy trunks and spreading branches; but I should beg Claude’s assistance for the aerial tint of a distant mountain that I have let in, and that appears in one or two instances, under the solemn canopy. I long to shew you what relief and value they give to each other. I should have thanked
you sooner for all the pleasure you have given me, but the foul fiend Dyspepsia, who never quite leaves me, has lately been unusually harassing, and as you well know, when the stomach, Magister artis, ingeniqne largitor, is out of order, the head is good for nothing.

‘Believe me, my dear Sir,
‘Ever most truly yours,
U. Price.’

‘When will the Second Part come out? Another longing.’

Crabb Robinson records an evening he spent in the middle of June at the house of Miss Catharine Sharpe, the step-daughter of Rogers’s sister Maria, a sketch of whose noble life I have already given. Rogers and the Flaxmans were there, and Daniel Rogers from Wassall. Crabb Robinson describes the latter as having ‘the appearance of being a superior man, which S. Sharpe reports him to be. Rogers,’ he adds, ‘who knows all the gossip of literature, says that on the best authority he can affirm that Walter Scott has received 100,000l. honorarium for his poems and other works, including the Scotch novels. Walter Scott is Rogers’s friend, but Rogers did not oppose Flaxman’s remark that his works have in no respect tended to improve the moral condition of mankind.’

Among Rogers’s correspondence this summer are letters from Lord St. Helens, who speaks of himself and Rogers as devotees of Gray, and says that ‘a tracing from the curious portrait of Etough’ is the best production of Mason’s pencil he has seen, and proves ‘that its real forte, as may perhaps also be said of that of his pen, was
in the way of satire and caricature.’ Certain references in the following letter give it value.

Robert Southey to Samuel Rogers.
‘Keswick: 21 Sept., 1823.

‘Dear Sir,—Having been asked for a letter of introduction to you, I somewhat hastily promised it, presuming upon your kindness to excuse a liberty which at this moment I feel that I have no right to take. Mr. Carne came to me with a letter from Wordsworth, De Quincey having found him at Professor Wilson’s and taken him to Rydal. He has travelled in the East, has visited Lady Hester Stanhope, passed ten days in captivity with the Arabs in the Desert, and seen something of the horrors which are going on in Greece, and as he likes better to tell his adventures than to set them forth in a book, his conversation is very interesting. It will remind you perhaps of poor Kemble by making you ready to exclaim, “O my a-ches!” but his stories are not the worse for the want of aspirates, nor his pronunciation the better for being Ionic, as well as Stafford or Lancashire.

‘Should you be in town during the winter, I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you and receiving your forgiveness for this intrusion. Believe me, my dear Sir, yours with sincere respect,

Robert Southey.’

Rogers was at this time visiting Lord Grenville at Dropmore; and more than five pages of his ‘Recollections’ (177, 178, 179, 180, 181 and part of 182) consist of notes of Lord Grenville’s talk during this visit. Lord Grenville
was four years older than Rogers. He had been Prime Minister in 1806 and 1807, but was not now in office; and though only sixty-four, regarded himself as a statesman retired from business. There are the materials of history in the talk of such men when, like Lord Grenville, they tell of what they have seen and done, and their listener has the accurate and retentive memory of Samuel Rogers. Lord Grenville was one of the men for whom he felt, and always expressed, an affectionate admiration. Writing the notes of his next visit, in July 1825, Rogers describes him as sitting summer and winter on the same sofa, his favourite books on the shelf just over his head. One of these was
Roger Ascham, whose works were close to his hand. Another was Milton, who was always within reach. Lord Bathurst left them one day as they were walking in the garden. He was Secretary of State, and Lord Grenville was out of office. ‘Lord Bathurst is gone to his business,’ said Rogers. ‘I would rather he was there than I,’ replied Lord Grenville, ‘if I was to live my life over again I should do very differently.’ ‘We sat down to rest in the Pinery seat,’ says Rogers, ‘inscribed with the Virgilian motto “Pulcherrima pinus in hortis,” and the clock of the stables struck twelve.’ ‘That voice will be heard,’ said Lord Grenville, ‘long after I am in my grave and forgotten;’ and Rogers adds affectionately to his record, ‘Not forgotten. S. R.’ It was this sympathy with the great men whose words he has reported to posterity, this capacity for admiration, which has made Rogers’s ‘Recollections’ pleasant and instructive reading to the statesmen, the historians, and the thinkers of two generations.


In the succeeding chapter there will be found other proofs of the confidence with which Lord Grenville treated Rogers. One sign of this confidence, in addition to those recorded in the ‘Recollections,’ is found in Moore’s Diary.

In the autumn Rogers was at Bowood, and Moore records that he produced some English verses of Lord Grenville’s, to the surprise of all the party (which included Lord Aberdeen, Lord John Russell and Abercromby), ‘who seemed to agree that he was one of the least poetical men they could point out. The verses were a paraphrastic translation of the lines at the beginning of the “Inferno,” “O degli altri poeti onore e lume,” and very spiritedly done.’ I find the lines in Rogers’s Commonplace Book.

From Dante, by Lord Grenville.
Thou art that Virgil, thou that fountain head
Whence the rich stream of eloquence has spread
From age to age its pure and ample tide;
And by the zeal and love I ever bore
For thee, thy volumes, and thy sacred lore,
Glory and light of those famed bards of yore,
Through all my studious course be Thou my guide.

Moore continues that he walked out with Lord John Russell and Rogers, and a few days later saw Rogers and Lord Aberdeen off to Longleat. The autumns were usually spent either abroad or in a long round of these visits to country houses.

A letter illustrates his relations with another eminent person who had sent him a New Year’s gift, and to
Rogers had consequently addressed a letter of thanks and social gossip.

Lord Ashburnham to Samuel Rogers.
‘Ashburnham: Jan. 21st, 1824.

‘My dear Rogers,—As many thanks to you for encouraging me to flatter myself that the memento which I lately ventured to obtrude upon you was not unacceptable.

‘I wish that I could have had that opportunity, which you mention, of congratulating Knight. He is more to be congratulated than any other man, on any acquisition, of any sort; being gifted with such extraordinary powers of enjoyment, both intellectual and sensual; from Homer to a haunch of venison; from a drawing of Claude’s to a dish of coffee; from Venus de’ Medici to Venus de’ Meretrici.

‘But what I have most to congratulate him, and all his friends too, is on the accomplishment of my prediction. When I saw him in the beginning of November, full of blue pills and blue (not to say black) devils, I told him that he would, should, and must be himself again. And so he nearly was before I left town; at least he was then more than anyone else.

