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NEWS OF THE DAY.

Two hundred and eighty-three acrca, more or less, eituated at tho Head of the Bay, Lyttelton, has been reserved from eale, in accordance with the Mining Reserves Act The Circus wilt be open this evening, the performances being for the benefit of Madame Anareau. Doubtless a full house will mark the public appreciation of the feats of this accomplished equestrienne. From the late rain all the northern rivers have been high. The Aebley had swollen so that the coaches had to meet on either back, and passengers and mails carried over a temporary structure. The mortal remains of the lafco Mrs Donald were yesterday, interred in the Lyttelton Cemetery; the Eev the Dean of Christcburch, and tho Rev 1\ Knowles read the funeral service. A very largo number of mourners followed in procession.

The business to be transacted at the special meeting of shareholders in the Kaiapoi Land, Building and Investment Society to-morrow, is to decide in what manner a balance of £300 or £400 to the credit of the society shall be disposed of. The monthly meeting takes place the same evening. The effects of the late heavy rain are but too apparent along the lines of railway. On both sides of the line in the Heathcote valley, the crops are more or less damaged, and the low lands are covered with water. Wβ understand aleo that considerable damage has been dono to the crops along the South line. In consequence of the flooded etate of the Orari, Messrs Cobb and Co's coach from Timaru was unable, yesterday, to proceed further than that river. All the Southern rivers, we hear, are more or less flooded j the Ashburton especially bo. No coach for the South will start this morning. Arrangements, however, have been made to forward the mails. The Lyttelton Regatta, which was postponed from Saturday until yesterday, has again been postponed until Saturday next. Tho committee met shortly after 11 a.m., and arrived at the decision that, in consequence of the weather (it was raining in torrents), it would be better to postpone the regatta as above stated. We have much pleasure in stating that the crewe from Kaiapoi, and the Cure Club, concurred in the resolution, and determined to attend and oompete on Saturday next. There was a full attendance of visitors at the Gltissblowers Exhibition last evening. At the conclusion of the entertainment Mr Woodroffe intimated that in addition to the usual prizes to be distributed this evening, a very handsome pipe would be given to the author of the beet conundrum on the glass steamengine. A committee will be selected from the audience to decide on the relative merits of the conundrums, which are to be sent in before the commencement of to-night's entertainment. The following is the state of Her Majesty's Gaol, at Lyttelton, for the month of December :—Undergoing hard labour, 65 ; imprisonment, 5 ; debtors, 7; total, 77. Discharges —Tried at the Supreme Court, 2 ; tried before the Magistrate, 10; debtors, 3; total, 15. The following is the state of Her Majesty's Gaol at Christchurch, during the same period —Undergoing hard labour, 28; imprisonment, 6; for trial at Supreme Court, 1 j total, 35. Discharges—Tried at the Supreme Court, 1 j tried before the Magistrate, 14; total 15. The correspondent of the " Times" at Athens gives a deplorable account of the condition of the Greek kingdom. The administrative machinery of King George's kingdom must, he says, be immediately reformed, or his Government will become paralytic, brigandage will grow into a national institution, warning travellers to avoid the country, as in the kingdom of the Two Sicilies it long prevented those who visited Naples from venturing into Magna Grecia, and the wealthy Greek bankers and merchants of Constantinople, Odessa, and London, through their national patriotism may not be diminished, will not risk their funds in a land where debts may be discharged by payments in inconvertible paper. The " Gazette" of yesterday announces that a portion of the Kowai Road Board has been constituted into a separate Road District under the provisions of the Road Ordinance, 1869. The new dietrict is to be known under the name of the Ashley District. The following are its boundaries : —All that portion of the province bounded on the south and west by the south bank of the Ashley river from the eastern side of the road running between Sections 1684 and 2673 to its source on the east by the eastern side of the road forming the eastern boundary of Section 2163 j thence by that road to where it crosses the western boundary of Run No. 11 ; thence by the latter boundary to the east bank of the Makerikeri; thence by the east bank of that river, and the eastern boundary of Run No. 194, to the summit of Mount Grey ; thence by the ridge to Mount Karetu ; thence by the eastern and northern boundaries of Runs 165, 166, and 168, to tho westernmost corner' of Run No. 464, and also by the Waipara District. American newspapers are full of speculators regarding the probable future capital of the United States. They all seem to have made their minds up that Washington must be abandoned. Writing on this suVject tie " Pall Mall" Gazette remarks : —Assuming, however, that an existing city is fixed on, which will it be ? At present popular opinion seems to hesitate between Chicago and St Louis. Chicago is, to our mind, too far north ; it has, on that side, only the expanse of Lake Michigan between itself and the frozen forests which extend to Hudson's. Bay, and which are, moreover (though this may be of small account to a eanguine citizen), at present under British dominion. St Louie, lo speak from the map, possesses a far more imposing site, in the very heart of the vast fertile prairies, and commanding tho Mississippi and its branches — that is, the liquid roads to the Rocky Mountains westward, to New Orleans southward, and to the heart of manfacturing Pennsylvania eastward. And already we see j in sundry journals such disparaging criticisms on the climate, water, air, and coil of St Louis, as lead us to suppose that her claims are regarded by other places as very formidable. New York, we are told, expects to come in first by reason of the rivalry of other competitors. But we can hardly fancy the popular judgment acquiescing in a choice which would inevitably have to be made over again in a few years if the West continues to progress at its present rate. San Francisco, meanwhile, bides her time. The Queen o£ the Pacific may yet arrive at the dignity of presiding mistress of the Union also ; that is, if the Union holds together long enough. May the change, when* ever fixed on, be less ominous than that made by Constantine 1 We (" European Mail") hear that an Italian, called Muratori, has offered to sell to the Emperor Napoleon the secret of a o imposition intended to neutralise the destruc* tive effects of the new weapons, the princpal component of which is a sort of felt mixed vrith various other substances, and tliua cranafjrmed into a compact and' adhesive niasa. This felt, after being kneaded by powerful machines, then made liquid, and finally cooled, will resist, it is said, even at a short distance, as has been proved by experiment, rifle and pistol balls, bayonet thrusts and sabre strokes. A Chassepot rifle ball, at a distance of rather more than half the range of that weapon, cannot pierce a cuiress made of thi* material, which 18 said to be irell adapted for covering tho hulls of ships of war, as a substitute for the heavy and cosily iron and steel at present

