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Title: Scotch Wit and Humor
Author: Howe, W. H. (Walter Henry)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Classified Under Appropriate Subject
Headings, with, in Many Cases, a
Reference to a Table of Authors

George W. Jacobs & Co.
103-105 S. Fifteenth Street

Copyright, 1898, by
George W. Jacobs & Co.


_Scotch Wit and Humor_ is a fairly representative collection of the type
of wit and humor which is at home north of the Tweed--and almost
everywhere else--for are not Scotchmen to be found everywhere? To say
that wit and humor is not a native of Scotch human nature is to share
the responsibility for an inaccuracy the author of which must have been
as unobservant as those who repeat it. It is quite true that the humor
is not always or generally on the surface--what treasure is?--and it may
be true, too, that the thrifty habits of our northern friends, combined
to the surface the seriousness--amounting sometimes almost to
heaviness--which is their most apparent characteristic. But under the
surface will be found a rich vein of generosity, and a fund of humor,
which soon cure a stranger--if he has eyes to see and is capable of
appreciation--of the common error of supposing that Scotchmen are either
stingy or stupid.

True, there may be the absence of the brilliancy which characterizes
much of the English wit and humor, and of the inexpressible quality
which is contained in Hibernian fun; but for point of neatness one may
look far before discovering anything to surpass the shrewdness and
playfulness to be found in the Scotch race. In fact, if Scotland had no
wit and humor she would have been incapable of furnishing a man who
employed such methods in construction as were introduced by the engineer
of the Forth Bridge.

               W. H. HOWE.



A Badly Arranged Prayer                                        108

A Beadle Magnifying his Office                                  26

A Board-School Examiner Floored                                143

A Bookseller's Knowledge of Books                              181

"A Call to a Wider Sphere"                                      99

A Canny Witness                                                112

A Case in which Comparisons were Odious                         76

A Castle Stor(e)y                                              119

A Churl Congratulated                                          165

A Clever "Turn"                                                161

A Comfortable Preacher                                         111

A Compensation Balance                                         180

A Compliment by Return                                          68

A Conditional Promise                                           87

A Consistent Seceder                                           159

A Consoling "If"                                                43

A Critic on His Own Criticism                                  124

"A Cross-examiner Answered"                                     13

A Crushing Argument against MS Sermons                         176

A Curiously Unfortunate Coincidence in Psalm Singing           164

A Cute Gaoler                                                  212

A Cute Way of Getting an Old Account                            88

A Definition of Baptism                                        129

A Definition of "Fou"                                           59

A Descendant of the Stuarts                                    105

A Descriptive Hymn                                             195

A Different Thing Entirely                                      67

A Discerning Fool                                              199

A Drunkard's Thoughts                                          125

A Dry Preacher                                                 120

A False Deal                                                   125

A Family Likeness                                               30

A Fruitful Field                                               176

A Good Judge of Accent                                          38

A Grammatical Beggar                                           120

A "Grand" Piano                                                147

A "Grave" Hint                                                 173

A Harmless Joke                                                106

A Highland Chief and His Doctor                                170

A Highland Servant Girl and the Kitchen Bell                    97

A Highland Outburst of Gratitude and an Inburst of Hurricane    66

A Highlander on Bagpipes                                        56

A Keen Reproof                                                 134

A "Kippered" Divine                                            105

A Law of Nature                                                199

A Leader's Description of His Followers                        190

A Lecture on Baldness--Curious Results                          46

A Lesson in Manners                                            202

A Lesson to the Marquis of Lorne                                15

A Lofty "Style"                                                126

A Lunatic's Advice to Money-Lenders                            129

A Magnanimous Cobbler                                          202

A Marriage not made in Heaven                                  210

A Matter-of-fact Death Scene                                   172

A Minor Major                                                   88

A Misdeal                                                      103

A Miserly Professor                                             46

A Modern Dumb Devil (D.D.)                                     164

A Mother's Confidence in Her Son                               113

A Nest-egg Noo                                                  14

A New and Original Scene in "Othello"                          178

A New Application of "The Argument from Design"                174

A New Explanation of an Extra Charge                            94

A New Story Book--at the Time                                  150

A Night in a Coal Cellar                                       211

A Paradox                                                      200

A Patient Lady                                                 140

A Piper's Opinion of a Lord--and Himself                       163

A Poacher's Prayer                                             205

A Poem for the Future                                          108

A Poetical Question and Answer                                 121

A Poor Place for a Cadger                                      149

A Powerful Preacher                                             79

A Practical View of Matrimony                                  207

A Preacher with His Back Towards Heaven                        175

A Process of Exhaustion                                        167

A Ready Student                                                 73

"A Reduction on a Series"                                      151

A Reproof Cleverly Diverted                                     32

A Restful Preacher                                             139

A Sad Drinking Bout                                            209

A Sad Loss                                                     201

A Satisfactory Explanation                                     119

A Saving Clause                                                156

A Scathing Scottish Preacher in Finsbury Park                  155

A Scotch Curtain Lecture on Profit and Pain                     59

A Scotch Fair Proclamation of Olden Days                       153

A Scotch Matrimonial Jubilee                                   125

A Scotch "Native"                                               98

A Scotch "Squire"                                               33

A Scotch "Supply"                                              109

A Scotch Version of the Lives of Esau and Jacob                 62

A Scotch View of Shakespeare                                    58

A Sensible Lass                                                200

A Sensible Servant                                             202

A Serious Dog--and for a Serious Reason                        161

A Sexton's Criticism                                           183

A Shrewd Reply                                                  83

"A Sign of Grace,"                                             103

A Spiritual Barometer                                          174

A Stranger in the Court of Session                             198

A Successful Tradesman                                          61

A Sympathetic Hearer                                            87

A Teetotal Preacher Asks for "A Glass"--and Gets It            107

A Test of Literary Appreciation                                207

A Thoughtless Wish                                             167

A Thrifty Proposal                                             123

A Typical Quarrel                                               71

A Variety Entertainment                                        194

A Vigorous Translation                                         195

A Whole-witted Sermon from a Half-witted Preacher              135

A Widow's Promise                                              117

A Wife's Protection                                            100

A "Wigging"                                                    204

Absence of Humor--Illustrated                                  146

Absent in Mind, and Body too                                   208

Acts of Parliament "Exhausted"                                 173

Advice on Nursing                                              124

Advice to an M.P.                                               68

"After you, Leddies"                                           207

"'Alice' Brown, the Jaud"                                       56

An Affectionate Aunt                                           199

An Angry Preacher                                              111

An Author and His Printer                                      134

An Earl's Pride and Parsimony                                  127

An Economical Preacher's Bad Memory                             92

An Epitaph to Order                                            194

An "Exceptional Prayer"                                        118

An Extra Shilling to Avoid a Calamity                          206

An Idiot's Views of Insanity                                   113

An Instance of Scott's Pleasantry                               36

An Observant Husband                                            29

An Open Question                                               102

An Out-of-the-way Reproof                                      119

"Another Opportunity"                                          211

Appearing "in Three Pieces"                                     73

"As Guid Deid as Leevin"                                        58

At the End of His Tether                                       123

Bad Arithmeticians Often Good Bookkeeper                       131

"Before the Provost"                                           195

Beginning Life where he ought to have Ended, and Vice Versa     86

Better than a Countess                                         114

"Bock Again!"--A Prompt Answer                                 104

Bolder than Charles the Bold                                   137

Born Too Late                                                  175

Both Short                                                     193

Broader Than He Was Long                                       205

"Brothers" in Law                                               29

"Bulls" in Scotland                                             29

Canny Dogs                                                      68

Capital Punishment                                              35

"Capital Punishment"--Modified                                  90

Caring for Their Minister                                       19

Catechising                                                    201

Church Economy                                                  60

Church Popularity                                              197

Choosing a Minister                                             77

Compensation                                                    84

Compulsory Education and a Father's Remedy                      34

Concentrated Caution                                           173

"Consecrated" Ground                                            75

Consoled by a Relative's Lameness                               41

Curious Delusion Concerning Light                               41

Curious Idea of the Evidence for Truth                          37

Curious Misunderstanding                                       131

Curious Pulpit Notice                                          141

Curious Sentence                                            42, 68

Curious Use of a Word                                           91

Dead Shot                                                       34

Deathbed Humor                                                 172

Definition of Metaphysics                                      131

Degrees of Capacity                                             95

Denominational Graves                                          196

Depression--Delight--Despair                                   126

"Discretion--the Better Part of Valor"                          51

Disqualified to be a Country Preacher                          122

Distributing His Praises with Discernment                       22

Disturbed Devotions                                            110

Domestics in By-gone Days                                      102

Double Meanings                                                 17

Drawing an Inference                                           182

Drinking by Candle-light                                       121

Driving the Deevil Oot                                          70

Droll Solemnity                                                 93

Drunken Wit                                                    117

Dry Weather, and Its Effect on the Ocean                        37

Earning His Dismissal                                           57

"Eating Among the Brutes"                                      110

"Effectual Calling"                                            142

Either Too Fast or Too Slow                                     97

English versus Scotch Sheep's Heads                             33

Entrance Free, and "Everything Found"                          161

Escaping Punishment                                            196

"Every Man to His Own Trade"                                    73

Extraordinary Absence of Mind                                  104

"Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady"                               63

Faring Alike                                                   102

Fetching His "Character"                                        96

Finding Work for His Class, While He Dined                      91

Fool Finding                                                    75

Forcing a Judge to Obey the Law                                132

"Fou--Aince"                                                   181

Fowls and Ducks!                                                84

From Different Points of View                                   74

From Pugilism to Pulpit                                        158

"Gathering Up the Fragments"                                   169

Ginger Ale                                                      87

Giving Them the Length of His Tongue                           166

Going to Ramoth Gilead                                         182

Going to the Doctor's and "Taking" Something                    76

Good Enough to Give Away                                       120

Good "for Nothing"--Not the Goodness Worth Having               78

"Grace" With No Meat After                                     142

Gratifying Industry!                                           203

Grim Humor                                                     122

Ham and Cheese                                                 150

Happy Escape from an Angry Mob                                  43

"Haste" and "Leisure"                                          111

"Haudin' His Stick"                                             38

"Having the Advantage"                                         166

"Hearers Only--Not Doers"                                       88

Heaven Before it Was Wanted                                     41

Helping Business                                                48

Highland Happiness                                              18

Highland Simplicity                                             85

Highland Warldliness                                           200

His Own, with "Interest"                                       193

His Word and His Bond Equally Binding                          131

Holding a Candle to the Sun                                    124

Honest Johnny M'Cree                                            40

How Greyhounds are Produced                                    203

How to Exterminate Old Thieves                                  86

How to Treat a Surplus                                          89

Husband! Husband! Cease Your Strife!                           154

Hume Canonized                                                 160

Inconsistencies of "God's People"                              151

Indiscriminate Humor                                            39

Ingenious Remedy for Ignorance                                 200

"Invisible and Incomprehensible"                                96

It Takes Two to Fight                                          190

It's a Gran' Nicht                                              55

"Kaming" Her Ain Head                                          171

Keeping His Threat--at His Own Expense                         145

"Knowledge--It Shall Vanish Away"                              106

Knox and Claverhouse                                           153

Landseer's Deadly Influence                                     89

Laughing in the Pulpit--With Explanation                        37

"Law" Set Aside by "Gospel"                                    106

Leaving the Lawyers a Margin                                   129

Less Sense Than a Sheep                                         41

Lessons in Theology                                             15

"Lichts Oot!"                                                  107

Light Through a Crack                                           14

Lights and Livers                                              193

Living With His Uncle                                          165

Looking After Himself                                          193

Looking Before Leaping                                         107

Lord Clancarty and the Roman Catholic Chaplain                 113

Lord Cockburn Confounded                                       201

Lord Mansfield and a Scotch Barrister on Pronunciation         114

Losing His Senses                                               51

Lost Dogs                                                       80

"Lost Labor"                                                   149

"Making Hay While the Sun Shines"                              112

Mallet, Plane, and Sermon--All Wooden                           23

Marriages which are Made in Heaven--How Revealed               115

"Married!"--not "Living"                                        79

Matrimony a Cure for Blindness                                  93

Matter More than Manner                                         90

Maunderings by a Scotchman                                     184

Meanness versus Crustiness                                     192

Mending Matters                                                 95

Mental Aberration                                               70

Minding His Business                                            79

Modern Improvements                                            152

More Polite than Some Smokers                                  100

More Witty Than True                                           136

Mortal Humor                                                   176

Mortifying Unanimity                                            43

Motive for Church Going                                        142

Multum in Parvo                                                 62

National Thrift Exemplified                                     94

Nearer the Bottom than the Top                                 175

New Style of Riding in a Funeral Procession                    145

New Use for a "Cosy"                                            95

"No Better than Pharaoh"                                       143

"No Compliments"                                               202

No End to His Wit                                              129

"No Lord's Day!"                                                34

"No Road This Way!"                                            159

No Wonder!                                                      27

Not all Profit                                                  89

Not at Home                                                    101

Not "in Chains"                                                163

Not Necessarily Out of His Depth                                98

Not One of "The Establishment"                                 143

Not Qualified to Baptize                                       213

Not Quite an Ass                                               212

Not Surprised                                                  210

Not Up to Sample                                               116

Not Used to It                                                 141

"Nothing," and How to See It                                   133

Objecting to Long Sermons                                      161

Objecting to "Regeneration"                                     30

Objecting to Scotch "Tarmes"                                   140

Official Consolation and Callousness                           139

"Old Bags"                                                     107

"Old Clo'"                                                     197

One "Always Right," the Other "Never Wrong"                     14

One Scotchman Outwitted by Another                             214

One Side of Scotch Humor                                        82

"Oo"--with Variations                                          116

Ornithology                                                    207

Paris and Peebles Contrasted                                    57

Passing Remarks                                                197

Patriotism and Economy                                         154

Peter Peebles' Prejudice                                        33

Pie, or Patience?                                               89

"Plain Scotch"                                                  19

Plain Speaking                                                  93

Playing at Ghosts                                              157

Pleasant Prospect Beyond the Grave                             138

"Plucked!"                                                      36

Popularity Tested by the Collection                            118

Practical Piety                                                172

Practical Thrift                                                75

"Prayer, with Thanksgiving"                                    206

Praying for Wind                                               109

Pretending to Make a Will                                      133

Prince Albert and the Ship's Cook                               77

Prison Piety                                                    61

Prof Aytoun's Courtship                                        209

Prophesying                                                    130

Providing a Mouthful for the Cow                               149

Pulpit Aids                                                     76

Pulpit Eloquence                                               183

Pulpit Familiarity                                             165

Pulpit Foolery                                                 138

"Purpose," not "Performance," Heaven's Standard                147

Putting off a Duel and Avoiding a Quarrel                      206

Quaint Old Edinburgh Ministers                                 215

Qualifications for a Chief                                      26

Question and Answer                                            127

Quid pro Quo                                                    34

Radically Rude                                                 168

Reasons For and Against Organs in Kirk                          31

"Reflections"                                                   28

Refusing Information                                            85

Relieving His Wife's Anxiety                                   168

Religious Loneliness                                            61

Remarkable Presence of Mind                                     86

Remembering Each Other                                         115

Reproving a Miser                                               83

"Rippets" and Humility                                         170

Rival Anatomists in Edinburgh University                        49

Rivalry in Prayer                                              179

Robbing on Credit                                          75, 127

Rustic Notion of the Resurrection                              128

Sabbath Breaking                                                85

Sabbath Zeal                                                   123

"Saddling the Ass"                                             102

Salmon or Sermon                                               104

Sandy's Reply to the Sheriff                                   120

Sandy Wood's Proposal of Marriage                               49

Satisfactory Security                                          114

Scoring a Point                                                 13

Scotch Caution versus Suretiship                               105

Scotch "Fashion"                                                18

Scotch Ingenuity                                               137

Scotch Literalness                                              98

Scotch "Paddy"                                                  35

Scotch Provincialism                                           100

Scotch Undergraduates and Funerals                              39

Scotchmen Everywhere                                           180

Scottish Negativeness                                           96

Scottish Patriotism                                            147

Scottish Vision and Cockney Chaff                              197

Scripture Examination                                           87

Sectarian Resemblances                                         166

Seeking, Not Help, but Information--and Getting It              34

Sending Him to Sleep                                           152

Shakespeare--Nowhere!                                          159

Sharpening His Teeth                                            92

Sheridan's Pauses                                              208

"Short Commons"                                                137

Short Measure                                                   57

Significant Advice                                             204

Silencing English Insolence                                     48

Simplicity of a Collier's Wife                                 108

Sleepy Churchgoers                                             170

Speaking Figuratively                                          112

Speaking from "Notes"                                           74

Speeding the Parting Guest                                     192

Spiking an Old Gun                                             156

Spinning It Out                                                100

Splendid Use for Bagpipes                                      171

Square-Headed                                                   84

Strange Reason for Not Increasing a Minister's Stipend         183

Strangers--"Unawares"--Not Always Angels                        28

Stratagem of a Scotch Pedlar                                    80

Steeple or People?                                             159

Stretching It                                                   69

Sunday Drinking                                                181

Sunday Shaving and Milking                                      70

Sunday Thoughts on Recreation                                  167

"Surely the Net is Spread in Vain in the Sight of Any Bird"     64

Taking a Light Supper                                          128

"Terms--'Cash Down'"                                           132

"The" and "The Other"                                          197

The Best Crap                                                  210

The Best Time to Quarrel                                       146

The Book Worms                                                 148

The Chieftain and the Cabby                                     88

The End Justifying the Means                                    45

The Fall of Adam and Its Consequences                           85

The Fly-fisher and the Highland Lassie                         101

The Force of Habit                                             204

The Highlander and the Angels                                   82

The Horse that Kept His Promise                                146

The Importance of Quantity in Scholarship                       35

The Journeyman Dog                                              60

The Kirk of Lamington                                          149

The Man at the Wheel                                           156

The Mercy of Providence                                         59

The "Minister's Man"                                           177

The Parson and His "Thirdly"                                   136

The Philosophy of Battle and Victory                           154

The Prophet's Chamber                                          160

The Queen's Daughters--or "Appearances were Against Them"      116

The "Sawbeth" at a Country Inn                                 180

The Scotch Mason and the Angel                                 135

The Speech of a Cannibal                                       162

The Scottish Credit System                                      35

The Selkirk Grace                                              151

The Shape of the Earth                                         178

The Shoemaker and Small Feet                                   137

The Same with a Difference                                     139

"The Spigot's Oot"                                             193

The "Tables" of "the Law"                                      110

The Value of a Laugh in Sickness                                92

"The Weaker Vessel"                                             79

"There Maun Be Some Faut"                                      172

"Things which Accompany Salvation"                             192

"Though Lost to Sight--to Memory Dear"                         153

Three Sisters All One Age                                       19

Tired of Standing                                               61

"To Memory 'Dear'"                                              78

Too Canny to Admit Anything Particular                          42

Too Much Light--and Too Little                                  31

Touching Each Other's Limitations                              165

True (perhaps) of Other Places than Dundee                     133

Trying One Grave First                                          90

Trying to Shift the Job                                         94

Turning His Father's Weakness to Account                        36

"Two Blacks Don't Make a White"                                158

Two Good Memories                                               83

Two Methods of Getting a Dog Out of Church                     174

Two Questions on the Fall of Man                               162

Two Views of a Divine Call                                      58

Two Ways of Mending Ways                                       160

Unanswerable                                                    75

"Uncertainty of Life," from Two Good Points of View            148

"Unco' Modest"                                                  30

Unusual for a Scotchman                                        134

"Ursa Major"                                                   207

Using Their Senses                                              24

Vanity Scathingly Reproved                                     203

"Verra Weel Pitched"                                           118

Virtuous Necessity                                              27

Was He a Liberal or a Tory?                                    123

Walloping Judas                                                 56

Watty Dunlop's Sympathy for Orphans                             18

Wersh Parritch and Wersh Kisses                                198

"What's the Lawin', Lass?"                                     190

When Asses may not be Parsons                                   62

Why Israel made a Golden Calf                                   92

Why Janet Slept During Her Pastor's Sermon                      99

Why Not?                                                       133

Why Saul Threw a Javelin at David                              182

Why the Bishops Disliked the Bible                             139

Will any Gentleman Oblige "a Lady"?                            150

Winning the Race Instead of the Battle                         207

Wiser than Solomon                                             152

"Wishes Never Filled the Bag"                                  141

Wit and Humor Under Difficulties                               198


(_Indicated in the Text by a Corresponding Number_)

1 _Life and Labor_                          (Smiles)

2                                     (Robert Burns)

3                                (Pall Mall Gazette)

4                                (Dr. Chas. Stewart)

5                                   (Norman Macleod)

6                                         (Dr. Begg)

7                                      (Dean Ramsay)

8 _National Fun_                    (Maurice Davies)

9 _Anecdotes of the Clergy_          (Jacob Larwood)

10                                  (William Arnott)

11                               (Moncure D. Conway)

12 _Rab and His Friends_           (Rev. John Brown)

13 _Memoir of R. Chambers_        (William Chambers)

14 _Memorials_                       (Lord Cockburn)

15                                     (Dr. Guthrie)

16                                       (Anonymous)

17                                      (Daily News)

18 _Turkey in Europe_             (Colonel J. Baker)

19 _All the Year Round_            (Charles Dickens)

20 _Red Gauntlet_                 (Sir Walter Scott)

21                               (Chambers' Journal)

22                                       (Dr. Hanna)

23                                    (Sir W. Scott)

24                                      (James Hogg)

25                                    (Rev. D. Hogg)

26                                        (J. Smith)

Scotch Wit and Humor

=Scoring a Point=

A young Englishman was at a party mostly composed of Scotchmen, and
though he made several attempts to crack a joke, he failed to evoke a
single smile from the countenances of his companions. He became angry,
and exclaimed petulantly: "Why, it would take a gimlet to put a joke
into the heads of you Scotchmen."

"Ay," replied one of them; "but the gimlet wud need tae be mair pointed
than thae jokes."

=A Cross-Examiner Answered=

Mr. A. Scott writes from Paris: More than twenty years ago the Rev. Dr.
Arnott, of Glasgow, delivered a lecture to the Young Men's Christian
Association, Exeter Hall, upon "The earth framed and fitted as a
habitation for man." When he came to the subject of "water" he told the
audience that to give himself a rest he would tell them an anecdote.
Briefly, it was this: John Clerk (afterwards Lord Eldon) was being
examined before a Committee of the House of Lords. In using the word
water, he pronounced it in his native Doric as "watter." The noble lord,
the chairman, had the rudeness to interpose with the remark, "In
England, Mr. Clerk, we spell water with one 't.'" Mr. Clerk was for a
moment taken aback, but his native wit reasserted itself and he
rejoined, "There may na be twa 't's' in watter, my lord, but there are
twa 'n's' in manners." The droll way in which the doctor told the story
put the audience into fits of laughter, renewed over and over again, so
that the genial old lecturer obtained the rest he desired. [3]

=One "Always Right," the Other "Never Wrong"=

A worthy old Ayrshire farmer had the portraits of himself and his wife
painted. When that of her husband, in an elegant frame, was hung over
the fireplace, the gudewife remarked in a sly manner: "I think, gudeman,
noo that ye've gotten your picture hung up there, we should just put in
below't, for a motto, like, 'Aye richt!'"

"Deed may ye, my woman," replied her husband in an equally pawkie tone;
"and when ye got yours hung up ower the sofa there, we'll just put up
anither motto on't, and say, 'Never wrang!'"

="A Nest Egg Noo!"=

An old maid, who kept house in a thriving weaving village, was much
pestered by the young knights of the shuttle constantly entrapping her
serving-women into the willing noose of matrimony. This, for various
reasons, was not to be tolerated. She accordingly hired a woman
sufficiently ripe in years, and of a complexion that the weather would
not spoil. On going with her, the first day after the term, to "make her
markets," they were met by a group of strapping young weavers, who were
anxious to get a peep at the "leddy's new lass."

One of them, looking more eagerly into the face of the favored handmaid
than the rest, and then at her mistress, could not help involuntarily
exclaiming, "Hech, mistress, ye've gotten a nest egg noo!"

=Light Through a Crack=

Some years ago the celebrated Edward Irving had been lecturing at
Dumfries, and a man who passed as a wag in that locality had been to
hear him.

He met Watty Dunlop the following day, who said, "Weel, Willie, man, an'
what do ye think of Mr. Irving?"

"Oh," said Willie, contemptuously, "the man's crack't."

Dunlop patted him on the shoulder, with a quiet remark, "Willie, ye'Il
aften see a light peeping through a crack!" [7]

=A Lesson to the Marquis of Lorne=

The youthful Maccallum More, who is now allied to the Royal Family of
Great Britain, was some years ago driving four-in-hand in a rather
narrow pass on his father's estate. He was accompanied by one or two
friends--jolly young sprigs of nobility--who appeared, under the
influence of a very warm day and in the prospect of a good dinner, to be
wonderfully hilarious.

In this mood the party came upon a cart laden with turnips, alongside
which the farmer, or his man, trudged with the most perfect
self-complacency, and who, despite frequent calls, would not make the
slightest effort to enable the approaching equipage to pass, which it
could not possibly do until the cart had been drawn close up to the near
side of the road. With a pardonable assumption of authority, the marquis
interrogated the carter: "Do you know who I am, sir?" The man readily
admitted his ignorance.

"Well," replied the young patrician, preparing himself for an effective
_dénouement_, "I'm the Duke of Argyll's eldest son!"

"Deed," quoth the imperturbable man of turnips, "an' I dinna care gin ye
were the deevil's son; keep ye're ain side o' the road, an' I'll keep

It is creditable to the good sense of the marquis, so far from seeking
to resist this impertinent rejoinder, he turned to one of his friends,
and remarked that the carter was evidently "a very clever fellow."

=Lessons in Theology=

The answer of an old woman under examination by the minister, to the
question from the Shorter Catechism, "What are the _decrees_ of God?"
could not have been surpassed by the General Assembly of the Kirk, or
even the Synod of Dart, "Indeed, sir, He kens that best Himsell."

       *       *       *       *       *

An answer analogous to the above, though not so pungent, was given by a
catechumen of the late Dr. Johnston of Leith. She answered his own
question, patting him on the shoulder: "Deed, just tell it yersell,
bonny doctor (he was a very handsome man); naebody can tell it better."

       *       *       *       *       *

A contributor (A. Halliday) to _All the Year Round_, in 1865, writes as

When I go north of Aberdeen, I prefer to travel by third class. Your
first-class Scotchman is a very solemn person, very reserved, very much
occupied in maintaining his dignity, and while saying little, appearing
to claim to think the more. The people whom you meet in the third-class
carriages, on the other hand, are extremely free. There is no reserve
about them whatever; they begin to talk the moment they enter the
carriage, about the crops, the latest news, anything that may occur to
them. And they are full of humor and jocularity.

My fellow-passengers on one journey were small farmers, artisans,
clerks, and fishermen. They discussed everything, politics, literature,
religion, agriculture, and even scientific matters in a light and airy
spirit of banter and fun. An old fellow, whose hands claimed long
acquaintance with the plow, gave a whimsical description of the parting
of the Atlantic telegraph cable, which set the whole carriage in a roar.

"Have you ony shares in it, Sandy?" said one.

"Na, na," said Sandy. "I've left off speculation since my wife took to
wearing crinolines; I canna afford it noo."

"Fat d'ye think of the rinderpest, Sandy?"

"Weel, I'm thinking that if my coo tak's it, Tibbie an' me winna ha'
muckle milk to our tay."

The knotty question of predestination came up and could not be settled.
When the train stopped at the next station, Sandy said: "Bide a wee,
there's a doctor o' deveenity in one o' the first-class carriages. I'll
gang and ask him fat he thinks aboot it." And out Sandy got to consult
the doctor. We could hear him parleying with the eminent divine over the
carriage door, and presently he came running back, just as the train
was starting, and was bundled in, neck and crop, by the guard.

"Weel, Sandy," said his oppugner on the predestination question, "did
the doctor o' deveenity gie you his opinion?"

"Ay, did he."

"An' fat did he say aboot it?"

"Weel, he just said he dinna ken an' he dinna care."

The notion of a D.D. neither kenning nor caring about the highly
important doctrine of predestination, so tickled the fancy of the
company that they went into fits of laughter. [38]

=Double Meanings=

A well-known idiot, named Jamie Frazer, belonging to the parish of
Lunan, in Forfarshire, quite surprised people sometimes by his replies.
The congregation of his parish had for some time distressed the minister
by their habit of sleeping in church. He had often endeavored to impress
them with a sense of the impropriety of such conduct, and one day when
Jamie was sitting in the front gallery wide awake, when many were
slumbering round him, the clergyman endeavored to awaken the attention
of his hearers by stating the fact, saying: "You see even Jamie Frazer,
the idiot, does not fall asleep as so many of you are doing." Jamie not
liking, perhaps, to be designated, coolly replied, "An' I hadna been an
idiot I wad ha' been sleepin', too." [7]

       *       *       *       *       *

Another imbecile of Peebles had been sitting in church for some time
listening to a vigorous declamation from the pulpit against deceit and
falsehood. He was observed to turn red and grow uneasy, until at last,
as if wincing under the supposed attack upon himself personally, he
roared out: "Indeed, meenister, there's mair leears in Peebles than me."

       *       *       *       *       *

A minister, who had been all day visiting, called on an old dame, well
known for her kindness of heart and hospitality, and begged the favor
of a cup of tea. This was heartily accorded, and the old woman bustled
about, getting out the best china and whatever rural delicacies were at
hand to honor her unexpected guest. As the minister sat watching these
preparations, his eye fell on four or five cats devouring cold porridge
under the table.

"Dear me! what a number of cats," he observed. "Do they all belong to
you, Mrs. Black?"

"No, sir," replied his hostess innocently; "but as I often say, a' the
hungry brutes i' the country side come to me seekin' a meal o' meat."

The minister was rather at a loss for a reply.

=Scotch "Fashion"=

The following story, told in the "Scotch Reminiscences" of Dean Ramsay,
is not without its point at the present day: "On a certain occasion a
new pair of inexpressibles had been made for the laird; they were so
tight that, after waxing hot and red in the attempt to try them on, he
_let out_ rather savagely at the tailor, who calmly assured him, 'It's
the fashion--it's the fashion.'

"'Eh, ye haveril, is it the fashion for them _no' to go on_?'" [7]

=Wattie Dunlop's Sympathy for Orphans=

Many anecdotes of pithy and facetious replies are recorded of a minister
of the South, usually distinguished as "Our Wattie Dunlop." On one
occasion two irreverent young fellows determined, as they said, to
"taigle" (confound) the minister. Coming up to him in the High Street of
Dumfries, they accosted him with much solemnity: "Maister Dunlop, hae ye
heard the news?" "What news?" "Oh, the deil's dead." "Is he?" said Mr.
Dunlop, "then I maun pray for twa faitherless bairns." [7]

=Highland Happiness=

Sir Walter Scott, in one of his novels, gives expression to the height
of a Highlander's happiness: Twenty-four bagpipes assembled together in
a small room, all playing at the same time different tunes. [23]

=Plain Scotch=

Mr. John Clerk (afterwards Lord Eldon), in pleading before the House of
Lords one day, happened to say in his broadest Scotch accent: "In plain
English, ma lords."

Upon which a noble lord jocosely remarked: "In plain Scotch, you mean,
Mr. Clerk."

The prompt advocate instantly rejoined: "Nae matter! in plain common
sense, ma lords, and that's the same in a' languages, ye'll ken."

=Caring for Their Minister=

A minister was called in to see a man who was very ill. After finishing
his visit, as he was leaving the house, he said to the man's wife: "My
good woman, do you not go to any church at all?"

"Oh yes, sir; we gang to the Barony Kirk."

"Then why in the world did you send for me? Why didn't you send for Dr.

"Na, na, sir, 'deed no; we wadna risk him. Do ye no ken it's a dangerous
case of typhus?"

=Three Sisters All One Age=

A Highland census taker contributed the following story to _Chambers'_:
I had a bad job with the Miss M'Farlanes. They are three maiden
ladies--sisters. It seems the one would not trust the other to see the
census paper filled up; so they agreed to bring it to me to fill in.

"Would you kindly fill in this census paper for us?" said Miss
M'Farlane. "My sisters will look over and give you their particulars by
and by."

Now, Miss M'Farlane is a very nice lady; though Mrs. Cameron tells me
she has been calling very often at the manse since the minister lost his
wife. Be that as it may, I said to her that I would be happy to fill up
the paper; and asked her in the meantime to give me her own particulars.
When it came to the age column, she played with her boot on the carpet,
and drew the black ribbons of her silk bag through her fingers, and
whispered: "You can say four-and-thirty, Mr. M'Lauchlin." "All right,
ma'am," says I; for I knew she was four-and-thirty at any rate. Then
Miss Susan came over--that's the second sister--really a handsome young
creature, with fine ringlets and curls, though she is a little
tender-eyed, and wears spectacles.

Well, when we came to the age column, Miss Susan played with one of her
ringlets, and looked in my face sweetly, and said: "Mr. M'Lauchlin, what
did Miss M'Farlane say? My sister, you know, is considerably older than
I am--there was a brother between us."

"Quite so, my dear Miss Susan," said I; "but you see the bargain was
that each was to state her own age."

"Well," said Miss Susan, still playing with her ringlets, "you can
say--age, thirty-four years, Mr. M'Lauchlin."

In a little while the youngest sister came in.

"Miss M'Farlane," said she, "sent me over for the census paper."

"O, no, my dear," says I; "I cannot part with the paper."

"Well, then," said she, "just enter my name, too, Mr. M'Lauchlin."

"Quite so. But tell me, Miss Robina, why did Miss M'Farlane not fill up
the paper herself?"--for Miss Robina and I were always on very
confidential terms.

"Oh," she replied, "there was a dispute over _particulars_; and Miss
M'Farlane would not let my other sister see how old she had said she
was; and Miss Susan refused to state her age to Miss M'Farlane; and so,
to end the quarrel, we agreed to ask you to be so kind as to fill in the

"Yes, yes, Miss Robina," said I; "that's quite satisfactory; and so,
I'll fill in your name now, if you please."

"Yes," she uttered, with a sigh. When we came to the age column--"Is it
absolutely necessary," said she, "to fill in the age? Don't you think it
is a most impertinent question to ask, Mr. M'Lauchlin?"

"Tuts, it may be so to some folk; but to a sweet young creature like
you, it cannot matter a button." "Well," said Miss Robina--"but now,
Mr. M'Lauchlin, I'm to tell you a great secret"; and she blushed as she
slowly continued: "The minister comes sometimes to see us."

"I _have_ noticed him rather more attentive in his visitations in your
quarter of late, than usual, Miss Robina."

"Very well, Mr. M'Lauchlin; but you must not tease me just now. You know
Miss M'Farlane is of opinion that he is in love with her; while Miss
Susan thinks her taste for literature and her knowledge of geology,
especially her pamphlet on the Old Red Sandstone and its fossils as
confirming the old Mosaic record, are all matters of great interest to
Mr. Frazer, and she fancies that he comes so frequently for the
privilege of conversing with her. But," exclaimed Miss Robina, with a
look of triumph, "look at that!" and she held in her hand a beautiful
gold ring. "I have got that from the minister this very day!"

I congratulated her. She had been a favorite pupil of mine, and I was
rather pleased with what happened. "But what," I asked her, "has all
this to do with the census?"

"Oh, just this," continued Miss Robina, "I had no reason to conceal my
age, as Mr. Frazer knows it exactly, since he baptized me. He was a
young creature then, only three-and-twenty; so that's just the
difference between us."

"Nothing at all, Miss Robina," said I; "nothing at all; not worth

"In this changeful and passing world," said Miss Robina,
"three-and-twenty years are not much after all, Mr. M'Lauchlin!"

"Much!" said I. "Tuts, my dear, it's nothing--just, indeed, what should

"I was just thirty-four last birthday, Mr. M'Lauchlin," said Miss
Robina; "and the minister said the last time he called that no young
lady should take the cares and responsibilities of a household upon
herself till she was--well, eight-and-twenty; and he added that
thirty-four was late enough."

"The minister, my dear, is a man of sense."

So thus were the Miss M'Farlanes' census schedules filled up; and if
ever some one in search of the curiosities of the census should come
across it, he may think it strange enough, for he will find that the
three sisters M'Farlane are all ae year's bairns!

=Distributing His Praises with Discernment=

Will Stout was a bachelor and parish beadle, residing with his old
mother who lived to the age of nearly a hundred years. In mature life he
was urged by some friends to take a wife. He was very cautious, however,
in regard to matrimony, and declined the advice, excusing himself on the
ground "that there are many things you can say to your mither you
couldna say to a fremit (strange) woman."

While beadle, he had seen four or five different ministers in the
parish, and had buried two or three of them. And although his feelings
became somewhat blunted regarding the sacredness of graves in general,
yet he took a somewhat tender care of the spot where the ministers lay.
After his extended experience, he was asked to give his deliberate
judgment as to which of them he had liked best. His answer was guarded;
he said he did not know, as they were all good men. But being further
pressed and asked if he had no preference, after a little thought he
again admitted that they were all "guid men, guid men; but Mr.
Mathieson's claes fitted me best."

One of the new incumbents, knowing Will's interest in the clothes,
thought that at an early stage he would gain his favor by presenting him
with a coat. To make him conscious of the kindly service he was doing,
the minister informed him that it was almost new. Will took the garment,
examined it with a critical eye, and having thoroughly satisfied
himself, pronounced it "a guid coat," but pawkily added: "When Mr. Watt,
the old minister, gied me a coat, he gied me breeks as weel."

The new minister, who was fortunately gifted with a sense of humor,
could not do less than complete Will's rig-out from top to toe, and so
established himself as a permanent favorite with the beadle.

=Mallet, Plane and Sermon--All Wooden=

In olden times, the serviceable beadle was armed with a small wooden
"nob" or mallet, with which he was quietly commissioned to "tap" gently
but firmly the heads of careless sleepers in church during the sermon.
An instance to hand is very amusing.

In the old town of Kilbarchan, which is celebrated in Scottish poetry as
the birthplace of Habbie Simpson, the piper and verse maker of the
clachan, once lived and preached a reverend original, whose pulpit
ministrations were of the old-fashioned, hodden-gray type, being humdrum
and innocent of all spirit-rousing eloquence and force. Like many of his
clerical brethren, he was greatly annoyed every Sunday at the sight of
several of his parishioners sleeping throughout the sermon. He was
especially angry with Johnny Plane, the village joiner, who dropped off
to sleep every Sunday afternoon simultaneously with the formal delivery
of the text. Johnny had been "touched" by the old beadle's mallet on
several occasions, but only in a gentle though persuasive manner. At
last, one day the minister, provoked beyond endurance at the sight of
the joiner soundly sleeping, lost his temper.

"Johnny Plane!" cried the reverend gentleman, stopping his discourse and
eyeing the culprit severely, "are ye really sleeping already, and me no'
half through the first head?"

The joiner, easy man, was quite oblivious to things celestial and
mundane, and noticed not the rebuke.

"Andra," resumed the minister, addressing the beadle, and relapsing into
informal Doric, "gang round to the wast loft (west gallery) and rap up
Johnny Plane. Gie the lazy loon a guid stiff rap on the heid--he
deserves 't."

Round and up to the "wast loft" the old-fashioned beadle goes, and
reaching the somnolent parishioner, he rather smartly "raps" him on his
bald head. Instantly, there was on the part of Johnny a sudden start-up,
and between him and the worthy beadle a hot, underbreath bandying of

Silence restored, the reverend gentleman proceeded with his sermon as
if nothing unusual had occurred. After sermon, Andra met the minister in
the vestry, who at once made inquiry as to the "words" he had had with
Johnny in the gallery. But the beadle was reticent and uncommunicative
on the matter, and would not be questioned at the reception the joiner
had given his salutary summons.

"Well, Andra," at length said the reverend gentleman, "I'll tell ye
what, we must not be beaten in this matter; if the loon sleeps next
Sunday during sermon, just you gang up and rap him back to reason. It's
a knock wi' some _force_ in't the chiel wants, mind that, and spare

"Deed no, sir" was the beadle's canny reply. "I'll no' disturb him,
sleepin' or waukin', for some time to come. He threatens to knock
pew-Bibles and hymn-books oot o' me, if I again daur to 'rap' him atween
this and Martinmas. If Johnny's to be kept frae sleepin', minister, ye
maun _just pit the force into yer sermon_."

=Using Their Senses=

The following story is told by one of the officers engaged in taking a
census: One afternoon, I called up at Whinny Knowes, to get their
schedule; and Mrs. Cameron invited me to stay to tea, telling me what a
day they had had at "Whins" with the census paper.

"'First of all,' said she, 'the master there'--pointing to her
husband--'said seriously that every one must tell their ages, whether
they were married or not, and whether they intended to be married, and
the age and occupation of their sweethearts--in fact, that every
particular was to be mentioned. Now, Mr. M'Lauchlin, our two servant
lasses are real nice girls; but save me! what a fluster this census
paper has put them in. Janet has been ten years with us, and is a most
superior woman, with good sense; but at this time she is the most
distressed of the two. After family worship last night, she said she
would like a word o' the master himsel'.'

"'All right,' says John, with a slight twinkle in his eye.

"'When they were by themselves, Janet stood with her Bible in her hand,
and her eyes fixed on the point of her shoe. 'Sir,' said she, 'I was
three-an'-thirty last birthday, though my neighbor Mary thinks I'm only
eight-an'-twenty. And as for Alexander'--this was the miller, Janet's
reputed sweetheart--'he's never asked my age exactly; and so, if it's
all the same, I would like you just to keep your thumb upon that. And
then, as to whether he's to marry me or not, that depends on whether the
factor gives him another lease of the mill. He says he'll take me at
Martinmas coming if he gets the lease; but at the farthest, next
Martinmas, whether or no.'

"'Janet,' said my husband, 'you have stated the matter fairly; there is
nothing more required.'

"And John, there," continued Mrs. Cameron, "has made good use of Janet's
census return. This very forenoon Lady Menzies called to see us, as she
often does. Said John to her ladyship, says he: 'He's a very good
fellow, Alexander Christie, the miller--a superior man. I'm sorry we are
like to lose him for a neighbor.'

"'I never heard of that,' said her ladyship. 'He is a steady, honest
man, and a good miller, I believe. I should be sorry to lose him on the
estate. What is the cause of this?'

"'Oh,' replied my husband, 'it seems the factor is not very willing to
have a new lease of the mill without one being built. Your ladyship,'
added John, 'can see what Alexander is after.'

"'Oh, yes, I understand,' said she, laughing. 'I will try and keep the
miller'; and off she set without another word. Down the burnside she
goes, and meets Alexander, with a bag of corn on his back, at the
mill-door. When he had set it down, and was wiping the perspiration off
his brow with the back of his hand, Lady Menzies said: 'You are busy
to-day, miller.'

"'Yes, my lady,' said he; 'this is a busy time.'

"'I wonder,' said her ladyship, coming to the point at once, 'that a
fine young fellow like you does not settle down now and take a wife, and
let me have the pleasure of seeing you as a tenant always with us.'

"'You wouldn't, my lady,' said the miller, 'have me bring a bird before
I had a cage to put it in. The factor grudges to build me a house;
therefore, I fear I must remove.'

"'Well, Christie,' said her ladyship with great glee, 'you'll look out
for the bird, and leave it to me to find the cage.'

"'It's a bargain, my lady,' said Alexander. 'My father and my
grandfather were millers here for many a long year before me; and to
tell the truth, I was reluctant to leave the old place.'

"In the course of the forenoon, the miller made an errand up the burn to
the 'Whins,' for some empty bags; and as we had already got an inkling
of what had passed between him and Lady Menzies, I sent Janet to the
barn to help him look them out. When Janet returned, I saw she was a
little flurried, and looked as if there was something she wished to say.
In a little while--'Ma'am,' says she to me, 'I'm no' to stop after

"'No, Janet?' says I. 'I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sure I've no fault to
find with you, and you have been a long time with us.'

"'I'm not going far away,' said Janet, with some pride; 'the bairns will
aye get a handful of groats when they come to see us!'

"So you see, Mr. M'Lauchlin, what a change this census paper of yours
has brought about."

"Ay, ay, good wife," said Whinny Knowes, laughing; "Although you have
lost a good servant, you must admit that I've managed to keep the

=Qualifications for a Chief=

When Glengarry claimed the chieftainship of the Macdonald clan, the
generally acknowledged chief wrote to him as follows: "My dear
Glengarry: As soon as you can prove yourself my chief I shall be ready
to acknowledge you. In the meantime, I am, _Yours_, Macdonald."

=A Beadle Magnifying His Office=

The story of Watty Tinlin, the half-crazy beadle of Hawick parish,
illustrates the license which was, on certain occasions, supposed to be
due to his office. One day Wat got so tired of listening to the long
sermon of a strange minister, that he went outside the church, and
wandering in the direction of the river Teviot, saw the worshipers from
the adjoining parish of Wilton crossing the bridge on their way home.

