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TOWN AND COUNTRY.

Death of Miss Dicken.—Our obituary of to-day records the death of Miss Mary Dicken, of Akaroa, to whose unceasing exertions to benefit all with whom she came in contact, but most especially the young, it is fit that a passing tribute should be paid. The rising generation—those who are shortly to occupy our places and bear our responsibilities—she made the chief objects of her care ; but for every object, in all ways, and in every manner of doing good which presented itself, she was always most active, and at the same time most unostentatious. Her own life was one of suffering and resignation; she bore up for many years without murmuring against the ravages of a p&inful and distressing complaint; and her many friends only learned a short time before her decease with how much fortitude she had for some years calmly looked iorward to the impending fate of which she was faithfully warned by her medical attendants. Miss Dicken was, in all truth, one of " the salt of the earth." The Auditor's Wokk.—The Council on Tuesday night, at the request of the Government, voted £250 to Mr. W. Thomson for his services in negotiating the purchase of land for the Southern railway.. The Government recommendation is sufficient assurance that the agent earned his commission. But Mr. Thomson is Provincial Auditor; and by the terms of the Act under which he holds his appointment, he may not take any office of emolument under or enter into any contract with the Government. We say most distinctly that the commission to purchase lands was a departure from the meaning and intention of the Act. And it is only an evasion to say that Mr. Thomson had no engagement to receive payment for his work, but trusted to get, what he has got, payment afterwards. .Without any manner of doubt, he would not have done the work without expecting to be paid; nor would the Government have let him do it for nothing. The engagement resolves itself into a pure bargain, and as such is directly contrary to the meaning of the Act. The Auditor is the Council's officer, and the Government have no business with him in any shape as a servant of theirs. It was in making the engagement that the Government committed the breach of law ; the payment came as a necessary consequence, one to which the Council, even in such a case, could with no grace offer an objection. The Council will certainly not suffer this to happan again, if they value the independence of their important officer the Auditor.

Curative Mesmehism. —The art of mesmerism, which is very commonly used by its professors only to excite curiosity and wonder, is capable of being applied to one of the noblest objects of man's existence—the benefit of his fellow-man. Its curative properties, however, do not diminish the wonder, we may say awe, with which the mysterious faculty impresses the enquirer; on the contrary, there is no set of circumstances in which the power of mesmerism can be more clearly shewn, or at least more fully appreciated, than when pain and suffering are removed, and weakness converted into strength by its aid. In Christchurch, the facts begin to be tolerably well known; there are among us a great number who are already sufficiently impressed witlrwhat they know to desire to know more. The stage of absolute incredulity and suspicion has been passed by those who have had an opportunity of witnessing the treatment of disease by Captain Wilson; and though the stage of coherent and convincing theory has not yet been reached, even by the more advanced practitioners of the art, there is wide room for advancements the ample field of facts,whence sooner or later a satisfactory theory will surely be deduced. As a careful inquirer into the science, no less than a successful practitioner of the art, Captain Wilson combines in himself many of the essential requisites of a guide to the examination of mesmerism. His experience assures the inquirer that a judicious course will be followed; and no less does thfe warm-hearted benevolence which has distinguished his practice in Canterbury commend him to all manner of men-for their friendly appreciation. We have noted , these points, because a lecture by Captain Wilson on Electro Biology is announced for next Monday evening, at the Town Hall, Christchurch, and we heartily desire that justice may done to the lecturer and his subject.

The Railway Steeple Chase comes off to day under promising circumstances. Owing to the fine weather we have enjoyed for the past few days, the course is in capital condition, and not so heavy as it was anticipated it would be. The fences have been, as we surmised was intended by the stewards, considerably altered, and the jumps are by no means so bad as was stated. Red Rover is scratched in consequence of lameness, but we hope this break down will not injure him for long. It is also stated as probable that the Drummer will not start. The course is admirably suited for spectators, who can, by standing on the partially formed embankment of the railway, see every jump distinctly. Trains start every hour, and, by advertisement, we see Cobb and Co.'s large coach will go on to the ground. In the event of the weather holding fine, and Saxby's. ill-omened prognostication for Michaelmas day failing, doubtless there will be a large attendance, and a really good day's sport may be counted on.

