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TRANSACTIONS

OF THE

GAELIC SOCIETY

OF INVERNESS.

VOLUME XXII.

1897-98.

Clann nan Gaidheal an Gnarllean a' Cheile

Inverness:

THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS

1900.

Inverness

PRINTED BY THE NORTHERN COUNTIES NEWSPAPER AND PRINTING AND PUBLISHING

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INTRODUCTION.

The present volume, the XXII. of the series, contains the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness for the Session 18971898, one year's work. The Council regret the delay in its publication, but owing to various circumstances, connected mostly with the character of the papers in the volume, the delay has been unavoidable. It will be seen that the work possesses the usual characteristics of the Society's volumes, and is quite up to the excellent standard attained to in the last eleven volumes of the Society. Out of the mass of good work therein, it is, however, not out of place to draw attention to Mr Robertson's translation of Dr Stern's “Ossianic Heroic Poetry,” and this for two reasons : the translation from the German was a most arduous task, both on account of the length of the paper and the difficulty of

scientific” German, and, secondly, the extreme importance of the paper, for never before has the Ossianic question been handled so concisely, so completely, and in so scholarly a way as by Dr Stern.

Some donations to the Society's Library fall to be noticed because of their value both in money and matter. Mr Mackay, Hereford, presented the recently published volumes of “ Carmina Gadelica,” by Mr Carmichael, a three guinea work, and also the more expensive and sumptuous work, Gibb's “Royal House of Stuart.” The authors, Revs. A. and A. Macdonald, presented the Library with the handsome second volume of their “ Clan Donald,” as they did in the case of their first volume; Mr David MacRitchie, the folk-lorist, has presented all his publications, and there have been several other kind donors.

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Since our last Introduction (Vol. XXI.) was penned in March, 1899, some prominent members have been removed from our roll by death. Sir Kenneth S. Mackenzie of Gairloch, our senior Honorary Chieftain, died on 6th February, 1900. He had been twice Chief of our Society-in 1874 and 1892—and he took a great interest in the Society's work; indeed, a paper of his delivered before the Society will appear in our next volume. Sir Kenneth took a prominent part in the public affairs of the Highlands-sitting on Royal Commissions, and directing, as Chairman, the business of the County Council of Ross and Cromarty, of which county he was Lord-Lieutenant. And following hard on Sir Kenneth's death was the announcement of the death of Æneas Mackintosh of The Doune, brother of The Mackintosh, who had gone to Los Angelos, in California, in search of health, and died there. Cluny Macpherson of Cluny Macpherson died on the 18th August, 1900, at the age of 64. He was Chief of our Society in 1897. He had seen service in the Crimea and in the Sepoy war, and was at his death Brigadier-General of the Northern Volunteers. While this Introduction is being read in proof, we learn with much regret of the death of Dr Alexander Stewart, better known

“Nether Lochaber,” eminent as a folklorist, popular naturalist, and Highland “seannachie.”

The literary work done, both in Gaelic and English, bearing on the Highlands during the last two years has been very considerable. Mr Alexander Carmichael's Carmina Gadelica, Ortha nan Gaidheal,” is one of the most important books ever published in connection with Gaelic. It contains the old hymns, prayers, incantations, and like poetic lore of the Roman Catholic population of the Western Isles, and its value to the folklorist is inestimable. The Gaelic is often so old as to be unintelligible. The third volume of Mr Macrury's “ Arabian Nights” in Gaelic has appeared ; and a “Leabhar Laoidh" (Glasgow Highland Mission) appeared in 1899. Rev. A. Maclean-Sinclair is collecting the work of the Maclean bards into two neat volumes, entitled the “Clan Maclean Bards,” one of which is issued ; while Dr Keith N. Macdonald has written an account of the

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