Returning to the church and finding the preacher still thundering away,
he shouted out, to the astonishment and relief of the exhausted
congregation: "Say, amen, sir; say amen! Wulton's kirk's comin ower
Teviot Brig!"

=No Wonder!=

The Lord Provost of a certain well-known city in the north had a
daughter married to a gentleman of the name of Baird; and speaking of
names of several friends, he happened to remark: "My grandmother was a
Huisband, and my mother a Man," these having been the maiden names of
the ladies.

"Why, in that case," said the celebrated Dr. Gregory, who happened to be
present, "we may the less wonder at your daughter having got a Baird."

=Virtuous Necessity=

Robbie Fairgrieve was sexton as well as kirk-beadle in a Roxburghshire
parish, and despite the solemn duties attaching to his vocation, was on
the whole a genial man, about equally fond of a joke and a good dram. In
fact, Robbie was affected with a chronic "spark in his throat" which was
ill to quench, and was, indeed, never fairly extinguished during the
fifty years he officiated as kirk-beadle and sexton. One day, the
minister of the parish met Robbie coming home from a visit to Jedburgh
fair much sooner than was expected, he (Robbie) having found the fair
painfully _dry_, in the sense of an unprecedented absence of friendly
drams. Curious to know the cause of the beadle's quick return, the
minister inquired as to the reason of such correct conduct, since most
of his fellow-parishioners would likely stay out the fair.

"Oh, sir," said Robbie, "huz yins (us ones) wha are 'sponsible
kirk-officers" (alluding to the minister and himself), "should aye
strive to be guid ensamples to the riff-raff o' the flock."

=Strangers--"Unawares"--Not always Angels=

Dr. Ferguson's first residence in Peebleshire was at Neidpath Castle,
which was then just about to fall into its present half-ruinous state.
On settling there, he told his family that it was his desire that any
respectable people in the neighborhood who called should be received
with the utmost civility, so that they might remain on pleasant terms
with all around. Ere many days had elapsed, a neatly-dressed,
gentleman-like little man was shown into Dr. Ferguson's own room, and
entered easily into miscellaneous conversation. The bell for their early
family-dinner ringing at the time, the courteous professor invited his
visitor to join the family in the dining-room, which he readily
consented to do. The family, remembering their father's injunction, of
course received the unknown with all possible distinction, and a very
lively conversation ensued. Dr. Ferguson, however, expressed his concern
to see that his guest was eating very little--indeed, only making an
appearance of eating--and he confessed his regret that he had so little
variety of fare to offer him.

"Oh, doctor," said the stranger, "never mind me: the fact is, on
_killing days_ I scarcely ever have any appetite."

Not small was the surprise, but much greater the amusement of the
family, on discovering that he of the stingy appetite was Robert Smith,
the Peebles butcher, and that the object of his visit was merely to
bespeak Dr. Ferguson's custom!


A young preacher was holding forth to a country congregation, with
rather more show than substance; after discussing certain heads in his
way, he informed his audience that he would conclude with a few

An old man, who seemed not greatly gratified, gave a significant shrug
of his shoulders, and said in a low tone of voice, "Ye needna fash.
There'll be plenty o' reflections I'se warn ye, though ye dinna mak' ony

=An Observant Husband=

Willie Turnbull and his wife used to sup their evening meal of brose out
of one "cog," but the gudewife generally took care to place the lump of
butter at one side of the dish, which she carefully turned to her own
side of the table. One night, however, Mrs. Turnbull inadvertently
turned the "fat side" from her, and did not discover her error till she
was about to dip in her spoon. She could not, without exposing her
selfishness, actually turn the bowl round before her husband, but the
butter she must have, and in order to obtain it she resorted to

"Willie," said she, as if seized with a sudden inspiration, "isn't this
a queer world? I'm tell't that it just turns round and round about, as I
micht take this bowl and turn it round this way," and she prepared to
suit the action to the word.

Willie, however, saw this at a glance, and promptly stopped the
practical illustration, saying, "Ay, ay, Maggie, the world's queer
enough, but you just let it stand still e'enow, and the brose bowl,

="Bulls" in Scotland=

Two operatives in one of the Border towns were heard disputing about a
new cemetery, beside the elegant railing of which they were standing.
One of them, evidently disliking the continental fashion in which it was
being laid out, said in disgust, "I'd rather dee than be buried in sic a

"Weel, it's the verra reverse wi' me," said the other, "for I'll be
buried naewhere else if I'm spared."

="Brothers" in Law=

A countryman, going into the Court of Session, took notice of two
advocates at the bar, who, being engaged on opposite sides of the case
in hand, wrangled with and contradicted each other severely, each
frequently, however, styling his opponent "brother." The countryman
observed to a bystander that there did not seem to be much brotherly
love between them.

"Oh," said he, "they're only brothers _in law_."

"I suppose they'll be married on twa sisters, then," replied he; "and I
think it's just the auld story ower again--freen's 'gree best separate."

=A Family Likeness=

Some soldiers, quartered in a country village, when they met at the
roll-call were asking one another what kind of quarters they had got;
one of them said he had very good quarters, but the strangest landlady
ever he saw--she always took him off. A comrade said he would go along
with him and would take her off. He went and offered to shake hands with
her, saying, "How are you, Elspa?"

"Indeed, sir," said she, "ye hae the better o' me; I dinna ken ye."

"Dear me, Elspa," replied the soldier, "d'ye no ken me? I'm the devil's
sister's son."

"Dear, save us!" quoth the old wife, looking him broadly in the face;
"'od man, but ye're like your uncle!"

="Unco' Modest"=

A Scottish witness in the House of Lords once gave in a rather
dictatorial style his notions as to the failings in the character of
Irishmen and Englishmen.

He was allowed to say his say, and when out of breath Lord Lucan asked
him to oblige the committee with his ideas relative to Scotch character.

"Aweel, my laird, they're just on the contrary, unco' modest and"--the
rest of the sentence was drowned in uproarious merriment.

=Objecting to "Regeneration"=

"What is the meaning of 'regeneration,' Tommy?" asked a teacher in the
north, of one of the most promising pupils.

"It means 'to be born again,' sir," was the answer.

"Quite right, quite right, my man. Would you like to be born again,
Tommy?" said the examiner.

"No, sir, I wadna;" replied the heretical youth, boldly.

"Indeed, laddie, and wha for no'?" inquired the astounded preceptor.

"Because, sir," answered Tommy, "I'm fear'd I might be born a lassie."

=Reasons For and Against Organs in Kirk=

At a certain gathering of Presbyterian clergymen one of them urged that
organs should be introduced in order to draw more young people to the
church; upon which an old minister remarked that this was acting on the
principle of "O whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad!"

=Too Much Light and Too Little=

A parish minister in Stirlingshire, noted for his parsimonious habits,
had his glebe land wholly cropped with corn upon one occasion. After the
ingatherings of harvest, news reached him that a considerable fall in
prices was expected, and he ordered his serviceable "man," John, to get
the corn threshed and taken to market with all possible speed. Now the
beadle, having a well-founded hatred for his master's greed, set about
his work in his ordinary style--a slow, if sure, process. John's style,
however, did not on this occasion please the minister, who ordered him
to get through with the task, even though he should get it done by

"Weel, weel," said the beadle; "say nae mair aboot it; it'll be done,
sir, e'en as ye desire."

Next day the minister, hearing the sound of the flail, entered the barn
to see what progress was being made with the work, when, to his
astonishment and anger, he found his beadle "flailing" away with might
and main, and a candle burning brightly on each side of the

"What's this I see? What's the meaning of this?" demanded his master.
"Candles burning in broad daylight!"

"Oh, contain yersel', sir--contain yersel'," replied John with provoking
coolness. "I'm daein' nae mair than ye bade me, for I'm daein' the job
baith by day-licht and by can'le-licht."

The beadle, after being severely lectured on his extravagant conduct,
was ordered to take the candles to the kitchen, and henceforth and at
all times he was to be deprived of their use.

One night shortly after, a message came to the minister that one of his
parishioners, who lived at a distance, was supposed to be dying, and was
anxious to see him. John was dispatched to saddle the horse; and his
master set about equipping himself for the journey. He then stepped
across to where John was waiting with the animal, and seizing the reins,
was about to mount, when suddenly, seeing a pair of horns on the crest
of the steed, he shouted: "What in all the earth is this you have done,

The beadle, comically peering in the darkness at the creature,
exclaimed: "I declare, sir, if I hav'na saddled the coo instead o' the
horse, for the want o' can'le-licht!"

=A Reproof Cleverly Diverted=

The punctuality which reigned over the domestic regulations of Dr.
Chalmers was sometimes not a little inconvenient to his guests.

His aunt, while living in the house, appearing one morning too late for
breakfast, and well knowing what awaited her if she did not "take the
first word o' flyting," thus diverted the expected storm.

"Oh! Mr. Chalmers," she exclaimed, as she entered the room, "I had such
a strange dream last night; I dreamt that you were dead. And I dreamt,"
she continued, "that the funeral cards were written; and the day came,
and the folk came, and the hour came; but what do you think happened?
Why, the clock had scarce done chapping twelve, which was the hour named
in the cards, when a loud knocking was heard in the coffin, and a voice,
gey peremptory and ill-pleased like, came out of it, saying, 'Twelve's
chappit, and ye're no liftin'!'"

The doctor was too fond of a joke not to relish this one; and, in the
hearty laugh which followed, the ingenious culprit escaped. [22]

=A Scotch "Squire"=

"What name, sir?" said a booking clerk at a coach office in Paisley, to
a person who was applying for a seat in the Glasgow coach.

"What hae ye to dae wi' my name, gin I gie ye the siller?" replied the

"I require it for the way-bill; and unless you give it, you can't have a
place in the coach," said the clerk.

"Oh! gin that be the case, I suppose ye maun hae't. Weel, then, my
name's John Tamson o' Butter Braes, an' ye may put 'Esquire' till't, gin
ye like; at least, I live on my ain farm."

=Peter Peebles' Prejudice=

"Ow, he is just a weed harum-scarum creature, that wad never take his
studies; daft, sir, clean daft."

"Deft!" said the justice; "what d'ye mean by deft--eh?"

"Just Fifish," replied Peter; "wowf--a wee bit by the East--Nook, or
sae; it's common case--the ae half of the warld thinks the tither daft.
I have met folk in my day that thought I was daft mysell; and, for my
part, I think our Court of Session clean daft, that have had the great
cause of Peebles against Plainstanes before them for this score of
years, and have never been able to ding the bottom of it yet." [20]

=English versus Scotch Sheep's Heads=

A Scottish family, having removed to London, wished to have a sheep's
head prepared as they had been accustomed to have it at home, and sent
the servant to procure one.

"My gude man," said the girl, "I want a sheep's head."

"There's plenty of them," replied the knight of the knife, "choose one
for yourself."

"Na, na," said she, "I want ane that will sing (singe)."

"Go, you stupid girl," said he, "whoever heard of a sheep's head that
could sing?"

"Why," said the girl in wrath, "it's ye that's stupid; for a' the
sheep's heads in Scotland can sing; but I jalouse your English sheep
are just as grit fules as their owners, and can do naething as they

=Seeking, not Help, but Information--and Getting It=

The landlord of the hotel at the foot of Ben Nevis tells a story of an
Englishman stumbling into a bog between the mountain and the inn, and
sinking up to his armpits. In danger of his life he called out to a tall
Highlander who was passing by, "How can I get out of this?" to which the
Scotchman replied, "I dinna think ye can," and coolly walked on.

=Compulsory Education and a Father's Remedy=

One of the members of a Scottish School Board was recently discussing
the question of compulsory education with a worthy elector, who
addressed him as follows: "An' that's gospel, is't, that ye're gaun to
eddicatt my bairns whuther I will or no?"

The member proceeded to explain.

"Weel, I'll just tell ye. Ye say they're to be eddicatt; I say they're
no' an' they sanna. I'll droon them first!"

="No Lord's Day!"=

In a certain district in the Highlands, the bell-man one day made the
following proclamation: "O yes, O yes, and O yes; and that's three
times! You'll all pe tak' notice, that there will pe no Lord's day here
next Sabbath, pecause the laird's wife wants the kirk to dry her clothes

=Dead Shot=

An ironmonger who kept a shop in the High Street of Edinburgh, and sold
gunpowder and shot, when asked by any ignorant person in what respect
"patent" shot--a new article at that time--surpassed the old kind, "Oh,
sir," he would answer, "it shoots deader."

=Quid Pro Quo=

An old Scottish beggar, with bonnet in hand, appealed to a clergyman for
"a bit of charity." The minister put a piece of silver into his hand.

"Thank ye, sir; oh, thank ye! I'll gie ye an afternoon's hearing for
this ane o' these days."

=The Scottish Credit System=

An intimation hung in a warehouse in Glasgow was to this effect: "No
credit given here, except to those who pay money down."

=Scotch "Paddy"=

"Noo, my gude bairns," said a schoolmaster to his class "there's just
another instance o' the uncertainty o' human life; ane o' your ane
schulemates--a fine wee bit lassie--went to her bed hale and weel at
night and rose a corpse in the morning."

=The Importance of Quantity in Scholarship=

Charles Erskine was, at the age of twenty, a teacher of Latin in
Edinburgh University. On one occasion, after his elevation to the bench,
a young lawyer in arguing a case before him used a false Latin quantity,
whereupon his lordship said, with a good-natured smile, "Are you sure,
sir, you are correct in your _quantity_ there?"

The young counsel nettled at the query, retorted petulantly, "My lord, I
never was a schoolmaster."

"No," answered the judge, "nor, I think, a scholar either."

=Capital Punishment=

Andrew Leslie, an old Scotchman, always rode a donkey to his work and
tethered him, while he labored, on the road, or wherever else he might
be. It was suggested to him by a neighboring gentleman that he was
suspected of putting him in to feed in the fields at other people's

"Eh, laird, I could never be tempted to do that, for my cuddy winna eat
anything but nettles and thistles."

One day, however, the same gentleman was riding along the road when he
saw Andrew Leslie at work, and his donkey up to his knees in one of his
own clover fields feeding luxuriously.

"Hollo! Andrew," said he, "I thought you told me your cuddy would eat
nothing but nettles and thistles."

"Ay," was the reply, "but he misbehaved the day; he nearly kicked me
ower his head, sae I put him in there just to punish him!"


Scotch parish schoolmasters are, on their appointment, examined as to
their literary qualifications. One of the fraternity being called by his
examiner to translate Horace's ode beginning, "Exegi monumentum ære
perennius," commenced as follows: "Exegi monumentum--I have eaten a

"Ah," said one of the examiners, "ye needna proceed any further; for
after eatin' sic a dinner, this parish wad be a puir mouthfu' t' ye. Ye
maun try some wider sphere."

=An Instance of Scott's Pleasantry=

Sir Walter Scott was never wanting in something pleasant to say, even on
the most trivial occasions. Calling one day at Huntly Burn, soon after
the settlement of his friend in that house, and observing a fine
honeysuckle in full blossom over the door, he congratulated Miss
Ferguson on its appearance. She remarked that it was the kind called
trumpet honeysuckle, from the form of the flower. "Weel," said Scott,
"ye'll never come out o' your ain door without a flourish o' trumpets."

=Turning His Father's Weakness to Account=

Many good stories are told of old Dr. Lawson, a Presbyterian minister in
Scotland, who was so absent-minded that he sometimes was quite
insensible of the world around him. One of his sons, who afterwards
became a highly esteemed Christian minister, was a very tricky boy,
perhaps mischievous in his tricks.

Near the manse lived an old woman, of crabbed temper, and rather ungodly
in her mode of living. She and the boy had quarreled, and the result was
that he took a quiet opportunity to kill one of her hens. She went
immediately to Dr. Lawson and charged his son with the deed. She was
believed; and, as it was not denied, punishment was inflicted. He was
ordered to abide in the house; and to make the sentence more severe his
father took him into the _study_, and commanded him to sit there with

The son was restless, and frequently eyed the door. At last he saw his
father drowned in thought, and quietly slipped out. He went directly to
the old woman's and killed another hen, returning immediately and taking
his place in the library, his father having never missed him.

The old woman speedily made her appearance, and charged the slaughter
again upon him.

Dr. Lawson, however, waxed angry--declared her to be a false accuser, as
the boy had been closeted with him all the time--adding: "Besides, this
convinces me that you had just as little ground for your last
accusation; I therefore acquit him of both, and he may go out now."

The woman went off in high dudgeon, and the prisoner in high glee.

=Curious Idea of the Evidence for Truth=

Jean M'Gown had been telling a story to some friends who seemed inclined
to doubt the truth thereof, when Jean, turning round quite indignantly,
said, "It mon be true, for father read it out o' a _bound book_!"

=Dry Weather, and Its Effects on the Ocean=

The family of Mr. Torrance were about leaving the town of Strathaven,
for America. Tibby Torrance, an old maiden sister of Mr. Torrance's was
to accompany them.

Before they left, some of the neighbors were talking to Tibby of the
dangers of the "great deep," when she suddenly exclaimed, "Aweel, aweel,
it's been a gay dry summer, and I think the sea'll no' be very deep!"

=Laughing in the Pulpit--With Explanation=

A Scotch Presbyterian minister stopped one morning, in the middle of his
discourse, laughing out loud and long. After a while he composed his
face, and finished the service without any explanation of his
extraordinary conduct.

The elders, who had often been annoyed with his peculiarities, thought
this a fit occasion to remonstrate with him. They did so during the noon
intermission, and insisted upon the propriety of his making an
explanation in the afternoon. To this he readily assented; and after the
people were again assembled, and while he was standing, book in hand,
ready to begin the service, he said:

"Brethren, I laughed in midst of the service this mornin', and the gude
eldership came and talked wi' me aboot it, and I towld them I would make
an apology to you at once, and that I am now aboot to do. As I was
preaching to you this mornin', I saw the deil come in that door wi' a
long parchment in his hand, as long as my arm; and as he came up that
side he tuk down the names of all that were asleep, an' then he went
down the ither side, and got only twa seats down, and by that time the
parchment was full. The deil looked along down the aisle, and saw a
whole row of sleepers, and no room for their names; so he stretched it
till it tore; and he laughed, and I couldn't help it but laugh, too--and
that's my apology. Sing the Fiftieth Psalm."

=A Good Judge of Accent=

A Canadian bishop, well known for his broad Scotch accent as well as his
belief that it was not perceptible, was called upon by a brother Scot
one day, whom he had not seen for several years. Among other questions
asked of him by the bishop was, "How long have you been in Canada?"

"About sax years," was the reply.

"Hoot, mon," says the bishop, "why hae ye na lost your accent, like

="Haudin' His Stick"=

On my first visit to Edinburgh, having heard a great deal of the
oratorical powers of some of the members of the General Assembly, I was
anxious to hear and judge for myself. I accordingly paid an early visit
to it. Seated next me I saw an elderly, hard-featured, sober-looking
man, leaning with both hands on a stick and eyeing the stick with great
earnestness, scarcely even moving his eyes to right or left.

My attention was soon directed to the speaker above me, who had opened
the discourse of the day. The fervidness of his eloquence, his great
command of language, and the strangeness of his manner excited my
attention in an unusual degree. I wished to know who he was, and applied
to my neighbor, the sober-looking, hard-featured man.

"Pray, sir, can you tell me who is speaking now?"

The man turned on me a defiant and contemptuous look for my ignorance,
and answered, looking reverently at the cane on which his hands were
imposed: "Sir, that's the great Docther Chawmers, and I'm haudin' his
stick!" [16]

=Indiscriminate Humor=

The late Archibald Constable, the well-known Edinburgh publisher, was
somewhat remarkable in his day for the caustic severity of his speech,
which, however, was only a thin covering to a most amiable, if somewhat
overbearing, disposition.

On one occasion a partner of the London publishing house of Longman,
Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown was dining with Mr. C----, at his country seat
near the beautiful village of Lasswade. Looking out of the window, the
Londoner remarked, "What a pretty lake, and what beautiful swans!"

"Lake, mon, and swans!--it's nae a lake, it's only a pond; and they're
naething but geese. You'll maybe noteece that they are just five of
them; and Baldy, that ne'er-do-weel bairn there, caws them Longman,
Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown!"

Sir Walter Scott, in telling the story, was wont to add: "That skit cost
the 'crafty' many a guinea, for the cockney was deeply offended, as well
he might be, not knowing the innocent intent with which his Scotch
friend made such speeches."

=Scotch Undergraduates and Funerals=

The reported determination of a Scottish professor not to allow the
students of his class more than one funeral in each family this session
sounds like a grim joke; but it is fair to note that this gentleman, who
has presumptively some experience of the ways of undergraduates, was
lately reported to have come to the conclusion that the very high rate
of mortality of late among the relatives of members of his class has
been "artificially produced." Dark reminders of the hero of "Ruddigore,"
who was bound by the decrees of fate to commit one crime a day, have
been heard in connection with this mysterious reference; but the
_University Correspondent_ has thrown a little light on the subject. The
suggestion is that the northern undergraduate--not unlike his English
brother--when he is feeling a little bored by his surroundings at the
university, has a habit of producing a sad telegram informing him of the
demise of a maiden aunt or second-cousin who never existed. [17]

=Honest Johnny M'Cree=

In one of his speeches Sheridan says: I remember a story told respecting
Mr. Garrick, who was once applied to by an eccentric Scotchman to
introduce a work of his on the stage. This Scotchman was such a
good-humored fellow, that he was called "honest Johnny M'Cree."

Johnny wrote four acts of a tragedy which he showed to Mr. Garrick, who
dissuaded him from finishing it, telling him that his talent did not lie
that way; so Johnny abandoned the tragedy, and set about writing a
comedy. When this was finished he showed it to Mr. Garrick, who found it
to be still more exceptionable than the tragedy, and of course could not
be persuaded to bring it forward on the stage.

This surprised poor Johnny, and he remonstrated. "Nay, now, David," said
Johnny, "did you not tell me that my talents did not lie in tragedy?"

"Yes," said Garrick, "but I did not tell you that they lay in comedy."

"Then," exclaimed Johnny, "gin they dinna lie there, where the deil
dittha lie, mon?"

=Heaven Before it was Wanted=

A Scotch newspaper relates that a beggar wife, on receiving a gratuity
from the Rev. John Skinner, of Langside, author of "Tullochgorum," said
to him by way of thanks, "Oh, sir, I houp that ye and a' your family
will be in heaven the nicht."

"Well," said Skinner, "I am very much obliged to you; only you need not
have just been so particular as to the time."

=Curious Delusion Concerning Light=

A hard-headed Scotchman, a first-rate sailor and navigator, he, like
many other people, had his craze, which consisted in looking down with
lofty contempt upon such deluded mortals as supposed that light was
derived from the sun! Yet he gazed on that luminary day after day as he
took its meridian altitude and was obliged to temper his vision with the
usual piece of dark-colored glass.

"How," I asked him, "do you account for light if it is not derived from
the sun?"

"Weel," he said, "it comes from the eer; but you will be knowing all
about it some day."

He was of a taciturn nature, but of the few remarks which he did make
the usual one was, "Weel, and so yer think that light comes from the
sun, do yer? Weel! ha, ha!" and he would turn away with a contemptuous
chuckle. [18]

=Less Sense than a Sheep=

Lord Cockburn, the proprietor of Bonally, was sitting on a hillside with
a shepherd; and observing the sheep reposing in the coolest situation he
observed to him, "John, if I were a sheep, I would lie on the other side
of the hill." The shepherd answered, "Ay, my lord, but if ye had been a
sheep, ye would hae mair sense."

=Consoled by a Relative's Lameness=

For authenticity of one remark made by the Rev. Walter Dunlop I can
readily vouch. Some time previous to the death of his wife Mr. Dunlop
had quarreled with that lady's brother--a gentleman who had the
misfortune to lose a leg, and propelled himself by means of a stick

When engaged with two of the deacons of his church, considering the
names of those to whom "bids" to the funeral should be sent, one
observed, "Mr. Dunlop, ye maun send ane to Mr. ----" naming the
obnoxious relative.

"Ou, ay," returned the minister, striving that his sense of duty should
overcome his reluctance to the proposal. "Ye can send _him_ ane." Then
immediately added, with much gravity, and in a tone that told the vast
relief which the reflection afforded, "He'll no be able to come up the
stairs." [4]

=Curious Sentence=

Some years ago the celebrated Edward Irving had been lecturing at
Dumfries, and a man who passed as a wag in that locality had been to
hear him.

He met Watty Dunlop the following day, who said, "Weel, Willie, man, an'
what do ye think of Mr. Irving?"

"Oh," said Willie contemptuously, "the man's crack't."

Dunlop patted him on the shoulder, with a quiet remark, "Willie, ye'll
aften see a light peeping through a crack!" [7]

=Too Canny to Admit Anything Particular=

An elder of the parish kirk of Montrose was suspected of illegal
practices, and the magistrates being loth to prosecute him, privately
requested the minister to warn the man that his evil doings were known,
and that if he did not desist he would be punished and disgraced. The
minister accordingly paid the elder a visit, but could extort neither
confession nor promise of amendment from the delinquent.

"Well, Sandy," said the minister, as he rose to retire from his
fruitless mission, "you seem to think your sins cannot be proved before
an earthly tribunal, but you may be assured that they will all come out
in the day of judgment."

"Verra true, sir," replied the elder, calmly. "An' it is to be hoped for
the credit of the kirk that neither yours nor mine come oot afore then."

=Mortifying Unanimity=

     I said, to one who picked me up,
       Just slipping from a rock,
     "I'm not much good at climbing, eh?"
       "No, sirr, ye arrrn't," quoth Jock.

     I showed him then a sketch I'd made,
       Of rough hill-side and lock;
     "I'm not an artist, mind," I said;
       "No, sirr, ye arrrn't," quoth Jock.

     A poem, next, I read aloud--
       One of my num'rous stock;
     "I'm no great poet," I remarked;
       "No, sirr, ye arrrn't," said Jock.

     Alas! I fear I well deserved
       (Although it proved a shock),
     In answer to each modest sham,
       That plain retort from Jock.

=A Consoling "If"=

Bannockburn is always the set-off to Flodden in popular estimation, and
without it Flodden would be a sore subject.

"So you are going to England to practice surgery," said a Scottish
lawyer to a client, who had been a cow-doctor; "but have you skill
enough for your new profession!"

"Hoots! ay! plenty o' skill!"

"But are you not afraid ye may sometimes kill your patients, if you do
not study medicine for awhile as your proper profession?"

"Nae fear! and if I do kill a few o' the Southrons, it will take a great
deal of killing to mak' up for Flodden!"

=Happy Escape from an Angry Mob=

The most famous surgeon in Edinburgh, towards the close of the last
(the eighteenth) century, was certainly Mr. Alexander Wood, Member of
the Incorporation of Chirurgeons, or what is now called the Royal
College of Surgeons. In these days he was known by no other name than
Lang Sandy Wood (or "Wud," as it was pronounced). He deserves to be
remembered as the last man in Edinburgh who wore a cocked hat and sword
as part of his ordinary dress, and the first who was known to carry an

It is generally supposed that he was induced to discontinue the wearing
of the sword and cocked hat by an unfortunate accident which very nearly
happened to him about 1792. At that time the then lord provost, or
chief magistrate of the city, a Mr. Stirling, was very unpopular with
the lower orders of society, and one dark night, as Sandy was
proceeding over the North Bridge on some errand of mercy, he was
met by an infuriated mob on their way from the "closes" of the old
town to burn the provost's house in revenge for some wrong--real or
imaginary--supposed to be inflicted by that functionary. Catching sight
of an old gentleman in a cocked hat and sword, they instantly concluded
that this must be the provost--these two articles of dress being then
part of the official attire of the Edinburgh chief magistrate. Then
arose the cry of "Throw him over the bridge"--a suggestion no sooner
made than it was attempted to be carried into execution.

The tall old surgeon was in mortal terror, and had barely time to gasp
out, just as he was carried to the parapet of the bridge, "Gude folk,
I'm no' the provost. Carry me to a lamp post an' ye'll see I'm Lang
Sandy Wood!"

With considerable doubt whether or not the obnoxious magistrate was not
trying to save his life by trading on the popularity of Sandy, they
carried him to one of the dim oil-lamps, with which the city was then
lit, and after scanning his face closely, satisfied themselves of the
truth of their victim's assertion. Then came a revulsion of feeling, and
amid shouts of applause the popular surgeon was carried to his residence
on the shoulders of the mob.

=The End Justifying the Means=

Sandy Wood had the most eccentric ways of curing people. One of his
patients, the Hon. Mrs. ----, took it into her head that she was a hen,
and that her mission in life was to hatch eggs. So firmly did this
delusion take possession of her mind that, by-and-bye she found it
impossible to rise off her seat, lest the eggs should get cold. Sandy
encouraged the mania, and requested that he might have the pleasure of
taking a "dish of tea" with her that evening, and that she would have
the very best china on the table.

She cordially agreed to this, and when her guest arrived in the evening
he found the tea-table covered with some very valuable crockery, which
did not belie its name, for it had really been imported from China by a
relative of the lady, an East Indian Nabob.

The surgeon made a few remarks about the closeness of the room, asked
permission to raise the window, and then, watching an opportunity when
the hostess' eye was upon him, he seized the trayful of fragile ware and
feigned to throw them out of the window.

The lady screamed, and, forgetful in her fright of her supposed
inability to rise, she rushed from her seat to arrest the arm of the

The task was not a hard one, for the eccentric old surgeon laughed as he
replaced the tray on the table, and escorted his patient to her seat.
The spell had been broken, and nothing more was ever heard of the
egg-hatching mania.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another lady patient of his had a tumor in her throat, which threatened
her death if it did not burst. She entirely lost her voice, and all his
efforts to reach the seat of the malady were unavailing. As a last
resort, he quietly placed the poker in the fire; and after in vain
attempting to get his patient to scream, so as to burst the tumor, he
asked her to open her mouth, and seizing the then red-hot poker, he made
a rush with it to her throat. The result was a yell of terror from the
thoroughly frightened patient, which effected what he had long
desired--the breaking of the tumor, and her recovery.

=A Lecture on Baldness--Curious Results=

Edinburgh laughed heartily, but was not at all scandalized, when one
famous university professor kicked another famous professor in the same
faculty, down before him from near the North Bridge to where the
Register House now stands. The _casus belli_ was simple, but, as
reported, most irritating.

The offending professor was lecturing to his class one morning, and
happened to say that baldness was no sign of age. "In fact, gentlemen,"
said the suave professor, "it's no sign at all, nor the converse. I was
called in very early yesterday morning to see the wife of a
distinguished colleague, a lady whose raven locks have long been the
pride of rout and ball. It was in the morning, and I caught the lady in
deshabille, and would you believe it, the raven locks were all fudge,
and the lady was as bald as the palm of my hand."

The professor said nothing more, but no sooner was his lecture ended
than the students casually inquired of the coachman whom the professor
was called to see yesterday morning. The coachman, innocently enough,
answered, "Oh, Mrs. Prof. ----."

This was enough, and so before four-and-twenty hours went round, the
story came to Prof. A---- that Prof. B---- had said, in his class, that
Mrs. Prof. A---- wore a wig. For two days they did not meet, and when
they did, the offender was punished in the ignominious manner described.

=A Miserly Professor=

An Edinburgh professor was noted for his miserly habits, though, in
reality, he was a rich man and the proprietor of several ancestral
estates. He once observed a Highland student--proverbially a poor
set--about to pick up a penny in the college quad, but just as he was
about to pick it up, the learned professor gave him a push, which sent
the poor fellow right over, when Dr. ---- cooly pocketed the coin and
walked on, amid the laughter of a crowd of students who were watching
the scene. He did not always stick at trifles. Going down the crowded
street he saw a street boy pick up a shilling. Instantly the professor
chucked it out of the boy's hand, and then, holding it between his thumb
and forefinger, with his gold-headed cane in the other, carefully
guarding it, he read out to the whimpering boy a long lecture on honesty
being the best policy; how the "coin" was not his; how it might belong
to some poor man whose family might be suffering for the want of that
coin, and so on, concluding by pocketing the shilling, and charging the
finder that "if ever he heard of anybody having lost that shilling, to
say that Prof. ---- had got it. Everybody knows me. It is quite safe.
Honesty, my lad, is always the best policy. Remember that, and read your
catechism well."

       *       *       *       *       *

On one occasion he was called, in consultation with Prof. Gregory, about
a patient of his who happened to be a student of medicine. The day
previously, however, Dr. Gregory had called alone, and on going away was
offered the customary guinea. This the stately physician firmly refused;
he never took fees from students. The patient replied that Prof. ----
did. Immediately Gregory's face brightened up. "I will be here to-morrow
in consultation with him. Be good enough to offer me a fee before him,

To-morrow came, and the student did as he had been requested.

"What is that, sir?" the professor answered, looking at his proffered
guinea: "A fee, sir! Do you mean to insult me, sir? What do you take us
to be--cannibals? Do we live on one another? No, sir. The man who could
take a fee from a student of his own profession ought to be
kicked--kicked, sir, out of the faculty! Good morning!" and with that
the celebrated physician walked to the door, in well-affected
displeasure. Next day, to the astonishment of the patient, Prof. ----
sent a packet with all the fees returned.

It is said that he once took a bag of potatoes for a fee, and ever after
boasted of his generosity in the matter: "The man was a poor man, sir.
We must be liberal, sir. Our Master enjoins it on us, and it is
recommended in a fine passage in the admirable aphorisms of Hippocrates.
The man had no money, sir, so I had to deal gently with him, and take
what he had; though as a rule--as a rule--I prefer the modern to the
ancient exchange, _pecunia_ instead of _pecus_. Hah! hah!"

=Silencing English Insolence=

"There never was a Scotchman" said an insolent cockney, at Stirling, to
a worthy Scot, who was acting as guide to the castle "who did not want
to get out of Scotland almost as soon as he got into it."

"That such may be the fack, I'll no' gainsay," replied the Scot. "There
were about twenty thousand o' your countrymen, and mair, who wanted to
get out of Scotland on the day of Bannockburn. But they could na' win.
And they're laying at Bannockburn the noo; and have never been able to
get out o' Scotland yet."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was Johnson's humor to be anti-Scottish. He objected theoretically to
haggis, though he ate a good plateful of it.

"What do you think o' the haggis?" asked the hospitable old lady, at
whose table he was dining, seeing that he partook so plentifully of it.

"Humph!" he replied, with his mouth full, "it's very good food for

"Then let me help you to some mair o' 't," said the lady, helping him

=Helping Business=

Prof. James Gregory, perhaps the most celebrated physician of his day,
but who, in popular estimation, is dolefully remembered as the inventor
of a nauseous compound known as Gregory's Mixture. He was a tall and
very handsome man, and stately and grave in all his manners, but,
withal, with a touch of Scotch humor in him. One evening, walking home
from the university, he came upon a street row or bicker, a sort of
town-and-gown-riot very common in those days. Observing a boy
systematically engaged in breaking windows, he seized him, and inquired,
in the sternest voice, what he did that for.

"Oh," was the reply, "my master's a glazier, and I'm trying to help

"Indeed. Very proper; very proper, my boy," Dr. Gregory answered, and,
as he proceeded to maul him well with his cane, "you see I must follow
your example. I'm a doctor, and must help business a little." And with
that, he gave a few finishing whacks to the witty youth, and went off
chuckling at having turned the tables on the glazier's apprentice.

=Sandy Wood's Proposal of Marriage=

When proposing to his future wife's father for his daughter, the old
gentleman took a pinch of snuff and said, "Weel, Sandy, lad, I've
naething again' ye, but what have ye to support a wife on?"

Sandy's reply was to pull a case of lancets out of his pocket with the
remark, "These!"

=Rival Anatomists in Edinburgh University=

Perhaps the most eminent teacher of anatomy in Edinburgh, or in Britain,
early in this century, was Dr. Robert Knox. He was a man abounding in
anything but the milk of human kindness towards his professional
brethren, and if people had cared in those days to go to law about
libels, it is to be feared Knox would have been rarely out of a court of
law. Personality and satirical allusions were ever at his tongue's end.
After attracting immense classes his career came very suddenly to a
close. Burke and Hare, who committed such atrocious murders to supply
the dissecting-room with "subjects" were finally discovered, and one of
them executed--the other turning king's evidence. Knox's name got mixed
up with the case, being supposed to be privy to these murders, though
many considered him innocent. The populace, however, were of a
different opinion. Knox's house was mobbed, and though he braved it out,
he never after succeeded in regaining popular esteem. He was a splendid
lecturer, and a man, who, amid all his self-conceit and malice, could
occasionally say a bitingly witty thing.

It is usual with lecturers at their opening lecture to recommend
text-books, and accordingly Knox would commence as follows: "Gentlemen,
there are no text-books I can recommend. I wrote one myself, but it is
poor stuff. I can't recommend it. The man who knows most about a subject
writes worst on it. If you want a good text-book on any subject,
recommend me to the man who knows nothing earthly about the subject. The
result is that we have no good text-book on anatomy. We _will_ have
soon, however--Prof. Monro is going to write one."

That was the finale, and, of course, brought down the house, when, with
a sinister expression on his face, partly due to long sarcasm, and
partly to the loss of an eye, he would bow himself out of the

The Prof. Monro referred to by Knox was the professor of anatomy of
Edinburgh University, and the _third_ of that name who had filled the
chair for one hundred and twenty years. He succeeded his father and
grandfather, as if by right of birth--and if it was not by that right he
had no other claim to fill that chair.

Knox lectured at a different hour from Monro, namely, exactly five
minutes after the conclusion of the latter's lecture. Accordingly the
students tripped over from Monro to Knox, greatly to the annoyance, but
in no way to the loss of the former. It may well be supposed that during
their forced attendance on Monro's lectures they did not spend much time
in listening to what he had to say. In fact they used to amuse
themselves during the hour of his lecture, and always used to organize
some great field days during the session. So lazy was Monro that he was
in the habit of using his grandfather's lectures, written more than one
hundred years before. They were--as was the fashion then--written in
Latin, but his grandson gave a free translation as he proceeded,
without, however, taking the trouble to alter the dates. Accordingly, in
1820 or 1830, students used to be electrified to hear him slowly
drawling out, "When I was in Padua in 1694--" This was the signal for
the fun to begin. On the occasion when this famous speech was known to
be due, the room was always full, and no sooner was it uttered than
there descended showers of peas on the head of the devoted professor,
who, to the end of his life could never understand what it was all
about. [19]

="Discretion--the Better Part of Valor"=

A spirited ballad was written on the Jacobite victory at Prestonpans by
a doughty Haddingtonshire farmer of the name of Skirving, in which he
distributed his praise and blame among the combatants in the most
impartial manner. Among others, he accused one "Lieutenant Smith, of
Irish birth," of leaping over the head of "Major Bowie, that worthy
soul," when lying wounded on the ground, and escaping from the field,
instead of rendering the assistance for which the sufferer called.
Smith, being aggrieved, sent the author a challenge to meet him at
Haddington. "Na, na," said the worthy farmer, who was working in his
field when the hostile message reached him, "I have no time to gang to
Haddington, but tell Mr. Smith to come here, and I'll tak' a look at
him. If he's a man about my ain size, I'll ficht him; but if he's muckle
bigger and stronger, I'll do just as he did--I'll run awa'!"

=Losing His Senses=

A census taker tells the following story: The first difficulty I
experienced was with Old Ronaldson. He was always a little queer, as old
bachelors often are. As I left the census paper with him, he held the
door in one hand while he took the paper from me in the other. I said I
would call again for the paper. "Ye needn't trouble yourself!" said he,
in a very ill-natured tone; "I'll not be bothered with your papers."
However, I did not mind him much; for I thought when he discovered that
the paper had nothing to do with taxes he would feel more comfortable,
and that he would fill it up properly.

The only person whom Old Ronaldson allowed near him was Mrs. Birnie; she
used to put his house in order and arrange his washing: for Ronaldson
was an old soldier; and although he had a temper, he was perfect in his
dress and most orderly in all his household arrangements. When Mrs.
Birnie went in her usual way to his house on the morning referred to,
the old gentleman was up and dressed; but he was in a terrible temper,
flurried and greatly agitated.

"Good morning, sir," said Mrs. Birnie--I had the particular words from
her own lips--"Good morning," said she; but Old Ronaldson, who was as a
rule extremely polite to her, did not on this occasion reply. His
agitation increased. He fumbled in all his pockets; pulled out and in
all the drawers of his desk; turned the contents of an old chest out on
the floor--all the time accompanying his search with muttered
imprecations, which at length broke into a perfect storm.

Mrs. Birnie had often seen Mr. Ronaldson excited before, but she had
never seen him in such a state as this. At length he approached an old
bookcase and, after looking earnestly about and behind it, he suddenly
seized and pulled it toward him, when a lot of old papers fell on the
floor, and a perfect cloud of dust filled the room. Mrs. Birnie stood
dumbfounded. At length the old gentleman, covered with dust and
perspiring with his violent exertions, sat down on the corner of his
bed, and in a most wretched tone of voice said: "Oh, Mrs. Birnie, don't
be alarmed, but I've lost my _senses_!"

"I was just thinking as much myself," said Mrs. Birnie; and off she ran
to my house at the top of her speed. "Oh, Mr. M'Lauchlin," said she,
"come immediately--come this very minute; for Old Ronaldson's clean mad.
He's tearing his hair, and cursing in a manner most awful to hear; and
worse than that--he's begun to tear down the house about himself. Oh,
sir, come immediately, and get him put in a strait jacket."

Of course I at once sent for old Dr. Macnab, and asked him to fetch a
certificate for an insane person with him. Now, old Dr. Macnab is a
cautious and sensible man. His bald head and silvery hair, his beautiful
white neck-cloth and shiny black coat, not to speak of his silver-headed
cane and dignified manner, all combined to make our doctor an authority
in the parish.

"Ay, ay," said the good doctor, when he met me; "I always feared the
worst about Mr. Ronaldson. Not good for man to be alone, sir. I always
advised him to take a wife. Never would take my advice. You see the
result, Mr. M'Lauchlin. However, we must see the poor man."

When we arrived, we found all as Mrs. Birnie had said; indeed by this
time matters had become worse and worse, and a goodly number of the
neighbors were gathered. One old lady recommended that the barber should
be sent for to shave Ronaldson's head. This was the least necessary, as
his head, poor fellow, was already as bald and smooth as a ball of
ivory. Another kind neighbor had brought in some brandy, and Old
Ronaldson had taken several glasses, and pronounced it capital; which
everyone said was a sure sign "he was coming to himself." One of his
tender-hearted neighbors, who had helped herself to a breakfast cupful
of this medicine, was shedding tears profusely, and as she kept rocking
from side to side, nursing her elbows, she cried bitterly: "Poor Mr.
Ronaldson's lost his senses!"

The instant Dr. Macnab appeared, Old Ronaldson stepped forward, shook
him warmly by the hand, and said: "I'm truly glad to see you, doctor.
You will soon put it all right. I have only lost my _senses_--that's
all! That's what all these women are making this row about."

"Let me feel your pulse," said the doctor gently.

"Oh, nonsense, doctor," cried Ronaldson--"nonsense; I've only lost my
_senses_." And he made as if he would fly at the heap of drawers, dust,
and rubbish which lay in the centre of the floor, and have it all raked
out again.

"Oh, lost your senses, have you?" said the doctor with a bland smile.
"You'll soon get over that--that's a trifle." But he deliberately pulled
out his big gold repeater and held Ronaldson by the wrist. "Just as I
feared. Pulse ninety-five, eye troubled, face flushed, muckle
excitement," etc. So there and then, Old Ronaldson was doomed. I did not
wish a painful scene; so, when I got my certificate signed by the
doctor, I quietly slipped out, got a pair of horses and a close
carriage, and asked Mr. Ronaldson to meet me, if he felt able, at the
inn in half an hour, as I felt sure a walk in the open air would do him
good. He gladly fell in with this plan, and promised to be with me at
noon certain.

As I have said, he is an old soldier, was an officer's servant in fact,
and is a most tidy and punctual person. But old Mrs. Birnie had, with
much thoughtfulness, the moment he began to make preparations for this,
put his razors out of the way. Hereupon he got worse and worse, stamped
and stormed, and at last worked himself into a terrible passion. I grew
tired waiting at the inn, and so returned, and found him in a sad state.
When he saw me, he cried: "Oh, Mr. M'Lauchlin, the deil's in this house
this day."

"Very true," said Mrs. Birnie to me in an aside. "You see, sir, he
speaks sense--whiles."

"Everything has gone against me this day," he went on; "but," said he,
"I'll get out of this if my beard never comes off. Hand me my Wellington
boots, Mrs. Birnie; I hope you have not swallowed them, too!"

The moment Ronaldson began to draw on his boots, affairs changed as if
by magic. "There," cried he triumphantly--"There is that confounded
paper of yours which has made all this row! See, Mrs. Birnie," he
exclaimed, flourishing my census paper in his hand; "_I've found my

"Oh," cried the much affected widow, "I am glad to hear it," and in her
ecstatic joy she rushed upon the old soldier, took his head to her
bosom, and wept for joy. I seized the opportunity to beat a hasty
retreat, and left the pair to congratulate each other upon the happy
finding of Old Ronaldson's _senses_.

