Of the other northern nations other writers. I am going to tell you something about the nation which in histories of England are called the Scots. Now the Scots, who, in alliance with the Picts made such havoc among the degenerate Britons, were in fact the Irish, who at some very early period, overflowing out of Ireland, occupied the western counties of Scotland. The Highlanders and the Irish of Ireland were one race of people whom the old historians called Scoti or Scots. They spoke the same language, and had the same manners and customs, and the same traditions, the same music and the same songs. A great many of their songs and stories lingered a long time in the Highlands, and were believed to have been made by a poet called Ossian. In Ireland a still greater number remained in the minds of the people. These songs and stories, too, were attributed to Ossian or to friends of Ossian, and have been from time to time written down on paper or on parchment. In these stories we learn a great deal about Ossian, his friends and acquaintances, what sort of men they were, and how they lived. I do not say that everything related about them is true, but when we compare these stories with what is known historically about the conquerors of the Roman Empire, we can see thatthe people amongst whom Ossian lived must have been very like the people of the Ossianic stories, and that Finn, who was the father of Ossian, Oscur his son, Diarmid his chivalrous cousin, Caelta, MacLewy, and the rest were very brave, upright, true- hearted, and affectionate men, who in their forests and their rude simple homes preserved certain virtues which the Romans and the Romanised Britons had lost in spite of all their wealth.

 

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Finn and His Companions -Standish O'Grady 1921

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