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The Founders of Canterbury

Reigate, 25th March, 1850

page 236
Reigate, 25th March, 1850.

My Dear Rintoul,

—Hearing that you have been consulted about the state of the Canterbury matter I write to beg that you will try to be at home Being intimately acquainted with the facts, I know what ought to be done according to my judgement: but I labour under this disadvantage in giving advice—that I cannot rely upon the men who would have to do what I deem necessary. The affair lost its soul and body when it lost Godley, who till then had both thought and acted for every body. John Hutt was intended to fill the gap created by Godley's departure. Godley and I were conscious of his deficiencies, but hoped that they might be effectually counteracted by my constant advice, and the doing of some other people. Now, instead of this, it has happened, ever since Godley left town, that Hutt has never taken my advice without reluctance, has often disregarded it wholly, and has prevented others from supplying his want of action. I say deliberately that he has behaved continually as if he wished to mar the business and prevent the success of the scheme. I am quite sure that he has not intended anything of the sort. What to conclude then? I have reluctantly concluded that his intellect and temper are in a state of decay or disease. His wrongheadedness, stupidity, jealousy of his own consequence, and irritability of temper, have been forced on my most reluctant belief by his conduct for nearly three months. The first intimation I had of it was by the enclosed letter from Godley. Yet he is the leading man in the affair. The others have left everything to him: and now, when they are frightened and wish that something instead of nothing may be done, he threatens to retire if they disagree with him. He is an old and close friend of mine: but I have for some weeks almost ceased to communicate with him, because I thought his brains dried up, and his temper incurably soured. You have now the facts for reflection before we meet.