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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 17

Parliamentary Sketches

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Parliamentary Sketches.

George Turncoat.

This gentleman was born in the year 1794, or some other year at the option of the generous public. Exact locality of birth not known, but matter of no importance. In appearance, portly. In complexion, dark. Upper lip adorned in imitation of the Italian Potentate; upper extremity artificially mounted; thus, probably, accounting for the above synonym. Being a living reflex of pomposity and audacity, the result of his political career may be anticipated. Fairly educated, but quite expressionless in debate. Is an endless source of weariness to the party he belongs, and is a representative of his own private affairs, although ostensibly that of the City of Dunedin.

Private occupation, merchant. Public do., recipient of Treasury funds. His business habits and standing qualify him to fulfil the duties of Provincial Treasurer. Has endeavoured during his tenure of office to effect immense reforms in the Treasury Department, the result of his efforts is well known to the department to the Provincial Council and to the country, by the promptness with which the balance sheet has been placed at the disposal of the House at the commencement of the Session.

His political creed, so far as is known, is based upon this—"that private business must take precedence of public interest."

Has two ways of explaining Executive difficulties as to matters of policy or details of departments. One is that of prominently parading his innocence and virtues, the other that of insinuatingly exposing the weakness of his colleagues.

Can take ad libitum the part of 1st 2nd or 3rd fiddle in the Executive band. His preference for either depending on the key note.

Is a firm adherent of the church, and an officer in it of high standing. His exalted position in this way eminently justifies unlimited confidence in his integrity, discipline, moderation and honour.

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Fronti Nulla Fides.

George Methuselah Waistcoat.

This scion of respectability is supposed by many to be affected with old age and imbecility, but this is scarcely true, as he has lately exhibited symptoms of spasmodic bounce which ostensibly, at any rate, liberates him from the imputation of sterilty of intellect.

He is believed by some to be cousin german to Sir John Falstaff, by others, however, he is looked upon as entitled to a closer relationship. Certainly, corporal and mental development favour this latter view.

This gentleman is a Provincial Council representative of 22 enlightened electors. Has broad views upon every question, and exercises his ponderous intellect for the good of the country. Has, if anything, a loaning towards the goldfields, and has frequently been known to evince a desire to further their development by every means in his power.

Has a great aversion to railways, and lately endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to prevent the construction of a certain light line in the Oamaru district, which' his capacious intellect foresaw could only benefit a few at the expense of the multitude.

Is closely allied to the gentleman who forms the subject of the proceeding sketch, being no less than his political twin, and possessed of a like extent of mental calibre.