Among those institutions which are thought to be irrecoverably lost, one is that of the Druids; of which the learned have hitherto known nothing, but by some fragments concerning them out of the Greec and Roman authors. Nor are such fragments always intelligible, because never explained by any of those, who were skilled in the Celtic dialects, which are now principally six; namely Welsh or the insular British, Cornish al- most extinct, Armorican or French British, Irish the least corrupted, Manks or the language of the Isle of Man ; and liarse or Highland Irish, spoken of the Druids also in all the western ilands of Scotland. These, having severally their own dialects, are, with respect to each other and the old Celtic of Gaule, as the several dialects of the German language and now Dutch, the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Islandic ; which are all descendants of their common mother, the Gothic. Not that ever such a thing as a pure Gothic or Celtic language either
did or cou'd exist in any considerable region with out dialects, no more than pure elements : but by such an original language is meant the common root and trunk, the primitive words, and especially
the peculiar construction that runs through all the branches; whereby they are intelligible to each other, or may easily become so, but different from all kinds of speech besides. Thus the Celtic and the Gothic, which have been often taken for each other, are as different as Latin and Arabic. ***Section in book

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