“ I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” —Longfellow. It appears to me that Mayor Hugo is to play a lone hand over the Mayoral election, and walk over. I half expected that the township would have been able to trot out a man sufficiently courageous to beard him, but I am disappointed. Well, not disappointed either, for I don’t know anybody in town who could have been so ‘ ‘ death on the dimes ” for the Borough’s benefit as Hugo has been, and wo wanted, and want now, a man who knows how to jsheplierd the small flock of £ s. d. that Ashburton owns. But I would have liked an election. It makes some stir, and keeps things lively. It gives opportunity for expressions of love and interchanges of good feeling. Coming as the Mayoral election does, a month or so before Christmas, the excitement is all over, and the electioneers are just calm enough to rejoice and be exceeding glad that they have done their best by their fellowtownsmen ; that they have paid every tribute possible to the good qualities of the men in opposition to them, and dealt gently with their faults ; that they can lay the flattering unction to their souls, that during all the time of the turmoil they have hacj continually sounding in their inmost ear the refrain of the Bethlemen song —“ peace on earth, goodwill to men. ” This year there appears no change for such an outpour of feeling as was indulged in last year. The gentleman who last November expressed his affection for the present Mayor with such a tender grace, and so loving reproved the ratepayers for not relieving his now Worship of the onerous duties appertaining to the office |of chief ruler—that gentleman is now far away, and the echo of his honeyed words bring no token of his readiness to express his endearments in the Town Hall platform, and no other voice appears ready to take up his parable. One begins to think that Burn’s era of peace is beginning to dawn, that It’s cornin’ yet for a’ that — When man to man, the warld owre. Shall bothers be for a’ that. I am not a musical genius, and although the Domine of the parish school made semibreves on the dominant chord of do, re, mi, a part of my education, he had to acknowledge that my stupidity was too dense in the matter of music, and consequently he gave me best. My keenest recollection of his musical and other teaching may be gathered from the following ryhme slung together by a fellowsufferer. Then was the reign of tawse and terror, Plows were the cure for every error. And I was aye an ample sharer. Of “Cockie’s” spite. Since then the only music of which I have attempted a diognosis (I have got somewhat mixed up recently by reading the Hospital enquiry evidence, and if I reduce the scientific language such reading has familiarised me with to common use, you will forgive me) is that of our local bands. These bodies are periodically adding to their greatness (in numbers), and I am glad to learn too that they made noise enough to attract the attention of the learned pundit of the Timaru Herald , and to wring from his withers a compliment to their ability as timists, guarded, however, with a very closely hedged saving clause as to musical ability. Of course there is only one place in the world to a Timaruvian, and that is the place where a breakwater is building, and no good thing can come out of any Nazareth which is not Timaru ; but with all their imperfections the band that disturbs the peace of this township is no insignificent affair. However, I am glad to observe that a talented bandmaster has arisen in our midst, who is about to develop a taste for music on scientific principles. His intentions are of so classic a nature, his charges are so low, and his notification so explicit, that I shall expect the whole of our juvenile population to become Mozarts forthwith. The doh, re, mi business which he advertises, however, bears a great similarity to Mark Twain’s map of the siege of Paris, of which one critic remarked that the only way to appreciate it was to first stand on your head and examine from that awkward point of view, and the Emperor of Germany remarked that were his son the Crown Prince capable of producing an equally good war map he would gladly piy his funeral expenses. “ Music has charms to soothe the savage breast.” We are tolerably well off for savages of one sort and another here, and a little music will no doubt be an acquisition. One is always * learning something in
this world of ours. Hero'is a very fair model, on the lines of which .a newlymade Benedict may construct his wedding announcement for the Guardian. I clip the model from an up-north paper : —- “ Butler—Reid.—On 24th instant, at St. Peter’s Church, Edwin Butler, bullockdriver, of Upper Hu ft, to Alice Emily Reid, of Wadestown. No cards, no cake, no nothing.”
I hear that there is a possibility of a very. queer case coming before Mr. Nugent Wood. The hon. secretary of a local society sent out post cards to members announcing that the annual subscriptions were due and payable, and of course hinting that payment would-oblige. By some clerical error, one of these cards was addressed to a member at “ Ashburton,” instead of at the little country post office near which his mansion glitters. The P.O. authorities re-addressed the missive, and sent it to its proper destination. The postman was met by a “ Not if I know it ” refusal of the card when he presented it, and the peppery society member thus perpetrated the unkindness of making the hon. secretary pay an extra penny for the mistake. The law case .will be a suit for the said penny, with a view, I suppose, to show up his Pepperyness. Chispa.
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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 191, 13 November 1880
CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 191, 13 November 1880
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