Infirmities—An Assistant and Successor appointed—The Last Sermon—Closing
Scenes—His Strong Faith—Considerate to the Last—A Noble Dying Testimony—The
Some time after the elder
boys had gone out into the world, the weight of increasing years and cares
began to tell on the old minister. The stalwart frame began to bend more,
the keen, kindly, gray eye grew somewhat dimmer. He began to suffer too from
painful neuralgic affections. During the days of my boyhood he had gone
round among his friends all over Scotland, and had raised funds enough to
build a fine, commodious manse for his large and growing family. To this he
added a spacious and beautiful garden, the care of which was one of his
chief delights. He was a most enthusiastic gardener, and a practical and
accomplished one withal. He took a keen interest in experiments with new and
foreign seeds, and was an expert in most branches of this primal industry.
Finding his infirmities
increasing, however, and being no longer able to look after the whole of his
widely-scattered flock in distant glen and on lonely upland, as he was wont
to do, the people resolved to procure him an assistant and successor. This
step was taken sorely against my father's desires, but as it was the
determination of the people, he loyally acquiesced in the expression of
their will. An assistant was accordingly appointed.
In 1875 I managed to get home
for a short visit, but the season was a severe one, and the cold changeable
climate proved too trying for my relaxed state of health. My dear father
preached his last sermon the Sabbath after my arrival; and it was sad to see
how much he had lost of his old fire and vigour. He still, however, retained
his fine, kindly sense of humour, and was never at a loss for some quaint,
humorous criticism on current events.
Some few years previously a
horse had trod on his foot, severely crushing the great toe. This had been
treated rather lightly, but there were constant recurrences of inflammation,
and at length the toe had to be amputated. This course ought to have been
taken much earlier, for even the amputation did not secure relief.
Inflammatory action set in higher up the limb, and at length focused itself
in the groin, where a malignant tumour gathered, and though an operation was
performed, it did not materially relieve his sufferings.
My brother George was also at
home at the time, and from his detailed account of the last sad days I
condense the following narrative. As showing how strong the old man's sense
of humour was, when George came home from Edinburgh on Christmas Day 1875,
and saw the wasted form for the first time, he was deeply affected, but
trying to cheer up the sufferer he stammered out: 'You're no lookin' so ill
as I expected to find you.' To which, with a wan, wintry smile, he managed
to whisper: 'Ah, but I was aye a guid-lookin' chiel', ye ken.'
George proceeds—'He was not
able to speak much nor yet to smile. He told me one day to have all the
Assembly's blue books tied up and given to the Session Clerk, "so that he
would have no need to come and ask for them."
'He told me to burn all his
MS. sermons on the Psalms, as he said they were composed in a hurry at the
beginning of his ministry, and during the "Ten Years' Conflict," and were
not so well finished as he would have liked, but he had never found time to
revise them. He said they contained numerous extracts from the writings of
Matthew Henry and others.
'He specially wished to
expend a small credit he had in the savings bank, in the purchase of a clock
to be put in the church where all could see it, and specially named four of
his old and tried hearers to take charge of the clock. To his lifelong
friend and medical attendant, old Doctor Mackie of Brechin, he wished that,
after his bill was paid in full, a present of Five Pounds might be made,
saying: "I think there will be funds enough for that"'
I think that was a fine
characteristic trait of his loyalty to old friends and the liberal
generosity of his nature; for it must not be forgotten that five pounds
represented to a poor country minister quite as much as a far larger sum
would to a richer man.
'On the 12th of January he
had a terrible fit of coughing, said "he was a great sufferer, and longed to
get home," but "he must wait his appointed time," and then he murmured, "O
Time — time — time!" Next day his much-attached friends, Mr. and Mrs. Nixon,
came from Montrose, and a very affecting conversation was held. Mr. Nixon
asked among other things if he regretted the sacrifices he had made for
Christ's sake. A fine glow of enthusiasm lit up the wasted features, and
with a burst of deep feeling, holding up his wasted hands, he replied: "Oh
no, no, no!" Mr. Nixon then prayed very touchingly for him, Mrs. Nixon
tenderly kissed his forehead, and they took their leave all deeply moved.'
