Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Philologist"


Dwi'n darllen "Lavengro" (1851) gan George Borrow, awdur o "Wild Wales"). Mae'n wych! Gwrandewch:

"A strange language that!" said a young officer to my father, "I don't understand a word of it; what can it be?"

"Irish," said my father, with a loud voice, "and a bad language it is; I have known it of old, that is, I have often heard it spoken when I was a guardsman in London. There's one part of London where all the Irish live -- at least all the worst of them -- and there they hatch their villanies and speak this tongue; it is that which keeps them together and makes them dangerous. I was once sent there to seize a couple of deserters -- Irish -- who had taken refuge among their companions; we found them in what was in my time called a ken, that is, a house where only thieves and desperadoes are to be found. Knowing on what kind of business I was bound, I had taken with me a sergeant's party; it was well I did so. We found the deserters in a large room, with at least thirty ruffians, horrid looking fellows, seated about a long table, drinking, swearing, and talking Irish. Ah! We had a tough battle, I remember; the two fellows did nothing, but sat still, thinking it best to be quiet; but the rest, with an ubbubboo, like the blowing up of a powder magazine, sprang up, brandishing their sticks; for these fellows always carry sticks with them, even to bed, and not unfrequently spring up in their sleep, striking left and right."

"And did you take the deserters?" said the officer.

"Yes," said my father; "for we formed at the end of the room, and charged with fixed bayonets, which compelled the others to yield notwithstanding their numbers; but the worst was when we got out into the street; the whole district had become alarmed, and hundreds came pouring down upon us -- men, women, and children. Women, did I say! -- they looked fiends, half naked, with their hair hanging down over their bosoms; they tore up the very pavement to hurl at us, sticks rang about our ears, stones, and Irish -- I liked the Irish worst of all, it sounded so horrid, especially as I did not understand it. It's a bad language."

"A queer tongue," said I, "I wonder if I could learn it?"


(Wrth gwrs, dysgodd George Wyddeleg a Chymraeg hefyd. Dwi'n rili rili mwynhau'r llyfr 'ma!)

2 comments:

Emma Reese said...

Diolch am fy nghyfeirio i at Wild Wales. Mi nes i ddarllen tipyn ar y we. Mae'n ddiddorol iawn.

Szczeb said...

Wrth gwrs, fyddan nhw ond yn troi i siarad yr iaith ofnadwy yna pan fydd sarjants Saesneg yn cyrraedd y ken!

Gwych o ddyfyniad!