An geamheadh, 1906



Download 1.33 Mb.
Page5/6
Date08.12.2018
Size1.33 Mb.
1   2   3   4   5   6

1A departure, apparently, from the usual plan of painting the outside of the Dim in gorgeous colours, r s For the floor.

Oedè's chair is on your right hand, The pleasantest of the pleasant it is; All over a blaze of Alpine gold; At the foot of the beautiful couch, A gorgeous couch in full array, Stands directly above (by the side of) the chair. It was made by (or at) Tuile in the East Of yellow gold1 and precious stones (inlaid there­with).

There is another couch on your right hand, Of gold and silver without defect; With curtains, with soft (pillows); And with graceful rods of golden bronze.

One hundred feet are in Credè's house.

Its portico with its thatch Of the wings of birds, blue and yellow,2 Its lawn in front, and its well (Formed) of crystal and of carmogal (possibly car­buncles)."

Besides tables, chairs and couches, the Gaelic mansion contained little furniture. The rich, strik­ing, and doubtless beautiful effect produced by the Gaelic interior was the result of a combination of artistic "values," of which gorgeous colours, precious metals, rich and varied hangings, and elaborate carving were the principal components.

1 That is of wood overlaid with gold. We frequently meet descriptions of golden chairs, golden shields, golden chariots, and even golden and silver houses in early Gaelic literature, which does not mean of course that such articles were made of solid gold or silver but that (being of wood) they were overlaid with such.

2 A not unusual method of thatching noblewomen's grianans and the porticoes of the houses of great nobles.

In the case of bed " rooms," or rather bed houses, the same artistic mediums would doubtless be em­ployed, though generally upon a less costly and magnificent scale. The bed houses were usually split up into cubicles or compartments, each having its bed or beds. The men and women's sleeping quarters were, however, kept separate—that is they formed separate houses. In the charming poem already quoted from, Credè's bed house (doubtless a house or compartment with a single bed in it, in the case of a lady of so great rank and fortune) is thus glanced at by the poet:—

" Four posts to every bed, Of gold and of silver gracefully carved; A crystal gem between every two posts ; They are no cause of unpleasantness."The grianan1

1 or summer house was usually situated on the walls of the Dùn or Ràth, and corresponded to the modern drawing or withdraw­ing room. It was always built, as its name im­plies, in a sunny spot, and its windows were placed so as to obtain as extensive and pleasing a view of the surrounding country as possible. The grianan was considered as an indispensable adjunct to a Scottish nobleman's house down to a comparatively late period. The wall surrounding the palace of the bishops of Aberdeen had on it a grianan or summer house three storeys high, and doubtless this interesting building would still be standing were it not that the mistaken zeal of a mob of fanatics caused it to be pulled down not long after the change of religion in Scotland in the reign of

1 Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, O'Curry's translation.

sGaelio, Grian, the sun.

Queen Mary. Noblemen had their grianans as well as ladies of rank. A celebrated Ulster poet and satirist of the name of Bricrind Nemh-thenga, le., Bricrind of the Poisoned Tongue, built himself a sumptuous summer house which is thus alluded to in a narrative of the time: "That grianan was built with carvings and ornaments of admirable variety; and windows of glass were set in it on all sides ". But the summer houses or drawing-rooms of ladies of rank and fortune far exceeded in splendour and magnificence those constructed for the use of men, as was but natural. The grianan of Cede, the Irish princess already alluded to, is thus described:—

" Of its grianan the corner stones Are all of silver and yellow gold ; Its thatch in stripes of faultless order Of (birds') wings of brown and crimson-red. Two door posts of green (wood) I see Nor is its door devoid of beauty; Of carved silver, long has it been renowned, Is the lintel that is over its door."As has already been said, the wood of the yew tree—perhaps the most beautiful of all woods— was largely employed in Gaelic interior decoration. " The working in this material," says O'Curry, " must have embraced a wide range of objects, as it formed, with some exceptions, the material of all the most

1

1 These constant references to gold and silver may seem, to the uninformed, somewhat extravagant; but they rest on historical evidence too good to be disputed. The rich remains of Gaelic metal work (at Dublin and elsewhere) are mostly of pure gold, and beautifully wrought. The Scottish King Calum a' Chinn Mhòir (Malcolm III.) had an immense treasure con­sisting of articles of vertu in gold and silver, inlaid with precious stones.

elegant articles of furniture in pillars, seats, couches, beds, bed-posts, etc. . . . The yew was also largely used in cornices, wainscotting, or some such orna­mentation of houses, from very early times." In many cases these carvings of yew were coloured in the tints proper to the objects which they were intended to represent, which must have produced a singularly striking, harmonious and beautiful effect. The exterior and interior of the cathedral church of Armagh is thus described by a celebrated Gaelic poet. It will be noticed that this church was built of stone, with oaken shingles in the place of slates.

" The church of Armagh of the polished walls

Is not smaller than three churches ;

The foundation of this conspicuous church

Is one solid indestructible rock.

A capacious shrine of chiselled stone

With ample oaken shingles covered;

Well hath its polished sides been warmed

With lime as white as plume of swans.

Upon the arches (inside) of this white walled church

Are festooned clusters of rosy grapes, From ancient yew profusely carved; This place where books are freely read."

With these few observations—all too few con­sidering the importance of the subject, and what might be written concerning it—I must reluctantly bring these few remarks to a close. Sufficient has been said, however, I hope, to show that our ancestors were by no means the savages it has suited the purpose of certain foreign historians to represent them as. They were in many ways people of remarkable taste, artistic insight and refinement^ who achieved no mean things in the direction of] civilisation and art. Their artistic out-put is manij festly something to be reckoned with, as is clearljJ proved by the various Celtic remains now honour! ably lodged, as precious relics, in public museums] and private collections throughout the British Isles and the Continent of Europe. The knowledge ancj consideration of these and other facts should dol much to strengthen and encourage those who are] now labouring in Ireland and Scotland for tha revival of the Gael as a social and political forced and as a factor and element in the world of arts] and crafts.

G. L.

brosnachadh do na gaidheil

An uair a tha sinn a' gabhail beachd air an aobhar] mu'n do tharruing sinn ar claidheamh, mar gu'nj b'ann, agus am feum a tha againn mar chinneachj air leith air buille tearbhaich a bhualadh, mu'n cuir] sinn a ris anns an truaill e; tha sinn a' mothach-j adh dòchais aoibhnich ag èiridh suas 'nar n-inntinn] gu'm bi aig a' cheart àm so slighe air a fosgladh! chum saorsa na h-Alba air fad a toirt air a h-ais, agus a chum cuing sgreitidh tràillealachd Shasuinn a crathadh dhinn. Tha a' Ghàidhealtachd fathastì beò, taing do Dhia. Cha b'urrainn uile-chumachdj ghramail Shasuinn ar saorsa a ghlacadh gu buileach! Ach is ann a mhàin le treubhantas a choimhdear] i. Cha' n ion duinn fiughair a bhi againn gu'nj tèid sinn as o luchd-creachaidh a' chinne-dhaonnaJ trid bàighealachd.

A rèir gach coltais, bithidh mòr shoirbheachadh] air a' Chomunn a chaidh a chur air bonn o cheann

I

mhios no dhà aig Aiseag na Connail ann an Earraghaidheal. Bha làn àm ceum do'n t-seòrsa so a ghabhail. Tha'n sluagh ullamh gu dol an comh-bhoinn, agus cha'n 'eil iad ach a' feitheamh gus an tig cuid-èiginn a chuireas ann an uidheam agus an rian iad. Bha Comunn an Fhearainn glè làidir anns a' Ghàidhealtachd o cheann fichead blia­dhna, agus anns an àm sin cha tigeadh uachdaran no neach eile tuilleadh is dàna air an t-sluagh. An uair a thàinig Achd nan Croitearan a mach, chaidh an Comunn m'a sgaoil—ni a bha na chall nach bu bheag. Uaithe sin, dh'fhàs na h-uachdarain agus a' Phàrlamaid glè neo-ar-thaingeil air na croitearan —a chionn far nach 'eil aontachd, cha'n 'eil neart. Cha'n 'eil teagamh nach toir Comunn nan Croitearan agus nan Coitearan ùr-atharrachadh feumail is buann­achdail air suidheachadh nan Gàidheal, agus nach [toir e cothrom dhoibh an cùisean agus an còraichean fèin a thagradh air mhodh iomchuidh is eufachdaich. Buaidh is piseach mata le Comunn nan Croitearan !

Dh' òrduich nàdur fèin do na h-uile dhaoine gu'm biodh an cuid fearainn ro-ionmhuinn leo. Ach tha dearbh-chinnt againn fèin, gu'm bheil na fleas­gaich air an d'thugadh buaidh anns na làithean a [dh'aom air an fuadachadh a mach thar a' chuain, a chum àiteachan-seilg a dheanamh do na Sasunnaich. Tha na Sasunnaich, a' sealbhachadh na cuid a's mò d'ar gleann is d'ar beann, mar is aithne gu ro .mhaith do na h-uile fear. Ach cha 'n 'eil sinn dol a chur ar seula ris na h-uile ni a rinn na croitearan anns na bliadhnaichean a chaidh seachad, no leis na bha air a dheanamh 'nan ainm. Ni mò tha sinn dol a shuidhe ann am breitheanas agus a dhiteadh nan uachdaran gu h-iomlan. Mar tha'n sean-fhocal ag ràdh, " cha'n 'eil gur gun ghoirean, 's cha'n 'eil icoille gun chrianaich," agus cuiridh beagan de dhroch uachdarain droch ainm do 'n chorr. Achr tha sinn ag ràdh so, nam biodh na h-uachdarain Ghàidhealach cha'n e an fheadhainn a th'ann an diugh, oir is gann agus is tearc iadsan, ach an fheadhainn a bha rompa—air fuireach ni bu mhò am measg an cuid tuatha; nam biodh iad air an cànain ionnsachadh, agus dol a mach agus a steach mam measg air là fèille agus Di-dòmhnaich, an àite 'bhi cosg an storas le strùidhealachd agus stràic ann an Lunainn; agus nan robh iad an deagh-greim a chumail air an oighreachdan, cha bhiodh an fhicheadamh cuid de na h-uilc fo'n robh iad ag osnaich air teachd air luchd-àiteachaidh na Gàid­healtachd. Bha'n t-uachdaran, mar bu trice, ana­barrach coltach ris a' chuthaig. Dh'fhaodadh e tighinn do'n dùthaich beagan làithean anns an t-samhradh, ach cha b'fhada gus am falbhadh e. B'e sin aon rud air an robh duine bochd aon uair a' gearan, an uair a thubhairt e :—

" Uachdaran nach faic sinn, Bailidh nach dean ceartas Ministeir nach dean baisteadh, Dotair nach dean feairt oirnn."

Cha'n 'eil duine air thalamh aig am bheil ni's mò ghraidh thir a bhreith na an Gàidheal. Co dhiù tha e bochd no beartach, tha e 'na fhior fhaoileig an droch cladaich, ged a dh'fhaodas an gleann 'san robh e òg a bhi lom, creagach, agus neo-thiorail; ged nach tigeadh as deigh na curachd ach a' bhuinneag agus an t-sealbhag, cha'n 'eil ceàrn de'n chruinne-cè cho aluinn 'na shùilean-san. Tha e coltach ris an fhaoileig ann an òran " Dhòmhnuill nan Oran " :—

" 'S ann air slinnein an àigich A rinn mo mhàthair an t-eun diom, 'S a dh'aindeoin uidil is anraidh, Cha tig an là theid air di-chuimhn' Mo ghaol do'n bhad."
Ach, cha'n 'eil sinn ag ràdh, air a shon sin, gu'm bu chòir do dhaoine òga, làidir, fallain, fuireach an diamhanas aig an taigh, far am bheil ni's leòir aig a' chirc le sgrioban gu'n lion i sgroban. B' fheàrr dhoibh gu mòr a bhi bogadh nan gad; agus ged nach biodh aca ach an t-ubh beag le 'bheannachd (mar a bha aig mac na bantraich anns a' sgeulachd), dol a shiubhal an t-saoghail, agus a dh'iarraidh an fhòrtain. Ach ma dh'fhalbhas iad, falbhadh iad le'n toil fèin—cha'n ann a chionn gu'm bheil e mar èiginn orra sin a dheanamh, an lorg droch uach­darain agus droch laghanna. Cha'n urrainn duine air bith a thoirt a chreidsinn oirnn gu'n do rinn na tighearnan Gàidhealach ceartas an uair a dh'-fhàsaich iad bailtean is sgireachdan; an uair a bha iomadh aitreabh is coisir mhùirneach air a sgapadh, agus gun air fhàgail far an robh iad ach làrach lom, gun chloich gun chrann ; an uair a bha luchd-shoithichean de'n tuath air am fògradh a dheòin no a dh'aindeoin gu dùthchana cèin a chum àite rèidh a dheanamh do chaoirich is do fhèidh. Agus ged a tha sinn cinnteach gu'm bu chòir coth­rom a thabhairt do chuid de na croitearan dol far am feàrr an dean iad beò-shlaint, gidheadh bhiodh e chum maith na rioghachd, gu'm biodh àite tàimh air fhaotainn dhoibh ann an Albainn chaoimh nan stùc agus nan càrn. Is e na croitearan cnàimh-droma agus fèithean na Gàidhealtachd; agus b'olc a dheanadh an dùthaich as an aonais. Is e na croitearan an dà chuid cnàimh-droma is claidheamh do'n gluasad Ghàidhealach

" Ged a gheibheadh tu caogad Mhuilt is rèithichean maola, 'S beag a thogadh a h-aon diubh Claidheamh faobharrach stàilinn."

