Here is Reading # 4. This is from a children's book, "An Diabhal agus an Báille" by Mylene Cullen, published by An Gúm 1987.
Bhí báille gránna ann uair amháin. Bhailíodh sé cíos ó dhaoine bochta. Nuair nach mbíodh an t-airgead acu chaitheadh sé amach ar thaobh an bhóthair iad. Bhí an ghráin ag na daoine air.
Oíche amháin bhí an báille ag ól i dtábhairne. Cé a casadh air ach an diabhal! Thosaigh siad ag ól le chéile agus ag caint.
"Bíodh comórtas eadrainn!" arsa an diabhal.
"Cén sórt comórtais?" arsa an báille.
"Rachaimid amach ar maidin agus mála an duine againn. Aon rud a thabharfaidh daoine ó chroí dúinn, beidh cead againn é a chur sa mhála. Feicfimid cé acu mála is troime tráthóna," arsa an diabhal.
"Tá mé sásta," arsa an báille.
An mhaidin ina dhiaidh sin chroith siad lámh lena chéile agus bhuail siad bóthar. Tar éis tamall bhí siad ag gabháil thar teach. Chuala siad an chaint seo ó bhean an tí :
"Go mbeire an diabhal leis thú mar chailín leisciúil! Nó an bhfuil sé i gceist agat éirí in aon chor inniu?"
"An gcloiseann tú é sin, a dhiabhail?" arsa an báille. "Sin cailín breá duit agus beir leat í."
"Mhuise, ní bhéarfaidh mé," arsa an diabhal, "mar ní óna croí a dúirt an mháthair an chaint."
Shiúil siad leo tamall eile den bhóthar go bhfaca siad fear ina shuí ar gheata agus é ag deisiú bróige. Bhí a bhean chéile istigh sa pháirc agus í ag béicíl in ard a gutha leis na muca:
"Á, go n-ardaí an diabhal leis sibh mar mhuca!" ar sise. Ansin labhair sí go borb lena fear céile. "Nach dtabharfá lámh chúnta dom, a phleidhce!"
"An gcloiseann tú é sin?" arsa an báille. "Sin muca breátha duit anois agus tabhair leat iad."
"Ní thabharfaidh mé," arsa an diabhal, "mar ní óna croí a dúirt sí an chaint."
Tháinig siad chomh fada le gort arbhair. Bhí an t-arbhar go deas buí aibí. Bhí scata mór préachán ag eitilt thart. D'fhéach siad isteach sa ghort. Chonaic siad garsún ina shuí go sásta agus é ag imirt mirlíní in ionad a bheith ag ruaigeadh na bpréachán.
Direach ansin tháinig athair an gharsúin. Bhí sé ar buile lena mhac. "Go mbeire an diabhal leis thú, a ghiolla na leisce," arsa an t-athair de bhéic.
"An gcloiseann tú é sin?" arsa an báille. "Sin garsún breá duit anois agus beir leat é!"
"Ní bhéarfaidh mé," arsa an diabhal, "mar ní óna chroí a dúirt an t-athair é."
Tamall ina dhiaidh sin chuala siad fear eile ag béicíl. Feirmeoir a bhí ann agus é ag tabhairt amach don fhear oibre a bhí ina luí ar a sháimhín só ag ól pórtair. "Níl aon obair déanta agat, a leisceoir gan mhaith agus tá na coiníní ag ithe mo chuid cabáiste. Go gcrocha an diabhal leis thú go dtí a theach féin!"
"Seo é do sheans fear breá láidir a fháil," arsa an báille. Béir leat é anois."
"Ní bhéarfaidh mé," arsa an diabhal, "mar ní óna chroí amach a dúirt an feirmeoir an chaint."
Bhí an báille an-míshásta. Bhí sé ar a chois ar feadh an lae agus níor thairg éinne oiread agus deoch uisce dó. Ar an taobh eile den scéal tairgeadh an-chuid don diabhal cé nár ghlac sé le haon ní.
Faoi dheireadh nuair a bhí an ghrian ag dul faoi chonaic siad baintreach ina suí ar thaobh an bhóthair agus leanbh ar a binn.
"Ó, seo chugainn an báille," arsa an leanbh.
"Mhuise, go mbeire an diabhal leis thú mar bháille mar is tú an duine nach bhfuil aon fháilte roimhe," arsa an bhaintreach.
"Áiméan!" arsa an leanbh.
"Há! Há! Tá tú agam faoi dheireadh, a bháille," arsa an diabhal, "mar is óna croí siúd a tháinig an chaint sin. Isteach leat ansin," ar seisean agus d'oscail sé béal a mh/ala.
D'imigh an diabhal leis agus an mála mór trom thar a ghualainn aige.