‘I thank you for telling me what Angostini’s pictures are really sold for. If I could get for mine what they are worth, I am sure that I ought not to keep them—with such a collection (that I cannot part with) of children. To all of them, great and little, I have remembered you according to your injunctions, as well as to Lady Asburnham. They all charge me to express their acknowledgments.


‘Your treasured tale, and legendary lore, are among their Pleasures of Memory. Believe me to be,

‘Most truly and sincerely yours,

Rubens arrived safe. I know not whereto put him. You must assist at a consultation in the spring.

‘I wish you had had our present January weather when you were here last July.’

Moore’s Diary for 1824 is fuller of Rogers than ever. The fourth volume, which reaches from September 1822 to October 1825, appropriately contains an admirable engraving of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Rogers. Whenever Moore went to London he spent much time at his house, and met him continually at the houses of other people. On the 29th of February he finds Luttrell, Lord John Russell, Mrs. Graham, Miss Rogers, and Lady Davy, at Rogers’s dinner table. A day or two later he and Rogers call on Lord Essex and Lady Jersey; the latter asks them to her house to a party to celebrate her birthday, and says that, ‘Brougham has bargained for a broiled bone for supper.’ Rogers, however, prefers the ‘Antient Music’ concert to Lady Jersey’s party, and so Moore goes home to dine with him and to work in the evening. Next day Rogers pleases Moore by reporting Luttrell’s opinion that if anybody can make such a subject as ‘Captain Rock’ lively, Moore will. Rogers was just as fond of reporting pleasant things to his friends as he was of saying sharp things. There is more of him in Moore’s Diary than in any other book, and he is constantly presented there as
saying what gave Moore pleasure and doing acts of generous kindness to him and others. But Moore’s Diary is too long to read, and Rogers is buried in it rather than enshrined.
Wordsworth was in London this spring, and Moore finds him in Rogers’s company at Miss White’s. He meets him. also at dinner at Hallam’s. Hallam was then principally known as one of the Edinburgh Reviewers. His ‘View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages’ had been published several years, and he was now writing his ‘Constitutional History.’ At this period the Athenæum Club was founded: Davy, Faraday, Chantrey, Scott, Lawrence, Heber, and Moore being among its founders, and Rogers one of its earliest members.

Two letters of this period from old friends give interesting glimpses of people and places.

Helen Maria Williams to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Sir,—You have probably forgotten the handwriting of this letter, and even the remembrance of the signature must be almost lost in the lapse of time—yet, I venture in quality of our long, long acquaintance, to introduce to your notice a very amiable foreigner who goes to pass a few weeks in London, and who has claims to your attentions of far more value than my recommendation. M. Van S. Gouvensvert is one of the most distinguished men of letters of Holland, has translated Homer into Dutch verse, and is the author of many elegant poetical compositions confined to his own country only because they are written in that unknown language, Dutch. He wishes to know what is best worth knowing
in England, and I therefore address him to the author of the “
Pleasures of Memory.” The kindness you may show M. Van S. Gouvensvert will, like other good actions, bring its own reward, for you will, I am sure, be much pleased with his conversation and manners.

‘I last summer talked of you, a subject never indifferent to me, with Sir James Mackintosh, whom I saw here en passant. He told me a trait of your conduct towards a brother poet, that made me weep.

‘I lost not long since the last surviving member of my own family, Mrs. Purvis Williams, the most virtuous character I ever met with, if virtue consists, as I believe it does, in living only for others. She had always been to me a second mother. She was old, but I see no reason in that circumstance for regretting the objects of our affection less; we had passed life together, and had remembrances that were our own. I should now be quite alone in the world if my nephews did not still give interest to my life. I have passed some time in Holland with the eldest, who is a Protestant minister at Amsterdam,1 and has acquired very great celebrity as a preacher. He is certainly one of the first of the present day on the Continent. He is married, and surrounded by a little smiling race, who enter the world as gaily as if there was nothing to do in it but to be happy. My youngest nephew is deeply versed in the sciences, and has already obtained distinguished reputation in France as a writer. For myself, I am among the number of past things, but I can

1 This was Athanase Coquerel the elder, the leader of the French Unitarians, the popular preacher of the Oratoire; representative of Paris after the Revolution of 1848, who proposed in the Assembly the abolition of the punishment of death.

still hold my pen, and am scribbling a little sketch which will perhaps have some interest. I hope you still employ your elegant and happy leisure in courting the beautiful moral muse to whom you owe so many partial favours, and whom it would be ungrateful indeed were you to neglect. Pardon, my dear Sir, this long letter, and believe me, with the highest esteem,

‘Your faithful friend,
H. M. Williams.’
‘Amsterdam: April 24th, 1825.

‘Do you ever see the venerable Mrs. Barbauld? If so, I should wish to be recalled to her remembrance.

