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has been published, and seems to be judiciously drawn up. I have collated several places of it, and found that every twelve words had eight or ten genuine Welsh roots in it. The Welsh I believe to be all the remains of the ancient British, spoken before the advent of our Lord.
Yours affectionately, A. CLARKE.” It is pleasing to hear such an impartial and decided testimony in behalf of the antiquity of the Welsh, and its radical identity with the Armoric or Brèton tongue of the continent.
The reply which, as a Welshman, I made to the remarks of my deceased friend, may be easily conceived, as to the Triads and the Welsh orthography. By Dr. C.’s next letter I inferred that he was satisfied as to the latter, but not as to the former. He acknowledges we have some of the Triads, but he still had no hopes of seeing the Triads; that is, he means a complete collection of them. He expressed his regret that I had declined publishing my translation of them; as to which, it is true, I was not quite destitute of encouragement, but may blame myself for want of spirit.
Is binn gach gloir o'n duine bheartach;
Melodious is the blustering of the rich;
EXTRACTS FROM AN UNPUBLISHED MS. HISTORY
OF THE CLANS.
BY JAMES LOGAN, ESQ., F.S. A., AUTHOR OF THE "SCOTTISH GAEL."
THE Mac Phersons of Pitmain and Invertromie in Badenach, were descended from John, second son of Evan Bane, the common ancestor of the Mac Phersons.
The house and lands of Invertromie are adjacent to the castle of Ruthven, usually denominated the Barracks, from having been garrisoned by the military.
It was scarcely possible in the times to which this anecdote relates, for so near neighbours long to remain on terms of good understanding, the Royal troops having very little respect for the people they were among.
On one occasion Invertromie surprised a sergeant and two men deliberately carrying off one of his goats. He very naturally remonstrated against this spoliation, insisted on the restitution of his property, and that not availing he threatened ample revenge for the barefaced robbery. During the altercation the sergeant became so irritated that he struck Invertromie on the head with his sword; on which he immediately left them, and went to the cottage of one Mac Intyre, his tenant, whose wife observing her master approaching, and blood streaming down his face, guessed at once the cause, and without taking time to ask any questions she called her husband, and brought forth two naked swords.
The two with the utmost celerity returned in pursuit of the soldiers, on whom they came so suddenly and quietly that the man who carried the goat, being a little way
behind, was struck down before the others were aware of their pursuers. The sergeant and corporal turned round on the assailants, and the fight commenced. The soldiers were soon reinforced by four of their comrades, but they were worsted, and no fewer than six of them slain by the two heroic and dexterous swordsmen; the seventh made his escape. This affair happened at a place called Lochandruim-an-diemhar, and Mac Pherson, with his companion Mac Intyre, were outlawed for the slaughter. In this state they remained for many years, eluding the schemes devised for their capture, and annoying their enemies by adventurous exploits. Invertromie was an excellent marksman,
and his musket, called the “ Thread-gun,” was celebrated for its superior goodness. With this piece, lying concealed on the hill, he brought down, from time to time, many soldiers on the ramparts of the castle.
The two fugitives often passed the night in the house of a female, an old favourite of Invertromie ; and this circumstance offered to his enemies an apparently fitting opportunity to secure both outlaws. Instead of employing the military, from some motive not explained, Mac Donald of Kepach was induced to undertake the office, and the woman having been liberally bribed, she allowed him and twenty men to conceal themselves in an adjoining barn.
In the evening the guests came as usual ; but, thinking to conceal her treachery, she overdid her part, and by shewing much more attention than usual to her friends, the suspicion of Mac Intyre was excited, and he persuaded the unsuspecting Invertromie to go out and reconnoitre.
The Mac Donalds had spread their plaids along the walls inside, to prevent the light through any chink from leading to their discovery, and it having rained heavily during the day, the effluvia from the wet plaids was very perceptible. By creeping softly to the roof of the building they were seen and recognised, as they carelessly reclined themselves around the fire. Prudence would to most men have suggested immediate retreat, but Invertromie determined otherwise; and, having observed that the arms were placed in one end of the house, he and his faithful companion suddenly burst open the door, and placing themselves sword in hand between the party and their weapons, the surprise was so great, that the Mac Donalds had not resolution to act. The moment was improved by Invertromie, who upbraided Kepach with so ungenerous an attempt on members of a friendly clan, and declared that they were both resolved to be cut to pieces rather than be taken. Kepach was moved; he abandoned his intentions, and swore on his dirk never again to molest his unfortunate acquaintance. They then went into the house together, and, having first punished the perfidious woman by placing her nudo corpore on hot ashes, they spent the night in friendly enjoyment; and Kepach, who felt ashamed of the part he had acted, posted home next morning with his men as fast as he could. Passing through Laggan, Cluny, chief of the Mac Phersons, who knew of the expedition, went and inquired where his neighbour chief had been, expressing a hope that he had
succeeded in whatever enterprise he had been engaged; to which Kepach, mortified by reflexion on his own conduct, gave no very satisfactory reply.
