Page images

circuit of about 2 miles; one of the principal streets-a | legend of the Virgin, from the Expulsion of Joachim from via recta, or straight street-has evidently been bordered on both sides by colonnades; and two theatres are the most noticeable of the ruined edifices. The cliffs round the town are full of tombs excavated in the limestone rock, and by a curious irony of fate these chambers of the dead are the only places where a living inhabitant of Gadara is to be found According to Josephus, Gadara was a Greek city, and it appears at least not improbable that it was a foreign settlement. The name does not occur in the Scriptures; but in the New Testament, the phrase "the country of the Gadarenes" is used more than once, and there is no reason to doubt that the vicinity of the town was the scene of the healing of the demoniacs by the Saviour, recorded in Matt. viii, Mark v., and Luke viii. Josephus informs us that Gadara was captured by Antiochus in 218 B.C., and, about 20 years afterwards, stood a ten inonths' siege by Alexander Jannæus. It was twice taken by Vespasian, though, on the first occasion, the Jewish inhabitants offered a stout resistance. At a later period it recovered from the injuries he inflicted, and was one of the most beautiful and flourishing cities of Syria; and it was not till after the Mahometan conquest that it fell again into decay. Its archæon or prefecture is mentioned in the Midrash Rabba (circa 278) and other Jewish writings. According to Dr O. Blau the town was also known as the Arabian Antioch. To the literary student it is interesting as the birthplace of Meleager the anthologist.

See Porter in Journ. of Sacred Literature, vol. vi.; Journ. Asiatique, 1867, p. 191; Zeilsch. d. D. Morg. Ges., 1869.

GADDI. Four painters of the early Florentine schoolfather, son, and two grandsons-bore this name.

1. GADDO GADDI (1239 to about 1312) was, according to Vasari, an intimate friend of Cimabue, and afterwards of Giotto. He was a painter and mosaist, is said to have executed the great mosaic inside the portal of the cathedral of Florence, representing the coronation of the Virgin, and may with more certainty be credited with the mosaics inside the portico of the basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, relating to the legend of the foundation of that church; their date is probably 1308. In the original cathedral of St Peter in Rome, he also executed the mosaics of the choir, and those of the front, representing on a colossal scale God the Father, with many other figures; likewise an altarpiece in the church of S. Maria Novella, Florence; these works no longer exist. It is ordinarily held that no picture (as distinct from mosaics) by Gaddo Gaddi is now extant. Messrs Crowe & Cavalcaselle, however, consider that the mosaics of S. Maria Maggiore bear so strong a resemblance in style to four of the frescos in the upper church of Assisi, representing incidents in the life of St Francis (frescos 2, 3, 4, and especially 5, which shows Francis stripping himself, and protected by the bishop), that those frescos likewise may, with considerable confidence, be ascribed to Gaddi. Some other extant mosaics are attributed to him, but without full authentication. This artist laid the foundation of a very large fortune, which continued increasing, and placed his progeny in a highly distinguished worldly position.

2. TADDEO GADDI (about 1300-1366, or later), son of Gaddo, was born in Florence, and became one of Giotto's most industrious assistants for a period (as usually stated) of 24 years. This can hardly be other than an exaggeration; it is probable that he began painting on his own account towards 1330, when Giotto went to Naples. Taddeo also traded as a merchant, and had a branch establishment in Venice. He was a painter, mosaist, and architect. He executed in fresco, in the Baroncelli (now Giugni) chapel, in the Florentine church of S. Croce, the Virgin and Child between Four Prophets, on the funeral monument at the entrance, and on the walls various incidents in the