Richard Sharp to Samuel Rogers.
‘Rome: 21 April, 1824.
Lured by thy verse, behold once more
Thy friend fair Italy explore.
And tho’ by suffering taught I shun
Her unrelenting summer sun,
Yet now I woo its beams to cheer
The gloom of an expiring year;
Where, ‘mid the ruins round her spread
Borne proudly lifts her mitred head
Once circled by th’ imperial crown
To which the conquer’d world bow’d down.
Feeble, though reverend in decay,
She claims not now her ancient sway,
But begs a homage, freely paid,
Less to the living than the dead,
Whose honoured tombs now mouldering round
Have power to consecrate the ground,
And though a thousand Domes arise,
More sees the Memory than the eyes.
Yet here, the work of modern hands,
In state the noblest temple stands
That to his great Creator’s praise
The piety of man could raise;
Here, too, as breathing nature warm,
Dwells many a bright angelic form,
Hewn from the rock by matchless skill,
Once Gods, and almost worshipped still.
And here the pencil’s magic hues
Along the walls their spells diffuse,
Calling saints, heroes from the grave
Again to teach, again to save.
The Eternal City as I trace
The Present to the Past gives place,
The spirits of the dead appear
And sounds divine transport my ear.
I listen, heedless of the throng,
To Tully’s speech or Maro’s song,
Or at the storied arch I view,
Gaze at the Triumph winding through,
Or mark the horse and horseman leap
Fearlessly down the yawning steep,
Or him who singly dares oppose
(Striding the bridge) a host of foes;
Now shuddering, the stern Consul see
His rebel sons to death decree,
Or in the Senate hail the blow
That lays the Great Usurper low,
But who, on thrones and robed in state,
Sit silently and smile at Fate,
The conscript sires. Though fierce and rude,
The conqueror is himself subdued,
Drops his red spear and bends the knee,
Esteeming each a Deity.
Oh! how in latter life it cheers
To triumph o’er the power of years!
Calm’d, not exhausted, to perceive
That we can feel, admire, believe
E’en to the last, as in our prime,
Spite of the malice of old Time;
Not more our joy than pride to know
That the chill’d blood again can glow,
That fancy still has wings to soar
As high as she was wont before,
And Hope still listens to her song
As erst, when credulous and young;
That there are vales where smiling spring
Is lovelier than the poets sing,
And Nature’s bright realities
Transcend what painting can devise,
Where May can trust, in field or bow’r,
Her blossoms to the morning hour,
Nor dreads the venomous East should breathe
To blight the flow’rets in her wreath,
And scarcely swells a bud in vain
Of blushing fruit or golden grain.
Alas, fair land, that thy rich dower
Should be the prize of lawless Power!
Yielded to Vandal, Moor, or Gaul,
Or bigot sloth, far worse than all.
Oh, grief! that blessings too profuse
Should change to curses by th’ abuse
That virtue, freedom, still must fly
For shelter to a frozen sky.
Like gold, all good requires alloy,
And man must suffer to enjoy.
Once thy possessors, great in arms,
Defended and preserved thy charms,
Well taught (alas, in times gone by!)
Bravely to conquer or to die.
Then the rude Hun rude welcome found
And with his blood manured the ground,
Though now, his haughty banner waves
High o’er his humbled fathers’ graves.
Now must thy sons thy fate regret,
The present bear, the past forget,
Blush when they hear their fathers’ fame,
And hide in smiles their grief and shame.
Not long—soon shall the smouldering fire
Explode in thunder or expire,
Oh, not the last!—in vain they dare
(The crown’d conspirators) to share
The world between them as their prey,
Willing to own their sovereign sway.
As soon shall they forbid the sun
His daily course thro’ Heav’n to run,
Arrest the ocean tides, or bind
The pinions of the wandering wind.
But let this pass, here still we find
Much to console the cultur’d mind;
Art, Science, Letters still survive
The Liberty that bade them thrive,
And many a poet of high name
Upholds his country’s ancient fame.
Thy last great theme: well chosen by thee
The bard inspired by Memory!
And greatly shall thy lasting lay
Her hospitality o’erpay,
Long long the rival to remain
Ev’n of her noblest native strain.
‘Genoa: 12 May, 1824.

‘My dear Friend,—I have detained these newly born natives of Italy some weeks in the hope of their improving, but I find them incorrigible. They stammer sadly, and when they speak plainly they often talk nonsense. I now send them to you chiefly because I do not wish to appear to want respect for the country that you have
adopted. Indeed, what could I hope to say, on a subject which you have attended to, that has escaped your observation, who have a sharper sight than I pretend to have?

‘I verified, on this visit, the Venetian story which I told you in 1821, and saw every evening the lamp and the torches in St. Mark’s Place. On the lake of Como I heard of a recent tragedy well known to the inhabitants of its shores.

‘An old lady and her daughter Rosalia lived at Domaso in narrow circumstances. The latter was very young and very beautiful, the glory of the lake. At a sort of half fair, half religious fête, Vincenzo, a young man of Menagio, saw her, fell in love with her, watched her all day at a distance, and at length was fortunate enough to become known to her by saving her from a wild heifer that pursued her. Intimacy and mutual love followed, but Vincenzo’s father was rich and refused his consent. The young man fell dangerously ill on being thwarted in his affection, and wrote to her, as he thought on his death bed, to pray for a last interview; the mother allowed her to go, but would accompany her, and being fearful of the water, they took a lad for a sort of guide along the narrow path. In one place it ascends a rocky precipice called Sasso rancio where in 1799, some years before, a company of Russian foot soldiers fell into the water and were drowned. The mother being feeble leaned on the boy, but suddenly hearing a shriek looked round and saw Rosalia sink for ever into the lake. Vincenzo after a severe struggle for life recovered, but became unsettled in his mind. The first thought that occurred to him was to fly to the Sasso rancio and to throw himself down
the rock where Rosalia had fallen. It, however, struck him that as she was innocent and would go to heaven, he should never see her more, as his wickedness in self-murder would consign him to another place. He led for a few months, among the mountains, a rambling life, when he was found dead, having been killed by a bear. Take this as a specimen of my “Tour on the Continent,” in four quartos, which in proper time you will have the advantage of reading. The principal chapters will be on the Rhine, Heidelberg, Baden (pretty Baden), the Black Forest (this will be full of dangers and escapes), the Lake of the Four Cantons, the Pass of the Brunig, the Oberland of Bern (this will contain many interesting recollections of a visit paid to it in 1821 along with a great living poet), Vevay, Dumont, Chamouni, St. Gervais, the Simplon, Como, Milan, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Paestum, Lucca, Genoa, Mont Cenis, and the Chartreuse. France must be a separate publication, though, as I was asleep while I crossed it, I must poach for materials in the travels of
Lady Morgan and Lord Blantyre. Do speak to Murray in time. I only ask ten thousand pounds for the copyright.

‘We were hardly five months at Rome, in excellent apartments once tenanted by Miss Berrys, and basked in the sun almost the whole winter. It was troublesome to get out of the way of invitations, for Rome was a sort of Brighton in that respect; Lord Kinnaird, Lord Dudley, the late Duchess of Devonshire, and Lady Mary Durham almost kept open house, so did many others. Lord and Lady Normanby and Lord and Lady Belfast acted private plays every week, and great was the canvassing to procure tickets. Fazakerley was my daily companion,
and I saw a good deal of Morrit and of
Lord and Lady Compton. Much going out in the afternoon and a walk twice a day on the Pincian Hill filled up my time very amusingly; that is, the time I could spare from the statues, pictures, studios, &c. &c. At Naples I had equal resources, especially in an old acquaintance, Mr. Hamilton’s, house and in Lord Ponsonby. The latter has taken great pains with himself, and is the most unproved man that I know. I always liked his manners, but now he is full of sense and information. Adversity is an excellent schoolmaster.

‘My sister’s health and spirits had induced her to beg, or rather to make it a sort of condition, not to visit, and Maria is not come out, but her time was fully occupied by sights, music, and masters. The latter came daily, and I got a young Italian lady, known to Fazakerley, to go about with us in the morning and to dine with us, &c., that she might acquire facility in speaking Italian. However, much as I liked every thing, I must own, to speak out, that I greatly prefer home to travelling (except for short tours), and my own country to the Continent. What compensation is there for the absence of friends? None; not even the Alps and the Vatican. What society is there abroad to be compared, for instance, to Holland House or to the little dinners in St. James’s Place, or to be mentioned when the conversation of London is thought of? What is the Pincian to our little strollings from your window in the Green Park?

