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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 202, 27 November 1880
"I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains. ” —Longfellow. A good horse is invaluable more -ways than one, but the animal that knows when his master is -not able to. take ctire him* s’elf and guide his own actions,l far less those of. his horse, has an extra value, especially if the animal has' the “ savvy ” to take his rider home, and thus save an expensive interview with Mr. Nugent Wood. I know a horse' of this kind. He's a splendid roan. His master was drinking prosperity to a way-going : friend with a number'of other friends who were not way-going. The ; horse's master drank too much’, prosperity, and his friends had trouble with him. They gave him more prosperity, and he became as quiet as a lamb. In fact he went dead asleep. The friends took him out to his horse, laid him on the bare back of .the animal, his head
facing the tail, and his legs hanging down on either side of the horse’s neck. In a certain sense, be was mounted like Mazeppa —he was on a bare-backed steed, and “ saw not where he hurried on. ” But the saddle could nbt be left be-, hind, so the rogues who had the case in hand, made a complete job of the thing, got the saddle, put it above the quiescent rider, extemporised an addition to to the girth, and securing the man beyond the possibility of falling off, sent the horse away. Dobbin came' home like a sensible animal—and, well the rider is best able to say whether he or the horse got, the higher cdmpliihent ■ fori* sa'gacity from the wife of the rider’s, bosom.
One stumbles upon a very, ’cute farmer how and again. But as a rule farmers are good and kindly neighbours to each other, and the ’cute one I refer to is an exception in , his exceedingly sharp practice. _ A neighbour of my ’cute friend meditated cutting up some straw into chaff, and had been offered the use of a chaffcutter by- a friend Jat some distance! ffom his farm. He-accepted, the‘offer; (and began preparations for'starting.. While these were in progress; the ’cute one scented a chalice, offered the use of his, chaffcutter just.across the fence ; aridlhe .neighbour, full of : gratitude, 1 jumped 'at Rxe chance, sent off a rriesseriger to 1 liis first friend, thanking him for Iris kindness, and explaning how a Christian farmer at liis own door been equally generous, and that the saving of cartage being a great saving, ho. had accepted bis .neighbour’s offer. The, straw was all emptied down beside the chaffcutter, and business was about to begin, when, enter the good Samaritan farmer. “L have , ..to';, pay , for ‘my machinery, yCn- know ;’Fib ’charge you .twopence a bag for cutting, bat I’ll lend you a hand.” , “'4.11 light,” jgaid the' willing to pay' but‘srimfewhat astonished recipient: ofrkiridneSs,, "The-wotk was done, and the chaff taken away. . I Then the bill was sent in, but it,included' in addition to that twopence" a , charge for “ work and labor done ” irilielping the man-to whom he was “doing a kindness.” ‘Yet there are men who wall roll their eyes skyward and thank the Lord they‘ are not as other men nro. >;■
Theihot'w;eather : has, much to. account for. It gives the butter a tendency to “ flow,” and good church-goers an inclination to fall asleep-in their pew. Well, the pew may. he a good place for a sleeper to nod in, and the surroundings may be conducive to sleep ; but the last place in the world I:should expect a mail to fall asleep would be on the top of a Cambridge roller. Yet it is a fact that ope day last week, an honest tiller‘of the; soil slept, soundly all the afternoon on the seat of his roller, while the horses went on all the same, and did the. work without his, guidance, and the honest fellow was only brought to himself by* finding the roller bumping against the stable door, at which the horses had entered at the usual time for knocking off.. It’s a stiff yarn, but it’s true. A neighbor’* of that fellow 'of Cambridge roller ? notoriety fell- asleep this week beside,- his plough while trying to light. his pipe,. ■■ •. Hp, lay five hours in the furrow, and when he woke up, ho found the team was asleep too. ' • - :
The Governmenthave evidently gpt their eyes open as to the value of publicity, and they have, with a view to increasing their business, written a sign on the Courthouse, giving the year in which business ptarted in the hew premises. Allow me to recommend that as a further inducement to the public to patronise the new shop they ought to still further develop the new idea, and take' a leaf out of the circus peoples’ book, and go in . for some fpney colored posters, such as, “ Law adminisr tcred here, —wholesale and retail “We season our justice with mercy ” — u This is the only law shop,” and so on; Probably if a bell were purchased and Constable Smart’s stentorian lungs used for the purpose of inviting litigants to step ■inside and see thej show, business would be materially increased The architect who designed the minor features in the fittings and furniture of the Courthouse must have been a genius with a religious regard to the universal fitness' of things. For instance, the buildings are constructed exactly similar to the Courthouses at Westport and Greyraouth, places where the ordinary traffic in wot weather is per-; formed by watermen, instead of by cabbies and expressmen. The grates supplied for the fire-places of our Courthouse are about double the width they should be, and the grates will either have to be chopped in two or the chimneys pulled down and built on a more extended scale, so as to give Alford Forest firewood a chance. But the most extraordinary feature is the point of view from which the architect studied the proportions of. criminals and witnesses. The former are provided with a, box of huge proportions, suggestive of the probability of the drunkard or thief, or whatever he might be, taking a siesta during the hearing of the charge against him ; whilst .the witness box, which might on the same occasion be occupied by Maria Ann, in, all the glory of extensive crinoline, is of such diminutive proportions that our respected Sergeant has to undergo a ‘ ‘scrouge” when ho undertakes the kissing of the volume supposed to be a bible. Courthouse architecture is a science yet to be developed in this blooming country.
Items of interest are so scarce just now that I have had to resort to the following miserable makeshift with which to fill my Saturday’s, column. I trust I will not be firrested as a lunatic over the business, : but unless a murder or a big fire comes off next week, I will be under the painful necessity of going for; the Borough Council : : Mr. Walker lives up at Valetta, As Chairman you can’t get a better, With his sound common sense, . ' His eyes watching the pence, The C.C. are surely his debtor. E. G. Wright is a hard nut to crack, ,: Pluck and courage, he- certainly don’t-lack ; To Conyers apd.Lawson He made it a caution, And put Blair and his mates on the rack. John Grigg lives down at Longbeach, Can finance,' farm, lecture, or preach ; He’s a terror to talk, ' r ■ - - i ■■ ■ Got'an eye like a hawk, Has this clever old boy from Longbeach. Little Coster lives at the-Rakaia ; : ; Than his farm I,don’t know a.drier .; _ n But he has sonic good sheep, And of sugar a heap, And at sales he’s a very good buyer. 1 Make way for old Alfred, the man Whose \Vord was enough for the clan ; Of parasites, loafers, and sich, " Johnny Hall is'agoing to pitch ,■ ! .; As far out of-the House as he can. - : - Then there’s Jackson/a quiet nice lad/ u--;'--Re Mount,Hutt he always feels bad. ; ';; Methyen.claims him alone,; r , - \ Flesh,.sinew, -and ,bonc> .
And the water supply mak?s him, sad. Donald Cameron is like- all the rest — ■"
Talk sheep, and.you must give him best; ■ His wethers.so good , • ~, i Are looked on, , as'food, . . . i
As a guide by ; which .others to test,..;,. ■; . Tom-Bullock Was our city’s first Mayor,' 11 And 'it- gavc him a great : deal of care ' 51 To look-after.,the city, •: : <».!■■■ .< • . And sure ’tis a pity Tony and Hugo don’t go mates in.the chair.! ; ... fjHISPA.'
CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 202, 27 November 1880
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