IAIN MAC SHEORAIS
MAC CALLEN MOR
MARQUESS OF LORNE
MY DEAR LORNE,
I dedicate this collection of West
Country Stories to you as the son of my Chief, in the hope that it may add
to the interest which you already feel in a people, of whom a large number
look with respect on "Mac Callen Mor" as the head of their tribe. I know
that the poorest Highlanders still feel an honest pride whenever their
chiefs, or men of their name, earn distinction; and many of "Clan
Dhiarmaid" take a warm interest in you.
Amidst curious rubbish you will find
sound sense if you look for it. You will find the creed of the people, as
shewn in their stories, to be, that wisdom and courage, though weak, may
overcome strength, and ignorance, and pride; that the most despised is
often the most worthy; that small beginnings lead to great results.
You will find perseverance, frugality,
and filial piety rewarded; pride, greed, and laziness punished. You will
find much which tells of barbarous times; I hope you will meet nothing
that can hurt, or should offend.
If you follow any study, even that of a
popular tale, far enough, it will lead you to a closed door, beyond which
you cannot pass till you have searched and found the key, and every study
will lead the wisest to a fast locked door at last; but knowledge lies
beyond these doors, and one key may open the way to many a store which can
be reached, and may be turned to evil or to good.
That you may go on acquiring knowledge,
selecting the good, and rejecting the evil; that you, like Conal in the
story, may gather gold, and escape unharmed from the giant's land, is the
earnest wish of your affectionate kinsman,
J. F. CAMPBELL
Electric Scotland Note: Should
you wish to try your hand at translating any of the Gaelic words in here
you can find a good dictionary at
Electric Scotland Note: While we
were getting this book typed in for us it was never finished but am glad
to report that we've found a pdf file of the complete book and so we
provide it here should you wish to read the other stories.