Chapter 7, Liberal Hopes and Debacle, 1875-79
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Liberal Hopes and Debacle
Sir James Fergusson having retired from the governorship late in 1874, the Marquis of Normanby took office in January 1875. He had previously been lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia and governor of Queensland.
For the first half of his term Lord Normanby worked amicably with various permutations of cabinet contrived by Sir Julius Vogel. The combination which Atkinson joined in 1874 was in office till the middle of the following year. Then commenced a series of changes most of which were needed to facilitate Vogel's visits to London in connection with railway contracts, loans, tariffs, and the Pacific islands. In 1875 Atkinson was made colonial treasurer. The premier for the moment (Daniel Pollen) being in the Legislative Council and Vogel absent, Atkinson had to assume the leadership of the House. Thereafter he was the mainspring, and at times the virtual head, of the ministry. In the session of 1875 he brought in the resolutions for the abolition of the provinces (which had been foreshadowed by Vogel a year earlier). One of the chief opponents was Sir George Grey, who in 1875 was elected to parliament and as superintendent of Auckland with that in mind. By 55 votes to 20 in the House of Representatives, and by 23 to 4 in the Legislative Council, the resolutions were carried and on 12 October the Abolition Act became law. No more meetings of provincial councils were held, and they passed out of existence on 1 Nov 1876.
Atkinson was first designated premier on 1 Sep 1876, and a few days later he reconstituted the cabinet with survivors of earlier changes. Amongst these the most significant was Charles Christopher Bowen, who in 1877 piloted through parliament a bill (not a government measure) making education the responsibility of the state -
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free, secular and compulsory. The act was carried on 29 November. Meanwhile the ministry had been defeated, and on 15 Oct 1877 Grey took office with a Liberal government, which included later John Ballance, as minister of education and treasurer, and Robert Stout as attorney-general. An interesting letter from Ballance to Atkinson (dated 3 Oct 1877) is introduced here.
As a party leader Grey was not a success, and he was soon at odds not only with his own colleagues but with the Governor, who did not hesitate to join issue on constitutional points. Thoroughly versed in these matters, Normanby would not yield to Grey's importunities. He refused a dissolution on the ground that an election would not materially change the colour of the House, and he declined to make an appointment to the legislative council when a no-confidence motion was being debated. On both points the Secretary of State supported Normanby. When Grey was defeated in Parliament, the Governor granted a dissolution, a year before the expiry of the term. After the election a compromise was arranged and John Hall took office on 8 Oct 1879, pledged to enact several important reforms which had been promised by Grey (notably manhood suffrage and triennial parliaments). Atkinson was the new colonial treasurer, 1 Whitaker attorney-general, Rolleston minister of lands and Bryce of native affairs.
Though Atkinson during most of this period was closely attending to his farming, the native problem was ever present. On 26 Mar 1879, for instance he wrote: "I am greatly afraid that we are in for another native difficulty. The natives are quite determined to resist the survey of the plains." Early in the year a chief at Parihaka, Te Whiti Orongomai (1831-1907), who exercised considerable influence over the west coast tribes, directed his followers to turn the surveyors off the land. Between March and June over 180 Maoris who were caught obstructing the survey were arrested and put in prison. In June a public meeting at New Plymouth, which was attended by the New Governor (Sir Hercules Robinson) and the Premier (Sir George Grey), demanded that the town should be put in a state of defence and the Armed Constabulary reinforced.
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In 1876 Richmond Hursthouse was elected M.H.R. for Motueka. Henry Richmond in December 1877 was sworn in as a barrister and solicitor.
Early in 1875 another contingent of the associated families - Judge Richmond with his wife and children - sailed for Europe to attend schools in Switzerland and England. The judge returned to New Zealand in 1876, leaving his wife and some of the family in England, where in 1877 a daughter (Margaret) entered at Newnham College, Cambridge. In that year Jane Maria Atkinson, with her three daughters and two of James Richmond's, sailed for England in the Avalanche. A. S. Atkinson and his son Arthur Richmond, who had been head boy at Nelson College, followed them in 1878. Arthur before the end of the year gained an entrance scholarship for Clifton College.
The opportunities which J. C. Richmond observed while engaged on railway construction in Algeria tempted him to apply himself to making money but he was fascinated by the colour of the flora and the landscape, and ended by being "tired of the tracasseries and importunities of officials" with whom he came in contact. When his daughter Dorothy, who was studying art in Germany, began to show some development he felt it as a promising relief from "a great weight of anxiety." In 1878 he himself had a picture hung in the Royal Academy. He yearned to return to New Zealand - and this seemed possible in 1877 when a cabinet post was being discussed - but he again questioned his capability for office and reminded himself, as he had reminded Dorothy, of "the merit of industry and devotion to an art." M. W. Richmond, on completing his schooling in Switzerland, joined his father in Algeria and then proceeded to England to study for the B.A. and B.Sc degrees of London University.
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J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Montreux, L of Geneva, 7 Jan 1875
I shall anxiously await the next mail which will, I suppose, inform us whether the two girls shipped with Dr Hector ... I should certainly profit more by the prolongation of my visit under such circumstances than I have done hitherto, for I should know that illness would not be overlooked till too late, an idea that has been a Damocles sword to me whenever I have been away from the three, so much so as to paralyse my efforts in painting and prevent me from quietly pitching camp anywhere where I could work at landscape after my own views ...
Anneliz and Maurice have no doubt gained much in knowledge under circumstances as regards schools only moderately favorable to progress . . . Dorothy has perhaps gained less . . . But now it must be admitted that Maurice's previous training under Mr Simmons has helped him materially, and the social frank ways of Anneliz's have been much in her favor ... I cannot suggest any art suitable for home practice that would be likely to pay. I am even puzzled what [to] decide for Maurice's occupation to whom everything is open. But my conviction is that the cases are rare when any one can decide beforehand for young people that they have particular aptitude for a pursuit... indeed in most cases they will adopt the line which chance or friends put before them, and succeed in it reasonably well . . .
I have made little progress with painting but I begin to move a little and a quiet spring and summer will I hope not be too late to make my advance visible to other eyes than my own. I have sent a drawing into the Dudley Gallery - a good winter exhibition of water colors. Basil Holmes, the good, constant, reliable friend and critic through whom I sent it speaks favorably of it. Here are his remarks: 'I think it a beautiful scene and one of your most complete and satisfactory efforts; it hangs well together, is bright, with plenty of atmosphere and the gradations and flatness of the tints eminently satisfactory; perhaps the weakest point is the group of near trees which looks a little too tufty and broken about in equal patches of light, but there is not much amiss and I must repeat it is a lovely view. I own I can't help calling it a view ... I question how far such can be called pictures. In the latter there must be one leading idea - concentration - the human element must be apparent - by which I mean the subject must by its treatment appeal to something which the spectator feels . . . the mind can only take in one thing at a time - 3 harlequins and half a dozen clowns in a pantomime are a failure . . . Let me clear myself from the apparent imputation that your pictures lack motive for there is the double look of truth and earnestness in all of them . . . Your drawing . . . being so bright and fresh - it will put to shame the traditions of the studios whereby nature is made of none effect.'
The criticism is too kind but right in its distinctions. I consider that the drawing is not bright enough - too labored in execution and too full of 'things' - harlequins and clowns - to be at all satisfactory . . .
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C. J. Monro 2 to Emily E. Richmond - - - Bankhouse, Amuri, 11 Jan 1875
... I made a very hurried visit to CH.Church on purpose to be in Nelson for the new year, and even made forced marches on the way back, only to be disappointed and to hear when I arrived here that the mustering would begin in a few days . . . The shearing commenced today and will not be over till the end of the month.
Ch. Church is a fine place, is thoroughly English and the best town I have seen in the country. Alick went with me as far as the Amuri and from there I drove to Kaiapoi and from Kaiapoi I went by train to town. Travelling by railway once more was most enjoyable; you pass through some most lovely country, beautiful fields and crops on both sides and altogether it is most charming. I was surprised to see so many fine buildings in Ch.Ch. They are at last putting up the long neglected Cathedral. . . it will soon be an imposing sight. One of the best buildings there is the Normal school. Why it is called Normal I don't know but it is an establishment for training teachers at . . .
The ride to the Amuri is most enjoyable: you pass through very rough country the whole way, the scenery is fine and romantic, but perfectly devoid of bush or growth of any sort upon the hills larger than the spear grass. Along the banks of the rivers there are a few trees.
I had not time to go and call at Glenmark and see the far famed Miss Moore, but feasted my eyes upon the premises from the distance. The wool shed there is truly magnificent. It will hold 5000 sheep in the pens alone and on one occasion they employed no fewer than no shearers.
Rev. D. M. Stuart to Emily E. Richmond - - - Dunedin, 11 Jan 1875
... I need scarcely assure you that I feel a personal interest in your clan from the dear Judge whom I wd make, if I had the power, Principal and Professor of Moral Philosophy of a great Australasian university in the interests of a coming age and in those of Divine Philosophy - to the five year old Richmond whom my eyes have not yet seen. I will keep my eyes on your good ship and will hope and pray that you may be restored to us in good health - all of you - when you have seen the Fatherland and the friends.
It is a great work to start with such a clan - but once you are on board the difficulties will be half over. Pray don't let your friends tease the life out of you by endless farewells. You wd be in better trim for the voyage if you cd have concealed your purpose till the night before sailing . . .
We are all in fair health. Now and then the thought enters my brain that I must soon make room for others - but when I warm up with my work I forget all ailments and all sorrows.
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J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Oran, Algeria, 3 Mar 1875
In November last when I visited Paris and J. R. Johnson. I found him in a snug little cottage in the suburb of Neuilly with a workshop and with a man or two contriving machines for rapid printing engraving and reporting ... He was connected with a Mr Harding, one of a well known firm - or family of accountants who . . . had begun to make his way as concessionaire, contractor, capitalist. They seem to have arranged between them before I saw them that I was to go over to Algeria to look after a short railway . . . After the Christmas holidays I got a telegram urging me to come to Paris ... I wrote Harding telling him how rusty I was in engineering and in the language ... On meeting him he said he . . . would not hold me responsible for technical matters, although glad of my technical knowledge. I was to represent him and do as he would do, appointing a staff complete without myself. The fact that ... I was outrunning the constable decided me to go over and earn a few pounds to balance accounts ... Here I am in the midst of a most mixed population. Arab, Kabyle, Negro, Jew, Spaniard, Frenchman, Maroquin all as it seems to me trying to get a little money at the expense of the least amount of labor . . .
I have had to cool my heels a good deal - doing the respectful to Governor and heads of all sorts of departments, most of them doing some little or another to disgust English enterprise, though all professing great desire to forward business . . . Poor Saunders and the mob that envy and suspect Government in N.Z! How they would groan and scold amidst the little official mosquitos of Algerie . . . However I have . . . had influenza . . . making me so weak as to drive me to brandy and champagne to get thro' - not the day's work - but the day's annoyances ... I have got a splendid little fellow, an enthusiast in his business, as chief engineer . . . French method combined with English push and energy is a fine thing, and my friend Brunie has both . . . My hope is to keep the work in hand, and execute it through very small contractors so as to reduce expenses and learn what they really ought to be . . .
Algiers is an untidy looking place in a lovely situation ... There is a very charming suburb on the Eastern side of the town, high on the hill, called Mustapha Superieur. Many English live here for the winter . . . Pitcairn's aunt who is spending the winter at Mustapha Superieur for the sake of a son who has congestion of the lungs . . . The prospect and air from their quarters reminds me of N.Z. . . . The vegetation is fairly well represented in G. Dore's Don Quixote . . . Those tufty things G. Dore draws are a bulb they call wild onions . . .
Oran is 425 kilos (266 miles) by railway from Algiers. Most of the way is over long plains perhaps 10 miles wide destitute of trees . . . Arab villages are uglier than any N.Z. pa . . . Our line leaves the main line about 30 kilos from Oran and runs South to a great plateau on which a tussock grass called Alfa (or in Spain, Esparto,) grows. It is collected for paper making. Probably N.Z. tussock is quite equal to it. The line is 50 kilos long and its terminus is at a recent French town of about 7000 inhabs. Sidi bel Abbes . . .
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My engagement here leaves me free to . . . throw the thing up wholly if I do not find it convenient in May. I shall not be sorry to go on longer for the sake of experience to be useful in N.Z., but I find the thing anything but delightful. It is happy for me that French is interposed between me and official folks, else I might be tempted to tell offensive truths. As it is I practise the necessary reserve without difficulty . . .
I hear Vogel is still tied by the leg with gout, and that 92 1/2 is all he can get for his 3 million Tant mieux ... to our state. Vogel hoped for a guarantee, but I fancy he has not had much encouragement from his big brother's government. 3
Jane Maria Atkinson to J. C. Richmond - - - Nelson, 8 Mar 1875
On February the 24th our eyes were gladdened and our hearts warmed by the sight of your dear old face looking startlingly life-like . . . really so life-like that I fancied some new kind of photography was invented and that you had sent this specimen from England . . .
. . . Arthur saw my name in the list of packages by the Albion and on going down to the custom house found the picture case . . . having to value contents, which he did impromptu £20, tho no money really represents the value of a really good likeness such as this certainly is. It satisfies everybody. Mr Gully is much pleased with it, he knows the artist who is not always so successful for in Mr G's case an attempted likeness made everyone laugh that looked at it . . .
People are of course asking when we expect you back ... Of course if you get the girls well placed in Germany and you find you are not short of means it will be a pity not to let them have a year . . . But I fear that . . . unless you find that you can turn an honest penny by pen or pencil you may have to return sooner than you wish on economical grounds.
C.W.R. has returned from the Awatere, but is off again directly to the West Coast and next month to Taranaki. He seems stronger for his tour but has not been free of asthma ... It is a comfortless life for him never able to stay in his own home for any time. If I were Emily I had a hundred times rather he took a small run and settled in any corner of N.Z. where he could breathe and keep with his family and have him throw up his judgeship, but she does not feel so at all I can see, except for a day or two when really frightened for his life. Arthur says he could make a good deal as chamber council living anywhere he liked in N.Z. and as Emily says they have £10,000 with that well invested they ought to be able to live well in comfort (tho' to be sure they do not live in comfort with the £1500 per annum at present.) Margie is still in Napier very happy now and liked; she remains with Mrs Wm Russell to console her on the departure of the old Col 4 and his two daughters who are going to England by this S.F. mail steamer.
I wish now I had asked you to send me a side-saddle . .. When you are collecting
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things for your own return you may get me a side-saddle for we shall want two if I and both (or all three) girls are to ride. A good large washing copper (like yours now at Beach Cottage) is a thing we much need. I mention it now in case . . . unexpected events send you back suddenly, in which case you may bring us a case of useful goods bought when you make your own purchases. Some carpet, a small supply of stout sheets, table cloths, towelling, and washing damask, or cretone for window curtains - a new excellent material.
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Algiers, 22 Apr 1875
I am now, thank God, quite well and beginning to be at ease among the people and to feel ground under my feet. Supposing that Mr Harding is as prudent and as fortunate as he has hitherto been, I have an opening that would tempt a younger man with fewer and weaker attachments than mine - an opening probably to considerable wealth . . . My intention is to go over to refresh myself with the sight of Wm. and his ten, my own three and the eighteen Blackheath treasures; ... to return here to see the railway ... If I can make anything like a conspicuous success in this it will I have no doubt pay the greater part of my expenses in Europe and leave me richer by an immense experience not only of technical, colonial and artistic matters but also of men and manners . . . If . . . this world is all under a curse, all I can say is that the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places, among the salt of the earth rather than its corruption . . . But the great profit of all will be what the young ones are acquiring. I scarcely doubt that all of them are growing up worthy of their rare origin - almost as if she were in spirit present with them to guide them . . .
I am considering constantly of Maurice's future, and am inclined to give him an opportunity of getting through the drudgery of the first stages of a trade or profession whilst quite young and then returning to school studies afterwards. It seems to me the safest way. Too many of the educated young men of England fail from getting student habits or ideas above the necessary drudgery of life from remaining at schools and colleges past the time when the humbler parts of a calling are pastime. M . . . thinks he shd not like to be a surgeon, or a lawyer. He has out of doors tastes. He has no objection as far as he knows it to the trade of an engineer and is willing to be placed in a factory. If I like to place him on these Algerian works I am certain of having him well cared for by Brunie, our engineer, a man of great capacity and enthusiasm.
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Algiers, 24 Apr 1875
Algerie is as full of railway fever as N. Zealand, but is in two respects happier, - it has more people and less credit. The European population French, Spanish and British are not so numerous as the N.Z. colonists, but there are three millions of
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Moors, Arabs, Kabyles etc and these are many of them producers, and then the proximity to Europe gives a value to produce that would hardly pay for carriage from the antipodes . . . There is a good deal of wheat and barley exported and there are wool, wine, olives and oil, oranges, ores of iron and zinc. Besides these there is the article which brings me over here, the Alfa grass, something like the large N.Z. tussock of which a considerable number of tons are yearly exported for paper makers. Lloyds weekly newspaper consumes a great deal, and Lloyd has yards for picking and packing the grass for this one use.
My little line of about 35 miles is part of a little reseau . . . The principal object is ... to bring down Alfa grass from a great inland plateau called the Mer d'Alfa . . . Nothing can be more luxuriant and greener than the crops of wheat, barley, oats, beans, flax as they stand now. I passed a barley field the other day as high as my shoulders, the ears 6 ins long and with the beards a foot long - waving in the soft wind and turning up the tender gray of the heads to the sun ... A large part of these flowers are old friends . . . The daisy family is represented in a vast variety of tints from the common daisy - through the greatest oxeye a delicate sulphur, lemon and yellow, to the deep orange of the marigold . . . There are blocks of a low purple thistle almost equal to heath, and of a sort of lucerne as bright ... It is the glorious masses and glorious intensity of the color that overpowers you. I have no doubt that bright sunshine improves the tints . .. The nearest approach to an idea of its brilliancy is in Holman Hunt's last picture, the Shadow of Death . . .
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - St Barbe du Kilat, 30 Apr 1875
... I am 'Mons le Directeur' of this line and for the moment an important man, and I see if I cared for it a good and profitable opening. My greatest trouble is an unexpected stupidity with the language. I can write a decent letter in French and an intelligible one in German, but I am a blockhead at talking and this . . . reduces the moderate pleasure of life here . . .
I am in respectable health after having a good deal of indisposition aggravated by solitude or having to do society through the medium of atrocious french . . . Algeria is a fine colony, but it is not N.Z. and I long for the clear streams and forests and a spice of snowy peaks and lakes.
M. Richmond to A. R. Atkinson - - - Hofwyl, 9 May 1875
I suppose you are the head boy of the school now, 5 and captain of the first college cricket eleven. We ... confine ourselves almost entirely to German and French, with a small sprinkling of Latin. As to cricket we have no grass field here to play in ... all the ground which is the least flat is covered with wheat, barley, potatoes and other crops, besides a great part being covered with patches of pine wood, so that Dr Miiller
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would have to use a great deal of persuasion to get hold of the smallest piece for us, and as he doesn't think cricket the chief object of life, as some people do, we have quietly to do without. So I resign myself to my fate and content myself with collecting butterflies, and I hope to be able to show Uncle Arthur a good many different kinds of European butterflies when I come back to New Zealand . . .
If Mr Mackay is still at the college you can tell him that I have got his present (Every Boy's Book) in my cupboard and comes often into use in dispute over our games.
The places round close about here have been the scene of a great many murders and suicides which is highly delightful.
Margaret Taylor to C. W. Richmond - - - Syrgenstein, 11 May 1875
... It sounds very unlike rest for you, to have your whole family about you - but I suppose people get used to such a multitudinous life! . . .
Please remember that German towns afford advantages unknown except to a few cities of England, and at a lower rate - and of better quality save perhaps at Cambridge (for girls). Couldn't you manage to run over with a return Cooks and look at some of the desirable places before deciding?
J.C.R. seems doing great things in Algiers - tho' he counts them small - of course. It was a very good thing to make him obliged to know he was useful. It seems about the thing least able to be got into his belief.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - St Barbe du Tlelats, 31 May 1875
... I have reason to be satisfied with having come. It has enabled me to 'foregather' a little in finance and it has taught me much that may be useful if I live to do any more work in N.Z. ... I am in the midst of all the sorts of evil that I anticipated from some part of Vogel's projects and witness the helplessness of a government, not I daresay very corrupt but quite inexperienced and unadvised in the work it is undertaking. I have succeeded beyond my hopes - have in reality fallen on my feet - for I can't claim more . . . The work will cost about half what those of the great Company - the P.L.M. - in Algerie have cost and they will be done within the stipulated time in spite of official delays, which are as much a caricature as Dickens circumlocution office.
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Blackheath, 28 Jun 1875
For me you may reckon certainly that I can never rest here ... It might be ungrateful to write it, at least without acknowledging that on this side of the globe I have had more than enough of the best blessings of life to fill out the lot of any
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reasonable creature - success and good opinions unsought and love unearned, immense comfort in my young ones. Nevertheless I long to be back - although it may be that nothing but the grave will quench my devouring hunger.
I spent two or three days last week mainly in helping off Mrs Stevens who returns to N.Z. in the Waikato, one of the N.Z Shipping Co's vessels . . . On board I met Mrs King's friend J. G. Cooke and his wife (late Mrs Crosbie Ward), step daughter, and neice Miss Torlesse. I had a long talk with J.G.C. who retains an intense interest in N.Z. and is admirably posted in our affairs by Mrs King and Mantell. It was pleasant to hear the old names familiarly used, and the sound of Maori again. He seems fully aware of the financial tempests that are gathering over N.Z. and does not recommend N.Z. bonds to his customers.
I was at C.W.R.'s when Mr Seymour and Mrs Fell called and enjoyed a chat with them . . . Mrs Fell is still almost beautiful - why should I not say quite - Chas Fell's face is almost too delicate for a man but it looks beautiful on a lady - past sixty?
A. S. Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Wellington, 2 Aug 1875
About 10 days ago I got a telegram from Harry asking me to come over - and I came - and have since been chiefly employed in holding Harry's hat while he delivered a Financial Statement! And what is more he did it (judice me, non sordidus (?) auctor) uncommonly well - and a good many of his enemies agree in this estimate. The statement has one cardinal virtue ... I mean honesty of purpose . . . The statement has greatly reassured me especially in undeceiving me as to the payment of interest out of loans instead of which £110,000 has for some years past been invested every year (practically at compound interest) as a sinking fund. It is also reassuring to find that our population is 358,000 and that the minimum yearly contribution per head of the population during any one of the last ten years has been £3.11.10 . . . I am looking at it mainly to see whether that is enough for creditors - and I think there is and to spare.
The abolition policy . . . embodied in the Abolition of Provinces Bill seems quite in the ascendant. The Opposition headed by Sir George Grey and old Fitz) had a caucus today at which it was resolved not to oppose abolition but only to require it should be referred to the country! ! So I think we may assume that at last, thro' the agency of some occult solvent, those Provincial rocks upon which (since 1861) so many noble vessels have suffered shipwreck . . . have been disintegrated and resolved into the primordial mud - or should I say slime? - out of which they were formed.
Sir George Grey is of course one of the prominent 'features' of the present session. He speaks readily - and . . . you would think he was speaking to the point. He has a good deal of action and is much more energetic in speaking than you would expect -but it is energy which irresistably suggests galvanism - and not that power which we, in happy ignorance of the modern philosophy, call self-determining. As I sit up
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in the Speaker's Gallery and watch them all wriggling below I feel quite Lucretian at least I should if it were not for the altogether unphilosophic but keen desire to be down wriggling among them myself.