employed. The felt plates besides, possess the advantage that, unlike those made of metal, instead of being broken to pieces by a cannon ball, they yield to the impact, and the holes made by the shot close of themselves, as if the felt were so much india-rubber. We are further told that the composition does not cost much more than the fourth part of the price of steel and iron. A curious statement appears in an American paper regarding the relative popularity of Burns and Byron in the States. The worts of the latter, in consequence of Mrs Stowe'e article, ore in greatly increased demand, yet nevertheless, there are two copies of Burns sold for every one of Byron ; there are ten editions of the works of the former in the market to six of the latter, and the imports of the Scotch poet's works are greatly in excess of the other. There are upwards of 1700 miles of the i Anglo-Indian cable now coiled on board the Great Eastern in the iron tanks. The tepts which pass daily through the wire show it to bo in excellent oondition. The bottom of the great ship, during the past few weeks, has been cleaned by divers. The bottom was in a very foul state, mussels having gathered in j come places more than a foot thick. It is estimated that 50,000 gallons of muesels and rubbish were removed from the ship beneath the water line. The utmost exertions are i being used to get the vessel completed for sea by the 23d inst, the date fixed for her departure from Sheerneee en route for Aden. The question of the admission of ladies to medical fctudy at the Edinburgh University came before the General Council of the University on October 29. The Eev Dr Phin, of Galashiels, moved that the meeting disapprove the resolution of the University Court to admit ladies to medical study in the University. This was seconded by Dγ Andrew Wood. Professor Masson, seconded by Professor Bennett, moved that the resolution admitting ladies be approved, and on a division Professor Masson's motion was carried by a large majority. The Cape mail brings word that the bill to establish a paper currency was thrown out on the second reading in the Legislative Council by a majority of one. The bill for mafeing all religious support voluntary had also been again rejected. Sir Philip Wodehouse was soon to leave the colony, and it was reported that Sir Henry Young would be his successor. Diamonds continue to arrive from the interior. It is stated that a native in the interior had been found with diamonds in his possession valued at £150,000. Bishop Twells was alleged to be on his way to England, under an assumed name, in a sailing ship from Natal. The opening of the Suez Canal is expected by commercial men in Russia to produce great advantages for Russian trade, and preparations are being made for using it largely as a means of communication with India and Central Asia. The Steam Navigation Company at Odessa has determined to establish a regular line of steamers between the Southern ports of the empire and the East, and has sent an agent to India for the purpose of obtaining statistical data as to the quantity and quality of the articles of commerce which it might be profitable to import into Russia. Telegraphic communication is also to be established between the southern porte and Constantinople. Meanwhile, the Government has made a very good stroke of policy -with the object of strengthening its influence in Central Asia. It has persuaded the Emir of Bokhara to send his son, who is thirteen years oli, to the Russian University at Warsaw ; thus securing a valuable hoetage for the Emir's future friendship, and at the same time gaining an opportunity of filling the young prince's mind with admiration of the greatness of Russia and a conviction of the hopelessness of resisting her. The Bishop of Oxford, when addressing a meeting in aid of the Universities "Mission to Central Africa at Liverpool in October, said : —" I believe that the mission of Sir Samuel Baker, with the powers he has received from the Pasha of Egypt, are of the greatest value in the movement against slavery; and I say that we are strengthening his hands by such a movement as this. That exceedingly clever man the Pasha of Egypt, why has he granted this? Do you think it is because hie Muhomedan heart is overflowing with the milk of human kindness P I do not; but I believe he knows very well that the heart of England feels about it. The Yioeroy's great object is to win the confidence of England, and therefore it is that he has been ready to give these strange powers to. this Emir of British blood, in order that he may show to the English people that he is in earnest to put down that accursed trade. Such a meeting as this for the strengthening of this mission in one of its collateral heads shows more and 'more how hearty England is in this matter, and therefore tends to strengthen Baker's hands and to keep the Viceroy true in dealing with him." A correspondent of the "Times" forwards a picturesque account of a sudden rise of the Nile on the night of the 10th Oct. Hβ was sleeping in a house, in a village four miles south of the Pyramids, when he was awakened by a Bedouin, who warned him that the river was rising, and he fled first to the roof and afterwards to a rising ground, where the whole village had collected. The river rose steadily, " monopolising even the noise," and , as it rose, "house after house surged and came d.own with a dull souse into the water," amidst , the waiHngs of the Arabs? With the last house, however, the wailings ceased, the men stood resigned, the women eeemed to find the incident a relief fro a monotony, and the old sheikh of the village went about gravely encouraging < ach in turn. The writer had constructed a raft, but the sheikh thought Allah was merciful, the raft too frail, and the current too strong, and declined the responsibility. Aid, however, -was procured at last, and the good-humored, patient people were rescued. Mr Boutwell, the American Secretary to Treasury, delivered a speech on the 9th Oct. on the American finances. He told hie audience that the Government since the termination, of the war had reduced the debt from £700,000,000 to £500,000,000, and if the present taxation, which he admitted to be heavy, were continued, they could pay the whole in fourteen years ; or if they reduced taxation every year, they could still pay it in twenty-two. How Mr Gladstone must sigh ! Mr Boutweil declared that he was aga nst every kind of repudiation, not only because it was needless and would not relieve the labourer, but because it would demoralise the people and destroy the foundations upon which public security reste. He believed that if threats of repudiation were abandoned, he might in six months begin to fund the debt at 4£ per cent. If tho Americans will only do that, £nd declare bribe-taking a capital offence they may in tea years reduce their debt to a trifling burden—rather useful than otherwise.