the Temple up to the Nativity. In the subject of the Pre-
sentation of the Virgin in the Temple are the two heads
traditionally accepted as portraits of Gaddo Gaddi and
'Andrea Taf; they cannot, at any rate, be portraits of those
artists from the life. On the ceiling of the same chapel are
the Eight Virtues. In the museum of Berlin is an altar-
piece by Taddeo, the Virgin and Child and some other sub-
jects, dated 1334; in the Naples Gallery, a triptych, dated
1336, of the Virgin enthroned along with Four Saints, the
Baptism of Jesus, and his Deposition from the Cross; in
the sacristy of S. Pietro a Megognano, near Poggibonsi, an
altarpiece dated 1355, the Virgin and Child enthroned amid
Angels. A series of paintings, partly from the life of S.
Francis, which Taddeo executed for the presses in S. Croce,
are now divided between the Florentine Academy and the
Berlin Museum; the compositions are taken from or
founded on Giotto, to whom, indeed, the Berlin authorities
have ascribed their examples. Taddeo also painted some
frescos still extant in Pisa, besides many in S. Croce and
other Florentine buildings, which have perished. He
deservedly ranks as one of the most eminent successors of
Giotto; it may be said that he continued working up the
material furnished by that great painter, with comparatively
feeble inspiration of his own. His figures are vehement in
action, long and slender in form; his execution rapid and
somewhat conventional. To Taddeo are generally ascribed
the celebrated frescos-those of the ceiling and left or
western wall-in the Cappella degli Spagnuoli, in the
church of S. Maria Novella, Florence; this is, however,
open to considerable doubt, although it may perhaps be
conceded that the designs for the ceiling were furnished by
Taddeo. Dubious also are the three pictures ascribed to
him in the London National Gallery. As a mosaist, he has
left some work in the baptistery of Florence. As an archi-
tect, he supplied in 1336 the plans for the present Ponte
Vecchio, and those for the original (not the present) Ponte
S. Trinita; in 1337 he was engaged on the church of Orsan-
Michelo; and he carried on after Giotto's death the work
of the unrivalled Campanile.

3. AGNOLO GADDI, born in Florence, was the son of
Taddeo; the date of his birth has been given as 1326, but
possibly 1350 is nearer the mark. He was a painter and
mosaist, trained by his father, and a merchant as well; in
middle age he settled down to commercial life in Venice,
and he added greatly to the family wealth. He died in
October 1396. His paintings show much early promise,
hardly sustained as he advanced in life. One of the
earliest, at S. Jacopo tra' Fossi, Florence, represents the
Resurrection of Lazarus. Another probably youthful per-
formance is the series of frescos of the Pieve di Prato-
legends of the Virgin and of her Sacred Girdle, bestowed
upon St Thomas, and brought to Prato in the 11th century
by Michele dei Dagomari; the Marriage of Mary is one of
the best of this series, the later compositions in which have
suffered much by renewals. In S. Croce he painted, in
eight frescos, the legend of the Cross, beginning with the
Archangel Michael giving Seth a branch from the tree of
knowledge, and ending with the Emperor Heraclius car-
rying the Cross as he enters Jerusalem; in this picture
is a portrait of the painter himself. Agnolo composed
his subjects better than Taddeo; he had more dignity
and individuality in the figures, and was a clear and bold
colourist; the general effect is laudably decorative, but
the drawing is poor, and the works show best from a
distance. Various other productions of this master exist,
and many have perished. Cennino Cennini, the author of
the celebrated treatise on painting, was one of his pupils.
4. GIOVANNI GADI, brother of Agnolo, was also a painter
of promise. He died young.
(W. M. R.)

GADIATCH, a town of Russia, at the head of a district in the government of Poltava, situated on the elevated banks of the Grun and the Psel, 73 miles N.N.W. of Poltava, in '50° 22′ N. lat. and 34° 0′ E. long. It is a plain wood-built 'town, with four Greek churches and two synagogues, deriving its main importance from its four annual fairs, one of which, lasting for three weeks, was, up to 1857, held at the Hermitage of the Transfiguration (Skeet Preobrazhenski). In 1860 the population was 7263, 1213 of the number being Jews. According to W. Struve's Calendar for 1878, it was 8425. Gadiatch was the place where the assembly was convoked by the hetman Vigofski in 1658, for the publication of the treaty contracted between the Ukrainians and the Poles. During the hetmanate it had fortifications of which traces are still extant, ranked as a garrison town, and was the residence of the hetman. At first it was included in the military district of Luben, but after 1650 in the district to which it gave its name. Along with 13 large villages it was bestowed by the empress Elizabeth on Count Razumofski, but it was afterwards purchased from him by the empress Catharine II. In 1771 the town and district were incorporated with the province of Kieff, and in 1802 they obtained their present position in the government of Pultowa.