=It's a Gran' Nicht=

The following is a fine comic sketch of an interview between a Scotch
peasant lover and "Kirsty," his sweetheart, who was only waiting for him
to speak. It is in fine contrast with the confident, rushing away in
which that sort of thing is done in other countries.

The young lover stands by the cottage gable in the fading light,
declaring, "It's a gran' nicht!" Ever so often he says it, yet he feels
its grandeur not at all, for the presence of something grander or
better, I suppose--the maiden, Kirsty Grant. Does he whisper soft
somethings of her betterness, I wonder, while thus he lingers? His only
communication is the important fact, "It's a gran' nicht." He would
linger, blessed in her presence, but the closing day warns him to be
gone. It will be midnight before he can reach his village home miles
away. Yet was it sweet to linger. "It's a very gran' nicht, but I maun
haist awa'. Mither 'ill be wunnerin'," said he.

"'Deed, ye'll hae tae draw yer feet gey fast tae win hame afore the
Sabbath; sae e'en be steppin'," she answered, cooly.

"It's gran'!" said he; "I wish ilka Saiturday nicht was lik' this ane."

"Wi' ye, Saiturday nicht shud maist be lik' Sunday morn, if ye bevil it
richt," said she, with a toss of her head, for she rightly guessed that
somehow the lad's pleasure was referable to herself. "I maun shut up the

"Good-nicht!" said he.

"Good-nicht!" said she, disappearing.

He stepped away in the muirland, making for home. "Isn't she smairt?"
said he to himself; "man, isn't she smairt? Said she, 'Saiturday nicht
shud aye be wi' ye lik' Sunday morn, if ye beviled it richt!' Was it na
a hint for me? Man, I wish I daur spaik oot to her!"

=A Highlander on Bagpipes=

Mr. Barclay, an eminent Scotch artist, was engaged in painting a
Highland scene for Lord Breadalbane, in which his lordship's handsome
piper was introduced. When the artist was instructing him as to
attitude, and that he must maintain an appearance at once of animation
and ease by keeping up a conversation, the latter replied that he would
do his best, and commenced as follows:

"Maister Parclay, ye read yer Bible at times, I _suppone_ (suppose),

"Oh, yes."

"Weel, Maister Parclay, if ye do tat, sir, ten you've read te third and
fifth verses of te third chapter of Daniel, when te princes, te
governors, te captains, te judges, te treasurers, te counsellors, te
sheriffs and all te rulers of te provinces were gathered together into
te dedication of te image tat Nebuchadnezzar, te king, had set up, and
tey were told tat whenever tey began to hear te sound of te cornet,
flute, harp, sackbut, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, tey were to fall
down and worship te golden image that Nebuchadnezzar, te king, had set
up. I tell ye, Maister Parclay, if tey had a Hielandman, wi' his pipes
tere, tat nonsense would not hae happened. Na, na, he would hae sent tem
a' fleeing. It would hae been wi' tem as Bobby Burns said, 'Skirl up to
Bangor, for ye maun a' come back to te bagpipe at last.'"

=Walloping Judas=

The late Dr. Adamson, of Cupar-Fife, colleague to Dr. Campbell, father
to the lord chancellor of that name, at a late Saturday night supper was
about to depart, alleging that he must prepare for the Sunday service.
For two previous Sundays he had been holding forth on Judas Iscariot,
and a member of his congregation, who sat at the table detained him
with: "Sit down, doctor, sit down; there's nae need for ye to gang awa';
just gie Judas another wallop in the tow."

="'Alice' Brown, the Jaud!"=

An old offender was, some years ago, brought up before a well-known
Glasgow magistrate. The constable, as a preliminary, informed his
bailieship that he had in custody John Anderson, _alias_ Brown, _alias_
Smith. "Very weel," said the magistrate, with an air of dignity, "I'll
try the women first. Bring in Alice Brown! what has she been about, the

=Earning His Dismissal=

Dean Ramsay tells an amusing story of the cool self-sufficiency of the
young Scottish domestic--a boy who, in a very quiet, determined way,
made his exit from a house into which he had lately been introduced. He
had been told that he should be dismissed if he broke any of the china
that was under his charge.

On the morning of a great dinner party he was entrusted (rather rashly)
with a great load of plates, which he was to carry upstairs from the
kitchen to the dining-room, and which were piled up and rested upon his
two hands.

In going upstairs his foot slipped, and the plates were broken to atoms.
He at once went up to the drawing-room, put his head in at the door, and
shouted, "The plates are a' smashed, and I'm awa'!" [7]

=Paris and Peebles Contrasted=

In the memoir of Robert Chambers, by his brother William, allusion is
made to the exceedingly quiet town of Peebles, their birthplace, and the
strong local attachments of the Scottish people. An honest old burgher
of the town was enabled by some strange chance to visit Paris, and was
eagerly questioned, when he came back, as to the character of that
capital of capitals; to which he answered that, "Paris, a' things
considered, was a wonderful place; but still, Peebles for pleasure!"

=Short Measure=

An old woman who had made a great deal of money by selling whiskey was
visited when on her death-bed by her minister, to whom she spake, as is
usual on such occasions, about her temporal as well as her spiritual
affairs. As to her temporalities, they seemed to be in a very
flourishing condition, for she was dying worth a very large sum of

"And so, Molly," said the minister, "you tell me you are worth so much

"Indeed, minister," replied Molly, "I am."

"And you tell me, too," continued the minister, "that you made all that
money by filling the noggin?"

"Na, na, minister," said the dying woman; "I didna tell you _that_. I
made the maist of it by _not_ filling the noggin."

=Two Views of a Divine Call=

Of Scotland's great preacher, the late Rev. Dr. Macleod, the following
is told: In visiting his Dalkeith parishioners to say farewell, he
called on one of those sharp-tongued old ladies whose privileged gibes
have added so much to the treasury of Scottish humor.

To her he expressed his regret at leaving his friends at Dalkeith, but
stated that he considered his invitation to Glasgow in the light of "a
call from the Lord."

"Ay, ay," was the sharp response; "but if the Lord hadna called you to a
better steepend, it might hae been lang gin ye had heard Him!"

=A Scotch View of Shakespeare=

A Scotchman was asserting that some of the most celebrated poets and
brightest intellects the world ever produced were descendants of his
race, and quoted Scott, Burns, and others as evidence.

An Englishman who was present retorted: "I suppose that you will claim
next that even Shakespeare was a Scotchman."

"Weel," he replied, "I'm nae so sure o' that; but ane thing I do
ken--_he had intellect eneuch for a Scotchman_."

="As Guid Deid as Leevin!"=

There was a mixture of shrewdness and simplicity in the following:
Shortly after the establishment of the Ministers' Widows' Fund, the
minister of Cranshaws asked in marriage the daughter of a small farmer
in the neighborhood.

The damsel asked her father whether she should accept the clergyman's
offer. "Oh," said the sire, "tak' him, Jenny; he's as gude deid as
leevin." The farmer meant that his daughter would, owing to the new
fund, be equally well off a widow as a wife.

=The Mercy of Providence=

An old minister was once visiting his hearers, and accosted a humble
farmer who had been lazy with his crops in the wet season. "I hear,
Jamie," said the minister, "that ye are behind with your harvest."

"Oh, sir," was the reply, "I hae got it all in except three wee stacks,
and I leave them to the mercy of Providence."

=A Scotch Curtain Lecture on Profit and Pain=

The man who said this was not an atheist, but simply a druggist--a
Scotch druggist--who was aroused by the ringing of his night-bell. He
arose, went downstairs, and served a customer with a dose of salts.

His wife grumbled: "What profit do you get out of that penny?"

"A ha'penny," was the reply.

"And for that ha'penny you'll be awake a long time," rejoined the wife.

"A-weel," replied the placid druggist, "the dose of salts will keep him
awake much longer; let us thank Heaven that we have the profit and not
the pain of the transaction."

=A Definition of "Fou"=

A gentleman recently gave an entertainment in London on the
peculiarities of Scotchmen, in the course of which he gave this
definition of the national word _fou_: "Being gently excited by the
moderate use of dangerous beverages."

=The Journeyman Dog=

A gentleman, staying in the family of a sheep-farmer, remarked that
daily as the family sat down to dinner a shepherd's dog came in,
received its portion, and soon after disappeared.

"I never see that dog except at dinner," said the visitor.

"The reason is," said the farmer, "we've lent him to oor neibor, Jamie
Nicol, and we telt him to come hame ilka day to his dinner. When he gets
his dinner, puir beast, he gaes awa' back till his wark."

=Church Economy=

A congregation was once looking out for a minister, and after hearing a
host of candidates with more or less popular gifts, their choice fell
upon a sticket probationer, whose election caused great surprise in the

One of the hearers was afterward asked by an eminent minister how the
congregation could have brought themselves to select such a minister.

His reply was quite characteristic: "Weel, we had twa or three
reasons--first, naebody recommended him; then he was nae studier, and
besides, he had money in the bank."

It appeared that of the two former ministers, who had not come up to
expectation, one of them had brought flaming testimonials, and the other
had buried himself among his books, so that the people never saw him but
in the pulpit, while the third reason was, perhaps the most cogent of
all, for the people did not care to burden themselves with a too
generous support of their pastor.

In another case the minister usurped the functions of session and
committee, and ignored the office bearers altogether. One of the elders
observed to another one Sunday morning, as the minister was trotting up
to the meeting-house on his smart little pony, "It's a fine wee powny
the minister rides."

"Ay," said the other, "it's a gey strange ane; it can carry minister,
session, and committee without turnin' a hair."

=Tired of Standing=

A Paisley man, visiting Glasgow, much admired the statue of Sir John
Moore, which is an erect figure. Soon afterwards he brought another
Paisley man to see the statue, but not being topographically posted, he
stared at the statue of James Watt, which is in a sitting attitude.
Feeling somewhat puzzled as to the identity of what was before him with
what he recollected to have seen, he disposed of the difficulty by
exclaiming: "Odds, man, he's sat down since I last saw him!"

=Religious Loneliness=

"How is your church getting on?" asked a friend of a religious
Scotchman, who had separated in turn from the Kirk, the Free Church, the
United Presbyterian, and several lesser bodies.

"Pretty weel, pretty weel. There's naebody belongs to it now but my
brither and mysel', and I am sure o' Sandy's soundness."

=Prison Piety=

Every place has its advantages, even the lock-up. A Scotch "gentleman,"
who had been guilty of some irregularity that demanded his compulsory
withdrawal from polite society for sixty days, was asked, after his
release, as to how he "got on."

"Weel," replied he, "ye see, a body canna hae everything in this life;
and I'm no gaun to misca' the place, no' me. For a' the time I was
there--just twa months, note, by-the-by--I was weel proteckit frae the
wiles o' a wickit worl' outside, while my 'bread was aye gi'en me and my
water sure.'"

=A Successful Tradesman=

One day, during a snow storm, the Rev. George More was riding from
Aberdeen to a village in the vicinity of the town. He was enveloped in a
Spanish cloak, and had a shawl tied round his neck and shoulders. These
loose garments, covered with snow, and waving in the blast, startled the
horse of a "bag-man," who chanced to ride past. The alarmed steed
plunged, and very nearly threw its rider, who exclaimed:

"Why, sir, you would frighten the very devil!"

"I am glad to hear that," said Mr. More, "for it's just my trade."

=Multum in Parvo=

A Highland porter, observing a stranger looking intently on the Rev. Dr.
Candlish, who was of small stature, said, "Ay, tak' a gude look--there's
no muckle _o'_ him, but there's a deal _in_ him!"

=When Asses May Not Be Parsons=

In the pulpit one-half of Dr. Guthrie's rich nature was necessarily
restrained. He could be pathetic there, but not humorous; though we did
once hear him begin a sermon by saying that God on one occasion used an
ass to preach to a sinner, but that He was not in the way of using asses
when He could get better instruments!

=A Scotch Version of the Lives of Esau and Jacob=

Within the grounds of Hamilton Palace, in the west of Scotland, is a
mausoleum. The walls are ornamented with bas-reliefs forming Bible
illustrations. These have been paraphrased in verse by a local bard. One
of the series is a history of Jacob, and from it the following extracts
are taken. The brothers are thus introduced:

     When Esau and Jacob were boys,
       A wild boy Esau was;
     Jacob was a peaceable boy,
       But Esau loved the chase.
     One day from hunting he came home,
       A hungry man was he;
     Jacob some famous pottage had,
       Which soon caught Esau's e'e.

Rebekah instructs Jacob in the proposed deception of Isaac, but he is
fearful of discovery. The former replies:

     No fear of that, my darling son;
       Just do as I direct--
     I will you dress up for the scene,
       That he will ne'er suspect.

Jacob obeys:

     Away he went as he was bid,
       And quickly he them slew;
     His mother straightway did them cook
       And made a fav'rite stew.

Isaac is suspicious of Jacob:

     Then Isaac unto Jacob said,
       "Come near to me, I pray,
     That I may _feel_ it is the truth
       That unto me you say."
     Then Jacob he went unto him,
       And he his hands did feel.
     "The hands are Esau's hands, my son,
       But it's like Jacob's squeal."

="Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady"=

An anecdote is told of Professor Haldane, of St. Andrews, one of the
most estimable of men, yet, in spite of a pleasing person, a genial
manner, a good house and a handsome competency, he was well-advanced in
life before he could make up his mind to marry. When it was reported
that he had fitted up his house afresh, it was supposed that he was
going to change his state. On a given day, at an hour unusually early
for a call, the good doctor was seen at the house of a lady for whom he
had long been supposed to have a predilection, and betraying much
excitement of manner till the door was opened.

As soon as he was shown in, and saw the fair one whom he sought calmly
engaged in knitting stockings, and not at all disturbed by his entrance,
his courage, like that of Bob Acres, began to ooze out, and he sat
himself down on the edge of the chair in such a state of pitiable
confusion as to elicit the compassion of the lady in question. She could
not understand what ailed him, but felt instinctively that the truest
good breeding would be to take no notice of his embarrassment, and lead
the conversation herself.

Thus, then, she opened fire: "Weel, doctor, hae ye got through a' your
papering and painting yet?" (A clearing of the throat preparatory to
speech, but not a sound uttered.) "I'm told your new carpets are just
beautifu'." (A further effort to clear the throat.) "They say the
pattern o' the dining-room chairs is something quite out o' the way. In
short, that everything aboot the house is perfect."

Here was a providential opening he was not such a goose as to overlook.
He screwed up his courage, advanced his chair, sidled toward her,
simpering the while, raised his eyes furtively to her face, and said,
with a gentle inflection of his voice which no ear but a wilfully deaf
one could have misinterpreted: "Na, na, Miss J----n, it's no' _quite_
perfect; it canna be quite that so lang as there's ae thing wanting!"

"And what can that be?" said the imperturbable spinster.

Utterly discomfited by her wilful blindness to his meaning, the poor man
beat a hasty retreat, drew back his chair from its dangerous proximity,
caught up his hat, and, in tones of blighted hope, gasped forth his
declaration in these words; "Eh, dear! Well 'am sure! The thing wanted
is a--a--a _sideboord_!"

="Surely the Net is Spread in Vain in the Sight of any Bird"=

     Our May had an ee to a man,
       Nae less than the newly-placed preacher,
     And we plotted a dainty bit plan
       For trappin' our spiritual teacher.

             Oh! but we were sly,
               We were sly an' sleekit;
             But, ne'er say a herrin' is dry--
               Until it's weel reestit an' reekit.

     We treated young Mr. M'Gock,
       An' plied him wi' tea an' wi' toddy,
     An' we praised every word that he spake,
       Till we put him maist out o' the body.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     Frae the kirk we were never awa',
       Except when frae home he was helpin'
     An' then May,--an' aften us a'--
       Gaed far an' near after him skelpin'.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     We said aye what the neebors thocht droll,
       That to hear him gang through wi' a sermon
     Was--though a wee dry on the whole--
       As refreshin's the dew on Mount Hermon.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     But to come to the heart o' the nit,
       The dainty bit plan that we plotted
     Was to get a subscription afit,
       An' a watch to the minister voted.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     The young women folk o' the kirk
       By turns lent a han' in collectin',
     But May took the feck o' the mark
       An' the trouble the rest o' directin'.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     A gran' watch was gotten belyve,
       An' May, wi' sma' "priggin," consentit
     To be ane o' a party o' five
       To gang to the Manse an' present it.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     We a' gied a word o' advice
       To May in a deep consultation,
     To hae something to say unco' nice,
       An' to speak for the hale deputation.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     Takin' present an' speech baith in han',
       May delivered a bonny palaver,
     To let Mr. M'Gock understan'
       How zealous she was in his favor.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     She said that the gift was to prove
       That his female friends valued him highly,
     But it couldna express _a'_ their love,
       An' she glinted her ee at him slyly.

             Oh! but we were sly, etc.

     He put the gowd watch in his fab,
       And proudly he said he wad wear it,
     An' after some flatterin' gab,
       He tauld May he was goin' to be marriet.

             Oh! but we were sly,
               We were sly and sleekit,
             But Mr. M'Gock was nae gowk,
               Wi' our dainty bit plan to be cheekit.

     May came home wi' her heart in her mouth
       An' frae that hour she turned a Dissenter,
     An' noo she's renewin' her youth
       Wi' some hopes o' the Burgher Precentor.

             Oh! but she was sly,
               She was sly and sleekit,
             An' cleverly opens ae door
               As sune as anither is sleekit.

=A Highland Outburst of Gratitude and an Inburst of Hurricane=

"Ah, my friends, what causes have we for gratitude--oh, yes;--for the
deepest gratitude! Look at the place of our habitation. How grateful
should we be that we do not leeve in the far north--oh, no!--amidst the
frost and snaw, and the cauld and the weet--oh, no!--where there's a
long day tae half o' the year--oh, yes!--and a lang nicht the
tither--oh, yes!--that we do not depend upon the aurawry boreawlis--oh,
no!--that we do net gang shivering aboot in skins--oh, no!--smoking
amang the snow like modiwarts--oh, no! no!--And how grateful should we
be that we do not leeve in the far south, beneath the equawtor, and a
sun aye burnin', burnin'; where the sky's het--ah, yes!--and yearth's
het, and the water's het, and ye're brunt black as a smiddy--ah,
yes!--where there's teegars--oh, yes!--and lions--oh, yes!--and
crocodiles--oh, yes!--and fearsome beasts growlin' and girnin' at ye
amang the woods; where the very air is a fever, like the burnin' breath
o' a fiery drawgon; that we do not leeve in these places--oh, no! no!
no! no!--but that we leeve in this blessit island of oors callit Great
Britain--oh, yes! yes! and in that pairt of it named Scotland, and in
that bit o' auld Scotland that looks up at Ben Nevis--oh, yes! yes!
yes!--where there's neither frost, nor cauld, nor wund, nor weet, nor
hail, nor rain, nor teegars, nor lions, nor burnin' suns, nor
hurricanes, nor----"

Here a tremendous blast of wind and rain from Ben Nevis blew in the
windows of the kirk, and brought the preacher's eloquence to an abrupt

=A Different Thing Entirely=

While surveying the west coast of Scotland, Captain Robinson had
received on board his ship the Grand Duke Constantine. As the duke could
only remain a very short time, the captain resolved to show him as much
as possible during his brief stay. Accordingly he steamed to Iona on a
Sunday, believing that day especially suited for pointing out to his
royal visitor remains associated with religion. Landing on the island he
waited on the custodian of the ancient church with the request that he
would open it.

"Not so," said the keeper; "not on Sunday."

"Do you know whom I have brought to the island?" said the captain.

"He's the Emperor o' a' the Russias, I ken by the flag," responded the
keeper; "but had it been the Queen hersel' I wadna' gi'e up the keys on
the Lord's day."

"Would you take a glass of whiskey on the Sabbath?" inquired the

"_That's a different thing entirely_," said the keeper.

=Canny Dogs=

The following is given by a Scotchman by way of illustrating the kindly
consideration evinced by the Scottish peasantry towards the domestic
animals--especially the shepherds to their dogs--which consequently
become their attached companions. A minister calling to visit one of his
flock found before the fireplace three dogs apparently asleep. At the
sound of a whistle two rose up and walked out; the third remained still.

"It is odd," said the minister, "that this dog does not get up like the

"It's no astonishing ava," said the shepherd, "for it's no' his turn; he
was oot i' the mornin'."

=A Compliment by Return=

The minister's man at Lintrathen, though sufficiently respectful, seldom
indulges in the complimentary vein. On one occasion he handsomely
acknowledged a compliment by returning another. The minister had got
married, and was presented with a carriage, for which John was appointed
to provide a horse. Driving out with his wife, the minister said to John
in starting, "You've got us a capital horse."

"Weel, sir," said John, "it's just aboot as difficult as to choose a
gude minister's wife, and we've been lucky wi' baith."

=Curious Sentence=

Lord Eskgrove is described by Lord Cockburn, in his "_Memorials_" as a
most eccentric personage.

Cockburn heard him sentence a tailor for murdering a soldier, in these
words: "And not only did you murder him, thereby he was berea-ved of his
life, but you did thrust, or pierce, or push, or project, or propel the
li-thall weapon through the belly band of his regimental breeches, which
were his majesty's."

=Advice to an M.P.=

When Sir George Sinclair was chosen member of Parliament for his native
county, a man came up to him and said: "Noo, Maister George, I'll gie
ye some advice. They've made ye a Parliament man, and my advice to ye
is, be ye aye tak-takin' what ye can get, and aye seek-seekin' until ye
get mair."

=Stretching It=

Concerning the long-bow, no American effort can surpass one that comes
to us from Scotland: It was told that Colonel M'Dowall, when he returned
from the war, was one day walking along by The Nyroch, when he came on
an old man sitting greetin' on a muckle stone at the roadside. When he
came up, the old man rose and took off his bonnet, and said:

"Ye're welcome hame again, laird."

"Thank you," said the colonel; adding, after a pause, "I should surely
know your face. Aren't you Nathan M'Culloch?"

"Ye're richt, 'deed," said Nathan, "it's just me, laird."

"You must be a good age, now, Nathan," says the colonel.

"I'm no verra aul' yet, laird," was the reply; "I'm just turnt a

"A hundred!" says the colonel, musing; "well, you must be all that. But
the idea of a man of a hundred sitting blubbering that way! Whatever
could _you_ get to cry about?"

"It was my father lashed me, sir," said Nathan, blubbering again; "an'
he put me oot, so he did."

"Your father!" said the colonel; "is your father alive yet?"

"Leevin! ay," replied Nathan; "I ken that the day tae my sorrow."

"Where is he?" says the colonel. "What an age he must be! I would like
to see him."

"Oh, he's up in the barn there," says Nathan; "an no' in a horrid gude
humor the noo, aither."

They went up to the barn together, and found the father busy threshing
the barley with the big flail, and tearing on fearful. Seeing Nathan and
the laird coming in, he stopped and saluted the colonel, who, after
inquiring how he was, asked him why he had struck Nathan.

"The young rascal!" says the father, "there's nae dooin' wi' him; he's
never oot o' mischief. I had to lick him this mornin' _for throwin'
stanes at his grandfather_!"

=Driving the Deevil Out=

A Scotch minister, named Downes, settled in a rural district in the
north of Ireland, where the people are more Scotch in language and
manners than in the land o' cakes itself. One evening he and a brother
divine set out together to take part in some religious service.

Meeting one of his parishioners on the way, the latter quaintly
observed, "Weel, Mr. Downes, you clergymen 'ill drive the deevil oot o'
the country the nicht!"

"Yes," replied the minister, "we will. _I see you are making your

Tommy did not use the deevil's name in his pastor's presence again.

=Mental Aberration=

In Lanarkshire, Scotland, there lived, about fifty years ago, a poor
crazy man, by name Will Shooler. Will was a regular attendant of the
parish church in the town, on the ceiling of which there was, for
ornament, a dove with outstretched wings. One Sabbath day, Will grew
rather tired of the sermon, and throwing his arms and head back, he saw
the dove, and exclaimed, "O Lord! what a big hen!"

=Sunday Shaving and Milking=

On first going to Ross-shire to visit and preach for my friend Mr.
Carment, I asked him on the Saturday evening before retiring to rest
whether I would get warm water in the morning. Whereupon he held up a
warning hand, saying: "Whist, whist!"

On my looking and expressing astonishment, he said, with a twinkle in
his eye, "Speak of shaving on the Lord's day in Ross-shire, and you
never need preach here more!"

In that same county Sir Kenneth Mackenzie directed my attention to a
servant-girl, who, if not less scrupulous, was more logical in her
practice. She astonished her master, one of Sir Kenneth's tenants, by
refusing to feed the cows on the Sabbath. She was ready to milk, but by
no means feed them--and her defence shows that though a fanatic, she was
not a fool.

"The cows," she said--drawing a nice metaphysical distinction between
what are not and what are works of necessity and mercy that would have
done honor to a casuist--"the cows canna milk themselves; so to milk
them is clear work of necessity and mercy; but let them out to the
fields, and they'll feed themselves." Here certainly was _scrupulosity_;
but the error was one that leaned to the right side. [15]

=A Typical Quarrel=

The story of the happy young couple who quarreled on the first day of
their housekeeping life about the "rat" or the "mouse" which ran out of
the fireplace, it seems, had its origin "long time ago" in the incident
thus done into rhyme. The last verse explains the mysterious mistake:

     John Davidson, and Tib his wife,
       Sat toastin' their taes ae nicht,
     When something startit in the fluir
       And blinkit by their sicht.

     "Guidwife," quoth John, "did you see that moose?
       Whar sorra was the cat?"
     "A moose?"--"Ay, a moose."--"Na, na, guidman,
       It wasna a moose! 'twas a rat."

     "Ow, ow, guidwife, to think ye've been
       Sae lang aboot the hoose,
     An' no' to ken a moose frae a rat!
       Yan wasna a rat! 'twas a moose!"

     "I've seen mair mice than you, guidman--
       An' what think ye o' that?
     Sae haud your tongue, an' say nae mair--
       I tell ye, _it_ was a _rat_."

     "_Me_ haud my tongue for _you_, guidwife!
       I'll be mester o' this hoose--
     I saw't as plain as een could see,
       An' I tell ye, _it_ was a _moose_."

     "If you're the mester of the hoose,
       It's I'm the mistress o't;
     An' I ken best what's in the hoose--
       Sae I tell ye, _it_ was a _rat_."

     "Weel, weel, guidwife, gae mak' the brose,
       An' ca' it what ye please."
     So up she rose and mad' the brose,
       While John sat toastin' his taes.

     They supit, and supit, and supit the brose,
       And aye their lips played smack;
     They supit, and supit, and supit the brose,
       Till their lugs began to crack.

     "Sic fules we were to fa' out, guidwife,
       About a moose"--"A what?
     It's a lee ye tell, an' I say again,
       It wasna a moose, 'twas a rat."

     "Wad ye ca' me a leear to my very face?
       My faith, but ye craw crouse!
     I tell you, Tib, I never will bear 't--"
       "'Twas a moose"--"'Twas a rat"--"'Twas a moose."

     Wi' that she struck him ower the pow--
       "Ye dour auld doit, tak' that--
     Gae to your bed, ye canker'd sumph--
       'Twas a rat."--"'Twas a moose!"--"'Twas a rat!"

     She sent the brose caup at his heels
       As he hirpled ben the hoose;
     Yet he shoved out his head, as he steekit the door,
       And cried, "'Twas a moose, 'twas a moose!"

     But when the carle fell asleep
       She paid him back for that,
     And roared into his sleepin' lug,
       "'Twas a _rat_, 'twas a rat, 'twas a RAT!"

     The devil be wi' me if I think
       It was a beast, at all--
     Next morning, when she swepit the fluir,
       She found wee Johnnie's ball!

=A Ready Student=

Dr. Richie, of Edinburgh, though a very clever man, once met his match.
When examining a student as to the classes he attended, he said: "I
understand you attend the class for mathematics?"


"How many sides has a circle?"

"Two," said the student.

"Indeed! What are they?"

"An inside and an outside."

A laugh among the students followed this answer.

The doctor next inquired: "And you attend the moral philosophy class,


"Well, you doubtless heard lectures on various subjects. Did you ever
hear one on 'Cause and Effect?'"


"Does an effect ever go before a cause?"


"Give me an instance."

"A barrow wheeled by a man."

The doctor hastily sat down and proposed no more questions.

=Appearing "in Three Pieces"=

Wilson, the celebrated vocalist, was upset one day in his carriage near
Edinburgh. A Scotch paper, after recording the accident, said: "We are
happy to state he was able to appear the following evening in three

="Every Man to His Own Trade"=

A worthy old Scotch minister, who didn't object to put his hand to a bit
of work when occasion required it, was one day forking sheaves in the
stackyard to his man John, who was "biggin'." One of the wheels of the
cart on which the minister was standing happened to be resting on a
sheaf, and when the cart was empty his reverence said: "That's them a'
noo, John, excep' ane 'at's aneath the wheel, an' ye'll hae to come an'
gie's a lift up wi' the wheel ere I get it oot." "Oh," said John, "just
drive forrit the cart a bit." "Very true, very true," rejoined the
minister; "every man to his own trade."

=From Different Points of View=

The following anecdote is related of Sir James Mackintosh, the Scotch
philosopher and historian, and the celebrated Dr. Parr: Sir James had
invited the reverend doctor to take a drive in his gig. The horse became
very restive and unmanageable. "Gently, gently, Jemmy," said the doctor,
"pray don't irritate him; always soothe your horse, whatever you do,
Jemmy! You'll do better without me, I am certain; so let me down,
Jemmy--let me down." Once on _terra firma_, the doctor's views of the
case were changed. "Now, Jemmy, touch him up," said he. "Never let a
horse get the better of you. Touch him up, conquer him, don't spare him.
And now I'll leave you to manage him--I'll walk back."

=Speaking from "Notes"=

A porter at a Scotch railway station, who had grown grey in the service,
was one day superintending matters on the platform, when the parish
minister stepped up to him and asked when the next train arrived from
the south. The aged official took off his cap and carefully read the
hour and the minute of the train from a document stuck in the crown.

Somewhat surprised at this, the minister said: "Dear me, John, is your
memory failing, or what is up with you? You used to have all these
matters entirely by heart."

"Weel, sir," said John, "I dunna ken if my memory's failin', or fat's
up; but the fac' is I'm growin' like yersel'--I cunna manage without the

="Consecrated" Ground=

The Police Commissioners of Broughton Ferry, near Dundee, some time
since compelled house proprietors to lay down concrete on the footpath
in front of their properties. An old lady, residing in a cottage,
proudly told a friend the other day that the front of her house had been
"consecrated up to the vera doorstep."


When a Scotchman answers a question, he settles the matter in dispute
once for all. On a certain occasion the question was asked: "Why was
Mary Queen of Scots born at Linlithgow?" Sandy Kerr promptly answered:
"Because her mither was staying there, sir;" and there actually seemed
to be nothing more to say on the subject.

=Practical Thrift=

An admirable humorous reply, says Dean Ramsay, is recorded by a Scotch
officer, well known and esteemed in his day for mirth and humor. Captain
Innes, of the Guards (usually called Jack Innes by his contemporaries),
was, with others, getting ready for Flushing or some of those
expeditions of the great war. His commanding officer, Lord Huntly,
remonstrated about the badness of his hat, and recommended a new one.
"Na, na, bide a wee," said Jack. "Where we're gain', faith, there'll
soon be mair hats nor heads." [7]

=Fool Finding=

A Scotch student, supposed to be deficient in judgment, was asked by a
professor, in the course of his examination, how he would discover a
fool? "By the questions he would ask," was the prompt and highly
suggestive reply.

=Robbing on Credit=

A Scotch parson said recently, somewhat sarcastically, of a toper, that
he put an enemy into his mouth to steal away his brains, but that the
enemy, after a thorough search, returned without anything.

=Going to the Doctor's and "Taking" Something=

A Scotch lad was on one occasion accused of stealing some articles from
a doctor's shop. The judge was much struck with his respectable
appearance, and asked him why he was guilty of such a contemptible act.

"Weel, ye see," replied the prisoner, "I had a bit of pain in my side,
and my mither tauld me tae gang tae the doctor's and tak' something."

"Oh, yes," said the judge, "but surely she didn't tell you to go and
take an eight-day clock!"

The prisoner was evidently nonplused, but it was only for a moment.
Turning to the judge, a bright smile of humor stealing over his
countenance, he replied quietly:

"There's an auld proverb that says, 'Time an' the doctur cure a'
diseases,' an' sae I thocht"--but the remainder was lost in the laughter
of the court.

=A Case in Which Comparisons Were Odious=

The late Rev. Dr. John Hunter, the much-loved minister of the Tron
Parish, Edinburgh, had a call one morning from one of his many poor
parishioners, who said he had come to ask a favor. On the worthy
minister's requesting him to specify its nature, he replied, "Weel, sir,
it's to marry me."

"Very good, John," the minister said; "let me know the place, day and
hour, and I shall be at your service."

"But, sir," the bridegroom answered, "it's the noo!" (The bride was
waiting outside.)

"Filthy and untidy as you are! No, no; go home and wash, and dress
yourself, and then I shall be prepared to perform the ceremony."

"Bless ye, sir, ye should see _her_!" was the response of the applicant.

=Pulpit Aids=

_Young Minister_: "I don't think I need put on the gown, John; it's only
an encumbrance."

_Beadle_: "Ay, sir; it makes ye mair impressive--an' ye need it a', sir,
ye need it a'."

=Choosing a Minister=

The parish kirk of Driechtor had been rather unfortunate in its
ministers, two of them having gone off in a decline within a twelvemonth
of their appointment, and now, after hearing a number of candidates for
the vacancy, the members were looking forward with keen interest to the
meeting at which the election takes place.

"Weel, Marget," asked one female parishioner of another, as they
foregathered on the road one day, "wha are you gaun to vote for?"

"I'm just thinkin' I'll vote for nane o' them. I'm no muckle o' a judge,
an' it'll be the safest plan," was Marget's sagacious reply.

"Toots, woman, if that's the way o't, vote wi' me."

"An' hoo are you gaun to vote?"

"I'm gaun to vote for the soundest lungs, an'll no bother us deein'
again in a hurry."

=Prince Albert and the Ship's Cook=

During the earlier visits of the royal family to Balmoral, Prince
Albert, dressed in a very simple manner, was crossing one of the Scotch
lakes in a steamer, and was curious to note everything relating to the
management of the vessel, and among other things, the cooking.
Approaching the galley, where a brawny Highlander was attending the
culinary matters, he was attracted by the savory odors of a compound
known by Scotchmen as "hodge-podge," which the Highlander was preparing.

"What is that?" asked the prince, who was not known to the cook.

"Hodge-podge, sir," was the reply.

"How is it made?" was the next question.

"Why, there's mutton intil't, and turnips intil't, and carrots intil't

"Yes, yes," said the prince, who had not learned that "intil't" meant
"into it;" "but what is intil't?"

"Why, there's mutton intil't, and turnips intil't, and carrots intil't

"Yes, I see, but what is intil't?"

The man looked at him, and seeing the prince was serious, he replied:
"There's mutton intil't, and turnips intil't and----"

"Yes, certainly, I know," urged the inquirer; "but what is

"Ye daft gowk," yelled the Highlander, brandishing a large spoon, "am I
no' telling ye what's intil't! There's mutton intil't and----"

Here the interview was brought to a close by one of the prince's suite,
who was fortunately passing, and stepped in to save his royal highness
from being rapped over the head with the big spoon while in search of
information from the cook.

="To Memory 'Dear'"=

"Jeems," said the laird one day to his gardener, "there was something I
was going to ask you, but man, for the life o' me I canna mind what it
was." "Mebbe," said Jeems, who had received no pay for three weeks,
"mebbe," said he, "it was to spier at me fat wey I was keepin' body and
soul thegither on the wages I wasna gettin'."

=Good "for Nothing"--not the Goodness Worth Having=

It was a wet day and Jamie Stoddart could not go out to play; Mrs.
Stoddart, who had just cleared away the breakfast things, and was about
to commence a big heap of ironing, noticed sighs of incipient
restlessness in the laddie, and said; "Now, I hope you'll be a good boy
the day, Jamie; I've an awfu' lot o' work to dae, an' I can't have you
bothering me." "Wull ye gie me a penny if I'm awfu' guid a' day lang?"
asked her son. "Mebbe I will," was the reply; "but would it no' be
better to be a guid laddie just to please me?" "I'm no' sae shuir o'
that," answered the laddie, reflectively. "Ma teacher at the schule says
it aye better to be good even for a little, than to be guid for
naething." He got that penny.

="The Weaker Vessel"=

The minister of a parish in Scotland was called in some time ago to
effect a reconciliation between a fisherman of a certain village and his
wife. After using all the arguments in his power to convince the
offending husband that it was unmanly in him, to say the least of it, to
strike Polly with his fist, the minister concluded: "David, you know
that the wife is the weaker vessel, and you should have pity on her."

"Weel, then," said David, sulkily, "if she's the weaker vessel she
should carry the less sail."

=Minding His Business=

An Englishman traveling in the north of Scotland, came up to a
macadamizer of the roads, and while he was busy breaking the road metal,
asked him if the direction in which he was going was the way to
Aberdeen. The laborer, glad to rest himself a little, dropped his
hammer, and said quietly to the stranger, "Now, where cam' ye from?" The
traveler, nettled at not receiving a direct answer, asked him, "What
business have you with where I came from?" The macadamizer, taking up
his hammer and beginning to resume his occupation, said, "Oh, just as
little business as where you are gauin to!"

="Married!"--Not "Living"=

"Weel, Girzie, how are ye leevin'?" said one. "Me! I'm no leevin' at a'.
I'm mairret!"

=A Powerful Preacher=

Shortly after a Congregational chapel had been planted in the small
burgh of Bonnytown, an incident occurred which showed that the powers of
its minister were appreciated in certain quarters. A boy, named Johnny
Fordyce, had been indiscreet enough to put a sixpence in his mouth and
accidently swallowed it. Mrs. Fordyce, concerned both for her boy and
the sixpence, tried every means for its recovery, consulted her
neighbors, and finally in despair called in a doctor, but without
result. As a last resort, a woman present suggested that they should
send for the Congregationalist "meenister." "The meenister," chorused
mother and neighbors. "Ay, the meenister," rejoined the old dame; "od's,
if there's ony money in him he'll sune draw it oot o' 'm!"

=Lost Dogs=

"What dogs are these, Jasper?" inquired a gentleman of a lad, who was
dragging a couple of waspish-looking terriers along a street in
Edinburgh. "I dinna ken, sir," replied the urchin; "they came wi' the
railway, and they ate the direction, and dinna ken whar to gang."

=Stratagem of a Scotch Pedlar=

Early in the nineteenth century, Sandy Frazer, a native of the northern
part of this island--who by vending of linen, which he carried around
the country on his back, had acquired the sum of one hundred pieces of
gold--resolving to extend his business by the addition of other wares,
set out for London, in order to purchase them at the best advantage.
When he had arrived within a few miles of the end of his journey, he was
obliged to take shelter in a house of entertainment--which stood in a
lonely part of the road--from a violent storm of wind and rain. He had
not been there long, before he was joined by two horsemen of genteel
appearance, who stopped on the same account. As he was in possession of
the fire-side, they were under necessity of joining company with him, in
order to dry themselves; which otherwise the meanness of his appearance
would probably have prevented their doing.

The new companions had not sat long, before the cheerfulness of his
temper, and something uncommonly droll in his conversation, made them
invite him to sup with them at their expense; where they entertained him
so generously, that, forgetting his national prudence, he could not
forbear shewing his treasure, as a proof of not being unworthy of the
honor they had done him.

The storm having obliged them to remain all night, they departed
together the next morning; and as a farther mark of their regard they
kept company with him, though he traveled on foot, till they came into a
solitary part of the road, when, one of them, putting a pistol to his
breast, took of him the earnings of his whole life, leaving him only a
single piece of gold, which, by good fortune, he happened to have loose
in his pocket. His distress at such a loss may be easily conceived:
however, he sank not under it. A thought instantly occurred to him how
it might possibly be retrieved, which he lost not a moment in proceeding
to execute. He had observed that the master of the house, where he had
met these two plunderers, seemed to be perfectly acquainted with them;
he returned therefore thither directly, and feigned to have been taken
suddenly ill on the road with a disorder of the bowels; called for some
wine, which he had heated, and rendered still stronger with spice. All
the time he was drinking it, he did nothing but pray for his late
companions; who, he said, had not only advised him to take it, but had
also been so generous as to give him a piece of gold (which he produced)
to pay for it; and then, seeming to be much relieved, he lamented most
heavily his not knowing where to return thanks to his benefactors; which
he said, the violence of his pain had made him forget to inquire.

The master of the house, to whom his guests had not mentioned the man's
having money, that he might not expect to share it with them, never
suspected the truth of his story, informed him without scruple, who they
were, and where they lived. This was directly what he had schemed for.
He crawled away till he was out of sight of the house, in order to keep
up the deceit, when he made all the haste he could to town; and,
inquiring for his spoilers, he had the satisfaction to hear they were
people in trade, and of good repute for their wealth.

The next morning, therefore, as soon, as he thought they were stirring,
he went to the house of one of them, whom he found in the room where his
merchandise was exposed for sale. The merchant instantly knew him; but,
imagining he came on some other business (for he did not think it
possible that he could have traced him, or even that he could know him
in his altered appearance) asked him in the usual way what he wanted.

"I want to speak wi' ye in private, sir," he answered, getting between
him and the door; and then, on the merchant's affecting surprise--"In
gude troth, sir," he continued, "I think it is somewhat strange that ye
shud na ken Sandy, who supped with ye the neeght before the laust, after
au the kindness ye shewed to him." Then lowering his voice, so as not to
be overheard by the people present, he told him, with a determined
accent, that if he did not instantly return him his money, he would
apply to a magistrate for redress.

This was a demand which admitted not of dispute. The money was paid him,
gratuity for having lent it, and his receipt taken to that effect; after
which he went directly to the other, upon whom he made a like successful

=The Highlander and the Angels=

A genuine Highlander was one day looking at a print from a picture by
one of the old masters, in which angels were represented blowing
trumpets. He inquired if the angels played on trumpets, and being
answered in the affirmative, made the following pithy remark:

"Hech, sirs, but they maun be pleased wi' music. I wonder they dinna
borrow a pair o' bagpipes!"

=One Side of Scotch Humor=

Charles Lamb was present at a party of North Britons, where a son of
Burns was expected, and he happened to drop a remark that he wished it
were the father instead of the son, when four of the Scotchmen started
up at once, saying that it was impossible, because he (the father) was

=Reproving a Miser=

Lord Braco was his own factor and collected his own rents, in which
duties he is said to have been so rigorously exact that a farmer, being
one rent-day deficient in a single farthing, he caused him to trudge to
a considerable distance to procure that little sum before he would grant
a discharge. When the business was adjusted, the countryman said to his
lordship, "Now, Braco, I wad gie ye a shilling for a sight o' a' the
gowd and siller ye hae." "Weel, man," answered the miser, "it's no cost
ye ony mair"; and he exhibited to the farmer several iron boxes full of
gold and silver coin. "Now," said the farmer, "I'm as rich as yourself,
Braco." "Ay, man," said his lordship, "how can that be?" "Because I've
seen it," replied the countryman, "and ye can do nae mair."

=A Shrewd Reply=

Sir Walter Scott says that the alleged origin of the invention of cards
produced one of the shrewdest replies he had ever heard given in
evidence. It was by the late Dr. Gregory, of Edinburgh, to a counsel of
great eminence at the Scottish bar. The doctor's testimony went to prove
the insanity of the party whose mental capacity was the point at issue.
On a cross-interrogation he admitted that the person in question played
admirably at whist. "And do you seriously say, doctor," said the learned
counsel, "that a person having a superior capacity for a game so
difficult, and which requires in a pre-eminent degree, memory, judgment
and combination, can be at the same time deranged in his understanding?"
"I am no card player," said the doctor, with great address, "but I have
read in history that cards were invented for the amusement of an insane
king." The consequences of this reply were decisive.

=Two Good Memories=

A simple Highland girl, on her way home for the north, called as she
passed by Crieff upon an old master with whom she had formerly served.
Being kindly invited by him to share in the family dinner, and the usual
ceremony of asking a blessing having been gone through, the poor girl,
anxious to compliment, as she conceived, her ancient host, exclaimed:
"Ah, master, ye maun hae a grond memory, for that's the grace ye had
when I was wi' you seven years ago."


A venerable Scotch minister used to say to any of his flock who were
laboring under affliction: "Time is short, and if your cross is heavy
you have not far to carry it."

=Fowls and Ducks!=

A Scotchman giving evidence at the bar of the House of Lords in the
affair of Captain Porteous, and telling of the variety of shot which was
fired upon that unhappy occasion, was asked by the Duke of Newcastle
what kind of shot it was? "Why," said the man in his broad dialect, "sic
as they shoot fools (fowls) wi' an' the like." "What kind of fools?"
asked the duke, smiling at the word. "Why, my lord, dukes (ducks) and
sic' kin' o' fools."


