Lúcián 3

III. Mercurí agus Maia

Merc. Féach, a mháthair, an bhfuil aon dia ar neamh is mó de thrua ná me?

Mai. Ná habair aon ní dá shórd san, a mhic.

Merc. Cad ’na thaobh ná déarfainn é agus a bhfuil de ghnóthaíbh orm, ag obair im aonar, agus me buailte amach le tuirse, agus me ’om stracadh as a chéile le hoiread friothála? Chómh luath agus d’éirím ar maidin caithim tigh an óil do scuabadh amach, agus tigh na cómhairle ’ chur i dtreó agus gach aon rud a chur in’ áit féin ann, agus ansan dul i láthair Iúpiteir agus a theachtaireachtaí do bhreith uaidh suas agus síos, cuarda fada gach lá. Ansan, nuair a thagaim thar n-ais, agus ceó an bhóthair orm, a chuid ambrósia ’ chur chuige. Agus sara dtáinig an giolla fíona so a ceannaíodh go déanach is mise do líonadh a chuid nectair chuige. Ach, an cruatan is mó dhíobh go léir, mise an t-éinne amháin ná codlann an oíche. Caithim an uair sin bheith ag samhailchomáint chun Plútó, ag cruinniú na marbh chuige, agus bheith i láthair na breithe. Níl mo dhóthain, is dócha, ’na mbíonn le déanamh i gcaitheamh an lae agam, bheith in áitibh na hiomrascála, agus ag fógairt in sna cómhthionólaibh, agus ag teagasc na gcainnteóirí; gan me féin do roinnt im chodaibh chun gnóthaí na marbh d’fhriothálamh, leis. Sin iad clann Léda agus gach duine acu gach re lá ar neamh agus in ifreann, agus ormsa so agus súd a dhéanamh gach aon lá. Agus maca Alcméne agus Shémelé, do geineadh ó mhnáibh gan áird, tá a mbeatha ar a suaimhneas acu agus mise, mac Mhaia iníon Atlais, ag friothálamh orthu! Agus anois, agus gan me ach díreach tagaithe ó Shídón ó inín Chadmuis, ’na raibh sé tar éis me ’ chur ag triall uirthi féachaint conas a bhí an bháb, chomáin sé ar siúl arís me, gan m’anál do tharrac, go hArgos, ag féachaint Dhanaé; “agus éirigh as san go Boiótia”, ar seisean, “agus feic Antíopé ar an slí”. I gcás go bhfuilim buailte amach glan. Dá mb’fhéidir é, féach, d’iarrfainn go fonnmhar go ndíolfí me im dhaor bhocht mar a díoltar daoine ar an dtalamh.

Mai. Cuir uait, a mhic ó. Taíonn tú óg agus ní foláir duit rud a dhéanamh ar t’athair i gcónaí. Imigh ort anois gan mhoíll go hArgos, fé mar adúradh leat, agus go Boiótia ansan, agus ná bí ríghin, le heagla go bhfaighfá an tslat. Bíonn lucht grá teasaí.

áird: “attention, value, repute”. Gan áird, “of low repute”.
áit: “place”. Áitibh is found in the dative plural here.
ambrósia: “ambrosia”, the food of the gods in Greek mythology. FGB claims there is an Irish word ambróise.
ansan: “then; there”, or ansin in GCh, pronounced /ən’son/.
ar: “on”, pronounced /erʹ/, reflecting a general tendency for prepositions to become aligned with the third-person singular prepositional pronoun (air). Note orm, “on me”, /orəm/.
báb: “maiden”.
buailim, bualadh: “to strike”. Buailte amach, “exhausted”, literally “knocked out”.
cad ’na thaobh?: “why?”, or cén fáth? in GCh. Pronounced /kɑnə ‘he:v/. Cén fáth? is not found in PUL’s works, but cad fáth?, cad chuige?, cad é an chúis?, cad fé ndeár é?, cad ar a shon?, cad uime? and cad on its own (e.g. cad ba ghá?) are all attested.
cainnteóir: “speaker”, or cainteoir in GCh.
codlaim, codladh: “to sleep”, or codlaím, codladh in GCh. Pronounced /kolimʹ, kolə/.
comáinim, comáint: “to drive, force, impel”, or tiomáinim, tiomáint in GCh.
cómhairle: “advice; council”, pronounced /ko:rlʹi/. Tigh na cómhairle, “the council chamber”.
cómhthionól: “assembly”. PUL’s spelling would point to a pronunciation of /ko:həno:l/.
cuid: “share, portion”, with codaibh in the dative plural.
foláir: “excessive, superfluous”. Pronounced /flɑ:rʹ/. Ní foláir é ’ dhéanamh, “it must be done”.
fonnmhar: “willing, desirous”. Go fonnmhar, “gladly”. Pronounced /funəvər/.
friothálamh: “serving attending”. The genitive, given in the original as frithálmha, is edited here as friothála, in line with the form shown in CFBB.
gach re: “every other”. IWM §407 shows the pronunciation occasionally becomes /gʹaxirʹi/, as well as /gɑxərə/.
geinim, giniúint: “to beget”, or ginim, giniúint in GCh. It seems /e/ must be preserved in the finite verb, to distinguish it from deinim when under lenition. This also reflects the use of geneag to transcribe geineadh in the LS version of PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe.
giolla: “attendant, groom”. Giolla fíona, “cupbearer”.
ifreann: “hell”, pronounced /ifʹirʹən/.
iníon: “daughter”, with inín in the dative.
iomrascáil: “wrestling”, pronounced /umərəskɑ:lʹ/.
marbh: “dead; dead person”, pronounced /mɑrəv/.
nectar: “nectar”, the drink of the gods in Greek mythology. GCh has neachtar.
ól: “drinking”. Tigh óil, “public house”, referring to a banquet chamber here.
ríghin: “slow”; pronounced /ri:nʹ/.
roinnim, roinnt: “to share, divide”. Pronounced /reŋʹimʹ, rəintʹ/.
samhailchomáint: this is glossed in the original edition as “ghost-driving, conducting the shades”. Pronounced /saulʹ-xə’mɑ:ntʹ/.
sara: “before; lest”, or sula in GCh.
suaimhneas: “peace, quietness”, pronounced /suənʹəs/.
treó: “directon; condition, state”. Rud do chur i dtreó, “to tidy something, get it ready, in a fit state, in order”.

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Lúcián 2

II. Iúpiter agus Asclépios agus Ercal

Iúp. Stadaidh, a Asclépiois agus a Ercail. Ná bídh ag coímheascar ar nós daoine. Ní cuí an sórd san, agur tá sé as áit i bhfleadh na ndéithe.

Erc. Agus an amhlaidh a mheasfá, a Iúpiteir, an potaigéaraí seo ’ bheith sínte lastuas díomsa?

Asc. Dar fia ach is ea, mar is feárr d’fhear me ná thu.

Erc. Conas san, a rud dhóite? Nú an toisc Iúpiter dod bhualadh leis an splaínnc tóirthní é, nuair a bhí an drochghníomh úd agat á dhéanamh, agus go bhfuil síorbheatha fálta arís agat le trua dhuit?

Asc. Is dócha nách cuímhin leatsa, a Ercail, conas mar a loisceadh thu in Oéta treás go gcasann tú an tine liomsa.

Erc. Ní mar a chéile in aon chor a chaitheamair ár mbeatha; mise im mhac ag Iúpiter agus na gníomhartha móra déanta agam, ag glanadh an tsaeil, ag cloí beithíoch allta, ag smachtú drochdhaoine; agus gan ionatsa ach fear préamh a ghearradh; fear cleas; tairbheach, b’fhéidir, do dhaoinibh teinne chun ceirí ’ chur leó, ach gan aon ní fearúil le taispeáint agat.

Asc. Tá an ceart agat, mar do leighseas na cluig dhóite a bhí ortsa nuair a tháinís anso aníos le déanaí agus tu leathloiscithe, do chorp ’na phraisigh ón dá ní, ón léine ar dtúis agus ansan ón lasair. Ach im thaobhsa dhe, gan aon rud eile ’ bhac, ní rabhas im dhaor, mar a bhís-se, agus níor chíoras olann i Lúdia agus éadach corcra umam, agus Omphalé ag gabháil orm lena bróigín óir; agus ní lú ná mar a mharaíos mo bhean is mo chlann trí bhuile lionnduibh.

Erc. Mara stadair de bheith ag spídiúchán orm beidh ’ fhios agat go róthapaidh gur beag a dh’fhóirfidh an domharaitheacht ort, mar béarfad ort agus caithfead i ndiaidh mhullaigh do chínn thu amach a neamh, i gcás, ná féadfaidh Paiéon féin leigheas a dhéanamh ar do phlaosc bhriste.

Iúp. Stadaidh, adeirim, agus ná cuiridh an chuideachta trína chéile, nú cuirfeadsa beirt agaibh ón mbórd. Agus go deimhin, a Ercail, níl ach an ceart ann go sínfeadh Asclépios lastuas díotsa mar fuair sé bás rómhat.

arís: “again”. PUL used the spelling airís, indicating a slender r, /i’rʹi:ʃ/. This word is shown with a broad r in IWM (§274, line 85), but PUL’s spelling and transcriptions of this word as irìsh in the LS editions of PUL’s works show the pronunciation.
bacaim, bac: “to mind, heed”. Gan aon rud eile ’ bhac, “aside from anything else”.
bróigín: “slipper”.
ceirí: “poultice, plaster”, or ceirín in GCh.
clann: “children” (not “family”); pronounced /klaun/.
clog: “blister”, with cluig in the plural.
cloím, cloí: “to subdue”.
coímheascar: “struggle, mêlée”, pronounced /ki:skər/. As a verbal noun, “fighting”.
corcra: “purple”, as an adjective. Pronounced /korkərə/.
cuí: “fitting, proper”.
cuideachta: “company, the people present”. Pronounced /ki’dʹaxtə~ki’lʹaxtə/. Note the evidence given in CFBB that whereas some Muskerry speakers used an l in the related word cuideachtanas, AÓL had a d, indicating that careful speakers kept a d here.
domharaitheacht: “immortality”.
fleadh: “drinking-feast, banquet”, or fleá in GCh. The pronunciation is /flʹa(h)/, with a short vowel, and consequently the traditional spelling is retained here.
fóirim, fóirithint: “to relieve, save, help, go to the help of”, used with ar.
gheibhim, fáil: “to get, find”, pronounced /jəimʹ, fɑ:lʹ/. In PUL’s works, he often maintains a distinction between the absolute and dependent forms of this verb, the latter being faighim. This distinction is not observed in GCh, which has faighim alone. The past participle is generally fálta, /fɑ:lhə/ corresponding to faighte in GCh.
lastuas de: “above”, but also “taking precedence over”.
leathloiscithe: “half burnt”, or leathloiscthe in GCh.
leigheas: “cure, healing”; pronounced /lʹəis/.
leighsim, leigheas: “to remedy, cure”, leigheasaim, leigheas in GCh. Pronounced /lʹəiʃimʹ, lʹəis/.
lionndubh: “melancholy”, with lionnduibh in the genitive.
mara: “if not, unless”, or muna in GCh.
mullach: “summit, ridge; top of the head”, pronounced /mə’lɑx/. I ndiaidh mhullaigh do chínn, “headfirst, downwards”.
plaosc: “skull”. This word is feminine here, but masculine in some of PUL’s other works. GCh has a feminine blaosc.
potaigéaraí: “apothecary, chemist”, or poitigéir in GCh. PSD has potacaeridhe. Pronounced /poti’gʹe:ri:/.
praiseach: “porridge; a mess”, with praisigh in the dative. Pronounced /pri’ʃax, prɑʃigʹ/.
préamh: “root”, or fréamh in GCh.
síorbheatha: “eternal life”.
sórd: “sort”, or sórt in GCh.
spídiúchán: “reviling, disparaging” (with ar).
splannc: “flash of lightning”, with splaínnc in the dative.Pronounced /splauŋk/. Splannc tóirthní, “thunderbolt”.
tairbheach: “useful, beneficial”; pronounced /tɑrʹifʹəx/.
tapaidh: “quick”, or tapa in GCh. Pronounced /tɑpigʹ/.
teinn: “sore”, with teinne in the plural; pronounced /tʹəiŋʹ, tʹeŋʹi/.
tóirthneach: “thunder”, or toirneach in GCh. Pronounced /to:rhnʹəx/. PUL commented in NIWU (p107) that he had never heard this word pronounced without its medial –th-; nonetheless, the distinction in pronunciation is exceedingly slight, with /rhnʹ/ realised as a devoiced /rnʹ/. With tóirthní in the genitive.
treás go: “since, seeing as”, or tráth is go in GCh. Pronounced /trʹa:s gə/.

