The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, JULY 2, 1881. Despotism and Anarchy in Europe.
Despotism and anarchy are now holding their daggers at one another’s throats on the continent of Europe; yet the blow is not allowed to fall from either side—and for wise reasons.. In Germany we see an Emperor strongly attached to all the traditions of a bygone age, ruling his country almost absolutely, through the flunkeyish instincts of a bureaucracy, and by means of one strong master-mind, Prince Bismarck, who knows far better than his master how far to go, and how much will be borne. In, Russia we find something far worse—a savage tyranny under which all effort for liberty of any kind is a crime, under which all attempt at reform seems hopeless, and under which the noblest aspirants for anything better than they see around them—wise statesmen and high-minded .ladies of aristocratic birth, professors and students from the Universities, and other lovers of their country —are sent off with their wives or families to Siberia, there, half starved, nearly naked, and deprived of the light of day to wear out the rest of their lives in forced labor in the mines. The parasites of the Emperor may congratulate him on the profund peace which, except for a few efforts at assassination rules in their country. But it is a deceptive arid destructive peace. To them and to him may well be ! applied the description which Tacitus, himself a Roman, applied to the oppressions of the Britons by his own countrymen, “ irucidare falso nomitie itnperium, et übi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant
Confronting the rulers of Germany and Russia, and always ready for rebellion are all those who under the titles of Nihilists and Coummunists are ceaselessly aiming at reform or revolution,, whether destructive Nihilists like Michael Bakunin, who would abolish all Government, every State and every church, every civil and social tie (the /marriage tie included), and leave the future for chance to assert itself, or constructive Nihilists like Alexander Herzen, who would abolish but only ■forthwith to bring something'better and nobler from the ruins; Cemmunists with the philosophic depth of Proudhon, or Communists like the Petroleuses of Paris in 1871, all these forfn underneath the smooth surface of the European political world a seething mass of molten lava which may any day burst forth and carry destruction in its train. If a great collision between anarchy and despotism comes it will be indeed a Violent one. * '
But most probably it will not come just yet, if' it comes at all. An appeal has been made by the Eastern Powers to those countries of western Europe in which a well ordered freedom has been established, to France, England, Italy, and Switzerland, by each party to pronounce in its favor, and each has been refused. 1 The combined effort of Russia and Germany to induce France to join in crushing all political offenders has already been rejected, and having been rejected in France is not likely to be urged on England or Switzerland. On the other hand the application to Switzerland for a grand congress of Communist delegates from all parts of Europe at Lausanne has also been rejected, and the Congress itself has been postponed sine die. The free States of western Europe don’t think the time ripe for a great revolution. And they are wise, for neither anarchy nor despotism can be safely encouraged. They doubtless expect the combatants to agree to some kind of compromise of their differences, and that is not only possible, but likely. On the part of the Nihilists proof has lately been furnished in their recent remarkable and interesting memorial to the present Emperor, on his accession. The memorialists ask for so little that in most free countries their moderation would be considered excessive. As the basis of their pacification they request a representative Parliament, freedom of the press, and liberty oTpublic meetings. These requests are not consistent with the statement that the Nihilists are all of them merely fanatical and murderous firebrands, and demonstrate clearly that that party which was considered most impracticable is ready for a reasonable compromise of their claims. And bn the part of the Imperial power there must before long be a tendency in the same direction. The days of absolute autocracy in civilised nations has gone by. By entering into the comity of nations Russia has given a virtual pledge for reform, which must be fulfilled. She cannot keep clear of the influence of the great European powers now that she often requires to consult them. And then also the internal condition of this despotic empire is no longer what it was. Even Russia has not been stationary. English engineers, French governesses, and German literature cannot be introduced wholesale into a despotic country without producing their results. Before long surely Some Emperor must be on the Russian •throne who will be wise enough to suit ’Himself to the times, and compromise before it is too late.
