En 16e Purity of Language

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    Ott 2023

    16e. Gosa: Purity of Language

    [157/32] His wife, he said, who [158] had been maiden at Texland, had received a copied document from there. At Texland, many writings are still to be found which are not copied in the Book of the Adelings. One of these is this text that Gosa had added to her last will, to be made public by the eldest maiden, Albeth, as soon as Friso had died.

    Here is the writing with Gosa’s advice:

    “When Wralda gave children to the mothers of mankind, he laid one language in all tongues and on all lips. This gift Wralda bestowed upon men so they could let each other know what must be avoided and what must be pursued to find blessedness and hold it for eternity.

    Wralda is wise, good, and all-foreseeing. As he knew that good fortune and happiness must flee from Earth if malice is permitted to betray virtue, he attached a righteous property to this language. This property consists in the impossibility for people to tell lies or speak deceptive words without stammering or blushing, by which the evil-hearted [159] may instantly be identified.

    Because our language thus leads to joy and gladness, and thereby helps keep watch against evil inclinations, it is rightly called ‘God’s language’. And all those who hold it in honor are blessed.

    But what has happened?

    As soon as, among our half-sisters and half-brothers, deceivers arose who presented themselves as God’s servants, things changed at once. The deceptive priests and the bitter-cruel princes, who always conspired together, wanted to live as they pleased and bypass God’s laws. In their wickedness, they went about inventing different languages, so as to speak secretly in the presence of others about all evil things and about all unworthy things without a stammer betraying them or a blush tainting their visage.

    And what was born of that?

    Just as the seed of good plants germinates under the ground when openly sown by good men in the bright light of day, so time brings to light the harmful plants that were sown by evil men in secret and in darkness.

    [160] The wanton girls and the unmanly boys who prostituted themselves to the vile priests and princes enticed the new languages from their bed partners. That is how these languages spread amongst the peoples, until they altogether forgot God’s language.

    Would you like to know what has become of this?

    Now that a stammer or the countenance no longer betray their evil thoughts, virtue has vanished from their midst; wisdom followed and freedom went with it. Unity has been lost and discord has taken its place. Love has fled and promiscuity shares a table with envy; and where justice once ruled, rules now the sword!

    All have become slaves: the people to their lords and the lords to envy,[1] evil lusts, and greed. If they had invented only one language, things might yet have gone well. But they contrived as many languages as there are states, so that one folk can understand another folk no more than the cow understands the dog, or the wolf the sheep.

    The navigators can attest to this.

    Now things are such that all slave folks look upon each other [161] as different races of men, and that, as punishment for their carelessness and their recklessness, they must continue fighting and warring with each other until all are destroyed.

    So here is my advice:

    If you are so rapacious that you desire alone to inherit the earth, you ought never again let any other language pass your lips than God’s language; and you ought to make sure that your own speech remains free of foreign sounds. Even if you wish some children of Lyda and Finda to remain, still you must do the same.

    The language of the East Skeanlanders was twisted by the vile Magyars, and the language of the Kelta-Followers was debased by the creeping Gola.[2] We have now been so generous as to take the returning Hellenia-Followers back into our midst, but I fret and am earnestly afraid that they will reward our generosity by corrupting our pure language.

    We have endured much, but among all burgs that were damaged and destroyed in the bad time, Earth has left Fryasburg unscathed, and I can add that Fryas or God’s language has been preserved equally intact here.

    Here at Texland, schools must thus be established. [162] From all states that keep up the old ways, the young folk must be sent here. Those who are fully educated can thereafter help the others in their homeland.

    If the other nations wish to buy your iron goods and speak about it with you, and bargain, then they must return to God’s language. If they learn God’s language, the words ‘fri-sa’ (being free) and ‘rjucht-ha’ (having justice) will take hold in them. In their minds, it shall begin to gleam and glow until all come to bear the flame. This flame shall devour all deplorable princes and all phoney, sneaking priests.”

    The messengers from near and far were pleased by this writing, but no schools were ever established.