C. Brown to H. A. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, 7 Aug 1875
The first time that I saw W. Bayly, I told him that whenever it suited his convenience to go to Opunake, I was ready to go with him; as he is shipping sheep by every steamer to Manakau ... I can therefore suit my work to his time.
The News is now under offer to a person, or as Gledhill says 'a party' in Auckland ... if he does not take it for want of means I think I could get the plant taken over under a bill of sale to me, by a company to work it. The question is . . . whether the supporters of the present policy of the colony would be willing to find a competent editor, for say, a twelvemonth . . . You are aware that I supported the Govt, and refused to place the News at the disposal of Stafford, at a time when I sought for nothing. Mr Wells now has charge of the News entirely, I have not written for, or seen it, since I left it last month to go to Wellington. But if the scheme for carrying it on by a Compy. fails for want of means to procure an editor and I shut it up, the press of the place will be the Herald and its pup, the Budget, which will be Kelly all over. I do not know where Eyeton is, or if he can be trusted now.
P.S. My objections to Stafford are removed, now that he considers the present Govt, better expresses his views than any other ministry that could be formed in the House ... I should be sorry to see one of the hydra heads of Provincialism lift its head for want of scotching. I forget if I told you that when I was elected in 1873, Mantell wrote to me condoling with me; and he wrote to Halse congratulating him on not being elected. I replied that it would be a good thing for the colony if the 6 Despots (Spntnds.) had their heads taken off.
There is the editor of the N.Z Mail, Perrier, who would do well for the News, and might with an assured small salary, try it, with a view to becoming the owner of it.
Bill 6 to Christopher Francis Richmond - - - Bleak-house, Nelson, 16 Aug 1875
I have got a great many birds since you have been away, which I shot with your gun or a catapult (excuse spelling), and which I stuff and hang up by the beak. I have 21 altogether. One of them is the New Zealand bittern, a very curious bird with a very long neck which I bought for 2/6 from Burrell's shop in Bridge street ... I have also the mako mako, silver-eye, riro-riro, miro-miro, fanny etc., and besides the birds a great many shells, which Mrs Maclean gave me, when she went to Bulls, a place near Wellington . . .
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College. I am in Boss's room now and I can tell you I have plenty to do . . . Boss gets in such fearful rages that he thinks 200 lines in a coppy book not half enough so he gives us 200 lines of Virgil for the first miss and if we miss twice running we get 300 and if three times 400 and so on up to 500 and there he stops; but I get quite enough of lessons in school so I will go on to our gallant cadet corps. 7 Most of us have got our uniform now, which is made of blue serge. The knickerbockers are quite plane, with the exception of a grey stripe down the leg; but the jumper or loose jacket is more grand, the cuffs of the sleaves have a red twirligig of braid on them, and the collar is grey with two strips of red braid running round it. We have nice small light little carbines, and are inspected monthly by Captain Marshal. Old Joe is getting on as usual and he says we are to have an old mad bag-piper as a musician for the corps.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Syrgenstein, 26 Aug 1875
I wish I could describe the quaint scene as we were crossing the Bodensee . . . Most of the passengers occupied themselves during our voyage across the placid expanse of blue water in eating a good dinner ... It is not pretty to see them eat. They enfist their forks - pinning down with it their slice of meat, as if it was alive, and trying to escape. With the knife, clutched in the other hand, they slash the meat into diamonds which they poke into their mouths, two or three at a time, holding their faces close down to their plates, so as to lose neither time nor gravy. Anna and Margie looked on with disgust which they made no attempt to dissemble ... I took the occasion (like the Father in the Swiss Family Robinson, et ailleurs) to read them a little lesson on tolerance of foreign manners - that people who empoignent their forks, and shovel in their food like stokers, may nevertheless be very decent, good hearted people, from whom one may learn much, though not how to behave at table ...
I was much pleased with the Mullers . . . Mrs Muller is a superior woman - very kind and able . . . The dormitories on the second floor are as clean and spacious as the wards of a hospital. . . About a quarter of a mile from the House is a large bath - a pond in fact - with stone steps going down to the bottom. At 12 the boys who are staying there went to bathe . . . Master and boys are as naked as needles except their bathing drawers, which leave legs and thighs quite bare. . . . Alf and Bob, in their Nelson tweed, looked on from the platform. They were to go in for the first time yesterday . . .
The Mullers asked me what about the religious teaching of the boys? This led to some talk from which I concluded that we were pretty well agreed about the matter. Made. Miiller was even so confidential as to express to me her chagrin that her Bishop son in law (once Bishop of Tasmania) had refused her eldest son as godfather to the
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first born of the marriage, on the grounds that the young man did not belong to the Church of England. Dr Muller as pere de famille says grace himself at his own table without inviting his episcopal son in law.
Emily E. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Mount Heaton, Manchester, 30 Aug 1875
Mary and I have been for a couple of days staying at the Albert Gregs near Macclesfield. Mrs Albert Greg is the sister of Marion and Eliza [Ronalds] . . . Miss Greg and carriage came for us at the station. Mrs G. received us at the hall door. Mr Greg, Mary and I liked very much, he is a well educated and very sensible and kind young man about 33-35 . . . The Gregs live in a large comfortable old fashioned red brick house, it stands quite near the road side, but looking over beautiful fields with fine trees both ways. The cotton mill, which is within a quarter of an hour's walk, is planted out so that you cannot see anything of it from the house. The day we got there, after having lunch, Mr Greg took Mary to see the cotton mill, with which she was much pleased, and over a mill hand's cottage. The old woman when she was showing Mary over said, I don't know much about your country - but this is a much better place than you come from'. Mary did not contradict.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 5 Sep 1875
I find all here well, but Harry's face is growing older, he has hard work during the session, both in and out of the House. I hope the tug of war is over now as there has been a kind of compromise with the minority (of only 19 I believe) about the Abolition Bill and they are to offer no obstruction to its passing this session, on condition of its not being acted upon until after the meeting of the new parliament next year ... It sounded to us in Nelson as tho' the cantankerous minority had been met more than half way but Harry seems to think they have got the worst of it as the general govt, throws on to them, (the minority and present provincial authorities are nearly identical, the 4 superintendents of the large provinces are the head, or rather teeth and claws of the opposition) the labour and responsibility of winding up or rather letting down the provincial machinery ... I think the Ministry (and Harry in particular) have gained in credit everywhere ... It now seems pretty generally admitted by foes as well as friends that they are able to carry on the government vigorously and will need fighting, whether Vogel returns or not, before they can be got rid of . . .
24 Sep I have just come in from a ladies' luncheon party, and dear me! I am thankful I live in Nelson! Fancy the trouble and expense of getting up a really elegant little dinner for 8 ladies who meet and chat for 3 hours, the conversation never rising above the level of an ordinary morning call! I met Lady Cracroft Wilson and we had a little talk about your voyage home, Mrs Stafford etc, but I only knew
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her and old Mrs Pharazyn in the room. Mrs Kenneth Wilson of the College is a very sweet-looking, refined young woman, the most interesting person there, and the hostess Mrs Tollhurst (of N.Z. Bank, and daughter of Judge Molesworth of Melbourne) is very agreeable, genial and unaffected . . .
25 Sep On the face of it unless C.W.R. has something very handsome offered him, it would seem the right thing to retain his judgeship until 1878 when he can retire with £750 per annum and live where he chooses. It feels too horrid and cold-blooded to talk of your giving up N.Z., but yet if it were certain that poor Wm. could only be half alive here, whilst in Europe he can breathe and live, it is obvious one must grow reconciled to the wrench, or at anyrate grin and bear it . . .
From what I hear and see you will be much pinched in this place on £1500 per annum, as I suppose you must live in society, and after all it is paying the price of gold for pinchbeck, the tone of society is apparently so poor intellectually. The old people gossipy, the young ones fast and gossipy too.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Montreux, Lac de Gene've, 13 Sep 1875
At Zug I took the lake steamer to Arth at the head of the lake and then by the railway (just opened) up the east side of the Rigi. Fancy, the railway is as steep as the road up to St Kath's! The engine and carriages have cog-wheels, which work into a cogged rail laid between the two others ... The engine only takes up one carriage . .. It pushes from behind. It takes i| hour in going up. It . . . only goes about 3 miles an hour. You feel distinctly that if the cogs should strip off you would go spinning down and over the first corner ... I didn't ride down - the trains go down as slowly as they ascend . . .
On Sunday afternoon I took a ticket for the first station out of Bern, and then on ... to Hofwyl. Bob and Alf soon were aware of my appearance and came running up with Maurice. They are looking decidedly well, and seem very happy ... I continue to like the Miillers. The old Doctor reads prayers to the boys in German, in a sonorous voice. A party of men came through the grounds. The public is admitted on Sundays. They had come to sing at the grave of Fellenberg, the founder of Hofwyl, and a great educatuonist. He is buried near the House.
I went down again to the Bath. This time all the boys were there . . . One fine brown-skinned English boy swims like an eel. Alf, the French teacher says, can already swim a little. Bob [aged 10] with a rope made fast to a band round his waist plunges into the deep water with great resolution and is dragged spluttering back to the edge of the pond.
C. W. Richmond to Christopher Richmond [aged 16] - - - Montreux, 21 Sep 1875
I suppose by this time you will be installed with bell-topper, pot-hat, and other necessities at Magdalen. I am sorry you hear such a bad character of the school as
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regards its moral tone. But amongst a number you will be able to find some, I doubt not, whose ways are not objectionable, and you will have the great advantage of one friend, at least, whose manners suit you. If you were two or three years younger I should be afraid you might be influenced. But at your age, and with views of right and wrong formed to a considerable extent, I do not fear the result. The great danger I have always had to struggle against arises from a certain mauvais honte which makes one unwilling to dissent from the doings of one's company. In many cases all that can be done is to be silent and retire as soon as practicable. But now and then an absolute and steady refusal to take part in what is going on becomes inevitable; and one must learn to bear the ridicule and unpopularity which are sure to follow. I have always envied the men who know how to assert themselves with dignity, yet without giving offence, when there is a call from conscience to do so. It is wonderful to see how the bestial mind shrinks abashed before the manifestation of this sort of power. The next best thing is to be able quietly to withdraw oneself from the evil, without pretending, or being able, to rebuke it.
As regards the work of the school, it will do you no harm ... to stick for a time to the dry bones of classics and mathematics. Your school career will soon be over, and at the University, if I am able to send you there, you will be able to shape your own course to a considerable extent. Mr Simmons is perhaps, if anything, a little too discursive for beginners. However, he has really done a great thing for you if he has given an interest in the subjects he taught. He has enabled you to anticipate the profitable application of a great deal which would otherwise appear not worth learning.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Oran, 1 Oct 1875
It was a satisfaction to know you had settled on the Dresden plan. I think it worth a great deal to my girls to be regularly at work under the guardianship of such an orderly being as Margaret [Taylor] . . . Anneliz ... is conscientious and industrious and moderately emulous. Dorothy too is unfolding a good deal. I have often been puzzled by her waywardness, but this last time that I have been with her there was a well marked change - a return to her childish tenderness and much more self control. Her letters are sometimes charming. In the midst of girlish nonsense come evident gleams of the unfolding of a mind beyond the average. She seems to have caught sight of the wonderfulness of life, the beauty and power of love and the impossibility of living to one's self . . .
I am fidgetting to get away from here. If Mr Harding makes no blunder in his finance the affair is a success, and will place him in a position of great power here. I have done everything with the utmost directness and openness, and our engineer -Brunie, who is if possible more of an innocent than I, has followed my lead perfectly . . . We have not given directly or indirectly a franc in the way of 'making it pleasant' ... I have had to fight a little . . . and I have had to tell them politely
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that ... I have come to make a railway which I feel able to do, but not to take lessons of the agents voyer of the voirie. The result is that all our line is let to contractors in seven months after I first landed, and let on terms far below those paid hitherto . . , Perhaps, however, the superior reputation of Englishmen in the management of these affairs is the main reason. I find that in spite of national self love, when it comes to a question of gain or loss we are still reputed superior in France for conducting considerable enterprises.
Since I began this letter my voirie friend has renewed his attentions, people here call them tracasseries - by demanding information about the state of our accounts . . . We have had the best on the whole. I am very tired of it and wish I could slip away.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Dresden, 23 Oct 1875
. . . We just wandered through the principal streets [of Rotterdam], paid our respects to Erasmus in the Groot-market - he was fenced round with bundles of celery - and retreated to the reading room at the Bath Hotel, to amuse ourselves with the Times and Galignani till lunch time . . .
Asthma had been gradually coming upon me. At Minden ... I was seized with such a fit on the platform that I could not stand or walk without help. One of the station people came to the rescue and very kindly conducted me to my carriage and brought me a cup of hot coffee which somewhat restored me ... As far as Hannover we had been in 'Niet Rooken or Nicht Rauchen [no smoking] carriages but here we chose for our third carriage one not subject to this prohibition and I began upon my cigarettes and puffed away enough to blind everybody if they had their eyes open. But the others were asleep except poor Alla and Dolla, whom I could see sadly blinking at me as I sat pumping breaths in my corner. Towards morning the fit abated. Day with her blank eyes came peering through the frozen rain, splashed across the windows. We passed some engine sheds and rows of wagons. These were Magdeburg - i.e. to us. It was now snowing and the country looked more respectable .
Jane Maria Atkinson to Anna Richmond - - - Fairfield, Nelson, 26 Oct 1875
The session ended on the 20th which was a real blessing for Uncle Harry, who was almost worn out by the late hours and incessant work. We . . . were caught in a fog at Pepin's island and had to creep in, sounding all the way for fear of running on the Boulder bank, and good Capt Andrews was so watchful and alert I was not sorry to be in the despised old Lady Bird. We had Mr V[alentine] Smith and Mr Knell (the clergyman uncle) who has been marrying Emmy Boor to R. C. Tennent (on board) to take care of us ... Mr J. Chaytor and Ed Fearon were also there and took us on shore at Picton to have tea at the house of the former . . .
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It is expected that Mr Von Tunzelmann will get Mr McNiel's post after Xmas, which will be a great loss to Mrs Pickett's school and Ruth . . . Uncle does not like her to leave home or I should be glad to send her to Wellington to go with Fanny to Miss Greenwoods. The work there is steady . . . The drawback is that the gossipy low tone of the society does affect even the young girls ... so that deep interest in dress and other peoples' flirtations begins with their teens . . .
Heaps more people go to England this summer. I feel jealous, tho I dread the voyage, icebergs, collisions, fires, gunpowder, etc. Renwicks, Izards and Gortons and several others I heard of . . . Cpt Rough is just back from a trip to Queensland. Mrs Maclean writes cheerfully from Bulls, mosquitos are the chief drawback. Mr Maclean gets plenty to do.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Paris, 3 Nov 1875
. .. Tell Anna to sleep in the train that she may be ready for the Opera on Wednesday night, as I fear it is not open on Thursday. Hensman surprised me here on Saturday last, and we went with Philip Wilkins to hear and see Don Giovanni together, which in this aery palace is a wonderful treat, although the singers are not of the very first class. . . .
Will you please ask Alla to bring down from Mrs Smith's top rooms all my sketches and photos of N.Z. Barraud asks for some to help him in a book he is preparing and will probably come to call on Mrs Smith and choose what he wants. I think either she or Tom knows Barraud. 8
M. W. Richmond to R. Hutton Richmond - - - Hofwyl, 7 Nov 1875
We are going to act two plays or rather comedies these holidays, one German and one French. I have got a part in the German but the French one will be acted after I have left . . . Alf and Bob get on very well with French and German but Alf learns more with the grammer and Bob more with chattering, indeed he already converses fluently ... in most European languages . . .
I am going to leave Hofwyl at Christmas and I have to go to some school of mines or some polytechnicum to learn the practical parts of engineering and then afterwards I am going to learn the head-work. Father doesn't know yet where I am going so it might be in France, Germany or England . . .
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Paris, 8 Nov 1873
... I ought to give Maurice the best technical instruction I can in whatever direction he may seem to tend, and stay within reach as long as necessary for him . . .
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He is growing a good deal and is wiry and tough. He has shown no very strong bent. I wish there were room for him in the law, for there is a clear line of conventional and necessary education. As, however, that mode of obtaining more than his share of food etc. seems likely to be adopted by a large part of his relations, I set it aside and think of my own profession - of which I have no right to complain, as it is repeatedly showing more attachment to me than I to it. I should make a mining engineer of myself if I had a profession to learn or time to learn one ... M. is ready to take any line he is set upon ... if I find he is prepared to take his chance I shall probably enter him at one of the great technical schools of England, France or Germany. A strong reason for France is that there I can find employment in all probability of a profitable kind and after a time bring the girls to live beside me and study painting, music and whatever else a poor female may be allowed to learn for her support and diversion . . . Mr Harding . . . seems to take kindly to me and . . . asks me to make up my mind to stay and do some or any of his work for him. My mind is so divided; I long to go back to you all and feel at best that I am but a sojourner and therefore cannot hope to do his work justice - otherwise the sort of experience is valuable and even at my age may be useful in our delicious grey, green, moist, temperate islands . . . [Harding] is now contemplating a great scheme for about iooo miles of what they call vicinal tramways, which will in fact be exactly what N. Zealand railways need to be . . . He has asked me to take the map of France and suggest lines! ! It's almost as inebriating a position as that of Sir J. Vogel with the 10 mill, and the 1500 miles ... I shall get a fine map and an abstract of the census and give the preference to Auvergne, the Cevennes, the Pyrenees, etc. It's a bad job that the Vosges have been torn away from our hands. . .
I spent two months of the grandes chaleurs in Africa. Wonderful heat considering that the latitude I was in is no lower than the N. Cape of N. Zealand, and such a blaze of light ... I stumped the line of our railway over conscientiously twice and found exercise under a pith helmet and umbrella more wholesome than sitting in the house ... I was, as I always have been, quite exempt, [from fever] but I found all food nauseous and had to run down to Oran on the coast every now and then for a fish meal with champagne to wash it down . . .
The course you propose to take about my furniture - you must understand that I shall have no money when I get back as all I gain is absorbed by travelling expenses and education . . . For this reason would it not be well to bury most of my goods? This method has been tried in N. Zealand. If F. Adams is living he might be consulted. Seriously, if the iron bedsteads and other durable things can be stowed away I shall be glad, for I shall certainly be pinched on my return unless I can do some startling service to Harding such as to induce him to give me a lot of paid up shares in something . . .
Dorothy is improving in mind and temper. She is growing and has become almost handsome. Mrs Whittle considers her very handsome. Certainly she is remarkable and has nothing commonplace in her looks . . .
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Before leaving again for Algeria, I hope to go for a week to England to finish a few drawings for sale and to refresh my mind by the faces of friends . . . My business is to buy material for our line ... I have also engaged to escort Miss Cobden, daughter of Richard and sister of 'Dick's wife'. (R. Fisher's junr) A very agreeable lady everyone says Miss Cobden is. She has a house near Algiers and spends the winter there with her younger sister. By a coincidence she is staying at Dresden in the house with our party, and Margaret has made the arrangement for her escort.
I have been above a fortnight in Paris ... I have seen two operas; it is an effort to go alone or with a companion with whom one has no ideas in common. I have gone as part of my musical education!! and for the sake of 'doing' the grand new Opera house... it is sumptuous beyond description . . . There is one corridor that delights one . . . but as a whole the impression is a surfeit of wealth and luxury. There are no good singers .. . The orchestra is excellent. The scenery a fair study from the Vierwaldstiitter see and then the overture, the choruses are unsurpassable.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson ig Nov 1875
Just as our last letters for England were closed came the news that Wm's extended leave of absence was granted ... I knew Mr Bowen and the Ministry generally would not willingly lose such a judge for N.Z. The only doubt was how J. Johnstone's application for leave might affect the matter, but I think his time is so near completion he will hardly have time to take a trip before retiring . . .
Henry is not at all strong and I wish he were ready to begin practise in Taranaki at once, whilst no new man has taken the field, for reading hard and anxiety about his examination must be more trying to a man of his years, than a mild practise at the present Taranaki speed. No doubt sharper practitioners will make the struggle keener before long.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Mary Richmond - - - Nelson, 14 Dec 
The College seems to have been taking it easy for the last half year. Mr Simmons lays the blame of their somewhat backward sleepy state on the measles, which are said to have left the boys limp. We are quite content with Artie's position . . . He gained the first mathematical prize, Bullard got the scholarship. Artie won the 1st classical scholarship, but as he holds the Newcome, which is better, it passed to Harkness secundus. Francie won the mathematical for boys under 14, which is satisfactory as he is not yet 13 and had many older competitors. He was a good second for the classical too, but was ill on the day of the examination and had to be examined separately. He had the French prize in the Middle division . . .
Only fancy, cousin Richie [Richmond Hursthouse] is likely to become an M.P.! He is coming forward in Opposition to old Parker of Motueka, at the special request
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of many Motuekans, who are tired of old P . . . I can't think it will be a good thing for himself and his family he should succeed, as entering on politics before he has made his way in life, or even possesses a home of his own appears to me to be beginning at the wrong end altogether . . 9
It is a remarkable fact that female servants are just as scarce, some people think scarcer, than before free immigration began, altho' 6000 single females have been imported. Houses in Nelson are as scarce as servants almost, altho' a good many have been built since you left . . .
Uncle Henry [H. R. Richmond] has written a letter trying to stir people up once more about a girls' high school and Mr Simmons has written an article on the same subject ... I am sure I don't know whether there is anyone who will take the matter up in a practical form. The Bishop distributed the prizes at Mrs Pickett's and put various questions to the girls, which revealed a good deal of portentous ignorance. Mabie got three prizes.
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Paris, 15 Dec 1875
. . . My ten days in London were spent chiefly in finishing - vamping up rather - three drawings that had been long half completed, and despatching them for exhibition. Friendly critics spoke highly of them and William Smith offered £90 for two. I would not except it unless on seeing them beside other drawings he and I were both satisfied. They are not very large and the price per sq yard offered seemed to me excessive. I think they will be accepted by the galleries, they seem to me to be an improvement on previous work.
I had also professional business to do for Harding and with visits to all the Blackheath party and to Basil Holmes and R. H. Hutton my ten days were filled up pretty closely . . .
I am looking forward rather eagerly to a visit to Dresden at Christmas. The girls are working well and full of interest. Dorothy's delight in her drawing master overjoys me. If she takes fire in this direction of art I shall be relieved of a weight of anxiety. I have fidgetted much about her, she is clever and good looking and wants a darling pursuit to quiet her and drive out a certain waywardness . . .
C.W.R's corps d'armee . . . were ten days in Paris, all cold and dull; the 'stone gals' in the fountains decently clad in icicle from head to foot, and the Bois de Boulogne full of skaters . . . M[ary] . . . fell to my charge in the afternoon. We . . . saw Othello in Italian, Don Giovanni in French, and a modern French play varying considerably from the most approved type inasmuch as the adultery is disapproved by the author. I seemed to see a hesitation on the part of the audience to side with the author in this ... I daresay I mentioned Guillaume Tell and the beauty of the orchestra . . . Every little 'tiny flourish' and appoggiatura reached Mary and me on our fourth
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story seats ... I never thought the opera so fine before. It seemed as rich as Titian and more graceful than Raffaelle. Othello I had never seen, and read comparatively seldom . . . What a play it is! Hardly second to Hamlet as an acting play ... It is cheering to see French audiences warm up at Shakspeare and Mozart.
