LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers, 12 January 1813

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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‘My dear Sir,—I am gratified by your readiness to serve me in the affair of my intended publication, but I am obliged to defer it, and by a cause which you will be most sorry to hear, viz., the recent death of my dear and amiable son, Thomas. He died this day six weeks past of the measles; he was seen by the medical attendant about twelve at noon, pronounced to be as favourably held as child could be, and his dissolution took place in less than five hours from that time. An inflammation in the lungs carried him off thus suddenly. You must remember him well; he was our second son (six years and a half old), and, I recollect well, made one of the party that fine afternoon when we all drank tea together with Dr. Bell in his garden. This sudden blow, coming when we were just beginning to recover from one equally sudden, has overwhelmed us. Last summer we lost a sweet little girl, four years old, and brother and sister now rest side [by side] in Grasmere churchyard, where we hope that our dust will one day mingle with theirs. If at some future time I can force my mind to the occupation which was thus lamentably interrupted, as I trust I shall be able to do, then I will again have recourse to your kindness in this concern. We find it absolutely necessary to quit a residence
which forces upon us at every moment so many memorials of the happy but short lives of our departed innocents, and we have taken the house called Rydal Mount, lately the property of Mr. North and occupied [by] him, but now belonging to Lady Le Fleury. We shall be pleased to see you there; you know that the house is favourably situated.

‘It gives me much satisfaction to learn that your time has passed so agreeably in Scotland. May sorrow that is perpetually travelling about the world be long in finding you! I am glad that Sharp is in expectation of returning to Parliament; if you see him, remember me affectionately to him, and be so good as to communicate to him our loss. I am obliged to Miss Rogers for her remembrance of me; pray present my regards to her in return. Mrs. W., my sister, and Miss Hutchinson join in kind remembrances to you,

‘And believe me, my dear sir, faithfully yours,

W. Wordsworth.
Grasmere: January 12th, 1813.

‘P.S. You make no mention of the volume of your poems which you promised. I am disappointed at this. What you say of W. Scott 1 reminds me of an epigram something like the following—

Tom writes his verses with huge speed,
Faster than printer’s boy can set ‘en,
Faster far than we can read,
And only not so fast as we forget ‘en.

1 ‘Did yon ever see much worse songs than those in Rokeby?’ asks Moore of Mr. Power. There was a growing impression that Scott’s poetry was falling off.


Mrs. W., poor woman! who sits by me, says, with a kind of sorrowful smile, “This is spite, for you know that Mr. Scott’s verses are the delight of the times, and that thousands can repeat scores of pages.”’