Excerpt from The Life and Letters of Edward Lee Hicks (Bishop of Lincoln, 1910-1919) The biographer's function is to interpret, not to pass judgment. That his own view of every ques tion Should be identical with that of the man he is trying to represent is neither possible nor desirable.
To prevent misunderstanding, it may be right to say here that, whilst I find myself in entire sym pathy with Hicks' aims, broadly stated, I have to confess that in the matter of Temperance Reform I am with those whom he, with Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Would have stigmatized as Silly sheep -the believers in a policy of disinterested manage ment, who think not only that half a loaf is better than none, but even that in legislative re form the half is more than the whole because it does not offer the same dangerous provocation to reaction.
When Mrs. Hicks asked me to undertake the writing of the biography, I felt that I could not refuse. It was the only chance left me Of repaying in part the debts of a friendship of thirty years - a friendship in which, as the younger and less able man, I had always received more than I had given. But, apart from the personal reason, the story of a man who had touched life at so many points, and touched nothing that he did not adorn, seemed to me full of inspiration and I thought it a worthy ambition to commemorate it for those who loved him, and to win for his character, if I Should have any success in my portraiture, yet other admirers.
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