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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C149-152
At Mrs Frost’s
Dear Mr and Mrs Chesson,
I have often thought of you since we parted, only there seemed nothing special to communicate and one way and another days have flitted swiftly by. I suppose you are now at Folkestone and I hope enjoyed the magnificent … evg to the full. This weather is charming and I delight in sitting in the garden and old friends looking in on me. I had a note from Mrs Grace last Monday telling me she had just received a very few words from Te Wheoro saying that he and Mr Spencer shd arrive that day and wished her children to find lodging for them. In her note she added that she had over and over again told Mr Spencer when he proposed coming to see her that no lodging were to be had at Rickmansworth, but that one of her son’s had gone out to see if a bedroom for the night cd be got Yesterday I received the enclosed. I still adhere to the idea that it has been Mr Spencer who has hindered the maories from caring to be introduced by me to people. Unless anyone had heard him speak as I have could imagine the wrong headedness of the man or his notions as to how natives should be treated And I can’t feel he is straight-forward. But I regret that Mrs Grace should have taken upon herself to tell Te Wheoro that I was disappointed that he did not come to Folkestone, as disappointed does not at all well express my feeling. She vexed herself over food having been brought wh we did not need but that was a very minor difficulty easily settled by my asking Miss Castonell to tell me of someone to whom a basketfull of provisions wd be acceptable and that was speedily accomplished and that one heard of a fresh … to put in one’s prayers.
Certainly I thought that a few days at Folkestone wd do Te Wheoro enough good and that if he did appear ailing one cd get Dr Bowles opinion as to the condition of his lungs, but it was quite apart from the wish to benefit his health or give him pleasure that I wished for him at Folkestone, if only for 3 days that I and you with Mrs Grace to interpret might have a full open-out talk with Te Wheoro.
I am sure that the others went away with very erroneous ideas some of wh Mr Spencer put into their minds and others wh he did not dispel and it did grieve me and still does that thro his hearing and want of influence, tact, and sympathy they derived so little benefit by their time in England. And now it seems to me opportunities have been wasted. Mr Spencer is ignorant of the good done to a political cause by getting a variety of persons of different political views really interested in the subject. While the world is what it is, interest goes a long way. Besides as Mr Fuller remarked it does benefit intelligent minds to get a rapport one with another and to see the good sides of family life of the upper classes wh Te Wheoro and George Skidmore derided good and … on others after they return to New Zealand. Over and above that, there remains the fact of that telegram about having missed the train and being too ill to go, must keep quiet, will write tonight. Wh Te Wheoro did not and then the real fus discovered by your son that he and Skidmore were out and did not return even to sleep. If they did both go to Mrs Saintsbury they were not too ill to travel to Folkestone and the truth is preferred the 3rd class company they wd meet with there to coming to talk over real business and the way to further the object for wh they came to England.
By the by have you seen the enclosed a little scrap abt the Temperance movement among the maories in the king country.
Sidney Tawhanga I see in a paper wh I received was only not elected thro Ihaka getting a few more votes than did Sidney. It’s a pity Sidney was not elected as to have one maori member who can understand English thought and not be at the mercy of incompetent or lazy interpreters wd be a priceless boon to the natives. I was hoping against hope that Te Tawhiao, the son of the king comprehended English. … However, I must endeavour to write to him in maori. If you can get any reliable news you will not fail to write to me. I don’t think of going to London. For the present I shall be here or in this neighbourhood and for … but will apprize you of any change of address when I migrate elsewhere. I hope dear Mr Chesson that you will have a very pleasant festival in that … old Ch at Folkestone tomorrow, and with good wishes that both of you may have rest and …
Yrs sincerely and obliged,