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Lúcián 1

I. An Aisling nú Beatha Lúcián.

Bhíos tamall beag tar éis stad de dhul ar scoil mar bhíos éirithe suas im ógánach. Bhí m’athair agus cuid dá cháirdibh ag glacadh chómhairle a chéile i dtaobh cad eile ba cheart a mhúineadh dhom i dteannta a raibh foghlamtha agam. Dar leis an gcuid ba mhó acu, rud ana-thrioblóideach ab ea an léann. Níor mhór aimsir fhada chuige agus costas mór agus cothrom airgid. Ní raibh aon ghustal rómhór againne. Rud éigin a bheith ag teacht isteach chúinn go luath is ea d’oirfeadh dúinn agus ní bheith ag déanamh costais. Dar leó dá gcuirtí le céird éigin me bheadh, ar an gcéad dul síos, mo chothú agam as an gcéird in inead me ’ bheith im mhuirín ar mo mhuíntir agus me chómh mór, agus dá éaghmais sin níorbh fhada go mbeinn ag cur áthais ar m’athair nuair a bheadh rud éigin agam á thabhairt abhaile i gcónaí as mo chéird.

Ansan do ghlacadar cómhairle a chéile ar cad í an cheárd ab fheárr agus ba shaoráidí le foghlaim, agus ’ bheadh oiriúnach do shaormhac, agus ’na mbeadh a cóir úirlisí neamhchostasúil, agus rud maith dá barr ag duine. Ansan bhí ceárd fé leith ag gach duine acu dá mholadh, de réir a thuisceana féin. Bhí driotháir máthar dom ar dhuine acu. Dealúdóir oirirc ab ea é agus líomhadóir álainn cloch, agus bhí cáil mhór air. D’fhéach m’athair air.

“Ní ceart”, arsa m’athair, “bua ’ bheith ag aon cheárd eile ach ag do cheárdsa an fhaid ataoi féin láithreach. Tóg leat abhaile é seo”, ar seisean, ag síneadh a mhéire chúmsa, “agus dein snoídheadóir maith cloch de agus líomhadóir, agus dealúdóir. Tá féith ann chun na hoibre sin. Tá, mar is eól duit, an chúiléith ó dhúchas aige”.

Is é rud a chuir an ní sin i gceann m’athar, ná é ’ bheith ag féachaint ar na bréagáin bheaga céarach a dheininn. Nuair a thagainn abhaile ón scoil, bhínn ag snoí cnapóige céarach go ndeininn bó dhi nú capall nú duine, dar fia, agus mheasadh m’athair go ndeininn go maith agus go fírinneach iad, ach do gheibhinn an tslat go minic mar gheall orthu ó sna máistríbh scoile. Ach do moladh m’éirim aigne mar gheall orthu an uair sin, agus do glacadh iúntaoibh mhór asam nárbh fhada go mbeadh an cheárd agam ó bhí an lámh chómh haicillí agam chun na ndealbh.

Gan a thuilleadh ríghnis do ceapadh lá dhom chun na céirde do thosnú, agus do tugadh suas me do dhriotháir mo mháthar, agus dar fia níor chuir an scéal puínn buartha orm. Is amhlaidh a thuigeas nár ró-olc an caitheamh aimsire ’ bheadh agam, agus gur mhór an chreidiúint dom é i measc mo chomrádaithe, me ’ bheith ag cumadh déithe agus ag cur órnáide ar íomháthaibh beaga dhom féin agus don mhuíntir ab ionúin liom.

Ach sid é an chéad rud a thit amach dom, fé mar is gnáth a thitim amach don té a bhíonn ag tosnú. Do thug m’úncail siséal dom agus duairt sé liom leac a bhí sínte os mo chómhair do bhualadh go hana-réidh, agus duairt sé an focal ó Hésiód:—

“Leath na hoibre tosnú maith”.

Ach toisc gan an taithí ’ bheith agamsa do luíos róthrom ar an lic agus do briseadh í. Do léim seisean, ar buile, agus do rug sé ar fhuip a bhí in’ aice agus go deimhin ní go réidh a thosnaigh sé orm. Tionnscnamh deórach is ea ’ dhein sé orm mar thabhairt isteach im chéird. Do ritheas as an áit agus siúd abhaile me agus me ag gol, na deóracha lem shúilibh agus gach aon osna ag teacht óm chroí. D’ínseas dom mháthair cad é an cor a tugadh orm leis an bhfuip agus thaispeánas na hústaí dhi. Do ghearánas go cruaidh é léi, agus duart léi gur éad a bhí air le heagla go mbuafainn air féin sa chéird. Bhí mo mháthair ar buile agus thug sí milleán mór dá driotháir.

Tháinig an oíche. Chuas a chodladh agus me ag gol go faíoch, agus me ag síormhachnamh fan na hoíche.

An méid atá ráite go dtí so agam níl ann ach leanbaíocht agus cúis gháire. Ach ó, a dhaoine, do tháinig rud eile ’na dhiaidh san agus ní spórt ná leanbaíocht é ach scéal gur fiú é éisteacht leis go géar agus go haireach. Labharfad air i bhfoclaibh Hóméir:—

“Tháinig chúm san oíche, im shuan,
Aisling shuairc dob aoibhinn amharc”

agus bhí an aisling chómh gléineach san gur chuma í nú fírinne. Anois féin, tar éis an oiread aimsire, tá an t-éadach a bhí ar na daoine a taispeánadh dom, tá sé glan os cómhair mo shúl, agus na guthanna a dh’airíos táid siad im chluasaibh; bhí gach aon rud chómh soiléir sin. Bhí beirt bhan, duine acu ar gach taobh díom agus greim ar láimh liom ag gach duine acu agus iad ’om tharrac óna chéile, gach bean díobh ’om tharrac chúithi féin go dian. Bhíos nách mór ’om stracadh as a chéile acu, me ag bean acu ar fad, uair, agus ansan an bua ag an mnaoi eile agus me aici sin ar fad geall leis. Bhíodar araon ag screadaigh go hárd, bean acu dhá dheimhniú gur léi féin me agus an bhean eile dhá rá gur thug sí a héitheach agus go raibh ní nár léi aici dhá éileamh. Do dheallraigh duine acu taithí ’ bheith ar obair chruaidh aici. Bhí deallramh fir uirthi, a folt gan cíoradh, a lámha go féithleach agus go cruaidh, a balcaisí trusáilte aici fé mar a bhíodh ag m’úncail nuair a bhíodh sé ag líomhadh na gcloch. Bhí an bhean eile álainn ’na gnúis agus slachtmhar maisiúil ’na cuid éadaigh agus ’na scéimh.

Fé dheireadh, nuair a theip ar gach mnaoi dhíobh me ’ bhreith léi ón mnaoi eile, d’fhágadar fúmsa a rá ceocu dhíobh ’na ngeóbhainn léi. Do labhair an bhean gharbh ar dtúis, an bhean ’na raibh deallramh an fhir uirthi:—

“Féach, a mhic ó”, ar sise, “mise ealaí na dealúdóireachta, an ealaí sin ’nar thosnaís ar í ’ fhoghlaim inné. Tá mo ghaol leat agus aithne agam ort ód mhuíntir. Snoídheadóirí cloch ab ea do sheanathair (.i. athair mo mháthar) agus dhá úncail duit, agus bhí creidiúint mhór acu mar gheall ormsa. Más maith leat gan do shaol do chaitheamh le fídireacht dhíomhaoin neamhthairbheach ’na fochair sin (agus shín sí a méar chun na mná eile), ach teacht agus maireachtaint im theanntasa, beidh, ar dtúis cothú maith ort, agus guaille leathana agat. Ansan beidh tú saor ó fhormad. Ní bheidh ort imeacht ód dhúthaigh féin agus ód ghaoltaibh agus dul go dúthaigh iasachta, agus ní mar gheall ar fhoclaibh cainnte do molfar thu. Ná bíodh seirithean ort, áfach, trí gan deallramh níos uaisle ’ bheith orm agus éadach níos glaine. Ar an gcuma so is ea ’ thosnaigh Phidias oirirc, agus ’na dhiaidh san do thaispeáin sé íomhá Zeúis, agus dhein Polúclétos íomhá Iúnó, agus (tar éis tosnú ar an gcuma so dhóibh) do fuair Míró é ’ mholadh agus Pracsitelés iúnadh ’ dhéanamh de. Táid siad súd go léir dá n-adhradh anois i measc na ndéithe. Agus má dheineann tusa thu féin mar dhuine acu súd cad é an bac a bheidh ort bheith oirirc i measc na ndaoine go léir? Cuirfir daoine ag formad le t’athair agus cuirfir oirearcas ar thír do dhúchais”.

Do labhair sí na nithe sin agus a lán eile den tsaghas chéanna nách cuímhin liom, agus í ag snagaireacht, agus ag milleadh na bhfocal ar fad, ach í ag déanamh a díchill ar iad do thabhairt léi go maith chun a scéil féin do chur ’na luí orm, ach táid siad imithe as mo cheann nách mór.

Do stad sí. Ansan do labhair an bhean eile agus seo mar aduairt sí.

“Féach, a mhic”, ar sise, “Mise an léann. Tá roinnt aithne curtha agat orm cheana féin. Ní haithne ródhoimhinn í, áfach. Ní aithníonn tú me i gceart fós. Tá ínste aici sin duit cad iad na maitheasaí a thabharfaidh an chlochaireacht chút. Pé maitheasaí a thabharfaidh an cheárd san chút ní bheir choíche ach id sclábhaí aici, ag déanamh oibre cuirp, gan súil go deó agat le haon rud eile; tu féinig úiríseal os cómhair daoine gan le fáil agat ach an suarachas agus an ghannachúise; t’aigne úiríseal gan aon tabhairt amach ionat; gan maith do charaid ionat; gan eagla ag namhaid rómhat; gan féachaint suas ag an bpobal chút; gan ionat in aon chor ach fear oibre, duine den choitiantacht; tu ag cúbadh do t’uachtarán; ag úmhlú d’fhear an úrlabhra; gan agat ach beatha an ghiorrae, gach aon rud láidir ar do thí. Agus cuir i gcás go dtiocfadh leat bheith id Phidias nú id Pholúclétos agus go gcúmfá a lán nithe oirearca, molfaidh gach éinne an ealaí a bheidh déanta agat ach ní thaithnfidh le héinne ach duine gan chiall bheith mar thu.

