19 Jany. 1875
Sir Donald MacLean K. M. G.
Wellington N. Z.
My dear Sir Donald
It is with real pleasure that in addressing you now I refer for the first time to the honour you have received at the hands of our Queen. You have earned it well by good work, continued through many years, for the benefit of the Colony.
As to the proposal made by the Prime Minister, I beg to thank him heartily for it. That it was opposed does not surprise me. You know already my feeling about it. I am quite content.
I hope you will not think I am taking an unfair advantage of your kind feeling towards me, if I wish to recommend to the Govt. in my place, two friends of mine, who have done and are doing good work. The first is Wu. Hikairo, about whose case we have conversed once or twice. The second is Archdn. Williams, who worked very zealously in framing the first Part of the enlarged English Grammar for Native Schools. At the time of leaving New Zealand, the Second Part was nearly completed; which
comprises the residue of the old book, with considerable additions and improvements. This 2nd Part was much wanted. The boys at St. Stephen's, and probably elsewhere, knew the 1st Part by heart. Some materials also had been got together for the 3rd or concluding part.
I do not know how the issue of the Second Part has come to be delayed. It may be that the Archdn. has been taken off from it by the need of attending to private affairs, as well as to his own professional engagement. Would it not be well, and simply just, to encourage the worker, and expedite the work, by a grant of money which he has really earned?
I have borne in mind what you said about selecting a History of England for the purpose of your Waka Maori, but I have not succeeded, and have not much hope of succeeding. There is an able History just published by a Mr. Green, which gives less space to wars, and the like, than used to be given. Still the subjects on wh. Mr. Green enlarges, such as English literature, religious divisions and controversies etc. are not very nourishing for Maori minds. The natives know well enough the beginning of our story, how slowly we grew up out of a wild condition. This was set before them in
two little books, called 'Ngatupuna o te Pakeha', wh. were widely circulated. I am much inclined to think that, for the object in view, no better subjects can be found than the lives and doings of remarkable men - discoverers, such as Columbus, Capt. Cook, Arctic explorers, Livingston and inventors, such as Stephenson, and narratives of the progress of great inventions from their rude beginnings - for example, the Steam engine - of public institutions, eg. the Post Office - of coal and iron mines, of our shipping, of bridges and lighthouses - of working in metals, manufacture of paper, silk - and other arts etc. In all this, I am taking for granted that your editor is a man of insight and clear head, who can simplify such subjects and bring them down to their elements and then build them up step by step, and that he is willing to take considerable pains to do this, and further that your Maori translator is bent on expressing things to the Maori reader in modes clearly and naturally intelligible to him, not willing to resort (except in cases of clear convenience and necessity) to the tempting device of transforming English words into a barbarous similitude of Maori, and so hiding away an
unknown thing, more hopelessly than ever under the thick darkness of an unknown word. Unless you can find fit workers of this sort, I fear little will be effected. At the same time, I fully believe that, by aid of such workers, a very beneficial result may be secured.
But, after all, instruction in the English language is the great matter. I have got some materials ready both for the 3d part and the Word Book.
I shall be very much obliged if you can instruct your Under Secretary Mr. Clarke (to whom I send best respects and good wishes) to forward to me such Parly. Papers as relate to Native Educon. and to the state of the Native Populon. generally.
I remain, My dear Sir Donald
Very truly yours
P. S. As we are still moving about - My address will continue as before
C/o of Revd. F. Thatcher