LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Lord Holland to Samuel Rogers, [November? 1818]

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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‘You are too indulgent to my verse. I have been altering, I hope correcting, it ever since I sent it you.

‘I transcribe the new edition on the other half [sheet], and I had half a mind, so linked is rhyming with vanity, to send a copy of it to Lord Grenville, who used most properly to rebuke me for my heterodoxy about Milton. I have been compulsus intrare, and this is my amende honorable.

‘Excellent as you are both as poet and critic, you don’t shine in logic; for your reason for not coming to Brighton is, according to the best forms of syllogism, a reason for coming.

‘When a man is cold he should go to the warmest place he can find. Rogers is cold, and Brighton is the warmest place he can find. Ergo, Rogers should go to Brighton.

Vassall Holland.

‘You liked the seventh line with “smoothest poesy.” I laboured hard to change it, and thought I had improved
it, but your approbation shakes me—I had written fouler, and am not sure “grosser” is better—tell me. “Tales” for “toys” is an improvement certainly. I am as full of my own verses as our friend
Jack Townshend (who is pretty well) could be.


Homer and Dryden, nor unfrequently
The playful Ovid, or the Italian’s song
That held entranced my youthful thoughts so long,
With dames, and loves, and deeds of chivalry,
E’en now delight me,—from the noisy throng
Thither I fly to sip the sweets that he
Enclosed in tenderest folds of poesy,
Oft as for ease my weary spirits long.
But when recoiling from the grosser scene
Of sordid vice, or rank, atrocious crime,
My sinking soul pants for the pure serene
Of loftier regions,—quitting tales and rhyme,
I turn to Milton, and his heights sublime,
Too long by me unsought, I strive to climb.’