LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers, 1 December [1827]

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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‘Coleorton Hall [1st December, 1827].

‘My dear Rogers,—Ten days ago Mrs. W. (she from the neighbourhood of Hereford, and I from the North) met at this place, which we quit Saturday, 8th of next month, going together into Herefordshire, where Mrs. W. will remain with her daughter till the warm and dry weather of spring returns. Thus is our little family broken up by the troublesome indisposition of my daughter, an affection of the throat, which returns along with a cough on rainy and damp days.


Lady Beaumont was not well a few days after our arrival here, but she is now in good health and as little altered in appearance as could have been expected. She employs herself much in the concerns of this place, and has great resources in reading and religious meditation. You will be aware how much Mrs. W. and I miss Sir George in this house and in the grounds about. There is a little picture on the easel in his painting room as it was left on his seizure there with a fainting fit, the commencement of his fatal illness, which lasted no more than eight days. Lady B. begs that you will be quite easy on the subject of your not answering her letter, as she did not look for a reply, being in general as averse to letter-writing as you are. It seems that it was a consolation to her under her suffering to write to Sir George’s friends. I sincerely believe that she did so without wishing for, or thinking about, any notice of her effusion. She took up the pen from impulse, and it was a relief to her.

‘I am pleased to hear that the Stafford Gallery is thought a bargain, but I will not trouble you any more on the subject. Before I had heard from you I mentioned to Mr. Page, whom I think you saw at Lowther, that I had named this subject to you, and he engaged to knock at your door to learn whether you were at home or in England. I thought you might be gone to Italy. Whether he found you or not, he obligingly offered to inspect the prints himself, and report to me accordingly. I have not yet heard from him; at all events let the purchase be suspended at present. I know, and have often admired, the Rubens Lord Stafford
has given to the British Gallery; it would be worthy of you to follow his example and enrich the same repository, either during your lifetime or by bequest, with some choice work of art, for the public benefit, and thus to connect your name, already distinguished in one of the fine arts, with another of the sisterhood. Think of this, and by so doing, and in fulfilling the prophecy I often made to
Sir George when he was talking of giving his pictures to the nation, that his example would be followed by many others, and that thus, in course of time, a noble gallery would be produced.

‘Italy, alas! is to me an ignis fatuus; every year the hope dances before me only to obstruct my sight of something else that I might attain. Were there no other obstacle, I could not think of leaving England for so long a time till I had disposed of my younger son, who, as I have just learned from him, is bent upon being a beggar either in the honourable character and profession of a soldier or of a farmer. Could you suggest to me anything better for this infatuated youth—any situation in a counting-house or a public office? He dislikes the thought of the University because he sees nothing afterwards open to him but the Church, which he does not think himself fit for, or that he ever can be made so. Excuse th1s weary epistle, and believe me ever, with true affection,

W. Wordsworth.’