Doc. 231, 7 January 1843, Yvert to Poupinel, Kororareka
APM Z 208
Translation Jessie Munro 2005.
- Very dear Father
- After letting such a long time pass without writing to you, it would no doubt be difficult to find some excuse to restore me in your good graces. However, since I hold dear your affection in a quite special way, I don’t wish to leave it neglected into the future in order to show you a gratitude that will endure, I dare to hope, beyond this brief life. But very dear Father, would I have forgotten you? Would I have become ungrateful? Oh, no! my heart never felt ingratitude. While following the passions of youth, this heart never wished to let itself slip in generosity of spirit. So, our holy religion, far from rendering it less sensitive, will purify these fortunate dispositions. Oh! Let it please God that it may be sufficiently easy to overcome our bad leanings; how sweet it is to express to a true friend the feelings of affection for him which fill my being!
- So I begin to write to you today, very dear Father, as well as to my other benefactors. If you don’t count three letters addressed to our Superior General, two of which were even dragged forth out of a pressing obligation, you will know that I have only managed to produce one missive, to the most loving as to the most tenderly loved of the Fathers. In that, I have followed my former principle of examining maturely each new situation where God has caused me to be, before giving sign of life. By those means, I let the judgements come to me that it pleases the divine goodness to allow, and I don’t hurt anyone. Now, living in the midst of a society in constant change and placed between two opposite poles, the Fathers and the Brothers, I sometimes find relationships a little painful. This sea voyage, so hard-crossed, and yet of happy memory, has left behind a trail of difficulties only resignation will be able to overcome. If you add to that the cares of our infirmary, which seems to stem the torrent that was ready to engulf us, you will have no trouble in believing that the demon will not leave me a day of peace. But the faithful virgin, my tender Mother, who brought us safe to port after several months of navigation in the first trip, will also lead the barque in this great and last voyage. After all, I have good reason to rejoice in filling a post where Mary has placed me herself, and where I can work securely in the matter of my salvation. You see, very dear Father, that I rely a lot on the interest that you show me, to be speaking to you with such frankness. That’s to say to you that I have an earned right to your fervent prayers.
- Your last letter brought consoling balm to my soul. How happy I am, I exclaimed, to have left behind in France three such generous-hearted, unselfish friends. So, the only thing to which I hold most strongly in this world is to show them my gratitude, and never to sadden them in any way whatsoever. Yes, our very Reverend Father, good Father Poupinel and excellent Father Montargis are like three Mothers that Mary has given to one of her children. I will do my utmost towards softening the inseparable difficulties of their numerous works. I will let nothing slip in working for the success of the work for which I am sent by them, in the way my Superiors will want, well persuaded (p. 3) that in that I will be doing the will of God.
- I now pass, very reverend Father, on to temporal affairs, which in a mission always contribute powerfully to the conversion of peoples. You will have felt, like His Lordship, the effects, doubtless very hard, of an unfortunate situation. If, as I have every reason to hope, that good Father Epalle has destroyed all the worrisome doubts as to the future, the great sacrifice that you will have made will have restored calm to spirits while at the same time reassuring the progress of your interesting Mission. Because, you need to be utterly convinced, it’s your work that you are upholding, the workers that you have sent are not working only for themselves.
- You will find enclosed a list of items to have purchased from Monsieur Marc, concerning our printery, bindery workshops etc. All that I request is or will be absolutely essential within 12 or 15 months. You will see the duplicate of this list in a letter I am writing to good Mr Marc, telling him to follow any small alterations that you might make to it. I add this comment to show my dependence.
- His Lordship will write shortly to Messieurs Grouit, Leveneur [Leherpeur?], Poisson and Marc, all living in your lovely Normandy. As for me, allow me, very dear Father, to refuse you the request you made of me. I am too wretched to feature in such a correspondence, and moreover my feeble range of knowledge would soon betray me.
- As I have told you, I am putting myself [en frais de lettres] this time. I am carrying on to write, without drawing breath, to Messrs Poisson, Marc, Montargis and the Mother Superior of the Convent of the Visitation in Caen.
- With greatest esteem and devotion,
- Your very humble and obedient son in J.C.
- Your very humble and obedient son in J.C.
- Kororareka, 7 January 1843
- Please pass on my respects to our Very Rev Father and to the good Fathers I had the honour of seeing in Lyon.
Translation notes by Dr Thoron Hollard, with Robin Anderson, Wellington 14/11/03
Work in progress. Marty Vreede, senior lecturer in printing at Unitech in Wanganui, is an expert in traditional printing processes and presses. He will be able to help complete this translation. (Jessie Munro)
- New Zeland. Kororareka (Bay of Islands) 25 December 1842
- Things needed for printing and binding
- 1o une presse raisin – presumably a small printing press (see 4 below), sans encrier = without ink trough...
- 3o 3000 reams of papier carré (not ‘cané’ as I thought – there are 2 kinds of r in the handwriting in the document I realise)= demy format printing paper. Collins gives dimensions as 17 1/2 x 22 1/2 ins (or 444.5 x 571.5mm) Collé may mean it is a thicker paper or may refer to some sort of coating – we aren’t sure.
- 4o 50 reams of papier raisin = 50 x 65cm (approx. = royal) [so-named because of its watermark – Petit Robert)
- 6o peaux unies – plain leather (as opposed to coloured)
- 11o the gilding tools have a sort of wheel bit but we don’t know exactly how to describe this
- 14o vignettes could either refer to illustrations or ornamental borders. However, bordures referred to later on (84).
- 15o lettres ombrées et armées = (presumably) shaded [clear centre but shaded on one side?] and strengthened/thickened?
- no 28 petit romain = bourgeois (type) = approx 9pt
- no 31 Egyptiennes = Egyptian = having square slab serifs [Robin can show you an example.]
- [on near-duplicate copy] no 59 gaillarde = brevier = approx 8pt
- no 59 allongées = extended (down) = thin letters
- no 4 gros romain = great primer (type)
- gros canon = canon = 48pt [petit canon, by the way = 28pt]
- no 16 fleurons de piété = some sort of religious ornamentation (crosses)?
- no 17 bas de casse = lower case
- no 18 un soufflet = some sort of bellows with bent nozzle (to blow dust off?)
- no 20 frisquettes = friskets (of hand press) = a light rectangular frame ... that carries a parchment sheet to protect the nonprinting areas (Collins)
- no 21 rouleaux = rollers [naturally – I misread this originally as rondeaux]
- no 22 huile de pied de boeuf = neat foot’s oil [Robin’s triumphal and accurate, as it turned out, accurate guess. It sounds nastily gelatinous!]
- no 23 pieds de mouche = paragraph marks
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