Quotes by Douglas Hyde

As our language wanes and dies, the golden legends of the far-off centuries fade and pass away. No one sees their influence upon culture; no one sees their educational power.
– Douglas Hyde
Consider the work of the association in reviving our ancient national game of caman, or hurling, and Gaelic football, has done more for Ireland than all the speeches of politicians for the last five years. And it is not alone that that splendid association revived for a time with vigour our national sport, but it revived also our national recollections, and the names of the various clubs through the country have perpetuated the memory of the great and good men and martyrs of Ireland.
– Douglas Hyde
Englishmen have very noble and excellent qualities which I should like to see imitated here, but I should not like to imitate them in everything. I like our own habits and character better, they are more consonant to my nature; I like our own turn of thought, our own characteristics, and above all I like our own language.
– Douglas Hyde
Every crag and gnarled tree and lonely valley has its own strange and graceful legend attached to it.
– Douglas Hyde
For the first time in Ireland within my recollection, Catholic and Protestant, Unionist and Nationalist, landlord and tenant, priest and parson, all work hand in hand in the interest of Ireland's life and intellectuality.
– Douglas Hyde
How many Irishmen are there who would purchase material prosperity at such a price? It is exactly such a question as this and the answer to it that shows the difference between the English and Irish race. Nine Englishmen out of ten would jump to make the exchange, and I firmly believe that nine Irishmen out of ten would indignantly refuse it.
– Douglas Hyde
I - and there are hundreds of thousands of Irishmen who felt on this subject as I do - have always liked my Celtic countrymen and disliked the English nation; it is a national trait of character, and I cannot help it.
– Douglas Hyde
I acknowledge that it gives me a pang of sorrow to see the language of the bards and brehons, of the Saints and Sages, the language of Rory O'More, of Patrick Sarsfield, and Owen Roe O'Neill, the best men that Ireland ever produced, kicked contemptuously aside, crawling away, as it were, with a broken leg to die, like a hunted dog in a ditch, a vile and lingering death.
– Douglas Hyde
I believe for example that the character of the people has deteriorated in the east of the County Leitrim and in the County Lonford, where Irish died out a generation ago.
– Douglas Hyde
I cannot conceive a more acute pain in the power of sentiment to inflict than that which I should feel if, after a life passed in England or the colonies or India, I were to come back to my native mountains and find that the indifference or the actual discouragement of our leaders had succeeded in destroying the language of my childhood.
– Douglas Hyde
I do not share the wish to see my language dead and decently buried.
– Douglas Hyde
I most unhesitatingly affirm that those who continue to speak their own language are in every way the intellectual and generally the moral superior of those who have allowed it to die out... .when they... lose the language, they lose also the traditional unwritten literature which, inculcating and eulogising what is courteous, high-minded, and noble, supplied continuously an incentive to the practice of those qualities.
– Douglas Hyde
In order to de-Anglicize ourselves, we must at once arrest the decay of the language. We must teach ourselves not to be ashamed of ourselves.
– Douglas Hyde
It is a most disgraceful shame the way in which Irishmen are brought up. They are ashamed of their language, institutions, and of everything Irish.
– Douglas Hyde
Now if we allow our living language to die out, it is almost a certainty that we condemn our literary records to remain in obscurity.
– Douglas Hyde
Reverence for our past history, regard for the memory of our ancestors, our national honour, and the fear of becoming materialized and losing our best and highest characteristics call upon us imperatively to assist the Irish-speaking population.
– Douglas Hyde
The Gaelic League is founded not upon hatred of England, but upon love of Ireland. Hatred is a negative passion; it is powerful - a very powerful destroyer; but it is useless for building up. Love, on the other hand, is like faith; it can move mountains, and faith, we have mountains to move.
– Douglas Hyde
The literary activity of even the eighteenth century among the Gaels was very great.
– Douglas Hyde
We are above and beyond all politics, all parties and all factions; offending nobody - except the anti-Irishman.
– Douglas Hyde
We are told that the keeping alive a language spoken by so small a number of the community is a barrier to progress.
– Douglas Hyde