Letter from P. Wilson
to Donald McLean Esq.
dated 27th. October 1856.
27th. October 1856.
My dear Mac,
I have on my list two correspondents; to neither of whom do I hardly feel an incentive to communicate with; and for two reasons, --- pretty closely allied, to wit, --- the first because he seldom gives an answer, but in the ratio of about one in six; and the other, that if he does acknowledge, he seldom replies, but covers a sheet of fair foolscap, such as a bewildered ant would have had his tail end previously dipt in an ink-bottle. The first of these lazies is, of course, the old Duke of the lakes; and the second, no less a personage than your (in other respects) tolerably worthy self.
Our body politic is in some considerable state of fermentation at present, partly owing to the crazy sort of conduct of our Superintendent, in so far as relates to his mischievous attempts to get rid of Flight; and next of Wm. Halse, Carrington, Ritchie, and so on. We feel quite sure that the Governor will
foil, their follies; and you Auckland folk may be sure that we shall take care at next and succeeding elections that Master Charlie will not have another opportunity of playing off his pranks, as hitherto he has done. He has, I believe, fully confirmed the low opinion of his head machinery, which opponents formerly entertained; and his friend, I believe, to a man, have no wish to see him again lifted so high above his proper and natural sphere of action. Some flimsy attempts are now made to explain that Brown did not mean to discharge Halse & Co. but I read the letter, and if words have meaning, it as substantially inferred a discharge as words could make it. But after all, the affair of Chilman occupies most attention just now; and concerning that, he has not a loophole to escape by. People begin to think that in that event, he ought to be called on to resign, both his seat in the Provincial Council and his public offices of Treasurer and Receiver of Land Fund.
Wicksteed's letter, published amongst the transactions of our Provincial Council on Saturday last, together with yours, created a great sensation; but I am informed that the evidence which Mr. Halse has yet to give before the Committee will be the most condemnatory of the whole. In short, jobbing appears quite the
order of the day with our Provincial rulers here; and assuredly the sooner we are done with the whole tribe, the better. This, too, to please some two thousand pounds more of scrip, has been voted to Chilman, Ian King, and others, on the pretext of compensation for new roads; thus adding to the innundation of that sort of paper, and more effectually barring up the settlement from all new-comers.
In hopes of hearing from you within the next eighteen months,---
my dear Maclean
very faithfully yours
To:- Donald McLean Esq.
P.S. Turton is about to leave us for Kawhia. I sent by him the ten shillings for the bit. Did he pay you? as it is not the fashion at A. to make such acknowledgments? We are subscribing here for a Testimonial to Turton. We hope to give a piece of place value £100. If you wish to give a guinea, tell me by return of steamer, and I will give your name a place on the list.