In my last meeting with leuan Fardd I have convinced him that it is in vain for him to attempt Nennius until he has a better copy than Archbishop Usher's Nennius in Llannerch library, which is far from being cor- rect, and will lead the world into intolerable errors. Nothing will do it but Mr. Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt's copy, which hath been compared with all the ancient copies in the public libraries, the Cotton, Bodleian, Cambridge, the King's Library, and with Usher's own transcript from eleven MSS. Vaughan will suffer no man to see it, though his father hath suffered me to make some extracts out of it, which is the test I have to try all other copies by.
That was the only man that understood Nennius, and that knew what he wrote about him, I mean Mr. Robert Vaughan, who was cotemporary with Usher. If you, who have so critical a knowledge of the Latin tongue, would take such a translation in hand, it would make you immortal, and the history loudly calls to be turned into English, being just expiring ; but you have a thousand excuses, though indolence LETTERS. Pegge's letters, which made me stare, and I now return them. Their compliments are so high, that they made me turn about like the drunken woman, whose cloatbs had been changed while asleep, and I asked myself, Ai fi ydwyf fi?
Besides, there is an old proverb among us which says, ' A fynno glod bid farw'. According to this, either I am dead, or this is no praise. Last night I had no sleep, a summer cough the worst of coughs has seized me, and brought an inflam- mation of the pleura, which has been partly removed by bleeding, but am still very bad. Ped fai waeth i neb arall ond fy eppil fy hun.
Do not flinch from your part of attacking Camden, or you will have a chance of being shot in the head.
I will send you an account, when 1 have leisure, of some parts of his body that are not invulnerable, not about his heels, but about his head. Yours is the first edition of him, and therefore is the best, for there you have the author in his native simplicity before he hath called allies to his assistance. Have good courage, nid oedd ond dyn fal dyn arall.
Pegge and Dr. Philipps are welcome to copy my VOL. During a correspondence of about two years I had with the late Mr. Caxte, I had some disputes with him about our antiquities. I have annotations upon my interleaved British copy of TyssHio, but I despair ever to have health to undertake a translation of it ; besides that, my collection of Celtic Remains, to which I am almost intirely devoted, keeps me from everything else ; and to encourage leuan to give us an English translation of Nennitia is my great ambition. Gale, nor any of the modems, ever understood him, though they have been all beating about the bush.
All that we want is the great Usher's genuine transcript, which he collated with eleven MSS. He is but short indeed ; ond rhaid i'r adar man gael bwyd. He takes his flight to-morrow. Yea, yea, watch Camden, and give him a knock now and then when he slips. If I have a little leisure next week I shall send you a few notes on him for your guidance.
Ask Mr. Pegge questions by all means, and exert yourself. Pray, let me see Morgan Herbert's epitaph. Well, now comes the jest of the cause.
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Lewis and John's mother longs for a sight of her sons for four days. Her pretence is, that they want to be patched and mended ; but they had a sort of promise to come when the fruit grew ripe, and in the shearing season, when feasting goes on after the manner of the old patriarchs; and lo, here are horses to bring them this very day. I had but three fits of it last night. You say you are lazy, but that you are resolved to be honest in your calling. You may read Camden and give me a little help, and be honest too. Well, I have now in my thoughts to write a letter, to be sent to Dr.
Philipps and Mr. Pegge, by way of reprisals. It is not fair I should always be on the defence. It is about some Saxon affair. If coughing and death do not interfere you shall have it soon.
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I am really very bad as to my health, and jogg on by mere dint of strength of spirits only. Many an heroe would have simk under such infirmities. If the materials of my body will hold out, I am now in a fit hiunour to write what I know of natural philosophy and antiquities : for I am not fit for any active part of life, which requires strength and motion. For God's sake, make no excuses. The world wants to know what you know, and are capable of knowing in a more exquisite manner than others.
You that are armM with all manner of weapons can fight with more effect than a poor fellow with twcca cam com, let him be ever so willing. Such a one am I. God be with you. I cannot sit down for half an hour to write ; I cannot walk about for want of breath.
Tho' I endeavour to be with my haymakers hitherto, I can scarce be said to exist anywhere, and live merely by art. This is my case. The Herbert inscription was designed by a good hand, but mur- dered either by the stonecutter or the schoolmaster that copied it. I thank you for your translation of it. The ori- ginal should be, I think, as I wrote it in the inclosed copy. Pray, let me hear how far you have gone with Camden. Page's letters hath produced this. They had no occasion to apologize for taking copies of mine provided they go no farther. What I wrote in my late letters was an answer to some doubts of theirs about our ancient British antiquities, which was intirely within mine own sphere, and within my depth, having made it my study for many years, and conse- quently, I ought to be a tolerable master of it, having come at such materials and opportunities as but few men have met with, some lucky accidents conspiring to bring these things together.
I thank Mr. Pegge for his hint about the giants.
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What I write now is, in a manner, out of my depth, and I apply to them as men of learning, as I was applied to as a Cambrian anti- quary. I have met with I think a British MS. The Teutonic language and its branches is what I never made my study, except by a transient view of it, as it is pretty much mixed in ancient time with the Celtic.
My meeting with this MS. Hoianan Myrddin, Our Tyssilio also gives us a hint of this incorporation, and the reason of it, as doth the Triades, so that the Pictish tongue, the language of these Cimbrian sea-rovers was Celtic, and nearly related to the British, tho' Bede, who was a stranger to both, thought otherwise ; but the rest of the nations about the Baltic were certainly Teutons, and were, as we find in old MSS. The Danes they called Dubhlochlonnach, i.
Uychlyn is an ancient British word, compounded of Lewch and Uyn. But the Pictish Poet Myrddin mentions Northmyn, t. Hoianan Myrddin, i.
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These things premised, I come to give an accoimt of the MS. I mentioned. A friend of mine is in possession of a Latin MS. The MS. Hierome's time, with whose version, as in print, I find it to agree in most places.
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I take the book to have belonged originally to the Britons, not only on account of the character the same letters being to be seen on our ancient tomb stones in "Wales, erected before the Saxons had the use of letters , but also because Maeielbrith Macdum was also a Briton, ss plainly appears by his name ; and you may see in some copies of Gildas's Nennivs that the Cambro-British kings used, on the first coming of the Saxons, the appellation LETTERS.