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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Blind Alick's visit to Messrs. Thom and Anderson's statuary


WHEN the clever, self-taught artists, Messrs. Thom and Anderson, from Ayrshire, came to Glasgow many years ago, to exhibit their celebrated figures, chiselled out of solid stone, representing Tam o’ Shanter and Souter Johnny, and the Deil’s Awa wi’ the Exciseman, they created uncommon satisfaction, for they were the first figures of their kind ever seen in Scotland, or anywhere else. Blind Alick, strange as it may seem, expressed an anxious desire to examine Satan in his cold solid dress, and the following account of his visit to the exhibition was duly chronicled in the Reformers’ Gazette, from the pen of its trusty reporter, Mr. Frame.

"Sirs," said Alick to the attendants, when entering the room, "I’ve come, with your leave to inspect His Majesty the Deil. I cannot say that I have any great regard for him myself—quite otherwise, but I’ve come to handle and thumb his lineaments, and make up my mind according to the best o’ my judgment."

"Take a seat Alick," said one.

"Oh, let me just grip him as I stand," said Alick, and it was no sooner said than done. Alick commenced to grope with his fingers first about the head of the stone-blind doll, just as if he was running his gamut on some piano, which indeed, he could well play.

"Aye, aye," said Alick, "I see or rather find, it’s all true that Loyal Peter said in his critique about the Deil, in his Gawzette of last Saturday, except this, that you have made his majesty’s nose rather crooked, like unto the nose of the conquering hero, His Grace the Duke of Wellington. But as for the gauger, vow me," continued Alick, handling him from head to foot, "he’s the very image of terror, pourtrayed with a vengeance. His eyes, as I discern them, are like to leap out o’ their sockets. I dinna envy them at a’; and his hair, it’s standing stiffer than the quills upon any porcupine I ever heard of. May the Lord," concluded Alick piously, "give us grace to meet the ills we have, rather than fly to others which we know not of," and therein he spoke like a philosopher. As a finale, Alick could not resist scraping his fiddle and giving Burns’ Address to the Deil, with which, no doubt, most of our readers are acquainted.


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