    1. ‘and the lords’ (THA HÉRA) — has been added here to make more sense of the sentence. Original sentence without addition: “All... : the people (LJUD) of their lords (HÉRA), of envy, evil lusts, and of greed.”
    2. ‘creeping’ (SMÛGRIGE) — or: sneaking, intruding; used twice, only in this chapter (see [162/15]. Translated by others as ‘dirty’ after Dutch ‘smerig’, but Old Frisian ‘smuga’ means to creep, sneak, intrude. Probable cognates are ‘smuggle’ and Dutch/German ‘smeken/smeicheln’.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.215] his wife, he said, who had been maagd of Texland, had received a copy of it. In Texland many writings are still found which are not copied in the book of the Adelingen. One of these writings had been placed by Goss with her last will, which was to be opened by the oldest maiden, Albetha, as soon as Friso was dead.

    Here is the Writing with Gosa's Advice.

    When Wr-alda gave children to the mothers of mankind, he gave one language to every tongue and to all lips. This gift Wr-alda had bestowed upon men in order that by its means they might make known to each other what must be avoided and what must be followed to find salvation, and to hold salvation to all eternity. Wr-alda is wise and good, and all-foreseeing. As he knew that happiness and holiness would flee from the earth when wickedness could overcome virtue, he has attached to the language an equitable property. This property consists in this, that men can neither lie nor use deceitful words without stammering or blushing, by which means the innately bad are easily known.

    As thus our language opens the way to happiness and blessedness, and thus helps to guard against evil inclinations, it is rightly named the language of the gods, and all those by whom it is held in honour derive honour from it. But what has happened? As soon as among our half brothers and sisters deceivers arose, who gave themselves out as servants of the good, it soon became otherwise. The deceitful priests and the malignant princes, who always clung together, wished to live according to their own inclinations, without regard to the laws of right. In their wickedness they went [p.217] so far as to invent other languages, so that they might speak secretly in anybody's presence of their wicked and unworthy affairs without betraying themselves by stammering, and without showing a blush upon their countenances. Bat what has that produced? Just as the seed of good herbs which has been sown by good men in the open day springs up from the ground, so time brings to light the evil seed which has been sown by wicked men in secret and in darkness.

    The wanton girls and effeminate youths who consorted with the immoral priests and princes, taught the new language to their companions, and thus spread it among the people till God's language was clean forgotten. Would you know what came of all this? how that stammering and blushing no longer betrayed their evil doings;—virtue passed away, wisdom and liberty followed; unity was lost, and quarrelling took its place; love flew away, and unchastity and envy met round their tables; and where previously justice reigned, now it is the sword. All are slaves—the subjects of their masters, envy, bad passions and covetousness. If they had only invented one language things might possibly have still gone on well; but they invented as many languages as there are states, so that one people can no more understand another people than a cow a dog, or a wolf a sheep. The mariners can bear witness to this. From all this it results that all the slave people look upon each other as strangers; and that as a punishment of their inconsiderateness and presumption, they must quarrel and fight till they are all destroyed.

    [p.219] Here is my Counsel.

    If you wish that you alone should inherit the earth, you must never allow any language but God's language to pass your lips, and take care that your own language remains free from outlandish sounds. If you wish that some of Lyda's children and some of Finda's children remain, you must do the same. The language of the East Schoonlanders has been perverted by the vile Magyars, and the language of the followers of Kaltana has been spoiled by the dirty Gauls. Now, we have been weak enough to admit among us the returned followers of Hellenia, but I anxiously fear that they will reward our weakness by debasing our pure language.

    Many things have happened to us, but among all the citadels that have been disturbed and destroyed in the bad time, Irtha has preserved Fryasburgt uninjured; and I may remark that Frya's or God's language has always remained here untainted.

    Here in Texland, therefore, schools should be established; and from all the states that have kept to the old customs the young people should be sent here, and afterwards those whose education is complete can help those who remain at home. If foreigners come to buy ironwares from you, and want to talk and bargain, they must come back to God's language. If they learn God's language, then the words, "to be free" and "to have justice," will come to them, and glimmer and glitter in their brains to a perfect light, and that flame will destroy all bad princes and hypocritical dirty priests.

    The native and foreign messengers were pleased with that writing, but no schools came from it.

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