Cha'n 'eil e furasda do na Gàidheil an cruaidhchas troimh an deach an luchd-dùthcha a dhi-chuimh-neachadh. Ach cha'n urrainn do Achd Phàrlamaid peanas a dheanamh air na mairbh, no furtachd a thabhairt do mhuinntir a tha na ficheadan bliadhna fo'n fhòd. Ach tha sinn an dochas gu'n leasaichear cor na muinntir a tha beò. Tha sinn an dochas gu'm faigh na croitearan tuilleadh fearainn, co dhiù a gheibh iad e le Achd Pàrlamaid no air dhòigh air bith eile, agus gu'm bi an suidheachadh anns gach àite am bheil iad air a dheanamh ni's feàrr na bha e 0 chionn fhada. Cha do thogadh an Roimh an aon latha ; agus cha'n fhaigh na Gàidheil an còraichean agus an saorsa gu h-iomlan ann an latha. Ach is cinnteach, ma bhitheas sinn Jior a thaobh sinn fèin, agus seasmhach a thaobh ar dùthcha-ne, gu'n tig àm ar soirbheachaidh luath no mail. Rachadh sinn, mata, air ar n-aghaidh mar fhior Ghàidheil, gu duineil, misneachdail, treibh-dhireach. Cumadh sinn suas ar cànain, bàrdachd, beul-aithris, agus cleachdaidhean tir nam beann agus nan gaisgeach. Tagradh sinn cuis ar luchd-dùthcha a tha diblidh is bochd, agus na cuireadh a h-aon againn smal no tàmailt air ainm is cliù a' Ghàidheil. Tha Dia leinn fèin—leis na Gàidheil. Nach b'e Colum Cille e fèin a labhair mar sin ? Agus ma tha Dia leinn fèin, gu dearbh is coma co 'bhios 'nar n-aghaidh.

the whig endowment bill

We have more than once had occasion to remark that English party politics do not interest us, and save in so far as they trespass upon the State affairs of the Gael, are no concern of ours. Liberal and Conservative—Whig and Tory—we equally regard from a wholly detached point of view. The bosh about "Britain," also, will discover no echo in these pages. Twaddle and cant about the "loyalty" of the Gael to this or that "Imperial" tenet we abominate and deride. The idea of " Anglo-Saxon Unity" is wholly foreign and repugnant to our propaganda; and the " country-before-politics" agitation of the little, or expurgated, Jingoes of the type of Lord Meath we repudiate in name of the nationality of the Gael.

The English Education Bill, however, now be­fore Parliament, inasmuch and in so far as it con­cerns our race, justifies the brief departure we here design to make. If the Bill applied to English Catho­lics alone, English Catholics might safely be trusted to do their best to safeguard their religious interests; but the affairs of that country are not, and cannot be, our principal concern. Our sympathies, indeed, would necessarily be with our English co-religion­ists in any crisis or misfortune which might befall them. In a measure and in a sense which the Catholic, whatever his nationality, will discern, their concern must be our concern: our easiness must be their easiness. But it is a totally different state of affairs when, as happens in this case, the children of the Gael and their descendants like­wise fall to be concerned. " Blood is thicker than water," as the old saying goes, and ought to be minded. The children of the Gael constitute by


far the largest number of the Catholics in England; and this being so, their intended hurt necessarily becomes a casus belli with their co-religionists and fellow-countrymen elsewhere.

In the first place, there seems to be something singularly unjust and ungenerous in the harsh treatment which the so-called Liberal Party has in store for the Catholics in England, by means of their preposterous Bill. It is an axiom that stands in no need of proof, that Ireland has been drained of her population in order that that of England might be swelled. Having constituted their desert, and blessed it in the names of " Law and Order," in the approved Saxon manner, no option was left to large numbers of the Gaels of Ireland but to emigrate where law is less harsh, and where social and economic conditions are less strained. Hav­ing, as it were, thus robbed Peter to discharge a debt to an imaginary Paul, one would be disposed to think that the most elementary notions of equity and justice would dictate fair and generous treat­ment towards the defrauded party. If you govern a country against its manifest will; if your rule, intentionally or otherwise, has the effect of driving large numbers of that people out of their own country into your own, the very least you can do is to refrain from wounding and persecuting such unwilling settlers in their most sacred and most susceptible feelings—that is to say in their religion. And, surely, the obligation becomes morally even more binding when the predominant creed of the dispossessed happens to be (as it is in the case before us) as widely different in character and complexion from that of the benefited country—for all popula­tion is benefit in the long run—as the poles are asunder ? We commend this view, which, through­out the long and animated debates characterising the passage of Mr. Birrell's Education Bill through the English House of Commons we do not remember to have encountered, to the attention and indulgent consideration, not only of those who agree with us in this matter, and who are of our own flesh and blood, but to that considerable body of political opinion in England, and amongst Englishmen, which, whatever its failings and shortcomings, at least professes a desire to see fairplay. The English people, as a whole, are far too prone to overlook, or to make light of, the obligations which they have contracted towards two nations (less numerous indeed, though not a whit less deserving than themselves) through the channel of a couple of mischievous unions. As to some extent con­querors of Scotland and Ireland, they have con­tracted, as they owe, very definite obligations. The disposition to pose as friends to liberty and freedom in every country save their own is far too common amongst them, and has earned for them abroad a not undeserved reputation for col­ossal hyprocrisy. We have no desire to pass as mendicants or as " sick men," whose pitiable peti­tions it were but charity to grant; but this we do say that in proportion to the consideration now shown us, and to the tact that is now used in the conduct of our affairs, will consist the mildness (or the severity) of the inevitable reckoning.

As for the Bill itself, plainly it is bad beyond compare. For Catholics, it would have been a bad bill, even had Clauses 4 and 6 passed in some one or other of the suggested amended forms ; but with the Bill as it stands unamended, unshaven and unshorn, and with its withers conspicuously unwrung, we fail completely to see how any self-respecting Catholic can have anything to do with it. To touch it with the end of the proverbial barge-pole would be a form of compliment richly undeserved by it. Nor do we think that any good could come of discussing its flagitious details at this time of day. The measure has been vociferously damned times with­out number, and in more quarters than we care to enumerate; and all that now remains is for the House of Lords to mend or end it. We are sorry that the Gaels of these islands should be in any way beholden to that mouldy institution—the seat of crusted privilege, and the feudal system's pen­ultimate ditch in England; but evidently Non­conformity brings us strange political bed-fellows. The automatic character of the Lords' opposition will, however, deprive them of any credit or kvSos which their contemplated action might otherwise have earned for them, so far as the Gaelic popula­tion is concerned. If the Bill were merely a Catho­lic Bill, we may safely assume that the Lords, as a body, would not lift a finger to ease us; but inasmuch as they conceive that the Church of England, as by law established, is like to be injured thereby, their hostility to the measure assumes the aspect of a foregone conclusion. It is, of course, a regrettable bore that Catholic interests should even appear to be identical with those of Protestants in even a single point, in even a solitary instance; but the facts being as we have briefly stated them, we apprehend that no one who does not deliberately wish to be under a bond of obligation to the Lords need entertain for them the smallest sentiment of gratitude in the matter.

If one thing, however, more than another is made manifest by this blundering Bill, it is that the Whig element in the Liberal Party has suc­cessfully captured the official machine; and in­asmuch as this is an event which bodes no good for the Gael, we think it not unworth our while to draw particular attention to it. If the Gael of Scot­land and Ireland can be said to possess an heredi­tary enemy, it is certainly these pestiferous Whigs. The Whig Party is the Nonconformist Party in English politics, and, time out of mind, has always been so. Cromwell was a Whig, as tyrannical and truculent a limb of Beelzebub as ever organised a pogrom, and styled it pacification. Dutch William, the hero of Glencoe, was another; and so was that mass of cruelty, bigotry and incompetence called Cumberland. The Whig Party, with few honour­able exceptions, has been consistently opposed to Catholic claims; and has more than once thwarted the legitimate desire of the Gaels for self-govern­ment. It is true that it was principally owing to the Whigs of the day that Catholic emancipation was placed upon the Statute Books; but it has to be remembered that the men who engineered that measure of relief through the English Legislature were persons of very different birth, breeding and mental qualities from the grocers and cheese­mongers—the scourings of little Bethels, and the manipulators of village pump handles—who now constitute the rank and file of the Whig Party, and who have rushed Birrell and his Bill through the House of Commons. A bigot and a bore of the type of Dr. Clifford would have been ostracised by them; and a Cabinet Minister capable of mounting the hustings for the purpose of eulogising that dull and lugubrious heretic as the man who stood be­tween the children and the priest would have been promptly taken by the crop and ignominiously cast into the streets. All through history, indeed, we see these Psalm-singing Whigs playing the parti of marplots to Gaelic national politics. The Tory] a mere Feudalist—the obsequient slave to kingly] prerogative and power—scarcely knew what he] was fighting for, or about; but the Nonconformist had ever definite aims, namely, the ascendency of] the Whig Party—of his own particular branch and] type of it that is to say—at the expense of the] State. How intolerant were these Whigs them-] selves, and how hypocritical their attachment tri] real liberty and freedom, we can easily perceive] from the treatment they meted out to the seventh] King James. Whatever that king's motives—and! we see no reason to doubt their essential purity and] righteousness—he at least endeavoured universal toleration. He tried to carry into effect notions ;and principles which real Liberals of all times and] countries have always acclaimed and professed! But because he was a Catholic, and therefore susJ pect, they—the pretended friends to liberty and] progress—would have none of him. Instead, they] cast him out, and called to their aid a narrow and] gloomy bigot like unto themselves—Dutch William.] Their conduct was on all fours with this sickening] piece of hypocrisy at the time of the passing of the] Union and the events which followed that unhappy] undertaking. Truly, their deeds show that it was not liberty and freedom that they loved, but] "Popery" which they hated. It was sufficient for them for a man to be a Catholic and a patriot! when, straightway, he was denounced as a poten-i tial tyrant and made the butt of their rude and] clumsy jests about "Popery and wooden shoes".] And it was the same thing here in Scotland. The] men who screamed the loudest about freedom,] who professed to stand out for " Conscience " and!

"Pure Religion," who took the name of Liberty most frequently in vain, and who gathered rebellion to themselves in name of their rustic covenants, were themselves the most unconscionable tyrants and bigots imaginable—fit forerunners of the text-wise, Bible-foolish Nonconformists of to-day. So long as his odious oligarchy in Church and State was fomented and encouraged by the Legislature, the Whig cared not what became of the rest of the country. To him, the name of freedom signified nothing if it could not be exploited to afford him scope for the display of his narrow sectarian pre­judices, and his mean political rancours. The idea of a Catholic possessing a mind of his own, of his [being genuinely and inseparably attached to those [notions and principles of liberty and progress which Whigs pretended to acclaim, but openly violated, [they affected to laugh to scorn. With them, it [was a case of " the Catholic must die the political death," shall labour under the most horrid and vexatious political and civil disabilities, for no [other reason than that he was a Catholic. " Away with him!" they screamed, " release unto us rather Ithe Infidel or the Agnostic than the Idolater!" [Now, the "Idolater" was a Catholic.

And so all through history we find these [miserable Whigs straining at ethical gnats, and [filling their bellies with fatted political camels. Under the last Gladstonian Administration they sustained some sort of check. The genius of that [great and good man, although it was not sufficient [to eradicate the poison from the body politic, kept lits noxious influences within circumscribed limits. But with the death of Mr. Gladstone, Whig as­cendency again raised its baleful head. He was succeeded in the leadership of his party by a man, clever and plausible indeed, but as arrant a Whig as ever cried " Abba !" to Lucifer—Lord Rosebery. And the car which that astounding political pedlar gave to his party's concerns has endured to this day. To his influence, and to the influence of his like in English politics—the Haldanes, Asquiths, Greys and so forth—we may safely ascribe the revival of Whiggism in the Liberal Party, and the luxuriant crop of political ills to which that detest­able ascendency has given birth. To the hostile influence of these men, not only must be ascribed such minor nuisances as the appearance of the ineffable Perks, and that of his gang of noisy and ill-mannered pinch-beck followers; but the shelv­ing of Home Eule, and the pigeon-holing of the more pressing and important question of Catholic University Education. The harrow of Whiggism and Nonconformity, instead of being allowed to rust and to rot in its lonely political furrow, has been seized and driven with a vengeance through the toad of Liberalism, crushing and squelching it in its irresistible passage. Indeed, the Bill of Birrell, and the manner in which that unspeakable measure has been forced through the House of Commons, renders it evident that the Cabinet and the Liberal Party as a whole are fast in the clutches of the Whig managers. Of a truth, the zeal of the con­venticles and the little Bethels hath eaten it up. The Whig Party has captured the official machine. It has done more: it has succeeded, at long last, in imposing its " religion "—its bit texts, and all the sorry rest of it—upon the English people; and, what is more, it has alternately browbeaten and bubbled the country into providing the money!
cailleach is mac

Am bitheantas, "tha aisling caillich mar a dùrachd". Gun teagamh is e dùrachd Mhr. Bain gu'n creidear na tha e 'cur an cèill anns an leabhar so—is e sin ri ràdh gu'm bheil Eaglais na Roimhe a dol a dholaidh. Le leth-shùil air a' Phàp, agus sùil eile air a sporan, sgriobh e Ios a dhurachd a bhi air a steidheachadh—air paipeir.

