My dear Rolleston. It is quite in accordance with the humour of the great Aristophanes above us, beneath us, within us, without us, that an Irishman should write a book as characteristically English as Don Quixote is Spanish, and when the author of Esther Waters dedicates his work to another Irishman, it must be plain to all that he is holding the mirror up to Nature. But there is another reason why I should dedicate this book to you. You are an Irish Protestant like myself, and you could always love Ireland without hating England--. But I am past my patience trying to find logic in a dedication which is an outburst of friendly feeling for an oldfriend.
It would be pleasant to look down the last five-and-twenty, years, but I will look no further than yester-year, when we were engaged in trying to wheedle the English public into accepting the only solution (yours) of the Irish difficulty--a line of railway, linking a western harbour with a northern tunnel joining Ireland to Scotland. We failed, of course, in practical result (the official mind repels reason), but our adventure was not without moral gain, for two Irishmen did set out 'to strike a blow for Ireland' without coming to blows. How shall we explain it: that the great Aristophanes above us, beneath us, within us, without us, willed it so? and that his divine humour was not content with less than that the letters that you wrote and that I signed must be better written than those you signed yourself.
'It is a modest creed, and yet Pleasant if one considers it,'
to think that your solicitude for others compelled you to give your best to your friend.
Yours always: George Moore