Object #1023010 from MS-Papers-0032-0537

3 pages written 28 Jul 1851 by Johann Friedrich Riemenschneider to Sir Donald McLean in Warea

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Riemenschneider, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0537 (39 digitised items). Correspondents:Catherine G Riemenschneider, Wanganui, 1869-1870 (5 letters); Johann Riemenschneider, New Plymouth, Waimate, Kawhia, Mohau & Warea, 1849-1859 (29 letters).

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

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English (ATL)

as having irrevocably forfeited through my long negligence. For, though I have hitherto hardly found any leisure, as I would have wished, for writing to you, yet I have always found sufficient time for remembering you, and for carrying my wishes on your behalf before the throne of Sovereign Disposer of events, with prayers for your personal happiness and welfare, as well as also for prosperity and an abundant success in the discharge of your many benevolent and arduous duties; and I can truly venture to say that in this I have never been neglectful. Often, indeed, have you been in our thoughts here, and often has your name been mentioned here by my dear wife, as well as by myself; and many a time have we both mutually indulged in the fond or pleasant hope of seeing you you unexpectedly step in, and as an old beloved friend and visitor, take your seat amongst us by our homely fireside; until now our hopes in this respect, have, not without our regret, been in vain; but still they continue as strong and lively as ever to make us look forward to some time or other when they shall be realised, and then that will be joyful!

Many a happy season have you and I spent together in familiar converse. They are gone past! but they will never, never be forgotten. If ever they should return, I indeed would hail them with the freshest welcome; but if circumstances, or distance of space, over which we have no control, should render them henceforth rare, or even entirely impossible, happy hours of bygone days will always to continue to live in my recollection; and whilst the reflections of of pleasures past afford enjoyment at every pleasant moment, that friendship of ours, from which they originally sprang forth, and upon which they are based, will ever, I trust, notwithstanding our personal separation, and notwithstanding the various circumstances by which we are guided or controled, in our respective callings and occupations, maintain its old love and warm-hearted character. May then, also, our correspondial intercourse occasionally be impeded by unavoidable hindrances, it will never entirely die away; nor will the sympathetic interest, which we have ever been wont in each other's welfare, ever cease, as long as our life's day shall last.

I have often been wondering where you really are, and with what success your labours are crowned. But I have never been able to get any positive information in these respects. However I hope you are right well and happy, and that you are succeeding in your work to your heart's satisfaction. Thank God, we have been, and still continue to be happy here. For although the natives here do their best to make our life here amongst them, as unpleasant and trying as they can, and to render it impossible for us to enjoy even such little comforts and happiness, though we have to derive it almost entirely from the only resources of our mutual affection and help. But this makes it in the end all the sweeter to us, and at the same time keeps us from being too much under obligations to the natives. I have indeed great cause to be thankful that I have got a wife, whilst on the one hand she is to me all I could wish, is, on the other hand, so well adapted for the station and situation which has fallen to het lot to occupy. Thus she is indeed a double treasure to me. Our little William is already past the tenth month of his age. He is a strong and healthy child, and is thriving fast. For some time already he has been crawling about on the floor; and is now every day, making resolute attempts to stand erect on his own legs, as a further preliminary for walking. His first four teeth, which are now all fairly through, he has cut without any particular inconvenience. In fact, I am glad to say, he has never yet been seriously ill. Being so very healthy and hearty as he is, he is much disposed to be very noisy and obstreperous too; not however, (fortunately) so much by way of crying as much rather by way of a loud and unintelligible sort of talking; which, though it often rather disturbs the peace and quiet of the house, is, for all that, very pleasing and amusing to us.

Our Station here, (small as it is), is now in a very decent order, and exhibits, on the whole, a comfortable and homely aspect. Our dwelling-house is not over-large, yet it is large enough for out present wants; and moreover, affords sufficient room for entertaining an occasional visitor. Our garden, (about one acre of ground), is all fenced in, and is divided into orchard, flower, and vegetable garden. We had some fruit last year already from several of our trees, and hope to have more next forthcoming season. The only thing I lament is that we can get no land for fields or pastures; and especially that even

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English (ATL)

this small patch upon which we are settled, is not our own, but native property; which we are allowed to occupy just as long as our land-lords please, and no longer.

I must not draw to a close without my present epistle. But before I conclude, I must remind myself that I am still remaining in your financial debt. I have often felt it, and still continue to feel it a burden upon my mind; and can assure you that long ere this I should have settled it, if I had been able of doing so. I sincerely thank you, my dear Maclean, for your patience, and leniency with which you have thus far considered me your debtor. Pray, if you can, forbear a little longer, and I will endeavour as much as ever I can, to pay you before long. And now I must bid you farewell for the present, to have this in readiness for the first opportunity that may offer for forwarding it. With my love and best wishes, in which Mrs. R. heartily joins me.

I remain
ever yours most faithfully and sincerely (Signed)
J.F. Riemenschneider.
To:- Don. Maclean Esq.

English (ATL)

Warea
July 28th. 1851.



My dear Maclean,

Our mutual correspondence has been interrupted now already for such a length of time that I am hardly able to recollect who of us two has written last. However, I greatly fear that I am the one who is on the wrong side, and to whom the blame of neglectfulness is due. For this I have long felt as sorry as I feel ashamed of it. But before essaying to excuse my long continued silence, I think it far better and more honest to appeal at once to your kind-hearted good nature, and humbly to ask your free pardon. Anticipating the latter as being granted by you, I feel now the more encouraged to attempt, by dropping a few lines of friendly remembrance, a renewal of our former correspondence.

