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main contented with it ?' Some laughed at his temerity, and exulted in any little failure of his new undertaking ; others shook their heads, and predicted that no good would come of it to the neighbourhood round. Many were seen, especially the pensioners and hangers-on of the old family, raking still among the ruins for little scraps and fragments of worn-out materials, which they fancied must be better than any that could be made now-a-days. Some were even so infatuated, that they preferred boarding up for themselves, among the tottering ruins, a frail, leaky outhouse to lodge in, that they might show their contempt of the newfangled habitations he was preparing for their use.
* This state of things, however, did not last long. The new materials were found in general so much superior to the old, that common sense forced people into an approbation and preference of them. The builders employed grew every day more expert in their business : hands came in fast, and the work went on briskly. In the meantime the illustrious owner and master-workman died, leaving his unfinished work a legacy to his friends and countrymen. They were not insensible to its value, and in general acted upon the plan he had sketched out for them. Nevertheless, it was not till the time of the great Newton that we could be said to have a house to live in. It was then that all the main parts of the building might be considered as put out of hand; though much remains now to be done, inside and out, up-stairs and down, and we are all still in mortar.
' An argument, then, framed according to the strict rules of logic, would be firm and solid, but if nothing else were added, it would be unfit for use. It is the shell merely, the strong-jointed frame-work, upon which the ornamental, and many even of the useful parts, will be surmounted afterwards, according to the design of the edifice, and the taste or fancy of the architect. Let us not, then, turn from this
necessary though elementary part of literature. If we are too squeamish to handle this cheerless and meagre skeleton, we may talk indeed of the beautiful contrivance of lacteals and absorbents, of nerves, veins, arteries, and muscles; we may admire, and even examine, the texture of that membrane with which the whole body is enveloped ; but it will be all talk, the prattling of a superficial sciolist, who is for ever liable to place his arteries where his veins should be, his vessels where they have nothing to carry off, his nerves where they can have no sensation, and his muscles where they can have no play. It will be time enough to hide the bare ribs with their decent clothing, when the purpose for which they were exposed to the eye is fully answered : when we shall have acquired so perfect and familiar a knowledge of their situation and use, that the swell and action of the muscles, and the graceful covering of the skin, shall not hide them from our mind, although the view of them may be intercepted from the eye. To act otherwise is to begin entirely at the wrong end. To attempt to rig the vessel before he sees that her main timbers are sound, is a sort of ship-building of which an Englishman should be ashamed.'
Towards the end of the year 1809, the chancellorship of the university became vacant by the death of the Duke of Portland, when three candidates appeared to contest the honour of succeeding him: Lord Grenville, Lord Eldon, and the Duke of Beaufort. The recent agitation of the Catholic' question had created great excitement, and raised a strong feeling in the university against Lord Grenville, as an avowed friend to "emancipation. It should be remembered, too, that Lord Grenville was at this time deprived of court favour, and excluded
LETTER FROM LORD GRENVILLE.
from the cabinet, so that the chances were apparently much against him. Nevertheless, Mr. Copleston espoused with generous enterprise the cause of that candidate, of whose moral and intellectual qualifications he was best assured. Conscious, also, of a widely-extended influence over the most intelligent portion of the university, he gave himself the more freely to the encounter; and notwithstanding all the weight of official influence, and all the strength of old Tory prejudices arrayed against them, he and his friends succeeded in placing Lord Grenville in the vacant chair. The election took place 14th December, 1809, when the numbers were—for Lord Grenville, 406; for Lord Eldon, 393; for the Duke of Beaufort, 237. The following letter from the successful candidate sufficiently shows that, in my notice of Mr. Copleston's exertions
this occasion I have not overrated them :
Dropmore, Dec. 16, 1809. Sir,
I feel myself bound to take the earliest opportunity of expressing to you my particular acknowledgments for the essential services I have received from you during the late contest, but more especially for the manly and dignified paper published by my committee in answer to the libels circulated against me.* I shall always feel that this publication reflected honour both on my cause and on myself; and I am confident it must have been of essential advantage in the contest. You will very greatly oblige me by letting me have the pleasure of seeing you, either here
* The paper was in the form of an address to members of convo. cation, written by Mr. Copleston.
or in town, whenever you have leisure, that I may express to you personally the very strong obligation under which I feel myself to you.
I am, Sir, with great truth and regard,
GRENVILLE While the circumstances of this whole proceeding were such as to place Mr. Copleston beyond the suspicion of selfish motives, they opened to him a connexion which afforded him for many years that pure enjoyment which was most suited to his nature. The refined and intellectual society of Dropmore, where he became a welcome and frequent guest, was an atmosphere that he delighted in; and the noble host himself being a scholar of the most exact taste, all Mr. Copleston's pleasures were enhanced by that mutual sympathy, which congenial minds can alone feel.
The following is from a letter to his father, written soon after the election was decided :
'I am heartily glad that all this is over, and that I am returned to more peaceful occupations. But it is a satisfaction to feel that we have never practised any but the most legitimate acts of warfare. I am in hopes also that I have not made a single enemy or lost a single friend in the business. After all, I do not participate in the feelings of those who call it a political triumph; I have never viewed it as a political question. Our adversaries artfully availed themselves of that handle, and I rejoice to see that they are defeated.
Lord Grenville is, I believe, among our public men, most firmly attached to the church from a sense of religion, and his 'Catholic' measures, I am convinced, will not be renewed. He is quite at liberty to act
COMMUNICATION FROM MR. HUGHES.
in that respect according to his own judgment, as every statesman should be, without being fettered by pledges for or against them. We have now at our head what we ought to have the ablest and the most learned nobleman in the kingdom-a firm friend to the Established Church—a sincere Christian—a man of the most correct private life, and a determined anti-Gallican and anti-philosophist.'
In 1810 Mr. Copleston resigned his office of college tutor, which he had held thirteen years, and upon
his retirement found gratifying proof of the attachment of his pupils in a present of plate, far exceeding the ordinary measure of such testimonials. It should be remembered, too, that such offerings were of more rare occurrence in those days, and were reserved for higher occasions and more distinguished merit than we see to be the case
Here I have much pleasure in presenting the reader with the following lively sketch from the pen of J. Hughes, Esq., an old Orielite, and pupil of Mr. Copleston. His recollections are on every account more valuable than anything I could have gathered myself concerning the bishop as a college tutor.
Donnington Priory, 28th March, 1851. My dear Sir,
Though neither qualified by the years or the wisdom of Nestor to set myself up as an
an exclusive ' laudator temporis acti', yet believing, as I do, that our ancient domus, in which three of my sons have graduated since my time, can show no more palmy days during the five hundred years of its existence than the period when your late distinguished relative directed its studies, I feel