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public subscription and for public benefit, and a letter from him to Lord Lamington was quoted in the House of Lords as authoritative in reference to a close time for yellow trout.
These are some of the evidences of service devoted to the angling world. Quite recently, on retiring from the presidentship of the Wanderers' Angling Club, a handsome escritoire with roller top, and a study chair, were presented to Mr. Robertson, as a mark of esteem from the members ; of these he is very proud.
Though he regards cultivating the muses as an amiable weakness, the muses have sung his praises without stint. Several Glasgow poets have busked Robertson's Wonnerfu' Flees in never failing lines of verse, and even Paisley
“ Lithe Teviotdale's amang the worst, . .
Ere early morn ;
Fills me with scorn.
“ Hyperion to a Satyr was my cast
To theirs, and this withouten doot
Explains me catching salmon, ithers troot."
Frae Tweed to the far Hebrides,
has not been silent. Than this favourable com- Itis, nevertheless, as President of the G.B.C. A. ment could no further go; and yet-and yet, that we are chiefly concerned with Mr. Robertthe author of the Lay of Loch Leven submitted son. Though pursuing his career thus far has his lines to Mr. Robertson, and recast many at been a pleasant pastime, combined as it is with his behest. At the same time he has favourite the dolce far niente of holiday times within poems, of which the chief are “The Grave,” by sound of the murmur of Tweed, and under the Blair, and “ Miles Standish." The lines in the shadow of Kelso Town Hall, we are more at former, descriptive of a boy walking through home with Mr. Robertson among Borderers in the churchyard at night, “whistling aloud to Glasgow. Some thirteen years ago the Associabear his courage up,” being much appreciated: tion met only four times a year, the younger “ Sudden ! he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears
members struck out and formed a Literary
Society. It was but a few weeks old when the The sound of something purring at his heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him."
never failing “night at the Hustings" came on;
candidates were chosen, party feeling ran high In the exquisite Lay of Loch Leven our in the usual way, but the Conservatives were in friend figures thus :
straits to find a proposer for their political
aspirant. They got over the difficulty by inducing President six years ago, after keeping in the a burly chield, present for the first time, to fill modest background until his light could no the breach, which he did to perfection, speaking longer be hid; and since then the brightest well himself, applauding the points in other annals of the Aşsociation have been minuted. speakers, and keeping up an animated enthusiasm. Its first dinner was celebrated in the Windsor The Liberals got in by a large majority; the Hotel, when Sir George Douglas, Honorary sense being on one side and the numbers on President, was entertained by the Directors, and the other in the usual way, and everybody was the desire for a Border Keep in Glasgow was satisfied. The burly chield who led the forlorn first publicly spoken of. In '93 the majority of hope was Mr. Wm. Robertson. Ten years had the Association was commemorated with a expanded him beyond recognition. A stalwart, Dinner, Soiree and Dance, the Hon. President, genial, broad-minded aud open hearted Borderer Sir James Miller and his fair young bride lending in place of the dapper young man of early lustre to the occasion. Prosperity has followed
recollection. This readiness in helping people it up since then, and the Border Keep, which out of a difficulty is a marked trait in his character, was never lost sight of, is now in a fair way of as our Association has experienced on many being realised. In the Literary Society Mr. occasions. We surmise that politics do not Robertson was elected Editor of MS. Magazine. take a high place in Mr. Robertson's estimation; In reading he is perspicuous, with a fine resonant indeed, how could they in any one possessed voice; and when the “Border Bummer” seceded of a virtuous, well regulated mind and sound from the magazine and secured him for its judgment. The Literary Society became the Reader, its fortune was made. As the unofficial life of the Association, the members developing organ of all the sayings and doings of Borderers finely democratic views, and paying deference in Glasgow, its light pervades everywhere ; it readily to wealth, when it is the mind that comes to the Reader, the night before the makes the body rich, in which respect Mr. meeting, when he sees it for the first time, yet Robertson is well endowed. He was elected he unfailingly interprets every dark saying; and that is no light task, as it occupies more than back, at other times with one of the performers an hour in steady reading; and there is no dull in “character," he gave a wink to the boy and time. In all branches of the Association Mr. told hini to keep his eye on the clown, and to Robertson shows like interest, Cricket Club, remember the joke about the horse's toes. So Angling Club, Football Club, he gives encourage expressive were these looks and winks on the ment and support to all. Mrs. Robertson has part of the cream-coloured beauty that the boy been a good coadjutor and helpmeet. Her clothed them in language, and interpreted them heart is still on the banks of Tweed, and she as easily as if they had been conveyed in the delights much to attend our Border Gatherings plainest of English. in Glasgow. Three big sons, the eldest of whom The entertainment over, the boy returned is the second William, and takes after his father home. “Well, how did you enjoy the circus ? " in love of literature as well as in business; and his mother asked. “Oh, it was grand,” said he a vivacious golden haired girl of fifteen summers, in ecstacy ; "for one of the horses spoke to me, in whom the mother lives again, the youngest, and ---" make up the household. When last we saw “Hush, hush," interrupted the mother. Mr. Robertson, he was delvin' in his kail yairdie “Horses can do many clever things, but they at Cathcart ; and under his guidance respects canna speak.” were paid to the castle hallowed by having “Ah, but, mother, the cream-coloured horse sheltered the hapless Mary Queen of Scots: he spoke, and he spoke to me.” then led us away to see a charming poem in All the reasoning on the part of that muchnature, where Cart frets over the weir into surges loved womau did not seem to produce the desired crested white, and brattles with foamy flecks effect upon her son, for he kept to his point, and past the old mill and underneath the ancient eventually brought from the Scriptures an illusbridge, the whole set in a background of living tration in proof of his assertion that horses can greenwoods. Contemplating in this beautiful and do speak. natural scenery, on a mild evening, he may “ Hush, hush, laddie: ye're forgetting yoursel' often be found, and in this view we may love now. Nowhere, that I mind, does the Bible tell him and leave him hale and hearty.
