Object #1002202 from MS-Papers-0032-0245

7 pages written 23 Apr 1858 by Alfred Domett in Nelson Region to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Alfred Domett, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0245 (32 digitised items). 32 letters written from Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Auckland, Nelson and Taranaki, 1852-1870 & undated. Includes letter from H S Chapman to Domett, 1866; drafts of two letters from McLean to Domett, Mar 1858 & Jul 1863.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)


23 April 1858.

My dear Maclean,

I have manifold sins and wickednesses in the way of omission to answer your letters to confess to you. Consider that confession made and absolution granted and I can go on.

I have been fully expecting you a long time at Nelson. But the Wanga Wanga arrived without you of course. I suppose you have been detained at Manawatu and am glad to see (if the newspaper statement be true) that you have succeeded in buying a large tract of land of the niggers. You keep up the old prestige in your favor and it is gratifying to find that after all the old Grey officials (always excepting Andrew Sinclair & Co) are the best. Grey's nominees have come into favor again at Wellington and at Auckland his party are vitorious. You still stick to your monopoly of the power of dealing with the hairy bogeens --- and there seems every likelihood that you will continue to retain it.

We wished to see you here on some public matters --- but I had a private object as you know in desiring to conclude with you some arrangements about my run at Hawke Bay --- which we could do better by half an hours talk than by reams of correspondence. Tell me by letter when you will really be here.

I am completely settled in the house Archdeacon Paul used to live in here --- but in money matters as poor as Job (in his boil and potsherd condition --- not the same Job with his vast flocks of sheep and cattle outdoing even a Wairau or Wydrop runholder) I sold my sheep (thank God) in the Wairau or rather down the East Coast --- getting 12/6 all round --- which was considered very well. They realized £600 odd --- little enough considering the time I had had them --- but better than nothing. I have written to buy 800 acres on my run which will be a beginning. I think I shall sell some land I have at Napier which has wonderfully increased in value since I bought it and invest the proceeds in the purchase of more land on the run --- another 1000 or so. Whether this will secure it, I can't tell.

I hope you have got your Maraekakaho run satisfactorily settled. You know, I always intended (had I remained Commissioner) to have added to it on the Eastward when land in that direction should be purchased from the natives. I mention this because I seem to have heard that you complained of some decision of mine in that respect.

I trust you are by degrees "feathering your nest" a process which Scotch Birds are generally said to understand very well --- though we lockpudding Southerners very often seem to have no idea of getting any better than a crow's nest of sticks or an ostrich's of scraped sand. At least that is my case. I look only to that Hawke Bay Run for a chance of delivering myself out of the hands of Provincial or General Govt. Philistines., there being (I am inclined to believe) not much more to choose between them than between them than between Amnites and Hittites on the one hand and Jebusites and Perizzites on the other. "Moab is my washpot --- on Edom will I cast out my shoe" i.e. my resignation, whenever I can afford it. But the question is "When will that be" as was asked by the Bells of Stephnee with as little prospect of an answer.

We get along here in a humdrum sort of style --- stirring 6 feet a day like the Leviathan. The Council is just over and I as "Prov. Secretary" am bound to say they are taking them all in all a very amiable lot of Radicals, very unlike the Kilkenny cats on both sides at Wellington. Everything has passed of this session without any personalities and almost without a single instance of ill-humour. A little "humouring" goes a long way with these Lilliputian parliaments.

How is good old Strang? He too has disappointed us having threatened a visit to Nelson and Nicholson (I mean Capt. Nicholson not Port Do.) Paynter would be jovialized to see him again and so should I. Tell him by all means to come over. I hope he gets life along without overweariness between whiskey toddy Welsh rabbit the Kate --- Kirk and little "Doggy".

Come and pay me a visit when you come over --- I can "put you up" if you like and are not remarkably luxurious.

Believe me Dear McLean
Your ever truly,
Alfred Domett.
By the bye I have never yet paid you for that horse --- which I am more than 1/2 ashamed to allude to. When you wrote once about it I was unfortunately just hard up --- though I cd. have often paid you before without inconvenience. I can give you a cheque on Wellington Bank when you like.

Part of:
Inward letters - Alfred Domett, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0245 (32 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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