'dheanamh air chor air bith; oir a rèir cleaoh-dainnean is laghanna na dùthcha, b'e Lulaig Mhic Ghillecomgain (Righ Mhoiridh) a b'fhior-oighre a' chrùin aig an àm ud. Thoisich, leis a sin, gach trioblaid, culaidh-fharmaid, agus còmhstri a thachair ruinne an deigh sin an lorg a' ghlacaidh eucoraich ud. Lean Gàidheil na dùthcha taobh teaghlaich Mhoiridh, agus chog na Sasunnaich, na Frangaich, agus coigrich eile 'nan aghaidh. Sheas ar dùthaich fèin anns an staid chunnartaich aimhreitich ud gu ruig rioghachadh a' chiad Righ Dhàibhidh, an uair (anns a' bhliadhna 1130, mar a thubhairt sinn mu thrath) thug an righ sin buaidh air teaghlaich Mhoiridh air blàr Srath Chathruaidh, agus aig a' cheart àm, dh'aonaich e an dùthaich sin ris fèin.
Thoisich a' chomstri sgriosail, mar a thug sinn fainear a cheana, le connsachadh mu chòir-sheilbh air cathair-rioghail na h-Alba. Cha robh i air tùs 'na spàirn eadar Gàidheal is Gall idir. Bha fir-theaghlaich Athuil, agus fir-theaghlaich Mhoiridh 'nan Gàidheil le cheile; agus o'n a bha e mar sin b'e falachd a mhàin a bha eadar an dà theaghlaich Ghàidhealaich so. Ach is ann mar a chaidh an spàirn so air a h-adhart, is ann mar sin a tha e 'toirt a mach, ceum air cheum gu soilleir co dhiù gach ni a bha fillte ann, gu h-àraidh gur h-e cath eadar Gàidheal is Gall a bh'ann. B'e teaghlach Athuil a thoisich a' chluich chunnartach, fhuilteach, sgriosail ud; agus is ann do bhrigh nach urrainn doibh an cuisean fèin a chuir air adhart gun chobhair, a ghuidh iad air na Sasunnaich agus coigrich eile a bha an taobh a staigh de dh'Alba an cuideachadh. Aig an àm cheudna, thoisich righrean teaghlaich Athuil gu bhith 'nan riaghladairean Sasunnach. Sgriobh Walter à Coventry (mu bhliadhna 1212),
" Moderniores enim Scotorum Reges magis se Francos fatentur, sicut genere, ita moribus lingua, cultti". Dh'atharraich iad àrd-bhaile na dùthcha 0Sgàin gu Dùn Eideann: b'e Righ Dàibhidh a thug a steach do'n dùthaich so na cleachdainnean riaghailteach sin ris an abrar am Feudal System anns a' Bheurla, agus air iomadh dòigh eile thug iad fainear an t-aomadh a bha annta chum cleachdainnean Sasunnach. " David's attachment to Anglo-Norman friends was partly a matter of taste; partly, too, he found them useful against his Celtic subjects. . . . His policy naturally, and for the first time, removed the centre of the kingdom from the country between Spey and Forth to the Lowlands. In Strath Clyde and Lothian, land was, apparently, in direct dependence on the crown: here he could settle his Normans. They proved, as was to be expected, very shifty patriots in times soon to come, if indeed patriotism can be spoken of at all in connexion with such cosmopolitan settlers" (History of Scotland, le Aindrea Lang, L 1, t 237). Deir an t-ùghdair ceudna ann an àite eile : " The long process began (fo Righ Dhàibhidh) by which English brewers, soap-boilers and upholsterers sit in the seats of MacDonalds and MacPhersons ".
Thug sin fainear mu thrath na thachair do dh'Alba an deigh do mhuinntir Mhoiridh a bhith air an cur fo smachd le àrd-righrean na dùthcha a bhuineadh do theaglaich Athuil. Gu grad, chaidh an cumhachd agus an cliù a bha aca mar threun-laoich nan Gàidheal thairis gu righrean nan Eilean. Chuir iad umpa fèin fallaing nan Moiridheach, agus sheas iad a mach gu ruig latha an adhartachaidh mar churaidhean nan Gàidheal.
A nis, ciod e an t-aobhar a th'ann nach d'thug
Mac Dhòmhnuill nan Eilean (no neach air bith eile a bhuineadh do'n Gàidhealtachd) seachad am fol-luis na h-agartsan a bha aca, àir do'n chathair-rioghail a bhith falamh an lorg bàs nighinn an treas Righ Alasdair ? B'e Morair Mhàirr, Mac Dhòmhnuill nan Eilean no h-aon de na naithean Gàidhealach eile, a bha 'na fhior-oighre air a' chrùn a rèir cleachdainnean agus laghanna aosda, bunaiteach na dùthcha. Ach de'n luchd choimh-shreip a bh'ann, cha robh a h-aon a bha 'na fhear coimh-shreip Gàidhealach! Iomhair Bruce ("Bruce le viel," mar theirteadh ris anns an Fhrangaich), Iain Bailliol agus Comyn—bha iad so uile 'nan Frangaich ! Agus, ciod a thaobh an fhir eile, d'am b'ainm Hastings ? B'esan a mhàin an aon Sasunnach ! Car son, mata, nach do chuir muinntir na Gàidhealtachd fear coimh-shreip Gàidhealach suas ? Gun teagamh, bu lion-mhor iad an àireamh, agus b'ann acasan a mhàin a bha an fhior-chòir air a' chrùn, a rèir seann laghanna agus chleachdainnean bunaiteach na dùthcha. Ach is ann mar dhuine gun ghuth, gun ghàirdeanan a bha muinntir na Gàidhealtachd aig an àm ud. Agus air an lorg sin thàinig a steach laghanna is cleachdainnean Sasunnach is Frangach gu Albainn. Bha na Frangaich agus na Sasunnaich anns gach àite, agus gu h-àraidh anns na h-àitean sin far an robh an cumhachd agus am beartas bu mhò ri'm faotainn. A thuilleadh air sin, bha gach fear coimh-shreip a bh'ann 'na nàmhaid do dh'Albainn, agus 'na charaid do Shasunn. Chuir iad an cèill, agus sin gu soilleir, gu'n robh iad a' beachdachadh air a' cheud Righ Iomhair mar ard-riaghladair na dùthcha gu leir. Dh'asluich iad air neach-eiginn a thaghadh dhoibh, a Ios righ na h-Alba a chur air bonn; agus air do dh'Iomhair sin a' deanamh gu toilichte, ghabh Iain Bailliol an chrùn mar ghibht o Righ nan Sasunnach. Rinn e, an sin, dlighe iochdarain d'a uachdaran air son Alba, agus leis a sin, mar a thubhairt iad aig an am " dh'fhàs e 'na thraill do Righ Iomhair ". Ged nach robh comas aig muinntir na Gàidhealtachd stad a chur air na dèanadasan tàmailteach so, gidheadh, ghabh iad diomb mòr ris. Is ann mar sheòrsa de dh'eas-onoir bu mhò, a bha iad a' sealtainn air; agus, mar sin, dhiùlt iad cuid no pairt a bhi aca ris.
Ach ann an ùine ghoirid, thug Iomhair an crùn 0Bhailliol, agus thoisich gu grad a' chomhstri fhuilteach ud ris an abrar anns a' Bheurla The War of Independence. " The Celts, as a whole, were nothing less than sturdy maintainers of Scottish independence," deir Mr. Lang. Air do Righ Iomhair Tir nam beann a thoirt air, a Ios muinntir na dùthcha a chuir for smachd, gheill mòran de na Sasunnaich agus de na Frangaich a bha taobh a staigh dhith ris ; agus ainmeannan na feadhainn a ghèill dha, nach 'eil iad air an sgriobhadh gu soilleir anns an leabhar thàmailteach sin ris an abrar Bagman's Roll? Ach gu dearbh is gann gu'm bheil ainmeannan Gàidhealach sgriobht', ann air fada Rinn beagan de mhuinntir Ghallaobh an taobh deas na h-Alba umhlachd dha ; ach sheas a' chuid bu mhò de mhuinntir na Gàidhealtachd a mach an aghaidh Righ Iomhair, agus chuir iad trioblaid is call nach robh beag air, agus air a chuid uachdairean, agus an luchd leanmhainn sgriosail agus fhuilteach. Sheas Gàidheil na h-Alba a mach air taobh a' ghaisgich sin d'am b'ainm Uilleam le Waleys; agus air do'n laoch ud a bhi air a bhrathadh do làmhan a chuid naimhdean agus air a chur gu bàs, dh'eirich iad air taobh Raibeairt Bhruce; agus air blàr Allt a' Bhonnaich (1314)
(far an robh Bruce e fèin air an ceann), thug iad buaidh air na Sasunnaich, agus chuir iad ard-chrùn na h-Alba air cheann a' bhuadhair.
Gu cinnteach, bu mhòr agus b'àrd an tlachd a bha an righ sin a' cur air Gàidheil na h-Alba fhad 's bu bheò e; agus bu mhòr an spèis a bha aig Raibeart Bruce do Thir nam beann. Bu tric a rinn na Gàidheil agus an Righ strith is cogadh nach robh beag an aghaidh an nàimhdean, agus sin taobh ri taobh. Agus a' chobhair a fhuair e o na Gàidheil air iomadh blàr, agus gu h-àraidh air blàr Allt a' Bhonnaich, cha do dhi-chuimhnich e riamh i. Aig deireadh a làithean, an uair a bha an treun-laoch air fàs tinn agus fann, shocraich e' a' chùirt ann an taobh-siar na h-Alba faisg air Car-dros; agus is ann an sin a fhuair e bàs anns a' bhliadhna 1329. Bha Raibeart Bruce 'na dheadh righ air son nan Gàidheal; agus saor o na Dubh-ghallaich Lathurna, cha do chuir e dragh no trioblaid air bith riamh orra. Sheas Mac Dhòmhnuill nan Eilean a mach mar charaid dha fad mòran bhliadhnaichean ; agus is ann air son sin, nach do chuir esan (no neach air bith eile a bhuineadh do'n Gàidhealtachd, saor o na Dubhghallaich) trioblaid no buaireadh riamh air an righ sin. Air an làimh eile, cha robh Bruce riamh ro chàirdeil ris na Sasunnaich, na Frangaich (ged bu Fhrangach e fèin air taobh 'athar) no ris na coigrich eile a bha an taobh a staigh do dh'Alba. Chog iad ris, agus mar pheanas air son a' ghiùlain sin, thug e air falbh an cuid tiodailean agus an cuid inbhean uapa—ni dh'aobharaich mòran trioblaid agus comhstri do'n dùthaich gu lèir anns na bliadhnaichean a bha fathast ri tighinn, mar a tha ar cuid eachdraichean ag innseadh gu soilleir dhuinn. Ach a thaobh Gàidheal na h-Alba, bha Righ Raibeart Bruce 'na dheagh righ da rireadh. Bha a shùil daonnan ris an àird-an-iar—is a sin ri ràdh, ri dùthaich nan Gàidheal. B'e am miann aige—mar a bha aig Brian Boroimhe Ard-Righ na h-Eirinn (agus ris an robh e glè choltach 'na phearsa agus 'na inntinn)— a bhith gu firinneach na bha daoine a' buileachadh orra leis an ainm sin Rex Scotorum, is e sin ri ràdh " Righ nan Gàidheal". Gu'n deanadh Dia tròcair air 'anam!
Ach an deigh do Raibeart Bruce a bhith air a thoirt air falbh uainn leis a' bhàs, chaidh an dheagh chòrdadh a bha eadar Gàidheal is Gall a bhristeadh. Bha a mhac ach 'na naoidhean beag a mhàin an uair a fhuair 'athair bàs, agus an lorg sin, thuit gu grad riaghladh na dùthcha air aimhreit agus air eas-ordùgh nach robh beag. Thill an fheadhainn a bha air am fuadachadh à dh'Albainn leis an righ nach maireann, o Shasunn agus o dhùthchannan eile; agus rinn iad comh-fheall ri chèile an aghaidh an Righ òig, agus an aghaidh a chuid riaghladairean. Am measg na h-aimhreite so, tharraing Gàidheil air falbh iad fèin o ùinich is comhstri nan daoine ud, agus ann an ùine ghoirid, thog iad an t-sean-bhratach Ghàidhealach suas a ris; agus o'n àm sin gu ruig "Bhliadhna Thearlaich," sheas iad air am buinn fèin, agus chog iad air son an làimh fèin a Ios sealbhachadh na dùthcha gu leir fhaotainn, agus tir nam beann a chumail dhoibh fèin.
A nis, tha cuid ag radh gu'n robh na Gàidheil mar bhrathadairean agus mar fhir-cheannairc aig an àm ud, do bhrigh gu'n robh iad am bitheanta ri beachdachadh air a' chathair-rioghail mar an cuid fèin, agus do bhrigh gu'n robh an abhaist aca coimh-bhoinn is còrdadh a dheanamh eadar iad-fèin agus coigrich chaochlach, an aghaidh Righ na h-Alba, agus a chum Albainn a cheannsachadh agus a thoirt fo'n ùghdarras fèin. Ach, cha'n ann mar sin a tha sinn a' beachdachadh air a' chuis; ach is ann mar a tha Mr. Lang a' gabhail beachd oirre a tha sinn a' gabhail rithe. Deir esan anns an Eachdraidh a sgriobh e : " The Celts lived their own life apart, being far more widely severed by blood, speech, and institutions from the Scots (na Sasunnaich, na Frangaich, agus coigrich eile an Albainn) than the Scots were from the English. Just as Scotland (is e sin ri ràdh Albainn nan Gall) naturally turned towards France and the French alliance, so the chief Celtic Prince, the Lord of the Isles, turned towards England and the English alliance. It would be childish to call this conduct' unpatriotic'. The Celt recognised no common part in Lowland patriotism though the Scottish king was his suzerain. He fought, like Hal of the Wynd, for his own hand."
