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When very handsome, it is handed so perceptible. Notwithstanding thę down from father to son during a long abundance of milk, they rarely gather period of years, and is looked upon as any cream, at least not for daily use. an heir-loom in the family.
It seems to be collected chiefly with a I have been only once in church dur- view to the formation of super-exceling the time of service since my arri- lent cheese. val in this country, and was much edi- I was much delighted by the picfied by an excellent Dutch sermon. turesque groups of the peasant girls, The church was handsome, and con- who assemble to milk the cattle in partained a magnificent organ, the tone of ticular quarters of the meadows, called which, I do not doubt, was very fine; milking-places, or melk-plaats. Such but as each member of the congrega- scenes forcibly reminded me of the tion sung a most vociferous and open- inimitable prorluctions of Paul Potter, mouthed accompaniment, my sense and were well worthy the efforts of of hearing was completely deadened that great master. during the performance, in so far as In the suburbs of Rotterdam there concerned the perception of more de- are a number of small gardens, in licate sounds. Among other ornaments most of which are erected wooden which surrounded the organ, there houses, of fanciful shapes, and many were a number of little angels playing colours, not unlike the gay.
habitations the fiddle, apparently in a very mas- of Chinese mandarins. In these houses, terly style. In the few churches which the richer class of merchants, with I have seen, there are scarcely any their wives and families, drink' tea in pews, but each flag-stone of the floor the summer evenings, particularly on is numbered, and as there are abund- the Sundays. The windows reach from ance of chairs, each person places one the roof to the floor, and are for the on his own particular number. As most part open, so that the passing soon as the first psalm ceases, and the traveller has a clear view of the intesermon has commenced, each man and rior of the building, and of its inhabitboy places his hat on his head, and sits ants. Such parties as I have seen in at his ease, at least so it was in the the evenings, appeared to be solely church which I visited.
employed in drinking tea, a meal from I did not observe any one smoking which they must derive much pleain church, but in the streets and high- sure, if one may judge from the time ways, all the men, and a few of the which they take to it. Even in the women, have their pipes constantly in streets, there is generally a tea party their mouths. I have seen a little boy, visible in at least one window of every about ten or twelve years of age, with house, and before many doors, in a fine
long black coat, silk breeches, his afternoon, there is a party seated on hands in the pockets of the same, sil- the steps. This is more particularly
ver shoe buckles, a tobacco pipe in his the case in country towns; the men, · mouth, and the whole crowned by a however, in all places, still retaining
huge three-cornered cocked hat, un- their long tobacco pipes in their der which the youth did move with a mouths. gravity of demeanour becoining his With regard to the mode of travel. great-grandfather.
ling in Holland, I may next say a few I believe the general appearance of words: Post carriages, I understand, Holland is pretty similar throughout. may be every where obtained, but as What I have seen has a cheerful and in wet weather, particularly during pleasing aspect, though, from the want spring and autumn, many of the roads of hills and vallies, it would probably are impassable, such a mode of prosoon become uninteresting. The whole ceeding, independent of the great incountry seems composed of meadows, crease of expense and trouble which it intersected by canals, and subdivided occasions, is by no means adviseable. by ditches and rows of trees. The In no country of the world, however, rivers are slow and heavy in their mo- is there such easy and regular conveyţions, and partake much of the nature ance by water as in this, on which acof the canals and ditches. The water count I would advise all tourists to is bad, but as good claret can be got travel exclusively by the canals. for two shillings, and there is abund- Upon inquiry, I find, that in every ance of excellent milk, this loss is not town there are a number of large boats
TO THE PRESES OF THE GAELIC SO
RESPECTING THE COMPILATION OF A GAELIC DICTIONARY.
