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The Evening Star. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1889., Issue 8017, 20 September 1889
The Evening Star. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1889.
" Ahh is not gold that glitters." A homely proverb and a true one, but which, though known, is oft Beware 1" forgot,
Just at the very moment it ought Dot. Just now there is what is termed in Bharebrokers' parlance a gold mining "boom." It has not yet attained any great dimensions, but it is sufficient to warrant a timely note ot warning. The people of Dunedin have no need to be reminded of the good money lost by them in West Coast "wild-cat" speculations; and the misery that has fallen on many a home in Victoria through indulgence in visions of affluence, begotten by the recent silver "boom," is now matter of history. Let us not have anything of the sort in Otago. Fictitious prosperity is ever followed by real adversity. Far be it from us to deprecate the investment of capital in sound mining investments. There are many really valuable mineß that are languishing for want of capital to work them profitably. On the other hand, there are numberless ventures which are merely speculative, and which, if properly investigated, would nevertemptashillingfromthepocketof the most sanguine speculator. "Specimens" of quartz are the most illusory of moneytraps. As someone somewhere said recently, a man can no more judge the value of a house from a single brick than the value of a quartz lode from a fragmentary specimen. Quantity is as essential as quality. The Clunes reef was made to pay handsomely for a quarter of a century from stone that yielded only a few pennyweights to the ton; but then it was immensely wide—a veritable quarry of stone. A narrow reef yielding ounces to the ton would not pay so well. Moreover, there is always a doubt as to the continuance of our New Zealand reefs. A vast number of them are merely "slides " from the ancient mountaintops, and even if they last out for years there is a finality to them in consequence. Those who are willing to aid the gold mining industry—always with a view to profiting thereby—should either see for themselves, or obtain the services of a disinterested expert to examine the mines in which they propose to invest. To buy in the open market, without any knowledge of the thing they are buying, is to court disaster. No sensible man would purchase a house or a section of land without soeing it. Why should a different practice prevail in regard to mining investments? Almost all our principal mines are within a day's journey, and if they offer really fair investments for capital it is highly desirable that capital should find an outlet in their encouragement. But in every case of a genuine discovery it always follows that a number of persons tako up "claims" on " the line " of the parent reef, and vaunt these as equal or superior to the original. Then speculation sets in, and more money is often lost in these "bogus" claims than is won fr»m the real lode.
The same remark holds good in regard to dredging claims. It does not follow that because A has hit upon a rich patch in a river bed that B, C, and D, down to Z, will also have the same fortune. On the contrary, experience tells us that the very opposite mav more reasonably be expected ; because in all probability A has struck upen a place where the gold has beeu held in by rocky barriers, which have prevented any further progression of the metal. But there is a sound and certain way of testing this before launching out into any great expense—namely, by provbg the river bed with boring rods capable of penetrating the loose overlying gravel. Given due caution, there is a •iinat gold miu'tia' future before us, and nothing will retard its full development so much as over-haaty speculation It has been asuerted over und over again by
scientists and experts that the attrifefrftfc wealth of Otago has never yet tfoen developed—that the lias only been " scratched over'' htVo and there in a vague perfunctory toaiinor; and late discoveries —such nls those at Tinkers, for instance—seed to confirm this opinion. Where tlie fact can be demonstrated and capital is required to work ground Quarts, alluvial, or riverine—there capital may and should take a share in its development. All we insist upon in that our mines should not be made ft mere tennis court for stockjobbero to play their little games upon, Another point most worthy of notice in the prices at whioh mining ventures Me placed Upon the market, 'fuore are several of these—we do not care to particularism them —which the merest jinyestTjsfatton would pronounce worthless. Th'<3 n loading " with which they are overweighted would render the best route In fee colony non-payable. It is one thtng for miners to throw their claims fata a common holding and say "We only want a little capital to develop our mines"; it is quite another thing to ask capitalists foi thousands of pounds by way of "promotion" And it is very certain that !f Wxq aim of the claimholders is merely to obtain the assistance of capital they will not ask for a premium at Ml; their profit will be in larger dividends resulting from larger operations. This, to the honeßt miner, will be sufficient inducement, and if he wants a fancy price paid to, him beyond this prospective advantage the odds are ten to one that the claim is not worth having or working. There may be exceptions to this rule, but they <\ro few and far between. If a miner has a good thing he does hot want to part with it, but he may be willing to yield a portion of his interest to enable him to obtain the Capital necessary to wbrk it profitably. Thus there are three clashes of mining ventures. Thare are mining ventures which ask legitimately for assistance only; there are others which seek to extract huge bonuses from investors, and so raiae the capital sum invested that no profit is possible : : and there are bogus mines which never can nor will pay under any circumstances. Of these last let the investor beware. He may as well throw his meney into the sea as have anything to do with them, But where a bonafide mining venture, bare of all "loading," seeks the aid of capital, and proofs of the gold-bearing nature of the ground can be produced, capital may safely take its share in promoting the development «f our mineral resources.