Princess' Theatre.—We would remind our readers that Mr. Richardson's benefit is fixed for this evening. On this occasion Mr. and Mrs. Newton will appear for the last lime. According to the bill, a very pleasant evening may be anticipated. Mr. Richardson will be assisted by some amateurs, who have kindly proffered their services. Kaiapoi Steeplechase.—The entries for this event closed on Tuesday last. The following are those accepted:—Mr. A. Crook's br h Major Croker, aged; Mr. J. Cameron's b g Tim Whiffler, aged; Mr. Kiffin Kenrick's cli g Harry Hieover, aged; Mr. Cole's b-g Peacock, aged; Mr.. Money's b g Joe Buggins, aged; Mr. Page's b m Fury, 6 years; and Mr. Wakefield's bk g Drummer, 5 years.

Artesian Well.—Another of these useful supplies of water has been successfully obtained in Latimer Square. The boring was commenced by the City Council' on the 15th inst., and water was struck at a depth of 90 feet on Monday evening last. The water is of excellent quality, and it has sufficient force to rise nine feet above the surface, in a pipe two and a-lmlf inches in diameter.

Papanui Bridgk. — Before two-and-twenty minutes past eleven on Wednesday morning, the 28th of September, 1864, the individual who ventured to cross that part of the Avon over which an iron bridge has ;been erected at a cost of nearly four thousand pounds, stood the very Unenviable chance of being dragged before the Resident Magistrate's Court, and there obliged to contribute to the revenue of the colony generally, by way of justifiable penalty for his unwarranted impatience. Quite right, too. Would it have looked seemly in the eyes of a person endowed with the knack of close observation, and still more, one who takes an interest in seeing that those who entertain a parental feeling for, look after the rights, assert the privileges,' and protect the purse of their fellow-citizen 9, are properly respected, if a bullock dray had crossed that first bridge of its kind in Canterbury, and left its wheel traces visible in the yet uncemented asphnlte, ;before that lovely yellow van of Barnard's (drawn by four animals which, as the story has it, were in training for some time past for this momentous occasion), filled with John Ollivier, Esq., member of the Provincial Council for Christchurch and Chairman of the City Council, his brother Councillors, Mr. Hawkes, and one other solitary personage, to whom alone the invitations of the Council extended, had hailed a cheer from the truly few assembled to witness the opening of the long-talked-of structure? By the energetic and commendable exertions of some one (unfortunately, we have have not been furnished with his name) such an occurrence was prevented. From early dawn preparations for the coming event could be plainly perceived by those who passed to and from the locality. A thick wroughtiron chain was put across the bridge on the Papanui side of tl\e water; two men were placed at either side to see that it should not be carried oif. The clerk of the city works was true to his post, and kept a strict look-ont that not one of the four deserted for a moment their onerous position ; and altogether appearances led us to look forward to a ceremony such as is very seldom witnessed in this city. But we were disappointed. Shortly before eleven o'clock,

