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focal Intelligence.

Opening of the Provincial Coonoiii,— To morrow afternoon, at 3 o'clock, theMemberoof th» Provincial Council will meet after a ten month's vacation. CTho aossioubids £air to be an earnest, active and useful one. Did wo live in the chronically querulous humour our contemporary over the way does, we should of course anticipate exactly the reverse— we should put on our colored spectacles and write large about " talking factories," and denounce everything brought forward by the Government as irretrievably bad ; indeed, now that Mr Borlase has for ever extinguished himself, by talcing the bull by the horns and throwing over Mclntosh, we are not sure whether we should not class Council and Government in the same category, and condemn' them both alike. Not being in any euoh querulous humour, however, we do not anticipate otherwise than that the forthcoming session will be at least as .painstaking, as independent, and as useful as anytKat have gone before' it, and even more so. There never was a time when publio cmeßtiona j JjfJ^S* more likely to be looked at and judged of on their own merits, than now; and we venture to say that there never was a time when the province was in as sound a condition as at this moment. His Honor* - speech will doubtless be conclusive on this point. for there has been evidence enough 1 in the "^abstracts and returns that have been "»tatedfy|published. to warrant the belief that the times not out of joint, as our contemporary 'py^ry'^g way has continuaUy endeavoured to prove.. : The revenue has doubtless shared in the gentral pros* perity arid when this isthe case^when thesfateof the chest w.Batißfactory^the ; mind of the Council may be considered materially free ;framj ? |Jh^||^^--;'". tion to catoh at the clap-trap yaga^ei^f ,;'tHo|ig-. ; . norant theorist, and more^noSo^^i^^^^^:

tinued improvement by pursuing well recognisei and legitimate courses, It is, however, more thai probable that some schemes for the d«velopemen of the resources of the Province, in a much greate ratio than heretofore, will be introduced for die cussion. If so, we are sure that, though they ma; at first sight appear to be premature, they will re ceive on all hands that temperate discussion whicf the advantages they seek to secure to tho Province, entitle them to claim. Accidents. — Lately, accidents have been more numerous than we have known for a long time past, On. Saturday, one of a serious character happened to Mr William Mason, sen., just outside his residence in Molesvrorth Street. He was mounted on a horse occasionally given to bucking, and whether Mr Mason wa» not in tho stirrups or whether he was off his guard, it unfortunately happened that he was thrown close to his own gate. Concussion of the brain took place, and ho was wholly insensible until Tuesday night. Yesterday he was partially sensible, and Dr Johnston has hopes that he will recover much more quickly than his age might have led his friends to have expected.— On Monday afternoon a lad named TuJley dislocated hia arm by a fall while playing leap-frog. It was a severe case, and, in consequence of no medical man being at hand for some time, the arm was much swollen. Dr Kebble reduced the dislocation and the youngster's studies will not be interrupted for any lengthened period. luqoest.— An inqutst was held on the 1 6th April, at Ames's Hotel, JohnsonTille, before F. J. Knox, Esq., M.D., and a jury, to enquire into the cause of a fire that had taken place at Mra McLaren'*, Johnsonville, on Tuesday morning, the 14th inst. From tho evidence, it appeared that some fir© had been put on the shingles, which had caused one corner of the roof to be burnt j but it having been obßerved shortly afterwards, it was with some exertion extinguished without doing much harm to the housa. After mature deliberation, the jury returned the following verdict :— " That the house of Mra Bridget McLaren wa» set on fire by some person or persoas unknown." ( i Thb English Mail. — At a late hour last night there wtn no sign of the Ashley with the English mail, indeed it is scarcely to be expected for a few days. The Storm Bird from Otago is now due. Views op Wellington. — Wo notice at Richarda's photographic establishment, a series of well executed views of parts of the town and neighbourhood, of a size suitable for the albums now so much in vogue, and also for transmission in letters. One or two scenes in the Karori Road, the Wellington Club, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, &c, are remarkably good, and if sold cheaply, will no doubt prove highly remunerative to the artist, RenaMi's Mill.