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be fairly recognised that one of the best objects w> ich any Celtio iiooiety oan eet before it is to try if it can in any way devise m.'a,,a by which tho«<? wbo are L-ft of tbe race in this country ni«y bo allow, d to reuiain on tbeir own land. (Applause.) It seems to me that people Who some years ago would not bave been thought typical Highlanders at all are now coniii g to toe front and being valued for the preservation of the people on the land. (Applause.) It is not proper, perhaps, here to discuss any question which might verge on politics, to discuss whether the crofter system is the best system that could exist or whether other systems might be better; but this generally, I think, we all recognise, that under some system, whatever it may be, it is at least au object to be desired and an object to be pursued by all lawful means- that we should try that what is left of the Highland race in the country should remain in it and still have the means to develop— (Loud applause which drowned the rest of the sentence.) And if in ne other way, we can at least do it by directing public attention to it, by reprobating in tbe strongest way we can, by exposing to public contempt if we can any person who in an arbitrary or tyrannical manner tries to turn the Highlanders out of their holdings. (Cheers.) I think there is no more beautiful thing connected with the subject than what has been elicited recently with reference to an event that has taken place not far from here— (hear, hear, ana laughter)—and I think besides, gentlemen, that we all as Highlanders feel strongly about it. (Applause.) But there is one class among us who may perhaps be expected to sympathise more with the rights of property than with men, and I thiuk it is exceedingly gratifying to find that with reference to the Leckmelm evictions not one single proprietor has said one word whatever in favour of what has been done. (Obeers.) Every word that has been spoken by the Highland proprietors regarding the evictions has been spoken in direct end strong reprobation of them. (Cheers.) I hope, gentlemen, that Highland Societies and Celtio Societies are entering on a new era that will at least give rise to a strong public opinion in favour of what I have stated, and doing that and thinking that, I have much pleasure in proposing tbe toast committed to me. (Applanse.) But, gentlemen, this toast is not c nhned to Highland societies alone, but it inoludes literary societies of all kinds, and while we can sympathise with the objects of other literary societies, I thiuk that for tbe object we are particularly directing attention to at present we can claim their «yinpat hy, and I am quite sure we will get it. (Cheers.) I beg to couple the toast with the name of Mr William Bain, secretary of the Inverness Literary Institute. (Chetrs.)
Mr Bain replied in a few neat sentenoes, saying that it was always understood that the Gaelic Society was an offshoot of the Literary Institute, wbioh he had the honour to represent, and certainly that association bad no cause to be ashamed of its offspring. (Cheers.) The Gaelio Society was now perhaps tbe most important and influential society in the north. (Hear, hear.) On behalf of the Literary Institute and other kindred societies, he begged to thank them for the hearty manner in which the toast was proposed and reoeived. (Applause.)
Tbe Kev. A. D. Mackenzie, Kilmorack, proposed the toast of Highland Education. He said—I remember reading somewhere of a schoolmaster of the olden time who waa noted for his kindness to bis soholars. When he entered his schoolroom of a morning he made a low bow, and treated them generally with a consideration which was less usual in those days than, happily, it is in our own. Being a<ked by his friends hi* reason for such singular courtesy, his answer was somewhat thus, '' I look upon these boys as tbe future legislators, judges, and warriors of my country, and I honour them in anticipation." (Applause.) With a fseling akin to this estimable teacher, I am desirous, in moving this toast, of bespeaking the energetic aotion of this Sooiety, and through yon of your affiliated societies, on behalf of a class of boys, regsrding some of whom, at least, if we may judge from the past, the very highest hopea may be cherished—I mean iha Gaelic-speaking children of our Highland schools. (Applause.) Need I remind yon of Ewan Maolauchlan, who went in his philsbeg to Aberdeen from the braes of Loobaber, and won at once the highest bursary for Latin composition, or