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LOCAL GOSSIP.

•' Give me audience for a word or two." —Shakefpere. f OB the most part, those gentlemen who reprice" l us in Parliament have transferred themselves to Wellington, and now, in-toad of meeting them in Queen-street, Rll il discussing politics with more or less jjjit, we have to watch their actions in the Hou-e. I cannot say that they never will fct r.v.vxd, but ;vt .**(l events wo will contrive tc do without, thorn as best we can. The v-tt'w rf patriotism amongst all the mem--1 know, 1 must award to Mr. I ward jlitcalf Smith, commonly called in the lobbies " Ironsand Smith," to distinguish bin) from the member for Waipawa, Mr. \V, i . Smith, who has a nickname of his pwn. All the other members have been -.u-i!y enough spared from their ordinary

Auckland, for instance, can do for a session without Mr. Rees, Mr. £hera. anil .Mr. Thompson, while Waitec; it a will have to on without Mr. J.u'Uson rainier. lint when Mr. E. M. i»:ai:h leaves New Plymouth, a great- public danger arises, almost outweighing the rival ami undoubted service which he renders to the fit ate while at Wellington. T:;e wonder is. that lie can tear himself s w;tv, seeing the dreadful risks incurred.

avoc.uion*,

1 extract the following from the report ■*? the proceedings in the New Plymouth ii.>! nigh Council : —

Mr. K. M. Smith wrote, asking that his 5..11 bo allowed to do his work while lie was at Parliament. Ho stated that lie had nude arrangements with .Mr, Nieoll, pium--1:. t>> attend to any work in connection with the pipes, w inch was beyond the skill c: ids son. —His \\ orship said he would like something definite to he decided by the f.'unoii. They were all aware of the resolution which hail been passed by the Conned (ii ,i previous invasion.- The Town Clerk i,. :v it-ad the resolution, whieh stated that i'ul Mr. Smith require leave of absence di'leretit arrangements would have to he made, as the duties hail not boon satis- {». torily pel formed in his ahsenee. Mr. I'. : kill thought if the deputy performed the duties or turncock, he should be a servant i f the Council, and under its control. — Mr. Ik-ash took it from the wording of Mr. Ninth's loiter, that his son would bo absoluti Iv under the control of the Council. — After some further discussion, Mr. Corkill moved. " I hat leave of absence during the s.sMon of Parliament t>e granted to the borough turncock and lamplighter, Mr. ]■'. M. smith, M.H.K.. and that his sail *,W- .1 Jvaiti'.i be accepted as his substitute to |-,r:o; m all duties reasonably required of i:im. and to be under the control of the IV.an Clerk ami borough foreman. Jll the r-vi-iit of tiie work not being satisfactorily ;>e; formed, tile Works Committee have a i...r to terminate the arrangement, at once." Seconded by .Mr. Cullis, ami carried.

The borough councillors are naturally alarmed, in case, from the absence of the lamplighter, the citizens may be left 111 the dark some night. It will be observed that .hiring the discussion not the slightest .illusion is made to the benefit which Mr. Smith will undoubtedly be to the country. ii- will straighten out. all the tangle conI.- I '. 1 with the harbour and breakwater, at.d get adopted his plan for utilising the irot'saud, and then New Plymouth will boom.

I have heard of legislators of all professions. There are lawyers in the House (too many cf them), butchers, bakers, farmers. etc. by should there not be a L:nj(lighter ? Nay, is it not, of all prolessi on . the most significant, the one most, likely to convey associations and metaphors of an ennobling kind to a man engaged in moulding the destinies of a people, and in guiding their steps in the right path. Night after night have I admired Mr. Smith, _M. U.K., making his way, lamp in hand, with the proverbial professional Muiirtness, along the rough, irregular streets of New Plymouth Light and enlighrment went with him. He came to a dark corner, and lo ' in a second the darkness t» as dispelled, and light, and yet more light, was shed all around. I thought of Milton's "Hail, holy light." It. came into my mind that Mr. Smith had deliberately chosen that occupation in order that he might convince the people of New Plymouth that he is desirous that his wotk otr, of session should be a deliberate showing forth of what are his ambitions as a legislator.

