[From Manx Tales, Egbert Rydings 1895]
BY T. E. BROWN.
I CAN warrant these Stories to be genuine Manx- not Keltic-Manx, of course, but Anglo-Manx, Manx dialect.
They are written by a Lancashire man, and that is the marvel.
My friend (Mr. Rydings) has lived a " good few" years in the Isle of Man, but this alone does not account for the " breadth and length, and depth and height " of his Manxness.
The skill and sympathy with which he draws Manxmen and things are beyond all praise. We of the Island cannot but recognise the perfection of the outline, the fineness of the shading, the sincerity of the colour.
Laxey and Lonan are the foci. Some of the idioms will be seen to be peculiar to that district, which, with the adjacent Baldwin, is Manx of the Manx.
Though a native of the Island, I feel that Mr. Rydings is easily my master in this dialect, and that I can learn much from him.
To Lancashire friends it must be interesting to be guided by a Lancashire man through this fertile garden of native Manx growth. It is not so much a garden, perhaps, as a lovely wilderness of heath and bluebell, of gorse and honeysuckle, of simple hearts, and old-world ways. I hope that, as they read, they will not fall to perceive that our life and language have many points of affinity to their own. We are not strangers. The great Lancashire family of the Derbies gave Kings to Man for some 400 years.
To all our visitors I earnestly commend this work. In taking it away with them they will possess a living Mona Bouquet, which will long contain its fragrance, and be the best and most permanent memorial of their sojourn in Man.
T. E. B.