Object #1022282 from MS-Papers-0032-0827

4 pages written 21 Jan 1851 by Sir Donald McLean in Hawke's Bay Region and Ahuriri to Susan Douglas McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0827 (34 digitised items). Letters between Donald McLean and Susan. Donald's letters written from Hawke's Bay, Rangitikei, Taita and Wairapapa. Susan's letters from Dalmuir Hill, Wellington (the home of her parents (Robert and Susannah Strang).

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

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Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Ahuriri, Hawkes Bay
January 21st 1851


My dear Susan

I have duly received your three letters dated 4th and 30th Decr and one January 4th 1851 to commence the New Year with which will I trust prove a happy one for both of us.

Your dilligence in reading pleases me very much, but your letters are generally so hurried altho' not too short that I cannot discern by them what your views are of the book you read, one of the characters you find depicted in them. Robertson's 'Charles the Fifth' will please you very much. He is such a beautiful impressive writer. It is not possible for me to give you an exact idea of the date on

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English (MD)

which I shall get back to Wellington. I shall not delay here longer than I can help and having been absent during so many holidays it would give me great pleasure to be with you on your 23rd birthday which does not after all leave you very old in my estimation although you only looked like a simple young half grown Scotch lassie when I first saw you. I suppose you are a little displeased with Mr Swainson for not complimenting you on your continued juvenile appearance.

I hope the trip with the Harts to Porirua has proved a pleasant one for you and Mamma. The old Laird is generally indifferent to these violent joltings & changes so I need not ask how he enjoyed himself. I am glad that your

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English (MD)

headache disappeared before the night of the Ball. I know of few young ladies who would be ill on such occasions. Coughs, colds & even absent friends vanish like snow when a ball is announced and tight stays, shoes and other "fal de rals" are all that is thought of, to be sure you will say that is the case with all the other young ladies but it is not so with me. I hate going to balls and dances. They are so very tiresome and stupid. However Susan I am really glad that you went and I trust you will always attend such places when it is agreeable to yourself to do so. I have found out now a wonderful secret in curing young ladies complaints which is to get up a dance or ball instead of employing useless doctors. The longer we live the more we learn. The watch guard is still in good order & the green poncho you were 4 weeks hemming is become

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English (MD)

most useful in the bush. I use it as my sofa cover in the house or on the green fern when I sleep in the bush. The neat hemming always reminding me of the delicate fingers that sewed it so you see your industry contributes to my comfort & enjoyment of the bush.

I am going a few days journey tomorrow so that you may not probably hear from me again for several weeks but I shall not fail to write you when I can and Papa is extremely attentive for a person at his advanced age in sending my letters and attending to my affairs in Wellington. I am sorry to hear of Mr Paul's illness. They are all such a nice family and seem so fond of you. You cannot expect much news from a distant isolated spot like Ahuriri, therefore, I remain


My dear Susan
Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

English (MD)

Ahuriri, Hawkes Bay
January 21st 1851


My dear Susan

I have duly received your three letters dated 4th and 30th Decr and one January 4th 1851 to commence the New Year with which will I trust prove a happy one for both of us.

Your dilligence in reading pleases me very much, but your letters are generally so hurried altho' not too short that I cannot discern by them what your views are of the book you read, one of the characters you find depicted in them. Robertson's 'Charles the Fifth' will please you very much. He is such a beautiful impressive writer. It is not possible for me to give you an exact idea of the date on which I shall get back to Wellington. I shall not delay here longer than I can help and having been absent during so many holidays it would give me great pleasure to be with you on your 23rd birthday which does not after all leave you very old in my estimation although you only looked like a simple young half grown Scotch lassie when I first saw you. I suppose you are a little displeased with Mr Swainson for not complimenting you on your continued juvenile appearance.

I hope the trip with the Harts to Porirua has proved a pleasant one for you and Mamma. The old Laird is generally indifferent to these violent joltings & changes so I need not ask how he enjoyed himself. I am glad that your headache disappeared before the night of the Ball. I know of few young ladies who would be ill on such occasions. Coughs, colds & even absent friends vanish like snow when a ball is announced and tight stays, shoes and other "fal de rals" are all that is thought of, to be sure you will say that is the case with all the other young ladies but it is not so with me. I hate going to balls and dances. They are so very tiresome and stupid. However Susan I am really glad that you went and I trust you will always attend such places when it is agreeable to yourself to do so. I have found out now a wonderful secret in curing young ladies complaints which is to get up a dance or ball instead of employing useless doctors. The longer we live the more we learn. The watch guard is still in good order & the green poncho you were 4 weeks hemming is become most useful in the bush. I use it as my sofa cover in the house or on the green fern when I sleep in the bush. The neat hemming always reminding me of the delicate fingers that sewed it so you see your industry contributes to my comfort & enjoyment of the bush.

I am going a few days journey tomorrow so that you may not probably hear from me again for several weeks but I shall not fail to write you when I can and Papa is extremely attentive for a person at his advanced age in sending my letters and attending to my affairs in Wellington. I am sorry to hear of Mr Paul's illness. They are all such a nice family and seem so fond of you. You cannot expect much news from a distant isolated spot like Ahuriri, therefore, I remain


My dear Susan
Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0827 (34 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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