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The Life of William Roscoe
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
‣ Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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Alterations at Allerton Hall.—Mr. Roscoe’s illness—his study of bibliography—letter to Dr. Dibdin respecting a Life of Erasmus—projected account of his library and other collections—letter to Dr. Smith—verses on the Liverpool Election of 1812—his intention of “writing the Life of Dr. Currie—letter to Dr. Wright—projects a translation of Lanzi—papers in the Transactions of the Linnæan Society—is elected an honorary member of the New York Historical Society—acquaintance with Mr. Owen of Lanark—letter to him.—Prince Sandars. Visit of Miss Aikin to Allerton.—Mr. Roscoe’s taste for agricultural pursuits—communication to the Agricultural Society of West Derby—cultivation of Chat Moss—communication to the Board of Agriculture—letter to Sir John Sinclair—thanks of the Board.—Letter from General Dirom—allusion to his cultivation of Chat Moss in Mrs. Barbauld’s “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven”—letter to her—acquaintance with Mr. Tollet and Mr. Wilbraham—letter from the latter.—Invitations to Holkham.—Letters from Dr. Smith.—Visit to Holkham.—The collection of MSS. there—undertakes the arrangement of them—bound by Mr. Jones of Liverpool.—Letters from Mr. Wilbraham and Mr. Coke.—Poem of “Holkham.”—Letter from Mr. Coke to Sir J. Smith.—Presentation of the “Life of Leo” to Mr. Coke, and sonnet.—Letter from the Bishop of Norwich to Sir J. Smith.—“The Return.”—Visit of Mr. Coke and Dr. Parr to Allerton.

For a considerable period previous to this time, much of Mr. Roscoe’s attention had been devoted to the improvement of his mansion at Allerton. The older portion of the house having become dangerous from the decay of the timbers, he determined to pull it down, and to rebuild it on an uniform plan, so as to correspond with the centre and wing, which had been erected about sixty years previously. This alteration was necessarily attended by a change in the disposition of the grounds round the house; the gardens, which had been well laid out in the old style, being converted into pleasure grounds, ornamented with shrubberies and plantations. Until this time Mr. Roscoe had possessed very inadequate accommodation for his library, and for his collection of pictures, prints, and drawings, which year after year continued to accumulate upon his hands; but, in the construction of the new building, he secured for himself a handsome and capacious library, while the walls of the other new apartments were ornamented by his collection of paintings. The alterations being finished in the autumn of
the year 1812, he took possession of his new library, and to the too early occupation of this room he attributed a violent attack of sciatica, under the painful influence of which he continued for several months confined to the house. The arrangement and cataloguing of his books, to which at this time he made some considerable additions, afforded him the greatest pleasure, and induced him to resume the study of bibliography, a pursuit which during the composition of the “
Life of Leo,” had necessarily occupied some share of his attention. He entered with no little ardour into this renewed pursuit, and formed the design of illustrating the origin and progress of the art of printing, by a continued series of early printed books. The sale of some valuable collections in London favoured this design; and he became the purchaser of many rare and curious specimens of early typography. At the same time he diligently studied the various writers, both foreign and English, who have illustrated the science of bibliography by their industry and their learning, and particularly the “Annals” of Panzer, which he was accustomed to characterise as a most invaluable publication. Had he been enabled to complete his collection of early printed books upon the plan he meditated, it would have formed a highly interesting illustration of the progress of the art. The more active and
useful labours in which he had been engaged, rendered this pursuit of trifling value in his eyes; and he represents himself, in a letter to
Dr. Aikin, as “a perfect idler, labouring under the idlest of all complaints, a bibliomaniacal affection.”

His taste for the study of bibliography led him at this time into a correspondence with Dr. Dibdin, whose magnificent volumes were frequently the subject of his admiration. In one of his letters he notices the suggestion of Dr. Dibdin as to his writing a Life of Erasmus:—“I am too well acquainted with your entertaining volume of the Bibliomania to be ignorant of your recommendation to me to undertake a Life of Erasmus. That such a work is much wanting I admit, and I think it one of the finest subjects that could be undertaken; but you do me too much honour in thinking that I am competent to it. To execute it properly, a knowledge of the German language and literature would be indispensable. Much, I believe, has been done in Germany towards elucidating this important period of their literary history, and I trust it will not be long before some of our countrymen, fully qualified, will repair the defects of Knight and Jortin, and give us such a view of the subject as may gratify reasonable expectation.”

The task of forming a catalogue of his library suggested to Mr. Roscoe the idea of a publi-
cation, which subsequent events prevented him from carrying into effect. His collection of books, of pictures, and of other works of art, having been formed with the view of illustrating the period of the revival of learning, it occurred to him that some account of it would not only be interesting in itself, but might prove useful to those whose studies were directed to the literary history of that period. The title-page of this work will give an idea of its proposed contents:—“Catalogue of a Private Collection of Books, Pictures, Drawings, Medals, and Prints, illustrating the Rise, Vicissitudes, and Establishment of Literature and Art in Europe; to which are added, Collectiones Medicianæ, or Pieces chiefly relating to the Family of the Medici, from MSS. and rare Books in this Collection, with numerous Portraits, Fac Similes, Engravings, and Vignettes, and occasional Remarks, biographical, historical, and critical.”* Within two

* The following inscription was intended to be prefixed to the volume:—

years from this time the catalogue of this collection was published in a very different form, and under very different circumstances.

The rheumatic affection from which Mr. Roscoe suffered, prevented him from visiting Norfolk, a disappointment which he notices in the following letter to Dr. Smith, in which he also gives some account of the manner in which he passed his time during his illness.

“If I could have entertained the least hope or prospect of being able to undertake my promised excursion into Norfolk, I should not so long have delayed apprising you of it; but after having protracted writing from day to day, and from week to week, I am at length under the necessity of relinquishing, for the present, the pleasure I had so warmly anticipated, and consoling myself as well as I can under the pains of the rheumatism, which have of late left me little relaxation either by day or night.

“My spirits are, however, pretty good; and as I am fortunate enough to be able to sit up, and even walk about a little, I am seldom unemployed with objects either of business or amusement. Of the former, my operations at Chat Moss have engaged a great share of my attention, as I have promised some account of them to the Board of Agriculture, which this long confinement has given me the opportunity of drawing up. I have also done something
towards a catalogue of my pictures, drawings, prints, &c. which are become much more numerous since you saw them, and which I promise myself great pleasure in submitting, at no distant period, to your examination and criticism. Among these is the portrait of Leo X., with the Cardinals di Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici, which I have been assured by several persons is the copy made by
Andrea del Sarto from the celebrated picture of Raffaelle, and which was sent as the original to the Duke of Mantua, from whence it went to Parma, and was transferred with the rest of the collection to Capo di Monte, near Naples.

