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Ali rljhil rtttrttd 







i i 






All riphts reserved 


ENGLAND assuredly is at last waking up to the im- 
portance of Btudyiag her old tongue in all its stages. 
I cannot otherwise account for the rapid sale of 
mv late book on ' Standard English ; ' nearly 2,000 
copies of this have gone off within four years or so. 

In the present work I have embodied whatever 
of the former book was worth preserving ; great 
additions have been made, since I take notice of 
about .3,000 English words and phrases. I have had 
much help from criticism, both in print and by 
letter. I cannot understand why an author need 
whimper under the rod of Reviewers. If the criti- 
cism be sound, he should be thankful for a chance 
of improving his book. If the criticism be absurd, 
he may amuse his readers by inserting it in the 
notes to his next edition. I have freely availed 

vi Preface. 

myself of this privilege ; no harm is done, if all 
names be suppressed.^ 

I owe much to certain late writers on Philology. 
I have always had before me Matzner's English Gram- 
mar, which allows hardly one idiom of ours to escape 
observation; I have sometimes been able to point 
out an earUer date for new English phra^s than is 
suggested in the German's noble volumes. I have 
paid much attention to the colossal works, which 
will make the names of Cleasby and Littre im- 
mortal. I have studied our ancient pronunciation 
under the guidance of Mr. Ellis ; it is most im- 
portant to remark the old sounds of au and oi in 
France and England. Dr. Stratmann and Dr^ 
Morris have proved themselves once more the best 
of leaders. Any one who reads my chapter on 
French will see the influence that Mr. Freeman 
('Norman Conquest,' Vol. V.) has had upon me. 
He is good enough to say that my former work was 
of some use to him when he wrote his chapter on 

^ One would-be philologer wrote to correct my false ideas, 
telling me that English was derived from Anglo-Saxon, and Anglo- 
Saxon feom Gothic ; I forget if he went on to derive Gothic from 
.Sanscrit. This was in the year of grace 1874 ! 

Preface. vii 

the English language ; I am' flure that I have repaid 
myself with usury. 

I hold to the venerable aaw, ' Old echool, good 
school ; ' and I have little love for what is called in 
the cant of our day, ' Neoteristic Individualism. ' I 
let off no fireworks like ' Asyndetic Co-ordination,* 
or ' Sequacious Diathesis.' I should be heartily 
ashamed of myself if I thought I had used any word 
that a twelve-year-old English schoolboy, a reader 
of Casar and Ovid, could not easily understand. 
Philology is too noble a goddess to be pent up in a 
narrow shrine, begirt by a small circle of worshippers, 
who use a Gneco-Latin dialect. She should go forth 
into the highways and hedges, and should speak to 
man, woman, and child, in a tongue that all can 

I take my stand half-way between the Purist and 
the Advocate of new-fangled vulgarity. I like to 
mark the date of my book, by pointing out the last 
sweet thing in Penny-a-lining. We have lately 
heard of the fell of Adrianople ; the English 
correspondents abroad delight in phrases like ' the 
detiandade was averted by a parlementaire ; ' writers 

viii Preface, 

at home epeak of the geTierale as * the directing 
personnel of the army ! ' What would Sir William 
Napier, twenty years ago, have said to this new 
jargon ? 

I advise my readers to mark my list of errata^ 
at the end of the Contents, hefore studying my 
book. Any suggestions or corrections may he for- 
warded to me at 

Charlton House, 


1 hope to hring out my work on the New English 
three or four years hence. 


Ftbruary, 1878. 


KHouBH HI rra eakliebt shafx. 

The ArTBD iamilj on the Oxiu I 

Their TSj of tiring 2 

Sanscrit and Engtiah Words compared . . . . 3, 1 

The Old SubBtsntires S 

The endiDgs of Nonng 6 

The Adjectives 7 

The Verba S 

The Futiciplea 9 

The Irregular Verbs 10 

Greek and IaUd akin to English II 

The Slavonians and Li thaaoiaDS , J 2 
The divisions of the Teutonic race . .13 

The Teutonic Snltatantive and Verb . . . 14 

Teutonic FreGzes and Suffixes U 

Eipoltion of the Celta 16 

Conflict vith the Somans 17 

460. The Beownlf 18 

Conqneat of Britain bj the English ., . . .19 

600. Christianity brings in new words 20 

Snl«t«ntivBB 21, 22 

Adjective* 23 

Pronouns 24 

The Strong Verb 26 

The Weak Verb 28 

DatPB of Enelinh Works 27 

English Vowels, their sound 28 

The sound of y 39 

The soand in Proper N'imes 30 

The inMrcliBcge of CoiisoDBDte 31 

Tht interchange of Vowpls 82 

Variations ia Old Engtisb 3S 

Changea of Letters 34 

Alfred's Pastoral Cure 3& 

It forestalls onr modern fbrms 3S 

Inflnenoe of Latin 37 

Corruption of Casss 3ft 

The coupling of Nouns 39 

A^JBCtives used as Substantives tO 

The disuse of uii 41 

The Verb 42 

The vae o( iholild 43 

The Futora Tense 44 

The do employed before a Vcrlj 4S 

The InfiniliTB and OpUtire 46 

The Past Participle 47 

Pronouns 48 

The Beflexive Dative 49 

The Definite Article SO 

The Demonstratives 51 

The Interrogative vAat G2 

The Relatives 53 

The Indefinite Article 54 

The use of man und tcAo 55 

The use of vha/, first 68 

The use of <.(*«■, lay 67 

Tho points of the compass ; kotB, trhg . . . .68 

Adverbs formed by adding lie 69 

The htre, there, yts 60 

The nay, naitgkt, none 91 

The both, tame, or 62 

The now, though, at 63 

The JW, thai, liiice 64 

FrepositiODS ; their nee Sfi 

. Thoo/ 6C 

The bjh toi/A 67 

The/or, fnm, after 6S 

The to, at, cm 69 

Frepoaitions toropd into Adverbs and Nouns . . 70 

. aome of them aesrly obsolete 71 

. lotaijectionB 72 

Tvofold mcHDiDgof sDEDglieh Word . . . . 73 

Cormption of old Woids 7* 

Qood pedigMe of slang; Words 7S 

Sear, tpcrt, pink, tpirU 76 

D^Todation of Words 77 

Proper Dames Bud names of trad(>s .... 78 

Decay of old Worfa 70 

The secondary sense of Words 80 

Oiu many looses 81 

Our Turied construction of sentences . . .82 

A llitemtiie Poetry ■ . . . 83 

Inflaence of Poets and Ptieits 84 

CODservatiTe effect of the Bible SS 


Inlenhsago of Consonants 86 

The liquid* 87 

The softening of Words 88 

HOBTKERji raoLiSH, 680-1000. 

UBI.T COBRUPTIOSa, 1000-1120. 

The English of Northnmbria 89 

C80. ' The Buthvell Cross . - 90 

FcculutritisB iJ the Inscription 91 

737- Cudmou's Poem 

850. The Northotobrian Pealler 

Northern and Sontbem forma coDtroaUd 

Thr kinsmsDsbip with iMia . 

Slrpt, (town, bread 

87G. iDToads of the Danes .... 

TokeoH of Ihair settlement llero . 
913. King Edward's re-oonquMt 
9*1. Tbe Five Danish Burghs .... 

The Wessaz Literature takes the lead 

The Bhirss that formed the New English 
950. The Lindjelitrne Guspels .... 

Cormptioii of Northam English . 

The OeiutiTB Singiolar and Nomin&Uve Plural 

New Bounds ofWoriis 

Danish influenco is traceable . 

The Strong Perfect corrupted 

Change of meaning in OIK 

Wiitt, inhUom, eort 

The Verbal Noun in ing .... 

Buiinof, tneer, bundJa .... 

971, The Blictling llomilies .... 

Clipping of (JonsoDiiuts .... 

Still, so, by 

1000. The Ruahworth Qosp'-lB .... 

The psring of Pretlies .... 

New idioms of Relatives .... 

The 0/, del, linn 

.Slfric'a Orammar 

Hail, lata, Lammai 

Kemble's Charters. —Treatise on Astronomy 
1060. The ApolloniuB 

Changes in the Chroniclp .... 

The of Bupplanting on . , . . 
1090. The Legend of St. Edmund . 

Cbsjige of ConsonaDla in Che Chrooicle . 

Changes in of, by, without .... 


The ProDOima and SabitoDtivrg 130 

The Adjeclires and Verbs 131 

X)omead&7 Book 132 

lioa The Peterborough Ohroaicle 13S 

The Boimd «*.— The new Relative 134 

Confuaion of the Article'fi Co^ea 13fi 

1120. ChHnges that irere Co come 136 

iHB xiDBLx BiroLias. 

PbEUOD I. CtHTTTillUlf. 

Contrast between England aod Italy . . . . 137 
Threr Penodn of ICddle English . . . .138 

The East Midland Dialect 130 

The Oreat Sundering Line ..:... 1(0 

Where DOC corruptions aroae HI 

The Peterborough Chioniele 142 

Chaages in Vovels 14:( 

And in ComonaDts 144 

The break up of Caae endings 145 

The ProQOuns and Verbs 146 

The great Shibboleth of DialecU 147 

The Northern, Midland, and Soathani .... 148 

Then/oTt, anon, for lo 149 

Wotdi ID common with the Low Qennan . . 150 

And with Scandiiutnan . 161 

Specimen of East Midlaitd Dialect . 162, 153 

The Contrast to the East Midland . . . . 164 

The Sonthem Homilies . . . .166 

Perhaps compiled in London ISB 

Danish influence 1ST 

The changes in Vowels 163 

The and cA ISO 

The letter y for J . 160 

The o/is used for the Qenitire 161 

New RelativoB appear 163 

1160, The Peterborongh Cbroniclt 16X 

Fonna Northern and Southern 164 

Changes in Vowels and ConBonants .... ISo 

. The eon, (vufi ; eivr prefixed 166 

The new DaBish WokIb 167 

1160. Specimen of the East Midland Dislret . . 168, 169 

1160. The ContraBt to the East Midland . . . 170,171 

The Southern Homilies 172 

The changes in Vowels . . . .■ . .173 

Specimen of Words altered 17-i 

Thp eneroHchment of M and IT 17S 

New Idiom of the Subjunclivi: 176 

The ihW as a Relative 177 

The change in the meaning of Words . . . . 178 

Lot, eilltf. aied, thoie 179 

Danish Words 180 

The Moral Ode 181 

The change in Letters 182 

Tbe anffii nw.— Prepositions 183 

Change in the meaning of Words <..... 184 

Winchester and Eentish Works 183 

De Morerille.— Southern Gospels 186 

1180. Norfolk Rimes on SL Thomas 187 

The Kssei Homilies 188 

SpectmeQ or Words altered 189 

The^A is much used ISO 

"Die new sound tA 191 

Th« Subsuntivc 192 

The Verbs. 193 

The new use of one 194 

Compounds with /m-i; tht nonce 19S 

, The Preposilions ... .... 196 

New meanings of Words 197 

Scandinavian Words . , 198 

Spedm«B of tha Earn Midland Dialect .... 109 

The CoDtrwt to the £a«t Midland 200 

Poem on the Soul and Body 201 

Changes in Vowela end CousoDanCa . . . . 202 

PoemB of Nigal Wireker 203 

King Alfred's PrOTerbe 20* 

The fondness for the bard y 20{t 

Cormptjon of the QsniCiTa 206 

Change in the Verb mag 207 

Change in lUtt, do, vihiU 208 

A litUe French appears 201) 

Loss of tho power of Componndidg . . . . 210 

Orrmio's Poem 211 

The place where be wrote 212 

He resembles the Pelerborongh writer . 2)3 

The change in Vowels 214 

The change in Coosonaots 21S 

The (A aad ; 216 

The or, nor, vppo, knrcl 217 

The old iw tcanaposed 318 

The old sense of nUfliniin 219 

The change in tni^, booit 2:^0 

Adjectires and Pronouns 221 

Theiri. that, name 222 

Change in Relatives 223 

The new lumevihal ; one '21i 

Thfaloae, oner, two first 226 

Development of the Passive Voice 22S 

The new senses of need, deal 227 

The meoH, kofp, taJce 22B 

Strong Verbs turned into Weak 229 

Forthwith, right, already 230 

Ho more, alviay, ag \f ^31 

The Prepositions 232 

The i^wn and mlil 233 

The use of iy, a(, o/, (0 234 

Ommn's Campounds 23fi 

Hii Soandiiiariaii leanings 239 

Tb6 wocdi ti\ft, stick, hurt 237 

Lilt of ScandioariaD Words . . _ . . . 238 

The mid and ntm die out 239 

1200. Specimeo of tlie Eaat Midland Dialect . . 210,241 
120fi. The Contrast to the Eaet Midland . . .242 

Lajamon's Brut 243 

Change in VowbIb 244 

Change in Consonants 24S 

HoTKt, plight, nook 246 

CoiTuption of ol— Pronouns 247 

The nev Participle in in^ 24S 

Gird, •mark, qiiiMy 249 

Then/ and ro 260 

The by and with 251 

New Scandinavian Words 2fi2 

1210. The Legend of St. Margaret 263 

Thsfii; theending/uf 264 

Whoioev/T, seem, dowaright 286 

The Legend of St. Eatherine 2S6 

The Vowdsand Conaonants 257 

&{/; other 2S8 

The Infinitivp fbUowa a Preposition . . . 259 

The ( 260 

The Legend of St. Juliana 2S1 

New phrases 2S2 

Wheriifore, hat 263 

The Hali Meidenhad 264 

The Adjectives and Prepositions 266 

The Salopian pioceH 266 

Loa, ail, hutband 267 

Thefid,one,oice 26S 

Influence of Salop 260 

The Wobungo of ure LauenI 270 

Cheap, aho, tell 271 

1220, Tha Ancren Riwle 272 

More than one Version of it 273 

The dunge in Vovela and Coiuoiuuiti . 371 

Ths form k, tile Jul 275 

The alrich at a BeUtiTe 27B 

Vtterlt/.albeii.ffreaily 277 

IniUad of, EnUieT day 278 

ScandinaTi&D Words 279 

Low Oerman Words 2S0 

Warwickshire Version of this piren 281 

1320. Changes iay.e,K,a,g 3S2 




1230. TheBeatiaiy 283 

Changs in Vowels snd ConBoncmU .... 2S4 

New Adjectives 285 

The Genesis and Exodus 286 

Changie in Vowels and Consonants . . . 287 

The hud g of East Anglia 288 

Faitk, ehe, made 289 

Seldom, thunder 200 

The tike, great 291 

The Numerals ; do reTived 292 

Like, beget, take 393 

Wakt, mhOoM 294 

SiU, of, betide 296 

The Scan^navisD Woids . .... 29S ** 

The German, Celtic, and French Words . . . 297 *• 

1230. Spedmeoofthe East Midland Dialect . 208,299 

1230. The Contrast to the East Midland . . 300 

A London Poem 301 

1240. A Lincolosbire Tersion of the Creed . . 302 

1240. Spedmen ^ the East Midland Dialect . . 303, 304 
1240. The Contrast to the East Midland . . . 306 

The OtI and Nightiogsle 

Morning, holloa, boadman . ... 

The mMl. thoutd 

Tlie ScandiaaTJan anii Dutch Words 

The Poems in the Cntton Manuscript . 

Eye, gear, wench 

You, flurtimlhal 

Cflttic and French Words 

1250. A Nottinghamshire Po«m 

1250. Specimen of tile East Midland Dialect . . .3 
1250. The Contraatto the East Midland 

The Yorkflhipo Psalter 

ScandinHTian Forms 

The chan^ in Vowels and CoDsonanls . 

Morning, not, height 

rhe ne» Verbal Nouns 

Cloitd and eh/ 

The PronoQUfl, il, tltotc 

The Relatjyes 32.5 

The Participles 32fi 

The Adverbial Potob 

The Scandinarian Words 328 

The Low Gorman Words 829 

The Latin Forms 

1260. Second Edition of Layamon's Poem 

The change in Vowels ami Consonants . 

£crt", timx, leg 

The Poems in the Jems Manuscript 

Change in the Names of Counties 

The Proclamation of Henry lU 

The word ovk discuased 

The Frorerbfl of Heading 

The use of i««cr, bett, do 339 

1264. ThB Ballad 00 Lewes Fight 340 

1270. Specimen of tiie East Midlaod Dialect. 

Old English Prorerba 842 

1270. The Contrast to the East Midland . . . .343 

The Foem on the Fox 

The you, it, with 

The Herefordshira Poems 

Brtt, head, one 

I2S0. Unhappy chnnicter of the lost Period 



The Hanowjng of HeD 349 

The curious Dislogne 350 

The coRDptJon of the Strong Verb 351 

The Terired use of ({o 352 

The Chorten of B1117 St. Edmund's . . . 3S3 

TheEavelok 36* 

It! Northern Fcrms 35S 

Much in common with East Anglis .... 356 
The change in Vowels sad ConsoDsnts . . . . 357 

The confusion of Letters 3AS 

The coupling of Nouns 359 

The change in SubstantJTea and AcfjectiTeB . . . 360 

The Fiuuouns ; useofyni 361 

Tovn, a, one 362 

The Pluperfect SobjunctiTe 363 

Preposition! and InteijectioQB 364 

The SeandinsTian Wonls 36S *- 

Celtic and Dutch Words 366 *^ 

. Specimen of the East Midland Dialect . . 3S7, 368 

, The Contrast to the East Hidlftod .369 

The Horn and Florii 

The change in FronuDciation .... 

KniglU, hereoAout 

The Hertt£oidihiie Poems - > . . > 
StU, mrry, dogged 

XX Contents. 


The French way of oompounding 875 

The Prepoeitions 376 

The Dame Siriz 377 

Mixture of Northern and Southern 378 

The in^fi and 379 

The Tristrem . . 380 

Marks of transcription 381 

The Verbal Nouns 382 

The Adjectives 383 

The Infinitive en becomes ing 381 

Take, stick, trow 385 

Scandinavian and Dutch Words 386 

1290. The Poem on the Body and Soul 387 

The Adjectives and Verbs 388 

Discussion upon ing . . . . . . 389 

1290. Specimen of the East Midland Dialect . . . 390 

1290. The Contrast to the East Midland .391 

Change in these Kentish Sermons 392 

Eld, goodman 393 

The Digby Manuscript .394 

The Herefordshire Poems 395 

A Hereford Charter 396 

The Cursor Mundi 397 

The change in Vowels 398 

The change in Consonants 399 

The nobot, mell, forefather 400 

New Substantives 401 

NewPhrases . 402 

Beggar, holiday, unhappy 403 

Kind, ead, mean, ciirst 404 

Pronouns; she-beast 405 

Which, one 406 

Whole, score, mon 407 

May be, outtaken, become 408 

The Passive Voice developed 409 

Scandinavian senses of Verbs 410 

The Tr&naitiTe Yeibal Noun 411 

Of alt, nnce when, abaft 412 

Mighty, trnlff 413 

The FrepoaitionB 414 

The Inte^ectioDB 415 

The DnUh Words 416 

The Percival and lannilinkB 417 

Swiftlier, ffoodi, folia 41B 

Right, evm, yon 119 

What manner, get, fait to 420 

1295. The lives of the SainU 421 

The life of Becket 422 

Bo»d,iiily.a» 428 

Verbal Phiaaaa 424 

The Life of St. BcnnduD 42fi 

Names of Counties 426 

New Phrases 427 

To leek, draw, numb 428 

The Life of SL Margarut 429 

1300. Bobert of OloncesterB Chianicle 430 

The inSnence of French 431 

The change in CooeoDntlts 432 

Proper NnroeB discuBsed 433 

Wattail, $hop, dolf 434 

SiUy, tiaric, ionuti;iie 435 

New Phrases in Verbs 436 

The Adverbs ; as 437 

Aiide, up and down 43B 

The Aleiamlcp 439 

Tho change in Consoniittta '. 440 

The Verbal Nouns Id tag 441 

The use of the iDfinitive Passive 442 

Oemum and Scandinavian Wonls 443 

Oar BjnonjniB from vuriouB quarters .... 444 

The ilifltrant sources of our Speech 446 

1300. No fixed Stamtard of English 44S 




1303. Bob«rt of Bnmne'B Haadljng SjDDe . . 447 

lATgB proportioti of FcBBcb Words .... 448 
The Dialects meeting near Butlftud . . . . 449 

Much JD cominoD with tlie North 450 

Hoch cdippiogand paringr 451 

Siffkteota, eouid. mmne 452 

Toy, iai, meaning 453 

Bench, KOTt, buck 464 

Suag, pitiful, right 455 

Diatinction between thou BDd yc 496 

Between ihaM and iiiU 457 

The nnw use of the Inflnitive 4S8 

To eon, Kt, vaivt 4S9 

Tfim, n™, irolh 460 

Well, indcid, everywhere 461 

Tbe Int«^ectioiia 462 

The ScandiDBTian Woids 463 

1310. The MeditaciuDB of the Soper 464 

Homely ; in going 465 

Melted, bring aboul, wier^ore 466 

Tale of Bishop Robert . ' 467 

St. Panl'K description of Charity .... 468, 469 

DiBCUIBion of Dinners 470 

Tale of a Norfolk Bondman 471 

Data of the Poem 472 

Specimen of the Meditaciuna 473 

North Lincolnahire 474 

Yorkihire— Durham 475 

Lowland Scotch 476 

LancaBhire — Salop 477 

Herefordahire 478 

Warwickahiie — O-lonceateidiira 479 

Eoglith Fftle in Inland 4B(> 

Somwiet — Wiltshini 


OxfoidBhire— KeDt 

Middlssex . 



Anuchj of speech in Engtand .... 


Eril done id the Tbirteeoth Centnij 
1066. Lou in old English Poetiy . . . 

Tho Old Standard diei ont . 

French oaed nt Court .... 

Change! in the Chronicle 

The new Mnutd ui oc oi 
1130. Dc Thaun'a French work . 

Baa, baplitt, Jaw .... 

Distinction betveen the high and low 
. Sixty French woida come in early 
lieo. The old English HomiUea . .. . 
1300. lAyamon and Omnin .... 
1210. The Hall Ueidenhad . . . . 
1220. The Ancrvn Riwle .... 

The aonndB of au and oi . 

BmU, capital, antlum .... 

Debt, Utrgt, poor 

The mingling of Tentonie and Bomaaos 

Long list of kindred voids 

The endings tcr, w . . . , 

The Norman Kings fovoored En^ish 

A biiUJant fntnre seemed to await it . 

French became the official langnage 

The chase altar foreign ^ahions . 


XXIV Contents, 

kji» PAOB 

English wafi cast aside by the noble . . . . 512 

Greatness of Fiance at this lime 613 

It influenced many countries 514 

There was no Standard English 515 

Influence of Ladies . 516 

Their articles of dress . 517 

Influence of Franciscan friars . 518 

Their way of life * . 519 

They unite various classes 520 

They make French words familiar .... 521 

The«LuveRon' 522 

Two schools of teachers contrasted .... 523 

New Christian Names 524 

Evil done by the clergy 525 

Yillehardouin easier than Layamon 526 

Loss of Inflexions . 527 

Loss of the power of Compounding 528 

Comparison of passages in Writers .... 529 

1280. The Period of Reparation 530 

Edward the First 581 

The great inroad of French Words 532 

All men were united 533 

Our words for Soldiering 53 i 

Chronicles compiled in French 585 

English compilations 536 

Mixture of languages 537 

Feasts described 538 

French rimes used 539 

Terms of hunting and cookery 540 

Terms of law 541 

The clergy practise medicine 542 

Indelicate words are dropped 548 

1290. Herod's diseases described 544 

Terms of science 545 

Terms of architecture 546 

Number of French words in the Tristrem . . . 547 
The Kentish Sermons 548 


The motire of Translators 549 

laflni of French Words 650 

ForeigD WoMs mnch Tant«d S61 

Evil dona in Hem? Ul.'s time 653 

A Northern version of a Soatbem poem ■ . , 553 

The futnre Staod&id 551 

The lose of the guttural accounted for . . . . 655 

French vords ia the E&velok G5S 

In the Horn and Flonz S6T 

In the Ljiic Poems 558 

Id the Tristmn 569 

Id the Kentish Sennons 960 

In the Herefbntsbire Poems 561 

In the Cnraor Mundi 562 

Safe and amind. Dan, pelf 563 

Save, tacTtd, ptrton 564 

TVatniV, cotinfry. tiutreh 565 

Seriie, pain, raufuj S6S 

Longlistsof French Words 661 

The Parcival and Isumbras 568 

Bobert of Gloucester 56S 

Xatmgtr, tie year of grace 570 

CUfae, eommrm*, timpU. fad 571 

The Liies of tbe Saints . 572 

DeUvtT, nee, grape 573 

The Alexander 67* 

The Handlyng Synne . . . . . .576 

List of Prench Words 576 

Force, jelly, aingle, aeaze 577 

Gate, Sir, clerk, pain 878 

The Medytociuns of the Soper 679 

Fataing, bondage 580 

French endinge 681 

French prefixes 682 

Words in nett and ctom 583 

Comption of the FcaQciscons . . . .* . . 584 
Hobert of Bmnno and his transcriber . . . fiSS 



Tricks of Language 586- 

Frpportion of Obsolete and French Words . . . 587 

Our future speech foreshadowed 588 

Discussion of Monosyllables 589 

Use of the Teutonic 590 



680. Lilies on the Kuth-well Cross 591 

737. lines by Cadmon 592 

850. The Northumbrian Psalter 593 

950. The Lindis£Btme Oospels . . . . '. . 594 

1000. The Rushworth Gospels 595 

1090. The Legend of St. Edmund 596,597 

1220. The Ancren Biwle 598, 599, 600 

IlTDEX 601 



for Bcethiut read Boethiui. 
for Sunnadaeg read Sunnandag, 
for tcehea^e read mb heaJfe, 
for the A\fre€M read Alfrt^t gh, 
strike ont the sentence beginning with So, 
strike out /or theftrU time, 
tor 188 read 808. 
for one read onee, 
for $el iaete read seli aue, 
for Pout read Pcutive. 
586, Notes, last line but one ; transfer (/from the end to the- 
beginnlng of this line. 

Page 44, 

line 6 

„ IW. 

» 14 

.. 130, 

„ 19 

» IM, 

„ 17 

„ 1»4, 

u 8 

„ 2M, 

» 8 

.. 816, 

« 1 

„ 837, 

.> 6 

„ 874, 

„ 18 


» 12 





Thibe are many places, scattered over the world, that 
are hallowed groimd in the ejeB of EDgliahmen ; bat 
tiie most sacred of all would be the spot (could we only 
know it} where onr forefatbers dwelt in common with 
the ancestors of the Hindoos, Persians, Qreeks, Latins, 
Slavonians, and Celta — a spot not far &om the Oxas. 
By the nnmistakable witness of langnage we can frame 
for ourselves a pedigree more trathfnl than any heraldic 
tree boasted by Yeres of Montmorencies, by Gnzmans or 
Colonnas. Thanks to tbe same evidence, we can gain 
some insight into the daily life of the great Aryan fa- 
mily, whence spring all the above-nanied nations. 

The word Mryu' seems to come from a time-hononred 
term for ploughing, traces of which term are foond in 
the lAtin arare and the English aw. Some have thought 
that Iran in the East and Erin in the West alike take 

' Qibbon begios his fiunouB duptsr an Motuunmed b; confeasiDg 
l>u ignonnce of Arabic ; evea lO, I miut adnowledge that oil mj 
SuKrit comes bom Di. Horns and Hr. Mnii. 

2 Old and Middle English. 

their names from the old Ajyans, the ' ploughing ' folk, 
men more ciyilised than the roving Tartar hordes around 

These tillers of the ground ' knew the arts of plough, 
ing, of making roads, of bnilding ships, of weaving and 
sewing, of erecting honses ; they had counted at least as 
far as one hundred. They had domesticated the most 
important animals, the cow, the horse, the sheep, the 
dog ; they were acquainted with the most usefcil metals, 
and armed with hatchets, whether for peaceftd or warlike 
purposes. They had recognised the bonds of blood and 
the laws of marriage ; they followed their leaders and 
kings; and the distinction between right and wrong 
was fixed by customs and laws.' ^ As to their Gk>d, 
traces of him are found in the Sanscrit Thjaus, in the 
Latin lyies-piter, in the Ghreek Zetis, in the English Tiw ; 
from this last comes our Tuesday. Moreover, the Aryans 
had a settled framework of grammar : theirs was that 
Mother Speech, whence nearly all the men dwelling be- 
tween the Shannon and the Ganges inherit the words 
used in daily life.^ 

The Sanscrit and the English are two out of the 
many channels that have brought the water from the old 
Arjran well-head down to our days. The Sanscrit lan- 
guage, having been set down in writing two thousand 
years before the earliest English, shows us far more of 
the great Mother Speech than our own tongue does. I 
now print a hundred and thirty words or so, the oldest 

' Max Muller, Science ofLangiuige^ I. 273. 