Ach chan 'eil Mr. Bain 'na aonar anns an t-seadh so. Tha e gu dearbh 'na shamhladh air mòran dhaoine air aghaidh an t-saoghail. Is iom­adh fear a th'ann a tha deanamh ceart direach mar a tha Mr. Bain a' deanamh 'na chuid sgeu­lachdan, da'n ainm (le'r cead), An t-Ath-Leas-ackadh Nuadh. Na is miann leosan gu'n creidear, tha iad 'ga sgriobhadh anns an cuid leabhraichean, a nasgaidh agus gun chunntas sam bith. Gu dearbh, mar a their iad anns a' Bheurla "is e am miann a tha 'na athair do'n bheachd," no, mar a theid sinn fèin, "Tha aisling caillich mar a dur­achd". Agus an ni a's fheàrr is urrainn a ràdh mu thimchioll a' gnothaich uile, is e sin gu'm bheil an cairdeas a tha eatorra gu tur soilleir.

Their Mr. Bain, agus esan a' cur an cèill a chuid aisling: " Protestantism has never been able to re­gain any of the ground it lost during the counter-Reformation. . . . Nations under the sway of the Papacy have more than once become infidel (c'àif is cuin a thachair so ?), and in the recoil from in­fidelity have returned to their loyalty to the old faith; but they have shown no inclination or desire to turn for light to the faith of the Reformers. Nothing seemed more certain than that a Roman Catholic, if he lost his faith in Rome, would be­clever and plausible indeed, but as arrant a Whig as ever cried " Abba !" to Lucifer—Lord Rosebery. And the car which that astounding political pedlar gave to his party's concerns has endured to this day. To his influence, and to the influence of his like in English politics—the Haldanes, Asquiths, Greys and so forth—we may safely ascribe the revival of Whiggism in the Liberal Party, and the luxuriant crop of political ills to which that detest­able ascendency has given birth. To the hostile influence of these men, not only must be ascribed such minor nuisances as the appearance of the ineffable Perks, and that of his gang of noisy and ill-mannered pinch-beck followers; but the shelv­ing of Home Rule, and the pigeon-holing of the more pressing and important question of Catholic University Education. The harrow of Whiggism and Nonconformity, instead of being allowed to rust and to rot in its lonely political furrow, has been seized and driven with a vengeance through the toad of Liberalism, crushing and squelching it in its irresistible passage. Indeed, the Bill of Birrell, and the manner in which that unspeakable measure has been forced through the House of Commons, renders it evident that the Cabinet and the Liberal Party as a whole are fast in the clutches of the Whig managers. Of a truth, the zeal of the con­venticles and the little Bethels hath eaten it up. The Whig Party has captured the official machine. It has done more: it has succeeded, at long last, in imposing its " religion "—its bit texts, and all the sorry rest of it—upon the English people; and, what is more, it has alternately browbeaten and bubbled the country into providing the money!
cailleach is mac

Am bitheantas, "tha aisling caillich mar a dùrachd". Gun teagamh is e dùrachd Mhr. Bain gu'n creidear na tha e 'cur an cèill anns an leabhar so—is e sin ri ràdh gu'm bheil Eaglais na Roimhe a dol a dholaidh. Le leth-shùil air a' Phàp, agus sùil eile air a sporan, sgriobh e Ios a dhurachd a bhi air a steidheachadh—air paipeir.

Ach chan 'eil Mr. Bain 'na aonar anns an t-seadh so. Tha e gu dearbh 'na shamhladh air mòran dhaoine air aghaidh an t-saoghail. Is iom­adh fear a th'ann a tha deanamh ceart direach mar a tha Mr. Bain a' deanamh 'na chuid sgeu­lachdan, da'n ainm (le'r cead), An t-Ath-Leas-achadh Nuadh. Na is miann leosan gu'n creidear, tha iad 'ga sgriobhadh anns an cuid leabhraichean, a nasgaidh agus gun chunntas sam bith. Gu dearbh, mar a their iad anns a' Bheurla " is e am miann a tha 'na athair do'n bheachd," no, mar a theid sinn fèin, "Tha aisling caillich mar a dur­achd". Agus an ni a's fheàrr is urrainn a ràdh mu thimchioll a' gnothaich uile, is e sin gu'm bheil an cairdeas a tha eatorra gu tur soilleir.

Their Mr. Bain, agus esan a' cur an cèill a chuid aisling: " Protestantism has never been able to re­gain any of the ground it lost during the counter-Reformation. . . . Nations under the sway of the Papacy have more than once become infidel (c'àif is cuin a thachair so ?), and in the recoil from in­fidelity have returned to their loyalty to the old faith; but they have shown no inclination or desire to turn for light to the faith of the Reformers. Nothing seemed more certain than that a Roman Catholic, if he lost his faith in Rome, would be-


come an infidel; and that if his faith revived he would go back to Rome and all her gorgeous ceremonial, her degrading superstitions, her galling tyranny. The result was that no missions were carried on as a rule more languidly than those to Roman Catholics, and none seemed so hopeless of success."

Ach, a nis, agus a rèir na caillich Bain, nous avons changez tout cela. Cha'n 'eil a' chùis mar sin ni 's fhaide. Tha saorsa a thaobh creidimh air a steideachadh gu daingean anns gach cearn is baile de mhòr-thir na Roinn Eurpa. Tha na teachdairean Prostanach, maille ri 'n cuid bribeadairean, an dà chuid calma is cathach. Tha na doili a' faotainn am fradhairc, na bacaich ag imeachd, na lobhair air an glanadh, na bodhair a' cluinntinn, agus an soisgeul (a rèir na caillich Bain agus John Knox) air a shermonachadh do na Caitliceaich bhochda. A dh'aon fhocal, tha luchd-àiteachaidh nan dùthcannan Caitliceach air an tionndadh gu grad a dh'ionnsaidh creidimh nam Prostanach. Coma co dhiù, tha Mr. Bain ag innseadh dhuinn anns a chuid sgeulachd gu'm bheil e mar so; agus mur bi eòlas air, is cinnteach gu'm bheil am miann leis ri creidsinn na tha e 'sgriobhadh mu dhèighinn ar creidimh.

A nis, nan d'rachadh leinn fèin a dhol air ar n-aghaidh chum Mhr. Bain agus a chuid chàirdean a thilgeadh bun os cionn—ni nach bu dhuilich a dheanamh—is dòcha gu'm biodh sinn air ar cur fo sgeig, gun dol fad' air ar n-aghaidh. Theirteadh rinn air ball, gu'm bheil sinn claon is aomachdail 'nar beachd; gu'm bheil ar teisteas-ne leth-bhreitheach, gun fhiù, 'chionn gu'm bheil sinn 'nar Caitlicaich. Is aithne dhuinn sin gu ro mhaith. Agus, o'n is e mar sin, tha sinn a' cur romhainn beachdan

Prostanach a mhàin a thoirt air aghaidh mu'n leabhar so.

Deù aon de na tiolpadairean Prostanach, agus e 'sgriobhadh anns an Times a tha air a chur a mach ann an Lunainn: " We have compared his (briathran Mhr. Bain) statements with other information that we possess from various of the countries to which he refers, and although there is nothing more risky than making prognostica­tions as to the religious future of any country, it appears to us that all the signs of the times are against any such growth of Protestantism".

Deir an tiolpadair ceudna ann an ait' eile: "Except in one case where there is a special political cause, the accessions to Protestantism (air tir mhòr na Roinn Europa) are quite insig­nificant. Mr. Bain himself confesses that this is so in some countries. . . . The one country in relation to which Mr. Bain's contention seems well founded is Austria; but in spite of all that he says we are not convinced that the Los von Rom movement is fundamentally religious. We believe that it is largely racial and political. . . . Every one who is acquainted with the Continent knows that there is in the Roman Catholic Church an immense store of real spiritual life; and there are within it intellectual movements far wider and more fertile than the somewhat unintelligent Pro­testantism of Mr. Bain. Even the statistics given by Mr. Bam himself of the growth of monasticism are hardly the signs of a decaying cause ; and people do not become monks or nuns nowadays from any but a religious motive. It is one of the weaknesses of Mr. Bain that he seems to be in­capable of realising either the strength or the merit of the Roman Catholic Church."

Na so h-uiread a thaobh. Mhr. Bain. An ioghnadh leinn nach d'èisd an tiolpadair Prostanach gu toil­each ris ì Gu fior, tha Mr. Bain 'na sgriobhadair mi-cheart, mi-thuigseach. Feudaidh gu'm bi an leabhar so na sgeulachd shunndach riusan a tha 'gabhail tlachd anns an Eachdraidh Mharia Mora agus a cuid sil; ach riusan leis am bheil miann ni beagan ni's fhèarr na sud fhaotaim, is cinnteach gu'm biodh e ach mar sgeulachd fhaoin is amad-anach a mhàin.
why the curacoa did not go to ard na mara

Dòmhnull Beag, which, being interpreted, is Little Donald, was a person of considerable parts, whose astuteness and cunning would have done credit to that heathen Chinee, whose ways were passing peculiar. Donald lived in a small heather-thatched cottage by the shores of a certain wild loch in western Ard na Mara; and his manner of earning a living was somewhat ambiguous.

Had you consulted Donald himself on that point, he would have told you that he was farmer and fisherman by turns—one of that amphibious genus, in fine, in which the Western Highlands and the Islands abound—and that in spite of Crofters Act and Congested District Board he had a sore struggle of it to make the two ends meet. But as he was but rarely to be seen prosecuting either of those employments, whilst, judging by his appear­ance, his circumstances were easy enough, you would probably (unless you were more than usu­ally credulous) have received his information with some hidden scepticism, if, indeed, you did not altogether disbelieve it.

Donald was by nature secretive, and like many men who join cunning to that quality, he preferred to live alone. Not that he was without friends, or shunned the society of his neighbours, with whom, on account of his sagacity and a certain quaintness of character, he was somewhat a favourite. But Little Donald was a disciple of Zimmer to the extent of at all events of constituting himself sole master of his own affairs, and of living in glorious isolation. He had a lively horror of women, mainly on account of their supposed loquacity, and many and bitter were the flouts and gibes he indulged in at their expense, especially when he was in his cups, which was rather more often, I daresay, than was good for him.

But, ordinarily, Donald was sober enough. His circumstances did not allow of his imbibing too fre­quently—at least, so he said; and good whisky is hard to come by, even in honest Ard na Mara of the Lochs; which was another reason, perhaps, why Little Donald did not much frequent the inn at the head of the village, which lay about six long Highland miles from his house.

So Donald lived alone, and strictly minded his own affairs; and if he did not fish much, nor labour over-much on his own croft, why whose business was that but his very own ? He kept the law, to all ostensible intents and appearances, and returned a civil answer to a civil question whenever one was addressed to him; and as his sense of individual responsibility did not ascend much higher, it is obvious that Donald, if no better, was at all events quite as good as many of his neighbours. He went to Mass regularly, summer and winter, and ob­served the appointed feasts and fasts. What more could a decent self-respecting Christian do, or what more could society reasonably expect of him ?

So, at least, argued Donald, who could not but be aware that his seeming want of means, joined to his easy manner of living, had not entirely escaped unfavourable comment. It was surely no business of the world's how he made the two ends meet, so long as he arrived at that desirable con­summation ? For his part, he deprecated scandal and gossip of every kind, and certainly he did nothing to encourage them, so far as he was con­cerned. Little Donald, for all his low stature and amiable airs, was not the man to be trifled with; and no one in Ard na Mara of the Lochs knew better than he did how to snub an impertinent inquirer, or to turn the laugh against such as would be witty at his own expense.

Still, tongues would wag, and gossips would have their say, in spite of all that Donald could do to prevent them; but what precisely the gossips did say regarding Dòmhnull Beag it would perhaps be indiscreet to divulge at this particular conjunc­ture. Suffice it to say, that the Ard na Mara gossips were probably not greatly inferior to their neighbours in the homely arts of adding two and two together, and of embroidering the resulting combination; and that in this particular locality, as in most others, the fact of a man's appearing in easy circumstances whilst, seemingly, he does nothing to acquire them, is apt to provoke curious and invidious remark.

News is wont to travel slowly, even nowadays, in Ard na Mara of the Lochs, and it was not until four days after the date of their arrival in that country that Little Donald was informed that some fine gentlemen had come all the way from France to see if they could secure a site on which to raise a monastery in Ard na Mara. The news took Donald by disagreeable surprise; but what particularly interested him was the rumour that the monks in question were concerned in the manufacture of a particular liquor, which, in the local conflict of opinion touching its precise char­acter, Little Donald had no hesitation in deciding to be whisky. Now, if there was one thing more than another which honest Donald reprobated, it was whisky—not, indeed, whisky in its finished state (to which, as I have said, he was, whiles, extremely partial), but whisky in its crude and im­mature form; for whisky in such a state almost necessarily involves the establishment of a building and appliances for the manufacture of the same, in other words a fully equipped and State-sanc­tioned distillery, which last, paradoxical as in may seem, was Little Donald's pet aversion, so far, at all events, as Ard na Mara was concerned.

