Page images


had there been no other motive, Madoc could not have been inscribed so properly to any person as yourself.

But in prefixing your name to the present volume, this address may appear not less inappropriate, than it was becoming in the former instance. You are an earnest and powerful supporter of what are now called the Catholic claims; and my object in this work is to expose the principles and practices of the Romish Church,.. to show that the present advocates of that Church are not to be trusted in their statements,.. to prove that they pervert history, and that they represent their tenets not as those tenets are, but as they wish them to be thought in this country, at this time. Why then, it may be asked, have I dedicated a book to you, the drift of which is in direct opposition to your political wishes and exertions ? Certainly not for the purpose of dwelling upon that opposition: but because, so far as the work is defensive, no person will take a livelier interest in its efficiency. The Book of the Church could need no vindication with you, who know the author well enough to rely upon his fidelity, even if your own reading were not such as renders you a competent judge whether or not he is borne out by historical records, to the full extent of what he has affirmed; but, as an old and tried friend, you will not see without satisfaction how completely and how easily he can vindicate it to the world.

This therefore might have been sufficient motive for thus addressing you. But there is another cause. The book, which is vindicated in this volume, was inscribed to one of whom death has now deprived us. What Oxford and what Literature has lost in Peter Elmsley may in part, and only in

part, be apprehended by those who know the reputation which he had attained both at home and abroad, as a' scholar of the very first rank. But it can be fully appreciated only by those who knew the man,.. knew him, as we have known him, early and late in life, in all moods, and at all hours; in the strength of his understanding and in the playfulness of his fancy,.. his social and moral qualities as well as his intellectual worth, the variety not less than the extent of his attainments, the richness of his mind, and the wisdom of his heart, for in the heart it is that true wisdom has its seat. You were the oldest and the most intimate of his friends; I also held a place in his esteem; and in the last letter which I received from him, he expressed his satisfaction in the thought that his memory would be associated with mine in aftertimes. I could not but think of him when

sending forth the present Vindication, and that thought reminded me of you, who are so naturally associated with him in my recollections. Chance brought us together as schoolboys; choice, founded upon esteem and liking, had united us through life, and no difference in pursuits, opinions, or station ever in the slightest degree influenced the friendship which had thus been formed: neither time nor separation affected it; the heart remained unchanged, and the attachment of youth acquired strength and maturity from years. Now, therefore, when one of the cords has been cut, I would not let pass this occasion for expressing a wish that death may not divide our names.

Yours most affectionately,


« PreviousContinue »