Day by Day

McGonagall is dead! His lot has been a hard one. Throughout his long life he was subjected to much rough usage at the hands of people of whom better things might have been expected.

As a man McGonagall was of upright character and thoroughly independent spirit. While hawking his “poetry” from door to door in Dundee an incident occurred which showed the sensitive side of the man’s nature.

At one house in particular McGonagall was always sure to sell a few “pieces,” and his visits, therefore, were characterised by regularity. One wintry day, as he stood dripping with sleet at the door, the gentleman of the house invited him to come inside and rest for a little.

It was about the dinner hour, and while the guidman was enjoying a “crack” with “Mac,” the guidewife invited the “Poet” to share in the repast. After some pressure he consented, but he never visited that house again.

He was evidently afraid that the object of his visits would be misinterpreted. Rather than risk the suspicion that he was requiring food he chose to bear the loss of decreased sales.

Those who knew McGonagall best were aware that, with all his peculiarities, he was fervently religious, and read his Bible quite as studiously as strove to excel in quoting Shakespeare.

Now that the poor old man is gone, I have no doubt that many of his thoughtless tormentors will sincerely regret that they did not show him more kindness.

Dundee Evening Post, 30th September 1902

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