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THE FRETFUL PORCUPINE

A Quill for Everyone.

The opposition liner has returned from the South and left again for Sydney a full ship. Hence these additional tears at the big monoply office.

Local dailies serving out the usual gush about the Society of Arts exhibition. But what does the common, or garden variety of reporter, know about art ?

Worn en' 8 Christian Temperance Union have act apart Sept. 19 as a day of thanksgiving: for having obtained the franchise. The matter is hardly worth bothering Providence about. Better see how it pans out first, anyhow.

It is not the Premier who is paving the way for a State Bank but the banks themselves, says the Pahiatua Herald. And in the face of the fact that in the event of a financial orißis our banks would be State-guaranteed it is diffioult to comprehend why the State should not pocket the profits of banking as well as accept the risks.

More cases reported of purses being stolen from women. But while the gentle creatures, God bless them, persist in carrying their purses in loose bags slung behind them or in shallow pockets from which the wallet temptingly protrudes, who oan wonder that the nimble-fingered annexer of ui (considered trifles should aY&il himself of the opportunities so generously afforded him. The carelessness of women oftentimes makes thieves of needy men.

The daily column of ' Notes and Comments' which the Auckland Herald inaugurated a fortnight ago is alreadj degenerating into a column of barefaced piratical seizures of readable items from other newspapers. These are introduced by a paragraph epitomising the cable news, and then the whole budget is leaded out to make it pass muster for original matter. ' Noteß and Comments ' is a misnomer* 'Scissors and Paste' would be 8. more suitable heading .

It was amusing to note the eagerness with which the Star hastened to ooniradict the statement in the Herald that there had been an alarm of fire on the Mararoa on her recent passage to Wellington. The Herald was quite right. There waß such an alarm in the middle of the night when the gale was at its height. Some of the passengers were aroußed by a strong smell of something burning, and they called the officers on watch. For nearly an hour a searoh was made for the cause of the smell, and a good deal of hubbub was caused, but without avail. The smell, which was similar to that which would be caused by burning cloth, eventually disappeared.

Some five hundred or more people paid for admission to witness Miss Adair's aerial flight on Satarday at North Shore. Probably more than thrice as many people mounted the hills surrounding Takapuna race-oonrse, without paying anything. Well-dreßsed people, too. Poor people and shabby people were in the minority. It is the people who oan best afford to pay who don't pay on such occasions as this. They prefer to 'dead-head.' A balloon ascent is attended with a good deal of expense. Did the people who flocked to see MissAdair ascend without contributing a fraction towards her expenses, consider that they were guilty of great meanness ? Not they ! They simply congratulated themselves on saying sixpence.

William Ernest Jones is the most singular young man we have heard of for quite a time. The other morning he was discharged fiom Mount Eden Gaol, but instead of making a bee-line for town or some other part of the district William Ernest found it impossible to tear himself away. He was let out of the gates, but the charm of the prison cell hung round him still, so to speak, and he wouldn't go away, although warned by a warder against ' loitering.' At 2.30 they ran him in. At the police-court he told the Bench that 'he didn't know he was committing a crime by remaining in the street.* Five pounds, or one month. This seems slightly stiff, considering the offence. William Ernest might have had a lot more for his money. He might have banged his wife, for instance (if he has one), used ' language ' of the most lurid kind, or committed petty laroeny, and his punishment would hardly have been more severe.

' Considerable dismay is felt in religions circles in Wellington,' Bays Fair Play, ' over the recent action of a clergyman, who is alleged to have sloped for parts unknown, in oompany with one of the opposite sex. The matter was kept quiet for some time, but finally leaked out through the country press.'

They had a distinguished visitor at the Wellington D.I.C. the other day. He wore an eloquent frock coat and a shiny bell-topper, and it was evident from his urbane condescension and the flash of his diamond ring that he was somebody of consequence. He was introduced to the manager on the ground floor as something Russell ; by the time he had reached the first floor he was deferentially addressed .as Sir John Russell, and ere he had completed, his inspection of the seoond floor the pretty girl attendants were dropping conrtesys and addressing him as Lord Russell — and he was so condescending. It was fortunate that there were no more storeys to the building, or he might have come out on top as the Duke of Panmure or the Prince of Onehunga. From Anokland? Of course he was. He was the genteel and affable Mr Russell who does the Auckland D.S.C. the honour of being its Bhop-walker when he isn't on tour for bis fortnight's holiday.

The choice of Otahuhu for Easter Volunteer Enoampment is not a bad one, all things considered. We believe there is no truth in the rumour that a local bard is to be engaged, regardless of expense, to embalm the warlike doings at Otahnhu in imperishable veree.

While aboard the Wooloomooloo steamer recently Miss Mabel Snazelle, daughter of the only original Snazzy, fell in love with the Capting, or the Oapting fell in love with Mabel, or they both fell in love with each other. Anyhow they are going to be married. Let us echo Snazzy's wish when he heard the news and say : ' Berless you, my children, berless you.'

Printers' ink was well represented at St. Helier'a Bay on Saturday, this being the trade's annual pionio day. Two steamers conveyed the boyß and their belongings to the festive scene. The sports formed, as usual, a feature of the afternoon's fun. Mrs Lye won the married ladies' race, Mr Gordon appropriated the printers' handicap, Mr Scott won the veterans' race, Miss Reach the single ladies' race also the extra race for ladies, Mr Willets the married men's race and Mr Brady the bandsmen's race. The pionio was a success from start to finish.

Dunedin City Fathers propose to put down Btreet preaching. Guess tLey've token a stiff contract in the brass.-melting 1 line on hand.

' The age of martyrs is not yet passed,' is how the Herald commences a leading article. And~yet the article was not about the only lady mayor the world has ever rejoiced over.

Parties about to suicide will probably think twice about it now, seeing that under the new Act (which came into force last week), the offence of attempting to kill yourself renders you liable to two years' 'hard.' But does not the very attempt to commit suicide argue 'a mind diseased ' ? And if so, (as is generally conceded), is not the lunatic asylum rather than the goal the proper place for the would-be self-murderer to go ?

The Star in puffing a recently published English Annual informs us that Carlyle at one time thought of producing: a similar work, and winds up with : 'In many respects 's Annual bears a likeness to that whioh he (Carlyle) never had occasion to write.' The man who penned that puff ought to be heard of again. Most paragraphers would have hesitated to institute a comparison between a published work and a work that might have been published if somebody had had occasion to write it.

It is more than probable that Gladstone's declaration against the Houbo of Lords is the death-knell of the hereditary upper chamber.

A correspondent writes .• Dear Obsebvbk : The Rev. J Bnnting Johnson, Director-general of the New Zealand Inland Mission, is visiting the Whangarei district. Query: Is there any connection between this gentleman and theEev. Jarvis B. Johnson, late of Freeman's Bay ? If so, what is the New Zealand Inland Mission ?

A. kiss cost George Henry Knight of Hobart, his life. He kissed another man's wife without taking the precaution to ascertain whether the other man was about. And the other man was. Also he had a revolver, with which he potted the too amorous George, who fell to rise no more. Thos. Normoyl, the shooter, (strongly recommended to mercy) has been sentenced to two years' ' hard.'

The Wellington manager of the N.Z. Express Company refused to cart some beer, shipped, from Auokland to Wellington, the other day on the ground that he was a teetotaller. But his action was not endorsed by his company, it seems. We should think not. A man with a conscience like that ought to keep it in cotton wool. It's too tender to handle in the usual way.

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THE FRETFUL PORCUPINE Observer, Volume XIV, Issue 793, 10 March 1894

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