Tha so uile air a sgriobhadh gu ro mhaith; agus tha e 'na aobhar ioghnaidh leinn gu bheil Mr. Lang a' beachdachadh mu'n chuis so mar a tha e gu soilleir a' deanamh. Gu dearbh, bhiodh e gu tur neonach, agus mar bhalachan faoin a bhith a' gabhail beachd air a' chùis so mar tha mòran a' smuaineachadh oirre—is e sin ri ràdh, mar ni-eiginn anabarrach iongantach, neoleifch-sgeulach, agus nach fhaod a bhith air a mhathadh, no air a mhineachadh, air chor air bith.
Anns a' bhliadhna 1461, chaidh Iain Mac Dhòmhnuill nan Eilean, agus Morair Rois, ann an coimh-bhoino ris an treas Righ Iomhair a Ios Albainn nan Gall a cheannsachadh, agus an deigh d'a chuid tosgairean Lunnainn a ruigsinn, agus cùirt an Righ Shasunnaich a' thoirt orra, thubhairt iad, an lathair an Righ agus a chuirtearan—an uair a bha iad a' cur an cèill cuspairean a' bhanna—" Is sinne, le'r cead, seana nàimhdean Alba ".
Agus, ciod bu chiall do na facail so ? An ann mar dhearbhadh do'n ghràdh a bha eadar Mac Dhòmhnuill nan Eilean agus Righ Shasuinn, no mar dhearbhadh do'n chàirdeas a bha eadar muinntir na Gàidhealtachd agus muinntir Shasuinn, a bha Righ Iomhair a' gabhail riutha ? Cha 'n ann idir. Thuig Mac Dhòmhnuill, agus thuig Righ Iomhair gu'n robh a' chùis mar a bha. Cha robh gaol, no cairdeas, eatorra idir; ach thachair gu'n robh iad 'nan dithis a bha coltach a bhiodh feumail d'a chèile aig an àm ud, agus, mar sin, chaidh am bann a dheanamh. B'e miann a' Ghàidheil a chuid fèin fhaotainn air a h-ais : b'e miann an t-Sasunnaich, Albainn nan Gall a cheannsachadh agus a toirt fo chis. Ghabh Mac Dhòmhnuill beachd gu'n robh leth-bhuillean air a meas beagan ni's fheàrr na 'bhith gun bhuillean idir ! Is dòcha (ma chaidh am bann so a choimhlionadh agus gu buileach) gur ann aig Mac Dhòmhnuill a bhiodh a' chuid bu mhò agus bu fheàrr dheth. Cha robh Mac Dhòmhnuill aig an àm ud cho làidir agus Albainn air fad a ceannsachadh; agus, leis a sin, thug e cuireadh do dhiomhair 'ga chuideachadh gu sin a dheanamh. B'èiginn da, an toiseach, gabhail thairis air Albainn nan Gall, agus a tilg-eadh bun os ceann. Tha Eachdraidh a 'nochdadh dhuinn gu'm bheil e 'na ni mòran ni's fharasda dùthaich a cheannsachadh na an dùthaich sin a chumail fo smachd am feasd. Thug na Sasunnaich buaidh air an Fhraing; agus fhuair iad làmh an uachdair air Albainn nan Gall fad mhòran bhliadhnaichean mar an ceudna. Ach cha bu chomasach dhoibh Albainn no'n Fhraing a chumail fo smachd gu bràth. Dh'eirich an dà mhuinntir sin fo arm, agus thilg iad a mach an cuid buadhaichean. Is dòcha, ma ta, gu'n robh Mac Dhòmhnuill a' beachdachadh air Iomhair mar mheadhon chum chriochan, agus mar inneal, a mhàin. Air do dh'Albainn nan Gall a bhith air a cur fo smachd le Iomhair, agus a chuid arm, bhitheadh Mac Dhòmhnuill an duine bu mhò agus bu treasa an Albainn gu lèir. Sheasadh e a mach, an sin, mar fhior fhear-treòrachaidh nan Gàidheal, agus mar fhear-saoraidh a dhùthcha. Chruinneachadh m'a chuid brataichean, cha b'e na Gàidheil a mhàin, ach Gàidheil nan machraichean, agus a' chuid bu fheàrr agus bu lionmhoire de mhuinntir eile na h-Alba, mar an ceudna. Chogadh iad (le Mac Dhòmhnuill air an ceann) an aghaidh nan Sasunnach, agus air son an làimh fèin; agus, Gàidheil na h-Eirinn 'gan cuideachadh, is dòcha gu'n d'thugadh iad buaidh air na coigrich—araon orrasan a bha'n taobh a staigh de'n dùthaich, agus orrasan nach buineadh dhith idir.
Ach, thuit a' chùis mar a bha, agus mar a bha Dia 'na ghliocas 'ga h-ordùchadh; agus, ann an ùine ghoirid, chaidh am bann eadar Mac Dhòmhnuill is Iomhair a bhristeadh, agus a sgaoileadh. Gidheadh, cha d'fhulaing giùlan folluiseach air taobh nan Gàidheal atharrachadh no muthadh air bith. Sheas iad air a' bhonn a b'abhaist doibh—an seann bhonn air an robh ar sinnsearan a' seasamh fad mòran bhliadhnaichean. Chuir iad an cùil ri Albainn nan Gall mar a b'abhaist dhoibh a dheanamh ; agus rinn iad stri is spàirn air son an làimh fèin mar bu chòir dhoibh a dheanamh. " The Celt recognised no common part in Lowland patriotism." Ghabh iad beachd orra fèin mar chinneach air leth. Chog ar sinnsearan an aghaidh Chrom-bheill (mar a thubhairt sin mu thrath) agus an aghaidh Righ Uilleim, an aghaidh na h-Aonachd (1707) agus air taobh an 8mh Righ Seumas agus a mhic Prionnsa Tearlach, cha'n ann a chionn gu'n deachaidh am bribeadh le òr is airgiod a Ios sin a dheanamh, ach a chionn gu'n d'thug iad gràdh do'n Ghàidhealtachd; a chionn gu'n do chuimhnich iad air na daoine o'n d'thàinig iad, agus a chionn
i'n d'thug iad gràdh is onoir do'n Bheul-aithris hàidhealaich. Agus a nis, an seas Gàidheal na h-Alba far an do sheas iad roimhe—anns na bliadhnaichean a dh'aom? Seasaidh gu dearbh. Tha cuid ag ràdh nach 'eil Albainn mar aon air leth ni's mò. Their iad, gu bheil iochdaran na h-Iompaireachd " Breatunnaich "—gun chòirean, gun dlighean, gun mhiannan sam bith, ach am fear a mhain a tha 'ga roinn leis gach neach eile, a bhuineas do'n inbhe cheudna. Deir iad, tha na fàidhean marbh, tha na laoich marbh, agus is ann mar so tha'n Gàidheal. Leig leis na h-aimsirean a chaidh seachad an cuid mairbh fèin a thiodhlaiceadh! Ma tha àite no suidheachadh air bith aig a' Ghàidheal air an latha an diugh, is ann an. taobh a staigh, cha'n ann an taobh am muigh, de'n Iompaireachd Bhreatunnaich a tha an t-aite sin.
Ach cha'n ann mar so a tha sinne a' beachdachadh air Gàidheil na h-Alba. agus air an cuid miannan. D'ar taobh fèin, ar leinn, nach 'eil an t-sean Bheul-aithnis Ghaidhealach marbh; agus m*r a chog ar sinnsearan air son an làimh fèin anns na làithean a dh'fhalbh, is ann mar sin a tha sinn deas, seadh is dian, gu deanamh fhathast. Gu dearbh, fhuair mòran nithe agus mòran sluaigh bàs. Càit' am bheil Goill na h-Alba? Is ann direach mar Shasunnaich a mhain a dh'fhàs iad. Càit' am bheil am bann a chaidh a dheanamh eadar Goill na h-Alba agus na Frangaich ? Tha e marbh. Is e an Entente Cordiale eadar Sasunn is an Fhraing a tha 'seasamh a nis na àite! Càit' am bheil na Stiubhartaich ? Ciod a thachair dhoibh, agus ris na fir-comhairle aca, agus do'n stiùireadh-riaghlaidh a thug iad do chùisean na dùthcha ? Cu dearbh, tha na Stiubhartaich marbh, agus tha gach ni a bhuineadh dhoibh gu tur marbh mar an ceudna. Shluig Sasunn suas Albainn nan Gall, ionnus nach 'eil eadar-dhealachadh air bith eadar muinntir Shasuinn agus muinntir machraichean na h-Alba. Ach, a thaobh Gàidheal na h-Alba, tha esan beò agus beothail fathast. Tha uaislean agus islean a' co-oibreachadh ri chèile a chum taice a chumail ris an t-sean Bhrataich Ghàidhealaich. Is iad Gàidheil na h-Eirinn, gun teagamh, a tha 'seòladh na slighe do Ghàidheil na h-Alba, anns an ni so, mar ann an iomadh ni eile. An Alba, mar ann an Eirinn, ma ta, biodh am focal-faire so air a thogail, Imperium ex Imperio. Cha'n 'eil feum aig ar muinntir-ne a bhiih "dileas" no "umhail" do'n ni sin, no do'n te no'm fear ud. Oir, gu dearbh, is ann roimh bhreith no iomradh nan Sasunnach, agus an cuid Iompaireachd, tha sinne. agrarian efficiencyIt may be an obvious truism, but it is nevertheless a fact worth calling to mind, that no political question can safely be regarded as settled until it has ceased to be a source of political agitation. Judged by the standard of this commonplace maxim, the Land Question in the Gàidhealtachd is very far
1 Since this paper was in type, the Government has introduced its Crofter Bill into the House of Commons.
indeed from being permanently solved. Indeed, any one at all conversant with the present state of affairs in the Scottish Gaeldom knows full well that at no previous stage of our national existence was this pressing question so extraordinarily acute. It would not be passing the bounds of moderation to describe it as a " burning question," though such language must seem lamentably tame and ridiculously inadequate in comparison with the depth and intensity of the popular feeling in regard to the matter. The Land Question is, for the Gael of Scotland, the question of the hour. None other can compare with it in point of gravity, importance and insistence. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of our race depends on its timeous and successful solution; for without a people to appeal to, how then shall the patriot prevail? The first essential to nationality the foundation-stone of nation-building—is simple flesh and blood. If your country is a wilderness, or a deer-forest, all the shouting and gesticulating in the world will not restore it to its normal condition, or prevent it from going yet farther to the dogs. House-top eloquence is all very well in its way, and, doubtless, the people must be taught; but sermons to rocks and stones, even though they be couched in the language of Eden, will, if unaccompanied and emphasised with action, be powerless not only to stanch the flowing life-blood of our people, but to arrest the threatened disappearance of a race.
We utter this solemn warning advisedly, because we wish the exceeding gravity of this question to be thoroughly realised by all who have at heart the interests of the Gaelic race; and because we wish to identify the Gaelic Renaissance with the Land Question more closely and intimately than it has hitherto been associated with that problem. Obviously, this is no time of day to he going about pleading that the Gaelic movement is not a mere dilettante exultation. Some there are, no doubt, whose inclination or whose interests dispose them so to regard it. For ourselves however, and, we doubt not, for the vast majority of Gaels, the substance of the gingerbread is of infinitely more consequence than the gilt thereof. We have come out to see not a reed shaken by the wind—a popular titled impresario presiding at a " Celtic " tea-fight—-but a living, serious propaganda, whose aim and object are national regeneration and emancipation. Others may don their gala costumes, sprinkle their habiliments with the products of Brazil, and revel in the waters of conviviality ; but for us, as for those who cultivate the admirable art of taking themselves seriously, it is a case of coats off, hard labour, and little refreshment.
For these reasons it is that we desire to draw attention to the Land Question in the Gàidhealtachd as part of the Gaelic movement. We do not say that, with the solution of that question, the Gaelic Renaissance would come to an appropriate and a necessary end. The Land Question, although, undoubtedly, the most pressing question of the hour, is but part of the whole question of Gaelic emancipation. Its solution would certainly ease our people in a manner difficult to realise, owing to the very depth and magnitude of the economic depression they now labour under; but it would not dispose of the question which the Renaissance has raised. On the contrary, its solution would but accentuate it and magnify it. It would free our people, now ground down to the very ground of poverty and wretchedness, owing to unjust laws and depressing social conditions; and, by so freeing and enlarging them, would enable them to turn their attention—now directed exclusively to the maintenance of the awful struggle for existence—to other things. For this reason, if for no other, the Gaelic movement is bound to take cognisance of the Land Question—indeed, of all questions that concern the happiness and prosperity of our race. We are bound, one and all, to do what we can to help the depressed cottars and crofters of the Highlands and Isles. Doubtless, our sympathies are already abundantly engaged in that pathetic direction; but if practice does not follow precept, and action theory, then, assuredly, the movement, as a whole, will live to repent it. Numbers of our people are literally perishing: are we to stand idly by whilst the fell work of destruction and dispersal goes ruthlessly on? God forbid! We have bowels of compassion: let us show that we have willing hearts and capable hands as well.
