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and a-half ago, or about a century and a-half after the event, his statements are of considerable weight compared with tradition. There is likewise the authority of "Rare Scottish Tracks," quoted in Buchan's History of the Family of Keith, and so far as can be seen, similar testimony is borne therein to that of Sir Robert's in almost his own words. The affair is put down "About the year of God 1478," and there is so little difference in the p"hraseology of the two authorities that it is not easy to 6ay whether Sir Robert copied from the " Rare Scottish Tracks," or if the latter were slightly altered from the text of Sir Robert The Highlanders called Cruner George Gunn "Fear Na'm Braisteach More," on account of a great brooch which he wore to indicate his office of Crowner or Coroner.
It is clear, however, that the Gunns must have latterly been hard pressed, for war was carried to their very doors of Haberry Castle. In the Origines Parochiales Scotise there occurs the following sentence:— "Betwixt Midle Cleyth and Easter Clyth, five miles to the E.N.E. of the church, there are a great many stones standing in a rank and order." This is based on a statement taken from the Macfarlane Geographical Collection. There is a tradition, however, in the locality that a battle took place there between the Keiths and the Gunns—the distance from Haberry Castle being about three fourths of a mile. The place is called the Hill of Mannistanes, or standing stones. The Keiths had nearly vanquished the Gunns through the powerful efforts of "Keach Mor," or the Big Keith, who weilded a huge two-edged claymore, and slew four or five of the picked men of the Gunns—one after the other. The day was about won by the Keiths, when one of the Gunns who had been lying on the ground wounded, gave the "Keach Mor" a back stroke which divided the main tendon of one of his legs. The wound disabled the Keach Mor from further fighting, and thus so dispirited the Keiths that they withdrew from the field, leaving the Gunns victorious, though sorely exhausted. After the "Keach Mor" had recovered from his wounds, he left the county, to which he never afterwards returned. Associated with him, it is said, while fighting the battle was the devil in the shape of a huge raven on one of the Keach's shoulders. He assisted the Keach by tearing the eyes out of the sockets of some of the Gunns, but the priest from the Clyth Chapel, who accompanied the Gunns, knowing the character he had to deal with, administered some of his spiritual lotions, which completely neutralised the influence of his sable majesty. As the number who fought on each side was about the same, the Gunns commemorated the day by burying the dead of both sides in regular rows, and setting up a standing stone at the head of each warrior. We have heard slight modifications of the foregoing statement. There are three theories to account for the standing stones, assuming that they have any connection with the Gunns or with a battle between the Keiths and the Gunns. Frst, that the hill was a graveyard; second, that the stones were erected to commemorate a battle; and third, that the stones were put up for defensive purposes or in preparation for a battlo. The first theory is easily exploded, because a few hundred yards to the south ot Haberry Castle, lies the silent graveyard of the district which surrounded the little chapel at Mid-Clyth for ages, while the third theory is untenable in respect that under no possible circumstances would a clan at the period in question have raised such a line of defence connected with warlike purposes. The second theory is the only one that can be viewed in any favourable light, and it is confirmed by tradition coming down from generation to generation. A superstitious dread protected the standing stones from destruction for centuries, but latterly part of them were used for building and other purposes. A small farmer at Bruan is said to have removed one of the stones from the hill of Mannistanes for the lintel of the fire-place of a kiln, but every time he kindled his fire the stone became a flame, but was never consumed, so that the farmer never had any peace until he returned the stone to the exact place from which he had removed it. The tradition is given for what it is worth.
(Jo be Continued.) Wick. G. M. SUTHERLAND.
