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EPITOME OF NEWS. .- i» -'

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LOSS OF ANOTHER LIVERPOOL…

NAVAN GREAT SEPTEMBER FAIR.

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DISEASED MUTTON.

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MISS RYE'S EMIGRANTS.

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MISS RYE'S EMIGRANTS. Miss Rye, in a letter to a contemporary, dated from Kaiapoi, Canterbury, speaks disparagingly of the dilatoriness of the colonists in providing proper shelter and accommodation for female emigrants. She says :— All great bodies move slowly. There is nothing to report about the proposed Servants' Home, an,! I am awakening to the cruel conviction that my return to London will date about the middle of A.D. 1900. Daring the next ten years it is confidently anticipated that a resolution will be carried, not unanimously, but still carried, to the effect, that itis desirable to getthebest sort of girls to emigrate." During the following ten years it is believed that an opinion will be expressed to the effect, that having induced respectable women to come to the province, it is proper that some other provi- sion than the barracks (in which they have only aright to remain one week) should be made for them after land- ing." Five years will be required to combat the idea that, as the first colonists underwent great privations, dwelling in tents and dismal caves, so all emigrants are bound to follow in their steps, and be made as un- comfortable as present circumstances and the police will permit. It is a singular coincidence that all new books, watches, and the finer descriptions of merchan- dise are in this province exposed for awhile after land- ing to the action of the weather, and left (such is the singular consistency of this people) open in tents by the wayside, that they may be hardened and prepared for colonial use. At the end of the twenty years there can be no doubt that the educational question will be considered, it will then be remembered that governesses as a body are poor, and, the motto of Christ Church being "Not given to hospitality," that it will be ad- visable some distinct provision should be made for the reception of teachers. Had I the longevity of a Wandering Jew promised me, perhaps at the end of these thirty years I might be sufficiently interested in the subject to report the progress of the plan. What Men can do in the Canterbury Settlement. Miss Rye, evidently annoyed that her plans are not more generally adopted, says :— I shall now wander into the plains, and tell you, if you care to listen, what men may do if they come to Canterbury; and, first, I shall say a few words about the land question, for I feel sure that there are many persons in England who will be glad to receive a little definite information. The coast line of Canterbury is, as you are most probably aware, upwards of 150 miles in length, and the level plains of the province contain over two millions of acres of land. This acreage does not, of course, include the lands lying on the west side of the snowy ranges, that long line of clay and slaty hills which forms the western boundary of the long tract of level land known as the Canterbury plains. The western coast is destined some day, and that a not very distant one, I believe, to form another and separate province. From all sides we learn here that the land is rich to repletion in metals and timber; the coal is described as cropping out in many places, and to be of excellent quality, and there are very strong suspicions that gold is there too in abundance. At any rate, it is known in this village that two men who have comfortable homes and abundance of work are working claims more than satisfactorily during this, the winter season; and when it is known that there is only one pass (the Teremakau) through this Backbone range from Canterbury into the west coast, and remembered that the snow lies thick on the range,. and that all provisions must be carried either on a packhorse or a man's own back, it will readily be seen that there must be some very strong inducement to draw these men for months together westward, and that it is not improbable that a rush may occur towards- the spring. The timber is described as remark- ably fine, but very dense, and it is expected that an immigration of sawyers, miners, and diggers will take place direct from England and Australia. To return to the land in the plains. I believe every acre is appropriated, and that some years ago. Formerly, if a gentleman wanted a run, he merely mado ap- plication for a certain definite piece of unoccupied land, which became his-that is, devoted to his use— on the easy condition that he stocked a 20,000 section with 1,000 sheep within a .certain time, an intending station-master paid a certain sum down as a guarantee for the fulfilment of his pledge, and the bargain was concluded. Now, a gentleman buys any run that may be in the market, and of course pays in proportion to its advancement and the improvements that may have been made on it. But no run is a freehold, and the station-masters are simply tenants on sufferance,- with permission to buy their own land if they wish. All land in this province is t2 per acre, and any man, no matter how mean his birth, or what his occupation, can purchase any portion of land that suits his pur- pose.. Should any man, however, select a piece of land that had been improved by the station-master, the latter is immediately informed of the fact, and his right to become the first purchaser is admitted and six weeks allowed for the completion of the sale. Should he, however, fail or refuse to fulfil the purchase, tho stranger steps in and com- pletes the bargain, on one condition — viz., it is imperative that he buys twenty acres of land, that being the smallest country section sold. The country is almost entirely a grass country, the plains being covered with tussock, a brown, reedy-looking grass, that grows in clumps to the height of nearly a foot. There is a small English-looking sort of short grass to be seen in places here and there at the foot of the tussock, but it is scanty and irregular in such places perhaps, a sheep could be kept to every acre, but as a rule it takes two and even three acres of tussock grass to keep one sheep. I have been told that, owing to the high winds, it is nearly impossible to sow English grass seed; but since hearing that report I have seen several acres of land laid down in good green English grass, and hear that' the possibility of carrying this put on a large scale is likely to be one of the most important features of New Zealand pastoral life. The plains from the sea-board of the east coast (there is a 40 mile and a 90 mile sandy sea beach, divided byBanka s peninsula) to the base of the snowy range rise no less than 900 feet in the 50 miles; while the rivers are not only continually changing their beds, but the beds of the rivers are themselves considerably higher than the surrounding country. The latter fact may perhaps be accounted for by their being mountain torrents, dragging down from the- ranges the debris and rubble of the rocks. The beds being, however, fuller of boulders than debris would seem to upset this idea, and there must be many tor- rents from many mountains in Europe and elsewhere bringing as much dirt in their descent, and yet flowing through land lower than the surrounding country. The change in the course of the rivers, always near their mouths, has been attributed to the setting in of the violent gales from the south-west, which have driven the sand across their mouths, barring their outlet, and so damming the waters that at last they have broken out and formed fresh channels a little to the north; for though some of these small rivers have changed their course four times, yet the move has always been to the north at each separate move. There is really very little swamp land in Canterbury, fortunately, as drain tiles are X12 per 1,000, a fact which precludes any of Mr. Parke's schemes being carried into effect, though his plans are well known. and discussed here. I am told by competent judges that when labour is something under eight shillings a day, or one shilling an hour, as at present, farming will pay, and I scarcely like to contradict my in- formant but the land in part seems to me stony, cold,. and poor-well enough for sheep and cattle, but not likely to carry corn. Talking of wages, a good story was told me the other day of a new chum," a single man, who came to be hired. His agricultural and pastoral experience was nil, and his wages at home about 7s. a week; but he was a hand," and "would work for the gemman if his place worn't too far up country." "What wages ? "Why, now, measter, I'll be asking .8150 per nnem, and I be're going too marry zoon, and my missus 'ull want rations, and sharn't let ear work." "Oh," said the master, "stop a bit; I think I'll marry, and you shall take the station and give me < £ 150 a year; and my wife sha'n't work, that will suit me best." And so man and master parted, no more being said, an example I shall surely do well to follow. « —

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