or vessels, called treck-schuits ( treck- LETTER FROM THE LATE DR MʻLAGAN schuiten), some of which start every hour, and in all directions, and convey CIETY, EDINBURGH, goods, parcels, and passengers, from place to place. These vessels, of which I have now seen many in this town, may be described as large open boats,
[The following letter has been handed to containing wooden cottages of about
us by Mr Campbell, editor of “ Albyn's thirty feet long and six feet wide, with ginal has been for many years, and who has
Anthology,” in whose possession the ori. flat roofs, on which the passengers also furnished us with the additional informay walk in fine weather. They are mation contained in the notes to the letter. placed in, and form a part of, the boat Authentic intelligence respecting the history itself, and are divided by a partition of Gaelic literature will always be acceptable into two parts. The interior division, to us, and at the present moment can scarcewhich is by much the largest, is called ly fail to be interesting to many of our the ruim. 'It contains the goods and readers, who are looking forward with eager baggage, and in it, as it is cheaper, the anxiety to the publication of the Gaelic
Dictionary now compiling under the auspices greater number of passengers take
their of the Highland
Society of Scotland. The seats. The smaller apartment, which accomplishment of this desirable and oftenis next the stern of the vessel, is called defeated object, will be one of the many the roof. It is neatly fitted up, with important public services performed by that a table in the centre, ancł cushions a highly respectable and patriotic body. We round the sides, and in it the quality regret that our limits will only permit us to are usually conveyed. It contains give one short extract from the papers they eight people, is furnished with one or
have printed, respecting the plan of the two windows on each side, and in some
work and the progress that has been made a draft-board is painted on the table. morandum on Dr M‘Lagan's letter, (Notes
in it. This we subjoin, along with a meIn the event of one or two persons en- A, B,) with which we have been obligingly gaging the whole seats in the roef, it furnished by a gentleman who has the very is only necessary to pay one-half of the best access to authentic information in whatprice. The ruim, I should suppose, ever relates to the history of Gaelic literature. may contain upwards of thirty people be inclined
to regard tiris subject as one of
In case any of our southern readers should l'hese boats travel at the rate of one league per hour, or rather more ; and trifling importance, and our attention to it the expense, including baggage, can
as a strong trait of nationality, we shall take not much exceed a penny a mile. They by Dr Samuel Johnson, when the scheme
the liberty to quote the opinion expressed are drawn by a horse, in the manner of translating the Scriptures into Gaelic was of our own canal boats, but the rope strongly opposed by some individuals, from is fastened to the top of a small move- political considerations of the disadvantages able mast, placed near the bow of the of keeping up the distinctions between the vessel. The cottage-shaped building Highlanders and the other inhabitants of before mentioned, does not extend the the island. "I am not very willing that entire length of the treck-schuit, but any language should be totally extinguished. both before and behind it there is an
The similitude and derivation of languages
afford the most indubitable proof of the traopen space, in the former of which is duction of nations and the genealogy of placed a person who lowers the mast mankind. They add often physical cer and unties the rope on passing other tainty to historical evidence; and often vessels, or under bridges, and the late supply the only evidence of ancient migra. ter is appropriated to the helmsman, tions, and of the revolutions of ages which and such of the passengers as may pre- lett no written monuments behind them.""] fer it to the roef or cabin. Although the feelings of a merchant
Belfast, Feb. 27th, 1771. may no doubt be both acute and des
DEAR SIR, lightful in this most mercantile city, YOUR ' letter of 25th ultimo I was yet, upon the whole, there is not much lately honoured with. I am sorry that to excite the attention or gratify the my knowledg of the Galic language curiosity of a lounger.
does not by any means come up to the If the weather is fine, I shall there notions you seem to entertain of it, fore start for Leyden to-morrow.
X. Y. Z.
See Letter to Mr W. Drummond, dated (To be continued.)
