The language and literature of the Scottish Highlands

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Page 204 - I suppose my opinion of the poems of Ossian is already discovered. I believe they never existed in any other form than that which we have seen. The editor, or author, never could shew the original; nor can it be shewn by any other; to revenge reasonable incredulity, by refusing evidence, is a degree of insolence, with which the world is not yet acquainted ; and stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt.
Page 130 - Majesty's forces, shall, on any pretence whatsoever, wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland Clothes (that is to say) the plaid, philebeg or little kilt, trowse, shoulder belts, or any part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the highland garb; and that no tartan or party-coloured plaid or stuff shall be used for great coats, or for upper coats...
Page 205 - The Scots have something to plead for their easy reception of an improbable fiction : they are seduced by their fondness for their supposed ancestors. A Scotchman must be a very sturdy SECOND SIGHT 177 moralist, who does not love Scotland better than truth : he will always love it better than inquiry ; and if falsehood flatters his vanity, will not be very diligent to detect it.
Page 205 - It would be easy to shew it if he had it ; but whence could it be had ? It is too long to be remembered, and the language formerly had nothing written. He has doubtless inserted names that circulate in popular stories, and may have translated some wandering ballads, if any can be found ; and the names, and some of the images, being recollected, make an inaccurate auditor imagine, by the help of Caledonian bigotry, that he has formerly heard the whole.
Page 177 - Tis a life-restoring flood To repair the wasted blood, The cheapest and the best in all the land ; And vainly gold will try For the Queen's own lips to buy Such a treat. From the rim it trickles down Of the mountain's granite crown Clear and cool ; Keen and eager though it go Through your veins with lively flow, Yet it knoweth not to reign In the chambers of the brain With misrule ; Where dark water-cresses grow You will trace its quiet flow, With mossy border yellow, So mild, and soft, and mellow....
Page 221 - Book, made of paper, which he had from his predecessors, and which, as his father informed him, contained a good deal of the history of the Highland clans, together with part of the works of Ossian.
Page 216 - I inquired the success of his journey, and he produced several volumes, small octavo, or rather large duodecimo, in the Gaelic language and characters, being the poems of Ossian and other ancient bards. "I remember perfectly...
Page 84 - Foremost always. Generous, just, Despised a lie. Of vigorous deeds, First in song. A righteous judge, Firm his rule. Polished his mien, Who knew but victory. Who is like him In fight or song ? Resists the foe, In house or field. Marble his skin, The rose his cheek, Blue was his eye, His hair like gold. All men's trust, Of noble mind. Of ready deeds, To women mild, A giant he, The field's delight.
Page 131 - ... thereof by the oath of one or more credible witness or witnesses...
Page 299 - Cullen's peak the mist is sailing, The banshee croons her note of wailing, Mild blue eyne with sorrow are streaming For him that shall never return...

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