A SCHOOL EXAMINATION BAILIE, oor local schule examination took place last Tuesday, an’ I, as usual, occupied the chair on the occasion; and, also as usual, I send ye an account o’ the meeting. Addressin’ the means, I said— "Noo, bairns, I’m here representing the Queen, an’ I’m tae examine ye, and afterwards present the prizes. (Great cheerin’ and clappin’ o’ hauns.) As I wis ance a laddie mysel’—altho’ ye wid hardly think it tae look at me noo, still I wis—I’ll be as canny wi’ ye as I can. One o’ oor great poets, Burns I think, says: ‘Speak gently tae the young; 'tis better far to rule by love than fear'. But remember, while I speak gently, I mean tae be firm wi’ ye a’ the same, for yen eddication costs the ratepayers, whom I represent, a heap o’ siller. A’ thae gran’ skules, built here and there in Pollokshields, have no been put up for naething. What I want tae draw yer attention tae, in the first place, is the lairge and influential company gathered here tae see ye gettin’ your prizes. Ye’ll notice for instance, Mrs Kaye up there, sittin’ next the minister. That’s her wi’ the fushia in her bonnet. Of course ye ken the flooer’s only wax, but it’s a very guid imitation for a’ that. Noo, if ye wid jist hing my umberella beside thae bellowses, an’ gi’e me a ruler, we’ll begin. I haud in my haun a fine book, wi’ a red binding an' gilt leaves and a’thegither, tae be presented tae Willyum Macfaurlan for excelling in Jography. Jist so; are ye here, Wullie?" "Yes, sir." "Then come up! Noo, Wullie, I want tae prove that ye really deserve the book. What year wis it that Christopher Columbus discovered Austreelia?" "Please, sir, it wis America he discovered." "Wullie Macfaurlan, listen tae me; if ye hiv nae better manners than tae contradict the representative o’ the Queen I maun jist gie the prize tae some ither body!" "But it was really America, Mr Kaye," says the schulemaister. "Wis it tho’? Weel, maybe it wis efter a’. It’s sae lang, ye see, since I wis at the skule that I whiles forget thae things. Here’s the book, Wullie, and when ye’re an auld man, wi’ sons an’ dochters o’ yer ain, it is tae be hoped the remembrance o’ this great day will mak’ ye as prood s a quaker wi’ a wudden leg." "The next prize is a wee green book withoot gilt leafs, tae Rubbert Snodgrass for excelling in Astronomy. Noo, Rubbert, I suppose ye’re as weel posted up aboot the stars and comets as if ye had been born and brocht up in them. Ye’ll ken exactly hoo mony thoosan’ inhabitants each has, and hoo mony times they spin roon on their ain axle-trees. I’ll gie ye the prize and let ye go wi’ this advice: next year turn yer attention tae coonting or spelling, or something that’ll dae ye guid when ye go tae be a jiner, or whatever ye’re intendin’ tae be. "The third prize is ‘AEsop’s Fables,’ tae Parlane M’Farlane. Bless me, bit that’s a droll kin’ o’ name. Hooever, I ance kent a man they ca’ed Gregor M’Gregor, and anither ane Aulav M'Aulay. Weel, Parlane, what is’t you’re best at? Oh! aye, 1 see, ‘General Knowledge,’ a very guid thing indeed. Weel, Parlane, there’s a lot o’ fine wee stories here aboot a’ kin’ o’ beasts, dromedaries and sich like. They ca’ them fables because the beasts are made tae speak tae ane anither jist like Christians. There’s only wan fable I mind o’ mysel’. It’s aboot a man they ca'ad Aunra Eccles and a lion. Weel, Aunra had been awa’ oot aboot Demarara or someway, where the lions, they tell me, rin wild on the hills, jist like the sheep in this country. Gaun alang he got a jag in his foot, a thorn or something, and when he sat doon at the side o’ the dyke trying tae get it oot, wha comes alang but a lion, and puir Aunra got a fricht, and little wunner. Hooever, as the story goes, the lion sat doon beside him, and put its paw roon his neck, and actually helped Aunra tae tak’ the thorn oot. Weel, as we’re tell’t, when Aunra cam’ back tae this country, maybe even tae Glasgow, for he had a Scotch name, he one day went intae a wild beast show, and he thocht he saw a lion looking at him very intently, and wha wis this but the vera lion that had taen oot the thorn fae his fit. It put its paws through the cage and Aunra shook hauns wi't, and if I’m no mista'en he bocht it frae the showman, and led it awa’ hame wi’ a string roon its neck, an’ tied it up at nicht in the