So when Donald heard it said that it was a place for making whisky in that the gentlemen from France were after, he was grievously dis­tressed. His indignation was of that spontaneous, combustible and comprehensive character, whose name is " virtuous ". He was very much opposed to whisky on high moral ground- (he said); and though not actually a member of any temperance society, as he was careful to explain, he argued long and hotly against the projected distillery at many a little meeting of the gossips, convened at the inn in honour of the occasion.

Of course, Dòmhnull Beag was full of compli­ments for the gentlemen from France. It was not he himself who would be saying anything against them, more especially as they were good Christians, and like as not, as good Catholics as themselves. And France, too, was it not a fine rich country, co dhiù, for all the bad treatment they were getting there along with them? And if the gentlemen were of opinion that Ard na Mara was the finer place, why, small blame to them on that account; for a wilder and more beautiful it would be im­possible to find on all the broad bosom of the world.

But whilst Little Donald was careful to eulogise the strangers in general terms, he was no less con­cerned to advertise his scruples touching their rumoured undertaking. What could they be com­ing there for at all, he asked, if it was not to put up a great big building for making whisky in? And were they the men whatever who would be wanting that sort of thing ? Was there not already a distillery at Cill Moire, not more than sixteen decent Highland miles away, where the water of life could be had, pure and strong, for such as wished, and had money to buy it ? They and their ancestors from the head of many years past had got on very well without a distillery amongst them: why, therefore, should they be wishing to have one now ? They had a fine country of it, and enjoyed it, too, pretty well to themselves barring the deer (his curse on them) and a few tourists in autumn. Did they think for a moment that that state of affairs would continue once a distillery was put up? A Mhoire! they would be clamouring for railways, canals, motor-cars, roads, policemen and a host of other dangerous and disturbing innovations before long. Let them follow close ,to the ways of their ancestors and rest contented with what they had. It would be the ruin of the country once the whisky (he said nothing as to the monks, buaidh is piseach leo) got a foothold in Ard na Mara of the Lochs.

Besides, argued Donald, were they the sort of men who would be wanting to have a pack of gaugers spying on them, whenever they were out and about to do an honest day's work? They knew as well as he did himself that no distillery could be put up without its little army of excisemen to watch and take care of it, to taste the whisky, maybe, and to play their cunning knavish tricks with the good stuff that was made in it. Was not the one gauger they had already coming amongst them from time to time enough, that they should be wanting to bring in a buidheann of others, along with their cuid families and their spying underhand ways, and meddlesome, interfering habits? As for that lanky Saxon heretic yonder, Donald ac­knowledged that he was nuisance enough; but to give the man his due, however fussy, officious and impudent he might be, there was no doubt (said Donald) that like most of his countrymen he was a thundering simpleton; and for all such mercies (added Donald, with a pious ejaculation) may the Saints in Heaven make them always truly thank­ful. Should they be wanting, therefore, to bring in his like, and perhaps ten times worse, to be for ever a-hunting and a-harrying and a-spying, from day to day and from hill to hill ? He thought he knew them far too well to believe that they could be wishing the foolish thing like that; but for his part, if they were unable or disinclined to do any­thing to help themselves, why he himself would set about that very thing; and he did not doubt that though they should fail, he himself would suc­ceed. " And may the curse of Walter in Gaick," added Little Donald emphatically, as he brought his oration to a close, "be on each and every one who shall set hand to stone to put up a distillery in Ard na Mara."

Donald went home from the meeting in high dudgeon, revolving always in his mind plans by means of which, without unnecessarily exposing himself, he might put a nail in the coffin of that odious project of a distillery. Fertile was his imagination, and many and varied were the twists which he mentally took, in his endeavours to arrive at some practical solution of the difficulty confront­ing him. But cogitate as he might, plan as he might, somehow or other the thing he was wanting would not come out. He thought of kelpies and ghosts, of warlocks and so forth—he even thought of disguising himself, catheran fashion, and of kid­napping the ringleader or the head pioneer of the prospective army of gaugers—but no workable scheme could he find. To fail in his object would be worse than not to attempt it at all. He must hit on some plan which would be easy to execute single-handed. Now, if only that dolt of a Saxon gauger—and here Donald struck his thigh, and burst into a loud laugh as a solution of the diffi­culty suddenly flashed through his mind. He would make friends with the gauger—for a time— and having carefully matured his plans, would trust the execution of his scheme to Providence.

A week or so afterwards, Little Donald might have been seen in company with a party of gentle­men, who were prospecting Ard na Mara in search of a site whereon to set up a monastery. The services of Donald had not been formally requisi­tioned ; but as he had chosen to offer himself as one to whom every inch of that country was more than familiar, he was suffered to attach himself (in capacity of guide) to the party, which consisted of the four strangers from France, the local priest, the bishop of the diocese, a Glasgow architect, and one other, a lawyer's clerk from a west country town. Little Donald busied himself vastly that day, running about from place to place and passing from point to point, in a manner which was both wonderful to behold and painful to experience. He discussed possible sites here, and discovered unexpected objections and disadvantages there, so that in the space of four or five hours or so he had pretty well covered the whole of the ground under consideration (as well as exhausted most of the party), with the exception of a wild and exceed­ing mountainous tract of country near his own home and into which, with many flowery encomiums on its natural beauties and advantages, in his very best English, he at last proceeded to conduct the party, which by this time had become so impressed by Ms knowledge and zeal (as well as not a little drawn towards him on account of his amiability, shrewdness and many whimsicalities of manner), that they readily suffered themselves to be led whithersoever was pleasing to their loquacious and indefatigable guide.

By devious ways and rugged paths Donald conducted the party, which was by now pretty well fatigued, into a very high country, through which a mountain torrent, whose precipitous braes were thickly fringed with birch trees, rushed and roared. At the head of this country was an elevated plateau formed by a strip of meadow land of surprising beauty and attractiveness; and it was on this picturesque site that Little Donald suggested that the monks should build their monastery.

"See!" he exclaimed to the breathless party around him, and pointing to the plateau which stretched invitingly above them, "yonder there is the best site in all Ard na Mara! If the gentle­men will follow me we will soon be there."

Little Donald sprang towards some bushes near him, which on being parted, discovered a rude track strewn with rocks, and half concealed by undergrowth. Motioning the party to follow him, he himself quickly disappeared from sight, and remaining for some time out of view, his com­panions, who were following as best they could, began to be apprehensive lest something untoward had happened to him ; when a loud shout not fifty yards from them immediately convinced them that their fears were groundless.

" Haste you ! Haste you here, gentlemen!" cried Little Donald from amongst the trees. " See here what I have found." And English evidently proving insufficient, Donald vented his excitement in copious Gaelic.

Thus exhorted, the whole party scrambled as fast as they were able in the direction of the place from which the voice of Donald had proceeded. And there he was, to be sure; his head, with its shock of unkempt lank black hair, appearing not twenty feet below the level of the rude track which the party were traversing, whilst the rest of his body was engulfed in the brushwood which sur­rounded him.

"What have you got down there, Donald?" shouted the priest, as soon as he could find breath

to articulate.

" Come here and see for yourself, your Reverence, and those gentlemen too," replied Donald, turning a beaming and somewhat heated countenance up­wards. " It is myself who would like you to see what is here. A Mhoire! it is a strange thing whatever."

Impelled by a common curiosity, the priest and his companions scrambled down the brae, to the no small risk of their limbs, and a moment or two afterwards were standing by Donald's side upon a rocky ledge in the precipice. The ledge or shelf itself was so effectually screened from observation by trees that its existence could not have been even so much as suspected by any one standing on the path or track above, and looking down in the direction of the burn below.

The priest drew a sharp quick breath when he saw what Donald was gazing at. " Good gracious!" he exclaimed, " an illicit still! "

" It is the very thing you name and nothing else is in it!" cried Donald delightedly. " And I am thinking she's in very good working order," he added approvingly.

The party, headed by Donald, now made a more thorough investigation of the smugglers'bothy, which was constructed of turfs and branches, and seemed to be a somewhat superior affair. The smugglers had evidently been disturbed at their work, for the " pot" was full of malt and water, whilst the fire below it was laid for kindling. Donald was ex­tremely interested in all that he saw, and took upon himself to explain the working of the still with a. degree of knowledge and minuteness of detail which,, at another time and under different circumstances,, might have exposed to him to considerable suspicion..

" See!" cried the priest excitedly, who by this; time was almost as much interested in Donald's discovery as was that worthy himself. " Everything is ready for another brew. We have evidently just disturbed the rascals. Here are the fire and malt, and there are the peats as dry as coals. We should only have to light the fire to set the still agoing!"

" It is your Reverence who is speaking the very

G


*

truth," cried Donald. " And bad luck to myself if I have not got a match to put a bit fire on those very peats there !" And before any one could pre­vent him, or, indeed, was fully conscious of what he was about, Donald had struck a light, and the fire was ablaze.

The party gazed for some time in silence at the burning peats, whilst Donald ran about the bothy, attending to this and to that with a skill and an appearance of perfect familiarity with the resources •of the place which struck one at least of his ob­servers as somewhat peculiar.

" You should not have done that, Donald," said the priest gravely. "If the smoke were seen, it might get us into trouble, innocent as we are."

"And who is there, whatever, that would be seeing us, Father," inquired Donald, "and we miles and miles away from that fool of a gauger ?"

But at that very moment, as ill-luck would have it, the door of the bothy was suddenly darkened, and a voice at the threshold was raised.

"So I have caught you at last, have I, Little Donald!" cried the gauger, as he entered the bothy (for it was none other than he), " and you, too, not so very far away from your own home either," he added, with a sarcastic affectation of Donald's idiom. "And pray, what are you doing here, your Reverence, and these gentlemen too? This is a serious business for all of you."

To say that the party were surprised at this unexpected and inopportune intrusion would be to describe their amazement and confusion in the very mildest of terms. Donald was almost beside himself with mingled astonishment and rage, and would probably have offered some violence to the gauger if he had not been restrained from laying hands upon the majesty of the law by the presence of the priest and his companions. Prevented from wreaking his vengeance on the exciseman, he vented his wrath in scowling at him in the most threaten­ing manner imaginable, and in cursing him and his kind in Gaelic, pointed indeed, but too vigorous for repetition. The gentlemen from France, too, as soon as the situation had been explained to them, and they realised its more serious aspect, manifested their uneasiness in unmistakable fashion. The bishop and the Glasgow architect were like­wise very much perturbed. They did not at all relish the prospect of being involved in an affair of that kind, even as innocent parties—a sentiment which the priest and the lawyer's clerk shared to the full. And the alarm and uneasiness of all were by no means allayed when, to their unfeigned con­sternation and dismay, the gauger absolutely re­fused to credit their story, or to accept their prof­fered explanations.

"But pray be reasonable, man!" cried the priest, addressing the gauger in some heat. " Is it likely that either these gentlemen here, who have come all the way from France on a perfectly legiti­mate business, his lordship, or, indeed, any of us would be concerned in a contemptible affair of this kind? I tell you the idea is preposterous— absurd."

"I cannot help that," replied the gauger dog­gedly. " You have been caught working an illicit still, in the company of a suspected smuggler, which makes the matter ten times worse. I have long had my eye on Little Donald there. If, gentlemen, you are innocent as you say, you will doubtless have a chance of clearing yourselves in a court of law. I know my duty, thank you, which is to report the case at once in all its circumstances tal the proper authorities. And this I shall do with! out delay."

It was in vain that the priest and his com­panions expostulated and explained and argued! The gauger was obdurate ; and to all their appeals! and reasonings returned the unfailing answer, thatj if they were innocent their innocence couldl doubtless be made good in a court of law. Mean-J while, however unpleasant, his duty was clear.

The case now began to wear a truly serious aspect, and the priest, who felt himself in some] measure responsible for the whole party (with the] exception of Little Donald, whose imprudence did not entitle him to much consideration), commenced to feel considerable alarm for the issue of this! unfortunate occurrence, more especially as he] thought he detected some deeper meaning andj method in the gauger's uncommon obstinacy andj folly than was apparent upon the surface of the] affair. Moreover, he knew him to be à furious \ bigot, as well as a bad type of the Jack-in-office a and he reflected that even although they shoulcfl succeed in clearing themselves of the charge laid] at their door—an event touching which he had nod the smallest doubt—it would, nevertheless, be ex­tremely unpleasant to be publicly involved in al highly undignified occurrence of that kind. What-] ever the issue, the consequent gossip and notoriety] would necessarily be considerable, and, if possible,! were distinctly to be avoided. Altogether, taking] one thing with another into consideration, to nipj an unhappy affair of that kind in the bud was] obviously the best, easiest and most agreeable way] out of the dilemma. So, casting about in his mind] for some means to pacify the gauger, and to release themselves from a highly disagreeable situation, he suddenly bethought him of Donald.

"Donald!" cried the priest, sternly and au-thoritatively, addressing his parishioner in Gaelic, " whether or not you know more about this most unfortunate concern than you appear to do, I shall not now stop to inquire. But since it is 1 through your curiosity that we have got into trouble, I appeal to you to do your utmost to get us out of

"I will do that, Father, and gladly!" cried Donald. "Bad luck to the match that I brought with me! Come along here with me, gauger; you and I will speak about this business to ourselves , outside." And seizing the obdurate exciseman by [the arm, he dragged rather than led him out of the bothy.

The two remained absent for about a quarter of an hour, when both returned in company to the hut, where they found the little party standing gazing (dejectedly at the still, and at the scattered embers of the smugglers' fire.

