A Letter to the Editor

Sir,- From your impression of to-day I am delighted to see that the above gentleman still commands respect. It will always be so with those who are possessed of that divine commodity called genius. A man of so extraordinary ability as Mr McG. knows as well as I do that it cannot be too earnestly impressed on the younger portion of the community that concentrated attention is the sole parent of intellectual eminence. That the attention he received the other day is the penalty of being intellectually eminent is as well known as that intellectual eminence is incompatible with desultory reading.

I would like to impress on fathers and mothers to instruct their children how serious a matter it is to pelt our great poet with snow – beautiful snow. I for one, when I get a family, will tell them. How wicked it is to snowball one so great, so noble, as the mighty McGonagall! In spite of the insult which he has received, I hope he will not take a header and disappear, but that he will bob up serenely. In the short time I have lived I know only of two cases where great men have been snowballed. These are Mr Gladstone and Mr McGonagall. Of the former I will say nothing. Of the latter I really do not know which to admire most – his modesty or his talents. The best way to keep the British Lion from roaring is to take care that he is continually well stuffed. Sir, the hope of the nation is that McGonagall shall live as long as possible. When so much depends on him why does he not when he takes his walks abroad array himself as he appears when he recites his famous composition on Bannockburn? All who have seen him with his sword and shield will confess that it is a glorious sight, and can imagine how he would keep off his tormentors. Long may his captivating presence be seen wandering our noble streets. Alas! too soon will that day come when Fame’s trumpet strains shall announce his departure. Then will we realise the intense worth of these fair jewels of his, which have dazzled many an eye and ravished many a heart. To sum up in the words of some inferior poet – McGonagall, “thou wilt live in deathless bloom.” ? I am, &c.,

A. T. G.

Dundee Courier, 19th March 1888

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