healthily poised womanhood.
Writing to his sisterin-law, he says of this nameless person: ‘She is not a Cleopatra, but is, at least, a Charmian; she has a rich Eastern look; she has fine eyes and fine manners.
When she comes into a room she makes the same impression as the beauty of a leopardess.
She is too fine and too conscious of herself to repulse any man who may address her. From habit, she thinks that nothing particular
. I always find myself at ease with such a woman; the picture before me always gives me a life and animation which I cannot possibly feel with anything inferior.
I am at such times too much occupied in admiring to be awkward or in a tremble.
I forget myself entirely, because I live in her. You will by this time think I am in love with her, so, before I go any farther, I will tell you that I am not. She kept me awake one night, as a tune of Mozart
's might do. I speak of the thing as a pastime and an amusement, than which I can feel none deeper than a conversation with an imperial woman, the very yes
of whose life is to me a banquet. . . . . I like her and her like, because one has no sensation;
what we both are is taken for granted. . . . . She walks across a room in such a manner that a man is drawn toward her with magnetic power. . . . . I believe, though, she has faults, the same as a Cleopatra or a Charmian might have had. Yet she is a fine thing, speaking in a worldly way; for there are two distinct tempers of mind in which we judge of things, —the worldly, theatrical, and pantomimical; and the unearthly, spiritual, and ethereal.
In the former, Bonaparte
, Lord Byron, and this Charmian hold the first place in our minds; in the latter, John Howard
, Bishop Hooker
rocking his child's cradle, and you, my dear sister, are the conquering feelings.
As a man of the world, I love the rich talk of a Charmian; as an eternal ’