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markable characters in Scottish history. In this collection many interesting stories will be found linked by the sanction of history or tradition, with numbers of our most familiar sayings.

The next step from being interested in any particular subject is to make a hobby of one's favourite pursuit, and to cultivate it with persistence and assiduity. The pursuit of most hobbies generally involves a considerable expenditure of hard cash, but to the student who desires to collect the popular sayings of his country only a certain amount of leisure, free access to the necessary books, and a sufficient supply of stationery are indispensable. In forming the foundation of my collection I read all the best Scottish books I could find with the view of picking out the proverbs from their pages. Amongst the authors carefully studied were Scott, Burns, Ramsay, Galt, Hogg, and many others too numerous to mention here, but to whom references are given throughout this volume. In particular many gems were met with in the Waverley Novels. Scott uses these quaint old sayings with great aptness, and point, and perhaps none of the characters created by the genius of the “Wizard of the North” clenches an argument with a proverb more tellingly than Andrew Fairservice, the quaintly pawky, yet unblushingly selfish gardener in “Rob Roy." "If ye dinna think me fit,” replied Andrew, in a huff, "to speak like ither folk, gie me my wages, and my board-wages, and I'se gae back to Glasgow--there's sma' sorrow at our pairting, as the auld mear said to the broken cart."

Having, as the result of my reading, got together a very considerable collection of old sayings, as well as many anecdotes relating to them, I next began to inquire as to what works had already been published in this department of Scottish folk-lore.

It would appear that it is to the clergy we owe the earliest works on this interesting subject. About the time of the Reformation, Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow, made a small collection, concerning which, however, so little is known that it can hardly be recognised as one of the authorities on the subject. The earliest work of undoubted authenticity and real importance is the limited but deeply interesting collection formed by

the Rev. David Fergusson, minister of Dunfermline, who was a contemporary of the Glasgow Prelate. Fergusson's collection contains 940 proverbs, not a large number by any means, but highly creditable as a pioneer attempt in a new and unexplored field of literature. The slender leather bound volume which contains Fergusson's collection, though exceedingly rare, may occasionally be picked up at sales, and elsewhere, sometimes as a great bargain, but such a chance seldom occurs, and anyone wishing to consult the little work cannot do better than refer to the copy which is preserved in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. A very excellent work on this subject, by James Kelly, was published in London in 1721. In several respects Kelly's work is superior to any collection which has subsequently appeared, and has undoubtedly been extensively used by and greatly influenced all later students in the same sphere. Kelly's volume contains nearly 3000 sayings, the notes are very numerous, and exceedingly suggestive and interesting, while the parallel sayings are not only plentiful, but invariably very much to the point. In the matter of notes Kelly's work is unquestionably the best collection of Scottish proverbs which has hitherto appeared. However, Allan Ramsay, the poet, took exception to the purity of Kelly's Scotch and formed a collection himself, which was published at Edinburgh in 1763. In his preface, which is addressed to the “ Tenantry of Scotland, Farmers of the Dales, and Storemasters of the Hills,” Ramsay refers to Kelly's work as a “late large book of them, fou of errors, in a style neither Scots nor English."

There is little doubt that, to a certain extent at least, Ramsay's complaint was well founded, yet the fact remains that while his collection is now hardly ever referred to, Kelly's notes are still the standard annotations on the proverbs to which they refer. Ramsay's collection may be found in certain editions of his works, and Kelly's volume occasionally finds its way into the second-hand book market where its selling price is about ten shillings.

After a long interval another collection, formed by Andrew

Henderson, was published at Glasgow in 1832. This collection is fuller than the preceding ones, but its notes and parallel phrases are meagre in the extreme. It is prefaced by a long, elaborate, and somewhat dull essay on the general subject of proverbs by the poet Motherwell.

The last collection of Scottish Proverbs is that formed by Alexander Hislop, the first edition of which was published in Glasgow in 1862. In many respects Hislop's collection is an exceedingly interesting and highly meritorious work. It is more extensive and systematic than any of its predecessors, and in the many subsequent editions which have been called for by the favour of the public, its scope and accuracy have invariably been extended and improved. Still there is much room for improvement and additions in regard to such important details as notes, parallel phrases, and references. Its great defects, however, are that it almost entirely ignores proverbial phrases, as distinguished from proverbs, while the popular rhymes of the country are omitted altogether. These are serious omissions, as the phrases are almost invariably more characteristically Scottish than the longer sayings, and have usually a more or less interesting history; the rhymes, too, are peculiarly national, and are certainly entitled to find a place in such collection.

