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NOTICE BY THE EDITOR.
THE Recollections which form the
contents of the present volume 6:
were left by Mr. Rogers in manuscript, but in a state which showed they were intended for publication.
It appears that from his first entering into Society he noted down the conversation or remarks of those among his intimate friends in whose company he took the greatest pleasure ; and subsequently, as these notes increased, and he felt they might become generally interesting, he proceeded, from time to time, to extract and collect those parts which he thought most worthy of perusal by others.
In some cases the selection of the mate
rials, though begun by him, was left incomplete at his death. He had, however, pointed out by memoranda the names of the Individuals whose conversation he intended should form the collection, and the order in which they should stand.
There is an entry in his Note Book, in his own handwriting, in the following words: “ Fox, Burke, Grattan, Porson, Tooke, Talleyrand, Erskine, Walter Scott, Lord Grenville, Duke of Wellington.” and numerous other indications, he has sufficiently shown the course he wished should be followed; and a short preface, written by him as an introduction to the Recollections, makes clear his intention that they should not always remain unpublished.
Of the persons above named, Mr. Burke was the only one with whom Mr. Rogers was not intimately acquainted, and whose conversation was not taken down by him from personal communication.
He only knew Mr. Burke as a public man, and was indebted to friends for the Recollections of
him included in this work.
With a view of rendering these Memorials as valuable as circumstances will allow, as well as of carrying out Mr. Rogers’s apparent design, the Editor has, in addition to the extracts which he found already made from the Diaries, selected some further passages in connection with the persons named which appear of sufficient interest to be preserved, and which had probably been omitted owing to the extracts not having been completed. In doing this it is possible he has introduced some parts which Mr. Rogers might not have thought important enough to be put in print. It is hoped, however, that the Reader will not complain of the introduction of a few sentences which the Author may have left out, through accident or extreme caution ; but to which the lapse of time has now given
a value. The most extensive of the addi
tions so made are the anecdotes of Burke by Dr. Lawrence, and a few of the miscellaneous remarks by the Duke of Wellington, at p. 240, and the following pages.
Mr. Rogers, at times, no doubt intended that the Recollections should be published in his lifetime, and perhaps at a period when some of the
described were living. Accidental circumstances, or further consideration, however, prevented the fulfilment of this intention; and caused him to leave to his Executors the agreeable task of laying these pages before the Public: pleasure which has been kindly yielded to the Editor, by his Brother and Coexecutor. The Editor therefore feels that, by the course he is now taking, he is only discharging a duty which he owes to the deceased ; and he believes that the death of all the parties whose conversation is recorded, and the distance, in time, of the