Dòmhnull Beag was the first to speak. " Gentle­men, your Reverence !" he cried, doffing his bonnet, and addressing the group in oratorical fashion, "it is myself that has settled this little difficulty with our friend the gauger here. He will say no [more about it whatever if you will agree to one I thing that he is asking of you." I " And what is that ?" said the priest.

" That you do not put up a monastery in Ard na Mara at all," replied Little Donald solemnly.

The party looked at one another in, silence. [The Frenchmen, who had evidently grasped the [purport of the question and the reply, made as ithough to speak; but the bishop anticipated them.


296 Why the Curacoa did not go to Ard na Mara

" We can have nothing to do with any stipula­tion of that kind," he said decisively. "That is for our friends here from France to decide. If they choose to accept the officer's terms, it is for them to say so. For my part, I can only enter my protest against such senseless bigotry, for our in­nocence being clear, it can only be from bigotry or some such motive that so otherwise inexplicable a proposition could proceed."

All eyes were now turned to the little group of Frenchmen, one of whom, with a gesture which might have signified either amusement or disgust— perhaps both—now stepped forward to act as spokesman for his compatriots.

"Under the circumstances, we will do as this gentleman (indicating the gauger) suggests," he said, in excellent English. " We could not think of be­ing the innocent cause of getting our good friends here into trouble, though they, as ourselves, are perfectly innocent. And after what has occurred to-day, we could not well think of building our monastery in Ard na Mara. After all," he added, smiling and shrugging his shoulders, " the world is wide, and land is plentiful where money is not scarce. As for bigotry, alas! we are well used to it in France."

The bishop was manifestly greatly annoyed at the inauspicious turn which, thanks to the gauger and Donald, events had taken, but in view of the obstinacy of the former he recognised his powerless-ness to undo the mischief that had been done. Certainly almost any compromise was better than being publicly involved in a case of the kind evidently contemplated by the gauger. And if the Curacoa was not destined to come to Ard na Mara, why, doubtless, just as good a place for it could be found elsewhere in Scotland.

297


Fontenoy and After

"Take you heed, another time, where your curiosity leads you," he said, looking severely at Donald, " and profit by the experience which this day's work has brought you. But come, gentlemen, it is getting late and it is time for us to be going. We have surely wasted enough over this ridiculous business." And so saying he abruptly led the way out of the hut, followed by the priest and the rest of the company.
Little Donald remained behind, not caring doubt­less to encounter the searching cross-examination to which, he felt sure, the priest, at least, would subject him in consequence of his somewhat am­biguous share in the events of the day.

"She is an old pot, a very old pot. Cha'n 'eil feum agam oirre nis fhaide — I have no further use for her," said Donald to himself as, about half an hour after the party had quitted the bothy, he drew the still to the door of the hut, and, with a vigorous push, sent it flying down the brae into the burn below. " But this is the best day's work that ever she did in Ard na Mara of the Lochs."

Seana chaidh.
fontenoy and afterCaelyle pronounced Fontenoy " a mystery and a riddle," and Mr. Skrine, in the work before us, obligingly comes forward to solve it—evidently for the first time, as he fondly imagines. For our parts, we have never quite understood where the

1

1 Fontenoy, and the War of the Austrian Succession, by Francis Henry Skrine. Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons, 1906.

mystery lay. Certainly, Fontenoy was an English defeat, and amongst that modest people it may well be that a disaster of that kind is of itself sufficient to constitute a riddle and a mystery. But the whole period embracing the War of the Austrian Succession has been adequately and com­petently studied. The " general reader "—to quote Mr. Skrine's preface—may know "comparatively little of Sir Robert Walpole's long administration," and the important Continental events which coin­cided with it. But is the "general reader" in a better position regarding any other subject to which scepticism might tempt us to put a name ? Special­ists may specialise, and collators may collate till all the world—not excepting history—is of the approved and proverbial blue; but does the " general reader " take much account of their mani­fold labours and performances? We doubt it. At all events, any respectable English, French or German history contains an adequate account of the War of the Austrian Succession. The springs thereof, and the events leading up thereto, are public property, with which every schoolboy at all events (we say nothing of the " general reader," who is, presumably, here understood to be a per­son of mature age, and whose learning, as whose intelligence, we do not rate particularly high) has long been more or less familiar. For our own parts, though not disposed to question Mr. Skrine's bond fides as historian, yet we certainly do suspect the genuineness of his opening as­sumption-— of his credentials as historical nut­cracker. The whole book, indeed, reads like a kind of military tract, to which the War Office, standing for the nonce in loco parentis to Exeter Hall, has kindly furnished an imprimatur. Literary persons are fond of speaking of " pegs " on which to hang their morals and arguments. This battle of Fontenoy seems to have been one of them, and Lord Roberts' bellicose introduction not very skil­fully heightens the blushing impression.

The battle of Fontenoy was fought in 1745, the very year in which Prince Charles Edward began his unfortunate adventure in Scotland. The sym­pathies of the Gaels of the day were, of course, if they were anywhere, rather on the side of the French than with the English. Still, the Black Watch fought on the side of the Saxons (in this book styled " British "), and however much one may marvel at their muddled politics, there is no ques­tion as to their valour and bravery. Probably few men of that famous regiment realised what they were fighting for. They had been raised by Government nominally to put clown smuggling and other illicit practices in the Gàidhealtachd. Their real function, however, was to have an eye and a watch for certain "rebellious" clans. Am Frei­ceadan dubh derived its name, not from the colour of its tartan, as our author imagines, but from the highly unpopular character of its functions. Dubh in Gaelic, besides signifying " black," means " dark " or " sad " in a moral sense. It is not to be supposed that any numerous body of Gaels relished the at­tention of these Hanoverian Fenians, or that their hostility and suspicion were like to be diminished merely because their watchers wore kilts. It was an unpopular service (as such services usually are), and the men composing it, however individually respectable and blameless, naturally shared in the popular odium.

The Black Watch seems to have been the only Gaelic force employed on the English side at Fon­tenoy. A large number of Gaels, however, both of Ireland and Scotland, fought against the Saxons and with the French, which, on the whole (though we are no great admirers of the " Auld Alliance "), seems a more natural and sensible arrangement Indeed, the charge of the Irish Brigade at Fon­tenoy is famous in history. It certainly upset the equilibrium of the Butcher, who seems to have acted on this occasion like the blockhead, though not like the bloody monster, he was. Mr. Skrine has little to say in defence of Cumberland's conduct, which evidently goes sore against the grain with him, for our author is nothing if not a " pro-Briton," or rather Pan-Teuton. Mr. Skrine admits, in fact, that the Butcher's blundering generalship lost the English the day, though the usual sycophantic flatteries were showered on the ungainly idiot from court circles in London. In passing, we may mention that Mr. Skrine thinks the Irish memorial recently erected on the field of Fontenoy " vulgar ". Why so ? The Irish charge was a very creditable feature of the battle, and to celebrate it by a memorial seems a very natural proceeding. It is amazing how sensitive these Saxons are— when it comes to a push.

As proving our contention that Fontenoy is here merely a tale by which to point a moral—a mere peg on which to hang a somewhat wearisome military tract, we may mention that the account of the battle comprises but a single chapter. After Fontenoy the scene soon changes, and we are introduced to Prince Charles's campaign in Scotland, which, in Mr. Skrine's hands, serves but as another peg on which to hang a suit of English regimentals. And here, also, we are on well-trodden and almost too familiar ground, in spite of

Mr. Skrine's rather bombastic preface. Certainly, he has little that is new to tell us about the Stuart Prince's unhappy adventure; and the change of air would not appear to have at all improved the Butcher's generalship. Poor Prince Charlie, a bit of a blunderer himself, easily outmanoeuvred and hoodwinked the pudding-faced numbskull from Hanover. He left him grievously in the lurch several times, and would assuredly have visited Fontenoy (and worse) on him at Culloden, or before it, had not his depositions, as his intelli­gence department (so-called) been wretchedly de­fective. Mr. Skrine properly blames the Prince's absurd siege of Stirling Castle, and his quite as ridiculous (because miscalculated) night march— to say nothing of the surprise that failed in the dismal dawn of the 16th of April. Certainly the generalship of Lord George Murray, or rather the advice which he gave to be declined without super­abundant thanks, when contrasted with the military measures pursued by Cumberland, and with those which led Prince Charlie, at the dictation of his bit Frenchmen, to destruction, shines out as electric light to tallow dips. No doubt, it is easy to be wise after the event, as the superficial are fond of reminding us, but in this case the common sense which would have avoided Culloden dates at least as early as the Flood.

Mr. Skrine thinks that " no good purpose would be served by reviving the memory of reprisals which tarnished the victor's laurels and branded him with the nickname ' Butcher'." And really, looking at the matter entirely from a recruiting point of view, we are inclined to agree with him. Certainly the "Butcher" is not a name to conjure with—even in messrooms and barrack-yards in Scotland. It would certainly have a somewhat sinister look upon a recruiting poster; and we sympathise with Mr. Skrine in his obvious anxiety to bury a some­what unpopular hatchet. But desirous and ready as we are to oblige a gentleman of so "patriotic" a disposition as Mr. Skrine, we must really depre­cate any undue haste in the matter. The Cumber­land atrocities are a favourite subject and study of ours, and if baulked of a reasonable opportunity of "rubbing them in," we might turn more than usually nasty. We have no particular desire to reduce Lord Roberts and Mr. Skrine to the mire, whatever hostile intentions we may cherish against their military apple-cart. Where inclination and duty are so obviously at fisticuffs, our stern sense of the latter will by no means be denied. We are really very sorry to seem cantankerous or unduly insistent; but inasmuch as Mr. Skrine's appeal militant is addressed to "Britons" (by which unscientific appellation he thinks to include the inhabitants of Scotland, Ireland and England in general), we feel that this is a matter which inti­mately concerns us.

Iain Mac Coinnich, in his well-known Eachd­raidh a'Phrionnsa, gives us some grisly particulars touching the Butcher's behaviour after Culloden. Mackenzie was a reputable historian, and his account of the massacre of defenceless men by Cumberland's lambs, and by the Butcher's orders, was, doubtless, compiled with the assistance of the testimony of eye-witnesses. He makes the gravest possible charge against Cumberland. "An dèidh do na chath a bhi thairis," he says, "dh' òrduich an Diùc d'a chuid saighdearan a dhol a chasradh nan daoine 'bha 'nan laighe leòinte air an raon." It is all very well for Mr. Skrine to plead "the idiosyncrasies and temper of the time" (!) in mitigation of his "British" hero's abominable conduct; but to stigmatise the deliberate and cold-blooded murder of wounded and defenceless men in these feeble knock-kneed terms must be little short of insulting—even to the " general reader". Mr. Skrine tries to make out that Cumberland's abominations were nothing extra­ordinary, or any ways remarkable. " Let us be thankful," he piously exclaims, " that we live in a gentler age, and fall not into the common error of judging characters that belong to history by canons of which they had not the remotest conception" I That Cumberland's "canons" were not those of any of his civilised contemporaries, and that the wretch's " methods of barbarism " were hateful to every right-thinking man of his day, is notorious. It would be intolerable to think otherwise. Funnily enough, Mr. Skrine himself prints an anecdote showing what manner of man was Cumberland— even in the opinion of contemporary Englishmen. It was proposed in the city of London to present this monster in the shape of a devil with the free­dom of some company. "One of the aldermen said aloud, ' Then let it be of the Butchers'." We cannot resist the temptation to quote yet further from Mr. Skrine's interesting apologia. " Cumber­land was, as we have seen, a strict disciplinarian, and his choler was raised to white heat by insubordina­tion in any form." "A strict disciplinarian" is distinctly good. We thank thee for that descrip­tion, honest Screen ! Nero and Caligula, no doubt, were "strict disciplinarians," whose cholers were apt to fly up at less than a moment's notice, and without the smallest provocation! " Filial love," too, we are told—what a spate of the milk of human kindness we have here, to be sure!—" and his own dynastic interests forbade him to extend mercy to rebels " ! The italics, which are ours, are comment enough upon this singularly heartless and fatuous style of "reasoning," which would be shocking even in a Hottentot, but which, in a member of a civilised community, is positively sickening.

To conclude, we cannot conscientiously con­gratulate England on her two latest military heroes in Scotland, though both, no doubt, were "strict disciplinarians," with "dynastic interests," "filial love," cholers liable to fly up and down, and all the rest of it. Cumberland and Dutch William—these are, emphatically, not names to conjure with in Scotland. And even if relieved of their blood­stained labels, and styled "British," to facilitate their passage across the Border in the wake of the recruiting sergeant, we know our countrymen too well to believe that they could be for a moment deceived thereby. Like the delectable products of the Beef Trust in America, this injurious merchan­dise has fallen upon everlasting suspicion ; and, with the detestation of our countrymen before our eyes, we confidently prophesy a " slump " in " British " military exports.

To this book Lord Roberts contributes a pre­face which reads like a recruiting sergeant's hand­bill gone daft. He calls Mr. Skrine's Fontenoy " a trumpet-call to Englishmen". Mr. Skrine dubs his Saxons " Britons" throughout! The latter alludes to the French as " our " hereditary enemies, which shows that he, at least, left some Scottish history behind him when he crossed the Border. Lord Roberts, we say, calls this book a trumpet-call to Englishmen—what a quagmire of incon­sistencies and absurdities have our Bore-stone patriots brought us to!—but to the ears of the average Gael of understanding it is more likely to sound like some particularly painful and inharmoni­ous undertaking on the part of "our" military Boanerges and his fellow windbag.

focal nuadh

Am bitheantas, cha'n 'eil na Gàidheil cho ealamh agus bu chòir dhoibh a bhith ann a bhith 'toirt a steach focail nuadha d'an cànain aosda, blasda, min. Gu dearbh, is neonach so, a chionn gu'm bheil iad beothacail, tuigsinneach, ni's leòir 'nan inntinn, agus air chaochladh dhòighean eile nach fhaod a bhith air an cur suas anns an àite so.