Captain Savilh, this Governor's aide-de camp, is now convalescent.
The following debtors have petitioned during the week to be adjudged bankrupts : —James Nelson, of Clinton, laborer, and George Harris, of Dunedin, dealer. The Christchuroh Horticultural Sooiety's bulb and camellia show held yesterday was was very successful. The exhibits were numerous, and the quality excellent throughout.
The Sydenham Borough School Committco has leased the Oddfellows' Hall for six months to accommodate 200 scholars, who were till now practiaally crowded out of school,
Mr Louis Cohen, M.A., has beeh appointed examiner for the Matriculation and Junior University Scholarships. This is the firßt colonial graduate who has received such an appointment. The conviction and discharge of a first offender for drunkenness was the sole business at the City Police Court to-day; Messrs J. P. Jones and A. Mollison were the presiding Justices. At tho Sydenham Poultry Society's annual meeting last night the balance-sheet and report showed a remarkably satisfactory position. The incoming Committee were recommended to procure larger premises for next season's exhibition.
MrW. Burton, manager of the Colonial Bank at Auckland, who is about to leave for Dunedin, received an illuminated address from the officers of the bank yesterday congratulating him on his promotion to the managership pro tern, of the head office. The second appearance of Maccabe was witnessed at the City Hall last night by a large and appreciative audience. In some of his character sketches Mr Maccabe is simply inimitable, and as a ventriloquist he is seen to undoubted advantage. A profitable season may be reasonably anticipated.
About L6OO has been subscribed in aid of the relatives of those of the pilot crew drowned at Wellington Heads a few weeks back. One eighth goes to Mrs Cox, wife of one of the crew i one eighth to the mother of another; LSO to the parents of the late Pilot Simms ; and the balance (about L 400) to be invested for Mrs Simms and children. How many words can be written on a postcard ? There has just been a competition among the stenographers to decide this question, and Sylvanus Jones, of Richmond (Va.), has taken the prize which was offered for the largest number of words by writing upon a card 36,784 words. Mr Jones is a shorthand writer employed by the Brighthope Railway Company of Richmond.
Information came to hand by the San Francisco mail to the effect that four students from the Otago University—Messrs L. E. Hardy, G. H. Home, B. B. Unstable, and W. Mill—who are pursuing their medical studies at the University of Edinburgh, have passed the first professional examination for the degree of M.B. Two other students from Otago University—Messrs J. C. Smith and W. fl. Vallange—have passed the first examination for the degree of L.R.C.P.
At a meeting of the Wellington City Council last evening a letter was received from His Excellency the Governor with reference to tho drainage in the vicinity of Government House. Without being read, the letter was referred to the Works Committee. From sixteen applicants the Council appointed Mr G. V. Kemsley (late of Napier and Spit Fire Brigades) as captain of the Wellington Municipal Brigade, vice Captain Page, deceased.
Some time back considerable excitement was occasioned at Carterton, owing to the sudden disappearance of the child of Mr Thompson, one of the residents. Several search parties were out, but discovered no trace of the body until yesterday, when it was found in a gully five miles from where the child was last seen alive. Decomposition was in an advanced stage, and the head was severed from the trunk. An inquest will be held.
