I have also received many very curious and humorous contributions to the rural records of the time of which my book mainly treats. For these I am grateful, and will be glad to get more of the same sort. I will find a good use for them in my next book, which I am now more than ever encouraged to produce. One correspondent, for instance, has reminded me of a good story of 'Painter Tarn' mentioned at page 159, which I cannot withhold. Tarn, it seems, was one day accosted by a hulking fellow, very pitted from smallpox, and who fancied himself a great wit. ' The lads ' had been tormenting Tam, and making fun of his pretensions as a portrait-painter. So up lumbered this fellow, and boisterously asked ' What it would cost to have his portrait painted ?'
' Pent you ' stuttered Tam quizzically regarding the pock-pitted features,
' P-p-pent you Lo'd, min, I wad hae t-t-tae p-p-potty ye first ' (putty).