“You must, in all probability, have seen one of them, although you have not mentioned it in your travels, and will be able, perhaps, to clear up my conjectures.

“Another picture which I long to show you is a Madonna and Child, with St. Helena and St. Francis, by Don Ghirlandajo, the master of M. Angelo, painted, according to his custom, in distemper; but what constitutes its value is a freize, or history piece, below; the work of M. Angelo, when young; with strong indications of the great manner by which he afterwards distinguished himself.

“I hope before this time you will have received a copy of my review of Mr. Canning’s speeches; if not, be so good as to say so when
you write, as I find several persons to whom I had ordered them have not received them. You will think me bold if not imprudent to render myself obnoxious to so powerful a party, both in politics and literature, as
Canning and his friends, but after the abuse I have received from them and others, my susceptibility is somewhat diminished, and provided I could have done any good, I should have been very indifferent to whatever they might pour out against me.

“Throughout this troublesome complaint I had many sleepless hours at night, in some of which I strung verses together, which I wrote down in the morning, and of which I send you a specimen; which I beg you to present to Mrs. Smith with my kind remembrances. Should she approve of them, she will perhaps do me the favour of sending a copy to Miss Coke, whenever she may have an opportunity.”

On the Ball given by the friends of Mr. Brougham and
Mr. Creevey. Liverpool, November, 1812.
The fair face of morning when sudden clouds cover,
And tempest and darkness envelope the day,
Shall the gloom of the moment deter the true lover
Who hastes to the home of his mistress away?
When heaved from its base proudly swells the vast ocean,
And danger rides high on the crest of the wave,
Undaunted the mariner views the commotion,
And bares his bold bosom the sea-storm to brave.
Then say, shall the Patriot e’er prove a recoiler?
Shall the champion of freedom e’er stoop to despair?
Shall he basely resign to the hands of the spoiler
The prize that high Heaven has consign’d to his care?
No! still to his task with fresh vigour returning,
He shall wage the bold war with corruption again,
As the lion, that, roused by the beam of the morning,
Shakes off the light dew-drops that hang on his mane.
If he falls—like the warrior he falls in his duty,
Whilst his country shall hail him and angels approve;
If he conquers—he wins from the bright hand of beauty
The wreath wove by Liberty, Friendship, and Love.

The design of writing the Life of Dr. Currie continued to engage the attention of Mr. Roscoe, as will appear from the following extract of a letter (May 22, 1814) addressed to Dr. Wright of Edinburgh:—

“It is true, my dear Sir, that a combination of circumstances, which it would be irksome to explain, but which, as you rightly judge, have chiefly arisen from my other importunate avocations, have hitherto prevented me from giving a memoir of our excellent friend; but it is no less true, that I have never for a moment faltered in my resolution of taking the first opportunity in my power of accomplishing it, and I am truly happy to say, that I have now a fair prospect of being shortly enabled to devote myself to it, with less interruption than at any former period. In the course of my narrative, and particularly on
medical subjects, which, however disqualified for, I cannot avoid touching upon, it is probable I may wish to avail myself of your kind and judicious advice, which I have no doubt will be given in the same friendly spirit which has dictated your letter to me. I shall also feel myself obliged and honoured by any communications you may have received since
Dr. Currie’s death, as to the result of the mode of treatment which your joint endeavours have been exerted to establish; and which, I am convinced, cannot, under proper management, be too highly appreciated.”—“I have scarcely left myself room to say a word on our favourite study of botany; my attention to which has of late been confined to a narrow compass—the Scitamineæ tribe; on which I lately sent a paper to the Linnæan society, containing observations on Dr. Roxburgh’s descriptions of them in the 11th vol. of the Asiatic Researches, which has, I find, been read; and if it should be printed, I shall take care to transmit you a copy.”

The paper adverted to in the above letter to Dr. Wright, was published in the 11th volume of the Linnæan Society’s Transactions; and in the same volume is inserted another communication from Mr. Roscoe, under the title, “On artificial and natural Arrangements of Plants, and particularly on the Systems of Linnæus and Jussieu.”

In referring to the latter paper, he says, in a
letter to
Dr. Smith.—“Be so good as to tell me, whether you have yet fired off my Congreve rocket against the French botanists. I hope not, as I think I could put some more combustibles into it. In particular, I think the distinction between a natural and artificial system might be more fully explained. In other respects, I have no objection to give them a broadside, and wish you could prevail upon both nations to confine their animosities within such harmless limits; but the business of cutting throats must go on, and seems even to be considered not as an accidental, but as a permanent state of society.”

Another literary project entertained by Mr. Roscoe at this time, was a translation of the excellent work of Lanzi, “Storia pittorica della Italia.” At his suggestion, his intimate friend, Dr. Traill, undertook the version of the work, which was to be accompanied by notes, and an introductory dissertation from the pen of Mr. Roscoe. This work was afterwards executed by one of his sons; but the preliminary dissertation is not appended to it.

During the present year, Mr. Roscoe was gratified by receiving intelligence of his having been elected an honorary member of the New York Historical Society.

It was about this period that Mr. Roscoe had an opportunity of frequently meeting and conversing with Mr. Robert Owen of Lanark; upon
whose system of education and schemes of society they had much discussion. The following letter fully displays
Mr. Roscoe’s opinions on these subjects.

“A perusal of your fourth essay, which you were so good as to leave with me last night, has confirmed in my mind the justice of the remarks which I took the liberty of making to you on the nature of your plans for public improvements, and the best method of carrying them into effect.

“There is in them so much practical excellence that I cannot without great regret see them united with projects, which, to many persons, must appear in the highest degree extravagant, and supported by arguments, which, to say the least, are often of questionable validity, and which cannot fail to offend all those persons upon whom your plans must depend for support.

“I have already stated to you, in explicit terms, where I conceive you must fix your boundary, if you expect success. These are,—

1. A particular Account of the Improvements at New Lanark, demonstrating the Effects of Education and Habit on the Lower Classes of Society, and the Facility with which they may be trained, without Severity, from a cheerful Infancy, to an industrious Manhood, and a happy old Age.
2. Directions in what Manner the Methods adopted at New Lanark may be best applied to similar Establishments in different Parts of the Kingdom.
3. An Enquiry how far the same Plan may be adapted to Manufactories of other Kinds, or to Establishments where great Numbers of people are employed.
4. A brief Statement of the Influence of Education and Habit on the Mind of Youth, and a Proposal for establishing national Schools of Education, in which shall be inculcated the general Principles of Morality and Benevolence, as well as the Intellectual Acquirements at present taught in the Schools of Bell and Lancaster.
5. An Enquiry into the best Means of affording Employment for the industrious, and relief for the disabled poor.
6. Observations on the Necessity of abolishing all Laws which tend to the Corruption of Morals and the Perpetration of Crimes, as inconsistent with the best Interests of Society.

