William Jackson of Exeter

Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp, 5 February 1800; P. W. Clayden, The Early Life of Samuel Rogers (1887) 398-99.

Jackson is, I fear, in a bad way. For the first two months I spent half my time with him, and his kindness has affected me not a little. Among other proofs of his regard he has requested me to take charge of his papers, and I shall not soon forget the manner in which he put out his hand on the occasion. Ever since I came into this country he has faded very visibly. In a letter which I have this instant received from him he says "I cannot walk a hundred yards, nor speak half as many words without fatigue. Sleep and I are upon such bad terms that three successive nights I have passed without dosing my eyes for a single moment. This state of affairs cannot last long, and I wish for a speedy change one way or other." I do, indeed, fear that my trust will soon devolve to me — a trust which he had the kindness to say he had long wished to leave to me. You can easily conceive how interesting he is at this moment. His faculties are unimpaired, but his countenance has lost its youthful character. Adieu! The annals of Exmouth I must reserve for my next.

Ever yours,

S. R.