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The Founders of Canterbury

Lord Lyttelton. Reigate, 14th August, 1850

Lord Lyttelton. Reigate, 14th August, 1850.

My Dear Lord,

—There were three points in my late letter which I wish to correct.

1st. The discrepancy between my views of the colonists in the letter to Godley and in that to your Lordship, arose from my not sufficiently explaining that the disparaging expressions in the letter were applied only to the Body as such; that is, to the organization. This agrees with the letter to Godley, in which it is said that the organization partakes largely of the character of make-believe. But the colonists are both good and numerous as individuals. They have not been organized as a body, because no natural leader has turned up; and therefore one cannot get at their collective opinion.

2nd. With respect to Mr. Brittan, I did not intend to speak of him very differently from my estimate of him two months ago. He has valuable qualities; and although his head had been a little turned by his seeming leadership and the suggestions of FitzGerald's ambition, he showed excellent good sense in profiting by my lecture on that subject; and I page 312still think him the fittest man, of those whom I know well among the colonists, for a business charge in the settlement.

3rd. I was aware of Lord Grey's objection as being the main obstacle to the Bishopric co-extensive with the Settlement, but did not allude to it in my last letter to Godley, having fully stated it in a former letter.

The report yesterday of the opinion of the Law Officers about the Bishopric had a most unpleasant effect on me until Mr. Sewell told me that Mr. Jackson talked of going out nevertheless, with the First Body of colonists, helping to plant them along with Dr. Selwyn and coming back to be consecrated. If this should happen, good would indeed come out of evil: for the greatness of the action—the sort of martyrdom—would raise the man and the colony above all others in the public regard: and instead of losing or having to wait for our Bishopric, we should at once have its influence with far greater force than if we now had the technical thing. It would not be merely good, but much-better out of evil And to this effect I have ventured to, write to Mr. Jackson. The idea is his own.