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Broadside story entitled 'Copy of a Very Curious Letter'




From the Bell of the High Kirk of Paisley, to its Friend the Cross
Steeple of Glasgow, giving an account of her being struck with
the Dumb Palsy, and the curious remedy which the Bell-doctors
took to restore her to health and sound.

Paisley, 12th October, 1821.

Maister Prenter,

WHA wad e're thocht to hae seen me writing
in the public prents, I'm sure that the like o't
seldom happens. But come and I'll tell ye
wha first put the thing into my noddle. It was
just the last Saturday night that as I was luck-
en o'er the public prents, what do ye think I
saw? I'm sure ye'll no guess, for I was muckle
surprised to see't mysel-It was a letter frae
my frien in Glasgow, " The Cross Steeple,"
maken' an unco complaint o' ingratitude an'
neglect trae them it had served sae lang.

I hae seen the day, Mr. Prenter, that I wad
nae hae needit to trouble yaw to tell my story;
na, na, for heth its weel aneugh kent that whan
I wus in my health I could speak braw an' loud,
and could gar folk hear me far an' near; but
as I am sair alter'd, I think I mun be excus'd
for following the plan of my frien, and I dare
say ye'll think sae too when ye hear how ill I've
been used.

I'm an auld servant o' the public, and ne'er
kent what it was to spare my strength in wurk-
ing my wark; na, na, that was ne'er a trick o'
mine, for by night or by day I was aye ettling
to please folk, and tho' I say it mysell, that
may be shauld na doe't, I hae been aye true to
my trust, and until I took my present trouble,
it was ayont the power o' the Diel himsell to
find fault with me, and it's weel kent that he's
nae frien to our kind o' folk. Mony a winter's
blast I hae seen, and some taks't upon them to
say that I may see mony mae if I'm wee doc-
tor'd; but they'll no gar me believe that, for my
trouble is owr serious, and I'm sair, sair touted.
They dinna ken my distress, or they wud na
speak that way. My head is a' wrang, and my
tongue has worn a hole thro' my cheek, an' its
a great stress for me to speak ayont my breath,
an' O but I'm sair tired o' my birth; no to say
that I'm unwillen to serve my auld maister, but
really I canna work my wark toony gude pur-
pose; an' Oh I canna thole to get sae mony re-
flections, when I weel ken it's no my faut.

They brought a doctor to see me, but it wasna
a doctor o' physic, fur ye ken sic folks can do
nae gude to a patient wha has neither blude
nor anes. But it was a doctor o' bells, an'
when he saw my sad condition, he thocht it ad-
viseable as weel as pruden to ca' in fur advice
anither emanent docter o' soun's; an' after the
twa a had cansultet th' gither they at last pro-
nounced my trouble to be " the Dum' Palsy,"
Dum' enough faith, thinks I, an' as other doc-
ters seldom meets an' consults, without doing
something mair to their patient, sae an' opera-
tion was purposed to me, an' 'twel awat muckle
I suffered during their experiments.They
drew a saw draught frae my lip to the hole i'
my cheek; but this did nae gude, an' indeed I
never expeckit it, fur I cou'd na see how it was
possible, fur it the soun' whisled thro' my cheek;
before I didna ken, how making the crack big-
ger wi' a saw wad gart keep in the won better.
Now that am as ill as ever, an' i' my present
state a disgrace to the place I till, what for no
let me retire frae my birth in peace, as they
doe a' other worn-out public servants. I'm suir
I'll no seek ony pension na, na, I'm nane o' the
greedy set; but it's only for the honor o' the
place that I fill, that gars me seek my discharge
Now, Maister Prenter, as I ken that a heap
o' folk read your papers, if you prent my state-
ment, it might come un'er their observation,
an' wha kens but they may tak pity and grant
my request. In which case you wud ne'er be
forgotten by

Maister Prenter,

Your obedient Servant.


Printed by John Muir, Glasgow.

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Date of publication: 1821   shelfmark: APS.3.82.24
Broadside story entitled 'Copy of a Very Curious Letter'
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