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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 67

Scene: Octagon, Dunedin, near Statue of Burns

Scene: Octagon, Dunedin, near Statue of Burns.

[unclear: Hech] sirs! sae stubborn an' sae hot,
[unclear: burnin'] question ye hae got?

[unclear: Wha's] that this statue in or near,
[unclear: wi'] a pair o' lugs tae hear,
[unclear: wi'] A gude auld Scotch tongue graced,
[unclear: me] muckle o' a ghaist.
[unclear: if] ye be sac, what care I?
[unclear: um] needna fear or fly.
[unclear: the] Hard himsel' come back,
[unclear: richt] weel tae hae a crack.

[unclear: A] spirit there, a medium here,
[unclear: fer] quarters I maun steer.
[unclear: again] in broad daylicht,
[unclear: while,] baith, gude nicht, guide nicht.

[unclear: O,] ay, your rule's been aye discretion;
[unclear: we] close our greensward Session,
[unclear: that,] though you're ne'er a hero,
[unclear: son's] licht you're maist in fear o'.

[unclear: I'll] no' admit what isna true,
[unclear: the] licht as little's you;
[unclear: open] tae conviction,
[unclear: question] truth's sole jurisdiction;
[unclear: for] this your eerie spirit,
[unclear: am] Smith's, I'll stop an' hear it.

[unclear: But] ama' regard ye show for him
[unclear: world-wide] fame can ne'er grow dim.

[unclear: There's] no ae Scotchman, ye can wager,
[unclear: Southern] Cross tae Ursa Major,
[unclear: undeveloped] veneration
[unclear: the] worthies o' oor nation;
[unclear: oor] poet lads in lots,—
[unclear: ns] Ramsays, Campbells, Scotts;
[unclear: ggs] oor Tannahills, an' so forth,
[unclear: thochts] like heather-fragrance flow forth.
[unclear: ur's] the Caledonian here
That doesna' heartily revere
The Cargills, Burns's, an' Macandrews,
That reared this province as St. Andrews,
Wi' hills sublime an' other entities,
That ne'er can lose their "old identities?"
But numerous as the names we boast,
Smith's in the crowd can ne'er be lost.
He towered a giant in his day,
An' said his philosophic say,
"No' for an age, but for a' time ";
No' for the north, but every clime
(That is, when a' conditions chime).
Vet mair than common is the flame
That warms my heart at Adam's name.
My grannie kent the pale-faced laddie
That's been a credit tae Kirkcaldy;
An' kent his books an' boucht them, but—
I'll no say a' the leaves were cut!
Yet what o' that? The books were braw,
An' stood wi' ithers in a raw,
Abune the cupboard—thus complete,
Baith mind an' body's wants tae meet.
Then grannie, auld an' like tae dee,
Bequeathed her precious "wealth" tae me;
An', no' like some, though age japanned,
Transferred it wi' her ain dear hand.
You may be sure I read it through,
An' deemed its every doctrine true.
But sune I met wi' writers many
On hoo tae earn the nation's penny,
No single ane o' whom agreed
Wi' a' essentials o' Smiths's creed.
I still stuck by him, but the ploom
Had lost a gude deal o' its bloom;
An' while I still imagine Smith
The "sovereignest" name tae conjure with,
I keep in mind the wise decree:
"When doctor's differ, lay are free."

page 6

Allan :Though a' Smith's works are tae my taste,
I like his Moral Theory maist.

Willie: I like it too, an' aft hae tried
The "feast o' reason" there supplied;
Tho' whiles I swither, which is best,
His critic "man within the breast,"
Wha through an average volume shines,
Or Robbie's weel kent twa wee lines:
"O wad some power the giftie gie us
Tae see oorsells as ithers see us."
Which hold Smith's bulky moral lessons
In clear an' portable quintessence,
An' seem tae prove ae grain o; sense
Worth tons o' Theory's pretence.

Allan: Then ye agree wi' Lord Macaulay
(Plain Tam, I wat, wad saired him brawly),
That as in what's ca'd gude society,
They speak their English wi' propriety,
The theory o' grammar there
Need naither young nor auld folk scare.

Willie: O, no, I don't; at least, I never
Hae come across a chiel sae clever,
That his unsystematic ear
Has kept his tongue frae error clear.
Nae doot, the practice o' a few
Was that frae which the theory grew;
But even the few that managed best
Wad hail this composition test;
An' those that had done noucht but blunder,
Wad at their new adeptness wonder.
An' so wi' maist o' things, the fact is,
The Theory will aid the practice;
But then said theory maun be
Frae big an' little error free,
Or better wad it be a lot
Tae leave us tae oor ain jog trot.
Why, even the multiplication table,
Which maks oor reckonin' gift sae able,
If it contained an error sma'
Micht wi' oor profit rin awa;
Nay, be employed tae such extent
As ruin a hale continent.
What wonder, then, if Freetrade fancies,
Derived frae mere one-sided glances,
Applied tae us as sound induction,
Portend our national destruction?
Smith's Moral Theory, though lang,
Was not in its conclusions wrang.
I wish as muckle could be said
O' what he wrote on foreign trade.
There, no doubt thoughtlessly, his breast
Is shut against a neutral guest;
An' consequently, though his power
Surpassed a deal the usual dower,
The very puddocks in the pond
Got his philosophy beyond :
"Mind," said they to the stoning boys
Who in poor froggie's fears rejoice.
What thus so recklessly you do
Is death to us, though sport to you."
So, Freetrade gain the seas across,
May be the poor colonials' loss.

Allan: Your moral wont at all apply;
Colonials are not forced to buy.

Willie: Nor were the negro slaves aye forced;
Their master's theory some endorsed.
They had been taught sae weel an' lang,
That negro richts were whip an' whang,
They quite agreed—that is, a few,
Though maist were tae their manhood true.
We, too, were wrangly taught at school;
Freetrade was nae mere general rule;
Whate'er oor circumstances were,
Applying it, we couldna err.
Hence, though our state is so depressed,
The leading cause is hardly guessed.
Our land is large, our soil is good,
More than sufficient is our food;
The requisite by which a nation
Should grow in wealth and population;
In spite o' which our trade is slack,
Our money goes, and comes not back;
Our men are miserably few,
Yet thousands can get nought to do.
There's something terribly awry.
Protection tells the how and why,
An' what the measure to apply.

Allan: Protection! I detest the name.

Willie: An' lang, ower lang, I did the same.
The name's quite innocent, though used
By Tory bigots till abused;
An prejudice infers relation
Frae casual association.
"What's in a name?" asks Juliet, yet—
Nor merely for her fiery set—
Would Romeo were a Capulet.
What's in a name?—experience shows
Its magic power to predispose.
For instance, there's the name of Burk,
That savage mair than ancient Turk.
O! hoo it made oor blade run cauld
Tae hear it in the days o' auld.
Yet now, when listenin' tae a name,
In sound at least the very same,
Not only is the nauseous nil,
But in its place a pleasant thrill.
Before us Edmund Burke it brings,
That noble type o' Nature's kings;
That man o' men, whase head an' heart
Impelled him tae a leadin' part,
In a' that soucht the weal of men,
Frae Britain's isles tae Hindostan.
And thus, too, will the name "Protection,"
In new and natural connection
With prosperous times and pleasant faces,
And wilds converted to oases,
Become to a' located here
"A thing o' beauty" tae the ear.

Allan: Were I a "prophet sooth an' old,"
Or Earlston's Knycht, the Rhymer bold,
An answer I micht tender;
But as the higher gift is thine,
An' proof, not prophecy, is mine,
My safety's in surrender.

page 7

[unclear: Come] lay aside that mournfu' mood,
[unclear: ke] yoursel', mere flesh an' blood;
[unclear: ins] no' sae high, sir,
[unclear: I] invoke "the vasty deep,"
[unclear: sprits] feign they're a' asleep.
[unclear: you] they answer, "Ay, sir."
[unclear: seriously,] the charge ye' ve made,
[unclear: I] frae prophecy seek aid,
[unclear: I] winna ca' it this,
[unclear: ly] truth's antithesis:
[unclear: an] prophecy's delusion,
[unclear: that] frae premiss tae conclusion.

[unclear: : Were't] no' that something else engrosses,
[unclear: your] premiss an' your process;
[unclear: as] it is, our spirit there,
[unclear: likely] punished i tae air.

[unclear: : "Auld] Ayr wham neer a toon surpasses,"
[unclear: it] still, its lads an' lasses;
[unclear: it] that Ayr or the ither,
[unclear: as] ye hear, gane thither.
[unclear: your] Octagon I stand,
[unclear: memorial] here at hand,
[unclear: blythe] clock, in mid-air hung,
[unclear: likes] sae ill tae haud its tongue.
[unclear: here] is Burns, the bard o' yore,
[unclear: though,] alas! a bard no more,
[unclear: he] hopes, in head as when
[unclear: tae] keek through "mice an' men."
[unclear: 'er] o' that he may fa' short,
[unclear: ame] the stupid medium for't.
[unclear: Shakespeare] in his spirit state,
[unclear: dium] through his medium's pate.
[unclear: had,] at Delphi town,
[unclear: cle] o' high renown.
[unclear: citizens,] adventurers, sages,
[unclear: called] it through many ages.
[unclear: strange] that the replies
[unclear: given] in a poetic guise :
[unclear: was] strange indeed tae find
[unclear: try] o' sae poor a kind,
[unclear: he,] who other poets guided,
[unclear: a] doggrelist derided.
[unclear: rce] was nectar tae the lip
[unclear: given] in a poetic deityship;
[unclear: consequence] o' which, ere lang,
Pythia dispensed wi' sang.
In his fane did questions flow,
were responses prized as though
[unclear: and] this by nae misnomer,
[unclear: Hesiod] or Homer.
[unclear: matters] it hoo rouch the form
[unclear: that] brings ye Cairngorm?
[unclear: matters] it hoo plain the hold
[unclear: mils] tae ye wi' guinea gold?
[unclear: what] though Robert Burns' nae mair,
[unclear: deck] his thochts in language fair,
[unclear: but] speak important truth
[unclear: this] free nation in its youth;
[unclear: such] terms at his command
[unclear: "a] child can understand;"
[unclear: the] risk o' meaning hid,
[unclear: phi's] dupes sae often did.
[unclear: k] o' Smith, I ken him weel,
[unclear: still] an honest, thochtfu' chiel;
An' when I left this afternoon,
Says he. "You're for Dunedin toon?"
"Yes, Adam, will ye go?" says I.
"No, Robbie," was his grave reply;
"I'd like tae go, an' go wi' you,
The toon an' toonsfolk a' tae view,
An' eke 'the image they've set up.'"
Wi' that he gae my hand a grip.
"But, hark ye, Robbie," he proceeded,
"It's you that's maist ava there needed;
Not only will your presence charm.
But ye hae never done them harm,
Whereas my principle applied,
Whaur never meant tae be a guide,
Has reared a crap o' ills an' cares
Frae Auckland Province tae the Snares.
Like Edipus of old go you,
In bloodless warfare tae subdue.
Each quirk an' query analyse,
And lo! the Sphinx o' Freetrade dies.
Protection then will soon be found,
Tae mak' the work an' wealth abound;
And if there be ae grumble then,
It wont be want o' wo; k, but men."

