Rough Scan
WHEN first submitting to the reading public these memoirs of Robbie Doo, I expressed a fear that they might appeal only to a very limited audience; but the favourable Press notices which they evoked and the appreciative reception accorded them by a wide circle of readers is conclusive proof that such fears were groundless. It is, therefore, no small satis­faction to me that a first edition of three thousand should be cleared in six weeks, and I take this opportunity of publicly thanking my numerous patrons, whose kindly interest is responsible for the issue of this Second Edition.
In exploiting Robbie Doo I wrote direct from a loving heart, which ever flows to fulness for my native village and for all the dear old worthies whose honoured names grace the pages of its history. Their simple, unaffected lives, the inherent nobility of their characters, and the lingering recollections of their worth have been my inspiration. I have written for neither praise nor gain, only to keep their memory green; and if, as I have ample reason to assume, a perusal of these pages has enshrined for these old worthies a corner in many a loving heart, my fullest desires will be fulfilled.
I have been the recipient of many letters from friends of auld lang syne, to whom the characters herein portrayed were at one time familiar, and in this connection I trust I may be pardoned for giving publicity to the following from my old school chum, Dr. Doughty of Dalston: -
=Dear Joe, I've sat up maist a' nicht
==To road your "Robbie Doo";
=I've never stopt since I began,
==But read it through and through.
=Tho' I can scarcely place your man,
==There's mony anither name
=That taks me back to ear1y times
==And scenes o' boyhood's hame.
=The Maister wi' the stern, set face,
==And worth o' sterling gold,
=Will live within us, loved, enshrined,
==Until those hearts are cold;
=The white-haired doctor-banker whom
==As boys we loved to greet,
=As he with falterin' shortened step
==Gaed slowly doon the street;
=And Dr. Grierson, cannie man,
==Who chased the butterflies,
=The while his auld white pownie looked
==Wi' patient, wondering eyes;
=Then Tammas Porteous, Willum Sherp,
==And Tommy Dooglas. too,
=Can conjure mony a memory up
==Fu' sweet to me and you.
=Maxwelton braes are bonnie still,
==And Nith flows to the sea;
=The flo'ers bloom sweet, the birds still sing,
==But, ah, to you and me
=Some vacant spots can ne'er be filled.
==As they were wont o' yore,
=By kindly souls and honest hearts
==Who've passed the Stygian shore.
=But there! let us nae mair repine.
==We've got our work to do;
=And rest assured, my task's more light
==By reading "Robbie Doo."
That a perusal of these memoirs will in many more cases leave behind, as it were, a lingering fragrance, sweetening the daily darg and enlivening the work-a-day routine, and that an acquaintance with the life-history of a typically Scots character may lead to a truer estimate of a class which by many delineators has oftener been caricatured than truthfully and faithfully portrayed, is my sincerest wish, and will certainly not fail to prove my fullest reward.