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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES, Dear Mr Editor, —’Tis the grate talk we've had about Socialism this wake. Katie towl-d us tliat wan av the papers had poked fun at Mr Ben Til let t because he ! h ravel led in a hrsht-class carriage, ahmoked cigars., an’ ate olives, an’ behaved for all the world like wan av the bloated capitalists that he’d like to see sint to a warmer climate than New Zealand Possesses. He ses that New Zealand is not what it’s cracked up to be, an’ that Australia generally is open to improvemint. "The bane of Australia,” ses he, "is that the so-call-ed business men are really anti-so-cialistic. Directly they are in a position of modest affluence, they turn round to become ' respectable ’ or ‘ anti-socialistic.’ I am tired,” ses Mr Tillett, '■‘of the smug content of the average New Zealand workman I have come across. At Home for 100 years we were ahead of every other country, and then employers told us how much better off we were than Germany. People came out here talking about the dreadful poverty at. Home. Yon are fast approaching the same state of things, with millions of acres' yet untouched. Socialists at home have turned our municipalities upside down. There is homester administration. I jives- have been saved, the death-rate of children in London reduced from 85 per per cent, to 20 per cent.” 4” 4-

“Well,’’ sos (,'ornc‘y, “ I doubt if Mr Tillett'll do much g-ood ior Socialism, or fumsilf, or the counthry, if he goes l about talkin’ like that. He'd do us more good if he’d shtay away altogether.” ■■Yes,’’ ses Bedalia, “he’d be in the same position then as the* Chinese clochtor that saved a man s liu*. Whin .John was axed if they had good dochlors in China, ses he—' Good doctors ! China have best doctors in world.’ 'Hang Sang over there for instance. Ho you call him a good doctor ? He great. He saved my life once!’ ‘\ou don’t say so ? How was that?’ ’Me velly bad !’ he said. ‘Me callee Doctor Han Kou. Givee some medicine. Get velly, velly ill ! M e callee Doctor San Sing. Givee more medicine. Me grow worse—going to die ! Blimebly callee Doctor Hang Chan. He no got time ; no come. lie save my-life.” Tis strange how these paple that want to reform the world always fall out among thinisilves. Luk at what has happened l at the Peace Conference at The Hague. A bitter feud betwane two South American ileuublics led to a duel wid pistols bein’ fought at Cologne. The duel was result-less.” “Those great reformers shud try Carlyle’s recipe,” ses I. ‘•‘What was that, Denis >” ses Kune. ; ‘AVeII, he put it something like this : If yon want to reform the world begin with yourself, and then you will be sure there is one rusc-al less in the world.” “Well, Denis,” ses Katie, “if we all followed that advice what a lot av reformers there’d be.” “\es,” ses- I, "they'd be as thick as the flies on the calf out at Wallacetown.” "$• ■<s’• e Mr Editor, a calf was found dead in the main shtreet av Wallacetown, an’ owin’ to the grate traffic in that thoroughfare, to say nothin’ av the shmell an' the swarm av flies that gathered it soon became a firstclass nuisance, but not a sowl ’ud touch it. Jimmy McLeod ’ud have nothin’ to do wid it, because he on ly breeds Ayrshire*, an’ old Barney ses it didn t belong to him because it was a hull calf. Somowan wint i the lingth av savin’ that it mu.sht i have escaped from the Wallacetown saleyards, but -me fried Bob Fraser up an tow Id thim that they only sowld live shtock at the yards, ari’ J that they might t-hry the freezin’ works. Thin Conshtable Scandrett was despatched from Invercargill to j discover the owner, but nivir a thing cud he discover except the shmell, an neither cud he discover annywan that ’ud bury the carcase. Thin the Chairman av the .County Council came along, an’ authorised the burial av it in the public square, an’ paid rain to do it.- That’s the beauty av havin’ local governmmt, Mr Editor. Ye can always git somewan to put things right if ye only have patience. ■‘■’Well,” ses Katie, “if I didn’t know ye for a truthful man I’d say ye were romancin’, Denis. “It’s gospel true,” ses I, “an’ it’s not so wonderful as- the yarn that a 7-0 spec table mimber a v an Acclimatisation Society towld the other day. Ses he —,

