[From Manx Soc vol 10]
DOUBTLESSE this Island was first peopled from, the Hebrides, or Highlands of Scotland, their Language being the very same with that of the Scottish-Irish; which is the same with that of Ireland; though spoken in a different Dialect: yet as the Isle is named Man; so are the People styled Manksmen, and their Speech, Manks; And although(19)the same hath great affinity with the Welsh or Brittish,(which that singularly Learned, Hospitable, painfull, and pious Prelate, Doctor Philips, late Bishop of Man, and a Native of :North-Wales, well experimented; who out of Zeal, to the propagating of the Gospel in these parts, attained the knowledge thereof so exactly, that he did ordinarily preach init, and undertook that most laborious, most difficult, but most useful Work, of the Translation of the Bible into Manks, taking to his assistance some of the Islanders; as namely, Sir (20) Hugh Cavoll,(21)Minister of the Gospel, and now Vicar of Kirk Michael, perfected the said Work in the space of twenty and nine years) yet he observed he could not have been able to have gone through with it, but for the helps he found in his own Native Tongue; and no marvell, since that the People of Ireland are descended of the Brittains.
It is worth the observing, that many of their words are derived from the Latine and Greek,(22)and some are of pure English; such words, for the most part, signifie things Forraign, and which originally were not known to them, or in use amongst them. It also may be observed, that they put the Noun-substantive, always before the Adjective; as, Horse-white, Cow-black, &c.
But it may be enquired, how came these mixtures of Languages ?
It is more then probable that as their speech. first (as of all other Nations) consisted of few, but significant words suitable to the simplicity of their Manners; so, in processe of time, by their conversation with Strangers, alteration of manners, Forraign Merchandize and new Inventions came to be introduced, which necessitated them to an enlargment of their speech: But finding it more easie to take the words of such by whom they were introduced, then to coyn new of their own, these Mixtures of Languages have in all likelyhood been produced. Few speak the English Tongue.(23)
The Inhabitants of ancient time were, doubtlesse, as all the Neighbouring Tract, very rude and barbarous; untill by the planting of Christianity amongst them, (as in the next Chapter you shall understand) they came to be reformed: mixing with the English, they are at this day a very civill People, laborious, contented with simple Diet and lodging; their Drink, water; their Meat, Fish; their Bedding, Hay or Straw, generally; much addicted to the Musick of the Violyne; so that there is scarce a Family in the Island, but more or lesse can play upon it; but as they are ill Composers, so are they as bad Players; and it is strange they should be singular in affecting this Instrument before others, their Neighbours; the Northern English, the Scots, the Highlanders, and the Irish, generally, affecting the Bag-Pipe: they are ingenuous, in learning of Manufactures, and apt for the Studies of Humanity or Divinity, bearing a great esteem and reverence to the Publique service of God; which they testifie by their seldome absenting themselves from the church, although sometime a great distance from it; yet are they given to Incontinence of body, which naturally may be imputed to their eating so much Fish; which is of a flatuous nature.