Mails.— Mails for the United Kingdom and Australia, per Rotorua, close at the Bluff on Friday, 27th, at. 12.30 p.m. Telegrams to catch the steamer may be presented at the Ashburton office up to 11 o’clock on Friday morning. “Farming Implements.” —We understand the next paper to be read, at the Agricultural and Pastoral Association will be on “ Farming Implements,” the reader being Mr. F. B. Passmore. The meeting at which the paper will be read will be held on Saturday next, in the Town Hall Upper Room, at 8 o’clock. Accident at Methven. —An accident of a painful character occurred at Mothven on Monday to a boy named George Whinon. He was working in a blacksmith’s shop, when a horse was being shod. Suddenly the horse kicked out and struck the boy in the face ; fortunately the full force of the kick did. not reach him, or ho must have been killed. He was brought to Chsistchurch, and taken to the Hospital, where he received prompt attention. The Wheatsheaf Hotel.— Between 150 and 200 friends of Messrs. Willcocks and • Escott accepted the invitation of these gentlemen to dinner on Tuesday evening, to celebrate the opening of the Wheatsheaf Hotel under a new landlord viz., Mr. Escott, who succeeds Mr, Willcocks. The dinner was of the highest class, and augurs well for the table likely to be kept by Mr. Escott; we need hardly say it was done full justice to by the large company. The usual speeches of congratulation were delivered—the old landlord bid farewell and the new one welcomed —and after a few hearty bumpers the floor was cleared for dancing, to the piano and Mr. Hettleton’s violin, the strains of which only ceased at daylight. A Hew String Binder.— The new string binder, the invention of Mr. Cooper, of Christchurch, is to be exhibited on Saturday, sth September, at Messrs. Jameson and Roberts grain store, West street. Mr. Cooper is a practical engineer, and has applied for a patent for his invention, the great merits claimed for which are its success as a binder, its simplicity, and its adaptability to being attached to a M’Oormack machine, or in fact any other of. the old reapers. The introduction of the reaper and string binder had the effect of, so to speak, rendering the wire reaper effete , and not a few farmers looked discontentedly on their old machines when they saw the Deering at work. This new invention of Mr. Cooper, however, claims to be a glorious summer to this winter of discontent, because of the ease with which it can be fixed on to the old grinders. Farmers will on the Bth have an opportunity of seeing the contrivance for themselves, as Mr. Cooper will be present in person to show the working of the binder.
Hedge Cutter.— Mr. Smithurst, the representative in New Zealand of Hornsby and Co., the celebrated agricultural implement manufacturers, is now on a visit to Ashburton for the purpose of introducing to the notice of the public the recently imported hedge-cutter, manufactured by the enterprising firm which Mr. Smithurst represents. A trial of the machine will take place to-morrow, as announced in another column. The exact locality has not been decided upon, but will either be in a paddock at Tinwald belonging to Mr. John Carter, or on the property of Mr. Hay Smith. Government Land Sale. —On Tuesday the land known as the old railway reserves was put up to auction in the Town Hall, by John Marshman, Esq., Commissioner of Crown Lands. There was a very good attendance, and for such lots as were disposed of there was a fair competition. The following was the business done : Land for immediate payment : —Reserve 350—between the river Hinds and a road about three miles south-west of Tinwald— Lot GO ; area 42a. 2r. 32p.; upset price L 17 0; sold at L 199 ; to John McLean. Lot 69 ; area 81a. lr. 33p.; upset price L 330 ; sold at L 360 ; to John McLean. Reserve 350 —between