Ecquid erat tanti Romam vidisse sepultam,
Ut te tam dulci possem caruisse sodale!1

1 Silvarum Liber,Epitaphium Damonis,’ lines 115 and 118


‘I dislike quotation, but these lines are Milton’s, and they so exactly express what I felt that I could not resist the temptation of using them. He laments in them his absence from Charles Deodatus, his friend, and Rome is his instance.

‘I am obliged to count over my riches of this kind that are left, having lost so much in the little year of my absence. Our warm-hearted friend Lord Erskine was so young at his age that I somehow considered him as immortal. Payne Knight too! Ricardo! but I thank God still nearer friends are left. I send this by a private courier either to Paris or to London, and I hope to take you by the hand about June 10. So do not trouble yourself to write. You have, I hope, been well, happy and diligent during my absence.

‘Ever yours most affectionately,
R. Sharp.

‘Pray mention my remembrances to Miss Rogers.’

The death of Lord Erskine (which took place on the 17th of November, 1823), of Payne Knight, and of Ricardo, to which Richard Sharp refers, were not the only literary losses of the time. On the 14th of May Moore was calling at Colburn’s library when the shopman told him of the death of Lord Byron, the news of which had just arrived in London. After verifying it at the Morning Chronicle office and writing a note to Murray about the Memoirs, he went off to Rogers and found that the intelligence had not reached him, and he records that in the same way Rogers had called nineteen years before and found him uninformed of the death of Nelson.
Moore’s one anxiety was the
Memoirs, which he had sold to Murray, and had half arranged to redeem. His first impulse was to seek Rogers’s advice. Rogers advised him to wait for some movement by Murray, and meanwhile to ask Brougham’s opinion on the whole subject. Lord Russell omits the long account Moore gave in his Diary of the negotiations which resulted in the burning of the Byron manuscript, a proceeding of which Rogers always consistently expressed his disapproval. He was quite sure that Byron never thought the manuscript would meet with such a fate. He had glanced it through, and had not seen the gross things in it, which Lord John Russell, who had read it nearly all, says were confined to three or four pages. Rogers recollected one story Lord Byron had told in it. On his wedding night, starting suddenly out of his first sleep, he saw that a taper which was burning in the room was throwing a ruddy light through the crimson curtains. He woke up with a start, exclaiming in a voice loud enough to wake his sleeping wife, “Good God, I am surely in hell.” Lord Russell assures the world that it is no loser by the burning of these Memoirs, but Rogers thought it unjustifiable, and said that Moore did not consult him about it, but went to Luttrell, who did not care, and who at once consented to the sacrifice. Moore paid Murray back with interest the 2,000 guineas he had advanced for the manuscript, and there was a great desire to compensate Moore for his loss. Moore, however, refused the money, and when he had done so called to tell Rogers of his resolution. He found Rogers and his sister equally inclined, with his other friends, to consider the refusal
as altogether too romantic a sacrifice. ‘Recapitulated my reasons,’ says Moore, ‘much more strongly than I could ever put them to paper. Saw they were both touched by them, though Rogers would not allow it; owned that he would not receive the money in such a case, but said that my having a wife and children made all the difference possible in the views he ought to take of it.’ Moore adds, with a feeling which does him lasting honour: ‘This avowal was, however, enough for me. More mean things have been done in this world (as I told him) under the shelter of “wife and children” than under any other pretext that worldly-mindedness can resort to. He said at last, smiling at me, “Well, your life may be a good poem, but it is a d—d bad matter of fact!”’

The business did not end there. In July the funeral took place, and Moore came up to it, and persuaded Rogers to go with him to the ceremony. ‘Our coachful,’ says Moore, ‘consisted of Rogers, Campbell, Colonel Stanhope, Orlando (the Greek Deputy), and myself.’ After the funeral Moore and Rogers walked in the park, and Rogers not only advised him not to make any communication to Byron’s family about materials for his Life, but said, ‘I entreat of you to take no step of this kind till I release you. I have particular reasons for it.’ Moore thought he knew that the mystery related to some plan for settling the 2,000l. on little Tom.

Moore records during this visit to London that one evening he looked, with Rogers, over his ‘Commonplace Book,’ and found some highly curious accounts of his conversations with Fox, Grattan, and the Duke of Wellington. These are the ‘Recollections,’ published after his death,
to which I have often referred. He quotes from Rogers the statement that
Sheridan had twice told him that every sentence in ‘The Stranger’ as it is acted was written by him. In August Rogers was at Bowood, where Dumont and the Hollands were staying. Moore was, of course, full of Sheridan. Rogers mentioned that Sheridan’s father had said of him, ‘Talk of the merit of Dick’s comedy, there’s nothing in it. He had but to dip the pencil in his own heart and he’d find there the characters of both Joseph and Charles.’ Rogers quoted Lord Chatham’s saying, on a motion which nobody seconded, ‘My lords, I stand alone; my lords, I stand, like our first parent, naked but not ashamed.’ Another day Rogers quoted Chatham’s saying when commenting on a speech of the King’s, written by Mr. Fox (afterwards Lord Holland) and the Duke of Newcastle, ‘Here rolls the Rhone, black, turbid and rapid, while here steals the Saone, whispering with flowers on its banks.’ Another day Rogers walked home with Moore to his cottage. ‘Looked over Bessy’s books, kissed the children, and was very amiable.’

There are further glimpses of interesting people in one of Uvedale Price’s amusing letters.

Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
‘Foxley: July 26, 1824.

