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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 8015, 18 September 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER.
ANGLO COLONIAL NOTES.
London, 'August 10.
PERSONAE. Mr H. R. Montgomery, of Christchurch, is “doing” the English lakes, and writes that he is enjoying the scenery immensely. Sir George Bowen has gone to Kissiugen for his annual “ cure.” Sir W. Jervois and family are also on the Continent.
The venue of the gold mining exhibition, of which Sir W. Buller and Sir H. Robinson are patrons, has been removed from the Alexandra Palace to the Spanish Exhibition —a much handier site. _ Numerous interesting specimens from New Zealand have been promised by colonists in England, Sailing vessels for New Zealand are filling up rapidly, especially those bound for Auckland and Dunedin. The Invercargill, which sails to day, had to shut out 100 tons of cargo. Mr H. Brett and family have returned from Scotland, where they seem to have had a most enjoyable time, Mrs Brett and the Miss Bretts are going to St, Leonards shortly, where they will make some stay, Mr Brett, as usual, is immersed in business. Dr Haines has returned to town, and is paying a round of farewell visits preparatory to sailing for Adelaide by the Orizaba on Thursday next. He expects to reach Auckland on the 16th inst.
Bishop Moran sets out for home in the Orizaba, to leave on August 17. He takes out with him five priests and severala nuns for his diocese. He pays a farewell visit to Ireland, and embarks at Plymouth on the date mentioned.
DR GRACE ON THE MAYBRICK CASE. Dr Grace (who is staying at “ The Mansions,” Richmond, just now) has been delivering himself to a ‘ Star’ reporter on the May brick case. It seems he recently met “Tay Pay” O’Connor out at dinner, and the latter, remembering after the verdict was announced that his now acquaintance had told the party about a similar poisoning case in New Zealand, sent one of his young men to interview the doctor. The little medico was very communicative, but the reporter wisely condensed his remarks into a brief “ par” about the Hall trial. He (the reporter) tells me, however, that the doctor pronounced Mrs Maybrick innocent as an unborn babe. If Maybrick had died of arsenic it would, he declared, have been found in his teeth, hair, liver, lights, and lungs. Ail Englishmen were narrow-minded bigots, and a New Zealand crossing-sweeper was more intelligent than an English M.P. No New Zealand jury would have found Mrs Maybrick guilty, nor would a New Zealand Judge have shown the prejudice Mr Justice Stephen did. The glory of medicine was that it was not an exact science. Dr Grace further condescended to say that England was not a bad sort of place, though a great deal too wet. New Zealand, however, -waa tho country of tho future. Your Anglo-Saxon opened out and blossomed when he got there, throwing off all stiff conventionalities and becoming a new man. He himself had been rather incommoded during his travels through being constantly mistaken for another Dr Grace—Dr W. G. Grace—a celebrated cricketer, he believed.
THE BLUE SPUR. I learn that during the last fortnight the Blue Spur Company have had a most satisfactory letter from the colony. A SMART TRIP. The Tainui reached Plymouth on Sunday last, and her mails were delivered on Monday morning. Time, thirty.nine days from Wellington. During the voyage two deaths occurred, casting a gloom over what would Otherwise havebpenan exceptionally pleasant voyage. The first engineer died shortly leaving New Zealand, and later on q Miss Greigg from Sydney died somewhat suddenly from bronchitis.
beturninp colonists. Mr and Mrs Alfred Bowden and a family of nine children are returning to the colony by the Orient steamer Orizaba, sailing on the Ifith inst. The family were formerly residents in Canterbury, and left there some years ago for America with a view of bettering their position. Arrived there, however, they were dissatisfied with American prospects and came quickly to England. In the course of a short chat, Mr Bowden told me he has come to the opinion, after travelling all round the world, that there is no place like New Zealand. As stated they return via Australia, the Orient Company having agreed to take them to Melbourne and pay their passages across in the Union Company’s boats to Christchurch for less money than was demanded by the Shaw, Savill Company. Quite a number of New Zealanders are, by the way, returning via Australia, as they find better terms can be made with the P. and jCf. Company than with Shaw f> Savill’s, notwithstanding that many of their vessels tro leaving England with very few passengers. Mr Honeyrnan, nephew of Dr Honey man, of Auckland, has taken a passage by the Britannia for Auckland, sailing in October. He will hare a very smart set of fellow-passengers, as it is in this steamer that Lord Hopetoun, the new Governor of Victoria, has chartered twentysix cabins to transport himself and household goods to Melbourne. His horses, his coach, and the extraordinary amount of furniture and bric-i-brac that report says His Lordship contemplates taking with him to his Australasian home will probably give Mr Honeyrnan and his “ voyage friends, ’ as Yankees term them, plenty to talk about on the voyage. Mr and Mrs Peacock, Mr Milne, and several others are arranging to return by this steamer.
