Thursday, December 14, 2006
Here's tae us!
"WHO, THAT HAS a feeling for warfare, would fight with a Scotchman? Such a one, I hope, does not breathe; the plain fact being that if a Scot beats you, he beats you; whereas if you begin to beat a Scot he will assuredly bawl, in the King's name, for the law. “Hech, sirs, rin for the polis. A'hm gettin' whupped!” Let us therefore continue our discourse amicably.
Your proper child of Caledonia believes in his rickety bones that he is the salt of the earth. Prompted by a glozing pride, not to say by a black and consuming avarice, he has proclaimed his saltiness from the house-tops in and out of season, unblushingly, assiduously, and with results which have no doubt been most satisfactory from his own point of view. There is nothing creditable to the race of men, from filial piety to a pretty taste in claret, which he has not sedulously advertised as a virtue peculiar to himself. This arrogation has served him passing well. It has brought him into unrivalled esteem. He is the one species of human animal that is taken by all the world to be fifty per cent cleverer and pluckier and honester than the facts warrant. He is the daw with a peacock's tail of his own painting. He is the ass who has been at pains to cultivate the convincing roar of a lion. He is the fine gentleman whose father toils with a muck-fork. And, to have done with parable, he is the bandy-legged lout from Tullietudlescleugh, who, after a childhood of intimacy with the cesspool and the crablouse, and twelve months at “the college” on moneys wrung from the diet of his family, drops his threadbare kilt and comes south in a slop suit to instruct the English in the arts of civilization and in the English language. And because he is Scotch and the Scotch superstition is heavy on our Southern lands, England will forthwith give him a chance, for an English chance is his birthright. Soon, forby, shall he be living in “chambers” and writing idiot books. Or he shall swell and hector and fume in the sub-editor's room of a halfpenny paper. Or a pompous and gravel-blind city house shall grapple him to its soul in the capacity of con-fidential clerk. Or he shall be cashier in a jam factory, or “boo and boo” behind a mercer's counter, or “wait on” in a coffee tavern, or, for that matter, soak away his chapped spirit in the four-ale bars off Fleet Street."
TWH Crosland – from The Unspeakable Scot (1902)