Edinburgh Bookshelf

Edinburgh Past and Present


Volume 11 Page 76
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EDINBURGH FROM WARRISTON CEMETERY, AS SEEN FROM THE GRAVE OF SIR JAMES Y. SIMPSON. BY THE AUTHOROF ' The NoteZ du Petit St. Jean,' ' ykra,' etc. IF it be true, as the proverb avers, that while God made the country man makes the town, it is also certain that the town in its turn does a good deal towards making the man. Profaned as the name of citizen has been by 'the extravagance and cruelty of the revolutionists who appropriated it, it is yet a good and a brave word; a good name, and like good names it covers an excellent meaning and many good things. It implies sonship and brotherhood,-for it is one thing to be a citizen and another to be a mere denizen and dweller within the gates. To be a citizen is to add a cell to the great beehive, it is to give and receive in your home the best benefits of civilisation, to know the dignity of labour and the pleasures of success. It is to see sympathy reflected in a thousand faces, it is to feel the beating of many hearts, to return the pressure of many hands. It is to lead an active, useful, brotherly life, to have a sphere larger than our common forms of single and dual selfishness, it is to go up with the multitude when it keeps holiday, it is to tremble when the mourners go about the streets, it is to be fellow-heirs and fellow-workers for the reputation and welfare of the city. Charles Lamb declared that for the growth of the mind it was absolutely necessary to inhabit towns, and the noise and traffic of the busiest capitaIs have always had a strange attraction for their noblest sons. Let their city give them work, or let it even deny them bread, still they love her. She in her turn receives from them praise or blame, and if she accords them crowns, gains through them an immortality of interest. The tie between them can
Volume 11 Page 77
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