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^1| 4 J 



i THE 




TLT kington-oliphant 


VOL. I. 




Ail rights reserved. 




;i 7.yrtU. 



Now that I am bringing out a sketch of the develop- 
ment of our English tOngue during the last 600 
years, I must begin by repeating my acknowledg- 
ments to the authors I named in my former work on 
* Old and Middle English/ 

In the Book I now send forth, I have turned to 
good account the Eeprints which we owe to Mr. 
Arber and the Shakespere Society. I have made 
much use of Mr. Skeat's Dictionary as regards the 
origin of our words. I have derived the greatest 
help from Dr. Murray's Dictionary, so far as it has 
gone. It wiU not be completed, I suppose, until 
twenty years hence; a new edition of my present 
work, should I live so long, will in that case be a 
vast improvement upon the edition now given to the 

I am well aware of the many faults that may be 
found in my book; men will say that I have left 
unread what I ought to have read ; many a favourite 


author's name will be suggested, of whom I have 
taken little notice. I mujst plead in excuse the fact, 
that one man cannot read every thing. In my choice 
of authors, I lean to those that are comic and col- 
loquial, not to the master spirits of our Literature. I 
take little notice of Spenser and Milton, though I dwell 
much on the plays left us by Udall and Still. 

I start from the time when the germs of New 
English were springing up within the tract lying be- 
tween London, Oxford, Shrewsbury, and Boston. I 
have gone at great length into two particular periods ; 
the last thirty years of the Fourteenth Century, and the 
twenty years that followed 1520. In this last period 
flourished Tyndale and Coverdale, the translators of 
the Bible, the one representing the South, the 
other the North. After their time, many authors 
have to be studied, as they lead up to Shakespere, 
the great point to which all ought to tend. So 
often have I referred to him, that it would be a 
mockery to insert every reference to his name in my 

I have been careful to set out the many Proverbs 
to be found in English Literature, and also the various 
customs of each age. I have thrown light, wherever 
possible, not only upon the old English pronuncia- 
tion, but also upon that of France, Germany, and 


As to my Index, I have, as a general rule, con- 
fined myself to Teutonic and Celtic words, and also 
to those Eomance words which have some peculiarity. 
Had I inserted every Eomance word I name, I must 
have brought out a third Volume. I have derived 
much benefit from criticism on my former works ; this 
has reached me partly in print, partly by letter; I 
hope for many fresh comments on my ' New English,' 
and to this end I have given my address. 

I have so often laughed at the absurd attempts, much 
in vogue, to date buildings and writings as early as pos- 
sible, that I have perhaps fallen into the opposite extreme. 
Hence I must here withdraw certain remarks of mine 
on the 'Eomaunt of the Eose,' vol. i. pp. 400-402 of 
my Book. Since I wrote these, Dr. Murray has in- 
formed me that without doubt the manuscript of the 
Eomaunt, which is at Glasgow, belongs to the Fifteenth 
Century. But the very modem forms contained in it, 
far more modern than those in the works of Blind 
Harry, are most puzzling. I can only repeat once 
more that wish of mine, which appears in the note to 
vol. i p. 400. The North, in truth, was all along far 
in advance of the South, as regards the changes of 
language ; and this comes out again two generations 
later, when we compare Coverdale with Tyndale. The 
Eomaunt of the Eose, I think, is the earliest attempt 
in English to imitate the Archaic. 


I must end by saying that this work on the ' New 
English ' will be of small profit to my readers, unless 
they first master my book on 'Old and Middle English/ 
published in 1878. 


Gask, Auchterabdee, 
October 16, 1886. 



A.D. 1300-A.D. 1362. 



Ten Divisions of English .... 


1300 Dialect of the Irish Pale .... 


List of English and French words 


1307 Statutes of Norwich Gilds .... 


Ballads of this time . 


1320 William de Shoreham 


New Verbs 


French Phrases ...... 


1321 Poem of Edward the Second's time 


The Foreign words 


Northern Metrical Homilies 


System of rimes ...... 


Gk)ttingen Version of the Cursor Muhdi 


1330 Auchinleck Poems 


Romance of the Seven Sages . . . . 


New use of Verbs ...... 


The Foreign words 


1337 Manning's Poem 


His Substantives 


His Verbs ....... 


His Foreign words ..... 


Specimen of his rimes ..... 





1340 The Ayenbite of Inwyt 23 

/ French Idioms . 


The Substantives 


Terminations .... 

. 26 

The Verbs ..... 

. 27 

The Foreign words 


Much French .... 


New Phra-ses .... 


Hampole's Pricke of Conscience . 


The Verbal Nouns 

. 32 

The Verbs and Adverbs 


The Foreign words 


Hampole's Prose Treatises 


The Nouns and Verbs 


The French words 


The Tale of Gamelyn . 


The Foreign words 


The Avowing of King Arthur 


The Foreign words 


1350 The Alexander ; William of Paleme 


Specimen of the Poem 


The Nouns .... 


The Pronouns and Verbs 


The Adverbs and Prepositions 


The Foreign words 


Legends ; The Usages of Winchester 


The Foreign words .... 


Minot ; The Tournament of Tottenham 


The Foreign words .... 


1359 Statutes of a Lynne Gild 


Dan John Gaytrigg .... 


1360 Northern Legends . . 


The Foreign words . . . 


Sir G a wain and the Green Knight 


The Nouns ..... 


The Verbs 





1360 The Foreign words .... 
The Lancashire Alliterative Poems 
The Nouns ..... 

The Verbs ...'.. 

The Pronouns and Prepositions 
The Foreign words .... 
The French words .... 
Two Lancashire Bomances . 
The Fairfax Version of the Cursor Mundi 
Disappearance of old words . 
The Southern Version of the Cui'sor Mundi 
North and South compared 
Want of some Standard of English 




Chaucer's English. 

j:%.,u» J.WA — jxtxj, j.-xf -X. 

A glance backward . . . . . .72 

Manning's works 


Spread of East Midland English . 


Countenance given by Edward III. 

. 75 

A Lollard Treatise 


General use of English 


1362 The York Mysteries . 


The Foreign words 


1370 Sir Degrevant 


The Verbs 


Early English Poems ; Octavian . 


Torrent of Portugal .... 


Richard Coer de Lion . 


Substantives and Verbs 


1375 Barbour's Poem on The Bruce 




1375 He gives its date 87 

The Substantives 


Adjectives and Pronouns 

. 89 


. 90 

Adverbs and Prepositions 


The Foreign words 


New meanings of words 


Barbour's Legends of the Saints . 


1377 Allegory of Piers Ploughman 


The three editions of the work 

. 96 

The Substantives .... 

. 97 

The contracted Proper Names 


The Adjectives .... 


The Verbs and Adverbs 

. 100 

The Foreign words 

. 101 

Much French .... 

. 102 

Sublimity of the Poem 

. 103 

Mirk's Instructions for Parish Priests 

. 104 

The new Romance words 

. 105 

Specimen of the Poem 

. 106 

Cotton Galba Version ; The Carpenter's 



Sir Cleges ..... 


Chaucer's Poems ..... 


Death of Blanche the Duchess 


The Foreign words .... 


Parliament of Fowls, etc. 


The Troilus 


The Verbs 


The Foreign words .... 


The House of Fame .... 


The Verbs 


1390 The Canterbury Tales 


The Vowels 


The Consonants ..... 


The Subst-antives .... 


Many new ones ..... 





1390 The Adjectives 123 

The Pronouns . 


. 124 

The Verbs 


. 125 

Phrases connected with them 


. 126 

The Adverbs 


. 127 

The Prepositions 


. 128 

The Foreign words 


. 129 

The French words 


. 130 

French and English combined 


. 131 

Disappearance of Teutonic words . 


. 132^ 

Latin as well as French forms 


. 133 

Chaucer's lines quoted 


. 134 

The Legend of Good Women 


. 135 

The Foreign words 

. 136 

Purvey's claim for the Bible 


. 137 

1380 Wickliffe's Version of it 

» 1 


He sticks too close to the Vulgate 


. 139 

Mixture of Dialects 



The Verbal Nouns 



The Verbs 



The Adverbs .... 



The Foreign words 



Wickliffe's Prose Works 



The Substantives 



The Verbs .... 



The Foreign words 



A Greek word appears 



1386 The Rolls of Parliament ; Trevisa 



The Substantives 



The Adjectives .... 



The Verbs .... 



The Foreign words 



Rising influence of the Latin 



An English Will ; Gregory's Chronicle 



1390 English Seimons .... 



English forms of the Mamage Ser 

vice . 



VOL. I. 








Prayers in English ...... 


The Travels attributed to Mandeville . 


Vowels and Consonants . . . . , 


The Substantives . . . . 


Pronouns, Verbs ...... 


Adverbs ........ 


Prepositions ....... 

. 165 

The French words ...... 


Sometimes preferred to Italian 

. 167 

Coldingham Records ; The Pearl . . . . 


St Erkenwald ; Poem on Masonry 

. 169 

A Salopian Piece ..... 

. 170 


Qower^s Confessio Amantis .... 

. 171 

He uses some of Chaucer's words . 

. 172 

The Substantives ...... 

. 173 

The Adjectives ....... 


Pronouns, Verbs ...... 

. 176 

New Phrases 


Prepositions ...... 

. 177 

The Foreign words . . 


A York WiU . . ... 

. 179 

Political Songs ; State Papers 

. 180 


Gregory's Chronicle ; Rolls of Parliament 

. 181 


Richard the Redeles 

. 182 

The Foreign words 

. 183 


An Apology for the Lollards 

. 184 

Nouns and Pronouns 

. 185 

The Foreign iwords 

. 186 

Many Latin words 


Romance of Ipomydon ; The Nun 

. 188 

The Hunting of the Hare . 

. 189 

Hymns to the Virgin and Chnst . 

. 190 


Ardeme ; Jack Upland .... 

. 191 

Letter from the future Henry V. . 

. 192 

The later York Mysteries .... 

. 193 

The Verbs 

. 194 




1401 The Adverbs 195 

The Foreign words 

. 196 

The Towueley Mysteries 

. 197 

First English Hexameters . 

. 198 

The Substantives 

. 199 

Some new ones . 

. 200 

Adjectives, Pronouns, Verbs 

. 201 

Many new Phrases 

. 202 

Adverbs, Prepositions . 

. 203 

The Foreign words 

. 204 

The earliest Robin Hood Ballad 

. 205 

A specimen of it 

. 206 

Wills of the Time 

. 207 

1402 Occleve's Poeins .... 

. 208 

The Nouns and Verbs . 

. 209 

The Foreign words 

. 210 

His views on France . 

. 211 

1415 The York Pageants . 

. 212 

1420 Rymer's Documents . 

. 213 

Ellis's Original Letters 

. 214 

1422 The Rolls of Parliament 

. 215 

1426 Old forms remain 

. 216 

Gregory's Chronicle 

. 217 

1418 Page on the Siege of Rouen 

. 218 

HaUiweU's Letters of the Kings . 

. 219 

1424 A Rutland WiU 

. 220 

Works of Wickliffe, so called 

. 221 

An old Lollard Treatise 

. 222 

Treatise on Hunting . 

. 223 

Legend of St Edith . 

. 224 

Poem on Cookery 

. 226 

Poems of King James I. 

. 226 

VVyntoun's Chronicle . 

. 227 

The Adjectives and Verbs . 

. 228 

The Foreign words 

. 229 

The Paston Letters of this time 

. 230 






Many French words . . . . . 

. 231 


Audlay's Salopian Poems . . . . 

. 232 

Poem on Agincourt . . . . . 

. 233 

Lydgate's Works 

. 234 

Flemish influence 

. 235 

The French words 

. 236 


Lydgate's Legends 

. 237 

The Babees' Book 

. 238 

Customs of the time 

. 239 

Wills of the time 

. 240 

Northern Wills . 

. 241 

Paston Letters ; Gregory's Chronicle 

. 242 

The Rolls of Parliament . . . . 

. 243 

Standard English comes into vogue 

. 244 

Provincialisms are dropped . . . . 

. 246 

A Lancashire Petition . . . . 

. 246 

Coldingham Papers ; Rymer's Documents 

. 247 


Poem on English Trade . . . . 

. 248 

Praise of Hemy V. .... . 

. 249 


The Gesta Romanonuu . . . . 

. 250 

The Nouns, Verbs, Adverbs 

. 261 

The Foreign words 

. 262 

The Promptorium Parvulorum 

. 263 

Much change in Vowels . . . . 

. 264 

The Consonants . . . . . 

. 266 

The hard g of East Anglia . . . . 

. 266 

The Substantives . . . . . 

. 267 

Many new combinations . . . , 

. 268 

Change in the meaning of words . 

. 269 

The Adjectives ...... 

. 260 

Adverbs, Verbs ...... 

. 261 

Grovelling^ thou and ye . . . . 

. 262 

The Foreign words .... 

. 263 

Union of Teutonic and French 

. 264 

Latin sometimes preferred to French 

. 266 

Fishing Treatise ; Geste of Robin Hood 

. 266 




1440 Many Northern Phrases 

1445 Robin and the Potter ; Plumpton Letters 

York, Coldingham 

Paston Letters 
1447 ShiUingford's Letters . 

Noun, Pronouns 

Verbs, French words . 

1449 Pecock's Repressor 
His peculiarities 
Adjectives, Pronouns . 
Verbs .... 
Adverbs, Prepositions . 
Romance woi-ds . 

1450 Chevy Chase ; Religious Poems 
Doggerel rimes . 
Knight of La Tour-Landry . 
Nouns, Pronouns 
Foreign words . 
Book of Curtesye 
Chester Mysteries 
Nouns, Verbs 

1456 York Wills; Paston Letters 

Vowels, Consonants 

Nouns, Verbs 

Romance words . 

Gregory's Chronicle ; Rolls of Parliament 

Form of Petitions 
1460 Pieces from Hazlitt's Collection 

Old Phrases 

Lollard Treatises ; Ballads . 

Book of Quinte Essence ; Capgrave 

Nouns, Verbs 

French words 

The Wright's Wife ; Plumpton Letters 
1465 London Documents ; Gregory's Chronicle 

Rolls of Parliament .... 













































Paston Letters .... 

The Vowels 

Consonants, Substantives 

Adjectives, Pronouns, Verbs 

Adverbs ..... 

Foreign words .... 

Titles of Nobles .... 

Worcester Document ; Rymer's Papers 

Blind Harry's Poem on Wallace . 

Scotch and French words 

The Coventry Mysteries 

Mixture of Northern and Southern 

Nouns, Pronouns 

Verbs, Adverbs .... 

Foreign words .... 

MaUor/s History of King Arthur 

The Play of the Sacrament . 

Second Version of Qesta Romanorum 

Revelation of Monk of Evesham . 

The Foreign words 

The Babees' Book 

Political Songs ; Warkworth's Chronicle 

Letters of the Kings . 

Something remains to be done 




Caxton's English. 


Caxton's birth 

. 327 

1474 He prints his Recuyell 

. 328 

His Game of the Chesse 

. 329 

His Romance words .... 

. 330 

New French forms .... 

. 331 





1481 His Reynard the Fox .... 

. 332 

Proverbs here ...... 

. 333 

Adjectives, Pronouns, Verbs 

. 334 

The French words .... 

. 335 

1482 His alterations of Trevisa and Chaucer . 

. 336 

The York Wills 

. 337 

Rymer's Documents ; RoUs of Parliament 

. 338 

Paston Letters 

. 339 

Adjectives, Verbs . . . . , 

. 340 

Proverbs * . 

. 341 

Plumpton Letters 

. 342 

York Records ; Exeter Guild 

. 343 

William of Worcester 

. 344 

Romance words ...... 

. 345 

1483 Catholicon Anglicum 

. 346 

Consonants, Substantives . . . . 

. 347 

Adjectives, Verbs 

. 348 

Foreign words ...... 

. 349 

1490 Digby Mysteries 

. 350 

Paston Letters 

. 351 

Letters of Richard 111. ; Rolls of Parliament 

. 352 

Acts of Parliament ; Plumpton Letters 

. 353 

York Records ..... 

. 354 

1499 Pynson's Edition of the Promptorium . 

. 355 

1500 Memoria Technica ; Digby Mysteries . 

. 356 

Poems from Hazlitt's Collection . 

. 357 

Romance words ...... 

. 358 

Welsh Phonetic Transcription 

. 359 

Collier's Dramatic Poetry 

. 360 


. 361 

The Adjectives . 

. 362 

The Celtic words .... 

. 363 

The Romance words .... 

. 364 

Gavin Douglas ; Plumpton Letters 

. 365 

1506 Letters of Henry VII. 

. 366 

The Romance words .... 

. 367 





1605 Ellis's Letters 

. 368 

The Romance words .... 

. 369 

Skeltoii*s Poems of this time 

. 370 

The Adjectives, Verbs. 

. 371 

The Foreign words .... 

. 372 

1509 Fisher's Sermons .... 

. 373 

The Gtesta Romanorum 

. 374 

Barclay's Ship of Fools 

. 375 

The Nouns, Pronouns .... 

. 376 

Verbs, Adverbs ..... 

. 377 

The Foreign words .... 

. 378 

Old Proverbs 

. 379 

English Oaths ..... 

. 380 

Barclay's Eclogues .... 

. 381 

1520 Halliwell's Letters of the Kings . 

. 382 

Ellis's Letters 

. 383 

The Foreign words .... 

. 384 

Fisher's Sermon against Luther . 

. 385 

State Papers ..... 

. 386 

The Verbs 

. 387 

The Romance words 

. 388 

Wood's Letters of Illustrious Ladies 

. 389 

The^Nouns, Verbs 

. 390 

The Romance words . . . . . 

. 391 

Foxe's Documents .... 

. 392 

Skelton's Poems of this time 

. 393 

The Adjectives, Verbs . . . . 

. 394 

Song of the Lady Bessy . . . . 

. 395 

Poems from Hazlitt's Collection . 

. 396 

Coventry Mysteries 

. 397 

A Northern Mystery . . . . . 

. 398 

Plays from Dodsley's Collection . 

. 399 

The Romaunt of the Rose . . . . 

. 400 

Attempts to imitate Old English . 

. 401 

The Court of Love . . . . 

. 402 

The Flower and Leaf 

. 403 





1523 Fitzlierbert on Husbandry . . . . 

. 404 

The Noiina, Verbs 

. 405 

The Foreign words . . . . . 

. 406 

Lord Berners's Translation of Froissart 

. 407 

1526 Tyndale's New Testament . . . . 

. 408 

His Improvements on Wickliffe . 

. 409 

The Vowels 

. 410 

The Consonants, Substantives 

. 411 

Atonement, Day ...... 

. 412 

The Adjectives 

. 413 

The Pronouns ...... 

. 414 

The Verbs 

. 415 

The Adverbs 

. 416 

The Prepositions .... 

. 417 

The Romance words .... 

. 418 

Both French and Latin Forms 

. 419 

Latin words . . . 

. 420 

1530 Tyndale^s other writings 

. 421 

His wrangles with More 

. 422 

Proverbs quoted by him 

. 423 

His simple style 

. 424 

The Vowels 

. 425 

The Consonants, Substantives 

. 426 

Atcmement, Swing , Lust 

. 427 

The Adjectives 

. 428 

The Pronouns, Verbs .... 

. 429 

Oversight, Worship .... 

. 430 

The Adverbs ..... 

. 431 

The Ilomance words .... 

. 432 

Passion, Curiosity .... 

. 433 

Words akin to Dutch and German 

. 434 

1530 Coverdale's share in the Bible 

. 435 

He is compared with Tyndale 

. 436 

His obsolete words .... 

. 437 

Vowels, Consonants, Substantives 

. 438 

Adjectives .....•• 

. 439 







Pronouns, Verbs 

The Verbal Noun confused 

Adverbs, Prepositions . 

Romance words . 

Zt6«Z, PeoZ, Precious . 

Foreign forms 

Roy's Satire on Wolsey 

Nouns and Verbs 

Rastell's Jest Book 

Noims and Verbs 

Fish's Supplication for the Beggars 

Pieces from Hazlitt's Collection 

Palsgrave's EngUsh and French Dictionary 

The Consonants . 

The Substantives 

Bicker, Scavenger 

The Adjectives . 

Pronouns, Verbs . 

The en is often prefixed 

Strike, Want 

The Adverbs 

The Prepositions 

The Foreign words 

Venturer, bray, part 

Temper, luscious, exploit 

Manner, rail, rubify . 

Jyl of Brentford's Testament 

Christ's Kirk ; Heywood's Plays 

Horse Races ; Elyot's Qovemour 

The Romance words . 

The Definitions . 

Translations from the Classics 

Joy's work against Tyndale 

Letters on the Monasteries . 

Ellis's Letters 

The Nouns 






1533 Verbs, Romance words 476 

Foxe's Documents .... 

. 477 

Wood's Letters of Royal Ladies . 

. 478 

Cranmer ; Latimer 

. . 479 

Bygod's Work on Impropriations 

. 480 

Earls of Kildare ; Dodsley*s Plays 

. 481 

1539 Letters on the Monasteries . 

. 482 

1542 Tunstall ; Udall*s Apophthegms 


The Substantives 

. 484 

The Adjectives . 

» 1 

. 485 

The Pronouns, Verbs . 

. 486 

To cut, wonted, rake heU 

. 487 

The Foreign words 

. 488 

Neat, rrdser, Christian . 

. 489 

Dviy, devotion, allvde to 

. 490 

1550 Ralph Roister Doister 

. 491 

The Verbs 

. 492 

The Romance words . 

. 493 

1542 Boorde's Works . 

. 494 

The Romance words . 

. 495 

1544 Ascham's Toxophilus . 

. 496 

The Nouns, Verbs 

. 497 

The Foreign words 

. 498 

1546 Hey wood's Proverbs . 

. 499 

The Romance Phrases 

. 500 

Proverbs set out 

. 501 

Those used by Shakespere 

. 502 

Phrases still current . 

. 503 

Strange etymology 

. 504 

Becon's earliest Writings 

. 505 

Ellis's Letters 

. 506 

Foxe's Documents 

. 507 

The Foreign words 

. 508 

Gardiner's Phrases 

. 509 

Poems in Hazlitt's Collection 

. 510 

The Verbs 


. 511 





1546 The Foreign words .... 

. 512 

1548 Thieves' Slang ; Carew ; Turner's Book 

. 513 

Latimer's Sermons .... 

. 514 

• The Foreign words .... 

. 515 

Old Customs ..... 

. 516 

Leland ; Bale's Play .... 

. 517 

Patten's Account of Somerset's March . 

. 518 

The Foreign words .... 

. 519 

Scotch Phrases of the Time . 

. 520 

1649 The Church Homilies 

. 521 

Teutonic element in Poetry 

. 522 

The English Prayer Book . 

. 623 

1550 Lever's Sermons .... 

. 524 

1551 Archbishop Hamilton's Catechism 

. 525 

Dodsley's Plays ; Hutchinson . : 

. 526 

The Romance words .... 

. 527 

Ty tier's Documents .... 

. 528 

Wood's Letters of Ladies . . . . 

. 529 

Gresham ; Coverdale ; Robinson's Utopia 

. 530 

Word from the Dutch 

. 531 

1555 Cavendish, his Life of VVolsey 

. 532 

The Romance words .... 

. 633 

Machyn's Diaiy ...... 

. 634 

Eden's Translations . . . 

. 535 

The Romance words 

. 536 

Tytler's Documents . . . . . 

. 537 

1557 Tusser's earliest Poem . . % . 

. 538 

1558 Knox; Foxe's Martyrs . . . . 

. 539 

The Substantives 

. 540 

Imp^ shrovd, handbook 

. 541 

The Adjectives ...... 

. 542 

The Pronouns 

. 643 

The Verbs 

. 544 

Scramble, flirt, cross . . . . . 

. 545 

Ridley's Northern Phrase . . . . 

. 546 

The Adverbs 

. 547 




1558 The Foreign words 

Manure, canvass, antic 


. 548 
. 549 

Touch, promoter, varlet 
Latin and Greek words 
Cannibal, black guard . 
Old English words and form 


. 550 
. 551 
. 552 
. 553 

Foxe^s curious notions . 

. 554 

Arber's Narratives 

. 555 

Sea Phrases 

. 556 

1560 Becon ; Jewel 

. 557 

Pilkington's Sermons . 
1562 Hey wood's Epigrams . 
The Substantives, Verbs 

. 558 
. 559 
. 560 

The later Homilies 

. 561 

Stow*s Works 

. 662 

Play of Appius and Virginia 
1566 Gammer Gurton's Needle 

. 563 
. 564 

1567 Damon and Pithias 

. 565 

Cambyses . . . 
Ellis's Letters 

. 566 
. 567 

Gresham's Letters 

. 568 

The Foreign words 
1565 CalfhiU's Treatise 

. 569 
. 570 

The Komance words . 

. 571 

Ascham's Schoolmaster 

. 572 

The Romance words . 

. 573 

1561 Awdeley on Vagabonds 
1567 Harman on Thieves . 

1 ' 

. 574 
. 575 

The Romance words . 

• » 

. 576 

Grindal ; Partridge 
1570 Carew ; Levins . 

Tarlton ; Lambarde's Kent 

. 577 
. 578 
. 579 

The Foreign words 
Old words . 

. 580 
. 581 

1673 Googe; Tusser's Poem 
The Substantives 

. 582 
. 583 




1573 The Verbs 

• • • 1 

. 584 

Foreign words, Proverbs 

• • ■ i 

. 585 

Gascoign's Poems 

• • • 4 

. 586 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 587 

1576 His Steel Glass . 

• • • 

. 588 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 589 

Harvey's Letters 

• • • < 

. 590 


• • • 

. 591 

Treatise on Dogs . 

• • • 

. 592 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 593 

1577 HaiTison's Description of 


. 594 

The Adjectives, Verbs 

• • « 

. 595 

The Foreign words 

• • • 4 

. 596 

Old Customs 

• ■ • 

. 597 

Stanyhurst's Description ( 

)f Ireland 

. 598 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 599 

1582 His Translation of Virgil 

• • • 

. 600 

The Substantives 

• • • « 

. 601 

The Verbs 

• « • 1 

. 602 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 603 

1579 Gosson's School of Abuse 

• • • 1 

. 604 

Lyly*s Euphues . 

• • • 4 

. 605 

The Nouns 

• • • • 

. 606 

The Verbs 

• • • 

. 607 

The Foreign words 

• • • 

. 608 

Constitution, sot, precise 

• • • 

. 609 

Proverbs . 

• • • « 

. 610 

1581 Sidney's Sonnets 

• • • 

. 611 

Bamaby Riche . 

• • • fl 

. 612 

His Romance words . 

• • • 4 

. 613 

1583 Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses 

. 614 

The Romance words . 

• • • 

. 615 

Fulke's Defence of the English Bible . 

. 616 

The Romance words . 

• • • 

. 617 

He objects to French English 

. 618 

1585 Puttenham's Art of English Poesy 

. 619 



1586 The Foreign words 

The Diction of the Bible 

Its influence 

It promotes union with Scotland 

Great Prose Writers of this Age 

Mulcaster's opinion of English 






I THINK the English tongue, from first to last, may be 
divided into the ten following parts :— 

(1) 400-95t). (Pure English, with hardly any ad- 

mixture of Danish or Latin.) 

(2) 950-1120. (Much admixture of Danish in the 

North and East of the Kingdom. 
Loss of thousands of Old English 
poetic words.) 

(3) 1120—1220. (Loss of old inflexions, especially in 

the North and East ; also change 
in the construction of sentences.) 

(4) 1220-1280. (The most disastrous of all periods. 

Loss of the power of compound- 
ing, and of hundreds of Teutonic 
prose words ; the upper class dis- 
card English for FrencL) 

(5) 1280-1362. (Translation of French romances and 

inroad of hundreds of French 
words to supply the loss of 
Teutonic words. In 1303 the 
first well-formed specimen of New 
English appears.) 

(6) 1362-1474. (A new Standard of English, much 

akin to the model of 1303, is 
spoken at Court. It is, as yet, 
militant, since many dialects are 
spoken in the different shires.) 

VOL. I. B 


(7) 1474-1586. (The new Standard is triumphant in 

all the shires south of Trent. 
The Printing press and the Refor- 
mation seem to fix the language.) 

(8) 1586-1660. (The Golden Age of English litera- 

ture j prose becomes much more 

(9) 1660-1750. (The Age of the great Satirists; a 

plainer style in prose prevails.) 
(10) 1750-1886. (Dr. Johnson infects English prose, 

and his evil influence is lasting. 
The Good style of the former 
period, and the Bad later style, 
or Johnsonese, are alike seen in 
our day.) 

In my former work, I stopped at 1310, to include that 
great landmark, Robert of Brunne's early writings. I now 
call attention to certain other works of this period — works 
in which the English is not so well formed as it was in 
the neighbourhood of Rutland. Salop will be very pro- 
minent in this chapter; here Northern and Southern English 
seem to meet The number of new French words is always 
increasing, and the Teutonic element is very slowly 
diminishing. From 1290 to 1350 the proportion of 
Teutonic nouns, verbs, and adverbs that are now obsolete 
is 3 out of 50; from 1350 to 1400 this proportion be- 
comes 2 out of 50; from 1400 to 1450 it becomes 1 out 
of 50 ; after the last-named year it is hardly worth while 
counting. In these calculations we must always set aside 
Alliterative poems. 

I first cast a glance at the English pieces between 1303 
and 1320. Two of these, assigned to Friar Michael of 
Kildare, are printed in Mr. FumivaH's 'Philological Society' 
publication, p. 152 ; these give us some idea of the dialect 
of the Irish Pale soon after 1300. The old 'pawd had 
appeared as jpecocic in the Alexander ; it is here written 
poiicok, p. 153 ; a curious instance of d, when coupled with 
w, being corrupted into ou. The noun hrewester appears, 


which now survives only as a proper name ; we hear of 
the coking-stole. In p. 156 stands makUh glad (merry) ; 
here the pronoun you is dropped after the verb. In p. 
153 stands the new phrase soch an olpir, referring to a pre- 
vious noun. There is put it in writte (writing), p. 154 ; 
we have also the phrase drink dep, p. 156, and the verb 
house (booze), p. 154. We see to supplant the old 0]?, in 
wading up to ]>e chymie, p. 161. There is the Scandinavian 
noun slete^ p. 157. The French words are ditee (ditty), 
draperie, avoir-de-peise, pinch, pillori, poding, sioun (scion), 
randvm, (random), consonant, vowel. Birds are cooked in stu, 
p. 159 j here the French estuve is clipped; we see the con- 
nexion between stove and stew. 

In a piece printed in the ' Keliquise Antiquse,' il 1 77, the 
verb cast is employed for prcedestinare ; hence our forecast. 
There is also lollai, addressed to a babe, whence comes 
Mlaby, There is a poem by Michael of Kildare, in the 
same book, ii. 190 j here we see the noun thin ovie going, 
replacing the old vigang. 

In ii. 119 comes another poem of this time ; here we see 
the sound ou replacing I, iox fewt4 stands for fealty, p. 120 ; 
thus the French turned col into cou. There had been an 
Old English word hafenleas (inops), pointing to some such 
word as hafen (victus) — this is slightly changed in p. 119 ; 
povere is myn having ; havour was to come later. We see 
the phrase good fdawe in p. 121, here meaning simply that 
Christ made Himself our equal. Something is kept under 
a lok, p. 121, a new use of the preposition. There is in 
hap (fortasse), p. 121, the source of Lydgate's^rAap5. The 
interjection ho/ appears in p. 120, meaning satis ; to cry 
ho / was embodied in the English Bible by Coverdale long 
afterwards ; hence our carter's wo-ho I We see the French 
word riflom (robber). In p. 121 Cristendom stands, not as 
formerly for Christian faith, but for all Christian kingdoms. 

There is a long list of English words, with their French 
equivalents, dating from this time; they are printed in 
*Keliqui8B Antiquae,' ii. 78. The ow is clipped, for andeow 
becomes anJcel (ankle), a Scandinavian form of the word. 
The replaces u, for we see holting-cloth : it replaces a, as 

4 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

gode (goad). The old dodges cage is pared down to dayseie. 
The former lawerce now becomes larke ; in Scotland it be- 
came lauerc^ laverc, la/veroc. The Old English cerlice (char- 
lock) is here written szerlok, showing how the proper name 
Sherlock arose. The greatest change is navegar into 
nauger, afterwards to become auger ; here the v was mis- 
taken for u. The d is added, for the old fealefor is seen as 
feldefare (fieldfare). The former dweorg appears as dweruf 
(dwarf), the / replacing g. The es is added to the old poCy 
and pokes ( = veroles) appears. 

Among the new substantives are woddekoc, mahssing-fate 
(mash-tub). We see pinnes named as part of a cart's 

There is the new verb qmk (of a duck). 

The words akin to the Dutch and German are heckle (a 
word well known in Scotch politics), and siss, which here 
replaces the old hiss. 

The Scandinavian words SLve flake, to slaver, splintery kidneiy 
and he-litter (the French enfaunter). Here belongs the first 
syllable of titemosey which is also found ; we see the noun 
laTie with its French translation venel — the latter word is 
still used in Scotch towns. 

The French words at this time adopted into England, 
are core, crikety gules, flute, chiri (cherry). There is aimd 
himeSy p. 84, our andirons; the French andier simulating a 
Teutonic ending. In the same page the French purceus 
appears in English as porceaus (porkers). Our English knel 
in p. 79 is translated by the French apel, showing whence 
comes a peal of bells. The word raion appears instead of 
the old rat ; hence Dandie Dinmont talks of rotUms, Our 
garters, written garthors in p. 79, are derived from the 
Picard gartier rather than from the literary French jarretier. 

English was now coming once more into use, when con- 
tracts were to be put in writing. There are the statutes 
of two Norwich Gilds, drawn up in 1307 (Early English 
Text Society), where we see ]>e dede used as in the ffand- 
lyng Synne, without the word man following. The word 
gilde is employed in the two senseSy payment and brotherhood, 
p. 122. There is the phrase go to law ; and the foreign 


words ■ dirige (dirge), p. 20, Tnesse of requiem, letterede 
(learned). We see the phrase, to refuse office, p. 21. 

In the Eeligious and Love Poems (Early English Text 
Society), p. 221, there is a piece written about this time, 
and transcribed fourscore years later. We here have both 
the forms rotelen and ratden (rattle) applied to the throat 
and the teeth. There is rwuth longe gon (not long ago) ; 
Shoreham has almost the same phrase. 

There are some poems, mostly Southern, ranging be- 
tween 1302 and 1311, in the Political Songs printed by 
the Camden Society. King Edward I. is highly praised, 
and appears as " he with the longe shonkes," p. 223. The 
e replaces u% as gerland (garland) for the French guirlande. 
The i ov y replaces e and ce, as in clink and typeth (tippet). 
The u replaces o, as in jpur'pos, the French propos-. We see 
the proper name Hohhe, not the HoheTdn of Gloucestershire ; 
we read of Cheepe, the great London thoroughfare, p. 221. 
There are the new nouns pUfcUl and clasp. The custom, 
imitated from France, is seen of placing the before a sur- 
name, as The Bruytz (Bruce). Many new adjectives are 
here formed by adding less to a noun, as nameless, ruthless, 
permyless. This revived fashion was now coming in. 

Among the verbs we remark the expletive, so mote ich 
the/ (so may I thrive) which lasted down to 1550. In p. 
222 a person laketh a day — that is, says aktck a day / the 
word alack is not found by itself until near 1450. In p. 
219 a wager is y-bate, perhaps the first use of the verb bet, 
which did not reappear for ages. In p. 187 Frenchmen 
beaten in war are said to be bought am,d sold; a phrase 
applied afterwards to Eichard III. The verb clap gets 
the new meaning pulsare — heads are clapped off; hence our 
"clap on the back." There is the verb hoder (our huddle), 
akin to the German ; also the Scandinavian filck 

The English ballad-maker shows sound Teutonic patriot- 
ism when he chuckles over the Flemish victory over the 
common enemy at Paris ; still he sprinkles his poem with 
long French phrases. He has a pun on the word coning, 
the name of the Flemish leader, connecting it with the 
French word for rabbit, our cony. He talks of the com- 

6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

mime, an awful word in France in 1871. The French 
fonn hastifliche is preferred to the Teutonic hastUiche. 
The verb charge gets Joinville's new sense of jvhere. There 
is the noun hot, our hut. In the French poem (p. 293) we 
see the word rascaylle (common soldiers), which was to 
bear a far baser meaning in England 250 years later. 

There is a Southern piece, compiled about this time, 
called * King Solomon's Book of Wisdom,' printed along 
with Adam Davy's poems (Early English Text Society). 
Here we see newf angel, p. 83, a word afterwards used by 
Chaucer. The preposition for is employed to denote 
change ; Uleve olde for newe, p. 83. The word salary appears 
in the same paga 

In the specimens of lijiic Poetry (Percy Society) are 
some that seem to date from about the year 1310, as we 
see by the great proportion of French words. The form 
morewening (morning), p. 60, was peculiar at this time to 
the south and west of England ; and the unusual nam (ivit), 
p. 96, points to a Southern shire near the place where the 
* King Horn ' was compiled. The tmto (usque ad) was a 
thoroughly Northern form ; and here we see the old in to, 
p. 89. The French words are gingivre, incens, piete (not 
pity), also the verb coimseU, p. 95. 

There are the statutes of a Lynne Gild, drawn up in 
1316 (English Gilds, Early English Text Society). Among 
the new French words are deen (dean), attoume (attorney), 
galown, fawty, an ohit, excTisadoun. 

William de Shoreham (Percy Society), a Kentish reli- 
gious poet, wrote about 1320. He has the form ia for ea 
as in the Kentish treatise of 1290; thus diath appears. 
He supplants the single e by a, as in harkne (hearken). 
He uses e like the Salopians, where Northern England 
employed i, and Southern England m/ as in senne (sin), 
j[n'ede (pride), mery, and other words ; medlen (meddle), is 
used for the Icelandic miSla. In fri and nides, i replaces 
e, and foreshadows our present pronunciation. In ele 
(oleum) and anelien, the Old English form is preferred to 
the more usual French oile ; but the latter is also used by 
the poet. The former manhdd now becomes manhod ; with 


us the Southern "hood at the end of a word has almost 
always ousted the Northern head. The ou supplants in 
fovl (fool), goud^ roude, just as we now pronounce these 
words. The anui of the * Ancren Eiwle ' is written anoye, 
p. 36. The old raw (series) is found both as rowe and rewe^ 
just as the two sounds Douk and Dewh (dux) long ran on 
side by side. The ydropd of the * Cursor Mundi ' is now 
pared down to dropesy, p. 113. The b is struck out, for 
cUmme stands for the old clirribe, p. 3. When we see 
many our (manger), p. 122, we have a most curious instance 
of y supplanting the soft g. The old bruchd (fragilis) is 
supplanted by brotel, our brittle. The verb bensy (p. 50) 
for benedicere is a remarkable English contraction. The 
banns of marriage appear in p. 71, where they are ygred 
(cried); also gossibrede, p. 68, so well known in the Irish 
statute-book. The noun bleddre is used in p. 2, where we 
should now put blimder. The vocative, many is often used 
throughout the poem, addressed to the reader. There 
are new verbs like hishopy bewUchy bistow (coUocare), bytrmth 
(betroth), come aho^ (evenire), dra'^ mto mende (call to 
mind). These are the new phrases go a pylgrymage, tyde 
what bytyde, p. 107; here the verb is repeated, and the 
what stands for whatsoever ; this led to Chaucer's be as be 
may. In the phrase wytn&sse Cryst, p. 74, be (sit) is dropped 
In p. 64 a particular betrothal will not healde (hold) ; here 
the verb is used intransitively. In p. 99 a man may com- 
mit theft by wordes that he craketh — that is, falsely utters — 
a new sense of the verb ; our schoolboys still speak of 
rneridacium as a cracker. The cla{p (pulsare) takes the new 
sense of loquiy p. 135 ; clack was to come later. The 
past participle agOy first found in Dorset in 1240, is now 
applied to time, where a Northern man would have used 
sin; nau^t fern agOy "not far ago,'* p. 103. The word 
nothing is used for the old nxmght (not) : something is 
nothynge loudcy p. 33 ; hence the later nothing loth. The 
French bien seems to have led to the new address, Wei, 
brother, p. 11. There is a new use of it in p. 16, hou is 
hit (that) there bethe so fele? here, moreover, we see the 
close connexion between how and why; they are both 

8 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

instromental cases of wha. The of is now used after verbs 
of sense, as in the 'Cursor Mundi;' a word smakdh of 
God, p. 48. In p. 109 Satan is called myx (stereos) of 
alle myxe ; this foreshadows our '' heart of hearts," and is 
a continuation of the '' right he loved of all things," to be 
found in the ' Havelok.' There is the new phrase in tokne 
that. The attempt at translating the French guSy seen in 
the ' Cursor Mundi,' is repeated ; wot the was wo / p. 88 ; 
in p. 125 there is another rendering of the que, thai hy 
were hlythe ! (0 how blithe they were !) 

It is curious to remark how early Northern phrases 
found their way into the South, a process that never 
ceased We see, in this Kentish writer, Omnin's Weak 
Perfect wepte, and the very Scandinavian whatsomevere. 
The Northern bard's dwell has travelled down into Kent, 
and seems to mean habitare, not morariy in p. 19. There 
is the verb i-lykned (similatus) akin to the German ; and 
our waver, the Icelandic vafra, is seen in p. 16. By the 
side of these new words stands such a form as propheiene, 
p. 92, showing how the old Grenitive Plural, long dropped 
in the North, lingered on in Kent; where also eadie (beatus) 
clings to life, before altogether disappearing. 

The new French words are many. The old regnerdon 
takes its English form reward, p. 97. Shoreham prefers 
the form crouche (hence, Crouchback, a crusader) to the 
other forms of cruc-em, croice or cross. The new chalice 
supplants the ca^w? of the 'AncrenEiwle/ and corps replaces 
core. Instead of stint of, we find cesse of, followed by a 
noun, p. 96, whence comes leave off. The word after had 
hitherto expressed secrmdum as well as post; but Shoreham 
brings in the form acordaunt to, p. 89, which is now most 
common with us ; here a French phrase is used to lessen 
the weight formerly thrown upon one English preposition ; 
this process has been since carried far. In mercy and miseri- 
corde, p. 43, the learned author shows that he can bring 
in Latin forms as well as French. In p. 56 a mass priest 
is called a mynystre; this word was very long in rooting 
itself in England. In p. 96 we hear of an auditour of 
accounts. There is the new phrase here aryst (arose) qv£s- 



/ww, p. 166. The French form coni/rait, not contract, 
appears ; and also ewe, showing how eau was once sounded 
in France. I have akeady remarked upon Bewly or 
Beavlieu Abbey, The former eidl is now replaced by 
fynegre, our vinegar ; here one French word supplanted 
another. The word soverayn, which we were to make so 
much use of, appears to have been employed in Kent 
alone at this time ; it is also found in the ^ Ayenbite of 
Inwyt/ twenty years later. We now see admynysiraciounf 
array, to stanch, caracter, cantle, myrour, oryginal, grain, 
chisel ; the adjective sodem is made an adverb by attaching 
the Teutonic liche to it. There is ententiflyche and also the 
verb atende to, two different forms. A man is concluded in 
a dispute, p. 106 ; hence our slang shut up ; he no longer 
I'ues a sin, but repents of it, p. 154. All these French 
forms show us how the clergy at this time, like the two 
other learned professions, loved to wrap up their mysteries 
in a tongue far removed from vulgar ken. We feel the 
disastrous effects of the policy of Manning, Shoreham, 
Hampole, and their fellows, to this day. 

There is a well-known poem, of some length, compiled 
about 1321, on the miseries of England under Edward II. 
(Political Songs, Camden Society). It seems to be due to 
a Salopian bard : we see the Active participle in &nde; there 
is uch (quisque), which was long one of the marks of this 
shire ; there are both the Northern thei and the Southern 
thitk; and Orrmin's peculiar overgart, which, moreover, 
occurs in another Salopian piece. There is a curious 
passage in p. 336 ; we hear that if the king sends for nine 
or ten recruits from some town, " the stiffest " (strongest) 
are allowed to remain at home on paying ten or twelve 
shillings, while helpless wretches are enlisted, the counter- 
parts to "most forcible Feeble." 

The a replaces e, as parson (a true Salopian form), not 
persons, p. 326 j and a distinction seems to be drawn 
between him and the priest. The old mor (palus) is now 
written mure, our moor. The French hissel is altered into 
our bmshel. There are the new substantives daffe^ (stultus) 

* Can our duffer come from this ? 

lo THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

formed from gedoefte (humilis); sheepish and svmple have 
undergone the like degradation. Meanwhile doefte (con- 
veniens) survives in deft^ with a meaning most opposite to 
the Scotch daft. We hear of the heie wey, and Godes man, 
(a man of God). Men murder each other wid wUle, p. 343 ; 
hence our "do it with a will." The word girles, p. 337, 
means children both male and female. There is the new 
adjective unwelcome; shrewed has from a Past Participle 
become an adjective ; whence the adverb shrewedlich (mal6) 
is formed in p. 326. 

The old indefinite man was now dying out, and a substitute 
had to be found ; so we see theih wolen bigile the (te), p. 339, 
where the last word stands for all mankind. A bragging 
squire is said in p. 336 to make it stout — that is, to lord it; 
this is a new use of the it which was to be much developed 
sixty years later. 

We see the verb wagge used both transitively and in- 
transitively in pp. 332 and 333. A m&n piketh up food, in 
p. 334 ; there are phrases like wel farende (faring) folk 
(pinguis) j hu the silver goth (runs away). The up to dotm of 
Gloucester now becomes up-so-doun, p. 335, whence came 
upside doum 200 years later. There is a new use of at ; 
wheat is at foure shillinges, p. 341 ; here some verb like 
priced must be dropped. 

The Scandinavian words are deie {ancilla, whence came 
dairy), bote (ocrea), der^e (caritas). 

The French words are taxacion, quarter (of 5^eat), soup, 
furred, to institute. In p. 327 we read of a woman kacching 
a mate ; a kind of sporting not obsolete in our day. A 
priest serves a chapel, p. 327 ; men are served (treated) in a 
particular way, p. 330. We see in p. 336 the origin of 
" the cut of his clothes ;" we there read of " a newe taille 
(fashion) of squierie;" this last word stands for squire's 
state. In the same page nurture represents our "good 
breeding," a sense of the word that lasted long. One 
stanza is directed against barristers, "countoars that 
stondeth at the barre;" another against attorneys, p. 339. 
In p. 344 assisours are denounced, who come to shire and 
hundred (the courts so named), and take bribes; these 


men are needy, and a distinction is drawn between them 
and the rich Justice. One of the most remarkable things 
in this piece is the Eomance preposition de set before a 
Teutonic verb ; deskatered stands in p. 337 ; it may be that 
the de was mistaken for Teutonic to (dis). 

In *Eeliquiae Antiquse/ i. 266, we see the phrase casten 
drynhe; hence comes "cast a shoe." In p. 291 there is 
an amusing piece on music lessons, probably East Anglian ; 
here we find the old geac (simpleton) replaced by goke^ 
whence comes gawky. Some notes of music are com- 
pared to a fleshoke ; we compare writing to pothooks. 
There is the technical phrase, to hold a note in riht ton ; 
afterwards come?, to tuch a note. We hear of the Cesolfa 
(sij sol, fa). The verb look adds the sense of videri to that 
of videre ; I loke as a lurdeyn, p. 291. 

There are some other pieces of this time in * Keliquiae 
Antiquse,' ii. 19, 225, and 241. We have already seen 
Tuesday written for Teusday in Gloucestershire ; we now 
find hoe and floe written for heo and flso ; the uche (quisque) 
replaces ech, much as clujpe and hulies had already replaced 
clepe and hxlg in the Severn country. There is the new 
phrase ^Zay a game, p. 241 j and the new verb hill, applied 
to a bird, p. 20. The old soru gives birth to a new noun 
soroufolnesse, p. 226. There is ahakward, p. 228, which 
was soon to have its first syllable clipped. There is a new 
use of the preposition for in p. 19; " Christ save her, for 
the fairest may that I ever met ! " here in former times 
some such phrase as since I hold her must have come before 
the for ; it is equivalent to as heing. There is the verb 
kLsh, which is akm to the German ; a man lashes out Latin, 
p. 242 j we talk of a horse lashing out. There is the Celtic 
rihan (ribbon). The new French words are sing by rote, 
rave, enke om (inkhom) ; here enke replaces the French encre. 
In another piece of this time, 'Reliquiae Antiquse,' i. 168, 
we find fesant henne and fesant cocke, a new way of dis- 
tinguishing genders. The keying of a forest is given to a 
man, and his dogs are specified. 

The * Metrical Homilies,' printed by Mr. Small, seem to 
have been compiled in the North about 1320. They have 

12 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

much in common with the ^Cursor Mandi;' there are phrases 
like overman, squeal, lass, the adverb fair, wherefore and why, 
hou vjU (shall) we com, and many other tokens of the 
North ; the phrase qua was wrathe hut he? reminds us of 
the Tristrem. We find an usage, often repeated by Chaucer; 
that of making a rime of two words, spelt in the same way, 
if they express different ideas; thus, in p. 131, Elisha 
addresses Gehazi — 

** Forthi that Godd Naaman helid (sanavit), 
Toe thou gift, and sithen it helid (celavisti). " 

There is a proverb in p. 167 — 

*' 6ot qua sa leses fra hinging 
Thef, or bringes up funding (foundling), 
Of nauther getes he mensc ne mede. " 

The * or y is clipped at the end of a word ; we find 
viker (vicar), and Anton; the Scandinavian ras (cursus) 
is preferred to the Old English roes. The old deye (mori) is 
now altered into dye. The hard h of the North replaces 
the French ch in Icemes (a shift), a word that had long been 
naturalised in England. The ness is added to an adjective, 
as ugliness. We have seen kin amd hyth in the 'Cursor 
Mundi,' where the last word may still mean patria, as of 
old ; the two nouns seem to have been so coupled together, 
that they were mistaken for synonyms; in p. 108 Christ 
is lost on the road by His parents, who search for Him 
imang thair kith ; Lady Nairne has the same mistake in her 
poems; may we meet neighbours, kith and km/ In p. 139 
we see the word corsing, which here means iLSury ; later, 
it might mean trading; Scott calls Blount "a sworn horse- 
corser," In p. 55 St. James speaks of a pilgrim to Com- 
postella as "his man;" the town is called Sain Jamis, in 
the Genitive, no noun following ; this way of dealing with 
proper names is something new. We see the nedes of his 
house in p. 80 ; this is the first appearance of the Plural 
of need. There is the noun inlate (inlet). The Present 
participle of cunnwn (scire) is made an adjective in p. 93 ; 
this cv/nnand became cmming thirty years later. 

As to pronouns, the Eeflexive Dative, himm ane (solus), 


had been used by Orrmin ; this is altered, the construction 
being mistaken, into the genitive hys ane^ p. 69 ; whence 
comes the Scotch corruption, his lane, her lane. 

In p. 107 the Virgin holds (keeps) house in Nazareth. 

There is the new phrase how thaty following a verb, 
where the that is not wanted ; the same change took place 
in German. 

There is the Scandinavian verb mistake. 

The French words are Iwrdan, surjpHs, miscarry, dongoun 
(career). Christ, we are told in p. 66, was bom in a 
poor pentiT, ; this word, two centuries later, was turned 
into pent house. There is the new phrase, " to be deliverd 
of her child," p. 63. 

There is a poem on the Assumption, dating from about 
1320, contained in the *King Horn' (Early English Text 
Society), p. 75. We here see by and by, meaning statim, 
p. 85, its sense for the next 200 years. There is the 
curious evelt4 more than once, p. 87 ; a Komance ending is 
once more tacked on to a Teutonic root 

The (rottingen version of the * Cursor Mundi ' may have 
been drawn up about 1320 ; the transcriber, who has added 
a little to his original, gives us his name, p. 979. 

" Special! for me 3e pray 
i>at }>is bock gart dight, 
Jonn of Lindbergh, I 3u sai 
]>at es mi name ful right." 

He was a Northern man, and he keeps many old words 
that had to be altered by the later Lancashire and Southern 
transcribers. Sometimes he adopts a Southern form, as 
when he exchanges the'pen for \ennis (thence), p. 1 7. 

Older Version, Oottingen, 

Lavedi Lady, 

on lang in lenth. 

sterns sterris (stars), 

kything knawlag. 

])ai )>at ))0S >at. 

yepe sly. 

alle blnrded all lourid. 

sue]}elband snadiling band, 

scath harm, 

licam bodi. 

14 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Older Version, OoUingen, 

)>ou es man )>u art man. 

pur man simple man. 

never forperward never mor forward. 

Sometimes the sense of a passage is mistaken altogether, 
as in line 4288. There is the phrase "evil pack," p. 135, 
where the word adds the meaning of turba to its old sense 
of sardna. There \& justify in the Scotch sense (do justice), 
p. 17. Th&form dais of the older text is here altered into 
the brand-new former dais, p. 627. The verb allow may 
now take a dative ; the old alou mi wU (praise my will), p. 
1146, now becomes alou Trie mi ml (give me credit for my 
will), marking a change in the meaning of the French 

In the Statutes of the Lynne Gild of 1329 (Early 
English Text Society), we see make god (good) his entrees, 
p. 63 ; also the preposition by used as an agent, for the 
first time I think, since the *Blickling Homilies j' this 
was soon to be repeated in the 'Ayenbite;' provyd be 
men, p. 63. There are also the new words sufficient and 

I take from Dr. Murray's dictionary two phrases dating 
from this time, " aleft he smot and aright ; " our right and 
left. The old genitive alra (omnium) was now so little 
understood that we find " the cdthrest fairest sete." 

The Auchinleck poems (Weber's * Metrical Romances ') 
seem to have been compiled about 1330, most likely in 
Salop. We find the fer (ignis) of that shire, and there is 
a mixture of Southern and Northern forms. In the * Amis 
and Amiloun ' (ii. 369) stands chepeing toun, p. 440 ; which 
shows how Chipping Norton got its name ; Orrmin, much 
earlier, had used chepeing before another noun. English 
was now trying to express foreign titles ; in p. 420 stands 
Mi lord the DouJce, There is the alliterative wele and wo, 
Schvlder-blade is first found in p. 426, and brotherhed comes 
in p. 384 ; the latter means brotherly love; in earlier times 
it had meant a gild. 

Among the adjectives stands the com^2ira,tiye frendeleser ; 
as strange a form as the sorf viler of the * Cursor Mundi.' 


Layamon's hd and hceil is changed in p. 462 ; hayl arid 
hole (sanus et integer). In p. 416 stands we be liche; here 
"one to another" is omitted. In p. 468 we see faire ded 
(fairly dead) ; here our word for jmlchrh slides into the 
sense of omnino; fair had been used for satis in 1220. 

As to verbs, in p. 469 stands wo-Ugon; the last part 
of the word being the Past Participle of the old begangan 
(circumdare). There is the phrase bid (beg) our bread. 

The preposition aboid is here turned into an adverb, as 
we saw in Shoreham ; Amoraunt bar his lord about, p. 446. 
The alaSf for shame of the ' Cursor Mundi ' (where the for 
translates ob) now becomes simply /or schame, p. 420. 

This piece being probably a Salopian poem, we are not 
surprised at meeting a new Celtic verb, pour, which first 
appears here. The French words are habergeon, noricerie 
(nursery), stay (manere). The verb aprove (testari) is in p. 
402, and shows us the origin of our legal word approver. 

The Lay Le Freine, one of the Auchinleck Romances, 
is in Weber, i. 358. The ge is pared away; for getmn 
becomes tuin (geminus). There are the phrases gret vMh 
chUde, all the winter-long night, p. 362 ; ^e-long was to 
come later). The adjective melche is formed from milk, 
p. 364 j hence a milch cow. There is take mi chaunce ; 
come is followed by an Infinitive, p. 367, when y com to 
have it. 

To the county of Salop the *Eomance of the Seven 
Sages ' (Weber, iii.) seems to belong ; though the first five 
pages and the last forty-five have been taken from another 
version of the poem, — a Northern one. There are the new 
Salopian terms, sweting and upsodoun; also the Salopian e for 
i or u, as kess, pelt, geltif ; there is the Midland active par- 
ticiple in end ; niman is used for the Latin ire, as in the West 
Midland. There are the Northern sket and the Southern 
thUk, the Northern must and the Southern mot (oportet), 
tokens of the Great Sundering Line. The becomes ou, for 
the old rop (clamor) appears as roupe, p. 47, a word still 
in Scotch use. The 5 is added to a word ; as Geraes, our 
James, for the former Jame, The ch replaces k, when we 
find skriche (screech) for the old skrika ; we still keep both 

i6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

screech and shrieL The n is docked, for we find cMkc^ not 
chicken, p. 84. The n is preserved in the Salopian gravmt- 
mercySy p. 38 ; but it is struck out in the Northern 
gramercy, p. 130. 

There are the new substantives barli water, dunghill, sea- 
side ; there is the new gade, applied to an unwise woman in 
p. 102 ; whence perhaps our jade. The adverb is placed 
before the noun, for the sake of brevity ; as, thi to-nightes 
meting (dream), p. 93. The substantive qualifies the adjec- 
tive, as, stanestUl, p. 141. A substantive replaces a verb, 
sua, my tuil es to dine, p. 146 ; also, thai war m imll to solas 
tham, p. 135. 

Among the adjectives we find blind so ston (stone-blind); 
there is free stone, p. 118; one of the oldest senses of free was 
lordly ; free mason was yet to come. The word good is used 
in a new sense in p. 87 ; thou comest hither for no gode. 
The old comparative ddre or vMre is now changed into 
alder, our older, p. 143. 

Among the verbs we remark a new construction of 
shall : it replaces the old is to, with the Infinitive ; thy loverd 
schol make a fed, p. 72 (purposes to do it). The old mun 
can still express the future, and not necessity; see p. 110. 
The Auxiliary verb may now stand by itself without any 
infinitive following ; a man is bidden to avenge his son ; 
he answers, so ich schal, p. 106. This so is equivalent to 
thai (id ipsum). We have seen the curious Old English 
construction with shovld, where should come stands for our 
cams ; this is now transferred to Interrogative sentences ; 
who schvlde beget him bvl the king ? in answer to a question 
as to paternity, p. 42. There is a strange repetition in p. 
119; " into the toure the knight gan gane " (did go). There 
are phrases like m^ke redy, make msri, make a bed, make moche 
to done (ado), p. 73 ; go about to do it, hold thy peace, is it 
comen therto ? (to this point), p. 47. The Intransitive bleed 
takes an accusative ; blede thre disch-fol (dishfuls), p. 75. 
The welcome is now followed by an Infinitive ; thai war wel- 
kfum to sqjom, etc., p. 146. The Scandinavian verb untnen 
makes way for the new witness (testari), p. 28. The verb 
bob (ferire) gets the new sense of dedpere, p. 87 ; lago bobs 


jewels from his dupe much later. In p. 103 we have 
^^'pVak up thin herte." The Old and New constructions 
often stand close together ; in p. 114 we have the old fonn, 
him dremyd of it; in p. 113 stands, the lady dremyd an 
thoght, etc. In the Northern version, p. 109, there is a 
peculiar use of hope for putare ; svm hoped he war the fend 
of hell ; so we often now use / eaypect for ptdo. 

Among the adverbs are how so? what then? thereat, . The 
stille (adhuc) in p. 60 was as yet peculiar to the North of 
England. The hiMe in p. 64 is used in the Northern 
sense of vsqiis ad. To balance this, in the very next page 
there is a Salopian use of til for the Latin dtim ; " I shall 
never see thee ^iZ I live;" this is repeated in Piers Plough- 
man, and in the poem on Freemasonry. 

The preposition to now follows do; treachery is i-don to 
a bird in p. 89. 

There is the verb flap, akin to a Dutch word ; and the 
Scandinavian forcrasen (frangere), p. 30, whence comes 
crazy. There is ako the Scandinavian crake (corniz) which 
survives in cornrcraJce. 

Among the French words are gardin, corfu (curfew), 
saucer, guest (inquest), female. There are the Interjections 
haro! Andfiyfi! p. 63 ; the old datheit appears for almost 
the last time in p. 93 ; there is the courtly sauve your grace/ 
used to an Emperor, p. 28. The word mater is used for 
importance; a thing of gret mater, p. 77, The word sure 
appears in make them seur of, p. 79. We find beves fiesch, 
p. 44; the former word is preserved in our Bibles. A 
Teutonic and a Eomance word are coupled in eld age 
(senectus), p. 22. A Teutonic word takes a Eomance end- 
ing, as geltif (guilty), p. 34 ; we have already seen bond-age. 
There is a curious French idiom in p. 27, that he war an- 
honge (let him be hanged) ; our fathers always found the 
que too much for them. Another French idiom is imitated 
in p. 21 ; a command is given, and the one word bletMiche 
(volontiers) is answered. A knight asks a lady what chere 
she made, p. 121 ; see also p. 149 ; both of these passages 
occur in the Northern version of the poem, and refer to the 
mind, not to the body. The word boi4 in p. 39 means 
VOL. I. c 

1 8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

camifex, not fuer; it had already occurred in the 'Havelok' ^ 
We see the Teutonic hoi (puer) in p. 53. 

I have already remarked on one and the same word being 
used as a rime, if it expresses two different meanings ; in 
p. 47 we have 

*' Dame, he saide, pluk up thi cher, 
Other tel me whi thou makest swich cher." 

Here the first cher means " courage j " the second means 
" sad countenance." 

Other poems of the Auchinleck manuscript may be read 
in Horstmann's * Altenglische Legenden/ pp. Ivii and 242. 
The French herher becomes erber^ our arbouVy p. Ivii. 
There is the new phrase mani a moder chUd, p. 253 ; 
whence comes " every mother^s son,^* There is the very old 
form alp (elephas), p. 248. A body is beaten bio and bloc, 
p. 248 ; in the next Century this was to become blaJc and 
blew. There is a new use of manner ; a man does things 
on (in) his best maner, p. 246 ; hence a painter's earliest 
manner. There is the Adjective joUes (joyless) ; also lorer 
tre (laurus). In a rather later copy of an Auchinleck 
legend, on and on is altered into on be on (one by one), p. 
246; row by row h&d appeared about 1200. Some other 
poems in this Volume seem to belong to 1330 ; we see the 
compound longe tayled, p. 332 ; there is the form ]>ou doyst 
(not 6^05^ or dest)^ p. 333. The verb daier is used of a friar 
preaching, p. 603. 

Eobert Manning of Brunne, author of the * Handlyng 
Synne,' translated a French historical poem into English 
after 1337 ; see p. 243. ^ The unusual word aglifte (territus) 
is common to the two pieces written by him ; also aim, 
planJcy to-name^niman (ire), manly (fortiter); the former inter- 
jection ^w^ now becomes trut! p. 317, perhaps the parent 
of our tut / He appears more Northern in his dialect than 
he was before, since the present poem has been altered by 

^ I remember, at Rome, that the Italian servants were much tickled 
with the name of Bowyer, belonging to an English visitor ; it reminded 
them of their national hcja (carnifex). 
2 I use Hcarne's edition. 


no Southern transcriber. He uses ilky not «c^«, and the 
Active participle in and. There are the Northern phrases 
unto^ time and tide ; the Godes man of the ' Cursor Mundi ' 
here becomes Tnan of God, 

He changes the French ou into e, as contreve for con- 
trouver, our contrive; the form ][)reve was later very near 
supplanting ^wt;g,^oz;e / we have already seen gle stand for 
gleow. The word eage (oculus) now becomes i^e. What 
was written mv/re in 1307 appears here as mire, taking the 
new meaning of Mvm, p. 70 ; the old fenn had expressed 
both lutum and palus. The new Mo had already stood for 
the Teutonic bid (lividus) ; it now stands for the French 
bloie (cseruleus), p. 173 ; it may represent the Old English 
bleo (cseruleus). The French Jeanne appears as Jone, our 
Joan ; Jane was to come later. The g is turned into w — 
the Celtic Macdougal hQc^xn^ Macdowall in Galloway; more- 
over the French regarder appears as reward, p. 294 j but 
this last was to be soon confined to reguerdcm. The t in the 
middle is struck out ; we see vanward, whence comes our 
vangtiard, TheJJ> undergoes the same lot ; Su]>erei becomes 
Surray, p. 16. This J? is turned into t, as sleihte for the 
old sleWpe (astutia). The n is clipped ; for on flote becomes 
flote, our afloat. The final n is clipped ; the Past Parti- 
ciple risen becomes rise, whence comes " his anger is m." 
The r is^ struck out; the tristre (statio) of 1220 is seen as 
triste. The French ss is changed into sch, at the end of a 
word, as warnische (garnish). 

Among the Substantives we find his side (party), my heved 
(overlord), p. 90, seen also as chefe, p. 237; peel (castellum); 
castles are won, ilka stik, every stick, p. 113. The name 
Jack appears, coming from Jon, Jan, Jankin, Jakkin ; it has 
nothing to do with the French Jacques ; there is, moreover, 
Hugh, not the Huwe of the * Havelok ; ' also the JVelshery. 
The word bank is used of earthworks in besieging a town. 
We have already seen go his gaie, we now find go thy ways ; 
the use of the Plural is curious. The word samd (arena) is 
here used in the Plural, and evese takes the awkward Plural 
eveses (eaves). The old guiste of the * Havelok * is confused 
with the verb bicwe]>en ; bequest is the result. The word 

20 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

"holde takes a new meaning besides that of castdlmn ; we 
see to have a hold (power of seizing). The old fee (pecunia) 
gets the sense of prcemium. The word bond now means 
fo&dus as well as vinculum. The old h'e'^e (supercilium) is 
now used for the top of a hill ; Manning talks of hank ne 
hr^ ; brae is a famous word in Scotland. The old blade 
(folium) gets another meaning, that of lamina. The word 
jfoot is now applied to measures; a fote of land, p. 140. 
The word tide (tempus) expresses oestus for the first time, 
I think, in p. 164; <o take the tide, where the sea is in 
question. There are the feudal words vxird amd relefe, p. 
214. The word clipper is used in respect of coinage, p. 
238. In p. 294 a provost is called a cherle ; this word, 
in Lincolnshire as well as in Kent, was becoming a term 
of reproach, as had happened long before to its synonym 
vUlein, The word town is added to a proper name, as in 
the ' Handlyng Synne ; ' Acres toun, p. 143. 

There is the phrase, bare as Job, p. 323 ; also so]> (true) 
as ]>e gospelle, p. 123. 

There is the term tm? body, I think for the first time. 
Among the Verbs we see the promise, to live and die with a 
man, p. 45; a phrase that was to be common till 1700; 
the sweltan of the 'Chronicle' had here vanished. We 
hear in p. 46 that men were smyten into elde (grew old); 
here, I suspect, is the source of the later stricken in years. 
In p. 68 stands ta]ce the lawe (appeal to, occupy) ; the of 
was to be added later to this phrase. In p. 70 men upsette 
saile (erigunt) ; we should now dock the up ; the Scotch 
still talk of the upset price of a thing ; the sense now usually 
borne by this word in Southern parts suggests down, not up. 
In p. 170 one ship overreaches another — that is, "overtakes.'* 
In p. 205 men letflie a quarelle (bolt). In p. 222 comes to 
say longly or schorte ; hence our, " the long and short of it 
is." In p. 191 stands U salle be ]>am hard, bot, etc. ; we 
should say, " it shall go hard, but," etc. ; this usage of but 
as quin had come in about 1300. A man is stokked (set in 
the stocks), p. 121, the first reference to this punishment. 
We see do his bidding, cast lots, keep the sea, I say myn avis 
(mind), breke prison, I shrew you, do his devere, raise a tax, 


maka all righiy hear him doun, hald his awen (own), in battle ; 
lose his travail (labour) ; we say here " take trovhle for 
nothing." We have already seen take flight ; a man now 
takes (resorts to) the mountain ; take the field was to come a 
few years later. The word carve is now applied to cunning 
workmanship, when the brother of Robert Bruce is men- 
tioned. There are the new Verbs rank (rankle), overrwa. 
There is the phrase or (ere) come a week ; this is the source 
of our "a month, come Christmas," where ere must be 
dropped ; this is a phrase of the next Century. 

There are the Adverbial phrases, bacward ; when he was 
overe (across the stream), p. 219. The old bidon, and the 
later but if ]>aty coming after a Negative, make way for but 
that; none shall say, hot ]>at ^e be bou/n, iL 291. 

As to Prepositions we find, at the first, prove it on him, 
behind thy back, through (by) divi of ; the over is prefixed to 
Romance words, as over-prest (ready). 

The words akin to the Dutchand German are cogge (scapha; 
hence our cock-boat) ; swal^ (vorago), whence the swallows of 
the Mole river j doude (dowdy), sidling (our sidelong), mud 
(coupled with mire), to stake (palare), to arm (aim). 

The Scandinavian words are mndas (windlass), scop 
(scoop), soppe, bouspret, bouline. The Icelandic bdgr bears 
the sense of cortinxi prorce, a meaning wanting to the English 
bdg or b6k There is " a trip of gile," p. 166 ; whence came 
" to trip him." There is the Celtic podel (puddle). 

The French words are quash, enbusche (ambush), riff and 
raff, date (tempus), voide, duchy, rince, deses (mors), larder, 
extent, repent it, vencuse (vanquish), bayard (of a horse), besquite 
(biscuit), austere, somons (summons), to convei, navy, mastif, 
dowerie, commonwele, commons, rascaile of refuse (applied to 
the Scots), rok (the chess-piece), penne, man of arms. The 
old French sirwgien is cut down to surgien ; there is also 
serch (petere) ; this form, and not chercher, still prevails in 
the middle and south of France. To depart, in the sense 
of separare, now becomes part 

The Picard oauchie (chauss6e) is found here as hjm:4, 
afterwards, from a false analogy, corrupted into causeway. 
A new French form of the old reaume is here found ; it is 

22 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

written roialme. The French let is attached to a Teutonic 
root, as hamlet. There is a translation in line 13,757 ; 
egle is ern. The French place, replacing the old sioWy is 
tacked on to a Teutonic noun, as a restyng-place, p. 16. 
We see the legal verb ateyTi, and its participle atteynt of 
traytorie; our verb attaint comes from this last. In p. 78 
we have the plural cnteltds, which is something new. In 
p. 97 stands the phrase avail (depress) his helme; Scott 
was fond of vail his bonnet^ In p. 164 tenante appears, 
standing for vassal. We have marchis (marchio), p. 177, 
our earliest form of the word ; which seems to show that 
we should write marquis, not m^irquess. The word eschele 
is employed for a division in battle ; the khelcm movement 
came much later j mostre (muster) is employed for ostendere, 
not for our usual sense congregare. In p. 226 cmitre means 
shire, a sense still in vogue, as " in my country." The word 
chek is used in the sense of malum in p. 258 ; do him chek. 
The noun train expresses mora in p. 263, dolus in p. 295. 
The word affray usually here means timor; but in p. 326 it 
slides into the sense ofptigna; we still keep the word /my. 
We see Germenie, p. 2, the new form that was to replace 
Almayn ; the great Flemish city appears as Gaunt, follow- 
ing the French, not the native Flemish, sound j the famous 
Scotch king (whom the poet saw at Cambridge about 1300), 
is jeered at as Robin and Robinet ; Tmrdyn appears as the 
diminutive of Thomas, and afterwards was used as an 
English sumama 

Robert Manning was a sound English patriot, according 
to his lights ; he thus writes of the Norman Conquest — 

** (William) sette us in servage, of fredom felle j>e floure, 
))e Inglis J>orgh taliage lyv^e 3it in sorow fuUe soure (p. 66). 
Our fredom j>at day for ever tbke ))e leve (p. 71). 
Alle j>is ])raldam, ])at now on Inglond es, 
))orgli Normanz it cam, bondage and destres" (p. 261). 

His love of freedom, however, does not take in other 

** Wales ! wo be be, j>e fende fe confound ! 
Scotland, wni ne mot I se be sonken to helle ground ? " (p. 265). 

^ Macaulay was rather confused anent this verb, when he talked of 
the Volscian vailing his haughty brow. 


He admires King Edward the First intensely, and tells 
us that the Royal banner was \re lebardes raumpand, p. 
305 ; here we see the beast that was to pollute Portugal 
with his hideous presence, as Napoleon asserted. 

There are some pieces in the *Eeliquiae Antiquse,' i., which 
seem written about 1340. In p. 196 we hear of a cold in 
the head, a new phrase ; the lU is still prefixed to nouns 
in the old way, as out ydlis (outlying isles), p. 30 ; ovi- 
home was to come centuries later. In p. 196 stands thu 
schalt be ihelpit, I dare the wedde ; this last phrase is our 
common "I bet you." In p. 272 we hear of Prestere 
Johan ; in the next page of Iselond and Grenelond. In p. 
196 stands rosemaryni; the last syllable was to be clipped 
a hundred years later. 

There is a piece, written about this time, in ' Religious 
and Love Poems ' (Early English Text Society). We see 
the new idiom of Adjectives, werse ]>an wod (worse than 
mad), p. 248. There is paraffe (paragraph) ; the verb waU 
(vigilare) slides into a new meaning (exspectare); the Virgin 
waytyd here chylde (at Calvary) — that is, watched for His 
coming, but without hostile intent. 

In 1279 a French Dominican had drawn up a religious 
treatise, which was now, in 1340, turned into the English 
of Kent by Dan Michel of Northgate, an aged monk of 
Canterbury. He called his book the * Ayenbite of Inwyt,' 
or, Remorse of Conscience (Early English Text Society).^ 
He was the last Englishman who adopted an all but purely 
Teutonic style in many of his sentences ; keeping up the 
old inflexions which had been dropped in nearly all other 
shires; he says himself, p. 262, that he wrote for "lewd 
men," mid Engliss of Kent In the same page he sets forth 
the Paternoster, the Ave, and the Creed, using but one 
foreign word in the whole ; generalliche (Catholic). But in 
other parts of his book he brings in shoals of new French 
words, and gives us many new attempts at translating 
French terms and idioms ; as tirrdich (temporel), ]>et wots ys 
(what is worse), to the death, guod cheap, to greate cheape, am^ 
zvjO greate emperur (un si grand empereur), calouwe mous 

^ Every one should read Dr. Morris's valuable Preface to this work. 

24 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

(chauve soriz), weMe dyade (mortgage), yno^bote (satisfac- 
tion), dede of armeSy ]>e meste (most) beloved, ]>e corUrarie, 
aboiUestondinges (circumstances), ]>e writinge (FEcriture), mi 
Ihord (monsieur), in ]>et case, hou hi hyeth foles ! \e o]>re zyde, 
p. 89 (de Tautre c6t^). The 'French, femme, as in the *Ancren 
Eiwle,' evidently suggested tvifman (ancilla), in p. 67. The 
foreign vyleyne (uncourteous) is left untranslated in p. 194 ; 
but in p. 76 we hear that no cherl can enter heaven ; this 
Teutonic word, which had once stood for freeman, plainly 
owes its secondary and lower sense to the French vUein, 
which had long before acquired a baser meaning. The ill- 
sounding word derived from Bulgaria, the term of abuse 
that is now so common both on French and English lips, 
is always appearing in this treatise; it here stands for 
heretic only. The French construction of prepositions with 
the infinitive is very plain in p. 134t, be god to wor]>ssipie 
(by worshipping God). Another translation from the 
French is this ; man robs himself of his freedom ine grot 
del, p. 86 ; our great deal is in constant use now. Noble- 
men are called greate men, p. 25 6 ; a translation of les 
grands. The French position of adjectives is seen in voder 
gostlich (ghostly father). The prejudice of heretics against 
making an oath upon any occasion whatever is referred to 
in p. 63 ; the sin of wasting Sunday in idleness and folly 
is reproved in p. 213. The French writer bears hard on 
Jews and Caorsins for usury. 

On the other hand, the *Ayenbite,* as has been re- 
marked, is a most Teutonic work, and we here see the 
Southern speech, the most uncorrupted of all our dialects, 
in much of its old glory. The peculiarities of Shoreham 
are once more repeated, such as medl4 for the French 
m^Ue, and minister in the sense of sacerdos. A Middle 
English poem of 1240 is set out in p. 129. Our translator 
has some very old forms, such as traw (arbor), tek]> (docet), 
e^tende (octavus) ; this last reminds us of the Old Frisian 
tinge in the Southern Homilies of 1120. The French re 
in verbs is rendered by again, as to ayenwe^e. The use of 
that as the neuter of the Definite article still lingers on. 
But even in Kent change is at work. The old forms fader 


is turned into versk, voder ^ p. 129 ; and the old Southern 
oj? (usque ad) seems to have vanished since 1300. The 
employment of Verbal nouns has come down from the 
North ; also the words 506, hog^ scold, pk (ligo), and the 
interjection eif In p. 235 we see the proverb, to zuiche 
Ihorde mkh Trmme, " like master, like man." 

In Vowels the a replaces ea; the old hleapetvmce becomes 
Ihapwince, on the road to lapwiiig. The e is clipped, for the 
French esduse becomes sduse, our sluice ; it replaces a, as 
germ for game; the form elifaTis is written for olifant, p. 224 j 
the old jpt5a forms the plural pesen. The ea is turned into ye, 
showing the old sound of the word, as in yecMe and yerthe. 
The Kentish ie, sounded like the French ^, is again found, 
as sopier (supper). We see the two forms, deau and deawe 
(ros) in p. 91. The Latin Boethius becomes Boeice in p. 
174; this led to a new sound of oi, soon to be further 
developed; we still have the proper name Boyce. The 
Southern replaces a; wdse becomes wose, our ooze; we 
have also lompef bronch, ronsoim, sclomdre, and many such. 
The replaces e; isme]>ed becomes ismo]>ed (smoothed). 
The u is inserted in hione and gws (anser) ; the old French 
pUous is seen as pitefaous, our piteous. 

As to the Consonants, the he is inserted before Icmgian ; 
we now see our verb belong. The n is struck out ; we see 
agrwnd for on grovrnd, p. 91 ; spmnere (aranea) becomes 
spiDpre, our spider; what was elsewhere dronken is pared 
down to dronJce, The r is inserted; Manning's provende 
hecoiaes provendre. The former evencristene (fellow Christian) 
is seen as emcristen. We find the form pad, meaning pass, 
p. 252 ; we now give a distinct meaning to each of these 
variations of the Verb. 

Among the new Substantives are makere (Creator), vol- 
nesse (fulness), spekeman (spokesman), ^porn-hog (hedgehog), 
gememan (gamester), hyere-zigginge (hearsay), wedercoc, on- 
treu]>e (untruth), slacnesse. The revivers of Old English in 
our day speak of fore-words, not prefaces; had they consulted 
the * Ayenbite * they would have seen that vorespeche, the 
old forespoec, if spelt in the modern way, would have been 
the right word to use, since the Old English forword meant 

26 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

an agreement. In p. 22 we read of the out-kesHnges (oflf- 
shoots) of a tree ; our outcast has a most different meaning. 
In p. 259 we find the phrase, a man of worssvpe; hence we 
now call a magistrate " your worship." In p. 49 stands a 
man of ]>e wordle (world), opposed to a man of religion ; 
we have slightly altered the sense of the first of these. 
In p. 56 hysinesse still means care, as in the North ; but 
hydhede is now coined to express curiosity, p. 231 (hence our 
busybody), and also exquisiteness, p. 228. In p. 1 leaf is used 
with reference to a book. In p. Ill lost expresses eager 
devoutness; and in the same way, in p. 31, onlusthede is 
used as a synonym for sloth ; we should now call it listless- 
ness. The noun wit is used in p. 251, both in singular and 
plural, to express wisdom ; alle o]>re wyttes ys folie ; wit \a 
further used to translate the French sevis ; in, ano]>re wyt, p. 
96. A word bears two meanings in one sentence in p. 
126 ; sle-^e, our sleight, expresses first the virtue of prud- 
ence, then the wiliness of the Devil ; in 1180 it had stood 
for shll. In p. 266 stands the new ;?oJ? zigger ; but this 
does not express a soothsayer, as we now use the word, 
but simply a speaker of truth. We have a definition of 
the lately-coined ri^fvolnesse in p. 153 ; it seems to be the 
quality that hits the happy mean between two extremes ; 
whoever has it will be a sound judge. The Old English 
ending hed is so much in favour that it is added to French 
roots; we see vUhed and pourhed ; another form of the 
latter here found is pov/rt4, whence comes the Scotch jmi/r- 
tith; sohret4 is preferred to the old syf ernes. In p. 160 
men bear fruit to the voile (full) ; this last word is a 
Substantive, not an adjective, for geetad to fylle is found 
before the Norman Conquest. Hence our full has long 
represented two different parts of speech. The old fell 
is evidently giving place to skin, at least in the South. 
A good man is spoken of in p. 136 as }?e milde herte; 
hence our "hearts of oak." We hear of Jeremiah's 
brechgerdel in p. 205 ; hence must have come Bracegirdle, 
the name of a famous English actress. A new noun, 
torrwchelhede (too-much-ness), is coined in p. 248 to denote 
excess; we now talk of "much of a muchness." As to 


Verbal nouns, we find the new form inguoyngey p. 264, a 
translation of the French entree ; the old ingang, in^ong had 
now vanished. In the page before, we find the cumbrous 
ate verste guomge m ; a remarkable change in the method 
of compounding. In p. 190 we come upon the ovi-guoinge 
(gate) of Milan, replacing utgang, out^ong, as we saw twenty 
years earlier. 

As to Adjectives, the ending ftU is gaining ground ; we 
have sleuvoUe (slothful), harmvolle, worJcvol, restvol, lostvol, and 
other new forms. In p. 114 hate is coupled with evelwyl 
(ill-will). In p. 123 we hear grat guod of a man ; in p. 209 
a prayer comes not to gode (to any good). A sailor, when 
called by his captain, yerrveth ase wode, p. 140 ; we should 
here say « runs like mad ; " this is a curious dropping of 
one before the adjective. 

In Pronouns, the great innovation is the phrase J?e Uke 
zelvCf p. 190 (the self-same); here our author, confused be- 
tween la mSme chose and lui mime, has used two different 
English words to translate mim>e. In p. 1 28 we see he coml^ 
to hirrirzelve — that is, to his senses. The Passive participle 
form, this done, occurred in Old English ; we now find the 
Relative coupled with a participle at the beginning of the 
sentence, as huych y-graunted, p. 264 ; a very foreign idiom. 
In p. 116 it is said that we should not hate on ]>e o]>er ; this 
paved the way for our "one another," the nominative 
followed by the accusative. 

Among the Verbs we remark two Auxiliaries coupled 
with only one infinitive following, ase he ssel (shall) arid Tnay 
do, p. 136. When describing the absence of Past and Future 
the author writes wy\>oute wes (was), wy]>oute ssel by (shall 
be), p. 104 ; in our day an old horse is called "one of the 
has beens " (fuimus Troes). There is hedeaw, hedew, also the 
phrases, pnde him (himself), make markat, make mem/yrie of, 
make semblont (semblance), that, etc. ; make ham way (make 
way for them), breke Swnday, yeve zouke (give suck), do good 
to, do diligence to keep, etc. ;^ see to it, have Ipet e^e to (have 
an eye to), have compassioim, have to done mid (do with), stop 

^ We see by these makes and dos the influence of the French /arre 
upon England. 

28 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

the ear. In p. ^^ hypocrites tmi]c£p ham guode; we should 
say " make themselves out to be good." In p. 42 let is 
used in a new sense ; let a benefice^ with no dative following ; 
as we say " let a house." Our version of non possum quin, 
dating from 1300, is now further extended; in p. 219 
stands hou ssolde (should) he hot overcome, etc. I once more 
call attention to the hardest idiom in English : in p. 42 
men commit simony hy nmrkai makmde. This wde here 
representing the old ing of Verbal nouns, as in the * Homi- 
lies ' of 1120, compiled not far from Kent. 

As to Adverbs, new ones are here made by adding Ikhe 
to Active Participles Present. The where, answering to a 
Relative, is much employed, as whereof, wherhy, etc. We 
say "take bribes right and left;" in p. 40 the translator 
from the French writes the longer ari^thalf and alefthalf. 
In p. 153 we read of equity proceeding ari^t ase line; the 
strcBC, our straight, seems not to have been preserved in the 
South. In p. 67 mention is made of men who are friends 
togidere ; a new use of the Adverb. There is a new phrase 
in p. 112; this bread surpasses all things he ver (by far) ; 
hou ver is in p. 89. New adverbs are formed like hodUich, 
vairliche, torongliche. 

Among the new uses of Prepositions we remark the 
phrase, " to pray God hetuene ]>ine te]> " (teeth) — that is to 
say, "in thine heart," p. 210. The confusion between on 
and in appears in p. 222, where the old on \am gerad gives 
birth to ine ]>o onderstondvnge (upon that understanding). 
In p. 248 t(^)pe alle Ipinges stands for super omnia; this 
toppe, a truly Kentish phrase, must have given birth to our 
atop of. One of the Old English senses of hi (secundum) is 
continued in p. 170 ; he his wille. This hi, translating the 
French par, is beginning to oust the old Teutonic of (the 
Latin ah), placed before the agent ; in p. 270 comes J?e 
werm is ymad he him. 

The new words akin to the Dutch and German are 
scorn (scum), schoren (fulcire), clapper, and rekeninge (compu- 
tatio) ; there is flinder (papilio), whence came Becon's 
flUermmis (vespertilio), a word still known in Kent. We 
find a vast proportion of French words in "this most Teu- 


tonic work ; \fe are reminded of the ' Ancren Riwle/ Take 
such sentences as the following : — \ise vowr virtms hahhe^p 
diverse offices and mochel ham diverse^ in hire worJces ase zay]> 
an cddjUosofey p. 124 ; (he) his eritage wastede and dispendede 
ine rihaudie and levede lecherusliche, p. 128. Sometimes the 
Teutonic and Romance s3monyms are set down in the same 
page, as bo^samnssse, obedience; ssewere, mirov/r; forttme, hap; 
his propre blod, elsewhere his o^en; to derm and damni, p. 
1 37 ; hardiesse is wrongly substituted for hardness in p. 
162 j sleau^e \>et me clepe]> ins clergie accidye, P- 16; magnani- 
mity is said in p. 164 to be he^nesse, gratnesse, and noblesse 
of wylhede. We see amonest (admonish), bargayn^ difference^ 
article, ingrat, devine (diviner), simulacion, glorify, propreliche, 
profit, exUe, aproprie, dayn (deign), germain, level, destincti 
(distinguish), discrecion, condescend, fiance (affiance), magnifi- 
cence, orrible, scrivein (scrivener), fomicacim, echo, resemble, 
adversary, glue, heiron (heron), lavmde (lawn), sause, maistresse, 
perseverance, ariere (arrear), sttcre, emeroyd (emerald), to com- 
parison, spirituel, paysUhle, have his conversacion in heaven, 
fructify, treat, fry, confusion, afronti, suspicious, terestre, leaven, 
laver, edefye, grochvndeliche (grudgingly), regne, substansiel, 
condemn, virtues cardinales, ordenely, strait, examine, refu 
(refuge), sfostinance, tabernacle, flechi (flinch), russoles (rissoles), 
ahmdanse, magestd, tribe, innumerable, fisike, pope's bulle, 
region, temperance, soigneus (careful). The adjective quaint 
had come to mean elegant, gay, out of the common ; ^ it once 
slides into the meaning oi proud, p. 89 ; a new word, curious, 
to be found in p. 176, was now used side by side with the 
old quaint all over England. In p. 40 legal costes are em- 
ployed in our sense of the term. In p. 96 Christ's thoughts 
are called oneste ; but in p. 47 ladies adorn themselves 
honesteliche to befool the men ; here the adverb must mean 
gorgeously. The Old English la leof has now become lyeve 
sire (dear sir), p. 21 3. In p. IS ipriv^ appears as a term for 
intimsite friend ; 300 years later England used the Spanish 
form privado in this sense. The un is prefixed to a 
Romance verb in unjoin. We see the source of our "a 
round sum,*' in p. 234, where the tale of an hondred betokne]} 
^ Our quaint still means "out of the common." 

30 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

WM rounde figure. We know Shakespere*s use of the word 
quarrel (negotium) ; in p. 142 the pious man takes his 
quereles to God ; the oldest French meaning of this word 
is lUes. In p. 180 a good man becomes a post in God's 
temple ; this explains our phrase, " from pillar to post." 

There are phrases like evele an eyse (ill at ease), in general, 
stones of pis (price), mochel in dette, he is in porpos to, etc., 
be in possession of. - There is the terrible word hassasis, p. 
140, our assassm; it is here brought in to illustrate the 
obedience of a servant to his master. We know that deer, 
sheep, etc., are both Singular and Plural ; we now find the 
French pair undergoing the same process ; vele (m&nj)pai/re 
of robes, p. 258. In p. 152 we find the verb entremetti, 
which still lingers in Scotland as intromit, though not in 
the SoutL We see here both the French form parfit and 
the revived Latin form perfection, both gentHesse and genty- 
let4, the old devoutly and the new devocion, corump and 
corupt ; avoerie and adopcioun are found in the same sentence, 
p. 101. We have already seen porpos or purpos ; we now 
light upon the verb proposent, p. 180, which by an over- 
sight is left in its French form ; we still may either purpose 
or propose. We have here both provendre and porveyam^ce, 
A new French verb comes in under two different forms in 
p. 95,flouri and florisse. There are the two forms greynere 
and gemiere, granary and garner. We have condut (in the 
sense of conduit) ; the other form conduct was to come later. 
We see subprior, which keeps closer to the Latin than 
Shoreham's sudeakne. We read in p. 61 of a fell beast 
called hyane (hyaena). In p. 26 the word papelard stands 
for a hypocrite ; it was afterwards to give birth to pope 
holy. In p. 51 we light upon the tavernyer or tavern- 
haunter ; this has given rise to an English surname. The 
triacle of p. 17 means a remedy for poison; from this 
comes treacle. We see boundes (fines), a word which has a 
puzzling resemblance to the many English nouns derived 
from bimd. There is the comparative graciouser, like a 
similar form in Hampole, much about the same time. 
The old adverbial liche is added to French roots, as 
grevousliche. One of our commonest phrases, in£^ mene time 


comes in p. 36 ; and in \e mene whUe is found ten years 
later. The adjective stable, as we see here, had driven out 
the Old English sta]>el (stabilis). In p. 68 we see graces 
(favours) in the plural; we still say ** stand in her good 
graces." The word mess (epula) had come to England 
fifty years earlier ; it is now made a verb, for we see the 
Verbal noun messmges in p. 71. The verb pay is used here 
both for placere and solvere. In p. 96 confort is used for 

Sometimes a French word hopelessly puzzles the Kentish 
monk, as vendange, chenaille (canaille), corv4e ; the happy 
Englishman of 1340 knew less about this last word than 
did the French peasant of 1789. In p. 153 we hear of 
four humours or qualites ; in p. 129 these are said to be in 
the body ; in Chaucer they refer to the mind ; in p. 157 
men are said to be colrih, sanguinien, fleumatike, and melan- 
conien. In p. 59 preterit is explained as referring to ]>inge 
ypassed, present as referring to nou. I may remark that 
between 1330 and 1340 three different forms of the 
Greek word for the huge earth-shaking beast were found 
in England ; alp (yip), olifant, and the elifans of the present 
work. The old augrim is now encroached upon by a new 
French form, algorisms; and the two ran parallel with 
each other till 1625, after which the new form triumphed. 

The hermit Hampole's long poem, the * Pricke of Con- 
science,' may date from 1340. It is in the Yorkshire 
dialect, and at once became popular all over England ; for 
there remain Southern versions of the piece, dating from 
about 1350.^ Since Alfred's time no long English poem 
had hitherto been compiled, that was to enjoy an unbroken 
popularity for 180 years; we know that the * Pricke of 
Conscience,' together with Wickliflfe's works, was studied 
in secret by Lollard heretics so late as 1520.^ This is a 
proof that our tongue kept fairly steady, in her adherence 
to old words, after 1290. 

^ Dr. Morris had edited it in the Philological Society's Early English 
volume, 1862-64 ; he has prefixed an invaluable dissertation on the 
Northern dialect. 

2 Foxe (Catley's edition), iv. 236. 

32 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The e supplants the i, for trkherie now yields the ad- 
jective trecherus. The converse of this takes place, when 
we find chimnd and libard; the latter form is used by 
Cowper. The forms move and remove appear, where m£ve 
and remove would have been written in other parts of Eng- 
land. The Yorkshire gude (bonus) appears again. As to 
the Consonants, / is struck out of the middle of a word, 
for Orrmin's abufan now becomes oboune (the Scotch dboon), 
in the North. There is a curious confusion between / and 
p, the French estoffer and the English stoppan, when in p. 
198 devils stop (stuff) the sinful in the fire. The h is 
altered into gh, for our form heghest (highest) stands in p. 
28. The g is lopped from the end of a word ; Layamon's 
romng (spoliatio) becomes ravin, p. 92. In p. 52 regard 
(this is not reguerdon) is changed into reward, just as the 
old gharma became our warm. The Past Participle loses the 
final d ; fretted (ornatus) becomes /re<^, p. 245. The n is 
added, for bedreda becomes bedreden (bedridden), p. 23 ; it is 
inserted in the Scandinavian way, for the Southern ]>rette]>e 
(thirteenth) becomes threttende. The 5 supplants the old r ; 
lure and froren become losse and frosen ; the s is added to 
form the Genitive of hell; helles is in p. 77 ; the old in 
midde becomes in middes (amidst). The 3 had long been 
mistaken for z ; hence the French citeien, cite^en, becomes 
cUesayne, p. 240. The rmkit of the year 1240 is now 
turned into our rush (ruere), p. 1 98. 

The Northern love of Verbal nouns is again seen ; there 
is a curious idiom in p. 208 ; we hear of a stone of ane 
hv/ndreth mens lyftyng. The favourite Northern habit of 
compounding with ness is shown in the new word endlesnes, 
p. 219. 

On turning to the Adjectives we see in p. 248 the new 
forms Tierrer (propior) and nerrest ; these would have been 
earlier rherre and riext / half of this last word's burden was 
thus taken away. In p. 22 a man's head becomes dysfg ; 
the adjective before this time had meant nothing but stultus. 
The new happy appears, p. 37. We see in wate (wet) and 
drie, an instance of Adjectives being used as substantives. 
The epithet imready had been applied to King -^thelred, 


meaning that he was " void of rede " (counsel) ; but this 
adjective changes its meaning in p. 55, to denote unpre- 
'pa/red. In p. 35 stands the new idiom, freshe to assayle us ; 
fresh in p. 144 is further applied to wounds, as if they had 
been newly inflicted. 

A new fashion now arises of prefixing of to the Relative, 
and thus forming a Genitive; the Relative is separated 
from its antecedent, a very bad habit; in p. 108 comes 
ten ]>inges, ]>at touches ]>e day, of whilk Qpinges) sum sal be, etc. 
So much had the old aire (omnium) gone out of use, that 
in p. 209 stands the pleonasm ]>e alther-heghest place of alle. 
In p. 250 stands Ukan til other] a foretaste of our curious 
idiom coupling each other, which arose more than a hundred 
years later. Hampole goes out of his way to write ]>e 
tother alle (omnes alios), a Plural In p. 219 stands a 
thowsand thowsand, an idiom still kept in our Bible ; the 
French million was to come a few years later. 

Among the Verbs we remark stand in stede, beg or borrow, 
muke end of put til pain, be in prayers, do me Ipat favour, gold 
wasfyned, p. 74. The verb speed had hitherto been Intransi- 
tive, but in p. 169 we hear of a process being sped. There 
is the new Participle unxmawen in p.. 10. We find a curious 
jumble of Infinitive idioms in p. 97. 

* * Mak yiir payn cees, 
And 'pam of 'Pair payn to haf relees. *' 

To hunger had hitherto been an Impersonal Verb, as me 
hungre]> ; in p. 166 stands / kimgerd; changes like this are 
nearly always due to the North. In p. 201 we find both 
to new and to renovel, the English and French synonyms ; 
our renew is a compound of the two, and came fifty years 

Among the Adverbs we see the new up-swa-doune ; also, 
in p. 19, turn up ]>at es doun. Instead of the Southern never- 
theless stands in p. 100 never ]>e latter, and this is sometimes 
used by Tyndale. There is also over sone, p. 106. In p. 
94 we find any time, without the at that should have been 
prefixed ; any way, any how, were to follow. An Adverb, 
as in the * Cursor Mundi,' is formed from an Active Parti- 

VOL. I. D 

34 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

ciple, vMwndly^ p. 155. In p. 8 we see, whd wonder es yfy 

Among the Prepositions we find the phrases wnder colour 
ofi by way of grace^ p. 98 ; something like this last we saw 
in the * Cursor Mundi.' The poet says that he will imagine 
something, on myne awen head ; we should now say " on my 
own account." In p. 170 stands impossibel til hym; the 
oldest English would have employed the Dative case after 
the adjective. In p. 52 stands take reward (regard) to; in 
p. 250 smell sweet to others ; this last seems to stand for " to 
the thinking of others," the French d mon avis. 

We see moute (moult) akin to the Dutch muiten. The 
Scandinavian words are swipp (sweep, pass quickly), dosed, 
tattered, clomsen, whence comes our clumsy; midding (ster- 
quilinium), the Scotch midden ; awkward, here an adverb ; 
slouh (cutis). 

Among the French words are tysyk, despair, unproperly, 
auctentik, mote (moat), assethe (assets), joyntly, suffishant, 
moment, trance, spere (sphere). The French caroigne appears 
both as carion and carayne. The French haraigne appears 
as barran, with the accent on the first syllable, in p. 70. A 
man is accused, in p. 80, hyfor ]>e cuntrd; and four lines 
afterwards men give ^pair verdite. In p. 164 we first hear 
of a sergeavmt, in the legal sense of the word. In p. 213 
mention is made of blessings and ]>air contraryes ; a new use 
of this Adjectiva Allege in this poem expresses both the 
Old English alecgan and the French alleguer. The new 
words were somewhat puzzling to the poet; in p. 81 he 
writes recoverere for our recovery. French phrases continue 
to oust our old Prepositions ; we now see the source of our 
as regards and with regard to ; in p. 202 stands als to regard 
of payne ; in p. 242 comes als to regard to blys. Playne is 
opposed to m^imtainous in p. 173. Garette is used, p. 245, 
of the watch-towers of heaven. In p. 108 Christ comes 
in proper parson. In p. 142 the Latin austerus and the 
English stern are ingeniously combined in awsteme. The 
verb rewel (rule) is formed from the Noun, and another 
verb, muse, is found for almost the first time ; it is curious 
that these two verbs were also making their appearance in 


Kent at this very same date, 1340. There are new forms, 
such as unproperlyy unstableness, peaceableness. In p. 221 
comes the line 

** Als properly als possible may 6c." 

We should now strike out the last two words. Deserve 
is first followed by an Infinitive in p. 225, and we, further 
on, in p. 230, find certayne to have, 

Hampole of course uses a number of Northern phrases, 
such as Twght hot, scvlk, scald, stour, win to, almus, hurtle, new- 
made, fone (pauci), face to face, he behoves, even (just) contrary, 
three days and a half, draw a tretis. He has the expov/nd of 
the * Cursor Mundi,* and also a new form, eocposkion ; we 
have formed words in English from ponere and positus alike. 
There is the Northern le (lee), not leow, which is still pro- 
nounced lew in Dorset. We still sound sfatiM in the French 
way, as Hampole writes it, though we imitate the old Latin 
form subtilty in writing the word. 

Besides the poem just considered, we have some prose 
treatises of Hampole's (Early English Text Society). They 
show us what our religious dialect was to be ; many French 
and Latin words appear, and are used far less sparingly 
than in Tyndale's works, 200 years later. Indeed, it may 
be laid down that nearly all the Eomance words, to be 
found in our Version of the Bible, were known in England 
during the Fourteenth Century. Some of these foreign 
terms appeared in Kent about the same time as in York- 
shire, that is, in 1340. The Northern dialect of Hampole 
reminds us of the ' Cursor Mundi ; ' we see once more awk- 
wardly-formed Adverbs, such as lawlyly; also ^pire, ]>of, ]>ose, 
]>ou is, a being, no force, enterely, a person, by mine ane, it 
byhovys be lufed ; the Verbal Nouns abound. One of the 
Treatises, p. 19, has been turned into a more Southern 
dialect ; here wem (erant) and goth (eunt) appear. 

As to Vowels, u often replaces 0, as blude, duse (facit) ; 
there is oys as well as use, p. 1 3 ; this word must have 
been pronounced by Yorkshiremen in the true French way, 
not like the corrupt yuse of the Severn country. As in 
Hampole's poetry, repreved makes way for reproffed. There 

36 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

is a new instance of u being mistaken for v^ just as the 
French Jueu became /t^v, Jnif ; in p. 23 plentivos is written 
for jplenteiums, and this often is found as pkntifous in the 
next Century. 

Among the Substantives the ending ness is making way 
even in French words, as grevesnes. The new form bisiness 
had already appeared in the * Cursor Miindi ; ' this is now 
made Plural in p. 20, besynessis. Another new Plural, 
lUcyngis, is found in p. 21. Men have a goode wille to a 
person, p. 23. The habit, first noticed in the ' Ayenbite,' 
is continued of setting an adverb after a Verbal Noun, and 
treating the whole as one word which may be followed by 
a Genitive ; consaU es doynge awaye of reches, p. 12; the 
Scotch loujpmg-on stane is curious. We lost much when 
we threw aside our power of prefixing prepositions or 
adverbs to verbs and verbal nouns. 

A new ending of Adjectives appears ; the foreign able is 
tacked on to a Teutonic root ; we see lufdbyll (loveable) in 
p. 2 ; and the Northern Wickliflfe was rather later to use 
qvsnchable. The needful in the * Ancren Riwle ' had meant 
nothing but avidus ; it now, p. 22, takes the sepse of 
Tiecessarms, as we use the word 

Among the Verbs there are phrases like in tym to come, 
turne ]>e braynes, ptU his traiste i/n, be-warre of certayne thyngesy 
p. 40 ; gyfe stede (place) to hym, set in order, take in vayne. 
We see breke offe and also leve of with no Accusative follow- 
ing ; stvikei of sinnes had been found in 1180, but this last 
of is now turned into an Adverb. Participles Active and 
Passive are coupled in the phrase, ]>e lufarvde and ]>e lufed, 
p. 34. We saw, about 1310, the French en followed by an 
Active Participle, which was all literally translated into 
English ; this idiom is now confused with that of Verbal 
Nouns followed by a Genitive; in p. 15 comes it lyes in 
lufynge of Godd, 

The expression cefre ]>e Oder man, found in the ' Chronicle ' 
for 1087, is now changed ; we see Uke o]>er day (every second 
day), p. 41. We have already seen as to this; as for now 
first translates qiu)d special ad ; \%s desire may be hadd, as forr 
]>e vertu of it, in habyte, p. 34. 


Among the Prepositions we find mfh employed after 
iahe^ as was foreshadowed in 1280; vMh whas lufe it es 
takyn (captivated), p. 2. The by is employed before the 
agent, as in the *Ayenbite ' previously ; goodis hepte bi (hi ser- 
vantis, p. 23. We had long had the phrase, weep over a 
thing ; this use of oxier (something like the Latin de) is now 
extended ; thynke over thh synnes, p. 36. This over is one of 
the few prepositions with which we can still compound; it is 
here fastened tog, foreign root; the verb overtravdl (overwork) 
is in p. 17 ; over was to replace for. We see for the first 
time our verb overlay, which was long peculiar to the North. 

We find a new Verb in p. 12, coming from the Scandi- 
navian tang (sea weed), a man may be tagyld (entangled) 
with various hindrances. 

The new French words are many. The foreign Adjec- 
tive in otts is made to take our signs of Comparison, a 
process now most alien to literary English, though in 1340 
it was found both in Yorkshire and in Kent ; delycyouseste 
stands in p. 2. The Adjective imwcerUys is used as a Sub- 
stantive, p. 11 ; the Latin word had been brought into 
France by the clergy not many ages before this time. 
Hampole speaks of thynges rmUll or inrmoUU, p. 11. The 
French corruption sugettis is found in p. 24, differing 
from the Latin subiecte used in another part of England 
about this time. We see our common abill to do any- 
thing, p. 16, which seems to come from the French habile. 
In p. 24 stands on the contrary wise ; in our Bible the two 
first words are dropped. Shoreham had used mi/nister for 
a priest ; here in p. 11 we see a new sense of the word, 
mynystyrs of ]>e kynge. In p. 15 the word comfort, used in 
the Plural, seems to change its meaning from strength to 
pleasure; there is also comfortable. In p. 24 we first find 
the word curate, used like the French cur4 and Spanish 
cura, for one who has the cure of souls. We read here of 
prelates and olper curatis ; and this sense lasted in England 
for more than 200 years ; indeed, in our Liturgy, curate is 
still used for a parish priest. Skelton's iho force, after 
lasting for 200 years before that poet's time, has now 
been supplanted by Tyndale's wo matter ; in p. 21 we see 

38 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

it hryngith into my herte much m/iter to love hym, where 
mater stands for constraining force, as in our what is the 
matter? In p. 25, Christ left the conversacion of men, and 
went into disserte (desert), and conti/rmed in prayers alone. 
In p. 37 we see maystry, where the old French sense of 
dominium has slid into vis ; hence our mmterful. In p. 1 
a man savours things, in p. 44 he savours of things, a Scrip- 
tural idiom of ours. There are the words, doctour, to clere, 
concupiscence, sensualite, transform, essential, secondary, illusion, 
fantasy, frensy, he processe of tyme, refreyn things, to oommune 
with, disposed, frequently, increase, desire, acordandly, unavisedly, 
at ]>e instaum,ce of, inperfite ; enjoye in it stands in p. 44, where 
we should say rejoice, and the two verbs were long used as 

The *Tale of Gamelyn,' lately printed by Mr. Skeat, 
seems to me to belong to the year 1340 or thereabouts, if 
we weigh the proportion of French and obsolete Teutonic 
words. It bears marks of the South, but has an East 
Midland tinge, and may belong to North Warwickshire. The 
Northern words, never found far to the South of the Great 
Sundering Line, are lithe (audire), gate (via), skeet (cito), serk 
(indusium), ferde (timor), hond-fast, awe (timor), not the 
Southern eye. There are certain forms found earUer in 
the *Havelok,' such as queste (bequest), alther (omnium), 
rig (dorsum). On the other hand, there are certain Severn 
forms, such as huyre (hire), abegge (abye), the Salopian to 
rightes ; a whole line on Seynt Jame in Galys is quoted, 
twice over, from a Salopian poem of 1320. The Present 
ending en is encroaching upon e^^, as we wiln (volumus), 
we spenden. There is the old construction, better is us ther, 
than, etc., p. 23, also p. 20 ; this is very different from the 
they hadden leovere steorve of the Alexander. Another old 
construction is in p. 22, it hen the schirrefes men. 

The supplants the common u or eo in dqlful, p. 18. 
Among the new Substantives are draw-welle, a talkyng 
(tale). An outlaw is proclaimed wolves-heed, p. 26, an un- 
usual word since the Conquest. The word man is needlessly 
added to another substantive, as jugge-man (judex), p. 31 ; 
hence the later fisherman and heggarman. The word deer 


(ferae) is now set apart to express cerm^ p. 4; and this 
change may be seen in Lancashire about the same time. 
We know the Irish 8(yrra a Ut ; the source of this is in p. 
33; soTwe have (him) thit rekkef The Double Accusative 
is seen in hind him foot and hondcy p. 15. 

The word side had for some time been driving out half; 
in p. 17 stands if I fayle on my syde (part). Men tell Jww 
the wynd was went, p. 26 (how things turned). There is 
the new phrase, light of foot, p. 6. An outlaw's followers 
are called his mery m^n, p. 29 ; also his songe m/en, p. 26. 
The new great is encroaching on the old vnoche ; in p. 9 
stands a gret fool, and eight lines lower, a m/)che schrewe. 
We have already seen nothing of his ; we now have, in p. 
10, m/any tomes of thyne. Among the Verbs are do al that 
in me is, draw blood, kepe his day. The verb breed is 
applied in a new sense ; a landowner breeds forth beasts, 
p. 14. An official is reviled as broke-bak scherreve, p. 27 ; 
a new formation, like the later crook-back. Men dress (set) 
things to-rightes, p. 2 ; this Adverb (few recognise it) is the 
source of our setting things to rights. The adjective fyn is 
used as an Adverb; eat wd and fyn, p. 17; the Scotch often 
say, "he's doing fine." The never is used for Twt in p. 22, 
as in Orrmin ; we have frendes never oon. The up is used 
as a verb in ^, 20, he up with his staf. The more usual 
adverb halfmge is replaced by by halves, p. 6. Jurors are 
on a quest (inquest), p. 32 ; go on an errand was a very old 
phrase. A man is rwtne (taken) irdo counseil, p. 26 ; the 
last word was soon to mean a secret. 

There is the Scandinavian loft, p. 6, meaning a garret ; 
the Old English lyft (later lift or luft) meant only air. 

The new French words are dress (ponere), pestel, courser, 
catour (caterer), toret (turret). The spenser (steward) ap- 
pears in p. 16, whence a great English family took its 
name. The word quest is shortened from the older en- 
queste, p. 29. A justice has a clerk, p. 31 ; a new sense of 
the word. In p. 32 we hear of the barre in a court of justice. 

This poem is curious as introducing us to the machinery 
of the future Kobin Hood ballads; it sets before us the 
maister outlawe, who walks under woode schawes, with his 

40 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

imerry mm; his kindness to the poor, and his enmity to 
abbots and monks, p. 29 ; his encounters with the Sheriff, 
on whom due vengeance is taken. The name Robin Hood 
was not to appear in English verse until 1377. There is 
an incident, afterwards adopted by Shakespere ; the young 
hero, persecuted by his elder brother, is followed by his 
faithfii servant Adam, who had hort loJckes; the pair, when 
very hungry, Hght upon outlaws sitting at meat. 

Some Northern poems, that seem to belong to 1340, 
may be read in Horstmann's *Altenglische Legenden,' p. 77 
and 454. There is the new hanA-dogge, p. 78 ; it is also 
called a hourde. In Scotland we may still hear the Impera- 
tive away you ^o/ in p. 79 the command is given, here ^e ga 
and venge me. In p. 465 something is not for ]>e &es/e, anew 
phrase. There is the word tope (ovis) in p. 79 ; our tup. 
We see the Superlative chef est; also, I defye \>e. 

In p. 334 may be found a poem which from the dialect 
seems to me to have been composed in the Rutland district; 
there are very few forms now obsolete. 

The Avowynge of King Arthur may be found in Rob- 
son's * Three Early English Metrical Romances' (Camden 
Society). This piece, probably due to Lancashire, seems to 
be older than the other two printed with it, and may 
belong to 1340. The Consonant / is struck out, for seofon 
niht becomes senny^t^ p. 81. There are phrases like stokkes 
and stonis, mayn and my7,te^ thay ar gode frindus (friends). 
The word deor had hitherto expressed any beast ; it seems 
now and henceforward to be set aside for cervus. Some- 
thing is in the sunm^e, p. 89 (sunlight). The ranks of society 
are placed before us in a line found in p. 80 ; Jcny^te, squyer, 
^oman] knave, are alike entertained in hall ; the third word 
here bears more than its sense in the * Cursor Mundi,' an 
able-bodied man. In p. 63 a steed is said to be starke ded; 
here the adjective changes iromfortis to rigidus, in a physical 
sense. The it appears again : a knight vows to wake hit 
(keep awake), p. 61. The word any, as we saw before, is 
coming into vogue; in p. 78 stands wille 7,e any more? In 
p. 89 a tun bursts in six or in sevyn, the source of our well- 
known phrase, "at sixes and sevens.'* A space of time. 


whether past or future, if it be in contact with the present, 
may be expressed by tlm or ihese; in p. 91 stands ilw^ 
Tfi sege this sevyn ^ere, Orrmin's rrmn had expressed nothing 
but futurity ; we now see it express necessity ; thou mun 
(must)^ay, p. 69. Men are bidden to sle carCy our hill care, 
p. 81. In p. 76 stands / dar lay; here wager is dropped. 
In p. 90 stands cast himself away; this phrase long after- 
wards gave birth to the noun castaway. 

Among the Adverbs we find / telle 30 as guy (why), p. 85 ; 
there is no need of the as here ; it is prefixed, just as in 
as at this time, as yet; and in our age as how ? is sometimes 
found. In p. 67 stands guethwr (quo) is thou on way? the 
source of our whither away ? The expression a far land was 
good Old EngHsh ; we now hear of the fur (far) syde of the 
li^te, p. 88 j the side most distant from the light. The 
translation of the Latin quin by but, already seen in 1300, 
is continued ; it now stands after nemo as well as after non; 
is none of ^0 but he munfele, p. 76. 

We see the verb dotur (totter), p. Q5, akin to the Dutch. 
There is the Scandinavian tame (lacus). The French plat is 
now discarded for the Icelandic /a^r/ "to fell a msLnflatte'^ 
is in p. 67. The Celtic pert (bold) reappears, after a long 
disuse, in p. 66. 

Among the French words are rebound, bugle, palmer, 
beuteous. Curious (already seen in the * Ayenbite ') is a word 
that took root in Northern England, and seems here to 
mean " well-dressed," applied to maidens, p. 83 ; it took 
the sense of carefully made in France in this century, hav- 
ing before meant careful. We hear of rialle servys in p. 80 ; 
the idea survives in our to pay royally. Chess is played on 
a chekkere, p. 84; this noun afterwards gave birth to a 
verb ; it had been written escheker in 1280. A boar casts 
up his stuffe, p. 59 ; this word was not as yet used for fur- 
niture. There is take entente, p. 9 1 ; the en was clipped 
later. Our issice is written usshe, p. 89, which reminds us 
of the Italian usdre. The word prisoner had hitherto meant 
a gaoler ; it now takes our modem meaning. Cheer had 
hitherto expressed vultus ; it now connects itself with feast- 
ing ; we cannot well be merry on an empty stomach ; 

42 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

men who have been eating and drinking are said to make 
als mirry chere als hit were ^ole day (yule), p. 91. In p. 70 
a man is prins of iche jplay ; hence " the prince of letter 
writers," and such like phrases, implying thorough mastery 
of some art. 

We have an Alliterative poem on Alexander, compiled 
about 1340 (Early English Text Society, William 6f 
Palerne). It seems due to a Salopian bard; the e is 
much used, as grendes for grindes ; there are the three 
forms kid, hid, and Jced (notus), and other marks of the 
West end of the Great Sundering Line. We see here both 
the old guell and the new kill. In p. 199 sli and conning 
become debased in their meaning, for they are used of a 
magician bent on a wicked act. The hero's pride is shown 
by his using thou, not ye, even to his father and mother. 
There are the phrases give up gost, as happes (ut fit), cast (a 
nativity), go with child, prened (pinned) to the earth. There 
is the curious verb incle the truthe, p. 196, "to hint, give 
an inkling of, the truth ;" this may be Danish. There is a 
new idiom in p. 190 ; they ask Philip to be lord of their 
land, ]>ei to holden of hym. Here a participle, such as being 
bound, is dropped after ]>ei; and the Nominative replaces 
the old Dative Absolute. 

There is the Scandinavian rap (ictus), and two words 
akin to the German; droun (our verb drone) and drift, 
which here means driving power. 

Among the French phrases are his peple (soldiers) ; he 
was thought able (skilful). The word inkest is used for 
blackest, p. 212. In France, about this time, letters of 
reprisal were granted to an injured man, to pass the march 
and avenge himself on the foreign foe; the verb mark 
comes often in this poem, meaning ulcisd; see p. 193. 
Hence, our lettei^s of mark. 

The English translation of the Romance of William of 
Palerne seems to be due to the same hand that gave us 
the Alexander. This question is discussed in the Preface 
by Mr. Skeat, the editor of this poem for the Early English 
Text Society. The translator of the present piece, who 
made his version about 1350, seems to have been a poet 


of renown in his day. He had a high-born patron, the 
Earl of Hereford, a man more fit for peace than war, one 
of the great nobles who were fostering the growth of our 
language about this time j the work of translation from 
French into English, as we know, had been going on for 
seventy years. The Alliterative poet thus appeals to English 
gratitude — 

" Ye that liken in love swiche jinges to here, 
Prei3es for ])at gode Lord ])at gart ))is do make, 
The hende Erl of Hereford, Humfray de Bonne ; 
The gode king Edwardes dou3ter was his dere moder ; 
He let make >is mater in ))is maner speche, 
For hem j)at knowe no Frensche, ne never understond " (p. 175). 

We owe to the Salopian love of e that we have, as in 
this work, dent as well as the older dint (ictus) ; we con- 
fuse the former with the Latin mdent. There are here the 
two forms lebard and lyhard ; the latter was used by 
Cowper. There is a change of letters in the old porm 
(spectare), which now becomes jprie ; Chaucer was to write 
later pore and j^rie ; there was also pire, our peer. An i 
is inserted when fasoun becomes fadoun (fashion). An 
is thrown out when do of (exue) is made dof in p. 79. 
Orrmin's huten becomes hoten, our hoot; the word now 
means simply damare^ not vituperare, as in Orrmin's 
work. The u replaces y in mureSy our moors ; it is written 
mires in other places of this poem. The old reafere (latro) 
is seen here as revour, an imitation of the French ending. 
The form sow, as well as sew, is used for suere in p. 62 ; 
the Participle is here scmed, but we have made it Strong 
since this time, writing it sewn. There are the two forms 
sur and seurte. There is the curious form beuaute (bewty) 
in p. 131. 

The w was so often written for g that, as in Hampole, 
reward is written for regard (look), p. 109; and wallop 
occurs for gallop. In this poem gest stands for both ho^es 
and historia, the Teutonic and the Romance ; these we now 
distinguish by spelling. The old diken (fodere) is found as 
well as the new digge, which last we have now made a 
Strong Verb. The J? is inserted in leng]>en (to prolong), p. 

44 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

39, the old lengan. The n is struck out> for we find a slape, 
not an, slepe, p. 69. The r is making its way into the old 
gome (the kindred homo) ; in p. 74 we hear of a gome of 
Grece; in p. 62 this is written a grom of Grecej our 
bridegroom (the bredgome of the 'Ayenbite') was yet to 

The curious word hakkes (vestes) appears in p. 72 ; it 
seems to be Salopian, being afterwards used in Piers Plow- 
man ; we still have the slang term hags for an important 
part of our raiment ; Lord Eldon was called " Old Bags." 
We hear of the hacches of a ship ; the word comes from 
the old hceca (a bar). The word boro^ is still used in the 
Singular both for a borough of men and for a burrow of 
rabbits, as of old -, wmwe also is employed for both nrmne 
and cfras. The term wench is used in the honourable sense 
of the West Midland; it is applied to a Princess in p. QQ ] 
gerlSf a West country word, had hitherto meant children ; 
but the same Princess and her attendant are called gaye 
gerles, p. 35. We see here repeated the old terms of endear- 
ment of the Severn country, sweting, my swete hert ; besides 
these, there are in p. 59, mi hony, mi herty dere; in p. 66 
comes lef liif (vita). In p. 139 William calls the werwolf 
mi swete dere best; we have also swete Sir, faire friendes. 
There are new terms, such as holier (collier), lif-timSy egge tol 
(edged tool), a drove of beasts. We see the double Accusa- 
tive in folwe him o (one) fote, p. 130. The noun fill is 
now extended beyond eating and drinking ; hhe his fille, p. 
33. In p. 101 a new phrase is repeated; a queen is di^t 
to ri^tes. There is another new phrase, his guene on hire 
side was, etc., p. 173 ; where an addition is made to a pre- 
vious statement, and it is implied that the queen did not 
fall below the king. In p. 122 we find to make it olper gate ; 
this phrase long afterwards was turned mto another guess, 
which became common in the Eighteenth Century. 

Among the Adjectives tidi is in constant use, now mean- 
ing not only seasonable, but fair, worthy. We mark the 
change of sad from gravis to tristis in p. 28, where a sad 
sikyng (sighing) is mentioned. We see waywarde, p. 128, 
which is short for awayward. The word worthy (dignus) is 


turned into a Substantive, as we use it j \at worlpeis chaum- 
ber, p. 33. There is lonely, where the a at the beginning 
has been docked ; and botless (without remedy). The old 
seoc forms a new adjective, seldy (sickly), p. 55. The new 
word gamsma (gamesome) stands in p. 135; to be after- 
wards used by Shakespere. 

As to the Pronouns, Mr. Skeat> the editor of the poem, 
gives an admirable dissertation <m the use of thou and ye 
in this piece; see his Preface, p. xli. In p. 142 we have 
the curious phrase tw hum (man) hut hemself tweyne (none 
but their two selves). There is the old ballad phrase selplpe 
it mi^t he no heter in p. 171. The word any, as in Hampole, 
is coming more and more into vogue ; as more ]>an any m^t 
elles, p. 130. This dies is much used iov- alius; dav/nger or 
duresse or amy despit dies, p. 136; we limit ourselves now 
to "any thing else," and "any one else." In p. 134 a re- 
quest is made of the hero to let men go ; the answer is ]>at 
I wol; a new use of ^pat, like so I shall. Persons go on 
oMe four, like beasts ; this phrase was used in Lanca- 
shire about the same time. Another use of the numeral, 
continued from very old times, is in p. 109 ; ]>ei he five so 
fele (many) as we. There is a new idiom in p. 166 which 
saves repetition ; 3^/ he was heloved, ^U was Meliors as moche 
or more; here so is dropped. 

