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THE STORY OF A WASTED LIFE. The moralist, were bo so inc'incd, might write, and with soms effect, too, an interesting essay oa what becomes of •' young gentlemen," who, to use a distinctly English phrase, are " sent off to Australia." \ We in the colonies know the end of many \^, of those who are drafted fr m England in this way. They have belied their blood at Home. Thej ate expected to do better in a new land. Some do ; others don't. Of the latter class.unfortunately, our cities and our bush towns contain numbers. By their own conduct they become the outcasts of civilisation. Drink claims them from the start. " Facilis cst decensiis." And then — ah, then the Great Beyond ! '•Found dead in his bunk!" That was the brief intelligence which was brought into Napier from the Greenmeadows on Saturday of a young fellow well-known i to many in Napier. Thomas Barnes Birkett started life under conditions as fair as any young man might desire. He was a eon of the late Key. T. Bi.kett, Weston-Buper-mere, and had the advantages of a good education, including a course at the Boyal Agricultural College, which embraced a sound, practical grounding in Home and colonial agriculture and estate management. Birkett web good-natured, hearty, and generally well liked, and when he first arrived in the colony be presented to his friends the appearance of one who regarded life as worth the living. He had visited many places— Japan, China, America, and other countries. Bat bis great failing was drink, which proved bia curse. At times he would not drink for months, until the craviDg seized him again. From farming at Makuri, near Fahiatua, he drifted back into town. Then he took up bis quarters at Mr CbarlesJoyce's stables at the Greenmeadows, and on Friday alternoon at half- past 4be was discovered lying dead in bis bnnk. Near him lay a bottle of carbolic oil, Birkett, at the early age of 27, was tired of life. On the very day that Iris soul passed away came by the San Francisco mail bis quartely allowance — £75. The jury, no doubt In kindly consideration, came to the conclusion that death was caused by the poison being taken in mistake for medicine. But then the verdicts of coroner's juries are invariably tempered with feelings for those left behind. Yet when poor young 'Birkett woke on that fateful Friday morniDg he was heard to corse himself. He must have been possessed of a weird, melancholy feeling. A man doesn't curse himself without some strange thoughts passing within him. What fears had he? What hopes, what joys could he command ? These mysteries, alas, have now gone with him, and will never be solved here. His effects were not very numerous, and did not make a very weighty parcel, but three books may be mentioned, which were found in the room he occupied, and which would seem to indioate thßt throughout bis vicissitudes he treasured them as serving to bring bacfc memories of Cld Country associations. They were " Tbe Daily Bound— Meditation, Prayer _and Praise," which bore on the fly-leaf a gentle mother's good wishes to her );oy, " With bis mothei's love, January 7th, 1892;" also a Holy Bibls and "Memories of Gennesaret." Wrealbs of choice flowers covered his coffin. His friends saw that his funeral obsequies were as fitting as they might have been bad Birkett been laid to rest near his old folks home in England. Two . letters awaited him at the post office, one from hia mother, and another from hie solicitors, Metoalfe and Birkett (deceased's brother), 3, FurnivaVs Inn, E.C., London. — Hawka's Bay Herald.

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THE AS BARNES BIRKETT., Wanganui Chronicle, Issue 12247, 12 February 1897

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THE AS BARNES BIRKETT. Wanganui Chronicle, Issue 12247, 12 February 1897

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