Doctor Glynn and His Magpie
Dr. Glynn was remarkable for many acts of kindness to poor persons. He had attended a sick family in the fens near Cambridge for a considerable time, and had never thought of any recompense for his skill and trouble but the satisfaction of being able to do good.
One day he heard a noise on the college staircase, and his servant brought him word that the poor woman from the fens waited upon him with a magpie, of which she begged his acceptance.
This at first a little discomposed the doctor. Of all presents, a magpie was the least acceptable to him, as he had a hundred loose things about his rooms, which the bird, if admitted, was likely to make free with. However, his good nature soon returned. He considered the woman’s intention, and ordered her to be shown in. “I am obliged to you for thinking of me, good woman,” said he, “but you must excuse my not taking your bird, as it would occasion me a great deal of trouble.”
“Pray, doctor,” answered the woman, “do, pray, be pleased to have it. My husband, my son, and myself have been long consulting together in what way we could show our thankfulness to you, and we could think of nothing better than to give you our favourite bird. We would not part with it to any other person upon earth. We shall be sadly hurt if you refuse our present.”
“Well, well, my good woman,” said Dr. Glynn, “if that is the case, I must have the bird; but do you, as you say you are so fond of it, take it back again, and keep it for me, and I will allow you eighteenpence a week for the care of it. I shall have the pleasure of seeing it every time I come.”
This allowance Dr. G. punctually paid as long as the bird lived.