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
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!"