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The Otago Daily Times. WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED THE OTAGO GUARDIAN. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1879.

Those among us who have been so persistent in maintaining that alcoholic liquors of every kind are simple unmitigated evils, and that the only rational cure for, and effectual discouragement to, intemperance consiss in total abstinence, can scarcely view with much satisfaction the papers on this subject contributed to the November number of the Contemporary Eeview by Drs Sir James Paget, T. Lauder Brunton, and Bernays. There is doubtless a great deal in these papers with which the most ardent teetotaller will find pleasure in agreeing; for it is not to be supposed that three eminent physicians and surgeons, in extensive practice, could do other than strongly condemn habits of excess in drinking, of which every reasonable being, infinitely less instructed, can see the deadly evil. But on the other hand he will find a great deal more which runs counter to his most cherished convictions. He will find that however unanimous these authorities may be as to the evils of excess, when the question comes tobe stated as between temperance and abstinence they give unqualified opinions in favour of the former. It is indeed admitted by Sir James Paget that in so far as the results of temperance as against total abstinence upon nations or very large bodies of men are concerned, there has not yet been collected an amount of evidence which would be sufficient to leave the issue a finally decided one ; but he is emphatic in saying that the balance of evidence goes in favour of temperance. And when he deals merely with the records of his own experience, and the impressions left upon him by his extended contact with individuals, he appears to have no doubt whatever that the man who can make use of alcohol within proper bounds has, in present as well as ultimate results, a decided advantage over him to whom it is prudentially or compulsorily denied. We can well believe that such testimony is in perfect accord with the strong but perhaps unexpressed convictions of vast numbers of unbiassed individuals who have found alcohol to be an advantageous food, and found it to be a beneficial stimulant, but who, from seeing the legitimate results of their experience vehemently controverted, would fain deny that it is either one or the other. It seems to us that it is only now a rationalistic school is arising on this much-vexed liquor question, or at any rate that such a school is deriving weight from the number and importance of its adherents; and we can scarcely doubt that the result will, yet be an important modification of existing public opinion on the subject. It would, of course, be a simple act

of folly to argue as if the weight *>f medical testimony were all on one side. As a matter of fact there are numbers of eminent physicians ranged upon the other, and indeed one of the most strik- ' ing features of the whole liquor question is the direct conflict of medical testimony. But it can hardly be denied that a very large proportion of those who have come prominently forward aa the opponents of alcohol in every shape and form are men who have had their minds naturally more or less inflamed by the hideous evils which the excessive use of it often carries in its train, and who could not do other than believe, as Sir James Paget puts it;'that "if a large quantity does great harm, a smaller quantity must do some harm, however much less it may be." Without for a moment going the length of saying that those who urge the doctrines of total abstinence are necessarily less capable of taking a sound view of the position than others who are in favour merely of temperance, there ia still some reason for the belief—and our experience of individuals gives colour to it—that they who make the attack stand in greater danger of importing moral intemperance into the question than others who merely feel called upon to defend a philosophical position which has been unjustly assailed.

Then, again, there are aspects of the question, to take an accurate survey of which requires no technical knowledge whatever. An individual needs to have no acquaintance with the physiological action of alcohol on the human frame to enable him to form a shrewd opinion that a certain taste could scarcely have been universally implanted except gratification were intended, at any rate to some slight extent. It is admitted by everyone that throughout the whole world the human system demands an occasional stimulant. It is quite possible that those who prefer the alcoholic form of stimulation, and who within bounds feel themselves the better for it, may have been doing some subtle and irreparable injury to themselves without being in the least aware of it; but, as Sir James Paget puts it; there is no more evidence in support of the position than there would be if, in place of the word " alcohol," one were to substitute " common salt." And we reach higher moral ground when we reflect that temperance requires a greater exercise of self-control than abstinence—an exercise which in itself must be regarded as a beneficial process. Boswell has left it on record that Dr Johnson, who was somewhat given to the pleasures of the table, could abstain, but that he could not be temperate. Doub6less this seems to play into the hands of those who preach total abstinence doctrines; but the argument quite fails when it is applied indiscriminately—as is generally the case—to the morally strong as well as to the weak. For after all the followers of temperance, as "distinguished from those of abstinence, are in a vast majority. And the past history of our race can hardly be said to teach us that the multitude who are strong will deny themselves for the benefit of the minority who are weak. With regard to the measures that must be taken for the cure or palliation of intemperance, it would appear as if the increase of our knowledge pointed in the direction of natural as against entirely legislative means of repressjon. The sure, if somewhat slow, method Ties, as Dr Bernays has truly written, and as hundreds have said before him, "in raising the general condition of the people." And it is a curious and somewhat lamentable fact that many individuals who are most earnest in their endeavours to eradicate intemperance not iafrequently throw the greatest stumbling-blocks in the way of those whose path to temperance should be made as plain and smooth for them as it was possible to make it. It is only at the present moment that we see in Victoria the spectacle of a.leading Presbyterian divine making a bitter attack upon a learned judge, who pleaded for the working man that he might have access to the Museum and National Xxallery on Sunday afternoons. In view of this fact'a; rather melancholy significance is given to one of the concluding sentences in the article of Dr Bernays to which we have just been alluding. He says that while "our Sundays are made as dull as possible," it is' 'a Pharisaism of the most open character" that on that day "the museums are closed while the publichouses are open " ! We are not insensible to the fact that in this particular a somewhat better state of affairs prevails here, but it may yet be doubted whether a good deal of the energy now expended in Local Option Bills might not be more profitably engaged in reducing intemperance by even humble efforts to elevate the standard of the lower social life.