It is rather miserable to sit by and watch French politics, five or six factions trying to jockey one another and each unable to believe any good of the other. If it depends on the parties as one sees them in the present Assembly I hardly see how a catastrophe can be adjourned many years ... Is it not curious that a legislature which has just preferred small unitary constituencies to departmental lists for ordinary elections should within its own walls apply the block vote and so oust the minority from all share not conceded by the majority in the election of the permanent senators. This time the Left wins ... Probably in the general elections Orleanists and Legitimists will practically disappear and leave the battle to Republicans and Bonapartists.
I think in my last I told you that I had almost engaged for a year to help Mr Harding, having headquarters here ... I feel since my half promise to Harding as if a sentence had been passed on me, as if I should never see my little boys or any of you again and all the doubts and fears that haunt life seem to throng and thicken. Can all this longing be no more than the upward tendency of a tree towards regions it is never to reach? Can it be that 'the intense atom glows a moment - then is quenched'? and I have hardly got in these questions as far as Tennyson to 'faintly trust the larger hope'. There is nothing on earth so good as working love - and nothing that propagates itself and widens itself so fast - yet nothing that has such haunting pain and dread.
Dorothy K. Richmond to Richard H. and James Wilson Richmond - - - Dresden, 19 Dec 1875
Anna, Margie, Alla, Allie and I are going to school here, we live in lodgings and Aunt Margie takes care of us. It has been very cold, the other day there were 23 degrees of cold and there was thick frozen snow all over the streets, we had to go to school with our heads tied up in wooly things and they got frozen all over where we had breathed on them . . .
I have drawing lessons for two hours in the evening three times a week with a master called Mr Simonson. I don't like him very much but I like his lessons awfully. I have begun to draw heads from statues now, it is so beautiful. We have to be in school at 8 o'clock and we have half an hour's walk there, so it is pitch dark when we get up, and even rather dark on the way to school. When it was so cold ... we went out sledging it was so lovely, it feels like flying or swimming, you go along so beautifully smoothly without making any noise except the noise of the horses' bells - you know that they have to wear bells or people would get run over because you can't here any noise on the ground. The cab wheels sound as if they were going over broken glass, because the snow is so frozen and broken up. It is not so cold now.
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In our school there are seven classes and a 'selecta'. Each class has a different room so there are eight rooms. Alla and Margie are in the first class, not the 'selecta', I am in the second and Allie in the third. Anna doesn't go to school but has a private German and a private French master.
Dec 23 Our holidays began yesterday, we have only 11 days only till the Monday after New Year's day . . . Today the sun is shining beautifully and we are sitting with the windows open, is'nt it ridiculous in December. In all the squares in the town there are great forests of young fir trees which people come and buy for Christmas trees because you know everybody has Christmas trees here . . . You know it looks so jolly to see gentlemen very grandly dressed buying trees and taking them home under their arms . . .
Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Dresden, 23 Dec 1875
This week is and is to be a most eventful one for us all. For the first place our holidays began yesterday, Auntie, Ella von Breithaupt and I went to see Goethe's Egmont acted last night, to-day our new hats are to come home. Father is coming to spend Christmas and the holidays with us! . . . On Christmas day we are going in the evening, all of us, to hear Wagner's Tannhauser . . .
My music teacher is so delightful, her name is Frau Tliemann . . . My music lessons are one of the joys of my life and yet every minute I think it is no use going on learning but I couldn't bear to give them up. I have two lessons a week . . . On Wednesday evenings, I go to her house where I meet three other pupils and we read music in eight hand pieces, generally overtures to operas . . .
Dolla takes drawing lessons with a Herr Simonsson and enjoys them immensely. He says she has a wonderful talent - I can't tell you how glad I am; it is so nice for Father. I think even he will be surprised when [he sees] how much and how beautifully she has drawn since she has come here. She does nothing but heads - between the lessons from copies and during the lessons from models . . .
Ella von Breithaupt . . . has been working so dreadfully hard for nineteen weeks without rest teaching and learning at some establishment in Berlin. We are having such music feasts here in Dresden ... I can perhaps tell you a little about last night when we saw Egmont acted on the whole very well, though some of the actors . . . were very bad. Margaret of Parma was acted by Frau Bayer. She is such a beautifully refined actress, every little movement is full of artistic feeling ... it is simply delicious to listen to and see her. Egmont was very good and given by a Herr Dettmar, in whom we take a great interest, because he is the father of one of the girls in Dolla's class here at school. He acts like a gentleman though of course nothing like Frau Bayer . . .
Miss Cobden left last night, we shall all miss her so, she is such a very nice little person. We have one very nice person, besides ourselves, left now - that is Miss Bertha von Seckendorff; she is so clever and fascinating, we all like her very much . . .
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Margaret Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - Dresden, 23 Dec 1875
Alla and I have a room together - she is just the same and not a bit older - Dolla in somethings is far older. Dolla's face is beautiful and since she came to Dresden she holds herself far better. She draws beautifully and has a good master and the gallery to go to. She looks so splendid when she comes home from it or from her drawing lessons, she glows out of every pore. Alla has a very good music teacher, a lady, and I have a fine master. I am rather afraid of him and he talks to me as if I was two years old - in German. In the middle of a music lesson he says, I am sure you want your dinner', just as if I wanted it when I was having a music lesson . . .
I now will tell you a little about school . . . The school is under the Government. The Head master Herr Director Victor ... is very kind to us and gives most delightful lessons - literature and grammar lessons. Her Wiinche is the geography, history and mythology teacher; he is the head of Dolla's room (class 2) but also teachers in ours, No 1, and in the Selecta, which is the head of all. Herr Buttman teaches French very well . . . Then Fraulein Roquette teaches English - that's fearful. Luckily we are able to go into Herr Director's room for English reading and though the book we read out of is anything but good he always chooses the best things out of it and he is so well read in English that he always makes the lesson interesting ... I must tell you how delightful the concerts are. I have been to two symphony ones and have heard a most lovely one of Beethoven's and the one of Mozart's which I love best I think, but I always like best what I am listening to. We shall have three more to go to this year, it is too splendid to think of. Then we have been to one of Wagner's operas the Meister Singer, it was beautifully given and I enjoyed it very much, but. . . Schumann makes me much more happy and sad mixed.
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - New Plymouth, 3 Jan 1876
You will, and perhaps rightly, think me an old wretch for not having written you before as to my movements. I have, however, been so uncertain from day to day and had so much running about that I have not seen my way to fixing my plans . . . I scarcely think I shall be able to go anywhere this summer . . .
I am very tired, having been looking after free and independent voters all day. You will have heard the result before you get this. 10 I have asked Bowen to send you a telegram so soon as he hears the numbers, he will know them before we do.
v 7, p 26
Jane Maria Atkinson to Anna Richmond - - - Elibank, 14 Jan 1876
Uncle Arthur . . . has been playing in a cricket match at Wakefield. I believe he ought to give it up, he is always getting his poor right thumb hurt . . . Who do you think has been married here on the 10th? Why that gay young widower Mr Mantell,
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to a Miss Hardwick, the very model of a little proper old maid, who would often find Mr M's odd sayings and jokes an unpleasant shock to her nerves one would expect. She looks too as tho' a strict church-woman and yet they were married at the Registrar's Office only! She is very musical and plays with great execution and it seems he is very fond of music.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 15 Jan 1876
Harry appeared this morning from Taranaki where he has just been elected by 225 to 73 over poor Mr Ivess, 11 a literary hack now of Patea but formerly of the New Zealand Celt which William will remember.
He (Harry) is looking much better, being as he says 6 inches less round the waist. This fact excites such lively joy in his female friends that I am burning to imitate him.
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 26 Jan 1876
... With regard to what you wrote about, I find there is a very great disinclination to increase the numbers in the Upper House amongst my colleagues. As I told you there is a promise or two. These have been, and are being, put off on the grounds that the numbers cannot be increased. I did not mention your name because I saw so strong a feeling upon the subject. I should very much like to see you in Parliament again but should much prefer your being in the lower to the Upper House. There is no doubt but that you would be of great use to the Country in either House but considering the feeling which I mention above I shall not make any definite proposal till I hear from you again. If you feel very strongly about it I will then see what can be done. Write me fully upon the education question; administration in that as most other things is the key stone of success.
When can you come to go our trip? They say late in Feb is the best for the muske-toes. It will take 10 days or a fortnight... I have a boat which I am going to sell now the boys have gone, are you inclined to buy. It is a good one, Melbourne build. I gave £20 for it ... I want £16. I don't know what you feel about boats so have not said anything to the boys about it. Alfie could take a share in it. ...
v 7, p 27
Jane Maria Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 10 Feb 1876
. . . Whatever happens let Margie go on steadily at once to Girton College if you possibly can. It may seem unfair to the others to single her out... I only dwell on the
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absolute necessity for poor young Margie, because her only chance of escaping permanent unhappiness seems to be in finding work for her mind and a right outlet for the energy that has so often rendered her life restless and miserable heretofore . . .
. . . Things here seem moving on quickly but whither? Anti-Vogelians say of course to ruin, but I feel more doubtful than I used to do, there seems such [?] and elasticity in the Colony. Population flows in, and has not begun to flow out, all the labour seems readily absorbed. The number of Australians visiting N.Z. increases, and its fame too in neighbouring Colonies. The amount of travelling on the coast this summer is simply amazing, we have 4 or 5 new large steamers (3 are additions) . . . Building in Wellington goes on rapidly . . . and here every place is let as soon as empty and some new houses are springing up.
We are looking forward with great interest to the next session . . . There must be a quite new arrangement of parties, but how the discordant elements can ever arrange themselves into compact masses marked M and O, 12 one is at a loss to imagine. Of course, that the abolition of the provinces is a fait accompli is hardly denied now by even the hottest Provincialist, but how can Auckland and Otago work together harmoniously now the Provincialist war cry cannot be used to rally them? Sir G. G., Rolleston and Macandrew cannot have the same objects to attain, and could hardly form a Government together if they do turn out the Vogel Ministry. Now that Vogel is back and Abolition accomplished Mr Stafford will not be Ministerial, but can hardly join such an Opposition as Sir G.G. leads. Altogether the muddle of parties looks inextricable . . . There are some changes for the better in the new House, but both Otago and Auckland are sending up some dreadful specimens of human nature. Luckie and O'Conor are no loss on whichever side they stood, one would much prefer being abused to being praised by either of them ... I hope Harry's work will be lightened by Sir J.V's return, for Annie thinks he has been much overdone . . .
We are most anxious that some good educational measure should be passed in spite of party quarrels, but that old thief Macandrew has pledged himself to denominationalism, to secure the Catholic vote in Otago and Southland, Bishop Moran selling it him on that condition . . .
I had a pleasant 3 weeks at Wellington ... If you have to settle in Wellington, I should advise you to live a little way from town and keep some sort of carriage, as driving is so necessary for Emily's health. The town grows sooty, the drainage is unsatisfactory and expenses are heavy. A little way off you might have paddocks for a horse and cow, keep a man to drive and garden and thus supply yourselves with fruit and vegetables, which are dear and scarce. It would be good to strain off part of the society of the place, and people you really liked and wanted would find their way out . . .
Feb 11 ... On New Year's day I made myself a present of a pair of spectacles which I really need at night either in reading small print or threading needles. My
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appearance in them excites deep disgust in Arthur and he pretends to think I wear them from pure affectation or a desire to look 'blue'. It is a wonder if his eyes do not soon fail, he is always trying them in the examination of spiders' eyes or old coins etc.
M. W. Richmond to R. H. Richmond - - - Oran, Algeria, 3 Mar 1876
Father wanted to get on to Besseges and finish his business there as soon as possible . . . We created a great sensation in the town, especially me, because I wore a sort of bearskin cap which is the fashion in Switzerland, but is entirely unknown in Besseges. However, Father didn't need to stop very long, and when he had looked over about 600 rails to see that they were good, he got a telegram from Mr Harding to tell him to come to Avignon again . . .
At Marseilles we bought any amount of things, among which a 30 f. violin for me to learn on . . .
We went to see a lot of people in the suburb [of Algiers] called Mustapha Superieur . . . First we went to see the British Consul-General for Algeria, Colonel Playfair . . . Then we went to see Miss [Leigh] Smith and Miss Blithe and the three Miss Cobdens. Miss Smith is an artist and has got a beautiful Moorish house, so have all the other ladies. I saw a good many new kinds of butterflies on the road . . . Miss Smith took me to some private theatricals at Lord Kingston's. Miss Blithe acted in them very well . . .
J. C. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Oran, 7 Mar 1876
I am very full of work, having plans of three or four new lines to get out. I have found Mr Harding and the Government here much more ready to acquiesce in my views on the subject of railways than Vogel, Blackett and N.Zealand and I hope to be able to say that in the course of a year and half I have been instrumental in launching from 300 to 400 kilometres of really cheap and efficient lines.
R. H. Hutton to C. W. Richmond - - - The Spectator Office, London, 10 Mar 1876
My exertions have not been more on behalf of dogs and cats than of any other creature of equally high organisation. The horse is much too valuable and much too big to be used for the purposes of the physiologist . . . While hundreds of dogs and cats and thousands of rats and guinea pigs are vivisected every year for scientific purposes, we have only come across the case of a single horse being subject to any treatment of the kind, and even that was not a very bad case. The veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom are certainly humaner, possibly because they have less enthusiasm for science, than the ordinary surgeons and physicians . . . You will go
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back to New Zealand saying that you saw very little of your old friends and that most of those you did see were possessed by some more of less harmless traits which insulated them from you more effectually than even the 'streak of silver sea'.
J. C. Richmond to Ann A. Shaen - - - Oran, Algeria, 20 Mar 1876
I had indeed an intimation from Dresden that an attempt was being made to impress you into the service that Margaret Taylor is obliged to give up . . . My girls will get much good from contact with you as they have done from contact with Margaret . . . About the success of my operation in sending them off to Germany and encouraging the passion for art I have a qualm so far as concerns my personal pro-pects. I half dread least a rival should have been introduced into my home, whose dwelling is and must be Europe, whilst mine, if I have a few years more of life, must be N.Zealand. However . . . it is . . . quite clear that whether man or woman lives few days or many, serious application to some central study or work is almost always a condition of moral health, and it is right to take advantage of a natural bent and make it subservient to the order and vigor of life ... I long to have them near me and find the position on which I have stumbled here . . . incomparably less pleasant than painting at 5/- per diem with my young ones and friends within reach.
I am sorry to say that I get no time for sketching and fear I shall get none before the heats . . . After May it must be a well steeled artist who can do much even indoors. I mean to use Sundays till May and have an ambition to get some studies of the little Arab girls who are among the most exquisite things I have seen. If I were younger I would learn Arabic to win their favor for they are wild and shy - half coquettish - and so far I have never been able to get one to listen to a proposal of sitting still to be drawn . . .
Spend what is right for me in education, please. But I do not want the girls to get any but sober, republican ideas of personal needs. I must have' is a phrase that always pains me and indeed irritates me. Yet even girls brought up like mine are liable to the disease of I must have' . . . Your influence in this point . . . ought to be effective.
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 25 Mar 1876
. . . We are very busy with cabinet work just now, settling what we shall bring before the House. We shall, I think, do as little as possible this session with education.
I am thinking about putting in an acre of gooseberry trees. Could I get a lot of young trees of good sorts in Nelson and at what price? . . . What did you think of my breaking out into cricket again?
v 7, p 27
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Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Richard H. Richmond - - - Dresden 4 Apr 1876
A few weeks ago notice was given that a ball was to be given in honour of Ludwig Richter 13 here in Dresden. This L. Richter is now an old man with long white hair and he is nearly blind I think, but he has been a painter and his most charming works are his illustrations of fairy tales and his delicious pictures of German peasants and curly headed boys and girls.
Now every year a committee of Dresden artists give a ball in honour of some person like L. Richter, and this year people were told that no one would be admitted who was not dressed after one of the figures in any of Richter's pictures they liked to choose. Aunt Margie and her friend Frau Hiibner thought it would be very jolly if we girls went, as we should probably never see anything like it again. So we chose peasants dresses Auntie, Anna, Margie and I went. The rooms were arranged to look like German villages . . . and they were crowded full of people in costumes of course. There were two boys called Mr and Mrs Hedgehog with prickly hedgehogs' heads and a young man with a hare's head and long moustache like cats' whiskers quite stiff and white, lots of handsome shepherds and shepherdesses, court-ladies, fairy queens and all sorts of people.
But by far the prettiest things of all were the tableaux-vivants. At one end of one of the rooms there was a small stage with a curtain before it, from behind which two young equally harmless ladies, one called Poetry and the other Painting, I think, appeared and made some speeches to Richter, which nobody understood. At last one put up her arm towards the curtain which immediately drew up and we saw one of Richter's pictures made alive. It was a whole family of little boys and girls sitting round a table some playing games together, one tiny little fellow puffing out his rosy brown cheeks with blowing a trumpet, and one beautiful golden haired little chap lifting up his head to look at something high up on the ceiling. It was lovely to look at, I can't think how such small boys managed to keep still so long; three times the curtain was thrown up.
M. W. Richmond to Ann E. Richmond - - - Oran, Algeria, 23 Apr 1876
Father and I have just come home from a tour we have [been] making down southwards to examine the course of a railway that is going to be made ... When we got half way we couldn't [go] along any further with the carriage, so we had to go on horseback. We had each a barometer to take heights with, and in the places where there were lots of gullies for the railway to cross we had to ride all through the bushes to find the best crossings . . . We rode about 35 miles so I was very tired when we got back . . . Most of their forests are composed of a sort of scrub about the size of a moderate manuka-bush; but this one is much above the average, actually having trees
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from twelve to twenty feet high! . . . Father has bought a beautiful instrument for measuring angles, that he says may be 'called' mine on my birthday. He has bought a revolver from the same person and I am going to take it out on the bare hills close by to practise. I do nothing but draw plans all day long now, when we are at Oran . . . Mr Pitcairn is here and he has brought his wife over from England with him ... to live at Sidi-bel Abbes ... Mr Pitcairn is commercial agent for Mr Harding. Up in the 'hauts plateaux' which is the medium between the Sahara and the fertile part of Algeria there's a sort of tussock grass called 'alfa', which ... is used for paper, ropes, and no end of other things. The railway is being made up to the 'Hauts Plateaux' expressly to bring it down. They are going to get up a paper manufactory in England I think. I don't get on much with my violin as there is nobody here to teach me . . .
J. C. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Oran, Algeria, 24 Apr 1876
My life here . . . would be extemely desolate but for Maurice being here. Even his presence is not wholly a satisfaction for I feel that a much more orderly existence is needed to make him what he might be ... I hope that 'something will turn up' to bring this state of things to an end . . . My first business is to get Maurice on the rails . . .
This is indeed a disagreeable letter and rather ungrateful too, for indeed there are some comforts in our life. Mr Harding, who fidgets over liberalities done for him ... set us up in a spacious airy lofty suite of offices in which I have besides two good bedrooms and the attendance of a nice clean Englishwoman, the wife of one of the clerks who is also quartered here. M. and I have a fine large bath with taps that run a copious supply of water, and there is a summer salon in a sort of French oriental style that promises to be a comfort in the heats . . . We know no ladies properly so called. At Alger we are in clover. Miss Leigh Smith, and her friend Miss Blythe, the three Cobden girls, Mrs Col. Playfair and the society these all gather about them are a real pleasure . . .
Maurice is making way with French and I am even beginning to move, but very slowly. I always write my own French letters when I have anything disagreeable to say in order that the res may come out a little strong in British short cuts whilst the modus may be attributed to insular obtuseness. I am getting a fluent writer of a sort of Anglicised French, not ungrammatical but by no means true Gallic.
Margaret Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Dresden, 24 Apr 1876
Miss Shaen came on Thursday, I am sure we shall all like her, she is so cheerful and kind. Aunt Margaret [Taylor] . .. does not leave for Montreux till the beginning of May . . .
Yesterday was the King's birthday and there was a parade. We went to see the
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cavalry pass and that was all that we saw. The uniforms of the Uhlans and Hussars are beautiful, but not even the highest officers have horses worth looking at . . .
The people here are very pleasant. They knew Judge Gresson when he was in Ireland. I think he and Mr Pilkington were at school together. Mrs Pilkington speaks very well of the Uppingham school in Rutlandshire . . . Then Miss Shaen and Aunt Margaret think Marlborough very good ... I only thought perhaps if Kit does not go to Clifton he might go to one of these schools . . .
J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria and A. S. Atkinson - - - Oran, Algeria, 28 May 1876
. . . The motive for bringing Maurice here . . . was not that I thought this a good school for engineers but that I could not devote enough time to finding a better without throwing over the work at a critical time . . . M will have some insight into the nature of the business and in the period of coolness and leisure that we shall make presently he can himself help to decide whether he is sufficiently drawn in this direction to put aside your good offer to teach him the law. It is quite certain that if he and I consult our inclinations we shall not be long before our faces are turned south . . .
The greatest obstacle to an early return will be dear young Dolla. She needs the constant presence of those that love her as much or more than any of them, and I don't well see how she can carry on an artist's education in N.Zealand ... I think both M[argaret] and A. Shaen and Mrs Whittle are so much struck with Dolla's cleverness and attractions that they comparatively undervalue dear old Alla - and in short I long to muster my little flock 'before I go hence and am no more seen' . . .
I remember that my last elaborate letter is nearly a year old . . . Within the year I have had a great deal of variety and a fair amount of pleasure, but generally poisoned by a sense of the uncertainty of life and a dread of last separations that hangs about me like a fog ... I am by no means certain however, that he [Mr Harding] will not withdraw from all Algerian business. The Government . . . has come round at last to see that we know our business and stick to our engagements, but in the interval it has I fear put it out of its own power to comply with our terms for the scheme that Mr Harding cares most for, and I am quite of his opinion that without every advantage he has asked for the plan is too hazardous to be undertaken . . .
R. Pitcairn has been some months over in connection with the esparto or alfa grass trade to which Mr Harding is strongly attracted. R.P. is a great favorite here, everyone calls him 'bon garcon'. . . R.P. mixes English and French deliciously, always interjects 'Yers' or ye-e-es, always understands and is always understood. He continues a most vigorous horseman, astonishing Arabs and colonists by his long 'courses' and by not killing his horses with them. His wife is ... very amiable and makes friends among the French ladies . . .
If I live to return I must make a serious effort to introduce the French system of planting their streets into N.Z.. Here it is almost a necessity . . .
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M. Richmond to Richard and Wilson Richmond - - - Oran, Algeria, 28 May 1876
. . . The other day the Company gave a grand dinner to the Governor of Algeria at the station where the line to S. Bel Abbes joins the P.L.M. line. 'The dinner' according to the correspondent of the Atlas 'attained a degree of perfection such that it will form an epoch in the culinary pomps of the province'. We are afraid it must be the cook who wrote this. There seems no other way to account for such enthusiastic language. Father had to propose the toast of the Governor and he made it in French. The Governor is General Chanzy, one of the very few Generals who attained any successes against the Germans in the war, so Father spoke about the war a little . . . all about the army of the Loire, the forlorn hope of France, which did really beat the Bavarians at Orleans and several other places under General Chanzy . . .