On the 15th George had to
return to his classes at the New College, Edinburgh, and when saying
farewell, the old man held his hand and said: 'I canna keep ye awa' langer,
an' I dinna want to keep mysel'. May God bless and prosper you! Oh be
faithful—be faithful! See that you meet me in glory. I'm no able to speak.
During the latter portion of
his illness he often said to my mother, "Oh, can you no help me to die?" A
few days before the end he suffered fearfully from a dreadful cough, which
racked and shook his whole frame; and it became very painful to those
waiting on him, as they could do nothing to give him relief. He had to be
given ice to cool and moisten his parched tongue, and seeing their distress
he tried to assume a cheerfulness which was touchingly unselfish. He would
sometimes smile and whisper jokingly: "Gie me anither sna' ba'" This was
said with the intention of diverting the grief of the loved and loving
watchers round his bed.
'On Wednesday afternoon, 19th
January 1876, he sank into a quiet sleep, and about five o'clock he passed
peacefully away to "the rest that remaineth."
My brother's notes conclude—
'He died in the 73rd year of his age and the 39th of his (ordained)
ministry. "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that
man is peace."'
Note on Teetotum, p. 97..
Since writing the above a
kind correspondent has sent me the following most interesting information
regarding the teetotum, indicating the great antiquity of the toy. He says
it was really a Roman implement of gambling, and the letters meant as
follows. A. Accipe unum, D. Donato alium, N. Nihil, T. Totum.
Printed by R. & R. Clark,
BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
SPORT AND WORK ON THE NEPAUL
Twelve Tears' Sporting
Reminiscences of an Indigo Planter. By 'MAORI,'
AUTHOR OF 'TIRHOOT RHYMES,'
MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON,
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
"A graphic and unvarnished
account of experiences gained during twelve years of a planter's life in
North Behar. Animated and even picturesque."—Saturday Review.
"Englishmen will read his
book both with pleasure and profit. Has the art of communicating information
in a very agreeable way—exceedingly lively and versatile in the mixed
contents of his chapters. Curious, interesting and most valuable. Has gone
on the plan of being comprehensive and exhaustive, and has the happy knack
of putting subjects in fresh and agreeable lights. Describes his sport in
animated detail, graphically told. The best and most instructive chapters on
the habits and pursuit of the tiger that we have ever read. The volume is
well worth reading all through."—Pall Mall Gazette and Budget.
"He wields the pen with equal
address and success. His description of the delights of tiger-shooting in
the Koosee jungles and sal forests, of hunting trips across the Nepaul
frontier, or of a grand burst after a "fighting boar," are capitally
written—fresh, vigorous, and full of the true sportsman's fire. Many of them
will hardly be read without a sympathetic thrill of excitement. Such a book
deserves to be popular. It is gossipy without being tedious, and informatory
without being dull."—Scotsman.
"A most enjoyable record. . .
. Sport and Work gives evidence of being written by a keen sportsman. It
abounds with information of every imaginable kind; and at the present time,
when matters are so unsettled in the East, and public attention is so much
directed to that quarter, there is no doubt it will be warmly
welcomed."—Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News.
