8 MAY 1886, Page 13



SIR,—In your review of May 1st, of Mr. Andrew Lang's "Letters to Dead Authors," the following passage occurs in the quotation from the letter to Sir Walter Scott :—" All over the Forest the waters are dirty and poisoned : I think they are filthiest below Hawick ; but this may be mere local prejudice in a Selkirk man. To keep them clean costs money ; and, though improvements are often promised, I cannot see much change for the better. Abbotsford, luckily, is above Galashiels, and only receives the dirt and dyes of Selkirk, Peebles, Walkerburn, and Innerleithen."

In my rides lately, I have been crossing the Tweed at the ford immediately below Abbotsford. There, it is a broad, full river of as clear water as anywhere in all Scotland finds its way to the sea. A little lower down, the Gala joins it, and I should think that stream now must be almost as clean as in Sir Walter's time. Within the last three years the manu- facturers of Galashiels have spent 235,000 sterling in the erection of works for purifying the discharges from their mills; and they are conducting the process of purification at an annual cost of 23,000 sterling. Will not Mr. Lang admit that all this must mean "a change for the better ?"—I am, Sir, &c.,

J. L.