^ The Turks and Magyars are the chief exceptions to the rule. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 3 

used b^ 119, which vary bnt slightly in their Eastern uid 
Western shapes. How the one-ey llabled roots first arose, 

no niHn CftH BftT< 


















meodu, mead 


dama (hoiue) 









jam (awinon) 

cwen, quean 






young man 


heafod, head 




eage, eye 


mycel, much 
mSr, more 
m^st, most 




dat, dsntatn 

(tootha) tooth 

mpdu {toft} 



doe, chin 




nffigel, nail 








cneo, knee 





sania {like) 



Bthiia (/rm) 






go (or) 

eft, cow 








kas (to cough 



sooth, true 

sfikara (Aty) 








mfta, mouse 



haSsB iaoou) gander 












by night 






fether, four 

:*i • 


Old and Middle English, 




















dha (place) 






jan (beget) 






vah (carry) 

va (blow) 


dh^ (hl<nv) 


(Old and New), 

(finf ) five 

(seoftan) seven 

(tehun) ten 
fonna, first 
Ih, I 
thu^ thou 

(hwafl) hw&9 

hiiset, what 

cennan, kindle 

cyning, king 

weigh (anchor) 

bfigan, bow 


prl (love) 



bhid (cleave) 


snu (flow) 







man (thmk) 





vart (turn) 

hval (shake) 





(bhranj) bhanj 

(bhruj) bhuj 



bhrdj {shine) 



pfi (he putrid) 

stigh (moumt) 




((M and New). 



I mix 






I at 




to mind 



to sweat 


weorban * 

hweol, wheel 


to wit 












stig-r&p, stirrup 



As in woe worth the day ! 

English in its Earliest Shape. 

ufa, above 
fit, out 



The great«st of idl mifitakes is, to think that English 
is derived from Sanscrit. The absurdity of this notion 
may be perceived from the fact, that the most untaught 
English ploaghboj of our time in many respecte comes 
nearer to the old Mother Speech than the most learned 
Brahmin did, who wrote three thousand years ago. 

Unhappily, we English have been busy, for the last 
four tboasand years, clipping and paring down onr inflec- 
tions, nntil very few of them are left to us. Of all 
EuropeauB, we have been the greatest sinneTs in this 
way. Well said the sage of old, that words are like 
regiments : they are apt to lose a few sbragglerB on a 
long march. Still, we can trace a few inflections, that 
are common to us and to onr kinsmen who compiled the 

In Snbstantives, we have the Gemtive Singular and 
the Nominative Plural left. It will be seen that Eng- 
lish, in respect of the latter case, comes nearer to the 
Mother Speech than German does. 

SoMcrit. Old En^ith. New E-ngiuh. 

Norn. Sing. Vfika-e Wulf Wolf 

Oe^. Sniff. V^ikit-flya Wulfes Wolfs 

yom. Plur. VpkA^ WuUos 


' The Engliih bitiop sod tbe French meque, two v«i7 modern 
Ibniu of the mna irord, are much wider apart ^m each othei than 
the hoaiy ironli in the long list given above. 

6 Old and Middle English. 

I give a few Suffixes, oommon to Sanscrit and Eng- 
lish forms of tlie same root :— 

Ma ; as from the root jna, know, we get the Sanscrit 
nomam and the English nama, name. 

Ba ; as from the root a/, g^, we get the Sanscrit ojra 
and the English acre, 

Na ; as from the root 9u, bear, we get the Sanscrit 
Bwwa, and the English smm^ son. 

Der ; as from the root pa, feed, we get the Sanscrit 
pi-tar and the English /(B-der,/a^Aer. 

IJ; as the Sanscrit modhu (honey) is the English 
meodAi (mead). Compare onr scddu (shadow), seovm 

Oar word siboem must once have been pronounced as 
dlfre-nas^ (the Gk>thic dVubr-ei-n'S)^ having the suffix na 
in common with the Sanscrit phaUuna-s. 

We may wonder why vixen is the feminine of /oaj, 
carline of caa-le. Turning to our Sanscrit and Latin 
cousins, we find that their words for qi^een are rdj^ni 
and reg-inay coming from the root rdj. Still, in these 
last, the n is possessive; the vowel at the end is the 
mark of the feminine. 

What is the meaning of ward in such a word as 
heaA}en'Ward? I answer, to twm is vart in Sanscrit, 
veriere in Latin. 

There is no ending that seems to us more thoroughly 
Teutonic than the like in such words as worhmanLike. 
But this is seen under a slightly differing shape in the 
Sanscrit ta^drksha^ in the Greek te-lik-os, and the Latin 
ia^lis. These words answer to our old p^lic^ which sur- 
vives as thick or thtick in the mouths of Somersetshire 


English in its Earliest Shape. 7 

So in Old English we find no^-lio coirapted 
by hb first into noylc, and then into <ue&. 

Our privative un is seen in the Sanscrit om, as 
an-anta^s, un-end-mg. 

The Sanscrit ha-t, kd, ki-t appears in Latin as guis, 
qute, quid, and in English as hwd, fund, kieiM (who, 

The Knnierals, np to a bnndred, are mnch the same 
in Sanscrit, Greek, Latin, and English. 

In the Comparison of onr AdjeotiTes, we have much 
in common with Sanscrit. There was a ComparatiTe 
suffix iyamg, a Superlative iahtha. 

Sanacrit. Ettgluh. 

Theme Mah (yrraf) Mic-el, much 

Compar. mah-i-jaa ma-i^ more 

Suptrl. mah-ishtha m£-et, mod 

So »vddu (sweet) becomes avddiya, wvddishtha, 
(sweeter, sweetest). 

The old Comparatives were formed in to, lara, the 
Superlatives in mo, tama. We have, as relics of the 
Comparative, other, whether, after ; also, ooer, vnder. 
Of the old Superlatives we have bat one left : 
FogUioe. Ctm^xtrattBe. /Superlative. 

foreweaid ^m foivma 

Bnt this forma we have degraded into a Gompamtive, 
and now call it former. It is, in trath, akin to the 
Sanscrit prtt-fAa-iTUt and the lAtinjm-miw. Long before 
the Norman Gonqnest, we cormpted our old Aryan 
Saperlatives in ma into mest, thinking that they most 
have some connection with mdtl, moM, Thns we find 


Old and Middle English. 

both "dtema and tUmest, utmost. Our word aftermosty if 
written at fuH length, wonld be q/-^a-ra-ma^a9i5-to, a 
heaping np of signs to express Comparison. 

In our Pronouns, we had a Dnal as well as a Singular 
and Plural ; it lasted down to the year 1280. 

In onr Adverbs, we find traces of the Sanscrit «, with 
which the old Genitive was formed. Hence comes snch 
a form as / he must needs go,' which carries ns back, feur 
beyond the age of written English, to the Sanscrit 
adverb formed 6x)m the Genitive. Even in the earliest 
English, the Genitive of ned was nede, and nothing 
more. In later times we say, * of a truth, of course,' 
4&C., which are imitations of the old Adverbial Genitive. 

We have not many inflections left in the English 
Verb. The old form in mi, once common to English, 
Sanscrit, and other dialects, has long dropped ; our word 
a/m (in Sanscrit asmi) is now its only representative! 
It is thought that the old Present ran as shown in the 
following specimen : — 

Boot nam, take : ^ 

1. nama-mi 

2. nama-si 

3. nama-ti 

4. nama^maai 

5. nama-taai 

6. nama-nta 

Ist Per, ma, me. 

^nd Per, t&, thou. 

Srd Per, ta, tMSf he, 

Ist Per, ma + ta, 7 + thou. 

2nd Per, ta + ta, thou + thou, 

Srd Per, an + ta, Ac + he. 

The Perfect of this verb must have been ncL-nam-ma 


in its second syllable lengthening the first vowel of the 
Present; in other words, forming what is called in 
English a Strong Verb. Sid-dmi in Sanscrit has sa-sdd^a 

^ Hence CQxnes ' to numb ' and ' Coiporal Nym.' 

English in its Earliest Shape. g 

for its Perfect, words of which we have clipped formB in 
I mi and I tai. I higH (once hi&\S.i\ from MJtwA, and I 
did. (oikce dtde), are the only English Perfects that have 
kept anj trace of their rednplication, and the former is 
our one relic of the Passive voice. The Imperative in 
Sanscrit was, in the Singnlar, luzma, in the Plural, 
nomoja, ansn-ering to the Old English rivm, and nvmoth. 
One verbal noun, naed as an Infinitive in the Dative 
case, was nam-ana (the Greek nem-enai), which we 
had pared down into nim-an more than a tbonBand 
years ago. The Active Participle was nama-nl, which 
runs through most of the daughters of the Aryan 
Tongue, and which kept its ground in the Scotch Low- 
lands until of late yeara, as 'ridand' instead of our 
corrupt word ^riding.' The Sanscrit and English alike 
have both Strong and Weak Passive Participles; the 
former ending in no, the latter in la, aBsfir-na,etretf-n.' 

Sanscrit, yuk-ta 

Greek, zeuk-tos 

Latin, junc'tut 

English, yok-ed (in Lowland Scotch, yok-it). 

Those who choose to write J vxu slopt instead of 
Hopped, may justify their spelling by a reference to the 
firat three forms given above. But this form, though 
admissible in the Passive Participle, is clearly wrong in 
tiie Active Perfect, I Hopped, as we shall see further on.* 

In the Aryan Speech there were a few Verbs which 

' Few Sanscrit veibi have this form, bo common in EoglUh. 
' Archdeacon Hare alvajB sp«It preached ai preaehl. Still, it it 
the EegltBh th, not i, that ihonld answer to the Sanicrit t. 


Old and Middle English, 

had lost their Presents, and which nsed their old Perfects 
as Presents, forming for themselves new Weak Perfects. 
I give a specimen of one of these old Perfects, found both 
in Sanscrit and English. 


(M English, 

New English. 



I wot 



Thou wettest 



He wots 



We wot 



Ye wot 



They wot 

It is easy to see that, thousands of years before 
Christ's birth, our fore&thers must have used a Present 
tense, like wU or vid. Our verbs, ma/y^ ccm^ shaU^ wiU^ 
musty dare (most of which we use, with their new Per- 
fectS) as auxiliary verbs), have been formed like toot, and 
are Irregulars. 

Our verb to be is most irregular, since its tenses come 
from three roots, a«, bhu, and vas. One of the points, in 
which English goes nearer than Sanscrit to the Mother 
Speech, is the first letter of the Third Person Plural of 
this verb. We still say are^ the old ar-anti or as-a^nti ; 
in Sanscrit this word appears only as s-cmti. The Gbr« 
lans have no form of our am, the Sanscrit asnii. 

The old word, which in Sanscrit is da^dhd-mi, with 

its Perfect, da^dhdv^ was brought to the Northumbrian 

shores by our Pagan forefathers in the shape of ^e-cZd-mi 

di'de. Hence our irregular (2o, did, the latter of which 

^_j>lays a great part in building Weak Teutonic verbs. 

With our verb ga (^o), we may compare the Sanscrit 
ji-gd-mi; its Perfect is derived from another verb; 


English in its Earliest Shape. ii 

we now say went, iuatead of the old e6de, which Spenser 
used ; this came from a root i. The Lowland Scotch 
have a corrnpt Perfect, gaed, which has been long in nse. 

Some of the compoonde of oar English Terbs cany 
ns &r back. Thns, to explain the meaning of the first 
syllable in such words aa forlorn, fordone, we mnst look 
to the Sanscrit pard. 

The Aryan settlement on the banks of the Oxaa 
was in the end broken up. First, the Celt marched 
towards the setting son, to bold the Western lands of 
Enrope, and to root ont the old Tnranian owners of the 
ground ; of theae last, the Basques and Lapps alone 
remain in being. Handreds of years later the English, 
with other tribes (they had not yet learnt to count up 
to a thonsand), followed in the Celfs wake, leaving 
behind them those of their kinsmen who were after- 
wards to oonqner India and Persia, to compile the Yedas, 
and to leave their handwriting on the rock of BehistAn.' 
Some streams flowed to the West of the great water- 
shed, others to the East. 

Uany tokens show that the English most hare long 
lived in common with the forefathers of Homer and 
Nnrins. The ending of the Qreek word paid-ion is the 
oonnterpart of that of the English ntatd-en; paid-igk-o» 
of eild-ite, childUh.^ lAtin is stiU nearer akin to na, and 
Hoswtimes hardly a letter is changed ; as when we com- 
pare alias and else. Jkun-wicuius appears in Old English 
as hui-inele. The I^tin fer and the Old English hcera, 

' The old Penion word j/dn ia the English year. 
* Sophoclea' high-soandiDg imkiitattrA mmld be our to /mI- 
teflu, if we choiG to compound & word dosel; ■Jcin to OrmL 


12 Old and Middle English, 

in truth the same word, are attached to substantives, 
which are thus changed into adjectives. YigJil and the 
Old English wac-ol (wakeful) are but different forms of 
one word ; and wittol still remains. The Latin malva 
is our mallow ; and the likeness was still more striking 
before we corrupted the old ending u into ow, Aiei and 
asvum are the Gothic diw, the English a/ye and ever, 
Latin and English alike slipped the letter n into the 
middle of a verb before g, as frango or frag, and gang 
or gag. The Latin Future tense cannot be explained 
by Latin words alone ; but, on turning to English, we at 
once see that domor-ho is nothing but our tame-he ; that is, 
J he to tame, or I shall tame. So likewise with ara-ho, or 
J ear he,^ English sometimes shows itself more primi- 
tive than Latin ; thus, our knot has never lost its first 
letter, while gnodus was shortened into nodtts thousands 
of years ago. It is the same with know and gnosco. 

But all the Teutonic tribes have traces left of their 
nearness of kin to the Slavonians and Lithuanians, who 
seem to have been the last of the Aryan stock from 
whom we Teutons separated. We have seen that, 
when living in Asia, we were unable to count up to a 
thousand. The Sanscrit for this numeral is sahasra, 
the Latin mille. The Slavonians made it tusa/ntja, the 
Lithuanians tukstanti, and with this the whole Teutonic 
kindred closely agrees. Further, it seems strange at 
first sight that we have not framed those two of our 
numerals that follow ten in some such shape as dn-t'^ne 

' The verb ear is happily preserved in Shakespeare, and in the 
English Bible. It is one of the first words that ought to be revived 
by our best writers, who should remember their Ar-yan blood. 

English in its Earliest Shape. \ 3 . 

and Iwd-lflne, since we go on to preo-t^ne, thirteen. The 
explanation is, that the Lithnanion liha answers to the 
Teutonic ftAon, ten ; the ka at the end of the former word 
changes to /a; jnst as the FrimitiTeArTaii feasor changes 
to the Gothic fidwor (our fvur), and the liatin cado to 
onr faU. If li/an then take the place of the common 
■ Tentonic tihan, dn-lifan aad twd-lifam (eleven and 
twelve) are easily framed. These Eastern kinsmen of 
ours had also, like oureelTee and unlike the rest of the 
Aryan stock, both a Definite and an Indefinite form of 
the Adjective. 

But the time came when our fathers left off hnntinjf 
the anroch in the forests to the East of the Yistala, bade 
farewell to their Lithnanian consins (one of the moat 
interesting of all the branches of the Aryan tree), and 
marched Westward, as the Celts had done long before. 
Up to this time, we may fairly gnesB, we had kept our 
verbs in mi. It cannot be known when the great 
Tentonic race was split np into High Qermans, Low 
Qermans, and Scandinavians. Hard is it to explain 
why each of them atnck to peculiar old forms ; why the 
High Germans sbonld have kept the Present Plnral of 
their Terb (a point in which Old English fails woefnily), 
almost as it is in Sanscrit and Latin ; why the Low Ger- 
mans (this term inclndee the Goths and English) should 
in general have clnng closer to the old inflections than 
their brethren did, and should have refused to cormpt 
the letter t into « ; ' why the ScandinaTians should have 

< Compare the SonKrit tttda, English mtai, High Oennu 
iek»au. Engtiah is at once Men to be ftc more primitive than 


Old and Middle English, 

retained to this day a Passive Voice. I can here do no 
less than give a substantive and a verb, to show how 
onr brethren (I may now at last drop the word ccmsinB)^ 
formed their inflections. 


The SuBSTAimvB Wolf, 
Ocfthic, Old High German, Old Norse, 











































Pbesent Tei^se of the Verb nimanj to take ; whence comes 

ova numb. 

ad English, 


Old Sigh Geitnan. 

Old Norsi 

Ic Tiime 




]>u nimest 




he nimetS 




we nimafS 




ge nimaS 




hi mmatS 




All these Teutonic tribes must have easUy under- 
stood each other, about the time of Christ's birth ; since, 
hundreds of years after that event, they were using the 

English in its Earliest Shape. 15 

above-cited inflectionB. They had by tbis time wan- 
dered far from the old Aiyan fi^mework of speech. 
Thus, to take one instance— the Dative Plural in wn ; 
the Suiscrit Nominatiye «unu formed its Dative Floral 
in swva-VhJM (compare the Latin •pfd-ihus)^ our English 
word hy entering into the third pliable. jSunu&Ajo* 
was in time pared down in Teutonic months to wmib, 
and this ag^n to ttwn/am. This last cormption of the 
dative kept its ground in onr island nntil Becket's 
time. The tendency^ of old, when we dwelt on the 
Oxns, and long afterwards, was to pack different words 
into one ; onr custom, ever since the days of Henry I., 
has been to nntie the words bo packed together ; thns 
tWMi^'hjiu has been turned into hy vma? We have two 
of these old Datives still lefl, ImH-utfi, whilom, and 
«elc£-uni> seldom. 

We keep to this day many prefixes to verbs (o, le,for, 
fore, gain, mi», un, tmtk), and many endings of snbstan* 
tives and a4JectiveB, common to na and to onr brethren 
on the mainland ; seen in snch English words as leech- 
erafl, man-hind, king-dom, matden-head, gister-fiood, wed- 
loek, gar-lick, glee-man, piece-meal, runn-el, Ttind-red, 
bighop-rick, friendship, land-sct^e, hom-ei, dar-Ung, 

' Pedibtis it bat tha LatiD form of tlie Summit pedihi/at. 

* I hope I bsTe been plainer than Uies Cornelia Blimber, who 
told her Hmall pupil tluit AnaljWB ia 'the Feeolution of an object, 
vbetber of the senses or of the intellect, into its tret eleme nta — bs 
opposed to Sjntheaia, yon obeerve. Now jon know wbst Ansljsia 
ii, Dombe;.' It is Temarked that Domliey didn't seem to be abso- 
Intelj blinded b; tbe light tbus 1ft in upon his intellect. Manj of 
our gTamman and acbool-bookx, meant for children, have formed 
theii diction apon Miss Blimber'* phiases. 

1 6 Old and Middle English. 

sing-er, spinster, wam^ing^ good-ness, stead-fast^ manu 
fold, stdiuig (stony), a/uj-fid, god^less, toin-some, right-vns 
(righteouB). Others, older still, sach as sih'em, vix-en^ 
workma/ri'like, chiLd^ish, witt^ol, tnalUoWy I have given 
before. Many old Teutonio endings have nnliappily 
dropped ont of our speech, and have been replaced by 
meaner ware. 

The Teutons, after turning their backs on the rest of 
their Aryan kin, compounded for themselves a new 
Perfect of the verb, known as the Weak form. The 
older Strong Perfect is formed by changing the vowel 
of the Present, as I sit, I sa/t, common to English and 
Sanscrit. But the new Perfect of the Teutons is formed 
by adding di-de (in Sanscrit, da-dhom) to the stem. 
Thus, sealf'ie, I salve, becomes in the Perfect, sealfo-de, 
the de being contracted fix)m dide. When we say, I 
loved, it is like saying, I love did. This comes out much 
plainer in our Gothic sister.* 

Another peculiarity of the Teutons was the use of 
the dark Runes, still found engraven on stone, both in 
our island and on the mainland : these were in later times 
proscribed by Christianity as the handmaids of witchcraft. 

The Celts were roughly driven out of their old abodes, 
on the banks of the Upper Danube and elsewhere, by 
the intruding Teutons. The former were far the more 
civilised of the two races : they have left in their word 
hcdl an abiding trace of their settlement in Bavaria, and 
of their management of salt works. The simple word 

* The Latins set Frepoeitioiis before dhd and dadhAu, and thus 
formed abdOf abdidi; condo, condidi; perdo, perdidi. This last is 
nothing but the English Ifor-do (ruin), I forbid. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 17 

leather ia thoaght by good judges to Iiave been borrowed 
from the C«lt« by their Eastern neighbours.' 

Others suffered besides the Celts. A hundred years 
before Chriat'e birth, the Teatone forced th«ir way into 
Italy, but -were overthrown by her mgged champion 
Marias. Bather lat«r, they matched themselveB against 
Cffisar in Gaol, and felt the heavy band of DroBOS. The 
two races, the I^tin and tbe Tentonio, (neither of them 
dreamed that they were both spmng from a oommon 
Mother), were now brought fairly face to face. Our 
foreGtthers, let as hope, bore their share in the great 
fight, when the Oennan hero smote Varos and his legions; 
we English should think lees of Caractacus and Boadicea, 
more of Arminins and Velleda. Hitherto we hare 
poauded out onr history from the words used by onreelyes 
and oar kin, without help from annaliste ; now at length 
the clouds roll away, and Tacitus shows us the Angli, 
sheltered by their forests and rivera, the men who wor- 
shipped Mother Earth, in her own sea-girt island, not 
tar from the Elbe. Little did the great historian gnees 
of the future that lay before the barbarians, whom he 
held up to his worthless countrymen with bo skilful a 
pen. Some of these Tentonio tribes were to take the 
place of Bome and become the lords of her Empire, to 
bear her Eagle and boast her tdtles ; others of them, later 
in the world's history, were to rule more miUions of 
Bnbjects thui Bome oould ever claim, and were to found 
new empires on shores to her unknown. She had indeed 
done great things in law and literature ; but her Senate 
might wen have learned a lesson of public spirit from 
' OsTiMtt'i Eaas/f, pp. leO, lfl7. 


1 8 Oid and Middle English. 

the assemblies held by these barbarians, assembUes to 
which we can trace a likeness in the later oonncils held 
in Wessex, Friesland, Uri, Norway. Home's most 
renowned poets were to be outdone by Teuton Makers, 
men who would soar alofb upon bolder wing into the 
Unseen and the Unknown, and who would paint the 
passions of mankind in more lifelike hues than any Latin 
writer ever essayed. 

But among the many good qualities of ourselves and 
our kinsmen, tender care for conquered foes has seldom 
been reckoned; Western Gelt and Eastern Slavonian 
know this full well. Hard times were at hand ; the old 
worn-out Empire of Rome was to receive fresh life-blood 
from the healthy Teutons. In the Fifth Century, our 
brethren overran Spain, Graul, and Italy ; becoming lords 
of the soil, and overlaying with their own words the old 
Latin dialects spoken in those provinces. To this time 
belongs the Beowulf, which is to us English (may I not 
say, to all Teutons ?) what the Iliad was to the Greeks. 
The old Epic, written on the mainland, sets before us the 
doughty deeds of an Englishman, before his tribe had come 
to Britain. There is an unmistakable Pagan ring about 
the poem ; and a Christian transcriber, hundreds of years 
afterwards, has sought to soften down this spirit, which 
runs through the recital of the feats of Ecgtheow's bairn. 

In the same age as the Beowulf were written the 
Battle of Finsborough and the Traveller's Song. In the 
latter, Attila, Hermanric, and the wealthy Cassar are all 
mentioned. Pity it is that we have not these lays iu 
their oldest form, in the English spoken not long after 
the first great Teutonic writer had given the Scriptures 
to his Gothic countrymen in their own tongue* 

English in its Earliest Shape. 19 

The island of Britain iraa now do longer to be leil in 
the hands of degenerate Celts ; happier than Cret« or 
Sicdly, it was to become tbe cradle where a great people 
might be compounded of more than one blood. Bede, 
uniting many years later, tells ns how the Jates 
settled themselTea in Kent and Wight ; how the Saxons 
bstened npon Essex, Sassex, and Weasex; how the 
Angles, coming from Anglen (the troe Old England), 
foonded the three mighty kiogdoms of East Anglia, 
Uercia, and N'ortbumbria, holding the whole of the 
coast between Stirling and Ipswich. It is with this 
last tribe that I am mainly concerned in this work. 
Fearfnl most have been the woes nndei^ne by the 
Celts at the hands of the mthless English heathen, men 
of blood and iron with a vengeance. So thoronghly 
was the work of extermination done, that bnt few Celtic 
words hare been admitted to the right of English 
citizenslup. The few that we have seem to show that 
the Celtic women were kept as slaves, while their hoe- 
bands, the old owners of the land, were slaughtered in 
heaps. Gamett gives a list of nearly two hundred of these 
words, many of which belong to household management ; 
and others, such as tpree, hain, whop, balderdash, &c, can 
scarcely be reckoned classical English. 

Old Britain was by degrees swept away, after mnch 
liard fighting ; and the history of New England at length 
begins ; her birth-tfaroes were lar sharper than anything 
known in Spain, Gaol, or Italy. 

Amid the shonts of the slayers and the groans of the 
slain, let ns keep a steady eye npon the years 671 and 
577, as recorded in the Chronicle. We there read of 

20 Old and Middle English. 

the Wessex Princes winning their way to Bedford and 
G-loncester ; they seem to have been the first Teutons 
who bore their arms into Salop. This fact must be kept 
in mind, when we come afterwards to treat of the limits 
of English dialects. The Sonth-West of Merda (to nse 
a name that arose rather later) was first settled by 
Western Saxons, thongh it was afterwards mastered by 
the Angles of the Midland. It is cnrions that the 
Danes, coming mnch later, never settled in any of the 
shires conquered by the Saxons, with the one exception 
of Essex ; the Scandinavian sconrge came down almost 
wholly upon the Angles. 

Christianity, overspreading the land in the Seventh 
Gentnry, did mnch to lighten the woes of the down- 
trodden Celts : a wonderi^l difference there was between 
the Christian conquest of Somerset and the Pagan con- 
quest of Sussex. The new creed brought in its train 
scores of Latin words, such as ca'nMe^ altar, bishops Ac^ 
which have been employed by us ever since the Kentish 
King^s baptism. The Church in other lands scorned 
the popular speech ; such broken Latin as the Hymn of 
St. Eulalie in France (about the year 900), seemed to be 
a caricature of the langnage of the ' Te Deum.' Btit 
with us the Church made English her handmaid ; our 
greatest men translated the Bible or compiled Homilies 
in their own tongue. 

At this point I halt, finding no better opportunity 
for setting forth the grammar employed by our fore- 
fathers, traces of which, mangled as it is by the wear 
and tear of centuries, may still be found. * 

English- in its Earliest ^ 





Nam. Steomt 
Qen. SteorroD 
IM. SteoiTOD 
Afx. Steoiran 






Qen. SUorrena 
Ika. Steoinim 






Horn. SAwel 
<?«». S&wle 



Sfinla, sawUm 






Jfiw.. Dum 
6m. DuM 
i)n(. Dure 
Ace. Dnra 



Dura (duiena) 



Old and Middle EttglUh. 




Gm. Hones 
Bat. Hotse 

Cen. Horse 
Dal. Horsum 




Oen. Scipee 
Bat. Sdpe 


Gwi. Scape 
2>fli. Scipum 



Oen. Dela 
Ztef. DiBluiii 




Cm. Sans 
Dot. Sune 

0«i. Sntu 
Dot. Snnurn 

English in its Earliest Shape. 23 

We have sfiU a few PlnralB left, formed by vowel- 
change from the Singular. These are/eef, feefA, mice, 
liee, geese, men. Some Sabstautives, as (ieer,sA««p, tumte, 
are the same in both nnmbers. Oawn is our one Ptnral 
in en that ha^ come down &om vtirj early times. 










































Old and Middle English. 


MOK. Uld Fern. 




Qm. OMra 


IM. Gddum 












Dot. l»m 










Gen. |>iss8 
Ihri. jrisnni 






IM. 1 

wit git 
nncer iacer 

English in its Earliest Shape. 




Norn, he 


Om. his 


DtU. him 


Aee. lune 


jtf«c. and P»m 












hwy . 


(InfinitiTe, healdatt.) 


Sing. Har. Sing. Plur. 

healde liealdaS hedld he^ldoa 

hylst bealdaS hedlde hedldon 

hylt healdftS he61d bedldon 

Phbbkst. Fsefbci. 

Old and Middle English. 

OxRirni). AonTE Pasticipix. Vurt. PAxaop^a, 

To healdaime | healdeDde ] gehealden 


(InfinitiTe, lu/tim.) 

Pkbskht. Pmu^aoc. 

Snj. iYw. Sing. Ptw. 

ln%e lufia£ lufode lufodon 

lubst lufiaS lufodest lufodon 

lufaS luHoS lufode lufodon 




Ossuhd. Acnys PABnoiFiJl Past pAsxioiFUt. 

Toluflg«nne | luSgendo | geiufbd 

English in its Earliest Skape. 27 

In tracing the history of English cormptionB, we 
mnst remember that the books npon which we have to 
depend were written at very different tunes. When w& 
find any construction common to Qothlo and English, 
we may feel pretty snre that this form was used 1^ 
Hengist. There are some Charters, in Kemble's Collec- 
tion, of the Eighth Century with very old forms ; thesd 
we have in a transcript, made 300 years later. King 
Alfred's translation of Pope Gr^^ry's Pastoral Care, 
printed for the first time in 1871 just as the great King 
wrote it (and not as his later transcribers cormpted it), 
teaches ns what were die Sonthem forma of the year 
890 or thereabouts. The balk of Old English literatore 
belongs to the next centnry. Then come the Sonthem 
Oospels, which were translated a little before the year 
1000, and are more English in their idioms than Wick- 
tifie's later version is.' The Sazon Chronicle carries ns 
thence to the great landmark, the year 1066 ; and for 
this last period we may also consult the mass of Old 
English printed by Mr. Thorpe in his ' Analecta Anglo- 
Saxonica,' and by Mr. Sweet in his 'Anglo-Saxon Reader.' 
There is, moreover, the Tate of Apollonius and tli& 
Legends of the Holy Rood, works that seem rather 
late, perhaps about 1050. There are, further, the more 
modem English Ghartera printed in Kemble's ' Codex 
Diplomations.' I have been careful to qnoto here none 
of these last that bear evident marks of later transcrip- 

' For siunple ; in St. Jolm zz. 22, ocean inKijfiamt vidi no 
pnwoDn following. Tbe Gospeli of 1000 tian^ate, hUovi h» an 
U; WicUifiBmcagnlj transUtea, he bUwytHu. 

