Old St. Andrews



The Wisp of Hay



. . . Then Sir William passed on to talk of his Island at St. Andrews in the Province of New Brunswick, which he says is to him the wisp of hay in the donkey's bridle—always leading him on. He is constantly looking forward to spending long leisure weeks at St. Andrews, but rarely gets there at all. The wisp of hay at St Andrews is a picturesque country home with a beautiful flower garden, every flower of which he knows. There he plants trees, and grows strawberries that have no equal in the world. It is an idyllic life that Sir William goes in for there, albeit more in imagination than in reality, a life indeed remote from the bear garden of the Stock Exchange in which so many have their only recreation. So remote, in fact, that as he painted his joys, I began to think he was a true Arcadian. "But, Sir William," said I, "do you never at St. Andrews divert some little time away from the planting of your trees and strawberries and spend it cutting coupons?" The twinkle that so often lightens those marvellous eyes of his, and which for a time seemed to be dreaming itself away, returned and flashed upon me. "When on my island," he answered, "I do no business; and as to cutting coupons, the man who cuts coupons in this life is not the man who does useful things. The man who is valuable and wise is the man who buys common stock and makes it pay dividends."—St. Andrews Beacon, June 10, 1909. Excerpted from the Canadian Mail of London.