5462 A soft-hearted Glasgow Bailie

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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
A soft-hearted Glasgow Bailie

A POOR man made his appearance at the bar of the Gorbals police court, Glasgow, charged with being drunk and disorderly on the streets, when, after a patient hearing, the presiding bailie, who seems to have possessed little of that firmness and dignity required for the magisterial office, ordered him to pay a fine of fifteen shillings, upon which the following dramatic colloquy occurred

"Fifteen shillings !" vociferated the man, with more points of admiration in his tone than we can spare room foró "fifteen shillings! Bailie, yeíre surely no in earnest. Bless ye, when will I win fifteen shillings to giíe ye?"

Well," said the bailie, yielding, "Iíll make it half-a-guinea, and not a farthing less !"

"Half-a-guinea, bailie! If ye fine me in half-a-guinea, whatís to come oí my puir wife and weans for a month to come ! We must just starve, thereís nae ither way for it," said the offender in a most lugubrious tone; "we must starve or beg."

"Well," said the relenting bailie, "Iíll make it seven and sixpence, and not a farthing less!"

"Seven and sixpence!" says the still unsatisfied offender; "thatís just the half oí my weekís wages, an thereís no a grain oí meal in the house, nor a bit oí coal to make it ready wií, even though there were. Oh! bailie, think what a sum seven and sixpence is to a working man!"

"Well, well," said the good-natured magistrate, "Iíll make it five shillings, and not a farthing less; though ye were the king on the throne Iíll not make it less!"

"Weel, weel, bailie, Mary and me and the weans maun just submit," said the knavish culprit, affecting to weep; at the same time saying, as if to himself, yet so loud as the bailie could hear himó" Blessed is he that wisely doth the poor manís case consider."

The bailie could not stand the silent appeal of tears, nor the apt quotation he had made.

Well, well," again says the bailie, "Iíll make it half-a-crown, and, though ye were my ain brither, I couldna make it less!"

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