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A Gentleman, Sir Robert

John Hunter, who was a dealer in wood and known as “The Merchant”, was a very outspoken man. Once, when seated beside his woodpile on the banks of the Dee, the Laird came up to him and said “John why are you not working?”. John replied “Let them work that canna do better – I’ll gar that cairn of sticks pay my rent so I have nothing to fear. I’m thinking of becoming a clean-fingered gentleman”

“What is a gentleman?” asked the Laird. “Just a man like yourself, Sir Robert” answered John “who does no work from one year’s end to the other!”


(from “The Book of Banchory” by V.J. Buchan Watt. published 1947)