"We have plenty of books
describing the ways and manners of the army and of the civil service in
India, but we know very little about the life of the pushing and thriving
gentleman from Europe, who occupies India on his own account and brings his
British businesslike activity to bear upon the astonished indolence of the
native whose lands ne cultivates and whose labour he employs. Here we see a
specimen of the energetic ruling race carrying into industry and commerce
the qualities by which empires are won and sustained, etc. The features of
native life are most vividly presented in these lively pages. "—London Daily
"Will certainly interest all
who take it into their hands. An expert with both rifle and pen, his book
will well repay perusal by those who have a taste for capitally written
stories about sport. We hope ' Maori' will soon take pen in hand again to
give the world a further instalment of his manifold experiences as a
"Maori's' former literary
efforts have proved him incapable of being dry, and that lucky incapacity is
here more strikingly emphasised than ever. He is the keenest of observers,
and wields a pen of rare vividness and force. Excellent and manly throughout
Much real information scattered throughout the book in the pleasantest form
and the most unpretentious way. Possesses great descriptive power."—Dundee
"Exactly what is wanted. The
author has succeeded in rendering his book one of more than ordinary
interest. Written in a frank ana cheery spirit. His sketches are spirited
and interesting. His information about all Indian subjects is never without
interest. Related with great freedom and full of interest."—Glasgow Herald.
"One of those frank, fresh,
breezy books, which by their vividness of presentation and graphic narration
have almost the charm of actual experience. Given witn an ease and
simplicity, and yet a fulness and accuracy of information which render this
unpretentious volume more valuable than many professedly instructive works.
The reader forgets that he is having his experience at second hand. The book
is so interesting and picturesque that the scenes to which it relates,
themselves appear before him, and he follows with breathless excitement the
incidents of dangerous hardihood told with a flow of sporting enthusiasm
with which it abounds. A quiet analysis of native life, much wise comment,
irresistible verve and freedom of real sport in many of its anecdotes. Its
merits are so various as to render its popularity assured, and to reflect
the greatest credit upon the intelligence and acumen of the
"It is only justice to say
that his object of giving a full and clear idea of the life of an
Anglo-Indian planter is most successfully attained. The author always writes
in good spirits, his pages are animated with the moving reflex of his active
life, and the life which he so enjoyed he has brought clearly and strongly
before his readers."—Australasian.
pretension, and fluent without verbosity— gives us the impression of having
been written by one of those manly Englishmen whose courageous energy,
intelligence, and administrative capacity qualify them alike to become the
pioneers of colonisation and to obtain and exercise a commanding and
beneficial influence over subject races. A careful and accurate observer,"
"It is seldom we meet with a
book in which abundance of striking incident and picturesque reminiscences
are dwelt upon with such vigorous facility of diction—comes to one with the
interest of a long letter from an old acquaintance in which there is not one
uninteresting sentence. Narrative after narrative, and incident after
incident, each instinct with warm picturesque colouring, and breathing of a
writer who tells of what he has seen or knows to be true. Might with
advantage be added to the library of every one interested in Indian life and
sport."—Sydney Morning Herald.
"Capital descriptive picture.
Varied, readable, interesting, handsomely got up and well illustrated. Would
make a capital gift book." —Sydney Mail.
The volume so favourably
reviewed by the Press of England, India, and Australia has already been
reprinted in America by Harper Brothers, New York.
OUR AUSTRALIAN COUSINS.
By ' MAORI' (The Honourable
AUTHOR OF ' TIEHOOT RHYMES,' (
SPORT AND WORK ON THE NEPAUL FRONTIER,' ETC.
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
"Of the book as a whole it
gives us pleasure to speak in terms of warm appreciation. The author is
demonstrably a diligent and keen observer. ... It may be read as quickly as
a novel; and, indeed, it is more interesting than are many novels. This
brings us to what we deem to be Mr. Inglis's special gifts, namely,
remarkably vivid and racy descriptive and narrative powers. He has a capital
vocabulary, and a bright, frank, cheery, racy, graphic style which evidently
carried him along easily and pleasantly in the writing, and has equally
carried us along in the reading."—Sydney Mail.
"Altogether this is one of
the best books of Australian travel that have appeared in recent
times."—London Daily News.
"Our Australian Cousins is a
pleasant and an entertaining book, and we shall be glad to find that it has
a wide circulation."—Sydney Morning Herald.