Níl a fhios agam an bhfaca éinne an diabhal sa cheantar sin le déanaí. Ach is cinnte nach bhfaca duine ar bith a chompánach, an bháille, ó shin i leith.
There once (1) was an ugly bailiff. He used to collect rent from poor people. Whenever they didn't have the money, he would throw them out on the side of the road. (2) The people loathed him. (3)
One night the bailiff was drinking in a tavern. (4) Who should he happen to meet but the devil! (5) They begain to drink with each other and to talk.
"Let's have a competition between us!" (6) said the devil.
"What sort of competition?" said the bailiff.
"We'll go out in the morning with a man's bag. (7) Whatever men give us from the heart, we have leave (8) to put in the bag. We'll see whose bag is the heavier this evening," said the devil.
"I agree," (9) said the bailiff.
The next morning they shook hands with each other and took to the road. After a while they were going past a house. (10) They heard this conversation from the housewife:
"May the devil take such a lazy girl as you with him! (11) Or are you thinking of getting up at all this morning?" (12)
"Do you hear that, Devil?" (13) said the bailiff. "That fine girl is yours to take with you."
"Well, I won't take her," (14) said the devil, "for it was not from her heart that the mother said this." (literally "said the speech.") (15)
They walked together a while longer on the road until (16) they saw a man sitting (17) at a gate fixing a shoe. (18) His wife was in the field shouting with a loud voice at the pigs: (19)
"Ah, the devil take such pigs as you with him!" (20) said she. Then she spoke harshly to her husband. "Can't you give me a helping hand, you fool?"
"Do you hear that?" said the bailiff. "Those fine pigs are yours to take with you."
"I won't take them," said the devil, "because it was not from her heart that she said this."
They went as far as a field of wheat. The wheat was nice, (21) yellow, and ripe. (22) A large crowd of crows was flying by. They looked into the field. They saw a lad sitting contentedly playing marbles instead of chasing away the crows. (23)
Just then the lad's father came. He was furious with his son. "The devil take you with him, you lazy fellow," said the father with a shout.
"Do you hear that?" said the bailiff. "That fine lad is yours to take with you."
"I won't take him," said the devil, "because it was not from his heart that the father said it."
A while after that they heard another man shouting. A farmer was there scolding (24) a workman who was lying happily and at ease (25) drinking porter. (26) "You haven't done any work, you no-good bum, and the rabbits are eating my cabbage. The devil carry you away with him to his own house!"
"This is your chance to get a fine man," said the bailiff. "Take him away with you now."
"I won't take him," said the devil, "because it was not from his heart that the farmer said this."
The bailiff was very displeased. He had been (27) on his feet throughout the day and no one (28) had offered him so much as a drink of water. On the other hand (29) the devil had been offered (30) quite a bit, and he had not taken anything.
At last when the sun was going down, they saw a widow sitting at the side of the road with a child at her side.
"Oh, here comes (31) the bailiff," said the child. "Well, may the devil take such a bailiff as you with him, since you're the one for whom there is no welcome," said the widow. "Amen!" said the child.
"Ha! Ha! At last I've got you, bailiff," said the devil, "because it's definitely from her heart that this expression came. In you go then," he said and opened the mouth of his bag.
The devil went away with the big heavy bag over his shoulder.
I don't know if anyone has seen the devil in this district lately. But it's certain that no one has seen his companion, the bailiff, from that time forth.
(1) Uair amháin - literally "one time."
(2) Note the tendency in Irish to put a pronoun object near the end of the sentence, as is the case here with "iad".
Also, the past habitual is used twice in this sentence to indicate what the bailiff usually or habitually did.
(3) Literally "Loathing was with them on him."
(4) Here is an example of the past progressive tense, bhí + subject + ag + verbal noun. The progressive tense indicates that the action is going on over some time, whereas the past tense indicates simply that the action occured. Contrast "Cheannaigh sé beoir." - "He bought a beer." with "Bhí sé ag ól i dtábhairne." - "He was drinking beer (for some extended time) in a tavern."
(5) "Casadh" is the past autonomous form of "cas" - "to twist or turn". In the autonomous form it means to meet someone, "Casadh orm (/dom/liom) é." "I met/happened to meet him." The past autonomous form is also _not_ lenated, hence "casadh" _not_ "chasadh".
(6) "Bíodh" is the third person singular imperative of "tá", translated literally as "let there be!" "Eadrainn" is the first person plural pronominal form of the preposition "idir" - "between".
(7) Literally, "and a man's bag with us." "Agus" is commonly used in Irish to indicate attendent circumstances, e.g. "Chonaic mé é agus mé ag teacht amach." - "I saw him while I was going out." A man's bag is one that is big enough to hold a man.
