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not traduced by false allegations, it is difficult to acquit him of intentional misrepresentation.
The last few years have brought to light several works which illustrate the reign of Charles the Second. The Life of King James, great part of which is written by himself, and Evelyn's Memoirs, are the most remarkable. With the assistance of these materials I conceived that it was possible a narrative might be formed of the domestic history of Charles the Second, not altogether uninteresting. And although I have been obliged sometimes to lose sight of Lord Russell, he is always closely connected with the subject; for the opposition made to the designs of Charles the Second began with his entrance into public life, was continued with his aid, and was totally extinguished at his death.
The principal sources from which the present work is derived, are the well known histories and memoirs, written by persons who lived at the time of which they treat. But it would be ungrateful in me not to acknowlege the great obligations I owe to the late Mr. Howell, the editor of Cobbett's State Trials. The new Parliamentary History has also been of great use to me. And I have derived most useful lights from the observations on this reign, contained in the introductory chapter of Mr. Fox's History; a work which contains more sound constitutional opinions than any other history with which I am acquainted. Some information was gained from the letters of Secretary Coventry, in manuscript, at Longleat. A few letters and papers are preserved at Woburn Abbey. But by far the most valuable assistance I have received, has been from the original letters of Lady RusselJ, which the Duke of Devonshire had the kindness to let me see. They will, I hope, be given to the world as soon as this work, accompanied by all the illustrations they require.
In this place I beg to return my best thanks to Lord Sidmouth, for the permission to see some papers concerning Lord Russell, in the State-Paper Office. And to Lord Granville Somerset, for the research he desired to be made into the books of the Treasury.
The style and composition of the following work require much apology, which, I trust, the indulgence of the public will supply.
THE FIRST VOLUME.
- CHAPTER III.