Mr. W. C. Hazlitt, in the Preface to his comprehensive and admirable collection of English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, second edition, London, 1882, vrites as follows :

“The greater part of the sayings in this collection are also current in Scotland, having been in the natural course of things transplanted and localised, not always only in form, but occasionally even in substance. The Scots appear to have as few proverbs of their own as they have ballads; but the so-called proverbs of Scotland are in a very large proportion of cases nothing more than Southern proverbs Scotticised, while the ballads of Scotland are chiefly ours sprinkled with Northern provincialisms.

“I have spoken of the proverbs of Scotland, so far as they are known to me through existing compilations, as for the most part merely Scoticised versions of English sayings; but I do not desire to be understood as expressing a confident opinion here, and the question is one which might repay an investigator. It cannot for an instant be disputed that the Scots possess a certain number of adages of native growth and Northern upon the face, but how far these might go towards filling a volume as ample as Mr. Hislop's, I shall not undertake to guess.”

There can be no doubt that, to a certain extent, Mr. Hazlitt's complaint is well founded, many of the sayings in Hislop's, as well as in the preceding collections, cannot be regarded as in any sense distinctively Scottish; numbers of them are clearly of English, Classical, Eastern or Continental origin. But it is somewhat remarkable that while Mr. Hazlitt casts doubts on the genuine Scottish origin of many of our sayings, he yet falls into a similar fault to the one he condemns in our collectors. In his collection of English proverbs many sayings are included which must be regarded as undoubtedly and distinctively Scottish. For example, at page 123 of his book we find the phrase "Dumbarton youths," and again at page 418, though in a somewhat corrupt form, Thomas the Rhymer's well-known prophecy regarding an ancient Berwickshire family

“ Tide what may betide,

Haig shall be laird of Bemerside."

Surely, when, according to Mr. Hazlitt, England is so rich, and Scotland so poor in popular sayings, he might at least give us credit for what is unquestionably our own.

In the present collection a strenuous attempt has been made, so far as possible, to eliminate all sayings, which cannot be regarded as Scottish either in their origin, form, or historical associations. That all the sayings in this volume are distinctively and peculiarly Scottish cannot, of course, be maintained, because as is well known many of the most familiar proverbs are common to all languages. In these cases I give the Scottish form with parallel phrases from English, and other collections. Indeed, many of the proverbs in Mr. Hazlitt's collection as well as in this one are neither English nor Scottish in their origin, but can be traced back to a remote antiquity.

With regard to the Popular Rhymes of Scotland, two works only claim our attention, the most important being the wellknown collection of Dr. Robert Chambers, first published in 1826. As the contents of the volume were novel, and at the same time extremely interesting, it soon became exceedingly popular. During

During the seventy years which have elapsed since its first publication, numerous editions have been called for, and the book is still well known and highly appreciated by all who are interested in this particular branch of Scottish literary antiquities. The outstanding defect of this work is its tendency to undue prolixity in the notes on the rhymes-in short, to use a pithy old saying, there's “muckle whistlin' for little red land." The book might also be improved by the elimination of certain of the children's rhymes, which as verse are the veriest doggerel, and have no special interest either historical or social. At the same time, the work contains much excellent matter, though it may appear to some a rather tedious process to pick out the wheat from the chaff.

The other collection of Scottish popular Rhymes is the work entitled, “The Popular Rhymes, Sayings, and Proverbs of the County of Berwick, with Illustrative Notes," by George Henderson, Surgeon, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1856. As its title implies, this work is entirely confined to sayings distinctly associated with the County of Berwick. The greater number of these sayings are in the form of rhymes, and for the most part relate to persons or places connected with the Border County. The book is a small volume of 184 pages, and has been long out of print. Its price in the catalogues of second-hand booksellers runs from 5s. to 7s. 6d., according to condition. As a collection of the Popular Rhymes current in Berwickshire, this work is exceedingly valuable.

It is evident that Dr. Henderson, who practised his profession at Chirnside, a village in the eastern district of the county, must have picked up the quaint sayings which form his collection as he went his busy rounds amongst

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