‘Dear Rogers,—. . . We were detained at Cashiobury two days longer than we intended. . . . With me these were by no means idle days; I was most busily employed on a part of the place that is known, and that perhaps you may know, by the name of the Horse-shoe
Dell: it is a little amphitheatre, a hollow, nearly flat in the middle, and surrounded on every side by gently rising ground. Many years ago cedars of Lebanon, red cedars, laurels, laburnums, cockspur thorns, &c.—these last the largest and the most picturesque I have ever seen—were planted there, and most judiciously (for it can hardly have been mere accident) placed on the top and the sides of the swelling ground, the bottom being left unplanted; in short, exactly as I could have wished such ground to be planted. Many of the trees, however, though by no means crowded, had from then-luxuriant growth begun to injure one another, and the arena, which had so properly been left unplanted, was choked up with chance seedlings, chiefly ash, which concealed the varied form of the banks, and would soon have concealed even the trees upon them.
Lord Essex gave me carte blanche, and though in the midst of the hay, gave me several workmen. I began by clearing the arena; and, after cutting out a quantity of dead boughs from the beautiful plants they disfigured, cautiously gave room to the principal trees, and those of the best forms, by pruning the others from them. I then made some paths and openings where none appear to have ever been made, so as to enter this little sanctum in the best directions. I wish you had been with me: I should have liked to show you the status ante and post bellum, and I think you would have been amused in seeing the progress of the work; it is, however, only sbuzzato, for I had only two days, those very hot, and I not very stout, though “very eager.” My principal operator in pruning, &c. was a common labourer, but sufficiently intelligent, and who
took to it all very kindly: his name is John Elliman, and if you should happen to light upon him at your next trip to Cashiobury, he will be a much better cicerone than the Bostanghi Pacha, Dominusve terræ fastidiosus: but this quite between ourselves. It must be owned that I am not a little unconscionable, first to try your patience with a long account of all I have been doing and then to propose your looking it all over with such a cicerone! but we are mighty fond of our own little performances in every way. So ends the history of the last days at Cashiobury.
‘Postera lux oritur multo gratissima,
for I never passed a pleasanter day in all respects than that at Dropmore. I delight in
Lord Grenville, so we do all, and in his creation; and wish I had happened to see the spot before he began the work, and while the alehouse was standing. This was my case in regard to London. I left it with Swallow Street, &c., in all their dirt and meanness: Waterloo Bridge and all the grand openings from Carlton House to the Regent’s Park were made during my ten years’ rustication; and the impression was, I am sure, in proportion. I never heard of anyone who regretted Swallow Street, and of one only who was angry at anything Lord Grenville had done at Dropmore; that one, as Peploe told me yesterday, was our late Dean of Hereford, Dr. Gretton. It seems that Lord Grenville had been sacrilegious enough to pull down a house where he had kept a school, and he talked of it with as much indignation as an ancient Greek would have done if the Academy where Plato taught had been
destroyed. This Dean of ours—begging
Lord Ashburnham’s pardon, who has been his pupil—was the arrantest pedagogue that ever wielded a rod; his head, face, wig, and his whole person seemed cut out of wood, and, as some one said, there was syntax in every line of his countenance.

‘To return from this digression, we got to Dropmore in time enough for a short walk before dinner, which, instead of that absurd fashionable hour of seven, which cuts off the most delightful part of the whole day, was at five, and after coffee, the weather being exactly what one could wish it, set out on our walk. To me, who am not less fond of highly ornamented than of wild picturesque scenery, the whole garden was extremely interesting, and my pleasure was enhanced (many a time have I found it otherwise) by looking it over with the proprietors. Lady Grenville seems as fond of everything as her lord, and from the observations she occasionally made appeared to me to have very just feeling and discrimination. There is an amusing contrast in their manners: his remarkably placid and calm, though far from cold; hers as strikingly eager. I have seldom seen any rock-work in gardens that had not rather a trifling paltry appearance: that of Lord Grenville’s is on a scale which alone would preserve it from such epithets; and he has managed to give it—the blocks themselves being large and massy—a sort of architectural grandeur, and when the various plants and creepers begin to shoot luxuriantly as they promise to do, the effect will be excellent. He has, I think, been no less successful in a no less difficult and risky operation with other materials—that of placing large bodies of trees, many of them singularly bent, so as to form arches at various directions at the foot [of]
an artificial mound he has raised so as to command a view of the distant country; and on the edge of the mound by way of foreground to the distance (I don’t know what has possessed me to describe to you what you know better than I do) he has placed large stumps and roots of trees. I had heard of all this, and thought it rather a hazardous undertaking: and the whole at present, being but just done and not quite finished, has, of course, a crude appearance, but it is so well designed that I have no doubt of the effect when the plants and climbers begin to answer the purpose for which they were intended, that of a disguise and an ornament. Methinks I hear you crying out in a lamentable tone, Ohe! jam satis est! and in truth, I am rather ashamed of having given you, and for the second time in the same letter, such a plat de mon métier, but I was so full of what I had been doing and seeing, that I must have burst if I had not given it vent; and you are the victim. Nothing could be more nattering than the wish both Lord and Lady Grenville expressed that we would prolong our stay. We were well inclined to do so, had it been possible, for the style of living is remarkably easy, and everything, without any parade, full of comfort; we shall have no scruple in accepting their invitation for another year, when I hope you will meet us, and share and add to our enjoyments.

‘After this one day at Dropmore, but, in Homer’s language, πάντων αξιον ημαρ, we went to St. Anne’s with the full intention of going from thence to Asburnham, although the two additional days at Cashiobury had thrown us very late; when I, in my turn, was disabled from travelling by the most disabling of all complaints
. . . and thus, after all the suspense in which we had been keeping
Lord and Lady Ashburnham, after their extreme kindness and indulgence, we were most reluctantly obliged to give up entirely what we had so much set our hearts upon. His answer in some degree comforted us: they could have received us on the day we proposed, and have allowed us to stay the whole of the next, but must have sent us away on the following one. The whole day would have been another αξιον ημαρ, and well worth the journey, yet after all, however amiable, we must have been very troublesome guests at the eve of such a departure. Four quiet days at St. Anne’s restored me a good deal; but as my complaint and also my daughter’s were not unlikely to return, we thought it both safest and best to give up our intended tour, and get to Foxley pian piano by easy journeys; and here we are, feeling the delights and comforts of home, and looking forward with great pleasure to the time when you and your sister will arrive. We depend on your promise, and shall be grievously disappointed if anything should prevent your coming. I am busily employed with my two squirrels, well provided with high ladders and various cutting implements, in retouching my pictures, and clearing away the random foliage, as Mason calls it, that begins to disturb my compositions, and hide some of the distances; and all àvotre intention; so you must have a black heart if you fail me. With our best regards to you and Miss Rogers, and wishing you a pleasant journey into Herefordshire, believe me,

‘Most truly yours,
U. Price.’

The same admirable letter writer writes again later in the same year.

Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
‘Foxley: Oct. 6, 1824.

‘You are a very pretty fellow indeed to talk of breaking your heart if we do not come to town next year, when you are breaking ours, and your promise into the bargain, by not coming to us this; then, you throw out hopes of your coming another time, and talk of next year to a man of seventy-seven and upwards, and with one foot—but I won’t tell lies; neither of mine is in the grave, nor, I really believe, very near it, and I hope to have many a pleasant walk and talk with you, though not here.’