A house in Commercial lane, Invercargill, near the jetty, was partially destroyed by fire from a defective chimney at noon yesterday. The house belonged to Angus M'Lean, and was insured for LIOO in the Standard Office, and the furniture of the tenant (Mrs Petrie) for L6O in the New Zealand Office. She lost about LSO worth of bedding and clothing. The water pressure in the mains from the pumping engines proved most effective. The following regulation under the Civil Service Reform Act, 1886, is gazetted : "A candidate whose work at any senior Civil Service examination is good on the whole, but in one or two subjects is below the required standard, may be registered as having achieved a partial success at the examination, and on giving the requisite notice may at the next examination sit without payment of a fee to be examined in such one or two subjects, and such candidate if successful in such subject or subjects shall be deemed to have passed the examination."
A man named James Watson, apprehended at Invercargill the other day for the theft of women's stockings from a clothes line, was found to be carrying a quantity of female underclothing in a damp state. Being brought up at the Policn Court, his counsel submitted that Watson had at one time suffered from sunstroke, and was not always responsible for his actions. Tho magistrates, however, sent him to gaol for two months for the theft of the stockings, the other articles not having been claimed. On being stripped at the gaol it was found that Watson had under his own garments two embroidered chemises, two bodices, and two pairs of women's drawers (calico and flannel), and a woman's singlet. A constable who was despatched to search the hut which the man had occupied at One Tree Point for two months found a further quantity cf women's underclothing. Thus it appears ats ii it were a case of mot*munia,
Mr Justice Conolly was entertained at dinner last night at the Auckland Club by the members of the legal profession. A comet lias been seen from Attchlaha at an elevation of a few "cegrees above the northern horizon. It is thought to be the cnrwjt 'co'en at New York on July 6. Two hundred cases of apples which arrived from California in the Mariposa were found to be infected by the oodlin moth. The Customs authorities therefore prohibited their landing at Auckland, P.n'd the oases were taken oh to Sydney., The Tjtfawera took about COO tons of breadijtuifs and grain from Auckland to Sydney yesterday. Thirty-three head of Hereford cattle, purchased for breeding purposes, were also shipped by the vessel. Amongst the passengers for Sydney was a fish and oyster dealer named Welby, who goes to England to take possession of a legacy bequeathed to him. A lad named Thomas Stevens, who had been boarded out from the Industrial School to Joseph Graham, a farmer at Pine Hill, was returned to the institution at 2 p.m. yesterday on account of his having complained for some days of ill-health. He was seized with violent pains during the night, and died at 2.30 this morning. Dr Burns, who made the post mortem, testified that heart disease was the oause of death. An inquest was held at the Industrial Sohool before Mr Carew and a jury this afternoon, when a verdict of " Death from natural causes *' was returned.
A Railway Reform League has been formed in Auckland, whose object is " to obtain an alteration in the system of administering the railways of the colony, such alteration to embrace the following points, as far as possible:—(a) The total abolition of differential rating; (b) the abolition of mileage rating, and the substitution of a stage system ; (c) the stage Bystera adopted must be of such a nature as to give special facilities to districts and settlers far removed from a market; (d) a reduction In the charge for the conveyance of passengers and goods ; (e) a, simplification in the classification of goods; (f) a simplification and amalgamation of terminal, weighing, cranage, and other charges." Going from home for news, we find the following paragraph in the ' North British Daily Mail' of July 29:—"An alarming report has just reached this country with reference to New Zealand coal. For many years there has been an increasing output of coal in the colony, and recently considerable quantities have actually been exported, and New Zealand has been confidently reokoning on her coal as an important factor in her future development. Now comes a geological expert—Mr James Park, F.G.S. — who, on the basis of elaborate calculation, tells the colonists that at the present ratio of increase of output their coal cannot possibly laßt longer than the year 2,053. The total available coal Mr Park estimates at 1,000 million tons—just equal to about five years 9 output of Great Britain. As the rate of output is more likely to increase than to stand still, New Zealand may find herself without coal in less than a hundred years."