washin’-hoose. Hooever ye can read the fable for yersel’ in the volume I present ye wi’. "There’ll be an interval noo, bairns, o’ ten minutes, so I’ll say a few words tae ye aboot your duty tae your parents; but there’s a wee fellow doon there wi' a red heid, hae ye naething for him, schulemaister? No! Man, I wid like tae see them a’ getting something. Ah! my wee man, maybe ye’ll get a’ the prizes thegither next year. "Noo, bairns, pay great attention tae ver lessons, and wha kens but some day ye may get on tae be Provost o’ an important toon like the ‘Shaws. It’s no the first Provost that has been a bare-footed boy wi’ only one an echtpence in his pocket when he entered a toon for the first time. I may tell ye, tho’, that purridge has a great deal tae dae wi’ success in life. There’s naething like purridge for growing laddies. For my am pairt, I firmly believe it’s because the Scotch are sae fond o’ them that they hae made a name for themsels for perseverance and integrity a’ the worl’ ower. Wi’ one and echtpence in your pocket, and a guid appetite for purridge, there’s nae hicht tae which ye may not rise. "Oor minister wis telling us at the soiree the ither nicht, aboot some laddie that had made a fiddle oot o’ his ain heid, and had as much wudd left as wid mak’ anither ane. Noo, of course, it canna be expected ye wid a’ be as clever as that, still it’s astonishing what can be done by perseverance. Anither thing tae study is ‘carefulness.’ Solomon tells us tae tak’ care o’ the pence and the pounds ‘ll tak care o' themsel’s. I must say I never richtly understood Solomon’s meanin’ here, for onybody that I see wi’ pounds taks far mair care o' them than they dae o’ the pennies. Hooever, it wis a wiser man than me said it, so I suppose it must be correct. I min’ once hearing at a lecture what made a great impression on me, for it showed what could be done by trifles. The lecturer said ‘a ha’pennv a day for a newspaper is no much, but it amounts tee 13s. a year, and in a hundred years tae mair than a thoosan’ pounds.’ So onybody, ye see, can save a thoosan’ pounds by aye gettin’ the len’ o’ their neebour’s paper. Noo, tak’ that tae heart. Anither thing is 'integrity,’ that is—aye tae tell the truth. There’s ony amount of nice wee stories ‘written aboot laddies that used tae own at once tae having stolen peers or plooms, or tied a kettle tae the dog’s tail, and gotten a guid thrashing for’t, still y'll notice they aye get on tae be great men it they tell’t the truth an’ didna’ deny it. Have your foundation in purridge, an’ then have inscribed on your banner 'perseverance, carefulness, and integrity,' and your journey through this worl’ will be—casualties an’ unforeseen circumstances excepted—a triumphal march ending in an honoured, grave. The minister will now say a few words." The minister got up and waved his haun for silence, and he had jist said "Dearly beloved children," when a great commotion wis observed at the far en’ o’ the skule, and some o’ the weans brocht ower a tin can they said they had got lyin’ below a desk. The schulemaister and several others, liftin’ the can, began tae shake it and feel’t a’ roon, and ane said, "It’s like Chicago beef," and anither "It’s liker lobsters," and they gied it anither shake, and I says, as I moved as faur frae it as I could, "Put it up tae your ear, Mr Broon; d’ye hear ony 'ticking?’" "I think I do," says he. "Dynamite," says I. "Betty, put on your dolman, and we’ll be oot before the crush. As they were baffled at the railway stations they’re trying the schules noo. Lay it doon cannie," I cries oot, as I drew Betty doon frae her seat. BAILIE, ye talk aboot an alarm o’ fire clearing a building. If ye had seen hoo we cleared oot o’ the schule! I hadna time tae see whether the doors opened ootwards on inwards, for I got oot thro’ the window and roon the corner as fast as I could, and never halted till I got intae the coal ree, where I sat doon on a barrow tae listen for the report. It never cam, hooever, so I went doon tae the schulemaister’s at nicht, and found him in a great huff wi’ me for breaking up the meeting before he got makin’ his speech. "The tin can," he cried in disdain when I mentioned the dynamitards "it wis naething but a bit can wi’ a wheen bools in't." Hooever, BAILIE, I don’t see boo I wis tae blame.