National Geographic : 1927 Mar
IRELAND: THE ROCK WHENCE I WAS HEWN cumbed to the mois ture and malaria of the country. The name MacFarlane and Mac Parland are the only relics of their stay. Doctor Samuel John son's friend, Colonel Vallencey, who wrote a most extraordinary grammar of the Erse tongue, a miracle of beauty as to printing, insisted that the Irish were of Phoenician origin, and that the E r s e tongue proved it-a statement ridi culed by modern schol arship. Ireland was, in the ascendant of the Cres cent, raided many times by Barbary pi rates; so that the peo ple of Parthelon may have been from the land that later became Carthage. That we are a Mediterranean peo ple is, I think, accepted by most scientists. We are not as tall as the accepted blond English and Scandi navian and Teutonic peoples; also, our col oring is darker; and we are not a seafaring people, as these folk are. A Greek scrip tural commentator, Photograph by Clifton Adams RELICS IN THE LONDONDERRY CATHEDRAL An inscription on an old stone tablet on the porch of the church testifies to the aid of London tradesmen's guilds in its building in the 17th century. There is also the famous hollow bomb. thrown over the walls into the graveyard during the siege of 1689 by James the Second's Jacobite Army, which contained demands for surrender. These were scornfully refused. The missile is to-day full of scraps of paper on which are scribbled the names of visitors who felt that they must leave behind some souvenir. whose name I have forgotten, traces the Apostle Paul's Galatians to a return of Celtic peoples to the minor Asia. But Colonel Vallencey and my shadowy Greek commentator are not authorities to the poring minds of modern critics. I doubt if they would be even given credit for their daring. One small fact remains in my memory that will cause consternation to my coun trymen. Our legendary hero. Cuchulain, who is the patron warrior of our young Irish soldiers, was called, as we read in the Irish sagas, Setanta before he as sumed the fighting name of "Hound of Cuala." Now, the Setantii were that Eng lish tribe about Manchester known to Roman historians. Language is to some extent a keynote of nationality. Our native language in Ireland is Gaelic, which appears to be a rough descendant of an original stock of which modern Welsh and modern Breton are the purer blooded. To what degree a Breton and a Welshman can understand each other I do not know, but in both languages I can trace words we have in Gaelic. The Welsh "bach," a term of en dearment, is the same as our Irish "beg," meaning "little," and in Breton "ty,"