Letter from P. Wilson
to Donald McLean,
dated 4th, April 1854.
4th. April 1854.
My dear Mac,
My wife is scribbling to you, I see; so I need trouble myself little with the news department of our locality. But I must say I was very sorry you got away without my having the opportunity of shaking hands, or rubbing noses. I rode down after you a bit, till I met some Maoris, who told me you were far ahead, so I turned.
We were happy to learn that you got on so well at Mokau. No doubt you are the biggest land shark in all these antipodal lands, - if indeed, you have a fellow, on the face of the earth.
My Diary continues to come out in that worthy hebdomadel, the "Herald"; and I suppose, will finish in a few numbers more. That for Wednesday (tomorrow) will I think, be the best bit, being descriptive of the Vale of the Kaupokonui; which influenced me greatly, as elysian; and of the Mountain, as seen
from Heretoa, which is sublimity, and very hard to hit accordingly; so can only have its outlines hinted at.
My next job will be, - and I have now begun it, a long description - or dissertation - on the malaria of this, and Wanganui, as influencing changes in the constitution. I gave a tasting thereof in my last year's report of the Hospital; but your Auckland folks rarely have the good manners to return even an acknowledgement. Accordingly I have heard nothing of it, though it must have been three months in their coffers. But never mind, - it gets to Downing Street, nevertheless; for I have no idea of allowing what is intended for the public, to be thrown aside for one or two.
We "Free and Accepted Masons" are now concocting a public concert as never charmed the ears of humanity hereabout, or heretofore. A Ball was to have been of the succeeding night, and we were to have had a supper of sandwiches, or hot mutton pies, just as Brother Black might be in the humour to administer; but Brother Sandy King is afraid to trust his roans to the shaking of the Polka; so I fancy the entertainment will begin and end with the concert.
Fancy your younger brother, not yet arrived at the years of discretion, subscribing not less than twenty pounds to the erection of a Scots Church at Wanganui.
I should have thought the half might have sufficed; but after all, it may influence the liberality of others; and I shall not be sorry to see "auld presbytery" on a respectable footing at my old head-quarters. To provide for this, he is selling the filly of his filly; and I am the purchaser.
Our Council shuts up for the season tomorrow; when Speaker Watt (rather a misnomer) gives to all his confreres, the wise men of Gotham - a dinner. No one can exactly tell what has kept them so long together, for no one has ever ventured to disturb by intruding on their deliberations. But their Police Ordinance gives general satisfaction; and one ot two others of their workings show that eventually the system will work better for the Colony than that greatest curse that ever was inflicted on any country, - the central-isation of Government, - ever did, or could do.
There have been sad greedy doings in settling the spoils of the Bazaar. F. particularly, behaved very shabbily. Very luckily my wife got me engaged elsewhere, or I should have given them a bit of my mind. I had always laughed at the idea of their building - or even extending Churches, with the proceeds; but I saw, or rather hoped that it would have
a tendency to allay the uncharitableness of bigotry. But the foot, I find, is irremediably and widely cloven, in the "Baptist" and "Independent" gentry; so I cut all connection with them henceforth.
my dear Mac,
ever faithfully yours
(Signed) P. Wilson
P.S. By the way, I had nearly forgotten to say a word in favour of the enclosed epistle of Mr. Gray to your Postmaster-General. That he would suit for the office, no one here doubts; and his home is so centrically situated, and he could without inconvenience, give such long daily attendance, that I am quite sure his appointment would give very general, if not universal, satisfaction, to our community; and more particularly, as the present post office hours are exceedingly inconvenient. So please exert your best influence in his behalf.