We see the verb hell applied to the roar of a bull, p. 66; 
this sense lasted about a hundred years longer, and the verb 
was then confined to deer. There is the new verb ferk, to 
be afterwards used by Shakespere ; it is said to be formed 
from the sound. In p. 137 swdt changes its meaning; it 
no longer bears its old sense of die, but is used as a 
synonym for siooon; swdter was to come later. In p. 38 a 
lady says, y am done (morior) ; this perhaps stands for for- 
done; in our time the phrase is, " I am done for." In p. 
121 something is said to bode good; the verb later was used 
in a more confined sense than before, when it had expressed 
nuniiare. The word override is used for vastare; in our time 
it can only be used of a horse ill-treated. In p. 140 lete 
me alhne is used for do not trouble yov/rself. There are 
phrases like it com in his minde, hold to bale, make silens, 

46 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

to make, schorl tale. The Infinitive is dropped in easy talk ; 
A says, "The beast fears us not;" B answers, I ne wot whi 
it schuldy p. 102. In p. 63 a man fears that bears would 
have mad of him mete ; the gamekeeper in Pickwick thinks 
that Mr. Winkle will "make cold meat of some of us." 
We see the Weak cfre'pt^ not the old Strong cr&pe^ which 
lasted down to the Eeformation. There is a curious change 
in break; the beast was broken into halle (irrupit), p. 139 ; 
this is an imitation of wa^s come (venit). 

Among Adverbs, as well as other parts of speech, any is 
making its way; onwhar (any where) stands in p. 64 j on 
any wise, p. 60, led to our any how. There is how so? p. 39 ; 
it isfer to Ipat cuntre; up happe^ the forerunner of Lydgate's 
perhaps ; in p. 92 happili (our haply) stands for casu; in p. 
133 it seems to expre&s felidter ; fifty years later a differ- 
ence was to be made, by means of spelHng, between the two 
adverbs derived from hap. We see hut ^it used for tamen, 
p. 73, a kind of needless repetition ; it was soon to be used 
in the work called by Mandeville's name. In p. 110 men 
are exhorted to fight, though the enemies were eft as fele 
(as many again). There is a curious phrase in p. 159, it 
liked him wel ille, a kind of contradiction in terms. The 
old wellnigh is now clipped; in p. 171 stands nei'^ wepande 
for wo. In p. 134 stands as wel as we kunne. The word 
harde now means cito as well as durb; hie as harde as ]>ei mi^t, 
p. 42; our hard all is well known. In p. 61 a girl is talliche 
attired ; this word for eleganter is said to come from the 
Old English tela (bene); we still hear. people talk of tall 
(fine) English. The adverb gamely in p. 19 m.Q2Ji'& jumnde ; 
we have since given it another meaning, that of fm-titer. 
We see a distinction marked between 3a (yea) and ^is; the 
latter being the more forcible of the two, just as nay is 
stronger than no; this distinction lasted down to the 
Reformation ; see Mr. Skeat's note on this point. 

As to Prepositions, we remark that of, for, and to are 
often prefixed to Verbs, proving that the poem was written 
far from the East Midland country. The U now first gains 
the force of adipisd; to com hi skynnes, p. 60 — a most curious 
idiom. The at is developed ; healed atte best, p. 57 (in the 


best way) ; armed ai alle poyntes^ p. 107 ; attefulUy p. 156 ; 
at arst (first), p. 41 ; atte last, p. 52. We see att cdle in p. 
1 5, I think, for the first time ; it seems here to mean hy all 
means; we generally use it for omnino. We have our common 
sche was out of ]>e weye in p. 41. There is a new use 
of to; I hope to hevene king, p. 43 ; here the hope has some 
affinity to vow. There is a new use of about; a man 
b&fis bred aboute him, p. 64 — that is, bears bread on his per- 
son. As to 071, we find sche brou^t hem on weie, p. 62 ; an 
extension of the old phrase " on an errand." The idiom 
that appeared in 1320 is repeated in p. 53 ; Crist 7,if hem 
ioye for ]>e menskfullest messageres ]>at ever to me come; hence 
our "begone for a fool ;" here th.Q for reminds us of /<9r '^at 
(quia). We find a common phrase of ours, fm* al ]>e world 
such a wolf as we see here; the for seems to English 
maugre ; " though all the world should deny it." The old 
sense of to (the Latin dis) was becoming obsolete ; for we 
have the pleonasm to-broke onpeces, p. Ill; in the next line 
something is shivered al to peces ; it is just possible that in 
the last phrase the to has more in common with dis than 
with ad. 

We see the oath Marie beginning a sentence, p. 154, 
where the by is dropped ; this phrase, marry, msiy still be 
heard in Yorkshire. 

The Scandinavian words are the three verbs glimer, spy, 
and strike (streak). 

The words akin to the Dutch are frau^t (freighted), and 
to hamper. 

Among the many French words is the adverb cherli 
(benign^). We see the Plural wages, the French gages ; it 
usually became the Singular wage in the North. There 
are the two forms pitous and piteuous; agrieve is sometimes 
used where we should drop the first letter ; asaie, not essay, 
is the form used in this Century. The term seute (the old 
French corruption of secutio) stands both for cav^sa and 
venatio. We see lege man ; lege lord had already appeared 
in the 'Cursor Mundi.' lHh^flaket of this poem was after- 
wards to become flagon. There is our common " a numbre 
of bestes," p. 78. The word soverayne is used for any 

48 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

superior, such as a provost j hence, in our day, "a sovereign 
remedy." The title sire is used by a lady to her lover ; a 
king addresses a clown as sire kowherde^ p. 170. We 
followed the French way as yet in talking of the Spapnols ; 
our present form of the word came forty years later. 
There are phrases like in the wsne while, jpore jmple (people) ; 
also fetureSy harness (horse trappings, p. 137), metury kour- 
teour, remnant, amiabul, waste (irritus). We have here the 
French tax; we imitate the Spanish form of the word 
when we write task. Mention is made in p. 151 of a gaie 
maide; this adjective became the established epithet for 
ladies in English ballads. A man rejoices (fruitur) a 
realm in p. 132 j this sense of the word lasted for another 
Century and more in England. In p. 102 the verb conjure 
is used to a supposed ghost or spirit; in p. 15 the word is 
used simply to express a command. The verb meve (our 
move) simply means iter facer e in p. 137; also remewe, 
p. 49. The verb restore, p. 129, means restituere; but in p. 
94 a park is restored (stocked) with beasts. In p. 117 we 
read of the coupyng togadere of knights ; this word, coming 
from the French coup, gave us our verb cope. Mention is 
made of the pers (peers) of Spain, p. 129 ; we now make 
a distinction in spelling between this word and pairs of 
gloves. A new French preposition is now coming in; 
tidings touchend her father, p. 51 ; Littr^ gives no instance 
of this new-formed preposition before Froissart. 

Two Legends of St. Katherine that are in Horstmann*s 
* Altenglische Legenden,' pp. 236 and 260, seem to belong to 
the year 1350. In p. 264 comawnde (commendo) is written 
for the proper commende, as we see by the rime. There 
is the new phrase pvi out eyyn, piU to dede (death) ; this 
put was much encroaching on do about this time. The 
Participle had always, in the oldest English, followed verbs 
expressing finire ; we now see, in p. 263, leve fyghtynge; 
here we now insert an off. 

Somewhere about 1350 *l?e old usages of ]?e Cite of 
Wynchestre, J?at have]? be y-used in )?e tyme of oure 
elderne,' seem to have been compiled; they exist in a 
roll, drawn up about forty years later. I gave a specimen 


of this in Old and Middle English, p. 482.^ We here see 
what Standard English would have been in our time had 
not London supplanted the older capital of Wessex and 
England j the Southern dialect is well marked ; all the 
Present Plurals end in el?, and rm stands for the indefinite 
mom. These are the three forms — \elke^ IpUkey ]>ulke (iste) ; 
e was a favourite letter in Hampshire as in Kent, for we 
find meche, legge (lodge), p. 363 j the u is also prominent in 
sullere, bu]^, and o-lupy. 

The old deagan (tingere) now gives birth to the Noun 
dyh^er, our dyer, p. 359. The old mosddre becomes mader 
(madder). The y is inserted in ffyshyere (fisher), p. 353, 
which reminds us of the Severn country. The interchange 
between w and b is seen in hy^owte (without), p. 349, just 
as Bill was to come from Will. 

We hear of men, p. 349, who are called the "hevedes 
(heads) of l?e Cite;" and also, p. 362, of ")?e heved 
answere;" here we should now use chief. The noun sale 
appears, and the very old term smergavel (grease tax), p. 
359. The fine old phrase, god men and trewe, stands in 
p. 359. 

There is the expression to hald stal (stall) of shop- 
keepers. To chaffar becomes a verb for the first time in 
p. 357. We hear in our days of the output of mines ; this 
word is found as a verb in p. 362. The oiA foresaid is now 
written afore-ysayd (aforesaid). 

Two words have crept down to Winchester from the 
North — holleche (omnino) and lane. 

There are two new terms that we have in common with 
the Dutch — tanner and talw^ (tallow). 

The French words are many, for law terms abound in 
this piece ; we have coroner, fraunk (free), pultrye, pulter, 
engrosie, severaleche (severally), ern/plete, atacJiment, defendaunt. 
We hear of comrmme law, p. 361. In p. 354 custome is 
owed to the King, a sense born by the French word 200 
years earlier. Names are entered; houses are y-charched 
(charged) with certain rates, and in p. 358 we read of 
horse charche. We see ]>inges ]>at touched the rewle of ]>e town, 

1 * English Gilds' (Early English Text Society), p. 349. 
VOL. I. E 

5o THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

p. 349, as in Lancashire ; the French verb had borne this 
meaning in its own country in the previous Century. 

Lawrence Minot wrote several short poems in the 
Northern dialect on the victories of Edward III. ; they are 
in the collection of the Master of the Rolls (* Political Poems,' 
vol. i.) He alters the old rwi^e into rig, our rye^ and writes 
siile for the old digd. He speaks of the Genevayse at Cressy, 
following the Italian rather than the French form. We 
had hitherto talked of Almain ; Minot now writes about 
the Ihiche tongue, which here expresses German both High 
and Low, p. 63. We see the verb hove (manere) here 
taking the sense of float, and used in connection with the 

In the English Gilds there is a Norwich document of 
1350 ; here we find the shortened forms sexteyn (sekestein) 
and derge (dirige). There is the new French verb to oward 
(award) hem, p. 35 (from eswardeir) ; also the phrase han 
(have) for his travaille, where we should say trouble. 

There are some pieces in *ReliquiaB Antiquae,' ii. 38, 85, 
108, which seem to belong to 1350. The word bote had 
hitherto meant remedium ; it now becomes comrrwdum ; hit 
is no bote (use) to mote, ii. p. 108 ; the phrase to-bote (prae- 
terea) had long been used in England. There are the 
phrases retme in his dette (in debt to him), beg or borrow. 
We see the source of our take advantage of in p. 38 — a 
dishonest steward, when giving in his accounts, puttes hym- 
self to avauntage, there he shuld be in arerage. There is the 
new adverb apase (apace), p. 98. 

In Higden's Latin Chronicle, drawn up about this time, 
we see the two forms FoukirJce and Fouchyrche (the Scotch 
Falkirk), Again, the I is replaced by u in Meuros (Melrose), 
as the French col had become cou. The d is struck out, for 
both Sccerdburgh and Scarbwgh (Scarborough) are found. 
See Trevisa (Master of the Rolls), viii. 286, 304. 

There are some pieces in Hazlitt's Collection which seem 
to date from about 1350. Among them is the * Tournament 
of Tottenham,' a laughable burlesque of chivalry, iii. 82, 
perhaps due to North Lincolnshire ; and the * Tale of the 
Basyn,* which may be Salopian, iii. 44. The a supplants e ; 


we see parson (clericus), and Harry (not Herry, Henry) ; the 
s replaces /, as snese (sneeze) for the old fneos-an. We see 
the Un tacked on to proper names, as Hawkin (Hobbekin), 
Perhm (Peterkin), Dawkin, Timkin, Tomkm ; these are still 
in use as surnames ; there is also Gregge (Gregory), and 
Tirry (Terence). We read of Bayarde the blynde, a horse, 
iii. 87 ; this proverbial phrase lasted for 250 years and 
more. In iii. 53 lewdriess adds the sense of libido to that 
of iTisdentia; this usage, probably Salopian, was followed 
by Awdlay, the blind Salopian bard, seventy years later. 
There are the new Substantives potter, whelebarow, cucry 
(cookery) ; burlesque arms are said to be quartered with 
the mone li^t, iii. 89 ; hence our moon^sMne (nonsense). 
We light upon the hygh horde (table) in hall. In iii. 91 
rich bears the new sense of laughable; that was a rich 
si^t. In iii. 93 we have, I think, the first appearance of 
the much disputed word cokeney, here meaning a delicacy ; 
it retained the sense of delicate, pampered, for 230 years. 

There is the new phrase of this time, falle in my detie, 
iii. 46 — that is, "in debt to me." A Numeral is now 
first coupled with every ; every five (iii. 93), "each mess of 
five persons ; " an had long been prefixed to hundred and 

Among the Verbs are go betwene (play the mediator), 
lead the dance, break heads. There is our phrase for mvngere, 
a literal translation of facere aquam, iii. 47 ; this was used 
by Coverdale in his translation of the Bible. 

We have the phrase, " they taught him how the katte did 
snese," iii. 45; something like our "which way the cat 
jumped.'' There is the oath, be cocks swete wounde, iii. 53; 
an early instance of softening down the Deity's name. 
There is the merry Chaucerian tehef iii. 91. 

We see the Scandinavian gravy and trip (move along 
lightly) ; hitherto it had been a wrestler's phrase. Also the 
Celtic basket. 

The French words are experiment, batter, quarter (arms), 
seasoned, charlett (like our apple chariot), f(yrsed meat, where 
replaces a. There is the verb pleese, instead of the old 
pay; his speciaM, iii. 52, where favov/rite is understood; 

52 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

/Sw-5, in the Plural. In iii. 83 it is doubtful whether 
hachdery refers to a company of knights or to a company of 
unwedded men. The verb dress is now used for coquere, 
iii. 96 ; men in the next page dresse (address) themselves 
to a dance. 

The Northern Eomance of Sir Eglamour ('Thornton 
Komances/ Camden Society) seems to date from about 
1350. We see the French norke contracted into norse, 
p. 157, and dm turned into dewke, p. 147, a truly 
English change. In p. 159 the transcriber eighty years 
later has turned into fiorse what was evidently written has 
(raucus). There is the substantive patte (ictus), p. 172, 
perhaps iromplxttan (ferire). We see in p. 144 hys fvlle 
of fyght The ending lin is added to a word, as hoglin, p. 
144. The more is still used by us in the sense of major, in 
the rrwre pity ; this may be found in p. 122. The word 
unwelde adds the new sense of ingens to that of impotens, p. 

Among the Verbs we see make signs, take the field, 
take him to his foot (fight on foot), p. 145 ; this has led 
to "take to his heels." In p. 131 one knight strikes his 
trowthe to another ; hence comes " strike a bargain." In 
p. 146 stands yf (give) you joy of, etc.; here the /, which 
should head the sentence, is dropped. In p. 132 comes 
God sylde yow (requite you), a future Shakesperian phrase. 
We see the new word sfompe, which is common to us and 
the Dutch, applied to a mutilated limb. There is the 
Scandinavian verb splatt, p. 141, which Shakespere was 
to make split. As to French words, simple stands for 
humUis, in p. 124 ; we know Scott's gentle and simple. We 
read of the gentyls (like nobles), p. 125 ; also of a knight's 
armes (heraldic) ; he hare aserre (azure) a grype of gold, p. 
164. There are the verbs chronicle and bay (latrare) ; also 
forces (copiae) ; ye parte gode frende, p. 1 27. In p. 1 25 stands 
the adjuration, for Goddys pete, which led to our "/or pity^s 
sake" A steed is called "rede as any roone" (roan), p. 

There are the statutes of a Lynne Gild (Early English 
Text Society), drawn up in 1359 ; where we see Make Monr 


unday^ P- 97; also hoteri {buttery)] and have on Jmnde, used 
of money. 

To this time the prose treatises of Dan John Gaytrigg 
and some other Northern productions seem to belong, 
though transcribed fourscore years later; they are in 
'Religious Pieces in prose and verse' (Early English 
Text Society). Many words and phrases, afterwards used 
by Wickliffe, occur in these pieces. The a supplants e in 
true Northern fashion, for we see the name Barnard ; the 
n is struck out ; gamermnt becomes garment. There are the 
new substantives dulness, lowliness ; the n^ess was coming in ; 
for the Southern freoscipe here appears as ffrenes, p. 38. 
We see good followed by to, gude I arm to my chosyne, p. 56. 
The Participle is used much Hke an Adjective; how luffande 
(loving) he es, p. 56. In p. 8 we see an early instance of 
a mistake common in our days, the wrongful transposition 
of ordy ; it ought anely to he gyffene to ]>am ]>at, etc. (to them 
alone that, etc.). 

Among the Verbs we find, have part with, do your office, 
keep it to yourself; the put is coming forward, for there is, 
put him down (crush), put upon him (lay to his charge). 
There is a curious idiom of the Past Participle Absolute in 
p. 1 9, often afterwards repeated ; he hose keped ]>e, and many 
o^er loste (while others are lost). The Participle lykande 
(liking) is used to express jucundus, p. 49 ; the Yorkshire 
Coverdale brought this sense into our Bible in the first 
chapter of Daniel. 

A new idiom appears in p. 55 ; the as is now prefixed 
to an Active Participle; it was stylle, as heynge dome (dumb) ; 
the as touching was coming in about this time. We now 
prefix as, if, though, and while to Active Participles. The off 
is used to express thoroughness; he suppede it off, p. 93. 

Among the French words we see a communer, cure of 
sawle (souls), spice (species), the reverse, chantress. There is 
the verb^^, afterwards to be altered into fix, and noyous 
(noisome). The French en is now set before Teutonic 
words, as to enpride him, p. 23 ; this process was to be 
carried far, and to be much favoured by Shakespere. 

There are many Northern poems in Horstmann's * Alten- 

54 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

glische Legenden' that may be referred to 1360 ; see pp. 1- 
188. The a replaces g, as guarele. The e is cHpped in 
lufd (amatus) and f(md (fonned), p. 158. The o replaces 
i, as venom. The final y is cHpped ; CecUl stands for Cecily ^ 
p. 159. The V is struck out; lavender becomes lander^ p. 
156; laundress was to come 200 years later. The 
sh now expresses the sound of ch at the beginning of a 
French word; sheynes (vincula) is in p. 104; I think this 
is the earliest notice we have of the change of initial ch 
into 5^. The z replaces 5, as ze, zour (ye, your),' p. 115; 
this peculiarity lasted for 200 years in Scotland, and 
may be remarked in the captive Queen Mary's letters. 

Among the new Substantives we see a home-cuming^ 
godsande (godsend), slaghter man, sekk dathe (sackcloth), men 
of halikirk (churchmen, priests), p. 1 75. As to the Adjec- 
tives ; fiends will not cease for thin ne thik (for any cause), 
p. 99 ; these we now transpose. The word vnld gets the 
new sense of stultus, p. 14; it later, like nice, took the 
further meaning of lascivus. The word good is in full use ; 
there is the Vocative gude Sir, p. 38; gude man is applied to 
a Prince, with reference to his wife, who is called his gude 
lady, p. 84. Two adjectives are coupled, I think, for the 
first time in p. 21 ; a grete blak dog. A substantive is 
dropped in the phrase, )?e werst es, when, etc., p. 38. As to 
Pronoims, there is the new phrase that I have already re- 
marked on, ever (every) thritty, p. 58. 

Among the Verbs we find, mxike gud end, jmt it to them, 
gif batail, ask a question, take rote, have chose (choice), it came 
out (was known), have me excused, days were cumen and gane, 
spread the bord (hence our slang noun spread). The verb 
leave is now used of testators; riches was left hym, p. 12. 
There was a phrase of 1300, his might is benome; now, men 
are bynomen (benumbed), p. 34, a curious instance of the 
advance of the Passive voice. The verb rise gets the new 
sense of rebell, p. 143. We see by the Verbal noun, in p. 
57, that the verb hert (encourage) must have appeared; 
Palsgrave was to write it hearten. There is the new mislive 
and fob (decipere), p. 138, whence Shakespere's fob off. 
The old verb roupe (clamare, p. 187) seems to have been 


confined to the North after 1220 ; it is still in Scotch use. 
There is a new phrase translated from the French, p. 11 ; 
w)ghi mthstanding that; it was soon to appear in Southern 
prose. The Infinitive follows love; ])ai loffed to lig, p. 31. 
Some word like able is dropped in, here is none for to let 
(stop) ]?6, p. 48. There is a curious Double Infinitive in p. 
69 ; Simon is worthy to have schame to tak on him Goddes 
name; the to tak represents for taking. We still use the 
phrase it shovM seem that; in p. 145 stands a guene, ]>at 
Goddes m/oder, him thoght, svM seme. The North, unlike the 
South, turns French verbs into Strong verbs, as not proven, 
and the old fan (fined, ceased) ; we see rave for arrived in 
p. 86. 

We have the first hint of across in p. 15; two ways 
meet on cros. The predicate is not repeated after the 
adverb in the phrase, sum war ded, and sum fid nere, p. 52. 
The verb is dropped after and ; how sail I live, and ]>ou 
awaie ^ p. 178. As to Prepositions, there are answer to ]>am, 
sworn to chastity, out of sight, out of minde (insanus), at ])i 
bidding, boun (bound) into Ingland, p. 42. The old wi]> 
might sometimes mean ab ; hence we see part with all (his 
goods), p. 38 ; we can now use mth in this sense after ^r^ 
and dispense. There is also chaunge his wede m]> a beggar, 
p. 177. Prepositions were now separated from the verbs 
to which they had been prefixed ; the old ]>urhboren becomes 
bare (bore) him thurgh, p. 135. 

There is rostiren (gridiron) akin to the German; also 
the Scandinavian verb glore (glower), and pople (bubble). 

Among the Eomance words are caldron, rosin, case (pi 
relics), a hamper, sachel, lunatike, gaudes (nugse), defame, 
disease (incommodum), pynacle, fawchone, a convers (convert), 
preve sele, province, A man marries a girl to another person, 
p. 1 2. The word point gets a new sense ; prove his poynt 
(purpose), p. 26. The Pope is called the chef curate of 
Cristendome, p. 51 ; and curate is elsewhere used for parish 
priest. A man gives his voice (vote) to another, p. 150. 
A person is confused for shame, p. 156. The word bill 
appears in p. 161, meaning something written; this old 
simple sense still lingers at Eton. The verb cease now 

56 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

governs an Infinitive, p. 65. There is the affirmation, / vMl 
warandy made after a statement, p. 104. The foreign en is 
set before Teutonic roots, as enhigh (exalt), p. 51 ; this was 
to become a favourite coinage in later years. There is the 
curious mongrel blame-worthi, p. 141. Diana appears in 
male guise, p. 39 ; the god Dyane, The Latin original, 
whence these Legends were compiled, is plainly visible in 
pople of Pictavi (men of Poitiers), p. 155. 

One of the stories in the * Handlyng Synne ' is referred 
to in p. 150. 

In the same book stands Ipotis, p. 340, which seems to 
date from this time. There is the curious form i'^ete for 
the old ge-eten (eaten), p. 346. There is ill in the sense of 
mains, a mark of the North, p. 344 ; also the Scandinavian 
whethene (whence) and nim (ire), p. 344, a mark of the East 
Midland, though the dialect of the piece is Southern. There 
are the forms stene (stone) to ded (death) ; qiielle takes the 
new sense of opprimere, besides its old sense of occidere ; 
quell his pouste (power), p. 345. There are see-cost (coast) 
and omnipotent. 

In the * Legends of the Holy Rood ' (Early English Text 
Society) there is a Northern piece which seems to date 
from about 1360. In p. 125 stands to set on (a man) = 
attack; here some such word as hand must have been 
dropped after the verb. 

About 1360 the poem of Syr Grawayn and the Grene 
Knight (Early English Text Society) seems to have been 
compiled ; the author has borrowed much from a French 
original, but is so EngHsh as to give a hundred lines to a fox 
hunt, calling the victim reniarde, the earliest description 
that we possess of that chase. There is so French a phrase 
as Nowel for Christmas, p. 3 ; the hero in p. 25 asks for 
bone hostel (hospitaHty). The poem has various Lancashire 
marks, such as uche, much, ho (ilia), J^ay, hem, ]>ose, guile (hwile). 

The a replaces u and i ; hence we now find our verb 
start. The e replaces o, hence welkin ; it is clipped, for the 
old efese becomes evez, our eaves. The i stands for ow, for 
Hampole's verb worow becomes wori, our worry, p. 61 ; 
hill (occidere) replaces cull. The French Iram is written 


hrawne. We now find ahof (above) no longer hove or 

As to Consonants the g is thrown out, for the old isgkel is 
seen as ysse-ikUe (icicle), p. 24, and the old Perfect Usgod as 
Usied (busied), p. 4 ; the g is replaced by w, as tow (trahere). 
The name Gawain is altered into Wawain whenever the 
alliteration requires it. The d is turned into ^, as in the 
last letter of the oath Ugog^ p. 13. The sound sc now 
becomes shy for we see schaterande, p. 66 ; we may now use 
scatter and shatter in different senses. What was elsewhere 
of newe is seen as o-7iewe (anew), p. 3. The I is struck out ; 
tealtrian (whence the Scotch tolter) becomes totter; r is 
added, for the yerh fait of 1240 heaomes falter. 

We see the Teutonic nes added to foreign words, as 
forsnes (strength), p. 21. There are new nouns like S2>ere 
len]>e, half-sfoster, sideboard, foreland, irons, char cole (wood turned 
to coal), blod-haund, wod-crafL We read of Nm ^eres day, p. 
63 j the Christmas season is called ]>e halidaye^, p. 33. The 
word clothes is applied to bed-gear, p. 38. The word grome 
is connected with horses, p. 36. Arthur's Table is called a 
bro]>erhede, p. 80. The French ess is tacked on to a Teutonic 
root, as goddes (goddess), p. 78. We know the phrase "a 
cast of thine office;" in p. 77 kest expresses dolus. In p. 
49 we see the word trweluf; in p. 20 certain knots are 
called trulofe^. The word world is coming in to express 
indefinite thought ; whethen (whence) in worlde he were, p. 
28 ; wyth al ]?e VKmder of ]>e worlde, p. 8. Hampole had 
talked of the Five Wittes (senses); in p. 78 a man is 
robbed of his wytte^, which last word seems here to stand 
for intelledus, as in the * Ayenbite.' There is rock as well as 
roche ; Skeat quotes stanrocca from the Old English : the 
word may be Celtic. In p. 49 a lady calls herself "a 
young thing," a phrase not yet lost. In p. 51 a sword is 
called a b'ont (brand). 

Among the Adjectives we find crabbed, also the Superla- 
tives welcomest and cursedest. Substantives are dropped in 
the phrase in hot and cold, p. 59. There are phrases' like 
the hy^e table, a bry^t grene, p. 7 ; now ar we even, p. 52. 
There is the truly Lancashire idiom, hunters of the best, p. 37. 

58 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The phrase owe &are word had been used in 1240 ; in p. 34 
we find / Imm but hare three days; it is easy to see how 
our barely came later to English vix. 

As to Pronouns, Shakespere was fond of using in^ as an 
expletive, as Petruchio's knock me here soundly (the docrr) ; 
in p. 64 we find he graylpe^ (arrays) me Sir Gawayn, where 
ms is not wanted. The it is becoming prominent, as hit is 
tvx) myle henne^ p. 34 ; ^pat is ho (she), p. 78. In the pre- 
ceding page a French idiom is imitated in myn honoured 
ladye^ ; here the pronoun would not have been used earlier. 
The Plural, we alone, is in p. 39. In p. 23 comes mo (more) 
ny^te^ than innoghe (enough). We know the common 
phrase, "no more nor (than) he did;" in p. 49 we have 
more or (than) a hundreth. 

Among the Verbs the old swap gets the new sense of 
"make an exchange," p. 35; in the same way, the verb 
chop, later, bore the two senses of ferire and mutare. In 
p. 49 comes the expression, / am bihalden (bound), which 
was later to be followed by a Dative. The verb mark seems 
to gain a new sense somewhat beyond the sense of videre 
used by Layamon ; a man merkkez wet a boar before hitting 
him with his weapon, p. 51. The verb swenge becomes 
intransitive in p. 52 ; ^pay swengen (go) to hoTne, There was 
always a noun hrod, and now we find the transitive verb 
rele (volvo) ; the French rouler had most likely some influ- 
ence here. The verb blush in this poem keeps its old 
meaning rubere, but takes a new sense miueri, p. 26 ; from 
the last comes the noun blusch (look), p. 1 7 ; and we still 
say " at the first blush." The common Passive Participle 
pight is changed into pyched, p. 25. The old tim^n had 
meant nothing but accidere; in p. 71 we first find our 
phrase " to tim£ a thing." There is the curious Imperative, 
haf at ]>e Ipenne, p. 73, a challenge afterwards repeated in 
the ^Townley Mysteries.^ Here the Imperative seems to 
stand for the Future, as in the later " fast bind, fast find." 
There is our common phrase bryng to ])e poynt, bend hi^ brows, 
to layke (play) enterludes, put prys on, I leve wel (believe). 
The old stiked (haesit) now becomes stek, our stv^k, p. 5 ; an 
unusual change. The Infinitive follows other verbs, as fail 


to do Uf bom to do it. The Active Participle is dropped ; a 
man in p. 15 appears, his hed in his hande. The Passive 
Participle seems to imitate the Latin usage ; something is 
done in p. 31, wyth leve la^t (after leave had been got). 
There is the new phrase she dos Mr forth (gets herself out), 
p. 42; settes hym out (proficiscitur), p. 51. The old might 
(potuit) is often here replaced by coude. There is a new 
sense of following ; a man's body is described, and we are 
told that he has all his features fol^ande, p. 5 ; we here 
plainly see how the Latin secundum arose. A knight's 
clothes, in p. 28, sit on him sendy; this sit had meant decere 
in the 'Ancren Riwle;' Jit was to come later. Gawain's 
host, in p. 30, entertains him, and afterwards Icnowes him 
— ^that is, greets him familiarly ; hence our " I won't know 
him ; " Coverdale brought this Northern sense of know into 
our Bible. The old Ugrowen is now supplanted by over- 
grown, p. 70. The verb ring is used of echoes as well as 
of bells ; a torrent rushed and rongSy p. 70. 

Among the Adverbs stands thtbs much; at J?ys 071^3, p. 35 
(for this once). There is nue cmrnmn (new come), he'^y 
honowred. The on was coming into use as an adverb; 
'^resch on, p. 73 — ^that is, "go on thrashing;" this on was 
supplanting the older forth. 

We see a new use of Prepositions in the following 
phrases ; you have more sly^t hi ]>e half p. 49 ; at his helez 
(heels), p. 61 ; she was at him, p. 47 ; a boar bides at ]>e bay 
(at bay), p. 50 ; do hit out of honde (at once), p. 73. 

There is the hunting cry hay I Ivay I in p. 46, and the 
oath Mary I 

The Scandinavian words are a flat (planum), blunder, rah 
(vapor), to whar (whir), tayse (tease), blear, sleet, sway, froth, bole; 
dok (cauda), which has given us a verb, is in p. 7. We hear 
that mist muged on the moor, p. 6 6 ; hence our muggy weather. 

The words akin to the Dutch and German are waist, 
tap, blubber, rabble, baldrich, halow (to holloa), whijp off, to 
dravel (drivel). 

There is glaver from the Welsh, p. 46 ; this may be akin 
to blather and to the Scotch clavers; there is also the Celtic 
loupe (fenestra), whence comes our loop-hole. 

6o THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Among the French words are jeopardy, warble, prayere 
(prairie, p. 25), paper, crevice, to endyne, daliaunce, disport, 
display, repayre (ire), corser, unmanerli, unbar, frenge (fringe), 
spinny, favMes, couardise, hautesse (superbia), sever, excellent, 
remord, rescue ; also the Shakesperian brache (canis). We 
see a cors (of dishes), p. 4 ; stuffe is used for material, p. 
19 ; a helmet is staffed within, p. 20. Comatmd, in p. 77, 
is written where we should use commend ; one single vowel 
can make a great difference in the meaning of our words. 
There is vesture, which took long to come South. A man 
dresses an article upon his person, p. 65 ; here the verb is 
about to slide into our present most usual employment of 
it. The old twofold of these now becomes double of these, p. 
16. In p. 37 we hear of male dere (stags). We see kenel, 
preserving the Norman sound ken of canis ; the more usual 
chien. In p. 11 a French word is written melly (combat), 
and this form ought to be revived in our own days. The 
substantive dainty is made an adjective in p. 40, meaning 
eximius. The adjective chef is coming into fashion, as ]>e 
chef gate. An old lady is called an auncian (ancient), p. 
30. The colour blue is mentioned in p. 62 ; it is from the 
Old French bloie (cseruleus), and this sound a hundred years 
later transformed our Teutonic bla or bh (lividus). The verb 
plede, taken from the law courts, is transferred to common 
life in p. 42, and means simply rogare. In p. 34 require 
is used for rogare, as it still is in Scotland. The words 
patron and soverayn express dominus ; and place stands for 
Tnansio, p. 13, as we still use it; maneres, in p. 30, is used 
for courteous behaviour. The word tryfle expresses some- 
thing concrete, not abstract, in p. 31 ; it stands for the 
ornaments of a lady's front. The verb peine (cruciare) 
stands for laborare in p. 33 ; hence our later take pains. 
What we call "the manners of society," appear as ]>e coste^ 
of compaynye, p. 47 ; hence the later company manners, A 
man may debate with himself, p. 69 ; but the word usually 
expressed pugnare. Men part (separate from each other), 
p. 79. 

The * Alliterative Poems in the West Midland Dialect,' 
edited by Dr. Morris for the Early English Text Society, 


are found in the same manuscript as the Sir Gawayne. 
They too belong to Lancashire, and seem to date from 
1360; there are many Scandinavian fonns, and the h) (ilia), 
which still lingers in the above-named county; we see the 
Northern thay^ and the Southern Ih&r and 'hem ; there is ucK 
The verb sclrni or sclmn stands for our shdl^ and is still 
alive in the Lancashire schmnoL 

Among the Vowels the ee encroaches on the old m and 
eo; we see Caldee (Chaldsea), and/e63 (fleece). The old stiom 
becomes stern. The o is found instead of a, as '^ose (isti) ; 
yro (dolor) replaces yrd, p. 92. The u and y may be seen 
coupled together in some words. 

The Consonant h is seen in the verb haHter, p. 41, where 
we should use palter or falter. The g is softened into 3, 
in ovry^ed, one-eyed, p. 41 ; here too the d is added at 
the end, which is new. So also swogan (sonare) becomes 
sou^e, our sough, p. 96. A French word appears ajspartryk, 
with the consonant made hard at the end ; the vowel a 
has here replaced a French e. For fluctus we have the 
three forms wage, wa^e, and wawe. The r is added to 
a word, for the verb wealtian becomes waiter, our welter. 
The 5 is clipped ; the Adverb grovelings becomes grovelinge, 
and was later to be mistaken for a Participle. .The 
French is is turned into ish or kh at the end of words ; 
we see cherisch, anguych. 

Among the Substantives is stokkez, the well-known instru- 
ment of correction. also/e^^rW/ many sea terms are used 
in describing Jonah's voyage, crossayl (the first instance of 
cross appearing as a compound) among them. We see the 
source of our "further afield," when the Lord in p. 41 bids 
His servants seek for guests ferre out in ]>e felde. There 
is the Alliterative, ]>e wynde & ]?e weder (procella), p. 51, 
which was to become a favourite phrase. Jonah is said to 
plunge into the whale's belly hele over hed, p. 100, our head 
over heels; a journey is called a ]>re dayes dede, p. 102. We 
see the old fele-hyn side by side with the new birds of rmay 
kyndes, p. 82 ; here the old cyn (genus) gets confounded 
with cynde (natura). There are new words like cupborde, 
dotage, rift (fragmentum). We see how our "worse for 

62 THE NEW ENGLISH, [cha p 

wear" arose, when in p. 71 the pearl is said to wax so 
old in weryng. In p. 49 we hear of the walle-heved (well- 
head). The word wench is employed in an honourable 
sense in p. 75, very differently from the London usage of 
the year 1390. In p. 47 we find pene^y cattle pens. The 
Yorkshire corhun of 1290 becomes corbyy p. 51, a word well 
known in Scotland. In p. 78 stokkes and stones become 
idols. It is remarked, as something curious, that Belshazzar 
called his concubines ladieSy p. 78. The word foule^ ex- 
presses domestic poultry in p. 39. The warla^e (warlock) 
of the North now first expresses m<agus, p. 84. Our knavey 
hitherto standing for jpuer or servm, gets the new meaning 
of nehulo in p. 63 ; the Sodom rioters are there called wekked 
knave^. In p. 82 a man is said to be dronkken as the devd. 

Turning to the Adjectives, in p. 94 ti/pped is used for our 
present extreme. We see skilfvly lily-white; ugly is used with 
an abstract noun, as an logly tmhapy p. 64. In this piece 
gray]>ely stands for dto or vere; the word still lives in 
Lancashire as gradely. The new adjective no'^ty (naughty) 
appears in p. 78. In p. 59 srmlpely stands for easily, just 
as Milton used it. We hear of sluchched clothes in p. 102; 
this comes from slutch or slichy a word for mud ; we often 
talk now of slosh and slouching. 

In p. 56 stands J?is one'^ (this once), with no Preposition 
before it. Lot boasts of the beauty of his daughters in p. 
63, none fairer, J>a3 / hit say (though I say it) ; this is 
soon repeated in Piers Ploughman. We see the new 
Adverb hiloghe (below) in p. 41, a very late compound of 
he with an Adjective. The Yorkshire no^ot appears in p. 
71. In p. 58 a city is said to be distant, no myle^ mo ]>en 
tweyne, not more than two miles ; Orrmin had already 
used m/yre for longer. In p. 93 comes "to have ]>e wers" 
(worse). When the excitement at Sodom is described, it 
is said that the borough was al up; a new sense con- 
ferred upon the up. Abraham, moreover, was up in the 
morning, p. 67. 

Among the Verbs we see Orrmin's intransitive use 
oikeep, p. 45 ; he kepes no better; in the next page comes 
the phrase to keep to a tMng. In p. 39 a man is said 


to be forhodm ]>at hor^e (forbidden the town); the use 
of the Passive voice was extending. When the Flood 
came, men feng to ]>e fly^t (took to flight), p. 49. Oxen 
pulle in a plow, p. 40 ; the word is all but new. We find 
the new verbs, shout, lult (Scotch lilt), wappe (our whop), 
clat^ (clash), a variation of clack. We saw war (cave) in 
1170; this now becomes wa/r ]>e in p. 72. A man bet 
down a city, p. 76 ; he might also type down the same, p. 
106. The source of our musical strike up is found in p. 
79 ; trumpen strake steven (voice). In p. 95 seamen we^en 
ankres ; a new sense of the old wegan (vehere). There is 
the form hjave his will; ba]>e ]>em in Mod, p. 75, which recalls 
a High German phrase. A tree is sette to do something, in 
p. 186. Some verbs change their meaning; thus hamper 
in p. 76 stands for to pack up. Before this time hove had 
been used of a man ; it is now used of Noah's dove ; we 
make a distinction between a ship's hoving and a bird's 
hovering. There is a Dutch word daesen, to lose one's wits; 
this becomes transitive in p. 83, where we hear of a dasande 
drede, our daze, Pople stands for mere in p. 101 ; hence 
may come ovocpop, A construction, long disused, reappears 
when a noun is prefixed to a Past Participle ; the Ark is 
day daubed, p. 52, but hunger -bitten was in the oldest 
English. Our Poets have for the last few Centuries been 
fond of this revived construction. 

As to Pronouns, the it is used to begin a sentence, 
representing a noun that is to follow, hit was hous inno^e, 
(enough) ]>e heven, p. 62; so Burke wrote, "It is gone, 
that sensibility," etc. A new idiom is seen in p. 46 ; the 
poet, speaking of pairs, says that they are to plese ayther 
other ; here both the Nominative and the Dative follow 
the verb, as in our common each other. In p. 48 Noah's 
family in the Ark is called a rmymf of a^te (eight) ; this is 
something like Orrmin's ]>e tale of ehhte. 

As to the Prepositions, we see in p. 94 at ]>e poynt ; 
also at alle peryles, like the at oil erodes of the * Cursor 
Mundi ;' hence comes " at your peril." In the next 
page a man shoots too schort of his aim, just as fail in 
English was followed by of In p. 99 an adverb is turned 

64 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

into a preposition, adcmn ]>e depe; in the year 1250 of 
would have come before the Article. We see the source 
of our "putting up tvUh hardship" in p. 104, where we 
hear of Gfod^s longe abydyng wyth lur (loss) ; contra was one 
of the meanings of this Preposition. We say, " by virtue 
of ruthj" but in p. 100 this appears as ]7W3 (through) 
vertu of rauthe. There is our common onfote. 

Among the Interjections we see 0, repeated at the 
beginning of a sentence in p. 63, where Lot remonstrates 
with the Sodom rioters. In p. 97 Jonah is asked by his 
shipmates, " WTuU ]>e devel hat^ ]>ou don ? " 

There is the Celtic gotim. 

The words akin to the Dutch and German, now first 
found on our shores, are clem (well known in Lancashire 
strikes), slobber. In Dutch, laager (lower) stands for sinis- 
ter; in this piece we find laddebord, our larboard, p. 95. 
There is swol^ (vorago), our swallows. 

The Scandinavian words are damp, smouldery smut (filth), 
blunter, gills (fauces), hurry, shyg (shy, scrupulous), gall 
(vulnus), trill (volvere), fettle (providere), lomerande (lumber- 
ing), bale (of goods), bracken, Basse (apex), p. 51, reminds 
us of Dunmail's Eaise in the Lake Country. The 
Scandinavian ^pjokka (ferire), diflFering from the Old English 
^pacdan (palpare), gives birth to \facces, our thwacks, p. 101. 
The Danish odd bears two meanings in this piece ; in p. 
50 we hear that Noah was six hundred years old "& 
none odde ^eres;" in p. 65 Lot is told that he shall be saved 
oddely ]>yn one — that is, "exceptionally and thyself alone." 
When we now use odd as an adjective, it is usually in a 
sneering sense ; in this poem odd denotes something nobly 
above the common. There is the Swedish rakel (hasty), to 
be written rake-hell in more modern times. We see the 
Danish trine (ire), which Scott used as a slang term, " trine 
to the nubbing-cheat." The verb loltrande is used in p. 
105 to describe Jonah lolling in his bower; this, like our 
loiter, seems to come from the Scandinavian lotra (go lazily). 
There are also here two words still in Scotch use, loof and 

Among the French words in the poem are surely, frok, 


capstan^ goblet, the bases, daub, donjotm, to founder, to fester, 
scoter; decree, dbyme, primate, orange, express, sonet (an instru- 
ment), pomgarnade, displese, to 'portray, to bib, to glene, soUe 
(humus), festival, status, hourle (hurly burly), destiny, plyant, 
berfray (belfry), lege (subject), sewer (dapifer), alarom, chariote, 
to deime, a divine, a devinor, governor, declare. In p. 67 we 
first read of a soun & an hayre (son and heir). In p. 57 
Abraham sets out a feast, and the guest mad god chere ; we 
have seen make merry cheer, in the Lancashire poem of 1340. 
A man is prayed (bidden) to a feast, p. 40 ; another serves 
salt at supper, p. 67. Words are lanced (launched forth), 
p. 102. In p. 62 men are said to be nyse for objecting to 
salt in their food ; this marks the addition of fastidious to 
the old meaning of the word, foolish, wanton. Comfort, as 
in Hampole, exchanges the idea of strength for that of 
pleasure in p. 91, where chastity is said to be God's com- 
fort. The honest is used for honourable in p. 42 ; honestly 
arayed; hence the Northern greeting, "honest man !" The 
substantive bay is used in its architectural sense in p. 79. 
English endings and prefixes are added to French roots, as 
masterful, unhonest, merciless, logging, English and French 
words stand side by side in the phrase (p. 101), \e gote^ of 
]>y guteres (miswritten guferes). In p. 97 men are herded out 
of the ship ; this verb comes from the French harier, not 
from the English hergian, though there is a confusion be- 
tween the two. In p. 103 we- see the home -bom verb 
samne, and in p. 78 the kindred French assemble, Belshaz- 
zar, in p. 89, is to be deprived; here no noun follows. 
Something voyds (disappears) in p. 84 ; hence the common 
avoid/ In p. 75 comes chav/ndeler (our chomdelier), and 
three lines further on stands the old condelestik. In p. 73 
those besieged in Jerusalem are so shut up that they can 
forray no goods; the chief object of plundering inroads 
was fodder or forage. We now confine coast to the sea- 
side ', but in p. 66, as later in our Bible, it might be applied 
to any borders. The word port had hitherto been used in 
England for urbs ; it now goes back to its rightful sense of 
harbour, p. 94. The French defend becomes "fend off'* in 
p. 73, and this is still in use. A bower has gracious leaves, 

VOL. I. F 


66 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

p. 105, thus expressing the Latin grains. In p. 52 Noah 
receives the returning dove rmytly (neatly, cleverly). In 
p. 78 a man is avised (minded) to do something; we now 
keep this French word to translate monere, Belshazzar 
asks the meaning of ]>e tyxk (text) of the writing on the 
wall, p. 86. In p. 73 stands the Ime, 

** He used abominaciones of idolatrye. " 

This specimen shows the inroad of French that wa« going 
on all through this century. The phrase a traverce appears 
in p. 81, leading to our later across. 

To Lancashire belong two Eomances, printed by Mr. 
Eobson (Camden Society) — the Anturs of Arther and Sir 
Amadace j they seem to have been composed about 1360. 
We may remark a change in vowels ; a trothe is plighted 
in p. 17, not the old trowth; thus the word became two- 
pronged, and our troth and truth express diflFerent shades of 
meaning. The word deliciom is here cut down to licuyus, 
and this is also written Imiits (luscious), p. 17. The con- 
fusion between u and v continues ; povretie is written pourU, 
p. 40, as in the *Ayenbite;' the Scotch ^or^i^A. 

The Northern wedsdts (mortgage) appears in p. 28. 
The origin of our hairbreadth crops up in p. 21 j him lakket 
no more to be slayne, butte the brede of hore. Our furst inne 
the fid stands in p. 43 ; it refers to a tournament. We 
see the phrase mylke quyte. 

Among the Verbs are deave, p. 11, which has now 
become transitive. In p. 38 we hear of a gentUman bomne^ 
and in p. 16 of a man fre bom ; it is curious that the 
Adjective should stand before the Participle. In the latter 
page comes the verb Tmdch, bearing the sense of to equal. 
We find the legal to have and to hold, p. 24 ; pvite away 
servants ; be of gvd chere. The verb vrrek (wreck) appears 
in p. 44. There is a curious confusion between the Active 
Participle and the Verbal Noun in p. 15 ; on hereand horn 
alle, in the hearing of them all. We have already seen on£ 
of the best; we now, p. 26, find bischoppus of the beste. 

There is a word akin to the Dutch — delle (vallis). 

The Scandinavian gives us nascty, our nasty, p. 7. 


Among the French words are spiritiuiltS, session', revenge, 
dippus (eclipse), sometoii/r (sumpter), wage, the Northern 
form of our Noun wages. The word spirit is cut down to 
sprete, p. 5, Shakespere's sprUe ; the word gost is found in . 
the same page. Instead of the thousand thousand of the 
Old English the word miliun appears in p. 9. The form 
soget has been seen already; we now find suhiecte, p. 12, an 
imitation of the Latin form. The French verb broder 
appears as Irauder, p. 16; it was long afterwards confused 
with the English braid, thanks to the twofold sound of oi ; 
the upshot is the broidered hair of the English Bible. In 
p. 1 7 stondart stands for a taper of very large size ; hence 
come our standard trees. In p. 30 a man thinks he has 
ke'^te his dede (caught his death). In p. 20 a horse bears 
the name of Gresdle, our Grizzel ; this is something like 
Bayard, the name of Edward the First's steed at the storm 
of Berwick. In p. 21 stuffe stands for equipment ; this led 
to its sense of furnitwre. In p. 25 comes the verb doue 
(endow) ; and in p. 55 is the Alliterative / dar savdy say. 
The French names of the different pieces of armour may 
be read in p. 14. 

We have already examined two Versions of the * Cursor 
Mundi;' we now come to a later version (the Fairfax), 
drawn up in Lancashire about 1360 (Early English Text 
Society). I give a few reasons, which incline me to set 
the date of this version not earlier than the year specified. 
There is the phrase touduint synne (de peccato), p. 1494, 
also found in * William of Palerne ;' there is a new phrase 
of Barbour's : a priest ought to be knawande (a knowing 
man), p. 1514; undo is used for perdere, as in the Lanca- 
shire Alliterative Poems of this date. There are Chaucer's 
new expressions egment (incitatio) and the foul fiend. The 
old word aght (opes) is altered into gode, p. 1542; it was 
soon to disappear altogether. The old gum (homo) is turned 
into grome, p. 1010. Politeness is making progress; the 
thou of the older Version is now altered into ye, when a lady 
is addressed, p. 256. 

There are many tokens of Lancashire speech, such as 
ho (ilia), the verb breed with no Accusative following, and 

68 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

ffraideli (readily), not the graithli of the Yorkshire versions ; 
the word is peculiar to the North and North-West. There 
is mone for oportet, p. 1458. The change of the su into shi 
is most constant, as squete^ squUk, sqiui, etc. The gh is in 
favour, as halghes, draghes (drags) ; the at is used for to, as 
at make. We see both iche and ilka for guisque ; both smhe 
and sguUh In p. 1428 comes the line, ho ne ^ildis ham 
"jpaire m>ede (she yields them not their meed); a curious 
medley of Northern and Southern pronouns ; that the 
Southern element is plain to this day in Lancashire is a 
curious fact ; there is the very Southern form sormfvl, not 
sorfvl ; often replaces a, as fonding. The i supplants «, 
as iriJc, The t is added to s, as quilist (whilst). The Old 
English siker is often turned into the Latin sicure. We 
know how often in old-fashioned books / may be mistaken 
for one form of s; of this there is an early instance in 
p. 1370 ; his moder fines (ceases) to soru is here turned into 
his m/oder synnis to sorou; we see how the old fneosan became 
sneeze. There is the new word drem^ reder, p. 242, where 
all the other Versions have dremer. There is our common 
phrase the gode ship, p. 1422. The old all and soms now 
becomes an (one) avid al, p. 98. In p. 910 stands bakker 
ma/re (more into the background), a most curious develop- 
ment of the old a hak. 

The Lancashire version, though drawn up many years 
after the oldest Yorkshire version, is sometimes more faith- 
ful to what the original must have been, as in p. 1491, 
where true Shrift is said to be, tureiande, Umisome, jpropre, 
stedefast; in the earliest version the two first words are 
corrupted into torei and turnsum. 

We can here mark the rapid disappearance of old words 
between 1290 and 1360. 



to spell 

to preiche. 



biweft awai 

putte away. 

to frith 

to spare. 

werp it awai 

do it awai. 








Ram en 

to gedder. 






on quat wise. 

on ]>i8kin wis 

on suche wise. 



noynt (anoint). 



if ))ou es 

if ))ou he. 

he bettis 

he amendis. 

he worthes 

he becomes. 

grete (fletus) 


he be him an 

he be his ane (by himself). 







tinsel (loss) 




In p. 1521 suernes (ignavia) is so utterly mistaken as 
to be written squenng (swearing). Words like brixd^ to7', 
gersum, and others had become so obsolete that there is no 
attempt to give any synonym. In p. 1414 lohan had been 
made to rime with nrmdan; the Lancashire transcriber 
changes the proper name into John. 

As to Eomance words, two forms of one verb, ca/rk 
and charge are both found.; we hear of a heart being out of 
state, p. 1384, where we should now talk of condition. We 
read of Lagh Canoun (canon law), in p. 1490. 

I may here insert the Southern Version of the * Cursor 
Mundi,' which seems to have been made about this time, 
since it has the new touchynge ]>e apostlis in the sense of de, 
p. 21. It may have been compiled near Warwickshire, for 
we see horesones, p. 681 ; we have the Midland nor for ne 
in p. 205. There is now a day (the old idceges), p. 187 ; 
n>ow a dayes is found in the Salopian * Piers Ploughman.' 
The decay of old Teutonic words in the South, as dis- 
tinguished from the North, is here most obvious; this 
process may be remarked from 1290 down to the last 
Scotch ballad published in our time. 

I here give a few words, common to most of the Northern 
Versions of this piece, that have been struck out of this 




Southern version, something quite diflferent being substi- 
tuted — 

doght (valuit), late, (vultus), diii (claudere), lird (decet), 
mm wale (delecti), v)ra (angulus), wonges (gense), gkt (cus- 
todire), sld]^ (vestigium), bamfeme (proles), to spa (praedi- 
cere), p. 1088 ; loveword (laus), gisel (hostage), graid (paratus), 
femd (comitatus), thainhede (servitium), smore (suffocare), 
hirpild (rugosus), yark (facere), umgang (circuit), dioslinges 

Northern Version, 

Southern Version, 


domes man. 

most we suffer 

mut we suffer. 



fra )>ef en 

fro )>at tyme. 

alkin blis 

al maner blis. 

delve it 

bury hit. 

]>e oncall of his nam 

]>e calling on his name. 

to spire 

to ask. 


farli fair 

wondir faire. 



wat ))0U 






feires til us 

falle> us. 

half feir)) of eln 

foure ellen & an halfe. 


hy man. 

fair waites 









aboute bileide. 



ay has it 

ever ha> it. 



hals him 

toke him aboute 'pe necke 

]>is ilke man 

>is same mon. 

mai fall 

hit may be. 

bihoved >aira 

shulde ]>ei. 

to grape 

to grope, 
to speke. 

to carp 

In this Southern Version we see the long-lived Salopian 
mhe (quisque); the Northern ]>air (illorum), er, leli, and 
mekil are altered into her, ben, ti-uly, and mychel. We see 
the Participial form weldonde (wielding), p. 251. The 


Southern irbroitgM, p. 121, is peculiar to this Version. The 
Northern fell (mons) was not understood, and was turned 
into feldy p. 171. The Northern levenmg (fulmen) is made 
leUi/ng, our lightenmg ; the old form had been leit. The 
Northern stand aw is changed into stonde in awe. The word 
stok takes a new meaning in p. 533, meaning dormis (family). 
This Version sometimes evidently gives the best reading of 
the original manuscript, as in line 4317. 

There is no want of English poems between 1300 and 
1360, but there is evidently a want of some Standard, such 
as there had been down to 1 1 20. A few great men were now 
at last ready to come forward, and to stamp their impress 
upon the New English tongue. The sketch, already given 
by Robert of Brunne, was now to be filled up and to be 
made permanent, though a few of his Northern peculiarities 
were to be swept away. 




Before entering upon the new style of English spoken in 
London in 1362, and soon to become a model for all the 
shires South of Trent, we must give a glance backward. 
It may often be remarked that one form of a great speech 
drives another form before it. Thus, in our own day, the 
High German is always encroaching on its Northern neigh- 
bour the Low German ; and the Low German, in its turn, 
is always encroaching upon its Northern neighbour the 
Scandinavian. Something of the like kind might have 
been seen in England six himdred years ago ; but with us 
the Dano- Anglian speech of the Midland was working down 
Southwards towards London and Oxford all through the 
Thirteenth Century. Its influence may be seen so early as 
the * Essex Homilies * of 1 1 80 ; many years later we find a 
still clearer token of the change. In some hundred Plural 
substantives that had been used by Layamon soon after 
1200, the Southern ending in en was replaced by the Mid- 
land ending in es, when Layamon's work came to be written 
out afresh after 1250. East Midland works became popular 
in the South, as may be seen by the transcript of the 
* Havelok * and the * Harrowing of Hell.' In the * Horn,' a 
Southern work, we find the Present Plural en of the Mid- 
land verb replacing the older Plural in eth. In the * Alex- 
ander ' (perhaps a Warwickshire work) the Midland /, she, 
they, and beon encroach upon the true Southern ich, heo, hi, 
and heoth. Even in Kent we find marks of change : in the 


sermons of 1290 the contracted forms lord and made are 
seen instead of louerd and maked, Abeady mid (cum) was 
making way for the Northern mtk This was the state of 
things when the *Handlyng Synne' was given to England 
soon after 1 303 ; it was believed, though wrongly, to be 
the translation of a work of the great Bishop Eobert's, and 
it seems to have become the great pattern ; from it many 
a friar and parson all over England must have borrowed 
the weapons wherewith the Seven Deadly Sins (these 
play a great part in English song) might be assailed. We 
have seen another work of Robert Manning's, *Medy- 
tacyuns of the Soper of our Lorde,* a translation from 
Buonaventura, the well-known oracle of Franciscans abroad. 
The popularity of these works of the Lincolnshire bard 
must have spread the influence of the East Midland further 
and further. Manning heralded the changes in English, 
alike by his large proportion of French words and by his 
small proportion of those Teutonic words that were sooner 
or later to drop. 

The following examples will show how the best English 
of our day follows the East Midland, and eschews the 
Southern speech that prevailed in London about the year 
1300. A is what Manning would have written ; B is what 
was spoken at London in Manning's time. 

A, But she and thei are fyled with synnes, and so I have sayd to 
that lady ilk day ; answer, men, is hyt nat so ? 

B. Ac heo and hi beoth ifuled mid sunnen, and so ichabbe iseid to 
thilke levedy uche day ; answereth, men, nis it nought so ? 

The last sentence is compiled mainly from the works of 
Davie, of whom I gave a specimen at page 484 of my 
former work. It is interesting to see what the tongue of 
London was thirty years before her first great poet came 
into the world. 

Eobert of Gloucester could say in 1300 that England 
was the only country that held not to her own speech, her 
" high men " being f oreigners.^ This reproach was taken 

^ Robert might have found the same phsenomenon in parts of 
Hungary. I have quoted his words at page 479 of ' Old and Middle 

74 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

away sixty years later. By that time it was becoming 
clearer and clearer that a New Standard of English had 
arisen, of which Eobert Manning was the patriarch ; much 
as Gadmon had been the great light of the Northern 
Anglian that had fallen before the Danes, and as Alfred 
had been the great light of the Western Saxon that had 
fallen before the Frenchmen. Throughout the Fourteenth 
Century the speech of the shires near Eutland was spread- 
ing in all directions ; it at length took possession of Oxford 
and London, and more or less influenced such men as Wick- 
liffe and Chaucer. Gower, when a youth, had written in 
Latin and French ; when old, he wrote in English little 
differing from that of Manning. This dialect moreover 
made its way into the North : let any one compare the 
* York Mysteries' of 1360 with the version of them made 
forty years later, and he will see the influence of the Mid- 
land tongue. 1 The Western shires bordering on North 
Wales had long employed a medley of Southern and 
Northern forms ; these were now settling down into some- 
thing very like Manning's speech, as may be seen in the 
Salopian specimen given by me. Kent, Gloucestershire, 
and Lancashire were not so ready to welcome the dialect 
compounded in or near Eutland ; their resistance seems to 
have lasted throughout the Fourteenth Century ; and the 
bard who wrote * Piers Ploughman's Vision ' after the year 
1362, holds to the speech of his own Western shire. 
Chaucer has given us a most spirited sketch of the York- 
shire speech as it was in his day.^ The Northern English 
had become the Court language at Edinburgh. The 
Southern dialect, the most unlucky of all our varieties, gave 
way before her Mercian sister: Dane conquered Saxon. 
After 1420 no purely Southern English work, of any length, 
was produced for 440 years. Shakespere, in his Lear, 

^ Gamett's * Essays,' p. 192 : swylke^ alane, and sail are changed into 
suche, alloTie, and shalle ; and other words in the same way. 

^ The Southerner, on entering Leeds, still reads the old Northern 
names of Kirkgate and Briggate on two great thoroughfares. May 
the Leeds magistrates have more wit than those of Edinburgh, whom 
Scott upbraids for affectation in substituting the modem Square for 
the ancient Close / 


tries his hand upon the Somersetshire tongue \ and it also 

figures in one of the best of the Eeformation ballads to be 

found in Bishop Percy's collection. But Mr. Barnes in our 

own day was the first to teach England how much pith and 

sweetness still lingered in the long -neglected homely 

tongue of Dorset ; it seems more akin to Middle English 

than to New English.^ 

A few improvements, not as yet brought from the North, 

were still wanting; but about 1360 our land had a 

Standard tongue of her own, welcome alike in the Palace 

and in the cottage. King Edward the Third, not long 

after Cressy, lent his countenance to the mother-tongue of 

his trusty billmenand bowmen. He in 1349 had his 

shield and surcoat embroidered with his own motto, on 

this wise : — 

"Hay, hay, the wythe swan. 
By Godes soule, I am thy man." 

His doublet bore another English device : "it is as it is." ^ 
Trevisa says that before the great Plague of 1349 high and 
low alike were bent on learning French ; it was a common 
custom: "but sith it is somedele chaunged." In 1362, a 
great date indeed, English was made the language of the 
Law-courts ; and this English was neither that of Hampole 
to the North of the Humber, nor that of Herebert to the 
South of the Thames. Our old freedom and our old speech 
had been alike laid in the dust by the great blow of 1066: 
the former had arisen once more in 1215 and had been 
thriving amain ever since; the latter was now at last 
enjoying her own again. 

We may look upon Chaucer's English as the speech 
spoken at Court in the latter days of King Edward IH. ; 
high and low alike now prided themselves upon being 
Englishmen, and held in scorn all men of outlandish birth. 
The earlier and brighter days of King Harold seemed to 
have come back again; Hastings had been avenged at 

^ We there see the true old Wessex sound of ea. 

^ Warton gives the * "Wardrobe Account, * in Latin, with Edward's 
directions for his devices. — * History of English Poetry,' ii. 32. 
(Edition of 1840.) 

76 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Cressy, and our islanders found none to match them in 
fight, whether the field might lie in France, in Spain, or in 
Italy. King Edward was happy in his knights, and happy 
also in the men whom he could employ in civil business, 
men like Wickliffe and Chaucer. 

Not only the Court but a University was now lending 
its sanction to the speech of the common folk. In 1384 
William of Nassington laid a translation into English rimes 
before the learned men of Cambridge. The Chancellor 
and the whole of the University spent four days over the 
work ; on the fifth day they pronounced it to be free from 
heresy and to be grounded on the best authority. Had 
any errors been found in it, the book would have been 
burnt at once.^ For the last thirty years there had been 
a great stirring up of the English mind ; many works on 
religion had been put forth both in the North and the 
West, as may be seen in the Preface to Wickliffe's Bible, 
edited not many years since. 

The middle of the Fourteenth Century was the time 
when English, as it were, made a fresh start, and was 
prized by high and low alike. I take what follows from 
an old Lollard work, put forth about 1460, and printed 
eighty years later, when the term Lollard was being 
swallowed up by the term Lutheran: "Sir William 
Thorisbyjarchebishop of Yorke ^ did do draw a treatyse in 
englishe by a worshipfuU clercke whose name was Gatryke, 
in the whiche were conteyned the articles of beleve, the 
seven dedly syiines, the seven workes of mercy, the X com- 
maundmentes. And sent them in small pagines to the 
commyn people to learne it and to knowe it, of which yet 
many a copye' be in england. . . . Also it is knowen to 
many men in ye tyme of King Eicherd ye II. yat into a 
parlement was put a bible (bUI) by the assent of II arch- 
bisshops and of the clergy to adnuUe the bible that tyme 
translated into Englishe with other Englishe bookes of the 
exposicion off the gospells ; whiche when it was harde and 
seyn of lordes and of the comones, the duke of Lancaster 

^ * Thornton Romances ' (Camden Society), p. xx. 
2 This Prelate, in 1361, began the choir of York Minster. 


Jhon answered thereto ryght sharpely, sayenge this sen- 
tence : We will not be refuse of all other nacions ; for 
sythen they have Goddes law whiche is the lawe of oure 
belefe in there owne langage, we will have oures in Englishe 
whosoever say naye. And this he affermyd with a great 
othe. Also Thomas Arundell Archebishoppe of Canter- 
bury sayde in a sermon at Westmester at the buryenge of 
Quene Anne, that it was more joye of here than of any 
woman that ever he knewe. For she an alien borne hadde 
in englishe all the IIII gospels with the doctours upon them. 
And he said that she had sent them to him to examen and 
he saide that they were good and trewe." ^ Here we see 
that English had kept its ground in the Palace ; an intru- 
sion which would have seemed strange, I suspect, to 
Edward the Second, the grandfather of stout Duke John. 
Not long after the Duke's death, an inscription in English 
was graven upon the brass set up in Higham Ferrars 
church to the memory of Archbishop Chicheley's brother. 

In 1362, or soon afterwards, two renowned English 
poets must have been at work — Chaucer in London ; the 
author of * Piers Ploughman' not far from the Severn. 
They both went on writing for nearly forty years. Of the 
two, the rustic bard has the more sublime passages ; the 
Court poet, who took long to arrive at his full powers, ex- 
cels in painting the manners of mankind. He had no real 
successor for two hundred years ; he was the great model ; 
and many poets must have won renown by copying his 
style, or even fathering their works upon him. 

The once despised English now came to be used, not 
only in legal documents and religious tracts, but even in 
Church prayers, Royal proclamations, and Parliamentary 
business ; Henry V., a truly national King, gave a great 
impulse to the use of his native tongue, and in his own 
writings replaced certain Southern forms by the Northern 
words that we still use. It is true that English poetry all 
but died out in the fifty years after Lydgate's time, remind- 

^ Arber's Keprint of *Kede me and be nott wrothe,* page 176. In 
page 157 will be found a Fifteenth Century pun ; the endowing of the 
clergy should be called " all amiss," rather than " almes." 

78 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

ing us of the ninety years that followed the Norman Con- 
quest \ but at the same moment our prose made a sudden 
start, and became a most forcible weapon in the hands of 
Pecock, Fortescue, and Mallory. Provincial forms, at least 
to the South of Trent, were now retiring more and more 
from the public gaze ; at last Gaxton and his printing press 
were about to give a complete victory to the Standard 
English, spoken at London in 1474 ; this press was also to 
arrest the decay of our old Teutonic words, a decay which, 
since 1290, had been most slow and gradual. 

The Old English Drama may well stand at the head 
of the English works dealt with in this Chapter. The 
Mysteries, of which mention had already been made in the 
* Handlyng Synne,' now come before us. The earliest of the 
York Plays may date from about this time, though the 
manuscript containing them is due to a later period.^ So 
popular were these Mysteries, that they were performed 
every year at York down' to 1579 ; they seem to have been 
dropped, just when theatres began to flourish at London. 
Some of these works date from about 1360 ; others seem 
to be about forty years later \ these last I shall analyse 
further on.^ The Northern writer uses mtm for the 
Southern togedery p. 107. The he is clipped, when ^^ get a 
bairn" replaces beget, p. 104. The k replaces p ; the old 
clappe (strepitus), appears as women's clakke, p. 344. The 
Northern addition of th is seen in hountithy p. 122 ; hence 
the Scotch poortitk There are the new Substantives, home 
sjpone, skelp (ictus) ; there is the rare fordele (commodum), 
used afterwards by Gresham and Hey wood. In p. 109 
woman kynde expresses mvHeres, just as the word is used by 
Scott's Antiquary. A babe is called a mytyng, p. 141, a 
new application of the term mite, A woman is addressed 
as my love, p. 424, a new phrase. We hear of cwsedness, 

^ These havelbeen well edited by Miss Toulmin Smitli (Clarendon 
Press), and are printed from the Ashbnrnham Manuscript. They 
appeared in July 1885, just in time to be inserted here. 

2 In distinguishing the dates of the Mysteries I have been guided 
chiefly by the proportion of French words used ; the word dovMes occurs 
in the later, but not in the earlier, Mysteries. The system of rimes 
is also very difTerent. 


p. 501 ; the Americans, who retain so many Yorkshire 
phrases, still talk of mssedness. In p. 513 stands /or-Jjo^A^ 
(propositum) ; we have changed the sense of this. As to 
the Adjectives, the old p'cetig had meant astutus, it now gets 
our later sense of the word ; a boy is likely to turn out a 
jpraty (fine) swayne, p. 170. The word dowty (bonus) begins 
to slide into fortis ; knights are dowty in dedis, p. 404. We 
read of high cmd lowe (all men) ; no man is the wiser (knows 
a secret), p. 419. As to Pronouns, a child was (mres two, 
p. 109 (belonging to us two); men are none of his, p. 503 
(not his friends) ; we hear of ]?e selve and ]>e same (the later 
self-same), p. 512. The any is inserted needlessly; "why 
that tree any more than others ? " p. 23 ; it is the same with 
ever ; " what ever can this be 1" p. 1 88 ; this last perhaps led 
to the new form for whatsoever. The one refers to a previous 
noun; "if you have no sword, buy one" p. 238. The old 
althir mast is used, p. 110, where Gower was soon to use 
most of all. Among the Verbs are look him in the face, lie 
in store, Joseph makes a trijppe into Egypt, p. 142; the 
verb trip had been lately used for moving lightly. The 
verb be takes the new sense of vadere in p. 339 ; / 
bene (to) garre make itydi great change. The verb mt was 
always undergoing corruption; in p. 501 something is 
weten (notum) ; a form that would have startled an earlier 
generation. The old to (dis) was dropping in the North, 
though it was to keep its ground in the South for nearly 
200 years longer; the verb to-ryff (rive asunder), p. 107, 
stands quite by itself. On the other hand, the North was 
to prefix for to Verbs, long after these forms had been 
dropped in the South. We find the new phrase erlye and 
late, p. 163. In p. 512 stands "your help to them was 
not at hams " (ready, familiar) ; hence, a man is now said 
to be not at home in certain pursuits. There is the Inter- 
jection colle/ p. 119; which is suggested as an old form 
of golly / There are the Scandinavian words dasta/rd and 
balk (trabs). Among the French words are dewly, rivet, 
novelty^ novellis (news), seeges (chairs), oblissh (oblige). A 
certain act is called a bad bargayne, p. 103; here there is 
no notion of trade. In carpentering mesures are taken, p. 

8o THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

42 ; this noun was to have a greatly extended sense. The 
word Btaie stands for dignity, as in Barbour, p. 24. The 
verb sdze gets the new sense of caperey p. 416. There is 
the French cry, as armes (to arms !) p. 152. The Latin is 
used for stage directions in p. 190; hence our eoceunt, etc 
The ruffians who crucify our Lord swear by Mahounde, p. 
346. A more elaborate system of riming stanzas begins to 
come in ; see pp. 143, 237, 340, 347 ; but this was to be 
much further developed in the later * York Mysteries ' of 
1 400. I give a specimen of the earlier rimes — 

'* In lele wedlak )>ou lede >e, 
LefFe hir no3t, I forbid fe, 

Na syn of hir jjou neven. 
But till hir fast ]>ou spede )>e, 
And of hir noght )>ou drede jje, 

It is Goddis sande of heven " (p. 110). 

In the statutes of a Lynne Gild of 1368 we see the 
official called the hdleman^ p. 55 ; also, if U nede be; here 
we usually strike out the U, There is also falsed with the 
new meaning of mendadum ; hitherto it had meant a state 
of mind. There are the Norfolk peculiarities geve and xal. 

In 1371 were drawn up certain English rules for the 
masons at work upon York Minster.^ We here see Saynte 
Elmnes, where day is dropped. The Celtic clock (campana) 
appears for the first time in English ; it was to supplant 
the French oriloge ; noon is smitten by the docke ; we now 
replace smUe by strike. We read of dyner tyme, of a loge^ a 
building for masons, a famous word in our day ; also of the 
dose of the cathedral. 

The poem on Sir Degrevant ('Thornton Romances,' 
Camden Society) seems to belong to 1370, or so; it is 
Northern, but has the Lancashire ho (ilia) ; and there is the 
whom (hu-ome) for domus^ which still prevails in that 
county; also the new Celtic word gown. The rime has 
sometimes been altered by the transcriber, as mom into 
moroWy p. 215 ; fas into foas, p. 250. 

The a is clipped, for we find fray (pugna) instead of 
affray, p. 248 ; there are the two forms troth and trou^th (pig- 

1 Britton's * Cathedrals,' York, p. 80. 


nus) ; we now make a difference between them. The I is 
added, for the verb tuse becomes tousd (Scott's towzle\ p. 
239. The old word nooke is applied to the comer of a letter, 
p. 184. The hero overthrows many knights in a tourna- 
ment, and brings their horses, as prizes, to stake, p. 223 ; 
can this be the source of our winning the stakes ? A man 
makes a remark one (in) his play, p. 248 ; here the noun 
refers, not to action, but to speech ; it would have been 
earlier, in his game, A new Adjective is compounded in p. 
245, a two-hmde stuerde, something like the old twy-ecged 

As to Verbs, the old phrase ic hit eom had been 
altered in the * Cursor Mundi ' to ^at ilk es /, and now be- 
comes ht/t ys I, -p. 207 ; Chaucer still has the old form. 
There are the phrases maJce delay, set hea/rt on. We have 
two new sporting terms, to dram rivers, p. 182, and to hunt 
forests, p. 184 j that is, the game that is in them. The old 
how so ever now undergoes a change ; how ever that hyt be 
stands in p. 213. There are new constructions oifor; as, 
fourfy for one, p. 208, a phrase also used by Barbour at this 
time; we should now alter the for into to. In p. 218 
stands a gift for a kyng ; here some adjective like rrveet is 
dropped before the preposition. The foreign afraid is now 
followed by of, like the native afeard ; afreyd of the haight, 
p. 188. The fashionable oath of this time is hinted at in 
p. 249, where a man is described as swearing by hones a/nd 
blood. We see Chaucer's Celtic word enop (applied to 
crystal), whence our kmb was to come. Among the new 
French words are hart of grese, bagge (badge), banneret, servi- 
tor; scalmuse (shawms), knigM erraurd. In p. 183 we read 
of a knight's place, that is, domain or manor ; also of his 
tenmmtrie. In p. 192 chase is used for silva. The old wild 
deor now makes way for ivyld best, p. 197 ; here stags are 
meant. The word trayn gains the new meaning of comitatus, 
p. 224. In p. 228 a Imight is described as dress4; this 
may here refer either to his fine horse or to his fine clothes. 
In p. 189 we read of lords of honor e, leading to our "man 
of honour" and "maid of honour." In p. 205 comes the 
favourite ballad phrase, " Ihesu save thee md see / " 

VOL. I. G 

82 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

We see the word de (aisle of a church) in a Latin in- 
scription of 1370 quoted in Dr. Murray's * Dictionary.' 

In the * Early English Poems' and * Lives of Saints/ 
published by Mr. Furnivall in 1862, there are some pieces 
that may date from 1370. The dialect is mostly Southern, 
except that stii, not st^A^Ti, occurs in p. 136. We see 'poysi 
{oT poesy, p. 135, a sign that the oy now stood for something 
besides the French ou and i. In p. 129 a man is boun to 
begge, "ready to beg," or "forced to beg," for there seems 
here a confusion between the Scandinavian bun (paratus) 
and the English bound (coactus). In p. 122 stands love hym 
best of eny ]>ing (of all) ; Chaucer has something like this. 
The verb sit governs an Accusative ; sekenesse sittep me, p. 
129, hence the later "sit a horse." We see cast acomdes, put 
]n trust in him, do execution (slay), p. 119. Among the French 
words are, to raump (of lions), queristre (chorister), lettome 
(lectern), countures round (counters), fantctsie, I mseure thee, 
]>e cours of kynde (nature), p. 119; hence comes our of 

The ' Romance of the Emperor Octavian ' (Percy Society) 
may date from iabout 1370. It has the very old word 
heere (exercitus), elsewhere obsolete ; it was compiled in the 
North, as , we see the forms lowse (solvere), wepande, alle-kyn, 
put til dethe, thro (acer). The poem has been transcribed 
by a Southern writer, who has changed geste into yeste, land 
into lande, rearm into redlme, p. 18; perhaps odur (alius) 
into wodur, p. 13. He was evidently puzzled by the 
Northern ferly (wondrous), p. 49. The a is clipped in 
semblyd, but prefixed in avefogyd ; the French hde undergoes 
the usual English change and becomes lewte. The s is 
struck out, for the old daies light appears as day lyght. The 
old verbs mcenan (significare) and myntan (statuere) are 
here confused, as in Chaucer ; we see in p. 9, he unste not what 
hyt mente. The ]> replaces d in thdhw, our thither, p. 8. 
The phrase man child now starts to life again after a long 
sleep ; we also hear of no chUdys play, p. 35. We see the 
source of our bowsprit in p. 18, where the sailors catch up 
an oar or a ^ytt (a projecting piece of wood). There 
seems to be a forestalling of our modem slang in p. 59 ; 


the earls and barons are said to be holde and swelle (elati). 
In p. 49 one side is said to be the hettur in the fight, a new 
sense of the adjective, like our "who is the best man." 
The Indefinite hi/t or it again appears; hi/t was rvoxe nyght, 
p. 12. In p. 45 a question is put as to the rank of a 
champion ; the answer is Twdur lesse nm^ more than yf hyt my- 
self e Tvore (were), meaning that the champion was myself. 
Among the Verbs are the phrases, find her way, corns of elde 
(age). The old bid now gains the sense of invitare / thethur 
was he bede, p. 8. We see the new French words lyenas 
(lioness), floryns, scabard, A burgess is called " Clement the 
velayn" (villain), p. 21, where the word keeps its old sense. 
In p. 5 Eome is said to be wrong-heyred (ruled by the wrong 
heir), a remarkable instance of turning a noun into a Past 
Participle. In p. 34 two men fight till one becomes maystyt^- 
the sense of vincei^e was coming into this word. A man 
refers to a horse in p. 54, and says, to the emperov/r therwith 
y wylle present hym ; here a new idiom appears, which the 
transcriber plainly did not understand. 

The Eomance of * Torrent of Portugal,' edited by Mr. 
Halliwell, seems to have been compiled about 1370 ; it has 
much in common with the Lancashire poems, and is full of 
Northern words, such as to byrl wine, momyng, aye where 
(ubique), gar, she rmn (must). But it seems to have been 
transcribed in the next Century, perhaps in Salop or further 
to the South; there are forms like litulle and wowndus 
(wounds). The ane (unus), in p. 69, has been elsewhere 
altered into won; there is also whome (home), p. 32. The 
rimes give a clue to the true old readings; thus the gas 
and to in p. 5 have been changed into goos and taJcythe, 
much to the loss of harmony ; travel and satUe become trovel 
and sole. The old herberwe becomes harbwrrow (harbour), p. 
1 2 ; the r is struck out, for forester appears as foster, whence 
comes a well-known proper name. The n is inserted, for 
the foreign Portugal is seen as Portingale, a form that long 
lingered in England. As to the Substantives, the word 
hnave stands, as in Lancashire, not for puer or servus, but 
for nebuh ; it is here applied to a savage giant, p. 6, and 
this sense of the word appears again in the last edition of 

84 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

* Piers Plowman ' put forth by the aged author; see Skeat's 
edition, p. 169. The term vxird had hitherto stood for 
cmtos and custodia ; but now, by an odd freak of language, 
it expresses the opposite, pupUlus, p. 67. In p. 104 a 
knight's lance is called a tymbei\ Among the Adjectives, 
hlcB loses its old meaning lividus and expresses ccenUetLS, being 
confounded with the French bloie, later bleu; asure hlay 
occurs in p. 95. We have now dropped the Northern 
manfulle, found in p. 7, except for adverbs, and we have 
stuck to the Southern mardy. We find hys squyerys they 
momyd, p. 5 ; this insertion of they is something unusual. 
Two Strong Verbs are weakened, for we see swellyd and 
helpt. We come upon if so be that, to unbrydel, lay about him, 
win erthe (ground) on hym, p. 28; irwugh to lyve uppon. 
Something like Manning's idiom, which substituted the 
Infinitive for a causal sentence, is now repeated; what 
ellythe yow for to flee f p. 41 ; who made the^ so bold here to 
dwelle ^ p. 8 ; we know our / m^ade bold to, etc., where a ms 
is dropped. There is plainly a translation of fais tu in p. 
86 ; what m^akist thou (here ?). A new Adverb is coined by 
adding ward to a Preposition, "we have been here two 
years and onward on the third," p. 92 ; we should say " well 
on in the third." In p. 44 a giant's eye is owte. We find 
the Adjective handsom, p. 55, which here means handy, con- 
venient ; it is akin to a Dutch word ; the old sense remains 
in the phrase in our later writers, "bring us off" handsomely." 
There is the Scandinavian gale (aura) ; the word in its own 
country meant rabidus. The French words are plate (of 
armour), force (in the sense of eocercitus), p. 89 ; pile (a 
building). In p. 13 stands / uoole be thy warrant that, etc. 
The word poyntes is used in a new sense in p. 77, the poyntes 
of children, that is, their beauties of person ; we talk of 
"the points of a woman." 

The Komance of Eichard Coer de Lion (Weber's edition) 
seems to date from about 1370, and may be due to Salop ; 
there is a mixture of Northern and Southern forms. Thus 
in one line, p. 54, stands beth in pes, lystenes my tale. There 
are gar, mekU, am, pi'ickande ; on the other hand, we find 
fuyr* There is the Celtic pouke, and the Salopian kenddy, 


fmrye^ and dmie (ictus) ; this last was to oust dmd^ and to 
circumscribe dird. There is a new idiom that reminds us 
of Piers Ploughman, armys of his owm, p. 177. 

There is a tendency to contract ; sjnrit and heron appear 
as spryk and hern ; the form to-morrow^ just as we spell it, 
is in p. 92. Orrmin's bdaace now becomes ^o^te. The old 
ganed is softened into yaned (yawned) ; and toh is written 
tov^h. The de is clipped at the beginning, for the Glou- 
cestershire word defensable appears as fensabU (our Fencibles). 
The well-known name laiymer (interpreter), which had be- 
fore been written latiner (from the Latin), stands in p. 97, 
showing the interchange of m and n. The Verb win forms 
its Past Participle in toon, not in wunnen, p. 74. The words 
oukmeste and vitermeste are both found in p. 115 ; here the 
r is inserted, as we saw before in shrill and anerlL 

Among the Substantives we find the naval terms top- 
castle andforeship; in p. 99 is the sailor's cry, hevelow and 
rumbeloo} The French ard is tacked on to a Teutonic root, 
to compound taylwrd (caudatus), p. 31 ; a favourite joke 
against Englishmen in those days ; it lasted for 200 years. 
A new noun is formed from brew, p. 121 ; the brotmys so 
well known in Scotland. In p. 175 the Adjective herteles, 
being coupled with flint, shows that heart might now bear 
the sense of compassion, 

Layamon had long before employed the phrase many a 
man; this is now carried further, for in p. 194 stands maT^^e 
tuas the m/m that corns. We saw in Layamon's Second 
Text the new phrase, nothing of his; this usage also is 
extended in p. 138 ; non off thy golde. The phrase two so 
■fde (twice as many) occurs both in p. 122 and in p. 251; it 
is a continuation of a very old English idiom, as, six swa 

Among the Verbs we hear of every freehoHdande, p. 51 ; 
here the Participle stands for a noun. The old verb fremien 
had been used before of abstract things, as freme (perform) 
his wUle- in the * Havelok ; ' it is now applied to physical 
objects, as frame the tree-castel, p. 73, and it becomes a 

^ We seem to have dropped the I from the first word ; Kingsley, in 
his novels, often refers to the second. 


synonym ior fabricate. To fall on stands for assail, p. 213. 
The French creoice, croudie, had long before given birth to a 
verb for cmce signare; this is imitated in p. 84 by the 
Icelandic form kross; he is crossed a pilgrim. The herUe 
herte of Gloucester becomes take herte, p. 225. In p. 52 
stands fond he no man hym to myssay ; here the adjective 
ready is dropped after man. There are phrases such as 
hangyd he he thai, etc., wenie to grounde, grind his teeth, make 
playn (thorough) werk of-p. lil ; lay a deff ear to, wind wp a 
brig (bridge), nMke it al sure, not sicker. The verb set 
imitates verbs like come, for in p. 123 stands the smine vxis 

Among the Adverbs we find ones more, p. 193 ; fro so 
ferre, p. 142. The other form of the old swa is also ex- 
tended in use ; we read in p. 253 that fifteen hundred bare 
wine and oils manye (bare) bread. 

As to the Prepositions, in stands after arrive, and not 
the more usual at; aryve in Normandye, p. 254. This 
in has supplanted the old on; he bad hem goo, in Godes 
name, p. 196. The King can buy fowls, neythyr for love, 
neythyr for eye (awe), p. 59 ; we now usually contrast love 
and money. Our hand-to-hand fighting is foreshadowed in 
p. 1 73 ; hand be hand to geve bekyr. 

The Interjection what now/ stands in p. 62. There is 
the verb bale and tray (alveolus), common to us and to the 
Dutch. The Scandinavian words are rap (pulsare) and 
girth; this latter takes the Icelandic th, not the Old 
English d. Toss is the Scandinavian for spargere; in p. 170 
stands mn the toss; there is also fetlock. The French 
words are canevas, in despite of, in present, to brace, to gash, 
tried silver. We find Bismarck's well-known frye inne owre 
owne gres, p. 175. In p. 6 we see dborde, our aboard ; Dr. 
Murray makes this a newly-imported French phrase, which 
was soon regarded as connected with the Old English bord. 
The word moble stands for furniture, p. 253; in p. 160 
Richard pays the Saracens their rent ; like our " give them 
theur bellyful." 

In 1375 John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen, 
gathered up the traditions of his Century, and wrote his 


poem on the exploits of Kobert the Bruce.^ He himself 

^ ' In the tyme of the compiling 

Off this buk, ... 

wes the yer off grace 
A thousand, thre hundyr, sevynty 
And fyve. 

The work exists in a transcript, made rather more than a 
hundred years later. The Teutons of the North had not 
as yet begun to call their language " broad Scotch ; " our 
poet speaks of his Northern dialect as the " Inglis toung," 
p. 72. He was rewarded with a pension, which was paid 
down to the time of his death, towards the end of 1396. 

The old verb waiter becomes welter ; on the other hand 
renge becomes rawnge; Ralph and fealty are seen as Bauf 
a,ndfewty. On the other hand saiLce is written salss, p. 58. 
The two forms yeman and yovynmn are found in the one 
page, 96. The former chevetain is altered into chyftan, and 
the same love of contraction appears in Irchery, Irsche (Irish), 
p. 321. We see knelit for the old knelede, p. 411, a truly 
Scotch form. We have Marjory instead of Margeri, in p. 
408. The replaces ou, for Gloucestre is written Glosystyr, 
p. 67 ; there is also swour (juravit), and repruff, p. 82 ; Broile 
is written for Brute^ and hroil for Irule ; hence the Gaelic 
rua (red) was long afterwards written roy^ as Rob Eoy. In 
p. 20 poison appears as pus-ou/n. But the ^ sound of oi is 
also found, as in the verb convoy, also written conwey^ in 
other parts of the poem ; hence we have two verbs with 
different shades of meaning in our day. Our word for satis 
appears both as enewch and inew. The Abbey of Rievaulx 
is found as Byfuowis, p. 377 ; the original au here, which 
Barbour must have pronounced like ou, is in our days 
sounded in the other way, like the French d, Bivds. The 
b is struck out, for chrnnber is written chamur, p. 24 ; there 
is also Northummyrland, The connexion between / and J? is 
very plain, when Methven is written Meffayn, p. 32. The 
old u was mistaken for v, hence the French lieutenant appears 
as lufftenande, p. 281. But there is a fashion of supplanting 
V by w, as in chewalrus ; so the old dboven becomes aboivyne, 

^ Jamieson's Edition, of 1869. 

88 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

p. 344, which doubtless led the way to oho(m ; so lavender 
becomes layndar (our laundress), and the two fonns are found 
in p. 320. The g is struck out in the middle, as Bryd for 
Briffida, p. 389 ; in that page the old rig (dorsum) main- 
tains itself against all Southern corruption, as it still does. 
In the same way the noun ^ek is found, not speech, in p. 
82. We see yei for the East Anglian gate (porta) ; it still 
takes the soft sound sometimes in the North. The old 
nrnga (acervus) is written mow, p. 68. The quh is used for 
the old hw, as quhen for hwen. The old word jfor homage is 
written manredyn in the right way, p. 321, and is cor- 
rupted into mcmreni, through a false analogy, p. 98. The 
old frith becomes fyrth (of Forth) in the true Northern 
way of transposing ; it is here applied to sea and not to 

As to Substantives, the Eomance endings, tacked on to 
Teutonic roots, are coming in; we find not only thyrldome 
(thraldom) but also thrillage, p. 6, like the bondage of 1303; 
there is also yemcmry, p. 76; the new dewUry (devilry) 
appears in p. 86 ; there is also Irchery (Irishry). There are 
the new Substantives, undertaMng, mainland, auiecome, (ex- 
cursus), slewth-hwnd, mfar (inroad), armful, owting (excursus) ; 
here a Preposition gives birth to a Verbal noun. In p. 
44 men do a thing with a wUl, here the article is inserted ; 
in p. 54 men bring all thair thing (property) ; in p. 255 
something has last (endurance), a word well known in our 
races; in p. 300 men lie slain all in a lump; in p. 343 an 
enterprise is begun ivith all hcmdis; in p. 392 cannon are 
called crakys of wer (war). The old wakeman becomes a 
wach, p. 201. In p. 325 men are sent on before to take 
herbery (harbour) for the army ; in the next page these men 
are called herbryouris, our harbingers, showing here a change 
of meaning. In p. 340 crcme bears the sense of engine, 
not bird. The old gle is used of the joy of heaven in p. 
412, just as mirth was used 200 years later; these words 
can now bear only a far lower meaning. We see some new 
proper names; Thom Dicson, p. 97, seems to show that 
Richard had now become Dick ; there are Jhone Thomassone, 
and OUbertson; GHlbert is seen as Qib (whence comes Gibson) 


in p. 299. The s(m in these proper names reminds us of 
Scandinavia. In p. 205 we hear of Wilyame Francwss^ 
called Fravmsoys m p. 212, which was thought to be a 
synonym of the French word FransaiSy a FranUs man. The 
Spanish town Corunna was long known as the Groyne {oy 
for u\ and appears as grwnye in p. 414 ; Barbour's modern 
editor evidently cannot tell what to make of the word, 
printing it without a capital letter. A well-known Celtic 
province appears as BretaymU^ riming with Spainye, p. 414. 
We hear both of the Scottis and of Scottismm, hence the later 

There are some new Adjectives, such as scaithfrd, fvrred, 
craggy, and the new form Sotheroun, p. 358. The word mid 
(medius) had been already set before many nouns, and we 
now see mydivatter, p. 62, and myd caus4 (via), p. 365. From 
strength is formed strengtU, p. 84, just as lengthy has arisen 
in our own time. The Northern form of expressing p^or 
was waw ; this is turned into warrer in p. 105. The 
meaning of spedig changes from faustus to cder in p. 127. 
Our sheer also gains a new sense ; there is schor crag in p. 
189 (sheer precipice). The old hindem/i becomes henmaist. 
There is both the Teutonic cumbyrsum and the Eomance 
combrowss (cumbrous). The last syllable is pared away 
from likely in it wes lik that he mycht haiff ccmqueryt, p. 
321 ; a corruption to penetrate to London fifty years 
later. In p. 77 syndry (sundry) bears first its old meaning 
separaius, and then takes a new sense, something like 
guidam; othyr syndry (sundry other men), as we use it 
mostly now. 

As to Pronouns, we saw de ton in 1230; this is seen 
again in on the ta hand, p. 323, and it became a regular 
Scotch legal phrase. Barbour is fond of thai and thairis, he 
and his. We have already seen "do thy best;" in p. 358 
comes all thair mast (most) assaUyeit thai (doing their 
utmost). In p. 321 we see fra end till uthyr; we should now 
say " from one end to the other." Barbour used qwheyn 
for pauci ; in Scotland the phrase " a wheen folk " may still 
be heard; this keeps alive the old hvxm (parvus), which 
Southern England seems to have lost for the last 700 

90 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

years. In p. 399 comes we war ymw to put, etc. ; here 
the third word is in the Plural, (numerous enough). The 
question is asked in p. 389 quhat folk ar thai ? the first 
word answering here to quotvs. In p. 263 a man is de- 
scribed as the thrid best knychty a very terse phrase. In p. 
373 stands he wes auchty thowsand ; to this we should now 
add sl/rong. 

There are many new phrases where Verbs are employed, 
such as, Jiald in cheyff, set a man on him, maJce thair acqtientance, 
put to confvsioune, put thaim to the flycht, giff and tak, make 
him way, tak his mage, the wawys (waves) hreaky brek (mere) 
on thaim, draw aynd (breath), / am in aynd, tak aynd, lay the 
dath (cloth), get on fute, he is gottyn in the tawre, set tryst to, 
tak (leap) the wall, make a stopping (halt), p. 147, draw ner to 
him, lede hay, do his part, tak the feyld, tak gret rowme, brek 
aray, to say suth (sooth), have na ha/rt to help thaim, to set wachis, 
mak na schawing (show) of, a weyll-maid body, mak chang 
(exchange) of, nycht was fallyn, it mayd (told) agayn us. The 
verb undo adds the meaning of perdere to its old meaning 
solvefi'e, p. 8. We see he had spyis owt, p. 323 ; here an 
Active Participle, like lying, should be the last word but 
one. The English verb for vigUare had hitherto been in- 
transitive ; but we now find thai war wachit (watched), p. 
397. On the other hand, fling is intransitive as before, 
but also governs an Accusative, p. 331. There is a sudden 
change of tense, well known to ballad-makers, in p. 413 ; 
instead of saying in the narrative, " they had him," we find 
thai haiffhad him. In p. 93 stands he put him to the se; we 
now drop the him and the the. We saw in 1270 that so 
many hens m>ake a flock ; in p. 115 this is carried further, 
he with thaim maid fyfty. The noun way is now followed by 
an Infinitive, he was set in gud way to conguer the land, p. 
321. Men had hitherto blown an instrument; they now 
blow tunes on it ; blaw the retreit, p. 347. There is the 
new verb quhethir, our quiver, in p. 353 ; it is said to come 
from the old cwifer (impiger). There is may fall, like the 
French, peui ^tre, in p. 416. In p. 393 men get wyt of some- 
thing ; perhaps we have confounded wit with wind in later 
times. We saw hold on his way ; the noun is now dropped, 


and hold forth (proficisci) is in p. 387 ; the phrase is in our 
days confined to the pulpit. 

Among the Adverbs stands nerar togiddyr. We now 
sometimes hear a phrase " he is far away the best ; " in p. 
305 stands fer way ma (more) than thai. This fer now ex- 
presses not only p'ociU but multum, when set before a 
Comparative ; /er maiTf p. 31, and this comes often in 
Barbour ; folk are hard pressyty p. 355. The in is struck 
out that should have come before na tuyss, p. 124 ; this led 
long afterwards to our no how ; we saw no wayes in the 
'Cursor.' So vnth is struck out in the middle of the 
phrase, he folowit gud speid, p. 122. The form off seems 
here to be appropriated to the adverb, leaving the other form 
of for the preposition ; tvith hudis (hoods) off, p. 390. In 
1300 the phrase as in a Tywesday had been used ; we now 
see, p. 126, as a^ this tyme, which remains in our Prayer 
Book ; here as is not wanted. In p. 412 as, with an Infini- 
tive, is opposed to so with an Adjective; a wholly new 
idiom ; a man undertakes sa hey empriss as to her, etc. ; 
hence our tuUl you be so good as to, etc. What Chaucer 
called otherwise appears in Barbour as othir wayis, p. 6 ; 
leastways is often heard now. The latter poet is not satis- 
fied with the old fullic (turpiter), but has fovlyly ; and is 
fond of repeating this ly in Adverbs, as halyly, manlyly, a 
process that we dislike. 

As to Prepositions, we see ane till ane, p. 17, our man 
for man ; to win and tUl occupy stand side by side in p. 6. 
In p. 36 a bridle slips off his hand; we have already found 
in this poem the two forms of this preposition. We have 
seen strong of hand ; a slight addition is made in p. 29, where 
we hear of a worthy kn/ycht off his hand. We had in 1290 
the Northern phrase the stalvxyrthest geant of one ; this leads 
the way to Barbour's best off a knycht of all England, p. 
375 ; hence the later a jewel of a man, A man might 
always go ofti an errand ; this brings us to he was fer on his 
way, p. 60. In p. 140 the army is all on ster (astir). We 
saw on his healfe in 1076 ; in p. 176 men are slain upon Uk 
party. The poet uses ner in the sense of prope with an 
Accusative following ; neh (nigh) had been treated in this 

92 THE NE W ENGLISH, [ch A p. 

way much earlier. The phrase ai lead had long been 
known; in p. 106 stands ai the maist. In p. 169 comes 
the expression twa for ane; in p. 145 we have it more 
at length; thai war sex guhar he ives ane. The old over 
all had meant vUqm; it now means above all things, as 
in p. 412. 

There are some new phrases, used as Interjections, as on 
thaim! a war-cry which comes pretty often ; till armys swythf 
(quick to arms), p. 32 ; hdp I help I p. 35. 

The Scandmavian whisk, morass, moss (palus), appear; 
also schald, schold (shallow), whence comes our shoal. There 
is the verb ruffle, akin to the German ; also h/t, our kit. 
There are the Celtic loiLch (loch), brae, glen-, bog, stab, brawl. 

Hie French words are iniquity, endenture, plumage, rally, the 
plains, capital ennymy, priv6 consaile, raiss (French raz), abase, 
pryss (aestimare), ayr aperand, ayr male, sent (odor), retenew, 
fagald (faggot), base (low), distvyst (disused), quarter ofamyle, 
novelty, warand (warren), monymentis (muniments), a taUye, 
regret, enamel. The word cariage is first found in p. 158, 
where it means the gear for carrying the army's baggage. 
A new word for */ appears ; supposs they did so, p. 55 ; this 
comes often in later Scotch writers. There is the new track, 
which has nothing to do with trace. The French had in 
this Century exchanged their old cataigne, chevetaine, for a 
near imitation of capitanem ; and Barbour has capitaine, soon 
to be adopted by Chaucer. The verb venge is making an 
end of the old wreak. In p. 30 towers are bataUlyt (em- 
battled). The Teutonic vm, is often set before Romance 
roots, as unarmed; we see also under-wardein, fortravaUlit, 
wmbeverov/nd (circumdatus) ; this umJbe seems to have been 
little known in the South after 1280. Men cum to purpos 
(proposed end), p. 48 ; in our day they speak to the pur- 
pose. In p. %6 secider stands for layman, and is not opposed 
to regular. In p. 74 we see the verb confuse; we have this 
(formed from the Past Participle) as well as confound, formed 
from the Infinitive. In p. 95 an English knight bears the 
name of Sanct Jhon, with the accent on the first word, thus 
foreshadowing our well-known Sinjon. In p. 15 a knight 
is described as sweyt in cumpany ; 1 suppose that stuive would 


be the wOrd favoured by our modem writers. In p. 115 
a man is at first discouraged by his enemies, but after- 
wards tais Ull him his spyritis ; this strange Plural (it 
appeared in France during this Century) here expresses 
courage. In p. 138 men press the king; in p. 173 he presses 
on them. What we call two thirds appears in p. 140 as twa 
partis of thaim. In p. 1 45 deer are in sesoun. We have 
seen entente ; in p. 205 it wes his ententiotm to, etc. In p. 
309 a man is vsyt to fight, in p. 222 he uses to fight; we 
may now employ tised for soleham^ but not use for soleo, a 
curious instance of English nicety. In p. 285 a general 
dresses his men ; the verb is still used in this military 
sense. We see ciiidly (with no idea of inlyimanity) coupled 
with fighting in p. 337, and with vmmding in p. 347; it is in 
our time often used to intensify a phrase, as cruel bad. In 
p. 421 comes soverane price, where the first word expresses 
maxirmis; Piers Ploughman, much about the same time, 
has soverdn salve (remedy). The scouts, sent ahead of an 
army, are called discomriomis, p. 388, hence our scourefrs. 
The word simple takes •the meaning stultus^ p. 7, besides its 
old sense of humUis, which is seen in p. 22. The verb trete 
expresses tradare in p. 10 ; Wyntoun afterwards used it in 
the same sense ; in p. 64 the king tretyt with certain folk ; 
and trety stands in p. 216. The old lenten (ver) was going 
out ; for this the Icelandic were is used. The word hounU 
expresses a valiant feat in p. 45. In p. 97 stuff ib used 
in its Lancashire sense for equipment or means ; the con- 
fusion between the verbs stop and stuff is very plain in 
p. 342, where so many ships come that the haven is stoppyt, 
A person of high rank does things in a quiet easy way ; 
hence an engine is pressed up to a wall gentUly, p. 354 ; 
we now make a great diflFerence between genteelly and gently. 
Our verb v/nna/n (own) has come to stand for confiteri as well 
as concedere ; in the same way a man makes granting (con- 
fession) of his sins in p. 381. The verb avise (scrutari) 
takes the new sense oi monere in p. 32 ; we make it advise. 
When Sant Jago is mentioned in p. 417 he is called Saynd 
Jak ; this is the French Jacques, not the shortened form of 
Teutonic Janhin. 

94 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

I may mention that Barbour has many phrases that 
carry the mind to Scotland, such as hmd^ thai gaderyt 
(assembled, p. 328), bailie, we be aqwent, thowless, peel 
(castellum), he behoved to, weird. He has many expressions 
already found in Northern writers, such as morning, wUfvl 
( volens), fall to it, hamlet, sad (fessus), of myself, smertly (cito), 
get the ourhand, p. 202. He abounds in Verbal Nouns, and 
is fond of adding ness to Eomance roots, as tenderness. For 
pecm stands catdl, p. 122 ; this Northern sense of the word 
did not come to London until after 1500. The Old 
English Mode held its ground in the South, but was written 
blowde by Barbour. 

He] wrote mn^y Legends of the Saints, to be read in 
Horstmann's * Altenglische Legenden,' pp. 189-208. The 
replaces e, as gottin for geten; he had gottine (gotten), p. 
194. The d is added to round off a word, as eapond 
(expound), p. 194; the rightful eapone is in p. 202. The 
n is inserted) as ensamplar for the usual esample, p.. 206 ; 
this en is preserved in our Bibles. Among the new Sub- 
stantives are slavmes, wantones ; the ^word slicht (sleight) is 
now first used of a trick of the body, not of the mind, p. 
201 ; donmie (doom) in p. 204 means only the judgment or 
thought of the mind. Among the Adjectives are thankful, 
nere of kin to, ill will. The foreign plenteous takes a Teu- 
tonic ending, and becomes plenttois, p. 202 ; just the op- 
posite case to that of righteous. We hear of ripe age, p. 
193 ; elsewhere, a man may be ripe in conversation; here 
the adjective slides into the sense of sapiens, and is thus 
used a few years later by King James I.; hence Shake- 
spere'sn^e scholar. Among the Verbs are do an erand, 
take charge, burst out into teres, p. cviii., pity may be inbome 
(innate). One of the old senses of sceotan had been tor- 
guere; hence men are schot into a place, p. 201, as we shoot 
rubbish. The verb cleave (haerere), which had hitherto 
been Weak, makes its Perfect clafe, p. 196. There is the 
new phrase syd be syd (side), p. 207. 

We see the Scandinavian swamp derived from swim; 
men through dropsy are made swampe, p. 208. 

Among the Romance words are heretable, retentive, ex- 


presly, demand^ inflame, comprehend. There is determe in the 
sense of statuere, our determine, p. 194. hight fails a man, 
p. 196. The verb chase takes the sense of ahigere, p. 201 ; 
a sense borne sixty years later by the other form of the 
French verb, catch. The verb inform has the sense of 
insti-uere, p. 204. The verb excede begins to supplant the 
old pass, as later in Tyndale. The verb conjure means 
simply orare, p. 203. The two forms werdaune and reward 
may be seen in p. 205. There is line of flesh (family), and 
change his thocht (mind), p. 205. 

We have the statutes of a London Gild of 1375 (Early 
English Text Society, p. 1), which are not unlike Chaucer's 
dialect; we find both beth and ben (sunt); the Infinitive 
and the prefix to the Past Participle are clipped. There is 
noght for not, and the Southern sustren and o]>er (aut). 
Orrmin's same and somewhat have now reached London. 
We have here ]>e most wyse instead of the old wisest ; also 
do her diligence, do ]>e duytes, the first appearance of the last- 
named substantive in England. Two foreign words are 
used as prepositions ; touchyng ]>e profit (which we saw in 
Salop in 1350), and duryng his mvpresonement ; in France the 
Participle would have stood last. The form acompt is found, 
whence comes Shakespere's day ofcompt; the statutes of 
the Gild are called a papir, leading the way to our state 
paper. In a Lynne Gild of 1376 (in the same volume) we 
read of a man of gode conversacioun (a word u'sed in this 
sense in France down to Calvin's time), and of paying fees, 
a new sense of the last word. There is a later Lynne Gild 
of 1383, where the old Midland Participle in ende is often 
found. We here find, as in 1350, the Verbal Noun fol- 
lowed by an adverb ; have a spekyng togedyr (conference), p. 
52 ; a phrase like this makes us mourn over the loss of our 
old compounding power. We find, also, the phrase in tyrm 
comyng, p. 53. There are the statutes of a Norwich Gild 
in 1385, where stands the word sporyer (spurrier), p. 42; 
here the y or i of the Severn country is inserted before the 
Teutonic er. The form cladde, a Scandinavian word that we 
saw in East Anglia in 1230, appears once more in p. 43. 

I place, under the year 1377, the far-renowned Allegory 

96 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

of Piers Ploughman, written as it seems by a poet who 
dwelt on the Great Sundering Line, and who therefore 
used both Southern and Midland forms. The author 
seems to have belonged to Salop. He brought out three 
editions of his great Alliterative work; the first half 
of it in 1362, the whole in 1377, a third, with additions 
and corrections, in 1393.^ Many copies, made from his 
original text (a most popular work), still survive, and 
show a great variety of disJects about the year 1400 ; thus 
we have bridale, bredale, IrudMe, and hruydale, all four ; also 
ruschey rischey reshe. His Southern leanings are shown by 
forms like which (qualis), hue (ilia), hy (illi), hwre (audire), 
^om (cucurrit), ac (sed), o ]>ing, church, wantowen (lascivus), 
and the Genitive Plural of a new word, lollwrene. Among 
the Northern forms are gar (facere), tU (ad), lov/pe (saliat, p. 
76), aren, ^g^- We see both diJce and di(^ for fossa. 
There is the favourite Salopian Plural Substantive ending 
in uSy as frerus ; also the Salopian form selver for sUver. 
The a replaces the French 'e, as garlaunde for the former 
gerland; also eo, for teor becomes tar; also o, for mal 
(macula) becomes mole. The e replaces eo, as wekCf our 
unck; it replaces o, as wdJdn. The French du (debitus) 
appears as dewe and diwe, showing our love for the ew 
sound, as we turned Ihtc into Dewk; there is also devi 
(dolor), p. 145. On the other hand, the old seowian (the 
kindred Latin suere) appears not only as sew but as sow ; 
we now unluckily sound it as so, and confound it with the 
verb for seminare. We have seen pore (spectare) in the 
year 1280; another form piren (our peer) now crops up. 
There is hritd (fragilis) as well as the older hrotel We 
have seen bowiar in 1300 ; lawyer is now found in the same 
way. We find both rea/rMy remm, and ream/e for regnvm. 
The different manuscripts show the uncertainty about the 
sound of letters; thus our hoU (pustula) appears in p. 431, 
but is also written hde, hyle, and hde ; boil (bullire) is seen 
in this form, and also as huyl, p. 383 ; toil (laborare) is in 
p. 422, with the variations tvle, tUe, and tyle. The com- 

^ See Mr. Skeat's admirable edition of this author (Early English 
Text Society). 


bination huMA marks the Severn country, as do forms not 
equally long-lived, such as pruyde and fuyr. The old stdl 
(sedes) is replaced by stovil ; the cloches of Mapes give birth 
to the verb ducche ; and the word for anas appears both as 
ddke and duke. 

As to Consonants, the h is inserted, as slumb&t* for the 
old slvmer. The k sound is preserved in a foreign com- 
parative adverb, as reverenUoker^ p. 141 ; and poke is used 
instead of pouch ; there are the new forms cull and Mil for 
occidere, as well as the old quell, p. 423. The old synegen 
(peccare) holds its ground by the side of the new synnen, p. 
229 ; but Layamon's ni^ene (novem) becomes nine. The for- 
mer gelmned is now seen as ylmt, p. 108. There are the two 
forms drouhjpe and droghte. Ninth is seen for the first time 
with n inserted ; but elsewhere the n is struck out, as in 
a slepe, p. 88 ; we have a window a worchyng, p. 44, where 
this a (on) first stands before a Verbal Noun. Hampole's 
in rmddes becomes amyddes (amidst), p. 164. The s is 
inserted ; haptesme appears, not baptim ; and ^e/n, is some- 
times written si]>eneSy on the road to stTw^. As to r, we 
find hors (raucus) as well as hos, the old hds. The old 
wydewa now becomes widewer (widower). 

We saw spUhred in 1280 ; much longer compound names 
are now formed, as Sire W^erch-vjeHwith-thyn-ha/nd, JVaryn 
wrynge-lawe ; a horse is called soffrertU-ich-see-my4yme, p. 72. 
In these phrases Bunyan did not go quite so far as his 
Salopian forerunner. The ending estre no longer expressed 
a female, for we see wafrestre (wafer maker), and canonistre 
(canonist); spin/nester in p. 107 expresses, not our idea 
connected with the word, but spinner. The brewester of one 
copy, p. 156, has been altered into ale^fe in another. 
Webba did not last beyond the year 1400; it is replaced 
by wever and webbesteVj which no longer means textrix, as of 
old. Our common goer is formed from the verb, for we 
find forgoere ; go was supplanting gang. The old ending ern 
was now all but gone ; instead of the former breawoern we 
find brewhouse, p. 163. The word ravine gives birth to another 
noun, ravener, p. 309. The kin at the end of proper names 
is in full use, as fFatkin, Haukin ; it is tacked on to Eomance 

VOL. I. H 

98 THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

words, B&fauntekyn (infant), p. 1 59. Manning's Joan appears 
as Jonet ; his nigim now becomes nigard, p. 359. The con- 
fusion between Teutonic and Romance endings is very plain 
in tale-tdlour, p. 442. There are new nouns, as tUeiW, lohy 
(looby), kyUm (kitten), kUte^ors (cutpurse), styties (lupanar), 
pikstaf, hangman^ pykefporse^ latch, brocage, hrocor (broker), 
horwton (borough town), bavde (lena), batte-ndde (packneedle), 
lande-leper (pilgrim), collop, ragamoffin (applied to a fiend), 
kynde wit (Latimer's mother wit), vnsp, worsted, heggefiie, hous- 
bonderie. We see the two forms lord and losd (nebulo) ; 
the word loUer here means a fellow, who, under pretence of 
religion, lives in idleness ; a few years later it was to be 
applied to heretics. In p. 134 we see the old, all but 
obsolete, form bergh (coUis), which we now write barrow; 
our iceberg is a word borrowed from our Teutonic brethren. 
Team, which had meant sequda, is first applied to oxen in 
p. 158. We hear, in p. 197, that something is not worth 
a carse ; here is the change from ci^ess to a sound like our 
curse. We see wyrdes (destinies) in p. 227 ; this was be- 
coming obsolete, at least in the South, for most of the 
manuscripts alter it into words. The suffix kin is dropped 
in proper names like T&mme, Watte, Symme, Bette ; we find 
here Letice, Hicke, Sesse (Cis); in p. 350 the Good Samaritan's 
horse is called both Lyarde and Bayarde, Pemel, whence the 
poet Pamell derived his name, is the short for Petronilla, 
and is usually here applied to a bad character. On the 
other hand. Piers the Ploughman, standing for Christ him- 
self, is sometimes called Ferkin, p. 173 ; the name became 
afterwards a synonym for an impostor. In p. 75 a man 
pays handy-dandy, one of the first instances of our truly 
English love of a jingle, such as Skelton employed. Old 
forms, like ingang and gang (ire), are seen for the last time 
in the South. In p. 141 we learn that it is hard to know, 
in the churchyard, a knight from a knave or a queyne from 
a queene; the higher and lower meanings of the old cwtn | 

are here brought into sharp contrast, thanks to spelling. 
In former times ceorl had been used for freeman; in p. %% 
the word had sunk so low that it is altered in one manu- 
script into yrdll ; see also p. 401. The term wench is applied 



to the Virgin in p. 336, and to a harlot in p. 422 ; the 
honourable sense was to prevail in the North, the base 
sense in the SoutK It is curious that hoy had been used 
for a torturer or hangman ever since 1280, reminding us 
of the Italian hoja ; this meaning reappears in p. 371. 
Girl in p. 162 still bears its old Salopian meaning child. 
Our word mirth had then a far loftier sense than now ; in 
p. 374 it is applied to the feelings with which we should 
regard Christ's birth ; this survives in the phrase " awful 
mirth," applied, in a hymn, to the service of God. We hear 
of men bolted (fettered) with iron, p. 146 ; holt had added 
the sense of catena to its old meaning sagitta. The word 
grote had been used for fragmentum ; it now expresses a 
coin, p. 107. Prayer had been expressed by hede; this 
latter is now transferred to the little round substances used 
to reckon the number of prayers said ; we find a peire of 
hedes. We saw, about 1300, the phrases no manere harm 
and nakin harm ; we now, in p. 374, have the longer-lived 
eny kynde of creature side by side with eny Icynne yynge, p. 
153. A drunken man is carried to bed, in p. 118, withal 
]>e wo of ]>e warlde; we should now say "with all the 
trouble in the world." A noun has another noun of price 
prefixed to it in the phrase halpeny ale, p. 156. In p. 163 
an Adverb is tacked on to a noun ; leperes ahoute, " roving 
over the land." In p. 1 25 stands in yywre de^p-deynge (dying) ; 
the form " die the death " had been often used ; death is 
now set before the Verbal Noun. Both grom and gome are 
employed in this poem. In p. 384 comes the new phrase 
"they are mine, body and soule" In p. 128 the Sun is 
darkened for a tyme. 

Among the new Adjectives are haudi, lausi, ]>rede-hare, 
peyvesshe (peevish), wederwise, wet-shod, hler-eyed. There is 
hytelhrowed, which we now confound with beetle, whereas it 
comes from the Old English Utian (acuere). A Passive 
Participle is made an Adjective and takes a Comparative, 
blessedere, p. 223; there is also broke-legged, p. 146, where 
two Past Participles are united. The Adjective is pre- 
fixed to an Active Participle, lowe-lyvinge men, p. 257. 
When we see a Southern phrase like a muche (great) man, 

loo THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

we understand how Much Wenlock came to exist down to 
our days; another form of the word remains in Mickle 
Benton, further to the North. The Americans talk of 
"having a good time;" in p. 373 the Jews are told yywre 
goode dayes hed\> don. 

As to Pronouns, Matzner quotes a curious idiom from 
this poet ; Lord, y^worshiped be the ; this explains our ii^s me; 
in the same way the French employ moi, toi, and lui as 
Nominatives. We saw nothing of his in 1260; the idiom 
is now extended, for we find moneye of thyn otoen. In p. 
405 stands our common furst andformest. 

Among Verbs there is a new idiom, why calle hym Crist ? 
here shofuM ye is dropped before the Infinitive. There is a 
curious exchange of would for shoM in ich sholde ra]>ere sterve, 
p. Ill ; we still say "I should prefer to starve." In p. 
382 stands ich wol beo brent, unless, etc. ; this is the idiom 
used in more modem curses. There are new verbs like 
wrangle (from wring), unpid: a lock, herd (congregari), throb. 
In go to werke, p. 105, nothing toilsome is suggested ; 
nothing but pleasure is in the speaker's mind. In p. 440 
God, it is said, made all things, and nempnede hem names — 
the first hint of our calling names. In p. 407 something 
cam out (became known). The poet sometimes forms 
happy new compounds, as land-tylynge people, p. 213; 
other poets should tread in his steps. In p. 110 we see 
how overreach came to mean cheat ; a rogue, when reaping, 
overreaches into his neighbour's corn. 

Among the Adverbs there is a most curious survival of 
the old form lytulum and lytvlvm, p. 327. This seems ta 
show that our poet, like Layamon, was a student of 
antiquity ; in further proof of this he writes gon a begged, 
"go a begging," p. 146, in imitation of the old gan an 
huntath, " go a hunting." In p. 88 trees were blown down, 
and twrned wpvxird here tayl ; we now say " tail upward." 
In p. 444 we see how hardly came to express vvx, seventy 
years later ; ful hard is if they recover. In p. 406 Christ 
is killed on croys-toise, the source of the Biblical Adverb 
cross wise. The adverb happily had been hitherto used for 
fdidter ; in p. 136 it is cut down to hapliche, and expresses 



fortasse ; here is an instance of the omission of one letter 
in a word enabling us to express two different shades of 
meaning. There is now a dayes, p. 199 ; and also a nyghteSy 
p. 356. In p. 165 stands drynke deepe, where the last word 
is meant for an Adverb. The adverb abrode (abroad) is 
here opposed to in doors, a new meaning. 

Among the Prepositions we see our common for al ]>atf 
p. 360. The for in the sense of ob now follows a Sub- 
stantive as well as a verb; surgiens for synnes. In p. 137 
stands U ouht ]>at ich kmwe ; in the * Cursor Mundi ' for had 
been used for this hi. In p. 313 men are at here mttes end. 

The Interjections are haw (bah), harow and help 1 a straw 
for it ! of this Chaucer was fond ; the oath hy my soule stands 
in p. 245. The toper's chorus is hoy/ trolyf lolly/ p. 145 ; 
something like the Shakesperian hey, nonny, nonny / especi- 
ally the first word. How little objection was felt to oaths 
about 1370 we may learn from the following instance — 
Piers stands sometimes for Christ, sometimes for the Church, 
yet the oath hy God/ is put into his mouth, p. 416. 

The Scandinavian words are arate, which in one manu- 
script is rate (exprobrare), to-luggen (lug to pieces), histle, 
mffe (manica), to hy-sloher. 

The new words, akin to the Dutch and German, are 
cramp, nip, cough, loll, jog, plot (locus), tavmy, galp (yelp), 
houken (whence Shakespere's hack basket). 

The Celtic words are hck, cohler, tinker, rvh, spike, horre 
(burr) in the throat, cruddes {croddes and creyme, p. 155). The 
bahan of 1220 is now seen as baU, 

The poet's birthplace must be fixed somewhere near the 
Severn; there are a few words that remind us of the 
Herefordshire poems of 1280, such as tike, capel, gobelyn, 
nrwmd (mumble), dozen. There is Layamon's gyves, and the 
Western pouke. The i of the Severn country, inserted 
before er, is often seen, as cotier, tUier ; also yrew (cecidit), 
asyde, and vauntwarde. There are the Salopian gerls 
(children), daffe, and garnement. 

Among the many French words are boucher (butcher), 
Jurer, panel, gable, wince, flux, labourer, ague, drugs, mor- 
gage, registre, buttress, gill, mange (munch), blammanger. 

