1858 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

Cyrus Redding, in Fifty Years' Recollections (1858) 3:281-82.



Rogers, too, I always found a kind man. He was exceedingly cautious of giving offence to any one, and it was difficult to obtain his real opinion of any literary character. In speaking of him to a friend, and remarking Rogers' expertness at an epigram, he said, he thought Byron had observed the same thing.

"Rogers," said he, "has an epigrammatic mouth — a mouth characterized by a contractile quality, the power of a sort of pincer's squeeze lurks about it. It was wonderful he did not come out as an English Martial, perhaps, I should rather say a Juvenal."

Talking one day after dinner of the necessity of employing attorneys in doing everything, so that a man must keep in with them whether he wishes it or not. Rogers said, "not in doing everything, my dear sir, the bottle is in with you, we cannot drink by attorney."

Campbell speaking of Rogers, remarked that he thought he liked people to be under an obligation to him, for if you borrowed money of him, after you repaid it, he never seemed half as much on terms with you as he was before.

When I told Rogers that Mr. — had got a place under government, to which no salary was yet affixed, but he was proud of it. "Poor fellow," said the poet, "the handsomest cage won't feed the bird."

It was melancholy to hear him when his memory failed, and also the unconnected questions he asked; I had not seen him for some years. I found myself near his grave at Hornsey in one of my long rambles, no great time after his funeral, nature in full bloom around, to eyes that could no more behold her beauty. His ashes "unwept," left "to wither to the parching wind, without the meed of a melodious tear."