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The Ninety-Five of '90., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2523, 20 September 1890
The Ninety-Five of '90.
Many years ago the writer, his public life begun, Sketched the personnel of Parliament m 1871. And now to tell the story—with your leave —he will contrive— Of the Parliament of '90—which is that of ninety-five. Pirat the Speaker, who is peerless, and who hails not far from Cork, Finn, scholarly, and fearless, the only " woon " O'Uorke. Next Allen, East Dunedin, with a cynic amile about His neatly-clipped mustachio—the vanquisher of .Stout. Then Anderson, of Clutha, but who lives at Oamaru, Whose speeches have the merit that his words are very few. And gentlemanly Arthur—replacing Graham hight, Who said he came to Parliament for certain things to fight. And Atkinson—Sir Harry— uye knyghte of hob-nail boots," Who knows when "previous question"New Plymouth int'rests suits— Brave, loyal, lion-hearted, who glories m a fight, It doesn't matter twopenc* be the cause the wrong or right. Then Ballance—and 'tis singular his name should next arrive, Big, burly, and good-natured, who would rather lead than drive, Who sailed the " Village Settlements" since first she left the stocks, But who 'tis said once sailed her too near the Lundon rocks. And economic Barron, m a suit of tweed arrayed, A semi-Henry-Georgist, and out-and-out Freetrade, And gentle-mannered Beetham, once a very clever whip ; But of ■ late years more attentive to his station and his clip. Next Avon's representative, the plain unvarnished Blake, Whose once-conceived opinion it is mighty hard, to shake; And he of Tuapeka, of Blue Spur mines renown, A most substantial member, as grey as he is Brown. Forbye that right good fellow. with the biggeßt heart of all, The Bruce of Rangitikei—whom may trouble ne'er befall! Whose sympathies are ever for the weak and with the free, And whose speeches always savour of the pine-woods and the sea, Whose round and rolling periods flow forth with wondrous ease In tones that are sonorous, and a style that's Johnsonese. And Parihaka's hero—by this I mean of course, Bryce, rugged and sententious, the "Knight of the White Hor3e." With shrewd and sluup Buchanan, from Wairarapa sent, Who has lots of wisdom m him—could he only give it vent. And Buxton, sound and honest, God-fearing, just and true; A ponderous sort of speaker, who wear* the bit of blue. And Cadman, the painstaking, who seldom speaks, but aye ■ Has something, when he takes the floor, that I should be said to say. I And Carrol, Eastern Maori, of eloquent re-1 nown, Who seem 3so much the better for his little dash of brown. Next solenm-visaged Cowan, who, properly arrayed, With Brown as " Sancho Panza," could •' Don Quixote " well have played. And Dodson, the complaisant, the fatherly, and kind— A nicer old identity 'twere very hard to find. Then rugged, sterling Duncan, who, they Bay—perhaps 'tis true— Is to oust the " polished " Minister who site for Oamaru. And Invercargill Feldwick, who could excellently speak, If it were not for the trouble that his utterance is weak. And Fergus, alias " Foghorn," the Minister of Mines, Who m ev'ry other feature and capacity outshines Magnificently bearded—there's not a doubt of that— A modern Boanerges m a glossy Paris hat, And Fishkr, fierce and trenchant, who loves him—not the least, The "Our George," of the Capital, and choice of City East; And Fish, of South Dunedin, who Barnum's should have been As the champion "talking fish" that e'er the universe has seen. And dapper Dr Fitchett, of precise punctilio, Who is splendid at stonewalling—always " wants to know, you know." FiTZHERBERT, dilettanti—not to call him laissez-faire— With a trifle of the dandy, and a touch of debonnaire; And silent Colonel Fraser, with a waistcoat spotless white, Who prefers the lobby fireplace to the chamber of a night. And Fulton, meek but canny, who knows his Avay about, And sits behind the Premier, when that Premier isn't Stout. And Goldie, of the Skinflints, the natural leader reckoned, Who pours out economics at a hundred I words a second. The G.O.M.