[from Memoirs of Bishop Hildesley]
Major VALLANCEY to the Rev. P. MOORE
Dublin, Dec.26, 1780.
My Dear Sir,
The few leisure moments I could command from publick business, which of late has been very brisk, I have dedicated to my favourite pursuit, in the study of Celtick dialects and antiquities. In my career, I have perused the Manks Bible and Testament, with great pleasure, and much instructtion. I admire the simplicity and force of the language, and the beauty of the version, where many vulgarisms have crept into the Irish translation : such as, your cur mian air, for our feuch, " behold ;" and many others.
The booksellers have called on me for a new edition of my Grammar. I have in this edition new-modelled the Syntax, and flatter myself there is no part of speech, no adventitious construction, left unexplained. In my pursuit after Celtick history, I fastened on a clue, which I have unravelled ; and it explains and reconciles the traditions of the ancient Irish historians with that of all others. The heads I have thrown into the Preface ; leaving the detail for others, or for my own amusement, at a more leisure opportunity.
I flatter myself also that I shall make the Iberno-Celtick an instrument of confirmation in the cause of the Protestant religion, if it wanted such a support. Thanks to our great Redeemer, it does not : but, in the " ORATIO DOMINICA plus centum linguis," published in London, in 1700, dedicated to the bishop of London ; and in a second edition of it, published in Amsterdam, with fifty-two additions by the learned Chamberlayne, assisted by Wilkins, Wotton, Reylandius, &c. &c. is the Oratio of those primitive Christians, the Waldenses of the Alps, (not the Vaudois of Lyons, followers of Waldo ;) and this Oratia is not only Irish, but more grammatically expressed than our Prayer, in any of our compositions. I have pursued this affair closely, and find, that the Old and New Testament, written in 1100 in that language, was deposited iln Cambridge Library by the famous Morlan, ambassador to Turin from Oliver Cromwell, in behalf of those poor people. I am in daily expectation of the transcript, which is said to be handed down in their church since the second century. It may be a valuable discovery.
I shall take the first opportunity of sending you the new Grammar, through our friend Mr. Black ; from whom I have often the pleasure of hearing of your good health.
Permit me to expect an early line from you and accept the compliments of the season, most warmly offered by,
Your very sincere
and affectionate servant,