Allan: An' such is your report o' Adam?

Burns: Oucht else had certainly misca'd him.

Allan: Then I'll assever, if I daur,
That Adam's fa'n a deal frae par;
Yet such your crony's lack o' pith.
Ye, aiblins, hae mista'en your Smith.
The clan is multiplex enough
Tae spare ae spokesman for such stuff!

Burns: My certy, but ye speak richt oot;
Ye ken I've naither shae nor boot,
Nor e'en the horny knuckles noo
That used tae knock against the ploo.

Allan: "O, strike, but hear me," as he said
Who Greece's fleet to victory led.

Burns: Hoot, man, ye hinna oucht tae fear,
Unless my "din can daunt your ear ";
But let me speak ae word in season,
Oor task is no' tae joke but reason.

Allan: Horatius held that jokin' lent
Mair potence whiles than argument.

Burns: An' wit, says ane nae less acute,
Maun ne'er be sense's substitute;
But maist, the supercilious sneor,
In verbal war, I hate tae hear.

Allan: An' if a block fair truth defame,
Can we no' ca' him by his name?

Burns; A block ca' block? of course ye can:
But see that thou art not the man.
Contempt though sometimes wise and meet,
Is oft the cousin o' conceit;
An' nae less oft, proof indirect,
Your cause's soundness ye suspect:
Hoo handy when your proofs are few
Tae feign they're in your pock enen;
But that ye're no' sae daft as spend them,
On fools that canna comprehend them.

page 8

Allan: The latter's no' tae me allied,
Even if I wrangly choose my side.
An' back it up through thick an' thin,
What I profess I've true faith in.
Now, for the polities I own,
I'm Liberal to an' through the bone;
Freetrader, too, but not of course.
For though the scheme I still endorse,
I'm quite dumb foundered here tae see
How "Whig an' Tory a' agree,"
Freetrade tae recommend for states—
Nay, that its warmest advocates
Are Tories, staunch in other matters,
Importers, editors, an' squatters.

Burns: "It's no' for noucht the cute Gled whistles,"
Or editors discharge their missiles;
Or squatters like tae blush unseen
Where men in myriads might hae been;
Or would-be fair importers view
The many fast tae feed the few.
Here is the substance o' their chime,
Though ne'er before thocht worth a rhyme—

New Zealand's but a cat's-paw place,
A means but no' an end;
Whaur each for riches runs a race,
In ither parts tae spend :
The Mainmonites, like Chinese John,
Will pack when a' the pickin's done.
What care I though ten thousand mourn,
As debt gets deep and deeper;
Or aff tae ither lands are borne—
"Am I my brither's keeper?"
E'en let the State tae dwarfdom go,
Gin I a gowden calf may grow.

Allan: Then, this at least is manifest,
They've sense tae ken what suits them best.
Themselves they study first ava,
But breakna man's or Nature's law.

Burns: How far the spirit of their song
From that of theirs who flourished long.
The ancient patriot braves :
King Codrus who, in bold disguise,
By unsuspecting foeman dies.
And thus loved Athens saves.

Or Moses, spurning Egypt's throne.
To share the affliction of his own,
Ere dreaming of command,
When Israel, by Jehovah led,
From Egypt's cruel bondage sped
To their own goodly land.

Or Curtius, ardent, young, and fair—
To rank, to ease, to fortune heir,
The favourite of his home,
Who mounts his steed, while others weep,
And dares into the gulph to leap,
To rescue threatened Rome.

Or Regulus, from Carthage come,
Who, when in his sole interest some,
The Senate had addressed,
Implored them, though his fate was grim,
To think, not what was best for him,
But for his country best.

Or Hampden, who, though sage [unclear: ref]
When England's right was [unclear: under]
The tyrant's might defied;
And danger's centre having sought
And, as a Christian patriot fought,
As Christian patriot died.

Or Wallace, Scotia's darling son,
Whose name has many a battle woe,
Not Bannock burn alone;
And still each native bosom thrills
As when, descending from the hills
He bade the foe begone.

Allan: But why not introduce doon here
The royal patriot we revere?

Burns : That I don't undervalue Bruce,
Or reckon as o' little use
Our glorious Independence Day,
Is evidenced by "Scots wha hae;"
But metapheesic folk hae fixed,
That gude whiles springs frae motives mixed;
An' Bruce, high patriot though he was,
Tae spur him had a double cause—
Auld Scotland's freedom tae regain,
An' his ain richt o'er her tae reign—
Whereas our nation's hero grand,
Alone, in concert, or command,
Sought but the welfare of his land.

Allan: This minds me o' anither Bruce,
A gamecock that can craw as cruse
Doon in Dunedin, hap what hap,
As on his ain—ye ken what tap.

Burns: I wonder much the chance he missed
Tae meet the poor Protectionist,
No' merely him tae hack an' mince,
But a' the heretics convince.

Allan: Convince! tae pierce such heads wad
The powers o' ancient battle-axe,
Like that his forebear's arm broucht doon
Wi' such effec' on poor Bohun.

Burns: He should at least hae made the attend
An' thus been frae a' blame exempt.

Allan: When Dr Johnson, in discourse,
Had made some observation
O' which his hearer missed the force
An' asked an explanation;
The doctor tae his ire gae vent,
In language, plump an' plain,
"Sir, I hae gien ye argument,
I canna gie ye brain!"
An' this, when pestered, Mr. Bruce
Can gie as quite enough excuse.

Burns: Your case is as irrelevant
In spirit as in letter—
For Mr. Bruce's argument
The less the brain the better,
That wit may pass for sense profound
An' rhetoric for reasonin' sound.

Allan: But were you present in the press
That listened tae the grand address?

page 9

[unclear: ns] I happened then tae be afar,
[unclear: are] long read it in a "Star."

[unclear: an] There wad ye find it full and clear,
[unclear: better] 'twas himself tae hear.

[unclear: ns:] I grant it, nor was Bruce's speech
[unclear: first] that simple truth to teach :
[unclear: Eschines] at Rhodes repeated
[unclear: speech] Demosthenes had defeated,
[unclear: Rhodians] heard wi' many a cheer,
[unclear: asked] his rival's speech to hear.
[unclear: exile] it wi' gude will,
[unclear: got] it mair applauded still;
[unclear: thus,"] said he, "the speech appears,
[unclear: through] my lips comes to your ears,
[unclear: what] a heicht applause had gane,
[unclear: ye] but heard it through his ain!"
[unclear: wi'] Brace's late oration,
[unclear: as] merely declamation;
[unclear: just] sae far as rational logic
[unclear: weapon] o' his warlike projec',
[unclear: it]as hard frae column snug,
[unclear: voce], on the lug.

[unclear: an:] What was your verdict then on reading?

[unclear: ns:] That 'twas a piece of special pleading,
[unclear: speech] that Lysias micht hae made
[unclear: tae] advocate Freetrade.
[unclear: nd] o' him sae sair distressed,
[unclear: Lysias] somewhat thus addressed :
[unclear: speech] ye gae me tae deliver,
[unclear: that] ye seemed tae think sac clever;
[unclear: that] I, too, when first I read,
[unclear: unced] the best that ere was pled,
[unclear: din'] calmly time the second,
[unclear: th,] a little less I reckoned;
[unclear: such] perusal that succeeded,
[unclear: ed] still mair the weight it needed,
[unclear: now,] its iogic an' its law
[unclear: really] nae defence at a'."
[unclear: Lysias,] "don't you know, you dunce,
[unclear: audience] hear your speech but once.
[unclear: Mr] Bruce had kept in mind,
[unclear: asked] a speech for you tae find;
[unclear: hence] his dread o' the review
[unclear: must] frae lifted gage ensue.
[unclear: different] Bruce o' royal line
[unclear: ing] gage of Argentine;
[unclear: though] by Watty's brain invented,
[unclear: to] him he represented.

[unclear: an :] Our Bruce wad deem a nameless chiel
[unclear: unworthy] o' his steel.

[unclear: Had] he o' Oath thus thoeht or said
[unclear: cht] hae saved his muckle head.

[unclear: an :] Frae which it seems that thou discernest
[unclear: ders] are but half in earnest?
[unclear: In] earnest quite, the mair's the pity,
[unclear: ders] parts, as weel as city.
[unclear: hae] a motive for their zeal
[unclear: nearly] a' are bound to feel—
[unclear: maun] something for their bread,"
[unclear: th] tae Dr Hornbook said.

Allan: There's ane at least that hasna greed
As ground or motive for his creed.

Burns: An maist, I own, as fair inferrer,
Are, like yersel, in honest error.
But lots that guide the public mind
Are beings o' a different kind.
Nor they a' simply avaricious;
The genus one, diverse the species
For self, an' self alone, some seem
Like By-ends in the glorious dream.
When Truth in silver slippers stirs,
They're her devoted worshippers;
But when Truth asks a sacrifice,
Even Truth exclaims "How worldly-wise!"
Freetraders there are o' this type,
Whose love o' truth is love o' gripe.
Like Alexander, wi' a sword,
They cut the knot o' gordian cord;
Like Lupus, they maun-hae their lamb,
An' reasonin' thereon's but a sham.
But what I maist ava detest
Is the unselfish aim professed.
Protection they pretend tae hate,
Because injurious tae the state.
An' no' because they wisely find
Their ain woe axe it wiana grind;
An' though themselves a fraction [unclear: sm]
They make their cause the cause o' a',
Except the manufacturers few
Who want to prey on yours an' you.

Allan: You can't think a' the Freetrade lights
Are merely selfish hypocrites?

