The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48
Speech at the Railway Station, Aberfeldy
Speech at the Railway Station, Aberfeldy.
At Dunkeld, during a stoppage of a few minutes, Mr. Barry, merchant, in the name of the assembled inhabitants, gave Mr. Gladstone a hearty welcome to the Highlands, and received a few words of thanks in reply.
On the arrival of the special train at Aberfeldy at about 4.30, Lord Breadalbane, with Lord Colin Campbell, M.P., Mr. C. S. Parker, M.P., and Mr. Donald Currie, Liberal Candidate for Perthshire, were ready to receive the distinguishes guest. An address from the inhabitants of Aberfeldy and district having been presented by Mr. Rankin, banker, Mr. Gladstone, who on coming forward to acknowledge the presentation was loudly cheered, said:—
Mr. Rankin, Lord Breadalbane, Ladies and Gentlemen, Inhabitants of Aberfeldy and the district,—I accept with very great pleasure an address which has been as spontaneous in its character as it is warm and earnest in its language. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that it is to me an unexpected pleasure. I had no idea, when I accepted the courteous and kindly hospitality of Lord and Lady Breadalbane, that I should give you an occasion to meet together in public for the purpose of expressing your sentiments on what is now going on, and has been going on, in Midlothian. But I am the more gratified in proportion as I feel that this movement was unexpected—in proportion as I feel it has come entirely from yourselves. Gentlemen, I have not now received for the first time an expression of similar sentiments from the people of Scotland. I am bound—I will not say in modesty—but I am bound in truth to state that I regard many of the kind words that you are pleased to use with respect to myself and with respect to my past public life, as proceeding from your indulgence rather than from my own deserts, and, at any rate, as being used towards myself not merely with reference to the past, not merely on personal grounds, but because you are aware that, as a member of the Liberal party, I have undertaken an arduous contest in the metropolitan county of Scotland; and as you not unnaturally regard this contest as an occasion on which you may well and suitably express sentiments that you conscientiously entertain.
The serious nature of the occasion.
The "theatrical policy."
Gentlemen, I will not further detain you at this time. I assure you I rejoice to think that so lively a sympathy exists among you for the cause in which we are engaged; and, gentlemen, I hope when the county election in Perthshire comes you will show that you are aware that Scotland, as well as England, "expects every man to do his duty;" you will contribute your part towards the constitution of a Parliament sounder and wiser than that which now exists; and rely upon it, we shall see, in the course, I hope, of a very limited time, some progress made towards undoing the many mischiefs that have been brought upon us in recent years, and towards giving some satisfaction to the reasonable wants and wishes of the people.
Hearty cheers for Mr. Gladstone and for Lord and Lady Breadalbane concluded the proceedings, after which the party drove through the illuminated village of Aberfeldy, past bonfires blazing on the adjoining hills, and on between rows of torch-bearers towards Taymouth Castle, where fireworks and rejoicings closed the eventful day.