May 12th. 1871.
My Dear McLean,
I wrote to you the other day about matters we spoke about in Auckland. Since that, that unquiet and very mischievous person Barnard, wrote me a very impudent letter, trying to get me to help him to eat his words. I send you the letter, and a copy of my answer.
Things are all well here. The work, however, of the Land Court, is increasing very much. The natives, I fancy, have got it into their heads it is going to be done away with; and are sending in their claims as fast as they can get surveys made. I am half killed with office work; but won't give in till I have cleared off all the claims now on hand; at least; after which I must try some other trade; for there is a great deal of unpleasantness connected with it. The weather is so horrid in winter; and so much travelling in the rain won't answer, not to mention other matters.
I am glad to see you are likely to get as much money as you want in England. I would rather we could not have got a farthing. That would have
made men of us. Well, the next best thing to getting nothing, is to get a great deal. Let us be hanged for a sheep and not for a lamb; let us have no nibbling. We shall never pay our debts, either principal or interest, that's certain; and we shall never get any more loans in our time. So let us have a good haul. It looks respectanle to owe tens of millions; perhaps quite as much so as to honestly do without them. The people of England have too much. Riches are a snare. A rich man has a poor chance of getting to Heaven, (a poor man has no chance at all.) So it is clearly our duty, (the Bishop of New Zealand called at Opoke the other day, and I furbished up a little about duty, etc. etc.) to get all we can; and as for paying, "brave is the soul who pays". When you have such a thing as half a million, which you don't know what to do with, just hand it over to me, and along with it, all the North, from Waitemata to the North Cape, and see what a pattern paradise I will turn it into. The law will you see you supreme; peace, plenty, and rural felicity, the order of the day; and we will only keep guns, and a little of the new "Hercules powder" for the delectation of any one who might be mad enough to come to ask us to pay our debts.
There is to be a great Meeting of the Ngapuhi, on the 10th. I think it is, for the purpose of instructing Wiremu Katene, their new Member, as to how he must act in the next Session of Parliament. It would be a very entertaining and enlightening paper for the use of the benighted pakeha Members, if we could get printed every thing which will be said to him. I hope, however, you will have his vote, and McLeod's too, in all emergencies.
I have heard no more of Te Aroha, but the judgement is correct, I am sure; and if the Ngatihama chose to full out, and fight about it, they will get well thrased. I do believe you are born lucky. You seem to really be about to succeed in raising both steam and money; and what more can any one want!
Yours ever truly,