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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
William Dunn' of Duntocher and his only regret


THE late William Dunn, Esq. of Duntocher, grew up from a state of poverty in early life to be a man of vast wealth, as his works testify! Nor was he niggardly with his means. He lived luxuriously in his handsome mansion in St. Vincent Place, since demolished to make way for the West of England Insurance and other offices. He gave the best of dinners with the most delicious wines he could procure; certainly a great change to one who had been brought up on porridge and sour milk in a rural district not very far distant. At one of these grand dinners the late facetious Lord Robertson, one of the Judges of the Supreme Court - a great wag, and very intimate with Mr. Dunn— acted as flunkey, and another time as cook, even wiping the kitchen plates with his apron in this practical exemplification of High Life Below Stairs.

Mr. Dunn had many good qualities, and in subscriptions for charitable purposes he was rarely behind any of his neighbours. If the genial fit was upon him he would give more liberally perhaps than any other man within call; but if any stubborn or ill-natured fit was upon him, it was quite needless to say a word to him. One day he was waited on by a douce deputation, who, after making their profound bow, handed him the subscription paper. He signed his name for two guineas.

"Two guineas, Mr. Dunn, only two guineas for such a noble, philanthropic purpose!" exclaimed a member of the deputation, in astonishment! Another said:

"Mr. Dunn, you ought to sign for at least fifty guineas." Others more modestly besought him to treble or even to double it, but his decided reply was:

"Not another penny, gentlemen, not another penny." One of them, annoyed, and probably more rude than he should have been, quoted the text:

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." And he expounded it pretty strongly by telling Mr. Dunn that he ought to give of his means liberally while he was yet spared upon the earth, as he could take none of his money with him to the other world.

I know that perfectly well," replied Mr. Dunn; "it is the only thing I am vexed about."

Saying this, he bowed them out of his apartment.


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