LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp, [25 August 1812.]

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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‘Lowther: Tuesday [25 August, 1812].

‘My dear Friend,—Many thanks! Your arrogance, a you call it, has saved me! I did not forget your
gate, I assure you. It was my morning and evening place of assignation with myself.

‘On Thursday, the evening before I left [Keswick], Horner and Sergeant Lens arrived—and I took them there1—and Horner went there again by himself, while I was making the circuit of the lake on a white pony. Lens was unwell and unable to walk, and their late dinner prevented Horner from visiting the parsonage and Ormithwaite. He described himself as recovered, and appeared to be so. They went off towards Edinburgh early next morning.

‘This castle is magnificent, and a fit residence for the proudest baron that broke the neck of King John. The situation, though commanding, rather disappointed me. But the river (out of sight, though within a five minutes’ walk) is exquisite. It runs for many miles (quite to Penrith) along a narrow wooded valley (I may call it a glen) with great noise and rapidity, a path follows it, on one side hanging woods feathering into it or retiring to make way for gigantic docks and other water-plants, and on the other side noble beech woods, now open, now shut, and now discovering a lawn or two, which are here (and very deservedly) called the Elysian fields. The path is generally near the water, but is sometimes at a very great height above it, which glimmers through the enormous branches of old oaks and beeches. The rock is very scanty, but very good of the kind; for sweetness it appears to me to exceed anything I can conceive on the Esk, which it most resembles. It is more unspoilt by the hand of man than

1 See Horner’s account, p. 90.

anything I ever saw. Description is nothing, but it should certainly not be neglected if you pass through Penrith.

‘Here I found Lord Morpeth. He is gone, and also Milnes [and] the Speaker, who came afterwards. Bolton of Windermere slept here the first night, and you were more than once mentioned at dinner; and Lord Lonsdale told me, in a voice which expressed some concern, that he had not heard of your being here this summer Here is now only Lord Westmoreland.

‘I find it was Sir James Graham who led on the assault that was made upon your viands. They carried me on the first day to Hawes Water. It exceeded my expectations. Its seclusion is very striking, the hills on one side rise abruptly from it, and I am indeed inclined to class it as the fourth lake; but I saw it in rain, and under umbrellas, and with three talking, laughing girls. At the upper end of it—for they took me to the end, three miles—is Mardale chapel in severe solitude. More of it when we meet.

‘To show you I have not been idle, I recommend the inclosed to your arrogance, or, properly speaking, your generosity. It is intended to close the tenth canto, but perhaps, if tolerable, had better be reserved for the next edition. You will, however, perhaps drop me a line by return of post to the post office, Hamilton. If a day later, to Glasgow. It will just catch me.

‘I inclose a line from Moore.

‘The more I reflect, the more I think your criticism just on my triplet, and now find I can trust you. I had better make a vow to make no additions now; but I
send this to show you that turtle and venison, and pines and grapes, and lords and ladies every day, cannot quite besot me.

‘Ever yours,
Saml. Rogers.

‘I mistook Knight. The copies were only subscribed for—not parted with—and not a copy will stir without my directions. I take it for granted you have the quarto, and can judge of these lines with the context. Though they are, I know, very feeble, the thought perhaps may some time or other be wrought into something.

Brougham is unfortunately at the Carlisle Assizes. I shall try for the Nunnery. Lord Morpeth is gone to Castle Howard. Lord Alvanley comes to-morrow, and on Friday I depart.

‘Wednesday morning.

‘I shall write to Knight, my corrector, to proceed. But if anything suggests itself, pray interfere. R. P. Knight, I fear, will be gone from Scotland.

To close the Tenth Canto. 1
That night, transported, with a sigh I said,
“’Tis all a dream!” Now, like a dream, ‘tis fled;
And many and many a year has pass’d away,
And I alone remain to watch and pray!
Yet oft in darkness, on my bed of straw,
Oft I awake and think on what I saw;
The groves, the birds, the youths, the nymphs recall,
And Cora, loveliest, sweetest of them all!’