The church and the highlands



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1 What lies, untranslated, in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, remains to be seen. There cannot be much, however, as Skene printed the greatest part of the Scottish genealogies as appendix to vol. iii. of Celtic Scotland.

2 See Skene, vol. iii., p. 349 et seq.

name, are in general tolerably well vouched, and may be held to be authentic."

"The several genealogies (relating to historic times), as well as those scattered portions of them found incidentally in various authors, exhibit marvel­lous consistency, and have all the marks of truthful­ness. Moreover, they receive striking confirmation from incidental references in English writers—as for instance the Venerable Bede. Whenever Bede mentions a Scot or Irishman and says he was the son of so-and-so, it is invariably found that he agrees with the Irish genealogies if they mention the man's name at all.""It may be asked (says Father Shearman in his preface to his learned and highly interesting Lorn Patnciana) what are the claims to credibility possessed by these long-extended genealogies ? What is the source of their authority? The reason of their existence is found in the peculiar state of Celtic society and government. In a country where the tribal system prevailed, with all its consectaries, a registration, as it were, of the claims of the clansman of his tribe required evidence either documentary or oral for establish­ing such claims and rights. Many of these pedigrees are preserved in MSS. repertories of great antiquity ; they are indeed few in comparison to the great number that once existed when they were copied into what are now our oldest MS., from still older originals, then as ancient and venerable as their representatives are to-day. Their truthfulness may be tested by a comparison with the independent authority of our historic annals, in which dates and events are found to coincide with the genealogies ;
1

1 Joyce, vol. ii., p. 529.


264


The Tree and the Man

so that the compilation of the earlier pedigrees is much less difficult than those of more modern times, when the Annalists had ceased their labours—the past two centuries being the crucial period of the genealogist and family historian."

" The Irish genealogical tables which are still extant carry intrinsic proofs of their being genuine and authentic, by their chronological accuracy, and consistency with each other, through all the lines, collateral as well as direct; a consistency not to be accounted for in the supposition of their being fabri­cated in a subsequent age of darkness and ignorance, but easily explained if we admit them to have been drawn from the source of real family records and truth."The mythical portions of Gaelic pedigrees should not be allowed to militate against their claims to truth and probability, when such are supportable by proofs drawn from historic sources of undoubted authenticity. To discover the junction between fiction and fact, if a sometimes difficult, yet is by no means an impossible task to accomplish. The Irish annals, which have been put to the severest historical tests, are a valuable source of information touching the early history of Scotland and Ireland —indeed in many instances it has been found that the Gaelic chronicler is much to be preferred to his Saxon or Norman contemporary—though it was once the fashion to decry the Irish annalist, just as now it seems to be the vogue to belittle and discredit our Gaelic genealogists. But the accuracy of the one supplies strong presumptive evidence in favour of the reliability of the other,
1

1B. I. A. Trans., vol. i., Antiq., p. 27. Eemarks by Bishop Barnard.

Na Gàidheal agus na Cruitkneaich a Rithist 265

which will be found, we think, to amount to positive proof when the pedigrees themselves—stripped and purged of their fabulous accretions—are considered in the light which historical science enables us to bring to bear on them.


na gàidheal agus na cruith-neaich a rithist

Tha mi gu tur 'am barail, mar a tha Mr. Robert­son e-fhèin, an uair a tha e ag ràdh, " much of the mystery and confusion enveloping the subject under discussion may be traced to the names themselves, which are as arbitrary and unreal in their nature as that of German, applied by us alone to the people called Allemands by the French, Schwabe by the Magyars, Niency by the Slavonians, and by themselves Deutch; a name which we again apply to the Hollanders ".A rèir mo bharailsa, bha na Gàidheal agus na (Vuithneaich 'nan aon sliochd ; agus leis a sin gu bheil dà ghinealach Ghàidhealach a mhàin ann am Breatuinn an diugh—'s e sin ri ràdh, na Gàidheal agus na Breatunnaich. 'S i seo is ciall do'n chreideas a chuir seo 'am bheachdsa.

Thug na Romanaich " Picti" mar ainm air Gàidheal thuathach na h-Alba. A rèir cleachdadh na teanga Romanach, cha'n e sliochd idir a tha'm facal seo ciallachadh, ach luchd-dàthaidh, 's e sin ri ràdh Cruithneaich. A' leanachd a chleachdaidh gu b'uileach am measg nan Gàidheal, chuir na
1

1 Scotland Under her Early Kings, vol. ii., Appendix L.

266 Na Gàidheal agus na Cruithneaich a Rithist

Gàidheal Eirinneaich dath air an colunnan-ne mar an ceudna.