I and Mr Pitcairn and Mr [Phillip] Wilkins sat right among a lot of Arab chiefs or Kaids. They had kou-kous and two whole sheep for dinner. The sheep were skewered right through from one end to the other with a good sized pole and the pole was stuck in the ground close to the table. Then one of the Arab servants began cutting them up with a big knife and putting the meat on to the guests plates with his hands.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 31 May 1876
You will be startled to hear of poor Mr Simmons's sudden death ... no one that knew him seems ever to have thought he would reach old age . . . During the week he attended school, tho' generally dismissing the boys early. On Saturday (the 13th) he with Mrs Simmons and Tim went to Fox Hill, he seemed well and lively all Sunday, but could not get to sleep, and took a second dose of chloral ... He never woke again . . . Poor Mrs S . . . does not appear in a hurry to get away from N.Z. as I expected . . . She even said that it was easier to bring up a family here, than there and that money was more profitably invested here - as tho' inclined to live out here.
Of course people are wondering who we shall get for Principal. The Governors do not offer the post to Mr Mackay and we hear he is much hurt ... It will be a great blow to the College if he leaves in disgust ... I suppose J.H.H[utton] is longing for some ideal country living with an ivy covered church and parsonage and a simple, believing flock, and that the principalship here would have no attractions. Our Bishop would be delighted to ordain him, and give him plenty of preaching to do afterwards. If Wm and James think it would be of any use to mention the vacancy here to him, he could apply in time as no permanent appointment is to be made I understand before Xmas.
We have had a second call from Harry on his way back from Taranaki . . . but the pleasure was alloyed by his being kept in a fidget half the time (his stay was only 4 days) by the delay of the steamer which was bar bound at Manukau. He was, I believe, afraid his colleagues would be at some mischief in his absence! . . . He seemed
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to have greatly enjoyed his stay at Hurworth altho' rather pestered by visitors and to long for the day when laying aside the cares of office he might retire to his beloved farm.
He hardly expects to be released this session, altho' with such a number of new members, and such broken up parties no one can guess what new combination may arise nor what the session is to bring forth.
At last Newstead is inhabited again. Mrs Hector and Constance, with the children and Fanny Severne have come and Sir D. and Lady M[onro] follow this week. I never saw Mrs Hector look so interesting; pretty she always is, but she looks more vigorous in mind and body and full of feeling and enjoyment in her charming children . . .
I do grieve that you are not gaining ground, dear Emily, as you seemed to be doing at first... You ought not patiently to submit to being an invalid all your days, (may they be long in this land) remember you have the duties and pleasures of a grandmother to look forward to and you must try to put yourself in better working order before your return . . .
Arthur still talks of my bringing over these young ones, but your experiences cool my ardour for home education, and he says it must be some years (at least I think 3 or 4) before he could prudently leave his work. I am so thankful Anne Shaen has gone to the three girls. I think them most fortunate in having the care and society of two such women as M[argaret] T[aylor], and A[nne] S[haen]; it is an education in itself to associate with such minds and that is the very training I long for Edie to get . . . We have just had Richie over for two nights, he has to leave in 10 days or so for the session. . .
There is a talk of Decie's returning to Urenui to rent the Good's mill there for cement and flour (it sounds gritty!) I think it seems a great risk for Marion to give up her school yet it alone cannot pay rent and keep them all . . .
I am afraid Nelson College will not make much show in the scholarship list this year, but Mr Andrew says the show is poor all over the Colony. I think Harkness and Arfie are about the best who have gone up here and some of the papers are quite beyond them.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Oran, 4 Jun 1876
I have some rather heavy works on hand - viz. the plans of 250 kilometres of railway, unhappily not all one continuous line, but in three different places ... I find the work dragging out to double the length I had anticipated . . . Our works have outstripped all our rivals in the Colony and though we have made little fuss we are allowed to be the best company at work in Algeria. Four fifths or more of our earth works are done and but for the harvest, which has robbed us of two thirds our Maroquin and Spanish labourers, we shd. have finished substantially in August and brought down this year's harvest on our rails ... To have continual contact with a
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French administration is too heavy a lesson in patience. Olim haec meminisse juvabit is a consolation that I have daily to resort to, but life is short and I want the olim before it gets much shorter. M. is a great acquisition to me, he grows very observant and bright . . . does a good deal of work for me and were he a couple of years older I should have a host in him . . .
I hope it is Stanley - I mean Ld. Derby who conducts our Eastern policy - I cannot get up any confidence in Disraeli and find it difficult not to figure to myself that the author of his novels and speeches has not a melodramatic view of life and duty . . . The French journals give our government credit for a tacit understanding with Bismarck. All our Mediterranean consuls are on the look out for squadrons passing up this way. The Prussians are expected through the straits tomorrow or Tuesday.
I am fidgetty lest any panics in the money market shd. injure Mr Harding's operations in placing his shares and debentures . . . This interests me a little, for if the line turns out a success as it should do, I shall have a little share in the gains, which would make me much more at ease in my movements . . .
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 14 Jun 1876
McLean told me before leaving he was going to propose to you to act as one of the royal commissioners, with Chapman or Fenton. I am not quite sure the matter will now go on. There is no reason at all why you should not accept if it will suit you. You would do the work well I am sure as far as it can be done well, although I must own I do not see that it can come to much. If I did undertake it I should certainly not do it without proper payment. I am rather inclined to think the thing will fall through now that it has been let go so long. I will talk the matter over with McLean ...
v 7, p 28
Emily E. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Divonne les Bains pres Mjou, France. 24 Jun 1876
Colonel Russell has sold 'Mangakura', his station at Napier. Arthur Russell has arrived in England about a month ago from India. He has now nothing to do, Emily Russell wants him to read for the bar. Mrs W. Russell and her five children have arrived some time ago. Imagine on board their vessel or one of their vessels, 70 children had the whooping cough! Mrs W.R's five included. The baby nearly died but was kept alive by scraped raw meat.
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 28 Jun 1876
. . . you beat me altogether when you ask on what principle of selection I picked out a particular statement of Grey's, his conduct is most outrageous. You see Old
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Fitz considered my remarks quite parliamentary. We are altering standing orders and having them reprinted ... As far as I can see we shall get through all right. Stafford is behaving very well. . . . They are concocting a scheme of separation but it will not go down.
v 7, p 28
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - 28 Jun 1876
I should say let Margie stay if she were willing . . . She seems to have found such interest in mental work, but yet hardly to have had time to lay such a foundation that she [can] rely on herself unaided by teachers, and what have we here? I am just where I was in wishing I could find trades for our three girls. I feel more and more that idleness is at the root of half the unhappiness and a very large proportion of the ill health in the world. I think it is the greatest blessing that Dolla has this gift for art, as happily it is not a closed door to women. But unfortunately none of our three have a special gift . . .
I think whatever dissatisfaction the financial statement may cause Sir G. Grey can hardly be our next Premier! There must be an entirely new arrangement of parties before long if the land fund question comes to the surface and then a Stafford party may be reconstructed. You see old Fitzherbert 14 is neatly shelved, a gain to the colony I think as he can do no harm with his serpent's wisdom where he now sits.
J. Cashel Hoey 15 to C.W. Richmond - - - 7 Westminster Chambers, Victoria Street, Westminster. 3 Jul 1876
You will have heard ere this of the death of Dr Featherston. He was ailing all the winter and unable to attend the office since Easter. Thenceforwards he led with great patience what a Kempis calls 'a dying life'. You will probably have seen our friend Hutton's admirable sketch of him.
Among some questions which remained in abeyance pending his illness was one concerning the appointment of an inspector of prisons in which he was directed to consult you and also Major Ducane, Surveyor General of Prisons here. Sir William Tyrone Power 16 who has been temporarily appointed, wishes to proceed with this matter as soon as may be. Will you kindly therefore let me know when you expect to be in England again?
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Margaret Richmond to C. W. Richmond (father) - - - Dresden, 7 Jul 1876
I am feeling very miserable at leaving Dresden. The director and Herr Becker are such good teachers, and also nice men - as far as I have had to do with them.
The pension here is now very full. We have none but English and Americans. A nephew of Bishop Selwyn is here, with his cousin also Selwyn as his tutor . . . The first has a great look of the Bishop. I am glad to have had an opportunity of changing the opinion I formed at Schnoir Strasse of Americans, through our acquaintance with a young American gentleman here. Although he speaks with a horrible American accent, he is so gentlemanly and well informed that we like him very much. I do wish however that he and his countrymen would speak like English people. It is so dreadful to hear them say I do not know as you have heard of so and so -' and those sorts of things . . .
We went last night to see 'Much Ado about Nothing' ... It is wonderful how well the less comic parts of Shakespear translate. I was so surprised to hear how well I could listen to the English in my mind while hearing the German with my ears.
J. C. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Oran, Algeria, 26 Jul 1876
I was much grieved to hear of the sudden and melancholy death of Mr Simmons. I owed him much and liked him greatly nothwithstanding his evident faults, and especially 'for that bright ornament that truth doth give' the courage that made him true, made it easy for him to go astray in many ways and perhaps gave him that carelessness that shortened his life. Every death makes me long more to be back in N.Z.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond (Switzerland) - - - Oran, Algeria, 30 Jul 1876
The heat has come at last in good earnest, and does us no harm. We have had ten days of summer Scirocco ... up the country it is just glorious. The sky absolutely cloudless, not a shade of yellow color in it - all steel gray and brilliant, the sun looking capable of anything, making one think of Phcebus and his golden arrows, only they are not golden - but he seems to laugh at us for thinking it hot. . . We had yesterday 110 deg. fahrt. in the shade ... in the sun there were 133 degrees - thermomr. hanging loose . . . The intense dryness of the heat prevents sensible perspiration. You may walk pretty briskly without turning a hair. But if you sit or lie or loll, the parts in contact with chair, table or couch become wet very soon. Emily very sensibly exclaims 'Why don't they smoke?' Well, they do. Intelligent people carry a good approvisionnement of cigars and cigarettes and derive a great comfort from the cooling smoke. I consumed 25 yesterday. It is really an exhilarating phenomenon the scirocco - not only I think in its action on the imagination like all great natural wonders but actually corporeally invigorating like a Turkish bath . . .
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I hope you will be able to stop on a fortnight after we reach you . . . Remember I have never been on any excursion in fine country with you except our trip to the Otago diggings.
J. H. Hutton to c. W. Richmond - - - Hove Villa, Stapieton Road, Bristol. 31 Jul 1876
If you think I could take with advantage to the institution the principalship of the Nelson College, would you send a line to the Secy. Robert Pollock, as soon as possible by way of recommendation or reference. You know I am no distinguished scholar. I have been fifteen years teaching at Hove, and know something therefore of the management of boys ... I write . . . just to let you know what I am as a classic as far as reading goes. I am at home with Caesar and Virgil, Horace and Ovid, and Cicero and have read too a good deal of Livy and Terence in Latin, but very little Tacitus ... In Greek I have read a good deal of Xenophon and Homer, and several books of Herodotus too, some Plato (no Aristotle) and of course some of the dramatists - Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, one or two plays of Aristophanes, I think, and no Demosthenes. But I have never been a critical scholar such as our English colleges would take for their head or principal. I do not wish you to take me under false colours. If you write in my behalf, say only what you feel you can say with perfect satisfaction to yourself.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 19 Aug 1876
In James's case Dolla will be the obstacle to return ... If she is to be an artist - well a European culture is indispensable I suppose, and when it has been gained I fear poor N.Z. will have lost its hold on the young ones! As she is so young yet, I should think J.C.R. had better return for a few years here and then make another trip home . . .
What happened to J.C.R's pictures that he was busy on whilst you were at Midhurst?
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 18 Sep 1876
I have just returned from Wellington where I spent three weeks learning a little more of the meaning of that 'surprising' word politics. You will probably have heard before you get this that old Hal has been made Grand Panjandram leather button and all . . 17 The position was this - Vogel, it seems, when he last came out, intended to go home in any case at the end of the session . . . The agency general falling vacant, and his desire to take it brought things to a crisis. It was clear (in spite of the Bathgate and Gisborne precedents) that he could not appoint himself, nor could his colleagues
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appoint him. Even he saw this. Resignation therefore was necessary. But who was to be 'sent for'? Stafford, though very friendly, wd. not join as he means to go home - or thinks - or says so. Fitzherbert was the only other veteran, and a strong effort was made to bring him to the front, and a prompt downfall was prophesied if he was left out, but as he had but lately been put into the speaker's chair from the Opposition ranks, it was first felt, then decided, and lastly seen, that it would be better to do without him.
The only remaining course - unless the rest of the ministry intended to 'funk out of political strife' altogether, was for them to pick out their most promising man (though 'promising' perhaps is a little equivocal as a term of commendation in the political world), let him get the best team together he could, and then fight it out. Upon this view it was agreed . . . that Harry was the man, and accordingly when Vogel resigned he was 'sent for' by the Old Man (as H.E. is irreverently called by some who should know better) and the result is as you see.
Whitaker is in some respects the only weak point in the Ministry, because he is dead against them on the land fund question and separation and avowedly only holds office while these are in abeyance. But it was very important looking at the absolutely rabid state of the Auckland populace, induced by the foolish ravings . . . of Sir G. Grey and Rees and their fellow lunatics - to get a leading Auckland man into the Government. Unfortunately in spite of our new (though ancient) Atty. General [cabinet] led off with either one or two acts which look like and possibly are infringements of the law. (1) in appointing a political Att. Gen. at all, the A.G. Act of 1866 not having been expressely repealed. (2) In appointing more than 7 memb. of the Ministry, tho' the others were unsalaried . . .
The approach of rain in a South American forest could not produce a more dismal concert than was the result. The ministry resigned, got reappointed, introduced an indemnity bill - but after a week, all but continuous debate - often kept up by the Opposition speaking against time thro' the night . . . the bill has not yet been passed . . . tho' the first reading was carried yesterday by 44 to 24.
I was a good deal exercised over the appointment of Agent General on account, I mean, of the late intimate connection between Sir J.V. and the majority of the members of the [?] which was to appoint him. But it was done I think in the right way, namely by informing the House that the appointment was going to be made, then leaving an interval . . . and so making the House a party, virtually to the appointment. . . With regard to Harry's promotion, if I were called on to explain how it came about . . . 'honesty is the best policy.' Ordinary people can calculate his orbit pretty exactly, but of our late comet-like Premier no one could say from his previous motions what point of space at any given point of time he wd. occupy . . .
I hope some of you will come out soon, now that old Hal has got to the top of the tree as well as so many others I shall soon be left alone at the foot disconsolate. So I want somebody to console me.
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Jane Maria Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 19 Sep 1876
It seems to me Vogel's retirement just as the pinch is coming, shews him to be .. . a mere carpet-bag politician. His health never has been good, but it appears like a shallow pretext to say he retires on that score when he is undertaking the work of agent General at £1500 per annum, in addition to the schemes which are to make his fortune in Europe. Harry is a bold man to attempt the letting us down easy on a paltry two million to finish up public works, after all these years of living on stimulants. Unless wool rises again there must be hard times to come before the Colony recovers a healthy tone, but anyway I think we are well rid of Vogel. The social harm of his false luxurious notions of life is not to be over estimated. You will feel it in the Wellington tone, I think. The Fergussons, no doubt, did immense mischief, but their reign was shorter than Vogel's! Sir G. Grey and his tail are beneath contempt and should be hissed off the stage, but Arthur says tho' the Ministerial majority are numerically strong, they are inert and supine, there seems a total want of healthy vitality in the body politic, the noisy minority seem to have the evil liveliness of boils and ulcers!
What about James? I seem to ask and ask. Is he likely to be beforehand in money matters after finishing his year with Mr Harding? If this work is not enabling him to save money let us make an effort to stop him, for it must be full of wear and tear and risk and he ought to make a home somewhere after three years of wandering. See how old we grow, here am I 52, and next year you and Emily can celebrate your silver wedding if life is spared that long! We ought to be up and doing gathering ourselves together, setting the young ones on the right paths if possible before the night cometh. Death seems all round us just now, carrying off many younger by 10 or 20 years than ourselves . . .
It seems as tho' the College would be fortunate in securing Mr Andrew as principal. The Governors are thankful as it also enables them to retain Mr Mackay who might have gone off in a huff if a younger and less well known scholar had been put over him.
M. W. Richmond to Annie (Mrs H.A.) Atkinson - - - Syrgenstein, 4 Oct 1876
You hoped in your letter that Father and I were no longer in Algeria. We are not and we are not at all likely to return to that lovely but detestable place . . . The manners and customs of the Algerian French are French in the bad sense of the word, without the gaiety of the French . . . The only pleasant part of our stay in Algeria were one or two weeks spent in or near Tlemcen, a very old Moorish town ... If I had been suddenly transported from New Zealand to Tlemcen I dare say I should not have thought much of its verdure for I think Hurworth as far excels Tlemcen as Tlemcen does Algeria. But. . . having made a journey of over a hundred miles over a hot and dusty road, this Tlemcen with its minarets, its olive and fruit trees, its streams and springs and its beautiful Moorish ruins was to us an earthly paradise. We felt
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like Miranda when she first saw Ferdinand; forgetting New Zealand, 'we had no wish to see a goodlier place', (Shakespeare slightly altered). So much had Algeria, our Caliban, blunted our senses . . .
We arrived at Granada late at night . . . We found the Alhambra all that we had expected, delicious, cool, and beautiful beyond all description . . . The architecture of the Alhambra is to the Gothic, as a weeping willow to a fir tree. A weeping willow is cool, refreshing, lovely, delicious; a fir tree is grand, solemn, awe inspiring. We spent two whole days inside the Alhambra, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I don't ever hope to see anything with which I shall be more pleased than I have been with the Alhambra and Westminster Abbey . . .
J. C. Richmond to Anne Shaen - - - Paris, 27 Oct 1876
I look on your offer for Dorothy as promising incalculable good for her, and . . . I accept it most gladly. I recognise all the fine possibilities and actual attractions you see in D's nature and have much trust that you will not be disappointed in her.
You must understand that I attach a secondary value, though a great one, to the schools of art etc to which you will help her. I think it very likely if she has much of my half smothered passion for the pursuit and moderate industry she will make a good enough artist to justify her having spent much time on painting . . .
Dorothy loves you immensely and you will teach her easily that whatever may be behind the strange show of life, it is while it lasts essentially real, and she will imbibe from you the faith of Mazzini - and of Christ - that we have nothing for ourselves, that we can only train our faculties healthily when we treat them as trusts for our fellow creatures - and that 'he only who forgets to hoard - has learned to live'. Dorothy is capable of passing through a phase of female Wertherism or Byronism from which no one I know is more likely to save her.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 15 Nov 1876
You will have the pleasure of seeing Sir George Grey, Macandrew and Cap. Fraser, I suppose, as they are to go home as a deputation to induce the British Govt, to recall the Marquis of Normanby (!), make Otago into a separate Colony (!!) and a few other little matters of the same kind. Lord Normanby's offence of course was telling the Home Govt, some uncomplimentary truths about Grey - and the Otago Provincial Govt, backed by the Dunedin mob naturally do not like losing control of the provincial purse strings.
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Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, Nelson, 15 Nov 1876
Why James has not written now he is out of Algeria I cannot think, unless he has been ill . . . Oh dear! it is sad that he should be getting worn out in the service of an uninteresting millionaire and in benefitting an alien land when good, honest, able men are so much needed in the Colony. It should not be allowed for a day if I could stop it, but what's the use of writing - one can din in some of one's ideas by talking, but letters ... in a busy life, European or African, the present sweeps over them and no trace is left . . .
I have been working away at Arthur in hopes of making him agree to sending Edie to England but I can't 'report progress' for none is perceptible, he falls back on the old answer that it rests with me if I so much desire European cultivation for my children to take them all off . . .
At last Mr Andrew has been released from his political labours and has begun his College work for which we are very glad . . . 18 He . .. knew how much his presence was needed, in fact none of the big boys have had classical teaching for months past. Mr [W.F.] Howlett is still absent in Napier I believe ... The Valentine Smiths leave Nelson when the College breaks up I am sorry to say, we like her very much and he is pleasant tho' egotistical.
J. C. Richmond to Miss Anne Shaen - - - Paris, 29 Nov 1876
I am obliged unexpectedly to go off to Algeria for a short time ... so I shall be compelled to ask you . . . what my Dorothy should be set to work at when she is with you. I think generally she will do better as her drawing studies if a fair proportion of her time is spent on other things, and certainly she has not passed the age when she wants help and guidance in all her pursuits. I know you will do what you can to help her to become methodical, and to train her to wait on herself as much as possible and also to wait on other people. What a royal life an artist's must be if his success is only sufficient to justify the pursuit! Not to be so merely a cog in a wheel, grinding against the roughness of other cogs and dirtied by their dirt . . . D. has a good deal of the artistic temperament and inter alia the spirit of revolt against external rule, especially when it does not seem to her intelligent and intelligible. All the more necessary that she should see the full glow of the inward light and begin very early to estimate the proportions of things and put them in their places - in fact order her course for herself on the basis of labor, fidelity and love. It is a deep comfort to me to think she will spend the next few months with you.
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Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Fairfield, Nelson, 10 Dec 1876
All the judges seem in such a flighty state that perhaps Wm. will only live in a tent till you return. Judge Johnston is going to ask leave of absence, on his return the Chief Justice wishes for a holiday and after that Mr Gillies. Rather cool of the two last, more especially Mr G. who has not been serving the government long . . .
. . . The Avalanche has just 'arrove' after a passage of 81 days. If other things are equal I should prefer her speed . . . If . . . [Tudor] were only with Arthur or next door I could leave home with a happier mind. As it is, nothing makes me feel it right except the hope that the children may so benefit in the end as to repay the sacrifice . . . Even Arfie, (who is giving satisfaction at school and could take either a classical or mathematical scholarship if he did not hold the Newcombe) seems to have less intellectual life and vigour than he used to. However, he is growing faster and puts his energy into cricket at present, so that I trust he may hereafter recover his mental liveliness and not end by being merely a quick prize-taking school boy, which would disappoint his poor father . . . According to Mrs Andrew there is to be a great reconstruction, so that Mr A may devote himself almost entirely to the more advanced boys . . . However Arthur seems decided that Arfie goes if I go with the girls.
We now think we are waiting for J.C.R's answer to Harry's telegram before deciding, but I think . .. that he will decline the secretaryship. Of course his accepting it would change our plans ... The plan of having the lessons prepared under a master's eye charms all mothers and guardians here. Mrs V. Smith has been proposing to establish a new style of school in which the lessons should be thoroughly prepared and then said at home to parents, who at present pay for instruction and do the hardest part of it themselves in her opinion. Did I tell you the V.S's are returning to their run, a great loss to me, Eliza and the Boors. There is a general move amongst Nelson people, some going home, others to the Nth. Island.
Decie is here ... He came on the 1st, and on the 5th rode over to see various mines and mineral products in the Collingwood district. He will most likely start tomorrow for Wellington to see James Ronalds safe on board the Waikato . . .
J. C. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - Paris, 12 Dec 1876
I was puzzled what to do on receiving Hal's . . . proposition 19 to which my Novr. letter contains an answer. In that answer I only gave one reason, because if I had told you a more cogent one you would perhaps have thought it only a weak habit of undervaluing my own capacity or overestimating other peoples ... I must add to my former reason that I feel myself very ill qualified for the position proposed. I have not that exact acquaintance with the past administrations of the Colony that would enable me promptly and decisively to put a government au courant, and I found when acting as minister myself that it was only by great drudging, even when leaning on men
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like Gisborne, Rolleston, Seed, Batkin, that I could coach myself to the point of being able to be able to append an intelligent 'Approved' etc. to their minutes -and I am now seven years older, which does not mean any quicker though it may mean judicious . . .
