The Founders of Canterbury
Captain Thomas, Canterbury Association, Charing Cross, London. — Chateau Mabille, Near Boulogne, 2nd July, 1848
Chateau Mabille, Near Boulogne, 2nd July, 1848.
My Dear Captain Thomas,
—I have just heard that you intend to take my nephew, Charles Torlesse, with you to New Zealand in some working capacity, though I am not told what. Supposing that you intend him to perform duties of some importance, I feel bound to say, that if you had consulted me on this subject, I should not have advised you to confide largely in his fitness for an office of importance under you; and, even as it is, I cannot help putting you on your guard against his defects of character. The chief of these is conceit. He has far too high an opinion of himself. In the next place, and as a necessary consequence of the other feeling, he is not page 30tractable, but, on the contrary, difficult to manage. And lastly, his temper is not amiable. I say nothing about his good qualities, which it is your business to find out. His bad ones require, in order to prevent them from neutralizing the good, what is called a tight hand. If you wish to get on with him, you must never give him the rein; never allow him to take his own way in opposition to yours, even about a trifle; and never accept excuses instead of the performance of duty.
This account of my nephew would, I daresay, be thought severe by some who know him, and especially by his partial mother: I know it to be true, and believe that I shall be doing him a service (besides relieving by own conscience) by laying it before you.
Pray show this to Mr. Godley and my son.
I trust that all is going well with you, and heartily wish you success.