City Gossip

Poet McGonagall in the Fair City.— The famous McGonagall has arrived in Perth, and has taken the city by storm. Already he has been received by many of the leading lights with the greatest cordiality, and so impressed has the poet been by the fervour of his reception that he wishes it to be distinctly understood that he has no intention of returning to Dundee.

Dundee Courier, 2nd October 1894

The citizens of Dundee have to lament the fate which has befallen her renowned poet. The harsh and ungracious treatment meted out to the bard of “Silvery Tay” fame has had a telling effect, and McGonagall after having exercised an amount of patience which could only be equalled by that of Job, has carried out his frequently expressed threat to shake the dust of Juteopolis from off his feet and to seek for “fresh fields and pastures new.”

Fortune as yet has never smiled on our city bard, although now and again effusions emanating from his fertile brain have had very gratifying results. More particularly has this been the case since the poet directed his attention to the manufacture poetry lauding the virtues of “Galashiels Tweed” or “Sunlight Soap.”

In the first instance the bard was rewarded with a handsome suit of tweeds finished in every way in a manner befitting his calling, while the “soap poem” brought him the the munificent sum of two guineas. Notwithstanding all this, financial difficulties have again overtaken the poet, and on Tuesday matters reached a climax when an order was granted in the Sheriff Court to eject him from his home in Step Row, where so many thrilling and pathetic verses have been penned.

The complaint was at the instance of Mr Sibbald, house agent, who alleged that the tenants in the house situated above threatened to leave unless the McGonagall family and the whole of their goods and chattels were removed. Owing to the family disturbances, it was further alleged, mission meetings held in a room near to the bard’s domicile had frequently been interrupted, and in some cases had to be brought to an abrupt termination.

Several times the name of McGonagall was shouted in the Court, but that personage failed to appear to offer defence to the action. Accordingly Sheriff Campbell Smith gave decree in absence, the customary three days being allowed to the poet to leave the precincts of 48 Step Row.

The poet has, for the time being at least, taken up his abode in Perth. The poet, it seems, invites his friends to pay a visit to the commodious lodgings he has secured in South Street, for which he is charged the sum of 1s nightly, and he is anxious that it should be distinctly understood that he has no intention of again taking up his residence in Dundee.

Weekly News, 6th October 1894

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