Object #1024775 from MS-Papers-0032-0826

7 pages written 17 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.

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

Page 1 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Manawatu
17 Septr 1850


My dear Susan

I wish to goodness instead of writing that I was on my way posting to Wellington to spend a few days with you which I trust although I have exceeded my time I shall soon be able to do when I must be prepared for these numerous scolds you threaten to give me and which I am sure I most richly deserve. Your letters so punctually sent by every opportunity I have read and continue to read with the greatest pleasure. I am glad that you report so favourably of Mamma's health. This weather and your attention must do her a great deal of good. It is most

Page 2 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

most delightful now to travel in the country. Everything around you seems animated by the returning spring. I trust if spared by providence that we shall enjoy the next in each other's company as we are prevented by the stern demands of duty from doing so now.

Do not be very angry Douglas at not receiving a letter from me by the last mail. It was not the fault of the natives or the boundaries either. I must confess that I was to blame myself by not stretching a point to write to you. Had you seen how fully engaged I was when I got back from the interior I am certain you would forgive me especially as I acquainted you that I should be for some time absent. The longer I am so the fonder and more frequently do I think of you, therefore do not be in a fret or else I shall ask Mrs Duncan's permission to let you

Page 3 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

have a month's solitary enjoyment at Manawatu to moderate your temper before I introduce you to my mother at Taranaki. Then you will have an opportunity of finishing the watch guard which bears a much greater resemblance to "Penelope's Web" than my delay at Rangitikei. As you have alluded to "Penelope's Web" I will not be much surprised to find when I get to Wellington that you have read Homer's "Odyssey". You must be getting very industrious in your historical researches and only that I promised not to trouble you much on the subject I would now send you an outline of the book I wish you to read after you have finished Rollin. My great anxiety is that you should lay in a good store of religious and historical knowledge as it will be of infinite advantage and great pleasure to both of us through life. I regard external accomplishments as altogether subordinate to the careful improvement of the mind which should be nourished

Page 4 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

with as much system and regularity as we provide wholesome food for our bodily sustenance. What is more delightful than to read and converse over what we read by a nice clear winter fireside when we are relieved from the cares of the day enjoying that agreeable evening relaxation that most persons feel when the duties of the day have been ended. Mrs Shand, whose safe arrival I was glad to hear by your letter, was a person I esteemed very much for her good sense, extensive range of reading and attachment to yourself. I will write to Mr Shand when at Wellington. Dr Forbes and Mr Hamilton have gone on to Whanganui. The cutter I delayed here till today. Forbes left on Sunday as his leave is limited to the return of the Acheron to Waikanae. Mr Park is at Rangitikei surveying. Tomorrow or Friday I intend visiting the Kebbels. They have sent for me but I cannot spend more

Page 5 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

more than one night with them if I can even do that. Mr and Mrs Duncan are exceedingly kind so are all the Manawatu settlers. Probably you saw Mr Robinson who was expected at one time to marry your friend Miss Kelly who must not by the way convert you now that there are so many bishops and priests at Wellington. When there is a priest at Taranaki you may keep him in countenance by talking French to him. Give my kindly regards to Mamma and now my dear Douglas the candle is burnt down to the paper. I can not disturb the house to get another. I must to bed with moonlight of which you are so fond. May Heaven bless you is the prayer of your ever affectionate


Donald McLean

Page 6 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


Thursday morning

How refreshed and invigorated you feel after a few hours sleep. I am wondering just now whether you are getting up to prepare Papa's breakfast or whether Mamma as usual has been three or four times to rouse you. The latter without the aid of second sight is the most probable conclusion I can arrive at. What fresh piece of ornamental work have you on hand since Mamma's cuffs were finished? Have you been to Evans Bay with Mrs Kirkton yet. The more frequently you go out with such a kind good natured companion the better it will greatly improve your strength. Now puss I must say Adieu!

Yours always
Donald McLean

English (MD)

Manawatu
17 Septr 1850


My dear Susan

I wish to goodness instead of writing that I was on my way posting to Wellington to spend a few days with you which I trust although I have exceeded my time I shall soon be able to do when I must be prepared for these numerous scolds you threaten to give me and which I am sure I most richly deserve. Your letters so punctually sent by every opportunity I have read and continue to read with the greatest pleasure. I am glad that you report so favourably of Mamma's health. This weather and your attention must do her a great deal of good. It is most most delightful now to travel in the country. Everything around you seems animated by the returning spring. I trust if spared by providence that we shall enjoy the next in each other's company as we are prevented by the stern demands of duty from doing so now.

Do not be very angry Douglas at not receiving a letter from me by the last mail. It was not the fault of the natives or the boundaries either. I must confess that I was to blame myself by not stretching a point to write to you. Had you seen how fully engaged I was when I got back from the interior I am certain you would forgive me especially as I acquainted you that I should be for some time absent. The longer I am so the fonder and more frequently do I think of you, therefore do not be in a fret or else I shall ask Mrs Duncan's permission to let you have a month's solitary enjoyment at Manawatu to moderate your temper before I introduce you to my mother at Taranaki. Then you will have an opportunity of finishing the watch guard which bears a much greater resemblance to "Penelope's Web" than my delay at Rangitikei. As you have alluded to "Penelope's Web" I will not be much surprised to find when I get to Wellington that you have read Homer's "Odyssey". You must be getting very industrious in your historical researches and only that I promised not to trouble you much on the subject I would now send you an outline of the book I wish you to read after you have finished Rollin. My great anxiety is that you should lay in a good store of religious and historical knowledge as it will be of infinite advantage and great pleasure to both of us through life. I regard external accomplishments as altogether subordinate to the careful improvement of the mind which should be nourished with as much system and regularity as we provide wholesome food for our bodily sustenance. What is more delightful than to read and converse over what we read by a nice clear winter fireside when we are relieved from the cares of the day enjoying that agreeable evening relaxation that most persons feel when the duties of the day have been ended. Mrs Shand, whose safe arrival I was glad to hear by your letter, was a person I esteemed very much for her good sense, extensive range of reading and attachment to yourself. I will write to Mr Shand when at Wellington. Dr Forbes and Mr Hamilton have gone on to Whanganui. The cutter I delayed here till today. Forbes left on Sunday as his leave is limited to the return of the Acheron to Waikanae. Mr Park is at Rangitikei surveying. Tomorrow or Friday I intend visiting the Kebbels. They have sent for me but I cannot spend more more than one night with them if I can even do that. Mr and Mrs Duncan are exceedingly kind so are all the Manawatu settlers. Probably you saw Mr Robinson who was expected at one time to marry your friend Miss Kelly who must not by the way convert you now that there are so many bishops and priests at Wellington. When there is a priest at Taranaki you may keep him in countenance by talking French to him. Give my kindly regards to Mamma and now my dear Douglas the candle is burnt down to the paper. I can not disturb the house to get another. I must to bed with moonlight of which you are so fond. May Heaven bless you is the prayer of your ever affectionate


Donald McLean

Thursday morning

How refreshed and invigorated you feel after a few hours sleep. I am wondering just now whether you are getting up to prepare Papa's breakfast or whether Mamma as usual has been three or four times to rouse you. The latter without the aid of second sight is the most probable conclusion I can arrive at. What fresh piece of ornamental work have you on hand since Mamma's cuffs were finished? Have you been to Evans Bay with Mrs Kirkton yet. The more frequently you go out with such a kind good natured companion the better it will greatly improve your strength. Now puss I must say Adieu!

Yours always
Donald McLean

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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1024775). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments