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LLG-1-01 Dys Robin Briw

Dys Robin Briw1, ny quoi-erbee eh hene ta shirrey cur lesh stiagh y Ghaelg reesht.

Doolish, Jecrean, yn un laa yeig jeh Mee veanagh y yeuree, 1821.

Cha s’aym’s nee Robin ny Thom ny Juan t’ort; agh dy veeit mee rish yn ennym Robin Briw ’sy phabyr, as dyn ennym elley: agh ta mee ouryssagh ny-yeih dy vel shiu myr y çhenn Legion roish nish, as dy vel shiu ymmodee2; son cheayll mee jiu roie. Ta mee goaill yindys cre ta jannoo ort, solley ta3! Va mee dy slane kiarail loayrt rhyt roish nish, agh duirree mee orrym tammylt, jerkal rish tooilley ommijys void. T’eh jeeaghyn nish myr dy r’ou er n’ghoaill fea; agh ta mee dooyteilagh dy bee oo ec obbyr reesht, cha leah’s yiow caa.

Cre wooishagh oo? Nee dy chur lesh Gaelg reesht er e toshiaght, as myr shen dooney magh schlei as soilshey as tushtey veih Manninee? T’ou steetagh4 dy liooar, raad t’ou gra nagh vel oo shirrey lhiettal y Vaarle—ec y traa cheddin dy vel oo moylley Gaelg! Vel oo sheiltyn ayns dty chree, dy re blebbinyn sleih? Verrym’s fys dhyt er, nee blebbinyn Manninee, mannagh nee! Manninagh, t’ou fakin mish, chammah rhyt’s: agh ghoin nearey moylley mee-hushtey as lhag-ynsagh da my gheiney çheerey. Shynney lhiam ad foddey ro vie dy chraidey moo myr shen, na dy chur lheid y vranlaadee ayns nyn ging, as çheu-mooie jeh shen cur shaghrynys er y çheeloghe aeg ta girree. Wooishin ad dy heet myr çheernyn5 elley—ynsit—as geyrit, as coamrit lesh schlei; choud’s t’ou uss, t’eh laik, son freayll ad sheese dys nyn shenn oayll, nagh loayr ad dys earishyn foddey brenneein dy ghlare agh Gaelg. Gow coyrle, lah, as bee feagh.

[Manks Advertiser 13.12.1821]

1 This letter appears to be a response to a notice in the Manks Advertiser three weeks previously (22.11.1821) by the ‘Manks Society for promoting the Education of the Inhabitants of the Isle of Man, through the medium of their own Language’. ‘Robin Briw’ would seem to be ‘Mr. Robert Brew, Treasurer, Athol-Street, Douglas’ to whom the public were asked to direct their donations to the Society. Despite the vehement objections of the Manx writer, the Society’s aims were rather modest, and seem intended to be as uncontrovertial as possible: ‘When it is known, that there are from fifteen to twenty thousand of the inhabitants who are incapable of receiving religious instruction in any other language than the Manks; and when it is considered that a large proportion of that number are unable to read, who does not perceive the necessity of making vigorous efforts to teach them to read their vernacular tongue? It is, by no means, the design of the Society to perpetuate the Manks language, or in the smallest degree to impede the progress of the English tongue amongst the inhabitants of the Island, but simply to teach both children and adults to read their Bible in the only language which they fully comprehend.’

2 Legion…as dy vel shiu ymmodee - A reference to Mark 5:9, ‘And he [Jesus] asked him [an evil spirit], What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many’.

3 solley ta - ‘so it is’ Kelly

4 steetagh - ‘cunning, sly, knavish’ Kelly. In Jude 1:4 and 2 Timothy 3:6 dy steetagh is an adverb meaning move in a creeping fashion; Cregeen identifies steet with skeet.

5 çheernyn - This alternative plural of çheer is also found in 1.5. Cf. Phillips chirynyn (Thomson 1955: 105).

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