“On all these points your writings contain many excellent remarks, and if you should be the means of establishing such improvements, you will have done the greatest good that ever any man conferred upon his country. But, when
abandoning these practicable reforms, you resort to theory, and insist upon it as a preliminary that all mankind shall alter their opinions and admit the new light that is descended suddenly upon them; and when you add to this the downfall of all existing establishments in church and state, you appear to me effectually to preclude the very possibility of success, and to convert into your strongest opponents those who would have been your warmest friends.

“I have endeavoured to compress what I have before said on this immense subject into as little space as possible, and have now only to entreat that you will excuse the freedom of my remarks, and will believe me, with real esteem,” &c.

The interest which Mr. Roscoe felt in the improvement of the natives of Africa, was awakened this year by the appearance at Liverpool of one of that race, who had devoted himself to the extension of education amongst persons of his own colour. To talents of no ordinary kind Prince Sandars united considerable information, and exhibited a remarkable proof of what might be effected amongst the natives of Africa by due cultivation.

On his departure for London, Mr. Roscoe gave him letters of introduction to the Duke of Gloucester, as President of the African Institution, and to some others of his friends who were favourable to the cause of the Negroes;
and soon after his arrival in the metropolis, Mr. Roscoe received from him the following letter, curious as a specimen of African literature.

“Dear Sir,—It is with much heartfelt pleasure that I improve a moment for the acknowledgment of your kind attentions, to inform you of the convalescent state of my health, and also to let you know that I have relinquished the idea of going to Sierra Leone the ensuing fall, but shall go to the Island of St. Domingo, for the purpose of introducing the British system of education. I am inclined to think the climate equally favourable for the confirmation of my health, and the field for usefulness quite as extensive as that of Africa.

“I was very much pleased with your friend the Duke of Gloucester. It is extremely gratifying to find a person of his illustrious rank so habitually disposed to acts of benevolence and kind affection, as he appears to be. His Highness seemed very desirous that I should go out under the patronage of the Institution to Africa, and so did several other gentlemen; but others, who were members of the Church Mission Society, immediately introduced me to that society, as it were, before I was apprised of it. They have uniformly been, and still are solicitous in the extreme that I should engage with them for at least five years, which is a thing
which I could not (under existing circumstances) conscientiously perform.

“Messrs. Wilberforce, Macauley, and Stephen, have very cheerfully fallen in with the St. Domingo proposition, and seem disposed to give their most hearty encouragement. As there is no society organised for that object, they propose making up the money for the outfits and establishment of the school by voluntary contributions and subscriptions.

“As King Henry is so very desirous of having his subjects improved and instructed, we are very sanguine in the hope that he will immediately take it under the patronage of his government. Messrs. Wilberforce, Clarkson, and one or two other gentlemen, will give me letters to his majesty King Henry; and, if it would not be asking too much, I would solicit one from you, Sir, as a well-wisher to all mankind; and as one whom, I trust, will ever be numbered among the most indefatigable and zealous advocates for the emancipation, the moral and religious improvements and elevation of the characters and lives of the African race.

“I am, dear Sir, with sentiments of the highest consideration, &c.

“N. B. Please to give my best regards to Mrs. Roscoe and family.”

Nor was this the only instance which occurred to Mr. Roscoe of the intelligence displayed by
the Negro race. A servant, who lived several years in his family, evinced a desire of learning and talents seldom seen in persons of his rank in life. He had acquired, without assistance, a considerable knowledge of the French language, and had mastered the rudiments of the Latin. Occasionally he ventured upon poetical compositions; and if his verses did not equal those of “
John Jones,” they were not without much merit, considering the circumstances under which they were produced.*

* The following curious specimens of African literature deserve to be recorded as the first dawnings of civilisation among the potentates of Guinea. They are letters addressed by African kings and chiefs to the master of a Liverpool vessel:—

“Dear friend Captn. Evritt,

“I let you know what make King Young Come on board for take is Coomey. And next Day you Cannot Send Boat for me to Come Down for my Coomey, then I been send Young Ego Down Yester, Day for you to Paid him my Coomey, then when he come home he Shew me Piece Paper, your copy my Coomey; then I send him down again to Day for you to Paid hime my Coomey, And my Family. And if you have any bob for Paid for that when you See me then we Settled. I remain you Friend

Ego Honesty King Ebengo.

“Nov. 17, 1810.”
“My Dear

“Sir I thank you if you gan spear me two Boxes Capper rods today, for to Pay Yampia Egbo, that I will Pay you Palm Oil for it in one Market, if you please, and send me answer


In the autumn of the present year (1814) the family of Mr. Roscoe derived great gratification

may be you will halp me or not, because I want for send to Cricktown Yampia man to Come Down this morning. Do my friend halp me for that I am your Brother

Duke Ephraim.”

“Dear friend

“Captain Everett Sir if you please Will Send me by Berer Some Rum to Drink for the River, be cause this be Great Market and Go for you. I am do in something to put for Canoe. That be reason I no come me Self to See you face, and but if you will please me that pritty chint I been keep power for you. Send me that you know. I been take I gun when I come home Tomorrow night we settled that I am beg you to send me that pritty chint because I want to Make good Market. If you will send to me—if you no will you may Left, I ask you that because I no want ask no thing for other Captain but you.

Toby Tom Narrow.”

“Old Callabar, April 15, 1811.
“Dear Sir Old friend Thomas payne

“You may Try to Come you Self in Callabar to Make all Men pay you what the owe you. If you Done Come you Self, no Body mind to pay Captain that ded becous no see you face.

Better you Come you Self, then all men have Time will pay you all you palmoil. I sent this letter by Captain Everrett Ship Hope to Let you know, becous you be my old freind. I am very sorry, I no want you Loose all this money becous be Too much, you know this Country very well, If no See you for face, the no mind what they owe you My old friend. But now I help Captain Everrett very well. I am Sold him about 440 Crew of palmoil. I do that becous I know that Ship belonging to you Merchant there now.

from the society of
Miss Aikin, who passed several weeks at Allerton. “I am almost inexcusable,” says Mr. Roscoe in a letter to Dr. Aikin, “in not having sooner returned you my thanks for the pleasure you have afforded us in the society of Miss Aikin, which has certainly enlivened this old château beyond any thing which it has before known. Nothing will now satisfy us but
—‘pomp and feast and revelry,
With masque and antique pageantry.’
A few days since my
eldest daughter’s birthday was thus celebrated.”

