Pappity Stampoy.

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By Anonymous

Collected by Pappity Stampoy


With an Introduction by Archer Taylor


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_


W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_


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_


EDNA C. DAVIS, _Clark Memorial Library_


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. Since only twelve
proverbs from this second manuscript are in print, any inferences about
relationships are risky.

The successful career of Fergusson's collection or the manuscripts
from which it was derived extended even farther than a share in the
collections already mentioned. In four collections which remain to
be discussed we can reckon with a close direct or indirect connection
with Fergusson's printed text. John Ray printed Fergusson's collection
in a partially anglicized form with minor changes and additions of
uncertain origin in _A Collection of English Proverbs_ (London,
1670). This book became, after several editions, the foundation of
the standard modern collections. Except for anglicization, "D" in Ray,
and Fergusson, 1641, agree exactly even to _tearm_ [term] in "Dead
and marriage make tearm-day." Variations not found in the edition of
1641 like _reply_ for _plie_ [plea] in "Na plie is best" and
_churn_ for _kirne_ in "Na man can seek his marrow in the kirne, sa weill
as hee that has been in it himself" suggest that Ray may have been
following a later edition than that of 1641. According to Beveridge
(p. xvi), Fergusson's collection also appears in _A Select Collection
of Scots Poems, Chiefly in the Broad Buchan Dialect_ (Edinburgh, 1777,
1785). The two editions are the same, except that that of 1777 has no
publisher's name and that of 1785 was issued by T. Ruddiman and Co. The
proverbs come at the end and are paged separately.

Finally, Fergusson's collection was the source of both this collection
bearing the mysterious name Pappity Stampoy and a derivative of it,
but again with some modifications. Since all the variations except
the Latin parallel texts that are, according to Beveridge (pp.
xxxvii-xxxix), characteristic of the edition of Fergusson published
in 1692 are present in Pappity Stampoy, these variations must have
been introduced into one or both of the editions of 1649 and 1659.
With such information as is at present available it is impossible to
determine whether Pappity Stampoy's rare additions were his own or
were also derived, as seems probable, from an edition of Fergusson.
Such proverbs as "Drunken wife gat ay the drunken penny" (Pappity Stampoy,
p. 17), "Eat and drink measurely, and defie the mediciners" (p. 18),
and "Put your hand into the creel, and you will get either an adder,
or an Eele" (p. 43) do not appear in the 1641 edition, but may be present
in a later one. In any event, _The Oxford Dictionary of English
Proverbs_ vouches for the currency of the last two proverbs in the
sixteenth century. Pappity Stampoy may have followed his source in
rejecting the "Proverbiale speeches" (Beveridge, pp. 46-50) or may
have discarded them on his own responsibility. As F. P. Wilson points
out, he showed ingenuity of a sort. "The thief jumbles the order of
the first 81 proverbs given in Fergusson under the letter A; then,
having put his reader off the scent, he gives the remaining proverbs
under this letter in Fergusson's order. Under another letter he may
give a run of proverbs in reverse order." [6]

Pappity Stampoy, who was scarcely an honorable man, soon got a Roland
for his Oliver. As Wilson says, the _Adagia Scotica or a Collection
of Scotch Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, Collected by R. B. Very
Usefull and Delightfull_ (London: Nathaniel Brooke, 1668) "Turns
out to be a page-for-page reprint ... provided with a new title and
the initials of a new collector in order (is it unjust to say?) to
deceive customers."