A learned Scottish lawyer being just called to the Bench, sent for a new
tie-wig. The peruquier, on applying his apparatus in one direction was
observed to smile; upon which the judge desired to know what ludicrous
circumstance gave rise to his mirth? The barber replied that he could
not but remark the extreme _length_ of his honor's head. "That's well,"
said Lord S----, "we lawyers have occasion for _long heads_!" The
barber, who by this time had completed the dimensions, now burst out
into a fit of laughter; and an explanation being insisted on, at last
declared that he could not possibly contain himself when he discovered
that "_his lordship's head was just as thick as it was long_!"

=Refusing Information=

Two Scotchmen met the other day on one of the bridges of Glasgow, one of
them having in his hand a very handsome fowling-piece, when the
following dialogue ensued: "Ods, mon, but that's a bonny gun." "Ay, deed
is it." "Whaur did you get it?" "Owre by there." "And wha's it for?"
"D'ye ken the yeditor of the Glasgow _Herald_?" "Ou ay." "Weel, it's nae
for him."

=Sabbath Breaking=

The following anecdote is told in illustration of the Scotch veneration
for the Sabbath: A geologist, while in the country, and having his
pocket hammer with him, took it out and was chipping the rock by the
wayside for examination. His proceedings did not escape the quick eye
and ready tongue of an old Scotchwoman. "What are you doing there, man?"
"Don't you see? I'm breaking a stone." "Y'are doing mair than that;
y'are breaking the Sabbath."

=Highland Simplicity=

On one occasion a young girl fresh from the West Highlands came on a
visit to a sister she had residing in Glasgow. At the outskirts of the
town she stopped at a toll-bar, and began to rap smartly with her
knuckles on the gate. The keeper, amused at the girl's action, and
curious to know what she wanted, came out, when she very demurely
interrogated him as follows:

"Is this Glasco?"


"Is Peggy in?"

=The Fall of Adam and Its Consequences=

As might have been expected, perhaps, Dean Ramsay is especially copious
in clerical stories and those trenching on theological topics. He tells
us how a man who was asked what Adam was like, first described our
general forefather somewhat vaguely as "just like ither fouk." Being
pressed for a more special description, he likened him to a
horse-couper known to himself and the minister. "Why was Adam like that
horse-couper?" "Weel," replied the catechumen, "naebody got onything by
him, and mony lost."

=Remarkable Presence of Mind=

A well-known parsimonious Scottish professor was working one day in his
garden in his ordinary beggarlike attire, and was alarmed to see the
carriage of the great man of the parish whirling rapidly along the road
to his house. It was too late to attempt a retreat, and get himself put
in order to receive "my lord." To retreat was impossible; to remain
there and as he was, to be shamed and disgraced. With a promptitude
seldom or never surpassed, he struck his battered hat down on his
shoulders, drew up his hands into the sleeves of his ragged coat, stuck
out his arms at an acute angle, planted his legs far apart, and throwing
rigidity into all his form, stood thus in the potato ground, the very
beau-ideal of what in England is called a "scarecrow," in Scotland "a
potato-bogle," never suspected by the visitors as they drove up to the
front entrance, while he made for the back door to don his best suit.

=Beginning Life Where He Ought to Have Ended, and Vice Versa=

A worthy Scotch couple, when asked how their son had broken down so
early in life, gave the following explanation: "When we began life
together we worked hard and lived on porridge, and such like; gradually
adding to our comforts as our means improved, until we were able to dine
off a bit of roast beef, and sometimes a boiled chickie (chicken); but
Jack, our son, he worked backwards and began with the chickie first."

=How to Exterminate Old Thieves=

The humorous, but stern criminal judge, Lord Braxfield, had a favorite
maxim which he used frequently to repeat: "Hang a thief when he's young,
and he'll no steal when he's auld."

=A Sympathetic Hearer=

An old minister in the Cheviots used, when excited in the pulpit, to
raise his voice to a loud half-whimper, half-whine. One day a shepherd
had brought with him a young collie, who became so thrilled by the high
note of the preacher that he also broke out into a quaver so like the
other that the minister stopped short. "Put out that collie," he said,
angrily. The shepherd, equally angry, seized the animal by the neck, and
as he dragged him down the aisle, sent back the growling retort at the
pulpit, "It was yersel' begond it!"

=Ginger Ale=

A short time since, a bailie of Glasgow invited some of his
electioneering friends to a dinner, during which the champagne
circulated freely, and was much relished by the honest bodies; when one
of them, more fond of it than the rest, bawled out to the servant who
waited, "I say, Jock, gie us some mair o' that _ginger yill_, will ye?"

=A Conditional Promise=

At Hawick, the people used to wear wooden clogs, which made a _clanking_
noise on the pavement. A dying old woman had some friends by her
bedside, who said to her: "Weel, Jenny, ye are gaun to heaven, and gin
ye should see our folk, ye can tell them that we're all weel." To which
Jenny replied: "Weel, gin I should see them, I'se tell 'em. But you
maunna expect that I'se to gang clank, clanking thro heaven looking for
your folk."

=Scripture Examination=

An old schoolmaster, who usually heard his pupils once a week through
Watts' Scripture History, and afterwards asked them promiscuously such
questions as suggested themselves to his mind, one day desired a young
urchin to tell him who Jesse was; when the boy briskly replied, "The
Flower of Dunblane, sir."

=A Minor Major=

Lord Annandale, one of the Scotch judges, had a son, who, at the age of
eleven or twelve, rose to the rank of a major. One morning his lady
mother, hearing a noise in the _nursery_, rang to know the cause of it.
"It's only," said the servant, "the major greetin' (crying) for his

=A Cute Way of Getting an Old Account=

An old Scotch grave-digger was remonstrated with one day at a funeral
for making a serious over-charge for digging a grave. "Weel, ye see,
sir," said the old man, in explanation, making a motion with his thumb
towards the grave, "him and me had a bit o' a tift twa-three years syne
owre the head of a watch I selt him, an' I've never been able to get the
money oot o' him yet. 'Now,' says I to myself, 'this is my last chance,
an' I'll better tak' it.'"

="Hearers Only--Not Doers"=

Could anything be better than the improvement of a minister of Arran,
who was discoursing on the carelessness of his flock? "Brethren, when
you leave the church, just look down at the duke's swans; they are vera
bonny swans, an' they'll be sooming about an' dooking doon their heads
and laving theirsels wi' the clean water till they're a' drookit; then
you'll see them sooming to the shore, an' they'll gie their wings a bit
flap an' they're dry again. Now, my friends, you come here every
Sabbath, an' I lave you a' ower wi' the Gospel till you are fairly
drookit wi't. But you just gang awa hame, an' sit doon by your fireside,
gie your wings a bit flap, an' ye're as dry as ever again."

=The Chieftain and the Cabby=

The following story illustrates the disadvantage of having an article in
common use called after one's own name. The chief of the clan McIntosh
once had a dispute with a cabman about his fare. "Do you know who I
am?" indignantly exclaimed the Highlander; "I am the McIntosh."

"I don't care if you are an umbrella," replied the cabby; "I'll have my

=Not All Profit=

A humorous minister of Stirling, hearing that one of his hearers was
about to be married for the third time, said to him: "They tell me,
John, you are getting money wi' her; you did so on the last two
occasions; you'll get quite rich by your wives."

"'Deed, sir," quietly replied John, "what wi' bringin' them in and
puttin' them out, there's nae muckle be made of them."

=Pie, or Patience?=

A little Scotch boy, aged five, was taking dinner at his grandfather's
and had reached the dessert. "I want some pie," said young Angus.

"Have patience," said his grandmother.

"Which would you rather have, Angus," said grandfather; "patience or

"Pie," replied Angus, emphatically.

"But then," said his grandfather, "there might not be any left for me."

"Well," said Angus, "you have some of patience."

=How to Treat a Surplus=

In a school in Aberdeenshire, one day, a dull boy was making his way to
his master for the third time with an arithmetical question. The
teacher, a little annoyed, exclaimed, "Come, come, John, what's the
matter now?"

"I canna get ma question richt," replied the boy.

"What's wrong with it, this time?"

"I've gotten auchteenpence ower muckle."

"Never mind," said a smart boy, in a loud whisper, with a sly glance at
the master, "keep it tae yersel', Jock."

=Landseer's Deadly Influence=

An amusing incident took place during one of Landseer's early visits to
Scotland. In the course of his journey he stopped at a village, and as
his habit was, took great notice of the many dogs, jotting down
sketches of such as took his fancy most. On the next day he continued
his journey. As he passed through the village, Landseer was surprised
and horrified to see dogs of all kinds, some of which he recognized,
hanging dead from trees or railings on every side. Presently he saw a
boy, who, with tears in his eyes, was hurrying a young pup towards the
river to drown it. He questioned the urchin, and to his surprise found
that the villagers looked upon him as an excise-officer, who was taking
notes of the dogs with a view to prosecute the owners of such as had not
paid their tax.

=Trying One Grave First=

An old shoemaker in Glasgow was sitting by the bedside of his wife who
was dying. She took him by the hand and said: "Weel, John, we're gowin'
to part. I have been a gude wife to you, John." "Oh, just middling,
Jenny, just middlin'," said John, not disposed to commit himself.
"John," says she, "ye maun promise to bury me in the auld kirkyard at
Str'avon, beside my mither. I could'na rest in peace among unco' folk,
in the dirt and smoke o' Glasgow." "Weel, weel, Jenny, my woman," said
John, soothingly, "we'll just try ye in Glasgow first, an' gin ye dinna
lie quiet, we'll try you in Str'avon." [8]

="Capital Punishment"--Modified=

Two Scotchmen, turning the corner of a street rather sharply, come into
collision. The shock was stunning to one of them. He pulled off his hat,
and, laying his hand on his forehead, said: "Sic a blow! My heed's a'
ringin' again!"

"Nae wonder," said his companion; "your head was aye empty--that makes
it ring. My heed disna ring a bit."

"How could it ring," said the other, "seeing it was crackit?"

=Matter More Than Manner=

Norman M'Leod was once preaching in a district in Ayrshire, where the
reading of a sermon is regarded as the greatest fault of which the
minister can be guilty. When the congregation dispersed an old woman,
overflowing with enthusiasm, addressed her neighbor. "Did ye ever hear
onything sae gran'? Wasna that a sermon?" But all her expressions of
admiration being met by a stolid glance, she shouted: "Speak, woman!
Wasna that a sermon?" "Ou ay," replied her friend sulkily; "but he read
it." "Read it!" said the other, with indignant emphasis. "I wadna care
if he had whistled it."

=Curious Use of a Word=

The word "honest" has in Scotland a peculiar application, irrespective
of any integrity of moral character. It is a kindly mode of referring to
an individual, as we would say to a stranger: "Honest man, would you
tell me the way to----?" or as Lord Hermand, when about to sentence a
woman for stealing, began remonstratively; "Honest woman, what gar'd ye
steal your neighbor's tub?"

=Finding Work for His Class, While He Dined=

A clergyman in Scotland, who had appointed a day for the catechising of
some of his congregation, happened to receive an invitation to dinner
for the same day, and having forgotten his previous engagement, he
accepted it. Just as he was mounting his gig to depart, he perceived the
first of his class entering his garden, and the remainder coming over
the hill, and at once became aware of the mistake he had made. Here was
a fix. But the minister's ready wit soon came to his assistance.

"What have you come for, John?" he asked, addressing the first comer.

"An' dee ye no' remember, sir, ye bade us come to be catecheesed?"

"Ou, ay; weel, no' to keep ye going further, John, was it a hoorned coo
or a hemmel that Noah took into the ark?"

"'Deed, sir, I canna tell."

"Weel, turn back and ask the ither folk the same question, and if they
canna answer it, bid them go home and find oot."

=The Value of a Laugh in Sickness=

Dr. Patrick Scougal, a Scottish bishop, in the seventeenth century,
being earnestly sought by an old woman to visit her sick cow, the
prelate, after many remonstrances, reluctantly consented, and, walking
round the beast, said gravely, "If she live, she live; and if she die,
she die; and I can do nae mair for her." Not long afterwards, he was
dangerously afflicted with a quinsy in the throat; hereupon the old
woman, having got access to his chamber, walked round his bed repeating
the same words which the bishop had pronounced when walking round the
cow, and which she believed had cured the animal. At this extraordinary
sight the bishop was seized with a fit of laughter, which burst the
quinsy, and saved his life.

=Why Israel Made a Golden Calf=

The following answer from a little girl was shrewd and reflective. The
question was: "Why did the Israelites make a golden calf?"

"They hadna as muckle siller as would mak' a _coo'_." [9]

=An Economical Preacher's Bad Memory=

A parochial incumbent, whose scene of labor some years ago bordered on
the Strath of Blain, was blamed for having an erroneous opinion of the
memories of his hearers, insomuch as he frequently entertained them with
"could kail hot again," in the shape of sermons that he had previously
given. On one occasion his own memory allowed him to make a slip, and
only one Sabbath elapsed between the giving of the sermon the second
time. After the dismissal of the congregation, the beadle remarked to
him, "I hae often heard ye blamed, sir, for gein' us auld sermons; but
they'll surely no' say that o' the ane ye gied them this afternoon, for
its just a fortnicht sin' they heard it afore in the same place." [8]

=Sharpening His Teeth=

An English gentleman, traveling in the Highlands, being rather late in
coming down to dinner, Donald was sent upstairs to intimate all was
ready. He speedily returned, nodding significantly, as much as to say it
was all right.

"But, Donald," said his master, after some further trial of a hungry
man's patience, "are ye sure ye made the gentleman understand?"

"_Understand!_" retorted Donald (who had peeped into the room and found
the guest engaged at his toilet); "I'se warrant ye he understands; he's
_sharpening_ his teeth--" not supposing the toothbrush could be of any
other use.

=Droll Solemnity=

An old maid of Scotland, after reading aloud to her two sisters, also
unmarried, the births, marriages, and deaths, in the ladies' corner of a
newspaper, thus moralized: "Weel, weel, these are solemn events, death
and marriage: but ye ken they're what we must a' come to."

"Eh, Miss Jenny, but ye have been lang spared!" was the reply of the
youngest sister.

=Matrimony a Cure for Blindness=

An example of this truth is given in the case of a sly old Scotchman
who, on marrying a very young wife, was rallied by his friends on the
inequality of their ages.

"She will be near me," he replied, "to close my een."

"Weel," remarked another party, "I've had twa wives, and they _opened_
my een."

=Plain Speaking=

"I was at the manse the ither day," said the precentor to an old crony,
"an' the minister and me got on the crack. He says to me: 'Jim,' says
he, 'I'm very sorry to tell you that I must advise you to give up your
post, for there are several people complaining that you cannot sing!'

"'Weel, sir,' said I, 'I dinna think you should be in sic a hurry to
advise me. I've been telt a dizzen times ye canna preach, but I never
advised ye to gie up your place.'

"I saw he was vexed, so I jist said: 'Ne'er heed, sir; the fules'll hae
to hear us till we think fit to stop.'"

=Trying to Shift the Job=

A country laird, at his death, left his property in equal shares to his
two sons, who continued to live very amicably together for many years.
At length one said to the other: "Sam, we're getting auld now; you'll
tak' a wife, and when I dee ye'll get my share o' the grund."

"Na, John; you're the youngest and maist active; you'll tak' a wife, and
when I dee you'll get my share."

"Od!" says John; "Sam, that's just the way with you when there's any
_fash or trouble_. There's naething you'll do at a'."

=A New Explanation of an Extra Charge=

The following story is told of a distinguished Edinburgh professor:
Desiring to go to church one wet Sunday, he hired a cab. On reaching the
church door he tendered a shilling--the legal fare--to cabby, and was
somewhat surprised to hear the cabman say: "Twa shillin', sir." The
professor, fixing his eye on the extortioner, demanded why he charged
two shillings, upon which the cabman dryly answered: "We wish to
discourage traveling on the Sabbath as much as possible, sir."

=National Thrift Exemplified=

Nowadays, when we hear that patients are beginning to question whether
they are bound to pay their doctors or not unless a cure has been
effected, the following anecdote of a cautious Scotchman may serve as a
useful hint: A poor old man had been some time ill, but refused to have
advice, dreading the doctor's bill. At last he gave in to the repeated
requests of his family, and sent for the doctor. On his arrival, the old
man greeted him with: "Noo, doctor, if ye dinna think I am worth
repairing, dinna put much expense on me." The doctor, finding him worth
repairing, soon set him on his legs again, and the old man considered
his bargain a good one.

=New Use for a "Cosy"=

A newly-married lady, displaying her wedding presents to an old Highland
servant-maid, shows a fancy tea-cosy.

_Servant Maid_: "That'll be a bonny present."

_Lady_: "It is, indeed."

_Servant Maid_: "Ay, an' you'll pe shurely wear this at a crand party?"

=Mending Matters=

"Had you the audacity, John," said a Scottish laird to his servant, "to
go and tell some people that I was a mean fellow, and no gentleman?"
"Na, na," was the candid answer; "you'll no catch me at the like o'
that. I aye keep my thoughts to mysel'."

=Degrees of Capacity=

Francis Jeffrey was an example of a man who had acquired an artificial
style and language, suitable only for printed books and a small circle
of friends and associates in Edinburgh. His diction and pronunciation
were unintelligible to the bulk of his countrymen, and offensive and
ridiculous in the House of Commons. His weight in his party, his great
intelligence, and the affection of his friends, could not prevent him
from failing in Parliament. An amusing illustration is given by an
acquaintance of the contrast between him and his friend Henry Cockburn,
in the examination of a witness. The trial turned upon the intellectual
competency of a testator. Jeffrey asked a witness, a plain countryman,
whether the testator was a man of "intellectual capacity?--an
intellectual, shrewd man?--a man of capacity?--had he ordinary mental

"What d'ye mean, sir?"

"I mean," replied Jeffrey, testily, "was the man of sufficient ordinary
intelligence to qualify him to manage his own affairs?"

"I dinna ken," replied the chafed and mystified witness; "Wad ye say the
question ower again, sir?"

Jeffrey being baffled, Cockburn took up the examination. He said: "Ye
kenned Tammas----?"

"Ou, ay; I kenned Tammas weel; me and him herded together when we were

"Was there onything in the cretur?"

"Deil a thing but what the spune put in him."

"Would you have trusted him to sell a cow for you?"

"A cow! I wadna lippened him to sell a calf."

Francis Jeffrey could not, if he had devoted an article in the
_Edinburgh Review_ to the subject, have given a more exact measurement
than was presented in few words of the capacity of the testator to
manage his own affairs.

="Invisible and Incomprehensible"=

_First Scot_: "Fat sort o' minister hae ye gotten, Geordie?"

_Second Scot_: "Oh, weel; he's no muckle worth. We seldom get a glint o'
him; six days o' th' week he's envees'ble, and on the seventh he's

=Fetching His "Character"=

At a Scotch fair a farmer was trying to engage a lad to assist on the
farm, but would not finish the bargain until he brought a character from
the last place, so he said: "Run and get it, and meet me at the cross,
at four o'clock."

The youth was up to time, and the farmer said, "Well, have you got your
character with you?"

"Na," replied the youth; "but I've got yours, an' I'm no comin'."

=Scottish Negativeness=

If you remark to an old Scotchman that "It's a good day," his usual
reply is, "Aweel, sir, I've seen waur." Such a man does not say his wife
is an excellent woman. He says, "She's no' a bad body." A buxom lass,
smartly dressed, is "No' sae vera unpurposelike." The richest and rarest
viands are "No' sae bad." The best acting and the best singing are
designated as "No' bad." A man noted for his benevolence is "No' the
warst man in the worilt." A Scotchman is always afraid of expressing
unqualified praise. He suspects if he did so it would tend to spoil the
object of his laudations, if a person, male or female, old or young; or,
if that object were a song, a picture, a piece of work, a landscape, or
such, that those who heard him speak so highly of it would think he had
never in his life seen or heard anything better, which would be an
imputation on his knowledge of things. "_Nil Admirari_" is not exactly
the motto of the normal Scotchman. He is quite ready to admire admirable
things, but yet loath to admit it, only by inference, that he had never
witnessed or experienced anything better. Indeed, he has always
something of the like kind which he can quote to show that the person,
place or thing in question is only comparatively good, great, clever,
beautiful, or grand. Then, when anybody makes a remark, however novel,
that squares with a Scotchman's ideas, he will say, "That's just what
I've offen thoucht!" "That's exactly ma way of thinking!" "That's just
what I aye say!" "That's just what I was actually on the point o'

=Either Too Fast or Too Slow=

An artist, returning from a sketching tour in Arran, was crossing the
mountains on his way back to catch the early steamer for Brodick. His
watch had stopped, so he could not form an idea of the time of day. To
his joy he met a shepherd, of whom he inquired the hour. The native,
pulling out his watch, replied: "Sir, it will shoost pe five o'clock on
my wee watchy; but whether she'll be two oors too slow, or two oors too
fast, I dinna ken."

=A Highland Servant Girl and the Kitchen Bell=

Some years ago a lady engaged a domestic servant from the Highlands. In
the evening the lady wanted supper brought in, so she rang the bell.
Not getting any answer, she repeated the summons, but with the same
effect. She then proceeded to the kitchen, where to her amazement she
found the servant almost convulsed with laughter. She pointed to the
bell and exclaimed: "As sure's I leeve I never touched it, an' its
waggin' yet!"

=Not Necessarily Out of His Depth=

In Scotland the topic of a sermon, or discourse is called by
old-fashioned folk "its ground," or, as they would say, "its grund." An
old woman, bustling into kirk rather late, found the preacher had
commenced, and opening her Bible, nudged her next neighbor, with the
inquiry: "What's the grund?"

"Oh," rejoined the other, who happened to be a brother minister, and
therefore a privileged critic, "he's lost his grund long since, and he's
just swimming."

=Scotch Literalness=

"You must beware," says Charles Lamb, "of indirect expressions before a
Caledonian. I have a print, a graceful female, after Leonardo da Vinci,
which I was showing off to Mr. ----. After he had examined it, I asked
him how he liked 'my beauty' (a name it goes by among my friends), when
he very gravely assured me that he 'had very considerable respect for my
character and talents'--so he was pleased to say--'but had not given
himself much thought for the degree of my personal pretensions.'"

=A Scotch "Native"=

"Are you a native of this parish?" asked a Scotch sheriff of a witness
who was summoned to testify in a case of illicit distilling.

"Maistly, yer honor," was the reply.

"I mean, were you born in this parish?"

"Na, yer honor; I wasna born in this parish, but I'm maist a native for
a' that."

"You come here when you were a child, I suppose you mean?" said the

"Na, sir, I'm just here about sax year, noo."

"Then how do you come to be nearly a native of this parish?"

"Weel, ye see, whan I cam' here, sax year sin', I jist weighed eight
stane, an' I'm fully seventeen stane noo; sae ye see that about nine
stane a' me belangs to this parish an' the ither eight comes frae

="A Call to a Wider Sphere"=

An old Highland clergyman, who had received several calls to parishes,
asked his servant where he should go. His servant said: "Go where there
is most sin, sir."

The preacher concluded that good advice, and went where there was most

=Why Janet Slept During Her Pastor's Sermon=

Dean Ramsay tells the following quaint story of Scotch life:

There was a worthy old woman at Cults, whose place in church was what is
commonly called the lateran--a kind of senate gallery at the top of the
pulpit stairs. She was a most regular attendant, but as regularly fell
asleep during the sermon, of which fault the preacher had sometimes
audible intimation.

It was observed, however, that though Janet slept during her own
pastor's discourse, she could be attentive enough when she pleased, and
especially was she alert when some young preacher occupied the pulpit. A
little piqued at this, Mr. Gillespie said to her one day: "Janet, I
think you hardly behave respectfully to your own minister in one

"Me, sir?" exclaimed Janet; "I would like to see ony mon, no' to say
woman, but yoursel', say that o' me! What can you mean, sir?"

"Weel, Janet, ye ken when I preach you're almost always fast asleep
before I've given out my text, but when any of these young men from St.
Andrew's preach for me, I see you never sleep a wink. Now, that's what I
call no' using me as you should do."

"Hoot, sir," was the reply, "is that a'? I'll soon tell you the reason
of that. When you preach, we a' ken the word o' God's safe in your
hands; but when they young birkies tak it in haun, my certie, but it
tak's us a' to look after them." [7]

=Spinning it Out=

As a verbose preacher was addressing the congregation on a certain
occasion, one by one of his officials dropped out of the church into the
vestry. As the last one who left put his head into the vestry, those who
had preceded him inquired if the prolix speaker had not finished his
address. "Well," said he, "his tow's dune lang syne, but he's aye
spinnin' awa' yet."

=A Wife's Protection=

"Wake up, wake up; there's a man in the house!" cried Mrs. Macdougal to
her husband the other night. Mac rolled out of bed and grasped his
revolver, and opened the door to sally forth for the robber. Then,
turning to his wife, he said: "Come, Maggie, and lead the way. It's a
cowardly man that would hurt a woman."

=Scotch Provincialism=

A gentleman from Aberdeen was awoke one night lately in an hotel in
Princes Street by an alarm of fire. Upon going to the window, he called
out, "Watchman, far eist?" (Where is it?). The watchman thanked him and
went to the Register Office, where he found he was going in the wrong
direction and returned. On repassing the hotel, he was again called to
by the Aberdonian, who bawled out, "Watchman, far was't?" (Where was
it?) On looking up to him, the watchman replied, "Ye're a leein'
scoonril; ye first tell'd me it was far east, an' noo ye say it's far
west; but I tell ye it's neither e' tane or e' tither, cause it's ower
i' e' Coogate."

=More Polite than Some Smokers=

The other day a man who indulged in "the weed," took a seat in a
carriage set apart for smokers on the Tynemouth line. He lost no time in
getting up a cloud, and whilst puffing away he was accosted by a decent
elderly female sitting in an opposite corner.

"Is this a smokin' carriage, sor?"

"Yes, good woman," he replied; "but if my pipe annoys you" (obligingly
taking it from his lips), "I'll put it out."

"No, hinny," said she, drawing a well-used "cutty" from beneath her
shawl; "aa's gawin' to hev a pipe mesel'!"

=The Fly-fisher and the Highland Lassie=

An English tourist visited Arran, and being a keen disciple of Isaac
Walton, was arranging to have a good day's sport. Being told that the
horse-fly would suit his purpose admirably for bait, he addressed
himself to Christy, the Highland servant-maid. "I say, my girl, can you
get me some horse-flies?"

Christy looked stupid, and he repeated his question. Finding that she
did not yet comprehend him, he exclaimed: "Why, girl, did you never see
a horse-fly?"

"Naa, Sir," said the girl; "but a wanse saw a coo jump over a

=Not at Home=

One evening, John Clerk (Lord Eldon) had been dipping rather too freely
in the convivial bowl with a friend in Queen Street, and on emerging
into the open air, his intellect became to a considerable extent
confused, and not being able to distinguish objects with any degree of
minuteness or certainty, he thought himself in a fair way of losing the
road to his own house in Picardy Place. In this perplexity he espied
some one coming towards him, whom he stopped with this query: "D'ye ken
whaur John Clerk bides?"

"What's the use o' your speerin' that question?" said the man; "you're
John Clerk himsel'."

"I ken that," said John; "but it's no himsel' that's wanted--it's his

=Faring Alike=

_First Scotch Boatman_: "Weel, Geordie, how got ye on the day?"

_Second Ditto_ (_droughty--he had been out with a Free Kirk minister, a
strict abstainer_): "Nae ava. The auld carle had nae whusky, sae I took
him where there was nae fush!"

="Saddling the Ass"=

Dr. Guthrie, in the course of an address in the New Free College,
remarked that he was often annoyed and vexed beyond measure to find
discourses of the ablest character murdered and massacred by a wretched
delivery. Some ministers appeared to have a habit of emphasizing every
third word or so; and he would tell them an anecdote which he had heard
to illustrate the importance of correct reading. A minister once reading
I Kings xiii: 13, read it thus: "And the prophet said unto his sons,
_Saddle me the ass_. So they saddled _him_, the ass."

=An Open Question=

A Scottish minister, being one day engaged in visiting some members of
his flock, came to the door of a house where his gentle tapping could
not be heard for the noise of contention within. After waiting a little
he opened the door and walked in, saying with an authoritative voice, "I
should like to know who is head of this house?" "Weel, sir," said the
husband and father, "if ye sit down a wee, we'll maybe be able to tell
ye, for we're just trying to settle that point."

=Domestics in By-gone Days=

Dean Ramsay records the following anecdote in his "Reminiscences of
Scottish Life and Character": The charge these old domestics used to
take in the interests of the family, and the cool way in which they took
upon them to protect those interests, sometimes led to very provoking
and sometimes to a very ludicrous exhibition of importance. A friend
told me of a dinner scene illustrative of this sort of interference
which had happened at Airth in the last generation. Mrs. Murry, of
Abercairney, had been amongst the guests, and at dinner one of the
family noticed that she was looking about for the proper spoon to help
herself to salt. The old servant, Thomas, was appealed to, that the want
might be supplied. He did not notice the appeal. It was repeated in a
more peremptory manner: "Thomas, Mrs. Murry has not a salt-spoon"; to
which he replied most emphatically, "Last time Mrs. Murry dined here we
_lost_ a salt-spoon." [7]

=A Misdeal=

A celebrated Scotch divine had just risen up to the pulpit to lead the
congregation in prayer, when a gentlemen in front of the gallery took
out his handkerchief to wipe the dust from his brow, forgetting that a
pack of cards was wrapped up in it; the whole pack was scattered over
the breast of the gallery. The minister could not resist a sarcasm,
solemn as the act was in which he was about to engage. "O man, man!
surely your psalm-book has been ill-bund."

="A Sign of Grace"=

A good story is told by Mr. Aird, Moderator of the Free Church of
Scotland, respecting a minister who in the old days of patronage was
forced upon a congregation at Alness. He was coldly received, but
calling one day upon an old elder, he took a chair in spite of his gruff
reception. In order to meet an awkward pause, he took out his snuff-box.
"Oh," said the elder, "ye tak' snuff, dae ye?"

"Oh, yes," was the reply.

"Weel," said the elder, "that's the fust sign of grace I've seen in ye."

"How's that?"

"Dae we nae read o' Solomon's temple," replied the elder, "that a' the
snuffers were of pure gold?"

=Extraordinary Absence of Mind=

A certain Scottish professor was not more remarkable for his writings on
political economy, than for his frequent unconsciousness of what passed
before him. His absence of mind was so remarkable, that his wife once
wagered that she would accost him in the street, inquire after the
health of herself and family, and that he would not recognize her. She
actually won the wager.

The professor was once taking a solitary walk on the banks of the canal,
into which in his abstraction, he walked. When within a yard of the
centre, an honest woman washing clothes behind him, bawled out, "Come
oot, come oot, fule body, or ye'll be droon't."

These warning sounds invading the tympanum of the professorial ear, had
the effect of making him turn right about and forthwith recover the dry
ground. The good woman, concluding him to be an idiot, sympathetically
exclaimed, "Puir body! a weel, they hae muckle to answer for that lets
ye gang yer lane!"

=Salmon or Sermon=

A clergyman in Perthshire, who was more skilful as an angler than
popular as a preacher, having fallen into conversation with some of his
parishioners on the benefits of early rising, mentioned as an instance,
that he had that very morning, before breakfast, composed a sermon, and
killed a salmon--an achievement on which he plumed himself greatly.
"Aweel, sir," observed one of the company, "I would rather have your
salmon than your sermon."

="Bock Again!"--A Prompt Answer=

A countryman in Scotland, who was very fond of apples, especially if
they came cheap, was one day getting over the hedge into his neighbor's
orchard, who, happening to be walking towards the spot at the time,
cried out, "Hoot, hoot, Sandy, where are thee ganging?"

"Bock again, now you are there," replied the thief, with the utmost
_sang froid_.

=A "Kippered" Divine=

It is said that Dr. Chalmers once entertained a distinguished guest from
Switzerland, whom he asked if he would be helped to kippered salmon. The
foreign divine asked the meaning of the uncouth word "kippered," and was
told that it meant "preserved." The poor man, in public prayer, soon
after, offered a petition that the distinguished divine might long be
"kippered to the Free Church of Scotland."

=Scotch Caution versus Suretiship=

The old Jews and the old Scotch Highlanders had one feeling in common--a
dread of suretiship. The Book of Proverbs contains several warnings of
the danger that lurks in a surety bond, but none are more admonishing
than one uttered by an Highlander. Donald had been tried for his life,
and narrowly escaped conviction. In discharging him the judge thought it
proper to say: "Prisoner, before you leave the bar, I'll give you a
piece of advice. You have got off this time, but if you ever come before
me, again, I'll be caution (surety) you'll be hanged."

"Thank you, my lord," said Donald, "for your good advice, and as I'm no'
ungratefu', I beg to gie your lordship a piece of advice in turn. Never
be 'caution' for anybody, for the cautioner has often to pay the

=A Descendant of the Stuarts=

A gentleman from the north, being of a genealogical turn of mind,
believed that he had discovered in his pedigree some remote connection
with the royal Stuart blood. Going south, he made much of his presumed
relationship, until he was generally spoken of in bated breath by his
innocent English friends, "as a descendant of the Stuarts." At a public
gathering he was thus mentioned, and the description instantly engaged
the rapt attention of a new arrival from Caledonia.

"A descendant o' the Stuarts!" he cried; "eh, sirs, I'd like feine to
see ane o' the royal race."

"Then there he is," answered the interlocutor, pointing him
out--"there--the gentleman standing in front of the fireplace."

"Gude sakes!" said the astonished Scot; "that's just my ain brither

="Law" Set Aside by "Gospel"=

It is related that a Scotch minister chanced to meet two of his
parishioners in the office of a lawyer, whom he regarded as being too

The lawyer jocularly and not very graciously put the question: "Doctor,
these are members of your flock; may I ask, do you look upon them as
black or white sheep?"

"I don't know," answered the divine drily, "whether they are black or
white sheep, but I know if they are here long they are pretty sure to be
well fleeced."

="Knowledge--It Shall Vanish Away"=

A gentleman was once riding in Scotland by a bleaching ground, where a
woman was at work watering her webs of linen-cloth. He asked her where
she went to church, what she heard, and how much she remembered of the
preceding day's sermon. She could not even remember the text.

"And what good can the preaching do you," said he, "if you forget it

"Ah, sir," replied the woman, "if you look at this web on the grass, you
will see that as fast as ever I put the water on it the sun dries it all
up; and yet, see, it grows whiter and whiter."

=A Harmless Joke=

Sandy Merton was a half-witted fellow who lived in a small town in the
west of Scotland. One day Sandy entered the doctor's shop, carrying
under his arm a rusty gun.

"Well, Alexander," said the doctor, "who gave you the gun?"

"Maister Tamson, the publican, gied me it, an' he said the only kind o'
poother it wud shoot wi' was Seidlitz poother; sae gie I tuppence

=Looking before Leaping=

A bluff, consequential gentleman from the South, with more beef on his
bones than brains in his head, riding along the Hamilton road, near to
Blantyre, asked a herdboy on the roadside, in a tone and manner
evidently meant to quiz, if he were "half way to Hamilton?" "Man,"
replied the boy, "I wad need to ken where ye hae come frae afore I could
answer that question."

="Lichts Oot!"=

An old Highland sergeant in one of the Scottish regiments, was going his
round one night to see that all the lights were out in the barrack
rooms. Coming to a room where he thought he saw a light shining, he
roared out: "Put oot that licht there!"

One of the men shouted back: "Man, it's the mune, sergeant."

Not hearing very well, the sergeant cried in return: "I dinna care a
tacket what it is--pit it oot!"

=A Teetotal Preacher Asks for "a Glass"--and Gets it=

A teetotal minister, who was very particular about his toilet, went to
preach one Sunday for a brother minister in a parish in Kinross-shire.
On entering the vestry he looked around in search of a mirror, to see
that his appearance was all right before entering the pulpit, but,
failing to find one, he said to the beadle: "John, can I have a glass
before entering the pulpit?"

"Certainly, sir!" replied John. "Just bide a wee, and I'll get ane for
ye immediately"; and he left the vestry at once.

On his return the minister said: "Well, John, have you succeeded?"

"Yes, sir," replied John; "I've brocht a gill. That'll be a glass for
the forenoon, and anither for the afternoon."

="Old Bags"=

Lord Eldon, who was well known by the nick-name "Old Bags," in one of
his sporting excursions, unexpectedly came across a person who was
sporting over his land without leave. His lordship inquired if the
stranger was aware he was trespassing, or if he knew to whom the estate
belonged? "What's that to do with you?" was the reply. "I suppose you
are one of Old Bags' keepers." "No," replied his lordship, "I am Old
Bags himself."

=A Poem for the Future=

The late Dr. Jamieson, the Scottish lexicographer, was vain of his
literary reputation, and, like many others who knew not where their
great strength lies, thought himself gifted with a kind of intellectual
able-to-do-everything. The doctor published a poem, entitled "Eternity."

This poem became the subject of conversational remark, soon after
publication, at a party where the doctor was present, and a lady was
asked her opinion of it. "It's a bonny poem," said she, "and it's weel
named Eternity, for it will ne'er be read in time."

=A Badly Arranged Prayer=

A Presbyterian minister in the reign of King William III, performing
public worship in the Tron Church at Edinburgh, used this remarkable
expression in his prayer: "Lord, have mercy upon all fools and idiots,
and particularly upon the Town Council of Edinburgh." [9]

=Simplicity of a Collier's Wife=

A clergyman in a mining village not far from Riccarton, in the course of
his pastoral visits, called at the domicile of a collier in his parish.
Inquiring of a woman he saw, and whom he presumed to be his wife, if her
husband was at home, she said: "Deed, na, sir; he's at his work."

"Is your husband, my good woman, a communicant?"

"A communicant! He's naething o' the kind. He's just a collier."

Astonished at the ignorance displayed, the clergyman could not help
ejaculating: "Oh, what darkness!"

The collier's wife understanding the language literally, not
figuratively, was also astonished.

"Darkness! Little ye ken o't. Had you been here before we got the extra
window in the gable ye would scarcely been able to see your finger afore

The pastor sighed.

"I must, my dear woman, put up a petition for you here."

"Petition--petition! Bide a wee. Nae petition (partition) will ye put up
here sae lang as I am in the house; but at the term we're going ower to
Newdiggings, and then ye may put as many o' them as ye like."

=A Scotch "Supply"=

Many good stories have been told of the beadles of the Scottish
churches. The latest is as good as any: One Sabbath morning when a
minister of an Ayrshire Established Church was about to enter the
pulpit, he found that John, the precentor, had not arrived. He
instructed the beadle, who was also bellman, to ring for five minutes
longer while they waited to see if John came.

When he returned, the minister inquired: "Has John come yet?"

"No, sir," answered the beadle.

"Most extraordinary! What are we to do? I see no help for it, but you
must take John's place yourself for a day."

"Ah, no, sir," replied the beadle, "I couldna dae that. Aiblins I could
tak' _your_ place, but I couldna tak' John's."

=Praying for Wind=

Dean Ramsay relates this incident: In one of our northern counties, a
rural district had its harvest operations seriously affected by
continuous rains. The crops being much laid, wind was desired in order
to restore them to a condition fit for the sickle. A minister in his
Sabbath services, expressed their wants in prayer as follows: "O Lord,
we pray thee to send us wind, no' a rantin' tantin' wind; but a noohin'
(noughin?) soughin', winnin' wind."

=Disturbed Devotions=

The Rev. Dr. Alexander relates that there lived in Peebleshire a
half-witted man, who was in the habit of saying his prayers in a field
behind a turf-dyke. One day he was followed to this spot by some wags,
who secreted themselves on the opposite side listening to the man, who
expressed his conviction that he was a very great sinner, and that even
were the turf-dyke at that moment to fall upon him it would be no more
than he deserved. No sooner had he said this, than the persons on the
opposite side pushed the dyke over him, when, scrambling out, he was
heard to say: "Hech, sirs, it's an awfu' world this; a body canna say a
thing in a joke, but it's ta'en in earnest." [9]

=The "Tables" of "The Law"=

When catechizing by the Scottish clergy was customary, the minister of
Coldingham, in Berwickshire, asked a simple country wife, who resided at
the farm of Coldingham Law, which was always styled "The Law" for
brevity's sake: "How many tables, Janet, are there in the law?"

"Indeed, sir, I canna just be certain," was the simple reply; "but I
think there's ane in the fore room, ane in the back room, an' anither

="Eating Among the Brutes"=

The Rev. Dr. M'C----, minister of Douglas, in Clydesdale, was one day
dining with a large party where the Hon. Henry Erskine and some lawyers
were present. A great dish of water-cresses being, according to the
fashion of the period, handed round after dinner, Dr. M'C----, who was
extravagantly fond of vegetables, helped himself much more largely than
any other person, and, as he ate with his fingers with a peculiar
voracity of manner, Mr. Erskine was struck with the idea that he
resembled Nebuchadnezzar in his state of condemnation. Resolved to give
the minister a hit for the grossness of his taste and manner of eating,
the wit addressed him with: "Dr. M'C----, ye bring me in mind of the
great king Nebuchadnezzar"; and the company were beginning to titter at
the ludicrous allusion, when the reverend devourer of cresses replied:
"Ay, do I mind ye o' Nebuchadnezzar? That'll be because I'm eating among
the brutes, then."

=An Angry Preacher=

"I know what sort o' heaven you'd pe wanting," shouted an earnest and
excited Highland minister in the ears of an apathetic congregation, to
whom he had delivered, without any apparent effect, a vivid and
impressive address on the glory of heaven; "I know what sort o' heaven
you'd pe wantin'. You'd pe wantin' that all the seas would pe hot water,
that all the rivers would pe rivers of whiskey, and that all the hills
and mountains would be loaves o' sugar. That's the sort o' heaven you'd
pe wantin'; moreover," he added, warming to his work, "you'd pe wantin'
that all the corn-stooks would pe pipe staples and tobaccos, and
sweeshin'--that's the sort o' heaven you'd pe wantin'."

=A Comfortable Preacher=

One Sunday, as a certain Scottish minister was returning homewards, he
was accosted by an old woman who said: "Oh, sir, well do I like the day
when you preach!"

The minister was aware that he was not very popular, and he answered:
"My good woman, I am glad to hear it! There are too few like you. And
why do you like when I preach?"

"Oh, sir," she replied, "when you preach I always get a good seat!"

="Haste" and "Leisure"=

A clergyman in the north of Scotland, very
homely in his address, chose for his text a passage in the Psalms, "I
said in my haste all men are liars." "Ay," premised the minister by way
of introduction, "ye said in your haste, David, did ye?--gin ye had been
here, ye micht hae said it at your leisure, my man."

="Making Hay While the Sun Shines"=

An anecdote is told of a certain Highland hotel-keeper, who was one day
bickering with an Englishman in the lobby of the inn regarding the bill.
The stranger said it was a gross imposition, and that he could live
cheaper in the best hotel in London; to which the landlord with
nonchalance replied, "Oh, nae doot, sir, nae doot; but do ye no' ken the
reason?" "No, not a bit of it," said the stranger hastily. "Weel, then,"
replied the host, "as ye seem to be a sensible callant, I'll tell ye;
there's 365 days in the Lonnun hotel-keeper's calendar, but we have only
three months in ours! Do ye understand me noo, frien'? We maun mak' hay
in the Hielans when the sun shines, for it's unco seldom he dis't!"

=Speaking Figuratively=

A preacher of the name of Ker, on being inducted into a church in
Teviotdale, told the people the relation there was to be between him and
them in the following words: "Sirs, I am come to be your shepherd, and
you must be my sheep, and the Bible will be my tar bottle, for I will
mark you with it"; and laying his hand on the clerk or precentor's head,
he said: "Andrew, you shall be my dog." "The sorra bit of your dog will
I be," said Andrew. "O, Andrew, you don't understand me; I speak
mystically," said the preacher. "Yes, but you speak mischievously," said
Andrew. [9]

=A Canny Witness=

During a trial in Scotland, a barrister was examining an old woman, and
trying to persuade her to his view by some "leading questions." After
several attempts to induce her memory to recur to a particular
circumstance, the barrister angrily observed, "Surely you must remember
this fact--surely you can call to mind such and such a circumstance."
The witness answered, "I ha' tauld ye I can't tell; but if ye know so
much mair about it than I do (pointing to the judge), do'e tell maister

=A Mother's Confidence in Her Son=

Mrs. Baird received the news from India of the gallant but unfortunate
action of '84 against Hyder Ali, in which her son (then Captain Baird,
afterwards Sir David Baird) was engaged; it was stated that he and other
officers had been taken prisoners and chained together two and two. The
friends were careful in breaking such sad intelligence to the mother of
Captain Baird. When, however, she was made fully to understand the
position of her son and his gallant companions, disdaining all weak and
useless expressions of her own grief, and knowing well the restless and
athletic habits of her son, all she said was, "Lord, pity the chiel
that's chained to our Davy!" [7]

=Lord Clancarty and the Roman Catholic Chaplain=

When Lord Clancarty was captain of a man-of-war in 1724, and was
cruising off the coast of Guinea, his lieutenant, a Scotch Presbyterian,
came hastily into the cabin, and told his lordship that the chaplain was
dead, and what was worse, he died a Roman Catholic. Lord Clancarty
replied that he was very glad of it. "Hoot fie, my lord," said the
officer, "what, are ye glad that yer chaplain died a pawpish?" "Yes,"
answered his lordship, "for he is the first sea-parson I ever knew that
had any religion at all." [9]

=An Idiot's Views of Insanity=

A clergyman in the north of Scotland, on coming into church one Sunday
morning, found the pulpit occupied by the parish idiot (a thing which
often happens in some English parishes--with this difference, that
instead of the minister finding the idiot in the pulpit, it is the
_people_ who find him). The authorities had been unable to remove him
without more violence than was seemly, and therefore waited for the
minister to dispossess Sam of the place he had, assumed. "Come down,
sir, immediately," was the peremptory and indignant call; and on Sam
remaining unmoved, it was repeated with still greater energy. Sam,
however, very confidentially replied, looking down from his elevation,
"Na, na, meenister, just ye come up wi' me. This is a perverse
generation, and faith, they need us baith." [7]

=Lord Mansfield and a Scotch Barrister on Pronunciation=

A man who knows the world, will not only make the most of everything he
does know, but of many things he does not know, and will gain more
credit by his adroit mode of hiding his ignorance, than the pedant by
his awkward attempt to exhibit his erudition. In Scotland, the "_jus et
norma loquendi_" has made it the fashion to pronounce the law term
curator curator. Lord Mansfield gravely corrected a certain Scotch
barrister when in court, reprehending what appeared to English usage a
false quantity, by repeating--"Curator, sir, if you please." The
barrister immediately replied, "I am happy to be corrected by so great
an orator as your lordship."