Burns: Not so, a large proportion do,
No doubt, think Freetrade doctrine true.
There's many a man sae great and little
That, while he can a question kittle
"Untie, familiar as his garter,"
The plainest maxims he can martyr.
What's patent tae the naked ee,
Through optic tube, he canna see;
Or see ridiculously oot,
Like yochel I hae heard aboot.
Ae day tae Enbro he resorts,
An then tae see the moon at Short's.
The man in charge o' telescope—
Through inattention let us hope—
Its point tae Enbro shops directed,
The signs o' which our youth inspected,
Wi' care an' coolness, as was prudent
For earnest astronomic student;
Till stares a sign that quiet upset
His notions o' high etiquette:
"Losh," said he, "it ne'er crossed my croon
That Alloa ale was sell't i' the moon!'
But many who can wisely judge
While they hae nought to gain or grudge,
Are apt, unconsciously, to take
A partial view when pelf's at stake.
As auld's the Pentateuch we find
This truth, "A gift the wise can blind;"
Hence is it not clear duty shirked,
So much as fair inquiry burked.

page 10

These are not hypocrites, I grant,
And yet approve o' them I can't.
The Freetrade Caput this wont fit,
Of course, the cap's not meant for it.
Yet not the boys alone, but men,
Are sometimes wyse tae "try again."
Some by inheritance are Freetrade,
And therefore think it maun be the trade.
What matters mere intrinsic worth,
Compared wi principle by birth?
By which rule, if your sire's a pagan,
You're bound tae follow Pel or Dagon,

Allan: Isn't that why you're a Christian, Willie?

Willie: Then, like yoursel, I maun be silly;
But let me for your sake again,
As more than once before, explain :
Much that my father held as true,
His father and forefathers too,
My Credo is, but on its merit,
Not as the doctrine I inherit.
For instance, there's an ancient Book
Which as their trusty guide they took;
It led them on frae stage tae stage;
It taught their youth, it cheered their age,
An' at the portals o' the tomb,
Wi' gleams celestial lit the gloom.
That wondrous Book, then, proved inspired
By all the evidence required,
I would by no means sooner cast,
Because a light in ages past,
Than wi' fanatic pride or spleen,
Renounce the sun for kerosene;
Because that sun shone, as to-day,
In times and regions far away.

Burns: That's jist the rational position,
Whae'er may style it superstition;
But those I speak o' as born Frees
Acquired their creed wi' much more ease;
In choice they had as little share
As in the family name they bear.
Yet I don't say they dinna argy,
They've reasons, cut and dry, a cargy :
"Cheap markets," "National wealth pursued,"
"The greatest number's greatest good."
Which under this objection lie,
They winna tae Freetrade apply,
But tae its opposite, Protection—
Nor partly, but in full perfection.

Allan: An' can believers in Freetrade
Bring nae sound reasons to their aid?

Burns: Of course they can, an' oftimes do;
But this they never keep in view,
That mair, and stronger reasons far,
Support the side with which they war.
A man whose business is his wealth,
Ye scarcely count in business health,
Though asset side a thousand shows,
If ten times that amount he owes.
Freetrade is here this sick affair;
Why won't it try its native air?

Allan: If learning, logic, and the like,
Enable sturdily tae strike,
Freetrade, wi' ease can hold its own
Against Protection stick and stone.

Burns: It's no' a question o' more learning
Or e'en o' logical discerning;
Twa parties, though in these the same,
May differ much in mode or aim.
A judge desires the truth tae trace,
A lawyer but to prove his case;
And, therefore, is the former's view
A gude deal likelier tae be true.
Wha's sober judge, wha lawyer here,
Wad be superfluous tae speir.
Some Frees are proud o' freetrade science
As abstract truth, and art appliance;
Nae matter what or where the nation,
Success attends its operation;
Or if success keep out o' sight,
It's a' some other cause's wyte.
Its rank unfitness here an' noo,
Though pointed out, they deem untrue;
An' wi' the glass at their blind e'e
Of course, like Nelson, they can't see.
Nae doot they like their country weel,
And for it some wad dae a deal;
But rather than hae it improve
By ony new, irregular move.
Rather than touch Protection tool,
They'd see it go to smash by rule.
A British general o' this cast—
That aye by pedant form stuck fast;
And rather wad hae lost the day,
Than won in some original way,
Was routed on Almanza Plain,
And all but gae the Bourbons Spain.
Even he, like Free, could proudly boast,
'Twas scientifically lost!

Allan: I don't believe that our position
Is quite so bad's your supposition;
Yet, for the sake of argument,
Let's grant it as you represent;
But does it follow that Freetrade
Should be a sort o' scapegoat made?

Burns: A scapegoat? No, it can't escape
Till you untie its tough red tape.
Besides, the scapegoat proper fled
Wi' faults o' ithers on his head,
While oors has plenty o' its ain
Tae sink it in the sautest main.

Allan: I deem our general excess;
Our rambling, gambling, food waste, dress,
Together wi' our State's wide maw.
Sufficient to account for a'.

Burns: No, not for a', nor for a tithe,
Retrench, reform, an' I'll be blythe;
But were these faults removed to-morrow,
You'd still require to beg or borrow.
Freetrade, your chief extravagence,
Remove; and then N. Z. advance!
Protection set agoing here,
Will save you millions every year;
That is, if thorough, but e'en half
Will silence the stockbroker's chaff,

page 11

[unclear: tion] be your statemen s task;
[unclear: tion] let your thousands ask;
[unclear: ect] yourselves frae foreign trade
[unclear: on] your local wad mak raid :
[unclear: at] port what does nae harm,
[unclear: rest] prohibit or disarm.

[unclear: an :] For my part while I have a choice
[unclear: liberty] I'll lift my voice.

[unclear: ns :] For liberty? you're like the lave
[unclear: Scot] "sae base as be a slave?"
[unclear: liberty] and license, mind,
[unclear: different,] in degree or kind.

[unclear: an :] I kenna what ye license ca';
[unclear: this] I ken, that king and law,
[unclear: subjects,] are usurpers a',
[unclear: they] my natral richt refuse
[unclear: ae] exactly as I choose.

[unclear: ns :] Gin you on island lone and mute,
[unclear: Sandy] Selkirk set your foot,
[unclear: natral] richt will nane dispute;
[unclear: val] richt—noo dinna faint—
[unclear: inter alia,] restraint.

[unclear: an :] Then black means white, and richt means wrang
[unclear: of] freedom's but an auld wife's sang.

[unclear: ns :] It's mair, it's freedom though its ceevil,
[unclear: keeps] ye a' frae mony an evil;
[unclear: through] o'er me it has nae power,
[unclear: ps] my dummies free o' clour.

[unclear: an :] Then ye think dummies hae their place?

[unclear: ns :] "That stare the whole world in the face."

[unclear: an :] I'm still for freedom unconfined,
[unclear: large] a charter as the wind."

[unclear: ns :] The larrikin that roves the street
[unclear: deem] your freedom unco sweet;
[unclear: the] wise—e'en if he swither,
[unclear: balance] ae thing wi' anither:
[unclear: learn,] while law his free course hampers,
[unclear: he] burt others in his scampers,
[unclear: is] the same way them restrains,
[unclear: es] far less than he gains.

[unclear: an :] I own my words were wild awee,
[unclear: the] wise man I agree
[unclear: further] see in this connection,
[unclear: civilization's] but Protection.
[unclear: that,] still I'd make complaint
[unclear: t] unnecessary restraint.

[unclear: In] doing' whilk ye wad do well,
[unclear: aint's] an evil in itsel;
[unclear: where] a greater it prevents,
[unclear: loyal] citizen assents.

[unclear: an :] The principle we baith admit,
[unclear: differs] as to where it's fit.
[unclear: I] believe should gang it gait
[unclear: ped], unhindered, by the state.

[unclear: ns :] Then ye think railways, roads, and brigs,
[unclear: ld] run their ain unaided riggs?

[unclear: Allan:] I'm no prepared tae answer that.

Burns : Nor need ye in our present chat,
Since other cases may be gien,
Whase merit at a glance is seen.
Suppose some merchant, at your doors,
A hunder ton o' poother stores—
Will ye tae the police repair;
Or wait till whumbled through the air,
Your loud excelsiors, late an' later,
"Freetrade's a glorious elevator!"

Allan: Freetrade has still my faith in full,
Your queer exception proves the rule.

Burns: Your Freetrade's jist like mine, I see,
Conditioned by expediency;
An' what's Protection but the rein
Freetrade's excesses tae restrain?

Allan: Noo, Robin, dinna angry be,
Should Usquebaugh, your friend, be free?

Burns: My friend! my foulest, deadliest foe,
That stained and chained and laid me low;
They little to my life attend
Who think the infernal stuff my friend,
They little help my highest praise
Who sing or act my wassail lays.
O, well that many wisely choose
The healthier products of my muse;
That many, while they justly scan,
With honest ardour love the man;
And see in him a gift from heaven,
Not only to his country given,
But to the world-extended race—
Responsive to his warm embrace.

Allan: A century nearly now he's gone
That voiced the muses every one;
Mnemosyne, the Nine's ain mither,
Could ne'er hae ca'ed them a'thegither
On shorter notice than could he,
The Bard o' humble pedigree—
"Ready, aye ready," at his commands,
Wi' lyre an' laurel in their hands.
Nor as mere slaves, reluctant they,
But proud to own a monarch's sway;
Frae tropic glare tae Highland glen,
A king o' muses an' o' men.

Willie: Beneath the magic spell o' Burns,
Wha hasna laughed and cried by turns?
Wha hasna felt a new-born power
Tae read aricht the simplest flower;
Tae feel aricht the griefs o' a',
Frae exiled prince tae mousie sma';
Tae hear aricht the sweet-voiced woods,
An' Nature love in a' her moods;
An' more than Nature, Nature's God,
Who leads us to His high abode,
There "no more," through an endless year,
"To sigh or shed the bitter tear."

Allan: Hoo aft, till roof an' rafters rang,
Has Robin's praise been said or sung,
In lowly hut, or lordly ha',
Since he, oor pride, was ta'en awa';
But never in a style mair grand,
Mair fit attention tae command,

page 12

An' lessons precious tae impress,
Than lately in Sir G.'s address,
Delivered on this very spot—
To hear which eager thousands sought:
New Zealand, there is hope for thee
Wi' men an' statesmen such as he.

Willie: Sir G. was at the evening spread,
But frae the sober words he said,
The haggis hadna turned his head.

