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  • Storms broke on the hills, spread snow or filled the freshets as with tears, and then departed, leaving the curlews drilling holes with their cries in the sphere of catharised clear air; and the people there, men resting on their staves, women at their but-and-ben doors, spoke with magnificent calm, as if they had exhausted all their violence on certain specific occasions.

    The Judge Rebecca West 1937

  • So they lived on in the but-and-ben, with the lonely, tall ash standing over it, and the view of Jura, the sweetest I know, in front, and he died very old indeed, and his wife followed him in two or three days, so they were not separated even by death for long.

    From Edinburgh to India & Burmah 1900

  • The cottage had originally consisted of the usual "but-and-ben" -- that is to say, in well regulated houses (which this one was not) of a kitchen -- and a room that was not the kitchen.

    The Dew of Their Youth 1887

  • Is it not better to have a big country than a kailyard, or a house in Grosvenor Square than a but-and-ben in Balham? "

    The Moon Endureth: Tales and Fancies John Buchan 1907


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  • Citation on catharise.

    July 29, 2009

  • Up the close and down the stair,

    But and ben wi' Burke and Hare.

    Burke's the butcher, Hare's the thief,

    Knox the boy that buys the beef.

    - traditional rhyme.

    July 29, 2009