Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/247

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157
MEMORIES OF THE RENOWNED SEDDON

dollars per head; since 1896 they have had to pay five hundred dollars each. And since late in 1908 each Chinese immigrant has been required to read a printed passage of not less than one hundred English words.

In New Zealand's capital one of the most impressive objects is the lofty monument raised to the memory of Richard John Seddon, who did so much to elevate the Dominion to its present position. The memorial is a granite shaft surmounted by a bronze female figure typifying political fame. It is dedicated to the dead statesman by Parliament and the people of New Zealand, and on it is written:—

"In him the most lofty qualities of an eminent Imperial statesman were united with wide human sympathies and warm affections of the heart."

For thirteen years "Digger Dick," once from the gold-fields of Westland, was Prime Minister of "God's Own Country," as he loved to call it. He died in Australian waters on June 10, 1906, his end being hastened by overwork.

Mr. Seddon rose from humble ranks to the highest political position it was possible for him to win in New Zealand, yet never at any time or at any place was he ashamed to acknowledge his lowliest friends.

"I saw Dick walk up the street with a man that even I would have been ashamed to be seen with," said a Wellington laboring-man to me. "The bloke did n't have a decent pair of boots on; but that did n't make any difference to Seddon."