He then fills several sheets with an elaborate discussion of the Latin and Greek pronunciation, and proceeds—

‘I remember hearing that Queen Caroline, the wife of George II., when she first came to England, being very fond of oysters and having heard the fame of ours, desired to have some; the finest and freshest Colchester were procured; she would hardly touch them. Pyefleet were tried; she kicked at them, and declared that English oysters were good for nothing. One of her attendants guessed how the case stood, and luckily found out some refuse oysters, all but stinking, and brought them to her. “Ay,” she cried, “these are the right sort; these have the true flavour of ours in Germany,” and devoured the whole dish. Such, whether in an oyster or in
higher matters, is the omnipotence of habit, and I am persuaded that if the change I have supposed in the execution of music were to be made, and to be continued (like our change in ancient recitation) for some centuries, and that then a few musicians, convinced of its absurdity, and wishing to bring about a reform, were, after practising in private, to execute a piece of music according to time, they would be hissed out of the orchestra, because their new mode, like the fresh oysters, had not the accustomed flavour; noto contingit odore, is the main point, to whatever sense we may address ourselves. I shall make no further excuses for the length of this discussion, if you happen to take an interest in it, a few pages are nothing, if you do not, a single page is a volume; mais parlous d’autres choses.

‘And so, by your own frank confession, you showed my letter to Lord and Lady Grenville, and to a breach of promise added a breach of confidence. Ah! double traître. As, however, they were pleased with the manner in which I spoke of them, I cannot be angry, and I must say that I have great reliance on your tact, and am sure you would never show anything at all likely to hurt the feelings of either party. I certainly did leave Dropmore with a very strong and most favourable impression of everything there, in every way, and I wrote to you under that impression, just as it had remained in my mind. I regret not having known them earlier in life. I have lost a great deal, and I now feel truly anxious about him. I really believe I should have had the very great pleasure of seeing them both at Foxley this year, if he had not thought it necessary or, at least, prudent,
to keep a stricter regimen than he well could from home, and to be within reach of his medical adviser; next year, I have some hopes, and if they should come who knows who might like to meet them? Whoever they may be, and however ill they may have behaved themselves, they shall be most kindly received.

‘I wish I could have met you and the grand chorus of Bards at Bowood; it would have been a lucky moment, for though I so much like both Lord and Lady Lansdowne, and am so curious to see the place again after a very long interval, that I should have wished for nothing more, yet such a party I must own would have enhanced the pleasure. The only time I ever saw Bowood was with Knight, just forty years ago, for it was just before he published his “Landscape” and I my “Essay.” Lord Lansdowne, I remember, used to look at us with some surprise when we were making very bold remarks on all that we saw. “He does not know,” said Knight to me, “that we are great doctors.” Not long afterwards we laid our respective claims before the public. This visit of ours was at the early part of the French Revolution; we found at Bowood the Duchesse de Levis and her mother; the next day Talleyrand arrived while we were at dinner. I was very much struck with the look he cast round the company, as he slowly walked in—it had the appearance of sullen haughtiness with a sort of suspicious examination. The day after in came the Duc de Levis, with a very different allure; a more ill-looking, mean-looking fellow I never saw, and so his handsome wife seemed to think by her manner of receiving him. So much for old times and the company I did meet at Bowood, now for
those I unluckily did not.
Bowles, as you know, I am well acquainted with, but not as a flute-player, and on that, as well as on every other account, I should have been very glad to have met him, and have heard him perform his water-music and do the honours of his water-party. A Greek poet is very severe on flute-players; he allows that the gods have given them a mind, but that out it flies with the first puff of their breath. . . .

Crabbe, I once saw and that’s all. I might have been acquainted with him, for Sir Joshua invited me to dinner, and told me I should meet Crabbe and Johnson. I had some engagement, probably (for I was then, as Ste. Fox used to say of himself, a young man of wit and pleasure about town) at some fine house to meet fine gentlemen and ladies: whatever it was, I was blockhead enough not to break it, and I have never forgiven myself. The dinner I went to and the company there I have never thought of from that time to this; the dinner I did not go to I never should have forgotten, and if I had gone should now be recollecting every circumstance with pleasure and satisfaction, instead of crying, Oh, fool! fool! fool! I am, as you know, a great admirer of Crabbe; so were Charles Fox and Fitzpatrick. The first poem of his I ever saw (I believe his first work) was “The Library”: Charles brought it to Foxley soon after it came out and read a good deal of it to us, Hare being one of the audience. I particularly remember his reading the part where Crabbe has described “the ancient worthies of romance,” and has given in about twenty lines the essence of knight-errantry. When Fox came to
‘And shadowy forms with staring eyes stalk round,
Hare cried out (you remember his figure and eyes), “That’s meant for me.”

Moore I do not even know by sight. I could wish to be as well acquainted with him as I am with many of his works, for by what I have been told I shall not like him less than I do them; if I should be in town next year you must bring us together. His “Life of Sheridan” I shall send for the moment it is out, both on account of the writer and the subject. At one time I saw a good deal of Sheridan: he and his first wife passed some time here, and he is an instance that a taste for poetry and for scenery are not always united. Had this house been in the midst of Hounslow Heath, he could not have taken less interest in all around it. His delight was in shooting all day, and every day, and my gamekeeper said that of all the gentlemen he had ever been out with he never knew so bad a shot. This sorry performer “dans la guerre aux oiseaux” was, as all can bear witness,
‘Dans les combats d’esprit savant maître d’escrime.
Hare was with us there was some excellent sparring between those doughty knights, and the more amusing from their play being—as you well know who knew them both—very different. You must have known the first Mrs. Sheridan and have often heard her in private, though you have the misfortune—I wish I could share it with you—of not being old enough to have heard much of her in public. Hers was truly “a voice as of the cherub choir,” and she was always ready to sing without any pressing. She sang here a great deal, to my infinite delight. But what had a peculiar charm was that she used to take my daughter, then a child, on her
lap and sing a number of childish songs, with such a playfulness of manner and such a sweetness of look and voice as was quite enchanting. “Tempo passato, perchè non ritorni?” This I may say without meaning any offence to il tempo presente, for in spite of certain drawbacks that time will produce, and “of all that must accompany old age,” I still have from various pursuits, and the interest I continue to take in them, and through the kindness and indulgence of my friends and of those who are most near and dear to me, many enjoyments suited to my time of life, in some degree even belonging to it,
‘And from the dregs of life sometimes receive
What the first sprightly runnings could not give.
One of the pleasures and privileges of old age is garrulity, and in that I have indulged myself to the top of my bent.

