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Though this anachronilm quite deftroys the authority of the
bards with refped to Fingal ; yet their defire to make him their
countryman fhews how famous he was in Ireland as well as in the
north of Scotland.
Had the Senachles of Ireland been as well acquainted with the
antiquities of their nation as they pretended, they might derive as
much honour from Fingal's being a Caledonian, as if he had been
an Irifliman; for both nations were almoft the fame people in the
days of that hero. The Celta?, who inhabited Britain and Ireland
before the invafion of the Romans, though they were divided into
numerous tribes, vet, as the fame language and cuftoms, and the me-
mory of their common origin remained among them, they coniidered
themfelves as one nation. After South Britain became a province of
Rome, and its inhabitants begun to adopt the language and cuftoms
of their conquerors, the Celtas beyond the pale of the empire, con-
iidered them as a diftind people, and confequently treated them as
enemies. On the other hand, the ftrideft amity fubfifted between
the Irilb and Scots Celts for many ages, and the cuftoms and an-
cient language of both ftill remaining, leave no room to doubt that
they were of old one and the l\\me nation.
It was at firft intended to prefix to Oftian's poems a difcourfe con-
cerning the ancient inhabitants of Britain ; but as a gentleman, in
the north of Scotland, who has thoroughly examined the antiquities
of this ifland, and is perfedly acquainted with all the branches of the
Celtic tongue, is juft now preparing for the prefs a work on that
fubjedl, the curious are referred to it.

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