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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Jock Paterson on "Souter Johnny"


EVERYBODY who had lived in Glasgow for any length of time, about two generations ago, could scarcely fail to have known Jock Paterson, who for more than forty years was in the habit of attending and .walking along with Hutcheson’s Hospital boys upon all occasions of a public nature. Not a Sabbath passed but Jock was to be seen at the head of the blue-coat scholars, marching with them to church, and keeping a sharp look-out in case any of his "callants," as he called them, should be guilty of any impropriety either by the way or in the church.

And at the annual procession, when all the children belonging to the public charities were paraded to the church in their new clothes, no man in Glasgow felt so proud on that day as Jock, when, decked out in his new suit, he took his place at the head of his "callants," and walked with them through the public streets of the city. Jock, however, with all his innocence and simplicity, was as fond of a glass of whisky or a sap of yill as any guzzler in the Goosedubs; and not a day passed but by some means or other he managed to get his craving for a dram satisfied.

During the time that Mr. Thorn’s celebrated figures of Tam o’ Shanter and Souter Johnny were exhibiting in Glasgow, the proprietor very generously invited all the public schools in town to a gratuitous view of his figures upon a certain day, and there was Jock among the rest, along with his "callants." So tickled was he at the grotesque appearance of the "twa drouthy cronies," that he could not contain himself, but burst into a loud laugh, which attracted the attention of the tutor (Rev. Mr. Ferrie, afterwards Professor of Moral Philosophy in the Academy of Belfast), who coming up to Jock, clapped him on the shoulder, and good-naturedly inquired:

"Weel, what do you think of these queer chaps ?"

"Think!" said Jock; "sir, I think gif I was that ane there (pointing to Souter Johnny), I wadna sit sae lang wi’ the cap in my hand without drinking."


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