And yet, in the face of these divine similitude*, the Borough Councillor* of New Plymouth are somewhat grudging in according leave of absence. Why, they ought to double his pay when he is away. Mr. Smith is a Liberal and a supporter of a Liberal Government, and the Borough Councillors had better take care, If the free and independent of Now Plymouth send him to Parliament the Mayor ought to think it an honour to light the lamps and turn the watertap- himself. The Council have resolved that, "in the event of the work not being satisfactorily performed, the Works Committee have a right, to terminate the ai rangeinent at once." I should like to see them date to try, and pass a resolution ordering Mr. Smith away frotn deciding the fate of the colony an t the unborn millions to come home and light the lamp-. Why, Mr. Smith would at once move that the Mayor and Councillors of New Plymouth should be ordered to the bar to answer for bieaeh of privilege of Parliament. Indeed, I think he has good ground for doing something of the kind now. Is a man who has a mission to enlighten the world, to make it better, to advance this great colony, to devclope its marvellous resources, to be talked to by a set of Borough Councillors? Is he to gel away onlv on the condition that he may be ordered back at any moment? W by, what is the u-e of Liberalism and the rights of man if this sort of thing is to go on ?

Mr. .Smith's duties in New Plymouth are no doubt very important, and here arises the only reflection upon him. It. seems that on last occasion, when we presume his son was also his substitute, the duties had not. been satisfactorily performed. One wuiild have thought that the duty of lighting the lamps, although possessed of such deep moral significance, would not have been a work demanding such a degree of mental power that Mr. W. J. Smith could not have fullilled it to the satisfaction of the most exacting councillor. lam afraid that Mr .Smith has allowed himself to be so much absorbed in his political duties that he may have to some extent sacrificed his parental responsibilities.

Hi-hop Julius, of (,'ht istchiucl;, is supposed to be the apostle of a somewhat vigorous and unconventional Christianity. 1 rather like that sort of thing as a rule, but I must confess to being shocked at the latent display. He was preaching at Holy Trinity Church, Lyttelton, one Sunday evening lately, and it having been announced that the Bishop was to preach, the church was crowded to the door. The first part of the service being concluded, His J-ordship took his place at the rostrum, and for some three minutes he turned over the leaves of his small pocket Bible, in a vain endeavour to find his text. At last he looked up and, with an apology, frankly acknowledged that he had forgotten where to tit he particular verse. " But, - ' lie added, with a twinkle in his eye, '"1 know my text," and then proceeded to recite it, the sermon preached being, as an obliging newspaper reporter states, "an excellent one."

To begin with, I have reason to doubt the competency of any reporter to judge whet a sermon is an excellent one or not. I may indeed confess that I know from personal experience that if a newspaper man wants to say that the sermon is an excellent one, he says so at once, and makes no bones about it. If he has any doubts on the subject, he soothes his conscience with the reflection that if it is not excellent it ought to be, and at all events, that charity hopeth all things, and believeth all tilings. Rut what is to b3 said about a Bishop who cannot find a text on which lie has meditated a sermon ? Think of his position, rustling over his " pocket Bible,' not able to gay whether the test (I am

sorry that we are not told after all what it was) was in Genesis or Revelation. I suppose Bishop Julius is an Oxford or Cambridge man. I feel persuaded that if anyone were to recite a chorus from Homer, Bishop Julius would be able to say at once whether it was in the Iliad or the Odyssey ; or if a passage were cited from any reek play, he could say whether it was from .Eschylus, Euripides, or Sophocles, or any other. And yet lie cannot at the moment find a passage in the Bible ! I remember the time when I would havo been severely chastised if I had not been able to luru up any passage which I knew. One would have thought that the Bishop would have been overwhelmed with confusion and embarrassment. If he had been, i would have had some hope of him, as showing that he had a consciousness of his shortcoming and his sin. Bub no. We are told by the reporter that he slips out of it with a ''twinkle in his eye." And then (1 shudder to think of it) lie actually has the audacity to go into a pulpit with a pocket Bible ! Not being able to find his text was a proper providential punishment for this sacrilege.

