And so, in idle occupations, and in gleaning up particulars as to Glasgow matters according to our taste wherever we go, our sojourn upon the Frith of Clyde pleasantly passed away. We left our hospitable friends, not without a promise that when the Christmas holidays come we should visit them once more, and see what kind of thing is the town life of the winter time in that warm-hearted city. And meanwhile, as the days shorten to chill November,—as the clouds of London smoke drift by our windows,—as the Thames runs muddy through this mighty hum and bustle away to the solitudes of its last level,—we recall that cheerful time with a most agreeable recollection of the kindness of Glasgow friends,—and of all that is implied in Glasgow Down the Water.
CONCERNING MAN AND HIS DWELLING-PLACE
When my friend Smith’s drag comes round to his door, as he and I are standing on the steps ready to go out for a drive, how cheerful and frisky the horses look! I think I see them, as I saw them yesterday, coming round from the stable-yard, with their glossy coats and the silver of their harness glancing in the May sunshine, the May sunshine mellowed somewhat by the green reflection of two great leafy trees. They were going out for a journey of twenty miles. They were, in fact, about to begin their day’s work, and they knew they were; yet how buoyant and willing they looked! There was not the faintest appearance of any disposition to shrink from their task, as if it were a hard and painful one. No; they were eager to be at it: they were manifestly enjoying the anticipation of the brisk exertion in the midst of which they would be in five minutes longer. And by the time we have got into our places, and have wrapped those great fur robes comfortably about our limbs, the chafing animals have their heads given them; and instantly they fling themselves at their collars, and can hardly be restrained from breaking into a furious gallop. Happy creatures, you enjoy your work; you wish nothing better than to get at it!
And when I have occasionally beheld a ploughman, bricklayer, gardener, weaver, or blacksmith, begin his work in the morning, I have envied him the readiness and willingness with which he took to it. The plough-man, after he has got his horses harnessed to the plough, does not delay a minute: into the turf the shining share enters, and away go horses, plough and man. It costs the ploughman no effort to make up his mind to begin. He does not stand irresolute, as you and I in childish days have often done when taken down to the sea for our morning dip, and when trying to get courage to take the first plunge under water. And the bricklayer lifts and places the first brick of his daily task just as easily as the last one. The weaver, too, sits down without mental struggle at his loom, and sets off at once. How different is the case with most men whose work is mental; more