[Edward Thring’s Response to Edith Fletcher's mother when she asks Thring about Hardwicke’s Suitability as a Son-in-Law.]
I will answer your question honestly, as is due to the wonderful importance of them. If H. had asked me for my daughter I should have given my consent—that is the best answer. I have a very high opinion of him from most intimate knowledge. I have a great friendship with the family, and rate them high. He is so far from commonplace, so original, so full of strange power, that I find it impossible to form the same kind of absolute judgment on his future that I could do in less exceptional cases, but I have every confidence that the outcome will be good. I have never known anything wrong or mean about him. The family is of a vigorous genuine type, and he is especially so. . . . I believe he is sincerely desirous of doing the right always . . . on the whole I have such high hopes of H. and trust him so much, that I am able to give a verdict in his favour.
(Rawnsley, Eleanor F. Canon Rawnsley: An Account of His Life. Glasgow: MacLehose, Jackson & Co., 1923, p. 39)
[Extract of Letter from Edward Thring to the Committee of the Church of England Sunday School Institute.]
He is a man of singular gifts and power. He has a marvellous natural faculty for attracting sympathy, and making people at home with him, especially the poor. His energy is very great, and he is most indefatigable in organising the schemes of improvement he has taken in hand. His success in Bristol is sufficient proof of this affection. He is a good and ready speaker. I do not in fact know any man better qualified to press forward a subject in an effectual way. And I sincerely believe that should he be willing to undertake your work it would be nearly impossible to find a man better able to carry it through.
(Source - RR/1/21)
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