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The Founders of Canterbury

Lord Lyttelton. Reigate, 31st October, 1850

page 351
Lord Lyttelton. Reigate, 31st October, 1850.

My Dear Lord,

—Will you allow me to express a hope that, in consideration of that point in Mr. Sewell's character which you have exactly hit, you may induce him to tell you fully and clearly his own views and feelings about Mr. Jackson? It is so painful to him to say what he thinks another is pained to hear, that he will not speak his real mind if he observes that you are disturbed by hearing it. I have learned to admire his fine and most valuable character; but the amiable weakness in question belongs to his constitution, and can only be overcome by showing a sympathizing interest in anything of a disagreeable nature that he wishes but hesitates to express.

But this offence to the Somes family, who are very influential in the City, is not the only point. Inasmuch as nobody can choose his land till No. 1 shall have chosen, it was of great importance to the land buyers generally, that the duplicate-for-selection order No. 1 should be sent out with the first ships. Its retention may stop all choosing for a while, and so prove very hurtful and very irritating to the colonists. This was fully explained to Mr. Jackson by my brother before the first ships sailed. He must have forgotten all about it. He has also carried away the transferable order, which Mrs. Somes did not mean to part with at all for the present. The only comment I offer is, that this is a good sample of his suicidal heedlessness in dealing with matters of business.

I venture to suggest that Mr. Sewell should be authorised to pay Mr. Filby's bill without waiting till the end of next week. These outstanding claims are making it every day more difficult to take with good effect either the course of rubbing on as well as may be with Mr. J., or that of trying to get him otherwise provided for.

It is some satisfaction to be able to fill the rest of this page page 352with the statement, that I yesterday attended the weekly meeting at the Adelphi; and that it reminded me of some of the best meetings before the first ships sailed. There can, I think, be no doubt that a wide-spread interest" about the colony has been established, and that colonists of a higher description than most of the first batch are coming forward.

Mr. Bowler reports that the six ships have taken away 1,200 people; that the whole cost is about £22,000; that of this sum about £12,000 is contributed by the public; that the two last ships have made a profit of about £200 each; and that it is, in his opinion, perfectly safe now to engage two ships in addition to the seventh now preparing for sea.

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