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Octavius Hadfield

Letter written by Octavius Hadfield to a sister October 22, 1840

To a sister.

I have lately been put into good spirits by the hope that our correspondence may henceforward be more regular and expeditious, for certainly next to the pleasure of being with you hearing from you is the greatest I have. Your letter and that of dear Charles dated May reached me 3 weeks ago, being directed to me at this place. I yesterday received one from my father dated March 20. I hear of other letters, and the bearer of the one I read yesterday told me there were more, and newspapers, for me at Port Nicholson, which for some hitherto unaccountable reason have not yet been sent on, but which I suppose I shall see in due time. I am afraid my letters since I have been down here have been very dull and stupid, but living in England you can scarcely imagine the difficulty one feels here of getting a little quiet time when an opportunity presents itself of writing. I will try henceforth to be more regular in writing, and my letters must wait for a ship at Port Nicholson. I have not received a letter from Alexander since his arrival in India.

I returned about a fortnight ago from an interesting trip among some people of this tribe living on the banks of a most spendid and beautiful river, Manawatu, which empties itself into the sea about 20 miles from this (I am now writing from Otaki). I was as high up the river before, last summer, about 40 miles, but I this time came all the way down in a canoe, visiting the natives on the banks, nearly all of whom I found much improved and seeming to welcome me from their hearts. I was much interested.

I am also expecting a vessel to take me to the opposite Island, to Queen Charlotte Sound, where there are many hundreds who in dieir simple way call themselves my children; I have much love for them. A party of another tribe lately visited me for some days (Rauparaha's people), with all the nobility of the tribe. I was much pleased with some of them. There is some talk of their coming to me from all parts of the Straits in the summer, but I do not know whether it will be the case.

My mother kindly asks me whether I want anything in the way of clothes, and I think I will trouble you as everything here is very dear and bad. What I chiefly want are some books which perhaps George will be kind page 168 enough to get for me at his leisure, and besides two or three articles may ar well come at the same time. One dozen flannel waistcoats such as my mother made before for me (my native damsels do not know how to wash flannel well, and spoil mine), one dozen pairs of strong worsted socks, one dressing or reading gown of some kind of common drab cloth which any tailor can make, 3 or 4 small tablecloths, 6 small window curtains of any kind of material; my window contains 6 panes of glass. And 4 pairs of boots, well made to keep out water but not thick as I have nothing but sand to walk on and a stone is not to be found within many miles of my abode, which perhaps Charles will be kind enough to get for me; a good tight fit for him will suit me very well. A list of books I wrote on the other side that it may be plain. I send a check for what I hope will cover all; if not it must remain over until another time. I draw it on George's name as perhaps it will be more convenient. I feel quite sorry to give you so much trouble but I must not treat you as strangers. For me to get them safe they ought to be packed in tin. The box must be sent to the Church Mission House with a note just mentioning the value of the contents. They will pay insurance, freight, etc., with which I shall be charged in due time. List of books: Charnock (Stephen 1628-1680) "On the Excellence, Attributes & Providence of God". By Owan (John D.D. 1616-1683) Folio, "Of the Saints' Perseverance; "A Discourse of the Holy Spirit", Quarto; "A Display of Armenianism"; "Salus Electorum Sanguis Jesu", or the "Death of death in the death of Christ"; "Of the death of Christ", unabbreviated or corrupted. Then at any cost, if to be found, Usher on "The extent of Christ's satisfaction". Memoirs of H. Martyn; Brainerd's Life. Some books on ecclesiastical forms, regulations and relations as a guidance in the absence of advice from others; also "canons"; "Oliphant's analysis on History of the Gospels"; and 2nd edition of Leo's Hebrew Gram; Stewart's Hebrew Gr. or any others; I have Lee and Buxtorf. If my list has not exceeded the cash "Dr. Hawker's Commentary on the Bible."