ASHBURTON COURT HOUSE.
The Ship of State is doubtless a magnificent and majestic craft, but she is not built for speed. Canvas is never unduly crowded on her masts, because her officers and crew know they can laugh at their owners, and do not care whether they arrive in port on due date or dilly-dally on the voyage fishing for mermaids and come in long after common vessels had arrived, loaded up, and sailed. She is a grand vessel, the Ship of State. She cares not for the soft zephyrs of petitionary wheedling, nor for the tempestuous scolding of neglected latitudes. Her timbers are strong, and she keeps the open sea defiant of everything. This sort of thing goes on till it becomes altogether too strong for her very patient owners, and then a change in the captaincy occurs, and far a time the sailing is of a quieter and more regular character ; but by-and-by, owing to the owners’ relapse into lethargy, the same old game is played, and the captain and crew are at their old tricks. So long as Ashburton was a quiet, patient, forbearing township, jogging along comfortably in a time of prosperity, and taking little thought as to how she was used by Government, Ashburton was unknown to the powers that be, and her wants were lost sight of in the great crowd of wants shaken before the Governmental eyes by more noisy places. The place with the noisiest representative was best seen to, and the quiet man was as quietly ignored. When, however, she shook herself together to raise a persistent outcry, a sop in the shape of a promise was thrown to her to her keep her quiet. She did quiet, in the hope that the promises would be fulfilled ; but, as we said before, the Ship of State is not built for speed, and even the most distinct promise made to us by Government is not yet fulfilled—notwithstanding that it is two years old, and the money to fulfil it has been twice voted,
Tho session before last L3OO were voted for a courthouse for Ashburton ; the year went, and the building was not erected. Last session the vote rose to LSOO. The next session will soon open, and it looks as if it would open with the vote still unspent. Months ago tenders for a new courthouse were called for—a courthouse of wood, notwithstanding all the soft whispers for brick of our public men, and > regardless of the angry storming of the Ashburton Press —and still The silence is unbroken And the stillness gives no token, and inquiries are rife as to what has come of the promised neat little courthouse, so admirably planned for the accommodation of judge, bar, police, press, and public. Surely, with every allowance for the apparently indispensable red-tapeism of officialdom, ample time has elapsed for us to know whether any tenders have been received at all, whether any have been accepted, or if to tho question whether a courthouse of any kind is to le built, The only word there spoken Is never, never more.
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