“Er mwyn gweld gwrthuni ein hymddygiad / In order to appreciate the odiousness of our behaviour”

Darn bach gan Emrys ap Iwan o 1895…

[English follows]

“Er mwyn gweld gwrthuni ein hymddygiad, dychmygwn fod y Saeson yn ymddwyn tuag atom ni fel yr ydym ni yn ymddwyn tuag atynt hwy. Dychmyger eu bod ynghanol Lloegr yn troi cyfarfod yn Gymraeg neu yn hanner Cymraeg o achos bod yno ddau neu dri o Gymry uniaith yn ddigon hy i weiddi “Cymraeg, Cymraeg.” Dychmygwn eu bod yn dewis Cymro uniaith i’w cynrychioli yng Nghaint neu yn Ynys Wyth, a’u bod yn llefain Clewk, Clewk, wrth wrando ar y cyfryw gynrychiolydd yn traethu yng Nghymraeg llydan Sir Fôn ar y priodoldeb o roi ychydig o le i iaith a llenoriaeth Saesneg yn athrofeydd Caergrawnt a Rhydychen. Dychmygwn fod barnwyr ac ynadon Lloegr gan mwyaf yn Gymry heb fedru dim Saesneg, a bod y rhai sydd yn medru Saesneg yr un ffunud yn mynnu siarad yn Gymraeg; fod y dadleuwyr, wrth erlyn ac amddiffyn, yn apelio at y barnwyr a’r rheithwyr yn Gymraeg, ac yn gwastraffu amser i holi’r tystion trwy gyfieithydd. Dychmygwn fod trigolion St. Albans neu Clackton-on-Sea yn codi eglwys a phedwar capel ar gyfer ymwelwyr Cymreig a theulu neu ddau o breswylwyr Cymreig, ynghyd â dwsin o Saeson sydd wedi colli eu Saesneg wrth werthu llefrith, cwrw, cennin neu bysgod i’r Cymry hynny. Dychmygwn fod athrawon ysgolion Lloegr yn gwialenodio, ie, yn ffonodio eu disgyblion am siarad Saesneg yn yr ysgol, ac yn eu rhybuddio na siaradont “that vulgar English” y tu allan i’r ysgol chwaith. Dychmyger bod miloedd o goegynnod a choegennod ar hyd a lled lloegr yn clebran Cymraeg yn y siopau, yn y trenau, a hyd yn oed mewn dosbarth yn yr ysgolion Sul, a hynny am eu bod yn synio bod siarad hen iaith go bur fel y Gymraeg yn beth mwy gweddus na siarad rhyw glytwaith diweddar fel y Saesneg. Dychmygwn fod ar agos bob siopwr yn Lloegr gywilydd ei alw ei hun yn butcher, yn clothier, neu yn shoemaker, a bod Richard Cockburn, Cigydd; John Coldbottom, Dilledydd; ac Alfred Rawbottom, Crydd, yn serennu uwch ben y siopau. Dychmygwn fod Cwmni’r L.&N.W.R. yn dileu’r enw Runcorn Station, ac yn peri paentio ar yr ystyllen: Gorsaf yr Un-Corn; fod gweision Gorsaf Oxford yn gweiddi “Rhydychen” er mwyn boddio’r astudwyr Cymreig, a bod gweision gorsaf Caer er mwyn peri cyfleustra i farchnadwyr ffwdanllyd Cymru yn dywedyd wrthynt yn fwyn: “This way, gentlemen, to the Nerpwl train.” Dychmyger (os gellir dychmygu peth mor anghredadwy) fod gweithwyr o Saeson ar rai o ffyrdd haearn Lloegr yn goddef i ddeuddyn uniaith â’u henw Huws a Dafis eu trin mor drahaus ag y mae gweithwyr o Gymry ar rai o ffyrdd haearn Cymru yn goddef i rai Saeson uniaith eu trin hwy. Yn sicr, ni byddai’n fwy anweddus i’r genedl ieuengaf ddynwared y genedl hynaf nag ydyw i’r genedl a orchfygwyd ei hamharchu ei hun er mwyn dangos parch i’r genedl a’i gorchfygodd.”

‘Paham y gorfu’r Undebwyr?’, Y Geninen, Hydref 1895.

A short piece by Emrys ap Iwan of 1895…

“In order to appreciate the odiousness of our behaviour, let us imagine that the English behave in the same way towards us as we behave towards them. Imagine that in the middle of England they started to use Welsh or half-Welsh in a meeting because there were two or three monoglot Welsh speakers in attendance bold enough to shout “Welsh, Welsh”. Let us imagine that they chose a monoglot Welsh speaker to represent Kent or the Isle of Wight in Parliament, and they cry Hear, Hear, as they listen to that said representative give a speech in broad Anglesey Welsh on the correctness of conceding some place to the English language and English literature at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Let us imagine that the majority of judges and magistrates in England were Welshmen who couldn’t speak any English, and that those who could speak English likewise insisted on speaking Welsh; that counsel, whilst prosecuting and defending cases, addressed the judges and jurors in Welsh and wasted time by examining English witnesses through an interpreter. Let us imagine that the residents of St. Albans and Clacton-on-Sea built a church and four chapels for Welsh visitors and the one or two Welsh resident families, along with a dozen or so Englishmen who had lost their English whilst selling milk, beer, leeks or fish to the Welsh people. Let us imagine that the teachers of English schools lashed, yes, caned their pupils for speaking English at school, and warned them not to speak “that vulgar English” outside school either. Imagine that thousands of fops and coquettes up and down England chattered in Welsh in the shops, in the trains, and even in Sunday School classes because they supposed that speaking an old, genuinely pure language like Welsh was more seemly than speaking some johnny-come-lately hybrid like English. Let us imagine that nearly all shopkeepers in England were ashamed to call themselves a ‘butcher’, a ‘clothier’, or a ‘shoemaker’, and that ‘Richard Cockburn, Cigydd’; ‘John Coldbottom, Dilledydd’; and ‘Alfred Rawbottom, Crydd’ glittered above the shops. Let us imagine that the L&NWR Company banished the name ‘Runcorn’ Station, and painted ‘Gorsaf Un-Corn’ on the sign instead; that station porters in Oxford shouted “Rhydychen” in order to keep the Welsh students happy, and that porters in Chester said obligingly – in order to keep fussy Welsh businessmen happy – “This way, gentlemen, to the Nerpwl train”. Imagine (if such an unbelievable thing can be imagined) that English workers on some of the English railroads tolerated a couple of monoglot Welshmen called Huws and Dafis treating them as contemptuously as Welsh workers on some of the Welsh railroads tolerate being treated by some monoglot Englishmen. For sure, it wouldn’t be any more proper for the younger nation to imitate the older nation than it would be for the conquered nation to disrespect itself whilst showing respect to the nation which conquered it.”

‘Paham y gorfu’r Undebwyr?’ [‘Why did the Unionists win?’], Y Geninen, Hydref 1895.

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