On Monday the Premier passed through the town of Dingwall
on his way south from Dmarobin. He was received at the station by the Provost and townsfolk, and was presented with the freedom of the borough, " in recognition of his dis- tinguished position as Scotsman, statesman, and benefactor to his country,"—on what the worthy burgesses base the last of these compliments it would, we fancy, puzzle them to say. Lord Rosebery, in reply, made one of his pleasant chaffy speeches. Mr. Gladstone was the inventor of railway-station oratory ; but as this was a first attempt to imitate him, it could not but be "hopelessly inadequate." Lord Rosebery then quizzed Mr. Gladstone a little for having been " twice a burgess," and made an allusion to " the tonic breezes of the Highlands " It was a pity that Lord Rosebery, while on the subject of station-oratory, did not allude to the genesis of the idea. Edward Lear was the real inventor of the art, though only in prophetic vision. It was he who wrote,— " There was an old man at a station, Who made a promiscuous oration."
This note of promiscuity has been adhered to by all sub- sequent votaries.