=Satisfactory Security=

Patrick Forbes, Bishop of Aberdeen, had lent an unlucky brother money,
until he was tired out, but the borrower renewed his application, and
promised security. The bishop on that condition consented to the loan:
"But where is your security?" said he, when the poor fellow replied:
"God Almighty is my bondsman in providence; he is the only security I
have to offer." So singular a reply of a despairing man smote the
feelings of the bishop, and he thus replied: "It is the first time
certainly that such a security was ever offered to me; and since it is
so, take the money, and may Almighty God, your bondsman, see that it
does you good." [9]

=Better than a Countess=

Mrs. Coutts, wife of the eminent banker, and previously Miss Mellon, the
celebrated actress, made her appearance one day at one of the principal
promenades in Edinburgh, dressed in a most magnificent style, so as to
quite overawe our northern neighbors. "Hoot, mon," said a gentleman
standing by, who did not know who she was, "yon's a braw lady; she'll be
a countess, I'm thinking." "No," replied an eminent banker, "not just a
_countess_, but what's better, a _dis-countess_."

=Remembering Each Other=

Mr. Miller, of Ballumbie, had occasion to find fault with one of his
laborers, who had been improvident, and known better days. He was
digging a drain, and he told him if he did not make better work he
should turn him off. The man was very angry, and throwing down his
spade, called out in a tone of resentment, "Ye are ower pridefeu', Davie
Miller. I mind ye i' the warld when ye had neither cow nor ewe." "Very
well," replied Mr. Miller, mildly, "I remember you when you had both."

=Marriages Which are Made in Heaven--How Revealed=

Archbishop Leighton never was married. While he held the See of
Dumblane, he was of course a subject of considerable interest to the
celibate ladies in the neighborhood. One day he received a visit from
one of them who had reached the age of desperation. Her manner was
solemn though somewhat embarrassed; it was evident from the first that
there was something very particular on her mind. The good bishop spoke
with his usual kindness, encouraged her to be communicative, and by and
by drew from her that she had had a very strange dream, or rather, as
she thought, a revelation from heaven. On further questioning, she
confessed that it had been intimated to her that she was to be united in
marriage to the bishop. One may imagine what a start this gave to the
quiet scholar, who had long ago married his books, and never thought of
any other bride. He recovered, however, and very gently addressing her,
said that "Doubtless these intimations were not to be despised. As yet,
however, the designs of heaven were but imperfectly explained, as they
had been revealed to only one of the parties. He would wait to see if
any similar communication should be made to himself, and whenever it
happened he would be sure to let her know." Nothing could be more
admirable than this humor, except perhaps the benevolence shown in so
bringing an estimable woman off from a false position. [9]

=Not Up to Sample=

"How did it happen," asked a lady of a very silly Scotch nobleman, "that
the Scots who came out of their own country were, generally speaking,
men of more ability than those who remained at home?"

"Oh, madam," said he, "the reason is obvious. At every outlet there are
persons stationed to examine all who pass, that for the honor of the
country, no one be permitted to leave it who is not a man of

"Then," said she, "I suppose your lordship was smuggled."

=The Queen's Daughters--or "Appearances Were Against Them"=

A good many years ago, when her majesty was spending a short time in the
neighborhood of the Trossachs, the Princesses Louise and Beatrice paid
an unexpected visit to an old female cottager on the slopes of
Glenfinlas, who, knowing that they had some connection with the royal
household, bluntly ejaculated: "Ye'll be the Queen's servants, I'm

"No," they quietly rejoined; "we are the Queen's daughters."

"Ye dinna look like it," was the immediate reply of the unusually
outspoken Celt, "as ye hae neither a ring on your fingers, nor a bit
gowd i' your lugs!"

="Oo"--with Variations=

The following is a dialogue between a Scotch shopman and a customer,
relating to a plaid hanging at the shop door:

_Customer (inquiring the material)_: "Oo" (Wool)?

_Shopman_: "Ay, oo" (Yes, wool).

_Customer_: "A' oo" (All wool)?

_Shopman_: "Ay, a' oo" (Yes, all wool).

_Customer_: "A' ae oo" (All same wool)?

_Shopman_: "Ay, a' _ae_ oo" (Yes, all the same wool). [7]

=A Widow's Promise=

The clerk of a large parish, not five miles from Bridgenorth, Scotland,
perceiving a female crossing a churchyard in a widow's garb with a
watering can and bundle, had the curiosity to follow her, and he
discovered her to be Mrs. Smith, whose husband had not long been

The following conversation took place:

"Ah, Mrs. Smith, what are you doing with your watering can?"

"Why, Mr. Prince, I have begged a few hay-seeds, which I have in a
bundle, and am going to sow them upon my husband's grave, and have
brought a little water with me to make 'em spring."

"You have no occasion to do that, as the grass will soon grow upon it,"
replied the clerk.

"Ah, Mr. Prince, that may be; but, do you know, my husband, who now
lives there, made me promise him on his death-bed I would never marry
again till the grass grew over his grave, and having a good offer made
me, I dinna wish to break my word, or be kept as I am."

=Drunken Wit=

The late Rev. Mr. Neal, one of the ministers of the West Church, when
taking a walk in the afternoon, saw an old woman sitting by the roadside
evidently much intoxicated, with her bundle lying before her in the mud.
He immediately recognized her to be one of his parishioners.

"Will you just help me with my bundle, gudeman?" said she, as he

"Fie, fie, Janet," said the pastor, "to see the like o' you in such a
plight. Do you not know where all drunkards go to?"

"Ah, sure," said Janet, "they just go whaur a drap o' gude drink is to
be got."

=Popularity Tested by the Collection=

The late Dr. Cook, of Addington, after assisting the late Dr. Forsyth,
of Morham, at a communion service, repaired as usual to the manse. While
in the enjoyment of a little social intercourse, the minister of
Morham--which, by the way, is one of the smallest parishes in
Scotland--quietly remarked to his brother divine: "Doctor, you must be a
very popular man in the parish." "Ay," replied the doctor, "how's that?"
"Why," rejoined the other, "our usual collection is threepence, but
to-day it is ninepence!" "Eh, is that all?" said Dr. Cook, "then wae's
me for my popularity, for I put in the extra sixpence myself!"

=An "Exceptional" Prayer=

A minister in the North, returning thanks in his prayers one Sabbath for
the excellent harvest, began as usual, "O Lord, we thank Thee," etc.,
and went on to mention the abundance of the harvest and its safe
ingathering; but feeling anxious to be quite candid and scrupulously
truthful, added, "all except a few fields between this and Stonehaven
_not worth mentioning_."

="Verra Weel Pitched"=

A Scotchman was riding a donkey one day across a sheep pasture, but when
the animal came to a sheep drain he would not go over. So the man rode
back a short distance, turned, and applied the whip, thinking, of
course, that the donkey, when at the top of his speed, would jump the
drain. But when the donkey got to the drain he stopped sharply and the
man went over his head and cleared the drain. No sooner had he touched
the ground than he got up, and, looking the beast straight in the face,
said: "Verra weel pitched, but, then, hoo are ye goin' to get ower

=An Out-of-the-Way Reproof=

King James I, being one day in the North, a violent tempest burst loose
and a church being the nearest building, his majesty took shelter there,
and sat down in an obscure and low seat. The minister had just mounted
the pulpit and soon recognized the king, notwithstanding his plain
costume. He commenced his sermon, however, and went on with it logically
and quietly, but at last, suddenly starting off at a tangent, he
commenced to inveigh most violently against the habit of swearing, and
expatiated on this subject till the end of his discourse.

After the sermon was ended the king had his dinner, to which he invited
the minister, and when the bottle had circulated for a while: "Parson,"
says the king, "why didst thou flee so from thy text?"

"If it please your majesty," was the reply, "when you took the pains to
come so far out of your way to hear me, I thought it very good manners
for me to step a little way out of my text to meet with your majesty."

"By my saul, mon," exclaimed James, "and thou hast met with me so as
never mon did."

It will be remembered that James I was notorious for cursing and
swearing, in a manner almost verging on blasphemy. [9]

=A Castle Stor(e)y=

A Glasgow antiquary recently visited an old castle, and asked one of the
villagers if he knew anything of an old story about the building.

"Ay," said the rustic, "there was another auld storey, but it fell down
lang since."

=A Satisfactory Explanation=

A trial took place before a bailie, who excelled more as a citizen than
as a scholar. A witness had occasion to refer to the testimony of a man
who had died recently, and he spoke of him frequently as the defunct.

Amazed at the constant repetition of a word he did not understand, the
bailie petulantly said: "What's the use o' yer talkin' sae muckle aboot
the man Defunct? Canna ye bring him here and let him speak for himsel'?"

"The defunct's dead, my lord," replied the witness.

"Oh, puir man, that alters the case," said the sapient administrator of
the law.

=Sandy's Reply to the Sheriff=

Sandy Gibb, master-blacksmith in a certain town in Scotland, was
summoned as a witness to the Sheriff-Court in a case of two of his
workmen. The sheriff, after hearing the testimony, asked Sandy why he
did not advise them to settle, seeing the costs had already amounted to
three times the disputed claim. Sandy's reply was, "I advised the fules
to settle, for I saw that the shirra-officer wad tak' their coates, the
lawwers their sarks, an' gif they got to your lordship's haunds ye'd
tear the skin aff them." Sandy was ordered to stand down.

=A Grammatical Beggar=

A beggar some time ago applied for alms at the door of a partisan of the
Anti-begging Society. After in vain detailing his manifold sorrows, the
inexorable gentleman peremptorily dismissed him: "Go away," said he,
"go, we canna gie ye naething."

"You might at least," replied the mendicant, with an air of arch
dignity, "have refused me grammatically."

=Good Enough to Give Away=

A woman entered a provision shop and asked for a pound of butter, "an'
look ye here, guidman," she exclaimed, "see an' gie me it guid, for the
last pound was that bad I had to gie't awa' to the wifie next door."

=A Dry Preacher=

On one occasion when coming to church, Dr. Macknight, who was a much
better commentator than preacher, having been caught in a shower of
rain, entered the vestry, soaked through. Every means were used to
relieve him from his discomfort; but as the time drew on for divine
service, he became very querulous, and ejaculated over and over again:
"Oh! I wish that I was dry! Do you think that I am dry? Do you think
that I am dry eneuch noo?" Tired by these endless complaints, his jocose
colleague, Dr. Henry, the historian, at last replied: "Bide a wee,
doctor, and ye'se be dry eneuch, gin ye once get into the pu'pit." [9]

=A Poetical Question and Answer=

Mr. Dewar, a shop-keeper at Edinburgh, being in want of silver for a
bank note, went into the shop of a neighbor of the name of Scott, whom
he thus addressed:

     "Master Scott,
     Can you change me a note?"

Mr. Scott's reply was:

     "I'm not very sure, but I'll see."

Then going into his back room he immediately returned and added:

           "Indeed, Mr. Dewar,
           It's out of my power,
     For my wife's away with the key."

=Drinking by Candle Light=

The taverns to which Edinburgh lawyers of a hundred years ago resorted
were generally very obscure and mean--at least they would appear such
now; and many of them were situated in the profound recesses of the old
town, where there was no light from the sun, the inmates having to use
candles continually.

A small party of legal gentlemen happened one day to drop into one of
these dens; and as they sat a good while drinking, they at last forgot
the time of day. Taking their impressions from the candles, they just
supposed that they were enjoying an ordinary evening debauch.

"Sirs," said one of them at last, "it's time to rise; ye ken I'm a
married man, and should be early at home." And so they all rose, and
prepared to stagger home through the streets, which at night were but
dimly lighted with oil; when, lo and behold! on their emerging from the
tavern, they suddenly found themselves projected into the blaze of a
summer afternoon, and at the same time, under the gaze of a thousand
curious eyes, which were directed to their tipsy and negligent figures.

=Disqualified to be a Country Preacher=

The gentleman who has been rendered famous by the pen of Burns, under
the epithet of _Rumble John_, was one Sunday invited to preach in a
parish church in the Carse of Stirling, where, as there had been a long
course of dry weather, the farmers were beginning to wish for a gentle
shower; for the sake of their crops then on the eve of being ripe. Aware
of this Mr. Russell introduced a petition, according to custom, into his
last prayer, for a change of weather. He prayed, it is said, that the
windows of heaven might be opened, and a flood fall to fatten the ground
and fulfill the hopes of the husbandmen. This was asking too much; for,
in reality, nothing was wanting but a series of very gentle showers. As
if to show how bad a farmer he was, a thunder storm immediately came on,
of so severe a character, that before the congregation was dismissed,
there was not an upright bean-stalk in the whole of the Carse. The
farmers, on seeing their crops so much injured, and that apparently by
the ignorance of the clergyman, shook their heads to one another as they
afterwards clustered about the churchyard; and one old man was heard to
remark to his wife, as he trudged indignantly out, "That lad may be very
gude for the town, as they say he is, but I'm clear that he disna
understan' _the kintra_."

=Grim Humor=

An English traveler was taking a walk through a Scotch fishing village,
and being surprised at the temerity of the children playing about the
pier, he said to a woman who stood by: "Do not the children frequently
drop in?"

"Ay, ay, the fule things, they often fa' ower the pier," she answered

"God bless me! Lost of course?"

"Na, na," was the reply; "noo and then, to be sure, a bairn's drooned,
but unfortunately there's maistly some idle body in the way to fish oot
the deevils!"

=Sabbath Zeal=

The reverence for the Sabbath in Scotland sometimes takes a form one
would have hardly anticipated. An old Highland man said to an English
tourist: "They're a God-fearin' set o' folks here, 'deed they are, an'
I'll give ye an instance o't. Last Sabbath, just as the kirk was
skalin', there was a drover chiel frae Dumfries along the road,
whistlin' and lookin' as happy as if it was ta middle o' ta week. Weel,
sir, our laads is a God-fearin' set o' laads, and they yokit upon him
an' a'most killed him."

=At the End of His Tether=

An old Scotch lady was told that her minister used notes. She
disbelieved it. Said one: "Go into the gallery and see!"

She did so, and saw the written sermon. After the luckless preacher had
concluded his reading on the last page, he said: "But I will not

The old woman cried out from her lofty position: "Ye canna! ye canna,
for yer paper's give oot!"

=A Thrifty Proposal=

It is said that before the opening of the Glasgow Exhibition the laying
out of the garden and grounds were under discussion, and it was
suggested that a gondola would look ornamental on the water.

"Well," said a member of the town council, "I think we may as well have
a _pair_, and they might _breed_."

=Was He a Liberal or a Tory?=

A keen politician, in the City of Glasgow, heard one day of the death of
a party opponent, who in a fit of a mental aberration, had shot himself.
"Ah," said he, "gane awa' that way by himsel', has he? I wish that he
had ta'en twa or three days' shooting among his friends before he went!"

=Advice on Nursing=

A bachelor of seventy and upwards came one day to Bishop Alexander, of
Dunkeld, and said he wished to marry a girl of the neighborhood whom he
named. The bishop, a non-juring Scottish Episcopalian of the middle of
last century, and himself an old bachelor, inquired into the motive of
this strange proceeding, and soon drew from the old man the awkward
apology, that he married to have a nurse. Too knowing to believe such a
statement, the good bishop quietly replied, "See, John, then, and make
her ane."

=A Critic on His Own Criticism=

Lord Eldon, so remarkable for his naïf expression, being reminded, of a
criticism which he had formerly made upon a picture which he himself had
forgotten, inquired, "Did I say that?" "Yes." "Then if I said that,"
quoth the self-satisfied wit, "it was _deevilish gude_."

=Holding A Candle to the Sun=

A wet and witty barrister, one Saturday encountered an equally
Bacchanalian senatorial friend, in the course of a walk to Leith.
Remembering that he had a good joint of mutton roasting for dinner, he
invited his friend to accompany him home; and they accordingly dined
together, _secundum morem solitum_. After dinner was over, wine and
cards commenced; and, as they were each fond of both, neither thought of
reminding the other of the advance of time, till the church bell next
day disturbed them in their darkened room about a quarter before eleven
o'clock. The judge then rising to depart, Mr. ---- walked behind him to
the outer door, with a candle in each hand, by way of showing him out.
"Tak' care, my lord, tak' care," cried the kind host most anxiously,
holding the candles out of the door into the sunny street, along which
the people were pouring churchwards; "Tak' care; there's twa steps."

=A False Deal=

A gentleman was one night engaged with a judge in a tremendous drinking
bout which lasted all night, and till within a single hour of the time
when the court was to open next morning. The two cronies had little more
than time to wash themselves in their respective houses when they had to
meet again, in their professional capacities of judge and pleader, in
the Parliament House. Mr. Clerk (afterwards Lord Eldon), it appears,
had, in the hurry of his toilet, thrust the pack of cards he had been
using over night into the pocket of his gown; and thus as he was going
to open up the pleading, in pulling out his handkerchief, he also pulled
out fifty-two witnesses of his last night's debauch, which fell
scattered within the bar. "Mr. Clerk," said his judicial associate in
guilt, with the utmost coolness, "before ye begin, I think ye had better
take up your hand."

=A Scotch Matrimonial Jubilee=

Two fishwives in London were talking about the Queen's jubilee. "Eh,
wumman," said one to the other, "can ye tell me what a jubilee is, for I
hear a' the folks spakin' aboot it?"

"Ou, ay," replied the other, "I can tell ye that. Ye see when a man and
a wumman has been marrit for five-and-twenty years, that's a silver
waddin; and when they've been marrit for fifty years, that's a gouden
waddin; but when the man's deed, that's a jubilee!"

=A Drunkard's Thoughts=

An inebriate, some time back, got into a tramcar in Glasgow, and became
very troublesome to the other passengers; so much so that it was
proposed to eject him. A genial and right reverend doctor, who was also
a passenger took him in hand, however, and soothed him into good
behavior for the rest of the journey. Before leaving, the man shook
hands warmly with the doctor, after scowling at the other occupants of
the car, and said: "Good-day, my freen', I see ye ken what it is to be

=A Lofty "Style"=

The late Mr. Andrew Balfour, one of the judges in the Commissary Court
of Edinburgh, used to talk in a very pompous and inflated style of
language. Having made an appointment with the late Honorable Henry
Erskine, on some particular business, and failing to attend, he
apologized for it, by telling the learned barrister that his brother,
the Laird of Balbirnie, in passing from one of his enclosures to
another, had fallen down from the stile and sprained his ankle. This
trifling accident he related in language highly pedantic and
bombastical. The witty advocate, with his usual vivacity, replied, "It
was very fortunate for your brother, Andrew, that it was not from _your_
style he fell, or he had broken his neck, instead of spraining his

During the time the above-named gentleman presided in court, his sister,
Miss Balfour, happened to be examined as a witness in a cause then
before the court. Andrew began in his pompous way, by asking, "Woman,
what is thy name? what is thy age? and where is thy usual place of
residence?" To which interrogatories Miss Balfour only replied, by
staring him broad in the face, when the questions were again repeated,
with all the grimace and pedantry he was master of, which the lady,
observing, said, "Dear me, Andrew, do ye no ken yer ain sister?" To
which the judge answered, "Woman, when I sit in court I administer
justice; I know no one, neither father or mother, sister or brother!"


Three boys at school, learning their catechism, the one asked the other
how far he had got. To this he answered, "I'm at 'A State o' Sin and
Misery.'" He then asked another what length he was, to which he replied,
"I'm just at 'Effectual Calling.'" They were both anxious, of course, to
learn how far he was himself, and having asked him, he answered, "Past

=An Earl's Pride and Parsimony=

A late nobleman, in whose character vanity and parsimony were the most
remarkable features, was, for a long time before he died, in the habit
of retailing the produce of his dairy and his orchard to the children
and poor people of the neighborhood. It is told, that one day observing
a pretty little girl tripping through his grounds with a milk pipkin, he
stooped to kiss her; after which he said, in a pompous tone, "Now, my
dear, you may tell your grandchildren, and tell them in their turn to
tell their grandchildren, that you had once the honor of receiving a
kiss from the Right Hon--the Earl of ----." The girl looked up in his
face, and, with a strange mixture of simplicity and archness, remarked,
"But ye took the penny for the milk, though!"

=Question and Answer=

At a church in Scotland, where there was a popular call, two candidates
offered to preach of the names of Adam and Low. The last preached in the
morning, and took for his text, "Adam, where art thou?" He made a most
excellent discourse, and the congregation were much edified. In the
evening Mr. Adam preached, and took for his text, "Lo, here am I!" The
_impromptu_ and his sermon gained him the church.

=Robbing "On Credit"=

Soon after the battle of Preston, two Highlanders, in roaming through
the south of Mid-Lothian, entered the farm-house of Swanston, near the
Pentland Hills, where they found no one at home but an old woman. They
immediately proceeded to search the house, and soon, finding a web of
coarse home-spun cloth, made no scruple to unroll and cut off as much as
they thought would make a coat for each. The woman was exceedingly
incensed at their rapacity, and even had the hardihood to invoke divine
vengeance upon their heads. "Ye villains!" she cried, "ye'll ha'e to
account for this yet!"

"And when will we pe account for't?"

"At the last day, ye blackguards!" exclaimed the woman.

"Ta last tay!" replied the Highlander; "tat pe cood long credit--we'll
e'en pe tak' a waistcoat, too!" at the same time cutting off a few
additional yards of the cloth.

=Taking a Light Supper=

A poet being at supper where the fare was very scanty, and not of
first-rate quality, said the following grace:

     "O Thou, who blessed the loaves and fishes,
     Look down upon these two poor dishes;
     And though the 'taties be but sma',
     Lord, make them large enough for a';
     For if they do our bellies fill,
     'Twill be a wondrous miracle!"

=Rustic Notion of the Resurrection=

It is the custom in Scotland for the elders to assist the minister in
visiting the sick; and on such occasions they give the patient and the
surrounding gossips the benefit of prayers. Being generally well
acquainted in the different families, they often sit an hour or two
after the sacred rites, to chat with those who are in health, and to
receive the benefit of a dram. On one of these occasions in the house of
Donald M'Intyre, whose wife had been confined to her fireside and
armchair for many years, the elder and Donald grew _unco' gracious_.
Glass after glass was filled from the bottle, and the elder entered into
a number of metaphysical discussions, which he had heard from the
minister. Among other topics was the resurrection. The elder was
strenuous in support of the rising of the same body; but Donald could
not comprehend how a body once dissolved in the dust could be
reanimated. At last, catching what he thought a glimpse of the subject,
he exclaimed, "Weel, weel, Sandy, ye're richt sae far; you and me, that
are strong, healthy folk, _may_ rise again; but that _puir_ thing there,
_far_ she sits" (that poor thing, where she sits) "she'll ne'er rise

=A Definition of Baptism=

A Scotch clergyman, one day catechising his flock in the church, the
beadle, or church officer, being somewhat ill-read in the catechism,
thought it best to keep a modest place near the door, in the hope of
escaping the inquisition. But the clergyman observed and called him
forward. "John," said he, "what is baptism?" "Ou, sir," answered John,
scratching his head, "ye ken, it's just saxpence to me, and fifteenpence
to the precentor."

=No End to His Wit=

A gentleman in the west of Scotland, celebrated for his wit, was
conversing with a lady, who, at last, overpowered by the brilliance and
frequency of his _bon mots_, exclaimed, "Stop, sir; there is really no
end to your wit." "God forbid, madam," replied the humorist, "that I
should ever be at my wit's end."

=Leaving the Lawyers a Margin=

A man from the country applied lately to a respectable solicitor in this
town for legal advice. After detailing the circumstances of the case, he
was asked if he had stated the facts exactly as they occurred. "Ou, ay,
sir," rejoined the applicant, "I thought it best to tell you the plain
truth; ye can put the _lees_ till't yoursel'."

=A Lunatic's Advice to Money Lenders=

The following curious conversation actually occurred in a garden
attached to a lunatic asylum, near Dumfries. The interlocutors were the
keeper, a very respectable man, and one of the most manageable of his

"Tak' it easy, tak' it easy, Jamie; ye're no working against time, man;
and when you come near the border, be sure and keep your feet aff the

"The flowers! hurt the bonnie sweet flowers!" said Jamie; "Na, na, I'm
no sae daft as that comes to, neither; I wad as soon chap off my ain
fingers as crush ane o' them. There's the summer snaw-drap already
keeking through its green sheath; as weel as daisies and primroses, an'
the thing they ca' rocket; although it would mak' but a puir cracker on
the king's birthday--He! he! he! Ay, there's heartsease and rowantree,
sprigs o' which I aye wear next my skin; the tane to fleg awa' the
witches, an' the tither to keep my heart frae beating. An' there's the
ginty wee flower that I gied a bit o' to Tibby Dalrymple, wha tint her
wits for love, an' wha said sae muckle to me through the grating o' her
cell, about the gude that the smell o' the flower wad do her, that I
couldna find i' my heart to deny her, puir thing."

"Very weel, Jamie," replied the keeper, "be a guid lad, an' continue to
dress that little corner until I come back frae the sands."

"Ou, ay!" rejoined Jamie, "this is Wednesday, an' you'll be gaun down to
meet wi' some o' your country friends. It's changed time wi' them, I
jalous; whaur the public-house used to sell a gallon o' whiskey, they
dinna sell a mutchkin noo, I hear; but that's naething, their customers
will get sooner hame to their families; an' then they'll be fewer bane
broken riding fule races. But tak' care o' yoursel', Mr. ----, tak' care
that some o' them dinna come Yorkshire ower you. They'll be inviting you
in to tak' a dram, nae doubt, an' making a puir mouth about the badness
o' times, trying to borrow a little siller frae you. But if I was you,
I'll tell ye what I wad dae. I wad get twa purses made, and ca' ane o'
them '_Somebody_,' and the ither '_A' the World_'; an' next I wad pit a'
my siller in the first, and no' a bawbee in the second; and then, when
any o' them spak' o' borrowing, I wad whup out the toom purse, and
shaking't before the chiel's een, swear that I hadna a ha'penny in '_A'
the World_,' until I gat it frae '_Somebody_!'"


A country clergyman, who, on Sundays, is more indebted to his manuscript
than to his memory, called unceremoniously at a cottage while its
possessor, a pious parishioner, was engaged (a daily exercise) in
perusing a paragraph of the writing of an inspired prophet. "Weel,
John," familiarly inquired the clerical visitant, "what's this you are
about?" "I am prophesying," was the prompt reply. "Prophesying!"
exclaimed the astonished divine; "I doubt you are only reading a
prophesy." "Weel," argued the religious rustic, "gif reading a preachin'
be preachin', is na reading a prophecy prophesying?"

=Definition of Metaphysics=

A Scotch blacksmith being asked the meaning of "Metaphysics," explained
it as follows: "When the party who listens dinna ken what the party who
speaks means, and when the party who speaks dinna ken what he means
himself--that is 'metaphysics.'"

=His Word and His Bond Equally Binding=

A crusty tenant of the late Laird D----, pressing him to complete some
piece of work which had long stood over, the laird craved further delay,
adding that he would give his word of honor--nay, his written bond, to
have the thing done before a certain day.

"Your word!" exclaimed the tenant, "it's weel kenn'd _that_ will do me
little guid; and as for your writing, naebody can read it."

=Bad Arithmeticians often Good Book-Keepers=

Sir Walter Scott, in lending a book one day to a friend, cautioned him
to be punctual in returning it. "This is really necessary," said the
poet in apology; "for though many of my friends are bad
_arithmeticians_, I observe almost all of them to be good

=Curious Misunderstanding=

An itinerant vendor of wood in Aberdeen having been asked how his wife
was, replied, "O she's fine, I hae ta'en her to Banchory"; and on it
being innocently remarked that the change of air would do her good, he
looked up and with a half-smile said, "Hoot, she's i' the kirkyard."

="Terms--'Cash Down'"=

A story is told of a member of the Scotch Faculty of Advocates,
distinguished for his literary attainments. One day, presenting himself
on horseback at a toll, he found, on searching his pockets, that he had
not a farthing about him wherewith to purchase a right of passage. He
disclosed his circumstances to the man who kept the bar, and requested
that he might have credit till he came back; but the fellow was deaf to
all entreaties, representing how often he had been bilked by persons
promising the same thing. The advocate was offended at this insinuation,
and, drawing himself up in the saddle, exclaimed: "Look at my face, sir,
and say if you think I am likely to cheat you?" The man looked as he was
desired, but answered, with a shake of his head, "I'll thank you for the
twapence, sir." Mr. ---- was obliged to turn back.

=Forcing a Judge to Obey the Law=

The Lord Justice-Clerk is the chief judge of the Scottish Criminal
Court, in addition to which dignity he sits at the head of one division
of the great Civil Court of the country. It will thus be understood by a
southern reader that he is a personage of no small local dignity. A
bearer of this office was once shooting over the grounds of a friend in
Ayrshire by himself, when a game-keeper, who was unacquainted with his
person, came up and demanded to see his license, or card of permission.
His lordship had, unfortunately nothing of the sort about his person;
but, secure in his high character and dignity, he made very light of the
omission, and was preparing to renew his sport. The man, however, was
zealous in his trust, and sternly forbad him to proceed any further over
the fields. "What, sirrah," cries his lordship, "do you know whom you
are speaking to? I am the Lord Justice-Clerk!" "I dinna care," replied
the man, "whase clerk ye are; but ye maun shank aff these grounds, or,
by my saul, I'll lay your feet fast." The reader is left to conceive the
astonishment of the unfortunate judge at finding himself treated in a
style so different from his wont.

="Nothing," and How to See It=

An Irish priest, proceeding to chapel, observed several girls seated on
a tombstone, and asked them what they were doing there? "Nothing at all,
please your riverence," was the reply of one of them. "Nothing?" said
the priest; "what is nothing?"

"Shut your eyes, your riverence," retorted the girl, "and you'll see

=Why Not?=

A gentleman the other day, visiting a school at Edinburgh, had a book
put in his hand for the purpose of examining a class. The word
"inheritance" occurring in the verse, the querist interrogated the
youngest as follows:

"What is inheritance?"


"What is patrimony?"

"Something left by a father."

"What would you call it if left by a mother?"


=True (perhaps) of Other Places than Dundee=

In the committee on the factory bill, the following sensible question
was put to a witness named Peter Stuart, the overseer of the factory at
Dundee. Question: "When do your girls marry?" "_Whenever they can meet
with men!_"

=Pretending to Make a Will=

An old gentleman was one evening amusing the junior members of his
family, and a number of their acquaintances, by making up a sort of
imaginary will, in which he destined so much to one and so much to
another; the eight-day clock to his niece or nephew, the bed to that,
the table to a third, and so on. "But what will you leave to me, Mr.
K.----?" said a lady, who felt impatient to know what was to be her lot.
"I leave you _out_," replied the testator.

=Unusual for a Scotchman=

A countryman having read in the newspapers accounts of different bank
failures, and having a hundred pounds deposited in a respectable banking
company in Aberdeen, he became alarmed for its safety, hastened to town,
and, calling at the bank, presented his deposit receipt, and, on
demanding his money was paid, as is customary, with notes of the bank;
he grasped them in his hand, and having got within reach of the door
turned round, and exclaimed, "Noo, sir, ye may braik when ye like."

=An Author and His Printer=

It is well known to literary people, that, in preparing works for the
printer, after the proof sheets have been seen by the author, to go over
them again, and clear them of what are called typographical errors--such
as wrong spellings, inaccuracies of punctuation, and similar
imperfections. In performing this office for a celebrated northern
critic and editor, a printer, now dead, was in the habit of introducing
a much greater number of commas than it appeared to the author the sense
required. The case was provoking, but did not produce a formal
remonstrance, until Mr. W----n himself accidentally afforded the learned
editor an opportunity of signifying his dissatisfaction with the
plethora of punctuation under which his compositions were made to labor.
The worthy printer coming to a passage one day which he did not
understand, very naturally took it into his head that it was
unintelligible, and transmitted it to his employer, with a remark on the
margin, that there appeared some "obscurity in it."

The sheet was immediately returned, with the reply, which we give
_verbatim_: "Mr. J---- sees no obscurity here, except such as arises
from the quantity of commas, which Mr. W----n seems to keep in a
pepper-box beside him, for the purpose of dusting all his proofs with."

=A Keen Reproof=

A certain person, to show his detestation of Hume's infidel opinions
always left any company where he happened to be, if Hume joined it. The
latter, observing this, took occasion one day to reprehend it as
follows: "Friend," said he, "I am surprised to find you display such a
pointed aversion to me; I would wish to be upon good terms with you
here, as, upon your own system, it seems very probable we shall be
doomed to the same place hereafter. You think I shall be dammed for want
of faith, and I fear you will have the same fate for want of charity."

=The Scotch Mason and the Angel=

The late Mr. Douglas, of Cavers, in Roxburghshire, one day walked into
Cavers churchyard, where he saw a stonemason busily engaged in carving
an angel upon a gravestone. Observing that the man was adorning the
heavenly spirit, according to the custom of the age, with a grand
flowing periwig, Mr. Douglas exclaimed to him, "in the name of wonder,
who ever saw an angel with a wig?" "And in the name of wonder," answered
the sculptor, "wha ever saw an angel _without_ ane?"

=A Whole-witted Sermon from a Half-Witted Preacher=

A half-witted itinerant preacher, well-known in the county of Ayr, was
stopped one evening on the road to Stewarton, by a band of shearers, who
insisted on his retiring to a neighboring field to give them a sermon.
After many attempts on his part to get off, and threats on theirs if he
did not comply, the honest man was compelled to consent; and, from the
back of his shaggy haired sheltie, he delivered to his bare-footed
audience the following extemporaneous effusion, taking for his text
these words: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I
return thither." (Job 1: v. 21.) "In discoursing from these words," said
the preacher, "I shall observe the three following things: (1) Man's
ingress into the world; (2) His progress through the world; and (3) His
egress out of the world. First, man's ingress into the world is naked
and bare; secondly, his progress through the world is trouble and care;
thirdly, his egress out of the world is nobody knows where. To
conclude: If we do well here, we shall do well there. And I could tell
you no more were I to preach a whole year."

=More Witty Than True=

There lived about the beginning of last century an Episcopalian
clergyman of the name of Robert Calder, who was considered an
extraordinary wit, and, who, at least, must be allowed to have used very
extraordinary expressions. He published a _jeu d' esprit_ under the form
of a catechism, in which a person is made to ask: "Who was the first
Presbyterian?" The answer is "Jonah." "How do ye make Jonah out to be
the first Presbyterian?" is again asked. "Why," answers the other,
"because the Lord wanted him to gang east and he gaed wast!" (The same
might be said of Adam and all who preceded or succeeded Jonah--not
excepting Robert Calder.--Ed.)

=The Parson and His "Thirdly"=

A certain minister had a custom of writing the heads of his discourse on
small slips of paper, which he placed on the Bible before him to be used
in succession. One day when he was explaining the second head, he got so
excited in his discourse, that he caused the ensuing slip to fall over
the side of the pulpit, though unperceived by himself. On reaching the
end of the second head, he looked down for the third slip; but alas! it
was not to be found. "Thirdly," he cried looking around him with great
anxiety. After a little pause, "Thirdly," again he exclaimed; but still
no thirdly appeared. "Thirdly, I say, my brethren," pursued the
bewildered clergyman; but not another word could he utter. At this
point, while the congregation were partly sympathizing, and partly
rejoicing at this decisive instance of the impropriety of using notes in
preaching--which has always been an unpopular thing in Scotland, an old
woman rose up and thus addressed the preacher: "If I'm no' mista'en,
sir, I saw thirdly flee out at the east window, a quarter of an hour

=Scotch Ingenuity=

The Jacobite lairds of Fife were once, on the occasion of an election,
induced to sign the oath of abjuration in great numbers, in order to
vote for a friend of their party. It was much against their conscience;
but the case was such as to make them wink pretty hard. During the
carousal which followed, Mr. Balfour, of Forrat, a Jacobite of the old
stamp, began, to their surprise, to inveigh against them as a set of
perjured rascals, not remembering apparently, that he had signed as well
as the rest. They burst out with one universal question: "How can you
speak this way, Forrat, since you are just as guilty as ony o' us?"
"That am I no'," said Forrat, with a triumphant air of innocence and
waggery; "look ye at the list of names, and ye'll see the word _witness_
at the end of mine. I just signed as witness to your perjury!"

=Bolder Than Charles the Bold=

Joannes Scotus, the early Scotch philosopher, being in company with
Charles the Bold, King of France, that monarch asked him good humoredly,
what was the difference between a Scot and a sot. Scotus, who sat
opposite the king, answered, "Only the breadth of the table."

="Short Commons"=

A Mid-Lothian farmer, observed to his ploughboy that there was a fly in
his milk.

"Oh, never mind, sir," said the boy; "it winna droon; there's nae meikle

"Gudewife," said the farmer, "Jock says he has ower little milk."

"There's milk enough for a' my bread," said the sly rogue.

=The Shoemaker and Small Feet=

A lady, who seemed rather vain, entered a bootmaker's shop one day with
the usual complaint; "Why, Mr. S----, these boots you last made for me
are much too big; I really can't understand how you always make that
mistake. Can you not make small boots?"

"Ou, ay," quickly responded the man; "I can mak' sma' buits, but I'm
sorry I canna mak' sma' feet."

=Pleasant Prospect Beyond the Grave=

An elderly lady, intending to purchase the upper flat of a house in
Prince's Street, opposite the West Church Burying-ground, Edinburgh,
from which the chain of Pentland Hills formed a beautiful background,
after having been made acquainted with all its conveniences, and the
beauty of its situation, elegantly enumerated by the builder, he
requested her to cast her eye on the romantic hills at a distance, on
the other side of the church-yard. The lady admitted that she had
"certainly a most pleasant prospect _beyond the grave_."

=Pulpit Foolery=

The Rev. Hamilton Paul, a Scotch clergyman, is said to have been a
reviver of Dean Swift's walk of wit in choice of texts. For example,
when he left the town of Ayr, where he was understood to have been a
great favorite with the fair sex, he preached his valedictory sermon
from this passage, "And they all fell upon Paul's neck and kissed him."
Another time, when he was called on to preach before a military company
in green uniforms, he preached from the words, "And I beheld men like
trees walking." Paul was always ready to have a gibe at the damsels.
Near Portobello, there is a sea-bathing place named Joppa, and Paul's
congregation was once thinned by the number of his female votaries who
went thither. On the Sabbath after their wending he preached from the
text, "Send men to Joppa." In a similar manner he improved the occasion
of the mysterious disappearance of one of his parishioners, Moses
Marshall, by selecting for his text the passage from Exodus xxii, "As
for this Moses, we wot not what is become of him." He once made serious
proposals to a young lady whose Christian name was Lydia. On this
occasion the clerical wit took for his text: "And a certain woman, named
Lydia, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the
things which were spoken of Paul." [9]

=A Restful Preacher=

Dean Ramsay relates that the Earl of Lauderdale was alarmingly ill, one
distressing symptom being a total absence of sleep, without which the
medical man declared he could not recover. His son, who was somewhat
simple, was seated under the table, and cried out, "Sen' for that
preaching man frae Livingstone, for fayther aye sleeps in the kirk." One
of the doctors thought the hint worth attending to, and the experiment
of "getting a minister till him" succeeded, for sleep came on and the
earl recovered. [7]

=Why the Bishops Disliked the Bible=

A Bishop of Dunkeld, in Scotland, before the Reformation, thanked God
that he never knew what the Old and New Testaments were, affirming that
he cared to know no more than his Portius and Pontifical. At a diet in
Germany, one Bishop Albertus, lighting by chance upon a Bible, commenced
reading; one of his colleagues asked him what book it was. "I know not,"
was the reply, "but this I find, that whatever I read in it, is utterly
against our religion." [9]

=The Same with a Difference=

A young wit asked a man who rode about on a wretched horse: "Is that the
same horse you had last year?" "Na," said the man, brandishing his whip
in the interrogator's face in so emphatic a manner as to preclude
further questioning; "na, but it's the same _whup_." [7]

=Official Consolation and Callousness=

A friend has told me of a characteristic answer given by a driver to a
traveler who complained of an inconvenience. A gentleman sitting
opposite my friend in the stage-coach at Berwick, complained bitterly
that the cushion on which he sat was quite wet. On looking up to the
roof he saw a hole through which the rain descended copiously, and at
once accounted for the mischief. He called for the coachman, and in
great wrath reproached him with the evil under which he suffered, and
pointed to the hole which was the cause of it. All the satisfaction,
however, that he got was the quiet unmoved reply, "Ay, mony a ane has
complained o' _that_ hole." [7]

=Objecting to Scotch "Tarmes"=

In early times a Scotch laird had much difficulty (as many worthy lairds
have still) in meeting the claims of those two woful periods of the year
called in Scotland the "tarmes." He had been employing for some time, as
workman, a stranger from the south, on some house repairs. The workman
rejoiced in the not uncommon name in England of "Christmas." The laird's
servant, early one morning, called out at his bedroom door, in great
excitement, that "Christmas had run away, and nobody knew where he had
gone." He turned in his bed with the earnest ejaculation, "I only wish
he had taken Whitsunday and Martinmas along with him."

=A Patient Lady=

The Rev. John Brown, of Haddington, the well-known author of the
"Self-Interpreting Bible," was a man of singular bashfulness. In proof
of the truth of this statement I need only state that his courtship
lasted seven years. Six years and a half had passed away, and the
reverend gentleman had got no further than he had been the first six
days. This state of things became intolerable, a step in advance must be
made, and Mr. Brown summoned all his courage for the deed. "Janet," said
he one day, as they sat in solemn silence, "we've been acquainted now
six years an' mair, and I've ne'er gotten a kiss yet. D'ye think I might
take one, my bonny lass?" "Just as you like, John; only be becoming and
proper wi' it." "Surely, Janet; we'll ask a blessing." The blessing was
asked, the kiss was taken, and the worthy divine, perfectly overpowered
with the blissful sensation, most rapturously exclaimed, "Heigh! lass,
but it is _gude_. We'll return thanks." Six months after, the pious pair
were made one flesh, and, added his descendant, who humorously told the
tale, "a happier couple never spent a long and useful life
together." [9]

=Curious Pulpit Notice=

John Brown, Burgher minister at Whitburn (son of the commentator, and
father of the late Rev. Dr. John Brown, of Edinburgh, and grandfather of
the accomplished M.D. of the same name), in the early part of the
century was traveling on a small sheltie (a Shetland pony) to attend the
summer sacrament at Haddington. Between Musselburgh and Tranent he
overtook one of his own people.

"What are ye daein' here, Janet, and whaur ye gaun in this warm

"'Deed, sir," quoth Janet, "I'm gaun to Haddington for the occasion (the
Lord's Supper), an' expeck to hear ye preach this afternoon."

"Very weel, Janet, but whaur ye gaun to sleep?"

"I dinna ken, sir, but providence is aye kind, an'll provide a bed."

On Mr. Brown jogged, but kindly thought of his humble follower;
accordingly, after service in the afternoon, before pronouncing the
blessing, he said from the pulpit, "Whaur's the auld wife that followed
me frae Whitburn?"

"Here I'm, sir," uttered a shrill voice from a back seat.

"Aweel," said Mr. Brown; "I have fand ye a bed; ye're to sleep wi'
Johnnie Fife's lass."

="Wishes Never Filled the Bag"=

There are always pointed anecdotes against houses wanting in a liberal
and hospitable expenditure in Scotland. Thus, we have heard of a master
leaving such a mansion, and taxing his servant with being drunk, which
he had too often been after country visits. On this occasion, however,
he was innocent of the charge, for he had not the _opportunity_ to
transgress. So, when his master asserted, "Jemmy, you are drunk!" Jemmy
very quietly answered, "Indeed, sir, I wish I wur."