Allan: Sir G. kent weel ene he cam' hither,
An' aft had tauld oor Maori brither.
That husky an' whisky gang thegither,
Though "Freedom an' whisky" shun each ither.
But auld's he is, he had tae learn,
What we Dunedinites discern,
That "Bacchus and his revellers" best
(Let Milton as he will protest)
The Muse's efforts estimate,
An' wi' sage bumpers celebrate.

Burns: "My blood boils in me" at this style
O' homage to the Bard o' Kyle;
My "blood boils" at each vile libation,
Tae what deserved but detestation.
(Of course the blood here's figuration!)
The sun on high may hae his spots,
An' great an' good men hae their blots;
But when before were folk sae queer
As blot an' blunder tae revere?
All honour tae the honest twa
On whom blind zealots foully fa';
Twelve feet o' finer manhood ne'er
Left Scotland than this stately pair:
Even tested on wee Isaac's plan,
Each is, wi' emphasis, a man.
A preacher puir, oor proverbs teach,
Is he that can dae noucht but preach—
In them the fall five talents meet
That mak' oor ministers complete.
Now for your question as to drink:
Whatever you or many think,
Drink traffickers, like gamblers, I
Wad make these three fair islands fly.

Allan: But drink, they say, you can't prevent
By any act o' Parliament.

Burns: Their present complicated plan
For fixing place and hour and man
Is proof, at least, they think ye can;
They winna let the fruit "gae frae,"
But—"Woodman, spare the Upas tree."
Here I maun stop, though no' half done,
Tae let oor leading theme gang on.

Allan: I now see clearly, I confess,
How liberty a land may bless,
An' yet the people, ane an' a',
Be subject to the rule o' law—
Which richt folk feel as licht's a feather,
An' wrang folk a restraining tether;
But why the State should interfere
Tae mak' us market only here,
Within the limits o' oor land,
Is mair than I can understand :
Protection may protect a class,
But for the major part, alas!

Burns: Protection has, as object sole,
The nation's welfare as a whole;
Whereas Freetrade keeps but in view
The final profit o' a few.
The many boastin' Freetrade gain
An after greater loss sustain :
Less work they get, less money hence,
An' yet their taxes mair immense.
The State machine cost much to make,
An' much its yearly course will take;
The fewer, therefore, here to share,
The greater burden each maun bear.

Allan: Then Freetrade's nowhere your election!

Burns: Yes, just as really as Protection,
Twa opposites may each be fit
In circumstances opposite.
It's only your Freetrade Procrustes,
Who, void o' sense as weel as justice,
Would everywhere his east-iron fetch,
And limbs unsuited lop or stretch.
Though tae the dolt o' ae idea,
Freetrade's a perfect panacea:
A true unvarying Holloway's pill,
It only aggravates your ill;
And well illustrates the conclusion,
That "ae man's meat's anither's poozhun."
For nation's large wi' little land,
Freetrade may be essential,
An' seas an' ships at their command,
Seem plainly providential.
But different you, in mortgage deep,
An' wi' a muckle hoose tae keep,
For tenants here sae few;
Protection's needed tae retain
The siller honestly your ain,
An' bring ye tenants new.
Your ain mill ca' an' work for a',
Will aye be fand in plenty;
An', what's as good, you're sure o' food
For millions, ten or twenty.
Nor am I for mere tax addition,
But for a virtual prohibition;
Though less than that wad be a boon,
Like bankrupt's composition croon.

Allan: Without oor taxes, tell me hoo
The State can raise a revenue.

Burns: Your customs revenue wad still
Tae some extent your coffers fill;
An' what you lose by local trade,
In other form will be repaid.

Allan: Ingenious method, I perceive,
Our tributaries tae relieve.

Burns: Anither o' your Freetrade errors,
The source o' many goblin terrors:
Already hae ye on your backs,
The weicht at least o' price an' tax;
Importers tell ye when ye buy,
Such is the price, and that is why.
What then at first seemed lost is not,
And can wi' perfcct ease be got,

page 13

[unclear: needs] nae statesmen great an' wise
[unclear: nations] income tae devise,
[unclear: Where] tills are runnin' o'er wi' gain,
[unclear: wadna] miss a gentle drain.

[unclear: Allan :] Your rumble, jumble seems tae me
[unclear: smack] a deal o' sophistry.

[unclear: Burns:] A sophist doesna' always know,
[unclear: e] 'er sophistic, he is so;
[unclear: only] does he others blind,
[unclear: even] his ain puir blear-eyed mind.
[unclear: suphist] I, then o' this sort,
[unclear: pt,] of course, intendin' sport;
[unclear: sophistry] is honest fun—
[unclear: instance,] in an obvious pun.
[unclear: some] Freetrader been your butt,
[unclear: had] ye scope for a' your wit;
[unclear: such] attemptin' the dissection
[unclear: what's] beyond his grasp—Protection;
[unclear: onetimes] get a clever stroke,
[unclear: jocular,] if it be a joke;
[unclear: as] a piece o' reasonin' foul
[unclear: ugh] tae mak' a Whately howl.

[unclear: Allan:] I see a ghaist has got a skin,
[unclear: like] some live folk's, unco thin.
[unclear: charge] I therefore now withdraw;
[unclear: does] it help your case at a'?
[unclear: grantin] what you say is true,
[unclear: it] we pay every import due,
[unclear: esna'] mak' oor loss the less,
[unclear: of] only somewhat shifts its place.
[unclear: foreigners] dinna pay the charge,
[unclear: ir] price is by that sum less large;
[unclear: thus] mair clearly we discern
[unclear: much] through foreign trade we earn.

[unclear: Burns:] you're lookin' at the matter noo
[unclear: ly] as I'd ha'o ye do;
[unclear: prior] price o' foreign ware
[unclear: whatt] wi' oors ought to compare,
[unclear: which] at first sicht seems to aid,
[unclear: net] quite vindicate Freetrade.
[unclear: what] Protectionists maintain,
[unclear: that] there is no final gain;
[unclear: rather] the complete reverse,
[unclear: enough] money we abroad disperse;
[unclear: pay] for workmen, wha, 'tis plain,
[unclear: deal] wi' merchants o' their ain;
[unclear: bear] the burdens o' a land
[unclear: merely] gies them room tae stand.

[unclear: Allan:] Tae me, I own, it does appear
[unclear: tection] wad bring such folk here;
[unclear: at] is; as many as required
[unclear: a'] oor unemployed were hired.
[unclear: would'nt] a tax prohibitive
[unclear: license] to our locals give
[unclear: charger] whatever price they chose,
[unclear: checked] by foreign business foes?

[unclear: ns :] The tax prohibitive I mean
[unclear: ld] then let competition in;
[unclear: that] you've little need to fear
[unclear: or] local things continuing dear,
[unclear: 'll] find in Freetrade speech or article,
[unclear: ou] but read one, every particle.

At top you'll find hoo high the prices
Must soar in such a dreadfu' crisis,
With foreign competition stopt,
An' old supply's full right hand lopt.
But perserver, an' at the bottom,
You'll find a full turn o' the tottum.
High prices there quite disappear,
It's now a contradictory fear—
Internal competition will
Your local manufactures kill.
Protection thus foretells disaster,
To buyer first, then man an' master.
No reasonable space between,
When prices will be all serene,
But one wild leap from thus to thus;
How sad—I mean how ludicrous!

Allan: An' think you then beyond the range
O' possibility such change?

Burns: It's no' impossible at a',
Nor is that the moon may fa',
Or Cook's Straits wi' an earthquake fill,
Or Taieri Plain mount Saddle Hill,
Or rain approach us an' gae back,
As if it read the almanac;
But a' these possibles are such
Oor plans they needna hinder much.

Allan: Protection danger is our theme,
Which tae my mind does likely seem,
Let us by the wise saw abide,
"It's best tae err on the safe side."

Burns: I've noucht tae say against your saw,
Within the line that sense wad draw,
But o'er that, its perverted use,
Is pusillanimity's excuse.
A maid, but whether young or auld,
The Census only could hae tauld,
Was ae day soomin' in saut tears,
The cause o' which her crony spears.
Quo' she : "The cause enouch, I ween,"
Then thus, on dichtin her red een:
"I fell in tae wee bit study
O' what micht happen till a bodie
In this our sad an' brittle state
Whaur mankind's but the sport o' fate.
I thocht what if I'd been a wife,
Wi' but ae bairn tae charm my life,
An' that ae bairn, sae loved and lovin',
Had crept intac the broilin' oven!
Nae wonder, tears cam like a river,
Nae wonder, I'll wed, never, never.
Such are thy sentimental fears
(I won't say alligator tears).
Thou cowed or loud Freetrade alarmist,
As many a Midas ear thou charmest.
The fancied danger o' protection,
Apply all round as an objection,
And Freetrade ship shall never sail,
Or locomotive polish rail,
Or even the manufacturer's wheel,
Be heard in wonted roar or squeal.
But "Faint heart ne'er won lady fair"
(Especially vowed, like her up there);
An' wha wad shrink frae enterprise,

page 14

Though in its course some clanger lies,
If but invitin' otherwise—
Particularly if, like Protection,
Its danger winna bear inspection?

Allan: An' won't mair bankruptcies tak place?

Burns: Dear pity ye if that's the case;
Mair bankruptcies than ye hae now,
Wad be unbearable I trow.

Allan: In Melbourne, if ye hae the will,
Ye'll find them much mair numerous still.

Burns: Much mair in Melbourne, do ye say?
An' what's its population pray?
Suppose I tak the toon o' London,
That biggest aggregation mundane.
An' say there's mair folk deein' there
Than ony ither single where,
Wad that gie you the richt tae state
That London has a high death rate?
An' bankruptcies in Melbourne may
Exceed yours by a gae lang way,
Wi' her per centage not exceedin',
But under, that o' free Dunedin.

Allan: But even here Freetrade is not,
Protection evils we hae got.

Burns; "Then fill your cup up an' your can,"
An' get the boon as weel as ban;
But ban there's none, its sole effect,
So far as used is tae protect;
An' when ye hae it here entire,
Trade to its zenith will aspire.
No idlers, then, wi' work aye ready,
An steadier some now reckoned steady,
Wi' siller mair in shops tae spend,
That now for very life contend.
The bankruptcies we so deplore
Lie nearly a' at Freetrade's door.

Allan: Excuse me if I still insist
That should we turn Protectionist,
Protected traders though elate,
Will feel in an unnatural state,
An' scarcely ken what price tae charge,
Though, nae doot, 'twill at first be large.

