LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Richard Sharp to Samuel Rogers, 3 October 1814

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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‘London: 3rd October, 1814.

‘My dear Friend,—I cannot tell you how much I am obliged by your letter from Geneva. Were it not in the highest degree interesting in itself, I should value it greatly as a proof that you think of me notwithstanding our distance from each other, and the constant occupations of a journey in such a country as Switzerland. Would that I had been able to accompany you, and by your side had first seen the lake and the glaciers in the
descent to Nyon. In your taste, you know, I have an habitual reliance, and I am quite sure that scenes which have made such an impression as you describe on you will produce a similar effect on me, according to the measure of my sensibility. You seem to have been broad awake at Fontainebleau. A common pair of eyes would not have seen a tithe of what you saw there; yet all you mention was there.

‘I shall follow, I hope, your steps, excepting where you do not encourage me to follow, and at present my notion is that it will be best to go at once to Lyons, omitting Dijon. What struck my brother most was the journey from Geneva to Chamouni, the country about Villeneuve and Vevay, the vales of Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald, and the upper end of the lake of Lucerne. He also speaks highly of the passage of the Brunig, and the country about Altdorf. I hope you have gone through these mountainous scenes without more fatigue than has been sufficient to give you a sound sleep at night. Some effort is necessary to stimulate one’s attention.

‘I have but just returned from Cumberland, where I was very lucky in the weather and in my society. I have been travelling with two very excellent persons—Lord Calthorpe and Lady Olivia Sparrow. She is a young and pretty widow, very accomplished and sensible. Both are very intimate with Wilberforce who sits for Lord Calthorpe’s borough, and both are of that sort of serious people who are nicknamed “saints.” I saw Southey often, but Wordsworth was absent at Lowther.

‘From Brougham’s most delightful house and grounds,
where I slept two nights, I walked with him through all the river scenery at Lowther, and I have also visited Haweswater. I would not build a castle like Lowther, but if I had a castle I should wish it to have such a neighbour as the river. Haweswater gave me great pleasure, both by its beauty and its quiet seclusion. I went to the Chapel, but without such fair companions as you had there. I spent a day with
Canning at Bolton’s. He was accompanied by Huskisson and Heber. In returning from Leeds, which you know is in the road from Bolton Abbey, I was overturned near Stilton in a light coach, as it is called, solely by its top-heaviness. Nine outside passengers outweighed us four insides, and the road happening to be rather rounder in its form than usual, over we went with a mighty crash in the middle of the night. I received not the least hurt, but one of the inside passengers was stunned, several of the outside were bruised, and one poor woman’s ankle, I fear, was broken. A very pretty girl of about f1fteen fell on me, and I found her weight much less than I guess you did that of Lady Holland when you were upset at her park gate. I hope she is benef1ted by her journey, for she is a warm and valuable friend. Long before this time, I take it for granted that you have fallen in with Lord Holland’s party, and are probably absorbed by it. I hope, too, that you have seen Boddington. He writes in raptures, and I suppose is now passing the Simplon to Milan.

‘I made a strange astronomical discovery this year, that the days are as long in September as in June. I had never travelled so late in the year before, and I
had no idea of this undoubted fact before this journey. You cannot have the least suspicion of this important truth unless you go to bed, as I did, about nine, and get up at five. I am preparing a paper for the “Transactions” of the Royal Society, which will remove all your doubts.

Southey thinks Wordsworth’s last poem his best,1 but I have not heard what the bookseller reports of the public opinion.

Lara and his fair companion 2 are in great request, and are much liked in the country, as well as in town. I was more pleased with “Lara” than I expected, although the faults, especially in expression, are innumerable. I suppose your verse is in great vigour? You will go to Italy, of course, and then, “gratulor Œchaliam,” you will necessarily write in its praise. A mountain air always did agree well with your muse.

‘You will have parted from one of your pleasant companions, whose conversation at Paris, and in Switzerland, must have been invaluable. I have just left your letter under a cover at Clement’s Lane, for Mr. Henry Rogers, and I hope to learn how to address this. You will, I trust, not forget me at Florence, Rome, and Naples, for I am very anxious to learn what impression these places make on you. May your journey be as beneficial to your health, and to Miss Rogers’s, as it must be delightful to both.

‘Yours ever affectionately,
R. Sharp.’