the van referred to drove down to the city offW on v received its freight ; but what grieved us more tn see than anything else was the clerk, ia the absent of the sergeant-at-arms, carrying a small case nf champagne, and placing it in the vehicle beforestarc ing.JjWith a pre-determination to inform thoint,, bitarffs of South Colombo-street and the outskirts nf the event, the van and its freight were conveve,] through Market - square, Colombo-street thenr/ across the river, up Montreal-street, down the Pana nui-road, and down to the bridge. When some pcrchm from it the chain was taken away, and the van then moved into the centre, the spectators present K ivin L , vent to an extremely faint hurrah as it came to a stand-still. But where were the robes of the alder man and councillors ? and where the blue coat and red facings of the sergeant-at-arms ? Jim we , ire forgetting that in all probability their absence is owing to a consciousness on the part of their would, be wearers that to go to such an expenditure would be nothing short of an unnecessary outlay of the public funds. A bottle or two of champagne were instantaneously uncorked, and their contents as instantaneously disappeared. " With broad fair front" the Lord Mayor rose, and announced that the object of his presence was to inaugurate the openin" of the first iron bridge in Canterbury—an event which he was sure would bring home gratification to the heart of every citizen. Of course, a cheer followed; and when silence was restored, the health of her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria was proposed and drunk with all apparent enthusiasm! Lifting a bottle of champagne the Lord Mayor dashed it to the ground, amid expressions o£ lamentation at the loss of its contents by those whose opinions led them to believe it could have been more beneficially wasted. Oh! innocent, unsuspecting burgesses, does it not occur to you that in all likelihood the contents of that one bottle thrown there in the period of plentitude to keep down the dust in that one spot, will appear on the books at next sitting as an item of the dues for the inauguration of the Papanui Bridge? Can it be believed that our City bellman could conscientiously quaff that glass handed to him by a Councillor yesterday, without knowing that, if he were a ratepayer, a portion of its purchase was, or, strietly speaking, is to be contributed by him? We think not; but, taken as a whole, we must congratulate the City Council for being so saving a body. Mr. Ollivier then rose to propose the health of—(to use his own words)—" The Lord Mayor of Lyttelton." We looked sjbout to see whom he meant; but a fellow standing at a short distance from the van, and who, from the shortness of his hair, appeared to have been on recent terms of intimacy with the jailor at Lyttelton, raised a cry of "Donald again," and we were led to infer that the fellow was a very good authority for informing us that the respected Kesident Magistrate of Lyttelton occupied a seat in the carriage. The toast was drunk ; and, by way of returning the compliment, Dr. Donald rose, and proposed the " health and prosperity of the City Council." The toast was duly honoured ; and the glasses having been replenished, the health of the Superintendent of Canterbury was drunk, the van passed on, and thus ended the opening for public traffic of the Papanui Bridge. Fountain on the Bridlepath.—A graceful episode diversified the dull routine of voting pounds shillings and pence for the estimates, in the Provincial Council on Tuesday last. Every, one who has traversed the weary road between Cliristchurch and Lyttelton, taking the course of the Bridlepath, must be familiar with the little fountain, half way up the hill, which was formerly marked by a cross, bearing an inscription to the effect that it was erected by Mrs. Godley in testimony of her regard for the province, and in commemoration of,her sojourn in it. It must have been a matter of regret that this memorial should have been injured, and still more so, that the injury was a wanton one. Not " time," but the hand of some idle vagabond has broke her " little fount of stone." The Council, on the evening referred to, voted the sum of £75 for the renovation of the fountain. , Horticultural Society.—We aye requested to state that the monthly meeting of this society is put off from the 3rd October, as previously advertised, to the 10th October, when Mr. W. Wilson will deliver a lecture on the progress of horticulture in Canterbury. Horticultural Society for Akaroa and tiie Bays.—We hear a society of the above description is about being formed at Akaroa, and heartily hope it may succeed. The " humanising influence ' of gardening ought to be especially felt in a place which is itself the " Garden of Canterbury." Steam Communication* with Akaroa.—-A very numerously attended meeting of the inhabitants of Akaroa] was held at the Town Hall,, on Saturday evening, the 24th instant, to consider the above subject, John Watson, Esq., in the chair. The following resolutions were duly proposed, seconded, and carried:—!. That the inhabitants of Akaroa, as represented by this meeting, have heard with great dissatisfaction that the Government has been urged to subsidize, for the ensuing year, a steam service commencing at Lyttelton and terminating at Timaru. 2. That the principal demand for the dairy and fruit produce of Akaroa, being from south of Timaru, it will cause gre'at loss to this place should such proposal be carried into effect. 3. That the ports of call as at present used by the City of Dunedin, are those best suited to the requirements of this part of the Peninsula, and that this meeting cannot too strongly urge upon the Government the desirability of obtaining a weekly service each way. 4. That the chairman be requested to forward a copy of these resolutions to the Provincial Secretary immediately. One of the speakers said that it would be a great convenience to the public if the steamer had to m&ke a stay of at least two hours, a remark which all present acquiesced in. The meeting was the most numerously attended we ever remember seeing in Akaroa.

