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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
A good Glasgow salesman and his apt country customer


A VENDOR of buttons, buckles, pins, and other small wares, or, as our American friends would phrase it, who kept a variety store, in a small shop at the head of the Saltmarket, which has been rendered world famous as the abode of Bailie Nicol Jarvie, one day observed a country loot standing at his window, with an undecided wanting-to-buy expression on his face. At last he screwed up his courage to the buying point, entered the shop, and inquired at its owner for something he did not happen to keep, the question being:

"Ha’e ye ony pistols to sell ?"

The shopman, who had long studied, and was an adept at the counter logic, or art of getting a costumer to buy what may be on hand for sale rather than what the customer asks for, thus responded to the question:

"Man, what would be the use o’ a pistol to you ?—You wad just shoot yoursel’, or maybe some ither body w’it! You should rather buy a flute; see there’s ane, an’ it’s no sae dear as a pistol; just stop and open finger about they sax wee holes, and blaw in at the big ane, an’ ye can ha’e ony tune ye like after a wee while’s practice. Besides ye’ll maybe blaw a tune into the heart o’ some blythe bonny lassie, that will bring to you the warth o’ a thousand pistols or German flutes either."

"Man," said the simple, good-natured customer, "I’m glad that I’ve met wi’ you the day—just tie it up;" and paying down the price asked, he bade the shopkeeper good-day, with a significant nod of the head, remarking:

"It wilt no be my fault if ye getna a chance o’ riding the broost at my weddin’, since ye ha’e set me on the way to be my ain piper."


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