The quarterly meeting of the Kaiapoi Weeleyan circuit takes place to-day. Writing on the subject of tho repression oi drinking, tho "PaU Mall Gazette" eaye :— The question, as we have before pointed out, is essentially one of degree rather than ot principle. Everyone unites in tho desire that drinking should ba diminished, yet no one would make the private purchase and consumption of drink criminal. Between thrfee two extremes the proposition which would combine tho support of all parties is that drinking in public and private enould be diminished as "much as possible. How much, then, is possible ? It is clear that if public drinking bo absolutely etopped while the people still crave drink, and drink is to be purchased in small or large quantities, all that is done is to increase private drinking. JSow, private drinking is in some very important respects worso than public drinking. It is not subject to any deterring influence of shame, nor the possible check of being refused more liquor, nor the prospect of the police cell. More than that, it draws wife and children within tho circle of temptation. It supplies a constant temptation in place of an intermittent one. Let public opinion grow .so etrong as to make drunkenness at home disreputable among artisans, as it is among clergymen, and there will be no longer any objection to the artisan keeping a bottle in his cupboard. But when public opinion readies that point neither will there be any danger in the taproom door being open. But in the meantime, while there is so little to support self-respect, and so many ever-recurring temptations to fortify exhaustion with stimulants, we earnestly deprecate any course of legislation whioh would have the effect of compelling every family which does not become absolute abstainers to keep a private store of drink within reach at all hours, and ready to the hand of every member of the household. In the difficulty of deciding what is the precise degree to which discouragement of drinking may safely be carried, and in the certainty that no general rule could be laid down for the whole country, we are disposed to agree with so much of the Alliance principles as would put the power of licensing in the hands of the ratepayer. Nor should we at all demur to Dr Temple's suggestion that the wives should be consulted. The better part of the population, male and female, which happily is in every place the majority, would be the best able to decide how much repression could be safely enforced. But when we speak of the population it must be clearly understood that we do not mean the population of very limited areas. A parish court would be the worst of all licensing courts. Every busybody would keep up an agitation for his own crotchet, and sometimes it would be carried in the direction of unlimited competition, sometimes in that of absolute prohibition. Personal influence of brewers and beershopkeepera would very often be found to bring about a very different result from that whioh the Alliance expects. There must, therefore, be a licensing body, either immediate or as a court of appeal, drawn from a sufficiently wide area to secure the neutralising of personal considerations, aud the recognition of some reasonable rule throughout the locality. A county, or the division of a large county, would effect this, and the adoption of so wide an area need not militate against the principle of popular control.

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Bibliographic details

NEWS OF THE DAY., Press, Volume XVI, Issue 2096, 4 January 1870

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3,104

NEWS OF THE DAY. Press, Volume XVI, Issue 2096, 4 January 1870

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