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 Hutchesonís 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. Thornís
celebrated figures of Tam oí 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
wií the cap in my hand without drinking."
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