The celebration here alluded to was the performance of a little dramatic poem, in the form of a masque, written by various members of Mr. Roscoe’s family*, and to which he contributed the part of “Peace,” represented by his youngest

My big House I been bilded. I not done yet but I am Short for Glass becous all the Glass I have all very small, the no will fill for that House there. I am very much oblige you to Bring me three very Large Looking Glass 4 foot Long, and Marked my name. 3 fine Red Ensign 8 yard Long, Marked my name, if you will bring me that, first I do I will pay you for them thing before, and do tother thing. I have no more to Say but Give my Complement to all you family and all you friend

“Remain you friend
Toby Tom Narrow.”

* Published in the second part of “Poems for Youth, by a Family Circle.”

daughter. At the conclusion of these lines he thus adverts to his own ardent desire of peace, now at length gratified:—
“Joy, joy to earth, and joy to these
Who round my favour’d altar stand;
With chosen rites my presence grace,
And form for me the chosen band;
For well I know full many a sigh
From these green shades ascended high
That once again on earthly ground
My guileless footsteps might be found.
And lo! I come the world to bless
With lengthened years of happiness.
Nor shall my partial love disdain
For thee, fair nymph, to raise the strain,
But ever o’er thy favour’d head
My wings of guardian power I’ll spread;
And pleased from thee no more to part,
Will place my altar in thy heart.”

Amongst the strangers who occasionally visited Allerton, there were many whose attachment to art led them thither for the purpose of examining Mr. Roscoe’s collections. Of the impression made upon their minds by these visits some idea may be formed from the ensuing letter addressed to Mr. Roscoe by a Roman artist.

“Allow me the honour and liberty of this, in order to thank you particularly for your politeness and liberal hospitality, that you were so pleased as to use to me, on Sunday the 19th inst.


“Sir, that day has been to me one of the finest day of my life: it was many years that I had n’t experienced a such one!

“On Wednesday the 22d inst. I came in town, and I went to Mr. Douce, to whom I gave the best description, that was in my power, of your large collection of painting, sculpture, and prints, of which he was highly pleased and delighted.

“Sir, allow me to wish you joy and delight, and a long life to enjoy it, for you deserve it. And I hope your children will inherit from you the same taste for the Fine Arts, and the same kindness for the artists that you have to such an eminent degree; that even in your lifetime makes your person beloved and respected by every one.

“Sir, excuse the intrusion that I commit on your time that is too precious, as well as to excuse my poor English.

“I wish that you would have the goodness to remember me to all your amiable family, for their obliging politeness, and all your friends.

“Sir, I hope that you will favour me with an introduction to Mr. Othelly, as you were so kind as to tell me, and if you have something to send him, I shall be proud to be the bearer of it. And with the greatest esteem and respect,

“I am, Sir, &c. &c.
Christopher Prosperi.”

The taste of Mr. Roscoe for agricultural pursuits, which has been already alluded to, induced him to keep in his own hands the whole of the land surrounding his house at Allerton. The superintending of this farm afforded him much amusement and a healthful relaxation from his sedentary employments. He became a member of the Agricultural Society of West Derby, and occasionally communicated, to that body, papers connected with the objects of their meeting. It is interesting to observe how, even in these technical dissertations, the liberal and extended views which distinguish his other writings may be traced, and with what felicity he applied those principles of honesty and good faith which he had contended for in the intercourse of nation with nation, to the humbler relation of landlord and tenant. The following observations are extracted from a paper on “Farm-leases” read before the Society in the year 1810:—

“We must not, however, suppose that the conferring of such rewards is the sole, or even the chief object which an Agricultural Society should keep in view. Its efforts ought to be of a still higher kind: to inculcate just and liberal sentiments amongst those whose rank and influence in society are of the first importance; to introduce new and improved modes of cultivation suitable to the district; to discover in what
manner the respective interests of the landlord and tenant may best be secured, and to improve that intercourse and attachment between the different ranks of society which is equally honourable and advantageous to all.

“In order to accomplish these desirable objects it is evident that one of the first measures would be to ascertain the true nature of the connection between landlord and tenant, and to endeavour to establish such a basis as would be consistent with their mutual interest. * * * That the proprietor of an estate has a right to prescribe such conditions as he pleases as to the occupation of his land must be admitted, but at the same time a due regard to his own interest should lead him to consider the welfare of his tenant as inseparably connected with his own. He will, therefore, ask himself whether the conditions he prescribes are reasonable, and such as may enable a tenant to pay him the rent, which he stipulates to receive, and whether he has made it the interest of the tenant to improve the land by granting him a reasonable term of years, and allowing him proper facilities. If this has not been done, he may please himself with the idea of having stipulated to receive a rent for land, of the use of which he has deprived his tenant; but in the event he is the actual sufferer, the loss is finally his own, and
his endeavours have been employed only to impose upon himself.”

The cultivation of Trafford and Chat Moss, which Mr. Roscoe had commenced in the year 1793, still continued to require his superintendence, and his occasional visits to that place for the purpose of witnessing the effect of various experiments he was making, were a source of much interest to him. The expense with which this undertaking was attended, rendered its success a matter of considerable importance to him, and he gladly availed himself of all the information which he could derive from persons who had been engaged in similar labours. Much of his correspondence with Sir John Sinclair referred to the improvement of moss lands; and he was induced, at the solicitation of that gentleman, to transmit to the Board of Agriculture an account of his mode of cultivation, which he accompanied with the following letter to Sir John, as President of the Board:—

“Herewith I have the honour to transmit you some account of my proceedings towards the improvement of Chat Moss, which I have to request you will have the goodness to lay before the Board of Agriculture, whenever it may suit your convenience.

“I confess I have not ventured to make the communication without considerable hesitation, being apprehensive that I may appear, in the
opinion of those who are much better acquainted with such subjects, to have acted too much upon my own judgment, and not to have availed myself sufficiently of the successful experiments made in other parts of the United Kingdom. I am also aware that the result I have stated cannot be considered as complete or satisfactory, and that it will yet require a few years to determine, with accuracy, the benefits to be derived from similar improvements. That under proper management these benefits would be very considerable I have, however, no doubt. I have, therefore, been induced to comply with the wishes of the Board, in giving the best account in my power, and shall at all times be happy to answer any other enquiries which they may do me the honour to make.”

