SURE SIGNS O’ WEALTH

Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 293-295

PLENTY o’ folk joodges the wecht o’ a buddy’s pooch by the look o’ their claes.

There wus a Dr. McMorrine yince yt leev’t at the Brigen o’ Dumfries or Maxwellton as they ca’t noo, an he wus a gey pawky kin’ o’ buddy, an kent whuten en’ o’ him wus up. He had a sair fecht tae get on, for the Dumfries doctors didna like the notion o’ a doctor in the Brigen, an they never miss’t the chance o’ throwin a jibe at him, or makin him oot tae be a dulbert, yt was naebuddy, an kent naething. Deed, they abuse’t him till he got a gude practice wi’t; for whun folk tell’t him whut they wud be sayin aboot him, he wud joost say, “Aye, puir fallas! jealous a bit; they’r fear’t A come ower an settle i’e toon. A micht settle some o’ them if A did.”

Efter a while he biggit a raw o’ hooses, an the Dumfries doctors said it wus wi borrow’t siller, for he had harly a decent coat till his back.

He use’t tae dress up verra gran, for he said folk had mair faith in a fu pooch nor a fu heid, an yt mae o’ them sent for his coat nor sent for he’ssel, an the doctors yt ca’t in a carriage could make mae wunnerfu cures nor twunty doctors yt veesitit on their fit; the verra sicht o’ a carriage stannin at their door whun the neebor’s doctor walkit, wud help them mair nor a’ the drogs in the Pharmacopeiea.

Efter a while there wus a muckle brig biggit at Glencaple for the foreign timmer trade, an there wus a gran launch an a great ado ower’t, an the doctor’s sister christen’t it, an it a’ appear’t in the papers, an it wus mention’t yt the doctor wus the principal owner, an there wus a great talk aboot it.

Twa days efter the launch the doctor huntit oot an aul’ worn-oot hoose coat wi the tails riven an sew’t on again, an’ an awfu creeshie collar; an he fell in wi an aul’ batter’t beaver hat, an gied it a bit dicht up; an he put them on an gaed oot tae visit in them.

Yin o’ his richest patients met him a day or twa efter, an beggit his pardon, but did he ken he had come oot in his hoose coat, an his gairden hat on? He kent it wus only an oversicht, but folk wud talk sae aboot it.

“Let them talk a’ they like,” quo the doctor, “that’s the verra thing A’m wantin. A hae a raw o’ hooses an the half o’ a veshul o’ my ain, an everybuddy kens’t, sae A’m aboon the suspicion o’ poverty noo, an A can wear whut A like, an A’m gaun tae wear them.”

RICHTS O’ PROPERTY

A SENSIBLE PATIENT

Partial Glossar

Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).

  • Wecht ‘Weight.’ [WECHT]
  • Claes ‘Clothes.’ [CLAES]
  • Pawky ‘ Wily, sly, cunning, crafty; shrewd, astute, sagacious, “sharp”, having one’s wits about one, resourceful, “hard-headed”.’ [PAWKIE]
  • Whuten ‘Which, of two or more.’ [WHATTEN]
  • Dulbert ‘A blockhead, a stupid person.’ [DULBERT]
  • Big ‘To build, construct (in gen.).’ [BIG(G)]
  • Mae ‘More in number.’ [MAE]
  • Dicht ‘A wipe, a cursory wash; a rub.’ [DICHT]
  • Aboon ‘Above.’ [ABUNE]