28 Old and Middle English, 

No language has changed its vowel sounds so mnch 
as English has done. We mnst remember that the old 
o^ 6, i, 0, and u^ were pronounced by our fathers much 
as the Italians do now; and this lasted in Southern 
England down to 1530, as Palsgrave tells us. A remnant 
of the old pronunciation is still found in father ^ plega 
(now play)i and ri^ere (now reaper). Our yaion is a 
clumsy attempt to preserve the sound of the old gdma/n. 
Every educated man should sound words like father and 
ha£h as broad as he can. The vowel u was sounded in 
the broad Italian way, as wtmd, tu, our woundy Udo ; and 
ow had much the same sound ; Stow is written Stou in 
Doomsday Book ; the Southern eower was iur in North- 
umbria, our your ; what we now write new was written 
of old both iieowe and niwe, Poitou, Anjou^ and Ponthieu, 
Appear in the Saxon Chronicle as PeitowCf Angeow, and 
Puntiw. Of all our English sounds ew has been the 
most abiding. The eaw seems to have been sounded 
like the French iou, as in sceawe and feawe ; the latter 
form was written by Tyndale so late as 1525. The ce 
and ea seem to have been pronounced much like the old 
« ; we see Boems written for Ehevms^ Herhearde for the 
Erench Herhert, Our glaze and hair show the old 
sounds of ghBsen and hcer ; we pronounce to this day 
wea/r and great in the true Old English way ; the Irish 
in speaking of tea still keep the right sound which has 
been lost in England since Pope's time. The ie also 
had the sound of the French e. Our oaa or aw must^ 
as a general rule, have been sounded like the French 
ou ; the Ooths wrote praitoriaun for the Latin jpi^csto^ 
Hum ; and daur for what in English was written duru 

English in its Earliest Shape. ' 29 

(ostdam). Our old nSMiiht and mwel were, isther later, 
written nwM and soul. What we now call awl (snbnla) 
was (eZ from Kent to Dorset, and ouml or ewl froM 
Dorset to Salop. The Gothic haa sewhitm. for onr old 
getduion (vidimns), and we find in the earliest English 
both ttreotcberie and ttrawberie} It seems, howeTer, that 
the ou sonnd never came into pSwa (peacock), the 
English imitation of tlie Latin pavo ; and King Alfred 
writes Aguetinng for AugtutitiKs. When we see the 
three Old English forms, t^icr, aiiXer, au^er (ant), it is 
hard to say whether the second should be prouonnced 
like the first, that is, like the broad Italian a, or whether 
it ahonld be sonnded like the Italian u ; we know that 
rather later it was spelt aidier. King Alfred oft^i has 
for a, as in mon and lore', ho has bto we (not beo we) ; 
he often has i for y, as in ildc (eetas). When we seo 
his hine lytS (Pastoral, 391), we see the old form that 
gave birth to the two variations, luteth and huteth ; it 
is the same wiih_/W (foul) &Dit filth. We find not only 
typan,-}mt two other forma, gip and sup, both of which 
we keep. The old y waq most likely pronounced like 
the present French u, the sound stUI often heard in 
Devonshire. In the Chromcle of 1049, the Flemish 
town we call Bruges is written Bryege. Alfred has glii^ 
(onr glee) iat the more nsnal ghow, and here we have 
followed him. We sometimes express two difierent 
ideas by varying the sonnd, not the spelling, of a word ; 
tkos a man throws a atone, and weighs not more than 
so many altme (ettin). 

' In OUT New Teat&ment ttrawed itill staodi for what ia oiostlj 
vrittan ttrtmd ; this we owe to T^dal«. 

30 Old and Middle English. 

Proper nameB, more than anything else, keep the old 
soand of rowels. Thns, the river Owe has not changed in 
soond, thtnigh onr fatiiers wrote it as U»b ; it has never 
been sounded like the present Qerman ou. Go-wper shows 
how the old ovs, the French (m, was pronounced. Aldgaie 
reminds us that old was the old soand of what ia now 
called old; Birmingham brings before ub the ham or 
home of the Birmings ; and Stavion, in many parts of 
the conntiy, bears witness that our stone was once every- 
where written ttdn. In Yorkshire, where a first began 
to be sounded like the French i, Stanton is now written 
Btainion. Langport, in Somerset, still keeps the old 
sound in its first syllable, though in common speech long 
became long seven hundred years ago in the Sonth. 
The Scotch, surnames, U'Lean and Grteme* keep alive 
the old sound of ea and m ; Baird remains to show how 
heard (barba) was once pronounced. The tme sound of 
the old ceasler lives in the East Anglian Gaistor. 

There are two marked tendencies in English, shared 
by some of the other Teutonic dialects, which should be 

The first is, a liking to cast out the letter n, if it 
comes before th, «, or/. We see by the Qerman and 
Norse that our other was onca anther or ontlier ; much in 
the same way tonth, finf, gons, became /o5, fif, gSs, 
lengthening the vowel before n. 

The second of oar pccoliaritiea is, a habit of putting 
d or t after n, I, r, or «, usually to round off the end of a 
word, though it sometimes is inserted in the middle of 
a word. Thus the French iyran becomes tyrant, the 
Gaelic Vonuil becomes Donald ; the Old English betweox 

English in its Earliest Shape. 31 

is now (eftrnf { tiioa/al^ (akm to tbe Greek &iid Latm 
form) is comipted iaiafailest ; bat the true old fonu of 
this la«t still lingers in Scotland. Those who talk 
about a govmd or of being dravmd&d mBij plead that 
they are only carrying further a corraption that began 
long before the Norman Gonqneet, and that has since 
that event tamed tkwtor into ikitnder, and dunne into 

Many in onr day call a vaup a wa/pee, and axe leave 
instead of atHttg it. Both forma alike are good old 
English ; 'we also find aide by aide fite and fise, heorht 
and bryht, grces ejid gterg, iman and rimuMi, for pieds, 
elarus, gramen, and ourrere. When men say, 'they 
don't care a cnrae ' (the last word ia commonly some- 
thing still stronger), they little tiank that they are 
employing the old Engliah cene, best known to as as 

The interchange of lettera in English ia most curious. 
We may atill say either blench or Jlinch, either bliish or 
fiuih. The frith {pax), atill kept in the Prithatool at 
Beverley, might be also written grith. Of old we might 
write either chirk or ckirp, wealean, wealtian, or wealwian 
(all answering to volvere), brekil or britel, feccian or 
fMian, ttiS or stif, ufeweardan or upweard, slippery or 
ilidd^. The g has long had a tendency to slide into w, 
as we see by the Sanscrit gharma and the English warm ; 
in onr oldest works we find both ttregdan and strewian 
for tpargere, icegtm and sawon for viderunt. Often does 
the Gothic g appear as tc in English. Oar slap must be 
looked for in the old slcege. The interchange of » and r 
dates &om the earliest times, as in the Latin honoa and 

32 Old and Middle English. 

honm- ; hence came onr J una, we were ; frozen^ froren ; 
lots, lorn, Most of OB who have had to do with masonB 
know the meamng of toa/mped work : this nnlnck}' verb 
may come from ecatit, with two changes of oonsonants 
that are pretty common. 

The interchfo^e of vowels was frequent. We maj 
still translate fagere by either fiy or flee, following the 
oldest nsage ; onr week was formerly both wice and vrueo. 
This acconnte for onr stiTU and siumt, with different 
shades of meaning ; amitan (pollnere) has dropped, bat 
etnitt remains. In oar present verb for mentiri, we have 
taken onr pattern from tiie Second Person, }>u h/hit, 
rather than from the First Person, ic leoge. The old 
toajtwn and seeapim (finf^re) ran side by dde. It is a 
pity that we have lost our accents: we can now no 
longer distingnish between metan (metiri) and mSlan 
(oconrrere). We often see oar rowels donbled, to mark 
a difference; thoa god (bonos) became good, that it 
might not be oonfonnded with oar word for Dans; 
goodly and godly have different shades of meaning. It 
is the sam.e with tool and toU, cook and eoek, and many 
others. Kong Alfred led the way, in doubling Uie 
letter o.' 

We still keep the old hlendam. (miscere), but we have 
changed hhndian (excfficare) into hlivd, thinking it 
was too like the former verb. WriUh stood of old for 
both ira and iracundna ; we now mark the adjective by 
snbstitnting o for a; this is an improvement. 01& 
stood for onr eUdh and onr dothet alike. 

' A alight Towel chsuga makeB & gnat differeoee in the gaUiUtjf 
of proper oanM ; sea Blount and Blititt, Sna/lhi uid Bniih.; 

English in its Earliest Shape. 33 

We baTe had a 8or» loss, since Spenser's day, in parting 
with the e so often sounded at the end of nords. This 
began very early, for we find wut^ (dignas) written as 
well as wttrfe. 

The ohangee in prononncing and spelling are all 
bronght aboat by laziness in tbe speakers; hence It 
came that even in tbe year 803 onr English tongne was 
veiy &r gone from old Aryan pnrity. In a Worcester 
Cbarter of that year (Kemble, I. 222), wulde (onr vimild) 
replaces wolde ; mtmn and hnde are written for man and 
land. Ninety years later. King Al&ed, nnlike the 
Qermans, shows a distaste for the bard g in the middle 
of a word ; he writes r^ (rain), ienode, getad (said), 
nnderled, instead of the right regn, iiegnode, getmgd, 
undwJcegd. The English led of the last word is cut 
very short, when we compare it with tbe Gothic galagxd. 
He aometimes sofliens g at the beginning of a word, 
writing ionga (yonng), not geonga ; just as yera (annns) 
in Gothic answered to tbe English gear. The ge of the 
Past Participle is by bim often clipped, as drifen for 
gedrifen} He casts both the ii and d out of tbe old 
mdUfta (eleventh), writing kundcelU/Hogoian (Pastoral 
Care^ 465). At p^e 307, we see the old sende tnmed L- 
into onr sent (misit), and at page 1?0, iegyrde becomes 
be^yrd, onr begirt. Tbe n, in which always of old the 
Wessex Infinitive ended, is beginning to be lost- Instead 
of the old heoH ge, the slovenly beo ge (be ye) is coming 

' The gt ia replBced by i, pieflxed to pBrticipIw, so early as Ibo 
l«nih ccDtory. See Mr. 3*Mt'» not«, Patlorat Can, *8fl. The co in- 
moD torm nolhini: ahowH how hard the g miut have been soud dcd 
It tbe end of a vard. 

34 Old and Middle English. 

in ; it prerailed in most of the mannacnptB of the next 
age. The o at the end of the Yerh, as in ic hiddo, was 
now about to disappear in the Sonth. 

In the year 991 (Kemble'a CharterB, HI. 256), AwWe 
is corrcpted into fceAie (habnit). In 995 (HI. 295), 
6eie«i (optimos) is changed for the Danigh hett, in a 
will ; hnt the % never became very common in onr Teu- 
tonic words. We have preferred seol (phoca) to teoXh ; 
thongh the Laird of Monkbams, even bo lat« as 1800, 
called it sealgh. The h was pronounced as a strong 
guttnral, for j^tfeah became the Latin Elphegns. 

The letter r must have been socnded strong, as the 
Scotch and Irish pronounce it now ; hor&n was written 
for bom (natns) even down to the Reformation ; onr 
laziness has mauled the fine old sound. The letter n 
was often added to roots in English verbs ; thos we have 
both to slaiie and to slacken, heark and heaTJcen, liel 
and luten, viake and wt^cen ; we blaei boots, bnt we 
hlacken a good name. So in Icelandic we find both 
blika and blikna. Sometimes I is employed instead of 
n ; thus in Old English both nistian and nettlian were 
used, each derived from nest, and each having a different 
shade of meaning. 

There is a tendency in th, the English sound that 
answers to the Sanscrit and Latin (, to slide into d ; and 
this must have begun very early. In Gothic, both viha,} 
and whad are found for whither. In English, we see not 
only cwiSe, but ewide (dictnm). There is now a 
difference between thrtUmg the soul of a man and 
drilling a hole in his body. The tte^ which must have 
been our oldest form of the latin laMir, has given way 

English in its Earliest SJiape. 35 

to emi. Since the Conqnest, rofAer has become rvMer^ 
'h^'ffien hwAen, and wMriksi murder. As to cjccBpan, we 
bare kept nearer to the right spelling in bequeath than 
in quoih. We talk of a settle ; bnt in Hardwick'e Saxoa 
Gospels (St. Matt. xsv. 31) sell, aeikl, and sedle are 
employed by three different writers between 950 and 
1000, when EngliBhing. 

Christianity enriched onr tongne with many new 
foreign words, as we Bee from one short sentence in a 
Ch&rter of S31,CBg}iunlcdiaconarede two pastiotte(S.eni\)lo, 
I. 292). King Alfred ahowa ns in his Pastoral Care 
bow etaij letters and words that came through thti Latin 
began to work a change in English. We there find not 
only Sadmrias, bnt Zaehariae ; the z and ch were entire 
strangers to Pagan England: Bede had most likely 
naturalised them long before Alfred's time. We are not 
surprised after this to find the King spelling English 
words like pohcha, ponch, (343); tiohchode (385), and 
hlUhehan, langh (249), thongh in all these the ck must 
have been sounded hard. LazaTog tvas spelt Ladzams, 
showing the Italian way of pronouncing z ; in the Bush- 
worth Gospels (St. Lnkex. 10),inpiateae is Englished by 
implcetga (piazza). Alfred was not particular about his 
Latin cases ; he talks of SurA Fauhi^ (306), he has the 
Genitive Sancte Paules (290), also of Jeremie (441). 
So Sadude and ia Farisseos (363)— this last word, here 
Dsed as a N ominatiTe, would remind an Englishman of his 
national Flaral ending in a*. One of the first instances 
of the V, which has driven oat / from the middle of 
Qany an English word, is found in Alfred's phrase 
on lAvano, in Lebanon. His spelling seems something 

36 Old and Middle Engtisk. ' 

Imm ont of due time ; he is a forestoUer, as it were, 
of oar modem ways, for we have followed him. rather 
tlian later writers of the Tenth Centniy, eapeciaDjr in 
spelling hogh (ramns), not boh (Pastoral, 81) ; bvrg, 
not hurk (hence the Borgo at Bome) ; and in words 
like friend and _fiend, which rather later were written 
fretmd and feond. The old form was Incldlj kept in 
Kent and Essex. He has also onr common att m 
nauht and auhl, he/on for heof/m, apla for cep^el, aidan 
for azian. The new ov was in the end, as a general 
form, to supplant u, and Alfred writes nowSer. He ia 
fond of donhlisg o, jast as we hBTe done since Chancer's 
time : the King writes foot, doo, good. In Pages 28 
and 103 he pats gecwwon (knew) and streteede 
(strewed) where later writers wonld have written 
geoneowoK and etreowode ; ed very early replaced od. Ha 
conples c and Ic, the Sonthera and Northern letters, in 
fetfl (P. 329) : this was not mnch imitated until 1180. 
He often pnts fc for e, and it for w, like the Northnm- 
brians. He writes oregeard, onr orchard, in Page 381 ; 
showing the close alliance there is between c and t, for 
the word was nsnally ortgeard.' In Page 171 we see 
rcedinge and lewTVange ; the old ung at the end of a word 
was making way for ing, the new form for Verbal 
Nonns. Ete is not very fond of the diphthongs, in which 
Southern England rejoiced down to 1205 ; he pnts let 
for leet, and he writes Atew (color. Page 133), showing 
ns that we hare not changed onr pronanciatioo of this 
word for the last thoosand years ; if we were to pro- 
nonnce it as we spell it now, we should say Jtoo-y. Onr 
■ See |Mg» 8S of 107 Book. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 37 

tm& is more like Alfred's ima (Pastoral, 242) than it is 
to the laore oommon ireotoe (coafidence). We know how 
many in oiir day soniid n^tov as if it was thmm ; bnt we 
have in general &ithfally kept the ew sonnd, unless 
when it follows I or r, as ftfew and rew, me. 

In writers a little later than Alfred, but living before 
the ]Cf orman Conquest, we find imfie for India, /uZiu«es 
for the genitive of Julius, and Theodor for Theodorna, 
(Thorpe's ' Analecta,' 43-51). The second example fore- 
shadows onr eriisisM and eroctues. So early as the time 
of the Rnshworth Gospels (St. John xix. 5) purple ^vaa 
written instead of the Sonthem purpvr. The Lfttin 
auUUa is translated in the Gospels of 1000 by ceastra, 
the crumbling cagtert or ehestera still left in onr land to 
bear witness bow Rome of yore laid her iron grip upon 
Britain.' Sometimes in the Gospels the Latin ctistellum, 
meaning a village, is Englished by eaatd, a word 
which fifty years later, when French ideas first began 
to take root in onr land, was to be applied usually to 
a fortress. We of 1877 are sometimes more Tentonio 
than onr fathers; thns we say cup, not talic, in the 

Latin was the official language of religion in Western 
Christendom ; it early gained a footing among foreign 
nations. We can gness how it was pronounced down 
to about the year 400, when we see 3akerdo» imitated by 
the Irish toggarih, and lukerna by the Gothic liikam. 
The Latin sound e was rendered by the Gothic at, as 

38 Old and Middle English. 

taitrarkes. The infiaence of Latin Boon made itself felt 
in England. Time waa oompoted by Kalends, Nonea, and 
Ides. The Cbarchmen broaght scores of Latin words 
into TOgue, which have kept their ground for the last 
twelve huDdred years. Weevenforraed new English verbs 
&om the liatin : thus hecJytan, onr enclote, must have 
sprang in early days from the noon clysitig, which itself 
came from the foreign elav^ia, elwuetrum. One of the 
atrangest compoands of Latin and English is the word 
tol-iece, the flower that seela the «un ; noontide is some- 
thing of the same kind. English sometimes throws 
light upon old Latin pronunciation. Thas, in the great 
Boman colonies of the Bhine land, the name of the hnge 
earth-shaking beast mnst have been sounded elep-has ; 
and this onr forefathers called yip, which lasted down to 
1230. When we see the Latin pavo Englished as pawa, 
we get a hint as to the way the Latin v was prononnced, 
at least in some provinces ; the sonnd afterwards 
changed on the Continent, for fers and gerJU, not loert and 
lerwis, was written by Englishmen before the Norman 
Conqnest for versus and gervitium. Grimm's Law tells 
US plainly that words like temper and/temne, found in 
early English writings, were borrowed irom the Latin, 
and that they have not always been in English nse. 

We have already seen the careful heed which the 
English bestowed npon the cases of their nouns, the in- 
flections which they had brought from the Oxus. King 
AJ&efl first shows ns how these began to be corrupted in 
the South ; the um of the Dative Plural, which appears 
in every one of onr old Declensions, seems to have always 
been the first inflection to he mauled. In the Pastoral 

English in its Earliest Shape. 39 

Care, 347, we find Willi 8iBi7ij;8o«; tw 8wm micion «torm«m, 
59 ; and many more snch instancea could be given. The 
process went on in tlie GoBpels of a century later, and 
the utn was all bat gone hj the year 1200. 

Our ruieeUneat is very old, for it is found as awetmete. 
But aometimes two Sabstantivea are yoked together, as 
wadu-hufaig, wood-honey; here the first aubatantive has 
the force of an adjective; it is a peculiarly English 
idiom. Our country home is sorely much lees cnmbroas 
than the French mauon de eatnpagne. The old phrase 
' a Parliament man * is better than ' a member of the 
Legislature.' Sometimes one of these old eipressions 
seems to be wholly gone, and then is revived in very 
modem times. Thus onr fathers spoke of a wif-freond ; 
this has come to life again in oar ' lady-friend.' ' In St. 
Luke zi. 12, we read ecorpioTiem, fat ie dn vryrm oynti. 
Here once more two substantives are coupled ; we sboald 
now say, *a kind of worm.' The old carl'call has now 
become to7n-cat '■ this change cannot well have taken 
place until after the death of St. Thomua of the English. 
We should carry on the process of conpling noune as 
mnch as possible, if we wish to enrich oar tongue, and 
oar Poets sboald here take the lead. No laogaago bat 
English would now use bo concise apd handy a phrase 
as ' The ComzoouB Enclosure Consolidation Act.' * A 
Substantive was sometimes dropped to save breath; as in 
a sentence from the Chronicle of 982, jS'pelmwre* lie U^ 

' I haVB heard lady-dog in the moutlu of nice people ever aince 
1843. Loid Koinei used to emplc^ a fftr plainer word, u Scott 

' S«B EarU'* W»it%y, p. *71. 

40 Old and Middle English. 

(here), and Eadwinei (there); He should have been 
repeated after the second proper name. Matzner (III. 
225) quotes tc wcbs on iHle ^tmm, Jti* wu/rde on mimim ; 
here the SHU is not repeated. 

I have already remarked npon EngliBh terseness. 
This is seen in the phrase Oode Sonc, 'thanks (be 
to) God,' which comes like a parenthesis in the middle 
<^ a sentence in the Pastoral, p. 26. Again, in .^Ifric's 
Homilies (Sweet's ' Anglo-SEUon Beader,' p. 8S), we find 
ee apoitol vxei nigon geara \ here old has been dropped. 

In p. 57 of the same book we read for Qodat lufan ; 
here we shonld now say, 'for love to God.' Hence 
comes 'the Eing's trtutor,' and many snch phrases, 
which lasted long. 

In this work I find it very convenient to talk, like 
the Greeks, of the Old and the Hew. In former days an 
Adjective was often nsed as a Substantive, as we ieldran 
(Pastoral, 5), our elders, forefathers; hence we say, 
'yonr betters,' 'your superioi-s.' Thns the Snbatantive 
goodg was formed from the Adjective, as in Latin. ' There 
is not his liJcB ' is bnt the old hU gelica nis (Thorpe's 
'Analecta,' 34). Our on ffte loose is foreshadowed by on Jiom 
iJr^^ean(St. Lnkexxiii. 31). In the Pastoral, p. 399, Lot 
says, her it an lytele burg . . . heo U an hjtel ; in onr days, 
we shonld add one to the last word. In p. 385 comes Cu 
gioTiga, thou young un ; this wi or one did not take the 
place of the final a until 1290. In this way the old 
bedrida became bedridden. Our well-known ' easy does 
it ' is a curious substitution of an Adjective for a Sub- 
stantive. The deep might stand for the Latin mare, as 
it does in our time. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 41 

We know oar poetic constraction of Adjectives, as Been 
in Mr. TennyBon's 'a grey old wolf and a lean.' Some- 
thing like this, though not exactly the same, may be 
seen in St. Lnke xxiii. 50, where Joseph is described aa 
^&Z wer omd. rihiwit. 

We sometimes see an English Adjective clipped in a 
way that the I^tin would not bear. In the Chronicle 
of the year 980, norS scipherige is put for ' the northern 

N'ow and then a word componuded of an Adjective 
and a Substantive ia nsed as an Adjective, as barefoot; 
barehead lasted down to the Fifteenth Century. We 
might say of old both dn-eilge and dn-iged, ouceyed. 
We often componnd a Substantive with an Adjective, as 
the old hlodread, 'blood-red.' 

Oar good, as we know, is sometimes used in a sense 
differing from inrttioug. We might justify, from the 
Saxon Chronicle, oar phrases ' a good while ^o ' and 
'a good deal of work,' liko Horace's bona pars homi- 

Onr poets keep alive Old English epithets, dating 
from the earliest times ; thus we find in Kemble's 
Charters, IV, 292, red gold mentioned. 

One of onr heaviest losses is the almost total disase of 
the «n, so oft«n prefixed to Adjectives, as in uii-good, un- 
mighty, and many others. It was also prefixed to Sub- 
stantives as wirJmight, and I rejoice to see that such 
words as unjcitdom are once more comieg to life in onr 
laud. We also talk of wi'ckurchitig, just as fiomet 
wrot« of un^hrining and un-sainting. The Gothic 
oppoeea unkabandt (he that hath not) to habands. The 

42 Old and Middle English. 

freer play that ia given to this good old Teatonio prefix, 
the better will it be for our tongae. It is a sbame to use 
■aom, as a prefix where un will do ; this is as bad as s\A- 
letting insead of widerleUing. The old prefix wan, Bome- 
thing like u», now lives only in waiifton. 

Of all onr parts of speech the Terb is the most pre- 
cious, for in its varied forms we find most traces of hoary 
Aryan eld. Wekeepmany old verbal idioms with butlittle 
change, snch as ' I am seeking,' ' I am come,' ' they are 
gone,' 'he thought toslay,' 'seektocome,' 'enonghtoeat,' 
' worthy to bear,' ' this honse to let,' ' fiiir to see,' ' I do 
yon to wit,' 'he ia going to read,' he gcB^ rwdan. The 
Gerund was mnch used, as, t'c to drincetine hmbbe, ' I have 
to drink,' like Cicero's haheo dicere ; wcernn to farenne, 
'they were to go.' JfceZts me to fer an, ia like the Gothic 
mel du bairan (St. Lnke i. 57). Onr curious idiom of 
■ Participles, 'be ceased commanding,' ' they dreaded ask. 
ing,' ia fonnd in Old English, as, geendude bebeodende, 
ondrSdon daigende. So also, ' I heard him speaking,' 
' I saw it bnmfc.' Se hcefde hine geworUne, ' he bad him 
wrought,' common enough with us, is not often found 
in Greek or Latin. The Present Participle is often used 
as a Substantive, as ' the living and the dying.' It baa 
always been aUowed to prefix vn, as ' the unbelieving,' 
' the unbecoming.' The Past Participle was used in the 
same way, as, se aiuyrgda (the accursed). 

The Future was expressed by shall and wiU, but 
oftener by the Present ; we still say, ' ajiother word, and 
I go.' Jc mot, )>w most, expressed permiasion, and wafl 
very seldom used in our sense o{must, expressing need; 
Ucet, not oporfet, was the idea. The Second Person of the 

English in its Earliest Shape. 43 

Present BometiiiieB replaced tiie ImperatiTe, as, nz dagae 
yv unrest, in the Fonrtli Comntandment. We Rometimes 
nse the Fntnre as a mild ImperatiTe ; you viU go there ; 
here wiU keeps one of its old senses, (oportet). If 
an idea has to be presented both in the Present and 
Fntnre tens^ the Verb often standB in the Present, and 
is followed by vnll without an infinitive. This is tme 
English conciaeneBS. Matzner qnotes from Exodns : 
)»w fole unay and ivrdSor wyle, ' this folk waxeth and will 
(wax) Airther.' On the other hand, the ekaU is some- 
times dropped before a second infinitive; Cadmon's 
Satan monms 8(ci Adam sceal we«(m on wynne and we 

The should is employed in a most cnrions old idiom, 
to he fonnd in King Alfred's tale aboat Orpheus ; ' they 
said that the harper's wife sceolde aevrelan ; ' we simply 
say ' that the wife died.' Hence comes oar phrase ; 
' who should come np bat Thomas,' that is ' who came 
up.' The should Js farther need inetead of shaU ; onr 
fathers translated the Latin debeo by sceal ; bnt King 
Alfred shows ns the idiom that we still keep, ta reaferas 
feSeneeaS, . . . . ae hi seeoldon. gehieran, &c, (Pastoral 
Care, 343). The seeoldon. in this passage clearly stands 
for debenl, not for delnterant. The old meaning of shall 
is kept in the bidding prayer before University sermons; 
* ye shall pray for all mankind,' &c. ; so too, ' Thou shalt 
not steal.' The confusion between ehcdl and wHl is 
very old. In St. John vii. 35, the Gothic has, ' whadre sa 
ihUigaggan?' the English has, 'Awyifer Miyte tSe»/ora»i" 
(whither will this man goP) the Greek word here is 

44 Old and Middle English. 

There is a curions idiom of will, BtUl often heard in 
the North, &n idiom which maj' be foand in the Pastoral 
Care, 451 ; fcwai totfe 8ib( nw 6eon iceorca T what work 
mu<< this be F Matsner qnot«s other sentences of this 
kind from the Bjathins ; it is to be remarked that these 
are all questions. I heard an old woman say at the Leeds 
Exhibition, as she stood before a portrait : ' That will be 
Shakespeare, a'm thinking.' 

