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313674 JAN 25 1927 CD .679 XC79
PROBABLY most sensible persons are of opinion
that Memoirs and Remains occur too frequently, and that the editors of many such books have given proof of an amiable weakness, rather than of a sound discretion, in presenting them to the public. When a person of merit and distinction is gathered to his fathers, it is natural, almost inevitable, that his immediate friends should fondly exaggerate those merits, and ascribe a greater degree of general interest to his memory than really attaches to it. I cannot, of course, feel absolutely secure that I have not been betrayed into the same error; but if it be so, I may be allowed to draw some excuse from the mortuary notices of Dr. Copleston that appeared in the public prints, and which, in their fulness and warmth of expression, went far beyond what usually attend the decease of merely learned men, or dignified ecclesiastics. Moreover, I am sure that the expectations of a large circle of friends await my attempt, and thus lay me under a sort of obligation to undertake that, to which (if I know myself) no foolish ambition to appear in print would have moved me.
Having before me a carefully-kept diary, and a variety of letters, kindly supplied, I have inade it my chief object to select and arrange these, giving but few of my own sentiments, and leaving the subject of my Memoir to speak, as far as possible, for himself. Of the letters, it is difficult to avoid saying either too much or too little; I will, therefore, content myself with remarking that, if not strikingly original in thought or expression (which was not, indeed, the bishop's manner), they are generally models of good English and good taste, having also those characteristic touches which give the effect of a truthful sketch, satisfying us the better, because it is unstudied, and suggestive of more than is actually before us. It may seem that both the letters and the diary (but particularly the latter), are in some instances quoted with trivial effect; but I hope it will be then remembered that, in order to set faithfully before the
reader the subject of my Memoir in all his views, habits, and tastes, slight as well as great points were to be noted.
Those friends to the memory of Bishop Copleston who have wished, and perhaps still wish, that his collected works should be given to the world, will see, in the letter given below, a very considerable reason for some hesitation. Posthumous publications stand, indeed, in a different predicament from those put forth during the author's life-time ; and it is, therefore, possible that these restraining considerations may hereafter be set aside. Meanwhile, in the present volume, one light piece excepted, extracts only will be found ; and, as regards those taken from the Charges, it is obvious that there need be no apprehension of my having offended against the spirit of the letter to which I refer. As regards the extracts from the Replies, I have sometimes found it difficult to give a valuable passage, without including here and there a trenchant sentence that tells of war gone by. But where it was possible to avoid such kévrpa without great sacrifice, I believe I have done so.
Sir Thomas Phillips, whose name is so well known as connected with the Newport riots, had, it seems,
suggested to the Bishop the desirableness of his republishing, in a collected form, his various writings, and was answered thus :
Oct. 26, 1841. ...... Nearly all my publications have been occasioned by some temporary circumstances; and although the subjects have been highly important, they ought, perhaps, to have been treated more methodically if the works were intended for permanent use. Most of them, too, have a controversial character; and in some there are passages directed against individuals, which, although I still think them perfectly just, yet I do not wish to perpetuate them. These reasons have induced me to decline a proposal made some time ago by an eminent bookseller, to collect and re-edit them. The letters to Peel I should, perhaps, reprint, but for the strictures on Lord Bexley's financial doctrines. Those in answer to the Edinburgh Review I am restrained from publishing on the same account.
The theological works I believe I shall ere long re-edit, with some additions. The last-On Roman Catholic Errors
-I consider the most valuable, and I believe it is nearly out of print. ...... I have not mentioned my Academical Proelections, because I did not suppose your inquiry was directed towards them. It is an octavo volume, which has, I believe, a steady, but slow and limited demand. I hope, when I come to town, I may have an opportunity of conversing with you on these subjects, especially on those connected with the welfare of the diocese. . . . ...
I must direct the particular attention of the reader to the valuable contribution of Sir Thomas Phillips, which closes my Memoir, and without