Excerpt from The Celtic Review, Vol. 4: July, 1907 to April, 1908
To know the native literature will help rather than hinder the study Of the literature and history Of other races. George Buchanan was the greatest scholar that Scotland ever pro duced, and no one has ever said... that his knowledge Of Gaelic, his mother tongue, hampered his scholarship, or hindered his advancement as a man of affairs. The study Of Gaelic constantly enlarges the mind and opens up new vistas Of thought and research. It supplies subjects Of conversation better than the threadbare topics Of ordinary life in town and country. The nature poetry Of Gaelic, a poetry that existed centuries before Wordsworth both in Wales and in Scotland, helps us to cherish the love Of the beautiful, and Victor Hugo has said that the Beautiful is as useful as the Useful.' The fascinating folklore and tales Of the Highlands, ifintelligently studied, will lead to a larger interest in the folklore Of other countries - a rich field for mental culture. Folklore,' says one authority, has an inherent though long unsuspected faculty Of throwing light backwards on the history of human civilisation.' It is said that in Brittany is to be found the richest and most developed folklore in the world, the best stories and songs.' Now, had the Bretons lost their Old language these treasures would also have been lost. It is only in recent years that learned men have come to realise that there exists in Brittany a popular literature Of extraordinary wealth. Every effort is being made to preserve these treasures. We, too, have our treasures: let us prize and cherish them. Our best literature loses its aroma when translated, and only yields the secret Of its charm to the Gaelic reader. There is much material both in Old and modern Gaelic for the cultivation Of the imagination, and the education Of the mind and heart. TO mention but one writer, what a fine humanising kindly Spirit breathes through the works Of Dr. Norman m'leod. He is as good in his own way as any Of the modern English writers Of the school Of Barrie and Ian m'laren. His splendid command Of idiom, his dignified and nervous Gaelic, his human tenderness and humour are a liberal education.
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