The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1881. The People and their Amusements.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.30 p, m. j
It has often been very correctly remarked that if we want to understand the condition of a people, we should look at them when they are at their public sports. An excellent opportunity of doing so has been afforded this season to those who have visited any of our large towns. Business of all kinds has been almost at a standstill, and business people say that they do not care about having anything to do with callers —unless it can be seen that they have something involving a good profit to offer—until the commencement of the new year. In Christchurch the sports, the cricket matches, the croquet grounds, the river, the public gardens, the Museum, the Cathedral, the Theatre, and the numerous picnic parties have been patronised by thousands of all classes of our settlers during the week. Now all this kind of thing cannot be done without the expenditure of a considerable sum of money, and as the “ scions of a bloated aristocracy ” certainly form only a very small proportion of those who participate in these amusements, it really looks as if the “ horny handed sons of toil ” are not so desperately poor, or so miserably oppressed as their orators occasionally tell us they are. On the contrary, to those whose recollections of the Home Country are not yet obliterated, it looks as if the masses, particularly the skilled laborers, like the Pope in the comic song, lead a happy life here, a much happier one than they used at Home. They spend what would seem amongst the members of their class in England or Scotland large sums of money on a week’s amusements, and would be quite amused if they were asked whether they were saving up for them beforehand, or if they would need to live very closely in consequence afterwards. Indeed, lavish as the Home Country Britisher is of his money for drinks at public - houses, he is a cautious, penurious man as compared with an average specimen of the colonial Britisher. When, therefore, we find anyone publishing the experiences of a working man in a pamphlet, and telling us that he has been from the colonial Dan to Beersheba, and found the colonies a failure and a fraud, we feel rather inclined to smile at his audacity than to weep. In fact, such a man generally tells us, as one has done lately, of so many fine chances he has had, and of so many good situations he has thrown up .on rather frivolous grounds,, that the attempt at depreciating the colonies carries its own refutation on the face of it. The colonies are not good places for poor gentlemen, for persons only accustomed to out-of-the-way occupations, for literary men, for persons too old to change their modes of thought and living, and for skilled or unskilled laborers who do not care to work steadily. But for unskilled laborers, for artisans in all the commoner trades, for farmers and graziers of fair capital, the colonies present an excellent field. Scarcely any better service could be done both to people in the Home country, and to people in the colonies at this part of the world, than to publish from time to time duly authenticated lists of the wages paid in particular trades and for unskilled labor there and here, and also underneath duly authenticated lists of all the leading items of expense in living, there and here, so that no man could be able to complain of being misled if he came out here and was disappointed; and that on the other hand, any man of the right description might know what inducements could be honestly held out. Between the exaggerations of one kind on the part of immigration agents, and exaggerations of the opposite kind on the part of disappointed arrivals, who measure their prosperity not by comparing it by their mode of living at Home, bpt by some ideal formed in their imaginations, there are still all sorts of erroneous notions entertained with regard to the colonies. To look to the Government to make immigrants rich or contented is palpable nonsense. They must work here as elsewhere, and not be very particular as to the sort of work. In that case, though through some accident which no man can foresee, they may fail, the odds are heavy that, if they belong to the proper classes to come out, they will succeed at least so far as to live without much anxiety, and either save some little money or be able to spend it on amusements, whichever they like.
An Old Aquaintancb.—A furiour nor’wester sprang up at midnight last night, and howled around houses and shook doors and windows in a way to make nervous people apprehensive of being blown over in their beds. The wind died away about seven o’clock this morning, but an hour or two later re-commenced to blow with renewed vigor, and has been keeping it up ever since.
Christchurch Supreme Court. —The Criminal Session of the Supreme Court for January will open on Tuesday, Jan. 3, before His Honor Mr Justice Johnston. The following is the calendar up to date : —Donald Mark, receiving stolen property; Matthew Keen, larceny ; James Marshall and Thomas Peart, larceny ; William Wombwell Charters, forgery and embezzlement ; Bridget Bayne, arson ; John William Crabtree, horse stealing ; Alexander M'Millan, embezzlement ; F. E. J. Hunter, breach of Marriage Act. Morgan Harper, larceny ; W. H. Sutton, indecent assault.
