It seems impossible not to connect the latter with the Scottish Atteile or Atteal, to be found in many old records, though this last word (however it be spelt) is generally used in conjunction with teal, as if to mean a different kind of bird; and commentators have shown a marvellous ineptitude in surmising what that bird was.
It is the Tringa interpres 2 of Linnaeus and Strepsilas interpres of most later writers, and is remarkable as being perhaps the most cosmopolitan of birds; for, though properly belonging to the northern hemisphere, there is scarcely a sea-coast in the world on which it may not occur: it has been obtained from Spitzbergen to the Strait of Magellan and from Point Barrow to the Cape of Good Hope and New Zealand - examples from the southern hemisphere being, however, almost invariably in a state of plumage that shows, if not immaturity, yet an ineptitude for reproduction.
The political ineptitude of James is clear; he often showed firmness when conciliation was needful, and weakness when resolution alone could have saved the day.
In the Channel it was saved from disaster by the ineptitude of the French and Spanish fleets.
An unstable morass of disorder, ineptitude and corruption was left by the last government.