Apart from its rarity, Pappity Stampoy's little book has both a curious
interest and a value of its own. Bibliographers have failed to decipher
the pseudonym, or to identify the printer. Some lucky chance may supply
the answers to these questions. The collection has some value to a
student of proverbs for a few scantily recorded texts that have
presumably been taken from the 1659 edition of Fergusson. Although they
do not appear in the old standard collections made by Bohn, Apperson,
and Hazlitt, Morris P. Tilley, who has used R. B.'s collection, has found
and pinned them down. More interesting and important than such details
about the recording of proverbs is the publication of Pappity Stampoy's
book in London. It is therefore an early instance of English interest in
Scottish proverbs. R. B.'s plagiarism of 1668 is in the same tradition,
and so also is John Bay's publication of Scottish proverbs in 1670. A
selection of 126 Scottish proverbs, which like the others appears to have
been derived from Fergusson, may be found in the anonymous _Select
Proverbs, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Scotish, British &c_.
(London, 1707), which is credited to John Mapletoft. It was reprinted
with a slight variation in title in 1710. F. P. Wilson notes an even better
example of English interest than these in "[James] Kelly's excellent
collection of 1721 [which] was published in London and was specially
designed for English readers."

Archer Taylor

University of California


Note: The copy here reproduced is in the possession of the William
Andrews Clark Memorial Library.


[Footnote 1: "Proverbs and Proverbial Sayings from Scottish Writings Before 1600,"
_Mediaeval Studies_, XI (1949), 123-205, XII (1951). 87-164.]

[Footnote 2: Erskine Beveridge, _Fergusson's Scottish Proverbs From the Original
Print of 1641 Together with a larger Manuscript Collection of about the
same period hitherto unpublished_, Scottish Text Society, 15
(Edinburgh, 1924), p. ix. John Maxwell's collection made between 1584
and 1589 was compiled from books; see B. J. Whiting, "John Maxwell's
'Sum Reasownes and Prowerbes,'" _Modern Language Notes_, LXIII (1948),

[Footnote 3: The spelling Fergusson seems preferable. Donald Wing, _Short-Title
Catalogue_ (3 v., New York, 1945-1951), II, 47, F 767-770 prints "Ferguson"
but alphabetizes it as "Fergusson." He reports locations for the editions
of 1641, 1659, and 1667. Beveridge reports an edition in the British
Museum which lacks the titlepage but may be the edition of 1675 and
editions of 1692, 1706, and 1799. He reproduces the titlepage of the
edition of 1667 and the first page. It shows variations in spelling
but not in text. Beveridge cites no locations for the editions of 1649,
1699, 1709, and 1716.]

[Footnote 4: It contains at least 912 proverbs, for there is an error in numbering at
No. 686. I have not tested the numbers throughout.]

[Footnote 5: For the details see Beveridge, pp. xxxvii-xxxix.]

[Footnote 6: "English Dictionaries and Dictionaries of Proverbs," _The Library_,
4th. Series, XXV (1945-1946), 50-71, especially p. 66.]


Collected by _Pappity Stampoy_.



A Fair Bride is soon buskt, and a short Horse is soon wispt.

A friends Dinner is soon dight.

All is not in hand that helps.

All the Keys of the Countrey hangs not at one Belt.

An ill Cook would have a good Cleaver.

As good haud, as draw.

As the old Cock craws, the young Cock lears.

All fails that fools thinks.

A blyth heart makes a blomand visage.

A gentle Horse would not be over fair spur'd.

A still Sow eats all the Draff.

All things hath a beginning, God excepted.

A blind man should not judge of colours.

A good fellow tint never, but at an ill fellows hand.

All the Corn in the Country is not shorn by the Kempers.

A good beginning makes a good ending.

As many heads as many wits.

A black shoe makes a blythe heart.

A Vaunter and a Lyar is both one thing.

A dum man wan never land.

And old hound bytes fair.

A sloathfull man is a Beggers brother.

As soon comes the Lamb-skin to the market as the old Sheeps.

At open doors Dogs come in.

An hungry man sees far.

All is not tint that is in peril.

As the Sow fills the Draff fowres.

A good asker should have a good nay-say.

A good ruser was never a good rider.

A Lyar should have a good memory.

Ane Begger is wae, another by the gate gae.

A wight man never wanted a weapon.

A half-penny Cat may look to the King.

