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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 149, 7 September 1880
I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.”—LONGFELLOW'.
(From Ashburton Herald, September 4. )
I do like to see men honest enough to alter their opinions when they find themselves in the wrong, and it was a graceful thing on the part of the Racing Club, who were almost to a man opponents of Mr. E. G. Wright in his election, to acknowledge his services on behalf of the sporting interests of the County. About this time last year there were great doings in connection with the annual parade cf stud horses. The only movement I see in that direction this year is the exhibition of cats’ meat in the auction rooms at the rate of a pound a nob. I hear another change is to take place in the personnel of the Magistracy here. In the days when Msllish reigned supreme over wandering cows and inebriates, matters legal used to be hurried through as if done by contract-eighty cases in two hours was about the average ; and the reason why cases were polished off at that rate is, from past experience, to be attributed to the absence of the fraternity whose stock-in-trade seems to be a copy of “ Addison on Torts” and an unlimited amount of brass. _ After Mr. Hellish’s departure we enjoyed a peaceful week or two with old Daddy Woolcombe as dispenser of the New Zealand Constitution and its manifold surroundings ; and then came, in all his pristine ignorance, our dear departed Le Grand Campbell, and with him the host of legal luminaries now shining in the Borough. I recollect when the father of our present bar made his advent. He had for some months nothing to do—couldn’t got a case, in fact, and I recommended him to adopt the same principle as was current in another profession (the medicos), and import a rival. He took my advice. One came, more followed, and poor old Le Grand was worried out of Ashburton. He was followed by our present beak, who, in rny opinion, is superior to the quality he is expected to exhibit for the screw he gets, but owing to the attacks of the army
of luminaries who can’t, of course, all expect to win their cases, our suave and kindly old stipendiary is to be shelved, and put on a back seat. “Why!” I asked my informant.” “Oh ! Joe Beswick is coming as magistrate ” was the reply. I don’t want to say all I think of this.
A man living on his wits has an incentive to smartness. I know a man whose godly addresses on the grace of God that giveth a knowledge of all good graces—including also, I suppose, the grace of honesty—have been delivered with a rare unction ; and whose prayers at the street cornel’s have been fervent that other.men should be as holy and good as he ; and whose hymns of praise have been timed upon a highly seraphic key. That was when the land craze was on, and when credit was good all round, and when anything on two legs could borrow ad lib. These piping times are in the near past, but I fear in the very far future—they are that part of history that does not repeat itself every fourth of the month. . Well, times have changed with that man, and he now lives upon his wits. They seem to feed him well, however, for he loses nothing in flesh, and his face is as rubicund, his smile as benign, as though his cheque were a mandate before which even the Colorado beetle must still bow—and part. Old Barney was out of a job, and his lasfc'LS lay waiting to be used up, without the hope of a fellow- rolling up to take its place. He of the wits met Barney, and asked the pleasure of “ taking his life.” The petition at once pointed in what direction the wits had led the sainted one. “ How can I insure when I am out of a job?” “Insure, and I’ll find you a job. ” Hard work suiteth not your “ moral agriculturalist,” and a fortnight’s spade work at L2 a week has no attraction for him. He prefers the culti vation of morals to that of muscular Christianity, so he sent" Barney to a ! job which the poor Irishman believed would last all summer, but a fortnight saw the end of it, and Barney’s policy brought a commission 11! Not bad, that. The same “agriculturist ” some days ago had a horse shod, and to stave off payment thought to frighten the blacksmith by wanting change for a Lo-note. The blacksmith’s purse was longer than the imagination of the agriculturist, who had to confess his innocence of the fiver.
A dreadful calamity is in prospect for the colony. The praiseworthy efforts of the Civil Service Commissioners in reducing all salaries 10 per cent., however pleasing to. Parliament, don't §eem to be palatable to those most deeply interested in the arithmetical problem hingeing upon the matter in question. From the autocratic Commissioner Conyers, down to Bill Jones, the engine-cleaner, a howl of indignation at the mean intentions of the powers that be has been yelled out all over the colony, and as the big guns in the service get bonuses to help out their miserable dole of, say, £1,200 a year or so, they don’t say a great deal, but exercise their spare (?) time in doing amateur detective work. For instance,' a big official, say a Railway Engineer, not having any engineering to do, travels along the line and interviews the class who are described in a general way as “ under the grade of station-masters.” These serfs of- course in answer to stock questions, and with the fear of sacking before their eyes, tell the big gun that the reduction is quite to their taste, and that they are patriotic enough to feel that it is good for themselves and their families to accept the reduction ; also, that if the Government had reduced the wages to a pea soup and milk and water gauge they would have felt more grateful. But a Nemesis travelled in the wake of this highly intelligent superior officer, and the Nemesis happened to be an eight bob a day man, who also interviewed the “strikers.” He was a delegate, also doing amateur detective work, and was told by the ten per centers that they would kick over the traces to a man. I the employees’ stick out, there will be a grand opening for coaches for a day or two.
Weeping Willows. —The introduction of weeping willows into New Zealand, according to the Bangitilcei Advocate, is enveloped with a tinge of romance. An early English ship en route to New Zealand had to put into St. Helena. One of the passengers landed to visit Napoleon’s grave, and took some cuttings of the willow’- that ’dropped over' the illustrious tomb. These slips were brought to the colony and planted, and in the course of nearly half a century, have been distributed far and wide.
Smart Telegraphy. —A nothern contemporary says : —The cable message conveying Home the news of the capture of the Kellys reached London five, hours before it was put in at Sydney ! The telegram was despatched from Sydney at 12.30p.m. (Sydney time) on 28th June, and it reached London at 7.33 a.m. (Greenwich time) on the same day. Allowing for the difference of time betw'een Sydney and London—Sydney being ten hours and five minutes in advance of Greenwich time—the actual time occupied in transmission w T as five, hours and eight minutes, thus enabling events at the Antipodes to be published in London on the day of their occurrence.
Hollow' ay's Pills. —These Pills are more efficacious in strengthening a debilitated constitution than any other medicine in the world. Persons of a nervous habit of body, and all who are suffering from -weak digestive organs, or whose health has become deranged by bilious affection, disordered stomach, or liver complaints, should lose no time in giving these admirable Pills a fair trial.' Coughs, colds, asthma, or shortness of breath are also within the range of the sanative powers of this very remarkable medicine. The cures effected by these Pills are not superficial or-temporary, but complete any permanent. They are as mild as they are efficacious, aud may be given with confidence to delicate females and young children. Their action on the. liver, stomach, and bowels is immediate, beneficial, and lasting, restoring order and health in every case.— Advt
CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 149, 7 September 1880
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