[ocr errors]


GADWALL, a word of obscure origin, the common English name of the Duck, called by Linnæus Anas strepera, but considered by many modern ornithologists to require removal from the genus Anas to that of Chaulelusmus or Ctenorhynchus, of either of which it is not only the typical but the sole species. Its geographical distribution is almost identical with that of the common Wild Duck or Mallard (see Duck, vol. vii. p. 505), since it is found over the greater part of the Northern Hemisphere; but, save in India, where it is said to be perhaps the most plentiful species of Duck during the cold weather, it is hardly anywhere so numerous, and both in the eastern parts of the United States and in the British Islands it is rather rare than otherwise. Its habits also, so far as they have been observed, greatly resemble those of the Wild Duck; but its appearance on the water is very different, its small head, flat back, elongated form, and elevated stern rendering it recognizable by the fowler even at such a distance as hinders him from seeing its very distinct plumage. In coloration the two sexes agree much, more than is the case with any of the European Freshwater Ducks (Anatina) one only, the Anas marmorata, excepted; but on closer inspection the drake exhibits a delicate ash-coloured breast, and upper wing-coverts of a deep chestnut, which are wholly wanting in his soberly clad partner. She, however, has, in common with him, some of the secondary quills of a pure white, presenting a patch of that colour which forms one of the most readily-perceived distinctive characters of the species. The Gadwall is a bird of some interest, since it is one of the few that have been induced, by the protection afforded them in certain localities, to resume the indigenous position they once filled, but had, through the draining and reclaiming of marshy lands, long since abandoned. In regard to the present species, this fact is due to the efforts of the late Mr Andrew Fountaine, on whose property, in 1 Webster gives the etymology gad wellgo about well. Dr R. G. Latham suggests that it is taken from the syllables quedul, of the Latin querquedula, a Teal. The spelling "Gadwall seems to be first found in Willughby in 1676, and has been generally adopted by later writers; but Merrett, in 1667, has "Gaddel" (Pinaz Rerum naturalium Britannicarum, p. 180), saying that it was so called by bird-dealers. 66 The synonym Gray," given by Willughby and Ray, is doubtless derived from the general colour of the species, and has its analogue in the Icelandic Gráïnd, applied almost indifferently, or with 'some distinguishing cpithet, to the female of any of the Freshwater Ducks, and especially to both sexes of the present, in which, as stated in the text, there is comparatively little difference of plumago in Drake and Duck.

[ocr errors]

West Norfolk and its immediate neighbourhood, the Gadwall has now, for nearly thirty years, annually bred in constantly increasing numbers, so that it may again be accounted, in the fullest sense of the word, an inhabitant of England; and, as it has been always esteemed one of the best of wild fowl for the table, the satisfactory result of its encouragement by this gentleman is not to be despised. (A. N.)

GAELIC LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE. Until recently there was doubt as to the family of languages to which the Gaelic belonged; indeed, with many scholars the impression existed that it belonged to the Semitic branch, and that its relations must all be traced among some one or other of its varieties. This view arose very much from the neglect with which the language, had been treated by scientific men. Comparative philology is itself a modern subject of study. Naturally, in its progress, the more prominent languages came first, while the more obscure were passed over as of comparatively subordinate importance. The study is one so comprehensive, and requiring so large an amount of acquirement of various kinds, that it is no real reproach to modern scholarship that the study of such languages as the latter should have been postponed in favour of that of languages more generally known. turn, however, gradually came, and no one can complain now that they have not received the attention of very competent scholars. It is doubtful whether a higher class of scholarship has been nurtured anywhere than in the study of the Celtic languages, as exhibited by such men as Zeuss, Dieffenbach, Ebel, Whitley Stokes, the Chevalier Nigra, Heuri Gaidoz, and others who have devoted their strength to their exposition. The result has been the complete establishment of the fact that this class of languages belongs to the Indo-European or Aryan stock, and is closely related to the classical branch of those tongues.


The first who brought real scholarship to bear upou the question of the family to which the Celtic dialects belonged was Dr Cowles Pritchard. His Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations is a work of the highest value, distinguished by its erudition, and the sound judgment it displays. He was one of the most remarkable men whom Britain has produced in the field of comparative philology. No doubt it is with the Welsh he chiefly dealt, but, in discussing such questions as he had to deal with, it mattered little which of the Celtic tongues was made use of. Many writers followed Dr Pritchard, and there is now, as has been said, no question about the Aryan source of the Celtic languages. It is not that the words are to a large extent analogous, but the grammatical structure and the idioms correspond to such an extent that the question is put beyond a doubt; while, with the exception of a few common vocables, there is little that is analogous between the Celtic and the Semitic languages.

