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An Litir Bheag (The Little Letter) An Litir Bheag

Ruairidh MacIlleathain Sreath de litrichean a bheir taic do luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig. Bidh iad seo cuideachail do luchd-ionnsachaidh a tha seachad air ìre-tòiseachaidh agus a tha ag iarraidh barrachd Gàidhlig a leughadh. Tha faidhle fuaim, teacsa agus eadar-theangachadh an cois gach litir. Sna tràth-litrichean, tha puingean cànain is abairtean a’ gabhail àite eadar-theangachadh slàn. A series of letters that offer support to Gaelic learners. These will be helpful to learners who are beyond a beginners’ level and want to read more. Audio, text and translation accompany each letter. In the early letters, language points and phrases are provided instead of a full translation.

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Archibald MacDonald (Litir Bheag 494) Gilleasbuig MacDhòmhnaill, ‘Gille na Ciotaig’ (Litir Bheag 494)

Archibald MacDonald Gilleasbuig MacDhòmhnaill, ‘Gille na Ciotaig’

The bard, Gilleasbuig MacDonald, was buried in the Kilcumin Cemetery at Fort Augustus. That was in 1815. He was from North Uist. He does not have a headstone in the cemetery. He was on the way to Inverness when he died in Fort Augustus.

Gilleasbuig was good at satirical poetry. One day, he was visiting a friend in Bernisdale on the Isle of Skye. Gilleasbuig’s horse got into the grazing field belonging to the Bernisdale tacksman. The tacksman was a miser.

The tacksman wanted money from Gilleasbuig in compensation. The bard started to recite a satirical song about him. The tacksman bade him leave. Gilleasbuig did not have to pay anything.

There is a story that the MacDonald chief, Sir James MacDonald of Sleat, was hunting on North Uist. Gilleasbuig was a lad at the time. Sir James met Gilleasbuig’s mother. She was at the shieling.

She told the clan chief that she had two sons being educated at the school. And that one of her sons was unable to use one of his arms. His left arm was shorter than normal. His right arm was okay. It’s with his right hand that he would write.

It must be that Sir James understood that there was something wrong with the lad’s right hand, and that he was left-handed. The chief said, ‘It’s a pity he’s not called Colla. We’d have another Colla Ciotach in the MacDonald clan.’ I imagine that’s what gave him the nickname ‘Lad of the Left-hand’, although he wasn’t left-handed.

As I said, Gilleasbuig was on the way to Inverness when he died. He was wanting to publish his poetry in that town. It’s thought he visited Alasdair Stewart in Fort Augustus. He was at one time a schoolmaster in North Uist. Perhaps some of Gilleasbuig’s songs were included in the collection called Stewart’s Collection. But many of the songs were lost. What a pity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gilleasbuig MacDhòmhnaill, ‘Gille na Ciotaig’ (Litir Bheag 494)

Archibald MacDonald

Chaidh am bàrd, Gilleasbuig MacDhòmhnaill, a thiodhlacadh ann an Cladh Chille Chuimein. Bha sin ann an ochd ceud deug is còig-deug (1815). Bha e à Uibhist a Tuath. Chan eil clach-uaighe aige anns a’ chladh. Bha e air an rathad a dh’Inbhir Nis nuair a chaochail e ann an Cille Chuimein.

Bha Gilleasbuig math air bàrdachd aoireil. Latha a bha seo, bha e a’ tadhal air caraid ann am Beàrnasdal san Eilean Sgitheanach. Fhuair each Ghilleasbuig a-steach don phàirc ionaltraidh aig fear-taca Bheàrnasdail. Bha am fear-taca na spìocaire.

Dh’iarr am fear-taca airgead-dìolaidh air Gilleasbuig. Thòisich am bàrd air òran aoireil aithris mu dheidhinn. Dh’ iarr am fear-taca air teicheadh. Cha robh aig Gilleasbuig ri càil a phàigheadh.

Tha stòiridh ann gun robh ceann-cinnidh nan Dòmhnallach, Sir Seumas Dòmhnallach Shlèite, a’ sealg ann an Uibhist a Tuath. Bha Gilleasbuig na ghille aig an àm. Thachair Sir Seumas ri màthair Ghilleasbuig. Bha i air an àirigh.

Dh’inns i don cheann-chinnidh gun robh dithis ghillean aice a’ faighinn foghlam anns an sgoil. Agus gun robh aon mhac aice gun chomas ann am fear de na gàirdeanan aige. Bha a ghàirdean clì na bu ghiorra na ’n àbhaist. Bha a ghàirdean deas ceart gu leòr. ’S ann le a làimh dheis a bha e a’ sgrìobhadh

Feumaidh gun do thuig Sir Seumas gun robh rudeigin ceàrr air làmh dheas a’ ghille, agus gun robh a’ chearrag air. Thuirt an ceann-cinnidh, ‘Is bochd nach e Colla a tha air mar ainm. Bhiodh Colla Ciotach eile againn ann an cinneadh nan Dòmhnallach.’ Tha mi an dùil gun tug sin am far-ainm ‘Gille na Ciotaig’ dha, ged nach robh e leis a’ chearraig.

Mar a thuirt mi, bha Gilleasbuig air an rathad a dh’Inbhir Nis nuair a chaochail e. Bha e ag iarraidh a bhàrdachd fhoillseachadh anns a’ bhaile sin. Thathar a’ smaoineachadh gun do thadhail e air Alasdair Stiùbhart ann an Cille Chuimein. Bha esan uaireigin na mhaighstir-sgoile ann an Uibhist a Tuath. ’S dòcha gun deach feadhainn de dhàin Ghilleasbuig don chruinneachadh air an robh Stewart’s Collection. Ach chaidh mòran de na dàin a chall. Is mòr am beud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 798

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