Tkaiw Arrangements. The train alterations we noticed on Saturday as very soon to come into force will be introduced on the 15 th inst. Postal. —Mails close for the United Kingdom at the Ashburton Post office to-morrow (Wednesday) morning at 10.30. Correspondence 'for this route should be specially addressed. Clerical. —The Rev. Mr. Hands, who has recently arrived from the Old Country, has been appointed to the charge of the Ashburton parish, vice. Rev. W. E. Paige, resigned. The Courts. —During the sittings of the Supreme Court in Christchurch, and owing to the absence of the local officer, the R.M. and District Court offices will be closed till Thursday. The Volunteer Larrikins. —The disgraceful conduct of the Southern Volunteers which took place in Mrs. Furness’ shop on Good Friday, is not going to be allowed to blow over so quietly as some people have been led to suppose. Two officers of the Port Chalmers Brigade arrived in Ashburton on Friday morning, the object of their visit being to thoroughly sift the matter. The Ivess Libel Case Withdrawn.— We believe Mr. E. G. Crisp has withdrawn the libel case against Mr. Joseph Ivess that was to have been heard at the Christchurch Supreme Court now sitting. The particular reasons for the withdrawal wc have not heard, but it appears to be a fact that the case will not be heard, and Mr. Ivess retires without even requiring to tender an apology. St. Mark’s Sunday School, Rakaia. —The children attending the Sunday school in connection with St. Mark’s Church, Rakaia, had their annual treat on Saturday last at the parsonage, where they, and their teachers and friends were entertained by the Rev. Mr. Elton and Mrs. Elton. The afternoon was spent in cricket, racing, and other sports, till tea time, when they were all seated on the lawn and supplied with tea and cakes in profusion. Cheers were given by the children for their entei tainers, their teachers, and friends, and the party broke up after spending a most enjoyable afternoon. “ Ashore and Afloat.” —The amateurs repeated their performance of “ Ashore and Afloat” in the Town Hall on Saturday to a very fair audience, though not so numerous as on the previous night. The piece went very smoothly indeed, and was altogether an improvement on the repre sentation of Friday night. One or two of the actors received hearty hursts of applause for their rendering of particular passages, and the lady who played the part of Ruth Ringrose was called before the curtain for her effective acting in the old mine scene. The scene painter, too, Mr. Bourke, had his merits recognised, and at the conclusion of the scene in which the Turkish war sloop is destroyed and the captain taken prisoner, Mr. Bourke received quite an ovation, and came before the curtain to acknowledge the honor. The incidental music for the piece was supplied by Mr. Horace Gates, whose piano playing, it is needless to say, was in every way satisfactory. The enterprise of the company, we are gratified to learn, will be rewarded by the financial success of the two evenings, and we are told that another representation elsewhere —probably in Rakaia—is under consideration.
Timaru Races. —Return tickets issued for the journey to Timaru during the races will he available up to the 10th. The Grain Trade. —There are only 105 sacks of grain at the station waiting for despatch, and the station-master anticipates that the rush is over. Yesterday 55 trucks .were sent down the lino from here to bring up such accumulations of grain as may he lying at the roadside stations. Tinwald shed, wo believe, is also very nearly cleared. Native Game Season. —The season in which native game may be killed is proclaimed by the Governor as being from March 29, until July 31, both days inclusive. Native game is specified in the “ Gazette” notice to mean : Wild duck, of any species, bittern, pied stilt plover, wild geese, dotterel!, native pigeon, teal, black stilt plover, curlew, and quail. 1.0.G.T. —The usual meeting of the Dawn of Peace Lodge was held last night. There was a large attendance. Four new members were initiated. It was announced that a total abstinence lecture would be given by the Rev. Mr. Keall on Wednesday evening next ; also, that the next meeting of the Degree Temple would be hold on Wednesday, the 10th The Lodge then spent some time in harmony, and closed. Presbyterianism. —During the history of Presbyterianism in Ashburton the Session of the Church has only been composed of three members—the minimum required by the Church, —viz., the Moderator (the pastor), and Messrs. Moore, of Waterton, and Henderson, of Methven. It has been found necessary to increase the Session by at least four members from the township, and on Sunday the Rev. Mr. Beattie announced that an election will take place on that day month. Civil Service Commission. —The members of the Civil Service Commission are now sitting in Dunedin, and will he engaged in that city until Thursday evening next. They will then proceed to Camara, and from thence on Friday afternoon to Timaru. They are expected in Ashburton on Saturday, and will hold a sitting here during the day. Leaving here they will visit Christchurch, remaining there for about a week, and then proceed