Looking at the matter entirely from the Gaelic point of view, there are two serious features characterising the present land crisis in the Gàidhealtachd. One is emigration : the other is starvation. The former, though a slower process of national destruction than the latter, is not ultimately the less fatal. Emigration from the Gàidhealtachd has lately increased, in consequence of the Land Question, to an extent that is at once appalling and unprecedented. The life-blood of our people is being drained, not slowly, but rapidly away in consequence of bad laws and intolerable social conditions. We have said in another part of this periodical that we have no wish to bind any man to the soil if he has a mind to go away ; but the point here is that our people are leaving the land of their birth in large numbers, not because they wish, but because they are obliged to do so. That is the serious thing which every humane and patriotic person must take into solemn account. The rolling-stone may safely be left to negotiate its unprofitable adventures. It is no part of politics—no part of any "movement," however aspiring and patriotic—to force "Home Sweet Home" upon the Statute Books; but the distressing and humiliating feature of this haemorrhage from the Highlands is that it should be State-inflicted, not self-imposed. The Gael of Scotland is rightly, naturally, a home-stayer. The fleshpots of Chicago or the abattoirs of New York have no attractions for him. He puts no confidence in trade "kings," and despises, as he detests, their sweating "combinations". An gleann san robh mi òg, Dùthaich mo ghaoil, Tir nam beann 's nan gleann 's nan gaisgeach—these, and a thousand other similar familiar expressions, sufficiently testify his home-staying bias. Only under stress of injurious laws and unequal social conditions does he sell the little that he has, and put the world into his pack. " From the lone shieling on the misty island Mountains divide us and a world of seas; But still our hearts are true—our hearts are High-land;
And in our dreams we see the Hebrides. Tail are these mountains, and these woods are grand,
But we are exiles from a father's land."
It may be inquired at this conjuncture what has brought the cottar and crofter class in the Gàidhealtachd to so sorry a condition. The answer to this question is simplicity itself: bad government, with its attendant neglects, aided and abetted by the Feudal System. The blame has been endeavoured to be thrust upon the people themselves. The Gael of Scotland is idle and thriftless, indocile and impracticable, yawn our armchair politicians lounging at ease in their clubs. These miserable people are incapable of helping themselves. They are their own enemies. They obstinately refuse to be prosperous: let them rot —or emigrate.
The statement is a lie, and deserves to be nailed to the post together with the ears of the blockheads who utter it. No more thrifty, sober and hard-working class exists on the face of the globe than the one to which we are referring. There may be exceptions amongst them—doubtless there are. There are degrees of imbecility and brutality even amongst their callous self-constituted critics; but the rule itself is rendered the more secure and conspicuous by reason of these infrequent exceptions. It is a familiar device, and one which reflects the greatest discredit upon human nature, to contemn those who, being deserving, yet cannot help themselves. The deserving and the unfortunate—the two terms are rarely not synonymous—are ever the scorn and the jibe of those whose beastly qualities "make for" worldly prosperity and success. It is easy to condemn: reform costs money, and involves unselfishness; so the herds of this world's swine ruthlessly trample it underfoot; but the cottars and crofters of Scotland are not unfortunate because they are worthless,
but are distressed because they are unfortunate. They have fallen upon evil days, not because they have not worked to stave them off, but in consequence of political circumstances which they were powerless to defeat or to control. After the rising of 1745, Feudalism, untempered with the Gaelic System, took complete possession of the Gàidhealtachd, and under the iron heel of that monstrous regime the heart of the poor Gael was ground (as to dust) within him. Previous to that rising, the barbarity and tyranny of the Feudal System had been in a measure controlled and mitigated by the surviving vestiges of the Gaelic System ; but after that rising the Gael's best friend was put to the horn, and hell in the Highlands was let loose. We have no desire to indulge in useless a,nd injurious recriminations, in view of the fact that if the Gaelic nation is to embark again, we must all swim (or drown) in the same boat; but the fact remains, whatever may be said to the contrary, that the character of Gaelic landlordism then underwent a vast change—a change which, to say the least, was for nobody's good. Previous to 1745, it had been cruel and unconscionable enough in, alas! too many cases; but, formerly, it was at least the interest of the landlord to keep his people in decency and comfort, even if he had no natural bowels of compassion and humanity urging him thereto. And there was always the appeal to Caesar, in the shape of the fragments of the Gaelic System, to hold him in check. But after the '45 the landlords, as a class, seem to have cast discretion, as humanity and clemency, to the four winds. They expelled the people, because they had not further use for them. Those that remained they victimised—the more shamefully, the more unjustifiably, the more cruelly, and the more unnaturally inasmuch as the late triumph of might over right enabled them to do it with impunity. By all that is sacred and just, what a terrible indictment we have here!
And what of the future? Small crumbs of legislative comfort, to be sure! Far away at Westminster there is a report that a Liberal Ministry imagines kind things. But alas! the wishes of Liberal Ministries, as those of those of the other complexion, have a tendency to abide in promise. No doubt, we all mean well, when the light of day beats on us, and the policeman happens to be by. And under stress of a General Election, some of us manage to mean even better. The difficulty is, however, to find time and opportunity for performance—after the electoral ball is over—a difficulty which is apt to increase in proportion as the necessity for right doing appears to diminish. However, a Cabinet Minister has publicly said that some one intends to do something for the crofter some time or other; and far be it from us to cry down Sapphira upon so amiable an exemplar of the well-meaning sex. Sometime, perhaps, if the Ministry endures, and a time can be found, a Bill to remove some at least of the scandals and hardships of which we complain will be introduced into Parliament. Whether it will remain there—whether, in short, it will ever become law—remains, of course, to be seen. But whatever it is, whatever remedial legislation this or any other Government may propose, we urge the crofters and their friends to make the best of it —to accept it, that is to say, as a hard fought for and tardy instalment of justice; and if that legislation is imperfect, or otherwise not entirely satisfactory, as it is almost certain to be, like Oliver, in the tale by Dickens, to go on clamouring for more. Ask, and though we may not receive much at the hands of the English Legislature, the mere fact of not ceasing to ask keeps the breath warm and the blood up, and provides useful discipline for the importuned. The unjust judge was obliged to concede to well-sustained insistence that which his diseased heart and conscience rendered him averse from bestowing of his own free will. We confess to being of the number of those who cultivate the smallest possible amount of respect for the so-called Mother of Parliaments. As an organised hypocrisy, as a warning to nations, and as a solemn contribution to the gaiety of the same, the thing may not be without its uses, but as a legislative machine it is passing incompetent. Still, in the meantime, and for the present, it is the only institution of its kind in these isles ; and standing, as it were, legislatively, in loco parentis to the Gael, we think it would be injudicious not to squeeze that unfruitful and attenuated vessel for the little it is worth. " Imperialism " (of English make) has its duties as well as its gala performances. Mafficking may endure for a night; but with cold dawn cometh responsibility and a depleted Exchequer; and if unconscious of, or disposed to overlook these facts, the seat of English rule at Westminster must needs be sharply reminded of them. No false shame, therefore, need dog the footsteps of the Gael in preferring his reasonable demands—in asking, and in asking again and again. The " Mother of Parliaments" is the unhappy possessor of a "past" which renders her inordinately thick skinned. To stand upon the order of our going, to feel squeamish in such a connexion, to express gratitude by way of return to favours said to be on the road, were clearly superfluous, and transparently ridiculous. The beldame must be hustled not curtsied to. There are some things which require an earthquake shock to set them agoing; and Parliament is one of them.
There is one thing only on which the Gaels of Scotland, and more particularly the crofters and cottars, may safely congratulate themselves, and that is, that land agitation is in fashion. All over the civilised world, the question is, not how to dispose of people, but to keep them—to keep them at home in prosperity and in comfort. In Germany, in Russia, in France, in Spain, as well as in England, the Land Question blocks the way. This should be cause of encouragement and satisfaction to the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland, who are at present themselves passing through just such an agrarian crisis. Mr. Arthur Shadwell, the author of a re markable book entitled Industrial Efficiency, which should be in the hands of every one, concludes his labours with a powerful plea for ruralisation by peasant proprietorships, or small holdings; being convinced that the restoration of the people to life on the land is the only cure for a declining national vitality. Fortunately, with us it is not the birthrate that is at fault, but the existing land laws. The Gaelic is a clean-living and prolific race; and the sombre facts brought forward by Mr. Shad-well, though they may rightly give patriotic Englishmen cause to think, yet for the Gaelic race are without point and significance. The "slow national extinction " which Mr. Shadwell prophesies as being in store for the English people, unless they mend their ways, and allow nature to take its course, will not accrue to us, at all events from the
causes specified by Mr. Shadwell.1 Given fixity of tenure, and fair scope for expansion, the Gael will expand and flourish. The absorbent qualities of the Gaelic race rest upon an historic foundation, as Scandinavians, Normans and other Teutons knew, at first to their cost, but ultimately by their benefit. The English can conquer, but they cannot absorb. If the star of the English people continues to decline, the sun of Gaelic ascendency may yet blaze in the political firmament. But long before that can take place, the gaping wounds in our body politic, from which the life-blood is now flowing, must be stitched up. The Gael must be established in the land of his heart.
Cadiz was stifling, and all the world sat waiting for the breeze. In the dark streets, which cut like drains right through the town, not a breath stirred to break the heat. The cries of water-sellers, with their guttural " Aguaa," long prolonged and Arab sounding, broke the still air, just as a corncrake's cry falls on the ear as a relief, when in the wheat-fields of the south the sun pours down as he would bake the earth, and seems to set the air in motion by its sound. The gardens in the plazas drooped, and the long bells of the daturas closed up as if they slept the siesta during the hot hours.
1 Alluding to the declining birthrate in England, Mr. Shadwell says : " This is by far the most important question which my investigation has revealed. Beside it, all others sink into insignificance. It is a progressive evil, operating amongst the flower of the industrial classes, which promises slow national extinction."
The city lay, a very cup of burnished silver, in the fierce glare, and in the waters of the bay the pink and blue and yellow houses were reflected, looking as if a coral reef had turned into a town. The waves just crept about the great black shoal known as "Las Puercas," lazily swashing on the cruel stones which have so often pierced the sides of ships, in winter, when the Levantè blows.
Men slept in rows on the lee side of boats. The horses in the cabs hung their tired heads, and where a man threw water at a cafe door upon the street, a steam ascended, as if the stones were heated underneath.
Only upon the alameda, that of Apodaca, where the sea-breeze first strikes, the palm trees braved the sun, seeming to draw new life from out its rays; and at their tops there ran a murmur, as when a little air just plays upon the outside leach of a lateen, making it crinkle up before it fills the belly of the sail and strains upon the sheet.
But in the cafes of the Calle Ancha the people, sitting drinking their " Horchata " and " Agràz," talked just as loud and just as earnestly as if their conversation ran on some great principle, or as if something was at stake. Upon the shady side the ladies, their faces white with powder, which made their great black eyes look larger and more lustrous, walked up and down, swaying a little on their hips, just as a thoroughbred walks in the paddock before saddling, receiving as they went a shower of compliments and quodlibets, which would have made a woman unaccustomed to such fire, fairly turn tail and run, but which just made the colour heighten a little underneath the powder on their cheeks, increased the flame of their black eyes, and made the swaying of their walk a little more pronounced as they held on their course, as the feluccas in the bay stood up to a beam wind.
Just at the corner of the Calle Columela at a small cafe where sailors congregate, a fan shop on one side and on the other a " Refino," a group of men sat talking lazily.
At last, one rising, said, "I hear it coming," and as he spoke up the deep street there came a sighing, and the breeze, bearing a little flight of bats before it, which passed like swallows just above the heads of all the idlers with a shrill twittering, came rushing through the funnel made by the houses, after the fashion of a bore, when it ascends a river on a low, shoaly coast.
It came, bending the palm trees with its sweep, making their leaves all rustle on the trunks, and spreading a red haze over the low and arid hills above San Lucar and by Rota, and making ships at anchor at the Trocadero balance a little as the white lacey net of foam ran seething past their bows.
Within the town it worked a wondrous change, for when the dust it brought at first had cleared away, the horses in the cabs pricked up their ears and looked as if ten years had been rolled off then-lives ; the loafers on the quays got up and shook themselves, throwing their tattered jackets, which had served for pillows on the stones, across their shoulders, and, after having looked out seaward] with a long stare at the horizon to see if any vessel was in sight, straggled in groups towards the plaza to pass the evening on the seats.
Fans worked less lazily, and in the cafes men, after lighting cigarettes, mopped their wet brows and settled down to talk, which in the little fairy city, with its long piles of dazzling salt ringing it round like outworks to landward, and its blue sea which, dashing up against the walls, showers spray upon the blood and orange banner on the low ramparts of the fort, is the chief object of their lives.