Burns: But what a comfort tis tae ken
That prices maun come down again.
Thus much frae your chief lichts I learn;
An' I can furthermore discern,
That competition, by an' by,
Will prices keep twixt low and high;
That is, tae pay the seller weel,
Yet tae the buyer moderate feel.
Your baker's now in this position,
He has nae foreign competition,
But has he ever sixpence sought
For what should cost you but a groat?
He kens fu' well that if he did
Some other baker wad outbid,
An' hae, him, back against the wa',
Without a customer at a'.
He also kens, if no' ower dear,
He needna competition fear;

In business doin' he will share
Wi' fellow-bakers, here an there;
Whose ranks enough, an' no' ower money,
Will join tae earn a modest penny.
So will it be wi' every trade
Your future policy may aid.
Though foreign rivalry's no more,
You'll hae sufficient tae the fore,
Productive o' the same effec'
As that ye find the bakers' check;
To customers Protection give,
Yet let the manufacturers live.

Allan: But won't the workmen's wages rise,
In spite o' a' ye can devise?

Burns: In many cases, so they ought,
In many cases, they will not,
Except that work, then unabated,
Will realise the wages stated.
But why expect a reckless rise
Where man wi' man in labour vies;
An' where though local work's protected,
The foreign worker's not rejected?
Still were it proved Protection would
Make wages even more than good,
An' thereby people your fair scenes,
"The end would justify the means."

Allan : I've learned frae casuists, book and oral
Nae end can whitewash means immoral.

Burns: I say so, too, whate'er the end,
Immoral means it can't defend;
But in the sentence reprehended,
There's noucht immoral recommended.

Allan: Weel, I'll no' such a pauper be
As hae the nation taxed for me.
I 'd rather starve tae skin and bane
Or, like King Saturn, feed on stane;
An, nichtly make the bush my bed,
Wi' "bracken curtain for my head."

Burns: Then wad your curtain be more grand
Then Lydia's monarch could command,
Ere Cyrus heard, wi' ear condolin',
His reminiscences o' Solon.
But lang ere needin' your heroics,
Tae start a new school o' the stoics,
Wad you an' yours no' hence hae flown
In search o' some mair fattenin' scone?

Allan: You may depend upon't we would,
For ours an' for our country's good.

Burns: Not for your country's, if for yours,
Men, more than gold, her good insures;
Retained or gained, e'en at some cost,
Each man implies more saved than lost.

Allan: Assertion that, though sounding well,
Which seems tae contradict itsel'.
Tae me self-evident it shows,
Whate'er Protectionists suppose,
That so far as a man exac's
Some higher price, or literal tax,
As the condition of his stay,
Just, so far, that man's well away.
page 15 [unclear: Nor] less self-evident it feels
[unclear: That] earth upon nae axis wheels;
[unclear: but] for teaching more profound,
[unclear: Fou'd] say the Sun trots daily round.
[unclear: And] so without the wise direction
[unclear: Of] those who advocate Protection,
[unclear: eetraders] most distinctly view,
[unclear: th's] full sized negative as true,
[unclear: wonder] Freetrade sophists win,
[unclear: en] they themselves are thus taen in;
[unclear: e] wonder Freetrade claptrap takes
[unclear: hich] dupes o' its ain doctors makes;
[unclear: no] where are they so misguided,
[unclear: where] in vision so onesided,
[unclear: in] regard to population
[unclear: the] chief treasure of a nation,
[unclear: course,] an imputation this,
[unclear: hich] they take very much amiss;
[unclear: from] which when they try to wriggle,
[unclear: ur] bound toe either greet or giggle.

[unclear: Willie] Excuse my venturing forward here,
[unclear: tant] nae mair tae interfere;
[unclear: t] your remarks upon the measure
[unclear: which] men form a nation's treasure,
[unclear: est] unequivocally seem
[unclear: firmed] by this my recent dream :
[unclear: dreamt] I was carried awa' on the wing
[unclear: er] water, wide water, in ring after ring,
[unclear: ll] after I'd travelled fu' mony a mile,
[unclear: w] richt before me a braw-lookin' isle.
[unclear: he] Shorter the distance, the fairer it seemed,
[unclear: in] the mild radiance o' autumn it gleamed,
[unclear: green] hill was dotted wi' sheep an' wi' kye,
[unclear: nearer] the bottom, wi' horses forbye;
[unclear: hawthorn] hedges ran a' through the plain,
[unclear: ound] paddocks that laucht wi' abundance o' grain.
[unclear: he] Iiverock sang high in the lifts wi' mysel,
[unclear: blackbird] an' mavis frae trees in the dell;
[unclear: parroquets] decked in their scarlet an' green,
[unclear: ers] cheerily chatterin' hoo grand was the scene,
[unclear: t] basked in the sunshine, I suddenly felt
[unclear: wings,] like the wax o' puir Icarus, melt;
[unclear: ough] liker his father, the tricky auld cheat,
[unclear: y] fortune was saftly the licht on my feet,
[unclear: ollowed] a path on the bank o' a burn,
[unclear: rough] meadows an' orchards wi' mony a turn,
[unclear: singin'] an' dancin, it guided me doon
[unclear: a] busy wee mill, near a bonny wee toon.
[unclear: cressed] a strong brig, an' then entered a street,
[unclear: here] Dr. Smith, author, I happened to meet.
What I should hae kent him, unlikely may seem;
[unclear: at] haud your tongue, critic, 'twas only a dream.
[unclear: ys] I: "Dr. Smith, your bit State's unco smart;
[unclear: our] toon an' your country, your natur' an' art:
[unclear: everything] prospers as weel as it looks,
[unclear: rena] hoo sune you've my name in your books."
The fact is," says Smith, "we've owre mony already;"
Then some o' ye's idle, or wark is unsteady?"
We're a' workin' aye, save in season's o' joy,
[unclear: et] mair than enough are the hands we employ."
[unclear: You're] dealin' in riddles; my dulness forgive:
[unclear: your] industry no' let the lot o' ye live?"
There's naebody needfu', there's plenty tae eat,
[unclear: parses] are stuffed, an' oor wardrobes complete.
Ye see the braw houses in which we abide,
An' wait till ye witness the comfort inside;
But positive "good" means comparative "better,"
An' this we can't hae while our trade's in a fetter.
Though ship after ship has arrived at our port
Wi' goods that wad suit, baith for siller and sort,
Like ninnies, we aye tae oor auld rule adhere,
That naebody purchase what can be made here."
"I don't wonder at it; said purchase wad mean
Throwin' somebody idle or oot o' the scene."
"Of course, 'twad mean that—'twad mean that a score
Remove, bug an' baggage, tae some ither shore;
What the score used tae work at, the ships wad supply,
An' the fourscore remainin' save money thereby.
Fules buy frae their friends, but philosophers deep
Explore the wide world for the market that's cheap."
"Then philosopher I am, an' ane o' the deepest,
For my rule's tae buy in the market that's cheapest.
But a line in oor Scotch schule—an'I wrote a sheet fu'—
Declared that appearance is sometimes deceitfu';
So the market that's cheapest the moment ye spend,
I carena a preen for, if dear in the end.
Freetrade's a professional that let's ye win first,
Assured ere he's done wi' ye, ye'll hae the worst.
An' accountant, in order tae tell your net gain,
Baith debit an' credit maun first ascertain;
Or, changin' the figure frae profit an' loss,
The tare, whaur there's tare, maun be taen frae the gross,
But your freetrade advantage, though clerics may stare,
Is a case whaur the gross maun be taen frae the tare!
Freetrader, like farmer that sells his seed corn,
Though richer the day, will be poorer the morn.
Twopenny wise an' pound foolish your action will prove,
Your work an' your workers frae this tae remove."
"But the work that they send here in cash will be less.'
"An' so will the money they spend here, I guess.
The loss o' their custom, I'll bet a Scotch bun—
Videlicit, cakes on the girdle o'erdone—
Will quite counterbalance, at least aince or twice,
The gain you've secured through reduction in price."
"You practical men are a' tarred wi' ae stick;
I'll hammer nae mair at a headpiece sae thick."
"But, Adam or Doctor, I've read in your pages
That schemes philosophic hae dealt in a' ages,
In sophistry such as you'd proffer in vain
Tae a man o' plain sense wi' a livin' tae gain."
"Don't ye ken different circumstances mak' different cases?"
"An' ken a wee story wi' that for its basis:
'Alas!' said a farmer tae lawyer well skilled,
'Your bonny milk coo by my ox has been killed.'
'O, that,' said the lawyer, 'we'll fix in a trice—
You know its high value, just pay me the price.'
'Tuts,' said Hodge; 'I hae blundered, I dinna ken hoo-
'Twas your ox that killed my unfortunate coo."
Said lawyer, 'One circumstance alters a case;
In cool avizandum its merits I'll trace.'
The circumstance, then, that your system ensures
Is that, chiefly or solely, the system is yours."
Wi' that, under shade o' extinguishing frown,
I moved off, like a tuft o' oor ain thistle-down,
I passed through the village an' doon tae the sea,
Whase wild waves I scanned wi' inquisitive ee.
There, object how graceful, and how unexpected,
A ship, in full sail, to the port was directed.
page 16 Now clearer and ampler, as hither she hies.
Her name and her form I can quite recognise.
'Tis the Star of the evening, the Beautiful Star,
Whose Bells, though in mist, send their music afar.
Her Fidus Achates is Tempus the bold;
Her sailmaker Pyke, whose "Old Flag" is worth gold;
And Bruce, frae the region o' mountain and glen,
Is bozzen, admired by the master and men.
The scene in a moment was changed to a hall
Where the hundred had met, at the ship people's call.
There, perched on the rostrum, each deputy tar
Was ready to plead for the Beautiful Star.
The captain arose, wi' a dignified air,
And proposed the profound Dr. Smith for the chair;
Dr. Smith, who was known frae his native 'lang toon'
To the distantest harbours this side the moon.
Wi' rapping and clapping the whole acquiesce,
Then Smith gae the stereotype chairman's address :
"The Beautiful Star, they need scarcely be told,
Had arrived wi' a lot o' choice goods in her hold.
At best, their 'own make' was but equally nice,
Yet it towered high above the ship's cargo in price.
The questions for them at that meeting to face
Were: Whether they should not relax their trade lace;
And whether the immense, the o'erwhelming majority,
Should yield to a dearly supported minority?
Around him they'd notice a bright constellation,
Reflecting the light o' a Freetrading nation;
Men who had been trained under Cobden and Bright,
And, excuse him, the party presiding that night.
These men had seen Freetrade prove food to Great Britain;
And if big mother fed so, why not each wee kitten?
Wi' New Zeal to new land they had brought the old law,
And boldly essayed to make bricks without straw.
Success most peculiar their efforts had crowned,
No nation in history such credit had found.
There was work for all needed, and sometimes for more,
In paring a knowe, or in eking a shore.
Population had grown, and there really were fears
That the place would be crowded in three thousand years!
Such, then, was Freetrade, such its latest achievement:
Would they pardon his wailing their own sad bereavement?"
"Of course," came in dozens, and a full three times three
For Smith, "for a jolly good fellow was he."
Dr. Smith thanked the audience, and said he could note
That the miniature nation was ripe for a vote;
But suggested their getting, ere going thus far,
A little more light from the Beautiful Star.
No speechification would now be required;
Let them put any question reflection inspired.
The first question asked was: How much they should save
If to workers abroad certain orders they gave.
Mr. Bruce at once answered, and what he said, meant,
"The saving will no doubt be twenty per cent.
Thus the goods tha tare costing you two thousand pounds,
Will cost sixteen hundred from us in our rounds;
That's four hundred saved in the course of each year."
(Tremendous applause, and sonorous "Hear, hear.")
Question second and last was : "How shall the twenty,
Now losing their work, get to where there is plenty?"
The captain himself to this question replied:
"The twenty I'll undertake wisely to guide.
There's a prosperous colony named from the Queen
(Three cheers for the pair o' them heartily gien),
Ay prosperous, in spite o' a vile predilection
For that obsolete policy, misnamed Protection.
Ae consequence is that their work keeps increasing
The next that their cry for more people's unceasing
They'll be glad o' your twenty, and glad to see me
Wi' this, my unusual freight o'er the sea."
("Hurrah!" for the captain. Hurrah! for the crew
The real summum bonum they've brought tae us [unclear: neo].
Then passed they a motion, nem. con., that the quay
Of the isle Fortunatus should henceforth be free
The meeting broke up, seizing truth by the kerned
And sea and land parted in style most fraternal
Next day, in the spirit o' that which preceded,
The citizens brought from the ship what they needed
Nae matter if warehoused in cellars or ha's,
Nae matter if settled in slump or in sma's,
The merchandise purchased was there and then paid
The crew went on board, aud the anchor was [unclear: weigh]
The score now dispensed wi', on taking their leave,
"Some natural tears dropt," like Adam and Eve;
Then mounting the gangway, the bystander [unclear: cheered]
An' aff frae her moorings the bonny ship steered.
After waitin' the waft o' a final adieu,
The four score remainin' quite jubilant grew,
Four hunder pounds saved in ae single transaction
Was surely a matter o' soond satisfaction.
"Four hunder," says Farmer; "it's no aye ye'll [unclear: find]
"Four hunder," says Clerk; "Is there no' [unclear: oucht] hind it?"
"Behind it?" says Baker; isn't seein', believin?"
"Behind it?" says Shuttle, "we've just been [unclear: receivi]
"Behind it?" says Joiner; "of course there's a lot
Less wood tae nail up, an' mair gold to be got."
"Behind it?" says Dairy; "I'll build a new byre,"
"Behind it?" says Tailor; "I'll gae sune retire
"Remember," says Clerk, "ere at extras ye drive."
Four hunder divided by eichty is five;
That's five pounds for each, an' a pleasant begining
But the end will reverse a' appearance o' winnin'
Twenty customers lost, that's a terrible drawback;
Ere six months arrive, ye'll be wishin' them a' back
"Twenty customers lost!" shrieked the tailor in [unclear: pass]
"That's thirty-five plain suits, plus ten in the [unclear: fashi]
"Twenty customers lost," Sutor seehed in despair;
"That's the make an' the mend o' at least forty [unclear: po]
"Five pounds," growled the joiner, "for fifteen [unclear: or]
May weel be ca'd free trade, but fair trade it's no"
Grinned Dairy, "Wha'll pay for the score o' folk [unclear: wh]
Took regularly nine hundred gallons o' milk?"
Groaned Dough, "Wha'll compensate my loss, [unclear: let] speer,
For the twa thousand loaves I'll hae less in the [unclear: year,]
"Whaur's Smith?" roared the roadman, [unclear: "Wha] Smith!" roared they a';
But Smith, wi' a hale skin, had slippet awa.
They made for his homestead, they made for his [unclear: he]
But wha likes linguistic, sophistic abuse?
Smith snibbet the front door, an' oot at the back,
An' up through the Toon Belt like deer frae the [unclear: pa]
Then, lookin' around him, he clamb up a tree,
The biggest an' bushiest gum he could see!
If the men brak the front door, or in at the ither,
My dream didna show, but I ken they gaed thither.
They rummaged his bookcase, an' findin' his works,
page 17 Like certain renowned Alexandrian Turks,
The fragments o' what had cost high mental toil,
They flang in a bunker, the kettle tae boil.
(Twasna Turks, some may say, 'twos their forerinnin' Saracens;
But I winna stop tae defend mere comparisons.)
A' the further details, hoo they stamped an' they shouted,
[unclear: Hoo] they rushed tae the sea like a regiment routed,
Then cried, like Lord Ullin, "Come back, O come back!"
[unclear: I'es] frichtet, wad credence unlimited lack :
[unclear: ffice]-the sea "tide an' affairs o' the men,"
[unclear: Woke] me up, thinkin' Chaos was rampant again!

