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Proverbs, Proverbial Expressions, and

Popular Rhymes of Scotland

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COLLECTED AND ARRANGED
WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES AND PARALLEL PHRASES

BY

ANDREW CHEVIOT
AUTHOR OF "Trick, TRIAL, AND TRIUMPH,” “The Provɔst of

ST. Foins," ETC., ETC.

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ALEXANDER GARDNER

Publisher to Her Majesty the Queen
PAISLEY; AND PATERNOSTER SQUARE, LONDON

1896

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PREFACE.

It is now nearly nine years since I first began to collect materials relating to the proverbs, proverbial expressions, and popular rhymes of Scotland. During a somewhat erratic course of reading, persistently pursued for many years, I came across quite a number of curious sayings not only in books and magazines, but also in daily and weekly newspapers, and it is somewhat remarkable that many of the rarest, and most precious gems were discovered in singularly primitive journals, published in quiet, quaint old world burgh towns. But not only was I attracted by the sayings themselves, I was over and over again intensely interested in reading the stories of their origin, or the historical, social, humorous, or pathetic incidents with which many of them have become associated. Indeed, what may be called the secondary, or subsidiary incidents are in many cases more interesting, and important than the original sayings. The well known, and frequently quoted proverb, "The mair mischief the better sport" is given in most of the previous collections, but there is a story connected with it which is related in none of them. On the day appointed for the execution of Lord Lovat, of the '45, when the guards entered his cell to conduct him to the place of execution, they informed his Lordship, that the platforms erected to give the public a good view of the gruesome procession to Tower Hill had collapsed, causing the death of several persons.

“Weel, weel,” grimly replied the doomed nobleman, " the mair mischief the better sport.” Now such a striking historical incident gives an interest to this proverb apart from, and superior to its intrinsic value, because instead of being regarded merely as an abstract saying it becomes associated in our minds with the striking personality of one of the most re

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