Ghabh mi beachd sios o chionn latha no dhà air Fodair Gàidhlig a tha agam ; agus, ar leam, gu'n robh an fhàilinn so glè fhaicsinneach innte. Ach (ni a chuir ioghnadh agus diomb nach robh beag orm), thug mi fainear gu'n robh àireamh mhor de dh'fhocail Bheurla innte. An uair a tha focail nuadha a dhith air Gàidheil, an sgriobhadh no an seanachais, car son nach do chuir iad an taic ris an Laidinn, no ris a' Ghreugais, no ri h-aon sam bith eile de chànainean na Roinn Europa, an àite a bhith daonnan a' ruith a dh'ionnsaidh na Beurla, gus focail nuadha faotainn? Tha e air a ràdh le luchd-sgoil, agus sin gu tur fior, gu'm bheil an dàimh a tha eadar a' Ghaidhlig agus na cànainean Laidinn mòran ni's mò, ni's dluithe, agus ni's soilleire na tha e eadar a' Ghaidhlig agus a' Bheurla; agus ma's ann mar sin a tha, car son nach d'iarr sinn ar n-iasad 0 chànainean mhòr-thir na Roinn Europa—


306

Focal Nuadh


gu h-àraidh o na cànainean Laidinn—an àite a bhith daonnan ag iarraidh dhèircean o na Sasunnaich ?

A nis, tha focal ùr maith agam—focal Rusianachl —a fhuair mi o chionn latha no dhà anns na pai­pearan Sasunnach a leugh mi, cha'n ann gus mo thoil ach air son mo pheacannan—focal d'am bheil mi 'toirt spèis mhòr mar bhriathar làn seadh agus rèidh; agus, leis a sin, gu fior airidh gu bhith air I a thoirt a steach, agus air a suidheachadh, anns a' chànain againn fèin. Is e am focal so PogromX Tha pogrom a' ciallachadh seòrsa de chasgradhj mar tha e air a cur an òrdugh le Righ nan Rusian-1 ach (an Tsar), agus a chuid shaighdearan. Air. do'n Tsar agus a chuid cuirtearan a bhith air an? gonach air son leith-sgeul maith a Ios na Iudhaich1] Rusianach a chreach agus a chlaoidh, o chionn] mios no dhà, rinn iad Pogrom 'nan aghaidh—is ej sin ri ràdh, chòrd iad eadar fèin na Iudhaich a chreach agus a chasgadh, an dèidh do'n shluagh bhochd, mhi-fhortanach, sin a bhith air an farran-J achadh le dimeas agus le an-iochdmhorachd ro oillteil.

Pògrum, casgradh Rusianach

(ainm-fhocal bhoirionn).

Sing. Gairm. Pogrom, casgradh Rusianach.

Guth. A Phògruim.

Gineamh. Pògruim.

Tabhairt. Pògrum.

Iomadh. Gairm. Pògruman.

Guth. A Phògruma, etc., etc.

R. Mac Uilleim.


Guth na Bliadhna
leabhar iii.] AM FOGHAB, 1906. [aireamh 4
cuid nam fineachan

jFada fa-dhèireadh, agus an deigh mòran bhliadh­naichean tha againn a nis Bille ùr Fearainn—Bille, mar an ceudna, anns an urrainnear t-lachd mhòr a ghabhail, agus as am bheil sinn a' tarraing earbsa mhòr air taobh Fineachan na h-Alba.

Cha 'n 'eil teagamh sam bith againn nach 'eil Bille Mhr. Sinclair 'na Bille anabarrach maith air­son nithean na beatha-sa, agus buileach feumail mar an ceudna ; agus, mar tha cuid ag ràdh aig a' cheart àm so, is maith an comharradh oirre gu'm bheil an Scotsman, agus a luchd-leanmhuinn am measg uachdarain an fhearainn, 'na h-aghaidh am muigh agus am mach. Ach, is èiginn duinn, roimh ar beannachadh a thoirt dhi, a cuid ponganan fhai­ghinn a mach, agus an cur mu choinneamh ar luchd-1 leughaidh; beachd curramach, smioral, a ghabhail lair na stèidhean sin a tha aig bonn na Bille so. Agus gu sin a dheanamh air dhòigh agus nach leig sinn e fo amharus sam bith a thaobh nam bunail-itean sin, as am bheil e 'toirt làn earbsa ruinn fhèin, is èiginn duinn doras Eachdraidh na h-Alba fhos­gladh car tamuill, agus sùil a thoirt rè ùine bhig iair sean nithean na Gàidhealtachd.

An toiseach, niata, cia mar a chaidh am fearann a' riaghladh am measg nan seana Crhàidheal, agus ciod iad na còirichean a bha aca air talamh na dùthcha anns na làithean a dh' aom ? An uair a gheibh sinn thairis air so, gabhaidh sinn beachd air a' Bhille fèin, a Ios, theagamh, gu'm faigh sinn leasachadh no choir-eigin a chuireadh sinn a steach innte.

Tha a' chiad sealladh a ghabhas sinn air ar sinnsearan a' nochdadh dhuinn gu'n robh iad mar phriomh-fhir, no mar dhuine borba a mhàin. Is e sin ri ràdh, chum iad an cuid treud is buar; agus cha robh aca ach fìor bheag de nithe sam bith eile : cha robh eòlas aca gus a so air àiteach. Rinn iad am beò air sealgaireachd agus iasgach; agus mar iomadh cinneadh borb eile, cha robh aca ach còirichean cumanta air am fearann. B'e so an staid anns an robh iad air tùs ; ach gur ann mar chaidh iad air an adhart air rathad a Ios callachadh is modhalachd ruigheachd, is ann mar so a dh'fhàs iad diombach, mi-thoilichte leis an t-suidheachadh thoiseachail a bha aca ; gun amharus, rud a thach­radh gu cinnteach, oir mar is mò a chuir iad an cùil ri cleachdannan neo-oileanta an sinnsearan, is ann is mò a chuir iad iadsan an suarachas.

Ach, mu àm toirt a steach do'n Chreideamh Chrìosdail do'n dùthaich so thuit an seann Riaghailt Ghàidhealach fo atharrachadh anabarrach mòr. Agus, maille ri iomadh ath-leasachadh eile a chaidh a chur air bonn aig an àm ud, chaidh na laghanna-fearainn air fad air am meudachadh agus air an cur am feabhas. Ghabh ùaghdairean agus muinntir na dùthcha fo bheachd nach robh na seana laghanna-fearainn iomchuidh no freagarrach dhoibh ni's mò, a chionn agus nach robh iad 'nan daoine borba, allabanach, gun àite-comhnuidh suidhichte sam bith aca tuilleadh. Chi sinn a nis am fearann a bhuineadh do'n Chlann air a roinn gu lèir 'na tri earrannan. B'e a'chiad earrann am fearann a bha aig a' Chlann—na Fineachan. Thug ar sinnsearan Feachd—is e sin si ràdh " fearann cumanta "—mar ainm air an roinn so. B'e an dara earrann 'na fearann a bhuineadh do'n Eaglais agus do'n Righ; agus thug iad Fearann Drèachdach mar ainm air an roinn so. B'e an treas earrann 'na fearann a bhuineadh do na Flaithibh ; agus thug ar sinnsearan Oi'òa mar ainm air.

A thaobh na ciad earrainn, bha còir aig gach duine saor a bhuineadh do'n Chlann a chuid treudan a dh'ionaltradh air an fhearann so; agus bha còir aige, mar an ceudna, ri cuid de dh'fhearann-treabhta, agus ri àite-comhnuidh d'a fhèin. A thaobh na dara earrainn, bha am fearann so air a chur seachad leis an Fhine airson teachd-an-tir agus beathachaidh an Righ, agus a mhaoir1; agus airson teachd-an-tir agus beathachadh na h-Eaglaise agus a cuid Pearsa. A thaobh na treas earrainn, bha a' chuid bu mhò de'n fhearann so air a chumail leis na Flaithibh 'nan làmhan fhèin. Shuidhich iad an luchd-ìeanmhuinn (an dà chuid saor is daor) air, agus bha cead no còir aca, mar an ceudna, ris an fhearann so a thoirt seachad mar ghibht do'n fheadhainn sin a bha ri tighinn as an deigh. Chi sinn, mar so, gu'n robh tri cumhachdan mòra air an suidheachadh am measg nan seana Gàidheal, agus fo'n Riaghladh, Ghàidhealach—is e sin ri ràdh :—

  1. An Fhine.

  2. An Eaglais agus an Rìgh.

  3. Na Flaithean.

Chi sinn gu soilleir mar so gu'n robh an Fhine 'na mathair, mar gu'm b'ann, do chach, agus 'na cladhan as an do ruith an cumhachd uile a bha aca fa leth.

1Am Bàrd, am Britheamh, an Seanachaidh, etc.

Chi sinn mar so, mar an ceudna, an t-atharrachadh mòr a bha eadar am Feudal System agus Riaghladh nan Gàidheal. Fo'm Feudal System, b'e an Rìgh 'na aonar a bu mhathair-aobhar do'n chumhachd uile a bha aig gach ni agus neach a bh'ann. A rèir tionnsgnaidh no beachd, b'e an Rìgh e fhèin o'n do shruth gach cumhachd, agus gach onoir a bh'ann ; agus gun a chead no a thoil-san, cha robh e idir comasach do ni no neach sam bith fearann no tiodal a shealbhachadh anns na dùthaich ah* fad. A thuilleadh air sin, chi sinn mar so an t-atharrach­adh mòr a tha eadar Riaghladh nan Còmunnairean agus Riaghladh nan Gàidheal. Tha na Còmunn­airean ag ràdh gu'm bheil còir aig an Staid ris gach neach agus gach ni a tha an taobh a staigh dhith. Their iad, gu'm bu chòir do'n fhearann uile, maille ri gach ni eile a tha air uachdar dheth a bhith 'na làn sheilbh aig an Staid ; ach cha'n ann mar sin idir a tha Riaghladh nan Gàidheal a' gabhail beachd air a' chùis. Cha chreid na seana Ghàidheil, ni's mò tha sinn fhèin 'ga chreidsinn aig a' cheart àm, gu'n robh e 'na ni maith do'n t-sluagh gu lèir iad a bhith fo smachd na Staide; agus cha b'àdll leo riamh na cumhachdan uile an cur an aon làmh a mhàin. An àite sin, chuir iad air bonn an inn­leachd sin d'an d'thug iad mar ainm " Ionannachd Cothroim"—is e sin ri ràdh, roinn iad na cumh­achdan rìoghail a bha aca 'nam measg fhèin, a' gabhail fior churaim nach robh tuilleadh is mò de chumhachd aig neach seach neach ; ach gu'n robh an t-aon chumhachd a bha iad a' toirt seachad gu fior ionann ris an fhear eile. Mar so, fhuair iad an " Ionannachd Cothroim" sin a bha dualach dhoibh, agus a bha 'gan comharrachadh a mach, maille ri'n Riaghladh fhèin, fad linntean o shean. Is e so, mata, seilbh a tha anabarrach

priseil duinn; agus a chionn agus gur h-aon e de na cuspairean a tha aig a' Bhille so an " Ionann­achd Cothroim Ghàidhealach " a chur air ais, agus a shuidheachadh ann ar measg as ùr—a rèir gach coltais—is e ar barail gu'n d'rinn Mr. Sinclair, agus luchd-riaghlaidh na dùthcha, glè mhaith ann a bhith 'ga toirt a staigh do'n Phàrlamaid Shasunnaich, agus gu'm bheil e a nis ar dleasnas taitneach, sunndach, fàilte is furan a chur oirre.

Ach, mu'n cuir sinn crìoch air an roinn so d'ar ceann-teagaisg, is èiginn duinn focal no dhà a ràdh mu dhèighinn a' mhodh anns an deachaidh an Riaghladh Gàidhealach a dhith; agus, gu h-àraid, mu thimchioll nan tubaistean sin a thachair oirnn 'na lorg.

An toiseach, abramaid gu'm bheil gach ni a chuir sinn an cèill gu so suas furasda a bhith air a dhearbhadh le Eachdraidh, co dhiù is e Eachd­raidh na h-Alba no Eachdraidh na h-Eirinn a th'ann, agus as am bheil sinn a' tarruing ar beachd.

A thaobh an Riaghlaidh Ghàidhealach an Albainn, chi ar luchd-leughaidh còmhdach nach 'eil breugach air so anns an leabhar ainmeil sin ris an goirear Leabhar Dheoir, agus anns am bheil gach ni a tha sinn a' cur an cèill mu dhèighinn nan seana Ghàidheal, agus an cuid cleachdannan, air a shuidheachadh gu tur soilleir, ionnus gu'm bheil cothrom ann aig gach fear aig am bheil miann gu leughaidh no imeachd gu sin a dheanamh, gun thrioblaid no dhorran sam bith.