Since the Norman Conqnest, the bare Fntnre baa 
always been expressed, at least in Soathem England, by I 
tliall, thou wilt, he icill ; a most carions uiomaly, by which 
the Scotch, Irish, Welsh, and some of the American 
States, are tboronghly puzzled. Everyone knows the 
&mons ' I will be drowned, and no man shall save me.' 
Even Thackeray, after travelling in Ireland, confosed the 
two verbs, as may be seen in hia ' Irish Sketch-book.' J 
wHi should never be nsed unless earnest intention or a 
promise is to be expressed ; thou shalt, he shall, should 
never be used unless fate, duty, or command, is to be ex- 
pressed; sfiaHanswersfairlywell tom?wi, as we now use 
the latter. As regards the bare Future, perhaps the reason 
for the aforesaid anomaly is, that a m&n has complete 
control over himself, and therefore employs the grave 
and weighty I shall ; he has no such absolute control 
over others, as a general rule, and therefore employs the 
lighter tkou unit, he will} 

' HerodotnB, &a is -well known, aometimes uses ei\it, like onr 
mil, to eipresa the bare Future. We say ' I will gladly do it,' bat 
on rb« oUier hand, ' 1 Bball like to do it ;' in the lost instance it is 
felt that the will, ezpreasing earceat nieumnce, would be a pleonasm 
if nsed with the verb li^. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 45 

Let SB hope ihat we shall always cleave to the ancient 
SnbjimotiTe fonn, ' as it were,' instead of ' aa it might 
be.' The old Imperative wmt (esto) is nowhere tonnd 
now, except in watsail (wcea b&l). 

We have seen how iiBefiil the verb do has alwa^ 
been in framing onr English speech. A phrase like ke 
doth vntkiland (not he viithstandi) seems modem ; but 
it is fonnd in King Alfred's writings. Onr emphatic do 
was sometimes prefixed to the Imperative. Christ said 
to the wemui taken in adnltery, 'Do g&, and ne sjnga 
Jifl ctb&e m4' (St. John viii. 11). Bo wit thou turn was 
expressed of old as nedop4, pcet pH oneyrre. The verb 
do waa also employed, both transitively and otherwise, 
to save the repetition of a former verb ; Alfred speaks of 
planting an assembly, mia te ceorl de^ his ortgeard 
(Pastoral, 293), ' aa the churl doth bis orchard.' 

We see an attempt to supply the want of a Middle 
Voice in snch phrases as he hepohte hine, ' he bethought 
him,' and the later ' I fear me.' ' It rained fire,' is a 
true Old English phrase. We have some Impersonal 
Verba left, and one that is very precious, since no it 
comes before the Verb in qnestion. This is me thinks 
(mihi videtnr), which has nothing to do with think 
(pntare). We shonld not confound the two, if the second 
were written in the right way, tk^ik. The Germans, 
wiser than the English, have kept the two verbs distinct. 
We sometimes see the prononn thou cast off after the 
Verb, especially in a qnestion, Matzner qnotea Eart mt 
tjdfara ? Hence comes the later dost hear ? what sayst T 
The disgosting vihat toy ? one of our latest itnprove- 
inentn, seems to belong here. 

46 Old and Middle English. 

The Nommative ia dropped before tbe Terb, in sen- 
tenoes like do what I can, go where we will. This ie Been, 
in the old hyege »wd he wille. 

We speak of a horse Bometimes aa gone lame. In 
St. John IT. 6, WB Bee lie wceg weng gegdn ; the verb of 
motion having taken the sense of Jieri; nther later, 
become was to take the aame meaning. 

The Infinitive of verbs of motion is often dropped 
after thall or tnust. Ic him (sfUr geeal (I shall after him) 
Ib an old idiom. 

We see oar common Infinitive, irith thould pre- 
fixed, very early encroaching npon the rightful Satiijtinc- 
tive. In the Faetoral, p. 381, comes 'hear what is 
written that the bridegroom scolde sprecan.' These last 
two verbs were nsnally expressed b; one word, like the 
Latin loqveretur. This iceolde with the Infinitive very 
often followed that in a dependent sentence. Now and 
then we find tnaij, viight, osed with the Infinitive, where 
tlie Snbjnnctive is most nsnal. 

We hare always naed I woidd for the Optative, like 
the Latin vellem. Matzner qnotea from Boethins ic 
wolde pat he tceamode. 

The i/ could always be got rid of in English, and a 
shorter construction might be nsed ; as, ahte ic geweald, 
fonne ie werode ; here the first olanse wonld be in latin, 
»i potealatem. kaberem. 

The Snbjnnctive nanatly, bnt now and then the In- 
dicative, followed that, ere, tJumgh, when, and if. 

The Latin nisi was sometimes Englished by nwre feet 
(were it not that), followed by the Snbjnnctive. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 47 

IntraDBitiTe Verba sometimes took an AconsatiTe of 
the same Bt«m ; live a life, fight a fight, deem a doom. 
Lord Derby imitated this very early idiom in his reraion 
of the Iliad ; ' knee me no knees.' 

We BometuneB find two Infinitives coupled together, 
as, 'Let her go hang.' This dates from the earlieat 
times; in the Beowulf is found, we m$ton gangati .... 
Hr^igdr geseon. The phrases ' I heard say,' ' he let them 
epeak,' &o., are equally old. Bnt where the Gothioand 
Latin have the AccaBalive with the Infinitive, English 
commonly pat that with a dependent sentence ; as, ' hit 
betere wcere fast an viati tumlU.' 

The English sometimes put a Past Participle where 
the Gothic set an Infinitive ; as in St. Lnke iv. 23, we 
gehprdctn gedSne. 

The Dative Fast Participle Absolute is f onad early, as 
gefyJledum dagum, ' the days having been folfilled.' We 
still say tkit done (hoc facto). 

Now and then we find a Verbal idiom which is very 
old, though it seems modem. Thus in the Pastoral 
Care, p. S93, Solomon, when he began to sacrifice to 
idols, /ciri^^e hine selfne, ' foi^t himself.' The Latin mwte 
ajgicieiit (St. Matt. z. 21) is translated by a sound old 
English idiom, to tlea^e fordop (do to death). One 
curious fact about English is, that many idioms found in 
the oldest books disappear for hondreds of years, and 
then crop np again. Such a phrase as ' he doth with- 
stand ' seems to be dropped after the Norman Gonqnest, 
bnt comes np again fresh as ever two hundred years 
later. It is the stune with words. The old teorian 
(deficere) disappeared for many centuries; it is not 

48 Old and Middle English. 

fonnd in the Bible of Tyndale'a time except in the French 
sense ot adorn, bnt aboat 1590 it crops up in the shape 
ot tire (to weary), and is seen in Shateepeare. What in 
the English of 1000 was nd geleorige (St. Lobe zviii, 1) 
is in Tyndole not to be wery. So frieian (aaltare) seems 
to be the parent of oar modem freak. 

In onr days, we pat ' to speak shortly ' in the middle 
of a sentence ; this is an abridged form of onr fathers' 
hra^it it to oto^Sen/ne, which comes in a catalogne of sins 
in p. 110 (Sweet's ' Reader '). 

We now come to ProDonns. Sometimes he is need, 
as well as a aabstantive, to govern a verb. Thus in 
St. Matt, zxvii. Id he tmt Sa Pilatttg ; we now often hear 
Bay 'he sat then, did Pilate.' The idiom in 'thy rod 
and thy ataff they comfort me' dates from the oldest 
times. The Ait in English may stand for any masculine 
or feminine object, or for an indefinite snlrject. Thns 
in St. Mark x. 47, hit wees se Sdlend replaces the older 
Gothic legiu igt. In St. John zviii. 5 I'c hit eom stands 
for the Qothic ik im, 1 am he. This it often goes before an 
Infinitive, as 'it is good to pradse,' or before a conceBBive 
sentence, as 'if m no wOTtder if I fear.' In St, Matt, 
xxvii. 6, nil hyt nd dl^fed is snbatitnted for the Go- 
thic ni ehuld ist, ' it is not allowed ; ' bnt sometimes we 
omit it, as in ' dydon miia hehoden wees,' ' acted as was 
ordered.' In the Pastoral, 381, we see the first glimpse 
of onr emphatic ' it was then that he did it,' Hest &iS 
iowne Scet www gehtere, Sonne, &c. Sometimes, as we have 
jnst seen, licet replaces hit, and may be followed by a 
Plnral, as in the Pastoral, 409, Sici eindan Ca tSa 8e iw 
6eoS hetmitene, ' these are tbey tbat be not defiled ; ' feet 
vKBs god eyning, like onr 'that is a good fellow.' 

English in its Earliest Shape. 49 

Indefinite agency was ezpreBsed of old as mnoli as 
DOW ; as )/onne Kig wyrvA eou>, ' when tliej revile yon.' 

Personal Prononns are sometimes reflextTes, aa I lay 
tne down ; tittaHeow (Pastoral, 385). Tliey are sometimes 
even added to an intransitdve Terb, ita gdie on tibbe, ' go 
in peace ' (St. Uark t. 34), where Uto Gotluo has gagg, 
with no Prononn. Hence comes oar ' get you gone,' and 
such like. Phrases like I ihame me, I repent me, are firat 
seen in texts like ondrSd he him (St. John zix. 8). 
English is nnlncldly without the reflexivfl Gothic nk, 
the I^tin se. 

The strange Dative reflexive has always been used, 
as Filatiu hym tylf durrdt. Indeed, there are old 
instanoes of this Dative Prononn being employed as 
a Nominative by itself. The »ylf sometimes stands as a 
Sobetantive ; for Matzner quotes ' hafdon gemeald heora 
dgenet tyl/ei,' ' had power over their own person.' When 
we look back upon the aforesaid Dative reflexive, we see 
that the Irish are right in saying metelf, not mojaelf; the 
former is the old Dative me tylf, broaght to Erin by 
Strongbow's men-«t-arms. In St. Mark ix. 2, tylfe 
stands for the Gothic aiwmt ; Usdde hi lylfe on mMdron, 
' he led them by themselveH apart.' 

Before entering on the next subject, it is impossible 
to refrain from pointing oat how mnch bad grammar 
would now be avoided had we English anything answer- 
ing to the Latin distinction between sum* and iUiua, 
•e and Ulaim. 

The Possessive Pronoun is often used withont any 
substantive, ss eaU ISeette hit ne tie, 'all that is not his,' 
(Pastoral, 333). It is sometimes tacked on to » Sub- 

50 Old and Middle English. 

stoiitiTe, for Matxner quotes, £nac his eynr^n (Anak's 
Idn), Namben xiii. 2d. 

We still use the Definite Article to express high 
respect, as The Macnab, The Dvke, The Ohronide, The 
Gkarter. In the Pastoral, 301, we find ge vre Alietend, 
' our great Bedeemer,' ' that Bedeemer of onra.' What 
the Romans called Geesar was known to the English as 
te Cater. 

The Definite Article is coupled with Participles, jost 
as it is with Adjectives ; as the chosen of the Almighty, 
On the other hand, the Article is now omitted, just as it 
was omitted before the Norman Conqaest, in phrases 
like send word, on earth, in hed, at heart, in ha,nd. If wo 
read of Sinai munt and Serode eyning, we are not 
astonished at our now using London toum. King Serod, 
Twelfth Night. 

The seo, which nsnally^ stands for the Feminine Defi- 
nite Article, sometimes stands by itself, like heo. Hence 
comes onr the. In the Gothic version of St. Mark vi. 24, m 
^a|>is nsed where we should now say quoth she. Andswarude 
(eAim(St.Matt.xxi. 30); here se translates the Latin iUe. 

The Dative Singular Feminine, )x^e, has still all the 
force of ista in the mouths of the vnigar, as in that thert 
woman ; hut they apply it to all genders. In St. Matt. x. 
23, we see on pysse hyrig . . . and on ptere. 

The them, representing the I«tin illie, thongh found 
in Oothic (St. Mark iz. 16), did not make much way in 
England until about 1200. We find, however, aktefen 
mi tSotm (Pastoral, p. 371). 

8e, teo, |xBf, are old Demonstrative Frononns, 
which have been used later as Definite Articles. In 

English in its Earliest Shape. 51 

St. Lake x. 28 we find the Gothic \at(s, tawei, where 
Tfndale has this do. In the Pastoral, 48, we see an 
idiom still well known to as : iosl Kce* Hieremiae, ' that 
was Jeremiah.' In St. Lake i. 39, the Latin in illis 
diehut is translated by the Gothic t» )iatm dagavi, and by 
the English on Ham dagami oar lower classes in the 
Sonth (aa also the Irish) still hold to the right old way 
and aay, ' in them days.' Oar cormpt those came from 
Torkshire, and was never heard of in written English 
nntil 1250. 

There was a Gothic jains for iste, and we find its 
kindred English form in Alfred's Pastoral, 443, gong to 
^eonre byrg, 'go to yonder bni^h.' This word did not 
become common in English until 300 years after Alfred's 
day. In the Rashworth Gospels illue is translated by 
geotid (St, Matt. xsvi. 36), our yonder. 

The old JSylro or 9ilc is nsed where the Gothic swaleU, 
tveh, came; as in St. Luke iz. 9, httml is Ke«, he Sam ic 
aie geh'^e? The aforesaid thilk afterwards became a De- 
monstratiTe, and has been naed in the sense of itte in the 
Sonth and West ever since 1220. This seems to hare 
been foreshadowed so early as 890 ; ^llic is opposed 
to 4Su in the Pastoral, 315, where Alfred is translating 
Isaiah Iviii. 5, 6 : 'I have not chosen that fast, bat 
this last.' In the Liudis&me Gospels, fifty years later 
than Alfred's time, eos is translated by 6ai7co (St. Matt, 
xirii. 10). 

One old English nse of the Pronoan shonld be 
specially marked, since some mistakes have been made 
abont it in onr day. In tlieir midst is a thoronghly good 

52 Old and Middle English, 

idiom, for in medio earum (St. Matt, xviii. 2) is Englished 
by an hyra midlen,^ 

The well-known Latin phrase quo plus . . . eo plus^ 
becomes in English hilS )>j/ heardra, ]>e stoipor bedtab, 'it 
becomes the harder, tJie stronger they beat.' This is, in 
onr day, the one sole case in which the is not a Definite 
Article, but a Demonstrative. Matzner quotes from 
Cadmon the sentence few snottor wem^ ]>cet, ^c, and we 
still sometimes hear the poor say, * he was tliat clever, 
that,' &c.; eo sapienticB ventum est. Self follows the 
Definite Article, as we now nse 8a/ine\ don ^Scst selfe 
(Pastoral, 327). We still say ' the self-same.' 

The Neater Interrogative, what, refers sometimes to 
Mascnline and Feminine Substantives, just as that does. 
The terse Gothic whas ist ? (in Latin, quia est ?) becomes 
the expanded English hwmt ys he? (St. John zii. 25) ; 
hwoBt may go before a Plural, as hwcet synd iSa ping ? < what 
are these things ? ' (St. John vi. 9) This wlw,t scHnetames 
takes a Genitive Singular after it, as hwcet niwes ? what 
news ? Most men, I fancy, imagine this news to be a 
Plural. The Instrumental case of hwa&t had two forms, 
hw]^ and M, still known to us as why and hmo. 

The English which (htocL-liCj hwylc) is in truth oui 
form of the kindred Latin qualis^ though now most 
corrupted in its use ; the earliest sense of all l&sted down 
to 1400. King Alfred shows us that in his day the 

> Mr. Hall, in Modem English, p. 48, comes down pretty sharply 
upon earlier blunderers in this matter ; but he does not go higher 
than Wickliffe for his authority. So late as 1792, ' I was delighted 
with your sight * might be written ; we should now say ' the sight of 

English in its Earliest Shape. S3 

aease of qau waa encroaoMng upon that of q«/jlx» ; for 
be writes /iue2e wnndorP where ve pat vihat wonder p 
The like change took place in German some ceotarieB 
later. IiiBt.Lakex.22, Aw^JcisnaedfortheGothicuiAaf, 
where l^dale osee viho. It was veiy eax I7 followed 
fcy a Partitive QeDitive, as we say, 'which of them? 

There was an old gomkinylo (aliqnis) ; in imitatioii of 
this were formed somewhat, tamewhere, and many others, 
in later years. 

There is sometimes a cnrions interlacing of confltmc- 
tiona in oar Bentencea ; aa, ' Whom will ye that I release 
onto you?' This comes down from 'early days. We 
see in St. Lnke zlii. 18, hwam wene ie \cet hit heo gelic it 
The omission of the Relative after a Substantive 
dat«s from before the Conquest. In the Chronicle for 
907, we read her . . . gefor Mlfred, wax on Bayum geri^a. 
Hence our 'the man I saw.' 

There has been a wonderful change since 1100 in the 
English construction of Relatives. These were of old 
commonly expressed by ge, seo, yeet, according to the an> 
tecedent's gender, or by the indeclinable fw. We see in 
St. Matt. ii. 9pdwcBtgefyltedf(etgecwedenvjcBg(iiqaod), 
whence comes our later take that thine it. The Latin 
qui* ett qtn, &c. ? becomes in English hwa ii leteT 

The old indeclinable noa, our cm, had fdso a Relative 
force; the hoary twa hwa twa (quicunqne) means in 
tmth thai man who, tueh man a$. We say ' at to this ' 
{qiwd ad hoc spectat), and the poor still say ' a man ae I 
saw,' We find mile man me, ' auoh man as ' (Kemble's 
Charters, I. 296). The English moa hwcBt twa (quod- 
cnnque) was in Gothic patawhah fei (St. John xv. 7). 

54 Old and Middle English. 

Tbe Indefinite Article dn (the Ootbio ain«, unui), 
might stand before Numerals, as, a hundred, Sn hvTtd 
peiiega (St. Matt, xviii. 28); so also a fevs, ditefedwa 
worda ; here the diie is plural, and means oniy. Oar lower 
orders imitate this idiom and say, ' a many times.' 8wm 
(liAer(alinB) has been replaced by an other. In St. John 
XTi. 16 is foand dn lytel, vhere we now say 'a litUe 

An is sometimes used standing by itself, like the 
Latin mhiu and the Gothic aim, as he sceolde him forgyfan 
t^ne,' he should deliver to tliem one maji' (St, Lnkexxiii. 
17). Horace has cerebrosvs prosQit wms, where the unus 
stands for quidam. In this latter sense may be taken 
cu'ce|> a» hi» Ieomin^-eni^fa(St.Lnkezi. 1). Bnt this free 
nse of on by itself was far more common in the North 
than in the Sontb. In St. Matthew zix. 16, vmus ait is 
translated in all the Northern Gospels by an cuei ; this 
idiom mther jarred on English ears in the Sonth, and is 
there replaced by an mann cwcetS. In St. John xviii. 39, 
the Gothic ainana becomes in Southern English arme 
man. I have been careful to explain this an (one), since 
there is a wrong notion abroad that onr one (^one asked 
him) comes &om the French on ; it is to OldEnglish trans- 
lators of the Latin unus that we should look for an 
explanation of this idiom. New English idioms nearly 
always first appeared in the North. The Gothic in 
ainamma dage is seen with us as drnan dmge, it happened 
mie day (St. Luke v. 17). 

The oldest Latin had no Indefinite Article; una 
aneilla dixit ad ms, a phrase that St. Jerome had no 
objectioD to, smacks more of Manzoni than of Cicero, 

Etiglish in its Earliest Shape. 55 

and marks a wondrous change in tbe speech of educated 
ItaliMiB. Both the Gothic and English employ this 
Inde&nite Article ; in St. Matthew viii. 19, we find ain« 
hokareia and an boeere for what Tyndale afterwards 
called a genbe. One of the most marked tendencies of 
the oldest English, sncb aa the Beownlf or Cadmon's 
Lay, is to leave out the Article. Hence onr many pithy 
phrases like, ' Eaint heart never won fair lady ;' we hare 
here a great advantage over the Germans. The Article 
might even be dropped before an adjective with no sub- 
stantive following, as in St. Mark i. 7 ; etrengra eymp 
after vie ; compare, handeome is that handtome does. 
An -was used where We now say alone ; as in the 
Pastoral, 227, ket dm Cffli gefeoht, ' let alone the fight.' 
Another idiom for this was Itetap hi, ' let tbem alone * 
(St. Hattbew xv. 14). In St. Lnke ix. 38, we find 
tutn dtUiea runu, my only son. We have onr first 
glimpse of a common ezpression of onrs in he hit 
tinhehode eaU to amtm, he ' thought it all one ' (Pastoral, 

Man was used indefinitely, where the Greeks would 
have written tit ; and the loss of this man leaves a sad 
gap in our modem English. Readers of ' David Copper- 
field ' will remember the collegian who nses the phrase 
a man for J; as ' a man is always hnngry here ; ' ' a man 
might make himself very comfortable.' 

Dickens, like Tyndale and Shakespeare, was fbnd of 
another hoary old Teutonic idiom for his Indefinite Pro- 
nouns ; thus, 'he spoke, as leho shouldsay.' Thismay 
be traced back fifteen hundred years ; Ulphilas writes 
Vabm vihag, the Latin H quis (St. Matt. v. 39) ; we now 

56 Old and Middle English. 

commonlj saj * if cmy one* This Indefinite who or 'inan^ 
as I showed before, comes into swa hwd swa^ our whoso. 

We still keep the Nenter of this Indefinite Pronoun 
in our * I tell yon what ; ' in Latin, aliqydd. ' To 
give somewhat,' is in Gk>thic, wha gihcm (St. John 
xiii. 29) ; the somewhat I have just written is as bad as 
writing aUqmd quid. Any relic of old idioms, standing 
quite by itself, pnzzles modem speakers ; hence some insist 
on regarding the aforesaid what as if it mnst answer to 
the dependent quidy and say, ' I tell yon what it is.' There 
is yet another old nse of this word left ; as in whai with 
thisy what with thai. The word sum, onr some, might stand 
for either quidam or aliquis ; we now nsnally confine it 
to the latter sense. In St. Matt. zz. 20, aliquid is 
Englished by sum ying. The phrases ' some ten years,' 
' snch and snch (man),' date from before the Conqnest. 

Few of ns know what is the real constmction in a 
phrase like ' they hate each other.' Here each is the 
Nominative singular, and other the Accasative singular ; 
we see in -ZElfric's CoUoqny (Thorpe's * Analecta^' 113), 
that prosit tmusquisque alteri is translated hjframige 
dnra gehwylc oyron. 

Onr first is a word of cormpt formation ; in the 
Pastoral, 121, we see the old form he wille fyrmest heon, 
the Gothic /rwrnw^. What of old was pd forman two, is 
in onr day the first two, as Cooper writes ; Sheridan 
wrote the two first. In the various versions of the Bible, 
we findjmmtlm translated by <^est ; in -^Ifric's CoUoqny, 
which is rather late, this becomes /yrwe«i; 'seek je first 
the kingdom of Qt>d.' 

In St: Mark vi. 7, we see the distributive form of 

English in its Earliest SItape. 57 

Nnmerals ; ' Bending ont tLe disciples iwSfm. a/nd ttodm,' 
an idiom differing from the Gothic. The Latin secundui 
nu Englished by (Aier ; of this we keep the trace in 
' every other man.' 

The old translation of the Latin alter . . . alter, wae 
fay the ki&dred English oier . . . o^. Bnt in the 
PaBtoral Cu<e, 49, we Bee the b^^inning of a new form ; 
twa hehodiif on is Scet . . . ot!er Scsf. In the Legends of 
the Koly Rood, a further step is made, for the Article is 
preGzed ; forlel pa wnne dcd . . . mid \am oYrmn. dcele. 
In St. Matthew xviiL 12, we hear of the hnndred sheep, 
and of their owner seeking feet &n. feforwearp, the one 
that is lost ; in I^tin, earn qitee. This as yet is a most 
nnosnal idiom, though it is fotmd also in .£l£ric. 

In the same Gospel, ziiL 46, we see a cnrions idiom 
that is still alive ; vita pretiota inargarita is Englished 
by fat dn deorwyrlie meregrot. Here dn represents some- 
thing that stands alone hy iUelf. We may still write 
'the one (solns) supremely able man,' ' the mie perfect 
song.' The ejntheta in these sentenceH seem to be almost 
snperlatives ; Dr. Morris, in his ' English Accidence,' p. 
145, givefi many instances from 1300 to 1600 of one ttie 
(msjrk the transposition) beii^ prefixed to Snperlatives, 
as, one the fairett. Scott, in his ' Life of Napoleon,' 
Dses this idiom so late as 1827. 

Sometimes the Cardinal and Ordinal are combined ; 
aa an aru^hr^t^oSon, 'one and twentieth.' Theconstroc- 
tion of oar half differs from the Latin ; in St. Mark vi. 
23, we find healf min rice, ' half my kingdom ; ' an half 
mmlung (Kemble's Charters, I. 310), wonld now be 
' half a plonghland.' In the Chrotiicle for 894, we hear 


58 Old and Middle English. 

of the army, that they were symle healfe cet ha/m^ ' half 
always at home.' 

Manvy was followed by both Singular and Floral 
Substantives ; as, mawy man ; about 1200 we began to 
insert the indefinite article before mem. There was a 
substantive m/jenigeo ; which we stiU use, when we talk 
of a great mawy ; in confused imitation of this, in some 
parts of the country, they speak of a good few. We 
always placed the enough after a noun ; as, fierst genog^ 
* time enough ' (Pastoral, p. 415). 

Adverbs are often formed from Substantives, as in 
eaJne weg (alway), used by King Alfred ; ferdon omoeg^ 
' fared away.' This class of words clings to life ; thus the 
old ikerrihte (contiauo), survives in the American ' I'll 
do it right away.' 

The points of the compass were used adverbially ; 
thus in the Pastoral (p. 9), me his writerum sende su^ 
and nof6. So in the Blickling Homilies, 129, we read, 
seo is west ]^onon (she is west thence) ; in p. 209, wceron 
nof6 of Ikem stcme (were north of the stone). This idiom 
is most unlike the Latin. 

We sometimes see two old forms of an Adverb, as 
vfweard and upweardes; either form is still allowable. 
The es in the latter form was in the Thirteenth Century 
to be added to many other Adverbs. Unwceres (unawares) 
may be seen in the Chronicle of the year 1004. 

How and wlt/y, as I said before, are but two forms of 
one old pronoun ; the former asks as to the manner, the 
latter as ,to the cause, of a thiag. But our how still 
sometimes borders on the why ; as, ' how is it that ye did 
not believe P ' Why is often used (Dr. Johnson always 

English in its Earliest Shape. S9 

b^an Tritli Why, sir) where no reason la expected, as a 
load of expletive ; thns we see in St. John viii. 48, hwi 
Be cueSe we -wel Jnei (nt eart Samaritantte ? 

The repetition of AdrerbB in a sentence is veiy old ; 
as, Uf lie amd liltU ; so is the comhination of opposite 
adverbs, as, feor and neah, ' far and near,' King Alfred, 
in his Pastoral, p. 5, says, I'c vmndrade gw&ie mtSie ; this 
reminds as of the later French beaucoup, beaucoup. In 
the Pastoral, p, 389, we read of Afeorr land (far land), 
a cnrions English idiom. In p. 3, we find an idion 
still kept in onr Bible ; Alfred tells as that in his day 
English leamii^ was clcene oHfeallenu (clean decayed). 
This sense of omnino is also attached to the French 
synonym; as Moliere's c'est pure vtedisanee. I have 
actually seen clean in this sense set down as mere slang 
by one of onr would-be philologera; his Bible might 
have saved him from this blonder. 

There was another phrase for omnino, to be seen 
in Sweet's ' Anglo-Saxon Reader,' p. 105 ; ' we hare 
robbed God's honse t?in« and ute ; ' we now talk of ' ont 
and oat.' 

In onr word nowaday* we have the old Genitive of a 
Sabstantive used as an Adverb ; the word was known of 
old as ideeget (hodie). The adverb needs (be mnst needs 
go) is another relic of this Genitive. 

Kany Adverbs are formed by adding lie (now ly) to 
the root. The most cnrions instance of this form is the 
adjective -ungtliclU (onlikely), where liJte comes twice 
over. Others are formed by adding lyiot> Participle, 
as laughvaghj. 

6o Old and Middle English. 

The adverb hj&re geneiallj refers to place, bnt some- 
times (not often) to time. Thus the Chronicle names a 
year, and then adds 'here died the King/ This is the 
sonrce of our lieTewpony heretofore, &c. 

We often omit the verb in sentences like ' I did it 
when a boy,' 'I climbed till out of breath/ This free 
play, in which English outdoes all other tongues, may 
be seen in the Chronicle for 901 : ' he died four weeks 
(Br JElfred,^ The rightful cer }^am ye was very early 
replaced by cer (ere) before a Verb. But against took 
that after it, unlike our present usage, Udon lac orig^ 
\atte Josep ineode (Cenesis zHii. 25). 

The Expletive ^cbt, like the Indefinite hit, was com- 
monly used by the English to begin a sentence, as ftsr 
was cm cyning. This resembles nothing in German or 
Latin. Prepositions were often tacked on to this peer, as 
thereout, theremdo, thus forming Compound Adverbs. 

Some think that yea is a more archaic form than yes\ 
but gese and ged are alike found in our oldest writers. 
There was also once a nese. As to negation, when a man 
says ' I didn't never say nothing to nobody,' this is a 
good old English idiom that lasted £ftr beyond 1600. 
Hamlet says * Be not too tame neither,' and good writers 
of our own time have had something of the kind. Much 
harm has been done to our speech by attempts to ape 
French and Latin idioms, especially about the time of 
the Beformation. For instance, we are now told that 
an English sentence ought never to end with a Preposi- 
tion. This absurd rule is later than Addison's time, 
and is not sanctioned by our forefathers' usage. When 

English in its Earliest Shape. 6r 

C&dxQon asked for the Enchariet on Ma death-bed, he 
said BerOU me hwcBfere kvtel fo.' 