The territory once occupied by the Celtic race is a question of much interest. Now they are confined within wellknown limits. On the European continent they occupy that part of France usually called Brittany, the most westerly portion of the country terminating in Cape Finisterre. They occupied this territory so early as the days of Julius Cæsar, although it has been said that they were emigrants from Britain at a later period. The topographical terms given by Cæsar in describing the Roman invasion all indicate that the language of the natives of Brittany used then, and for a long time before, was as much Celtic as it is now. Opposite to Brittany lies British Cornwall, a region with a Celtic tongue until about 100 years ago. The two Cornwalls-one in Britain and the other in France-terminated, one on each side, the territory occupied by the Celt. The dialects spoken in these stood in the closest relationship. To the north of this lies the greatest of all the modern soc

Irish addition made to the verb in the process of culture. At the same time it must be allowed that there is a difficulty in proving from any literary remains existing that the present Scottish form of the language is of great antiquity. All the literary relics that have come down to us are written in what is usually called the Irish dialect. The present tense is in universal use, as well by Scottish as by Irish writers. This arose from the identity of the Irish and Scottish churches. The dialect in which all theological treatises were written was one, and this dialect extended from the clergy to bards, and sennachies, and medical men. There is not a page of Gaelic written in any other dialect before the middle of last century. But as in other countries there was both a spoken and a written dialect in use, so in both Scotland and Ireland there appears to have been a dialect in use among the people as their common speech, and another used by their scholars, the former varying according to locality, and the latter being identical throughSome of the features that distinguish the Gaelic language, partly in common with the other Celtic tongues, and partly not, are the following ;


tions of the Cimbrian Celts. Wales, occupied by about a million inhabitants, is nearly Celtic, and uses the ancient tongue of Wales, Cumbria, and Strathclyde. Across the sea from Wales lies the Isle of Man, where the Gaelic branch of the Celtic held sway, and does to some extent still In Ireland the Gaelic also prevailed, and is still spoken by about a million people. And lastly, in the Scottish Highlands about 300,000 people still use, less or more, the old Gaelic tongue of Scotland. Thus Brittany, Wales, Man, western Ireland, and the Scottish Highlands are now the territory of the Celtic languages. That they once occupied a wider sphere is beyond a doubt. There are traces of the tongue, in one form or other, to be found all along southern Europe. Topography is a valuable source of evidence, and one that will be made to serve purposes it has never served as yet; and it furnishes us-in Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal-with relics which, like animal fossils dug from the depths of the earth, speak unmistakably of what formerly existed there. How far the Gaelic form of Celtic speech prevailed it is difficult to say, or whether it existed alongside of the Cimbric on the continent of Europe. But the name Gallia is significant as applied to France; and it is a suggestive fact that, to this day, the Bretons call France Gaul, as distinguished from their own country, and in like manner call the French language Gallic, as distinguished from the Breton. In Scotland the Gaelic and Cimbric races long dwelt together, distinct and yet nearly related. When they separated, either as to race or language, is not easily settled. There undergo any change; but in Gaelic he meets with such changes at once. He finds mac, a son, becoming in certain circumstances rac, are indications on the Continent which rather throw doubt and he is ready to doubt whether both forms belong to the same word.' on the idea maintained by some writers that the divergence To make the difficulty as little formidable as possible to the reader, the took place after the settlement of the race in Britain, and authors of the Gaelic orthography fell upon the method of using the letter h, which, though hardly a letter in Gaelic, and never used to farther inquiry as to these indications is essential ere a satisfactory conclusion can be reached. But within the his- begin a word, is now used more than any other letter. The Irish use a dot. The use of the h serves to preserve to the reader the toric period the two races existed side by side in Scotland, original form of the word. Hence mac becomes by aspiration, or the Cimbric occupying the region called Strathclyde, with adoucissement as the French call it, mhac, pronounced vac. their separate government and laws, and the Gael at least euphony, to which Gaelic makes large sacrifices, and also for the initial changes of certain consonants are made for the purpose of occupying the Dalriadic kingdom of Argyll. The people purpose of distinguishing gender. An aspiration converts the called by the Romans Picts occupied the north and east of feminine into the masculine, and, vice versa. An ceann is the head, Scotland. That these were the same people with the masculine, a' chos the foot, feminine. So a chos is his foot, a cos is Dalriadic Scots is somewhat questionable. That they were her foot; a cheann is his head, a ceann is her head, the pronoun undergoing no change, although its gender is indicated by the closely related to them is beyond doubt, but that they had change. There are other purposes served by aspiration of considerlinguistic and other peculiarities is manifest. Their topo-able importance. The Gaelic learner makes a large acquisition when graphy proves it, being different from that of either Ireland or Argyll, and, so far as the historic relations of both are concerned, they indicate a state of chronic war. For centuries there were mutual raids of Scots on Picts, and