The terrible disaster at the Kaitangata Coal-mines, which has resulted in the loss of about thirty lives, will rank in the history of mining in New Zealand as the first of the kind, though from the annals of coal-mining in other countries we may judge it will not be the last. It had generally been supposed that mining in our superficial coal and lignite deposits was not attended with the dangers which accompany the miner's profession in the coal measures of the Home Country. For one thing, the coal was not supposed so readily to emit inflammable gas. It seems that some slight warnings had been received by the manager of the Kaitangata Mines, and that such precautions had been taken as were declared sufficient by a competent authority. All this will of course be inquired into. If there has been thoughtlessness on the part of individual miners, they have, poor fellows, paid for it with their lives, Our first duty will be to provide for the families of those who are married, and who leave behind them wives or children in a dependent condition; our second, to consider by what means the danger of such terrible and wholesale destruction of human life may in future be reduced to a minimum. We know that at Home no regulations and no inspections have succeeded in absolutely preventing sudden disasters. The miner's trade is and must be a dangerous one. But there can be no question that by wise inspection and careful ventilation many thousands of lives have been saved. We, however, defer further comment until the full extent of this melancholy misfortune can be known and its causes investigated.

Our Supplement this morning contains a second article on " The Industries of the Future," No. 3 of the Kindergarten, reports of the Commercial Building Society's meeting, the local Courts, letters to the Editor, the re> mainder of our Home letter, and a variety of other matter. ■. , . /.".V" " .j

.A meeting of the members of the Dunedin Jockey Club was held at the Empire Hotel last evening, when there were present: Messrs Stephenson (in the chair), Driver, Meenan, Taggart, Reany, Dowse, Dodson, and Marshall. A letter from Mr George Darrell, inviting the patrdnage of tha Club brie of the performances at the Princess Theatre during the race week, was read, and it was decided to

accept the invitation, Mr Darrell to fix th» night on which the patronage is required. The tender of Mr E. T. Waters for the sole right of catering^ on the gr»nd stand reserve was accepted. It was decided that all declarations to win with a particular horse must be mad* at least half an hour before the advertised time of starting, [under a penalty of L2O. It was further determined that only three bells be rung—for weighing, saddling, and starting, and that jockeys not attending at the proper time be fined LI for each default. Telegrams were read from the Hons. J. Macandrew and G. S. Whitmore, stating that the Government had gazetted the 27th and 28th instant as Bank half-holid&ys, and the Olub appointed a deputation to wait on the Mayor this morning to ask him to proclaim half-holidays on these dates; The first race on each day will start at 1 o'clock sharp.

A letter from the Hon. Colonel Wfaitmore, contradicting the rumour that the Governor was refused a salute and guard of honour by the Ministry on|leaving Wellington, will be found in our telegraphic columns. ■

A cricket match waa played at Milton yesterday between the Bruce and the Clutha Cricket Clubs. The day was very fine, but warm; there were very few spectators present. Thefollowing are the scores:—Bruce, Ist innings': E. Pettit, 5; G. Stanbrook, 6; J. Grant, 7; F. Twiss, 5; J. Mathoson, 37; —Henrys, 14; J Dewar, 8; D. Dewar, 0; D. Reid (captain), 3; F. Bastings, 2; J. Lockhnrt, 3; extras, 21: total, 111. Clutha, Ist innings: Atheson, 0; Shore, 6; Perston, 7; Lawrence, 0; Clarke, 6; Blackburn, 3; Ayre, 2;Wil. liamson (captain), 0; Campbell, 1; M'Neil" 0; Turnbull, 2; extras, 9; total, 32. Second innings: Turnbull, 3; Perston, 6; Lawrence, 0; Williamson (Captain), 4; Clarke, 2; Ayre, 7; Campbell, 0; M'Neil, 1; Blackburn, 0 ; Quine, 5; Capstick, 1; extras, 2: total, 31. Bruce thus won. by an innings and 48 runs.