There are offices I feel able to fill as well as my neighbors. I think I could work with natives, when Sir Donald has reversed the law of natural selection and restored a native race to be dealt with. I could also do justice to public works, which I have though long and independently on both as a technical man, and in point of policy and finance. I don't know any New Zealander I would yield to in this. Do not misunderstand me that I am desirous of the one or the other occupations, or that I need any bait to lure me back. My desire is to have a few years of moderate health among you all in the Colony which I may spend in reading, painting and wine growing. That is my real longing and as soon as Dolla has got a fair start in painting I shall turn my face south so far as I can see. My ideas of art are like yours - enough training to open the eyes wide - not enough to swamp the native bent of the mind or cramp the hand to conventionalism. A great deal can be done everywhere if there is the inmate capacity and industry for the work - nothing anywhere without these.
My present earnings enable me to help the three here to a good education, as things go . . . But my life is by no means attractive to me and I shall be very glad when I can properly give it up, and see you all again . . .
H. A. Atkinson to Donald McLean - - - Wellington, 19 Dec 1876
... I cannot tell you how sorry we all are at your leaving us, the Governor also spoke very warmly of you and seemed to feel your going as much as we do.
I thank you most heartily for the very kind and considerate way in which you have treated me both in accepting office under a man of so much lower standing than yourself and for the assistance you are still giving. With you to fall back upon we feel great confidence in dealing with native affairs.
If it is not asking too much we shall all be very glad if you will act for us by looking after native matters on the East Coast . . . without overdoing yourself . . .
(McLean Papers, Turnbull Library)
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - 24 Dec 1876
I ordered the papers you want re constitutional questions to be posted yesterday . . . Reid 20 does not think anything of the objections . . .
Donald Reid 21 has definitely agreed to join us ... He will take lands and immi-
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gration, Ormond public works. This is not to be announced until after the New Year, so don't say anything about it at present ... I have a strong team now. . . .
v 7, p 28
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 12 Jan i8yy
Your expectation that I should start in the Howrah has been nearly fulfilled, but she leaves too soon for us. It was only finally settled on New Year's Day that I should go with the three girls, Dick and Wilsie . . . We have now all but concluded taking cabins in the Avalanche, 22 which sails from Wellington about the 15th of next month. . . . The greater speed of the A is a compensation and no praise seems to great both for the captain and vessel, according to the passengers who have gone and come in her ... It has been a great relief to my mind that Arthur has decided on keeping Arfie for at any rate another year at the College. The idea of leaving him without one child has been quite too dreary ... He will most likely bring Arfie by some quick route . . .
Jan 13. Harry has been breakfasting with us. He seems brisk, but his eyes look weak, and he does not grow younger with the cares of state on his shoulders you may guess ... He says Judge Johnston has made no application for leave, and that Mr C. Bowen wrote to Melbourne to meet C.W.R. to let him know that Wellington is to be his post. I do hope some suitable abode high up may be found, for the town seems anything but healthy in spite of the breezy climate. Diptheria has succeeded scarlet fever which was prevalent for many months.
You will see Sir Donald Maclean has not lived long to enjoy a private life and well earned laurels. Of course the trumpets are being blown a little too loudly now he has gone, but there is no doubt he has done the Colony good service in his time. Mr Fox has returned with very friendly feelings for the present ministry ... Mr Fox will not again take office, and did not mean to return to politics at all had he not been unanimously elected. Harry says he looked well and younger than when he left, but Mrs F is thinner than ever. She was supposed to weigh 70 lbs when she left N.Z.
Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Eliza (Mrs W. S.) Atkinson - - - Oran, 24 Jan i8yy
We are here in Algeria much longer than we at first expected to be as Father has found a good deal to do ... It is not very pleasant in Oran, because Father is always busy and although I have a piano, we have very few books. I have just read two French novels, George Sand's Marquis de Villemer and Dumas' Monte Cristo and besides those I have my Macaulay, but I can't read him always. Oran itself is a very horrid little town although the situation itself is very fine ... I never saw such blue water hardly as the Mediterranean and it looks lovely sprinkled over with little sailing ships ... It is great fun going with the engine on Father's uncompleted railway . . . Sometimes Father and some of the other engineers go on a luggage waggon
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to see how the line is getting on, and as the first time Father went the engine driver ran the engine and trucks off the line I have since thought it expedient to accompany Father so that if he is killed I may not survive. There is never an accident when I am there and it is very pleasant riding in an open truck with chairs to sit on and ladders to climb out with . . .
The other day in Paris Father took me to the Grand Opera to hear Robert le Diable. I did not like the music much as a whole though some of the airs were beautiful, but I think a good deal of it is commonplace. The Opera House is splendid but too gaudy, I think ... In Robert there is so much ballet dancing that one gets disgusted. However the French like the dancing better than anything else, I believe. They think an opera dull if there is no ballet. I should'nt wonder if they were to arrange a ballet in the middle of Beethoven's Fidelio.
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 16 May 1877
You will have heard that the Barnicoat 23 partnership scheme has fallen through, the young man having heard very unfavourable accounts of prospects in N.P ... I am consequently fixed here till the end of my three years and do not much relish the probable change of examiners from Gillies to Prendergast, who I am afraid is severe and technical ... I prefer getting over the business here, away from the gaze of my future antagonists who would of course in N.P. be standing by eager to drink my life blood if I failed in the perilous attempt.
We have been much enlivened this last week by a course of scientific lectures by a Mr Seven, 24 of whom you may have heard. He has been an assayer and has taken to his present line from a passion for natural science. He knew Faraday well and is the happy owner of a magnet formerly used by F. and received from his hands . . .
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 17 May 1877
I shall be thankful if at the end of another year I find myself earning a hundred or so - as the constant pressure required to keep within our means is very irksome and my life has hitherto been so much of a failure that I cannot feel sanguine of success in any new undertaking. However at the worst it is probable that after qualifying as a barrister I may be able to settle down into some quiet billet, but shall not resort to this until satisfied that I cannot make a living otherwise . . .
Is it right to knock over Paritutu to make a harbor? Surely not without ascertaining for certain that the thing cannot be done otherwise without a vastly greater expense. Please discuss this (which is non political) with the powers at Wellington.
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Emily E. Richmond to Maurice W. Richmond - - - Geneva, 18 May 1877
Will you or will you not buy for me in London Mr Dommett's new poems Flotsome and Jetsome . . . also a copy of Wordsworth, a second hand one with print a little larger than that common one of ours, and I can do without the pictures, if you can find one? I am lost without a Wordsworth . . .
The family is having a great discussion with Mr Roscoe on the character of Ophelia ... Mr Roscoe has written a long essay to prove his view. Mary is writing an opposition one. If you had time one from you would give us pleasure. Of course Mary wrote the poem for your birthday herself - in part of a morning . . . Miss Emily Russell and Alla are so lazy they are willing to let all Mr Roscoe's falacies go unrefuted so far as they are concerned.
C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond (daughter) - - - Napier, 7 Jun 1877
I had quite a luxurious cabin (really) on board the Rangatira and slept pretty well ... Mr Severn was a passenger by the steamer and gives his first lecture on Saturday. He at once introduced himself to me, and we had a long talk ... - or rather several long talks. He is son of the Severn who was the friend of Keats, and his father was one of the few attendants on the burial of poor Adonais in the English cemetery at Rome . .. Severn appears to know a great many notables - amongst others Ruskin. His brother is the well known landscape artist . . .
We had to wait 1 1/2 hours for the tide. They are said to be ruining the harbours with the new harbour works, and I must say it looks very like it . . .
C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - Napier, 13 Jun 1877
. . . There is a good deal of civil business ... I have been very asthmatic and have had to sit up three nights. But I have now left the Criterion Hotel, which is down on the sea level. Last night Gully and I took posson of Mr Richmond Beetham's house. Mrs R.B. was Lucilla Swainson, whom your Mother and I knew years ago, before her marriage, when she was visiting Mrs Bell at Auckland.
The Revd. G. H. Johnstone, late of Nelson, was the agent who stirred in the business and got me this offer.
J. C. Richmond to Dorothy K. Richmond - - - Paris, 23 Jun 1877
I get daily more anxious to be among you all for something like a permanence and especially to be at your side and to help you at a critical point in your life so far as one feeble creature may help another, by the keenest sympathy and some slowly learned knowledge of your difficulties.
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I need not tell you that nothing I know of your opinions or feelings shocks or repels me at all. In fact in a world where all around seems more wonderful as one lives on, it is not even a surprise to find my own young ones appropriating thoughts and feelings that have never been dogmatically put into them or much discussed in their presence, but which really impregnate the whole tone of many lives around them. Your peculiar half desponding state comes I imagine from many causes. First there is one which you must take on trust for the time but which you will appreciate hereafter - your period of life - the change from the child to the woman. This is a change both physical and mental which almost all go through consciously or otherwise - 'like those blind motions of the sap that show the year has turned'. The needs and capacities that are born at this period, if they fail of a wholesome atmosphere in which to grow, become sickly and weak, and produce what has been called 'Wertherism' after the celebrated book of Goethe. Indolence - too much ease, then especially as at all times, is the seed bed of mischief that lasts often through life - the victims of this sort of thing believing with one of Mr Biglow's worthies that 'the bottom's out of th'universe 'cos his own gill pot leaks.' But I'm not much afraid that you will grow into a female Werther. As I shall never dogmatise to you I hope you will try the preventative medicine I advise - namely all the occupation of body and mind that is consistent with your strength, and in particular work really useful for other people. No one who makes this his daily regimen ever becomes a Werther.
J. C. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Paris, 26 Jun 1877
I don't know whether I shall be able to earn money in England but if not I must live more carefully, and even eat a little capital to give the best teaching to the young ones. Maurice will I think do well to graduate in science at London University. His coach encourages him to hope that if his matriculation examination succeeds he may take his bachelor's degree in twelve months ... He is such a fine calm worker that I have great hopes . . .
Richard H. Richmond (14) to Wilson Richmond (12) - - - Blackheath, 26 Jun 1877
We are all safe in England . . . The day after we left Wellington we saw the Ocean Mail, the next day she came alongside of us, and the captain of her came on board on a boat without being asked and had dinner with us and left his boat towing astern of us. Then just as he was going away he ordered his boat to be brought alongside. There was only one man in the boat and he had to steer it as well as to bring it alongside, and all of a sudden it went bump against us and smashed a great big hole in it, and the boat was filling quickly with water, and the man was nearly drowned but a rope was thrown to him in time and he climbed up the side of the ship and got safe, but as soon as the captain of the O.M. found out that he was not hurt he swore
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at him. Then our Captain had to have a boat lowered and some of his men had to go in it to take it back. The Captain of the O.M. lost one of his oars, so when the boat took him over to his ship he took one of our oars and kept it. The reason that the captain of the O.M. went away from our ship was because the wind was getting stronger, and the Avalanche could sail better with a strong wind that the O.M. could, so of course we were sailing right away from her. All the next night it was horrible, first the wind blew one way and then another way and all about the place, and Auntie and Mrs Battersbee could not sleep a bit, but they sat up all night and read and dozed till the morning came, and that is the night I suppose that the Ocean Mail got wrecked, because the Captain of the Av. instead of keeping his course steered due north, but the Captain of the O.M. kept his course and was blown onto the Chatham Islands. 25
Captain E. Williams (of ship Avalanche) to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - St Ives, Hunts, 10 Jul i8yy
I have only just returned home and find amongst other letters the one telling of your visit on board . . . The owners will not give a later date than the 1st of Sept. Should that date suit Mrs Richmond I shall be very glad. My private opinion is that we shall not sail till the middle of Sept. Most of the cabins are taken, the two stern and Mrs Battersbee's I have reserved till I hear from you. I hope you have enjoyed yourself since arriving, I looked everywhere for you the two last days of the Handel Festival. . .
Ann Elizabeth Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - Silverdale, Carnforth, 14 Jul 1877
Allow me to communicate to you my last mad plan. We have room here for one extra female; I wish, when Mary Smith's holidays begin, she might be allowed to spend a fortnight with us and help to act the tableaux, which are getting up for Father, when he comes ... I would give anything to realise this desire of mine.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Chideock, 23 Jul i8yy
I am applying thro' J. Morrison and Co for names and particulars of N.Z. Shipping Company's vessels for Oct ... As a general rule the N.Z.S. Company's vessels are better appointed than Shaw and Saville's (the Howrah was N.Z.S. Co's chartered), the Avalanche owing to Capt Wms is an exception, but Harry hardly liked me to patronize Shaw and Saville who before the opposition was started were disobliging and 'bumptious'.
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J. C. Richmond to Jane Maria Atkinson - - - London, 3 Aug i8yy
I cannot tell you how much I have always enjoyed my visits at Syrgenstein. The place, the people and the ways suit me to a hair. Few men who have lived so much as I among active people and action ever disliked the pushing life so much. I have tastes all round except for that, and though the key of my spirit is less depressed than it has been, and I have almost an aversion to melodies signed 'bewegt' the pine woods rejoice me as much as a languid nature can be rejoiced and I could lie down and fade out with a sort of pleasure at Syrgenstein as men die with open veins in a warm bath ... I mean that it makes one feel like a Wordsworth without genius . . .
Miss Hill has just sent my a/c and a report of Dorothy which seems favorable enough under most heads. My inclination is to let her go on there if we settle in London ... as a day scholar. Probably if you join me Margt and A. Shaen will not protest - else I fear that they will see ruinous consequences if D. is under no more orderly and strict rule than mine at home . . . One thing is certain that there will be a close sympathy between D and me, as there is between me and all my young ones, and I shall never let our individualities clash, which it is impossible for any one but a parent... to promise. D wants to be kept quiet and let to feel less of the differences and more of the points of resemblance between herself and her fellow creatures ... -
My own estimate is that children not living at home will cost £150 ea per annum - allowing fairly for travelling expenses.
J. C. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - London, 20 Sep i8yy
I telegraphed to you last Saturday 15th Sept that 'none ours in Avalanche' 26 knowing that you would take care to distribute the information to all anxious people whom the news concerned. I had previously seen Vogel's and Shaw-Saville's telegrams and thought they left it quite open whether other returning colonists were not on board besides those named ... I was indeed pretty sure that between decks there were such as e.g. 'F. C. Simmons'. 27 The gloom of this terrible disaster has not left me yet . . . My impression is that the fault was mainly on the side of the captain of the Forest although it puzzles me how any man can sleep at nights in the narrow seas being a capt of a ship. I am generally up as a passenger to add one pair of anxious eyes to the watchers . . .
I have taken a furnished house near the Metropolitan railway and the Notting Hill girls high school. The lads will all go up to the college and school in Gower St. ... I hope it may be possible for [the girls] to attend the high school for select classes, and that I shall be able to arouse Dorothy again to painting. Alla needs no arousing, she has developed very regularly and is what I know you expect of her. She is full of work, intelligence and tenderness with above average taste and capacity for art . . .
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Dolla is a remarkable girl. For a year past she has startled me by her trenchant views on life here and hereafter striking the key notes of great schools without being at all aware of the fact. With great acuteness, which does not spare to criticise herself, she has a strong taste for the comforts of rich people's life though despising mere swell society. She is not very strong in body having grown very fast and not disposed to hard work for a doubtful result, although she would work if her ambition were fairly piqued, but she looks down on mediocrity. You will piece up a ticklish character from these random notes and understand that I am puzzled sometimes what to do for her.
Maurice has grown up into a very fine young fellow, well on his feet, industrious, intelligent and independent. He makes friends everywhere. I do not attribute his success so far to education in Europe especially. He owes much to poor Simmons and to Mackay, and much to his 'bon naturel'. He would have done well in N.Z . . . He has been 'shoved' by M. Taylor and other friends but has shown no special turn for sciences ... I should not wonder at his taking to literary pursuits (which would be something of a blow) . . .
I have not been writing these observations on my young ones just to indulge myself . . . but to enable you to judge how far European training has been advantageous in their cases and how far it would be the best thing for Arfie at once ... At London University he cannot matriculate before he is 17 . . . Possibly you would prefer a foreign university. It would not be difficult to combine the advantage of an English degree with study in Germany ... If I dared advise in such a matter, I should say give Arfie a year's vague teaching (mainly travelling), then a year at Heidelberg or other German Univ till he could matriculate in England and then a first degree . . . Industrious and intelligent young peple will learn well in the Colony, and when quite on their own feet can visit the old country, travel and study at a far smaller cost than one of these great family migrations involves. My time in Europe and Africa has cost about £650 per annum - for the four of us ... I have had little or no comfort. . . Certainly my mind - my soul if I have one - is the better for the four years and what they have brought. . .
Do you know anything of the land in Waikato and at Taranaki? I am much inclined to realise and invest . . . Necessarily this must be in concert with C.W.R. and H.R.R. who are joint proprietors in the Waikato land.
Sam Smith to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 20 Sep 1877
I must first congratulate you on the safety of Emily and the rest of yours on this side. It is a very great mercy for you and them that they did not start on the Avalanche whose calamitous loss has been a great shock to us in every way for we had seen Captain Williams, and his manner and appearance had quite confirmed the accounts Maria had given of him.
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C. W. Richmond to Sam Smith (London) - - - Wellington, 22 Sep 1877
We had a day and a night of terrible uncertainty after the arrival of the news of the loss of the Avalanche, as no list of passengers was forwarded. Reason told me that Emily would not have attempted to leave so early as the first week in Sept. but one was obliged to admit to oneself the possibility. What an awful event! I have not felt myself since the news, it is so terrible a reminder how frail is the tenure on which we hold what we love best.
J. Ballance to H. A. Atkinson - - - 3 Oct 1877
It is with regret I have to inform you that after considering the political position and the views of policy and responsibility expressed by your colleagues in the recent no confidence debate I desire to be considered, and therefore hold myself, free from the obligations of a supporter of the Government. With every assurance of personal regard, I am, Yours very truly J. Ballance.
(Ballance papers 1/4, Alexander Turnbull Library)
J. C. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - Notting Hill, London, W.i. 18 Oct 1877
... I am sorry to learn ... that you think the economic state of N.Z. as precarious as ever or perhaps more so. A telegram yesterday announced the resignation of H.A.A's Ministry - I conjecture on the loan question, as no smaller matter could rouse the Leg. Co. to so energetic a step as a vote of no confidence ... I have little doubt that I should consider the works to be generally needlessly expensive in view of the immediate probabilities of the trade ... I hope N.Z. will not in any case be beguiled into the guarantee system, which I have a right to condemn utterly on a close practical acquaintance ...
N.Z. cannot be depopulated by financial difficulty. Work must go on and capital must be employed although speculative values will fall away utterly as they have done again and again in Auckland . . .
We have two ordinary sitting rooms and one little room conceded to Maurice as a study... We have four bedrooms of decent size and two little rooms called 'dressing rooms' in which we have beds. One of the larger bedrooms I have seized on as a studio in which I hope to eke out my means by making a few potboilers. (Tell Gully, who gives me credit for too proud aesthetic aims. My love to him - I often think of him.) . . . For this place I pay 2 1/2 guineas per week, or £136 per annum . . .
Maurice has begun his work at U. Coll. and aims at the first B.Sc. pass for the end of the session . . . The little fellows go to the Univ. Coll. School. The College fees and books will touch £60. The school fees etc. £30 each. I hoped in coming to this house to get Dorothy into the Notting Hill High School for girls . . . but there was no vacancy. We propose to try for the Cambridge local examination in July . . .
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C. W. Richmond to Sam Smith (London) - - - Wellington, 20 Oct 1877
Harry, you will have heard, is out, but it is probable will come in again almost immediately. His own party insists on keeping him as Premier. Annie has just left for Nelson - whence she goes on to Taranaki.
Notwithstanding the chances of Hal's speedy return to office they have (I think wisely) decided to give up their Wellington establishment.
C. W. Richmond to Sam Smith (London) - - - Wellington, 9 Nov 1877
Political affairs are in a strange position. The Government did not disdain to snatch a division on Harry's motion of want of confidence at a moment when the Government whips knew that 3 of the opposition could not reach the House in time. The numbers were equal and the Speaker, in accordance with usage, gave his casting vote for the Government.
Harry promptly gave notice of another motion of want of confidence, and the Govt, are now endeavouring to prevent the motion coming on by all manner of dodges. Such a thing was never heard of, but Sir G. Grey implicitly relies on the political ignorance of the public. I fear his confidence is too well founded.
C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - Blenheim, 11 Dec 1877
... Uncle Arthur suddenly made his appearance in court this morning ... looking very well. I have not spoken to him and I don't know where he is staying. As he is engaged in a case to be tried he very likely is keeping away . . .
On the way up Tory Channel we had the first sight of porpoises I have ever witnessed ... It seemed to be their play for we could see them rolling their bodies round underwater as if in luxury of enjoyment - then back upwards and out they came for a moment, showing their great blow holes. I never saw them play so beautifully -just like coach dogs in front of a pair of carriage horses . . .
Have taken 28 pages of notes today so cannot write more.
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 19 Dec 
I shall be glad to know whether you agree with Arthur and me that it would be well to realise on the family property here (except the B. Cottage) whenever fair prices are obtainable.
I consider that altogether there is property to the value of £900 or £1000 - say: Merton £600 Tarurutangi land £250 Hua sections £100 - £950
The prospect of a harbor . . . has I think raised the value of property here - at any rate the place is getting better appreciated and land is more saleable. Peter Elliot's farm has changed hands at £12 per acre, and good raw fern land near the
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Waitara has been sold at £8. Merton is in a deplorable state with Furze and will get worse and worse - and the whole of the above property is only yielding us £10 per annum ... I think we had far better realise when we can get about the prices named ...
I have not yet got sworn in. I sent the affidavits to be filed in Auckland, with instructions for making the application there, not remembering that Judge Gillies would be in Wellington. But I have not been seriously troubled by the presence of would-be clients and as there were a good many things to be done before we could settle down again comfortably the delay has not been of much consequence.
C. W. Richmond to H. A. Atkinson - - - Wellington, 27 Dec 1877
We ate our Xmas dinner at Government House. The Governor is naturally very full of Sir George and his sayings. When a Prime Minister openly attacks the Governor in speeches to the Populace, it seems only fair that His Excellency should be allowed to speak to his friends in private. I can see he is fidgety under the apprehension that the Opposition will not take up Sir G's points with sufficient vigour. He is evidently anxious that you should speak out, as far as possible, on the principles, at least, of taxation; and not let it be supposed that Grey is the only person to whom the people can look for a fair taxation of property. Lord Normanby's own opinion is (as no doubt you know) that the large capitalists do really get off too easily at present. I said of course it was known that your sympathies were with the working settler - the yeomen of the Colony - and that you could hardly be mistaken at N.P. for the supporter (through thick and thin) of the great holders.
It ought to be pointed out that these great holders are not a numerous class - and that the most prominent have risen from the ranks - as Robinson, Rhodes, Campbell etc. Working men ought to be able to see the impolicy of depriving members of their own class of the rewards of superior industry, prudence, and business ability: and above all the impolicy of doing injustice to any one.