=Not Used to It=

On one occasion an eccentric Scotchman, having business with the late
Duke of Hamilton at Hamilton Palace, the Duke politely asked him to
lunch. A liveried servant waited upon them, and was most assiduous in
his attentions to the duke and his guest. At last our eccentric friend
lost patience, and looking at the servant, addressed him thus: "What the
deil for are ye dance, dance, dancing about the room that gait; can ye
no' draw in your chair and sit down? I'm sure there's _plenty on the
table for three_." [7]

="Effectual Calling"=

Maitland, the Jacobite historian of Edinburgh, relates with infinite
zest the following anecdote of the Rev. Robert Bruce, the zealous
Presbyterian minister who boldly bearded King James I: "1589, August
15.--Robert Bruce, one of the four ministers of Edinburgh, threatening
to leave the town" (the reason from what follows, may be easily guessed
at), "great endeavors were used to prevent his going; but none, it
seems, so prevalent as that of the increase of his stipend to one
thousand merks, which the good man was graciously pleased to accept,
though it only amounted to one hundred and forty merks more than all the
stipends of the other three ministers."

=Motive for Church-Going=

An old man, who for years walked every Sunday from Newhaven to Edinburgh
to attend the late Dr. Jones' church, was one day complimented by that
venerable clergyman for the regularity of his appearance in church. The
old man unconsciously evinced how little he deserved the compliment by
this reply: "'Deed, sir, its very true; but I like to hear the jingling
o' the bells and see a' the braw folk." [9]

="Grace" with No Meat After=

A little girl of eight years of age was taken by her grandmother to
church. The parish minister was not only a long preacher, but, as the
custom was, delivered two sermons on the Sabbath day without any
interval, and thus save the parishioners the two journeys to church.
Elizabeth was sufficiently wearied before the close of the first
discourse; but when, after singing and prayer, the good minister opened
the Bible, read a second text, and prepared to give a second sermon, the
young girl being both tired and hungry, lost all patience, and cried out
to her grandmother, to the no small amusement of those who were so near
as to hear her, "Come awa', Granny, and gang home; this is a lang grace,
and nae meat." [7]

="No Better than Pharaoh"=

In a town of one of the central counties a Mr. J---- carried on, about a
century ago, a very extensive business in the linen manufacture.
Although _strikes_ were then unknown among the laboring classes, the
spirit from which these take their rise has no doubt at all times
existed. Among Mr. J----'s many workmen, one had given him constant
annoyance for years, from his argumentative spirit. Insisting one day on
getting something or other which his master thought most unreasonable,
and refused to give in to, he at last submitted, with a bad grace,
saying, "You're nae better than _Pharaoh_, sir, forcin' puir folks to
mak' bricks without straw." "Well, Saunders," quietly rejoined his
master, "if I'm nae better than Pharaoh, in one respect, I'll be better
in another, for _I'll no' hinder ye going to the wilderness whenever ye

=Not One of "The Establishment"=

At an hotel in Glasgow, a gentleman, finding that the person who acted
as a waiter could not give him certain information which he wanted, put
the question, "Do you belong to the establishment?" to which James
replied, "No, sir; I belong to the Free Kirk."

=A Board-School Examiner Floored=

The parish minister in a town not a hundred miles from Dumfermline,
Fifeshire, was recently going his round of all the board schools in the
course of systematic examination. The day was warm, and the minister,
feeling exhausted on reaching the school, took a seat for a few minutes
to cool down and recover his breath; but even while doing so he thought
he might as well utilize the time in a congenial sort of way, being
naturally a bit of a wag. So he addressed the boys thus: "Well, lads,
can any of you tell me why black sheep eat less than white sheep?"

There was no answer to this question, and the minister, after telling
them it was because there were fewer of them, with pretended severity
said he was sorry to see them in such a state of ignorance as not to be
able to answer such a simple question, but he would give them another.

"Can any of you lads tell me what bishop of the Church of England has
the largest hat?"

Here the children were again cornered for a solution.

"What! don't you know," said the minister, "that the bishop with the
largest hat is the bishop with the largest head? But seeing I have been
giving you some puzzling questions, I will now allow you to have your
turn and put some questions to me, to see if I can answer them."

Silence fell upon the whole school. No one was apparently bold enough to
tackle the minister. At length, from the far corner of the room, a
little chap of about seven years got to his feet, and with an audacity
that actually appalled the master, cried out in a loud, shrill, piping
voice, with the utmost _sang froid_:

"Can you tell me why millers wear white caps?"

The minister was perfectly astounded, and for the life of him could find
no solution of the problem.

He began to feel somewhat uncomfortable, while the master frowned with
awful threatening in his glance at the undaunted young culprit, who
stood calmly waiting a reply to his poser.

"No, my boy," said the minister at length; "I cannot tell why millers
wear white caps. What is the reason?"

"Weel, sir," replied the young shaver, "millers wear white caps just to
cover their heads."

It is needless to remark that the roar which followed rather
disconcerted the minister, and he had some difficulty afterwards in
proceeding with his official examination.

=Keeping His Threat--at His Own Expense=

An examiner at the Edinburgh University had made himself obnoxious by
warning the students against putting hats on the desk. The university in
the Scottish capital is (or was) remarkable for a scarcity of cloak
rooms, and in the excitement of examination hats are, or used to be,
flung down anywhere. The examiner announced one day that if he found
another hat on his desk he would "rip it up."

The next day no hats were laid there when the students assembled.
Presently, however, the examiner was called out of the room. Then some
naughty undergraduate slipped from his seat, got the examiner's hat, and
placed it on the desk. When the examiner re-entered the hall every eye
was fixed upon him. He observed the hat, and a gleam of triumph shot
across his face.

"Gentlemen," he continued, "I told you what would happen if this
occurred again."

Then he took his penknife from his pocket, opened it, and blandly cut
the hat in pieces amidst prolonged applause.

=New Style of Riding in a Funeral Procession=

The following anecdote is an amusing illustration of the working of a
defective brain, in a half-witted carle, who used to range the county of
Galloway, armed with a huge pike-staff, and who one day met a funeral
procession a few miles from Wigtown.

A long train of carriages, and farmers on horseback, suggested the
propriety of his bestriding his staff, and following after the funeral.
The procession marched at a brisk pace, and on reaching the kirkyard
stile, as each rider dismounted, "Daft Jock" descended from his wooden
steed, besmeared with mire and perspiration, exclaiming, "Heck, sirs,
had it no' been for the fashion o' the thing, I micht as well hae been
on my ain feet." [7]

=Absence of Humor--Illustrated=

Few amusements in the world are funnier than the play of different ideas
under similar sounds, and it would be hard to find a thing more
universally understood and caught at than a pun; but there really are
individuals so made that a word can mean but one thing to them, and even
metaphors must go on all-fours. Lord Morpeth used to tell of a Scotch
friend of his who, to the remark that some people could not feel a jest
unless it was fired at them with a cannon, replied: "Weel, but how can
ye fire a jest out of a cannon, man?"

=The Best Time to Quarrel=

In Lanarkshire, there lived a sma' laird named Hamilton, who was noted
for his eccentricity. On one occasion, a neighbor waited on him, and
requested his name as an accommodation to a bill for twenty pounds at
three months date, which led to the following characteristic and truly
Scottish colloquy:

"Na, na, I canna do that."

"What for no', laird? Ye hae dune the same thing for ithers."

"Ay, ay, Tammas, but there's wheels within wheels ye ken naething about;
I canna do't."

"It's a sma' affair to refuse me, laird."

"Weel, ye see, Tammas, if I was to pit my name till't ye wad get the
siller frae the bank, and when the time came round, ye wadna be ready,
and I wad hae to pay't; sae then you and me wad quarrel; sae we mae just
as weel quarrel _the noo_, as lang's the siller's in ma pouch."

=The Horse That Kept His Promise=

A laird sold a horse to an Englishman, saying, "You buy him as you see
him; but he's an _honest beast_." The purchaser took him home. In a few
days he stumbled and fell, to the damage of his own knees and his
rider's head. On this the angry purchaser remonstrated with the laird,
whose reply was, "Weel, sir, I told ye he was an honest beast; many a
time has he threatened to come down with me, and I kenned he would keep
his word some day."

=A "Grand" Piano=

At Glasgow, in a private house, Dr. Von Bulow, having been asked by his
hostess what he thought of her piano, replied in these words: "Madam,
your piano leaves something to be desired. It needs new strings," he
added, in answer to the lady's inquiries as to what it really required.
"The hammers, too, want new leather," he continued; "and, while you are
about it, with the new leather, you may as well have new wood. Then,
when the inside of your piano has been completely renovated," he
concluded, having now worked himself into a rage, "call in two strong
men, throw it out of the window, and burn it in the street."

=Scottish Patriotism=

It is more common in Scotland than in England to find national feeling
breaking out in national humor upon great events connected with national
_history_. The following is perhaps as good as any: The Rev. Robert
Scott, a Scotchman, who forgot not Scotland in his southern vicarage,
tells me that at Inverary, some thirty years ago, he could not help
overhearing the conversation of some Lowland cattle-dealers in the
public room in which he was. The subject of the bravery of our navy
being started, one of the interlocutors expressed his surprise that
Nelson should have issued his signal at Trafalgar in the terms,
"_England expects_," etc. He was met with the answer (which seemed
highly satisfactory to the rest), "Ay, Nelson only said '_expects_' of
the English; he said nothing of Scotland, for he _kent_ the _Scotch_
would do theirs."

="Purpose"--not "Performance"--Heaven's Standard=

The following occurred between a laird and an elder: A certain laird in
Fife, well known for his parsimonious habits, whilst his substance
largely increased did not increase his liberality, and his weekly
contribution to the church collection never exceeded the sum of one
penny. One day, however, by mistake he dropped into the plate at the
door a five-shilling piece, but discovering his error before he was
seated in his pew, hurried back, and was about to replace the crown by
his customary penny, when the elder in attendance cried out, "Stop,
laird; ye may put _in_ what ye like, but ye maun tak' naething _out_!"
The laird, finding his explanations went for nothing, at last said,
"Aweel, I suppose I'll get credit for it in heaven." "Na, na, laird,"
said the elder, "ye'll only get credit for a penny."

=The Book Worms=

Robert Burns once met with a copy of Shakespeare in a nobleman's
library, the text of which had been neglected and had become worm-eaten.
It was beautifully bound. Burns at once wrote the following lines:

     Through and through the inspired leaves,
       Ye maggots, make your windings;
     But oh! respect his lordship's tastes,
       And spare his golden bindings. [2]

="Uncertainty of Life" from Two Good Points of View=

"Ah, sir," said a gloomy-looking minister of the Scotch Kirk, addressing
a stranger who was standing on the bridge of the _Lord of the Isles_, as
she steamed through the Kyles of Bute, "does the thought ever occur to
ye of the great oncertainty of life?"

"Indeed it does," returned the stranger, briskly, "many times a day."

"And have you ever reflected, sir," went on the minister, "that we may
be launched into eternity at any instant?"

"Yes," returned the stranger, "I have thought of that, and said it, too,
thousands of times."

"Indeed," ejaculated the parson; "then it is possible I am speaking to a
brother meenister?"

"Well, no," answered the other promptly, "you are not. If you must know,
I am traveling agent of the Royal Lynx Life Assurance Association; and,
if you are not assured, I can strongly recommend you to give our office
a turn. You will find special terms for ministers in Table K of our
prospectus"; and handing the astonished divine a printed leaflet from
his satchel, he left him without another word.

=Providing a Mouthful for the Cow=

Old Maggie Dee had fully her share of Scotch prudence and economy. One
bonnet had served her turn for upwards of a dozen years, and some young
ladies who lived in the neighborhood, in offering to make and present
her with a new one, asked whether she would prefer silk or straw as

"Weel, my lassies," said Maggie, after mature deliberation, "since ye
insist on giein' me a bonnet, I think I'll tak' a strae ane; it will,
maybe, juist be a mou'fu' to the coo when I'm through wi't."

=A Poor Place for a Cadger=

An English traveler had gone on a fine Highland road so long, without
having seen an indication of fellow-travelers, that he became astonished
at the solitude of the country; and no doubt before the Highlands were
so much frequented as they are in our time, the roads had a very
striking aspect of solitariness. Our traveler at last coming up to an
old man breaking stones, he asked him if there was any traffic on this
road--was it at _all_ frequented?

"Ay," he said, "it's no' ill at that; there was a cadger body yestreen,
and there's yoursell the day."

=The Kirk of Lamington=

     As cauld a wind as ever blew,
       A caulder kirk, and in't but few;
     As cauld a minister's e'er spak',
       Ye'se a' be het ere I come back. [2]

="Lost Labor"=

One of Dr. Macknight's parishioners, a humorous blacksmith, who thought
his pastor's writing of learned books was a sad waste of time, being
asked if the doctor was at home, answered: "Na, na; he's awa to Edinbro'
on a foolish job."

The doctor had gone off to the printer's with his laborious and valuable
work, "The Harmony of the Four Gospels." On being further asked what
this useless work might be which engaged a minister's time and
attention, the blacksmith replied: "He's gane to mak' four men agree wha
never cast (fell) out."

=A New Story Book--at the Time=

Sir Walter Scott once stated that he kept a Lowland laird waiting for
him in the library at Abbotsford, and that when he came in he found the
laird deep in a book which Sir Walter perceived to be Johnson's

"Well, Mr. ----," said Sir Walter, "how do you like your book?"

"They're vera pretty stories, Sir Walter," replied the laird, "but
they're unco' short."

=Will Any Gentleman Oblige "a Lady"?=

In a tramway car at Glasgow, one wet afternoon, a woman of fifty--made
up to look as nearly like twenty-five as possible--got on board at a
crossing, to find every seat occupied. She stood for a moment, and then
selecting a poorly dressed man of about forty years of age, she
observed: "Are there no gentlemen on the car?"

"I dinna ken," he replied, as he looked up and down. "If there's nane,
I'll hunt up one for you at the end of the line."

There was an embarrasing silence for a moment, and then a light broke in
on him all of a sudden, and he rose and said: "But ye can hae this seat:
I'm aye wellin' to stan' and gi'e my seat to an _auld_ bodie."

That decided her. She gave him a look which he will not forget till his
dying day, and grasping the strap she refused to sit down, even when
five seats had become vacant.

=Ham and Cheese=

On one occasion the late Rev. Walter Dunlop, of the U.P. Church,
Dumfries, after a hard day's labor, and while at "denner-tea," as he
called it, kept incessantly praising the "haam," and stating that "Mrs.
Dunlop at hame was as fond o' haam like that as he was," when the
mistress kindly offered to send her the present of a ham.

"It's unco' kin' o' ye, unco' kin'--but I'll no' pit ye to the trouble;
I'll just tak' it hame on the horse afore me."

When, on leaving, he mounted, and the ham was put into the sack, some
difficulty was experienced in getting it to lie properly. His inventive
genius soon cut the Gordian-knot.

"I think, mistress, a cheese in the ither en' would mak' a gran'

The hint was immediately acted on, and, like another John Gilpin, he
moved away with his "balance true." [7]

="A Reduction on a Series"=

When the son of a certain London banker had eloped to Scotland with a
great heiress whom he married, still retaining a paternal taste for
parsimony, he objected to the demand of two guineas made by the "priest"
at Gretna Green, stating that Captain ---- had reported the canonical
charge to be only five shillings. "True," replied Vulcan, "but Captain
---- is an Irishman, and I've married him five times; so I consider him
a regular customer; whereas, I may never see your face again."

=The Selkirk Grace=[1]

     Some hae meat, and canna eat,
       And some wad eat that want it;
     But we hae meat and we can eat,
       And sae the Lord be thankit. [2]

=Inconsistencies of "God's People"=

An entertaining anecdote, illustrative of life in the Scotch Highlands,
is told by a border minister who once found himself a guest at a
Presbytery meeting.

"After dinner, though there was no wine, there was no lack of whiskey.
This, each made into toddy, weak or strong, just as he liked it. No set
speeches were made or toasts proposed. After each had drunk two or three
tumblers, and no voice was heard above the hum of conversation, the
stranger got to his feet, and craving the leave of the company, begged
to propose a toast. All were silent, until the moderator, with solemn
voice, told him that God's people in that part of the country were not
in the habit of drinking toasts. He felt himself rebuked, yet rejoined,
that he had been in a good many places, but had never before seen God's
people drink so much toddy."

=Sending Him to Sleep=

"Sleepin, Tonald?" said a Highlander to a drowsy acquaintance, whom he
found ruminating on the grass in a horizontal position.

"No, Tuncan," was the ready answer.

"Then, Tonald, would you'll no' lend me ten and twenty shillings?" was
the next question.

"Ough, ough!" was the response with a heavy snore; "I'm sleepin' now,
Tuncan, my lad."

How convenient it would be if we could always evade troublesome
requests, like our Highlander here, by feigning ourselves in the land of

=Wiser Than Solomon=

Two Scotch lairds conversing, one said to the other that he thought they
were wiser than Solomon. "How's that?" said the other. "Why," said the
first, "he did not know whether his son might not be a fool, and we know
that ours are sure to be."

=Modern Improvements=

Sir Alexander Ramsay had been constructing, upon his estate in Scotland,
a piece of machinery, which was driven by a stream of water running
through the home farmyard. There was a threshing machine, a winnowing
machine, a circular saw for splitting trees, and other contrivances.

Observing an old man, who had been long about the place, looking very
attentively at all that was going on, Sir Alexander said:

"Wonderful things people can do now, Robby?"

"Ay, indeed, Sir Alexander," said Robby; "I'm thinking that if Solomon
was alive now, he'd be thought naething o'!" [7]

=Knox and Claverhouse=

The shortest chronicle of the Reformation, by Knox, and of the wars of
Claverhouse (Claver'se) in Scotland, which we know of, is that of an old
lady who, in speaking of those troublous times remarked: "Scotland had a
sair time o't. First we had Knox deavin' us wi' his clavers, and syne
we've had Claver'se deavin' us wi' his knocks."

=A Scotch Fair Proclamation of Olden Days=

"Oh, yes!--an' that's e'e time. Oh, yes!--an' that's twa times. Oh,
yes!--an that's the third and last time. All manner of person or persons
whatsover let 'em draw near, an' I shall let 'em ken that there is a
fair to be held at the muckle town of Langholm, for the space of aught
days, wherein any hustrin, custrin, land-hopper dub-shouper, or
gent-the-gate-swinger, shall breed any hurdam, durdam, rabble-ment,
babble-ment or squabble-ment, he shall have his lugs tacked to the
muckle throne with a nail of twa-a-penny, until he's down on his
bodshanks, and up with his muckle doup, and pray to ha'en nine times,
'God bless the King,' and thrice the muckle Laird of Reltown, paying a
goat to me, Jemmy Ferguson, baillie to the aforesaid manor. So you've
heard my proclamation, and I'll gang hame to my dinner."

="Though Lost to Sight--to Memory Dear!"=

Some time ago a good wife, residing in the neighborhood of Perth, went
to town to purchase some little necessaries, and to visit several of her
old acquaintances. In the course of her peregrinations she had the
misfortune to lose a one-pound note. Returning home with a saddened
heart she encountered her husband, employed in the cottage garden, to
whom she communicated at great length all her transactions in town,
concluding with the question: "But man you canna guess what's befaun

"Deed, I canna guess," said the husband, resting musingly on his spade.

"Aweel," rejoined his helpmate, "I hae lost a note; but dinna be
angry--for we ought to be mair than thankfu' that we had ane to lose!"

=The Philosophy of Battle and Victory=

During the long French war two old ladies in Scotland were going to the
kirk. The one said to the other: "Was it no' a wonderful thing that
Breetish were aye victorious in battle?"

"Not a bit," said the other lady; "dinna ye ken the Breetish aye say
their prayers before gaun into battle?"

The other replied: "But canna the French say their prayers as weel?"

The reply was most characteristic. "Hoot! sic jabberin' bodies; wha
could understand them if thae did?"

=Patriotism and Economy=

When Sir John Carr was at Glasgow, in the year 1807, he was asked by the
magistrates to give his advice concerning the inscription to be placed
on Nelson's monument, then just completed. The knight recommended this
brief record: "Glasgow to Nelson."

"True," said the baillies, "and as there is the town of Nelson near us,
we might add, 'Glasgow to Nelson nine miles,' so that the column might
serve for the milestone and a monument."

=Husband! Husband! Cease Your Strife!=

     "Husband, husband, cease your strife,
       Nor longer idly rave, sir!
     Tho' I am your wedded wife,
       Yet, I'm not your slave, sir!"

             "_One of two must still obey,
               Nancy, Nancy;
             Is it man, or woman, say,
               My spouse, Nancy?_"

     "If 'tis still the lordly word--
       'Service' and 'obedience,'
     I'll desert my sov'reign lord,
       And so, good-by, allegiance!"

           _"Sad will I be, so bereft,
             Nancy, Nancy!
           Yet, I'll try to make a shift,
             My spouse, Nancy."_

     "My poor heart, then break it must,
       My last hour, I'm near it;
     When you lay me in the dust,
       Think, think how you'll bear it."

           _"I will hope and trust in heaven,
             Nancy, Nancy;
           Strength to bear it will be given,
             My spouse, Nancy."_

     "Well, sir, from the silent dead
       Still I'll try to daunt you,
     Ever round your midnight bed
       Horrid sprites shall haunt you."

           _"I'll wed another_, like my dear
             Nancy, Nancy;
           _Then, all hell will fly for fear
             My spouse, Nancy."_ [2]

=A Scathing Scottish Preacher in Finsbury Park=

People in Finsbury Park, one Sunday in August, 1890, were much edified
by the drily humorous remarks of a canny Scotchman who was holding a
religious service. The "eternal feminine" came in for severe strictures,
this man from auld Reekie speaking of woman as "a calamity on two legs."
He had also a word or two to say on government meanness, of which this
is an illustration. An old friend of his who had been through Waterloo,
retired from the army on the munificent pension of 13½_d._ per day. When
he died the government claimed his wooden leg! [3]

=A Saving Clause=

A Scotch teetotal society has been formed among farmers. There is a
clause in one of the rules that permits the use of whiskey at
sheep-dipping time. One worthy member keeps a sheep which he dips every

=The Man at the Wheel=

Dr. Adam, in the intervals of his labors as rector of the High School of
Edinburgh, was accustomed to spend many hours in the shop of his friend
Booge, the famous cutler, sometimes grinding knives and scissors, at
other times driving the wheel. One day two English gentlemen, attending
the university, called upon Booge (for he was an excellent Greek and
Latin scholar), in order that he might construe for them some passage in
Greek which they could not understand. On looking at it, Booge found
that the passage "feckled" him; but, being a wag, he said to the
students, "Oh, it's quite simple. My laboring man at the wheel will
translate it for you. John!" calling to the old man, "come here a
moment, will you?"

The apparent laborer came forward, when Booge showed him the passage in
Greek, which the students wished to have translated. The old man put on
his spectacles, examined the passage, and proceeded to give a learned
exposition, in the course of which he cited several scholastic authors
in support of his views as to its proper translation. Having done so, he
returned to his cutler's wheel.

Of course the students were amazed at the learning of the laboring man.
They said they had heard much of the erudition of the Edinburgh
tradesmen, but what they had listened to was beyond anything they could
have imagined. [1]

=Spiking an Old Gun=

When Mr. Shirra was parish minister of St. Miriam's, one of the members
of the church was John Henderson, or Anderson--a very decent douce
shoemaker--and who left the church and joined the Independents, who had
a meeting in Stirling. Some time afterwards, when Mr. Shirra met John
on the road, he said, "And so, John, I understand you have become an

"'Deed, sir," replied John, "that's true."

"Oh, John," said the minister, "I'm sure you ken that a rowin' (rolling)
stane gathers nae fog" (moss).

"Ay," said John, "that's true, too; but can ye tell me what guid the fog
does to the stane?" [7]

=Playing at Ghosts=

Some boys boarded with a teacher in Scotland, whose house was not very
far from a country church-yard. They determined to alarm the old
grave-digger, who was in the habit of reaching his cottage, often late
at night, by a short cut through the burying-ground. One boy, named
Warren, who was especially mischievous, and had often teased old Andrew,
dressed himself up in a white sheet, and, with his companions, hid
behind the graves.

After waiting patiently, but not without some anxiety and fear, for
Andrew, he was at last seen approaching the memorial-stone behind which
Warren was ensconced. Soon a number of low moans were heard coming from
among the graves.

"Ah, keep us a'!" exclaimed Andrew. "What's that?"

And as he approached slowly and cautiously towards the tombstones, a
white figure arose, and got taller and taller before his eyes.

"What's that?" asked Andrew, with a voice which seemed to tremble with
fear, although, if anyone had seen how he grasped his stick, he would
not have seen his hand tremble.

"It's the resurrection!" exclaimed the irreverent Bully Warren.

"The resurrection!" replied Andrew. "May I tak' the leeberty o' askin',"
he continued slowly, approaching the ghost, "if it's the general ane, or
are ye jist takin' a quiet daunder by yersel'?"

So saying, Andrew rushed at the ghost, and seizing it--while a number of
smaller ghosts rose, and ran in terror to the schoolhouse--he exclaimed,
"Come awa' wi' me! I think I surely haena buried ye deep eneuch, when
ye can rise so easy. But I hae dug a fine deep grave this morning, and
I'll put ye in't, and cover ye up wi' sae muckle yirth, that, my werd,
ye'll no' get out for another daunder."

So saying, Andrew, by way of carrying out his threats, dragged Master
Bully Warren towards his newly-made grave.

The boy's horror may be imagined, as Andrew was too powerful to permit
of his escape. He assailed the old man with agonized petitions for
mercy, for he was a great coward.

"I'm not a ghost! Oh, Andrew, I'm Peter Warren! Andrew! Don't burry me!
I'll never again annoy you! Oh--o--o--o--o!"

Andrew, after he had administered what he considered due punishment, let
Warren off with the admonition: "Never daur to speak o' gude things in
yon way. Never play at ghaists again, or leevin' folk like me may grup
you, an' mak' a ghaist o' ye. Aff wi ye!"

="Two Blacks Don't Make a White"=

The family of a certain Scotch nobleman having become rather irregular
in their attendance at church, the fact was observed and commented on by
their neighbors. A lady, anxious to defend them and to prove that the
family pew was not so often vacant as was supposed, said that his
lordship's two black servants were there every Sunday. "Ay," said a
gentleman present, "but two blacks don't mak' a white."

=From Pugilism to Pulpit=

Fuller was in early life, when a farmer lad at Soham, famous as a boxer;
not quarrelsome, but not without "the stern delight" a man of strength
and courage feels in his exercise. Dr. Charles Stewart, of Dunearn,
whose rare gifts and graces as a physician, a divine, a scholar, and a
gentleman, live only in the memory of those few who knew and survive
him, liked to tell how Mr. Fuller used to say, that when he was in the
pulpit, and saw a _buirdly_ man come along the passage, he would
instinctively draw himself up, measure his imaginary antagonist, and
forecast how he would deal with him, his hands meanwhile condensing into
fists, and tending to "square." He must have been a hard hitter if he
boxed as he preached--what "the fancy" would call "an ugly customer." [4]

=A Consistent Seceder=

A worthy old seceder used to ride from Gargrennock to Bucklyvie every
Sabbath to attend the Burgher Kirk. One day, as he rode past the parish
kirk of Kippen, the elder of the place accosted him, "I'm sure, John,
it's no' like the thing to see you ridin' in sic' a downpour o' rain sae
far by to thae seceders. Ye ken the mercifu' man is mercifu' to his
beast. Could ye no step in by?"

"Weel," said John, "I wadna care sae muckle about stablin' my beast
inside, but it's anither thing mysel' gain' in." [7]

="No Road this Way!"=

The following anecdote is told regarding the late Lord Dundrennan: A
half-silly basket-woman passing down his avenue at Compstone one day, he
met her, and said, "My good woman, there's no road this way."

"Na, sir," she said, "I think ye're wrang there; I think it's a most
beautifu' road." [7]


It is related, as characteristic of the ardor of Scottish nationality,
that, at a representation of Home's _Douglas_, at Glasgow or Edinburgh,
a Scotchman turned, at some striking passage in the drama, and said to a
Southron at his elbow: "And wher's your Wully Shakespeare noo?"

=Steeple or People?=

Shortly after the disruption of the Free Church of Scotland from the
church paid by the State, a farmer going to church met another going in
the opposite direction.

"Whaur are ye gaen?" said he. "To the Free Kirk?"

"Ou, ay, to the Free Kirk," cried the other in derision:

           "The Free Kirk--
           The wee kirk--
     The kirk wi'out the steeple!"

"Ay, ay," replied the first, "an' ye'll be gaen till

           "The auld kirk--
           The cauld kirk--
     The kirk wi'out the people!"

This ended the colloquy for that occasion.

=Hume Canonized=

Hume's house in Edinburgh stood at the corner of a new street which had
not yet received any name. A witty young lady, a daughter of Baron Ord,
chalked on the wall of the house the words, "St. David's Street." Hume's
maid-servant read them, and apprehensive that some joke was intended
against her master, went in great alarm to report the matter to him.
"Never mind, my lass," said the philosopher; "many a better man has been
made a saint of before."

=Two Ways of Mending Ways=

The Rev. Mr. M----, of Bathgate, came up to a street pavior one day, and
addressed him: "Eh, John, what's this you're at?"

"Oh! I'm mending the ways of Bathgate!"

"Ah, John, I've long been tryin' to mend the ways o' Bathgate, an'
they're no' weel yet."

"Weel, Mr. M----, if you had tried my plan, and come doon to your
_knees_, ye wad maybe hae come maar speed!"

=The Prophet's Chamber=

A Scotch preacher, being sent to officiate one Sunday at a country
parish, was accommodated at night in the manse in a very diminutive
closet, instead of the usual best bedroom appropriated to strangers.

"Is this the bedroom?" he said, starting back in amazement.

"'Deed, ay, sir; this is the prophet's chamber."

"It must be for the _minor_ prophets, then," said the discomfited

=Objecting to Long Sermons=

A minister in the north was taking to task one of his hearers who was a
frequent defaulter, and was reproaching him as an habitual absentee from
public worship. The accused vindicated himself on the plea of a dislike
to long sermons.

"'Deed, man," said his reverend minister, a little nettled at the
insinuation thrown out against himself, "if ye dinna mend, ye may land
yerself where ye'll no' be troubled wi' mony sermons, either lang or

"Weel, aiblins sae," retorted John, "but it mayna be for want o'

=A Serious Dog and for a Serious Reason=

A Highland gamekeeper, when asked why a certain terrier, of singular
pluck, was so much more solemn than the other dogs, said: "Oh, sir,
life's full o' sairiousness to him--he first can never get enuff o'

=A Clever "Turn"=

Lord Elibank, the Scotch peer, was told that Dr. Johnson, in his
dictionary, had defined oats to be food for horses in England and for
men in Scotland. "Ay," said his lordship, "and where else can you find
such horses and such men?"

=Entrance Free, and "Everything Found"=

A member of the Scottish bar, when a youth, was somewhat of a dandy, and
was still more remarkable for the shortness of his temper. One day,
being about to pay a visit to the country, he made a great fuss in
packing up his clothes for the journey, and his old aunt, annoyed at the
bustle, said: "Whaur's this you're gaun, Robby, that you mak' sic a
grand ware about your claes?"

The young man lost his temper, and pettishly replied, "I am going to the

"'Deed, Robby, then," was the quiet answer, "ye need na be sae nice, for
he'll just tak' ye as ye are."

=Two Questions on the Fall of Man=

The Rev. Ralph Erskine, one of the fathers of the secession from the
Kirk of Scotland, on a certain occasion paid a visit to his venerable
brother, Ebenezer, at Abernethy.

"Oh, man!" said the latter, "but ye come in a gude time. I've a diet of
examination to-day, and ye maun tak' it, as I have matters o' life and
death to settle at Perth."

"With all my heart," quoth Ralph.

"Noo, my Billy," says Ebenezer, "ye'll find a' my folk easy to examine
but ane, and him I reckon ye had better no' meddle wi'. He has our
old-fashioned Scotch way of answering a question by putting another, and
maybe he'll affront ye."

"Affront me!" quoth the indignant theologian; "do ye think he can foil
me wi' my ain natural toils?"

"Aweel," says his brother, "I'se gie ye fair warning, ye had better no'
ca' him up."

The recusant was one Walter Simpson, the Vulcan of the parish. Ralph,
indignant at the bare idea of such an illiterate clown chopping divinity
with him, determined to pose him at once with a grand leading
unanswerable question. Accordingly, after putting some questions to some
of the people present, he all at once, with a loud voice, cried out,
"Walter Simpson!"

"Here, sir," says Walter, "are ye wanting me?"

"Attention, sir! Now Walter, can you tell me how long Adam stood in a
state of innocence?"

"Ay, till he got a wife," instantly cried the blacksmith. "But," added
he, "can _you_ tell me hoo lang he stood after?"

"Sit doon, Walter," said the discomfited divine.

=The Speech of a Cannibal=

"Poor-man-of-mutton" is a term applied to a shoulder-of-mutton in
Scotland after it has been served as a roast at dinner, and appears as
a broiled bone at supper, or at the dinner next day. The Scotch Earl of
B----, popularly known as Old Rag, being at an hotel in London, the
landlord came in one morning to enumerate the good things in the larder.
"Landlord," said the Earl of B----, "I think I _could_ eat a morsel of
poor man." This strange announcement, coupled with the extreme ugliness
of his lordship, so terrified Boniface that he fled from the room and
tumbled down the stairs. He supposed that the Earl, when at home, was in
the habit of eating a joint of a vassal, or tenant, when his appetite
was dainty.

=Not "in Chains"=

A Londoner was traveling on one of the Clyde steamers, and as it was
passing the beautiful town of Largs, then little larger than a village,
and unnoticed in his guide-book, he asked a Highland countryman, a
fellow passenger, its name.

"Oh, that's Largs, sir."

"Is it incorporated?"

"Chwat's your wull, sir?"

"Is it incorporated?"

"Chwat's your wull, sir?"

"Dear me! Is it a borough? Has it magistrates?"

"Oh, yess, sir. Largs has a provost and bailies."

Anxious to have the question of incorporation settled, and aware that
Scotch civic magistrates are invested with golden chains of office,
which they usually wear round their necks, our London friend put his
next question thus: "Do the magistrates wear chains?"

The countryman very indignantly replied, "Na, na, sir; the provost and
bailies o' Largs aye gang loose."

=A Piper's Opinion of a Lord--and Himself=

"The stately step of a piper" is a proverb in Scotland, which reminds us
of an anecdote of a certain noble lord, when in attendance upon the
Queen at Balmoral, a few years ago. Having been commissioned by a
friend to procure a performer on the pipes--he applied to her majesty's
piper--a fine stalwart Highlander; and on being asked what kind of
article was required, his lordship said in reply, "Just such another as
yourself." The consequential Celt readily exclaimed "There's plenty o'
lords like yourself, but very few sic pipers as me."

=A Modern Dumb Devil (D.D.)=

Mr. Dunlop happened one day to be present in a Church Court in a
neighboring presbytery. A Rev. Dr. was one day asked to pray, and

On the meeting adjourning, Mr. Dunlop stepped up to the doctor, and
asked how he did. The doctor never having been introduced, did not

Mr. Dunlop withdrew, and said to a friend, "Eh! but is' na he a queer
man, that doctor; he'll neither speak to God nor man?"

=A Curiously Unfortunate Coincidence in Psalm Singing=

In the parish church of Fettercairn, a custom existed, and indeed still
lingers in some parts of Scotland, of the precentor on communion Sabbath
reading out each single line of the psalm before it was sung by the
congregation. This practice gave rise to a somewhat unfortunate
introduction of a line from the First Psalm. In most churches in
Scotland the communion tables are placed in the centre of the church.
After sermon and prayer the seats round these tables are occupied by the
communicants while a psalm is being sung. On one communion Sunday, the
precentor observed the noble family of Eglinton approaching the tables,
and saw that they were likely to be kept out by those who pressed in
before them. Being very zealous for their accommodation, he called out
to an individual whom he considered to be the principal obstacle in the
passage, "Come back, Jock, and let in the noble family of Eglinton"; and
then, turning again to his psalm-book, gave out the line, "Nor stand in
sinners' way."

=Living With His Uncle=

A little boy had lived some time with a penurious uncle, who took good
care that the child's health should not be injured by overfeeding. The
uncle was one day walking out, the child at his side, when a friend
accosted him, accompanied by a greyhound. While the elders were talking,
the little fellow, never having seen a dog so slim and slight in
texture, clasped the creature round the neck with the impassioned cry,
"Oh, doggie, doggie, and did ye live wi' your uncle, tae, that ye are so
thin?" [7]

=Pulpit Familiarity=

A pastor of a small congregation of Dissenters in the west of Scotland,
who, in prayer, often employed terms of familiarity towards the great
Being whom he invoked, was addressing his petition in the season of an
apparently doubtful harvest, that He would grant such weather as was
necessary for ripening and gathering in the fruits of the ground; when
suddenly, he added, "But what need I talk? When I was up at Shotts the
other day, everything was as green as leeks."

=A Churl Congratulated=

Hume went to a newspaper office, and laid on the counter an announcement
of the death of some friend, together with five shillings, the usual
price of such advertisements. The clerk, who had a very rough manner,
demanded seven shillings and sixpence, the extra charge being for the
words: "he was universally beloved and regretted." Hume paid the money,
saying, gravely, "Congratulate yourself, sir, that this is an expense
which your executors will never be put to."

=Touching Each Other's Limitations=

There once lived in Cupar a merchant whose store contained supplies of
every character and description, so that he was commonly known by the
sobriquet of "Robbie A' Thing." One day a minister who was well known
for making a free use of his notes in the pulpit, called at the store
asking for a rope and pin to tether a young calf in the glebe.

Robbie at once informed him that he could not furnish such articles to

But the minister being somewhat importunate, said: "Oh! I thought you
were named 'Robbie A' Thing,' from the fact that you keep all kinds of

"Weel, a weel," said Robbie, "I keep a' thing in my shop but calf's
tether-pins, and paper sermons for ministers to read."

="Having the Advantage"=

The Rev. Mr. Johnstone, of Monquhitter, a very grandiloquent pulpit
orator in his day, accosting a traveling piper, well known in the
district, with the question, "Well, John, how does the wind pay?"
received from John, with a low bow, the answer, "Your reverence has the
advantage of me." [7]

=Giving Them the Length of His Tongue=

A lawyer in an Edinburgh court occupied the whole day with a speech
which was anything but interesting to his auditors.

Some one, who had left the court-room and returned again after the
interval of some hours, finding the same harangue going on, said to Lord
Cockburn, "Is not H---- taking up a great deal of time?"

"Time?" said Cockburn; "he has long ago exhausted time, and encroached
upon eternity."

=Sectarian Resemblances=

A friend of mine used to tell a story of an honest builder's views of
church differences, which was very amusing and quaintly professional. An
English gentleman who had arrived in a Scottish county town, was walking
about to examine various objects which presented themselves, and
observed two rather handsome places of worship in the course of erection
nearly opposite each other. He addressed a person, who happened to be
the contractor for the chapels, and asked, "What was the difference
between these two places of worship which was springing up so close to
each other?" meaning, of course, the difference of the theological
tenets of the two congregations.

The contractor, who thought only of architectural differences,
innocently replied, "There may be a difference of sax feet in length,
but there's no' aboon a few inches in breadth."

Would that all religious differences could be brought within so narrow a
compass. [7]

=A Process of Exhaustion=

A Scotch minister was asked if he was not very much exhausted after
preaching three hours. "Oh, no," he replied; "but it would have done you
good to see how worried the people were."

=A Thoughtless Wish=

A landed proprietor in the small county of Rutland became very intimate
with the Duke of Argyle, to whom, in the plenitude of his friendship, he
said: "How I wish your estate were in my county!" Upon which the duke
replied, "I'm thinking, if it were, there would be _no room for yours_."

=Sunday Thoughts on Recreation=

The Rev. Adam Wadderstone, minister in Bathgate, was an excellent man
and as excellent a curler, who died in 1780. Late one Saturday night one
of his elders received a challenge from the people of Shotts to the
curlers of Bathgate to meet them early on Monday morning; and after
tossing about half the night at a loss how to convey the pleasing news
to the minister, he determined to tell him before he entered the pulpit.

When Mr. Wadderstone entered the session-house, the elder said to him in
a loud tone, "Sir, I've something to tell ye; there's to be a parish
play with the Shotts folk the morn, at----"

"Whist, man, whist!" was the rejoinder. "Oh, fie, shame, John! fie,
shame! Nae speaking to-day about warldy recreations."

But the ruling passion proved too strong for the worthy clergyman's
scruples of conscience, for just as he was about to enter the inner door
of the church, he suddenly wheeled round and returned to the elder, who
was now standing at the plate in the lobby, and whispered in his ear,
"But whan's the hoor, John? I'll be sure and be there. Let us sing,

     "'That music dear to a curler's ear,
     And enjoyed by him alone--
     The merry chink of the curling rink,
     And the boom of the roaring stone.'"

=Relieving His Wife's Anxiety=

A Scotchman became very poor by sickness. His refined and affectionate
wife was struggling with him for the support of their children. He took
to peddling with a one-horse wagon, as a business that would keep him in
the open air and not tax his strength too much. One day, after having
been sick at home for two or three weeks, he started out with his cart
for a ten-day's trip, leaving his wife very anxious about him on account
of his weakness. After going about fifteen miles his horse fell down and
died. He got a farmer to hitch his horse to the cart and bring it home.
As they were driving into the yard he saw the anxiety depicted on his
wife's countenance, and being tenderly desirous to relieve it, he cried
out, "Maria, its not me that's dead; its the mare!"

=Radically Rude=

Mr. Burgon, in his "Life of Tyler," tells the following amusing story:
Captain Basil Hall was once traveling in an old-fashioned stage-coach,
when he found himself opposite to a good-humored, jolly Dandy-Dinmount
looking person, with whom he entered into conversation, and found him
most intelligent. Dandie, who was a staunch Loyalist, as well as a stout
yeoman, seemed equally pleased with his companion.

"Troth, sir," he said, "I am well content to meet one wi' whom I can
have a rational conversation, for I have been fairly put out. You see,
sir, a Radical fellow came into the coach. It was the only time I ever
saw a Radical; an' he begun abusing everything, saying that this wasna a
kintra fit to live in. And first he abused the king. Sir, I stood that.
And then he abused the constitution. Sir, I stood that. And then he
abused the farmers. Well, sir, I stood it all. But then he took to
abusing the yeomanry. Now, sir, you ken I couldna stand _that_, for I am
a yeoman mysel'; so I was under the necessity of being a wee bit
rude-like till him. So I seized him by the scruff of the neck: 'Do ye
see that window, sir? Apologeeze, apologeeze this very minute, or I'll
just put your head through the window.' Wi' that he _apologeezed_. 'Now,
sir,' I said, 'you'll gang out o' the coach.' And wi' that I opened the
door, and shot him out intil the road; and that's all I ever saw o' the

="Gathering Up the Fragments"=

The inveterate snuff-taker, like the dram-drinker, felt severely the
being deprived of his accustomed stimulant, as in the following
instance: A severe snowstorm in the Highlands which lasted for several
weeks, having stopped all communications betwixt neighboring hamlets,
the snuff-boxes were soon reduced to their last pinch. Borrowing and
begging from all the neighbors within reach were first resorted to, but
when these failed they were all alike reduced to the longing which
unwillingly-abstinent snuff-takers alone know. The minister of the
parish was amongst the unhappy number, the craving was so intense that
study was out of the question, and he became quite restless. As a last
resource, the beadle was dispatched, through the snow, to a neighboring
glen, in the hope getting a supply; but he came back as unsuccessful as
he went.

"What's to be dune, John?" was the minister's pathetic inquiry.

John shook his head, as much as to say that he could not tell; but
immediately thereafter started up, as if a new idea had occurred to him.
He came back in a few minutes, crying, "Hae!"

The minister, too eager to be scrutinizing, took a long, deep pinch, and
then said, "Whaur did you get it?"

"I soupit (swept) the poupit," was John's expressive reply.