The Rev. J. T. Evans, M.A., who « amongst us at present, as agent for the British, and Foreign Bible Society, has arranged to conduct a service for children from all-the surrounding Sunday-schools, in. new Knot Church, to-morrow, at 3 o'clock. The youngpeople and their friends will have an opportunity of contributing to the funds of the Society.

Yesterday was observed pretty generally as a holiday, and as the weather was fine a large number of people "enjoyed a day's outing. Some of the Government and a few other offices were kept open, but very little business was done.

The adjourned general meeting of the Ayrshire Association of Otago, which waa to have been held last evening, was further adjourned, till the 7tb March.

Miss Jane Blackley, who has been connected with, the Albany street School about four years as a pupil teacher, but has lately entered the Normal School as a student, was yesterday presented with a cabinet and a volume of Longfellow's Poems by her |former fellowteachers. The presentation was made by Mr J. L. Ferguson, the head master of the school, on behalf of the subscribers.

There was a large attendance at the Queen's Theatre last night, and Mr Varley gave an interesting address on "the Lord's Second Coming." Mr Varley announced that at the - Sunday afternoon meeting in the Theatre, h» would speak upon the absolute necessity of having the Bible in our public schools, an announcement that was received with loud applause. It may be mentioned, also, that another statement which provoked applause"was, that for 14 years he had been pastor of the tabernacle at Notting Hill, without having ever been paid a shilling.

On Thursday evening about half-past 6, while three daughters of Mr Robert Duckworth, residing near Tomahawk Lagoon, and another girl named Margaret Osvenden, were walkmg along the Ocean Beach, near Tomahawk, they saw a man dressed in grey clothes, who appeared to be under the influence of drink, walk into the sea. In a short tame he seemed to 'get overpowered by the waves, which rolled over him; then he became lost tosight. The girls immediately informed Mr Duckworth of the occurrence, and a search was made along the water's edge, but nothing further of the man was Been. The police are making inquiries about the affair. A meeting was held last evening in Carer. sham Presbyterian Church in connection withthe British and Foreign Bible Society. The Eev. J. N. Russell occupied the chair, and in a few appropriate remarks introduced the Rev Mr Evans to the meeting, as the agent of the Society in these Colonies. ' Mr Evans then gave a most interesting address on the operations of the Society, alluding especially to its, work in Spain, India, and at the Seat of War* The Eev. Mr Dolamore also took part, and the Rev. A. Blake spoke briefly of the efforts of the local society. We may draw attention to the notice elsewhere of the annual meeting of the Otago Bible Society, when Mr Evans will be present and address the meeting. - '.■'■ .

With the exception of two families, the.whole of the immigrants by the Wellington who went to Oamaru have been engaged, j

We have been desired to correct an error of omission in the abstract of the financial state-1 merit of Knox Church given in yesterday'a issue. The total contributed for the year- waa: L4s39—made up thus: Seat rents, L 865 j door, collections, L 797; special collections, L 223; missions, L 154; sustentation fund, L 558; and building fund, L 1941.

Mr J. M. Watson's tender (L 480) for tha erection of an engine-shed at Clinton has been. accepted by the Public Works Department. '-

Mr D. Campbell's house in Howe street, which was burned on Thurday evening, was insured for L 225 in the New Zealand Office..

Captain Borin^r, of the barque zEAelbarht, who is an authority on bar harbours, informs us that at Savannah, in South Carolina, the bar is effectually kept clear by means of a small steamer, which is fitted with a hopper dredge, to which is attached a pueumatic tube ; the dredge raises or disturbs the sand, which is at once carried through the tube and deposited in a receiving tank. This is, when full, taken to a convenient spot and discharged.

With regard to the complaint of the Danediu Fire Brigade about the alarm at North Dunedin not being given on Thursday evening, when information was first obtained of the fire in Howe street, we have been informed that the cabman who went to the Police Stationdid notknowactually whether there was a fire or not. He had been told by somebody else of the occurrence, and could not say of his own knowledge whether the rumour was correct. If he had really seen the fire the sergeant of police would have had no hesitation in ringing the belL ; The police are responsible for any alarm given, and they have to act cautiously in receiving any information of the kind. It is a matter uf common, occurrence, we are told, for persons to give false alarm", and if the ball was rung on each occasion, a deal of unnecessary troubla would be caused.