of Alexander Murray, the son of a Highland shepherd, so poor that he hsd to teach his son his letters with a pieoe of burnt stick en tbe back of a wool card, and yet that son became one of the meat distinguished philologists of his age. (Applause.) Or, if you will pardon it from me, my own unole, the late Allan Mackenzie of Knock bain, who went a boy of thirteen from ihe Parish School of Stornoway to Aberdeen and won the seoond bursary of his time fur Latin composition. But wby mention instances when they can be counted by hundreds who have gone from our Highland glens and villages, and made a name for themselves and for their country. (Applause.) There may be some of you, gentlemen, wbo have never had occasion to notice the disadvantages under wbioh many of our Highland children labour on going to school. It is no little disadvantage to be ignorant of the language in which the inatruotion is bestowed. Not to speak of the feeling of isolation, to which they are exposed for a time, there is the positive inability to understand the
auestions put to them. If they understand them at all it is as much by the eyes as by le ears. Aye, it sometimes takes them a whole year of hard work are they are on a par with the others in understanding the work of the school. But mere than this, their organs are Ul-adapted for acquiring some of the sounds which characterise the English language The sounds of th, whether in the word the or in the word thick, cost then no little labour. I hare seen a teaobcr labour fir bra minutes with the word thong, and to little purpose. It was tong or long or fong. Strange to say, the Welsh have those sounds very prevalent, so had and have the Greeks, but the Gael, the Roman, and th German knew them not. Z ask you, then, is it fair, is it reasonable, thitt children born under such a disalvan'a^e should not ha*e some compensation—(applause)— seeing tbat it is, to say the least of it, their misfi rtune and not their fault, and if so I come to the practical remedy. The 'members ot this Society are well aware that years ago, through the exertion of some friends of the Highlands in Edinburgh, aided by Mr Fraser-Mackintoah, the Government, through their Education Department, conceded the t. aching of Gaelic during school hours. What has come of it? Nothing, so far as I know; I have not heard of a single Gaelic class in any school within the range of my observation. Nor do I wonder, for School Boards are against it, teachers are against it, and even parents are against it, entailing, as it does, additional labour and no remuneration. Butnowene step further, let it be conceded that Gaelic be made a special subjeot, and that a pass in it be made equal to a pass in French and German, and why net? Let the pass be first for reading the Gaelic Bible—next for r. ailing and spelling—next for reading, spelling, and writing—aad next for reading, writing, spelling, and parsing; and then an act of justice, certainly of tardy justice, will be done to these ohildren. You sh ;11 have a class in every Highland soheol. A mighty change will be effeoted in the minda of all concerned, and yon will secure for the language which you love an additional artery of life. (Cheers.) He coupled the toa«t with Mr D. Campbell.
Mr Donald Campbell, editor of the Northern Chronicle, in reply said, that being called upon unexpectedly since he entered the room, he could hardly be expected to do justioe to snoh an important toast as "Gaelic Education." He ought, however, to know something about it, for he had himself been originally a schoolmaster. (Hear, hear.) He was afraid to say how long that was ago. He was strongly in favour of teaobing Gaelio in Highland schools. (Cheers.) He held it to be one of the most ancient and one of the most valuable languages we had—(hear, bear)—and declared that it was a disgrace to Highlanders, and especially to Highland School Boards, to have so long neglected it in the Schools. (Applause.) Mr Campbell became eloquent and enthusiastic in favour of the Highlanders, their literature and language, and declared that he did not see why they should not resi ond in Gaelic at the day of judgment. (Loud laughter.)
Captain Grant, Royal Tartan Warehouse, in a few words proposed the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council, to which the Provost replied, saying that it always gave him and the other members of Council the greatest pleasure to encourage the Gaelio Society, and he was more convinced to-night than ever he was that the Society deserved the active support of all true Highlanders. (Cheers.)