I02 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

rov/nd of bacoUy enhdbit, lachesse, construe^ russety patent^ 
rave, famine^ controller, match (for fire), grammar, to rut, 
to houpen (our whoop), for mercies sake, pous (pulse), lure, 
wayves and stray^ves. We see the Church words provisours, 
rectour (p. 37), curatour, fraternite, ijidiUgence, meson-diea ; a 
friar confesses a man, p. 216. Among the lawyers are 
serjatmtes, ]>at serven atte harre, p. 10. A doctour is a church- 
man in p. 264, a physician in p. 435. The word gaUer, p. 
51, is used where prisonei^ (custos) was employed in the 
year 1 230 ; the last word had already begun to express a 
man confined. The word ergo, taken from the Schools, is 
used for therefore. We hear of puwes (pews) in p. 102. 
In p. 440 brybour, first appearing in English, is used in 
the sense of latro, and this sense it bore for two cen- 
turies; Littr6 says that the old French briban (a vagrant) 
is connected with the Italian birbantel In p. 316 a creature 
honours his creatour ; here the two ways of writing the 
French ov, are found useful; in p. 374 we hear of a 
comely creature, just as we now say " a fine creaturfe ; " 
Chaucer attached a worse meaning to this word. In p. 
262 a beggar is called a pmre \yng ; this has become 
one of our commonest phrases. Among the coins, here 
mentioned, are the rwble and the floreyn. The word tutour 
expresses cfiistos, p. 18, which it long retained in Scotch law. 
The word gerdel seems to undergo the same change that it 
did in Barbour; we hear of Job the gentel, p. 231 ; still 
further, gentiles are opposed to Jews in p. 315. The 
French cachier was henceforth, as a general rule, to be set 
apart for capere, and was not to express aUgere ; this last 
was to be expressed by the other form chacier (chase). 
In p. 356 the catch fire of the *Ancren Riwle' is repeated; 
one manuscript alters the Teutonic lacchen (capere) into the 
French cacchen, p. 272; I have no doubt the two words 
were often confounded. A person is conged in p. 71 ; the 
word cong4 has been revived in later times. The Romance 
passed imitates the Teutonic ago ; he said, seven ^er passed, 
p. 12. We saw, in the year 1290, a doseyn of doggen; the 
idiom changes in p. 73 ; a dosene capones ; so a payre gloves, 
p. 109. The Teutonic and Romance are yoked in one 


word, dohlefoldy p. 176; also parcelmele (our piecemeal), p. 
47 ; apartie (apart) stands in p. 263 like the around of 
1300. The French maner appears in a Participle, p. 192 ; 
a wel y-manered mayde ; this must, in our day, always have 
an Adverb before it. The word seems to have been made 
a verb in England earlier than in France. In p, 112 we 
hear of an erraunt usurer, the source of Barclay's variation 
arratd ; in p. 167 stands 'pawre, paderdes (suflTerers). The 
town Lucca becomes Lukes, p. 81. But Latin forms, in 
matters religious, supplant their French descendants ; thus 
we find restitumn, excite, baptism, corps, simile. We see the 
verb alay in p. 311, where we should now write alloy ; 
the two forms of spelling this word are still used in two 
diflTerent senses. In p. 116a man is named nompeyr (um- 
pire) ; the n was docked fourscore years later ; this is just 
the contrary to what took place in forming the nonce. 
There is a strange form juvente for youth. The propor- 
tion of French words is sometimes very large, as 

"He passede forth pacientliche to perpetuel blisse (p. 211). 
Astrouomyens al day in here art faillen (p. 312). 
And Porw penaunce and passioun and parfyt byleyve (p. 323). 
Matrimonye, a moiste frut, >at multiplie> Pe peple (p. 333). 
Adjectif and substantyf unite asken, 
Accordaunce in kynde, in cas, and in numbre '* (p. 60). 

There is a reference to the hangman of Tybome, p. 115; 
to rimes of Kobyn Hode, p. 121 ; to the flitch of Done- 
mo we, p. 193; to the preaching at St. PauVs, p. 264; to 
the Arches (court), p. 433. Wicked men in holy orders 
are compared, in p. 311, to bad money with the King's 
stamp upon it ; Burns has a similar idea, applied to good 
men, "the gowd for a' that." We have a Shakesperian 
phrase in 203, cast out both lyne and levell. 

No English verse had as yet reached such a height 
of sublimity as the Passus xxi of this poem, treating 
of Christ's death and descent into hell. The bard 
here, strong in the old national Alliteration, soars above 
Chaucer, and above every other English writer for the 
next 200 years. The aforesaid subject had already given 
birth to some of the very best lines in the * Cursor 

I04 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Mundi ; ' English literature, from first to last, owes much 
to religion. 

Much about the same time that the second edition of 
'Piers Ploughman' was given to the world, a Canon of 
Lilleshall in Shropshire, named Mirk (Early English Text 
Society), drew up a rimed code of instructions for parish 
priests. We have it in a copy made about sixty years 
later ; the obsolete Teutonic and the French seem to belong 
to about the year 1380 ; there are such old forms as syngen 
(peccare) and forme (primus). We have the same mixture 
of Northern and Southern forms, so often remarked on 
before \ heo and scho, heth and are, thilke and that ; also 
such marked Salopian forms as nche (quisque) and fer 
(igms). The last syllable of the curious whatskyn {quicunque, 
p. 7), seems a compromise between the so of the South and 
the kin of the North, tacked on to the what 

The gh replaces the older h; we find dogh (dough), 
and egh]>e (octavus), where Manning had written eightejpe, 
the Old English eahto]>a. The n is inserted in passyngere, 
p. 26. 

There are new Substantives like hmsebreker^ hodymoke, 
the parent of huggermiLgger, that is, something hidden; huyde 
hyt not in hodyrmke^ p. 62. We see the noun lychtuake, p. 
45, for the first time, the word so beloved by the Laird of 
Monkbarns; the Old English word for undertaker was 
Ucmann, The word attercoppe (aranea), which was written 
at full length in Norfolk sixty years later, is cut down to 
coppe, p. 59, whence comes our cobweb. There is the 
curious holy hallowes in p. 23 ; here the Substantive keeps 
the old vowel, while in the Adjective it is changed into 
; the two words have become so changed in form that a 
pleonasm is the upshot. The old ancre of 1300. now 
becomes ankeras (nun, p. 41), taking the ess that was now 
fast becoming naturalised in England. There is a curious 
instance of the double Genitive in p. 23 ; Seynt Mary, 
Goddes moder of hevene. 

As to Adjectives, in p. 7 we hear of an odde weddynge, 
that is, irregular y much as in Lancashire the word had ex- 
pressed our exceptional; an odd child (nothus) is still a 


Yorkshire phrase. We see a mark of the Severn country 
when fell adds the sense of calUdus to its old meaning 
crvdelis ; slegh and f el, p. 46 ; here the Latin (icer seems to 
be the connecting link. From the old pic is formed the 
Adjective pyked, p. 2 ; applied to shoes that end in a peak. 
We hear that men ought to kneel to the Host in the 
road, fayre ne fowle ; a terse alliteration, where he the weather 
is dropped, p. 10. 

Among the Pronouns whyche still keeps ^^s true old 
meaning gualis, p. 1. In p. 21 a priest burns ]>at (those) 
ylke same hondes ; a curious instance of the Old and the 
New words for idem being yoked together. We saw at alle 
in the Salopian poem of 1350 ; we now, in p. 56, have hy 
Thon o]>er way at al. 

As to Verbs, need is now followed by an Accusative, heo 
nedeth lore, p. 28. We are reminded of the cut of a coat 
in p. 2 ; a priest is forbidden to wear cuttede clothes. There 
were two Old English verbs, beorgan (tueri) and borgian 
(mutuari) ; the former, corrupted into borwe, had been 
much used down to this time; henceforward it gave 
place, at least in the South, to the latter verb, our 
borrow, as in p. 32. The old folowe (baptizare) was now 
going out, to be replaced by crystene,?^ in pp. 5, 18; the 
latter had been used before the Conquest. The phrase 
ashe the banns stands in p. 7. 

Among the Adverbs we find welyngly (voluntarie), found 
also in Chaucer ; this of old had been wUleliche in the South. 
The Preposition for seems in p. 31 to get the sense of 
agai/nst or until ; leve bysynes for apon ]>e werkeday. The 
source of many new Interjections is to be found in the 
following lines : — 

** Hast ]>ou be wonet to swere als, 
By goddes bones or herte, fals, 
What by hys woundes, nayles, or tre " (p. 30). 

We see the new Eomance words sylahvl, howsynge (horse- 
trappings), quart In p. 23 depart is used both for abire 
and separare. We find " they prokereth a person to be fam^d," 
p. 22 ; we have now confounded this Celtic word with the 
Latin procure, which had come in eighty years earlier. 

io6 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The old noun syse is used for measure^ p. 39 ; hence our 
to size men, on parade. We read of the game hares, our 
prison bars, or prisoner's base. The curatour of * Piers 
Ploughman' is again used for parish priest Some of the 
reverend gentlemen used sory laten, as Mirk says, when 
baptizing; thus, I folowe ]>e in rmnina patria & filia spiritus 
sanctia, Amen, p. 18; so long as the first syllable of the 
words is right, the baptism is to stand good. Confirma- 
tion, he tells us, 

* * In lewde mennes menynge 
Is i-called -pe byspynge " (p. 20). 

This verb bishop had already been used by Shoreham. 
Those interested in the Sabbath question will fasten upon 
the following lines, showing the usage of Wat Tyler's time : — 

** Hast ]>ow holden yyn haliday 
And spend hyt wel to Goddes pay ? 
Hast ))0u any werke >at day i-wro5t, 
Or synned sore in dede or ])03t ? 

For schotynge, for wrastelynge, & o>er play, 
For goynge to >e ale on halyday, 
For syngynge, for roytynge, & syche fare 
fat ofte ye sowle doth myche care. 

ferfore j)ey schule here halyday 
Spene only God to pay. 
And 3ef "pey do any o]>er fynge, 
)>en serve God by here cunnynge, 
>en ))ey breke]) Goddes lay 
And holde]) not here halyday. '* 

There are some pieces in the * Eeliquise Antiquae ' 
which seem to belong to 1380; these are in I. 38, 51, 
and 59. Manning's old verb rank is now altered to rande, 
with the usual insertion of the I, p. 52. There are the new 
nouns sponful, seel sJdn, marigolde. The verb riddle (cribrare) 
is used in a new sense, p. 41, ryddid gownes ; hence, to 
riddle with shot. There is the new verb pampe (pamper), 
and the curious verb gorwoimd, p. 55, coming from gar 
(jaculum); by 1525 this verb was to be shortened into 
gore. The French verbs are ten^he, suet, unordynate. There 
is spicer, which has become one of our proper names. 


Among articles of ladies' dress, named in p. 41, are 
yacfces (jackets) and crakawis. The French is still counted 
the language of leechcraft, for side-ache here appears as mal 
de flaunke in p. 52, the first appearance, I think, of flank 
in English. One of the sins of nuns about this time was 
undertaking to teach curtesie to their boarders, the sons and 
daughters of lords, thus throwing aside God's service for 
pride and luxury ; see p. 42. 

We may here consider that version of the ' Cursor 
Mundi ' which goes by the name of the * Cotton Galba * 
(Early English Text Society). It is a Northern work ; in 
p. 1569 comes a byword, afterwards repeated in Scott's 
*Waverley,' gangand fote ay getes fode. Such words as 
nithing and v/rmayt appear, I think, for the last time ; 
there are also formfader, rose (jactatio), which are not 
often found after 1380. The old maineath (perjury) is 
fairly well spelt in p. 1543; in p. 1575 it is corrupted 
into mani ath. Among the words dropped in the North 
since 1290 are to weird (destine), bemester ; gmtkin ]>ing 
is turned into any thing, p. 1533 ; do him understand 
becomes mak him to understand in p. 1562. Many old 
words, found in Lancashire and Salop in 1350, are now 
dropped, such as withermn, selcuth, last (culpa), m^ele (loqui) ; 
a man is no longer grathed to a state, but is ordained to it, 
p. 1562. 

There are some pieces in the First volume of Hazlitt's 

* Early Popular Poetry ' which may date from 1380 ; they 
are due to the North and the Midland. In the amusing 

* Debate of the Carpenter's Tools * we find tK all the short 
for thou will, p. 79 ; this process was to be carried very 
far 200 years later ; the m,orwe now becomes morow (eras), 
p. 81 ; there is the Northern hayle (trahere), not the 
Southern haul. ' There is the Substantive alemfe ; the 
word gyn is used as a snare for animals, p. 15. A man, 
an admirer of high spirits, wishes to know if his guest 
be any felow (vir), p. 25 ; we still say, "not half a fellow." 
In p. 83 crow is used for a tool, not for a bird ; it is our 
crowbar. In p. 86 a person thinkes no synne to go to the 
alehouse. There is the phrase thorow thyke and thin^ p. 

io8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

15, used later by Chaucer. In p. 24 fresh is opposed to 
salt meat; there is unhappy (unlucky), p. 81. A man 
asks how fer may it he to a town, p. 19, a new phrase; 
there is also take cold, p. 88. There is the adverb soft, 
p. 83, standing by itself; it here stands for stop/ The ne 
is coupled with yet before an Imperative in p. 89, express- 
ing moreovery do not, etc. There is the phrase by ought that 
I canne se, p. 89. 

There are the Danish words styke (steak), uimble, and 
thimble ; these pieces belong to the Danelagh. 

The Romance words are servisable, flecher (arrow-trim- 
mer), prentys, fraud, gouge, rule, plane (carpenter's tools), 
polyff (pulley). In p. 45 and p. 83 stands the verb forteyn 
{fortune, in the sense of accidere), a verb which Tyndale 
loved, but was unable to hand down to us. There is 
the new verb cheer, used also by Wickliflfe. The adjective 
clere is employed in a new sense ; twenty merke (marks) clere, 
p. 81. In p. 83 crewyll (cruel) is used to express ax^r, as 
it is still sometimes used in our day. The noun mene (via) 
appears in p. 84 ; we now often make it Plural. In p. 85 
stands reule the roste. In p. 88 we light upon a startling 
change, the day is vary longe ; here is the adverb that was 
to supplant swith (vald6), which did not long survive 1400. 
In p. 43 wives use the baskefysyke; this unusual word, 
I suspect, means stuprum; in Wickliffe's works (Early 
English Text Society), p. 157, stands basefisik, used in the 
same sense ; the term was so uncommon that the earliest 
copyists of the Reformer's works did not understand it, and 
wrote base instead of base} In p. 80 stands the proverb : — 

**That lyghtly cum, schall lyghtly go." 

The poem on Sir Cleges (Weber, i 331) may date 
from about 1 380 ; it has Wickliffe's new gladsum, replac- 
ing the old glcedlic. There is a curious new idiom, formed 
upon the they had lever (potius), of 1300 ; thowe haddyst be 
better have gold, p. 349 ; here the Dative thee makes way for 
a Nominative ; the English for est mihi and ha^eo are con- 

^ The editor of WicklifFe's * Treatises,' at my suggestion, had the 
manuscripts searched ; the word is there undoubtedly written base. 


fused. The pronoun is dropped in hxsi no tonge ? p. 345. 
In p. 339 we have what may this he ? we now substitute can 
for may. Men do not slink away, but slake away, p. 334. 
We have newelth for novelty, to contend him, make pressynge 
(to press forward). 

England had the honour of giving birth to one of the 
two great poets of the Middle Ages, — of the two bright stars 
that enlighten the darksome gap of fourteen hundred years 
between Juvenal and Ariosto. Dante had been at work 
upon the loftiest part of his *Divina Commedia' at the pre- 
cise time that Manning was compiling his 'Handlyug 
Synne,' the first thoroughly-formed pattern of the New 
English ; the great Italian was now to be followed by a 
Northern admirer, of a somewhat lower order of genius 
indeed, but still a bard who ranks very high among poets 
of the second class. Chaucer was born in London, a city 
that boasts a more tuneful brood than any single spot in 
the world ; for this early bard was to have for his fellow- 
townsmen Spenser, Milton, Pope, and B3rron. Never has 
English life been painted in more glowing hues than by 
Chaucer; his lines will be more long-lived than the frescoes 
of Orcagna, which are dropping off the Pisan cloister; 
though poet and painter belong to the same date. 

We see in Chaucer's many works the remnants of the 
old Southern dialect, long spoken at London; there are 
forms like axe (rogare), her, hem, doughtren, ne, nis, nas, 
thUke, I v)U he your, mochsl, suster, honde, olde, ashen (cineres), 
ago, (unus), awaketh (the Imperative addressed to a person). 
There is also the Prefix to the Past Participle, as y-hete, 
y-ronnen. On the other hand there are many forms and 
phrases that have by this time come down from the North, 
such as thei han, am, she (not heo), those (most seldom), 
holly (omnino), hy and hy, to and fro, sware, unto, until, highte 
(altitudo), gruh (fodere), lad, fvlli, sin (as well as sM), in as 
much, onward, what ails him to, etc., who was who, snih, take 
upon him to, etc., take to Tne (hserere), / trow, it may wd he, 
see thou do it, give away, lem (docere), God forhid/ folkes 
(homines), kind (benignus), still (toujours), clad, till, gate 
(via), whilom, not, doest, latter, hegonnest, he whidi that (this is 

no THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

very common), for ought that, for the nones, homli, I say, fall 
to it, plow (not sulh), if so hejhat, if. that, blade (lamina), rush 
(ruere), iw force (no matter), as for, rising to stele, I am used 
to blow, carle, loth (invitus), governinges, dreminges, chastising, 
wont, felaw of youres, pour, farewel, curate, mistake me, entirely 
(thoroughly), behalf, stour, stand in stede, bein^ (essentia), 
blunder, she-wolf. The Northern bird (avis) sometimes 
supplants the old brid. The verb take is driving out mm. 
Several forms from the Severn country had by this time 
made their way to London, such as that made he with the best, 
aside, upsodoum, wele or wo, bowyer, make it qudnt, lady mine, 
ones on a time, how now, be at on, at large, for all the world, 
son in law, badder, touching this, swiche as it is, harry (trahere), 
houp (clamare). The old seith as muchel ase of the *Hali 
Meidenhad' now becomes as much to sayn as. The word 
knave, as in Lancashire, becomes a term of abuse ; indeed, 
many Lancashire phrases of 1360 may be found in Chaucer. 
His poems seem to have a range of about thirty-five years. 
So popular was he that some of his works were turned into 
the Northern dialect, thus reversing the usual order of 
things ; in one manuscript we see bather (amborum), and 
fae (hostis). 

I now consider Chaucer's poems continuously. I begin 
with one of his earliest works, that on the 'Death of Blanche 
the Duchess' (Chaucer Society, part ii. 213). We see the 
owe supplant e; pyle becomes pylowe, p. 220. In p. 223 
the French it la bonne heme (I am glad to hear it) seems to 
be Englished by yn good tyme. In p. 239 a certain lady's 
symple recorde (tale) is said to be trew as any bonde ; the first 
use of the noun for a legal document. In the same page 
stands trewar-tongyd ; here the Comparative is used in com- 
pounds; we have already seen hard-hearted. In p. 217 
streams make a dedly slepynge soum, ; hence " a dead sleep." 
Chaucer is fond of adding ish to an adjective ; we see here 
fattyssh, also flesshy, p. 239. He uses the Northern werre 
(pejor) for the sake of the rime, p. 230. In p. 236 the 
Duchess is called my swete right all hirselve, that is, she was 
distinguished from all others ; our sense of he was all himself 
is rather different. Another use of all is seen in body, herte. 

II. ] THE NE W ENGLISH, 1 1 1 

wnd all, p. 216; this did not become common until 
Tyndale's time. About the year 1300 we heard of anefewe 
fulla/ris ; the first word, representing the Plural soli, now 
means qwdwm ; a few wdlys, p. 217. In p. 226 the poet 
stands as styll as ought (anything), a new phrase. In p. 
241 we read of a half wwde, used for purposes of trickery. 
Among the Verbs are have the vMte to, etc., sing low and high, 
overshoot him (run beyond him), play a game, well grounded, 
hit folwyd (followed) that she was, etc., to hang the hed, put 
it yn ryms. Among the Adverbs is full, employed in full 
mmvy a yer, p. 249. The nx) and nay are used in the middle 
of a sentence ; no man could do it, no, not Joseph, p. 221, 
your eyen, myn, nay, all that saw her, p. 242. There is the 
phrase swea/r as I heste kmde, p. 247. The les is added to 
dred to express sine dvbio, p. 234 ; and dredles paved the 
way for doutles, which we still use as an Adverb. The old 
on ]>am gerad ]>cet makes way for the new up (upon) a con- 
dicyoun thai, etc., p. 234. There is the cry howe / (oho !) 
to awaken sleepers, p. 218. There is the new oath by the 
masse, p. 239 ; this lasted into the Eighteenth Century. 
The adjuration, as help me Ood I comes often. 

There is the Celtic knack (trick), p. 242, used also by 

Among the Romance words are nycety (stultitia), mate, 
powne (pawn), parte (carriage), vary, annex, process of time, 
herse, assured maner, govefrness, astate (dignity), as in Barbour. 
A new French preposition was coming into our compounds; 
we see the verb countrefete. The verb carole adds the 
meaning of canere to its old sense saltare, p. 236. The word 
pair one takes the new sense of exemplar, p. 238 ; we now 
write it pattern; superior must be the connecting link 
between the two meanings borne by patrone. There is the 
phrase to save (attend heedfully to) Mr umrshipe ; hence our 
" save a horse up a hill." How entirely a word's meaning 
may be altered appears in p. 250, where a queynte dream is 
talked of; here the old cognUus, cuirU, queynte gets the 
opposite sense of incognitus, something strange or out of the 
way. So the Teutonic seli (felix) had shifted its meaning 
to infelix. The Eomance purely now imitates the Old 

1 1 2 THE NE W ENGLISH, [chap. 

English dome,^ meaning orrmino^ p. 215. In p, 218 stands 
a guater hifore daye (a quarter of an hour) ; here there is a 
great ellipse. In p. 220 we hear of saiyn de owter mere; 
French could alone express certain articles of lady's dress. 
We find the noun erUettm, p. 221, our twne; we have this 
variation of the French as well as tone. In p. 238 dyshryve 
expresses videre^ our descry ; the French had both descrivre 
and the later descrire. We hear of Sprewse (Prussia) in p. 
241 ; the prefixing of s is most curious. In p. 246 ^ the 
dysmall appears ; this has been derived from disrtie and the 
payment of tUhes, a time of sorrow; see Skeat on this 

I now take some of the other earliest efforts of Chaucer's 
genius, the 'Parliament of Fowls/ the *A B C/ and * Anelida 
and Arcite.' ^ 

We see k replace ch^ as in the North ; lykerotis for lecher- 
cms; the / is mistaken for long s, as flight (sleight) and 
flaterie, p. 154. The word feling is now applied to the 
mind, not to the body. A dame holds her lover in strict 
subjection ; it is said that he is sarvant unto hir ladishippe 
(power), p. 160; hence came the title of honour. A 
person's colour is said to resemble that of asshen (ashes). 
A lover, seeing a lady, cladde him in her huwe (wore her 
colours), p. 156. We hear of watir fovle^ and of Seynt 
Valentynes day, when birds choose their mates. Old phrases 
were going out; sotde hele is altered into sovles helthe in one 
manuscript. Among the Adjectives we find our seamen's 
phrase, the northe northe west, p. 68. The Teutonic hard is 
confused with the French hardi ; the hardy asshe (tree), p. 
62. The Adjective hust (whist) stands for tacUm, -p, 174. 
Among the Verbs are give it wp (cease from it), take accion, 
hear of no mercy ; this last phrase we always use in the 
negative. Fowls lay their heads togedir, p. 88. The English 
for vellem is dropped in ra]>ere dye thm to do so, p. 166. 
Another verb is dropped in but to the poynie, p. 76. As to 
Adverbs, the so is used something like vaMh ; a yere ys not 
so long to endure, p. 96. In p. 168 stands the phrase, say 
ovie of the way (odd). The hy is used in a new sense ; it 

^ I here use the works of the Chaucer Society, part ii. 


had often been used after the verb know ; we now see in 
p. 50 I mene this he love. In p. 134 we have fals to him, 
Chaucer is fond of a phrase \\kQ flowr of oMejioures, p. 124. 

There is the Scandinavian word scant (parens), p. 134. 

Among the French words are cormerauntef entrike (en- 
snare), roimdel, portray, princess, governowresse, superlaiyf, lese 
(leash), nusance, tryumphe, laurer (laurel), to corect (writing), 
disshevele, p. 66, In p. 68 we hear first of a dedely wound, 
then of a mortale stroke, A verb is formed from the 
Teutonic crampe (spasmus) ; and this takes the French ish 
at the end, p. 158. Arrow heads are tempred in water, p. 
64, a new use of the verb. In p. 90 a lady may be 
stramge to her lover; that is, imfriencUy, There is the 
new phrase good feith, p. 175. We see the expressions 
receyve unto mercy, to dbsente you, have no foMesye to debate, 
p. 175; here the first noun takes the new meaning of 
liking. The adjective pleyne, in p. 154, signifies /mn^, open ; 
hence the Plaindealer, A lover has away tinges and besynesse 
(care) upon his lady, p. 164 ; here the idea of attendance or 
service first comes into the word wait. In p. 142 St. John 
is called a virgyne ; a new use of the word. The old sotell 
and the new Latin form subtU may be seen struggling 
together in the manuscripts; see p. 152. 

We now turn to the two poems written in the middle 
of Chaucer's life — the * Troilus ' and the * House of Fame.' ^ 
The former is interesting as being the first work in which 
we trace the influence of the New Italian upon English ; 
Boccacio's * Filostrato ' supplied our own bard with many 

In the first stanza of this work the sound of oy seems 
to undergo a change ; for Troye and joye are made to rime 
with fro ye (from you). The r is struck out ; rruBscre (mesh) 
gives birth to the verb mask, p. 167. Among the Sub- 
stantives are trapdore, twiste, overhaste, unrest, a blab, crowisfeet 
(under the eye). We have already seen ladyship ; a man 
is now requested to do something of ^our lordship, p. 91, 
like "of your charity." There is a new compound, a let- 
game, p. 124, like our marplot. The word selynesse keeps 

^ Chaucer Society, part ii. 
VOL. I. 1 

1 1 4 THE NE W ENGLISH, [chap. 

its old sense oifelkity in p. 134. The old leof makes way 
for love (amans), p. 244 ; folk see their loves wedded. In- 
struments are sometimes delicious through vjynde, p. 248. 
A woman tells prophecies by fierte, p. 286 ; a new phrase. 
An Old English usage is continued when Troie toun is spoken 
of, p. 268. Chaucer is fond of adding ess to nouns; as 
herdess (shepherdess). In the 25 th stanza the heroine is 
said to be matchless, just as A is our first letter ; this is 
the first hint of our "A one." 

Among the new Adjectives are thrifty, unholsom, 
womanish; this last was formerly tvifmcmlic, Chaucer is 
fond of the ending ish; he coins marmysh in stanza 41, to 
express the reverse of womanly perfection. He also adds 
this ish to the French adjective fole, making folisL He 
has the Superlative konnyngest. There is the phrase a lame 
word in p. 41 ; whence our lame excuse, A prosperous man, 
in p. 163, is said to sit warme; hence our warm (thriving) 
manj and our tenants sit at so much rent. A lady promises 
her friend my good wurde, p. 271. There are the phrases 
str eight as lyne, m short The Adjective is set after the 
Vocative, as v/nde dere, lady hright ; it is made a Substan- 
tive, for in p. 20i flatte is opposed to egge (edge). 

As to Pronouns, a lover is said to have it hot, p. 164, 
192 ; here the indefinite it, referring to nothing before, 
reappears. Chaucer is fond of this or that. He revives a 
French idiom unknown since 1220 ; fox ]>at ^e ben/ p. 161. 
The half is now placed before an accusative ; rruike Jialvendel 
]>e fare, p. 244. 

Among the Verbs are unsitting (soon to become tmfitti/ng), 
mutter, to Uhlotte (blot), hvmme, unlove, forecast, wrvpin. There 
are the phrases, they fell to speak, it fell that (accidit), set at 
rest, to sand paths, dy for laghtir, fever takes him, hold thee clos 
(keep close), douncast look, make up charters, wele yshape (well 
shaped, of a lady), reise ]>e country, fold armes, set the world 
at six & seven, p. 193; his herte mysforyaff him, p. 222, 
(the later misgave), dwell oute caste from joy, bring out a word, 
make resistence, drawe his bree]>, yeve him audience, fynd in 
thyn herte to, etc. The verb mean is in great use, as the 
explanatory / mean, p. 122 ; he menUh it in good wise, p. 

II. ] THE NE W ENGLISH. 1 1 5 

66 ; \ow menyst wele, p. 117. We have already seen play 
king in 1300; a <Ae is now inserted ; pley ]>e tiraunt, p. 85. 
Chaucer preserves the old form lorn (perditus). In p. 291 
stands he went excfosmg her ; we should now put in on after 
the perfect The to is now set between dare and the 
following Infinitive (a strange corruption), dare to love; there 
is also sworn to hold it We see the curious phrase in 
stanza 48, your hire is quit, God wot how. In stanza 41 
a lady's limbs answer to womanhood ; here the verb gets a 
new meaning, " be consistent with." 
^ Among the Adverbs are, v/nfelingli, out and out ]>e worthiest, 
p. 67; parfourme it out; inly. There is the terse phrase, to 
save his lyf and eUis not, p. 61, where the last two words 
mean, "which is otherwise impossible." An adjective is 
used for an adverb, take it /aire and softe, p. 244 ; here the 
last words slip into the meaning of quietly. The at next is 
cut down in p. 283, when ye nexte see v/pon me. 

As to Prepositions, we find arme in arme, wi]> al myn hert, 
for oght I can aspye, I speke wnder correction, at ]>e werste, what 
they wold sey to it (de eo). This to is sometimes dropped ; 
in p. 279 we see both vmte to Mr and also vnite Mr, The 
phrase /or God^s love becomes for love of God, p. 173; we 
confine the older idiom to sake. A lady's attendants are 
called women about her, p. 129; implying respectful at- 
tendance, a new use of the Preposition. Chaucer has over- 
renne (beat in running), p. 223 ; this in his later works he 
altered into outrwn. 

There is the Low German noun lash, and also roore 
(tumultus), whence our later uproar. There is the 
Scandinavian verb jo^npre, our jumble. 

Among the Eomance words are collateral, a pacient (of 
a physician), misconstrue, lytargie (lethargy), is descended from, 
wele disposyd (inclined), chekmate, guerdon, in mewe (prison), 
scarmysshe, tendre herted, impressions (thoughts), proliodte, to 
plye him, sentement, dissimule, templis (tempora), our desertis, 
source, mocyon, rudeness, vulgarly, mardall (martial), cote 
armwe, ume, rosy, my memorie. There are the phrases 
p'ess Mm upon her, make his adew, direct a book to. The cry, 
mea culpa, stands in p. 59, a foretaste of the many Latin 

ii6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

phrases that were to be brought into English about 1550. 
There is the noun refrdn (burden of a song, p. 97) ; this 
has been revived in our day. We see the phrase pley 
rakett to and fro, p. 187 ; the noun has lately become very 
popular. The name Pandarus is contracted into the ill- 
omened Fandar to suit the rime, p. 272. The word passion 
no longer means suffering, but is applied to emotions, p. 
196. In p. 213 we hear of a pregnant argumerU (forcible 
or constraining). Littr^ gives no use of the adjective used 
in this sense in France, until the Sixteenth Century; it 
is odd that in England the word should make its first ap- 
pearance with this secondary meaning. The old foldsc is 
supplanted by poeplisshy our vulgar and base, p. 231. A 
Greek hero loses the last consonant in his name, as Diomede, 
In p. 236 straunge stands for minis, a new sense; tmcouth 
has assumed senses something like strange. We have 
already seen trewar tongyd ; the Superlative now comes 
into compounds, for strengest fey]>ed stands in stanza 143. 
In p. 258 we hear of tyme passed, present tyme, and futv/re 
tyme. The form recomatmde (recommend) stands in p. 283, 
riming with comaunde. 

We see certain proverbs, as, of harmys two ]>e lasse is for 
to chese, p. 58 ; every ]>ing a hygynnyng hath, p. 65 ; hit is not 
good a slepyng hound to wake, p. 132 ; al ]mg ha]> tyme, p. 
135 ; make vertu of necessite, p. 227 ; vxmder laste hit IX 
nyghtes in a toun, p. 192. Chaucer had sound notions of 
language ; 

** Ye know wel )>is, in fourme of speche is chaunge 
Withyn a thowsand 3eer, and wordis tho 
That haddyn pris now wondur nyce & straunge 
Us ]>mkip hem " (p. 42). 

Chaucer's ' House of Fame ' must have been written soon 
after his ' Troilus.* There are here the Northern phrases 
how that, vx)ful, alleskynnes (all kinds of), pel (castellum), as 
now. The d replaces ]>, as qmd he (dixit), a form copied 
long afterwards by More. The s is inserted in sterisman, 
and the old wealhnute (walnut) becomes walsh note, p. 216. 

Among the new Substantives are huntress, potful. There 
is the phrase to here it was no gams (joke), p. 221. The 


Sun's chariot is still called a cart% p. 206. The word 
spryng is used for a dance in p. 215 ; and there we also see, 
in one manuscript, hove daunce (court dance), connected with 
German musicians ; this strange word is elsewhere altered 
into love daunce ; Gower also uses this German hove. There 
is a curious new idiom of the Double Genitive in p. 222 ; 
Englishmen before this time had talked of the king's son 0/ 
France ; but we now see the Ood of loves name ; this comes 
very sparingly in the next forty years. A house is said to 
be full of gyges, p. 234, whence our whirligig, seemingly 
meaning the same. Chaucer's favourite ish is employed in 
the adjective Troianysshe, not Trojan, p. 185. He further 
has grenyssh, p. 226 ; the first combination of ish, I think, 
with adjectives of colour. There is the phrase so stvyft as 
thought, p. 234. In p. 217 stands alle and every man ojfhem. 
In p. 230 stands wostow whatte (do you know what t); I tell 
you what (aliquid) was to come in Shakespere. In p. 240 
men say / not (nescio) never what, a new phrase. The 
what (aliquid) is repeated in p. 238 ; / herde thinges, what a 
lovde and what in ere ; hence our " what with A and what 
with B." There is our curious Interrogative idiom, what did 
Eolus hut he toke out hys trumpe, p. 226. We see a new 
phrase for quidam; oon I koude nevene (name), p. 196. 

Among Verbs we find my hert betes, take goode herte, do yow 
favour, wot how I stonde. In p. 218 the Goddess is y-stalled ; 
I suspect this form led to our installed. There is a curious 
new idiom of the Subjunctive, dreme he harefote, dreme he 
shod, p. 183, like the later come weal, come woe. The verb 
ken had hitherto stood for sdre ; it now means videre in p. 
194 ; kenne with myn ye (eye) ; a kenning in this sense was 
soon to become a sea term. The old chop (secare) gets the 
new meaning oiferire, p. 231 ; that of mutare was to come 
later. The verb start now becomes transitive ; stert an hare, 
p. 199. There is the new verb humble (sonare), formed 
from the sound, p. 209 ; in Scotland a certain waterfall is 
known as the Hummel Bummel. The verb lilt appears in 
connection with music, a lUtyng horne, p. 214. The pre- 
position for now replaces after ; to go for Eolus (to bring 
him), p. 224. The interjection a is now used before nouns, 

ii8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

a Iwrges^ larges I p. 217 ; it was soon to precede the names 
of knights as a war cry. 

Among the Romance words are signal^ soar, casually, 
fmtinine, sicamour, oracle, sisowres (scissors), the contraryes, 
conservatyf, p. 204 ; palpable, fumigacums, saturnyne, at poynt 
devys, Chlaxy, agreable, is perched, poach, currour (courier), to 
entremedle, to acheke (check). We see the new French jowes, 
our jaws, p. 230 ; this was doubtless confounded with the 
old Teutonic ceafl, choule, jowl. The verb wayte (expectare) 
seems to get the new sense of morari; love may last a 
season, but imyte upon the condusyon, p. 189. In p. 199 a 
man has devocion to Cupido, a new phrase. The word poetry 
was something new ; it stands for poema in p. 221 ; it is 
used in our present sense, p. 204. In p. 206 we read of 
eyryssh bestes (air-dwelling animals) ; perhaps our adjective 
eerie may come from this. There is the phrase no fors (no 
matter), p. 208 ; this lasted for 150 years. In p. 235 we 
hear of dearth, fire, and of divers accident ; here the word 
seems to slide into the sense of mischance. We read of a 
pelet Old of goime, and also of the poudre, that produces the 
effect, p. 226. In p. 239 a goddess confers names after her 
disposicioun ; here the word may mean either uMl or order, 
Chaucer is fond of using see (sedes) for a throne, but this 
did not take root We see vrnfanuruse, p. 212 (unknown 
to fame), very different from our infamous. There is the 
noun pursevant (pursuivant), p. 217 ; here the v may per- 
haps have taken the place of a «*, as in pursuer. In p. 227 
easy is opposed to fast ; hence our " easy all ! " 

In p. 187 comes the proverb hyt is not al golde that glareth. 
In p. 217 the victim flayed by Apollo appears as Marcia, 
a lady. 

We now come to the * Canterbury Tales,' compiled in 
the fulness of Chaucer's powers.^ As to Vowels, a replaces 
ce, as bladder and rafter for blcedre and rcefter ; before this 
time these had been written bleddre and refter ; the a re- 
places e, as bramble for bremble ; the a replaces ea, for mearh 
(medulla) gives rise to the form rrmrie bones; the a replaces 
eo, as hart for heort (cervus), which had before hQ^nhert. The 

^ I here use the Aldine edition of the Poets, Pickering's. 

11. ] THE NE W ENGLISH, 1 19 

ai replaces eg, as hair for hxr ; praiere comes instead of 
preiere. The French ai becomes ia, in fustian (fustaine) ; 
Chaucer makes it a word of three syllables, ii. 3. The e 
replaces t, as sleke for the old slike (Isevis), and disc now 
splits up into two forms, desk and dish The e replaces 0, 
as yernan for the Northern yonmn ; it replaces y, as shelf for 
scylfe^ werde (fatum) for wyrd. The Kentish forms mery and 
bery (sepelire) are adopted by Chaucer ; but he has mirthe 
as well as merthe; also fUthe and sippe, not the Southern 
ftUthe and supe. Three variations of vowels were still striv- 
ing for the mastery in London, for we find in Chaucer 
hrustles, bristles, berstles, all three. The former leien, the 
Past Participle of lie (jacere), is now written lien, the form 
kept in our Prayer Book ; the ie is the Kentish way of 
sounding the French i ; the i replaces e, for there is divel 
for devU, as in Ireland ; it replaces 0, for parosche becomes 
parishe. The old oreistm becomes orison, iii. 204, with 
the accent on the first vowel. Chaucer turns the old akern 
into acorn; he is fond of doubling the 0, as in mood, flood, 
cook ; he uses the two forms, corone and crovms ; he turns 
y into 0, as copper for the 'old cyperen. The form oi might 
be sounded either as the French 02* or as the French t, 
thus we see the noun devoir from debere : this was soon to 
be written by Englishmen as both devure and devei\ The 
ow replaces a ^ or 3 ; wUig (salix) is written vnlwe and also 
wUow ; belg (foUis) is seen as belous (bellows) ; the word had 
taken the Plural form ninety years earlier. The Past Parti- 
ciple of sowen (serere) is here y-sowe; the Participle of 
seowen (suere) is here sewed. We have now confounded 
these two Verbs, answering in sound to the French sou 
and siou, and we have further made the Weak seowen a 
Strong Verb, as regards the Past Participle. What was 
usually written roll is now route; we see both flood and 
floud ; the old ule (bubo) becomes owle, not changing its 
sound. The form oi, not ui, seems to be favoured ; Shore- 
ham's armoie is repeated ; this verb, iii. 323, implies sheer 
boredom, and is nearer to the modem ennui than to annoy- 
ance, Chaucer adopts the forms fruit and guise. The oy 
was now becoming a favourite combination in France ; 

I20 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

SO he has, not only real and rial^ but also royal. He 
has both hea'oii and heuU^ the French and English forms of 
one sound. The tree iw^ eow^ is now written ew^ our yew. 
The French word for debUus appears as dewe, ii. 91, but it 
takes the Gloucester form diie, ii. 280 ; there is also dutee; 
we have insisted on changing the French sound ou into 
the thoroughly English iou (ew). We see yonge Hew of 
Lincoln, not the older form Huwe, We find in Chaucer 
our national habit of contracting ; we get rid of the sound 
of vowels; soverainetee, ii. 198, is sounded like sovrantee. 
We have the line in ii. 200 — 

" That litel wonder is though I walwe and wind." 

Here the e in wonder and the e in walwe are both dropped. 
So, a little further on, in p. 203 — 

"Poverte a spectakel is, as thinketh me." 

Here both the e in poverte and the last e in spectakel drop. 
In iii. 67 we have the first hint of ifs (est) — 

** It is an honour to everich that is here." 

As a general rule, English throws back the accent to the 
third syllable from the end ; so in iii. 233 stands 

" That referreth to thy confusion." 

So AchUles and Luci/na take the accent on the first syllable. 
It is the same with hatailles, iii. 164. 

As to Consonants, Chaucer ruled that we should write 
tempt instead of the other form of the word tent; this latter 
had been already bespoken in the North as a form of 
attend. The b becomes^/ kembed is seen as kemped, ii. 64; 
hence our vmkempt. Not only p but / is inserted, for the 
old forgitoly Gower's foryetel, is now written forgetful. We 
see the old chirk, not our modem chirp. We find ark, ii. 
133, where we should now write arch (arcus). The c is 
struck out ; ]>rescwold becomes threswold (threshold). The 
g is changed into ck and thus forms a new verb ; tug gives 
birth to tuck; a friar is ytucked hie, ii. 220. Chaucer 
writes gailer for the jailer of Piers Ploughman ; we may 
now write either gaol or jail. The gh is in full force, this 



being an old London form ; hough is written for ftoA, with 
the last consonants probably unsounded ; cough is also 
found, and draught. We see the form markis, and this 
pronunciation may still be heard in our day. The d is 
inserted in hegge, hedge^ and in air ; so alder (alnus), the 
later eldeTy appears. The interchange between r and 5 is 
seen in the North Western glimerin, which becomes glimsing, 
our glimpse, ii. 308. There is the form pace, as well as pass. 
The old ps is now transposed ; waps becomes waq). The 
wawes (fluctus) of the Tristrem now become waves, iL 147, 
with the usual confusion of u and v. 

On turning to Substantives, the foreign ard, ardie, ap- 
pears in dotard, slogardie. The foreign ry was coming in, 
as goldsmithry, deiery, yemanrie. The er is freely tacked on, 
as thou glader of the mount, ii. 66 ; a vertuous liver, ii. 163. 
The ending ness was encroaching on hed ; shrewedness re- 
places Shoreham's schreuhede ; there is also homlinesse, ml- 
fulnesse. There is both likdihed and likeliness, jolinesse, 
douhlenesse, strangenesse, scantnesse. New words are formed 
by adding man, as court-man (courtier), ii. 281. As to 
Proper names, jacke fool is used, ii. 110, much like our 
Tom fool ; hence come jackass and jackanapes. We see the 
names Simkin, Hodge, MahUy ; the prison of Newgate has 
become proverbial, ii. 132. We light upon Jubaltare 
(Gibraltar). The es is no longer tacked on to a Latin 
word to form the Genitive, like the old Juliuses ; we see 
PhUippus sone applied to Alexander, iii. 172. We see 
cokenay already employed as a term of reproach, ii. 125. 
The word ship becomes feminine ; and this, in our days, is 
the gender of a man of war. On the other hand, the 
month of May is masculine, iii. 8. The Verbal Nouns are 
freely used ; pending silver, iii. 231 ; gon a begging, iii 28 ; 
his helping stands for his help (service), ii. 82 ; so my willing 
(voluntas), ii. 2^6 -, to my supposing, ii. 268. The Pre- 
positions are set after Nouns, in phrases like a bringer out 
of hesinesse, the bUding up of chirches, as we saw in earlier 
writers. The word forfex is translated by the Plural sheres, 
not by the Singular, ii. 189. Bight also takes a plural; 
have your lights, ii. 286. In ii. 128 we hear of two pigges in 

122 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

a poke. In ii. 214 min owen hoy is used as a term of en- 
dearment. The word jpley is now used for a theatrical 
piece. The French ecuy a piece of money, is Englished by 
sheld. There are new Substantives like ouiiider, thwitel 
(whittle), meremaiden (no longer merewif), chip, bever hat, 
baggepipe, wallet^ brestplate, twinUing of an eye, hertes ese, 
night-cap, gossomer (goose summer film), milksop, hrov/a bred, 
chvk, on his tiptoon, bakemete. The word fane, which earlier 
meant a streamer, is now used to express our vane. There 
is shrimp, that is, an object contracted very small, from the 
old verb scrymman. In iii. 327 every sinful man is a cherl 
(servus) to sinne ; cherlish is used for our blackguardly in p. 
26. The word monger was coming in, tacked on to other 
nouns, as guestmonger. The French age is added on to cot ; 
the word cotin was used for our cottage to the South of the 
Channel The word ]>v/rhfaru had of old meant camera ; it 
now takes our sense of the word, and appears as thwrghfare. 
The term girles is used iov pudloe, ii. 20, and not in the 
West country sense of children. The old hlcedel (a pump) 
is used for a cook's ladle, p. 60. The Old English moere- 
fcec now becomes the nightes mare (nightmare). The old 
lenten, as in Trevisa, was making way for a new term; 
in iii. 13 we hear of the spring flood. The old crop now 
takes a new sense — that of seges. The word irni is used, 
not for dolium, as usual, but to express a measure ; tonne- 
gret, ii. 60. The old ^erde (virga) also expresses a measure ; 
something is a ^erde long. We read of the pipes 
of a man's lungs, iL 82. A person does not take in 
boarders, but holds guests to borde, ii. 95. In stand in his 
light, ii. 101, the last word gets a new meaning. Wench is 
not used by Chaucer in the honourable sense of the North 
country ; in ii. 108 it stands for ancUla ; it is applied to no 
one higher than a miller's daughter. Old January's wife 


'^ I am a gentil woman, and no wenche.'' 

In iii. 251 we learn that women, high and low alike, may 
fall a prey to the seducer. 

** But, for the gentil is in estat above, 
She shal be cleped his lady and his love ; 


And, for that other is a poure woman, 

She shal be cleped his weTvche and his lemman." 

Chaucer and Dr. Johnson both employed the word aforesaid 
in the same evil sense. Leman also is sadly degraded from 
its old meaning, as we see here. The word jU conveyed 
the notion of certare of old ; in ii 126 the noun stands for 
nothing so serious, and prepares the way for our fit of cough- 
ing, and such like. Our green has long Englished stultus ; 
in ii. 138 we hear of grenehed orfolie. There is a change 
in herbergeoWy ii 162; it no longer means harbovrers, but 
men who go before, our harbingers; this is Barbour's 
change. The word loUer has changed its meaning since 
Piers Ploughman wrote, and now implies heresy, iii 59. 
The old sense of thing (causa) is well marked in iii 176 ; 
a man was slain far no thing but for chivcUrie. Adam and 
Eve are said to have made themselves h^eches in Paradise, 
iii. 281, a word which has given a name to one English 
version of the Bible. There is the usual love of Allitera- 
tion in the sentence, all min heritage^ toun and tour, ii 301 ; 
there is also hous a/nd home. 

Among the Adjectives we find a new use of the Super- 
lative, fairest of the fair^ ii 66, where aire fairest would have 
been used earlier. The Substantive may be dropped, as 
thurgh thick and thinne, ii 121. The word lihtsma (facilis) 
is formed from another adjective, as gladsum had already 
been. The les is added to a foreign root, as a tiUdes 
tiraunty iii 251. Chaucer is fond oi fvl as an Adjectival 
ending ; he replaces the old hatelic by hateful. We talk of 
a horsy man ; but Chaucer coined horsly when he wanted an 
Adjective of this kind. He writes sli sometimes for the 
old slehy and uses it in a bad sense ; and here he is followed 
by Gower. There are new Adjectives like coltish, tusked, 
lemed, dogerel. There is stibbome, said to mean " stiff as a 
stubJ^ We have phrases like broune as is a bery, to speke 
brode (plainly), ii. 23 (hence a broad joke); this is the short and 
plain, ii. 33 (long and sliort of it) ; at the leste way (least- 
ways), ii. 34, have the beter, upright as a bolt, piping hot, besy as 
bees, a black bill shone as the jet, iii. 181. There is a new 
Alliterative phrase, tJie foule fend fetche me, ii. 215. In ii. 

124 '^HE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

208 a promise is made to strike a man out of mire lettres 
hlake; this is the source of our black books. In ii. 249 we 
hear of vnse and ripe wordes ; the last adjective, as used in 
this sense, had now come South. A very long Adjectival 
phrase is spun in iii. 1, twenty-pound-wo7'th lond. The word 
sad gets the meaning of tristis, as in the North; in ii. 253 
it is applied to sorrowful Grisildis. An Adjective is 
strengthened by prefixing a Substantive, as bolt upright. 

Among the Pronouns we see ye and thou both used in a 
prayer to God, iii. 7 ; also in an address to parents, ii. 141 ; 
also in a speech to an adored wife, iL 301. On the other 
hand, a master uses thou to a pupil, and the pupil addresses 
the master with ye, iii. 317. In you were nede to resten, iii. 
63, the first word is in the Dative, like Shakespere's "you 
were best go." In ii 305 stands nis non, no, nouther he ne 
she; a Northern form of male and female. In iii. 158 
Fortune overthrows hire man; that is, the man on whom 
she has her eye. We see the old Dative of it very plainly 
when we read of the Paternoster ; it comprehendeth m him- 
self all good, iii. 358. The Indefinite it comes more into 
vogue ; it priketh in my side, that is, " I am pricked," ii. 215 ; 
it nedeth not reherse, I wol awrttre (adventure) U, ii. 125, 
like the make it stout (ruffle it) of 1320. The which some- 
times keeps its true old meaning, that of the kindred qualis ; 
as, herkeneth whiche a miracle befell, ii. 80 ; / shal tellen which 
a gret honour it is to be, etc., ii. 206 ; this was to be replaced 
by Barclay's whai 120 years later. The which is also used 
as a Masculine Eelative ; thise riotov/res, of which I tell, iii. 
49 ; also as a Neuter Eelative (Gower is fond of this) ; 
herd all thing which (he) spake, iii. 221 ; there is also the 
Northern the which; also for fere of which, referring to an 
Antecedent. The what is more used ; he told him as ye han 
herd, ye wot wel what, ii. 233. It is employed in asking 
about a man's profession ; is he a derk or nan ? tell what he 
is, iii. 219. Orrmin's what now encroaches upon the old 
which (qualis) ; / have declared what thing is penance, iii. 260. 
The such is used indefinitely like the French tel ; prentices 
appoint to meet in swiche a strete, ii. 130. In iii. 68 we 
have the abrupt command, no more of this, with no Verb. 


In ii 182 we get the first hint of our all the same; a man 
is buried ; all is his tomb not so carious as, etc. The word 
one takes a Plural ; herkeneth, felaweSy we three hen all ones, 
ii. 50 ; a foretaste of little ones. In saw him al atone, ii. 276, 
the al (all) comes twice over. We now say all right in 
token of compliance; Chaucer's phrase for this was al 
ready, Sire, ii. 277. He employs every body, ii. 153. 
Enough now takes a Genitive ; he saw ynou of other folk, ii. 
218. The development of any was going on fast; in ii. 
319 stands to riden any where ; in ii. 296 love him best of any 
creaiv/re ; here all creatures would have stood earlier. There 
is the phrase to rise a ten or twelve, ii. 321 ; here of the clock 
is dropped ; foure of the clok stands in iii. 256 ; that is, four 
strokes of the bell. We saw mare harm is in the year 1 220 ; 
Chaucer prefixes a the to the more, iii. 251. There is the 
new way of Englishing the Latin ipse ; eke the veray hogges 
were fered, iii. 197; in copying deeds, about this time, 
scribes were wont to affirm, " this is the very copy of the 
grant;" so truthful that it might be taken for the deed 

Among the Verbs we see a new idiom, we han ben waytynge, 
ii. 28 ; this is an advance on " I am seeking," which dates 
from the earliest times. We remarked the idiom of the year 
1300, "to have the streets empty," where have answers to 
facere ; this have is now followed by the Infinitive as well 
as by an Adjective ; chese to han mefovde, . . . and be to you a 
trewe wif, ii. 203 ; hence ** I would have you go." Chaucer 
has a startling innovation, wholly unneeded, in the Active 
Participle, which he perhaps confused with its Passive 
brother ; a swerd yham^gvag by a thred ; Milton most likely 
had this in his mind when he wrote about " a star-ypointing 
pyramid." Chaucer has both mot and muste, the old and 
the new, in one couplet in ii 295. His may, contrary to 
old usage, expresses licet rather than possum. The sholde 
now and then stands for our would, as in ii. 305 ; but it 
comes far seldomer than in Caxton; our language was 
losing some of its weight and gravity in 1390. The can 
and coude are sometimes used in their old sense of scire. 
We saw in 1 280 an imitation of the French sarhs alter ; our 

126 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

hy now follows in the wake of mihout ; by having grete posses- 
sions, iil 131. The Infinitive follows bind; as ybomden to 
helpe me ; the old bov/n, (paratus) had long been followed by 
an Infinitive. There are new verbs like caterwaw (of a cat), 
clottered, mv/nch, jitigle, unhorse, prolle (scrutari). The verb get 
was acquiring a Middle sense ; a man geteth him to drivJce, 
iii. 334 j this is like Orrmin's take, Tlie Danish forkaste 
(rejicere) had been used in Kent ; but Chaucer couples fore, 
not for, with the verb, and talks of something forecaste 
(devised beforehand). The old snoesen (ferire) now takes 
the sense of our sneeze, iiL 246 ; this is the Dutch niezen; 
the old fnesen still survived. The verb turn is applied to 
the turner's trade, ii. 117. The verb shape now expresses 
not only creare, but dirigere; as in our " shape his course ;" 
he shope hint' to lie thUke night, ii 221. To crak, ii. 292, is 
used in the Scotch sense of the word, loqui The verb 
uyreke here retains one of its oldest senses, exercere ; wreke 
his ire on it, iii. 170 ; it was soon to lose its other meaning 
of tUdsci and to be replaced by avenge. The expletive 
/ gesse, so much used in America, appears in Chaucer, as in 
Wickliffe, ii. 303. We have heard before of sworn brethren; 
we now see thy boren man, ii. 290. Chaucer has both / 
schrewe and / beshrewe, formed from the Noun. The old 
writhe now becomes intransitive ; she writhed away, ii. 98, 
and it is, moreover, turned into a Weak verb. There are 
barbarous forms like thou ivisted, ii. 35; thou wotest, ii. 69. 
A verb is dropped in the phrase, o word er I go, ii. 223. 
The verb trip is now coupled with dancing. The verb 
whine is applied to a horse, ii 179; we now distinguish 
this sense of the word from its other meaning by writing 
it whinny. With us, sufferers sing out; Chaucer makes 
them only sing, ii 207. The Imperative come of stands 
in ii. 215, where Scotsmen would now say, come away, 
and where Englishmen would say, come along. There are 
phrases like it tikelith me, yeres ago, have the higher hand, 
ring it out, take his ese, make tarying, be in praiere, he was bore 
{borne) down, he was swome adou/n, wel ygrowen, knit his 
browes, wet Mr whistle, speke him fayre, hold compagnie with, 
let things slide, to set gemmss in gold, have a bad nrnne, do 


oheisancey do a frendes twm to, have love to thee, the thing is 
ygon so fer, sail Mr corns, drive a bargain, take thy deth, to go 
to the point, give in charge to, rrwrdre wol out, God hlesse my 
sovle, kepe it close, I sette (put) case, put out his eyen, take 
effect, make all good, to go sorweful, go nigh the sothe, God spede 
you. The Teutonic and Eomance synonyms stand side by 
side in the line, 

"This wif was not aferde ne afiraide " (iii. 72). 

The Celtic and Teutonic synonyms are found much in the 
same way — 

** Right as a swerd forcutteth and forkerveth " (iii. 255). 

Among his Adverbs Chaucer employs the Northern where 
for the dependent ubi, not the old there, iiL 31. Sometimes 
whereas stands for this vM, referring to place, as in ii. 210 ; 
hwar ase appeared for uUcimque so far back as 1220. This 
whereas slides into a new meaning in iii. 113, taking the 
sense of quum; you acted thus, whereas it had hen necessarie to 
act otherwise. Another shade of meaning, that of quoniam, 
was to come thirty years later. The as is now, without any 
need, prefixed to yet (adhuc) and now ; no word as yet spake 
he, ii. 205; maken no defence as now, iii. 130. The that, 
taking the sense of quia, follows not, as in very early times ; 
lo thin ende, nxit only that thou faintest mannes mind, ii. 160. 
The preposition without is now used to English nisi ; without 
ye list your grace shewe. A case is dropped after a preposi- 
tion, and the latter consequently seems to become an 
Adverb; his herd was shave as neighe as he can (nigh the skin), 
ii. 18. There is belike, ii. 96; for the nones seems to be 
used as a mere expletive, when the Miller is described as 
a stout carle for the nones. There are new phrases like rigM 
(just) now, as fer as ever I can (know), nay but, ther is more 
behinde, clap the window to, where the last word is not a Pre- 
position. Chaucer prefixes litel to a Comparative, as litel 
better. The doutles, like Barbour's dredles, is used as an 
Adverb, and not as an Adjective, ii. 135. The synonyms 
wel neigh and the later almost are coupled in one line, ii. 
323. Chaucer, when describing a tournament, imparts 

128 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

wonderful spirit to his verse by putting adverbs before the 
verbs; as in gon the speres, out gon the swerdes, etc. We 
have akeady seen mid alls and of Me used for orrmino ; we 
now come to the more lasting phrase, spare it not at all, ii. 
220 ; no joy e at all, ii. 199, as in Mirk. Beside may mean 
either the old juxta or the new etiam in the following 
passage : — 

"Not only in the toun, 
But eke beside in many a regioun " (ii. 249). 

The Adverbial ending is most awkward when added to an 
Adjective in ly, as Chaucer's comelily. The old other . . . 
other (aut . . . aut) is now changed for a new form, other 
(either) conscience or ire, ii. 166. There is a needless insertion 
of elles in iii. 80, an holy man, as mortices hen, or elles ought to 
he. We have seen the improper ferther in the Tristram ; 
the old ferrest is now changed into for]>esL The new what 
though is used to English etiamsi, iii. 180. A backbiter is 
said to praise his neighbour, but still he maketh a " hut " at 
the laste ende, iii. 298 ; here the hU seems to be made a 

Turning to the Prepositions, the to follows Past Parti- 
ciples; chosen therto, ii. 63 ; home to thraldom, ii. 141; there 
is also redy to his hond, ii. 207, like the it lay to hand of the 
* Cursor Mundi.' The to supplants for in have it to myself 
alone, iii. 55 ; it is an honour to everich, iii. 57. The to wUle 
of Layamon's Second text is continued in another similar 
phrase, to my gret ese, iii. 194. The of is much used; a 
man may be of the Mod real, like the former he of his kin. 
We know free (potens) of the guild ; this leads the way to 
have avamiage of, ii. 77. The old phrase of twenty wyntres 
age is now changed into / was twelf yere of age, ii. 167 ; 
there is also of old (quondam), iL 216. The former of 
(since) childhood is changed into of a chUde, ii. 261, which 
comes into our Bible. In iii. 267 stands at regard of; 
we now change the at into an in. In the phrase at after 
souper, ii. 319, two prepositions are combined. We have 
seen hi wai to in the * Cursor Mundi;' we now find hy 
way of possibUitee, ii. 39. There is awaiting on (watching 


for) ih^ rain, ii. 109.^ The phrase have pity is followed by 
both the old of and the later on; have mercy on is in vi, 25, 
Love, in this respect, follows mercy; we see amerotts on 
Dorigen; hence the later dote on, be sweet on. The old notion 
of hostility connected with on is plain in the peple rose upon 
him, iii. 167. There is a union of the meanings of post and 
propter in the upon, which stands in do execution upon your 
ire, iii 253. The old upland (rus) is well known; Chaucer 
expands the phrase, talking of a parson dwelling up on lond, 
ii. 21. He often substitutes in for the older on, bb in this 
wise, ii 398. In iii 70 stands he was bonde in a recognisance ; 
and we hear of A dvocais lemed in the lawe, iii, 94, The ovi, 
when added to Verbs, does not always answer to the Latin 
ex, but for the first time expresses super, as in the line, 

"Men may the old aut-renne, but not otU-rede** (ii. 73). 

In our days an outrider is something most different from 
the man who outrides you. There is the phrase out of dette. 
The mingling of colours is expressed by betwixt; they 
gloweden bytwixe yolw and reed (red). See 2134. 

The Interjections are CocUs bones I (where the first word 
is a corruption of our term for Devs) ; clum (our mum),u. 108; 
ey benedidtef kepe, kepe (to entice a horse), ii. 122 ; goode 
God / ii 262 ; for Goddes sake I make an (a call for silence), 
ii. 76; good mmwe! ii 107; by the blood of Crist, that is 
in Hailes, iii. 49; fyf(yr shame/ iii 182; Straw/ iii 228 
(elsewhere it is straw for thy tale /) What, divel of helle I iii 
237 ; By ov/r Lady (an oath that lasted 300 years), iii 241. 
There are numbers of expletives in the * Eeve's Tale,* which 
gives us a fine specimen of the Yorkshire brogue of 1390. 

The parenthesis now begins to make its way in England ; 
there is one of six words at the top of iii. 19. 

The words akin to the Dutch and German, first found 
in Chaucer, are romble, rimple (rumple), to houle, husch, kyke 
(intueri), tvl), chippe, utter,^ to bumble, forpamper (pamper), 
snort, stew (vivarium). The word gaUtothed is said to come 

^ In Ulster, when a man is dying his friends say, " We are waiting 
on him," that is, expecting his death. 

^ This is here used like our vUering false coin ; to utter chaffare, 
ii. 183. 

VOL. I. K 

I30 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

from the Dutch gai^ a hole. There is ingoiy from the Dutch 
verb ingieten. 

The Scandinavian words are box (alapa), rate (exprobrare), 
scantness, gap, dairy, stalk (of a flower), frakne (freckle),^ 
rammish, line (tegere), gaze, strogle, calf (sura), dapple, blot 
(macula), sluttish, lull, stale, ruggi (hirsutus). Chaucer seems 
to have settled that we should use the Danish cross (crux) 
and not the French form crofuche or croice. 

The Celtic words are pie, bucket, cat (draw cut), arone 
(vetula), drudge, bodkin. 

The French words are many, though the time of their 

great inroad was not now, but in the youth of Chaucer's 

grandfather. Our poet disregards the Old French apro- 

chier a, and makes his verb approch govern an accusative. 

There is heronsew (young hermC), the French herauncd ; the 

English word is still alive in Yorkshire; it is Spenser's 

hernshaw, of which Shakespere has an odd corruption in 

Hamlet We hear of precious (precise) folk, ii 295 ; this 

new sense of the word seems to have arisen in France in 

this Century. Bribe is used in our sense of the word, but 

Piers had employed it differently. Chaucer uses prose, as 

Brunetto Latini had done a hundred years earlier. He coins 

the female form markisesse, Stomuk is used as a synonym 

for heart or pity, ii. 210; and this sense lasted for 200 

years. The French had an old word pulent (stinking); 

and Chaucer uses the new form polecat. Office is used 

for a "place of business," ii. 214 ; and offi^cer for a "man of 

business," iii. 62. The word chere was changing its meaning 

at London as well as in Lancashire ; in iii. 69 a man makes 

feste and chere; hence our good cheer ; see also p. 68. In ii. 

270 chere stands for cheerfulness. In the phrase do his 

fantasie, the last word slides into the meaning of voluntas. 

In iii. 172 d&main stands for dominium ; later it expressed 

the soil under a man's dominium ; estate has run a parallel 

course to dorrmn. We see a new Adjective estatelich (stately). 

A phrase of Shoreham's is repeated ; accordant to his wordes 

was his chere, iL 313. Chaucer's as touching this, iii. 105, 

^ This is stiU called /racA;e?w in some shires ; hero we have the inter- 
change of 71 and I. 


seems a compound between the old as to and the new French 
touching. In ii. 86 stands the reuftUlest, passing aver of Emelie ; 
here the Participle evidently represents prceter, and seems to 
have been confounded with a Verbal Noun. In iii. 1 comes 
Ipreise thy ivitj considering thin youthe; this Participle must 
be the Dative Absolute, with m understood. The French 
attendu que seems to have been imitated in out of mesure, 
considered the power that^ etc., iii. 148; thus we have in 
Chaucer both the Active and Passive Participle of consider, 
and in a new idiom. Manning's became is slightly altered 
in the following sentence; it mighte he no bet, and cause 
why, there was no, etc., ii. 124. This cause why may still 
be heard. The word dtkymistre (alchemist) has a curious 
ending, iii. 236. We have lost the old form surveance, iii. 
32, and have had to replace it by surveillance. The verb 
remue is both transitive and intransitive in the one page, 
iii. 1 7, like our modem form of it, remove. 

French and English synonyms are combined in jpoure sely 
OrisHdis and veray sothe ; the Sfuppose, which was to all but 
drive out wene, is found alongside of it in ii. 191. The 
title Dan was usually applied to a monk in England ; but 
in ii. 112 Dan Gerveis is a smith; we hear also of Dan 
Pharao, iii 189. To floyte stands for our "play the flute." 
In ii. 21 bv/rdoun (burden) is connected with music; this 
of late years our penny-a-liners have chosen to alter into 
refrain. We hear of low spirites, ii. 41; something in 
Barbour's way; also otmanie (mania), and hurrwu/rs fantastike ; 
a sense used by Brunetto Latini when writing in French. 
A man abyes somethi/ng cruelly, ii. 69 ; Barbour had some- 
thing like this. The new rrmrnmr stands by the side of 
the old grutching, ii. 1 79. There is up (upon) peine of losse, 
ii. 76, imitating a more Teutonic phrase of Layamon's. 
The word semi, entering into an English compound, is first 
found in semi soun, ii. 110. Eichesse is used as a Plural, 
iii. 361. There are words like motley, sessions, a cordial, a 
chanterie, miscarry, squirrel, quart, statute, theatre, pencil, haber- 
dasher, spaniel, pike (lucius), hochepot, raftes, jade, ashmce, a 
horse's irais, to squire, quail, rrwsel (muzzle), bay (a horse), 
modifie, to fownder, parish derk, intellect, plague, trUl (volvere), 

132 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

C(?m, ia/iile (tally), gaudy^ peck (a measure), similitude, species, 
curfew, testify vitaUler, dis (dice), abusion, jergon, diffinitioun, 
Tnarket'place, plesant, magike, veal, omnipotent, bitov/r (bittern), 
approver (informant), jvMee, frown, deity, mansion, jupartie 
(jeopardy), giser (gizzard), velouette (velvet), sole (solus), 
orisont (horizon), hemisperie, prdblerm, derrumstratif, felidtee, 
deliberatioun, to accomplise, by rote, mitaine (mitten), polide, 
franks, basilicok (basilisk), to envolupe (envelope), countour 
(counting house), natti/rally,popet, gingerbred, impudence, super- 
flvitee, inordinate, gentrie, artelrie, cosin germain, dampnahly, 
joconde, suburbs, mortifye, conceit (thought), wel disposed 
(sanus), humUitee, bold (of hay), dissolute. We hear of an 
esy num, one of yov/r sort, a propre man, propre name, the straite 
of Maroc, as like as possible, to abroche a tonne, cause a herte 
wo, dye in greyn, genUes of honou/r, saufly sey, every comfort pos- 
sible, have his acqumntance, his apertenauntes, hold the mene, a 
pair of tonges. The gamblers' terms sis, dnk, treye, borrowed 
from France, are in full use. The new verbs cese and pay 
are driving out stint and gild, just as roll is fast elbowing 
out wallow ; and pray is encroaching on bid. The phrase 
by m^nes of was coming in. The word fume expresses ira ; 
Littr6 gives no instance of this in France before the 
Fifteenth Century. The word horwur shifts its accent in 
the line — 

** Ne see ye not this honourable knight ? " (ii. 304). 

Labour does the same in iii 3. There are many Adjectives 
ending in aUe, like sfuffrdble. The word cape (headland), ii. 
13, seems to come from the Gascon traders; Littr^ gives 
no earlier employer of it in Northern France than Eabelais. 
We find in iL 326 wnhode his galoche; the first hint of our 
galoshes. The verb plie (bend) is found in iL 279. In ii. 
173 stands / told no store of it; we should say set no store 
by it ; the noun takes the new sense of pretium. Entend to 
a thing is in ii. 211 ; in other parts of England this became 
atend ; but the former verb in this sense held its ground 
for many years. Chaucer often yokes French words with 
their English brethren, talking of seu/retee or sikemesse, robbe 
and reve. About this time the language spoken at the 


French Court was much studied in England, to the neglect 
of the old French of 1280; thus we find in Chaucer the 
later rmomSe as well as renown; and Gower has the new 
helas instead of the old allaz. There are both hwmUitSe 
and hvmhlesse. Obedient and obeisant stand in the same 
page, iii. 317; repentant and repenting stand together in 
iii. 278 ; also do penitence, as well as penance, iii. 320. 
Chaucer sometimes leans to the Latin rather than the 
French, writing egudl as well as egality, perfection as well as 
parfii The verb appose (question) is found, whence comes 
our pose ; Apposition day is kept in some schools. The 
word acqmintance stands for friends, ii. 227. In ii. 300 

we read — 

** Passe-over is an ese, I say no more." 

The first word of this was to become well known four genera- 
tions later. Hvmanitee stands for kmdness in ii. 239. The 
word conclusion in iii. 18 means pwrpose, like the Teutonic 
erid ; Americans still conclude to do a thing, where English- 
men resolve. We hear in iii. 20 of disese (trouble) leading 
to death ; it is easy to see how the word got its graver 
sense, after this time. In iii. 71 stands to make strangenesse 
between, etc. ; here our estrangement is clearly foreshadowed. 
The old pitez had slid in France during this Century into the 
shade of meaning now expressed by their dommage ; (festoit 
grans pitez que ; Chaucer imitates this in his i< is a gret pvtee 
to, etc} So fond had we got of the ending in ish for a 
verb that the French vaincre had now to imitate finir, and 
become venquish in England ; there was a form vainquir in 
this Century. The Eomance defend keeps its Latin sense, 
and also its later French meaning. The * Chanones Ye- 
mannes Tale ' abounds in the technical words of chemistry, 
like amalgam, calcen, mercu/rie, etc. We read of something 
that ne was but a just u/nce, iii. 237 ; we should now say, 
" was but just an ounce." A knight stands in a lady's grace, 
iii. 240 ; it would now be, "in her good graces." Manning 
had talked of a ded cors ; Chaucer speaks of a living corps, 

^ The old pietas (pUet) came to express miserieordia in France in the 
Eleventh Century ; Brunetto Latini afterwards used pUiez for both piety 
and pity. 

134 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

ill. 39. He has a vast amount of French in his verse, 
even without reckoning the technical words of certain 
crafts. In iii. 160 one line has every weighty word 
French — 

*'Glorie and honour, regne, tresour, and rent." 

So in ii. 142— 

" Imprudent emperour of Rome, alas ! *' 

In iii. 31 we have — 

"For which she floured in vir^itee, 
With all humilitee and abstinence, 
With all attemperance and patience, 
With mesure eke, of bering and array, 
Discrete she was." 

Chaucer's Friar, one of the hest sketches here, is always in- 
terlarding his English with French ; his brethren's sermons, 
a hundred years earlier, had sadly marred our English 
tongue. P. 150 — 

* * Chraiid mercy ^ dame ! 
Thomas, jeo vous die, Thomas, Thomas ! 
Now dame, quod he, jeo vous die saivz doute^ 

Chaucer has eighteen lines ending in the rime aille^ ii. 272 ; 
an exercise of ingenuity. He makes mention often of 
Chepe (Cheapside) ; he also touches on the bacon of Dun- 
mow, ii. 174. He has various bywords, such as — 

" Who so first cometh to the mill, first grint " (ii 179). 

That is, " first come, first served." 

** To maken vertue of necessite (ii. 91) ; 
But I wot best, wher wringeth me my sho " (ii. 283). 

We substituted pinch for wnrhg 200 years later. A 
woman asks the Friar how he fares — 

"Dame, quod he, right wel, 
As he that is your servant every del " (ii. 222). 

Hence comes the polite "your servant, Sir." 

The attestation, as soth as God is kkig, is in ii. 275. 
In ii. 282 stands — 

"Your herte hongeth on a joly pin." 

Hences comes our " to be on the merry pin." 


In iii. 242 stands hd than never is late. 

In iii. 285 many smal maken a greL 

Chaucer, who first brought in the ten-syllabled riming 
lines, has a dig at old-fashioned Alliterative English in iii. 

" I cannot geste, rom, ram, ruf, by my letter, 
And, God wote, rime hold I but litel better." 

His most ambitious attempt at Teutonic rime is in ii. 

" Whoso that bildeth his hous all of salwes, 
And pricketh his blind hors over the falwes, 
And suffereth his wif to go seken halwes, 
Is worthy to be honged on the galwes." 

As to the * Legend of Good Women ' (Chaucer Society, 
part ii. 60), it is written in the new ten-syllable metre of 
the Canterbury Tales, England's chosen measure. The 
former Anton now becomes Antony (Antonius), We see 
our usual contraction of the ed in loved, p. 110; here the 
e is not sounded— 

"That lovyd him bettre than hirself, I gesse." 

The g is struck out ; tigel becomes tyle. Among the Sub- 
stantives are half godys (demigods). Chivalry was now in- 
fluencing our English speech ; the new womanhod, p. 92, is 
coined to express womanly dignity ; our fathers, rather later, 
talked of "the worship of womanhood." Another new 
word lustynesse seems to express strength in p. 103. The 
word m/enynge adds the sense of statuere to that of signijicare, 
p. 76 j my menynge was to, etc. The word felowship here 
means comitatus, a band of followers, p. 90. In p. 112 
Lucretia bids her servants do her besynesse ; this seems to 
mark the time when the new sense of negotium came into 
the word ; the phrase may here mean {her had two senses) 
either " to do the servants' diligence " or " to perform the 
affairs of the mistress." There is the curious new com- 
pound, your home comynge, p. 123. In p. 126 stands, it 
was not thi doynge. In p. 127 ago, following the French 
past, is made a substantive; the venym of so longe ago ; 
it is the same with avM lang syne. In p. 108 a man 
knows the arts of love wUhoute boke ; that is, by heart. 

136 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

Among the Adjectives are hoUmdes, The trew man is 
opposed to thief, in p. 76. We see thike as hayle, p. 81 ; 
Jason is called a graie gentUmany p. 106 j in the next line 
likely is followed by an Infinitive, I think for the first time. 
The old fremde (extraneus) was now going out in the South ; 
for it is altered into strange in one of the Manuscripts, p. 92. 

As to the Pronouns, we see the new phrase thanke my 
lady here, p* 75 ; hitherto this title had been used only in 
the Vocative ; the French madame was the original followed 
here. We find the Dative; while breath lasteth 7W€, p. 121. 

Among the new Verbs a,Tefinger,it is ovyrblaw (oyerhlo'wn), 
lie in my power, do him honovre, have suspicion of, have com- 
passion of The verb fire is applied in an abstract sense ; 
hir heautefyred them, p. 91. The yeiih pvM is now used by 
us for row ; this is first found in p. 129, oa^rs pidleth forth 
the vessel. The verb choose once more is followed by an 
Infinitive, p. 77, she ches to dye. The verb ship is used for 
festinare, p. 80 ; the writer says he will skip to the effect 
(upshot) j with us it is readers who skip. We have seen 
hope to God ; we now have the new phrase wissh to God that, 
etc., p. 84. The do, as we see, is here employed in new 
phrases ; Medea does company to Jason (entertains him), p. 
108; hence our "company manners." 

As to the Adverbs, in p. 113 stands doune was the sonn-e, 
a new way of expressing the sunset. 

A new sense of tuith (famous for) appears in p. 68 ; 
Cleopatre with all thy passioun, like Thebes with his old walls 
in the 'Canterbury Tales.' The /or now follows an adjective, 
too longefor me, p. 1 1 8 ; it had earlier followed a Passive verb. 

The Scandinavian words are clift (scissura), mase (laby- 
rinth), p. 120. 

Among the Eomance words are halade, grapnel, tmour, 
ceptre (sceptrum), to corvmp, hostess, to poss (push), narcotiks, 
opies (opiates), floury (flowery). The word beauty now gets 
the sense of deem, and is found in the Plural, hide ye your 
beuteis, p. 68. The word person now takes the sense of 
ptUchritudo ; he was (a man) ofpersone, p. 80. Dido is said 
to be in hir devocyoun, p. 92; hence the later "at her 
devotions." When the Argo is mentioned, p. 104, we hear 


of pilot Tiphys, corrupted by later scribes into PhUotetes; this 
jnlot, evidently a puzzling word, did not become common 
in England until 1530. The word queyrU still keeps its 
old sense of callidus when applied to the Labyrinth, p. 1 20. 

The Northern forms used by Chaucer in this piece are 
upriste (uprose), have at thee, p. 102, her trew love (lover), 
rdkke, not roche. 

In the same volume are contained a few of Chaucer's 
poems of this date. In p. 165 stands do law (right), a new 
sense of the word. In p. 148 the verb to lord is coined, 
to express dominari. In p. 159 we see our common 
jalousye he ha/n,ged/ There is the new noun scarcete. In 
p. 150 is an instance of the two meanings of seize (1, 
possess, endow, and 2, take) ; a fish is cesed with the hook. 

I have already mentioned Cambridge ; I next turn to 
Oxford, which had been lately roused by the preaching of 
Wickliffe ; she was now glowing with a fiery heat unknown 
to her since the days of the earlier Franciscans. The 
questions at this time in debate had the healthiest effect 
upon the English tongue, though they might jar upon 
Eoman interests. Wickliffe, during his long residence in 
the South, seems to have unlearned the old dialect he must 
have spoken when a bairn on the banks of the Tees. His 
first childish lessons in Scripture were most likely drawn 
from the legends of the * Cursor Mundi.' He was now 
bestowing a far greater blessing upon his countrymen, and 
was stamping his impress upon England's religious dialect, 
framed long before in the *Ancren Eiwle* and the 'Handlyug 

Purvey, after referring to Bede and Alfred as trans- 
lators of the Bible "into Saxon, that was English, either 
comoun langage of this lond," writes thus : " Frenshe men, 
Beemers, and Britons han the bible, and othere bokis of 
devocioun and of exposicioun, translatid in here modir 
langage ; whi shulden not English men have the same in 
here modir langage, I can not wite, no but for falsenesse 
and necgligence of clerkis, either for oure puple is not 
worthi to have so greet grace and 3if te of God, in peyne of 
here olde synnes. God for his merci amende these evele 

138 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

causis, and make our puple to have and kunne and kepe 
truli holi writ, to liif and deth !" ^ Purvey and his friends 
stand out prominently among the writers who settled 
England's religious dialect ; not many of the words used 
in the Wickliffite version ha«re become obsolete within the 
last 500 years. The holy torch was to be handed on to a 
still greater scholar in 1525 ; for all that, Wickliffe is 
remarkable as the one Englishman who in the last 1100 
years has been able to mould Christian thought on the 
Continent ; Cranmer and Wesley have had small influence 
but on English-speaking men. . 

Wickliffe had much help from Purvey and Hereford. 
The latter of these, who translated much of the Old 
Testament, strove hard to uphold the Southern dialect, 
and among other things wrote daunster, syngster, after the 
Old English way. But the other two translators leant to 
the New Standard, the East Midland, which was making 
steady inroads on the Southern speech. They write 
daunseressSf dwelleresse, etc., following Eobert of Brunne, 
who first led the way to French endings fastened to English 
roots. They also write ing for the Active Participle, where 
Hereford writes the old ende ; they do not follow him in 
employing the Southern Imperative Plural 

Among Wickliffe's phrases, now embodied in our Bible, 
are these : verili, make hohf wot, yea, nay, sohrenesse, damesele, 
depart (ire), raveyn, cmn/pasen the se and the lond, moche cum- 
panye, grucche, man servant, ledd caytif (captive), comaund(mr, 
tittle, oygnement, take a counsel, liche maner, make dene, go out 
for to se, duke, gedre togidre, hleynes, sit at rmte, justify you, 
stahlisch, trend offiringis, wildernesse, fvrst fruytis, to coveit, press 
togidere, cubit, haply, seer, to spuyl, hotter, pupplican, peraven- 
ture, sl/rett 'sate, set fast his face, sepulcre, oost (host), fro the 
sum/fie goynge doun, anon, male and female, smyte, Mke a^ens 
the pricke, travel (laborare), prudent, encrese, to mete (measure), 
infirmytees, magnify, he of good coumfort, spuylis (spolia), 
desolat, scrip, tabernacle, just man, suffice, tradidmns, enter in, 
scribe, interpret, minister, proverhe, mageste, profit, sykemssis, 
biwayle, reprovys (opprobria), to compas about, to poll, agonye, 

^ 'Wickliffite Versions' (Forshall and Madden), p. 69. 


contimte, here mtness, to thringen (throng), flix of blood. His 
JonaSf Bethcmye, Jerico, Pharisee, Galilee, etc., remain much 
as he left them. 

The great fault of Wickliffe is, that he sticks close to 
the Latin idioms he was translating; his English there- 
fore is but poor, if compared with that of the year 1000, 
I give a specimen of his Latinisms from the 'Vulgate ;' some 
of his renderings, as may be here seen, are downright 
blunders — 

Wickliffe, Vulgate, 

Derknessis Tenebrse. 

Weddingus Nuptise. 

Nyl ye Nolite. 

Synguler Singuli. 

Sudarie Sudarium. 

Cofyns Cophini. 

Spectacle Spectaculum. 

At us Apud nos. 

Erthemovyngis Terrae motus. 

May not have hatid Non potest odisse. 

Doynge gracis Gratias agens. 

It is seen to me Visum est mihi. 

In alien thing In re alien^. 

She is foundun Inventa est.^ 

There are also phrases like loovis of proposicmm, uttermore 
(exterior), p. 115 ; evenyng was maad, whom seien 36 me to be? 
my volatilis (fatlings) ben slayn, a noble man, , , Bardbas, p. 
161 ; we sy^en sum oon for to caste out fendis, ^yve wis, 
tomhe ether (vel) the hem, architridyn, Castel is used to Eng- 
lish castellum (village) ; Judas is led by penaunce, not by re- 
pentance, to mourn his crime ; sine liberis becomes tmthoute 
fre children, p. 407. The Ablatives Absojute are rendered 
most literally. It is clear that there was great room for 
another version of Scripture, after WickliiFe's time. Still 
we have followed him in some things, which I here set 
out — 

Wickliffe, Tyndale. 

Son of perdicioun That lost chylde. 

It is good us to be here Here is good beinge for us. 

Entre thou in to the joye of thi Go in into thy master's joye. 

^ Mjrpaging comes from the volume containing the Gothic, Anglo- 
Saxon, Wickline's, and T^ndale's Gospels. 

I40 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

Wiclcliffe. TyndaU. 

I shoulde have resceyved with Shulde I have receayed with 

usuris vauntage. 

Thou saverist nat tho thingia Thou perceavest nott godly 


Wickliffe was himself a Northern man, but he had long 
lived at Oxford j hence there is a curious mixture of two 
dialects in his writings. There are the Northern saif, fro^ 
no huty gyltyyTmbist, bUokist, what manere man, bundel, fighting 
man, birye, homly, sister, overpass, oft tymys, deme (putare), 
postle, she ass, the which, tolbo]>e (tolbooth), loss, handmaiden, 
hurtle, slau^tre, a ^ong oon, he hungred, tv/m wpsodomi. The 
Past Participle is clipped, as fomdm, not yfov/nden. The 
word wench is used in the honourable sense of the North ; 
it is appHed to a rich man's child, p. 41, and to the 
daughter of Herodias, p. 195. He is to he bUraied, p. 89, 
recalls Orrmin's extension of the Passive Voice ; it is very 
different from the old ys to syllenne. Take seems to drive 
out nim. We see Hampole's curious austeme, p. 399 ; the 
Verbal Nouns are in great force. In p. 123 stands swolo- 
loynge; the second o is a mark of the North, like aro for 
arwe (sagitta). 

The Southern forms are children, britheren, moche, oo (unus), 
olypi, axe, gon (ire), ey (ovum), beth, clepe, culver (columba), 
morewynge (mane), tho (illi), to have be (fuisse). We find the 
Southern thilke, and also the synonym the Uke, p. 241. The 
to (dis) is sometimes prefixed. The heren (illorum), p. 1 7, is 
a curious mixture of South and North ; T^cmre stands in p. 
307, instead of the Northern yours. The old Imperative 
fare ge is altered in p. 45 to goth ^e, a form never allowed 
of old. The Participle in in^e is well established. 

Among the Vowels the a encroaches on the e in the true 
Northern fashion, as sarpent ; the old cemete is here seen both 
as amte and emte (ant and emmet). This a replaces o, for 
of feor becomes afer, our afar ; e supplants o in the form 
rekevere for recover; ^ and there is the very contracted form 
halpens, p. 355. The initial e is docked, as stablisk The 
old Participle gewefan becomes woven. The e is struck out ; 
owef becomes oof, our woof. There are forms like goist and 

^ Hence the footman in Pickwick says, "take off the kiver." 


doitlh; it may be that here the and the % were both 
sounded, thus preparing the way for our modem oi. A 
new word may be formed by simply changing a vowel; 
thus ^Tw?, poundj is an enclosure referring to land, and 
Wickliffe's new pond refers to water. The of was both a 
Preposition and an Adverb ; Wickliffe marks the difference 
very clearly by writing the latter as off; to leeve off, p. 97. 
The old shephirde is now written sheperde, with the h 
dropped, p. 43. We have seen the Verbal Noun pungetung 
much earlier ; we now see the verb punch. The d is struck 
out of the old verb windwe, for this is sometimes written 
mnewe, our winnow. The th is added, for the noun deope 
becomes here depthe, imitating lengthe, Hampole's parlesi 
is now pared down to pdsie. The older gredire is now 
turned into grediren (gridiron). The French sc for s or c 
often occurs, as in resceyve, which follows science, Latin 
endings are often clipped ; we see Thadee (the Irish Thady\ 
Susanne, and Joone (Joanna), as in Manning. 

Wickliffe, a true Northerner, is fond of Verbal Nouns, 
such as outgopigis, Uldingis, dwellingis ; there are also forms 
like the comyngis togidere of, the togidere hindingus, the fallyng 
dofim of hetynge togidre of teeth, the rysing a^en fro deede men, 
p. 409. Here the construction, trying to imitate the Latin, 
is most clumsy, owing to the fact that few Prepositions 
could now be prefixed to our home-bom roots. The loss 
of her old compounding powers is the great shortcoming of 
the New EnglisL' There is dttyng place, p. 121. We find 
waking, p. 199, for the old wcecce (watch). The French ess, 
as in Chaucer, is tacked on to English roots, as synneresse ; 
Wickliffe felt himself obliged to English somehow the 
Latin peccatrix. The English ness is employed to compound 
pesibleness, p. 37, differing from peace and peacefulness ; also 
pomes (poverty) ; we now give meanings, slightly varied, to 
these seeming synonyms. There are new words like 
gelding (eunuchus), nedleworhe, dweller, taris (zizania), roodhors 
(roadster), seer, schiphreche ; in this last we have confounded 
the English Ireche with the Scandinavian wr&:k, which meant 
"something drifted ashore.'* He uses rm/n to coin new 
words, such as domesman (judex), p. 21. He turns the old 

142 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

English ci)> (surculus) into chii (catulus). One effect of 
Latin influence was to alter the old way of reckoning time ; 
Ae we8 twelf vmtre now becomes he was maad of twelve ^eerist 
p. 283. Still, the mnters (anni) lasted for 200 years after 
this tima Wickliffe is fond of the even prefixed to nouns, 
as everirservaunt ; he has sUk in the sense of jprogenies (Isaiah 
xlviii. 19) ; the liei^tus (hills), the ovicastinge (offscouring). 

Among the Adjectives we see the French ending able, 
as in Hampole, tacked on to an English root ; tmquenchable 
is in p. 287. The form gladsum appears, replacing the Old 
English adjective glmdlic; and fon (stultus) is seen as 
formed, our fovvd, Tliere are new words like cle^i (clayey). 
Chaucer's lawful is more Teutonic than Wickliffe's leefful, 
p. 235, which seems to come from the French lei; the Old 
English leufful had meant fidiLS. Older adjectival forms are 
set aside in favour of wrongftd, or rather wrongftdly, p. 287. 
In the same page we see a strengere thorn, I ; this form was 
also used by Tyndale ; in the oldest English no Article had 
been employed here. As to the Pronouns, there is an 
awkward construction in p. 235, whos wyf of these schal sche 
he ? and again in p. 371, whos asse of ^oure schal falle ? We 
find the goyngus of hem, not " their goings." The old who- 
soever is cut down to who evere, p. 45, like the older what 
evere; in Purvey 's version of the Bible, about 1390, hou 
ever stands for how so ever ; in the Prologue, p. 459, stands 
3^ worschipen that that ^e witen ; here one that stands for id, 
the other for quod ; in old times the first that would not 
have appeared. The Definite Article, contrary to old 
usage, is dropped in John Baptist ; this has been followed 
by Tyndale. In the words, / ^elde the fourefold, p. 397, 
Wickliffe goes nearer to the Gothic than to the Old Eng- 
lish ; in the latter, hi stands before the Numeral. 

Turning to the Verbs we observe the constant Northern 
leaning to sJudl in preference to toUl; as (the weather), 
shot he deer, though this is but a bare Future, p. 81 ; so 
he shal seie to W5, p. 110. In p. 245 stands the curious 
wharme ^e schvlen wolle ; here the last word is the verb 
desire ; the old wUnian was to last but seventy years longer. 
The Latin Participle in uriLS is strangely Englished ; the 


world to comyngey p. 395 ; he that was to doynge this, p. 
417 ; here we have the usual confusion of ynge with en^ 
the old Infinitive j in the South they wrote to mtiende. 
The very un-English idiom, Erode dead (mortuo Herode) 
is in p. 9. Chaucer's phrase gesse, so well known to 
Americans, is much in favour ; the Old English ne, wene k 
becomes nay, I gesse, p. 387 ; and this was to be altered 
by Tyndale into / trowe rwt. The upstart put is always 
encroaching upon set, do, and other hoary old verbs ; we 
see put away. Words like endure had long been known ; 
this French en is now prefixed to English roots, as to enfai 
(make gross), p. 63 ; on the other hand, the old inly^ten 
has not yet become our enlighten. There are the phrases 
graven things (not images), keep hospitality, give sentence, do 
fomycacioun, make suggestiou/n. Sometimes the verb, the 
most important part of the sentence, is set first ; as gon 
shut Gentiles ; opened shut he thi ^ates, Wickliffe coins the 
word to undirpck for the Latin equivalent. Where he has 
fer be it, Purvey, ten years later, writes God forhede ! which 
we keep ; it had first appeared in the * Cursor Mundi.' 
In Isaiah IxvL 15 we read of foure-horsid carres. The old 
minnen (meminisse) is discarded, and the adjective minde 
(memor) suggests to Wickliffe the verb minde, as we use it 
now. The verb drench retains its old meaning mergere, and 
takes the further meaning inebriare, Deuteronomy xxxii. 
42, "I shal drenche myn arewis in blood." The word 
poune (conterere), our pomd, stands in p. 1 1 3 ; it was known 
before the Conquest. The phrase tu/rn the hous upsodown, 
stands in p. 377. In p. 359 stands Mirk's 3^ neden thes 
thingis; Orrmin would have inserted a to after the verb. 
We see the verb tinUe, which, like its Dutch brother, seems 
to be formed from the sound. The Old English mistrowen 
stands side by side with the Scandinavian mistrosten. 
There are many Latin words beginning with in; these 
Wickliffe translates by English words, on which he bestows 
a similar prefix ; thus invocare becomes indepe. 

As to Adverbs we find the word hard is used as an 
Adverb, p. 393 ; in p. 99 this becomes of hard. Hence 
came our hardly (vix) seventy years later. 

144 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

As to the Prepositions, hme mercy on and have mercy of 
stand in the same verse, p. 95. Under is prefixed to a 
foreign verb, undermine, p. 131 ; and there is also to over- 
traveUe them ; the imder and over are two of the very few 
prepositions with which we can now freely compound; 
they differ much from for, of and with. Two prepositions 
are coupled in kepe it v/rUo idthmUen ende, Exodus xii 24. 

We see the interjection whist, Judges xviii. 19. 

There are the Celtic words spigot, strumpet, and gogil-y^ed 
(monoculus), p. 219. The new words, akin to the Dutch 
and German, are grasp, tramp, trample, botch, cote (mergus), 
pacche, schog (shock, agitare). 

Among the Scandinavian words we see " a wellid thing 
togidre ; " this is the source of our verb weld, from the 
Swedish valla. There are also backe (vespertilio, our bat), 
sker (scopulus, now sca/r), whirl, whirlwind, loosen ; this last 
is from the Icelandic losna, not from the old losian. 

Among the many French words are president, prophecy, 
mysterie, regeneradoun, redempcioun, wnprofUahle, deny, compel, 
fravd, enguvre, supplement, u/nchastity, sydir (cider), rneinial, 
lattis, magistrate, determine {i.e, appoint), procede, contrite, 
to glory, confoorme, exhortadoun, tributis, unstable, repidacunm, 
defraud, wncorupt, liberty, offencioun, infirmyte, divide, constreyn, 
suhplaunt, adjwre, pv/rsue, juhUee, basshemevi (ambush), congre- 
gaciomh, besides many others that I have already noticed 
as embodied in our Bible. There is the phrase into ienera- 
daims of ieneracioims, often repeated. The noun forger now 
acquires an evil sense, very different from Chaucer's, the 
forgeres of errouris, Isaiah xlv. 16. In the Acts is found 
we camen to Puteolos; in the same way Gower was soon 
to write Delphos. The word malice is used of an act done 
by God, Jonah iii 10. We find despisable, which is still 
used in America; England has changed the s into c. 
There is the right form circumdde ; not our present form, 
which we have in slovenly sort derived from the Latin 
Passive Participle. The word veniav/nce comes often here, 
and was to drive out the Teutonic tvrcec. We see hi^er 
poweris, where the last word bears the sense of Juvenal's 
potestas or the later podesta. The barbarians of Melita 


show hvmumyte or awrtesye ; in the same chapter stand the 
synonyms refete or refraisch. The word duke is used for 
leader. The old feoh (property) has now to make way for 
substawryce, p. 377 ; and gost is yielding to spirit Tlie word 
defavm (publish) is used in a good sense, p. 43. The seed 
that fell on stony ground is called temporal, p. 65, as in 
the *Ayenbitej' we have since 1380 had to invent tem- 
porary to express this idea. In p. 79 we read of the parties 
(parts) of Tyre. The verb joye stands in p. 309 ; a man 
is let down by the sdattis (slates), p. 30 1{; this was the 
earlier wattles of 1000, and the later tiling of 1525; the 
Scotch still sound the c in sdattis. We English talked 
about Easter in both of the years just named ; but WickliBfe 
chooses to use the word Faske. We have the verb compari- 
sotme, not compare, in p. 183. The form ympne (hymnus) 
is used in p. 249. The form cotmceU appears both for con- 
silium, p. 549, and for condo, p. 515. To travaUe is used 
where we should put trouble, p. 329 ; the interchange be- 
tween these two verbs was constant for the next two 
Centuries. The word marchatint is used for hireling, p. 503 ; 
and the former word was employed as a term of abuse by 
Bonner, nearly 200 years later ; fermofwr stands for steward, 
p. 381. We have both the verb cure and do the ewe. We 
see dismytte instead of our dismiss, p. 553. In Judges xix. 
10 a concubine appears as a secoundarie wyf; thus the 
word second had not been fourscore years in English use, 
before it gave birth to a compound, to express a new 

The works of WickliiFe (Early English Text Society) may 
now be considered. They are plainly written by a Northern 
man ; hi weie of mercy stands in p. 59, like a phrase in the 
'Cursor Mundi;' there is Barbour's of his ovm head; there is 
the phrase dailes (sine judicio), p. 92, which reminds us of 
Wickliffe's use of day in his Bible. We find the Northern 
suppose that (si) ; umdon (perditus), corser (usurer) ; the verb 
nsde still keeps its old sense cogere, soon to disappear ; the 
Northern Participle pcc^ic? supplants the South ^*^A^. There 
is the same admission of Southern forms, like hem, her, as 
in the Bible ; Wickliffe's treatises were meant for the 

VOL. I. L 

146 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

whole of England, and he is the Father of our New English 

As to Vowels, we see comend written for the usual com- 
mand, p. 93; we were later to have both forms of the 
Romance verb. The e gives way to ot, as doi]> (facit) ; the 
i supplants o and e; there is Cicile, pariche (parish), diocise; 
the i in the middle is struck out, for we find capteyn in p. 
100 ; the u is inserted, as hesmn for besme, our besom. 

As to Consonants, the g is struck out ; he aloeid stands 
for the old alegged, p. 70 ;. the c is inserted, as sirede for the 
old streite ; this imitation of the Latin paved the way for 
skid a hundred years later. The h is clipped, as ostder for 
hosteler^ p. 181 ; also Grosted, p. 61. 

Among the Substantives are aim^s^ever. Boms renner, 
dede hondis (mortmain, p. 131), bro]>el (nebulo), wynninge 
(lucrum), wi]> hook or wi]> croky p. 250, cope of heaven. We 
see the phrase hangyng, drawyng, quarterynge, the order of 
the words that has come down to us. In p. 48 we see how 
wUl came to stand for testamentum ; Jns testament is fistful wUle 
of dede Frawnseis (the dead Francis). In p. 60 bisiness stands 
first for industrial then for negotium; the senses of soUidtudo 
must have been here the connecting link. In p. 94 truth 
adds the sense of Veritas to that of fides, and becomes 
Plural j treujpes of Goddis lawe ; in the same way my^ttis is 
used for powers of the soul, p. 217. In p. 67 we have money 
or money wor]> ; we should now make the third word a 
Genitive. In p. 174 we read that drunkenness was 
coloured by the priests with the name of good felaweschipe ; 
this sense of the latter word lasted till Ascham's time. The 
ending ness is much used; we see worldlynesse, p. 121, man- 
lynesse, p. 174, a polite word for ira; formydnesse (stultitia). 
The word monger was beginning to be connected with 
crime, as lesyng-monger, p. 125. There are the phrases in 
right of, wornbe joie (gluttony), ]>e dede doynge (action), ^even 
fulbut conseil (give headstrong counsel), full butt, p. 213. 
We hear of clo]>is of mornynge (sorrow), p. 123; we now 
concisely use only the last word. In p. 252 we read of a 
tey dogge ; this is more usually called bandog. We now 
employ only the Plural clothes; in p. 351 we see clothe 


(ves^is, not^flwmws). In p. 477 men strive as fenii^ (like 
fiends), "file priest Sir John becomes Sir Jacke, p. 192; 
this change is unusual. The word cfi'os (crux) seems to be 
encroaching upon both rode and croicey words which it was 
to supplant. There is Chaucer's new idiom repeated in p. 
120 ; we read of Benetis lif & Thxmm of CanUrhwries ; here 
the last three words are packed together as one Genitive. 

Among the new Adjectives are fonnyd (fond), unlemed, 
a fat benefice, hdse & my^tty, hei^e wynes (like our "high 
feeding"); schepische still stands for simplex, p. 212. The 
gi-ecU is now set before another adjective, grete fatte kors, p. 
60; we see also grete foolis, p. 81 ; the old sv)il>e was now 
dying out. The word fresh gets the new sense of hUaris, p. 
123, like Scott's "fresh as May." 

As to Pronouns, we find ]ns seynt or ]>is (that), p, 153. 
In p. 105 stands make itfals as mjoche as ]>ei hmne. The a 
or an, is put for quidam ; in a manere they crucify Christ, 
p. 104. We had always used phrases like teo]>a/n dcel 
(tenth part) ; we now light on something new in p. 66, 
]>re fiftenjpeSf p. 66 ; henceforward we had no trouble in 
expressing fractions. 

Among the Verbs we find feed it fat, it comss to sixti 
ma/rk, holde (keep) hous, kepe it to his otvne knotuynge, help him 
to it, holdfor]> (keep on) servants, turn ny^t into day, to cracke 
Latin, do ]>at is in hem to, etc., Chaucer's stond bi lawe, to do 
treu]>e, heried in synne, WickHffe is fond of stop, as to stop 
sin. The verbs trust and look now govern an infinitive, like 
hope; mm tristen to flee, p. 82; loke to he festid, p. 249. 
We are told in p. 96 that men eat their hevyd out of witt ; 
this is the source of "eat his head off." In p. 100 God's 
curse reruns^ m]> ]>is; hence the legal phrase, "covenants 
that run with the land." We hear of clepid myradis, p. 
469 ; we should now prefix a so. We have in the same 
page no drede at the head of a sentence ; the forerunner of 
no doubt ; here there is must be dropped. There is a com- 
bined idiom of the Subjunctive in p. 116; (they) my^ten, 
covden, and wolden teche. In p. 106 stands it is to drede 
(timendum est), which we now put in the Passive ; but in 
p. 222 comes stoppe (it) to be maad (from being made). 

148 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

There is an imitation of the Latin Participle in p. 87, after 
benefice resceyved (receiving benefit) ; in 1360 with leave taken 
had appeared. Past Participles like come and gone had 
taken is or are before them ; this is now extended to other 
verbs ; (they) hen cropen in (crept in), p. 296. In p. 104 
prelates are chokid vn^ tcdow of worldly goods j this accounts 
for the future chock full. 

As to Adverbs, the Latin undique is thus expressed in 
p. 126 ; on alle sidis. We saw in 1160 how rather added 
the meaning of jpotitts to that of citiits ; the same addition 
is made in p. 240 in the case of sooner; God would sooner 
hear the oppressed poor than the hypocritical rich. In 
p. 128 we find curatis may almost gete no hok ; Ylqxq almost 
and get should change places ; this wrong transposition 
of words is a common fault in our day. 

Among the Prepositions we remark to }pis ende (the old 
to ]>am ]>cet), to live on poore TMn, he is mme to God (to God- 
ward), p. 468 ; traitour to him (not his traitor). The for 
comes between a Noun arid an Infinitive ; it is pride for a 
man to make, etc., p. 82; here the sense of destination comes 
in; as in 1280 (he was brought for her to see). Priests 
savour of certain things, p. 97, a new idiom after this 
verb. In p. 201 a prayer is of auctorite ; here no adjective 
precedes the of as always before ; some things are rww^t 
of hUeve (need not be believed), p. 482. 

There is the Celtic word knack (trick), used also by 

The Eomance words are syngvler (applied to the Phari- 
sees' religion), satrap, generaly, coyn, armies (heraldic), crier, 
vessel (plate), jwrour, irreguler, suspend (priests), poyntis (of 
faith), expresly, viser, vicious, annueler (a priest paid by the 
year), jurisdiccion, crie out on them, temporalities, pension, usurer, 
recreadon, pagyn (pageant), crocer (crosier), unable to, etc., 
sophistrie, apostata, obeische (obey), volym (volume), stress 
beasts (distress for rent), to disgrate (disgrace), professouris 
of law, to present clerks, the ordynary, evidence (ratio), morals, 
specific, infidelity, discuss, canonyse, corier (currier), to perpetual, 
horrour, to distemper, to limit to. There is the curious bab- 
vyynrie, formed from baboon, p. 8. There is the new Lm-d 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 149 

of compaynies (hosts), p. 68, the first time that we employed 
this word in a military sense. Clerks used to get benefices 
for comityng^ p. Q6 ; that is, for acting as accountants. 
Not only a king, but a curate, had sugetis (subjects), p. 73. 
A man is convycted in the law court, p. 75 ; we employ corir 
vince in another way. We see deschaunt used of Church 
music, p. 77 ; hence our descant. There is the phrase 
save a man's body in p. 174; where the verb is used in 
Chaucer's new sense. There is the verb dow, p. 103; to 
endow was to come in Occleve's time. We see occupy 
(ply business) in p. 104. There is aver {habere, property) 
in p. 119; this word has had its influence on our later 
be-haviour. The word ajppliynge is used as a synonym for 
prayer in p. 134, a sense still in vogue. A priest, we 
are told, may be a darn/pnyd fend (fiend), p. 153; also a 
blynde bosard (buzzard), p. 157. In this last page we read 
that the Old Testament is practised, carefully studied, as a 
matter of business. In p. 162 glorious is used in a bad 
sense, being applied to priests' habits. In p. 181 stands 
potestat (dominus), soon to be altered into potentate. In p. 
469 we hear of lordis & comyns; in p. 231 of comyn 
wymmen (meretrices). The word patraun is applied in p. 
285 to the founder of an Order; it is easy to see how 
pattern arosa The word trental is curious, as a Church 
word coming from the French, not from the Latin. There 
is both despeyre and desperacion, A priest might get a 
living by acting either as a kechen clerk or apenne clerk, p. 246 ; 
they also acted as architects. The English for (Latin per) 
is prefixed to French verbs, as forbar and forfend; the 
latter usurped the French meaning of defend (vetare). 
Testaments are proved in p. 277. In p. 302 sensible is 
used for "perceptible by sense ;" we employ sensibly in this 
way. We read oi pseudo-prophetis / also oipsevdoes, p. 308; 
this influx of Greek is something new; there is autorise with 
its Greek ending in p. 320. The word accident is con- 
nected with the Eucharist, and is called ]>is newe word, p. 
466. We read of the godis of fortwae, p. 473; hence "a 
man of fortune." 

We have, in p. 467, the proverb crounne and do]) maken 

150 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

noprest ; hence the clergy are in our day sometimes spoken 
of as the cloth There is also, clut/rUe schvM higyne at hemself, 
p. 78. In p. 131 we hear that the clergy will not stop until 
the whole land has passed into mortmain. The ciying 
evil of impropriations is pointed out in p. 97; the lower 
clergy were robbed by approprynge of parische chirchis ; in 
these a poor ignorant vicar was set for little cost, p. 116; 
men took orders to say masses for money. Even in these 
early times Antinomian opinions were abroad; some, p. 351, 
said, " late me synne ynowe, for God wole nevere lese J?at 
he haj? dere bou3t." 

The * Rolls of Parliament ' are a mine of our language, 
beginning from the year 1386, when the London Mercers 
sent up the first English petition in a style very like 
Chaucer's ; see vol. iii. 225. But that poet's ^eldehalle is 
now seen as Guyldehalle; thus the Severn combination of 
u with i or y was established at London. We see a new 
substantive in arrysers ayeins the pees ; Barbour's rising be- 
came another word for rebellion. Tlie London tradesmen 
appear as the craftes ; as if ars were to stand for artifex. 
The Petition is directed against Nichol Brembre, Mayor of 
London ; we see a very early English pun on his name 
(bramble) ; the Mercers call the forsaid Brere or Brembre a 
ragged stdject The Lords of the Council are addressed 
collectively as yoture worthy Lordship; a slight change in 
the use of this title was soon to come ; a favourite phrase, 
used here and long afterwards, was he good Lords to hym. 
There is the new Northern phrase noitghtmthstondyng the 
same. We find it hath been out of mynde ; we should now 
make time the middle word. A new use of by appears ; 
wrongs done to them by longe tyms passed. The Northern 
word for Journeying appears in London, travail en barfote ; 
the two last words are curious. 

John Trevisa in 1387 finished a long task, that of 
turning into Southern English the huge Latin Chronicle, 
compiled by Higden some few years earlier; thus much 
of the world's history was thrown open to laymen. Trevisa 
was Vicar of Berkeley in Gloucestershire, and wrote at 
the request of the Lord of that village. His dialect is un- 


mistakably Southern; he has many words and phrases 
that appeared in the *Ancren Eiwle.' He has forms 
peculiar to the Severn coimtry, but we see that the 
Northern dialect is forcing its way into Gloucestershire ; 
thus there are the forms afire^ a]>irsty i. 119, and stripe 
(exuere), not drupe, i. 265 ; there are brittle and sighes; the 
Verbal Nouns abound ; the sarne replaces ilk (idem) ; 
there are also nor, ]>ey, ]>aire, ]>aym, unto. As to Vowels we 
find initial a clipped, as in the Romance bate. The e is in- 
serted, for wesle becomes wesel (weasel). The old Colonia 
appears as Coleyn, ; there must have been the prior forms, 
Colune, Coloin, Another famous German city is seen as 
Mens, the future Mentz. The South-Eastem form ie re- 
places 6^3 in die (tingere). The initial i is clipped; for 
men lumine books, vii. 295 ; another version has lymne, 
and we still use limn. What is now called Poitou appears 
both as Peytowe and Peyto, the old confusion between and 
u (ou), showing how Cardinal Peto's name arose. The 
name that Chaucer wrote Ixmys is here seen as Lewes, i. 
285; much as Lord Macaulay wrote it; Hewbert is here 
written for Hubert, and thus we pronounce' the French 
due as dewh. The proper name Boece is written Boys (a 
future surname) ; and poemata is translated by poysies, I 
have already remarked on the change in oi. The t is used 
instead of ]>, as nostrelle, iii. 1 1 ; here, moreover, there is a 
transposition of letters. It is added to the French touffe 
and becomes tuft. The d is inserted in iawndis, which 
replaces Hampole's jaunis. The r is struck out ; we read 
of the Charthous, vii. 305. The s is inserted, for craftesman 
appears instead of Layamon's craftmon. The most re- 
markable contraction is copweb for attercoppe web, vii. 343. 
Orrmin's speldren becomes our spell (syllabicare), vii. 333. 
The n is struck out, for bek (nutus) is formed from beknien ; 
this letter is replaced by m; for there is Fomfreyt as well as 
the old Pounfret, The w is struck out ; there trus (truce) 
as well as the old truwes. 

The new Substantives are bahwateres, evel-doer, tale-teller 
(delator), gravestone, popehode (papacy), ttuyli^tynge, honysovkel, 
forlond (foreland), coh crowynge, overlip, werk-kous (of an 

152 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

abbey), corner^ glasier. The noun horlynge (from hurlen, 
mere) is used in viii. 231, to translate turbo ; it may have 
influenced hwly burly, Trevisa's leving (way of life) trans- 
lates moreSy vii. 11, which is something new. In L 325 
vemale is translated springynge tyme ; our old lemtm (ver) 
was soon to be replaced by spring ; in vii. 461 Lenten tyme 
bears its religious meaning. We see homo Englished by 
grorm, not goms^ i. 359 ; the old brydguma was soon to 
become bridegivom. In ii. 283 mention is made of beings 
called half goddes. In viL 149 epitaph is explained by 
imitynge on grave. In vii. 481 DanegUt becomes ]>e Danes 
golde in some manuscripts. The ending ard, as I have else- 
where remarked, was coming in; we hear of the Spaynardes, 
a form which replaces the Spaynols of 1350. The Verbal 
Noun, as in the Mandeville treatise, is further developed ; 
it is ]>re dayes seillynge from Irlond, i. 325 ; collapsus is 
Englished by ]>e fallynge togidres of etc., ii. 119. The noun 
mil takes a new shade of meaning, have greet will (mind) to 
goy vii. 377. The Latin form Bristollia, that had been in 
use for 200 years, is written Brestowe^ ii. 103 ; the stow or 
place of the' brig, Trevisa uses the noun likpot for the 
finger next the thumb, vii. 73. In vii. 109, Crisiean is 
written for the proper name Christina, Trevisa brings in 
a new phrase for multum; a great deel of London, vii. 311 ; 
he has also most deel for mostly. 

Among the Adjectives we see mrnifvUy unfittingy schorl- 
wilted y schort-bre]>ed ; nobUes is Englished by wor]>y meny vii. 
101. We have faire wordes (promissa). The word utter 
adds to its old meaning of exterior that of extremus, vi. 251. 
Trevisa can give nothing neater for verisimile than it seme]> 
like soo]>y vii. 105. The two iorms fleschdy sijidfleschy may 
be seen in viii. 23. The word sely gets a meaning varying 
from infelixy for it is used to English simpleXy viii. 91, where 
a very foolish act is in question. In p. 155 sly is used in 
its old sense sapiens; in p. 105 it is debased, being applied 
to a cmming plot. In p. 279 prudentiores is Englished by 
]>e rediest men ; our ready man has more to do with reed (con- 
silium) than with gercedian (parare). The able is added to a 
Teutonic word, as in Wickliffe ; we have untrowable. 


As to the Pronouns, the Reflexive io sit him down was a 
good Old English idiom ^ the him now becomes himself; 
men laughe hem sdve to dea]>, i. 305. The his is often used 
to express the Genitive, as Harolde his procfwrynge. We 
saw in 1280 the phrase to love justice of all things ; we 
now see m/)st of eny ]>ingy i. 263. This any replaces a 
in vii. 91 ; he lived like any anker (hermit) ; so wholly was 
the old meaning of forma (primus) lost at this time, that 
Trevisa writes formsst fadery i. 29. 

Among the Verbs are ^ild up a thing, fall to (imiere), 
put in ward, wosen out (ooze out), bid farewell (forsake), stall 
(install) a bishop, beat him to ]>e deth, have indignacioun, make 
inquisicioun, do bataille with, it com out dere inow (erupit in 
clarum),/a^/ sUc, In ii. 195 something is said to be no 
made tale ] a new sense of the verb. In vii. 27 a man made 
it as ]>ey (though) he were not wroth ; in the next Century 
the it was replaced by cotmtenance. We know our answer 
expectation; in vii. 11 fields am^swer ]>e tiliers (cultoribus). 
In vii. 99 Canuto secedit is Englished by hefil unto Canute; 
fall away must have come from an imitation of Latin. We 
see renew, ii. 301, the first instance, I think, of re being set 
before a Teutonic root. In vii. 153 mmium apponere be- 
comes put to his handes, a favourite phrase later. A man 
is put yn (intrusus), speaking of the Papacy ; another is 
i-sette downe (depositus). In iiL 297 is a phrase of the 
* Gamelyn,' which probably was written not far off" : he up 
with a staf and smoot ; there is leve his woodnesse, and also it 
hadde be irleft of; in vii. 377 desiste is Englished by leve of 
in one manuscript, by leve in another ; there is also breke of 
]>e sege, putte it of (differre) used of a request. This of or off 
was now becoming common. In vi. 333 stands bring her 
with childe ; this sense of the verb lasted almost to our own 
day, as in Pope's bring you acquainted. In viii. 217 stands 
go a pUgrimage; the a here must represent on. In vii. 
385 we read of blasynge clo]>es, raiment of a too conspicuous 
pattern; here the verb gets a new sense. The Future 
tense is employed in an unusual way, in ii. 235 ; siose 
cubites, ]}at wil be nyne foot long ; before the Conquest vnll 
in the sense of must could only be used in a question ; one 


French idiom is, je sfwppose qu'il aura (must have) 4U 

Among the new Adverbs is unlawfuUiche, The old ckmey 
in the sense of omnino, is altered into denliche, i. 341. 
We see the phrase hard ifrore (frozen), L 325 ; also freschely 
(just) born, vii. 133. The far is now prefixed to a Present 
Participle, afer casting man (sapiens) appears in viii. 285. 

Among the Prepositions we remark went am, hwrUynge, i. 
173, where the an was doubtless mistaken for an Article. 
There is to lite by ]>e halvendely too little by half ; also by 
the space of ]>re dayes. The old (?)?, standing before a term 
expressing quantity, is altered into to ; to ]>e novmbre of ttvo 
hondredy i. 341. The m]> conveys the sense of our indudr 
ing ; sixe schires td]> Comwayle, ii. 91. This preposition 
usually implied agreement ; it is now used instead of 05 
after same; of]>e same age wilp, il 259. 

There are the Scandinavian scrap, squeak, rouschelynge 
(strepitus), which Caxton a hundred years later altered 
into rustlynge. The Danish sJdm supplies the word sky- 
mom's (pirates), i. 261 ; men who skim the sea. The words 
sprerMe and tmter are allied to the Dutch and German. 

Among the Celtic words are kybe (chilblain); the gobolyn 
of the Severn land is repeated here. 

The French words are usfoal, capitel (letters), marl, giestes 
(joists), ducherie (dukedom), empechement (accusation), aray 
(of an army), form (bench), spiritualte (clergy), hors liter 
(f eretrum), particuler (often used here), gruel, chanel, brigands 
(latrones), to aliene, to copy, plegge, pulpit, duket (ducat), con- 
spire, quote, precious stone, to resign up, lettres patent, determine 
doutes, chase enemies; a new sense is given to florish;/we 
hear of florischers of wordes, i. 7 ; a bishop floruit ; this is 
turned into was in hisfloures, vii. 39. There is have the mays- 
trie (mastery). We read of an esy man ; here the adjective 
adds the sense of lenis to that of facilis. The word curiouste 
is used for inquisitiveness in learning, vii. 69; the word 
gracious is used to translate probus, vii. 35 ; ungracious is 
used both for infaustus and sinister. The adjective Twble is 
employed in a new sense, nobU bookes, viii. 21. In vi. 123 
superiores is translated soveraynes, a word used all through the 


next Century, like Shakespere's "my masters." In vi. 221 
conclvdey already used by Piers Ploughman, gets the mean- 
ing of pdare. In viii. 179 equivocatio is Englished by dovhel 
entendement, here used by an angel ; our evil double erUendrey 
which has not been naturalised after 200 years, was to 
come later. In vii. 467 we see graimtdre^ and also fader 
grauntsire (atavus); two languages are further used to 
compound doiible chynned, i. 299 ; we have here also the 
curious compound overpluse (surplus), much in use for 
the next two Centuries. In viii. 201 we come upon helfray^ 
the herfray of 1360; the English hell here led the way to a 
false analogy. Trevisa explains the strange word commedy^ 
i. 315, saying that it is "a song of gestes;" here the last 
word must mean joci, as in Manning fourscore years earlier ; 
but in viii. 299 gestour expresses tragoedus. There is the 
Latin incubus, i. 419. We see in ethica turned into in 
etykeSy viii. 241, our Plural form. In vi. 259 comence- 
ment is used in its Academical sense. The verb itse is 
employed for solere, just as in Barbour; new words and 
phrases crop up almost at the same moment in far distant 
shires. The Latin vndecenter is Englished by v/nsemyngliche, 
viii. 117, an obvious imitation of the Participle form, for no 
ing is needed. There are the two forms avoketes and advo- 
ketes, showing the rising influence of the Latin ; advise was 
soon to replace avis. The word gratum is translated ^/^yw^re 
to; the adverb ^^esm^/y is also seen. In vii. 69 guadrivium 
is Englished by carfouh ; this recalls the Carfax of Oxford. 
A Latin word sometimes needed a long interpretation ; thus 
invincibilis, vii. 103, becomes unable to be overcomen. In vii. 
155 eledi is Englished by ]>e elites; this word has never 
been thoroughly naturalised. There is Barbour's leeftenaunt, 
where the French u has been mistaken for b, v ; hence the 
/ appears. The word prejudice now expresses injuria, as 
in law; tmjpoute prejudice of his chirchey vii. 263. Men 
might now meove (move) a cause or a question. In Domes- 
day Book all England is descrived (marked out) ; this sense 
lingers in our Bible. In vii. 377 the Devil appears as ]>e 
enemy. The word mto, vii. 193, is translated his ende and 
passing for]> ; hence "the passing bell," and "the passing 

156 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

of Arthur." In the middle of the English text stands 
the technical in jporUificalihus ; Foxe is fond of the phrase. 

Trevisa gives us a proverb from Seneca, vii. 5 : a cok is 
most my^ty on his dongehUle ; 1 70 years earlier it had been 
kene on his rmxenne. In another work of our author's he 
puts aside the Old English ceorles worn (Arcturus), and tells 
us that this star is comyrdy clejM in Englis Charlemaynes 
wayne; a phrase that lasted to 1600 ; this is our Charles's 
wain.^ The French romances must have been most popular 
in England. 

We now, in 1387, light once more upon an English 
Will; these had been made in Latin and French for 
the previous 300 years. Eobert Corn, citizen of Lon- 
don, makes his bequests (* Fifty Earliest English Wills,' 
Early English Text Society, p. 1) ; he speaks of his daughter 
Genet, our Janet ; of the werkes (buildings) of a church ; the 
Eomance word peuter occurs. 

In the ballads of this time (* Political Poems,' Master of 
the EoUs) we see the phrase fc/r wynt ne wederes, p. 216 ; 
here weather bears the meaning of Latin tempestas, which 
the word has had from the earliest times. The Scandinavian 
odd, first found in Lancashire, has also come South, p. 268 ; 
in the same page is the Lancashire noun blonder. We see 
the French substantive galauntes, and hear of a covmier tenur, 
p. 277. 

The documents, printed in Rymer, belonging to the years 
1385 and 1386, show that English was at last asserting its 
right to appear in official papers by the side of Latin and 
French. We have here phrases like in proper persons, 
inhaUtans, goodes and catels. The word law appears as 
lav^gh. There is the curious combination of nouns, no harm 
doings. Chaucer's during is here durant, as in the original 

In the * Legends of the Holy Rood ' (Early English Text 
Society), belonging to this time, we see the noun blok and 
the verb loll, which are common to the Dutch. 

In Gregory's Chronicle (Camden Society) we have, in 
the account of the year 1387, the surname Bechamp, not 

1 See the * Catholicon' (Early English Text Society), p. 59. 


Bewcharwp ; just as the Northern le supplanted the Southern 
leow (lew). 

The rules of a certain London Gild (Early English Text 
Society) bear the date 1389; we see that our way of sound- 
ing the English word for sepelire was now settled by the 
Capital ; the Kentish form hery appears. There are the 
new nouns hooJc-bynder and hatter. We see if nede he ; the 
3^/ hit neod is of the * Ancren Riwle.' There is the phrase it 
may he take ]>at; we should now say, taken for granted, p. 9. 
We find at warning ; we still say " at a minute's warning." 

There are some Lynne documents of the same date, 
1389 ; the defrw(yr\e (pretiosus) was not understood at this 
time, for it is written der worthi, p. 58. 