Blackbirds. —At Auckland, garden fruit is being greatly damaged by the Acclimatisation Society’s blackbirds.
The Christchurch Exhibition. A telegram elsewhere informs the reader that the above Exhibition will be opened on the 15th March next. Over 200 applications have been received from England for space already, and there is every probability of the affair being a success. Some time back it was proposed that, with a view of making as creditable a show as possible, the Ashburton exhibitors should club together and secure a small court at the Exhibition, to be called “ The Ashburton Court,” and devoted to local exhibits onlv. No applications have as yet been received from Ashburton for space, we understand, but the idea of a separate court for our exhibits has not been abandoned ; it will certainly be carried out if sufficient inducement is offered. ,j
Cricket at Mount Hutx. —A match was played on Boxing Day betwen th.e Methveii and Mount Hutt station Clubs, with the following results: —Methven, first innings, 55 ; Mount Hutt, first innings, 68. Methven, in their second innings, made 95 for four wickets, when time was called, and the match being decided by the first innings, secured Mount Hutt a victory by 13 runs. Lost. —A valuable dog of the St. Bernard breed, imported only last week, has been lost, and Mr George Jameson, the owner, offers a reward in this issue for the recovery of the missing animal.
Ashburton Amateur Dramatic Club. —A meeting of the members of the above was held last night to consider the arrangements in connection with the proposed benefit to Mr Chas. Bourk. There was a good attendance. It was resolved that the entertainment should take place about the beginning of February, and that the programme should consist of a couple of farces—viz., “Doing My Uncle” and “The Dead Shot.” Both pieces arc favorites, and as they have not been produced as yet in Ashburton, they ought to prove attractive. But in any case we hope, for Mr Bourk’s sake, there will be a crowded house.
Tenders. Tenders for harvesting about 880 acres wheat are invited. Apply to Mr A. Roscoe, Hinds, or to Messrs Friedlander Bros., Ashburton. Woollen Factory. —The meeting of gentlemen interested in the establishment of a woollen factory in Ashburton will take place at the Town Hall on Friday, Jan. 6, at 3 p. m. Winslow Sports. —lntending visitors to these popular sports will be glad to learn that a special train will leave Ashburton for Winslow at 11.15 a.m. on Monday, returning at 6 p.m., stopping at Tinwald if required. The Volunteer Rifle Range. —Last night the C.Y.O. targets were conveyed to the island in the river bed, preparatory to their being mounted for practice. Another fatigue party will proceed to the island on January 2nd, and fix up some more platforms. The distances hive been pegged off, and tenders will be called shortly for the erection of the butts and the building of a high wall at the rear of the targets. Before the close of the summer, shooting will no doubt be going forward.
Cricket. —The members of the Ashburton and Borough Cricket Clubs intend having a scratch match on the Domain ground next Monday, when it is hoped as many of the local players who can attend will do so.
Midnight Service. —A service will be held at St. Stephen’s Church, at eleven o’clock to-morrow night (New Year’s Eve), when the incumbent, the Rev. A. W. Hands will deliver a short address. Boots for the Million. —Mr Andrew Orr, who has just received a consignment of boots and shoes, offers to dispose of them at what seem to be a ridicuously low price ; but our readers are referred to the advertisement for particulars.
An American Farmer’s Lot. —An American paper gives the following description of the Western farmer;—“The average Western farmer toils hard, early and late, often depriving himself of needed rest and sleep—for what 1 To rise corn. For what 1 To feed hogs. For what ? To get money with which to buy more land. For what? To rise more corn. For what 1 To feed more hogs. For what ? To buy more land. And what does he want with more land ? Why, he wishes to rise more corn—to feed more hogs—to buy more land—to rise more corn —to feed more hogs—and in this circle he moves until the Almighty stops his hoggish proceedings.”