Picts on Scots, until finally, under Kenneth MacAlpine, king of Dalriada, the Picts were overcome in the year 843, and they and the Scots became united under one monarchy. The tradition is that the Picts were annihilated,-meaning, in all likelihood, their power, and there arose one great united kingdom. The united people are the ancestors of the present Scottish Highlanders, and the Gaelic language has come down from them to us, influenced as to structure by the dialect spoken and written by the victors.

The Gaelic language, as now in use in Scotland, resembles closely in its structure both the Irish and the Manx. They form one family, and yet it has its own distinctive features, Irish scholars maintain that it is a modern and corrupt offshoot of the Irish, and account in this way for these peculiarities. They say, for example, that the absence of the present tense in the Gaelic verb is a mere instance of decay, and proves the modern character of the dialect. But the Welsh is no modern and corrupt form of Irish, but an ancient distinct tongue, so far back as history carries us. And yet it wants the present tense, indicating that this peculiarity is distinctive of some of the Celtic tongues, and that what is cited as a proof of recency may in reality be a proof of priority. The present tense may be called an

1. The aspiration of consonants. This is accomplished by the change of m into v, of b into v, of d into y, of g into a broad y, of Pinto, and s and t into h. As appearing in the initial articulations this presents a peculiar difficulty to the learner of Gaelic. He has been accustomed, in learning other tongues, to observe the changes required by inflexion, and other requirements of correct grammatical structure. But he has not been familiar with changes In English these letters never

in the initial letters of words.


he masters the principles of aspiration, and inquirers into the characters of the language will cease to blame the frequency with which A appears in Gaelic writing when they come to see how important a purpose it serves.


2. Another peculiarity of the Gaelic language is to be found, as already said, in the want of a present tense in the verb. The to do" is dean, the theme of the verb being in the imperative mood. There is no tense expressing simply I do, the form in use being I am doing, tha mi a' deanamh. The Irish say deanaim, I do, but that is not the Scottish form of the expression. In this Gaelic is not only at one with several of the Celtic branches, but with some of the Semitic tongues. And it has this further in common with these last, that the future is used to express present time. This occurs frequently in the Gaelic version of the Bible, where we have an ti a chreideas anns a' Mhac, he that will believe in the Son, for he that believeth. And yet occasionally a true present tense appears in Gaelic:-an cluinn thu sin? Do you hear that? cluinnidh, I do hear it; am faic thu sin? Do you see that? chi, I do see it. In those cases and some others there is no doubt a distinct present tense. The cases are however, few, and occur in peculiar circumstances.

3. Another feature peculiar to Gaelic is that there is no real infinitive in the verb. The infinitive in use is a noun which may appear either in the form of a participle or an infinitive, according to the effect of the preceding preposition. I am going to strike, tha mi 'dol do bhualadh, I am going to striking; I am striking, tha mi a' bualadh, I am at striking,-the preposition do, to, in the one case giving the noun the force of an infinitíve, and the preposition ag or a', at, giving the same noun the force of a participle. The Gaelic infinitive is thus identical with the Latin gerund, and is one of the points where the classical and the Celtic tongues meet and touch.