A rèir nan seannachaidhean, thug na Gàidheal Spàindeach1 buaidh air na h-Eireannaich, 's air na h-Albanaich cuideachd, R. C. 1080.Tha e air a ràdh le Tighearnach gun do rìghich ann an Eirinn, nuair a bha Conn air an caithair-rìoghaill, seachd righrean nan Cruithneaich.

Sgrìobh Nh Isidore,2

3 nuair a bha Alba agus Eirinn 'nan aon dùthaich, ag ràdh. " Scoti, propria lingua, nomen habent a picto corpore, eo quod aculeis ferreis cum atramento variarum figurarum stigmata annotentur."Rinn na Gàidheal agus na Cruithneaich cairdeas ri a chèile gu tric, 's gu sònraichte nuair a bha iad a' cath an aghaidh an armailt Romanach.

Thàinig crioch air an ainm "Picti" an deigh dhaibh an creideamh fhaighinn ; oir an uair a ghabh
4

1 Na Milidhean, no luchd-Miledh.

2"As to the Milesians or Scots, the whole current of our legends and chronicles bring them from Spain, or perhaps more strictly speaking, from the shores of the Bay of Biscay, between the mouth of the Loire and Galicia. . . . The discovery by Grimm of the Gaedhelic character of the language of Aoquitaine, affords an important support to the Irish traditions " (O'Curry, Boimh-radh, Leabhar i., taobh 66). "That they were a fair race is beyond doubt." A rèir nan seannachaidhean Komanaich, mar sin bha na " Picti" (no Cruithneaich) Albanach.

3 Origines, L. ix., c. 2.

4 " There can be no mistake about the people to whom he .alludes, for elsewhere he says, ' Scotia eadem et Hibernia . . . quod a Scotorum gentibus colitur, appellata' (L. xiv., o. 6). As at the period when Isidore wrote—he died in 636—self-painting was obsolete in Ireland, he must be repeating the statement of some long-forgotten authority of an earlier age; and I cannot see how the inference is to be avoided that the Scoti were once known in their own language by a name derived from the habit of self-painting; in other words, by the name of Cruithnech" (Bobertson, L. ii., t. 363).

Na Gàidheal agus na Cruithneaich a Rithist 267

iad ris, chur iad air chul an cleachdadh a bh' aca a bhi dath an colunn.

Cha'n 'eil dad idir aig na sennachaidhean Eirin­neaich ri ràdh mu'n bhuaidh a thug Gàidheal na h Eil ■inn air na Cruithneaich, a rèir nan sennach­aidhean gallda.

Cha'n 'eil e dùilich a thuigsinn ciamar a chuir Gàidheal na h-Eirinn aon dhe'n righrean fèin air cathair-rìoghaill na Cruithneaich, ma robh iad 'nan aon sliochd. Tha e ro dhuilich gu dearbh an gnothach seo a dheanamh so-thuigsinn ann an dòigh's am bith eile.

Mur robh "the social system outlined by the Book of Deer"1 mar a bha e le Gàidheal na h-Eirinn, bha e gu deimhinn ceart choltas ri sin.

Thug Gàidheal na h-Alba uile " Gàidheal"2 mar ainm orra-fèin—ainm a tha beò gus an là diugh.

Cha robh feum aig Nh. Colum Cille air eada-theangair8 ach dà uair, nuair a bha e ann an dùthaich nan Cruithneaich a' teagasg 's a' mhin-icheadh nan Sgrìobturean.

4

1 The Highlanders of Scotland. Excursus le Mac Bheathainn, t. 400.

-" Albanach," 's e sin ri ràdh " Scotsman ". Tha na Gàid­heal Albanach agus Gàidhealach, ged nach 'eil na h-Albanaich uile na Gàidheal.

' Bho'm facal seo, tha Bobertson a deanamh a mach gun robh " interpret" is leughair 'nan aon briathran, mar a tha e ag ràdh mar a leanas. " The ' Interpres' probably melted gradually into the Fear-leiginn or Lector " (L. ii., t. 381).

4" In Adamnan's Life of Golumba the Saint is represented u baptising on one occasion an aged Pict of Skye named Artban frimarius genois cohortis; and on another quidem plebius, after they had respectively 'received the word of God through the interpreter'—verbo Dei per interpretem recepto—and it has therefore been concluded that Columba was ignorant of the Pictish language, which must consequently have differed essen­tially from Gaelic. As Mr. Skene, however, has justly remarked

268 Na Gàidheal agus na Cruithneaich a Rithist

Tha freumhag Gàidhealach (cha'n e Breatun-nach) aig gach ainm-àite, agus aig gach ainm-fhìr Chruithneach a th'ann.

Fhuair, gu coslach, Cruithneaich na h-Alba an laghannan leantuinn-rìoghaill bho na Cinneaich a bh'ann, nuair a thug iad fèin buaidh air an dùthaich seo.

