Prefatory Note


Allow me first to state that my chief aim and object is to amuse my readers. I must confess I have greatly enjoyed the many hours spent in collecting these humorous stories and reminiscences of life and character in my native Isle. I deem their insularity is their chief charm and recommendation, and I trust my readers may find some small pleasure and amusement in this, the outcome of a pleasant task, the first-born of my brain. I desire to express my special thanks and indebtedness to all those who have sent me instances of Manx wit and humour, or have in any way helped me in the completion of this volume. My best thanks are due to the Rev. John Quine, Vicar of Lonan ; Rev. John Corlett, HM. Chaplain at St. John’s, and Rural Dean ; Rev. Hugh F. LaMothe Stowell, Rector of Ovington, Hants ; and Mr Arthur W. Moore, S.H.K. , C.V.O. ; not forgetting my good friends C. W. Adderton, Derbyshire, for his sketches ; Raslingden Russell and Thos. C. Corrin, J.P. , of Peel; Alfred S. Collard, J.P., and A. Cregeen, of Liverpool ; Egbert Ryding, Laxey; William Cashen, Custodian of Peel Castle ; the members of the Manx Press ; besides many others too numerous to mention.

I fear a charge of egotism may be made against me, for, from the nature of the subject matter, I shall have to tell you a great deal about myself. But I know and feel I shall have, in any case, the indulgence and kind welcome from my fellow countrymen at home and abroad, at any rate, who I sincerely trust will enjoy and appreciate my Yarn "to the full." I trust I have said or related nothing in these stories to hurt the feelings of my fellow countrymen, and I leave it to a generous public to pardon the many faults and shortcomings of my first Book

To give my readers pleasure, I have probed the very heart of my Island home. Yet another charge may be made against me of steeling other men’s brains ; but my answer is, that stories once told or written belong to the community. They are handed down from generation to generation. I simply claim to tell them in my own words, draped in home-spun dress. Mine is the string that ties them together, or, in the nearly appropriate beautiful words of Maintaigne:

" I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own."

Let me remark that the novice in his first venture must often find the path of literature thorny and its quicksands very dangerous ; consequently, I now launch my pleasure boat with diffidence . But if on the perusal of these Yarns I can cause a laugh or a smile, or create in the hearts of my readers a deeper love and affection for my native Isle, I shall have reaped my reward, and it will delight


Ellan Vannin.
Thie Jairg,

February 20th, 1905.


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LaMothe Family

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