LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers, 25 October 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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‘Bowood: Monday, 25 Oct., 1813.

‘My dear Sarah,—As I wish much to hear from you and flatter myself you wish to hear from me, I shall do what I have meant to do for many days, and entitle myself to a letter from you, which I hope will not be very long in coming. I set off in the rain, but the sun soon broke out. At Salthill I breakfasted in the same room but on much better materials than when we were together. I travelled seventy miles alone, with the exception only of a young lady for five miles; but at dusk Mr. Horace Twiss descended from the roof and amused me very much till we parted. I found the Lansdownes, as I expected, at tea. They had nobody with them but the Abercrombies and Jekyll and his eldest boy, as full of Twelfth-night as ever. Jekyll left us in four days, but we have since received great reinforcements—there being at this time in the house the Romillys, Mackintosh, Mme. de Staël, and Mlle. Dumont, and several others. M. de Staël, and the Portuguese minister arrive to-day, and on Thursday Ward is expected, so that the house is growing into a little city. It is very superbly furnished and is certainly a grand place altogether. A great piece of water is before the windows, and the park is very uneven and woody, though there are no old trees, but Marlborough Downs break in here and there continually through the plantations. They are six or seven miles off, resemble much the Southdowns of Sussex, and, in the hazy air of morning and evening, have a very mountainous effect. Bowles has dined and slept here twice,
and I have twice breakfasted with him. He lives about three miles off (the walk is a very pleasant one) in a very pretty vicarage by the side of a very pretty church, and on the brow of a hill. His windows look over a fine valley, and in front appears the white horse cut on the downs, which has a very singular and pretty effect, as indeed it has at Bowood, through a vista in the pleasure grounds. Yesterday I went to his church, and he was very anxious to exhibit his choir to advantage. He has a violoncello, a bassoon, and a hautboy. The first is his own, and the transportation of it to and from church across the churchyard and among the congregation (not in its case) makes an odd appearance. He seems amazingly respected there, notwithstanding his odd manners. He came out of church in his surplice, but without his hat, having left it in the reading-desk, and there he stood, till the clerk, who had more of his wits about him, came running after him with it. The band sit in the gallery, and none of the congregation below join, except the parson, who sat singing very loud in his desk, to the trial of my nerves. They sang three very long Psalms and the responses (
Mason’s) to the Commandments. I have promised to go next Sunday, if I am still here, as he did not preach yesterday, though he read prayers—Douglas, the Chancellor of Salisbury (the late Bishop’s son, and as odd a fellow as his friend Bowles), having preached for him. We set out together after church on horseback to visit a Moravian establishment, but could not make much progress—Douglas, a very tall and pompous-looking man on a tall horse, stopping his horse all the way to gather blackberries. Mme. de Staël, makes a bustle here, but,
having arrived only yesterday, we have as yet had no shawl dance, and no recitations. How long I shall stay, I cannot say exactly, but hope to be in town some time in next week. I have sometimes thought of going on to Mamhead, but cannot bring my mind to it, though my journey here was delightful, and so little fatigued was I, I was almost sorry it was over. Farewell! Pray give my love to
Henry and Patty and all, and believe me to be,

‘Ever yours most affectionately,
S. R.’