Ach má dheineann tú mo réirse taispeánfad duit gníomhartha uaisle na sean agus a n-oibreacha móra. Léifead duit na leabhra do scríodar. Cuirfead iad go léir ar do chumas. Dá éaghmais sin cuirfead uaisleacht ar t’aigne. Ní deocair dom san mar tá an chúiléith go hálainn ionat. Cuirfead órnáidí aigne ort, .i. measarthacht; agus macántacht; agus cráifeacht; agus séimhe; agus soghluaisteacht; agus ciallmhaireacht; agus daingneacht; agus dúil sa rud is creidiúnach, uasal; óir sin iad na rudaí a chuireann fíoruaisleacht ar aigne an duine. Ní bheidh aon ní ársa, ná aon ní is ceart a dhéanamh anois, in ainbhios ort. Ní hea ach chífir roim ré, in éineacht liomsa, na nithe a bheidh i ndán. Múinfead duit gan puínn ríghnis, gach aon tsaghas eólais dá mbaineann le déithe agus le daoine. Agus tusa atá go bocht anois gan ionat ach mac Uí Rudaí, tusa a bhí anois beag ag cuímhneamh ar ealaín shuarach do ghabháil, beidh tú go luath id chúis tnútha agus formaid do chách, fé onóir agus fé mholadh, go hoirirc de bhárr na ndea-thréithe is mó, fé mheas ag an lucht saibhris is aoirde agus ag lucht na fola is uaisle, in éadach mar é seo (agus thaispeáin sí an t-éadach álainn a bhí uirthi féin), agus cách ag moladh réime agus ceannais duit. Ansan, más rud é gur mian leat imeacht ar chuaird i ndúthaigh iasachta ní bheidh tú gan aithne ag an bpoiblíocht ort mar cuirfeadsa ort na cómharthaí sofheicse a chuirfidh ’ fhéachaint ar chách a chífidh thu an fear is giorra dho do phriocadh agus a mhéar do shíneadh chútsa agus a rá, “Sin é é!” Ansan, bíodh go mbeidh gnó mór éigin ar siúl, agus do mhuíntir agus muíntir na cathrach go léir ag féachaint air, iompóid siad uaidh agus féachfaid siad go léir ortsa. Ansan, má bhíonn aon chainnt le déanamh agat, beidh an pobal ag éisteacht leat agus a mbéil ar leathadh acu agus iad ag moladh líofachta agus nirt do chainnte agus ag moladh an tséin a bhí ar t’athair. Agus an ní seo adeirtear .i. go dtéid daoine áirithe saor ó bhás, tabharfadsa an ní sin duitse. Nuair ’ fhágfair an bheatha so ní stadfair de bheith i bhfochair lucht léinn agus ag cómhluadar leis na maithibh móra. Féach an Démostenés oirirc úd, an t-athair ónar shíolraigh sé, agus an fear a dheineas-sa dhe. Féach Aischinés agus gan ’na mháthair ach tíompánaí bhocht, agus an meas a bhí ag Pilib air mar gheall ar ar dheineas-sa dho. Agus sin é Sócratés féin, an chlochaire seo do thóg é, ach chómh luath agus ’ tháinig a mhalairt de chiall do do rith sé uaithi agus tháinig sé chúmsa. Féach an mórchlú atá anois aige.

Má thugann tusa druím lámha anois leis na maithibh móra úd go léir, agus le gnóthaíbh uaisle, agus le húrlabhra stuama, agus le héadach maisiúil, agus le meas, agus le honóir, agus le moladh, agus le ceannas, agus le cómhacht, agus le fórlámhas, agus le cáil t’úrlabhra, agus le cách a bheith ag moladh do thuisceana, cuirfir umat seanachasóg agus balcaisí mogha, agus ní bheidh id lámhaibh agat ach crónna agus úirlisí clochaireachta, siséala agus tuairgíní, agus tu ar do chromadh chun na hoibre, agus tu go húiríseal agus go cromtha agus go sléachtaithe ar gach aon tsaghas cuma; gan ionat choíche tu féin do dhíriú suas, mar a dhéanfadh fear, ná saormhachnamh a dhéanamh. Tu ag machnamh i gcónaí ar conas a bheadh do dhéantúsaí cothrom bláfar agat, ach gan aon chuímhneamh agat ar conas a bheifá féin dea-chúmtha maisiúil; gan de mheas agat ort féin ach níos lú ná ’ bheadh ag duine ar na clochaibh.

Bhí sí ag cainnt ar an gcuma san ach níor fhanas-sa le críochnú na cainnte. Phreabas im shuí agus thugas mo bhreith eatarthu. Thugas druím lámha leis an gcailligh mhíchúmtha úd na clochaireachta agus ghabhas le mnaoi uasail an léinn agus is orm a bhí an t-áthas, go mór mór nuair a chuímhníos ar an bhfuip agus ar na hústaíbh a chuir an chailleach orm inné roimis sin agus me ag tosnú ar an an gcéird a dh’fhoghlaim. Nuair a thuig an chailleach gur thréigeas do bhéic sí go hárd agus bhuail sí a dhá bais agus mheil sí a fiacla. Fé dheireadh, fé mar a chloisimíd a d’imigh ar Níobé, bhí sí ag calcadh agus ag cruachtaint go dtí gur dhein cloch di.

D’imigh sé go hannspianta uirthi, ach ná meastar gur bréag dom é. Deinid aislingí rudaí iúntacha. D’fhéach an bhean eile ormsa. “’Sea”, ar sise, “dheinis an méid sin go maith. Ní mór dhom do thuarastal a thabhairt duit anois mar gheall ar fheabhas na breithe sin a thugais eadrainn. Suigh isteach sa charbad so”. Bhí an carbad ’na h-aice agus sciatháin ar na capaillibh a bhí faoi, ar nós Phegasuis. “Chífir anois”, ar sise, “na nithe móra a bheadh in ainbhios ort mara mbeadh tú ’ ghabháil liomsa in inead gabháil léi siúd”.

Isteach liom sa charbad. Do rug sise ar na sriantaibh. Suas linn sa spéir, ise ag giollacht agus mise ag féachaint im thímpall ar chathrachaibh agus ar ghíntibh agus ar phoblaibh, agus sinn ag gluaiseacht ón dtaobh thoir den spéir go dtí an taobh thiar, agus síol éigin agamsa dá chaitheamh ar an dtalamh mar a dheineadh Triptolemos.

Ní cuímhin liom anois cad é an saghas ruda an síol a bhí agam á chaitheamh uaim síos, ach amháin an méid seo, go raibh na daoine a bhí thíos ag féachaint suas chúm agus ’om mholadh, agus na daoine ’na dtagainn ag triall orthu im ghluaiseacht go mbídís ag beannachtaí orm.

Nuair a bhí na nithe sin go léir taispeánta aici dhom, agus me féin taispeánta aici do sna daoine úd a bhí ’om mholadh, thug sí thar n-ais me, agus gan an t-éadach céanna umam a bhí umam nuair a bhíos ag sceinnt. Do samhlaíodh dom go raibh éadach ana-shaibhir umam. Bhí m’athair ’na sheasamh ag feitheamh liom. Tháinig sí agus thaispeáin sí dho an chulaith a bhí orm agus an crot a bhí orm ag teacht thar n-ais dom, agus thug sí chun a chuímhne an saghas ruda ba dhóbair ’ bheith ceapaithe aige féin dom.

Ní rabhas ach im gharsún nuair a taispeánadh, fé mar is cuímhin liom, na nithe sin dom, agus an scannradh orm i ndiaidh na fuipe. Ach déarfaidh duine, b’fhéidir, agus me ag ínsint mo scéil: “A Heracléis, nárbh fhada an aisling í, agus í chómh ríghin le obair chúirte!” Ansan cuirfidh duine eile isteach ar an nduine sin agus déarfaidh sé: “Aisling gheímhridh is ea í nuair a bhíd na hoícheanta fada, nú aisling trí oíche dálta Heracléis féin. Ach cad chuige dho bheith ag magadh fúinn ag trácht ar an oíche leanbaí úd agus ar aislingíbh seannda. Scéalaíocht leamh is ea a leithéid sin. An amhlaidh a mheas sé gur lucht aislinge do bhreithniú sinn?” Ní hea go deimhin, a dhuine mhacánta, nách in é Xenophon féin, nuair ’ innis sé an aisling, conas mar a taispeánadh do, i dtigh a athar, agus &c., mar is eól duit, ní chun cleasaíochta d’innis sé na nithe sin, ná chun magaidh. Bhí sé sáite i gcogadh agus é i bpúnc chruaidh agus a namhaid ’na thímpall. Níor scéalaíocht leamh gan tairbhe a scéalaíocht. Tá an aisling seo ínste anois agamsa dhuitse, leis, ar an íntinn seo, .i. go dtabharfadh fir óga aghaidh ar na nithibh is feárr, agus go gcloífidís leis an léann; go mór mór dá mbeadh sé d’fhonn ar éinne acu, mar gheall ar dhealús, aimhleas do thoghadh dho féin, agus aghaidh do thabhairt ar ísleacht, agus éirim mhaith aigne do lot. Tá ’ fhios agam go maith go dtiocfaidh misneach ar a leithéid sin. Aireóidh sé an scéal. Tuigfidh sé in’ aigne me ’ bheith ’om thaispeáint féin mar sholaoid chruínn do. Tuigfidh sé conas a bhí an scéal agam nuair a thugas aghaidh m’aigne ar an ngairm is uaisle, ar an léann, in ainneóin an dealúis agus na bochtaineachta a bhí ag cur orm an uair sin.

Ach pé’r domhan é, pé riocht ’na bhfuil tagaithe os úr gcómhair agam, ní baol go bhfuil bárr ag aon chlochaire uaim, an chuid is lú dhe.