‘ Last year whilst Ashing for pike I dropped half a sovereign. I wont to the same place this year, and after my line had been cast a few minutes I felt a terrific pull. Eventually ' I landed a fine pike, which had swallowed the hook, to my amazement —’ ‘ Ah,’ said his friends, ‘you found a half sovereign.’ ‘,oh, no,’ replied Brown, T found nine shillings, sixpence in silver, and threepence in coppers.’ ’Well, what became of the other threepence ?’ queried his friends. ’ I suppose the pike paid to go through the lock with it,’ answered Brown.” Katie ses she’s goin’ to write to our mimber, Mr Hanan, to sec if he joined in the lafl against the mothers av the colony whin Mr Poland g'ive notice av a question to the Frontier whether, in view av the decreasin' birth-rate in X.Z. an’ the importance av encouragin’ the increase av population in the Dominion, the govornmint will favourably consider the question of granting to inothf ers of families concessions on the N.Z. railways on some such basis as the followin’ :-—(!) Mothers of five and loss than eight children, half passenger rates ; (2)mothers of eight and less than 10 children, one-fourth rates ; (8) mothers of 10 or over free passes. “What about the fathers ?” interru {.Wed Mr Witty, amidst the laughter with which the question was greeted. “Sure," ses Katie, “ 'tis no laflin matther, an’ the sooner paple wake up to its importance the hetther it will be for the counthry.” “ Good for yc, Katie,” ses I, “an’ a s for Mr Poland, he’s a long way behind ' 4 ’h« fair, for .1 remimber that that good man an’ thrue patriot, Sir George Gray, said that the railways shud. bo free to iviry man, woman, an’ child in the colony.” “Well,” ses Katie, “1 wish he'd lived long enough to I carry out Iris ideas.” _“Sure,” ses Corney, “paple cud travel free now if they liked.” “How can ye make that out, Corney ?” ses I. ‘•‘■Well, ’’ ses he, “luk at the thousands av pounds put through the tote this year. If that ’ud not pay all our railway fares an’ a thrifle more, I’m a Dutchman.” “The boy’s right,” ses Katie, “an’ as for horse-racin’, what’s in it, annvway. It’s not shport, Denis.” “Perhaps not, Katie,” ses I, “an’ moreover, I can sec yoti're like the Indian Prince that wint to see the Derby run. The dusky ruler noticed the enthusiasm whin some thoroughbred in a close finish beat his rivals. He was quite curious about it. ‘Why are the people making all the noise ?’ he asked. ‘Why, 'don’t you see that has won the Derby ?’ answered wan av his English companions. Thin wid gravity, observed the Oriental : ‘Were they not aware that one horse can run faster than another ?’ ” >s•

Talkin’ av racin’ an shpottin’ the winner, ’twas the grate fun we had at Wallacetown the other day at a sale av work. Ye see, there was a dressed doll competition, an’ ye had to guess the proper names av the dolls. Wan chap didn’t be sure whether a doll was a boy or a gyrul, an’ ho guessed Adam, a n’ it turned out to be Eve. “That was a sad,” sos Curacy, “but not as bad as the misunderstandin’ that the oukl Irishwoman fell into wance. A fashionable lady from London \yance paid a visit to Ireland to sec her Irish estates, an’ findin’ it hard to pass the lime, decided to visit a labourer’s wife. As conversation at lingth flagged, the lady remarked - I suppose you are glad to hear ray daughter comes out next week ?’ ‘lndeed, mum, I am. So does me husband. Re got three months.’ ” ■4"

But talkin’ av misundersh landings, 'twas the grate sell three slauigjh.'termin got that used to be at. Mataura, whin they wint to Victoria. Ye see, wan-, O’Shea, an hotel-keeper, bad luck to the shpalpane, thried to pass thim through the union a.s loyalists at Hie slaughtermin’s monster meetin. ’But somewau spotted thim. Some wanted to shoot thim at suitrise, whin they learned that they had turned in at strike-time in Xew Zealand. Others wanted to shoot thim at sight. Snowie Fletcher, the human tiger, would have torn thim to pieces, but the wise said : —” We will try them.,” Paddy Baxter identified thim wid hfs nivir-failin’ thumb-print system. Dr. Jones was full av information on the subject. Thin oukl Ballarat Jack, wid his funny, awkward questions, wint back ten years, an’ found the same fellows did the same scurvy trick before, an’ Scotty (lien had no more ‘'‘doot aboot the bang lot o’ them,” an’ the verdict wint against thim. Trade, they say, is failin’ all at the hotel, an’ Victorian slaugiitermin will give a. block %'ote for no-license at the nixt election. 4- 4- 4- 4They say, Mr Editor, that in the shpring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts av love, an’ begorra, I’m. thlnkin’ Corney’s catchin’ the disease, for he's go in’ about the house singin’ at a grate rate, an’ this is the burden a.v his song ; Oh, ’tis little Mary Cassidy’s th~ cause av all me misery. An’ the raison that I’m not now the boy 1 used to be ; Oh, she bates the beauties all that we read about in history. And sure, half the country-side is as hot for her as me. Travel Ireland: up an’ down, hid. village. vale, an’ town. Fairer than the Carlin Bonn you’re looking for in vain ; Oh, I’d rather live in poverty with little Mary Cassidy Than emperor, without her, be of Germany or Spain. ’Twas at the dance of Darmody's that first I caught a sight of her, And heat'd her sing- the Droighnean Conn.till the tears came in my eyes, And ever since that blessed hour I’m dreaming day and night of her ; The div'll a wink of sleep I get at all from bed to rise. Cheeks like the rose in June, song like the lark in tune, Working, resting, night or noon, she never leaves my mind ; Oh, till singing, by the, cabin Are sits little Mary Cassidy, , ’Tis little aise or happiness- I’m sure I’ll ivir find.

What is wealth, what is fame, and. what is all people fight about To a kind word from her lips or a love glance from her eye ? Oh, though throubles throng my, breast, sure they’d soon go to i the right-about If I thought the curly head av her would rest there by and by. Take all I own to-day, kith, kin, and care away. Ship them all across thcaea, or to the frozen zone ; Leave me an orphan bare —but lave me Mary Cassidy, I never would feel lonesome with the two of us alone. "Who's Mary Cassidy, annyway ?;’■* ses I. "I don’t know,’’ ses Bedalia, "but ju.sht now Corney’si like Pat an’ hi.S’ sweetheart. Irish Pat (to bashful Bridget) : ‘Took up, Bridget, me darlint. Sure, an’ I’d cut me head all any day in the wake for a sight av yer beautiful eyes.’ ” ' DENIS.

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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

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The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 28, 2 November 1907

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