Rough Scan








 
      JEEMS AS 
        AN OPTIMIST
      "A CONTENTED mind is a continual 
        feast," says Solomon, "Contentment is great gain," says 
        some ither body, an’ so it is; if we hiv’ a contented mind we hae everything. 
        There’s naethin’ I’m mair profoundly thankfu’ for than the fact that Providence 
        has placed me jist where I am, haein’ neither too much nor too little. 
        Of course it widna be pleesant tae be in want, bit, tae my min’, it’s 
        nearly as bad—maybe not quite—tae hae ower much. At least, I ken if I 
        wis wealthy I wid jist aye be in hot water aboot investments, an’ banks 
        failin’, an’ shares gaun up an’ doon. As it is, I hae everything I want, 
        an’ a trifle ower, so my min's easy an’ that’s the greatest blessing o’ 
        a'.
      I often read, BAILIE, aboot the Prince 
        o’ Wales; he canna go oot but there’s a crood after him,, bowing to him, 
        an’ hurrahing, an’ rinning after his carriage. Noo, I can go oot an’ walk 
        ony place, an’ naebody ever bothers their heid aboot me. In that respect 
        I’m better aff than him, an’ in ither respects I’m quite as weel
      aff. 
        Can I tak' ony mair than one breakfast, one dinner, an' one tea each day, 
        or wear mair than one suit at a time, an’ can the Prince o’ Wales dae 
        mair than this?
      When I hear a man talking aboot his carriage 
        an' his horse, I think I’m quite as weel aff as him—an’ better—for I can 
        hurl in a carriage an’ pair ony day for a penny or tippence, an’ it’s 
        aye waiting on me withoot orders, an’ I can hae my pick an’ wale o’ horses. 
        If I fancy greys I can jump intae a carriage wi’ greys; or blacks, intae 
        a carriage wi’ twa blacks or twa chestnuts either. Then, if I’m fastidious, 
        I can sit behin’ twa big mules, or three wee anes an’ I hiv not only a 
        driver, but a footman tae open an’ shut the door, an’ keep the laddies 
        frae jumpin’ on behin’. Nae need there tae cry "wheep behind," 
        my footman looks after that. My carriage, moreover, runs smoothly on rails, 
        laid doon expressly for my convenience.
      The yachting season’s on the noo,
      BAILIE, 
        an’ my rich freens tell me aboot being awa’ cruising in the chops o’ the 
        Channel, wi’ a wet sheet an’ a flowing sail; them hauding the tiller an’ 
        reefing the spanker boom a’ the time. Weel, when I hear this I hae a bit 
        laugh.
      Ony day I can step doon tae the
      Broomielaw, 
        an’ on board the "Columba" or "Lord of the Isles," 
        or tak’ my pick of lots o’ ithers, an’ be received wi’ polite attendants 
        wi’ gold bands an brass buttons, an’ my carpet bag ta’en care o’. Then 
        for twa-three shillings I can get a langer sail in one day than I can 
        get in a yacht in a week, an’ nae need tae be bothered either helping 
        the owner tae haud the tiller or reef the jib-boom.
      Neither am I bothered wi’ the captain 
        coming an’ telling me that the breeze is freshening, or that the wind 
        is changing, or speerin’ where we wad like tae anchor. No, I pay my fare 
        an’ licht a ceegaur, an’, feeling a’ responsibility aff my mind, I walk 
        aboot or sit doon just as I like, an’ that in a vessel faur steadier, 
        an’ faster, an’ mair sumptuous than ony yacht, an’ I can sing—
       
         
           
             
              The sea was calm, and the bark 
                rode well.
            
          
        
      
      Sometimes when I pass a rich man’s estate 
        I hear folk envying him his fine policies; keekin’ thro’ the railings 
        an’ wishing they were him. But why should we envy him? Jist across the 
        road frae my coal ree you an’ me hae a park kept better than ony nobleman’s, 
        wi’ a’ sorts a’ flooers, an’ shrubs, an’ walks, an’ flag-poles, an’
      polismen, 
        an' a' thegither, an’ often bands playing.
      Some are aye grumblin’ aboot our "wretched 
        climate," an sighing for a trip tae the Mediterranean. Bit oor minister 
        wis telling us the ither day we ocht tae be thankfu’ that Providence had 
        planted us where we were, an’ that’s jist my feelings. There’s no a climate 
        like oors in the hale worl’. The one day it’s wat and the next day dry. 
        One day you feel a caul’ east win’, like tae tak’ your nose aff, an’ the 
        next ye’re groanin’ below a sweltering sun. By this means, ye see, everybody 
        in their turn gets jist what they want. Indeed, if we had the sun in the 
        one haun an’ a watering can in the ither we couldna mak’ it mair diversified.
      There’s a silver lining tae every cloud. 
        We should be thankful for oor privileges.