Why should Pictish stones not be inscribed with archaic patterns familiar to the dwellers among inscribed rocks, perhaps themselves the inscribers of the rocks? Manifestly there is no a priori improbability. The cottagers dwelt near the rocks with similar patterns on the estate of Monreith, but are not likely to have copied them; the patterns, I presume, were mere survivals in tradition.
Thus departed the warrior, and Agitha returned to her maidens; she sat down amongst them and mourned. Gormack, the weird, a thane of the Pictish race, had his dwelling near the giddy cliffs where the young eagles scream to the roar of the dark waters of the Forth. He had a daughter whose beauty was the theme of all tongues.
"Wait here while I go in," commanded Winsome, indicating a chair in the cool, blue-flagged kitchen, which Meg Kissock had marked out in white, with whorls and crosses of immemorial antiquity the same that her Pictish forefathers had cut deep in the hard Silurian rocks of the southern uplands.
For example, I know that, in a remote and even Pictish part of this kingdom, a rural household, humble and under the shadow of a sorrow inevitably approaching, has found in 'David Copperfield' oblivion of winter, of sorrow, and of sickness.
For the modern County of Sutherland is outwardly much the same now as it was in Pictish times, save for road and rail, two castles, and a sprinkling of shooting lodges, inns, and good cottages, which, however, in so vast a territory are, as the Irishman put it, "mere fleabites on the ocean."
"The first Circe lived even before the Pictish princesses," Basil answered, quieting down, though he was still very flushed. "But she's had a good many descendants one or two at least in each generation of women born in every country. Not that you I mean the new heroine will be one of them really." "What did Circe do?" I hurried on. "Do? She was an exceptionally attractive woman.
Once settled, the Norse exerted such steady pressure on their southern Pictish neighbours in Ross and Moray, and kept them so fully occupied in war or by the constant menace of it from the north, that successive Scottish kings were in their turn left comparatively free, on their own northern frontier, from Pictish attacks, and were therefore enabled to consolidate their own kingdom in the south of Scotland and to beat the English back to the line of the Tweed.
Writing arrived in Sutherland and Caithness very late, and was not even then a common indigenous product. Clerks, or scholars who could read and write, were at first very few, and in the north of Scotland hardly any such were known before the twelfth century of our era, save perhaps in the Pictish and Columban settlements of hermits and missionaries.
On the death of Aethelfrith , the Christian west and north exercised their influences; one of Aethelfrith's exiled sons married a Pictish princess, and became father of a Pictish king, another, Oswald, was baptised at Iona; and the new king of the northern English of Lothian, Edwin, was converted by Paullinus , and held Edinburgh as his capital.
Rebellion after rebellion took place, and it was not until King David I had introduced the feudal baron with his mail-clad tenants, and settled them on the land by charter, that any success in establishing peace and civil order was achieved in the vast Pictish province of Ross and Moray, which stretched across Scotland from the North Sea to the Minch, and whose people resisted to the utmost.