The fundi of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Society have just been replenished by a donation of Lloo,ooo from Mrs Roberts, a member of the oonnection, who has resided for years at Mold, Flintshire. Mrs Roberts has also givon L 20.000 for the Welsh Theological College at Bala, North Wales, and a further sum of LI.BOO for three churches connected with the same denomination at Liverpool. The story of these three gifts is remarkable; A Mr William Thomas Blyth, brother of Mrs Roberts, left Mold, his native place, in early life for Liverpool, where he followed the calling of a dairyman. Having saved a little money he sailed for California, and there amassed a large fortune. A short time ago he died childless and without making a will, and his property was passed to three sisters, of whom Mrs Roberts is the eldest. As a thank-offering she has determined to devote the abovementioned moneys to religious purposes. The gifts are the largest ever received by a Welsh Nonconforming body. Some remarkable evidence was given at an inquost held recently on the body of a boy named Alfred Hockley, of Elstead, near Guildford. The boy went on to the common between RI stead and Tilfond, and found a number of blank unfired cartridges which had been thrown away during the military manoeuvre* in the district. He exploded several with a stone, and finally set the heath on fire. In trying to extinguish the flames, a number of cartridges which he still had in hia pockets ignited, with the result that his clothing took fire and was literally burnt off his body. The poor lad managed to reach his home, a mile and a-quarter distant, but arrived there perfectly naked, except his stockings, and bo dreadfully burned that he died afterwards. It was shown in evidence that boys regularly hunted for and found cartridges on the common, and the father of the deceased said that one day a lad picked up between 600 and 700 undischarged cartridges. Quite a remarkable incident of an express train being struct by lightning while moving at the rate of thirty miles an hour recently occurred on the New York and New Haven Railway, at Stamford (Ct.), during a heavy thunderstorm. It was shortly before 4 p.m., as the train was whirling through the town, that a tremendous bolt of lightning struck the centre of the locomotive. The report says :—" Engineer John Schofield and his fireman felt a severe shock, which dazed and half-stunned them. Upon being taken from the cab both were seized with violent attacks of retching. The electric bolt disabled the engine, and caused it to come to a stop. The substitution of another engine caused a delay to the train of fortyfive minutes. The engineer and fireman soon recovered from the unpleasant conse quences of the shock they received." Railroad men, discussing the incident recently, said it was the first time they ever heard of an engine in rapid motion being struck by lightning. The Oamaru ' Mail' is responsible for the following: oall upon scholars to perform things that would puzele older heads. For example, in one of our town schools during the recent examinations one of the lower standards was asked to put the sentence 'The bird flew out of the window ' into other words. Of course, the majority found this no easy task, but we are told that one small boy proved himself equal to the occasion by producing the following elaborate paraphrase :—' The diminutive member of thebeautiful feathered tribe soared gently and gracefully through the aperture constructed in the wall for the purpose of admitting light into the apartment, and, freed from that restraint and confinement which are foreign to its nature, sought again the delights of perfect liberty.' That boy passed, and the inspector is said to bo still engaged contemplating tho possibilities of our national system of education, and vainly trying to divine that boy's future—whether ho will be a distinguished doctor of divinity, an eminent barrister, a leading politician, a popular novelist, or only a poor penny-a-linor on some obscure public print." Mr H. S. Bush, Resident Magistrate at Tauranga, says that the Natives allege that honey gathered at certain seasons of the year is poisonous. Ho, however, doubts it, the fact really being, in his opinion, that the Maoris eat so voraciously and so much of the wax contents of the cells and bees; also, that he was not surprised the three Natives of Maketu, who were going out pig hunting, were afterwards discovered in such a distressing state. It will be remembered two were found dead in a creek, and the third reached Matata in a state of frenzy. There was a similar case at Opotiki, where three Native schoolboys out honey-hunting ate voraciously of all the honey they could secure from a tree. One died, the