> What I get out of this instruction is that Midir's bunch is to
> take the blind dogs and cats with them to different mounds and
> watch the animals' behavior. The hounds could additionally be
> given Etain's scent, so they could pinpoint exactly which mound
> she's in.
> Si non e vero, e ben trovato...
Certamente! Se non è vero, è molto ben trovato. :-)
>> Fír na cetnai & na n-irradh,’ ol Midir.
>> Truth of the first (one / ones) and of the leaders(?)
> First, have I got the sense right? "Your wife will be there
> at tierce tomorrow. And if I don't bring her, my men will
> bring her."
I somehow don't think it's quite that literal or specific.
> "I'm making the principle promise and I commit my my right-
> hand man, my left-hand man and my press secretary too." He's
> committing not just himself but his whole houshold to
> delivering on this promise.
If "irrad" is indeed "airrad/errad/aurrad/urrad" (and Early
Modern "urradh", Modern "urra" -- that single prefix has more
damned outfits to wear than you can shake a stick at!), that
is, "surety, guarantor", then Midir's asseveration does appear
to be invoking more than just his own word. But I suspect
that "Fír na cétnai/ae 7 na n-airrad" may have already been
no more than a cliché in the speech of the time this tale was
composed. Words like that are conventional, while getting
real guarantors was a legal procedure. Today's equivalent
in English might be "I swear on a stack of Bibles!"