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4t I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” —Lon’gfkllow.

Pytn is drawing crowded houses, and is likely to do some good. He manages.' to accord a very practical obedience to his Great Master’s commands by ministering to the by-way and hedge frequenters in big lines. He manages to secure listeners, many of whom have well-nigh forgotten all they ever knew of the subject on which the Rev. Pym addresses ; and lots of them come out to hear Pym who are excellent subjects for a practical joke, if you could surreptitiously steal a five-pound note from them and hide it in" their Bibles ! The first-difficulty, perhaps to find the fiver, the' next the Bible to hide it in—but these given, the note, would be painfully safe from the subject' of the joke. Let my readers ponder on : thc possibility of being made the object of such a joke. It may be worth their while to occasionally turn over their Bibles, or such as have not secured that publication should not longer leave their jocose Wends without an opportunity to be eminently funny. Try it.

Provost Peter Mason sat on the bench in a Scotch town hearing a case of assault. The lawyer who was defending the alleged rowdy, in making his appeal to the magistrate,' stated that an important witness for the defence had become defunct : in the interval between the offence arid the trial. Provost Peter would allow no man to defy the power of the law by becoming defunct, and ordered the witness to be apprehended at once, and brought in to give evidence ! When matters were,Explained to the Provost, he soundly rated- the lawyer for daring to use slang in his Court. It was Peter who used to fine all concerned in a row prisoners and witnesses, and his. , sentence usually was—“ Eexy-pcexy—hauf-a-cropn —hadna been +herc, yo wadna been here. Ye’re a’ fined thegether. ” Our worthy Magistrate was very nearly having a case —like Peter’s—with a defunct in it this week. A Christchurch company sent up to its representative here an account to be collected—sued for, in fact—at once. The agent went to the bailiff to have the summons issued. But, on arrival, he learned that the debtor had been dead for some time, and “ death cancels every debt,” said his informant. “ I don’t kn-o-o-o-w about that,” was the answer. “ But I am afraid my travelling expenses would be somcw.bat heavy.” “ Yes, they would include a refrigerator of double power for yon anyhow.” Proceedings have been stayed for a time.

Phew ! A scavenger rate ! I reckon there will be some trouble over this. One man, who has resided in our city since pre-historic times, told mo he would oppose it with all the vigor of his nature. “ It was an unlawful tax, an unscriptural tax.” I modestly hinted that I didn’t see where the Scriptures came in. He re-: ferred me to the 12th verse of one of the chapters in Deuteronomy past the twentieth, and I would ,aoon see that the ancient Hebrews tolerated no such tax, but provided just some such system as the good people of Ashburton adopted now. I suggested that we had advanced considerably since then. “ Ay,” said be, “and so have our rates.” lam afraid there are too many like him—willing to adopt the Mosaic system of scavengering, and this old fossil wants the passage he quoted made a borough by-law. I hope he will got it, just to see how the Mosaic language, short and direct, will - look alongside the legal diffuaeness of the home-made borough statutes.

Somehow I can’t get away from the Church in my letter this week, t don’t want to hang about it too much', especially on a Saturday ; but I must get off another little incident that has relation to it. The engineer of the valuation rcll this year has succeeded in putting another two pounds on the annual taxes of a staunch Churchman. The Churchman looks through very practical spectacles when the object is a money one. His weekly contribution to the collection is a bob, occasionally, I; fear, a button. Mr. Fooks has let him in for extra rates, and the good Churchman has taken a solemn vow not to give another copper to the Church till he has Saved the amount of his additional rate. Last night he was practising how he would look when, the bag came round to him during the offertory song. He’s a hard case, is that Churchman, but sensitive to public approbation, and I’ll'bet my bottomist dollar be subscribes before a month is over, even if compelled to, curb his liberality to buttons or nails. Chispa.

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Bibliographic details

CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 255, 29 January 1881

Word Count

CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 255, 29 January 1881

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