In recognition of his position and services to Scotland as a statesman, and also of his Lordship's warm interest and valuable aid in furthering the welfare of the city.
"My Lord, we know Scotland does not produce prophets - the soil of Scotland is not favourable to prophets. We used, I know, in the Western Isles to have seers of second sight, but these have all now disappeared, or are being examined as witnesses before the Crofters' Commission. And I am inclined to believe that if any genuine prophet arises in this country he need not fear exercising his gifts in his own immediate neighbourhood. My Lord Provost, it is the tendency of Scotland and of the Scotch to be especially kind to the public men who serve them. I think, without distinction of party, you in Scotland are disposed to recognise the merits of your public men with a more than fair approbation. You have to make allowances for many shortcomings; you have to excuse many errors; you have to overlook many failings; but you strike a generous average and are prepared to take the will for the deed.
In Edinburgh, unlike other places, there has been no anti-town and gown feeling: town and gown have worked honourably and loyally together. And the latest instance of it is that you, my Lord, have been as prominent as the Principal himself in endeavouring to collect subscriptions for the extension of the University buildings."
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