A return of cases heard at the City Police Court during the quarter ending December 31st last shows that 80 persons were discharged for want of prosecution or evidence; 59 cases were dismissed on theirmerita; 521per3onswere summarily convicted or held to bail; 7 were committed for trial—making a total of 715 cases heard. The fines received were L 220 6a, and the fees Lll4 6s Cd. There were sent to the Industrial School 39 children as neglected ; six lunatics were committed; one lunatic, discharged ; one inquiry into wreck was heard ; and one protection order granted. In the September quarter 611 cases were heard ; feca received amounted to L 9183 6d; fines to Ll3O Is 6d; and recognisances were estreated to the extent; of LOS 53 9J. In the June quarter 721 cases were heard ; the fees received were Lll9 7s 9d ; and the fines L 17103 Cd. During the March quarter 723 cases were heard, the fees derived being Ll2l 0i 6d? and the fines LlB4 2s.

The Kyneton Observer of February Bth relate a. the following plucky action:—A few dayn sines threshing operations were being carried on at Mr J. Forster's farm, Carisruhe. The machine was at work between, two stacks of grain, ono being considerably higher than the other. A spark from the engine caused a sheaf on the higher stack to ignite, and this was seen by » young man name! Oakley, who was at work ; on the lower stack. He at once, at considerable ; ■~ < personal risk, jumped from the stack on to the maohine, and from thence to the other stack of grain, and seized the burning Bheaf in his arm*. The action of jumpiDg, however, so disturbed.

%is equilibrium that he fell ifrom the stack to the ground, a distance of «ome2ofeet. Fortunately he was not hurt, and ho at once rolled •and ran away from the stacks for a distance of about 100 yards, still holding the burning «heaf in hia arms, which was then extinguished. ■Oakley, save a few blisters on his fingers, sustained no injury either from the fall or the burning sheaf, and his escape is a remarkable ■ one. ' There was about L6OO worth of grain ra the two stacks, and they would in all probability have been completely, destroyed only for energetic and "plucks" action. The «rain was insured, we believe, for some L2OO or L3OO, and the insurance company intend to recognise Oakley's conduct in a suitable -manner. " An aboriginal who for some time past has .gone by the name of 'Prince of Wales, 1 but who firat became known to fame as ' Captain Piper,'" relates the Brisbane Courier of 3rd February, " was arrested at Cobb's Camp re*ently, and was yesterday evening lodged in the lock.up, Brisbane, on a charge of murder. It will be remembered by many of our readers that about the end of February, 1866, the public of Brisbane were startled by the commission of a horrible murder by the blacks at Mooloolah. The victim was William Stephens, ~a botanical collector in the employ of the -Government Gardens in this city, and from all that was elicited about the fatal occurrence it appears that he left Lowe's store, Mooloolah, ■ on 23rd February, on bis return to Brisbane, • accompanied by one of the blacks whom he was in the habit of employing to show him over the country. The name of this aboriginal was ~* Tommy Skyring,' and two others named' Captain Piper' and 'Johnny Griffin' left the store in ■the same direction shortly after Stephens' . departure; but they had been sent on an errand to Kinman's station, where, however, they did . not put in an appejvrance. On the following poor Stephens was found in a water. hole dead, with several tomahawk gashes about the neck and face. It was supposed at the time that the three blacks had agreed to mur • der the man and share his property, and one of them,' Tommy Skyriug,' upon being anested, - confessed that this was the case, but stated that Piper struck the first blow while ho and Griffin engaged Stephens in conversation. Skyring died a natural death in gaol, and we leain that •■Griffin is also dead. Pipw was captured •shortly after the occurrence, but contrived to slip through the handcuffs and escape. After -13 years he i 3 now again in the hands of the -police."

The Waugunyah (Victoria) Times of February 4th writes : —"One of the heaviest ■thunderstorms ever experienced passed over this district on last Saturday evening. Nearly lialfamile of the new railway line was -damaged, and traffic temporarily suspended. "The discovery of the damage done was providential. Shortly before the arrival of the night •train to Rutherglen from Springhurst, the Go- • Ternment inspector of work 3, Mr Kerr, heard the roaring of tho waters, and immediately went -over to the line. A slight examination in the -dark showed that much of the ballast had been washed away, and that in places the sleepers ■ and rails were in an actual state of suspension, the small embankment underneath having been completely washed away. Information was at onc9 sent to the stationmaster at Rutherglen, and that gentleman immediately proceeded up the line with a -danger-signal. The journey for a mile and . a-half along the line was exceedingly difficult, owing to the number of breeche3 caused by the water, and Mr Cadwallader reached the end of 'th damaged line only just in time to stop the . train, and thus prevent a terrible catastrophe. •On seeing the danger-signal, the engine driver and guard immediately put the breaks hard down, and the train was only stopped within 50 yards of the first breach on the line. Had it not been for the promptitude with which the inspector and the Btationmaster acted, a great calamity must have happened."