Lastly, why did he not recite the text as nearly as lie could, and appeal to the congregation to till him where it, was? lie might have relieved himself cleverly from lie. embarrassing situation by stating the text, and saying that ho wanted to test their Scriptural knowledge. But Scripture teaching is now so sadly neglected that po.-sibly lie was afraid that in all that church, crowded as it was to the door, there was no man who could havo told him where the text was to be found. Perhaps it was not in the Bible at all. Perhaps it was one of those phrases, such as "God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb," which most people believe to be somewhere in the Bible, but which are not there.

I am always grieved when I see symptoms of envy unci covetousness amongst our Southern fellow-colonists towards Auckland. What do my readers think they arc after now? They can scarcely contain their spleen, because up here we have several times seen the great sea-serpent, and have besides had the "Saurian monster,'' " the groat marine, monster," lately exhibited, and besides that, two respectable settlers have found the skull of a gigantic bird, having teeth in its bill. These people down South are so dreadfully prosaic, that they cannot make any allowance for the phenomena of our brilliant, semi-tropical climate, or even the vividness of imaginations nurtured under a bright and sunny sky.

A considerable amount of fuss has been made because Tawhiao, the Maori King, has deigned to accept a pension at the hands 01 the Government, and the Native Minister is expecting to get greatkudos, not so much from the colonists, who know Hie whole circumstances too well, as from Europe, where the Maori King is still, it seems, a name to conjure with. Tho matter has actually been put into the mouth of His Excellency the Governor in the speech with which he opened Parliament. But then Tawhiao is going about, declaring that the whole story is a gross calumny and falsehood, and when he was charged with the otl'ence at a meeting of his followers, he said it was a shameful lie of these cunning Pakehas. Are we to doubt the word of a king or of a Native -Minister ?

Our Liberal rulers are doing well in the way of titles. Our Colonial Secretary, who in the days of his hot and fervid youth was a soldier in the Pope's Irish Guard, is now, by the grace of Her Majesty, a Knight of St. Michael and St. George. Then we have Mr. W. B. Perceval, our AgentGeneral, who also, being a 'vert, claims the Pope as his spiritual father, receiving an order of knighthood from the hands of His Holiness.

A week or two ago a correspondent of mine started the question of how we were to deal with the Maori race, and desired to elicit opinions of persons who had thought on the subject. A gei.tleman signing himself " I'.thnologist." sends from Hamilton an elaborate scheme by which the young Maories were to be taught on a farm. I quote some portions, but I cannot give the v. hole : —

As I perceive by Saturday's Gossip that none of your numerous correspondents have as yet solved the Maori qiit.stion, I will now j nit forward a scheme, which I have had in my mind for some time past; and which is, as far as 1 can see, tilts only w ay of successfully combating this (as you rightly term it) serious, diliicult, and solemnising subject. From what 1 have seen little, I fear, can lie done for the adult Maoris, as their loose and lazy habits have been too long indulged in for them to he easily alienated from them. It is the rising generation of .Maoris that we must regenerate, and th it soon, before the race disappears, leaving an everlasting reproach on New Zealand. We must admit that we have been the means of bringing upon them much of their present misery. _i suppose there are about -10.000 Maoris in New Zealand, of which, 1 should say. there are not more than 20,0!KJ young people. Now, the Maoris have large tracts of land with which they are doing nothing ; and if the Government could procure about 10!).(Ml) acres of this land, which, I think, should bo sutlicient, and start a farm on which to train the native children into European ways, and 1 should say they would make as good a class of settlers if properly trained and taught to work as any the Government could import, they (the < iovei nmr'sil) would do far better than spending large sums of money in importing a lot of people who, for aught they may know, are loafers and vagabonds. Now, tne laud foi this training farm should not be all of the one kind, but if possible should contain swampy flits, fern hills, and bush country, and the soil should be of as many different kinds as possible, loams, clays, limestone, sandy loams, etc., and then your pupils would know how to treat whatever kind of land they may be settled on afterwards. All, 1 dare say, would not be lilted for an agricultural life, but dillerent trades could be also taught, and then it could be easily seen to what occupation each individual was most partial, and consequently most fitted for.

My correspondent goes at some length into a scheme which would involve a completely paternal Government. The weaker Maoris are not to be allowed to marry, so that the race would gradually be .strengthened and improved.