"The book will be found
highly interesting, valuable, and entertaining. Even the faults do not seem
out of place in an account of a young, vigorous, and expanding nation,
proudly conscious of its abounding energy and vitality, and not indisposed
to 'bounce' regarding its wonderful progress and industrial
"Mr. Inglis possesses one
singular merit, not often to be found in writers upon Australia; he has the
courage to expose abuses and to denounce their authors, as well as to praise
the climate and to extol the riches and capabilities of the country. ... He
indulges in warmer hopes of its future than most authors, and describes its
scenery and rural sports in the bright, fresh style which characterised his
former volume, Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier."—The Athenaeum.
"It is the characteristic and
recommendation of the work that it fulfils the promise of the preface. It is
naturally and frankly written, with a good deal of the ease and unreserve of
private correspondence, and its author is exceedingly outspoken with respect
to the flaws in the political and social life and institutions of these
communities. ... It is written in a lively and entertaining style, and it
contains a fund of .information respecting these colonies, besides offering
some valuable suggestions for the introduction of novel industries."—The
"Besides describing the
legal, commercial, and legislative aspects of Australia, Mr. Inglis depicts
with a skilful hand some curious adventures he met with in the social world.
... In his broad survey of the colony he has not omitted to describe
Australian forest and coast scenery, together with many of the interesting
denizens of plain and river. His sketches of his shooting expeditions are
vivid, picturesque, and useful from a strictly scientific point of
view."—The London Standard.
"Mr. Inglis has written a
very pleasant and a very valuable book, not for colonists only, but for
those at home who wish to know what our colonies are like. . . . The
portions of his book that will most please the general reader are those
devoted to descriptions of the scenery, animal life, and sports of the
colonies. We have seldom read fresher, healthier descriptions. . . . The
scraps of natural history, too, are all exceedingly interesting, as well as
some of the tales about animal sagacity. . . . The book is full of matter
that will delight the sportsman and naturalist, and about which there can be
no doubt of any land." —The Spectator.
OUR NEW ZEALAND COUSINS.
By 'MAORI' (The Honourable
AUTHOR OF 'TIBHOOT RHYMES,'
'SPORT AND WORK ON THE NEPAUL FRONTIER,'
OUB AUSTRALIAN COUSINS,' ETC.
SAMPSON LOW AND CO., LONDON,
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
"This volume comprises a
series of letters contributed by the author, who is the Minister of Public
Instruction of New South Wales, to a Sydney paper. The writer's observations
of the condition of the colony and its inhabitants are fresh and
suggestive."—London Daily News.
"The Minister of Instruction
of New South Wales, as his previous books on Nepaul and Australia bear
witness, is a past master in tne art of writing genial, lively, gossipy
notices of men and manners in the countries where he has sojourned. Our New
Zealand Cousins is certain, therefore, of a hearty reception in the
Antipodes and at home."—The Scotsman.
"Our New Zealand Cousins is
an interesting account of the New Zealand group of islands by a man who has
visited them thoroughly at various times during the last twenty
"This work is one of the most
interesting and should prove one of the most useful volumes that has been
published respecting New Zealand. The writer has evidently travelled much,
observed much, experienced much, thought much, written much. His style is
easy and free, his descriptions of scenery are graphic and strikingly true.
. . . The little work, in addition to being most entertaining reading, is
one of great utility and instruction."—Auckland Evening Star.
"The publication of his book
must be of benefit to these colonies." —New Zealand Herald and Daily
"The author of this book is
well known to Australian readers as a fluent speaker and racy writer, who
adds to a keen perception of what nature has done for these colonies, an
intelligent judgment of all that the colonists have done for themselves, and
enterprising and liberal views as to a great deal more that should now be
undertaken."—Sydney Morning Herald.
"Mr. Inglis's criticisms upon
the various phases of colonisation in New Zealand are characterised by
considerable keenness of observation and by a truly British sympathy with
the energetic and intelligent development of a young country's
resources."—Sydney Daily Telegraph.