T Whyte Paterson
AULD SAWS IN NEW SCOTS SANGS
We have inherited from our forefathers a very extensive, and an eminently rich legacy of proverbial philosophy. Allan Ramsay describes the proverbs of Scotland as shining with "waled sense"; and another appreciative writer declares that they are distinguished by being "pithy, pawky, penetrating, humorous, and sappy." And yet, the literature of Scottish proverbs seems to be unknown, to a large extent, at the present time; and the quotation, in every-day speech, of the maxims so familiar to our fathers, has fallen into disregard and disuse. On both sides the loss is far from being meagre. These aphorisms present such a practical philosophy of life, and make such a direct human appeal, that they merit other treatment than that of neglect. They are "true to nature, and lasting because they are true;" and the deprivation is ours, if we dispose ourselves to overlook the wise sayings of a past age. which our own wisdom has not outgrown. A selection of these "Auld Saws" appears in the following pages, with illustrations of their teaching presented in the verses attached; and should the contents of this volume succeed in inducing readers to make themselves "maisters o' the hale ware," as Ramsay expresses it, they will accomplish an object that seems worth achieving.
Included amongst the proverbs referred to are a few that have been drawn from "The Book of Proverbs," and, like the others, versified in the forms of Scottish phraseology.
THE WYSE-SAYINS O SOLOMON
THE suggestion for the preparation of this volume emanated from the publisher of it, accompanied by an expression of surprise, that none of those, who had previously provided Scots renderings of Bible books, had been induced to undertake similar work in regard to the Book of Proverbs, since the genius of the Scottish language supplied an eminently fitting medium for the reutterance of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament.
In the contents of the following pages, 1 have endeavoured to meet the publisher's desideratum, and to answer his expectation; and readers, who are interested in the speech beloved of our fathers, will judge for themselves, whether the pithiness of the Scots diction, and the expressiveness of the Scots idiom, present to their minds, in this form, the Wyse-sayin's o' Solomon with any freshness of appeal.
In preparing the rendering contained in this volume, I have generally followed the text of the Revised Version throughout; and this will account for the variations in reading, where the sense of the passage seems to differ from what may be more familiar to the ear in the Authorised Version.
As to the literary setting of the book, I have been largely guided by the arrangement which Professor Moulton pursues in "The Modern Reader's Bible" (Macmillan & Co.), and in that connection I desire to express the measure of my indebtedness.