(8) Literally, "Permission will be with us."
(9) Literally, "I am satisfied/content."
(10) Note that "gabh" has two general meanings in Irish, 1. "to take", and 2. "to go." It is the latter meaning that is used here.
(11) This is a good example of the main use of the present subjunctive in Irish, to express a wish. It is preceded by "go" (eclipsing) and "nár" (lenating) for negative wish, e.g.
Go dtaga do ríocht. May thy kingdom come. (From the Lord's Prayer.) N/ar fhille sé go brách! May he never return!
(12) Literally, "Is the question with you of getting up at all this morning?"
(13) Note that when "that" is used pronominally as in "I heard that (thing)", it is rendered in Irish as "é sin", e.g. "Chuala mé é sin."
(14) "Tabhair" can mean both "to give" and to "take". It is the latter meaning that is used here.
(15) Note the use of the copula (here the negative ní) for emphasis. A very common use in Irish. The standard pattern is copula + phrase + "a" (relative pronoun) + sentence. A few examples using the basic sentence "Chuaigh Seán go Doire inné." John went to Derry yesterday:
Is é Seán a chuaigh go Doire inné. It was _John_ who . . .
An go Doire a chuaigh Seán inné? Was it to _Derry_ that ...
Is go Doire a chuaigh Seán inné. It was _Derry_ that ...
Nach inné a chuaigh Seán go Doire? Wasn't it _yesterday_ that ...
(16) "Go" (eclipsing) can mean "until" as it does here. Note also that it takes the dependent form of those verbs that have one (as does "feic").
(17) Literally, "in his sitting". Verbal nouns for sitting, standing, lying, sleeping, waking, and dwelling, and the word "tost" (being silent) use the preposition "i" with a possessive pronoun, e.g.
Tá sé ina sheasamh. He is standing.
Táimid inár suí. We are sitting.
Táim i mo chodladh. I am asleep.
Táimid inár gcónaí i gCorrcaigh. We live in Cork.
(18) The object of a verbal noun is in the genitive case, hence "bróige" genitive singular of "bróga".
(19) Here is another example of attendent circumstances being introduced by "agus" as pointed out in (7) above. The same construction is found again in the next sentence, "agus í ag béicíl" - "shouting".
(20) Present subjunctive used for a wish again.
(21) "Tá" and "is" with adjectives is a little complicated in Irish. "Tá" is used only to describe a temporary or accidental condition or a position. It may therefore be followed by a prepostion, or by adjectives meaning "hot, cold, full, empty, hard, soft, ready, broken, closed, tired, sick, sore, sad, alive, dead" and so on. Adjectives used with "tá" include all those ending in "-ach", and all past participles.
The copula "is" is used when the predicate is a noun, or an adjective expressing inherent quality, measure or color: These adjectives are further divided into adjectives of _quality_ and adjectives of _measure_ or _color_. The former may be used with "tá" as adverbs (i.e. with "go" in front of them, e.g. "tá sé go maith" "he is good"), but the latter may not.
Thus you can say "tá an lá go breá" or "is breá an lá é" for "it is a fine day", "tá an cailín go deas" or "is deas an cailín" for "the girl is pretty", and so for other adjectives of _quality_. But "mór" "big", "beag" "small", "fada" "long", "gearr" "short", "trom" "heavy", etc. and the names of colors are better construed with the copula: "is fear é" "he is a man", "is mór an teach é" "the house is big", "is trom an chloch í" "the stone is heavy", "is bán an páipéir é" "the paper is white".
However, when either of the prefixes "an-" or "ró-" precedes the adjective, or a qualifying adverb follows, the classification of adjectives is dissolved and all may occure with "tá": "Tá sé sin an-mhaith" "That is very good", "Tá an claí ró-ard" "The fence is too high", "Níl sé fada a dhóthain" "It is not long enough."
(22) Note that when several adjectives are used with a noun in Irish, that "agus" is not used as "and" is in English.
(23) na bpréachán" is genitive plural because it is the object of a verbal noun as explained in (18) above.
(24) "Tabhair amach", literally "to give out", can mean "to scold".
(25) "Bheith ar a sháimhín só" "to feel happy and at ease", literally "to be on his tranquility (and) ease."
(26) "Pórtair" genitive singular of "pórtar" because it is the object of a verbal noun as explained in (18) above.
(27) The Irish past tense can be translated not only by the English past tense, but also by the present perfect or past perfect as context dictates.
(28) éinne = aon duine - someone, anyone
(29) "ar an taobh eile den scéal" literally, "on the other side of the story."
(30) "Tairgeadh" is the past autonomous form of the verb.
(31) "Seo chugainn é" "Here he comes", literally, "It's towards us he is."
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