Foclóírín

abhaile: “home”; pronounced /ə’vɑlʹi/.
adhraim, adhradh: “to worship”. Pronounced /əirimʹ, əirə/.
aghaidh: “face”, pronounced /əigʹ/.
aicillí: “adroit”, or aclaí in GCh.
aigne: “mind”, pronounced /agʹinʹi/.
aimhleas: “disadvantage”; pronounced /ailʹəs/.
ainbhios: “ignorance”; pronounced /anʹivʹis/.
ainneóin: “unwillingness”. In ainneóin, “in spite of”. Pronounced /i’ŋʹo:nʹ/.
aireach: “heedful, careful”, pronounced /i’rʹax/.
airgead: “silver, money”; pronounced /arʹigʹəd/.
aithne: “acquaintance”, pronounced /ahinʹi/.
amháin: “one; only”, pronounced /ə’vɑ:nʹ/.
amharc: “sight”, pronounced /ɑvərk/.
annspianta: “grotesque, outlandish, extraordinary”, or ainspianta in GCh. Pronounced /aunspʹiəntə/.
anois: “now”. A broad n is shown in IWM (§142), but Brian Ó Cuív uses the spelling anis in CFBB (p11), and the LS version of Mo Scéal Féin uses inìsh (p3 therein). It seems likely a slender n is used in this word, /i’nʹiʃ/. Anois beag, “just now”.
aoibhinn: “pleasant, delightful”. Pronounced /i:vʹiŋʹ/.
araon: “both”, pronounced /ə’re:n/.
árd: “high, tall”, with the comparative here aoirde where airde would stand in GCh.
bárr: “top; supremacy, top position”. De bhárr, “on account of, as a result of”. Bárr a bheith ag duine uait, “for someone to excel me, take the top spot from you”.
bas: “palm of the hand”, or bos in GCh; with bais in the dative (and dual).
beag: “small”, pronounced /bʹog/. The spelling has not been altered in the editing process to show the pronunciation better here, as this is a common word.
bean: “woman”, with mnaoi in the dative singular. (Where there is a longer dative phrase, such as bean acu, it tends not to be declined for the dative.)
beannachtaí: “to utter blessings”; pronounced /bʹəˌnɑx’ti:/.
bláfar: “neat, tidy”.
bochtaineacht: “poverty”.
bréagán: “toy, plaything”.
breithním, breithniú: “to consider, examine, observe, reflect on; judge, adjudge”, breathnaím, breathnú in GCh. Pronounced /brʹenʹ’hi:mʹ, brʹenʹ’hu:/. However, Seanachas Amhlaoibh (p335) has do bhreathnaíos; both forms may have co-existed in WM.
cailleach: “old woman, hag”, with cailligh in the dative. Pronounced /ki’lʹax, kɑlʹigʹ/.
cainnt: “talk, talking; phrase or expression”, or caint in GCh. The traditional double n is shown here to indicate the diphthong, /kaintʹ/.
calcaim, calcadh: “to caulk, cake; become petrified”.
capall: “horse”. Note that the dative plural has a slender l in Cork Irish: capaillibh.
cara: “friend”, with caraid in the dative.
carbad: “chariot”. Pronounced /kɑrəbəd/. Carbat is more generally found in PUL’s Irish.
cathair: “city”, with cathrach in the genitive and cathracha in the plural. Pronounced /kɑhirʹ, kɑhərəx, kɑhərəxə/.
ceannas: “a leading position”.
ceapaim, ceapadh: “to conceive, appoint”. With the verbal adjective ceapaithe, where GCh has ceaptha.
céarach: “waxed”; pronounced /kʹe:rəx/.
ceárd: “trade”, with céirde in the genitive. The dative singular ceird (i.e. céird here) is used as the nominative in GCh.
céir: “wax”, with céarach in the genitive, /kʹe:rəx/.
ceocu: “which? which of them?; whether”. From cé acu or cé’cu, but pronounced /kʹukə/.
chím, feiscint: “to see”, or feicim, feiceáil in GCh; pronounced /xʹi:mʹ, fʹiʃkʹintʹ/.
cíoraim, cíoradh: “to comb”.
clochaire: “stone-worker”, or clochadóir in GCh (which form is also found in PUL’s works). This is used in the feminine (an chlochaire) in reference to a female stone-worker (carver of statues).
clochaireacht: “stone-working”, or clochadóireacht in GCh.
cloím, cloí: “to cleave to”, with le.
cnapóg: “lump”.
cóir: “proper equipment (for something)”. Cóir úirlisí, “implements, tools”.
coitiantacht (an choitiantacht): “the general public, the common people”. Pronounced /ko’tʹiəntəxt/.
cómhluadar: “company” and as a verbal noun “keeping company with”; pronounced /ko:luədər/.
comrádaí: “comrade”. Pronounced /kumə’rɑ:di:/.
cor: “treatment”.
corp: “body”, with cuirp in the genitive. Obair chuirp, “physical
work”.
costas: “cost”, but often to be translated as “costs”. Costas a dhéanamh, “to incur expense”.
cothrom: “a suffiency of something”; pronounced /korhəm/. Cothrom airgid, “a decent amount of money”.
cothrom: “even, well-proportioned”; pronounced /korhəm/.
cráifeacht: “devotion, piety”.
cró: “crowbar”, with crónna in the plural. GCh has gró and gróite, possibly out of a desire to keep this word separate from cró, “pen, fold, pigsty”. (Gró was a variant in PSD, but the choice of it in FGB may be influenced by the need to keep it distinct from cró.) Cró-iarann is also given in FGB.
cromaim, cromadh: “to stoop, bow down”, with the participle cromtha, /kroumhə/.
crot: “form, appearance”. There is a nuance of distinction between crot, “appearance”, and cruth, “shape, form”.
cruaidh: “hard, severe”, or crua in GCh. Pronounced /kruəgʹ/ in WM
Irish.
cruaim, cruachtaint: “to harden”. GCh has cruaim, cruachan.
cuaird: “visit; course”, or cuairt in GCh.
cúiléith: “ligament at the back of the neck; a good mind”.
cuímhin: “memory”, pronounced /ki:nʹ/. Is cuímhin liom é, “I remember it”.
cuímhne: “memory”, pronounced /ki:nʹi/.
cuímhním, cuímhneamh: “to think, reflect, consider”, pronounced /ki:’nʹi:mʹ, ki:nʹəv/.
culaith: “suit of clothes”, pronounced /klih/.
cumaim, cumadh: “to form, shape”. A long u is found in forms of this verb where the root precedes a consonant (gcúmfá).
daingneacht: “firmness, fortitude”; pronounced /dɑŋʹinʹəxt/. This word is not given in FGB.
dálta: “affair, circumstances”, a noun that, etymologically at least, is the plural of dáil, “meeting, assembly”. By extension, dálta means “just like”.
dán: “lot, fate”. I ndán (do), “in store for, predestined for, fated for”.
dar fia!: “by Jove!” Fia means “Lord, God”, but the word was frequently confused with the word fia, meaning “deer”—the former was fiadha and the latter fiadh in the old script—producing the Hiberno‑Irish form, “by the deer!”
dea-chúmtha: “attractive, well-built”.
dealbh: “statue”; pronounced /dʹaləv/.
deallraím, deallramh: “to appear”, or dealraím, dealramh in GCh. The traditional ll is given in the editing here, indicating the diphthong; pronounced /dʹau’ri:m, dʹaurəv/.
deallramh: “appearance”; pronounced /dʹaurəv/.
dealúdóir: “sculptor”, or dealbhóir in GCh.
dealúdóireacht: “sculpture (as an art)”, or dealbhóireacht in GCh.
déantús: “creation, manufacture, production”, referring to the result of the production process. With déantúsaí in the plural where GCh has déantúis.
deimhin: “certain, sure”, pronounced /dʹəinʹ/.
deimhním, deimhniú: “to assure, confirm”, pronounced /dʹəi’nʹi:mʹ, dʹəi’nʹu:/.
deinim, déanamh: “to do”, or déanaim, déanamh in GCh, where use of the historical dependent form is generalised. Deinim derives from a corruption of the historical absolute form, do-ghním. Pronounced /dʹinʹimʹ, dʹianəv/.
deocair: “difficult”, or deacair in GCh.
deóir: “tear”, with the plural here deóracha, where deora stands in GCh.
deórach: “tearful”.
diaidh: “wake, rear”, pronounced /dʹiəgʹ/. I ndiaidh, “after”.
do: “to”. Note that the classical spelling of the preposition pronoun is adopted in GCh, but this form is pronounced /do/ in the dialect and so edited as do here.
dóbair: “it nearly happened”, originally the preterite of the verb fóbraim. Ba dhóbair é, “it was a close‑run thing”.
doimhinn: “deep”, or domhain in GCh; pronounced /dəiŋʹ/.
domhan: “world”, pronounced /doun/. Pé’r domhan é, “in any case,
anyway”,
driotháir: “brother”, or deartháir in GCh.
druím: “back” (in metaphorical uses), or droim in GCh. Druím lámha ’ thabhairt le duine, “to abandon or cast someone off”.
dul síos: “descent”. Ar an gcéad dul síos, “in the first instance”.
dúthaigh: “land, region, district”, pronounced /du:higʹ:/. This corresponds to dúiche in GCh.
éaghmais: “absence, lack”, or éagmais in GCh, pronounced /iamiʃ/. Dá éaghmais sin, “in spite of this, furthermore”.
ealaí: “science, skill; trade, occupation”, or ealaín in GCh, where the dative is used.
éinne: “anyone; one person”, from aon duine. Pronounced /e:ŋʹi/.
éitheach: “falsehood”. T’éitheach a thabhairt, “to lie”.
faid: “length”, or fad in GCh. An fhaid, “while”, equivalent to fad or a fhad in GCh.
faíoch: “loud, plaintive”, of weeping.
fan: “along”, a contraction of feadh an. Fan na hoíche, “throughout the night”.
faoi: “under him/it”. Faoi is the GCh equivalent of . However, faoi itself is found occasionally in PUL’s works, only, however, as a prepositional pronoun and not as a simple preposition.
féachaint suas: “looking up”. Féachaint suas ag an bpobal chút, “to be
looked up to by people”.
féachaint: found in cur ’ fhéachaint ar dhuine, “to force or compel someone”. This would be cur iallach or iachall ar dhuine in GCh. In his notes to his Cath Ruis na Rí for Bóinn, PUL gives an explanation: “cur fhiachaint ortha, to force them. We have also cur fhiachaibh and chur iacholl. I have heard cur fhiachaint oftener than I have heard any of the others. I have always felt that the fhiachaint is simply ‘seeing’, i.e. ‘to put its seeing upon you’, i.e. ‘to let you see that you will do it’. Any of them is better than the ridiculous English ‘I’ll make you’” (p61).
féinig: “self”, a Munster colloquial variant form of féin.
féith: “sinew, vein”, and by extension, “a natural leaning or aptitude”.
feitheamh: “to wait; waiting, expectation”, a verbal noun pronounced /fʹihəv/.
féithleach: “sinewy, rugged”, or féitheach in GCh.
fiacal: “tooth”, or fiacail in GCh. Note the epenthetic vowel in the plural, fiacla, pronounced /fʹiəkələ/.
fídireacht: “trifling, acting in a frivolous way”.
focal: “word, phrase”, with foclaibh in the dative plural. Pronounced /fokəl, fokəlivʹ/.
fochair: “proximity, presence”. I bhfochair, “together with, in the presence of”.
foghlamaím, foghlaim: “to study”, or foghlaimím, foghlaim in GCh. Pronounced /foulə’mi:mʹ, foulimʹ/.
folt: “head of hair, locks”; pronounced /fohl/.
fonn: “inclination, desire, willingness”, pronounced /fu:n/. Tá sé d’fhónn air, “he is inclined to, is willing to”.
fórlámhas: “supremacy, domination, authority”. In NIWU, PUL commented on the
pronunciation of this word: “three short syllables, accent on first”. However, it seems this word was not part of the colloquial dialect, accounting for his giving a pronunciation contrary to the general phonology of the dialect. AÓL had /fo:r’lɑ:s/.
formad: “envy”, pronounced /forəməd/. As a verbal noun, ag formad le, “to envy”.
fuil: “blood”. Lucht na fola, “well-bred, high-born people” (this also means “men of violence”, but the meaning indicated is suggersted in Ch1 here).
fuip: “whip”.
gabhaim, gabháil: “to go” and a large range of other meanings; pronounced /goumʹ, gvɑ:lʹ/. The future and conditional forms of gabhaim, geóbhad and do gheóbhainn, are aligned with those of the verb gheibhim (gheóbhad or geóbhad and do gheóbhainn); compare gabhfaidh mé and ghabhfainn in GCh.
gairm: “profession, call, calling”; pronounced /gɑrʹimʹ/.
gannachúise: “scarcity”, or gannchúise in GCh.
garbh: “rough. rugged”; pronounced /gɑrəv/.
geímhreadh: “winter”, pronounced /gʹi:rʹi/. The genitive, geímhridh, is /gʹi:rʹigʹ/.
gínte: “nations”.
giollacht: “to lead (a horse); direct a horse by holding the reins”; pronounced /gʹə’lɑxt/.
giorrae: “hare”, or giorria in GCh.
glan: “clean”, with glaine in the comparative; pronounced /glɑn, glinʹi/.
gléineach: “clear, lucid, glittering”.
guala: “shoulder”, replaced in GCh by the dative gualainn; with guaille in the plural where GCh has guaillí.
gustal: “means, wealth, resources”.
idir: “between, among”. Note eadrainn, “between us”, pronounced /ɑdəriŋʹ/.
imím, imeacht: “to go, go away”, pronounced /i’mʹi:mʹ, i’mʹaxt/. Rud d’imeacht ort, “for something to happen to you”.
in: a form of the demonstrative pronoun sin used after the copula (b’in, nách in, etc). Correct spelling of this word also yields the correct pronunciation.
inead: “unit; place”, or ionad in GCh. Pronounced /inʹəd/ in WM Irish. In inead, “instead of, in the place of”.
inné: “yesterday”, pronounced /i’nʹe:/, as if with a single n. Inné roimis sin, “the previous day”.
ínsim, ínsint: “to tell”, or insím, insint in GCh. The verbal adjective is ínste. The preterite here is d’innis sé; d’inis sé was also found.
íomhá: “image, statue”, pronounced /i:ˈvɑ:/. The plural is íomhátha, where GCh has íomhánna.
ionúin: “dear, beloved”, pronounced /u’nu:nʹ/.
isteach: “inside” (with motion), pronounced /iʃ’tʹax/.
iúnadh: “wonder, surprise”, or ionadh in GCh. Pronounced /u:nə/.
iúntach: “wonderful, strange, surprising”, or iontach in GCh. Pronounced /u:ntəx/.
iúntaoibh: “confidence, trust”, or iontaoibh in GCh. Pronounced /u:n’ti:vʹ/.
labhraim, labhairt: “to speak”, or labhraím, labhairt in GCh. Pronounced /lourimʹ, lourtʹ/.
láithreach: “present”; pronounced /lɑ:rʹhəx/.
lámh: “hand”. Note that the nominative singular (and genitive plural) is pronounced /lɑ:v/ with the genitive singular (lámha) and the nominative plural (lámha) both pronounced /lɑ:/. PUL stated in NIWU (p70) “I never see lámha written as the genitive of lámh. I have always heard it spoken”. Consequently, in his works the genitive is generally given, not as láimhe, but as lámha.
leabhar: “book”. The plural leabhra is found here, where GCh has leabhair. PUL’s other works generally have leabhair in the plural. Pronounced /lʹour/.
leac: “flagstone, stone, slab”, with lic in the dative.
leamh: “tasteless, insipid”; pronounced /lʹav/.
leanbaí: “childish”; pronounced /lʹanə’bi:/.
leanbaíocht: “childishness”; pronounced /lʹanə’bi:xt/.
léann: “learning; branch of studies”; pronounced /lʹe:n/. Lucht léinn, “the learned”.
leath: “side”, with leith in the dative. Fé leith, “separate, distinct”.
léim, lé’: “to read”, or léim, léamh in GCh.
líomhadóir: “polisher”.
líomhaim, líomhadh: “to polish”. Pronounced /lʹi:mʹ, lʹi:/.
mac Uí Rudaí: “a nobody”.
mairim, maireachtaint: “to live”, or mairim, maireachtáil in GCh. Ponounced /mɑrʹimʹ, mə’rʹaxtintʹ/.
máistir: “master”, with máistrí in the plural. Pronounced /mɑ:ʃtʹirʹ, mɑ:ʃtʹirʹi:/.
maith: “great or important person”. Maithe móra, “important men”.
me: disjunctive form of the first-person pronoun, pronounced /mʹe/ (or /mʹi/ through the raising of the vowel in the vicinity of a nasal cononant). Always in GCh.
measarthacht: “moderation, self-restraint, temperance”.
meilim, meilt: “to grind” (e.g. your teeth).
míchúmtha: “misshapen, disfigured”.
millim, milleadh: “to mar, ruin”. Focail a mhilleadh, “to mangle words”.
misneach: “courage, vigour”, pronounced /mʹiʃ’nʹɑx/.
mogh: “slave”; pronounced /mou/.
mór: “large”, pronounced /muər/.
mórchlú: “great renown or fame”. Pronounced /muər-xlu:/.
muiríon: “encumbrance, burden”, with muirín in the dative, which form is adopted as the baseform of the noun in GCh.
namhaid: “enemy”, pronounced /naudʹ/.
neamhchostasúil: “inexpensive”, or neamhchostasach in GCh. Pronounced
/nʹa-xostə’su:lʹ/.
neamhthairbheach: “unprofitable”; pronounced /nʹa-hɑrʹifʹəx/.
nú: “or”, or in GCh.
obair: “work”, with oibre in the genitive and oibreacha in the plural. Pronounced /obirʹ, ebʹirʹi, ebʹirʹəxə/. Obair chúírte, “court proceedings”.
oirearcas: “eminence, distinction, magnificence”, or oirirceas in GCh. PUL told Osborn Bergin that this word had a broad rc in the middle of the word in WM Irish.
oirim, oiriúnt: “to suit, fit”; pronounced /irʹimʹ, i’rʹu:ntʹ/.
oirirc: “distinguished, eminent, illustrious”. Pronounced /erʹirʹikʹ/. With oirearca in the plural.
os cómhair: “in front of”. Pronounced /ɑs ko:rʹ/.
pobal: “people”, with poblaibh in the dative plural. Pronounced /pobəl, pobəlivʹ/.
poiblíocht: “public”, used with article (an phoiblíocht); pronounced /pobʹi’lʹi:xt/.
púnc: “point”, or ponc in GCh. I bpúnc, “in a fix, in a predicament”.
réidh: “quiet, calm; plain; smooth, even”, pronounced /re:gʹ/. Go réidh, “slowly, calmly, carefully”.
réir: “service, treatment”. Réir dhuine ’ dhéanamh, “to serve someone”.
ríghneas: “slowness, delay”. Pronounced /riːnʹəs/.
riocht: “guise, state”.
roim ré: “in advance, beforehand”. Pronounced /rimʹ rʹe:/.
roinnt: “a share, portion; some”; pronounced /rəintʹ/.
saghas: “sort, kind”. Pronounced /səis/.
saibhreas: “wealth, riches”, pronounced /sevʹirʹəs/. Lucht saibhris, “the rich”.
samhlaím, samhlú: “to imagine, fancy”; pronounced /sauˈli:mʹ, sauˈlu:/. Impersonally, do samhlaíodh dom (go), “I imagined (that)”.
saoráideach: “easy”; pronounced /səi’rɑ:dʹəx/.
saormhac: literally a “free student”, probably in reference to a day student or pupil here.
saormhachnamh: “free thought or contemplation”.
scannradh: “terror”, or scanradh in GCh; pronounced /skaurə/.
sceinnim, sceinnt: “to spring, gush; dart, fly”; or scinnim, scinneadh in GCh; pronounced /ʃkʹeŋʹimʹ, ʃkʹəintʹ/.
sciamh/scéimh: “facial beauty”, with scéimh in the dative, which form is adopted in GCh.
sciathán: “wing”, pronounced /ʃkʹi:’hɑ:n/.
sclábhaí: “toiler”.
screadaim, screadach: “to screaming, shriek”, pronounced /ʃkrʹadimʹ, ʃkrʹə’dɑx/. Note that as a feminine verbal noun, the dative is ag screadaigh /i ʃkrʹadigʹ/. This distinction is not observed in GCh.
scrím, scrí’: “to write”, scríobhaim, scríobh in GCh. All forms of this paradigm are spelt according to the pronunciation here.
sean: “ancestor, forebear”.
séan: “good fortune”.
seannda: “old, aged”; pronounced /ʃaundə/.
séimhe: “gentleness, mildness”.
seirithean: “indignation”, or seirfean in GCh. Pronounced /ʃerʹihən/.
síolraím, síolrú: “to breed, propagate”. Do shíolraigh sé ó (dhuine), “he is descended from (a certain person)”.
siséal: “chisel”. Pronounced /ʃi’ʃe:l/. With siséala in the plural, where GCh has siséil.
slachtmar: “well-groomed, tidy”.
slat: “rod”. An tslat a dh’fháil ar rud, “to be beaten for something”.
sléachtaim, sléachtadh: “to fall prostrate, genuflect”. With the verbal adjective sléachtaithe where GCh has sléachta.
snagaireacht: “an act of stuttering, stumbling in your speech”.
snoídheadóir: “engraver, carver”, or snoíodóir in GCh. Pronounced /sni:gʹədo:rʹ/.
snoím, snoí: “to hew, carve”.
sofheicse: “visible”, or sofheicthe in GCh. Pronounced /so-ikʃi/.
soghluaiseacht: “tractableness, easygoing nature”.
solaoid: “example, illustration”.
stracaim, stracadh: “to tear”; or sracaim, sracadh in GCh.
stuama: “dignified”. Pronounced /stuəmhə~stuəmə/.
suan: “slumber, sleep”.
tabhairt amach: “display, demonstration; development”. Gan aon tabhairt amach ionat, “of no account in the eyes of the public”.
tabhairt isteach: “introduction”.
táim, bheith: “to be”. An older second-person singular form taoi is found here, corresponding to tá tú in GCh.
tairbhe: “benefit”, pronounced /tɑrʹifʹi/.
tigh: “house”. The historical dative replaces the nominative in WM Irish; GCh has teach.
tímpall: “around”, or timpeall in GCh. The broad p in WM Irish is preserved here: /tʹi:mʹpəl/.
tíompánaí: “tambourine player, minstrel”. This is used in the feminine (tíompánaí bhocht) in reference to a female musician here.
tionnscnamh: “beginning, introduction, initiation”, or tionscnamh in GCh. Pronounced /tʹu:skənəv/.
tnúth: “envy, yearning”.
toghaim, toghadh: “to choose”, pronounced /toumʹ, tou/.
tosnaím, tosnú: “to start”, or tosaím, tosú in GCh. Thosnaigh sé orm, “he set upon me”.
tosnú: “a start”, or tús/tosú in GCh. Leath na hoibre tosnú maith, “if you make a good start you’re half way there”, a phrase that appears in GCh has tús maith leath na hoibre.
trioblóideach: “troublesome”, pronounced /trʹubə’lo:dʹəx/.
trom: “heavy”, pronounced /troum/.
trusálaim, trusáilt: “to tuck up, truss up”. Trusáilte, “tucked up”.
tu, thu: disjunctive form of the second person pronoun, pronounced /tu, hu/. Always in GCh.
tuairgín: “pounder, mallet”, where GCh has tuairgnín.
tugaim, tabhairt: “to give”. Na focail a thabhairt leat, “to get the words out properly”.
úiríseal: “lowly”, or uiríseal in GCh.
um/uime: “about, round”. PUL stated in NIWU (p112) that um was not an obsolete word for him, and that he had always heard cuir umat do chasóg for “put your coat on”, and not cuir ort do chasóg (cuir ort would be more appropriate for something like a hat that is literally put on, and not around, a person). The combined forms are
umam /ə’mum/, umat /ə’mut/, uime /imʹi/, uímpi /i:mpʹi/, umainn /ə’miŋʹ/, umaibh /ə’mivʹ/, úmpu /u:mpə/. See Stair na Gaeilge, Ch VI: Gaeilge na Mumhan, §6.22, for discussion of the pronunciation of these forms.
úmhlaím, úmhlú: “to submit to someone”, with do. Pronounced /u:’li:mʹ, u:’lu:/.
úncail: “uncle”. An Anglophone word is given here; the traditional terms were driotháir áthar and driotháir máthar, as appropriate.
úr: “your (plural)”, or bhur in GCh. Pronounced /u:r/.
úrlabhra: “speech”, pronounced /u:rlourə/. Fear an úrlabhra, “the eloquent”.
ústa: “bruise, welt”; or fústa in GCh.

