1849 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

William Beattie, Dedication in Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell (1849) 1:vi-vi.



TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.

MY DEAR SIR,

When the tomb had closed upon Goldsmith — when, for a season, the oracles of Poetry were almost dumb; it was your happy destiny to break the silence, to revive the spirit, and introduce a new era of polished song. Your "Pleasures of Memory" found Thomas Campbell — a youthful but ardent votary — in the "lonely Hebrides;" it struck his heart with inspiring impulse, and quickened all his noblest inspirations. It was the magic key that unlocked the fountains of his genius; its sparkling waters poured forth in the "Pleasures of Hope;" and from that hour — a priest and brother of the sacred choir — a child of precocious but permanent fame, he found an honoured station beside his classic prototype.

In your friendship, of more than forty years' standing, he found the "decus et tutamen," which only kindred minds know how to express, and how to appreciate. In your experience of the world, in the maturity of your fame, he found a faithful and enlightened monitor; in your approbation, strong motives for exertion; in your sympathy, a "brotherly kindness" that soothed him in affliction, supported him in difficulties, and sweetened the intercourse of private life.

These are not words of adulation — for to whom can I address myself with such manifest propriety? By connecting the names of ROGERS and CAMPBELL in these posthumous records, I only comply with what duty prescribes, what private taste recommends, what public suffrage will approve and confirm. To you, therefore, who prized his worth, admired his genius, and now cherish his memory, I dedicated the LIFE AND LETTERS of our departed Friend.

I have the honour to be, my dear Sir,

Very faithfully yours,

WILLIAM BEATTIE

London,

December, 1848.