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■ ♦ _— Whether or not there be any truth m the extraordinary yarn of the " New York Herald" as to the plans of Bismarck and the three Emperors, to which we referred m our last issue, it is not to he denied that there is every indication of a storm brewing m Europe. Bussia hat just floated a loan, «nd Italy is following suit, while Germany and France are allocating enormous sums for military and naval purposes. In the cable news to day there is the further significant item that. the French War Minister has just concluded m London the purchase of no legs than 100,000 cages of preserved meat, which looks uncommonly like making preparations for a campaign. Only the other day we had the assurance of the King of the Belgians that the European situation was a full of danger," and the truth of the statement c»n hardly be doubted m view of the fact that the Great Powers have no less than from ten to twelve millions of soldiers practically m camp, waiting only the signal to launch them into deadly conflict. In a word, Europe at the moment resembles nothing so much as a vast powder magazine, wanting but the spark to ensure a tremendous explosion. The clouds have gathered often during the past two or three years, butthe storm has passed over, only, as we f^ar, to break eventually with all the greater and more devastating force. The point of collision will apparently be a crisis m connection with the Bulgarian question, and it may be depended upon that that crisis will be arranged for at the precise moment when a casus belli is desired by those who are the plotters behind the scenes. When the storm comes it is scarcely possible that England will escape its visitation, and indeed it may be that it is part of the design to draw her into it with a view of crippling her power and influence, if that can be accomplished. In this connection it is to be noted that m a speech of Lord Randolph Churchill's only the other day there was a very significant allusion. The noble Lord seemed to have it m contemplation that ere '■; long England would be challenged to maintain her position by the sword, for he hinted that if it should happen that she were called upon to fight for her existence, England might, he was assured, depend upon the active aid of the United States. Such a remark would scarcely have been made unless there had been some reason to anticipate the contingency alluded to. Atogether there is, we think, only too much room to fear that a severe and a costly struggle lies before us m the not distant future. Has the colony seen the last of Sir Julius Yogel ? His constituents of Christchurch North are beginning to ask the question, and not onlj they, but the public of the colony generally begin to entertain doubts as to whether the ex-Colonial Treasurer really means to return to New Zealand. Those doubts seem also to be shared m London, for we note that m the letter of the Home correspondent of the " Tuapeka Times" there occurs the following passage :— " There is a growing contiotion among the knight's friends that he has made up his mind to enter the profitable world of story-writing, and that he will not return to New Zealand." Thiß ire should think is not improbable, especially if his literary venture turn out a success. Apropos of that venture, it has been asserted that the work he is editing for the press is not his own, but from the pen of a Wanganni lady, while another statement is that it was written by a Christchurch authoress. Sir Julius's son has written to a Wellington paper denying these statements and asserting that the work is from his father's own pen, the opening chapters having been written before he left New Zealand, but our Lawrence contemporary's correspondent gires a very circumstantial account m which it is represented that the forthcoming novel is a joint production. This is what he sajs : — Sir Julius Vogel's novel "is to be the sensation of the publishing season. It is astonishing the interest which the anticipation of the work has already excited m literary circles m London ; and I nan bespeak for it a demand which the publishers will haTe some difficulty m supplying. A friend of mine, an ex-New Zealand statesman, who was consulted on one of the chapters dealing with Maori mythology, tells me that the work will be one of joint authorship, on the lines of ' The Bight Honorable/ by Mr Justin M*Carthy and Mrs Campbell-Praed. The ex-Treasurer's partner is a Christchurch lady of well-known literary ability, and a Maori scholar of some note. The scenes are principally laid m Maoriland, and include incidents of the war, Sir George Grey and Te Kooti playing very conspicuous parts. While the assassin of Poverty Bay appears m propria persona, Sir Qeorge Grey is easily recognisable m the weak-minded old statesman, "Sir Thomas Bland." Towards the close, Sir Thomas Bland is impeached before Parliament as either the cause of the Taranaki war, or as having indirectlj assisted the enemy m some way — but this is a point on which my informant it not very clear. There is a chapter devoted to the trial for high treason of a Pakeha-Maori, one Richard c; but my informant assures me that Richards is no other than Mr C. O. Davis, who at one - time was actually called to the bar of the House on a charge of betraying his countrymen. Richards is the father of the heroine, Hinemoa, a bright and gifted half-caste ; and * Hinemoa,' I am told is to be the title of the work. The outline of this remarkable story was sketched some years ago by the lady, who sent the MS 8. to Sir Julius Yogel before his departure for London, and for some time past he has been re-writing and revising some of the passages and supplying a few of his own creation. Sir George Grey's friends will not like the pose of the old knight as Sir Thomas Bland, the character being a rather contemptible one. lam also told that, m addition to this work of literary partnership, Sir Julius has sketched out a thrilling piece of fiction on his own account ; but ' Hinenma ' is to be firit presented to the public." By-the-bye this reference to the Knight of Kawan brings to mind the thought that the people of this colony may also possibly have seen the last of the veteran politician whom Aucklanders delight to regard as the G.O.M. of New Zealand. He hinted as much m the speech which be delivered the other day m the Northern city \ indeed a$ his great »ge it,

is not possible that he can look forward to many more years of active political life m any event. Of the meeting referred to we were told "he did not speak with his usual vigor, and is cvi dently getting physically weaker. His style was conversational, and his voice did not reach throughout the hall, so that he was hardly heard by those farthest away, or with difficulty. He said it might possibly be the last time he might address them, but he would devote his remaining days to the colony. It wns by a singular coincidence that it was that day forty- three years ago that he landed on the shores of New Zealand." During those forty -three years he has done much for his adopted country, though he has made many and grievous mistakes. Still, when Sir George Grey passes away, New Zealand will have lost one oi her foremost men, whose name will always he indissolubly associated with her history. The tide of emigration ha 3 turned and numbers of those who under the pressure of the bad times and attracted by the prosperity of Victoria fled to that colony are on their way back to New Zealand. The land-boom of our neighbors is fizzling out, and re-action is setting m, while on our side of the water the prospects for the future are manifestly brightening, and for result we may yet much more than replace the population we hare recently lost. Referring to this matter a Dunedin exchange, the "Evening Herald " says : It is satisfactory to observe that the tide of emigration has unquestionably turned towards our shores again, and, that during the last fortnight no less than 172 steerage passengers have come back to Dunedin from Melbourne only. The causes producing this turn m the tide are probably manifold and complex m their nature. Some, no doubt, of these immigrants are shearers, who, having finished the season m Australia, have come here to commence our own season. Some, no doubt, are men who have been disappointed m obtaining employmenc on the other side for one reason or another, or who only went over to see if they could better themselves, being more than half minded at the time to come back to this colony. Again, there are some, many or few — we are not concerned to allot the proportions accurately — who recognise the tact that New Zealand has entered upon { a policy of self-reliance, and who expect with reason a new prosperity m consequence Judging by what we hear it seems likely that there will be a sufficient increase m the number of . new industries to give employment to all. We are aware that, m several instances, complete plants are on their way from Great Britain to intending manufacturers amongst us. The more hopeful feeling which at present exists amongst i all classes m the community is quickly reported by letters to the other side. It should be remembered that it will necessarily take sume time still to establish . new manufactures here, and that we shall not get the full value of our self-reliant policy of Protection for two full years from its initiation."

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Bibliographic details

NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1996, 24 November 1888

Word Count

NOTES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1996, 24 November 1888

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