LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers, 12 September 1826

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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‘Lowwood Inn: 12 Sept., 1826.

‘My dear Sarah,—We arrived here on Friday at four o’clock, and were very glad to look upon the old lake again. Sir George’s passion are the Langdale Pikes, and he is sketching them from morning till night. He uses white chalk upon a blue paper, and strongly recommends it to you for catching the momentary lights in the sky. I believe you have hitherto confined yourself to terrestrial objects. We set out on Tuesday and breakfasted at Derby, and saw Kedleston and slept at Matlock old Bath, as we had done so often before. At Derby I called upon Lucy,1 and was shown up instantly by the maid into a large room looking to the garden and the river. She was sitting alone, and not a little surprised at the sight of me. She is very thin, and so much altered that I am not sure I should have known her at once elsewhere, but she is the same amiable, kind creature she ever was, and discovered at least half as much pleasure as she did once at Highbury, when she made one jump of it downstairs to meet her father. Her reception quite affected me. At Matlock we took a long walk till sunset, and returned an hour after the dinner hour, much, I believe, to the disappointment of the company, who had waited

1 Lucy Rogers, daughter of Daniel and niece of Samuel, married Mr. Bingham of Derby.

half an hour for us—a company, however, not very numerous, six in number, one of them a sister-in-law of
Sir Wm. Gell. At Sir George’s desire we dined alone and saw nothing of them. Next morning we saw Haddon Hall with great delight and breakfasted at the Chatsworth Inn—when a heavy rain came on and lasted all day. Chatsworth is really little worth seeing, though full of Canova.

Abercromby was there and I saw him for five minutes. At Sheffield I wished to call upon Montgomery, but the rain prevented me. We slept at Barnsley (the inns in these manufacturing towns are most uncomfortable). Next day it cleared up and we had a sight of Gordale Scar, sleeping at Settle. The next day we sat down, as I said, at Lowwood Inn, and despatched a note to Wordsworth, who came next morning to breakfast and spent the day with us. Next day (Sunday) we returned the visit, and went to Rydal Church (a new and very pretty one built by Lady Fleming), and dined with them; at night came a mob to tea—young men with letters of introduction, ladies on short visits to neighbours—and the rooms were crowded. Dora, the daughter, is much improved and not now ill-looking. Miss Hutchinson much softer and more agreeable. The dinner very good and all very neat. The place still more beautiful than I remembered it to be, but they have notice to quit and have bought a field to build in, a measure that disturbs Sir George mightily, but may never take place. Sir G. is very amiable—perhaps a little too talkative—for he talks for ever and [is] more helpless than Miss Fox! Sharp was here a week,
and a week at Ambleside. He saw but little of Wordsworth, who was electioneering.
Miss Kinnaird, the waiter says, sang from morning till night to a small pianoforte that belongs to the house. Wordsworth has much to do. A wedding dinner at Grasmere yesterday; a christening, where he stands sponsor, at Ulverstone next Friday. Sir G. is gone for the day to him now, and has left me behind in another bilious fit, but it is a slight one. On Thursday we go to Keswick for four or five days, and then to Lowther for a week or so, and then I mean to fly home. This house is kept by Scotch people, and is very dirty. Their book for the season is tolerably full of names, but of hardly any I ever heard of. The quality perhaps go to Ambleside, if they come at all. . . . The Ws. lament your absence very much and make many enquiries after you. I fear they will not be soon in London again. We have written for a« private lodging if we can get one at Keswick.

Wordsworth is to come to us next Monday, and will go with us to Lowther, I believe, but we have not yet offered ourselves. There has been no regatta here this summer, but a very gay one last week at Keswick. Quincey, the opium-eater, lives in the house where we first found Wordsworth and dines with him to-day. W. keeps a pony-chaise, and I fear is as much eaten up as Dan—and even more—for all bring letters to him. In Grasmere Churchyard is the inscription I sent you once—
‘Six months to six years added he remained
Upon this sinful earth, by sin unstained.
O blessed Lord, whose mercy then removed
A child, whom every eye that looked on loved,
Support us, teach us calmly to resign
What we possessed and now is wholly thine.
He died in 1812. There is also another on a little girl who died six months before, four years old, being only the words, “Suffer little children,” &c. They lie side by side. Farewell, my dear
Sarah; give my love to Henry. I long much to return and would set off tomorrow but for Sir George. I hope to receive a line from you to-morrow, and will wait and keep this to acknowledge it.

‘Yours very affectionately,
‘S. R.

‘Your letter is come, many thanks for it. Poor Caroline, I hope she will soon be well. As for you I don’t like your prudence, much as I may commend it, for it shows how much you have suffered. My bile is almost gone, and here I sit by the fireside, Sir George at the window sketching the effects of a shower. We have had no right to complain altogether, but I believe scenery has lost much of its power with me. Not so with Sir George, who is always going to the window and looking earnestly out as if he saw somebody he knew, though it is only a cloud or a gleam of light on the water. I have had the sphinx, too—at Ampthill in the flower garden below, two or three times before breakfast. I watched it for twenty minutes at a time, and the ladies saw it while I was at Oakley. So its flight must have been a long one. Becky must have been a great comfort to you, but don’t you keep Patty, now all are gone to the sea? You don’t say she is gone. I wish Henry much
pleasure on his journey. I wish myself back again and count the days, but Sir George is so happy, I have not the heart to turn. He desires to be remembered kindly to you both.
Rubens, and Guido, and Claude, and Poussin, and Haydon, and Lawrence, are so much in my ears all day that I dream of them. My next direction is Post Office, Keswick, but we shall be gone in a week and I will let you know where we move next. We have excellent scalded codlins here, and so we have had all along—a luxury you know we had in Wales last year. We have not once been on the water, nor shall we.

Keswick, September 15.—We came here on Thursday and drank tea with the Southeys in a company of sixteen people; among others, William Taylor of Norwich. Southey dined with us to-day and left us at six to entertain a party at home. What a bustle these poets live in! To-morrow we drink tea with him, and on Monday dine with him and Wordsworth, who comes here. Our mornings are taken up in laking, or, rather, mountaineering. The weather so far very fine. Pray direct to me on or before the 26th under cover to the Earl of Lonsdale, Lowther Castle, Penrith.’