the rivers Hinds and Rangitata—lot 73 ; area 53a. Or. IGp.; upset price L 222;1 2; sold at L 212 ; to Wilkin and Carter. Lot 74 ; area 59a. 3r. Op.; upset price L 239 ; sold at L 239 ; to Wilkin and Carter. Reserves 1371 and IGso—on the north bank of the Rangitata, adjoining the South road —lot 25 ; area 103 a. 3r. Op.; upset price L 207 IQs.; sold at L 207 10s.; to John Studholme. Reserve 349 —between the rivers Rangitata and the Orari —lot 38 ; area 12a. Or. 23p.; upset price L 25 ; sold at L 25 ; to Smith and Denniston. Reserve 350 opposite Recreation Ground, Tinwald—lot 4 ; area 20a. Or. Op.; upset price LI00; sold at LIOO ; to Joseph Scowen. Rural Section 34473 —near Longbeach ; estimated at 15 acres ; upset price, L 5 an acre, at which price it was bought by Mr. John Grigg. Lands within the same Reserves, to be sold on deferred payments, in lots of similar area. Purchase money payable by instalments extending over ten years, without interest ; —Reserve 350 between Hinds and Tinwald—lot 53 ; area 100 a. Or. Op.; upset price L4OO ; sold at L 440 ;to Thomas Hickman. Lot G 7 ; ai'ea 52a. 3r. 36p.; upset price L 265 ; sold at L4lO ; to George Holms.. Lot 68; area 48a. 2r. 6p.; upset price L 242 ; sold at L 490 ; to George McLean. Reserve 350 —lot G ; area 48a. 3r. 28p.; upset price L 365 14s. Bd.; sold at L 365 14s. Bd.; to Henry Poole. Applications maj now be received for the unsold sections.
The Unemployed. —Thera are still a large number of unemployed in Christchurch—some eighty names being on the books. Twenty-five men were sent yesterday to the railway works at Weka Pass.
, Steam Laundry.— Messrs. Bradshaw and Ishenvood announce the early opening in Christchurch of a steam laundry, at which work will be done at half, and in some cases less than half, the rates charged by laundresses in the city.
The Native Land Sales Bill. —The Native Land Sales Bill, which has given rise to a considerable amount of discussion in the House of Representatives, was read a second and a third time on Friday last, and eventually passed.
Cutting' Down. —The Nelson Education Board have reduced the total of their teachers’ salaries by L 1,200, exceeding the ten per cent, principle where that could be safely done, taking off less than ten per cent, where teachers were underpaid in comparison ; dispensing with head money to teachers, and travelling expenses to members of the Board.
Through the Fire. —Among the articles recovered after the great fire in Manners-street, Wellington, was a safe belonging to the Opera n ouse Company, containing a quantity of papers. This has just been opened, and the documents were found to have sustained only very slight damage. Some of them were a little scorched, but all were perfectly legible.
A New Zealand Australian Cricketer. —lt transpires that Taranaki can lay claim to the honor of producing one of the celebrated Australian cricketers now playing in England with such brilliant success. Mr. F. A. Groube, son of Rev. Mr. Groube, was bom in Taranaki, and he is now one of the famous team of cricketers. His father was a resident of New Plymouth for a long time, and was a minister of the Independent Connexion.
The Stamp Fee Bill. —The Stamp Fee Bill, introduced into the Legislature on Friday by the Colonial Treasurer, provides for the collection, by means of stamps, of fees payable in the various departments of the public service. The Stamp Fee Act, 1878, is repealed, but any regulation made under that Act are to continue in force until altered or repealed by the Governor in Council. A penalty of L2O may bo imposed on any person who shall file, issue, procure, or deliver any document or serve or execute any writ or proceeding without using the prescribed stamp. , The sections from 0 to 2G inclusive of the Stamp Act, 1875, are to be read with and as part of the present measure.
