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events described, will justify the introduction of more than could have been so well admitted at an earlier period.
Although it may be thought that the following Memorials want the point and interest that so often enliven contemporary memoirs, yet it is hoped they will be valued other grounds.
It will be obvious to all who knew Mr. Rogers well that they are in strict accordance with the best parts of his mind and character. Nothing has been allowed by him to stand that has any approach to personal scandal or to matters of merely temporary interest; except in a few instances, there is but little reference to the politics of the day in which they were written; many passages, open to objection on some of these grounds, that had found their way into the original notes, were omitted from the corrected copy; and the Writer, who had the amplest choice of subjects, has shown by the
Recollections he has preserved that the conversation he thought most worthy of being put on record was that connected chiefly with literary subjects, or with incidents and remarks having for other reasons a permanent value. The Editor trusts they will be thought to afford agreeable and faithful pictures of many Individuals with whom the Reader will be glad to be more intimately acquainted.
Mr. Rogers so often referred in conversation to these remembrances of the anecdotes and opinions of his early friends, that many of them have been repeated by others, either verbally or in print, and may at first glance appear familiar to the read
But they have been so frequently, and so much, altered in repetition, that it seems not improper to give them entire, in the very words in which they were left, with that truth of expression and in that concise and colloquial style in which Mr. Rogers delighted to write his journals.
It may add to the interest and value of the Recollections, if, before their perusal, attention is shortly called to some of the principal events and dates in the private life of the writer of them.
Samuel Rogers was born in the month of August 1763, the third son of a London Banker, whose immediate ancestors were of a Worcestershire family, and members of the Church of England; while through his Mother, he was descended from one of the Ejected Ministers of the reign of Charles the 2d. It is, no doubt, to his maternal descent, that he alludes in the following lines, introduced into the notes on the poem of Italy :
“What though his Ancestors, early or late,
"For wisdom, virtue — those who would renounce
From his Mother, who was taken from him in his early youth, and of whom he always spoke in terms of the greatest admiration and affection, he imbibed a love of the intrinsically good which guided him on many an after occasion.
And in one of his elder Brothers, whom he lost soon after he attained to manhood, and to whose memory he addressed those beautiful lines in the first part of the Pleasures of Memory beginning,
66 Oh thou! with whom my heart was wont to share, “ From Reason's dawn each pleasure and each care,”
he had an example of virtue and good sense which strengthened his character and by which he profited through life.
His Father and Mother were Dissenters, and he was brought up in their persuasion ; and always through life, when occasion required an expression on the subject, he described himself as a Presbyterian ; though he never obtrusively put forward his opinions on religion, and often expressed himself as desirous of forgetting any little differences of creed, and of uniting with the virtuous of all sects and parties in one religion of Christian Love.
It is well known that Mr. Rogers was in politics a Whig; but in choice of friends he did not confine himself to any party ; and from the time when he first became known as a writer, and entered much into society, associated most intimately with persons of all parties.
Although introduced when very young into his Father's business, his love of poetry was shown early. Long before he was twenty he had put upon paper many lines which afforded promise of his subsequent performances. His first published poem,