"In the Island of Hai-nan (Hai-lam), again (setting aside the central
aborigines), a language is spoken which differs from Amoy more than that
of Swatow, but is more nearly related to these two than to any other of
the languages of China.
"In Fuh-chau fu we have another language which is largely spoken in the
centre and north of Fuh-kien. This has many points of resemblance to the
Amoy, but is quite unintelligible to the Amoy people, with the exception
of an occasional word or phrase.
"Hing-hwa fu (Heng-hoa), between Fuh-chau and Chinchew, has also a
language of its own, though containing only two Hien districts. It is
alleged to be unintelligible both at Amoy and at Fuhchau.
"To the other languages of China that of Amoy is less closely related; yet
all evidently spring from one common stock. But that common stock is not
the modern Mandarin dialect, but the ancient form of the Chinese language
as spoken some 3000 years ago. The so-called Mandarin, far from being
the original form, is usually more changed than any. It is in the ancient
form of the language (naturally) that the relation of Chinese to other
languages can best be traced; and as the Amoy vernacular, which very
generally retains the final consonants in their original shape, has been
one of the chief sources from which the ancient form of Chinese has been
recovered, the study of that vernacular is of considerable importance."