“Stop an’ Haud the Stirrup,” pp.55-56.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

REV. THOMAS SOMERVILLE, in his interesting book on “George Square,” says, “I have heard James Stoddart, a son of Mr. John Stoddart [referred to above] say, when nearly eighty, that he remembered passing the Mains that morning with other companions on his way to school. The pony was waiting at the door for the owner to start on his journey. The stalwart ‘Bauldy’ came out and ordered him and the other boys to stop and haud the stirrup for the man that was to mount, adding, ‘You’ll boast of it till your dying day.’ The boys said ‘We’ll be late, and we’re fear’d for the maister.’ 

‘Stop and haud the stirrup; I’ll settle wi’ the maister.’ 

They took courage, as well they might, for Prentice was six feet three, and the dominie but an ordinary mortal. That boy Stoddart, almost an octogenarian at the time he spoke to me, said, ‘I think I’m prouder of that forenoon frae the schule than a’ the days I was at it.’ ” 

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