to Wellington and the east coast of the North Island, returning by the west coast to Nelson, Blenheim, and Wanganui, finally meeting in Wellington to complete their report. Gas Lit. —On Friday night the Town Hall was lit for the first time with gas, and we must compliment Mr. Hardley, the fitter, on the excellence of his work. The body of the hall is lighted by a single sunlight, beautifully enamalled, and gilt, and the light it sheds is abundant and mellow. Its substitution for the old kerosene abominations is a great relief to the audience as well as a marked addition to the appearance of the hall. The stage is very effectively illuminated by two ranges of suspended lights, that may be used singly or together at will, while a course of fifteen jets run along the front of the stage by way of foot-lights. The gas had a very cheery effect last night, and aided the performance of “ Ashore and Afloat ” not a little. The Boxing Entertainment. —Last night the Town Hall attracted a large crowd, who came evidently prepared for a classical entertainment in the pugilistic line. The proceedings opened with some horizontal bar practice of a very commonplace character. A nigger entertainment of a very second-rate description followed, and the jokes perpetrated were of the shadiest nature. Some very excellent Indian club exercise followed by one of the West Brothers, and a set-to took place between that performer and his brother. The science displayed was not of a highclass ; hut everybody was on tip-toe to see what the two champions would show the audience when they were brought face to face. More singing and dancing—partly Irish and partly nigger— then followed, neither musical nor characteristic, and the looked-for event of the evening came off. Only three rounds were fought, in which Lea made most of the play, but Hioken showed the greater patience and science. Lea was evidently too shortwinded to stand up to a man of his opponent’s mettle for any length of time, and his bellows gave way at a very early stage. The last rally was worthy of having been fought out with the bare knuckles as both men evidently meant business. We very much question if the Carandinis or the Lyster troupe were to give free access to the Town Hall to one of their really good entertainments, they would get half the house last night’s sadly inferior exhibition did —inferior even of its very inferior kind. Attempted Suicide at Rakaia.—A man named Henry Ward, a laborer, who had been taken on a few- days ago with a contracting party camped below Acton station, Rakaia, was brought up to Ashburton by the 10.30 train cn Saturday morning on a stretcher, in charge of Constable Rowse. We learn from the constable that the man had acted ratherstrangely on Friday night at the camp, and had madeasmall cut on his throat sufficient to bring blood, but not otherwise of any consequence. This morning, Mr. Leach, the foreman at the camp, sent Ward in a dray to Rakaia, in charge of a young man named O’Connor, to bo given in charge to the police. On arriving at Rakaia O’Connor left the dray outside M'Namara’s Hotel and went for the constable, who shortly arrived and took charge of the man. On raising him from the bed of the dray, it was found that the unfortunate man had made another attempt on his life, unknown to the driver, while on the road, by severely cutting his thrort light across, severing the windpipe. A quantity of blood was found under him in the dray, as ho was lying face downwards. The constable questioned Ward about his action, who replied he had been in very low spirits, and had no friends or money. Ho had not been drinking. On arriving in Ashburton, the unfortunate man was conveyed to Dr. Ross, who attended to the wound. His windpipe is 4 completely severed, but it is possible he may recover. He is now at the Old Mens’ Home, and his wounds are healing.
A Re-uniox. —The wives and families of the “unemployed” roadmakers at Stoney river and Stratford, to the number of 00, have been sent on by the Hinemoa from Wellington to New Plymouth. Pedestiuanism. —Young Scott at Auckland, finished bis feat of walking 112 miles in 24 hours with 8 minutes to spare, and showed no signs of distress. Boyd, at Wellington, failed to accomplish the same feat. Special Settlements— The Government do not seem to favor special settlements, and in reply to the Wellington Small Farms Association, who urged the necessity of setting aside a block of land for special settlement, have advised the Association to take advantage of the deferred payment clauses of the Land Act. Lost in the Bush. —From Wellington we learn that a man named Douglas was lost in the bush near Woodville for eleven days, and subsisted on berries. He states that he saw the footprints of a boy and man whom he met on the road, and fears are entertained that they also are lost in the bush, as they have not since been heard of. A School Carpenter. —Such a large amount of money is annually spent by the Dunedin School Committee on repaii’s to buildings, that that body has determined to permanently employ a carpenter. At a recent meeting of the Committee it was resolved to call for applications for that position, at a salary of Ll5O a-year and a free house.