On Tuesday morning, at 9 o'clock (says the Ballarat Star of February sth), a citizen of this towD, with a posse of carpenters, labourers, and arters, numbering 12 in all, proceeded t 0 orcibly eject a tenant of his on the Creswick road, who declined to go away, and also declined to pay his rent. The preliminaries were enacted by a policeman, who solemnly warned both oidss thai, It wouia be His duty to Arrest the first one that struck a blow, and then felj back to watch the siege operations. The tenant and his wife, a daughter of Erin, armed one with a shovel and the other with an axe, set the storming party at defiance, and boldly ■ challenged them to come on. Upon a ladder being fixed to pull off the roof, the lady proceeded to chop it to pieces, and the husband got on the roof and entered into single combat •with a carpsnter, whilst the wife kept the others at bay below. A considerable crowd of spectators assembled, and at one time there appeared to be a prospect of a general scrimmage, but after several attempts had failed the attacking party retired, presumably for ■ strategic purposes.

The following telegram appeara in the Launceston Examiner of February 1:—" Hobart Town, January 31.—At the Police Court today, Messrs Davios Brothera, proprietors of the Mercury, were charged upon an information laid by C. 1). C. Quodling with having published in the Mercury an advertisement of a certain lottery called the ' Ballarat Gallery of Paintings,' contrary to the provisions of the Suppression of Lotteries Act, It was pointed out that this art-union was announced as being held by permission of the Attorney-General of Victoria, and was perfectly legal there. The Bench held it to be their duty to convict the defendants, but would only inflict a nominal fine. They sentenced each defendant to pay 53 fine and the office costs. A similar information against Mr J. E. Cunningham, manager of the Tribune, for having published in that paper :an advertisement of gifts in connection with Eainer'a Diorama, was adjourned till Friday next."

Mr George Darrell, the lessee of the Princess Theatre, took a complimentary benefit last •evening, when there was a large and fashionable audience. The play selected for representation was Shakespeare's groat tragedy "Romeo and Juliet." MrjG. Eignold andjMrsDarrell sustained the roles of the hero and heroine, and Mr Dan ell that of Mercutio. The piece went very smoothly, and the principal artistes were several times made the recipients of floral tributes. Of the sibardinatecharacters, theßea- • volio of Mr A. Elliot was by far the beßt. In Miss Vivian's hands the part of Juliet's nurse • wae not made the most of by any means, but it was not devoid of merit. Mr Dave Clinton undertook the role of Tybalt, and Mr Hooper that of Paris. As Peter, Mr Power was exceedingly annuing. To-night a bill of fare ■which has already provoked general expressions of admiration — "Alone," and "Black-eyed Sußan" —will be presented.

The programme of the openins; concert of tho Char-Vjoiittt-lloßkiiiH XKiupe la advertised in this morning's iuw.

The ordinary jicnersl moetiriK of the bhirehclderu of the Standard Fire and Marine Insurance Company will be held ou M jod .y, 10th March.

Mr Var'ey this afternoon addresses a meeting of children in the tt mperanee Ball, and boldß two meetings in tho Queen's Iheitie to-morrow.

Messrs Wright, Stephenson, and Co. to-day offer by auction tho suburban townehip of 86. Clalr. The nite of thin townshin wan one of the firat choicer made in OtaKO, and it oflfera advantages which no doubt will secure a re>dy sale tf its sectknsat good prices.

A match will ba played on tho Oval to-morrow between an eleven of Dunedirt and eleven of the Dunedin Bcot Factory. The following are the names of the latter team:—Bowman, Bramwell, Clarke, Coglan, Drake, Fergufson, Mnnce, Smith, W. Shelton, Tyrrell, • ar.d Wilmott; emergency, Crawford Donaldson. The Dunedin players will bo p'.cked from members on the (ground.

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The Otago Daily Times. WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED THE OTAGO GUARDIAN. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1879., Otago Daily Times, Issue 5308, 22 February 1879

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The Otago Daily Times. WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED THE OTAGO GUARDIAN. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1879. Otago Daily Times, Issue 5308, 22 February 1879

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