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eastern neighbours, and such a movement Muley Hassan's successor would be powerless to check. At Ghadames the French may almost any day come into conflict with the Senoussi confraternity, for they are displaying military activity in that quarter, and the place is said to be devoted to the interests of the Mahdi of Jerboub. That the forces of Islam involved in the widespreading ramifications of the Senoussi sect menace the existence of French authority in North Africa it would be exaggeration to allege; that they even threaten its security to a serious extent may not perhaps be the case; but that they oppose a barrier to a French annexation of the great tracts intervening between Senegal and Algeria there can be no question. A false move on the part of the Paris Government, of the executive in Algiers or Tunis, or even of some subordinate official on the southern confines of the French possessions, might of a sudden arouse the fanaticism of the dwellers beyond the outposts, and the news of it would spread like wildfire over the Sahara and the Soudan. Then Mohamed el Mahdi might think his time was come, might proclaim religious war, and might bring into play the vast resources placed at his command by the strange organisation that bears his name. Senoussi has shown no taste for strife. The Mahdi is not to be a man of war. But it is the unexpected which always happens in these lands, and the sheikh may find some day circumstances too strong for him. That these people when they muster under the banner of Islam for fight are formidable the insurrection in the Soudan has served to show.

It does not by any means necessarily follow that a resort to arms on the part of the Senoussi con

fraternity should be preceded by, or should involve, a proclamation by the recluse of Jerboub that he is the Messiah. The intentions, the hopes, and the views, as regards his own rôle on earth, of Mohamed el Mahdi are not known. But it must be confessed that this mysterious personage has some excuse for believing himself to be, as his father said he was, the Mahdi whose coming is expected. A mystic being enshrouded in an atmosphere of saintliness, dwelling in a convent citadel remote from the world; a man of piety and prayer, who has, slowly and for a long time unnoticed, been at work regenerating whole races by means of emissaries quoting a few simple religious dogmas; a man given the name of Mahdi, but not claiming it; a man, moreover, fulfilling many of the conditions that the looked-for Messiah is to fulfil,Senoussi the younger may really think that he is what his disciples hope him to be. Nor does it follow that the assumption by the sheikh of Jerboub, publicly and without reserve, of the position of Mahdi, would involve grave political consequences, or that it would greatly extend the influence of his sect. But it is characteristic of the Moslem faith that in its history and its development politics are ever blended with religion, and that it is when the imagination and emotions of its disciples are worked on, that startling and strange events occur. Senoussi the younger has for more than thirty years headed a great religious movement; he has reached the afternoon of life, and evening is stealing upon him: if he believes himself to be the Mahdi, or if he intends to pose as such, he should be up and doing. Will he be gathered to his fathers a prophet, or will he sink into the grave merely a high priest?



"THE face of a country," says Joyce, in his admirable book on Irish place - names, "is a book which, if it be deciphered correctly and read attentively, will unfold more than ever did the cuneiform inscriptions of Persia or the hieroglyphics of Egypt." Very true: the names of places, like the heraldic signature of an old family, tell their story through long ages, with an emphasis to which only the utterly crude and unlettered can remain deaf. Thus Constantinople tells to all intelligent people not the mere story of the Turks who now hold it, but the story of the Roman Emperor who, in the first half of the fourth century, virtually deserted Rome, and by planting himself in the midst of old Greek colonies, changed the empire of the Latins into an empire of the Greeks, which carried the language of Plato and St Paul through a whole thousand years as a living bridge betwixt the past and the present, centuries after the classical Latin of Cicero and Virgil had fallen into ruin, and been changed into an entirely new form by the genius of Dante and his Florentine followers. In like manner Adrianople, in spite of its Turkish dress, speaks to us audibly now, as it did through the long course of the middle ages, of the Catholic-minded omnipresence of the best of Roman Emperors, who ruled a mighty empire as a good


landlord does his estate, by living amongst his people, and caring for them individually as a father does for his children. In like fashion Alexandria in Egypt speaks of Alexander of Macedonia, and the wonderful military romance with which, in the course of a few years, he embraced the whole East as far as the Jordan with a sweep of Hellenic culture, destined in due season to open the whole world to the preaching of a Christian gospel in the language of the heathen Greeks. And again, the name of Cæsarea, the great harbour of Palestine, gives the signal to the rising power of Rome in the East from Augustus Cæsar downwards, the ejection of the Hebrews from their old sacred capital under Titus, and the gradual transformation of the western half of the old civil government of Rome into an ecclesiastical monarchy under the Pope.

