Anecdotage of Glasgow
A Glasgow merchant quizzing a Cockney
(The Viscount), a Glasgow
merchant and wag of former days, visited London in company with two
friends, and put up at the city coffee-house, where one of the waiters was
such a pure and unsophisticated Cockney that they resolved to play a
practical joke upon him.
Lindsay to him, "bring three tumblers of toddy."
"Toddy, sir; "yes, sir," answered
John; "would you like it hef-and-hef, sir?"
"Na, na, that would be ower strong,"
said Mr. Lindsay, "just mak’ it sax waters, John."
"Saxe waters, sir; yes, sir;" said
John, and away he went, but what to do, or what to bring, was to him a
mystery; and in a short time he returned with a look of regret on his
face, and said:
"I am very sorry, sir, that the Saxe
waters are all done, sir, and we have no other German waters at present,
The friends had enough to do to
preserve their gravity, as Mr. Lindsay said to the waiter:
"That’s a pity, John; weel, we maun
do without it, and try a substitute; bring me the whisky, John, and the
"Boiling water, sir; yes, sir," said
John, and off he set. On returning with the creature comforts, Mr. Lindsay
took them, and said to the waiter:
"Now, John, I’ll gi’e ye a lesson;
when onybody asks ye for toddy and sax waters, just you gi’e them a big
glass o’ brandy or whisky, and a half-a-dozen glasses o’ boiling water, wi’
a wee taste o’ sugar in’t, and they’ll no ken the difference; indeed,
John," he added with a sly wink to his companions, "I’m no sure but
they’ll like it just as weel, and, at onyrate, it’s far better for them
than a’ your German waters." John, apparently thoroughly impressed with
the value of the information he had received, thanked Mr. Lindsay, and was
retiring, when Mr. Lindsay said:
"Oh, John, before ye gang awa’, can
ye send me a wee tate o’ oo’ (wool) to stap in the neb o’ my shoon;
they’re unco shauchlin, and aiblins may gar me coup i’ the glaur, when I
gang agate." John was completely dumfoundered at this order, but, true to
his professional instinct, soon recovered himself, and replied:
"Yes, sir," as he hurried from the
room. In a minute or two he returned with a glass of
water, which he presented with some trepidation to Mr.
Lindsay, as if in compliance with his incomprehensible order, and without
a moment’s delay bolted from the room, before a word could be spoken,
leaving Mr. Lindsay and his two friends laughing till they nearly tumbled
off their chairs.
So much was John impressed with the
superior wisdom and surprising knowledge of his guests, that next morning
he confidentially asked Mr. Lindsay if— "There were any waiters in
Scotland, and whether London or Scotland was the larger city."
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