Scottish Proverbs

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Penfield Press, 1987 - Religion - 60 pages
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Scottish Proverbs contains distillations of the Scottish experience in the form of proverbs that have evolved from that experience. Collected by Julie Jensen McDonald beginning with research for her novel The Heather and the Rose, these bits of folk wisdom are reproduced in hand calligraphy adapted to the styles of the seventh-century Insular Half-Unicals and tenth-century Anglo-Saxon Miniscule, both from the manuscript The Lindisfarne Gospels. Printed single-sided, each page is a work of art worthy of framing. Illustrations include the Scottish Lion, a celtic cross from Iona, a fictional clan badge from the family of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, and on the cover, a Luckenbooth pin designed to win the heart of Mary Queen of Scots. The cover plaid is Black Stewart. Julie Jensen McDonald, related by marriage to the great Clan Donald, is the author of more than a dozen published books, including novels, a biography and a volume of regional history. Esther Feske, calligrapher and graphic designer from ALbuquerque, New Mexico, relates to the family of Oglevie and was also the designer for Julie McDonald's prize-winning Scandinavian Proverbs. This collection-sometimes rueful, other times philosophical, occasionally humorous and always practical- gives an insight to the people and their experience. Throughout this book are the words of Robert Burns, the immortal poet of Ayr, who wrote many a line that sounds like, and has become a proverb. His down-to-earth insights have been passed from generation to generation with the same enduring verity as the proverbs forged in the hearts of the Scots.

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Befitting any spirited soiree, postprandial repose or protracted lull upon one's laxative throne, this slight compendium of apothegms sublimated by the characteristic concision of Scottish vernacular consists of epigrams profound, practical and wry, winnowed in extract from oral traditions and excerpting the verse of iconic Ayr metrician Robert Burns, whose poesy prefaces topics remitted to ascent of mull, such as Canny Observations:
Craft must have clothes, but truth goes naked.
No weather's ill, if the wind be still.
Trouble follows all extremes.
...Concerning the Almighty:
Danger past, God forgotten.
No tear should fall on the face of a good man dying.
...Friends and Neighbors:
Be slow in choosing a friend, and slower in changing him.
The shortest road's where the company's good.
...Human Nature:
When I did well, I heard it never; when I did ill, I heard it ever.
Fools look to tomorrow, while wise men use tonight.
...Love and Marriage:
He who tells his wife all is newly married.
Never marry for money; ye'll borrow it cheaper.
...Money and Property:
A shroud has no pockets.
The purse of a sick person prolongs his care.
Content is no child of wealth.
...Sage Advice:
Give your tongue more holidays than your head.
If you don't see the bottom, don't wade.
You can beguile none but those who trust in you.
...Food and Drink:
He that buys land buys stones,
he that buys beef buys bones,
he that buys nuts buys shells,
he that buys good ale buys nothing else.
Handsomely printed and bound in a cover of Black Steward plaid, this slender book sports graceful chirography of faux Insular Half-Uncial and Anglo-Saxon Miniscule scripts beseeming the lineament of these maxims, and delineations of Burns, a lion of Royal Arms, a bagpipe set, thistles (adorning corners of page delimitations), et cetera, rendered by the skilled hand of one Esther Feske. Its brevity of content would entail a binding of mere staples were every page not blank overleaf; as adumbrated, its succinct length gibes with the terseness of the axioms within.
 

About the author (1987)

Julie Jensen McDonald, related by marriage to the great Clan Donald, is the author of more than a dozen published books, including novels, a biography and a volume of regional history. Esther Feske, calligrapher and graphic designer from ALbuquerque, New Mexico, relates to the family of Oglevie and was also the designer for Julie McDonald's prize-winning Scandinavian Proverbs.

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