Letter from Mrs. Wilson
to Donald McLean Esq.
dated 21st. November 1856
21st. November 1856
My dear Son,
You cannot complain of your old Mother not writing to you. It will be well if you do not get tired of her prosy nonsense. I am looking with great anxiety for your next, as I sincerely hope it will inform me that you can, and will join us at Christmas. As I said before, if you ask leave properly, the Governor knows too well that you deserve it; and consequently will not refuse you. It will be a dreadful disappointment to us if you do not come; and not only to us, but to very many of your other friends. We all wish to shew the good folks that your head is not so easily brokem by "Tom Tit's" Thunder-bolts, as he would make them believe.
I always said that our Provincial Government folks were great fools to meddle with "Scotch Thistles". What has come of their ordinance against them, - why nothing. They are growing up and flourishing in all directions. And what has come to the
"Brown, Chilman and Tom King clique", - for meddling with the Highland one? Why, they have been made to most perfectly understand, and feel the truth of its motto, - "No one provokes me with impunity". Nothing has tended to open the eyes of the New Plymouth fools so completely as the shameful attack these worthies have made upon your character; in all of which they have so utterly failed. These members such a complete failure in all respects, and yet that blockhead Brown, still retains Master Chilman in his different offices. The truth is that the poor silly body is so completely under the thumb of both Chilman and Tom King, that the poor wretch dare hardly say a word. Witness what occurred in the Council a few days ago. Charles Brown wished the absentee land to be sold to pay the rates. The majority of the members voted against it; and they carried it. The Worthy Brothers then and there declared, - "that notwithstanding such had been the result, they should still urge and advise Brown to sell, in spite of the opinion of the Council." And no doubt they will make the poor dolt do it. Any one can see what they want. Chilman will have the selling, which will bring something into his bag; and they both have their eyes upon some nice snug sections. The Absentee owners will naturally prosecute; but not them. Charles Brown
wished the Absentee land to be sold to pay the rates. He will be the one to pay the Piper. How sorely he will repent, by and bye, having allowed himself to be guided by such selfish wretches. I sincerely pity his unfortunate wife. Of course you will hear how anxious we are to get Flight in as Superintendent; but I much fear that Norris will manage to get Cutfield to stand; and he will, he thinks, by doing this, get the office of Attorney to the Council, with the £250 per annum!! If Flight gets it, there will be a vast saving to the Province, but if Cutfield, - the same extravagance as at present. I enclose a nice little bit of real truth for your amusement. You had better show it to the Governor, that he may become acquainted with some of our would-be "Big Wigs". Some say it is from the pen of Luthwait; others think it too clever for him. We consider it "Kapai."
The Kingdons go by this steamer. Many are glad they are going. Their own personal friends, of course, are not. I liked them very well myself; but was not blind to the folly of holding themselves so high as they always have done. You know I am not an advocate for this in anybody, - but most particularly it is to be condemned in a clergyman and his wife. I know she would not call on Mrs. Ritchie, because her father was
in business. Knowing this to be her sentiments, I advised him not to send cards on his marriage. He did so, considering it right to pay that attention to a clergyman. The result proved that I was right. My "Gudeman" took upon himself the Military duties yesterday. He will, I am sure, like it. It will remind him of old Gibraltar times. It will give him enough to do to fill up his spare time. I flatter myself that he will give satisfaction. Of course you know that Dr. White leaves this by the steamer for the Bay of Islands. I am doing my best to get Patricio round here for Christmas, but I fear I shall not succeed. He has not been very well lately. The change would do him good. When you come this way I shall have much to tell you about him and the farm. Mr. Wilson will not be able to pay his usual visit this season, on account of having the military medical duties to look after.
For some time we have had most dreadful stormy weather. The gardens have suffered very much. Many of our fruit trees are much blighted. Figs and prickly pears seem to stand it better than many others. For the last six months we have had hardly any fine days, almost a constant rain; and within the last week many shakes, but no severe ones. I would far rather have ever so many little shocks, than even one big one. I fully
expect to hear by the steamer all about my dear little grandson, as Isabella Hunter is to let me know how the dear little fellow is getting on. On the steamer's return to Wellington, I intend to trouble Grandpapa with a few lines of enquiry about him.
Mrs. Pelichet and her two fine children have been here for some months. Poor thing! I sincerely pity her. She is going to return to the Ahuriri about next March. I suspect she does not find herself comfortable with her own family here. No doubt she will soon marry again. It will be as well for her is she does. So young a woman must stand in need of a protector.
The Turtons are still waiting for the vessel which is to take them to Kawhia. How much he feels the being obliged to go there. To him it will be quite an exile. We must only cheer him up by keeping him informed of all that is going on in this busy nook of the world.
Mrs. Whiteley and Mr. Ironside are both going by the steamer. They will not return until her next trip, so that you will have ample time to get all from Mr. Whiteley about our warlike, and peace-making natives. You will have the truth from him; not so from our "Herald". It always brings things out in the
blackest colours, - merely to save one end, - satisfaction to the native race haters.
The Misses King are going to give up school. I think they are right. They have toiled long enough to keep farming. Now that he has got a salary he is doing right to keep them. Miss K. goes to Auckland on a visit for some weeks, for the benefit of her health. Mrs. King will keep a few music pupils; and Martha intends taking six little girls under her charge. I fear her temper will not allow her to keep them long. But time will show. I really think you will be exclaiming, - "Will that old Mother of mine never stop her pen?" Yes, I will; with our united affactionate regards, and our prayer for your happiness; and ever believe in the attachment of your old mother -
To:- Donald McLean Esq.