partsofthecountry.Boadstothese marketswouldthenhavebecomenecessary;andwouldof coarsehavebeenformed.Theseroadsbeingoncemade,manufacturerswouldhavegraduallysatdownintheinternalpartsof thecountrytoavailthemselvesoftheinfiniteadvantagesthey couldderivefromthegreatfallsofmanystreamsofwaterfor tamingmachinery.These,again,wouldhaveconsumedin manufacturesthewoolthatoughttobe,andinevitablywillbe intìme,thechiefproductionofthesemountains,andwould themselvesconsumethecarcasses.Thusmightthecountry - 4 porttentimesthenumberofinhabitantsithasatpresent, withoutfeelinganysuperfluityofpeople.Thetenantswould beatlibertytostockandmanagetheirfarmsinthemost economicalmanner,withoutdistressinganyindividuals.The proprietorwoulddrawafairandadequaterentforthelands whhoutbeingaccusedofoppression.Andthestatewouldderive anamplerevenuewithoutdistressingtheinhabitants,froma comerouspeoplewhoatpresentexhaustinsteadofaugmenting thenationaltreasure."Theconditionoftheinhabitantsofthe HighlandsandIsleshas,ofcourse,improvedconsiderablysince theselineswerewritten(1792).Butitcannottruthfullybe so, in obedience to the mandate of the specialists, sheep-farming on a large scale it was, and, in great measure has continued so to this very day; but the price of wool being no longer what it was in consequence of foreign competition, and some other causes which I need not here specify, the doctrinaires are all at their wits' ends again, and are eagerly casting about for some other means whereby they may justify their existence as political prophets and healers. Meantime, two other " remedies " had been started by a body of quacks who would appear to have regarded the proceedings of their compeers with some jealousy, if not with some natural alarm at the prospect of that success which was confidently prognosticated for the nostrum of their rivals in trade. The first of these remedies was the improvement of the fishings in the Highlands and Isles; the second being the material salvation of the country by means of agriculture.
Now this last has always been a favourite panacea for distressed countries and peoples with the political empiric, or, to use a less harsh term, with the economist who has a soul not above sentiment. To say the truth, it offers an agreeable, familiar and convenient road out of great difficulties. The prospect of " smiling fields " and a prosperous said that it has improved in a ratio at all proportionate to that which we can observe elsewhere. The fact that the material condition of the people has improved since 1792 is no sound argument for the continuance of the existing state of affairs. That it has improved so little whilst the population has shrunk so much supplies indeed the strongest possible argument against it. The general poverty of the Highlands and Isles, compared with the prosperity of the Lowlands, is as the prosperity of a millionaire contrasted with the impecuniosity of a poor relation.
and contented peasantry is one well calculated to appeal to the imagination of the average arm-chair politician, more especially, as is generally the case, where he is not wanting in bowels of compassion. His thoughts on such a subject as he sits at home amongst his books, or dozes in his London office over the latest agricultural statistics, are naturally of the mildest and most benign description. He thinks of Arcadia and Polybius its historian. He remembers to have read of the genial climate of that favoured land, of the multiplicity of its mountains and rivers, the richness of its pastures, the abundance of cattle and flocks, the tranquil and happy disposition of the people, their abhorrence of war and strife, their love of music and poetry, and so forth: and imagining these things he naturally (being a bit of a dreamer, in spite of his dry-as-dust trade) falls to wondering why they cannot be perpetuated elsewhere. Your political thinker turned economist, or vice versa,- is generally somewhat of a classical scholar; and the appeal to Arcadia is sure to start a train of agreeable reflections and recollections in his fertile brain. The character of the Arcadians is eminently delightful to him, as it was to the ancients before him—to Pindar and Homer, Horace, Ovid, Propertius and others. Did not Virgil adorn his bucolics with the peculiarities of Arcadia, and did not the same genius (himself an husbandman) dedicate the greatest part of the eighth book of the JEneid to the memory of Evander, and the praises of the Arcadians ? Jacapo Sannagaro, a more than competent Latin poet of the sixteenth century, composed, under the name of Actius Sincerus, a justly admired and celebrated work, consisting of eclogues in verse and prose, entitled Arcadia. Tasso laid the scene of his Aminta in
164 Celtic Renaissance and Industrial Revival
Arcadia, and Guarini fixed the scenery of his Pastor Fido in the same delightful country.
