THIS excellent general business
maxim was exemplified in the person of Neil M’Liver, merchant—no matter
about the locality,—Highland folks take things so readily to themselves.
Neil required to come to Glasgow for goods to supply customers for the
winter; and the master of the steamer, going to and from there, calculated
on him and a few friends of his as passengers. They lay under obligations
to him for sundry services, rendered to them in those days of high
postage, in the shape of frauds on the Post-office, of the kind that
enabled Master Hill to make out his case for the Postage Reduction Bill.
His obligants, however, took no berth with him, either in steerage or
Meeting the parties in Glasgow, he
expressed his astonishment that they had not come with him. To which Neil,
hesitating, and scarcely knowing how to excuse himself, replied:
"You see, it was—you see—yes—that
captain—yes, I’ll thocht now—it was more money you’ll took for our
passage, nor we’ll got down for with another friend of Duncan’s there, who
has a poat of her nown—too—yes, more nor two shillings for each of us
both—that is Duncan and me."
"Man," quoth the master of paddles,
"I’d have given you your passage for nothing rather than have an old
friend to go by an opponent! You should have come with me."
"Weel, weel," said Neil, "it’s never
weel to do too late—and since you are so decent with us, we will every one
of us all go with you home on that very reasonable term—yes, yes, captain,
you see a whistle more buys the penny."