AT BALMORAL THE Glasgow Magistrates were up at Balmoral, BAILIE, seeing the Queen — we heard plenty aboot that — but it’s no generally kent that the Stra’bungo anes were up as weel. They were, though, a’ the same — me the Provost, the Senior Bailie Mr Pinkerton, an’ the Toon Clerk — we gaed up tae thank the Queen for gettin’ her youngest dochter marrit, an’ for adding anither German tae oor pension list. As we had nae court dresses, we put on oor Sunday suits; an’ what better could onybody look for? We were tell’t that in the court dress it wis proper tae hae a sword, so we thocht we micht manage that. I took my volunteer cornel’s sword wi’ me, an’ Mr Pinkerton got the len’ o’ the major’s. As there were nae mair swords handy, we armed the Toon Clerk wi’ a rifle, an’ really we looked martial like, wi’ oor Sunday hats, oor swallow tails, an’ oor swords an’ guns. Aff we gaed, BAILIE, frae Buchanan Street Station in a saloon carnage. It wis a lang journey, so after we had startit we lichtit oor pipes, an’ the Toon Clerk producin’ a pack o’ cards, we played awa at some kin’ o’ gemm for bawbees. Mr Pinkerton, hooever, could seldom tell a King frae a Jeck, so we didna come much speed. [There’s one thing I aye dae when I’m playing at cards, an’ I wid advise ye tae dae the same, BAILIE—aye be reachin’ oot yer haun tae pick up the tricks; it’s astonishing hoo mony ye are allooed tine pick up withoot a word.] What wi’ eatin’ an’ sleepin’ an’ playin’ at the cards, we passed the time wonnerfully. And then the Toon Clerk opened a parcel an’ took oot a concertina, an’ played “We’re a’ noddin’” on’t, tae see if the keys were working properly. We arrived at last, three or fower bare-leggit Heelanmen usherin’ us up tae Balmoral Castle, an’ ane o’ them playin’ on the bagpipes. We were shown intae a room till the Queen wid get Prince Henry dressed in his kilts, tae be introduced tae us. Sir Somebody—I don’ know wha he was—instructed us as to oor behaviour. Whenever we heard the door opening we were tae fa’ doon on oor knees, grasp oor swords in oor richt haun, an’ place oor left on oor herts, thus indicatin’ a’ at once oor devotion, oor loyalty, an’ oor love. So we prepared tae meet oor Queen. “Attention,” says I, “pu’ doon yer waistcoat, Mr Pinkerton, an’ toozle yer hair a wee, it looks learned like; an’ for ony sake put doon that leg o’ yours canny, an’ no’ hae it stumping awa’ ower the Brussels carpet as if ye were hammering in tacks. Wheesht noo; be as quiet as if ye were sitting for your photographs.” “I don’t see the throne, Provost,” says the Toon Clerk. “Oh, it’ll maybe be up the stairs in the drawing-room,” I replied. “I hope we’ll see it—we’ll likely be ta’en up there afterwards tae get some music. Mind, if the Queen offers tae play on the piano, ask for some classical music; don’t be crying for ‘The wind that shakes the barley,’ or 'The deil among the tailors,’ or onything like that, mind—" Here the door opened, and in walked the Queen—jist an or’nar-looking body, wi’ nae croon on her heid, or sceptre in her haun. Doon we a' fell on oor knees—a’ except Mr Pinkerton; as his wudden leg wadna bend, he leant on a sofa, an’, spreading oot his leg behin’ him, he bent the ither ane an’ held on by the back o’ a chair. Indeed, he had as much difficulty in getting intae position as one o’ yon circus horses when it’s kneeling doon tae fire aff a cannon. “Rheumatism?” says the Queen. “Wudden leg, mem,” says I, “run ower by a tramway caur; but he got big damages, so he’s naething tae compleen about. Alloo me tae introduce you — Mr Pinkerton — oor Senior Bailie; Queen Victoria, Defender of the Faith, Dei Gratis, &c., &c., as it says on the back o’ the hauf-croons.” “And is it really you, Mr Kaye?” says the Queen; “you remember me speaking to you at the Review? And how’s trade with you?” “Middling, mem, jist middling! Prices are cut vera low; there’s an awfu’ opposition. Ye’re weel aff that has nae opposition. If I wis that way, widna I rise the price o’ the hunnerwechts! I believe I wid get them up tae a shillin.’ The crops are looking weel up this way.” “They are, Mr Kaye, we’ve had plenty of heat.” “Ah, mem, that’s the thing. An’ when d’ye expec’ tae be doon oor way, mem? We wid a’ be rale gled tae see ye. We wid get up a procession for ye. An’ so ye’ve got the Princess married, mem?” “Indeed I have, Mr Kaye,” and here Her Majesty smiled. “That’s richt, mem. The Scripture says it’s no’ good for man tae be alone. I can only hope that Henry is grateful for the guid doonsittin’. An’ hoo is he, mem? We hae a wee bit surprise in store for him — a German concerteena, subscribed for by the inhabitants o’ Stra’bungo as a sma' mark o’ esteem — a’ classes subscribed — frae the highest tae the lowest, but—” “Here he is himself, Mr Kaye“ — an’ in walked Prince Henry wi’ his kilts on, an’ his legs lookin’ as if he had been amang nettles wi’ them. “Aye, aye! An’ this is Henry, is’t? ‘Od it’s extr’ornar — ye wid never think he was a German. Man! man! I’m prood tae meet ye, Henry, an’ if ever ye’re roon oor way we’ll be gled tae see you, an’ I’ll tak’ ye a drive oot tae the ‘Shaws on a tramway caur, an’ ye’ll see the mules we ha’e rinnin’ in them, an’ I’ll show you the Crossmyloof Bakery, an’ I don’t know what a’. Noo, mem, the Toon Clerk‘ll read the address tae ye, written on vellum by his apprentice, for which we had tae gi’e him hauf a sovereign—and I thocht it wis dear enough; hooever, it’s paid noo, so there’s nae use in saying onything mair aboot it. Och, we’ll jist haun it tae ye, an ye’ll can read it at yer leisure, mem. An’ as for you, Henry, here’s the concerteena — German manufacture, brass rims, mahogany boards, twenty-fower keys, every ane electroplated, wi’ an inscription on the tap showing the Stra’bungo coat o’ arms. An’, Henry, when ye’re oot in the wudds hereaboot ye can sit doon an’ play ‘Erin on the Rhine’ on’t tae put ye in mind o’ hame. Believe me, Henry, it’s better tae be born lucky than rich.” Henry here took the concerteena, made a bow, an’ said, “Ferry goot shentlemana.“ “Ye may weel say that, Henry,” says I, “an’ noo, mem, I don’t think there’s onything else tae say, but we await your commands.” “Hand me your sword, Mr Kaye.” In great fear I gied it, for I thocht I wis going tae get my heid cut aff, an’ I mentally cast my e’e ower a’ my misdeeds. Hooever, Her Majesty took the sword, an’ giein’ me a crack on the heil wi’t, she says— “I am graciously pleased to command, rise up, Sir James Kaye.” I felt my hert stopping an’ I gasped for breath. Here wis the croonin' monument tae a long life spent on behalf o’ my fellow-craturs. I rose up, made a profound bow doon tae the grund, and then says, “Oh, mem, wid ye alloo a hert burstin’ wi’ gratitude tae ask if ye wid mak’ my auld freen Mr pinkerton a ‘Purveyor tae H.R.H. by special appointment‘?" “Certainly, Sir James.” “An’ the Toon Clerk ‘Hereditary Gran’ Writer tae the Signet for Scotland’?” "Assuredly, Sir James. Anything else?” "Naething, mem; naething, thank ye, except that ye were aye going tae order a waggon or twa frae me; but efter this I'll sen’ ye up hauf a waggon for naething — ye’ll ha’e naething tae pay but the carriage; an’ I’ll see that we get Henry presented wi’ the freedom o’ Stra’bungo as sune as I get back" Then we had refreshments—they were naething extra—an' we were played down the avenue by the bagpipes again, an we cam’ hame. Mr Pinkerton’s getting his sign new pented, wi’ a lion at the one end o’t an’ a unicorn at the ither, an' a croon in the middle between “Peter” an’ “Pinkerton,” an’ he says his fortune’s made. I’m no vera sure if I’ll ca’ mysel “Sir James,” for they say it costs a heep o’ money tae keep it up, but I must sign mysel’ for once, SIR JEEMS KAYE, BART.