LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp, 4 December 1834

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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‘Holland House: 4th Dec., 1834.

‘My dear Friend,—The long and the short I believe to be this: The K. is by all parties thought to be very honest but very nervous. Now, there are only two men in whom he has much confidence. To them he looks up—in them only does he think there is safety; and having lost one, he resolved on the first occasion to call in the other, though well satisfied with Melbourne. If Lord G[rey] had remained in office, he would never, they say, have had recourse to the Duke.

‘So the Whig ministers may thank themselves for having taken Lord G. too readily at his word. The wish of his heart was to continue another year and to carry the two Church reforms, which he was confident he could have done.

‘The first half of my story I believe, the last half I know to be true.

‘If our friends Lord H[olland] and Lord L[ansdowne] had gone out with Lord G., which they ought to have done, H. would have brought Lord G. back, and we should now have been in office, or it would have brought in the Tories at once—a sad event, for they would then
have had more time for entrenching themselves before another session, and for working mischief abroad.

‘“Would you like a little more of the graphic? Six Ministers were assembled at dinner at H[olland] H[ouse], on the Friday night (the night of Lord M.’s return from Brighton), and dispersed, thinking themselves still in office. On that night, at half-past seven o’clock, Lord Palmerston called at the Treasury, and was shown in to Lord M., who had just alighted, and was sitting in his travelling cap, by two candles, in a large room, his room of business. “What news?” said P. “What will surprise you,” said M., and, saying no more, he put into his hand a paper, containing the result of what had passed.

‘What had passed was nothing like what it is said to be. It was very simple. The K. did not tell the Q. till the next day, when she said, “Ah! England will rejoice in it;” to which he answered, “That is as it may be, Madam.” (A favourite phrase with him.) Lord G. at Howick is astounded—he thinks the measure not only unconstitutional, but illegal—for the D., being dictator, might run away with all the money. Lord M. writes from Melbourne very naturally. “I was never so happy, but I suppose I shall soon be d—d tired for want of something to do, as all are who leave office.”

‘And now a word or two about Brougham. His vagaries in Scotland, for I followed in his wake, would fill a volume. His letter to Lord Lyndhurst and the answer I have seen. If you had any suspicions with regard to the moon before, what do you think now? Scarlett has also another competitor in Wetherall, for W. could not be Irish Chancellor and Scarlett could. I
earnestly wish that S. may have what he wants, and I am told he is sure of it—
Denman tells me so. In that case Wll. must have the Duchy of L[ancaster], for he neither could nor would go to Ireland.

‘To return to the K. He has long taken a great dislike to B., and his conduct lately has settled it. His antics and his taking the great seal across the Border without leave, brought on the crisis. He has worn him out, too, with correspondence, having assailed him with reams of paper, writing through Sir H. Taylor. He thinks he has great admissions in the K.’s answers through the same channel, but forgets that the K., also, has his. His, I am told by those who have seen them, are beyond anything. But why, you will say, did the K. write (or rather dictate)? He thought he must answer his Chancellor. All now is over, however, and I believe all are heartily sick of him. He wrote a second letter to Lord L. from Calais, still more urgent, and he has written a third retracting all. He has taken, I hear, his seat in the Institute.

‘I am delighted to think that you are so well off as to society. The weather here is delightful. What then must it be with you! Remember me most kindly to the ladies.

‘Ever yours,
‘S. R.

B. has taken his new secretary with him to Paris—a dull young man, able only to transcribe; his fellow-traveller in Scotland, Edmonds.

‘Pray write to me, without any thought or scruple
as to postage. The utmost cannot amount to the price of one opera. But having bored you with this long epistle, I shall spare you in future. My lady removes to Burlington Street to-morrow.

‘And now to conclude with what I ought to have begun with—your new volume—which I first saw in Jeffrey’s hand—notice-copy. I cannot say how much I like the nine new articles, though I wish you had given a little more of a Continental tour, particularly in Switzerland; but your additions are invaluable.

Hallam is in town, and Sydney [Smith], and Whishaw. When you like you shall meet them at breakfast. H. is but a step, you know.

Lord M. communicated the news only to three persons over night—the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Chancellor. Next morning it was in the “Times,” and “Chronicle.” Who sent it? The two first say, we did not. The mischievous article was sent by him, I suppose, as a poisonous present to “The Times,” “the Queen has done it all.” These things must destroy all confidence. Allen fights for him against all the world.’