It might be a good thing to point out that the great landed estates have originated in Sir G. Grey's 5/- an acre regulations. These were made by Sir George, in March 1853, by a most unconstitutional exercise of his interim power of making regulations. Before he called the Assembly he took upon him to initiate a new land policy - without giving that body an opportunity of discussing a land and emigration policy. The result ought to be a caution to working settlers against such friends as double G. I don't know that in this case he meant treachery - but the want of real political foresight is obvious when one considers the state of landed property in Marlborough, Nelson and Wellington.
The localisation of the land fund, of which he complains, was the inevitable result of the Ultra-Provincialism which he did his best to introduce. Unconstitutionally, he started the Provinces before the General Assembly - thus launching the constitution
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'bottom upwards' as old Carleton used to say. Canterbury and Otago were led to consider themselves as separate states, and they claimed as a natural consequence, separate chests.
No Northern man liked the Resolutions of 1856, but they were inevitable. Moreover, it was, I believe, the best policy to allow Otago and Canterbury to develop as fast as possible on their own territorial resources. But Grey, of all men, has no reason to attack a policy to which his own acts directly led.
I see the Governor is particularly anxious that the nonsense about elective Governors shod, be exposed. He thinks that if the people saw that it means (as of course it would mean) separation from the Mother-Country, they would be all against it.
I am sure I am telling you nothing that you do not know - and indeed should not have troubled you but that I fancy it will be satisfactory to the Governor to know that you are in possession of his views. He seems to me, the more I see of him, a man of an excellent political judgment, and of very great political experience. I like his straightforward way. It cannot signify to him one pin, personally, how things go with us, but he is, I can see, genuinely anxious that we should not make fools of ourselves in the eyes of England - and moreover a little afraid that the sensible people amongst us are too easy-going in politics, and are about to let this political lunatic (if he be not indeed a lunatic simpliciter) get the better of them for a time, and do irreparable mischief before the stupid gullible populace finds him out.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Notting Hill, London, 3 Jan 1878
Arthur speaks doubtingly about investing all in N.Z. and seems to find investments not plentiful. If you have other information on this head from other provinces will you please let him know as I am eating my head off now . . . Since I returned to England ... I have not felt equal to pushing in business and I have not succeeded in any painting lately from like causes. I was so weak that half a miles walk or a ride in the underground railway or in an omnibus made me quite faint . . .
Annaliz plods away at the Cambridge course and at music without any aid . . . Dolla is too impatient to make all the progress she might at painting. She is working at oil portraits of Dick and Wils and goes on energetically at Bedford College. Margie is with us just now ... I think she is immensely benefiting by her time at Cambridge. I don't know how much book learning she gets . . . but she is mellowing down into a very delightful companion . . .
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 20 Jan 1878
James as perhaps you know wrote to Arthur and me telling us to sell all his property in N.Z. when he could get satisfactory prices. His most important investment
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is in the Waikato and the block I believe includes some family property. The last assessment for rates that I saw valued it at £3 per acre. I know nothing about the position of the land or how far it is likely to increase rapidly in value and should be glad of information and your views as to expediency of offering it for sale. Perhaps Dr Pollen or some Auckland persons should be consulted - of course the prospect of railway extension would have to be thought of . . .
H. A. Atkinson to John Ballance - - - New Plymouth, 29 Jan 1878
I enclose a memo by Mr Halse giving the terms upon which the Taranaki W.L.B. propose to sell the 5000 acres of bush land to Mr Christie, of Carlyle. The transaction now only requires to be approved by the Government to complete it. Mr Christie has asked me to write you upon the subject as some difficulty appears to have risen in Wellington about the Government's approval being given. I do not as a rule like special settlements but I think in this case the Government will make a mistake if they do not give effect to the recommendation of the board. It seems to me very desirable to get this land opened up and settled as proposed. I think also the matter has gone so far that it would be scarcely fair to Mr Christie if the land was not now sold to him. I hope you will see your way to give effect to the board's recommendation at an early date.
(John Ballance papers, Alexander Turnbull Library)
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Hurworth, 29 Jan 1878
The weather has continued magnificent - extraordinarily dry. The dust in town has become a great nuisance. The corporation, in consequence of its improvements, has destroyed all the green roads and there are no water carts. The dust irritates my lungs very much . . .
I have been greatly refreshed by the bush. In our travels we have seen no such picture of pastoral quiet as Hurworth presents - and I might include our travels in Europe also. The wide stretches of pasture which still resist the drought, the little ridges covered with bush, here and there a bouquet of fern trees in the foreground, the tuis ruffling and fluttering about the pine tops mixing mellow whistling with odd gutturals and a fantastic performance like comb music, over all the still mysterious and beautiful mountain with depths of black-blue forest. The old times have come back upon me, and I have been sucking melancholy under the greenwood tree as a weasel sucks eggs. As I look out of the window of this little sitting room (an addition to Hal's old house) I see the ribes which, with fern higher than my head, now covers the clearing on my own land. If this were now cut down and burnt it would make a fine clearing as the stumps will be rotten. Shall we clear, plough up, take a crop of wheat, sow down in grass - and build? Of James's house nothing remains but fragments of the iron chimney. Fern covers the ridges and is fast invading the flats.
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There is one great want in Taranaki - fruit. They have small fruit, but apples and plums won't succeed and now the peach trees are dying out. The soil is not clayey enough . . . We used to think there was no road metal, but . . . there is plenty to be had with a little digging. Meanwhile people here are dependent on Nelson for apples, pears, plums and cherries - a great drawback.
The road to Hurworth is very good in summer - you can drive in easily in an hour . . .
Harry has a farm of between 3 and 400 ac. at Waitara. He has bought an American reaper and binder and has been occupied in starting it upon a piece of wheat. It takes him a little under two hours to drive over from Hurworth. The road behind the mountain is now open and there is a coach through to Hawera and Wanganui. The distance by the new road to Hawera is 35 miles, instead of 70 by the coast. The railway is made as far as Inglewood ... Mr Parris drove me down to Inglewood . . . The great man at Inglewood is Colonel Trimble - a new settler (about 4 yrs standing) from Lancashire. His wife is a Heywood and they are Units. [Unitarians]. He is a very intelligent, agreeable and enterprising man - has a large family and is a great acquisition to the place. He asked for seats in Hal's express the day we went down to Waitara for himself and the sea captain who brought him out . . . He sent me Martineau's last address to read - Ideal Substitutes for God. The Colonel is a great admirer of Tyndall - whom I did what I could to diminish in his esteem.
Harry is greatly improved in health, but Annie considers he has never quite got over the effects of his over-work in politics. He is very grave, but cheerful. Dunstan ... Tudor both like farming. When I last saw Tu. he was driving the machine. As it goes along a great iron arm starts out at regular intervals, clasps a bundle of wheat stalks which it secures at the same time by a wire. By the same action the bundle is pitched clear away. On the other side of the machine, next the crop, a great whirligig is playing, whose office is to lay the cut stalks on the delivery platform from which they are whisked up by revolving guttapercha bands and accumulated under the great arm aforesaid. It is a strange, almost uncanny looking affair.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Notting Hill, London, 31 Jan 1878
The low state of body that I was in for three months after planting here and the fog and short daylight have been great obstacles to painting. One wants a mind free from anxiety for any work connected with beauty. Albert Durer is hardly an exception . . .
I saw last week a host of N.Z. men at the Colonial Institute meeting. Vogel, E. Cargill, Chas Nairn, Shepherd, Adean, Ferrard etc.
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C. C. Bowen to H. A. Atkinson - - - Christchurch, 15 Feb 1878
... I went up to Wellington a fortnight ago to bring down all my goods and chattels and to see Hunter about the paper. I hope that Pollen now will come down to Wellington to edit and manage it. He has shares in it and will do the work well. I have undertaken to write articles, and have this week sent up two or three rounding up the 'pro-consul'. I think the paper may be made a very good organ for our party -especially if we do not let it be known where the articles come from too much and get writing from different parts of the country. It will not be well to say anything about Pollen's movements until he has finally decided . . .
The Governor will hold his own with Grey, and the rest of the Cabinet seem inclined to take his side, so far as the Grey-quarrelling goes . . .
(Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library)
A. S. Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 21 Feb 1878
I have as you know been long and of late increasingly exercised over Artie's immediate future and am sorely tempted now to desparate measures. There is great danger of his being completely asphyxiated if left much longer at the college - with much reluctance I am coming to the conclusion that on the whole it wd. be better he should go now at once, and I have even thought of taking him . . . but have not decided.
A. S. Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 23 Feb 1878
In reference to Artie's going home my idea was, 1. to put him to some public school for say a year, Maria watching how the experiment worked, or 2. to some continental school. In the former he might perhaps from what I can see get some small scholarship to help. I should dearly like to stay in the old country while the children's education was going on, but of course there [are] at least 100 chances to one against a man with merely a few untrained aptitudes getting anything to do to keep soul and body together.
C. F. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 25 Feb 1878
I went to Uncle Harry's 'entertainment' and was much interested. He has not quite the Greyite eloquence but speaks the truth as far as he knows it - which is uncommon for a politician. After the main harangue the audience questioned him as to his future policy - E. M. Smith and a burglar were the most amusing - others too blunt and stupid.
... I have also been to see Mrs Wilson Hursthouse, she is very nice indeed - but gardens! ! Wilson is the nicest person I have seen here a long way. He is grave but with a dry humour underlying his gravity and not stiltedly reserved. I am going to
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live with him at Inglewood. You know he has lost his appointment (chief surveyor £500 per annum) through saying something about turning out the G. Ministry before J. C. Brown (S.C.R.) when Sir G. was here lately.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Notting Hill, London, 28 Feb 1878
Bad weather and feeble health and sight have been against my attempts to make 'potboilers' this winter. I have worked very hard, perhaps too hard for my eyes. As soon as it is clear I can get nothing fit for the Rl. Acadamy I shall give my eyes repose. I am very much better in general health, and though my walking powers are still very poor they have much improved . . .
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Notting Hill, London, 27 Mar 1878
Maurice is a delightfully tranquil student. . . . He reads mathematics all day in the College library, and generally unbends at night on history or literature. He is beginning to take a livelier interest in physiology but his delight in mathematics is constant and lively . . . Anneliz is studying natural history and music and does all vigorously, besides housekeeping and housework. Dolla helps in this and works at history, arthmetic and drawing. She is stronger . . . but there is a langour still over body and mind, arising a good deal from the infection of the agnosticism of the times we live in . . . My present idea is to remain in Europe to the autumn of 1879 if I live so long. This will give M. the time for passing his B.Sc. examination if all goes well with him. The further degree D.Sc. is hardly to be got by college studies and as yet only one man has taken it at London Univ ... I presume, the minor degree which is as yet rare will have considerable value. Will you take an opportunity of asking Hector . . . what other prospect the Colony offers for a scientific man. I presume he would drop into teaching after a time if nothing else arose. He will of course have a college acquaintance with geology and chemistry, besides his physics, physiology and mathematics . . .
I think my girls both look forward to earning money on their return by teaching. I want to get D. for a session to the Slade School of Art at Univ. College. She slightly resists from a languid tendency to disparage her powers, but I think . . . she will acquiesce and finally be aroused by the clever headmaster, a Frenchman named Legros 28. . .
C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - Hokitika, 25 Apr 1878
We missed the tide at Greymouth and so had another night on board . . . At breakfast next morning down came the Kennedy wagging gently along to Hokitika. So Fairchild bore down on her as if we had been going to run her
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down. We had to chase her for the Hinemoa's steam was low and the Kennedy seemed to be firing-up. At last I held out my hat like a railway stop signal and Palmer let us come up. The whaleboat was lowered and after bobbing up and down a little alongside (we were 3 miles off shore) we got aboard by a rope's end. The weather continued thick and rainy and I did not feel quite sure about getting in as the rivers are all up, and the whole sea along shore covered with brown land water... I sat down at the saloon table and enjoyed a really good piece of boiled mutton and after that a piece of boiled bread pudding (like a black cap) with red hair - oil sauce ...
A little after 2 Tommy Trice gave us 4 balls and in we went, followed by the Waipara. It was all we could do to turn the corner of the Nth Spit against the current. . .
I have gone to the Empire but Bonar is pressing me to come with him so I suppose I shall shift my quarters before night.
Fairchild is a good deal like Mr B. in the Mississipi Pilot - I think if he said he would larn a man the coast he would larn him or kill him. He is great fun and full of information. I don't know what has become of Sir J. Coode and Mr Blackett, but suppose they got on board the Hinemoa yesterday's tide . . .
C. W. Richmond to J. C. Richmond - - - Hokitika, 25 Apr 1878
... I am here to try a case a second time, the jury being unable to agree on the first trial before the C.J. ... The Hine[moa] was going down the W. Coast to pick up Sir John Coode (the marine engineer) and Blackett who are at Greymouth . . . On Wednesday morning as we were gently steaming along we saw the Kennedy going south and I got Fairchild to put Gully and me on board and we got into Hokitika yesterday. We had all the Hinemoa to ourselves. She is quite a yacht, rather larger than the Wellington], but a better sea boat, and goes over 11 knots . . .
Grey and Macandrew are upsetting the Engineers Department at a great rate. They have appointed Blair engineer in chief for the Southern Island. Carruthers refuses I believe to surrender voluntarily the absolute chief-ship - and it is supposed he will be dismissed. The scheme is said to be connected with the expected revival of the separatist policy.
Grey's stumping tour is over. It has been 'a great success'. On the other hand Bunny has deserted them as they did not make satisfactory arrangements with him. He is supposed to be constantly at Fitzherbert to get him to return to politics. But Fitz (having recommended the increase of his own salary to £800 a year, and got it) is not likely to give up his present post - unless indeed he should fear a general election . . . was endangering the chance of his re-election as Speaker! You like him -and indeed so do I to chat with - but I fear that his main notion, if not his only consideration, is personal advantage . . .
Wellington continues to present a very lively appearance - lots of new warehouses and dwg. houses going up . . .
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I met John Cargill when I went to take my berth on board the Hawea. The first thing he did was to take off his hat to show me that his grey hairs had completely disappeared in favour of the original sandy hue. This surprising rejuvenescence is due to a mud and sulphur bath at Ohinemutu. After simmering for a time in the hot mud, you wash clean in another geyser and come out in the glory of youth. As soon as this is known shan't we have a rush to the land of the Arawas? . . .
I hear Maurice is a believer in atoms. It is a fine faith no doubt. But even with the aid of Walt Whitman's poetry and Swinburne's songs before sunrise (which seem from Clifford's citations in the article on Co(s)mical Emotion to be as lovely pieces of verbal melody as anything he has written) my intellect will not expand to receive it.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 25 Apr 1878
I may perhaps get a look at Venice this year though that is uncertain. I have not earned a penny for nine months. Fog and low health have prevented my drawings coming up to their previous mark. The girls are beginning to learn Italian . . . but our time here is short at longest.
J. C. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond (in Italy) - - - London, 12 May 1878
There is a matter that I am sorry for in your last letter. I mean the desire you express for yourself and young ones to remain in Europe - as I understand - altogether. I share to the full your delight in the bright skies of the continent and in the wonders of scenery, of art and of antiquity, not to speak of the variety in social life one finds in the old world. But I could never bear to live an alien in any of the countries I have seen. I do not see openings for the young ones into careers of steady activity. I long for a settled focus for the family.
After 27 years absence from England it is difficult - almost impossible - to take up the position one vacated on leaving. Your connection is gone and can hardly be recovered, at all events in the utilitarian sense - I mean for the pushing on your children in life. I could not reckon on finding employment for myself, although I have always been fortunate above average. I doubt if William could find work in England suited to his period of life and health, and I doubt if this sunless climate would suit him. Without some lucrative work he and you would be overcome with anxiety ... It cost me just double to live in the dirt here that I could spend in New Zealand in fresh air and sunlight.
As to society I see nothing of it, and I do not find that any but very wealthy people do see much. I get more than enough invitations to dinner, then comes a call and a return call but the intimacies are fewer here. Those only are intimate who are thrown together by their work ... I do not speak in disappointment for I never expected anything else in this overgrown overcrowded city. In N. Zealand our boys
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will always have friends unless they alienate them by their own faults. They will have the land to fall back on, and as a regular and original occupation for some of them. The girls will find their good education a means of independence and useful work, and a source of influence and a key to the best society the land affords.
If I could picture any tolerable life for myself as an old man without a family circle to which I was closely bound by love, it would be that of a slow tourist where art and nature are found in their glory and where historical memories hang over everything. But thank God this is an impossible position for me and I want a settled home where my children and other dear ones may always find me, and I want to be at work myself to the last and to see them using all their best powers and being servicable to their fellow countrymen as well as themselves.
My primitive idea in emigrating was something of this kind - and I hoped, reasonably, to be a freer person - less wholly a cog of an automatic machine away from the overcrowding of Europe. I was not a disgusted nor an eager emigrant (Wm and Maria, though H. and I preceded them, were the authors of the movement) and on my visits to Europe I have had reason to be content with the openings that accident has found me. Still I am of opinion we were right in our views, and if we have not led the colony in the way of accumulating wealth, it has been from defects that would have kept us poor in Europe. My children without much suggestion from me all agree in wishing to return to the colony. If any of them hesitates it is Dorothy who has a great taste for the life of a refined intellectual swell. I fancy a year or two in London, (where in all probability they must work if they remain in Europe) would cure most of yours of their distaste for N. Zealand. The boys at all events must soon be transferred to England if they are to make their living in this country. . . .
Among the merits of N.Z. do not forget that money is still worth double what it is in England, and if most of us abandon the colony it would not be prudent to avail ourselves of this advantage. Interest is double and living scarcely more than half English rates.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 22 May 1878
I also want to be in the country as much as possible for confirming my health and refreshing my eyes for painting. A winter in London is a heavy handicap for an artist. I don't comprehend how some of them succeed as well as they do . . .
I am greatly interested by Grey's proceedings. He is a mass of vanity, egotism and unscrupulousness - with perhaps the 'little grain of conscience' to make the mixture perfectly nauseous. Yet I am not surprised at the fall of Hal's or any ministry before him and his party. There are not men enough nor a moral level high enough in N.Z. society to furnish a blotless cabinet, and all Hal's industry and public spirit would not counterpoise the evil influence on the house and country of men like Ormond and Whitaker. It would have tried me severely to be in the House under these circum-
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stances, and I should only have kept out of the cave by a constant effort. I should have had to be a candid friend. There is a very perceptible likeness between the temper of politics in England and in N.Z. just now. The mere wilfulness of the majority, the total absence of faith in what we used to think constitutional principles on the part of the London mob ... I am tickled to see that Grey is going to 'settle the native difficulty' for settling which Donald was knighted . . .
I thought in ignorance of the details that the Barton punishment was more than it was discreet to award though probably no more than he deserved. Your W. Coast Fenian sentences would have been more to the purpose. A month's imprisonment was enough to make a popular martyr of an unscrupulous spouter . . .
I sent a picture of Egmont to the Royal Acadamy. It is hung but skyed. It has some good points but is as usual fumbled.
I am sending you out the son of an artist of the Unitarian connection at Hampstead, George Fripp, eminent among the old water color society and an intimate friend of Edwin Field. The son's name is Charles Fripp; he is a trained painter but finds the profession overcrowded ... I think he might find teaching to do . . . Basil Field gives him an excellent character.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 9 Jun 1878
Arthur and Arfie arrived in good order - the latter wonderfully improved in physique. They are now at Clifton where young A. is going through an entrance examination for the Clifton College . . .
Maurice's examinations have begun at the College and will begin at the University in a few days . . .
Maria continues her energetic performances of social and sight seeing duty with undiminished vigor. This house . . . has been made to hold both our two familes and the young ladies encourage one another in good works such as parties, at homes, but especially operas, plays and concerts. I have a doubt that the abundance of good music will some day put a stop to all domestic art. Cultivated amateurs seem above doing anything below the level of the Hans Bulows ... I took Edie, Alla and Maggie Cobden to Lohengrin the other night. My impression on this third hearing of Wagner's opera is, that supposing it a fair specimen Wagner is too little spontaneous . . . He is a reflective musician and man and has studied musical means very fully ... He tries to dispense with melody as if it were a trammel and wearies one with a sort of declamation that wants variety and refinement, and if he desired melody I doubt if he has the gift -at least not in the degree of the great masters . . .
I was trotted out yesterday to an 'at home' of the Miss Martineaus. This invention has grown up out of the impossibility of ever finding anyone at home when called upon. They are good natural people . . . Alla outshone all else in the brilliancy of an 'art blue' merino with cape and train and Dolla came next in an 'art green' ditto . . .
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C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - Napier, 12 Jun 1878
The Beethams 29 are very kind and I get on capitally with them. They belong quite to the Liberal party in matters of religion, and don't at all sympathise with the orthodoxy of some of their connexions. Mrs Beetham is a remarkably intelligent and well informed woman. She knows a great deal more than most women (or men either) of natural history and physical science. This shd. not be surprising as her father was a celebrated naturalist. Their place in the Hutt has been completely destroyed ... by the earthquake of 1855 and Hutt floods together. Mr Swainson died the year after the earthquake. I have been looking at his sketches of scenery and at a lovely book of Brasilian birds - also his work.
This Bay is as lovely as ever. Mr Beetham tells me they can sometimes see the light on Portland Island, distant 44 marine miles . . . This is only in peculiar states of the atmosphere.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 12 Jul 1878
You will have heard young Ar made his mark on the entrance examn. at Clifton, gaining one of the entrance scholarships of £50 per ann. Maria will, I think, live at Bristol - Clifton, she finds good teaching for girls there. Maurice . . . gained two prizes and two certificates and a first year student's scholarship of £30 ... I spent Sunday with Margie and her friend Miss Wimbush at Lyndhurst or rather in the New Forest. They were the remains of a reading party which adjourned there for economic peace after the break up of Newnham . . .
F. A. Weld to C. W. Richmond - - - Government House, Tasmania, 4 Aug 1878
I have often, year by year, thought of writing to you, but I have a fixed idea that you are a bad correspondent & hate letter writing, but my friendship for you is as warm as ever, and indeed it is that, & a sense of justice & love of truth that makes me now write. What about? you will say - and I answer Waitara ! ! ! The old word, once so often on our lips, now of the past. To my mind it embodied principles, and still it sounds something like a trumpet cry, bursting out of the sepulchre of the past.
You must write me a letter upon Waitara. I do not ask it upon personal grounds but that truth may be known. I do not ask that the letter should be necessarily published even, but that it be a record & that I may use it according to my own discretion and that I may show it to a gentleman who is writing a history of New Zealand. 30 He has got up the New Zealand records with wonderful care, & he has been in correspondence with Sir G. Grey, Mr Carleton & others. I was not in office when the Waitara
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affair began, but I have let him know my view of the question. I particularly want him to know yours. I think that you could best state the views that guided the cabinet before I joined it, and more especially say how far you personally influenced the decision & action taken. I want also particularly to know how far Donald McLean was personally by advice or otherwise concerned in it, and further what you think of the views of Sir William Martin, ex-Chief Justice, & Bishop Selwyn as far as their being practical or useful suggestions - also why the proposed commission enquiry was refused by Government. Since there have been meetings with Natives and proceedings in some land court either at Taranaki or at Wanganui or Manawatu that are said to militate against the view taken by the Stafford Government.
It is argued that Gore Browne changed his policy under your influence, that you departed from the moderate & prudent policy advocated in your speech of 1858 & went to an extreme. I call your attention to the following passage;
PP v 47 - you say - "Wiremu Kingi has been joined by a number of natives who have gathered about him since his settlement at Waitara and these men have encroached with their cultivation upon the proper owners. This has been a source of dissension & one reason determining the sellers to part with their land."
