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and in pity to the clergy, enact that every Established minister of a parish should receive from their respective parishioners, as a maintenance for their families, and to enable them to perform the duties of their ministry with comfort and ease, a sum equal to five pounds sterling annually!" From the rise of the price of grain or meal, these livings several years after rose in Scotland to an average of about £80 per annum for about nine hundred clergymen, the whole annual revenue of the Scottish Established clergy, when our author wrote, being only about £72,000. In the Highlands, however, the stipends did not exceed £ 50 on an average, and of such livings the number was very few.
In another paper or two we shall accompany our author in his tour through the Highlands of Argyle, Inverness, Ross, and Sutherland shires, including the Western Isles.
(To be continued.)
for that purpose.
DEATH OF “THE HIGHLAND) MAGAZINE.”—Nine months ago, a monthly periodical, under this title, was started by Mr. Duncan Cameron, Oban. In the October (the eighth) number, an intimation is given that the magazine is no
We were to have been swallowed up by the Highland Magusine. That was not our opinion, and we were not in the slightest degree concerned on the point. This, we regret to say, is the ninth Celtic publication which came and went since we made our first appearance ten years ago, but we are still to the fore, and in a better position than we have ever before attained to. We had not noticed the Highland Magazine in these pages hitherto, simply because it was never sent to us
Some of the reviewers praised it without stint. Most of them were, to our great amusement, completely sat upon. The serial tale, entitled “The Empty Coffin,” was almost universally criticised in the most favourable terms, as an excellently-written original tale. We knew better, but while the periodical had any chance of life we felt unwilling, even in the interest of literary honesty, to point out the fraud which was being perpetrated on the public by the editor of the Highland Magazine and his reviewers. We have a copy of the original work in our possession, published in three volumes, and entitled “ A Legend of Argyle ; or, 'Tis a Hundred Years Since,” printed for G. & W. Whittaker, AveMarie Lane, London, in 1821. The title was changed in the Highland Magazine to
The Empty Coffin,” and the first three or four chapters transposed, and otherwise transmogrified, so as to put the reader and reviewers off the scent; otherwise, the tale was reprinted, with all its errors, mis-spellings of Gaelic, and other characteristics. Some of the cleverest and best informed of the reviewers who belauded this original and insipid old tale as a splendid modern production, carped at us, while they praised this fraud, for reproducing valuable historical and antiquarian information, which was quite inaccessible to the ordinary reader, the source of which we always duly acknowledged !
INVERNESS GAELIC SOCIETY'S TRANSACTIONS.
FEW societies have done more, or more useful work, in the field of Gaelic and Celtic literature than the Gaelic Society of Inver
We have before us the eleventh volume of its Transactions, which has quite recently been published. To say that it is the Society's largest volume were not in itself much, but to say that it is out of sight the best and most valuable volume yet issued by the Society is saying a great deal. A glance even at its contents page will suffice to whet the appetite of any Highlander or other student having a desire or aptitude for Celtic or Gaelic study. A perusal of the articles themselves will satisfy any reader that the importance of the volume has not been over-estimated in our opening commendation. It is not our intention to enter into a detailed criticism of the various articles which the volume embraces; it must suffice if little more is done than the mere naming of the most valuable of them, and we recommend the reader not only to read the Transactions for himself, but to become a member of the Society, and thus place himself in contact with such wholesome and patriotic influences as emanate from it. In point of intrinsic value, we must award the palm to the contributions from the pen of Mr. Macbain, Rector of Raining's School, Inverness, whose papers on a subject somewhat cognate with those treated of in the volume before us, have, during the past year or two, enriched the pages of this magazine. Mr. Macbain's first paper is on so-called “Druid Circles." The article is replete with interest, and is the result of most conscientious investigation alike of the available literature on the subject, a comparison of the remains with those met with in other countries, and a minute inspection of many of the circles so numerous in this country itself.