In the article CELTIC LITERATURE reference is made to some of those cases in which the Irish dialect of the

Advantages and Defects of Gaelic.-The Gaelic language, as now existing, has its advantages and its corrésponding defects. It is admirably adapted for the purposes of the poet. In descriptive poetry few languages excel it. There are some pieces of ancient, authentic, Ossianic poetry existing that are equal in power and beauty to the compositions of any age or country. Such are the description of Cuchullin's chariot and horses, and the description of the swords of the Ossianic heroes. The same is true of more modern poetic compositions. Macintyre of Glenorchy's Beinn Douran and Coire Cheathaich are fine specimens of descriptive poetry-poetical in conception throughout couched in the choicest language, and with rhythm of unfailing accuracy. The same may be said of Macdonald's Oran an t-samhraidh, or Ode to Summer, which is a remarkable specimen of what the Gaelic is capable of when used for the description of nature. Other lyrical compositions are also of a high order of merit. Love-songs and boat-songs abound, and are in many cases full of life and force; and the numerous songs expressive of clan affections and animosities display the same characteristics. No language is more capable of expressing both love and hate, and there seems to have been ample scope for both in the past history of the Highland clans. Within certain limits then, Gaelic is the language of poetry, extending from the epic of the Ossianic bards down to the lyric or less aspiring efforts of lesser bards.

Celtic differs from some of the others. It is unnecessary | Irish and Scottish Celts have in understanding each others' here to go over the same ground again. What is distinctive speech. of the Irish is, for the most part, distinctive of the Scottish Gaelic. The Gaelic retains the hard or k sound of c. There is not an instance of a purely Gaelic word in which the c is pronounced soft. There are dialects of Gaelic, however, in which the c becomes aspirated in the middle or at the end of a word. Thus mac, a son, is pronounced machd; peacadh, sin, is pronounced peachdadh. This peculiarity does not exist in the counties of Sutherland and Caithness, where the hard sound of c is retained. The Scottish Gaelic, in like manner, in common with Sanskrit, Latin, German, and Slavonian, retains the sibilant s, where other dialects have discarded it. Many words beginning in Gaelic with 8 have has the initial letter in Welsh. It is worthy of observation, however, that, in the aspirated form of the s used in inflexion or as indicative of gender, the s assumes the sound of h in Gaelic. In like manner, words in Gaelic, as in Irish, can end in s, r, and n. The instances of these are numerous. So also does the Gaelic, like Irish, retain a harder form of the articulation than the British, but not to the same extent; for huvel, low, in Irish humal, is in Gaelic umhal, approaching in this, as in many other cases, nearer to the British form. So the Gaelic preserves letters where the British loses them, but not to the same extent as the Irish. For when the Irish has tech, a house, and the British ti, the Gaelic has both teach and tigh, and for the most part uses the latter. In addition to this, the Gaelic, like the Irish, has preserved the declension of its noun, which cannot be said of the British. Four of the cases are in constant use, the nominative, the genitive, the dative, and the vocative in both numbers, the dative plural alone having almost disappeared from common speech. In the singular number these cases are distinctly marked-cos, a foot, gen. coise, dat. cois, voc. a chos. Wherever the language is well spoken these cases are in daily use, and are lost only when the language is far on in the process of decay. Difference between Gaelic and Irish.-The differences between the Gaelic and the Irish are considerable, and, though Irish writers maintain the contrary, are not to be taken as indications of the modern origin of the former. Without entering on that question, we find a marked distinction in the use by the Irish of what is called eclipsis,that is, the use of other and softer articulations to eclipse the harder in the beginning of a word, in some cases, as, for instance, in the genitive plural of nouns. The object aimed at would seem to be euphony, and in seeking this object the Irish and the Scottish ear did not altogether correspond. In Irish, the law as given by O'Donovan is that m eclipses b, as ar m-bo, our cow; g eclipses c, as ar g-ceart, our right; n eclipses d, bh eclipses f, n eclipses g, b eclipses p, d eclipses t, t eclipses s. This system of eclipsing runs through the nouns and verbs. It is unknown in Gaelic, if we except the eclipsing of s by t, as an t-sùil, the eye, an t-slat, the rod, and certain words which, in some districts of the Highlands, suffer eclipse. In Skye the expression for the number of men is àireamh nan n-daoine, the n eclipsing the d. Other instances may be found along the west coast of Scotland. But eclipsis is, for the most part, distinctive of the Irish dialect. The Gaelic is further marked by a greater tendency to aspiration than the Irish. The sentence cionnas ta tu how art thou? in Irish, is in Gaelic cionnus tha thu the verb and the pronoun being both aspirated. Other differences might be referred to, but one is prominent, the difference of accent or emphasis. The tendency of the Irish is to emphasize the final syllable, that of the Gaelic to emphasize the penultimate. Thus salàch, dirty, in Irish, is in Gaelic salach; Oisin, Ossian, is in Gaelic Oisian. This makes a striking difference in the spoken tongues, and occasions one of the main difficulties

