LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Dorothy Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers, 3 January 1823

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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‘Rydal Mount: Jan. 3rd, 1823.

‘My dear Sir,—As you have no doubt heard, by a message sent from my brother through Mr. Sharp, I happened to be in Scotland when your letter arrived, where (having intended to be absent from home only a fortnight) I was detained seven weeks by an illness of my fellow traveller. Having not had it in my power to thank you immediately for your great kindness to me, and your ready attention to my brother’s request, I was unwilling after my return to write for that purpose merely, many circumstances occurring to prevent me from coming to a decision upon the matter in which you are inclined to take so friendly an interest. The most important of these was a protracted and dangerous sickness of my nephew William, which began the day after my arrival at home, and engrossed the care and attention of the whole house. He is now recovered, but his looks continue to show that his frame is far from being restored to its natural strength.

‘I cannot but be flattered by your thinking so well of my Journal as to recommend (indirectly at least) that I should not part with all power over it till its fortune has been tried. You will not be surprised, however, that I am not so hopeful, and that I am apprehensive that after having encountered the unpleasantness of coming before the public I might not be assisted in attaining my object. I have, then, to ask whether a middle course be not possible, that is, whether your favourable opinion, confirmed perhaps by some other good judges, might not in-
duce a bookseller to give a certain sum for the right to publish a given number of copies. In fact, I find it next to impossible to make up my mind to sacrifice my privacy for a certainty less than two hundred pounds—a sum which would effectually aid me in accomplishing the ramble I so much, and I hope not unwisely, wish for. If a bargain could be made on terms of this sort, your expectation of further profits (which expectation I would willingly share) need not be parted with, and I should have the further gratification of acting according to your advice.

‘I have nothing further to say, for it is superfluous to trouble you with my scruples and the fears which I have that a work of such slight pretensions will be wholly overlooked in this writing and publishing (especially tour-writing and tour-publishing) age; and when factions and parties, literary and political, are so busy in endeavouring to stifle all attempts to interest, however pure from any taint of the world, and however humble in their claims.

‘My brother begs me to say that it gratified him to hear you were pleased with his late publications. In the “Memorials” he himself likes best the “Stanzas upon Einsiedeln,” the “Three Cottage Girls,” and, above all, the “Eclipse upon the Lake of Lugano”; and in the “Sketches” the succession of those on the Reformation, and those towards the conclusion of the third part. Mr. Sharp liked best the poem on “Enterprise,” which surprised my brother a good deal.

‘We hope to see you in summer; you will be truly welcome, and we should be heartily glad to see your sister as your companion, to whom we all beg to be most kindly remembered.


‘If you knew how much it has cost me to settle the affair of this proposed publication in my mind, as far as I have now done, I am sure you would deem me sufficiently excused for having so long delayed answering your most obliging letter. I have still to add, that if there be a prospect that any bookseller will undertake the publication, I will immediately prepare a corrected copy to be sent to you, and I shall trust to your kindness for taking the trouble to look over it and to mark whatever passages you may think too trivial for publication, or in any other respect much amiss.

‘My brother and sister join with me in every good wish to you for the coming year, and many more.

‘Believe me, dear Sir, yours gratefully and with sincere esteem,

Dorothy Wordsworth.’