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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 40


page 5


The noble man who has passed away from the horizon of New Zealand, Major Sir John Richardson, with the lofty determination, the chivalric sentiment, to benefit women and children, threw, during this life, the energy of his character into the great factory question of overworking women and children. In a new country the abnormal cruelty does not strike one with the same power "and equality of argument" as it does in older countries. The evil, however, exists, and if not eradicated will have a serious effect on a very important class of the community.

Now, as passing through a weird rocky glen—where the rent fissures in the rocks, the armless trunks of giants of the forest, the dwarfed herbage, proclaim that Nature has in some freak desired to teach man the lesson of dissolution—one discovers a jewel of price, a diamond which sheds a radiance around, colouring with its reflected rays the objects in its immediate vicinity, sanctifying and hallowing them with its own beauty; so occasionally one finds some specimen of the human race who appears to have belonged to the "Round Table," to have breathed the same air with Arthur, the great King, and by some metempsychosis, which, by our finite intelligence cannot be understood, has re-visited the world for the good of women and children. Such a specimen was Sir John Richardson.

Life ebbing away, on the banks of the great river, within a short time of his death the "Major" left with his friend, Mr. Bradshaw, the author of "Bradshaw's Factory Act," the little brochure he had written during life. It was the "Major's" intention to publish it in pamphlet form and distribute it free. To the great loss of the country he was gathered into the harvest of the just before he could publish it himself, and leaving the manuscript with Mr. Bradshaw, his wish is now complied with by him.

H. C. B.