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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Minister Gawn by the Grip

THE phrase of Gawn by the grip, is applied to children beginning to walk, supported by the hand: in its moral application, it means, not able to think or act for oneself. Mr. Bell, author of System of Geography, was once employed by a young clergyman as his amanuensis. "Volumes of sermons by various authors," said Mt Bell, "were spread out before me at the table, and a bit for extract marked here, and another bit there," his instructions being:

"And you’ll tak’ nae mair here from this author; but gang to such another."

"Is that," said Mr. Bell to him, "the way you mean to mak up your discourses ?

"Surely," quoth he.

"Man," said Mr. Bell, "you’ll ye a poor soul in a pulpit! Your brains micht ha’e been as weel in the inside o’ a sheep’s heid! You’ll just be gawn by the grip to the end of your days."

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