If the writer felt obliged, in courtesy, to
express his regrets at the delay, unavoidable though it was, in the
issue of the preceding instalment of "The Scot," he is under
still greater obligation to do so now. The present section of the work
relates exciting political questions of our times, and covers events
which have transpired under our own eyes. It is not expected that all
readers will agree with every view of a particular issue presented here.
Contemporary events can hardly gain the necessary perspective before
time has lengthened the vista and softened the coarser colours by the
mellowing power of distance. If, however, the writer has succeeded in
convincing his readers of a sincere effort at impartiality, and an
honest desire to judge independently, with all the information
accessible, he will be content that some of them could dispute opinions
expressed in these pages. All he can plead is the difficulty of his
task; it is not a quiet sunset eve he has been required to limn, but is
a busy hive of men moving and toiling around him. The purely
geographical portion of the work has been the chief cause of delay and
anxiety. At this moment names occur to the memory which should not have
been omitted, and such sketches as here given are far from complete,
from lack of information. This defect may be, so far as possible,
remedied in the concluding volume, by necessary addenda. Meanwhile, with
apologies for all unavoidable deficiencies, the writer bids his
indulgent readers adieu – not finally, but au revoir.
May 5th, 1882.