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'customer, he chose the more prudent and profitable alternative; ' and after an hour's waiting, my guests were seated and served. "And how did the dinner go off?" "Oh, very well: they got a bad dinner, but they got a good story to tell against me. The conclusion was characteristic; for he himself would at any time have been consoled for a bad dinner by a good story against the host or the company.

There is another remarkable entry in Byron's Diary for Nov. 22. 1813:

'Rogers is silent,—and, it is said, severe, When he does talk, he talks well; and, on all subjects of taste, his delicacy of expression is pure as his poetry. If you enter his house-his drawing room his library-you of yourself say, this is not the dwelling of a common mind. There is not a gem, a coin, a book thrown aside on his chimney-piece, his sofa, his table, that does not bespeak an almost fastidious elegance in the possessor. But this very delicacy must be the misery of his existence. Oh, the jarrings his disposition must have encountered through life!'

This leads us to the consideration of a well-known peculiarity in his mental construction, or acquired habits, which, strange to say, no one would so much as guess from the Table Talk'namely, his mode of looking at, or placing, everything and everybody in the most disadvantageous point of view. Franklin, in his autobiography, mentions a gentleman who, having one very handsome and one shrivelled leg, was wont to test the disposition of a new acquaintance by observing whether he or she looked first or most at the best or worst leg. Rogers would have forfeited all chance of this gentleman's esteem at starting. Yet there was something irresistibly comic, rather than annoying or repulsive, in the pertinacity and ingenuity with which he indulged his caustic humour. We will give a few instances; but the look, the manner, the tone of voice, and the precise emphasis laid on particular words, cannot be transferred to paper. So uncertain is testimony, and so frail is memory, that even the accuracy of the expressions can rarely be guaranteed. Is that the contents you are looking at?' inquired an anxious author, who saw Rogers's eye fixed on a table or list at the commencement of a presentation copy of a new work. ‘No,' said Rogers, pointing to the list of subscribers, the discontents.'

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Rogers, as may be believed, was one of the earliest of Landseer's innumerable admirers. He was known to have spoken highly of the picture of a Newfoundland dog, entitled 'Portrait ' of a Distinguished Member of the Royal Humane Society.' On Landseer expressing his gratification, Rogers said: 'Yes, 'I thought the ring of the dog's collar well painted.'

He was returning from a dinner at House with a friend, who began expatiating on the perfection of the hospitality which they had just enjoyed. Did you observe how he helped the 'fish?' said Rogers.

He had lent 800l. to Moore, and as the fact was gratefully bruited about at the time, and is duly recorded in the published Diary, there was and is no harm in Rogers's or our allusion to it. When he repaid me the money,' said Rogers, he exclaimed, "There, thank God, I do not now owe a farthing in the world. "If he had been a prudent man, he would have reflected that "he had not got a farthing.'

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On entering Moore's parlour at Sloperton, and seeing it hung round with engraved portraits of Lord Grey, Lord John Russell, Lord Lansdowne, &c., Rogers remarked, So, I see 'you have all your patrons about you.' A good-natured man,' characteristically observed Moore, when he told the story, 'would have said friends.'

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When he was speaking of some one's marriage in his usual tone, he was reminded that the friends of the bridegroom were very much pleased at it. Rogers replied, He's a fortunate 'man then, for his friends are pleased, and his enemies de'lighted.'

Whenever a disagreeable man, or one whom he disliked, married a pretty woman, he would say, 'Now we shall have 'our revenge of him.'

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He spoke to Mrs. H. one day of Lady with extreme admiration and apparent cordiality; he then left the room, and Mrs. H. remarked that she had never heard Rogers speak so well of any one before. The door opened, and Rogers thrust in his head with the words, There are spots on the sun though.' When a late member for a western county and his wife were stopped by banditti in Italy, Rogers used to say, The banditti 'wanted to carry off P · into the mountains; but she flung 'her arms round his neck, and rather than take her with them, 'they let him go.'


This kind of malice, however, was a venial offence in comparison with the cross things which he sometimes addressed to people to their faces without the shadow of a provocation; and it is these which have given rise to so many animated controversies about his goodness of heart. The discussion is strikingly analogous, in one essential quality, to the tilting match touching the colour of a shield. He presented the white side of his disposition to those he liked, and the black side to those he disliked; both likings and dislikings being often based on no sounder principle than that which proved fatal to Dr. Fell. Hence the

fervent abuse of one faction, and the equally fervent laudation JL Rutzer. Cnly what his eulogists fail to see, or unfairly revise to admit, that no extent of kindness or courtesy to an beybet of preference is an excuse for unkindness or discourtesy to feet of antipathy, to say nothing of the social offence of an annoying or rude remark in company. Good breeding eres huicacy of perception enough to know what is pleasing or soleasing to those with whom we mix, as well as good mature and good temper enough so to use our knowledge as never to cause an unpleasant feeling, or even to revive a disagreeable association. Rogers was eminently gifted with the instinctive tact in question, but his use of it varied with his mood: and there were times when he was both wayward and exacting to an unjustifiable extent, when all his gentler eurotions were like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh.' Que of his female favourites had made a little dinner for him, in which, she fondly hoped, all his tastes and fancies had been consulted. After a glance round the table, he remarked that the fish was out of season.

At a bachelor dinner where the attendance was scanty, he refused the two or three things that were offered him, till the solitary waiter had left the room. Won't you eat anything,

Mr. Rogers?' asked the host. I will take some of that pie' (pointing to a vol-au-vent), ' when there is anybody to give it to

• me."