Remarkably Sudden Death. The Post says ;—“ A shockingly sudden death occurred at Porirua on Friday afternoon. Mr. Edward J. King, a butcher, residing near the ferry, was in the neighborhood of Stephen’s Sawmills shortly after 4 o’clock, when he heard a cry for help. On proceeding to ascertain the cause, he perceived a youth named Bowles lying underneath a log of timber, which had accidentally fallen on him. King was in the act of running towards the boy, for the purpose of extricating him from his perilous position, when he suddenly fell dead to the ground. It is supposed that death was due to heart disease. The deceased was a married man, and leaves a wife and eight children. Bowles was subsequently rescued from underneath the log, but is now reported to be in a very precarious condition. Rude Detectives. —Miss Blyth, the victim of infatuation in the man Henderson, is to be proceeded against by the police as soon as she is strong enough to bear the torture of a trial that might very well be dispensed with, and the matter be allowed to rest, without any bad result on the free and enlightened public of the colony. But to help her convalesence, and show their professional talent, certain police detectives forced their way into Miss Blyth’s room on Friday night in defiance of the express prohibition of her medical attendant, Dr. Diver, and .persisted in entering into conversation with her on the late tragedy, which he had strictly forbidden to be mentioned to her. The consequence is that she was much worse cn Saturday, and Dr. Diver has made a formal complaint on the subject to the Minister of Justice. ’
The Proper Way. —Government having decided not t® proceed with the Wel-lington-Foxton line, the residents who believe in the work are becoming more self-reliant. In the House on Friday Mr. Beetham asked the Government if, in the event of a company being formed to complete the Wellington and Foxton line to Porirua, the Government will be prepared to lease on equitable terms the railway formation from Kaiwarra to Johnsonvillel The Minister for Public Works replied that in the event of such a company being formed, the Government would deal with them most liberally. The Government would be prepared to go even further than was suggested, and hand over the land and the line on certain terms.
Mrs. Ramsbotham writes to say she is preparing for Christmas time. Her young friends are learning to dance the mignonette, she says, and are learning their parts in order to play some cheroots in the drawing-room. ‘ Tonic Beer. —A new beverage, under the denomination of tonic beer, is now being prepared by Messrs. E. T. Roberts and Co., of Wellington. It is guaranteed free from intoxicating properties, opens with a good head, and has a very pleasant flavor of the hop. Tb W hut's Policy. —From Wellington exchanges we gather that the “ prophet’s four ” fencers are being daily apprehended as they come up to commence their fencing of the road. The Post says the job of apprehending every day four natives, martyrs to Te Whiti’s nonsense, is becoming monotonous. Another Victim.— A body found at Broken River, West Coast road, proves to be that of William Henry Izon, formerly stahlckeoper at Christchurch. He recently received a remittance of some thousands from Home, and was on his way to Okarito Goldfield. He was in the habit of drinking heavily. ■ A Soup Kitchen Incident. —A rather amusing incident occured at the Christchurch Soup Kitchen one day last week. An eccentric individual applied for a bowl of soup, ate it, and on departing, laid a half sovereign on the counter. The Benevolent Association are anxious to relieve a few more cases of this sort. The Burials Bill. —As an indication of the advance of public opinion at Home, we may state that the Burials Bill recently passed opens to dissenters all burying-grounds attached to churches, and permits any service to be read over the grave. The Bill was passed by an overwhelming majority. Jean Luib.— During the Tichborne trial a man calling himself a captain gave evidence, swearing that the claimant was Sir Roger Tichborne. The man’s name was Jean Luie, and he was proved in the box to be a rank imposter. For his perjury he got seven years’ imprisonment. That was in 1874. A recent cablegram informs us that he has been released from prison.
Hard Times Again. —A cablegram from London, dated August 16, says; — In consequence of the prevailing depression of trade and .strikes amongst engineers and iron-workers, many ironmasters in the West Scotland have decided to close their establishments for the present. A large number of blasts have been extinguished, and much distress exists amongst the working classes thus deprived of employment. Sympathy.— At the trial, on Thursday last, of G. A. Johnston, Assistant Clerk of the R.M. Court at Masterton, on a charge of embezzling Government money, the Magistrate said there was some doubt as to whether the accused intended to embezzle the money, though he had shown gross carelessness and negligence in his accounts. The Bench gave accused the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed the charge. There was a great deal of applause at the decision, and during the evening a sum of L3l odd was collected in order to make good the deficiency.