The sailors in the little cafe, captains of ships of every nation upon earth, all felt the speil of the invigorating breeze, and by degrees their talk after a few attempts at topics which to most landsmen have a certain vogue, as horses, women, theatres and politics, soon by degrees drifted back naturally to the one subject of real interest, the sea, the element by which all lived, and which whilst all abusing so had wound itself about their lives as to exclude aught else as absolutely as if they had been born in it, like porpoises or whales. Mostly the men were northerners, blue-eyed and freckled Swedes, Danes or Norwegians, whose rough serge clothes and heavy boots contrasted strangely with the stray Spaniards and Italians who in their pointed-toed, white canvas shoes and spotless linen scarcely looked sailors beside their brethren from the North, whose huge red hands beat on the table when they emphasised their points, like a door banging in the wind.
Two things, however, formed a link between them, the sea, and that they all spoke English, more or less broken, as a common lingua franca in which they all could meet.
Captain Karl Harold, who had sailed for fìve-and-thirty years out of his little native port in Sweden, bringing down deals to Malaga, to Almeria and to the other ports in what he called " the Middle Sea," sat smoking a great meerschaum pipe, on which a boar hunt was depicted carved in high relief. His great red throat was cut across by°the thin narrow linen band of his grey flannel
shirt, till it looked like one portion of an hfory, eh? You, McMillan, or ^ernandey, ? glass, and you divined that underneath it musfc Joesay, why you not tell us littel sometnmg,
and on his forehead stood great beads of persp^cMillan cut|n with
ye ran niggers up to ?ew Hebrides. Ma
wrecked.f thatslaving-I mean the imported
Ay, Fernandey, something -A.sm&llsttf^"
hat was set upon theback ofhisenormous 3Before Fernandez hadtimetosjDeak^Captain thinner and probably quite white.
Quiet and unassuming, he sat drinking Indenturedkbour which disappeared down his capacious throat
I've heard it was a fair saxty ZTirr: Saxty per cent. !-worth a little cent. pu. -j ^ freightsand big in-
had a wee bit flutter,
tion which he mopped up "continually with afcwt yon time you had ^J^^,^
pocket-handkerchief quit? large enough to ^f^^^J^^^^^^ upon a raft supposing he had suddenly £d from the New Hebrides. Ma., g rf asTfishTngr-bo7t"ma7 be suckld^nTnd^disapftking in" these days o' low ^f^J^ from sight when caught at certain juncturesi offarance money. ^£inoj a bit cargo, ane o' the
st was run.
Strom. His speech was slow, and as he talked' countries he had seen, of port dues, of the villi of certain Governments which kept no lights dangerous places of their coasts, his curly gol fleece, necked here and there with grey, s. by his emotion, set one a-thinking of what a would look like if it could be endued with um standing and wake up to a sense of all the wroi
tides in Coirebhreacain whirlpool or in the Moskf ay back in ^^^^em in a wee port—na,
iranae uu oui, ^ -—> <, . -r>rass
ullv von king up at Loandy; we ca ed him Brass "li and a Christian too, except of course when - Weel, he ]ust had a friar
re the name o' it—doon aboot Rio raideloTuf, the Brazeels, ye ken A queer
"Gadiss," hesaid,"isfinelitteltown;nottjwbeen Latin andmakin^rosses^
the bit port, before I had got my stuff on
rd, and had them a' baptised . . . just throwing
water on them in a horn, and mumbling a
much cultivated the' -n 1 • 1 katin, an(* makin' crosses in the air—fair
very strong. I bore myself soon in Gadiss, afct undid his job
never can get any repairs done to my ship. I b|91 pit up a bit prayer ow^q
minemam-yard littel sprung now, and have to^irk o òcouanu btyie. round to Gartagena to get it repaired.
heard of Ibsen • av?™ lfc * noman hfrperstition, I ca'ed it; and I'm telling ye, when " -e- efJ ls ?°?tbutW110* 1 £ot to sea I had out the old book, and
them in the Free
toe free churches in thae days . Jane^ IT. F.'s set them up. A wheen o they newiy du
too is elementary, and have no psychologic in IU. Fs set tnem up. a _aaBflD.p lut the lave . . . Their dancing is goot, the Romlns knew flftitted Christians died on the passage,^but the 'Impropa Gadiss,' they say, but I think perhaf them I got saf e enough to Rio gande^ ^ Liverpool or Gardiff is more wicked as Gadiss, f;and, man, a gran price 1 got roi.ii*•
nnHi'Hhis iob . . . had them a' resprinkled
the peoples is not so elementary as here. ...11 ah, it is still hot! Can none of you tell us sop
SS jaKf tley^e afl so* oi — ^ Free Kirk, or God knows what would ha happened.
They Brazeelians are a superstitious lot. . . . Tell us yer yarn, Captain Fernandey; oot wi' it, Don Joesay."
He paused, and opened a bottle of soda-water, letting the cork fly with a bang and most of the contents spurt out, and then pouring himself about a claret glass of whisky, tempered it slightly with what soda still remained, and drained it to the dregs, but slowly and with as little effort as if it had been milk.
Boys selling lottery tickets dangled them underneath the noses of the customers, beseeching them to buy and win the biggest prize; beggars came in and stood behind the tables resisting all the objurgations of the assembled northern skippers and disappearing instantly when they heard Captain Fernandez say "May God assist you" in a quiet tone of voice. Silent and rather dapper-looking he sat sipping lemonade, smoking unnumberable cigarettes, and now and then assenting gravely with a " Bueno ! Yes, that iss so," or merely by a slight clicking of his tongue against the palate and a faint upward motion of the head.
Short, slight, and burned so dark you might have thought that he had Indian blood; one thin and nervous hand, on which a heavy diamond ring shone like electric light, held his eternal cigarette; the other now and then stole almost unconsciously behind his back and rested for an instant, as if to reassure himself that it was there, upon a little hump formed by the handle of his pistol underneath his coat.
As all his fellows looked at him he slightly flicked the ash off from his cigarette against the edge of the white marble table around which they sat, and blowing out an interminable cloud of smoke from both his nostrils, said: " Why, you fellows want to hear a tale; it is still time to see the third piece at the theatre, or we can go and hear the Mochuelito sing ' Las Chiclaneras'. How he bewails himself, the little gypsy rogue; not his like in all the Spains to hang upon a note." No one adventuring anything except a grunt from Captain Harold that " De folk music of the zooth, with de irregular intervals it have, say nothing to me," Fernandez slowly began to speak, half automatically : " My friends, I think of something happen to me long ago; plenty of the psychology in it, Captain Karl, enough to satisfy your Ibsen, he who have so much grace". The passing jibe left Captain Harold quite unmoved save for a puffing out of his great cheeks and a slight blowing sound as when a whale has finished spouting and lies upon the water as if it contemplated whether it should begin again or sink into the depths. "It was way back—my God! I think it was thirty-five, perhaps forty year passed. I was third mate in a Peruvian barquentine trading from Paita, up the coast to San Francisco, Guaymas, San Blas and Mazatlàn, Salina-Cruz, Tehuantepec and Acapulco, and all those littel ports in Mexico.
" The barquentine was built in Paita. Beautiful she was ; they never build no such vessels now these days."
" Stow the description," cut in McMillan ; " I never had a guid conceit 0'thae bit Paity bar-quentines. . . . Yon way of staying forward the topgallant mast and lashing every sail down to a spar, looks fair theatrical. ..."
"All is in the taste, my McMillan. You talk about your Scotch girls and say nothing like number one West Highland lassie; she have straight back, short leg, and head like sunset, I think she look like German dachshund. . . . All is in the taste. . . . Where was I now ? Ah, yes, the barquentine. She was called La Esirella de Paita. She was clipper number one. ... I see her now; she sit upon the water just as she had been blown there like a leaf off a tree.
" She was all right, it was the people that was in her that was bad. Most of them Indians—Cholos from the Bolivian ports and from Peru, one or two Correntinos from the Argentine Republic, half gauchos and half sailors, and with another part half devils, the cook a negro from about Panama or Savanilla, and two or three quite decent fishermen from Chiloè. You bet your ole sea-boot you have to keep your weather well skin with all those infidels.
" The skipper was a Mexican, hail from Arispè. Cristo, what a man! He knew the coast blind drunk and blindfold, and that was all he know.
" Ah, yes, Captain Karl Harold say, come heave round Rodney, and it is time, and it is true I am a little slow in making plain sail on my yarn.
" Well, let me see. . . . Yes, we were dodging up the coast of Lower California, inside what we call Sea of Cortes and you the Californian Gulf. We have well passed the islands at the mouth; islands of Revillagigedo they are call, and their names San Benito, La Nublada, and cetera. We lay a little in towards the coast between San Blas and Mazatlàn to catch the lightest air; the Estrelk sail almost if a lady move a fan. . . . But I say no more of her, eh. You know that coast, eh, friends ?"
" I know him well," the Swede remarked, "just like the coast where Pier Gynt's yacht was lost and he find Providence not economical. Wonderful man dat Ibsen, what you call bawky up in Aberdeen."
"Pawky, you mean," said the indignant Scot, and once again Fernandez launched into his tale.
"Baffling light winds force us across amongst the islands opposite Cabo Haro upon the other coast. What so many islands and none of them inhabited by man—La Trinidad, Espiritu Santo ; what you call Holy Spirit and Branciforte, Isla del Carmen—islands and still more islands, till you can have no rest. Just about midday we were running under easy sail under the lee of the large Isla del Carmen hoping to get a slant of wind across to Guaymas to take us through the strait.
"What salt there is in Carmen Island, eh—green, white and rose colour, almost as much as Cadiz— and, in my time, no one live on it, and only schooners from El Puerto de la Paz occasionally call. What you call jumping-off place, I think, though where you jump to except into the sea? But I remember; I was young then, five-and-thirty years ago—where have the years gone, tell me ? . . . It was interesting, for as you sail along the coast you feel like Alvarado or Cortes, and always think you come to something new, just as you think in life.
" What a fine day it was; and all that salt it looked like crystal in the sun, in some places like a garden, and all the streams run through a reddish sort of grounds. Scarcely a ripple on the sea, which have an oily look; just enough wind to keep the sails just drawing. You recollect that La Estrella sail if you move a fan, eh; three or four fan make a stiff gale for her. Well, well, island of Branciforte was on her weather bow, three or four league away, and we just weathered Cabo de ... I forget his name, but it is just where the salt finishes and tha thick forests all begin, for island of Carmen is about twenty mile in length, and broad, broad as] from here to Rota, say about three league. When] we pass by that little cape all changed at once, and it was fairyland—island of Carmen pretty, prettfl when you pass that cape. Trees coming down] right to the water edge, and little cove of sand so] white you want to go ashore and bathe. All tha crew came on deck to look at him, and the Corl rentinos, they say,' Ah, . . . like the country up tha Parana, by the Esquina,' and they fall talking theiq G-uarani, a heathen tongue it is. They say the devill go twelve years to school to learn him, and come] away a fool.
"The two Chilòtes stand open-mouth, like children at the window of a pastry-cook, and when] the captain came on deck he looked across the bay] and say: ' Si, Sefior. Yes, a man could build al neat jacàl there and have good time with a nice] Indian wife, one of those Zapoteca girls if you could] steal one from about Salina-Cruz, or if not a good] Yaqui.' 'I always like an Indian girl,' he say;] ' they cooking well, and have no nonsense like white] woman, and if you beat them, not go stick a knifej in you when you are drunk or sleep.' Not too] much of a Christian was our old man, but he know] all the coast from Guaymas down to Paita as well as if he was a shark. His mother I think she was] a Pima or a Yaqui, and you know no one can make! good Christian out of an old Moor. Just as wel were standing by to go about, and the wind looked] like fresh'ning a little bit, he say, that is the captain] say—(I think I tell you that his name was Guadalupe! Perez.—No ! ah. I thought I did)—he say there isl a man upon the beach, running down to the shoral
I jump upon the rail, and see him waving his arms and making signals with a bough. ' Strange,' say the skipper, ' a man on isle of Carmen, where there is no Indians, and only schooners touch from Puerto de la Paz to load up salt, and now and then hunt the wild goats that swarm about the place.' Well, the poor devil on the beach go on like semaphore, waving his arms about, and then he run [down to the edge and go upon his knees. The old man curse a little about losing a fair wind, but give fthe order to back the fore topgallant sail and send away a boat.
" I went away with the two Correntinos in our dingy to find out what was up. As we come close in the man ran to the boat up to the middle, and .clamber in as if a tiger running after him, and lie Mown in the bottom gasping like a fish.
" I give him littel mescal. The Estrella never carry rum, only mescal, because the skipper get it cheap up in Arispè, where they grow plenty aloes, what they call there maguey. ' Ah,' say the [man, and shake my hand as if he pull it off. He say in Spanish, for he was Chilian down from Talcahuano, ' That do me good. Mother of God ! three months and never see a man; I think I going mad.'