The minister's accumulated superfluous Sabbath snuff now came into good

=Sleepy Churchgoers=

The bowls of rum punch which so remarkably characterized the Glasgow
dinners of last century, and the early part of the present, it is to be
feared, made some of the congregation given to somnolency on the Sundays
following. The members of the town council often adopted Saturdays for
such meetings; accordingly, the Rev. Mr. Thorn, an excellent clergyman,
took occasion to mark this propensity with some acerbity. A dog had been
very troublesome, when the minister at last gave orders to the beadle,
"Take out that dog; he'd wauken a Glasgow magistrate." [7]

=A Highland Chief and His Doctor=

Dr. Gregory (of immortal mixture memory) used to tell a story of an old
Highland chieftain, intended to show how such Celtic potentates were
once held to be superior to all the usual considerations which affected
ordinary mortals. The doctor, after due examination, had, in his usual
decided and blunt manner, pronounced the liver of a Highlander to be at
fault, and to be the cause of his ill-health. His patient, who could not
but consider this as taking a great liberty with a Highland chieftain,
roared out, "And what business is it of yours whether I have a liver or

="Rippets" and Humility=

The following is a dry Scottish case of a minister's wife quietly
"kaming her husband's head." Mr. Mair, a Scotch minister, was rather
short-tempered, and had a wife named Rebecca, whom, for brevity's sake,
he addressed as Becky. He kept a diary and among other entries this one
was very frequent--"Becky and I had a rippet, for which I desire to be

A gentleman who had been on a visit to the minister went to Edinburgh,
and told the story to a minister and his wife there, when the lady
replied, "Weel, he must have been an excellent man, Mr. Mair. My husband
and I some times, too, have 'rippets' but catch him if he's ever
humble." [7]

="Kaming" Her Ain Head=

The late good, kind-hearted Dr. David Dickson was fond of telling a
story of a Scottish termagant of the days before Kirk-session discipline
had passed away. A couple were brought before the court, and Janet, the
wife, was charged with violent, and undutiful conduct, and with wounding
her husband, by throwing a three-legged stool at his head. The minister
rebuked her conduct, and pointing out its grievous character, by
explaining that just as Christ was head of his Church, so the husband
was head of the wife; and therefore in assaulting _him_, she had in fact
injured her own body.

"Weel," she replied, "it's come to a fine pass gin a wife canna kame her
ain head."

"Aye, but Janet," rejoined the minister, "a three-legged stool is a
thief-like bane-kame to scart yer ain head wi'!"

=Splendid Use for Bagpipes=

A Scottish piper was passing through a deep forest. In the evening he
sat down to take his supper. He had hardly began when a number of
wolves, prowling about for food, collected round him. In self-defence,
the poor man began to throw pieces of victuals to them, which they
greedily devoured. When he had disposed of all, in a fit of despair he
took his pipes and began to play. The unusual sound terrified the wolves
so much that they scampered off in every direction. Observing this,
Sandy quietly remarked: "Od, an' I'd kenned ye liket the pipes sae weel,
I'd a gi'en ye a spring _afore_ supper."

=Practical Piety=

The following story was told by the Rev. William Arnot at a soirée in
Sir W. H. Moncrief's church some years ago.

Dr. Macleod and Dr. Watson were in the West Highlands together on a
tour, ere leaving for India. While crossing a loch in a boat, in company
with a number of passengers, a storm came on. One of the passengers was
heard to say:

"The twa ministers should begin to pray, or we'll a' be drooned."

"Na, na," said a boatman; "the little ane can pray, if he likes, but the
big ane must tak' an oar!" [10]

="There Maun be Some Faut"=

Old Mr. Downie, the parish minister of Banchory, was noted in my
earliest days for his quiet pithy remarks on men and things as they came
before him. His reply to his son, of whose social position he had no
very exaulted opinion, was of this class. Young Downie had come to visit
his father from the West Indies, and told him that on his return he was
to be married to a lady whose high qualities and position he spoke of in
extravagant terms. He assured his father that she was "quite young, was
very rich, and very beautiful."

"Aweel, Jemmy," said the old man, very quietly and very slily, "I'm
thinking there maun be some _faut_." [7]

=Deathbed Humor=

The late Mr. Constable used to visit an old lady who was much attenuated
by long illness, and on going upstairs one tremendously hot afternoon,
the daughter was driving the flies away, saying: "These flies will eat
up a' that remains o' my puir mither." The old lady opened her eyes, and
the last words she spoke were: "What's left's good eneuch for them."

=A Matter-of-Fact Death Scene=

The Scottish people, without the least intention or purpose of being
irreverent or unfeeling, often approach the awful question connected
with the funerals of friends in a cool matter-of-fact manner. A tenant
of Mr. George Lyon, of Wester Ogil, when on his death-bed, and his end
near at hand, was thus addressed by his wife: "Willie, Willie, as lang
as ye can speak, tell us are ye for your burial baps round or _square_?"
Willie, having responded to this inquiry, was next asked if the
_murners_ were to have _glooves_ or mittens--the latter having only a
thumb-piece; and Willie, having answered, was allowed to depart in

=Acts of Parliament "Exhausted"=

A junior minister having to assist at a church in a remote part of
Aberdeenshire, the parochial minister (one of the old school) promised
his young friend a good glass of whiskey-toddy after all was over,
adding slily and very significantly, "and gude _smuggled_ whiskey."

His southern guest thought it incumbent to say, "Ah, minister, that's
wrong, is it not? You know it is contrary to Act of Parliament."

The old Aberdonian could not so easily give up his fine whiskey, so he
quietly said: "Oh, Acts of Parliament lose their breath before they get
to Aberdeenshire."

=Concentrated Caution=

The most cautious answer certainly on record is that of the Scotchman
who, being asked if he could play a fiddle, warily answered that he
"couldna say, for he had never tried."

=A "Grave" Hint=

Mr. Mearns, of Kineff Manse, gave an exquisitely characteristic
illustration of beadle _professional_ habits being made to bear upon the
tender passion. A certain beadle had fancied the manse house-maid, but
at a loss for an opportunity to declare himself, one day--a Sunday--when
his duties were ended, he looked sheepish, and said, "Mary, wad _ye_
tak' a turn, Mary?"

He led her to the churchyard, and pointing with his finger, he got out:
"My fowk lie there, Mary; wad ye like to lie there?"

The _grave_ hint was taken, and she became his wife.

=A Spiritual Barometer=

There was an old bachelor clergyman whose landlady declared that he used
to express an opinion of his dinner by the grace which he made to
follow. When he had a good dinner which pleased him, and a good glass of
beer with it, he poured forth the grace, "For the richest of Thy bounty
and its blessings we offer our thanks." When he had had poor fare and
poor beer, his grace was, "We thank Thee for the least of these Thy

=A New Application of "The Argument from Design"=

An honest Highlander, a genuine lover of sneeshin, observed, standing at
the door of the Blair Athole Hotel, a magnificent man in full tartans,
and noticed with much admiration the wide dimensions of his nostrils in
a fine up-turned nose. He accosted him and, as his most complimentary
act, offered him his mull for a pinch.

The stranger drew up and rather haughtily said: "I never take snuff."

"Oh," said the other, "that's a peety, for there's gran'

=Two Methods of Getting a Dog Out of Church=

I had an anecdote from a friend of a reply from a betheral (beadle) to
the minister _in_ church, which was quaint and amusing from the shrewd
self-importance it indicated in his own acuteness. The clergyman had
been annoyed during the course of his sermon by the restlessness and
occasional whining of a dog, which at last began to bark outright. He
looked out for the beadle, and directed him very peremptorily, "John,
carry that dog out."

John looked up to the pulpit and, with a very knowing expression, said:
"Na, na, sir; I'se just mak' him gae out on his ain four legs." [7]

=Born Too Late=

A popular English nonconformist minister was residing with a family in
Glasgow, while on a visit to that city, whither he had gone on a
deputation from the Wesleyan Missionary Society. After dinner, in reply
to an invitation to partake of some fine fruit, he mentioned to the
family a curious circumstance concerning himself, viz.: that he had
never in his life tasted an apple, pear, or grape, or indeed any kind of
green fruit. This fact seemed to evoke considerable surprise from the
company, but a cautious Scotchman, of a practical matter-of-fact turn of
mind, and who had listened with much unconcern, drily remarked: "It's a
peety but ye had been in Paradise, an' there might na hae been ony

=A Preacher with his Back Towards Heaven=

During one of the religious revivals in Scotland, a small farmer went
about preaching with much fluency and zeal, the doctrine of a "full
assurance" of faith, and expressed his belief of it for himself in such
extravagant terms as few men would venture upon who were humble and
cautious against presumption. The preacher, being personally rather
remarkable as a man of greedy and selfish views in life, excited some
suspicion in the breast of an old sagacious countryman, a neighbor of
Dr. Macleod, who asked what _he_ thought of John as a preacher, and of
his doctrine?

Scratching his head, as if in some doubt, he replied, "_I never ken't a
man sae sure o' heaven and so sweert_ (slow) _to be gaing taet_." [5]

=Nearer the Bottom than the Top=

A little boy who attended a day school near his home, was always asked
in the evening how he stood in his own class. The invariable answer was,
"I'm second dux," which means, in Scottish academical language, second
from the top of the class. As his habits of application at home did not
quite bear out the claims to so distinguished a literary position at
school, one of the family ventured to ask what was the number in the
class to which he was attached. After some hesitation, he was obliged to
admit, "Ou, there's jist me and _anither lass_."

=A Crushing Argument against MS. Sermons=

A clergyman thought his people were making rather an unconscionable
objection to his using an MS. in delivering a sermon.

They urged, "What gars ye tak' up your bit papers to the pu'pit?"

He replied that it was best, for really he could not remember his
sermons, and must have his paper.

"Weel, weel, minister, then dinna expect that _we_ can remember them."

=Mortal Humor=

Humor sometimes comes out on the very scaffold. An old man was once
hanged for complicity in a murder. The rope broke, and he fell heavily
to the ground. His first utterance when his breath returned to him was,
"Ah, sheriff, sheriff, gie us fair hangin'."

His friends demanded that he should be delivered up to them, as a second
hanging was not contemplated in the sentence. But the old man, looking
round on the curious crowd of gazers, and lifting up his voice, said,
"Na, na, boys, I'll no gang hame to my neighbors to hear people pointing
me oot as the half-hangit man; I'll be hangit oot."

And he got his wish five minutes after.

=A Fruitful Field=

The following anecdote was communicated to me by a gentleman who
happened to be a party to the conversation detailed below. This
gentleman was passing along the road not one hundred miles from
Peterhead one day. Two different farms skirt the separate sides of the
turnpike, one of which is rented by a farmer who cultivates his land
according to the most advanced system of agriculture, and the other of
which is farmed by a gentleman of the old school.

Our informant met the latter worthy at the side of the turnpike,
opposite his neighbor's farm, and seeing a fine crop of wheat upon what
appeared to be (and really was) very poor and thin land, asked, "When
was that wheat sown?"

"O, I dinna ken," replied the gentleman of the old school, with a sort
of half indifference, half contempt.

"But isn't it strange that such a fine crop should be reared on such bad
land?" asked our informant.

"O, na--nae at a'--devil thank it; a gravesteen wad gie guid bree gin ye
geed it plenty o' butter." [7]

=The "Minister's Man"=

The "minister's man" was a functionary now less often to be met with. He
was the minister's own servant and _factotum_. Amongst this class there
was generally much Scottish humor and original character. They were
(like the betheral, or beadle) great critics of sermons, and often
severe upon strangers, sometimes with a sly hit at their own ministers.
One of these, David, a well-known character, complimenting a young
minister who had preached, told him, "Your introduction, sir, is aye
grand; it's worth a' the rest o' the sermon,--could ye no' mak' it a'

David's criticisms of his master's sermons were sometimes sharp enough
and shrewd. On one occasion, the minister was driving home from a
neighboring church where he had been preaching, and where he had, as he
thought, acquitted himself pretty well, inquired of David what _he_
thought of it. The subject of discourse had been the escape of the
Israelites from Egypt. So David opened his criticism:

"Thocht o't, sir? Deed I thocht nocht o't ava. It was a vara imperfect
discourse, in ma opinion; ye did well eneucht till ye took them through,
but where did ye leave them? Just daunerin' o' the sea-shore without a
place to gang till. Had it no' been for Pharaoh they had been better on
the other side, where they were comfortably encampit than daunerin'
where ye left them. It's painful to hear a sermon stoppit afore it is
richt ended, just as it is to hear ane streeket out lang after it's
dune. That's my opinion o' the sermon ye geid us to-day."

"Very freely given, David, very freely given; drive on a little faster,
for I think ye're daunerin' noo, yersell." [7]

=A New and Original Scene in "Othello"=

At a Scottish provincial theatre, a prompter named Walls, who, being
exceedingly useful, frequently appeared on the stage, happened one
evening to play the Duke, in "_Othello_." Previous to going on, he had
given directions to a girl-of-all-work, who looked after the wardrobe,
to bring a gill of best whiskey. Not wishing to go out, as the evening
was wet, the girl deputed her little brother to execute the commission.
The senate was assembled, and the speaker was--

_Brabantio_: "For my particular grief is of so floodgate and o'erbearing
nature, that it engluts and swallows other sorrows, and is still

_Duke_: "Why, what's the matter?"

Here the little boy walked on to the stage with a pewter gill stoup, and
thus delivered himself:

"It's just the whusky, Mr. Walls, and I couldna get ony at fourpence, so
yer awn the landlord a penny, an' he says it's time you were payin'
whet's doon i' the book."

The roars of laughter which followed from both audience and actors for
some time prevented the further progress of the play.

=The Shape of the Earth=

A country schoolmaster of the old time was coaching his pupils for the
yearly examination by the clergymen of the district. He had before him
the junior geography class.

"Can any little boy or girl tell me what is the shape of the earth?"

To this there was no answer.

"Oh, dear me, this is sad! What wull the minister sink o' this? Well,
I'll gie you a token to mind it. What is the shape o' this snuff-box in
ma han'?"

"Square, sir," replied all.

"Yes; but on the Sabbath, when a shange ma claes, I shange ma
snuff-box, and I wears a round one. Will you mind that for a token?"

Examination day came, and the junior geography class was called.

"Fine intelligent class this, Mr. Mackenzie," said one of the clergymen.

"Oh, yes, sir, they're na boor-like."

"Can any of the little boys or girls tell me what is the shape of the

Every hand was extended, every head thrown back, every eye flashed with
eager excitement in the good old style of schools. One was singled out
with a "You, my little fellow, tell us."

"Roond on Sundays, and square all the rest o' the week."

=Rivalry in Prayer=

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has a wide-awake Presbyterian elder of Scotch
character, who, although a persistent advocate of the Westminster
Confession, occasionally for convenience sake--and from an innate love
of religious intercourse--attends the meetings of his Methodist

At a recent prayer-meeting that was held preparatory to a centennial
service in commemoration of the progress of Methodism in Nova Scotia,
the presiding minister dwelt eloquently upon the wonderful growth and
prosperity of the Methodist Church, and upon the life of its great
founder, John Wesley. He also expressed thankfulness that on that day
there were one hundred and nine Methodist ministers in Nova Scotia. The
meeting thus very decidedly assumed a denominational character, but the
minister asked the good Presbyterian brother to lead in prayer at the
close. The elder complied, and after thanking God for the many good
things he had just heard "about this branch of Zion," he added, with
much depth and feeling, "O Lord, we thank Thee for _John Knox_; we thank
Thee for the one hundred and nine Methodist ministers in our country,
but we _especially_ thank Thee for the _one hundred and thirteen_
Presbyterian ministers who are preaching the Word of Life throughout our
land. Amen."

=A Compensation Balance=

The answers of servants often curiously illustrate the habits and
manners of the household. A bright maid-of-all-work, alluding to the
activity and parsimony of her mistress, said, "She's vicious upo' the
wark, but, eh, she's vary mysterious o' the victualing."

=The "Sawbeth" at a Country Inn=

The Rev. Moncure D. Conway, while traveling in the neighborhood of the
Hebrides, heard several anecdotes illustrative of the fearful reverence
with which Scotchmen in that region observe the Sabbath. Says he: "A
minister of the kirk recently declared in public that at a country inn
he wished the window raised, so that he might get some fresh air, but
the landlady would not allow it, saying, 'Ye can hae no fresh air here
on the Sawbeth.'" [11]

=Scotchmen Everywhere=

Was ever a place that hadn't its Scotchman? In a late English
publication we find an account of a gentleman traveling in Turkey, who,
arriving at a military station, took occasion to admire the martial
appearance of two men. He says: "The Russian was a fine, soldier-like
figure, nearly six feet high, with a heavy cuirassier moustache, and a
latent figure betraying itself (as the 'physical force,' novelists say)
in every line of his long muscular limbs. Our pasha was a short
thick-set man, rather too round and puffy in the face to be very
dignified; but the eager, restless glance of his quick gray eye showed
that he had no want of energy. My friend, the interpreter, looked
admiringly at the pair as they approached each other, and was just
exclaiming, 'There, thank God, are a real Russian and a real Turk, and
admirable specimens of their race, too!' when suddenly General Sarasoff
and Ibraham Pasha, after staring at each other for a moment, burst forth
simultaneously, 'Eh, Donald Cawmell, are _ye_ there?' 'Lord keep us,
Sandy Robertson, can this be _you_?'"

=A Bookseller's Knowledge of Books=

A Glasgow bailie was one of a deputation sent from that city to Louis
Philippe, when that monarch was on the French throne. The king received
the deputation very graciously, and honored them with an invitation to
dinner. During the evening the party retired to the royal library, where
the king, having ascertained that the bailie followed the calling of
bookseller, showed him the works of several English authors, and said to
him: "You see, I am well supplied with standard works in English. There
is a fine edition of Burke."

The magistrate, familiar only with Burke the murderer, exclaimed: "Ah,
the villain! I was there when he was hanged!"


George Webster once met a shepherd boy in Glenshee, and asked, "My man,
were you ever fou'?"

"Ay, aince"--speaking slowly, as if remembering--"Ay, aince."

"What on?"

"Cauld mutton!" [12]

=Sunday Drinking=

Dr. M----, accompanied by a friend, took a long walk on Sunday, and
being fatigued, the two stopped at an inn to get some refreshment. The
landlord stopped them at the door with the question whether they were
_bona fide_ travelers, as such alone could enter his house on Sunday.
They said they were from London, and were admitted. They were sent bread
and cheese and stout. The stout was bad, and they sent for ale; but that
being worse, they sent for whiskey. The landlord refused this, saying
they had enough for their bodily necessities.

After a great deal of urging for the whiskey, which the landlord
withstood, M---- said, "Very well; if you won't sell us whiskey, we must
use our own," at the same time pulling a flask out of his pocket.

This was more than the Scotchman could stand. The sin was to be
committed, and there would be no compensation to its heinousness in the
way of profit to his inn. "Ah, weel," he said, "if ye maun have the
whiskey, ye maun, an' I'll send ye the mateyrials."

=Drawing an Inference=

A certain functionary of a country parish is usually called the
_minister's man_, and to one of these who had gone through a long course
of such parish official life, a gentleman one day remarked--"John, ye
hae been sae lang about the minister's hand that I dare say ye could
preach a sermon yersell now."

To which John modestly replied, "O na, sir, I couldna preach a sermon,
but maybe I could draw an inference."

"Well, John," said the gentleman, humoring the quiet vanity of the
beadle, "what inference could ye draw frae this text, 'A wild ass
snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure!" (Jer. ii: 24).

"Weel, sir, I wad draw this inference:--she wad snuff a lang time afore
she would fatten upon't." [7]

=Going to Ramoth Gilead=

A sailor, who had served the king so long at sea that he almost forgot
the usages of civilized society on shore, went one day into the church
at his native town of Kirkcaldy, in Fife, where it happened that the
minister chose for his text the well-known passage, "Who will go up with
us to Ramoth Gilead?"

This emphatic appeal being read the second time, and in a still more
impressive tone of voice, the thoughtless tar crammed a quid of tobacco
into his cheek, rose up, put on his hat; then, looking around him, and
seeing nobody moving, he exclaimed, "You cowardly lubbers! will none of
you go with the old gentleman? I go for one."

So out he went, giving three cheers at the door, to the amazement of all

=Why Saul Threw a Javelin at David=

A High-Churchman and a Scotch Presbyterian had been at the same church.
The former asked the latter if he did not like the "introits."

"I don't know what an introit is," was the reply.

"But did you not enjoy the anthem?" said the churchman.

"No, I did not enjoy it at all."

"I am very sorry," said the churchman, "because it was used in the early
church; in fact, it was originally sung by David."

"Ah!" said the Scotchman, "then that explains the Scripture. I can
understand why, if David sung it at that time, Saul threw his javelin at

=A Sexton's Criticism=

The following criticism by a Scotch sexton is not bad:

A clergyman in the country had a stranger preaching for him one day, and
meeting his sexton, asked, "Well, Saunders, how did you like the sermon

"It was rather ower plain and simple for me. I like thae sermons best
that jumbles the joodgment and confoonds the sense. Od, sir, I never saw
ane that could come up to yoursel' at that."

=Strange Reason for Not Increasing a Minister's Stipend=

A relative of mine going to church with a Forfarshire farmer, one of the
old school, asked him the amount of the minister's stipend.

He said, "Od, it's a gude ane--the maist part of £300 a year."

"Well," said my relative, "many of these Scotch ministers are but poorly

"They've eneuch, sir; they have eneuch; if they'd mair, it would want a'
their time to the spending o't." [7]

=Pulpit Eloquence=

An old clerical friend upon Speyside, a confirmed old bachelor, on going
up to the pulpit one Sunday to preach, found, after giving out the
psalm, that he had forgotten his sermon. I do not know what his
objections were to his leaving the pulpit and going to the manse for
his sermon, but he preferred sending his old confidential housekeeper
for it. He accordingly stood up in the pulpit, stopped the singing, when
it had commenced, and thus accosted his faithful domestic: "Annie, I
say, Annie, _we've_ committed a mistake the day. Ye maun jist gang your
waa's hame, and ye'll get my sermon out o' my breek pouch, an' we'll
sing to the praise o' the Lord till ye come back again." [7]

=Maunderings, by a Scotchman=

The following is said by _Chambers' Journal_ to have been written by a
Scotchman. If so, the humorous way in which he is taking off a certain
tendency of the Scotch mind, is delicious; if by an Englishman, the
humor will be less keen, though not less fair.

I am far frae being clear that Nature hersel', though a kindly auld
carline, has been a'thegither just to Scotland seeing that she has sae
contrived that some o' our greatest men, that ought by richt to hae been
Scotchmen, were born in England and other countries, and sae have been
kenned as Englishers, or else something not quite sae guid.

There's glorious old Ben Jonson, the dramatic poet and scholar, that
everybody tak's for a regular Londoner, merely because he happened to be
born there. Ben's father, it's weel ken't, was a Johnston o' Annandale
in Dumfriesshire, a bauld guid family there to this day. He is alloo't
to hae been a gentleman, even by the English biographers o' his son;
and, dootless, sae he was, sin' he was an Annandale Johnston. He had
gane up to London, about the time o' Queen Mary, and was amang them that
suffered under that sour uphalder o' popery. Ben, puir chiel', had the
misfortune first to see the light somewhere aboot Charing Cross, instead
o' the bonnie leas o' Ecclefechan, where his poetic soul wad hae been on
far better feedin' grund, I reckon. But nae doot, he cam' to sit
contented under the dispensations of Providence. Howsomever, he ought to
be now ranked amang Scotchmen, that's a'.

There was a still greater man in that same century, that's generally
set down as a Lincolnshire-man, but ought to be looked on as next thing
till a Scotchman, if no' a Scotchman out and out; and that's Sir Isaac
Newton. They speak o' his forebears as come frae Newton in Lancashire;
but the honest man himsel's the best authority aboot his ancestry, I
should think; and didna he say to his friend Gregory ae day: "Gregory,
ye warna aware that I'm o' the same country wi' yoursel'--I'm a
Scotchman." It wad appear that Sir Isaac had an idea in his head, that
he had come somehow o' the Scotch baronet o' the name o' Newton; and
nothing can be better attested than that there was a Scotchman o' that
name wha became a baronet by favor o' King James the Sixt (What for aye
ca' him James the _First_?) having served that wise-headed king as
preceptor to his eldest son, Prince Henry. Sae, ye see, there having
been a Scotch Newton who was a baronet, and Sir Isaac thinking he cam'
o' sic a man, the thing looks unco' like as if it were a fact. It's the
mair likely, too, frae Sir Adam Newton having been a grand scholar and a
man o' great natural ingenuity o' mind; for, as we a' ken right weel,
bright abilities gang in families. There's a chiel' o' my acquentance
that disna think the dates answer sae weel as they ought to do; but he
ance lived a twalmonth in England, and I'm feared he's grown a wee thing
prejudiced. Sae we'll say nae mair aboot _him_.

Then, there was Willie Cowper, the author o' the _Task_, _John Gilpin_,
and mony other poems. If ye were to gie implicit credence to his English
biographers, ye wad believe that he cam' o' an auld Sussex family. But
Cowper himsel' aye insisted that he had come o' a Fife gentleman o' lang
syne, that had been fain to flit southwards, having mair guid blude in
his veins than siller in his purse belike, as has been the case wi' mony
a guid fellow before noo. It's certain that the town o' Cupar, whilk may
hae gi'en the family its name, is the head town o' that county to this
day. There was ane Willie Cowper, Bishop o' Galloway in the time o' King
Jamie--a real good exerceesed Christian, although a bishop--and the
poet jaloosed that this worthy man had been ane o' his relations. I
dinna pretend to ken how the matter really stood; but it doesna look
very likely that Cowper could hae taken up the notion o' a Scotch
ancestry, if there hadna been some tradition to that effeck. I'm
particularly vext that our country was cheated out o' haeing Cowper for
ane o' her sons, for I trow he was weel worthy o' that honor; and if
Providence had willed that he should hae been born and brought up in
Scotland, I haena the least doot that he wad hae been a minister, and
ane too, that wad hae pleased the folk just extrornar.

There was a German philosopher in the last century, that made a great
noise wi' a book of his that explored and explained a' the in-thoughts
and out-thoughts o' the human mind. His name was Immanuel Kant; and the
Kantian philosophy is weel kent as something originating wi' him. Weel,
this Kant ought to hae been a Scotchman; or rather he _was_ a Scotchman;
but only, owing to some grandfather or great-grandfather having come to
live in Königsberg, in Prussia, ye'll no' hinder Immanuel frae being
born there--whilk of coorse was a pity for a' parties except Prussia,
that gets credit by the circumstance. The father of the philosopher was
an honest saddler o' the name o' Cant, his ancestor having been ane o'
the Cants o' Aberdeenshire, and maybe a relation of Andrew Cant, for
onything I ken. It was the philosopher that changed the C for the K, to
avoid the foreign look of the word, our letter C not belonging to the
German alphabet. I'm rale sorry that Kant did not spring up in Scotland,
where his metaphysical studies wad hae been on friendly grund. But I'm
quite sure, an' he had visited Scotland and come to Aberdeenshire, he
wad hae fund a guid number o' his relations, that wad hae been very glad
to see him, and never thought the less o' him for being merely a

Weel, we've got down a guid way noo, and the next man I find that ought
by richts to hae been a Scotchman is that deil's bucky o' a poet, Lord
Byron. I'm no' saying that Lord Byron was a'thegither a respectable
character, ye see; but there can be nae manner o' doot that he wrote
grand poetry, and got a great name by it. Noo, Lord Byron was born in
London--I'm no' denyin' what Tammy Muir says on that score--but his
mother was a Scotch leddy, and she and her husband settled in Scotland
after their marriage, and of coorse their son wad hae been born there in
due time, had it no' been that the husband's debts obliged them to gang,
first to France and after that to London, where the leddy cam' to hae
her down-lying, as has already been said. This, it plainly appears to
me, was a great injustice to Scotland.

My greatest grudge o' a' is regarding that bright genius for historical
composition, Thomas Babbington Macaulay, M.P. for Edinburgh. About the
year 1790, the minister o' the parish o' Cardross in Dumbartonshire, was
a Mr. M'Aulay, a north-country man, it's said, and a man o' uncommon
abilities. It was in his parish that that other bright genius, Tobias
Smollett, was born, and if a' bowls had rowed richt, sae should T. B. M.
But it was otherwise ordeened. A son o' this minister, having become
preceptor to a Mr. Barbinton, a young man o' fortune in England, it sae
cam' aboot that this youth and his preceptor's sister, wha was an
extrornan' bonny lass, drew up thegither, and were married. That led to
ane o' the minister's sons going to England--namely, Mr. Zachary, the
father o' oor member; and thus it was that we were cheated out o' the
honor o' having T. B. as an out-and-out Scotsman, whilk it's no' natural
to England to bring forth sic geniuses, weary fa' it, that I should say
sae. I'm sure I wiss that the bonny lass had been far eneuch, afore she
brought about this strange cantrip o' fortune, or that she had contented
hersel' wi' an honest Greenock gentleman that wanted her, and wha, I've
been tould, de'ed no' aboon three year syne.

Naebody that kens me will ever suppose that I'm vain either aboot mysel'
or my country. I wot weel, when we consider what frail miserable
creatures we are, we hae little need for being proud o' onything. Yet,
somehow, I aye like to hear the name o' puir auld Scotland brought aboon
board, so that it is na for things even-down disrespectable. Some years
ago, we used to hear a great deal about a light-headed jillet they ca'
Lola Montes, that had become quite an important political character at
the coort o' the king o' Bavaria. Noo, although I believe it's a fact
that Lola's father was a Scotch officer o' the army, I set nae store by
her ava--I turn the back o' my hand on a' sic cutties as her. Only, it
_is_ a fact that she comes o' huz--o' that there can be nae doot, be it
creditable or no'.

Well, ye see, there's another distinguished leddy o' modern times,
that's no' to be spoken o' in the same breath wi' that Lady Lighthead.
This is the new Empress o' France. A fine-looking queen she is, I'm
tauld. Weel, it's quite positive aboot her that her mother was a
Kirkpatrick, come of the house o' Closeburn, in the same county that Ben
Jonson's father cam' frae. The Kirkpatricks have had land in
Dumfriesshire since the days o' Bruce, whose friend ane o' them was, at
the time when he killed Red Cummin; but Closeburn has long passed away
frae them, and now belangs to Mr. Baird, the great iron master o' the
west o' Scotland. Howsomever, the folks thereaboots hae a queer story
aboot a servant-lass that was in the house in the days o' the empress'
great-grandfather like. She married a man o' the name o' Paterson and
gaed to America, and her son came to be a great merchant, and his
daughter became Prince Jerome Bonaparte's wife; and sae it happens that
a lady come frae the parlor o' Closeburn sits on the throne o' France,
while a prince come frae the kitchen o' the same place is its heir
presumptive! I'm no' sure that the hale o' this story is quite the
thing; but I tell it as it was tauld to me.

I'm no' ane that tak's up my head muckle wi' public singers, playgoers,
composers o' music, and folk o' that kind; but yet we a' ken that some
o' them atteen to a great deal o' distinction, and are muckle ta'en out
by the nobility and gentry. Weel, I'm tauld (for I ken naething about
him mysel') that there was ane Donizetti, a great composer o' operas,
no' very lang syne. Now, Donizetti, as we've been tauld i' _the public
papers_, was the son o' a Scotchman. His father was a Highlandman,
called Donald Izett, wha left his native Perthshire as a soldier--maist
likely the Duke o' Atholl pressed him into the service as ane o' his
volunteers--and Donald having quitted the army somewhere abroad, set up
in business wi' Don Izett over his door, whilk the senseless folk
thereabouts soon transformed into Donizetti, and thus it came about that
his son, wha turned out a braw musician, bore this name frae first to
last, and dootless left it to his posterity. I ken weel that Izett is a
Perthshire name, and there was ane o' the clan some years sin' in
business in the North Brig o' Edinburgh, and a rale guid honest man he
was, I can tell ye, and a very sensible man, too. Ye'll see his
head-stane ony day i' the Grayfriars. And this is guid evidence to me
that Donizetti was, properly speaking, a Scotchman. It's a sair pity for
himsel' that he wasna born, as he should hae been, on the braes o'
Atholl, for then he wad nae doot hae learned the richt music, that is
played there sae finely on the fiddle--namely, reels and strath-speys;
and I dinna ken but, wi' proper instruction, he might hae rivalled Neil
Gow himsel'.

Ye've a' heard o' Jenny Lind, the Swedish nightingale, as the fulishly
ca' her, as if there ever were ony nightingales in Sweden. She's a vera
fine creature, this Jenny Lind, no greedy o' siller, as sae mony are,
but aye willing to exerceese her gift for the guid o' the sick and the
puir. She's, in fack, just sick a young woman as we micht expeck
Scotland to produce, if it ever produced public singers. Weel, Jenny,
I'm tauld, is another of the great band o' distinguished persons that
ought to hae been born in Scotland, for it's said her greatgrandfather
(I'm no' preceese as to the generation) was a Scotchman that gaed lang
syne to spouse his fortune abroad, and chanced to settle in Sweden,
where he had sons and daughters born to him. There's a gey wheen Linds
about Mid-Calder, honest farmer-folk, to this day; sae I'm thinkin'
there's no' muckle room for doot as to the fack.

Noo, having shewn sic a lang list o' mischances as to the nativity o'
Scotch folk o' eminence, I think ye'll alloo that we puir bodies in the
north hae some occasion for complaint. As we are a' in Providence's
hand, we canna, of coorse, prevent some o' our best countrymen frae
coming into the world in wrang places--sic as Sir Isaac Newton in
Lincolnshire, whilk I think an uncommon pity; but what's to hinder sic
persons frae being reputed and held as Scotchmen notwithstanding? I'm
sure I ken o' nae objection, except it may be that our friends i' the
south, feeling what a sma' proportion o' Great Britons are Englishmen,
may entertain some jealousy on the subjeck. If that be the case, the
sooner that the Association for Redress o' Scottish Grievances takes up
the question the better. [21]

=A Leader's Description of His Followers=

Old John Cameron was leader of a small quadrille band in Edinburgh, the
performances of which were certainly not the very finest.

Being disappointed on one occasion of an engagement at a particular
ball, he described his more fortunate but equally able brethren in the
following terms: "There's a Geordie Menstrie, he plays rough, like a man
sharpening knives wi' yellow sand. Then there's Jamie Corri, his
playin's like the chappin' o' mince-collops--sic short bows he tak's.
And then there's Donald Munro, his bass is like wind i' the lum, or a
toom cart gaun down Blackfriars' Wynd!"

=It Takes Two To Fight=

A physician at Queensferry was once threatened with a challenge. His
method of receiving it was at once cool and incontrovertible.

"Ye may challenge me if ye like," said he; "but whether or no, there'll
be nae fecht, _unless I gang out_."

="What's the Lawin', Lass?"=

The following dialogue occurred in a little country inn, not so long ago
as the internal evidence might lead one to suppose. The interlocutors
are an English tourist and a smart young woman, who acted as waitress,
chambermaid, boots, and everybody else, being the man and the maid of
the inn at the same time:

_Tourist_: Come here, if you please.

_Jenny_: I was just coming ben to you, sir.

_Tourist_: Well, now, mistress.

_Jenny_: I'm no' the mistress; I'm only the lass, an' I'm no' married.

_Tourist_: Very well, then, miss.

_Jenny_: I'm no' a miss; I'm only a man's dochter.

_Tourist_: A man's daughter?

_Jenny_: Hoot, ay, sir; didna ye see a farm as ye came up yestreen, just
three parks aff?

_Tourist_: It is very possible; I do not remember.

_Jenny_: Weel, onyway, it's my faither's.

_Tourist_: Indeed!

_Jenny_: Ay, it's a fact.

_Tourist_: Well, that fact being settled, let us proceed to business.
Will you let me see your bill?

_Jenny_: Our Bill. Ou, ay, Wully we ca' him, but I ken wha you
mean--he's no in e'en now.

_Tourist_: Wully! what I want is my account--a paper stating what I have
had, and how much I have to pay.

_Jenny_: Did ony woman ever hear the like o' that--ye mean the lawin',
man! But we keep nae accounts here; na, na, we hae ower muckle to dae.

_Tourist_: And how do you know what to charge?

_Jenny_: On, we just put the things down on the sclate, and tell the
customers the tottle by word o' mouth.

_Tourist_: Just so. Well, will you give me the lawin', as I am going?

_Jenny_: Oh, sir, ye're jokin' noo! It's you maun gie me the lawin'--the
lawin's the siller.

_Tourist_: Oh, indeed, I beg your pardon; how much is it?

_Jenny_: That's just what I was coming ben to tell you, sir. If ye had
ask'd me first, or waited till I tell't ye, I wadna hae keepit ye a
minute. We're no blate at askin' the lawin', although some folk are
unco' slow at payin' o't. It's just four-and-six.

_Tourist_: That is very moderate; there is five shillings.

_Jenny_: Thank you, sir; I hope we hae a sixpence in the house, for I
wadna' like to gie bawbees to a gentleman.

_Tourist_: No, no; the sixpence is for yourself.

_Jenny_: Oh, sir, it's ower muckle.

_Tourist_: What, do you object to take it?

_Jenny_: Na, na, sir; I wouldna' put that affront upon ye. But I'll gie
ye a bit o' advice for't. When ye're gaun awa' frae an inn in a hurry,
dinna be fashin' yersel' wi' mistresses, and misses, and bills; but just
say, "What's the lawin', lass?"

=Meanness versus Crustiness=

A rather mean and parsimonious old lady called one day upon David
Dreghorn, a well-known Glasgow fishmonger, saying, "Weel, Maister
Dreghorn, how are ye selling your half salmon the noo?"

David being in a rather cross humor, replied, "When we catch ony half
salmon, mem, we'll let ye ken!"

=Speeding the Parting Guest=

It is related of a noble Scottish lady of the olden time, who lived in a
remote part of the Highlands, and was noted for her profuse liberality,
that she was some times overburdened with habitual "sorners." When any
one of them outstayed his welcome, she would take occasion to say to him
at the morning meal, with an arch look at the rest of the company, "Mak'
a guid breakfast, Mr. ----, while ye're about it; ye dinna ken whaur
ye'll get your dinner." The hint was usually taken, and the "sorner"

="Things Which Accompany Salvation"=

"What d'ye think o' this great revival that's gaun on the noo, Jamie?"
asked a grocer of a brother tradesman.

"Weel," answered Jamie, "I canna say muckle about it, but I ken this--I
hae gotten in a gude wheen bawbees that I had given up lang syne as bad

=Lights and Livers=

Lord Cockburn, when at the bar, was pleading in a steamboat collision
case. The case turned on the fact of one of the steamers carrying no
lights, which was the cause of the accident. Cockburn insisting on this,
wound up his eloquent argument with this remark: "In fact, gentlemen,
had there been more _lights_, there would have been more _livers_."

=Both Short=

"Ye're unco' short the day, Saunders, surely," said an undersized
student to a Glasgow bookseller, one morning, when the latter was in an
irritable mood.

"Od, man," was the retort, "ye may haud your tongue; ye're no' sae lang

=His Own, With "Interest"=

"Coming from h--l, Lauchlan?" quoth a shepherd, proceeding on Sacrament
Sunday to the Free Church, and meeting a friend coming from the Church
of the Establishment.

"Better nor going to it, Rory," retorted Lauchlan, as he passed on.

="The Spigot's Oot"=

Lord Airlie remarked to one of his tenants that it was a very wet

"Indeed, my lord," replied the man, "I think the spigot's oot

=Looking After Himself=

A canny man, who had accepted the office of elder because some wag had
made him believe that the remuneration was a sixpence each Sunday and a
boll of meal on New Year's Day, officially carried round the ladle each
Sunday after service. When the year expired he claimed the meal, but was
told that he had been hoaxed.

"It may be sae wi' the meal," he replied, coolly, "but I took care o'
the saxpence mysel'."

=An Epitaph to Order=

The Rev. Dr. M'Culloch, minister of Bothwell at the end of last century,
was a man of sterling independence and great self-decision. To a
friend--Rev. Mr. Brisbane--he one day said, "You must write my epitaph
if you survive me."

"I will do that," said Mr. Brisbane; "and you shall have it at once,

Next morning he received the following:

     "Here lies, interred beneath this sod,
     That sycophantish man of God,
     Who taught an easy way to heaven,
     Which to the rich was always given;
     If he get in, he'll look and stare
     To find some out that he put there."

=A Variety Entertainment=

There used to be a waggish ostler at one of the chief inns at Hertford,
who delighted to make merry at the expense of any guests who gave
themselves airs. The manner of the ostler was extremely deferential, and
only those who knew him well were aware of the humor which almost always
lurked beneath his civil replies to the questions put to him. One day a
commercial traveler, a complete prig, who wanted to play the fine
gentleman, entered the inn, and having despatched his dinner, rang the
bell of the commercial room for "boots," who presently made his
appearance, when the following colloquy took place:

_Commercial_: "Dull town, this. Any amusements, Boots?"

_Boots_: "Yes, sir, please, sir; Musical Conversazione over the way at
the Shire Hall, sir. Half-a-crown admission, sir. Very nice, sir."

_Commercial_: "Ah, nice music, I dare say; I don't care for such things.
Is there nothing else, Boots?"

_Boots_: "Yes, sir, please, sir; Popular Entertainment at Corn Exchange,
admission one penny; gentlemen pay sixpence to front seats, sir, if they
please, sir."

_Commercial_: "Intensely vulgar! Are there no other amusements in this
confoundedly dull town?"

_Boots_: "Yes, sir, please sir; railway station at each end of the
town--walk down and see the trains come in."

=A Descriptive Hymn=

A minister in Orkney having been asked by the Rev. Mr. Spark, minister
of St. Magnus, to conduct service in his church, and also to baptize his
infant daughter, gave out for singing, before the baptismal service, a
portion of the fifth paraphrase, beginning:

     "As _sparks_ in quick succession rise."

As Mr. Spark's help-mate was a fruitful vine, and presented him with a
pledge of her affection every year, the titter among the congregation
was unmistakable and irresistible.

=A Vigorous Translation=

"What is the meaning of _ex nihilo nihil fit_?" asked a Highlander of a
village schoolmaster.

"Weel, Donald," answered the dominie, "I dinna mind the literal
translation; but it just means that ye canna tak' the breeks aff a

="Before the Provost!"=

The magistrates of the Scottish burghs, though respectable men, are
generally not the wealthiest in their respective communities. And it
sometimes happens, in the case of very poor and remote burghs, that
persons of a very inferior station alone can be induced to accept the
uneasy dignity of the municipal chair.

An amusing story is told regarding the town of L----, in B----shire,
which is generally considered as a peculiarly miserable specimen of
these privileged townships. An English gentleman approaching L---- one
day in a gig, his horse started at a heap of dry wood and decayed
branches of trees, which a very poor-looking old man was accumulating
upon the road, apparently with the intention of conveying them to town
for sale as firewood. The stranger immediately cried to the old man,
desiring him in no very civil terms, to clear the road that his horse
might pass. The old man, offended at the disrespectful language of the
complainant, took no notice of him, but continued to hew away at the

"You old dog," the gentleman then exclaimed, "I'll have you brought
before the provost, and put into prison for your disregard of the laws
of the road."

"Gang to the de'il, man, wi' your provost!" the woodcutter
contemptuously replied; "I'm provost mysel'."

=Denominational Graves=

For a short time after the disruption, an unkindly feeling existed
between the ministers of the Established Church and their protesting
brethren. Several "free" parishioners of Blackford, Perthshire, waited
on Mr. Clark, the established minister, and requested that they might
have the services of a non-Erastian sexton.

"Will you allow us, sir," said one of the deputation, "to dig our own

"Certainly, gentlemen," said Mr. Clark, "you are most welcome; and the
sooner the better!"

=Escaping Punishment=

An active-looking boy, aged about twelve years, was brought up before
Provost Baker, at the Rutherglen Burgh Court, charged with breaking into
gardens and stealing fruit therefrom. The charge having been
substantiated, the magistrate, addressing the juvenile offender, said in
his gravest manner: "If you had a garden, and pilfering boys were to
break into and steal your property, in what way would you like to have
them punished?"

"Aweel, sir," replied the prisoner, "I think I would let them awa' for
first time."

It is needless to add that the worthy provost was mollified, and that
the little fellow was dismissed with an admonition.

=Passing Remarks=

"There she goes," sneered an Englishman, as a Highlander marched past in
his tartans at a fair.

"There she lies," retorted Duncan, as he knocked the scorner down at a

=Scottish Vision and Cockney Chaff=

Two sharp youths from London, while enjoying themselves among the
heather in Argylshire, met with a decent-looking shepherd upon the top
of a hill. They accosted him by remarking: "You have a fine view here,
friend; you will be able to see a great way."

"Ou, ay, ou, ay, a ferry great way."

"Ah! you will see America from here?"

"Farther than that," said Donald.

"Ah! how's that?"

"Ou, juist wait till the mists gang awa', an' you'll see the mune!"

="The," and "The Other"=

When the chief of the Scottish clan, Macnab, emigrated to Canada with a
hundred clansmen, he, on arriving at Toronto, called on his namesake,
the late Sir Allen, and left his card as "_The_ Macnab." Sir Allen
returned his visit, leaving as his card, "The _other_ Macnab."

="Old Clo'"=

Christopher North had a great hatred of the "old clo'" men who infest
the streets. Coming from his class one day, a shabby Irishman asked him
in the usual confidential manner, "Any old clo', sir?"

"No;" replied the professor, imitating the whisper; "no, my dear
fellow,--have you?"

=Church Popularity=

"How is it, John," said a minister to his man, "that you never go a
message for me anywhere in the parish but you contrive to take too much
spirits? People don't offer _me_ spirits when I'm making visits in the

"Weel, sir," said John, "I canna precisely explain it, unless on the
supposition that I'm a wee bit mair popular wi' some o' the folks maybe
than you are."

