Scottish Quotations - Page 4

Mary Queen of Scots

Bust of Mary Queen of Scots in Edinburgh Castle

"To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire, above any realm, nation or city, is repugnant to nature, contumely to God, a thing most contrarious to his revealed will and approved ordinance; and, finally, it is the subversion of all equity and justice".

John Knox - the opening sentence of "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women" (1558).


"Cursed Jezebel of England!"

John Knox, the Protestant reformer, being less than charitable about Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century.


"Aye, I'm telling ye, happiness is one of the few things in this world that doubles every time you share it with someone else."

Attributed to Sir Harry Lauder, comedian and entertainer (1870-1950)


Sir Harry Lauder, comedian and entertainer


"Scotland small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland SMALL? Only as a patch of hillside may be a cliché corner to a fool who cries "Nothing but heather!"

Poet Hugh McDiarmid (1892-1978)


"We are often unable to tell people what they need to know because they want to know something else."

Poet and novelist George MacDonald from Huntly (1824-1905)


"Ye lover of the picturesque, if ye wish to drown your grief,
Take my advice and visit the ancient town of Crieff."

William McGonagall (1825/1902), said by some to be a poet.


"I fear that the development of the railways will destroy the need for waterproof coats"

Charles Macintosh (1766-1843), chemist and manufacturer of waterproof clothing.


"Beer does not taste like itself unless it is chasing a dram of neat whisky down the gullet - preferably two drams"

Sir Compton MacKenzie writing in 1907.


"I have always agreed with the old saying that the only difference between the sacrilegious and the sanctimonious is that the sacrilegious have a sense of humour"

Michael McMahon MSP, during the debate on the format of prayers at the start of each day's session of the Scottish Parliament.

"O grant me, Heaven, a middle state,
Neither too humble, or too great;
More than enough for nature's ends,
With something left to treat my friends."

Author David Mallet (1705-65), a friend of the poet James Thomson. He collaborated with Thomson on a play in which the song "Rule Britannia" first appeared.


Mary Queen of Scots was defeated at the battle of Langside on May 13, 1568 and fled to England where she was imprisoned for 19 years by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth. Questioned by commissioners appointed to try her she remarked:

"Look to your consciences and remember that the theatre of the world is wider than the realm of England".


"Scatter my ashes, Strew them in the air.
Lord, since thou knowest where all these atoms are,
I'm hopeful Thou'lt recover once my dust,
And confident Thoul't raise me with the Just"

Marquis of Montrose, on the eve of his execution in 1650, after a brilliant but eventually losing campaign on behalf of the Royalists against the Covenanters.


"Ye canna recite Burns juist oot o yer heid. If it disnae come fae yer hert and up through yer heid, it's no worth sayin. Because it must touch the hert, because Burns touched the hert a' the time."

Wullie Morrison, an Ayrshire Grocer and Burns enthusiast, talking on a Radio Scotland broadcast.


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