GIVING THE COLONY A LIFT.
Captain Ashby’s little book on New Zealand appears to be having a wide circulation. Calling on him the other day I found he had quite “ run out ” the 000 private circulation copies first ordered from the publishers, and was arranging for a new edition o! some 1,000 copies. The following par comes from a chance Swias-German paperTo emigrants ; No land offers to emigrants such fine chances as New Zealand. The writer has received from Captain Ashby apamphlet prepared by him touching lovely country, I shall make a translation of it for your columns.” A private letter states that the * Post ’ intends to republish Captain Ashby’s book in weekly instalments.
A CLERICAL VISITOR,
There ia some talk, by the way, of the Rev. Mr Hedlam visiting the colonies, «nd though no confirmation of the rumor—which comes from a friend of the rev. gentleman—hasyetcome to band, Igive it forwhat it is worth. You will certainly en joy Hedlam if he does come. He is, as you are probably aware, a follower of Kingsley. Christian socialism is his ideal, niusoular Christianity his daily doctrine. A great admirer of the stage and ballet, he has given some trouble to the straight-laced dignitaries of the church by his freely expressed and somewhat unorthodox views. The broad common sense of his ideas is only equalled by the freedom with which he disseminates them. His ‘ Function of the Stage ’ sermon made a fearful stir in the dovecotes of the old fashioned clergy, and has just been published in a pamphlet form. As I said, he doea like the ballet. Probably clean away back to David no church individual has ever been such an enthusiastic admirer of the terpsichorean art. But he must not be misnriderstood in this. He has a passionate contempt for the music hall, vulgar (and worse) form of dancing, and waltzing he regards with compassionate compassion, In the course of a lecture on the subject he observed that “a slim lady who does a few quiet steps and makes a few graceful poses is good, as far as she goes—juat as scnoolroom poetry ia good as far as it goes. But something more than this is necessary. Your dancer, as your poet, must not only be simpl 3— though simplicity is always necessary—but also sensuous and impassioned. She has more to express than she possibly can do by a few delicate movements of a lace pocket-handkerchief or a few twists of voluminous petticoats.” A goody-goody curate in the audience here retired scandalised. and next Sunday was unwise enough to abuse Hedlam in a milk-and-watery sermon. He had reason to wish himself dead before next week. The muscular Christian poured the vials of hia contempt on him to a merciless extent, and pitied his inability to understand that the words sensuous and sensual had as widely different meanings as the words ■ pure ata
prurient, If he comes, ’twill be in the winter.
THE REV, C, SPURGEON. You will probably remember the sensational paragraphs that got into the papers a little while ago anent one of the sons of the great Spurgeon, who had been out on a visit to his brother in Auckland. The somewhat spicy items given by enterprising but somewhat unveracious pressmen accused the young Baptist parson of carrying on a very pronounced flirtation with a lady on board the homeward-bound ship. We have most of us done something in the flirtation way when at sea. Some have preferred the mere “ spooning ” form of the game, while others have gone in for what is generally known as “ intellectual flirtation,” which means reading poetry together, long arguments on every subject under the sun, and a good deal of sitting close together. A more innocent form of enjoyment were hard of discovery. Mr Spurgeon senior would not seem to deny that his son is human, and has done what everyone else does on board steamers —if fortunate; but he strongly denies that there was “ anything wrong.” In his own review this month he observes: “Our son has had to bear tho ills of exaggeration and falsehood through the eagerness of reporters to create a sensational paragraph ; but no one who knows him has ever suspected him in the manner mentioned, far less of a wrong.” As to his second son, tho Baptist minister in Auckland, Mr Spurgeon says:—“We aie not without grave trial in the ill-health of our second sou. Ho has been so depressed that he has felt he must seek a change. He has done good service during the year of his sojourn in Auckland. May the Lord restore his health and make him a still greater blessing somewhere else.” People will doubtless sympathise with both father and son. Aboard ship scandal is about as unscrulous a thing as there is in the world. Most have at some time or other suffered therefrom.