" He was burnt almost black, and ragged, I tell [you, ragged like a saint down about Casablanca or at Mazagàn; his hair like bird's nest, no shoes, and his feet all cracked with walking up and down I hunting for shell-fish on the rocks. He look back always towards the island as if he thought the devil Jwas behind the trees, and so I clap him on the shoulder and say,' All right, ole man, cheer up your pecker, there is not nothing to be 'fraid of, and I shall take you to the ship'. At first he speak a little slow, but when he once get fairly under weigh the words come out like water from a barrel when you have set it run. He tell our skipper he have sailed from Copiapò and bound to San Francisco, and that the vessel founder out at sea, and that he alone have reached the island floating upon some wreckage, about six months ago. He seem a little hazy about things and have a hangdog look; but we say that the poor man is mad with solitude, and have him shaved and washed and give him suit of dungaree and send him down below. He speak with no one, and when he eat a little come up upon deck and fix his eyes upon the island as if he sorry after all to leave it, so that I tell him, ' Eh, you, do you want go ashore again ?' and he laugh like a rabbit when you kill him, and lights a cigarette. I tell you I did not much take to the fellow, he have a pug-dog look "We ran along the coast a bit, maybe an hour or two, as the wind had veered a little round, and doubled another little cape, and once again stand by to go about and stretch across the gulf. Just as the ole man going to give the order, up go his glass again, and he call out, ' Jesus Maria! I think I see a smoke. Surely,' he say, ' devils are in the island,' and as he speak a column of black smoke rise up just by the wall of forest which stand behind the beach. Looked like as if some one had thrown green wood upon the fire to make the smoke more black. We edge her little nearer in, and once again a man come running down the sand and wave his arms about. Same old nonsense-send a boat ashore, and come back to the ship with one more ragged Chilian very like the last. When he come up the side and see the man we first took off he stare a little, and with a yell he grab an iron pin and spring at him just like a jaguar.
" One of the Correntinos threw a rope about his neck. They were, I think I told you, half sailor and half gaucho, and with another half of devil in their blood—that make them ready for any kind of thing.
" Well, the ole man he look at them and say I Virgen de Guadalupe ! Put her about; let me get off from isle of Carmen before some more poor shipwrecked Chilians come out of the woods and make my ship a lunatic asylum, for they are all stark mad.'
" We go about and lay our course for Guaymas, with a lively little wind, about a five-knot breeze, I think, and then the skipper have the two Chilians aft and question them about their devilment.
"It came out then that they were really the only two men saved out of their vessel which have founder in a fog. They reach the shore upon some wreckage, and pretty nearly starve.
" Two months and three pass by, they all the time hunting for shell-fish and snaring birds to eat. Then something happen and they fight, then separate, for island of Carmen get too little for them if they live close and speak. Each think the other come and kill him in the night, and they pass all their time, each with a stick under his hand, to keep his friend away. Then we come on the scene, and the first man hope that we never find the other—leave him there to die."
He ceased, and the sea-breeze swept through the funnels of the streets in the now silent and deserted town as it would tear the cobble-stones out of their bedding, and the light seud raced overhead towards the east like feathers through the
sky. The audience sat silent for a time, and then McMillan, taking up his parable, observed: "A curious case, Fernandey. Aye, oo, aye, I'm glad your fellows both were dawgos. I canna' think that a white man could ever have descended to such a meanness. . . . Now I ca' it just incredible in a full chop white man."
Fernandez, holding a glass of water in his hand, looked at him gravely and rejoined : " You see this water. All my life I have loved water, . . . good air, good water and good bells, the proverb says, and yet, when I have been in an old sailing ship out in the eastern seas, and when the water had run short been put upon two pints a day for drink and cooking, I have stand round the barrel, and, though it smelled just like the drainings of a tan-yard, counted the drops when it was poured into my pannikin as if they had been gold.
" Si, Senor, . . . that is I mean, . . . how do you put it, eh?—it is not good to say fountain— out of your basin I shall never drink. ... eh, Si, Senor."
R. B. cunninghame graham.
dies irae(LA NA FEIRG)
'S e 'n latha sin lath' na dunach, Thig am Bràth 'ni smal de'n chruinne ; Dh'innis Sibil 'us Dài 'n cunnart.
1 Air a eadar-theangachadh o'n Laidinn le Iain Mac Dhòmhnaill, Fear na Ceapach, nach maireann.
'S mòr an sin a bhios a' bhalla-chrith 'N àm do'n Bhreitheamh tigh'nn a làthair 'Sheallas mean airson gach failinn.
Sèidear trombaid's gabhaidhtoirm, Cluinnear anns gach ait'a ghairm, Thionaileas gumòd na mairbh.
Bàs us Nàdar theid à cleachdadh (Duirp ag èirigh suas gu beatha,
Tigh'nn air bial-thaobh clàr-na-Breithe.
Leabhar sgriobhte thig am follais,
'Bheir do'n t-saoghal ceart mar thoilleas.
Air do'n Bhreitheamh dol's a' chathair Cha ghabh uaigneas air bith falach
'S air gach giamh theid cìs a ghabhail.
Dè, an sin, mo thruaigh, 'a their mi Dè'm fear-cònaidh 'ni mo sheasamh ?
Oir's gann a thiarnar na deadh-chreidich.
Tosa 'n iochd—air mo rath-sa 'Dh'fhuihg anshocair us tàmailt, Na dian mo dhibhirt an là sin.
'Thi 'rinn urad air mo shon-sa, A dhoirt d'fhuil air fiodh na croise, Cuir dhomh 'n ìre brigh do lotan.
Fuasgladh agus Binn aig d'fhocal, Diomb na fiachan, saor a mhathadh
Mu'n d'thig orm-sa Latha'n Tagraidh.
'M chiontach dìblidh goirt ag acain, Buthadh nàire 'thoill mo pheacadh,
Baigh a Dhia rium, 's dian m'agairt.
Thi 'thug mathanas do Mhairi, 'Gheall do'n mheirleach seilbh am Pàras Chuir thu mis' an dochas làidir.
M'ùrnaigh lag, 's mo chrabhadh fionnar Neartaich fèin, bho 'n's tu is urrainn, 'S teasrig mi bho lasair Iutharn'.
Deònaich ait' dhomh 'measg nan caorach; As na gobhair cuir gu taobh mi
'S air an deas-làmh gabh gu caomh ruim.
Bho'n mhuintir mhollaichte 'gan claoidh, An teine dian nach tùchair 'chaoidh, Gairm-sa mi am measg nan naomh.
Le cridh' umhlaidh, briste, cràiteach, Mo dhian ùrnaigh ruit a Shlan'air,
Gabh fo' d'dhion an uair a bhàis mi.
An lathadubhach sin us dèurach As an smuir an duine 'g èiridh ; Peacach truagh am meinn do mhathais, Baigh a Dhia 'nad iochd ri m'anam.
lord marr's manifesto
Of recent pronouncements concerning the Gaelic movement in -Scotland, few, if any, can compare in point of interest and importance with that recently issued by the Earl of Marr. Whether we consider the nature of this at once weighty and lucid statement itself, or the character of its author, it must be apparent that it constitutes a remarkable production. Certainly, so far as the historic House of Marr is concerned, no more interesting and patriotic pronouncement has appeared from that quarter since the days when the organiser of the rising of 1715 issued his appeal, calling his countrymen to arms on behalf of the Stuarts. His descendant's manifesto, therefore, possesses in a conspicuous degree the highly prized virtue of "historical continuity ". There is an appropriateness about it which is at once seasonable and retrospective ; and its form, no less than its substance, are thoroughly in keeping with the best traditions of that historic House. Iain Cratkach may not have been, as politician and patriot, all that consistency required of him; but at all events he endeavoured to make amends for his earlier indiscretions. A leading promoter of the Union of 1707, he lived not only to regret it, but to vote against it in the English Parliament. Thus, his intentions were good: it was only his generalship that was awry. The conflict between theory and practice—betwixt principles and conduct—overwhelmed him. And, after all, has not many a better man than "Bobbing John" perished dismally in that unending contest ?
Lord Marr's manifesto—the text of which has appeared in all the important Anglo-Gaelic newspapers—constitutes a double appeal. In the first place it is an appeal to the editors of our weekly newspapers to be more Gaelic in the letter, as in the spirit, of their journals. Lord Marr pleads for more Gaelic, and that of better quality. He also, rightly, takes exception to the subordinate position assigned to the Gaelic language in the weekly press. His observations on this point are worth reproducing:—
"The English language," he says, "is too much in use in quarters and on occasions in which the Gaelic language could be employed with just as much, if not more, efficacy, and with a great deal more propriety, considering those patriotic principles which most of us, at least outwardly, profess. We complain, in the first place, of the treatment accorded to our language in the press. In too many cases but little use is made of the Gaelic, whilst in some others the position accorded to our ancient tongue is neither honourable to ourselves nor flattering to that language. A custom has sprung up of late of relegating the Gaelic reading matter to a single and more or less obscure column of the newspaper, and of admitting Gaelic articles on trifling—even childish—and dull subjects. It seems to be thought in some quarters that not only is almost anything good enough for the Gaelic reader, but that the less Gaelic there is introduced into the newspaper the better ; the consequences being that not only is the quantity of Gaelic reading matter ridiculously inadequate, if we consider the fact that Gaelic is the language of our race and the home speech of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Gàidhealtachd, but the quality of these Gaelic contributions leaves much to be desired. The honour and dignity of the Gaelic language are manifestly seen to suffer seriously when, as too frequently happens, the Gaelic column is made the receptacle of childish sgeulachdan, rustic còmhraidhean, and so forth, to the exclusion of more interesting, more modern, more profitable and less trifling matter. The Gaelic language, a most highly cultivated and flexible and polished speech, is an admirable medium for the discussion of all the questions of the day; and its honour and dignity require that it should be used in these connections at least as prominently and as frequently as English.
" Another cause of complaint, so far as our otherwise admirable press is concerned, is the predominating position therein assigned to the English language. Surely there should be at least one good Gaelic leading article of reasonable length in every newspaper circulating in the Gàidhealtachd ? Our Irish and Welsh kinsmen set us an admirable example in this respect, and one which we would do well to follow. The titles, too, of our newspapers might with advantage, and no possible loss of consistency to ourselves, be printed in Gaelic as well as in English. Any stranger or foreigner now taking up a newspaper circulating in the Gàidhealtachd, and glancing through its contents would be justified in arguing therefrom a degree of vogue and prominence for the English language which, assuredly, if we are to consider the home life of our people, it does not in reality possess. We wage no war against English; we merely plead for the restoration of the Gaelic to its proper place amongst us. Its honour and dignity, no less than our own consistency, can be satisfied with nothing less."
This could scarcely be better put. The language of the manifesto is simple yet forcible, strong yet dignified, and as regards its substance any one who knows anything of the Gàidhealtachd will admit that it is not only true in part, but stands completely justified as a whole. We cordially associate ourselves therefore with Lord Marr in his patriotic appeal; and as second cousins to that institution which he chides so pointedly, yet encourages— namely, the weekly press—we promise to do our best to execute his reasonable behests. We certainly think that there should be "at least one good Gaelic leading article " in every newspaper circulating in the Gàidhealtachd, and professing to be " Highland "—an odious word of English manufacture against which we hereby and herewith vigorously protest. It is not treating the Gaelic language with that honour and dignity which it] deserves to discuss the leading political and social events of the day exclusively in English. If the movement is not to fall short of the desired result, Gaelic must emerge from the shell to which a bad system of education and the accompanying ills, ignorance and false shame, have impudently con-: signed it; and must assume the commanding posi-j tion now occupied by English amongst us. As Lord Marr justly observes : " Gaelic is the language of our race, and the home speech of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Gàidhealtachd ". But few would think this to be so, having regard strictly to our newspapers, and to our "official" and semi-official conduct.
No doubt there is a sad dearth of competent Gaelic journalists, owing to blundering and unpatriotic educational methods ; but this difficulty— a very serious and real one, as those who have had any experience of Gaelic journalism know full well —tends, fortunately, to disappear. The rising generation is being better educated. Our future] journalists will know how to write their own language with as much ease and precision as their forerunners know how to write that of England and the effect of this change cannot but be beneficial upon our race at large. It will inevitably reverse the position, the absurdity of which has] struck other people besides Lord Marr, leading to. the gradual assumption by the Gaelic language of that commanding position which the speech of the Saxon now occupies amongst us, owing to the dearth of competent Gaelic journalists.
Meantime, much might be done to help to pave the way for this wholesome and necessary change in our affairs. We have no reason to doubt the patriotism of our literary confrèi'es of the periodical press. One and all, we think, are only too anxious to do their utmost to forward the Gaelic movement, since their inclinations, no less than their interests, are actively engaged thereby. The threatened deluge of Saxon periodicals is a serious menace to Gaelic journalism; and anything that will tend to keep our periodicals above water is obviously worth cultivating. And this the Gaelic movement, by erecting the impassable barrier of language between the Gàidhealtachd and the Galltachd— between, roughly speaking, Scotland and England —undoubtedly tends to do. Therefore, apart from motives of patriotism, the Gaelic movement appeals with a peculiar force to Scottish journalism. It is a defensive measure of the most transparent expediency. It is a call to arms, an invitation to close up our ranks against, and in view of, the threatened " literary " invasion from England. Assuredly, the coming of England's swarms of cheap and nasty periodicals is as little to be welcomed by us upon selfish, as upon moral and political grounds.
