[from Manx Soc vol 16]
THE following distich inscribed below the Manx arms in the old Parliament House, Castletown, is from a manuscript dated 1775:-
"Three legs armed;
Armed in self-defence:
Security from thence."
This inscription was not renewed when the present House of Keys was erected.
"READER, thou'st seen a falling cat
Light always on his feet so pat;
A shuttlecock will still descend,
Meeting the ground with nether end.
A persevering Manxman's thus
A shuttlecock, or pauvre puss:
However through the world he's tost,
However disappointed, crost,
Reverses, losses, fortune's frown,
No chance or change can keep him down;
Upset him any way you will
Upon his Legs you find him still;
For ever active, brisk, and spunky,
Stabit: Jeceris: Quo: Cunque. [see Manx Annals Chap 13]
WHEN Sathane tryed his arts in vaine,
Ye worship of the Lorde toe gaine,
Ye yird, he said, and all be thine,
Except ane space, that maun be mine:-
Though bare it is, and scarce a span,
By mortals called ye Ysle of Mann,.
This is a place I cannot spare,
For all my choicest friends are there.
The natives of the Island have a tradition that Mona was the original Paradise ! If so, the arch-enemy, from the above appears to stick to it to the last. Many places in Man have scriptural names; Mount Sinai is the name of a hill near St. John's.
[see JMM unpublished doc 163]
By an odd-tempered gentleman, who was forced to live there some time against his will in 1733.
WITH thy three montrous emblematic legs,
With all thy brandy, and with all thy kegs,
Mona! where none but fools and madmen come
To drench their care in brandy and in rum ;
Mona ! where strangers are most strangely treated,
And all combine to cheat, or to be cheated ;
Mona ! thou groupe of fools and desperadoes,
Of spendthrifts, fops, and sots, and renegadoes
Mona ! where those who cheat the world reside,
Secure display their splendour and their pride
Mona ! whose trade is most accurst and evil;
Mona ! inhospitable and uncivil;
Mona ! thou territory of the devil
Blessed be this day that thou and I do sever.
Mona, farewell! for ever and for ever.
Samuel Ryley. in his Itinerant or Memoirs of an Actor, London, 1808, resided for some time in 1795 in the town of Peel and in his remarks on the country, its inhabitants and their customs, mentions, "A certain Doctor having occasion to leave the Island only on making his appearance on deck when the boat arrived at Whitehaven, exclaimed, " D-m the Isle of Man, the Legs of Man, the Calf of Man, and all the men upon it! If ever again I venture my carcase amongst such herring hounds, may I be lacerated, fumigated, feathered, bled, and lubricated with salt water! God help thee, Doctor Hammer, vulgarly called Jacob."
A person having occasion to reside for a length of time on the small Islet called the Calf of Man (containing about 600 acres, the rent of which is said to have been paid from the sale of rabbits killed thereon), and being constantly regaled with what were at that time very abundant on the Isle, exclaimed .-
For rabbits hot, and rabbits cold,
For rabbits young, and rabbits old,
For rabbits tender, rabbits tough,
I thank the Lord, I've had enough."