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No more shocking example of the state of degradation to which drink can reduce the “human form divine” could be imagined than that presented by two wretched creatures who occupied the prisoners’ dock at the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Wellington on a recent occasion. Although designated by different names on the sheet, they have been living together as man and wife. The police arrested the woman on the previous" evening, and as the man expressed it in Court, he went to the station to look after his “ missus,” and the police ran him in, too. It was difficult to say which of the two was the more wretched looking object. The man, although still in the prime of life, was so palsied that he could scarcely lift his hand to take off his hat on entering the Court; his eyes resembled holes burnt in a blanket, and in all the lina- , ments of his face vice and disease showed their horrid The woman was about the same age, but might easily have been taken for fifty. Her face was pale and haggard, and streaked with dirt, while her bleared eyes blinked with weakness. Her hair hung down her back and over her face and eyes in unkempt masses, which were exposed rather than concealed by a tawdry cheap hat, that appeared to have been “ pitched” on to her head. The clothes of this parody on a woman were in character. Her dress hung about her in such rags that she had to hold it against her bosom to conceal her nakedness. Other garments she might possibly have had on, but the glimpses afforded by the movements of the trembling hands were painfully suggestive that her underclothing was of the scantiest. The strangest feature in connection with this pitiful pair was the apparent affection of the man for the woman. Bad as he was, the man was evidently in full possession of I his faculties, but the excesses of the woman seemed to have reduced her to the condi- - ■ tion of mental as well as bodily prostration.' The man watched her carefully, and kissed her twice while sitting in Court ; he also supported her tottering steps, in entering and leaving the Court, and the extraordinary appearance of the pair as they passed arm in arm down Featherston street caused quite a commotion. The spectacle was one which the ancient Spartans would havo regarded as a most edifying one for their children. It certainly was an eloquent sermon.

Wages at Home.— According to newspapers by last mail, the wages of farm laborers and women servants in England —consequent upon the agricultural depression still prevailing—-had suffered a considerable diminution. At the North of England hiring fairs, held in the month of November last, at most of the towns large numbers attended; but employers were not willing to give the wages generally asked. At Kendal, for example, wages were considerably lower. Exceptionally good and known men commanded from Llsto Ll 7 ; best men, Ll 3 to Ll 4 ; second class, L 9 to Ll 3 ; lads and young men, from LA to LB. Best women, L9to Lll 10s. ; second class, L 6 to L 8 ; girls, L3to L 5. At Penrith a vast number attended. After a stubborn resistance, servants found they had to give way,, and a brisk business resulted at a reduction of L 4 to L 5 from last Martinmas. Best men could be had at Ll 3 to Ll 4 ; second class, L9to L 10; third class, L 7 to L 8 10s. ; boys, L 3 to L 5; women’s wages ranged from Lo to L 9 ; girls, L 3 to L 5. These rates were for the half year, and included board and lodging. ■ -

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Bibliographic details

A DEPLORABLE COUPLE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 89, 20 April 1880

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A DEPLORABLE COUPLE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 89, 20 April 1880

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