1817 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

William Wordsworth to Samuel Rogers, 13 May 1817; Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 2:99-100.



Are we to see you among us this summer? I hope so — and also that [Richard] Sharp will not desert us. How is he in health, and what does he say of Switzerland and Italy, both in themselves, and as compared with the scenes in our neighbourhood, which he knows so well? Is George Philips as great an orator as ever, and do you and Dante continue as intimate as heretofore? He used to avenge himself upon his enemies by placing them in h-ll, a thing bards seem very fond of attempting in this day, — witness the laureate's mode of treating Mr. W. Smith. You keep out of these scrapes, I suppose. Why don't you hire somebody to abuse you? and the higher the place selected for the purpose the better. For myself, I begin to fear I should soon be forgotten, if it were not for my enemies. Yet, now and then, a humble admirer presents himself, in some cases following up his introduction with a petition. The other day I had a letter of this sort from a poetical, not a personal, friend — a Quaker of the name of Barton living at Woodbridge, in Suffolk. He has beguiled me of a guinea, the promise of one at least, by way of subscription to a quarto volume of poems, which he is anxious to print, partly for honour, partly for profit. He solicits my interest to promote his views. I state the fact, I do not beg. I have not sufficient ground to go upon. I leave the affair to the decision of your own mind, only do not contemn me for abusing....