Keltoi III: The Highland Clearances (1750-1850)We hardly noticed their leaving: it was not abrupt. Rather, the busyness seemed to ebb, unevenly, and over generations; the circulation of armies slowed, changed complexion, and tongue, as waves relax in whispers when the sea relents. Building and rebuilding flooded the land, and then withdrew, exposing fortifications, familiar to our children, and roads, made habitual by use. Thus, we found our selves, self-governing, charged, it seemed, with our own defense. What hope for those, vanquished by Rome, against those who had overwhelmed the Romans? Nonetheless, we fought. Gathering arms abandoned to us, and scraps of tactics, we built again the strongholds of our ancestors, revived the warriors' pride, and bent a new language to clothe old institutions. Our High Kings savaged the Scandinavians, and even their conquerors remember Arthur. Do not sneer: we were the last to be scattered, and then by our own. After the Norse were civilised, we remained, turbulent and proud, in northern fasts and the mountains of the west, unable to win, unwilling to surrender, displaced at last not by soldiers, but by sheep. Do not sneer: treachery is not victory. Ours was a noble defeat.