From the Irish
THE VERY REV. PETER CANON O'LEARY, P.P.
The Irish Book Company
6 D'Olier Street
Browne & Nolan, Limited
41 & 42 Nassau Street
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Canon O'Leary's story "Séadna" appeared as an Irish book about eleven years ago, and has been read with so much interest that it has now been thought well to publish it in English also. On its first appearance in serial form it was accompanied by an English translation which was intended for the help and instruction of students, and therefore gave an almost literal rendering of the text. Such a translation could not fairly be taken as the English equivalent of Canon O'Leary's Irish work; nor would it be any more reasonable to represent the exquisite Irish of "Séadna" by the ugly, garbled English known as "the brogue." Irish speakers, in districts uncontaminated by English, such as that in which Canon O'Leary grew up and in which he listened to the stories told by "Peg," have a perfect mastery of their own language, and use it with all the correctness and refinement and grace and power which, in the case of English, we look for only among the well-educated. Even small children speak Irish correctly, such a thing as "baby-talk" being unknown, so that in Canon O'Leary's book there is no difference between the Irish spoken by the little girls to each other in their comments upon "Séadna" and the Irish of the story itself; the one is as good and as dignified a form of speech as the other. At the same time, a child's thought often appears in little Peg's descriptions of things of which she has no actual knowledge, such as the King's court and its surroundings, the "crown on his head," and the "Master of his household" who is not proof against "a gold-piece"; and again in the Gargantuan load of wine brought to the wedding feast in one cart, by one horse. These and many other little touches keep the youth of the story-teller before our minds, while the ease and the vigour with which she handles her language fill us with admiration.
Therefore it is that, by the author's wish and authority, and in order to make some attempt to represent good Irish by readable English, while retaining the true meaning of the original, the translation of "Séadna" has been revised and re-cast in its present form.
November 29, 1915.
CHAPTER PAGE I 1 II 7 III 13 IV 22 V 30 VI 40 VII 49 VIII 58 IX 67 X 79 XI 84 XII 94 XIII 102 XIV 110 XV 123 XVI 129 XVII 135 XVIII 145 XIX 155 XX 163 XXI 173 XXII 179 XXIII 185 XXIV 194 XXV 201 XXVI 210 XXVII 221 XXVIII 227 XXIX 232 XXX 244 XXXI 250 XXXII 262 XXXIII 278 XXXIV 286