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An Address to Highlanders respecting their Native Gaelic
Showing its and the Broad Scotch's Superiority over the Artificial English for the Family and the Social Circle, and also for Lyric Poetry by Archibald Farquharson (1868)


Gentlemen of the Press,

Aware of your great powers, I stand before your bar to plead, that ye may plead for my countrymen, that they may be taught first to read their mother tongue, which would not only be the most rational, but also the most natural way of teaching them.

What an encouragement would it be to children to find their mother tongue in their lessons—the very words they heard from her lips and their playmates. How different from groping their way in the dark, in reading a language they know nothing about. In the former case their judgment would not only be in exercise, but would also assist and help to keep them right; whereas in the latter case their judgment would give them no aid, the whole depending upon their memory.

Were they thus taught first to read the Gaelic, and then to commence with the English alphabet and the English pronunciation, and when reading, to translate every word into Gaelic, it would not only exercise their memory, but their judgment also, and encourage them to persevere, seeing they were enabled to master the difficulties, being aided by one another as well as by the teacher.

Is there no native Scotchman also that will stand at your bar to plead for his mother tongue? Is that not the tongue, gentlemen, that many of you heard from your mother’s lips, and that soothed you in the days of your childhood ? And ought you not to have the natural instinct to plead for it yourselves?—to plead that the Broad Scotch should be the first language taught in every part of Scotland, except where the Gaelic is spoken; and when they could read their mother tongue, to commence at once with the English alphabet and the English pronunciation, and when reading it to translate every word into broad Scotch, such as have, hae; to, sae; of, o’; with, wi, &c.

Before the time of the singing of birds shall ever dawn upon Scotland, the Scotch must not only return to their native tongue but to their native melodies also. Is it not a fact that there are no songs listened to in the city of London with so much pleasure as the Scotch. I would not be surprised although the native language and the native melodies of Scotland are destined to give songs of praise to every part of the world where the English language is spoken.

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