— During a hurried visit we lately paid to the' Wairarapa, we were very glad to Bee that our old Hutt friend, had at last got his water mill at Masterton into working order. The many delays, which so doggedly pursue attempts at enterprise in country districts, have at last ceased, and Mr Renali may be congratulated on having erected a mill, which, for situation, stability of structure, and abundant and never failing supply of water, may vie with any other in the province. The cost has not been much short of JJ2COO, and at present grinds fifty bushels in the usual eight-hour day. The erection of this mill is likely to provoa great boon to the valley, as it will materially facilitate the growth of wheat: a commodity which it would not pa}- to grow largely before — the cost of cartage being too great for its finding a profitable market in Wellington, and the impossibility of getting it ground in the district rendering it comparatively uselessfdr home consumption. Now that wheat can be ground at Is 6d per bushel for those who desire their own flour, and can also be sold readily to the mill, there will no doubt be a large increase in the next season's sowing. We were surprised to learn that not less than a hundred tons of flour annually find their way into the Wairarapa, from Wellington — a fact sufficient in itself, independently of the greater facilities for carting, which the roads in the Valley are every year affording, to induce the Wairarapa farmers to pay all desirable attention to the supply of the cereal wants of the surrounding settlers. Thb Te Abo Swamp. — A subscription is at present being raised with the object of fencing in the Park and Cricket ground Reserve situated on the Te Aro Flat, which we are to learn already amounts to a goodly sum. The Provincial Government will give a grant in aid equal to the amount thus obtained, and ere long our citizens it is to be hoped, will enjoy the amenities of this new place of recreation. Hutt. — We call attention to an advertisement in another column announcing a meeting of the inhabitants of this district, for the purpose of taking steps to established a publio school. Temperance Entertainment. — We understand that the friends of Temperance have made arrangements to have a Tea meeting shortly on a large scale in tho Odd Fellows' Hall. In addition to the solid and liquid attractions of the entertainment, the intellectual requirements of the audience will be duly cared for, by the production for tha firsttimein Wellington, of a novel, instructive, &ud highly moral performance entitled, " The trial of John Barleycorn." The various parts of judge, counsel and witnesses will be ably sustained by members of the different Temperance Societies, snd with a tee-total jury we fear it will go hard with the unfortunate culprit. Crrr Eesebves. — The Commissioners held a meeting on the 18th inst. , when the following tenders for the lease of the sections on the- Town Belt were accepted, at the following yearly rental : Terrace District, sections 8, and 9^J. Moore, at 30s per acre; Western District, section 2, Alex. McCarthy, at 25s per acre ; Western District sections 5, 10, 11, 14, D. Anderson, at 30s, 255, 228 6d, and 20s, per acre. The rest of the Town Belt is still open for public tender, with the exception of that portion abutting on the Tinakori Iload. The minimum price for the Terrace District sections being 20b pet acre, except sections!! and 13, fixed at 7s 6d per acre. The minimum price for the Western District, is also fixed at 15s. For the South Eastern and Victorian Districts, the .minimum price is 10s per acre. Tenders are to be sent in to Mr J. Wallace, the Secretary, on or 1 before Monday the 4th May. at ten o'clock, on which day the Commissioners again meet. The leases are for fourteen years, the sections to be fenced in within the first three. A plan of the Town Belt, with form of lease, lies for inspection at the Secretary's office. Abt Union of Glasgow.— The drawing for prizes for the last half year, took place in January last. Wellington has three prize holders, viz ; Mr George Turnbull, and Mr George Hart, who are each entitled to a copy of a chromolithograph " The Birth-day," and Mr L. Levy, who has drawn another, called " the Play Ground." Slandeb. — The Daily Times has the following : — " At a meeting of the friends of the Bishop of Nelson, which was held in the Hall of Mertons College, Oxford, in November last, tho Rev. Mr Hutchinson in the course of his account of the City of Nelson, and the people of the province, said, " The standard o! morals among the best of them was but at a very low ebb, owing perhaps in a great measure to the very low (perhaps still •sinking) estimate of the sacred character of marriage prevailing.'' He then read from a letter from Bishop Hobhouse tho following very queer account of the moral peculiarities bf the good folks of Nelson :— " An attempt which I made in March last, to remonstrate against the appointment of an infant school mistress in this place — a person stained with the crime of incest— drew me into many conversations, which, revealed great unsoundnesa of principle, and that, too, in men who have kept their own name unstained, and have honored the nuptial bond in practice, if not in theory. I found the whole authority of the Divine law, even to the prohibition of polygamy, questioned. The clearest precepts of the Divine law-giver confounded with the glosses of human .. interpreters, and with the encroachments of the mediaval courts, so that to call any one incestuous seemed to be a little better than the hateful blander of a bigot." A tolerably '• hateful slander ■■ of a bigot "it appears to be; considering that the "crime " hiß Lordship refers to, is simply marriage , with a deceased wife's Bister."

