C HISPA’S LETTER.
(Fiotri the AMutton 20.') “ I am not yet so bald that you can see ray brains.” —LoNGFEi.f.OW.
I got into hot water last week, and was stiffly dressed down by the directors of the Caledonian Society. They came down upon me with all the force of . a Scotch east wind, and I am expected to shrivel , up, I suppose. I will -shrivel :up before the united onslaught of those terrible men of the North. I’ve met their like before, and am not on for light. There-is something to admire •in everything- There Was something-to admh'e4n tho Secretary’s advocacy of TRUTH ! Scotchmen are canny, and not very, often to be “ had.” But one very canny Scot was had that night of the Mayor’s banquet. He is a very loyal Scotchman—loyal and patriotic in the highest degree, and anything that savors of the spirit breathed in Scott’s lines—- “ Breathes there a man with soul so dead Who never to him-elf hath said : This is my own, my nitive land,” etc., is sure to fetch my hero. His loyalty is larger than Scotland can hold, and Ashburton has a share—bless her heart. He looked with pride upon the stalwart forms of our noble fire brigade who-were practising on HarJley’s newly-sunk pipe well ; and before he went to tho Mayoral “ tuck-in” he watched the branchraan at his ‘‘ play.” Becoming interested in the success of that new well, he' offered the officer in charge a pound if he could prove his engine capable of throwing a jet over an adjoin house. The officer was on. A whispered conversation between the officer and the branchman, a spasmodic pumpingspurtby the Brigade, and a jetflew over the roof of the building and 10 feet above it. My friend was overjoyed and ho “ parted ”at once. But he does not know that the nozzle was the smallest, that the squirt was a special effort to catch that pound, that the engine’s force was husbanded and the branchman’s forefinger made a medium for reducing, the volume while the carrying power was increased. That pipe well, of which he was so proud, had to be sunk another foot or two. The well is right enough, and our worthy Councillor was taken in right enough too. Your Rakaia friend seems to be great in poetiy, arid I* fancy he has a weakness for coming down on. the ladies. Old Grog sent me this to-day, just to show, he says, that he can write verses standing on one leg, and write them as well as that humorously satirical. J. C I leave my readers to judge. Grog says he was at that soiree and that dinner of J. C’s, and this is how the poem should read. 1 came, I saw, I conquered, when At a muffin fight I met her, . Among admirers numbering ten. And one of them my debtor. That fellow soon was gratified, I asked him out to dinner; And went for him to tan his hide. The low deceitful siq^jg^ lie went —My heart began to thrill When I got up beside him ; ■ We had a shy—l got my fid, I found I couldn’t hide him. And what was worse, and what was said, It matters not repeating; But muchly then my nose it bled I much regret that meeting. I thought it never would be stopped. That nose of mine from bleeding’; Attending tea fights since I’ve dropped, It’s too expensive feeding. At higher game I now will try. And court some lady higher ; The squint-eyed gal can have a shy At J.C., South Rakaia. While I am writing about verses I may just add that every second man you meet fancies he can clink rhymes, and every school girl goes for a parody on some soul melting effusion or other. Any number of rhymes .are sent to me in the hojie that they may see the light in your columns, but they don’t always—that’s your blame, not mine. But what I waa going to say was that I have never come across in all my life a poet with the courage and the pluck of Zachary Boyds a Fifeshire poet, who tackled the work -%f paraphrasing the whole Bible—old and new. He very nearly succeeded, too. This was how he described Jonah’s feelings in the whale’s belly “ Oh what a dreadfu’ place is tKs, Nae sun, nae moon, nae can’le, Naething ava the livelang nicht, But canid fish guts to han’le." I don’t think any modern poet could beat that? Could he? And he couldn’t beat Zachary’s paraphrase one of Job’s soulstirring apostrophes* "Ye monsters of the briny deep. Your maker’s praises spout Up from the deep ye codlings leap And wag your tails about. ” I have been getting it from the County v Architect. He won’t have it that the fun I poked at him and his County buildings waa fair hitting above the belt. lam free to admit it wasn’t. Because, you see, the two buildings—County and official resi- J dence—cost over LI4OO, and the fencing I contract includes filling, out-house buila- I ing, pipe laying and well-sinking. I Chisfa. I
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