Foxe has printed a famous sermon, preached at Paul's 
Cross by E. Wimbeldon in 1388 (Cattley's edition, iii. 292). 
We here see the speech understood by London church- 
goers under Bichard 11. ; we may remark how their and 
them have come down from the North, though hem is still 
found ; at the same time we see the Southern thelke (iste), 
heth (sunt), it was agoo (gone), man (unus), yhore. The 
former uttermost is cut down to utmost, p. 305. There is 
Trevisa's limig (mores), and Chaucer's householder; also the 
noun earthquaking. Among the Verbs are hring up (educare), 
vxix on edge, as much as lyeth in thy power, p. 300. The old 
letten and l&tan are now confused ; let (prevent) u/rongs to 
hen done, and let him enter. The verb answer takes a new 
shade of meaning; answer to God (as to your life), p. 295. 
In the same page there is put to the law ; whence comes our 
" put to school." There is the Adverb cursedly. Among 
the Prepositions is hy the waie (obiter dictum), p. 298. 
Among the Eomance words are advancement, theam^ (a 
preacher's text), to return writs, to forfeit, prohahle doctors, 
gentdness (mildness). Shoreham's acordant to now becomes 
according to (secundum) ; this was to replace one sense of 

There is a sermon against Miracle plays, dating from 
about 1390, in 'Reliquiae Antiquse,' ii. 42 ; here we see the 
Genitive their and the Accusative hem. The e is inserted, 
for the old hidous becomes hideous, p. 54. There is the 

158 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

phrase japynge stiJcke, which paved the way for laughing 
stock. In p. 44 stands have the greet mi/nde to do it ; mind 
expresses voluntas/ we here substitute a for the. In p. 50 
is the new phrase hard of bUeve, We see make a play 
therof/ to layke enterludes had come earlier. The Participle 
being had very seldom been used, since the old wesende had 
been dropped ; we now have " it stands in beynge devout, p. 
57 ; this Participle was henceforth to be used freely after 
certain prepositions. The whereof stands for the Latin 
opes ; to han wherof to spenden, p. 54. Among French words 
stands synguler^ p. 47, opposed to a plurality, where we 
should say single. 

About 1390 certain parts of the Church ritual were 
translated into English ; these may readily be recognised 
as little altered in the Anglican Prayer Book of our day. 
What follows is taken from the *York Manual' (Surtees 
Society). The * Cambridge Manuscript,' which I transcribe, 
is referred to in p. xiv. The parts of the ritual, done into 
English about this time and later, were certain bits of the 
Marriage service, the Great Curse, the Visitation of the 
sick, and the Bidding prayer for all conditions of men. 
This was nothing new ; in the * York Manual ' may be found 
an English Bidding prayer, compiled before the Norman 

In p. 24 the following address is made to the bridal 
couple : — 

"I charge you both and eyther be your selfe, as ye wyll 
answer before God at the day of dome, that yf there be any 
thynge done pryvely or openly betwene yourselfe, or that 
ye knowe any lawfull lettyng why that ye may nat be 
wedded togyder at thys tyme, say it nowe or we do any 
more to this mater. 

• • • • • • 

" Here I take the N to my wedded wyf e to have and to 
holde at bedde and at borde, for feyrer for layther, for 
better for warse, in sekeness and in hele, tyl dethe us de- 
parte, if holy kirk it will ordeyn, and thereto I plyght the 
my trouthe. 


" With this rynge I wedde the, and with this golde and 
silver I honoure the, and with this gj^t I dowe thee." 

I add a Southern version, of about 1400, from a Sarum 
Missal; see p. 220 in the last part of the 'York Manual/ 
The woman has already promised to be hcyxjom to the man : — 

" WiJ? this ring y the wedde, and this golde and sulver 
y the 3eve, and wi]? my body y the worschipe, and wij? my 
worldliche catel iche ]?e sese." 

I add a few documents of this date from Blunt's Key 
to the Prayer Book : — 

" I bileve in god, fadir almygti, makere of hevene and 
of erthe : and in iesu crist the sone of him, oure lord, oon 
alone : which is concey ved of the hooli gost ; born of marie 
maiden : suffride passioun undir pounce pilat : crucified, 
deed, and biried : he went doun to hellis : the thridde day 
he roos agen fro deede : he steig to hevenes : he sittith on 
the right syde of god the fadir almygti : thenns he is to 
come for to deme the quyke and deede. I beleve in the 
hooli goost : feith of hooli chirche: communynge of seyntis : 
forgy veness of synnes : agenrisyng of fleish, and everlastynge 
lyf. So be it." 

Preie we. For the pees. 

" God of whom ben hooli desiris, rigt councels and iust 
werkis : gyve to thi servantis pees that the world may not 
geve, that in our hertis govun to thi commandementis, and 
the drede of enemys putt awei, oure t3nnes be pesible thurgh 
thi defendyng. Bi oure lord iesu crist, thi sone, that with 
thee lyveth and regneth in the unitie of the hooli goost god, 
bi all worldis of worldis. So be it." 

" God, that taughtist the hertis of thi feithf ul servantis 
bi the lightnynge of the hooli goost : graunte us to savore 
rightful thingis in the same goost, and to be ioiful evermore 
of his counfort. Bi crist our lorde. So be it." 

"Almyghti god, everlastynge, that aloone doost many 
wondres, schewe the spirit of heelful grace upon bisschopes 
thi servantis, and upon alle the congregacion betake to hem : 
and gheete in the dewe of thi blessinge that thei plese ever- 
more to the in trouthe. Bi crist oure lord. So be it." 

i6o THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

In these last prayers the form. Goddes horde is always oc- 
curring for the altar. In the Prayers of the * York Manual' 
the d is again inserted, as advocate. There is the new verb 
to fader children on a man, p. 121 ; Chaucer's new fraunches 
(liberty), and to present a church. In p. 123 there is a 
Bidding prayer, something like that used at the Univer- 
sities ; but the phrase we shall jpray is employed ; not ye. 

There is an office for the Visitation of the sick, which 
dates from about 1390, p. 110, towards the end of the 
* York Manual;' this office has a Southern tinge. In p. 
Ill the priest, when exhorting the dying man, uses the 
common oath pardd^ and moreover quotes Gato ; there is 
the new phrase / despeir of it. 

The Church, brought face to face with LoUardy, was 
now making full use of English as an instrument. Mr. 
Maskell has printed a very long English Primer, dating 
from about 1400. 

The book of travels, attributed to Sir John Mandeville, 
used always to be placed at the head of New English 
prose; but from this place it has been deposed since 
Colonel Yule lately showed in the * Encyclopaedia Britan- 
nica ' that the book is nothing but a compilation from well- 
known authors, made about 1390, with the addition of 
later inventions and interpolations. Thus, the Pope is 
placed at Rome a little before 1360 — a manifest blunder. 
Manuscripts of this work (some of them have a Southern 
tinge) abound in our libraries. I have used Halliwell's 
edition. The Verbal Nouns are many, as in the North. 
In p. 127 the Northern whare is used in a dependent sen- 
tence; here an earlier Southern writer would have used 
there, Orrmin's theirs has found its way to London, and 
there is also hires (illorum) formed in the same way. The 
Infinitive follows an Adverb, as in the * Cursor Mundi,' 
it is tofer to travaylle to, p. 270. The en of the Infinitive is 
often clipped. The Passive Voice, as in the * Ormulum,* is 
making great strides, see pp. 2 and 286. The forasmuch 
and al he it that of Western England have now reached 
London ; such a word as formyour reminds us of the ending 
used in the Severn country. 


We see both Maur and Mowr^ where we now write 
Moor, The French royawme becomes rerm and rewme, 
showing the double sound of au. If that combina- 
tion here has the sound of the French ou, it has the 
sound of the French d in hawme and pawme. The a 
replaces «, as marveyle for merveillej p. 272. The e re- 
places a, for biowleche stands for the former knawlage ; the 
pecok of the Alexander is found, as well as poocoh But the 
e is preferred to Hampole's o in mevdble and flete ; reed sup- 
plants the old reod, p. 189. In p. 35 we read of the 
BedoyneSj where the o and the y must be pronounced 
separately, as before in Boys. The o replaces e, as in oldest^ 
p. 30 ; it replaces a, as felowe, p. 24. The u is preferred 
to its rivals i and e in the Plural rushes; it replaces o 
ia chiise (eligere), p. 221. The Kentish guod becomes 
goude (bonus), p. 126. There are Severn forms like fuy7\ 
juyce, conduyt. Fovm (fawn) stands for the French faon 
in p. 290. 

As to the Consonants, the u was so often mistaken for 
a Vf that the plenteums of Hampole is here found as plenty- 
fous^ p. 187. On the other hand, the v is here taken for 
an u; efete becomes ewte^ p. 61, our newt The c was re- 
placing s even in Teutonic words; sinder becomes cyvdre 
(cinder) in p. 101. The old Icece (hirudo) is seen as leche. 
The gh is well established instead of h and 3 ; we find 
sleigJUe and chough; it seems not to have been sounded 
hard, for the slow of the *Havelok' is written slowghe (occidit), 
p. 141. What had been before written we is now hour, p. 
235. The t is struck out in the middle of cU do^ p. 132, 
where the old Danish Infinitive is used as a Noun ; have 
ado wUh. The th is added at the end ; hrede becomes our 
hreadthej p. 41 ; this must have been an imitation of length. 
The d is inserted, as had been the case with thunder ; air 
(alnus) becomes eldre, p. 93. The I is inserted, for the old 
specca (macula) gives birth to spekelede (speckled). The s 
is coming into vogue ; it is added to form the Genitive of 
lady ; it is added to the old sithen ; and sithens, on the road 
to our since, is found in p. 299 ; the Preposition besides is 
in p. 44. Middel is changed to myddes (midst) in p. 2. 

VOL. I. 'M. 

i62 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

The French form 8c appears ever in Teutonic words, as 
5ci/Aes (tempora), p. 289. The n is changed into m; rwnr 
doum is in p. 238 ; the n is thrown out, when Amyas, p 
108, is written for Amiens. The Northern fashion of 
writing x for s is seen once more ; we find both Emaus and 
EmauXy also Jexabel. 

Among the Substantives are many new proper names, 
as yet httle known in England, such as Frestre John^ 
Cathay, Bussye, Prtisse, and CrakOy p. 130; Folayne, SUsie, 
and Bulgarie, " that men clepen the lond of Bougiers," p. 
6 ; the Barbaryenes dwell at Marrok ; the Janeweys 
(Genoese) are in p. 23. There are new words like 
Fadirhode, applied to the Pope, p. 315 ; seylle ^erde, 
striplyng, a lad thin as a strip; lyver is formed from the 
verb live, p. 139. The ending ness is employed to form 
new words, as in Yorkshire; there is gretnesse, p. 297, 
which drove out the old micelness (except in our phrase 
" much of a muchness "). The old miich is supplanted by 
Trevisa's phrase a gret del before a Comparative Adjective, 
see pp. 51 and 284. We see squareness, roundness, simpleness. 
There is the new Noun herberghage (harbouring), p. 97 ; a 
Teutonic root with a French ending, like the old bondage. 
We read that the Tartar soldiers gather in s,plomp, p. 252; 
this seems to be the source of our clump, with the well- 
known interchange of c and p. The phrase hoping to have 
is changed into in hope to have, p. 280. In p. 277 goeres 
and comsres are mentioned. In p. 278 a conduit renn£s 
milk, a use of the Accusative something similar to that 
used in the year 1098. The nobles are described as alle 
the gode blood of his Beme, p. 154. We see hors back at 
p. 58. The Verbal Noun syttinges is coined to express the 
Latin sedes, p. 106. In p. 49 stands thei ben grettere cheep ; 
this last word is a Substantive in the Dative, here meaning 
bargain; it was 160 years before we began to use cheap as 
an Adjective. It is remarkable how often our author throws 
aside the old Genitive, and uses the periphrasis with of, 
such as nekke of a colver ; we follow his example when we 
write for the press, but not in speaking. We may safely 
foretell that " the man's dog " will never be replaced by 


" the dog of the man." In p. 273 stands Qie goynge down, of 
the Sonne. We find here two fonns of speech that have 
been embodied in our Bible ; most fairest (Most Highest), p. 
279 ; and holy of halewes (Sancta Sanctorum), p. 85. 
Heaven of heavens had been a good English phrase in the 
earliest times ; and we still use heart of hearts. There is the 
phrase an hool (whole) mone]>f p. 134. The Superlative 
forme fader was so little understood that it was now altered 
both into foremest fader, p. 303, and into formere fader, p. 2. 
In p. 183 we hear of a worthi (bonus) vmny a new meaning 
of the Adjective. Our author is fond of discarding the 
old Comparative, and of using the periphrasis with more. 
The Superlative is now sundered from the Genitive Plural 
that should follow it; we see in p. 237 the grettest of 
dignytee of the Prelates. 

As to the Pronouns; in p. 122 as for the tym£ ("for 
the present ") is found, where the seems to represent this.^ 
The indefinite it is repeated ; U came to the ende of nine 
monethes, p. 27. In p. 3 stands the new phrase of this 
age, a m^an that hathe whereof (opes) ; we now talk of the 
wheretvUhal. In p. 287 we have the curious form suche an 
on (one) ; the writer little knew that he was here using 
the same word twice over. The ordinal Numeral takes 
every prefixed, as in Hampole : every thrydde pa^ thai thei 
gon, p. 174. We saw in the * Cursor Mundi ' ]>ar es rwb mend- 
ing ]>e stat; the use of the na or no, standing for n^t, is 
now extended; in p. 102 we find no gret ryvere. The 
phrase no more did I stands in p. 221. 

As to Verbs; the old Imperfect, following that, in a 
dependent sentence, is sometimes altered into the Pluper- 
fect; and this novelty has taken root; in p. 79 stands 
sche wende that he had hen a gardener. The Infinitive 
follows a verb of progress; nails growe to hen longe, p. 310. 
This tense is governed by certain other phrases, as, are in 
jmrpos for to visite, p. 4 ; to that entent to maken men heleve, 
etc., p. 160. This Infinitive is replaced by that with the 
Subjunctive ; as, to that ende and enient that his dethe myghte 
hen knowen, p. 2; we now say, "in order that." In p. 191 

1 This reminds us of the Scotch ** how are you the day ?" 

i64 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

stands in case thai he had my werre. We saw in the 
'Cursor MMxaii^ fall upon a gret (fletus); this gives birth 
here to he felle preyeng to owre Lordy p. 87 ; where the on^ 
which should be the third word, is dropped, and the Verbal 
Noun seems to be turned into a Present Participle. The 
phrase "/a/Z a praying" lasted almost down to 1800. In 
" they left heatvng of Pavl^" it is hard to say whether heating 
is a Participle or a Noun ; these words in in^g are the hardest 
puzzle in the English tongue. We have already seen, in 
1 280, the phrase wUhont coming, an imitation of the French ; 
this is carried further in p. 181 ; afke goynge be see, , , . 
I have fotmden, etc. There are such phrases as fcUl in a 
rage, lay sege, take the ayr, do reverence to, make hem to beleve, 
fall sick, lost labowr, to bete down and tomhle walls (p. 95). 
The verb sting had hitherto been used as freely as our 
pierce ; it seems henceforth to be restricted, at least in its 
physical sense, to animals that give wounds ; see p. 286. 
The phrase crepynge bestes is used in p. 296 for our reptiles, 
and something like the former stands in our Bible. A 
noun gives birth to a new Participle in p. 137; men are 
now swerded, now daggered. The old Strong Verb smk now 
makes a Weak Perfect; thou sowkedest is in p. 30. The 
Active Participle may stand, as in p. 59 of my Book, with- 
out an accompanying Noun; we read in p. 191 he takethe 
on, and another, and so forthe contynudle sewyng (following). 

The Adverbial phrase in the last example (it dates 
from Old English times) is repeated in p. 309 ; here 5, 
here 6, and so forthe ; we often substitute on for the last 
word. We find how used almost as a Eelative ; / schalle 
devyse ^ow , , , the names how thei clepen hem, p. 53. The 
old nu had always expressed quoniam; we see in p. 122 
the origin of our nmu that; now aftre that I have told, . . . 
/ wUle tumen, etc. ; we should here drop the after, Laya- 
mon had made a distinction between as and so ; his order 
of words is here reversed ; righte als the londes weren lost, 
so schvMe thei ben wonnen, A wholly new way of expressing 
the Latin nisi, replacing the old but, now starts up ; in p. 
184 stands that may not be, upon lesse than wee mowe falle. 
This, the future unless, is a literal version of the French ^ 


m(m& que ; a few years later, the wpon before the lesse was 
to be dropped. The evere more sithenSy in p. 299, paves the 
way for our ever since. The but had been used to English 
quin after possum, in 1300; this usage is now extended 
further in p. 60 ; that feld is not so well closed, but that men 
may entren. The old overall (ubique) was beginning to 
drop; in p. 46 the contree is strong on alle sides. In p. 
309 men re^'oyssen hem hugely; this Adverb remained in 
use for about 300 years, when it yielded to vastly.^ The 
Superlative Adverb gladly est is in p. 195 ; and beste 
belovede in p. 177. We have seen the Old English 
adverbial sams swa; this now appears in a slightly dif- 
ferent form ; they (fon in the sams vnaner as thefirste, p. 192. 

Among the Prepositions at is used to express distance ; 
toward the Est, at 160 paas, is Templvm. The Adverb 
overthwa/rt is turned into a Preposition, p. 57 ; overthwart 
the See, much as Cowper used it. Under is applied to 
measure; undir the age of 16 ^ere, p. 278 ; here unthin had 
been employed earlier. The confusion between of and on 
is remarkable in p. 115; so much in lengthe, so much of 
brede (breadth). We saw make gams of in 1290 ; we now 
light on make cheep (bargain) of hem. A remarkable phrase 
stands in p. 41, mthouten castynge of of hire clothes; this 
castynge must be the Verbal Noun, not the Infinitive, as in 
the * Tristrem.' Our modem off and of, the Adverb and the 
Preposition, here stand side by side ; the old form of casting 
would have been much better than this castynge of The 
ab&ui now stands for juxta; dbouten Grece there ben many 
Ues. A very early idiom is continued in the phrase 
multiply by 360 sithes, p. 185; there is also for the m/ost 
partye, p. 294. 

The new words akin to the Dutch and German are 
mosse (muscus), sclender, schokk (acervus),^ whippe, huske, chop 
(secare), lodesterre. We hear, in p. 130, of carres that have 
no wheeles, that thei depen sdeyes; this last is the Dutch 
sledes (sledges). 

^ Will Wimble, after conveying a lad to Eton, says that the youth 
'* takes to his learning hugely." 
^ This produces here a verb. 

1 66 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

From the Scandinavian comes U^ ^eer (hlaupar), p. 77. 
The Celtic dagger also appears. 

As to French words; bestaylle, p. 284, is the parent of 
the Scotch substantive bestial. Many adjectives are used 
as substantives, such as necessarieSy tributaries. There are 
phrases like gret norribre of folk ; gret (much) peple ; mth on 
accord ; double sithes (times) more ; it is (so much) in kompas 
aboute ; ordynance of werre /^ sue for a thing ; to companye 
mth ; women refusen a man ; savynge here (their) reverence ; 
a three-cornered city (Constantinople) ; make it to ben cryed. 
There are the two forms, French and Latin, obeyssant 
and obedient; since 1390 we have made a difference be- 
tween oheysance and obedience. We have seen dam applied 
to a hen, soon after 1300; it is now applied to a mare, 
p. 302. We saw trail in 1303; we now light upon the 
noun trayne, used of a fox burrowing a hole, p. 267. In 
p. 236 avys seems to add the meaning of comUivm to that 
of cogitatio; this is repeated in Gower. In p. 93 conseUle 
stands for an assemibly ; it was long before we spelt council 
differently from counsel. We see that part is encroaching 
on deal; here (exercitus) gave way altogether to hoste. 
The words of science (here spelt scyence) employed are 
many; in p. 234 we find no less than four ending in the 
Greek mancy, which reminds us of the frequent words 
with this termination naturalised nearly 300 years later. 
The word hostellere, p. 214, is applied to the landlord; in 
the next Century it was to be somewhat degraded. The 
French ending your (eur) is so much in favour, that form- 
your, not former (Creator), is written. The author explains 
streyt, p. 45, that is to seye narow ; in p. 266 he uses both 
this French word and the Teutonic streghte. The word 
estate means condition in p. 161 ; it means dignity in p. 218; 
our quality partakes of these two meanings. Multiply be- 
comes intransitive in p. 168. The noun march is used in 
p. 171 of "a day's journey ; " in p. 6 one country marchethe 
to another ; the Scotch would now say m^rch with ; have a 
common boundary. The old mesd is now making way for 
lepre. In p. 130 we are told that there is good land, but 
^ Ordnance was not applied to guns until the next Century. 


it is 'pwe litUle ; here pure is used as an Adverb, like the 
Teutonic clean. The vitaille of Manning now becomes 
mtaylles, p. 130 ; we still keep the French sound of the 
first syllable, but we write it victtmls in the Latin way. 
We hear, p. 131, that in the country to the East of Russia, 
every man has stewes in his house ; here the French estuve 
(the Dutch stove) has been followed. French and English 
words are united in surname, p. 112 ; and there is some- 
thing similar in for partie (fore part), p. 107. The verb 
entreat stands for tractare in p. 95, and keeps this sense in 
our Bible ; in our time we use it in the later sense of pre- 
cari. The foreign passing had been used in 1303 as a 
synonym for beyond; this again appears in our author; 
and he, moreover, employs this Participle both as an Ad- 
jective and an Adverb ; for the passynge love that he hadde, 
p. 89 ; men holden him righte passynge old. By the year 
1525 we had substituted exceeding for passing in all these 
senses. In p. 84 Julian is styled "a remgate" (renegade) ; 
this has given birth to the strange form runagate in our 
Prayer Book. The delitahle of Hampole becomes delect- 
able, p. 155. In p. 71 we hear of the Chamelle, where 
bones lie ; the form chamel came into English use before 
carnal The author thinks that a strange French word in 
p. 67 needs explanation, tribe, that is to seye, kynrede ; so in 
p. 199 lymons, that is a manere of fruyt. The French form, 
not the Old or New Italian, is followed in writing Gene 
(Genoa), p. 54. The phrase in comparisoun to is substituted 
for the old preposition fe, p. 219. In p. 45 we hear that 
one place is the distance of five monsths jov/meyesfro another 
place. The new tent, here used, was soon to drive out 
the old teld. In p. 181 we learn that 60 minutes make a 
degree. In p. 168 reysyn^es seems to stand for the French 
raisins (grapes). In p. 14 the Emperour of Almayne is 
mentioned; his true title was now and henceforward a 
puzzle to Englishmen. In p. 4 we hear of temporel Lordes, 
and elsewhere of Marguyses, Our author uses merveyl as a 
Verb, p. 283. The word bill, well known in Parliament, 
appears in p. 172. We see here the words deflour, ryzs 
(rice), multitude, corrour (courier), tablett, oriloge, tyssewc 

i68 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

(tissues), mj^scrvpcioun, eysemeiUy cotoun, equyiee^ vyaunde^ 
wpparayl, lax, congele, elecciov/n, devide, dimai, preM>siicacmm, 
arnbassedour, cyUmr (ceiling), centre, visibly, superficialtee, egalle, 
Antartyk, reconsyle, carre, hordwre, frankencens, graff, dlom, 
oratories, censer, addidowns, hmeniacioun, habiiacunm, goidf, 
JFlcan (volcano), oMendaTice, apotecary, sophisticate, moysture, 
cyrcuit, finally, and the French word for mingere. 

Among the letters printed in the * Becords of the Priory 
of Coldingham ' (Surtees Society) we light upon what is, I 
think, the first letter written in English ; this is due to 
King Robert III of Scotland suddenly dropping his usual 
correspondence in French on 22d April 1390 ; there are a 
few other English letters of the same date.^ Our *^ he can 
do no less " is foreshadowed in toe can nocht wytt qwat he 
suid do lesse than mak hym obedience, p. 67. There is a 
coupling of pronouns and substantives in ovrr toUle and ]>e 
mevmys (hominum), p. 60, differing from the form in the 
* Ancren Riwle/ We find among the verbs have in remem- 
brance, putt (call) in qtiestioun, to hold harmeks, Ood have yhow 
in Tcepynge, make hym demaundes, the said John ; this last is 
an imitation of the French. The rnofh, Orrmin's mun stand- 
ing for Mil, now expresses oportet, p. 67, as it had done in 
Lancashire rather earlier. The Infinitive, preceded by ai 
or to, follows have, a verb that here means trahere, not 
possidere, as in llQO;we had (him) at spekyn wyth the bychop, 
p. 67. Anient bears its old sense of de in p. 60, but in the 
same page anemte yhowe takes the further sense of quod ad 
te spedat. One of the oldest meanings of by is continued, 
be ony thynk that we can wyt (for aught we know), p. 67. 
Among the French words are the addresses. Reverent fadir 
in Crist, richt honorabylle fadyr in Crist ; our principale (the 
king). There is the French noun ferm (farm), used for a 
piece of land, p. 65 ; the Old English feorme had been long 

The beautiful Lancashire poem, called * The Pearl ' 
(Alliterative Poems, Early English Text Society), seems to 
date from about 1390; it has certainly a far greater 

^ This letter should be reprinted by those who edit collections of 
English letters. 


number of French words than are to be found in the poems 
of 1360, printed along with it. The old Adverb grovdinge 
loses its final e, and thus, seeming to be a Participle, led the 
way to a new verb 200 years later. The most remarkable 
change in spelling is that defyle supplants both the 
Teutonic fyle and the French defouler, a change that was 
not to- become common until a century later ; we see imde- 
fylde, p. 22. The old trone makes way for the classic 
'prone, p. 34, a remarkable proof of the new influence now 
at work. In the same page we read of a person's loke^ 
(looks), a new Plural phrase. The word knot gets a new 
sense ; a kTwt of women, p. 24. In p. 27 we see the lamb's 
name, hys fadere^ also ; here the noun name is not repeated 
after the second Genitive. The Adjective scharpe is applied 
to a shout in the same page; hence our "sharp cry." 
We hear in p. 6 of a girl's fygure fyn ; the adjective came 
into greater vogue throughout the next Century. Among 
the Verbs are bete her wings, bend to a thing (incline myself). 
There is the new phrase the sunne is doim, p. 1 7. We see 
the Scandinavian bru/nt (ictus) clot {glehei)Jlake, rasch. Among 
the French words are pyony (peony), syn^lerty (singularity), 
qtiery, signet. There is in recede of, p. 3 ; here meaning 
"in comparison with." We have the phrase ]>e mo ]>e 
myryer, used of heaven by a redeemed spirit, p. 26. 

To the same dialect belongs the Legend of St. Erken- 
wald, printed by Horstmann in his * Altenglische Legenden,' 
p. 266. The former eggetol becomes eggit tole (edged tool), 
p. 267. A man is said to work sire{t (rect^), p. 272 ; a 
new sense of the Adjective, which was brought South by a 
man of the West Midland district 200 years later. Among 
the Verbs is hvm, p. 272 ; also bde oute (abigere), bde down, 
drop dede, sytte upon causes. The new Eomance words are 
mdropol (applied to London, p. 2%^), to embelice, in ponti- 
ficals, macer (mace -bearer), librarie, the providens (of God), a 
deputate, dedyns (pervert), comavmd peace (where an Infinitive 
is suppressed). In p. 272 limho is used — a curious leaning 
to the Latin Ablative case ; out of limbo, the place on the 
border of hell. 

The poem on the 'Constitutions of Masonry' in England 

170 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

(printed by Mr. Halliwell) may date from 1390 or there- 
abouts. It seems to be a Salopian piece ; we see u(^ 
(quisque), elVm (else), hmnus (hence), resendlml (reasonable), 
huyre, hure (hire), kette (secare) ; there is both mechul and 
mekel. We see Myrc's word fell (sapiens) repeated. There 
is the Northern gate (via), and the East Midland nim (ire) ; 
the latter, not for the first time, travelled westward from 

The old eo becomes u ; we see duppe (profundus), and 
luth; leofis altered into 7«/, p. 28, though it spoils the rime. 
There is the old Severn peculiarity which prefixes i or 
y to another vowel : ^eke (etiam) stands in p. 23, and ^ese 
(otium), in p. 17; there is s^very. The d replaces ]> in dar 
and Adelstorif who is credited with the foundation of thys 
curyus craft of Masonry in England, after it had been in- 
vented by Euclid in Egypt, p. 14. We see foturtethey p. 
28, our fourteenth; here the older English form of the 
Numeral has been kept There is a remarkable change in 
p. 1 7, the on (unus) is written won, just as we sound it ; 
a great difference is now made between an and one ; this 
w before o was long peculiar to Salop and the neighbouring 
shire. The old soc/o%r is altered into soheT^ p. 28, much as 
we accent the word. 

In p. 28 the Mason's craft is said to be fayr and fre, 
A few years later the word free mason (superior, or master 
builder) was to appear, preserving one of the senses of the 
Old English free (potens, dominus), like free-done. 

In p. 35 we have ms (man) schal rede, a very old form 
lingering in Salop. In p. 25 stands to serven uchon othur ; 
in 1340 a, the had come before the last word. 

Among the Verbs we find pik teeth, thyn enyn (eyes) 
water. In p. 15 victuals go (are sold) for so much ; a new 
sense of the verb. The verb meddle, in p. 20, adds the 
sense of sese immiscere to the old miscere. In church a man 
is ordered to pille vppe thy herte to Crist, instead of the 
more common pluck up ; hence, perhaps, " to pull a long 
face." In p. 16 a man is honde (bound) to his lord ; hence, 
" to bind a prentice." In p. 34 we learn that a church is 
made to pray yn ; this is the true Old English construction, 

II. ] THE NE W ENGLISH. 1 7 1 

though many would now prefer Orrmin's corruption, to he 
'prayed in. 

Our tuUh had expressed apvd in the 'Cursor Mundi;' 
it is now applied to a prentice, who is uoUh a master, p. 
22. We see at these prayers, p. 13, imitated from the 
French L The between is used in a new sense, implying 
combination ; two men are advised to amend something, 
hytwynne ^ow hothe, p. 21. 

There is the Scandinavian smogynge (smudging), and 
snyft (sniff). 

There is the French verb pradese. In p. 23 a mason 
takes his pay, the first use of the verb as a noun ; in our 
days a Queen's officer talks of his pay, a man of lower stamp 
oi remwneratim. In p. 31 we have the English lawe and 
the French lay (lei) in the next line. In p. 22 the mystery 
of the craft is hinted at — 

" The prevyt6 of the chamber telle he no mon, 
Ny yn the logge whatsever they done ; 
Whatsever thou heryst, or syste hem do, 
Telle hyt no mon, whersever thou go. 
The cownsel of halle, and 3eke of bowre, 
Kepe hyt wel to gret honowre, 
Lest hyt wolde tome thyself to blame, 
And brynge the craft ynto gret schame.** ^ 

In p. 38 stands Bishop Wykeham's renowned watchword 
in Midland English, not in the Southern form we know. 

" Gode maneres maken a mon." 

Many rules, bearing on nurture, are given in pp. 37-40. A 
famous proverbial phrase, common in England about this 
time, a phrase to remain alive until 1654, stands in p. 39 — 

** Kepe the wel fro ' had y wyste, * " 

that is, " had I known the consequences I would not have 
done the deed." The prentice must abstain from making 
this silly excuse. 

Gower, after having written long pieces in French and 

^ The great secret of Freemasonry seems not to have been invented 
before 1600. There are few subjects about which more nonsense is 
put forth by English writers than concerning Freemasonry ; every 
three years or so a new work on the subject comes out. 

172 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

Latin, brought out his ' Confessio Amantis.' in English 
verse, about 1393. His work is of a more Northern cast 
than Chaucer's, and is therefore in some respects easier to 
read. The poem is said to be due to Eichard II., who 
called the poet into his barge, and asked him " to booke 
some new thing." Gower has many words and phrases, 
used by Chaucer a few years earlier, such as toomanishf 
adieUy guerdon, porte, our home-coming, to fire, wait on him ; 
licour becomes liquor. 

As to Vowels, the a replaces e, as jargon and quarele for 
Chaucer's jergon and querde (rixa) ; there is also the verb 
rase (our race) for the old rcesen. The old heorcan (latrare) 
makes its Perfect in bark,i. 221 ; whence comes our present 
form. The former fela^schip is cut down to felaship, the 
accent being thrown on the first vowel, ii 26. The a 
replaces i, for aliche (similiter), not Uiche is found ; also 
along on (per), the Uong of 1 270. The e replaces eo in swerve. 
The French ei is slurred over in forfet, iii. 177. The 
replaces ea, as in rover (pirata), i. 359 ; the Sallee rovers 
were dreaded down to our own Century. The o gains 
upon the e, as in reprove and rrwve ; therftis also reproef ; 
on the other hand, rekever stands in iii. 346, with both 
lest and loste for perdidit. Gower makes joy and Troy rime 
to monaie, ii. 147, 188 ; he uses Gregois for what Orrmin 
wrote Grickes. Trevisa's form Lewis is repeated ; our duty 
is spelt both as deute and duety ; there is also hellevnng for 
bellovnng. The French ou supplants the English e in flat- 
rour ; a change often occurring in the next hundred years. 

Among the Consonants we see the insertion of the b in 
the old doute, ii. 21 ; Gower leant much to the new French 
forms, and France had some years earlier begun to fall 
back upon Latin, in the matter of spelling. Her great 
light, Oresme, who died in 1382, had used double, effect, 
congneu, dessoubz, for doute, effet, connu, dessus ; ^ our Edward 
III. in his State Papers had employed traictier (tractare) 
for the old trailer, and Juyl for the old Juinet (July) ; he 
wrote also cognoissant, with the g inserted ; Marcz for Marz, 

^ See these words in Litti'e ; I give but a few instances of this great 


the month ; and forms like tiegne (tienne), Ac^Uaigney 
orddgne^ with the needless g} So in this Century the 
French altered fantosme. Manning's fantome^ into fawtasme. 
This new love for classic forms was the first dawn of the 
Renaissance, to the North of the Alps ; Petrarch's teaching 
was bearing fruit The p is therefore by Gower often in- 
serted, as in conceipty deceipL We have not followed 
Chaucer's kerribed, though we stick to Gower's unkemt; 
see iii 260. The c supplants s in fierce, which we still 
keep. The c is inserted, in imitation of the Latin, in 
pradique ; the French always wrote pratique. The g is in- 
serted in restreiguy in imitation of the new French style ; 
there are also ordeigriy pigne (pine) ; Ariadne appears as 
Adriagney ii. 306. Our curious participle destraught is first 
found in iii. 84, where a French word is forced to take a 
Teutonic form ; geste is altered into jestey iii 307. The I is 
inserted in the French sauvagey which has to imitate the 
Latin and become salvage; also in ovltragey i. 345, following 
the Latin; we now make a difference between an oyir6 
dress and an ultra man ; our form realm also appears, sup- 
planting roialme and reavme. The n is struck out, for 
Barbour's on wry becomes avyry, i. 174. There is also the 
Shakesperian a coldey iii. 35. The m is inserted, for stefn 
(puppis) is written stempney L 312 ; we still ^ay, " from stem 
to stem." 

Among the new Substantives are workmanshipy topsail. 
In ii. 41 a lady makes a technical change in a word by 
taking in hand her werk of embroidery. Skie still means 
nv^es as well as ccelum; see ii. 50. The Old English rdd 
(iter), and the Dutch rede' (statio navium), are both ex- 
pressed by our road ; the first word now adds to its old 
meaning the sense of hostile intent^ ii. 56, where a knight 
makes rodes into Tartary ; the Southern roady called by the 
Scotch a raidy still remains in our Bible. The word inn 
keeps one of its oldest meanings, domuSy in ii. 218 ; like our 
lAncoMs Inn. We see also a very early meaning of 
spellingey ii. 263, connected with the black art. In iii. 4 

^ See Edward's State Papers in Rymer, for the years 1373-75. In 
the * Plumpton Letters * (Camden Society) J5xicfe stands iorfait in 1406. 

174 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

hrai'M takes the meaning of sapierUia. In iii. 257 a guest 

claims to be cotisin of house, a new sense of the last word. 

Two pages further on, a woman swooning is said to be 

dede oppressed, oppressed by death ; hence our dead lame ; 

we saw ded wo so early as 1270. In liL 278 weight gets 

the meaning of importance; in iii. 287 lette signifies ^t^M^ra/w^. 

In the phrase leave his herte there, the noun gets the new 

sense of amz/r. In iiL 305 a lady is asked to ivrite her owne 

horde; hence our "write a good hand." In iii. 87 we 

find, not only the noun being, but also its Plural beinges, 

Teutonic words continue to favour French endings, like 

mordrice (murderess), sheperdess, michory. In ii. 34 the 

Sun is called the "carte of Phebus." In iii 6 we see 

Chaucer's word hovedaunce. The new expression ladyship 

is freely used ; it here means " womanly dignity ; " ladyhede 

is also used for the same ; in ii. 59 Aer ladyship is clearly 

used for her worshipful person, a turn of phrase that had 

just come in. So in ii. 19 a priest is addressed as your 

faderhode, an imitation of the Latin. There are expressions 

like brecJie of pees, make wa/rde and ivacche (true English 

alliteration), mth bow m honde, it is a shame, an aventure 

(case) of life and deth, upon the blind side. As to proper 

names, Wickliffe's corruption is continued ; Delphos is used 

as a nominative, ii. 163 ; a fault that lingered for 

300 years in England ; ^ there are also the new forms 

Ohio, Cateline, Pompey, Antioche, Tire, Ephesim. We hear of 

the filbert tree, ii. 30, that it was called philliberd after 

Phillis. The general name Jack, little known before 1340, 

is now used for a man, as in ii. 393 ; a good felaw is Jacke ; 

we still say, " every man Jack of them." 

I'here are new Adjectives like Jiry, false-twnged, evil- 

mouthed, odde or even, iii 138. The less is tacked on to 

foreign roots, as vertuless ; in iii. 1 10 a man is lustles (invitus) 

to iravaile; hence the lisUess that came up forty-five years 

later. The old word for puerilis, the English knightly, is 

now applied to rank, i. 184. The sdy is used in its com- 

^ See on this point Bentley*8 Preface to his Dissertation on Phalaris's 
letters ; he there compares the form Delphos to the Asson and Mile- 
tum of Old English bibles, and to the well-known mumpsiTrms for 


mon sense, miser, i. 301 ; but in curious contradiction it 
plainly means /e/ta? in i. 225 ; a sense which lasted forty- 
five years longer in Norfolk ; this fact seems to prove Gower 
to have had some connexion with East Anglia. There 
are phrases like cjoU hlach, hrode day^ ready wit, pouer as Job, 
siker as the crede, fast aslepe^ rightfidl Jieire, sing lich an awngeh 
We have seen fair fall you / Gower gives us foule himfalle ! 
In iii. 263 we see long time er he was bore; here we now 
drop the substantive. An adjective is sometimes sup- 
planted by another phrase; thus in i. 366 stands a foule of 
jpray (predatory). 

Among the Pronouns, we see somwho, i. 15, formed 
after the pattern of somwhat. The old idiom as who 
saith is constantly coming. The which is employed as a 
Masculine and Feminine Eelative, as in the North-West ; 
the king which understood stands in i. 154 ; there is also she, 
which. An as is tacked on to this Eelative, any word which 
as I shulde holden, i. 298. There are the phrases an other 
suche as, upon that, in alle haste, I be none of the wise, with all 
his hole herte, one of all the best, ensamjples many one, se any 
thinge of her, by alle wey (means). The word self is employed 
after a Genitive, as person is now ; my ladies sdve, i. 228 ; 
on the other hand thy persone is used for thy self in iii. 79. 
The word one had been placed after a Positive a hundred 
years earlier ; it now stands after a Superlative, as the wisest 
one, iii. 314. A phrase of ours, ovm brother to, is fore- 
shadowed in i. 307 ; there is a kind of wrath, whiche is to 
cheste his owne brother. In iL 349 comes if I be min ovme 
man (have the use of all my faculties). There is the 
curious pleonasm / am that ilke same, i. 323. A man is 
asked to say something in i. 322 ; he answers, and that I 
can; here an Infinitive do is dropped, as we saw in 1350. 
We see halfe in wrath, iii. 267. The use of most before 
Adjectives had lately been revived ; Gower uses least in 
the same way ; the lest worth of alle, iii. 260. 

There are new Verbs, such as mistime, frend (befriend) ; 
also new senses given to verbs, such as to cross sail, i. 81 ; 
smite coin, overtome (turn over) books, fret him selven to nought, 
spare him sdve, depe up (call a man in the morning), have it 

176 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

(hear the news) by reveladon, ride on anker. Verbs change 
their meanings ; thus the old werian (induere) gives rise to 
the intransitive were otdy i. 16. In i. 262 the verbs ivrong 
and righte are both made intransitive ; we still say, " the 
ship righted." The old gader (coUigere) undergoes the 
same change as in Barbour; see i. 308. In ii. 351 men 
stele and pike, a phrase in our Catechism ; in ii 90 they 
pike her vx/rdes. In L 53 we hear of a king who first upset 
(set up) Thebes ; this sense had appeared in Lincolnshire \ 
the verb has with us gained an exactly opposite meaning 
to this. There are phrases like lay him low, set eye (on a 
thing), take lore (knowledge) of it, i. 303 ; make werre, take 
pity of, keep his tim£, keep his holde, take travail (trouble) to 
ride, piU himsdve forth (forward), lay aside, do the message, 
do sacrifice, nrnke sacrifice, make a speche, make suit after 
it, ii. 274 ; take the possession, kepe her chanibre, the brid is 
fhwe, ii. 335 j have it in honde, go the pas (pace), ^eke it 
out, take logginge, take his place (seat), kepe his tunge (word) 
to speke pleine, have a fall, say plate (flat), cacdie who that 
cacche might, give answere, cast anker, do the cure. In ii. 
370 men hove nigh the weder; we say that they sail near 
the wind. The it is set before seem^, as it semeth to me, iii. 
9. This it followed by a Eelative is employed to add great 
emphasis ; as, it was of her that they thoughten, iii. 1 8. The 
Past Participle is followed by the Infinitive ; joies made to 
last, iii. 242. The Noun and Past Participle are com- 
pounded together in wind-drive (driven) ; this sort of 
union we saw revived thirty years earlier. The Active 
Participle is used like an Adjective, how hindring a peine 
is, i. 310; something like this had appeared in 1220. 
Trevisa had written "bring with child;" Gower has "be- 
get with childe," iii. 50 ; here we now clip the be. The 
verbs come and go are here used like Eeflexive Verbs ; he 
comth him home, iii. 50 ; ^ goth him forth, iii. 53 ; much as 
we say to come it and go it. The phrase see far is used in 
iii. 251 of a man's mind. A foreign Noun is turned into 
a Verb as, they ensampled hem, iii. 24 1 ; for they took example. 
We say, "what must be, must be;" Gower put it more 
elegantly, nede mote that- nede shall, iii. 309 ; five pages 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 177 

later comes all that shall falle, falle shall. The old may 
still keeps can at bay, as in U may nought he, iii. 330. 
The Passive is developed in goddes hen heleved, ii. 152. 
There are the new phrases, full growe, there ne here (here 
nor there), whereas (in the sense of uibi), L 335; as certainly 
as I shall die, as siJcerly as the life (as sure as life), iii. 74 ; 
so fer (up to this time), ii. 33 ; on that other side (contra), 
now and efte (again), als fer as he can here. The that is 
dropped in i 263 ; for drede he shulde, etc. A chief warns 
his men by and by (protenus), ii. 386. The as is constantly- 
prefixed without any need, as in Chaucer, as Oierof he was 
deceived, iii. 266. The adverb, as in Chaucer, is prefixed 
to the verb ; auoay goth dish, dovm goth the bord, iii. 302. 
The now is used as a Noun, ensamples of now, iii. 346. 

The Preposition of is much developed ; we find of Mn, 
of record, of his owne chois, of one accord, she was of the 
cJmmhre (court), it is of none emprise (use), iii. 252. "We 
further see, in i. 205, two persons so clothed, as to he of a 
suit ; we may here remark the a used instead of one. The 
to is also used in imitation of the French It/a, woman is 
arrayed to the best, i. 101 ; here we should now add the 
word advantage. There is privy to, in imitation of the 
Latin conscivs, which sometimes governs a Dative. We 
have seen turn into ; we now have grow into, i. 60. To 
spend on a thing had come earlier ; we now see waste thy 
wit upon it, i. 329. The old Hong on (per) is made by Gower 
ahnge on, ii. 22 ; it thus became confused with the old 
andlang, and is now all but gone, in polite speech, after 
being supplanted hy owing to about 1720; there is some 
difference between walking along a river, and a flood being 
caused along of a river. The old cefter had always been set 
before nouns to form compounds ; in ii. 32 we light on an 
after-cast, the parent of our afterthought. The Old English 
for and the French pour alike expressed quod attinet ad ; 
we have here the new phrase for his partie (part), iii. 289. 
There are the two variations, redy at his honde, and redy to 
his honde, ii. 198, 296; the latter is in Chaucer. The 
vjith supplants an earlier for in a favourite idiom of ours, 
what wi]> hepe and what imjp croke. There is a new use of 

VOL. I. N 

178 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

hefore in iii. 335, where a ship sails io fore the wind. There 
is the Interjection atoay the tirany t i. 263 ; this first word 
is Frenchified into avoy^ iii. 312 ; Lydgate's avawrd was to 
come later. 

The Scandinavian words first used by Gower are hash 
(the middle verb haka sik), baii (esca), doun (pluma), ga^. 

The words akin to the Dutch and German are riff (reef 
of a sail), raile (paxillus) ; also the verb moor. There is the 
Celtic block and to pall. 

Among the many French words are memorial, cowrteour 
(courtier), regiment (imperium), usher (ostiarius), rosin, client, 
a/rrivaile, ungevMesse, to trawnce (trounce), affiche, fixaiion, 
genius, misrule, epitaph, entaUe (our intaglio), phisommy, in 
effect, plover, mathemoHqtie, reptile, calms, rrwrgage, stolon 
(stallion), she waj& prof essed as abbess, iii. 337. 

In iii 340 culprits are atteird by the law ; but in this 
instance there seems to have been a fair trial first ; the 
technical use of attaint was to come sixty years later. The 
Teutonic be is set before a French root in the verb befole, 
1. 10, like Orrmin's bicache. The for is treated in the same 
way; a man is forjudged wrongly in iii 192, like forfend, 
Gower uses feverous, where we have feverish. The verb 
fortune (fieri), which we have already seen, is repeated here. 
A noun is formed from the verb await ; hate is ever upon 
auxiit, L 311 ; we know our Scripture phrases lie in wait, 
and lay wait for, A man's body is awaited (tended) by his 
cooks, iii 22 ; here there is the change of meaning already 
seen in Chaucer. We see the verb qua/rel with; here rixa 
encroaches on querela. In i. 134 the verb address all but 
gets the new meaning of vestire, and is used along with its 
sister array ; a lady's attire is wel adressed in iii 255. The 
word fairie is used for a personage and not for a realm, in 
ii. 371 ; this sense was never borne by the word in France. 
It is said to be honourable to a king, when all douhte his 
justice, iii 189; the word has with us all but lost this 
sense, timere, which it bore in France down to Moli^re's 
time. In iii 200 estate shows its meaning of right of 
possession; his estate of his regne. In iii 271 comes the 
phrase he serves to tempt ; here the first verb means is on 


d'viy, A storm sca/rses in iii 313 j hence our mobke himself 
scarce. The modern form of magister is now extended to 
shipping ; we hear of the maister of a ship, iii 336. There 
are also French naval terms, such as cabcm and porte, our 
porirholes ; see i. 197. Spices are said to be restauratife, 
iii 30; a foreshadowing of our restaurants. The au is 
much used to give the broad sound of the French a, as de- 
cevav/rd, attendav/at ; Gower is fond of the French Active 
Participle. He loves the latest Parisian ways ; for he has 
a dieUy helaSy bienfait, covlpahle, JuU (July). There is a very 
French idiom, he was arrived to, in iii. 202. The Teutonic 
utterly appears as ovltrdy^ iii. 230. An earthquake is called 
a terremotey a word of Grower's own coinage. The Greek 
psevdo turns up in ii 190, for falsely ; as in Wickliffe. The 
Greek z comes well forward, as in enth^onize ; our printers 
would now substitute s. It is a great change when graunt- 
damej i 90, replaces the Teutonic ealdmoder ; this last was to 
linger for fifty years longer ; the French was making in- 
roads even on the English hearth ; awat had come a hun- 
dred years earlier. There is a change in counseil, for it may 
now mean a lawyer; see iii. 155. The verb pass is em- 
ployed in a new English sense ; pass the nighty i, 115. The 
transitive verb plie is used for fleeter e^ i 274. In i. 130 
traitors are discovered out; hence our found out. The old 
cfwite is revived after a long sleep, and is spelt in the right 
French fashion ; he werde quite atoay, ii 23. The French ^re 
is used for exclusively in iii 38 ; of pv/re fear ; Chaucer had 
often used purely for omnino. It is said of a child, iii. 77, 
that masters entend to him ; an old French sense of the 
word ; the use of this verb and of attend was most unsettled 
for the next fourscore years. We see the new phrases 
double as rmche as, iii. 103; and double mere than, ui. 

In the year 1393 we find an English will, made by 
John of Croxton of York, who styles himself chaundeler, the 
French ch now supplanting the old Latin hard c (* Testa- 
menta Eboracensia,' Surtees Society, i 184). The old 
Elaine now becomes Elyn, our Ellen; and Mold or Maid 
appears as Maulde^ whence soon came Maud. English 

l8o THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

trade surnames are making way ; we hear of Johan Gold- 
smyth, with no tlie before the last word. There is another, 
Alison Smalbane, a proper name derived not from the trade, 
but from the body. We read of an Ankres and her 
mayden; the last word was henceforward to be used for 
ancUla. We hear for the first time of a dede, in the sense of 
a legal document. Later on comes " if there be oght over; " 
the last word, here an Adverb, is used for the first time as 
a synonym for remaining ; this we owe to the form overplus. 
Twice appears the phrase in lease be that, etc. ; the first 
word seems to be confused with if. Among the new 
French words stands coverlet; there is also the onder 
derky formed like Layamon's underking. We read of a leg 

There is another Will jof 1395 ('Earliest WHls,' Early 
English Text Society), where we see parker, the man who 
looked after the park ; whence comes an English surname. 
The Romance words are materaSy baillif (to a landowner), 
divine service, age of discredoun. The lady who makes the 
will talks of myn harneys in connexion with her chariot, p. 5 ; 
a new sense of the word. There is my secunde best bed, 
p. 5, reminding us of the Northern Barbour. 

In the Political Songs of thfe year 1395 (Master of the 
Bolls, vol. i.), we see ducke substituted for the old doke, p. 
330 ; to soupe sorrow comes in p. 337. In another piece of 
1399, in voL i. 363, there is the phrase the bothom is ny 
ou^t (out, that is, fallen), a new use of the adverb. In p. 
364 stands he is ronnon (run) atoay, a new construction. 

In the State Papers, printed by Eymer, we remark 
among those of 26th October 1398 that the Latin item 
stands at the head of paragraphs; there is also the ad- 
verb particularly. 

In the paper of 28th October 1398 we find a surplus of 
goods, not overplus ; of purpose, where we now substitute 
on ; at the lattast (latest). 

In the paper of 6th November 1398 there are endenturs 
madz, where the Passive Participle imitates the French and 
becomes Plural; also pwrvait (provided) thai, a preference 
of the French to the Latin. 


In the paper of 25th July 1400 mention is made of 
i}ie>s presences, and of letters jpatentes. 

We may now cast a glance at Gregory's Chronicle for the 
years 1397, 1398 (Collection of a London Citizen, Camden 
Society). The one year 1398 occupies as much space as 
the previous twenty years ; hence we may perhaps con- 
jecture that the Chronicle of this time is the work of a con- 
temporary, copied out by Gregory himself some forty years 
later. We see them as well as hem for illos ; thei had forty 
years earlier replaced hi in London. We find Harry con- 
stantly used for Henry or Herryy referring to the future 
King Henry IV. The form indeu is preferred to endow y 
we have also resydewe. The ending fid is now added to 
douty and produces dowtfvMe (awful), used of a King. The 
French words are procter (procurator), also written proctoure, 
blanke chartours ; a Frevye Conselle is held by the Lords ; 
enjorne (adjourn), procede ayenste. The title youre royalle 
mageste is applied to Eichard II. ; there is humhyll (humilis). 
We hear of Powlys Crosse, p. 98. 

In the EoUs of Parliament for the year 1397 we find 
RickhOrs report to the Crown, with the Duke of Glou- 
cester's confession, p. 378. Eichard II. is spoken of as 
his heygh Lordeschipp ; there is. the foreign word sedule 
(schedule). In the year 1399 Chief Justice Thimyng, who 
deals much in Eomance words, gives judgment upon certain 
traitors, p. 451. He must have been a Northern man, as he 
uses Tcyrk, mykely ]>of (quamvis), Ukon, ]>os same, that is atte (to) 
saye. There is the new combination any state whatsoevere ; 
the phrase opon whiche is often used to begin sentences. 
The Past Participle Ablative Absolute (Lydgate was fond 
of it) was now beginning to come in fast; tho herd (illis 
auditis). The form hysydes (not the old Uside) appears for 
the first time as a Preposition ; hysydes the Record, There 
are many French words, as appet, cancel ; simplych is used 
in our sense of the term. We hear of the hegh Comt of the 
Parlermnt ; also of the King and all the States in this 
present Farlement; this is the first hint of the Three Estates. 
There is the phrase he was nevere partie to it. We find 
another harangue of Thirnyng's in p. 424 ; he uses rewelers 

i82 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

for regulars^ speaking of the clergy ; he talks of ha/rones and 
ba/nerettes, and then of a lower class, bachUers and commons. 
He uses the awful verb depose (it was rather new in Eng- 
lish) when addressing the unhappy Eichard II. ; he has also 
Gower's U is of record; the cession was agreed; here we should 
add a to. In p. 423 we find Henry IV. 's well-known 
challenge of the English crown ; he says that the rewme ims 
in poyrd to he wndone for undoyng of the gode lawes ; here undo 
bears both its old sense of solvere^ and its new sense, first 
seen in the North, of perdere. So speedily did new words 
and meanings make their way to London. 

Many English vows of chastity are to be seen in ' Testa- 
menta Eboracensia,' iii 316, and onward; in one of these, 
of the date 1398, the Archbishop of York is called vx/rshep- 
fvl fader in God. 

Hallam gives us, in his ' Literature of Europe,' i. 54, the 
first of English familiar letters ; it was written by Lady 
Pelham to her husband in 1399 ; she calls him "my dear 
Lord," and has " I recommend me to your high Lordship," 
a phrase which she repeats ; she speaks of the shires^ mean- 
ing their inhabitants. 

Dr. Murray's Dictionary affords a few new words of 
this time, as in keneibowe, whence came aJcinibo ; the adverb 
ably, and the botanical name a^niLs castas, the forerunner 
of many such Latin terms. 

In September 1399 the author of 'Piers Ploughman,' a 
poet of nearly forty years' standing, wrote a leef o]>er tweyne 
(as he says) against the fallen king, Eichard IL Alliter- 
ative to the last, he called his new work Eichard the Redeles ; 
much as an earlier English monarch had been branded as 
the urwred-y (inops consilii). In one line, so low had the 
king sunk, he is addressed with Jxw*, not ye, p. 473.^ 

The poet gives us our form borugh (borough) in p. 469, 
applying the word to Bristow, where he wrote these lines ; 
this is an advance on the buruh of 1170. He has both the 
forms axe and aske in p. 486. He uses the new word h^b, 
p. 477, as it would seem, fovjuvenis; hence our hobbledehoy. 

^ This piece is printed along with Mr. Skeat's * Piers Ploughman * 
(Early English Text Society). 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 183 

There is a pun in p. 479 ; Richard marked the breasts of 
his servants with Aer^is (cervi), his badge; the servants 
oppressed and disgusted the common folk ; hence 

** For one ])at 30 merkyd, 30 myssed ten schore 
Of homelich hertis (corda)." 

There is a further play on the verb meri, which means 
attingere as well as signare. 

We have already met with the Danish odd; it now 
stands for supra ; " faults fourscore and odde,^^ p. 472. We 
had long used the adjective dul ; we now, in p. 490, light 
upon dvllisshe ; this Chaucerian ish we still add in careless 
speech to old adjectives, like fairish^ baddish. The homely 
no longer means famUiar, but something that makes no pre- 
tension to elegance ; honest and simple as the dress worn by 
Wisdom in p. 493 ; so also in p. 479. 

Among the Verbs we find trauthe to telle, put in his 
power ; also the Passive idiom (they), were hehote (promised) 
hansdl. Some Prepositions are used as Adverbs ; thus, in 
p. 474, mysscheffims up, like our " there is something up ; " 
in p. 476 comes hervest is ynne. 

Prepositions are employed, somewhat on the old lines, 
in the quotation already given ; for one you hit, you missed 
ten ; here the idea of exchange comes in. The from replaces 
for or by (per) ; ffrom ymre wUlfvM iverkis, ^oure will was 
chaungid; hence comes the later /rewi internal evidence, from 
what I hear, etc. We see in p. 487 the phrase sese on her 
sete; the French saisir governs the Accusative, and the 
intruded on revives a very old English idiom, implying 

There are the Scandinavian verbs flush and strut 
(tumere), the former is like our blush ; fflussh for anger, p. 
484. In the same page we read of poor men's puiter; 
this is the Swedish paltor (rags), whence comes paltry. 

Among the French words are deabolik and beia, the 
French beau. In p. 482 rasskayle is used of inferior deer ; 
in the next page it is applied to common people ; a baser 
meaning was to come later. In p. 492 stands the noun 
devyse, referring to fashion ; we now keep devise for wills, 
and write device for the first -named sense of the word. 

1 84 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

The i^ had often been placed before Teutonic impersonal 
verbs; this is now beginning to be prefixed to their French 
brethren, as in Chaucer; \Jt greved him stands in p. 471. 

We read of the renowned lawe of Lydfford in p. 49 1, some- 
thing like Jeddart justice ; a poet 200 years later wrote — 

" I oft have heard of Lydford law ; 
How in the mom they hang and draw, 
And sit in judgment after." 

The Camden Society have printed a book under the 
title of 'Apology for the Lollards.' About the year 1400 
a Latin book of Wickliffe's was done into English by a 
writer, who would seem to have been a Cheshire man.^ 
He has certain peculiarities common to him and the Salopian 
author of the poem on Masonry; thus they both set w 
before o, as won^ wold (vetus), and even the Romance 
wordeyn (ordain) ; they set 3 before e as I'^erle^ ^eke, ^erd for 
herd (p. 59) ; there is Myrc's ask 6arms*and need lore ; the 
new form een (oculi) is common to both; also prestus 
(priests) ; there is the Salopian haply and chepherd (pastor), 
p. 67. But the dialect in this book is much more Northern 
than that of Salop ; we see I is (sum), nor, stern (stella), 
tan (captus) J>o/, dtrnn (super), anenst, farrery kirke, reif (spoli- 
atio), I schal ordeyn, p. 1 2, where a promise is made ; tayste 
(taste) ; hik (took), Uvd (blood). There is the Lancashire 
word dreamreader and the Salopian witness (testari). 

As to the Vowels, the Latin is written for the old 
French u in honoVy p. 3 ; the American way of printing 
the word. The oi is sounded like the French ^ in denoy ; 
in the ' Introduction,' p. xi., we see wools (our woes\ showing 
how and i, in a Teutonic word, as well as in Boice^ were 
beginning to compound a new sound. There is polute in p. 
53, and the more English sound polewt in p. 36 ; we see 
also presewme. 

As to the Consonants, de is clipped in true Northern 
style ; the debate of p. 26 becomes bat (bate) in p. 29 ; we 
now give to each form its special meaning. We also see 
the loss of n in dinging (ictus) ; at p. 5 this is written 

^ I wonder that the editor has not remarked upon the evident 
fact that the work is a translation from the Latin. 


diging; hence our dig in the ribs. On the other hand the 
old cwidan now becomes guekenm^ p. 50. 

There is a love for Teutonic endings, as parisching for 
the old parishen (parishioner), pomes (poverty), and fersness. ' 
The Verbal Nouns abound, as his forbeding to ivorschip hem, 
p. 85 j form of using of lawe, p. 15 ; J>e putting upon of honds, 
p. 33 ; J?t going for]> (proficiency), p. 33. In p. 22 
Lincoln stands by itself, meaning the bishop of that see. 
We see the new phrase latue lefwr (lawgiver). There is a 
curious instance of the change of meaning in words (it had 
already appeared in the neighbouring Lancashire) in p. xv. ; 
vMte;s had been used as a Plural in the * Ancren Eiwle,' 
standing for the Five Senses; in 1360 this word in the 
Plural had begun to be used of the mind ; we now read that 
clerks know of five wittes outward and other five wiUes invxird. 
In our day the wits of the mind have left no room for the 
wits (senses) of the body. 

Among the Adjectives we meet with some used as an 
ending ; drunJcunsum stands in p. 54 ; noisome was to arise 
at York about this time, and I have often heard hindersom^ 
in Scotland. In p. 25 stands ivil vnllid, showing how self 
willed was formed later. We have unrestful formed from 
Wickliflfe's unreste (inquies). We see unslekahle used in p. 
75. As in the ' Ayenbite,' there is a curious Comparative 
like co7npendiosar, p. 75. 

Among the Pronouns it may now refer backward to a 
long sentence ; in p. 41 an offer is made to Christ in ten 
words ; he fled it. The such also, probably translating the 
Latin ita, has a backward reference in p. 25 ; to be cwsid 
and haldun swUh, p. 25. In p. 17 a man is not to reste 
hemsUf siker ; this Reflexive Dative imitates Layamon's sit 
him still. The relative Which often stands as first word ; 
this came from the Latin, here, as in the * Ayenbite,' it 
came from the French. The translators from the French, 
as a general rule, threw aside their pens, much about the 
time that the translators from the Latin set to work; 
English has been steeped in foreign idioms, unknown to 
Orrmin and Layamon. 

Among the Verbs we see the phrases put qtcestiouns, waaM 

i86 THE NE W ENGLISH, [ohap. 

(grown up) folh^ have place, ^ef ^ere (give ear), hald togidre, 
do ]>eft, tak occasioun, lay to hert, beg his lifiod (living). The 
verb heiter had meant prcevalere in 1250; it is now used 
transitively, as we employ it, p. 19. In p. 24 men are 
blaimn (maledicti) in Church ; perhaps this led, to our blow 
up (vituperare). We saw in 1303 the Imperative, have 
done (finish) ; this is carried a step further in p. 20 ; have 
done cursing, where the last word is an Active Participle. 
The transitive verb un'ong is formed from the noun in p. 
64. We saw score (ratio); the verb formed from this, 
meaning imputare, is in p. 85. The Active Participle is 
here made a Superlative; bitandist (most biting), p. 105. 

We have seen Chaucer's use of considering ; we now find 
sdn^ \at man is not, etc., p. 21 ; this idiom, imitated from 
the French vu que, etc., is much employed in the * Chester 
Mysteries,' fifty years later ; this fact gives us a hint as to 
where the * Lollard Apology ' was translated. There is 
the phrase wo wey (in no wise). Layamon's 6)p€r ]>ene now 
becomes o]>er toyse ]>an, p. 47. The old Northern English 
negative, such as gesella o^per n6, is now altered ; benejicid or 
not is in p. 52 ; wam scho erri\> a/nd wan not, p. 99. In p. 
100 stands we are not so sUdr ]>at; where so takes Chauce:^s 
new sense ; we still say, " I am not so sure of that." The 
however is now first prefixed to an Adjective, as how ever 

Among the Prepositions we find under ]>e autoritd, under 
]>e peyn of. 

There is but and if at the beginning of a sentence, p. 
49 ; a Western form long afterwards repeated in our Bibles 
(Matt. xxiv. 49). 

In p. 103 we read of a consciens iren brondit ; this verb 
brand is akin to a Dutch word. 

The Latin idioms abound, especially that of the Accus- 
ative and Infinitive ; so in p. 8 it is evident him not be ]>e 
vicar; it is don ]>at (fit nt), for price ^evun, cruciar (cruciator) 
of ]>e same sentence (opinion), at God (apud Deum), un)pa/nkful 
(ingratus), unnoble, unknaw (nescire), unevenly (iniqu^), irir 
call (invoco), ^eve peynis, at his instaunce. Sometimes 
there is a downright mistake, as ]>e ordinaunce of ]>e good 


memorie of Leoun (Leo of good memory), p. 39 ; wel ^e not 
be mood (nolite fieri), p. 97. We find minys (minish), 
effedualiy U distingutjp, pot/rU of de]>, absolute, scysm, jpotentat 
(not potestat)y exort, assine, porrvpovs, novys, representadoun, 
deepens tvi]>, endiice, ruyn, chefly, stigmay degrade, augur, to 
calcule, aniversary, precell (excel), transcend, quysckin (cushion) 
to favor, solempni^e matrimoyn, explane, materialy. We see 
enpli^, p. 3 (employ), imply e, p. 63, ympli^e]>ly, p. 17 (im- 
pliedly), impli^, p. 7 7 (implicate) ; this- is a good example 
of the struggle in English between the Latin in and its 
French corruption en. In p. 4 stands the phrase contrarily 
directly. The word pit4 is no longer here used, as by former 
English writers, for misericordia ; but it represents pietas ; 
impius is translated unpitous. We see our version of 
the French partager in p. 12, in part tahyng of ; a most 
curious instance of the confusion between Teutonic and 
Romance forms. A righteous man, following the Latin, 
becomes a just man, p. 13. There are compounds, such 
as dowble-tongid. Latin Plurals are Englished, such as 
prices, merits, marblis. To convict, p. 39, means simply to 
prove; we have greatly altered the verb's meaning. In 
p. 50 we see conventidis, a word fifty years later applied 
to Lollard meetings, and further on to those of other 
Dissenters; in this passage it means meetings for plot- 
ting crime. In pp. 95 and 96 the different sorts of 
diviners are named, most of them ending in mancer, 
as geoma/ncer. When we see langering (languishing), p. 
93, we understand how readily a lingering disease came 
in. In p. 52 we read of conduct (hired) prestis; the 
two clergymen who perform service in Eton chapel are 
still called conducts. The form temporal supplants the timsly 
of the ' Ayenbite,' p. 108. In p. 70 we have ratify, and 
also rate, the latter as a synonym for stable ; we now make 
it a substantive. The Church laws, in p. 76, are divided 
into incorporat and extravagant. The Latin provisiones are 
translated batails, p. 76; hence come the battels at our 
Universities. We have pagaynis formed at once from the 
Latin, no longer the French paens or paynim^ In p. 100 
the three different senses of the word religion are given — 

i88 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

I. \e trow]} ]>at rewli]> us to serve God. 
II. ]>e stcUe procedyng of J>is. 
III. ]>€ personis ]>vs enclinid. 

The Bomance of Ipomydon, dating perhaps from 1 400, 
is to be found in Weber, ii. 281. It was evidently com- 
piled not far to the South of Eutland ; we find noTy ncUy 
and indede, all used by Manning ; also those, gainsay, Imsk, 
till (ad), hers, wel faraiid. On the other hand, the Southern 
forms are traceable ; we find the lines, in p. 285 — 

'* Eyngs and dukes aymdhe hyr to seke, 
And so dcme emperoures eke. " 

There are besides, rmche, hisse, n'as, sith. 

Among the Adjectives we see mydUU age, bare-handyd, 
sekir to wyrme. 

As to Pronouns, we see he ye he? In p. 286 stands she 
will mm (no man) ; a terse idiom. 

Among the Verbs we find myne herte ys sette upon 
(it), pltLck dovm, take his sete. There is the phrase undo 
my tente, p. 343 ; and also, undo (dissect) deer, p. 295. 

Among the Adverbs is found a shortened version of 
the upon lesse that of the Mandeville treatise ; in p. 339 
nisi is Englished by lesse than. The as, not so, was now 
representing one of the oldest functions of swa; as thou 
arte kynde, . . . dbydel p. 322. In p. 55 not yit (pas en- 
core) forms a whole sentence by itself, in answer to a 

In p. 330 stands the phrase lordis were plenty. We 
have seen that Manning clipped French words, as stress for 
distress; in p. 303 of the present piece we find sporte for 
desporte. There is quarter, applied to a year, p. 308 ; "my 
greyhondes raune not this qv^rthre" The Spanish phrase 
en un iris is translated in p. 295 ; they plucked down 
deer all at a tryse (in a trice). 

The poem on the Nun (* Early English Lives of Saints,' 
Fumivall, 1862) may date from 1400 ; and may come from 
Lincolnshire, as we may guess by the appearance of the 
nouns myre and mud; there is the Northern momyng 
(mane). There is the Reflexive me in I sportyd me, p. 


139. We see the new noun sdfe wylle; also in trewthe, a 
new phrase, p. 143; few or none, p. 145. Among the 
verbs are make my sute (request), have in reverence. There 
is thanJce yow, p. 142, with the / dropped. In p. 147 50 
hyt schulde seme is repeated. There is the adverb endlesly ; 
the out is placed before a noun, as, an owte chamber , p. 1 45. 
We see the Eomance adjective pore used in a compas- 
sionate sense, pore daTne mekenes, p. 144. A well-known 
by-word is alluded to in p. 147 — 

** A fayre garlond of yve grene 

Whycne hangeth at a taverne dore, 
Hyt ys a false token, as I wene, 
But yf there be wyne gode and sewer." 

The poem on the ' Hunting of the Hare ' (Weber, iii. 
279) may date from about 1400 ; it seems to belong to 
Cheshire or thereabouts ; for we find won (unus), also twold, 
hwon (boun). We see new forms of proper names ; Regi- 
nald is seen as Raynall ; there is Gybon (Gilbert), Dykon, 
and Sander (Alexander). There is the new noun whete- 
harow. The verbs are pid up (a hare), lett slyppe (dogs), 
a man bridles, after a blow, p. 288. The Interjections are 
the sporting so ho / and hy, hy / There is the Celtic lack 
(ferire), our lick, p. 285. There is the technical cours with 
greyhounds, p. 280 ; we hear of a village constable, p. 287. 

Some pieces in Hazlitt's ' Early Popular Poetry,' vol. i., 
seem to belong to 1400 ; they are Northern, as tylle enquere 
(to inquire), p. 156; awheynte (acquaint), p. 184; so in 
Scotland they write the proper name Cvltoguhey and pro- 
nounce it Cultowhey. The noun will and verb fret are used 
in Gower's sense. There is our word forthougkt (prudence 
for the future), p. 192 ; the old word /(?reJ>owc, standing for 
Providence, had died out. The ancient cries rvasseUe and 
drynkeheU were still in use, see p. 189. The adjective Tnody 
seems to change from the sense of superhis to that of tuotosus, 
p. 185; it is coupled with envyous. The wife is e^orted 
to honour and wwrchipe her husband, p. 181, as in our 
Marriage service. She ought not to curse or blow her 
children, but whip them, p. 191. She should not he of 
Toany toordes, p. 183 ; and should be more for worschipe than 

I90 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

for pride, p. 186 ; here some word like rmdy is dropped ; 
lago tells his dupe, "I am for you ;" "now for our sport!" 

We find the Danish gegdoUe (loose woman) ; much used 
for the next 200 years. Among the new Eomance words 
is the old abusive substantive file, written vyle, p. 188; 
there is the old Northern bonery soon to be driven out by 

Among the proverbs are "Many handys make light 
werke," p. 188; also, "Leve childe lore behoveih," the 
latter dating from 1260. 

In the Third volume of Hazlitt*s work is the old poem 
on the ' Smith and his Dame,' dating from about this time ; 
it is Northern, as we see by the verb smore (not smother). 
We find our common that is a /ye, p. 210 ; where that refers 
to a previous statement. There is the insertion of a noun 
in what man of craft so ever, p. 219. We have the new 
verb throtUy p. 211, formed from throai. The verb hold is 
employed in two senses; / holde thee dead, p. 216; and 
her legges wolde not holde (remain* on), p. 217. There is 
the phrase to keep a man (maintain). There is the new 
phrase there away, p. 202, for thereabouts ; in p. 209 amie 
on is used where we should say anne along, A man en- 
treats his wife, supposed to be dead, to say once, bo/ p, 
216. The French words are excelerd, thy mayster (thy 
superior in art), p. 207 (hence the Old Masters) ; the word 
beldams is used for mother-in-law, the French belle m^re. 
There is the new phrase give thee a poynt, that is, an advan- 
tage, p. 219. 

The * Hymns to the Virgin and Christ ' (Early English 
Text Society) seem to date from about 1 400, if we con- 
sider the large proportion of obsolete Teutonic. The old 
English bid or bh (lividus) is now confounded with the 
French blok or bleu (caeruleus) ; in p. 13 stands for beeting 
was ]>i bodi blewe, a correct rime in this passage. Among 
the Substantives are candelis eende ; m£ is lefte but skyn and 
boon. In p. 53 we read of angels of priis ; and a little 
later of mmiye a price taken by Lucifer ; we now distin- 
guish between jpnce and|?me. The word harht had hitherto 
been applied to men ; in p. 64 it seems to be applied to 


women, for harlotrie is opposed to dmnesse ; the new sense 
was not well established until a Century later, when 
Tyndale wrote. In p. 71 young folk think that an old 
man goes in her wek (gets in their way) ; this is a new 
phrase. In p. 25 love makes men bo]>e big and holde; 
hence our " look big." Among the Verbs are vmike fool of 
him ; gates break up ; pit aside things ; have it in stoore for 
them, p. 76 ; ]>e choice lies; fall away from. In p. 74 we 
have he dodjp him Unde suget to me; hence "bind prentice." 
The Infinitive Active had long been used with for, de- 
noting purpose; appropriateness is now denoted by for 
followed by to he ; course of kynde (nature) is for youjpe to he 
imlde, p. 60. Two prepositions had been coupled 400 
years earlier, as in "from beyond Jordan;" we now see 
from an hi^e (on high), p. 45. 

Among the French words are podcets, which men wore 
long, p. 62. In p. 50 the accents of forfeit and qua^el are 
thrown back to the first syllable. In p. 61 conscience is 
scornfully told to preche to ]>e post; we still say, "I might 
as well speak to a post." In p. 79 we light upon oolde 
age, a curious combination of Teutonic and Romance ; either 
eld or age had been used before. In p. 11 4 we read of some- 
thing playnli printid in a hooJce ; this is a foretaste of the 
art soon to be invented. In p. 126 a woman has favour 
(beauty), the source of " well-favoured." 

In p. 61 we read that at twenty years old it was proper 
to goo to Oxenford or leme lawe; this age is rather more 
advanced than accords with our generally received ideas, as 
to Mediaeval studies. 

About the year 1400 John Ardeme drew up a most 
plain-spoken account of the cures effected by him ; it is in 
* Reliquiae Antiquae,' i. 191. We here first light upon^c^ 
manger ; the rrumger was now coming in as a suffix. In p. 
55 stands ruharhe; in p. 257 a woman serves the devil to pay ; 
the verb here keeps its old sense of please ; this is perhaps 
the leading idea in our phrase, " here's the devil to pay !" 
(some mischief that will delight Satan). 

We have the poems that go by the name of 'Jack 
Upland' and his enemy *Daw Topias,' dating from 1401 

192 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

or soon after. These show us the Wickliffites and the 
Church party facing each other with deadly intent. The 
works are printed in voL iL of ' Political Poems ' (Master 
of the Eolls). 

England was now forgetting how her old words ought 
to be speltj for uvdernim (reprehendere) appears as wnder- 
myn^ p. 84. In Wydyfan we see the foreign ending tacked 
on to an English word, p. 92. 

Among the nouns there are cardmaker, housing (furni- 
ture), gurmeVy and sndnirawer, p. 98 ; the last is used by 
Scott. There is the old turench (dolus), p. 48; and the 
new wrynkd with the same meaning, p. 45 ; this is still in 
our mouths. The heretical disputant is hailed as Jacke 
h(yy, p. 62. There is the name TymothS. We have still a 
phrase like the latter part of the following : / know mt an 
A from the wynd mylne, ne a B from a holefoot^ p. 67. 

Among the adjectives we notice a faite benefice^ sturdy 
beggyng, and WickliflFe's blynde buserde. 

Among the Verbs we find moike more ado, where the 
last word, the Northern Infinitive at do, seems to be turned 
into a Noun. In p. 86 stands bere hem hevy, where we 
should now say, bear hard on them. 

Among Prepositions the for continues one of its old 
meanings in for this mater, p. 96 ; the forerunner of out for 
the matter of that ; the word had meant caiisa in France in 
the Twelfth Century. 

We see a word akin to the German in the phrase to 
sterch (staxch) faces, p. 60. 

There are the Scandinavian tateris and tagges, applied to 
dress, p. 69. 

Among the French words are cvieller, forme (of a school), 
half a doseyne, to sette to ferme. The Church, Lords, and 
Commons are called the A states, p. 54 ; not States, as two 
years earlier. 

English was now making rapid strides; in 1402 we 
come upon a letter written by the Prince of Wales to his 
father Henry IV.^ He uses the Northern thaym (illos) and 
/ trotoe, though he has the Southern Participle do (done). 

1 This is set out in Earle's ' Philology of the English Tongue/ p. 73. 


Writing to the King he recommends himself to yonr good 
wnd gradimx lordship ; and calk the King yowr hynessCy and 
Sir. The old swi]>e (valde) had now made way for another 
adverb ; we hear of right a tal meyny ; we now transpose 
the first two words. The King's great ship was named the 
Grace Dim, The most startling change is that the old 
Plural oJ?ere (alii) is turned into others ; the true old form 
is sometimes seen in our Bible ; we have never distorted 
the Plural some in the same way. In the above change we 
have a real specimen of King's English. Henry's language 
is far nearer our own than is that of Pecock, fifty years 

Many of the * York Mysteries ' seem to have been written 
about the year 1400 ; I have already referred to the earlier 
ones at page 78 of this book. We here see some new 
words repeated that have appeared in Barbour and the 
* Apology for the Lollards.' A change may be remarked in 
the sound of i or y, bringing it almost to the sound of 
French ^ / hetwyne is made to rime with dene^ p. 9 ; chyned 
stands for chained, p. 279 ; Hampole's contreve (controuver) 
becomes contryve, p. 288 ; denay, p. 434, has not yet become 
our deny. There are the distinct forms payn and pyne, p. 
329. The b is added ; Urn becomes ly7rd>j p. 212. The h is 
clipped; hosteler (iim-kQe^er) hecomes ostler^-p, 491; and the 
word is explained in a rather later hand as meaning 
inholder. The d is clipped in bune (vinctus), p. 262, 
which is a rime; we see how easily boune (paratus) and 
botmd (vinctus) might become confounded. The 3 is some- 
times written for J? in later copies of the manuscript; hence 
we see how you came often to supplant thou, pp. 177, 458. 
The r is added, as hover for the old hove, p. 53 ; this verb 
is not yet applied to birds. The r is docked, as chatt for 
chatter, p. 320. We see the French bewe Sirs, p. 291 ; this 
becomes bewshers, p. 254, a favourite Yorkshire form; 
another instance of sh replacing s is the yerh jmssh (pousser); 
this is connected with the English y erh pash, p. 481. 

Among the Substantives is the new fortheraunce, with its 
Eomance ending, p. 221. Two forms for senectus appear, 
reminding us of the varying forms of the word in Old 
VOL. I. o 

194 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

English ; Elizabeth could not in dde consayve a childe for aldey 
p. 99. The old cunde (natura) is coupled with another 
noun, a very late instance ; Christ takes mankynde (human 
nature), p. 175. There is the Vocative my man, addressed 
to an inferior, as in our days, p. 213. Pilate is greeted 
as yov/r lordshipp, p. 324, a new title of honour-; there is 
also mi lorde ser Herowde, p. 128. The word wind 
takes the new sense of breathing power, Barbour's aynd ; 
a man after hard work says that ms toantis toynde, p. 355. 
The Virgin is called the bdle of all bewtes, p. 487 ; the first 
noun must come from the earlier phrase, to bear the bdl 
(highest prize); this bdl, about 1700, was perhaps confused 
with the feminine of beau. The Jews are not to be marked 
with ]>at m£sse (plague), p. 77 ; this rimes with encresse, and 
the later " get into a mess " may perhaps be derived from 
this form of the old misse (defectus, injuria). The Northern 
love of Verbal nouns is once more seen, when oure saffyng 
stands for saltts, p. 115. As to Adjectives, the old word 
rank was preserved in the North ; see p. 220 ; hence our 
" a rank traitor." The old dcefte (conveniens) seems to take 
the meaning of sapiens in p. 4 ; Satan prides himself on 
being defte. We have seen Tre visa's unfitting ; the word 
fit here takes the new meaning of congrwus ; I am fygured 
full fytt, p. 3 ; our " fit as a fiddle " was to come much 
later. The adjective even is opposed to odd, p. 465, as in 
Gower. As to Pronouns, Pilate addresses his wife with 
the courteous ye, p. 272 ; this was not the usage among the 
lower orders. There is the emphatic the ilke selve and \>e 
same, p. 296. The that is employed for the sake of em- 
phasis; my vxyrthely wiffe, ]>at sche «5/ p. 271. A lady is 
called ]>at faire one, p. 489 ; Shakespere was to be fond of 
this. The word clock is dropped, as in Chaucer, when 
reckoning time ; aftir tenne, p. 263. 

Among the new Verbs is saunter; the un is prefixed, as 
unmade; ]>ou onhanged harlott, p. 313; there is the new 
to outcast, whence Coverdale was to form a Noun. There 
are the new phrases, go wode (mad), cast lead (at sea), take 
tent to, draw to ende, spUle sporte, p. 265 ; play fair, be 
harde stedde, Jiedge the law, p. 439. We have seen thou may 


as well, etc., in the year 1300; in p. 48 stands ]>ou were 
als goode come dovme; and this idiom is repeated in p. 351 ; 
we now drop the he before as, and say, I as good as, etc. 
A pair are gone in edde (age), p. 57 ; hence our far gone. 
The verb ken meant scire in the North, p. 116; in the 
South it nearly always expressed docere. Language is laid 
out, p. 230 ; we now confine this verb to money. We 
use / am afraid, when softening down some evil; in p. 
244 stands / amferde 36 monfaile. The verb balk becomes 
transitive, meaning to put a balk (trabs) in a man's way ; 
baike youre bidding, p. 255. The Participles sittand (decens) 
and unsittand are found ; there was doubtless a confusion 
with fitting and unfitting. The words / telle you stand at 
the end of a sentence as an assurance, p. 288. The mean 
takes, not an Infinitive, but an Accusative ; to mean malice, 
p. 290. The verbs clap and chop both meant ferire; they 
each* took the further sense oiponere; choppe ]>am in cheynes 
stands in p. 293, and clap was to bear the same sense a 
hundred years later. Herod wishes that his false God giffe 
you goode nyght, p. 294 ; the first instance, I think, of this 
greeting. The verb blow takes the new meaning spirare, 
p. 297. A person is rowted (knocked about), p. 325 ; this 
seems a confusion between hrutan and rouse ; hence comes 
our rout up. The verb settle adds to its old meaning of 
taking a seat that of descend, p. 328 ; it is here used of a 
spear shaft ; our architects know too well what is meant 
by a settlement. The verb were had hitherto been a Weak 
Verb, with its Participle wered; this is now turned into 
ux)rne, p. 331 ; a most unusual change, found afterwards 
in Wyntoun. 

There is the new Adverb dayly, p. 219, which is 
Northern; also the answer, wde \>an (weU then), p. 328. 
The so has a backward reference ; a man is told not to be 
taynted ; he answers, why shvld I be soo? p. 328. As to 
Prepositions, something is done vmder ]>er nese (nose), p. 463. 
A person is laid on lenthe, p. 370 ; here we now substitute at; 
the usual endelang was dying out. An old meaning of by 
(secundum) is expressed in / bide ]>er'by (stand by my word), 
p. 362. There is the Interjection tusschl p. 324, which 

196 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

took a hundred years to reach London. Pilate, when 
pleased, ciiq^ howel howe! p. 272, much as Caliban was to 
cry ho/ ho/ when gloating over an evil deed. Herod 
begins a sentence with saie / p. 297 ; it seems here to 
stand for I say / The cry imssaUle is used, p. 268, simply 
to make a noise. There is owte alias / and loo / Sir, behalde, 
p. 82, the parent of lo and behold/ In p. 269 stands the 
devdl have ]>e worde he wolde tell us / (devil a word) ; we saw 
before sorrow occupying the place of devil. There is the 
Scandinavian adverb skantely. 

Among the Romance words are pagiaunt (pageant), cat- 
terak (cataract), uncertain, unison, regent, mony-changer, certify, 
purloin, construe, to fashion, to noise, patter, iransgressum, indig- 
nacioun, recreacioun, reduce. Lucifer, when overthrown, cries 
owe / dewes / (deuce), p. 4 ; the first time, I think, that this 
cry has occurred for 120 years. There is commoder (fellow 
mother), p. 49, whence the Scotch cummer ; this is an 'early 
instance of co prefixed to a Teutonic word. In p. 129 
dresse bears the meaning of vestire. In p. 197 rule is con- 
nected with common life ; we mil be ruled aftir ]n rede, like 
our "be ruled by me." In p. 222 store takes the sense of 
merces ; merchants sell their store. Judas, in p. 225, is 
called the purser (purse-bearer) ; the word was to bear its 
naval sense a hundred years later. In p. 281 the chief 
rulers are called the States ; this Northern phrase recurs in 
Wyntoun. The verb tax gets the new sense of accusare, p. 
316; and the verb clear seems to mean absolvere, "p. 332. 
The verb save, as in Chaucer, means " pay careful attention 
to;" in p. 360 it is used of the Jewish Sabbath. In p. 
131 the French stable (stabilis) has ousted the Old English 
sta]>el. In p. 201 a village still appears under its very old 
Biblical name castell. The verb warrant is used without 
an Infinitive ; / warande hym wakande (that he is waking), 
p. 268. The some was a favourite ending for Adjectives 
in the North ; newsome (noisome) stands in p. 277, and this 
ousted the Southern noyous, TTiere is the new verb taint, 
from linger e, p. 328. The word principall is used as a 
Substantive, p. 378, as in the Scotch letter of 1390; it 
was later to be connected with a college. Reference is 


made to the dmjll and his dame, p. 300. Herod and Pilate 
use many French words, such as hene^enew ; there is the 
Vocative moimseniour, p. 293 ; also my seniour, p. 273. 
The cry oyas/ for silence is made by the beadle, p. 285 ; 
The aged Simeon is called a senyour, p. 435. These later 
* Mysteries' are distinguished from those of 1360 by the 
use of the new adverb doutles ; moreover, the stanza here is 
more easy and flowing than in the earlier plays; it abounds 
in good rimes, see pp. 229, 232, 263 ; I give a specimen of 
the new Anapaestic style now coming in : — 

** Now wightly late wende on our wayes, 
Late us trusse us, no tyme is to tarie. 
My lorde, will 3e listen our layes ? 
Here this boy is, 3© bade us go bary " (p. 334). 

Many of the trades, to whom these pageants are due, appear 
for the first time in the list given at p. xix. ; we here see 
the plasterers, cardemakeTS, arTmurers, irermumgers, turnours, 
payntours. Some trades, which bore French names about 
1400, were rather later Teutonized; thus the gaunters, 
pessonerSy orfevers, sellers, and verrours, were to become the 
glovers, fysshmongers, gold-heters, sadellers, and glasiers ; this 
is a change contrary to the usual run of English custom. 

A character new to our stage appears in Dame Percula 
(Procula), Pilate's wife, p. 271. Her airs and graces, and 
Pilate's doting love for his charming spouse, are most 
amusing; it is curious to remark the wide interval that 
separates this early sketch from Lady Teazle. 

The * Towneley Mysteries ' (Camden Society) were com- 
piled in Yorkshire, probably at Woodkirk, near Wakefield ; 
some of them are but slightly altered from the *York 
Mysteries.' The work may belong to the date at which 
we have arrived ; the fashionable lady of the age is 
described as " homyd like a kowe," p. 312 ; and this usage 
came to England not long before the year 1400; it must 
have taken a little time to find its way down to Yorkshire. 

There is an attempt to engraft the Southern English 
upon this Yorkshire piece; in pp. 124 and 141 there is 
evidently an alteration of a into in the rimes ; we also 
sometimes find mych, sich, ich a. There is lifing as well as 

198 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

liffand. We find strong Northern forms and words like ai 
do, hand tame, wage (merces), travel, scalp, scald, I spyt (I 
spat), lad, not lot; and Wickliffe's expletive I gess, p. 194. 
The old Steven (pactum) is found here, and has lasted in 
Yorkshire till our own day, though it vanished from the 
South after 1400. The first hint of English hexameters is 
found in p. 233 — 

** Nomine vulgari Pownce Pilat, that may ye welle say, 
Qui bene miUfari shuld calle me fownder of alle lay." 

We may remark here that the last vowels in welle and 
alle were not sounded in the North. The counterpart to 
the well-known Italian saw, chi va piano va lontano, is found 

in p. 195 — 

" Alle soft may men go far." 

Herod refers to the Pope ; and Cleophas when welcoming 
our Lord to his board, swears " bi Sant Gyle." In p. 88 
we hear of the fools of Gotham ; in p. 25 a man is to be 
clad in Stafford blue. The whole piece is a good com- 
mentary on the idioms found a hundred years earlier in the 
* Cursor Mundi.' 

As to Vowels, the a replaces e in marvel, tar, hart, share 
(partiri) ; since 1 400 we have made a useful distinction 
between share (partiri) and shear (tondere) ; the Old English 
scer-an had expressed both meanings. We see Janet as 
well as the usual Joan, The a is clipped in the usual 
Northern way ; in p. 123 stands semled for assembled. The 
yea or ie takes another form in p. 11 4, ay so ? this form 
had appeared in Gloucestershire in 1300. There is much 
contracting of vowels; executors are cut down to sectwres 
in p. 326, and in p. 308 we have stand to fence (defence). 
The replaces what was sounded like the old %; we see 
jio (fluere), and wmdo ; there is also felo for felawe. There 
is hlynfold for the old hlindfellede, p. 200 ; here the verb 
fold must have supplied a mistaken analogy. The oy, pro- 
nounced like the old u, comes often, as shoyes, I doy, noy 
(nunc) ; Yoylle (Yule) ; inoyte, p. 1 79, is pronounced much 
as we sound "a moot point;" ploy, p. 9, is the Scotch 
pleugh; on the other hand, the sound of u replaces that of 


in howtedy p. 194, our hooted. The verb mdew stands in 
p. 194; we have both this and endow^ proving how that 
truly Old English sound m will make itself heard, even in 
foreign words like vertew, p. 46 j the old Yorkshire unto 
becomes untew, p. 33. 

In Consonants there is the same Northern love of con- 
traction; thus benedicUe is pared down to benste, p. 99. 
The d replaces v, for the diveren (tremere) of 1200 now 
becomes dedir, our dither^ p. 28. The th is thrown out in 
dose (vestes), p. 46. The k is thrown out in ast (rogavi), p. 
200. The old form ttuyc (tweak) is seen in p. 220, differing 
from the Southern ttuitch ; both forms alike were found in 
Norfolk in 1440. The g is softened when the French 
Gaspar becomes Jaspar^ p. 123; and sawgeoure (miles), 
something like our sodgei\ is seen in p. 310. The form 
wawghes (fluctus), however, remains in p. 31. The n is 
clipped at the end of a word, for hautain becomes hawty, p. 
319; and damned becomes damyd, p. 211. There is the 
curious Northern habit of sounding hw like hw ; we see 
whake in p. 169, and whaynt in p. 175. Letters are trans- 
posed, as in the * Cursor Mundi ;' drit becomes durty p. 194 ; 
and thirl is seen as thrylle, p. 209. 

Among the Substantives may be remarked a favourite 
synonym for man and woman ; Sir, for Jdk nor for GUle 
wUle I turne my face, p. 28. MowUe, our Molly, appears in 
p. 88. It is curious that an n is often prefixed to shortened 
names in English, as Ned, Nan, and Noll, for Edward, Anne, 
and Oliver; we see Nelle in p. 313. The Southern Herry 
becomes Harry in the North, p. 319. The Verbal Nouns 
still increase in Yorkshire; in p. 10 stands God gifys the 
alle thi lifyng ;, in the South liflode would have been used 
for the last word. In the same page we find my wynnyngs. 
In p. 220 comes the phrase slegthe (sleight) of hande. The 
word monger was freely attached to other words, as guest 
manger ; " crochet monger " is our last coinage of this sort, 
I think, a word most appropriate to our age. A horse is 
called Don and Donning irom its dun colour,^ pp. 18 and 8 ; 
and in the latter page an ox is called Greyn home, a phrase 

* This reminds us of Caxton's two forms, Biniin and Browning. 

200 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

still in use, though applied to men. We see ram-shyty 
p. 25, applied to a woman skittish as a ram. In p. 47 
our property appears as owre thynges; cattle are here referred 
to ; something like this had appeared in Barbour. In p. 
124 we read that a star is to overcome kasar and kyng, a 
very old phrase. The Sir is prefixed to other Nouns, even 
to Plurals; in p. 127 stands Sir Kynges thre. Our mcmy 
thanks, used without any Verb following, appears in p. 128 
as mekylle thank. There is a favourite phrase in the North, 
/ am wo for the/ p. 136. The distinction between the 
English words for eras and mane was not fully established 
in the North; in p. 172 to-rrwme is opposed to to-day. 
Caiaphas, when in a rage, says, ^^ I am oute of my gate/' I 
have heard a later version of this in the North, " I am put 
off my beat." The new Noun toylle (toil) is used for labor 
in p. 213, coming from tUian, tulien. The first hint of our 
"up to the mark" is seen in p. 219 ; get it to the marke ; 
to in the * Cursor Mundi ' had expressed the old o]>\>e (usque 
ad). In the next page a request is made for something to 
be done, whils thi hande is in. In p. 323 we hear of a 
sorowful hande (turma), a new sense of the Substantive, 
borrowed from the French ; in the next page hand keeps 
its old sense of vinculum. The word rrumvpyns is used in 
p. 89 for "what we have begged;" Lord Macaulay in his 
History used mvmp for heg. The old wcerloga had been 
the term for a fiend in the * Cursor Mundi,' and this sense 
is still seen in p. 116 of the present work; but in p. 60 
Moses is called by Pharaoh a warlow with his wand, follow- 
ing the new Lancashire sense of the word ; hence arose 
warlock. Fee still keeps its three meanings, which it had 
borne from the earliest times ; in p. 28 it stands for pro- 
perty, caialle and fe; in p. 56 it stands for the kindred 
Latin v^oi^pecus; in p. 192 it stands for prcemium. There 
are new substantives like helle weder, kynswonum, cokker 
(cockfighter), paddok (toad). A French ending is tacked 
on to an English root, as wrightry (carpenter's trade), p. 
26. On the other hand, dom and ness are fastened to the 
French caitif. We see the Scotch form carline ; the land 
lejpar of Piers Ploughman (Scott's land louper) is repeated 


in p. 144. Pilate begins his address to the Jews with 
"Boys, I say!" p. 229. In p. 105 no dred is inserted in 
a sentence like our "no fear of that." 

Among the Adjectives we find tiny, spruce (the material 
of a coffer, Prussian wood). The old expletive leaf turns up 
in p. 143 ; nay leyfe, a very late instance. Fair was now 
adding the meaning of cequus to that ofptUcher; trete hym with 
farenes, p. 195. Strong shows its bad side, as skang tratoure 
and thefe/ p. 149; this throws light upon a passage in 
Chaucer.^ The sad has now fuUy acquired the sense of 
tristis, at least in the North ; an enemy is to be sett bothe 
sad and sore, p. 249. The word high, when prefixed to 
time, gets a new sense ; it were right hie tyme, p. 36. The 
phrase by my good grace is found in p. 234. The Plural 
Adjective may stand without a substantive ; St. Peter, in 
p. 281, addresses his fellows as my lefe deres. In p. 218 
comes be ye secure (siker) we were lothe ; we should now say, 
we toere lothe, you rrvay be sure. 

Among the Pronouns the distinction between the thou 
and the ye is well preserved; when Christ is tormented 
before His death, three of the Jews address Him with thou as 
an inferior ; the fourth, more spiteful, hails Him as a King, 
and employs the respectful Sir and ye, p. 218. In p. 163 
Mary talks to Joseph of youre son arid myne. In p. 21 1 we 
find yond same cyte (that same). We see twyse as fast, p. 
62. In p. 283 we have the Relative, I what was wont, etc. 
Besides this, the what is used like the French qtioi in asking 
for information; what, son? p. 39. The what (que) is used 
in the old sense found in the 'Cursor Mundi* 100 years 
earlier ; what these tveders are cold / 

As to Verbs, the mmt is found much as we use it ; the 
Scandinavian auxiliary mon appears in p. 97 ; it here still 
bears a future sense. The strange form we must have biggid 
stands in p. 309. In p. 54 stands to kepefro syn; here no 
Accusative follows the verb, as would have been the case 
earlier. To t^ry becomes intransitive in p. 130. In p. 192 

^ When January finds himself tricked by May he calls her, "O 
stronge lady store !" In the Gospels of 1000 Barabbas is called oenne 
strangne 'Peofmarif Mat. xxvii. 16 ; so "a sturdy beggar." 

202 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

the meaning of occujpare is seen in the verb tdke ; a certain 
building toke more aray (work) ; to take rest is in p. 45. In 
p. 194 we hear of broken words. We see in p. 201 tJiai 
was welle gone to (done) j Orrmin's go to is well known. The 
confusion between those very diflferent old verbs, me ]>ynca]> 
and / ]>enc, is seen in p. 232 ; do what thou thynk gnd ; there 
is also / thryst (sitio), p. 228 ; / lyst^ p. 245 j here the 
rightful Dative makes way for the Nominative. We saw 
hurst on laughter in the year 1303 ; the idiom is now carried 
a step further in p. 328, sche braste owt on weping ; we now 
drop the Preposition, and thus we seem to turn the Verbal 
Noun into an Active Participle ; fall a weeping lasted almost 
down to our own Century. We light upon phrases like 
eai out of house and of harbar, p. 104 ; maJce shift, p. 105 j 
it fell to my lot ; my foot slepys (is asleep) ; hau) the game 
goes; the clok stroke twelf p. 115 j to do that is in me; know 
him by sight ; I held my ground ; they have no fete to stande 
(not a leg to stand on), p. 310 ; we have a craw to pulle, p. 
15 ; take thee that (twice over), p. 17 ; set no store bi me, p. 
22 ; if ye like; jpak up ; let them go han^ them, p. 142 ; nmo 
how is it? somwhat is in hand ; I shall make you Tnen ; well 
done ! what commys of dysing ? (dicing), p. 243 ; it goys a^ans 
myn hurt ; I kepe this in sto^-e ; fon him (make fun of hiin), 
p. 199 ; make or mar a man; keep the Sabbath; ha/ngyd be he 
that ^arisl p. 188 j hold thi hand; booted and spurrd ; 
strike a bargain; to come out vnth i<, p. 194; how it stands 
with you; lead him a dance, p. 205 ; as trew as ye stand 
there, p. 281 ; hold still there! give place ; cry and crow, p. 
234. A man pipes (sets up his pipe), p. 103 ; a woman 
is netyld (nettled), p. 309 ; there is forrarmned (pressus), 
whence came our verb ram; to deffe (deafen), p. 314; to 
gad, p. 11, perhaps from the old gcedeling ; to brane him, 
p. 142 ; / vndder away, p. 21 ; the aged Symeon oralis to 
k3rrk, p. 155, the cretU of the * Cursor Mundi ' being slightly 
changed; to overset me, p. 197 ; to sovmd the water, p. 31 ; 
there had been an Old English sundgyrd (sounding line) ; 
the expletive I tryst stands in p. 195. There is a strange 
phrase in the wenyande, p. 241 ; in the unlucky time when 
the moon wanes ; hence the curse, " with a wanion." We 


see how do they ? (like our how cFye do ?), p. 63, where don 
(facere) supplants dii^ga/n (valere). The verb fare is used 
in p. 276 both for ire and tractari. To eke (add to) his 
days stands in p. 324 j we cannot now use this verb with- 
out adding out. The old wissian (ducere) was evidently 
dropping out; it is written wiahe in p. 121. He tootes 
(scit) stands in p. 168, a great corruption of the old verb ; 
just as some write he dares for he dare. In p. 126 comes 
the blessing, Mahowne the save and see / the two verbs are 
often coupled in our old ballads. There is a Latin con- 
struction in p. 168, a madyn to here a cht/ld, that were ferly 
(a wonder). In p. 129 comes this is sotlis, wytnes Isay ; 
before the last word should stand something answering to 
the Latin sit. 

Among the Adverbs we find he gaf me none, no more vrUl 
I, -p, 11; no rrwre (by itself), p. 149 ; so have ye lang sayde, 
p. 151 (here sin or ago is dropped after lon^); as how? p. 
197 j that is welle ; Iwylle lyg downe stright (applied to time, 
hence straightway), p. 110; wp with the tymbre/ p. 221. 
In p. 267 stands thefysMy instead of the old ]>eofliche. In 
p. 174 stands mile he be there? (is that his intent?); we 
now say, " a man is not all there " (is not fully master of 
his wits). We see the new form lately, p. 102, which 
answers to sero ; not to nuper, as we now' use it. As to 
the sentence a pratty child, as sittes, we should now alter 
it into as pretty a child as, etc. 

Among the Prepositions we remark the curse, in the 
middle of a sentence, with a mischance to him, in pp. 199 
and 223. The at is dropped before this tyme of the nyght, 
p. 106. The for (malgri) is prefixed to a whole sentence 
in p. 21s, for as modee (proud) as he can loke; here the 
accusative after a preposition is replaced by a whole 
sentence. The old through makes way for by menys of, p. 
82. In p. 200 comes ye are ever in oone taylle, a phrase of 
Dogberry's long afterwards. In p. 121 stands on assay, our 
on trial ; here the Ofti shows that some consequence is to 
follow. In p. 296 stands / lefe it you by oone and oone (in- 
dividually). The that is dropped after a preposition in 
agane thou go, p. 326. The old prefix for still held its 

204 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

ground in the North, and might be set before Eomance 
words j in p. 98 stands the Participle fortaxed. 

The Interjections are ho/ p. 61 j /o, which comes 
into our yo ^, p. 9 ; pif (pooh), p. 14 ; also, in the devUlys 
name, in the same page; go to the devUle/ p. 10; Herod, 
when told in p. 126 that Christ is to be king, cries 
" Kyng / the dewUle / " A new idiom connected with oaths 
appears; one of his soldiers (p. 150) cries, the devylle have 
my saulle, hd, etc. ; the hut here must stand for quin after 
a sentence like nan est dubium. We find out apon the ! p. 
17 ; lew, lew, the call to animals, p. 33, which we now pro- 
nounce like the French lou, lou 1 There is also mjom (mum), 
p. 194. The 80 is used as an exclamation in the last line 
of p. 220; ay, so? is in p. 114. There are the forms of 
greeting, good Trwme and good day, without any verb. 

The Scandinavian words are stag (p. 311), groin, fry 
(semen), stump, dog, rok (colus), to nip, chappyd (fingers). 

The new words akin to Dutch and German are nibble, 
croon, prankyd (gowns), p. 312, stouke (of com), much used 
in Scotland now. 

There are the Celtic words docket, jagged. 

The French words are many. Catalle is used for pectLS, 
as in Barbour ; and this exclusive sense of the word was 
to come South by 1525. A state stands for condition in p. 
317 ; in p. 104 a man says that his belly is out of astate. 
In p. 103 a person is said to pipe poore; the latter word 
is sliding into the sense of malus, our poorly. The word 
creature had a loftier sense in 1400 than now ; for St. Peter 
speaks of his master as that good creature. In p. 11 travelle 
is used for la^, not for iter. The provand (provender) 
of horses is mentioned in p. 9. We know the term offices 
in connexion with a house ; there were in the Ark (p. 23) 
not only parlours, but houses of offyce for beasts. In p. 65 
we read attend my wordys ; this sense comes from the 
Latin rather than from the French. The old wait, which 
had meant expectare, seems now to get Chaucer's new sense 
oi servirem p. 194, where Caiaphas has knights on me to 
wate. Our three substantives " waits," " waiters on Provi- 
dence," and " waiters at dinner," preserve the three mean- 


ings which this French verb bore in England about 1400. 
Lay and law are both used in p. 189 ; ye he ataynt (caught) 
is in the next page; and in p. 191 stands ajpeche him; we 
know that some of our modern writers on History find it 
hard to distinguish between an attainder and an impeachment. 
In p. 195 stands vex, which now in the South means little 
more than annoy ; in Scotland I have heard the term v&3xd 
used to describe the feelings of a mother who had just 
lost her son; we know the phrase "vex the Midianites." 
In p. 203 we find that a judge " shews a man fair counte- 
nance ;" hence arose our verb comitenxmce. The indefinite 
it was used in Yorkshire as elsewhere ; a promise is made 
in p. 210, followed by the words, / insure it; in p. 230 
stands / warand you that, etc. The Yorkshire writer pays 
more regard to his provincial garth than to the foreign 
garden when he writes of sl ga/rthynere, p. 267. The foreign 
cease is here plainly driving out the English verbs blyn and 
stint; there is moreover uncessantly, p. 23. In p. 243 we 
find by his meanes, a word that was coming in. We see 
the verbs pant, mock, spite, martyr, pouch. There are the 
musical terms well toned, treble, brefe, crochett; in p. 118 we 
hear of the game of the tenys (tennis). There are phrases 
like / am in dett to, -p, 7S ; I am passed play, p. 75, which 
reminds us of the * Cursor Mundi ;' fwrrys {{uis) fine come 
in p. 163. In p. 198 one judge tells another, ye ar irregvr- 
lere. We find novels new, p. 1 60 (this seems tautology) ; to 

I may remark, as curious, Cain's curses and revilings, pp. 
8-17, and the comic talk of the Shepherds, p. 84, one of 
the first long instances known of broad English farce. If 
we read p. 142 we shall gain some idea of the origin 
of the phrase "outheroding Herod;" it is King Cambyses' 
vein with a vengeance. 

Translations from French Eomances had prevailed in 
England from 1280 to 1380; these are now replaced 
by English Mysteries and ballads. About this time, 1400, 
the earliest of the Eobin Hood ballads, that has come 
down to us, seems to have been compiled ; country bards 
were to go to work upon this long-lived theme for the 

2o6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

next 300 years; much as King Alfred's saws had re- 
mained engraven for ages upon the hearts of earlier genera- 
tions.^ The ballad literature of England is one of her 
greatest treasures. The oldest of these works, judging 
from the obsolete words, is that of Kobin Hood and Guy 
of Gisbome. This was made in the North country; we 
find words like husk^ bov/n, farli (minis), feUle, gate (via), 
and the phrase set store by, used in the * Towneley Mysteries/ 
The ballad seems to have been altered about the year 
1600; this accounts for forms like I^le, Fm, itfs, reachles 
on (reckless of), tow (twa) ; perhaps the two former stand 
for the Northern I is; 1 suspect that awkward, applied to a 
stroke, stands for an original awke (sinister). Some words 
here found could hardly have been due to the old Maker 
of 1400, such as pastime, wore (induit), stopp (stare); the 
earliest Southern copy may have been made about 1600. 

The old limde (tiha) is changed into lyne, riming with 
thine; hence comes our lime. We see jprick used in the 
Shakesperian sense of meta, as later in the ' Promptorium 
Parvulorum.' There is a favourite phrase of ballad-makers, 
two hotvres of a smnmer^s day. Among the Verbs we find 
breake heads; oxA Barbour's d/raw near. The verb nick is 
used, evidently connected with notch; he nicked him in 
the face, Robin, it is said, when fighting, carm with an 
awkward stroke ; hence our " come in with something." 
The old beiter by far is now altered into far better, as in 

I give a specimen of the fine old ballad, from a part 
that has been but little altered — 

** Fast Robin hee hyed him to Little John, 
He thought to loose him hlive. 
The sheriffe and all his companye 
Fast after him can drive. 

'' Stand ahacke, stand abacke, sayd Robin ; 
Why draw you mee so neere ? 
It was never the use in our countrye, 
One's shrift another shold heere." 

I may here remark that the Genitive one^s is most un- 

1 I have used the reprint of Ritson, published in 1823. 


The * KoUs of Parliament' for 1402 give us the names of 
many of our trades for the first time, voL iii. 5 1 9 j such 
as grocery skinner, lyndraper, sadter, wodmonger, Salter, peiderer, 
fomder, cordwaner. It will be remarked that many of these 
are of Eomance birth. 

In the year 1411 we have a decision of the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, p. 650. He mentions the Castle of Bever 
(Bel voir), the seat of Lord the Koos ; the old hew (beau) 
was now encroached upon by he, and this degradation of 
ew went on throughout the Century. We light on the new 
phrase after the fest last ^passed, A comtm man is distin- 
guished from a high official ; there is the Adjective sinister. 

In the 'Testamenta Eboracensia,' iii. 25 (Surtees 
Society), we find the will of Sir William Heron drawn 
up in 1404; he calls Durham The Bysshoprick, a phrase 
long to last in the North ; no other English episcopal see 
ever stood on Durham's level. We find su/rveour; also 
joyntly or severally. In vol. iv. 42 we read of a window of 
three lightes, a new technical phrase. Chaucer's sense of in 
reappears, when men are hound in XL pound. 

In other Wills of this time (Early English Text Society) 
we see overseer, one who looks after the execution of the will, 
p. 1 1 ; also pipe of wine ; the word worsted is now becoming 
common, p. 19. We hear of a hras pot, p. 22 ; not brasen. 
We know our polite phrase for death, " if anything should 
happen ;" this appears in p. 13 ; yef outgh (ought) come to 
Thomas, than, etc. The most startling change is in a will 
of 1411, p. 19; (a sum) ys owynge to me. Here an in is 
dropped before the Verbal noun ; which, therefore, most 
deceptively, seems to be an Active Participle. I have no 
doubt that Butler, when affirming that Reformation must 
still he doing, never done, thought that this doing was a 
Participle. All this comes from Layamon's unlucky sub- 
stitution of inge for inde in the Active Participle. In the 
Will there is the word kylderkyn, p. 17, from the Dutch 
kindeken. Among the Romance words are ]>e utensyl (furni- 
ture) of a house, p. 18, remaynder, the compam,ye of heaven, 
p. 16. The word clerk in 1402 approaches to our common 
sense of the word ; for in p. 11 the parish priest gets ten 


shillings, while the clerk of the Church and the sexton get 
only twelve pence each. In p. 18 a Berkshire knight 
talks of his store and cMil quick and dead ; here the word 
may bear Barbour's sense. In p. 20 there are the forms, 
English and French, lefvl and lawfvl; we have also the 
pleonasm ]>e Courde (county) of Devonschire. 

On examining * Gregory's Chronicle,' between the years 
1400 and 1413, we see Wyndesore contracted into Wynsore^ 
p. 107. We hear of the game of hurlynge, p. 106, and of 
Troye weight, p. 107. There is a remarkable new idiom 
in the year 1403; brother and cousin are said to be 
ayenste eche othyr ; this looks as if eche, instead of being 
a Nominative, was an Accusative governed by the Pre- 
position; before this time ecke would have preceded 
ayenste. We saw something like this in Lancashire in 
1360. The there had always stood before is or was ; the 
usage is now extended; for in p. 106 stands th&re com 

In Rymer we see this endenture wUnesseth, and no 
soimercy 19th June 1408. 

In 'Ellis's Letters' (Second Series, vol. i.) we find 
unruely, p. 4 ; to hogil %bs (delay), p. 15 ; hence our intransi- 
tive boggle; his wey was clere, p. 22. 

There is a poem of Occleve's, dating from 1402, to be 
found in *Arber*s English Gamer,' iv. 54. We here see 
Gower's form conceipt. The old bldber is cut down to blab. 
There is the new noun crabbedness, formed from the Adjec- 
tive. The word sUly takes once more Trevisa's new mean- 
ing of stultvs, p. 57; a silly simple woman; clerks, who 
hold a wrong opinion, are called silly in p. 64. Among 
the verbs are blow upon (slander). There is the Scandi- 
navian word slut, applied to a woman. Among the 
Romance words are dumgeable, amiable^ dissimile; dow is 
now changed into endow; we have seen indew. In p. 
67 we find her impression (intent) ; we know the sense of 
empress^. Some in our Century have objected to the word 
talented; but in p. 66 we see entalented (willing) apj)lied to 

A more famous poem of Occleve's, * De Regimine Prin- 


cipum ' (Roxburgh Club), dates from 1412. He here tells 
us much about his trials in the office of the Privy Seal ; he 
uses many phrases seldom repeated before Barclay's time^ a 
hundred years later, such as, every mem living^ well worthy^ 
nothing at aH, small or none ; there is also the Northern syn 
(quoniam) and fdl in the Salopian sense of sapiens. The 
Latin way of spelling encroaches on the French ; as douUles, 
advoutry ; the word perilous may be sounded as a dissyllable, 
whence the later parlous^ p. 80 ; the u supplants 0, as rumble 
for Chaucer's romble. Among the Substantives are shepes 
skyn (parchment), your myndes eye, Occleve contrasts the 
kynges draught (a paper drawn up by Henry IV.) with 
draughtes (moves at chess), p. 76 ; the poet knows the 
former, but not the latter. We here see the source of our 
game of draughts. We read of the king's impe (filius), p. 
195; this word had hitherto expressed surculvs, and the 
new sense was not thoroughly adopted before 1500. There 
is a new substantive pulle, p. 188; men wrestle a pulle. 
We see the new phrase my coigne worthe, p. 26 (my money's 
worth). In p. 195 stands that is the wey to the canquermg of 
hlisse ; "that is the way to do it." Barbour had already 
employed way for method. In p. 150 we find tyme and tyme 
(time after time), we now use this repetition only in the 
Plural ; " he was years and years about it." Among the 
new Adjectives are longe lyvedj depe rooted, welthy, unknyghtly. 
The old brotherly is revived after a very long sleep ; the 
lyke is used to compound from a Romance noun ; cerdelyke 
(circular) stands in p. 184. The comparative bet (better) 
stands for plus; twenty pound and bet, p. 16. We have 
seen Chaucer's deadly sleeping ; we now hear of a dede slepe, 
p. 40. As in Chaucer, the my is coupled with a noun, 
something like the French madame ; " call Fortune my lady 
changeable," p. 50. A favourite phrase of ours appears in 
p. 109, U was no thyng like (it). 

Among the Verbs are, I putte caas, halve it with you, bear 
love to, pike a thanke (used of flatterers, p. 110), take apart 
(character, office), have his cou/rse, have a f aire chawace of 
take him to his winces. There is the provoking / tolde hym 
so, p. 26, so often used by our kind friends after some 

VOL. I. ^ 


mishap. The Active Participle is in great use, as 7m> wighJt 
livyjig, p. 2 ; Ais lovyng te/ndknesse^ P- 27 ; whence the well- 
known loving kindness. In p. 33 stands do he what he do 
kan; this we have shortened. A new Optative idiom 
appears, tix)lde I slayne were, p. 75 ; here I (ego) should he 
the first word. In p. 19 stands take up a gise (fashion) ; 
here the new sense of adopt comes into the Verb. In p. 
53 stands thou shalle do wele; here the do represents dugan 
(valere), not don (facere) ; this change we saw in Yorkshire 
about this time. The verb slip is used in a new way, slippe 
aside, p. 79. A new verb, bag (put in bags), appears in p. 
153. The verb rest becomes transitive, God reste thy s&ule I 
p. 76. A most curious idiom of time stands in p. 29, 
twenty yere come Estren ; I suppose this is the Imperative 
veniat. In p. 118 stands itferde sharp with you; hence the 
later go hard with you; fare has been largely supplanted by go. 

Among the Adverbs are yerly (yearly) ; Chaucer's not at 
all comes very often. In p. 68 is also siker as I stonde here. 
There is the concise why not? p, 175. The well is brought 
forward, it was alle wele, p. 135 ; it is prefixed to worthy, 
as wel worthy to be,-p, 115. Among the Prepositions are 
of his owen free will, at longe rennyng (in the long run), he 
was at Mr, In p. 168 stands for shame ! here the fie, which 
should have come first, is dropped. 

The new Scandinavian words are skittishe and to skocche 

Among the Eomance words are mortify, plurality, motive, 
convertible, impotence, pampflet, moralise, affecdon, aged, a 
pynchepeny (niggard), portrature (picture), sensibUitee (wis- 
dom), fkdumn, myscreavml. We hear of the office of the Frivi 
Bed, where Occleve dwells, p. 29. In p. 23 dueiee stands 
for a payment of money due ; the adjective due stands for 
debitus. There is the new phrase every place of his body. In 
p. 56 men are allowed money for payment ; here the sense 
of alou^er (allocare) once more supplants that of alouer 
(allaudare). The verb use now expresses tractare; to use 
her, p. 57. The noun cowple is applied to a man and wife ; 
wedded couples, p. 57. The adjective tender expresses heed- 
ful ; I am tendir of your estate, p, 73 ; hence came a later 

II. ] THE NE W ENGLISH, 2 1 1 

verb, much used in the next Century, to tender a thing (be 
careful of it). We read of stuffe of intelligence, p. 76, im- 
plying the equipment of a wise man ; hence " the sound 
stuff in a book." In p. 106 stands jpolisshed speech; a new 
sense of the verb. In p. 112 the verb chaufe is first used 
of the mind, not of the body. In p. 134 Nature gave 
favour of shappe and beautee to him; this favour we saw 
before. In p. 140 li/ne stands for family. In p. 169 
discover expresses revelare; hence persons on the stage 
are discovered. In p. 196 stands beseech him of indulgence ; 
here the noun is not used in its usual religious sense. In 
p. 26 is the curious phrase my blewes (blue clothes) ; the 
first instance of a Plural adjective without any substantive ; 
hence the regiment known as The Blues. In p. 113 there 
is a tale about a king's fool ; an early appearance in our 
literature of this official. In p. 118 I do a thing in my 
persone; personally was soon to appear as a new word for ipse. 
There is the phrase to deface his face, p. 134 ; sm a writte 
against him, p. 147, a new use of the verb ; rmike a mocioun to 
him, p. 179. We see rapine ; our language henceforth could 
boast three variations of the old Aryan letter-change for 
one idea ; we had, from the very first, used our own Low 
German reaf (reave or rove) ; we next, in 1 1 60, got the High 
German rob, coming to us through the French ; we lastly, in 
1412, adopted the Latin rap, as seen in this rapine. With 
these varying forms we may compare tegument, thatch, deck. 

In p. 1 04 we find " peples voice i^s Goddes voice, men 

Occleve tells us in p. 92 that Edward the Third used to 
go about in disguise to hear what his people said of him ; 
many a later ballad turned upon this circumstance. The 
poet shows a spirit of humanity unusual in that age ; he 
mourns over the struggle between France and England ; 
he rebukes France for her bloody civil wars, saying at 
the same time in p. 190, ^'I am an Englissheman and am 
thy foo." 

We have seen far out in thefdd in 1360 ; Dr. Murray's 
Dictionary gives us the shortened a feld for abroad about 
this time. 


212 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

In the Coldingham papers of the year 1414 is the 
phrase, al othir and sundry thynge, p. 86 ; and the legal verbs 
are coupled, gif and grawnt, A law paper begins thus, he it 
knawen till all mm, p. 86. We saw of age in 1280 ; the of 
is still applied to time, for we have here, of tyme begane and 
for to come ; this use of byegone is something new. Among 
the French words is to distreyn tenants. To the year 1417 
belongs a letter, written a treshorH & tres revererU Madame 
la Countesse de Westmerland ; this begins with, Right honor- 
able & worchefpful my Lady ; the first use, I think, of the 
two last words as an English vocative singular, p. 89. 

An Alliterative poem of some length was written in 
1416 ; it is addressed to Henry V., then setting out on his 
French campaign ; it may be found, under the title of * The 
Crowned King,' at the end of Skeat's Edition of * Piers 
Ploughman' (Early English Text Society). The word 
mAnhode is used for virtus in p. 627 ; doTightynesse takes the 
same meaning in p. 628 ; there is the new phrase his well 
doyng, p. 626. There is worldly wise, highlich honoured. 
The King is addressed with thou and also with ye. We see 
y hight you (I assure you), p. 624. The French words are 
marchall (dux), principaltee ; requyre takes the sense ofjvhere, 
p. 626 ; hit dered is remarked of the weather in the same 

The York Pageants of 1416 are valuable as giving us, 
for the first time, the names of a few trades, some Teutonic, 
others Romance.^ We have the plummers, pulterers, joiners, 
carvers, sawyers. The old vynter, which had lasted in this 
form for 120 years in England, now becomes vintner ; just 
as ]>reate]> became ])retne]> in 1300. 