Onr word nay has probably never changed its sound, 
bnt it was of old written ne, as in onr Lord's words, ' I 
say nnto yon, nay.' In St. Luke xiii. 3 there is another 
form, ?ie, secge I'e, nd. This last is not hr from onr no, 
which King Alfred nsed much aa the Scotch do now ; 
' 1 am no fain to go.' In the History of Job {Thorpe's 
'Analecta,' 36) we read tc sylfand nd o)>er, showing the 
parentage of onr no other. The phrases no less, no nwre, 
baptized or no, are very old, though we have aabstitnted 

The negative was expreesed by ne coming befoi« a 
Verb; but not long before the year 1000 we see this 
encroached upon by the Adverbial Accusative ndwiht 
(nihil). Matzner quotes luxe habhaX amd ndiciht gestineaS, 
(Psalm cxxxiv. 17) ; also, wces he ndwiht hefig, from St. 
Onthlac. This ndinihl in the Twelfth Century become 
noht, and was afterwards pared down to not. The latter 
form answers to the Latin non, while naught or n(mght 
answers to nihil ; one of the many instancee of one Old 
English word becoming two-pronged, aa it were, in later 
times. In the Pastoral Care, 240, nauhl (nihil) is tamed 
into a substantive, Stet nauht vias Hurhlogen, ' the 
wickedoesB was perpetrated.' Hence came nahlnes, 
naughtiuess, and other formations of the like kind. 

Nan, like an, had a Plural, as in the Pastoral, 395 : 
8a fie vnf habhen, wen iSo tvxlce hie nan ktebbeti, 'let 
those that have wives be as though they had none.' 

> Tboipt^t AmtUtda Jnglo-SMimiea, 5S. 

62 Old and Middle English. 

Hence comes onr ' Tlion shalt have none other Gods bnt 

Bu was used just as we employ hot\ in phrases like 
"both he wnd I, We have lost certain other old forms for 
expressing this, such as ge ; still, in our version of 11. 
Corinthians vii/ 11, yea hut is used to English the Crreek 
alla^ repeated again and again. 

Oelice is now our likewise. 

The Latin non solum appears in the oldest English as 
nd pcet an. We now omit the word in the middle. In 
St. John xiii. 9 we see the change beginning ; nd mine 
fet dnCj ac eac, &c. 

Our samne was never used except adverbially ; thus 
wifmen feohtaiS, swd sairve swd wcepned men, ♦women 
fight the same as men;' that is, in the same way, 
(Thorpe's ^ Analecta, ' 45) . The Latin idem was expressed, 
not by sam£y but by ylc ; this lingers in Scotland, as in 
the phrase Bedgauntlet of that Ilk, The Scottish ilka, 
from celc (quisque), should never be confused with the 
Scottish ilk from ylc (idem). Same (idem) began to 
come into vogue about the year 1200. 

We find d^Ser . , . ot$^, * either . . . or,' answering 
to the Latin anit , , . aut. In the like way nd^Sor is fol- 
lowed by ne, * neither this nor that.' In Numbers xiii. 20 
hwo^^ is followed by ot$t$e, 'whether . . . or,' but this 
was plainly a new idiom. The Latin sen appears as sum 
in English, as in uSlfric's Colloquy, swa h/ivceper fu sy, 
swa ceorl, swa kempa. 

The old "penden (dum) was being encroached upon by 
the Adverbial clause that has now quite driven it out. 
We see in the Pastoral, 331, t$a hwile te. 

English in its Earliest Shape, 63 

Oar now wiU translate not only nunc, bat qvaniam ; 
)ril m4 ne fonm/me, nu ie com. The senBe of time, how- 
ever, still bangs abont this qwmiam. 

It is carioas Uiat we find ewd lange nod (the Gothic 
iwa lagga wheSa ttoe, St. Mark ii. 19), and many sach 
ezpresaions, bat only «dna swd : so Moore in his Canadian 
eong says — 

' Soon as the woods on shore look dim.' 
We still employ though (the German doeh) at the end 
«f a sentence, in the geiiae of to/men, just as onr fore- 
btfaers did. The first germ of onr /or all that (tamen) 
may be seen in ' gB for pon ne gelyfdon Drihtne ' (Dea- 
teronomy i. 32). 

We Bometimes find sentences and poems bej^ ab- 
mptly with and, like Sonthey'a ' And I was once like 
this.' This idiom ia fband before the Norman Conqaest. 
Oar */ answers not only to the Latin n, bat to one 
eense of the Latin an. It might be followed by the Indi- 
cative, as ' Oif he tynfid it, ptet ie ndt (St. John ix. 25). 
The English tor quum was nanally }d or ptwme ; bat 
before the Norman Conqaest Awienite (the Latin quando) 
had b^nn to encroach npon the older forms ; still these 
Imgered on antil the Fifleenth Centnry. 

The old *wa, or at, was also used for qaum and dum. 
It is hard to say which of these Latin words shonld 
translate <u, in a sentence like Fielding's, 'they arrived 
joat a* dinner was ready.' Onr asoftaaia foond in 
Gothic, *wa ttfta twe (I. Cor. li, 25). 

The old apposition of so to 10 is still kept in ' ao many 
men, bo many minds.' This is a remnant of the old twd 
nieel $wd, nod lange swd, Kodfeorr ewd. 

64 Old and Middle English. 

8wa^ like our modem form of it, cu, was very early 
nsed for the Latin qtumiam : * thoa shalt suffer, swd ^u 
lltSlice wr6hte.' It had also the sense of qtiwnwis : ' swd 
he ne maog gestaslan, he hasfS l^eah,' &c. Hence onr * had 
as he is, he still/ &c, 

Swd also stood for qiian, and this is kept in onr ^ as 
it were.' It is coupled with forthf as in onr common 
phrase, ' so forth.' 

The old gelice was nsed hefore swd, as in onr ' like as 
a Sftther pitieth.' 

Our though horders npon if: we know the Latin 
eHamtti. Matzner qnotes from Canute's Laws, he sijlf 
sceoldct feah he Uf hcefde. Our ' no wonder though,' Sc^ 
is equally old. 

The English tongue cuts down its sentences as much 
as it can, and therefore often drops that, coming after a 
Yerh ; as ' I grant the man is sane.' This clipping was 
in Yogue hefore the Conquest. . Matxner quotes scegde hi 
dr^as wceron ; we wolden ]nt gesdwe. 

That not after a Negative sometimes answers to with- 
out, as in Jerrold's 'We never met, that we did not 
fight.' Something like this is seen in the old ' higforovb 
"pri dagos "past hig ndm, woeter ne geniStton ' (Exodus zy. 22). 

That is nsed after a Comparative, like the Latin 
quod ; so Bulwer has ' fears, not the less strong that they 
were vague.' This that was of old written the ; as hit 
is ])6 wyrse pe sii/me hdbha^ twd. Equally early instances 
of m that and/ar that (quia) might be given. T6 pam 
pcet stood for our to the end that. 

The old s^iScun (since) has always stood for postqiiam 
and quoniam alike. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 65 

We find oR wt, ' nntil now.' This government of an 
Adverb by a Preposition, sparingly found in these early 
times, has had great development in later ages. 

Prepoaitions were prefixed to the Tentonic verb ; but 
they were often detached from it, even so early as the 
' daye of TTIfilas ; onr language has therefore in this 
respect fallen below the level of Qreek and Latin. 
How mnch better are the old fordo and q^e^ than our 
new do for and let off ! King Alfred writes (Pastoral, 
X()X'),Moy»eseodeinnand'ut; englas atigon up andafdwne. 
In our own day, we have to say entrance and eztf, since 
going in and going out, albeit Scriptural, would sonnd 
most cumbroas. In St. Matthew, nv. 11, the foolish 
Virgins say, Uet im in. The Gospels of 1000 have drifap 
ul, where the older Northnmbrian version has the happier 
compound of earlier years. Both the Clothio and the 
English use ' he was ont^' in St. Mark i. 4S. The phrase 
bring forp in St.Matt, zii. 35, is byno means so neat as j»y)- 
fcrt, the Latin to be translated. Onr modem he nprose is 
snrely better than the (Irai Aeitpji of the year 1000. What 
in Gothic was afmait, became in the English of 1000 dceorf 
of (carve oW), as we see in St. Matthew v. 30. King 
Alfred writes (Pastoral, 171), ne Ho h'e mon of, ' let not 
man draw them off.' We now writo both of and off, 
making the latter nsnally an adverb ; this is one of the 
doable forms so often seen in the New English. Of is 
now and then nsed for a verb ; thns Alfred (Pastoral, 
239) writes ne mwg he of, he cannot get off.' In the 

66 Old and Middle English, 

Legends of the Holy Rood, 103, (Early English Text 
Society), we find, ^e dyd^ of his purpuran ; this do off we 
afterwards contracted into doff, and do on (St. John xiri. 
7), into don in the same way.^ The nnconpling of Pre- 
positions adds to onr store of expressions ; thus to throw 
over and set up are different from to overthroxo and 

The Preposition of is used instead of the old 
Genitive, to express material. Thns we find not only 
scenivwm sciran goldes^ but also redf of h<jeruni (St. Matt, 
iii. 4). Compare Virgil's templum de marmore ponam. 
This of and this de have been the parents of a wide- 
spread offspring in modem times ; but our Old EDglish 
Genitive Singular is happily still alive, though we use 
it more in speaking than in writing. The twegen of 
eow (St. Matt, xviii. 19, Southern version), seems very 
modem, especially when contrasted with the Bush- 
worth copy. The Partitive use of the of was be- 
coming more frequent about 1000 ; what in Gothic was 
s^imai yize hokarye became in the English of that year, 
suine of tSam hocerwm (some of the bookers, scribes), as 
we see in St. Mark ii. 6 ; a&lc of eow, is in St. Luke xiv. 33. 
This of follows the Singular as well as the Plural. In 
* ye are not of my sheep,^ we have a still unchanged idiom. 
But we find even in the Gothic (St. John xii. 42) us paint 
reikam managai, * many of the rich.' Coupling two pre- 
positions like out o/ is a regular Teutonic idiom. The 

ing how a Preposition can be turned into a verb. We hear people 
say, ' I t^p and told him.' 

* In don and doff our do still keeps the sense of the kindred 
Greek ti-thc-mi, the Old English ge-do-yn. 

English in its Earliest Sluipe. 67 

following phrases date from very early times ; ' to heaJ 
of hie wound,' ' eaten of worms,' ' to borrow of liim,' 
' do nothing of myself,' ' he was of Bethaaida,' ' he 
sprang of (off) the horse,' 'fear of thee.' English often 
pnt of where the Gothic has from. 

In modem times, hy has encroached upon 0/. King 
Alfred seems to use the former in the sense of instramen- 
taJity; hi^iimgelfumfelciiion sceal (/eSenceatt (Pastoral, 
159), ' each should learn tliroagh hin own case ; ' he hine 
genittie be horiitmrie (Ibid. 169) ; bi Snm. oncnawan 
(Ibid. 2C5). 'To Mi ont by the way,' 'to have a 
son by her,' ' less by one letter,' ' have it ready by 
Easter,' ' a hundred by weight,' ' word by word ; ' 
these phrases date from, very early. In the phrase 'to 
do one's dnty 6*^ a man,' we are reminded of the (Jothic 
fit ; tliis often stands where English wonld use yiiihe 
(circnm.). The English be recalls the Latin de. In the 
old Southern Gospels we find ' to live by bread,' and ' to 
die by the law ' (secnndnm legem), a Gothic phrase. 
This by is not as yet prefixed to the person who is the 
agent. Another of the oldest nses of by is kept by onr 
sailora, who say ' North by East.' 

With baa two meanings, seemingly contradictory, in 
Latin, cuin. and contra. We say, to u-aR with a friend, 
and to fight wHk a foe. It was used in both senses long 
before the Conquest. In the Rushworth Gospels we read, 
tepe nig mid vxe wiS jne is (St. Matt. xU. 30). With 
has also the meaning of the Latin veraue, ' towards.' 
King Alfred (Pastoral, 113) writes, eiiin wiS oSre memt, 
'just towards other men.' Hence comes onr 'I'll be 
even with you.' In later times kHH has encroached upon 

68 Old and Middle English, 

for, by, and others of its brethren ; it has moreover 
driven ont the old mid, which expressed many of the 
old senses of tvith : some of these we still keep ; snch as, 
•what will he do with it?' *with that he departed/ 

* filled with grace,' ' overgrown with wood,' * weigh oath 
with oath,' * with God it is possible,' ' hold np his head 
with the best ; ' in this last phrase "ivith answers to th& 
Latin inter. 

Many of the oldest senses of for remain ; snch as, 

* gave him wine for drink,' ' held him for king,' * he 
came for bread,' * grace for grace,' * betrayed him for 
envy.' In this last, the English for reminds ns of the 
kindred Latin per ; in some of the other senses oifor^ 
the Latin pro appears. We read of sins * for GTode and 
for womlde, ' we shonld now say, ' as regards ; ' the 
phrase is the parent of our conmion • as for this,' qtwd 
ad hoc special. 

As to from, we find in the oldest English ; * to hide 
firom me,' * to rest from work,' * far from me.' This 
last appears in the later ^ he is from home.' In the old 
idiom, fram hegeonda/ti Jordanen, * from beyond Jordan,' 
we see two prepositions conpled together. 

We have a clear hint of the Scottish fomenst in 
foran ongean eow, (St. Matt. xxi. 2). 

The old meaning of before, in * they were righteous 
before God,' dates from the year 1000, or earlier. 

The preposition after appears in ' made after His 
likeness ; ' this is the Latin secundum. There is also 
* we sent after him,' * we asked after him,' 

Toward was very early severed, that the substantive 
might be inserted in the middle ; our * to Oodward ' is 

English in its Earliest Simpe. 69 

well known. In the Chronicle for 1009 we find, ' to 
tetpan vjeard.' 

There ia an old sense of under, which is comnjon 
to the Scandinavian and High German, and which 
ajiBwers to the Latin inter viam. This is ' to get nnder 

The oldest senses of to are seen in phrases like, * eat 
to yonr fill,' ' moath to moath,' ' to this day,' 'I doom 
to death,' ' to this end,' ' to my knowledge.' ' Cut to 
pieces,' is sUghtly altered from the old ' ceorfart to 
ttuicon ; ' ' to my cost,' ia foreshadowed hy ' to mielum 
weotHe,' The Dative after a Vcrh is sometimes replaced 
by to in Gothic as well as in English ; moreover, we 
know St. Jerome's ' dwit ad me.' The phrase to 
night is foand both in English and Gothic ; onr up 
to time, preserves a trace of the nse of to as applied to 
matters of time. 

The preposition at, the Latin ad, is near of kin to 
the last-mentioned to. We find among onr oldest 
phrases, ' to have at hand,' ' have at heart,' ' at mid- 
night,' ' at home.' In the Chronicle for the year 1049, 
comes est IcBstan (at least) ; in <et nextan, we have cnt 
away the preposition, and now writ« next. We still say, 
'mn at him,' where hostile intent is meant; hot we 
can no longer say, in the friendly sense of old days, 
'I wafl in prison, and ye came at me.' .i^ is a prepo- 
sition which has been mnch encroached npon in later 

The oldest meanings of on are seen in ' he took on 
him,' ' he is on fire,' ' to avenge ou him,' ' to gain on 
tiieia,' ' to feed on thonghts,' * on either hand.' The 

70 Old and Middle English. 

words on and in interoliaiige in Old EngliBfa. ; and eren 
now either of them might stand in phrases like, ' on this 
wise,' * trust on him,' 'grace was on him.' The imitation 
of the I^tin in and the French en, in later times, brought 
in veiy forward ; we can therefore no longer say, * on 
sheep's clothing,' ' there is life on yon,' ' long on body,' 
' on idle ' (in vain), ' took on hand,' * cnt on two.' As 
to the old 'thrice on year,' the on is now cormpted 
into a. Very nnlike the I^tin idiom is the English con- 
straction in St. John xi. 51 ; Caiaphtu ivces Sest gear 
biseeop ; a constmction that we stiU keep. Two verses 
before, we find, on geare biseeop. 

The old geKende, in Latin juxta, still survives, as 
handy ; in St. John vi. 19 comes, lie tmss gehende iam, 

We began very early to turn Prepositions into 
Adverbs. In the Pastoral, 395, is seen, tWn/Afe mfter 
rehte Pamhta, ' Paul discoursed immediately afcerwards.' 

We now even turn Prepositions into Nouns, for we 
talk of a man's wpg and downs ; also into Verbal Nonns, 
as, ow ouUtig ; also into Verbs, as, ' I dotoned him with 

On the other hand, it is curious to see an Adjective 
turned first into an Adverb, and then into a Pre- 
position. Thus, eiB means late ; it then became «iS8o, 
meaning afteneardi, since; last of all it is seen as 
ft Preposition, taking an Accusative case ; ' since 
that time.' The resources of Language are truly 

We follow very old us^e when we put a Noun 
before its governing Preposition ; as in, ' this plea I turn 

English in its Earliest Shape. 71 

from.' Sometimes the Relative is omitted, which shoitld 
accompany the preposition, its, ' candles to eat by.* It 
is wrong to derive this omission of the Behttive &om 
the Scandinavian ; Tfing Alfred often has something like 
it ; for instance, ' men took their swords Godee andan 
mid to vtrecantte ' (wherewith to avenge God's wrath), 
in the Pastoral, 381. Anything more nrliUe the 
Latin cannot be conceived ; here is the tme English 
terseness. Rather Iat«r, the Preposition was to be made 
the last word in the sentence. 

Onr sailors have kept alive bmftan (abaft) as a Pre- 
position, though (sjt (aft) is with them only an Adverb. 
Butan and binnan, (in Latin, extra et intra) still linger in 
the Scotch Lowlands ; as in the old Perth ballad of 
Cromwell's time: — 

Anent, which of old was on^efn, is preserved in the 
same district ; and this most nsefiil word seeins to be 
coming into nse among oar best writers once more. 
But gelang (the Latin -per) is now used only by the 
poor J as in 'it is all along of yoa.' We sometimes hear 
the old onforan as afore, and ongSan sonnded as again, 
not the corrupt against. Tu is still used in America in 
one of its old senses, where wc degenerate English 
shonld use at ; we find in the Beowulf eeeean to Seorote, 
'seek at Heorote.' The old Nottbumbrian HI is em- 
ployed in the North, where we say to. 

I repeat a few other instances, where we still nse 
Prepositions in the tme Old English sense, thaogb very 

72 Old and Middle English. 

sparingly. To do one's duty hy a man ; to receive at 
his hands; for all his prayers, i.e* in spite of; to go a 
hunting, which of old was written, gdn on hn/ntunge ; 
eaten of worms (by is hardly ever used before the Con- 
quest in this sense of agency) ; we have Abraham to our 
father; made after his likeness; to get them under 
arms. Our best writers ahould never let these old 
phrases die out ; we have already lost enough and too 
much of the good Old English. 

As to Interjections, was Gothic, but is not seen in 
English until the Twelfth Century, when a (ah) also 
first appeared. .We find sow me in Psalm cxix. 5, which 
Matzner quotes ; ou is found about 1300. The place of 
the Gothic was supplied by wdld, ealdy and Id. Christ 
thus addresses his mother (St. John ii. 4) Id vnf. English 
school girls, I believe, still use this la. The eaXd was 
followed by \cet and gif^ just as we now say that and 
if^ when expressing a strong wish. Nu is used for the 
Latin ecce, in St. Luke xiii. 35, and seems the parent 
of our ' now, what would you think ? ' Leof was em- 
ployed Avhere we say sir (St. John xx. 15), and sometimes 
appears as Id leof. Perhaps something of the old world 
lingers about our 'Dear Sir.' In -^Ifric's Colloquy, 
eti'O/ni is translated by ge le6f\ the latter word seems but 
an expletive. In the same piece we see the Latin 0, 0, 
translated by Mg, hig ; which explains why we shout hi, 
when wishing to stop any one ; (Thorpe, ' Analecta,' 102, 

The English of old employed hwoet (quid) as an 
Interjection. This is the first word of the Beowulf, and 
answers to our Ho. The old usage may be traced down 

English in its Earliest Shape. 73 

to onr times, thongh it was thought to be somewhat 
overdone by King George the Third.' 

Sometimes an English word has always borne two 
difTei-ent meaninga ; thns from theearliest times, idle might 
be applied to either a man or a tale. But a word lias 
now oft«n lost one of the meanings it might bear of old; 
thus fen has always translated the Latin palue, and it 
might once also have translated the Latin hitwm. On 
the other hand, one word in !New English often stands 
for what were two words in the older tongue. Thos our 
how representa hoga (arcua)and the Icelandic hugr (prora), 
aswellaethe verb 6iyon(flectere), the parent of the nouns. 
OuTKfliu is used for both goju (dictum) and saga (serra). 
Without reckoning rima (ora), the old hrim, (gelu) and 
rim. (numerus) have but one representative in New 
English ; hence Pitt was able to punningly translate 
'Aurora Musis arnica' by 'a rimy morning.' Our 
share stands for both acear (vomer) and scearu 
(pars) ; and oar cleave stands for both difan (hierere) 
and clufan (findere) : Strong Verbs both. The mauy 
meanings of the one word box are well known ; it re. 
presents Old English, Latin, and Scandinavian words. 

' In the BoUiad, the King meets Major Scott, and thus expresBM 
binuelf : 

Itlc'ChinkB I hear, 

Great BranFwick'n voice Btlll vibrate on mj ear. 
' What, what, what! 
'Scott, Scott, Scott! 
' Hot, hot, hot : 
'Wbiit, what, what!' 


word, as it were, on the old lines, 
seen revived in our uppuhness ; gift 
parts of the country givish is need tc 
Sylf'Uc died out, and was replaced 
by the selfish of the Puritans. M 
revived a fine Old English word 
parted with dnlic ; we have, theref 
terval, been driven to borrow U7iiqu 
In some cases Verbs have beco 
and the corruptions have, so to s 
other. Thus we have now but one 
sent both the old ahnian (possidere^ 
(concedere). The modern leave is 
(permittere) and lifan (relinquere). 
only settle to stand for both setlan 
slovenliness is seen elsewhere ; in 
do duty for both laudare and locai 
* healing a wound,' and of * a woui 
verbs were hMan and hdlian, T 
santry, as Mr. Barnes tells us, have 
US: for thev nrrkTi !%«*>*»'» ^^ xv. * ■ 

English in its Earliest Shape, 75 

sonnds of these words ; hence blunders sometimes arise.' 
Thanks to onr slovenly forefathers, English is now the 
punster's Paradise : Hood knew this well. 

We have not often kept the sound of the old vowel 
at the end of a word so faithfully as in worthy, smithy, 
the former weorSe, mni^iSe, 

Sometimes one Old English word gives birth to two 
different modem verbs ; thus the old hellan has yielded 
us both to bellow and to hell, the one used of bulls, the 
other of deer. Scott tells us that he was glad to adorn 
his poetry with the latter form of the verb. Something 
of the same kind has happened with toil and till, both 
coming from the old tylian. 

In the English of onr day are many words tha^ 
are reckoned slangy, but which have a good old 
pedigree. Such a one is tout, a word well known to 
racing men ; but we find E[ing Alfred writing ta heafudu 
totodon ut, the heads projected, peeped out, (Pastoral, 
105). To lark comes from the old Idcan (ludere) ; this 
verb North of the Trent is pronounced layhe, coming 
from the kindred Icelandic leika. An actor is there 
called a laker. To hoax comes from the old hvsc, a slight. 
Newcastle men have been known to puzzle a stranger 
by saying that they have eaten a hriclc ; this is but the 
old hrice (fragmentum). The verb dyderian (decipere) 

* I remember at school, about the year 1843, that our class was 
giren Scott's lines : 

* Hail to thy cold and clouded beam/ &c., 

which we were to torn into Latin longs and shorts. I still recall the 
disgust of the master {vir playosus) on reading one blockhead's 
attempt : it began with grando I 

^6 Old and Middle English, 

has sunk very low, since diddle cannot be used by any 
grave writer ; the r has changed into Z, just as hridrian 
has become riddle. The old slop, an over garment, is 
the parent of our common slops. Mrs. Barkis, in 
Dickens, allows that her husband is a little near (parens) ; 
this is the old hneaiv, with the first letter clipped. 
Readers of * Tom Brown's School-days ' will remember 
the Slogger ; his name must have come from slogon, the 
Plural Perfect of sledn (ferire). There was a good 
old English verb, sparrom (claudere) ; this has had t 
attached of late years, to round it off (ar, * tu es,' became 
art) in the usual English way, and it is now seen in the 
College phrase *to sport my oak,* or keep my door 
barred.* To pink a man is not an elegant phrase now ; 
but in the Pastoral, p. 296, pyngan (borrowed from the 
Latin pungere) is used of Abner when slaying Asahel. 
The verbal noun pungetung is derived from this verb ; 
hence comes our punching. ' He's a fell clever lad ' 
comes in one of Lady Nairne's ballads ; the adverb is one 
form of the old /ccZ (verus). Such phrases as, * a heap 
of people,' * swingeing damages,' *to egg on,' 'unbe- 
known,' may all lay claim to the best of English pedi- 
grees. Our lower orders much enjoy a dish known to 
them as * pig's innerds ; ' this is the old innewearde, 
(viscera). Locke, in 1678, wrote of the inwards of a 
beast; see his Life, by Fox Bourne, I. 402. To sing 
small seems slangy ; it may be found in King Alfred's 
Pastoral, p. 461. 'To spirit up a man to act' is not 

' An antiquary, capable of seeing very far into a milestone, might 
derive the verb spoon, so well known to our joung men and maidens, 
from the old spanan, with its Perfect spCn, to allure. 

English in its Earliest SItape. yj 

reckoned a classical phrase, thongli at first sight it 
seems to come from Ihe Latin ; it is in trnth a disguised 
form of the old lo-spryttan (ezcitare) ; epurt and sprout 
come from the same root. In the Pastoral, 249, we read 
habhan to cfamene (hold in mockery) ; we here see the 
source of onr scomfiil cry, gammon I Our gwindk may 
come from ewindan, to vanish. ' Here is a wrinkle for 
you ' must come &om the obsolete larence (dolus). 

Our Old Knglish words are often sadly degraded. 
No writer coold now use ■manniih, eneak, shove, or smirk 
in a dignified sense ; but these had no debasing meaning 
of old : snican is need of ' creeping things.' Our nap 
(dormire) might be used in the loftiest of senses, as in 
the Northumbrian Psalter, I. p. 142. We have, in our 
wheedle, rather changed the sense of the old wcedlian, ' to 
beg ; ' and the old gilpan (gloriari) has come down to yelp. 
Fus was an adjective that might have been applied to 
Alfred or Athelstane; our/usstf seldom rises now above 
An old womali. Stinh, like the Latin odor, had a good 
as well as an evil meaning. Puer might be translated 
hy either cniht or end/a ; the former English word rose 
much higher in the world abont 1060, the latter sank 
very low abont 1360, 

There are many words which we have not wholly 
lost, bnt which we now nse in a most restricted sense. 
The old icyrt (herba), so common of old, is now seen 
only in St. John's wori, and a few other snob plants. 
Urif (nt«ms) survives in midriff; hijfi (ora) in proper 
names like Rotherkithe. The said names are most nseful 
in keeping alive old Enghsh words ; thus cine (scissnra) 
survives in the many chines of the Isle of Wight; in 

78 Old and Middle English. 

Black Gang Chine, two words oat of the three have 
■dropped out of the common speech of Soathem England. 
NorthSeet and Sonthfleet remind os of the old jleot 
f Btatio navinm), which at Bristol is still called the Float. 
The hills roand Baston are a fine preserve of the old 
□arnes used by different races, the Tor, the Law, the 
Knoll; Deepden keeps up the old English rfcn ortaiZei/; 
Holbonrn reminds us that hum (hrook) once prevaUed 
in the South as well as in the North ; Port Meadow at 
Oxford speaks of the Roman -port, used by onr pagan 
forefathers as a name for afoft'ii; indeed, ^oif and w^land. 
«tood for (own and aonntTij. The Gtd, a mile or two off, 
reminds us of the old geotan (fnndere). Tadcaster is, in 
its last two syllables, a good imitation of the Roman 
eaeira, known elsewhere as caislor and cheeter. Ticyford 
reminds ns that twij once stood for duo. Proper names 
keep alive the names of trades (such aa Walker. Baxter, 
Bowijer, Lister, and Arr&tvmitith,) that have died ont or 
are called by new temis. Perhaps an old relic, found in 
one or two towns, preserves an old word that has long 
been dropped elsewhere ; we cannot say that our Teutonic 
name for peace is altogether dead, bo long as the Frith 
stool stands in Hexham Church. The old attercop 
(aranea) has its last syllable alone left, as we see in cob- 
web ; c'ipp (apex) remains in cojiing st(me, and Hay Cop 
is ft hill near Buxton. If wo had kept efesiaii. (toudere), 
we shonld now use eaves in the true old way, as a Singu- 
lar, not a Plural. We have lost the old verb iittsiwan, 
"bnt we keep its Past Participle, wizened. Our glmidrian 
(to swallow) has left a relic of itself in glanders. The 
old crumh (corvuK) survives ia Crummw, the name often 

English in its Earliest Sliape, 79 

given to a cow in Scotland. The verb toerian was a 
great loss ; the substantive weir remains, which I have 
beard pronounced as riming both to bare and beer : we 
should make a point of pronouncing it in the former way ; 
its sound must not be corrupted like that of either, Trym" 
man (confirmare) is seen in its old uncorrupt sense in 
*' trim the boat ; ' it exists in other phrases with a rather 
different meaning. To weigh anchor preserves a recol- 
lection of the kindred vehere. The substantive trendel 
(orbis) is gone, but we still trundle a hoop, and a line 
trends towards an object. Though we hear oi pigsticking 
in India, still we cannot now use stick freely in the sense 
of pierce^ as our forefathers did. We talk of a fretted 
ceiling ; the old frcetwian (omare) might have been used 
in a much wider sense. The basins given out in Church 
still remind us of the old geban (proclamatio). We 
sometimes hear * 1*11 learn (docebo) you this ; ' the verb 
represents the old Icoran, which has got confounded with 
leomian. We have sometimes thought that we could 
improve our forefathers' speech by yoking two of their 
synonyms together; when we say sledgehammer, it is 
like a Latinist writing malleus twice over. At the same 
time, it must be acknowledged that muin strength was 
always reckoned good English. The old tva^ was both 
a substantive and an adjective ; both are kept in Scot- 
land, was '5 we , and Fm waefor the man. 

