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Collection of Scotch Proverbs   By:

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PAPPITY STAMPOY

A Collection of Scotch Proverbs (1663)

With an Introduction by Archer Taylor

GENERAL EDITORS

RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan RALPH COHEN, University of California, Los Angeles VINTON A. DEARING, University of California, Los Angeles LAWRENCE CLARK POWELL, Clark Memorial Library

ASSISTANT EDITOR W. EARL BRITTON, University of Michigan

ADVISORY EDITORS EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington BENJAMIN BOYCE, Duke University LOUIS BREDVOLD, University of Michigan JOHN BUTT, King's College, University of Durham JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles LOUIS A. LANDA, Princeton University SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota ERNEST C. MOSSNER, University of Texas JAMES SUTHERLAND, University College; London H. T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY EDNA C. DAVIS, Clark Memorial Library

INTRODUCTION

In his collection of Scottish proverbs from literary texts written before 1600 Bartlett Jere Whiting has laid a solid foundation for the investigation of early Scottish proverbs and has promised a survey of later collections. [1] The following brief remarks are not intended to anticipate his survey but rather to suggest the place of this particular collection in the historical development and to point out the questions that it raises. Before 1600 men in Scotland had begun to make collections of proverbs. A manuscript collection made by Archbishop James Beaton (1517 1603) seems to have disappeared, but may survive in a form disguised beyond all chance of recognition. Although editions of it published in 1610, 1614, and "divers other Years" with "Mr. Fergusson's Additions" have been reported, no copies of them have been found. [2] "Mr. Fergusson" is no doubt David Fergusson (ca. 1525 1598), whose Scottish Proverbs was published at Edinburgh in 1641. [3] This collection presumably includes the earlier gatherings by Beaton and Fergusson, but is arranged in a rough alphabetical order that makes it impossible to recognize its possible sources. According to Beveridge, it contains 911 proverbs.[4] A new edition of 1659 and the subsequent editions down to and including that of 1716 announced themselves as Nine hundred and fourty Scottish Proverbs . In the edition of 1667, according to Beveridge, "The proverbs are numbered to 945; but no doubt there are omissions, as in ... 1692." The edition of 1692 also runs to 945, "with 14 numbers omitted and one number duplicated," making a total of 932, and in the edition of 1706 "a fifteenth number is omitted." [5] No information about the editions of 1709 and 1716 is available. The edition of 1799 was reduced to 577 items.

Two manuscripts that were probably written in the first half of the seventeenth century belong to the tradition represented by Fergusson's collection but differ more or less widely from it in ways that require further study. Beveridge, who prints one of these manuscripts in its entirety, conjectures that it may "be a much extended version founded upon a manuscript copy of [the edition of 1641], no doubt made before the year 1598, when Fergusson's collection had presumably been completed" (p. xvi). However this may be, it contains 1656 proverbs with repetitions and changes in alphabetization that make it difficult to determine what has been added or perhaps omitted. In preparing Beveridge's materials for publication, Bruce Dickins came upon a second "roughly contemporary" manuscript containing an unspecified number of proverbs (pp. 126 127). It contains some texts found in both the first manuscript and the book of 1641 and some entirely new texts, and agrees in one instance with the book against the manuscript and in another with the manuscript against the book... Continue reading book >>




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