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and upon the north and west coast of Scotland. The rapid progress which the Saxon language made in the low country, from the days of Malcolm Ceanmore, not only rooted out the Gaelic language in that part of the country, but has also with it, no doubt, occasioned the loss of many of Ossian's

of Ossian's poems; there are still, however, fragments in the same translation, where frequent mention is made of Fingal's exploits upon the banks of Carron, in the county of Stirling

“ Beneath the voice of her king, we moved to Crona (a small rivulet which discharged itself into the river Carron,) of the streams, Toscar, or grassy Lutha, and Ossian young in fields. Three bards attended with songs. Three bossy shields were born before us, for we were to rear the stone in menory

of the past. By Crona's mossy course, Fingal had scatter. ed his foes; we had rolled



strangers like a troubled sea.

“Herodian, Dio, and other writers make mention of the Emperor Severus having passed the two walls, and fought in person with the Caledonians and their leader, which very probably may have been Fingal, and perhaps the above poem relates to that part of the history. It cannot, however, be imagined, that Fingal, who at that time, anno 207, was chief of the Caledonians, could have remained inactive, when such a powerful army was at hand : and indeed it appeared that the invasion of Severus had such an effect upon the Caledonians, that they sent ambassadors to sue for peace, which was rejected. The consequence was, that a bloody engagement commenced, in which

the Caledonians proved victorious, and the emperor returned with the loss of many thousands of men.

“ The Romans again made another effort against the Caledonians, under their leader Caracalla. Fingal met them upon the banks of Carron, where a battle ensued, in which the Romans were again defeated with considerable loss.

“Selma in Morven, which is said to have been Fingal's chief residence, is only about sixty computed miles distant from Glen Almon, and Ossian, Fingal's son, would, no doubt, continue to rouse the army after his father's death, by his martial example and warlike song ; and probably chose to have his residence near the spot where there was the greatest danger: the Roman camp, the forts and tumuli nigh to Clach-Ossian, are evident proofs that this part

of the

country, was the scene of action, so early as the time when the Romans came into this part of the island.

“ Besides what is above related, it may not be improper here to take notice, that it is the opinion of several respectable clergymen and others, in the neighbourhood of Glen Almon, that the stone in question was known by the name of Clach-Ossian, beyond the memory of any living person ; and indeed the names of places nigh the spot, will, in some instances, serve as further proofs; upon the other side of the Almon, and not far distant from the camp, is a small village named Fian-Theach, i. e. Fingal's thatch-house, or hall; and at the west end of Loch Fraochy, is a place named Dall-Chillin, or Fingal's burial-place. Whether this was Fingal's burial-place,

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or not, shall be left to the determination of the Gaelic critics.

The many caves which we find in the Highlands, and which to this day, are said to be caves for the giants to reside in, are with them strong proofs for the authority of their fables, whereas it is evident, that those caves were places of safety, in ancient times, when pursued by their enemies, or probably for places of residence, as we find is the case in Iceland, and many other countries even to this period; where the inhabitants live in caves, or dens, under rocks and under ground, which are not only the most proper places for security from their enemies, but are likewise better adapted for their preservation from voracious animals, with which Scotland abounded, at a period so early as the days of Ossian. This country being at that time over-run with woods, afforded shelter to wolves and bears, enemies to the human race, and they had no other place of safety for their residence, but either in their caves, or upon the tops of the hills. Hence it is, that there are few hills in the Highlands, but what have to this day, vestiges of castles and houses; and which, in conformity to the formerly received notion of giants' caves, are called Giants' castles, or the Fians' castles, which may be easily understood to be castles possessed in the Fingalian age, or age of giants, or mighty warriors. I have farther learned, that when Ossian's stone was moved, and the coffin containing his supposed remains discovered, it was intended, by the officer commanding the party of soldiers employed on the military road, to let the bones remain within the

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stone sepulchre, in the same position in which they were found, until General Wade should come and see them, or his mind be known on the subject. But the people of the country, for several miles around, to the number of three or four score men, venerating the memory of the bard, rose with one consent, and carried away the bones, with bag-pipes playing, and other funeral rites, and deposited them, with much solemnity, within a circle of large stones, on the lofty summit of a rock, sequestered, and of difficult access, where they might never more be disturbed by mortal feet or hands, in the wild recesses of the western Glen Almon. One Christie, who is considered as the Cicerone and antiquarian of Glen Almon, and many other persons yet alive, attest the truth of this fact, and point out the second sepulchre of the son of Fingal.”

The topographic scenes of Fingal and his warriors, might have been extended to a considerable length, had the limits of our plan permitted. There are many other interesting communications, from various districts of the Highlands, on this subject, inserted in Sir John Sinclair's valuable work, entitled “Statistical Account of Scotland,” which might have been, with equal propriety, selected. Much is still to be done, in this respect, by the learned clergy of Scotland, and by travellers, or other persons combining local knowledge with a spirit of research and zeal for preserving the antiquities of their country.

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