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p. 46

[Under the following numbers I have grouped together a few traditions, etc., relating to the Campbell legend of Diarmaid and the boar.]



From Donald MacPhie (smith), Breubhaig, Barra, 1860.

Fionn would not marry any lady but one who could answer all his questions, and it appears that this was rather difficult to find. Graidhne, daughter of the King of the fifth of Ullin, answered them all, and proved herself the wisest as well as the handsomest of women. Fionn married Graidhne because she answered the questions. The reciter told me that there were a great many more, but that these were all that he could remember at the time."

H. MACLEAN, October 20, 1860.


[Seo na ceisdean.
Fionn. Dé 's lionaire na'm feur?
Graidhne. Tha 'n druichd; bidh moran bhoineachan deth air aon ghas feoir.]

Fionn. What is more plenteous than the grass?
Graidhne. The dew; there will be many drops of it on one grass blade.

[Dé 's teotha na'n teine?
Ciall mnatha eadar da fhear.]

What is hotter than the fire?
A woman's reasoning betwixt two men.

p. 47

[Dé 's luaithe na ghaoth?
Aigne mnatha eadar da fhear.]

What is swifter than the wind?
A woman's thought betwixt two men.

[Dé 's duibhe na 'm fitheach?
Tha 'm bàs.]

What is blacker than the raven?
There is death.

[Dé 's gile na 'n sneachd?
Tha 'n fhirinn.]

What is whiter than the snow?
There is the truth.

[Dé 's long ri gach luchd?
Teanchair gobha; cumaidh i teith a's fuar.]

What is a ship for every cargo?
A smith's tongs; it will hold hot and cold.

[Dé air nach gabh glas na slabhraidh cur?
Rasg duine ma charaid; cha ghabh e dunadh na cumail ach ag amhare air.]

What is it will not bide lock or chain?
The eye of a man about his friend; it will not brook shutting or holding, but looking on him.

[Dé 's deirge na fuil?
Gnuis duine choir nuair thigeadh coigrich an rathad 's gun bhiadh aige 'bheireadh e dhaibh.]

What is redder than blood?
The face of a worthy man when strangers might come the way, and no meat by him to give to them.

[Dé 's géire na claidheamh?
Athais namhaid.]

What is sharper than a sword?
The reproach of a foe.

p. 48

[Dé 's fearr do bhiadh?
Bleachd; thig iomadh atharrachadh as, niotar im a's càise dheth, 's beathachaidh e leanabh beag a's seanduine.]

What is the best of food?
Milk; many a change comes out of it; butter and cheese are made of it, and it will feed a little child and an old man.

[Dé 's measa do bhiadh?

What is the worst of meat?
Lean flesh.

[De 'n seud a's fhearr?

What is the best jewel?
A knife.

[Dé 's brisge na cluaran?
Briathran torc muice.]

What is more brittle than the sow thistle?
The words of a boar pig.

Dé 's maoithe na cloimhteach?
Dearn air an leaca.]

What is softer than down?
The palm on the cheek.

[Dé 'n gniomh a's fhearr do ghniomhabh?
Gniomh ard a's uaill iseal.]

What deed is the best of deeds?
A high deed and low conceit.

From this then it appears that Graidhne represents, quick wit and beauty, and her name seems to mean Gràdh--love.

Fionn always represents wisdom.

p. 49

Mature wisdom marries young love, and in the stories which follow, love runs away with young valour.

They followed the track which had been assigned to the Celtic race. They are married in Eirinn, and in the next story, the course of their wanderings is pointed out.

Next: LX. Diarmaid And Grainne