Allan: This dream's a dream an' something mair,
[unclear: yet] it's no' a picture fair
[unclear: anything] that we hae seen,
[unclear: heard] o', or has ever been.
[unclear: tion] writer even professed,
[unclear: cept] a dealer in mere jest,
[unclear: order] to his tide's utility,
[unclear: t] stick at least to probability.

[unclear: Burns]Then scores esteemed hae penned in vain,
[unclear: Esop's] days doon tae oor ain.
[unclear: there] I differ much frae you;
[unclear: person,] if he has in view
[unclear: truth's] mair vivid illustration,
[unclear: by] ply invention an' citation,
[unclear: only] wi' the likely lowered,
[unclear: even] the possible ignored.

[unclear: Allan:] That means an' only means, forsooth,
That falsehood can illustrate truth.
[unclear: can] an absolute non est
[unclear: mble] what the een can test?
[unclear: can] a cuddie show a calf,
[unclear: midnight] noonday's photograph?

[unclear: Twa] things may hardly be as like
[unclear: beans,] or bumbees in a byke;
[unclear: house] an' hill, or man an' tree,
[unclear: yet] analagous may be.
[unclear: speakin'] fox that duped the craw,
[unclear: sueered] at grapes upon the wa';
[unclear: monkey] balancing the cheese,
[unclear: bramble] chosen king o' trees;
[unclear: lordly] lion an' the moose,
[unclear: s'] their human type an' use.
[unclear: so] throughout oor friend here's dream,
[unclear: rays] o' truth are seen tae gleam;
[unclear: what] it meant to prove is proved,
[unclear: nation's] loss through men removed,
[unclear: if,] which needna always be
[unclear: eir] work cost more than wi' trade free.

[unclear: Allan:] Our nation's loss? why there again,
[unclear: old] analogy there's nane.
[unclear: that] case which the dream relates
[unclear: trade] the isle depopulates;
[unclear: our] case population grows,
[unclear: each] successive census shows.

[unclear: Burns:] But small the rise o' your bump risible,
When ye can boast o' "darkness visible;"
What Milton s licht tae suulicht would be,
Is your state's growth tae what it should be.
The several hundred thousand mair
Than your but late returns declare,
Though they hae ne'er your land beheld
Hae virtually been hence expelled.
The consequence, in a' its force,
Ye feel, but trace not tae its source.
The eichty, by experience wise,
Would soon their real cure devise—
Protection is your care likewise.

Allan: Another faut o' this Utopia
Is that its flaunting Cornucopia
Has local produce none to spare
In purchase o' imported ware;
Whereas our local surplus here
Amounts to millions every year,
And almost manages tae buy
Whate'er the importing ships supply.

Burns: "Wi' a' its fauts I like it still;"
But fain in tae your head wad drill
The reason for this isle erupted,
As, seemingly, ye haena gript it.
Each Freetrade advocate persists
In quoting near an' far price lists,
An' holds, when ours are higher any,
We lose the difference every penny,
Without a hint o' what is gained
Through market money here retained;
An' many a gull, wi' greedy ear,
Drinks in, an' asks ye "Ain't it clear?"
For their sakes then, wha hear or speak,
An' for your ain, my dainty Greek,
This dream was dreamt in illustration
O' what we owe to population—
And surely this it does illustrate—
Its great design you therefore frustrate
By criticising mere details,
An' showing how therein it fails.
As well might you, when man an' flower
Are likened, on the latter lower,
An' ask if it has ears an' eyes,
An' can, though liclit o' brain, look wise;
Or speak like certain reeds of old
Which o' thy long cars Midas told.
An' why Utopias fling in scorn,
Or that lang-nebbet ancient horn
Which Jupiter, the son o' Rhea,
Brak off his goat-nurse Amalthea,
As if nae corresponding law,
In things the least unlike, ye saw?

Allan: An' can we no' the case employ
Tae mind us o' what we enjoy?

Burns: Of course, but dinna blame Protection
For what is but a chance connection.

Allan: What think ye then o' oor position—
Wad we no lose by prohibition,
That hae enouch, or next tae that,
Tae gie the foreigners tit for tat?

Burns: You're often several millions short,
An' therefore maun tae gold resort.

Allan: By those that ought tae know I'M told
Our deficit's no paid in gold.

page 18

Burns: In goods, then, but wha that affirms
Most clearly contradicts in terms.

Allan: Some hae a very firm conviction
The balance o' oor trade's a fiction.

Burns: No doubt ower muckle has been made o't
By those that sawna tail or head o't;
But there's a deal in't after a',
Though Smith saw naething in't ata',
Save in the less restricted sense
O' national income an' expense
Paley, a favourite aye o' mine,
A theorist sound, though sound divine,
When on the theme o' Foreign trade,
Has much more thoroughness displayed,
Much deeper skill to estimate
Its varying value to a state,
Than Smith, I humbly think, or others,
His weel-kent economic brothers.
An' on the population topic,
He's no, like Malthus, misanthropic;
Or grossly partial in his gaze
Tae suit a philosophic craze :
Which, nathless, were it sound an' true,
Wad meanwhile nicely answer you.