The English pieces in Rymer for this period begin with 
the confession of the high-bom traitors, Cambridge and 
York, in August 1416 ; we see that, theyre, theym, employed 
for the Southern thilk, her, hem, though it was not till later 
in the Century that these Northern forms wholly got the 
mastery over their Southern rivals ; King Henry V. comes 
before us, and we may now fairly begin to talk of King's 
English. He writes an English State paper with his own 

^ Marriott, * English Miracle Plays,' xviii. 


hand on 25th January 1417; he cleaves to n& (nee) and uses 
Ima ought, thinking no douht that the last word should 
English oportet. In a document of 2d February we read of the 
Duke of Beyer (Bavaria), where the German sound of the 
word is preferred to the French. A long State paper was 
drawn up by Henry V. on 26th October 1418, when he was 
besieging Eouen ; here there are as many Romance nouns, 
verbs, and adverbs as there are Teutonic words of this 
kind ; our State papers henceforth were always to be com- 
piled in this style. There is a curious interchange be- 
tween of and on in the mater is so great of itself We hear 
of weyes and meanes, and persondl socours of the King ; this 
word personal and also its adverb is in our day made to 
do duty, as a fine word, for ipse and sutbs} In 1420 Henry 
is addressed by his trusty Yorkshire deputy, Waterton, as 
most dredde Lord; a new variation of dreadful. On 2 2d 
May in that year, the conquering King announces his new 
style (titles) in Latin, French, and English ; he uses the 
IVench form espiritual. 

Rjnner prints many English documents between the 
years 1420 and 1422. It is curious to find the Earl of 
Salisbury using the old word aghivere (ubique), which seldom 
appeared afterwards : this is in a letter of 1421. The form 
Boeme is used, not the Beeme of later days. Henry V. is 
addressed as Your lordschip. Salisbury says in a despatch 
that we misse no man of thrift (worth, value); "by my 
thrift " was an oath of these times. We talk of a lump 
sum ; in these papers we find a some in grete. There are 
the new phrases, oon and the same personey all and ych of 
us. The Passive Participle Absolute was making great 
strides ; we have here thirty days accourdedfor a rrwrUh, where 
we should say, counting thirty days, etc. Ambassadors are 
directed to /a// ynn^ to ask something; this means, I sup- 
pose, that they are to do it incidentally. There is the 
Adverb lomigly. We see atte ferthest. The old idiom 
"hold him for king" gives birth to the strange phrase, 

1 It has come most absurdly to be used for private, Mr. Gladstone 
wrote in the papers in 1878 about his making a personal and not a 
public visit to Ireland. "Would he use impersonal for public f 

214 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

used of the future Charles VII., heryng hymself for the 
Dolphin ; like our givirig himself out for. The French coTir 
cerning is used as a Preposition for the first time, I think ; 
thynges concemyng th' exerdcCy p. 918; this was to supplant 
the older touching. Among the French words we see 
immediately, enemity, conversant, zeeL commissioners. Mention 
is made oi MgaunL-th^t k, French foot^oldiers. The 
new Queen is called Madam Katherine, the first instance, I 
think, of this title being prefixed to a name ; our peasants 
still use it as a title of honour, as. Madam Aubrey. The 
Beyer of other state papers is now written Bauveir, in the 
French way. In p. 162 we see both the new Christien and 
the old Cristen, 

Waterton, a true Yorkshireman, uses the noun wage^ 
not the Southern wages; at your wage. The word scutes 
(crowns, the coin) is formed from the Latin, not from the 
French. The Romance and Teutonic are coupled in necessaire 
and behoveful. We see besaiel used for great^andfather ; 
English pedigrees must have been drawn up in French 
about this time. In p. 920 mention is made of places of 
(the king's) obedient — that is, " obeying the King ;" we still 
talk of the Latin obedience. 

In a Norwich Guild, rehearsing Henry the Fifth's grant in 
the East Anglian dialect in 1 41 8 (qwich, am, mikily xal), we see 
felawes contracted into felas; ^^quichever they think best," a 
continuation of Wickliffe's new phrase ; as is ^ bisy them to 
hear ; there is the foreign progenitors. 

In a ballad of 1420, made against Oldcastle ('Political 
Songs,' ii. 244), doom seems to add the sense of poena to 
that of judicium ; what dome wold ye hym devise ? sekte is 
applied, not only to the Monkish Orders as of old, but to 
the Lollard Dissenters. 

Many new phrases of this time are to be found in Ellis's 
' Original Letters.* Archbishop Chickeley uses the old form 
whow for our how. We see the form Berne for Bohemia ; there 
is also Duchelond (Germany); the German sound, not the 
French, is used in Mayns and Trere^ showing how they pro- 
nounced ai and ie. In August 1422 Henry the Fifth sends 
home a long list of his ships and their masters ; among the 


latter appear William Robynson and John Bull ; one of the 
ships is called le lAtell John. Henry addresses his Council 
as right trusty and welbeloved ; he piles his nouns together, 
writing the sauf reUmrnyng hoom of the men. We have ever 
owt of mende (mind), to express semper. We see the verbs, 
make ^ow mre of ity put in feere. 

There are French terms, such as the trewes expired, lege 
(3 miles), annuity. 

In the * Plumpton Letters ' of this time (Camden Society), 
xlviii-l, we see rumage; sal is still used for shall in York- 
shire ; there is keepe watch and ward, these are transposed 
since Gower's time. A letter begins thus: To all rrmi 
that, etc. . . , Henry Percy sends greeting ; ferme becomes 
farme. We see the title Richard Fairfax, Sguier. 

The Eolls of Parliament for this Century well repay 
perusal ; it is easy to see the shire whence the petitions 
come; Norfolk and Salop are very easy to distinguish. 
The first English paper is dated in the year 1414, and may 
be found in vol. iv. p. 57. We find the new Substantives, 
land-holder and tounship ; there is the lately-coined phrase 
tyme of mynde (memory). Mention is made of men of her 
ovme clothyng, referring to some Canons; we should say 
"men of their cloth." The Latin per is Englished, by 
strengthe of it; we substitute on for by. The Adverb is 
confused with the Adjective ; for ungodly, p. 68, evidently 
stands for male. Among the verbs are, / trust to God, let to 
farm, kepe the pese. Other foreign words are suytor, repele. 

Turning to the year 1422 (p. 173), we find the two 
forms receit and recept, a mark of the new Latin influence 
(this we saw in Gower) at work in France and England; 
we now write the strange p, but do not sound it. There is 
the new phrase, for the tyme beyng. We hear of a suhsidie 
of Tonage and Poundage, Justice of pees; wardes, mariages, etc., 
the clerc of the Counseill, enact. 

In a petition from Ireland, 1423, we see the nor of 1290 
replacing the old Southern n£ (p. 198), though the later 
form's victory throughout all England was not achieved 
until 150 years afterwards. The old Bristow gives place to 
Bristoll, following the Latin form Bristollia, A great, Irish 

2i6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

rebel, probably MacthomaSy appears as Thomassony p. 199; 
Thompson is now a common name with us. Among the 
Substantives, we see the Dutch hoggeshede{ox-hesLdy properly), 
and the French Staple. Among the Adjectives appears Uak 
rentCy in connection with the Irish enemy ; also Barbour's 
phrase, he is like (likely) to lose it We have the origin of 
" I put it to you," when men put bills unto the council ; 
further, the Council sit on hUlSy p. 201. As to the Adverbs, 
the Gloucestershire forasmuch comes into London use; 
where that stands for our whereas, p. 198 ; and thereas is used 
in the same way, p. 249. We hear of bringing silver in 
massey p. 257 ; our penny-a-liners would alter this into en 
masse. The Kernes of Ireland appear in p. 1 99. A Teutonic 
ending is added to a French word, and we have napkin, p. 
228 ; this stands in the middle of a long French inventory, 
containing lawn,^ pece d'Aras, carpette, Worstede hloy (blue), 
stuff de MeauXy autreclothy paille (pail), muskhally hracelety tissUy 
a charger. In p. 198 we find hewe or cry ; we come across 
the King's Sergeant, and the Maistre of the Mynte. There is 
the verb endoce (the French form, not the Latin indorse) ; 
the Commons are addressed, please it your discretionSy p. 249, 
the first instance of an abstract noun being used as a title 
of honour in the Plural. The Active Participle is coming 
into vogue instead of the rightful Passive ; we seeprovydyng 
thaty savyng (except) the peine; also, except that, p. 256 (here 
it is prceter, not nisi). There is our Bible phrase, resoun 
wolde he should, etc., where wolde stands for willed (jussit). 
In p. 257 we hear of billon of silver (bullion); in p. 256 
alay (alloy) stands in connexion with plate. The legal word 
attachment appears. 

In the year 1425 the old stamp of English is seen in 
forms like whuch and beony p. 268. There is the shortened 
form Ascension Eve, p. 267 ; new titles of honour come in, 
such as, my lord of Derby, my lady of Gloster. We find forms 
like "the king that last died;" "opon late days." Shake- 
spere's ripe scholar is foreshadowed in p. 271, "matters ripely 
felt," that is, ^Uhoroughly ; ^* this word of Barbour's was 

^ Wedgwood here inclines to the Spanish lona (canvas) rather than 
to the French linon. 


much in use throughout this Century ; fruit that is rvpe has 
come to its full or thorough perfection. In p. 267 how so 
that expresses guamvis. Among the verbs are, clepe (call) 
UTvto minde ; utter the matter (this is also a phrase of Lyd- 
gate's) ; give in articles ; I take you for, etc. ; keep hospitality. 
In p. 289 stands the opening of a petition, shewyn and he- 
seech your leges. The Latin is imitated in hit is thoght to the 
king. In the verb emboldish (embolden), p. 292, a Teutonic 
root takes both prefix and sufiix from the Komance. The 
most curious phrase is in p. 298, the cause of his being here ; 
it seems to me that this being is a Verbal Noun, though 
M^tzner makes it a Gerundial Infinitive ; the question is a 
hard one ; we must remember the ther is na mending the state 
of the * Cursor Mundi/ As to Prepositions, the by, as 
Layamon employed it, is used for solemn adjuration ; 
promytting by the faith of his body and his word of Prince, p. 
297; we should now substitute as for the last of The 
French words are personely, notable, simplesse (ignorance), 
letters tesmmgnals (testimonials), Master of Chancery, There 
is a famous Peerage case, with English pleadings, p. 267 ; 
we see the Court ruled that, demy sa'nk (half-blood), peedigree, 
create an Earl, your Noblesses, to taille (entail) a name to 
him. Rather later, many clerical terms come, such as parson- 
age, vikerage, the rate, the dewes (dues), the encumbent. The 
habit of putting non before our words is now beginning. 
We have seen nonage ; nonrresidence stands in p. 90. The 
old brucan (in the sense of frui) had almost gone out ; to 
rejoice a title, and also to enjoie my place, stand close together 
in p. 274; the former was rather later to lose the sense of 
frui. There are the verbs resort, be of counsel with, abstene 
them from, embesil. Return comes for the first time, I think ; 
to retwrn names, p. 306 ; in France this word had been 
transitive before it became intransitive. 

In Gregory's Chronicle for these years we observe the 
dropping of the n in an, against all reason ; a aungylle ap- 
pears in p. 113; a French word for ordnance is written 
artyrly, p. 126; the town of Meaux was still pronounced 
Mewys, p. 142, a finer sound than the later Mo; the 
French Cherbourg was sounded in English mouths as Chyr- 

2i8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

horowe, p. 121. We ^q& jpromise to dwdlyng (dwellen) in p. 
154; this shows how easily the Infinitive and the Verbal 
Noun might get confounded. The old loppestre now be- 
comes lopstere (our lobster). There are the new substantives, 
strongholdy strenghtys (fortresses), a word kept in our Bible. 
The new mode of warfare was making progress, for powder 
and schotte are coupled together in p. 118 ; and the French 
gens de trait is Englished hj folke of sdwtte, p. 165. 

As to Adjectives, Chaucer's overest yields to the new ttp- 
permostej p. 113. The old self makes way for the king's 
otvne propyr person in the same page. Among the Verbs 
there is a new construction, where the Past and Future are 
combined; in londys gotyn or to he gotyn, p. 134. There is 
the new Adverb, lyke tuyse, p. 133, where a preceding in has 
been dropped. Among the Prepositions stands swear apon 
honoivre, p. 119; we find also continue^ altercacyon, confyder- 
atys, mommynge, datys (the fruit), crevys^ which we now call 
Cray fish; minefose (minnows). 

The King addresses his soldiers at Agincourt as Serys 
(Sirs) and felomjs ; something like the Greek andres ; we 
hear of 4 payre of galowys, p. 108. A foreign word is used 
and explained; sedylle, id est, a hylle, p. 121 ; our schedule. 
We find Scott's phrase, "to image something," p. 133. 
The former French piirveit is thrown aside for the Latin 
form; provided alleway that, etc., p. 152. The prefix re was 
to gain ground in England all through this Century ; refor- 
tify stands in p. 261. We see porpys (porpoise, the porcus- 
pisds) ; we have taken this French form instead of our old 
mere^mne; while oddly enough the French have exchanged 
their old porcpeis for the Teutonic marsouin,^ There is the 
puzzling word pram (prawn). 

The siege of Kouen in 1418 was described in a long 
poem by John Page, an eye-witness, writing after the sur- 
render, p. 1 : * Collections of a London Citizen' (Camden 
Society). Page was a Northern man, as we can tell by his 
use of gain (prope), houn (paratus), marcyfull, manful, fray, 
and thrill (not thirl). We see the sound i or y replacing 
the old ea, as lykys (leeks), the former leac. The old calk- 

^ See Wedgwood on this word. 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 219 

irwp loses its h The fight between Teutonic and Eomance 
forms was still lasting ; one manuscript of the poem has 
newdtie, where another has novyltye; the form reward is 
often used for regard. The starved French garrison, so it 
is written, were hU bonys and bare skyn, p. 43. A curious 
idiom connected with our Definite Article is first seen in p. 
8 ; while he lived, he was the man ; that is, the very model 
of a man ; we know our common " he's the fellow ! " 
There are also a hundryd or two, and ttoo halfe hourys. 
Among the Verbs are take grounde, put him unto grete caste, 
end wp a sege (like dish wp), come of {evadere, our get off). 
There is the curious verb to pyttefall ; also to owtefalle 
(sally) ; an outfall was a word in use in the British army 
down to 1715, as we see by Colonel Blackader's diary. 
In p. 15 our men, when fighting the enemy, gaffe hem mete; 
we should now say, "gave them their bellyful." Among 
the French words are ordynawnce (cannon, it would seem, a 
more restricted sense than in the Mandeville treatise), 
turnepykys, p. 1 7 (some warlike engine). The French Char- 
treuse appears as a howse of 'Charter e, p. 6. The veri> pyll 
had hitherto been used for phmder ; it now means the peel- 
ing of vegetables, p. 1 8. Men are smitten pytyfully in p. 
3 ; there is the verb yssue out. We first hear of children's 
pappe in p. 36 ; this is common to many Teutonic tongues. 

In Halliweirs * Original I^etters of the Kings of Eng- 
land* there are some written by Henry V. in 1419. He 
employs conclude (followed by an Infinitive) for statute, just 
as [the Americans use it now ; see p. 90. He uses Bar- 
bour's man/rent when speaking of the Scotch forces. In p. 
100 stands the to-us-ward of our Bible; a marriage is 
betrothed ; there is the phrase, of your own good motion ; with 
us rmve has long expressed proponere. 

In the * Political Songs ' (Master of the KoUs), p. 123, 
there is one on A^yngcorte felde, as the phrase began to run. 
We see D^e, the old way of pronouncing Dieppe; we have 
the first notice of the King's hy way, to be repeated in Lyd- 
gate j there is also lordes of name. We read of two thousand 
cotarmers (knights wearing coat armour). 

In the Wills of this time (Early English Text Society) 

220 THE NE W ENGLISH, [chap. 

stand the new Compound Substantives, werynge clothes, 
mylche kye; also doth of werk opposed to plain cloth, p. 56. 
The son was coming into use in forming proper names; 
we light upon Bogerysson of London, p. 41. We see the 
form Jane, p. 50, in the year 1422 ; Joan had come earlier ; 
Cecile stands for a woman's name in p. 56. A famous 
Herefordshire family appears as Skydmore, p. 50 ; and in 
the next Century it might be written Saudamore, We 
have seen Powles, where church is omitted ; this is carried 
a step further in p. 38, where Fishers and Bowdmss are 
used, without house being added. The Old English studu 
(postis) now gives birth to stud (ornament in dress), p. 
46. Apeyre rakkes of yryne appear as kitchen furniture in 
p. 56. 

A testator talks of clove fote beasts in p. 23 ; in the same 
way barefoot is much older than barefooted. We have seen that 
Henry V. was a main agent in bringing their and them into 
Southern use instead of the old her and hem ; John Broune, 
of Henry's chamber, follows the fashion set by his master, 
in p. 43. In p. 53 a Yorkshire knight talks of my lady 
my rrwder, a phrase that we have shortened. The verb go 
takes the new sense of reach ; a certain quantity of bread 
is to be distributed, als fer als it wUl go, p. 40. The legal 
habendum clause is done into English, "enfeof them in 
rent, to have to hem ior evermore," p. 25. 

There is the Scandinavian beawre (poculum), p. 45. 
Among the new Romance words are dobelet, hoby (horse). 
We hear, in p. 36, of godes and catallys (chattels); the 
first instance, I think, of this combination in the Plural ; 
it comes in a Salopian will. In a Bristol will, p. 45, we 
see first halfe a dosyn off sponys, and then halfe a dosen 
sponys. In p. 53 we find billes used in connexion with 
tradesmen. In p. Qb stands a pece of silver ; we should 
now say piece of plate. To express fresh bequests, the item 
is brought into English where also had been formerly 
written, p. 31. 

The Rutland neighbourhood has had so much to do 
with forming Standard English, that I call particular 
attention to a Rutland will of 1424 (p. 55). The tes- 


tator uses the right form Roteland ; but the editor of 1882 
chooses to talk of Rutlandshire, We see the Northern 
fonns, kyrke, fnykyl, ilk (quisque), kye, showing how much 
the great poem of 1303 must have been altered by the 
Southern transcriber. There is the Northern do well to him, 
p. 57, afterwards repeated by Coverdale. The substantive 
course is now made an Adjective ; two cors bordcloths, p. 
56 ; things of common course paved the way for our coarse. 
In the same page, a huge cup is bequeathed from heir to 
heyr lome, whence came heirloom ; the old geloma had always 
meant furniture. In p. 67 we see both grau/ntfader and 
grau/ntmoder, I think for the first time; but the old ealdfader 
lasted sixty years longer. 

Many of Wickliffe*s works (Early English Text Society) 
seem to me to be translations executed by his followers, and 
to date from about forty years after his death. These works 
may be found at pp. 327, 359, 408. There is an allusion 
in p. 457 to the Pope, then living at Avignon, showing 
the date of the Latin original. As tokens of late origin 
we may remark the following: — Lydgate's toacche-man, 
Pecock's movable and layman, ]>is late Pope, have as leve to be, 
(would as soon be, etc.), p. 333 ; alle a mysse, p. 388, a 
favourite Lollard pun on almesse (alms), eny langer / there 
is also a new form like non-residence, and allow in the sense 
of permittere. All these phrases seem to me to belong to 
the Fifteenth Century. We talk of "light and leading;" 
in p. 414 prelates give lore and leding to their people. 
Among the Verbs are ^yve occasiotm, no good comes of it, set 
to sale (a new noun), take degre in scole. The Passive voice 
makes a further stride in the phrase, (it) ou^te to be taken 
hede to. There is an extension of the old idiom with do, 
saving repetition ; ]>e clergi ha]> robbid, and ^it do]>, ]>e chirche, 
p. 392. The verb love is used much as we use like; he 
lovyde hem to be riche, p. 440. The verb wed is used for 
jungere; weddid m]> mannus lawe, our "wedded to an 
opinion;" here Udars to has supplanted the old wi^p, p. 
448. The word root is dropped after take; God's word 
taki]> not m]> hem, p. 443 ; our medical men talk of 
vaccination taking. The Infinitive now follows niqh ; ($»\NftJ^\ 

222 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

henfvl ny^ to synne a^eyne^ p. 339 ; in the phrase "he was 
near doing it," the doing may perhaps be an Infinitive. 

There is a change in Adverbs ; the litlvm and litlvm of 
Piers Ploughman becomes hi lUil and litUj p. 456 ; in the 
same page licly is made an Adverb for the first time ; this 
is still used as a Positive in Scotland, though we of the 
South can say only " most likely " (probably). 

There is the word rack (praesepe) akin to the Dutch ; 
have at racke and at manger y p. 436. 

Among the Romance words are arbitrary^ to transsvhstanse, 
ewpugn^ litergi (lethargy), yvel avised, ]>e mynor (in logic), 
myschevous, predecessor^ progenitor^ glebe (of parsons), to induct^ 
plete (implead), to. distill waters, f alias (deceit), ages (ssecula), 
heddis testeris. There is the phrase no doute (sine dubio). 
The verb allow (allocare) bears the new sense of permittere ; 
Christ alowid ]>e comonte her lifllodCy p. 387. The new word 
aprove (laudare) stands in the next page. There is another 
new phrase in p. 390 ; dispmce m]> hem of ]>at bond; we 
have altered this into " dispense with that bond, as regards 
them." In p. 454 presently stands for present (adstans). 
A curate may have a clerk or a spenser to distribute alms, 
p. 413. The evil of Church appropriations is denounced 
in p. 419 ; cathedral chirchis, chapels of prinsis, and collegies 
of studieSy all use this craft of appropring; vikeris are brought 
in, p. 424, in the parson's stead. In p. 433 stand ]>e 
housis of ]>e personage (Church endowment) ; hence comes 
parsonage. We hear that God is lord general, p. 431 ; the 
adjective is one of the few that we still place after the 
substantive. Popes crie something as (true) belief, p. 334; 
hence the future cry up something. The Lollards are 
called Christ's secte, p. 334, in opposition to Popes, 
Cardinals, Bishops, and Friars. 

Foxe has set out an old Lollard treatise (Cattley's 
edition, ii 728), which seems to me to date from about 
1420. It was compiled (see p. 738) at some time when 
heretics were allowed to abjure once, but were burnt for 
any fresh offence. There are the new phrases, far gone from 
and parsonage, found in the EoUs about this time. It is 
written in the Southern dialect, very unlike that of London ; 


and it may belong to the Severn country. We see yhelded 
(built), p. 745 ; there is an allusion to the Welsh and 
their long legs, p. 744 ; the verb fullen (baptizare) occurs 
in p. 734, which survived in Gloucestershire for a hundred 
years longer till Tyndale's time ; he printed this treatise, 
before Foxe did. I think it is the most sound and 
vigorous English prose that was composed in the fifty 
years before Pecock. The ness was much used ; we have 
naughtineSy cruelnes. There is the phrase nothing to the pur- 
pose. The word matter means, as before, constraining came, 
p. 732 ; here is much matter of sorowe. A priest is called a 
secular nmn, p. 733, as opposed to a monk. In 1220 it 
was allowed that religious men might mix with the world 
for purposes of charity ('Ancren Riwle,' p. 10); but in 1420 
the title, men of religion, is appropriated to those who shut 
themselves up from the world; see p. 733. We see here 
repeated Chaucer's change in the word quaint, p. 733 ; 
it had meant in the previous century elegant, exquisite, 
and this lasted till Shakespere; the Church prayers, 
sung in Latin, were called quaint by the priest; but 
as they were not understood by the common folk, they 
seemed to be strange. In p. 733 we hear of quaint 
prayers, following the first sense ; in 735 we hear that 
these hen quaint orders of religion, that live an immoral life, 
owing to the law of celibacy; here we have the second 

There is a treatise on Hunting in * Reliquiae Antiquse,' 
i. 149, which seems to belong to this time; it is the 
translation of a French work a century older. The word 
stag here translates cervus, p. 151, as in the 'Towneley 
Mysteries.* In the same page we read of the nmle fox and 
the female ; happily the old vixen is still alive. The season 
of the fox, we are told in p. 154, begins at our Lady's 
Nativity and lasts till the Annunciation. In p. 153 we 
read of the lawe of venery ; this phrase led, I suppose, to 
giving an animal law. In the next page we learn that the 
technical word for a herd of roes is a bevy, the first appear- 
ance of the French word. French Interjections swarm in 
this treatise; they are to be used by the huntsman in 

224 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

cheering on his dogs, as dcmoe amy, soho / oiez A Bemondy our 
" hark to Beaumont ! " 

In p. 205 there is a poem to London, perhaps by 
Lydgate ; the great city is called an A per se, a phrase 
answering to our A one; it is called in p. 206 t&ume 
of tovmis patron; in the last word the sense of dominm 
slides by degrees into that of exemplar, as remarked be- 
fore. We hear in the same page of merchants of substavmoe 
(property) and the top royall of a ship ; these are new 

The Legend of St Edith, or the Chronicle of Wilton 
(Horstmann*s edition), was compiled in verse about 1420. 
This Wiltshire production is the last of the markedly 
Southern poems ; we here see hoe and he for ilia, ]yidke for 
iste ; the Northern ]?ey, as in Trevisa, supplants the old hi; 
there are the forms blessud (blessed), my^tus (mights). There 
is the very old form kindam (regnum), from cyne ; also yche a 
(quisque) ; blessed hear (more blessedly), p. 6 1 . The Teutonic 
wis supplants the proper Eomance ending om, a& pytetois, 
vertwys, etc. The great Southward march of Northern 
words was still going on ; we here see wheihen (unde), arne 
(sunt), gate (via), hoske (parare) ; the old wne (currere) has 
made way for run. The language is much akin to that 
of Trevisa in the adjoining shire ; particularly, he nadde n/o 
gret wylle to, etc., p. 87. The '^eke (eke), p. 76, and the 
won (unus) remind us of Salop. 

The a replaces e, as frantyke, p. 53. The t is struck 
out, as Hampshyre, p. 13; the final ]> is clipped, for Ede 
stands for Edi]> all through. The final r is clipped, quarrer 
becomes guarey, p. 82. 

We see stall (seat in the choir), p. 69. A prelate is 
ordered to hold his clappe (clack), p. 75. The new idiom 
of the Double Genitive is coming in fast ; ]>e erle of JFyltones 
wyf, p. 4. There is the phrase, blind as a betulle, p. 81 ; 
also ]>e later hende (end), p. 50 ; a new phrase, appearing in 
the South, just when Wyntoun was employing it in the 
North. We see, what gode is hit forte be a kynge? p. 77. 
The Reflexive Dative appears once more after rest ; rest ^ou 
wylle (well), a greeting found in p. 11. 


Among the Verbs are hlow ou^t ]>0 ley^t, vryrche up (finish) 
his toerk, p. 79. There is Barbour's new phrase, lede (vehere) 
stones, p. 82, which still lingers in some shires. We saw 
the Gloucester adjective mopish in 1300; men in distress 
mq>e up and down, p. 81. 

Among the Eomance words are flavour, particle, senmoHyte, 
pasture a beast, a mute, conversant, migraine. The lesson 
is read in church, p. 23 ; we hear that limbs have arga/ns, 
p. 56 ; the word page is employed for a groom or horse- 
tender, p. 74. In p. Ill disease keeps its old sense 
of mxmm/odvm ; in p. 107 it takes the new sense of 
rrwrbm. In p. 31 laudable is used where we should put 
laudatory. The save is much used for prceter, as in a hundred 
save one. In p. 86 the foreign plead becomes a Strong 
verb ; he pladde (pleaded) ; this most unusual change, or 
something like it, is still kept in Scotch law. 

In p. Ill it is complained that no man wiU now be- 
lieve in miracles ; the Lollards had long been at work. 

To the same dialect belongs the Legend of St. Ethel- 
dreda^ printed by Horstmann, * Altenglische Legenden,' p. 
282. The u is still employed for eo; there is Layamon's 
dure (earns), p. 299, which is not usual. A light went out, p. 
305. The French word mater expresses pus, p. 293 ; and 
the word lawnset (lancet) appears; a candle is set in a 
scorise, p. 290. A well-known part of Ely Cathedral is 
called \e lanterne of Englonde, p. 303. A curious corrup- 
tion of a female Genitive is seen in the same page, Awdre 
ys body (Awdrey's body). 

A Poem on Cookery was written, most likely in Lanca- 
shire, about the year 1420. We see both the forms e'^ren, 
and egges, heo (ilia), and the West Midland Plural schyn 
(shall), also am/kins. The e replaces iw, as bre for briw, p. 
46 ; this is the barley bree of the North. The u is struds 
out; welu4i (concha) hecomes welk The y replaces t* y there 
is the Northern pyt (ponere) in p. 23 ; this is common in 
Scotland. The I is struck out, as wynnot, the Scotch wirma, 
for will not, p. 45. 

Among the Substantives are hagese (haggis), otemele, stoh 
fysshe. The dripping so well known to our cooks is seen 

VOL. I. Q 

226 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

^ ■ ^^^^^m^^^^m^mwm »■■■■■■ ■ ■ ■ ^^^^^^^^^^ ■■■■ ■ ■■ i i ■ ■ ■■ ■■■■■» II 

here as droppyrhg^ p. 31 ; the grounds found in a vessel 
appear as the groundyngus^ p. 46. 

Among the Verbs we see hew smcUle, rost hrotme, gyf hit 
a hoylyng ; the verb cremde (crumble) is formed from crumb. 

Akin to the Dutch are piJcd, sod (gramen). The Scan- 
dinavian words are stepe (infundere), offal. 

The new French words, as might be expected, are many ; 
such as tost (toast), some, grave (gravy), mince, clou (clove), 
comfet, corauns (currants), la/rd, dressore (dresser), onyon, filet, 
tartlot,porray (whence porridge), bray (terere), stuffe (stuffing). 
In p. 5 stands the phrase " to serve flesh." There is gra^ 
pays (grampus), from the Spanish gran pez (big fish). 

About this year, 1420, we may consider the poems of 
Bang James I. of Scotland, who followed in the wake of 
Chaucer and Gower, " superlative poets," as he calls them.^ 
To the Chaucerian influence are due the Southern forms, 
y-lokin, thUke, moche, here to be found. We see Barbour's 
convey and convoy, bowt for bolt ; in trundle a u replaces an 
e ; there is Meg for Mag, The I replaces n in freckle for 
Chaucer's frehae. The p replaces c in porpapyne (porcupine). 
There is the substantive cadger; we find the phrase, a 
warld of folk; also, hold thy grippis, p. 69, where the last 
word follows in the wake of clutches. We hear of a chamber, 
large rotvm and f aire; here the room (locus) begins to gain 
a new meaning, which took long to reach the South. We 
see the faire, p. 76, where woman is dropped ; the" true 
Northern phrase werely (bellicus) appears. In p. 54 we 
read, " the strait weye will I send him to," etc. ; this 
phrase seems here to add the sense of time to that of 

Among the verbs we have breke louse, mene well, give a 
fall, sun-brynt. The verb fling gains a transitive sense and 
expresses torquere. There is, take up a song ; that is, raise 
it A man is fortired of thought ; it was Scotland that pre- 
served the old verb tire. The verb iribring, which occurs 
here, was in great vogue at Edinburgh. 

There is the Interjection wow ! 

^ I have used Dr. Rogers' edition, lately published. I shall later 
discuss one of the poems, wrongly assigned to James I. 


The Scandinavian words are elk, and to stand askeids 
(askew), p. 66. 

Among the Eomance words are casualtee (chance), resi- 
dent, gvd fortune, the ravm bear, intelligence (scientia). 
There is the Past Participle unquestionate, where a Latin 
ending is used ; hence the later form affectionate ; further 
on stands well fortunyt, where we now employ the ending 
in ale. The phrase my joy, sounded like the French jou, is 
applied to a woman, p. 80; hence the Scotch my joe; my 
joy is a Yorkshire term of endearment in our days. 

Andrew of Wyntoun, Prior of Lochleven, wrote his 
riming Chronicle soon after 1420 (Laing's edition, 1872); 
we here find many phrases not used since Barbour's time. 
We see Layre, showing the old sound of the name of the 
river Loire. The i is inserted in sdsim, much as we pro- 
nounce it The b supplants / ; for the French frush, used 
a few years earlier in England (ruere), becomes brush, ii. 
493 ; whence our brush (pugna). The b is inserted in 
nyrnbil. The 3 is dropped ; Layamon's forn aym now ap- 
pears- as af omens, ii. 230, whence comes fornenst The 
old agast (territus) is altered into aghast ; here the idea of 
ghost must have come in. The ou ot oy replaces ; doted 
becomes doytyd (stultus), ii. 4. The w is often used for v, 
leading to much confusion of sounds ; there is chewalry, and 
also Mwrraw (Moravia), our Murray ; so schirraw (often 
found here), written for schirraf (sheriflF), led the way to 

Among the Substantives are man of war (miles), spay- 
man (wizard), Hieland men, an wnfrend ; the Old English 
gloming (twilight) reappears. There is Neder Germany, 
leading the way to the later Netherlands, Litill Brettayne 
(Brittany); also Gret Brettane, ii. lira term loved by Scotch 
writers, such as Barclay and Knox. Manning's verb upset 
takes a new meaning ; for an upsete stands for rebellion or 
revolution, something like the French bouleversemenl, ii. 297, 
373. The word trade (trodden path) is in constant use, 
meaning voyage ; hence the trade winds ; this word was not 
common in England until ninety years later. There is the 
phrase latere end (mors), ii. 100. The old form dyke has 

228 THE NEW ENGUSH. [chap. 

always expressed mwms in the North, ii. 454 ; a sense very 
dififerent &om that of the diidh of the South. In iL 134 
fa/re begins to be connected with money; fimr jpefrmysfor her 
fa/re. The old i/rmewearde (viscera) is revived, after a long 
sleep ; the inwwrd (of the kingdom), ii. 464 ; hence came 
Tyndale's inward parts. 

Among the new Adjectives are werdike (bellicosus), the 
werdy of James I., writing about the same time; also 
derhlyh Pope Joan is called a schrewe fyne, ii. 81 : this 
adjective was now coming into vogue. There is a favour- 
ite Scotch use of full in relationships ; ftdl brother to him, 
iii 99 ; we hear of hard fighting, lie phrase mystyly is 
often used for mystically ; hence we apply misty, mystify, to 
the mind. There is a curious new phrase in ii. 471 : thai 
trayst hyr all (hair best ; this is an advance on the former 
do their best. In ii. 489 stands ane rrumtuortheFranche ttva; 
here the Numeral follows the worthe. 

There is a new phrase in ii. 332, send it in (hare hdpyng; 
hence " come to my help," a curious use of the Possessive 

Among the new Verbs are, blok a matere; in iii. 37 
comes bolt wp (rush up), a new sense of the verb. There 
are the phrases, make answer, spare besynes (pains), fall vacant, 
take sted (place), wdl horsyd, he was sete ha/rd (hard set), ii. 
449, give him rotume, put to confusion, brek hus (loose ; also 
in James I.), get upon a cov/rser. There is make owte his corns 
(accomplish it), i. 61 ; hence "to make out a journey;" in 
the same page comes io sayle the Se, In i 361 officials 
take up children (seize on them) ; a new phrase, well known 
to our police. In ii. 30 a maiden is kyrked ; the Southern 
English form came later. In ii. 353 stands set his besynes 
to have it ; hence, " make it his business to," etc., where 
the noun still keeps its oldest sense of sollicitudo. In 
ii. 472 we see he was set on it (resolved). The verb tyryd 
(fatigatus) stands in ii. 356 ; this favourite Scotch verb 
came South a hundred years later. There is the jingle 
to wed a/nd bed ; also the Alliterative to gnyp a/nd gnaw, i. 
295 ; in England the first letter of gnyp had been docked. 
There is a curious confusion of the Strong and Weak verb 


in meM rMltynwyd^ i. 244 ; melted was to appear in Cover- 
dale. The rightful weryd (wore) appears in ii. 417 ; but 
in ii. 328 something is vx/me owt, a startling novelty that 
had appeared in Yorkshira 

We see both scantly and scant for vix ; there is onward, 
which took long to reach London. 

The Scandinavian words are harsk (harsh), and hrode 
(aculeus), whence comes our jprod. There is the Celtic lowch 
(lacus), spate (flood), quhype (quip). 

Among the Romance words are plesans (voluptas), mystih, 
enter (sepelire), toU (dolus), i. 400 ; dissent from, usv/rp, a 
gamysotun, infomty depitys, bachylere (in theology), insyngnys 
(insignia), fortdys. The word cmtyqwyteys is used for " old 
stories," i. 3. There is chawmbyr play (Hbido, i. 74), 
whence comes the later phrase, charnhermg, which is in our 
Bible. The verb examyne means to question; and eocamyna- 
timme, i. 340, is first connected with school work; the 
form eamn was still in the future. The word state, as 
later in Barclay, stands for a man of position; we use 
dignity much in the same way. We read about a lady 
of fassovm fyne, i. 322 ; this refers to her form of body, her 
figure. In i. 323 comes hyr folys fantasy (her fool's fancy); 
this is a new use of the Genitive, afterwards repeated by 
Barclay, just as we say "your fool's head." In i 351 
comes dysperid owte tresore; hence our lay out The old 
French form cruelty is laid aside for the later French 
CTuawt4, which comes often; another token of the close 
connexion between France and Scotland. Wyntoun often 
uses pathement for pavement, a compound of Teutonic and 
Eomance ; he has dergat (target), where an Old English 
word takes a French sufi&x. The form pytd is still used, as 
in 1300, for our piety, ii. 70 ; it also expresses misericordia. 
There is the form corrump, afterwards to be replaced by 
corrupt, coming from another part of the Latin verb. There 
is revengeans, whence two distinct English words have been 
formed. The verb trete bears two senses ; that of tractare, 
ii 144, as in Barbour, and that of pactum inire, ii. 420. 
The adjective roimd gets a new meaning, that of bluff; 
make rownd answere, iii. 66. We have seen the gentles; we 

230 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

now find the 7U)bles, There are two new and curious 
Plurals, devotions and instructions (preces, jussa). In ii. 
325 a querele in law is proponed; we still propound a will ; 
the other form, propose, had been known for eighty years. 
The word composytore, here standing for peacemaker, bears a 
very different sense in our day. In ii. 322 a heart is 
embalmed and laid in a cophyn of ivory ; the word was to 
bear a new meaning later. In i. 20 supprys is used for 
surprising a woman asleep ; in p. 11 7 for crushing in war ; 
our suppress. We see a curious jumble of French and Latin 
forms in dissymhetatyown, ii. 332. In ii. 341 a man is 
mankyd (mutilatus) ; hence came mangle, forty years later. 
Wyntoun is fond of theolog, Dryden's theologm. We hear 
of the syngne of an inn, iii. 104. The word Amyrale is now 
connected with the fleet, and loses its Mussulman sense. 
There is the battle cry, A Muntagw for evyr mare 1 this a 
may perhaps be an Interjection, 9a Al Kynge Herry ! in 
* Wark worth's Chronicle,' fifty years later ; this soldier's cry 
lasted till 1730 in England.^ We now see the first of the 
laughable explanations of family names, legends that are 
lively as ever in our own critical age. The great house 
of Cumin, Wyntoun says, got its name from its ancestor 
being a doorkeeper in the Palace, who was always crying 
cam in! ii. 309. This is not more absurd than Sir B. 
Burke's derivation of the Bulstrode family from a man 
bestriding a bull. A few pages beyond his Cumin estplana- 
tion, Wyntoun draws a distinction between the chief who 
bids his men go on, and the chief who bids them come on. 

The poem on Kynge Roberd of Cysille (*Hazlitt's Col- 
lection,'^i. 270) seems to belong to Lincolnshire. There is 
Manning's puddle; also gar, kyrke. There is the phrase 
make noyse; also, he was a fole to every knave, p. 286; 
here the to means, according to the knave's judgment ; one 
of the oldest meanings of to was secundvm. 

I now approach that mine of information on many 
points, the * Paston Letters ' (Gairdner's edition). There 

^ Rolandini (Muratori, *Scriptores,' viii. 188) gives an Italian 
war-cry in 1227 ; Za Za Cavaler Ecelin I In the * Strafford Letters,' 
lately published, A PuU&riey is shouted in the days of George II. 


are a few reaching over the interval between 1417 and 
1426. On turning to the Vowels, there is more in this 
respect to remark in the French words than in the English \ 
the verb aurai (habebo) is written aray ; on the other hand, 
avec appears as auvec, showing the ancient broad sound of 
the a. But aussi, pronounced of old as oussi, is now written 
osy^ proving a change in French pronunciation. We see 
u (aut), not ou. All this may be found in i. 23. As to 
Consonants, we find nought standing for our not, written 
so late as 1425 (p. 20). The proper name Wyllehy (Wil- 
loughby) appears in p. 10, sounded much as we pronounce 
it now. Among the Nouns there is the curious idiom, in 
the kynges tyme Henry the Fyfte, p. 1 6. Barbour had written 
stop the way ; we now have stop the noyse, p. 26 : a slight 
change. TTiere is the first instance, I think, of the legal 
use of where as for quoniamy in p. 16; hitherto where had 
been used in this sense. Among the Prepositions appear 
" send money on trust," p. 20 ; " condempnyd in ccc marcz," 
p. 21 ; fo his knowleche, p. 17 ; the preposition to is wholly 
dropped in the trespas doon JFilHam, p. 17. As to Ro- 
mance words, instead of the old phrase used with sur- 
names, my maistre NevUle, the Pronoun is now dropped, as 
Maister John Urry, p. 19, the origin of our mister. We 
see this usage moreover in the French, p. 24 ; an English 
letter is directed a mez meistres A, B , . . , et meistre Piers 
Shelton, A French letter ends with Johannes Paston, le 
tout vostre, p. 24 ; the French taught us the art of polite 
letter- writing. We read of arUtratores, also arbitrores, in 
the same page, 14; cov/rtezane (aimalis, p. 24). In p. 21 
m,esv/re gains the new sense of consilium; hence comes 
"measiu'es, not men." In p. 26 stands the adverb noy- 
syngly; in York, noisomdy would have been used; we 
have in our day two English sounds coming from one 
French source, noisome and nuisance, something like ennui 
and annoy. In p. 19 the word contreman seems to be used 
ior fellow -provincial ; for in p. 30 Manning's phrase is re- 
peated, in my crnitrey bat a myle fro the place where I was 
horn. There are the phrases, tax damages, adnvM, endowed 
(prseditus, p. 21), due and lawefull, p. 13. The Latin words 

232 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

d cetera are tacked on to English writing, p. 1 3 ; they were 
to draw great attention later, m connexion with an oath in 

In 1426 an old blind monk, known as *Syr Jon Aud- 
lay,' was compiling his poems, striking at Lollards and 
worthless priests alike (Percy Society, 47). He lived on 
the border land between tie Northern and Southern 
dialects, as we can tell from a few lines in page 65 — 

" And VII aves to our lady, 
Fore 8ch£ is the wel of al pet^, 
That heo wyl fore me pray. " 

There is no doubt about the monk's Salopian dialect ; he 
has both cherche and kerke in the one page, 74 ; also forms 
such B&fouyre (ignis), seche (talis), ^esy, ^every, uche, won 
(unus), als, makus (socii), thou gase (vadis), ch for sh. There 
are words and senses of words already found in Salopian 
writers, such as, homeli (rusticus), hegge ne horou; there is 
an allusion to Piers Ploughman's Mede the maydyn in p. 38. 
The scribe, to whom the blind bard dictated, has been 
faulty as usual ; holdist is written for holdes, p. 20 ; vxful 
begoon and Ahragus for tuo-bigon and Abraham^s, p. 31. 

The replaces a in wedloke. We see both engeyne and 
enjoyn, pp. 47 and 48. The n is struck out, for (henford 
becomes Oxford, p. 32; it is added, for we find holdoim 
(olden) dais in p. 22. In p. 75 an original mom (mane) 
has been altered by the writer into morwe, as we see by the 

In p. 85 (this is from another poem) we see the rise of 
the word skipping applied to the practice of many readers. 
Careless priests are thus branded — 

** Hi sunt qui Psalmos comimpunt nequiter almos : 
Jangler cum jasper, lepar, galper quoque, draggar. 
Momeler, forskypper, for-reyner, sic et overleper." 

The draggar is the forerunner of our drawlers. 

Among the Adjectives we find owe blessvd byscop, used 
ironically, p. 39. The word lofty appears for the first time, 
and is applied to the lineage of the child Henry VI., p. 
viii. The bad meaning given to lewd is repeated ; the word 
still means igna/rus, as of old, in p. 32 ; but in p. 3, curates 


who break their vows of chastity, and priests that are 
lefwyd (libidinosi) in their living, are assailed for the bad 
example they set ; this change had appeared in another 
Salopian piece. 

Among the Pronouns we find mg, the old m(i% still in 
use, though soon to drop \ do as thou woldus me dud he the, 
p. 32. There is the phrase, what was (he) the worse ? p. 15 ; 
fro tyme ^e ben, etc., p. 76 ; here a tJiat is dropped after the 

Among the Verbs we find bakhyte a man, play thefole, 
take (yrder (orders, p. 34), have the charche (charge) of. The 
verb bluster is employed much like our blmder, p. 50. 

We see wherefore cmd why, in p. 49, with the usual alli- 

The French words are pause, aschdere (ashlar stone), 
hogpoch (hotchpot), core favd, p. 26 ; favd was a common 
name for a horse ; hence the corruption awrry favov/r. In 
p. 23 stands a metaphor taken from chess ; after chec for 
the roke, wa/refor the mate. In p. 45 dertdsjid derenes stand 
Bide by side. 

There is a most spirited description, in p. 16, of our* 
gentle Sir John, the usual name for a priest down to the 
Eeformation; hence came the Mass John of the Scotch 

To this date we may assign the poem on Agincourt 
(*Hazlitt's Collection,' ii. 93). Among the substantives are 
gwnstones (cannon balls of iron), longe bote, great gwnne (can- 
non) ; our soldiers fight under the rede crosse, Saynt Georges 
stremers. Henry the Fifth was almost fit to be set among 
]>e worthyes nyne, p. 94: a new phrase. He asks, in p. 105, 
what tyme of the day ? (what hour is it ?) We see both the 
forms, thou were and thou wast, p. 94. The king lay in a 
town : a phrase not wholly replaced by staid until our own 
Century ; ships lay at rode ; trumpets blow, an intransitive 
sense ; men play their rivals at a game, p. 104, against be- 
ing dropped. We see our a crosse for the first time, p. 
96 ; it is here an adverb. There are some sea words bor- 
rowed from Holland, hoise (hoist), deck (teg-ere), the first 
letter differing from the true English iheck, our thatch, the 

234 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

Latin ieg. There is also the Scandinavian hvlvjark, one of 
Lydgate's new words. There is the French word serpentine 
(a warKke engine). We have a pun in p. 201 — 

"The lordes of Rone (Rouen) togyther dyde rowne (whisper)." 

English Poetry had now fairly made her way into 
the Palaces of Kings, whence she had been banished 
since Harold's time for 300 years. Chaucer had been the 
servant of Edward III. ; Gower had been encouraged by 
Kichard II.; Occleve had been the pensioner of Henry IV. ; 
Page had sung the deeds of Henry V. ; Lydgate acted as 
Laureate to the child Henry VI. The monk wrote a poem, 
setting forth the Koyal titles, in the year 1426 ('Political 
Songs,' vol. ii.) He turns Madame Katerine into my lady 
KaterinCf p. 136, and has the new noun hudde, p. 140, 
akin to the Dutch. We may here consider the mass of the 
poems attributed to him.^ He came from Bury in East 
Anglia, and we are therefore not surprised to find him 
using the Active Participle in and, and such East Midland 
forms as clad, give, fidsom. On the other hand, he imitates 
• Chaucer in having the prefix to the Passive Participle, as 
y-hahe. The adjective jpraty, gainsay, and the peculiarly 
Northern idiom, a goodly one, p. 28, have now reached Lon- 
don. He clips the a at the beginning of words, writing 
venter for aventvre, and look bak (as in the 'Cursor') for 
look aback, p. 256. The e replaces i in flettyng (fleeting), 
p. 194. The old jpure is now written pewer, p. 108, just as 
we sound it. Gower's falsehed now becomes falshood, 
Orrmin's wakeman appears as wacheman, p. 175. We see 
the be clipped in p. 147, where cause translates quia. 
Wickliflfe's Danish word backe (vespertilio) is now written 
batte, p. 170. The I replaces ry Chaucer's verb jompre 
becomes jumbel. The / is inserted ; for the peoddare of 
1220 now becomes pedeler, p. 30. The m becomes n, 
as ant (formica). Chaucer's cokewold is now seen as 
cokolde, p. 30. 

Among the Substantives we find gloowerm, semewe (sea 
mew). Mention is made of the Kyngs Bench, p. 103. Our 

^ Percy Society, vol. ii. 


bumble bee is seen as hoyrribyl^ p. 218. We hear of the 
hedspryng (well head) in p. 237. 

The Old English earg had always borne the sense of 
ignavus down to this time ; but in p. 47 we hear of arche 
wives, and from the context this epithet must imply pride. 
We hear of a fowlle shame^ stormi, and gerysshe (garish, per- 
haps from Chaucer's gawren, gaze). In p. 194 sondryfold 
is formed in imitation of manifold ; sundry can now ex- 
press quidam as well as separatvs. In p. 147 we see un- 
kovih add the meaning of odd to its old sense of unknoton. 

Among the Verbs are, bend my stepps, thrust (ire), give 
chase, break out, abide by the bargen, hound on, I am a fool to 
telle, fre to syng, bolster, tou/rne (out) for the best, bere good face 
(put a good face on it). Lydgate now has the Northern 
I gat me out, p. 105. We h&ye upgrow in p. 246; very few 
verbs beginning with up lasted beyond the year 1400, 
though the "Scotch still use upbringing (education). The verb 
bestow here means prcebere as well as collocare ; bestow alms. 
There is a new construction of the Passive Infinitive after 
scire; I have wyste men be caste, p. 224. In p. 133 a man 
brekes his fast ; hence a new noun was to arise forty years 
later. The new construction, thou ware over sayne (made a 
mistake) stands in p. 189. The great change of 1411 is 
repeated in p. 142; masse was seyeng ; we see in the EoUs 
of Parliament for 1435 a dette was owyng hem. 

The most remarkable of the Adverbs, which we owe to 
Lydgate, is perhappous, which we now usually hear pro- 
nounced as praps ; it took Centuries before this mongrel, 
something like because, qovX^ drive out haply. In p. 104 
stands as well as Icoode. The Preposition under is employed 
in a new sense, marking something that falls short of a 
given measure : thou scapst nat under ii pence, p. 107. There 
is out ofjoynt in p. 245. 

The Flemish traders in London are mentioned in p. 105, 
who use their word copen (emere). It was from them per- 
haps that Lydgate got his boueer, our boor, p. 192 ; for the 
Old English ge-bwr seems to have died out hundreds of 
years before this time. The form before us suggests that ' 
the first syllable of the German bau^r was pronounced like 

236 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

the French mh in 1430. The Dutch holwerk (bulwark) is in 
p. 237 ; and their verb prate is in p. 155 ; to Twd is akin 
to a Bavarian word. 

Among the French words are dyal, tapcery (tapestry), 
weel favoured, chierfvl, fagot, cok-hoat, pint, vdym (vellum), 
ca/riage (bearing), to ferret, pores, splene, skeyght-lasyd, sord, 
blase (blazon), grocery, premynence. The adverb very (valde) 
comes often; after Lydgate's time it drove out its Teu- 
tonic rivals. In p. 52 we hear of a preciovs knave, just 
as we still use the adjective. In p. 39 a man frusshes a 
woman's mouth with his beard ; this French word, long 
before known in England, may have helped to bring brush 
into vogue ; the latter is a French word connected with 
the German borste, Lydgate talks of the Rolls (the Court) 
in p. 104; and in the next page he uses presently (forth- 
with), the sense still borne by the word in Yorkshire. His 
ba/rgeman is in our day often thrown aside for bargee; a 
curious instance of a French ending ousting its English 
brother. The French phrase, of necessUS, occurs in p. 141 ; 
and apropos appears as eocaumple to pvrpoos, p. 146. The cry 
amnmt stands in p. 166. In the same page, what Wick- 
li£fe had called gdding, is written spado ; and there are the 
gamester's synk and ske, showing the French sound of the 
last In p. 170 we light on paterfamilias, and in p. 187 
comes a natwraM fole ; the adjective, in some counties, still 
expresses idiot; "a born natural." In p. 194 man is de- 
scribed as deriving many hvmov/res from water ; hurrumr at 
this time bore the sense of inclination in France. Lydgate 
does not talk of lenten and harvest, the old-fashioned terms 
for the seasons; he uses Ver and Avivmpne, In p. 212 
respublica is translated by staat ; in the same page we read 
of estaatys (the different orders of men). In p. 214 sacred 
appears as an Adjective; in the year 1290 it was but a 
Participle. Our enjoy himself appears in p. 218 as rfjoys 
hymsylf; later in the Century the Pronoun was dropped 
after the verb. The poet says he must acotmte for my 
talent ; this is a new sense of the Noun in English ; Ham- 
pole had used it for inclination ; the Parable of the Talents 
must have had some influence here. In p. 242 Aurora is 


made a dactyl ; England, as yet, had little horror of false 

One of Lydgate's poems, dedicated to the Earl of Salis- 
bury who fell at Orleans, is a translation of De Guileville's 
famous 'Pilgrimage' (published by Pickering in 1858). 
The poet has a peculiar contraction, that of td'pe for to heljpe, 
and such like ; this is repeated in his later works. Adjec- 
tives are strung together, as, the noble hih hevenely place, p. 
iil ; this greet large sea ; there is the phrase ryht (straight) 
as any lyne, p. xii We see ley trappys, lose his weye, in p. 
xlvi. Fortune lawes on the ryght syde (is favourable) ; we 
still say, make you laugh on the wrong side. Among the 
Bomance words are nerve, mendicant, passingly, disdain, op- 
posite, v/nction, jack (coat of mail), collusion, immutable, commis- 
sion, vrigmsitive, vmsv/re, duplicity, intermission, Lydgate, 
dropping his East Anglian usage, imitates Chaucer in 
forms like thMke and beth (sunt), also in prefixing y to the 
Passive Participla 

There are three pieces by Lydgate in 'EeliquisB An- 
tiqusB,' i. 13, 79, 156 ; they may date from 1430. Here 
we read of the lining (inside) of a bowl, p. 13; glassy is 
applied to eyes ; lumpish. In p. 157 a boy is warned not 
to pike his nose. 

There is another piece of Lydgate's of this time in 
* Religious and Love Poems ' (Early English Text Society), 
p. 15. We see the new substantives crosebow and gossdyng. 
There is the new phrase to scape with life. There are the 
foreign words, bastylle, svmUitude, bagage (here meaning 
prceda). We have the sentence, "odyous of olde been 

Lydgate compiled certain Legends in 1433 (Horstmann, 
' Altenglische Legenden ') ; he here describes himself as old 
and enfeebled in his powers, p. 416. He continues his 
favourite practice of writing teschew for to eschew, etc. ; he 
has jerarchy for hierarchy, p. 415. The n is struck out; 
Orrmin's scorcnen (exurere) becomes skorch, p. 452. Lyd- 
gate uses the two forms, Egdwyn and Ayllewyn, pp. 432, 
431. He employs a Southern form, long obsolete, for the 
sake of his metre; kneen (genua), p. 445. In the same 

238 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

page he talks of Bwry tou/riy a pleonasm; burh (oppidum) 
had but lately dropped out of use. He employs v/nto my 
laste, p. 407, where breath is dropped. Among the Verbs 
are^^ off (repellere), put in mynde, he seen (apparere), unpyke 
locks, set at ese. The French en is prefixed to Teutonic 
roots, as, to entiang, p. 401. Among the Prepositions are 
at werre, go at liberie, be of f ewe wordys. The with is used in 
a new sense ; a man is brave with Tidem (equally with), p. 
395. The between represents community of action ; tween 
wmd and vxiwe his barge almost brast, p. 401. The through 
is prefixed to a verb, probably in imitation of the Latin 
original, thurgh-perced, p. 448. 

There is the verb rakk from the Dutch, p. 401 ; this 
torture was first brought into England in this Century. 

The Romance words are carecte (character), a memenio, 
fwryous, emorn (heureux), predestynat, antiquity (old time), 
philologie, a preservatiff, stage of dearepitus, p. 419 ; in gros, 
transcend, thre tymes suinge (following), obstacle, spectacles 
(glasses). The old anker is now written anachorite, p. 
417. We hear both of God's purveyance and of His pro- 
vydence, pp. 426, 421. There is the French verb glace 
(slide), p. 436, which may have had some influence on our 
glancing off. A man is riht gentilmanly, p. 399 ; Udal, a 
hundred years later, was to write this gentlemanlike. The 
King is addressed as your hyh excellence, p. 440. We read, 
in p. 431, of the instrucdoun given to a messenger; we now 
make this word Plural. 

The heathen who harried England in the Ninth Cen- 
tury are called Sarseynes, p. 403. 

The adverb aslope is found about this time; I have 
mislaid the reference. 

': l^There are some pieces in the * Babees' Book ' (Early 
English Text Society), which date from about 1430. Here 
we find where-sere, p. 302, a great shortening of where so 
ever ; in p. 12 stands toilose (toilsome) ; here the old til or 
tul (laborare) bears its modem form. Among the Substan- 
tives are kervyng -knife, smf (of a candle), the over crust. 
The first hint of a nightgown is given in p. 315 ; and of 
fotemen (servants) in p. 320 ; " these run by the bridles of 


ladies sheen ; " not long before there is mention of hired 
pages. In p. 316 appears the yymcm ussher, who sleeps 
at his Lord's door ; the gromes (of the chamber) make the 
beds. In p. 307 a man should let others have ]>e vxiy (take 
the pas of him). In p. 12 the new adjective meddus (med- 
dlesome) appears. The word spare is used in a new sense 
in p. 325 ; a spare pece, something not in actual use. A 
man must not be too stiryn^e^ or too pressing^ p. 12; here 
the Participle is used like an adjective. 

Among the Verbs are henge in honde (hang on hand), 
broken meat. The lose is used without an Accusative in p. 
305 ; a man shall never lose by kindness. The Passive 
Voice is further developed in p. 307 ; sif ]>ou be profert 
(proffered) to drink. 

Among the French words are counting house^ p. 312 
(room where money is checked), cmmturpynt (counterpane), 
d&rk of the kitchen; assdes patentis, p. 318, (seals patent), 
ferroure (farrier) ; sesov/rs are here used for snuffers. The 
word enfaimt is used, as in France, for a boy, p. 303. 
There is the new phrase apiece; foure pens a pece, p. 310. 
In p. 11 a/rgue stands for wrangle. In p. 58 a man is 
bidden not to be nyce in clothing ; here the adjective adds 
the sense of fastidious^ new in 1360, to its old meanings 
foolish and wanton. 

As to rules of behaviour, men must not sup their 
potage with grete sovmdynge ; they must not spit over or on 
the board, or pick their teeth, or bear knife to mouth, or 
lean on their elbows, or put meat into the salt cellar. 
** Who so ever despise ))ls lessoun ryjt, 
At borde to sitt he hase no iny?t " (p. 303). 

In the same page boys learn certain prayers; among 
others, how to bless themselves with Marke, Mathew, 
Luke, and Jon; — the old rime is still alive in our day. 
Accounts were kept in French, p. 317, where the forms 
tavmi resceUy and tav/nt dispendu are enjoined. The adage 
that three is no company is enforced in p. 307 : 

** Be not )>e thryd felaw for wele ne wo ; 
Thre oxen in plowgh may never wel drawe." 

In the Wills of this time (Early English Text Society) 

240 THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

the e is struck out, for Chaucer's meremaidm becomes mer- 
maidy p. 78 ; this refers to the house where Shakespere's club 
long fdterwards met The form moemble is used in p. 127 
for what some called meveable, others moveable, Cirencester 
shrinks into Siscetre, p. 109. We have seen Cecile; we now 
have our other form CmZy, p. 70. There is the proper 
name John of Noh/s, p. 111. There are the substantives, 
rodelofte, yonum of ike chambrey awre lady cha^ly p. 114; 
in this last we see one of our few surviving Genitives that 
does not end in s. The verb mUl, in connexion with 
coinage, may have been known in 1434 ; a cloth is men- 
tioned with mylyngiSy p. 101. The wise is now tacked on 
to nouns to form adverbs; we see tresidwise in p. 102; 
crosswise is well known. 

Among the Eomance words are revenues^ sygne manuell, 
flowrdelrice, prymmer, exquies (funeral rites), decesse (morior). 
The old mobles now become mevdble godes, p. 76. The 
word deinta is Englished by duetees (duties), p. 88, in the 
Plural. In p. 95 we read of the mevable caMl of bestall in 
a London will ; this shows how cattle was much later to 
express pectts in the South, as well as in the NortL 
Bequests are made first to priests, then to every secmdary 
and derk of the church, p. 105. Our famous co is used for 
the first time, I think, in a compound made by English- 
men; coexecuUmr stands in p. 100; hence co-mate^ co-heir ^ 
etc. A Countess is particular in directing that two 
Qreffons should bear up the scutcheon on her tomb, p. 117; 
supporters were now coming in, but were not yet strictly 

Among the * Wills and Inventories ' (Surtees Society), 
vol. ii., are some belonging to 1427 and 1429; also some 
letters of the same date, written by Salisbury, the King- 
maker's father. He uses both the forms, yaw and yow (vos) 
in one line, p. 70. The North still, as of old, loved coin- 
ing Verbal Nouns ; we see his tuekomyng (the welcome given 
him) ; my forthbryngyng (burial procession) ; there is hows 
of alwmise, soon to be much shortened. Salisbury talks of 
hymsdf m his own person^ an imitation of the Latin. Among 
the Verbs are shew kyndriesse, teke partie (part) ; Orrmin's 


mibyden (injussus) is repeated in the North, after a long 
interval ; his love of the Passive voice reappears in Salis- 
bury's thd are seen to. To hold for king was always good 
English; this is now extended to Passive Participles; 
Salisbury writes, have us for recomendid. The Earl has the 
strange phrase, he vxis here a (on) Monday was a VII, nighty 
where it seems to be dropped before was, p. 70. A New- 
castle merchant, making his will in 1429, uses the 
thoroughly Northern forms, ]>ose (ilia), tendes (decimse). 
Salisbury writes, do me this ease as to len me yor chariott ; 
here this seems to answer to tantum; and we see the 
source of Cranmer^s " be so good as to," etc. ; the Earl is 
fond of the old form len. A tale is told 7W<w at large; 
there comes, at ovr last being with yow ; in p. 78 stands at 
my weting (to my knowledge). 

The French words are, terme of life, my goods, mohlez 
and umnoblez (personal and real), enfeffed in landes to my me, 
stuffe of myn howses of offices as panetre and buttre (pantry 
and buttery, p. 75) ; we still talk of the offi^ces of a house. 
In p. 70 stands save (safe) and suyrly; in p. 80 a man 
gives cleerly and freely, a new sense of the first adverb. 
There is the verb dispoyne ; Scotch law prefers dispone to 
dispose. The old verb tent is written terider by Salisbury, 
p. 70, and this form lasted long in England. 

There is much to be learnt from the Northern Wills, 
between 1426 and 1440, *Testamenta Eboracensia' 
(Surtees Society). The first is that beginning, " I, dame 
Jhon Gascoigne," i. p. 410, the lady of the renowned Chief- 
Justice. The old pdwa (pavo) had been written poucoc 
further to the South ; it is here pacok, p. 420 ; showing the 
double sound of the old aw. The former caudron is now 
seen as caldron, p. 419. There is the new noun salt solar, 
and the new verbal phrases thanket he God I \ai havand Gode 
before ]>er eghen, ii. 76. In ii. 20 stands rather or (citius 
quam); in our day, we sometimes hear sooner nor. 
Among the French words are, a party goune (hence party- 
coloured) ; extend is driving out stretch, iL 20. The 
Chief- Justice's wife prefixes dame to her Christian name ; 
this legal title has lasted for more than 400 years. 

VOL. I. ^ 

242 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

There is the Latin m primis at the beginning of a sen- 
tence, ii. 20. 

In the *Paston Letters,' from 1426 to 1440, we remark 
the Norfolk use of x for s, as xal for sal (shall). In p. 30 
stands / am ycmr man (servant), a phrase still existing. 
There is the adjective tmgoddy (mains), p. 32; the word had 
before been used as an adverb. In p. 40 we read that 
our Lordes hytte (beat) the French, a new sense of the verb; 
in iii. 417 comes the phrase to fde a man; where we 
should now sofwnd him. There are the foreign words, 
synister and taylles (tallies). A Lord is addressed in a 
letter both as yowr reverens and yov/r lordesship, iii. 416; 
the former of these phrases is in our time set apart for 
the clergy. 

There is a deed in the * Plumpton Letters,* p. li., bearing 
date 1432. A representative of certain parties is called 
their man; and we read of a rruin of counsell lea/med in the 
law, showing how Gower arrived at his sense of caumd. 
We see accious reall and personall. 

In Gregory's Chronicle for these years we see Jane 
used instead of the usual form Joan for Henry the Fourth's 
Queen. We know that we pronounce the name St. John 
as Sinjon; in p. 168 we find Syn Jorge. The three heads 
of our Common Law are named in p. 160; the men who 
presided over the Kyngys Benche, the Comyn Place, and the 
Kyngys CheJcyr. Mention is made of the Downys ; the sea 
is referred to, not the hills. In p. 167 we read of a pounde 
weyght of golde, a new phrase for "gold that weighed a 
pound." The old Adjective lewk becomes leuke warme, p. 
166. The Verbs are, he hare ujppe his trayne, make a rrmke of 
p. 178. An Adverb is made a Preposition, oM acrosse hys 
II schylderis (shoulders), p. 166 ; this, probably due to the 
French it travers, is in the year 1429. The Chronicler 
loves to tell of good eating; we find here the French 
words, custarde, gely, esteryge (ostrich). The word raysonys 
is used in the English, not the French sense, and grayne is 
used for com, p. 181. The word p-ef as appears in p. 166, 
which lasted here without a rival, until some zealous Teuton 
in our own day first printed forewords, a word used by our 


forefathers for ^^ta. The Parliament was condvdyd (ended), 
p. 182; in p. 176 comes the curious phrase, "to bcmysch a 
man the town; " a double Accusative, " forbid him the town," 
had come earlier. 

We find a long English paper of the year 1426 in the 
*Kolls,* vol. iv. pp. 409-411. There is the new phrase, 
Justices in the Qworum, In p. 410 we see the Northern es 
beginning to supplant the Southern eth in the highest 
quarters ; he coTnes is found in a Court document. In the 
same volume we find besturr me, ftttith him (decet). A 
well-known phrase of ours comes in p. 435 ; the siege of 
Orleans was taken in hand, God knoweth by what advis. It 
is in p. 433 that the title of the Squeers of English History- 
is earned by Warwick, in his proposals anent the chastise- 
ment of the future founder of Eton College. The French 
words are agreeably (cheerfully), conclude pees. Cardinal 
Beaufort is called the King's grete tmde, p. 438 ; the old 
ems was soon to vanish altogether. It is curious how the 
foreign words have intruded into our very hearths, as it 

In vol. V. p. 318 are the petitions for the year 1427. 
We find a curious idiom, well Imown in our days, in p. 322, 
he schidde have been and procfwred, etc. ; the been, I suppose, 
stood for gone. In p. 327 the young King is/er goon (far 
gone) in growth; we now limit this phrase to love and 
liquor. In p. 326, instead of the old natheles, comes howe 
were it that ; howbeit was soon to appear. We had always 
coupled from and beyond ; we now have from over ]>e sea, p. 
318. The French words are, denisdn, and ye agreed you 
to, etc. ; the later jmi/rveyfor stands for the Latin provide 
for, p. 318. There is a long discussion in 1427 by the 
Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the title given to Duke 
Himiphrey : " (we) devised unto you a name different from 
o]?er counsaillers, nought ]?e name of Tutour, Lieutenant, 
Govemour, nor of Kegent, . . . but J>e name of Protectour 
and Defensour, J>e which emporteth a personell duetee of 
entendance to ]7e actuell defense of ]7e land, as well ayenst 
]?enemys utward, yf cas required, as ayenst Eebelles in- 
ward, yf any were, ]?at God forbede," vol. iv. p. 326. Itl^^ 

244 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

year 1429 raise is spelt reze^ vol. iv. p. 343, showing how 
z has encroached upon s, even in Teutonic words. We see 
the substantives see cole, fredomys (liberties), clothemakyng ; 
a sern (yam) chopper is coupled with a regratov/r, p. 349 ; 
perhaps our jobber may have something to do with the 
former word. Barbour's Scottismcm makes way for Scott- 
yshman, p. 360; this was to be contracted still more. 
There is the new Adjective weiable ; Hampole's new suffix 
to Teutonic nouns was coming South. In p. 365 comes 
the phrase, a vessel laden of c tonne tite and over ; the word 
]>ihty the German dMe, is Englished by solidus in the 
* Promptorium Parvulorum ; ' a ship is said to be tight, when 
no water can get in; ivater-tight was to come in 1550. In 
p. '360 stands oon ^ere with another. The Verbs are hryng 
downe ]>e pis, take an auction against ; there is a wonderful 
change of idiom in p. 343, thair resones beyng herd, the 
Ablative Absolute ; here being stands before a Passive Par- 
ticiple. Orrmin's forthwith appears in London, p. 343. 
The French words are quinssisme and disme, grants made by 
the Commons ; prefer a man to office ; things passe and be 
agreed be the CounseUl, p. 343 ; to pass accomptes, to pass a 
yeft be dede, to condescende unto hem; this old law term is 
still used in Scotland ; to enter thair advys of recorde, p. 344 ; 
to present an offence. 

As to the years 1430 and 1432, we see that Gower's 
doaire has now become dower ; the o'^ener of 1340 is now 
seen as awener (owner). In p. 375 comes the female name 
Joyous, our Joyce, We hear in p. 405 that wines are wele 
drinking ; this is in truth a Verbal Noun, which looks Hke 
a Participle ; the wines are in such a state that they give 
pleasure when swallowed ; the idiom is something like that 
of a debt is owing. In p. 376 a man is made party to some- 
thing. In p. 385 we see howbeit that, found in Kymer's 
documents about the same time. Instead of moreover 
stands overe that, p. 369. The French words are, inter esse 
(interest), your Boial Excdence, oratrice, gauge. The law 
term, to joyn issue, appears in p. 376. 

In the year 1433 we remark how the Standard English, 
spoken in London, was more and more coming into vogue, 


as the language of pubHc aflFairs ; the distant shires framed 
their petitions more and more on the London model; 
Parhament was enforcing unity in speech as well as in 
politics. For instance, in the Salopian petition, p. 476, 
there is little that is provincial, except uch (quisque) and 00 
(unus). In p. 423 the ahask of 1303 becomes 5asA, whence 
we got our hashfvl ; in p. 475 the old druncririan appears 
as drowen (drown) ; the writer evidently thought that drow 
was the root of his Infinitive. There are the new Substan- 
tives Totim Clerk and nynesse; nearness vfdA to come fifty 
years later. There is the new phrase hy likdihody not like- 
lihed as in Chaucer; we have preferred hood to head. 
Among the Verbs we find make offiis (offers), pit in writyng^ 
have relation to, here voice (have a voice, p. 479). We see 
that the Northern sense of stUl (adhuc) has come down 
to London from the North. A translation of the French 
sfwr ousts the Old English for in things done upone her 
accounte, p. 477. Much is dropped in the sentence a robe, 
price Qcaf, in the same page; the English seemed to be 
intent on saving their breath. We see, in p. 423, a sen- 
tence begin with Memoranda ]>at, etc. There are the new 
French words, extraordinarie, scrupUly to retaUe, assistants. 
There are the phrases, dy£ allowance, to article a request, sue 
to a man for, etc., truly and indifferently (just^) choose, save 
him harmdes, the Statute in such case ordeyned. We see 
ryn^fe a belle 3 peell, p. 478 ; the last word is properly apele ; 
in the same page atteynte is used of a trifling fault ; the 
verb was to bear a far more serious meaning in the bustling 
times twenty years later. 

Turning to the years 1435, 1436, 1437, we find the 
new Suhst&ntive utterance ; French endings were now much 
in vogue for Teutonic roots. The phrase "get her lyvyng," 
p. 491, has come down from the North; liflode was as yet 
the common phrase in the South. We hear of the Speker, 
of gavdkynde, of the mene Hans tovmes, p. 493 ; of a ship 
of a c tonne portage, p. 501 ; we should now alter the last 
word into burden. There is a fresh idiom in p. 498, the 
trespas done by Richard takyng her ; Richard is not in the 
Genitive, and therefore takyng may not perhaps be a Verbal 

246 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Noun. We have seen hdng set before a Passive Participle ; 
another step is made in p. 491, ^ C<mri heyng sitting. In 
p. 486 stands sdsid as offrehold; one of the many needless 
insertions of ds. In a Lancashire petition in p. 498 the 
phrase and ]>en ]>ere is used in describing a crime ; our " then 
and there ; " the Northern sho (ilia) is used here. The noun 
rape is now used in our legal sense; it had hitherto meant 
only kurry. The French words are, heynous^fee simple, keyes 
(quays). We see enqaerre (inquiry) with inguisition in the 
same page, 487 ; our tongue is very rich in having in many 
cases both original Latin forms, and their offspring as cor- 
rupted by the .Northern Gauls. In p. 490 the verb defait 
expresses perdere, our wndo. In p. 497 stands attdnt of high 
treason, the new serious sense of the verb. The French had 
long before talked of manoeuvring a vine in the sense of the 
Latin colere ; in p. 500 we find this verb under its Picard 
form menuring, our manure. The old pass (superare) was 
now being encroached upon by excede. 

In the year 1439 we see the substantive hrode clothe; 
ships he at rode (in the roads), p. 29 ; this is the Dutch 
sense of the noun. In p. 16 yoman stands for a particular 
class of the commons ; in p. 32 it is used for an archer in 
the wars. We hear of the shire of Salop, p. 17. The 
verbs are, pid v/p a petition, ley down plowes (like our put 
down a carriage), bye at the first hand, p. 32. The Northern 
phrase /a/Z« U) robbery is in p. 32. The former o lesse now 
becomes yn lesse than, our mdess, p. 15. The French words 
Bieifeoffes, the Corporation of Plymouth, the honwr of Tut- 
bury, Vjsuell, omitte. In p. 5 comes the Latin form to be 
deducte ; we have now the Infinitive form deduce as well. 
We ^QQ finance in p. 22 with its old French sense of money 
payment. In p. 32 stands the phrase to garbal spicery; it 
here means to cleanse ; the Arabic alga/rbal and the Spanish 
garbUlo express a sieve ; we sift out what is best for our 
purpose, leaving the rest; and thus we garble facts. ^ There 
is the old verb juperd in p. 33 ; our penny-a-liners now fling 
aside the Classic English form and rejoice in the barbarous 
jeopardize. We lately saw the French form tesmoign ; in 

^ See the word in Wedgwood. 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 247 

p. 33 we have the Latin letters testimoniall. The term 
BaUlies was used in England as well as in Scotland ; see 
p. 33. 

A few words may be picked from Halliweirs *Koyal 
Letters/ between 1425 and 1440. The Northern Iwrdain 
has come down to London, p. 117; also Wickliffe's intran- 
sitive galher. The Lollards, the first English Dissenters, 
are called God^s traitors and ows ; in connexion with them 
we hear of conventicles, p. 118, a phrase applied for ages 
to Dissenters' assemblies both in England and Scotland ; 
accomplice also appears. In p. 118 stands ye have great 
came and matter to, etc. ; these words were sjmonyms in 
the earliest French. 

In the papers of Coldingham Priory, between 1429 and 
1440, we remark the old name Cuthbert altered into Cttd- 
hart, p. 109 ; hence comes Cvddie, A Scotchman writes 
about the Jcirkmen (sacerdotes), our churchman. The Prior 
of Durham is addressed as ^otur Lordschip in p. 109 ; in 
another part of the same letter gvde lordsship is used for 
favow. One letter is signed, he ^ors (by yours) in all thyng, 
David Home of JVederlurn (p. 109). He translated the 
French form and set the fashion to future English writers. 
Among the Verbs are, oure chargyng (overcharging). The 
Active Participle in yng is supplanting the old Northern 
and in Durham. In p. 110 stands as to yowr fee to he 
(such) / agree me ; the to he was afterwards to be altered 
into heing, another instance of the confusion between the 
Infinitive and the Verbal Noun. In p. 104 stands the 
clause of reservation ; (something) all way oute taken, the 
Ablative Absolute. A knight is addressed in p. 114 as 
mrshipfull Sir, 

On turning to Rymer*s documents, between 1429 and 
1440, we see the river Loire under the forms Lyre and 
Leyr, p. 724 ; a well-known province appears as Langdocke, 
showing that the French had begun to clip the last vowels 
of langue. Cardinal Beaufort wishes to have certain spefres 
and howes at wages, p. 420 ; here the weapon stands for its 
wielder. In p. 635 Henry VI. talks of the re-taking of a 
truce ; this is an early instance of re being prefixed to an 

248 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

English root; we see in French law documents re-eyant. 
In p. 421 is the phrase for oo cause or other ; ih the next 
page we hear of Hie thriddes or other gaines of werre, due to 
the Crown, an early hint of our way of expressing fractions ; 
the Numeral seems to be turned into a noun. Among the 
verbs are, herpig date of this day, havyng regard to it, lay by a 
thing (put on one side), yeve trouble (an early instance of 
this noun ; it was usually travail), put umlir arest, answer for 
(be responsible). The Passive voice comes forward, as 
usual ; the kyng may be sent unto, p. 727. We see howbeit, 
with no that following, ' p. 424; under conditions is in p. 
420. The French words are Crudat (Crusade), Capitain- 
ship, to estyme (value), proves (proofs), Doctour of lawe, popu- 
lous, to convene and assemble (in a Scotch document). In p. 
420 a cause is solicited ; hence our solicitors ; the word had 
appeared in France in the foregoing Century, and soon 
came to be used of law matters. In the same page stands 
he is agreed to licence; in p. 421 ^« agreeth him to it; it took 
some little time to settle these idioms. In p. 424 stands 
they entenden the subversion, a meaning borne by the French 
verb 200 years earlier ; further on we see, to entend tvith 
the Cardinal (come to an understanding) — of these senses 
the first alone survives in our mouths. In p. 426 
comes he treted (induced) Mm to goo, he and his retenue 
(here, by the way, the last he ought to be him) ; further 
on stands entreat (tractare). In p. 727 we find pleine 
refusing ; hence our plain dealing ; this sense has been lost 
in France but kept in England. In the next page we 
see ploMS enclaved; the wars with France were bringing 
in many new words ; enclave is a word well known to 
readers of newspapers, since Napoleon III. took to rectify- 
ing boundaries. 

In the Political Songs of this period (* Master of the 
Rolls,' ii. 146-205) the chief point of interest is the long 
poem on English trade, compiled in 1436 by some fore- 
rimner of Gresham. The author has a high respect for 
the late Eicharde of Whitingdone, calling him " the sonne 
of marchaundy, that loodesterre and chefe chosen floure, p. 178. 
The Old English mceddre (rubia) now appears as madder. 


The d rounds oflF a word at the end; the French ribcm 
takes the form of ruband, p. 173; both ribbon and rib- 
band are used in our day. The k in the middle is struck 
out; market appears as mart, p. 179. A Komance ending 
is fastened once more to a Teutonic root; hinderaunce 
comes in p. 176. A Latin word is literally translated 
by thinge publique, p. 178. There are the nouns, cheffe 
staple, swerd of astate, sea keping. In p. 175 comes the 
phrase XII pens in the paunde. Among the Adjectives we 
remark mery Yngland for the first time, p. 156; this was 
often repeated in the Eobin Hood ballads. Mention is 
made of Highe Duch ; as gode as gone (lost), p. 187; this 
last idiom is a little changed since the year 1280. In p. 
193 stands I can say no bettere. The verb pulle takes the 
sense of bibere, p. 169. In p. 176 the poet thus delivers him- 
self, they wolde wypen owr nose with our ovme sieve ; this proverbe 
is homely but true. The last clause is a foretaste of the 
favourite apologetic phrase of our penny-a-liners, " according 
to the vulgar adage ; " they probably think the author of 
* Don Quixote ' the most underbred of writers. There is a 
new adverb in p. 203, singly to sleep; perhaps our snugly 
may have some connexion with this. Among the French 
words are found bucram, polide (political interest), expensis, 
peasemaker, for verry shame, rounde aboute enviroun, herchaunge 
(speaking of traders). In p. 187 metal is fyned; the French 
word was affiner. In the same page a post is spoken of in 
the old sense of pUlar ; Ireland is here called a post under 

Here is a flaming outburst in praise of Henry V. 
(p. 200); the poet most likely thought Teutonic words 
vulgar, when so high a theme was in hand ; he may be 
compared with Chaucer, when the latter writes of the 
Virgin — 

* * What had this kynge of hie magnificens, 
Of grete corage, of wysdome and prudence, 
Provision, forewitte, audacity, 
Of fortitude, justice, agilit^, 
Discrecioun, subtile avisifenesse, 
Atemperaunce, noblesse, and worthynesse, 
Science, proesce, devocion, equyt^. 
Of moste estate his magnanimity ! " 


This poem upon EngKsh trade leads us to consider next 
the documents in use in the City of London about 1440, 
such as the oath taken by apprentices and by newly-made 
freemen. These may be f oimd in Blades' * Life of Caxton/ 
pp. 145, 146. Here we see shophMer {keep has since 
encroached upon hold), lotte and sJcotte (transposed by us), 
to have right and lawe; when an animal is given law, he 
possesses a right to a certain privilege. We see the feliship, 
not the Company, of the Mercers. There is the rising idiom, 
rules made and to be made, the Past and the Future com- 
bined ; also, here your parte ; hence the later hear a hand, do 
yofwr part. The Romance words are, sec/rets (in the Plural, 
which is new), to emplede men,. 

An English version of the * Gesta Romanorum ' (Early 
English Text Society) was made about the year 1440, 
perhaps not far from Salop, for we see forms like mery, held, 
(sedificare), thelke, p. 90 ; hirde, 106 ; huyr, p. 229 ; a phrase 
of Piers Ploughman, first and fur\einmst, is repeated in p. 
228. The most Southern forms are, i-he (the Past Participle 
often keeps its prefix), lungen (lungs), hu)p, dupe, I not ; both 
iuhet ^&nd iebet (gibbet); the Southern u comes even into 
corUrudon and conduMon, This is the last long work with 
strongly marked Southern forms. The Northern forms 
are, thm rms, kytling, what kynne, ]>ou lies, even to the hone, steyne 
(lapidare), troA/s (trace). The English translations of the 
original were printed rather later, and went through about 
twenty-five editions within 210 years. The treatise must have 
been in the hands of all that aspired to be good preachers, 
thanks to the theological moral appended to every tale ; 
and I suspect that, through Tyndale, these Gesta have had 
an influence upon the diction of our English Bible. Some 
of the phrases here found are, similitude, transgression, have 
indignacion, have his desire, hreak the ship, set in ward, sey on, 
unmutahle, howds (pity), ensample, how that, to her-wa/rd, drew 
nigh, hahe, ordeynfor a law, hole of his sickness, now (the Greek 
otm), put trust in, anhungred, astonied. Sirs, In this work 
cross and dog are employed, to the exclusion of the old rode 
and hov/nd. The Teutonic words, now obsolete, are very 
few, perhaps not more than sixty in the whole of the bulky 


treatise. Thirty years later a lasting barrier was to be 
set up against the further loss of old words. 

As to letters, the a replaces e, as warmi/r (bellator). 
What had hitherto been usually written schet (clausus) now 
becomes our shut, p. 127. 

Among the Substantives we see deth-bedde, stoner (lapi- 
dary), lyme-pyt, A judge, about to sentence a man to death 
in p. 102, calls him derefrend, A man calls a woman deer 
love, p. 220. There is the phrase, hUlis and dalis, p. 134; 
the first word used to formerly be dovms. The Old 
English han- creed now becomes cockis crowe, p. 298. An 
Emperor, angry with his brother, addresses him as ]>ou 
soman! p. 318; in p. 311 carle is used, like the Soutliem 
chorhy for a mere boor, opposed to a rich man. In p. 248 
stands afaulepleye. 

As to the Pronouns, there is what of that ? p. 255. 

Among the Verbs stand come to soth (the truth) of this 
Tnater, make lamentadon, make contynance as (quasi), rested 
never till he had, etc., put a-bak fro, go to werke, take honov/rs, 
p. 176 ; do a good tornefor ms, keep his bedde, begge mybrede. 
We have come to (accedere), p. 5, with no noun following ; 
hence our naval hove to. In p. 220 stands ]>ow makest hit so 
straunge to m^; we should now say, m>ake stich a stranger of 
me. In p. 319 we have sette up sayle ; set sail had come 
earlier. An Impersonal verb governs the Accusative in p. 
239 ; a man speaks of rain falling on his eyes, and says, 
lete hit reyne hem, (them) oute of the hede. A noun is turned 
into a verb; pes was felashipid among hem, p. 135. There 
is the strange coupling of Teutonic and Eomance synonyms 
in p. 81 ; dampnyd to the foulest deth ]>at I can deme. We 
have seen verbs like order and suffer followed by a Passive 
Infinitive; we now have, in p. 174:, he coveytith a mun to be 
couplid to him; our verb U)ant, used in this sense, is now 
very common. In p. 267 stands if it be come to this poynt; 
hence our "it comes to this." 

Among the Adverbs we find hielyplesid, go forth (forward) 
and bahward, told how it was with (them), howe is]>is? The 
old Adverb fna/nli, used in 1310, is thrown aside for nmn- 
fvlli, p. 229. We see in ]>e end, the on ende of 1220 ; many 

252 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

now find that this is a poor phrase by the side of evenlmdly. 
There is the unusual phrase in p. 12 used of a wronged 
husband, his wife tooJce an o]>er wndir him. This may mean 
"shielding herself under his reputation;" it can here 
hardly mean "under his nose." We have in p. 74, lok ]>e 
dore wpon him; with the usual hostile sense of this pre- 
position. There is the new phrase, he thought to himself e, p. 
112; this is very different from Wickliffe^s she saide with 
pine Mr self the Gothic in sis (Mat. ix. 21). We know 
the old French construction to be seised of; this is now 
further extended ; / shall jpurveye me of another frende, p. 
130. In p. 68 stands thou liest in thi hed ; we should here 
use teeth ; the in here is instrumental, as " in Adam all 
die." The French and Italians use per or jpar, coupled with 
throat, for the in first quoted. 

In p. 10 stands the old saw, of too evelis ]>e lasse evill is 
to he chosyn, where evils replaces Chaucer's harms. The one 
new Scandinavian word found here is scroggi (rough, 
covered with bushes), p. 19, whence our scraggy ; it is 
written scour gy in p. 20. 

The French and Latin words are, p&r consequens, spedus, 
governance, infect, credence, moralite (moral of fable), naturely, 
cocautrice, pronosticadon, profetis (profits), corpulent, sugiestion. 
In p. 2 a wizard is called a mysterman ; the term given by 
American travellers to Indian sorcerers is mystery man. The 
word bowelis, as in the Bible, is here in constant use for 
misericordia. In p. 30 it is said that Christ has ordered each 
man to keep the saboth day ; this is the first English instance, 
I think, of the Hebrew word being applied to the Chris- 
tian Simday. A man of low birth calls himself aporfelow, 
p. 122. In p. 123 fantoMis, changing its meaning, expresses 
" knicknacks." In p. 1 62 we have, pursue the law ayenst him ; 
in the next page have goode lawe upon him ; in our " take 
the law of him," the of must stand for on. In p. 215 save 
youre Beverens is addressed to an Emperor. The French 
per dieu comes into the text in p. 224 ; two pages further 
on we have a very French idiom, Lorde, that ther bu]> 
Tnanye that, etc. ; our how many there be ; the French form 
u/nnumberable is in p. 241. In p. 248 Sir is for the 


first time addressed by a man to an animal ; a man thus 
speaks to his lion, ^&y^ sir ! jeo vous pri, have i-do, sir / In p. 
260 a man is communid (receives the communion). We see 
such words as dUiciousites and dUectabilites. There is servitute, 
a direct imitation of the Latin, p. 44 ; and statute (statua), 
p. 27. The Old English ^end makes way for the Latin 
expend in p. 53. In p. 105 we read of nedefidl necessariis. 
In pp. 108 and 109 Jubiter and Jovem are alike used as the 
Nominative. The French and Latin sometimes stand side 
by side; as febUnesse and fragilitee, p. 241. In p. 43 an 
Emperor is addressed as thm by an inferior ; we saw in 
1415 something like this. The Englishman sometimes 
does not trouble himself to translate his Latin text ; he 
talks in p. 237 of kinge assireorvm; there is also congruli, 
impet (impetus), and guadragesme. 

In the year 1440 a Dominican, living at Lynne, wrote 
an English and Latin dictionary, which he called the 
Promptorium Parvulorum (Camden Society). He tells us in 
his preface that he followed the Norfolk dialect alone, which 
he had used from his childhood. He has all Chaucer's 
hatred of inaccurate copyists ; he objects to interpolations 
such as honde pro hande, nose pro iiese ; " let the transcriber 
write hande vel hond, nese vel nose" Some of the friar's 
terms are still current in his beloved shire, though not else- 
where. Few old writers have been privileged to have such 
a modern editor as our present author has enjoyed in Mr. 
Albert Way. 

There are certain peculiar words and forms that remind 
us of the * Handlyng Synne,' compiled not far from Lynne, 
1 30 years earlier. Such are davmtyn (f overe), many rmner 
tuyse, mattoky eke name, nygun, solomn (maculare), sguyllare 
(lavator), stresse, tysin, geinsay. The prut ! Manning's scorn- 
ful interjection, reappears as ptrot or trut, p. 505. 

As to the Vowels, a is sometimes clipped at the begin- 
ning of a word ; atyre and tyre, arayment and rayment, are 
alike found. We see the broad sound of the a in mageram, 
which we now write marjoram; what we now call sap is 
here written saappe. The a supplants i and y ; masch-in 
and carlok stand for the old misc-an (miscere), and cyrlic 


254 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

(eruca). The Old English osspe (populns tremula) is here 
represented by both aspe and es'pe. The e is sometimes 
dropped at the beginning, as cAefe (fisca) for e&che,U ; ^ also 
in the middle, for the Perfect Participle acolede becomes 
acolde (frigidus), to be afterwards used in King Lear; 
Chaucer's dayes ie is now seen as daysy ; the man who looks 
after warrens is here called a vximere, the source of a well- 
known surname. The e seems to be added to words to 
express a new shade of meaning; a man may be had (malus), 
but a shilling is badde (invalidus) ; a church feest differs 
from a worldly feeste; so lok and loJce express different 
nouns ; beere (f eretrum) is distinguished (who forgets Can- 
ning's squib onWhitbread?) from the various other meanings 
expressed by here. We see demynge and dome, preef and 
proof y smeke and smoke, all alike. The old wifd (curculio) 
still lingers as mvU, but there is also the new form wevil, 
our iveevU. The e replaces u, as emhirday for the vmbridei 
of the * Ancren Kiwle.' A rewme (rheum) of the head is 
also written reem ; the old bewpyr (pulcher pater) and the 
new bqfyr appear ; throughout this Century e was encroach- 
ing upon ew, and this accounts for our present way of 
pronouncing Beauchamp and Bdvoir, The word hoy had 
borne the sound of hi in 1300, but it is now written hey ; 
the old adjective scheoh becomes here schey or skey, our shy. 
The i in the middle is clipped, for helschyd stands for our 
embellished. The French word for ox appears as hyffe, much 
as we still pronounce it. The word lust, by a vowel-change, 
takes two separate meanings; lust appears as voluptas, libido; 
list as ddectatio, libitvm ; Gower's lustles changes into listles. 
The eo is struck out ; the old hdle ^eoter (bell melter) is seen 
as helle^tare ; hence comes Billiter Street. The o replaces 
a; there are the two forms wpe and cape for the Latin capa; 
there is ocmn as well as a/xrn, a false analogy. The o 
replaces e in doljm and hrodin (fovere); in this last we have 
still the two forms of the verb breed and brood ; the old 
hemleac appears as himdok (cicuta). The o replaces i, for 
trollyn is found as well as tryllin (volvere). The author keeps 

^ Shakespere, in his 'Merry Wives of Windsor,' has a pun on the 
old and new meanings of checU, 


the Teutonic hloo (Kvidus), and the Eomance hlefwe (cserulens) 
carefully distinct. The is inserted, to mark off hxype, 
(circulus) from hype (spes) ; it is struck out in Aerew, which 
becomes heirn. The twofold sound of oy is here plainly 
seen, as in hh and hey ; we have poyntynge (punctacio), and 
poyntynge or peyntynge (pictura). The aveer (property) of 
1390 appears here as havure, this oi being the connecting 
link ; our behaviour was soon to appear. We know how 
often V was written as u; we have here the forms reowryng 
and remown written for recovering and removen ; the givegove 
of 1220 appears here as gugaw^ our gewgaw. So the govd 
(gafol) of 1230 is now seen as govl, devU as dewle; there 
are both the forms chavUbon and chatUbon (jowl bone). The 
Scotch use doos for colvmbce ; in this book columbar appears 
as dov)ys hoole. 

As to Consonants, the b is inserted, for cemyrie is seen 
not only as eimeri, but as eim^e, our ember ; it is curious in 
this book to see many words change, as it were, before our 
eyes. We have here the form bedrabylyd, which we have 
since turned into bedraggled; draggled is found in Gavin 
Douglas ; in the present work we find drvhly (turbidus), 
the Scotch drumly ; a good instance of the connexion be- 
tween b and m. The form snipe appears instead of the old 
srdUy which Lydgate had written snyghte. There is a very 
late instance of the old hn at the beginning of a word : 
hnoppe, our nap of a coat. Chaucer's chirk is here en- 
croached upon by the new form chirp. The word nothak 
(hacker of nuts) has not yet been softened into nuthatch, 
and peske is formed from the foreign pesche (peach). There 
is muschyl as well as muskyl ; we now drop the k when 
sounding the word. Carle and chorle stand side by side ; 
also ketil and chetU, pik and piche (pix). The Old English 
sc sometimes holds its ground ; thus sceol appears as sculle, 
and has not yet become shoal. The c is prefixed, for the 
former rimpU (ruga) is found also as crympylle ; the c is in- 
serted in the East Anglian way, as in squalter ; it replaces 
h, as in guysper, guele, and other words. The k replaces p ; 
we have the clak^e as well as the clappe of a mill ; this 
change had appeared in the 'York Mysteries.' The k 

256 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohAp. 

replaces t ; we sea the French name hadot of a certain fish 
turned into haddoL The old Eelative whylke keeps its 
place beside the corrupt whyche ; the old ece (dolor) appears 
both as a^he and ake (the former sound was favoured by 
Kemble). The cA encroaches on c, the French s, in launch. 
Gower's was (aqua) is seen as wasche ; our author well knew 
the Wash. The h is docked, for hreol (alabrum) is cut 
down to red ; owing to this h failing, our word for mugire 
became confused with our terms for humiliare and flammare, 
all alike being low. As to g, the old egg (ovum) had 
hitherto been softened into ey or ei, almost without an ex- 
ception, throughout England; but here we find the two 
forms ey and eg. In this work we find the three forms, 
agayne, a^eyne, and geyn, as in geynbyyng. It is to East 
Anglia that England owes the preservation of the old hard 
p' in so many words, as gate, give, gainsay. It was East 
Anglia that kept drag (trahere) alive, while all other shires 
leant to dray and draw ; even the French alayen (allay) is 
in this book turned into Teutonic aleggyn. The wamish of 
former English writers now appears as garnish. We see 
gest (hospes) followed by geeste (romance) ; the g in the last 
word may have been softened; the old gist (spuma) is 
altered into '^eest ; lawere and lawyer are both found. The 
gh is dropped ; there are both the forms trough and trou. 
The d is doubled, as ruddi for rudiy it is inserted, for we have 
here the two forms hegge and hedge ; the old los/imn (com- 
modare) now becomes leendyn. The d at the beginning is 
clipped, for we find the form spiteful, not despiteful. On the 
other hand, affodylle has not yet the d prefixed to it. The 
d replaces t, as clodde (gleba) for clotte ; it replaces ]>, as in 
rodyr (rudder). We see dunch used as well as bunch (our 
pnmch) for tundere ; while dunche and lonche are two forms 
of the word for sonitus ; a curious instance of the inter- 
change of consonants. In some shires a horse's kick is still 
called a Ivm^e. The t replaces ]?, as tol-pyn ; it is added to 
a word; the dari of 1280 now becomes claret; it is in- 
serted, for Wicklijffe's swalien appears as swalterin, our 
sv)elter. There are the two forms tkretU and thirti; the 
latter must have come down from the North. The old 


loFita now becomes latthe, our lath; and the old cudde 
(sepia) becomes cotvl^ our cuttle fish; it is odd that we have 
to supplement this noun with fish. The I is added, as in 
stoppell, hovel; it is inserted, as in wyndelas (windlass). 
The / replaces r, as mellow for the Old English mearu 
(mollis) ; lorel for Gower's lorer (laurus) ; it replaces s, for 
Lydgate's primerol becomes prymerose. The n is prefixed, 
as in Tieke name for eke nams; newte for the ewte of 1390, 
the old efete (lacerta). On the other hand, napron was 
to lose its first letter a hundred years later. The n is 
struck out, for there is elle, our ell, as well as the old 
dne; so we find halpworthe for halpeni worth, p. 492; 
the w in this word was to vanish 170 years later. 
The word incemer loses its first syllable and becomes 
censere. The n at the beginning is clipped ; we see ovrni- 
pere (umpire) as well as the true runompere. There is the 
bird m/irtnet, where Shakespere later substituted I for n. 
The n is inserted; the popegai of 1390 becomes popynjay ; 
it is struck out, as in rose mmy (rose maryne) ; it makes 
way for m, as mygreyme (megrim) from emigranea. The r 
is added, as webbare (textor) for webbe. The r in the middle 
is struck out, as prokecye (proxy) for procuracy ; we have 
already seen foster. The s is added, as in tydyngys (rumor). 
As to scratch, here first found, it is a compound of the two 
forms scratten and cracchen. The w is inserted; the old 
wermod becomes wyrmwode. We see, in p. 68, the first 
instance of our replacing h by wh, whence come whole and 
whore ; whole (calidus) is here set down for hot. 

I will point out a curious instance of mistaken philo- 
logy. The old mucgwgrt, our mugwort, was in some shires 
written rrwdirwort ; an author, inditing a few years before 
this time, thus explains what seemed to him to be an 
English corruption, "Mogwort, al on as seyn some, mod- 
irwort: lewed folk ]?at in manye wordes conne no ry3t 
sownynge, but ofte shortyn wordys, and changyn lettrys 
and silablys, ]?ey coruptyn )?e o into u and d into g, and 
syncopyn i, smytyn awey i and r, and seyn mugwort." ^ 

Among the new Substantives are, chaffinch, chekinwede, 

^ See the note in p. 347 of the * Promptorium.* 
VOL. I. ^ 

258 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap, 

crdU (creel), hdrysche^ p. 244, cranke (haustrum), crylcke 
(spasmus), hvll (of ship), locker, sound (of a fish), sinke (latrina), 
sta/ixhe, coite (quoit), teal, whyrlegyge, codlynge (gadus), whytynge 
(piscis). The chuffe (rusticus), found here, has given birth to the 
chuffy (clownish), still heard in Yorkshire. There are new 
combinations, as almesshowse, barly come, barlymde, hondogge 
(bandog, cards vinctus), hrasyere, hrydelime, brood arowe, chese- 
kake, cokerelle (a Shakesperian word), cokkys combe, dullarde, 
downe goynge, etynge howse, fly flappe, fate steppe, hange 
marme, howskepare, hompype, huswyfery, kechyne knave, 
kyngys fyschare, loksmythe, madnesse, mowsare, neverthryfte (a 
wastour), owte caste (or refuse, WickliiBfe's outcastyng), pan^ 
kake, penne knyfe, rynge wyrme, roof tree, schavyngys, schoynge 
home, silkwirm, suklynge, swerde man (swordsman), sunne 
ryse, thundyr clappe, tol-pyn, upholder (the tradesman, who 
was to become upholster forty years later), wagstert (wagtail), 
imterpot, weyfarere, whyte led, whytlymynge, vryldefyyr ; Tre- 
visa's twUyghting now becomes twylyghte. The old hengest 
(equus) now gives birth to heyncemann, soon to become 
henchman. The word neh had lost its former meaning 
fades ; it here expresses nothing but rostrum ; it was soon 
to give birth to the nib of a pen. The word wytche may 
here translate either magus or maga ; but we find wisard 
elsewhere. The old bysynesse keeps its Southern meaning 
of diligenda : the further sense of negotium may be seen in 
p. 30. The honourable sense of bonde (colonus) had van- 
ished ; the word can now express nothing but servus ; lente 
can now no longer English ver, as of old ; it is reserved to 
translate guadragesima. We see^/m (mendacium), whence 
our fib seems to come. Gower's corrdihede is now replaced 
by comlinesse. There is a fashion of adding French endings 
to Teutonic roots ; we find here hangement (suspencio) ; we 
have seen certain words ending in ard. The ster was no 
longer a peculiarly female ending ; browstar may now stand 
for a man ; maltestere, appearing for the first time, is applied 
to either man or woman, and it is the same with webstare ; 
tapstare to women only; thakstare to men only. The ling 
is added, for the old stoer becomes sterlynge, our starling. 
We see the renowned proper name Gybonn used as a 


synonym for Gilbert ; the form Bete is given as the English 
for Beatrix ; the Betty of our days is supposed to express a 
longer name, and may have been confused with Bessy, The 
forms Kyrstyone and Crystyone are used as proper names, 
with the transposition to be found in cers and cress. There 
is the unusual word murche (nanus), whence Murchison must 
come. Barbour's new Celtic word stabbe (vulnus) has 
arrived at Lynn on its way to London ; there is also his 
owtynge. The English telt is still found, as well as its foreign 
supplanter tmt. There is here an attempt to derive blun- 
derer from blunt worker ; in the same way cymhal appears as 
chymme belle. The imitation of French compounds, first 
seen in 1280, now produces lykdysshe (scurra); a hundred 
years later this kind of coinage was to be in great favour. 
We light upon the clumsy nouns, gaderynge togedur (col- 
lectio), comynge-too (adventus), to-falle (appendicium) ; the 
last is something like a lean-to. There are both the forms 
byynge-a^en (redempcio), and the neater agayn-byer (redemp- 
tor). We read in p. 358 of a, forthebryngar fro ^outhe to age 
(nutricius) ; one of the last attempts at compounding with 
forth. In this lexicon, when an liiglish word bears two or 
more senses, it is carefully repeated, as bede or bedys (numer- 
alia), and bede (oracio) ; different Latin words are given for 
fela or felowe (socius), when reference is made to companion- 
ship at meat, in travail, in office, in walking, in school, in 
guilt. So as to the word kervare (carver), three senses are 
given ; referring to meals, to a trade, and to the oldest sense 
of all (obsolete in our day), the simple meaning of cutting 
anything whatever. We see here lyvelode with its old 
meaning victus^ and with its later meaning of 1340, 
donativum. The word loome still keeps its old general 
sense of instrumentum, which we have lost ; there is also its 
new particular sense loome of webbarys crafte (telarium). 
The word pley stands for ItiduSy then for spectaculum ; the 
pley that endeth with sorrow is called tragedia, and the pley 
that endeth with mirth is called comedia. Next we find 
pleyfere, which was to be replaced by Tyndale's playfellow. 
The old camp (pugna) can now express nothing higher than 
a match at football ; camping land is still known iiv Ease^ 

26o THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

Anglia. The verb rcedan (interpretari) and redan (legere) 
are now confused ; and there is a third verb redyn formed 
from the old hreod (anmdo). The verb fret had fifty years 
earlier changed from edere to corrodere ; a pain may now be 
called a fretting. We find not only hanging (suspencio) but 
some new verbal nouns, the hangings of a hall, a church, 
or a tent> each with its Latin synonym. The new word 
bahche (our hatch) is formed from baking loaves. The word 
comb expresses, not only favm, crista, and pecten, but also 
strigUis, " of curraynge." The old frame no longer means 
commodum, but expresses fabrica. It is curious to find lerare 
or lemare Englishing both doctor and discipulus, a strange 
confusion. The word pt^e may now be used of organs; 
the substantive pd (tractus) is formed from the verb. The 
word stone (calculus) now expresses a disease. We see 
the old sailyard ; and ^erd is moreover used as a sjmonym 
for a rope. There are both the old rvddok and the new 

Among the new Adjectives are fit (congruus), irksum. 
We have seen liicitis (luscious) ; we now have lush (laxus). 
There is the old lothli and also the new lothsum. We saw 
great-hearted in 1220; we now find lyght hertyd, lyghte 
handydy grey heryd ; there is also yvd menynge, a synonym 
for false. The oldest meaning of sdi appears for the last 
time, I think ; for it is here translated by felix / the word's 
history from first to last has been most curious. The 
adjective onsyghty stands for invisiMis, very different from 
the later unsightly. The old Scandinavian werre, the 
Scotch toaur, had by this time died out of East Anglia ; 
here nothing but werce stands for pejor. The old dceft had 
meant mitis, but now deft is set down as hebes, the Scotch 
daft ; the York folk had given an exactly opposite mean- 
ing to deft, Wickliffe's lifii (vitalis) here takes the sense 
of mvax, and is moreover spelt livdi. The word bold has 
both a good and a bad sense ; audax and presumptuosus ; a 
girl is by us still called "a bold thing." The old rufvl 
bears two meanings ; full of pity, and full of pain. The 
old dredefvMe means both timidus and terriMis, We find 
fayre first in the sense of pulcher ; then as amcenus^ applied 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 261 

to weather; then comes fayre sjpeka/r (orator); the meaning 
ceguus is not here given to the word. The adjective drye 
is applied to kine that give no milk. The word fresdie 
means, not only recens, but redimUus, and is explained 
"joly and galaunt," as in Wickliffe; in our day, a man in 
his cups is said to be rather fresh. We read of myry weder 
(hence comes an English surname) ; this sense of juawndus 
long Ungered in the word, as in " it was never merry in 
England since," etc. The phrase opun synnare is rendered 
by jmplicarms, and is explained to be " one without shame." 
One of the three meanings of scharpe here given is velox, 
which explains our " look sharp." We read of smal wyne; 
we now apply the adjective to beer. Many new substan- 
tives are formed by adding nesse to adjectives ; we have 
here hestylynesse, craftynesse (industria), coragyowsnesse, p. 
422, feythefidnesse, fewenesse, kendlynesse, predowsnesse, sly- 
nesse, synfulnesse, werdlynesse (mundialitas). Even Chaucer's 
boimt^ becomes here bontyvamesse. 

The old usage of Adverbs was now forgotten, for these 
are lengthened out by a needless ly at the end, as asunderlyy 
astrayly; we see onkrunvyngly for the first time. The 
Salopian phrase of 1350, m ]>e mene while, now loses its 
first two words. The author points out clearly that agayne 
conveys the two very different meanings contra and retro. 
We see the phrase owte, owt, described as an Interjection ; 
while owt, applied to a candle, as in 1300, is translated 
extindus, Sohowe (soho) is called a hunting cry. 

As to the Verbs, the author repeats some of the com- 
moner sort very often, coupling them with prepositions 
or adverbs; thus we have been abowte, yn bysynes; been 
aqweyntyd (noscor), and many others ; so goo wronge is but 
one out of fifteen headings. It is plain that grow is en- 
croa(;hing on wax; we have growe olde, growe yonge, and 
others ; in fact, the grow now answers to the esco at the 
end of Latin verbs, though we still find sowryn as well as 
growe sowyr. The verb make is largely exemplified, as Tnake 
dene, make drmikyn, make fat, make knowyn, maJce perfytte, 
make pleyne, make redy ; make mery has both an Active and 
a Middle sense. We see put awey (repudio), put forthe^ ^t 

262 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

io geder. Many adjectives follow vxiXy as wax febyl^ vxix 
fatte, etc. The verb wyind-yn has six diflferent meanings. 
There is the verb chenk^ p. 75. There are several new 
verbs formed from, nouns, as howl^ brain, chv/rch, gutt-on 
(exentero), bacch-yn ^ {back, retrofacere, p. 240), husbond-yn, 
moolde, netl-pn, pynn-in (intrudere), snare, howgh-in (hough), 
from the old lioh (poples). The old suJcen seems to have 
paved the way for a new verb sokyn (inf undere), our soak. 
Some verbs have here more than one meaning ; thus dwell- 
yn expresses the old manere, and the later habitare. The 
old varpa had meant prqjkere ; it now means curvare, just 
as we use warp. The verb pynryn drops its old meaning 
crudare, and expresses languere. The old nym (capere) was 
to seem to Palsgrave ninety years later to be "davjche 
(Dutch) and nowe none Englysshe;" still it is here set 
down, and also its derivative norriryn, " a man taken with 
the palsy," our numb. Three diifferent meanings are set 
down for lowr-yn. We see that arreptus might in 1 440 be 
Englished by latchyd, fangyd, hynt, or caw^t ; of these the 
last, the foreign word, is the only one that now keeps its 
ground in Standard English. There is the old adverb 
grovdynge or grovelyngys; but there is also a nominative 
case grovdynge, translated by supinus ; so the word seems 
to have been mistaken for an Active Participle, coming 
from a supposed verb to grovd. We see schyllyn owte (shell 
out), and ly-yn yn referring to childbed ; have beyng,^, 30 ; 
goo to and begin a deed (aggredior) ; syttyn at mete ; most of 
them Biblical phrases. There are many words beginning 
with the privative on or un, such as onhurte (illsesus). The 
verb play governs an Accusative, being the game played, 
as pley-yn bvJc hyde. The old overlive had not yet made way 
for outlive ; at least, we find ovyrlevare (superstes). There is 
a curious new verb thowt-yn or saying thou to a man (tuo) ] 
this verb became common about 1600 ; there is another verb 
^eei-yn, or saying ye with worship. It will be remembered 
that the sharp distinction between thou and ye was drawn 
not far from Lynn in 1303, for the first time in England. 

^ We may now hack a horse physically, or hack it pecuniarily ; the 
verb here has two meanings exactly opposed. 


The new words akin to the Dutch and German are hlare 
(blare), hyp^e (humulus), loytr-on (loiter), moder, the East 
Anglian mawther ^ (puella), masd (serpedo) ; the Plural 
maseles (meazles) also occurs about this time ; ^ bumm-in,^ 
dam (clammy), foppe, luk (luck), dapir (elegans), molle 
(mole, replacing 77w/c?ewarp), rmggey nodilj pikU, pippe (pituita), 
plasche, rabet (cuniculus), stripe (vibex), top (turbo). Our 
frump, applied to an ugly woman, may come from the 
Dutch frommel (ruga), which is here written frumpU. The 
word daw is akin to a German word ; we here see cadaw 
(monedula). The old German Ml (calamus) has a 1* in- 
serted, which produces guylle. 

The Scan(finavian words are hawlynge, p. 20, cms (our 
cruise, cantharus), chyme (chum), dlte (glarea), to crasch, 
damerin (clamber, meaning here reptare), flegge (acorus, our 
flag),fligge (fledge), gav/at, legge (ledge), nesin (sternutare), 
rumpe, roche (roach), scate (piscis), sqwyrtyl (sifons), step-in 
(infundere), holke (bulk), hv/rre (lappa), pegge, spvdde, skrug, 
mldr, typ (pirula), ]mM; in this last a h has been inserted 
in the Icelandic \fi)L7nall. The Swedish fiaga has given us 
OUT flaw; in this book we see the two forms whitflowe and 
whitlowe ; this is still called whickflaw in some shires — ^that 
is, a flaw that hurts the nail to the quick. We see the 
source of Shakespere's " she had a tongue with a tang," a 
word still known in Yorkshire ; the Icelandic tangi (aculeus) 
is seen here as tonge, which must not be confused with our 
word for forceps. One of the words for a beacon here is 
firhome ; for this the Danes use haun ; Palsgrave was to 
show us the word transposed as honne-fyre. 

There are the Celtic words hug (larva), lung, hassock, 
moppe, proppe, gagg-yn (suffbcare), coker-in (fovere), and also 
whin from chwyn (weeds) ; the word here means ruscus, but 
we now restrict it to furze ; there is the verb job (f odere). 

Among the French words are but (meta), awburne, 
babulle (bauble), batylment, bokeram, byscute, caryare (vector), 
chine (spina), core, corn (of feet), cressaunt (lunula), dormowse, 

^ This comes in the * Alchemist' and in * David Copperfield.' 

^ The old mesel (leper) did not last much longer. 

* Used in Tennyson's * Northern Farmer.' 

264 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

honi (bunion), Imvm (placenta), cedyr (cider), cfrwni (cranny), 
oork^ dram, rnityrfer-yUy entre (ingressus), feretUy frise (frieze), 
Jlewe (flue), garbage, gyyste (joist), gra^^eles, fcmaile (fuel), goord 
(cucumer), glacynge, which is our grazing (devolatus), a grate, 
hale (halo), jwnalle, lint, manude, marmeset, novys, parch, 
pentavmcere (penitentiary), pei'e (pier of a bridge), petycote 
(worn by men at this time), platere, promptare, pump, purcy 
(in wynd drawynge), queryster (chorister), quyver (pharetra), 
rohows (rubbish), sawcyster (sausage), scanne, scren (screen), 
spawn, spavin, sguerd, soket, sole (fish), spykenarde, stacyonere 
(bibliopola), sukyr candy, tankard, tannAn, terrere (canis), 
tysyk, tortuce (tortoise), trdis, trendwwre (a knife), vestrye. 
There is the musical mynyn (soon to become mynym). The 
union of Teutonic and French is seen in the following 
combinations : aftyr parte, fome parte, aneys seede, contremann 
(compatriota), dubbylman (lalsu.s),feynt hertyd, fowre comeryd, 
jfryynge pann,pavynge stone, fery place, hydynge plaice, watrynge 
place, peynfvMe (penalis). There are some Teutonic words 
that take ard ior a suffix, such as dtdlard. There are the two 
forms canel and chandle for canalis ; these we now carefully 
distinguish. There is a curious attempt to Teutonise half 
of a French word ; Manning's katu^, the Scottish causey, re- 
appears, but there is also the new form caucewei. We are 
reminded of the famous Norfolk partridges by the word 
cov^ (covey), here first found. There is tempyr (tempera- 
mentum), a sense the word had borne in France about the 
year 1400. There is not only the Old Enghsh ?me (funicu- 
lus), but also the French line (linea). There is a long 
Latin description of the Seven Agys ; we find the Parti- 
ciple o^yd and ag-yn (senescere). The adjective nice, which 
was always changing its meaning from 1300 to 1800, 
here takes the short-lived sense of iners ; vmtin bears its 
old meaning of observare, though in other parts of England 
it conveyed a different notion. The verbs cachyn and 
chasyn here still bear the same meaning, abigere, though the 
former, when employed as a Verbal Noun, may also mean 
apprdiensio, its new sense in 1360. The YQrhpayyn means 
solvere; in 1440 it can meaxi placare only when it is in the 
Past Participle. In 1397 dovifvl had meant terribilis / it 


now, changes its sense to dvhius. The word rewle here 
means, not only government, but the normal instruments of 
grammar, and the carpenter's tooL We see coller apphed to 
hounds, to horses, to a man's garment, and to a livery badge. 
The word sqwyar is explained by gentylmann, and by the 
Latin words armiger, scutifer. We find sute meaning both 
prosecutio and sequela ; we now use suit for the former, and 
svMe for the latter. The word caucyon, following the old 
French usage, is explained as wedde (pledge) j hence comes 
the caution money at Oxford. The communyone is used as 
a synonym for the Eucharist, I think, for the first time ; 
a hundred years later, it was to drive out the old housel. 
As to derey it may be applied to the weather (serenus) ; to 
water (limpidus); to man's wit (perspicax). We see 
hatyldoure, but this means only an instrument for washing 
clothes. There is the term bace pleye, whence must come 
prisoner's base ; this in Mirk had appeared as the game of 
bares, Chaucer's broudvn now makes way for iribrowdynj 
our embroider ; a struggle seems to be going on between 
the French and Latin forms; we have endyte, entyrement 
(funerale), and envye, but also indyte, yntyrement, and im/vie; 
there are vmaevahle, insur-yn, and many such. The m is 
certainly preferred to the en; but the on (the usual un) 
abounds ; we see onm£vable, onable (inhabilis), onrepentav/nt, 
and the curious ontdleable among many others. The Latin 
abuti is translated by both dysuse and mysse-use; in our 
time, the foreigner has sadly encroached upon the home- 
bom prefix. We have dressure or dressynge boorde, which 
we have turned into dresser. The word curfew had often 
appeared in our French legal documents, but never in an 
English book, I think, until we here see curfu. The Latin, 
as corrupted by the Northern French peasants, is now 
sometimes pushed aside by Latin brought straight from the 
fountain-head ; we find both fassyone and factyone (forma), 
both olyfaunt and defamde, Chaucer's noun refute is now 
Latinised into refuge, Trevisa's en^ in is expanded into 
entryn ynto a place ; we have both retumyn and tumyn a^ene 
for reverti. The Latin rector is put down as equivalent to 
persone, au/rate; the sense of the latter was to change a 

266 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

hundred years later. There is muskyttey a small hawk, 
which, like the falconet, was to furnish a term for weapons 
of war. We have but two prepositions mentioned as 
attached to the Infinitive pass ; one of these is pacyn over^ 
whence came Tyndale's passover. The adverb cowrsly is 
formed from cours, p. 271 ; it here means "according to 
Nature," or " as a matter of course ; " Bishop Pecock used 
the word a few years later. The Persian schach or shah (rex), 
coming through France, had before given rise to the word 
cheeky when the king in chess is threatened ; we see in the 
* Promptorium ' both chekkyn (scactifico) and chekyn (suffoco). 

Mr. Satchell published in 1883 a treatise on Fishing 
that seems to date from about 1440. The r is added to 
a word ; the foreign mespUum, mesle, medletre, becomes our 
medder (the tree), p. 8. We see heyghoge (hedgehog), hlake 
thome, schoyt (shoot of a tree), grdyng (grayling) ; also the 
technical rody angler y lynCy floote (float), flye ; the old mycdnes 
appears as mochenes (size), p. 30 ; whence our rmich of a 
muchness. There is the verb lond (land) applied to fish ; 
and the new phrase ye may hap to takcy p. 22 ; not the old 
it m^ay hap you tOy etc. There are the Celtic m>aggoty the 
Dutch UisteTy and the Scandinavian chobe (chub). Among 
the French words are signet (cygnet), vise (the tool), and 
the noun sou^e ; a hawk is brought to the sov,ce (sudden 
downfall), p. 3 ; hence the verb soiLse down <wi, of about 
1570. This is the same word as sauce ; the idea is, plung- 
ing something in pickle. 

We may assign to 1440 or thereabouts the *Lytell 
Geste of Kobyn Hood ;' it has some new words common to 
it and the * Promptorium,' such as, swerdeman, buttes (metse) ; 
there is also Audlay's nye of his kynne} The Monarch of 
the story is Edward, called elsewhere awr kynge in the 
usual loyal style of English ballads; the poet would 
naturally throw his tale back seventy years or so, to the days 
of the hero of Creasy, who went about in disguise. The 
new phrase m^y England is repeated here. 

^ The edition I have used is that of Ritson, reprinted in 1823. The 
present poem has not so large a proportion of obsolete words as that 
of * Guy of Gisbome.' 


' 11 I I ■ ■ ■■ ■ .^ ■ ■ ■ ■■■■- - ■ ■ - ■ I p M M _ ■■■■■■■■ ^■■■■ II — ^— 

The *Geste' is due to the North; the scene is laid 
near Doncaster ; we see the words YoUy devilkins, win to it, 
mosse (palus), smart (acer), to-mome, tyll (ad), harne; the 
lodesman (dux) of Manning appears as ledesman. But the 
poem must have been transcribed in the South, long before 
it was printed about 1500 ; hence we find bdh, y-founde; 
the a is sometimes altered into 0, and there are mistakes, 
such as, se for fee (merces), myght for mote, hens for hethen 
or hennes, none for nane, well for wde, Myth for blive, as we 
see by the rimes. There is a Yorkshire phrase in p. 32, 
" Gk)d is holde a ryghtwys man " (being) ; something like 
this may still be heard at Almondsbury. The *Geste' 
abounds in words that were soon to become obsolete in 
England, like deme, hende, wedde (mortgage), halfendele, ms 
longeth; dereworth (pretiosus) is misunderstood as before. 
The transcriber knew nothing of the hine (famulus) of the 
North, so writes it hynde, though it rimed to dine ; on the 
other hand, we have turned linde (tilia) into line or lim^. 
There are old constructions like, the trewest woman that ever 
founde I me ; Rohyn bespoke hym to the knight. We hear of 
a sorry homband — that is, a man who could not husband 
his resources well ; the verb husband stands in the * Promp- 
torium.' A promise is made to the distressed knight that 
Ljrtyll Johan will stand him in a yefmmCs sted ; hence our 
do yeommCs service. We find the old ballad phrases trystdl 
tre, grene wood tre, Lyncolne grene. Among the Adjectives 
are fat-heded, to be long (in doing something), fyne ale browne, 
A knight complains (something like this appeared in 1360) 
that his friends will not know him when he has lost his 
goods : a very old instance of this phrase for cutting a man. 
We see stand used by robbers in their technical sense of 
the word when they stop travellers. There is have his 
answer, make a release. Among the Adverbs stand whither 
be ye away / as in Lancashire ; wystly, the first hint of our 
wistfvMy, We see, among the Prepositions, wayte, up 
chaunce, ye mowe mete (upon the chance that)j here up or 
upon is prefixed to a noun denoting something future ; the 
old hereupon had referred to the past. The old but, at the 
beginning of a sentence, might still express nisi. 