It is no wonder, therefore, especially in this age of rapid movement and easy travel, that books on topographical philology should be in the hands of tourists; and Scotland is a country in this respect particularly happy, in being able to number such thorough workers as Sir Herbert Maxwell, Mr Johnston, Professor Mackinnon, and Mr MacDonald, as her guides through this region of interesting localities of the past. For guides are certainly required, and hard workers too; for obvious

1. Scottish Land-Names: their Origin and Meaning. By Sir Herbert Maxwell. Edinburgh: Blackwood & Sons, 1894.

2. Place-Names of Scotland. By the Rev. James B. Johnston, B.D., Falkirk. Edinburgh: Douglas, 1892.

3. Place-Names of Argyllshire. By Professor Mackinnon, in the Scotsman' newspaper, 1888.

4. Place-Names of Strathbogie. By James MacDonald, F.S. A. Scot. Aberdeen Wylie, 1891.

as not a few names are which stand in the foreground of general history, the moment we descend into local designations, we find the significance of local names hidden from vulgar view by a mask through which only a curious historico- philological eye can pierce; and this difficulty is found specially in Scotland, a country which, from the time of the Picts and Scots with whom the Romans had to do, has been occupied by a race who speak a language now unintelligible to the great mass of book-making and book - reading people in the three islands. The language is Gaelic, the same as the dialect of the Celtic spoken by our brave Highlanders who fought at Waterloo, and who preach at Dingwall and Inverness, with a certain infusion of the cognate member of the Celtic family in Wales, and a close tie of sisterhood with the Irish of the present day. In addition to this, there came a strong linguistic contagion from the north, which, while it entirely de-Celticised Orkney and Shetland, left not a few distinct traces of its action in the Hebrides and all along the west coast of Scotland and of England, as far south as the Isle of Man. In the main, however, it is in Gaelic, the language used every Sunday by Christian preachers to Christian people in the regions north of Perth, that the places through which the Highland tourist passes tell their tale; and this makes their signature as unintelligible to the great majority of travelling questioners as if it had been Hebrew or Finnish or Chinese. But there is a certain amount of delusion here, natural enough no doubt both to Englishmen and Scotsmen, brought up, as they generally are, in total ignorance of their philological surround

ings; the fact of the matter being, that in dealing with Gaelic the Englishman or Lowland Scot is dealing with a sister tongue, where, without pretending to any curious philological science, he must expect to find evident traces of near relationship. When a Scot goes across the German Ocean to Germany or Holland, Norway or Denmark, he must be very stupid indeed if, in every shopwindow and in every flying newspaper, he does not know to meet an old friend in a new dress. And, though the relationship of Gaelic to English is much less close than the tie that binds English to German, still it is there, and presents itself with such striking features of family likeness as to secure recognition without any very formal introduction. In what class of words, let us ask, should we expect to find the original identity of the old stock most palpably preserved? course, in words of the most common and necessary use, denoting things and persons that belong to human life, from the cradle to the grave, and from the green meadow to the hill-top, - things which were not only near to the eyes and native to the life of the earliest speakers, but which are of a nature the very last possible to be affected by the invasion of strangers or the whims of fashion, such words as athar, mathair, brathair-words as plainly identical with the Lat. pater, mater, and frater, as the Fr. père, mère, and frère. Then lift up your eyes to the light when you awake from sleep, and you see solus, the light, plainly the Lat. sol, the sun, as opposed to the dorchadas or dark


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out of which you have stept. You leap briskly up, and plant your foot on your mother earth-talamh-Lat. tellus, and


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enjoy the freshness of the green grass, feur, Lat. vir-idis, on the Eng. lawn, a word immortalised also in our mighty London -the dun or fort on the low ground beside the Thames—and familiar also to the Welsh ear in llan, seen in Lanark, and a few other Scottish names. You then look up to the peak of the lofty ben-Lat. pinna-which bounds your view, and casting your eye around, you are pleasantly lost in the luxuriant wealth of the adjacent forest-coille, Lat. silva, Gr. An, and the graceful leafage of the lady-birch (beith) — betula. You enter the pine-grove behind your cottage, and are surprised to find that both this grove and this cottage assault your ears under the slightly modified form of craob and tigh-Lat. tignum. Then, if you are fond of bathing, you take a dip in the water that flows through the glen, and find that the bath which you are enjoying means in Gaelic bath, to drown, evidently the same as the Gr. ẞáπтw, from which comes our baptise. Then you ask the peasant boy whom you meet after your dip what is the name of the river, and what is the Gaelic for water: the river, he says, is called the Esk, and the Gaelic for water is uisge. "Uisge!" you say, "that sounds very like whisky," and so it is unquestionably, as the schoolmaster may tell you-uisge-beatha, the full Gaelic for the strong drink of the mountains, being neither more nor less than a compound of uisge, water, and beatha, life, evidently the Lat. vita-eau de vie, as the French call it. But what is uisge? which appears also in the name of more than one Scottish river. The Esk is simply uisge, the water, the oldest form of the Lat. aqua, which appears also, probably, in the Gr. 'Axel@os: and if further you happen

