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80 thá

cweth :66 “Utono1 agifan thám esness his wif, forthánfo ho said :

give to-the fellow his wife, because he hí hæfth geearnod: and sæde: gif" he bine underbæc"? her hath earned : and said: if he

backward besawe, 3 that he sceolde forletano thet wif. Ac75 lufe mon looked, that he should lose the woman. But love mæg? swithe uneathe” forbeódan 78. Wei la wei ! 19 Hwat ! may very difficultly forbid : Alas! What!

Tha he forth on thet leoht com,°

When he forth into the light came, then beseáh81 he hine underbæc, with82 thæs wifes : thá losede83 looked he backward, towards the woman : then was-lost heó him

Thas85 spell lærath gehwylcne man she to-him straightway. This story teacheth every man,

84 sona.

66 Inf. cwethan; pret. cwæth ; whence Old English quoth.

67 Said to be used for giving an imperative power to the infinitive of the verb. An Adverb, meaning without or beyond, from the adverb ut, out.

68 A serf. See the manumission of Gurth in Ivanhoe.

69 For-that; an example of a common kind of Anglo-Saxon adverbs, of which we retain some; as, nohwær, thæron, thærin; while we have formed many others on the same principle.

70 Inf. earnian (or geearnian); part. geearnod. When ge- is a prefixed augment of derivative parts of the verb (as it still is usually in German participles) it has often been retained by the Old English in the softened form of y- or i-.

71 Originally the imperative of gifan, to give.
72 The preposition under, and bæc, a back; behind backs.

73 Inf. beseón (from seón, to see); pret. ic beseáh, thu besawe, he besawe or beseáh; hine beseon, to look (literally, to be-see himself, as in the phrase "to bethink himself.")

74. Commonly, to permit, or forsake; from for (prep.) and læetan, to let.

76 Lost in this shape and meaning; but supposed really the same with cc, dc, or éc (also), which was originally the imperative écan, to eke

or add.

76 See Note 31.

77 Adv. from uneath (literally, un-easy); from un primitive (German, ohne, without), and eath, easy.

78 From for (here negative, as the German ver-) and beodan, to bid or command; pret. Deái, bude, bod; partic. boden.

79 Etymology and spelling doubtful; Old English, well-away! 80 Inf. cuman ; pres. ic cume, he cymth; pret. com ; partic. cumen. 81 See Note 73.

82 See Note 43. 83 Losian, to lose; also, as here, to be lost, or to perish. 84 English, soon. The Anglo-Saxon, sunu, means son.

The Anglo Saxon, Sunne, sun: it is feminine because of Norse mythology: as mona moon, is, for the same reason, masculine.

85 Used for this. See Note 59.
88 Inf. læran ; substantive loere, lore (Scottish, lair, lear).

87 Accusative, in the indefinite form, of gehwylc, every, whatever , from hwylc, what, which.

80

that he hine ne besi688 to his ealdum® yfelum, swáo thet he that he not look to his

old vices,

that he hí fullfremme,99 swá he hí ærø3 dyde.94 them practise, as he them before did.

8. We must not quit our Pure Mother-Tongue without glancing at a specimen of that very singular Poetry, of which she has transmitted to us so many efforts. Its characteristics, both in diction and in versification, have already been briefly explained.

They may be sufficiently illustrated by the few following verses, taken from a passage of Cædmon, which relates the destruction of Pharoah's host in the Red Sea. That the nature of the metre may be easily perceptible, each half-couplet is marked off in the original by a colon.*

Folc wæs afæred :' Flód-egsa? becwóm :3 (The) folk was afraid : flood-fear came-in :

Gastas“ geomres : Geafon deathe-hweop:8
Ghosts murmuring gave (the) death-whoop :
Woldon here? bleathe: Hámase finden:
Would (the) host blithely homes find.
Alc behindan beleac:9 Wyrdo mid

wæge :
But behind locked (them): Fate with (the) wave.
Streamas stódon : Storm up-gewát":
Streams stood : Storm up-went :

88 Subjunctive. See Note 73. 89 See Note 4. 80 Dat. plur. of yfel, evil.

91 Swá-swá, so-as. 92 Fullfremman, to fulfil; from full, full, and fremman, to frame. 93 Adv. earlier, ere; superlative, cerst, soonest, erst, first.

94 Infin. dón, to do; pres. ic ; thú dést, he déth or dóth, we dóth ; pret. ic dyde, thú dydest, he dyde or did, we dydon ; partic. gedón ; imperat. đó thú.

