LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Lord Byron to Samuel Rogers, 4 April 1817

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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‘Venice: April 4th, 1817.

‘My dear Rogers,—It is a considerable time since I wrote to you last, and I hardly know why I should trouble you now, except that I think you will not be sorry to hear from me now and then. You and I were never correspondents, but always something better, which is very good friends.

‘I saw your friend Sharp in Switzerland, or rather in the Genevan territory (which is and is not Switzerland), and he gave Hobhouse and me a very good route for the Bernese Alps; however, we took another from a German, and went by Clarens over the Dent de Jaman to Montbovon, and through the Simmenthal to Thun, and so on to Lauterbrunnen; except that from thence to the Grindelwald instead of round about, we went right over the Wengern Alp’s very summit, and being close under the Jungfrau, saw it, its glaciers, and heard the avalanches in all their glory, having famous weather therefor. We, of course, went from the Grindelwald over the Scheideck to Brienz, and its lake; past the Reichenbach and all that mountain road, which reminded me of Albania and Ætolia and Greece, except that the people here were more civilised and rascally. I did not think so very much of Chamouni (except the source of the Arveyron, to which we went up to the teeth of the ice, so as to look into and touch the cavity, against the warning of the guides, only one of whom would go with us so close) as of the Jungfrau, and the Pissevache and Simplon, which are quite out of all mortal computation.


‘I was at Milan about a moon, and saw Monti and some other living curiosities, and thence on to Verona, where I did not forget your story of the assassination during your sojourn there, and brought away with me some fragments of Juliet’s tomb, and a lively recollection of the amphitheatre. The Countess Goetz (the governor’s wife here) told me that there is still a ruined castle of the Montecchi between Verona and Vicenza. I have been at Venice since November, but shall proceed to Rome shortly. For my deeds here, are they not written in my letters to the unreplying Thomas Moore? To him I refer you; he has received them all, and not answered one.

‘Will you remember me to Lord and Lady Holland? I have to thank the former for a book which I have not yet received, but expect to reperuse with great pleasure on my return, viz., the second edition of “Lope de Vega.” I have heard of Moore’s forthcoming poem: he cannot wish himself more success than I wish and augur for him. I have also heard great things of “Tales of my Landlord,” but I have not yet received them; by all accounts they beat even “Waverley,” &c., and are by the same author. Maturin’s second tragedy has, it seems, failed, for which I should think anybody would be sorry except perhaps Sotheby, who I must say was capriciously and evilly entreated by the Sub-Committee about poor dear “Ivan,” whose lot can only be paralleled by that of his original—I don’t mean the author, who is anything but original,—but the deposed imperial infant who gave his name and some narrative to the drama thereby entitled. My health was very victorious till within the last month, when I had a fever. There is a typhus in these parts, but
I don’t think it was that. However, I got well without a physician or drugs.

‘I forgot to tell you that, last autumn, I furnished Lewis with “bread and salt” for some days at Diodati, in reward for which (besides his conversation) he translated Goethe’sFaust” to me by word of mouth, and I set him by the ears with Madame de Staël about the slave-trade. I am indebted for many and kind courtesies to our Lady of Coppet, and I now love her as much as I always did her works, of which I was and am a great admirer. When are you to begin with Sheridan? what are you doing, and how do you do?

‘Ever and very truly and affectionately yours,