us that horses speak."
“The book of Job, mother, where the horse
says arnong the trumpets, ‘Ha ha!' Ha ha, Speech and humour in the horse. mother!"
“Ye've clean coupit me now,” replied the BY THE EDITOR.
mother, pleased and proud in her defeat-totally NE of my earliest recollections is having different from most people when they are
been taken to see Ord's travelling circus “floored” in argument. “I canna keep up wi’
which held its entertainment in the open ye now," she continued ; "your faither'll have air, beneath the blue skies of summer, and with to take ye in hand.” out enclosure or covering of any kind. Under The "faither” next "yokit" the boy ; but he, such an arrangement, the admiring spectators too, was floored, and at last both mother and closed in so frequently upon the ring that the father agreed to let both boy and horse have performers had, once and again, to stop and their own way, and hold as much communication beseech the onlookers to "retire a little." On with each other as they liked. one of these occasions the clown tried his hand A wonderfully constructed creature is the at persuasion, and as he did so he jumped on the horse. The “ Vet.” knows all about his anatomy back of a beautiful cream-coloured horse, paced and his ailments—the couper or dealer can round and round the outside of the ring and describe his good points and his weak ones. The kept the spectators in good humour by saying, carter, the trooper, the farmer, each and all have “Now then, mind the horse's toes, will you?” their special information to impart about the
It was while cracking this joke that the cream- horse. But the horse in his mental constitution coloured beauty caught my eye and said, or has not yet received the attention which he seemed to say, “Isn't he a funny fellow this deserves. As a suggestion, but merely as a sug. clown of ours? This joke about my toes is good, gestion, that something might be done in this isn't it?"
direction, the present writer proposes to relate a For the remainder of the entertainment the few instances of speech and humour in the horse. boy's attention was almost wholly concentrated These, it may be stated in the outset, are mostly upon the cream-coloured horse. Always as he drawn from personal reminiscences, and not came ambling round and round the ring, some- collected from anecdotes or books on natural times with a beautiful lady standing upon his history.
In a great city like Glasgow, where horses are so much “in evidence” on the streets, there is abundant opportunity for studying the subject of the present paper. Next to the human family, and probably the dog, there is no member of the animal creation so much on the outlook for sympathy as the horse. A word of cheer for him on the street stirs him like the sound of a trumpet, and vibrates through his whole intellectual and physical system. Standing so high as he does in the scale of animated nature, he feels the slightest indignity placed upon him, and resents is as an affront not to be endured without protest of some kind or other. One day the present writer met a string of tramway trace-horses coming down Renfield Street, each one carrying a trace-boy sitting on the rump. The last horse in the string caught the writer's eye, and though it was only a passing glance, and at the trot, it was enough to convey this mortifying intelligence—“This riding on the rump is more than I can stand !" and away the poor tracer clattered down the street after his companions in indignity. It was a sore point this riding on the rump! But it is now a thing of the past. Since the tramways came into the hands of the Corporation of Glasgow, the trace boys are not even allowed to ride the horses in the orthodox fashion, but are required to dismount and lead them down the hill.
Perhaps of all horses on the street the lorry horse has the keenest sense of humour. He is seen at his best, curiously enough, after a hard day's work. While on his way to the stable he is quite “larky” and up to anything in the way of a joke between himself and the lorryman, his driver. But even during business hours the humour of the lorry horse comes out, as may be gathered from the following incident. One day, several years ago, hundreds of business men were seen crowding into St. George's Church at one o'clock. Nearly opposite the church door, a group of horses and lorries was standing waiting for the trace boys to come and give them a help up the steep incline on the upper part of Buchanan Street.
On the day in question, a “scene” occurred in consequence of one of the trace horses refusing to “take the hill.” Words, orthodox enough at first, were used by the drivers and boys to induce the tracer to buckle to his work, but the orthodox words produced no effect ; whereupon a stronger quality was tried, but still without effect.
During the commotion, and the commotion was considerable it may be stated, one of the horses in the group looked across to a human bystander on the pavement and asked, with
reference to the crowd of men pouring into St. George's Church, “What's ado there to day?”
“Oh, it's John M'Neill preaching to businessmen," was the reply.
“ Business men !” replied the lorry horse. “Bring John out here, and see what he can do in the way of softening the language of the lorrymen fechting away wi' that puir cratur o' a trace-horse. I've heard strong language in my day, but never aught like this,' to quote Sir Walter. Yes, bring John MNeill; he'd be better employed outside the kirk the day than inside.”
In the country, with its lighter and less "bashing” work, the horse gets more play for its humour than in the city. During a drive down a steep glen above St. Catherine's on an August day a few years ago, one of the two horses in the “machine" suddenly stumbled, fell, and lay like one dead; so like, indeed, that as the driver jumped down from the box he threw up his hands in despair, rent the atmosphere with a Highland lament, and shrieked aloud—“Och, she's deid, she's deid.”
One of the passengers in the machine, who knew more about horses than the driver, got out and pronounced the prostrate one to be not “deid,” but only pretending to be so. And his opinion was confirmed by the other horse, who, all the while, was standing laughing at his fallen companion, and saying in a jeering, bantering sort of tone, " At it again! I declare, I'll not come any more wi' ye---affronting me in this way!”
Then turning to the passenger, the speaker continued, “It's only a bit weakness this o' bis ; he wants five minutes to take in the scenery!”
Perhap the finest instance of humour in the horse that ever came under the writer's notice was on one occasion while visiting a young minister in the Bowmont Valley, on the northern slope of the Cheviot hills. After dinner, the host proposed a drive up the country as far as the Field of Flodden, where
“Shiver'd was fair Scotland's lance,
And broken was her shield." The minister's machine, a low.set affair on four wheels, was drawn by a pony whose sense of humour was deliciously practical. The two guests took their seats, and the minister stepped up to his. As the party drove off, the minister whispered to his guests, at the same time pointing with his whip to the pony—“Watch him, now, and see his humour.”
Not long had the party to watch, for on meeting an auld wife trudging homeward, the that something was embodied in the well-known lines:--
* Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife.
To all the sensual world proclaim -
Is worth an age without a name.”
pony stopped---not to speak to her himself, but to afford the minister an opportunity of asking how she and the auld man were getting on at home. By this manoeuvre the pony secured what he was wanting-a rest of a few minutes, for he was inclined to take things easy. The same thing happened on every occasion of meeting a passenger on the road, and to every passenger the minister had to speak, no matter whether known to each other or not.
But the greatest farce of all was when the minister and his guests reached the foot of a hilly part of the road. There the pony stopped, turned round his head, and thus addressed the occupants of the machine-. “You fellows had better get out here. You're abler to walk than I am to drag you up the hill. Besides, you'll be the better of stretching your legs after this long drive.""
Out the party had to get and walk to the top of the hill, where the pony halted, and suggested that as they had reached the summit they had better rest for ten minutes, and take a general view of the Field of Flodden, which lay on the slope about a mile to the eastward.
. The declining years of the horse are not not usually spent in “the leisure of retirement." In the experience of most of them, the familiar saying holds true—“They have seen better days.” In the old pre-railway times, the horsing of the mail coaches used to be largely recruited
ranks of the used-up hunters and troopers. Nothing raised their drooping spirits so much, when tired-out after a long run, as to hear the sound of the guard's horn, or the cry of a pack of hounds breaking away out of cover and across country. The old times came back again, and could the "wheelers ” or the "leaders” have got out of harness for a few minutes, the certainty is that they would have been off after
ds with the “yauldest ” and the freshest of the hunting party.
On one occasion an ex-hunter, employed in some menial capacity, heard the well-known sound of a pack in full cry. Away she broke, rattling behind her an old cart, and closing her ears to the cries and entreaties of the master she had left behind on the road. Attempting a hedge, the cart stuck fast, but the shafts gave way, and she was free. Tearing across the country, she overtook the hunting-party. The excitement however, had been too much for her, for the action of the heart had suddenly failed, and she dropped down-dead. I did not witness the incident, but in the subsequent narrative of the gleam of the eye which preceded dissolution, I have often fancied that something of Sir Walter's was in her last thoughts, and that
"Sooner or Later."
School Boy' in the July No. of this Magazine).
Upon a garden wall;
To deck a lordly hail:
Seemed gone beyond recall.
In beauty's bloom its fellow ;
When leaves were golden yellow,
Luscious, ripe and mellow.
We see an aged man
His full allotted span,
That hope set in the van.
for all the coming years, Till glory crowned a noble life
Among the gifted seers,
Among a mist of tears.
But who can gauge the riches
That came from grief's sad dower, Unto the friend that loved him so
When life was all in Aower,
Gave love its grandest power.
The doings of the King,
We might see everything, Works out a higher good to make
Our hearts with gladness sing. LILLIESLEAF.