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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
"Alexander the Great" and "Auld Clocky"


THE following is one of many anecdotes long current regarding this theatrical worthy, who, "after lifeís fitful fever, sleeps" in Glasgow Necropolis.

For many years a queer-looking old man who rejoiced in the euphonious cognomen of "Auld Clocky" took the money at the gallery door of "Alickís" theatre; and he was, in his way, nearly as great an original as his master, to whom, indeed, he is said to have stood in the relation of father. One night, so many boys went out between the play and farce that "Auld Clocky" was compelled to resort to the singular expedient of chalking their backs, his checks being all given away. The loungers outside were not long in ascertaining the circumstance, and lo, in a short time, lots of little boys crowded past "Auld Clocky," each one bearing on his back the white cross of St. Andrew. On finding that more were coming up than went down, "Clocky" seized upon a little boy at random and turned him downstairs, after appropriating his bonnet. The boy, who had really paid his sixpence, immediately went home and complained to his father, a tailor, named Weir, who lived opposite the theatre. This person determined to appeal to Mr. Alexander for redress of his sonís wrongs, and with that object forthwith proceeded to the stage door of the theatre, and asked for the manager, who quickly made his appearance dressed as a sailor, with a drawn cutlass in his hand and pistols in his belt.

"Well, sir, what is it?" inquired the manager in no very gentle tones.

"The old man at the gallery stairs has taken my sonís bonnet, and turned him out of the theatre," said the snip, in a tremulous voice, evidently not a little awed by the warlike figure before him.

"Taken your sonís bonnet, and turned him out of the theatre !" repeated Alick. And then added: "Just go to the gallery door, sir, and Iíll be with you directly."

Obedient to this direction, the tailor reached the post of "Auld Clocky," just as the manager, still armed to the teeth, made his appearance from another quarter; and eyeing the culprit with the look of a hyena, he exclaimed:

"So, sir, you have been stealing the boysí bonnets, and chalking their backs. Gracious goodness! that accounts for the two tons of chalk going amissing from the painting-room. Give the boy back his bonnet, Ďye hoary-headed old villain,í or I will cut you into minced collops !" and, as he said so, "Alick" flourished the cutlass in a manner that indicated a desire to bring the career of the aged "Clocky to an immediate and tragical termination.

It is almost needless to say that the command was quickly obeyed, and that the tailorís son was re-admitted to the gallery to witness the remainder of the eveningís entertainment.


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