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where faid, " That a man does not like to have his
creed difturbed at threefcore." The men to whom
the inquiries of the Committee were addreffed, had
generally long paffed that period of life, and the
traditionary hifcories and poetry of their fathers
were, in their belief, of fuch indifputable authenti-
city as it was needlefs to inquire into, and it rather
offended them to doubt. Such of them as this idea
did not prevent from anfwering the Committee's in-
quiries, frequently anfwered them in a manner
which a man naturally enough adopts, who is un-
ufed to diJcuffion or difpute, and who does not
think it neceflary to fuit his information to a fcepti-
cifm of which he never dreamed himfelf, and which
he hardly conceives it poffible for others to enter-
tain. *
From this circumflance, the correfpondence of
the Committee, (which the diftant refidence of many
of its correfpondents, and the irregularity of the
conveyance of letters to and from thofe remote di-
stricts, muft at any rate have fubjecied to great de-
lay), was rendered much more dilatory and difficult
than can well be conceived by perfons who have not
* The Committee thinks it may not be uninterefting to the
Society to read the opinion of a native Highlander, uninftru&ed
in the literature, and even ignorant of the language of any other
country, of the queilion which he heard was agitated with re-
gard to the authenticity of Oflian's poems. It is given in the
original Gaelic, as delivered by Hugh M'Douald, tackfman of Kil-
pheder, in the ifland of Uift, with a tranflation as literal as a right
jindentanding of Its meaning will allow. V\d. Appendix, No. T.I,

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