A nis, air do'n cheud Rìgh Dhàibhidh crùn na h-Alba fhaotainn le cuideachadh o 'chuid Frangaich, maille r'a chuid Sasunnaich, thug e a staigh leis an Riaghladh Frangach,1 ris an goirear anns a' Bheurla,

1 Gu firinneach, cha b'e " Bìaghladh Frangach " idir a bh'ann ach Bìaghladh Bomhanach. B'iad na Bomhanaich a chuir e air am Feudal System. Ciod e, mata, am modh riagh­laidh ud? Chuir sinn sin an cèill mu thràth. Leis a sin, gabhaidh sinn cead a dhol air ar n-adhart gun a ràdh smid tuilleadh dheth an so, ach gu'n robh e 'na mhodh riaghlaidh a bha gu tur an aghaidh an Riaghlaidh Ghàidhealaich.

B'e an cuspair a bha aig an Rìgh so, agus aig a luchd-leanmhuinn air cathair-rìoghail na h-Alba, cumhachd na dùthcha fhaotainn 'nan làmhaibh fhèin; agus a Ios sin a dheanamh air dhòigh agus nach bitheadh rum no cothrom ann ri mearachd no fàillinn sam bith, b'èiginn da, agus d'a luchd-lean­mhuinn, cumhachd na Fine a chur as; agus am modh a's feàrr gu sin a dheanamh, b'e sin, le'r cead, fearann no cuid nam Fineachan a thoirt air falbh uapa. Chi sinn gu furasda gu'n robh a' chùis mar so le dearbhadh a's simplidh a th'ann. Ciod a thachair do'n t-sluagh air do na Flaithibh a bhith air an ceannsachadh leis an rìgh airson " ceannairc," no lèith-sgeul eile mar sin ? An d'aisig an rìgh am fearann a thug e leis, leis a chuid fheachd, air a h-ais do'n Chlann ? Cha d'aisig gu deimhinn ! An àite sin, ghlèidh e an cuid fearann d'a fhèin, no thug e seachad e do neach sam bith eile a bha an cairdeas ris, no do na Flaithibh "ceannairceach," air dha an deanamh umhail dha fhèin air sgath an fhearainn a bha aca. Anns an dòigh so, chaidh cuid nam Fineachan air chall, agus a thoirt air falbh uapa. Bha i air a goid uapa, ceart mar an deachaidh an cù glas a chaidh a ghoid air Fhionn! Roinn an Rìgh agus na Flaithean cuid nam Fineachan eatorra fhèin; agus ma sheas an Eaglais a mach fad mòran bhliadh-

borm anns an Eoinn Eòrpa air tùs; ach is ann leis na Frangaich a bha e air a thoirt a staigh do Bhreatuinn; agus, mar so, thug sinn mar ainm " an Bìaghladh Frangach " air.

naichean an deigh sin, ciod a b'aobhar da, ach gu'n robh i tuilleadh a's cumhachdaiche gu bhith air a creachadh an dara cuid leis an Rìgh no leis na Flaithibh ?

Ach, mu dheireadh, thuit an Eaglais, mar an ceudna, air droch làithean. Chaidh a creachadh leis an Rìgh agus leis na Flaithibh, air do luchd-deanamh an " Ath-leasachaidh " làmh-an-uachdar fhaotainn an Albainn. "The gaunt and hungry nobles of Scotland (their Froude san Eachdraidh a sgrìobh e), careless, most of them, of God or Devil, were eyeing the sleek and well-fed clergy like a pack of famished wolves." "They could scarcely be compelled to afford the starveling stipends of the ministers," their Mr. Lang. Mar mhadaidhean - alluidh sgriosail, acrasach, ràpach, ruith iad a sios o'n cuid daingnichean air cuid na h-Eaglaise; agus, maille ris an Righ, rinn iad anns a' chuis so ceart mar a rinn iadsan fada roimhe so ri cuid nam Fineachan. An saoil sibh gu'n robh guth no sùil aca ris a' mhaith chumanta am feadh agus a bha iad a' creachadh na h-Eaglaise ; no gu'n robh iad air an lionadh le smaointean neamhaidh an uair a bha iad a' toirt còir na h-Eaglaise r'a fearann fèin air falbh uaithe ? Cha b'ann mar sin idir a bha iad a' gabhail ris a' chùis. B'e an cuspair a bha aig na Flaithibh an ceart ni a bha aig an Rìgh, is a sin ri ràdh, tuilleadh de dh'fhearann fhao­tainn ; tuilleadh de chumhachd fhaotainn; agus, gus làn ghreim fhaotainn air sin, cha d'thug iad sùil aona chuid air laghanna Dhè no air laghanna dhaoine.

Agus, is ann mar so a bha e fad mòran bhliadh­naichean. Dh'fhàs muinntir na dùthcha ni's fainne agus ni's fainne, mar an deachaidh na bb#dh-naichean air an adhart. Cha robh Eaglais ann ni's mò, gus còirichean nam Fineachan a dhìon agus a chumail suas, mar a b'fheàrr a dh'fhaodadh i. Bha Fineachan na h-Alba a nis air tròcair nam Flaithean, agus an làn earbsa ri'n Rìgh. Agus, gu dearbh, is fior bheag de na ni a chaidh a' chiad ainmeachadh a fhuair iad. An àite sin, dh'fhuadadch iad a mach iad gun tròcair no suim air bith ri h-aois, no gnè, 'nuair a dh'fhàs iad air beachd nach robh feum aca dhoibh tuilleadh, agus an uair a bha iad làn dèidheil air caoraich is feidh a ghabhail a staigh do na glinn agus daoine a chumail a mach.

Ach, fada mu dheireadh, thàinig (taing do Dhia), a' cheud chuideachadh a fhuair Fineachan na h-Alba o chionn iomadh bliadhna ; agus chaidh Achd nan Croitearan air a shuidheachadh anns an dùthaich le cead na Pàrlamaide, anns a' bhliadhna 1886. Thug an Reachd sin cuideachadh mòr do na Croitearan; ach cha do fhreagair e a' chùis mar bu chòir. Ach is ann an sin a thoisich an obair fheumail, èiginneach, mhaitb, ged nach robh e ach mar thoiseachadh a mhàin air a' ghnothach. Cha do bhean e ach ri oir a' ghnothaich. Cha robh e comasach do'n Achd sin an t-olc no an eucail uile a thoirt air falbh uapa, ged nach robh e gun sochair gu lèir. Mar sin, rinn na Croitearan, agus an cuid càirdean a bha air taobh a staigh, maille riusan a bha air taobh a muigh de na Pàrlamaide stri nach robh beag gu leasachadh is farsaingeachd a chur air an Achd; ach, fad mòran bhliadhnaichean, is ann mar dhaoine aig nach robh ach a' bheag de dhòchas a bha iad a' cumail suas aobhair nam Fineachan Albannach. Ach, a nis (taing do Dhia), tha gu bhith againn " Reachd nan Gabhaltaichean Beaga "; agus a rèir gach coltais, bithidh an Achd so mar chairt-' iùil ùr do na Croitearan, agus mar inneal shaorsa do'n dùthaich air fad.

Tha sinn deas, mata, ar seul a chur ris a' Bhille so, agus na reusanan sin a thathas 'gan toirt oirnn sin a dheanamh, is iad mar so iad.

An toiseach, is e ar barail gu'm bi a' cheud bhuannachd a thèid a mach o'n Reachd so is e so, Fineachan na h-Alba a chur air am bonn fhèin, a rìs agus a chaoidh. Anns an dara àite, is ro thait­neach leinn na cumhachdan eigineach sin a tha e 'toirt a staigh leis. Anns an treas àite, tha a' Bhille so air a dealbhadh air dhòigh agus nach 'dol an aghaidh nòis is cleachdannan nan Gàidheal: air an làimh eile, tha e 'cordadh gu maith riutha. Anns a' cheathramh àite, tha a' Bhille so 'na gnìomh ceartais, agus bithidh sinn glè thoilichte nam biodh e comasach cuid de dh'fhearann a bha air a thoirt air falbh o'n t-sluagh anns an bliadhnaichean a chaidh seachad a thoirt air ais as ùr do na Fineachan Gàidhealach. Anns a' chuigeadh àite tha sinn a' 'faighinn tlachd mhòir as a' Bhille so, a chionn agus gu'm bheil i gu bhith air a cur ri'n dùthaich gu lèir. Gu dearbh is e so comharradh ana­barrach maith oirre; agus tha dòchas againn gur ann mar so a bhitheas e a ghnàth agus gu buileach anns na bliadhnaichean a tha ri teachd. Gu dearbh, is mithich do na Gàidheil a bhith ag iarraidh a' chiuil, gus an dean Albainn dannsa air sgath an lagha ùir so. Agus is e so an sèathamh reuson airson gu'm bheil sinn a' cur ar taice ris a'Bhille, gur h-e, a nis, an Staid a tha mar dhìon agus mar inneal-glèidhidh do'n t-sluagh gu lèir. Dh'fhalbh na Fineachan mar inneal agus mar ghnothaichean reachdach gu buileach; agus an cumhachd a bha aca anns na làithean a dh'aom, tha e a nis aig iuchd-riaghlaidh na Staide. Anns an t-seann seadh, anns an t-seann mhodh, cha'n 'eil "Clann" no "Fine" ann ni's mò. Dh'fhalbh iad, mar sgeul a dh'inn­seadh.; ach ma dh'fhalbh, gu cinnteach, tha iad fathast a' làthair. Ciod i an Staid idir air an latha an diugh ach co-chruinneachadh mòr de chlanna agus de dh'Fhineachan ?

Na h-uiread so a thaobh nan stèidhean mòra a tha aig bonn na Bille so. Anns ar n-ath àireamh, cuiridh sinn an cèill na smuaintean a tha againn mu dhèighinn nam meanbh phongan a tha 'ga comharradh a mach.
education and "atmosphere".

The recent celebrations in connexion with the University of Aberdeen induce a train of thought whose outward expression will be found ultimately to embrace the subject of Education in general. It is hard to be particular in respect of so many-sided a problem. It is hard to impose limits upon our reflections and speculations at a time when all Christendom is possessed with the restless spirit of the "newer learning," and when the struggle for existence is as widespread and acute amongst the rival educational " systems " as it is in the world of commerce, or in any of those other " departments " of life which are consecrated to ceaseless endeavour by human activity and ambition.

Speaking generally, the subject of Education may be roughly classified for discussion under the three heads of Substance, Method, and Atmosphere. The second explains itself. It is the means of im­parting knowledge. Like the subject of what constitutes, or should constitute, Education, it also is matter of dispute. The third, Atmosphere, comprises the circumstances of Education; and if it is less matter of dispute in some quarters, the reason thereof is not far to seek. Atmosphere hardly appeals to the majority of educationists in these islands, as a necessary, or even as an import­ant, branch of our subject.

With regard to Method, it would be easy to dismiss it by glibly observing that only the best should obtain. No doubt the desire for efficiency is a common possession. Summum bonum maximum is a popular maxim, to which the incompetent and the effete, together with their betters, vociferously subscribe. And merely to beg the question by inquiring, in phraseology similar to that which Pilate and Mr. Chamberlain have conspired to render fashionable, "What is best?" would furnish no appreciable solution of the mystery. It is obvious, then, since no man can yet say positively what is best, that the educationists must be allowed to fight out the matter amongst themselves. The road to knowledge, via experience, leads over the edu­cational Golgotha, through many a prickly brake and by many a rock and thorn-strewn pass to efficiency—but the goal is not yet. The world is improving ; but the process is painful and slow. It is only by learning how not to educate that we can hope to arrive at ultimate efficiency. Truly, the horrors of vivisection have their counterpart in the experimental methods of our educational " ex­perts ". But is not progress, like experience, ever handsomely paid for ? The sufferings of a dog or a rabbit are more than moving tales to some well-meaning people; but what of the human wrecks produced by methods of " scientific " culture gone awry or astray ? Verily, there is no royal road to knowledge.

It was not, however, with the intention of dis­cussing this branch of our topic that we took up the pen, but with the design of making a few observations on the subject of "Atmosphere" in relation to Education. As we have already re­marked, with the majority of the educationists of these islands, "Atmosphere" counts for little or nothing. They do not understand it, and will not be concerned with it; but to the Gael and to the Catholic it is everything. To the average Eng­lishman, the Darwinian atmosphere of the monkey-house at his national Zoo, would smell every bit as sweet as the most highly-perfumed odour of sanctity, exhaled by the most inveterate Ritualist. " Atmos­phere," in the sense understood, we fear, by the Catholic alone, does not so much as enter into his olfactory calculations. Under the blight of Protes­tantism, he has acquired a habit of mind which he is pleased to call cosmopolitan, but which, instead of being characterised by true broadness, is re­markable only for furnishing a melancholy illustra­tion of dull and loose thinking. He makes the common mistake of confusing looseness of reason­ing with breadth of mind. He fails to grasp the important fact that atmosphere, if not everything, is something. His panic cry of " Efficiency ! " is in a fair way to be accommodated by gift of the shadow, without reference to the substance. "Broad-minded " through indolence, and " easy-going " and " tolerant" by dint of long affectation, he professes to be able neither to understand nor to homologate our demand for Atmosphere.

