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“ I am not yet so bald that you' can see my brains/’—Longfellow,

While the School Committees of the County are doing their best to disseminate knowledge amongst the youthful portion of the community—God bless them—l would just reward them with the sight of what was sent to me, written on an economically small scrap of notepaper. The writing shows that the author of the epistle had the acquaintance—no matter how slight—at one time or another, of a writing master, and his orthography proves his ingenuity. The School Committees will see from the letter I quote, that a very high standard may bo reached by a young man if he is attentive enough to the lessons he receives ;

Ashburton, Janet 5 8811. Deer Sur, I take the ipreasunt Capturnite of Riting to you, horping I am abll to full fill is I am wall ust of that Wurk. I have Seen it in the pappers on Wedsday, I am well used to A d tloble farro plough. Please come to the :— hotel, and you will find Tim Flaherty There.

The Borough Council, the collective wisdom of our noble city, don’t scorn to wriggle through their slight afflictions without an occasional jar. Some of the members seem to have a very pronounced desire to shift the official title borne by one Brown from “ foreman ” to simple “ laborer,” and “ that Brown ” is at present the best abused man in our Arcadian abode. In fighting over the question of shifting, compliments have been passed, and one member speaking of the brains of another was bold enough—to say no more —to make use of such adject ivesas mildewed and foggy. It is evident, however, that Brown’s popularity with a certain portion of the Council, has become considerably mildewed, and they want to rub him out. For a timey there thing foggy about the reason why it Was thought needful to remove - P? that Brown,” but the “ mildewed? and “ foggy ” Councillor has been clear enough in his indicaions as to tchy. it ,vyas desirable that Brown should be : removed. " Ho has pointed 1 out very straightly pointed out —that the. services of one of His fellow Councillors are" available at a fair price, to do Brown’s work,'(and the Engineer’s too, as far as his ability will permit him). It appears also —vids the records ,pf the Councillors', voting—that this engineer-cuin-foreman-cuii:-L175 prodigy. is not without his sympathisers amongst his fellow members of the local parliament; but those sympathises arc not enough for the purpose-just yet, and the matter has been bung up for a time, and Brown, is still supreme. .1 bear that in consequence of the hanging "up aforesaid two members'of 'the Council, thoroughly convinced of their own single-eyedness for the Borough’s benefit, have resolved to “appeal-to the country ”in the matter, and an election is likely to eventuate in which tlie cry will be “ Away with Brown —Aye or No?” On the result of the plebiscite thus taken, hangs the position of our cow-catching and Works Committee defying foreman. :

The Amateur Dramatic Society has been idle for a time, and during its idleness, some cobwebs have gathered about its affairs. One of these cobwebs was pretty well wiped down on Friday by the R. M. who gave judgment against one of its members for.twenty-two bob—price of making a dress supposed to be a counterfeit presentment of the clothing W. Shakespeare’s creation “ Touchstone ” was presumed to wear. With the rights and the wrongs of the fight, I have nothing to do, nor am I going to refer to the challenge so pluckily made by Mr. Ruxton, and which I am given to understand will be as pluckily taken up if the stakes are made worth while. . But I am exceedingly sorry that all the members of the Club were not present in Court, where they would have had a lesson that Would have had considerably improved their acting in many ways If the characters that appeared in the great one act drama of Ruxton v. Felton were to appear in the Town Hall and do the whole thing over again, I guarantee there would be a full house.

An idle man—and there are many in Ashburton—has only the It. M. Court to amuse him, and the said Court is riot without its amusing side. But the boots of our idle men are not manufactured with a view to “amble in a lady’s chamber ” as Richard the Third would say. Those boots are put together by men who have no slight knowledge of Ashburton “petrified kidneys.” (This phrase is getting too common now—too hackneyed. Even Borough Council members are not above quoting the innocent phrase of yours truly.) The Court house was built by contractors hailing from the asphalted city of Christchurch, and the gentlemen who made arrangements for its fittings were not qualified, by experience of the township and the boots worn by its hangers on, to contend with the difficulties pf the task they undertook. As a consequence I find the space around the lawyer’s table finely matted, so that.a limb of the law can move about as stealthily as a cat, without in the least disturbing the proceedings of the Court. Outside the “ bar,” in the ample but seatless space alloted to .the hob-nailed public there is no sound .deadening medium of any kind, and every motion'of a hob-nailed foot draws forth the stentorian cry of “ Silence ” from the strong-lunged Pearson. Perhaps, as the Courthouse slowly progresses towards completion a stretch of matting or a few bundles of straw may be included in the furniture to be obtained. Chihpa.

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Bibliographic details

CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 244, 17 January 1881

Word Count

CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 244, 17 January 1881

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