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SKETCHES FROM THE GALLERY.

(From our own, Correspondent.) ' Wellington, August 5.

There are no new members this write about, and old ones are never so' interesting. But changes are inseparable from our mortal state, and the old ones of this session are not adopting exactly the same course that they pursued last session'!' so that there is quite room to say something new about your local celebrities now exhibiting their powers amongst tlia people’s representatives. Of course the first Canterbury member we must notice is “ our Johnny,”. who is really a great cariosity in his way, chiefly because no amount of public ; office or public pay will teach him the;“ Govern? ment stroke.” At ten a.m, he.,is in Ms office, beset with enquiries and enquirers of every kind, and directing answers to heaps of letters. At eleven he makes his appearance at the Public. Accounts Committee,'and can give that‘Committee a full and clear s explanation/upon the most minute details that would only be expected from a clerk who had nothing else to divert his attention. At 12.30 he goes to a Cabinet meeting/ and there nothing can pass in any department until he has entirely mastered the subject and assented to or amended the proposals 'of each Minister with as much courtesy as Fox, and yet with : more searching, nd spection than Stafford. At 2.30 he is in his seat at the House, where no one can ask him a question that he does not know all about. At one the next morning' he; may be heard pleading with the House to sit just one more hour, or to pass one more Bill, or to get through one more . class m the Estimates.' When he can keep s; a House no longer he goes to bed, takixig a few new Bills with him by way of light reading, just to see that they are all right and consistent with everything else that has been prepared by his Government. All this -seems to’ be nothing more than the natural course of life to him. Like a thin-skinned thoroughbred horse, he can stand any amount of work, but ho can’t stand the rough curb or the thoughtless whip and spur. When Seddon proposes to “ amend the phraseAcrlogy of this ’ere Bill,” or Macandrew advises him -to practice economy, or the Knight- of Kawau" informs him 1 that > the Prime Minister of the Colony should • not makb statements calculated to mislead the House or the colony, it is just a little too mu oh for his nervous temperament/ and. he is apt to boil over. . The sight of his face at present is ;'not i reassuring to those who knbw how ; much : he knows*' about - our financial condition—there is no. expression of hope upon it—his eyes show that they don’t get sleep enough—the quick start with Which he turns to every sound! in the House betrays the excessive tension of his too - long strung .nerves, and everything about him .shows that he .wants turning out to grass for a month. Mr. Rollestoh’s face looks brighter and happier than ever. He has a wonderful power of being 5 quite awake when he is wanted, and going sound asleep when he is being abused., He does his own work and laughs good-temperedly at Hail for wanting to do it for him, or for supervising what he has done. He does not speak much from the Government benches, but says that he his trying to get a reputatkm for wisdom. He is never, weak . nor washy > but is rarely fluent—he seemsin a hurry, and that hurry makes him slow in his utterances. ~ At their right hand sits the .ihon. member for Kaiapoi, ready to pop up and have a go at anyone who attacks Ms friends. ;He can speak . with .his j face as well as with his tongue , and the looks he bestows on Seddou and Shrimski are as little flattering as the speeches he- flings at Stewart and Sir George Grey. He has a peculiar way of pronouncing “ the great Liberal) party,” which no one else could imitate. He is himself a strange combination of Liberal and Conservative—a Liberal - by nature, a Conservative by educationdrawn.to Liberalism by natural benevolence and the highest sense of ; Justice, repulsed from it by the preposterous preof those who claim the name bat know nothing of the practice. He is. hot good at retrenchment, he can never find tho right person to operate on, and is only second to Gisborn in promptness to defend any Civil servant. I mean,, of, course, second in zeal, not in ability ,or judgment, in; both-iof.rwhich:bet stands, headfand

shoulders above that eccentric phampioU of the wildest communism of property,

and the most ultra-conservatism of the sacred rights of all who have once tasted the sweets of any Government office. (to be continued. )

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18800810.2.13

Bibliographic details

SKETCHES FROM THE GALLERY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 137, 10 August 1880

Word Count
808

SKETCHES FROM THE GALLERY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 137, 10 August 1880

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