Object #1008003 from MS-Papers-0032-0826

4 pages written 24 Sep 1850 by Sir Donald McLean in Manawatu District to Susan Douglas McLean

From: Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 digitised items). Mainly letters between Susan Strang and her future husband Donald McLean. Includes a letter from her mother Susannah Strang to McLean, 1849; letter from E Shand to Susan Strang, written from Portobello, 1850 in which she gives her impressions of Dunedin

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

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English (MD)

Manawatu
September 24 1850


My dear Susan

You are truly a very excellent girl to persevere in early rising and attend to the cultivation of flowers because I expressed a wish that you should do so. This morning when I got up at six which I do not always do I would have given a great deal to have had a walk with you in Papa's garden to witness personally the progress you have made since I left, not only in early rising, planting flowers but in reading, knitting watch guards & other accomplishments and improvements. Although I am anxious my dear girl that you should have a knowledge of flowers I must not impose too many severe tasks as I find you so fondly anticipate

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English (MD)

my wishes, more especially if your own natural taste does not incline you to such pursuits, and even if they do you should not by any means expose yourself to the heavy morning dews in the garden. That such occupations are delightful to those who are interested in studying them is quite true but I am under the impression that you are fonder of reading books than of gardening therefore follow your own inclinations as any pursuit you are fond of will be equally appreciated by me. This morning I witnessed the crystal dew drops beautifully vanishing and falling before the rays of the morning sun from the different flowers and plants in Mr Duncan's little garden. At the time I thought that you were probably gazing at similar objects from the verandah as it would be too wet for you to walk in the garden at such an early hour.

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English (MD)

Again I imagined that you must have been in bed till the rays of the sun through your little window reminded you of your 7 o'clock resolution which I feel assured your determination will induce you to adhere to and were it not that I am frequently obliged to sit up late at night 7 o'clock would never find me in bed. At any rate I feel assured if I get into such a bad habit that you will have no difficulty in removing it. You say that I must stay a long time with you when I next visit Wellington. That is what I am most anxious to do if I can. I had some idea of paying a short flying visit for a few days but a second consideration thought as my business at Otaki and Waikanae was avoidable that I had better delay going at least for some time. In future my duties will not be so tedious as they have been this time so you must not be very impatient with me. Do not pay

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English (MD)

any attention to the speculative gossip respecting us. No one has any right to know or interfere with our affairs excepting Mamma and Papa. For my own part I would not hesitate to say that we intended to cut the gossip short by marrying at a certain time but it would be equally ridiculous in either of us to talk of such a matter as it is impertinent in others to make enquiries about it to gratify their gossiping propensities. I believe you know my views so well on the subject that I need not repeat them. Papa may consider that I am rather too reserved in my letters to him on this matter [crossed out]. The reason is that I am naturally of a reserved disposition on any subject which engages my thoughts and attention.


Believe me to remain
My dear Douglas
Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

Is there no braid to be had yet at Wellington? Where did you look for it?

English (MD)

Manawatu
September 24 1850


My dear Susan

You are truly a very excellent girl to persevere in early rising and attend to the cultivation of flowers because I expressed a wish that you should do so. This morning when I got up at six which I do not always do I would have given a great deal to have had a walk with you in Papa's garden to witness personally the progress you have made since I left, not only in early rising, planting flowers but in reading, knitting watch guards & other accomplishments and improvements. Although I am anxious my dear girl that you should have a knowledge of flowers I must not impose too many severe tasks as I find you so fondly anticipate my wishes, more especially if your own natural taste does not incline you to such pursuits, and even if they do you should not by any means expose yourself to the heavy morning dews in the garden. That such occupations are delightful to those who are interested in studying them is quite true but I am under the impression that you are fonder of reading books than of gardening therefore follow your own inclinations as any pursuit you are fond of will be equally appreciated by me. This morning I witnessed the crystal dew drops beautifully vanishing and falling before the rays of the morning sun from the different flowers and plants in Mr Duncan's little garden. At the time I thought that you were probably gazing at similar objects from the verandah as it would be too wet for you to walk in the garden at such an early hour. Again I imagined that you must have been in bed till the rays of the sun through your little window reminded you of your 7 o'clock resolution which I feel assured your determination will induce you to adhere to and were it not that I am frequently obliged to sit up late at night 7 o'clock would never find me in bed. At any rate I feel assured if I get into such a bad habit that you will have no difficulty in removing it. You say that I must stay a long time with you when I next visit Wellington. That is what I am most anxious to do if I can. I had some idea of paying a short flying visit for a few days but a second consideration thought as my business at Otaki and Waikanae was avoidable that I had better delay going at least for some time. In future my duties will not be so tedious as they have been this time so you must not be very impatient with me. Do not pay any attention to the speculative gossip respecting us. No one has any right to know or interfere with our affairs excepting Mamma and Papa. For my own part I would not hesitate to say that we intended to cut the gossip short by marrying at a certain time but it would be equally ridiculous in either of us to talk of such a matter as it is impertinent in others to make enquiries about it to gratify their gossiping propensities. I believe you know my views so well on the subject that I need not repeat them. Papa may consider that I am rather too reserved in my letters to him on this matter [crossed out]. The reason is that I am naturally of a reserved disposition on any subject which engages my thoughts and attention.


Believe me to remain
My dear Douglas
Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

Is there no braid to be had yet at Wellington? Where did you look for it?

Part of:
Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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