Accident. — Yesterday afternoon an accident occurred in High street, opposite the British Hotel. It apeare that a man named Quine was driving a bread cart at a brisk pace down the street, when he was beckoned by a person to turn to the sideway. In doing so, however, the cart capsized, and the driver, together with a lad who wa9 sitting on the roof, were hurled to the ground. Fortunately, neither of them received any injuries.

The Lysteii Opera Company.—The Daily Times gives the following summary of the performances of this troupe at Dunedin:—One of the most agreeable events in the social history of Dunedin has been the visit of the celebrated English Opera Company, which, under the management of Mr. Win. Lyster, has achieved great popularity throughout the Australian colonies. The company now playing in Dunedin comprises the names of Mdme.Lucy Escott, Mdlle. Rosalie Durand, Miss Georgia Hodson, Mr. Squires, Mr. Henri Wharton, Mr. Kttts, Mr. Beaumont, Mr. Fred Lyster, and Mr. Frank Trevor. The chorus is only limited as to number, but is efficient ; and the orchestra consists of first-class instrumentalists, under the able conductorship of Mr. George Loder, whose rank as a musician is second to nope in the colonies. When the " engagement of the Lyster Company was first made public in Dunedin, it was the general opinion that as a speculation the production of Opera in so small a community as that of this city, and in the face of general commercial depression, would prove a failure. Instead of this proving to be the case, the career of the Lyster Company, who are now playing their third week, has been one uninterrupted triumph. The excitement and enthusiasm of the music loving people of Dunedin have been something wonderful, and the elegant little Princess Theatre has been nightly crowded with delighted audiences. The season was originally to extend over twenty-four nights, but it is highly probable it will be protracted a week or so longer. The opening performance was " Lucrezia Borgia," and since then there has been a succession of novelties, the programme of the season including almost every modern opera of acknowledged merit. So fur, the great successes have been "Lucrezia Borgia," "Maritana," and "Traviata." But all the operas have been very creditably performed. Madame Lucy Escott possesses dramatic power of a very high and she sings with all the finish and efEect of an accomplished artiste. Her triumphs here so far have been achieved in the parts of Violetta hi " Traviata," and Valentine in "Les Huguenots." In the dnet with Raoul in the last act of the " Huguenots " Madame Escott completely carried her audience away in a rapture of applause. Mr. Squires sings and acts carefully, and is an acknowledged favourite, and with Madame Escott, supports the principal work in the various performances. Madlle. Durand charms her audience by her vivacity and sprightliness. Mr. Henri Wharton possesses a splendid voice, and sings with very great care and taste. He lacks energy, and but for this fault, which, however, he manages to overcome at times, would leave little to be desired either in his singing or action. Mr. Beaumont is a young vocalist as yet almost unknown to fume, but who is carving his way steadily to a high position in his profession. He possesses a truly glorious tenor voice, and will, no doubt, at some time, if he only study carefully, tnkc a place in the highest rank of vocalists. Mr. Fred Lyster, who does the buffo business, and Mr. Kitts, the basso, are each good in their particular walk. Miss llodson is a pleasing actor and a painstaking vocnlist. Inking the Company all-in-all, it is one of the best of its kind, and richly deserves the very liberal patronage it has received at the hands of the Dunedin public.

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TOWN AND COUNTRY., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1297, 29 September 1864

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3,168

TOWN AND COUNTRY. Lyttelton Times, Volume XXII, Issue 1297, 29 September 1864

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