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S Matach and Matah Heb. and Chal.
Good, or greeable
Mathair, pronounc ed Mair,
* There is a poem in Arabic called Moalakat (i. e.) In Praise, written by Prince Amaralkeis, a cotemporary of Mahomet. It is in praise of a great action, and the following line has a great analogy to the Gaelic.
"Fakalit yaminalahi ma lika hilatown,"
which signifies" And she said, by the right hand of God, you shall not be deceived." There is a poem in Clark's Caledonian Bards called "Oran Molla," a song of praise.
+ It deserves notice, that a certain class of nouns in the Gaelic, form their plurals by adding an to the singular number, and the same holds in the Persian by adding gan or an, as in the above example.
We cannot conclude these desultory etymological researches, without noticing a Celtic proverb mentioned by Mr. Cambry of the Celtic Academy in France,* which from, its affinity with the Gaelic now spoken, is peculiarly striking, both as to the pronunciation and sense of the words. He says, "that the people of Britanny have preserved the true etymology of Paris in a Celtic proverb, of which the style manifests its being of the most remote antiquity: namely,
* Monumens Celtiques, p. 361.
"A ba ouè beuzet ar ghar a Is,
which, according to the Gaelic orthograpy, is thus: A bha ou bàuisg ar caer a Is,
Ne'n deas cait' gheibt' par da Bharis.
and is thus translated into Latin and English:
Since the water has overflowed the city Is,
The city of Is, alluded to in the Celtic proverb, is celebrated in ancient geography, and which tradition places in the Bay of Douarnenez, in the southwest of Britany near Quimper, and is said to have been submerged. The Celtic word par, signifying equal, or like, renders, when joined to Is, what is called, in the French language, un jeu de mots, viz. Par-is, which means equal, or like Is, the name of the ancient city alluded to.
Thus we have endeavoured to demonstrate the analogy of the Greek, Latin, and Oriental languages to the Gaelic. From the proofs adduced, and examples given, whereof, were it necessary, many hundreds equally applicable might be added, we may safely venture to assert, that no language ancient or modern contains more primitive roots than the Celtic or Gaelic.
IV. A SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE ADDUCED IN SUPPORT OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF OSSIAN'S POEMS, WITH FURTHER PROOFS.
For the sake of perspicuity, we shall divide this head into three branches, viz. 1. The Gaelic, which is confessedly a dialect of the Celtic, has been a written language in the Highlands of Scotland, and in parts of Ireland, from very remote periods. 2. The poems ascribed to Ossian commemorating the achievements of Fingal and his warriors, have been for ages recited and sung to music in the Highlands and isles of Scotland, and have for time immemorial been the entertainment of the people. 3. The poems translated by Mr. Macpherson, were collected by him from oral tradition and manuscripts procured in the Highlands; and that similar collections have been made by other persons at different periods, prior to his translation.
1. That the Gaelic was a written language from very remote periods, may be deemed sufficiently proved by the observation already made in Note E to Cesarotti's Dissertation; and by the facts and authorities noticed under the second general head of these Supplementary Observations.* It may therefore suffice to touch briefly on some particular points of evidence, which when summed up with those already adduced, will incontrovertibly establish the truth of our position, as well as the fallacy of Doctor Johnson's assertion, that the Caledonians had been * See page 386 et seq.