268 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Among the French words are a pore present (humble 
gift), male hors (baggage horse), like our mailHXifi, The 
old roiUe is here used as a verb, to rout up the countre, as 
earlier in York. 

Ni The ballad of Kobin Hood and the Potter' seems to 
belong to the same time as the foregoing poem ; the piece 
has been transcribed by an ignorant writer sixty years 
later, who writes ey for t, as dreyffe^ mey : an early instance 
of this change, which led the way to our present pro- 
nunciation of drive and my. The poem must have been 
compiled in the North, perhaps not far from Wentbridge, 
which is named ; we find herkens (audite), thow seys, deyell 
(diabolus), they schot aibowthe^ as in the * Cursor Mundi;' here 
we should insert turn after the verb ; a to-hande (two-handed) 
staffe, as in the ' Yorkshire Wills/ The copyist was puzzled 
by the old he cu]>e of corteysey, and writes the verb cowed ; 
the Old English cocer (pharetra) is written qaequer, a 
hoarier form than that in the * Promptorium.' This copyist 
must have put in the Southern hketh (videte). There is 
the curious substitution of nor for than, which may still be 
heard ; y had lever nar a hundred ponde that, etc. We see 
God eylde het the, where the second word has lost a y at the 

In the * Morte Arthure ' (Early English Text Society), 
dating from about 1440, we find doffe of thy clothes; here 
there is the contraction of do off, and the of comes twice 

In Gregory's Chronicle of this time we remark Chaucer's 
new word for courtiers, coming in p. 189, thoo aboute the 
kynge. We hear of the Prevy Seall (an official). 

About this time we find a few new words akin to the 
German and Dutch, as sprotte (sprat), brick There are the 
Scandinavian smatter (crepare), and chokeful (choke-full). ^ 

In the *Plumpton Papers,' between 1440 and 1460, a 
few things may be remarked. The French joues is now 
written jawe$, p. bd., still keeping the old sound. There 
are the nouns karving knyves, p. xxxiv. ; a sight (number) 
of people, the spring of the day, p. lix.; whence comes day- 
^ See these words in Stratmann's Dictionary. 


s'j^ng ; the new howhdt is written how it he. There is the 
verb rohle (errare), p. Iv.; it may be the parent of ramble. 
We see the phrase to f aire f<mle with (fall foul of), p. Ivi., 
lie in waite tOy a future Biblical phrase. There is a literal 
translation of the French in a law deed ; altoay forseene, 
that if, etc., p. Ixxxv. 

In the 'Testamenta Eboracensia,' vol. ii. (1440-1450), 
the Maulde of former years now becomes Maude, p. 123. 
In ii. 106 we have in one sentence both the old verb and 
WickhflFe's new form ; a bequest is made to a priest to myn 
my saide and minde me in his prayers. Among the new 
Substantives are spovi and kyndenes, which may be d(me to 
a man, p. 1 1 9. A testator gives so much to every yoman 
in houshdldy and half as much to every grorm, p. 113; a 
distinction of ranks. We read of longehowis, p. 113 ; men 
take administracion, in the same page. Among the French 
words is gua/rte potte. We hear of coral bedes and gete (jet) 
bedes; chavmdder refers in p. 112 not to a man, but to 
ahght; we have since found the form chandelier convenient 
as a distinction. In p. 132 we read of silver with the louche 
of Paris/ hence our tmchstone. In a chapman's inventory, 
iii. 104, we see bonet used for a man's head -gear, while 
women's caps are mentioned later. In ii. 254 we come 
upon devyne service. 

In the records of Coldingham Priory, vol. i. (1440-1450), 
we see King James II. using the Northern form convoy, not 
the Southern convey ; the former was first seen in Barbour ; 
our tongue is all the richer for these two forms. The 
Scotch turned the French parties into payrtiez, p. 120; a 
curious instance of dialectic peculiarity. We see the forms 
Home, Hvme, Howme, all referring to one Scotch house; 
the dispute on this between the author of Douglas and the 
Essapst on Miracles is well known. Gilbert is cut down 
to Gib, p. 138 ; we know the French change of I into w ; 
just so the Scotch used awssa for alsvxi, p. 140. There is 
a startling change in p. 1 60 ; the old cude (potuit) is written 
culde, from a false analogy with shvlde and widde. The n 
is dropped; Wjrntoun's gamison becomes garyson, p. 149. 
In p. 133 stands the phrase chaunge it for the bettre; here 

270 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

some substantive is dropped after the last word. The noun 
uvkouUmess is used in p. 138 for estrangement; gromid takes 
a new meaning, the cavMz and grounde (causa), p. 160. 
Among the verbs are gang throw wyth his maters, have in 
derision, lede a process upon ; in Scotch law proofs are still 
led. In p. 119 stands 7 can noght say yha ne nay. The 
Southern " not long ago " appears in the North as nojt gan 
lang sen, p. 132, a hint of the future avid lang syne. The 
French and Latin words are surrendowr, lawe canon et cywell 
(civil), a tak (lease), intirruicion of it, this instant monthe ofAprUl, 
aparcyale Juge, to purport, prmdecessor; this last has unhappily 
driven out Piers Ploughman's forgoere. The Scotch writers 
had been fond of suppose; it now stands for if ; suppoze he 
say it, p. 147. Our prefer (it was otherwise* in France) may 
in our time bear the two senses of antepon^e and prorrwvere ; 
they seem to be combined in prefer him before all men to the 
priory, p. 116. A man near death is said to have diseese, 
p. 121; the sense of incommodttm is giving way to that of 
morbus. In p. 152 men have hasti expedidon. 

In reading the * Paston Letters' (1440-1448) our hearts 
are at once drawn to Margaret Mauteby, the lady who was 
married to John Paston in 1440 ; she uses old East Anglian 
forms, such as qhat, xal, dan (our than). Another Paston 
has the old noun breke for breach, p. 72. There is the 
form sard (gladius), p. 74, showing how w was dropped in 
the new pronunciation of the word. Among the Sub- 
stantives we see the surname Dowebegyng, iii. 424, which 
was known all over the land in the days of the Crimean 
war. A Viscount is addressed as your Hygnes, p. 73. We 
see in an Inventory, iii. 418, the words fleshoke, pykforke 
(pitchfork). A new sense of dole, that still lingers in 
Norfolk, appears in p. 58 ; it here means a stone used to 
mark oflF divisions in land. In p. 60 stands our common 
the trouth is (that). Margaret Paston, in p. 69, describes 
a man as schyttyl wyttyd; perhaps our skittish may come from 
the same Swedish root skyttla (discurrere). Among the 
verbs we remark geve hym a lyfte, p. 71. A man, in p. 69, 
would have sold his goods, he had nowth rowth to qhom ; we 
should now say, "he cared not to whom;" a new use of 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 271 

the Relative. We see (out) of the Kyngs gode grase (favour), 
p. 68. The head of the family is dutifully addressed by 
his younger brother as Syr, and Margaret writes to her ryth 
wyrchypfvl hwshond ; our post cards now give little space 
for titles of honour. There is a French letter in p. 64 
which shows the source of many of our English phrases ; 
we there read pour cause que, nan obstant, faire difficultey, la 
dicte isle, en tempz advenir ; there are the Latinised forms 
of 1370, like escfipt and souhz. We may particularly re- 
mark le non aage de, etc. ; in p. 60 we find non first pre- 
fixed to a Teutonic word, yowr noun comyng hedir^ a phrase 
written by a man learned in the law. We have hiffet (a 
piece of furniture); in the same page, iii. 420, stands 
lignum in le cartkows, a curious mixture of Latin, French, 
and English, in one item of an Inventory. We see the 
French participle enterlessant (interlacing), p. 65 ; this end- 
ing in ant must have reminded the East Anglians of their 
old Participial ending in and, which was not yet gone. 

In the years 1447 and 1448 a long lawsuit was drag- 
ging on between the Mayor and the Bishop of Exeter. 
The former, John Shillingford by name, has left us a most 
interesting series of letters to his townsfolk, describing the 
progress of the suit ; these have lately been printed for the 
Camden Society. We know that business from all parts 
of the country came before the London lawyers; and 
these, riding their circuits, must have appeared in the 
shires as missionaries of the best style of English. Thus, 
in the present instance, we see how the New Standard, 
spoken at London for the last three generations, was mak- 
ing its influence tell on the far West, the country which, 
as Giraldus Cambrensis says, had most perfectly kept King 
Alfred's forms of speech. In these * Letters * are found 
the Northern forms tJieir, tham, that, nor, not, same, hyseke ; 
while the native ham, the, and thike, p. 23 (usually thUke), 
also appear. There are, moreover, the Southern (unus), 
bulls (bills), puple, we buth, it was ydo ; the Southern pre- 
fix is kept even before a foreign participle, like y-reported ; 
this was to last only thirty years longer, at least in writ- 
ing, as a general rule. The old ^^9/ remains in Ithersay, 

272 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 


p. 35. The tyme of servyce doyng preserves a very old 
English idiom, for here the Accusative is placed before the 
Verbal Noun. The English sound of chif is already found, 
when Chif Justice Fortescu is mentioned. 

We get a hint as to the old sound of early in some 
Southern shires, when we find yerly in p. 16; yeve stands 
for give. The y is inserted in a word, as on the Severn ; 
yncomyers stands in p. 112. The w is prefixed, as in 
Salop ; we find wother (other), p. 117. The t is added in 
jparchemente. Among Nouns we remark the curious phrase 
my lorde is (lord*a) gode lordship, p. 15 ; where Lord Chan- 
cellor Kempe is referred to. Certain proofs are committed 
to the wysedomys of the Judges. In p. 49 a thing is done 
with hardnys (difficulty) ; in the next page hardly stands 
for laboriously. The Mayor talks of " owr comynge haste to 
London" p. 54 ; here the in that should have come before 
haste is dropped ; our post haste is well known ; something 
like this had appeared in 1230. WickliflFe had already 
written bac half; here in p. 86 we hear of the hak side of 
a building. Free comyng and going stands in p. 100, where 
we have to use entrance and eodt. 

Among the Adjectives the old form lowlokest (lowliest) 
is preserved in p. 132. In p. 7 the Mayor enters the 
Chancellor's ynner chamber, a form peculiar to the South. 
In p. 38 raw stands for novus ; we now often couple it 
with soldiers. We hear of dredefvU arvd mysgovemed paple 
in p. 112, a new sense of the adjective; hence comes our 
"dreadful rogue." In p. 109 something is proved gode 
and true. 

As to the Pronouns, we see that the Chancellor Arch- 
bishop, the first subject in the realm, uses the polite ye 
when addressing the Mayor, p. 6. The use of the Northern 
yows has reached Exeter; in p. 17 stands money of youris. 
In p. 6Q comes they and alle theyris. The his is often 
employed as the sign of the Genitive, as my lord of Excetre 
is tenantis, p. 44. Another Northern usage is whas names 
(quorum nomina), p. 118. The monm, p. 18, is used in 
the South much as in Scotland now, where they say 
" how are you the day ? " seeing no need to use on befor 


a Dative case. There is a strange arrangement of the 
Numeral in p. 115 : Kyng Harey is tyme the Thirdde; in p. 
1 20 stands the iij^ Kyng Harry is tyme. 

As to the new idioms of Verbs, what was the Dative 
Absolute is now turned into the Nominative, even in the 
South, he menyng (this), p. 13 ; in p. 30 Ae fe fele seems 
to stand for he being to fete. In p. 92 there is a startling 
change of idiom which did not become common until 300 
years later ; heing is prefixed to a Past Participle ; wyn is 
being y put to sale; this idiom is repeated in p. 100. We 
know the disputes that have arisen about the confusion 
of the Infinitive and the Verbal Noun ; in p. 32 the Infini- 
tive mistrusten is altered by the. Mayor into mystrustyng. 
There are new phrases like pd in answers, p. 2 ; abyde 
(stand) apoun their e right, P- 21 ; make myche of this matter, 
p. 30 ; ^ do gode (be of use), give over (cease), p. 46. There 
is the first hint of hounds throwing off in p. 36, where the 
phrase seems to stand for breaking loose. 

In p. 7 to morun stand for eras. There is we were thurgh 
(finished), p. 37 ; here the preposition becomes an Adverb. 

As to Prepositions, there is Pecock's habit of coupling 
them before the case governed, as by and to suche, p. 106 ; 
yn and of the cite, p. 110. We find apon my sawle in p. 16. 
The Yorkshire unto (p. 63) is now known in the South. 
What we call in their turn was known of old as for theire 
torne, p, 138. 

There is the puzzling Interjection Alagge (alack) uttered 
twice by the Lord Chancellor Archbishop in p. 18 ; it was 
thus most honourably introduced into English speech. 
The new French phrases are demene us, it is his part to, a 
rule (given by the Chancellor), etc., to travers him. In p. 
37 the Chancellor stands yn his astate near the fire ; that is, 
in the robes of his dignity. In p. 56 comes to all enterUis. 
There are words like symytery (cemetery), robUl (rubble, 
rubbish), p. 89 ; nude, p. 132 ; to noyse, surmyse, yong peple, 
misrule, retaiU, noysaunce (nuisance), precyncte, trial, compre- 

^ In later times great has encroached on much; we should now 
write **a great deal of." At the same time we say, ** make the most 
of it." ^ ' 

VOL. I. 'Y^ 

274 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

mys^ to notise, Entrety and trete both stand for the same 
thing, tradatus; it is the same with the verbs erUrete and 
trete. We hear of my Mayster Badfoi^d (a renowned lawyer) 
and my Maistresse his wyf, p. 61. The m^ayster is cut down 
to our common form Mr, before a surname in p. 89. The 
verb commaund in p. 61 expresses our commend; the latter 
appears in p. 15; comander in Old French expressed both 
. jiibeo and commsndo ; we have found it convenient to 
separate the two meanings. There is a compounding of 
Teutonic and French in the words comyscyoner, p. 139, 
coronershipp, A French Participle appears, written both 
joynaunt and junant, in p. 86 ; joyning is also found. In 
the next page our abutting is seen with the first letter 
clipped. Alliteration affects French as well as English 
words; in p. 88 things are kept saf and sure. The 
French ending adon is tacked on to a Teutonic root in p. 
95, where we read of the stallacion of Bishop Leofrik. We 
constantly hear of the mynysters of the Church, and of the 
dose where they dwelt. An action may be reall, personal, 
or myxte^ p. 139. We see both the old auctoritee and the new 
authoritee, p. 139; in the same page charters may be 
cancelyd. We hear of the justices of peas now heynge or (in) 
tyme to comynge; in the last word the confusion between 
the Infinitive and Verbal Noun reappears. In p. 88 sus- 
pedous bears its Passive, not its Active, sense. In p. 19 
we hear of a greet barre (number of lawyers). We find 
the Under Tresorer mentioned in p. 7 ; a translation of the 
French sous; in our day we talk of a sub-way. The 
English thrall has the French preposition en prefixed in p. 
98. The very (valde) has not yet reached Exeter from the 
North East 

About this time we meet with the adverb on dbrest 
(abreast) and the verb abreathe horses ; the latter was to 
lose its first syllable in the next Century. See Dr. 
Murray's Dictionary. 

In 1449 Pecock, Bishop of Chichester, brought out his 
work, the * Repressor of overmuch blaming the Clergy ' 
(Master of the Eolls), written against the Lollards. Pecock 
was the greatest English prose writer that flourished in this 


Century ; he was fully conscious of his talents; for none of 
our standard writers have ever betrayed so much self-con- 
ceit. He is said to have written books in English for 
twenty years together. He much insists upon " the doom 
of natural resoun," which is depd moral lawe of Jdnde, He 
is a forerunner of Hooker, not only in his matter, but in 
his style ; Pecock forestalls the writers of 1600 in his long 
sentences (some of seventy words), and in his use of the 
parenthesis j see p. 86. 

He is fond of Latin words, and often employs Latin 
constructions, such as the Accusative coupled with the 
Infinitive ; he has all Orrmin's love of the Passive Voice, 
as weren to he blamed, p. 227. He frequently repeats a 
foreign construction, such as, mth other therto H reson dewe 
drcwmstauncis, p. 1 ; her projpre to hem houndis, p. 32 ; prech- 
ing has his dew wisdi to he don exercise, p. 90 ; something 
altogether new in English. He likes to couple Teutonic 
and Eomance words, as leeve and licence, donaU/wris or 
^evers, p. 412. He is fond of Manning's wolde God, and 
often has the Northern corruption seen in thou tookist. 
He has the Northern phrases to make a^ens it and the 
utterist degree. He sticks to the Southern hem, thUke, and 
clepe, and the Plural of the Present Tense, forms which 
were now going out. He gives us a well-known proverb 
anent familiarity ; overmyche homeliness with a thing gendrith 
dispising, p. 184. Pecock illustrates our English fondness 
for ew by turning the Latin subducere into stihdewe. We 
see lomid (solutus), p. 517, just as we pronounce the word 
He inserts the t>, and so talks of a thoru^ faar (thorough 
fare), p. 621. 

He has ways of his own in forming the endings of Sub- 
stantives j thus he adds er to old words in his first page, 
and gives us the overer, the netherer ; he uses a French end- 
ing when writing overte (superiority), p. 299 ; also gold- 
smythi (the trade), p. 60. He is the first, I think, to 
employ hadnes, p. 106. He is fond of ing in the Plural, 
writing holdingis (tenets), mMngis; he gives us our common 
word feelingis, p. 87, using it for sentmtioe ; also suffirvngis, 
failingis. We see the Plural aimsssis, p. 560. It was a 

276 THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

custom about this time to set un before old words very 
freely; Pecock has tli& unhavyiig of thiSy p. 89 ; mcmy im- 
hdpis (lets), p. 108. He employs Plural nouns in new 
senses, as natwrdl hdpis; he makes a substantive of an 
adverb, m othere wheris (places), p. 27. He has phrases 
like itis in, bemgy p. 12 ; mis vmdirsUmdmg ; a rcUeler out of 
textiSy p. 88 ; rriodir tv/nge; his dai laibowr; the lotting (allot- 
ting) of cwnireeSy p. 198 ; a hrigge at his laste cast, p. 338 ; 
here we now make ga^ the word at the end. • He coins a 
new substantive in " Goddis forhode be it but that," etc. ; 
this he often uses, dropping the be; see p. 537. He uses 
schaft, p. 28, for the stem of a tree ; hence we employ it 
for colvmna. He calls the Lollards owe Bible men^ and 
doctour mongers ; the last part of the compound was creep- 
ing into more extended use ; the heretics called themselves 
knowwa m^n, p. 53. He has i^e si^t, leevis (in a book). He 
has both clock and orologe in the same page, 118; but 
avoids Lydgate's word dial, though describing the thing. 
He tells us that the part is sometimes used for the whole, 
giving as an illustration the Old English habit of employ- 
ing the word winters for years, p. 161. Another old sense 
of a word is seen in " foulis and their briddis " (pulli). 
The Southern Genitive Plural appears once more in lewen 
preestis (ludseorum). We see in p. 371 "whether he be 
^73^ s<iuyer, gentilman ; " here a distinction seems to be 
made between the two last words. 

Among the Adjectives we see naught turned into an 
adjective, p. 430 ; nau^t and badde ; we now add a y to it. 
In p. 552 stands lordli Pecock is fond of the foreign able 
as an ending for adjectives ; he has wnberoMe, seable, smelle- 
able, doable, and many such ; this we first saw in Hampole 
and WickliflFe. He sometimes tries the foreign ose or otbs ; 
craftsmen appear as craftiose men, p. 450 ; there is also 

As to Pronouns, whiche stands for the kindred gualis 
almost for the last time, p. 313, as well as for qui, quod ; 
it is often used here as the Neuter Relative. In p. 99 
comes the curious whatever (thing) whiche. In p. 171 we 
have what is it to us that, etc. In p. 492 comes deedis whos 


forhering is, etc. (reframing from which), a rare idiom. 
Instead of whose, in p. 215 is found the iugem&ni of whom 
ever hath seen, Pecock likes to couple two or three syno- 
nyms ; thus he has oonli or aloone, p. 1 2. There is ech such 
man, p. 243; eny oon person, p. 384; also the new repetitive 
idiom tvdxe persoon and persoon, reirnne cmd rewme, p. 460 ; 
eny man, preest or no preest, p. 295. He is always bringing 
in two words of his own coining, euereUher and neverneither. 
He Englishes multwm thus, bi a greet ded ; we now drop 
the U, Instead of our "so much for that," he has the 
short sharp sentence, thus miche there, p. 197. 

Among the Verbs we remark would beginning to 
encroach upon shovM (oportet) ; as if so, it wolde folewe 
that, etc., p. 24; thou^ a man wolde denye, p. 186 ; still in 
Pecock should sometimes keeps its old place. In p. 95 stands 
thou^ Ood schvlde not and wolde not suffire ; we have now all 
but dropped the should, except as a synonym for debere, 
though we still say, "it should seem that." The shall, as 
in Manning, is used for soleo ; thei han mouth and thei schulen 
not speke, p. 163. In p. 112 we hear of a sermxm to he 
prechid ; the alovi, which we should insert after the noun, 
had not yet appeared in this sense. Two Infinitives Pass- 
ive are strangely bracketed in, what ou^te he askid to he doon, 
p. 517. In p. 351 stands bileeve (it) to he trewe. There 
are phrases like horn into liif, renne thorny (a book), make 
an assaut, make proof of, make a ^ifte, make no difference, 
make omswer, prechingis rennen arere (into arrear), p. 90, c^ 
sewtis and servicis, lock it up, han no plaice in matters of 
faith, have part and lott in, have access, a wed tried reveladoun, 
hear office, die thingis considerid, hold residence, turn jewelis 
into money, Pecock coins a verb in ooned (united) to God, 
p. 41 ; also to unworship God, p. 64 ; later writers made 
this distvorship; to strengthe it, p. 67, to he hodied (em- 
bodied), p. 245. A curious Latin idiom is, it is wcUkid 
ari^t, p. 75. The revenues are said to schrink (become 
less), p. 347 ; in p. 374 a leg is said to loll (dangle) from 
a stirrup ; Piers Ploughman had long before spoken of lazy 
devotees as toilers. In p. 648 we hear of the hlasing 
colour of dress ; something like our loud patterns. In p. 

278 THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

563 Lollards, speaking of the Eucharist, myscall U bi foule 
names; the first hint of our calling names. In p. 102 
stands ther cams inio my knowing^ that (came to my know- 
ledge) ; in p. 246 ydolatrie came wp. In p. 377 stands he mat 
avorthi (afford) to have ; here the old ifor^iein loses the sense 
of perficerey and the idea of command of money comes in. 

Among the Adverbs we see m,en comen rathir (sooner) or 
latir, p. 94; o/ ^Ae newe (anew). In p. 19 stands Tnen 
musten needis gratmte; we can now never use this old 
adverb (nearly all its old strength is gone) except after 
must; in p. 192 Pecock coins nedisli. There is a change 
of meaning in " to speke wiiMeli" p. 72, referring to hyper- 
bole ; we have piththeli. The that is dropped in y am sUdr 
(that) thei vxMen^ p. 71. In p. 370 we have esUier^ and 
in p. 268 the corrupt esier, which is here a comparative 
adverb ; in p. 159 comes knele louder (lower). In p. 267 
stands whanne and whUis he is present ; the coupling of 
these is something new. Pecock is fond of imitating the 
Latin quin ; not so myche lasse hit that, etc., p. 344 ; y can 
not see hit that, etc., p. 433. In p. 350 stands so or so or 
so it is writun, which is unusual. The notvnthstandin^ is 
employed for qtuimvis, p. 355, and for tamsn, p. 402, no 
that following in either instance. The as is still further 
developed, for it stands before Passive as well as Active 
Participles ; take it as for doon (done), to which Pecock adds 
the explanation, or as thows it had he doon, p. 394. 

Turning to Prepositions, he is fond of anentis ; he has 
gift tmder trust, m large lengthe (at great length), p. 563. 
He often prefixes iip to verbs. He objects to fore as a 
prefix, for he has the before goyng conclusioun, p. 167 ; he is 
guilty of the strange blunder, to Uforbar (prohibere) a thing, 
p. 477, where the verb is the French bar, and where the 
intensive for should be prefixed, as in the verb forpamper. 
Pecock is fond of setting over (nimis) before Eomance 
adjectives, as over contagiose, in p. 345 ; according to a 
favourite idiom of his he has over and above it'; but he couples 
more than two prepositions in his out, fro, and bi cm occasioim, 
p. 327. He employs toward in a new sense; toward the 
eende (of a book), p. 303. In p. 458 he has of liik state 


vMhy a new idiom, where the preposition supplants as. We 
see obiecciouns Uholdmg the bible, p. 85 ; this is the first hint 
of our regarding used as a Preposition. 

Among his Eomance words we see lay men, waastful, 
poMis of lawe, vitvperacmm, neviralis, unsavory (sermon), 
necessarUi, hahitmli, alloweoMi, usiudi, dbhorre, to cumpeny 
with, a concordaunce (for the Bible), a reverevd persoan (man), 
rehercd, assignees. We see how many long foreign adverbs 
Pecock brought in. He has to dress iwrds to (address), p. 
2; streyn a text, p. 58. We see the substantive choice (pur- 
pose), p. 42. The Latin form is often preferred to the 
French; we see the conversis (converts), p. 69; cartis or 
chartovnis are coupled in p. 402. We find graceful in the 
sense of gratus, p. 66 ; curiose in p. 245 is something 
strange that cannot be understood, reminding us once 
more of qmird. In p. 68 attend to is used in the French 
sense (eospectare) ; in p. 85 it is used in our present sense 
of the word (operam dare). In p. 135 we find waite to be 
hoosUid ; here the first verb, bearing the sense of rrwrari, 
governs an Infinite Passive. In p. 74 we read of sensitif 
wit (referring to the five senses); in p. 519 we see in one 
sentence, intoard sensityve wyttis amd outward sensUyve wyttis. 
In p. 88 detect means to inform against ; the verb in this 
sense comes often in Lollard trials seventy years after this 
time. In p. 103 we see improve with the meaning reda/r- 
guere; and in p. 120 comendyng gets the new sense of laus. 
The adjective symple means stultus in p. 157; it means 
honsstus in p. 272. In p. 183 something is doon in the 
better forme (way) ; the last noun has in our day come into 
great vogue. In p. 450 we read of badde maners (con- 
duct); in p. 519 maner means custom. Pecock gives, in p. 
484, the two meanings borne in his time by the word 
religumn,, touching on the well-known passage in St. James. 
He clings to the old way of forming the comparative of 
Adjectives, even if they be Eomance, for he has evydenter 
and perfiter ; there are also vertuosenes, quietnes, contrariose, 
prestial (priestly), religiosite. He prefixes v/n to Romance 
words, as vmfruytful, unusOd, p. 431. For mnea he has both 
vyner, p. 389, and vyne gardein, p. 383. He makes qpinioun 

28o THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

and Chwrch masculine, calling them he, pp. 96 and 334. 
Pecock continues our old verb stie, but brings in ascend^ 
the stranger that was to supplant it. He has a favourite 
phrase of ours, vrumye ^eeris in successiauriy p. 306. In p. 
477 stands expropriat poverte, that is, a state of life that 
forbids holding property. 

The famous ballad of * Chevy Chase ' may date from 
about 1450. Here we find the Northern Jamy ; also 
driver and speamum. The word like is used in a new 
sense (ut decet); Douglas marshals his host, lyk a cheffe 
chef ten of pryde. We see meet him on man for on (man to 
man). The half stands before a Passive Participle, as half 

The Stasyons of Jerusalem (Horstmann, ^ Altenglische 
Legenden') may belong to 1450. We hear of Candy 
(Crete), p. 356, and we find the word quaryntyne in p. 365; 
it here means the place where Christ fasted forty days. 
We read of the covere of conies, p. 361, a new form ; it was 
usually covert. The traveller is struck by the fact that the 
Latin clergy at Jerusalem wore long beards ; they were 
barefooted friars, p. 359. 

In the same volume, p. cxxL, may be found the word 
herthstede, whence comes our fire place, in a document of this 

There are some poems in * Religious and Love Poems * 

(Early English Text Society), pp. 62, 95, 215, which seem 
to belong to 1450. The Southern Imperative, ending in 
eth, comes often ; on the other hand, there is the Northern 
in no hyns wise. We see weel at Mr ease, where the pro- 
noun is something new. There are the new phrases better 
saide thanne doon, I betake me to, etc. In p. 217 we hear of 
a soukyng sore ; this shows us the source of Tyndale's soak- 
ing consumption. Among the Eomance words we find 
obstynate. We see the form defyled, p. 104 ; like the pre- 
vious undefiled. 

There are many pieces, dating from about 1460, scat- 
tered through the * Eeliquise Antiquse.' In i. 91 stands 
a curious mixture of English and Latin in hexameters, be- 
gmning with an invective against fleas, flies, and friars— 


'' Fratres Carmeli navigant in a bothe (boat) apud Eli, 

• ••••• 

Omnes drencherunt, quia sterisman non habuerunt." 

Something not unlike these lines has come down to the 

schoolboys of our own day. 

In i. 324 stands 

*'Isgote eate yvy. 
Mare eate ootys." 

I well remember, about 1860, hearing in Devonshire 
the line, rapidly pronounced, as a puzzle — 

" Can a mare eat hay ? can a goat eat ivy % " 

A favourite usage of schoolboys dates from 1450 or so; 
we see in ii 163 — 

*' He that stelys this booke 

Shul be hanged on a hooke. 

• ■ • * 

Whane yee this boke have over-redde and seyne, 
To Johan Shirley restore yee it ageine." 

There are several other couplets of this kind given here. 
The phrase " not at home " was used to troublesome visitors 
in 1450 ; see i. 271. In L 2 is a poem on the miseries of 
the sea. There is the sailor's cry, y how (yoho) ; we hear 
of the bote svmyne and the stetuard, who is ordered to bring 
a pot of here ; this beverage had hitherto been hardly men- 
tioned at all. The passengers also partake of a saltyd tost, 
the first appearance of this last word as a noun. The word 
Tnaie is used, like fellow on land. The command is given, 
vere the shete ; the verb is French ; the sheie for the first 
time stands for velum. 

In the Treatise on hawking the former Tomme is now 
cut down to Tom, L 84. We see the new Substantives 
dovecote, guicsand, nightcap, grub. In i. 25 comes 7 am your 
mart,, addressed to a lady ; this noun we usually address 
to a comrade. We hear of the ruff (roof) of the mouth, 
i. 300. There is the Shakesperian eyas, used of a hawk, 
L 294. 

Among the Adjectives we find lyght of love, i. 28 ; a 
woman is called chiri ripe (ripe as a cherry), i. 248. 

282 THE NEW ENGLISH, [ohap. 

Among the Verbs are /w5cfe (put up game), hMU. 
There is gagvl^ used of the noise made by a goose ; hence 
Bishop Montague's book, nearly two Centuries later, called 
* A Gag for a Goose.' There are the phrases hive lovers 
in handf drive the dust in his eye, keep (maintain) a wife, to 
hold ahacke, set foot there, take payne. The proper technical 
words for hawking are given in i. 293 ; a hawk eyrs 
(the French aire means nidtts), but does not breed ; hence 
came eyri^ ; so in p. 296 a hawk nivn& its prey, but does not 
take it ; a covey is merked (marked), p. 297. When we 
say, " I cannot help it," help means prevent ; we see the 
source of this in p. 301 ; thai the hawke schal not dye thus a 
man may help hit. The two forms lorn and lost occur in 
one line, i. 60. 

As to the Prepositions, in i. 261 stands rwwefor the fourth 
poyrUe ; this for had hitherto been to. 

There is the Scandinavian ^owTU^er, the fish. 

Among the French words are salpetre, sausage, trinket, 
vitriol, radish, decrese, rnoney maker. The word galant had 
been so long in use that it gives birth to gdlantnesse, i. 75 
(bravery of apparel) ; gallcmt and hrave later underwent the 
same change of meaning. In i 77 nyse loses its old 
meaning of stultus, and bears the exactly opposite sense of 
discriminating judgment ; a meaning it may still bear. In 
L 303 we have both the old triade and the new ireade ; it 
here loses the sense of remedium and gains its present 
meaning. We learn in i. 296 to speak of a covey of part- 
ridges, and of a bevy of quails. In i. 28 is the common be 
rewlyd by me. In the next page, Stafford bletve seems to 
have been as famous as Lincoln green. 

The Book of the Knight of La Tour-Landry (Early 
English Text Society) was compiled in French in 1372, 
and was translated into English about fourscore years later. 
It may be due to Salop ; we see the forms seing that, melke, 
kesse, fere (ignis); there are the Northern nor, are, sen 
(quoniam), eggis (ova), manered, as in * Piers Ploughman,' 
and levde (libidinosus, p. 23), Myrc's sense. There are 
many Southern forms, such as suster, beth, thUke, ydo, she nis 
not, moche ; we find in one sentence the two old forms of 


the Imperative, kamithe ym and heres therofy p. 83 ; there 
are both thair and her (illorum) ; the Southern her follows 
a Northern idiom and becomes heres (theirs), p. 53. The 
English word for svMa had been pronounced in Southern 
England like the French (nU or ioid; but in p. 67 it is 
written all, just as we pronounce it, following the unusual 
sound of WickliflFe*s dl. There is the very old form heriels 
(sepulchrum) ; other parts of England had clipped the last 
letter ; there is also sUhe (time), and the form wonder de- 
vouty p. 8 ; this way of expressing the Superlative had been 
peculiar to the Severn country for 250 years; there are, 
moreover, the Severn transpositions nwe (novus) and renue ; 
the old ^(ms has the usual Severn insertion piteousy p. 136. 
The r is added, for the old splent becomes sfplinteTy p. 9. 

Among the Substantives we see the form is used to 
form the Genitive, both for female and Plural nouns; 
mention is made of daughters, and then comes atte the 
eldest ys houSy p. 9. We see hayte used in connexion with 
fishing, p. 69. The modem use of our gossip is fully ex- 
plained in p. 96, where one godsih passes on to another a 
wondrous tale, " till all the centre spake therof." We 
hear of a cutting of vynes, p. 8, used to form a bed ; hence 
a well-known term in gardening. 

JAmong the Adjectives we see brayne sik, p. 20 ; hate 
langagSy p. 19. As in the * Promptorium ' the word fresh, 
applied to dress, is used as a synonym for gay all through 
the book ; so fresh and fair have been coupled ever since. 
The adjective mannisshe is applied to ^'a woman that is 
not humble and pitous,'' p. 136; this ish has often since 
been used to express an evil shade of meaning, like bearish, 

The Nominative of the Pronoun replaces the rightful 
Dative in she hadd ben beter to have been stUle, p. 32 ; the old 
out of his mt becomes oute of hym 5e^ (beside himself), p. 6. 
In p. 81 we see the phrase she had not (nought) to do there, 
" no business there." There is a long expression for nemo 
in p. 69 ; iw maner of man. 

Among the verbs we see misanswer, put in the vxiy 
of, bear record, axe (in marriage), how fde ye yov/re sdfX 

284 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

When we see grapped^ p. 139, the Perfect of grip, there is 
a kind of compromise between the Strong and Weak form. 
There is the curious idiom (she) lost the king to he her 
hushond, p. 19. One Severn idiom of this work, he made 
as they (though), p. 77, has been brought into our Bible 
by Tyndale. In p. 126 stands ne hadde it he that, etc. 
(" had it not been that "), a common idiom in our days. 
The former hihahhen now appears as hehave herself , p. 127 ; 
there is the noun hehaving, soon to be supplanted by 
another form of the word. In our day a person " has the 
last word," the source of this is in p. 28 ; she let him have 
the wordes (all the talk). In former times men let crie 
festis ; in p. 1 10 the first verb is altered into madey following 
French usage. In p. 11 men tuynde up water at a well ; 
this expression was later transferred to watches and mer- 
cantile affairs. 

Among the Adverbs we find derkeling, p. 21, where the 
old ling is applied to an Adjective, just as sideling and 
hedlinge (headlong) had been already struck off. A woman 
is not to answer her husband overthwartly (crossly, p. 28) ; 
but across was now beginning to supplant the older athvxirt. 
We have right so in p. 143, where we now say just so. In 
p. 52 stands or ever were saide masse ; this curious or ever 
came into the Bible later; it is like where ever a/re you coming ? 

As to the Prepositions, we see marry him into (a 
family), p. 18. The idiom at the least is carried a little 
further; in p. 81 stands atte the hardest (our at the worst). 
We saw in Salop, about 1220, have a dear hargain on (in) 
ms ; we now find, in p. 33, we are deceived m you. In p. 
166 comes not so /aire hi the seventhepart as, etc, we should 
say, "not a seventh part so fair." A French idiom, first 
adopted in the *Percival,' 15.0 years earlier, is continued; 
here is a faire hody of a woman, p. 38 ; like our " he is a fine 
figure of a man." 

There is one Scandinavian verb, it hoted not (availed not), 
p. 66 ; here no Accusative follows, as 130 years before. 

This work, as might have been expected, abounds in 
French phrases ; the writer often does not trouble himself 
to translate, writing Sampson the fort, parent (kinsman). 


cffwrom^i verres (glasses), scorche (flay) ; the old form roidlme 
is found. There are, besides, the verbs goormawnde^ puissant, 
famissh, resuscU, to gage bataUe, disarm^ to he storied (rehearsed), 
to endoctrine orphelyns, usance (mos), incontenent (statim), 
custvmer (solitus). In p. 130 stands a plvmme tre jprwner ; 
here we have the French added to the very old English 
synonym. In p. 148 the Virgin calls herself the chaumbrere 
(ancilla) of God ; but the word has a bad meaning in p. 30, 
where evil women in France make themselves chmnibreres to 
Englishmen ; hence comes the " chambering and wanton- 
ness " of our Bible. In p. 128 a* Queen is attended by her 
gentUle wmnan. In p. 149 the Virgin shows courtesy and 
good nature on her visit to Elizabeth ; the latter phrase was 
not to reappear till long afterwards. In p. 146 there 
may be recoveraunce (regaining) of time, as well as of sick- 
ness. In p. 137 men ought to he in charite togedre; in the 
next page cha/ritahle is opposed to unforgiving. In p. 28 
we hear of evdle langage (bad language). In p. 84 symple, 
coupled with debonaire, expresses our easy-going / there is a 
shade of difference between this and humble, one of the 
old senses of simple. In p. 154 a lady is required (sought) 
in marriage ; hence our " be in great request ; " the verb, 
like desire, will express either rogare or jubere. In p. 106 we 
hear of the faon (fawn) of a lion. There is the portentous 
compound distoorship.^ In p. 90 a wicked woman is paied ; 
we should say paid out. In p. 110 we read of excessive 
vayne glorie ; this paved the way for Tyndale*s use of exced- 
ing (vald^) instead of the old passing, Samson, in p. 93, is 
led to the maister pUlour of the hall; Macaulay*s word 
master-piece is in our time encroached upon by the penny- 
a-liner's chef d'omvre. 

The * Book of Curtesye ' (Early English Text Society), 
composed by an old pupil of Lydgate's, may date from 
about 1450; it abounds with Imperatives in eth, soon to 
vanish altogether. The interchange between u and v is 
plainly seen in dememre (demure), p. 10. The later French 

^ I have lately seen a Magazine article, headed '*A Dishorned 
Nation." Do these people suppose that the particle un has dropped 
out of existence ? 

286 THE NE W ENGLISH, [oh ap. 

sound of cA is introduced in schirche (church), p. 10. The 
wordftUsumnesse keeps its old meaning of copia in p. 40; but 
in p. 26 fidsom means satur. There is ajpish, p. 48. A flog- 
ging is called a berchdy fest, p. 30 ; the first hint of the 
English tree of knowledge. We read of bhv/rUe langage, p. 
46. An Adjective is intensified by prefixing a substantive ; 
in p. 6 we hear that nails ought not to be geet (jet) bloke. 
The pronoun he stands for one in "p. 6 ; this chUde is he that 
is well taught. Among the Verbs are fecch a compace, pley 
Jakke malapert (Tomfool), ye have you (behave you), p. 16. 
The Romance words are pertinent, advertyse, to brace, cyrcum- 
spectly, refprocheahle ; attendaunce stands for our attention, p. 
12. We now talk of "quality and quantity;" in p. 14 
we read, lette maner and mesure be youre guydes twey. There 
is interru^te, one of the forms derived from the Latin Par- 
ticiple, not from the French Infinitive. 

The trainer of youth who wrote the ' Book of Gurtesye' 
directs their attention to the old English poets ; Chaucer 
has seldom been awarded higher praise than in p. 34 ; he 
turned our ears into eyes; his language seemed to his 

*' * Not only the worde, but verrely the thing.* " 

The * Chester Mysteries ' (edited by Mr. Wright for the 
Shakespere Society) may have been compiled about 1450 ; 
they have come down to us in a transcript made 140 years 
later. We see, by the rimes, what the original must have 
been in the following instances ; — 

Original. Transcript, 

In fere (simul) In freye, i. 126. 

Repreved Reproved. 

Breres Breyers. 

Bame (puer) Baron. 

Fere (procul) Farre. 

Has Hath. 

Dalte Dealed. . 

Segh (vidi) Seinge, ii. 77. 

In p. 174 we see swavne written for the old sfwoun. (our 
swoon) ; a curious instance of the double sound of oy, which 
must have led to the mistake. There are very old words 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 287 

like heames (tubse) and thester (tenebrse), which seem to have 
died out of the South by this time ; there is the Scandi- 
navian hethen (hinc). On the other hand, we see Southern 
forms, as irmerUe, 00 (unus), and sometimes seith (quoniam). 
Much Latin is used for the stage directions ; some of these 
Latin words seem to have been Englished much later ; in 
i. 57 stands havinge restored, a new idiom which cannot 
well have been set down in writing before 1520. We 
also see common wele altered into common wdthy iL 82. 
The seinge that (quoniam), which so often appears, carries 
us back to the * Lollard Apology' in 1400. Cheshire is 
not far from Piers Ploughman's country ; we see his word 
pevishe/ his daffe (stultus) and ratoun now hecome dafte 
and rotten. The old nagere (our auger) is still preserved, 
i 107. 

Among the new Substantives are bo&sprUte, whippecord, 
Cain speaks of my dadde and mam; afterwards comes mame 
cmd dadd; these forms are spread over many lands. In i. 
52 gossip bears the meaning of the Latin comes, losing its 
religious sense. The audience is addressed, i. 91, as Lordes 
and Ladyes that bene presente (our " ladies and gentlemen "). 
The old deal (pars) is now replaced by hit; my bodye 
bumes every e hitte, ii. 184. The form gammon is written 
for gam£ all through. In L 175 stands the phrase at yow 

Among the Adjectives is dvishe. In i. 229 stands the 
new phrase thy omne (own) dere. 

We find, i. 184, have thou one (a blow) ; here one has no 
antecedent ; we still say, " that's one for his nob." In i 
215 stands it is the vereye same; here very retains a trace 
of ipse^ as we saw in Chaucer's writings. 

As to the Verbs, we may remark the curious mixture of 
Southern and Midland forms in the Plurals ; beasts that 
creepethyftyne, or gone, L 22. In i. 55 you mon (must) hruywe 
stands by itself ; the phrase is now common. There are 
take a turns with (have a bout with) ; fiye out of his skynne, 
i. 151 ; brew thin, ii. 82 ; loke up (search Out) a book (found 
in the * Paston Letters ' about this time) ; slea them downe, 
like the bwm down of the year 1300. 

288 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

We have seen to my kmwledge ; we now have to my 
deemyngej to yov/r likynge. 

As to Interjections, Marye is an oath used by Noah, i. 
54. There is a stage direction, i. 136, smge troly loly, 
something like tra la la. In L 218 stands the curse, a ven- 
gance on them; this prefixing the article is curious. We 
see in iL 57 the Shakesperian anoriy Matster, arum/ equal to 
our "coming, Sir." 

The Scandinavian words are filly (equa) and the verb 
tipple. In ii. 142 we read of skewed horses, the first hint 
of our skewhall ; this seems to come from the Danish skvev 
(obliquus), irregularly marked. 

Ainong the French words we see baronete coupled with 
barrones and burges. There is the phrase wageivarre, i. 173, 
where the verb takes a new meaning ; also to catUk b, ship. 
We often see Chaucer's / cofQ/ag&r thee in the sense of obsecro. 
The Devil is spoken of as Ruffyne^ i. 1 7, which perhaps led 
to our ruffian. 

In the York wills, ranging between 1451 and 1458, we 
remark in p. 175 that a yoman in the house is sharply dis- 
tinguished from a grome and a hyen (hind); we read of 
lytUl Nanne, a curious instance of n being prefixed. We 
see the verb tuUl (in the sense of bequeath), ii. 149; in p. 192 
stands the old to overlife me ; the over in compounds, when 
referring to time, was thirty years later to be replaced by 
out. There is the term resedenter (resident), used by Lord 
Scrope, p. 191 ; this still lingers in Scotland. In p. 176 
we hear of the jornenall (journal), which Constable, a York- 
shire squire, bore always in his sleeve; these two pages 
are full of Northern forms. 

In the *Paston Letters,* between 1448 and 1460, we 
mark the lingering traces of the Norfolk dialect, soon to 
vanish from the correspondence of the educated. Sir John 
Fastolf (the Shakesperian hero) talks in his will of Mikel 
Yermuth, and has gove (datum), farthyst (not the proper 
furthest); he also uses the Northern Imperative ^^sendis me 
word,'* p. 94 ; having lived long in France, he writes moyen 
for mea/n, p. 309, and ayle (avus), p. 362. Agnes Paston, 
one of the old school, bom about 1400, often writes the 

n.] ■ THE NEW ENGLISH. 289 

Infinitive in m, and uses the rewli (rueful) of the Grenesis 
and Exodus poem, p. 219. William Paston has a (he) t6k& 
me, p. 302, much in the style of Robert of Brunne ; and a 
Lincolnshire knight talks of women mylkand kine, p. 98. 
On the other hand, we hear of " pillows of a lasser assyse " 
(size), p. 478. The word assuage appears as squage, p. 160, 
like the East Anglian squilk (talis) of the year 1280. The 
forms syns and nor appear in Norfolk use in the year 1450; 
see p. 179 ; the old chapitle has not been quite ousted by 
chapter, p. 395. The Duke of York employs the Northern 
form chUdre (liberi), while the Duke of Suflfolk has the 
Southern axe (rogare). One of the most amusing things 
in the * Letters ' is Friar Brackley's dog Latin, which is 
sometimes worthy of Moli^re's quacks. See L 524. 

As to the Vowels, a replaces e; we see harbyger, an 
official sent on before his Lord, p. 525 ; initial a is clipped, 
for we see larum. The city of Debylyn has not yet become 
Dublin, p. 505. The y is prefixed in yelfate, p. 490 ; the 
Scotch still say yill for ale. The a becomes i in Yimmis 
(James), p. 514; whence our Jim, Warwick writes goud 
for the old gode (bonus), p. 95 ; and the proper name Shvldam 
stands in p. 191, one of the few words in which we still 
keep the true old sound of u. We see in these letters 
both the old Bewcham and the new Bemond. The Duke of 
York turns the rihtwus of 1303 into rigMuous (Introduction, 
Ixxx.), not far from our righteous. The old honur is much 
altered, for we hear of " dishonneurs and losses," p. 259. 

As to Consonants, h is inserted in debt, p. 370, an un- 
lucky imitation of the Latin ; the same takes place with p, 
for attempte stands in p. 457. There is a transposition of 
letters in p. 172, where the King's taxes become ta^skys, a 
word used in the 'Cursor Mundi.' In p. 93 "having 
rewarde to" is written for "having regard to;" this may 
also be seen in Pecock. The d is struck out in the middle; 
for we see Wenstay (Wednesday), written by the learned 
Botoner, p. 414. The w at the beginning of a word van- 
ishes ; hede oman (mulier) is in p. 343 ; this is often heard 
in our time. The letter z is constantly written for the old 
3, our consonant y. 

VOL. I. ^ 

290 THE NEW ENGLISH. ' [chap. 

Among the new Substantives we find Jumd-gun, vxirehows, 
hynsefolke, rydyngkoode^ fornoon^ forecastdl. The powerful 
Suffolk uses the phrase /rom kynrede to kynrede, p. 122 ; here 
we now substitute a Latin noun. Chaucer's brew-hcmse now 
becomes browei'e, our brewery, p. 250. King Henry VI., in 
p. 329, is said to threaten, / shal destrye them every moder 
sone. In p. 462 a house is to be pulled down, every stone 
arid stikke therof. In p. 512 stands (he) and ye bene greie 
frendes ; here the grete replaces the former good. In p. 
428 we hear of xxviii. sayle (naves) ; this sail is one of 
the few English words that may be either Singular or 
Plural. In p. 526 lyflod stands for a man's land, or, as we 
should say, his estate. 

Among the new Adjectives we remark hevedy, our heady, 
p. 514 ; it was long before the old heafod (caput) parted 
with its middle consonant. In p. 125 we read that Suffolk 
was beheaded by oon of the lewdeste of the shippe ; here the 
adjective takes the new meaning of v^is. In p. 224 tall is 
used where we should now say firve ; on of the tallest younge 
men; proper and tall go together in English ballads. 
Botoner, in his own phrase, p. 369, writes blontly; that is, 
" with little elegance." 

King Henry the Fifth's change is imitated in a letter of 
Parson Howes ; otJier, like our some, had usually been both 
Singular and Plural ; but in p. 311 we find otherez, and in 
p. 404 othyrs ; the older form still lingers in our Bible. 

Among the Verbs may be remarked go lose (loose), peke. 
a gwarell, hold fote wyth (keep step with), p. 189 ; he turned 
pale colowr, p. 158; fysh the water, bear chargys, ley upp 
money, thei wylle laboren all that in hem lyeth (Agnes Paston, 
p. 423) ; breke the nmter to, breke aweye (effugere), left for 
dede, they have as moche as they may do to kep them down, p. 
541. Friar Brackley has the curious find no bonys (scruples) 
in the maiere, p. 444 ; a Century later they substituted make 
iorfmd. In p. 83 stands /aZ/ infelaschepe with, the source 
of OUT fall in with, and the military /a/Z in. A most curious 
phrase, where we have to search for a dropped Nominative, 
stands in p. 361 ; Fastolf ys owyng for his reward ; that is, 
" money is in owing to Fastolf ;" something like this phrase 


of the year 1455 has already been seen in 1410. The 
ruling idea is debetur, not debet. There is another curious 
confusion of the Verbal Noun with the Active Participle in 
p. 510, I am yn hUdyng of ft pore hous ; here the two pre- 
positions are not needed ; the ungrammatical he a fighting 
was to come two generations later. In p. 392 something 
is in doyng ; here we should now, most incorrectly, drop 
the in. In p. 360 a verb is dropped ; baronies were gotten 
by Fastolf, and no charge to the King ; hence comes and no 
blame to him. In p. 514 the verb brohe takes the new 
meaning tolerare ; it had hitherto expressed only its kindred 
form fruL In p. 535 certain persons are m/ide for evir ; 
something like the make a rnan of him of 1320. Seamen 
are ordered to stryke, p. 85 ; here the Accusative flag is 

As to the Prepositions, we find Thursday by thefarthyst, 
iii. 425, where by replaces the older at. We have long ago 
seen out of his wits, out of reason ; we now find he is owte of 
charite with him, p. 393. The after is coupled with nouns, 
so as to form one word ; an aftr m^ater, p. 540 ; fore had 
long been used in this way. A new Preposition appears 
in p. 85, / cam abord the Admirall. As to the new words 
found here, the Dutch vier (quatuor) produced our ferhyn, 
fourth-kin, since it holds the fourth of a barrel. The 
same people seem to have given us warff (wharf). 

Among the Eomance words stand a letter (bill) of ex- 
schawnge, p. 78 ; romer (rumour), flagon, saltsaler, streytly 
charge hem, to quyte us lyke men, joyn batayle, factors (agents), 
a debentur, p. 364 ; to sort things, to scryble, good conducte, 
an ante date, to audyt accompts, polUyk, a servaunt domysticall, 
(counter) pane, curass, Morysch daunce, solicitour, trotter. In 
p. 274 stands she laboured of hir child (Ilithyia) ; in p. 321 
to labore the jury, like our " work the oracle. '^ In Norfolk 
carry hay seems to have been the right phrase, p. 219 ; 
some shires talk of leading it. In p. 427 a town is refreshed 
(refurnished) with ordnance, a French phrase that comes 
in Froissart ; hence " to refresh the memory." The French 
verb Saumer gives us an instrument, here called a shjmer. 
In p. 480 a piece of linen is said to be of a certain len^K^ 

292 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

cmintyng lerUhe and brede; the Participle is used like Chaucer's 
considering. The legal verb demvr is used, not for moraH, 
but for obstare, in p. 90. We see Teutonic endings iu 
symplenesse, malissiousness ; and 'grievom is written gravewis 
in p. 97, a curious imitation of the old rihiwis ; in p. 134 
the weapon hrigantine is written bregandym, as if it had 
something to do with Teutonic iron ; in p. 303 appears a 
jantylmanly man, where man comes twice over. In p. 172 
manage and housold are coupled. A sister of the Pastons 
speaks of her husband as my m/iyster, p. 435, much as Mrs. 
Thrale did ; a Norfolk Prior sends a letter to my Sovereyn, 
John Faston, and subscribes himself your orator, p. 78. A 
priest is called Doktor Grene, p. 350. In p. 380 we hear 
of dvhhle intendementz ; this by no means implies the vicious 
meaning conveyed by the French phrase that we have used 
for the last 200 years. In iii. 428 very is used by Fastolf 
in a new sense ; my very last mile ; it is like making the 
adjective a Superlative. In p. 5 1 4 furrwus stands for iratus ; 
the Y&rh fume took this sense in France during the Fifteenth 
Century. Friar Brackley, in a sermon, uses audacUe, 
affluens, and perfigU (perfect). 

In * Gregory's Chronicle,' between 1450 and 1460, we 
find mention of Beuley Abbey in Hampshire, the place now 
written Beaulieu ; one of the few words that are left to 
show the old sound of eau in both French and English. 
Jack Cade's men are called ryffe raffe ; we hear of a laade- 
lord in connexion with the tenancy of houses, p. 199 ; the 
new phrase the aftyr none appears, p. 204. The verbs are 
put to a rebuke, take (houses) for a terme, leve owte (things). 
Two men fighting went togedyr by the neckys, p. 202 ; hence 
our "set by the ears." In p. 191 stands haife besyde hyr 
wytte; it was now long since beside had expressed extra. 
The French words are his costys (costs) (in the Plural), p. 
203; bacheler of devynite ; be Uowe (allowed) 2^' p. 199 ; 
here the first syllable must have been mistaken for the 
Past Participle's prefix ; the verb had expressed give credit 
for a hundred years earlier. 

In the * Rolls of Parliament,' between the years 1450 
and 1460, we find an instance of the English habit of 


docking the final vowel of foreign names ; just aa we have 
done with the names of Machiavelli and Titiano ; in p. 
214 we read of Ambrose Spinull (Spinola) of Genoa. The 
a replaces e, as gcuol^ not the old ged. At the bottom of p. 
280 come the verbs imply and emploiey two forms of the 
Latin implicate; both are here used in our sense of the 
words; helpour stands for helper. We see Chaucer's markis 
give way to Tnarquoys, p. 394, the oy being sounded like 
the French e; our marquis is a compound of the two 
forms. The former irUeresse now becomes inter est, p. 185 ; 
the t being added. In p. 194 servants of the Crown, such 
as porters, etc., are often styled yoraen ; we hear of the 
derk of oure Grenedoth, p. 197, and the derk of our hanaper, 
p. 317. In p. 182 comes the ill-omened sterre diambre. 
In p. 285 the phrase their good Lordshippes is employed for 
domini In p. 325 appear the sUkewymmen, a very old 
London trade, as we are here told. In p. 204 stand gonne 
powder and longebowes; here the adjective and substantive 
are coupled, to make a sharp distinction from crossbow. 
The late form mornyng (mane) is stamped with Royal 
sanction, p. 282. In p. 300 we read of a crue of ccc men ; 
soldiers, not sailors; this word is Scandinavian. In p. 225 
comes the curious phrase a setter-forth of a shippe, like 
Pecock's a roller out of texts; it is not often that the adverb 
stands close to the noun that expresses the agent. In p. 
184 we read of the parish of Much Billy ng; this word 
for magnus is still sometimes found in towns of Southern 
England, just as Mikd is still used in the North for the 
same purpose. There is a curious idiom of pronouns in 
p. 384, in whos handes so evere they be, A habit is now 
coming in of setting un before Passive Participles; we 
have here unspotted and unbrused, p. 280. We see the 
phrases lie dormxint, pight tents, call to remembraunce, put to 
silence. An Exeter petition to the King, p. 390, begins 
with sheunth (ostendunt) your subjectis ; the word shewith is 
still used to head petitions to Parliament We see our 
common thenne and there for the first time, I think, at full 
length in p. 282. Both the forms nor and ne are found in 
p. 294 ; jbhe former was soon to triumph. 

294 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Among the Romance words are diaboli^y cderite, pleni- 
tude^ irrecuperable, getee (jetty), delibre (discuss), aniversarye, 
barreer, defete a title, be at diettez (maintenance), p. 293. 
In p. 280 we see one of our present senses of address; 
they addressed thaim toward, etc. ; in the same page directly 
expresses "in a straight line." In p. 309 an' Act extends ; 
before this time it was stretched. In p. 389 we read of an 
act of atteindre, in our sense of the word ; this very properly 
belongs to the bloody year 1460. In p. 399 a Northern 
petition uses catell for pecus ; but in the South caielles stood 
for our chattels for some time after the year 1500. 

In the * Letters ' belonging to this time, printed by Ellis, 
the chief new phrase is, stand possessed of. 

Many of the pieces printed in 'Hazlitt's Collection' 
belong to 1460 or thereabouts; they were printed about 
fifty years later. In vol. i. there are the pieces in pp. 4, 
69, 111-152, 196. We see flater^, a great tenement -7nan 
(rich in houses, p. 133), long-sided. In p. 135 stands thys 
ys the schorte and longe ; we now transpose these adjectives. 
Among the Verbs are follow the chase, sell up (chattels). 
In p. 146 a man has no more goods, hU ryght as he in 
stode (the clothes he stood in). A miser will not lend, 
but (unless) he wyst why, p. 114; a common phrase now. 

There is the Scandinavian frisky, which may also be 
French. We have to be/re offys, pecys of silver, call him foul 
(names). The word gracious is now applied to a sale of 
goods, p. 149; it must mean pius. The word nics 
(fastidious) was now getting the new sense of degani, 
like the words dainty or exquisite ; that toas a neys seyte 
(seat) is used ironically in p. 8. The word paramour, 
which might mean virgo in 1290, gains its evil sense in 
p. 199. In p. 205 stands the emphatic cer^en so^Ae / some- 
thing like our certain sure. 

In vol. ii. the pieces to be here considered are in pp. 
2, 23, 138. The J> is struck out in Norweste wind. In 
Substantives there is Barbour's tryst coupled with another 
noun, try sty tre, p. 154. A juror becomes a swerer, p. 149; 
this word was applied to those who took the oath to 
William III., two Centuries later. A squire, when he 


serves the King in hall, bears a vMie yea/rd ; hence the 
white staff coveted by English ministers. We read of 
falow deer. Men do not talk of Rhodes (the island), as in 
W3mtoun's time, but of The Bodes, p. 31. We have Clym 
for Clement 

Among the new Verbs we see angle, fowl, A man, 
when swearing, has to hold up his handy p. 56. There 
is take the mesure of a man, p. 150. We see the old 
mn your shone, p. 30 ; after this time it was spurs that 
were won. A great change in the Perfect is seen in p. 30; 
a man ware velvet ; this replaces the old wered ; we have 
already seen the Northern worn. It is not often that a 
Weak verb becomes Strong, as in this case. Men ring 
bells bacward, p. 153, for an alarm; this phrase is seen in 
a ballad of Scott's. In p. 42 comes it stode with hym full 
harde ; we should now substitute went for stode. We see 
the Scandinavian shdle (remus). Among the French words 
are jennet, dulcimer, dulcet, howles (for playing), sykamoure. 

In voL iii of * Hazlitt's Collection ' the pieces of this 
time may be found in pp. 60 and 100. The initial a is 
pared away; **this is long of thee" (per te), p. 79, used 
afterwards by Scott. There is the Dutch word trick, p. 
117. In p. 103 something is near, not the length of a 
lande; here length stands for distance; in Scotland they 
say, "I will come your length." In p. 113 further is 
revived as an Adjective after long disuse, "the further 
side of the hall ;" it is here more akin to far than to forth, 
its old positive. Among the Verbs we see beat him both 
blacke and blewe, beleeve me (in the middle of a sentence), 
get him down (in fight), you knowe (at the end of a sentence) ; 
a musician blows up ; hence our strike up. There is a most 
curious change from transitive to intransitive in p. 109, a 
dore will undoe. The swa (so) formerly expressed quoniam ; 
this is continued in p. 109, "you should know your way 
better, so oft as you come here." In p. 102 a man steals 
more by a deale ; we should say a deal more ; here great is 
dropped before deal. There is the Interjection hey howe, 
p. 62, leading to our heigh hoi As to the Eomance words, 
the word bomhe is seen in p. 68 ; a woman is afflicted 

296 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap: 

crepitu invito, and is told, tempre thy hombe; hence, I sus- 
pect, comes 6^771.^ The nyce keeps its old sense lascivus, p. 
107; and shows its new sense elegans, p. 117, where a 
wench is proper and nyce ; just as young ladies now ask, 
" Do I look nice ?" 

There are two old Lollard treatises reprinted by Arber 
as an appendix to Koy*s " Rede me and be not wroth ;" 
they are in pp. 150 and 172. They belong to an age of 
civil war; see p. 184; but were first printed in 1530. 
There is the new syns, though sythen is oftener used ; both 
tho and thos may be seen in p. 154. The ship is used to 
form new nouns, as apostleship. Among the Verbs are bear 
otU (support), break an entail; the deme bears here its 
Northern sense (arbitrari). There is the phrase " the most 
cruel enemy that might be," p. 178. We have a new 
phrase, U is all one as he sayeth, p. 152, the old swa had 
expressed qvmi ; in the same page stands say otherwyse than 
it is. We see how abrode slid from lath to foriSy in p. 181 ; 
God scattered the Jews abrode among the hethen. The 
language used by Bede is said to have been Englishe. 
There are the phrases compile, unequity, to ensue (sequi), 
entromedle, barbarus, resign up ; mortefy (hand over in mort- 
main) is a sense still known in Scotch law ; it comes from 
the amorteyse, amortesy of p. 161 ; the long s being mistaken 
foTOJif. These Lollard treatises of 1460 were pronounced 
to be barbarous, when reprinted seventy years later ; see p. 
170 ; a fact that shows how our tongue was changing. 

In the 'Political Songs of 1468' (Master of the Rolls) 
we remark that rejose bears the two meanings, gaudere and 
frui, in one stanza, p. 254 ; the former meaning was to be 
the lasting one. There are also the phrases forswear the 
lond, in every quarter. 

There are two ballads of this time in the * Archseologia,' 
vol. xxix. There is the well-known expression, the good 
shype, p. 326 ; also taklynge, a good stay, shrowthes (shrouds), 
words well known to sailors. Further on, we see ragged 
staf, curre dogges. We say, "three Rs running;" in p. 331 
we see that the old expression was, thre arres togydre in a 
^ Mr. Skeat, on the other hand, derives biim from bottom. 


swfo. There is the phrase as \e world gos^ p. 341. In p. 
339 there is lay wayte to a thing ^ and also lie a-wayte to do 
a thing. 

In Halliwell's ' Original Letters of our Kings/ Edward 
IV. uses foreigners to express "men who are not fellow- 
citizens/' p. 128 ; something like this usage still prevails in 
some parts of our country ; the sense belonged to forain in 

The *Book of Quinte Essence' (Early English Text 
Society) is a translation from the Latin, about 1460, and 
abounds in medical terma In p. 21 we see how our phrase 
" a little rhubarb " arose ; there is first a lUU qtumtite of 
ptUpa ; then, a litU of rvharhe. Among the foreign words 
are Iwpis lasuly, grose mater, ]>e splene (which seems to imply 
cholevy p. 18). A man at death's door is said to be almost 
consumed in nature, p. 15 ; the first hint of consfwm/ption. 
The old form of the verb fiche is now changed to fix. We 
read of a brute beast, and the Latin equality comes instead of 
the French egality. 

Some poems, edited by Mr. Furnivall in the * Book of 
Precedence ' (Early English Text Society), belong to this 
date. We see the contraction Antyny for Antonius, p. 39. 
There are roppys end, coke fyghtynge, callot (light woman), 
p. 40, and the name Kate, There is our familiar who ys 
that ? p. 40. In p. 53 stands call her by no vylons name ; 
hence the later call him names. There are a few proverbs, 
as — 

** Syldon mossyth the stone 
>at oftyn ys tomnyd and wende " (p. 39). 

We have fayre wordes brake never bone, p. 45 ; here we now 
change the adjective ; erly to ryse is fysyke fyns, 

Capgrave's * Chronicle of England ' (Master of the Rolls 
Series) seems to have been compiled about 1460. The 
writer was born at Lynne, and we see some of his East 
Anglian forms in levene (fulgur), dyke (fossa), bigge (sedifi- 
care), tidyndis, who (quomodo) ; he has the hard g in give 
and again, and he uses the Active Participle in and. But 
he has Southern forms like i-sought, be (been), and (one). 
He follows Latin forms when he writes Lodewic (Louis), 

298 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

and Bvkt Aurelianensis, p. 300 ; Arius, however, appears 
as Arri/y p. 77. He has Manning's phrase, to avale a hood. 

Capgrave is fond of casting out vowels in French words, 
writing hanch and pwfhch for hcmish and punish. We may 
trace in him the two sounds of oi, for he writes deystir for 
cloister in p. 308, and Groyne for Corunna in p. 242. He 
has the old form Beaumont and the new Beamount in one 
page, 182. He has foster ioT forester^ like his East Anglian 
brother Lydgate. The Suffolk habit, seen in 1230, of 
changing th into d appears in erdeguave (earthquake), p. 80 ; 
here also is the origin of our quaver, k changing into / and 
V. Our navel is written nowU in p. 82 ; av must have been 
mistaken for a% and au and ow were both sounded like the 
French ou. The / was often mistaken for s {fitting to and 
sitting to) ; in p. 194 enfess is written for enfeff. 

Among the Substantives we find the old querns. In p. 
130 stands our common " he had not a peny in the world.*' 
In p. 365 rusticus is Englished by chorle, and in the next 
page this becomes carle. The adjective fonned (stultus) 
gives birth to fonnednesse, p. 151. We read of Grete 
BretaynCy whiche is cleped Englond, in p. 359, the first time, 
I think, that this grand title is used by an Englishman. 
The renowned Percy of 1400 is called Herry HatsporCy p. 
242. The old Burgeyn (Burgoin) is found, as well as the 
newer Burgundy y coming from the Latin ; Burgenye, p. 219, 
seems to be a compromise between them. There is not 
only Almayn but Germainey p. Ill, showing the influence 
of the Latin ; the Germanes appear in p. 106 ; Aeon stands 
for AacheUy and Maydenhorow for Magdehurgy p. 118. 

Among the Adjectives we hear of a fayre-spokyn man, 
p. 81 ; a curious instance of the Passive Participle replac- 
ing the Active ; it reminds us of the Old English heom 
gesprecenum (illis loquentibus). Our common fayn to fle 
is in p. 119. 

Among the Verbs we remark phrases like take hors, 
make difficulte, make oth, picche tentiSy to poll a man (tondere), 
p. 234. The verb gore is formed from the gorwomvd of 
1380. To waste is used intransitively in p. 104. Aeon- 
vent is not built but takes place, in p. 153. In p. 187 


men swear to do something, " comt hem lyf (yr come hem 
dethJ' The three stages of punishment are (rather un- 
usually) set out in their right order, when in p. 190 a man 
is doomed "^0 drawyng, hanging^ and hedyngJ* The verb 
chejfe adds the sense of our cheapen to its old meaning buy, 
p. 180. Capgrave, in one of his earlier writings, uses the 
phrase happed hym to be, etc., p. 365 ; in his latest book 
comes Wyntoun's phrase he happed to mste, etc., p. 288 ; a 
good example of the encroachment of the Nominative upon 
the Dative, and of the journey Southward of Northern 

We have often seen but (standing for ne but) used 
before a Substantive ; we now see Daniel but ^ong led into 
BaUlonie, p. 47. There is a new phrase not half msch (big) 
inow, p. 132 ; and in p. 141 stands / had as lef be kUlid, as, 
etc. ; this phrase, already used in the late Lollard tracts, 
is the one phrase that still keeps alive the Old English 
leof (cams). 

Among the Preposijbions we remark the new phrase, a 
man is hanged /or his laboure (pains), p. 278. 

Among the French words are monstrous, code, antepope, 
unmanerly, cass (quash), cariage in the sense of currus ; here 
there must have been a confusion with caroche. There are 
phrases like have a touch of, p. 1 ; graces (indulgences) were 
bought in p. 244 ; this phrase lasted till StraflFord's time. 
There is the curious compound semi-goddes, p. 50, like 
Shakespere's demirdevil; this replaces Chaucer's half-gods. 
In p. 190 the King, when judging a traitor, dispendd with 
him of the peynes ; an idiom that we have now changed. 
Gentil, as in Barbour, adds the meaning mitis to its old 
sense nobilis, in p. 122. The Pope disguises himself, in p. 
309, like a Malandryn ; hence perhaps our Merry Andrew, 
with the usual change of I into r. A large sum becomes 
a horiMl summe, p. 155 ; this is something like our present 
use of awfuL To pv/rpose artiaules comes in p. 175 ; this 
verb and propose had not yet been marked off from each 
other. In p. 189 we find he cacchid or caute; a curious 
instance of double forms. The form Wiclefist, p. 244, 
coming from the Latin, is preferred as a party name. 

300 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

In the Coldingham papers for 1461 we see hssez 
(damna), p. 191. In p. 215 stands on way and odur ; we 
should say, "one way or another." In p. 203 trewbUl 
(trouble) stands for beUum ; something is grevotts costly in p. 
215, and we now often use an adjective for an adverb, as 
" awful hard." 

In the York Wills for 1466 we come upon a draght oc, 
ii. 285 ; in the same page a man talks of my sonnes Herre 
Eure, Maister William Eure, and John Ewe ; the second son 
enjoys the title of respect because he was a rector. 

In the * Testamenta Eboracensia,' iii. 185, there is weiMy 
(every week) ; daily had appeared sixty years earlier, both 
coming from the North. There is do what hym pleases^ p. 
197 ; showing that you in what you please is a Dative. A 
well-known surname appears in John Dicconson, p. 204. 
In the same page stands their burds (their boarding when 

The amusing tale of the Wright's Chaste Wife (Early 
English Text Society) dates from about the time of 
Edward IV.'s victory in 1461 ; the poet speaks 

** Of roses whyte >at wyll not fade, 
Whych floure all Ynglond doth glade, 
Wyth trewloves medelyd in syght ; 
Unto the whych floure i-wys 
The love of God and of the Comenys 
Subdued bene of ryght." 

The old bridale loses its last letter and becomes brydally p. 
3. The b is added, for the old momden becomes momhyll 
(mumble), p. 19. The use of ye and thou in the piece is 
happily marked ; the knight, who means to do the crafts- 
man's wife the honour of seducing her, first jauntily 
addresses her as thou; when she has trapped and half 
starved him, he uses the more respectful ye, which his lady 
also adopts. A poor woman is addressed as dam^ by her 
betters ; she speaks of an absent personage as my lady, 
p. 16. 

In the * Plumpton Letters ' (Camden Society) of 1461 
many of the Yorkshire forms may be remarked, such as 
gar, ky, kirk, tJwf (quamvis), they deals, gif (si). The word 


wXine^ found here, had lost its third consonant all through 
Southern England. The old maistresse is seen as mistris^ 
p. 15 ; and the well-known name Foljambe is pronounced 
as we sound it ; Fvlgiam stands in p. 21. The old holli 
(omnino) is now written wholie, P* Hj the form that we 
keep, at least in writing; just so home in Lancashire is 
sounded huome. The old IVyrcestre now becomes Woster, 
p. 17. In p. 27 the Earl of Northumberland, writing about 
1471, turns liflode into livelyhed, our livelihood, using a 
false analogy. King Edward IV. sends greeting in a letter 
to certain of his subjects, p. Ixx. ; and forbids them to give 
or shew ungodly language to Plumpton. We see the proper 
title for a knight's wife in p. 15 ; my lady Ingolshorp, whose 
ladyship is recovered of sicknes. In p. 2 the phrase a readie 
man is used in describing a lawyer ; I suspect this comes 
from rede (consilium). In p. Ixx. Edward IV. addresses 
his lieges as all and every one of you. There is the phrase 
he is riden to, p. 17, in imitation of he is gone ; also, U is for 
her to refuse, p. 1 1 ; here meet should be the third word ; 
m/mey in hand, p. 5. The Romance words are longanimity , 
have matters against him, what the matter was, p. 23 ; the non- 
accomplishmerU of cry havok upon ; here the noun is said to 
represent the old hafoc (accipiter). 

There are some London documents, ranging between 
1465 and 1468, in Blades' 'Life of Caxton,* pp. 149-151. 
The verbs are underwritten, lay out money, open business 
to ; hence our open the case (reveal it). There is a new use 
of the preposition toward ; a certain sum towarde their costs. 
Among the Romance words are direct a lettre to you, it is 
not oure parte to do it. The word adventure or auntre had 
been hitherto used of knights ; but England was now be- 
coming a commercial country; hence merchants trading 
beyond sea are here called aventerers and adventerers; a 
century later the same man might be both warrior and 
trader. We hear of custoses (custodes) of the Mercery, a 
very English form. 

In Gregory's * Chronicle ' (1460-1470) we see Lamheffe 
written for Lambeth, p. 229. There is the trade of a lokyer, 
whence comes a proper name. The Salopian coup together 

302 THE NEW ENGLISH. . [chap. 

of 1350 becomes here capt imih, p. 219. There is a curi- 
ous conciseness of idiom in p. 223, '4t was not lost, and 
nevyr hyt shalle,^* where be should be the last word. There 
is the phrase, still common, to bery his lady ; that is, to lose 
her by death, p. 233. In the same page is the scornful 
interjection bawe / as in ' Piers Plowman.' We see to go 
farre (in speaking), she was IX myle of (off, that is, distant), 
p. 213 ; to show favyr, p. 238. 

The French words are rayl (vituperare), p. 229 ; read 
lessons (preach sermons), p. 230 ; ]>e prevelage wUl not serve 
(avail). The chronicler tells us in p. 214 where the 
strength of an English host has always lain ; in the fote men 
ys alle the tryste (trust). 

In the *Eolls of Parliament,* from 1461 to 1473, we 
come upon the Welsh proper name Lloit, p. 596. The 
former entrecourse becomes intercurse, vL 65 ; the Latin 
gaining the day over the French. We see much clipping 
of consonants when we read of the counties of Not^ and 
Berl^, p. 547 ; in the same page, Lytherpoole stands for 
our Liverpool ; our modern change is like the Russian 
Feodor for Theodore. The old geol may now be written 
jayle, p. 488, one of the few English words that still has 
two lawful forms. The qu of the * Promptorium' makes 
way for the Latin ch ; chorester stands in vi. 48 ; nothing 
like this word in France is found till much later. In p. 
18 we see to enjoy hndes, where the verb comes in that 
was to drive out brucan in its old sense ; in the page before 
stands to joye londes ; this last verb can now YaVl^^ gavdere 
alone. The n is clipped in the sentence, imn not a (in) 
weffke^ p. 506. 

Among the Substantives we ^ndifyretonges^drepyn^panneSy 
paknedle (the old batte nelde), underwoode. We see kervei' 
(carver) used as a title of honour ; Edward IV. writes of a 
squierfor ov/re body (hence came body gvAjt/rd), We read of 
the hede of a hous, p. 518 ; gvm/ner stands for the keeper of 
artillery in a castle, who has many men under him, p. 543. 
There is the form handcrafty men and women^ p. 506 ; also 
Tnan and woma/n dothmaker, p. 563 ; it was a pity that we 
lost our female ending in en. The ness is employed in 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 303 

forming fyms (fineness) and stoboumesse / we see both pah- 
kou/r and pakkir in one page. We read of Thomas Broun, 
of the shire of Rutland, vi 22. In p. 65 there is a grant 
to the "Duchie Hanze, otherwise called Marchauntez of 
Almayn." There is the adjective unmanly. 

Among the Verbs we remark, to set outeward an armse, 
vi. 4 ; take seyntwary, make hym sure (surely dead), p. 36 ; 
he was put in the bylle, a phrase well known to all Etonians, 
but it here refers to a bill of Attainder, p. 29. We see 
repakke, p. 59. 

Among the Adverbs the distinction between de jure and 
de facto turns up in p. 20 ; Henry VI. late of dede and not 
of right kyng. 

Among the French phrases an address to Edward IV. 
refers to heaute of personage, p. 463 ; this last word (one of 
Monstrelet's) was also used by Pope with the same mean- 
ing, in the 'Rape of the Lock.* We see journey men opposed 
to householders, p. 506. We read of the III estates, lordes 
spiritudl, lordes temporell, and commons, p. 622. In vol. vi. 
4, exhibition stands for mmnteiiance ; this sense of the word, 
which does not come from the French, still survives at the 
Universities. In p. %6 stand lettres of Margue or reprisale ; 
further on, we read Qi proprietaries and owners ; in our time 
the Teutonic word has almost vanished before its Romance 
synonym. In p. 35 we see another instance of coupling 
words, weltuillers or benevolentes. In p. 479 stands the verb 
unable, our disable. We have cardes for pleiyng, p. 507 ; 
brushes, an infourmer, verger, ymposition (tax), in tymes passed. 
In p. 545 we read of the countie of JVUtes^ very different 
from the old name. In p. 635 comes the Kynges eschaunge, 
the office whither they brought gold and silver. In vL 37 
men have names of baptism^ swmon, and addition. 

In the *Paston Letters,' from 1461 to 1473, we remark 
the well-known Norfolk names of Jerningham, Townsend, 
Gorney, Wodehouse, Wymondham (Wyndham), and Jenny. 
Some of the old East Anglian forms are still used, such as 
am, sal, qwan, levand, beseke, mekil; nor is ousting ne ; the new 
thos (illi) is coming in, replacing th) and thei ; it is used 
by the Earl of Oxford, ii. 421. A gentleman writes at 

304 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

thefardest, iii. 27 ; this reminds us how East Anglia turned 
burthen into burden two Centuries earlier. We find the 
proverb, referring to an old rite now gone out, " A man 
must sumtyme set a candel before the Devyle." Margaret 
Paston quotes two other saws that date from 1260 at 
least, "men cut large thongs of other mens lether," ii. 
226 ; oftyn rape (haste) revnth, iii. 78. 

The a is struck out ; fcmtsy is in p. 83, which becomes 
fansey (fancy) in p. 243. The ay replaces a; we see 
bayly in ii. 249, while baly comes in the same page; 
this contraction of bailiff is now a common surname; 
laydy stands in ii. 416. The e replaces a, as der 
(audeo), meke (facio), Temse, hesty ; there is a distinction 
made between persone and parson in ii. 307. The 
e replaces eo in Lenard, iii. 99. The old Bewcham 
gives way to Becham, ii. 224. The old form manoir 
(manor) appears as manery ii. 306, and as maneur, p. 382. 
The i OT y is added, as nowgty (malus), ii. 26 ; it replaces 
e ; we see it hadde byn, ii. 5 1 ; toyke, hyr (here), prists, spyde 
(speed), fyle (feel), agry (agree), beshyche (heseech),hyde (heed). 
Many of these changes in pronunciation, foreshadowing our 
present usage, are in the letters of Margery Paston and her 
son Sir John ; the Northern innovations had now reached 
Norfolk, and were to arrive at London 100 years later. 
We see Smith turned into the genteel Smythe, iii. 431. The 
sound of one o is dropped, when do on (induere) becomes 
doon (our don), ii. 233 ; the change in doffhsid preceded this 
by a century. In the pedigree of the Dukes of SuflFolk, 
ii 210, their is written both Pool and Pole, We 
see exskem, rebeuc, meuve (move), both Dewk and Ihick 
(dux), sewt (lis), indew ; it cannot be too often repeated 
that ew, from first to last, unless it follows r, is the most 
favoured and unchangeable of all English vowel sounds ; 
it has often encroached upon u. In ii. 356 we see reawyll 
(rule), showing the sound of the old an, which was like 
the French ou. There is the form plesyer (voluptas) in iii. 
6, which becomes plesur in iii. 30. The form guyde seems 
to be well established. We see maryache (marriage), ii. 139, 
showing how every vowel of the word was once sounded. 

ir.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 305 

As to Consonants, we see from the form mcmslauter, 
ii. 378, how completely the sound of the old gh had died 
out. The former jfloge is now written plowe, ii. 286, which 
is often seen in our time. The hu (quomodo) is written 
howghe, iii. 15 ; and hm becomes whyghe, iii. 94. We have 
Jernemuth in ii. 97, and Vermouth in the foregoing page. 
The p is inserted in Thompson, ii 46. The d is struck 
out, for Kirkcudbright is written Kirkhowbre, ii. 46. The 
name Hohart is spelt Hobard, ii. 368, whence comes Hvh- 
bard. The d is replaced by th ; ther means audeo in ii. 
195 ; perhaps this is a confusion with the now vanishing 
verb ihar. The I is struck out, Alnwick is written Anne- 
wyke, iii. 432 ; enemies becomes elmyse, ii. 309. The rt is 
struck out in the middle of Fortesaae, which is written 
Foskew, iiL 9, just as forester became foster, Margaret 
Paston, iii. 78, talks about my navmte ; nv/ncle was to 
come later in Shakespere's plays. An s, as well as other 
letters, is struck out in the old Glowsestyr, ii. 357, which 
appears as Glowsetyr (Gloster), ii. 358. The old form Ude 
(insula) is once more seen in iii. 93. 

Among the new Substantives stand hedermoder (hugger- 
mugger, ii. 28), bald batt (ball -bat, ii 125), under shir eff, 
pothok, choppe (ictus), pakthred, delyng (conduct, iii 4). We 
see lyklyhod replacing Chaucer's liklihed ; the ship is added 
to foreign words, as serchorship; a Romance ending is added 
to a Teutonic root, as stoppage, ii 221. There are the 
proper names Dawson, Fytte, Jakys Son; we see a sharp 
jibe at yonge Wyseman, otherwise callyd Foole, iii 32. Our 
noun work now often means incommodum; they make us 
werke, iii. 92. In iii. 481 stands the phrase ma^n of the 
world; we now put a slightly diflFerent meaning on the 
phrase, which used to be opposed to religious life ; in the 
same page comes man of livdode; we should now change 
this last word into fortune. A sharp distinction is drawn 
between lyfe and lyfflode, ii. 370. We read of wynfall wod 
in ii. 176, the source of our windfall. The old reke, little 
known to the South of Norfolk, is used for fumus ; seven of 
the belle (clock) is in iii. 61, a future sea phrase. The 
word ba(^ was now much used in compounds ; bak rekenyngges 

VOL. I. "x. 

3o6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

comes in ii 224. There is the new phrase a tvrUinge ofolde 
hcmd, p. 285, which we now make more concise. The word 
bawde, as in the ^ Promptorium,' is applied to a man, p. 299. 
In p. 347 we see humys and hays (hums and haws) for the 
first time. 

Among the Adjectives are knavyssh, trew heriyd, prystly, 
athanMesse offyce. There is lavishy which seems to be Teu- 
tonic, not French. We hear of men that ben knawyng 
in that behalf, ii 360 ; the same meaning is conveyed in 
iii. 18 by a wytty felaw. To come stronke (strong), ii 
375, means to come in great force; we say, ''came out 
strong." The old mad means avidm; "they are madde 
upon it," iii. 71. A younger brother addresses the elder 
as rythe vx/rchypfwll hroder, ii. 258 ; also as Syr, Margaret 
Paston is hailed by her husband as myn owne dere sovereyn 
lady^ ii 235. Sir John Paston addresses his sire as my 
ryth reverrend and worche/pfvMe fadyr, ii 244. 

As to the Pronouns, we have he shuld he servid the same^ 
ii 48 ; by the same tokeriy ii. 134. There is the Eeflexive 
Dative, I fere we, ii 82, which also appears in the * Coventry 
Mysteries ' about the same time. There is a curious sub- 
stitute for all men in iii. 52, you most of eny on man alyve ; 
Pecock had employed a phrase something like this. In 
iii 59 any he stands for any man; Shakespere writes of 
the shes. One Paston declares in iii. 75, lam not the man I 
was. Instead of some one we see the very early Whai-calle- 
ye-hym, iii. 104. In iii 33 comes heffor Twdihey referring 
to 6th January; we now usually confine this particular 
numeral to August and grouse-shooting, except in Twelfth- 

Among the Verbs we remark have a plowe going, they 
myght not cheese (choose) but, take oat the patent, take a ferme 
of him, shift for yov/rself, fall out (quarrel), do him a shrewd 
twrne, kepe an howsolde, breke up howsold, the jv/ry foimd, etc., 
make a serche, make up a svm, make sport, make promes, I wyle 
rubbe on, make him or mar him, it schal do no hurt, take my 
part, take no thowth (thought), / took it upon my sowle that, 
etc., m>aJce war upon, make a man partye (to), put her in re- 
memberaums, put our tryst (trust) to, pyke it owt, gim her 


warning, lead him a da/nee^ cast calves, se hym saffe, sett at 
lyherte, set (them) at one, he is lodgyd at, etc. In ii. 26 
stands she wost ner howe to do for mony ; here do means 
rem agere, but we should now put what for the howe. In 
ii 64 we have mak hym yonger than he is ; we should now 
put (Ad after hym. In ii. 205 besiegers are said to sit 
wppon us ; the phrase is in our day used for male tracta/re, 
John Paston means to take assise against a man, iii 482 ; 
hence our ''take the law of him.'' In ii 348 stands eete 
yow owte at the dorys, our out of doors. In it 254 comes 
hold wp yom mansMp (keep up your pluck). Up to this 
time English knights had won their shoes; in iii 102 we 
find wyrme yowr sporys. Margaret Paston, like Manning, 
did not use the shall and imll as we do; in iii. 78 she 
writes / toUl love (like) %wi to be a good man ; also, / wold he 
sory (if, etc.). The Passive Voice is making strides ; I have 
don as Iwolde he don for, ii. 375. There is a new use of the 
Past Participle in ii. 288; "he took it, unhnoivyn to the 
priowr;" this is very concise. In iii 47 a man is called the 
best sfpohyn archer, like Capgrave's fair sjpoken. There is a 
curious change of meaning in iii. 483, "he harped upon the 
thought." To aoce (a couple) in chyrche appears in iii 46. 
To crosse writing is in iii 47. In iii 57 stands he is evyr 
chqppyng at me ; we should now say, " cutting at me." We 
see Wyntoun's it is woryn ought, iii 73 ; the new Perfect 
ware stands in p. 141, replacing wered. There is a curious 
attempt at turning a French verb into a Strong verb, he 
was scope (escaped), iii. 17. 

Among the Adverbs appears the streyt weye of King 
James I., ii 38, which here seems to refer to place, not to 
time, like the French direct. In ii. 236 we have " in that 
yere, or ther ahoutes,*' which is new. There are phrases 
like / reke not thowe he did it (etiamsi), iii 87 ; he was en- 
treated like ajentelm/in, ii. 205 ; u^ll owt off the weye, iii. 92; 
he is thorow with him (wholly on his side), ii 299 ; here the 
preposition is turned into an adverb. There is the curious 
idiom, ye schall not he longe without a hyll, iii 47. In iii 100 
stands, almost for the last time, the hoary old phrase, with 
thys that (on condition that). The hut, in the sense of 

3o8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

qainy is developed, ih&re ys biU few hut they know, etc., ii. 
263 ; in this last we should now drop the they. In ii. 
291 nyer (near) stands where our nearly (fer^) was to 
be written a Century later. The as is used in a new 
sense, if ther were c of hem, as (her is nan, yet have they no 
tytUl, ii. 211 ; here the idea must be, "which is no true 

As to Prepositions, the at is used, as in our at length, 
in the sentence, at the longe wey (in the long run), Grodde 
woll helpe, p. 351 ; there is also (they) were al words, p. 
105. In iii. 481 comes, he profited us not to value of one 
groat ; in Old English this would have been much more 
concise, to one groat. In ii. 372 stands (they will die) to 
the grettest rebuJce to you; hence comes to your shame. In 
ii. 358 stands it was refvsyd by avise; here the last two 
words express deliberately, advisedly. Shakespere's great 
comic hero hopes that the Chief -Justice goes abroad by 
advice. In iL 207 men are in fer of ther lyvys ; this of 
expresses anent, and we still keep this unusual employment 
of the preposition in this phrase. The idiom connected 
with the old beswican is continued in / was de-seyvyd of 
(certain) men, iL 246 ; hence our baulk of, cheat of. The 
phrase in the name of had hitherto been confined to Scrip- 
ture ; we now have / labored hem yn Yelverton^s name, iii. 
445. Capgrave's phrase again appears, a man is to have 
something for his labour, ii. 373; we should say, "for his 

Among the words akin to the Dutch is blaver (our verb 
blather) ; Edward IV. intends, in iii. 98, to be a styffeler 
between his quarrelsome brothers; that is, to stifle their 
dispute ; the word is Scandinavian, as also is queasy. 

Among the new Romance words is the pane of a 
window, from pagina; straggle seems akin to stray; and 
mangle is from the Low Latin mangulare, foreshadowed 
by Wjmtoun's mank We have ferror (farrier), ipedemye 
(epidemic), agonye, gayle delyverye, jimtor (jointure), boke of 
remsmbraunce, a splayyd hors, a comon carier, a lees (lease), 
saffegard, incedentes, contermaund, decay, gualifyed vrUh, recom- 
pense, suppena, it concerns him, insmreccion, enforsyd to, it is 

ir.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 309 

Ais ovm defaut (fault), irderlyne, asserteyn (certify), kasket, 
p'ohatt, entyrpryce, fensyng (inclosure), sorepe (simip). In ii 
4 and 29 we see the twofold meaning of bribery/ as before 
remarked, it might express both robbery and corruption, A 
new sense of dress is seen in iii 3 ; a young Paston, wounded 
at Barnet Field, is dressid by a sejjon. In ii. 78 catell seems to 
bear its Northern meaning oipecas. In iii. 436 we hear of 
a stohke gonne (gun) tuUh III chambers ; a new sense of the 
last word; in iii. 441 cvlverin appears in the Latin form 
colubrina. We see a repetition, in ii 314, of Chaucer's 
kepe it close; a little further on a man is called close (un- 
blabbing). In iii. 35 a man can make his peace by no 
mecme; in ii. 107 a man fond the meanys that something 
should be done ; a new use of the noun. In iii. 27 your 
quarters is used for "your neighbourhood." An abusive 
name comes under the head of language, ii. 112; hence 
our "bad language." In ii 360 the Queen is attendid 
wurshepfully ; a new sense of the verb. In p. 358 young 
Paston oflFers his servyse to a great Lady ; hence our phrase 
"my service to you." He, when writing to his mother, 
subscribes himself yov/r humbylest servaunt, iii 8. The 
Duke of Norfolk is addressed as the right hyghe and myghty 
Prince; my Lord the Dwke; your good Grace; your hygh- 
nesse, iii. 75, 76 ; we afterwards read of my Lady of 
Norffolkes grace, 157. The hostess of the Black Swan is 
called Mestresse Elysabeth Hyggens by young Sir John 
Paston, iii. 18. We should do little business now without 
" a power of attorney ;" in ii. 68 a letter of attoumay made 
in the strengest wise that ye can is asked for. There is the 
phrase passe your credim (give your word), ii 369 ; we 
still use pass in this sense. The form Geane, standing for 
Genoa, is borrowed from France, ii. 293; so the French 
Gavmt is preferred to the true Ghent in iii 79 ; these two 
foreign forms are used by Sir John Paston, a Court-bred 
youth. We see in ii. 300 I kannot fynde h/yr agreable that, 
etc. ; the old form was, she is agreed that, etc. ; we still say, 
I am agreeable (willing). In ii 145 a man h&thpiU excep- 
don onto certain persons ; we should substitute take for put. 
The noun fee begets a verb ; for we read of the King's feed 


men, ii. 145 ; the verb councd is found in ii 360. The 
word comfort may now refer to a man as well as a thing ; 
he is a grete comfort to me, writes Margaret Fasten, ii 187. 
In ii. 241 a matter is gydyt in a certain way; this sense 
still lives in Scotland; as also doesjp/^e (lis), ii. 306. In 
ii. 387 servants seek for new servysys ; this Plural is some- 
thing new. In ii. 352 stands they wold not dampne ther 
soules for tts, a new phrase. We see the source of our 
" make a fortune," when the founder of the famous Pole 
family is said to have been a Hull merchant grow (grown) 
be fortwne of the werld^ ii. 210. In ii. 324 crusty old 
Fastolf swears, fnevyd and passyoned in his souU; hence 
comes our passionate. At elections for Parliament, men 
geve ther voyses to candidates, iil 52 ; we still " have a 
voice" in the matter. In iii 70 we read of standardise 
that is, standard trees. In iiL 102 comes the sporting 
phrase a brace a growndes (greyhounds). In iii 25 currants 
appear as reysonys of Corons, In iii 33 a money grant is 
expected from a convocation of the clergy. 

In the book on English GUds (Early English Text 
Society, p. 370) there is a Worcester document of the 
year 1467. We see the Southern form brugge (pons) and 
the Severn fuyre and huyde; there is both croys and crosse; 
but the English of the piece, in general, resembles the Lon- 
don standard. We see fredom of the burgesshippCj smale ale, 
the Kynges pease. There are the Verbs maike feith (oath), 
make out a capias, put aparte, set up a craft; there is a 
curious Passive form in p. 400, this is done for serche to be 
hadd. The form oftener replaces the old ofter, p. 378. 
Among the French words are recordor (of the town), BaUlies 
(both here and at Exeter, p. 331). In p. 407 a jomeyman 
is distinguished from a craftsman. There are the verbs to 
try a man, to rente grovrnd, commit to prison, to wage law (like 
war), mefnfmd a person defectyf (guilty). 

In Rymer's * State Papers' (1461-1473) we find Eerry 
and Harry close together in p. 710 ; also the goeing downe 
of the Sonne, p. 509 ; Keper of the Seal, p. 579 ; rightwis 
(rightful) kmg, p. 714 ; give in complaints, p. 788 ; a question 
ryses, p. 579; answer at their par ell, p. 523; to proport 


(purport), p. 788. A diet is to be kept between England 
and Scotland, p. 717. 

But the most valuable Scottish work of this time is the 
poem on Wallace by Henry the Minstrel or Blind Harry 
(edited by Dr. Jamieson in 1869) ; it may date from 1470. 
There is much here in common with Barbour, such as oi 
for u, w for v ; the h struck out, as tmivr for timber ; flvng 
used transitively ; sru/ppose used for si ; and the phrases on 
ster, schoTf trysts get on fute. We know how Northern 
England turned the a of the South into the sound of 
French ^, so far back as 737. We now see madeym written 
for madame, p. 209 ; the old rdd, the Southern rode, is 
here seen as raid, and this has been the longer -lived of 
the two forms. Manning's Scandinavian word squyler now 
becomes scudler, p. 97, whence comes scullery ; the French 
escouillon (dishclout) must have had some influence here. 
The most remarkable clipping of Consonants is the turning 
of Barbour's French discaimiour (scout) into shywriom, p. 
55 ; hence " to scorn the country," which has nothing in 
common with the Teutonic ^^scowr the floor." The con- 
sonant at the end is often clipped in the true Scotch 
fashion ; thus we hAYQjpow (pull), sel (self), hefaw (befall), aw 
(all). The old French scarmish appears as scrymmage, p. 39. 

Among the new Substantives are ourset (overset, de- 
feat), schipburd (shipboard), mvdwall iverk, p. 337 ; we 
see salis (sails) standing for na/ves, p. 225 ; we now, 
however, make a difference, as to Singular and Plural, 
between five sails of a ship and five sail out at sea ; sail 
has here followed our construction of yoke and pair. 
The Southron enemy are called Saxons, though Blind 
Harry himself writes good Northern EnglisL We see the 
old goym (guma, homo) in p. 194; but this is written 
groyme, p. 123. A pirate, in p. 225, is called the Red 
Reffayr ; the old reafere (spoliator) was soon to be confined 
to the sea, at least in England, and to be supplanted by the 
Dutch form rover. The expressive word unlaw, that had 
long dropped out of Southern use, stands in p. 144. The 
Romance et was tacked on to a Teutonic word ; we see 
howlat in p. 286. 

312 THE NEW ENGLISH. [ohap. 

The new Adjectives are dewyllyk (devilish) ; this ending 
is also added to Frenph words, as chyftayrdik. The word 
awfvl is much employed by the Scotch of our days in the 
sense of vaMh ; in p. 69 we read of ane awfvll hard assay. 
There is a difference between a fish that is landed and a 
landyt man (terrse dominus) ; the latter stands in p. 276. 
The word awkward had been used as an Adverb by Ham- 
pole ; it is turned into an Adjective in p. 74, as in one 
of the earlier Robin Hood ballads of the North. The 
same change befalls /oT^imrc? / in p. 249 it is turned into a 
synonym for zeal<ms, and from it is compounded a new 
SLdyerb, forthwartlye, p. 301. 

Among the Verbs we find play a part, make a ster, make 
(get) guyt o/, p. 146; besy him to, etc.; burd (board) him 
(of a pirate) ; byd thi tym. There is the alliterative do or 
de (die), p. 60 ; a favourite phrase of Scotchmen ever 
since. The verb kerve, even so late as this, is used of 
a soldier cutting his foe's neck. In p. 156 men maid tham 
for the flycht ; hence our " make for a place." The verb 
clap had hitherto meant pulsare ; but in p. 206 Wallace 
dappyt harnes on his leg. In p. 227, when at sea, he bids 
his steersman lay thaim langis the bourd (along the board) ; a 
weU-known technical use of the verb. Instead of saying 
"I bet my head," the phrase in p. 258 is my hed to wed; 
perhaps it was owing to this phrase that the to, standing 
here before the Infinitive, triumphed over for and against 
in betting sentences. The to (Latin dis) is still prefixed to 
some verbs in this poem. In p. 13 young Wallace treats 
an Englishman to the thou; the indignant rejoinder is 
made, " quham thowis thow, Scot 9 " 

The old Adverb timliche is now altered into tymysly ; 
hence came the Northern timeous, something like righteous 
and torongous, where the ous stands for an Old English ids. 

There are some peculiarly Scotch words, such as craig 
(guttur), layff (reliquum), inch (insula), a corruption of the 
Celtic innis. 

The French words are fraudfvl, in frount, a natyff 
Scottisman, There is excedandlye, which Tyndale was to 
make so common. Wallace is called in p. 20 the Apers4 


(A per se) of Scotland ; something like this had appeared in 
Chaucer. In the same page we read of a sword's temper. 
The old rvumber is used in the Plural ; with nowmeris (turbse) 
many ane, p. 164. Edward I. is said, in p. 311, to have 
forced Salyshery oyss (use) upon the Scotch clergy, while he 
burnt the Eoman books. The Virgin acted as convoyar to 
Wallace, p. 168 ; this form of the verb has always had a 
more exalted and protective sense than the other form, 
corwey. In p. 206 Wallace croyssit him (crossed himself) ; 
this is almost the last appearance in our island of the 
French form of cruo-em, but we must except aroisade. In 
p. 225 extasy stands for an agony of despair. In p. 224 we 
hear of a gud gay vjynd ; this gay is still much used for vaJdh 
in Scotland ; like the English a jolly good wind. In p. 227 
we see God gyd our schip I gude guide us is still a favourite 
Scotch cry of surprise. The word barge is used for a fine 
sea-going ship. The poet, or his transcriber, can make 
nothing of the French avou6 (advocate); so in p. 134 St. 
Andrew is called the wowar of Scotland. In p. 238 tumr 
greys is used for a winding-stair ; something like tumstyle. 
In p. 17 a kinsman of the hero's is called the Squier 
Wallace; we should now dock the. In p. 106 an English- 
man, mockingly polite, greets Wallace thus — 

**Dewgar, gud day, bone Senyhour, and gud mom I" 

These French phrases are requited with a little Gaelic. 
An intruding bishop has rents given him in commend, p. 
256 ; this last word we now write comm&ndam. 

The 'Coventry Mysteries' {Ludus CoventricB, by Mr. 
HalliweU) are important, as they were compiled so 
near to Shakespere's birthplace. They bear the date 
1469, and show us the speech of the Warwickshire folk 
about the time of his great-grandfather's birth ; they give 
us also a foretaste of the dialogue in * Middlemarch.' 
Being compiled upon the Great Sundering Line, they dis- 
play a mixture of Northern and Southern forms. Thus 
we have both mekyl and meche, chylder and chUderyn, tyl hym 
and to hym, sin and sith, beteche and betake, the two Im- 
peratives thinkys and lystenyth, the Present Participle ending 

314 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

both in aiide and inge. There are the Northern tydandis, 
am, tan (capere), tyth (cito) ; ken (scire), take tent to, go thy 
gate, in no Jcynnys wyse, tende (decimus), hyrke. On the 
other hand, we find the Southern her, hem, suche, toeren, 
irbom, kusse, huschop, o (unus) ; the Infinitive in yn comes 
often, especially in stage directions. We are reminded of 
the ^ Blickling Homilies,' written about 500 years earlier, 
by the e substituted f or i or «^ as in unJcende, fer (ignis), 
and many other such; this is a mark of the shires 
bordering on Salop, as is won (unus), p. 147. We see 
some of Orrmin's phrases, as take on (proceed), p. 297 ; on 
lofte (aloft), p. 325 ; forthmth, nor, howte (vituperare), p. 
182; heyle (salutare), p. 293; eyn (oculi). There is the 
Midland ive ha/n (habemus). We see stow (compescere), p. 
217, sweling, come by (adipisci), p. 263, lesser; phrases 
peculiar to the Western part of England, as we re- 
marked before; also the qu (replacing hw) of the 'Havelok;' 
the chyse, shrill, and round followed by an Accusative, forms 
which had appeared in the ^Alexander.' There are some 
phrases that give us a foretaste of Shakespere, wdl met, 
hit the pvn, here a lythe (hie jacet), p. 319, where the a 
represents he; and the unusual dolour, p. 327; there is 
something like a well -.known proverb of his in p. 367, 
trewthe dyd nevyr his maystir shame. The author seems to 
have copied the first lines of the ' Harrowing of Hell,' the 
play of 1 280, in p. 346. We see the long Latin stage direc- 
tions in p. 149 and elsewhere. Alliteration is still popular ; 
in p. 100 a promise is given to be true hothe terme, tyme, and 
tyde. The usual homely diction of the plays is exchanged 
for the finest and longest Eomance words, when a Prophet, 
or an Angel, or even the Devil is speaking; see p. 240. 
Latin words are often preferred to their French children. 

As to Vowels, die (mori) is written day, p. 250, showing 
the old sound of ie. It seems that there must have been 
some difference of sound between ay and e ; for in p. 5 the 
rimes mayde, afrayde, etc., are contrasted with the rimes 
lede, dede, etc. The i is clipped at the beginning, for tys 
stands for it is, p. 284, another Shakesperian token. The e 
replaces i, as 'pehyd'ioT \\iQpiUd of 1 440 ; jpekyd schon, p. 241. 


As to the Consonants, the g is softened, for we have 
wagmr (wager) instead of the old waumr^ p. 45. The 
French attacker becomes takk (astringere), p. 319. The gh 
is completely lost in the middle of a word, as syeng (sus- 
piratio), p. 39. The initial di is clipped ; we have flayed, 
not displayed, p. 242 ; hence a ^lay foot. We see w written 
for V, as dowe for dove, p. 48. The x is constantly used for 
5, as in Norfolk ; we see xal for sal, shall. 

Turning to Substantives, we find the Proper Names 
Kate, Sybyly (Sibby), also Symme Smalfeyth and Letyce 
Lytylinist^, p. 131. In p. 241 we hear of a shert of feyn 
Holond, A woman is called a stynkynge byche clowte, a 
scolde, and a sloveyn. We see the old confusion between 
Teutonic and Eomance, when in p. 297 Gethsemane is 
called a ^erd (yard, garden). The Verbal Nouns continue, 
whantynge stands for lack in p. 44. The Latin pedisseqm 
seems to have suggested footmayd, p. 72 ; our footman pre- 
serves a trace of this. We find abyde a qwyle, p. 73 ; these 
last two words were later to be joined and made to appear 
like an Adverb. The loss of the Genitive ending is re- 
markable, when Christ is called Joseph and Maryes sons. 

Among the Adjectives are bare-leggyd, a very different 
form from the old hare-foot and bare-head. On the other 
hand, the old sliper (lubricus) still stands, soon to be con- 
founded with slideri. The word careful is used for tristis, 
p. 53, when Abraham, about to slay Isaac, calls himself a 
careful fadyr. The Americans talk of having a good time ; 
in p. 319 we find his good days ocul be past. 

As to Pronouns, we see brothers and sisters address 
each other with the ye, not with the thou ; which is most 
different from the French usage ; see p. 223. There is a 
curious instance in p. 126 of Ae being applied to a man, 
who has not been named, a token of close familiarity; 
Elizabeth describes the Angel's promise to her, and goes 
on, referring to her husband, and hym thought nay ; here 
Zachariah has not as yet been mentioned.^ The which is 
much employed as a Masculine Relative. The emphatic 

^ In Scotland the goodwife will say, without any previous mention 
of a name, " Ae'« awa to-day" the he referring to the goodman. 

3i6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

ihai is now made to stand, as in Gower, at the head of the 
sentence ; " hath any man condemned thee ?" " Thd hathe 
ther nougU^^ (not), p. 222 ; here also we see the verb done 
dropped after the hath, and any man is omitted. The old 
manifold is strangely corrupted in the sentence, God thou 
dost greve ma/ay a folde, p. 138. There are a few corrupt 
Plural Genitives, not destined to live much longer, 7,ov/r 
altheris (omnium) leche, p. 202, and ^our bothers (amborum) 
stryffe, p. 28 ; there is also her tweyners (duorum) mstyng, 
p. 125. 

Among the Verbs we see the phrases take it or ellys lef 
(leave), thin herte is sett to serve God, I fere me grettly, I 
am aschamyd to, etc., whedyr (whither) they am bent (bound), 
it wyl he longe or (ere) thou do thus, p. 207, as in the 
'Paston Letters,' take him to grace, telle no talys. There 
is / pdle 00 draught, p. 142, whence comes our "taking a 
puUe at a tankard." We see make good face, p. 269 ; hence 
our put a good face on it We have, in p. 136, do this, or I 
Qcal make ^ow; here the Infinitive is dropped after make 
you. The Verb slake may govern an Accusative or not ; 
to slake hungyr, p. 208 ; sorwe doth slake, p. 229. The 
prefix un is often set before the Verbs and Participles, as 
uneten, v/nbegete, v/rUose. The verb crak is applied in a new 
sense ; in p. 325 stands my lyppys gyn crake. The if that 
^e plese in p. 363 shows the rise of one of our commonest 
phrases. In p. 142 stands jmt at (to) repref, a future 
Biblical phrase, the last word meaning dedecas. 

Among the Adverbs we remark sum way, p. 40, the 
parent of our somehow; here an in is dropped. The 
happier sense of oiir sore comes out strongly in thei plese 
God sore, p. 82. In p. 335 stands / se, I wote nevyr how, 
where a verb is dropped after the last word. Tlie call 
come away I is now commonly used in Scotland, where in 
the South we say oome along ; in p. 132 the audience are 
invited to the play by the phrase com away I this in 
Chaucer's time had been come off. We know Bjrron's 
far as the breeze can hear, where as is dropped before the 
first word ; in p. 384 stands ys there ony renogat, fer as ye 
knawe? We often use our sure as an Adverb; in p. 352 


comes sekyr^ this is good. In p. 223 stands vxmndyrly s^ke 
(sick) ; hence the old-fashioned adverb woundUy. 

Among the Prepositions, of is supplanted hyfrom in dene 
from synnSf p. 140 ; aliene from had come in seventy years 
earlier, and had brought in a Komance construction. To 
rede on a hook is in p. 103, one of the phrases that show 
the close connexion between the old in and on. 

There is the Interjection out, out (heu), p. 46, which 
lasted long in England; and in p. 125 stands a/ my God ! 
to express surprise. We find the Celtic word prong, and 
the Dutch sloven. 

Among the many French phrases we see try out the 
trewthe, expofumd it out ; past, present, and future, p. 70 ; it 
vyyl he straunge if he leve. In p. 115 Gabriel is called Grod*s 
masangere expresse; we have since dropped the first of 
these two words. Latin is preferred to French, when 
adultrye replaces the old avoutrie in p. 1 ; it is the same 
with infaunie, p. 51, and regal. We see not only revere, 
but also the verb reverens, p. 20. In pp. 63 and 132 lay 
(lex) stands for "way of life;" in Oliver Twist the thieves 
talk of " the kinchin lay." The term audyens is applied to 
the spectators of the plays ; they are called sovereynes in 
p. 79, Shakespere's my masters. The Teutonic er is added 
to the old French parishen in p. 71 ; the rule for a priest's 
expenditure is thus laid down — 

** So xulde every curat in this werde wyde 
3eve a part to his chauncel iwys, 
A part to his parochoneres that to povert slyde, 
The thryd part to kepe for hym and his. " 

When we find a form like comfortadon, p. 116, and 
moralysacyon, p. 244, we see how easily ruin became 
ruination after this time. The word material appears as an 
Adjective, p. 208. Our common "I am afraid that you 
did it," referring to the Past, comes more than once. The 
old pynne and the new pynnade, meaning the same, are 
seen side by side in p. 208 ; Satan, tempting Christ, says — 

** Up to this pynnacle now go we, 

I xal the sett on the hy5est pynne." 

3i8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The Latin mora had been Englished in many ways ; it is 
written ddacion in p. 248. The Latin seriaivm is turned 
into seryatUy, p. 273. The former verb travail us becomes 
trobd iiSf p. 294. We find dvibytacum, lyherary, irUelligence 
(news, p. 125), anameryd (enamoured), metajphesyk, reynes 
(renes), roberych (rubric), eaxuse me, ravenoits. 

In 1469 Sir Thomas Mallory compiled from various 
French books the History of King Arthur and his Knights; 
this was printed by Oazton a few years later, and the work, 
a pattern of sound Old English, has been reprinted again 
and again, down to our own day.^ The compiler was a 
Northern man, as we see by his prefixing for to Verbs, and 
by his using what wUl wedo? i. 125; what is yowr wUl with mef 
iii 51 ; gaynest (proximus), i. 270; gvoe hack (regredi), i. 
192; in ilL 120 his everUk has been altered by Gazton 
into everyeack In a chronicle, quoted in the Preface to the 
Plumpton papers, p. xcvL, Sir William Malaty is mentioned 
along with many other Yorkshire knights in 1485. There 
are in this work more Teutonic words, now obsolete, than 
would have been used by a Southern writer ; Caxton's own 
early translations are far more modem in diction. 

As to the Vowels, e is addedj; for Chaucer^s hoor becomes 
hore, our hoary, i. 86. The old lei/n, the Participle of K^en 
(jacere), is written lyen, p. i. ; the form lien remains in our 
Prayer Book ; ie had always in the South been pronounced 
like the French i. The d is inserted in ridge (dorsum). 

Among the Nouns we see hough-bone (buckle bone), iii 
32 ; in my days (time) ; hot as cmy stew, iii 2 ; short breathed, 
better winded. 

As to the Verbs, we see ride on Maying (a new Verbal 
noun), do thy worst, went to the grownd (in Milton's sense), 
to be nighted (benighted), rather differing from Manning's 
use of the verb ; he will never make man (become a good 
soldier), i. 234, wnholted, rum, wHd, set hand to. There is 
the verb hem, iii. 16, when a -sound is made to arrest 
attention. The to (dis) is sometimes prefixed to Verbs in 
the good old way, as all toshiver, all to-hew ; but this all to 
now began to be mistaken for omnino or vehemmter ; hence 

' I have used Wright's edition, 1866. 


we here see all to beaty all to scratchy all to besweaty iii. 51 ; 
this corruption: is employed by Tyndale and More, and 
lasted down to 1700. A man is said to be more Oum half 
deady iii 327. 

Among the French words stand labouring many a/a ha/rd 
case, by no mrnm&r of meaneSy ii 2 ; place of tvorship (respect- 
able house), bay mndoWy estrange hersdffrom, Mallory was 
so literal that he translated the cry ava armes 1 by at a/rm^es I 
i. 27. The word promise gets the new meaning of asswrey 
iii. 216, as in our asseveration, "I promise you." In i. 
109 a knight is described as full of good pa/rts; this is the 
sense of the word that Lord Macaulay was so fond of. In 
i 263 a lady makes cwrtesie to a man down to the ground ; 
here the noun slides into the expression of an attitude. 
There is in ii. 160 the proverb, "hard it is to take out of 
the flesh that is bred in the bone." 

The * Play of the Sacrament ' (edited for the Philological 
Society) is interesting as the first English play that is not 
based upon a Scriptural subject. It must have been com- 
piled about 1470, and seems due to Norfolk; there are 
some uncommon words found also in the ' Promptorium ; ' 
there is am (sunt), ylke (idem), a late instance of this 
word, also the hard ^, as goven, not the usual yeven. The 
ow supplants g ; for a famous German port is written Hamr 
borowhe, p. 108. The is replacing the sound of French 
ou; for we have here sole (anima) and knoest (scis). 
There is the new form ah, not a, p. 118. 

Among the Substantives are player (of an interlude), 
bone setter. There is boMero, some part of man's frame, 
which has given rise to an English surname. There is the 
new Verbal noun firvng, and the phrase a great msny of 
JewySy p. 136; the of after the French word, was soon 
to be dropped. The dom replaces French endings; as 

Among the new Verbs are wnlaugUy kepe his howrCy a new 
sense of kepe. 

There is the new nay tha/Hy used at the beginning of a 
sentence; expressing not denial but acquiescence, p. 126. 

The French words are banJc (of money), the adverb 

320 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

■ ■ ■ t ' 

masterly, fruUion, punch (an awl), p. 114, the atuiience (the 
spectators), represent a play, A man wishes for the delivevr 
ance of an article to him, p. 116 ; we have since coined de- 
livery to express the shade of meaning here denoted. A leech 
says he saves lives with prattise, p. 126 ; hence a physician's 
practice, A servant is directed to brushe intruders away, in 
the same page ; Wyntoun had used this verh intransitively. 
A master bids his servants tenderli to tende me tyUe (attend 
to me), p. Ill; this adjective seems to have been confused 
with the verb ; for to tender a thing (attend carefully to it) 
is in constant use for the next Century. Occleve had 
already had the phrase. 

A second Version of the ' Gresta Eomanorum ' seems to 
have been compiled about 1470; at least we see ware 
for the old wered, p. 395, which is found in the *Paston 
Letters * about that date.^ This text is far more Northern 
than the Salopian text of 1440 ; we have Manning's go a 
good pace, also kirke, arm, alse longe as, thou knowes, both 
mskille and mych, lefte for bUefte (mansit), to-mome (eras). 

In p. 48 Layamon's GornoUle becomes the Gonoryll so 
well known to us. There is the new Substantive pokefvll. 
The word stole still keeps its dignified meaning of sedes in 
p. 418, not having come down to the sense of scdbellvm, as 
in Norfolk. 

Among the Adjectives we see moste myghtiest, p. 423. 
In p. 405 we have both forms, rightful and rigUwise, used 
for Justus, 

We see, among the Verbs, drynke it up, a sperite walks, ye 
han nought to do here. In p. 35 the Paston put out eyen is 
substituted for the do out yen of the older Version. 

Among the Adverbs we see why so? A request is 
made in p. 410 ; the Southern answer / nille becomes that 
shall I not. 

As to the Prepositions, we have / mil make with the a 
covenaunte of ten agaynes oon that, etc., p. 374 ; our sportsmen 
have now wonderfully shortened this betting phrase. 

As to French and Latin words, we find transite, used 

^ This Version extends from p. 327 to p. 428, besides some earlier 
parallel versions of the First text (Early English Text Society). 


both as a noun and as a verb. A moral lesson is drawn 
from grammar in p. 416, and all the fallyngis or cases are 
named. We hear of a woman weU enfourmyd^ p. 396 ; of 
the Bialles, p. 408, whom Miss Burney calls " the Koyal- 
ties." Ajurrour (juror) seems to have little differed from 
an extordoner in this age ; see pp. 372 and 386. Children 
are arrayed nysely (elegantly), p. 388 ; the new sense of 
the word Our unstedefast was being supplanted by unstable^ 
soon to become a Biblical word. We see veckms, ruynome. 
There is a pun in p. 417, turning upon eyre, which expresses 
both Jueres and aer. 

The *Eevelation of the Monk of Evesham' (Arber's 
Keprints) seems to have been translated from the Latin 
about 1470 ; it was printed about 1482 ; I suspect that it 
was compiled not far from Tyndale's birthplace. We see 
the new words and forms, behave, ware (induit), not wered; 
thoes (illi) and dyke (fossa) have come down from the North, 
while tJiA/lke appears only once. But the old Imperative 
sechiih remains, and the Present Plural ends in en, as they 
desiren; these forms were soon to drop. There are Salo- 
pian forms and words Hke mekylle, hmrahvlle, seche (talis), 
doers, hethir to ; there is the Worcestershire gyve (catena) ; 
and Trevisa's Gloucestershire phrase, three nyghtis togedp-. 
Both her and their stand for illm'um ; the South and North 
meet in " a neybur of hems " (hers), p. 70. Many of the 
new words and phrases I mention here were fifty years 
later to be inserted by Tyndale, another son of the Severn 
land, in our Version of the Bible. Among these is the 
new sense of the verb worship. 

As to Vowels, the i is replaced by 0, as hedlong. The 
u is inserted in sepdcur, p. 93, much as we pronounce it 
There is tedusnes, and also tedeusnes, p. 76. The old sceos 
(calcei) becomes schewis. Among the Consonants we find d 
changed into th, as hethur (hue) ; Tyndale was fond of this. 
The J? is represented either by th or y ; yow is constantly 
written for thov,, and this perhaps helped to supplant ye 
and thou by you. The w is prefixed to vowels, as wolde 
(senex) ; also to h, as whore (canus) ; it is struck out, for 
home (quem) replaces whom. The r is added, for lesse 
VOL. I. ^ 

322 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

becomes Usswr (minor), one of Tyndale's forms. There is 
the new Adjective onspekoMe, Among the Pronouns we 
remark that after, unlike other prepositions, is not prefixed 
to one another, as the new usage of this age enjoined ; in p. 
20 the phrase is one after a Twthyr, following the former 
construction of all prepositions. There is the new phrase 
any lenger (longer) ; " he knew not that it were any synne" 
where any supplants a. The old me (man) has been dropped 
since Audley's time; we see how myght a man sey, etc., 
p. 46. 

Among the Verbs we see schynyd instead of shone, p. 
108. In p. 77 we have both the old holpyn and the new 
helpyd, A new phrase for the Future, a phrase now always 
in our mouths, comes in p. 43 ; a sowle was goyng to he 
Ir&iighte, instead of shvlde he hroughte ; this reminds us of 
the Old English he gos]? rcedan. There are new phrases 
like have amy suspycyon, dead and gone. The old Teutonic 
rap (auferre) is confused with the Latin ; hence we see the 
Participle rapt In p. 72 take stands for intelligere, as in 
our "I take it." In p. 105 the saints toorship Christ; in 
p. 87 Christ worships His servant, that is, " does honour to 
him;" it was unlucky that one English verb should come 
to express both adorare and colere. There is the medical 
verb cup in p. 32. 

Among the Adverbs there is fer and hrode, p. 68, where 
we should make the last word ivide; in p. 103 stands an 
evyn heyre with me (co-heir). 

As to the Prepositions, we have m^iny of myne acquentans, 
p. 41; cruel apone (them), p. 57; whence "hard upon 
them." There is for a more wondyr, p. 22 ; here a preced- 
ing what may he held is dropped. 

We see the German noun hrack (bush), our brake, p. 40. 

The Komance words are conteyne (restrain) him, ex- 
pedyent, contrary wise, plead a cause, joi/n himself to, fugytyve. 
The form state is set apart for conditio ; estate was needed 
to express other ideas. In p. 63 a clerk is wise in his 
own comeyte ; we now make a difference between this noun 
and conception. The verb marvel was coming in fast, as we 
see in this treatise. In p. 106 a man is so amazed that 

1 1. ] THE NE IV ENGLISH. 323 

he is absent to himself. In p. 93 a man is prevent by 
mercy, to repent before death ; here the idea of forestalling 
begins to come in. The very, standing for vald^, is in great 

About 1470 were compiled the *Babees' Book' (Early 
English Text Society) and some other poems in the same 
volume. The chief author here is John Kussell, some time 
servant to the good Duke Humphrey. He uses the y pre- 
fixed to the Past Participle, the ande which ends the 
Present Participle, and tiche (quisque). He prefixes the 
y, as in yerb (herba) ; we see the alliterative ryme or reson 
in p. 199 ; the h is clipped ; hrcecan becomes reche (vomit). 

