April-December 1844

The Collected Letters, Volume 18


JWC TO GERALDINE E. JEWSBURY ; 7 October 1844; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18441007-JWC-GEJ-01; CL 18: 233-235


Monday [7 October 1844]

Dearest Geraldine

I am sending you two men; this time, with no view to your matrimonial interests, both being already provided with wives better or worse; but chiefly with a view to their intellectual interests. One is Captain A Sterling whom I think you saw when here, and did not like—but you will find him improve on better acquaintance—the other is a german Prince or Princess's husband1 or some such thing,—a very charming man I am told, but not known to me personally, I not having been in the humour in these days for making new acquaintances— Capt Sterling goes to Manchester to place the eldest son of his Brother—MY poor John—now no more—with a Mr Newman there2 and this Foreign Power accompanies him to see what is sight-worthy in an English commercial City— I send them to you chiefly in your practical capacity as one that can direct them “how to observe” and even procure them perhaps the entrée to a cotton-mill—or so— You are not expected, remember, even to offer them anything in the shape of material accommodation—your counsel only—and as much of your company as you find suitable. If I thought they would bore you I would not send them—but I am sure they wont; from what I am told of the German, and know of Anthony— He is a curious man this Anthony Sterling, worth some making out—externally he is hard and angular—but I who thro the late distresses in his family have had opportunity of getting to know him intimately am persuaded that at the bottom of all his disagreeableness there lies a good and a clever man—his coldness and sharpness of manner being merely the very natural reaction produced in him by his abhorrence, from youth upwards, of his own Fathers humbug and fine sentimentalities.

I said to him yesterday that I would write to warn you of his coming and also to give you a hint to put on as much of propriety with him as you could conveniently stand. “Why on earth should you do that”? said he—“because,” I told him, “sent by me she will naturally fall into the mistake of fancying you one of my sort of people, with whom it is unnecessary to make-believe respecability and conventionalism—and so good Heavens she would talk to you in a way to make the hair of your head stand on end”!—“Now dont write pray”! said he very earnestly—“pray leave her to her own inspirations— I am less easy to shock than you seem to think”—humpf!— I have seen him occassionaly dreadfully shocked with me anyhow—and in that case—I advise you to steer clear of the topics of Religion and Love with him—on all other topics you may be as witty and unique as you please3

Oh such a pretty discussion Mrs Paulet and Mazzini had on the subject of love——— I taking part in it according to ability— What a pity she did not stay longer— By the way what on earth do you think was old Sterling's criticism on her— “She is pretty, and witty, and good-humoured and charming—and yet—one cannot fall in love with her—and I think the reason of this is— —that her face is too exclusively intellectual!!! write write and send me the book— your own


They go tomorrow so you will probably receive a call from them on Wednesday—but of course you are not to wait at home