Rough Scan




        DEAR BAILIE,— 
          The result o’ an influentially - signed requisition, asking me to staun 
          for M.P., was a meeting I held last Friday tae address the electors 
          an’ non-electors (only they’re a’ electors nae).  
          I needna gie ye my speech, but I finished up a thrilling address 
          wi’ a glowing peroration, which ran in this wise—
        “Yes, gentlemen, 
          if ye want to mak’ the Saltcoats district o’ burghs staun oot boldly 
          before the nation at large as a burning and shining licht o’ enterprise,
        clear-heidedness, and influence, dinna vote for any o’ thae carpet-baggers 
          frae London, that come doon here wi’ a toothpick an’ a clean collar, 
          an’ ken as little aboot the wants o’ the district as my wee manager 
          kens about Julius Ceasar.  No, 
          no, never min’ them; support your fellow-citizen, that can lay his haun 
          on his hert an’ say his wants are the same as the district’s, an’ the 
          district’s are the same as his.  Rally 
          roon the star - spangled banner that floats proodly, for this occasion 
          only, frae the tap o’ the coal ree, an’ come boldly tae the polling 
          booth, wi’ a clean face an’ an upright hert, an’ record your vote in 
          fear an’ trembling, remembering that into your hands is committed the 
          well-being of this great empire.  Gentlemen, I’m noo ready to answer ony questions.” 
        (Great cheers.)
        At this up gets 
          Mr Balderstone, an’ says— Wid the honourable gentleman support a bill 
          for legalising marriage wi’ a wife’s deceased sister?  (Cries of “Aha, where are ye noo? “)
        Mr Kaye — But what d’ye 
          want tae marry a deid woman for?
        Mr Caleb Balderstone — The right 
          honourable gentleman didna understaun me.  
          It’s the wife 
          that’s deid, and no’ the sister.
        Mr Kaye — Oh, it’s 
          the wife that’s deid.  Weel, 
          why didna ye marry the sister at first?  
          (Cries of “The auld boy’s ‘cute.”)
        Mr Balderstone — Ah, mony 
          a time I wished I had.
        Mr Kaye — That’s 
          aye the way — ye go an’ mak’ a mistake and marry the wrang woman, and 
          then ye want me tae alter the laws tae suit you; hooever, the next time 
          ye’re thinking o’ matrimony, marry the sister first; but sae faur as 
          I’m concerned, ye can marry your wife’s deceased auntie, or her grannie 
          if ye like - if ye’re pleased it’s nane o’ my business.  
          (Great cheers.)
        Mr Dandie Dinmont — Would the 
          gallant colonel vote for Henry George’s plan o’ dividing the land?
        Mr Kaye — Weel, 
          I wid like tae see a calculation made first.  If I was tae get mair than I have I wid support a bill for dividing 
          the land, the siller, an’ a’thegither.  Isn’t that fair?  (Cries 
          of “Quite fair.”)
        Mr Dirk Hatterick — Wid the candidate vote for payment 
          of members?
        Mr Kaye — If I get 
          in I will — if I don’t I’ll no’.
        An Elector — Does Sir 
          Jeems think it consistent wi’ his position as an elder tae staun at the kirk door Sunday after 
          Sunday, haunin’ oot his address to every one that gangs in, instead 
          o’ attending tae his duty o’ watchin’ the plate?  
          (Cries o’ “That’s intae him.”)
        Mr Kaye — Gentlemen, 
          alloo me to explain.  I had gi’en 
          the minister some valuable assistance on the Disestablishment question, 
          an’ he agreed to let me be the elder at the plate for a wheen Sundays. 
          an’ I will acknowledge I gied every one that gaed in one o’ my addresses, 
          wi’ a wheen lozengers rouwed up in’t.  
          They read it in the pews tae wile awa’ the time till the minister 
          began; but it served twa guid purposes — it brocht my views before them, 
          an’ prevented them meditating on their ain worldly concerns.  
          (Cheers an’ cries of “Quite richt.”)
        An Elector — What is your opinion of the Aurora Borealis?
        Mr Kaye — I wid vote 
          for the total abolition o’t a’thegither.  
          Why should the working 
          man hae to pay taxes for the support of the Rory Borealus?  (Cries of “Bravo,” and “You’re the man for 
        Mr Saunders Wylie — Hoo many 
          acres is’t we’ve tae get, Mr Kaye?
        Mr Kaye — Three 
          an’ a coo — but, min’ ye, that’s only if ye vote for me.  If ye vote for the ither man ye’ll no’ get 
          as much as wid feed a rabbit.  (Cries 
          of “We’ll a’ vote for you.”)
        Mr Wylie -Hoo often 
          is the land tae be divided did ye say?
