Page images
PDF
EPUB

"that God would assist me in my deficiency and "ignorance. I am also of opinion, that there "is no essential error or defect here, but what "is in the Latin or English print; unless there "be some want or error, in the opinion of those "who are learned in the Gaelic; a thing not of "material consequence with respect to' the holy "Scriptures. And rare is the man who knows "the true orthography of the Gaelic, not in "Scotland only, but in Ireland also, unless it "be found among a few excellent and eloquent

"bards,

"meisneach is mo ina mhac faind, agas mo chumhachta do "dhenamh. In dochas go gcuideochadh Dhia lium im ui*' reasbhuidh agas im aineolas."

"Acht cheana. Saoilim fos nach bfuil imarcaidh no easb"huidh andso acht mar ta se agclo na laidne & anghaillberla. "Acht mura bfuil vireabhuidh no imarcaidh and do reir "dheachtaidh no cheirt na btilcadh ar an n'gaoidheilg. An ni "ar nach bfuil feidhm no foghnamh agan sgribhtuir dhiadha air, *' agas is tearc neach aga bfuil ceart canamhna na gaoidheilge, "agas ni Nalbain amhain acht An eirind fein acht mara bfuil se "ag beagan daois ealadhna mhaith re dan agas re seanchus agas "ag meid eigin do mhacaibh maithe leighind agas ar na "adhbhrasin da bfaghadh saoi re healadhain locht sgriobhtha no "deachtaidh sa leabhar bheagsa, gabhadh se mo leithsgelsa, oir "ni dhearrna me saothar na foghluim sa n'gaoidheilge, acht "amhain mar gach n'duine don pobal choitcheand. Acht cheana "do gheibhid na daoithe, agas ua bromanaigh lochta imarcacha "is na neithibh bhios gan locht gan vireasbhuigh & leigidh siad "an egoir tharrsa gan an locht bhios go follas indte dfaicsin.

"Agas

[ocr errors]

"bards, who attend to poetry and history, and "a certain part of the distinguished men of "learning. And on this account, if a learned "man find errors in the writing or diction of "this little book, let him excuse me, for I do "not arrogate to myself a more comprehensive "acquaintance with the Gaelic than is possessed "by the common run of people. Those bards "and learned men, however, find many errors "in things without error or deficiency; and "they commit the injustice of passing over, "without notice, the real faults that occur. "The errors too mentioned by these people, "exist, not in the work, but in themselves; and "on this account, I shall not procure the as"sistance of that set, however numerous they "may be; and neither shall I contend with "them ignorantly, according to my own will or "passions; and neither shall I give insult or of

E 2 "fence

"Agas ni had sa cho ir bhios anlocht adeiridsean do bheith "indte acht iondtasan fein ar an adhbharsin ni ghebha me "cumairce na buidhne sin, acht ge lionmhar i'.'ul, agas ni dhena "me cothughadh le hainbfios do reir mo thoile no mo mhiana "(tin. agas, ni mo do bhera roe tarcaisnc no toibheim do neach "oile ne ghebhas tnuth no formad mhe ris da n'denadh se ni is "fearr ina mar ta ini chumhachtaibh fein da dhenamh: 6ir "utiiim ag admhail go bfuil sin sodhenta, acht cheana madhail "le dia so do dhenamh maitheasa no tarbha don eagluis agas "mist1 do mharthain, do dhena me tuilleadh saothair do chur na "clhiadh so." &c.

"fence to any other person, nor feel spite or "envy, though he succeed much better than I "have been able to do; for I confess this is very "possible." Afterwards, by way of farther apology, he adds ;* "I am very sure that men of "ingenuity and levity will sneer, and ridicule, "and treat with contempt, this little work, be"cause poetical neatness is wanting to the ex"pressions, and precision to the single words. "And if there is a deficiency in the orthogra"phy or arrangement, or some letters substi

"tuted ■* tuted in place of others in this book, we need "not be surprised, for the man who printed the "book had not one word of Gaelic, but printed "as his fancy chanced to direct him. And well "do I know, that the papists especially, and "above all, the old satirical priests; will vomit "malice against me, and that my work will procure "me, from them, only scandal and reproach."

* " Ata a shios agamsa, go n'denaid daoine cuirialta edtroma, "sg'ge agas fochuidmheadh, agas fanumhad fan tsautharm beag sa, "ar son gan snas fileadh do bheith ar na briathraibh, agas gan "chruas do bheith isna foclaibh, agas ma ta vireasbhuidh shoc"lorachta no chearta scribhtha. no litre aninadh litre sa leabharsa, "ni hingnadh sin do bheith amhluidh, ar son nach raibhe en sho"cal gaoidheilge ag fear bhuailte an chlo, acht dothuairim no do '' bharamhail an chlo do chur fios, Agas at.i ii'is a dheirbhshios "agam, go ndenaid na Papanaigh, agas go specialta na sean "Tsagairt scaiteacha, sgeth ascandaile am adhaigh fein, agasgurab "mkhlu, agas masla mo luaidhidheacht vathadh arson mhoibre, "gedheadh nimesde sin, agas adeirim do reir poll, da n'denainci "toil na n'daoine nachar shearbhonta dileas do Chriosd me, agas "li'is ni meste an shirinde na dauithe da dimojadh, agas niur t,"i "ruun agam cuidiughadh les na Criostaidhibh simplidhe ghebha« "mo dheaghthoil le gean maith, agas nach gcuireand mhuireasb"hadha an athais oram, mar fin don taoibh eile budh fadogh fum, "caineadh na papanach dom bhrosnughadh. Do tsior labhairt, "agas do tsior scriobhadh na firinde, agas do tsior nochtadh a "nurchoidesean ar fad mo bheathadh go himlan." Sec.

The author from whom these extracts are taken, died sometime in the year 15 72. His memory is still preserved, by tradition, in the parish of Kilmartin, and in Lorn, where he chiefly resided. It is by no means popular. The bards, to whom he bore no very good will, made him, in return, the subject of their satirical verses and invectives, some of which are still preserved. Many proverbs, expressive of his rapacity and avarice, are still current in that country.

But however defective his moral conduct, the apprehensions he expresses for the manner in which his book would be received by the bards and old satirical priests, shews that those men were no strangers to literature, and had arrived at no small degree of elegance in their native tongue.

The The apology he makes for defects in orthography puts it beyond a doubt, that the Gaelic was then a written language, which contained many popular compositions, and among other histories and poems, the actions of Fingal and his heroes.

[graphic]

The bigotry of the first presbyterian ministers, was not more friendly to the bards than Garswell. They might possibly think, that their legendary songs attached the people too much to their ancient usages. Besides, they all, at least till very lately, expressed the utmost dislike to poetry. Home had his gown stript off for writing the celebrated play of Douglas; nor is it long since the magistrates and minister of Greenock, before they admitted Mr. Wilson, (the author of the elegant poem, Clyde) to superintend the grammar school of that town, stipulated that he should abandon " the profane "and unprofitable art of poem-making."

It is happy that those who first introduced the light of Christianity into the western world, were not men of such narrow

« PreviousContinue »