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pleasant sketches of society at the close of the last century is contained in letters to Richard Sharp, the first of which bears witness to the revived buoyancy of Rogers's spirits in prospect of spring.

Samuel Rogers to Richard Sharp.

Exmouth March 2. [1800.]

'My dear Friend,-Your gossiping letter possessed in my eyes the elegance of a Pliny and the grace of a Sevigné. I do not so much wish you " to turn a period as to tell the news." But what have I in return to give you? Alas, the annals of Exmouth are scanty indeed! Never has it known so dull a winter. But something must be done for its credit, and shall I describe the evening parties where scandal and egg-wine circulate hissing hot, or shall I provoke your envy by describing myself "on the yellow sands," with a girl under each arm, a blonde and a brunette, the last lively and pretty, a daughter of your banker Stone, the first pronounced and very truly by Lavater an angel on earth, a daughter of Charles Baring, unseen by your profane eyes. No, I will shift the scene, and describe the men who assemble almost every day. Mr. Acland, the uncle of Lady Harriet, the heroine in Burgoyne's expedition, an old man with very amiable and elegant manners, who entertains us continually in his own beautiful little cottage covered with myrtles, the lion of Exmouth. Mr. Ducarell the oracle and friend of Francis in the east, a most entertaining fellow, the Lucullus of the village. His chauffoir and silver dishes eclipse us all. Mr.

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Anderson, the friend and fellow-traveller of George Matthew, a very accomplished man, of whom I had heard much. He is generally in my house every day. These with an old General and Admiral who have both seen service, and a Colonel Oakes, an invalid from India whom Anderson calls "The Impregnable," having never, he says, laughed but once in his life, at some joke of mine; these make up our little party. Who should be my next-door neighbour but an old flame of mine, a daughter of Sir Fras. Baring's! Her husband, a partner in Hope's house, is in the West Indies. She is here in a very retired state with two beautiful little children, and her friend and coz., Miss Stone, and when my eyes are weary I generally find myself in an evening by her fireside. The last bulletin from Bath is favourable, but I have great fears. On Thursday I am to be exhibited at the Exeter Club. My whole length over the door, as it is market day, will, of course, attract numbers. Sir Jno. Kennaway has written from Bath to express his regret that he cannot be there!! But it is to be a full day. You will not forget to pray for me; I fear it will bring on a relapse. As to my health, I am certainly better, and begin to build castles-a good symptom you will say. But I fear I am condemned to a vagabond life, and if not soon re-established shall apply to the Privy Council for leave to visit Lisbon or Madeira. Under which of my titles I shall travel I cannot yet say, but I shall certainly go incog. In any of your evening circuits (for you are now a thoroughbred rout-man) have you met with the King and Queen? Did they look in at Will Smith's, the evening you were there? As they

have begun with Lady Cardigan, I shall expect to pop upon them and the girls two or three times at least in the course of an evening.


scruples on the head of

this year.

Pray write, and have no expense, as we have no taxes to pay

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Rogers had meanwhile written to Dr. Moore about 'Mordaunt,' and had made a rather feeble effort to escape the necessity of expressing to his choleric friend and physician his opinion of the book. Other people, ladies, had wanted to read it, and he had been obliged to let it go before he had done more than read the first volume. The doctor saw through the friendly subterfuge, and wrote angrily

'Woodstock St. March 3, 1800.

'If you had written to me that Lady Errol, &c., had all been applying to you for "Mordaunt " but without effect until you had finished him yourself, it would have been more flattering than that you had yielded him entirely up, and allowed those females to have their wicked will of him when you yourself had only laboured through the first volume. You do not deal so with the works of Lady Jersey. When you write poetry you can praise the author from the works, and the works from the authore.g. Lady Jersey and her daughters. Well! since you have begun without flattery pray continue in the same style, and let me have your real notion of the whole.



Don't be afraid of finding fault; as your friend Dr. Fretful' says ' I like it.'

'. . . remain quietly in Devonshire till the month of May and then come quietly to London where we shall be very happy to find you in far better case than when you left us.

'Another expedition is going forward. What interests me more, I am sure my son will be of it. I am kept very uneasy about that young man, they continually pick him out for new dangers.

The story of the Russians not being recalled, proves not to be true. I am assured they are on their march back. I have a suspicion that Bonaparte spread the rumour of their being to act against France merely to promote his vast requisition of men and money for the next campaign.'

The order to remain at Exmouth till May reduced Rogers almost to despair. In the next letter to Richard Sharp there is a further glimpse of Jackson

Exmouth: Mch. 28, 1800.

'My dear Friend,—If you had read my letter attentively (it must long ago have experienced the fate of the Alexandrian Library) you might perhaps have seen something which might have led you to suspect that I did enjoy the pleasure of looking into a smiling and open face. But your eyes were dazzled by the long and splendid list of "Admirals, Generals, Colonels, Baronets,

'Richard Cumberland, the Sir Fretful Plagiary of Sheridan's Critic.

and Clubs -a list which makes me think it was you who gave rise to the report of poor Horatia Clifford's hunting with men. It may relieve you in some degree to learn that the Club I have never attended, the Baronet I have never seen, the Colonel is sick, the General gone, and the Admiral dead.

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'Jackson came home last week to die. His legs are swelled to a dreadful size, and his dearest friends are denied access to him. I rode over to Exeter the other day, and near the Cathedral met a chair curtained close, followed by a lady in a veil. On my way back (I had spent five melancholy minutes with his poor wife) I looked up and saw his tall and ghastly figure on the lawn before Mount Radford, whither he had been carried once more to look on sunshine and verdure.

'I pushed my horse on, and rode home to pass my solitary evening as gaily as I could. Indeed, I do not deserve your envy, and could you have seen me under all my infirmities of mind and body, you would not have written the letter you did. I pass days and days with no human intercourse. But I need not describe my life -you cannot, I hope, conceive it-you have never sat over your melancholy embers as a winter's evening drew on, and heard the gun of distress fired in the offing, and reverberated among the dismal moors and hills which abound in this country.

'One gleam of pleasure, however, I did experience last week. I owed it to the circuit, nor will I ever forget my obligation to him who paid me the visit, even tho' he should become a Secretary of State.

'I am much obliged to you for your verses-but if

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