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This copy of Rogers poems has an interesting binding design. He was in effect a literary dictator in England. He made his reputation by The Pleasures of Memory when William Cowpers fame was still in the making. He became the friend of Wordsworth, Walter Scott and Byron, and lived long enough to give an opinion as to the fitness of Alfred Tennyson for the post of Poet Laureate. Lovely gilt tooled full morocco leather binding with gilt fore edge and illustrations throughout! Samuel Rogers (July 30, 1763 – December 18, 1855) was an English poet.
He wished to enter the Presbyterian ministry, but his father persuaded him to join the banking business in Cornhill. In long holidays, necessitated by delicate health, Rogers became interested in English literature, particularly the work of Samuel Johnson, Thomas Gray and Oliver Goldsmith. He learned Grays poems by heart, and his family wealth allowed him the leisure to try writing poetry himself. He began with contributions to the Gentlemans Magazine, and in 1786 he published a volume containing some imitations of Goldsmith and an Ode to Superstition in the style of Gray.
In 1788 his elder brother Thomas died, and Samuels business responsibilities were increased. In the next year he paid a visit to Scotland, where he met Adam Smith, Henry Mackenzie, Hester Thrale (later Mrs. Piozzi) and others. In 1791 he was in Paris, and enjoyed the art collection of Philippe EgalitÃ© at the Palais Royal, many of the treasures of which were later to pass into his possession. With Gray as his model, Rogers took great pains in polishing his verses, and six years elapsed after the publication of his first volume before he printed his elaborate poem on The Pleasures of Memory (1792) â€” regarded by some as the last embodiment of the poetic diction of the 18th century. The theory of elevating and refining familiar themes by abstract treatment and lofty imagery is taken to extremes. In this art of raising a subject , as the 18th century phrase was, the Pleasures of Memory is much more perfect than Thomas Campbells Pleasures of Hope, published a few years later in imitation. Byron said of it, There is not a vulgar line in the poem. This is a very nicely bound copy of his poems. The book is fully bound in leather with very attractive gilt gauffered page edges. The binding is tight, the front inner hinge and rear inner hinge shows wear, but holding. There is some slight rubbing to extremities, but nothing too serious. Internally, the book is bright with some mild sporadic spotting throughout. There is a lovely armorial bookplate to the front pastedown for Sir Tonman Mosley Bart. of Rolleston Hall.
THE Poem begins with the description of an obscure village, and of the pleasing melancholy which it excites on being revisited after a long absence. This mixed sensation is an effect of the Memory. From an effect we naturally ascend to the cause; and the subject proposed is then unfolded with an investigation of the nature and leading principles of this faculty.
It is evident that our ideas flow in continual succession, and introduce each other with a certain degree of regularity. They are sometimes excited by sensible objects, and sometimes by an internal operation of the mind. Of the former species is most probably the memory of brutes; and its many sources of pleasure to them, as well as to us, are considered in the first part. The latter is the most perfect degree of memory, and forms the subject of the second.
When ideas have any relation whatever, they are attractive of each other in the mind; and the perception of any object naturally leads to the idea of another, which was connected with it either in time or place, or which can be compared or contrasted with it. Hence arises our attachment to inanimate objects; hence also, in some degree, the love of our country, and the emotion with which we contemplate the celebrated scenes of antiquity. Hence a picture directs our thoughts to the original: