Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Just look at oor new schulin'

I carena hoo it's honour't ; A hantle o't's just fulin',

And knocks the bairn dontart. I'll grant ye ane in ten

The system forces forrit : It suits the few, but then

The bulk o' them's the waur o't. No' every change we make

Can aye be for the better, In some we but forsake

The speerit for the letter. The mind may cram and feed

On endless information-
Unless some sense gang wi'd

It's no richt eddication !
We buird schules round us set,

Where ilka little bantam
Maun gape his gab and get

The regulation quantum. Wi' their diploma'd lair,

Inspector for adviser, They'll maybe stap in mair,

But deil a ane's the wiser.

Sic trash oor young folks read!

Wae's me! the worlt, maun alter Sair for 'the waur indeed,

That disna ken Sir Walter. There's Thacker'y at his best,

We'll no deny he's thorough, But after him the rest

Are puir beside the Shirra.' But, Jean, are they the gainers

Wi' a' their booin', keekin', Their Anglicees'd fine mainners,

And clippit ways o' speakin'? Low'd! hoo can auld folk bend

To their new-fangl't bustle? The very tunes oo' kenned

Are no' the tunes they whustle !

1 Sir Walter Scott, “the whole world's darling," as Wordsworth has called him, was so much loved in his own district, and among his own people, that he was seldom alluded to by any other than his Christian name, or the equally familiar "Shirra." He was a Yarrow man by both sides of his family; by direct descent from the Harden branch of the Scotts on the one side, while his maternal great-grandfather, the Rev. John Rutherford, was the first minister of Yarrow after the Revolution, ordained 1691. So it was vo figure of speech he indulged in, when he took the poet Southey across the hills from Ashiestiel to introduce him to the classio valley he was proud of referring to as “the shrine of his ancestors."

And oh! the siller wared

On Sunday claes, bates a ;
Jock dresses like the laird,

And Kirstie just as braw.
If she but wadna roose

That tongue o' hers sae ready,
Naebody wad jalouse

She wasna born a leddy.

Warst change o' a' that's made !

Yarrow's sequester'd byeway,
Oor ain romantic glade,

Turn'd to a common highway.
The noisy vulgar thrang,

They've glifft awa' the fairies,
Sin' a' the worlt maun gang

And picnic at St Mary's.

The laverock i' the lift,

That tuned “the Shepherd's ” lay,
Noo stints his gudely gift,

Or tak's it far away.
Leaving bis lowly berth,

Till, by their clamour driven,
The song unheard on earth,

Is only heard in heaven.

Lang syne, aboon the brig,

Nae wheel but on a barrow,
And Dr Russell's gig,

Was ever seen in Yarrow,
Now coaches, cadgers' cairts,

And carriages galore,
Hailin' frae a'the airts,

Gang rumlin' by the door.2

An endless noisy roun'

The lee-lang simmer day,
Ane's glad when nicht comes doun

And sends them a' away.
But some othem, puir things,

Are shilpet like and spare-
It's that, nae doubt, that brings

Them here for caller air.

1 There are few birds more shy of the approach of man than the Ettrick Shep herd's well-named “Bird of the Wilderness."

2 The Russells of Yarrow, father and son, held the pastorate of the parish between them for nearly a century, dating from 1791. The lato Dr James Russell—the genial and gentle “ priest of Yarrow”

-was among the last in the district of the Forest who had held personal communication with the luminous Nor can we baulk their cause,

Or blame them a thegither ;
For where's the wund that blaws

Like what comes aff the heather?
Sae, Jean, we'll haud content,

For changes aye maun be,-
There's maybe mair gude in't

Than auld folk weel can see.

And whether richt or wrang,

To flyte on them, or fleer,
It's hardly worth a sang,

For a' the time we're here.
Argy-bargy to the last,

Ye'll find there's aye twa ways in't;
The young lauch at the past,

The auld anes at the present.

But pittin' what we've seen

Wi what we see thegither,
Is't no' a mercy, Jean;

We're spared to ane anither?
When auld, and laid aside,

The changes that attack us
Are no sae ill to bide

When we've a friend to back us.

And then, when comes the change

That comes to a’ the same,-
For, far as we may range,

The gloamin' brings us hame,”-
There's aye this blessin' in't

For auld folk, Jeanie, woman--
The ane that's left ahint

Canna be lang o' comin'.

Sae we'll just dander doun.

The first that gets the ca'
We'll leave to Him aboon,

Wha kens what's best for a'.

J. B. SELKIRK.

galaxy of great men who will always be associated with the Yarrow of the early years of the century, Scott, Wordsworth, Wilson, Hogg, &c. 'Dr Anderson is one of the few still left who knew the poet-shepherd in the flesh. In his father's house in Selkirk, he had the rare good fortune of hearing the poet sing his own imperishable lyric, "When the kye come hame."

TAR NATAL MANEUVRES OF 1889.