1766 ; Boswell's Life, vol. ü. p. 142.
any more than to my own wishes; and may have led me into indiscretion alone reason for my rejoicing at your ready, in telling some of your society laudable and useful undertaking, of my mind upon the subject, when it compiling a dictionary and grammar was neither asked nor necessary, perof our mother tongue, was, that it haps; but this you must attribute to . would add to my knowledge of it. I my love to the subject, and my desire am happy to see in the Messrs Mac- to inflame their zeal. To this too you phersons and you, men who are not must ascribe, what I am now to beg of ashamed to own their native country you, namely, that you would make or language, like the most of us, who, your plan as extensive as possible, and as soon as we know any thing of any prosecute it with the utmost vigour, other language or people, endeavour to while the nation seems to be in some recommend ourselves to them by de- humour for relishing things of this nying the knowledge of, or running nature, as well as you are to undertake down, our own; because, forsooth, it; for if any person or consideration some of these strangers are modest and whatever induce you to drop it now, good-natured enough to do it, when, as M'Colm* did, it is a thousand to one at the same time, their ignorance in if it is resumed before it is too late, these matters renders it impossible, in at all. I wish too you could get some the nature of things, that they should persons of rank and influence to pabe capable of judging, I often blushed, tronise the undertaking, that you may when I considered, that none of our be enabled to procure all the book's learned, two or three excepted, ever upon the subject, and more especially had the public spirit to collect the to send some of your best hands to roots of our language into a dictionary, every corner of Scotland where that or polish it, any more than our great language is spoke, and to the Isle of men to patronise them ; when not Man, the language of which is a only Ireland and Wales, but even dialect of the Scots Galic, with very Cornwall, Bas-Breton, and Biscay, had little mixture, beyond controversy, and several dictionaries of their dialects. nearest allied to that spoke on the con Now, however, I hope to see some- fines of the Lowlands; which you may thing done to our dialect of the first see demonstrated by a book, entitled, language of south and west Europe, “ The Principles and Duties of Chrislike what M. Bullet has done to the tianity,” published by the late bishop foreign dialects of it, and that future of Sodor and Man, Nanks and Enghistorians and antiquaries will reap lish ; only they have not followed our frora that original language and its orthography, I suppose, because they descriptive names, &c. as well as phi. did not know the languages to be allologists from what other languages most the same, and they pronounce now spoke, as well as the Latin, have differently. Books throw light upon borrowed from it, a light, pleasure, the living language, and vice versa. and advantage, they have as yet no But what is already in books, particunotion of, if they choose it. If this is larly in dictionaries, is not so absonot done soon, our language will be- lutely necessary, or so much your pecome as great a mystery as the religion culiar province, as the first undertakers of the Druids, particularly the names of this kind in Scotland, as what never of places and other things, of which was; and that is a very great part of they were descriptions as well as the Scots dialect of the Galic; though, names.
at the same time, the performance But you have not writ for an enco- should be complete, by collecting the mium upon the language, but for ma- whole, though common to us, with terials ; and I am sorry that my abe others, and published by them. But sence from the country where it is should the world still retain so much spoke puts it out of my power to be of prejudice that you can't have such pamuch service to you in that way. Did trons, I intreat you to persist still ; I indeed reside in it, my zeal would probably prompt me to catch as much as I could; but in my present situa
• Mr Malcolm, minister of Duddingtion, I am as like to lose of what I small glossary of the Scoto-Gaelic, and
ston, near Edinburgh. He published a have, as to add any thing to my know- made a strenuous attempt to prove that the ledge of it.
Latin language is chietiy derived from the I make no doubt but my keenness Erse. See Rcliquiæ Galcunex, p. 240, &c.
