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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
A Glasgow merchant quizzing a Cockney waiter

JAMES LINDSAY (The Viscount), a Glasgow merchant and wag of former days, visited London in company with two friends, and put up at the city coffee-house, where one of the waiters was such a pure and unsophisticated Cockney that they resolved to play a practical joke upon him.

"John," said Mr. Lindsay to him, "bring three tumblers of toddy."

"Toddy, sir; "yes, sir," answered John; "would you like it hef-and-hef, sir?"

"Na, na, that would be ower strong," said Mr. Lindsay, "just mak it sax waters, John."

"Saxe waters, sir; yes, sir;" said John, and away he went, but what to do, or what to bring, was to him a mystery; and in a short time he returned with a look of regret on his face, and said:

"I am very sorry, sir, that the Saxe waters are all done, sir, and we have no other German waters at present, sir."

The friends had enough to do to preserve their gravity, as Mr. Lindsay said to the waiter:

"Thats a pity, John; weel, we maun do without it, and try a substitute; bring me the whisky, John, and the boiling water."

"Boiling water, sir; yes, sir," said John, and off he set. On returning with the creature comforts, Mr. Lindsay took them, and said to the waiter:

"Now, John, Ill gie ye a lesson; when onybody asks ye for toddy and sax waters, just you gie them a big glass o brandy or whisky, and a half-a-dozen glasses o boiling water, wi a wee taste o sugar int, and theyll no ken the difference; indeed, John," he added with a sly wink to his companions, "Im no sure but theyll like it just as weel, and, at onyrate, its far better for them than a your German waters." John, apparently thoroughly impressed with the value of the information he had received, thanked Mr. Lindsay, and was retiring, when Mr. Lindsay said:

"Oh, John, before ye gang awa, can ye send me a wee tate o oo (wool) to stap in the neb o my shoon; theyre unco shauchlin, and aiblins may gar me coup i the glaur, when I gang agate." John was completely dumfoundered at this order, but, true to his professional instinct, soon recovered himself, and replied:

"Yes, sir," as he hurried from the room. In a minute or two he returned with a glass of cold water, which he presented with some trepidation to Mr. Lindsay, as if in compliance with his incomprehensible order, and without a moments delay bolted from the room, before a word could be spoken, leaving Mr. Lindsay and his two friends laughing till they nearly tumbled off their chairs.

So much was John impressed with the superior wisdom and surprising knowledge of his guests, that next morning he confidentially asked Mr. Lindsay if "There were any waiters in Scotland, and whether London or Scotland was the larger city."

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