AI lie meeting ro Anti-< iambling the clerical element wan very strong anil loud in denunciations ot gambling, but in some eases it. would bo well it' lie physician healed himself. 1 see it, noted that in one country district an entertainment was got up to build a church, where everything likely 'to extract money from the pockets of the unregenerate was availed of "from a 'bran dip' to an 'art union.'" The other day three little girls bailed me up to take a ticket for an ecclesiastical art union. On looking over the prize list the most prominent works of art i noticed were some tenders, footstools, cushions, and a box of Nelson, Moate and Co.'s blended tea. I am not going to say that the "blend" is not a work of art, but really the Church should teetotally divorce itself from this ,-ort of thing, before tackling the totalisator. The little girls were particularly anxious to disabuse my mind about the ticket, " ('lease, sir, it's not gambling ; it's an art union !"

The death of Mrs. James Coates, the other dayone of our oldest identities — revives some interesting reminiscences of the olden time. Mrs. Coates, when she came from Sydney in the Chalydra, brought from that port a cow and a greyhound —the cow about the first brought to Auckland, and the greyhound certainly so. .Jerry Waite, another old identity now dead, was in charge of the cow. Mr. and Mrs. Coates' marriage took place at eight o'clock at night, at Government House, Governor Hobson giving away the bride—one of the beauties of her day. After the marriage was solemnised, the young married couple had to assist at the christening of Governor Hobson's baby by becoming godfather and godmother to the child. When Mrs. Coates' eldest son was born, he was named Hobson Coates in compliment to our first Governor, and he and Lady Hobson became his sponsors ; while another son was named Ligar as ono of his Christian names, after our first

Surveyor-General. Mr. Coates attended tho first meeting to arrange for the building of Old St. Paul's Church —being convened by Governor Hobson at Government House—and Mrs. Coates led the singing of the hymn sung at the laying of the foundation stone of tho church, a place of worship in which she laboured and worshipped for half a century. Mrs. Coates was a patriotic woman. She loved Auckland— storm and in sunshine —and one of her proudest boasts in tho la3t year of her life was, "I have walked up and down the streets of Auckland for over 50 years, and never have been out of the district." Another pioneer settler of the olden time has passed away in Lady Fox. Among tho earliest friends of Lady Fox and her husband in Nelson over half acenturyago was Dr. Purchas, who came out there as medical oflicer in charge of emigrants in the old Stains Castle, and the friendship then formed was lifelong.

A lady or a woman—but I judge a woman—to use the phraseology of the fair correspondent who addresses me on the Women's Franchise League, has written to me. That she is a true woman goes without saying, as she artfully signs her letter "A Constant Reader of Gossip," to sweeten " Merc." She says :—

I)kah Mkroutio, —I have been reading an account of a 'meeting to form a Woman's Franchise League. Could you inform me if such a league is really for women or for ladies? Would that class of the female sex known as women really benefit by the franchise, or is it merely a new pastime for the highly intellectual class called " ladies." I think myself, if the franchise were granted the " Indies " only would receive any benefit; for the class I call women would still have too much to do if they attended to their homes and families to care whether they had the franchise or not. Those of us who have not got a high-class education have still the ambition of bringing up our sons to be good men and true. Life is far too busy with us to trouble ourselves with politics. So long as we have honourable men sent to represent us we need have no fear for our country. We don't wish to hear of men being sent up who would compel us to take a lease when we prefer a freehold. I don't want you to think I despise the " ladies." Far from it. I greatly respect a lady, but still have no wish to see more than one in power at one time. 1 think if we were to unite to teach our sons to _be really honourable men and good citizens, and give them a good moral training, we should have a very good franchise.

My correspondent says she does not despise " ladies''far from it; in fact, in her womanly way, respects them. This is so far good. But. while she desires to stick to the laudable task of bringing up her son to be an honourable man—which even ladies profess to do—she must give a show to those of t'-jcin who are getting weary of the old traditional mission set before them of "suckling fools and chronicling small beer.''

" A Lady" is much more vicious about the franchise business than " A Woman." She is prepared to give "Two Lovely Black Eyes" to the first female canvasser who comes to her door for the Woman's Franchise League, while an opponent of the measure of the sterner sex, who may bo seen "doing the block" in Queen-street, lias 011 his oflice door, " No canvasser for the Woman's Franchise League need call in otlice hours." Jn fact, he solemnly intimates that if ever the female franchise is granted he will take his name oft' the roll, 011 principle, and go homo and nurse the baby. To show how differently some men view such matters, a gentleman who noticed in the report, of the meeting of the Woman's Franchise League, that his name was mentioned as one worthy to be put on the committee, went straight home and told his wife, with the remark, " You see some ladies think a good deal of me." The dame, with a far away look in her eyes, merely observed, " That's because they don't know you so well as I do." He is now sorry that he spoke.