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Full text of Catilína (Peadar Ua Laoghaire’s translation)

Here is the full text. It needs to be proofread, and there may be things to sort out in the foclóirín one day: PDF.

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My latest Nietzsche file

As I’m incorporating many suggestions into this translation of Beyond Good and Evil – and so the text is constantly changing – the latest file is here.

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Nietzsche 4/296

Beyond Good and Evil Thar Olc is Maith
4. The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new language sounds most strangely. The question is, how far an opinion is life-furthering, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps species-rearing, and we are fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest opinions (to which the synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely IMAGINED world of the absolute and immutable, without a constant counterfeiting of the world by means of numbers, man could not live—that the renunciation of false opinions would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. TO RECOGNISE UNTRUTH AS A CONDITION OF LIFE; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil. 4. Ní mar gheall ar a bréagaí a chuirfimís i gcuinnibh tuairim’ éigint: is ’na thaobh so, b’fheidir, go mbeadh crot uaigneach ar an nua-chainnt againn. ’Sé rud atá i gceist ná cad é an fhaid a bheidh an bheatha ag tuairim éigint á chur chun cínn, á chimeád, cad é an fhaid a bheidh an ghné dhaonna aici á chimeád, á chothú b’fhéidir. Agus go bhfuilimíd claonta go bunúsach chun a dh’áiteamh go bhfuilid na tuairimí is bréagaí (gur leó na breitheanna saorga a priori) ar na cínn is riachtanaí dhúinn. Agus ná féadfaidh duine maireachtaint gan admháil do dhéanamh do smaointibh bréagacha, gan cúmparáid a dhéanamh idir an saol fírinneach agus saol glan na SAMHLAÍOCHTA, saol na nithe absalóideacha do-athraithe, gan síorbhréagnú ’ dhéanamh ar an saol le himearthas uimhreacha—go mbeadh diúlthú do thuairimí bréagacha mar dhiúlthú don bheatha, séanadh na beatha féin. ADMHÁIL DON NEAMHFHÍRINNE MAR CHUINÍLL NA BEATHA; lochtaíonn san go deimhin tuairimí traidisiúnta an luacha ar shlí chúntúrthach, agus saghas ollúnachta a leómhann é seo do dhéanamh, tá sé féin dá dheascaibh sin t’réis é féin do chur thar olc agus maith.
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Nietzsche 3/296