The gradual decay of old words is most mournful ; 
their meanings seem to become more and more restricted. 
How narrow a sense has salce (causa) in our day, com- 
pared to what was its old power ! Loom once stood for 
any household utensils; it is now restricted to the 

8o Old and Middle English, 

weaver's trade : we also talk of heir-looTris. The word 
thing, in its sense of causa, remains in our phrases, * I 
would not for any thing/ *bnt for one thing.' The 
phrase, * to hear the rights of it,' remains to show that 
riht would of old English Veritas. The tale told by- 
Hilton's shepherds may bear two senses, as we know. 
The old vrright (faber), still common in Scotland, has 
died out in England, except in the compounds wheel- 
wright, ship'Wright, and such like. The old sihh (affinis) 
survives only in gos-sijp. 

It is curious to see more than one meaning given to 
an English word, and to know that these meanings run 
very far back. Thus weather had a second sense, that of 
procella ; this is kept alive by the saying, ' fear neither 
wind nor weather.' Thus also inan has always borne 
something like the sense of serviis, as well as that of 
homo ; it implies inferiority ; an officer or a farmer speaks 
of his inen. The old weorc meant dolor as well as opus ; 
the former sense remains in, * I had sad worh with him. ' 

When we speak of 2^ fish-wife, we bear witness to the 
fact that imfe has always meant mulier, as well as vaor. 
The different meanings of one verb date very far back ; 
hahhan means trahere as well as habere (Sweet's * Anglo- 
Saxon Reader,' p. 63) ; sceotan (shoot) still means both 
torquere and ruefe, and of old it had a third meaning, 
solvere. It is curious that l(^tan (let) should have always 
had the contradictory meanings of siiiere and obstare. 
We may now both drive a trade, and drive cattle ; either 
sense dates from early times. We have good sanction 
both for sticking pigs, and for sticking to a friend. 
Find has always had the sense both of invenire and 

English in its Earliest Shape. Zl 

providere ; ' yon must find yoorself.' The adverb /twte 
has from the first had two meaningB ; a Frenchman once 
complained that in England a horae was said to be fast 
vhen galloping, and also /as/ when tied to a gate. 

Onr speech is now bnt a wreck of what it wae. ThoB 
5am, the old ber-em, alone remains of the many sab- 
Etantives that had ent (locns) tacked on to them. Of 
all the verbs that bore the prefix CBt, only ono is left, 
retaining that preposition sadly mangled ; this is 
tBtimtan, onr Unit ; its three last letters atill linger in 
Scotland, in the shape of v:yte (culpa). Atiswer alone 
remuns to show na onr old aiul, the Greek anti ; aiww 
preserves a trace of the clipped ed in edniwe, this lost 
prefix having commonly given way before the foreign re. 
Onlihtaii has imitated the French by taking the shape of 
enlighten ; asteallan baa become onr in«(aH ; bnt the old 
a has been too often cast off altogether.' Sometimes 
there has been a confusion between two old prepositions ; 
thns, the last syllable of U'lgcnea has been tacked on to 
ongegn, and thns agaiiies, aijainst, has been formed. We 
have no longer the substantive stow (loons), except in 
proper names, though we keep the verb sIok (locare). 
Many niceties of inflection have been lost : the Perfect 
of drink had of old dranc for its Singnlar, and dmncon 
for its Plural ; the like may be remarked in sing, and 
many other verbs. Our sorest loss is in onr power of 
componnding; howfewknow that 'wilderness' is nothing 
bnt wild-deor-Mss, the place of wild beast«. We atill 

■ We hare rIso clipped the a in the Francli avanf-ward, and 
made it vaoffuard. Our Norlbern wrilera tried to clip i^pottU and 
tpiiUlc in the xauie yiAj, folloiriDg their ScuidinATiBn foisiatheiB. 

82 Old atid Middle English, 

keep manhood, but we have lost manship, and have there- 
fore recourse to the Latin for Jiwmanity. 

However we must remember that our present tongue- 
has compensating advantages. Old English prose, it 
must be allowed, was rather cumbrous in its construc- 
tion, the weightiest word, as in Latin and German, often 
coming at the end. If ever English were to become the 
leading tongue of the world, this peculiarity would have 
to be cast aside. ' The peasants of the North-Eastem 
shires, in their daily talk, followed the far simpler Scandi- 
navian construction ; if any chance were to bring their 
speech into vogue, on the ruins of the old classic English, 
the new dialect would be sure to add flexibiHty to the 
former pith and strength ; this is the heritage of all English 
speakers who are not false to their national traditions.^ 

There is also a tinge of poetry in our prose. Let us 
hope that we shall never leave writing sentences, so 
finely varied in construction as, * spoke the maid,' ' holy 
is he,' * gold have I none,' * well have you done,' * this 
done, he left,' * with this I complied,* * never spake 
man,' * of noble race she came,' * die you shall,' * firm 
as steel, as marble hard,' *lady mine,' 'come one, 
come all,' * his daughters three,' * a grey old wolf and 
a lean,' * who answers dies,' * it is gone, that sensibility 

' How expressive are the three words, * First, London, Return.' 
If these were to be turned into classic English, they would be ex- 
panded into something like this : * Will you give me a ticket that 
will entitle me to go to London and return thence by a railway car- 
riage of the first class ? ' Our speech, as spoken in common life, is 
wonderfully terse and pithy ; your average Englishman will never 
waste his breath more than he can help. His tongue is well fitted 
to be the language of the world in future years. 

English in its Earliest Shape. 83 

of principles.' The writingi of the great man, from 
wliom I have taken the last phrase qaoted, are a stand- 
ing lesson to hia brethren the prose writers ; we mnxt 
steadily tread in the steps of the poets, at least so &r as 
right reason will allow ; we most never let our written 
tongue reach the dead commonplace level to which 
underbred valgarity wonld fain drag ns down.' As it in, 
onr English speech of 1877 rises far above the French 
in varied constmction of sentences, and far above the 
German in flexible ease. 

There was one favourite art of onr forefethers, 
which we have not yet altogether lost, prone though we 
have been to copy French rimes. This art was Allitera- 
tivo pootry, as seen in Cadmon's lines on the Deluge : — 

For mid Fearma 
Ftere ne moston 
W(Bg lifiendum 
Weetrea brogan 
Heste Hiinos 
' ac Me Halig god 

Ferede and nerede. 
Deop ofer Dunum 
see Drenca flod.' 
Conybeare traces this love of Alliteration in English 

' Lord MscBolaj wrote in his SMory about cav&Iiy priding 
OKT the plain. ThU fine old SpenBrrian verb was objected to hj 
Xx. Croker, in the famous luieidat reriev of the Hiitory ; the differ- 
ence bet*een the well-read scholni and the tasteless pedant i»)uid not 
be more happily maiked. Mr. Fronde uses man^ fine old phrases, 
at which the Frenchified Oibbon would have shuddered. The 
scholar impnres onr tongue, jatt as the penny-a-liner debases it. 

* Conjbeare's Anglo-Baxoa Poetry, xxxiii. 

84 Old and Middle English, 

poets down to 1550, and Earle traces it on further to 
1830. Byron's noble line on the Bruns wicker's death 
at Qnatre Bras is well known. I can bear witness, 
&om my own schoolboy recollections, to the popnlarity 
of this old metre in 1849.^ This it is that has kept alive 
phrases hke ' weal and woe,' ' born and bred,' ^ sooth to 
say,' *fair or foul,' 'kith and kin,' *bed and board,' 
*• make or mar,' ' might and main,' ' hang high as 
Haman,' * forget and forgive,' * fish, flesh, and fowl,' 

* meddle and muddle.' The Tory majority in 1874 was 
said to be due to * Beer and Bible.' Wolsey was as- 
sailed as follows : — 

' Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred, 
How high his Honour holds his haughty head.' 

Sydney Smith compared the curate of his day to Lazarus, 

* doctored by dogs and comforted with crumbs.' 

This Alliteration was the soul of the earliest English 
poetry. Poets and Priests are the two classes of men 
that have most influence in keeping a language tolerably 
well fixed ; with rare exceptions, they look back with 
loving eye to what is old. It is truly wonderful that 
the Gothic and English (without a written literature, 
so far as we know), should have kept their intricate in- 
flexions fairly well preserved for so many thousand years 
after leaving the old Aryan cradle. It was their poets 
and priests, no doubt, that prevented these tongues from 
sinking into a confosed jargon. English poetry has 
always held to old forms, that have been long dropped 

* We were fond of an old ballad, beginning with — 
* All round the rugged rocks 
The ragged rascal ran.' 

English in its Earliest Shape. 85 

in commoii life ; of tluB, Spenser and Thomson ore the 
best examples. The 'Erecthens' of Mr, Swinbnme, 
and the ' Sigurd ' of Mr. Morris, show us the way in 
vhich ive Bhoald go. Religiou, in this noble race, has 
nm abreast of Poetry. Christian ministers took np the 
old conservative tradition where the P^an priests 
■dropped it All over the world the same effect may be 
seen. The Bible, translated into hundreds of tongaes, 
has &om first to last had a most conservative inflaence 
upon the langnages spoken by mankind ; it has done its 
best to fix them, if we may apply the verhfie to so 
fleeting a thing as language ; religion and philology go 
hand in hand. Bede and Aldhelm, Wicklifie and 
Tyndale, alike bear witness to this tmth ; may the 
English pnlpit ever cling fast to her old traditions ! It 
was the Anglican clergy that tanght Dryden how to 
write Cnglish, as the poet himself acknowledges. Lord 
Macanlay, afler a philological ailment with lady 
Holland, langhs at the idea of anyone, who has not the 
English Bible at his finger-ends, setting np as a critic of 
English. It was no mere chance that made one of onr 
present Archbishops a foremost leader in reviving the 
long-neglected claims of onr glorious Mother- tongue.' 
Bishop Patteson, a new Hervas, was as renowned for his 
philological studies as for his missionary achievements. 

> Dr. TretK^t ia a good Tenton, and is therefore he&nilf uboeed 
bj professors of Sua writiog. Oae of them, vho writes abaat sequa- 
eioia diatAeau. reTilaa the Archbishop hb ' a cODlorlioDist and a fan- 
tasu' 1 hnve seen it affirmed that oar laaniuge is hoalthitj develop- 
ing itself, when everj peany-a-Iiaer scatters broadcast bis bad 
gnuumar and Devfangled French phrases, vithouC giving one 
^onght to the writings of Defoe, Swift, and Elelding ! 

86 Old and Middle English. 



Ant one who compareB the kindred Sanscrit andEnglish words, 
l^iven at pages 3 and 4, will see a close connection, according 
to Orimm'a Law, between the following sounds : — 

Samerii. EnglUA. Saiucrit. English. 

bh b t th 

P f gh g 

dh d g Cj) c. k 

It is needless to inuat on the fact that the lip-sounds, b, p, 
f (li), are closely linlced together.' This alao holds true of the 
tooth-sounds, d,t,th:, and of the throat-eounds, g, c (&), h. 

But it is eaaj to sne that one of these three different groups 
of soimda will often get confused with another group. When 
we hear a child say ' I tan do' for ' I can go,' we see at OQCe 
that there is a link between t and c, d and g ; the child obaerreB 
Orimm's I^w with never failing exactness ; moreover, he shows 
the connection between the Latin cumiUta and tumuliu. What 
we call n^ (rough) is sounded in some partsof Scotland likertuU, 
from the back of the throat ; here we see a further linW between 
A: and/. Our verb lAicfe must come from the old if jrfipan. Thus the 
tbroat-sounda touch the lip-sounds on the one hand, the tooth- 
sounda on the other. There is also a direct connection between 
the tooth-eounda and the lip-eounds, for Thtodore becomes 
Feodor in Russian. These facts explain the different forms of 
the English words ^Ten at page SI. In the Qreek dialects 
puureg and ttioret may be compared (aa to their first letters) 
with the Irish ctatAair, all three words having the same mean- 
ing, that of OUT English (fethower)/our. The like may be seen 

' Pope Pius IX. u 
when he ep«aks to a se 

English in its Earliest Shape. 87 

in the lust coosonants olp^tte, kiTike (quinque), pump (Webh), 
ftuBwering to our English ^Vf. So dip, tltde, and dick. 

The liquidfl i, n, and r, are always running into each other. 
What Virgil called Aiuigma, Dante writes Ala^ni, Btmonia 
has become Bologna, and Fanormat ia now Palermo. Dyderian 
has prot corrupted into rfiiWZe (aee page 76), and aitare into autd. 
The I^tin homina in Spain became homra, and then hombret; 
diaeoniu in French became ^acre; the Gothic /on is our _;&■«, 

The liquid m baa a tendency to get confused with n, as 
maj>pa, nappe ; damn, darne ; eemiia, tente ; rem, Wen. The old 
<tuiete liaa given birth to mtt. 

There is also a clo»e tie between m and b (sea page 15). 
The High German 6 answers to the English / QiAer to liefof') 
in the middle of a word ; hence our heofen (heaven) must once 
in German have been kthai or hibel ; it ie now himmd. So jHii- 
hati dies has become tamtdt. 

L and d interchange ; the Gieek da}cru b the Latin lacruma, 
and the Greek deka ia the Lithuanian l^ca ; dinffua is the older 
form of lingita. 

There is a connection between r and 1, as in the LAtin hoaoi 
and honor, or the cries hussak and kitn-ah \ the Sanscrit atmi 
must hare once been armi in English mouths, as we see by the 
Second Person, tkoji art ; the Primitive Aryan atcmti became 
aranti, in English our are (sunt). The words loat (eram) 
and wvre (erant) belong to one and the same tense. 

There is a connection between t and t ; th, that peculiatly 
English sound, seems to stand halfway between them. When 
a Frenchman pronounces our word thing, he will sometimes call 
it ting, sometimes dng. The Southern English walwiath is akin 
alike to the Latin volvit and to the Northern English Kalwiat 
(ha wallows). We know the Greek forms tamo and tatto. 
The Low German t becomes » or = in High German ; thus our 
primitive to, toll, token, become at Dresden zu, toll, leichen. 

The c or k, on the Continent, slid into ch before the year 
900 ; ehief for caput is found in the Song of St. Eulalie, 
and the Latin Sikero ie now pronounced in Italy C^icha-o. 
Sometimes the eh, both in English and French, went on further 

88 Old and Middle Eitglish, 

and became ji; as capdla becomes javeUe, and the verb ceowan 
becomes jaw. So the Sanscrit j has replaced a far older 
Aryan ^. 

In the Teutonic tongues g was early softened into y ; our 
gear (annus) began with y in Gothic, In the Twelfth Century 
the English g very often became w, though this is traceable 
much earlier ; the Sanscrit gharma is the English wami ; the 
Celtic goBper is the Latin vesper, pronounced something like 

There is a dose connection between v and %d ; see the Sans- 
crit words at pages 3 and 4. The Latin v, as in volvo, must have 
been pronounced very like our English id ; and it is the same 
with the Scandinayian v. Our Mveet (quid) has become in 
Tulgar London speech wot, and this is sometimes heard as vot. 
The most refined Germans have done something like this last 
with their grand old w, 

I have here given but few instances of the curious inter- 
change of consonants ; any one that reads Bopp^s ' Comparative 
Granmiar ' with due heed may find therein scores of other ex- 
amples in the difierent Aryan tongues, and may work out the 
subject for himself. M. Brachet's French Grammar supplies 
many examples.i 

* In Chapter I. it will be remarked that I have not always ac- 
cented the Old English. In this respect I simply follow the author 
I am copying. 



The examples given in the last Chapter have bcea 
mostly taken from Wessei writers ; bnt Cadmon's Alli- 
terative lines on the Delnge remind ns that in the 
Seventh and Eighth Centuries there was no Tentonio 
hud that could match Xorthombria in learning or 
civilisation. Thither had come earnest miBsionaries 
from Italy and Ireland. There Christianity had taken 
fast root, and had bred snch men as Cadmon and Bede. 
Charlemagne himself, the foremost of all Teatone, was 
glad to welcome to his conrt Alcnin, who came from, 
beyond the Hnmber. It was the dialect of Northumbria, 
settled as that land was by Angles, that first sprang into 
notice, and was so much in fiivonr, that even the West 
Saxona on the Thames called their speech EnglUh ; a 
feet never to he forgotten by students of onr Mother- 

This English of the North, or Nortbombrian, has 
bequeathed to ns bnt few monnmenta, owing to the 
ravages of the Danes in the Northern libraries. We 
have, however, enongh of it left to see that in some 
points it kept fer closer to the old Aryan Mother Speech 

go Old and Middle English. 

than the classical writers of "Wessex did ; thus, it boasts 
the remnants of five verbs in ini — am^ heom (sum), 
geseom (video), fleom (fugio), gedom (facio). But in 
other points it foreshadows the language to be spoken 
in Queen Victoria's day more clearly than these same 
writers of Wessex did. 

In tracing the history of Standard English, it is 
mainly on Northumbria that we must keep our eyes. 
About the year 680, a stone cross was set up at Ruth- 
well, not far from Dumfries; and the Runes graven 
upon it enshrine an English poem written by no mean 
hand. Cadmon, the great Northumbrian bard, had 
compiled a noble lay on the Crucifixion, a lay which may 
still be read at frill length in its Southern English dress 
of the Tenth Century. Forty lines or so of the earlier 
poem of the Seventh Century were engraven upon the 
Ruthwell Cross ; some of these I give in my Appendix, 
as the lay is the earliest English that we possess just as 
it was written.* It has old forms of English nowhere 
else found ; and it clearly appeals to the feelings of a 
warKke race, hardly yet out of the bonds of heathenism; 
the old tales of Balder are applied to Christ, who is 
called ' the young hero.' 

Mr. Kemble in 1840 translated the Ruthwell Runes, 
which up to that time had never unlocked their secret ; 
not long afterwards he had the delight of seeing them 
in their later Southern dress, on their being published 

^ ' Cadmon mas fauae^o ' (not Cadmon) is the inscription lately 
discovered on the cross ; and this confirms a gaess made long ago by 
Mr. Haigh. Mr. Stephens assigns the nohle fragment of the Judith 
to the great bard of the North. 

Nortltern English. — Early Corruptioj 


from an old EnglisK skinbook at Yercelli. He fonnd 
that hfi Had only three letters of his translation to cor- 
rect. Seldom has there been sach a bit and sach a 
confirmation of a hit,' 

These Rnihwell Runes are in close agreement with 
the dying words of Bede, the few English lines embedded 
in the Latin text. In the Rnnes, the letter li is fonnd, 
which did not appear in Southern English until two 
centuries later. The word itnjcei, the Dual Aconsative, 
betokens the hoariest eld. The Infinitive ends not in 
the Sootbem an, but in a, like the old Norse and Friesic. 
The n, with which the Plural of the Sonthem Imperfect 
ended, has been clipped. There is a curious softening 
of the guttural h. in xlmihiiiga. (almighty) ; the word is 
here written almtfijottig} 

The speech of the men who conquered Northumbria in 
the Sixth Century mnst have been influenced by their 
Danish neighbonrs of the mainland. I give a few words 
from the Rnthwell Cross, compared with King Alfred's 
Sonthem English : — 

Soulhera. JtiilhwM. 

Heofenas KeafunieB 







' Archaologia for 1843, p. 31. 

' I can giTe a much earlier instance of tlie softeaing of the gat- 
taml. Kuduriagamar wbb a funoos ABsyriaD oame, (Smith, Aa- 
^rian Diioovmo, p. 223). j We know that it afterwards appears a« 

* We follow the Xortb, which ie more primitive than the Sonlh, 

92 Old and Middle English, 

The Englisli ^id^ (thither) answered to the Latin 
iWmc ; but here we find this word translated by ^er. So 
general has this cormption become, that to say, 'whither 
are you going ? ' would now be thought pedantic. 
Htvcer replaces hvrider in the Blickling Homilies, which 
seems to be another Northern work. 

The next specimen given by me in my Appendix, is 
about sixty years later than the Ruthwell Runes. It is 
another fragment of Gadmon's, which was modernized 
two hundred years after his time by King Alfred. But 
the text from which I quote is referred by Wanley, a 
good judge, to the year a.d. 737. I set down here those 
words which are nearer to the language spoken in our 
days than Alfred's version is — 






















The word * til ' (to), unknown in Southern speech, is 
found in this old manuscript, and is translated * to ' by 
Alfred. The modem Th here first appears for the good 
old character that our unwisdom has allowed to drop. 
The whole of the manuscript is in Northern English, 
finch as it was spoken before the Danes overran the land.^ 

in pronouncing this word. But in Dorset they still sound the e 
before a, as in yacre, yale, yarm, and others. See Mr. Barnes' 

' Bosworth, Origin of the Germanic Languages^ pp. 56-60. 

Northern English. — Eatly Corruptions. gj 

Ooe ^reat mark of the Korth is, that a appears as e, 
pronounced like the French e ; the English hrSd (latns)^ 
was in Gothic braid. 

The next earliest Northambrian monnment that w& 
have is a Psalter, which majr date horn about the year 
A.D. 850. It is thought to hare been translated in one 
of the shires just sonth of the Hnmber.' This Psalter, 
like the former specimen, employs a instead of the 
Southern ea, even as we ourselves do. There are many 
other respecte in which the Psalter differs from later 
Sngliah ; the chief is, that the first Person Singular of 
the verb ends, like the Latin, in o or u : as sitto, I sit ; 
ondredu, I Ibar. The Second Person ends in g, not et ; 
as neosiM, thou viaitest ; less corrupt than King Alfred's 
form. The Lowland Scoteb to this day say, titou lenows. 
The prefix ge in Past Participles is often dropped, 
as bledead, blessed, instead of gebletsod. Old Anglian 
was nearer than any other Low German speech to 
Danish, and ge is not fonnd in the Danish Parti- 
ciple. The old h, coming before a liquid, is some- 
times cast out ; roeS (rough) replaces the Southern 
hri}ie. We also remark the Norse earan for samus, esHs,. 
nini ; this in Southern speech is nearly always eyndon.^ 
I give a few words from this Psalter, to show that oar' 
modem English in many things follows the Northern 
rather than the Southern form.' 

' HnshwDitli Gospels, \t. (Sortees Society), ProUgomena, in». 

' We find, IioTeveT, aran \a KcDtish Chiirtcra (Kemble. I. 234)r 
and the form tc bidde in the oldest Cb&rtera uf Kent and Worcester- 

* See an eitnct from the Psalter in mj Appendix, 


Old and Middle English. 

JSouthem English. 

Northern English, 




Boon (prayer^ 




















































Swa hwylce swa Swe hwet 










Ue eateth 










As ix) this Psalter, we may repeat a former remark, 
that the sound of Englisb vowels in the North was very 
different from what was usual in the South. We see 
here cwece^, ferian, our quake, fare, which on the Thames 
were written cwace^, faran, Frio and kwiol are written 
for the Southern /reo and hweol, our free and wheel. We 

^ We still have both the Northern and Southern forms of this 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 95 

mast pronounce all these old vowels as the French 
wonld now. Onr modem pronnnciation has mainly 
come from the North ; and this becomes very clear aboat 
the year 1290. Still, while pronoancing in 'Ca.% Northern 
way, we have often kept the old Sonthem spelling of 
words ; and this has cansed onr pronunciation of vowels 
to be so different from that used by other nations. 

The writer who Englished the Latin words, one by 
one, in this Psalter, must needs have been stmck by 
the close tie between the two tongnes, more especially in 
the following words, which are bnt a small sample of 
what might be given : — 

























So the 

Goths were ab 

e to pnt \ehae 


Latin quia ei tu. 

Sometimes the North of England kept far nearer to 
Aryan pnrity than did the Sonth ; - thus feoSur (in 
Gothic, fidwor) is fonnd in this Psalter for the primitive 
Aryan hiivar, instead of the nsaal/ecrwer, onr /our. On 

' Since 1000 England and Italy alike have changed the ■ound 

' It ii yeiy poaflibls that the Engliah scribe might think that hia 
own conunonesl woida were derii-ed frma the I^tia ; I know that for 
man; years of mj life I thought that oui' iiM^ came from longta. 
Lit -OB hope that a better system of education obtaina now through- 
out onr land ; perhaps in years l« come our dictiouary makers will 
oeaM to deriw out 'he ii man' fcum Anglo-Soxou 'bo ia man.' 

96 Old and Middle English, 

the other hand, corruption was plainly at work in the 
North. The Plural Perfect of the verb vyijrce was, in 
the South wrohton^ our tarought ; but this, in the Psalter, 
II. p. 183, is turned into wyrctun. The encroachment 
upon the Perfects of verbs has been going on ever 
since ; the Weak slyptorij as marked above, has replaced 
the Strong sl^on. Within the last few years, I see that 
some writers, who should know better, put mowed and 
sowed instead of mown and sovm. 

The Scotch are well known for their love of vowels 
and dislike of consonants ; with them aU wool becomes 
a 00, and in this Psalter, I. p. 126, we find a/mplvus trans- 
lated by mee, not by the Southern m^r : mo is seen in 
the Sermons of Lever, a Northern man, and is still used 
by our poets for m4)re' 

In I. p. 63, we see the Neuter 8« (hoc) employed 
for other Genders, just as we use it now ; ^es was of old 
the Masculine, and ^eos the Feminine. This is an early 
instance of a Northern corruption. 

In the Psalter, II. page 144, descend^ro is Englished 
by duiie stigu ; this first word was elsewhere written 
of dune f our adowTiy which the poets still keep alive. 
Clipping and paring usually began in the North. 

There is now no commoner English word than bread ; 
I think it first appears in the phrase hio-bready for honey ^ 
comb, in the Psalter, I. p. 52. Pants was Englished by 
hlaf in the South down to the year 1100. 

We here see both cnol and hnol for what we call a 
knoll ; the h before Z, n, or r, is always struck out (the 
process was now beginning), while the c or A; similarly 
placed, is allowed to remain at the beginning of modern 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 97 

ICngllBli trorda. Both c uid & had a gatttusl sonnd, but 
titis una probably more marked in c than in ft. We 
have DOW noUiing ansvering to the Oerman Slodwig, 
where the A was prononnoed in the Fifth Centnry with 
snch foros as to be rendered Olovis, not Liyvit. Bnt 
in the Chronicle for 1050, a well-known English name 
appears as Srodbert. 

We find 7w nsed jait as the Sootch now nsa it; 
ffif ic no foretettu, where na would, as a general mle, 
hare been nsed in the Sonth. 

A new element in English speech now comes into play. 
Bather before the time that the Northnmbrian Psalter 
was compiled, the Danes began to harry nnhappy 
England. The fends oi near kinsmen are always the 
hittergst ; and this we foond tme in the Ninth Centniy. 
Soon the object of the heathen became settlement in the 
land, and not merely plunder. The whole of England 
wDold faaivB &illen nnder their yoke, bad not a hero come 
forth from the Somersetshire marges. 

In A.D. 876, we read in tie Saxon Chronicle that 
the Danish king, ' Norfihymbra land gedslde, and 
faergende weron and heora tiligende wteron.'' In the 
aert year, the ontlandish host ' gef or on Myroena land, 
and hit gedsldon sum.' In 680, 'for so here on Kast- 
CBgle and geset jrat land and gedtelde.' Here we find 

■ At the head of ths Y&miw is a monntsia, called of old by tlie 
Celtic Dome Ben Yair. To this tbe KomaoB prefixed thiir Hont, 
and the DaaM long afterwards added their yiord Law. The hill ii 
DOW called Hountbenjerlaw; in it kill cornea three times orer. — 
Oamett's Euat/t, p. 70. 

98 Old and Middle English, 

many English shires, once thriving and civilisedy par- 
celled out within fonr years among the Danes. The 
Angles were now under the yoke of those who four 
hundred years earlier had been their neighbours on the 
mainland. Essex seems to have been the only Saxon 
shire that Alfred had to yield to the foreigner. Now it 
was that the Orms, Gxims, Spils, Osgods, i^d Thors, 
who have left such abiding traces of themselves in 
Eastern Mercia and Northumbria, settled among us. 
They gave their own namea of Whitby and Derby to 
older English towns, and changed the name of Boman 
Eboracum from Eoforwic to lorvik or York.* 

The endings hy^ thva/ite, ness^ drop, haugh, and gwrthy 
are the sure tokens of the great Danish settlement in 
England ; fifteen hundred of such names are still to be 
fotmd in our North-Eastem shires. The six counties to 
the North of Mercia have among them 246 places that 
end in by ; Lincolnshire, the great Danish stronghold, 
has 212 ; Leicestershire has 66 ; Northamptonshire 26 ; 
Norfolk and Notts have rather fewer. 