Mr G. J. Campbell, Solicitor, proposed the next toast—Clann nan Gaidhial an Quaiilibh a' ChtUe. Alter introducing the toast with a few remarks in Gaelic, Mr Campbell said—The subject of my toast is at once social and patriotic, and to a considerable extent egotistic. In its social aspect this sentiment (which is the motto of our Society) suits in the absttact all societies or combinations of men, and such a gathering as we bave present this evening is but an outward and visible sign of tbat "happiness of life" which goes a Ion* way to negative the supposed truism that "society is no comfort to one not sociable." We come to the festive table once a year to renew our rusty friendships, make new acquaintances in the march of progress, and thus, as iron shaipaneth iron, we help to deoxidise one another in matters of special interest to onr Society. This Society has now lived up to the end of its first decade, and from the small beginning made by a few Highlanders in Inverness in 1871, we bave increased year by year until we bave n.w about 400 members on our roll. (Applause.) But this is not the only outcome of the start then made, for we may say that several, if not most of the Celtic societies throug .out the country have come to the front, if not all with new life, at least with renewed energy since our appearance on the stage. (Applause.) This illustrates the prescience of the gentlemen who instituted t! is Society, and the characteristic trait in the Highlanders, that when they have a good objeot in view, notwithstanding all obloquy and opposition, they stand true to their purpose and keep shoulder to shoulder, come weal come woe. (Applause.) I apprehend, gentlemen, that this toast menus more than can be gathered from the tame and not sufficiently expressive paraphrase of it which can be rendered into idiomatic English. It means more than simply a lot of men standing side by side as our vulgar English version has it—more than simple association or co-operation. I take it to convey the idea not only of cohesion, but incorporation of the various member* of the body Celtic into one living mass, so that by its unified influence it en command that admiration and respect which a disorganised body baa no power to attract. The Society must bo composed of living and active members, and in order to attain the common object they must act with tbat determination and solidity of purpose represented in the Highland chief's noble reply te hi* tormentt r—
False Wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan,
(Applause.) Without this feeling pervading our id*>as of oar duty as members of this brave and noble raoe represented by the name Highlander we shall, with all the counteracting and baneful influences at work for our denationalisation be very much in danger of falling into that nomadism which Cmljlo so much detests, and which he "perceives to be prohibitory of any good whataofver." Cailyle indeed speaks of "that singular phenomenon" which be calls swannery—ox the "gatheriug of men in swarms," and with evident irony exclaims, "and what prodigies they are in the habit nf doing and believing when thrown into that miraculous condition." There is much truth, however, under this sarcastic crust, and though we may not attain to the summit of our ambition, " Highlanders shoulder to shoulder " can yet be a power for good in the special fields which we are now exploring and cultivating as a Ga. lie Society, and this Geld has a wide range Hs seen from our constitution. (Hr r, hear.) The patriotic as ect of the toast is but an enlargement of what I have already said. We are not always successful in carrying out our aims. We recently, both last year and this, tried to procure a census of the Gatlicspeaking population of Scotland, a work which could he easilv and inexpensively accomplished with the general census, but Government has n fused. Probably a little more enthusiasm could have influenced the Home Secretary, but I regret to say we have fnil*»d this time. There are important questions connected with the relations of the people to the land under the consideration not only of Highlanders, but of Scotchmen in general, though this society has taken no put in these. I do not see that the Celt should be contemned because he takes a lively interest in a matler of so much importance to him. The Highlander is a peace-loving, law abiding, loyal subject, but while he does not foieversubti.it to oppression without grumbling under the yoke, he is not to be classed with knaves and traitors. A writer to whom I have already referred puts the question, "Whose land was this of Britain? God's, who made it. Who of God's creatures hud right to live iu it? The wolves and bisons. Yes, they; till one with a better right showed himself. The Cell, 'aboriginal savage of Europe,' as a snarling antiquary names him, arrived, pretending to have a better right, and did accordingly, not without pain to the bison, make good the same. He had a better right to that piece of land, viz., a right to turn it to use." Highlanders, let us not see our land again under the dominion of the wolves and bisons 1—
Now, chiefs and senators, ye patriot band,
(Applause.) I must be done, but without exhausting my subject. For how much of liberty and progress is our country indebted to our Covenanters, army, navy, fen cities, volunteers, and the various patriotic—truly patriotic—associations that shed lustre on, our national history 1 Let me close by adapting those glowing lines of Burns—
Oh, let us not, like snarling curs,
In wrangling be divided,
And wi' a rung decide it.