When I had last the pleasure of seeing you at New Plymouth, I little thought that you would be absent from Taranaki for such a length of time as has elapsed since. More than a whole year has now already passed by since we have last seen each other's face; and yet as often as I am looking back, it seems to me as if we had only parted about a week ago. This may appear somewhat strange; yet when I tell you the reason, I am sure you will find it only very natural, but also receive it as being in some degree, an apology for my not writing sooner, and oftener, to you. My duties and labours, both at home and abroad, are so many, and for the greater part, of so fatiguing nature, as to absorb almost completely, all my time and strength. From early morn till night, my hands and my attention are constantly occupied with either native, or domestic affairs; and out of such days of the week, there is rarely one which affords me any leisure at all for sitting down quietly and composedly, and holding a little familiar converse, (through the medium of pen and ink.) even to those to whom I feel most dearly attached, and amongst whom you are one. The evenings I can only in any way devote to writing; and then the claim of my society, and other matters of importance demand my attention, and frequently give me more work than I am well able to get through, especially when out little one is disposed to be very wakeful and obstreperous. All this, accompanied by occasional indisposition, which several times has kept me for many days confined to bed, has made my time fly past as an eagle's wings. Notwithstanding all this, however, I can assure you, my dear Maclean, I have never forgotten you, nor have I ever lost sight of your much esteemed friendship which I have so long enjoyed, and which, I sincerely hope, I shall not be deemed as having irrevocably forfeited through my long negligence. For, though I have hitherto hardly found any leisure, as I would have wished, for writing to you, yet I have always found sufficient time for remembering you, and for carrying my wishes on your behalf before the throne of Sovereign Disposer of events, with prayers for your personal happiness and welfare, as well as also for prosperity and an abundant success in the discharge of your many benevolent and arduous duties; and I can truly venture to say that in this I have never been neglectful. Often, indeed, have you been in our thoughts here, and often has your name been mentioned here by my dear wife, as well as by myself; and many a time have we both mutually indulged in the fond or pleasant hope of seeing you you unexpectedly step in, and as an old beloved friend and visitor, take your seat amongst us by our homely fireside; until now our hopes in this respect, have, not without our regret, been in vain; but still they continue as strong and lively as ever to make us look forward to some time or other when they shall be realised, and then that will be joyful!

Many a happy season have you and I spent together in familiar converse. They are gone past! but they will never, never be forgotten. If ever they should return, I indeed would hail them with the freshest welcome; but if circumstances, or distance of space, over which we have no control, should render them henceforth rare, or even entirely impossible, happy hours of bygone days will always to continue to live in my recollection; and whilst the reflections of of pleasures past afford enjoyment at every pleasant moment, that friendship of ours, from which they originally sprang forth, and upon which they are based, will ever, I trust, notwithstanding our personal separation, and notwithstanding the various circumstances by which we are guided or controled, in our respective callings and occupations, maintain its old love and warm-hearted character. May then, also, our correspondial intercourse occasionally be impeded by unavoidable hindrances, it will never entirely die away; nor will the sympathetic interest, which we have ever been wont in each other's welfare, ever cease, as long as our life's day shall last.

I have often been wondering where you really are, and with what success your labours are crowned. But I have never been able to get any positive information in these respects. However I hope you are right well and happy, and that you are succeeding in your work to your heart's satisfaction. Thank God, we have been, and still continue to be happy here. For although the natives here do their best to make our life here amongst them, as unpleasant and trying as they can, and to render it impossible for us to enjoy even such little comforts and happiness, though we have to derive it almost entirely from the only resources of our mutual affection and help. But this makes it in the end all the sweeter to us, and at the same time keeps us from being too much under obligations to the natives. I have indeed great cause to be thankful that I have got a wife, whilst on the one hand she is to me all I could wish, is, on the other hand, so well adapted for the station and situation which has fallen to het lot to occupy. Thus she is indeed a double treasure to me. Our little William is already past the tenth month of his age. He is a strong and healthy child, and is thriving fast. For some time already he has been crawling about on the floor; and is now every day, making resolute attempts to stand erect on his own legs, as a further preliminary for walking. His first four teeth, which are now all fairly through, he has cut without any particular inconvenience. In fact, I am glad to say, he has never yet been seriously ill. Being so very healthy and hearty as he is, he is much disposed to be very noisy and obstreperous too; not however, (fortunately) so much by way of crying as much rather by way of a loud and unintelligible sort of talking; which, though it often rather disturbs the peace and quiet of the house, is, for all that, very pleasing and amusing to us.

Our Station here, (small as it is), is now in a very decent order, and exhibits, on the whole, a comfortable and homely aspect. Our dwelling-house is not over-large, yet it is large enough for out present wants; and moreover, affords sufficient room for entertaining an occasional visitor. Our garden, (about one acre of ground), is all fenced in, and is divided into orchard, flower, and vegetable garden. We had some fruit last year already from several of our trees, and hope to have more next forthcoming season. The only thing I lament is that we can get no land for fields or pastures; and especially that even this small patch upon which we are settled, is not our own, but native property; which we are allowed to occupy just as long as our land-lords please, and no longer.

I must not draw to a close without my present epistle. But before I conclude, I must remind myself that I am still remaining in your financial debt. I have often felt it, and still continue to feel it a burden upon my mind; and can assure you that long ere this I should have settled it, if I had been able of doing so. I sincerely thank you, my dear Maclean, for your patience, and leniency with which you have thus far considered me your debtor. Pray, if you can, forbear a little longer, and I will endeavour as much as ever I can, to pay you before long. And now I must bid you farewell for the present, to have this in readiness for the first opportunity that may offer for forwarding it. With my love and best wishes, in which Mrs. R. heartily joins me.

I remain
ever yours most faithfully and sincerely (Signed)
J.F. Riemenschneider.
To:- Don. Maclean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Riemenschneider, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0537 (39 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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