A New Collection Of Gaelic Songs, under the name of " Clarsach na Coille," is about to be issued to the public. Such a publication—a Collection of Gaelic songs from the backwoods of Canada—will be a new thing in Scotland. The compiler, the Rev. A. Maclean-Sinclair, already pretty well known to Gaelic students, even on this side of the Atlantic, is well qualified for the compiling and editing of such a work, for he has a most intimate acquaintance with the whole range of Gaelic poetry, and is a first-class Gaelic scholar, having closely studied the language and poetry of the Highlands since he could read. The book will extend to some 300 pages, and contains, first, a Memoir of the late bard, John Maclean, at one time of Coll, and latterly of Nova-Scotia—where he composed many of his best pieces; then follows forty-two of his poems, making up altogether about half the book. Second, come ten pieces from Dr Maclean's MS. Collection made in Mull about 1768, and taken to America by the bard Maclean in 1819. These poems are by Eachainn Bacach, Iain MacAilein, Anndra Mac an Easbuig, Mairearad Nighean Lachainn, and the fourth Maclean of Coll, one of those by the latter being composed on Ailean nan Sop, about 1537. Third, come forty poems from John Maclean's MS. Collection, including pieces by Iain Lorn, Callum a Ghlinne, Corporal Mackinnon, Triath Chlann Choinnich, and others—twenty of which are love songs of the very best kind. Ten or twelve poems, collected by Mr Sinclair himself, bring up the rear. One of these is by the Rev. Dr MacgTegor, author of the hymns; two by Piobaire Fhir Ghlinn-Alladail, author of " Thug mi'n oidhche raoir san airidh "; and two by Domhnull Donn Bhoth-Fhiunntain—in all about 100 poems, most of which have never appeared anywhere in print The value of the work is much enhanced by the addition of copious notes by the editor; while the language will be found idiomatic, and written in full accordance with the rules of Gaelic grammar and prosody. The work is printed, with his usual success and care, by Archibald Sinclair, Gaelic publisher, Glasgow.
"Dain Spioradail," a Collection of Gaelic Hymns, compiled and edited by the same rev. gentlemen, will be published on an early date by Maclachlan & Stewart, Edinburgh.
THE EARLY SCENES OF FLORA MACDONALD'S LIFE,
With Several Incidental Allusions To The
Remarkablk Adventures And Escapes Of The Unfortunate
Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
By the Rev. Alex, Macgregor, M.A, Inverness.
Part VT. There are many incidents in history to illustrate the various interesting features of the Highland character. In the earliest times it has been properly asserted, that the Highlanders owed allegiance to native chieftains, who acted like as many princes, and by whom the Scottish Kings were acknowledged as sovereigns, but that merely in name. Among these were the powerful Lords of the Isles, who flourished from remote times to the reign of King James V.* They were the chief rulers for ages over almost all the Hebride Isles, and exerted an influence over the greater part of the Highlands of Scotland. During the disturbances which distracted the Scottish nation after the death of James V., the independence of the Highland chiefs was still more confirmed. While in the seventeenth century the martial spirit declined in the Lowlands of Scotland, the Highlanders showed a decided superiority in the art of war. This well known feature of character infused into them a higher feeling of their own power, and rendered them more obstinate in their adherence to their native customs. This spirit was, however, considerably checked and severely chastened by Cromwell, within the range of their own fortresses. He planted strong garrisons in several places, commanded flying divisions of the army to traverso their mountains, gave orders to dismantle the castles of the chiefs, and compelled the clans to lay down their arms and give security for their future peaceful conduct After the restoration of the house of Stuart, to which the bravery of the Highlanders had so much contributed, the yoke imposed by Cromwell was removed from them—the fortresses which had been built for their subjugation were destroyed or forsaken—and the laws against the predatory expeditions of the Highlanders were no longer enforced. Under these circumstances the old constitution of the Clans was once more fostered and cherished.
The insurrection of 1715, in favour of the house of Stuart, and the wide-spread alarms created thereby, led to the adoption of various measures to break the power of the chiefs. One of the measures then adopted was the disarming of the Highlanders; but this was so negligently performed, that most of the adherents of the house of Stuart were able to conceal their weapons, in order to be used upon a more favourable opportunity against the reigning government. The chieftains were naturally very displeased, and used every effort possible to maintain their threatened power, by destroying the effect of the innovations with which the government sought to weaken the bonds of the Highland Clans. After the
* Vide "History of the Macdonalds and Lords of the Isles," by Mr Alexander Mackenzie, editor of the Celtic Magazine, Inverness.