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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 9 (December 1, 1937.)

First Meeting

First Meeting.

Frequent visitor to Shepherd's Bush was the owner's brother, William Sefton Moorhouse, Superintendent of the Province of Canterbury. Ever a judge of men, Sefton Moorhouse soon saw that this young radical had more than usual ability. “His name is Sam. Butler,” they told him. Ere long, Samuel Butler was guest at the Moorhouse home in Christchurch.

William Sefton Moorhouse was a much older man than the owner of “Mesopotamia,” but he seems to have fascinated Butler from the commencement of their friendship and Butler never lost his admiration and respect for Moorhouse. Many and varied were the discussions that the Superintendent of Canterbury had with this young sheep-owner. During one of these talks, Moorhouse made the remark that had a deep and lasting impression on the young listener. “Very handsome, well-dressed men are seldom very good men,” said Moorhouse.

Butler never forgot this remark, and years afterwards he wrote: “I liked Moorhouse very much, and being young, listened deferentially to all that he said. I did not like to hear him say this for I liked men to be handsome and well-dressed. I have thought about it a great deal during the more than twenty years that have passed since Moorhouse's words were spoken, and even now I do not know what to say. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.” Had he respected Moorhouse's advice, it would have been better for him, for there came into Butler's life a very handsome young man who was to prove a burden and a drain on his meagre resources.