- - -
"Kingi's title if he had the best in the world is merged in his rebellion. At all events it will be time to hear him when he submits to the jurisdiction."
- - -
"I say substantial justice is partition, and if they cannot agree among themselves their boundaries must be settled for them by a higher power.
- - -
"Years of weak Government had made the storm unavoidable, and it was well to have the war come whilst the settlers' eyes were open."
"I know nothing about "Mana" & I don't care to know anything."
March 1860. "The issue has been carefully chosen - the particular question being as favorable a one of its class as could have been selected."
I have already written & spoken to the gentleman who is compiling & lent him some of my writings, speeches & cuttings. He is a Mr Rusden, clerk of Parliament in Victoria. He is honest & painstaking, but takes a wrong view, I think, re Waitara. I am anxious to see how far your view & mine agree, after such a lapse of time, that is, whether we should take the same exact line of defence if we were impeached.
I beg you will write & answer this. We are all well & like Tasmania exceedingly. I have had a great row with my Chief Justice I am certain that you would think me right & that he interfered improperly with executive & also with priviledges of parliament. He was led away by extreme personal feeling against the Premier. It is a very long story. The President Leg. Co & Speaker H of A have written me a joint letter upholding my view. I stand well with leaders of both parties and the country generally
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& the press upholds me except one paper, in which the articles are pretty well known to be written by the Ch. J, whose abuse & misstatements of fact are unparallelled in all my experience of high officials.
I have some slight hopes of getting N. Zealand, but I know that they don't like to send a Colonist to his own Colony. Some people think that I have a chance for Sydney or Melbourne but no one either here or at Home knows anything about it. The Colonial Office has this time kept its intentions (if it has any) a most perfect secret from us all. 31 I do not care about going to Queensland or South Australia & indeed as a residence Tasmania is perfection & I get on capitally, & I really believe have indirectly left my mark on the Colony. I have had some nice constitutional points to deal with & have pushed on my ministers in the defence & other questions to good result.
My family is now 12 (living). The eldest girls will soon be grown up, Mrs Weld is well but felt the recent death of her father very deeply. Tell me all about yours. Do they any of them remember our Tennyson readings? Has Mary any faint recollection of her old friend? . . .
v 7, p 33
C. W. Richmond to F. A. Weld
(Pencil endorsement: 'Part copy of C.W.R's letter to Sir Frederick Weld.') (No 2 - partly copied - no time to finish)
and a menace; of war. He told Parris he should go to the Mountain.
Although these pahs were within the external boundary of the block it does not at all follow that the inhabitants would have been interfered with. When external boundaries have been settled with Natives the internal still remain to be adjusted; as every one knows who has had anything to do with Native purchases. There was for many years a Native pa within the outer boundary of the Town of New Plymouth. Grey talked about 'the expulsion of 200 of her Majesty's subjects from their homes.' This was absolute fiction - in which no one believed less than the writer; although he hoped it might serve a purpose in Downing street.
All through the controversy the Philo-Maori party (so called) and the Opposition falsified the issue. They represented it as a question of title to a particular block of land. Kingi never pretended to have any right of ownership in this particular patch of land. 'The land is theirs' (he told Parris) 'but they shall not sell it.' His position was that of assuming the right to veto any further sales of land within the District. The boundary for the Pakehas (he said) is at Waitaha. That is at the North boundary of the Bell Block.
This was the pretension which the Government would not admit.
So far from inviting investigation, he even refused it when offered it afterwards by Mr Fox, who pressed it upon him, see the P.P. of 1863 on Native affairs. Those papers shew conclusively that the only people who talked about investigation were
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Karaitiana and the Hawkes' Bay Natives. These men were merely repeating what their Pakeha friends had put into their mouths. They expressed great disgust that neither Waikato nor Wi Kingi would have anything to do with 'investigating Waitara.'
The question whether Natives not interested in land should be allowed to oppose the sale of it was at that time becoming of immense importance to the Colony. The progress of Auckland was stopped for want of land. The Native King movement was essentially a Land league for the purpose of preventing further alienation to Europeans.
As to the measures of 1858: I never myself had any belief in measures for civilization of the Natives which were not backed up by a sufficient power in the Government. In explaining the policy of those measures I recollect telling the Home Government (I believe the Memo, is in the Blue Books) that we were doing our best without a military backing, but that a weak - (physically weak) Government would never be respected by the Maories. The Maories would be very unlike human beings in general if they were prepared for perfectly voluntary submission to law.
Looking back I am perfectly satisfied that the crisis through which we passed was a necessary one. Prior to 1860 we were in a false position. The unarmed settlers were mere sheep amongst wolves. I have seen four hundred savages, naked nearly as when they were born, but fully armed, kicking up the dust of the Devon road in the war-dance in the midst of the Town of New Plymouth. We were living 'under the Tomahawk' as Fitzherbert said we were - and seemed to wish that we should continue to live. The London 'Times' might talk of 'growing' into the contest for the country. That however was impossible as long as the Land-league was unbroken. The Natives perfectly understood the position. They saw that if they let the Colony 'grow' it would become too strong for them, and they took the best step to stop its growth by prohibiting land sales.
I know nothing of any subsequent investigations into title. I can place no confidence whatever in the result of any investigation of the question conducted by Fenton - owing to his animosity to Governor Browne and McLean. I have no doubt a great many people were interested in the block - but Kingi's only claims were always understood to be north of the river. The Government in dealing for the block treated not only with Teira but with Ropoana and the Arapawa (Queen Charlotte's land) people. I never supposed all claims extinguished. It was however repeatedly announced by Parris, and was perfectly understood, that any dissentients who could make out a claim should have their land excepted.
Many calumnies were circulated about myself at the time. Parris told me this story as we were riding together over the ground a few years ago. Sir George Grey and Sir D. Cameron were in a tent together at Tataraimaka in 1863. Parris came in, and Sir George said, 'By the way Parris whereabouts is Mr Richmond's land at Waitara?' Parris - 'He never had any Yr. Excellency.' Sir Duncan, 'That makes a great difference Sir George.'
H. S. Chapman was Times correspondent at Melbourne during the war, and, unfortunately for us, drew his information from his old colleague Sir William Martin.
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Martin was influenced by Archdeacon Hadfield at Waikanae, and Hadfield by one or two Native deacons - young fellows of the Ngatiawa, who were children when their tribe was expelled, and who were absolutely ignorant of the Taranaki localities. In this way the Missionary view got into the Times correspondence columns. I have since chaffed Chapman as to his sources.
It is a remarkable fact that the agent of the supposed iniquity, Parris, has remained in charge of the district, as Native Commissioner through successive Governments, until his recent resignation. I will see, if, through him, I can get any further information.
I do not know
[Minute in pencil by Mary E. Richmond 14 Jun 1936:
I think this is part of the copy of a letter sent by C.W.R. to Sir Frederick Weld in answer to his 4 letters inquiring about Waitara, written from Tasmania in 1878]
v 7, p 34
F. A. Weld to C. W. Richmond - - - Government House, Tasmania
It was really very good of you (& I hardly expected it) to write me that Memo, on the Waitara question ... It did me good. It will be soon almost 20 years that I have been left alone battling all comers re Waitara & I am glad to see the reserves come up. Of course with so much the more effect because I was absent when the purchase was made & so cannot speak with the authority that you do. It was Carleton, not Fenton I think that I mentioned as having asked investigation in Parliament I suppose by a commission about the time I joined the Stafford Government. I remember that it was refused by the Ministry and that I had supposed that it would be granted. No doubt it would have been and for purely party purposes. Carleton never forgave me for adhering to the decision of my colleagues . . .
I have no news about change of Governors, except that Sir G. Bowen has asked for & obtained Mauritius, and that from England well informed people tell me that Lord Normanby goes to Sydney (which some at home had thought likely to fall to me) & that Sir H. Robinson is likely to go to England. I should, however, not be surprised to see him get N Zealand I don't think that he will get Melbourne. 32
v 7, p 35
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 13 Sep 1878
The parliament has had a holiday in mid session. The Houses have been adjourned and the Governor and everybody went to Christchurch and thence by rail to Dunedin. Most of the Ministry, including Grey, stopped behind, either as not quite sympathising in what might be deemed a Vogelite triumph, or in order to profit by the opportunity
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of working up arrears . . . Nor did Harry go. He had a sudden fit of illness due I think to the disordered state of his nervous system thro' the over strain of last session . . . On political affairs he is always jolly, greatly enjoying the freedom of Opposition. He says the Ministry have no friends - but his own party are anxious not to give them any excuse for a dissolution until they have plainly shown to the country the emptiness of their pretensions.
Mr Barton's affair has at last been brought forward in the rather feeble shape of a Bill to appoint a royal commission to make various inquiries ... in the case of G. E. Barton . . . The C. J. returned today from Auckland after an absence of nearly two months. They were a short time at Waiwera, which he strongly recommends. We shall have lots of spas in N.Z.
This reminds me of our grand Wellingtonian advance. We have a steam tramway - beginning at the foot of Molesworth St close to Government Ho and reaching far away into Te Aro. The cars seem to fill well. Today as the C.J. and I came out of the Court House, past came two cram full of women and children about 3 doz, in each car. All these people seemed clean and well dressed - no, smart I should say - the children and their nurses all staring out of the windows in solemn enjoyment of their three penn'orths - but the children in arms . . . were, Kit says, carried gratis - at which he is indignant. There was a grand procession of tram-cars to open the line - Excellency and suite in the leading car. We travelled along smoothly enough to the Te Aro shed - the engine stables - where luncheon was set for I should say fully 200 people . . .
We were delighted to hear of Artie's success. Of course we all expected he wd. do well, but the £50 scholarship was like Spofforth sending Grace and Hornby to the tent with duck's eggs. I guess 'we' shall yet make those Englishers open their eyes. Of course Dick (like the rest of the Britishers) considers we all live in the backwoods. I wonder how long it will be before Midhurst has a steam-tramway to the railway station? I see by the paper tonight we have . . . now 1052 miles of railway open . . . more miles in proportion of population than any country in the world. This perhaps the Midhurst detractor will say, shows rather, how small is our population, than how extensive our lines . . . For all this I myself hold that the sea will remain our highway to a great extent . . .
Saturday Sep 14 ... If you want to go to Cairo remember you will need Turkish passports - if indeed the Turk any longer dares demand a passport of the Lords of Cyprus and Jerusalem - the solvers of the great Asian mystery . . .
I am purposely saying nothing about the important questions of our future, we shall soon, please God, be enabled to talk over together. I am more than ever convinced that to make our lives profitable to others is the true secret of living.
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F. A. Weld to C. W. Richmond - - - 21 Sep 1878
I send you a copy of extracts from two letters I wrote to our historian hurriedly & without references - will you look over them & say if there is any mistake. I think you will agree with the general view . . .
It is no use entering into further correspondence with Mr Rusden I think.
Veritas est magna et prevalebit is true in the long run but will often be only fully realized in the next world.
v 7, p 35
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Clifton, 22 Sep 1878
Arfie has left his family and taken up his abode with the Rev Mr Watson, who seems both pleasant and sensible and is, moreover, head mathematical master. The poor little boy wd. be better off however, if he had any other clothes than a bell topper.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 22 Sep 1878
[Kit] is still here, and as he seems to wish to go on with his general studies, and perhaps to graduate at the N.Z. Univ., I have told him I have no objection. He has made the acquaintance of Maurice Fitzgerald, of which I am very glad. Maurice is a sweet looking youth, six feet high and has just entered the B.N.Z . . .
I have never contemplated for the boys a further residence of years in Europe away from us, though I have said I was not unwilling to let Alf and Bob remain for another year . . . You seem to have forgotten that people can get a very fair education in N.Z. - better than I got. Maurice and Arfie were both taught in N.Z. . . . Nelson College is just now at a low ebb - Mr Andrew is not cut out for a schoolmaster. Christchurch is said to be pretty good and there are some excellent teachers both at Dunedin and Auckland.
I agree with those who say that an English education is best for Englishmen in the sense they speak. If a youth of some fortune is preparing for a career in England, send him of course to an English public school and then to one of the universities. Superadd (if you can) some foreign culture at a German university or perhaps in Paris or Switzerland. He may enter an Inn of Court, read a year with a special pleeder, another with a conveyancer and get called to the Bar - all as a preparation for parliament. This is what people mean. Unless a man is of commanding ability he is looked down upon if he has not run the regular course. To have been at Eton, Winchester or Harrow is an introduction of which the benefit is felt socially. It wd. be of no avail to a young man in comparison to have distinguished himself at Heidelberg or Zurich or Bon or Basle. He wd. still be reckoned amongst 'cads' and wd. inevitably be blackballed at any London club. But such a program is rather too ambitious for us. For my part I am inclined to think that such an education as a boy may get in Switzerld. is quite as likely to be useful to him in the Colony as if he had been educated at an
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English public school... I am sorry that circumstances will not allow Alf to prosecute his studies in Switzerland - because at the Swiss universities when a young man has got through his studies in arts he can get practical instruction in many businesses - such as agriculture, engineering, chemistry, metallurgy . . .
I have been reading Victor Hugo's Le Pape. I cannot understand how anyone admires such fustian. For my part I find neither sense nor harmony in it - but platitudes and false sentiment conveyed in a stilted style interspersed with epigram which is generally ridiculous. This is my honest opinion and I do not think I am at all blind to the graces of French style . . .
The northern members who had not seen the South have returned much impressed by their railway trip fm. Chch. to Dunedin - especially by the breadth of land under cultivation, the excellence of the soil and the size and solidity of Dunedin. - It is said that there were 100,000 tons of wheat at or coming to Lyttelton for exportation. Richie has been telling us this afternoon that they had a banquet at Dunedin in one of the flats, or stories, of a great warehouse. Four hundred people sat down to dinner and there was ample room. This was one of six similar flats in the same warehouse. The Governor was very cordially received and Vogel's name greatly honoured. The present Ministry rather at a discount.
There was a ball on Thursday ... at Government Ho. It was a very pretty party - the rooms full but not crowded and plenty of air from the corridors. A stand-up supper in the dining room. Lady Normanby is much better. Anna danced a few dances only. Lady Bell there and very friendly - tremendously stout, but face wears well. We have had very little gaiety this season.
Monday 23 Sep . . . Richmond [Hursthouse] came in. He is an excellent fellow with good firm common sense. It is a pleasure to talk with him - one always learns something. Certainly he is an example by which we may console ourselves for the want of our own boys in book learning. I would rather have Richie's mind and judgment than those of half the distinguished university men whom I have met in my life . . .
A letter from Eliza has just arrived enclosing one from Maria ... I entirely agree with her that it would be a great mistake to desert New Zealand. Anna does not much like Wellington as a residence. No wonder after being accustomed to live in the midst of our own grounds, it is not pleasant to reside in a house with a real 'street door' - as close to the road as old Frindsbury.
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 22 Oct 1878
I enclose letters relative to the proposed new road through J.C.R's land in the Waikato and as to a section in the middle of this block which is offered to him at £2 per acre.
As I have no information whatever with respect to this property and no means of obtaining it I have been obliged to leave it in your hands, hoping that you could
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get access to plans and get Dr Pollen's advice about it if you thought necessary. The Board is very urgent for a reply and I hope you will be able to give them one without much delay, as it is a pity that useful public works should be delayed by absentee proprietors. It is however of course necessary before agreeing to the proposal, to be sure that it wtII be of benefit to the property and that James gets the same terms as other people . . .
I think I am right in saying that Dr Pollen helped to make the purchase of this land and knows the district . . .
C. W. Richmond to Anna Richmond - - - Wellington, 17 Oct 1878
You may perhaps see in the papers that some of my government friends have been stimulating certain Maoris of Hawkes Bay to petition the House that I may not be allowed to sit in Maori cases - that I am an unjust judge and the cause of the strife at Waitara etc etc. This seems to have been a little too much even for the present House of Representatives. Sutton of Napier got up when the Maori member Taiaroa moved the printing of the petition. It was meant by this cheap and secure method -(because no proceedings for libel could be taken it being ordered to be printed by the House) - to secure the dissemination of this calumnious document. Mr Sutton tho't he had seen persons in government employ obtaining signatures at Napier! Mr Taiaroa had to withdraw his motion and the Speaker expressed his regret that persons could be found who wd. make petitions to that House vehicles for the dissemination of such charges.
I fear 'such persons' may be found without looking any great distance from the Speaker's chair.
We have been very gay at Wellington. I wish you could have been at the Railway ball. It must have been an elegant spectacle. It was blowing hard from the N.W. on the celebrating night, so few of the illuminations could be lighted ... Some of the papers seemed to think that the blazing baldrics and aprons and jewellery of the Good Templars did not go quite well with the suits of mixed tweed etc - but as the N.Z. Times observed the ordinary British subject has no sense of the incongruity of such trappings.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 9 Nov 1878
It seems to me you have completely misapprehended me. First you say the boys must go to an English school - to learn English and cricket. Then I must stop with the boys. The first must was no must at all in my eyes. True I consented to their stopping a year or so but not if it involved my being longer deprived of you and my family . . .
I have had an attack of inflammation of the lungs . . . the first I have ever had in my life. I have come very well through ... I am completely converted
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to Homoeopathy. The minute doses have acted on me in a wonderful way . . . The effect of repeated doses of 1/1000 of a drop of aconite can be watched like a scientific experiment by means of the thermometer ... I never got higher than 102.5 and am now down to normal heat 98.4 . . . Kemp is quite a homoepath and has watched my case with the greatest interest . . .
The success of Maurice and Arfie seems to have stirred him [Kit] up and he wd. think of nothing but 'graduating' as if this were the supreme felicity, and the certain guarantee of wisdom ... It is not the greatest prize-getters who make the best figures in the world very often - for passing exams is an art - and rather a base art.
F. A. Weld to C. W. Richmond - - - Government House, Tasmania, 10 Nov 1878
I have had a little more correspondence with Mr Rusden & I send you his letter. I have . . . closed my part of the correspondence but if you will make any further remarks I shall be glad to send them to him. It is a pity that the truth should not be clear for the credit of N.Zealand Colonists. . . .
I fear things look like war. My only hope is that Dizzy's firmness may intimidate Russia but war must come sooner or later, & all Europe is but a volcano . . .
v 7,p 38
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, ig Nov 1878
. . . [The Rev. H.H] Brown is selling the 210 acres to his son T. Brown at £4 an acre which I think is about its present market value, land in the districts not served by the railway having rather fallen than risen in value since the line was opened. I do not however think there is any probability of a further fall, but should expect a gradual rise as the belt immediately benefited by the railway gets taken up.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Campbell Hill Tee., London, 22 Nov 1878
So very many are ill at the factory that he [Samuel Smith] and Henry have extra work and come home late. It is just one catalogue of illnesses amongst friends and work people now at Blkheath, no wonder in spite of all their comforts that life here below looks somewhat sombre to them all. . . Dear me I seem daily to feel what a great deal the young folk have to be thankful for in being born to a fresh, clean country like N.Z. I had almost forgotten what the disadvantages of this country were till I was here again but I suppose one needs to be old to understand the difference. With oceans of money at command I might consent to remain . . . but not under a hundred thousand down . . .
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J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 4 Dec 1878
First I have to advise you that I am despatching a box of colors and brushes . . . I think there is all you will want unless it be Chinese white which is, however, awkward to manage and very seldom succeeds in the hands of amateurs ... There are two halves of rose madder - the only permanent lake. It is pretty powerful but it is apt to get spoiled ... If it does get dry before it is mostly used, rub it up with water as smooth as you can and put in a few drops of glycerine. It is a costly color. Deep purples can be made by black blue with purple madder, which is very forcible and permanent. Gamboge and indigo, two delicious colors far more easy to manage then any other yellows or blues, are very fugitive, especially when mixed with the iron oxides, indian red and light red and perhaps ochre. - However if you want them Barraud or someone will no doubt have them for sale . . .
I wish I could tell you when a move will be made homewards by Emily but she is very much bewildered . . . The girls and Maurice are at work beside me - Alla is deep in Caesar, Dolla preparing for the Slade scholarship - (fine art) by cramming Roman history. Maurice working at the new geometry 'der Lage' . . . and physics. He is working in the chemical and physical laboratories by day and his neat handedness stands him in good stead . . . Dick and Wils are at a King Edward's school at Retford in Notts with Revd. A. I. Church, a great friend of R.H.H. a contributor to the Spec. and author of Tales from Homer and Tales from Virgil, which are a success . . . Mrs Church is a niece of Mr Wilson of Hawkes Bay - one of Sir G.G's colleagues (Ferard his brother-in-law is highly displeased at the association) . . .
I have been away in Cornwall on a forlorn hope of compensating for my time lost for sketching this summer, by getting studies of the coast. I was not lucky . . . dull skies, smooth water and bitter weather for sitting about. I could not work half the daylight - for I am getting regularly asthmatic and I came home defeated with less than a sketch per week . . . the people are more rustic and less uncouth than any I know in England.
... I can assure you the longing to be back and have a fixed home of my own if it may be - 'that I may recover my strength before I go hence' - is a constant pain to me ... I have not even renewed old friendships, as to new ones there is not a chance of it - I get more and more averse to formal society and it is difficult to get any other society in this overgrown city.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Ohinemutu, 15 Dec 18j8
... I do not think the exhalations of sulphurous acid from the hot springs are likely to suit my asthma . . .
Tauranga is a very pretty little place - quite attractive. I always have had a pleasant recollection of it since my visit in 1859 and my favourable impression is confirmed. We took a buggy for the journey here - about 35 miles. It cost £6 . . . There
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is 18 miles of bush to go through - constant up and down work with a considerable deal of jolting . . . abundance of fine pines and ratas . . .
This a strange place ... The Maoris appear to be very well behaved and friendly... The Maori is here still lord of the soil - but has allowed the formation of the road through to Taupo and Napier and the telegraph line betn. Wellington and Auckland also passes this way . . .
Hugh Gully leaves me at the end of the year and I have asked Fitzgerald if he wd. like Lyttelton to come to me . .. Macandrew 33 was a fellow passenger in the 'Taupo' and Mr Blackett ... M. is dreadfully fat and pimply. This sulphurous atmosphere appears not to lend to mental brilliancy you will think.
Jane Maria Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Campden Hill Ter., 21 Dec 
First let me wish you many happy returns of the day. I won't wish the next anniversary may find you comfortably settled in a home of your own again, because I don't want it to be in Europe and you would not like it to be in N.Z. I suppose it must be partly the effect of want of sunshine and partly the need of three times as much money as would serve me at home, that I can't get a bit weaned from N.Z. as the other branches of the family seem to do so quickly . . .
Dec. 23 . . . Don't you think it rather a shame that the Gilchrist Fund supplies scholarships for almost every other colony but N.Z. - £100 a year for three years to assist promising colonial youths to an English education . . . We ought to have a stir made to get it at anyrate in rotation with some other colonies . . .
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Tapuaeharuru, 21 Dec 1878
. . . Major Scannell, who commands the A.C. here has just paid us so long a visit that I can do nothing but make a commencement. Anna and I reached the shores of Lake Taupo (justly entitled to be called Taupo Moana) on Thursday . . . We got well roasted on Roto Mahana. The Tarata' was magnificent - finer than the picture of it in my memory. It was in full play - all the terraces glistening with its overflow . . . Near the top the clouds of sulphurous vapours were almost overpowering . . . However we managed to reach the rocky point from which you look into the basin, and amidst the rolling clouds of steam could see the surface of the terrible blue pond ... I cannot describe the cobalt-blue of the water in its encrusted marble basins. Under the magnificent sun of that day the whole was of resplendent beauty . . .