He bitterly repented of these two escapades, when, shortly afterwards, he was left out of a succession of small dinners to punish him, and was told the reason why' by one of the presiding beauties. The redeeming feature was that when (as Mr. Jarndyce, would say), the wind was in the east, he was no respecter of persons, and distributed raps on the knuckles without ceremony to all alike,- to the strong and the weak, the big and the little, the rich and the poor, the proud and the humble. Indeed, it is no more than justice to him to say, that he was commonly conciliated by humility, and was more especially irritated by self-confident people in high health and high spirits, who took their share of the conversation, and forcibly broke in upon the monopoly of attention which he claimed or expected. His sense of humour made Sydney Smith's fun irresistible, and it was his pride to have so distinguished a guest at his table; but there was no love lost between them, and Rogers was all the bitterer in their incidental passages of arms from the consciousness of being (in Spenserian phrase) overerowed. Thus, at a dinner at the late Lord S's, at which both were present, Sydney Smith, by way of falling in with the

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humour of the company,-mostly composed of Meltonians and
patrons of the turf, offered a bet, and added, If I lose, I will
'pay at once in a cheque on Rogers, Toogood, and Company,'
which was then the name of the firm. And it shall be paid,'
said Rogers, in his bitterest tone, every iota of it,'—alluding to
Sydney Smith's supposed reply, much censured for its levity,
on being asked whether he believed the whole of the Thirty-
nine Articles. When Rogers told the story, he justified himself
on the ground that Sydney Smith meant to take advantage of
their being in fine company to run him down as a tradesman.'
When Sydney Smith mentioned it, he declared that he had
fallen into an involuntary error from not calculating on the
depths of human weakness, and that the notion of giving offence
never so much as crossed his mind.

It should be added that Rogers had a morbid aversion for
what he called dog and horse men.' He had omitted to observe
how completely the coarseness and ignorance which was sup-
posed, or at least declared by novelists and dramatists, to mark
the country gentlemen of his youth, have been rubbed off and
away by increased facilities of intercourse and the result-
ing cultivation of all classes.

Although a little jealous of Luttrell's superior fashion (of which an instance is given in the Table Talk,' p. 233.), Rogers's favourite amongst the wits and talkers in repute was the author of Letters to Julia,' and the most refined of their common contemporaries (admitting Sydney Smith's far larger grasp and higher vocation) will approve the selection. There could not be a more fascinating companion than Luttrell - so light in hand, so graceful in manner, so conciliating in tone and gesture, with such a range of well-chosen topics, and such a fresh, sparkling, and abundant spring of fancy to play upon them. When his poem (nicknamed Letters from a Dandy to a Dolly ') was published, a crack critic began a review of them by suggesting that the author had, as it were, cut up his gold-egglaying goose by printing his entire stock in trade as a joker. Never critic made a greater mistake. Luttrell's sources of amusement were inexhaustible, and they were without alloy. To him belong some of the best mots recorded in Moore's 'Diary;' and Rogers accurately described his peculiar manner when he said, Luttrell is indeed a pleasant companion. None of the talkers whom I meet in London society can slide in a brilliant thing with such readiness as he does.'

Rogers treated Moore much as Johnson treated Goldsmith,rated him soundly when present for not attending better to his own interests, and did not always spare him when absent, but



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would suffer no one else to utter a word against him. In allusion to his restlessness, Rogers used to say, Moore dines in one place, wishing he was dining in another place, with an opera-ticket in his pocket which makes him wish he was dining nowhere.' Moore's Diary abounds with practical proofs of Rogers's unceasing liberality and unobtrusive charity. It also contains one valuable testimony of a rarer kind :—

'Rogers stayed more than a week [at Bowood, Dec. 1841]. Still fresh in all his faculties, and improved wonderfully in the only point where he ever was deficient, temper. He now gives the natural sweetness of his disposition fair play.'

It appears from one of Moore's letters to Lady Donegal, published in his Memoirs,' that he had suffered severely at a preceding period from Rogers's carping humour and fault-finding propensity,

"Rogers and I had a very pleasant tour of it, though I felt throughout it all, as I always feel with him, that the fear of losing his good opinion almost embitters the possession of it, and that, though in his society one walks upon roses, it is with constant apprehension of the thorns that are among them. . . . He has left me rather out of conceit with my poem, "Lalla Rookh" (as his fastidious criticism generally does), and I have returned to it with rather an humbled spirit; but I have already altered my whole plan to please him, and I will do so no more, for I should make as long a voyage of it as his own "Columbus," if I attended to all his objections. His general opinion, however, is very flattering: he only finds fault with every part of it in detail; and this, you know, is the style of his criticism of characters;- an excellent person, but-.' (Aug. 21. 1812; vol. viii. p. 114.)

Your description of Rogers,' replies Lady Donegal, 'is too like him. How vexatious it is that a man who has so much the power of pleasing and attaching people to him should mar the gifts of nature so entirely by giving way to that sickly and discontented turn of mind, which makes him dissatisfied with everything, and disappointed in all his views of life. Yet he can feel for others; and notwithstanding this unfortunate habit he has given himself of dwelling upon the faults and follies of his friends, he really can feel attachment; and to you, I am certain, he is attached, though I acknowledge that the thorn sometimes make one wish to throw away the roses, and forego the pleasure to avoid the pain. But with all his faults I like him, though I know he spares me no more than any of his other dear friends.' (Aug. 28. 1812; vol. viii. p. 118.)

Her sister, Miss Godfrey-whose letters betoken a high degree of cultivation and refinement, superadded to a lively fancy, a kind disposition, and the most winning truthfulness -writes about the same time

We see Rogers often in the morning, but he does not dine here,

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