The Danes were even strong enough to force their 
preposition amell (inter) upon Northumberland, where 
it still lingers. Our verbs bask and biisJc are Middle Verbs, 
compounded of the Icelandic baJca and btta with the 
ending sik (self).' York and Lincoln were the great 
seats of Norse influence, as we see by the numbers of Norse 

' Layamon, I. p. 113, relates these changes. AcoordiDg to him, 
the town was first called Kaer Ebrauc; then Ehoxac ; then foreign- 
ers called it Eorerwic ; and the Northern men by a bad habit called 
it Seorc. 

* Dr. Morris was the first to point this out. 

Northern English. — Early Corrupti 

money-coiners wLo are known to have there plied toe 
trade. English freedom was in the end the gainer by 
the fresh blood that now flowed in. When Doomsday 
Book was compiled, no shire conld vie with that of 
Lincoln in the thoaeanda of its freeholders ; East Anglia 
was not &r behiad.' Danish snmameB like Anderson, 
Paterson, and, greater than all, Nelson, show the good 
blcod that our Northern and Eastern shires can boast. 
Thor'sdaywasintheendtoreplaceThnnreaday. Another 
Norse Ood, he of the sea, bearing the name of Egir, 
still rushes np English rivers like the Trent and the 
Witham, the water rising many feet: theeayreis a word 
well known in Lincolnshire. The Norse /eiojt is a com- 
ponnd from /ee and lay, a man who pats down his 
money, like the member of a clnb. This became in 
England /eZasei/etowei/eifom. So early as 1300 it had 
become a term of scorn ; bnt the fellows of oar College^ 
will always keep alive the more hononrable meaning 
of the word. 

Few of England's children have done her better 
service than Alfred's son and danghter, whose deeds 
are written in the Saxon Chronicle. King Edward's 
reign was one steady war ^^inst the Danish lords of 
Mercia and East Anglia ; the strife r^ed all along the 
line between London and Shrewsbary, the King's men 
throwing np works to guard the shires they were win- 
ning back foot by foot. Essex seems to have been 
mastered in 913, Staffordshire and Warwickshire within 
the next few years. In 915, the Danish rulers of Bed- 

' Worsafts, ZS< DajiM anJ A'orMmen, pp. 71, 119, 170. JW^^ £■ 

lOO Old and Middle English. 

ford and Northampton gave their allegiance to the great 
King of Wessex ; Derby and Leicester fell hefore his 
sister. The Norsemen atmggled hard against Edward's 
iron bit ; bat the whole of East Anglia and Cambridge 
yielded to bim in 921. By the end of the following 
year, he was master of Stamford and Nottingham ; Ian. 
colnBhire seems to have been the last of his conqneete. 
In 924f, all the English, Danes, and Celts in our island 
chose Edward, the champion of Christianity against 
heathenism, for thoir Father and Lord. England, as 
we see, was speedily becoming Bomething more thad a 
geographical name. 

Alfred had been King of the South ; Al&ed's son had 
won the Midland ; AI^^'s gmndsoDS were nowto bring 
the North under their yoke. The Danes diove the many 
qnarrelsome English kingdoms into nnity in sheer self- 
defence ; much as in onr own time the Anstrians helped 
Italy to become one nation. The Saxon Chronicle in 
941 names the Five Danish Bni^hs which overawed 
Mercia, and which have had so great an influence on the 
tongue now spoken by us. 

Butga fife And SnotingahSm 

liigoraceaater Swylce Stanford eftc 

And Lincolne And Deoraby 

Long had these been in Danish thraldom ; they were 
now, as the old English ballad of the day says, loosed 
by Edward's son. Northnmberland, nnder her Danish 
kings, was still holding ont against the Soathem Over- 
lord. At length, in 954, the lastof these kings dropped 
ont of history ; and, Eadred, the son of Edward and the 

NortJurn English. — Early Corruptions. loi 

grandson of Al&ed, became the one King of all Eng- 
land, Bwaying the land firom the Frith of Forth to the 
Knglish ChanneL' 

Weaaez, it is easy to see, was to oar iahmd mach 
what Piedmont long afterwards became to Italy, and 
Brandenburg to Qermany. It is not wonderful then that 
in the Tenth Century the literature of Wessex was 
looked npon as the best of models, and took the place 
of t^e North ambrian literatnre of Bede's time. Good 
fin^ish prose-writerB most have formed themselves 
npon King Alfred ; English ' shapers ' or ' makers ' 
mnst have imitated the lofty lay, that tells how 
Al&ed's grandsons sroote Celt and Dane alike on the 
great day of Brananbnrgh. The Court of Winches- 
ter must in those days have been to England what 
Paris has nearly always been to France : no such pat- 
tern of elegance could elsewhere have been found. 
For all that, were I to be pven my choice as to what 
buried specimen of English writing should be brooght 
to light, I shonld ask for a sample of the Butland 
peasantry's common talk about the year that Eadred 
waa caUing himself Kaiser of all Britain.* Such a 
sample would be as precio^ as the bad Latin, the 
foretaste of the Xew Italian, which may be read on the 
walls of Pompeii. By Eadred's time, two or three gene- 

■ Eadred -wu like King Victor EmnuiDael, who has no noder- 
kingi below him ; Eadzed's iatliei vbs like Kaiser William. 

* Eemble'B Ckarttrt, II. 304. Little did I think, when writing 
thni in 1873, that three jsan later this title would be referred to 
by gnre RattemGn, ai a reneon for l>e8towing a new title upon 
Queen TictoHa. 

102 Old and Middle English. 

rations of Danes and Angles must have been mingled 
together ; tlie nnconth dialect, woefnllj shorn of inflec- 
tions, spoken in the markets of Leicester and Stamford, 
would be found to foreshadow the corruptions of the 
Peterborough Chronicle after 1120. 

The oountrj, fiilling within a radius of twenty miles 
drawn from the centre of Rutland, would be acknow- 
ledged, I think, as the cradle of the New EngUsh that 
we now speak. To go further afield ; all the land enclosed 
within a line drawn round from the Qumber through 
Doncaster, Derby, Ashby, Rugby, Northampton, Bed- 
ford, and Colchester (this may be called the Mercian 
Danelagh) helped mightily in forming the new litera- 
ture : within this boundary were the Five Burghs, and 
the other Danish ^ strongholds already named. Just 
outside this boundary was Yorkshire, which has also 
had its influence upon our tongue. Alfred's grandsons, 
on their way home to Winchester from their Northern 
fields, would have been much astonished, could it have 
been foretold to them that the Five Burghs, so lately 
held by the heathen, were to have the shaping of Eng- 
land's future speech. This New English, hundreds of 
years later, was to be handled by men, who would throw 
into the far background even such masterpieces of the 
Old English as the Beowulf and the Judith. 

Some writers, I see, upbraid the French conquerors 
of England for bereaving us of our old inflections; it 
would be more to the purpose to inveigh against the 
great Danish settlement two hundred years before Wil- 
liam's landing. What happened in Northumbria and ' 
Eastern Mercia will always take place when two kindred 




• •*• • • 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 103 

tribes are thrown together. An intormmgUng either of 
Irish with Welsh, or of French with Spaniards, or of 
Poles with Bohemians, would break up the old inflec- 
tions aod gmnunar of each nation, if there were no 
acknowledged standard of national speech whereby the 
tide of cormptioii ntight be stemmed. 

When sQch an intermingling takes place, the endings 
of the Verb and the Substantive are not always caught, 
and therefore speedily drop oat of the months of the 
peasantry. In our own day this process may be seen 
going on in the United States. Thonsanda of Gtermans 
settle there, mingle with English-speakers, and thus 
corrupt their native German. They keep their own 
words indeed, but they clip the heads and tails of these 
words, as the Dano- Anglians did many hundred years ago. 

About the year 950 another work was compiled in 
Northern English, the Lindisfame Gospels.' It has 
some forms older than those of the Beowulf ; it has other 
forms more corrupt than those used by Roy, about 1530. 
I give specimens of words, taken &om these Gospels, 
side I7 side with the corresponding Wessex terms. 


Norths E^UA. 

Modem EngUA. 















One of them 









Are ye 

w s ipeciliieD of tbees in my Appendix. 


Old and Middle English. 

Southern JBn^isIL 

Northern Bn^Ush, 

Na mara 

Noht maia 



Fnder willan 

Faderea willo 


















Olaene of bearte 

Eorthan sealt 

Eortbes salt 



Ic secgeeow 

Ic enetSo inb to 

Hwitne gedon 
Magon ge 














Awriten be 

Awntten of 

Ge dydon 

Gie dide 

He sitt 

He sittes 


Fnlla mit$ banum 



We do« 

We doe 





Modem JEngHdih, 

Not more 



Father's will 




lives (vivit) 






Clean of heart 

Earth's salt 


Quoth I to you 

To make white 

May ye 


Timbered (built) 






Do (facere) 


Written of (de) 

Ye did 

He sits 

Full of bones 


We do 



Northern English, — Early Corruptions, 105 

Smdhem JEnffUsk, Northern English. Modei-n English. 





















Spilt (Perfect) 






Unbind (solTite) 

Ge biddatS 

Qie bidde 

Ye bid 








Ic hafo 

I haTe 




We driofon 

We drove 















Loss (jactura) 
















Mu5 twegra otJ^e MutJtuoe otS6e tJrea Mouth of two or three 

]ireora gewituesae 















The Norsemen, breathing 

fire and slaughter^ have 

far eyer branded, 

as we see, their mark upon England's 

tongae. Northern English had become veiy cormpt 

since the year 800 ; as I before said, the intermingling 


I06 Old and Middle English. 

of two kindred tribes, like the Angles and Danes, must 
tend to shear away the endings of Nonns and Verbs. 
The Third Persons, both Singular and Plural, of the 
Present tense now often end in b instead of th^ as A« 
(msoBces ; we follow the North in daily life, but we listen 
to the Southern form when we go to Church. The tS of 
the Imperatiye also becomes «, as ioyrcas instead of 
wyrcc^ ; indeed, the as is sometimes clipped altogether. 
New idioms crop up, which would have astonished 
King Alfred; we find full of fiscv/m for plenvs piscivm. 
The Old English Plural of nouns in an is now changed, 
and hearta replaces heartcm ; sad havock is made in all 
the other cases. The Genitive Singular and Nominative 
Plural in es swallow up the other forms. Thus we came 
back to the old Aryan pattern, in all but a few plurals 
like oxen; there is a wrong notion abroad that the 
G-erman Plural in en is more venerable than the English 
Plural in es. Such newfangled Genitives Singular as 
sterres, brydgumes, heartes, tunges^ fadores, and such 
Nominative Plurals as stea/rras, hurgas, and ctdfrasy are 
now found. There is a tendency to confound Definite 
with Indefinite Adjectives. The Dative Plural in ttm is 
sometimes dropped. In short, we see the foreshadow- 
ing of the New English forms. The South, where the 
Danes coxdd never gain a foothold, held &st to the 
old speech ; and some forms of King Alfred's time, now 
rather corrupted, linger on to this day in Dorset and 
Somerset; though these shires are not so rich in old 
words as Lothian is. The North, overrun *by the Danes, 
was losing its inflections not long after Alfired's death ; 
the East Midland must have been in the same plight. 

Northern En^ish. — Early Corruptions. 107 

As to the apelling of the Lindia&me Qospels, we find 
the e donhled, as in geseen ; we farther see two new 
combmatious, ai tmd ei, which were to be wide spread in 
later EDglish. These, like the SonUiem ic, ea, and ie, 
had tlia sound of the French S.' There is alao ou, as in 
King Alfred, for the more commoii aw ; on Bometimes 
replaces ok, having the sound of the broad Italian k ; 
a fashion that was to spread wide in the Thirteenth 
Centtuy. We find vowels often donhled ; there ta 00 aa 
well asee. The Sonthem/eoioer (pronotmced lite /ewer) 
is now seen as feor, not &r from for, as we now pro- 
uoance the word for quatuoT. 

That change of sonads, which has inflaenced onr 
later speech, m&j be clearly seen in these Northern 
Oospela.* Tamian becomes temnui, etanaa becomes 
sttsnai, wa is wcb. Ber (hie) is seen as Mr, «ceap (oris) 
as icip. Tmhie (docuit) is found as tahte, onr taught; 
atmestan becomes aimissa, our alma. Many other such 
iust&nCBB cotUd be given ; the word reu (rue) is in our 
days sounded as if it was written rv (our roo) ; the old 
eu or e<no always is sonnded like u, if it follows r. 
So in these Gospels the Southern lareow is written 
laruu. We most look to the Northem shires for the 
first traces of our present pronunciation. 

We know the old controversy about Home and Hume 
in the last century ; the and the u have indeed been 

■ We h«Fe Bee iSei^wu written for the Plural of the Southern 
word )>Ayffn ; thii ahowa lioir etuil/ the foreign word rei^ long after- 
waid toot root in England. 

* All the words that follow must be pronounced aa the Trench 
would do now. 

id8 Old and Middle English. 

much confnBed in later English, and we here find bath 
pol andpul, the Welsh ^Z, oxapool. Heo (ilia) is here 
seen as kiu ; henoe the Lancashire hoo, so well known 
to Mrs. Oaskell's readers. 

As to consonants, Uie Southern h is often tamed into 
the hard ch i hwwt becomes ckiusd ; the kindred Latin quid, 
which was the word translated, seems to have snggeated 
the d at the end of this Northnmbrian word. So the lAtin 
rectos is sometimes Englished by rectos, and not by the 
proper rihtas; the likeneas between the two tongnes 
must in many a word have forced itself npon any shrewd 
translator's mind, as I eaid before. To this day, in the 
Scotch liowlands, words like right or night may be heard 
sonnded with a, strong gnttaml in the middle, ae in 
German. In these Gospels, iueh is sometimes written 
for iuh (vob). 

There is another imitation of the Latin in St. Lnke 
xxii. 39, where Olivamm is Englished by Olebeanta, as 
if the varum answered to our word harrow. Alfred in 
the Sonth reversed this process, for he turned Abnef 
into JEfaere, 

There are strong hints of Danish inflnence ; thus uif 
is sometimes written for ■amlf, and the Old English 
seofd^ (septimns) is seen as seofwnda : here the m and d 
come from Scandinavia. The Danish Active Participle 
is often osed instead of the Old English, as ga/ngamde for 
gangende; and this long lingered in Scotland. Our 
foreign invaders, in this instance, bronght English nearer 
to Sanscrit than it was before. 

Onr tear is here Been in the very old form, teher, the 
Gothic tagr and the Greek dakru. 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 109 

In the &boTe ioBtaiice, we have caught one of the 
last traces of the Old ; I now afford one of the first 
glimpses of the Xew. In St. Matthew, xzt. 24, the 
Southern Otiapels give for the Latin semintuti the true 
old fonn of the Second Person Singular of the Strong 
Perfect, leowe ; this, in the Lindistame Gospels, takes an . 
« at the end, as if it beloi^d to a Weak Verb, and 
becomes 8u sawes, ' thou sowedett,' and in St. Luke xix. 21 
it is seen as Su gesauadetd. This cormptioa made very 
slow way in England ; even down to the Refonnatiou 
we see the old form; and when that was unhappily lost, 
one of the most remarkable links between English and 
Sanscrit was snapped for ever.' 

There is another instance of the same corruption in 
St. Luke xiv. 22, where imperasti is Englished by $w 
gehehtes ; the last word would, in the South, have had 
no ■ at the end. 

In St. Luke, vii. 32, the Strong Perfect vxopon. 
(plorastis) is replaced by the Weak form gie wcepde, our 
t/e wept. This process we saw beginning in the Ps^ter. 

I have already pointed out the close tie between the 
letters « and r. In these Gospels they were becoming 
confused ; in St. Luke, it. 9, perdidemm. is Englished 
by both f orient aa&forlnre. 

The first instance of another corruption may be seen 
in St. Matthew ii. 9, (loeug,') ubi erat puer ; the ubi was 
always peer m Old English, but we now see it translated 
by AuwT- as well as fer. What led to the change is seen 
in St. John xii. 26 ; uhi is there Englished by tua kuer, 

' See bow the Strong Verb should be coDJugated at p, 25. 

I lo Old and Middle English. 

oar vsk^em : this in the Soath would have been fwa 
hweer tmx. In the same way, as time went od, the rela- 
tive that was replaced by the cormpt vjhoL We have a 
remnant of the tme Old English in take that thine 
9«, thongh we look in vain for the similar stay thwe 
thou art. 

Another startling change cornea in St. Uatt. xriii. 
21, reminding ob of Cicero's Sdbeo dieere. The old dgan 
(making its Second Fereon Singnlar of the Present, )>w 
£ge) meant no more than ^poatidere, and this old sense 
laet«d beyond the year 1600, as in Shakespeare's 'the 
noblest grace she owed.' Bat in the above Gospel t«zt, 
3w aht to getdanne is employed to English the Latin debea ; 
liaheg Bolvere. This aht, replacing the rightfnl dge, is the 
parei^t of oar ought ; a most nsefol aoxiliary verb, which 
now stands for nearly all the Persons, Singular and 
Plural, of the Present and Fast tenses alike of dgan. 
We have here, I fhink, the earliest instance of an English 
word sliding into a new meaning before our eyes ; we 
shall meet with many other examples of this. Rather 
later, the verb with its new sense is found in King 
Canute's laws, and afterwards in the Chronicle for the 
year 1070. The kindred Scandinavian verb etga may 
have had some inflaence in effecting the change of 
meaning here. 

The IaUu ave was Englished in the South by hat tocu 
(Mi, the first word being an adjective. In the North, the 
verb was dropped ; for in St. Matt, zxvii 29 twe becomes 
simply hal, our haU ; the Scandinavian AetU is used like 


Oar language is all the richer, since it comes tram 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions, ill 

different sources. We now ose on and in 'with different 
seases, bat it was not so of old. We follow tlteflu 
Nortliem Gospels when we talk of having life in the 
Scriptares ; the Southern men snbetituted on for 
the i"n. 

We know that wldle is now naed in Yorkshire for the 
French jiugu'a <x que, not for the French pendant que ; 
&a in ' stay while I come.' In St. Matt, xxiv. 34 Ha 
hufUe ifl osed for our modem tiU in the phrase ' till all 
these things be fulfilled.' This usage is often found in 
these Idndisfame Gospels. 

Onr himhim (whilom) for quondam, is first fonnd in 
St. Lake xxiii. 19 ; it stood commonly for aUquando, 
like the Scotch ■whiles. 

In the Sontb, the First Person Singular of the Per- 
fect was kept distinct from its Plural brother; as ic 
fond (inveni), wefundon. In the North onr present way 
of jnmbling the two together was foreshadowed about 
nine hundred years ago ; fa/nd ie comes in St. Matt, viii, 
10. In zir. 30, the Glosser writes both (mgatm and 
tm^unne over the same Latin rerK 

We have already seen hio hrced for/ainu; but in St. 
John Ti. 23 we see the first use of Iread for panxa. This 
-comes again in the Bnshworth Gospels ; the old hlaf by 
degrees made way for the new term. 

Cote is seen in the glossary to Scott's Novels as a 
Northem term for a care ; cofa, with this sense, is found 
in these Gospels. There is another English word, hof, 
meaning the same, which seems to be the nearest akin 
of all to the Latin cavtu, according to established rules. 

The Latin agere p<eniteBiiam had a most lofty sense 

1 1 2 Old and Middle English. 

in St. Jerome's time, expressiDg an act of the mind, 
since he uses it of Ood Himsnlf. In Italy, ipmitenza (a 
cnrions instance of the degradation of words), now rises 
no higher than a bodily act, done in atonement for sin. 
Before the year 1000 ^pceniteniia had acqnired the more 
debased meaning, at least in the Sonth of England, since 
it is there translated by dcsd-bote ; but in the North it 
seems to have kept its nobler sense, for there it was 
Englished by hreonissey ruefulness^ (St. Matt. iiL 2). 
Long afterwards, Wickliffe and Coyerdale went wrong 
in Englishing poenitentia by penance^ while Tyndale, a 
far better scholar, whom we follow, hit upon the right 
word for the Greek metcmoia. 

Oar peak is commonly derived from the French ; bnt 
in St. Luke's aooonnt of onr Lord's temptation, pirma 
tempU was Englished in 950 by hompic temples. 

In St. Matt. xiv. 13, pedestres (in this Version alone) 
is translated by foe^emenn. The word ' footman ' does not 
appear again nntil about 1300, in the Alexander. 

In the same Gospel, xxiv. 22, (ymnis caro is translated, 
not in our literal way, but by eghiielo lichoma. This last 
word (the Latin corpus) gives us the first hint as to how 
our everybody and nobody arose.* 

In the same book, ix. 20, sangumis flttxus becomes 
bhdes floutng ; the last word was never used in the 
South. The ing at the end of words was in time to 
supplant ung, and the change is often foreshadowed in 
these Gospels. It is to Northern England that we 
mainly owe oxir Verbal Nouns in ing, as we shall see 

* Lye, as quoted by ro8worth« says that Itc stands for the dead 
body, Itchama for tho liring body. 

Nortfiern English. — Eajly Comiptions, 113 

when perasing her monuments of the Thirteenth Cen- 

We sometimes hear the phrase ' to chop and change.' 
The first of these verbs is found in St. Luke xiz. 15, 
where negotiatus esset is Englished by geceopad were. 
This seems more akin to the Scandinavian Jcaupa than to 
the Southern phrase cedpcm^ whence come clieap and 
ekapnutn. Our verb job toems to come from this chop. 

The Latin phrase cited above carries the mind to the 
English hwignisse, which translates sollicitiido, at page 15 
of Hardwick's Versions of St. Matthew; Mr. Earle wishes 
to derive our h^Tiess (negotium) from the French 
hescingnes. I am loth to yield up so thoroughly national 
a word to the foreigner; and I would suggest that 
there is but little difference in the meaning of nego- 
Hum and aoUicitudo. Either of them would express the 
cares of this life, a well-known Scriptural phrase. We 
still Bay ' I made it my business/ that is, ' my care ; ' just 
asWicklifife wrote, Jiyve thou hisynesse (St. hxikexh.BS). 

It is hard to tell whence comes our word sneer. In 
St. Matt. iz. 24 dendehant is Englished by smerdon; there 
may be an exchange here of m and n. In the South, 
this verb wottld have had a hi prefixed. 

Out word bundles is first found as bunda, in St. Matt. 
ziiL 30 ; it is the Scandinavian bundin.^ 

Our stir and shake were usually active Verbs, but In 

* How beavtifol an instrument of language is the Teutonic vowel- 
change im the middle of a word ! We have thus struck off band, bejid, 
hindy bondy hundrle. Compare aharey shears shire, &c. ; grabf grip, 
frrove, groove, grub, &c. 

114 Old and Middle English. 

St. Matt. xi. 7 agifatam is Englished by styrends and 

In St, Matt, ixv, 36 the verb claXdon ( je) clothed, ia 
Boeo for the first time ; this ia the Scandinavian verb 

In St. Lnke'e acconnt of our Lord's snfTerings, it is 
said that the soldiers thrashed Him, iSurgcon; this verb 
woald in our days be thought hardly lofty enough for 
the occasion. 

The Infinitive in n is constantly clipped ; and not 
only does awrittan (acribere) become awritta, bnt passes 
^irther into atoritte, oar write. Many other snch instances 
conid be given. Sometimes a Perfect is clipped ; thus 
eodoii (ibant) becomes eado (St. Lake xxiv. 13). 

The Soathem gyllan Jie no becomes in the North 
geseUa oSer no, ' give tribnte or not.' 

Our adjective Mgh is need independently of substan- 
tives, as Oil higli. This began very early, for in St. 
Luke i. 78 ex alto is Englished by of keh ; the expression 
must have seemed rather strange, for of heofnum is there 
given as an explanation. These Latin idioms in the 
Bible must have had great influence upon English. When 
we see qute et qjialie niulier (St. Luke vii. 39) translated 
by hiioeh and hulie vnf, we cannot help thinking that the 
hulie must have been suggested by the kindred guaUs, as 
the English word is never found in the South. 

The BUckling Homihes, published in 1874 by Dr. 
Morris for the Early English Text Society, are remarkable 
as bearing a date ; they were compiled in 971. I would 
suggest Staffordshire or the neighbourhood as the place 
where they were drawn up; they abound in Northern 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 115 

forms, sach aa iugitk, halie (aanctns), hafaS, aldor (prin- 
ceps), owihi ; the ge at the beginniag of Fast Participles 
is often clipped ; e often roplacee the Southern <e and ea. 
On the other hand, there are pecnliarities, which are 
afterwards seen in Salop ; such as e for the t or « of 
other ahirea; senne (peccatnm), hergean (sepelire), sceU 
dig (rens). In saiiwle (anima), p 43, the w and the w 
are united, either of which letters might have stood after 
a or o. In p, 159 we see the old form tooruld (stecnliim) ; 
in the pa^ before, this is pared down to worlde. 

The Consonants are often thrown ont. The hrape 
(cito) of p. 155 loses its h in the preceding page ; the 
g is lost in fyliende (seqnens), p. 249 ; in halie (sanctas), 
p. 143 ; and in an, for agen (proprios), p. 105. Ofdiine 
becomes adune (ftdown), p, 173; herem (horreum) be- 
comes 6ere» (barn), p. 41. In p. 21 we see o))«i leokte 
written instead of on \on leokte (' i' the light,' as Shake- 
speare would say). Some have set this clipping down to 
the Danes' account, but it is due simply to Teutonic 
laziness in pronouncing consonants. Thus, before the 
year 400, on hack is seen corrupted into the Qotbic 
ibakai ; King Alfred wrote both omixg and aweg (away). 
We may still say both on shore and ashore. 

In p. 131 we find embe twelf moTiap (about a twelf- 
month) ; the first instance, I think, of this pecnliarly 
Knglish noun. In p. 45 we read, htm, sylfum ncBnige 
gode beon, ' to be of no good to himself ; ' we now say, 
'he is no good to any one.' 

As to Pronouns, in pp. 23 and 45 we see p<em (illia) 
need where in the Sonth heo^n would hare come. This 
usage was continned 200 years later by Orrmin, who most 

I r6 Old and Middle English. 

likely lived not far from the shire where these Homilies 
were compiled. In p. 49 comes hro^or Tnine {brethren 
mine), instead of the nanal form. Another asc^ of 
Orrmin's is foreshadowed in p. 127; we see mt mghwylen'nt 
anwa (at each one) : in the Sonth, the last word, anum, 
wonid not have been allowed. It yfoa the indefinite nan 
that stood elsewhere for the Greek lis ; bnt in p. 125 we 
read of the finest work that men conid devise : an idiom 
that we still keep. 

In p. 243 due tid stands for nlivi, and shows whence 
cornea ottr mkte, in the sense of the Latin word. In 
p. 215 is he Jitpfde twBm liBt ]ie twentig (he had two less 
than twenty), a moat terse English idiom. 

In p. 165 the Angel tells Zacharias ne wiU fw |>e 
emdreadan (fear not) ; an early instance of xoill bang 
nsed to soften a command. 

We find such phrases as ejw swa ( jnsfc so), p. 7S ; 
fvl leaf (fiill dear), p. 131. A well-known Adjective is 
here nsed mnch like an Adverb : still hod hitherto 
Englished the French iranquiUe, it is now farther nsed 
for toujoun. We read in p. 209 of men fe on itFre stowe 
ttilU imirwdan (that dwelt still in the place) ; the context 
shows that still was gaining a new sense, which was long 
peculiar te the North. 

In p. 121, five lines from the top, niia is evidently 
used for the Latin ergo ; a most striking innovation. 

As te Prepoeitions, the nse of 6^ is mnch extended. 
In p. 213 comes ferilan he him (went past him) ; in 
p. 185 is keoldan he him (hold by them, cleave to them). 
It had often been nsed to express the instroment ; it now 
introduces the agent, in p. 163, answering to the Latin 

Nortltern English.— Early Corrupiimts. wj 

ah ; something is otigyten be eaUum men (understood by 
ajl men). This last sense U moBt nnnsaal, and is not 
found ^ain, I think, until Mandeville's time, nearly four 
handred years later. In p. 21? we get onr firet hint of 
unto ; St. Martin, seeing men Eitand round a person's 
body, went into him. In p. 127 comes up op breott heali 
(high ap to the breast), the source of oar breast-high. 

I^tin words were losing their own endings, and were 
being stamped with the English mark; we here find 
liiecipul, aposlol, tempi. 

The Bnshworth Gospels were compiled in the North 
ahont the year 1000.' One of the translators was a 
priest at Karewood in Yorkshire. I give a few words 
to show how mach nearer the dialect is to our present 
speech than West Saxon is : — 













To cumenne eart 

Owome scftlt 

Shalt come 

Ealle gearwe 


All j-are (ready) 












In middle 







There were traces of Danish forms in the Lindisfanie 
Gospels ; these are still plainer to the eye in the Bush- 

' Mi. Sksat has laCalj fixed the dat« af thess Northern GoepeU ; 
Bee hi« Preface to St. Muk. In my former -wort I was here misled 
by Gamett, 

Ii8 Old and Middle EnglisiL 

worth Book. In St. Luke, xiz. 21, tu es is translated 
by the kindred pu is, which is a sure mark of Scandi- 
navia ; the is in the old Northnmbrian kingdom answered 
to the Latin num^ es, est, all alike. ^ There is another 
Danish form in St. Luke xziii. 41, where the prononn 
hie is translated, not by ^es, bnt by t$er ; the thir may be 
remarked in the * Cursor Mandi,' in Hampole, and in 
Scotch law documents almost down to the year 1700. 

