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THE BOOK OF CLAXRANALIi. 141
recovered after Macpherson's death was the Clanranald MS. got
from Neil Mac Viirich, be it the Red Book or not. Malcohn Laing
in his famous dissertation on the Ossianic question says (1800): —
" It is in vain to deny the identity of the Red Book, when it was
restored as such to the Clanranald family by Macpherson himself."
The present Clanranald believes that he has the veritable Red
Book in his possession, and, considering the amount of " hard
swearing" that took place over the Ossianic Reports and Disserta-
tions, and, having regard to the further fact that the Book has
been denuded cf its covers, whether purposely or not, we think
that he is right in so believing. The late Dr Skene, who in
1840, it would appear,! ^^r^g inclined to believe that the Leahhar
Dearcj was a different MS. from the extant Red Book, calls the
latter work, in the last Volume of Celtic Scotland, the Red Book
of Clanranald.
The Red Book, as we will call it, after passing from the
possession of James Macpherson, was much consulted, not only by
the Ossianic disputants, but also by the historians of the comitiy.
The Rev. Donald Mackintosh, of Gaelic Proverb fame, made a
transcript and translation of, at least, its historical portions ; and
this was the translation used by the various writers who quoted
the book until Dr Skene's latest work on Scotland. Sir Walter
Scott quoted largely from the early portion of the history of the
Macdonalds in the notes to his " Lord of the Isles," and Mai-k
Napier made use of it in his J/ora^rose to throw light upon the
obscurer points of Highland conduct in the Montrose wars. Mac-
kintosh's translation does not appear to have been very accurate,
and he certainly misled both Laing and Napier in making it
appear that the writer of the MS. (Niall Mac Vurich) was present
at the battle of Auldearn. The translation, which with some
obvious corrections we here reproduce with the Gaelic text,
was made for Dr Skene by an Irish scholar (O'C.) from Mackin-
tosh's transcript of the Red Book, corrected by the light derived
from the use of the Black Book. Dr Skene himself publishes
several pages of this new translation in his Celtic Scotland
(Vol. III., pp. 397-409).
CHARACTER AND CONTENTS OF THE RED BOOK.
The Red Book of Clanranald is, like the Black Book, a paper
MS., but slightly longer and broader than the latter ; its exact
dimensions are 5| inches long, 3| broad, and | thick, as it stands
at present. Its covers have been cut off, and it has lost the first
32 pages. How much it has lost at the end it is now impossible
^ See Preface to Mark Napier's Montrose, page ix.

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