Fergusson, David. A Select Collection of Scots Poems... Chiefly in the Broad Buchan Dialect. To Which Is Added a Collection of Scots Proverbs...
Edinburgh: Printed by T. Ruddiman and Co., 1785. 180 by 110mm (7 by 4¼ inches). 12 mo. 2 parts in 1; , 38, 60; 36 pp. Very nicely bound in early 20th century 1⁄2 red morocco, gilt decorated spine, over marbled boards with marbled endpapers. Bookplate of Allan D. MacDonald on front pastedown.
Very good plus; table of contents leaf closely trimmed at fore-margin, affecting a few page numbers.
A scarce early edition. Two of the selections in the first part are in macaronic verse (Latin and Scots). The second part, “A Collection of Scottish Proverbs,” are arranged in alphabetical order and are quite edgy. For example:
“He that is fraid of a fart should never hear thunder.”
“He is a fairy cook that may not lick his ain fingers.”
This then continues with section headings such as:
“Of Rich Persons; of ignorant persons; of effeminate persons; of drunkards; of hypocrites.”
Of especial interest for the study of dialect is an eight-page “Key” with English translations of the “hard words”.
The compiler, David Fergusson (c. 1533–1598) was a Scottish reformer and minister of the Church of Scotland. For a minister, it’s certainly a bawdy book. Among the authors represented in the book are Robert Forbes, William Forbes, and William Drummond.
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