—the Grand Old Man—whom Auckland's people praise, Who loves the •'unborn millions" of the coming human race— Most eloquent of all, and always ready for the fray, Elective Gov'nor, Law Practish'ners, One-man-one-vote Grey. And Grimmond, Hokitika, who from duty never shrinks And has got much more within him than a loose observer thinks. And Guinness, he of Greymouth, who may very safely boast That he never misses anything that interests "The Coast." Now clear the way for Selwyn's knight! Sir John now takes the field, A lady's glove m helmet and a fleece upon his shield, Hall-Jones, elect of Timaru, who hasn't much to say, . ■ . : And just got into Parliament m time to go away. And after him comes Hamlin, the arbiter of fateThat is when m Commitee, as becomes a man of weight; And hirsute, handsome Harkness, whom Nelson lovos to own, : And Hisloi?, who at euchre seems to like to '•' ga alone," Though his partners and his backers are often m the dumps, For jt usually happens his opponents hold the trumps. A strong man and a clever, who certainly means well, But why he makes such blunders 'tis very hard to tell. And Hobbs, with whom for righteousness no member c'en compares, Whose life is dedicated to apples and to prayers^ And HouoiUNSOiN:, I»he ancient, a survival of th& Past,. And Humphreys, who is loyal to his party to the. last. S Next Hutchison, incisive—a clever, bitter foe— 'Twere better to. befriends wifch him than enemies, I trow, And Izard, da.rk of countenance* but clear .enqu^U of mind,, . 1 Who, hardly could be eloquent if c'en ho ! were, inclined. I And Junes, w,ho sat for Heathcote, with a record clear and bright—. " A man who,,c^kJ, his ; d,>u*y " is the epitaph, I write. ' ' ■ • And Joyce, w,ho,loves stonewalling, and goes i at it with a rush, ■ . . ; And; wears a head of hail- that loofe* *apt like i a, blackings-brush. "And Kelly, fro W ; anga, who is full: of i Nasy& lsr.e, 'An^t Was", certainly, the merit that he never is, i a, bore, And K-EHR—he of the " Shammies "—bluff and void of all pretence, But solid as to " substance," a\\<; a» go,com, mon-sense, And JvVf<\% ppJijKj, and couptly, spick and . >on f and; neat, and. trim,. ..ZW^Sj
Who d—ns those blessed rabbits with a most tremendous vim. And Labnach, of St. Michael arid St George, with ribbon blue, With a castle at Dunedin that commands a splendid view. ■; And Lawry, he of Franklin North, who ne'er will be at ease .-. . Till a Bill is passed intituled the Foul Brood Among Beee. And LouamxEY, quiet, capable, whom Linwood proudly owns, Unflinching Opposition to the marro^ of his bones. And MACARTinra, the saturnine, who m figures revels quite, And (people say) the Treas'rership keeps always well m sight. And Standing Orders Scobie, who sugges- •■ *'•>.*, tively sits where ■ ' 'Tis ex necessitate he should contemplate the Chair. And Thistledown Mackenzie, who came it rather strong By denouncing "blooming foreigners" when on " the Continohg." And Taranaki's Maiichant, who site with twinkling brows, : And longs to see " the Firing Bill" adopted by the House. And rubicund McQregoJi, the shrewd and canny whip, Whose art is sorely taxed to save the Ministerial ship; Whose face beams like the rising sun with genuine delight When the long hoped-for Chicago at last appears m sight— But a streak on the horizon bespeaks a morrow's dawn That will see poor Akaroa with his occupagonc. Next eighteen-stone McKknzie, tlie sturdiest of the band, A Hielanders of Hielanders, and great upon the land; You may stake your life he's honest, but more than human skill Would certainly be needed to convince him 'gainst his will. Next Mills, tlie smug and knowing, of Port Chalmers by the sea, The U.S.S. Co.'s Adm'ral and "Ruler of Navee; " ' And Mitchklson, the pleasant, who must find it very queer , To be made so unexpectedly a deputy Premier. ■ ' ' And inoffensive Moat, with voice a little rough, Who always votes with Ministers, and likes a pinch of snuff. And Monk* the stern retreacher, with a Yankee length of limb, Demosthenes for eloquence was not a patch on him, Whose head and arms and coat-tails are all brought into play As the metaphoric torrent sweeps him bodily away. And. Parnell's Moss, of Islands fame, with head like a billiard ball, Who is always m the dolefuls, and whom men " Cassandra " call; And chirpy Dr Newman, who m ev'rything is neat, From the turning of his periods to the boots upon his feet; And O'Connor, Buller's lion, who always has an eye To that side of the bread on which the butter seems to lie; Who, if ever there's a scramble, never comes off second best, And has landed half-a-million for the people of the West; And cool and silent Ormond, who seldom takds the floor, , . ■ . But is like the "sailor's parrot," for he only " thinks the more "; And, though his stock oration he's delivered many times, If you think to circumvent him, why, you'll have to rise betimes. And Parata (Southern Maori), who speaks but now and then, Of the union of the races a worthy specimen; And Peacock, who for Auckland is always game to fight, And thinks the 'Frisco service her inalienable right ; And curly-pated Perceval, our Belvedere Apollo, Who, when the ladies have a Vote, will beat Creation hollow. And Pyke, the "Senior Partner," or very nearly so, Of the Parliament'ry Comp'ny, with his fea- ! tures all aglo%v, With spectacled benevolence, and flow'r m button-hole, Who, to gain th' Otago Central, would almost give his soul. And