Allan: I own my view o' Foreign trade
Is that a' goods wi' goods be paid;
An' this, I half suspect, think you :
Let, then, our farmers buckle to,
That soon, through what the land shall bear,
Our exports aye wi' imports square.
In such a case would you not be
Disposed to let our trade keep free?

Burns: Were such a ease now clearly come,
Were sum exactly matched wi' sum,
I'd choose it wi' the grim good will
Extended tae a lesser ill.

Allan: In what sense, tell me, can it be
An ill in kind or in degree,
Tae get frae ithers for your wares
Precisely what you pay for theirs?

Burns: If, for example, for milk coo,
Ye get a fancy duck or doo,
Or horse ye need exchange for whip,
Or "cane of curious workmanship;"
Though no' in gold, in solid gear,
Ye "for your whistle pay too dear."
Still as transactions o' this kind
Are tae a narrow sphere confined,
However much one party may
For his peculiar fancy pay;
The State—which loses nothing here—
Has got nae cause tae interfere.
But when indulgin' Foreign notion,
Ye millions send ayont the ocean;
An' drain the State's exchequer dry—
The State should ask the reason why.
An' mind, this drainage micht tak' place,
Even in the imaginary case,
O' your exporting goods to pay
For a' the imports brought away.
The question o' a' questions this,—
Which Freetrade pleaders maul or miss,
What is't the goods their value finds,
Or what are their respective kinds?
Raw goods for raw twa States may suit,
An' wroucht for wroucht is no' far oot;
But wroueht for raw, much trade pursuin',
Is for the latter simply ruin.
Yet this the Foreign trade ye boast,
An' this the inevitable cost.
Ye Freetrade dupes, ye blind-led blind,
Your ditch proverbial, keep in mind.
I'm wae tae think upon the fate
O' such a grand potential State;
E'en yet Protection may befriend,
"O, wad ye tak' a thocht an' mend."

Allan: I fear some bigot indignation
Will rouse at your sae warm persuasion;
But me it only mair induces
Tae own Protection has its uses,
And even particular places where
Freetrade does hardly seem quite fair.

Burns: For instance, in the land ye live in,
Tae such expedients Freetrade driven;
Aye, borrowin', borrowin' cash frae hams,
An' getting sneered at for the same;
While in the very year ye borrow,
Tae meet wi' loss, an' shame, an' sorrow;
The lenders mair frae your trade reap,
An' no' at interest, but tae keep.

Allan: You mean the millions yearly paid
For articles in Britain made.

Burns: Which could be made here just as weel,
An' shall if Freetrade ye repeal.

Allan: But should we no' oor place o' birth,
Distinguish frae mere foreign earth?

Burns: "Breathes there the man wi' soul so dead
He ne'er has such distinction made?

Allan: Freetrader thinks Protectionist
Has a' such loyalty dismissed.

Burns: Let's gie him credit for mair sense,
Though at some other part's expense,
Protection Englishmen out here
Old England still love and revere;
Protection Scotchmen, ye may guess,
Their birthplace glory in nae less;
E'en glory in the general name,
The island, north and south, may claim.

Allan: What cannot time an' tide effect?
In Bruce's days, wha could expect,
That lang sae hostile nations twa,
Forgotting or forgiving a'.
Should, as ae kingdom wide extend,
Frae John o' Groats House tae Land's End;
Ay, plant new states in every zone,
An' Bruce's offspring fill the throne?

Burns: Victoria, Britain's honoured Queen
(Not England's, as per Neddy Green),
Is Tudor, but is Scotch as much;
And proudly owns that she is such.
page 19 [unclear: Donald,] Duncan, Bruce, and James,
[unclear: aulder] still, descent she claims.

[unclear: Allan] Lang may she reign, and blyther be
[unclear: t] her present Jubilee.

[unclear: Burns:] Amen tae that, frae pole tao pole,
[unclear: first] meridian round the whole,
[unclear: ship] and shore, let hill and glen,
[unclear: city] vast, respond "amen;"
[unclear: supplicate] the Great Unseen,
[unclear: od] save Victoria, Britain's Queen."

[unclear: Allan:] A birdie sittin' on a tree,
[unclear: g] tae his neebor "I love thee;"
[unclear: eebor's] answer, wise an' deep,
[unclear: "prove] it," or your love is cheep.
[unclear: Frees] will try the home affection,
[unclear: those] who advocate Protection.

[unclear: Burns:] But dae they practise what they preach?
[unclear: rather,] don't their maxims teach,
[unclear: when] a merchant means tae buy,
[unclear: round] o' markets he should try,
[unclear: that] the ground o' preference
[unclear: profit,] not benevolence?
[unclear: ritain's] cheaper, purchase there;
[unclear: arer] any, then elsewhere,
[unclear: Russia,] Prussia, or Japan,
[unclear: y] ither "isle o' man."
[unclear: ir] theory is near oor ain,
[unclear: ssiness,] what we seek is gain.
[unclear: a'] the gain that we pursue,
[unclear: tak] a comprehensive view :
[unclear: aft] in spite of Freetrade clamour,
[unclear: pise] their gain as only glamour :
[unclear: gain] tae individuals purely,
[unclear: loss] tae nation jist as surely,
[unclear: lying] then whichever test,
[unclear: tection] clearly, comes off best:
[unclear: arity] should business steer,
[unclear: charity] begins out here;
[unclear: tional] interest is your aim,
[unclear: ction] still the palm may claim.
[unclear: trader,] acting Hogarth's jest,
[unclear: down] the bough on which you rest;
[unclear: gies] your gowden goose away
[unclear: half] its worth in local lay.
[unclear: time] his anti-national ends
[unclear: frowned] on by the nation's friends,
[unclear: time] Protection took in charge
[unclear: national] interests at large,
[unclear: made] the national money stay
[unclear: work] in your own bounds to pay.

[unclear: ran] Though raw material we must have
[unclear: labour] on it we might save;
[unclear: wages] earned here, here wad spend
[unclear: trades] tae prosper and extend.

[unclear: Much] even o' the unwrought thing
[unclear: parts] abroad ye needna bring,
[unclear: cotton,] nae doot, silk et cet
[unclear: mills,] then going, ye maun get;
[unclear: bides,] e.g., for boots and harness,
[unclear: hae] without the fash o' farness,
[unclear: wool] for Mosgiels, blythe and bonny,
Ye'll still hae, be they e'er sae mony;
Nor will your stores o' coal and iron.
E'er cease your Vulcans tae environ.
Thus will ye hae twa kinds o' profit,
The thing itsel, and working of it.
Yet where material here there's none,
When brought, its labour pays alone.
Here Smith himsel' we'll summon in
Tae tell us what the workers win.
Though this, like much he introduces,
He meant, not for colonial uses.

Willie: Of colonies Smith largely wrote,
Yet sma' the help frae him they've got;
In fact, the Motherland's his standpoint.
And her commercial gain, his grand point.

Burns: Ye speak the truth, noo for his case;
He says ae penny worth of lace,
That is, the mere material bought,
Costs thirty pounds when fully wrought!
Thus ae bit penny worth o' raw,
Wrought up in places far awa',
Will cost you piles o' precious "oo,"
Or oxen more than one or two,
Or scores o' sheep o' choicest bleat,
Or tons o' marketable wheat.
Of course, such case tae gie, is mair
Than your Protectionists wad dare,
An' mair than's needed tae disclose
That what for goods imported goes,
Wi' sma' proportion taen therefrae,
Is but the Foreign workman's pay.
Just fancy, what a lot o' hands
Ye hae employed in other lands.
Exporters, spinners, weavers, tailors,
Shipbuilders, buttonmakers, nailors,
Coachbuilders, bootmen, engineers,
Makers o' needles, knives an' shears,
Wrichts, chandlers, papermakers, moulders,
Their keep is a' upon your shoulders.
Nae wonder it's sae hard a matter
Tae keep your head abune the water;
Nae wonder your financial course
Is so precisely for the worse.

Allan: I now quite understand how we
May square wi' goods' yet losers be,
But what if Britain and U.S.
Retaliate when we purchase less?

Burns: Even now your trade the one impedes,
The other buys but what she needs.
Besides, the mair your population,
The less your need o' exportation;
An' should it, by an' by, quite cease,
Your wealth will a' the mair increase.

Allan: What! if nae langer hither come
The millions six or some such sum,
For annual surplus o' oor land,
Can we the loss enormous stand?

Burns: Loss not a penny will there be,
Jist think a moment an' ye'll see.
The six or other millions got,
Is in the form o' imports brought
page 20 These imports stop, then stops the cost;
The country thus has nothing lost—
Nay, saved the difference between
What's yearly got, an' yearly gien.

Allan: But won't the land tae ruin go?

Burns: Why should it? I should like to know.
Wheat, meat, and wool will still be wanted,
Which still the State can pay for, can't it?

Allan: My fear is this, that those who buy
Can't then consume the whole supply.

Burns: When folk enongh tae this resort
To make the goods ye now import,
There likewise will be folk enough
To use up all the farmers' stuff;
And produce mart for agricultur.
Says Smith, Protection's great insulter,
There's none tae equal that at hame.
That policy, says he, is lame
That finds not artisans fu' many
Tae save importin' wroucht goods any.
Thus policy o' wisest sort
Can precious little raw export.
Of course, the hame Smith means is Britain,
But for you here it's jist as fittin'.
Says Paley, "Every land's chief good
Is folk enough for a' its food.;"
But means enough, and some tae spare,
Against a season no' sae fair.
And still as grows, the population
In such a rightly peopled nation,
Will grow the land in cultivation;
And likewise grow the means in use
To make it more and more produce.

Wha wont be wi' Protection pleased,
But "D.I.C." stuff senders;
An' Grabs frae cares o' credit eased,
The London money-lenders.

The lumpers now in such alarm,
Will find alarm was needless;
An' in our railways see a charm,
O' which as yet they're heedless.

The unemployed and half employed,
Who think the hands redundant,
Will then, though hands increase, be joyed,
Tae find the work abundant.

Sir Broad Sheet sly, will goose quill ply,
Tae prove the plan his ain;
And squatter, plump, unverify—
"He never smiled again."

Nor is Protection speculation.
Here first tae find its application;
Victoria, Canada, and France,
An' other States, by this advance.
As said Sir J. when this upon,
So many more are pro than con.
That this affords some proof alone.