Among the new Substantives are wrapper, slipper, runner 
(strainer). In p. 1 babees is used for young lads, reminding 
us of Baby Charles. In p. 195 Kussell uses in my dayes, 
Mallory's phrase for olim. We see a new Adjective formed 
by' adding som to an old one, as werysom, p. 168. There 
is the new phrase any further, p. 161. 

Among the Verbs are set abroche (a pipe), set on egge 
(edge). In p. 3 the greeting prescribed is God spede, A 
new idiom with the Imperative is often used, be tastynge, 
p. 128 ; Coverdale was to be fond of this. 

There is the Scandinavian substantive roughe (roe of 
fish), p. 154, also squirt. 

Among the French words are posset, junket, Muscadel, 
sugar candy, basshe (modest, p. 161), cov/rtly, vycount. The 
lees of some red wine are called coloure de rose, p. 125. 
The expletive sans doute is used. We hear of these gromes 
called wayters, who set out the table of Edward IV., p. 314, 
Note. The word mess gains a new meaning in p. 188 ; it 
does not mean food, but a party of men eating together. 
In p. 8 report stands for a written document. We see to 
brush clothes; the foreign word had also given birth to 
the Participle wabrush^n. We read of the blod royal, one 
of the few instances where we still make the Adjective the 
last word. 

The Middle class seem to have been making way about 
this time, for in p. 187 it is stated that merchants and 
rich artificers may sit at table with ladies and squirea. 

324 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

No one under the rank of an Earl employed a taster as 
a preservative against poison, p. 196. The Abbot of Tin- 
tern is named in p. 192 as the poorest of all the Abbots, 
he of Westminster being the highest ; in the same way, the 
Prior of Dudley is opposed to the Prior of Canterbury. 

In the * Chronicles of the White Rose ' (published in 
1845) there are many documents of 1470 and 1471. 
We see avani cut down to mw, p. 80, and discouriour 
becomes scourer (scout), p. 75, as in the North. There 
are the verbs set in array, it lies in his power, keep terms 
with; this last reminds us of kepan half dale with, in 1210. 
The verb get, following the example of come, takes an 
Infinitive; he might get to have the overhand, p. 52. We 
hear of " so able and so well picked men," p. 45. There 
is an inversion in truth it is thai, p. 234. We see thie new 
adverb hourly, p. 235 ; there is terseness in the phrase they 
dispersed the soonest they could, p. 92. The Eomance words 
are, the appointment is broken, abuse (fallere), hisfu/neral service, 
tranquillity, to minister justice. In p. 57 we hear of comfort- 
able (cheering) messages, where the able, as in the old de- 
fensable, has an Active sense. In p. 233 we have put it 
in ure (practice) ; hence came the verb inure twenty years 
later; still more remarkable is put them in their uttermost 
devoir to, p. 240 ; the change from the sense of debere to 
that of conari is most strange ; a few years later Caxton 
wrote indevor him to, etc. 

In the * Political Songs' of the year 1471 (Master of 
the Rolls) the Northern change, which substituted aro 
(sagitta) for the Southern arwe, is making progress; in 
p. 277 walomg stands for the Participle of the old walewen. 
The old clo]>er is now written dothyer, p. 285. The form 
Bewme, not Beeme (Bohemia), appears, p. 284 ; perhaps 
this was an imitation of the German sound of the word. 
The French words are penowry (penury), altratyd (altered). 

Warkworth's Chronicle (Camden Society) seems to 
belong to this time; the writer must have been an East 
Angle from his use of gwiche (which) and tUl (ad). Some 
documents of the time are added to the Chronicle. The 
old on lesse becomes our common unless, p. 50. We know 

11.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 325 

the old idiom, a man of his; this is extended in p. 16, a 
manne of the Erles. Among the Substantives we see once 
more hande-gonnes, as distinguished from cannon ; Edward 
IV. owed the recovery of his throne mainly to three 
hundred of these light weapons, borne by Flemings, p. 13. 
An adverb is made a noun ; for in p. 17 stands the fonmrde 
(of the battle). The new thoos (illi) may be read in a State 
paper, p. 46 ; it was soon to drive out the old tho. There 
is halff so myche more^ p. 3, Jom of dohke, p. 16, not far 
from our phrase. Among the Verbs are give knoleage to, 
to loose gonnes at (our let off), lose it to the King, to turn out 
(come forth), make out commaundements to, also commissions 
to. We see the cry wherewith a favourite chief was hailed: 
A / Kynge Herry, p. 14 ; this had come South since Wyn- 
toun's time. 

Among the Romance words we find the u&vrpit them in 
devir to, etc. ; there is pety capitaine, resist, execute him, levy 
war ; the word dyverse is used without any substantive, p. 
27, like the Latin Plural quidam, a new sense of the word ; 
dyverse of them were turned. The word inconvenience stands 
for damnum, p. 37 ; debate is now used of a Parliamentary 
contest, p. 60 ; York's change of the succession was 
debatet. The Western shires are expressed by the west 
countre, p. 17. An old French proverb comes in p. 27, 
"a castelle that spekythe, and a womane that wille here, 
thei wille be gotene bothe." 

In * Halliwell's Original Letters of English Elings,' for 
the year 1473, we see the new substantive breakfast, p. 
138, stamped with the authority of Edward IV.; also 
behaviour, p. 141, the ending of which seems to have been 
suggested by the word haver or havour (opes), coming from 
the French avoir. The word humanity stands here for 
" polite learning." 

In the 'State Papers,' voL vL, dating from 1473, we 
see " letters sent in that byhalf,^* p. 1 ; a new phrase for 
object. In p. 6 stands a minuit (minute) of a letter. In p. 8 
we find the jpremissez (what has gone before). 

London had been extending her sway over the shires 
South of Trent for the last Century as regards language ; 

326 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. ii. 

her influence can be measured by glancing at the Stafi'ord- 
shire poem in Horstmann's * Altengliscbe Legenden/ p. 308, 
supposed to have been compiled about 1460. Chaucer, 
Wickliffe, and Henry the Fifth had not written in vain, 
but something still remained to be done ; the old manu- 
scripts were now to yield to a new invention. 




Hitherto the New Standard English had been militant ; it 
was now at last triumphant ; the many dialects, at least to 
the South of Trent, very seldom reappear in writing after 
1474. Caxton's press marks the beginning of a new 
period ; it arrested the decay of old Teutonic words, and 
gave stability to our spelling. The Reformation was to 
bring Standard English home to all men; the Bible of 
Tyndale and Coverdale, and the Prayer Book of the 
reformed Anglican Church — books read every week in 
every English parish — were to insure the triumph of the 
East Midland English that had forced its way to London 
and Oxford. The form, in which the world -renowned 
English classics were soon to appear, now comes before us ; 
it differs in some points widely from Pecock's works that 
were compiled only a score of years earlier. 

Caxton, a Kentish man, whose grandfather must have 
been bom not long after the time that the Ayenbite of Inwit 
was compiled, lived for three years in London ; and then 
about 1441 betook himself to the Low Countries, where he 
combined trade and authorship. We might have expected, 
from his birth and breeding, that he would have held fast 
to the old Southern forms and inflections, at least as 
much as Bishop Pecock had done. But Caxton had 
come under another influence. In 1469 he had begun 
translating into English the * Recuyell of the Historyes of 
Troye ;' in the previous year King Edward's sister had been 

328 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

given to Charles the Bold. The new Duchess took 
an interest in the work of her countryman, who had 
sickened of his task after writing five or six quires. In 
1471, "she commanded me," says Caxton, "to show the 
said five or six quires to her said grace. And when she 
had seen them, anon she found defaute in mine English, 
which she commanded me to amend." She bade him (he 
had a yearly fee from her) go on with his book ; and this 
work, the first ever printed in our tongue, came out in 
1474. It was "not written with pen and ink, as other 
books are, to the end that every man may have them at 
once." Wherein did the Duchess and the Printer differ 
in their views of English ? In this, that the one came of 
a Northern house, while the other had been bom and bred 
in the South. ^ Owing to the new influence, in Caxton's 
first work we see the loss of the old Southern inflexions of 
the Verb ; and we find Orrmin's thm\ them, and tJuit (iste) 
well established, instead of the Southern her, hem, and thilk, 
beloved of Pecock. Caxton uses besiness for occupation, and 
has the phrase to passe the tyme, whence a noun was to come, 
thirty years later. When we weigh the works of Caxton, 
who wrote under the eye of the Yorkist Princess, we 
should bear in mind the English written by her father in 
1452, not very unlike the State papers of Henry V.^ The 
Midland speech was now carrying all before it. The Acts 
of Parliament, passed under the last Plantagenet King, 
were soon to be printed by the old servant of the House 
of York. 

Caxton says of himself, "I was born and lerned myn 
englissh in Kent in the weeld, where I dowte not is 
spoken as brode and rude englissh as is in ony pla<!e of 
englond." ^ He got the * Recuyell ' printed at Bruges 

^ See Mr. Blades's * Life of Caxton.' *The Recuyell,' and some of 
Caxton's later works, are exposed to view in a case at the British 

^ See York's long State Paper in Gairdner's *Paston Letters ' 

3 I may remark that this weeld (the old toeald) was written wolde 
(saltus) in other parts of England. As to broad, it had been degraded 
from Chaucer's sense of planiis to incuUus ; hence our hr(xiid Yorkshire 
applied to speech. 


by his friend Colard Mansion in 1474 ; another of his 
works, the *Game of the Chesse/ was printed by the 
same friend in the next year. In 1476 Caxton seems to 
have set np a press of his own in Westminster, where he 
worked till his death in 1491. Good reason has England 
to be proud of this son of hers, who opens a new era in 
her literature. 

The * Game of the Chesse* (I use Axon's reprint in 
1883) abounds in new French words, which did not take 
root in England ; there are very few Teutonic words, now 
obsolete, to be found there. Here we doubtless trace the 
influence of Caxton's fair patroness. Colard Mansion, a 
foreigner, had no type for the English \ ; hence ih usually 
replaces it, and our loss of the old character is accounted 
for. The letter y is sometimes used for it, as y^ (thou), 
^ (that) ; hence we often see in our time y written for 
the; this last may be seen in p. 133. Another token 
of foreign influence is the Flemish gh before 6, as ghed 
(hospes); ghost appears in later works. "^ The Northern 
syn (quoniam) is preferred to the Southern ^hm^ p. 44. 
We see mr (neque) an odd mixture of the old ne with the 
North-Westem corruption nor, 

Caxton is fond of striking out vowels ; he constantly 
prints forms like thanswer for the answer^ a usage which 
lasted for a hundred years ; captayn replaces Chaucer's 
capitaine ; pawne (the chess piece) is written for Lydgate's 
poun. The replaces ow ; sorofid is written for sorweful. 
The ch replaces t, as scracch; we see not reckless but 
recheless, which comes into our Prayer Book. Caxton is 
fond of the 0, writing Cezar, Among his new Substantives 
are husband man, grauntsirs fader; this last was to be 
altered by 1530. The forms heyghte and hyghnes stand in 
one sentence, p. 159. The word rodde is used for a 
carter's whip, p. 76. Caxton is fond of new Plurals ; thus 
he talks of heetes (ardores), p. 103, applying the word to 
the mind. The word forfex is now Englished by a pair of 
sheres, p. 93. Among his Adjectives is the hye sea; men 
may dress in whyte, p. 36. Among the Pronouns we 
see thee needlessly inserted, as ne donate the (fear not), p. 

330 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

21 ; we have already seen / fear me. The her^ now and 
then, still stands for Ulorum ; there is the very Northern 
phrase a frende of heeris (hers), p. 32. The nothmg is very 
often used for noty the old nought ; no thynge so grete as, 
nothinge lyke to U, Caxton's countryman Shoreham had 
used nothing lovd. There is the new phrase in p. 67, 
answer none otherwyse, where in is dropped. Caxton was 
unahle to pass the Douhle Negative on to Tyndale, a 
generation later. An English sentence may now consist of 
two words ; in p. 87 the question is asked, who entendeih to, 
etc. ? Then comes Certayrdy none ; this we must owe to 
the French. We see the new phrase they ben worst of alle 
other ; here the of expresses beyond ; or else the other is not 

Among the Verhs we see sette in enprinte, gyve thankyngis, 
kepe a promise. The verh break gets the new sense of 
domare; his hors well broken, p. 43. In p. 59 certain advice 
is given, which they toke ; in our phrase take advice, the 
verb may mean either rogare or ampledL In p. 72 Csesar 
is ready to do for his soldiers (act in their behalf) ; hence 
landladies profess to do for their lodgers. The old deave 
(findere) becomes intransitive in p. 152 ; it moreover begins 
to take a Weak Perfect. 

Among the Adverbs are a fore tyme, comerwyse ; this wise 
was to be much used in compounding. The old adverb 
derelier becomes more derely, p. 2 ; a change for the worse. 
In p. 65 a man acts for nothynge that (non quia) he mys- 
trusted/ this was soon to become not that he mistrusted, 
where a for is dropped. In p. 90 stands the grettest synns 
that is ; here a there is dropped before the verb. 

As to Prepositions, there is a new idiom connected with 
f(yr in p. 90 ; it is an evil thing for a man to have suspedon ; 
laws hard for them to kepe, p. 54 ; here the for connects an 
Infinitive with the Adjective. A covetous man is not good 
for ony thynge, p. 109. In p. 121 money is holden and gaged 
upon something; this is a new betting phrase, both as 
regards the verb hold and the preposition. 

Among the Eomance words are redoubted, to endodrine, 
parole, dyent (at law), gawnUlet, barbaryns (barbarians), dis- 


agreahle, depose (as witness), trowell, abandon, net (purus), to 
confisc, clere seing, treangle, vaUliami. Caxton does not care 
to alter the French fonns and words in the book which he 
was Englishing, thus we see Seneque (Seneca), moyan (mean), 
to estvdy, mysericorde, to enseygne (docere), esprised with hei', 
fumee (smoke), tryste (msestus). He often restores to a French 
word a sense that it had long lost in England, as defend 
(vetare), caitif (captivus). New French forms replace older 
ones, as renom6e, loyalty^ gardes (no longer wardeins), guarisshe 
(not toa/rish, to heal). We see both the Latin tractate and 
the French traytee^ meaning our treatise. We hear of 
strange birds that men call wultres (vultures), p. 10. The 
two Participles corrupt and corompid stand side by side 
in p. 37 ; they are formed from diflFerent parts of the Latin 
verb. The word pietovs is in constant use for pitying. 
Caxton couples /roTkJ mthfree, p. 79; he also brought in 
new Plurals, as vilanyes (scelera). He uses marchal for 
smith, p. 85 ; this word must have been commoner in every- 
day speech than in literature, to account for our frequent 
surname Marshall. We hear of dyvyne pourveance, p. 113; 
we now usually give to the substantive its Latin form. The 
old estate makes way for another word ; men in good con- 
dicion, p. 132 ; but it here refers to the mind, not the body. 
We are told in p. 158 that the myles of Lombardy and 
England are called in France leukes (leagues). The foreign 
verb extend was now driving out the Teutonic reach. The 
word succession now expresses proles, and is used of a king, 
p. 170. We saw, about the year 1470, the new phrase 
put them in dever to ; this is now altered by Caxton into 
endevor them to, p. 3 ; and a further change was to come 
thirty years later. Caxton is fond of using peple for 
homines; a queen should spring of (from) honest peple, p. 
27 ; we now often use my people for my family, A manoir 
is used for castellvm, p. 30 ; hence our Worksop Manor, 
referring to a house. Caxton's Southern birth is evident 
when he writes tumerous for timorous, p. 32. In p. 50 we 
see the new word botye (booty), and also its French form 
butyn. There is a favourite phrase set it a part (aside), that 
is, abolere. The verb close becomes intransitive, p. 90. The 

332 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

barbarous compound scatvage (show-age) appears in p. 1 39 ; 
it here means toll taken upon goods displayed for sale ; 
hence shortly was to come scavengei\ The Latin mvlier is 
derived from mollis aer in p. 123; this was repeated by 

The technical tenns of Chess appear in this book, such 
as chesse borde, chesse meyney chesse men, a quadrante (square), 
set the chesse, take his adversary, go from black to whyte, to 
meve (ire, not movere), to cover (your men). 

In the *Book of Curtesye,' printed about 1477, Caxton 
follows a manuscript that makes a few alterations in the 
text of 1450, upon which I have already remarked ; see p. 
285 of my book. He preserves the old Imperative in eth. 
He couples the verbs mocken and mowe in p. 49 ; the first 
word was to be replaced by Shakespere's mop. The morowe 
(mane) and thilke of the first text are here altered into mm-- 
enynge and these, pp. 6 and 43 ; arid (si) is turned into yf, 
p. 9. A wonderful mistake is made in p. 47, where to goo 
louse is altered into go to the galowis. 

In 1481 Caxton translated the hystorye of Reynard the 
Foxe from the Dutch ; this is the most valuable treatise 
ever set in type by him, and it has been reprinted again 
and again ; I have gone to the Percy Society for my text. 
In this piece Caxton brought in many Dutch words, such 
as the verbs rutsele, wentle, etc. He prints diere (fera) in 
the Dutch way, not the English dere ; so also lupaerd and 
ungheluch He says, " I have followed as nyghe as I can 
my copie, which was in dutche, and translated into this 
rude and symple Englyssh;" here Dutch is restricted to 
Hollandish, I think for the first time. In this work, the 
diction of which is most unlike the *Game of Chesse,' 
Caxton shows his Southern birth by printing axe (rogare), 
anhongryd, suiter, everiche, tryew, the old treow (verus), and 
valdore as well Sisfaldore, p. 34. But the Northern words 
and forms had come down in flocks, and were now em- 
bodied in Standard English. Where replaces there (ubi) in 
p. 121. Caxton has already (jam), halow (clamare), the 
Perfect thou dalf-est, gete (ire), sware, upsodoun, she-ape, ramie 
(cucurrit), cratch (scratch), have the overhand of, kyndenes 


(benignitas), ill life^ ha/ue done. The Danish whatsomever 
and such like forms are found. Caxton's great claim upon 
us is that in many words he gave us back the old hard 
East Anglian ^, which for the foregoing 300 years had 
been commonly softened into y in words like gate, get, again / 
he even writes galp instead of yelj). In p. 73 comes to day 
by the morow ; Gualtier, the later editor of 1650, turned 
this last word into morning. The Northern has begins to 
replace the Southern hath, p. 31. The old Gloucestershire 
kyen (vaccse) was made a Standard word by Caxton. 
Nothing shows more plainly the influence of the Dano- 
Anglian forms than that he should write ridge (dorsum), 
the old hrycg ; here he prefers the Northern i to the usual 
Southern u (rugge), or to his own Kentish e (regge). 

We find many old proverbs here ; among others, a pot 
may goo so longe to water, that at the last it cometh to-broken 
hoom ; I am no byrde to be locked ne take by chaf. 

As to Vowels, there are herke, hearke, and harkene, all 
three ; we have seen the old estatlich ; the first vowel of 
this is clipped in p. 48; jeopardy and manace become jepardye 
and Tnenace. It was now settled that we should writepeyne, 
not pine. The king is addressed as me lorde, p. 78. We 
find our form bier (feretrum), p. 8, where the ie is new. 
Caxton writes gylty and not the usual Southern gulty. The 
old swelwen now becomes swolow, p. 83 ; the Northern bile 
(pustula) here is seen as bule, which is also a Flemish word ; 
this shows how our boU was once sounded. The and u 
still interchange, for both roms and ruym (p. 81) appear. 
Caxton was fond of turning the old prefix bi into be, as bely 
for the old bUeo^en (falsely accuse). 

As to Consonants, he is fond of the gh ; he has sygh^ for 
the old sike, used by Chaucer. The d is inserted in hedche, 
p. 103, as before in the * Promptorium.' The z, an unusual 
letter, replaces s in wezel, p. 157, which had been written 
wesile in the * Promptorium.' 

Turning to the Substantives we see the double forms 
neve and nevm, Bruin and Browning. The racke (not long 
known in England) is mentioned in p. 29, and this is spelt 
ratte in p. 12 ; just as we have backe (vespertilio) in p. 109. 

334 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

We see the common phrase a deel of hem in p. 18, where 
great should follow the article. A man is said to be a 
Friese (Frisian), p. 55. We hear of the bear's ridge (back), 
p. 58 ; hirgh stands for burrow in p. 80. Quene is here 
used as a synonym both for a Monarch and a wench ; the 
old chorle stands for nothing higher than a clowriy p. 133, 
and is opposed to Lord, p. 49. Reynard eats his bely-ftU, 
p. 139. We find in this book good luck, brome (for sweeping), 
sorenes. In p. 140 nyckers is used for fiends ; this Scandi- 
navian word may have given birth to Butler's Old Nick. 
There is shadde (our shed), which seems to come from our 
word for umbra; there is the true old Kentish inwytte 
(conscience), p. 93. 

Among the Adjectives is shrewessh, p. 28. In p. 86 we 
read of loos prelates ; that is, lege soluti, a new sense of the 
adjective. We find rude and plompe beestis, p. 140; here 
the plompe means rusticus; the sense ofpinguis was to come 

As to Pronouns, we may remark that the King, when 
angry, uses thou to his subjects, pp. 38, 46 ; when in a 
gracious mood, as in pp. 22, 23, he uses ye to each animal. 
The Queen, when eager to know a secret, uses the flattering 
ye to Eeynard, though he is at the moment a criminal on 
his way to the gallows. The ram, p. 68, is addressed as 
ye your self. We also find fyve of us, "p. 97 ; one who was 
your better and wyser, p. 1 40, a very Old English form ; also, 
that one, that other, p. 160. Caxton is fond of as who saith. 
In p. 77 stands he sayd not a trewe worde ; here we should 
substitute one for the a ; Caxton here had probably the old 
Southern o in his mind. 

On turning to Verbs we are struck by the frequent 
repetition of the solemn should (answering to must), where 
we use the lighter would. In p. 126 the old gecomen, 
icomsn, becomes a-comen, just as it is now pronounced in the 
West. In p. 160 stands " they wold not of his felawship ;" 
here we should now set have nme for not. There are verbs 
like bespatter (something like bispUten), Piers Ploughman's 
galp (yelp), unsho, maw (the cry of a cat), dasel (dazzle) from 
dase. There are phrases like it goth to my herte ; I goo in 


drede ; saye ony good of hym ; smell sweet. We now often 
hear the phrase not if I know it ; this may be found in p. 
66 without the first word. In the same page may be seen 
here ye; our insolent d*ye hear? In p. 85 stands sle2>e yowr 
dyner ; we should now put off&fter the verb. The growl 
is often used, but only as an Impersonal verb; the old 
grillan in its Southern form ; hym myght growle that, etc., p. 
108; our present use of the verb came about 1700. To 
smeke is used as a synonym for flatter, p. 126; this may 
have had its influence on our later smug. Layamon's 
marke, found here in p. 134, is a weightier word than its 
synonym see. Two phrases afterwards inserted in the Bible 
appear, shrah (scratch) and come to passe, p. 151. Look abouie 
yow is a synonym for "to be wary." 

Among the Adverbs are heirtofore, p. 67 ; in p. 107 
stands go to fore ; we now insert the before the last word, 
and make it a noun. The fox, we are told, might better 
(be) of and oti, p. 1 60 ; our on and off is now mostly applied to 
love affairs. How wel stands in p. 49, where Skelton, a few 
years later, wrote however well; and do so wel as to, etc., 
stands in p. 51 for our be so good as to. In p. 55 comes 
XII yer agoon; Caxton thinks that the a is a separate word 
and disjoins it from the goon; in the North this phrase 
would have been replaced by sinnes. In p. 122 a bone 
sticks thwart ; this is the old overthwart, our athwart. The 
outright (omnino) of 1300 is clipped ; hear me all out. 

Among the Prepositions we find hurt unto the death, I 
know myself for one, p. 108; hence "I for one;" half fro 
myself, p. 92 ; that is, out of my wits ; like our ^ he is from 
home;" the fayrest of theyr age, p. 138. The Interjections 
are Oho and Ach. . 

Among the French words are to plaghe (plague), defux aas, 
p. 62, clere hym, lycensyd in law, p. 84.^ Awreke and avenge 
this is in p. 75 ; the old and new verbs stand side by side. 
Place is now evidently ousting the old stede. We hear of 

^ The Dutch, like the English, must resort to Latin in discussing 
legal matters. The original of Caxton*s translation was in this place ; 
Ich heh mil meesters van der audiencien qiiestien ende sentenden gheg- 
heven, ende was gJielycenceert. 




riche curates, p. 87 ; the epithet in our days seems strange, 
until we remember what was the old term for parish priest 
The verb bray is used for the noise of both a bear and a 
bull. Vmmercyful is in p. 48 ; this is the same kind of 
formation as ^Ifric's imdedinigendlice. 

In 1482 Caxton printed Trevisa's Chronicle, which 
was then all but a Century old. The variations in the 
language show us the changes that had been at work, un> 
checked by any counteracting influence ; the printing press 
had been unknown in England until 1474. The letter 3 
(for y) is clean gone, and ]> is hardly ever used for th / this 
]) which was now vanishing is a sad loss. Henceforth the 
language was to be much more stable ; a hundred years 
later still Sir Philip Sidney would have altered but few 
of Caxton's words. I give a specimen of the changes in 
English — 





schulle]) fonge 


shall resseyve. 

to eche 


to wone 


to welk 

teke away, 

to hore 

wexe hore (canus). 




was named. 

as me trowe}) 

as men suppose, 










ylle disposicioun.' 



swi>e good 
nesche .. 

right good* 



Caxton brought out an edition of Chaucer's * House of 


Fame* in 1483 ; we can thus mark further changes in our 
speech. The printer replaces gost by his new Dutch ghosl. 
The old Imperative hiveth (habete) makes way for hive ye^ do 
(factum) becomes don, y-be appears as he; (it) nas hut, etc., 
as (it) vxis hut, ame (sunt) as ar, nyste I SiS I ne vyyst, wUnen 
as vyylleth, hevenyssh as hevenly, graunt mercy as gramercy, 
other as eyther, disesperat as desperate, disport as sporte, 
mochU as grete, Chaucer had written Cataloigne amd Aragon; 
Jbut in Caxton's time another part of the Peninsula had 
taken the lead ; he therefore writes Castyle lyon (Leon) 
and Aragon, p. 215. Even Thynne in 1532 often sticks 
closer to the old text than Caxton does. The latter thus 
speaks of Chaucer, "In alle hys werkys he excellyth in 
myn oppynyon alle other wryters in our EnglyssL For 
he wrytteth no voyde wordes, but alle hys mater is ful of 
hye and quycke sentence. ... Of hym alle other have 
borowed syth and taken in alle theyr wel sayeng and 
wrytyng." Few poets, in modem times, have enjoyed 
500 years of continuous honour. 

In Caxton's edition of the * Book of the Knight of La 
Tour Landry ' (Early English Text Society), given to the 
world in 1483, there is the Southern form suster, the 
Northern ash and the which, also some hody, p. 176, and 
straw (stemere) to be afterwards used by Tyndale; the old 
assay becomes essay, p. 170; both dommage and dammage 
stand in p. 194. In p. 175 stands the pleonasm one onely 
word. In p. 179 stands hetter men of theyr persones ; hence 
the later "a tall man of his hands." In p. 194 we find 
not above ten yere old ; here this preposition is first prefixed 
to numerals. In p. 200 stands at all aventure (in any case) ; 
this paved the way for our " at all events." French words 
are brought in. from the original without the slightest 
reason, as arrache, vergoynous ; there is custommed to doo 
(solitus), p. 195. 

Dr. Murray's Dictionary shows that Caxton prefixed 
the a to the old knouleche (fateor) ; he has also amuse 
(fallere), absolutely (certainly), and by accident. 

In the *York Wills' for 1482 and 1483 we see a 
thoroughly Northern substitution, when a Saville writes 

VOL. I. ^ 

338 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

his own name as Sayvdly iiL 294. In p. 287 an executor, 
speaking of a servant, calls hym to dccomptes / we now put 
the last word in the Singular. 

In Rjrmer's documents, from 1474 to 1477, we see the 
form buye (emere) in a grant of Edward the Fourth's, p. 
185 ; the word has at last all but taken its modem form. 
In p. 175 we once more see the Present and Future coupled 
in the nobles being and to be under him. This was also an 
idiom of Caxton*s. The word Duchery, p. 826, occurring in 
a Scotch document, is a compromise between duchy and 
dukery ; the latter word is well known in Notts. We see 
non, as before, prefixed to a Teutonic word ; in non-doing of 
(it), p. 838. In p. 849 stands the expedition and setting 
forth of the army ; here both the Eomance and the Teutonic 
nouns convey a transitive sense, though we now use them 
as neuters. There is a Scotch substitution of brmgage for 
bringing in the year 1477. There is the new placquart 

In the * Rolls of Parliament,' 1474-1483, we see the 
Old and New forms coupled in p. 166, where mention is 
made of the village Iwame Cmrteney, otherwise Yewame 
Comieney ; both Jcmyver and January appear. In p. 113 
we read of the North/rithyng and Estrithyng of York \ this th 
had not yet been corrupted into d in the East Anglian 
fashion ; in the same way the old verb aforthe lingers in p. 
156, followed by an Infinite. There is the surname Gibbes, 
due to Gilbert ; and new nouns like oversight, neemesse, mys- 
behavyngs ; the latter shows how readily the mis was pre- 
fixed to a new word. In p. 188 various plays are 
mentioned, among them are halfbowle, handyn and handowte; 
these, like our skittles, were played in gardens. In p. 134 
we read of 12 fathom; the word is unchanged in its Plural 
form. The Commons are addressed as youre wisdomss, p. 
182. In p. 221 we see that grilles was anything but equal 
to a salmon. In p. 156 we learn that Englishmen were 
getting fonder of playing cards than of archery ; a statute is 
passed (like one of the Emperor Frederick the Second's), 
compelling every ship to bring home bowstaves from 
foreign parts. In p. 193 stands it is comen to his knowlage. 


The preposition (mt (we saw one instance in Chaucer) was 
now beginning to encroach upon me/r in composition ; to 
outleve him stands in p. 234, where the ov^ expresses super, 
not ex. Among the Eomance words are sewers (of water), p. 
210, demeane (domain), to quiet them, arable land. We saw 
determine (statuere) in Trevisa; we now find in p. 241 we 
he determined to, etc. In p. 210 we hear of the Priour and 
his confreres ; the latter word is now a thing of beauty and 
joy to our penny-a-liners. The old French form hordure 
still stands, not having given way to border. 

The *Paston Letters,' from 1474 to 1485, show many 
changes at work. There is the East Anglian plot (of 
ground), huswifery ; thos (illi) is much used for tho by the 
upper class. The sound of the French ^ is making its way 
to the South, for there are declair, gayt (I gat, got), p. 227 ; 
in p. 254 stands Leystoft for Lowestoft, owing most likely to 
the twofold sound of oi. The replaces ow in horoed. In 
p. 140 we have streyghtly charge theym ; here the Teutonic 
gh is thrust into a IVench word. A Paston uses the very 
Southern form " (it) ys do " (done) in p. 247 ; this do was 
very near sharing the triumph of ago (agone). The most 
curious use of consonants is that of psal for sal (shall), p. 
221. The r is inserted, for the guavin of the 'Promp- 
torium' now becomes qwaver, p. 174. 

Among the new Substantives are shomaker, wardship, the 
lete (let of an estate), your m^rchypp (mothership). In p. 
109 a letter is directed to a knight, "lodgyd at the George 
by Powlys WharfF;" here we see the titles of Saints clipped 
in common usage. The word toweardnes before the Con- 
quest had meant futurity ; this had died out, and the sub- 
stantive, bearing another meaning, is coined anew from the 
adjective toward; see p. 122. The word stok had expressed 
progenies in WicklifFe; it stands for domus in p. 190, and 
ioT pecus in p. 238. In p. 133 we hear of a grome of the 
chamhyr. In p. 170 a young lady addresses her betrothed 
as her Voluntyne, In p. 148 a new title comes up; Sir 
John Paston talks of Mother Brown; in p. 171 reference is 
made to my lady my rmder. It is hoped, in p. 163, that a 
marriageable girl may come into Crysten menys handys ,• 

340 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

here Crysten must stand for a man of worth. In p. 155 
something is gotten hy stronge Mnd {yioXqxic^, In p. 162 
the conquerors of Charles the Bold appear as the Swechys ; 
Tyndale later called them Souchenars, We have already 
seen your wisdoms; in p. 181 we have yowr wurshippys. 
There is the new word grorvndage, p. 211, expressing the 
right to what comes aground after a wreck at sea. The 
old fere was now being replaced in composition by fellow ; 
in p. 235 stands hedffelawe. In p. 244 there is not only 
Chaucer's h'ue hous, but also the new hruewyf. We find Tvlly 
for Cicero in p. 301, just as July had replaced Julius nearly 
200 years earlier. We see the proper name WTiyte in 
p. 211. 

Among the Adjectives something is called in p. 239 tw^ 
goodely mther goddely ; the latter word starts once more to 
life after a long sleep. In p. 144 we hear of a gravecloth 
not worth IP, a phrase that we still keep, sometimes adding 
to it halfpenny. The word onhappy is applied to a thing 
without feeling in p. 121, much as miluchy. The word slak 
is employed in a new sense in p. 166, slakke payeres. The 
Past Participle of hreddan (liberare) had not often been 
used hitherto ; she wold he redde of it, p. 295. We read of 
a free horse in p. 200 ; this must mean generosus ; we now 
talk of " a free goer." 

Among the Pronouns we see on (one) weye or other, p. 

As to the Verbs, there is a most unusual coupling in p. 
159, / wyll and shall he redy. The Imperative stands for 
the Future in p. 211, lesse (lose) your ryht now and lesse it for 
ever. We see do the hest I can, p. 143; lay to me (a charge), 
let loose, it is well ment, hrynge it to effecte, I took (visited) him 
in my wey, put in possessyon, make trohyll, fall in qiveyntaince 
with, gete it into yowr handes, draw ought (up) a hylle, kepe 
possession, doo as moche for yow. We have seen mean applied 
to the signification of a word; it is now applied to the 
reality denoted by the word, they wote what yt meneth to he 
as a sauger, p. 135. The verb erase is still used both of 
sea-sickness and of illness produced by bad diet in p. 161 ; 
we now confine it to failure of brain. In p. 149 deele 


stands for make, a bargain. In p. 188 yoiur mater is hlowyn 
wyde, "made common talk;" hence character is blown upon. 
Our slang use oisit upon is foreshadowed in p. 235 ; the King 
intends to sitte uppon a criminal ; that is, in judgment In p. 
231 stands ye may do meche with the Kyng ; here the do re- 
presents the old dugan (valere), not don. The Infinitive is 
dropped after have (jubeo), how ye wyll have me demeanyd, p. 
159. The verb spring is made transitive in p. 130, iff (^it) 
sprynge (produce) any sylver ; a new verb is coined in p. 
162, where the Swiss berde the Duke of Burgoyne. We 
see the Chaucerian / gesse used as an expletive in the 
American way, p. 185. The Passive Voice is further de- 
veloped, / am promysed to know, p. 228. The verb do is 
even at this late date used for our makey do him come, p. 
238. The phrase go to lawe, p. 245, means simply "begin 
to study law." 

As to Adverbs, dovm is employed in a new sense in p. 
226, the wod (wood) is dovm; out is prefixed to nouns ; we 
hear of the owt chargys, that is, extra charges, p. 126. In 
p. 194 stands the soner the better. There is a new phrase 
for tolerare in p. 199, used afterwards in the Bible, my 
charges be gretter than I maye a weye with ; perhaps a verb 
make is dropped before the a weye, representing some sense 
like facere viam ; the whole construction is most curious. 
Old Margaret Paston uses there in its old sense, ubi, in p. 
284 ; she speaks of Redham, there as I was bwne. 

Among the Prepositions we find be in hand with a man, 
it is in the giftt of, etc., be m goode hope, be out of facyon ; 
here the last word takes the sense of mode. Hitherto a man 
had appeared before the Lords of the Council ; now a mater 
is beffoor them, p. 153. A well-known law phrase is in p. 
166, ye sholde have it with your wyffe to the lenger lyver of yow 
bothe. In p. 219 stands, (she) is upon L yer of age; here 
close is dropped after is. In p. 204 we see long of comyng 
where the of must stand for an on. Instead of saying " she 
has a sister," a lad writes in p. 241 ther be II systers of them ; 
our " make a night of it " is something like this. 

We see the proverbs, grettest clefrkys are nott alweye wysest 
men, p. 153; U is but a sympill oke, that is cut dovm at the first 

342 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

stroke^ p. 169. If a thing is very easy to be obtained, a 
goose may get ity p. 163. 

The well-known letter of young Master Paston from 
Eton, anent love-making and Latin verse-making, stands in 
p. 240 ; it was written in 1479. 

There is the Dutch word waynescotte. 

The Eomance words are Sfpedfy^ jplunge (as a frisky horse 
does), relyffe (relief), rental^ weell-T/wnyed, prefyx, compleynaunty 
senior (set after a proper name), ipse diodt, seyetyka (sciatica), 
a gradwat (graduate), marye with yowe (filiam tibi dare, p. 
\^^)^pylyon (on a horse), my quarter wagys, sertyfy, suppliant. 
Dame Margaret Paston repeatedly addresses another lady as 
Madam, p. 197 ; she talks of a somma of money and swwma 
totalis, p. 135. There is the phrase have a horse with him at 
lyvery, iii. 280. We see the two meanings that may be 
borne by one verb in p. 14=1, ye shall Twt depart tyll dethe 
depart yovh We read of good dysposyn (disposition), and of a 
person being dysposyd to act, p. 201. In p. 148 stands ^Z^ose 
it yow to sende, etc. ; we should now strike out the three 
middle words. The young Etonian is the first Englishman, 
I think, to use one of our commonest phrases, the French 
translation of the Northern even; she is just weddyd, p. 241 ; 
this refers to time, but Pecock's even so was to become just 
so. The verb desire gets the new meaning oijuheo, p. 256. 
In p. 300 we read of a boke in preente, which is something 
new ; this refers to the first book ever printed in England, 
There is a curious mixture of Latin and French forms in be 
proveyd (purveyed) o/, p. 21 1. We see the verbs to meve and 
to mocyon in one sentence, p. 158 ; another verb, coined from 
a noun, is to laches (neglect), p. 216. The old no fors was 
making way for a longer-lived phrase, taken up by Tyndale 
rather later ; it Tnakyth no matyr how corse it be is in p. 237. 

In the *Plumpton Letters' (1474-1485) we see the 
sound of our common do in dow (facere), p. 42 ; the r is 
cast out in Knasboro, p. 32; the old begotten is seen as gotten, 
p. xciiL In p. 33 we read of a watche word, which here 
means a caution. The Southern reve (gerefa) appears more 
correctly in Yorksire as grave, p. 39 ; another form grieve is 
still in being. I have remarked upon monger in com- 

in.] THE NEW ENGLISH. 343 

position ; in p. 30 we hear of a supersedeas mounger. We 
see the source of drive a bargain, when a man says of an 
article, in p. 37, "I have cheaped (it) . . . and that is the 
least that I can drive it to.'' 

Among the French words are moyte (half), to file (papers). 
Orrmin's Pasch is still in Northern use for Easter. We 
read o^ parson Tuly, p. 31, a familiar way of mentioning a 
priest; Kobin becomes Rdbendt in p. 38. 

There are some other Northern documents (1477-1485) 
in Davies' *York Kecords.' We see the old gude, hryg 
(pons), tochand, we gretys, eyn (vesper). Some of these 
forms, evidently the work of a Yorkshire clerk, are con- 
tained in a letter signed by the future Richard III., p. 147. 
So fond were the Northern men of changing a into ^, that 
we find here pairt, depairt, airins. The old sawel, where 
the first syllable answers to the French ou, is now changed 
into sail, p. 142 ; and this remains in Scotch use. There 
is the proper name Nelson, p. 183; we read of wards 
(of a city) and wapentaks. A pageant is called a syght, p. 
162; the lokkes of a river are mentioned in p. 84. Men are 
made toll free, p. 144; a new instance of compounding 
with an adjective. In p. 178 news comes that Bucking- 
ham is tumyd ayanst Richard III. ; bear the charges of, etc., 
is in p. 115; find things upon^ him is in p. 200. The 
Romance words are almyfluent, jacket, javelin, usefullnes 

In the ' Testamenta Eboracensia,' iii., we see shaft for 
sagitta, p. 253 ; beriall loses the sense of sepvlchrvm and 
means sepultura, p. 244 ; there is the phrase woman of 
livelod (property), p. 257 ; a man of wealth and rank is 
yoman of the chambre to the] King, p. 294. There is the 
phrase break ground, used literally. There is the compound 
gardenshipp (of a child), p. 241. 

We have the Statutes of an Exeter Guild ('English 
Gilds,' Early English Text Society, p.f 304), drawn up in 
the year 1480. The y is prefixed to Past Participles, as 
y-occapied ; but it hardly ever appears after this time. 
We see the Salopian won (unus), p. 323, and wothe, p. 
316 ; the Northern whatsomever, p. 318 ; fang (recipere) is 

344 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

found, which remains to our own day in Devonshire 
mouths. There is a habit of prefixing y to vowels, as 
yand for wnd ; soul (anima) is written sole, just as we pro- 
nounce it, p. 318 ; in p. 314 are the two forms sower and 
sewer (stitcher). There is a curious change of i into oy ; 
the old spllan (Isedere) becomes sfpoyll, p. 321 ; the 
Teutonic verb was thus confused with the French cor- 
ruption of spoliare. The g and d are still confused, as 
acordynd to, p. 336 ; a very late instance. There is the 
new substantive forerrmn; one of the old senses of free 
comes out in p. 316, free of the craft} Among the Verbs 
is call him a mysname ; here we now dock the mys. As to 
new French words, we read of the customers of a shop, p. 
317 ; and quarter dayys. 

In p. 413 of the same work we find a Bristol docu- 
ment ; very few old turns of phrase remain, except tho, 
beth, ycome, ^^ our alther (omnium) liege lord,^' p. 415. 

In Gardner's * Letters of Richard III.* (Master of the 
Rolls) there is a curious insertion of jps in anempst, p. 23, 
the Scotch anent. In pp. 6 and 7 morne and mora are at 
last distinguished and are employed in our sense of the 
words. The form thoos (illi) was now rapidly driving out 
the rightful tho ; the former is used by Richard III., p. 
51. We see fore-horse, bear love towards, I here for certeyne, 
havyng respecte to, frountures (frontiers). These are in 

William of Worcester, known also as Botoner, penned 
his observations upon English geography and history in 
1480, paying particular heed to his native Bristol ; his 
* Itinerarium ' was reprinted in 1778. What was Aldgate 
in London had been corrupted into Oldgate at Bristol, p. 
182. The ala of a Church is seen as yle in p. 79, and as 
isle in p. 82 ; whence comes aisle; the confusion between 
ala and insula is curious. We see Chedsey, p. 144, the 
Chedzoy of Lord Macaulay. We read of Botrowse Castle, 

^ Swift made a fair pun on the two meanings of free, liher and 
potens ; Burnet had set down that one of his heroes was free of vices ; 
upon which Swift remarked, " I suppose in the same sense that he was 
free of a corporation." 


near Tyntagel, p. 123; this is a corruption of Botreaux 
(Botriouse); so the village of Wickham Breaux^ near Canter- 
bury, is now pronounced Broo, William shows his Southern 
breeding by talking of vethym instead of fathom. The d is 
struck out ; there are both the forms St, Avdom and St, 
Ewen (applied to one Bristol church), pp. 221 and 215. 

Among the Substantives are seebord, ward (of a castle), 
wUdfire, crossway. The word kenning is applied to a view 
reaching over twenty-one miles out at sea, p. 110; hence 
our '* within ken." The unusual word le slip is explained in 
p. 218, anglkh a steyre. There is a nickname in p. 324 ; a 
man who has no hands is called Thomas Stompys (stumps). 
A famous town on the Dee, which had long lain waste, 
appears as West-chestre, p. 263. The old firren mast now 
appears as mmt de vyrre, p. 175. Names of places keep 
their old forms more exactly than other words ; we see the 
old Genitive Plural in Monken-hrygge and Houndenrlane ; 
dyke (fossa) has not become ditch, p. 217. 

There is the Celtic noun gull, for a bird, p. 111. Among 
the Romance words are text-wryter, custom- hovs, cylyng 
(ceiling), casement, reredes (reredos), a gar gyle, crosse-yle. 
We see the ovyi^storye of a building in p. 82 ; this noun 
coming from estorer (instaurare) is confused with historia, 
for le ovyrhistorie stands in p. 78. We see panys of glass in 
p. 93, which appear also as panellce, p. 82 ; we now dis- 
tinguish between a pane and a panel (pannus), each mean- 
ing a portion of something. In p. 117 we read of le 
pleyn de Salysbery, In an heraldic description in p. 164 
we light on tmg egle displayed de argent, the spread eagle 
of later times ; it was heraldry, no doubt, that caused the 
French eagle to drive out the English em; we see how 
the verb display took root. In p. 169 we read of lez 
shamlys (shambles), from the Latin scamnum, scamellvm. 
Soon after 1240 the great trench or quay to the North of 
Bristol had been dug; this in 1480 still retained its old 
name le grawnt key, p. 255. Other traces of the Norman 
Conquest and its results on the burgher class are seen ; in 
p. 243 the place of justice is called anglice lez fourches sive 
galowes; the Old Market stood on the East side of the 

346 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

town, and this is also called le veyle market, p. 211. Our 
author translates compassion by pietas, p. 271. We see 
JUius naturalis in p. 340, a phrase which could not take 
root in English for more than a Century. The parish 
authorities Lre as heedless in those ^s as now^; the 
South aisle of All Saints was built in this Century, when 
the bones and freestone tomb of our author's uncle, who 
died about 1420, were removed; see p. 171. 

In Ellis* Letters for 1483 we see Collougne written in- 
stead of the usual Coleyne, owing to the twofold sound of 
oi» There are the phrases in myn opinion, charge upon their 
lives. In p. 168 stands the rekenyng to begyne, etc.; here 
being, which should be the third word, is dropped. 

The 'Chronicles of the White Rose* were compiled 
about 1483. How utterly lost the Old English grammar 
was may be seen by the fact that the Commons begin 
a petition with pleaseth (placeat) it your Grace, p. 272. 
There is the phrase twenty persons of gentlemen, p. 114. 
We learn that the three most Royal houses of Christendom 
in 1483 were reckoned to be England, France, and Spain, 
p. 276. A curious mixture of official language in this year 
is seen in p. 279 ; a bill in English is read before Richard 
III. ; then comes A ceste bille les Communs sont assentes ; 
then the King's assent is set down in Latin, p. 279. The 
Romance words in these Chronicles are profane (secular), 
edition (publication); the policy of England is in p. 277 
coupled with her laws and liberties, and must therefore 
mean here political interest 

In 1483 was compiled the * Catholicon Anglicum * (Early 
English Text Society), an English-Latin dictionary ; it seems 
to be due to the North -East of Yorkshire. Among the 
Northern forms and phrases, now unknown in the South, 
are hundreth (centum), lyke sange (ncenia ; who forgets Monk- 
bams* lyhewake ?), neddyr (aspis), fee (pecus), seen in feehouse, 
smallum (minutim), stag (pullus), gudsyre (avus), forgetyll 
(obliviosus), girn (grin), tovme (both pagus and vUla), to 
uppehepe (cumulare) ; tomorne, as it still does in Yorkshire, 
stands for eras. The old kakel (used of a hen) is here seen 
as kaykylle. The old haga (hedge) is unsoftened in hag- 


wortm ; but hechsy belch (the old belk), drone, show Southern 
forms creeping up to the North. In p. 190 we see a Latin 
verse, an aid to memory in declining domus — 

**Tolle me, mi, mus (mis ?) in variando dcmius." 

This, in my schoolboy days, had become — 

"ToUe met mif mUf miSj si declinare dormis vis." 

The a replaces e, as in parcelle (parsley), harthe (focus). 
The final e is sometimes not pronounced ; howe is written 
for the old hu; the ea replaces ia, as tredkylle (treacle). 
The y is added ; there is grainmry, here meaning the same 
as gramere (grammar). The y supplants ; nyke is written 
for nokke (notch), as we saw in the 'Ballads.* We find 
chine written for cham^ a Yorkshire usage seen before. 
The old \>awen (degelare) is here written thowe, a very 
different sound from what the verb now bears in the North ; 
the old tawei^e (coriarius) becomes tewer, taking the favourite 
English sound. 

As to Consonants, we see the true old form horgh 
(mutuum), and also the Southern corruption borowe (mutu- 
ari) ; we find also bower (arcuarius), whence comes a surname. 
The old g had long been softened in the Old English geolo 
(flavus), but it is hard as ever in the Northern gulky seen 
here, from the Scandinavian gulr (flavus). There is the 
Scandinavian chafte, and also the English chavylle and 
chawylle (maxilla), whence jowl was to come. The b is in- 
serted; there is schambylle as well as schamylle (whence 
shambles). The ^is added; for parchemin becomes parche- 
ment. The n is struck out, spinder becomes spyder, p. 116. 
The r is inserted, as in hoarse, long before; a swathe of 
grass becomes a swarthe. The m is inserted, there are the 
two forms apostem and imposteme (imposthume). A change 
of meaning is shown by simply adding an s ; there is both 
ghsse (adulari) and glose (glosare). The I is added, for 
there are both the old pedder and the new pedUare; the 
latter form had come much earlier. 

Among the new Substantives are cade (ovis domestica), 
dawe (monedula), rokett (rochet), sappelynge, wagstert (our 

348 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

wagtaU). There are the compounds, ake apylle, arowhede, 
banefyre (bonfire), bedtyme, blynde worme, fery rrum^fidylle stik, 
fleschour (camifex, a Northern word), flesche schamylle (macel- 
lum), hay coke (the last part of the compound is Scandi- 
navian), hartstringey heddandey lynsy wolsye, litUnes, mure cok, 
schepherde dog, snaybcUle (snowball), thonour bolte, toste yren. 
The old bow may now be used for the arch of a building, as 
the Netherbow at Edinburgh ; we also read of the bryge of 
a nose. The word schafte may now be used of a pillar. 
The word folowynge may now express sequela. There is a 
new word merytotyr, the source of our "merry go round;" 
in Yorkshire merritrotter is still used for a kind of swing. 
What we now call a pore appears as a sv)et hole. The old 
eldfadyr (avus) is made to express abavus in p. 428. Two 
nouns are revived after a long sleep, scutelle (canistrum) 
and newness. We see Huchon for Hugh. 

There are many Teutonic Adjectives ending in able, as 
hiteable, clenseable, eteable, liveable, untellable, with several 
others. There is also ill farm, wyde opyn, wordy; an 
epithet that will always stick to the luckless Alison. One 
word out of all those compounded with the Teutonic sam 
(semi) lived beyond the year 1400 ; it here takes the form 
of sande blynde (luscus), and in this form it was used by 
Shakespere. The open is made a substantive, as ]?e opyn 
of\e hede (calvaria). In p. 426 anniculus is Englished by a 
^ere olde. 

Among the new Verbs we see miselle (mizzle) coming 
from mist, whewe (fistulare). There are unbend, bryst up 
(burst up), crakk nuttes, wax even (vesperare), stryke fire, to 
lialfe, hold halyday, putt out strength, schute (as corn does). 
The verb wirshipe adds to its old sense of colere that of 
adorare, as in the Monk of Evesham. The verb cfross gets 
the new sense of cancellare ; we say cross out. The verb 
grave here means not only sculpere but also fodere ; this 
last sense has vanished before the Southern dig. We see 
scrud, with rub given for its synonym ; hence perhaps our 
verb Scrooge, There is a curious instance of a French 
ending tacked on to a Teutonic root, unwernyschit for 


The Adverb is placed before a Participle, as d&m 
rynynge ; there is also hereaway (hac). 

There is the Interjection schowe, p. 338. 

The Scandinavian words are Jcylte (succingere), snap, 
hytylle (titillare). There is the Celtic bannoL 

Among the Romance words are arsenic, hrusket (brisket), 
case (theca), congruUy, cowrhe (a curb), disfigure, halfe a 
cerJcylle, to halfe tone, lavyr (lavacrum), legerdemayn, nowne, 
obstynate, to order, ospray, pasnepe (parsnip), pynappylle, 
scul^on, tendron (tendril), thre cornarde (triangulus). The 
word dokke supplants the old horUoge, and drops the sense 
of campana. There is pUle garleke (vellicare), whence came 
a scornful term. We see the word hympsynger; we now 
talk of psalmsingers. The Latin in may be seen encroach- 
ing on the French en, as inquire, invyous. There is the 
curious substantive mawnchepresande (a munch present), 
equal to sicofanta ; this looks like a literal version of one 
of Hesiod's Greek adjectives. The word pair is now used 
with the Genitive both of tongs and pincers. The noun 
robynett is employed for the redbreast. The old tretdbylle 
(tractabilis) is still in use ; but in tracte (sistema, tractus) 
the Latin, not the French form, is followed. We see both 
the Substantive forms trayn and trayle. There is goffe 
(godfather); this may have had its influence on gaffer; 
also gome (comm^re), whence perhaps gammer. There is 
sprynge (enervare) ; the Teutonic form is used for the 
French espreindre, our sprain. 

We have already seen the * Promptorium Parvulorum * of 
1441 ; I now show, from later editions, dating from about 
this time, 1485, what alterations had been made in our 
tongue within little more than forty years. I have added 
to the second column one form taken from Caxton — 

1441. 1485. 

gnastyn ffnachyn (gnash), 

lawncent lawnset (lancet), 

left hande left handid. 

selwylly selwyllyd. 

Ma fey! Maffeyth! (my faith ), 

Make (Celtic) Magot (maggot). 

Sewstare (sutrix) So ware. 

Upholder (the tradesman) Upholster (Caxton). 


350 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

I may call attention \xi'nwrwyn (mane) and Tnorwynstere, 
old forms that lingered down to this time. The alteration 
of Adjectives into Past Participles in the ahove list will be 

Of the *Digby Mysteries' (Shakespere Society) two 
pieces may be set down to 1490 or thereabouts ; these are 
*The Killing of the Children' and *Mary Magdalene.' 
They seem to belong to East Anglia ; there are xal, arn, the 
strait way of the * Paston Letters/ and Mgg (sedificare) ; also 
Lydgate's precyows knave. The form defyle comes very 
often. One of the greatest changes is, that wolde God 
becomes tuold to God / p. 74 ; here the e being clearly pro- 
nounced was mistaken for to ; Chaucer's / wish to God may 
have had some influence here. The old fader and moder 
now become faihyr and mother ; the h in dohter was still 
sounded so clearly that it is written docctor in p. 88. 

As to Substantives, in p. 123 stynt is employed for wages, 
something like pittance. The word harlot is applied to 
women in p. 1 4, I think, for the first time ; this usage was 
established by Tyndale. Herod uses lang baynes (long 
bones) as a term of abuse, p. 61. In p. 128 the Virgin is 
called sokor fm' man and wyff, that is, for all mankind; 
hence " all the world and his wife." We see what is your 
wyll ? a word mth thee ; also the name Maryon. Among 
the Adjectives are blabyr-lyppyd ; a woman is addressed as 
my own dere, p. 75. 

Among the Verbs is the Northern inbring. We find 
give audience, shew sport, fall fiat to the ground, bring to 
abaye (bay). There is the Northern wyll we walk ? p. 75. 
The have is wonderfully clipped in had natt a (have) byn 
ded, p. 88. A sailor is ordered to sett of from the land, p. 
109; here the Accusative ship must be dropped, and we 
gained a new term for proflciscL The old phrase go a 
pilgrimage had long been in use ; this is extended in p. 127, 
where a woman has gon ]>e stacyov/nes. 

Among the Adverbs in p. 76 stands how Itremyll the how 
had hitherto been coupled with an adjective or adverb. The 
so I shall of 1320, beginning the answer to another man's 
speech, is continued ; we see so am /in pp. 7 and 96. A 


person is called and answers "here^ lord, here, p. 82, using 
no verb. The like, in the sense of as, was coming in ; they 
fight like develles, p. 9. 

The Preposition is now placed after its case ; (children) 
of two yeeres age and within, pp. 2 and 5 ; another manuscript 
has the new tmder for within. 

There is the cry hofl hof I p. 73, with which young 
gallants began their speeches for the next eighty years ; 
Skelton has huffa I huffa ! 

Among the French words are hewtefvl, elegant (written 
Ue^ant in p. 73), redolent, apostylesse. In p. 61 the verb 
opteyn gets the new sense of hold ground ; a sense still kept 
by us. There is the curious phrase a soveryn (optimus) 
serva/nt, p. 76. We have seen the phrase in ure; we now 
have, p. 134, woman, inv/re (inured) in meJcenesse; thus a 
new English verb is compounded. We find Mahneseyn 
(Malmsey), p. 72 ; in the same page is the old clary and 
the new form claret. 

In Collier's * Dramatic Poetry,' vol. ii. p. 213, there is a 
piece that may date from about 1490. The d is added, 
roime (susurrare) becomes ronde in your ear, A man, almost 
hanged, says, we had a nere rmrne, p. 215. The ecce sigmirn, 
FalstafiTs future phrase, is set in the middle of the £nglish 

In the 'Paston Letters,' 1485-1500, Regmald is softened, 
when Ser Reynold Bray, the well-known minister of Henry 
VII., is mentioned in p. 332 ; hence the surname Reynolds, 
The Earl of Surrey, the future conqueror of Flodden, turns 
fader into the new fathiry p. 366. 

As to the new Substantives, a rebel chief calls himself 
Robyn Godfelaws brodyr, p. 362. A young Paston complains 
of the price of horsflesche (equorum), p. 376. The old 
idiom of the Double Genitive is carried a step further in 
the same page ; we read of a hors of a persons (belonging 
to a parson). A peculiarly East Anglian word stands in 
p. 365, lobster (stoat) ; Gamett has discussed the word. 

In p. 352 it is lamented that there is no grete lady to 
meet the King ; an obvious translation from the French. 

As to the Verbs, a town is dronkyn drye, p. 352, when the 

352 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

King and his retinue visit it. A man is cfrcM in his 
mynde, p. 391 ; the verb, hitherto a synonym of f r anger e, 
was later to be restricted to this particular sense. We see 
the Dutch hoy (navis). 

Among the Romance words are MXet^ inestymahle, to 
qwestyorij bede roUe, 

A manuscript written about this time (referred to in the 
Preface to * Gesta Romanorum/ p. xx.) gives us a new idiom 
connected with few ; we see a fewe of the tales ; this differs 
much from the old 6/nje (soli) fedwa worda (a few words). 

In * Caxton's Life/ by Mr. Blades, we see the new word 
Chirchwardeyn used in a document of 1491 (p. 162). The 
old late (nuper) becomes lately in a book of 1493 (p. 

In * Gardner's Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII.,' 
1485-1500 (Master of the Rolls), we see Bemares (Beau- 
maris) in ii. 297, followed by Bewemares in the next page. 
There is the contraction Chomley for Cholmondeley in ii. 283. 
The Irish Cavanagh appears as Cavenoky ii. 304. In i. 109 
hreche stands for inimicUia, A ship is called a man of warre^ 
ii 69. In a Scotch document we hear of peetis (peats) 
and colisy ii. 332 ; the former word is said to come from 
bet-any to mend the fire, like the jmrse of 1220 from bourse. 
There is the skippar of a ship and the Northern form raid. 
We see the Verbs to ren a cours and to onhelme ; there 
is the phrase take him into favor, i 92 ; be of oone mynde, 
ii 67. 

We see balest (ballast), which, like many of our sea 
terms, came from the Dutch. 

The Romance words are signs manuelly &vyte (avoid), 
baronessy of a sewerte, he was out of wages (pocket, ii. 317), 
deputie lieutenant (of Ireland). The old jangle changes its 
meaning, for we hear of the changelyng of bellis, i. 394. 
We see the first hint of a new sense in a Verb, our resolved 
mynde is, thaty etc., i. 110. 

We have the Celtic kerne and galoglasseSy ii. 67. 

In the * Rolls of Parliament' from 1485 to 1496 we re- 
mark the change of Hobekin into Hopkyny p. 279 ; there are 
both Bedlem and Bethleemy p. 372 ; we find Ippestuiche in p. 


512; while the rightful g still remains prefixed to the 
word in p. 519. The new restfulness stands for guieSy p. 
431. A Bristol petition in p. 391 complains of the paving 
as holowid and pitted hy water; here the second verb is new. 
In p, 288 stands the phrase upon youre honour. There is 
the Dutch lygkter (navis). Among the Romance words are 
disable (there is also the older verb unhable), the wayter- 
shipp (an office), gentUman husher, raungership (of the forest). 
In p. 276 stands to forejugge of honors (in an attainder) ; 
this is one of the last instances where our /or, the Greek 
para, is prefixed to a Romance word. In p. 386 February 
supplants the old Feverer, In p. 450 we read of Viscount 
Welles and Dame Cecilia his wife ; it seems that we had 
not as yet coined Viscountess, 

In the 'Acts of Parliament' (1488-1496) we see new 
substantives like slaughter howze, brickleyer, clyncher, p. 586. 
In p. 603 stands the curiously terse new phrase, the then 
and nowe Duke. We here remark that syn has long been 
encroaching upon sith in the South. As to the Romance 
words, in p. 638 (it is the age of Cabot) we hear of the 
Marchawntes Adventu/rers, a name still in Bristol use, with 
but little alteration. Chaucer's verb compomie now under- 
goes the usual English change and becomes componde ; 
compose came later. There is also in leage (foedus), which 
bears a sense something different from that of the old 
liege ; the new word seems more akin to the Italian lega 
than to the French ligue ; perhaps we may here trace the 
influence of Papal envoys. 

In the *Plumpton Letters,* 1485-1500, we see the old 
form Everwick for York ; it is in a French document, p. ciii. 
Our gamekeeper appears first as keeper of the game, p. 79. 
In p. 124 stands (it) may be my making ; we should say, 
" the making of me. " We have in p. 1 32 a dede of gift. 

In p. c. we see how an Adjective can be made a Sub- 
stantive ; certain closes are there called The Flates (flats). 
There is the term weighty, p. 61, used by the Earl of 
Northumberland, slain in 1489. In p. Ill men will have 
something, be yt right or wrong. In p. 123 we read of a 
widow, worth m. pounds. In p. 63 a Preposition is made 
VOL. I. ^ ^ 

354 T'HE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

an adjective ; we hear of a thorow search ; it had been made 
an adverb twenty years earlier. 

Among the Verbs did was once more coming into use ; 
he dyd 7/iffe is in p. 49. In p. 67 is stand good master unto, 
etc.; hence comes stand treat. In p. 140 is take in good 

There is a new use of to in p. 109, she hath not a cloth 
to her backe ; here some word like fitted must be dropped ; 
there was the Old English shapen to his likeness. 

As to the Romance words we find the Latin strictly (not 
the French straitly), p. 54 ; cornered (comrade), a myskidyd 
(misguided) woman is opposed to a good woman, p. 77. 
In p. c. Elizabeth and Isabell are used for the same proper 
name ; this lasted for sixty years. I give a number of 
phrases from a French document in p. ciil which wiU show 
the influence of the law upon our speech, issiie, covenatmt, a 
le valure de, a aver a eux, le remainder^ enfeffer in fee, sur 
condition gue, le resideu, pourveu gue, son heire apparaunt, les 
premises, accordant a, in due maner, perforce de guel, un Henry 
Sotell, excepts terres, autres persons, re-eyaunt. 

In Halliwell's * Original Letters of Kings,' Henry VII. 
gives his Royal sanction to the use of get in the Northern 
sense of ire ; get to the sea, p. 176. He is fond of sure ; to 
he sure of his life, ye be su/re ye shall have, etc., p. 182. 

In the 'Testamenta Eboracensia,* iv., we see chirch warden, 
riding horse; heirlome (often occurring now) is slightly changed 
from the heir to heir lome of 1424. A person talks of my 
suiter Bygott, p. 152, where the surname comes instead of 
the Christian name. There is have word of it. The Romance 
words are casket, to be extreme, p. 50. A new word is 
formed from the French gris ; a griselde stag, referring to 
colour, p. 130. 

In Davies* * York Records,' Richard III., six years after 
his death, is called a crochebake ; he was said to have been 
beried in a dike (ditch) like a dogge, p. 221. Farther to the 
North dike now expresses agger, not fossa. In p. 256 stands 
the phrase to drawe (up) apaupire (paper). In p. 224 stands 
any tyme ye plese to call, where the it is dropped before plese. 

In Rymer's documents for 1492 we see have 13 billes 


(billmen) onfoote^ p. 479; hence our "set on foot." The 
new and the old, according and after (secundum), are coupled 
in p. 478. We hear of the Archduke, and of the Kingis 
Gh'oce ; there are the words quietful and ]prolix. The old 
namdy is supplanted by videlicet in p. 480. 

Skelton, the first famous Southern poet since Lydgate, 
wrote a poem in 1489 (Dyce's edition, vol. i.), in which 
he talks of Lady Bes, the short for Elizabeth, p. 6 ; there 
is also dovhle deling, p. 16, and wondersly, p. 17, leading the 
way to our wondrously. In a poem written about this time, 
to be found in Skelton, vol. iii., we see the strange com- 
pound to preantedate, p. 357. 

Pynson printed an edition of the * Promptorium Parvu- 
lorum' in 1499, which shows further changes in our 
tongue since the manuscripts of 1485 already referred to. 

Original, Pynson*s Edition, 

Fro fere Fro far. 

Glacynge (devolatus) Glansyng. 

Browdyoure Browderere (embroiderer). 

Ontollerable Intollerably. 

Schere Scherys (forfex). 

Schetyn Shotyn (sagitto). 

The n, it will be seen, is inserted in glansyng, our glancing, 
Pynson prints y for the old ]>, which was now all but gone ; 
the following note is written in one copy of his book : — 
" all these y stande for th, acordinge as the Saxon carracte 
was in this sort — J>, and so we pronounce all these wordes 
at this day with th,*^ See * Promptorium Parvulorum,' p. 
535. The older editions of this work employed swaggynge 
or swdblynge for the stopping or drying up of blood ; Pyn- 
son turns this into swabbyng, the Dutch word well known 
to our sailors. In the edition of 1441 clothes were said 
to teryn (vetero), a kindred form of the verb tarry ; in p. 
522 we see that Pynson has mistakenly turned weryd or 
teryd into worne or tome. We have above the true source 
of the last word in wear and tear ; it must mean exhaustion. 
In p. 493 stands tydy (probus), for which an edition of this 
time gives the synonym theende, the old Present Participle 
in ende of the verb the-on (vigere) ; it is curious that so old 


356 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

a form should come down to 1500. There are the new 
French words reefrm (of paper) and compostyn (stercoro), 
which gave Shakespere a word for manure. 

Some poems in the * Babees' Book ' (Early English Text 
Society) seem to date from 1500; we here read of a 
schoolmaster peppering (flogging) a boy, p. 404 ; the old 
verb can or con gets a new sense, " to con a book," p. 25 ; 
salt must be taken with a clean knife, p. 23 ; it is wrong 
to speak or laugh with the mouth full ; the hand must be 
held before the mouth when you spit ; the weighty line 
comes in — 

** Here and se, and sey thou jiought." 

There are some pieces in the * Keliquiae Antiquae,' i. 43, 
70, 116, 287 ; ii. 76, which may be set down to 1500 or 
so. I give our earliest specimen of memoria technica ; it is 
applied to the Kings of England, i. 288 — 

" Wil. Con. Wil. Rufus, Hen. pri. Steph. Hen. que secundus, 
Ri. Johan. Henricus. Edwaraus, tres, Ri. que secundus, 
Henricus quartus, Hen. quin., Hen. quoque sextus, 
Ed. quart, Ed. quintus, Ri. tercius, Septimus Henry." 

The Creed is now called the byleve, i 43. Among the 
Verbs, in i. 117 stands to b'eke upe the scale ; disintegrate will 
soon be the genteel word to use here. In i. 45 a man 
calling his guests to him cries, sirs, come awaye (along). In 
i. 46 there is a new use of at^ wish them at the devil ; also of 
for in i. 71, weep for company. In ii. 76 by, hy, lulleyl is 
the song sung by a mother to her babe. In i. 47 a priest 
is for the first time spoken of as this gentylman ; the noble 
old word was afterwards to be shamefully abused by being 
applied to all ranks. 

There are two pieces in the 'Digby Mysteries' (New 
Shakespere Society) that seem to belong to 1500 ; these are 
the * Conversion of St. Paul ' and a * Morality of Wisdom.' 
There are old forms such as heth (sunt) and wondyr toylde, 
p. 160; but there are words like fwrom, not found before 
Barclay. The new Substantives are a barowfuU, slugishness ;• 
the Five Wits (senses) had long been known, and are men- 
tioned in p. 144 j but in the next page we make acquaint- 


ance with the Fim wyttys of the soul. We read of fyne 
dothyng, p. 155. The phrase other than had long been used 
to express difference ; in p. 49 Saul is another man than he 

Among the Verbs are hegrymlyd (begrimed), choppe and 
chaunge (a favourite phrase of Tyndale's), take wyll for dede, 
p. 147. In p. 167 we read of drawte notes in singing; 
hence came the later drawl, much as draggle was formed. 
In p. 30 a man is thought a knave; any one looking at 
you would think ye were at the next dove hy ; hence our 
" next door to a fool," where the at is dropped and the hy 
is exchanged for to. 

Among the Eomance words are suer of foot, stahyll grom, 
Goddes provysyon (providence). In p. 30 hosteler changes to 
the new meaning of "attendant on horses." In p. 161 
enbrace takes the new sense of "follow after;" it is here 
applied to guestes (inquests) ; sixty years later it was to be 
applied to opinion. There are such Latin forms as amyhe 
(friend) and desiderable (desirable). In p. 157 the phrase 
la plu joly is put into the mouth of a debauched character 
— a French phrase in the midst of English words. 

There are many poems that seem to belong to the latter 
half of Henry the Seventh's reign in * Hazlitt's Collection.' 
The n is clipped, for Makmseyne becomes malmasyes (malm- 
sey); the 5 is added, as afterwardys. The old trone is 
exchanged for throne, iii. 19, showing Latin influence ; 
the form exsteme, a few years later, shows a confusion be- 
tween Latin and French. In the Notbrovme Mayde the 00 
plesure of the edition of 1502 is altered into one plesure 
in the edition of 1521 ; see ii 283. 

Among the new Substantives is neverthryfte (neerdowell), 
nypple, formed from n^h ; a spear is put in rest, i. 258; 
there is tylte (tilt-yard), irircomynge (entrance), whence in- 
come, A wight may be brainless as a Marshe hare, a favourite 
phrase of Skelton's. A man addresses his parent as Lady 
mother. There is hyll and date, pygges in a poke. In ii. 119 
a body stands for homo. The word man is added to another 
noun, as marchaunt man. 

Among the new Adjectives are braynles, vmkind, a pretie 

358 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

dmle^ iii. 122, where the adjective begins to get the sense 
of magnus. 

About this time the Accusative you is much used for 
the proper Nominative ye. The use of the it is curious in 
i. 220, ever they prayed, hut yt woulde not be; this it must 
stand for their prayer. 

Among the Verbs are keep open housholde, take theyr legges 
(we put to after the verb), make provysyon, I can beleve, fall 
to making shoes. A Noun is made a verb when a maji freers 
well (plays the friar), iii. 125. Our run gets the new sense 
of agere ; run his sword through, L 237. The verb shrink gets 
the new sense of witMrawing ; he shranke behynde, i. 260. The 
verb dtick becomes intransitive and need not refer to water ; 
a friar dooks, iii. 125. 

Among the new Adverbs is what than ? To come abrode 
is opposed to stay at home, iii 124. There is the new 
wonderosly instead of wondersly, ii. 117; wondrous was soon 
to follow. A form of 1400 is repeated ; instead of rwt a 
whit sorry we find in L 227 ^A^ devyll have the whyt that he 
was sorye ; hence Eoye's devil a bit. The away comes after 
another verb, dispute away money, iii. 120. 

The old for is replaced by to in ten to one (ten times as 
much), iii. 4. 

Among the Romance words are repast, a quit rent, troub- 
lous, to point to, tryumphaunt, valour (worth), gorgeous, pastime, 
charitable, sumptuos, overte (open), employ, intoxicacyon, an olde 
trotte (anus), as I am enfourmed. Lydgate's splene now 
means ira, ii. 292. The word comfortable in the next page 
means benignus ; Coverdale rather later calls Henry VIII. 
" our most comfortable Noah." In iii 1 1 we see both the 
old French frayle and the new Latin fragylyty. The Pre- 
position according to comes often now. There is taunt, from 
the French tanter, tancer. In ii. 126 the word aydes is 
applied to men, like our aide de camp. There is pleate mercy 
(ask for it), and the law term commence an action. A broad 
distinction is drawn in iii. 153 between gentylnes and gal- 
aimtyse (dandyism). 

In iii. 160 we find the assertion that England is the 
Virgin's dower. 

in.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 359 

About the year 1500 a Welsh bard made a phonetic 
transcription of an English hymn to the Virgin ; he thus 
becomes our guide as to the Salopian pronunciation of his 
day.^ The changes here seen were to tell on London 
speech about a hundred years later. It appears that in 
Salop the % had got the sound of German d ; Christ, die, and 
guide were pronounced as in our day. The ee and 00 were 
sounded like the French i and ou, as see, queen, noon, soone. 
The oi had taken its present sound, as assoUe ; at this time 
the combination was sounded in three different ways by 
English mouths. The owe was pronounced like 0, as bowe 
(arcus), slowe. The word earth was sounded like yearth ; he 
and nigh were pronounced as at present ; but the guttural 
gh in the middle of the word, as a general rule, was heard 
in Salop ; and the h in hmm was still marked in speaking. 
The ih was now substituted for d in fader, nwder. The 
words our, housel were pronounced somewhat in our way, 
but not exactly so. The e at the end of words was already 
clipped ; the e in tooke was not sounded. 

In the Letters of the first Tudor Kings, printed by 
Halliwell (1500-1613) we see the ending ness often used 
in compounding new nouns, Sisfarness, extinctnes (extinction). 
The Eomance words are brief (Papal letter), relation takes 
the new sense of Jdnsman, p. 191 ; we hear of the contents 
of a letter; impressment is mentioned in connexion with 
the navy, p. 214, but it here means interference. In the 
same sentence stands allowably; in p. 216 stands sjpecialities, 
where we should now use particulars. 

We find in a play, written about 1510 (Collier, 'Dra- 
matic Poetry,* ii.), a doublet of a new make, p. 220 ; this 
noun is something new, and had been before expressed by 
the French fasoun. The French routier appears as rutter, p. 
221 ; Tyndale was fond of this word for a soldier ; England 
was now once more drawing on foreign nations for her terms 
of soldier-craft. 

Henry the Seventh in his will talks of a plot (sketch or 
design) for his chapel ; this was rather later to be written 
platform; in 1670 we were to talk of thB plot of a play. 

1 Printed by the English Dialect Society in 1880. 

36o THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Collier ('History of Dramatic Poetry/ i. 61) gives a 
piece dating from about 1508, in which occur the words 
chese mongers, chymney swepers, costerde mongers, here brewers, 
muskel takers, purse cutters, wxmey batterers, players (gamesters), 
a new sense of the word. In another piece, written not 
long afterwards, p. 63, we j&nd hote houses (unconnected 
with fruit). In p. 64 occurs the form varlet, the old French 
form of valet; we also learn that cards consist of hertes, 
dyamondes, trayfles, pyhes (spades). In p. 77 masculer is used 
for masker ; the masque was becoming a favourite amuse- 

In the * Testamenta Eboracensia,' iv., we see have it to 
his otme use, p. 313. There is the Dutch noun clamp. We 
see the cumbrous phrase my lady's grace of Norfolk ; a well 
disposed prest (referring to the mind, not the body), p. 206. 
Barclay's she wUl indevor to, where herself is dropped after 
the verb, appears in the year 1506, p. 255. 

There are some pieces of this time in the 'Eeliquise 
Antiquse,' ii. 72, 115; i. 317. The word fane down to 
this time may still mean vexUlum, p. 116; it was soon to 
be supplanted by Palsgrave's flag ; fanes are placed on the 
outsides of the quere ; the new preposition outside was 
speedily to be coined. The supporters of the Royal arms, 
soon to be sculptured all over the Chapel at Windsor, are 
called " the King's beasts." In ii. 74 there is a new use of 
go ; " how many straws go to a nest ? " the answer is, " none, 
for lack of feet." There is another pun in the next page, 
where all stands both for (minis and subula; the old Southern 
variation of this, oul, was henceforth cast aside. At the 
siege of Terouenne we hear of the lieutenant general, and 
also of the capeteyn general, i. 317, Marlborough's futuire 
title. In the next page mention is made of standing water. 

In the * Babees' Book ' (Early English Text Society), p. 
xcvi., we hear about this time of a lass in music ; three 
pages later the word is written hais, just as we sound it 

In * English Gilds ' (Early English Text Society) we see 
in the year 1504 the yrirside of the tabell, a new noun, soon 
to become a preposition, p. 327, 


William Dunbar wrote at Edinburgh not long after the 
year 1500 in Northern English.^ He was our best poet 
in the long gap of 200 years between Chaucer and Spenser ; 
indeed, he could hit off a picture with a few sharp touches 
of his brush far better than the great Edmund. 

The a replaces e, for the old henAt (paratus) becomes 
handy ^ p. 37. We see the Northern ai used for a, as in the 
lairdis of ladies, p. 137 ; Scotland has since then made a 
sharp distinction between laird and lord. The is inserted, 
for the old hesme becomes hesom. The replaces a, as Jock 
fule, p. 146. We see the French word hurreau {carnifex^ 
probably sounded like their bourriou), p. 334; if so, the 
words with which it here rimes, snaw, blaw, law, must have 
had the sound of French ou. The ou replaces ; the old 
stoppa (poculum) appears as stoup, p. 94. The u replaces i, 
as rumple (ruga) for the rimpil of the * Promptorium.* We 
see spoil for ^ill, p. 239, as in Devonshire. There is a 
wonderful contraction in phisnomt/, p. 317. In p. 330 we 
have the two forms Ersche and Erische (Irish). 

There is the old waw (fluctus) in p. 318; also duefixh 
(nanus), p. 332. The s is expunged, Irastl (fragor) becomes 
brattle ; sc is prefixed, for rumple becomes shmmple, p. 319, 
reminding us of cracch and scratch. The t is dropped in 
guhissil (whistle) and chop (jaw) ; this is the chafte of 1483. 
The th is added, pourti becomes puirtith, p. 319. There is 
gambol, the French gambade, p. 283. The well-known con- 
traction of Auchirdech into Afflek is seen in p. 264. 

The new Substantives are heather, pyh-thank, flaw, cadger. 
The old makar expresses poeta here, though it seemed rather 
old-fashioned to Sidney seventy years later. We see in p. 
58 Chaucer's old use of freedom (nobilitas), a sense soon to 
vanish. There is the old aiLcht (opes) and kynrick (regnum), 
words that had long been dropped in the South ; curious 
it is that Scotland should still preserve so many of England's 
lost treasures. For instance, I am constantly hearing the 
verb lippen (credere) used by Northern peasants ; but this 
word is never met with in any Southern book after 1160. 
In p. 320 a man is likened to ane gallow breed; the first 
^ I have used Paterson's edition, 1860. 

362 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

instance of hrted^ the noun. The new substantive drunkart 
is coined in p. 210 ; it is strange that this word was not 
struck off earlier, considering the habits of our island. The 
Adjective odd is turned into a Substantive, p. 71 ; the 
Virgin is to mak ofwr oddis (mala) evyne. The old knop now 
expresses bvds of roses, as in Dutch.^ In p. 166 a bad 
dancer is called a juffeller, one who shuffles through his 
work ; the verb is Scandinavian. The noun elf is used as 
a term of abuse, p. 330. The noun crack seems to be 
slipping into its modem Scotch sense (loquela) in p. 239 ; 
it stands here halfway between fragor and loquela ; a man 
may spoil his good service by unseasonable cracks and arks. 
The truly Scotch shipper (connected with a ship) appears 
once more in p. 335 ; our shipper has now a very different 
meaning. The old Cuthbert becomes Cvddy, p. 174; and 
Alexander appears as Sandy^ p. 251 ; Englishmen, on the 
other hand, dock the last half of the Greek word, and make 
it Alkk The Arabian prophet Mahmn is used as a synonym 
for the Devil in p. 96 ; and this usage appears also in Bums ; 
we still read of the old Termigant in p. 339. 

As to Adjectives, the ancient engellic is revived, after a 
long sleep, as angel-like, p. 30. The ed, as we saw in 
Yorkshire in 1250, is much used in forming adjectives, as 
honeyed; there are also the Eomance evil-faced and wan- 
visaged. The ending sum has always been a favourite with 
the Scotch ; they preserved winsome and coined hindersome ; 
we here see the wholly new ugsum, p. 65, and tiresome, p. 
265 ; fensum (offensive), p. 127. There is the foreign able 
used in unourcumahle (invincible), p. 268. In p. 222 we 
see sorrowful and sad ; the latter word was soon to be used 
for tristis by Tyndale as well as by Dunbar ; the first ink- 
ling of the change had appeared in 1360. In p. 67 the 
word trum seems to keep its meaning validus ; Christ comes 
to suffer for mankind full trimily ; but in p. 165 a lady 
dances trimly (eleganter) ; the idea of ornament was soon to 
be attached to the verb trim ; our handsome has undergone 
much the same change. 

^ Burke remarked upon this Dutch phrase, as we read in Boswell's 
Johnson. * In Yorkshire, a flower budding is said to be in knop. 


As to Pronouns, in p. 163 we now see the corruption 
of Orrmin's Eeflexive Dative, Aim am (alone by himself) ; 
instead of writing y(m alone^ in p. 153 Dunbar has solitar 
walking yowr alone ; I remarked upon this in the year 1320. 
In p. 222 there is a new phrase for men and women, " (hey will 
say, baith he and she/* it had been used of beasts in 1290. 
The Southern corruption of the Plural othere had now reached 
the North; we find oderis letteris, p. IS, fra others, p. 89. 

Among the Verbs are be tyit wp (hanged), clash, run down 
a nrum, tak thy choice. In p. 137 ladies are graithU up gay; 
the source of our get up, applied to dress. In p. 1 72 stands 
the verb lichtly (parvi pendere), a most curious instance of 
a verb formed from an adverb. In p. 334 we find to 
back thee ; here a verb is formed from a noun. The old 
erd had meant haMtare down to 1350 ; it now stands, p. 
10, for sepelire, and gave rise to our unearth. In Laya- 
mon's forriden the first syllable had stood for amie; in 
Dunbar the same stands for the kindred Greek para ; we 
hear of aforidden (for-ridden) mule, p. 285, like forsworn. 

As to Adverbs, hard expresses something different from 
vix or cito in hard beside him, p. 95, our hard by ; a man 
swears braid, in the same page, like Caxton's use of the 
adjective ; this braid must be the source of broad (coarse) 
humour. In p. 166 a man dances Komelty-jomdty (higgledy- 
piggledy) ; these riming words were now coming in fast 
both in the North and South. 

There is a new use of the Preposition under in p. 335, 
the ship was under sail ; this may come from the Middle 
German under wegen ; our under way was to appear later. 

The new Interjection tut I is seen in p. 97 ; ba^e stands 
for the cry of sheep in p. 323. 

There is the Low German loon, queer, p. 324. 

There are the Celtic words tartan, catherein (cateran), 
coronach, pet (darling), tedder (tether), brat. 

There are Southern forms which must be due to Dun- 
bar's love for Chaucer ; we see y-bent, ago, forthy, tnumphr 
ing. In strong contrast to these stand the curious words 
long in Scotch use, such as wallidrag, limm^er, skirl, aitercap, 
unddy (gallows). 

364 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

Among the Romance words are cummer (the York coTn- 
mx)der)y lintel^ totum (the toy), lotmger, dregar (oyster dredger), 
modern, artist, dine on creddens (credit, p. 141), ruffian, inmby 
(an imp). The Scotch were fond of tack, from atache ; we 
have abeady seen it used for a lease ; it now, p. 84, stands 
for a n^ail. The word geste (jocus) gives birth to jestour, p. 
Ill; and St. Clown, the patron of minstrels, appears in p. 1 28. 
The word brigand loses its former honourable sense and is 
made a term of abuse, as in France, p. 329. The old stuf 
is employed for a physician's compounds, p. 1 67. If breakfast 
arose in the London Court thirty years earlier, disjone, p. 204, 
was its synonym at the Edinburgh Court ; Scott uses this 
form. We hear of practicians in medicine, and of the facultie, 
a word applied to poets, p. 250. The word sot, after a long 
sleep, comes to life again in p. 336. A groom is still called 
&hors marschael, p. 335 ; the last word seems to have been 
peculiar to the North ; it occurs in the * York Mysteries.' 
A man is addressed as damnit dog, p. 339, which is some- 
thing new. There is the new construction, he pleases not 
till hear, p. 234, where the first word should be in the 
Dative ; the same change was going on in the South. In 
p. 289 a hat is adorned richt bravelie; the v and u were, as 
usual in the North, confused, whence comes the Scotch 
brawly ; the meaning of fortis did not enter into the word 
until much later. There is Achil (Achilles) pronounced 
in the French way, p. 269, and Cordilleris (Franciscans) 
appear in p. 142, a form not usual in our island. This 
was the great age of discovery ; and Dunbar differs from 
earlier English poets by talking about Calyecot (Calicut) 
and the new-found Isle, p. 264 ; in p. 273 he takes a 
blackamoor or am£, black for his subject ; my ladie with the 
meikle lips. Like a true Scot he speaks of our island as 
Britain, p. 316. He is the first writer who makes the 
Thistle the emblem of Scotland, in 1503. He gives 
us a most terse proverb that afterwards crops up in 
'Waverley,' of young sands growis auld feinds, p. 44. 
Dunbar had a wonderful command of rime ; see the poem 
in p. 69 ; the flyting between him and Kennedy, p. 
313, is an invaluable treasure house of fine old Northern 


ribaldry.^ The Scot is fond of imitating Chaucer and 
his enamellit terms celical ; the licht of all our English, sur- 
moimting every tongue terrestriah Our island, Dunbar tells 
us, was bare and desolate of rhetoric, until moral Gower 
and Lydgate laureate came with their Tmllijluate mouths ; 
see p. 39. The Scotch poet will use hardly any Teutonic 
noun or verb at all, when, as in p. 267, he sings a great 
hero, our indefident adjutm'y. We saw a mixture of Latin 
and English in some lines in the * Towneley Mysteries/ 
Dunbar carries this further in his witty Testament of Mr. 
Andro Kennedy, p. 143. 

Contemporary with Dunbar was Bishop Gavin Douglas. 
He turns hough (ramus) into heu) as a rime for hue ; the 
stuve of 1390 now becomes our stove ; the old leye (novaUs) 
is here written lea. The drabelin of the * Promptorium * 
appears as draggled, with the usual change of consonants. 
The Old English mycg is softened into midge, an uncommon 
alteration of the hard g in Scotland. The Southern twinkle 
and twitter are seen here as quinckle and whitter. There are 
the peculiarly Scotch caller, eldritch y Orrmin's adjective trig 
(fidus) is still kept alive. We hear of a window, a little on 
jar (cherre); charwoman keeps the truer sound of the old 
noun. There is the adverb owerhead (overhead). Among 
the foreign words are dent de lion. Palsgrave's dandelion. 

In the Rolls of Parliament for 1503 we see of his mere 
mocion, p. 532, where the foreign adjective is new; the old 
verb possede is still holding its own against possess. 

In the Acts of Parliament of this time we see thefoes and 
pikars (picking and stealing), reeddeere andfalowe, hlokhouse, 
a hraye (fossa) ; the old form kempt still remains ; and catall 
keeping its Southern sense still stands for our chattels. 

In the 'Plumpton Letters,' from 1500 to 1513, there 
are a few things worthy of remark. In p. 180 the 
rightuous of 1453 changes into our righteous. In p. 169 the 

^ A student of Old English literature comes across some funny 
freaks on the part of editors. One of the funniest is in p. 219, where 
Dunbar's editor, after printing a piece full ,of dashes (inadmissible 
words) remarks, " the humour of the poem is certainly of an unrefined 
character, nay, altogether coarse, though not, perhaps, indelicate." 
What's the difference here ? 

366 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

epithet learned is applied to comisel (a lawyer). In p. 164 a 
man is made away with (killed), a most curious phrase, as 
the tvUh is unneeded. In p. 180 a tenant asks his lord to 
beare him out in certain business; hence also comes our 
" help him out." There is the new compound with out, I lay 
at outside, p. 180; this was soon to be used as a preposition. 
Among the Romance words is the King's garde, p. cvii. In 
p. ex. beast is used for ox, and this is still the technical term 
among our farmers. We read, in p. 205, of a Prelate's 
Ficker generall ; here we still put the adjective after the 

In Gardner's * Letters of Eichard III. and Henry VII.' 
(1502-1509) we see lieufully written for lawfully, p. 282, a 
proof that the old law (coming from laga) was sometimes 
sounded like the French ou / there is also the old Southern 
bruge (pons), p. 411 ; Branderibmg becomes Brandborow, p. 
445. The usual Colaine is written Colone, p. 201. The b 
is inserted, for the Gterman Fommern is seen as Fomherne, 
p. 265 ; the v is struck out, I marled stands for / marvelled, 
p. 257. The g replaces w, for vanguarde is written for the 
old vantwarde, p. 208 ; the g, even at this date, is softened, 
for we see ayenne (iterum) so late as the year 1503. There 
is an old form in p. 265, "he wol leane (lend) to you." 
The former crudat becomes cruciade in p. 154, not far from 
our crusade. The t is struck out, for Luttich (Li6ge) is written 
Luke, p. 201. In p. 208 we read of the Souchyvers 
(Switzers); this voru was later mistaken for n, and Tyndale 
talks of the Souchenars. The former issue is written yshu, 
p. 446, showing our present pronunciation of the word. 

Among the Substantives we find that the adjective 
needy has given birth to nednyes, p. 228 ; there is also onto- 
wardnes (a word of Wolsey's), p. 439 ; a bak doore, dry ft 
(propositum), ryngledre, p. 238. We hear of the Grete 
Turke, of the marchant Fokers (Fuggers), of the George, the 
knightly ornament given to the Emperor Maximilian, of 
hede officers. An idiom of Page's is carried further in p. 
257, ef he be the mane (man) / thenke he be, A man 
wishes for two monethis warnyng. We see the Dutch title of 
honour, yonker. 


Among the Adjectives we see syklow (seger) in the year 
1503, a very late instance of the old ending low or lew. 
There is harde of credens, p. 235, the over many wordes, a 
clobbed (club) fote, hii myndyd, Henry VIL has the honour 
of reviving an old obsolete Adjective, when he writes of 
noon outward (foreign) jprince, p. 450 ; he also writes about 
these Lowe parties, p. 449 (the Low Countries). 

Among the Verbs we find make offerture (overture), do 
yow plesur, kepe you company, putte to libertie, gief their attend- 
ance, take a copy of, make my abode. The verb stike is much 
used for morari in these letters. In p. 208 step is used in- 
transitively, I think for the first time ; there is also the new 
noun a stop; Barbour had written make a stopping. We 
see a new Scandinavian verb in p. 417, a barge well 
rigged. In p. 442 Wolsey says that ambassadors ly 
(morantur) in a certain place; a hundred years later 
Wotton was to make his well-known pun on this phrase. 
We see God willing used with a Future. In p. 172 a man 
is myndid to do something ; the old verb mind was turned 
into a Passive, following the construction of the French 
avisd. The English Infinitive had for 200 years been used 
where quvm must have stood in Latin ; this tense now ex- 
presses the Latin si, I shall never utter hym, to be drawen 
(si traherer) with wyld horsses, p. 234. 

As to Adverbs, thorough became an Adverb in the 
*Paston Letters ' about 1460 ; we now, in p. 194, see our 
form thoi'ugMy, The Cheshire seyng that (quoniam) is used 
by Warham and other good writers. In p. 414 we have 
go streight afarehed; the germ of our adverb ahead. 

We have already seen under used when a man is 
hampered ; we now hear of men under sv/retie (in prison), 
p. 284. 

As to the Romance words, we have nothing of importance 
(a favourite phrase of Wolsey's), impotent, to compound with, 
to be revengyd of them, legacye (embassy), disannull, lakkey, 
mine (mien), baggage, to advaunce (money), his traffykkes (the 
Shakesperian word for tricks, as here), pass articles, chaunge 
their myndes (purposes), money is curraunt,to esteme (appraise), 
bankett (feast), obteyn it to be doon, orator (spokesman). 

368 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

We see restitution, which we use as well as restoration. In 
p. 415 minstrels doo their partes; the first time, I think, 
that the noun is applied to music. Wolsey uses integyr for 
entire, p. 443 ; we now confine the word to mathematics. 
The Italians, about this time, address Henry VII. as sacra 
regia majestas ; they helped to revive " Your Majesty " as 
a title of honour. In p. 284 personaiges stands for 
viri, James IV., in p. 341, speaks of a crew as including 
masti/r, 2 factours, skippar, sterisman. In p. 169 " the king's 
resolute mynde is to, etc.," this is a Latin form of the usual 
resolved. In p. 195 stands ymr naturall son; here there is 
no reference to bastardy; the English adjective was in 
honourable use throughout this Century. 

In Hazlitt's * Early Popular Poetry,' voL iii., there is 
a piece that seems to belong to 1500. Here there is the 
phrase nice gear, p. 122, the latter word, equivalent to stuff, 
was to be worked hard all through the Century. In iv. 
92 stands the adjective cranky (lascivus). 

The letters of this time, printed by Ellis, are most 
valuable. We see the change in Queen Margaret's style ; 
when she first went to Scotland she wrote London English ; 
in a little time she adopted the dialect of her new subjects. 
Cardinal Bainbridge, when writing, shows himself to be a 
true Northerner. We find that ships play up and down, 
ii. 217 ; ie had the sound of ay, so the derivation of our 
intransitive plie, ply, is accounted for ; ply, transitive, comes 
from applico. We see the d added to n, as sermond, p. 182 ; 
something like this may be seen lasting down to the year 
1765. Meanwhile the n at the beginning is clipped, 
nafegar, nauger becomes agore, our auger, Series iii., vol. i. 
p. 148. The of is turned into a, as ten a clok, p. 214. 
There are the new Substantives fernesse (distance), mayn 
top, a row barge (rowing barge), the stocks (upon which a 
galley is). We see lee wales, like gunwales ; walu was the 
Old English for vihex. There is the phrase a day after the 
fair, p. 211. The in is dropped before the Verbal Noun, 
when a man is doing (is in activity), p. 216 ; we still say, 
" to be up and doing." A great crack still stands for a 
boast or a lie. James IV. talks of his queen as our fallow. 


An Adjective is followed by the Infinitive, / am howlde to 
write ; we should substitute make for the second word. 

Among the Numerals we see ttoke the money. 

The Verbs give us many new phrases, such as come to 
any good, have the choice, lay to his charge, we named him v/ato 
the dignity, well trimmed (equipped), it weies mth me, soldiers 
are fleshed to this enterprise, make tomys (of ships), m/ike sail, 
speak a ship, we weyed (here anchor is dropped), to stop holes, 
to fecch the Downs, run on ground, fill (them) (her belies full, 
give us over (let us alone), sm^ke them out, break with him, 
stand his brother. There is the new form veer, our sailor's 
verb wear, vol. ii p. 213. In Series iii., vol. i. p. 155 
mariners will not go to the trade, as one of the Howards 
writes ; the last word must mean voyage, and is the source 
of trade winds. It will be seen that there are many sea 
terms coming in; we had already discovered the most 
Northern part of America; in Series iii., vol. i. p. 161, we 
read of the vyage to an newfounde land; ships are now 
under captains. 

Among the Adverbs we have, he did every thing like him,- 
self; here the like seems to express similiter, not simUis, 
In ii. 202 abrode stands for "out at sea;" the word was 
changing its meaning from lath to foris ; in another place 
go abrode means " out of his house." The lest is dropped 
in the sentence, for fear they should destroy. We read that 
a wryt is owt. 

There is the phrase to my thinking, i. 88. 

We see the Scandinavian leak. Among the Komance 
words are, a good means (here the 5 is added), gay (good) 
artillery, quarter of a mile, purser, the noise runs {bruit is also 
found), equipage (of a ship), paquet, partily (partly). We 
read of faicts of war ; we now make a difference between 
facts and feats, the Latin word and its French corruption. 
There is the curious new idiom to pass artillery the mountains, 
p. 199, where pass is made transitive. Queen Katherine 
writes, I am horrible besy. There is to continue sending, where 
the foreign verb imitates the Old English ]>urhwu/nian in 
governing an Active Participla In Series iii., vol. i. p. 
14:8, provision seems to stand for victualling; something is 

VOL. I. 2 b 

370 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

to be sent hj post, to strait (starve) the army, be at issew, I 
am of opinion, seture inough, if wynde serve. 

Many of Skelton's poems (see Dyce's edition) date from 
between 1500 and 1513. He has many words, both Teu- 
tonic and Eomance, first seen in the * Promptorium/ a 
fact which makes for those who assign his birthplace to 
Norfolk. Such words are fop, scut, creak, pinch (play the 
niggard), also Lydgate's jumble. Skelton has the Northern 
theke (thatch), gar, mighty strong, dykes (fossae), syke (talis), 
and the Participle flingande. He has Manning's peculiar 
sense of toy ; to toye with him, p. 50 ; and such old words 
as pykes (pickaxe), gueed (malum), spell (enuntiare), broke 
(taxus). Ha often uses a lilting metre, as in his poem on 
Flodden, p. 202. 

Skelton speaks of Burdeou and Bordew ; examiners in 
our own day are fond of giving this French city as a puzzle 
for luckless spellers. Chaucer's bitour is now seen as bitter, 
not far from our bittern. The w is struck out ; Chaucer's 
]>reshwold becomes threshold, p. 126. The / is struck out ; 
the sparrow Philip becomes Phip ; hence the name Phipps. 
The very old form Sothray (Surrey) is found in p. 11 2. 
The character 3 is in constant use. 

Among the Substantives are wagtayle, pujfm, bumme, 
swyllynge (hog's wash), syppet. There are also tmthryftiness, 
spynnyng whele, syde sadell, dyschedowte, sea borde, rosebud, 
A flirting woman is called a fys-gygge, p. 128; gigge had 
been used in this sense in the ' Ancren Eiwle;' whvrlegig 
was yet to come. We see our robyn redbrest in p. 74. There 
is with bounses, p. 106; there was a verb bunsen (pulsare) 
in the * Ancren Eiwle.' In p. 68 comes sowe stytchis of silk ; 
here the second word is applied to working, which is some- 
thing new. In p. 52 a payre of bones stands for dice, 
Hampole's sense of way reappears, the wayes (demeanour) 
that ye have, p. 48. A silly head becomes a nody polle, p. 
142; hence Tom Noddy. In p. 73 comes, I played with 
him tyttell tattyll ; in p. Ill stands 

* * With a whym wham, 
Knyt with a trym tram. " 

Skelton is fond of these alliterations and vowel-changes. 


We see pmyi for the cry of the lapwing, p. 74. We read 
of an Egyptian, that is, a gipsy, p. 111. There are two 
new Substantives opposed to each other in p. 140, the mite 
syde and the insyde. In p. 148 stands the invitation to 
kiss, bas me, buttyng, praty Cisf here the noun seems to 
pave the way for the later baby hinting ; Cis is a great con- 
traction of Cedle. The frame, which had meant fabrica in 
the * Promptorium,* now expresses conditio, p. 150; our 
"frame of mind;" ovi of f rams soon became a common 
phrase. The word shanJc had not then the lowering idea 
of our days ; it is applied to the limbs of Christ on the 
cross, p. 168. Something is compared to a Marche harum 
(hare), p. 177, riming to the Latin parum. In p. 177 gos- 
peller means a priest that reads the Gospel, something like 
the old sense of the word ; twenty years later it was to 
be applied to Lollards. Skelton uses Northern words, such 
as daw, which is in constant use ; there is also Daucock, 
which may have led to Shakespere's bawcock, with the usual 
change. The word cateran was now known at London ; 
Skelton, in p. 205, talks of the Scottes and Irysh keteringes 
that followed James IV. to Flodden. In the same page 
he imitates the Lowland dialect when basely reviling the 
dead Monarch, ^^Kynge Jamy, Jemmy, Jocky, my jo /^^ 

Among the new Adjectives are drowsy, mysprovd, ropy, 
gorbellyd. From former Substantives and Verbs are derived 
gawdy, fonny (stultus), dirty, crasy. We see our com- 
mon he shall be nameles in p. 174. Skelton changes the 
Old English scarfed into scu/rvy, applying the epithet to a 
face, p. 109. We find /ayre ^/ay in p. 30. In p. 70 stands 
my lytell prety sparowe ; here we now transpose the two 
adjectives; in p. 117 we find my prety bonny, the first in- 
stance of the use of this last word in the South, I think, 
for 200 years. The adjective ranke is applied to flesh, p. 
128. The Old English teart (acidus) is revived after a 
sleep of Centuries. 

Among the new Verbs is flybitten. There are the new 
expressions have a favom to, stand in our light, come whan it 
wyll, lay to pledge, cast a shepys ie (on a lady, p. 141), kepe 
it in store, it is worne thredbare, ware the hawke, know asonder 

372 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

(apart), 'play prankys. The old dash gets the new meaning 
of miscere, p. 21 ; the new intransitive stop appears once 
more, his nose is never stoppynge, p. 110; that is, always 
running. In p. Ill stands the hard phrase symper the 
cocket ; the last word may be the French coquette, Skelton 
delights in alliteration ; he has, in p. 11 4, flip and flap^ 
where the first word is new ; also it wygges and it wagges 
(hence, wiggle waggle). In p. 132 is the new phrase beknave 
me; this be we may still prefix freely to verbs. In p. 148 
is sche praiid you walke ; we should say, walk off. 

As to the Adverbs, Orrmin's o loft now appears in the 
form of alofte, p. 5 3 ; there is also aflote, Skelton is fond 
of now and then ; he has the pleonasm o^er to mikell, p. 112. 

Among the Prepositions we see to your face (coram te), 
p. 46. The upon sometimes implies the direction of feel- 
ing towards an object, as dote upon her, p. 84. The md of 
is developed ; we see out of seson, out of frame (keeping), 
very common in this Century. 

Skelton abounds in new Interjections. We have gup, 
addressed to a horse, p. 29, humlery home, a warning to 
silence, p. 57, like the later mum ! Bo ! p. 58 ; /o ! is the 
sound of disgust, p. 115; the Northern tut! p. 215. A 
poem begins abruptly with ay, beshrew you/ p. 35. We 
have something like Manning's phrases, such as tully valy, 
strawe ! p. 35 ; this may be perhaps the old trotevale ; there 
is also Manning's Lord, how he wolde pry / p. 65, There 
is both the old wolde God ! p. 64, and the new wolde to God/ 
p. 48. A boastful man is called Syr Dalyrag, p. 145 ; 
hence, perhaps, the verb ballyrag, still sometimes heard. 

There is the proverb tyme wyll no man byde, i. 160. 

There are the Scandinavian verbs lumber, simper, also 
bungler ; a man is said to be in dumpy s. There is trowle 
(trull) from the High German ; a man is called an ill patch, 
which is Low German ; hence our crosspatck There is the 
Celtic drab, used of a woman. 

Among Romance words we see fusty, mangy, saucy, lyttera- 
ture (scientia), sampler, bouget (purse, whence our budget), 
tunable, pawne (a pledge), of (on) purpose to sow, p. 68, gawr 
bone of bacon, capcymis, grose (vulgar), essendal. There is 


the expression, hit to the poynte to procede. The verb toitch 
gets the new sense of irritare in p. 205 ; hence our touchy. 
The word estate had hitherto meant jus possidendi ; it now 
seems to get the new meaning of terra^ the thing possessed ; 
bonde tencmt to his estate, p. 206. The out is prefixed to 
Romance words, as an owtai'y, to outface; in the last in- 
stance out, as usual at this time, supplants over. The old 
quite (omnino), sparingly used hitherto, was now making 
way ; she was quyte gone, p. 85. The word parote (Pierrot) 
comes in, p. 145; the old word had been popingay. There 
is has (osculari), whence comes our huss. Skelton has pang 
(dolor) ; here the French poign is said to be confused with 
the Celtic ^ron^. The first sense oipretejid is very plain in 
p. 149, thow claimist thee jentyl. The seasons are mentioned 
in p. 161, and the first is called the tyifne of vere. Skelton 
may be called the father of English slang; still, when 
writing a hymn to God, he thinks it needful to abound in 
fine Eomance words; see p. 162; a purer taste was to 
come in later in the Century. 

There are some sermons by Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, 
in 1509 (Early English Text Society) ; his words are 
more aureate than those of Tyndale, some years later ; but 
he keeps a few old phrases. We see both of the forms, 
humyle and humble, brytel and bruckle, slipper and slyppery. 
The d is added, for Chaucer's newefangel becomes new- 
fangled, p. 156. 

Among the new Substantives sireflow, p. 273, towardnes, 
Fisher addresses his hearers as my lordes and maysters ; the 
old word soverains had gone out. The word mind seems 
to get the meaning of sententia ; to speak a mannes mynde, 
p. 140. In p. 195 stands his essencyall beynge. 

Among the Adjectives we find inwarde pyte, p. 96 ; this 
had hitherto been an adverb. We are told that Henry 
the Seventh was colde (in danger), our cool. 

Among the Verbs we see make a blessyd ende, my bounden 

Among the Adverbs are of a trouth, where the a has been 
inserted since 1400; last (lastly), p. 255, ferre of (off), p. 
273, the old offeor; a fresslie, p. 133. 

374 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The phrase extra corpis is translated outwarde from his 
body J p. 64 ; men were feeling their way to use outside as a 
preposition. There is it must he ahyden by, p. 221, where 
the Passive is still further developed. J 

Among the Romance words are basshefullj p. 253, ionke- 
ryes (juilkettings), chefe ruler, grossenes, assuredly, easynes, of 
her ovme charges. The French form egall is maintained ; 
study enies, p. 301, is half French, half Latin. We hear of 
galant apparayle, p. 203 ; this adjective, like bra/oe, was long 
afterwards to add the meaning oifortis to that oijnUcher. 
In p. 240 there is one of the first allusions in English to the 
fearful morbus Gallicus, just imported from America ; Barclay 
touches upon it about the same time. Fisher often uses 
no double of,a&SL parenthesis ; no it follows the of The ed 
is added to Romance words, for we see weyke spyryted, p. 
253 ; a little lower down, spiiit is used for cou/rage. 

Something maybe gathered from the *Gesta Romanorum,' 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde, about 1510 (Early English 
Text Society). We see the letter y written for the old J> in p. 
438, yu foT]>u. In p. 441 freshe stands for sober; in our day 
it is often used as a synonym for drunk. In p. 444 comes 
thy right mynde. In p. 429 we still find the old verb over 
renne, not the new outrun ; in the next page get stands for 
ire. There are phrases like have hym at a vauntage, lay 
(down) the lawe. In p. 432 comes unhwwynge to thee, fte 
(did it) ; here the Active Participle seems to stand for the 
Passive, as beholding to was often written later for beholden 
to. In p. 429 wylfully still expresses voluntarih. There is 
the new phrase a ryght in the tree, p. 432 (jus possidendi), 
a usage which must come from the French or Latin. The 
Romance words are radiant, specyous (pulcher). England 
had long used plenteous ; we now see plentefull, p. 439 ; 
this comes also in Barclay, about this time. 

Foxe (Cattley 's edition) gives us a few documents, written 
about the year 1510, in vol. iv. We see to turn a penny, 
to storm., sit mum, a stump foot, merry and wise. 

A Sarum Manual was printed at Rouen in 1510 (York 
Manual, Surtees Society, p. 86, towards the end) ; I think, 
by the old forms, that it must have been drawn up about 


sixty years earlier. This is one more instance how religion 
preserves old forms that have dropped out of common use ; 
the character 3 for y is still often found here. 

The * Candlemas Play,' inserted in Marriott's collection 
of * Miracle Plays/ dates from 1512. Men were now be- 
ginning to set do before the first Person of the Present 
Tense, / do perceyve^ p. 202 ; it had long stood before the 

In Brewer's * Letters of Henry VIII.,' i. Q^i^ we see the 
famous word leaguer, from the German. 

In the year 1511 we see hatmsmen or hanshmen (hench- 
men), both forms ; this comes from the Northumberland 
Household Book, quoted in the * Promptorium,' p. 233. 

Few things in English literature are stranger than the fact 
that a Scotch priest should come South, occupy a cure in 
Devonshire, and then become a most voluminous writer in 
a speech very unlike that of his childhood. Barclay tran- 
slated the *Ship of Fools' in 1509 (I have used Jamiesou's 
edition, 1874). He was the first of our poets who is 
known to have dealt a sly hit to a brother bard (see his 
reference to Skelton's sparrow) ; in this last tendency he 
has had many followers. Barclay, I think, must have 
carefully studied Occleve, some of whose peculiar phrases 
he has revived. There can be littla doubt about our poet's 
Northern birth when we see him use Wyntoun's his folys 
hede, ii. 268, also phrases such as that he cursed is (qu'il 
est), wele and wo, to weray (maledicere) and ban, her good 
man (maritus), vmleful, tan (taken), pierte (poverty), brether 
(fratres), wombe (belly), his yll wyllers, an ill name, anenst, 
womamkynde (mulieres), have a crow to pull. His printer 
Pjmson no doubt struck out many other Northern phrases. 
Barclay uses syns always, those (not tho), and still (semper) ; 
the Double Negative comes very seldom. These changes 
were probably established by Barclay in Court English, for 
his book was widely read. Unlike Skelton, our poet has 
very few Teutonic words that are now obsolete. The poem 
before us evidently had its influence on Tyndale a dozen 
years later. 

Barclay uses a for e and au, as farvent, actour ; he uses 

376 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

both dtny and denay ; iyen is written for ocvli ; lips 
drivel, not draveL In ii. 4 we see both commend and 
commaundy each in its modern sense. The royalme is 
sounded like railms, L 216. The form endtie is written for 

Among the Consonants the t is inserted, for there is the 
form, turn laws up set downe, ii. 14 ; the ih is added, we 
see the form commi welth ; in the * York Mysteries ' welth 
had often supplanted the true wele. There is a curious 
confusion between the Teutonic brothel (malus), and the 
French bordel, L 82 ; the upshot is brothelhouse. The / in 
the middle is struck out ; we see hawse (halse, hoist), and 
cawme (calm); also of myd age, ii. 172. The i2 is called 
"the dog's letter," L 182. 

Among the Substantives we see ylnes (scelus), an ill (an 
evil), afrende in courte, tmtcher, game (gambling), taleberer, 
mayne sayle, rustynes, canykin (afterwards in lago's song). 
The word wayes is often used, as in Skelton, to express 
habits j another's wayes, i. 34. There is the phrase man, 
woman, and child, to express universality. Barclay is fond 
of using bush when speaking of a man's hair; he even 
coins the verb to bmh, i. 63. He employs gate (our gait) 
for incessm more than once ; it had hitherto meant only 
via, Chaucer had used -market bet&re ; we now have a beter 
of the street, i. 296 ; whence our beaten track. There is the 
new Northern word dronkard, ii. 34. Our speere (spire) is 
used ior pyramid, ii. 120. In ii. 45 fools care for nothing 
but what from hande to mouth is brought ; a well-known 
phrase. We have seen lords of name ; the name now takes 
an article, get him a name, iL 101. 

Among the Adjectives we find untrue (not veracious). 
The word homely (simplex) is now applied to clothing, not 
to a man, i. 40. A man is colde of langage, i. 105 ; hence, 
a cold reception ; hitherto cold had been physical, not 
moral. There are phrases like wors than ever, wax drye 
(thirsty). There is the strange compound talcatyfe. The 
Latin nimius seems to be Englished in thy to great pyte, 
ii. 149. 

Among the Pronouns what (qualis) is followed by an 


Article for the first time, I think, what a cyte I ii. 105 ; 
which a company had appeared in 1300. We have one yll 
is past, as bad may come, ii. 250; here another is dropped 
before as. We read of folys nat a fewe; there is a very 
Latin idiom in some ar that thynke. 

Among the Verbs stand the tyme hath ben when, etc., 
shoot wyde, keep silence, let a word slip, gyve his mynde to 
it, kepe a solem cmmtenaunce, ete him out of hous, lye open 
to him, kest an anker, ships breke, the pryse doth aryse (rise), 
he takys all things like as they come. The must is used in 
a new sense, that of cwpere ; they must have mxmy (houses), 
ii. 98. The Infinitive, as of old, replaces when with the 
Subjunctive, what mean ye thus to tere, etc., ii. 131 ; it is a 
madness to hope, etc., ii 173; there is also have the brayne 
to comprehend, ii. 139, like the old grace to serve thee. The 
verb call now gets the sense of cestimare ; I call you as bad 
as robburs, i. 118. The verb deck had hitherto meant 
tegere ; it now perhaps slides into ornare ; to overdeck with 
a hood, i. 168; the second meaning was soon to be well 
developed in other poems of Barclay's, a few years later. 
The verb giggle is used of men, i. 63. In i. 232 the way 
is greatly wome ; this verb had hitherto been used of 
clothes. In ii 25 stands he is in honde with Grece (busy 
about it). The verb brew is applied to wine, ii. 222 ; a 
trick of the perfidus caupo. There is the pleonasm, they dare 
be bold to, etc. 

Among the Adverbs are laugh out lowde. The no, as in 
Chaucer, is put in the middle of a sentence, no beste, no, 
nat the bere, etc., ii 304 ; this was to be used by Tyndale. 
The old by and by had meant protenus ; it is now often 
used to express an interval between two actions, as in ii. 
24 and 109. This change bears witness to the common 
love of delay ; the similar change in presently was to come 
later. The use of abroad is much extended; it is often 
coupled with "all through the world;" JRome spred abrode 
Mr fame, ii. 105, men are abrode in the sea, ii 220. 

As to the Prepositions, we remark talys tolde by (contra) 
Mardocheus, ii 217; Tyndale followed this new meaning 
of by, which has not been long-lived. In ii 252 men 

378 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

provide for myshap ; here the for also gets the meaning of 
contra. The to, following the Gothic, stands after grow ; 
grow to a tree, i. 47. There is the new phrase their house 
burns owre (over) theyr head, i. 125. The of, followed by- 
no noun, becomes an adverb; leve of, i. 91. Gower had 
written away the tyranny ! Barclay inserts a wHih after the 
first word, i. 40. 

There is the seaman's cry to shyp ! i. 3, with no verb. 

The Celtic verbs are ^55 and qmx ; this last, from the 
Gaelic cfoach (poculum), must have been brought by Barclay 
to the South ; thirty years later it became quaff. 

Among the Romance words are fruteles, rural, purser, 
quarter mayster (two ship officers), wastful, incline ears, de- 
cline from, enormity, satyre (a poem), to outgorge, operacion, 
desist, a sage (sapiens), pyllage, to be active, insolence, patroness, 
correct (for the press), a mind is abstract There are many 
words, new in the South, afterwards adopted by Tyndale, 
such asfolysshenes, vagabund,incredyble, destitute, lyberall,render, 
submyt him to, diceytful, be of none effect, also the Lancashire 
vesture. The word transpose is employed to express wresting 
of the law, i. 67. We see excheters used for officials, il 78 ; 
from them came cheaters fifty years later. The word fassion 
now means bodUy adornment, i. 290 ; fassions are mentioned 
in connexion with garments. The word statelynes often means 
silly pride. Wrath is called a passyon, i. 184; Lydgate's 
bagage (praeda) now means simply trash, i. 221. There are 
here two senses of conceit ; we read of new conceytis (ladies' 
ornaments), i. 289, and their own conceyt (vanity), i. 290 ; 
Tyndale's favourite sense of the word. There is the word 
promoter used for a lawyer, ii. 50; fifty years later it was de- 
graded to mean an informer. The word surety means safety, 
ii. 251, as put in surety. The word offer takes a new sense, 
polliceri, ii. 283. The word edit means simply give out, i. 
6. The old put him in dever to is seen ; but there is also 
the new coined endever to, which comes often. The law is 
said to be diffuse, ii. 226. The noun ju^er, not jv{/e, is 
used of one who in common life passes judgment on others, 
i. 154. There is not only vice, but vydonsnes. We see 
furour, furiousnes, and furyosite. The word inconvenience. 


■'"' ' ■■■■■ y m^ ■■ m^^^^^ ■ ^^^^^^^m^^^ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ i , , , , 

in the sense of damnum^ is always coming. A man enjoyed 
hym (gavisus est) in the city he was building, i. 90 ; the 
enjoy and rejom had long been running a parallel course. 
The foreign ending ist was coming in; we read of a 
planetyst, ii. 19; our poet thinks astronomy a juggle. The 
French had a phrase cheveux primes^ delicate hair ; a pryme^ 
i. 250, means a paramour; our adjective prim has now a 
very different sense ; but we still talk of a prime cut. We 
read of a hotyll nose, i. 288. We see the Latin encroaching 
on the French ; in ii. 43 stands Tnake purveaunce of corn ; 
in p. 44 comes provyde sustenaunce ; in p. 46 provysion, 
whereby he might feed them; here the word provision 
has all but got its modem sense of food.^ Still, provide 
has not lost the sense of foresee. But we find fcUygate 
where we now use the French form. There is uUraunce, 
the later outran^, not to be confused with the earlier 
utterance. We had long used pcLst midnight; we now 
find past shame, ii. 55. Barclay is fond of after one rate 
(manner); not quite like our "at a great rate." A man 
is a great corporate body, ii. 82 ; a sort of pleonasm. The 
carle and vyllayne are coupled in a harmless sense, ii. 97. 
The word place was much used for domus ; we see a ferme 
plaxx, ii. 98. There is a curious confusion between the 
Substantive and Adjective in ii. 100, an almost infynyte 
of folys. There are the phrases hestely dronken, ii. 177, joyn 
hande to hande, maners of the table, in one instant. We 
see exposytour ; we have now expomider and exponent as 
well, all from different parts of the old verb. The rascaUle 
of 1400 was losing its harmless sense; rascold is used for 
nebulo, ii. 307. Barclay is very fond of volage, which he 
found in the French book he was translating. The verb 
jest is formed from geste (historia) ; it was to be a favourite 
verb of Tyndale's. 

Barclay has many old proverbs and maxims for the 
first time ; some have been a little altered since his day. 
We find— 

■^ Here the joke in * Punch ' comes in. Lawyer — What were the 

E revisions of the will ? Client — Provisions ! that's just it ! We 
avo not got even bread and cheese. 

38o THE NE W ENGLISH, [chap. 

** Take ye in gode worth the swetnes with the sour (i. 39). 
When the stede is stolyn, to shyt the stable dore (i. 76). 
Lerne not to be a fole ; that cometh by it selfe (i. 178). 
Nothing is worse than a churle made a state (nobleman) (ii. 8). 

It is an olde sayd sawe, 

Lyke to lyke will drawe (ii. 35). 
One yll tume requyreth another (ii. 38). 
Be besy about your hay while Phebus is shining (ii. 45). 
Pryde will have a fall (ii. 169). 
One myshap fortuneth never alone" (ii. 251). 

We hear much about the England of Barclay*s day. 
Beggar's tricks were then much as they are now, i. 303. 
It was shocking that monks and' priests danced, i. 294. 
A man is said to be a fool, who prefers the bagpipe to 
harp or lute; an odd sentiment for a Scot, i. 256. Some 
kept their bonnets on when Christ was consecrated on the 
altar ; the Paynims in their temples were more devout, i. 
223. A foretaste of the riotous Mohawks of 1710 is 
given in i. 299. England's sins were punished with 
diseases, " both uncouthe and cruel ; " the new-come mor- 
hm Gallicus is referred to, i. 39. Not only Aristotle but 
also Plato is recommended; a sign of the times, i. 147. 
Barclay wishes the English lion to join with the Scotch 
unicorn against the Turk, ii. 209 ; the dreaded enemy 
worshipped idols, a very old mistake. This countryman 
of Lord Bute's writes, we Brytons^ ii 16; he calls Henry 
VII. " the rede Rose redolent," ii. 16; that king's sober- 
ness in dress is held up as an example, i. 39 ; Henry VIII. 
also is mentioned. We hear that fools feast and drink on 
Sunday; the Scotch poet calls that day the Sabbot, ii. 176. 
He speaks of the newe fonde londe, ii. 25, and hints at 
America, though not by name, ii. 26. The names Denys, 
Mawrys, and Fatryke are given as Irish names, ii. 308. 
Barclay, on the question of blasphemy, differs from Car- 
dinal Newman ; the latter, in one of his works, argues 
that the nations of Southern Europe show themselves more 
pious than the Englishman by their oaths ; most irreverent 
and filthy these oaths are, as every traveller knows. But 
Barclay thus rebukes the heavenly-minded blasphemer of 
his day — 


' ' And than these houndes can suche excusys fynde, 
As to theyr soules without dout ar damnable, 
Saynge it is gode to have the masse in mynde, 
And the name of God, and His sayntis honourable. 
O erytykes, houndes abhomynable, 
That is a thynge whiche God almyghty lothys, 
To take His name in thy foule mouth by othys " (ii. 133). 