The language is also admirably fitted for the communication of religious knowledge. It is in its structure metaphorical and emotional, and renders with wonderful precision and effect the statements of Scripture. The saying attributed to one of the dukes of Argyll is well known, that if addressing his sovereign he would choose English, if addressing the lady of his affections he would choose French, but if he was addressing his God he would choose Gaelic. Few of those whose calling it is to teach religious truth, and who know how to handle the language with effect, have failed to feel and own that it is incomparable for conveying the knowledge of the truth with power. Perhaps no preachers have surpassed the Welsh in real eloquence, and yet some of the Gaelic preachers have not been behind them. The language has served a great purpose in the Highlands in connexion with the religious life of the people.

The defects of the language are to be found chiefly in the departments of philosophy, science, and art. There it has either to be rejected or to be supplied from foreign sources. Indeed in this field it seems to have deteriorated during the course of several centuries. There are MSS. of the 14th and 15th centuries in existence, in which terms are employed in connexion with discussions in philosophy, theology, and medicine that could not now be understood. The philosophy of Aristotle is well rendered, as are also the theology of the fathers and the medical disquisitions of the Arabic writers on medicine. But when modern science and philosophy, and even theology in some of its departments, have to be dealt with, the lack of terms renders the task a difficult one. It is here that, in the progress of education, the difficulty of preserving the language lies. The effect of this want is traceable in common speech, when English words have of necessity to be used in connexion with objects of everyday use. Steamer, train, boiler, engine, railway, quay, &c., have just to be introduced from the Saxon, and presented with a little of the Gaelic tone in them to suit the Celtic ear. Some writers and speakers do try to invent Gaelic terms to represent all these and similar objects, but popular usage rejects them and prefers the foreign words.


[ocr errors]

GAELIC LITERATURE.-The literature of the Scottish | sithean, the word used for green hillocks, which abound Highlands may be divided into several branches. The throughout the Highlands. These hills are supposed to be' following outline comprehends more perhaps than is usually the abodes of fairies, who, in consequence, are called daoine included under that term; in particular, it appears necessary sithe, or the men of the hillocks. Sith, peace, has no part to give here some account of topographical and personal in forming the designation, although often said to have. These beings were the very opposite of peaceful in the Mythology. We have urst the mythology of the race. popular belief. It is impossible here to give an account of Little of this now exists, and it is difficult to piece the the common belief in the Highlands regarding fairies, but scattered fragments together. We find the mythology of there is a great deal of popular literature taken up with the older faith or faiths interwoven in some cases with the descriptions of it, and with stories regarding these mismythology of the Northmen. The mythology of the East chievous and meddling beings. They were fond of carrying appears at some points, and we have giants, fairies, and away young children, and substituting young fairies in their witches, some of them firmly believed in to the present day. place, to the grief and harassment of the mother. Nor did Adamnan, in his life of Columba, refers to the magi who they confine their assaults to children, but sometimes carried were in the palace of the Pictish king whom the missionary men and women to their underground abodes, where they sought to convert. Who these were, and what was their passed through extraordinary scenes. The Rev. Robert creed, is not clearly stated, but all we read of that early Kirke of Balquhidder wrote an account of the fairies which faith, and all that tradition brings down to us, would seem awakened their anger, and they spirited him away to fairyto indicate that their worship was a form of sun worship. land. He was able to appear in the room at the baptism The words applied to the cardinal points of the compass conof a child born after his removal, when it was arranged vey this impression, the fear shown in many ways of going that for his deliverance a knife was to be thrown over his against the course of the sun, and certain festivals in which head at a certain moment. The hour came, but through fire was and is used, would seem to confirm it. The bodies some infatuation the party entrusted with the duty failed of the dead are in some cases carried suuwise round certain in the performance. Mr Kirke was not delivered, and is objects on their way to the burial ground; in fact, words believed to be in fairyland to this day. Similar stories are and practices crop up in several parts of the country serving without number, and show how widely extended the belief to show that the sun was worshipped. Rath, a circle, is in fairies was. used in Gaelic to express good fortune :-cha-n'eil rath air, there is no circle on him, he is not fortunate,―referring, no doubt, to the course of the sun. There was a Gaelic mythology connected with the Fingalian heroes. Whether they themselves were mythical or not is debated, but there was a mythology connected with them. Fingal had a sword that never required to be used twice; the Vulcan of the race could cross a glen with a stride; Manannan, son of Lir, from whom the Isle of Man is named, could clothe himself in a fog, and so hide himself from his enemy. The story of Diarmad and the boar and the story of Fraoch and the beast are mythological, the former being the Celtic story of Achilles, and the latter the Celtic version of the Garden of the Hesperides. Then there were giants called Na Fiantaichean, men of colossal mould. Dun Fhian, the giant's castle, is a common topographical term. Here is the description (with English translation) of one of these beroes:

