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Carles of the Carse

The “Carles of the Carse” was an ancient term of reproach for the farmers of the Gowrie district of Perthshire. Tennant records an ill-natured proverb
also applied to them, and which he heard when on his journey : ‘‘They’re like the carles of the Carse, they want
water in the summer, fire in the winter, and the grace of God all the year round.”

A farmer of the Carse used to complain very much of the awkwardness and stupidity of all the men whom he employed, declaring that, if he were only furnished with good clay, he believed he could make better men him-
self. This ridiculous tirade got wind among the peasantiy, and excited no small indignation. One of that class soon after found an opportunity of revenging himself and his neighbours upon the author, by a cut with his own
weapon.

It so happened that the farmer was so unfortunate, one day, as to fall into a quagmire, the material of which
was of such a nature as to hold him fast, and put extrication entirely out of his own power.

In his troubles, observing a ploughman approaching, he called out to him, and desired his assistance, in order that he might get himself relieved from his unpleasant confinement. The rustic, recognisinghim immediately,
paid no attention to his entreaties, but passed carelessly by, only giving him one knowing look, and saying,

“I see you’re making your men, I'’ll not disturb you !”

Return To Perthshire History



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