THE MARINE EXHIBITION HAVING been born, BAILIE, on the banks o’ the Clyde, famous a’ the worl’ ower for its vessels; and, forbye, haeing a lot o’ freens in that line, I tak’ a great interest in our shipbuilding; so the ither day Betty an’ me, an’ a freen frae Kilma’colm, stepped awa’ up tae see the Marine Exhibition. Paying oar sixpence, we gaed in, an’ Betty bocht a catalogue. I, hooever, kent ower much aboot ships tae need ane: a diligent reading o’ the papers has posted me a’ up aboot boats; so I left the book tae her, but as she had forgot her specs, she got a wee mixed up wi’ the names and numbers. "Noo," says I, stopping opposite a gless case, "pay attention tae me, an’ never mind the catalogue, an’ I’ll explain everything as we go alang. Here’s the ‘Royal George,’ for instance, that wis the man-o’-war that Lord Nelson was in at the battle o’ Copenhagen. This is no like the man-o’-wars they mak’ noo-a-days. Ye’ll notice it’s very high oot o’ the water, an’ they build them at present wi’ naething above the water but a funnel an’ a gun. Fashion changes, ye see, in a' things baith at land an’ sea. "No. 3, Model of the ‘Victory.’ ‘Victory,’ ‘Victory’; let me see, that wis the name o’ a steamer that used tae rin tae Rothesay, but she wisna like this. I’ve been in her mony a time. They must hae made some mistake. What’s this? ‘100 guns.’ Well, she had nae gun that ever I saw except a wee brass cannon up on the paidlebox. Surely that’s vera careless o’ them pittin’ doon 100 guns. "No"—but I needna tell ye o’ them a’, BAILIE, we admired the various models: every ane nicer than anither. It’s perfectly extror’nar hoo they can get up yon things. In fac’ they’re perfect triumphs o’ art. The man wha can mak’ ane o’ yon models is nae greenhorn. There were some they ca'ad "hauf models" that werena sae interesting-they were jist like a bit a polished wood wi' a bow an' a stern, an’ then sliced through the middle, an they possessed nae great beauty tae the eye o’ an ootsider like mysel', but the "whole models" were vera neat-everything being shown, blocks, ropes, wheels, skylichts, etcetera. We walked on and admired. "Noo," I remarks in oor walk, "here’s No. 110, Model of the ‘Comet,’ that wis the man-o’-war that tummled ower at Spithead when the admiral and 800 sailors were drooned-there’s a sang aboot it-Admiral Kempenfield or something. This is a model on an unco wee scale-she looks like a tug-boat jist-maybe they were short a’ wudd when they made her." Mr Laird, my freen frae Kilma’colm, speaks up at this, an’ says, "Ye’re surely wrang, Mr Kaye the Comet’ wis the first boat ever built, if I’m no mista'en." "Mr Laird," says I, turning roon tae him, " d’ye mean tae contradict me? Me that wis brocht up among ships a’ my days, contradictit by you that wis born an’ brocht up in Kilma’colm, an’ never wis nearer a ship than seeing them as ye cam doon ower the hills tae Port-Glasgow. Ye may be an authority on soor milk carts, but I’m thinking ye ken unco little aboot boats. The first boat ever was built, sae far as I’m aware, wis Noah’s Ark, but ye’re thinking o’ the first steamer, Mr Laird, an’ that wis the 'Industry,’ presented some years ago by its owners tae the Corporation o’ Glasgow as a curiosity, an’ noo lying doon at Bowling high an’ dry. Man, Mr Laird, it’s extror’nar the ignorance o' some folk, an’ I notice the mair ignorant they are they’re the mair presumptous. Noo, don’t say anither word! Come ben an’ see the engines." So awa’ we went, and amang ither things we saw, labelled No. 619, some droll-looking gear that somebody said was for a "diver." I looked and looked and looked, and felt it, and turned it roon, and then I said, "It’s extror'nar heavy. I’m thinking if anybody had it on they wid ‘dive’ fast enough, but hoo they wid ever win up again is a question. Bit here's a polisman he'll ken a' aboot it." So I waved him ower, and gieing him a snuff we got quite confidential, and be explained it a’—hoo the helmet wis put on and the air pumped in, and hoo the diver went doon amang the wulks tae look for lost treasure. By and bye I took anither snuff, and then I says to the polisman— "Ye couldna pit it on and tak’ a bit walk up and doon tae let us see it in actual working order, and I’ll catch thir gutta-percha pipes and pump the air intae ye. Ye can lay yer hat and coat doon in the corner and Betty’ll watch them. I suppose there’s nae fear o’ the Inspector comin’ up?" The polisman was vera obleeging, so after a wee coaxing he took off his coat and hat and crept intae the waterproof suit and walked up and doon for a wee, and then I says— "Gie a wee bit rin for the last." Bit he had jist run twice up and doon when a heid comes roon the corner, and then a face, and then a—Police Inspector! He—that’s the Inspector—wis quite dumbfoondered at seeing the diving bell rinnin’ up and doon the lobby and singing a sea song, something about Ye hoh, my lads, ye hoh! and he wis getting red in the face wi’ anger, but I steps up tae him and I says— "That polisman a’ yours is a by or’nar scientific man. He has a great thirst for knowledge; aye, and ye’ve put him in the very best place for improvement. It’s really creditable indeed tae the police force o’ Glasgow tae hae sich men. I question if any other police force in the kingdom equals it for intelligence. You inspectors ocht tae be prood a’ your men." Then I handed him my snuff box, and adds— "Sae naething tae the puir chiel. It wis his desire tae obleege visitors acting on his natural propensity for hydraulics that induced him tae throw aside his uniform for a wee, so I hope ye’ll overlook it this time." Oor freen Q 1999 had by this time put on his coat and hat again, and I got the Inspector and him tae shake hauns and let bygones be bygones, and then I whispers tae Betty and Mr Laird— "We’d better awa’ noo. There’s a wheen ingines and capstans and things lying aboot, but I’ve little skill o’ them, and ye twa hae less, so enough’s as guid’s a feast ony day." So we a’ come oot, BAILIE, weel pleased indeed.