An Old Drum. The Wanganui Chronicle says :—Messrs. H. Collier and Co. have in their possession a. side : drum bearing a remarkable history, having been made in Glasgow in 1727, and used by the Ist Regiment of Royal Edinburgh Volunteers during the rebellion of 1745. With the exception of the sheepskin being considerably worn, the drum is fit for another hundred and fifty years’ service. The cylinder is of wood, and is apparently heavier than the brass side-drum used by British infantry. On a piece of paper pasted on the inside is written in an oldfashioned text hand—“ This drum is made by George Murdoch, drum-maker, in the Gorballs of Glasgow, 1727.” Losses at Sea. —Mr. Plimsoll, late M.P. for Derby, was examined on 11th June before the Select Committee of the House of Commons nn the subject of the losses of merchant shipping and their ■crews at sea. Ho presented a return showing that more than 9,000 lives had been lost in five years, and tha: in many cases no enquiry had been made into the circumstances from which the disaster had resulted. The greater part of the loss was owing to ships being loaded by grain in bulk, and in his opinion the principal remedy would be to place the grain in bags, which could be easily moved so as to adjust the trim of the ship.
A New Plea, for Marrying a Deceased Wife’s Sister.-^A new light, says a Leeds paper, is thrown upon the controversy on the subject of the deceased wife’s sister, by certain proceedings which took place in Biggleswade Police Court. A local tailor was charged with being drunk and abusive towards the village policeman. He, however, obstinately refused to admit the soft impeachment, asserting that he could bring evidence—chiefly that of his wife—to prove that ho was neither drunk or abusive. The clerk to the magistrates informed him that the testimony of his spouse would not be admissable, as she could not give evidence on behalf ■of her husband ; whereupon the defendant rejoined—“Oh! but mine can, because I married my deceased wife’s sister ” —a statement which, the reporter adds, is quite correct.” We are told the Court was convulsed with laughter. Should the tailor’s assertion prove correct, a new inducement will be held out to men to marry their sisters-in-law.
Peace or War. The question of “ Peace' or War ” (says the Army and Navy Gazette, June sth) is one that is occupying most thoughtful minds. The present state of the Balkan peninsula, of Russia, and of all the Continental Powers of Europe, with their bloated armaments, seems to render peace an impossibility for any length of time. In Germany it is urged that the only manner in which peace can be established on a sure and certain basis is once and for all to settle the Eastern Question. This settlement, it is maintained, will speedily be brought about by Russia, now that the non-interference of England is assured by Mr. Gladstone’s accession to power. The coming struggle will see Austria advancing to Salonica, -while giving up Trieste. German unity will be completed, and the House of Hapsburg will dominate over the Sclav race throughout the Balkan peninsula. So say the prophets. A Locust Plague. —By the newspapers received from Russia we learn that upwards of 20,000 men are at present employed in various parts of the Caucasus endeavoring to check the plague of locusts. In the Signach district such immense numbers of insects have been destroyed that the air is tainted, and instructions have been given to bury the locusts-for the future. At Arboshinsky the Archimandrite of the Nina Cathedral, on observing tlie approach of a locust cloud, rang ths church bells, and, placing himself at the head of the assembled populace, -worked for twenty-four hours in destroyifag the insects, leaving, at the end of his exertions, none alive in the district. At Dushetsky, 5,000 persons are engaged killing locusts ; at Telaff, 2,000 ; at Ksan, 3,000 ; and on the shore of the Caspian, near .Baku, 4,200. In many places the populace have been reinforced by troops. At Dushetsky, the locusts, when collected in heaps, are sprinkled with naptha and then burnt. The area affected by the locusts stretches from Kars to Astrachau, and from Astrachan to the Black Sea. The damage done this year has been immense.
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