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Yvert to Poupinel, Caen, 29 September 1840

APM 511.84

Translation, Jessie Munro, 15 March 2005; checked Madeleine le Jeune 2006; still missing some printing terminology – see Marty Vreede.

Dear Father
On my arrival this morning in Paris, I got in contact straightaway with Monsieur Marc, a friend of Mr Poisson and a very knowledgeable man in everything to do with printing. We have already made purchase of an excellent press of a good size, and I have to go the day after tomorrow to dismantle and reassemble it, which will be very easy for me because I already understand all its mechanism. This machinery costs 1400 francs, to which will need to be added 160 francs for two ink holders, and on top of that about a hundred francs for the various spare parts.
This is not everything as far as only the press is concerned; we still need to buy, as Mr Poisson had me take good note of before my departure, different items integral to the printing process, such as roller moulds, roller frames, hammers, spare roller collars, brushes, sponges, little lamp for working in the evening when the days are shorter, cauldrons to melt down the substance used to make the rollers etc. This will be a further expense of around 200 francs.
Tomorrow we will go and make the major purchases. The sets of characters alone may come up to 3000 francs for a strong font and two finer ones. Then come all the tools for composition and imposition such as: [now follows a long list of items which need a specialist vocabulary knowledge/wordlist.]
The binding is already finished with. I have had everything done in Caen as regards this fifth stage and it’s all paid for, even the packing. For the sixth stage, the gilding, I intend tomorrow to make a small purchase of the necessary instruments. It’s a luxury component that will be used very rarely.
I will now summarise. Out of my 3000 francs, well accounted for, which I took care to keep free of any spending, I have paid 1200 francs in Caen for the binding, the big wooden press which is consigned at the paper store, for 140 francs. I still have, therefore, 1800 francs. I will use them like this: I will give on the purchase of the press four or five hundred francs and the vendor will draw on the Lyon House, Mr Colin, Superior, for the remainder; value in specified objects. I will similarly make a down payment on the characters of 4 or 500 francs, with the same procedure for the remainder, of drawing on Lyon.
I will do the same for the purchase of the mechanical equipment to do with the composition. I take it upon myself to pay for the gilding in full. Therefore three drafts will be presented to our Reverend Father Colin and the merchandise bought will stay at the vendors’ premises until notification of his acceptance is received, when they will then be sent on to the place to be designated by the Marists’ House.
I must point out that these various purchases will be made with attention to detail, with the greatest economy and the most meticulous care so that nothing is missing on arrival in New Zealand. It is absolutely essential that everything be checked out and selected on the very spot by someone who is vitally interested in this expedition. I believe that I am being useful in Paris, in order that everything is happening under my eyes, and those of Mr Marc, just as the purchases made in Caen have been made under the inspection of good Mr Poisson. As for the purchases that are purely routine retail transactions, such as paper, cardboard, parchments, skins etc, there will still be time to appoint someone to do this and send the bales to the embarkation point.
These different expenses will still not be excessive, even adding in the paper etc that will double them. They may go up to 10,000 francs and this will be at the very most one fifth of the purchase price of the ship, which, however useful it may be, is less essential than the printing press.
I intend leaving on Monday next for the good city of Lyon. Even though I am lodging next to the Missions in rue du Bac, No 120, write to me, however, as if I were residing in this very house where I’ll be going every day. I embrace you with the loyal affection of a son.
Please pass on, Father, my respectful regards to our Reverend Father, and to all those of our saintly House.
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