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antiquity, thoroughly inconsistent with the state of affairs in Europe before the commencement of the Persian Empire. This fabric, therefore, of technical genealogies, and technical succession of ninety Kings before the Christian æra, cannot stand; and your countryman, Mr. Innes *, (a priest of the Scotch College in Paris,) has sufficiently exposed its weak foundation ; though in other respects a very mistaken writer.
To Gilla Coeman and Flan, of Bute Abbey, we owe the publication of the Regal List I mentioned : they were esteemed as able antiquaries by the majority of their contemporaries in the eleventh century; and the majority since their time (even our learned O'Flaherty) have adopted a popular error : I have done so in my youth ; but, on meeting with better guides, am not ashamed to retract. In the annals of Tigemach, and other ancient documents, I found that our more authentic notices are to be deduced from the building of Eamania | in Ulster, about 200 years before the Christian æra. The seven generations of Ultonian princes mentioned in the interval, prove this calculation to be pretty exact. Of what passed in Ireland before this Eamanian æra, little is known, except a few capital facts; such as the expedition of the Scots from Spain to Ireland, about 500 years before the birth of our Saviour; the legislation of Ollamh Fodhla, and his erection of apartments for the college of Fileas at Teamor, where they continued undisturbed under every revolution, and from thence spread with equal immunity through the neighboring provinces. These were facts which were too big for oblivion in any country, where the elements of literature were cultivated. These elements were imported from Spain, where the native Scytho-Celts held intercourse with the Phænicians and their Carthaginian posterity. It was in memory of these intercourses that the ancient Scots took occasionally and ostentatiously the name, Phenii. Hence the dialect among them called the Phenian, (the language of their jurisprudence preserved to this day, but not understood by me or any other Irish scholar in this kingdom);. and hence the number of Phænician terms discovered by Colonel Vallancey in our old intelligible writings.
*“ In 1729 appeared Innes' invaluable Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland, in 2 vols. 4to. and 8vo. This work forms a grand epoch in our antiquities, and was the first that led the way to rational criticism on them. His greatest merit lies in publishing the Old Chronicles and other genuine remains of our History. His industry, coolness, judgment, and general accuracy, recommend him as the best antiquary that Scotland has yet produced.”- Pinkerton's Inquiry into the Antient History of Scotland ; Introduction, p. Ixiv.
# In illustration of what is here said of Eamania, and indeed respecting the whole of this letter, see a very curious paper by Dr. O'Conor, entitled, Reflections on the History of Ireland, during the times of Heathenism, published in Vallancey's Collectanea, iii. p. 213.
Through the lights obtained by the Scots (in a part of the continent where the Phænicians had lasting settlements) they learned the art of sailing on the ocean, and imported into this island the seventeen cyphers they used in their writings; and, thus initiated, and cut off in a remote island from any
intellectual intercourse with the polished people of Greece and Rome, they were left to the improvement of their own stock. In such a situation, their improvement must be slow as well as gradual. It took them time to form their barren ScythoCeltic dialect, (first used in the greater division of Europe) into a nervous and copious language, stripped of its original consonantal harshness. It is still preserved in our old books, and discovers to us the corruptions of our common people, who are corrupting it more and more every day, even in places where the English language is not yet used. By the way, how could the language of the third century in your country be preserved pure to this day in the Highlands of Scotland ? How could the powers of Ossian be preserved by oral tradition through a period of 1500 years? In our old written language we discover that the speakers were a cultivated people; but their cultivation was local; and, on that score, the discovery of what it was among this sequestered people, is an object more interesting to us than one offered to investigation from a bare principle of curiosity. To you, Sir, and to disengaged writers like you, it is left to bring this subject of Scottish antiquity out of the darkness spread over it. The lights which the revolution under our Tuathal, (surnamed the Acceptable), afford, will be of great use to you. At the close of the first century, the Belgians of Ireland revolted against their Scottish masters, expelled the old royal family, and set up a monarch of their own blood. Tuathal, the presumptive heir of the Heremonian line, was
conveyed to your country: his mother Ethnea being the daughter of the king of the Picts, he was protected there, under his grandfather. Grown to maturity, he returned ; and after subduing all the enemies of his house, he mounted the throne of Teamor. Soon after, in a convention of the states, the crown of Ireland was, by a solemn law, declared hereditary in his family; and, from this epocha, which commenced A. D. 130, to the establishment of Christianity, we have a series of authentic history productive of great men and great actions.
I shall owe much to your indulgence, if you pardon all this before I come to the chief subject of your letter. Of all that I could find relating to your country, I shall in my next send you transcripts and literal translations; but I must confess that I have not bitherto met with much that has not been published in the last age by Mr. O'Flaherty. In the book of Balimote I find our antiquaries concurring with Bede in the establishment of Carbry Riada as the leader of the first colony of Scots in Britain, supported there partly by the indulgence of the Picts, and partly by the negociating power of the wisest of our monarchs, Cormac Ulfada, Carbry's cousin-ger
The second greater colony was established by Carbry's posterity, the sons of Erk, about the year 503. The succession of the Dalriadic kings from that period, with the years of reigns down to Malcolm Canmor, has been preserved in the poem quoted by Mr. O'Flaherty, a copy of which I possess; and the original, with a translation, shall be remitted to you, as soon as I recover from my present languid state, bound by rheumatic pains. That the Tuatha De Danan arrived in Ireland from North Britain, and subjected the Belgians, all our old documents aver.
Be assured, Sir, of any service I can render you in your present undertaking. The more it is agitated by able writers, the more the truth of history will appear. The motto of your arms, post nubila Sol, makes me look up to you as the person who will disperse the cloud cast on our history.
MR. PINKERTON TO DR. CHARLES O'CONOR.
Knightsbridge, near London,
July 22nd, 1786.
I was duly favored with your full and obliging letter of the 14th April, and was in hopes that your health would ere now have permitted your sending me the extracts and the poem you so politely promise. But, as they have not come to my hands, I am afraid that your great and venerable age, joined with your rheumatic complaints, have come in the way of your good intentions.
My Inquiry into Scottish History prior to 1056, will not be sent to the press till next summer (1787), and will not appear till the beginning of 1788. It is a work of infinite reading and labor; and, though but an octavo volume, will cost me more pains than two quarto volumes upon an easier subject would.
But these pains I cheerfully undergo, as I