For this communication Mr. Roscoe received the thanks of the Board; and also of Sir John Sinclair:—“It does great credit,” says the latter, “to your skill and zeal in the cause of agriculture, and will, I have no doubt, promote similar exertions in other public spirited individuals.”

Several copies of this paper having been transmitted to Mr. Roscoe by the Board of Agriculture, he distributed them amongst his friends, from many of whom he received a very encouraging judgment as to the merits of his plan:—“I beg leave to return you my best thanks,” says General Dirom, a gentleman who had been
engaged in a similar undertaking, “for the copy you have had the goodness to send me of your excellent and interesting Memoir on the improvement of Chat Moss. It is the greatest undertaking of the kind, I believe, in the kingdom, and your example may be expected to have great effect in exciting others to engage in similar laudable works, which may be expected to be attended with considerable advantage to themselves as well as to the public. You have, in my opinion, discovered a shorter, more simple, less expensive, and more effectual way of rendering moss land capable of producing a rotation of the best crops than any that has yet been practised.”

Mrs. Barbauld, in her beautiful poem of “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,” has alluded, in the following lines, to the attempt made by Mr. Roscoe to bring this barren tract of land into cultivation:—
“Oft shall they seek some peasant’s homely shed,
Who toils, unconscious of the mighty dead,
To ask where Avon’s winding waters stray,
And thence a knot of wild flowers bear away;
Anxious enquire where Clarkson, friend of man,
Or all accomplished Jones his race began;
If of the modest mansion aught remains,
Where heaven and nature prompted Cowper’s strains;
Where Roscoe, to whose patriot breast belong
The Roman virtue and the Tuscan song,
Led Ceres to the bleak and barren moor
Where Ceres never gain’d a wreath before.”


In acknowledging the favour which Mrs. Barbauld had conferred upon him, by presenting to him her poem, Mr. Roscoe says, “I cannot avoid intruding on you with a few lines, to thank you for the present I lately received of your very beautiful poem, which I really fear is but too prophetic of the doom which awaits this infatuated country. If any thing could rouse the people from their lethargy it must be remonstrances like this, addressed to their feelings and their fears, for as to all appeals to their reason and judgment, they are entirely disregarded, or seem rather only to harden them more in their iniquities. It is with great pleasure that I perceive in this poem the same spirit of benevolence, the same extensive and enlightened views, and the same true poetical feeling that uniformly distinguish your other writings; but the conclusion of it from the passage beginning, ‘There walks a spirit,’ is peculiarly new and grand, and has not, in my judgment, been exceeded by any poetical personification that I have met with. To have my name recorded in such a poem is, in my estimation, the greatest honour that could have been conferred on me, and will be more durable than any that brass or marble could bestow.”

Amongst the various persons to whom Mr. Roscoe’s agricultural tastes were the means of introducing him, were G. Tollett, Esq., of Betley
Hall, Staffordshire, and
George Wilbraham, Esq., of Delamere Lodge, Cheshire. With the former he corresponded frequently on the subject of his improvements at Chat Moss, at which place he had the pleasure, in the course of the year 1810, of receiving a visit from him. In the following year he was warmly pressed to return this visit at Betley, where, in addition to the pleasure of viewing the ingenious agricultural inventions of Mr. Tollett, he was promised the high gratification of being introduced to the personal acquaintance of Mr. Coke of Norfolk. Unfortunately the numerous claims upon his time did not permit him to take advantage of this friendly invitation.

“I went from hence,” says Mr. Wilbraham, in a letter dated 17th Dec. 1811, and addressed to Mr. Roscoe, “with Mr. Coke to Mr. Tollett’s, and was in great hopes of meeting you there, as was Mr. Coke, who has commissioned me to say he shall be very happy to see you at Holkham, when his meeting takes place, generally about the 20th June. Indeed, the various and excellent husbandry that is seen there cannot fail to be highly satisfactory to a lover of farming improvements, and the communications obtained from the variety of persons who attend the meeting are a most pleasing addition to the practical part.

“I think you would have been much gratified
Mr. Tollett’s. His farm yards and buildings are singular, ingenious, and useful. The advantage taken of a small hill, by making it a straw yard, with two stories surrounding it with sheep and cattle above each other under one roof, is a scheme of economy. His water-wheel is most excellent; threshes the corn and winnows it, and is intended to grind and dress it; cuts the straw, and is meant to churn and to wash linen; and after the stream has performed all these offices it will irrigate land worth about 3l. an acre, the value of which it will treble. Could I adequately describe all I saw at Betley you might be tempted to view it, and this is the season when cattle and sheep are in the yards. I feel more anxious that you should see these wonders for a selfish reason, for this place is directly in your road, and I shall be happy to hear how Chat Moss goes on. If on this or on any other occasion I can tempt you to come here, I shall be most happy to see you.”

The invitation from Mr. Coke to visit Holkham, conveyed to Mr. Roscoe in the preceding letter, was repeated through several of their mutual friends. Sir J. E. Smith, in a letter dated 7th September, 1812, adds his own anxious solicitations, and thus endeavours to prevail upon Mr. Roscoe to accept the invitation, by recounting the literary treasures of Holkham:—

“We have been spending ten days at Holk-
ham, and I write now at the earnest desire of
Mr. Coke to try to persuade you to come and see him and us. He says you have given him some hopes, but have as yet only disappointed him. Now I can conceive nothing more delightful than spending a fortnight with you under this roof, and have promised him to do so, whenever you come. To contemplate his pictures and statues, to rummage amongst his books, drawings, manuscripts, and prints (where we every day find treasures unknown before), is extremely agreeable, and he kindly entrusts all his keys to me in full confidence. I found a case of the earliest printed books, which no one had examined since the time of his great uncle, Lord Leicester. Such MSS. of Dante, drawings of the old Italian masters, treasures of European history—you have no idea! The house is one of the finest in Europe, and its riches are inexhaustible. But of all things its owner is the best worth your seeing and knowing. He is so amiable, with all the first gloss of human affection and feeling upon his heart; so devoid of all selfishness, that with the early and constant prosperity he has experienced, his character is next to a miracle; and he has such an agreeable liveliness and playfulness of manners, that nobody is more entertaining. You would exactly suit, in all your ideas of men and things. Do give me some hopes that you will
come over this autumn with
Mrs. Roscoe, or some of your family. We will meet at Holkham; and if you can descend (without breaking your neck) to our ‘low estate,’ we will strive to rival even Holkham in the heartiness of our welcome. I shall show you the Linnæan reliques, and we shall consult you about a new Botanic Garden now projecting. Do, my dear friend, think of all this.”