Divorce in France. — M. Alexandre Dumas's book on divorce is to be published immediately, so as to anticipate the discussion of the subject in the French Chamber of Deputies. Adopting the form of a reply to an Abbe, he endeavors to prove by examples that the church, while rejecting the principle of divorce, has admitted it in practice by recognising in numerous cases the nullity of marriage. The Victoria Cross. —Since the institution of the Victoria cross for bravery in 1856, it has been bestowed on no less than 3GB officers and men in the military and naval services. Seven who had gained the cross died before it was formally conferred upon them, and 29 have died since they received that honor. Of the 3GB heroes who won the distinction 171 were commissioned officers, tire remaining 197 being non commissioned officers and men in both services. A pension of LlO per annum is bestowed upon the non-commissioned officers and men who receive the cross. The Napier Arms. —A correspondent, “ J. H. ” inquires whether the borough of Napier has any coat of arms. The “Napier Herald” replies—“ We are not aware of any, but it is about time we had one. We suggest as appropriate the figure of a judge in wig and gown, seated under a canopy. ‘ln bankruptcy ’ on a scroll underneath. The judge might be blindfolded, with a pair of scales in his hand, with ‘ liabilities ’ on the lower scale and ‘assets’ (shadowy) on the other side kicking the beam.” More Churches. —The number of people, says an Auckland paper, wandering about during the hours of Divine service, smoking and blaspheming would lead a stranger to think that there were no churches in the city. Yet there are, and always well failed. The truth is there are not half enough of them. But to get more is the question that seems to be asked. Are there not church lands and endowments that might be hypothecated to this end ? If so, where and what are they, is what people would like to know you know. A Bad Habit. —Young man, don’r swear. Swearing was never good for a sore finger. It never cured rheumatism not helped to draw a prize in a lottery. It isn’t sure against lightning, sewing machine agents, nor any of the ills which beset people through life. There is no occasion for sweating outside a newspaper office where it is useful in proof-read-ing and necessary in getting formes to press. It has been known also to materially assist the editor in looking over the papei after it is printed. But otherwise it is a foolish habit. Emerald Isle.—A recent arrival from the land of failed potatoes was fishing the other day, not far from Seymour. He experienced some difficulty in obtaining worms for bait, and a companion advised him to look under a large sheet of bark near at hand. Worms in abundance were there, and so was a 15-inch snake. Patrick joyously announced to his friend, “ Sure enough here’s a fine lot of worms, and the ould mother of the lot !” The great deeds of the saint he was named after had left him innocent as to the appearance of vipers.—“ HSgles,” in the “Australasian.” The Grain Yield op Waitaki.—We a few days ago (says the “ Oamaru Mail”) published an official statement showing that 2,181,512 bushels of grain would be produced in this county this season. The total is made up of 765,168 of wheat, 1,233,388 of oats, and 182,956 of barley. To transport the whole of this by rail to a market would require four trains per day of 10 trucks each for a period of 226 days. Bat as it is likely that the bulk of the oat crop will be stacked in anticipation of an improved market, the amount of grain to be transported to market will only be about half that of the total yield. Even this will give the railway department as much work as it will be able to get through with present appliances. Land Settlement. —On this subject the “ Hawkesßay Herald’says : —“After everything is said that can be said for the land, what inducement do we offer to pioneers to clear the bush and extend civilisation ? We insist that they shall pay an unduly high price for the land, and though we grant them time in which to pay the money, this favor is counterbalanced by many conditions as to improvement and residence. We believe in the deferred payment system, for it compels the occupation of the land, but the clause relating to personal residence is unduly restrictive, and likely to retard settlement, while the price at which the land is offered is extravagantly high when it is remembered that the clearing of the bush will cost even more than the original purchase money— and the bush must be cleared before the land can be rendered productive. ” Thrift. —Agood“goak” comes from “Sleepy Hollow.” It is told of a theatrical manager who recently ran a show there that, to save expense, he took the money himself—or rather he was in the box to take it. In one of those intervals which frequently occur in Nelson between the advent of patrons, a young man, with the signs of twenty-ouo on his upper lip, walked boldly up to the window, and producing two threepenny pieces and six coppers, asked for a Is. ticket. The manager rose, and grasping the hands of the youth, to his astonishment said—“ Glad to meet you ; you heard about this show a long time ago 2” The youth, blushing and stammering, inquired “ Why 2” On which the manager replied, “ Because you appear to have been saving up for a few months ; you are one of Nature’s noblemen, and a true patron of the theatres. Pass in a dead-head, and my blessings be with you. —“ Dunedin Star.” A Brave Mother. —The “ Braid wood Dispatch ” states that one day recently Mrs. George Williams, of Nimbi Rimble, near Corang, left her child, about seven months old, sitting on the floor of the house while she went outside. She was only r absent for a few minutes ; when she returned a sight met her eyes which threw her into a state of the utmost consternation. Her little girl was sitting on the spot where she had left her, and round her waist was coiled a large brown snake, the child playing with its tail. The mother thought that she saw the reptile biting the child's breast ; she thereupon procured an iron hook, which she fixed in the child’s dress, and lifted her outside the house, the snake meanwhile uncoiling itself. The mother, snatching her up, in her arms, ran up the creek to the spot where some men were at work digging. They immediately examined the child, but coaid see no marks. The snake was ultimately killed. Tub Wool Export to England..— The following figures, given by the “ Wool Trade Review,” show the importation of colonial wools (Australian and Cape) into the English ports during the years named; —1834, 16,279 bales ; 1844, 70,908 ; 1854, 183,881 ; 1864, 371,486 ; 1865, 432,551 ; 1866, 455,812 ; 1867, 541,059 ; 1888, 633,134 ; 1809, 633,959 : 1870, 673,314; 1871, 693,201 ; 1872, 601,601'; 1873, 706,871 ; 1874, 816,189 ; 1875, 873,383 ; 1876, 938,292; 1877, 964,300 ; 1878, 951,550; 1879, 978,420. The importation for 1879 is brought up to December 17, and shows an increase upon the year just closed of 26,870 bales. So far as prospects are concerned, we have reason to believe that business is tetter already, and that it will now gradually improve. Wools are still at a reasonable figure, sufficiently so, we think, should trade spring up as anticiqated to be remunerative both to the grower and to the manufacturer. Neither do we look for the present to a great alteration in the prices for wool. We look forward for a good supply from all our colonies, as they have not been so much troubled with drought this year.
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