‘With all our best regards and wishes rancune tenante, believe me, most truly yours,

U. Price.’

Rogers was again at Dropmore in the late autumn, and here is a hint of further plans of pleasure—

Henry Luttrell to Samuel Rogers.

‘My dear Rogers,—Lord and Lady Cowper will be—what shall I say, since you like neither the word “delighted” nor any of its synonyms?—they will feel just what you wish them to feel, neither more nor less, on your appearance at Panshanger on Saturday next. In
brief, you will be most welcome, and they desire me to say so.

‘We had here yesterday Lord and Lady Tankerville, Lords Lansdowne and Dudley, and William Ponsonby. Lord and Lady Gower came over to-day from their father’s lately purchased villa in the neighbourhood. And so on I conclude, with a fresh infusion daily from town at the dinner hour, some sleepers and some returners, after the manner of villas. I shall remain here till Friday, and on Saturday without fail go to Panshanger.

‘I thought I would finish my translation of the Greek epigram we talked of yesterday with reference to a certain gentleman. Here is the original, as well as I can recall what has not occurred to me since my boyhood. I wish you well through my Hellenic pothooks—

Μυν Άρκληπιάδης ό ϕιλάργνρος ειδεν έν οικω,
Και, “Τί θέλεις αρʹ, εϕη, ϕίλτατε μυ, παρʹ εμοί;”
Ήδυ δʹ μυς γελάσς, “Μηδεν, ϕίλε, ϕησι, ϕοβήθης,
Ουχι τροϕης παρά σοι χρήζομεν, αλλα μονης.”

‘The following is as close a fit as I can make of it in English—
‘Cries ——, in his closet once spying a mouse,
“Pray what business have you, little friend, in my house?”
Says the mouse with a smile to the lover of hoarding,
“Don’t be frightened, ‘tis lodging I look for, not boarding.”
To which might be added in the way of retort courteous
‘Since that’s all, replies ——, ‘twould be hard to deny you,
You may lodge how you can, but to board I defy you.


‘Perhaps you will write me a line to say if it is done and done between us for Saturday. In that case you may direct here.

‘Ever truly yours,
Henry Luttrell.

‘Should you mention me in the house, pray offer my best compliments to Lord and Lady Grenville.

‘Roehampton: Monday, Nov. 8, 1824.’

Rogers was not back in London till the middle of December, when Moore was there consulting him about undertaking to write Byron’s Life. He in his turn showed Moore some of the prose essays which he had written to insert in ‘Italy.’ Of one of these now headed ‘National Prejudices,’ Moore reports Mackintosh’s praise, and says he feels it ‘would do one good to study such writing, if not as a model, yet as a chastener and simplifier of style, it being the very reverse of ambition or ornament.’ Mackintosh wrote.

Sir James Mackintosh to Samuel Rogers.
‘Cadogan Place: Thursday, 9 Dec. 1824.

‘My dear Rogers,—I admire your beautiful little essay so truly that I don’t know how to criticise it. I assure you sincerely that in my opinion Hume could not have improved the thoughts nor Addison amended the language. It is such a jewel that I am anxious to know where you are to place it.

‘Ever yours,
J. Mackintosh.

‘Your last sentence but one reminds me of the famous sentence of St. Augustine on Toleration, and is as good.’1

Two letters—one on business, the other of pleasant talk—from the admirable letter writer already quoted, fitly close the year 1824.

Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
‘Foxley: Dec. 8th, 1824.

‘You will very much oblige me by giving me your opinion and advice on what I am going to mention. In the sheets I am preparing for the press there are a number of Greek and Latin quotations, with some new marks over the syllables, and others employed in an unusual manner, it therefore is of consequence to me that my printer should be accurate and intelligent. Valpy had been often mentioned to me as such; and Knight, whose “Carmina Homerica” he printed, spoke highly of him, and from these accounts, without having any acquaintance with him myself, I intended to make use of his press. Valpy, by some means, had heard of my having written remarks on parts of Knight’s Homer, and he wrote to me requesting that if I meant them for the public I would allow him to insert them in his “Critical Journal.” I had written such remarks and had sent them to Knight, with whom I had a correspondence on the subject, but had no thoughts of making them public, as

1 The sentence is: ‘Who, did he but reflect by what slow gradations, often by how many strange concurrences, we are led astray, with how much reluctance, how much agony, how many efforts to escape, how many self-accusations, how many sighs, how many tears—who, did he but reflect for a moment, would have a heart to cast a stone?’—Italy, pt. 2, v.

I told Valpy; but told him at the same time that I had a work on hand which, when finished, it was my intention to send to his press; and not long afterwards, having sent a sort of epitome of the work to
Lord Aberdeen, I desired him to send it to Valpy, which he did, and thus stands the case between us. I have never heard his merits as a printer called in question, but I have lately been told that he is en mauvaise odeur with some of the most eminent scholars—Bloomfield was particularly mentioned—who are strongly in opposition to him and ill-disposed to whatever comes from his press, and though I do not wish to curry favour with these great men, I should be sorry to have them prepossessed against my performance. What occasioned this enmity I never heard, but I have heard that Valpy has a certain mixture of presumption and affectation, which, if such be the case, may very naturally give offence and disgust; and, I must own, I did not much like the manner and style of the letters I received from him. The point upon which I particularly wish for your opinion is, how far you think I am engaged to Valpy; and whether, supposing the circumstances seemed strongly to require it, I might make my excuses to him and employ another printer. Mawman, you know, was my last publisher; I should suppose he is not particularly used to print books of a learned kind, and that he would not much care who was the printer provided he had the publication. I have great confidence in your advice and opinion; but am afraid I have very much indisposed you from giving me any assistance on the subject in question, by having harassed you upon it so unmercifully in my last letter.
I hope you will forgive me, and as it was my first fault of the kind, so I faithfully promise it shall be the last. If it should have been the chief cause of your silence I have been well punished.

‘Believe me, with all our best regards,
‘Ever most truly your
U. Price.’
Uvedale Price to Samuel Rogers.
‘Foxley: Dec. 26, 1824.

‘You are always a long time in answering; but always make ample amends for the delay, and I am almost afraid of saying how much pleasure I received from your last letter, for fear you should think delay a necessary ingredient and be confirmed in your bad habit. As for confidence, you contrive to make it—according to the most hackneyed of quotations—“more honoured in the breach than the observance”; this is the second breach, and I hardly know by which of the two I have been most honoured. I began to repent having sent you such a long dissertation on accent, quantity, &c., but am now quite cock-a-hoop.

