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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Napier of Shandon; or, from Blacksmith to Shipbuilders


THE late Mr. Napier of Shandon, the well-known shipbuilder, was one evening entertaining at his hospitable board a mixed company, which embraced distinguished representatives of the aristocracies of birth, wealth, and culture. An old gentleman, who happened to be present, alluded to the circumstance of the party being assembled on the fortieth anniversary of his wedding. His host politely corrected him, alleging that the previous day was the actual anniversary, and confirming his statement by a series of questions.

"You may remember," he said, "that, after the ceremony, you left Glasgow in a chariot-and-four by the road leading to Ruthergien, and, about a mile beyond the boundaries of the city, after passing through a toll-bar, one of your leaders cast a shoe. Fortunately, a blacksmith’s shop (Sottice’, "smiddy ") was close at hand, and a youthful Vulcan came to the rescue, put on a fresh shoe, and you gave him half-a-crown."

"Possibly you may be right," the old gentleman replied, "but I have forgotten the incident."

"Not so I," rejoined the honest shipbuilder, "for I was the young blacksmith."


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