Page:Táin Bó Cuailnge 'na dráma - Ua Laoghaire.pdf/7

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The question will probably be asked, “Why has the story of the Táin been presented to the public in a dramatic form?” The principal reason is this. The form of dialogue is the form in which the Irish language has lived through all those centuries that have elapsed since it began to be spoken, whatever their number has been. The form of dialogue is the form in which the full strength and beauty of the language has manifested itself to me during my whole life.

As one instance of that manifestation can state an experience which I had in the town of Macroom nearly forty years ago. Two men came to me one day and asked me to settle a dispute which they had about the old old matter, a bit of land. I asked one of them to remain outside the house while the other would be giving me his version of the merits of the matter in dispute. That man began and made his speech in Irish. I listened. I was so charmed with the man’s language and manner that I listened to him silently for a full hour, merely asking now and then a little question for the purpose of clearing up a point. That man spoke for a full hour in clear, beautiful Irish, and he explained his own views of the matter in dispute, and, in a sort of parenthetical speech, now and then, he explained the versions which he considered the other man would probably give of certain points when his turn to speak should have come. I listened on. I have now to state that that man never missed the proper place for his parenthesis, and that he never failed to come back at the right time and in the right way to