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1.6. Of the generall Language vſed from time to time in Britaine. Chap. 5.

Of the generall Language vſed from time to time in Britaine. Chap. 5.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 WHat language came firſt wyth Sa|mothes & afterwarde with Albion,Bryttiſh. & the Gyants of his cõpanie,Small difference betwene brittiſh & Celtike languag [...] it is hearde for me to determine, ſith nothing of ſound credit re|mayneth in writing which maye reſolus vs in the truth hereof, yet of ſo much are we cer|teine, that the ſpeach of ye auncient Britons, and of the Celtes had great affinitie one with another, ſo that they were either all one, or at the leaſtwyſe ſuch as eyther nation wyth ſmal helpe of interpreters might vnderſtand other, and readily diſcerne what the ſpeaker did meane.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The Brittiſh tongue doth yet remayne in that part of the Iſlande,Brittiſh corrupted by the La+tine and Saxon ſpeaches. which is nowe cal|led Wales, whether the Britons were driuẽ after the Saxons had made a full conqueſt of the other, which we nowe call Englande, al|though the priſtinate integritie therof be not EEBO page image 5 a little diminiſhed by mixture of the Latine & Saxon ſpeaches, howbeit, many poeſies and writings, (in making whereof that nation hath euermore excelled) are yet extant in my time, whereby ſome difference betwéene the aunciẽt & preſent language, may eaſily be diſ|cerned, notwithſtanding that amõg all theſe there is nothing to be founde, which can ſet downe any ſounde teſtimonie of their owne originall, in remembraunce whereof, their Bardes & cunning men haue bene moſt ſlacke and negligent. It is a ſpeache in mine opiniõ much ſauouring of that, which was ſome|time vſed in Grecia, and learned by the re|liques of the Troyanes, whyleſt they were captiue there, but how ſoeuer the matter ſtandeth, after it came once ouer into this I|ſlande, ſure it is, that it could neuer be extin|guiſhed for all the attẽpts that the Romains, Saxons, Normans, and Engliſhmen coulde make againſt that nation, in any maner of wyſe.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The Bri| [...]ons deli| [...]ent in pe| [...]grées.Petigrées & genealogies alſo the Welche Brytons haue plentie in their owne tongue, inſomuch that many of them can readily de|riue the ſame, eyther from Brute or ſome of his bande, euen vnto Aeneas and other of the Troyanes, and ſo forth vnto Noah without any maner of ſtoppe, but as I know not what credite is to be giuen vnto them in this be|halfe, ſo I dare not abſolutely impugne their aſſertions, ſith that in times paſt all nations (learning it no dout of the Hebrues) did very ſolemnely preſerue the Cataloges of their diſcent, thereby eyther to ſhew themſelues of auncient and noble race, or elſe to be diſcen|ded from ſome one of the goddes.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 [...]atine.Next vnto the Brittiſhe ſpeache, the latine tongue was brought in by the Romaines, whereof I will not ſay much, bycauſe there are few which be not ſkilfull in ye ſame. How|beit as the ſpeache it ſelfe is eaſie and delecta|ble, ſo hath it peruerted the names of the auncient ryuers, regions, and cities of Bri|tayne in ſuch wyſe, that in theſe our dayes their olde Brittiſh denominations are quite growen out of memorie, and thoſe of the new latine, left as moſt incertayne. This remay|neth alſo vnto my tyme, borowed from the Romaynes that all our déedes, euidences, charters, and writinges of recorde, are ſet downe in the latine tongue, and therevnto the copies and courtrolles, and proceſſes of courtes and leetes regiſtred in the ſame.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The Sa| [...]on tong.The thirde language apparauntly knowen is the Scythian or highe Dutche, brought in at the firſt by the Saxons, an hard and rough kinde of ſpeach god wotte, when our nation was brought firſt into acquaintance withall, but now chaunged with vs into a farre more fine and eaſie kind of vtteraunce, and ſo poli|ſhed and helped with new and milder wordes that it is to be aduouched howe there is no one ſpeache vnder the ſonne ſpoken in our time, that hath or can haue more varietie of words, copie of phraſes, or figures or floures of eloquence, thẽ hath our Engliſhe tongue, although ſome haue affirmed vs rather to barke as dogs, then talke like men, becauſe the moſt of our wordes (as they doe in déede) incline vnto one ſyllable.