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At the same time the knowledge of the English language is undoubtedly on the increase, and the schools are taught in that language.
There are still many of the older people who are unable to speak English fluently, and some who do not understand it at all.
The English spoken by the young people as well as by most of the older natives who speak it is a particularly pure form, untarnished by provincialism or Scottish brogue.
For instance, wondering whether a grouse which flew behind a hill was the worse of a shot that had been fired at it, I asked a stout young gillie, whose position enabled him to see further round the hill, whether the bird had come down.
He replied, " When she went out of my sight she had no word of settling."Gaelic literature has been well represented in Gairloch.
Some ten years ago there was a great agitation for the restoration of Gaelic teaching in the Highland schools, and the movement has recently been revived, with the result that the Government are about to sanction instruction in Gaelic as part of the curriculum, or at least as an " extra subject." It was stated during the early stage of this agitation that in many places Highland children learnt English only as a parrot would, and did not understand its meaning.
I took the trouble to see how this was in Gairloch schools, and I can only say that the imputation did not apply to the children I examined, for not only did many of them read English remarkably well, but searching cross-examination proved that they thoroughly understood the meaning of what they read.
The inhabitants of Gairloch have still a language entirely different to that of the lowland Scotch, and they used not long ago to wear a dress only known in the Highlands.
To this day the Gaelic language is universal among the people of Gairloch, and they cling to it with the utmost affection.
In it are embalmed all the traditions, and stories of the days that are gone, and the songs and* poems of the bards both past and present.
Gaelic, which in the old books is called "Erse" or "Irish," has many dialects.
There is no separate record of the dress anciently worn by the natives of Gairloch, but it was unquestionably the same as that of all the other inhabitants of the Highlands of Scotland, viz., the Breacan an Fheilidh, or .belted or kilted plaid. VIIL, is a treatise on the "Antiquity of the Kilt," by Mr J. adopted the costume then in use in the western lands, which no* doubt included the parish of Gairloch; so that we may if we please picture our prince of the Isle Maree tragedy as wearing the Highland dress.