LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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The Life of William Roscoe
Joseph Cooper Walker to William Roscoe, [July? 1805]

Vol I. Contents
Chapter I. 1753-1781
Chapter II. 1781-1787
Chapter III. 1787-1792
Chapter IV. 1788-1796
Chapter V. 1795
Chapter VI. 1796-1799
Chapter VII. 1799-1805
Chapter IX. 1806-1807
Chapter X. 1808
Chapter XI. 1809-1810
Vol II. Contents
Chapter XII. 1811-1812
Chapter XIII. 1812-1815
Chapter XIV. 1816
Chapter XV. 1817-1818
Chapter XVI. 1819
Chapter XVII. 1820-1823
Chapter XVIII. 1824
Chapter XIX. 1825-1827
Chapter XX. 1827-1831
Chapter XXI.
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“I should perhaps,” says Mr. J. C. Walker, “have acknowledged sooner the receipt of the inestimable present which you have done me the honour to send me; but the truth is, I was so powerfully captivated by the charms of the work, that I could not prevail on myself to suspend the perusal, even to perform a duty of gratitude. I will not, however, delay any longer to offer you my warmest thanks for the rich accession you have made to my collection. I was not entitled to, nor did I presume to expect, so magnificent a present. I was not, therefore, less surprised than delighted at the receipt of it. It has been my study day and night ever since it reached me.
‘It is,’ as
Mr. Hayley observes, ‘a noble work, worthy of its subject and its author.’

“I am astonished at the immense mass of curious and interesting information it contains, and charmed with the clearness of the arrangement, and the simple elegance of the style. You, and your friend Mr. Shepherd, have completed, in a most masterly manner, the history of the revival of letters. I hope it is not true that you do not mean to pursue your researches further into the literary history of Italy. Such a determination would be matter of general regret.

“During the perusal of your work it often occurred to me, that every admirer of the golden days of Leo has reason to rejoice that Dr. Robertson did not, as he once intended, occupy your subject. To the political part he might have done justice; but in the literary department, and in the history of the arts, he would certainly have failed. Robertson shines in the cabinet and in the field, but (if I may so express myself) he does not seem at home in the academy. He does not appear to have cultivated with ardour what is generally understood by the term elegant literature; nor does he seem to have had much taste in the fine arts*: so that his ‘History of the

* Hume appears to have held the same opinion as Mr. Walker. “As to the Age of Leo X.,” he says, in a letter to Dr. Robertson, “it was Warton himself who intended to

Age of Leo’ must have been very imperfect. It is no flattery to say that you have proved yourself qualified in every way for the great undertaking.”