fair and softly goes far in a day

c 1350 Douce MS 52 no. 50 Fayre and softe me [one] ferre gose.

1670 J. RAY English Proverbs 87 Fair and softly goes far in a day... He that spurs on too fast at first setting out, tires before he comes to his journeys end. Festina lente.

1818 SCOTT Heart of Midlothian IV. viii. Reuben Butler isna the man I take him to be, if he disna learn the Captain to fuff [puff] his pipe some other gate [place] than in God’s house, or [before] the quarter be ower. ‘Fair and softly gangs far,’ said Meiklehose.

1914 K. F. PURDON Folk of Furry Farm ii. Maybe I’m like the singed cat, better than I look! I’m slow, but fair and easy goes far in a day.

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