[From A Second Manx Scrapbook]
" A true . . . Folklorist scorns nothing, because he never can tell where his honest gleanings may not come in, what lacuna they may not supply, what literary tendency they may not illustrate, what parable they may not suggest. He feels that there is danger in letting any fragment go by ; nay, something almost like, literary treason in consulting his own case, taste or prepossession, anything but the simple bits of what, to others, may appear rubbish, and even to himself, at times, superfluous."
(T. E. Brown to A. W. Moore, Brown's " Letters," Vol. ii., page 171.)
WITH the reviewers of A Manx Scrapbook I have no quarrel. They have been uniformly favourable - more favourable than conversant, except in one or two cases, with the topographical folk-lore of an obscure corner of the Kingdom. The shortcoming is excusable. One point raised in a notice of the volume may be adverted to, however, since it involves a misconception frequent among interested strangers and short-term visitors to the Island ; namely, that the Manx language is in a state of holding-on similar to that of Irish a few years ago, and could be similarly revived-in so far as the latter tongue has been revived, for it is rumoured that many modern Irishmen are living in a world more full of Irish than they can understand. But the Isle of Man is not, as my friendly critic in The Irish Statesman of 7th December, 1929, opined, as Gaelic-speaking proportionately as the County Louth, however little that may be. Manx is not even losing ground, languishing, or on the verge of extinction. As a means of communication it is dead, and has been dead for a generation. Therefore nothing in my line of inquiry, it is regrettable to have to say, could be " salvaged from genuine old native speakers of far more authentic quality than the waifs and strays that have survived among an anglicized and largely indifferent generation," because anything that the few score of old native speakers have to confide they prefer saying (knowing they can say it better) in English. The lapse of time since they spoke the language freely, and the weight of years which hinders them from travelling about and meeting other native speakers, have obliterated much of the Manx they knew in their youth. The exceptions could probably be counted on one's fingers. " The Manx is gettin' forgot at me now" is a confession I have heard many times from men and women who spoke it before they spoke English, if not very long before. Still more usual is the reminiscence that though the aged one's parents spoke Manx to each other (especially when they didn't want the child to know what they were saying), they would never let him learn it. And when its native obstinacy carried it as far as the schoolroom and the playground, there was often a zealous master lying in wait for it with a cane.
Next to the pleasure of enlightening others comes the duty of correcting one's-self. Possessors, therefore, of the first Manx Scrapbook (for borrowers I care nothing) are respectfully invited to take notice of the following
Page 23. Ballig Well is a mile and a quarter from the sea, not " a quarter of a mile."
Page 43. Chibber Hidee is a wishing-well. Walk round it seven times and drop in a coin.
Page 55. A " t " has dropped out at the end of line 116 ; read Phunt.
Pages 60 and 74. To wells dedicated to St. Bride add Chibber Vreeshey, at the foot of Curragh Vreeshey near the Whallag, Malew.
Page 1104. Ronsdale. For " Seal's Valley " read " Stony Valley " (Norse).
Page 106, line 28. Cashel Vanannairt is in Co. Roscommon.
Page 115. Magher Rowley. Bane in field-names often signifies " fallow."
Pages 115, 116, 93, 94. Bully. This nickname is more likely to be a shortened form of " bohiley," the Manx bochilley, radically " a herdsman," but used as a general term equivalent to " lad."
Page 134, line 6. Thie Lhionney means, of course, " Ale-house."
Pages 135 and 265. Earlier forms of Dal y Veitch show that the name can have nothing to do with " hospitality," as suggested. See Mr. J. J. Kneen's Place-Names of the Isle of Man, page 521.
Page 1145. Loob ny Kesh. The reference to kessagh should be omitted.
Page 175, line 115. " 1513 " should read " 1515." Page 1811. Kassagh has no connexion with ceisach. It is the Scotch Gaelic casach ; " the outlet of a lake," according to McAlpine, but, more radically, a place where water collects, from cas, " foot."
Page 186, line 9. There are two or three inland rocks called Carrick.
Page 188, line 23. To "the Whitestone Bank" add " Ballakesh Bank."
Page 198. Cashtal Ree Gorry. This picturesquely- named tumulus did not fall with the cliff, as stated, but was dug away by a tenant of the land, Mr. P. G. Ralfe tells me.
Page 198. The Buggane. The suggestion of Byooghane should be ignored.
Page 211, line 23. The slip of mountain-ash was left planted in soil, that it might grow.
Pages 213 and 427, near top. Read Cyonk y Sthowyy, " Hill of the Staff."
Page 215. Crosh ny Kaire Thorne and the meaning of the name. Paterson, Manx Antiquities, 1863, mentions a four-bossed cross in Bride parish. Lost ?
Page 222. Douglas as a river-name. One of Archdeacon Rutter's songs, written in 1643, alludes to " the Dhoo-glass," which a translator into Manx has rendered as Awin Dhoo (Dark Water). See Manx Ballads, page 130.
Page 247. Ramsey. The alleged " Ramswath " in the Grant of 1235 is a transcriber's error for Ramsaych. For this information I am indebted to Mr. P. G. Ralfe, of Castletown.
Page 262, line 12. " Kyrkecust." The facsimile of the Boundaries shows that the word so often printed thus is really " Kyrkc'st," i.e. Kyrkcrist.
Page 267. Paris Gill lies East, not North, of Ballaskella.
Page 304, line 4. The name " Jimmy Phil's Mill " belongs to one nearer Laxey.
Page 310. The Claram. Real " which is also used for the third thwart." - 64_ 11
Page 319, line 18. " Granite " should of course be " limestone."
Page 340. For Crolt y Kenna read Thalloo Kenna, " Kenna's land."
Page 351. For Ballaeonnell, Malew, read Ballaeannell. Ballacannell is just over the Arbory boundary.
Page 366. An apology is due to the parish of Marown for the accidental omission of its description.
Page 408, line 17. For " of " read " or."
Page 439, last paragraph. The resemblance between the Louisianan legend and that of the Manx " Tehi Tegi " is heightened by a tradition (also recorded in Bullock's History) that Tehi Tegi lured her victims by singing to them-a point which Waldron does not mention.
Page 451, second paragraph. For " Miss " Watson read " Mrs."
Page 508. Joe Vullagh-better Ghaw Vullagh, " Summit Cleft," is an opening in the cliffs close to Amulty, Mr. P. G. Ralfe informs me.
Page 513, line 15. For the name Edremony (The Rowaney) reference may also be made to Joyce's Irish Place-names, vol. iii, s.v. Adramoney.
Pages 526 and 155. Mr. P. G. Ralfe tells me that Purt y Kinnish is another name for Soldrick, not for Cass ny Hawin, and that " Jackdaw Cave" there has given it the further title of " Jackdaw Harbour."
Page 527. Crogga Well. The name of "Gout Well " and the quotation from Symson are Miss Cookson's errors. The Gout Well is at Largs in Scotland. See Train's Isle of Man, vol. ii., page 60.
Page 529, fifth paragraph. " Three-rooted " should rather be " three -stemmed," in the allusion to Yggdrasil.