THE naval manæuvres which would have reflected credit on an were brought to a conclusion on older hand. In short, the torpedothe 29th of August were quite as boats, so far as any effect they full of interest, and taught the might have had (under more officers and men who were engaged favourable circumstances) upon in them as many useful lessons, as the issues of the mimic warfare any of their predecessors.

went, were, under the conditions The weather was all that could of weather encountered in August be desired-that is to say, it was 1889, quite useless. Not so, howabout as bad as possible for the ever, the value of them as a train. time of year.

Had the fortnight ing-school for the officers and men during which the mimic war lasted employed in them, but more par. been one of those fine, sunny, calm ticularly for their commanders. fortnights which not uncommonly This value it would be almost occur in the month of August, the impossible to overestimate. And maneuvres would have been of this brings us now to the main very little value as a test of the object of this article, which is to ships, and of greatly reduced value explain to our readers wherein as an exercise for officers and men. lies the true value of the naval

The continued bad weather also maneuvres, concerning which proved once more (if, indeed, proof some of the best-informed organs were necessary) that the torpedo of the press seem to have formed a boats are purely fine-weather birds. totally erroneous conception. We were not so unfortunate as to Some of the self-constituted lose any of them by capsizing or critics of the manouvres appear otherwise, though some had narrow to think that they are instituted escapes ; but on the whole, they for the purpose of proving which may be said to have been useless of two admirals is the best strate to either squadron. In short, the gist; and one sapient legislator weather was too bad for them. went so far as to suggest that the Those that went round the west loser in the game of mimic war coast of Ireland had a very rough should be tried by a court-martime of it. They had to put into tial-with, of course, the logical several ports for shelter, and only result that if the court found him travelled by day; and when they guilty of an error in judgment, or got into Lough Swilly they had of other default, it would inflict many defects, and took a long some severe penalty, otherwise the time to put to rights and get trial would be a farce. ready for service, after which they Other critics assume that the still continued to come to grief. sole object of the annual maneuOne broke down on a lee-shore, vres is to prove to the British blowing hard, with a good deal of public that the navy is not strong sea on, and would probably have enough to defend the country from been lost with all hands, had she invasion, and that it is therefore not been cleverly rescued by necessary to frighten the tax-payer H. R.H. Prince George of Wales into such a state of mind as to in No. 79, and safely towed into ensure his being willing to stand Lough Swilly a service which

another good squeeze.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

This latter assumption is quite The institution of the annual fallacious. It is good that the 'naval manœuvres is the tardy tax payer should be properly im. recognition of a somewhat obvious pressed with a sense of his insecur fact-viz., that it is useless, and ity in case of war, because this in- a mere waste of money, to spend security is real; but it is evil that millions upon millions on compli. he should be, led to believe that cated machines without teaching immunity from invasion means people how to use them. immunity from starvation and ognises the fact that whatever utter ruin, because this latter im, may be the machines with which munity is not real." And although we are in future to destroy our the ostensible object of the man- fellow - creatures, they must be @uvres of 1889 was in the words worked by men-by men's brains, of the memorandum) to obtain in- and men's bodies; and there can formation as to

be little doubt that, notwithstand" the protection which could be af- ing the continued multiplication forded to British interests in home of complicated machinery in modern waters when the British feet adopts war ships--a multiplication which the policy of endeavouring to mask we must assume is going on in the the Heet of the eneny from a suitable navies of all nations-yet the strategic base or bases, keeping a human qualities of courage, nerve, vigilant watch over the vicinity of coolness, intelligence, resource, and the enemy's ports in which their forces are assembled, by means of withal a dogged perseverance and fast scouts and cruisers ; and on re

determination to win, will be as ceiving intelligence that the enemy's potent factors in the result of a fleet, or any portion of it, had put to future naval battle as ever they sea, instantly to detach a superior' were in the days of England's most force to pursue and bring the enemy undisputed 'naval supremacy. to action'

In the old days, when ships were --yet we say that, notwithstanding worked under sail, the qualiţies that the above was the official objec. which were required for the sukc time of these comparatively costly cessful maneuvring of a ship in manæuvres, it would be a great action were acquired in the ordimistake to suppose that the very nary practice of working a ship at imperfect elucidation of such a sea in all weathers. Gunnery was point-and it must necessarily be a very simple business.

An old very imperfect in mimic war-was 24 pounder gun without dispart the sole, or even the principal, or tangent sights, a smalt bag conbenefit to be derived from the taining three or four" pounds of recent manauvres. Far from it. powder, and two or three roundThe principal advantages which the shot pushed down the hore, and country reaps from its expenditure then let off somewhere in the of money on a somewhat beavy direction of the enemy, had the coal bill, and the justification for desired etfect, and won for us our the undoubted risks which are run great naval battles, so far as the in manoeuvring heavy ironclads at science of gunnery was concerned. high speeds as assumed enemies, But the science which really won are to be found in the absolutelij those battles was the complicaped invaluable practice which such and abstruse, though unwritten, manæuvres afford to officers and science of seamanship-a science men in the handling and working of which our, officers and seamen of modern war-machines

became such perfect masters,, by

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »