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Linne

(The Heir of). The Lord of Linne was a great spendthrift, “who wasted his substance in riotous living.” Having spent all, he sold his estates to John o' the Scales, his steward, reserving to himself only a “poor and lonesome lodge in a lonely glen.” When he had squandered away the money received for his estates, and found that no one would lend or give him more, he retired to the lodge in the glen, where he found a rope with a running noose dangling over his head. He put the rope round his neck and sprang aloft, when lo! the ceiling burst in twain, and he fell to the ground. When he came to himself he espied two chests of beaten gold, and a third full of white money, and over them was written, “Once more, my son, I set thee clear; amend thy life, or a rope at last must end it.” The heir of Linne now returned to his old hall, where he asked his quondam steward for the loan of forty pence; this was refused him. One of the guests proffered the loan, and told John o' the Scales he ought to have lent it, as he had bought the estate cheap enough. “Cheap call you it?” exclaimed John; “why, he shall have it back for 100 marks less.” “Done,” said the heir of Linne, and counted out the money. He thus recovered his estates, and made the kind guest his forester. (Percy: Reliques, series ii. book 2.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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