“And now, my dear friend,” says Mr. Roscoe in reply—“for your last letter—
“So cunning was the apparatus,
The powerful pot-hooks did so move him,
That, will he, nill he, to the great house
He went as if the devil drove him.

“It would not, however, be so much for the sake of the great house, nor for all it contains, though nothing in its way could be more attractive, that I wish to visit Holkham. It would be with the view of paying my respects to its excellent and distinguished owner, and of meeting you under his roof,—temptations which I feel I shall hardly be able to resist. At present, however, I cannot speak very decisively. Neither my wife nor myself are at present very well, and when I shall be able to venture abroad so far before winter, I really dare not say. Mrs. Roscoe and I ought to have gone to Hafod this year; but the same causes rendered it impossible.”


Two years afterwards he was again urged to visit Mr. Coke, and with better success.

“I had intended,” says Sir James Smith (October 3. 1814), “writing to you a few days since, but many things have prevented me. I hope I am still time enough for the main purpose of my letter, which is to make another attempt, at the desire of Mr. Coke, to induce you to visit Holkham. We have spent a delightful fortnight there lately, and two hours almost every day were devoted to an examination of the manuscripts. I am going there on Monday with our good bishop, for a few days, for the express purpose of looking further into these treasures, and if you would join us, you would complete the joy of the whole party.

“I must tell you a part of our discoveries: besides beautifully illuminated MSS. on vellum of many of the Latin classics, a most exquisite Boccacio, a very fine and old Dante, a Chronique d’Henault, in two immense folios, richly illuminated, and other valuable things of that kind, there is a very valuable collection of historical Italian MSS., fairly copied at Florence, Venice, &c, for Lord Leicester; and there are partial or local chronicles, memoirs, &c., very curious. Amongst others is a complete copy of Burchard’s Diary. This delectable treasure will surely tempt you of itself. I think you know nothing of it but what Gordon has printed:—am I right in this?”


There is one original monastic chronicle itself of the date of 1300 or 1400. There are also many things which we want you to tell us the value of. The printed books are inestimable in value and number.”

At length, no longer able to resist his own inclinations and the kind solicitations of his friends, he paid his long wished for visit to Holkham in the autumn of the year 1814. His reception was most gratifying to his feelings, and the society which he found assembled there most congenial to his taste. In addition to Sir James Smith, Dr. Parr had been invited to meet him; and some other persons, distinguished by their literary attainments, were of the party. With several of the latter Mr. Roscoe now, for the first time, became personally acquainted, and contracted with many of them a sincere friendship. This was the origin of his intimacy with Mr. Dawson Turner of Yarmouth, for whom he ever afterwards entertained the highest esteem, and who, in the latter part of his life, was one of his most frequent and valuable correspondents. In the society of this gentleman and his family, at Yarmouth, he some years afterwards passed a few days; a visit to which he always adverted with lively expressions of pleasure.

No sooner was Mr. Roscoe established at Holkham than he entered upon the most in-
teresting task of exploring the literary treasures of the place. Accompanied by
Dr. Parr, Sir J. E. Smith, and several other of the visiters, he proceeded to the upper library, an apartment at the top of the house, where, in consequence of their unsightly condition, the collection of manuscripts, and many of the rare printed books were deposited.

These inestimable treasures had been collected chiefly in Italy in the early part of the last century, by Thomas Coke, Lord Lovel, and afterwards Earl of Leicester, the great uncle of the present possessor of Holkham. With much trouble and expense he amassed, while abroad, a great collection of works of art, manuscripts, and early printed books; but unfortunately, after their arrival in England, the MSS. were never properly arranged. Their value was little known, nor indeed were they in a fit state to be placed upon the shelves of a library. Few of them had been consulted by scholars, with the exception of seven remarkably fine manuscripts of Livy, which had been lent by Lord Lovel to Drakenborch, who has given an account of them in his edition of that historian, dedicated to his lordship. A partial examination into the manuscripts had been made by Sir J. E. Smith and some other gentlemen, before Mr. Roscoe’s visit; but the greater part of them still remained undisturbed.


In the course of his inquiries, Mr. Roscoe was delighted to find many volumes of extreme rarity and value. Amongst these the most remarkable was a volume of original drawings, by Raffaelle, of the architectural remains of ancient Rome, executed at the desire of Leo X., and mentioned by Camolli, in his life of the painter, as having been in the possession of “Tomaso Coke, Lord Leicester.” Of this inestimable treasure some account had been given by Mr. Roscoe, in his life of Leo X. “That I should have had,” he observes in a letter to Mr. Coke, “the good fortune of seeing and turning over at my leisure such a book, is almost incredible.” Another manuscript of nearly equal value was a treatise, written on paper, by the hand of Leonardo da Vinci, alia mancina, or from right to left, so that it can only be read with ease by the assistance of a mirror. The subject is a dissertation “on the nature, weight, and force of water,” explained by numerous drawings on the margin, from the pen of the artist himself. But the production which most interested Mr. Roscoe was a superb copy of Livy, which had been the property of Alfonso, King of Naples, to whom it was presented by Cosmo de Medici, pater patriæ, on the establishment of peace between Florence and Naples. Alfonso’s physicians insinuated that the volume was poisoned; but the king, disregarding their suspicions, began
with great pleasure the perusal of the work. It appears to be annotated by the king’s own hand, and, amongst its subsequent possessors, once belonged to the celebrated
Justus Lipsius. Another work of high value was a “History of the Councils,” by Fra Paolo Sarpi (Father Paul), which has never been published. Amongst many copies of the sacred writings was a very remarkable manuscript of the Pentateuch, in Hebrew, on deer skins, forming a roll thirty-eight feet in length, supposed by competent judges to be an Eastern transcript of high antiquity. To these may be added several unpublished manuscripts of Chief Justice Coke. These were only the gems of the collection, which included a variety of beautiful classical MSS., rare works of Italian history and poetry (amongst which were several copies of Dante), various English MSS., of much curiosity, and numerous other volumes, the rarity of which was often equalled by their beauty.

Mr. Roscoe was gratified beyond expression at the opportunity of examining at his leisure so rich and various a collection of literary treasures, and immediately offered his services in arranging them. It was necessary, however, that the whole of the volumes should pass through the hands of the binder, and he therefore recommended that they should be placed under the care of the late Mr. John Jones of Liverpool. By this arrangement the volumes would again come
under his own eye, and he would have an opportunity of stating, in a short note to each, the nature of its contents and its probable value.