* Afeard, Old English.
2 Egsa is a rare word, and here obscurely used.

From becuman (whence English become), to enter, to happen. * Nom. sing. gast ; Scottish, ghaist. • German, jammer; Scottish, yammer. 6 A fresh instance of the true Saxon form of our modern wh-. ? Heer, Gorman. • Nom. sing. hám; gen. hámes; Scottish, hame. • Inf. belucan ; partic. belocen. 10 Old English and Scottish, weird; “ The weird sisters.”Macbeth. 11 Inf. gewitan, to depart.

Thorpe's “ Cædmon's Metrical Paraphrase of Parts of the Holy Scriptures, with an English Translation, Notes, and a Verbal Index,” 1832. Conybeare's “ Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry.” 1826.

Weollon" wæl-benna :13 Wíte-ródł4

gefeol :15 Rolled corpses (of) men : (the) punishment-rod fell Heah of heofonum :16 Hand-weorc Godes. 17 high from heavens, hand-work of-God.

13 Pret. of weallan, to spring or boil up; weall, wyil, or well, a well.

13 Wæl (German, wahlstatt, a battle-field), slaughter; thence a dead body Benn, a man (rare).

1* Substantives were compounded together in Anglo-Saxon, as freely as in modern German. The wite (Scottish for blame) was the fine paid to the community by a murderer.'

15 Inf. feallan; pret. feoll, gefeol; partic. gefeallen.

16 Dat. plur. of leofon ; derived from heafen, partic. of hebban, to raise, to heave. Another derivative is heafod, a head."

17 God, the Holy Name, (with short vowel,) from the adjective god, good. Inversely, man in Anglo-Saxon is used derivatively to mean sin.

CHAPTER II.

THE SEMI-SAXON PERIOD.

A.D. 1066-A.D. 1250.

TRANSITION OF THE SAXON TONGUE INTO THE ENGLISH. 1. Character of the Language in this Stage-Duration of the Period.—2. The kinds of

Corruptions-Illustrated by Examples.-3. Extract from the Saxon Chronicle Translated and Analyzed.-4. Layamon's Brut-Analysis of its Language-Comparison with Language of the Chronicle.—5. Extract from Layamon Translated and Ana

lyzed. 1. We are next to watch the Anglo-Saxon language at the earliest stages in that series of mutations, by which it passed into the Modern English.

When these began, it is not possible to say with precision. It cannot have been much later than the Norman Conquest : it may have been a century earlier, and probably was so. Our manuscripts show some tokens of them; and, as there is reason to believe, they appeared soonest in the Northern Dialect.

At present it may suffice for us to know, that the changes assumed, in succession, two very distinct types, marking two eras quite dissimilar.

First came a period throughout which the old language was palpably suffering disorganization and decay, without exhibiting any symptoms which the most intelligent observer could, at the time, have interpreted as presaging a return to completeness and consistency. This was a Transition-era, a period of confusion, alike perplexing to those who then used the tongue, and to those who now endeavour to trace its vicissitudes. The state of chaos came to an end about the middle of the thirteenth century, a little earlier, or a little later. One of our best antiquaries sets down its close as occurring about the year 1230.* These approximate dạtes give it a duration of nearly two centuries from the Conquest. It is to this stage of the language that our philologers now assign the name of Semi-Saxon..

With it, in the meantime, our business lies. We shall afterwards study the second era, that period of Re-construction, during the whole of which the language may correctly be described as English.

* Sir Frederick Madden; in his Edition of Layamon's Brut, 1847.

Weollon" wæl-benna :13 Wite-ród 14 gefeol :15 Rolled corpses (of) men : (the) punishment-rod fell Heah of heofonum :16 Hand-weorc Godes, 17 high from heavens, hand-work of God.

13 Pret. of weallan, to spring or boil up; weall, wyil, or well, a well.

13 Wæl (German, wahlstatt, a battle-field), slaughter; thence a dead body. Benn, a man (rare).

* Substantives were compounded together in Anglo-Saxon, as freely as in modern German. The wite (Scottish for blame) was the fine paid to the community by a murderer:

15 Inf. feallan; pret. feoll, gefeol ; partic. gefeallen.

16 Dat. plur. of heofon ; derived from heafen, partic. of hebban, to raise, to heave." Another derivative is heafod, a head.

17 God, the Holy Name, (with short vowel,) from the adjective góch good. Inversely, man in Anglo-Saxon is used derivatively to mean sin.

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