2 March 1898
I regret to notice in the papers the destruction by fire of 
block in Queen St and which includes your business premises. I hope
you are fully covered by insurance. Had it been your private
residence and your valuable pictures destroyed it would have been a
I have seen nowhere else such a collection which includes the
portraits of many noted Chiefs and warriors, now gone to their
happy hunting grounds. The painter is a true artist and had his
heart in his work and painted Maori character to the life.
You showed me a photo of the cup sent by the Queen to Tamati
Waka and we had some conversation on the subject of the inscription
thereon. Sir George Grey brought out the cup for presentation and
was responsible for the bad Maori on the last line of the
inscription (na Tamati Waka Nene), the na renders the whole
inscription absurd. Sir George posed as a Maori scholar but his
knowledge of the language was very superficial. In this case, as in
many others, he got credit to which he was not entitled.
Yours very truly,
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