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TO DOCTOR JAMES
MY DEAR MASTER,
To write your name here is to levy rather than to render a tribute of friendship ; yet for the sake of past days you will not, I know, grudge me this decoration for my page. For as the dullest pupil may boast an illustrious master, so I may advertise what is, I fear, my only title to distinction in this art: that, through you, I am in the direct apos. tolic succession that handed on from the Wesleys to your own family the treasure of a gift brought therein wellnigh to perfection. You did not even omit the 'laying on of hands'-in my case, alas ! o little avail.
Yet if there is anything here at all worthy, anything upon which a master may look without shame, should I not bring it to you who first inspired in me that reverence without which all artistic labour is vain? Others among your pupils will spread your fame far more widely than I can hope to spread it, but none of them, my dear Master, will hold your name in greater reverence or yourself in more lasting affection.