Monday, September 26, 2016

The Durham Proverbs

From A Clerk at Oxford:
I find this an irresistible spur to the imagination, and as I read through the Durham Proverbs I like to picture young Osbern and his fellow schoolboys being reared on these eminently practical bits of wisdom. Perhaps when they were restless their masters used to say to them Geþyld byþ middes eades ('patience is half of happiness'), as my parents used to laughingly say to me, 'Patience is a virtue!' I wonder what the blind girl in Osbern's story would have made of the seventeenth proverb, Blind byþ bam eagum se þe breostum ne starat, 'He is blind in both eyes who does not look with the heart'. Perhaps once cured, as she marvelled at all the new sights open to her, she would have agreed with another of the proverbs: Ne wat swetes ðanc, se þe biteres ne onbyrgeð, 'He never knows the pleasure of sweetness, who never tastes bitterness'.(Read more.)

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