We get a great many theories tested in America. One of them is that whenever a murder is committed, it is a case of insanity. They have recently carried it to its utmost limit, and even an Auckland lawyer will find it hard to heat the following wire drawn defence :— A mob took a man named Sieboldt out of gaol at Darlington and lynched him. The defence of insanity was very gravely set up for all concerned who had been indicted, and so successful was it. that the jury, after being out four hours, returned a verdict finding that at the time of the lynching all the defendants were insane, and therefore not guilty as charge 1. The fact is the jury Funcked on the business.

In various parts of the colony meetings have been held to condole with the publicans who have lost their licenses through the action of the licensing committees. At Dune lin, when the moderate committee was elected, they talked about cutting out '20 hotels of the poorer sort to enable the others to earn a decent living without breaking the law, which is now the excuse owing to the cutting competition. When it came to the pinch they only cut out four. As with retrenchment generally everybody was in favour of cutting out hotels, • but they always wanted " the oilier fellows" cut out. The motion of sympathy with the publicans who lost their licenses was moved by the sympathetic Vincent Pyke, who stated that his presence there wasowing to the fact that he was neither a publican nor a sinner. I have not heard of any meeting of condolence being convened on behalf of those who .suffered here, or ev«n in the interest, of the owner of t hat " one. ewe lamb" in the Crescent—a " free" lamb, by the way—about which a certain solicitor drew such an affecting picture in the Licensing Court. It did not " fe';ch" the Licensing Bench, who thought hat the one ewe lamb was a case of " much cry and little wool."

I notice that a Professor of Palmistry, a Madame Tisher, has come to Auckland, though we have already in our midst two of these ladies of light, if not of leading, in the community. It is surprising to see the number of women strolling into her waiting rooms—some young women wanting to know something of the Future and that, young man who has never crossed their path ; young men who want to know their fate and are willing to dare it; widows, deep in crape, who would know something of the present and the dear departed, but more of the time to come and his successor. Madame is also a herbalist, and, it is said, cured To Whiti's daughter of an internal complaint which baflled medical skill, of three years' standing, and who is now in good health. This so enraged the disciples of Esculapiu.s that, it is rumoured, they invoked the aid of the police authorities to "chivy" her. She sweetly told Inspector Pardy that, when she was ready she would " move on," and kept her word. I am not surprised that the Aucklanders catch on to palmistry. Some of them are rather found of "palming work" and —palm oil. Mkkgutio.

The annual report presented to the directors of the Crichton Royal Institution for the treatment of the insane at Dumfries (Scotland) by the medical superintendent (Dr. Rutherford) contains the following paragraph:—"The death of one pauper patient (a gentleman) was due to spontaneous rupture of the heart. He was an Irish landlord, and the troubles which cause his insanity was due to the unsettled condition of his country. The loss of his means of livelihood, and the shock caused by the refusal to pay their rents of thoso who had lived around him all his life and had been his and his father's tenants, overthrew his reason, and created such paroxysms of nervous excitement as eventually brought on his death literally by a broken heart. A post mortem examination was made, and the ease has been recorded in the medical journals by my assistant, Dr. Bruce."

" Facts are stubborn things," and the fact of the large amount of property which has changed hands lately through _ Thorn us' Agency, Queen-street, should convince everyone that it is the best agency in Auckland for the speedy sale of property.

Persuade your friends to become members of the Auckland Co-operative Butchery. Those neglecting to secure shares at once will have to pay one shilling per share extra For prospectus, apply Reginald Beaumont and Co., accountants and financial agents, two doors above P. 0., Shortlancl-street.

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Bibliographic details

LOCAL GOSSIP., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXIX, Issue 8914, 25 June 1892, Supplement

Word Count
4,429

LOCAL GOSSIP. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXIX, Issue 8914, 25 June 1892, Supplement

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