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and his having manifested great civility to the latter on To this testimony Rogers was able to
add his own in the following letter—
S. Rogers to Dr. Parr.
'Newington Green: February 23rd, 1795. Dear Sir, I can answer your several questions distinctly. I heard of the interview between Dr. Johnson and Dr. Priestley from Dr. Priestley himself. I have heard it mentioned more than once. I understood that it was not solicited by Dr. Priestley, and that if any overture was made for that purpose it came from Dr. Johnson. I found that Dr. Priestley thought Dr. Johnson's behaviour such as it ought to have been from one man of letters to another. Johnson was very civil.
'I hope that I have written satisfactorily, and am happy in the opportunity which you have given me of assuring you with what respect
'I am, dear Sir,
There were various signs in the periodicals of 1794, 1795, and 1796 of the esteem in which the author of 'The Pleasures of Memory'-was already held by his literary contemporaries. A poem on his poem appeared in the European Magazine, which contained the lines
With more attractive charm the verse appears
The airy forms of pleasure and of pain.
In another of the magazines appeared a poem in Spenserian language on his ordering a great coat called a Spenser.' One of the verses ran
O precious Impe of Fame, Sam Rogers hight,
Who chauntest Memorie in dulcett straine,
Entraunced we live past pleasaunce o'er againe ;
Certes old Humber's Bard, and he who dwel'd
The last references are to Mason's and Shenstone's Odes to Memory. A more amusing reference to him, and to a number of his friends is contained in a short poem entitled 'My Club,' which appeared in the European Magazine in July, 1795:
With Marsden] I would trust my life,
What R[ennell] tells how Agamemnon,
Forced out from Holland and from Flanders
The Dutch and English Alexanders.
And mightiest stagirites among,
He knows his art but not his trade.
R. C..., whose active mind ne'er still is,
Loves Greek, we're sure, but not like G[illies],
Another very satisfactory sign of the recognised place he had taken in literature was given in the reception accorded by the critics to the Rev. R. Polwhele's dull poem called The Influence of Local Attachment with Respect to Home.' So much was said by the reviewers of the similarity of this poem in some parts to the beautiful poem, as they all called it, Pleasures of Memory,' that Mr. Polwhele was obliged to come forward with a laboured vindication. His apology was in the form of a tu quoque. He had been accused of copying some of Rogers's notes verbatim, and he admitted that he had written his own notes hastily with Rogers's before him. But as to plagiarism, had not Rogers borrowed from him? He had written an Epistle to a College Friend,' which he was almost inclined to con
ROGERS AND POLWHELE
sider as the prototype of the first part of The Pleasures of Memory.' Only one of his comparisons need be given. He had written in his Epistle to a College Friend '
While yet 'tis mine to trace the feeling hour
The passage with which Polwhele compares thiswhich he intimates was suggested by it is this: speaking of childhood's loved group revisiting every scene, the tangled wood-walk and the tufted green,' Rogers proceeds
Indulgent Memory wakes, and lo, they live!
The sage's precept and the poet's song.
The comparison of these passages-and they are put in juxtaposition by Mr. Polwhele himself-not only shows the ridiculous nature of his suggestion of plagiarism, but conclusively and sufficiently exhibits the immense superiority of Rogers's poem to the boasted productions of the poetasters of the time.
State of the Country in 1795-6-Reaction in Parliament-Westminster election, 1796-Dr. Moore and his sons-Rogers's domestic relations -Correspondence with R. Sharp-Brighton in 1797 -Lady Jersey— A romance without a dénouement-Brighton in 1798-Sarah Rogers.
THERE are but few signs at this period of that lively interest in public affairs which characterised Rogers in earlier days. Many of his first friends were gone. Dr. Price was dead, Dr. Priestley was in exile, William Stone had only lately been acquitted on a charge of high treason for which he had lain two years in Newgate untried; Horne Tooke was cultivating his garden at Wimbledon, after his defeat in the Westminster election; and Fox, though he had headed the poll in the same election was in a state of discouragement at the gloomy aspect of public affairs; Sheridan was enjoying the temporary relief from pecuniary troubles which his new wife's five thousand pounds had given him; and Sharp, Mackintosh, and others of his political friends and acquaintances were keeping comparatively quiet in the vain hope of better days. In the autumn of 1795 there had been a great agitation in the country for reform in Parliament and peace with France. This agitation had been purely political, but there had gone