=Wersh Parritch and Wersh Kisses=

Kirsty and Jenny, two country lassies, were supping their "parritch"
from the same bicker in the harvest-field one morning.

"Hech," said Kirsty to her neighbor, "Jenny, but thae's awfu' wersh

"'Deed are they," said Jenny, "they are that. D'ye ken what they put me
in mind o'? Just o' a kiss frae a body that ye dinna like."

=A Stranger in the Court of Session=

The "Daft Highland Laird," a noted character in Edinburgh at the latter
end of last century, one day accosted the Hon. Henry Erskine, as he was
entering the Parliament House. Erskine inquired of the "laird" how he

"Oh, very well!" answered the laird; "but I'll tell ye what, Harry, tak'
in _Justice_ wi' ye," pointing to one of the statues over the old porch
of the House; "for she has stood lang i' the outside, and it would be a
treat to see her inside, like other strangers!"

=Wit and Humor Under Difficulties=

Sandy Gordon, the town-crier of Maybole, was a character in his way. At
one period of his life he had been an auctioneer and appraiser, although
his "louring drouth" interfered sadly with the business, but neither
poverty nor misfortune could blunt Sandy's relish for a joke. One day,
going down the street he encountered his son riding on an ass.

"Weel, Jock," quoth he, "you're a riding on your brither."

"Ay, father," rejoined the son, "I didna ken this was ane o' yours tae."

At a neighboring village he had one day sold his shoes to slake his
thirst. After the transaction he was discovered seated on the roadside,
gazing on his bare feet, and soliloquizing in this strain--"Step forrit,
barefit Gordon, if it's no' _on_ you, it's _in_ you."

He was once taking a walk into the country, when he met Sir David Hunter

"Where are you for to-day, Gordon?" asked the baronet.

"Sir David," rejoined the crier, with some dignity, "if I was to ask
that of you, you would say I was ill-bred."

He had the misfortune once to break his leg in a drunken brawl, and a
hastily constructed litter was improvised to carry him home. Still his
characteristic humor did not leave him. "Canny boys," he would cry to
those carrying him, "keep the funeral step; tak' care o' my pipe; let
oor Jock tae the head, he's the chief mourner."

=An Affectionate Aunt=

A plain-spoken old Scottish lady, Mrs. Wanchope, of Nibbey, being very
ill, sent for Aunt Soph and said to her: "Soph, I believe I am dying;
will you be always kind to my children when I am gone?"

"Na, na; tak' yer spoilt deevils wi' ye," was the reply, "for I'll hae
naething ado wi' them!"

=A Discerning Fool=

"Jock, how auld will ye be?" said a sage wife to daft Jock Amos one day,
when talking of their ages.

"O, I dinna ken," said Jock; "it would tak' a wiser head than mine to
tell you that."

"It's an unco' queer thing you dinna ken hoo auld you are," returned the

"I ken weel eneuch how auld I _am_," answered Jock; "but I dinna ken how
auld _I'll be_." [24]

=A Law of Nature=

Principal Hill once encountered a fierce onslaught from the Rev. James
Burn in the General Assembly. When Mr. Burn had concluded his attack,
the professor rose, and said with a smile: "Moderator, we all know that
it is most natural that _Burns_ should _run down Hills_."

The laugh was effectually raised against his opponent, whose arguments
and assertions he then proceeded to demolish at his leisure.

=Ingenious Remedy for Ignorance=

When a former Prince of Wales was married, a Highland minister at
Greenock was praying for the happiness and welfare of the royal couple.
He was somewhat embarrassed as to how he should join the two names, but
at length he got over it thus:

"Lord bless _her_ royal highness the Prince of Wales, and _his_ royal
highness the _she_ prince!"

=Highland "Warldliness"=

At a breakfast there was abundance of Highland cheer, towering dishes of
scones, oatcakes, an enormous cheese, fish eggs and a monstrous
grey-beard of whiskey ready, if required; fumes of tobacco were floating
in the air, and the whole seemed an embodiment of the Highlander's
grace, "Oh, gie us rivers of whiskey, chau'ders o' snuff, and tons o'
tobacco, pread an' a cheese as pig as the great hill of Ben Nevis, and
may our childer's childer be lords and lairds to the latest
sheneration." On repeating this grace to an old hillsman of eighty,
leaning on his stick, he thoughtfully answered: "Weel, it's a goot
grace--a very goot grace--but it's a warldly thing!"

=A Paradox=

On Henry Erskine being told that Knox, who had long derived his
livelihood by keeping the door of the Parliament House, had been killed
by a shot from a small cannon on the king's birthday, he observed that
"it was remarkable that a man should live by the civil and die by the
can(_n_)on law."

=A Sensible Lass=

A Scottish gentleman, while walking in a meadow with some ladies, had
the impudence to snatch a kiss from one, unperceived by the rest. She
said indignantly, "Sir, I am not accustomed to such freedom."

"It will be the greater rarity, then, madam."

She flew from him, and ran towards her mother, who, alarmed at her
seeming terror, inquired what was the cause.

"She has taken fright at a rash buss," said the gentleman.

"O, ye idiot," said the mother, "go back this instant."

She returned, smiling, and said, "Do't again, it's no' forbidden."

=A Sad Loss=

An old lady was telling her grandchildren about some trouble in
Scotland, in the course of which the chief of her clan was beheaded.

"It was nae great thing of a head, bairns, to be sure," said the good
lady, "but it was a sad loss to him."


The minister called in upon the gudewife at Corset Hill one night, for
the purpose of catechising her.

"What is the Lord's Supper, Peggy?" he inquired.

"'Deed, sir," said the hostel wife, more intent on matters temporal than
on things spiritual, "there's nae lords come this way; but I'se tell ye
what a cadger's supper is--it's just a groat; and what they leave at
night they tak' awa' wi' them in their pouch in the morning."

=Lord Cockburn Confounded=

One day Lord Cockburn went into the Second Division of the Court of
Session, but came out again very hurriedly, meeting Lord Jeffrey at the

"Do you see any paleness about my face, Jeffrey?" asked Cockburn.

"No," replied Jeffrey; "I hope you're well enough."

"I don't know," said the other; "but I have just heard Bolus (Lord
Justice-Clerk Boyle) say: 'I _for one_ am of opinion that this case is
founded on the fundamental basis of a quadrilateral contract, the four
sides of which are agglutinated by adhesion!'"

"I think, Cockburn," said Jeffrey "that you had better go home."

="No Compliments"=

An aged divine had occasionally to avail himself of the assistance of
probationers. One day, a young man, very vain of his accomplishments as
a preacher, officiated, and, on descending from the pulpit, was met by
the old gentleman with extended hands. Expecting high praise, he said,
"No compliments, I pray."

"Na, na, na, my young friend," said the minister, "nowadays I'm glad o'

=A Sensible Servant=

A very old domestic servant of the familiar Scottish character common
long ago, having offended his master extremely, was commanded to leave
his service instantly.

"In troth, and that will I not," answered the domestic; "if your honor
disna ken when ye hae a gude servant, I ken when I hae a gude master,
and go away I will not."

On another occasion of the same nature the master said, "John, you and I
shall never sleep under the same roof again", to which John replied,
with much _naivete_, "Where the deil can your honor be ganging?"

=A Lesson in Manners=

William Martin was at one time a book auctioneer in Edinburgh. He was no
great scholar, and occasionally made some humorous blunders during the
exercise of his vocation. One night he made a clumsy attempt to unravel
the title of a French book. A young dandy, wishing to have the laugh at
Martin's expense, asked him to read the title again, as he did not quite
understand him.

"Oh!" said Martin, "it's something about manners, and that's what
neither you nor me has ower muckle o'."

=A Magnanimous Cobbler=

At a certain country election of a member of Parliament in the
Highlands, the popular candidate waited on a shoemaker to solicit his

"Get out of my house, sir," said the shoemaker; and the gentleman was
forced to retire accordingly. The cobbler, however, followed him and
called him back, saying, "You turned me off from your estate, sir, and I
was determined to turn you out of my house; but for all that, I'll give
you my vote."

=How Greyhounds are Produced=

At a certain mansion, notorious for its scanty fare, a gentleman was
inquiring of the gardener about a dog which he had given to the laird
some time before. The gardener showed him a lank greyhound, on which the
gentleman said: "No, no; the dog I gave your master was a mastiff, not a
greyhound"; to which the gardener quietly answered:

"Indeed, sir, ony dog would soon be turned into a greyhound if it
stoppit lang here."

=Vanity Scathingly Reproved=

Burns was dining with Maxwell of Terraughty, when one of the guests
chose to talk of the dukes and earls with whom he had drank or dined,
till the host and others got tired of him. Burns, however, silenced him
with an epigram:

     "What of earls, with whom you have supped?
     And of dukes, that you dined with yestreen?
     Lord! a louse, sir, is still but a louse,
     Though it crawls on the curls of a queen."

=Gratifying Industry!=

In Galloway large craigs are met with having ancient writing on them.
One on the farm of Knockleby has, cut deep on the upper side:

     "Lift me up and I'll tell you more."

A number of people gathered to this craig, and succeeded in lifting it
up, in hopes of being well repaid; but, instead of finding any gold,
they found written on it:

     "Lay me down as I was before."

=The Force of Habit=

Some years ago a Scotch gentleman, who went to London for the first
time, took the uppermost story of a lodging-house, and was very much
surprised to get what he thought the genteelest place of the whole at
the lowest price. His friends who came to see him, in vain acquainted
him with the mistake he had been guilty of.

"He ken't very weel," he said, "what gentility was; and after having
lived all his life in a sixth story, he had not come to London to live
upon the ground."

=Significant Advice=

A church in the north country which required a pastor had a beadle who
took an active interest in all the proceedings taken to fill up the

One of the candidates, after the afternoon service was over, put off his
cloak in the vestry and slipped into the church, in which our worthy was
just putting things to rights.

"I was just taking a look at the church," said the minister.

"Ay, tak' a guid look at it," said the beadle, "for it's no' likely
ye'll ever see't again."

=A "Wigging"=

The Rev. Dr. Macleod (father of the late Dr. Norman Macleod) was
proceeding to open a new place of worship.

As he passed slowly and gravely through the crowd gathered about the
doors, an elderly man, with the peculiar kind of a wig known in that
district--bright, smooth and of a reddish brown--accosted him:

"Doctor, if you please, I wish to speak to you."

"Well, Duncan," said the venerable doctor, "can ye not wait till after

"No, doctor; I must speak to you now, for it is a matter upon my

"Oh, since it is a matter of conscience, tell me what it is; but be
brief, Duncan, for time presses."

"The matter is this, doctor. Ye see the clock yonder on the face of the
new church? Well, there is no clock really there--nothing but the face
of the clock. There is no truth in it, but only once in the twelve
hours. Now it is, in my mind, very wrong, and quite against my
conscience, that there should be a lie on the face of the house of the

"Duncan, I will consider the point. I am glad to see you looking so
well. You are not young now; I remember you for many years; and what a
fine head of hair you have still!"

"Eh, doctor, you are joking now; it is long since I have had my hair."

"Oh, Duncan, Duncan, are you going into the house of the Lord with a lie
upon your head?"

This settled the question, and the doctor heard no more of the lie on
the face of the clock.

=A Poacher's Prayer=

Jamie Hamilton, a noted poacher at Crawfordjohn, was once asked by a
woman to pray for a poor old woman who was lying at the point of death.

"I canna pray," said he.

"But ye maun do't, Jamie," said the woman.

"Weel, if I maun do't, I maun do't, but I haena muckle to say," said

Being placed beside the dying woman, the poacher, with thoughts more
intent upon hares than prayers, said "O Lord, thou kens best Thyself how
the case stands between Thee and auld Eppie: but sin' ye hae baith the
haft and the blade in your ain hand, just guide the gully as best suits
Thy ain glory and her guid. Amen!"

Could a bishop have said more in as few words?

=Broader than He was Long=

Mr. Dale, whose portrait figures in _Kay_, was very short in stature,
and also very stout.

Having mentioned to a friend one day that "he had slipped on the ice,
and fallen all his length"--

"Be thankful, sir," was the consolatory and apt reply, "that it was not
all your breadth!"

="Prayer, with Thanksgiving"=

On one occasion, a clergyman eminent for his piety and simplicity of
heart, but also noted for his great eccentricity of character, surprised
his hearers by introducing the following passage into one of his
prayers: "Oh Lord! we desire to offer our grateful thanks unto Thee for
the seasonable relief which Thou has sent to the poor of this place,
from thine inexhaustible storehouse in the great deep, and which every
day we hear called upon our streets, 'Fine fresh herrings, sax a penny!
sax a penny!'"

=An Extra Shilling to Avoid a Calamity=

A farmer having buried his wife, waited upon the grave-digger who had
performed the necessary duties, to pay him fees. Being of a niggardly
disposition, he endeavored to get the knight of the spade to abate his

The patience of the latter becoming exhausted, he grasped his shovel
impulsively, and, with an angry look, exclaimed: "Doon wi' another
shillin', or--up she comes!" The threat had the desired effect.

=Putting off a Duel and Avoiding a Quarrel=

At a convivial meeting of the Golfing Society at Bruntsfield Links,
Edinburgh, on one occasion, a Mr. Megget took offence at something which
Mr. Braidwood, father of the lamented superintendent of the London Fire
Brigade, had said. Being highly incensed, he desired the latter to
follow him to the Links, and he "would do for him."

Without at all disturbing himself, Mr. Braidwood pleasantly replied:
"Mr. Megget, if you will be so good as to go out to the Links, and _wait
till I come_, I will be very much obliged to you."

This produced a general burst of laughter, in which his antagonist could
not refrain from joining; and it had the effect of restoring him to good
humor for the remainder of the evening.

=A Test of Literary Appreciation=

Dr. Ranken, of Glasgow, wrote a very ponderous _History of France_.
Wishing to learn how it was appreciated by the public, he went to
Stirling's Library _incognito_, and inquired "if Dr. Ranken's _History
of France_ was in?"

Mr. Peat, the caustic librarian, curtly replied: "In! it never was out!"


"Pray, Lord Robertson," said a lady to that eminent lawyer at a party,
"can you tell me what sort of a bird the bul-bul is?"

"I suppose, ma'am," replied the humorous judge, "it is the male of the

=A Practical View of Matrimony=

"Fat's this I hear ye're gaun to dee, Jeannie," said an Aberdeen lass to
another young woman.

"Weel, Maggie, lass, I'm just gaun to marry that farm ower by there, and
live wi' the bit mannie on't."

=Winning the Race Instead of the Battle=

When Sir John Copse fled from Dunbar, the fleetness of his horse carried
him foremost, upon which a sarcastic Scotsman complimented him by
saying, "Deed, sir, but ye hae won the race: win the battle wha like!"

="After You, Leddies"=

Will Hamilton, the "daft man o' Ayr," was once hanging about the
vicinity of a loch, which was partially frozen. Three young ladies were
deliberating as to whether they should venture upon the ice, when one of
them suggested that Will should be asked to walk on first. The proposal
was made to him.

"Though I'm daft, I'm no' ill-bred," quickly responded Will; "after you,

="Ursa Major"=

Boswell expatiating to his father, Lord Auchinleck, on the learning and
other qualities of Dr. Johnson, concluded by saying, "He is the grand
luminary of our hemisphere--quite a constellation, sir."

"Ursa Major, I suppose," dryly responded the judge.

=Sheridan's Pauses=

A Scottish minister had visited London in the early part of the present
century, and seen, among other tricks of pulpit oratory, "Sheridan's
Pauses" exhibited. During his first sermon, after his return home, he
took occasion at the termination of a very impassioned and highly
wrought sentence or paragraph, to stop suddenly, and pause in "mute
unbreathing silence."

The precentor, who had taken advantage of his immemorial privilege to
sleep out the sermon, imagining, from the cessation of sound, that the
discourse was actually brought to a close, started up, with some degree
of agitation, and in an audible, though somewhat tremulous voice read
out his usual, "Remember in prayer----"

"Hoot man!" exclaimed the good-natured orator over his head, placing at
the same time his hand upon his shoulder: "hout, Jamie, man, what's the
matter wi' ye the day; d'ye no ken I hae nae done yet?-- That's only ane
o' Sheridan's pauses, man!"

=Absent in Mind, and Body, Too=

The Rev. John Duncan, the Hebrew scholar, was very absent-minded, and
many curious stories are told of this awkward failing.

On one occasion he had arranged to preach in a certain church a few
miles from Aberdeen.

He set out on a pony in good time, but when near the end of his journey
he felt a desire to take a pinch of snuff. The wind, however, blowing in
his face, he turned the head of the pony round, the better to enjoy the
luxury. Pocketing his snuff-box, he started the pony without again
turning it in the proper direction, and did not discover his error until
he found himself in Union Street, Aberdeen, at the very time he ought to
have entered the pulpit seven miles off.

On another occasion he was invited to dinner at the house of a friend,
and was shown into a bedroom to wash his hands.

After a long delay, as he did not appear, his friend went to the room,
and, behold! there lay the professor snugly in bed, and fast asleep!

=Prof. Aytoun's Courtship=

After Prof. Aytoun had made proposals of marriage to Miss Emily Jane
Wilson, daughter of "Christopher North," he was, as a matter of course,
referred to her father. As Aytoun was uncommonly diffident, he said to
her, "Emily, my dear, you must speak to him for me. I could not summon
courage to speak to the professor on this subject."

"Papa is in the library," said the lady.

"Then you had better go to him," said the suitor, "and I'll wait here
for you."

There being apparently no help for it, the lady proceeded to the
library, and taking her father affectionately by the hand, mentioned
that Aytoun had asked her in marriage. She added, "Shall I accept this
offer, papa; he is so shy and diffident, that he cannot speak to you

"Then we must deal tenderly with him," said the hearty old man. "I'll
write my reply on a slip of paper, and pin it on your back."

"Papa's answer is on the back of my dress," said Miss Wilson, as she
re-entered the drawing-room.

Turning round, the delighted swain read these words: "With the author's

=A Sad Drinking Bout=

The following story of an occurrence at one of the drinking bouts in
Scotland, at which the Laird of Garscadden took his last draught, has
often been told, but it will bear repetition. The scene occurred in the
wee clachan of Law, where a considerable number of Kilpatrick lairds had
congregated for the ostensible purpose of talking over some parish
business. And well they talked and better drank, when one of them, about
the dawn of the morning, fixing his eye on Garscadden, remarked that he
was "looking unco' gash."

Upon which the Laird of Kilmardinny coolly replied, "Deil mean him,
since he has been wi' his Maker these twa hours! I saw him step awa',
but I dinna like to disturb guid company!"

The following epitaph on this celebrated Bacchanalian plainly indicates
that he was held in no great estimation among his neighbors:

     "Beneath this stane lies auld Garscad,
       Wha lived a neighbor very bad;
     Now, how he finds and how he fares,
       The deil ane kens, and deil ane cares."

=Not Surprised=

Benjamin Greig, one of the last specimens of tie-wig and powder gentry,
and a rich old curmudgeon to boot, one day entered the shop of Mr.
Walker--better known, however, by the nickname of "Sugar Jock"--and
accosting him, said, "Are you no' muckle astonished to hear that Mr.
L---- has left £20,000?"

"Weel, Mr. Greig," replied "Sugar," "I wad hae been mair astonished to
hear that he had ta'en it wi' him."

Greig gave a grunt and left the shop.

=The Best Crap=

A baby was out with its nurse, who walked it up and down a garden.

"Is't a laddie or a lassie, Jess?" asked the gardener.

"A laddie," said the maid.

"Weel," said he, "I'm glad o' that; there's ower mony lasses in the
world already."

"Hech, man," said Jess, "div ye no ken there's aye maist sawn o' the
best crap?"

=A Marriage "Not Made in Heaven"=

Watty Marshall was a simple, useless, good-for-nothing body, who somehow
or other got married to a terrible shrew of a wife. Finding out that she
had made a bad bargain, she resolved to have the best of it, and
accordingly abused and thrashed her luckless spouse to such an extent
that he, in despair, went to the minister to get unmarried.

The parson told him that he could do him no such service as marriages
were made in heaven.

"Made in heaven, sir," cried Watty; "it's a lee! I was marriet i' your
ain kitchen, wi' your twa servant hizzies looking on! I doubt ye hae
made an awfu' mistake wi' my marriage, sir, for the muckle fire that was
bleezing at the time made it look far mair like the other place! What a
life I'll hae to lead, baith in this world and the next, for that
blunder o' yours, minister!"

="Another Opportunity"=

An old gentleman named Scott was engaged in the "affair of the '15" (the
Rebellion of 1715) and with some difficulty was saved from the gallows
by the intercession by the Duchess of Buccleuch and Monmouth. Her grace,
who maintained considerable authority over her clan, sent for the object
of her intercession and, warning him of the risk which he had run and
the trouble she had taken on his account, wound up her lecture by
intimating that, in case of such disloyalty again, he was not to expect
her interest in his favor.

"An' it please your grace," said the stout old Tory, "I fear I am too
old to see another opportunity."

=A Night in a Coal-cellar=

One night, sitting later than usual, sunk in the profundities of a great
folio tome, the Rev. Dr. Wightman of Kirkmahol imagined he heard a sound
in the kitchen inconsistent with the quietude and security of a manse,
and so taking his candle he proceeded to investigate the cause. His foot
being heard in the lobby, the housekeeper began with all earnestness to
cover the fire, as if preparing for bed.

"Ye're late up to-night, Mary."

"I'm jist rakin' the fire, sir, and gaun to bed."

"That's right, Mary; I like timeous hours."

On his way back to the study he passed the coal-closet, and, turning the
key, took it with him. Next morning, at an early hour, there was a rap
at his bedroom door, and a request for the key to put a fire on.

"Ye're too soon up, Mary; go back to your bed yet."

Half an hour later there was another knock, and a similar request in
order to prepare the breakfast.

"I don't want breakfast so soon, Mary; go back to your bed."

Another half an hour and another knock with an entreaty for the key, as
it was washing day. This was enough. He rose and handed out the key
saying, "go and let the man out."

Mary's sweetheart had been imprisoned all night in the coal-closet, as
the minister shrewdly suspected, and, Pyramis-and-Thisbe-like, they had
breathed their love to each other through the key-hole. [25]

=Not Quite an Ass=

James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson, was distinguished in his
private life by his humor and power of repartee. He has been described
as a man in whose face it was impossible at any time to look without
being inclined to laugh. The following is one of his good things: As he
was pleading one day at the Scotch bar before his father, Lord
Auchinleck, who was at that time what is called Ordinary on the Bills
(judge of cases in the first stage), the testy old senator, offended at
something his son said, peevishly exclaimed: "Jamie, ye're an ass, man."

"Not exactly, my lord," answered the junior; "only a colt, the foal of
an ass."

=A Cute Gaoler=

Before the adoption of the police act in Airdrie, a worthy named Geordie
G---- had the surveillance of the town. A drunken, noisy Irishman was
lodged in a cell, who caused an "awful row" by kicking at the cell-door
with his heavy boots. Geordie went to the cell, and opening the door a
little, said:

"Man, ye micht put aff yer buits, and I'll gie them a bit rub, so that
ye'll be respectable like afore the bailie in the mornin'."

The prisoner complied with his request, and saw his mistake only when
the door was closed upon him, Geordie crying out:

"Ye can kick as lang as ye like, noo."

=Not Qualified to Baptize=

The only amusement in which Ralph Erskine, the father of the Scottish
Secession, indulged, was playing the violin. He was so great a
proficient on this instrument, and so often beguiled his leisure hours
with it, that the people of Dumfermline believed he composed his sermons
to its tones, as a poet writes a song to a particular air. They also
tell the following anecdote connected with the subject:

A poor man in one of the neighboring parishes, having a child to
baptize, resolved not to employ his own clergyman, with whom he was at
issue on certain points of doctrine, but to have the office performed by
some minister of whose tenets fame gave a better report.

With the child in his arms, therefore, and attended by the full
complement of old and young women who usually minister on such
occasions, he proceeded to the manse of ----, some miles off (not that
of Mr. Erskine), where he inquired if the clergyman was at home.

"Na; he's no' at hame yeenoo," answered the servant lass; "he's down the
burn fishing; but I can soon cry him in."

"Ye needna gie yoursel' the trouble," replied the man, quite shocked at
this account of the minister's habits; "nane o' your fishin' ministers
shall bapteeze my bairn."

Off he then trudged, followed by his whole train, to the residence of
another parochial clergyman, at the distance of some miles. Here, on
inquiring if the minister was at home, the lass answered:

"'Deed he's no' at home the day, he's been out since sax i' the morning
at the shooting. Ye needna wait, neither; for he'll be sae made out when
he comes back, that he'll no' be able to say bo to a calf, let-a-be
kirsen a wean!"

"Wait, lassie!" cried the man in a tone of indignant scorn; "wad I wait,
d'ye think, to haud up my bairn before a minister that gangs oot at six
i' the morning to shoot God's creatures? I'll awa down to gude Mr.
Erskine at Dumfermline; and he'll be neither out at the fishing nor
shooting, I think."

The whole baptismal train then set off for Dumfermline, sure that the
Father of the Secession, although not now a placed minister, would at
least be engaged in no unclerical sports, to incapacitate him for
performing the sacred ordinance in question.

On their arriving, however, at the house of the clergyman, which they
did not do until late in the evening, the man, on rapping at the door,
anticipated that he would not be at home any more than his brethren, as
he heard the strains of a fiddle proceeding from the upper chamber. "The
minister will not be at home," he said, with a sly smile to the girl who
came to the door, "or your lad wadna be playing that gait t'ye on the

"The minister _is_ at hame," quoth the girl; "mair by token, it's
himsel' that's playing, honest man; he aye takes a tune at night, before
he gangs to bed. Faith, there's nae lad o' mine can play that gait; it
wad be something to tell if ony o' them could."

"_That_ the minister playing!" cried the man in a degree of astonishment
and horror far transcending what he had expressed on either of the
former occasions. "If _he_ does this, what may the rest no' do? Weel, I
fairly gie them up a'thegither. I have traveled this haill day in search
o' a godly minister, and never man met wi' mair disappointment in a
day's journey." "I'll tell ye what, gudewife," he added, turning to the
disconsolate party behind, "we'll just awa' back to our ain minister
after a'. He's no' a'thegither sound, it's true; but let him be what he
likes in doctrine, deil hae me if ever I kenk him fish, shoot, or play
on the fiddle a' his days!"

=One Scotchman Outwitted by Another=

Some years since, before the sale of game was legalized, and a present
of it was thought worth the expense of carriage, an Englishman who had
rented a moor within twenty miles of Aberdeen, wishing to send a ten
brace box of grouse to his friends in the south, directed his gilly to
procure a person to take the box to the capital of the north, from
whence the London steamer sailed. Not one, however, of the miserably
poor tenants in the neighborhood could be found who would take the box
for a less sum than eight shillings. This demand was thought so
unreasonable, that the Englishman complained to a Scotch friend who was
shooting along with him.

The Scotchman replied that "the natives always make a point of imposing
as much as possible upon strangers; but," he said "if you will leave it
to me, I will manage it for you; for with all their knavery, they are
the simplest people under the sun."

A few days afterwards, going out shooting, they saw a man loading his
cart with peats, when the Scotchman, approaching him, said, after the
usual salutation--"What are you going to do with the peats?"

"I'm going to Aberdeen to sell them," was the reply.

"What do you get for them?"

"One shilling and eightpence, sir."

"Indeed! Well, I will buy them, if you will be sure to deliver them for
me at Aberdeen."

"That I will, and thank you, too, sir."

All agreed, the Scotchman resumed his walk for about twenty yards, when
he suddenly turned round and said: "By-the-by, I have a small box I want
taken to the same place. You can place it on the top of the peats?"

"That I will, and welcome, sir."

"Well, if you will call at the lodge in the evening, I will give you the
direction for the peats, and you can have the box at the same time."

He did so, and actually carried the box, and gave a load of peats for
one shilling and eightpence, although neither the same man nor any of
his neighbors would forward the box _alone_ for less than eight

=Quaint Old Edinburgh Ministers=

There was wee Scotty, o' the Coogate Kirk; and a famous preacher he was
at the height o' his popularity. But he was sadly bathered wi' his
flock, for they kept him aye in het water.

Ae day he was preaching on Job. "My brethren," says he, "Job, in the
first place, was a sairly-tried man; Job, in the second place, was an
uncommonly patient man; Job, in the third place, never preached in the
Coogate; fourthly and lastly, had Job preached _there_, the Lord help
his patience."

       *       *       *       *       *

At anither time, before the service began, when there was a great noise
o' folk gaun into their seats, he got up in the pu'pit an' cried
out--"Oh, that I could hear the pence rattle in the plate at the door
wi' half the noise ye mak' wi' yer cheepin' shoon! Oh, that Paul had
been here wi' a long wudden ladle! for yer coppers are strangers in a
far country, an' as for yer silver an' gold--let us pray!"

       *       *       *       *       *

An' there was Deddy Weston, wha began ane o' his Sunday morning services
in this manner: "My brethren, I'll divide my discourse the day into
three heads: _Firstly_, I'll tell ye something that I ken, an' you dinna
ken. _Secondly_, I'll tell ye something that you ken, an' I dinna ken.
_Thirdly_, I'll tell ye something that neither you nor me ken.
_Firstly_, Coming ower a stile this mornin', my breeks got an unco'
skreed. That's something that I ken, an' you dinna ken. _Secondly_, What
you're gaun to gie Charlie Waddie, the tailor, for mendin' my breeks, is
what you ken, an' I dinna ken. _Thirdly_, What Charlie Waddie's to tak'
for mendin' my breeks, is what neither you nor me ken. _Finally and
lastly_, Hand round the ladle."

       *       *       *       *       *

An' there was Doctor Dabster, that could pit a bottle or twa under his
belt, an' was neither up nor down. But an unco' bitter body was he when
there was a sma' collection. Before the service began, the beadle
generally handed him a slip of paper stating the amount collected. Ae
day a' the siller gathered was only twa' shillin's an' ninepence; an' he
could never get this out o' his head through the whole of his sermon.

He was aye spunkin oot noo an' then. "It's the land o' Canawn ye're
thrang strivin' after," says he; "The land o' Canawn, eh?--twa an'
ninepence! yes, ye're sure to gang there! I think I see ye! Nae doot
ye'll think yersel's on the richt road for't. Ask yer consciences, an'
see what they'll say. Ask them, an' see what they'll say. Ask them, an'
what _will_ they say? I'll tell ye: 'Twa miserable shillin's an'
ninepence is puir passage-money for sic a lang journey!' What?
Twa-an'-ninepence! As weel micht a coo gang up a tree tail foremost, an'
whistle like a superannuated mavis, as get to Canawn for that!" [26]


[1] Said by Burns, at the request of the Earl of Selkirk.


=Aa. I.=

_Aboon._ Above.

_Ae._ One.

_Aff._ Off.

_Afit._ Afoot.

_Aiblins._ Perhaps, possibly.

_Ain._ Own.

_Ane._ One.

_A'thegither._ Altogether.

_Auchteenpence._ Eighteenpence.

_Aught._ Eight.

_Auld._ Old.

_Ava._ At all.

_Awn._ Own.

_Aye._ Always.

=Babble-ment. Confusion.=

_Bairns._ Children.

_Baith._ Both.

_Bane._ Bone.

_Bauld._ Bold.

_Bawbee._ A half-penny.

_Begond._ Began.

_Belyve._ Immediately, quickly.

_Ben._ Towards; towards the inner; the inner room of a house.

_Blate, blait._ Bashful.

_Blinkit._ Flashed, glanced.

_Birkies._ Lively young fellows.

_Blude._ Blood.

_Bobshanks._ Knees.

_Braes._ The sides of hills.

_Braik._ Break.

_Braw._ Fine, gay, worthy, handsome.

_Bree._ Soup, sauce, juice.

_Brig._ Bridge.

_Brocht._ Brought.

_Brose._ A kind of pottage made by pouring hot water on oatmeal, and
stirring while the water is poured.

_Bucky._ Hind quarters (of a hare).

_Buits._ Boots.

_Buss._ Kiss.

=Canny. Cautious, Prudent.=

_Cantrip._ Charm, spell, trick.

_Carle, carl._ A man, as distinguished from a boy.

_Carline._ An old woman.

_Cauld._ Cold.

_Caup._ Cup, wooden bowl.

_Chapping._ Striking.

_Chau'ders._ Denoting large quantities.

_Cheekit._ Entrapped.

_Chiel._ A stripling, a fellow, a servant.

_Chwat._ What.

_Clachan._ Clan.

_Claes._ Clothes.

_Clan._ Tribe.

_Con'le-licht._ Candle-light.

_Coo._ Cow.

_Cuddy._ Donkey.

_Crackit._ Cracked.

_Crand._ Grand.

_Craw._ Crow.

_Crouse._ Boldly, lively, brisk.

_Custrin._ Silly.

_Cutties._ Short spoons.

=Dae. Do.=

_Daft._ Foolish, gay, giddy, wanton.

_Daunder._ To wander.

_Deavin'._ Deafening.

_Dee._ Die.

_Deil._ Devil.

_Ding._ To beat.

_Dinna._ Do not.

_Dittha._ Do they.

_Dochter._ Daughter.

_Douce._ Sedate, sober.

_Doit._ Numskull.

_Doup._ The breech, the bottom or extremity of anything.

_Dour._ Bold, inflexible, obstinate, stern.

_Drap._ A drop; to drop.

_Drookit._ Soaked.

_Droon't._ Drowned.

_Dub-shouper._ Gutter-cleaner.

_Durdham._ Squabble.

=E'e. Eye.=

_E'en._ Eyes; even.

_Eer._ Air.

_Eneuch._ Enough.

_E'enow._ Even now.

_Extrornar._ Extraordinary.

=Faa'. Fall.=

_Fack._ Fact

_Far eist?_ Where is it?

_Far was't?_ Where was it?

_Fash._ Trouble.

_Fat?_ What?

_Faud._ Found.

_Faut._ Fault.

_Fecht._ Fight.

_Feck._ A term denoting space, quantity, number; _the feck o' them_
means "the most part of them."

_Feckled._ Made weak.

_Feine._ Fine.

_Ferry._ Very.

_Fifish._ Somewhat deranged.

_Fleg, fley._ To frighten.

_Flit, flyt._ To change, to remove, to transport. Commonly used of
changing one's residence.

_Fluir._ Floor.

_Flyte, Flytings._ To scold, scolding.

_Fog._ Moss.

_Forebears._ Ancestors.

_Forrit._ Forward.

_Fortnicht._ Fortnight.

_Foo'._ A fool, through being drunk.

_Fou, fu'._ Drunk, full.

_Fouk._ Folk.

_Freens._ Friends, relatives.

_Fremit._ Strange.

_Fules._ Fools.

_Fund._ Found.

=Gaed. Went.=

_Gait._ Way.

_Gang._ Go.

_Gars._ Causes, makes.

_Gash._ Ghastly.

_Gav'd._ Made, induced.

_Gey, gay._ Moderately.

_Gied._ Gave.

_Gin._ If.

_Glint._ Sight, glimpse.

_Gowd, goud._ Gold.

_Gowk, golk._ Cuckoo, fool.

_Greetin', greitin._ Crying, the act of.

_Grit._ Great.

_Grond._ Grand.

_Grup._ Grip.

_Gude, guid._ Good.

_Gully._ A large knife.

=Hae. Have.=

_Haggis._ A pudding, made in a sheep's stomach, with oatmeal, suet, the
heart, liver and lungs of the sheep, minced down and seasoned with salt,
pepper, and onions, and boiled for use.

_Haist._ Haste.

_Hale._ Whole.

_Haudin'._ Holding, keeping.

_Haveril._ One who talks habitually in a foolish manner.

_Heck, hech, high._ To pant, to breathe hard; an exclamation which
expresses a condition of breathlessness.

_Heid._ Head.

_Hemmel._ A cow without horns.

_Het._ Hot.

_Hielans._ Highlands.

_Hirple._ To move in a halting manner, as if crippled or momentarily
injured, as by a blow.

_Hoo._ How.

_Hunner._ Hundred.

_Hurdham._ Squabble.

_Hustrin._ Lascivious.

=Ilka, ilk. Every, each.=

_Intil, intill._ In, into.

_Intil't._ Into it.

=Jalouse. Expect, guess.=

_Jaud._ Jade.

=Keeking, keiking. Looking= with a prying eye, peeping.

_Kame, kaim._ To comb, comb, honeycomb.

_Ken._ To know; to be acquainted; to understand.

_Kintra._ Country.

_Kirk._ Church.

_Kirsen._ To christen.

=Laird. A man of superior= rank; the owner of a property.

_Lang._ Long, to long or yearn.

_Langsyne._ Long since.

_Lawin'._ A tavern bill.

_Leear._ Liar.

_Lees._ Lies.

_Leeve._ Live.

_Leeving._ Living.

_Lippened._ Trusted, depended.

_Li-thall._ Lethal, deadly, mortal.

_Loon._ Clown, fool.

_Lugs._ Ears.

_Lum, lumb._ Chimney.

_Louring drouth._ Thirst.

=Mair. More.=

_Mairret._ Married.

_Maun._ Must.

_Meikle._ See "Muckle."

_Micht._ Might.

_Misca'._ Miscall.

_Modiwarts, modywarts, moudicworts._ Moles.

_Mon._ See "Maun."

_Muckle._ Much, great.

_Mune._ Moon.

=Nit. Nut.=

_Noo._ Now.

=Ocht. Ought.=

_Oot._ Out.

=Parritch. Porridge.=

_Pawkily, paukily._ Slily, artfully.

_Pawpish._ Popish.

_Poother._ Powder.

_Pow._ The head; a slow rivulet--one moving on lands nearly flat.

_Provost._ The mayor of a burgh or township.

_Puir._ Poor.

=Rale. Real.=

_Reekit._ Smoked.

_Reestit._ Smoke-dried.

_Richt._ Right.

_Rippet._ A difference of opinion such as to estrange; a quarrel.

=Sair. Sore.=

_Scart._ To scratch; to scrape money together; to scrape a dish with a

_Sclate, sclait._ Slate.

_Scoonril._ Scoundrel.

_Sheltie._ A Shetland pony.

_Shoost._ Just.

_Sic._ Such.

_Sicht._ Sight.

_Siller._ Silver.

_Sink._ Think.

_Skalin'._ Dispersing, retiring, spilling.

_Skelpin'._ Clapping, applause.

_Skirl._ To cry shrilly, shriek.

_Sleekit._ Smooth, shining, oily.

_Sma'._ Small.

_Smiddy._ A smith's shop, smithy.

_Sneeshin'._ Sneezing.

_Sooming._ Swimming.

_Sorners_ Spongers, loiterers.

_Southrons._ Those who live in the south.

_Spier, speir._ To ask.

_Spigot._ Peg, vent-peg.

_Spune._ Spoon.

_Stane._ Stone.

_Strae._ Straw.

_Strathspeys._ A dance tune for two.

_Steekit._ Soon.

_Suppone._ Suppose.

_Syne._ Since.

=Tacket. A nail of a shoe.=

_Tae._ The toe.

_Taes._ Toes.

_Taigle._ Confound.

_Tauld._ Told.

_Thae._ Those (just referred to).

_Thocht, thoucht._ Thought.

_Thrang._ Busy, pressed, crowded, thronged.

_Tift._ Coolness, estrangement.

_Tint._ Lost.

_Toom._ Empty.

_Trow._ To believe.

_Twa._ Two.

=Unco'. Unknown, very, extra.=

=Wad. Would.=

_Wadna._ Would not.

_Wanse._ Once.

_Ware._ Trouble, fuss.

_Wast._ West.

_Wean (wee-ane)._ A child, little one.

_Wee._ Small, little, a short time.

_Weed._ Wild.

_Wersh._ Insipid to the taste.

_Wha._ Who.

_Whaur._ Where.

_Wheen._ A number, quantity, division.

_Whets._ What is, that which is.

_Whilk._ Which.

_Worilt._ World.

_Wot._ To know.

_Wowf._ Half-mad.

_Wud._ Would.

_Wull._ Will.

_Wunnering._ Wondering.

=Yestreen. Last night.=

_Yirth._ Earth.

Out of School Series

It is the intention of the publishers to include in this series only the
best copyright stories for boys and girls by well-known popular authors.
This idea has been kept in mind in making the selections, and we can
heartily recommend any or all of the stories.

=A Roman Maiden=

     =By Emma Marshall, author of "Fanny and Her Friends," "Master
     Martin," etc., etc. 12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. $1.00.=

A quaint story of the fourth century which maids of the twentieth
century will thoroughly enjoy. Hyacintha is the daughter of one of the
most noble houses of Rome, and as such she is permitted to enter the
Temple of Vesta as a Vestal Virgin; the greatest honor possible to a
daughter of Rome. The charm and simplicity of life in the Temple of
Vesta are beautifully described, and a tender little love story gives to
the book the needed touch of romance.

=The Worst Boy in Town=

     =By John Habberton, author of "Helen's Babies," "Phil Fuzzytop,"
     etc., etc. Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth. $1.00.=

What Tom Hughes did for the Rugby boy, Habberton has in this volume done
for the American village lad. The book is manly and valuable.--_New York

The "worst boy" is simply a lad whose exuberant spirits are eternally
leading him into pranks. * * * A pleasant volume for the Boys'
Library.--_Detroit Free Press._

=A Little Turning Aside=

     =By Barbara Yechton, author of "We Ten," "Derrick," etc.
     Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth. $1.00.=

[Illustration: book front cover]

The book is as dainty and charming as any published in years. The cover
design and illustrations are in keeping with the story itself.--_Troy
Daily Times._

We recommend the book with pleasure.--_Boston Courier._

It is an excellent book for girls, old and young, and should find a
place in every home.--_Lutheran Observer._

A bright and wholesome story.--_The Advance._

=The Little Ladies of Ellenwood=

     =And Their Hidden Treasure. By Sarah G. Connell. Illustrated. 12mo.
     Cloth. $1.00.=

A delightful story for young people. It has a freshness, interest and
purity solely its own.--_St. Paul Dispatch._

A story with a moral, and a good one at that. Well and entertainingly
told and the characters are ably portrayed.--_Burlington Hawkeye._

Sarah G. Connell has written a story in which all the children will
delight. It tells of a family of six children who had been reared in
luxury by their loving father, and how, when bankruptcy darkened their
doors, they all took hold to make life in their altered circumstances
still happy and all the more worth living. The story is well told, and
there is enough fun scattered through its pages to make the reading
joyously interesting. It is a book which every child will
enjoy.--_Boston Times._

A fresh story which will hold the attention of young folk, especially
girls.--_Living Church._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

For some unexplained reason, a few anecdotes appear twice.

Some possible typographical errors have not been altered, as they
might reflect acceptable spelling at the time the book was written.

Numerous punctuation marks have been inserted or amended.

Hyphenation: the following variants appear in this text:

   "bell-man" and "bellman", "church-yard" and "churchyard",
   "game-keeper" and "gamekeeper", "great-grandfather" and
   "greatgrandfather", "help-mate" and "helpmate",
   "Highland-man" and "Highlandman", "hill-side" and
   "hillside", "nick-name" and "nickname".

On p. 17, the reference number [38] is almost certainly wrong, but it is
impossible to determine what the correct number should be.

On p. 102, "droughty" should possibly be "drouthy" but has not been

Incorrect page numbers in the Table of Contents have been silently
corrected. Similarly, titles of anecdotes have been silently corrected
to match the entries in the Table of Contents.

The following typographical amendments have been made:

p. 8 "mannderings" amended to "maunderings";

p. 9 "Peter Peeble's" amended to "Peter Peebles'";

p. 15 "denouément" amended to "dénouement";

p. 17 "lear" amended to "leear";

p. 18 "Reminiscenses" amended to "Reminiscences";

p. 44 "hapdened" amended to "happened";

p. 46 "causus belli" amended to "casus belli";

p. 55 "or" amended to "of";

p. 59 "Au old minister" amended to "An old minister";

p. 60 "pny" amended to "pony", and "It'so" amended to "It's";

p. 79 "vilage" amended to "village";

p. 91 "gav'd" amended to "gar'd";

p. 96 "Ses's" amended to "She's";

p. 97 "inqured" amended to "inquired";

p. 104 "brawled out" amended to "bawled out"

p. 119 "majesly" mended to "majesty";

p. 120 "peremtorily" amended to "peremptorily";

p. 126 "in in" amended to "in";

p. 127 "vengence" amended to "vengeance";

p. 141 "I have faud ye a bed" amended to "I have fand ye a bed"

p. 157 "esconced" amended to "ensconced";

p. 161 "Entrace" amended to "Entrance";

p. 168 "folowing" amended to "following";

p. 170 "to eager" amended to "too eager";

p. 171 "Sandly" amended to "Sandy";

p. 178 "pennny" amended to "penny";

p. 180 "to he very dignified" amended to "to be very dignified";

p. 182 "Kirkaldy" amended to "Kirkcaldy";

p. 183 "thea sermons" amended to "thae sermons", and "Spreyside" amended
to "Speyside";

p. 207 "Ursâ" amended to "Ursa";

p. 214 "_That_" amended to "_That's_".

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