An Awful Death. —There are in Victoria a species of insects called by the appropriate name of bull-dog ants. The sting of these creatures is exceedingly painful, and not a little venomous. Stories are told of the blacks in the old days tying their white captives naked on bull-dog beds, and leaving them there to be stung to death, whilst the ebonyskinned fiends danced around enjoying the sufferings of their victims. These narratives read more like fictions than facts,' but an incident which happened in Victoria recently tends strongly to show that there is nothing improbable in them. An old man suffering from paralysis was found by some boys in a lonely paddock, lying speechless and insensible on the ground. He was covered with bull-dog ants, even his mouth swarming with them. He had been bitten from head to foot, and having been removed to the hospital, he died without ever having recovered consciousness. The attention of the boys was first attracted by the barking of a little dog, who took that means of trying to bring aid to his unfortuate master.
Somnambulism.—A remarkable case of somnambulism (says the Melbourne Herald) in a youth suffering from bronchitis came lately under the observation of the medical officers at the Melbourne Hospital. At 2 o’clock in the morning the constable on the Simpson’s road beat was startled by what he thought to be a most extraordinary apparition. An animated object dressed in a nightgown was walking along the road slowly. Evidently not frightened of ghosts, the constable approached the object, and though it came in “ such questionable form,” he determined to arrest the object, and on touching it he found that it was a human being soundly asleep. In the meantime the person had awakened from his sleep, and on enquiring what he was doing at that hour in the morning in the streets, and in a semi-nude condition, the youth replied that he had been dreaming he was going somewhere on an errand. He gave the name of James Drane, fifteen years of age. The constable wanted to take the unfortunate youth home, but being unable to indicate his place of abode, the constable took him to the Melbourne Hospital, where he was admitted. It was found there that he was also suffering from bronchitis. Next morning he felt very weary and prostrate, which, according to observations made by eminent physiologists, is the usual condition of somnambulists after a night’s adventure.
Bachelors Beware. —The following advice tendered to young men by a philosopher who has had considerable matrimonial experience, tliould be engraved in brass and displayed in every bachelor’s bedroom :—“ Young man, keep your eyes open when you are after the women. If you bite at the naked hook you are green. Is a pretty dress or form so attractive I or a pretty face even 1 Flounces, boys, are no consequence. A pretty face will grow old. Paint will wash off. The sweet smile of the flirt will give way to the scowl of the termagant. Another and a far different being will take the place of the lovely goddess who smiles and eats your sugar candy. The coquette will shine in the kitchen corner, and with the once sparkling eye and beaming countenance will look daggers at you. Beware ! Keep your eye open, boy, when you are after the women. If the dear is cross, and scolds at her mother in the back room, you may be sure you will get particular rubs all over the house. If she blushes when found at domestic duties, be sure she is of the dishrag aristocracy—little breeding, and a great deal less sense. If you marry a girl who knows nothing but to commit woman-slaughter on the piano, you have got the poorest piece of music over got up. Find one whose mind is right and then pitch in. Boy, don’t be hanging round like a sheep thief, as though you were ashamed to be seen in the daytime, but walk up like a chicken to the dough pile, and ask for the article like a man. ”
Railway Arrangements. —The train arrangements for the New Year’s holidays will be found in another column.
Masonic. The installation of the W. M. and officers of the Somerset Lodge will take place this evening at the Masonic Hall, The R. W. D. D. G. M. Bro. Thomson will perform the ceremony, and visiting brethren from all parts are invited to be present. After the installation the usual banquet will be held in the refreshment room of the hall.
Extension of Licenses. —Messrs 0. P. Cox and J. Ward sat again this morning as Licensing Commissioners, to receive applications from Mr Power, of the Royal Hotel, for an extension of his license for next Monday, January 2 ; and from Mr M. Scott, of Tinwald, for an extension of license for Thursday next, January sth, the occasion of the sale by Messrs J. T. Ford and Co., of the stock and farming plant, property of the late Sir J. Cracroft Wilson. Both applications were granted. Trotting Match. —The trotting match last night, between Mr McKenzie’s Brigham Young and Mr Graham's Doctor’s Maid, for L2O a - side, resulted in an easy victory for Doctor’s Maid. A second match was talked about for to-day at four o’clock, but nothing definite was settled when we went to press. The conditions of this second race were arranged last night, when it was agreed that the mare should give the Mormon 75yds start in miles, for a fiver a-side. Police Court. —At the Police Court this morning, before C. P. Cox, J. P., and Mr R. Alcorn, J.P., John Tobin was charged under the Vagrant Act with obtaining goods by false pretences to the value of L2. The accused pleaded guilty. The facts of the case were briefly these : A few days ago the accused went to the Rakaia Hotel, and represented to Mr Kemp, the licensee, that he was working for Mr J. L. Coster. He then produceed an order upon that gentleman for L2, and upon the strength of these representations be was supplied with what he wanted. The order was in duo course presented for payment, and, in consequence, Mr Coster yesterday called at the hotel, and repudiated any knowledge of the accused, whom he said had never worked for him, and had never received any order from him. The Bench considering the charge fully proved sentenced accused to 14 days’ imprisonment with hard labor.
