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Fraser's Scottish Annual
The Glasgow Exhibition


IMPRESSIONS OF A CANADIAN VISITOR.
BY C. C. JAMES, M.A.,
Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Ontario.

I HAD seen London from an omnibus, had taken a hurried run through Shakespeare's country, and rambled about the quads of Oxford, had visited several unfrequented spots of old Ireland, and had come back for three or four days in that enchanted region, the lake country of England. Here I would gladly have remained for my full holiday, but I must surely see Edinburgh and the Glasgow Exhibition before returning. My first daylight view of the former showed me the old castle on the impregnable rock. That one view at once dispelled all doubts as to my decision to cross the Cheviots. Though not a Scotsman I revelled in Edinburgh, and would again fain have prolonged my stay there, but a sense of duty called me away to Glasgow and there I enjoyed myself to the full.

What were the impressions to a Canadian? First of all, the people were well dressed, intelligent-looking, thoroughly enjoying themselves, in many respects reminding one not a little of a crowded day at the Toronto Industrial. Then one was struck with the orderliness and good management of the Exhibition. And lastly, when one began to examine the exhibits, he found that a week, a month even, would be none too long to see everything of interest. A hasty examination of the Canadian exhibits was one of great satisfaction, for Canada had the largest and most complete exhibit of natural and manufactured products of any foreign country, and one felt that here, at least, was a proper and satisfactory presentation of our resources— piles of gold nuggets from the Yukon, stacks of coal from Nova Scotia, wheat from Manitoba and North-West, furs and forest products from British Columbia, fruit from Ontario, to say nothing of our cheese and butter, our hams and bacon, and the magnificent harvesting machinery from half a dozen well-known Ontario firms. And, what was most noteworthy, the Canadian building was crowded with interested, inquiring sightseers—canny Scotsman learning, perhaps, their first lesson of a country to which so many of, their fellow-country men had gone to gain a good living, and in many cases affluence.

But the treasure house of the Exhibition was the magnificent Palace of Art that will stand under the shadow of the university for all time as a permanent gift of the Exhibition of 1888 and 1901. Surely never before has Scotland gathered together such a collection. The public galleries, the private halls, the municipal buildings of all Scotland, even the Royal palaces, contributed works of art that alone would repay a trip across the Atlantic. But what shall we say of the exhibits illustrative of Scottish history and archaology? With the catalogue of 278 pages—itself a model of the cataloguer's art and a prize to bring home—one could study the history of old Scotland from the days of Roman occupation; yes, from even an earlier day, for here are the old stone implements, the crosses and sculptured stones of prehistoric days, and the interesting relics of the crannogs. Here are to be seen ancient Roman canoes, also a coracle just such as has been used for twenty centuries. Here are cinerary urns, nearly a dozen, still holding the charred bones. One becomes confused with the collection of reproductions of ancient slabs, shafts and crosses sculptured and engraved.

Are you interested in Mary Stuart? Here are relics by the score, all described with historical settings. John Knox is here with seventeen portraits. Over 150 exhibits illustrate the Covenanting times. A couple of hundred exhibits carry us through the Jacobite days. Allan Ramsay, James Hogg, Joseph Black and Patrick Bell are all remembered. David Livingstone and General Gordon have their sections, and as for Bobbie Burns one must carefully look over the half hundred relics. Sir Walter Scott, of course, is there in portrait and manuscript. Portraits of noted Scots, in oil and medallion, meet us by the score. Case after case of swords and dirks, of crossbows and pistols, every one with an historic legend, tell us that the Scots have ever been a race of fighters. Domestic life is not overlooked, for here are "my lady's shoes," the Highland brogues, pouches and brooches; here are the wheels and reels, distaff, candlesticks and cruisies, bowls and ladles, "taffet hens," mulls and mills. With a shudder we look over the man-traps and manacles, the jougs and thumb-screws, the stocks and the terrible headsman's axes. The memorials of Glasgow fill five hundred entries in the list, and it is interesting to note that most of them are loaned by the corporation of the city. In addition there are hundreds from other burghs. Then comes a magnificent collection of ecclesiastical relics.

But the Scotsman is not given entirely to war and to religion, he must have his sports and games, and so several rooms are given to yachting, falconry, bowling, golf and curling. There were to be seen many original paintings that have been reproduced in our sporting periodicals. We close our tour with a view of the "Royal Heads," trophies of the chase in the Scottish deer forests.

The Glasgow Exhibition was intended to interest and instruct the people, and well has it done this, for the exhibits were fine and the people came in. crowds from the opening day to the closing of the gates. It was intended to pay for itself, and well has it done this, for there is a handsome surplus to be used in the permanent building that is a credit to the city and that will stand for centuries as an art museum. The people of Glasgow laid their plans carefully, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that they carved out their plans with the shrewdness that is characteristic of their race. The Exhibition is another proof of the appropriateness of the old description, "the canny Scot."


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