Allan: What if ye're tested by the prism
O' some new Bond street syllogism?

Burns: Twad only mak me smile anew.

Allan: Then deemed ye not its reasonin' true?

Burns: The process was correct, nae doot,
As stuff gaed in, so stuff cam oot.
The major clearly predicated,
The minor clearly was related;
An', therefore, could as o' the class,
Say, "Write me also down an ass."
But as the sire was syllogist's,
So his the son, fair play insists.
A syllogism, justly founded
On what Sir Julius propounded,
Would only likelihood infer
Frae what its major would aver;
An' this but tae the proverb keeps,
"Twa heads weigh mair than ane the sheep's"

Allan: But there, of course, he didna rest,
'Twas but ae proof, an' no' his best—
An outwork, merely, which if gained,
The castle walls intact remained.
This at the time, I half suspected,
Though then by starlight misdirected.

Burns: But had there been on earth nae section
Which had as yet applied Protection;
Or had their modes, like Lacedemon's,
Lycurgus-guided, been extreme ones;
Or had they all, we knew not how,
Been utter failures up till now,
I must have said, as now I say—
Protection's called for here to-day.

Allan: And 1, too, now—here where we dwell
Protection truth speaks for itsel;
But bigotry is whiles sae tough,
That a priori's no' enough;
I'm, therefore, glad the ither ori
Is found in late Protection story.

Burns: I'll hae tae pit ye on my list
As a pronounced Protectionist.

Allan: I wonder much I stuck sae long,
Tae views sae manifestly wrang;
An' yet I winna think it strange
If I'm ca'd fickle for my change.

Burns: The wise change oft, the witless never;
Aince wrang wi' them is wrang forever.
Nor hae ye changed your abstract sieht,
Freetrade ye don't see wrang where rieht;
Nor are ye waur than ithers plenty,
That frae your younger days ye've kent aye,
Wha though now for Protection staunch,
Were stiff Freetraders at their launch,
Freetraders bred as well as born,
Where men were mair in crap than corn;
An' where Freetrade her flag unfurled
Abune the workshop o' the world :
"A great fact" there, Freetrade then was,
Nor oucht mysterious the cause.
But they hae learned in islands these
That dot an' deck the Southern seas,
That different laws suit different places,
And different projects different cases:
Freetrade saved Britain frae starvation,
Protection will make you a nation.
O well for you that in command
page 21 [unclear: who] strive to understand,
[unclear: to] advance the public weal,
[unclear: te] o' drags upon the wheel;
[unclear: o'] M.H.R.'s that move
[unclear: in] hereditary groove;
[unclear: a] little wiser, worse—
[unclear: rule] their principle by purse;
[unclear: many] a Balaam o' the Press
[unclear: re] but not the truth to bless.

[unclear: ed] both stout and strong of will,
[unclear: pu'd] a heavy load up hill,
[unclear: suddenly] a jerk and lo!
[unclear: hale] hypothec ceased to go.
[unclear: driver] looked ahint and saw
[unclear: nessed] donkey downward draw:
[unclear: fule] had fixed him to the dray,
[unclear: like] a wise man, run away.
[unclear: rader] here enacts the part
[unclear: id] Jock Cuddy at the cart;
[unclear: State] machine the steep may face,
[unclear: he'll] tak' neither tram nor trace;
[unclear: 's] attached at a' he'll hae
[unclear: pu'] as usual doon the brae.
[unclear: ad] he in his paddock stop,
[unclear: soon] attain the sunny top;
[unclear: such] the accessions tae your strength,
[unclear: t] ye'll succeed at early length,
[unclear: gh] thrawart donkeys do their worst,
[unclear: enter] Hesperis hind feet first!

[unclear: F.T.] sneers at S. and V.
[unclear: neither] rightly Pro. nor Free.,
[unclear: there] could he no midway
[unclear: which] to definitely stay;
[unclear: whence] still further to proceed,
[unclear: never,] truer, light micht lead.
[unclear: like] our Freetrade brither,
[unclear: fain] hae them the tane or tither;
[unclear: can't] forget that office men
[unclear: cautious] be by word an' pen;
[unclear: views,] however fledged, maun try
[unclear: ttin] time alane to fly.
[unclear: question] fair, Macaulay says,
[unclear: t] the statesmen o' past days,
[unclear: how] far they had attained,
[unclear: what] point towards which they strained.
[unclear: question,] too, is, whither tends
[unclear: ward] movement o' our friends?
[unclear: answer] is, in the direction
[unclear: needed,] genuine Protection.

[unclear: e :] I must say that I like decision,
[unclear: ite] o' danger or derision;
[unclear: halting] 'twixt opinions twa,
[unclear: utterance] tae propitiate a';
[unclear: t's] held, upheld through firm conviction,
[unclear: in] the teeth o' contradiction.
[unclear: "moderates"] hae as muckle terror
[unclear: speak] the doonricht truth as error;
[unclear: y] wadna, by ae fide preferrin',
[unclear: fish] or flesh, or gude saut herrin'."
[unclear: ne] neutrality's their spot;
[unclear: motto,] "neither cold nor hot."
[unclear: 'll] find on reading Revelation
[unclear: Laodicea] is their nation;
Their threatened fate you'll likewise see
In verse sixteen o' chapter three.

Burns: Nae doot that suits whom it concerns,
But neither hero this censure earns.
True courage o' opinion they,
E'en quite sufficiently display;
Nor do they merely baith oppose,
Wi' fortitude, their outside foes,
But colleague against colleague's found
In matters off the common ground.

Allan: But is it right that two should be
In office who thus disagree,
And take sae little pains tae hide
Frae public view their difference wide?

Burns: It proves at least what they pretend,
Tae be their honest aim an' end;
An' that they're far above the vice
O' buy in' place at ony price.
It also shows their common sense,
When differences gie nae offence,
That dinna mar their object main,
Or general method o' campaign.
Suppose a ship fires in distress,
An' landsmen tae the lifeboat press,
What matters it, for what's in view,
If ane's a Christian, ane a Jew;
Or if a Tory tak' an oar
Beside his opposite on shore?
It's quite enough that they agree
In this their venture on the sea;
An' quite enough that statesmen here
Thus joined, the national lifeboat steer.
O that some statesmen of this State
Would e'en still more amalgamate.
Electors! it remains for you
Tae speak an' vote as patriots true.
Join to return Protection men;
Your other points you'll gain again.
Freetraders, in their blindness bold,
Leave for a season in the cold;
Protection's salutary air
Will soon their optic nerves repair.
Freetraders who their change allege
Accept on a Protection pledge;
And many such throughout the land
Will gladly take your case in hand;
Conspicuous among whom we view,
Ballance, that statesman tried and true.
And, lastly, as the preacher said—

Willie: Then looked aghast, and scratched his head;
His finishing MS. was gone:
'Twas a' he had tae lippen on.
Yet vain the search for "lastly" made,
'Till Luckie Smith cam tae his aid:
"'Deed, sir, ye needna look for 'lastly,
It's yont the winnock drivin' wastly.
I saw't mysel' blawn oot a while since,
An' guess it's gane a lang Scotch mile since."
Job had his comforters in Uz;
Their offspring are alive wi' huz.
If a' the stories tauld are true
Then so is this I've tauld the noo;
It's but the neebor o' a lot
page 22 That round the country use tae float,
Dereesive o' the Lichts that stoopet
Tae tak' a "paper" tae the poopit.
"But readna Chalmers a' his life?"
A man asked o' his critic wife;
To which she answered, wi' grim smile,
"Ay, but the Doctor read in style!"

Burns: Said Chalmers was a man o' fame,
Your Port is honoured by his name.
Transcendent he in many a line—
As author, orator, divine,
Philosopher, philanthropist,
And even as state economist.
Frae Paley, in past generation,
He differed some on population.
This sought its hindrance, that its growth;
And, from their standpoints, right were both.
Paley folk's priceless value knew
And, inside limits, Chalmers too;
But in the latter's day, the dread
Was that mair folk could not be fed :
A dread that needna trouble you
For generations not a few;
And ere that time come ye'll be Britain;
And, as a certain Mac has written,
Some N. Z. sketcher, St. Paul's ruin,
Frae London's broken brig be doin'.

Willie: Though mine the faut, I'd now like vastly
Tae hear your interrupted "lastly."

Burns: 'Twas this, that tae my mind it's clear
The Governor shares the wholesome veer.
At banquet in your toon he told
How many more this land might hold;
And what he thought your growth confines;
Which read Protection 'twixt the lines.
Or raither, let it be assumed
That, like the lave, he gets illumed;
And when the people, in the mass,
Direct Protection's law to pass—
Which very shortly shall be dune,
Though no' a single day ower sune—
He'll own his views and theirs agree,
And Magna Charta sign wi' glee.
But hark, the clock has chappit ane,
It's mair than time that I was gane,
When we three here again foregether
We'll hae grand news for ane anither.
Gude luck tae baith, employ your powers,
And mind ye aye keep early hours!

Willie: It's time I too made tracks for hame,
"Whaur sits nae sulky, sullen dame;"
She's been in bed three hours at least,
Unconscious o' our airy feast,
An' left a chair ahint the door
Tae hear the late folk tumblin' o'er!

Allan: I'm no' inclined a bit for fun,
There's work to do that shall be done;
Each can do something—high or low,
Each, at the call o' duty, go :
Freetrade has lang oor laud perplexed,
Let, then, Protection be our text.

Willie: Protection is my national text;
For though I'm quondam Hieland
Tae ither hills I'm now annexed,
An' this is my New Zealand.
It's likewise yours an' ither folk's-
The mair o' us the better,
Did not Freetrade, O cruel hoax,
Our local trade enfetter.

Protection still shall be my text;
For hoo can I forget it,
Wi' needless evils daily vexed,
Tae Freetrade rule indebted?
Nae doot our nation does progress,
Through vision microscopic;
But does our tax for debt grow less?
Or tribute philanthropic?

Protection will our name restore,
An' lift us oot o' trouble;
An' soon we'll cease to borrow more,
An' thus our pleasure double.
Our work will grow, our wealth will [unclear: gre]
Our species an' our specie;
An', then, nae matter wha the foe,
We'll hae our big militia.

Protection thorough is my theme,
As patriot politician;
Down with the tyrant Freetrade scheme
That struts on stale tradition.
The name despised is now our pride
There's music in "Protection;"
For it we'll battle side by side,
And win at this election!

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