Amang oorsels united,
Mr Colin Chisholm, who was warmly applauded, said—Fhir na oathrach, fhir na bonn-chathrach, agus a dhaoin-uaisle,—Tha iad a' cur mu m' cholnneatnbsa facal no dba a radh, an cots na thuirt mo charaid Mr Caimbeul, ami an luaidh air "Clann nan G lidheal an guaillibh a cheile." Anns a' chiad dol sios, is duilioh learn gu bheil again ri aideachadh nach 'eil iad aig a' h-uile h-am cho dileas "an gtittillibh a cheile" 's a hu mhath learn iad a hhitb. Is trie mi smaoiateachadh learn fhein gu 'm faodteadh a radh m' ar timchioll rud-eigin mar thuirt Iain Mantitach—
San uair theid gach cinnp a dh-aon-taohh
Agus cha'n e tnhain gu bh<il coid de na comuini; Ghttiillualicli nnch 'eil cho aonjgf ul ich *■ a bu mhath leinn, ach is tmm 'a is duilich ham gu bheil Hinemt agus foimeart fo 'n leth a muigh gu trie a' sgaoi.oadh mo luchd-duthch* taol eh agus an 'n cur f*r an doirbh dbaibh a bbi "an guaillibh a cheile." (Iolaoh.) Nach bu truagli an t-ath«rrachadh a thainig air sluagh na duthcha so aig toiscach na linn so fhein, an uair a chaidh 5400 de na G&ldhell fhogradh a Gleann Garaidb, Cnoideart. Stratbghlals, sgns Coire-Mhnnaidh, agus an cur a null thar fairge gu America Bhreatunnach. Ooirid roimh *n am sin thog Tighearna Gblinne-gsraidh reiieamaid do dhaoine ro thapaidh air an oighreachd a«e fhein. Anns a' bbliadhna. 1777, thog Ian Ghlinne-Gnraidh re'seamaid anna an rohh oa cionn mile agua oeithir fichead fe-*r; agu« ain uile. nun an duthaich anna naoh faighear an diugh tichead Donullach, no ttni'iaeacb as hith ach Ha h hheothaiohean na fridhe. agus oaoirich agus coin chiobairean. (Mor iolach.) Bha »n Ceilteach agua an t-Ard Albannach am nv asg Ghaidhral America air a' bhliadhna so cbaidh, agus tha iad ag innseadh dhuinn gu bheil na miltean de Ghaidheil beo an diugb ann an Ceann Tuath America, a rngadh ann an glinn ar dutbcba agua a chaidh fhogar a dh-aindeoin a tir an dutbcbais. So agaibh a chunntaia a thug an "Ceiltach coir" dhuinn ait a choinnidh mhor a aheaa ann aa bhaile-so air an 211a don mhioa ao chaidh, an run Laghanan an fbearain atharaohadh. "'Nuair chunntadh an slnagh a'm bliadbna 1871 bha ann an cearnaidh Nova Scotia na h-aonar 14,316 do shluagb a rugadh an Alba, 7558 a rngadh an Eirinn. agua 4000 a rngadh an Saaunn. Agus ann am Morroinn Chanada 550,000 de ahliochd Albannach. Agua a chuid is modha de'n aireamh mhor ain na'n clftnn Gbaidheal." Nach b-i&d na daoine gun chiall na Tighearnan Ghaidhealach a cbuir air falhh an cuid slnaigh? Cha d' thug mi dhuibh ach beagan de'n aineart a cbaidh a dheanamh am bun an dornia againn a' ao, ach clia cheadaioh bhur n-uine dhomh dnl thairis air na thaohair de'n obair egriosail cheudna ann an aiteacban eile. Ach diubhalach agua ma tha an caramh a thainig air an t-alnagb, neo-ar-tbaing mur d' eirich a' cheart cho olo do'n lucbd-foirneart, oir air an latha 'n diugb, tha a' chuid mhor dhinhh gun phloc fearainn, agus gun sion a lathair ach an droch ainm a choisinn iad daihh fein, a^us an deadh cbliu a bha aig an aithriohean. (Caithream ) Olc 's mar bba bhuil. tha mi toilichte nach drachaidh cur aa gn buileach do na Gaidheil, agus a reir coltais tha an t-am dlnth anna aa eirioh a' ghrian orra fhathaat. (Iolach.) Tha iad a' togail an cinn ; agus is i mo bharailsa ged nach biodh againn ach an cotnunn cridheil so fhein, cruinn fo bhratach Comunn Gaidhealach Inbhirnis, gu 'm faodamaid misneach a ghabhail a chionn gu bheil comhlan cho tnigseach, gramail a' ghabhail os laimh sealltainn aa deigh ar cor agus ar leas a chnr am feobhas. (Iolach.) Mar mhisneach, do chlanna nan Gaidheal, agus gu neartacbadh an toil gu aeasamb, theirinn riu, mar thuirt Donull Gobba, am P.,ml Glaiseach—
Na gabhaihh eagal a cuan,