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 After the Saxon tongue came the Normã or Frenche language,The Frẽ|che tong. ouer into our countrey and therein were our lawes written for a lõg tyme, our children alſo were by an eſpeciall decrée taught firſt to ſpeake the ſame, and all to exile the Engliſhe and Brittiſhe ſpeaches out of the coũtry, but in vaine, for in the time of king Edwarde the firſt, and towarde the latter ende of his reigne, the Frenche it ſelfe ceaſed to be ſpoken generally, and then be|ganne the Engliſhe to recouer and growe in more eſtimation then before, notwithſtãding that amõg our artificers, ye moſt part of their implements & tooles reteine ſtil their French denominatiõs to theſe our daies, as the lan|guage it ſelf, is vſed likewiſe in ſũdry courts, bookes and matters of law, wherof here is no place to make any farder rehearſall. After|ward alſo, by the diligent trauelle of Geffray Chauſer, and Iohn Gowre in the time of Ri|chard the ſecond, & after thẽ of Iohn Scogã, & Iohn Lydgate monke of Berry, our tong was brought to an excellent paſſe, notwith|ſtanding that it neuer came, vnto the typpe of perfection, vntill the time of Quéene Eliza|beth, wherein many excellent writers haue fully accompliſhed the ornature of the ſame, to their great prayſe and immortall commẽ|dation. But as this excellencie of the Engliſh tongue is founde in one, and the ſouth part of this Iſlande, ſo in Wales the greateſt nõ|ber as I ſayde retayne ſtill their owne aun|cient language, that of the North part of the ſayd countrey, being leſſe corrupted then the other, and therefore reputed for the better in their owne eſtimation and iudgement.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The Corniſh and Deuonſhire men,The Cor|niſh tõgue. haue a ſpeach in like ſorte of their owne, and ſuch as hath in déede more affinity with the Armori|cane tongue, then I can well diſcuſſe of, yet in mine opiniõ they are both but a corrupted kinde of Brittiſh, albeit ſo farre degenera|ting in theſe dayes, that if eyther of them do méete wyth a Welch man, they are not able at the firſt to vnderſtand one another, except here and therein ſome odde wordes, without the helpe of interpretours. And no marueile EEBO page image 14 in mine opinion that the Brittiſh of Corne|wall is thus corrupted, ſith the Welch tong that is ſpoken in the north and ſouth part of Wales, doth differ ſo much in it ſelfe as the Engliſh vſed in Scotlande, doth from that which is ſpoken among vs here in this ſide of the Iſlande, as I haue ſaide already.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Scottiſhe engliſh.The Scottiſh engliſhe is much broader and leſſe pleaſaunt in vtterance, then ours, becauſe that nation hath not hitherto inde|uoured to bring the ſame to any perfit order, and yet it is ſuch in maner, as Engliſhmen themſelues doe ſpeake, for the moſt part be|yonde the Trent, whether the aforeſayde a|mendement of our language, hath not as yet very much extended it ſelfe.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Thus we ſée how that vnder the domini|on of the kinge of Englande, and in the ſouth partes of the realme, we haue thrée ſeuerall tongues, that is to ſay, Engliſh, Bryttiſh, & Corniſh, and euen ſo many are in Scotland, if you accompt the Engliſhe ſpeach for one: notwithſtanding that for bredth and quanti|tie of the Region, it be ſomewhat leſſe to ſée to then the other. For in the North part of the Region,The wilde Scottes. where the wilde Scottes, other|wyſe called the Redſhankes, or Rough footed Scottes (bycauſe they go bare footed & clad in mantels ouer their ſaffron ſhirtes after the Iriſhe maner) doe inhabite,Redſhãks. Rough foo|ted Scots. they ſpeake good Iriſhe,Iriſh ſpe|che. whereby they ſhew their origi|nall to haue in times paſt bene fetched out of Irelande.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 In the Iſles of the Orcades, or Orkeney, as they now call them, and ſuch coaſtes of Bri|taine as doe abutte vpon the ſame, the Got|tiſh or Dainſh ſpeach is altogither in vſe, by reaſon as I take it, that the princes of Nor|way helde thoſe Iſlandes ſo long vnder their ſubiection, albeit they were otherwyſe re|puted, rather to belong vnto Irelande, by|cauſe that the very ſoyle of them is enemie to poyſon, as ſome write, although for my part I had neuer experience of the truth her|of. And thus much haue I thought good to ſpeake of theſe fiue languages nowe vſually ſpoken within the limites of our Iſlande.

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