Page:A dictionary of the Manks language (Cregeen).djvu/7

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PREFACE.


The following Vocabulary of the Manks language has been compiled with considerable labour and assiduity. It is designed to facilitate the attainment of that ancient language, and to furnish the reader not only with a variety of vocables, idiomatic phrases, and proverbial expressions, but also the outlines of a Manks Grammar.

That a language so venerable for its antiquity and so estimable on many accounts should be so generally neglected, is much to be lamented. The consequence of this neglect has been, that numerous corruptions have crept into the dialect in general use, and so many anglicisms been adopted, that the Manks is now seldom spoken or written in its original purity. Despised and neglected, however, as the language appears to be at present, it is susceptible of high improvement, and justly entitled to the attention of the scholar. The sublime strains of Ossian mark the capabilities of the language, and commend it to the regard of the philologist as a subject of curious enquiry, and deserving accurate investigation.

At the present period, when this interesting little Island promises to become once more the abode of science and literature, it is hoped that Gaelic learning will revive, and that every facility will be afforded for the acquisition of a language so essentially necessary within the precincts of Mona to the students of Divinity, and the students of Law. To both these classes, it is presumed, the compilation now offered to the public will prove an important acquisition. Such a publication has long been a desideratum in Manks literature, and possesses fair claims to general acceptance. Whilst the natives of Wales and the natives of North Britain are enthusiastically attached to the language of their forefathers, let it not be said that the natives of Mona regard "Chengey ny mayrey Vannin veg veeri" with disgraceful apathy and heartless indifference. As long as the Manks Bible and the Manks Liturgy remain they will testify that our ancestors thought and felt more correctly.