Meantime, therefore, much might be done to make straight the way for the Gaelic journalist and journalism of the future. Our periodicals might be more carefully edited, by means of the afforded light of the Gaelic Renaissance. The national tone might be raised, and the " outlook," instead of being " British " and therefore provincial, should be brought in harmony with the imperial traditions of the Gaelic race—of that great race which once spread from Asia Minor in the East to the Isle of Saints and of Scholars in the West. ' For our forefathers had acquired the habit of " thinking imperially" many hundreds of years before the Anglo-Saxon race emerged from its primitive barbarism to be a thorn in the side of the Gaels, and a stumbling-block to progress and evolution upon national lines. The lessons of the Renaissance should be seized and utilised. The sort of hat-in-hand, by-your-leave attitude in face of the "Predominant Partner" should be discarded as insulting to ourselves and superfluity towards a parvenu acquaintance. " We wage no war against English," or the English. "We merely plead for the restoration" of the Gael to his proper place amongst the nations of the world. And, pray, what shall it profit a people if it wax fat and prosperous and lose, nevertheless, its own self-respect ?
The second part of Lord Marr's manifesto is concerned with the faults of the public, and here, too, we are at one with the critic. Says Lord Marr : " English is commonly used to the prejudice and exclusion of Gaelic on many occasions in which the use of the latter would be infinitely preferable upon patriotic grounds, and certainly much more convenient. Such occasions we allude to are, public speeches (political and otherwise), presentations and addresses to private individuals and societies and corporate bodies (such as town councils), and the like. Gaelic, too, might advantageously be more extensively used in transacting public and private correspondence, in writing letters and reports of meetings, etc., for publication in the weekly local press; in meetings of public bodies such as county councils, parish councils, school boards, and so forth. Gaelic songs and sketches should figure prominently in all enter-.
tainments throughout the Gàidhealtachd; and the language generally should be treated, not as if it were a semi-defunct speech (which it most certainly is not) and something to be ashamed of, but as a living tongue in which we take, as most of us assuredly do, a growing and a legitimate pride."
This, likewise, is excellent, being much to the point. Undoubtedly the public, as a whole, is not sufficiently strong-minded and consistent. The sort of courage which breaks through foolish or injurious conventions, which dares to do and to say that which is noble and right, in spite of the shrugs and snubs of the servile and the ignorant, is, alas! still rare amongst us. But there is another matter in which we hold the public is equally blameworthy, and on which we wish Lord Marr could have touched; and that is, the scant support afforded by our public to publications in their own language. "Probably no race has given less encouragement to publications in its own tongue than the Celts of Scotland," remarked a writer in the Dundee Advertiser, whilst reviewing, highly appreciatively, a recent number of this periodical. And who shall say that this implied censure is not thoroughly deserved 10! the number of Gaelic periodicals that have set out with confidence and high hopes, and that have perished miserably by the way, owing to the coldness of their reception on the part of the Gael! A list of the defunct would, indeed, provide melancholy reading! For its sins, in this respect, the public might well be invited to do penance by reading it ciad in sackcloth and ashes, and all the dismal trappings of woe. Journal after journal, magazine after magazine have gone down, not because they deserved not to succeed, but because the Gael refused to support them.
Is there not something infinitely depressing and melancholy—somewhat even disgraceful to ourselves—in this unprovoked slaughter of the innocents? In turning over some of these dead leaves, more for our mortification than for our pleasure, we recently came upon the following, the type, alas! of many another such spirited announcement, whose fair promise neglect and indifference were too soon to nip in the bud. The extract in question is from the Teachdaire ùr Gàidhealach, a publication that did yeoman's service in the cause of the Gael in its day, but which, thanks to the Gael's broad back, has long joined the teeming majority. "Tha sinne agus iomadh caraid teas-chridheach a'cur romhainn nach sguir sinn d'ar saothair gus am bi eòlas sgriobhaidh agus leughaidh na Gàilig cho chumanta air Gàidhealtachd 'sa tha eòlas na Beurla air Galldachd 'no gus an tog sinn i cho àrd ri aona chanain eile 'san Boinn-Europa. Cha 'n 'eil sinn a'faicinn ni saoghalta's urrainn ar bacadh." Brave words, indeed, and all honour to the heroes who gave utterance to them! But how were they fulfilled ? There are some things which all the philosophy in the world will not enable us to support with calmness and equanimity, and this is one of them. Let us sorrowfully, and in a chastened spirit, pass on, for we have much to repent of, and not a little to learn. I There is, however, one other aspect of this question, touching which we must here perforce say a few words. And that is, the supercilious and hypercritical attitude which some Gaels take up with regard to their own publications. With some people, a Gaelic publication is, apparently, ever " fair game " for uncharitable criticism plentifully mingled with abuse. " A Gaelic periodical!
Come, let us vilify it and every one and every thing connected with it; and the kuSos will be ours !" they exclaim. So these malicious and unprofitable critics, instead of supporting that which they have, with a view to making the best of it— for in this world perfection is scarce and mediocrity sits in high places—conspire together with the design of rendering the life of the doomed publication insupportable. This truly detestable humour has played sad havoc with the literary efforts of the Gael. "Is iomadh coire a fhuair cuid do Chlèir na Gàidhealtachd do 'n Teachdaire fhad agus a bha e 'dol a mach ; ach is fhada mu 'n dfheuch a h-aon diubh fear a b'fhearr a chur 'na àite 'nuair a sguir e." That is it exactly. Thousands are ready to abuse and criticise ; but not a mother's son of them is willing to come forward and himself set his hand to the plough which, but for their want of support, would not now be stuck fast in the mire. We dislike "lecturing" and scolding; but however much the flippant and the peace-at-any-price makers may deprecate the statement, it is sometimes necessary to speak out. Let us conclude these heads by indulging the reasonable hope that the days of these absurdities (as of their foolish perpetrators) are overpast.
Another theme, and it, also, a fair corollary to Lord Marr's spirited and patriotic manifesto. There is an amazing scarcity of books in the Gaelic language. Most Gaelic books seem to be out of print, and the few that are not so are exceeding hard to come by. The demand for Gaelic books is brisk—was never brisker we believe ; but the supply totally fails to keep pace with the demand. This, surely, is a curious state of affairs. In England, the difficulty which the publishers labour under is to dispose of their works : with us, the obstacle til book-buying is the scarcity thereof ! Was ever sq whimsical a state of affairs encountered before-^ outside Alice's Wonderland ? The Comunn Gàidhl ealach knows, apparently, but one—an admirable] book in its way, but still but one—and in this respect bears a curious resemblance to the Bellman] in Lewis Carroll's Hunting of the Snark. Tha Bellman, it will be remembered, though a sldlfuB mariner on shore, had
" Only one notion
Of crossing the ocean,
And that was by ringing his beil." |
Similarly, the Comunn Gàidhealach would apl pear to be but a single-minded body in respect ta Gaelic literature; for its prize-winners are, year] after year, reduced to a single volume, which, in] view of its many excellencies, it might be invidious! if not positively indiscreet, here to mention. Peri haps, however, the Comunn has a private store of] the book in question, and, like John Gilpin's wife! is the happy possessor of a frugal mind. At ahj events, whatever the explanation, the mystery itself] undoubtedly exists. The people are clamouring] for literary bread; but there is not to give them—| even the stone of the second-hand bookseller. It has been said that Gaelic books are expensive to] produce; but why this should be so we are at a] loss to imagine. We have never heard it said that] Latin or French is more costly to set up than] English; and though a knowledge of Gaelic is] highly desirable in a compositor, yet it is not inl dispensable to the printing of the language. Tha conclusion we are forced to, therefore, is that GaeliJ publishers lack capital and enterprise. They seen!
determined that the public shall consume the very dregs of their presses before laying in material for a fresh vintage. This perpetual hunt for scarce j(and dirty) second, or rather legion, hand copies of (G-aehc classics, besides being highly vexatious (and (frequently disappointing), is absurd and discreditable. It is absurd, because the demand exists; and what is the use of a tradesman if he does not ■cater for demand ? The millstone of competition should be tied about his neck, and he should be raucked in the sea of popular disfavour. It is discreditable, because it implies a certain want of address and backbone on the part of the reading public. A State without letters is like a ship without rudder; and a people which is so supine and indifferent touching its best interests that it can-mot summon up sufficient zeal and energy to send Ithe publishers about their appropriate business is mot only little to be admired, and even less envied, put is obviously-decadent, and intellectually worthless.
Two strokes more and we shall have done for the present. We have no lack of Gaelic literary talent; but how many of our best men have published works in Gaelic? Our best scholars, [instead of writing in Gaelic—which they could rauite well do—almost invariably use English; and where they do use Gaelic, they seem incapable of completingtheir labours without adding much totally Superfluous English. Why a Gaelic author should (think it necessary to write the preface to his work, [or some other part thereof, in English, whilst the [rest of his text is in Gaelic, we have never been Sable to understand, though we have reflected and [cogitated (in vain) times without number. Obvi-lously, a Gaelic reader, who is always bilingual, does not require English in a Gaelic book; and a merely English reader does not require a book the greater part of which is written in Gaelic. Why, then, this most odd, most unaccountable mixture ? We are at a loss for an explanation. It may be that the] subconscious workings of the mind which is at once neither whole hog nor complete porker— neither quite Gaelic, nor yet entirely mere "British" —alone can supply it. With regard to publishers who impose English titles and title-pages on works] which have not a word of English within theuj entire compass, their ignorance and stupidity must, no doubt, be taken into charitable account in framing a suitable censure. Such practices, however, whatever their cause, cannot be too severely condemned. They are monuments of weakness, and! sign-posts of folly. They are ridiculous ; and though by no means inclined to exaggerate the penetrating power of projectiles where the hardened epidermis of the book-dealing fraternity is concerned, yet, in this case, as in some others, we are disposed to trust to the ridicule that kills.
na h-alb ann aich an canada
Ann an dlùthachadh air cùis an sgriobhaidh so a tha cho spèiseil do chridheachan nan Albannach! a tha an diugh beò, tionndaidh an inntinn gu furasda gu beathannan agus deanadais oidhirpeach Albannaich buadhach na tìre ris an canar an diugh Canada agus na Staidean Aonaichte. Anns an sgriobhadh so, cha dèanar agartas air priomh-achd no breug-dhealbhachd, a chionn cha'n 'eil na fìrinnean a thatar a' cur sios, agus na tachartais, a th'air an aithris, ach gu meamhair àl na linn so ath-nuadhachadh le treuntas agus dìlseachd do dhleasnas a tha cho bitheanta a comharrachadh nan Albannach anns gach staid shaoghalta anns am beil iad ri'm faighinn; agus anns an dòigh so an eisimpleir luachmhor a chumail suas dhaibhsan a thig as ar deigh gu feum nan linntean ri teachd.
Cha'n aibheiseachadh a ràdh, mur biodh na h-Albannaich agus an sliochd ann air son dùthcha fhiadhaich Chanada thoirt gu riaghailt, cha bhiodh i an diugh cho iomraideach agus a tha i. Faodar a ràdh le cinnt, gu'm biodh e ro dhuilich do Chomunn Bàgh Hudson am feart agus am buanas fhaighinn a bha feumail dhaibh gus an oidhirpean misneachail a chur air bonn gu seasmhach, mur b'e's gu'n d'fhuaireadh o Albainn am pailteas iad. Maireannachd Albannach, fulangas Albannach, leanaltas Albannach, comasachd Albannach, agus treibhdhireachd Albannach; is iad so na buadhan a chomh-chuidich gus a' mhalairteach shoirbheasach as na ghabh an Comunn sin tlachd; agus, faodar a ràdh, mòr-chùis. Bha na h-ionadan falamh an oifigean nam marsantan-tachd air an lionadh leis na fir-oibre-seirbhisich a' Chomuinnrè ceithir - bliadhna - deug ; agus is ann troimh dhiachainn, air fhulang ann am fuachd tìr a' chruinn-a-tuath, a dhearbh iadsan a thèid ainmeachadh ann so cho toillteanach agus a bha iad air onair agus fìor-chliù.
Foghnaidh facal no dhà mu bheagan de'n fheadhainn a b'àirde inbhe inntinn a sheòl a' mhalairteachd-bhian phrobhaideach so. Anns a' bhuidheann so, tha an Gàidheal ainmeal sin Sime Mac Thabhais, a rugadh 's a bhliadhna 1750, agus a bha 'na dhuine glè neartmhor, agus comh-dhùnadach an inntinn. Dhasan, thatar a toirt cliù air son Comunn-Bian-Mhalairt na h-Iar-Thuath a chruth-shuidheachadh ; air son comh-dheuchainnJ each agus comhstri eadar na buidheannan a bha 'strì air son malairteachd nam bian a chur an dara] taobh. O so, chi sinn, eadhon anns an aimsir chian] ud, agus am measg choilltean neo-bhriste America] mu thuath, gu'n d'fhuair màthair-aobhair a' mhoir] Chomuinn, tèarmuinn nach bu bheag dhiubh. Is] tric a dh'aobhraich a neart-inntinn agus a chomas! achd an obair comhstri gnothaich eadar e fèin agus] feadhainn eile; agus anns an dòigh so, bha, air] uairean, nàimhdeas air a chur air bonn. Cho! chruinnich e fortan nach bu bheag, agus chuir e] suas taigh-comhnuidh mòr dha-fein faisg air Monl treal, far am bheil a dhuslach tiodhlaicte. .