Ed Quinine. — The medical faculty in England, are becoming anxious about the failing supply of Quinine. The London Correspondent of the Southland News, in alluding to the deficiency in ; er the supply of the plant from whence Quinine is [a- procured, asks, — " Whether New Zealand has no plants which would furnish tho requisite medium ?" The question is well woi thy tho attention of the c " medical colonists of this colony, and one, tho conJh sidoration of which, under the present peculiar 0 . circumstances, might be a public benefit not only to New Zealand, in a pecnniaiy sense, but to the world at large." ro A New Cattle Disease.— A new and peculiar le disease has made its appearance in herds in the ? r Cape Colony, the symptoms being weakness in the ' c hind -quarters, followed by total prostration and 18 death. One of the diseased oxen was opened , and >' the lungs were found grown to its side, and in one >r of the lungs was a hard lump, which proved to bo '' full of a watery fluid. is Provincialism. — The Lyttetton Times of 15th •- April concludes an article on the question of a government with the following remarks : — " Pro ; ' y i vincialism has been an especially useful^ engine i 0 for colonising the country. The immigration ■ J promoted in different provinces has spread a popii- 1 j lation over the two islands in such a manner as ; - to detect and develops to the utmost the re- i c sources so be found in them, And in this island i - at the present moment Provincial Institutions are ' s appearing in the fairest light. Tho rugged West ' . Coast has for some time been known to possess a wealth in coal, gold and timber, which must ' ultimately make it as attractive to the adventn- < J rous as any part of New Zealand. But it is only i very lately that the full extent of its wealth has ' T become known. The three provinces between which this hitherto terra incognita is divided are vicing ] with each other in their efforts to open it up. It j ! New Zealand was governed entirely from one centre, ov even if this island had but one centre \ [ of Government, it would probably be thought ] sufficient to send one expedition to explore the ] '. mountain passes and to lay out future roads. But | j. fortuuately every centre of population is able to j work on its own account, and the consequence is | a rapidly increasing knowledge of the geography of this island — a knowledge that will probably ( » save a great waste of life and property. The £ ' Provincial Geologists of Canterbury and Otago j have both been engaged at the same time in exploring the glaciers and passes of the Southern t 1 Alps, and the former has found a comparatively t \ easy pass to the West Coast, near the southern ( I boundaries of this province. The Governments { j of Nelson and Canterbury have both sent survey- , ing parties to cut tracks and lay out roads to * .different points on the coast, and our Government g '. are at present despatching a vessel with food and j other necessaries to facilitate the exploration of j the districts of Grey and Teramakau ; and to pre- t vent any unnecessary loss of life among gold diggers who may bo attracted to that part of the country. From the efforts now being made by the Provincial Governments we expect much advantage, and we may congratulate ourselves on i the existence of local legislatures and local Go- i vernments so long as the country is still unde- 1 veloped and even unexplored. When then they i are not wanted they will disappear, but we are still necessarily in the days of the Heptarchy." The Otago Superintendence. — On the official declaration of the poll being made, the hon. John Hyde Harris having returned his thanks to the electors for the honor they had conferred on him in electing him as Superintendent ; Major Richardson, the defeated candidate, made the following speech. He said, Mr Returning Officer, and Gentlemen — I appear before you in what may be considered the rather unenviable position of a defeated candidate ; but, frequently, through the course of my life, I have found that there are defeats which are more glorious and satisfactory than triumphs. Mine has been a triumphant defeat. — (Applause.) Now, at the close of my political career, in a prominent position. I hold to my principles with as much confidence as I felt at the hour when first I solicited your suffrages ; an 4 I am satisfied that those amongst the electors whose opinion I most value, will not feel that they have had reason to i"egret their former choice. — (Applauße.) It is my duty to return thanks to^ those who have supported me, for that support— it was generous, hearty, and spontaneous; and 1^ am deeply grateful for it. Defeat has not diminished my affection for this Province. I can say with Burke, " I have an affection for the land of my birth ; but the land of my adoption is the sphere of my duties." Whether defeated or victorious, I shall ever be a free, earnest, outspoken, and' l hope a manly, opposer of what I consider to be wrong ; and a generous and hearty supporter of what I consider to be right, let the holder of the office which I have now quitted be who he may. Though I will never be guilty of a factious opposition to any one iv office, I shall ever be free ond outspoken in advocating my views. Land for the People— People for the Land— and Responsible Government—these are the most chosen and cherished objects of-my heart and my intellect. — (Applause.) I will not talk of the past: if the past does not speak for itself, I shall, at least be , silent. 