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LIFE OF SAMUEL ROGERS,
BY HIS NEPHEW SAMUEL SHARPE.
THE following short notice is by no means offered to the reader as a complete Life of my uncle, Samuel Rogers, the poet. I neither feel equal to the task of writing such, nor called upon to undertake it. A near relation is not likely to possess, or wish to possess, the required impartiality; but these few pages may be useful as a preface to his published works. In the life of an author we wish to be told, in the first place, the order in which he wrote his several works, that we may be enabled to study in them the growth of his mind and the progress of his thoughts. We wish also to be told the manner in which he wrote them, whether carefully, or hastily; whether by the help of observation in the world, or of study in books. And we further wish to be told the particulars of his family, of his childhood, and of his education, and the other outward circumstances which helped to form his mind, and
guide his tastes, and which were some of the causes that produced the writings that we admire. This information I have endeavoured to supply, so far as my knowledge reaches; but I have not ventured further. Mr. Rogers was not only a poet. His society was as much valued as his writings. He was for the last fifty years of his life the possessor of a choice collection of pictures and antiquities, an acknowledged judge in matters of art, the friend of all authors and artists, and the patron of many who needed his help. In these characters, and for his latter years, the materials for his Life are open to all in numerous published works; and they may perhaps be made use of in due time by some who can perform the task better than I can hope to do. For though I am now one of his nearest relations, and for many years enjoyed his full and intimate confidence as his partner in business, yet my opportunities of listening to his conversation have not been more frequent than those of many others. I never lived in the same house with him ; my engagements in business and at home did not allow me to visit him so often as he kindly wished; and I was separated from him by a wide difference in our ages.
IN the year 1763, Thomas Rogers the elder, the Poet's grandfather, was a wealthy glass manufacturer at Stourbridge in Worcestershire, and lived at a large