‘. . . It gives me great pleasure to hear that at your last visit to Dropmore you found Lord Grenville in good spirits. They so generally rise and fall with good and bad health that I hope his is gradually and steadily improving. I am not a little pleased to find that he was occupied with my last letter on the subject that so much occupies me, as you know to your cost; in one of his which I had received not long before, he had expressed his doubts on various points, and I thought the best way
of answering was by a sort of epitome, stating my leading positions and arguments, but, as I told him, without meaning to draw him into any further correspondence. This was very discreetly and properly said, but, I must own, not without a secret longing for its continuation.

‘The account you give of Lord Ashburnham is very pleasing and satisfactory. He always writes gaily and very agreeably; his frame of mind is naturally a cheerful one, and, as far as I have observed, he is not at all apt to see things en noir; but he left England with great reluctance under depressing circumstances and with the care of a large family and suite during a long journey. This must have been a weight on his spirits; it is now removed, and he can fully enjoy those interesting objects for which he has that keen relish and true feeling which is so often affected. I remember when I was at Florence (I dare say Lord Fitzwilliam would remember it, though it is not very far from sixty years since we were there) a young handsome French colonel, Français jusqu’à la moelle des os, arriving in his regimentals from Corsica. He did us English the honour of noticing us, and one day, when several of us were together in the Tribune, he advanced towards us with a true French air: “Messieurs,” said he, “je suis en extase! des bustes, des tableaux, des statues!” he never looked at any of them for two minutes together, or at anything but himself in the glass.

Lord Aberdeen’s journey must be a very melancholy one; and with little hope, I should fear, of his daughter’s recovery. The consumptive taint from the first Lady Aberdeen seems to have been uncommonly deep and virulent. I shall never forget my having seen, some
Lord Aberdeen's Family397
twenty or thirty years ago, a number of children coming out of a house in Grosvenor Square. I was so struck with their beauty that, when they had passed by me, I went up to the Porter, who, with the door half open, was following them with his eyes, and asked him whose children they were. “Lord Aberdeen’s,” he answered, “and there is not a finer family in all Britain.” I soon afterwards became acquainted with Lord Aberdeen, and soon very intimate; was continually at the Priory and saw these beautiful and amiable children growing up in all their loveliness, but mixed with the colour of youth and beauty was that of disease, with the “terrific glory” of
Homer’s Sirius—
Λαμπρότατος μεν οδʹ εστι, κακον δέ τε σημα τέτυκται,
Καί τε ϕέρει πολλον πυρετον δειλοιοι βροτοισιν.

‘This πυρετον, this inward feverish heat, slowly undermined their constitutions; they dropped off one after another, and of all that sportive group of cherubs that I had gazed at with such delight in their infancy, not one remains.

‘This is a melancholy subject, and I must go to another: poor Lady Oxford. I had heard with great concern of her dangerous illness, but hoped she might get through it, and was much, very much grieved to hear that it had ended fatally. I had, as you know, lived a great deal with her from the time she came into this country, immediately after her marriage, but for some years past, since she went abroad, had scarcely had any correspondence or intercourse with her, till I met her in town last spring. I then saw her twice, and both times
she seemed so overjoyed to see an old friend, and expressed her joy so naturally and cordially, that I felt no less overjoyed at seeing her after so long an absence. She talked, with great satisfaction, of our meeting for a longer time this next spring, little thinking of an eternal separation. There could not, in all respects, be a more ill-matched pair than herself and
Lord Oxford, or a stronger instance of the cruel sports of Venus, or, rather, of Hymen—

‘cui placet impares
Formas atque animos sub juga ahenea
Sævo mittere cum joco.

‘It has been said that she was, in some measure, forced into the match; had she been united to a man whom she had loved, esteemed, and respected, she herself might have been generally respected and esteemed as well as loved; but in her situation, to keep clear of all misconduct required a strong mind or a cold heart; perhaps both, and she had neither. Her failings were in no small degree the effect of circumstances; her amiable qualities all her own. There was something about her in spite of her errors remarkably attaching, and that something was not merely her beauty; “kindness has resistless charms,” and she was full of affectionate kindness to those she loved whether as friends or as lovers. As a friend, I always found her the same; never at all changeful or capricious; as I am not a very rigid moralist and am extremely open to kindness,
‘I could have better spared a better woman.

Sir Thomas Lawrence’s discourse I have not seen,
but shall send for it immediately. As you have a protégé in the same line, by your account a very interesting person, and with every sort of claim to your protection and best offices, I shall never say a word more to you of mine, who, instead of having six children, is still a bachelor.

‘With all our best regards, believe me ever most truly yours,

U. Price.

‘A few words in the cover about Valpy. As you do not give any direct opinion respecting the degree in which I am engaged to him, I conclude that you judge the case to be a doubtful one. Such, too, is my opinion; so I think it both safest and best to decide in his favour. This I am the more inclined to do from having lately heard some circumstances which shew that he is not likely to take any slight or disappointment with the gentlest patience, and he would, perhaps, be a not less formidable enemy than Bloomfield, and much more sure to become one. Were I completely disengaged I should, from your report, prefer Mr. Taylor. As the matter stands, I must try and manage Valpy as well as I can. Your method is to return upon your printer sheet after sheet, at his own cost, not yours, till justice is done you—all very natural if he commits mistakes; but I should understand from your account, that if he sends you a proof sheet correctly printed from your MS., and that you should have any of what you call your whims and fancies and should make alterations in it, he is obliged to make them on a fresh proof; and that if in that again
you should make more, he is to go on da capo till you are satisfied, and write the decisive word Press; and all this without any charge for the extra labour. Is this, or whatever may be agreed upon, merely verbal, or is anything put down in writing? I have always found a proof sheet a great suggester of alterations, and the man who printed my first essay told me that
Burke—whose printer he had been—used to say that he could never judge at all of his own works while they were in manuscript. Valpy, I should think, would not readily agree to the conditions your printer seems to have agreed to, nor to any out of his usual routine; and I should make a bad fight. When Mawman reprinted my “Essays,” he shared in the expenses and the profits, employing his own printer. If he should have no objection to doing the same, and to employing Valpy, he would have to deal with him in all that concerns the charges, and would have an interest in keeping him within due bounds. I am afraid, however, he would have very little regard for my whims and fancies, and would think it quite proper that those who have them should pay for them. I am not a little puzzled with all these pros and cons.

Quid faciam præscribe.’