Beyond Good and Evil Thar Olc is Maith
Having kept a sharp eye on philosophers, and having read between their lines long enough, I now say to myself that the greater part of conscious thinking must be counted among the instinctive functions, and it is so even in the case of philosophical thinking; one has here to learn anew, as one learned anew about heredity and “innateness.” As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and procedure of heredity, just as little is “being-conscious” OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life For example, that the certain is worth more than the uncertain, that illusion is less valuable than “truth” such valuations, in spite of their regulative importance for US, might notwithstanding be only superficial valuations, special kinds of niaiserie, such as may be necessary for the maintenance of beings such as ourselves. Supposing, in effect, that man is not just the “measure of things.” 3. Do chimeádainn mo shúil go géar ar na hollúnaibh, agus do léinn idir líntíbh a scríbhinní aimsir fhada a dóthain, ach deirim liom féin anois go gcaithimíd an chuid is mó den mheabhrúchán tuisceanach a dh’áireamh i measc na bhfeidhmithe dúchasacha, agus sin mar atá fiú i gcás an mheabhrúcháin ollúnachta. Tá orainn anso gach rud a dh’fhoglaim as a nua, mar a dh’fhoghlamair as a nua mar gheall ar an ndúchas agus ar an “ndúchasacht”. Fé mar is beag a deintear scrúdú ar conas mar a beirthar an duine i gcúrsa iomlán agus i ndul amach an dúchais, sin mar is beag a dheineann an “bheith tuisceanach” CUR I gCOINNIBH na dúchasachta in aon chiall dhiongbháilthe. An chuid is mó de mheabhrúchán tuisceanach an ollaimh, tá a dhúchas féin ag dul fé i ganfhios, agus á stiúrú isteach i gclasaibh áirithe. Agus ’ dtaobh thiar den uile smaoineamh agus den tsaorchead gluaiseacht a chíthar ’na dheallramh, bíd meastacháin, nú, chun a rá níos soiléire, riachtanaisí nadúra chun slí bheatha áirithe do chimeád suas. Mar shampla, gur mó is fiú an deimhne seochas an neamhdheimhne, gur lú is fiú an mheallthacht seochas “an fhírinne”, b’fhéidir gurb é saghas a leithéid seo de mheastacháin, in ainneóin a dtábhachtachta ó thaobh na rialthachta DHÚINNE, dá ainneóin sin is uile, b’fhéidir gurb é saghas iad ná meastacháin fhánacha nách mór, saighseanna fé leith amadántaíochta, mar is riachtanach chun a leithéid seo de neachaibh mar sinne do chimeád suas. I gcás gurb amhlaidh gur rud is mó ná “tómhas gach ruda” gurb ea an duine féin.
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Nietszche 2/296

I’m not happy with translating “Being” by Beith, but there seems little other choice, other than to paraphrase entirely, which may not be appropriate with such an abstruse text. Or I’m wondering if Bheith ann is better, and you could say in ucht an Bheith-Ann for “in the lap of Being”? Metaphysicians – I can’t accept the made-up word given in Ó Dónall’s dictionary for this, so I have come up with: an lucht bheith ann gach ruda do phlé. However, there is no good option here.

Beyond Good and Evil Thar Olc is Maith
2. “HOW COULD anything originate out of its opposite? For example, truth out of error? or the Will to Truth out of the will to deception? or the generous deed out of selfishness? or the pure sun-bright vision of the wise man out of covetousness? Such genesis is impossible; whoever dreams of it is a fool, nay, worse than a fool; things of the highest value must have a different origin, an origin of THEIR own—in this transitory, seductive, illusory, paltry world, in this turmoil of delusion and cupidity, they cannot have their source. But rather in the lap of Being, in the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the ‘Thing-in-itself—THERE must be their source, and nowhere else!”—This mode of reasoning discloses the typical prejudice by which metaphysicians of all times can be recognized, this mode of valuation is at the back of all their logical procedure; through this “belief” of theirs, they exert themselves for their “knowledge,” for something that is in the end solemnly christened “the Truth.” The fundamental belief of metaphysicians is THE BELIEF IN ANTITHESES OF VALUES. It never occurred even to the wariest of them to doubt here on the very threshold (where doubt, however, was most necessary); though they had made a solemn vow, “DE OMNIBUS DUBITANDUM.” For it may be doubted, firstly, whether antitheses exist at all; and secondly, whether the popular valuations and antitheses of value upon which metaphysicians have set their seal, are not perhaps merely superficial estimates, merely provisional perspectives, besides being probably made from some corner, perhaps from below—”frog perspectives,” as it were, to borrow an expression current among painters. In spite of all the value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to pretence, to the will to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity. It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of those good and respected things, consists precisely in their being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil and apparently opposed things—perhaps even in being essentially identical with them. Perhaps! But who wishes to concern himself with such dangerous “Perhapses”! For that investigation one must await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto prevalent—philosophers of the dangerous “Perhaps” in every sense of the term. And to speak in all seriousness, I see such new philosophers beginning to appear. 2. “CONAS DOB FHÉIDIR d’éinní teacht as a mhalairt? Mar shampla, fírinne as earráid? nú Toil chun Fírinne a’ toil chun fíll? nú gníomh fial a’ leithleachas? nú radharc glan an eagnaí, radharc atá chómh geal le gréine, a’ sainnt? Ní féidir a leithéid de ghinúint; pé duine dá samhlaíthar é is amadán é, ní hea, ach rud is measa ná amadán féin; nithe de luach is aoirde, ní f’láir a mhalairt de bhunús a bheith acu, bunús is LEÓ féin—sa tsaol so atá neambuan, samhalthach, meallthach, suarach; sa tsuathadh so céimaghrá agus ampla, ní féidir bunús a bheith acu ann. Ní hé sin ach in ucht an Bheith-Ann, sa bhuan, sa Dia atá fé cheilth, sa Rud-ann-féin—IS ANSAN nách f’láir a mbunús a bheith acu, agus ní hin aon bhall eile!”— Nochtann an módh so meabhrúcháin an tuairim chlaonta is dual ins gach aimsir do ‘lucht bheith-ann gach ruda do phlé’ agus lenar féidir iad so d’aithint, agus tá an módh so meastacháin ‘dtaobh thiar de gach dul amach smaoinimh acu; tríd an “gcreideamh” seo acu a gheibhid siad dua ar son an “eólais”, ar son ruda go dtugtar go solmanta sa deireadh “an Fhírinne” air. Is é creideamh bunúsach an ‘lucht bheith-ann gach ruda do phlé’ ná CREIDEAMH I MALAIRTEACHAIBH LUACH. Níor ritheadh riamh chun an té dhíobh is mó aireachas air féin amhras a bheith aige anso ar an dtáirsigh féin (mar a mbeadh sé, ámh, go róriachtanach); bíodh go bhfuil móid sholmanta déanta acu, “DE OMNIBUS DUBITANDUM”. Óir is féidir amhras a dhéanamh, ar an gcéad sul síos an bhfuilid malairteacha ar bith in aon chor; agus ’na theannta san nách é saghas iad meastacháin agus malairteacha na luach is coitianta lenar chuir an ‘lucht bheith-ann gan ruda do phlé’ a n-urra ná meastacháin shealadacha nách mór, b’fhéidir. Radharcanna sealadacha nách mór, seochas iad a bheith déanta de réir dheallraimh ó chúinne éigint, nú b’fhéidir aníos a thánadar—“radharcanna na bhfroganna”, mar dhea, má thógaimíd focal is coitianta i measc na bpéintéirí. In ainneóin an uile luach gur leis an bhfíor, leis an ndeimhneach agus leis an neamhleithliseach iad, b’fheidir go gcuirfí meas níos aoirde agus níos bunúsaí don tsaol i gcoitine ar bhréagadóireacht, ar an dtoil chun céimaghrá, ar leithleachas, agus ar ampla. Agus b’fhéidir gurbh amhlaidh GUR NÍ GURB EA É is bun le luach na nithe fónta urramacha, ní gurb ea é atá bunaithe ar naisceachaibh cealgacha, snaidhmithe, cróiseáilthe, a bheith acu leis na drochnithe sin is deallraitheach gur nithe malairteacha iad—agus b’fhéidir gurb ionann iad go bunúsach. B’fhéidir! Ach cé hé an té gurbh áil leis baint a bheith aige lena leithéid seo de “b’fhéidireachaibh” cúntúrthacha?! Óir caitheann an féachaint isteach san feitheamh le teacht i láthair órdú nua na n-ollamh, a leithéidí go mbeid mianta agus fuínn fé leith acu, a mhalairt sin seochas iad do bhí i vóc mhór againn go dtí anois—ollúna an “B’fhéidir” chúntúrthaigh, ins gach brí atá leis an bhfocal. Agus, labhraim anois lándáiríribh, chím a leithéid sin d’ollúnaibh nua ag tosnú ag teacht i radharc.
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A bit of Nietzsche in Irish

This is paragraph one (of 296) of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. I’m not sure of the translation, and would like suggestions. I think Good and Evil has to be Evil and Good in Irish. Toil chun may be a little bit odd – but “will to truth” is odd in English too. I thought of fonn chun, but this is “inclination to”, and may not be strong enough. Dúil i is also too weak. I also thought of mian. Mian chun fírinne? If anyone has a better idea, please let me know.

Beyond Good and Evil Thar Olc is Maith
CHAPTER I. PREJUDICES OF PHILOSOPHERS
1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this “Will to Truth” in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will—until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us—or was it we who presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.
CAIBIDEAL A hAON. TUAIRIMÍ CLAONTA na nOLLAMH
1. Toil chun Fírinne, rud a mheallfaidh sinn chun a lán gnóthaí cúntúrthacha, ’sé sin an Fhírinneacht mórchlú go labhradh na hollúna go léir go nuige seo go hurramúil uirthi, cad iad na ceisteanna ná cuireadh an Toil chun Fírinne seo rómhainn?! Cad iad mar cheisteanna éagsamhlacha, ceisteanna is abhar mearathaill agus aighnis! Scéal fada atá ann cheana féin, ach mar sin féin tá deallramh air ná fuil sé ach t’réis tosnú. Cad é an iúnadh má thagann drochiúntaoibh againn fé dheireadh, má bhriseann ar an bhfoighne againn agus má iompaímíd uaidh go neamhfhoighneach? Go múineann an Sphíncs seo fé dheireadh dhúinn ceisteanna do chur uainn féin? CÉ AIGE dáiríribh go bhfuilid na ceisteanna á gcur chúinn anso? CAD É AN NÍ dáiríribh an “Toil chun Fírinne” seo atá ionainn? Is amhlaidh a dheineamair stop fada leis an gceist i dtaobh cad is bun leis an dToil seo—go dtánamair fé dheireadh go stad i gceart roime cheist níos bunúsaí fós. D’fhiafraíomair cad ann go bhfuil LUACH na Toile seo. Bíodh agus go bhfuil an fhírinne uainn: CAD FÁTH NÁCH É an neamhfhírinne? Agus an neamhdheimhne? Fiú an t-ainbhios? Dob í an adhb atá i luach na fírinne do thispeáin í féin rómhainn—nú arbh é sinne do thispeánamair sinn féin roimis an adhb? Ceocu dhínn is Uídipus anso? Cé hé is Sphíncs? Do dheallródh gur puínte cuinne gurb ea é, puínte cuinne na gceisteanna agus na nótaí ceistiúcháin. Agus arbh fhéidir a chreidiúint go ndeallraíonn sé fé dheireadh nár cuireadh an cheist seo riamh roimis seo, fé mar a bheimís ar na daoine is túisce do bhraith é, is túisce do fuair radharc air, agus is túisce do chuaigh i gCÚNTÚIRT É ’ THARRAC ANUAS? Óir, tá cúntúirt ann ’na tharrac anuas, agus b’fhéidir nách cúntúirt go dtí é.
Posted in Nietzsche i nGaelainn, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Can the Irish Become Better People?