An t-Al bannach iomraideach sin Alasdair Mac Coinnich, a bha 'na rannsachair cho urramach, chal leigear a leas ach 'ainm, agus a chliù ainmeachadh! gus iad a bhi air an gradhachadh agus air an urram! achadh. Tha esan do dh'America mu thuath mar] bha Mac an Lèigh agus feadhainn eile do dh'Africa.1 Anns a' Chiùine, 1789, dh'fhalbh e air a thuras! rannsachadh shoirbheasach thun an t-sruth air am bheil 'ainm, Abhainn Mhic Coinnich, agus lean ej i gus far am bheil i a tràghadh an Cuan na h-Arctic. Gus an rannsachadh so a thoirt gu crìch! shealbhaich, cha robh aige ach tri curraicheanl Innseanach, agus àireamh bheag de dhaoine. Chal robh nàimhdeas muinntir na tìre no an èiginn anns] an robh e a chum lòn fhaighinn d'a fheara 'nanl cùis eagail do spiorad neo-ghealtach an rannsachail! so. Shoirbhich là thuras, agus dh'osnaich e air son] saoghail eile fhaighinn a mach, gus an cur fo chìs]
'Na àm-san, cha robh dearbh fhios aig na fir-rannsachaidh air a' cheart àite anns an robh an] Cuan Siar air a shuidheachadh; agus cha d'rinn] an deagh ionnsaidh a thug e sios Abhainn Mhic
Coinnich ach a' mhiann air urram a chur air chorra-biod gus tuilleadh àiteachan a dhèanamh aithnichte. Ach, bha fios aige gun robh e ro fhad' air ais ann an speuradaireachd air son rannsachaidh ealadhanach a stiùireadh; agus gus uachdranachd fhaighinn air an an-fhios so, thug e, 'sa bhliadhna 1791, a thuras troimh Chanada, 'nuair nach robh carbadan no bàtaichean-dheatach luchairteach ann, gus imeachd a dheanamh socrach, gu Lunainn, far an deachaidh e a dh'fhaighinn faoghluim an àrd-chùnntais a bhiodh feumail dha a' rannsachadh an fhuinn eadar Abhainn Mhic Coinnich agus an Cuan Siar. Rinn e so ann an deacaireachd mhòr. Troimh mheud na h-airc a bha aige ri fhulang, chaill an t-eadar-theangair a mhisneach, agus dh'fhàg se e. Cha do chum so air ais an rannsachair gaisgeil. Chaidh e sios Abhainn an Fhriosailich, agus fhuair e a mach an Cuan Siar, agus dh'fhàg e againn mòr eòlas mu cheart shuidheachadh an àite so, na creutairean talmhaidh a bha tàmh ann, na lusan a [bha fàs ann, agus mu urrainneachd gus bian-mhalairt a mheudachadh air feadh na tìre.
Bha e air a ghràdhachadh leosan a b'fheàrr a b'aithne e. Bha spèis aig a chàirdean dha, [bha eagal air a nàimhdean roimhe, dh'àrdaich a dhùthaich e le tiodal Iarla Shelkirk; agus tha an cruinne-cè gu lèir a' faighinn tairbhe bho 'chai-the-beatha.
Anns a' bhliadhna 1815, rugadh an Albainn an Gàidheal eug-samhail sin Sir Iain A. Dòmh-nullach, a thàinig do Chanada anns a' bhliadhna 1820, agus a dh'fhàg dealbh a dheagh bheusan air Canada Aonaichte. Dhasan thatar a toirt urram air son na Roinnean sin a chur ri chèile ris an canar Uachdranachd Chanada. Aig àm ruathar nam " Finnineach," chunnacas feumalachd aonachd air choir-eigin eadar nan Roinnean; ach, air tàille a' chosdas, chaidh a' chùis a chur an dara taobh gu àm na bu fhreagarraiche. Aig an àm so, bha e am beachd muinntir nan Roinnean Fairgeach (no Iochdrach) aonachd a dheanamh 'nam measg fèin, agus air an aobhar sin, chaidh ughdarras a thoirt dhaibh le'n taighean Pàrlamaid coinneachadh ann am Baile Shearlot, an Eilean a' Phrionnsa; agus do'n choinneamh so, thàinig Sir Iain agus feadhainn d'a cho-obraichean; agus dhealbh iad air inntinnean luchd-na-coinneamh gu'm bu mhath an rud an aonachd bheag a chur an dara taobh air son aonachd na bu mhutha anns am biodh an dà Chanada cuide-riutha; agus is e sin a chaidh a dheanamh. Anns an Iuchar, 1867, chaidh a dheanamh 'na Phriomh Mhinisteir air a' chiad Phàrlamaid Chanada air son chumhnantan Achd America mu Thuath a chur an gniomh. O'n bhuaidh a shealbhaich Canada an a' seòltachd riaghlaidh, agus am beartas, faodar Sir Iain Dòmhnullach a chur sios mar chomhairleach-rioghachd gun choimeas an America gus an latha an diugh. Bha e 'nochdadh 'na chaith-beatha fior ghlan na firinn, agus cha'n urrainn neach air bith a ràdh gu'n do rinn e gniomh suarach rè na h-uine 'bha e fuaighte ri innleachdan riaghlaidh.
Thug an troimhe-chèile bha an Albainn anns a' bhliadhna 1745, agus na cruaidh-chàsan a bha iad a' fulang o'n luchd riaghlaidh air mòran de na Gàidheil dol air imrich a dh'ionnsaidh America. Mu'n àm so, chaidh mu 800 dhiubh do dh'Eilean a'Phrionnsa; mòran eile do Staidean Charolina; feadhainn gu tìr na h-Iar Tuath, troimh Bhàgh Hudson agus grunnan math do Ghleann a' Ghar-aidh, an Ontario. Thàinig, cuideachd, àireamh mhòr do Albainn Nuadh agus do Cheap Breatuinn, far am bheil an sliochd air an latha an diugh a' toirt cunntais orra fèin nach 'eil idir a' cur neo-urram air an sinnsir. Tha a' Ghàidhlig fhathast 'ga bruidhinn, agus na h-oilean 'ga chumail suas le iomadh neach. Tha leabhraichean is paipeirean air an cur a mach a tha freagrach do dh'fheumalachd an t-sluaigh. Mu leith chiad bliadhna air ais, bha paipeir Gàidhlig ris an canar A'Cfiisteag air a chur a mach an Antigonish, a tha fhathast a' cumail suas gu foghainnteach nan teagasgan agus nan fìrin-nean suidhichte a tha gu math agus feum a' chinne-dhaonna Bho chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean, bha paipeir seachduineach, am Mac-Talla, air a chur a mach ann an Sidni, a bha gu leasachadh rosg agus bàrdachd seann Albainn agus Albainn nuaidh.
Ann an Eilean a' Phrionnsa, tha ministeir, A. Mac I. Mac a' Chèird, a tha 'na shloinntear ainmeil. Is ogha e do'n bhàrd Mac Uleathainn a bha, aon uair:—
"A' meadhain fasaich air Abhainn Bharni Gun dad a b'fheàrr na bun-tàta lom."
Tha e air mòran de na seann òrain Ghàidhlig fhoillseachadh. Chuir an t-Urramach foghlumta, an t-Easbuig Camashron, an Antigonish, a mach leabhar-aidmheil Gàidhlig a tha cho luachmhor leis a chomh-chreidmhich. Tha na h-oidhirpean so le Albannaich America-an-Ear air an cuideachadh gu math le Gàidheil Oirthir a' chuain Shìtheil, a tha cumail an cuimhne na glinn anns an d'rugadh iad, aig a' bheil gaol air cànain an sinnsear, agus a tha gu fialaidh toirt seachad an airgid gus Gàidhlig chaomh, ceòl binn, agus cluichean dhuineil nan Gàidheal a chumail suas. Am measg gach soirbheachadh 's a' mhèineadaireachd a thàinig air Alasdair Mòr Dòmhnullach, ris an canar "Righ Klondyke," cha d'rinn e dearmad air suim mhòr airgid a chur an dara taobh leis na thogadh eaglais bhriagha d'a chomh-chreidmhich, na Caitlicich, am baile mòr Dhawson. O so, chì sinn am feum math a rinn e de'n teagasg dhiadhaidh a fhuair e an tìr 'oige, Albainn Nuadh. An t-àrd urram a thug e do nithean agus buaine na nithean neo-mhaireannach an t-saoghail so, tha e 'ga chur air leith uapasan a leigeas air di-chuimhne Dia agus 'aoradh an uair, a gheibh iad mòran de mhaoin an t-saoghail so. Cha'n ann ris na Caitlicich a mhàin a tha an seòrsa diadhachd so fuaighte. Rinn Albannaich eile iomadh cuideachadh le'n eaglaisean fèin air feadh America.
Is e Alasdair Graham Beil, a rugadh 'an Glaschu (1847) a thàinig do Chanada 1870, agus a rinneadh 'na àrd-fhear-foghluim an Ard-Oil-Thaigh Bhoston (1872) a thionnsgainn an ùr-innleachd fhiachail sin an telephone. Fhuair e sgriobhadh còrach air an fhoillseachadh so anns a' bhliadhna 1876, agus tha e gun tàmh ag oibreachadh gach là is bliadhna gus an innleachd so a dheanamh na's fheàrr agus na's fheàrr, gus am bheil i an diugh cho math agus gu'm faodar a ràdh nach d'fhuaradh 'mach ealain na's fèumaile na i. Am Beinn Bhrigh, faisg air Baddeck, C.B., chuir e suas togaileach mhòr far am bheil e comhnuidh gach samhradh, agus far am bi e gu dian a' saorachadh air an obair sin nach tèid aig duine 'tha beò air a deanamh cho math ris. Gun dàil, thug comuìnn fhoghlumta na Roinn Eorpa iomadh onair is tiodal do'n Albannach ealaineach so. Chaidh a dheanamh 'na thàinistear anns an Smithsonian Institute. Thug Ard-Oil-Thaigh Hei-delburgh dha an inbhe a b'àirde 'bha aige, agus thug uachdranachd na Frainge dha a' Volta Pìix. Thug Ard-Oil-Thaighean Ghlaschu is Shasuinn, far na chriochnaich e 'obair-sgoile, dha gach urram a h' àbhaist dhaibh a thoirt do na sgoilearan-tiodal, Leis an deagh ionnsachadh a bh'aige, ghabh e roimhe air a dheagh èideadh gus reachdan nàduir a chur fo smachd, agus feum math a' dèanamh do gach dìomhaireachd air am faigheadh e eòlas.
Am measg nan uaislean a tha 'cuideachadh le'n ùine agus le'm maoin air son cleachdannan cliù-thoillteannach nan Gàidheal agus an cànain bhrigh-mhor a chumail suas, tha a h-aon a tha comhraichte 'nam measg gu lèir. Is e sin Iain D. Mac Ghillebh-raigh à Palo Alto, California. Rugadh an t-uasal so an Albainn, agus tha e 'san dùthaich so bho chionn iomadh bliadhna, far am beil e 'deanamh gu math anns an obair a roghnaich e. Is e Dòmhnull Mac Chlearaidh d'am b'fheàrr a b'aithne a' Ghàidhlig na 'Bheurla, a chuir air bonn Comunn Naoimh Aindrea ann an Tìr a' Phuirt (Portland), Oregon, agus shoirbhich leis gu math fo stiùireadh an duine ghasda so. Bha e ro dhìcheallach ann an cumail suas bheachdan Gàidhealach am measg a luchd-dùthcha.
Cha'n urrainn mi, bho ghiorrad an sgrìobhaidh so, iomradh a thoirt air gach aon a rinn mòr-mhath do'n càirdean Albannach agus do'n tìr anns an d'rinn iad an dachaidh. Ann an San Francisco tha talla mòr aig na comuinn, far am bheil leabharlann math, anns am faigh gach neach dhiubh gach rosg is bàrdachd is àill leis.
Tha e cho gnàthach do spiorad nan Gàidheal a bhi 'strì an oidhirpean misneachail, agus nach fan iad uile anns na h-àiteachan anns an cuir an imrich iad. Cha robh deòin aig an òigridh a rugadh anns na Roinnean Breatunnach air fuireach an tìr am breith. Thàinig iad 'nam mìltean do na bailtean anns na Staidean Aonaichte anns an robh mòran do bhùithean cèirde, gu sònruichte do Bhoston agus York Nuadh. Am measg nan uile anns na cearnaibh so, cha'n 'eil na bheir bàrr air na h-oganaich agus na maighdeanan so an dìlseachd, an comas, agus an ealain ghluasadachd nuadh. Air ceann mòran de na mòr-chomuinn san duthaich so, gu sònraichte far am bheil dilseachd agus earbsachd ro fheumail, an sin gheabhar na h-Albannaich, far am beil iad a' nochdadh an ionracas a fhuair iad aig glùn am mathar an tìr an òige. Ann am baile-mor Bhoston, far am bheil mu dheich-mìle-fichead dhiubh, tha an comuinn fèin aca, agus am paipeirean, far am bheil aoibhneas is deagh-bheusan na tìr o'n d'thàinig iad air an luaidh.