to have been at Aberfeldy, in beautiful Perthshire, singing to yourself "The Birks of Aberfeldy," in a glen where no birches are now to be seen, you will certainly have visited the rush of waters to the south of the town called the Falls of Moness, which is simply a descriptive name composed of eas, a modification of the same root, and monadh, a high brow-Lat. mons or moine, the Gaelic for peats, which are generally cut from the high ground. And not only in the Scottish Highlands, but in England also, and partially over all Europe, you will find that the names of rivers which, for obvious reasons, chiefly resist change of time, have a Gaelic or very old Aryan touch about them. This appears in the familiar name of the Avon, well known to all devout pilgrims to the land of Shakespeare, which is only a Celtic softening of the Lat. amnem, and which appears sometimes curtailed into on or the simple n. Thus in France we have the Garonne, which in plain Gaelic is garb-abhuinn, or rough water; and probably enough the final n in the Seine, the Rhone, and the Rhine has the same origin.

Another common name for river, both in England and Scotland, is don, from Gaelic doimhne, deep, or donn, dark-brown, which appears as simple Don in Aberdeen, anciently called Aberdon, and in England, Doncaster, with the familiar addition of caster, or Roman camp. And not only so, but the noble Thames itself, like the town of which it is the belt, is of Celtic origin, being obviously identical with tamh, Gr. Saμów, Eng. tame, from which also the Highland Tay, as contrasted with the roughness of the Garry and the downflow (taom, Lat. tumeo) of the Tummel, receives its significant designation.

And not only rivers, but wherever we turn our eyes, the great features of the country and the names of the oldest abodes of "food-eating mortals" speak to us, in language strange only to those who are unpractised to discover an old friend with a new face. Ard, Lat. arduus, meets us everywhere; ach, a field, Lat. ager, Gr. dypós; inver and aber, Lat. infra, at the confluence of rivers -like Coblentz from confluentia. And in our pedestrian tours through the roadless wilderness of the Bens, whether we cross a deep pool (linne, Gr. Xíuvn, old Eng. lin), or a torrent roaring like a bull (the Tarf, Lat. taurus, Gr. Taupos), or a rough ridge (drum, Lat. dorsum), or slide down a sloping brae (sliabh, Lat. clivus), we are always on ground where an intelligent young prizeman fresh from Eton or Fettes will find himself as much at home as if, on a benefit night at Drury Lane or the Lyceum, he were to behold a fair friend paraded in old English dress to play the part of Cordelia or Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare.

So far well. "Plain sailing," you will say; "but are there no rocks, no shallows?" Certainly. The one great difficulty in Gaelic is the same as in English to all foreigners-the pronunciation. In other languages, as Italian and German, if you know how to spell a word you know how to pronounce it: the printed word indicates the spoken sound. In Gaelic it is often otherwise in some cases, indeed, systematically otherwise; but the irregularity in these cases is subject to a law, which a discriminating ear can lightly comprehend. This and all other specialties in the practice of the languages, which age after age have left their traces on Scottish local names, will be found learnedly discussed in the

second, third, and fourth chapters of Sir Herbert Maxwell's masterly volume; but for popular purposes, the main point as it affects the pronunciation of Gaelic words is simply this: When a language in a fixed literary form passes into a new language, under foreign influences such as Latin when it became French-new ears and new habits of articulation combine to give the old word a new form, by a process which may best be compared to the change which a rough chip of granite suffers when its edges are smoothed off by the flow of the mountain torrent, or the plash of the ocean wave. This process, as observed in Gaelic, shows itself principally in three forms-simple curtailment, dropping of initial or terminational affixes; shaving or softening down a rough letter into its cognate smooth; or last, in absolute extrusion of the rough letter, with the consequent resolution of two syllables into one. Thus, exactly as in Italian the Lat. laborem becomes lavoro, so in Gaelic, b becomes bh v in the flexion of verbs and nouns; and generally this h is used in Gaelic not merely for softening the consonant to which it is appended, but for absolute extrusion, as soirbheas, pronounced soeras, and so forth. Another familiar example is gabhar, a goat, which, as it appears to the eye, is plainly a softened variety of the Lat. caper, a goat; but when the h with its overwhelming smoothness is allowed to sweep away the labial consonant altogether, the ear finds only gour left, as in Ardgour, Kilgour, and other familiar names of places and persons, in which it requires the practised ear of a philologer to recognise the original type. But more confounding still it is when the extrusion of the medial

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