As fair greits the bairn that is dung after noon, as he that is dung
before noon.

An oleit Mother makes a fweir Daughter.

A borrowed len should come laughing ahme.

As long runs the Fox as he hath feet.

A proud heart in a poor breast, has meikle dolour to dree.

A teem purse makes a bleat merchant.

Ane year a Nurish, seven years a Daw.

Ane ill word begets another, and it were at at the Bridge at _London_.

A Wool-seller kens a Wool-buyer.

Auld men are twice bairns.

All fellows, Jock and the Laird.

A hasty man never wanted woe.

A silly bairn is eith to lear.

As good merchant tines as wins.

A racklesse hussy makes mony thieves.

A hungry lowse bites fair.

Anes pay it never crave it.

A fools bolt is soon shot.

Anes wood, never wise, ay the worse.

As the Carle riches he wretches.

An ill life, an ill end.

A Skabbed Horse is good enough for a skald Squire.

A given Horse should not be lookt in the teeth.

An old seck craves meikle clouting.

A travelled man hath leave to lye.

A fool when he hes spoken, hes all done.

A man that is warned, is half-armed.

A mirk mirrour is a mans mind.

A full heart lied never.

A good Cow may have an ill Calf.

A dum man holds all.

A Cock is crouse upon his own midding.

A greedy man God hates.

As fair fights Wrans as Cranes.

A skade mans head is soon broke.

A yeeld Sow was never good to gryses.

An unhappy mans Cairt is eith to tumble.

As meikle upwith, as meikle downwith.

A new Bissom sweeps clean.

A skabbed sheep syles ail the flock.

A tarrowing bairn was never fat.

A tratler is worse then a thief.

An ill shearer gat never a good hook.

A burnt bairn fire dreads.

All the speed is in the spurs.

A word before is worth two behinde.

An ill win penny will cast down a pound.

An old seck is ay skailing.

A fair fire makes a room flet.

An old Knave is na bairn.

A good yeoman makes a good woman.

A man hath no more good then he hath good of.

A fool may give a wise man a counsell.

A man may speir the gate to _Rome_.

As long fives the merry-man, as the wretch for all the craft he can.

All wald have all, all wald forgive.

Ane may lead a Horse to the water, but four and twenty cannot gar him

A bleat Cat makes a proud Mouse.

An ill-willy Cow should have short horns.

A good piece steil is worth a penny.

A shored Tree stands long.

A gloved Cat was never a good Hunter.

A gangan foot is ay getting, and it were but a thorn.

All is not gold that glitters.

Ane Swallow makes no summer.

A man may spit on his hand, and doe full ill.

An ill servant will never be a good maister.

An hired Horse tired never.

All the winning is in the first buying.

An unch is a feast, (of Bread and Cheese.)

An Horse may snapper on four feet.

All things wytes that well not fares.

All things thrive but thrice.

Absence is a shro.

Auld sin, new shame.

A man cannot thrive except his wife let him.

A bairn must creep ere he gang.

As long as ye bear the tod, ye man bear up his tail.

All overs are ill but over the water.

A man may wooe where he will, but wed where is his weard.

A mean pot plaid never even.

Among twenty four fools not ane wise man.

Ane mans meat is another mans poyson.

A fool will not give his Bauble for the Tower of _London_.

A foul foot makes a son wemb.

A man is a Lyon in his own cause.

A hearty hand to give a hungry meltith.

A cumbersome Cur in company is hated for his miscarriage.

A poor man is fain of little.

An answer in a word.

A bettlesie brain cannot lye.

A yule feast may be quit at Pasch.

A good dog never barkt but a bene.

A full seck will take a clout on the side.

An ill hound comes halting home.

All things helps quoth the Wran, when she pisht in the Sea.

All cracks, all beares.

All Houndlesse man comes to the best Hunting.

All things hes an end, a Pudding hes twa.

All is well that ends well.

As good hads the stirep as he that loups on.

A begun work is half ended.