The manuscripts, many of which had been stripped of their covers previously to their importation from the continent, and some of which had been considerably injured, required the greatest skill and care in the binding. Fortunately, they could not have fallen into abler hands. The taste and ingenuity displayed by Mr. Jones*, to whom they were confided, could only be equalled by the zeal with which he devoted himself to the task. Many of the manuscripts being defaced with creases, he invented a very simple but ingenious mode of restoring the pages, by stretching them in a frame, and covering the injured parts with a solution of vellum.

The judicious, tasteful, and solid style, in which Mr. Jones executed his task, excited the admiration of all Mr. Coke’s literary friends. Amongst others, Mr. George Wilbraham thus

* Mr. Jones, after having given up his laborious occupation of a bookbinder, was appointed librarian of the Athenæum at Liverpool; nor is it possible that a more diligent and efficient person could any where have been found. The library under his superintendance was a model of order, neatness, and arrangement. He had been long acquainted with Mr. Roscoe, and entertained for him feelings of the most devoted attachment and respect. He was a man of strong natural powers of mind, and of an original character. His son, Mr. William Roscoe Jones, has succeeded his father as librarian, and is an excellent officer to the institution.

speaks of his labours, in a letter to
Mr. Roscoe, from Holkham:—

“From no other place could I with more propriety address you, than from one which you are so eminently contributing to distinguish and adorn, by arranging and new clothing the precious MSS. which belong to it; and thus adding a new honour to the possessor of it, already raised above his fellows by so many eminent and amiable qualities. It has been the wish of my life, for these last twenty-four years that I have had the good fortune to live with Mr. Coke in habits of the closest intimacy and friendship, to have this object set about. Judge, then, of the pleasure I have, in seeing this great desideratum in a way of being speedily accomplished, and so as to reflect the highest honour on the very intelligent superintendant to whom it has been confided. The cheapness with which you do it astonishes not me alone, but Lord Spencer, perhaps the most conversant person in England in the price of bookbinding. There is no binding that we should not have estimated at one half more; and many at double what you have paid for the nice repairing, mending, and binding.”

The gratification which. Mr. Coke felt on seeing his valuable collection thus, as it were, restored to him, is expressed in the following letter to Mr. Roscoe:—

“Without compliment, I verily believe, there
is not another man in the kingdom to be found equal to yourself, or capable, indeed, of undertaking so laborious and great a work as that which you have so kindly volunteered. Is it then possible to imagine me capable of refusing so singular an opportunity as now presents itself, in committing to your care all my manuscripts, one after another, enhanced as they must be in value after passing through your hands? To say how much I am indebted to you, and delighted with those you have returned, is quite impossible; it only makes me every hour of my life more impatient to have them all rebound and examined.

“I did not delay a moment after my arrival in looking them over, and the moment I had done so, I mounted into the upper library, to select as many as would refill the box, which I sent, addressed to you at Liverpool, yesterday, containing thirty-two books, many of which you will find it necessary to divide into separate volumes.”

Nothing can give a more pleasing picture of Mr. Roscoe’s visit to Holkham than the following little poem, in which he has celebrated both the literary and social pleasures with which that celebrated mansion abounds:—

“Where Holkham rears in graceful pride
Her marble halls and crested towers,
And stretches o’er the champain wide
Her lengthened suite of social bowers;
“Where, led by Leicester’s forming hand,
To Nature Art her succour gives,
Touches the desert with her wand,
And sculpture breathes, and painting lives;
“There, ’midst the tomes around me spread,
The spoils of learning’s prosperous day,
As once I prest my sleepless bed,
I heard a voice that seemed to say—
“‘Yes, days, and weeks, and months have past,
And on thee closed the changeful year,
Yet still the powerful motives last
That led thy willing footsteps here;
“Delighted, thro’ the fleeting hours,
The mouldering volume to explore,
And waste thy time, thy health, thy powers,
On the dull page of ancient lore;
“Resolved, by all his threats unaw’d,
With Time the warfare to renew,
And with officious zeal defraud
Thy brother book-worm of his due.
“And wouldst thou to this cultur’d age
Restore the school-man’s endless theme?
Recall the bigot’s fiery page?
The jurist’s web, the statesman’s dream?
“Far happier, if the useless toil
A darkling age so long admired,
Had served to add to Omar’s pile,
And in the general blaze expired.’
“‘Cease, slanderer; cease that voice profane,’
(Indignant thus I quick replied),
‘Nor dare to wake the honoured train
That silent slumber at my side.
“For though they breathe not, yet they live,
Though tongueless, mingle mind with mind,
And through succeeding ages give
One great censorium to mankind;
“A power divine, that still shall last
Beyond the brutes’ precarious doom,
Combines the future with the past,
And bids us live beyond the tomb.’
“Then blest the hand, and blest the day
That led me to your haunts divine,
To share your loved retreat, and pay
My homage at your sacred shrine.
“Shelter’d beneath this friendly dome,
Far from the world’s tumultuous rage,
I ope the venerated tome,
And read, and glow along the page;
“Or, wrapt in dreams of ages old,
O’er time triumphant seem to stand,
Whilst I th’ historic volume hold,
Once held by great Alfonso’s hand;
“Or, sunk in learning’s calm retreat,
Midst scenes remote from vulgar eyes,
I trace the weakness of the great,
And mark the follies of the wise;
“How Poggio’s tale attention drew
From pontiffs proud and grave divines,
Or Cosmo smoothed his wrinkled brow
O’er Beccatelli’s playful lines;
“With joy the rescued volume see,
Where Sarpi wakes the patriot soul,
And the bright glance of liberty
Shot from beneath the monkish cowl.
“—But when the studious hours decline,
And tired attention wakes no more,
Then, idly busy be it mine
Upon the pictured page to pore!
“Where rude designs of earlier days
Their bright unchanging hues unfold,
And all th’ illumin’d margins blaze
With azure skies, and stars of gold;
“Where on the solemn page intrude
Figures grotesque, and emblems quaint,
And monsters of infernal brood
Grin scornful at the preaching saint.
“But see, where Giotto’s purer ray,
Emerging from the gothic night,
Drives the fantastic shapes away,
And brings his chaster forms to light;
“Forms, worthy in devotion’s eye,
The sacred volume to adorn,
Where, wondering, we may yet descry
The dawn of Raffaelle’s brighter morn.
“Nor yet let him, whose love of art
To Holkham’s halls his steps has led,
Refuse his homage, or depart,
Till here his pilgrim vows are paid;
“For here the sacred leaves expand,
That once (such mighty Leo’s will)
Have rested under Raffaelle’s hand,
And bear the impress of his skill.
“And here Da Vinci’s genius strives
Through nature’s works to trace the cause,
The water’s rapid course describes—
Its weight, its current, and its laws.
“But happier far the moments fly,
When, resting from my lengthen’d toil,
I meet with Coke’s benignant eye,
And share his kind approving smile;
“Friend of his country and mankind,
To more than titled honours born;
Who looks with independent mind
On all the venal tribe with scorn.
“His the firm soul to freedom true,
The open heart, the liberal hand,
That from the rock the waters drew,
And bade the bounteous stream expand,
“To clothe the plain with brighter green,
The soil with richer harvests bless,
And pour on all the cultured scene
The glow of life and happiness:
“—Not with scant hand the pittance small
To starving industry to give;
But grant their general rights to all,
And as he lives, let others live;
“And sees, with all a parent’s pride,
His healthful village train display’d,
To heal the wounds in nature’s side,
By tyrants and by heroes made.”

