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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
David Bell of Blackhall takes a hint from the camel


"IT is easier," says the Book, "for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." The late facetious Mr. David Bell of Blackhall, who, with all his faults, was a warm friend to the prosperity of Glasgow, took it into his head, when he was comparatively a young man, to retire from business in the manufacturing line, which he had pursued with considerable success in this city.

The text of Scripture above quoted took hold of his mind, and so he took stock, and, having found that he had some thousands of pounds more at his command in the Royal Bank than he expected, he shut his books, closed his mercantile affairs, quietly retired, and settled down to enjoy his otium cum dignitate. He was questioned one day at a convivial party by the late John Henderson, Esq. of Park— who gave and left so much of his large fortune for many important religious and benevolent purposes—to this effect:

"Pray, Mr. Bell, what induced you to retire so soon from business, when, by continuing in it, you might have made a much larger fortune ?"

David shook his head, and begged to be excused from giving his reason. This only made Mr. Henderson the more eager to know it, and to press for an answer.

"Well, well," said David, "1 have a very good reason to give if you urge me for it, Mr. Henderson."

The latter smilingly responded, and Mr. Bell explained:

"Well, well, you will know that wonderful passage in the Bible "—(above quoted, and which he repeated with animation and force). The company were a little startled by his quotation, and David capped it by adding:

"Now, I just took the hint from the camel, and hope to be rewarded for my forbearance."


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