Street Lamps. There are several streets in the borough which require lamps of some sort, but none more so than Peter street, at its junction with William street, and Moore street at its junction with the same street. Several ratepayers complain of the bad state of the footpaths, especially in the former street, so that some light should be provided as soon as borough funds improve. /
Channelling.—Mr Jaines Bradley has commenced to lay down his patent duplicate channelling in Moore street. About ten chains are to be completed in this manner at the expense of the Borough Council. The piece already laid looks •very substantial, and will no doubt soon supersede the concrete channelling. Mr Bradley has shortly to put some down for the City Council, Christchurch. The Maori Language. —The Neio Zealand Herald says :—“ Men cannot now learn Maori as they once could. The natives have changed their idiom. When speaking to a European in their own language, they never use good and genuine Maori, but make a choice of words which they have learned by experience that a European most readily follows and comprehends. When the early settlers and early missionaries came, they heard true Maori spoken, and as they would be months and sometimes years entirely amongst the natives, hearing very little English, and seldom speaking it themselves, they became good Maori linguists. But all this is entirely altered.
Mr Quill’s Ball.—Last night Mr T. Quill gave a ball and supper at his hotel, on the occasion of the completion of his new billiard room, a handsome addition just made. The partition between the dining room and the commercial room had been taken down, and the whole space formed as good a place for dancing as could be found anywhere. A large number of the landlord’s friends of both sexes pat in an appearance, and about thirty couples assembled to ‘‘chase the glowing hours with flying feet,” as Byron would have said if he had been fortunate enough to be present. The music was highly appreciated, and the supper both substantial and elegant. The fun was kept up until nearly daybreak. Cricket in the Home Country.— The statement of accounts presented to the general meeting of the Surrey County Cricket Club, which was held in the beginning of May, showed the balance to hand to be L 1,431, which is, with one exception, the largest ever held by the Club. The whole of this is due to the match England v. Australia, played cn Kcnnington Oval, in September last. The gross receipts for. that match were L 3,144 12s Bd. Of this large amount the Australians took half the gate,, which amounted to Ll,llo T3a 7d.‘ “The general expenses of the match were .L 299 3s, and the expenses of the Stands, L 264 15s lid. : Thus the net profit of the‘match to the Club was L 1,470 Os 2d, and this one big success atoned for a thoroughly unlucky season. “ ' ' ” .
Fire Brigade Correspondence. The following is a copy of the unpublished letter to which we referred yesterday : “Fire Brigade, Ashburton, 9th June, 1881. Charles Braddell, Esq., Town Clerk, Ashburton. Sir,—l have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your memo of 3rd instant* and, in reply, to state that I laid. the same before the Brigade on Tuesday last, for consideration, when, after a careful deliberation, the following resolution was passed— ‘ That the Secretary be instructed to reply to the Town Clerk’s letter asking for information as to the efficiency or otherwise of the sump at Quill’s Hotel, to the effect that before the Brigade report upon the sump, they wish to make another trial, and beg to suggest • that the Borough Council arrange for a supply of men tc work the engine,at its full power.’ Gur next practice will take place on Wednesday, 15th inst., at 7 p.m.—l have &c., W. Adams, Hon. Sec.”
** Sir Georow Grey’s — Out. —The Wellington telegraphic correspondent of the Lyttelton Times writes:— Great annoyance has been caused to the friends of Sir G. M. O’Rorke and Sir G. Grey by the publication, in the Christchurch Press, of a telegram from its Wellington correspondent describing an alleged “scene” between them- Ria plainly imaginary, and the fact that while the correspondent wired it to the Press he ( made no mention of it in the local paper which he edits, has a very ugly look. No such interview took place. Sir Maurice writes to me—“ You are at liberty to contradict the statements which appear in the Christchurch Press about a scene •having taken place ihe other day between Sir G. Grey and myself. It is without foundation.” Sir G. Grey, speaking to me on the subject, said —“ During the many years I have known Sir G. M. O’Rorke we have never had an unpleasant word.” It is understood that a similar message has been wired to several other newspapers, and members generally are angry about tho matter. Sir Joseph Fa yrer, K.C.5.1., F.R.S., on India. —A meeting of the Victoria (Philosophical) Institute of England took place at its house; 7, Adejphi Terrace, London, on the 16th of May, when a paper on “ The Rainfall and Climate of India” was read by Sir Joseph Fayrer, K.C.5.1., F.R.S., before a large and distinguished audience. He reviewed the causes and effects of those climatic changes which obtain in that country at the present time, and many of which once operated in Palestine and Egypt, not to mention England and other parts of the world, and threw light on questions involving the denudation theory, the variation of river deposits, and other matters affecting the uniformitarian theory of geology. Sir Joseph Fayrer spoke at some length in. regard to the climate of India, and showed that, if ..whalt science had taught us in regard to the effects of cultivation, the preservation of the forests, drainage, etc., were carefully attended to by the powers that be, the importance of the results could not be estimated, as they involved the health and prosperity of that great country.
