LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
George Ticknor to Samuel Rogers, 30 December 1840

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.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
‘Boston, U. States of America: 30th Dec., 1840.

‘My dear Sir,—I received last summer your very kind letter and the beautiful little copy of your poems that accompanied it; but I have since been chiefly in the country, and not in a position to answer it as I desired. The year, however, must not go out without carrying to you my very sincere acknowledgments. The copy of the “Italy” especially is very beautiful. I do not know that the art of engraving on wood can go further than it does in those woodcuts which, I suppose, were made for it expressly; most of the others being the same with those in the edition of your Poems of 1820, which I remember we thought quite a gem in its time. But I was very glad to get the two little vols. of 1839, which I had never heard of before, for another reason. I now have nearly all the editions of your works, including even the “Ode to Superstition, with some other Poems,” 1786, which I exceedingly value as a proof of what you could do in
your boyhood. I wonder whether you have so complete a series yourself? In particular, I wonder whether you have the American editions of them. If you have not, pray let me know it, and it will give me particular pleasure to send them to you.

‘After I wrote to you about the extraordinary story of what happened at Harrogate,1 I saw the magnificent quarto copy of your poems which my friend Prescott received, and immediately recognized the tale in its Italian mask. It has a particular value and meaning for me, and I was delighted at the grace with which it is told. But if such a story may be told gracefully, what may not? The little edition of ’39 also contains it, and so, I trust, will all that may follow.

‘I need not tell you, I suppose, that your works have a great circulation and success in this country. The octavo edition in particular, with its exquisite vignettes, is found in proportion, I think, oftener in Boston than it is in London—in proportion, I mean, to the population. Of the 12mo, I know no copy but the one you were kind enough to send me, and of the 4to none but Prescott’s. So they are much admired and stared at. They were not known to exist till these copies arrived, and even last week two intelligent booksellers denied the existence of the smaller one. Everybody, indeed, wants the octavo, and everybody who can afford it has it. But all this you must know substantially from your bookseller, who must be aware how many copies came to Boston.

Mrs. Ticknor and my young lady—now really

1 See the letter from Uvedale Price in the tenth chapter, vol. i., pp. 358, 359, ‘An English Ginevra.’

become such—desire to be most respectfully and affectionately remembered to you. We all recollect, with lively gratitude, your kindness to us in London.

‘Yours always very faithfully,
George Ticknor.

‘When you happen to see Mr. Milman, will you do me the favour to thank him for a copy of his poems, which I received with yours, and to say that I shall write to him soon?

‘One thing more. You will be pleased to hear that our excellent friend Professor Smyth’s first series of lectures—those on Modern History—are, at my suggestion, reprinting here, so as to be used as a text-book in our neighbouring University—Cambridge. This comes as near teaching posterity as a man can, and yet keep in this world. Do you remember the beautiful phrase of Tacitus about Germanicus—fruitur famâ. Well, if you or Professor Smyth will come to Boston, you can furnish a beautiful illustration of it. But I suppose you will rather trust the matter to the commentators than take the trouble in person.

‘G. T.’