Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/92

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

76 Collectanea,

what is known as ' The Market Street squad,' and clearly shows that the celebration of the festivity of ' Uphelly A' ' is safe with the next generation. But there was an entirely new departure this year. A modern vessel next hauled up into position. This was a finely constructed brig, full rigged, and bearing the appropriate name of 'Viking.' She measured sixteen feet eight inches over all, and was about sixteen feet from keel to truck. That she was the handiwork of a seaman was evident, as every- thing was complete, from the anchors and chains on the bows to the wheel and ports aft. The crew, consisting of young men from Garthspool, were seated on board, and their vessel called forth pleasant comment as she stood in the light of the torches on the Esplanade.

"The guizers were meantime marshalled on the Esplanade and torches handed out to all and sundry, and when this work had been accomplished, lights were applied to the torches, and the procession started north Commercial Street, the route as advertised being carefully adhered to. The huge galley led the van, the smaller galley occupying a place about the centre of the procession, while the rear was brought up by the brig Viking. There were upwards of two hundred torches and over three hundred guizers, and the dresses were most elaborate and effective. One squad in black flowing robes, lighted up by silver stars and crescent moon, represented Night ; while another duplicated the fiery beard and careful grooming of Captain Kettle. One squad had struck on the novel idea of representing novels by eminent writers, such as Qiiein of Night, In Black and White, The Pirate, and the Black Diuarf, The Manxman, the Scarlet Woman, and The Woman in White. And there were monks and clowns, Turks, Malay priests, old English squires, Burgomeisters, Greeks, Jack Tars in blue, and girl sailors in white, tennis parties, besides that indescribable variety of costumes which greets the eye on every such occasion. Arriving back at the Market Cross the three ships were hauled together, and after the guizers had been lined up ' Auld Lang Syne ' was sung, when the flaming torches were tossed on board the doomed craft, and the blaze of the bonfire speedily lighted up the whole scene, a considerable number of people standing in the vicinity for some time.

" The squads were then formed, and each with their ' fiddler ' started on their rounds. There were a considerable number of