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CHTSPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 113, 15 June 1880
“I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains. ” —Longfellow. (From Ashburton Herald, June 12.) The most noticeable feature in the literary line during the past week has been an inundation of an issue of the Fatea Mail, which, by its contents, appears to have been expressly printed for the edification of Ashburton readers, and the proprietor evidently intended it for our'special reading, as he distributed the copies wholesale to nearly every one of our burgesses, including his old friend and crony, “ Chispa.” There is nothing particularly fresh or startling in this new fixture of Joe’s. There is the usual amount of dirt thrown upon those who differ from him, and the stock vainglorious encomiums on the ragplanter himself. But for these I should have easily mistaken this issue of the Fatea Mail for an Ashburton Ditto of three months old. One small local, however, caught my eagle eye, and that was to the effect that an English barrister was about to start in Ashburton, with a view to putting the present barristers’ noses out of joint, and the said local went on to say that a talented gentleman who was known in
Ashburton in another sphere would also offer himself and his services to the public, in the pettifogging business, so as to give them a fair show of getting - fairly skinned. Well, it cost me a considerable amount of deliberation to ferret • out who those two promising limbs of the law were to be, and I think I can prophesy the advent of the talented Loudon editor —“the cultivated writer”—the hesitating witness—as the English Barrister ; and our old friend Joe himself a? the sucking aspirant to the woolsack. lam happy to announce that he intends doing Ashburton the honor of visiting it next week with a view to looking up his “ personal and p.litical interests,” and he also has in view the establishment of a good connection as a lawyer. Well, Joe, if I go to law, and want lots of jaw, I will give you your first brief. Elongated physiognomies among the publicans are fashionable since the Financial Statement came out. This sixpence a-gallon on the beer is the best thing that ever happened to the Good Templars, and it is a move they never tried. The effect will be of far more service to their cause than they may at first sight imagine. The brewers, as a rule, hold the whip hand over the retail dealers and will never consent, if they can help it, to any reduction on their profits, and the burden will consequently fall on the pub. He, poor man, if lie draws a hogshead of swines per day, will have to pay to the revenue something like L ( J or LlO per week, and I am told that it is in contemplation to abolish pints, or to adopt Jack Cade’s tactics and alter the measurement. I recollect a similar instance some 20 years ago, when the Government raised the duty on spirits from 10s. to 12s. per gallon. The pubs in a town up north made the advance in the tariff an excuse to raise the price of all ■ nips from 3d. to 6d. These patriot? at the ! time made a saving clause in favor of 1 colonial beer, which x’emained at the church contribution figure of 3d. They will now ‘ have a good chance of charging the regulation “tanner” for swipes. My obese ! friend Mr. Wood don’t seem to look upon the 6d. a gallon tax as a personal favor to ' himself. ; Some classical writer —Tom Paine, Car- ’ lyle, or Vincent Pyke—has said that “ one man’s as good as another, and ’ sometimes a good deal better.” This may ’ be very true, you know, when both men [ are of the same nationality ; but it is a “ matter open to doubt when one of the parties is a “son of Brin” and the other “a canny Scot.” Under ordinary circumstances, one would not hesitate to lay odds ’ against Pat where a bargain was to be struck, or where burgoo was the “bone” ' or mess of contention. A case has, how--3 ever, come under my notice, in which an 3 Irish boy euchered a Scotch “ laddie” properly. In a busy, thriving part of the 1 Empire City, a shrewd Scotchman, who 1 is in that part of the colony looked upon 3 as a very Holloway in his advertising pro- | clivities, has succeeded, by dint of perse--3 verance, natural smaxtness, and adverc tisiny, to establish one of the largest 1 drapery establishments in the colony. The ’ soft goods man, however, reckons to give 3 no 4 ‘ tick”—a fact which, perhaps, ac- ’ counts for his present exalted position in 3 commercial circles. But the cutest of 9 mortals is prone to be euchred sometimes, and report saith that even the big draper 3 was victimised the other day. A son of Caxton, a native of the Emerald Isle, got into such financial embarrassments, not by inability to wipe off his debts, but by un- ] willingness, and as the duns were becoming extremely troublesome, Pat deter- ■ mined to leave his sorrowing friends be--1 hind, and seek other victims in other climes. But as the voyage to his desired ’ destination was lengthy, and wishing to 3 present a smart appearance to his future ’ acquaintances, this cunning dog inter- ! viewed the “no tick” draper one Saturday ’ evening, and did not ask for credit—r no, no ; but would Mr. allow r him to take a suit home for each of his L boys, and one for himself for approval, to be returned on Monday if they did not suit ; and if they were a perfect fit, of course, the cash would be forthcoming. The un- ’ suspecting Scot was quite agreeable that , such a course should be taken; and early next morning our Caxtonian friend was on board a steamer with his family ploughing across the ocean to a far-off distant country. Neither the “ duds ” 1 nor money being forthcoming on the * Monday, and waiting patiently until noon 1 on Tuesday, a porter was sent up to the house for either the articles or their value 1 in money. But lo ! to the astonishment 1 of the porter, there was no one in the t habitation,and his suspicions were aroused by seeing three loaves of bread, a leg of ! mutton, and sundry other articles on the window-sill, which the sly debtor had , ordered the previous Saturday, so as to draw a red-herring across the scent. ! When that porter made known the result of his visit, the naturally calm face of the ; prosperous draper grew terrible in appearance, and the counter-jumpers felt it to be to their interests to give their employer a wide berth for the next twenty- | four hours. “Lambing down” is a time honored 1 institution in the Australasian colonies, and the lamb is usually looked upon as a victim of misplaced confidence, and is consequently duly sympathised with. A case came under my notice lately where the innocent deliberately made tip his mind beforehand how long his cheque ought to last. The circumstances are as follows. A laboring man, well known in the district, and usually in receipt of 255. per week was fortunate (?) enough to have a relative shuffle off his mortal coil in the old country, and Ned (we will call him) had about LI, 100 left him, most of which was in shares, and not at once realisable. The first remiit mce was L 65, and when Ned handled the cash he looked at it with a puzzled expression of countenance. On being asked if anything was wrong, he said, “ Yes ; don’t you see, today is Tuesday ; there’s too much money to last out till Monday next, and not enough for the Monday week, ancll’m bound to start work oh the farm on a Monday.” Sure enough by the Thursday week after the receipt of the money the lamb was flyblown. After this who can blame the purveyors of chain lightening for easing such customers of their cheques as soon as possible. Chispa.
CHTSPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 113, 15 June 1880
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