The Great Eastern. I wonder what laambard Kingdom Brunei would have said could he have seen the last and most wonderful creation of his genius brought to the hammer on October 21, 1881, and actually bought in for L 30,000, The Great Eastern steamship is, in fact, too big even for this age of big things. Her tonnage is 22,000, and she could carry an army of 8,000 man comfortably, but the fact is her engines are too slow and antiquated, and the Government would be afraid to put so many eggs in one basket. One use she certainly befits, and that is the laying of Atlantic cables, but even here there is no demand. Originally she was intended for the Atlantic service and to carry 2,000 passengers, but she never obtained more than a tenth of the number, and in other respects failed as an ocean-going craft. Her size prevents her passing through the Suez Canal, and so doing any thing in the India or China trade, otherwise, perhaps, your readers might catch a glimpse of her gigantic hull even in Antipodean waters. One proposal (andnotaibad one) is to convert the monster into a floating hotel some where off Margate or Ramsgate, so that invalids and others might enjoy the full benefit of unadulterated ozone and iodine without the perils of mal de mer. Originally she cost nearly a million of money. Surely some enterprising capitalist will rescue her from degradation. —English Correspondent of N. Z. Times. We understand that the big steamer is about to be turned into a floating hotel. Moored in the Thames, for instance, at some-favorite part of the river she would be found a capital resort for picnic or wedding parties.
Mark- Twain on the Comet.—The correspondent of the New York Sun, who found Mark Twain on the roof of hia house watching the comet with a long pole in hia hand, reports Mark as saying: —“ They are all wrong about the tail. I’ve ciphered on that tail until I understand every inch of it. It’s absurd to suppose that the tail isn’t solid, and pretty tough, too. Do yon imagine that this comet could go bulging through space .at the rate of two hundred miles a minute without knocking spots out of a tail that was vapor 1 Tie a fog bank on to the rear end of the New York and Boston four o’clock express, start her off at even forty miles an hour, and see how long your fog bank will travel in company with yonr locomotive. Yet they ask us to swallow this miserable nonsense about the comet’s tail. My observations about this fellow, also of Coggia’s comet, seven years ago, convinced me that comets’ tails are fastened on tight, and are of a fibrous and durable nature, like Hartford beefsteak.” “And what do you propose to do with your pole V’ “ Great Caesar ! With a tail forty-two million, miles long, three million miles thick, and tough as whip-leather, whisking about in the wake of that piratical craft every time she tacks overhead, don’t you see the necessity of keeping a cool-headed and muscular man on deck here to fend off in case the cussed thing whisks the wrong way. To the Ladies.—False ears are the latest artistic embellishment in vogue amongst the Paris ladies. The “ ugly things ” made by nature are completely put in the shade. The old saying, “ Beauty unadorned, adorned the most,” is fast giving way to the unique inventions of the Paris artists ; or else the race of beauties have degenerated. What with false hair, false teeth, false noses, false busts and limbs, false complexions, and false eyes, it will be difficult to tell by-and-bye what part of the “human form divine,” as represented in the fashionable lady of the day, is not false. Whatever part of her body is deemed to be genuine, it will certainly not be her heart—that is as false as it possibly can be. The only matter for congratulation in all this falseness is, that it gives employment to a vast army of work people nearly all over the world. In the manufacture of these “ adornments ” intricate machinery often assists the cunning of the artist. The manufacture of glass eyes, for instance, is a very delicate process, and workshops are to be found in uimost every country. In Paris, London, and some American cities the trade is very extensive. In Chicago alone, an exchange tells us, about 1,000 glass eyes are sold every year.