others recovered through the efficacy of emetics. During last autumn, within his magisterial circuit, Mr Bush states that several cases of supposed honey poisoning happened. In tb« case of one family five of its members were ill from eating box honey. The Natives have a theory that new honey at certain seasons is dangerous—persons partaking of it are poisoned—but the same honey the following year is perfectly harmless. The reason given is that the sweets from wharangi and other poisonous plants whieh blossom in the swamps impart a deleterious element into the honey, of which it is relieved by age. It would appear from the foregoing that.no reference is made to clover honey, or the sweets gathered by bees from | districts in which poisonous plauts do not j abound, '
, The four principal hospitals of the colony i consume 44,530 gallons of milk annually, and 1£7,9.i4 eggs, the former being supplied —Auckland, 6d pergallon ; Ghristchurcband Dunedin, 5d ; Wellington, 9d. Although " an egg is an egg," the prices vary thus per dozen : Auckland, Id ; Dunedin, Is; Wellington, la,2d. In regard to the dispute at Simon Bros.' boot factory, we learn,that the,men ihis morning waited on Messrs Simon and said that they still demanded the penny extra for rivetting where more than five rivets to the inch were required. The employers thereupon replied that they had no wish to quarrel about the matter, and that the demand would be conceded. This brought the dispute to a peaceful conclusion, and the hands returned to work at 1 p.m. A verdict of death from tight lacing is, perhaps, still to be sought among the curiosities of law, But a Birmingham jury have come near it in a verdict of " Death from pressure round the waist." The victim was a poor servant girl who died after a fright, and her death was attributed by the medical witnesses to the fact that she was too tightly belted to enable her to stand the wear and tear of any sudden emotion, She was a notorious tight lacer; her collar fitted so closely that it was impossible to loosen it at the critical moment; and under her stays she wore a belt so remorsely buckled as to prevent the free circulation of the blood, The coroner expressed a wish to have a statement of the normal size of her waist in the interests of social science, or, as he put it, as a warning to other young ladies who are accustomed to tight lacing.
Mr J; Ellis moved in the House of Commons on June 22—" That in the interests of humanit) and of the great rights of property, and inasmuch as the provisions of the present Land Acts are inadequate for the purpose, it is expedient that steps should be taken without delay to ensure such competent, impartial, and conclusive arbitration between the two parties to the present agrarian struggle in Ireland as will diminish the necessity for evictions and the costly and humiliating employment of the forces of the Crown thereat." Mr Eountree (seconded the motion, and asked why the Government did not take off 70 per cent, of the rents in Ireland, as they had done in the case of the Scotch crofters. Ireland (Mr Rous tree said) had too long been made the battle ground for the rise and fall of British Ministers. Of course, the motion was negatived by a large majority.
Half-yearly meeting of Otago Distriot Committee of the M.U.1.0.0.F. will be held at Oamaru to-morrow afternoon,
The weekly meeting of Trinity Church Musical and Literary Society was held last evening. The Rev. W. Baumber presided. Headings were given from Irish Authors by Messrs 8. Harlocb, J. Harlocb, Thompson, M'Lymont, and A. B. Meatyard; songs by Misses Christie, Collins, and Outred; and a piano solo by Mis& Aitcheson. To-morrow being the Dedication Festival of St. Matthew's Ohuroh there will be special services on that day and also on Sunday, particulars of which will be found in another column. At the evening service to-morrow a short address will be given by the incumbent especially to tho lay helpers of the parish, and the offertory will be in alii of the choir funds, The Bishop of the diooese will preach at the evening service on Sunday. The 'Strangers' Vade Meeum' is the title of a small handbook that has been issued from the Evening B«tab Office in connection with the Exhibition, and iu Its ninety odd pages the reader will find some useful information relating to the principal institutions and leading business establishments of the City. There is a colored frontispieco of the front of the Exhibition issued by the Caxton Company's lithographic press. We believe that a second edition of 0,000 has already been oalled for by the publisher.
The Evening Star. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1889., Issue 8017, 20 September 1889
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