Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

THE CiMMO-BRITON. SEPTEMBER, 1820. NULLI QUIDEM MIHI SATIS ERUDITI VIDENTUR, QUIBTJS nostra ignota sunt. " Cicero de Legibus. WELSH LANGUAGE. —-<^>~— ITS ORNAMENTAL PROPERTIES. AMONG the singular attributes of the Welsh tongue its extra¬ ordinary, and almost illimitable, faculty of giving new beauty and variety to its expression, by the aid of prefixes and other ad¬ juncts, is, perhaps, the most worthy of investigation. This power springs, undeniably, from that elementary character of the lan¬ guage, which has already been the subject of some inquiry in this work *, and which, as being obviously founded in the most na¬ tural principles, serves essentially to prove the purity and anti¬ quity of the Welsh tongue. If, indeed, we were not to come to this conclusion, we should be at a loss to account for these orna¬ mental properties, as belonging to the language of a people, who have never been distinguished by history for their proficiency in arts and sciences, and to whom, consequently, an artificial embel¬ lishment of their native speech to any great extent could not rea¬ sonably be ascribed. The bards, it is true, may have made some progress in this way; but even the bards; with all their poetical predilections, and with all their traditional lore, could never have raised such an edifice, if Nature herself had not laid the founda¬ tion f. These properties, therefore, must not only be considered as * See Vol. I. pp. 81 and 161, f It has been somewhere intimated, in the former part of this work, that the Welsh tongue owed much of its beauty and.energy to the cultivation, which it received under the Bardic Institution: and, in a qualified sense, this is cer¬ tainly correct. The language was, no doubt, essentially improved by the bards and the early poets; but, on the other side, it must always be remembered, that tliey. only wrought on materials, which they found ready to their VOL. II. B