Is cinnteach gu bheil a' mhòir chuid do Ghàid-heal ann an Alba an diugh a bhith tighinn a nuas bho na Chruithneaich—'s e sin ri ràdh bho Ghàid-heal na h-Alba, 's na h-Eirinn, a thug buaidh air na h-Eireannaich's air na h-Albanaich R. C. 1080.

Tha Bede air a ràdh, " haec in praesenti, juxta numerum librorum quibus Lex Divina scripta est,

in his History of the Highlanders, the interpreter is never met with except in connexion with the Verbum Dei—the Scriptures —and in his conferences with Broichan and the Druids, in his interviews with King Bruidi, when he rescued the man imperilled by the marvellous sea-monster in the Ness, and on various other occasions, Columba appears to have had no difficulty in conversing without the intervention of any suoh functionary, and for all ordinary purposes his Gaelic seems to have been sufficiently intelligible. The earlier monasteries, and Ireland afforded no exception to the general rule, often contained vast assemblages of monks, sometimes numbered by thousands, the majority of whom were probably illiterate, and incapable of reading or understanding the Scriptures written in a foreign tongue; and accordingly there was often an official whose especial business was to read the allotted portion of ' the Word of God,' or to translate it, for the edification of the unlearned brethren, and who was generally known as the Interpreter. . . . There are no means of ascertaining the acquirements of Columba, but if he resembled his illustrious predecessor St. Patriok, who laments in his confession his want of familiarity with Latin, he may not have possessed the power of rendering the Latin Scriptures fluently into Gaelic at sight, and for such a purpose he would have required the assistance of his Interpreter, suoh being probably the reason why this personage never appears on ordinary occasions when the Saint had to speak, or to listen to, Gaelic" (L. ii., t. 380, 381).

Na Gàidheal agus na Cruithneaich a Rithist 269

quinque gentium linguis unam eademque summae veritatis et verae sublimatis scientiam scrutàtur et confitetur, Anglorum, videlicet, Brittonum, Scot-orum, Pictorum, et Latinorum, quae meditatione Scripturarum caeteris omnibus est facta com­munis "(Eist. Eccles., L. i., c. 1). O na briathran seo tha'n t-Olh. Mac Bheathainn is beagan eile deanamh a mach gun robh teanga nan Chruithnach air a cainnt fèin; ach cha'n'eil seo idir dol eadar sinn agus a bhith a' creidsinn gun robh a' Ghàilig is an teanga Chruithneach 'nan aon cainnt. Tha dithis theangannan Gàidhealach againn an diugh, 's e sin ri radh, beurla na h-Alba is beurla na h-Eireann, araon seo agus sin "a' leasachadh fhoghluim na fìrinne nèamhuidh". Ach gu bheil Ghàilig na h-Alba 's Ghàilig na h-Eireann gu fìor 'nan aon cainnt, ged nach urrain do mhuinntir na h-Eirinn's do mhuinntir na h-Alba daonann a bhith tuigsinn a chèile.

Bha 'pàganachd na h-Alba, 's a 'pàganachd na h-Eirinn 'na h-aon phàganachd.

Mur 'eil an teanga Cruithneach 'na Gàilig, ciamar tha e a tachairt gu bheil moran àiteain-meannan ann an Eirinn ris an abrar " Pictish " leis an Olh. Mac Bheathainn, 's a chàirdean-sa ? Tha moran bhriathran Chruithneach—ainmeannan-àite-achan —ann an Eirinn, agus, a rèir Olh. Mac Bheathainn, tha iad sin far nach robh na Cruith­neaich riamh ann.

Barpa.


THE AFFAIR OF THE LITTLE SPOTTED DOG

It is said that the cackling of geese once upon a time saved Eome by alarming its garrison. It is very certain that a little spotted dog occasioned the banishment of an Anglican bishop. Nowa­days the cackling of geese is not apt to be attended by so sensational results; and the vogue of the spotted dog1 has undoubtedly declined.

The plot of the Anglican Bishop Atterbury, and others, to bring in the Prince of Wales, the son of James VII., was very similar in scope and design to the many other similar contrivances for which the Jacobite party was conspicuous. That is to say, whilst a rising was to be fomented in Scotland, a diversion in the shape of Duke Ormond, at the head of a foreign army, was to be made in the South. The Tower of London, that favourite ob­jective of all conspirators, was to be seized, the person of the de facto sovereign taken or otherwise disposed of, and all the leading Whigs clapped into jail.

At all events, leaving the ramifications and subordinate details of the plot entirely out of account, there can be no reasonable doubt but that in 1722 a Jacobite rising in Scotland and England was plainly determined on. Consequently, no surprise need be expressed if the Government of the day, acting on information supplied to them through the channel of one Layer (whom they had arrested for a conspiracy, and afterwards hanged),



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