LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
William Lisle Bowles to Samuel Rogers, 21 June 1815

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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‘Bremhill: June 21st, 1815.

‘My dear Rogers,—Lawyer Williams, the barrister, a friend of Horner’s, has been here, since I came home,

1 Bowles published his Fourteen Sonnets in 1789. The Spirit of Discovery was issued in 1804. His edition of Pope, which created great controversy, appeared in 1807.

and has excited some anxiety in my mind by saying that, according to strict etiquette, I should not have said in my dedication “My dear Lord,” but only “My Lord.” I am sorry if I have done wrong; you will witness for me it was unintentional, as it was my common mode of address, and I thought to have done otherwise would have appeared affected formality; but he seems to think that, what might be proper in private, might not be so before the public.

‘Had I, contrary to my general usage, addressed Lord Lansdowne as “My Lord,” it might also appear that I spoke as less independent than I have always been, and always shall be. Dallaway ought to have addressed the Duke of Norfolk, or Crabbe his patron, the Duke of Rutland, so,—but I have no patron, nor want one, though I never forget the most trifling kindness I have ever received in the common intercourse of life; and I do not see, in my situation, why I should use a different language in public, from that which I use in private, to any man living: at the same time there is no one who would less willingly violate the common etiquette of cultivated society.

‘Your good-nature will, if I have done wrong, put the thing in such a light that no offence can be taken; indeed, I know it contrary to the nature of so noble a mind to take any.

‘I wrote some verses, in the midst of the lame and blind men at Greenwich, which I sent Lady Beaumont, as I thought them something in the way of the Father of the Lake Poets (what blasphemy! her Ladyship will say). I brought you in, I think, happily enough—

‘And He, to whom sad Memory gave her shell,
And bade him tones of sweetest music swell,
Was with us.

‘As I was struck with the circumstance of the blind man and the bird, just as it happened, I am pleased with the verses, but shall put them in my little hymn book.

‘Remember me to all at Highbury Terrace, and I hope to dine there another Sunday, and I wish I could see the same party to dine some Sunday here.

‘So no more from your’s ever,

W. L. B.

‘Do write to me and tell me what I am to think of the public news—écrivez. You will seriously oblige me if you will let me know whether all is right about the Dedication, and, if you have had time to look over my corrections and additions, I shall find it an additional favour if you will give me your opinion with respect to the conception and execution of what has been added to the “Missionary1 . . .’