Tha an gnàth caidreamhach dìblidh, air an d'thug ard-riaghladair na dùthcha so an t-ainm freagrach sin, fèin-mhort-gineal, ro chumanta ann an earrannan de'n tir so ach, taing do Dhia, cha'n iad mic is nigheanan nan Albannach na ciontaich. Cha'n ann 'nam measg, no anns na h-àiteachan anns am bheil iad a'comhnuidh a chithear an sgaradh-posaidh, agus neo-ghaol fhear d'am mnathan agus mnathan-do na fir. Gun mhòran tuilleadh airàdh mu'n chùis-neo-thaitnich so, tha sgriobhadair nam facal so gu làidir de'n bharail gur i fuil nan Albannach, fuil a tha ro luachmhor do shluagh America. An Canada, far am bheil na Gàidheil (gun ghuth a thoirt air creideamh) a' stiùradh gnothaichean na dùthcha, chithear cho ainneamh agus a tha an sgaradh-pòsaidh, ged tha e cho bitheanta far nach 'eil iad cho lionmhor.
Cha'n fhaodar a leigeil air di-chuimhne gur Albannach an Caiptean Barr, d'am bheil na h-uile 'toirt mòr-urraim air son mar a làimhsich e na birlinnean Americanach. Tha deagh fhios, mur biodh e 'na mharaiche cho math, nach faigheadh e air Lipton na buaidhean a fhuair e. Gun an làimhseachadh sgileil a rinn esan air a' bhirlinn Americanach, cha'n fhanadh an comharradh-buaidhe sin air an robh maraichean an t-saoghail gu lèir cho dèidheil, cho fada anns an dùthaich so. Faodaidh, mata, Albannaich a ràdh, gu'm bheil cuimhneachain aca as am faod iad uaill a ghabhail. O'n eachdraidh san tìm a dh'aom, cha'n 'eil teagamh sam bith nach bi sliochd nan Albannach anns na bliadhnaichean ri teachd cho urramach agus a bha an sinnsear anns na linntean a chaidh seachad.
Anns a' bhliadhna 1714, rugadh Iain Pòl Jones an Albainn, agus dh'èug e am Paris, 1792, agus, as a sin, thugadh a dhuslach le mòr-urram do na Staidean Aonaichte o chionn ghoirid. Is ann an seirbhis nan Geangach a choisinn e a chiad chomharrachadh ainmeil cabhlachail. B'e a' chiad duine achuir ri crann, a' bhratach a chaidh a dhealbh leis a' bhan-Albannaich, Ealasaid Ros, à Philadelphia. Nuair a bha e an seirbhis nan Aiteachais, rinn e mòran air son math nan luingeas-chogaidh. Is e, ma dh'fhaoidte, glacadh na Serapìs euchd ab' iomraidiche a chuir e an gniomh. Thug e seirbhis chomharraichte do chabhlaich na Frainge, agus Rusia. Bha e 'na fhior mharaiche agus mòr mhisneachail. Thug Americanach bliadhnaichean a' cladhach agus a' rannsachadh mu'n d'fhuair e a dhuslach ann am Paris. Chuir muinntir America luach cho mor air a sheirbhis d'an dùthaich 's gun do chum iad suas an rannsachadh gus na shoirbhich leo. Tha a dhuslach an diugh aig fois fo bhrataich na dùthcha do'n d'thug e a sheirbhis luachmhor an uair a bha i 'na h-èiginn. Mar a tha an sean-fhacal Laideann ag ràdh : Ab uno disce omnes.
gaelic arts and crafts
The formative principles inspiring Gaelic art, and which give to it its peculiar character and charm, must be looked for outside Europe. The Celtic race belongs to the great Aryan brotherhood of nations, whose original home or habitat, as the scientific phrase goes, was in Northern India. The Gaelic language possesses remarkable affinities to certain Eastern dialects, and no view of our artistic achievements which does not take into consideration our early geographical situation would nowadays be considered scientifically acceptable.
The direction assumed by the Aryan migration, or rather migrations, for, doubtless, there were several of them, was, of course, from east to west. But in these few observations touching the subject of " Gaelic Interior Decoration" it is not intended to do more than merely to glance at them in passing. The important points to bear in mind, however, are that Eastern art-forms are by no means uncommon in Europe, especially in Italy and Northern Spain, where by some they have, mistakenly of course, been supposed to be indigenous ; and that the striking resemblance which some of the best surviving specimens of Gaelic art bear to these interesting Continental survivals are to be regarded, not as evidences of Continental culture in Scotland and Ireland, but as results of Gaelic artistic influence in countries formerly in the possession of the Celtic branch of the great Aryan family. The Celtic art-forms survived long after the people who had brought them from their Eastern home "about the sources of the Ganges" had passed away. The Gaelic race was imitative in a very high degree no doubt; but the discovery of Celtic remains—bearing the hall-mark of their peculiar genius—in Scotland and Ireland, which date from a period long antecedent to the correspondence which existed between these two countries and the Continent of Europe, within historic times, effectually disposes of the theory that the Gaelic population of the British Isles borrowed their now familiar art-forms from the Latin or other races inhabiting Europe.
In Scotland, the Gaelic period may be said to have extended from the earliest times that history takes cognisance of down to the reign of David I., 1124-1153; but in Ireland the same epoch endured somewhat longer; and owing, no doubt, to the latter country's more isolated geographical situation, and to the partial character of the early English conquests and settlements, when the change came which was to transform Ireland or Scotia Major into a nominal province of the English monarchy, the decay of the native Gaelic system was somewhat less rapid and far-reaching than it was in Scotland—the Scotia Minor of early history. In the latter country, the feudal system, introduced by David, who had been educated in the Norman Court of England, and who virtually owed his crown to Norman and English arms, soon brought about the destruction, or rather dissolution, of the pre-existing social and political fabric. The country was thoroughly Normanised in all its institutions and customs; and, with the introduction of these powerful foreign elements and agencies, Gaelic art necessarily sustained a blow from which it was powerless to recover. Gaelic influences might survive, as indeed we know they did endure, long after the Anglo-Gaelic line of sovereigns, founded by Malcolm III. and his Saxon consort, Saint Margaret, had passed away, and the throne of Scotland had descended to a line of princes yet more alien in blood and foreign in education than were the Scottish sovereigns of the dynasty of Ceann Mòr; but these influences were comparatively slight, were manifested in a capricious and uncertain manner, possessed no political or social motif, and, like tombstones, merely served to mark the place where the Gaelic system, and all that appertained to it, lay buried.
In both Ireland and Scotland the period extending from the sixth to the eighth centuries is commonly considered as that in which the Gaelic system was at its purest and its best. With the arrival of the Scandinavians both countries fell upon evil days. In consequence of the inroads of these ferocious barbarians the political system was seriously dislocated. Ireland and Scotland were obliged to stand upon the defensive, their growing correspondence was checked and otherwise injuriously affected, and with the burnings of countless monasteries, the cruel slaughter of their pious and industrious inmates, and the wanton destruction of many beautiful shrines and many valuable libraries, art and literature, of course, grievously suffered. Before the arrival of the Scandinavians, however, both Scotland and Ireland had made considerable progress in the common direction of civilisation and art. The governmental system, possessing all the weak elements of Gaelic rule, might be seriously defective from the modern point of view; but the two leading Celtic States of Europe were relatively prosperous in no inconsiderable degree. Their learning and piety were celebrated on the Continent, and there is evidence to prove that their artistic qualities were no less favourably regarded by the European peoples. It is of this period—the " palmy days " (in spite of much internal unrest) of the Gaelic race—and with special reference to the title of this paper that I propose to deal in the following pages.
The houses of the Gaelic upper classes were round or rectangular in shape—the square house was practically unknown—and even long after the art of building in stone was introduced into Ireland and Scotland, they continued to be made of wood. It may well be inquired how came it to pass that so ingenious a people, and one so quick to apply and to improve foreign inventions, preferred wood to stone as building material. The solution of this problem is, perhaps, less difficult than it seems at first sight. The Gael was, and is, intensely conservative in his likes and dislikes. We know from many ecclesiastical authors how obstinately he clung to the More Scottorum, as Venerable Bede describes the Gaelic manner of building, long after the Latin or Continental method of using stone for wood had become familiar to him. His attachment to his own customs was, in this respect, something remarkable, for we have it on good authority that the Scottish (i.e. Gaelic) missionaries who emigrated to Europe in great numbers during the seventh, eighth and ninth centuries, generally preferred to build their churches and monasteries in their native manner, than to adopt the Latin method of building in stone. Apart from inborn prejudice, however, something must be allowed on the ground of dislike to a change which was not without its political aspects and consequences. There is evidence to show that the Latin civilisation was not everywhere acceptable in the countries of the Gael; and certainly, in the case of Scotland, the tendency of our early kings to "consolidate" their dominions by pressing southwards would be apt to foster and exaggerate this conservative tendency. But there is another and more important consideration which requires to be kept in mind when canvassing this problem with a view to a solution. The Gael's love of bright colours and florid, though artistic, decoration is well known, and need not here be insisted on. Now, the castle of stone, however superior to the wooden Ràth or Dùn as a place of defence, scarcely lent itself to the peculiar style of decoration with which our Gaelic ancestors were familiar, and with which as we have already seen our race was identified in a very particular manner.
In spite, therefore, of its greater durability, the fact that the house of stone did not readily adapt itself to the More Scotto?'um is one, and by no means the least, of the many reasons why the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland used wood as building material long after stone had almost everywhere else expelled the more perishable but by no means necessarily less artistic material. "What might have happened had Scotland and Ireland been left free to develop the system under which our Gaelic ancestors lived, it is of course impossible to say, and perhaps idle to speculate. The group of "houses"—it must be borne in mind that each " room " in the Ràth or Dùn of a Gaelic nobleman constituted a separate "house"-—would, no doubt, in course of time, and in obedience to the inexorable law of evolution, have assumed a composite form, and we should have had, in all probability, a distinctively Gaelic style of architecture, just as wehadand have a Gothic, a Greek and a Byzantine. Under favourable political circumstances, theGaelic prejudice against stone would, no doubt, in course of time have disappeared, and a school of architects would have arisen which would have frankly recognised the general superiority of stone, from an artistic as well as from a purely utilitarian point of view. Nor is there any valid reason why the More Scottorum should have died thedeath of the exploded arts. The rich and beautiful effects that can be produced by wood in building must be familiar to every lover of art, and however unsuitable that substance may be, owing toits lesser durability and greater liability to destruction by fire, etc., for edifices, ecclesiastical as well as lay, which are designed to last for all time, and to serve the greatest ends which the mind of man can conceive, the artistic effect produced by wood is not much, if at all, inferior to that produced by stone, if the wood is employed ona sufficiently large scale, and due regard is had tothe radical differences existing between the rival substances. I venture to think that if we could dissociate our minds from all ideas springing from a consciousness of the perishable nature of wood, it would befound that the rival merits of the two materials correspond more than, owing to this prejudice, they are usually considered to do.
The principal " apartments" of the Gaelic residence consisted (in the case of the upper classes) of the dining or banqueting-hall, the sleeping rooms (all under separate roofs), and the Grianan or summer-house.1 With their exterior
1 The baloony was also an important adjunct to the Gaelic mansion. For a description of the balcony of Borrach Breo, Me O'Grady's SikaGadelica,p. 156.
form and appearance we are not here concerned! The banqueting-hall was usually a large apartment! rectangular in shape. In the case of "Tara of! the Kings" (in Ireland) this was an immensa building, 759 feet long and 46 feet wide. Origin! ally, however, it had been both longer and broader! In height it was 46 feet, " ornamented, carved and] painted in colours" (of. Social History of Andenk Ireland, by P. W. Joyce, vol. ii., p. 85). This greafl building is described in ancient documents as having had twelve (or fourteen) doors, and a great numben of windows fitted with glass. Internally, it was] divided off into a number of compartments on rather cubicles, in which the various guests of thi high kings were entertained, according to their] rank and dignity. The interior of the hall, which] though built upon so gigantic a scale yet was the] prevailing model for similar edifices a good deal] inferior to it in point of size throughout Ireland] and Scotland, was yet more richly embellished] than the exterior. The walls were of yew, elabor-1 ately carved and finely coloured. In many cases! they were partly hung with a kind of tapestry, in] which gold and silver thread were lavishly employed] to heighten the artistic effect produced by bright! colours (such as red, green, yellow, etc.) and del signs of native invention. In the case of a dining] hall, the seats or couches—for the ancient Gaels] had the Eoman fashion of partly reclining at their] meals-—ran round the entire circumference of the] room, each guest's back being to the wall—his] " arms " or other personal insignia being suspended! from a hook immediately above him—whilst the] centre of the compartment was left free for the] servers, cup-bearers, heralds, minstrels and others. I Only one side of the table or tables (for in some]
noblemen's houses the " separate-table ' system was in vogue) was occupied, namely the side nearest to the wall, it not being considered polite to sit directly facing another guest especially if he was a stranger. The couches and tables, like the walls, were also generally made of yew, and were likewise richly carved and otherwise ornamented. Our ancient poets have left us many descriptions of these sumptuous buildings, some, of course, bearing evident traces of "poetic licence" in respect of the exaggerated language employed to describe their manifold beauties ; but when the whole is collated with what we certainly do know touching Gaelic interior decoration, it will appear ihat these descriptions, though generous, yet are by no means untrustworthy as regards their salient particulars. The following description of the house of Credè, a young princess of Kerry, is found in one of our early poems, and is typical of many such scattered throughout early Gaelic literature :—
"Delightful the house in which she is. It would be happy for me to be in her Dùn Among her soft and downy couches. Cups she has and beautiful goblets,
The colour (of her Dùn) is like the colour of lime.[Within it are couches and green rushes,[Within it are silks and blue mantles,