Some of Barclay's other poems, such as his ' Eclogues/ 
may be found in the Percy Society Collection, vol. xxii. The 
e is often sounded at the end of words ; but y is sometimes 
substituted, as Jeny for Jwm. We read of an arrant thief ^ 
where a supplants e. Pecock's avoT]>i now becomes aforde, 
p. 69. The new Substantives are bedfellow (not the old 
hedfere\ Jacke with the bush (a hairy youth in office), p. xlv. 
There is the new phrase a back reckoning, A man |is 
addressed as my mate/ We find the plural silkes. The 
word rotum is used for a place at Court. 

The old Adjective pert degenerates in p. liii., meaning 
no more than saucy ; it must have been confused with 

The it is employed in a new construction, often seen in 
Heywood ; for this Pronoun is prefixed to a Verbal noun, 
where the Infinitive would be used in Latin, it is yll stel- 
yng from a thefe, p. 36 ; this turn of phrase recalls Barclay's 
native land. 

Among the Verbs we see clap (in prison), cleve like 
bim-es. There is the advice, ^are a corner of thy belly, p. 
xlii. ; hence Goldsmith's " we'll all keep a comer." We 
see they are setled (are at ease), a new sense of this verb. 
As we saw before, the Dutch verb deck now gets the sense 
of ornare. The verb smyrk has degenerated from its old 
honourable sense; see p. 26. 

There is the Adverb earlier, p. 33, and by startes. 

There is the borrowed term of abuse, abbey lowne or 
limnier of a monke, p. xxxvi. ; limnier is now represented by 
the Scotch limmer. There is the Celtic lag ; they remmn 
last for lag, p. xii. Among the new Eomance words are 
pictti/re, brutal, formal (in dress), the rest (reliqui). We find 
the French phrase, a bone viage; a favourite wish all 
through this Century. There is the phrase courting, p. 

382 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

xvi. ; this means here "frequenting the Court" There 
are the new phrases lei* it pass, grate (rub), goodly anointed 
(equipped), also to apply business, our ply, Gower's des- 
traugld is now changed to distract ; thy tvit is distract, p. 
XXX. ; the Latin forms were beginning to encroach. The 
verb surmise now means fingere. The verb depart gets the 
new sense of nwri, p. li The word sect had hitherto been 
connected with religion ; it now means simply genus ; men 
of this sect, p. liL ; hence comes our noun set, as "a set of 
fellows." There is the new phrase from post unto pUler 
tossed, p. Ivii. ; post at this time might mean columna, as in 
the ' Ayenbite.' Beale (Bell) appears as a woman's name. 
Barclay was always fond of adding the ness to foreign roots, 
as quietness. 

There is the old saying, they rohhe St Peter to cloth St, 
Paul, p. xvii. ; the early occurrence of this phrase shows 
that the derivation of it, as usually given, is wrong. 

There is a treatise on Carving, printed by Wynkyn de 
Worde, dating from 1514; this is contained in the *Babees' 
Book.' Here we find a peculiar verb for each bird or beast 
that is carved, thus you wynge a partridge, but thye a wood- 
cock, p. 265 j bread must be squared (proportioned), p. 
269 ; to square a man in our day means to "adjust him to 
your purpose." Our Scriptural sense of rebuke comes out 
very plain in p. 286 ; it is no rebuke (opprobrium) to a 
knight to entertain a King's groom. 

In Halliwell's * Letters of the Kings of England,' from 
1513 to 1525, we see the substantive the Englishery, In 
p. 280 Henry VIII. says that certain things may stand 
msetly well for a shift ; here the last word is like turn in " it 
will serve your turn." There is the Adjective towardly, 
where the last syllable is something new. Two Genitive 
Pronouns are coupled in your and their return, p. 278. 
There are the verbs come in (submit), take such order that, 
etc. We read that an army scaled (dispersed) ; perhaps 
this is the phrase of some Northern secretary of Henry's, 
p. 283. Among the Komance words are harkebuss (spelt 
with the h). There isfacilely employed for easily, p. 284 ; 
a fine phrase, for which Foxe, many years afterwards, 


laughed at Wolsey. In p. 246 the foreign d%8 is prefeiTed 
to our homeborn mis in distrust. 

In Ellis' * Letters/ from 1513 to 1525, we see the Scotch 
laird written lard; there is also the Scotch Sinkler for *S'i^. 
Clair. Warham, following the new usage, writes father^ 
Series iii., vol. i. p. 241. A well-known change is illustrated 
when Madrill replaces Madrid. We see the hetterer, where 
there is one syllable too much. The Salopian won (unus) 
is now adopted in London. I may remark on the long 
despatch sent from Toledo in 1525 by Sampson and 
Tunstall (Series iii., vol. ii. p. 20) ; the former writes in the 
Southern dialect ; the latter, who, being a Northern man, 
has evidently taken pains to learn good English, writes 
much as we do. 

There are the new Substantives lance knight, UacJcsviith. 
We hear of the Fopis Holines ; Wolsey, when but a bishop, 
is styled your Grace ; in a letter from Newcastle occurs the 
phrase a man of Chwrche (clericus) ; holy had hitherto come 
before Churche. In Series iii., vol. i. p. 190, John Eight- 
wise appears, who compiled the * Propria quae maribus' and 
* As in prsesenti,* works well known to the youth of my 
generation, though now obsolete. We see at good length 
(for a long while) ; fires, not bonfires, are kindled for the 
victory of Pavia. We have the Plural logings, I think for 
the first time. There is the phrase they are in lust, p. 169 ; 
here the noun changes from voluntas to salics, and deter- 
mines the prevailing sense in our modern Itisty. In make 
husines (Series iii., vol. ii. p. 32) the noun adds the sense of 
turbatio to the old negotium ; an actor on the stage talks of 
his business (stir). We read of the drafte of a proclamation. 

There is the phrase two thousand crowns and odde, p. 318, 
where the Adjective gets the new meaning of amplius. 
Dunbar*s new form tryme (pulcher) appears in the South. 
Leo X., we are told, looked losty (sanus) just before his 
death. A matter is said to be freshe in memory. Our usual 
legal epithet appears, his learned cowitsail. There is a 
curious late instance of the Teutonic Adjective agreeing 
with the Substantive in number, svmlz horsis, p. 206. 
Further on we have be so good to gyve; then the as is 

384 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

inserted, he so gratiose as to remember. There are phrases 
like to the best of my power, the deaneries be nothing like to that 
value ; this last is Warham's. In it is not the wey to lede 
him; the word right is dropped before the noun ; we saw a 
hundred years earlier he was the man. 

As to the Pronouns, we find the prefixed to no, followed 
by an Adjective, to the no little perell. There is ony wey 
(in any direction). 

As to the Verbs, a new idiom for the Future Participle 
is struck oflf; about, prefixed to the Infinitive, had hither- 
to expressed intense earnestness; it seems now to be 
softened into the bare Future, he is abowt to ship goods 
(Series ii., vol. ii. p. 295). There are phrases like she was 
brought to bed of a child, make report of hirmelf, geve notise,put 
me in his wylle (testament), briiig to pass, take harte, he is 
forth comyng, take breath, wrest the matter, he thought it best to, 
etc., not reckoning that, etc., as matters stood, have a good 
mynde to serve. The old noun doke gives birth to a verb, to 
clooke perjwrie. There is the phrase to saye the truthe. The 
old overrwn, (beat in running) was now being replaced by 
Chaucer's outrun ; the former verb is here used in another 
sense, overrun the country. 

Among the new Adverbs are at the soneste (soonest), far 
behindhand, the tyme is ferr spent, from 20 pounds upwards. 
The neither, followed by another neither, as in our Bible, 
may be found in p. 110. There is the Northern form 

Among the Prepositions stand upon suspicion, nigh upon 
a thousand, where some such word as bordering is under- 
stood. The for had always expressed quod spectat ad ; we 
now see she is merry for a woman being in her case, p. 145. 
Warham has behyther the sea and beyond, showing how be 
was always used to form new Prepositions. 

Henry VIII., when surprised, cries hy the masse (Series 
iii., vol. i. p. 196) ; this was to become a common oath all 
through the Century. There is the Dutch dock (for ships) 
and the Scandinavian haulsers. 

Among the new Eomance words are familiar with, 
Maister Secretary, the Popis Nuntio, the Master of the Cere- 


rrwnyes (at Kome), scrutiny (at the Pope's election), the 
particulars, hroUery, occwrrantes, money matters, successes, agent, 
dandijyrat (a coin), join with them, he in good train, tenable, 
a lege (league) distant, enterveue, to state something, of no 
importance, to couch a letter, to pen things, a sure man, peces of 
ordinance, a precedent, I assure you, they (soldiers) have served, 
my bill (note of hand), blanks, to sport (joke), to interteign 
(guests), predslye, in the same predicament (plight), devyse 
(heraldic), suer I am that, etc., thair superiors, successyvely, to 
intimate (proclaim), repeat, by faire meanes, move to teris, 
doagier (dowager). We see the phrase their powers (vires) ; 
then comes the potmris (states) of Italye, The raskells stand 
for the commons, p. 192 ; hence Knox was not foulmouthed 
when he spoke of the rascal multitude forty years later. A 
rascall, p. 301, is a camp follower, distinguished from a 
soldier. We see diffidence in the sense of mistrust ; Bunyan 
couples the word (employing it as unbelief) with despair. 
In p. 177 stands give him good lessons (warnings); we still 
say, "a good lesson for you." We read of six couple, 
where the foreign word is both Singular and Plural, like 
yoke and swine. In p. 328 a certain Order, is called The 
Religion ; the word was to bear a very different sense in 
France forty years later. There is a curious idiom in this, 
the lordes were attempted to be won. We have the phrase to 
remembre (reward) labors with promotion ; hence the "remem- 
ber the coachman " of our boyhood. The old every other 
line now becomes every second line. We have an attempt at 
Latin forms in fructfvll, forfect, and appoinct ; there is also 
streictnes; we may talk both of the strait gate and of a 
strict master, the French and the Latin. Warham says of 
the Kentish taxpayers that they band and promise; the first 
verb is formed from the noun. The Ciira is well known in 
Spain ; the English ambassadors at Madrid speak of him 
as the curate, a word which down to this time could well 
express the Spanish title. 

In Bishop Fisher's sermon against Luther, in 1521 
(Early English Text Society), he uses the old Salopian 
phrase fell wyttes, p. 341 ; fell, like sharp and shrewd, seems 
to hover between crudelis and acer ; Lady Naime has he's a 

VOL. I. 2 c 


386 THE NE W ENGLISH, [chap. 

fdl clever lad. The new verb sJdaunt (slant) is formed from 
the old adverb, p. 323. We hear that Luther calls the 
Pope's abetters papistas ; this is perhaps the first appear- 
ance of the word in England. 

In the * State Papers/ from 1513 to 1525, we find 
Wolsey often using the phrase " he has more strings to his 
bow." Norfolk writes, vol. iv. p. 85, " now the iron is 
bote, it is tyme to stryke." 

As to Vowels, a was more and more sliding into the 
sound of French ^; we see prepaire, mis; the French 
Eou^en is written Boone (otherwise called here Rowayn), 
iv. 413. A well-known German city is called Mayaunce, 
not Mentz, The Scotch family Ker is written Carre, a form 
afterwards preferred by Sir Walter in his poetry. The 
terwin (fatigare) of the * Promptorium ' now appears as tire. 
The French seem still in some cases to have sounded their 
eau like iou, for Bewren is here written for the foreign 
Beaurain, vi. 66 ; on the other hand, Beaugency appears as 
Bogeansye, vi. 62. Their au seems at Paris to have been 
now sliding from ou to o ; the well-known Lautrec appears 
in English correspondence both as Lowtreke and Lottryke, 
vi. 58, 94. 

As to Consonants, the p is inserted in Tompson ; the of 
is cut down to a, as 8 a clok ; the v is struck out in Caun- 
dishe (Cavendish). The t is added, the old margine be- 
comes mergent, iv. 12. Even at this date we find Surrey 
writing Meurus for Melrose, iv. 29. The n replaces r, for 
the old herberger becomes arhinger, ii. 115 ; heriot and har- 
binger are the only two words that still keep any trace of 
the old here (exercitus). The Scotch Angus is constantly 
written Anguish about this time. 

Among the Substantives we remark ki^ (keep of a 
castle), the hreke of the day. There are phrases like gonne 
shotte ; ladde and lasse are coupled. The word crew is still 
used of soldiers, not of sailors. We read of Swycelande and 
the Swysschirs, being compounds of French and German 
forms, also of the Lowe Cvm,treyes, the Indias (Spanish 
America), and the syster of Portingale (the King). Wolsey 
talks of Henry as the Kinges Highnes, but calls Charles His 


Majestye^ vi. 268. We see main recovering some of the 
Adjectival force that had belonged to it before the Con- 
quest ; there is his mayne (chief) power, vi 115. We have 
the forms nordikelihode, now is the tyme to, etc., / have noo 
Imsynes to do therein (it is no affair of mine). The old 
future phrase upon the point had been followed by the 
Infinitive ; it now takes a Verbal Noun, upon the pointe of 
departing, iv. 320. 

Among the Adjectives sad still expresses gravis; there 
is deadly fead (feud), also doo my best, iv. 37, where a sub- 
stantive is dropped. 

Among the Pronouns we see all and singular. 

As to the Verbs, we are struck by Wolsey's phrase, / 
wil he lothe to, etc., vi 332 ; Ipswich seems to have 
followed Manning in his unusual use of the shall and will. 
Both should and would make way for a new rival in we 
coude be content that, etc., ii. 89. There is a great innova- 
tion borrowed from the French in iv. 7 ; in 1523 Surrey 
writes he having broken; this new Participle is used two 
years later by King Henry ; it must have been of use in 
Englishing the Greek Aorist Participle ; the study of 
Greek had now just begun in England. There is the 
curious the moone being waned ; Surrey uses the phrase, at 
that time 330 years old, he shall maye spare (poterit par- 
cere) almost for the last time. There are phrases like 
make difficulte, run a ship agrounde, take a fanlasye to, keep his 
residence, give the chace unto, reckon to have it, make approches 
and batry (in a siege), g&oe you fair wordis, set a good face as 
(if) / unll goo, shew his visage. Wolsey is fond of making 
ripe a verb, in the sense of docere; he often uses the 
Northern scale (to separate). A merchant in our days 
would shudder if he found his clerk making a book ; but 
this phrase is used, iv. 66, for casting up accounts. In vi. 
50 stands / wolde not wysche itt to a dogge; here to be given 
is dropped before the preposition. The old verb worth 
(fieri) had all but departed; we see the new he tomed 
Frenche, vi. 64. There is a curious Present Participle in 
iv. 32, / shall be doing / but perhaps in is dropped before 
the last word. 

388 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

Among the Adverbs twndem is Englished by at length, 
vi. 197. The Double Negative is all but laid aside in 
these State Papers. Wolsey writes, in vi. 225, first, . . . 
secondely, and so on to sixthly ; he knew nothing of firstly ; 
the ly added to Numerals is new. We find so prefixed to 
a Verbal Noun, hys so doynge shall be, etc., i. 83. 

As to Prepositions, tree upon tree had long been known ; 
where the upon has the meaning of the Latin post ; we now 
.see slepe apon the matter, i 3. The new idiom connected 
with /or once more appears in iv. 280, he is man of great 
substance for these partes; the old translation of for, guod 
^ectat ad, is present here. 

Among the Komance words are in the lieu and place of. 
Vice Admyral, pasport, in no case, mutenary (mutiny), pre- 
vent (forestall), something like this appeared in 1470; a 
gratuite (pleasure), to marshe (march), munytion (ammunition), 
sense (meaning), he frank and open, a postscripta (Wolsey's 
word), he is obliged unto us, take her congie of him, pkUfarm, 
rampaire, fawsbraye, chek accompts, apply (lean) to. Latin is 
sometimes preferred to the French form; thus there is 
Pace's recuse for the usual refuse (recusant was to come rather 
later) ; traduction stands for delivery, Wolsey often writes 
suMainly, with the Latin subitus in his head ; he is fond of 
doulce (dulcis). He writes pickande for the French piquant ; 
this may be a leaning to the old East Midland Active Par- 
ticiple ; the Teutonic and Latin forms of the old Aryan 
word are confused. We see to tot and marcke (names in a 
bill), i. 115; a curious verb to be derived from totus. 
Queen Margaret talks of a brak (brig) which came from 
brigantine, iv. 262. Kildare opposes the word humanities 
to crueltie ; the former had before this time expressed 
merely courtesy. In vi. 317 we hear of an expresse curror ; 
the adjective was later turned into a substantive. In p. 
370 stands what people (a set) of Consaillours he hathe. The 
word prise now gains the new meaning of navis capta, iv. 
89. The word diseas is applied to so slight a thing as a 
cold, iv. 236. We see simulate, to which Lord Macaulay 
preferred the later verb sham. The word half had long 
been used before adverbs ; we now have ryde a quarter so 


farre^ vi. 88. We hear of capitaine Bayard, vi. 192; I 
think the first instance of this noun as a title in English. 
A lawyer at Kome appears as Maister Doctor Hanibal 
(Annibaldi), foreshadowing Dogberry's Master Gentleman 
Conrad. Wolsey uses catail in the Northern, not in the 
Southern, sense of the word; with him it is pecus, vi. 173 ; 
the old haveour (substance) appears once more, p. 185 ; basse 
is often coupled with low; Wolsey uses both the verbs 
depeche and dispach. In vi. 613 we have to stay (delay) a 
thing, Wolsey now and then uses except for nisi. 

In Halliweirs 'Eoyal Letters' (1513-1525) we may 
study the words of King Henry VIIL He talks of free 
willSy in the Plural, p. 233; also of the Englishery and 
Irishery, p. 253, the former referring to the Pale. The 
Verb is dropped in no more to you at this time, p. 235 ; there 
is we can do no less, but, eta, set in good train, a city holds 
against enemies, p. 279 ; we should say holds out. The verb 
gi'ow is followed by to, as well as into ; Henry tells his sister, 
you be grown to much wealth, p. 275. About this time the 
rightful Nominative ye was much set aside in favour of you. 
Among the Eomance words are furniture (also famishment), 
certificate (warning), exmMtant, affiance, offers, exploit, commina- 
tions, affectionate. Henry deputes a Bishop to be resident 
"as our orator" at Rome, p. 235 ; we have now made this 
resident a substantive. He talks of the renovdling of 
authority, p. 243 ; perhaps this led the way to our form 
renewal. The word personage is often used as implying 
something nobler than person. The old conclude makes 
way for "we have resolved and determined that," etc., p. 
284; in p. 245 we read of well-determined (disposed) 
persons ; we now talk of a determined man ; Henry speaks 
of himself as being determinate resolved, p. 246. He writes 
of his having received instructions from a Deputy, p. 248 ; 
we should now apply this word to the orders of a Superior 
alone. Irish soldiers are said to be extreme in demanding 
wages; their land is to be reduced to civility, p. 253. 

Mrs. Wood, in her 'Letters of Illustrious Ladies,' has 
printed many letters of the two sisters of Henry VIIL, 
ranging from 1513 to 1525. Queen Margaret has by 

390 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

this time become unmistakably Scotch in her speech ; 
she uses the preposition fore-against (the old forcm ongean), 
p. 167, and contacts this into foments, p. 257. She mis- 
places her shalls and mils; she uses while as itsqtie ad, 
whiles for cUiqtuindo, suppose for si; she discards lie old 
liflod for living, and writes foregather, unfriends, aye (sem- 
per). In p. 248 she talks of the westland Lords, where 
an Englishman would have written West country. 

Among the Substantives are stop (hindrance), small pox ; 
Queen Mary complains of suffering from the disease called 
the mother (globus hystericus), a word found also in Dutch ; 
this afterwards occurs in Shakespere; in the year 1280 
himodered had been used for agitatus ; " I am moithered " 
stailds in ' Silas Marner.' Queen Margaret constantly uses 
stead for service, as " do him stead," which is uncommon ; 
hence came the later stand in stead. She often uses way 
and ways for mil, policy, interest, or faction, as in p. 266, 
"get them at his way," " if I go his way;" she employs way 
in two senses in one sentence, p. 278, "by any ways I 
would they left the governor's ways." Hence our " get his 
own way." Lady Oxford thanks Wolsey for his gracious 
goodness, p. 334 ; the Substantive was coming in once 
more ; she promises her good will to a dependent, who asks 
for an office, p. 335. 

Among the Adjectives are motherly, winning ; the last 
is applied to Queen Mary of France, p. 174. There is the 
Scotch form cumbersome (molestus), just as we now hear 
hindersome in the North ; cumbrous was set apart for 
another shade of meaning. We see well-minded, p. 324, 
with the Past Participle ending ; this minded was begin- 
ning to be much used in composition about this time. In 
p. 287 alike is used like the old all one; "it is alike to 
both, where," etc. In p. 168 lifelike, applied to young 
James V. by his mother, keeps its old meaning, vivax. 
In p. 201 Queen Mary says that she must be short with 
young Brandon ; that is, in announcing her projects. 

Among the Verbs we see pvi to the froof, strike mxmey, 
he mils me evil. The Passive voice is developed, / am 
(evil) done to stands in p. 228. The verb get is used like 


hcuve^ since it is followed by a Passive Participle \ I get no 
good donSy p. 269. Queen Margaret often talks of being 
answered (satisfied) as to the money due to her ; we say 
that a thing answers our expectations. She complains, in 
p. 230, that her husband took up her revenues ; this phrase 
for approjpriating lingers in our " taking up room." In p. 
326 she uses forward as a transitive verb, and starts the 
new verb overlook (negligere). She talks of nmning bene- 
fices to sundry persons, p. 301 ; we now nominate persons 
to benefices. 

Among the Prepositions we remark upon the word of a 
prince, p. 190. The old being on life (not alive) is used by 
Queen Catherine in p. 260. There is to the best of his 
power, to the uttermost; Queen Margaret says that she is 
allowed to enter to her children ; hence our stage direction, 
enter to him the Duke, We have already seen m^ake for a 
purpose; men now go for favour ; we should in our day 
place in before for. 

Among the Komance words are comforts (pleasures) in 
the Plural, consternation, justify (make good), quarterly (the 
Adverb), memorial (scriptum), redound to, A letter is sent 
by the post, p. 163, that is, the rider. In p. 315 a letter 
is despatched without direction to any person. We talk of 
Her Majesty's Opposition ; so Queen Margaret writes in 
p. 169 about my party adversary. The word trouble is much 
softened, meaning little more than petere; I shall trouble 
you for money, as Queen Margaret writes, p. 221. The 
word sort is used for sense in p. 316 ; a letter, in contrary 
sort, is sent ; in some sort is a well-known phrase. Queen 
Margaret complains in p. 328 of being not well disposed ; 
the word here refers to the body, not the mind ; when the 
word is coupled with ill, it must, in our day, refer to the 
mind alone, which is curious. She often uses sober where 
we should employ moderate. The title Sire is used by 
Queen Mary when addressing her brother ; Queen Cathe- 
rine is addressed as right excellent, right high and mighty 
princess, Margaret writes, pray your Grace to pardon me, 
dropping the /, p. 327 ; she probably confused this phrase 
with please your Grace, which comes in the next page ; the 

392 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

first quotation gives the clue to prithee. She writes in the 
middle of a sentence, wnd most suspicion of all ; this is short 
for " most cause for suspicion." Wolsey uses the participle 
incholeredj thus giving a Greek form to the French coUre 
(ira), a form which we retain, p. 197. There are the 
phrases you fail to him, and failing that; Margaret uses 
the verb disassent, p. 300, the first hint of our dissent She 
talks of being at mal aise (ill) ; and her sister uses dote as 
well as the old dower. 

In the documents quoted by Foxe, ranging between 
1513 and 1525 (Cattley's Edition, iv.), we remark that one 
heretic is accused of saying that Luther had more learning 
in his little finger than all the doctors in England in their 
whole bodies, p. 179 ; in p. 237 comes the saw, "it is good 
to be merry and wise." The Christian name Allan is 
written Allen, p. 195 ; and there is the surname Sirmndes, 
p. 191, coming from Simon, Sim^und, like serm/m, sermonde. 
There is the new substantive a stump foot. We see business 
with its new sense of turmoil ; make all this business, iv. 
226. The heretics (it is our last glimpse of the old 
Lollards) called themselves known men or just-fast-men, p. 
218, also good fellows, p. 243.^ 

Among the Adjectives are to sit mum, ripe in Scripture. 
Among the Verbs we see turn a penny, to storm, " ye be 
cast away and undone/' p. 192, whence a new noun was 
soon to be coined ; the verb in this sense was often used 
about this time. The verb fret is used, not of the mind as 
formerly, but of the skin, in describing poor Hunne's death. 
A man m/ikes good cheer (has a jolly time), p. 192; this 
differs from the earlier "she made me good cheer." Li 
the next page a horse is besweat and hemired ; we were to 
become very fond of prefixing this be to verbs ; so General 
Butler wrote of the New Orleans ladies as " bejewelled and 
becrinolined." A child is at nurse, p. 183, suggested by 
the Latin apud. The word Maister had long been prefixed 
to surnames; in p. 239 we hear of Maistress Cotismore; we 
now contract the word into Missus, A criminal is examined 
before a bishop ; heretics are detected (informed against) to 

1 There were heretics at Faenza, known as the honi homineSj in 1240. 


the bishop's office^ p. 223 ; this last word is well known in 
connexion with the Holy Ofl&ce. The Northern kirkmen^ 
applied to the clergy, becomes churchmen in the South, 
iv. 224. 

Many of Skelton's poems belong to the time between 
1513 and 1525. We see the proverbs, all is fysshe that 
cometh to net, nedes must he rin that the devyll dryvith. He 
has puns on the words raisin, seal, and others ; he is fond 
of prefixing the French m. Like Dunbar, he has an 
unbounded admiration for Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate, 
and plainly puts them all upon one level ; see ii. 185. He 
has the old words and forms, sum dele, eysell, helas, wanhope, to 
grame, to wed (pledge), to fang. He mimics the Northern 
dialect in his ge heme (gae hame), addressed to a Scot, ii. 280. 

Skelton, unlike the author of the * Candlemas Play,' 
makes a difference between the French blew (cseruleus) and 
the Teutonic hlo (lividus). Like Macaulay, he uses Lewes 
for the French Louis, He turns the rrumge of Piers Plough- 
man into monche, our munch. He turns v into /, for the 
old snuven (anhelare) becomes snuf. The old d is replaced 
by g, heder moder becomes hugger mugger. The ch is re- 
placed by j, the old cea/rcian (stridere) appears in oui of 
joynt ye jar, ii. 334 ; the last word was much favoured by 
Hey wood. The th is added, for there are the two forms 
commune well and commune wdth, Barclay's new form. 

As to new Substantives, we have mamockes (fragmenta), 
a jackenapes, shyttel cocke, a webbe of lylse imdse, ii. 281 ; this 
last is a pun on the Cardinal's name. There is a yonkerkyn, 
i. 233, from the Dutch. Skelton still uses the term 
Lollardy, i. 241, of which he was no lover ; the Lollard was 
soon to be replaced by the Gospeller. There are the 
phrases Jacke shall have Gyl, ii. 1 6, sober sadnesse (gravitas), 
Pers Pykthanke, a term of abuse, ii. 60. Wolsey is called 
a gracelesse elfe, ii. 314, showing a change in the meaning 
of the Substantive; he is also sv^h a Bedlem^, ii. 297, a 
new use of the such. We see an ende of an old song. When 
we come across the form negarshyp we understand why the 
Irish call a niggard " an ould nagur." There is the new 
phrase he is at suche tahynge, ii. 308 ; we should say, " in 

394 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

such a taking." The old vMid (sciens), in the guise of a 
wetewold, is now first used in its evil sense, ii. 178.^ In 
the same page is another term of abuse, a nougkty pack, 
which perhaps here refers to a man; baggage was later 
applied to women. 

The new Adjectives are upstart, pynk iyde. We see cock 
sure, ii. 286. The word praiy gets the new meaning of 
fortis; quyte you like praty men, ii. 33. In touch you on the 
quyke, ii 76, a substantive is dropped after the adjective. 
The wonder had long stood before adjectives, as wonder- 
blithe ; it is now prefixed to a substantive, ye be wonders 
men, ii. 7 ; a slight transposition of this gave birth to the 
new wondrous. There is our phrase, trewe as the gospell, ii. 
321 ; here Manning had used so]> as the first word. 

The impersonal it is much used after Verbs, as to fote it. 
We see not a whit, ii 219, expressing the Old English 
nawiht (naught). 

Among the new Verbs is mysname (vituperare). There 
are the phrases blowen with the flye of heresy, also fly blowen 
opinions, i. 234, chop logyk, take your pleasure, thou be hanged/ 
ii. 86, kepe the wolfe from the dore, know what ys a clocke, ii. 
132, ^6 knew what was what, ii. 313, have a smncke of (resem- 
blance to), play didil diddil, ii. 203, / did what I coude, it 
erMth me, to cast a fole, do us a shrewd twrn. We see the 
phrase to pop forth saws, i. 238 ; at p. 235 poppyng means 
babbling ; our pop stiQ implies noise, as pop-gun. The verb 
Mother, our blather, answers to the Latin blaterare, ii. 49. 
The old fall on prechynge (so it once was written) loses its 
preposition in ii. 101, and thus the Verbal Noun is made 
to look like a Participle. The Northern scalp has at last 
made its way to London. There is the new compound 
rayne-beten, ii 104. 

As to Adverbs, the so is employed as an asseveration, as 
in Tyndale, / can do mastryes, so I can, ii. 56. 

There is write at lengthe, ii. 185, where some adjective 
such SLS full seems to be dropped after at; we also have to 
prate after this rate, ii. 165; we should now substitute at, 

^ Skeat says that the evil word comes from woodwale (a bird), like 
cuckold from cuckoo. 


Among the Interjections is hoho ! a cry of derision. 
There are also the Shakesperian howm^ the Yorkshire 
iushe ; hem^ Syr, ii. 1 2 (Shallow's hem, boys /), by our lakyn 
(ladykin), alarum ! out karowe / ii. 1 1 2. We have the cry 
of birds, jug jug, chuk chuk St. Mary of Egypt supplied 
the oath by Mary Gipcy, ii. 235 (Marry gup). The Devil's 
name is often brought into Skelton's comedy ; there is also 
what, a very vengeaunce, who is that? ii. 100. In ii. 180 
stands to blow a bararag (a noise), whence ballyrag. 

There are the Scandinavian nouns blurre, trash, and the 
verb whysk, also go gingerly. 

Among the Komance words are conveyance (thieving), ii. 
26, tenter hokys, a budge furre (lamb's wool), mynyon, bybyll 
darke, musty, trotters (sheep's feet), carbuckyls (warts) ; the 
grapeys of 1430 becomes graundepose, leading up to our 
grampus. There is the phrase grese my hands with gold. 
The Northern form catell is used for bestia, ii. 54 ; may- 
stresse now means arnica as well as domina, ii. 73. The 
verb intrete adds the sense of precari to that of tractare, ii. 
75. To trusse a packe expresses abire, ii. 84; hence our 
" send him packing," "pack off." In ii. 93 Adversity says 
that she is Goddys preposytour ; she remarks as to careless 
lords, I prynt them with a pen ; the prepostors at Eton may 
still be viewed, marking down the names of culprits at the 
master's behest. We have seen passing strange used for 
nearly 200 years ; the participle is now changed, and we 
find so excedynge farre, ii. 110 ; this form was adopted by 
Tyndale. In il 1 47 polytykes^expresses state craft, a most 
curious use of the Plural. Terence is called a comicar, ii. 
1 85 ; the Teutonic ending er must perforce assert itself. 
Wolsey is called an epycure, ii. 274. Skelton used the old 
fors, where Tyndale employed the later matter/ make no 
great fors, ii 330. 

In vol. XX. of the Percy Society may be found the two 
versions of the old Song of the Lady Bessy (the Queen of 
Henry VII.) The second of them may date from about 
1520, when the great events of 1485 were becoming some- 
what legendary ; the first of the versions is more modem 
still. The poet must have been a Cheshire or Lancashire 

396 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

man ; he uses whome for home^ p. 76 ; there is the old faze 
(caesaries), which was now not known to the South of 
Lichfield. A man in disgrace comes tmder a clowde, p. 79 ; 
we now first hear of read coates, Lord Stanley's soldiers, p. 
74 ; a well-known word in Cromwell's day, 130 years later. 
We here see that Lancashire is included in "the West 
country." There is the new phrase lyke a man wUl I die, 
p. 77. Among the verbs are where standeth the wynde ? p. 
70. We talk of backing a horse ; we here find to hack (re- 
pellere) enemies, p. 45. In the same page men give white 
hoods ; that is, bear for their cognisance ; this is a favourite 
phrase of the Century, and is used by Mrs. Thrale about 
1790. Men are ready in an houres warnyng ; here we 
substitute at. There is assuredlye, used also by Fisher. 

Many poems in Hazlitt's Collection (vols. ii. and iv.) 
seem to date from 1520. There are the very old forms 
tho (tunc), go on live (alive), iv. 221, and moldeis still used 
for terra, p. 191, swayne for servus, p. 204. But there is the 
great contraction werte for were it, p. 208. 

Among the Substantives there is toy (antic). An admir- 
ing woman calls a stalwart youth a whypper, p. 94 ; in our 
day she would use whopper or whacker. 

Among the Adjectives is the old qitever (impiger) of 
1220, first seen in the ' Ancren Kiwle.' The byrchen rod is 
mentioned in iv. 218. There are the new forms faced and 
tonged, p. 88. 

As to Pronouns, a man brings his wife to this, p. 225 ;. 
later in the Century pass would have been added. 

Among the Verbs are show his mind to, here the breche 
(in wedlock), nothing commes amysse, tell where to tourne me, 
keep house, beare a rule, have in store for, set up his shop, play 
the devell, let flee at him (with no Accusative, p. 209). The 
be was prefixed to form Verbs all through this Century ; 
begyft them stands in p. 196. The verb sway had been 
Transitive hitherto ; it now becomes intransitive, being 
used of a body hanging, p. 94. The verb take now gets 
the new sense oiferire; take him on the cheek, p. 181. The 
old trim (firmare) is used ironically, a wife threatens to 
trim her husband, p. 209. 


We see the new ones for all, iv. 91, soon to be used by 

There is the proverb selfe doe, self have, p. 194, imply- 
ing that a man creates his own fate. 

There is loh, akin to the German, used of a clown, p. 
205 ; it was afterwards used by Shakespere. 

Among the Romance words is twn a penny ; there is 
the phrase double quycke, p. 85, whence comes a verb much 
used in our army. In p. 95 a man dying Umrm his heels 
up ; we here substitute toes for heels. There is the noun 
checkemate, p. 88 ; here a pun is intended, for there is a hit 
at a husband. 

One of the Coventry Mysteries, the * Assumption,' p. 
383, diflfering in style from the rest, is attributed by the 
editor to a hand of Henry the Eighth's time. We may 
consider it as dating from about the year 1520 ; the play 
cannot well be later, for it abounds in old forms and words, 
soon to vanish for ever, from the South. Such are heth, 
let se, hende, to nyhyn (accedere), qwyche (quod), into (usque 
ad), hrether, kend (genus), fer (ignis), postel (apostolus), tare 
(docere), tho (tunc), ble (color), in fere, gramly (graviter), 
flvm Jordan ; out, harrow / belave (manere), berde (mulier), 
queme (placere), clepe, to spelle of me, Sovereins (domini), 
injoye (gaudere). The piece cannot well be earlier than 
1520, for we find Roye's new phrase /y on you / also, it is 
like you to do it, p. 394. There is curyng for covering, p. 
392 ; ^ replaces ^, as glaberis (garruli), p. 396; the two 
forms vxich and wake (we are on the Great Sundering Line 
for the last time) are coupled in p. 388, as in the year 
1220 ; mayde is still applied to a man, as mayde John, p. 
389, like Drayton's maiden knight; there is sneveler used 
in scorn, p. 396. In p. 385 senster, which was to last all 
through this Century, is applied to the Virgin, and seems 
to be a compound of sempstress and spinster. In p. 400 she 
and the angels address their risen Lord with the you. In 
p. 396 stands what noyse is alle this? 

Among the Verbs we see Skelton's phrase flyes blowe 
hem, p. 384. We have seen "considering thy youth;" 
we now find a new Participial phrase in p. 387 ; my name 

398 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

18 grei, treidy you telland, like our " speaking roughly," for 
"to speak roughly.'* The tvill is used in the Northern 
sense (oportet) in p. 395 ; / am aferd there wylle he sum- 
thyng amys. The at is prefixed to Numerals to express 
age; at fourten yer, p. 383. There is the Dutch word 
ogyl ; my heart begins to ogyl and guake, p. 395 ; we have 
now restored the verb to its proper sense, showing con- 
nexion with the eye, eage^ ooge. The new Eomance words 
are exjnre (mori), demon, terestrial ; the Virgin speaks of 
h&r-sympil sowle, p. 388. The old system is still in vogue 
of identical words riming, if they express different ideas ; 
for in p. 388 hende (prope) rimes with hende (mansuetus). 

A 'Northern Mystery,* printed in 'Keliquise Antiquae,' 
ii. 124, perhaps a Yorkshire composition, seems to belong 
to this time ; it has some new words in common with 
Skeltonand Coverdale; for inBta,TLce,wonderoslye is something 
new ; also gross and far hence. The e is inserted mpitemis, 
as before in hidom. The Northern habit of turning a 
into 6, which dates from the year 680, is seen in p. 
142, where alas becomes ales/ the old joyful is sounded 
joefuly p. 158; the quickly of the South becomes whiklye, 
p. 134. We see sho (ilia), a very late instance. The 
verb start is sliding into profidsd ; St. John, when leaving, 
says, now farwell, for a starte. There is a curious un- 
grammatical change in an Auxiliary verb ; in p. 1 26 a man 
is asked, was ye present? the ye and thou are here con- 
founded; the was wa& used in this way down to 1831.^ 
The use of hut (quin) is continued, was ther none othere 
meyn hut ]>ou must die? this idiom is used by Tyndale. 
In p. 141 comes run in loss, like the former run in dette. 
In p. 156 stands she myndes (recordatur) his ohedience; the 
verb used in this sense has by this time, 1520, become 
purely Northern, though it had appeared in the * Ayenbite ;' 
there is also gar (facere). There are the Eomance words 
dolorous, to entone. The word speculation stands for spectae- 
ulum in p. 151 ; it has been since much debased. The 
word progress is used for peregrinatio in p. 133; this was 

^ In the Encjuiry into the Bristol Riots of 1831 the Counsel often 
begins his questions with "Was you," etc. 


the sense in which Queen Elizabeth used it. So thoroughly 
adopted had gramercy been, that it stands for gratitude in 
p. 133. We see exmini used as a stage direction. There 
is what myn ha/rte is hevy/ this old French idiom reminds us 
of the * Cursor Mundi.' 

In another piece of this time, i. 239, we light on the 
new verb cuddle, coming from m]>lic (familiaris), also on 
the shopman's cry, maysters, what do you lack ? 

Some plays in * Dodsley's Collection * (Hazlitt's edition) 
belong to 1520 or so; these are The Four Elements, 
Calisto, Everyman, Hickscorner, the Pardoner and Friar. 
The initial a is clipped, for we see peach (appeach) 
men of treason, p. 157; Peachum was to come 200 years 
later. The a stands for he, as quotha. The n is prefixed, 
as Nell; we have seen Nan before. The old lobi seems 
to give birth to lubber, A certain weapon is now called 
a hanger. The word girl seems from this time to mean 
nothing but puslla, dropping its masculine meaning. Men 
are called lusty bloods, p. . 43, a new sense of the sub- 
stantive, coming from Holland. The word pin is used 
for crus/ run on my pins, p. 181. There is a phrase 
often used in this Century, it is a world to see how, etc., 
p. 35. Among the Adjectives are prick-eared cur, p. 87 ; 
also a peevish prick-eared song, p. 48 ; an epithet afterwards 
often applied to the Puritans. We see / have f&id scorn of 
thee, p. 55 ; the phrase afterwards used by Elizabeth con- 
cerning Parma ; a girl is called bouncing Bess, 

Among the Verbs is the frequent expletive / say, also 
cross out this, set him fast by the heels, I have been ahout your 
business, p. 56 ; we have already seen / have been and pro- 

There is the Prepositional compound their upbringing, 
and in the same page, 91, bringers up of youth; a great 
falling oflf. We see the phrase at a pinch. Among the 
Interjections is by Jis/ In p. 74 stands now mvm, now 
hem, expressing first silence, then utterance ; we know the 
Shakesperian hem, boys / 

Among the Eomance words are cerdre, zenith, the Rase, 
where men are drowned. We hear of sack (the wine) ; 

400 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

there is the verb f'mk ; and convey , the genteel word for 
thieving. The sans begins to be much used ; we here have 
5^715 peer. 

In Hazlitt, iv. 105, the * Schole House of Women' must 
date from about 1520 ; we see prattle, p. 129 (soon to be 
used by Latimer), formed from prate. The French saunce 
is once more used, saunce remedy, p. 139. 

In Almondbury Church, Yorkshire, there is a long in- 
scription of 1522 carved in oak. Here we see pray the, 
our prithee, with no / preceding. See the * Almondbury 
Glossary' (English Dialect Society). 

In the same year (Collier's * Dramatic Poetry,' i. 91) we 
hear of rrwrys pykes, of a vysor, and of the Lord of Mysrvle, 
Antony is cut down to Tonny, p. 91. 

We must now consider the Romaunt of the Rose.^ My 
view of this poem is that about the year 1520 some 
Northern bard of great genius steeped himself in the 
Chaucer * Tales,' printed not long before, that he, moreover, 
studied manuscripts of Piers Ploughman, and perhaps 
Hampole, and that he then translated the renowned French 
poem. So cunningly did he imitate the old style, so skil- 
fully did he do his work, that he has deceived all mankind 
for the last 350 years. Mr. Skeat having discussed the 
poem in his Chaucer's * Prioresses Tale,' p. Ixxxiii., I need 
not waste time in proving that the translator was a 
Northern man ; he talks of shearing com, p. 129 ; and also 
of condise (conduits), p. 43, still a Scotch phrase. There 
are here certain words and changes in meaning that did 
not appear until 1500, or later, such as solein (in the new 
sense of morose), hnop (in the new sense of hud), nm down 
his fame, to foot (saltare), valour (in the new sense of worth), 
friend in Court, poorly, win a name, feed eyes on him, take a 
nap, set it an end, no woman alive, well favoured. We see the 

^ I diifer from Mr. Skeat, who attributes the Komaunt to Chaucer's 
age. I wish that the question could be well thrashed out, and that 
some new Bentley would try his hand upon this English counterpart 
to the Letters of Phalaris. I am quite willing to allow that the word 
test, used by me, may now and then fail. I haye here employed the 
Aldine edition of Chaucer (Pickering) ; the Romaunt is in vol. iv. ; 
the other Chaucer forgeries, which I notice, may be found here. 


beginning of a corruption widely prevalent in this Century, 
the to (dis) had ceased to be used in composition by 
Northern bards since 1480, though this practice, in the old 
correct sense, lingered on in the South until 1530; our 
present poet knows nothing of the true force of the to 
following all^ but he sets down thy hloud shall all to quake, 
p. 76 ; a corruption of Mallory^s that would have astonished 
any Southern writer between Chaucer and Tyndale. In 
the Romaunt we find wonder sly (mir^), p. 88, a form that 
did not appear till 1490. The following are poor attempts 
to imitate Old English : — of one and other (of diflFerent people), 
p. 61, I wondred me (miratus sum), p. 23, her seemed (visa 
est), p. 7, for pure wood (furor), p. 9, doen, not don (facere), 
p. 29, durst trespace to her, p. 31, I marvaile thee asking this, 
p. 62, it is goe (gone), p. l^,fore (Jar en, that is, travelled), p. 
81, my unease, p. 78, without half en dole (without halving 
it), p. 71. There is the peculiar Salopian loteby (paramour), 
which I suspect came to the poet through Piers Plough- 
man, much as youthede (juventus) came to him through the 
Prick of Conscience; this last form he imitated in his 
fairehede, semlyhede. The old ealdien had meant senescere, 
and is so used by Wickliflfe ; the word had gone out ; our 
translator found it in some old manuscript, and in his 
bungling way makes it transitive ; time eldeth kinges, p. 12. 
This translation is much later than the Fourteenth Century; 
the proof is that in any poem of Chaucer's time the 
Teutonic words now obsolete are to the whole as one to 
twenty-five, counting only the nouns, verbs, and adverbs ; 
in the present poem the proportion of obsolete Teutonic is 
far less than this ; the French words also are beyond the 
proportion used by Chaucer in descriptive poetry. 

I may point out the use of Gibhe for a cat's name, p. 
186 ; this was to become Shakesperian. In p. 175 stands 
the folk of Mr leading (whom she led), a new idiom of Verbal 
Nouns. The Accusative you is often used for the 
rightful ye; this is one of the changes fully developed in 
the Sixteenth Century. There is the new he can daunten, 
he, p. 27 ; this repetition is seen later ; we should put 
another can before the last he. The Genitive whose refers 

VOL. I. 1\i 


402 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

to ointment, p. 57, through whose vertue, etc. Thorns are 
sharp, mo than ynowe, p. 55, a new phrase. There is a new- 
use of on in p. 154, lose her lore on me; here some word 
like bestowing must be understood before the on. Folk is 
on the daunce, p. 30 ; hence the later on the spree, etc. 
There is the new verb spear ; boots come on or off, -p, 68 ; 
garments are y-wrought (worked) with flowers. In p. 133 
men take her counsaile, speaking of a woman ; here the 
verb expresses seqai ; it may sometimes mean rogare, A 
most curious use of the Infinitive stands in p. 188, thm'e is 
nought, but yeeld thee; we should insert for it after the 
nought, and put to before the last verb. There is an odd 
mixture of the Strong and Weak forms in / wext (crevi), 
p. 21. The verb open becomes intransitive ; the gate opened, 
p. 126. There is a form of speech soon to be repeated 
by Latimer — 

" For all yede out at one ear 
That in that other she did lere " (p. 154). 

Among new Komance phrases are castles in Spaine, p. 77, 
persaunt (piercing) eyen, p. S4:,Jlouret, There is a new way 
of measuring — 

' * About it was founded square 
An hundred fadome on every side" (p. 124). 

We should say shortly, " a hundred fathom square." 

So popular was Chaucer that more imitations of his 
style were brought out about this time. The first of these 
is the ' Court of Love' (Aldine Edition, Pickering, vol. vi.); 
this most smooth and musical poem seems to be due to a 
Northern man ; there are the phrases / would be wo 
(maestus), p. 131, take root, yon same, p. 169, thril, as well 
as thirl, p. 175. As to date, many words are later than 
Chaucer, as aged, to rmck, and pretty, in the sense of for- 
mosus ; primrose, desk, and redbreast ; something is shapen 
hauthorn wise, p. 173 ; every /air (mulier), p. 141, take up a 
song, p. 174, a world of honour (much honour), p. 130, bay 
window, hou/rely, and timorous. There is Barclay's courtly ; 
Skelton's a prety man, pang, and roUn redbreast ; Roy's to 
lene to love, p. 160; Coverdale's cleanliness. The at is pre- 


fixed to Numerals to express age, as in the * Coventry 
Mystery' of 1520; at eighteene yere of age, p. 131. We 
see a w dropped in the middle of cokold ; there is 
May day, dating from 1523, and key connected with 
music, p. 174 ; this last appears about 1530. We see high 
honour and overbold. Among the Verbs are / was put to 
mine oth, give her free the reine, renne (on) with ymir ttmg, 
better borne (natus). There is a very late form, heile to 
thee / p. 152 ; I doubt if one such example of this Preposi- 
tion inserted can be found before 1500 ; the old form was 
heil be you (vobis). There is a new use of mthin ; within 
(at) a word she came, p. 169 ; our within call shows a trace 
of this. Some of the Eomance words seem to be very late 
comers ; we have entituled, ornate, actuell, religiousity, appetite, 
musician, linnet, to tourn leaves, deserve to hww. There is 
unto my judgement (sententia), p. 155 ; I think this sense of 
the word does not appear until 1500. The most modern 
phrase of all is in p. 152, a figge for all her chastity / I 
doubt if another instance of this can be found before 1560. 

There are some passages in this poem worthy of Chaucer 
himself; see particularly the four stanzas, p. 169, that 
deal with the Vaunter boasting of his success with women. 
There is one place, p. 165, which sets before us monks and 
friars bewailing their hard lot of celibacy ; they look with 
wistful eyes " unto these women, courtly, fresh, and shene." 
This is the Kenaissance all over. 

The * Flower and theLeaf ' is another imitation of Chaucer, 
compiled about 1520. This also is by a Northern bard; 
we see as I would wene, p. 252. The very (vald^) found 
only once, I think, before 1400, is now in constant use, 
and there is the rime ware for wered, p. 252 ; a change 
that was not made until 1450. There is hencheman, p. 
252 ; the word first appears in the ^Promptorium -/ and 
the ch did not come into it until 1511. There isferre off, 
p. 250 (the old of feor), not found before Bishop Fisher; 
such like, not found before Tyndale ; light grene, not found 
before Palsgrave ; as it would seem, p. 251, not found before 
Joye. In p. 257 clothes are wringing wet (wet so as 
to need wringing), a most curious use of the Verbal noun ; 

404 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

I think no subsequent example of this appears until 1570. 
There is a blundering imitation of the Old in the following 
words : to avise hem (spectare), a totally wrong meaning, 
p. 250 ; ladies are to-hrent, p. 255 ; a new coinage proving 
that the poet, cojning from the North, knew not the force 
of to (dis) in composition. There is another odd phrase 
in p. 246, o/ an height by and by. A sentence of Udal's 
appears in p. 256, they fC ode o threed drie on them. There 
is the curious compound heavenly figured, p. 249. 

The poem called * Chaucer's Dream ' is also due to the 
North, as we see by the words kirke and fortravailed in p. 
216 ; the latter has been altered into fare travailed. There 
are many phrases and forms that date from after 1500, 
such as what a paine, p. 185, bagage (in the sense of impedi- 
menta), p. 223, all the rest (reliqui), p. 238, / couth con- 
sent to, p. 239, make provision for, p. 221, wondrous, p. 
233, under sail, p. 211, krww what was what, p. 216. 
There is an absurd imitation of antiquity in the form 
kneene (genua), p. 186, which Chaucer never used (but 
there is an instance of this in Lydgate), so tunn is used 
for venire, p. 185 ; a sense the old verb never bore. In 
p. 232 stands in lesse than an houre. A man may be unlde 
of countenance, p. 243. In p. 202 we have of one thyng ye 
may be sure. There is the new backward and forward, p. 
211. Among the Eomance words are dislodge, ray, in 
plaine English, In p. 205 conguest takes the new sense of 
conquered land. The verb pray in p. 218, following Ud, 
takes the meaning of invitare, pray him to the feast. There 
is the new phrase appoint a day with heir, p. 224. 

In 1523 Fitzherbert brought out a book on Husbandry 
(English Dialect Society). It is a Northern piece ; such 
words as flit, kye, ill (bad), hoyst (cough), shearer (reaper), 
hinder end, he is wo, and Dunbar's tedir, are found. The Old 
English suht (morbus) still lingers on here as soughte, p. 54. 
Some think that the author belonged to the well-known 
Derbyshire family ; he certainly dwells upon the poore hous- 
bande of the Peeke, p. 43. He replaces h by c, as hucbone 
(hucklebone) for Mallory's hoh bone. He inserts a second 
m to distinguish between dame and the damme (mater) of 


animals. He strikes out the w ; the old wose becomes oyse, 
our ooze, p. 71. 

Among the new Substantives are plough tally belly band, 
grader, hunger-rot, bloud-yren (lancet), dewlappe. May day, 
aftermath, string halt, a quickset, hart of oke, underwood, 
sadeldoth, linseed, a ruff (in apparel). There is the com- 
pound cley-ground. Among the weeds named in p. 29 are 
haudoddes; this may be Shakespere's hor-docks{see Mr. Skeat's 
note on this, p. xxx.) We read of the tethe of a rake, p. 
33, the radel-marke of sheep, p. 60. The word hog is 
transferred from porcus to ovis ; share -hogges, p. 50, are 
yearling sheep that have been once shorn. The word sales- 
man, very different from seller, is connected with sales of 
wood, p. 86. In p. 97 female hempe is distinguished from 
churle hempe ; this last is a late survival ; a ceorl-catt was 
the old phrase for a Tom cat. The word prame is used in 
two senses in p. 104 ; men play great game (high stakes), at 
a game ; the former sense comes into " What's your game V* 

Among the Adjectives the ending in ed is much used ; 
we see lose -skinned, broken -mnded, an yren gray. A be- 
ginner in farming is called a yon^e husbande ; this is now 
an English surname ; we read of styffe ground, men shere 
cleans, p. 29. The Northern tyred is now on its way to the 
South, p. 25 ; it is found in Palsgrave. There is a terse 
new phrase in p. 77, "these will double his rent or nyghe 
it ; " here the it must represent doMe his rent. 

Among the Verbs we see, to rear cattle, run riot, p. 101. 
The toould is used instead of our mu^t or should ; drones 
vx)lde be killed, p. 76, plough-gear wolde be made of dry 
wood, p. 1 2 ; this reminds us of the Northern will I light 
the fire ? The Old English idiom, answering to the Latin 
supine (dictu turpe) is continued with new Adjectives ; 
calves are able (fit) to kyll, p. 61. But this is changed in 
p. 22, where sciendum est appears as it is to be knowen; a 
new Passive idiom soon to be used by Coverdale. The 
verb spring becomes transitive, a tree will sprynge roots, p. 
83. The verb beat gets the new meaning of fatigare ; horses 
are sore beate (conquered by weariness), and therefore unable 

4o6 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

to draw, p. 26. The verb mak^^ as usual, is used without 
any equivalent to the Latin Accusative se following ; there 
are three men, and a potycarye to make the fourthe, p. 74. 
The new verb twyrle is formed from the old ]>v)yril, a churn- 
staff, p. 61 ; here ]> is replaced by t The old nock (notch) 
gives birth to the verb nick ; these are like top and tip. There 
is another new verb slaue, whence our nautical slue round ; 
it here means both fleeter e and coder e. We see a curious 
omission of the Verb in p. 19; sowing is spoken of, and 
then comes the question, But howe to sowe ? 

In p. 65 the at, answering to the old on, for the first 
time follows an Adjective ; women ought to be good at a 
' longe journeye ; Matzner here quotes the Scandinavian 
gcetinn at ge/i (cautious in disposition). We Moderns 
look after our servants ; in p. 92 they must be well looked 

There is the Scandinavian verb ted, used of hay. 

Among the Eomance words are champyon cownirey 
(champaign), lodger, pastern, glawnders, hrouse (browze), 
bustard. It is curious to see how entirely Eomance the 
old terms of English sport were ; horses have a syre and 
damme, not a father or mother, p. 61 ; there is a disease 
called the affreyd, when a horse has been overridden, 
reminding us of the Italian fretta (haste), p. 70. In p. 72 
acloyde is a hurt given by a nail to a horse ; here the 
French clou is very plain. Oxen may be laboured, p. 65, 
our worked. The new phrase to survey land had come in ; 
our author wrote the *Book of Surveying' in 1523. In 
p. 77 the housbande stands for agricola ; the farmer is 
something inferior, being only a lease-holder or a tmawnt at 
wyll, p. 83. He rolls his ground, p. 25, and plashes his 
hedges, p. 78, our pleach. His heed servaunte is also called 
a bayly (bailiff), p. 92 ; this term is further applied to the 
sheriff's ofiicer, p. 101. If a man has true servants he 
hath a great treasure, p. 92 ; this term we still apply to 
domestics. In p. 47 the verb mend becomes intransitive, 
I think for the first time. In p. 84 the verb peruse means 
simply to go through ; we now limit its meaning. In p. 42 
grosse sale stands for our wholesale. In p. 56 we read of 


reasonable meate ; that is, a modeirate quantity of meat ; the 

Scotch used soher in this sense. A French sentence comes 

in p. 73, where meu^ our viefvi)^ is written, showing the old 

French pronunciation of the verb; in the same page 

stands caveat emptm\ applied to horse-dealing. 

The author gives us some English hexameters, p. 93; the 

first that we have with no Latin admixture; they end 

with — 

* * Make mery, synge and thou can ; take hede to thy 
gere, that thou lose none." 

He tells us how to mend a road, and shows how badly 
this was done about London, p. 81. When a beast died 
of murrain, it was a custom to set his head upon a pole by 
the wayside to give warning of the fact, p. 53. In p. 91 
the farmer is advised to have a payre of tables (tablets), 
and to write down anything that is amiss as he goes his 
rounds ; if he cannot write, let him nycke the def antes upon 
a stycke. 

Lord Berners' translation of Froissart may be looked on 
as a new landmark in our tongue. Those who filled up 
the gap between Caxton and the learned nobleman, men 
like Hawes, Skelton, and Barclay, have few worshippers 
now but antiquaries. But the Englished Froissart, given 
to the world in 1523, heads a long roll of noble works, 
that have followed each other, it may be said, without a 
break for 360 years. Since 1523 there is not an instance 
of twenty years passing over England without the appear- 
ance of some book which she has taken to her heart and 
will not willingly let die. No literature in the world has 
ever been blessed with so continuous a spell of glory. 
Two of her great men, whose works are inscribed on the 
aforesaid roll, would, by most foreign critics, be reckoned 
among the five foremost intellects of the world ; a large 
proportion forsooth to be claimed by one nation. The 
chief thing to remark in the nobleman^s work is the new 
phrase "they had ben a fyghtyng," quoted in Dr. 
Murray's * Dictionary,' p. 3 ; here the a is not wanted, 
but the Verbal Noun and Participle are confused as usual, 
Hence Shakespere's lie a bleeding. 

4o8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

The New Testament was printed in English at Worms, 
in 1525, by William Tyndale of Gloucestershire. Wickliffe 
had made his translation from the Vulgate, and his work 
is sadly marred by Latin idioms most strange to English 
ears ; Tyndale, being a ripe Greek and Hebrew scholar, 
went right to the fountain-head.^ His New Testament 
has become the Standard of our tongue; the first ten 
verses of the Fourth Gospel are a good sample of his 
manly Teutonic pith. It is amusing to think how differ- 
ently one of our penny-a-liners would handle the passage ; 
he would deem that so lofty a subject could be fairly ex- 
pressed in none but the finest Eomance words to be found 
in Johnson or Gibbon.^ Most happily, our authorised 
version of the Scriptures was built upon the translation 
which Tyndale had almost completed before his martyrdom. 
When we read our Bibles we are in truth taken back far 
beyond the days of Bacon and Andrewes to the time of 
Wolsey and More. 

Tyndale shows his Southern dialect in his love of the 
ea form (so often seen in the * Ancren Eiwle ') ; he writes 
trea^paSj procead, fearce, swearde, dealt He writes yerly 
(early), yer (ere), and yerhes. He has honde, londe, siister, 
ayenst, foryeven, axe (rogare), anhimgred, athyrst, bryd (avis), 
holpen, horen (natus), tho (illi), hrent^ goodman^ other (aut), 
them sylfe^ whether (uter). He is fond of the old to (dis), 
but sometimes uses Mallory's corruption, as all to-revyled, 
Mark xii. 4. Abiihelech's skull, that a stone all to-brake, 
remains to prove Tyndale*s Southern birth ; this to-brake 
{di-fregit) is the one verb of his compounded with to that 
was spared by the Eevisers of 1 6 1 1. Some old idioms, pre- 
served in the South, are inserted, as " take that thine is," 
"they that," "them that." Tyndale, I think, must have 

^ Mr. Demaus has lately written his life. Tyndale in prison wrote 
a letter, still extant, beseeching his Flemish gaolers to let him have 
his Hebrew books— the ruling passion strong in death. Of all our 
great writers, he is the one about whom most mistakes have been 
made by later inquirers. 

2 A scribe in the Daily Telegraphy 14th July 1873, speaks thus, in a 
leader on the Duke of Edinburgh, * * He ranks next in geniture to the 
heir of our throne." ffoc/onte derivata clades, etc. 

rii.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 409 

had Wickliffe's version before him ; see, in particular, Matt 
xxi. 15. Our spelling was rapidly taking its present form; 
sometimes we have altered but one vowel in a verse of 
Tyndale's, as Luke x. 16. 

Among his old phrases, expunged by later Eevisers, 
are iho (illi), wene (putare), smjle (solve), uneih (vix), 
gobbet^ lyvelod (used of the land sold by Ananias), stoiie- 
graver, worm (serpens), utter him (expose him), mthout naye 
(denial), spylt (perditi), it fortuned that (often repeated), 
advoutrie, unpossible, his duty (his due), he pyght (pitched), 
mockyng-stokef I had lever go, be aknowen of, leful (lawful), 
arede, withoutforth (extr^), unghostly, jangeling, manquellar, 
manerly, pill (rob), the rysinge agayne, to desease him, to appose, 
an heepe of teachers, goostly mynded, wedlock breaker, workfelow, 
plv^k him (the eye) out, draw him (the sword) out, raught 
(reached), fammisshment, huswyfly, harberous (hospitable), the 
same silfe thynges, angle (hamus), seat (throne), a right 
Israelite, a grece (stairs), norsfelow (applied to Manaen in 
Acts xiii.), handfast (betroth), herbroulesse (without harbour), 
longe agon, took (offered) him a peny, in daunger to (liable to), 
brain-pan, hored (foedus), break up a house (of a thief), ye can 
skyll of it, nmke nothyng ado, have in pryce (honour), endevre 
(force) ourselves to, boldlyer, unthryftes, take shipping, whyther- 
sumever, come awaye (along), ungoodly (male), brybery (rapina), 
eny other where, thus farre fatihe, lavnng, incommer, flawe 
(flatus), / have sytten, take a (at) worth, 

I give some phrases in which Tyndale has been preferred 
to Wickliffe— 

JFickliffe. Tyndale. 

Heathens Gentyls. 

seerd rod. 

Satanas Satan, 

a wakyng a watche. 

to sclaundre to offend, 

sclaundris evill occasions, 

libel devorcement. 

foiindement found acion. 

richessis Mammon, 

to meke to humble, 

eddris vipers, 

he was norischid he was noursed. 

soure dow3 leven. 






it was don 


in the laste thingis 

axe him 


turn upsodoon 


his knowen 


a si5t of anngels 

walow a stoon 

thre mesuris ech 


his witnessing 

a manere (manor) 

make ready 

abide it 

evene to God 

it spedith 


into mynde of 


3elde to thee 



the wrytyng above 

to hie hymself 




hit chaunced that. 


att pojn^t of deeth. 

questen with him. 




hys acqnayntaonce. 


visions of angels. 

roll a stone. 

thre fyrkjns a pace. 


his testimony. 

a possession. 


wayte for it. 

equall with God. 

it is expedient. 


for a memoriall of. 

olde age. 

recompence thee. 

a pece of twelve pens. 


the superscripcion. 

to exalt hym silfe. 


As to the Vowels, the verb jpZat^ becomes 'plai ; thus 
a often replaces ^, as star^ ham^ partly vxirpe, popular (poplar, 
for Wickliffe's popder) ; it replaces an old ce, as ate, drave, 
spate (conspuit). Sometimes the a gets the sound of French 
^, for we find prepayre. The e replaces o, for patefrne (ex- 
emplar) is written for the old patrone (1 Chron. xxix. 18) ; 
it is inserted in warely, the old wcerlice ; it is sounded broadly 
in lovess (loaves) ; it is clipped in blest (blessed). We see 
the form broyded (braided) corrupted many years later into 
broidered ; there are forms like appier, biest, and pryeTy where 
the ie or ye still kept the sound of French S. On the other 
hand we see bryar (Heb. vi.), a great change, for this may 
have been pronounced like lyar, as two syllables. The i or 
y was encroaching on the Southern u, for we have h/sse, by 
(emere), bylde ; we find both byn and ben (our been). The 
replaces y, as to blyndfold for the blyndefylde of 1440. 


Tyndale is fond of the oa for <?, as mmre. He is fond of w 
or ow, as in romne^fluddes^ hloude^ shute (shoot), shuJce (shook), 
astunied, lowse, rowky hruse, broul (broil) ; like More and the 
King, he writes awne (proprius) ; he has straw for our verb 
strew, pronouncing it in the same way. He has sow both 
for seminare and stiere. The former riUwuSy rightuous, now 
becomes righteous, but we still sometimes find here the older 
rightewes, Tyndale uses his old Gloucestershire form in 
shueSf rueleTy drue, slue; the ew encroaches, in the true 
English fashion, on the French sound ou ; for we find 
tewch Kn^ slewthful The u is clipped; the old ])iccetu 
appears as thykette. 

As to the Consonants, g is used for gest (hospes), as well 
as for geste (historia) ; this latter occurs in Tyndale's tracts. 
The word wawes (fluctus) is sometimes written waves, a 
striking instance of a change in pronunciation owing to 
spelling. The v is struck out, for there is the phrase, " ye 
worshippe ye wot neare what." The d replaces th in 
hirden and swaddle ; we see the curious combination 
hydther (hither) ; there is also hytherto. The t is added ; 
we find both graff and grafi; the n is often lost, as in 
afote, astray, they were hyd. The r is added, as caterpillar 
for the old catyrpel; it is inserted in hrydgrom, hindei^rrwst ; 
and the I appears in covlde (potuit), as it had long before 
in Scotland. The w is prefixed, as in won, wotJier, whole 
(calidus), whoole (totas). Wickliffe's 00/ becomes wolfe (woof), 
Lev. xiii. 52. Tyndale is fond of the letter z. 

Among the Substantives we see gripinges (diseases), 
yockfelowe, tmbeliever, firstling, forsUn, birthright, failing, fote 
stole, menstealer, callynge (vocation), thankes gevinge, the utter 
side (outside), longe clothynge, weakling, whoremonger, of scouring, 
cole panne, erthquake, shyre toune, shewe bread, stonegraver, ship- 
urracke, snoffers (of a candle), a castawaye, foreknowledge, 
warfare, stumbling block The word reech, in the account of 
St. Paul's shipwreck, has been since made creek. The 
Verbal Nouns, coming down from the North, are so preva- 
lent that sainges translates verba; there is " have our beinge." 
In Heb. xii., speaking against him has been since turned into 
contradiction. Tyndale changes the old roore (tumultus) into 

412 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

wproure ; Coverdale has the same new word. Tyndale has 
love^ which the Eevisers of 1611 have unluckily altered into 
charity. Unlike Shakespere, he applies harlot to none but 
women, thus altering the old usage. He writes welth for 
welfare, and com/men welth instead of the old common wele ; 
he is always using helth for salvation; work out your own 
salvation appears as perforiiie your orvne health; the sub- 
sequent change was an improvement. The forms marowe 
and mornynge are carefully distinguished in Luke xxiv. 1. 
Tyndale is fond of the words churl, man of war, loving kind- 
ness ; he employs Barclay's new term dronkard, and other 
innovations of that fashionable author. Instead of pass- 
over, which he employs in his own treatises, Tyndale uses ester 
lamhe (Matt. xxvi. 17), one of the tokens of his abode in 
Germany. We may credit him with coining the word 
atonement ; this he uses in 2 Cor. v., putting a few verses 
later that ye he atone (at one) with God ; the new noun has 
been altered into reconciliation. In Exod. xxix. 33 this new 
word atonement is employed for an expiatory offering, and 
this is the sense in which we now use the word ; it was 
copied from Tyndale by Coverdale in this particular verse. 
In Heb. viii. 1 pith (medulla) is used with reference to 
words ; it has since been replaced by sum. In 2 Cor. iv. 
8 the words " we are not without shyft " have been altered 
into not distressed. In the second verse of this Chapter 
cloJces of urihonestie has been since turned into " the hidden 
things of dishonesty." In Col. iii. 1 5 men are called in one 
body, a new sense of the noun. In 1 Cor. iv. 1 7 St. Paul 
is made to talk of his ways, Queen Margaret's new sense of 
the word. In the third verse of this chapter, man's daye 
has since been altered into man's judgment, the former word 
thus explaining the days man (judex) to be found in Cover- 
dale's version of Job ; these were new senses of the word 
in English. There is blackemore often written for Ethiopian; 
the e in the former word is still sounded, a rare thing with 
final e in English. Tyndale's softens, which is to be known 
unto all men, has been altered into moderation. We here 
first find bv^sy body ; cursed speakynge, p. 166, has been altered 
into blasphemy, Tyndale is fond of striking oJfF new nouns, 


by adding ness to an old word ; crafi and filih thus give 
birth to craftiTiess and fiUhiness ; there is also chUdeshneSy 
hlessedneSy and the Eomance synglenes, ferventfies, gloriousnes, 
piternes (purity), and many such. The ship is employed to 
form apostleship. The old mannis sone is now thrown aside 
for the sone of man. There is the idiom for my sake and the 
gospelles (Mark x. 29). We read of John the Baptiser, 
There is yeres (anni) instead of the old ^eer, the Plural that 
lasted down to 1400 ; on the other hand, Tyndale talks of 
five yooke and ten pounde. He writes Mary Jacohi for 
"Mary the mother of James" (Mark xvi. 1), an unusual 
addiction to the Vulgate. He has ryse from deeth, where, 
for the last word, we substitute the dead. He has bucking 
time (Gen. xxxi. 10), which has been altered into a long 
periphrasis. His phrase young men has somehow been 
altered into servants. 

Among the Adjectives we find like mynded, unholy, goode 
for nothynge, fatfleshed, inwarde parties, beggarly, stiffenecked, 
two-edged. There is the expression the cool of the day, where 
an Adjective stands for a Substantive , we see also with her 
young. The word up ryghte is disjoined, and is used in a 
physical rather than a moral sense (Lev. xxvi. 13). The 
hye mynded is used in a bad sense ; we later English have 
raised it to the level of magnanimus ; this goes against our 
usual practice of debasing words ; Tyndale is fond of com- 
pounding with this mynded. He also adds less, as botom- 
lesse. The word manifold, expressing ingens, is coupled 
with a Singular Noun (Eph. iii. 10). The lively is often 
used in the graver sense of the word. The word fearful is 
used in one sense (Heb. x. 27), in another sense four verses 
farther on. The ysh is added, as in blackish, reddish, St. 
Paul says his speech is whomly, our homely ; this has been 
altered into contemptible, Orrmin's oferrhannd now becomes 
the upper hande ; Coverdale uses both these forms, and has 
also superiority, Tyndale has the curious idiom, "loaves 
were lawful to eat " (Matt. xii. 4). He writes " Hosanna 
in the hyest," where Wickliffe had added the word things 
to the Adjective. An idiom of Layamon's is continued in 
Deut. iv. 40, where something is given thee thy life longe 

414 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

(for thy life) ; hence comes livelong, Tyndale is fond of 
foful for immundus^ and of is comly for decet The word 
rash changes its meaning from acer to temerarius ; do nothing 
rassMy. The word sad (gravis) was now used for tristis in 
the South, though Tyndale has the old sense of the word 
in his treatises. In 1 Cor. ii. 13 cunning is applied to the 
words of the Holy Ghost The old as good as crops up once 
more ; the aged Abraham is called '^ as good as dead." 

Among the Pronouns we see the two forms that have 
come down from the North, it is I, and it shall he oures. 
The old in her middis of 1400 is replaced by in the myddes 
of you (Acts ii. 22). The former ic hit eom is changed 
into I am he; and Wickliffe's tho it ben that appears as they 
are they whyck The Latin pronoun hie is turned by Tyn- 
dale into he here (this here man), John xxi. 21. Tliere is 
a very Latin idiom of Tyndale's in 1 Cor. viii, 5, "there 
be that are called goddes." The that is used in the new 
sense; the question is asked, "are ye able to drink ?^* the 
answer is made, that we are. The old mysUf is altered into 
myne avme sUfe. The one following an Adjective is now 
made Plural ; we see lytle wonnes. The another may follow 
one, but not each; one another's members (Eom. xii.); there 
is also the phrase see ether other ; the ether is elsewhere 
used for uterque. The old twyfealdlicor is changed into 
two folde more (Matt, xxiii. 15). Tyndale is fond of pre- 
fixing a to Numerals, as they were about a five thousand, an 
eight dayes. He has from whence, where the first word is 
not wanted. The where, coupled with a Preposition, is 
much used as a Eelative, as whereunto, whereof, etc. ; an 
idiom dating from 1160. Tyndale is fond of the Relative 
idiom, a man which ; which he called them he justified ; and 
the first clause in the Paternoster. The wh)se wyfe of them 
shall she be is curious, coming down from Wickliffe ; there 
is also whose shewes of his fete I . , . lose (Acts xiii.), whom do 
men saye that I ami Tyndale has a peculiar way of trans- 
lating qmlis spiritiLS, using what maner sjprete. The new 
as rrmny as replaces Wickliffe's hou manye evere. We see 
swcA like, where the like really comes twice over, as in the 
Gothic svJoUikata goMk. The much is sometimes replaced 


by Trevisa's a greate deale ; still we see moche goodes. 
There is a curious token of the popularity of the old 
English ballads; in them the line often occurs by Him 
that died on tree ; in the first chapters of the Acts Tjmdale 
twice uses the phrase hanged on tree, dropping the Definite 

Among the new Verbs we see eye, wede out, undergird. 
There is cutt (secavit) instead of Wickliffe's kitted. There 
is both leivgh and lawght (risit). There is the intransitive 
hanged, which is dropped in our time. Tyndale well 
renders an expression that had been bungled by all 
former translators, what have we to do with thee? He 
sometimes uses are (sunt) instead of the be of former 
times ; still he has be ye come out ? The can is encroaching 
on the old may (possum). The schul not mowe of Tyndale's 
youth is now altered into shall nott be able. In Heb. xii. 
20, Tyndale*s must have bene stoned seems preferable to the 
shall be stoned of the Eevisers. Our author often substi- 
tutes will for Wickliffe's shall ; in one verse we have yf we 
shall saye from heven, he wyll saye, etc. There is the old 
form they had (would have) repented; on the other hand, 
the old wcere (esset) sometimes becomes shulde be. The do 
and did are often prefixed to verbs, especially on solemn 
occasions. We see the Fast Participle Nominative eny 
man beynge circmrwised, etc. (1 Cor. vii.) ; this had formerly 
been confined to the Ablative Absolute. This Past Par- 
ticiple is used without any noun preceding; abstain from 
strangled; some instances of this were altered by the 
Eevisers. In Acts xxi. the dores were shut to ; a form of 
1180; a gate is shett uppe in the parable of the Ten 
Virgins ; we shut up a house, Tyndale is fond of adding 
up to verbs, as stay thee up. He leaves a thing undone 
(infectum), where former writers did not employ the last 
word (Matt, xxiii. 23) ; so, in let me go the last word is a 
novelty ; it is the same with hear tell. We have seen tliey 
are come ; we now have they are crept in ( Jude). The new 
phrase they were pined awaye appears instead of the old 
f orpine ; this for was being dropped in the South ; there 
is also the intransitive pine away. The former emboldish 


4i6 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

makes way for holdm ; Tyndale's krmjo before is not so neat 
as the Eevisers* did foreknow. We see kowe longe is it agoo 
replacing the old hou moche of tyme is it He employs the 
weighty 7'end (scindo) where former authors employed slit 
and kit (cut). He produces a fine effect by altering the 
construction of a sentence, as hated shall ye he, silver have I 
none. The phrase get thee hence comes often ; but they got 
themselves to Pilate (Matt, xxvii. 62) is unusual. The old 
delve is supplanted by dig. There are the phrases ca^t in 
his tethe, the day wears away, pit on raiment (not do on), 
make a shewe of them (like Barbour). Tyndale is fond of 
the verbs wag, kill, wax, hale. The verb hurt changes its 
sense, being applied to the mind, like offend (Mark xiv. 29). 
There are both lay a wayte, and lie in wayte. We see the 
new phrases fynde fawte with, puff wp, break to shevers, bid 
him God sfpede, hing us on our way, make light of it, mxike 
spede to, set at ease, there goeth a sayinge, wele stricken in age, 
Tnarke (ecce) (Luke L 36), go a warfare, he blesses himself, do 
folly, brede doutes, set himself to seek, take a courage, eares ytche, 
call to remembrance (mind), have in honour, shew him a plea- 
sure, have knowledge of, go beyond his broth&i' (get the better 
of). ■ In 1 Cor. iv. 6 we have preferred Coverdale's to be 
puffed up to Tyndale*s intransitive swell; this last, im- 
plying importance, seems to be the parent of a modern 
slang noun. In Luke vi. 33 Tyndale is inferior to all 
translators, both before and after him, " yf ye do for them 
which do for you." He adopts the new idiom, putting the 
needless a into she laye a dyinge, as if the last word was a 
Verbal Noun ; and there are other instances of this fault. 
We see an unusual idiom in Mark xi. 14, never m/xn eate 
fruie of thee (the fig-tree) ; we hardly ever employ this 
Imperative, standing singly, except in a blessing or a 
curse, though in *Quentin Durward' stands "some one 
give him another weapon." We see the old Subjunctive 
in till thou have payed. There are new compounds with 
Participles, such as moth-eaten; overflowen is written for 
the rightful overflowed, Peter, at the Transfiguration, 
says, here is good beinge for us. 

As to Adverbs, we see again supplanting the old eft and 

in.] THE NEW ENGLISH, 417 

eftsoone; there is the pleonasm turn hack again. The old 
feorran or afer^ as in Fisher, has of added, as afarre off; 
there is also a good waye off. Where we should use if only, 
Tyndale places and hM wer hut (Mark vi. 56). In not that 
eny man hath sene (an advance upon Caxton's phrase) the 
second word expresses quia ; it is curious that the Gothic 
here should be ni ]>atei. The word shortly is often used for 
mox. We saw often tymes in 1303 ; we now find thyne often 
diseases, Tyndale uses to the utmost, thus wise, derely, coupled 
with heloved. In 2 Cor. vii. 9 he uses godly first as an 
adverb (now altered), then as an adjective; he has also 
the awkward holyly. The but appears in a curious new 
phrase, following a negative (Judges xiv. 3), " is ther6 not 
a woman . . . but that thou must go," etc. ; this diflfers 
from Wickliffe, and Coverdale strikes out that. The yea 
had stood in the middle of a sentence ; Tyndale places it 
at the beginning, as ye and they hynde hevy hurthens. A 
sentence begins with not so, in token of denial. - The 
neither sometimes comes twice over, as in Matt. xii. 32, 
where Wickliffe had nether . . . ne (nor). The on is much 
used as an Adverb, especially in have on a wedding garment. 
The Greek otm is translated by nmo; we see this fore- 
shadowed by the Gothic nu in Luke xx. 33. Orrmin^s 
all reddy comes very often. The old over in composition is 
quite supplanted by the upper of 1300, as the upper 
captayne. There are the Adverbs mightily, altogedder horne 
in synne, hut rather, fall flat, far spent, once for all, by all 
means, and Fisher's afressh. 

Among the Prepositions we remark the new oute a dores, 
which comes often ; in Matt. v. 1 3 we see that this a repre- 
sents an at, not an of; oute at the dores. The is at her liherty 
replaces is free. This at is still used in its old friendly 
sense; come at hym (Luke viii. 19). There is the old- 
fashioned have to her hushande an infdell. The Northern 
unto is much employed for ad. There is the ^^hras^ join 
hard to. There is the pleonasm a good waye off from them 
(Matt viii. 30). This of appears both as an adverb and a 
preposition in shake of the duste of youre fete. Tyndale has 
the new idiom, sick of a fever ; he substitutes the of for the 

VOL. I. 2 E 

4i8 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

old/tw in r^oyse of that shepe (Matt, xviii. 13) ; so, zecU of 
thine house. We see a new idiom in of weak were made strong. 
Wiekliffe's avenge me of myne adversary and reluke the world 
off synne are both preserved. Tyndale delights in complain 
on (of) a man. He likes upon (about) a thousand; we 
should prefix close. The because of is used for oh. He is 
fond of a as a contraction for (m^ as in fcdl a lusting and 
lyers awayte (in wait). He has very weak translations in 
go after me, Saian ; weep on it (Luke xix. 41), rich in (towards) 
God (Luke xii. 21); these he must have borrowed from 
Wickliffe. He has how in (at) the name of Jesus, vMhstode 
him in the face. The hy is sometimes dropped, they retoumed 
another way. The old on the way is altered into hy the um/e 
(Mark viii 27); this hy has added to its old sense de, 
Barclay's new meaning contra^ which was to be in common 
use for a century, " I know nought hy my silfe " (1 Cor, 
iv. 4). The with all is used to express the instrument, 
often standing at the end of a sentence (Matt. xvi. 26). 
The with keeps its old sense of versiis, as have padence with 
me. The Pharisee in the parable prays with hym silfe. 
The beyond had hitherto been connected with space ; we now 
have heyonde their power (2 Cor. viii. 3). The old sense of 
extra in beside comes out in put her besyde her pvrpos (Mark 
vi. 26). The old ongen (Wickliffe's a^^ens) used to stand 
for opposite to, but Tyndale prefixes over, as over ayenst the 
temple. He wrote strayne out a gnat ; the out has since 
been changed into at. 

As to Interjections, Wickliffe's lo is sometimes altered 
into behold; the God forbid/ of the old Wickliffe version 
is preserved. The what / could ye not watch f is something 
new; the first word was once srva or so. There is the 
tush/ brought from the North. 

Among the Eomance words we see the old passing 
(vald^) exchanged for exceedynge, as exceedynge urroth. The 
word avoyd is applied to Satan by Christ in Matt. iv. 10. 
The phrase no doute is often inserted in a sentence. The 
old riches is used as a Singular Noun in Eev. xviii. 17. 
We see u/n/possihle, tmcredible ; but, on the other hand, inex- 
cusable. The French and Latin seem to struggle together 


in 8e/deT and separate, dissemhle and dissimulacwn, perfait and 
perfect ; we see auctorite, sanctes, suttelte / in 2 Cor. viii we 
have both equalnes and equalite, Tyndale uses except for nisi; 
the " unless ye have believed in vain " has been foisted in by 
later Itevisers. They have also changed his verite into truth. 
On the other hand, he uses grudge for the Latin queri, 
though he sometimes has murmur. We hear of the priest's 
duty (due). Tyndale unluckily changed aferde into the 
French afrayed, and substituted natural for the old kindly. 
He has unit for it, presydent (judex), in the audience (hear- 
ing) of the people, continually, distribute, have compassion on, 
to guestion with, to passe over (omittere), enter in, di^osed to, 
count the cost, thy hUl, in respect of, charitably (loymglj), parlour, 
discorage, remit, peaceably. The verb departe is sometimes 
used for separare, Tyndale's old namely has since been al- 
tered into especially. He constantly uses to improve for rebuke; 
he is very fond of counterfait, once writing be ye counterfeters 
of God. Christ asks the Pharisees to asoyle Him a question 
(Matt xxi. 24). The verb vex is employed as it still is in 
Scotland for torment. There is a new sense of dress, as 
applied to vineyards. In wyse in you/re aume consaytes we 
see what has led to the present debased meaning of the 
substantive. The verb geste is used for jocari ; we have 
already seen the noun geste (jocus) in 1303. He is fond 
of because, translating u^ hjbe cause that (John v. 23). He 
decided that trouble, not travail, was to English twrbare ; 
travail was set apart for another use. He has troubbelous, 
loynes, of necessitie (not nedes), I certifie you, men of activity, 
trounce (vexare). Cain is called a renegate (now made 
vagabond) -, here the form of a French word suggested an 
analogy with the Teutonic run and gate (via) ; we now talk 
of mnauxiys. The word domage (damnum) appears in its 
French dress. There is a new noun from fry; Tamar is 
said to cook frytters for Amnon; Wickliffe here used 
soupynges. Instead of the old rwyom the York noysome 
is used. The old leopard here appears (also in Coverdale) 
as catt of the mountayne (Rev. xiii.); hence the American 
calamount, Wickliffe's sue (go after) is turned into ensue ; 
peace is to be ensued. Our vile is used in its Latin sense 

420 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

(humilis) when applied to our bodies ; the word has been 
since degraded. The verb regards means (Bstimare; this 
meaning is, in our day, retained in the noun alone. The 
noun quarrell bears its true sense of querela in Col. iii. 13; 
we now make a diflFerence between queruhus and quarrel- 
some ; in Scotland the phrase quarrel a man (culpare) still 
prevails. The Romance and Teutonic combine in merir- 
pleaser, Tnercy-seat, and eye service. We still describe a circle, 
but we cannot describe (mark out) land, as in the book of 
Joshua. The word tutor was long used in Scotland for 
guardian; the word governor, down to Pope's time, ex- 
pressed the man entrusted with the care of a youth ; we 
hear of tutors and governers in GaL iv. Tyndale wrote of 
" eating and drinking damnacion ; " this last word, now so 
terrible, might, in his day, bear the mild sense of a tem- 
poral judgment ; it is one of his phrases that the greatest 
Conservative would like to see altered. Tyndale some- 
times writes cherubyns with the needless s at the end. It 
is said to Moses, " Aaron shall be thy prophet ; " the last 
word here means forspeakerf " thy champion in speaking." 
. In 2 Chron. xxiv. a colleccion is made for the Tabernacle. 
In the next Chapter men conspyre against a King ; in Latin 
a different word was used for this idea. 

As to Latin words, Tyndale uses tetrarcha, stellio, lacert, 
taxus ; a centurion becomes a pety captayne and an under- 
captayne. There is a love of using the Accusative of 
classic proper names, as DamascoUy MUeton, Troada. We 
have Candy for Crete, CvM for Cilicia ; Wickliffe's Siriej 
Pounce, and Pasch become Stria, Poncius, and passover; a 
town near Rome is called Apiphorum / Tyndale uses con- 
gregatimi to translate ecclesia, for which he was rebuked 
by More. Wickliffe's drcumdde is turned into circumcise ; 
the Infinitive yields to the Past Participle form. Tyndale 
has holocaustes instead of Wickliffe's brend offringis. The 
word minister is sometimes used for servus. He is fond of 
enform for docere, the Jews enform Festus against Paul; hence 
comes our common informer. His translate (carry away) is 
a very favourite word with him. There is laude (laus), in 
conclusion, instantly (strenue), senimirs (elders), post (nuntius), 


chef est (maximus), momefatary, terrestrial, unserchable, finally^ 
varaventure, conclude (resolve), entreat (tractare), circumspedy 
unfeignedly, devilish, vend, to joy, allegory, apt to teache. He 
is fond of the verb faint, and of imrmdiaMy ; he brought in 
the compound term judgement seate instead of the old dom- 
stol. The well-known full of grace is applied to the Virgin 
by Tyndale; this was afterwards altered into highly 
favoured. The Northern sense of cattle (pecus) is at last 
established in the South by Tyndale. The thieves on the 
cross are said to check (twit) Christ (Mark xv. 32). There 
is the old form parte taker, used for participator, besides the 
other form partaker ; in Gal. v. parte takynges has been 
later replaced by heresies. The old y^rh jeoperd appears, which 
we have now m&de jeopardise. The ness is often added to 
Komance roots, as gentleness, cherfulness, unguielmss, hunible- 
nes, variahlenes. There is both habUity and ableness. The 
old Adjectival ish is still applied to proper names, as 
Babylonish. Tjoidale's singleness has been often altered 
into simplicity, and his similitude has become figure. 

There is a word akin to the Dutch ; stripe (plaga). We 
read of the staves of a poem, this comes from the Scandi- 
navian verb stava ; a stave is one of the component parts 
of a cask, put in separately. The verb gush also comes 
from Scandinavia; in our day we apply it to mawkish 
sentimentalists, and it is therefore, of course, always com- 
ing before the public. 

Tyndale, though hunted out of his own land, was 
always a sound and wise patriot ; his political tracts are as 
well worth studying as his religious books. He uplifted 
his voice against the folly of England's meddling in foreign 
wars, at the time when Zwingli was giving the like whole- 
some rede to the Switzers. Tyndale's works fill two goodly 
volumes, yet these contain only about twelve Teutonic 
words that have become obsolete since his time ; a strong 
proof of the influence his translation of the Bible has had 
upon England in keeping her steady to her old speech. 
As to the proportion of Latin words in his writings, of his 
nouns, verbs, and adverbs, three out of four are Teutonic, 
and in this pure style he is rivalled by his great enemy. 

422 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

the Chancellor.^ Never were two English writers better 
matched in fight than More and Tyndale; loud was the 
wrangling over the Eeformer's rendering of the Greek 
Scriptural words chiris^ ecdesia, presbyteros, latria, metanoia. 
All Greek scholars must see what an advantage Tyndale 
had over Wicklifife, when we read an absurd version of 
Wicklifife's in the parable of the son, who at first refused 
to work in his father's vineyard, but afterwards " stirid by 
penaunce " went.^ The men that loved not the Beforma- 
tion had a rooted mistrust of Tyndale's Bible. Long after 
the Martyr's death Bishop Gardiner, in 1542, brought for- 
ward a list of 102 Latin words (so he called them), which 
ought to be retained in any English version ''for the 
majesty of the matter in them contained." Among these 
majestic words were olacausta (sic), simtUacrum, panis, pec- 
catoTy zizania, hostia, and others of the like kind* It was 
a happy thing that the Bishop was forbidden to meddle in 
the business; and this Protestants and philologers alike 
must thankfully acknowledge. But the old hovsel, which, 
in the English mind, was linked with the Eoman idea of 
the Eucharist, was cast aside when the Eeformation 
triumphed. Tyndale kept his eye upon each succeeding 
edition of Erasmus' Greek Testament, and thus made 
his own English version more perfect. I now quote a 
passage from his * Obedience of a Christian Man,' put 
forth in 1527 ; this will show the scholarship of 

^ King Alfred (I refer to his Histories) and Tyndale are alike in 
this, that three-fourths of their " weighty words " are Teutonic, such 
as can be now understood ; but as to the other fourth, Alfred's Teu- 
tonic has been replaced by the French and Latin that Tyndale was 
driven to use, owing to the heedlessness of the Thirteenth Centuiy. 

2 A corrupt religion will corrupt its technical terms. One of the 
most curious instances of the degradation of a word is St. Jerome's 
pomitentiaf an act of the mind, which he uses of God Himself ; this 
word in Italy (penitenza) now means no more than some bodily act of 
atonement for sin. This is as great a drop as when we find virttis and 
virtu expressing widely different things ; the one suits Camillus, the 
other Cellini. Coverdale, who translated the New Testament ten 
years after Tyndale had done it, sometimes turns metanoia into 
penance, one of the many faults of his version. Words, like coins, 
get worn away by the wear and tear of ages. 

* Anderson's * Annals of the English Bible,' ii. 151. 


" Ille Dei vates sacer, Esdras ille Britannus, 
Fida manus sacri fidaque mens codicis." ^ 

** Saint Jerom translated the Bible into his mother tongue : why 
may not we also? They will say it cannot be translated into our 
tongue, it is so rude. It is not so rude as they are false liars. For 
the Greek tongue agreeth more with the English than with the Latin. 
And the properties of the Hebrew tongue agreeth * a thousand times 
more with tne English than with the Latin. The manner of speaking 
is both one ; so that in a thousand places thou needest not but to 
translate it into the English, word for word ; when thou must seek a 
compass in the Latin, and yet shall have much work to translate it 
weU-favouredly, so that it have the same grace and sweetness, sense 
and pure understanding with it in the Latin, and as it hath in the 
Hebrew. A thousand parts better may it be translated into the 
English than into the Latin." 

Tyndale's treatises have a few old forms that have 
been dropped since his day, such as parishens, crome 
(crammed), arope (crept), claifrib^ lopen. Like Trevisa, the 
priest of Berkeley near the Severn, Tyndale has the 
unusual forms cobweb and inner (interior). Many of his 
phrases come from the *Gesta Romanorum,* the great 
manual of preachers. He has the proverb claw me, claw 
theey ii. 206 ; bald as a coot, ii. 224. One of his most in- 
teresting pages is i. 304. After quoting look ere thou leap, 
he gives a string of proverbs bearing hard on the clergy ; 
the whole shows how Lollardy had been at work for scores 
of years in England, even down to 1520. Tyndale thus 
delivers himself. 

When a thing speedeth not well, we borrow speech, and 
say, " the bishop hath blessed it ; " because that nothing 
speedeth well that they meddle withal. If the porridge be 
burnt too, or the meat over -roasted, we say, " the bishop 
hath put his foot in the pot,'' or " the bishop hath played 
the cook ; " because the bishops burn whom they lust, and 
whosoever displeaseth them. " He is a pontifical fellow," 
that is, proud and stately. " He is popish," that is, super- 
stitious and faithless. "It is a pastime for a prelate." 

^ So called by Johnston, Professor at St. Andrews in 1593. Ander- 
son's * Annals of the English Bible,* ii. 486. I wish that the Parker 
Society had published Tyndale's works in his own spelling. 

2 Here we have the old Southern form of the Plural of the Verb ; it 
is not often found after Tyndale's day. 

424 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

" It is a pleasure for a pope.'* " He would be free, and yet 
will not have his head shaven." " He would that no man 
should smite him, and yet hath not the Pope's mark." And 
of him that is betrayed, and wotteth not how, we say, " he 
hath been at shrift." "She is master parson's sister's 
daughter ; " " He is the bishop's sister's son ; " " He hath 
a cardinal to his uncle ; " " She is a spiritual whore ; " " It 
is the gentlewoman of the parsonage." " He gave me a 
Kyri^ deyson " (nothing but fair words). And of her that 
answereth her husband six words for one, we say,. " She is 
a sister of the Charterhouse ; " as who should say, " She 
thinketh that she is not bound to keep silence; their 
silence shall be a satisfaction for her." And of him that 
will not be saved by Christ's merits, but by the works of 
his own imagination, we say, " It is a holy-work-man." 
Thus borrow we, and feign new speech in every tongue. 

After reading such a page, we understand how the 
English agent abroad came to address thus Cromwell : " You 
wrot that (Tyndale's) answer was unclerkly done, and so 
seme all his works to eloquent men, because he usethe to 
write a symple stile, nothing sekyng any vaine praise and 
commendation" (* Ellis' Letters,' series iii., vol. ii. p. 207). 
No wonder that Tyndale's Bible has rooted himself in 
England's heart. 

A churl used to be called ironically Thomas Curteis 
(courteous), ii. 182 ; hence we see how the last syllable of 
the surname, pretty common now, ought to be spelt, in the 
good old French way. In i. 299 stands "we know not 
whether they be good or bad, or whether they be fish or 
flesh ; " to this Hej^v^ood was soon to add something. In 
i* 321 comes a reference to Robin Goodfellow's nightly 
achievements in a household ; Tyndale is fond of alluding to 
the popularity of the Robin Hood ballads. Priests used 
to say, " Do as we bid you, and not as we do," ii. 127 ; this 
has since been heard in the mouths of . certain Protestant 
clerks. In ii. 3 2 the mumpsimuses of divinity are mentioned ; 
the joke referred to is well known. We can put our finger, 
I think, upon the very last juggling ceremony invented by 
Roman priestcraft before the great Overthrow in England ; 


the morbus GallicuSj a new arrival, is plainly referred to in 
the following hit at the clergy, " if God punish the world 
with an evil pock, they immediately paint a block and call 
it Job, to heal the disease instead of warning the people to 
mend their living," ii. 105 (Last Part). If this bears on 
the New, the passage now to be cited bears on the Old ; 
Wolsey is assailed for turning against Charles V., and 
def3dng "the majesty of so mighty an Emperor, whose 
authority both Christ and all His Apostles obeyed," ii. 322 ; 
Tyndale, as we see, was one of the last outsiders who 
showed any reverence for the Holy Roman Empire. In 
his travels he had remarked the Wends, " inclosed in the 
midst of the land, of a strange tongue which no Dutchmen 
(Germans) understand ; " these uncouth tribes he connects 
with the Vandals, and thinks that they quartered them- 
selves upon the Germans in Carolingian days, ii. 268. 
But he is not so apt to trip, as a general rule, in his history, 
much of which he took from Platina ; Englishmen hitherto 
had known very little beyond their own chronicles; but 
Tyndale, compiling from this Italian writer, now gave them 
some notion of Papal history. He is guilty, I fear, of 
the sin of taking the Great Karl for a Frenchman. He 
is fond of a pun, either Latin or English. He turns the 
fropoloffical sense of the Schoolmen into chopological ; works of 
supererogation become with him superarrogantia ; he says in 
ii. 37, "that every man is 2i, person (parson, priest) for him- 
self, to defend Christ's doctrine in his own person^ He 
talks of the Pope as " their unchaste (I would say their oum 
chaste) father," ii. 123; here we see how both u and ow 
were still sounded like the French ou, De Lyra is brought 
up against him ; he answers that De Lyra ddirat More 
had spoken of the Church ceremonies as "holy strange 
(out of the common) gestures ; " Tyndale answers, " for the 
holiness I will not swear, but the strangeness I dare well 
avow," ii. 85 (Last Part) ; this forestalls Fox's well-known 
remark about " a pious fraud." 

As to Vowels, the a supplants e in the title of Sir 
Harry Gilford, i. 395 ; this Harry is to this day continued 
in a few families, as the Vanes. When Tyndale has to write 

426 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

the German Hans he calls it Haunce, i. 406, just as Maudlin 
stood for the French Madeleine. The old ie still expressed 
the French i, as in the Passive Participle lien. He uses 
both history and story for historia; the latter form dates 
from 1280. 

As to Consonants, his West country v, replacing /, 
appears in visenomy (facies). In i. 311 we see in one 
sentence, gest (factum), and jest (ludere) ; elsewhere gest is 
used for historia^ as i. 80. The German town of Marburg, 
where Tyndale had some of his works printed, is some- 
times Anglicised into Marlborough, i. 129. The t is added 
to the old were (eras), as thou wert, i. 501. The I is struck 
out. Manning's melkslope becomes milksop. The n is 
struck out, Leominster appears as Lemster. The great 
fighting Pope of T3mdale's time has his name Anglicised, 
as Jvly. 

Among the new Substantives are knavery, hdly-love, the 
weigh home; there are some of Skelton's new words, as 
bungle, cock of hay, etc. Tyndale is fond of Verbal nouns, 
as a dazing, mumming, Ushoping (confirmation), his trying 
(trial), their justifying (justification). The old swima (ver- 
tigo) appears as swimming. The word living is used both 
for Tnaintenance and uxiy of life, ii. 6, 41. The ness is often 
tacked on to Teutonic words ; there is saltness, evilness, and 
Fisher's towardness. Tyndale often uses the suffix head 
instead of hood, as undowhead. There is the curious word 
miss woman (meretrix), i. 70 ; in p. 334 this becomes a mis- 
liver ; in the next Century Pepys talked of the Earl 
of Oxford's miss; since the time of Congreve and his 
Miss Prue we have applied the noun to virtuous young 
ladies. In i. 201 we find landlord (squire) opposed to 
tenant ; the former is exhorted not to " take in commons." 
His wife is called landlady, iL 69. The auricular confession 
appears as ear shrift. In i. 276 we see Tyndale's greatest 
mistake in philology ; he had heard his countrymen in 
the West talk of a priest as a volower or fvlwer, the Old 
English word for baptizer ; he gives the curious reason, 
" because the priest saith Volo, say ye." He had coined 
the word atonement for his translation of the Bible ; in i. 


287 he speaks of an intercessor as an ai-one-maker ; in ii. 
154 atonement stands not only for reconciliation but for ex- 
jnation ; for mahing-at'One is there used as a synonym for 
satisfaction, and it bears this last sense in Coverdale's Ver- 
sion. In i. 310 cross is used for affliction. He loves shew 
as a synonym for appearance and spectacle. He explains 
shewbread, i. 419, "because it was always in the sight of 
the Lord." In ii 219 we read " what a stroke hath Satan 
among us ! ^ in the previous sentence stands " the devil 
hath a great srving among us ; " in i. 530 " the sect (of 
heretics) goeth now in her full swing." This last word 
seems here to bear the sense of vibrare, not ferire. Another 
word for ictus appears in ii 8 ; "at the first chop" The 
mts stand in Tyndale for the intellect, for the senses, and 
also for whims; see ii. 93. The word Ivst is so far from 
expressing libido alone, that in ii. 168 we read that "it is 
a lust (pleasure) to behold God's countenance." Tyndale 
has also the old substantive unlust, soon to vanish. Man- 
ning had used toy for dalliance in 1303 ; Tyndale uses the 
word much like children's play, ii 11 (Last Part).^ The 
word thing was in high honour ; the Virgin had often been 
called "that sweet thing," and Tyndale speaks of Christ 
as a thing soft and gentle, ii. 120 (Last Part). We cannot 
now apply this substantive to a person, unless in a patronis- 
ing way. In ii. 177 (Last Part) welcome is turned into a 
Substantive. He has the phrase lam^s of true believers, ii. 
10, "like a jewel of a man;" Koy has the same idiom. 
In ii. 265 we read of a dotehead; Harvey's jolthead most 
likely came from this, just as diurno became giorno. All 
through this Century new words formed like the spilbred 
of 1280 (not bread-spiller) were coming in; Tyndale talks 
of a pich-quarrel. The word fellow is a favourite one with 
Tj^dale ; he has fellow mmiber with, i. 202, fellow with 
Paul, i 288. The ol^fere (socius) was now going out in 
the South ; Tyndale talks not of a play fere, but of a play- 
fellow, ii. 302. Speaking of the Maid of Kent, he says, 
" she was at home in heavenly pleasures ;" the Yorkshire 

^ Tyndale's Second Volume has been divided into two parts, as to 


428 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

phrase for dcgumnted, ii. 92 (Last Part). In ii. 261 (Last 
Part) stands we fed it (their trickery) at our finger's end ; in 
the next sentence stands hod we bid half an eye. There 
was a male English saint named Witta ; he was at this time 
mistaken for a lady, owing to the last letter of his name, 
and every one was expected to offer a huge cheese once 
a year to St. White, ii. 216. We still read of Burgaine 

Among the Adjectives are headstrong, foxy, quick rdtted, 
high-climbing, scot free, elderly (coined to replace the old 
ealdlic), tender eared, beetle-blind. We find small single beer, 
i. xxiv., Bedlam mad, stark mad, the main sea, thick as hail, 
ashamed of himself. The word popish begins to be used in 
our sense, but it has an older meaning, a man was said to 
be popish, when he was superstitious and faithless, i. 304. 
The word good expresses liben^ in " the boy's will was good, 
to have given a blow," il 79 (Last Part), like our "have a 
good mind to ;" Tyndale remarks on the varying meanings 
of the word. In i. 462 men are blinded a good (omnino), 
hence oiir " gone for good." The word homely seems to 
mean degrading, for it is applied to the last act of Noah's 
life ; in ii. 293 the word bears its old sense, familiar. An 
allegory may be "a handsome (aptus) thing to beguile with," 
i. 428. We light upon high learning ; in our time a man 
is deeply read. How an adjective can be degraded in later 
times we see in ii. 168, where Godlooketh not sour, but 
merrily ; a hymn of much later date talks of " awful mirth." 
The word vdlftd keeps its old sense of sponte in ii. 173. An 
Emperor who gave in to the Pope is called a soft man, ii. 
258. The King of Bohemia, ranged among the three 
Spiritual and the three Temporal Electors, is called the odd 
man, ii. 270. The aged hero of the Tenterden steeple 
story, told by More, is called a silly poor man, ii. 78 (Last 
Part) ; here the silly may mean either infelix or stultus. We 
see Pecock's unseeable once more. The adverb further is 
turned into an adjective in i. 203, further authority. We 
find shamefullest, a form that was not to take root. There 
is the Comparative more stronger, like Most Highest There 
are both earthy and earthish, two wholly new Adjectives, as 


well as the old erthen. Tyndale is fond of churlish ; he has 
Priapishf and talks of the Romish bishop, ii. 196 ; here the 
ish is used in a degrading sense (very different from Orrmin's 
Bomanish), and the honourable ending an is thrown aside. 
The old sdfwUli is here replaced by self -minded, ii. 159 (Last 
Part), and this was to make way for selfish, many years later. 

Among the Pronouns we remark the wits of us (our wits) 
which comes more than once. The Genitive whose is 
applied to abstract things ; in i. 304 Tyndale talks of a 
proverb, whose sense is, etc.; he is fond of as who shovM 
say. He often talks of the which; Day, who printed his 
writings forty years later, here strikes out the ; see ii. 134.^ 
Tyndale sometimes, like his enemy More, uses the old form 
of 1180, " the tone, the tother." In ii. 4 stands " it is one 
thing to, etc. j it is another thing to, etc." Instead of not 
one he has ne/ver a one, i 323 ; in the Mandeville treatise 
an would have been written for a. The terseness of old 
proverbs is seen in no penny, no pardon ! ii. 156. We have 
all in all, and a favourite phrase of Tyndale's, demls and all, 
ii. 11, instead of "including the devils ;" this he got from 

Among the Verbs we see the new play bo-peep, make an 
ensample of, when it cometh unto the point, hid the devil take their 
souls, catch hold, give room, run at riot, set by the ears, sink or 
swim, cost him his life, tell tales out of school, bear with him, have 
the better, pick a purse, set at variance, have vxyrd of it, the river is 
broke in, meet him half way (not mid way), it is of a set malice, 
go to pot, put him to his proofs, hold hard against him, go 
(beat) about the bush, swap (hit) him in the face. There are 
new verbs, such as patch, beggar, buz, Chaucer's Auxiliary 
Verb have been begins at last to make way, as he had been a 
roving, ii. 57, instead of he had roved ; More writes needed 
to have been burned, ii. 97 (Last Part). The should is some- 
times used as of old, where we put would, should God let 
his church err? ii. 120; but the would is encroaching, as 

^ The weakest part of Tyndale's composition is his neglect of the 
close union that should exist between the Antecedent and the Rela- 
tive ; thus, " they set up the Talmud to destroy the sense of the Scrip- 
ture ; unto which (Talmud) they give faith." This fault comes now 
and then in his Version of the Bible. 

430 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

' ilm fruit woM come^ that no man should ^n, ii. 172 (Last 
Part). The Northetn use of would (for solitus est) appears, 
he would stir them up with mercy, i. 451. There is a new 
mode of repetition, with an alternative, in ii. 62 (Last 
Part) ; ihey wUl say, we may do both. May or not may, I see, 
etc. The durst (we have in our time all but lost the form) 
is being replaced by the corrupt dared; he dared say, ii. 
207 (Last Part). The Passive Infinitive is coming for- 
ward ; he received them to he sons, he prophesied it to he over- 
throvm (should be overthrown), ii. 160. In ii 145 (Last 
Part) the seeing stands for they that see. The Accusative is 
suppressed in lend unto men (money), ii. 293. Verbs 
become intransitive, as vessels that rend, i. 53 ; they become 
transitive, as to storm them (vexare procell4), i. 135. A 
brewer is said to run out what he has in brewing, ii. 225. 
The verb oversee in Tyndale has two meanings; oversight 
bears the meaning of superintendence in p. 408, of neglect 
in p. 468 ; overlook in our day bears the same double sense ; 
a man glancing down from above may keep his eyes on 
an object, or he may heedlessly miss it by looking heyond 
it to something else. The verb long is used of the desire 
of a woman with child, i. 246. We saw in the Fifteenth 
Century that brook (frui) had gained the sense of tolerare ; 
in i. 281 we see the bodily organ that probably conferred 
this new sense on the Verb, ru) stomach can brook (this 
food). Tyndale (a great mistake on his part) insists on 
putting a very solemn meaning on worship (honour), " by 
worshipping, whether it be in the Old Testament or New, 
understand the bowing of a man's self upon the ground," 
i. 420. But the good old sense of the word is kept in our 
Marriage Service, "with my body I thee worship ;" indeed, 
Tyndale himself says, ii. 56 (Last Part), that worshipping 
and honouring are one. The words roh and rove are used 
as synonyms, ii. 57. In ii. 96 men, on making an agree- 
ment, smite ha/nds ; hence our "strike a bargain," and 
"shake hands on it;" in ii. 215, 220, this token is called 
clapping of hands. We have already seen, stifle a quarrel ; 
in ii. 270 ivy ckoaks and stifles a tree. In ii. 308 a man 
^^made imagery to hear upon him;" we should now substi- 


tute bring for the first verb ; the lear gets the new sense 
of work. In ii. 313 the priests propose to trim Queen 
Katherine; that is, "settle her j^airs;" here we have 
more of the old than of the new sense of the verb. A 
verb stands before both an Accusative and a Dative, wfiat 
fruit they have lost her, ii. 343. The American played out is 
first found, I think, in ii. 35 (Last Part), "play out his 
lusts ; " there is also hire out to husbandmen. In ii. 46 
(Last Part) we see their shot anchor, our "sheet anchor," 
the implement that is shot out of the vessel ; this shows 
the old connexion between e and 0, as preve and p'ove. We 
may remember the old to-tusen (di-vellere) of 1280; we 
light upon it again in ii. 151 (Last Part), he towseth and 
mowseth Tyndale ; hence comes the dog Towzer, More uses 
the old verb hovsel, but Tyndale seems to shrink from this, 
as giving too Eoman a doctrine of the Eucharist. He 
has, welly I will not stick uuith him, ii. 199 (Last Part) ; we 
are not far from stickle. The verb flit is now used of 
thought. In it stands with the collects, ii. 117 (Last Part), 
we have the key to our phrase " it stands to reason," with 
being altered into to, TTiere is came so far forth to say, ii. 
38 (Last Part), which we alter into " went so far as to 
say," like Barbour's sa hey as to, etc. In i. 329 stands 
hold the heretics unto the wall ; the first hint of the place 
whither the weakest go. The Latin quid juvat is Englished 
by what helpeth it? i, 226, In ii. 1 10 a tempest is overblown, 
a new Passive form ; hence our intransitive blow over. The 
old forceorfan had now quite gone out, and was replaced by 
cut up,n, 129 ; there is seek up, like our hwrd up. The will 
expresses the kindred volo in " if they wUl so have it," ii. 
161. Tyndale is coni^cious of his purely English idioms; 
thus he writes that the grandsons of Charlemagne fell 
together (as we say) by the ears, ii. 266. The verb is dropped 
in no thanks unto (them), ii. 48 (Last Part) ; here the noun 
is made Plural. 

Among the Adverbs we remark that the lever (potius), 
written by Tjmdale, was altered by Day the printer into 
rather about forty years later. The old shrewdly still means 
m/iU; see ii 223, shrewdly paid. We see "a body that is 

432 THE NEW ENGLISH. [chap. 

neither — nother " (neutnun), ii. 342 ; Pecock had a phrase 
like this. A proper name may be made an Adverb, as 
Judasly. The wise^ added to Nouns, is used to form adverbs, 
as " a house made tentwise" i. 419, like the Norfolk crosswise, 
Tyndale has a complex phrase in ii. 34 (Last Part), " our 
almost no faith at all." An Adverb is turned into an Adjec- 
tive; "chastity is a seldom gift,"i. 2 30, something like the often 
times of 1303 ; this use of seldom is still alive in Yorkshire. 
A new idiom stands in ii. 192, "how far are they off from 
good scholars;" here we should set being before the good ; a 
further step is made in ii. 1 38 (Last Part), " so far off from 
having the laws." We have seen elles where ; we now find 
one where or another, i. 233. The again is used, as in the St. 
Katharine Legend of 1220, to strengthen a verb; "they 
make poor women howl again^^ ii. 12; here a hint of 
echo must come in; Tyndale uses this phrase, perhaps 
peculiar to the West, more than once. The forth was not 
yet replaced altogether by on, "he goeth forth and 
describeth," ii. 34. The flat is used intensively, as "the 
Sun \^fiat South^' ii. 163 ; Cromwell talked diflat Popery a 
hundred years later. There are phrases like fore-epistle 
(former), / see not bat that, etc., tvjice so dear, fair and softly, 
for ever and a day longer. 

Among the Prepositions we remark wish him to hell, 
within a little (almost), for example,^ Meat may be over 
roasted, i. 304, a continuation of overdo. The without is 
still used for extra, its oldest sense, as " without the host." 
The in, uncorrupted, still stands before the Verbal Noun, 
as "he was in taking" (being taken), i. 464. The of is 
sometimes seen confused with on ; it hangeth of the truth, 
ii. 60 (Last Part). 

Among the Romance words are phrase, puppet, character, 
(signum), an abject, the passover, jot, effeminate, a preservative, 
marmalade, comfits, actmd, rruimelvke, pastor, serve his tarn, 
calk (calculate), in good case, one ace less, inveigh against, to 
same, to buiter, confusedly, a pUl, The porray of the * Liber 
Curse Cocorum' is now confused with pottage, and is written 

^ The French use their par exemple much as we cry, / say, on all 


'porridge. There is the mixture of Latin and Teutonic in 
intermingle^ fore front, touchstone. The verb train, a form 
long known, is making way, as traU had done 200 years 
earlier; we see, train souls to hell, a phrase of More's, i. 
lii. ; the sense of docere was later to prevail over that of 
trahere. A woman with child longed to eat flesh on a 
Friday, and was overcome by \lqv passion, L 246 ; here the 
last word partakes both of the old sense paii and the new 
sense ardere. In i. 337 wait vpon is used in its old sense, 
observe attentively. In ii. 80 "the whole matter of true 
prayer " is used, where our penny-a-liners would now use 
raison dHUre for matter ; this last word was driving out the 
older force in the phrase no force. In ii. 115 curiosity is 
used as a synonym for nevmess; the former word seems 
almost to gain its present meaning; what is new is curious. 
So high a sense had attorney in those days that the word 
is coupled with advocate and mediator, ii 166. The word 
sect is applied to the Moslem, in ii 259. Tyndale uses 
convey in Skelton's new sense, to be repeated by Shake- 
spere ; also the prevent (forestall) of the Monk of Evesham. 
The word mart is used for the staple of English goods 
abroad, which Wolsey wished to transfer from Antwerp 
to Calais, ii. 319. The word rascal is applied to a common 
priest, to distinguish him from his superiors, ii. 306. The 
word appointment is used for promise, ii. 75 ; and this ap- 
pointment may be either kept or broken. In ii 52 (Last 
Part) piece stands for mulier ; in 1290 it had stood for 
hmw. In ii 76 (Last Fait) porter no longer means ostiarius, 
but stands for portitor. In ii 121 (Last Part) the verb 
canvass means examin^re, and refers to the past; in p. 169 
to the future. In ii 170 (Last Part) respect means simply 
glancing at a fact ; four pages later we see the old in respect 
of; there is also in comparison of,i. 435 ; the three words 
respect, regard, and consideration have risen in the world, and 
now imply honour. The word master is used in a new 
sense in crafts-Tnaster (master of their trade), ii. 173 (Last 
Part). In i. 274 sort stands for homo, much as we say, 
"he is a bad lot." The word manners is used for condmt, 
as in the Acts ; see i. 303 ; Wykeham's motto is well 
VOL. I. 2 F 


434 THE NEW ENGLISH, [chap. 

known. In i. 115 circumstance stands, where we should 
now use context The word merchant may be used for trick- 
ster, i. 294; and this lasted for some years; make merchandise 
of, m the Epistles, implies trickiness. In i. 137 dispense 
vjith you stands for grant you a dispensation ; the Pope can 
dispense with a marriage, ii 323'; dispense with, as we now 
commonly use it, means the Latin auferre, Tyndale laughs 
at the barbarous Latin of the schools,, as quiddity, hcecceity ; 
he spells phantasy in the Greek way, departing from former 
usage ; he uses both the old frailty and the later comer, 
fragility, A curious phrase, borrowed from the Monk of 
Evesham, occurs in "his wits are rapt,^* i. 314. We hear 
of a new disease, a soaking consumption, i. 341. Tyndale 
appropriates the words sire and dam to animals, i. 414; in 
the same page courtesy (humanity) must be shown to beasts ; 
humanity had been earlier used for courtesy ; the former is 
a word that has risen. He has to diet him, it is escaped me, 
of his own accord, jest him out of countenance, A noun is 
repeated, strife between person and person (man and man), 
ii. 26. He is fond of secondarily and partial. We see 
popery, I think, for the first time, in ii. 85. The verb war- 
rant governs an Infinitive, I warrant him sing mass, ii. 123. 
He speaks of translating a word in a particular way, for a 
consideration (a certain reason), i. 227; in our days the 
term refers to money. We now use the phrase have the 
grace to very carelessly ; in i. 447 More implies that God's 
grace is here referred to. Tyndale has the substantive 
pains-taking, perhaps suggested by part-taking. The verb 
use undergoes a change, he shall use himself unto us,\, 411 ; 
we still say, " get used to us." There is according as, where 
the last word bears its old sense quod, i. 404. The ness is 
added to Romance words, as mercifulness (differing from 
mercy), and singleness (simpHcity); on the other hand, we 
see pronity ; humbleness is coupled with humility in ii. 
273. We come upon play a part, the rdle of our genteeler 
penny-a-liners; Barbour had written do his part. An 
idolater is called a serve-image, ii. 62 (Last Part), this style 
of compound was soon to come very much into vogue. 
The words akin to the Dutch and German are snaffle, 


jefrkin (from the Dutch jurk^ a frock), aloof. There is the 
Scandinavian to cham bread, ii. 163 (Last Part); hence came 
to champ and to jam. More has jabber, from the Icelandic 
gabba ; Tyndale has gibberish, formed from gibber or jabber. 

The Yorkshireman, Coverdale, shares with Tyndale in 
the credit of giving the Bible to England in her own 
tongue. As to the part due to each translator, the great 
book called Matthew's Bible was put forth in 1537 by 
Eogers, Queen Mary's first victim in days to come. For 
this he used the New Testament and Pentateuch, already 
printed by Tyndale ; the manuscript translations, left by 
Tyndale, coming down to the end of 2 Chronicles; 
Rogers then took the remaining books of the Old Testa- 
ment and the Apocrypha from the Version already printed 
by Coverdale in 1535. This Matthew's Bible of 1537 
became the Bishop's Bible of 1568, and this again was the 
groundwork of the Authorised Version in 1611.^ I have 
gone over the Second Book of Chronicles in Matthew's 
Version, to detect phrases that are Tyndale's, and not 
Coverdale's ; I there find but and if, have indignadon against, 
apointment (pactum), tender-hearted, to meke, all that passeth 
(qui praetereunt). The Book of Ezra is plainly by another 
hand. Our Prayer Book Version of the Psalms is that 
portion of Coverdale's work which has been least altered ; 
it is a charming specimen of sound English. 

Coverdale has inserted many words and forms that 
prove his Northern birth. Such are porte (gate), to youl, 
scalp, wrongeous, wel is thee, wo is me, beseke, galowe, thv/nder- 
bolt, rygge bone (backbone), moss (palus), stythie, rock (colus), 
lurk, take root, ivaged soldiers, forby, the yonside (further side), 
folkes (homines), what tyme (quum), aha/ fensed, mard>y, martr- 
ful, to gloom, ryven downe, axe at me, he leape (loup), seven 
years are out (over), fore-elder, manswear (perjure), lap in 
(cingere), the dede doing, olde canckerde carle, make ready gear 
to flit, fray, by-post, hyrd (pastor), overmnner, skmkmge 
(skulking) place, have foughten, a mightie sore felde, set a 
watch, put a stone, to ban (maledicere), have in derision, bandes 

^ I recommend all interested in these matters to read Dr. Eadie on 
the English Bible ; it is all but impossible to catch him tripping. 




(vincula), hyp (dance). Many of the above appeared in 
Northern writers before the year 1300. There is the old 
umhdJhvnke^ a very late instance of vmihe (amphi). He com- 
bines Northern and Southern forms in chUder^s children, of 
which he is fond. He uses dyke in its Northern sense 
muruSy not fossa, (Isaiah xxix. 3). He cannot manage his 
shall and imll, writing how ml we escape ? now and then ; 
we will (shall) get no gmrrel. The Northern sound of a 
appears in words like taist, fayd. There is the phrase 
" loke thorow the fyngers upon " (wink at), the phrase so 
often used in Scotch State Papers about 1570; see Lev. 
XX. 4. Tyndale uses hig (bugbear) ; for this Coverdale 
has hogardy as we see by his compound fray bogard (scare- 
crow). A man is called a wyne supper ; so Edie Ochiltree 
talks of the hale-suppers of Fife. There is soch one, where 
the Mandeville treatise had such a one. The distinguishing 
mark between the two translators is the word namely; 
Tyndale always uses it in its Old English sense (now 
obsolete), prcecipub; Coverdale employs it in its Scandi- 
navian sense (now adopted by us), videlicet He employs 
Palsgrave's new form upsyde downe. We are able to con- 
trast the Southern and Northern translators : — 


Mouth (of dove) 

Gogil eyed 

Breakynge of day 


Wyllyng offerings 



Issue of blood 



Peace offerings 


Lyers awayte 

Wyne hervest 

Charmar's ocke 




Thought to have slain