« PreviousContinue »
saif; toriff for tør; lleddiff for lladd: but no Verb ends thus, except the Verb irregular Caiff from Caffael. Dr. Davies treats this barbarism with the censure it deserves-Jamdudum obtinuit, ut hæc Persona corruptissime vulgo exeat in iffs quod factum existimo ex cuco zelo, et prava imitatione Anomali Caiff á Caffuel : ut ceriff pro câr; periff pro pair; rhoddisf pro rhýdd-Quæ nunquam sine indignatione audio. Hæc Veteribus ignota fuere ; et ab Oratoribus & Poetis, ut summå tincta barbarie, semper vitata; ut ne â monosyllabo quidem áf-ibo. -ausi sint dicere aiff pro å, ibit; ne quidem post Adverbium a; sed semper dixerunt a -ibit. Ex. Gr. .
Dyo wŷf a à dan ei wad,
Hywel Kilan."* ; · This inaccuracy in the language, with a few others, is indeed generally, tho' not always, corrected in the Dolgelley-Edition ; but they are all passed by unnoticed in the inferior Edition of Shrewsbury.
It was once my intention, and indeed my wish, to have introduced the mode of spelling adopted by Dr. W. Owen Pughe in his admirable Quarto WELSH DICTIONARY, frequently recommended in the CAMBRO BRITON, and further enforced in the luminous Essay on the Welsh Language in Mr. Cathrall's History of North Wales. But, as Dr. Davies, in bis Grammar and Dictionary, seemed to have fixed the orthography of our Language, as Dr. Johnson about 120 years after did that of the English ;* that is to say, as far as the orthography of any langpage can be fixed; that intention was, on second thoughts, abandoned. No doubt the peculiar power of the Fand V, allowed them in, I believe, all the European Languages, ought to be acknowledged in the Welsh; although the present application of them, with any other peculiarity of the sort, cap never of itself, as some assert, be a bar to any one from studying or cultivating the Language. How much soever, therefore, I may approve of the proposed method of using those and some other Consonants, yet, as it is a matter of no real cunsequence, and not likely to become general, I relinquished finally my original purpose, and must therefore exclaim, in the words of Him in Ovid,
* See Dr. Davies's Welsh Grammar, quoted by Mr. Richard in his Preface to bis Welsh Dict. translated also from Dr. Davies * Dr. John Davies, R. of Mallwyd, published his Lexicon BRITANNICUM, A. D. 1632; and the First Edition of Dr. Samuel Jobuson's ENGLISH DICTIONARY was printed about A, D. 1755,
- Video meliora, proboque,
Deteriora sequorAs to the idea of reviving the old Bardic Alphabet and bringing it to general use, that Idea surely must be scouted as altogether chimerical and visionary.
The Salop and Dolgelley Editions having been long ago disposed of, and some Booksellers wishing to have a new Edition brought forward, I was pretty easily persuaded to undertake such a Work; as I had a good deal of leisure-time on hand, and wished also to employ that leisure in some useful way. Behold the result! Judge it with candour!
A few potes are subjoined, but not without the sanction and example of the Author himself;* tending chiefly to illustrate some historical points, and to render the Book more palatable to a modern reader. But why, it may be asked, are those Notes given in English ? Because, in the first instance, many persons of the first rank and respectability have bonoured me with their names as Subscribers; most of whom do not understand Welsh, and others understand English much better : should any of these honourable personages condescend to turn over the following pages, they may perhaps from the Notes learn the tendency of the Book itself, and can therefore with greater satisfaction commit it into a Tepant's hands, or those of some poor de. pendant; for be it always remembered that such were the laudable and christian views and motives, with wbich tbey subscribed to tbis little Manual, and with which others possibly may hereafter buy it. May it, I humbly pray, in that, and in every other point of view, be attended with the best success!
Again-The Notes being in Eoglish may induce
the Anglo-British Reader to improve his knowledge in the Welsh, and encourage also the CambroSaxon to improve his knowledge in English. An acquaintance with both languages is useful, if pot necessary, to an inhabitant of the Principality of Wales.
And, besides, a confirmation of the same facts from English Authors will add weight to the veracity and correctness of the original Compiler. And, after all, the Notes may be either passed by, or perused.
Our Compiler, like other Writers of those times, gave too much credit to fairy and legendary tales, quoting too indiscriminately from the Welsh and English Chronicles, and other Monkish Traditions of the sort. All such quotations and credulous reliances have been either expunged, or stated in such a manner, as the Author himself, had he lived in these days, would have probably recorded them. Ghosts, Fairies, Satyrs, and such "wonder-working Goblins,” as we may learn from the Plays of Shakespeare, and from the Works of other Writers of those times, were then as much believed, as they were in the days of Heathenism; and juggling stories and illusive dreams were looked upon as miraculous, and received as little less than supernatural visions: and the Church of Rome, to its shame, encouraged such credulity, and does so, alas, to this day! All such dregs of Popery and Paganism being now squeezed out, and all superstitious vestiges being carefully obliterated ; this Edition therefore-to borrow a phrase from late Editors of
certain Classic Anthors, tho’ the phrase be applied
An Index is annexed; which I thought the Book
I cannot satisfactory conclude this address with-
- Animæ, quales neque candidiores