Reeves (Inangahua), who ran a Maori troupe, And goes into a scrimmage with a thorough Irish whoop. Young St. Albans—" Master Willie "—full of chaff, and pluck and pace, Take my tip, all wise investors, you may back him for a place; Though they reared the boy on Latin, though he drives a poet's quill, j There's not a straighter democrat that youthful "Labor Bill?" But "De la Quill" —permit me just a whisper m your ear— Don't be quite so sure of ev'rything nor quite so prone to sneer. And Rhodes, elect of Gladstone, one of the very best Of the young 'uiis who were brought out by the last election test, Who lots of pence iind lots of sense, without pretence has got, He's a very lucky fellow—now don't you think so? •'What!" And mild and quiet Richabdson—l mean the C.M.G.— . j Who engineered the tunnel between Christchurch and the sea; Who pour's out words of wisdom, as herocka him to and fro, Like whispered confidences, m accents soft and low: And his namesake, the round-shouldered, Mataura's choice and pet, Who runs the Lands Department, and smokes a cigarette. And Roslyn's Ross cherubic with his crown of silver" hair, Who only needs a harp to make him fit for— "Over There*" And Russell, who's a gentleman and soldier every inch, You can bet your bottom dollar that he knows not how to flinch. Aud Samuel the sarcastic, who buildeth broad and high The stonewall scientific with a twinkle m his eye. - And Saunders, the Socratic, of aspect leonine, A man of many figures and somewhat saturnine ; And Seddon irrepressible—believes m Robert Stout, Has reams of matter m him, and alas ! musfc let it out. 0 Richard the Redundant! you have lots of solid sense. But m the name of goodness and for pity's sake condense, Good-tempered and determined, and naturally clever You're like "the Brook " of Tennyson—for you go on for ever." Waimea-Picton Seymour* once was "pickedon " for the Chair— And not a bad selection—though somehow, he isn't there. And little Smith, of Woodville—a Cockney beyond doubt— Who Napier's knight puissant is always game to rout, And Steward (that's myself) who thinks that every human ill May be mended or adjusted by a well-con-structed Bill— Afc least that's what they say of me—if true, 'tis not a sin— Let 'em laugh who lose, and welcome, I'm content to laugh—and win. And Stewart, very Downie, who the Council soon will grace, With a white hat on his forehead and a smile upon his face. And golden-haired Mentkatk, who won Te Aro with &>s*, When, the. new perambulator bore the legend "Vote for Pa!" T/AH'tTA (Western Maori), a maui o£ no pre- ■ tence, With lots of speaking ydwer and lots of cominon-sensen Mercurial Taiw-hanga, whose laugh's infections quite, Wlwv can cough and talk m Maori, or m, English all the night. , i And Tanner, the AposfcliM-of the BU>le> m s the school, A sphinx-like ifook-mg) partyi, not by any means, % fool,
Who can sit m stolid silence and can talk but doesn't chatter, With plenty of the pince-nez, especially the latter. And Taylor, he of Sydcnluun, with frostybc;.irded chin, WJio'fs quite prepared to "indicate" each Ministerial sin— Whom, if you'd veil tare fco advise, you probably will rue it; And, if you'd have him hold his tongue— " Well—ain't a-goin' to do it." And Thompson R., of Marsden, with speech of Irish burr, Who speaks his mind undaunted witli a rich nnd rolling " Shit." And THOMrsu.N 'i., of Auckland North, of lunging" m>:t preoLe, Who's yunenliy ready with sensible advice. And brjiv", old Richard Turnbuu^—;God riiJl; iiix boul !—who died, Like a soldier m the trenches, with his weapons by his side. • \ And Valentine, Waikaia, whose' effort* seem to W To benefit the tenants of the Univerei-tee. And Verrall, G. M., Ashley, mild and modest, with a crank," Who thinks the State's salvation can be compassed by a Bank. j And Walker, of Ashburton, a man of sterling worth, Whose eloquence lias always a struggle for itsibirth. And Ward, of Awarua, with a clear and business head, ■; And Whyte, who on occasion some witty things has said. And Wilson, who wears spectacles, or rather gig-lampa blue, - i ;.. , :''..; And schools and education keeps steadily m view. .; And, lastly, Edward Witht, of Newton men the choice, Talks freetrade and retrenchment m a pleasant tone of voice, But who, I really fancy, once ran himself . aground ; : . !' /" By declaring for a saving of five hundred. thousand pound. And now the list is ended—Here comes; the said refrain, In view of the elections—" Will ye no come back again?" How many will be vanquished,. and .how many will survive, Shall be revealed when seventy-four succeed to ninety-five. . ' ; ' •- '■ • ' ;:, .—WM. JV S.
The Ninety-Five of '90., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2523, 20 September 1890
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