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The next step from being interested in any particular subject is to make a hobby of one’s favourite pursuit, and to cultivate it with persistence and assiduity. The pursuit of most hobbies generally involves a considerable expenditure of hard cash, but to the student who desires to collect the popular sayings of his country only a certain amount of leisure, free access to the necessary books, and a sufficient supply of stationery are indis pensable. In forming the foundation of my collection I read all the best Scottish books I could find with the view of picking out the proverbs from their pages. Amongst the authors care fully studied were Scott, Burns, Ramsay, Galt, Hogg, and many others too numerous to mention here, but to whom references are given throughout this volume. In particular many gems were met with in the Waverley Navels. Scott uses these quaint old sayings with great aptness, and point, and perhaps none of the characters created by the genius of the Wizard of the North clenches an argument with a proverb more tellingly than Andrew F airservice, the quaintly pawky, yet unblushingly selfish gardener in Rob Roy. If ye dinna think me fit, replied Andrew, in a huff, to speak like ither folk, gie me my wages, and my board-wages, and I’se gae back to Glasgow — there’s sma’ sorrow at our pairting, as the auld mear said to the broken cart.
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