The feelings of affectionate regard and sincere esteem which Mr. Roscoe’s visit to Holkham created in the mind of Mr. Coke, may be best learned from the letters of the latter to Sir J. E. Smith:—

“I cannot,” he says, “forward the enclosed, which reached me by yesterday’s post, without acknowledging all your friendly assistance, and expressing the great pleasure afforded me by your own and Mr. Roscoe’s visit.

“The more I saw of him the more I was delighted with the benevolence of his mind, the rectitude and liberality of his principles, as well as with his superior acquirements.”*

Soon after his visit to Holkham, Mr. Roscoe presented to his friend a large paper copy of his “Life of Leo X.,” in which he inscribed to him the following sonnet:—
“Though, clothed in varnish’d vest and trick’d with gold,
To Holkham’s splendid halls thou take thy way,
Think not, my book, that this thy proud display
Will aught avail thee. There shalt thou behold
The speaking train of bards and sages old,
Immortal sons of Learning’s happier day,
And own that thou amidst their bright array
Art all unworthy to be there enrolled.
There, then, abashed, at modest distance lie,
Till he, the master, with benignant eye
Shall o’er thy leaves in pleased attention bend;
Enough, if, firm to truth and freedom’s cause,
He find thee worthy of his kind applause,
And in the Author recognise the Friend.”

* Life of Sir J. Smith, vol. ii. p. 354.


In the following letter to Sir James Smith, Mr. Coke thus expresses his gratification on receiving the volumes:—

“‘Leo X.,’ most magnificently bound, made his appearance yesterday, and will be more highly prized than any manuscript in my possession. To you I may fairly say I am more particularly indebted for this most inestimable gift; I should probably never have known Mr. Roscoe, if it had not been for your kindness in bringing us together; it has established a mutual regard between us, which I am satisfied will be pleasing to us during the remainder of our respective lives. To say the truth, he is a most extraordinary personage; such a head, such a heart, such suavity of disposition, such courage in the pursuit of what is right, such pure philanthropy are seldom combined in one individual; imagine, then, my dear Sir, the store I shall set by the present of his book. How preferable such a testimony of esteem from such a man, to the baubles which may be derived to a cringing sycophant from a profligate court! If I live and have my health, I will do myself the pleasure of passing a few days with him at Allerton in September or October next. Could not you accompany me? I will not keep you from home more than five or six weeks.”

Amongst the distinguished persons with whom his visit to Norfolk made Mr. Roscoe acquainted
was the venerable and patriotic
Bishop of Norwich. To an invitation from Sir James Smith to meet Mr. Roscoe at his house, that excellent prelate made the following reply:—

“I feel, if possible, more proud of being indebted to your friendly partiality for the favourable opinion which Mr. Roscoe is so good as to entertain of me, than I do even of his approbation; and yet the esteem of such a man is a source of higher gratification than any which it is in the power of kings or ministers to bestow. Many thanks for your kind invitation. To wait on you, and to meet Mr. Roscoe, are certainly very great temptations; for men like him are rare beings:—
“‘Numero vix sunt totidem quot,
Thebarum portæ, vel divitis ostia Nili.’
Old as I am, I cannot therefore but feel anxious to say before I die, ‘
Virgilium vidi.’ Adieu.”

But amidst all the literary pleasures and splendid hospitalities of Holkham, the recollection of his own tranquil home was still present to the mind of Mr. Roscoe, and the joy which his restoration to it afforded him is expressed in the following stanzas, addressed to Mrs. Roscoe, on his return:—

“December 17th, 1814.
“In search of amusement abroad if we wander,
Novel scenes for a while may the senses decoy,
But short the delight their attractions can render,
If wedded affection partake not the joy.
Without the loved bosom to share each transaction,
’Tis in vain that to distance for pleasure we roam;
For the magnet still turns towards the source of attraction,
And the heart, tho’ long travelled, still points to its home.
“O Home! how delightful thy tranquil enjoyments,
When again on thy hearth the tired limbs are reclined;
When wearied no longer with restless employments,
We resign to calm pleasures the indolent mind!
O! moments of bliss, when all thronging around me,
I see the bright faces with pleasure more bright;
Whilst one ’midst the rest more rejoiced to have found me,
Glows with warmer emotions, with deeper delight.
“Thus, down from the mountains some rivulet gushing,
O’er the precipice steep gives its current to flow,
In eddies now swept, now in cataracts rushing,
Till it reaches at length the calm valley below;
There, tormented no more by its vagrant meanders,
Its fugitive waves seem delighted to rest,
O’er its placid expanse not a breath of air wanders,
And heaven smiles serene in the calm of its breast.”

The visit to Holkham was repaid by Mr. Coke in the autumn of 1815, when several of the distinguished persons who had assembled at Holkham in the preceding year were invited to meet him at Allerton. Amongst these was Dr. Parr,
who, on his return to Hatton, expressed, in the following letter, the gratification which he had derived from his visit:—

“And now, dear Sir, I must entreat you and Mrs. Roscoe to accept my warm and unfeigned thanks for the hospitable and friendly reception with which you honoured me at Allerton. To the latest hour of my life shall I remember my tour with joy, and even triumph. Within the same space of. time never was so much happiness, intellectual and moral, crowded upon my mind. Within the same circuit of space I never met with so many enlightened and interesting companions. As I lay great stress on all the little courtesies which endear man to man, I beg you will remember me, in strong terms of tenderness and respect, to Mrs. and Misses Roscoe, and your sons; to Mr. and Mrs. Martin, and their little ones; to Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd; to Dr. Bostock, Dr. Traill, &c. &c. &c.”