[written at angle across top of page] Excuse haste as I am overwhelmed with work. I will write you as to your [??] [??] Many thanks AWH
My dear Mr Fison I have before me your several letters Jul 22 Aug 17 and one without date enclosing your most kind chanpionship of myself as against Lubbock. I really do not know how sufficiently to thank you. I dare say you are quite right as to Lubbock being the writer. What he says about me rather amused than irritated me; however although I always keep out of warfare if I have the choice yet if I am in it I say whats his name in Macbeth "Lay on Macduff +c". If he replies and I see my way I shall have a slap at him. I fully admire your power of stinging politely I have been much examined as to what is our best course to follow and it has been because I could not make up my mind that I have not long before this written to you. I have been lately in Melbourne and I made enquiries as to the Government publishing for us. So far I do not see my way clear to ask them. It seems that there is no funds for the purpose and that a sum would have to be put in the estimante. The times are not propitious for that now and I at present prepared with a sufficient good reason for asking that a sum of money should be put in the Revd Lorimer Fison Navulua Fiji
estimates to meet out necessities in the publishing line. I could see my way clearer could I go with our first venture - being a successful venture, in hand. As it is I see our course to be confined to one of the following:- 1. to await the good pleasure of the Smithsonian the objection to this is delay - and in delay is danger from people who "jump up behind" into one's saddle. 2. to present our memoir to the Anthrop. So. London But here I should object to submit our essay to their good pleasure; it would seem like hawking out wares about; and I do not suppose they would buy a pig in a poke nest - Lubbock is the president and it would be bearding the lion in his den -but this I should rather like than otherwise if the memoir were only accepted and published. I fear we should count upon his opposition. 3. To publish through the Royal Society here I have written to Ellery sounding him on the subject. But in this case the cost of publishing might be beyond their funds. 4. To publish ourselves. In this case we could appear at once and Robertson could push our venture in the publishing world here and at home.
In respect to No 1 proposition. I should suggest intimating to the Smithsonian that "time is the essence of the contract" with us and that if they cannot let us appear [before - crossed out] within a reasonable period we are off the bargain. In respect to No 2 I advise publishing through the A. Society London if they will accept our memoir from a precis of the contents (say Morgan preface!) and publish within a given time. In respect to No 3 I should advise publishing through the R. S. Melbourne (If they will have us) in reference if No 1 and 2 places failing and in the event that you do not think with me that to publish ourselves would cut the Gordian knot. But in the latter case we should not come out under such favorable auspices as under places No1 and 2. I place the plans in the order in which a favor [sic] them. I think we should ascertain which the Anthropological Society in London will publish - forming their opinion of our work from a precis; the Smithsonian through Morgan being informed of our intention shoul they not "hurry up". And as you are in communication with London
people it seems to me that you might well conduct the negociations; besides you are the senior partner in our piece and possess a fluent, logical and a persuasive [underlined] pen. I will write by this mail write to a connection of mine Professor Boyd Dawkins who knows all the Scientific people in London and who I half fancy belongs also to the Ethnological Society and I will tell him the position in which we now are. I think it very likely that he may send my letter on and I will write it with a view to that course. When I hear from Ellery I will send you his letter. Mean while I think our course is to work the Ethnological and the Smithsonian against each other. As to Antigone I believe you have cracked the nut yourself. As my classics are honest to work out the problem by following out the clue through the whole content I contented myself with glancing over the [?grange?] refusal to and a little of the content in a copy which my classical friend here borrowed. He considered your problem for a couple of weeks and says you have solved it Yours faithfully A W Howitt