1 simply ask you to pause in your verdict on my Government, until the time when the experience of the future shall be added to the experience of the past ; and then, perhaps, that verdict will not be so unfavorable as the people of [ this Province, and the people of other Provinces also, through the instrumentality of the public press, I regret to say, have been led to believe^ it should be. I now take leave of the office to which [ I was called in a time of difficulty, I might also say of disgrace, in the history of the Province. I k was called to it by a large majority of the electors > — I may say, the unanimous suffrages of_ the i people. I was at that time a privatecitizen, living : on my farm ; but I was thoroughly content with i my position, lat once stepped forward and took . office ; and now, with equal alacrity, I lay down the arms which I then took up. If, in the retrospect of the past, there will be one feeling which is [ mote than another dear to me, it will be, that the . principles which I brought into office with me, I have honestly and fearlessly acted on ; and, . thank God, I take those principles out of office with me.— (Applause.) I reciprocate all the ' kindly feelings which have been expressed by the c successful candidate. I have no animosity, no , unkind feeling towards him or any one ; but I do j feel keenly some of the shafts— the poisoned P shafts— which have been ungenerously levelled at i me during the contest. I thank you, gentlemen, i for your snpport; and I hope that I shall always 5 be worthy of its continuance. — (Applause.) s The Passion fob Dress.— The Paris correspon » dent of the Ifelson Examiner who is evidently quite au fait to his subject gives the following ' details from the fashionable world in his last letter. r — •« I may here mention, for the edification of the i* antipodes, that such is the passion for jewels, that J various kinds of stones, banished of late years from 1 the precincts of grandeur, are being disinterred 1 from their cases, and brought out into the blaze of gas and, wax-tapers. The amethyst and topaz, • which have long been considered too nnfashion■f able to show themselves, are rising daily in publio 8 favor, and, consequently in price ; and such is the r demand for this class of ornament, that the proud--0 est and richest dames, not deeming their heredi- >. tary treasures sufficient for the due lighting-up of f their persons at balls and soirees, are sporting imk tnense quantitiesof the false jewels which, mounted 1 in gold or silver with exquisite taste, and fully '- rivalling, in colour and brilliance, the chefs d'avrei r of nature's handiwork, cannot bo distinguished t from these by the most practised eyes, revealing d the secret of their origion only under the action of B the hammer or of chemical tests. Such is the ;- perfection with which the two or three great French a makers now imitate real jewels — with the excepe tion of tha opal, whose charming tints and specks t of fire still defy the art of the glass worker — .that, n not only are false and real jewels worn together, d but both are frequently mixed in the same orna»t ment! The imitation of pearls is carried, if c possible, to a pitch of perfection even greater than 7, that of jewels ; each pearl — among the costlier :e products of this art — being carefully imitated from n a real one, and every inequality of shape, surface, ie or hue, being reproduced in the copies with a fide- «- lity absolutely amazing. As a proof of il the perfection to which this branch of Parisian *r industry has been brought, I may recall ! te the fact that when the Duchesse de Bern, after ;e the Revolution of July, sent her far-famed parure of pearls to her jewellers, from whom they bad

