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."