for I make not the least doubt but the tion Clan-Ranold's estate;* but to you, thing will take in general. I beg also all that is real Galic must be good. (and I think myself sure you will Whether the clergy are all in the use grant my request, and that is), that of writing the language, or will choose you will not reject any word that is of to undertake any thing, you must try: Celtic origin, however bad the dialect some, I dare say, will, when properly of the place wherein it is used; for it applied to; and they may be met with may be of vast use, as being the branch at assemblies in Edinburgh from all of a root, or the root of a branch, still parts. I have spoke of it to some of retained in other dialects of the Celtic, them. The abilities of Messrs M‘Nicol though lost by us, and throwing light, and Mr Archibald M‘Arthur, many of when the whole is compared, the one you know as well as l. On my last word or dialect upon the other. When journey and voyage, I saw the miniyou compile your English-Galic dic- sters of Campbelton, Mr Niel M‘Leod, tionary, you may use what you reckon Mull, three Mr M'Aulays, brothers, best first; but the Galic-English dic- the eldest at Inveraray, and the next tionary should contain every Celtic in Ardnamorchan, all good hands; word that is or ever was used in Scot- also Mr Donald M'Queen in Trotterland, that can be procured, and even nish, Sky, Mr Charles Stewart (a wriany words of other Celtic dialects you ter), near Fort William, and heard of can meet with, if forgot by their best M'Intyre of Gleno,t all three excellent glossographers; only let them have hands, as Mr Wodrow in Isla, I supthe mark of their extraction, or the pose, would also be. I forgot also to author from whom they are taken, as mention Mr Martin M‘Pherson, Slate, f indeed they should have it in the dif- who with his own knowledge may ferent shires of Scotland.
have some of his father's lucubrations As to the best helps I know in print, that have not been published. I have last year sent a catalogue of All the ministers in the Long Island them to Mr M‘Nicol in Lismore* (who have a fine opportunity, if they choose first told me of your design), in order to apply. The only one I know in to be sent to you. The greatest part Lewis is Mr Wilson, who learned it of them I took from Bullet's Celtic grammatically, and is very obliging, dictionary, which, if you have it, will as indeed I found also Mr Angus save you the trouble of looking for Beaton in Harris, Mr Allan M‘Queen, many of the rest. I have added seve- North Uist, in whose neighbourhood ral books he does not mention, but is Mr Niel M'Aulay, master of the have omitted the book already men- Schola Illustris, the poet M‘Codrum,|| tioned here, and Mr Robert Kirk'st and a brother of his own writes it version of the Psalms. If Mr M‘Nicol refuse to send you it, you shall have another copy, if necessary.
Clanranald's estate comprehends a con
siderable extent of the Mainland on the With respect to correspondents, it north-west part of Argyleshire, besides a is absolutely necessary to have them large portion of that chain of isles called the wherever the language is spoke, as no Long Island, Isle of Canna, &c.
This small number of men can know the widely-extended property is said to contain whole of it; and to this space the a population of between 11,000 and 12,000 circle of iny acquaintance is very sinall
. souls, most of whoın are Papists. Were I to tell you where the best
+ Gleno, the late chief of the clan MacGalic is spoke, I would perhaps men
Intyre, left behind him a curious collection of Gaelic poems, which, it is believed, is
still extant. This gentleman dicd a few years ago. $ Mr Wodrow published, in 1769, some He rendered himself at one time conspicu. translations, in English verse, of poems from ous by a severe and somewhat rash attack M.Pherson's Ossian. upon the great English lexicographer.