Dean of Guild Mackeszie, editor of the Celtic Magazine, proposed the next toast—the Non-Resident Members. He had quite determined not to make any speech on that occasion. He believed the Provost waa quite satisfied with the amount of oratorical eloquence which he inflicted upon him "in another place" (Laughter.) But they had given him a toast of Mich importance as usual, indeed, with all due deference to the others, the most important on the list. (Chefrs and laughter.) Where would the Gaelio Society be without its non resident members—(hear, hear)—who composed more than three-fourths of its membership, and whose subscriptions enabled their excellent Secretary to present Buch a sati-factory report earlier in the evening? (Cheers.) The faot waa that they received the vreater part of their funds, and the beat contributions to their Annual Volume of Transactions, from their non-resident members—(applause)—and he considered it a great honour to he allowed to propose their health. (Cheers.) Trne, althongh they were unable to attend our ordinary meetings, tbey were presented annually with our Transactions in return for their subscriptions, and this, altogether apart from the satisfaction they must derive from doine good by becoming members, waB a good return for their five shilling subscription. The volumes would realise now about seven shillings and sixpence each in the book market—(cheers)—and indeed could not be procured at that. He thought tliey might fairly congratulate themselves as a society on the scquisition among them that night, and as a future resident in the town, of the Editor of the Northern Chronicle, who had made such an enthusiastic ami patriotic speech that evening. (Loud applause.) Such sentiments as he had civ.n such eloquent utterance might be the most genuine Toryism. (Loud laughter). If so. he (Mr Mackenzie) waa in hearty sympathy with him—(hear, hear)—and a most excellent Tory. (Cheers and laughter.) There was another matter to which slight reference had been made during the evening, although it hud no direct bearing on the toist, to which he would wish to refer, namely, the mean, shabby, and scurvy treatment by the Government of their request that a column should be inserted in the census schedule! with the view "f obtaining an accurate statement of all the Gaelic speak;ng people in the country. (Loud cheers.) This demand w„s made not only by their own Gaelic Society, but by almost every Highland Society in the kingdom ; but the Government had refused their request on the low ground that the information desired was not worth the cost. (Cries of shahhy.) Had their claim been refined on any ground of principle, the Highlanders would be better able to tolerate ihe oonductof the Government. If there was anything calculated to turn him into a Tory it was the mean conduct of the Government in this matter. He believed that If they had a Government with a alight tinge of Jaoehltlim In their eonititution they would get what was wanted without any trouble. (Applause). He hoped the Gaelio Sooiety of Inverness, and the other Societies throughout the country, would persevere, even if they should be charged with imitating the Irish to some extent, and would not submit to such a snub as they had got without thoroughly resenting it. (Applause.) Returning to the subject of the toast, he would couple it with the name of a gentleman whom they bad the pleasure of seeing here before at one of their annual re-uuious, and on this occasion, he understood, actually timed hi* journey from Ceylon so as to be among them that night. (Cheers.) He alluded to Mr George Murray Campbell—(loud applause)—a genuine Highlander, who had a warm heart for bit oout.trymen and for their langnage—(cheers)—and who was never happier than when he was amongst them. It was gratifying to see gentlemen like Mr Campbell getting on so well abroad as to be able to viait the mother country periodically Ms he was in the habit of doing. (Cheers.) Although absent for nearly twenty years, hi- spoke Gaelic to-day as well as any member of the Gaelic Sooiety. (Cheers.) He hid much pleasure in asking them to drink to the Non-Resident Members, coupled with the name of Mr George Murray Campbell. (Applause.)