        Mr Kaye — Every Saturday; but there’s a proviso that if 
          ony man’s land gets dune in the middle o’ the week be may sign a requisition 
          tae the Provost saying he’s dissatisfied, an’ then the Provost is bound 
          tae divide it ower again withoot waiting tae next Saturday.  Could onvihing be fairer than that?  (Cries of “No! no !”)
        Mr Steenie Mucklebackit — Will the 
          candidate see that a royal residence is built 
          in Saltcoats, an’ that some o’ the royal family reside in it permanently?  (Cries of “Mak’ it hot for him, Steenie.”)
        Mr Kaye — Certainly, 
          gentlemen; that’s a matter I’ve aye intended speaking to the Prince 
          o’ Wales aboot, for I hiv his Royal Highness’s own assurance that he 
          wid never ask tae leeve in a more enchanting spot, an’ where he wid 
          aye be able tae hae a gemm at the dominoes wi’ Mr Pinkerton an’ me.  
          (Deafening cheers.)
        Mr Fairservice — Is Mr Kaye 
          in favour o’ local option?
        Mr Kaye — No, gentlemen, 
          I’m in favour o’ individual option—tak’ it or want it—but I’m certainly no prepared tae want 
          my gless o’ toddy because anither man likes lemonade best.  If we gie in tae thae notions, the next thing’ll 
          be the vegetarians wanting tae hae local option tae shut up the butchers.  
          (Cries o’ “Bully for you.”)
        Mr Dominic Sampson — Is Mr Kaye 
          in favour o’ free education?
        Mr Kaye — Free 
          education, gentlemen!  Put me 
          in, an’ it’s no’ only free education your bairns’ll get, but free books, 
          an’ slates, an’ free pinafores, an’ free bonnets — aye, an’ free peevers 
          an’ free books — in fac’, everything ‘ll be free.
        Mr Sampson — An’ whaur’s 
          a’ the money tae come frae?
        Mr Kaye — Oh! we’ll 
          just fin’ that oot as we go alang, an’ if it works weel we’ll then gie ye free butter, free ham 
          an’ eggs, an’ free sausages; in short, the law’ll be that ye’ll jist 
          help yersel’ tae everything at a shop door as ye walk alang.  Every hoose’ll be thatched wi’ pancakes, an’ milk an’ honey ‘ll 
          flow doon the streets o’ Saltcoats.  
          But really, gentlemen, the discussion o’ politics is dry wark.  I propose that the chairman gies us a sang, 
          an’ then Mr Pettigrew’s uncle, that’s jist hame frae the Baltic, ‘ll 
          dance a nigger breakdown.  He 
          says the black folk on the plantations oot there dances it when they’re 
          squeezin’ oot the sugar.  Order! 
          order! for the chairman’s sang.
        Here the chairman 
          cleared his throat, turned up his eyes tae the gasalier, an’ began tae 
          standard on the coal ree
          up an’ streaming early.
        Man, BAILE, at this point mine’s promised tae be 
          the happiest political meeting ever held in Saltcoats.  Everything went on fine.  The 
          audience lichtit their pipes, an’ we up on the platform a’ had ceegaurs 
          — we had sent oot for a shillingsworth.  Then we lay back and dreamily listened to the sangs.  In fac’, a’ went merry as a marriage bell.  
          After a wee we sent ower for the minister’s fiddle, an’ he played 
          “Tullochgorum” on’t, an’ Mr Pinkerton an’ the lamplichter, wha wis an 
          energetic member o’ my committee, waltzed roon the chairs, an’ up an’
        doon, and back an’ forrit, an’ I beat time wi’ my silver-heided walking-stick.  
          But there’s some evil-disposed minds in this worl’, BAILIE.  As we were a’ enjoying oorsel’s innocently, 
          somebody screwed oot the gas, an’ then there wis a hubbub.  The minister’s fiddle got such a dunshing that 
          he’s mending awa’ at it yet.  The 
          leading Radical was lowered ower the gallery by the legs, the crood 
          below tearing him by the hair a’ the time.  
          Mr Pinkerton’s leg got fankled in among the chairs, an’ he fell 
          on the tap o’ the minister, wha, pitting oot his haun tae save himsel’, 
          drew me doon, but I didna fa’ alane.  
          I grippit twa o’ the opposition frae Glasgow, an’ if I didna 
          mak’ them look twa ways for Sunday when I scrambled up it’s queer.  
          I cam’ doon wi’ my stick on the shoothers first o’ the ane an’ 
          then the ither — till I wis maist oot o’ breath.
        BAILIE, my thoom’s 
          sprained yet.  Hooever, I need 
          hardly say that I’ve altered my mind.  
          I’ve resigned.