S Son of the well-known author of the + He was minister of Abertoyle, and was Dissertation on Gaelic Antiquities a nian of very considerable learning. He ,!! The poet M.Codrum was somewhat prepared for the press the Irish-Gaelic Bible advanced in life before he discovered his known by the name of “ Bishop Rodel's poetic vein. In the report of the comniittee Bible,” which was printed in what is called of the Highland Society of Scotland on the the Irish character. A curious tract of authenticity of Ossian's poems, (Append. Kirk's, on the superstitions of the Gael, has p. 95,) is recorded a sarcastic reply of his to 'been lately printed from his MS, in the Janies M.Pherson, the celebrated translator Advocates' Library
of Ossiau... i bitno da lice
pretty well. Mr Angus M-Neil, South and of different degrees of merit ; but Uist, is 'a genteel man, and the lane as the expense of time and postage guage around him is fine: his father would be great, as I am now situated, too, Mr M‘Neil of Watersay, in Barra, you can procure them more easily bý knows more of the language, antiqui- means of some of your own members, ties, manners, and customs of that and others at home. However, if you country, than any man I know; being mention any particular ones which I, a very old man, of great reading and and not they, have, I shall send them, sense, and endowed with a very reten- with whatever else is in my power; tive memory. He has also many frag- only let me hear now and then what ments of the famous family of Mac- you would have me do ; and if you Mhuirich's poems,* who were here- would let me know a little of your ditary poets to the family of Clan- success in your laudable undertaking, Ranold for many generations, were it would be a spur, if at any time my regularly sent to Ireland for their edu- zeal should flag. With my whole soul cation, and of consequence wrote poems I wish you life and health to see your in that dialect; insomuch, that had design executed, and to enjoy the not the authors been known, and their satisfaction and advantages of it. And names to the pieces, both scots and am in sincerity, D. Sir, your most Irish would have sworn them to be obedient servant, Teally Irishmen; and whether this is
JAMES M'LAGAN. not really the case with other compo
To John M Naughton, Esq. sitions, I shan't say. Mr M'Aulay, Preses of the Galic Society, Edin, minister of Bara, you may see at next assembly, and offer him my compli- Note A.-In reference to the late Dr ments.
M.Lagan's letter, it may be mentioned, The person who told you that I had that the compilation of a Gaelic dictionary a Marine Vocabulary, forgot; for I and grammar, which was projected by some only told him, I begged some of
gentlemen at Edinburgh, who, it would
my acquaintances to get me such a thing, for these and relative objects, does not ap
seem, had formed themselves into a society Sas being most wanted of all; wherein
pear to have been prosecuted at the time: if I succeed, you shall have a copy from what cause it was dropped is not The few things I collected you shall known,---probably from want of funds. have in another letter ; but they are The design was not, however, relinquished. little to what you must have from that some time afterwards, a considerable num. part of the world, and must be strictly ber of the clergy of Highland parishes, and examined before inserted. I have got Gaelic language, resolved upon the publi
some other gentlemen conversant in the a variety of songst in different places, cation of a proper dictionary. For this pur
pose each of them had one, two, or more • Mr Campbell, when collecting materials letters of the alphabet assigned to him,
the for his interesting work, entitled, “ Al words under which he was to contribute. byn's Anthology," in autumn 1815, was
Their several contributions were to be after. informed by different persons, that all these wards revised, corrected, and enlarged, by * fragments," &c. were left in the posses
a committee of their number, previous to sion of Clanranald, grandfather of the pre- publication. Among those principally con. sent chieftain. It is not known what has cerned in the undertaking were the Rev. now become of them.
Dr Stewart of Luss; the late Dr Smith of + Dr M I.agan was himself both a poeti. Campbelton; the said Dr M‘Lagan, then cal and musical composer, and is supposed minister of Blair-Athol ; Dr Stewart of to have left behind him many valuable and Strachur; the Rev. Mr M.Nicol, Lismore; curious materials, together with the "
Mr Campbell, Kilfinichan ; Mr M.Queen, riety of songs" above mentioned. These, and Mr M·Intyre of Glenoe, &c. Several Lit is hoped, are still extant, in the possession of the contributors to the work made conof his family; and his son, the Rev. James siderable progress in the parts 'assigned to M'Lagan, is well qualified to estimate their them ; but from want of funds, the death value, and to make use of them to the best of some of these concerned, or other causes, * advantage. Mr Campbell has in his pos
the desirable object in view was not attained. session one original melody, with appro
When the Highland Society of Scotland priate verses, composed by Dr M‘Lagan in
came to the resolution to have a dictionary honour of the 'exploits of the gallant 42d of the Gaelic language upon a comprehen regiment in Egypt, which will appear in the second volume of his Anthology, now the 42d, then commonly called the Black printing. At the time he wrote this letter Watch. He was successor in this office to from Belfast, Dr M'Lagan was chaplain to the celebrated Dr Adam Ferguson