, been purchased at the time of her marriage, with f tho order to sell them for her, it was discovered ) that there was not a fringlo real pearl in the whole i set ! At some period, and !>y som» unsuspected i treachery, false pearls had been substituted for i tho real ones ; and neither the Duchess, nor the 1 hundreds of guests that had gazed amazingly on i those almost unrivalled ornaments, had over had the faintest doubt of their quality It is said that, ■ to this day, no light has ever been thrown on the perpetration of this bold and successful theft. Not in jewels only, but in every detail of the toilette ; ornamentation, elaborate and exuberant, is the order of the day. Even loose morningwrappers are lavishly adorned, and trimmed in costly style. One of" these wraps, devised by a fashionable maker, was of rich white satin, lined with lilac silk, and wadded ; tho quiltings were chain-stitched by a sewing machine, in lilac silk ; facing of violet satin, broad at the i'eet and neck, and narrowing to the waist, a similar facing round the cuffs, and a collar of the same; all these facings edged, on the inner side, with a border of swansdown. Another wrap was of fawn-colored ' raw silk ; round the hem, up the front, and round the wri&ta, a band of embroidery, in sewing silk of various colours imitating jewels of all sorts Bet in a black ground. A third was of rich white silk ; round the skirt, up tho front, down the elbows, and round the wrists, queer-shaped patches of black and red silk, alternately, sewed flat on the wrap with a narrow gold braid, and a cluster of Chinese characters, formed of gold braid, embroidered upon each patch. This most whimsical " creation," much admired in spite of, or perhaps on account of, its " loudness " — a quality greatly in vogue just now — may be briefly described as a white silk wrap, trimmed with a tea chest." Apple Blight. — A correspondent sends us tho following extract from a letter written in Australia. — " What is called American Blight, was known in Europe before there was any commerce by the English with America. It is described in books as early as 1640, and would, of course, have made its appearance upon apple trees, some time before being described in books. The apple was introduced to America from Europe, and probably not before the date above, so that the blight was most likely conveyed with the trees, though the existence ofitin America is not in my memory, and very recent American works treating frequently upon the apple and the orchard, do not mention tho existence there of it, whilst they frequently mention other blights and their treatment. The name, American, goes for nothing. The first time a disease is observed, whether in the-vegetable or animal kingdom, is never the first time of its appearance. It is often not noticed until it has assumed a malignant form, and then a new and scientific name is given to it. Pleuro-pneumonia has been known in England for many years, and is described in books, but not under that name at the time iv question."

WELLINGTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. A General meeting of this Chamber took place at the Exchange Buildings on Monday last. Members present : W. M. Bannatyne, Esq., chairman, and Messrs Hunter. Moore, Duncan, Rhodes, Hartmann, Dranstield, G. Hart, Bethune, Crawford and G. H. Luxford. A letter from the, Colonial Secretary wag read approving of the appointment by the Chamber of Messrs Woodward, Yule and Best, as Mercantile Assessors under the Debtors and Creditors Act, 1862. A reply from the Postmaster-General was likewise laid before the meeting respecting the irregularity of the mail service. A conversation ensued upon the l'eqeat, ami eventually it was determined to instruct the Postmaster at Otago , to forward the English mail with all the expedition he oould command, in the event of the mail steamer for the Northern ports failing to bring it on. Mr Duncan observed that on the last visit of the s.s. Lady Bird to Otago, tho Postmaster there had acted iv such a way with regard to the delivery of the mail, that a most inconvenient detention of the steamer might have been the result. Mr Duncan entered into the circumstances at some length, and the tenor of his remarks may be gathered from the following resolution which he movod, — " That th 9 Secretary be instructed to address a letter to the Post-master General informing him of the circumstances connected with the late visit of the Lady Bird to Dunedin, and of the view taken by the Post-master (Mr Barr) of clause XXV. of "New Zealand Post Office Act, 1858," hoping that he will direct that notices of departure of mails given by the recognised agents of masters of steamers shall be held to be sufficient, without requiring that tho vessel shall ba detained 24 hours." Mr Hunter seconded the motion, and took tho opportunity of expressing his entire concurrence with the view of tho matter taken by Mr Duncan. The resolution was put "and carried. Considerable discussion then took place relative to the regulations to be adopted with reference to the branch Post Office at the Canton Tea Mart, in order to give as much time as possible for posting letters prior to the closing ot the mails at the central office. It was subsequently agreed to address the Postmaster upon the subject. The meeting then adjourned.

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focal Intelligence., Wellington Independent, Volume XVIII, Issue 1859, 23 April 1863

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focal Intelligence. Wellington Independent, Volume XVIII, Issue 1859, 23 April 1863

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