After many years spent in this precarious state of existence, during which Invertromie had many narrow escapes, particularly on one occasion when waylaid by two powerful and determined soldiers, one of whom he killed and left the other wounded; it was thought desirable to get rid of so troublesome a neighbour by any means, and a certain major was instructed to investigate the circumstances, and endeavour to conciliate the dissatisfied Highlanders. One day, lying on the north bank of the Spey, Mac Pherson perceived the major walking on the opposite side, and waiting until he came near, he suddenly arose. The officer was at first alarmed to find himself so close to a fierce-looking Highlander with a gun in his hand, but finding no advantage was taken of his situation, he took out a description or miniature of Invertromie with which he had been provided, and recognising him by this means, he made signs to induce an interview. Invertromie had become weary of his uncomfortable life, and determined to throw himself on the major's honour. He accordingly swam across the river, and actually entered the fortress under his protection. The innkeeper of Ruthven acted as interpreter, and from the account then obtained, the major took a favourable view of the case; made his report to the proper authorities; and meantime permitted Mac Pherson to depart on parole. A full pardon and remission of outlawry was obtained, and Thomas of Invertromie lived in peace several years after.
The representative of this house is the son of the late Captain John Mac Pherson, and grandson of Major Charles Mac Pherson, sometime Barrack-master general for Scotland, and is the seventh in descent from the above Thomas.
Anecdote of NORMAN Mac LEOD, a Bard, connected with the
origin of the song “Caber-feidh.' The well-known tune called Caber-feidh, or the “Deer's Antlers,” in allusion to the armorial bearing of the Mac Kenzies, and the daring action which led to its assumption, is celebrated as the air which cheered on that clan to the frequent victorious charge of the firmest ranks of their enemies. It is said to be the composition of Norman Mac Leod, a native of that wild and beautifully romantic district of Sutherland called Assynt.
This man, who was a bard of some celebrity, composed the poem in praise of Clan Coinnich, and made it the vehicle of bitter sarcasm and invective against the Munroes, who had, in the affair of 1745, been active in favor of the House of Brunswick, and had particularly offended the clan to which Norman was attached, by an inroad, made under a commission from the earl of Sutherland to William Munro of Achany, who, with a body of Gruidich,* carried off a considerable spraitht of cattle from Mac Kenzie of Ardloch, in whose family Norman was retained.
For so free an exercise of the privilege of his order, the bard very naturally incurred the high displeasure of that proud tribe, who gloried in their armorial eagle and martial prowess. Munro of Achany, who was a chieftain of one of its subdivisions, was so enraged as to threaten the slaughter of Norman the first time they should meet. Munro, who was distinguished among his countrymen as “Uilleam á Bhonaid uidhre," from a dun-coloured bonnet which he wore, happened one day to enter the Tigh-osda or inn, at Ardguy. Here he found Norman, who was on his way to Balle-Dhuthich or Tain, the county town of Ross, but with whose person he was unacquainted, regaling himself heartily on bread, cheese, butter, and ale. Achany saluted the stranger, and sat down ; but Norman, instantly recognising his enemy, rose ; and, with the ready wit of a bard, repeated the following rann, or verse, as he drank to Munro, and presented him with the cup: “ Aran, 'us im, 'us cais m'un d'thig am bas air Tormaid,
'Us deoch do fhir an rothid's cha ghabh na Rothich
“ Bread, butter, and cheese, lest Norman die, and a cup (drink) to the traveller (wayfaring man,) that the Munroes may not feel offended with him."
Achany goodnaturedly accepted the offer, pledged him, and quaffed off the ale, ere he discovered who his courteous acquaintance was; but, having drank in friendship, and, being highly pleased with the ingenuity of the bard, his wrath was subdued, he cordially gave him the right
* Men of Gruides, a district of Bræ Chatt.
Ibidem of the Munroes.