But let not any man think that in seeming to ridicule our political quacks—a kind and well-meaning race for the most part—and in speaking somewhat contemptuously of their works, I seek to belittle what has actually been done to assist the Highlands and Isles, mainly, no doubt, through their efforts. The little that has been done in the direction indicated by these observations redounds, I acknowledge, to their credit; and on the principle that even an indiscreet friend is better than no friend at all, I confess it with candour that verily they are entitled to their reward. But the fault and the weakness of our empirics consists in the circumstance of their regarding either this one remedy or the other as alone capable of restoring jrrosperity to the Highlands and Isles; whereas the fact is (and they would discover it if they would but think a little and read a little, I do not say more learnedly, but more closely and practically) that the state of affairs which they are so laudably desirous to re-establish in the Highlands and Isles was the result of the success, not of any one particular trade or calling, but of a general progress and prosperity, which embraced the people at large. To proceed on the assumption that agriculture alone, or the sea-fishings alone, or sheep-farming alone, or carpet-weaving alone are sufficient to repair the ills and mischiefs which all are agreed in deploring is unsound economics and very bad reasoning. Of late years there has been a regrettable tendency abroad to ride the hobby-horse of agriculture to a perfectly preposterous extent. The most of the Highlands and Isles are totally unsuited to this branch of industry, and many of the waste lands
Urnaigh ri Naomh Colum Cille 165
that have been brought into so-called " cultivation," in consequence of this mischievous cry, can furnish evidences of nothing save a prodigious and extravagant expenditure of capital and time. " Nothing but a ready and certain market (said a shrewd observer and a sound economist of the last century) for all the productions of a farm can ever induce any man of common-sense to bestow vigorous exertions in agriculture. But in a country where the whole of the people are cultivators of the soil, no market for any of its produce can ever be found. Each person, therefore, finding that he can sell none of that produce, can as little afford to purchase anything else. In that state of society, therefore, a general poverty of the people must prevail, and a listless indolence be very general among them."
(To be continued.)
In nomine Patris et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Beannaichte gu'n robh an Trianaid Naomh agus neo-dhealichte a nis agus gu siorruidh. Amen.
Tha mi 'coisrigeadh nan tri Chaoil (Caol nan dùirn, Caol na cuim, agus Caol nan cas) mar chuimhneachan air Naomh Colum Cille.
Tha mi 'coisrigeadh nan tri chaoil, 's gach ni a th'agam an lathair Nh. Cholum Chille, 's nam Naoimh Gàidhealach uile.
Spero in Deo quoniam adhuc confitebor illi; salutare vultus mei et Deus meus. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Tha mi 'tort aoraidh is glòire do Dhia an diugh
(noan nochd). Glòir do'n Athair, agus do'n Mhac, agus do'n Spiorad Naomh. Mar a bha, 's mar a tha 's mar a bhitheas fad shaoghal nan saoghal. Amen.
Tha mi 'coisrigeadh Caol nan dùirn.
A Naoimh Cholum Chille! Guidh gu grad, 's gu buileach, 's gu dùrachdach; guidh gu tuath, 's gu deas; guidh an ear agus an iar; guidh a nuas agus shuas, a bhos agus thall; guidh air ais, 's air aghaidh, h-uig agus uaithe, agus gu là bràth.
Guidh mae &rig
Air Casan Chrìosta cho geal ris a 'bhainne. Air Ghinean Chrìosta cho làidir ri carraig. Air Anart-bàis Chrìosta cho soilleir ri ceo. Air Uchd Chrìosta cho suaineach ri tonn Air Guaillean Chrìosta cho farsuing ris na beanntain Air Beul Chrìosta cho iomlan ris an fhlùr. Air Suilean Chrìosta cho oaoimhneil ri dealradh na greine dol fodha
Air Falt Chrìosta cho bachlach ris an t-sruth. Air Gàirdeanan Chrìosta cho sùbailte ri bannan Air Meoir Chrìosta cho ceannasach ri na speuraibh
'S air A Cheann Naomh.
Pater noster qui es in coelis. Sanctificatur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua sicut in coelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitori-bus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. Amen.
Tha mi 'coisrigeadh Caol mo chùirn. Guidh mar &rig
Air A Bheus Air A Dhilseachd Air A Charranachd
Air A Gheimnidheachd Air A Chiùineachd Air A Mhàldachd Air A Thrèine Air A Mhisneachd Air A Mheasarachd Air A Fhulangas Air 'Irisleachd 'Sair
A Bhochdas ro-naomh.
Fàilte dhut A Mhoire! Tha thu làn de na gràsan. Tha an Tighearna maille ruit. Is beannaicht* thu 'measg nan mnài, agus is beannaichte toradh do bhronn, Iosa. A Naomh Mhoire, Mhàthair Dhè, guidh air ar son-ne na peacaich a nis, agus aig uair ar bàis. Amen.
Tha mi 'coisrigeadh Caol nan cas.
Guidh air sgath
ABhreithnaomh is fhìor-ghlàn. ALeanabasgunghaoid. ABhaiste&dh