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The Books Of Samuel Rogers
by [?]


5: The prices obtained confirm this. Thetotaisum realised was L45,188:14:3. Of this the books represented no more than L1415:5.

6: This–with its triple range of bow-windows, from one of which Rogers used to watch his favourite sunsets–is now the residence of Lord Northcliffe.

7: Three of these–the ” Noli me tangere ” of Titian, Giorgione’s “Knight in Armour,” and Guide’s ” Ecce Homo “–are now in the National Gallery, to which they were bequeathed by Rogers.

8: Edinburgh Review, vol. civ. p. 105, by Abraham Hayward.]

The general Rogers-sale at Christie’s took place in the spring of 1856, and twelve days had been absorbed before the books were reached. Their sale took six days more– i.e. from May 12 to May 19. As might be expected from Rogers’s traditional position in the literary world, the catalogue contains many presentation copies. What, at first sight, would seem the earliest, is the Works of Edward Moore, 1796, 2 vols. But if this be the fabulist and editor of the World, it can scarcely have been received from the writer, since, in 1796, Moore had been dead for nearly forty years. With Bloomfield’s poems of 1802, l. p., we are on surer ground, for Rogers, like Capel Lofft, had been kind to the author of The Farmer’s Boy, and had done his best to obtain him a pension. Another early tribute, subsequently followed by the Tales of the Hall, was Crabbe’s Borough, which he sent to Rogers in 1810, in response to polite overtures made to him by the poet. This was the beginning of a lasting friendship, of no small import to Crabbe, as it at once admitted him to Rogers’s circle, an advantage of which there are many traces in Crabbe’s journal. Next comes Madame de Stael’s much proscribed De l’Allamagne (the Paris edition); and from its date, 1813, it must have been presented to Rogers when its irrepressible author was in England. She often dined or breakfasted at St. James’s Place, where (according to Byron), she out-talked Whitbread, confounded Sir Humphry Davy, and was herself well ” ironed “[9] by Sheridan. Rogers considered Corinne to be her best novel, and Delphine a terrible falling-off. The Germany he found “very fatiguing.” “She writes her works four or five times over, correcting them only in that way”–he says. “The end of a chapter [is] always the most obscure, as she ends with an epigram,”[10] Another early presentation copy is the second edition of Bowles’s Missionary, 1815. According to Rogers, who claims to have suggested the poem, it was to have been inscribed to him. But somehow or other, the book got dedicated to noble lord who–Rogers adds drily–never, either by word or letter, made any acknowledgment of the homage.[11] It is not impossible that there is some confusion of recollection here, or Rogers is misreported by Dyce. The first anonymous edition of the Missionary, 1813, had no dedication; and the second was inscribed to the Marquess of Lansdowne because he had been prominent among those who recognised the merit of its predecessor.


9: Perhaps a remembrance of Mrs Slipslop’s ” ironing.”

10: Clayden’s Rogers and his Contemporaries, 1889, i. 225. As an epigrammatist himself, Rogers might have been more indulgent to a consoeur. Here is one of Madame de Stael’s “ends of chapters”:–” La monotonie, dans la retraite, tranquillise l’ame; la monotonie, dans le grand monde, fatigue l’esprit ” (ch. viii.). But he evidently found her rather overpowering.

11: Table-Talk, 1856, p. 258.]

Several of Scott’s poems, with Rogers’s autograph, and Scott’s card, appear in the catalogue; and, in 1812, Byron, who a year after inscribed the Giaour to Rogers, sent him the first two cantos of Childe Harold. In 1838, Moore presents Lalla Rookh, with Heath’s plates, a work which, upon its first appearance, twenty years earlier, had been dedicated to Rogers. In 1839 Charles Dickens followed with Nicholas Nickleby, succeeded a year later by Master Humphrey’s Clock (1840-1), also dedicated to Rogers in recognition, not only of his poetical merit, but of his “active sympathy with the poorest and humblest of his kind.” Rogers was fond of “Little Nell”; and in the Preface to Barnaby Rudge, Dickens gracefully acknowledged that “for a beautiful thought” in the seventy-second chapter of the Old Curiosity Shop, he was indebted to Rogers’s Ginevra in the Italy :–