We have witnessed a shocking display from the Dublin government, as it has openly sought (probably successfully as it stands at the moment of writing) to nullify Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), as if a small nation that would not have joined the EU without its larger neighbour should dictate that neighbour’s policy. I believe this holds long-term risks for Ireland, as Ireland reveals its hand, and shows itself not to be a neutral country at all, but an enemy state of England. This is not always appreciated in England, but it is the case, and the Irish are taught to hate England in their education system, often by means of a selectively distorted reading of history. Many—not all, but many—Irish people are raised with the firm belief that Britain has reason to apologise to them, and that they have been personally wronged by historical events. It is the anti-English animus that lay behind Ireland’s joining the euro in the first place, and a non-Irish prime minister, Varadkar, who could hardly be described as a member of cine Ghaedhealach, has played to this resentment throughout the Brexit process. What are the historical facts of the matter?

The geopolitical imperative of British domination
Well, Ireland was dominated by England throughout history, and being an adjacent country, remains, willy-nilly, in the British sphere of influence. Should Ireland join a military alliance arraigned against Britain and offer to host military bases from which to attack the UK, it would invite—and deserve—occupation by Britain. This reflects the realities faced by all small countries. The Ukraine refuses to be a neutral country and wants to join an anti-Russian alliance—and claims to be surprised that it courts military conflict with Russia as a result. Syria claims to object to Israeli bombing raids, despite the fact these are undertaken precisely because Syria is hosting Iranian military bases when Iran is a military foe of Israel. In Irish history, the country sought to ally itself with the Continent against England, and claimed adherence to an episcopacy based in Rome that advocated that Roman Catholics murder the English monarch. I would not suggest that Catholicism has the same geopolitical significance today or that the historical and somewhat tired dispute between Catholicism and Protestantism should be invested with meaning it need not have in an age where none of their adherents believe in the old way anymore. But in the 16th and 17th centuries, adhering to the Roman church hierarchy meant aligning Ireland with France. This was a geopolitical step, and one that England, as any great power, had the right and duty to respond to. The Irish overplayed their hand, and the Flight of the Earls was the consequence.

Losing the land

I cannot support a policy of confiscating all land from Gaelic nobles and handing it out as “freehold” property either to Anglo-Irish landed gentry, and to people based in England who never visited their Irish estates at all. Such an outcome, which played a huge role in the Irish Famine, was not originally intended, as shown in the Surrender and Regrant policy followed at one point that aimed to integrate the existing Gaelic chieftains into the Crown’s own property- and title-holding system. But each cycle of uprisings and conflict led to a deeper and deeper involvement in the affairs of each locality in Ireland. Some Gaelic chieftains did in fact keep their land, but this was generally the case only with landowners who made a great attempt not to come to the attention of the British authorities. Any chieftain who launched an uprising was clearly in line for the loss of all of his land, and this is what happened in the majority of Gaelic Ireland.

The situation is much like that in unstable countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, where the Americans initially intervened, currently in Iraq and Afghanistan and previously in Somalia, to foster stability, and each bout of instability then led to a more repressive policy. In the end, the Americans found themselves bombing weddings and funerals and doing other things they didn’t initially intend to do. You could argue that the Americans shouldn’t be there anyway, but the local people have agency, and bear their own responsibility for the way things have panned out. Japan under the US occupation and Hong Kong under British rule made successes of themselves, so what is wrong with the Afghans or indeed the Irish? It is difficult to avoid the conclusion (one known to all Irishmen, even if they pretend not to know) that the Irish have been their own worst enemies throughout history.

A famine or a genocide?

This brings us to the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and 1850s. The British Census Commissioners determined in 1851—in figures now believed to be an undercount as many people had died or emigrated and were not available to be questioned—that 21,770 had died of starvation over the previous decade and 400,720 from diseases including fever, diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, smallpox and influenza. It is now accepted that the real figure was at least 1m. If Irish children are taught 1m died of starvation, however, then they are being taught a lie. The vast majority of deaths were from disease. Ireland’s own expert on the Famine, Cormac Ó Gráda, has examined this in detail and argues (see Table 7 therein) that 10% of the excess deaths in the Famine period were from starvation or scurvy, which gives an upper limit of 100,000 deaths from starvation and scurvy (scurvy, resulting from a reduction in vitamin C intake, would ultimately reflect lower caloric intake). Although diseases including typhus, typhoid, dysentery, etc, can flourish in a weakened population, and so are ultimately Famine-related too, Ó Gráda argues that the cause of diseases such as these (or of disease in general) was not understood at the time. The squalor and filth of living conditions in Irish cabins played a large role in the death toll. If Irish children are being taught that 1m people died of starvation, they are being fed a malicious lie by their teachers. Subtracting deaths from scurvy, direct deaths from starvation were not more than around 50,000.

This is not a justification for famine or starvation, but a call for a modern country to stop teaching lies in the school system. The British civil servant in charge of Famine relief, Charles Trevelyan, has received much of the blame for Famine deaths. He wrote:

The greatest evil we have to face is not the physical evil of the famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the Irish people.

This has led to propagation by Sinn Féin and others of the view that the Famine was used by Britain to kill off the Irish people. Yet in 1846, Trevelyan wrote:

Our measures must proceed with as little disturbance as possible of the ordinary course of private trade, which must ever be the chief resource for the subsistence of the people, but, coûte que coûte, the people must not, under any circumstances, be allowed to starve.

Trevelyan was a Malthusian who believed that the Irish population had risen unsustainably. From 4m in 1800, the population had risen to 8.5m by 1845. While having no resources to provide for the children they bore, the Irish were breeding with abandon. Having fewer children was clearly something that never occurred to an impoverished tenant. Trevelyan was an adherent to the incorrect view that “nature corrects a population excess”, but there is no evidence whatsoever that he sought to allow people to starve in order to help nature accomplish such a Malthusian task.

Trevelyan did order intervention to provide soup and employment in civil works in Ireland, and, although inadequate, it must be borne in mind that no country in the world was a welfare state at the time, and not much was done in England itself to help those in dire circumstances. It is, in fact, surprising anything at all was done to help the Irish. The 1840s was the period when five-year-old children were working 18-hour days in factories in England and saw their limbs deformed from the work they had to do. Once again, only malice motivates the claim that Britain would have done more if the Famine were in England. No, it wouldn’t have. Britain/England was not a democracy at the time.

Trevelyan was also determined to maintain property rights and the laisser faire economy as far as possible. The army was used to stop the seizure of ships laden with food departing from Irish ports. It is of course true that Ireland did not need English charity or any public welfare at all: Ireland produced enough food for itself, and the tenants simply needed the right to eat the food they produced. Losing their land was catastrophic for the Irish—and a less turbulent history would not have seen them lose their land—and so most of the food was exported to England even at the height of the Potato Famine.

As England was not socialist at the time, it is idle to read history backwards and imagine that any other policy could have been implemented. Even if the Irish landowners had maintained their land, it is far from a certain thing that they would not have taken the majority of the produce from their tenants, or that a potato famine would not have led to the same number of deaths as occurred under British rule. It is uncomfortable for Irish people to confront truths like this—as the false version of history has become part of Ireland’s national identity and brooks no factual refutation.

Losing the language

The Irish tell themselves a fairy tale about their linguistic/literary history, whereby ancient Ireland was “a land of saints and scholars”. There were Christian saints and monks who faithfully copied old manuscripts, but as a description of Gaelic culture it is lousy. The Irish language was written in the pre-modern era by a mere handful of people. There were almost no books in Irish before the mid-19th century, apart from the Bible, translated into Irish by Irishmen under the direction of an English bishop, William Bedell, but railed against by the Roman Catholic church. Ireland was not a land of saints and scholars, but rather a land of squalor, ignorance and cultural backwardness. That Ireland in the pre-British conquest period was not a haven of culture was acknowledged throughout Europe. As the Spanish viscount, Ramón de Perellós, related of his visit to the Ó Néill chieftain in Ireland in September 1397:

And the great lords wear a coat with no lining down to their knees, cut very low at the neckline like women, and they wear great hoods which go down to their waist, the point being as narrow as one’s finger and they wear neither leggings nor shoes nor britches but wear their spurs on their bare heels.

The king was in that state on Christmas day and all his clergy and knights and bishops and abbots and other great lords. The common people go as they may, badly dressed—but most of them wear a cape of frieze; and both men and women shamelessly show all their privates. Poor people go naked but they all wear those capes, good or bad, including ladies. The queen and her daughter and her sister were clothed and bound in green but they were unshod; the queen’s handmaids—there was a good score of them—were dressed as I told you above and showed their privy parts with as little shame as here they show their faces.

And with the king there were about three thousand horses and also many poor folk to whom I saw the king give great alms of beef.

And moreover they are the most handsome men and fairest women that I have seen in the whole world. And moreover they never sowed any corn nor do they have any wine but all their food is meat and the great lords drink milk for their nobility and the others meat broth and water; but they have enough butter for all their livestock is oxen and cows and fine horses. [Link]

Ireland was incredibly backward. There was no settled agriculture. The people were naked much of the time, or naked but for a cape over their shoulders. And yet the kings or chieftains, surrounded by male and female attendants often partly or fully naked, liked to employ court poets to laud them. England may itself have been or become such a country if it hadn’t been for the Norman invasion, which forced the villein system on the English countryside, and with it proper agricultural investment and economic growth. Ireland was famous throughout Europe for the primitivity of its culture.

The bardic schools—which were not “schools” for public attendance, but schools for an incredibly small number of poets—did not survive the demise of the Gaelic landowners. It is often claimed that “England did not allow the Irish to get an education”, and there was a brief period when Roman Catholics could not attend university (at a time when university attendance was less than 1% of the population, there being no public school system), but in 1795 the Catholic college, now a university, in Maynooth was set up by a Royal grant, as part of a British attempt to win over the allegiance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Maynooth predates the advent of a public school system in Britain or Ireland, indicating that British opposition is not the reason why there was no literacy in Irish or books in Irish. Had there been a demand for books in Irish in the 18th century among the well-to-do, there would have been books in Irish. Yet the Irish church hierarchy played a role in repressing literacy in Irish. William Magee pointed out the trade-off between support for the Roman Catholic church and the loss of the Irish language:

Few Irishmen will admit that Ireland would have been made a more interesting and agreeable country by an evangelical movement which would have introduced Bedell’s Bible into every cottage; but it was probably at the cost of her ancient language, as well as of some other things, that Ireland kept her religious tradition unbroken. (Magee, William Kirkpatrick. Bards and saints, Dublin: Maunsel & Co, 1906, p22.)

There are anecdotes relating how the Catholic priests in nineteenth-century Ireland railed against An Bíobla Gallda, “the Foreign Bible” (i.e., a perverse reference to the Bible in Irish, not Latin). Cyril Ó Céirin recounts the opposition of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to the Irish language:

The period witnessed a wholesale effort to win the Irish peasantry over to the Established Church—through the medium of Irish. The attempt failed but struck a devastating blow at the language, for the Roman Catholic clergy panicked and urged their flocks to abandon the language in case it turned out to be the means for their destruction. The teaching and reading of Irish in those areas where proselytism was vigorous was forbidden, collections of manuscripts were made and burnt publicly and preachers fulminated against the language from the pulpit. (Ó Céirin, Cyril. “Maynooth and the Irish language”, an appendix in O’Leary, Peter, My story, translated from Irish by Cyril Ó Céirin, Cork: Mercier Press, 1970, pp177-178.)

The fact that the cities were English-speaking is the real thing that did for the Irish language. It should be admitted that most Irish cities were founded by the Vikings; none were founded by the Gaels. Attempts to made Waterford and Dublin Irish-speaking are funny, in fact: a knowledge of history would argue rather for teaching in Icelandic in those cities in order to bring back a spoken language related to Old Norse. However, the final collapse of the Irish language was rather more sudden than would have appeared likely in 1840, partly because of the Famine, but also because of a wider loss of Irish national self-confidence. Daniel O’Connell, the agitator for Catholic Emancipation and Repeal of the Union known as “the Liberator”, was a native speaker of Irish, but a famous quotation attributed to him shows that many native speakers doubted the advantages of speaking Irish:

I am sufficiently utilitarian not to regret its gradual abandonment. A diversity of tongues is no benefit; it was first imposed upon mankind as a curse, at the building of Babel. It would be of great advantage to mankind if all the inhabitants of the Earth spoke the same language. Therefore though the Irish language is connected with many recollections that twine around the hearts of Irishmen, yet the superior utility of the English tongue, as the medium of all modern communication, is so great that I can witness without a sigh the gradual disuse of Irish. (Daunt, William Joseph O’Neill. Personal recollections of the late Daniel O’Connell, M.P., Volume 1, London: Chapman and Hall, 1848, pp14-15.)