A Scots man is ay wife behind band.

A new tout in all old horn.

A broken a Ship hes come to land.

As the fool thinks ay the bell clinks.

A man may see his friend need, but will not see him bleed.

A friend is not known but in need.

A friend in Court is worth a penny in purse.

All things are good unseyed.

A good Goose indeed, but she hes an ill gansell.

All are not maidens that wears bare hair.

A Mach and a Horshoe are both alike.

Airly crooks the Tree that good Lammock should be.

An ounce of mother-wit, is worth a pound of clergie.

An inch of a nag is worth a span of an aver.

A good word is as soon said as an ill.

A spoon full of skytter spills a pot full of skins.


Better give nor take.

Better lang little, then soon right nought.

Better hand loose, nor bound to an ill baikine.

Better late thrive then never.

Buy when I bid you.

Better sit idle then work for nought.

Better learn by your neighbors skaith nor by your own.

Better half an egge, nor teem doup.

Better apple given nor eaten.

Better a Dog faun nor bark on you.

Boden gear stinks.

Bourd neither with me, nor with my Honour.

Betwixt twae stools the arse falls down.

Better bide the Cooks nor the Mediciners.

Better bairns greit, nor bearded men.

Better saucht with little aucht, nor care with many cow.

Better two skaiths, nor ane sorrow.

Bring a Cow to the Hall, and she will run to the byre again.

Better bow nor break.

Bear wealth, poverty will bear itself.

Better a wit cost, nor two for nought.

Better good sale, nor good Ale.

Better wooe over midding, nor over mosse.

Better happy to court, nor good service.

Blaw the wind nere so saft, it will lowen at the last.

Better be happy nor wise.

Binde fast, finde fast.

Better plays a full wemb nor a new coat.

Better say, Here it is, nor, Here it was.

Better auld debts nor auld sairs.

Bourd not with Bawty, fear lest he bite ye.

Better a fowl in hand nor twa flying.

Better rew sit, nor rew flie.

Better spare at the breird nor at the bottome.

Better finger off, nor ay warking.

Bind the seck ere it be full.

Better be well loved, nor ill won geir.

Better a clout nor a hole out.

Better no ring, nor the ring of a rash.

Butter and burn-trouts gar maidens f - - the wind.

Better held out nor put out.

Better have a Mouse in the pot as no flesh.

Better sit stil, nor rise and get a fall.

Better leave nor want.

Better buy as borrow.

Better be dead as out of the fashion.

Better unborn nor untaught.

Better be envied nor pittied.

Better a little fire that warms, nor a meikle that burns.

Be the same thing that thou wald be cald.

Better a laying Hen nor a lyin Crown.

Bannaks is better nor na kind of bread.

Black will be no other Hue.

Beauty but bounty avails nought.

Bairns mother burst never.

Breads House skiald never.

Biting and scarting is Scots folks Wooing.

Beware of Had I wist.

Better be alone nor in ill company.

Better a chigging mother, nor a riding father.

Better never begun nor never endit.

Bonie silver is soon spendit.

Before I wein, and now I wat.


Curtesie is cumbersom to them that kens it not.

Come it aire, come it late, in May comes the Cow-quake.

Court to the Town, and whore to the window.

Calk is na sheares.

Clap a carle on the culs, and he will shit in your louf.

Cadgers speaks of lead saddles.

Changing of works is lighting of hearts.

Charge your friend ere you need.

Cats eats that Hussies spares.

Cast not forth the old water while the new come in.

Cease your snow balls casting.

Crabbit was, and cause had.

Comparisons are odious.

Cold cools the love that kindles over hot.

Cut duels in every Town.

Condition makes, and condition breakes.

Come not to the councell uncalled.


Dead and marriage makes Term-day.

Do weil and have weil.

Do as ye wald be done to.

Do in Hill, as ye wald do in Hall.

Dame dein warily.

Dummie cannot lie.

