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THE COST of the previous editions of this work having tended to restrict its circulation among the class for whom it was principally intended, a cheap edition is now issued.

The Author cannot deny himself the gratification of making public, with the kind permission of its distinguished writer, the following graceful testimony to the life and character of Father Mathew. It is a tribute from the foremost man of the day to the memory of the greatest moral reformer of the age.

My dear Sir,

Jan. 14, 1864.

I have enjoyed an unmixed pleasure in perusing your Biography of Father MATHEW. I am ashamed to think that, before you thus instructed me, I had, in common perhaps with many others, but a vague idea of his great excellence; and I did not know the great height of virtue and of holiness to which he had attained. The 'pledge' must I think be judged not so much upon its abstract merits as with reference to the frightful evil it was designed to meet : and thus Father MATHEW himself is to be regarded, with reference to the chief cause of his public celebrity, rather in the spirit than in the letter of his acts. But, so regarded and so understood, what a

glorious career it was of apostolic labour and self-sacrifice! And, even apart from the whole subject of temperance, what a character have you shown us, in its simplicity, its earnestness, its deep devotion, and, above all, in that boundless love which caused him to show forth, in deed and truth, the 'beauty of holiness,' and to present to his fellow-creatures so much of the image of our Blessed Saviour! I can truly congratulate you on having known and loved him; on having been able to write of him in a spirit of such intelligent sympathy; lastly, let me presume to say, on having composed your able book, from one end of it to the other, as a true continuation of his living work, and in the very temper as towards God and men which he would have himself desired.

I remain, my dear Sir,

Very faithfully yours,


J. F. Maguire, Esq., M.P.

LONDON: March 1865.




ON the 30th of December, or in a week less than two months after the issue of the first edition, Messrs. Longman & Co. informed me that they had exhausted the entire of that edition, and requested me to prepare a second with as little delay as possible. But, save in some slight particulars -in correction, and in supplying accidental omissions—I have not deemed it necessary to alter the text, or interfere with the general structure of the volume. My object was to present to the reader a true portraiture of a man who was great from his goodness, and also a life-like description of the extraordinary moral reformation with which his name is deathlessly associated, and of the people for whom, and the circumstances amid which, he accomplished his noble mission. The verdict of the Public Press of all parties in the United Kingdom, is a consolatory assurance that I have not quite failed in what to me was indeed a labour of love.

CORK: February, 1864.




Ir would be a reproach to the country which he served, no less than to the age which he adorned, were there no record of the life of Theobald Mathew. To allow such a man to pass away, without more notice than a paragraph in a newspaper, an article in a magazine, or a panegyric from the pulpit, would be a stain upon the honour of Ireland. But although I felt this as strongly as anyone could feel it, I did not venture to attempt the task of becoming his biographer until I saw that no other person had intimated an intention of so doing. Not having found anyone undertaking a duty which more especially belonged to one of his own countrymen to undertake, I resolved on attempting it, notwithstanding that I had to discharge many and varied duties, which involved constant claims upon my time and attention. Setting aside that literary aptitude for the task, in which I but too keenly felt my deficiency, I had some circumstances in my favour the principal of which was, my intimate

* The sketch by the late Daniel Owen Madden, though brilliant and spirited, was but a sketch, not a biography; and the interesting and well-written memoir from the accomplished pen of Miss Hill—which formed one of the 'Our Exemplars,' in a little work published in 1861 by Cassell, Petter, & Galpin-did not extend beyond fifty pages. Sketches and brief memoirs of Father Mathew there have been, but no biography.

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knowledge of the subject of the contemplated memoir. I had known Father Mathew from my childhood; and the feeling which I entertained towards him at that early period of my life, ripened into the strongest and the truest friendship as I grew to manhood. From that time, and up to the year 1849, when he left Ireland for America, I was more or less intimately associated with him, in private as well as in public. He thus became known to me in almost every phase of his career and character-in his weakness as in his strength, in his moments of despondency and gloom as in his hours of happiness and exultation. I beheld him under every circumstance, and in every position-now on the platform, and now in his own home; now in the presence of his equals, and now surrounded by the poorest, the humblest, even the most abject in society. The intimate knowledge of Father Mathew which I was enabled to acquire, was of advantage to my undertaking in many respects; but the more I dwelt upon the memory of his goodness, which was in reality his greatness, the more I despaired of faithfully representing his character in my pages. Of one thing the reader may be sure that if I have failed in my intended likeness, the failure cannot be attributed to flattery or exaggeration. The qualities of a great heart, throbbing with none but tender, generous, and holy emotions, cannot be exaggerated,—the difficulty is to depict them with anything like a fair approach to their reality. The task-rashly and presumptuously undertaken it may be is accomplished; and the result of no small labour, but of much greater anxiety, is now placed before the public. And now that it is accomplished, I feel that I have omitted many things which I ought to have done, in order to render the portrait life-like, and in some degree worthy of the original. I also feel that I may have failed in giving an adequate idea of that wondrous movement so providentially originated and so wisely guided by the Apostle of Temperance; but with respect to this

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