JOHN WILSON was the bellman of a
certain village not far from Glasgow, and not over sober in his habits.
One Saturday evening he happened to get rather much of the barleybree, and
left his house early the next morning to be out of the way of Bell, his
"Whose tongue," he said, "ne’er lay
still, but was aye wag, wagging."
Bell gave him only a short screed on
Saturday evening, deferring her long lecture till the next morning; but
behold, when she awoke, John was gone! However, she quickly put on her
clothes and went straight to the steeple, where she found John, it being
his constant place of resort on Sunday mornings. John heard her lecture
with patience for some time, but seeing there was no sign of an end to her
clattering, he commenced ringing the bell with such a tremendous fury that
it put the whole village in an uproar. A great concourse of the villagers
having come to the church, whence the sound proceeded, asked John why he
had rung the bell so loud and so early.
"I’ll tell ye the truth," said John,
"I tried if the tongue o’ the kirk bell would drown the sound o’ the lang
tongue o’ my ain Bell; besides, I thought that some o’ ye might like to
hear a morning lecture."