THE FROZEN MEAT TRADE. It is extremely pleasant to notice that the frozen meat trade continues to 14 rise ” and shows signs of flourishing exceedingly. According to latest returns the business for the last two months must have been exceedingly profitable to shippers. Owing to the short supplies in England tho prices ranged between 3s 5d and 4s per stone of 81b, which, taking all things into consideration, cannot be grumbled at as a bad price. The greatest benefit will of course go to tho New Zealand farmers, for daring the past year the shipments from Australia have fallen off from 37,588 last year to 14,616 this. The shipments from Melbourne have, in fact, ceased entirely, and only about one consignment per month arrives from Sydney. The reason for the falling-off is stated to be that the number “ boiled down ” is greater than heretofore. In New Zealand mutton and lamb the increase of carcasses distributed is something wonderful, and makes one believe that the silly prejudice against it is gradually wearing off. The increase for the first half-year was, so a great trader says, 32,298 ; 550,400 being tho exact number of carcasses imported. The price for frozen mutton (lamb seems over) at the time of writing is 3s 5d per stone, or about 5d a pound. This should leave a very good profit to all concerned ; but there is, unfortunately, a fear that these prices oannot be maintained during the ensuing few months. Going on the record of the past, it has always been found that during October and November the shipments increase to a very large extent, and prices have heretofore fallen considerably during the autumn. As low as 2s 8(1 has been reached during the two months stated. Still, if the reports received from some of the big stations, saying that there is a decided shortage of suitable sheep, be true, the supplies will not he anyway near so heavy, and a good prospect of remunerative winter prices may be held out to those interested. Still, if there are fewer sheep tp send, it is but cutting off a piece of tho tail to place on the head—a doubtful benefit.
TUB AGRICULTURAL COMPANY,
With Rear-Admiral Mayne in the chair, the New Zealand Agricultural Company held their annual meeting at Cannon street Hotel last week and adopted the annual report. The Admiral was a trifle distrait, I thought, but everyone was half asleep, the day being very warm, so nobody seemed to mind. The proceedings were somewhat dull, and but “ homelike,” so to speak, and very comfortable. Everyone was happy and contented, it seemed to me, or else they were too lazy to make any fuss. In moving the adoption of the report the chairman stated that “ since the last meeting the directors had done their best for the shareholders.’' Subdued and somnolent murmurs of intense gratification from the shareholders greeted this pleasant announcement. “ With the exception of land sales, an item altogether beyond the control of the Board, satisfactory progress had been made,” continued Mr Mayne. Here a young man (about the only adolescent specimen of shareholder present) showed a decided inclination to know why the land sales were beyond the control of the Board, but his evident ignorance of company meetings appeared to make him mistrust himself; so, after making a good deal of noise with his chair, he subsided, blushing modestly, but with a good deal of success. “ Although agricultural matters were, “ the Admiral went on to say,” improving, there had not been any marked increase in the price of land, so they preferred to hold on, rather than sacrifice the ultimate interests of the company.” How long they would hold on it was not easy at present to foretell. He was happy to inform the meeting that gold had been discovered on the estate, but had no particulars on the subject just yet. The meeting terminated even more sleepily than it began, the reporters saying to each other that for a nice little family party and general vagueness the company had beaten the record in the quiet meeting line.
Commenting on the New Zealand Thames Valley Company, the ‘ Capitalist’ says : “This company appears to be a highly respectable organisation, dragging along a weary and unprofitable existence as a result of having been enticed into paying far too big a price for its 1 whistle.’ The original scheme was to take up 250,000 acres in the North Island at LI 10s per acre, probably five or six times its real value. The overburden of capital broke down the scheme, and a new arrangement was arrived at with the voracious vendors in ‘ ’Bs,* which reduced the amount of land to be purchased, and the price to 2s 6d per acre. That this was a very inadequate compromise is evident from the present condition of affairs. The losses are at the rate of over L 5,000 a year. But there still remains a balance of LIOO,OOO to ‘be called up, and as long as the funds hold out matters will probably go on drifting.”
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 8015, 18 September 1889
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