The Founders of Canterbury
C. M., 24th December, 1848
My Dear Rintoul,
—For fear of accidents, I write to say that the coffin holding Mrs. Harris's remains was put on board the Albion steamer, belonging to the Steam Navigation Company, last night, in charge of the steward, Mr. Tyrrell, who faithfully promised to take it on to you if Mr. Bowler should not come for it.
You are sure to think the preliminary matter—the state of the subject and the personalities and egotism—far too long: and so indeed it is, in a literary point of view. But literary success I do not care for. My object has been (having worked hard for twenty years without ever before claiming any rights thereby acquired) to now establish my claim to the real authorship of most of what has been done with respect to colonization during that long period. Many, doubtless, have shared my labours, and done much independently of me; but more have made profit and reputation out of my slavery, without offering me a share. So now I claim my own; and having resolved to do it, I have not done it by halves. The large space allotted to this purpose was deliberately given to it; and I wrote without a thought about the exhibition of page 35egotism, intending to say all that seemed likely to serve my purpose, and taking care only to keep within the truth.
You have yet to receive the part of the book that I like best myself, because I deem it the most complete and convincing; namely, the exposition of the land-selling and emigration theory.
But I am sinning against a resolve to let the pens rest for two days.
No doubt my personal claims might have been more modestly set forth: but you frightened me from affecting a humility I did not feel: so the pride and the passion which I do feel, are exhibited in a state of nakedness.
You ought to know that the M.S. has not been read by me consecutively; so it probably contains repetitions and anachronisms, that will be removed in the proof.