But what is the Catholic position in regard to Education, and whence our mysterious solicitude for this nebulous quantity styled " Atmosphere " ? The enigma, if enigma it be, is easily explained. Its revelation can be compressed almost into a nut­shell. The faith which we hold as Gaels, we hold in a higher degree, and yet more tenaciously, as Catholics. Just as the Nationalist demands that our schools and colleges shall be Scottish in spirit as well as in form, so do we Catholic Gaels demand that our schools shall be Catholic in spirit as well as in form. This is atmosphere. We do not believe in the Englishman's habit of " broad-mindedness" (which is going to bring about his downfall, and that of his Empire, in the near future) in either religion or politics. No Gael worthy the name will rest content until the public schools of Scotland are thoroughly nationalised. If the Gaelic language is to recover the ground which it has lost, we must have Gaelic teachers in our schools. If Scotland is to regain her former proud position, the youth of our country must be instructed in national principles. The education of the young must be conducted in a manner which will at least afford every mother's son of them an opportunity of acquiring correct notions in respect to his country and its history. In this matter, looking to the past history of our race, we cannot afford to leave anything to chance. As Gaels, any­thing approaching latitudinarianism in nationalism must be carefully eschewed by us. It is our deliber­ate conviction that " broad-mindedness," whether in religion or nationalism, is one of the greatest curses of the age. The man who thinks that one religion is as good as another, equally with the in­dividual who inclines to latitudinarianism in nation­alism, is a nuisance and a danger, to whom no quarter should be shown.

We have written thus strongly because we desire that our Protestant fellow-countrymen should be thoroughly informed as to the nature and extent of our demand for atmosphere. And we apprehend that what we have said as to the necessity of creatl ing a Gaelic atmosphere in our schools and colleges! will assist them to understand and to appreciate the Catholic claim for the same thing in respect of our holy religion. We simply cannot afford to do without Catholic atmosphere in our Catholic schools. It is as necessary to the well-being of our Faith as the air around us is to the maintenance] of life in our bodies. If Scotland had preserved her national atmosphere, Scotland would not now be what, alas ! she undoubtedly is—a mere province of England. If the Gaelic race had not suffered the loss of its national atmosphere, the Scottish language and Scottish nationality would not now be in their present parlous condition. The moral] to be drawn from these few observations is obvious. Atmosphere is the thing, and must be preserved and cultivated at all hazards.

And this brings us to another branch of our theme, which is, the present state of national education, as well Catholic as Protestant, in Scot­land. With the demand for Gaelic teachers for] the public schools, we have, of course, all imaginable sympathy. Gaelic is the national language of Scotland ; and it is but right and proper that it should be taught not only in every so-called " Highland" school, but in every school in every parish throughout the length and breadth of the land. This is the irreducible minimum of our] educational demand, and we beg all friends of tha Scot or Gael, whilst refusing no concession or re­form which " makes for " that position and working gradually up to it, ever to bear it prominently in mind. But, whilst we are charged with concern and solicitude for national education in our element­ary schools, let us not lose sight of the important] fact that if the country as a whole is to be restored to nationalism the Gaelic oriflamme must needs be firmly planted in our higher schools and colleges as well. At present this aspect of the question is in some danger of being overlooked by reason of the "battle of the schools"—of the fight, now in progress, that is to say, which has for its object the more systematic and extended introduction of the Gaelic language into the elementary schools; but with a view to showing how serious and pressing this aspect of the question also is, we invite our readers' attention to the considerations which follow.

Let us first take the case of the Protestant gentleman's son: we will next briefly inquire in what respect, if any, that of the Catholic gentle­man's offspring differs from that of his Protestant compatriot. The Protestant gentleman generally sends his son to England to be educated. The unost susceptible period of the youth's career is thus passed in England, amidst English scenes, and amongst Saxon surroundings. What chance is [jthere, therefore, for the Scottish youth who has been so badly grounded, to grow up a Scotsman ?1 Practically none, unless he be exceptionally strong-minded; unless his mental and moral constitution are strong enough to withstand the attacks of the atmosphere in which he has been scholastically nurtured, which, by the way, does not generally [happen. The Iad grows up until his educational growth culminates in that most depressing of all objects, if we consider the youth's blood and parentage, a full-blown Saxon. It is true that

1 We say nothing here as to the economic aspect of the question; but it is obvious that this sending of so many children of wealthy parents to be educated in England is a serious financial loss to our country.

when he returns to his country, to settle down as laird, or to discover his regimentals to an admiring peasantry, he occasionally " dons the kilt," talks knowingly of the '45, and cultivates a little " High­land " learning on Sir Walter Scott, but in spite of his tailor and his bookseller he is nothing but a Saxon. He is English in speech, and Saxon in tone. He knows no Gaelic, and will not be troubled to acquire any. Instead of being as Gaelic as the peats, he is, in all respects, in thought, in word, and in deed, even more English than the English themselves. He readily attaches himself to an English political party; and what that party is it would be superfluous to say. Suffice it to observe that it is the party which is pledged to the preservation of the Union, which is associated with the enemies of the Gaelic language and our national aims and aspirations. Knowing nothing of the Gaelic language, by reason of his English upbringing, and being totally uninstructed in the history of our country, is it to be wondered at that the average Scottish gentleman should constitute a kind of perambulating machine for the propagation and dissemination of English ideas ? Even in his sports and his pastimes, he gives unreserved and unmis­takable indication of his Saxon education. The old time-honoured Scottish games and sports are laid aside, and cricket and other typically English diversions and recreations are introduced into his district by means of his influence. Though a Pro­testant, too, the religion of his Presbyterian neigh­bour is not good enough for him, so he must needs attach himself to that of the Predominant Partner, which further tends to Anglicisation. Indeed, to spare ourselves the trouble of enumerating and our readers that of perusing the various particulars which constitute him an Englishman and nothing but an Englishman, in all essential respects, it is evident that the custom to which we refer is disastrous from the national point of view, and that so long as it obtains so long must, and will, our country, as a whole, fall grievously short of that national standard which the Gaelic movement has set up. The atmosphere of English schools and colleges cannot be otherwise than English. It would be as foolish, as it would be unreasonable, to expect anything else. For this reason we have no hesitation in characterising them as no fit places for the education of the Scottish youth. We are of opinion that Scottish Protestant parents who send their children to be educated in England, are thereby committing an unpatriotic action; and we appeal to our Protestant fellow-countrymen to do what in them lies to discourage and discredit this injurious and ridiculous practise.

Let us now briefly consider the position of the Catholic parent in Scotland. There are at present no Catholic schools or colleges in Scotland to which the Catholic Scot of the upper and wealthy classes can send his sons for education. Apart from the national college for the Scottish priesthood at Blairs, there is not a single scholastic institution, with any pretensions to be considered as national, throughout the length and breadth of Scotland. This, undoubtedly, is a condition of things passing strange and discreditable. It means, too, that the Catholic parent, whose social position is superior to that of the majority of his Catholic neighbours, is more or less obliged to send his son to England to be educated, since the good old fashion for Catholic Scots gentle people to send their children abroad, to Catholic seminaries, to be educated has

B

largely fallen into disuse owing to the Union. Undoubtedly, the peculiar atmosphere of English Catholic schools and colleges is, generally, less destructive to our nationalism than is that of the corresponding seminaries of Protestant England: nevertheless, the practice is not one which we, as Gaels, can conscientiously recommend. Some of these Catholic schools are aggressively English. We make no complaint, and harbour no resentment, against them on that ground. It is but right and just that they should be so ; and the Gael who would deny to others that which he claims for himself, has little of our sympathy and none of our respect. But for this very reason it is that English Catholic schools are no fit places for the Catholic Scottish youth. Of course, the Scottish language is unknown in them. Scottish history is not taught in them. The atmosphere is English. These three conditions not only " make for " Anglicisation, but, in the vast ma­jority of cases, they speedily accomplish it. Thus, from the national point of view, there is little to distinguish the Scots Catholic gentleman from his Protestant fellow-countryman of similar social standing. Both are, in all essentials, Englishmen; both are, as products of the same melancholy system, as alike as the proverbial two peas. In both cases, it is the want of a proper national atmosphere which accounts for their stunted national growth, and which explains their exhausted appearance.

The suggestion has been put forward that the Scottish Catholic youth should attend the Scottish universities, under, we presume, the necessary religious safeguards, and in conformity with the regulations which our Church imposes in cases where the children of Catholics are entertained as students of Protestant seminaries. But we ap­prehend that the Catholic very real and vital ob­jection to a Protestant atmosphere is not likely to be overcome in favour of anything approaching a general acceptance of this suggested arrangement. The Scots Catholics are far more likely to follow the example of their Irish co-religionists in regard to this important matter than they are to follow that of the handful of English Catholic parents whose sons are now receiving their education at Protestant universities in England. It is a notorious fact that our Protestant gentry do not send their sons to be educated at Scots universities; and inasmuch as here, at all events, there can be no question of the suitability, or the reverse, of the religious atmos­phere to be encountered at these universities, we think this refusal on the part of the Scots Protestant gentry to participate in the advantages and benefits of Scottish educational institutions both unpatriotic and snobbish. Though by no means what they should be, from the national point of view, yet the Scottish schools and universities are at least Scottish; and any youth entering their portals as student is more likely to remain a Scotsman than is the boy or youth who receives his university or other education in England. If the Scots Protes­tant gentry combined in a movement to send their sons to Scottish schools and universities, not only would the social " tone " of these seminaries be in a fair way to be raised, but we are of opinion that the Protestant youth of the country would benefit likewise. The influence of the gentry, too, might be usefully exerted in the direction of raising the national tone of these seminaries, which, as we have already observed, at present leaves much to be desired.

But this, after all, is a Protestant affair, and, as such, cannot possibly be more than a passing con­cern. What we are desirous to obtain for the Catholic youth of this country is a sound Scottish education on Scottish soil. A university for our­selves we cannot at present hope to obtain; which is one of several reasons why we hope that our Irish co-religionists and kinsmen will not abate of their demand for a university in which the atmosphere shall be uncompromisingly Catholic and Gaelic; for, in the event of such an university being erected on Irish soil, we doubt not—indeed we may say we have received assurances to that effect—that " facilities " and inducements would be generously offered to Catholic Scotland—facilities and induce­ments of which, we have every reason to believe, many of all classes in this country would hasten to avail themselves.

Our more immediate purpose, however, in ad­dressing these remarks has been to call attention to the need which exists for a school to which our Catholic upper classes could send their sons, and wherein they might be certain of their receiving an education at once Catholic and national. There is no such school at present in Scotland, and its want is both obvious and pressing. The necessary educational machinery for such a school, together with the means to support it, and the required clien­tele (that is to say the scholars or pupils), should not be hard to obtain if we consider the wealth and extent of the Catholic population. Of course, nothing is to be gained either by embarking upon the acquisition of so desirable a national possession in a half-hearted and perfunctory fashion, or by ex­pecting a miracle to happen in the shape of a free gift, on the part of Providence, of such a seminary, together with all its educational appliances. This is no country and time for pessimists, refiners, doubters, eight-hour-goers, ^cA^-all-things-to-all-men and recruiting-sergeants from the ranks of the dismal army of wet-blanket-wearers in general. Those who are neither ashamed, nor afraid, to set their shoulders to the wheel, and to do good, sound, hard, honest work in behalf of religion and country —the services of such as these were at no previous period of our history more necessary, or more likely to lay up for themselves treasure above, if not to secure for them the rewards and emoluments of this transitory world. We venture to hope, therefore, that the work to which we refer will shortly be taken in hand, and that the necessary "driving-power" behind it will be forthcoming. The machinery for such an institution already exists to a considerable extent, we believe. All that is required is a little of that fighting genius, a little of that spirit of self-sacrifice and pious perseverance which animated our glorious St. Columba and his indomitable disciples. When the Evangelist of Scotland first set foot on our storm-swept shores, think you that there was a millionaire waiting to receive him with pen and cheque-book in hand, or that a Royal Com­mission had previously been appointed for the pur­pose of collecting documentary evidence as to the feasibility or the reverse of his projected under­taking ? The work which that great Saint accom­plished, he performed almost single-handed, without money, without friends, and in the teeth of an oppo­sition which was well-nigh insupportable. Across those stormy seas he came, in his frail coracle, to a land as wild and inhospitable as were the people destined to receive him. A monstrous regime of tyranny and superstition, of ignorance and cruelty, confronted him on all sides; yet his lion heart,

Armachd

329


00 th o

O CO o

iCiT* o

was" co"

rH CN CO

co o co




CO QO r-t CO 00

CO

CO 10 f-

01 os to

lO 1-- co

neo i-T
co to

as as co


i-H CO

EN CO CO

t-~ CO co

loTco" co"

CO CN i-i

CO CO rH iO CO o

00 ce o

CO \Cì

o co as

t* tH =35

of of -rf

r-tO 00

OS CN O


,, o o co o

j CM O TP ITS


O _


o S

o co S «2 H « g 00 gq* g

HO

co" co*o

ITS lO O

OO TH t-co _2 'O

WH-^

CN 0


OO CO

OO

OO T*

00" w

rH ol


o

irs as


s


© © co ©

O ©rt Ifl <0 rH CN


CNCN OS


lO O CN CO O CN

°n S ^ JS-NtN S rH CT.

CO^CO_eO_ CN^TTrH O TP CO CN

00" to" co" o"^ CN co" O* tCl^T eft"

ag CN CO CO COCO O CNCN CO


CO_Q TfT OS a, CO CN" CO

as th -rti ^H

a

p


a

'§ 3

So


.3 .« ,




Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6


The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2019
send message

    Main page