"Tamhull mòr, mac sheann Tamhuil,

Cha ruigeadh a' mhuir mhòr a ruinnse,

Cha thàradh e mach, 's cha thàradh e steach,
'Us 'n uair a bhitheadh e 's a bheul fodha,
Bhitheadh a dhruim a' sgriobadh an athar."
Great Taval, son of old Taval,'
The great sea wouldn't reach his middle;
He couldn't get out and he couldn't get in;
And when he lay down on his face,

His back would be scratching the sky.
Some of these tales of the giants attribute to them a
great age. There is one tale in which five generations in
succession are said to exist at the same time, and the
youngest of them a very aged man. The traditional tales
taken down by Mr J. F. Campbell, from oral tradition in
the Highlands are full of mythology. Animals in these
play an important part, and are endowed with remarkable
powers. How far this mythology is original, or is borrowed
from the East, is an interesting question. In some of the
Western Isles, the Scandinavian god Odin enters into the
popular mythology, a relic, no doubt, of the Norse occupa-
tion of the territory. Fairies, or the daoine sithe or sith
ichean, fill an important place in the mythology of the
Highlands. The name of these imaginary beings is derived
from their supposed habits. Sith is a common name in
Gaelic for a hill of a peculiar form.
As a diminutive it is

Witchcraft had a large place in the popular beliefs, and has not lost it altogether at the present day. It was supposed possible for a person endowed with this to inflict great damage upon an adversary. Milk could be abstracted from the cows of a neighbour and brought to swell the produce of the party abstracting it. This belief has been the source of much animosity and strife among neighbours down to the present time. Clay bodies stuck over with pins could be formed representing an adversary, and could be laid in a stream, and as the clay wasted, the body of the man represented pined until he died. This afforded ample room for the exhibition of party or personal hatred, and is not altogether unknown now. The literature of witchcraft is of considerable extent, and consists in tales and forms of exorcism which are very various, and some of them very curious. The forms are all in rhyme, and do not display much of the genius of poetry; they are usually made up of appeals to saints and apostles, with the occasional introduction of the Virgin Mary. Several of these have been handed down by tradition, and are scattered through various works devoted to Highland lore. Near the valley of the Spey there recently lived a noted wizard, who possessed a charmed bridle which exercised a most powerful influence over all forms of bewitchment. A clergyman, not far from the residence of this man, was on one occasion much disturbed by the state of his cows, which had suddenly ceased to give milk. The neighbours assured the ninister that it was witchcraft, and that he ought to send for the man with the charmed bridle, which, very much against his will, he was induced to do. The wizard came, and was told by the clergyman that he had no faith in his witchcraft, but he should very much like to have his counsel as a man of skill. The so-called wizard, understanding with whom he had to deal, at once laid aside all pretension to superhuman power, and asked the minister where his cows usually fed, saying that they would go and take a look at the grass. They did so, when the wizard pointed out a plant, then in flower, which he said was, in that condition, most injurious to cows yielding milk. He advised the minister to keep the cows away from that piece of pasture for a fortnight. This was done, and the cows recovered. The wizard got his fee and a promise that nothing should be said to affect the public confidence X. -2

« EelmineJätka »