We also canoed across to the 'pink terraces' - Otuku puarangi. This is comparatively speaking a played out geyser. You can walk all round its basin and looking into its tranquil depths - cobalt blue in colour - can see the white encrusted walls. Its steps or terraces are tinged with manganese a beautiful pink - or rather flesh colour, and the pond is in places bordered with a band of sulphur . . .
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Sunday Jan 5 Auckland. I sit down to continue this at T. B. Gillies's desk in his museum study at Auckland . . .
We got down very comfortably from Taupo to Ohinemutu on Lake Rotorua (11 hours) and again next day from Ohinemutu to Tauranga - the first day in an open buggy and next in Cobb's coach. We were glad to get away from Ohinemutu which is a stifling place . . . Marvellous cures of rheumatics are reported . . .
We had to wait some days at Tauranga for the Auckland steamer . . . We greatly enjoyed a visit to Archdeacon Brown's. We dined with the old couple on New Year's Day at the old mission house, with Mr Burroughs. 34 The old gentleman is as lively as a guinea-pig, and trots about in the most suprising manner. Mrs Brown is wonderfully like her brother 35 she speaks of him with tears of affection as the best of brothers . . . Their place is beautiful. There are large elms growing beside towering Norfolk Island pines and a great variety of choice trees and plants. From a grassy terrace and well shaded seats you look out upon the harbour and its bays - (the peacock's neck in hue) borded by white sand beaches. Beyond, the quaint volcanic form of Maunganui and the sea studded with islands - amongst others Karewa, on which the old Taranaki lately struck . . .
Dugald McKellar is collector at Tauranga. His lungs are delicate and he suffered much at Ch'Ch. but has become much stronger since his removal to T. I consider from my experience of it, that the climate of the Bay of Plenty is the finest in N.Z. It is as sunny as Nelson but is . . . less relaxing - and far less so than Auckland.
Gillies's garden is looking magnificent. He will have to fell a good many of his trees, planted 12 years ago. One great pinus insignis 50 ft high is to come down at once. In fact Mr Gladstone would be in his element. Trees from China, Japan, California, South Africa, South America, Europe and the Pacific islands are growing freely amongst our own New Zealanders ... I never saw anything like the growth of the pines on this rocky scoria soil. The house is about 3/4 of a mile beyond Dr Buchanan's - on the foot of Mount Eden . . .
Mrs Gillies 36 is a most loveable creature - full of the milk of human kindness. Gillies is hospitality itself, as contradictious as ever. He has gone quite into the scientific line, and his religion is more what Humboldt (was it not?) called 'the religion of all men of science'. Anyway he is a fine gardener - but not quite a landscape gardener yet I think... I am sorry he has so entirely surrendered himself to the Materialism of the day, as mistakes of that kind cannot fail to be hurtful. He seems to have been very successful in putting forward his children in life. Douglas has passed the senior civil service exam at the head of his list - far ahead - Hector and Barron say - and is now an engineer in the Public Works Department. He served several years at an Auckland foundry . . .
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As we were on the point of leaving our hotel at Tauranga . . . who should appear but the old Archdeacon with a beautiful bouquet for Anna - if you please. What do you think of this as an act of gallantry at 80 or 82? The vessel was detained for an hour so we walked up to the mission house with him, and actually the old gentleman came down with us to the wharf a second time. Nothing could exceed the cordiality of both of them . . .
The Church today was a melancholy spectacle - not one sixth part full and the whole service was conducted in a most limp style. The clergyman is a Mr Nelson married to a daughter of old Sally Coates! . . . On the other hand another of the Auckland incumbents - a little man who makes silly speeches at public meetings - is much run after. He is very High Church and a regular ecclesiastical drill master - prescribing attitudes and orientations etc. The people go for the music and spectacle. The Church at Wellington (St Pauls') is always full, but I fear it is greatly a matter of fashion. Where there is a Governor - a great nob - who goes regularly, it becomes the proper thing to go. If Auckland had retained the seat of government I believe the Church wd. have been filled today despite Mr Nelson and the shower of rain.
The Government has investigated Mr Barton's 12 charges against the judges and has informed that gentleman that there is nothing in them. Therefore that person has surpassed himself in absurdity. He has written and published a letter asserting his positive conviction that I wrote the Colonial Secretary's letters! He says he knows me and my style from 16 years bitter experience - (I have twice driven him from practice) - and from the internal evidence is satisfied that Colonel Whitmore's letter is my composition. Of course everybody says he is quite mad.
Jan 6 . . . The F. Geralds have accepted the secretaryship for Maurice . . .
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Wellington, 11 Feb 1879
. . . 'Deccy' has been staying with us for a week. He came up about a partnership in cement with Mr Moorhouse ... I have been employed several days in reading essays for the Bowen Prize, on the effects of the Norman conquest - very dull work. Sale 37 and his wife have been in Wellington. Sale looks very well and young and his eyes laugh with their old boyish glee and sincere light. Miss Fortune has been good for him. She is a pleasing looking creature with clear brown eyes. They were engaged on a govt Royal Commission created for the purpose of proving that Tancred and Carleton and the N.Z. University have been obstructions to 'the higher education', and that the remedy lies in allowing Dunedin and Canterbury professors to grant degrees to their own pupils . . .
The yellow-green silk settee swears at our present green rep curtains and yellow brown carpet. I don't think it will do to shew people just off steamers into one of these higharty rooms. It might make them bad again. In N.Z. we like bold contrasts
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of pure colours. Red and yellow is the mixture most in vogue just now . . . The Taupo store keeper told me that all his goods in that style were taken off his hands immediately. On a race course a squatting group of blues, reds and yellows has a fine effect - putting the background into its proper place.
Henry is quite the country solicitor ... I told you what a pleasing impression Hurworth made upon me. I think I must clear up my 20 ac clearing next year as the ribes is dying out, giving place to fern six feet high. By this time the logs are all rotten and I might expect after a burn to be able to plough and take a crop or lay down in grass . . .
M. W. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - London, 27 Feb 1879
Last mail I tried to write you a letter and tell you about Irving in Hamlet. .. For a long time the household was very Hamlet-mad, and we can hardly be said to have got over it yet . . . Some critics seem disposed to run down Irving but it was mostly natural jealousy for Macready and other great actors whom they have seen before I think. We thankfully accept a great actor with his eccentricity and prefer him greatly to a well regulated stick . . .
Father has painted a beautiful picture of St Michael's Mount since you left, and yesterday he 'knocked off' a picture in Whistlerian haste. Father says it is called 'St Buryan, a whistler'. There is a tremendous great dark cloud with just room enough for a sunset to come in from behind it; a domeshaped hill with St Buryan standing out darkly on the top of it. Leading up and round the hill to the town is a muddy road with 'Weiden so grau' along one side of it. The sunset is reflected in each pool. The whole is very dark. We all consider it a chef-d'oeuvre.
I am very much given to racquets now and manage to find an hour's game nearly every day now . . .
Alla is getting on very quickly with her Latin. She is in several different classes; in one she does Cicero pro Cluentio, in another Cicero de Senectute, in another Cicero in Catilinam . . . These as you may imagine occupy the greater part of her time . . .
H. A. Atkinson to A. S. Atkinson - - - Hurworth, 26 Mar 1879
... I am greatly afraid we are in for another Native difficulty. As far as I can learn the Natives are quite determined to resist the survey or occupation of the plains. Sheehan made a great mistake in going to Parahaka the other day. He has no moral weight with the Natives and I am told Te Whiti openly accused him of telling him one thing and doing another. It will be almost impossible for the Government to draw back now and I fear to go on means fighting . . .
v 7, p 39
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J. C. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - London, 22 Apr i8yg
I never heard so universal and continuous a growl as all the easy world of England utters ... I believe the turn in Disraeli's tide has come. To be a mountebank and a bully is allowed, but not to be an unfortunate blunderer. All the so called comic illustrated papers seem to feel that D. is now fair game, and the Spectator lifts its cudgel higher than ever and lets it fall with the energy of new hope . . . We look for news from the Cape tomorrow and we shall breath afresh and congratulate each other if the relief column reaches Col Pearson at Ekowe and returns not worse than decimated . . .
The want of sun has been very burdensome to me. I have done little or nothing in painting, moderate success in which always tranquillises me. Without more time before nature I cannot even hold my ground, not to speak of improving with decaying bodily powers. If I had not a clear and definite duty the delay would be intolerable, but it is plainly my service to wait for the present. The young ones work steadily and are daily seeing more plainly what is the nobler part of life, and even dear young Dorothy, whose constitution and circs, have made her a greater worshipper of comfort than any of us, grows in contempt of the mere fruit-consuming life. By the way she was yesterday promoted to the 'Life School', which is a great pleasure to her in itself, and still more as evidence that her work is well thought of by Legros, who is an unquestionably competent critic.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 22 May i8yg
Our life here has been pretty quiet, chiefly qualified ... by the enthusiastic admiration of the young people for H. Irving and Miss Ellen Terry in Hamlet and the Lady of Lyons. I had to go a second time last night to see Hamlet. . . Irving has done his utmost for the play . . . There is a good deal of the tradition of Macready, both of his earnestness and his mannerism, but also much thought of his own in Irving's performance . . . Miss Terry's Ophelia is exquisitely delicate, and she looks the character to perfection . . . There are too many inevitable jars on the stage and even Irving himself makes quite gratuitous ones. He is not well built and comely as the Kembles - indeed, face excepted, less so than Macready, but he seems to take a pleasure in parading his ungainliness, clawing about the stage like a crab and sometimes his mannerism spoils the poetry . . .
I have made several small successful pictures lately - comparatively i.e. - and am not without hope of recruiting my finances by selling a few. I am going into pot-boiling - by consulting the requirements of the ex-N.Z. millionaires - T. Russell, Farmer, C. Nairn etc. In spite of failing eyes and other tolerable ailments, I improve, and if I have life to spend three months in the open sunshine on this work I may leave a picture or two not insufficiently good to justify the time I have spent in the attempt to paint . . .
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I see very few of the New Zealand deserters. Stafford I have visited and he has visited me. He has some scheme of getting into Parliament for Louth I think and intends to cut out Sir Julius by a brilliant career in England. His idea is to propose some modified Home rule - a sort of modification on N.Z. provincialism. If he can find any practical way of appeasing discontented Irish politicians for a few years he will be a great benefactor ... A good and popular county government might relieve parliament of a vast mass of local business . . . but you will not I fancy find that you have localised to the satisfaction or benefit of anyone concerned except, as in the N.Z. case, the host of petty politicians ... I don't expect to see much more of Stafford. You will learn otherwise that Sewell has gone. He had been hopelessly ill for some months. 38 Charles Nairn is inclined to be friendly. He is a simple minded good fellow, not seemingly spoiled by riches. He tells me he would not sell his property for a quarter of a million, a pretty good provision for the son of the old Scotch gardener of Taranaki to lay up by his own enterprise, labor and prudence in 25 yrs.
Ferard (of Hawkes Bay) is extremely friendly. He sought me out and seriously desires my company. I am going to see him for a few days at Freshwater, I. of Wight. His wife is a sister of Wilson, the Napier lawyer, now colleague of Sir G.G. Ferard is a sensible and honorable fellow. Rev. A. I. Church, of Retford Grammar School, where Dick and Wils are, married a niece of Mrs Ferard and Wilson Church was curate to F. D. Maurice, and is a cousin of the Seeleys, who are cousins of Annie and my children- I think there is a blood relationship between them and Church but am not sure. C. is a great friend of R.H.H. and works for the Spectator ... I furnished him a mildly snubbing account of Gudgeon's book about the war.
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 4 Jun 1879
We have been in a state of considerable excitement since last Sunday week in consequence of the curious experiment which some of Te Whiti's disciples are making at the Tapuae. Hitherto people have behaved themselves well under the circumstances, and a public meeting which was held whilst Grey and the Govr. were here, and which everyone expected to be a noisy one, went off in a most quiet and orderly way although Oddfellows Hall was crowded. Of course a few strong remarks were made but the resolution carried was of a serious and temperate kind - simply urging that no time should be lost in putting the settlement in a state of defence, and in sending up a sufficient body of men to act as a field force. After much pressing by a deputation from a meeting of justices and from the public meeting, and after the Governor 39 had himself seen the men at work and almost exploded with indignation, the govt, agreed to everything that was asked and gave us their assurance (whatever it may be worth) that they would take further measures with a view of doing whatever might be necessary completely.
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The ploughing was not actually in progress today, but nothing has yet been attempted in the way of interference with the party. The justices intend submitting a case to the law officers of the crown as to the proper action for them to take in the matter. In the meanwhile volunteer companies are being enrolled and are as far as possible to be armed with Snyders and a large additional supply has been wired for from England.
Mr Parris is very hopeful that the difficulty may be got over without fighting, but we all feel that in dealing with fanaticism it is most difficult to predict what will be the result of forcible opposition but all agree that the stronger we can shew ourselves to be, the better the hope of a peaceful solution.
The J.P's after two sittings and having referred the matter to two sub-committees have today finally settled and adopted a sort of memorandum, stating their view of the situation, Grey having expressed a wish that they should do so. The draft of this was principally mine but . . . much improved during the process it has gone through.
A. S. Atkinson to Mary E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 27 Jun 1879
I was reading an article in the Nineteenth Century on 'the Morning of Life' (Mivart). There is not very much that is new in it perhaps, but it is refreshing to have the supremacy of duty insisted on a little in these days of arrogant science and flabby morality. We make such fumes in our laboratories that we have shut out the sun and are really beginning to think that he does not exist . . .
Original in Reed collection, Dunedin Public Library
J. C. Richmond to A. S. Atkinson - - - Cotes du Nord, Bretagne, 15 Jul 1879
I am very uneasy at the news . . . that after the mail had left Taranaki a telegram reached Auckland stating that settlers had been warned off their farms by Te Whiti and Ngatimaniapoto. There must have been some damned diplomatising going on for such a turn of things to come about with so little notice. Judging from the report of the Kopua meeting Grey is as foolish and vain as ever - but the report I read has a James MacKayish tang about it and makes matters look worse than the truth ... I should be very sorry if old Hal should be dragged into office with a native war and an empty treasury . . .
H. R. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - New Plymouth, 29 Jul 1879
We have just heard of the ousting of the disgraceful Grey Ministry. Poor Taranaki is labouring through another time of depression, no land is changing hands and no money is to be got on the security of your lands so that conveyancing is nearly at a standstill. The strange shape that the Maori difficulty has assumed oppresses us like a nightmare, as no one can say as yet what the outcome of it will be. The last batches of
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ploughers caught have been more jaunty in their demeanour than the first lots, who looked somewhat scared and depressed, as if they were yielding to the spell with some doubt and apprehension. They all confidently expect to be mysteriously released by the 17th Sept. I think it very likely that Te Whiti and Tohu would allow themselves to be taken if a strong force were sent up. A weak one might tempt them to fight. But probably Mr Parris's advice, namely to begin making roads through their country, is the wisest, tho' no one can feel sure what result any course will have upon fanatics . . .
A. S. Atkinson to C. W. Richmond - - - Nelson, 26 Aug 1879
Maria reports that Dolla has got (at Univy. Coll.) a silver medal and £3-3-0 for the best painting from the antique. Maurice has got a £50 prize for general proficiency and prizes in physics, geometry, &c in each of which he came out first and was told by Prof. Foster that his physics paper was the best he had ever had! And Arfie has got a scholarship (class, and maths.) for boys under 16 - coming out first.
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 11 Sep 1879
Margie . . . seems very delicate still. I wish she could get for a short term into one of the teachers training schools. She is certainly not fit for the steady grind of teaching in a high school in England but would probably become an excellent teacher for the milder work of the Colony. She would like this herself, but says she can not be received except for two years. This is simply absurd and may not be true of all these schools ...
I shall begin a letter on the Times leader of today as soon as this is posted. It is a disagreeable piece of writing - making every allowance for the 'exigencies of type'. It is in the old impertinent patronizing style towards the colonists. I trust they are clear in sending Grey to the right about, a worse man for dealing with the Maoris cannot easily be found. He cannot touch their souls in the least, not having much of a soul of his own. I trust the cloud will not close in again, but Te Ua was a prophet of no less peaceful principles, perhaps the reverse, and out of his teaching we had Kereopa and others. Nothing could be less bloodthirsty than Kooti's prophetic writings, and he was as ruthless as any savage could be.
C. W. Richmond to Alice Richmond (dau.) - - - Wellington, 13 Sep 1879
Your Mother and I are not satisfied with what you tell us about the habits of early rising for study at Miss Hills. Whatever others may do six o'clock is quite as early as you ought to rise. It is foolish for young growing girls, under the notion of getting on with their studies, to exhaust the strength which they will need for the practical duties of life. I think many people in England are quite crazy on the subject
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of what they call 'education' - which is merely cramming - overloading the memory (which is permanently injured by the effort) with facts - or supposed facts. This is not the way to teach people to use their own minds.
A. S. Atkinson to Emily E. Richmond - - - Nelson, 7 Oct 1879
As to politics, there are few things I should like better than a seat in the House of Reps. - in spite of the company I should find myself in - but I can't persuade anyone but three or four of my female relatives that I am fit for political work, and they unfortunately haven't the franchise, and some moreover are absentees! I am wronging my own sex - at the election here one elector said to me, 'We ought to have had you for one of them - you're the sort of man we want'. But he was drunk! !
Sir W. Fox to H. A. Atkinson - - - Westoe, Greatford, 19 Nov 1879
I was much pleased with your financial statement. It is straightforward and intelligible and will in my opinion if persisted with, get us again on to a firm foundation ... I expected you would have taxed beer. Though on Temperance principles I am entirely opposed to the Govt being dependent for revenue on alcoholic liquors yet if your Govt has no such scruples, it was open to you. Something like 250,000 hhds are sold in a year. It stands the brewer in £2 10s a hhd. He sells it to the pubn at £5 & and he after doctoring it with water, salt &c to the extent of 25 p/c sells it at £10. There is no doubt ample room for even £1 a hdd duty . . .
Another thing I should say is, you must not fight with the Maories if by any possibility it can be avoided. Now that Sheehan's and Grey's tomfooleries are at an end they will sober down. Time is the great weapon in dealing with them. As regards the Waimate plains I should do nothing in the way of selling or settling them till the railroad is finished at least as far as Hawera, & other roads made to approach or penetrate the block. When that is done the Natives will be outflanked and more easy to deal with . . .
(Atkinson papers in Turnbull Library)
J. C. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - London, 4 Dec 1879
... I am getting very anxious about ways and means - for money is not to be earned here just now. Picture selling is more precarious than ever, and our dull summer and the claims of a family have been much against me. Since the reopening of College, etc. I have spent three weeks in Devon and Cornwall trying to sketch and only had two and a half bright days, so my stock of studies is small and poor. However I am making some progress and if my eyes last (which are not much bigger than peas) I may yet make a picture or two. I am getting on a little with oils, which suit me better than water color, and my skill in water colors is increased. I propose to send all I can muster to Melbourne ...
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Dolla is rather despondent about her painting, but enjoys the school nevertheless. She is very popular among her companions and vastly admired notwithstanding her bearskin cap, which in London looks the more singular as it is washed in soap and water almost daily.
Maurice . . . finds his work easy now his time is chiefly spent in laboratories . . . He is an ardent politician and has read every one of Gladstone's torrent of speeches.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Napier, 9 Dec 1879
Kenny is a believer in Marcus Aurelius. Does Mary know that Col. Trimble is an ardent admirer, also, of the same admirable man? Kenny thinks very highly of the Colonel, who introduced him to the great philosophical Emperor and who has converted Kenny to his theological views. The Kennys are, as you know, active minded, and do a great deal of reading. They have been reading up epochs of history a good deal lately, as you have been doing, getting hold of every book they can reach upon the same subject . . .
The jury are so long I begin to fear someone must be holding out for an acquittal! It is quite a plain case - about petticoat bodies and babies robes and long petticoats - supposed to be stolen for the wife of an hotel keeper (a comely well dressed lady) at Havelock . . .
The house occupied by the Kennys belongs to the widow of Col McGregor (late of the 65th Regt.) who was a Miss Walmsley, of Nelson . . .
I remember that the prisoner is an Irishwoman of a very decided type - and I observed an Irishman of equally decided type amongst the jury.
Emily E. Richmond to C. W. Richmond - - - Wellington, 9 Dec 1879
Mary and I went to see Mrs Hector ... As we were walking home, the Gt House brougham with Miss Robinson followed us and she said she had been sent to bring us in to tea if we would come. Lady Robinson is unhappy because Sir Hercules cannot be out of New Zealand more than a fortnight at a time and Mr Hall is afraid to bring in a bill to change this arrangement at present. Harry thinks the House will be prorogued in 8 or 9 days . . . There is a tennis party at Gt. House today. Mary is invited - I as a spectator.
C. W. Richmond to Emily E. Richmond - - - Napier, 11 Dec 1879
I have not seen Dr Hector since we arrived. There is a Doctor de Lisle in practice here, of whom the Kennys speak very well. He invited me to dinner yesterday to meet Dr Hector. I refused on my usual ground that I don't go out pending the criminal session . . . De Lisle, as well as Hector, is a professional witness in the murder case which would make it a little awkward to visit him on the eve of the trial.
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You should hear the Kennys talk about Taranaki. They are full of regret at having left it. They say they never properly realised what a charming residence it is till they left it. This is rational language . . . They say the people here (in Napier that is) are all given up to money grubbing - very low and materialistic in their notions. It is quite different from Taranaki. They say the country is very bare compared with Taranaki, and that the people are lazy - too lazy to attend to cows - so there is no milk and no butter to be had at the stations. A great contrast to Taranaki. There are no small farmers. The Twelve Apostles 40 hold the agricultural lands - very different from the smiling homesteads of Omata and Hurworth which they have left behind them in Taranaki. The harbour is a very inconvenient one - not nearly so good a one as they are going to have in Taranaki. The people here know nothing about Marcus Aurelius. Col. Trimble has many different editions of the works of M. Aurelius - not to speak of Seneca and Epictetus . . .
I take a turn every morning before breakfast. Major George, or St.G., is buried here. There is a short epitaph in verse by Mr Domett about the reaper cut off at noontide. Young George you remember was killed at the storming of Pourere Pa on Lake Rotoaira - the source of the Waikato. It is a pretty, bright, little cemetery.
H. A. Atkinson to J. Hall - - - New Plymouth, 26 Dec 1879
Talked the subject out with Fox in all its bearings. His objection to accepting is that he does not see what good the commission will do if it is only to inquire into broken promises he thinks that could be easily determined by Government officers. If on the other hand the door is to be opened to every native who thinks he has a grievance he does not see where it will end. I explained to him your view of the matter and the necessity of satisfying the [?] public the force of which he fully sees. I told him our proposed line of action he sees as clearly as we do the difficulty of either going or waiting for the commission's report sees that we cannot retain the prisoners indefinitely that we should not be justified in losing the summer months and that Te Whiti would certainly not recognise the authority of the commission. He will act on the Commission if he can see his way to making of it use .. . My general impression of the evenings and mornings talk is that Fox will act if satisfied the inquiry will lead to any good result or even if you are satisfied that it will and that he generally approve of what we too propose to do without having had time to think the subject fully out.
(Rolleston papers, General Assembly Library).