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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 262, 7 February 1881
“ I am not yet so bald that you Can see my brains,’’—Longfellow. Of course I went down to see the Australian match. I don’t know liow many bricks I had had shied at me during the week, for daring to hint at the possibility, let alone certainty, of Canterbury being ignominiously thrashed. I had been courageous enough to suggest that twentytwo was the correct number that should have been pitted against the men of the sunny south, and because I did so, I was set down as a duffer who didn’t know what he- was talking about, and a fellow who didn’t know what good cricket was when I saw it. If I had known anything whatever of what cricket ought to be I would never have held the great guns of Canterbury light. Well, I was very sad, of course, over how I was used, and as the game began to take the shape which you know it did, and resulted so disastrously for the great guns aforesaid, 1 very naturally felt like a martyr. But I made a discovery that, startled me. The real reason why twenty-two were not put on was just simply that they didn’t have the men, and another seven of such players as made the eggs would have made the beating a worse one than that given to Invercargill. Did you ever see Spofforth bowl? Just take four of the arms away from an Althouse windmill, let the remaining two have a rapid turn, and you have a fair illustration. By the way, on Monday afternoon, just when Billy Frith was about to deliver one of his swiftest ones to Murdoch, he was thrown off his chump, and the whole crowd felt a sudden shake. We all thought it was an earthquake, but on inquiry we found that it was only the earth trembling after an after-dinner spill that an Ashburton equestrian suffered up at the Pudding Hill affair. No wonder the earth shook.
It is not an unusual thing for a landlord to unroof his house when he wants to get rid of a tenant that doesn’t suit him, but we don’t hear every day of a parson at that trick. Some time ago a godly parson from an adjoining district tried the trick on at a certain farm in this county. He was accompanied by one of the godly men of his congregation, and when the two came to the house they found the tenant absent, and only the wife and children at home. Fearing a row should the stalwart farmer arrive during the unroofing, they scoured the district, and recruited a number of swaggers at two bobjjan hour to do any fighting that may be necessary. Previous to beginning the work of demolition the godly man, dropped on his knees and prayed for a blessing on the work he was about to do ; that in all “thy servant’s” outgoings and incomings “ thy servant’s” right hand would beheld, and his heart strengthened ; with the audacious petition added that the divine will would be pleased L o bless the basket and ihe store of the poor chap, his wife and little ones, whom he was about to leave without a roof over his head, and whose goods and chattels he was to sell by auction to the highest bidder. “ Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
A new word is always worth securing. One of our loading men has a reputation for coining new fragments of language, and his latest success is in regard to the hot weather. One of these stinging hot days now prevalent he describes as the “ heatiest ” he had ever experienced.
It is amazing how little will throw a brand of discord into a well-regulated and affectionate family. A loving couple who are musically inclined were taking it coolly one evening last week. The husband reclined on the sofa, while the wife of his bosom tried to soothe him to sleep with her best efforts at instrumentalism as represented by her “ rend ”-ition of the Dead March in Saul. He smoked and read, or tided to read ; but the heat was too intense, and he was just hovering on the border of Dreamland, thanks to the soporific tendencies of his.spouse’s music. The southern window was wide open, but no wind worth the name stirred the
“bosom of the palpitating air.” The little dog was barking outside—he often did that—so there was nothing extraordinary in that proceeding. Suddenly a sheep from a passing mob, which the little dog had been manfully chasing, made a rush | for the window ; got its forelegs and head well in ; uttered a loud “ ba-a-a saw the ornamental smoking cap of the almost sleeper, and dashed off again. The sweet angel who was performing the Dead March neither saw nor heard the movements of the sheep, but she heard the “ ba-ara,” and nothing will convince her even now that the cry did not come from the throat of her lord and master; • There is War in that house, and lam afraid a big millinery account will have tP. ;b$ said bufflTUithe feelings of the angelic player , can be soothed sufficiently to allow her eyes to look "love' upon those of her unfortunate husband] '. 1
The members of the Ministry are beginning to find that the sweets of office are ; not unmixed; and the;representatives of the Government who were very nearly
treated to a Captain Barry oyation, at Invercargill last Saturday will not,readily forget their visit. In the plenitude of its power the Hall Ministry dared to ignore the outciy made by the Southlandefs about their railway time-table, and as a result, when tWo members of that Government wete, bold’ enough to visit Invercargill they were treated in a manner scarcely less delightful -than that poor old Barry received. The lesson is one Ministers will remember, for it teaches that, though a small parish like Invercargill may be nothing in the State, it can become something when rotten eggs are handy.
;A thirsty soul by the express going North last week jumped off the train and tapped an Ashburton resident on the shoulder. “ Your name is W ” “ Yes, but I cannot remember you, though.” “ You ought to ; I owe you. five pounds, and I will sendyoua P. 0.0. when Iget.to Christchurch, if you will give me your address.” Mr. W—p— was delighted, and hurried the thirsty oneinto therefreshment rooms, where a big brandy was swallowed, W paying. In a minute the train started, and W now makes the discovery that there are many ways of getting a drink. The five pound P. 0.0. has not yet been sent.
";jRe the dysentery scare. A man whose red hose tells its own story is perfectly lunatic in his rage against the flow from the, Domain He says it stinks, and that he can smell it everywhere. Pouring out the vials of his wrath to one of our able-bodied constables, who has pinned his faith to the channel water as the salvation of the town, he was told by the man in blue that a gentleman whose only acquaintance with water was when it was mixed with brandy couldn’t be accepted as an authority on the question of whether the channel water stunk or not. Later in the day, the man of powerful nose had a glass of brandy offered to him, diluted with a contribution from the channel. He quaffed it with a closing smack, and praised the flavor. An hour after he was told how lie had been fooled. He is very quiet now on the subject of channel aqua.
The essence of war is violence, but so far as our 'local warriors are concerned the only violence ns yet developed has been to harrow up the musical feelings of the public at large by the exertions of the Brass Band. Church parades have become fashionable of late, and the two local bodies of soldiers who guard our hearths and homes have taken a religious fit lately. I reckon the reason they turn out is the same reason that the female population attend divine service, viz., to show their new bonnets, &c. The bran new uniforms are certainly very captivating, and the mutual admiration which each member feels for his next file is truly interesting. In connection with this subject, a lunatic has delivered himself as follows : There was a young Sergeant, named Scott, With his sword he was certainly not A duffer to play, Nor yet run away ; And as swordsman he first honors got. Another young Sergeant, named Dolman, At stump speeches is tiuly a droll one, He’s an excellent drill, _ The result.of his skill Is that half a corps is now made a whole one. Chispa.
CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 262, 7 February 1881
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