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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
A bankrupt Glasgow shopkeeper's lyrical dividend

AN unfortunate Glasgow shopkeeper having got into commercial difficulties was compelled to seek refuge in bankruptcy. On his affairs being examined, it was found that, at the very outside, there would not be as much cash realised as would pay one shilling in the pound, and the wrath of the creditors became very fierce. One of them, however, felt keenly and kindly for the poor debtor, and spoke warmly in his behalf.

"Ye ken, gentlemen," said he, "that John has aye been a very decent man, and it’s no through ony fau’t o’ his ain that he’s fa’en ahint. Maybe some o’ oursel’s would be in the same fix if we hadna friends to look to, and something in our purses to fall back on. Noo, what’s a shilling in the pound? It’s naething. It’s waur than naething; it’s an insult to our generosity, and I vote that we dinna tak’ it,"

"But what can we do?" said another; "there' s nae mair to tak’."

"Weel, I’ll tell ye what ye should do," replied the first speaker; "ye a’ ken that John’s a grand singer, and I propose that we gi’e him a tripe supper this very nicht in Lucky Paterson’s ower by, an’ let him aff a’ th’gither wi’ a bit lilt o’ a sang?"

The novelty of the proposal took the fancy of the assembled creditors, and the result was that it was agreed to mem. con.

The agreeable invitation was conveyed to the grateful debtor, and he was only too willing to perform his share of the bargain. The supper came off, and after John had sung Auld Langsyne, with the choral aid of the meeting, and with hands linked in hands, as usual, his friend, who had proved himself a friend indeed, shook hands with him across the table, and said to him:

"There noo, John, ye may thank goodness that wee lots a’ dichted aff!"

John became a man again, and throve in business so well that in a few years he was able to "dicht aff the wee lot" in another and more tangible form, by paying his old creditors twenty shillings in the pound, and interest into the bargain.

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