Letter from P. Wilson,
to Donald McLean.
dated 5th, April 1853
Monday morning. 5th. April 1853.
My dear Mac.,
The enclosed was all ready to go to you to Wellington on yesterday week; but by putting it in a wrong pocket, I forgot to deposit it. Now it is just as well; for a letter from Pat on Saturday acquainted me that you were at Rangitikei on your way to Auckland. So I now accordingly forward it thither.
You may fancy how mighty little I trouble myself about politics, when I tell you that worse than foolish correspondence with Watt and Hulke, and the Waitara native, Ihaia, was unknown to me until yesterday; when I met with it first in the "New Zealander". I wonder the fellows are not ashamed of themselves, even as New Plymouth politicians.
I am occupying an hour before breakfast, doing up a record of my first journey to Whanganui; and it is possible you may soon see it in print. I want to have a shot at folly as it flies"; and moreover, I do most anxiously desire to give poor, but fair, Whanganui, a lift in the way of publicity. I like New Plymouth very
well; and surely I have been one of its most extravagant hyperbolists; so the folks here need not turn round on me, should I endeavour to bring Wanganui into notice. By the way, will you be so good as to tell me why all you Maori lexicologists have introduced the letter H into W,anganui? To a Scotch ear, at least, the word so constructed, is offensive, reminding us of that school weapon, the Tawse, a whanging with which, I have no doubt, you got often enough in your younger days. And now I think of it, it may be meant to have a reference to the licking the Maoris gave us in 1847. But there was no occasion, in so far as I was concerned, so to commemorate the circumstance. Be the cause what it may, the word was softer and more euphonious without the H.; and certainly the natives do not aspirate it. Some say the worthy Bishop was the innovator; so you may ask him.
Since writing the above, I have looked into Ogilvie's Dictionary, and find Whang is an English word, defined,- "a leather thong". Now keep the H. if you like; I shan't.
The on dit here is that you have gone to Auckland to get money, for the purpose of buying oceans of land here. I wish to goodness you could, in order to remove one cause of their wordiness.
Marsh and Gudgeon are as far from an agreement as ever; and the little fool will have it that you and I are in fault. He is a silly, cat-witted creature; and I laugh at his observations.
Your "mother" and all other folks here are well. Ritchie goes on excellently well; but your law folks at Auckland won't give him license to practise here; though in point of law, or even general education, he has no equal here. This is too bad.
I am, in haste,
my dear Mac.,
very faithfully yours,
P. S. (written in margin),-
Sarah, the youngest daughter of old Barrett, the whaler, is to be married to-day, to a young English farmer, at Tataraimaka, named Honeyfield, a very respectable lad, and brother of Mrs. Newman.
P. S. (also written in margin)
Have you got my copy of Hursthouse's New Plymouth containing my animadversion; and also, have you got my interleaved copy of Busby on the Vine?