Draff is good enough for Swine.

Dead at the one door, and heirship at the other.

Do well, and doubt no man; and do weil, and doubt all men.

Do the likeliest, and God will do the best.

Drunken wife gat ay the drunken penny.

Drink and drouth comes sindle together.

Dead men bites not.

Daffing dow nothing.

Dogs will red swine.

Drive out the inch as thou hast done the span.

Dirt parts company.


Every man can rule an ill wife, but he that hes Her.

Eaten meat is good to pay.

Eild wald have Honour.

Evening Orts is good morning-fother.

Every man wisheth the water to his own milne.

Early maister, lang knave.

Every land hes his lauch, and every corne hes the caff.

Eat and drink measurely, and defie the mediciners.

Every man for Himself, quoth the mertine.

Efter delay comes a Let.

Efter long mint, never dint.

Every man slams the fat sows Arse.

Experience may teach a fool.

Every man wats best where his own shoe binds him.

Efter word comes weard.


Foul water slokens fire.

Fools are fain of flitting.

Falshood made never a fair Hinder-end.

Far fowls have fair feathers.

Follie is a bonny Dog.

Fair heights makes fools fain.

Freedome is a fair thing.

For a tint thing care not.

Fool hast is no speed.

For fault of wise men fools sits on binks.

Forbid a fool a thing, and that he will do.

Fools set far trystes.

For love of the Nuris, many kisses the Bairn.

Fair words brake never bane, foul words many ane.

Fools make feasts, and wise men eat them.

Fools are fain of right nought.

Far fought, and dear bought, is good for Ladies.

Follow love, and it will flee from thee; leave it, and it will follow thee.

Fill fow, and had fow, makes a starke man.

Fools should have no chappin sticks.

Fidlers, dogs and flies, come to the feast uncalled.

Fire is good for the farcy.

Few words sufficeth to a wise man.

Friendship stands not in One side.


Give never the Wolf the Wedder to keep.

Gods help is nearer nor the fair even.

Good wine needs not a wisp.

Grace is best for the man.

Goe shoe the Geese.

Giff, gaff, makes good friends.

Good chear, and good cheap, garres many haunt the House.

God sends men cold, as they have clothes to.

Good-will should be tane in part of payment.

God sends never the mouth, but the meat with it.

Girne when you knit, and laugh when ye loose.

Go to the Devil for Gods-sake.

God sends meat, and the Devil sends Cooks.


Had-I-fish, was never good with Garlick.

He that is welcome fares well.

He that spends his geir on a whore, hes both shame and skaith.

Hunger is good Kitchir-meat.

He mon have leave to speak that cannot had his tongue.

He that is far from his geir, is near his skaith.

He that lippens to bon plows, his land will ly ley.

He rides sicker that fell never.

Help thy self, and God will help thee.

He that will not hear motherhead, shall hear stepmotherhead.

He that crabs without cause, should mease without mends.

He that spares to speak, spares to speed.

He that may not do as he would, mon do as he may.

He is well easit that hes ought of his own, when others go to meat.

He that does ill hates the light.

He that speaks the things he should not, hears the things he would not.

He that is evil deem'd is half hang'd.

He that tholes, overcomes.

He rises over early that is hangit ere noon.

He that forsakes missour, missour forsake him.

Half a tale is enough to a wise man.

He that hews over hie, the spail will fall into his eye.

He that eats while he lasts, will be the war while he die.

He is a weak Horse that may not bear the Saddle.

He that borrows and bigs; makes feasts and thigs; drinks and is not
dry; these three are not thrifty.

He is a proud Tod that will not scrape his own Hole.

He is wise, when he is well can had him sa.

He is poor that God Hates.

He is wise, that is ware in time.

He is wise who can make a friend of a foe.

Hair, and hair, makes the Carles head bare.

Hear all parties.

He that is red for windlestraws, should not sleep in lees.

He that is fraid of a far - should never hear thunder.


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