LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers, 5 June [1830]

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, Kendal: 5th June [1830].

‘My dear Rogers,—I have this morning heard from Moxon, who, in communicating his new project, speaks in grateful terms of your kindness. Having written to him, I cannot forbear inquiring of you how you are and what is become of your “Italy.” My daughter (who, alas, is very poorly, recovering from a bilious fever which seized her a fortnight ago) tells me that she is longing to see the work—and that it would do more for her recovery than half the medicines she is obliged to take. It is long since we exchanged letters. I am in your debt, for I had a short note from you enclosing Lamb’s pleasing poem upon your lamented brother just before you set off for the Continent. If I am not mistaken, I heard, and I think from Lady Frederick Bentinck, that some untoward circumstance interrupted that tour. Was it so?

‘My dear sister, you will be glad to hear, is at present quite well, but in prudence we do not permit her to take the long walks she used to do, nor to depart from the invalid regimen. The remainder of us are well. My daughter’s illness was the consequence of over-fatigue while
she was on a visit to her
brother at Moresby, near Whitehaven. I passed with her there a fortnight, which would have flown most agreeably but for that attack. An odd thought struck me there which I did not act upon, but will mention—it was to bespeak your friendly offices among your great and powerful acquaintances in behalf of my son, who enjoys the dignity of a Rector with an income of 100l, per annum. This benefice he owes to the kind patronage of Lord Lonsdale, who must be his main-stay, and who, we venture to hope, will not forget him upon some future occasion. But you know how much the patronage of that family has been pressed upon, and it would on this account please me much could something be done for him in another quarter. I hope it is not visionary to mention my wishes to you, not altogether without a hope that an opportunity may occur for your serving him. Testimonials from a father are naturally liable to suspic1on, but I have no reason for doubting the sincerity of his late Rector, Mr. Merewether of Coleorton, who wrote in the highest terms of the manner in which he had discharged his duty as a curate. I will only add that he has from nature an excellent voice, and manages it with feeling and judgment.

‘How is Sharp in health? When he wrote to me last he was suffering from a winter cough. He told me, what did not at all surprise me to hear, that the sale of your “Pleasures of Memory,” which had commanded public attention for thirty-six years, had greatly fallen off within the last two years. “The Edinburgh Review” tells another story, that you and Campbell (I am sorry to couple the names) are the only bards of our day whose laurels are
unwithered. Fools! I believe that yours have suffered in the common blight (if the flourishing of a poet’s bays can fairly be measured by the sale of his books or the buzz that attends his name at any given time), and that the ornamented annuals, those greedy receptacles of trash, those bladders upon which the boys of poetry try to swim, are the cause. Farewell! I know you hate writing letters, but let me know from inquiries made at your leisure whether you think an edition of my poems, in three volumes, to be sold for about eighteen shillings, would repay. The last of
1827 is, I believe, nearly sold. The French piracy (for in a moral sense a piracy it is) I have reason to think is against me a good deal; but unless I could sell four copies of a cheaper edition than my own where I now sell one it would scarcely [pay]. Again adieu.

‘Faithfully yours,
W. Wordsworth.

‘What is likely to become of the Michael Angelo marble of Sir George—is it to be sold? Alas! alas! That picture of the picture gallery, is that to go also? I hope you will rescue some of these things from vulgar hands, both for their own sakes and the memory of our departed friend.’