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our minister at Munich, and Mr. Gray, the Resident at Dresden, of whom I must have spoken to you, have been our occasional guests. With the company I have mixed but little, not wishing to open my campaign seriously till your arrival, and I have nothing to relate, though I have had a dinner with Francis, a conversation with Jekyll, and a most sumptuous entertainment with some Cognoscenti at Concannon's. In the morning I walk on the Steyne to military music, and afterwards take a gallop with the hounds or the ladies. At three there is a full promenade, and the evening takes care of itself. When may I expect you to join us? We have a bed reserved for you, and you must be my guest. Indeed you were uppermost in my thoughts when the house was taken. When will you come that we may make our criticisms together on the beauties of the Steyne, and afterwards steal away along the cliff to open our hearts and minds. to each other, and form schemes of happiness out of the materials before us? Schemes did I say? Are we still scheming? Little did we think when we first entered the world and ranked ourselves as men, that twenty years afterwards we should be still only planning how to live, and busying ourselves with projects of happiness. Come, my dear friend; lose no time, for my sake and your Come and find me as ever,
'Your most faithful friend,
'Brighton: Octr. 26, 1798.
'No. 8 Marine Parade.
'Parsons desires me to say everything for him.'
LETTER TO RICHARD SHARP
S. Rogers to R. Sharp.
'Brighton: 5 Novr, 1798.
'My dear Friend,-A thousand thanks for your kind letters. L's demands are indeed exorbitant! Had he asked 350l. we might have listened to him. Our rent would even then for the first 13 years be 40l.—the sum he was contented to receive for it in its best state from a casual tenant while the furniture was comparatively new, which together with the house will grow worse and worse as the rent increases. I resign my claim to our friend Tuffin, but should he also decline it, and L-— continue firm, we may at least solicit to become yearly tenants or for a short lease. Could you procure me a sight of it on my way to town ? 1
'Your first letter gave me concern-I will not say disappointment, for you have long taught me not to be sanguine. I lament exceedingly the very delicate and embarrassing situation in which you are placed, but doubt not that you will extricate yourself even to your own satisfaction. Remember the first break of day on our return out of the cavern at Castleton. What a recompense for our labours. I wish I could tantalise you with a description of the life I lead here, of Mrs. Schollet's evening parties, where the young and the gay assemble nightly, to laugh, and to sing, and to play at "my lady's toilet," and where I have more than once found myself alone among six or seven beautiful girls, who paint, and play on the harp divinely, who devour
They seem to have contemplated taking a house together near Mickleham in our valley' as he calls it in this letter on page 345.
the books you recommend to them, and who accost you with that voice, cette voix argentée de la jeunesse—mais n'importe; nor will I describe their form très mignonne et très formée, ce qui est pour une fille le plus beau moment. Suffice it to say that I have been charmed out of my senses, and I have made one acquaintance which, I hope, will last for life. Interpret this last expression as you please. Oh that I had you here!
I have read a novel which has enchanted me: "Clara" [by] Du Plessis. Have you? If not, pray do. I have also read the "Confessions," against which I had conceived a prejudice, I don't know why. I now rave about them, to the astonishment of Parsons, who says he has Rousseau by heart, but never could like him. But is he right? Different minds find different things in the same book. The same letters and syllables pass in review before the eye, but what different feelings and associations are excited. In what a different sense is it often confidently said in company: "I have read that book." What a charming frankness runs through the "Confessions"! How admirably he describes his silence before those he loved, his suffering "un gros butor de valet" to pick up Mme. de Breil's glove, his first and last interview with Mme. de Warens, and above all his day's adventure with the two girls at Toune; his want of words, yet his rage for talking; his journeys on foot, "le grand air, le grand appétit," though I could never enter into "la liberté du cabaret;" his night spent in the open air near Lyons-what a heavenly climate !-his notion of a fine country" des torrens, des precipices," not that I ever
loved to contempler au fond, et gagner des vertiges
tout à mon aise;" his castle-building on the Lake of Geneva, "absolument au bord de ce lac et non pas d'un autre." Cannot we say the same of our valley ? "Son goût vif pour les dejeunés " [sic]. Oh that he had been a Templar! His portraits, particularly that of Venture, his whole employment at Paris "à y chercher des ressources pour se mettre en état d'en vivre éloigné." But enough, I must have worn you out. I have a thousand things to say, a thousand stories to tell, among others that of our fair hostesses at Llangollen, but adieu! the sun shines, the music plays, and a lady has sent her groom to say that she is already on horseback.
Yours most affect,
ROGERS ON ROUSSEAU
The ladies, I see, have dismounted for five minutes at Lady Lucan's, and I may proceed. I wish you joy of your correspondent. May the conversion be mutual! Poor Morgan! he will certainly die of some experiment. When you see Boddington tell him I hope to see him. Who but Cumberland could write an epic at a public place? À propos of Miss C. she has written a play and is writing a novel in concert with another girl. Who could have thought it? But your coy girls are up to anything. I wish you could see Matthew. He answers Parsons's idea of a perfect man of fashion, and indeed he deserves it. No attitudes, no conceit, very simple and very easy; but after all, men of fashion are mannerists, and all manner is bad. A natural character, manners for ever varying with the thoughts and feelings, how superior to that uniform and monotonous thing called
high breeding! You will say I am growing sensible, and that it comes from living with P. I can assure you I never knew before that I was so unlike him, though I must confess that I sometimes envy him, and indeed, a thousand others who elbow their way on in the world. A hard nature frequently imposes itself on the world for a superior nature. Its confidence seems to confirm its claims, and its insensibility to place it above (and not below) the reach of sufferings by which a feeling and shrinking nature is continually harassed and obstructed in the commerce of life. I never made this stale remark so feelingly to myself as I have done since I came here. I must away, to ride with two pretty women, and then dress for Mr. Hope's dinner and Lord Carrington's ball. You will think me very gay, but I have long found that there is at least as much if not more ennui in society than out of it.'
A letter to his sister, written four days later, continues the description of the gaieties of Brighton in 1798—
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers.
'Brighton: 9th Novr. 1798.
No, he has not forgotten her, nor ever will cease to remember her, he can truly say, with pride and pleasure. In all his castles (and night and day he is building them). she still has a place, and when all his wanderings are over (as they soon will be) he hopes and trusts that she will not shut her heart against him, but will welcome back one who is ever the same, and whose regard for her is, if possible, increased, not lessened, by absence.