To enhance the value of the paper, it is very effectively illustrated with sketches of antiquarian remains, kindly prepared by Mr. P. H. Smart, drawing
master, Inverness. This is a feature which greatly increases the other attractions of the volume. Mr. Macbain's conclusion regarding the circles in question is that whatever their origin and purpose they are not “Druidic.” “One thing” he says, “is to be noted : popular tradition knows nothing of the Druids in connection with these circles. The nearest approach to the Druidic theory is where in one case the popular myth regards the stones as men transformed by the magic of the Druids. In fact, there is no rational tradition in regard to them. They belong to a period to which the oldest tradition or history of the present race cannot reach.” Proceeding next to discuss the question what these remains really were, Mr. Macbain comes, at the close, to be of the following opinion :-"Our positive results are that the stone circles were built by prehistoric races in this country probably by the Picts--that they are connected with burial, though built independent of mounds and other forms of tomb; that they are also connected with ancestor worship, and that the whole difficulty resolves itself into the question of why they are of circular form, and why the stones are set at intervals.”
This paper is followed immediately by another from the same hand on the "Ancient Celts," and in point of historical and philological importance it is sure to hold a high place in the estimation of Celtic scholars.
It is not often that after-dinner oratory is considered worthy of permanent preservation, but the proceedings of the thirteenth annual dinner, and specially the speech of the Chairman, Lochiel, will be read with warmest interest in connection with the social revolution which has occasioned them. The speech was delivered on the evening before the Landlord Conference, Confession, and Capitulation at Inverness, and may be
have been a foreshadowing of what done at that Conference. Then follows another paper on the "Book of Deer,” by Mr. Macbain. We cannot speak in terms too high of the philological merits of this article. The vocabulary alone which accompanies it is simply invaluable, and evinces an immense amount of diligent study and careful observation. Other papers of great interest are that on "MacMhaighstir Alasdair," by Mr. William Mackay; "The Gaelic Names of Birds,” by Mr.
Charles Fergusson; “Ministers of Tongue, 1726-63,” by Mr. Hew Morrison; and one of special importance and linguistic interest, by Professor Mackinnon, on the “Fernaig Manuscript.” Besides these, there are minor contributions on such subjects as Celtic Topography, The Social Condition of the Highlands, Sir Robert Munro, Old Contracts of Friendship, Old Gaelic Songs, The Educational Power of Gaelic Poetry, Celtic Poetry, Mackintosh's Cairn in Glen Tilt, The Characteristic and Social History of the Gael, and Letters of Simon Lord Lovat, 1739-43. The merit and interest of these papers are guaranteed by the fact that they are from the pen of men who are not only genuine Gaels, but who have, by special study in the various departments of Celtic history, lore, and antiquarian research, made themselves masters of the subject.
Doubtless, Inverness is regarded as the Capital of the Highlands, and is naturally a centre of Celtic influence, and within easy reach of ample materials of Celtic study, but we see no good reason why other places of even much less pretension might not have their Gaelic Societies doing similar work to that so admirably done by the Gaelic Society of Inverness.
We again strongly commend this volume, and trust we may accept it as only the first fruits of a great harvest of Highland literature ; for even yet there is a vast field to reap, and the winter is fast approaching, but, alas ! we fear “the labourers are few."
THE HISTORY OF THE MACLEODS.
[BY THE EDITOR.]
(Continued.) II. TORMOD MACLEOD, eldest son and male representative of Leod, son of Olave the Black, King of Man, as we have seen, succeeded to two-thirds of the lands of Glenelg (the other third being the property of Hugh Fraser, Lord of Lovat), and afterwards to Harris, and the lands, already described, in the Isle of Skye. The lands of Glenelg were held of the Crown, while his other possessions were held of the Earls of Ross and Lords of the Isles before the forfeiture of that family, as appears from a charter in which these facts are narrated, and by which the lands are granted by James IV. to Alexander Macleod, on condition of his holding in readiness, for the King's service, one ship of twenty-six oars and two galleys of sixteen. The Macleods must have occupied a prominent position long prior to this date, for a charter, granted by Donald of the Isles, grandson of the great Somerled, and styling himself King of the Isles, to Lord John Bisset, and dated at his Castle of Dingwall on the 19th of January, 1245, is witnessed by his "most beloved cousines and counsellors," Macleod of Lewis, and Macleod of Harris. The lands of Glenelg were granted between 1307 and 1314 by King Robert the Bruce to Thomas Randolph, as part of the Earldom of Moray, from which it may be in