South Rakaia Sparrow Club. A meeting of those willing to become members of the above Club was held in the Road Board office on Thursday last; present—Messrs W. Lyttelton (in the chair), J. Mann, D. G, Holmes, J. Dent, J. Duncan, L. Oxley, A. Makeig, Paul Doig, Peter Doig, W. L. Allan, W. Mann, J. Stovey, E. Osborne, Oakley, and E. S. Coster.- It was decided on the motion 'of Mr Allan—“ That two or more small farmers be requested- to contribute 10a between them, and that the large proprietors pay in proportion to the quantity of grain they require.” A number of persons were appointed to canvass the different parts of the district for the purpose of inducing every ’farmer .to procure and distribute the poisoned" wheat. It was unanimously resolved, Qn the motion of Mr Holmes —“ That the South Rakaia Sparrow Club join with all other similar Clubs in requesting their respective members in the House of Representatives to use their best endeavors to induce the Government to pass a short Bill (similar to the Rabbit Nuisance Act) compelling all owners of land to pay a rate for the purpose of raising the necessary funds for destroying the small bird pest, and that such a rate do not exceed a farthing per acre.” The Chairman notified to the meeting that Mr Hardy had obtained some poisoned wheat from Mr Cambridge, and that farmers could get I what they wanted from his store, as it was thought better to obtain a quantity prepared by an experfenced person, than to trust to each farmer poisoning his own. After passing a vote - of thahks td the chairman the meeting adjourned. - ; r • r
Auction Sale. —This afternoon Mr T. Bullock sold by auction pfeins rooms, East street, a miscellaneous 16b. particles, comprising drays, agricultural implements, fruit trees, etc. There was a good attendance, and fair pricoswero obtained.
New Billiard Room, —Mr Shearman has now nearly completed a very comfortable Billiard Boom adjoining the Somerset Hotel. Lovers of this game will find every convenience, l and, it is stated, a capital table to play on. Tenders are invited for the lease of the room.
A Heavy Sea.— The North Otago Times of Wednesday, says : —For the last fifteen years or so there has not been such a heavy sea seen at Oamaru as was running yesterday •afternoon. The tide was unusually high, and the breakers on-the beach along by the gasworks encroached, considerably on the esplanade; and com pletely routed the inhabitants of the tents and huts in that locality. These have been broken up and washed away by the waves ; the occupants, however, managed to save their goods and chattels in time. The strength of the breakwater must have been severely tried, as the seas were breaking constantly over it during the whole afternoon. Ashburton County Members on Lyttelton Harbor Board. —In the House of Representatives on Wednesday, when the Harbor Act Amendment Bill was being considered, Mr Wright moved the following new clause:—“The Board shall consist of twelve members, of whom the person for the time being holding office as Mayor of the Borough shall ex officio be’ one, and eleven others, who shall be elected as follows :—Two persons elected by the ratepayers of Christchurch, two persons elected by the Selwyu County Council, two persons by the Ashburton County Council, two persons by the Ashley County Council, one person by the ratepayers of the Borough of Lyttelton, one person by the ratepayers of the Borough of Sydenham, and one person by the members of the Chamber of Commerce from amongst their own number.” The clause was carried. Sir Julius Vogel’s Intentions.—A correspondent of the N. 0. Times writes as follows :—“ Sir Julius Vogel evidently intends to make a descent on the colony again. He has given several indications of his intention to do this, and the latest is the presentation to the Otago Museum of a diamond, embedded in clay. The diamond and the clay may certainly be of no great value, but their presentation to a Dunedin institution is indicative of the part of the colony he intends to honor. The present may not be an opportune time for Sir Julius to present himself. The great railway scheme which he instituted, and which he did not remain to see more than half carried Oiit, has not up to the present time convinced the people of New Zealand that Sir Julius Vogel has caution enough to be entrusted with the control of any public department, A Conservative at Home,| his disagreement with', the present. Government points to the possibility of his adopting Liberalism as his political belief in the colony. Should this be the case, the change, from the Conservatism o f Home to the broad Liberalism of New Zealand may be just sufficient to satisfy electors that Sir Julius in politics goes to the extreme of elasticity. It would be wise for the late Agent-General to wait a year or two longer.”