What is regularly left out in Irish nationalist accounts is that the Irish people themselves decided to stop speaking Irish. There are many anecdotal accounts of Irish native speakers concealing their linguistic background or refusing to speak their native tongue, preferring a poorly learned, grammatically butchered variant of English. Irish had become a low-status language, a fact that was connected to the backwardness of Gaelic culture. Where were the Irish Isaac Newtons and George Stephensons? The language circulated, if at all, in manuscripts that few could read.

Rural “hedge” schools grew up in the 18th century, as officially established Catholic schools were forbidden under Penal Laws (such a prohibition was in force for a relatively short time, between 1723 and 1782, but exaggerated in Irish accounts to explain centuries of history). Yet it must be remembered that this was well before the advent of publicly funded mass education, and the unofficial hedge schools, set up by local rural people, tended to teach English, without any government encouragement, simply because to do so offered economic advancement to the pupils. The hedge schools were not staffed by English people sent over to knock the Irish language out of the people. After 1831, the hedge schools were replaced by the national school system, a state education system run largely by the Catholic church, and it is reported that, as in Wales, children were beaten in many of the national schools for speaking Irish, apparently with the approval of their parents, who wished their children to learn English. The Irish people themselves did this. With no published literature in Irish, the Catholic church railing against the language and parents determined to raise their children in English it is unsurprising that Irish fell away. The role of Irish parents in enforcing this transition to English is clear from the account of Robert Lynd:

In many places, teacher, priest and parent combined with the authorities in stamping out all knowledge of the native language from the minds of the children. The children were forbidden to speak any Irish in the schools, and they carried little tally-sticks hung round their necks so that, every time they lapsed into Irish in their homes, their parents might cut a notch in these and the teacher might award as many strokes of the cane as he found notches in the tally-stick on the next morning.

It is difficult to forgive a generation of parents, priests, politicians and teachers who thus flogged the children of the country out of the knowledge of their natural speech. Many parents, it is clear, looking at the course of events in the world, came to the conclusion that English was the language of success and Irish the language of decay and starvation. If they punished their children for being Irish, they thought they were punishing bread-and-butter into their stomachs, if not the bread of life into their souls. Curious to relate, this idea is not dead among Irish-speaking parents even today. Those who know English, though they speak Irish to each other and to grown-up neighbours, very often drop into English when they address their children. (Lynd, Robert. Home Life in Ireland, Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co, 1912, pp92-93.)

The government regulations under which national schools were set up did not mention the Irish language. The Irish language was not expressly forbidden in the schools, but literacy was naturally understood to mean literacy in English as there were so few books in Irish. The Irish language was not placed on the curriculum in the national schools until 1878. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that there was no call for Irish-language education in the 1830s and 1840s, although later in the century, during the Gaelic Revival, there arose a call for the language to be saved. It is a lie, and a pretty malevolent one, for Irish people to claim that England stamped the Irish language out in Ireland. On the contrary, the Irish did.

The balance sheet vis-à-vis England today
All these issues are discussed in Irish schools in a manner designed to foster hatred towards England. Many details of the history are distorted, and context is always airbrushed out of the narrative. It is undeniable that England ended up doing many things in Ireland it didn’t initially intend to do because of the Irish fondness for uprisings, which eventually led them to lose more and more of their land and fall under a deeper form of English control. This is why Trevelyan described them as a “selfish, perverse and turbulent” people, a description that all Irish people today with a modicum of self-awareness will know is accurate. The latest stance in the Brexit negotiations reveals the same character flaws in the Irish people. The Irish remain deeply troubled people psychologically.

The Irish refuse to recognise that they have ever done anything wrong in history. The 1916 uprising—when England was in the middle of the First World War!!—is an example. I went to university with an Irishman from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, who told me that he viewed this as nothing but a stab in the back to England while England was at war. Just think, in 1914 England was offering Ireland Home Rule, a Home Rule for the whole of the country that could have led to a very high degree of autonomy and eventually independence for a united Ireland. The army mutiny and the opposition of the Unionists complicated things, but as the First World War broke out immediately, it was too late to know how it would have played out. The fact is that Ireland was going, one way or the other, to get a large degree of autonomy following the war. There is a lot of evidence that Britain was viewed in Ireland as acting too heavyhandedly in response to the Easter Uprising. The women of Dublin famously (but not in a very ladylike fashion) spat on the Irish Volunteers leading the uprising. Urban public opinion was initially on England’s side and it might have been better not to have acted in a way that alienated even the Dublin middle class. But England was in the middle of a war and naturally could not tolerate an uprising in the United Kingdom itself. Interestingly, the descendants of those very Irish women who spat on the Irish Volunteers in 1916 are being taught in school a narrative that their own Irish grandmothers could have told them was factually false in many respects.

The fact that sectarian killings in the south were recorded, including the killing of poor Protestant farm workers in Co. Cork, is one of the most disreputable “achievements” of Irish nationalism. Maybe Irish nationalists can justify the killings? Or state why the Unionists of Ulster should have welcomed staying in a United Ireland with people who wanted to kill them for sectarian reasons? Interesting, the Irish broadcaster RTÉ hasn’t visited the areas where the Protestant farm workers were killed to conduct an investigation to find out the identities of the killers. The very descendants of the killers are walking around Co. Cork to this day remaining tightlipped over their own family history of sectarian killing, while claiming, to anyone who wants to hear, that it is England that did everything wrong. And in the 1970s, the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland received state encouragement from the Republic of Ireland authorities. It has emerged that Irish prime minister Jack Lynch set up the Provisional IRA. In the latest Brexit talks, the Irish leaders under Varadkar have strongly hinted that they will fund a resumption of terrorism in Northern Ireland if they don’t get their way in the negotiations.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Ireland’s well-fanned historical grievances all date back more than 100 years and generally relate to events centuries ago. In the modern period, the balance sheet is highly negative for Ireland, in that it is Ireland that has repeatedly harmed England and not the other way round. What has Ireland gained from England? Here is a little list:

  • Democracy (an Anglo-Saxon concept)
  • The rule of law (an Anglo-Saxon concept)
  • The English language (without which Ireland wouldn’t be a recipient of foreign investment)
  • Electricity (the electric motor being invented by Michael Faraday in 1821)
  • Railways (the locomotive being invented by George Stephenson in 1814, building on earlier work by Richard Trevithick)
  • Cars (in 1824 Samuel Brown invented a combustion engine that he successfully used to power a vehicle, although the later concept was largely German and French-developed)
  • Aeroplanes (invented by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903)
  • Telephones (invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, building on earlier work by Antonio Meucci)
  • Computers (invented by Charles Babbage in 1837)
  • The Internet (with HTTP and the World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989)
  • Television (invented by John Logie Baird in 1926)
  • European subsidies (Ireland has always been an EU recipient and the UK a contributor; this was a mechanism for the UK to pay for the economic upgrading of Ireland since 1972)

And the Irish contribution to England:

  • Guinness (invented by Arthur Guinness in 1821)

The ledger is far from equal. Without England, the Irish would be burning turf for fuel and going to the toilet in tigh an asail next to the donkeys. Yet Irish people persist in feeling they are the aggrieved party. An article by Ronan McCrea (professor of constitutional and European law at University College London and thus someone taking everything he can get from the British taxpayer) published in the Financial Times makes some surprising points about Irish attitudes towards Britain:

The reaction on both sides underlined how little insight people in Ireland and the UK have into each other’s attitudes. For many Brexiters the Irish government’s approach has been seen as almost disloyal, driven by a nationalist, Sinn Féin-like desire to “stick it to the Brits”. Remainers, for their part, have tended to view Ireland through an equally UK-centric lens, with a recent article speaking of Ireland as “the adult in this dysfunctional family”.

For most Irish people, the purpose of independence—and later an attraction of EU membership—was as a means to get away from a deeply unhappy experience of the UK “family”. This can explain to some degree Irish reactions to seemingly warm gestures, such as British people cheering on the Irish football team. Through Irish eyes, that is a bit like a woman running the marathon noticing her ex-husband cheering for her in the crowd. The support is, in theory, nice, but the implicit assertion of a continuing bond is unwelcome.

Most Irish people do not understand the degree to which some British people feel some betrayal at Ireland’s Brexit stance This mutual misunderstanding means that most Irish people do not understand the degree to which some British people feel some betrayal at Ireland’s Brexit stance. Britons seem unable to imagine that Ireland has relationships and interests beyond its ties to the UK. They therefore conclude that Irish Brexit policy must be driven by anti-British nationalist sentiment.

The British seem to think that over decades they have established a positive relationship with Ireland. Curiously enough, it is, as McCrea points out, the positive attitude of nearly all Englishmen (including the approximately 25% with Irish ancestry) to the Irish that needles them the most. Britain has for decades been a great ally of Ireland, and yet the desire for a friendship WITH WHAT IS A NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY is what annoys the Irish. This is because the Irish nurse hatred towards us. Yet they also feel inferior for having the negative feeling of hatred, and the more the English show themselves to be pleasant, the greater the contrast is played up, to Ireland’s disadvantage. In truth, this is the same resentment that all small nations feel. The Ukrainians will spend much more time thinking about Russia than the Russians will about them. The resentment is always from the smaller nation. Even the Canadians and the Americans have the same dynamic between them. Ask yourself what sort of relationship Britain should seek with its geographically closest neighbour. Why is it wrong for England to seek a positive relationship? A woman can ask her ex-husband to simply not visit or show up in her life at all, but England is next door, and cannot go anywhere. As annoying as it may be to the Irish, they do have to live with England, and to that extent the Irish annoyance that England seeks a positive friendly relationship shows that the fault in the relationship is entirely on the Irish side.

The Irish have no genuine reason for resentment towards England, and no genuine basis for a victim narrative. Irish national identity is purely negative and destructive. It is all about not being English, with no genuine celebration of Irish identity and culture. As Trevelyan said, the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the Irish remains. National culture is like an individual’s character, and the Irish nation has, over centuries, suffered greatly from its own character flaws. They are of course always seeking someone to blame—and end up blaming the country that is the author of their modern prosperity.

Ireland has to make clear what ITS OWN strategy is for maintaining a good relationship with England. Ireland has agency too. Claims that Ireland will simply cut off the power to Northern Ireland after Brexit show the Irish psychological problem—I would argue that all power stations in the Republic of Ireland should be destroyed by the Royal Air Force if that happens. Unfortunately, Ireland has never understood that the key way to gain friendship is to be a friend, and the Irish have never been neighbours that have been easy to get along with. I have argued before that if Britain becomes non-white, the Unionists should consider their options in a white Ireland (an argument largely redundant now that Varadkar wants to “brown” Ireland by bringing in 1m migrants by 2040). But ask yourself how a country that maintains this spiteful national culture would be able to integrate the Unionists if a majority in Northern Ireland voted for reunification. The Irish are unable to compromise, and refuse to recognise their own flaws. They don’t accept there is more than one view on history and would become aggressive in every conversation with the Unionists. The Brexit negotiations show that the Republic of Ireland has made less progress than thought and is simply not ready for Irish unity. The Southern Irish are determined bigots to this day in a way that Northern Protestants have largely abandoned. It is sad to say so, but the Irish are their own problem.

It is also worth noting how badly the English have misunderstood the Irish, believing they had a good relationship with people who genuinely hate them. We need to move our foreign policy onto a more realistic basis, and stop assuming that all nations are as easygoing as the English. Multiculturalism has befuddled the English brain in this respect, leaving us unable to see that some countries are genuinely much less pleasant than England.

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