Mr Campbell, who was warmly reoeived, stated in reply how glad he was to meet the members of the Gaelio Society. He described how he and other Highlanders abroad met to the number of twenty or Bo of an evening up the country, and sang Gaelio songs and made Gaelic speeches often to the terror of passers by. These meetings enabled them to keep fresh the recollections and associations of the old country, and to retain their native language as perfect and pure as when they left home. (Cheers.) They bad iu Ceylon done their share for the Celtic professorship. (Cheers.) He strongly recommended young men of push and energy, who were not fairiy treated in their native land, to follow his example and go abroad. They would soon get on there, if persevering and steady. For every chanoe at home there were twenty looking for it—(hear, hear)— but abroad there was plenty room for every one, and energy and push was sure to be rewarded by success. (Hear, here.) He was very glad to meet them, and thanked them heartily for the manner in which the toast and his own name were received. (Applause.)
Councillor Charles Mackay proposed the Clergy of all Denominations, and it waa responded to by the
Rev. Messrs Macgreoor and Mackenzie. The latter in doing so said—I have to thank you very muoh for your kind feelings towards my brethren and myself. I have been at meetings of this kind before, and have not considered myself out of my place; for though I am a minister of the Gospel, and consider it my highest honour and privilege to be so, I am also a Highlander, and I cherish the deepest interest in all that conoerna the welfare of my countrymen—(cheers)—and of all the languages I know there is none I love so muoh or have studied so long as the language whioh it is the object of this Sooiety to uphold and cultivate. (Applause.) I should have much pleasure in being here were it but to support your excellent Chairman—(cheers)—whom I had the benefit of having for eleven years as a member of my congregation, and with whom and with whose family I hold it a privilege still to stand on the old friendly footing. Aa regards the Gaelio language, I feel confident that it shall yet speak to the world in a way men have never dreamt of. (Cheers.) In that very interesting addresa to whioh we have just listened from Mr Mackay on the literature of the Gael, he spoke of reference to Gaelic in the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries. Let me assure you that the existence of this language is not to be reckoned by centuries but by imlleniums. (\pplausa.) By the Book of Deer we are brought up at once to the ninth century, wheu Gaelic was the spoken language of the distriot of Buchan. The poems of Onsian bring us up to the third, or at the latest the fourth century, and then it can be proved to demonstration by the Roman and Greek geographers of the Christian era that Gaelic was alive and hearty in their day slso. (Applause.) Let me say, then, lest I should forget it, how much I enjoyed the specimen of Evan Maclauohlan'a translation of the Iliad furnished by Mr Sutherland of Strathbraan—himself a man of no ordinary scholarship and culture(obeers)—to the last number of the Celtic Magazine, and how cordially I join in his dasire, that the enterprising and redoubtable editor of that publication, now present with us, should do his utmost to procure every line of that translation. (Applause.) I do believe be could not bestow a more acceptable boon upon his readers than to put into an imperishable shape one of the most, if not the most faithful, the most spirited, and the most expressive renderings ever made into any language of the works of the immortal Bard of Greece. (Loud applause.)
The other toasts were the Press, by Councillor Jonathan Ross, and replied to by Mr TVhyte ; the Chairman, by Mr John Macdonald, drank with Highland honours, and. acknowledged by the Chairman; the Croupiers, by Dr Mackenzie; the Secretary, by Mr John Marshall; and the Host and Hostess.
During the evening Gaelic and Scotch songs were sung by Mr Whyte, Mr W. Mackay, and Mr Celin Chiaholm.