In the North, words were pared down as much 
as possible ; the first letter of a/postol is here cast 
out, much as in Orrmin's writings two hundred years 
later ; this is a Scandinavian usage, which lasted down 
to Wickliffe's time. The Southern geworden became in 
Yorkshire aivar^ ; where the Old English prefix ge lin- 
gers in our day, it commonly takes the form a. 

The Northern k is here much used for the Southern 
c, and cu is turned into qti, following the Latin. The 
combination oi may be remarked, which was very rare 
in England before this time, except in proper names like 
Boisil and Loidis ; it seems to have been sounded like 
the French e. There is an early instance of v replacing 
/, in St. Matt. i. 24, where vAve is found for wif\ we see 
in another place leovost. I often stands for g, at the 
beginning of words. Alfred's gh, so common with us, 
replaces the guttural h, as, neghihur, for the old neahhur. 
The sound of o is already confused with that of u, for we 
find unduati (solvite). As happens in many other in- 
stances, we now write this word in the Southern way, 

* This may be seen in the Jacobite ballad : — 

' Cogie, an the King come, 
I'se be fou, and thou's be toom.' 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 119 

and pronounce it as the NorthemerB did. Tlie old jjiws 
{herba) is now seen as jrcM, oar grass. 

What in the Sonth was /lyne, becomes him in the 
North ; the Dative replaces the Accnsative, both in the 
Singttlar and Plnrul, as we see in St. Matt, xvii. 5, 
and other places ; in chap. ii. 4, we find lieom, need for 
}iAq, jost as we say in talking, ' I asked 'em.' 

There is a ouriona idiom in St. Matt. xv. 32 ; )>reo 
Sagas is nu pai, &c. We shonld now prefix it to the i€. 
The other Versions keep closer to the Latin. 

In St. Matthew xxvi, 68, we find the fisst instance, 
I think, of the Neuter Relative Btanding after a Mascu- 
line Antecedent ; hwa ia Jttef fe slog ? ' who is it that ? ' 
This is just as if a Latiniet were to write, quie est quod ? 

There is a like innovation in St. Matt. xv. 34 ; 
hwe^ Mafas, <tc. ? ' what loaves ? ' This translates the 
lAtin quot, which the GloHser perhaps took for a kindred 
word ; bnt the English Aicief had never been coupled 
with a Plural Nominative before, so far as can be known. 

In St. Luke xxiii. 34, hwmt for the first time stands 
as a Relative, like the Latin quod; wufun pcet kwmt 
hi dooS. We should now strike out the pwt. These 
three last instances of cormption in English show what 
influence the intermingling of Anglians with Danes has 
had in our land. More than a hundred years later, the 
corrupt English of the North was spreading downward 
to Peterborongh. We should cast aside all the old 
notione about our grammar owing its debasement to the 
Norman Conqnest. Rich Kent, though overrun with 
foreigners, held fast to the Old English endings down to 
1340, long after the greater part of the land had dropped 

I20 Old and Middle English. 

ihem ;* Yorkshire bad got rid of many of her endings long 
before the Normans came. It was not these last con- 
querors that substituted the Plural ending in ea for 
the old Plural in en ; this en, with its Genitive in en«, 
lasted until 1340 in Kent. 

The old of gets a new meaning, our ixniceming, in St. 
John xviii. 23. In the Soutb, the rightful be was main- 
tained ; cyp geivitnesse he t/fele, ' of the eviL' 

The ending es is seen added to Adverbs in St. 
Matthew viii. 32 ; we there find niikrweardes. This is 
the parent of our corrupt ones (once), hence^ dliocvys, and 
many such. 

We often find dol used for stuUus, whence comes 
our dolt ; the t as usual roimding ofE the word. 

Piper (tibicen), the Scandinavian pijpari^ seems pecu- 
liar to the North, as another word is employed in the 
Southern Gospels. 

We sound our word whelps more correctly now than 
was done in the North nine hundred years ago ; for in 
St. Matthew xv. 27, it is written welpas. All who wish 
to speak good English must clearly sound the h before 
the w in words like when, whaL 

In St. Matthew xxi. 19, contintu) is Englished by in 
styde, a Danish form. Hence comes our * on the spot,' 
referring to time, not to place. 

The old tuna (enclosui'e), might stand for either a 
village or a garden ; it is here applied to Bethany and to 
G^thsemane alike. 

The Latin torrens is Englished by hlynne in St. John 
xviii. 1. This word is peculiar to the North; the linns 
of Scotland are well known. 

NortJtem English. — Early Corruptions, 121 

When we talk of our haunden duty, we are more 
primitiye than the author of the Bushworth Gospels 
was, who clips the last consonant, and has uribunde for 
solutum ; the endings of Verbs were now much mauled. 
But he cleaves to his old dom (facio), where the m marks 
a very early daie. 

In St. Mark v. 14, foed is found instead of foedcm ; 
here the rightful ending disappears altogether. Wickliffe 
is fia* more primitive, for he has tliei fedden, they fed. 

We follow the Southern Perfect spoetton (they spat), 
rather than the aplttadun of these Gospels. In the Present, 
we prefer the Northern spit to the old Southern Present 
spcet. Our Standard English comes from many different 
shires ia,r apart. 

The Southern Participle gecnyt (knit) has prevailed 
over the gecnyted of the Rushworth Gospels. 

I have kept one of the greatest changes till the last. 
In St. Matthew vi. 7, docm stands for faciunt; in St. 
John xix. 15, habh&ii stands for hahemus. The n that 
ends these words in the Plural of the Present is some- 
t^iing altogether new ; it would have been replaced by C 
in the South, by s in the North. These changes will be 
discussed a little later ; it is enough now to remark, that 
these Gospels could not well have been Englished far to 
the North of Doncaster. 

We may now return to Southern England. The 
effect of Latin upon English may be seen in ^Ifric's 
Grammar, which belongs to this time.^ He finds him- 
self obliged to use foreign terms; as, 'Pronomina habba5 

' See SomDor's edition of it. 

122 Old and Middle English. 

feower declinunga^^ p* 17 ; * we liabba;^ declvnod ... we 
wille secgan p& seofan derivatwa,* p* 18 ; ']>a babba^ six 
casus,^ SuLor is Englished by sutere ; murmxtr by ceoumng 
(jawing). He can translate quadrwpes hj fy}^erfeie ; but 
there is a sad f alling-off in onr power of componnding, 
when hivium has to be Englished by the cnmbrons iwegra 
wega gelcete. He is happy in haying gemetu^ wherewith 
to translate the kindred meira. His pupils cannot have 
gathered mnch new knowledge from this sentence ; * syn- 
don indedindbilia^ pedt is, nndeclinigendlice,' p. 51 ; a 
cnrions instance of a foreign word being fitted with an 
English head and tail. The names of the cases are given 
in Latin. 

We may remark in -^Ifric's other writings, that he 
talks of a halig satict, thus coupling two synonyms ; and 
he cuts down the old gehdl (integer) to half thus con- 
founding it with the English word for scmtts ; for these 
points see Sweet's 'Anglo-Saxon Eeader,' 99, 100. 
Wifmen is pared down to wimmertf our womveny just as 
the Latin amavisse became a/mdssef Onaivod became 
Gnceo ; we still keep the sound of the old word wimmen^ 
though we misspell it. The hard g is softened in the 
third letter of geiuhodan (jugati) ; Oerherus becomes 
Oervems, and on the other hand Javes becomes Johes, 
the Genitive of Jupiter.* -^Ifiric speaks of cb, iScet is open 
laga ; here we have the Old English and the new Danish 
translations of lex,^ In the Chronicle for the year 994, 
(BTitg is cut down to ceni; and in the year 998, t5t*r/i is 
replaced by iS^iruh^ whence ilwrough and thoroughfare. 
In the year 1009, the old Jdafmoesse loses its A' in two 

* See Thorpe's AnaUcta^ 37, 01, 92, 102, for these changes. 
' Sweet, Anglo-Saxon Reader, 64, 90. 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 133 

copies of the Chronicle, and loseB its / in a third. Oar 
Tjamiaaa was nearly formed. 

JELemble'a ' Charters,' after the year 1000, show a 
great change going on in our tongue. In III. 353, we 
hear that a man nndertakes to pat nothing faU in a book ; 
the adjective is a foreign word. Danish words come in 
with Canute ; in 17. 37, we hear of silver weighed ' be 
hmtingei gewihte.' In a WiD of 1046 (IV. 106), heriot 
r^laces kere-geaiv; the Danish word logo. (lex) is 
plamlyabouttodriveonttheOldEnglisho!. InlV. 870, 
we come upon the true form of Edward the Confessor's 
Charters, and we can see how wretchedly other docu- 
ments of his reign have been mauled by later tran- 
scribers ;'n«iny of these latter papers are set out by 

Mr. Wright has printed, in his Popular Treatises on 
Science, an English Manoal of Astronomy, that dates 
from about 1000 or a little earlier. Bceda here becomes 
Bed«, nwBTjen becomes merien (mom), and there is HUErfew, 
which has lost the g before ito d ; orcerd, not far from 
oar orchard, comes in p. 10. 

In p. 16 we hear that lewd men call Septemtrio 
earUs-w^ ; it is cnrioua that we have preserved the old 
letter a in onr corruption of this name, and that we do 
not here talk of churl. In p. 18 we read of Elias and his 
enapa; this last word was adding the sense of servua to 
its old meaning puer, and nearly four hundred years 
later it was to take a third sense, that of nebido. The 
terseness of English comes out in the phrase, an igland 
ha norSon fytum »yx daga fcer (an island six days' journey 
North of this) ; this/tw is the Accnsative of measuring, 

124 Old and Middle English. 

which was in time to encroacli greatly upon other 

In p. 13 hissextus is Englished by iwuwa syx, ' twice 
six ; ' this is not often fonnd so early. A remnant of the 
old sonnd lasted down to Mandeville's time, who has Uoo 
so fii/uch. 

In p. 17 we see our forcible idiom, which replaces t/", 
coupled with the Subjunctive, by the Imperative ; Lord 
Macaulay was very fond of this. Ntme cenne sticcan, hit 
Jiata^ ; ' take a stick, it will become hot.' 

Even in those early days learned men found that they 
could not wholly express their meaning in pure English ; 
we read here of circMl and firmameniwm. We hear 
of the hlyd'7no7i^ (noisy month), which we •now call 
March ; and we have also Fehruarucs ; the old and the 

One of the tokens of change in a language is, that 
a Noun is brought in to express in a more lengthy 
way what had been denoted by a Preposition. In 
a Charter of 1046 (Kemble, IV. 106), the old toi^ pan 
pe is exchanged for 07i t$am gerad iSoet (on condition 

The * Apollonius,* published by Mr. Thorpe, cannot 
well be dated before 1050 ; the clippings are frequent ; 
Infinitives and Participles are sadly maimed. The old 
uncnawen (unknown) is seen as tcnoiiaive, a corruption 
of the Past Participle that is a sure mark of the South. 
With us, a cup is broken, an officer is broke. 

The e, which should come at the end of words, often 
vanishes ; the Adverb rlhte becomes rihL The y is oft)en 
turned into i, thus hysig becomes biey, p. 20. We see 

Nortliem English, — Early Corruptions, 125 

pnA (fiend) in p. 7, just as we now pronounce the 

Many Consonants are thrown out, as we have re- 
marked before ; arihi is found in p. 3, I think, for the 
first time; ancc&antd loses its first n in p. 24; the 
InlinitiTe rtman loses its last n, Menigu y^niultitudo) 
becotnes mcmio in p. 12 ; hence Dryden's * the many 
rend the skies.' In p. 18 the Article se becomes Jte, 
as we still have it. 

In p. 19 is an instance of the repetition of one and 
the same noun, an idiom in which England delights, 
'the king held ^^rn hcmd on handa,* 

In p. 4 we see another diange of meaning ; cniht 
had hitherto been used to English servus ; it now bears 
aotuething like our sense of the word; for ealdorman 
(prince) is written over it as an explanation. A word 
is often degraded, but not ofben promoted, as in this 

In p. 12 we find 8wnne ^cet pe gemiltsige ; here the 
Neuter Belative peat is used after a Masculine Antece- 
dent, as in the North. In the next page, to an is used 
instead of the proper to dnum. 

In p. 8 comes ic gehirde secgan, ' I heard say ; ' here 
num, which should be the third word, is dropped. The 
Adverb /of6toere£ seems to become an Adjective in p. 10, 
' tfiey >Arere foriktferd on their way ; ' forward is now often 
used by us as an Adjective. In p. 14 efne is used in a 
sew sense ^efne fes man, whom thou didst aid, is 
ettTiouB ; ' it seems something like the Latin ipse. 

There are changes in the Chronicle after the year 
1000. Six years after that date the old Wmtanceaster is 

126 Old and Middle English, 

seen as Wincester, to wliicli we now add but one letter. 
In 1035, the g is thrown out of hlcBfdige ; in 1049 the )> 
is thrown ont of Norynien. A little later, Petrtus becomes 
Petre (Petcjr). In 1062 sisudaMichaheles moesse (Michael- 
mas) ; here the Saint at the beginning is dropped; as also 
in Thonies mcesse ; we often in onr day hear the Grenitive 
Thomases used, like the old Genitive Juliuses, In 1054, 
a bishop for Jtces hynges cerende, *he went the king's 
errand ; ' a cnrions idiom of the Accusative after an In- 
transitive Verb. This is something more than the old 
* live a life,' * fight a fight.' In the year 1055 we hear 
o£ Hereford port (town), an instance of English concise- 
ness, like Sinai munt. In the year 1061 word com (word 
came) that, &G, In 1064, a man marches against his 
enemy with many shires that are named ; here the shires 
stand for their inhabitants, like Macanlay's 'fast fled 
Ferentinnm.' In the same year, the Apostle Jude is 
mentioned. The land of Cambria appears about this 
time as Brytland and Wealas (year 1048) ; the dwellers 
therein are f e Welsc. A few years later, in 1077, it is 
the land to the West of Normandy that is called 
Brytlandf the Brittany of our time. 

There is an Impersonal idiom in 1052, pa com hit to 
witenne pam eorlum^ 'then came it to the Jbiowledge 
of the earls.' In 1044 we read of * the Abbot of Abban- 
dune ; ' the of is here beginning to supplant the rightfol 


In the year 994 stands cet neaxta/n, 'in the next 
place ; ' we should now say simply next ; at least dates 
from the same age, and at all was to come later. In the 
year 1066 a man lifede huton pry gear ; here the ne is 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 127 

dropped before the verb, and thus Indon gete the sense 
of the LAtin tamium. 

We have seen the changes in the North ; even in the 
South, Danish words were taking root ; some are fonnd 
in Canute's day ; and William I. , addressing his Londoners 
in their own tongue, aa3rs that he will not allow ' |>get 
Qujg man eow tenig imang beode.' This wrong (malum) 
comes from the Scandinflvifln rangr (obliquus) ; it drove 
oot the Old English vioh. 

I shall consider elsewhere the effect of the Norman 
Conquest upon England's speech. I give in my Appen. 
diz a specimen of the East Anglian dialect, much akin 
to the Northumbrian, written not long after the battle 
of Haatinf^.' In the Legend of St. Edmund, the holy 
man of Suffolk, we see the forms of ^e, 8e, and the, all 
rejdacing the old le ; the cases of the Substantive and the 
endings of the Verb are clipped ; the pre6x ge is seldom 
found, and iset stands for t^e old Participle geget. As to 
the Infinitive, the old dalfan becomes dcelfe; the Dative 
Aeom replaces the old Accusative M, as heom wat gehwa, 
' each knows them.' The adjective does not agree in case 
with the substantive ; as mid eepele ieaimtvi. An heora 
is turned into art mon of Aim; a corruption that soon 
spread over the South. The first letter is pared away 
from hlafard; the Anglian alh replaces the Southern 
eaJh. Eode is making way for vienJe (ivit) ; and we 
find such forms as cMM, nefre, healed, fologede, instead 
of did, ncefre, hmlod, fyligde. 

' Mr. Tljorpe, in bis AnaUcta Aiiglo-Saximica, looks npon the 
Legend, which he prints, aa an Eut Anglioo vork. 

128 Old and Middle English. 

The Chronicle, after the Norman Conquest, shows 
new forms of spelling ; the Northern et replaces e and 
<B, as in aweig and togeines ; d/roef (pepnlit) becomes draf. 
A Welshman is named in the year 1097, whose name 
was Gaduugatm ; here the au is employed to express the 
strong accent on the last syllable. The Plural as now 
becomes es, as castel^, in the year 1087. The old 
Olecmeceastre (pronounced Olewehaigtre), is written Olowe" 
ceastre in the year 1119; not far from our Oloucesiter, 
An u is sometimes inserted, for hosyn becomes hosum. 

As to Consonants ; n is used to round off a word, for 
the Celtic Donacha is written Dunecan in 1093. The », 
on the other hand, is clipped in 1087, when wmre (erant) 
replaces wceron. We have seen that w was not a 
favourite letter in the North ; the Old English letter for 
w was disused so early as 1070 in the South, for in one 
of the Chronicles we read of Oantuuarehyrt, The new 
ih begins to usurp upon the old f, as in Theotford ; the 
hard g is dropped in the middle of halwy drfa, and cente. 
A well-known name is written Bogcer in 1076. The old 
eallgeador is lengthened to ecdl togcedere in the year 1095. 
The change of/ into v, in the middle of a word, proceeds. 
In the very year of the Norman Conquest, we read of a 
provost, and in the next year we find tinstvemisse ; one 
version of the Chronicle, in 1078, talks of Eofeshamme, 
while another spells the word as Evesham, The inter- 
change of 8 and r (see page 87 of this book) is found ; in 
the year of the Conquest we see both the old ge&uron 
and the new cvLsen (they chose). 

The Article stands by itself, followed by of, thus 
saving the repetition of a Noun that had gone before ; 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 129 

in the year 1096 is fonud, se eorl of Flaitdran and »e of 
Biman (be of Boal<^tie). This settiog a Pronoun (sach 
the Article is here) before a Preposition, is strange to 
Old English, thongh it might be done in Greek and 

One of the first changes that followed the Conqneet 
was the great development given to of; the old Qenitive 
of Konns vras now encroached npoD, and French infl,a- 
ence may have been here at work. Within twenty-five 
years after 1066, we find — 

Ut Uhtlke of otS (recked of oath) 

aferede ofheom (ftfrwd of them) 

m,ycil dai of hit mannon 

btbmdot of ^am ^e (stripped of) 

he teruk of hit immnon (some of bis men) 

yrfewtma ofealion (hur of all) 

As to this last, in the very next sentence we see the true 
old Genitive form yrfenuma ealles. So in the sentence, 
that follows cyng of Deninearcan, comes the rightfhl 
Englalamdet cyng. We stand here, in 1085, between the 
Old and the New. In 1095, there ia a new idiom, Gothic 
bat not Old English ; stars fall he anan oSfie twam, ' by 
one or two.' A few sentences on, we see this Inj stand 
for the lAtin per ; sende Rotngesceot be him ; purh would 
have been employed earlier. In 1076, something tarns 
ont to myeelan hearnie ; this reminds as of the older to 
•raichtm, loeorf e, p. 69. 

Wi&atan of old meant no more than attra, bnt in 
lU87 it gained the new sense of tvae, as we now mostly 
nae it. The great William, we hear, wonld have won 

130 Old and Middle English. 

Ireland wt^kc^on cdcon, wcepnon.^ In 1076, a man is said 
to be BrittUc en hia modor healfe (side). In 1094, uppon 
is nsed for prceter ; itppon \0Bt ; this is the source of onr 
thousands upon thousands. 

In Pronouns, the concision of cases has begun, as in 
the North ; in the year 1067 we find ^0971., the Dative, stand 
for hi, the Accusative. There is a startling corruption 
in the account of Stamford Bridge Fight, added by a 
later hand after the year 1100 ; instead of the rightfol 
o^er, we read \>a com cm oper, which is as though a 
Latinist should write umu alter for alter. There is also 
mfre \>e c^er man, * every other man,' in 1087. In 1096, 
naptng is found for nan ying. 

In Substantives, there are tokens found that a great 
change has come over England ; hSc is turned into hokes, 
(lihri) ; in 1070, we fiind (ri$ swerunge (oath-swearing) ; 
this prefixing an Accusative to a Verbal Noun became 
very common ; such a phrase as hea/m cenwung had 
always been used. In 1073, comes on pa saihealfe (sea- '^t* 
side) ; here two nouns are packed together, most tersely. 
In 1098, we hear that a mere hlod weoU (ran blood) ; 
a new use of the Accusative. In 1086, we read that 
the Conqueror duMade his swvu Henrie to ridere ; this 
French chevalier is in the next year Englished by oniht. 
The Dative in wn was vanishing ; we fiind the phrase 
mid feawe matman in 1088. In 1091, we read of 12 
of pes cynges healfe aaid 12 of pes eorles ; the English 

> This of old wonld hare been h4Uan. Onr but still expresses 
ut\ prater, qum, sed, tferikm; in Scotland, I believe, it may still 
stand for extra and nine. Cor fiithers mnst have thought that too 
groAt a load was thrown upon one word« 


Nortltern English. — Early Corruptions. 131 

seem to have resolved upon saviDg tbeir breath and 
not repeating their Substantives. 

Ab to Adjectives, there ie a new coDstrnction in the 
jear 1085, fcw mycel hit wcere wwrfi, ' how mnoh it waa 
worth ; ' here the AccaBative replaces the old Oenitire 
-after lomH. Oewmr of old meant only cautious ; it now gets 
the sense of our aware, as we see in 1095. Three years 
later, trywe (fidus) takes a new meaning, that of honestut ; 
a prodigy is related on the faith of certain trywe men. 

The Comparative Adverbs, bet and leng, are now 
changed into betert and leiigre. The repetition of a com- 
parative adverb (wtm-e and more, for instance), has been 
popular ^ith us ever siuce swXor and sw^or was set 
down in the account of the year 1086. In the next year 
we read nafde he ncejre swa mycel ijjel gedon ; but we 
ehould now say, ' had he done ever so much evil ; ' still 
the older idiom remains in our Bible. 

Afl to Verba, in 1070 we find that the old ahie (in 
the sense of debere) has come down South from Tork- 
shire ; many other words have followed in its track 
since that year. A new idiom for the Subjunctive starts 
up in 108?, instead of the old Imperfect formerly used ; 
$ifhe tnotle Ubhan, he h<^de geumnnon, 'he had won' or 
* he would have won,' guperaoUtei. This had we still 
keep in poetry ; our present substitute for it in prose 
waa to crop up seventy years later than the above-quoted 
entry. In the wonderful sketch of the Conqueror, in 
1087, the writer tells us hu gedon mann, he vxea ; this 
S^don means oom.fOiit'M, and we still talk of weU-done 
meat. Onr Pluperfect of the word 60 is first found in 
1096, he hea/de gebeon, 'he had been.' There is no 

132 Old and Middle English, 

Pluperfect like this in Old English, but the Icelandic 
has lie^r verit (Matzner, II. 74) ; gebeon replaces the old 
gewesen. In 1098, a prodigy was related by men that 
sceoJdan geseon hit ; we should say rrmst ha/ve seen it. 
They say in the North, * you would hear that fact a 
month ago ; ' where would hear stands for mvst have 
heard ; this reminds us of the time when we had no Plu- 
perfect of the Subjunctive. In 1100 comes the unusual 
Passive form, blod wees gesewen weallan (visu«st fluere), 
instead of the former idiom, ' man saw blood flow.' 

As to Pronouns, in 1072, WiUiam did with his ene» 
mies ^cet he wolde ; this \(Bt stands for the old swa hwmt 
8wa (quodcunque) ; we should now replace it by whaL 
In 1095 we hear of fa feower forewarde dagos (the four 
first days) ; the usual idiom here would be faforman^ 
twd (the first two). Either idiom is used now, and is 
most venerable. In 1100 King Henry acts he foere 
rcede fe hiin abutan wceran (by the rede of them that 
were about him). It is most unusual, in Old English, 
to find this Relative pe detached from its Antecedent ; 
it should have followed as the very next word. Scott 
has * their lot v;ho fled.^ In modem English composition 
the improper position of the Relative is the commonest 
of all grammatical pitfalls. 

We may here cast a glanco at Domesday Book, which 
tells us how English words, pronounced by peasants and 
not by scholars, sounded in ISforman ears. The ch was 
employed for A;, as in Ohenif Berchelai ; gJi expressed the 
hard sound of g before e or i, as OhersmUme.^ The » 

' This gh was mnch usecl in Tudor times to express the hard g" 
l>cfore eori; this usage prevails in Italy. 

Northern English. — Early Corrupiions. 133 

was often used for #. The g and \ in the middle of 
words were thrown out ; Eadffifth and Swegen, beoamu 
Eddeva and 8uen ; .^pdric became Ailric. The h, was 
tamed into c, aa Brietric. When we see Mlfred written 
Alured, we light npon the first trace of a new form of 
the word. The u is often written for v and /. The 
English II ia commonly written ov, in the French way. 
What we now call Evlland was set down in the Survey 
as HoUant ; the French sonnded 01 as ou or oo-e.' The 
)) was always a pnzzle to Frenchmen ; pegn was written 
teign. There was a place in Derbyshire called Wilelm- 
ttorp (now Williams thorpe), which was held in 1065 by 
one Swain Cilt ; this is a carious instance of a foreign 
Christiui name taking root in English soil, as the name 
of a hamlet. One of the greatest changes is that of 
the old Wigeraeeasler into TTtrcMtre, not far fixtm oni' 
. Woreetter ; Darbie shows the new sound, still existing, of 
Beoraby, There can be no doabt about the Old English 
prononciation of ow, when the Frenchmen write the old 
Stow as Sliyu ; the former combination has usually had 
to make way for the latter. In Lincolnshire and Derby- 
shire the old a was in some pUices getting the sound of 
the French S, for StainUme is fonnd ; the Northern 
sound was coming SonthwardR. Fugelestou, had not as 
yet been out down to Fithtow. 

We may examine the Peterborough Chronicle from 
1100 down to the great fire in 1116. There is atendenoy 
to get rid of p in every part of the word ; thus in the 
year 1100 we read that William Rufos was slain by hit 
fariDB of one proper name, Mure 

1 34 Old and Middle English. 

anav. men ; the an sboold have been agen (propriaB) ; 
even our word otwt in 1877 keeps more of the old form 
than the an of 1 100. There are forms like sari and don ; 
in the last the prefix ge ie altogether pared away, as in 
Torkahire. In 1104 gebrogden liecom.eB gebroidat 
(braided) ; we shall often find y or i replacing an old 
hard g. This oi differs from, the oi in Hoilant, for it 
here has the sound of the XVench e, jnat as the French 
Moretoin was pronounced ; oar broidered hair is a relic 
of the old form of the word just qnoted. The diphthong 
m was soon to vanish ; in 1105 we see akvxBr instead of 
aglivxer % the Northern ei, as well as ai, was becoming 
popular in the ^dland, for we see reinat (rains) in 
1116; a third combination for the French S, namely ai, 
was soon to follow oi and ei down from tte North. 

The Indefinite an is used before a proper name of 
time in 1116 ; something happened on an Frigdteg. 
We know the sense of onr faiherland, borrowed of late 
years from the Qerman ; in the year 1101, /(sderland 
meant simply paternal estate. In 1110 we see the method 
of reckoning by nigbte, and not by days, in feowertijne 
nihta (fortnight). We read that when Rnfns was 
bnried, the Witan were nek handa, nigh at hand, or 
handy. In the year 1101 there is a startling change, 
mnch like the one in the Lindisfame Gospels which 
substituted huer (ubi) for the old \wr. The Earl of 
Moretoin worked against the King ; for hwan (quam ob 
cansam) the King punished him. This is an early 
Midland instance of hwa (it properly answered to the 
Latin quia, not to qui) being used as a Belative ; an 
older writer would have written /tirjiawi. The new form 

Northern English. — Early Corruptions. 135 

18 repeated in 1110. We have a rather cnrioaa idiom in 
onr day, ' a caetle of the earl's,' a kind of doable Geni- 
tive ; we see something like this is the year 1106, ae 
(nb* eorlea ccnme costol. In the year 1114 comes wolde he, 
nolde he, the ancestor of onr willy nilly. In 1116 appeius 
of nanan aegeean, ' speaJE of none ; ' biofyorewonld baTe 
been used instead of this of, whiob we saw in the Rash- 
worth Qoapels. Since those days, of and bi seem to 
hare changed places in oar common talk. What we 
write 'nothing at all' was in 1110 set down as nanpiji^ 
mid ealle. In the same year comes nan^nny of him vnxa 
geicBwen (seen) ; a startling change in idiom. The help- 
tai word man now shrinks into me, answering to the 
French on, as irie hegwn to ineorcerme ; this was to last 
for 200 years. In 1119 we hear that an Earl died of 
wounds. Before this, in 1114, the Dative had been 
con&sed with the AccnsatiTe, as in the North ; for 
Aim is pat for hme. Onr Soathem peasants still use 
the latter, as ' hit an hard ; ' Sqnire Western, who was 
above a peasant (at least in rank), loved this old 
phrase. The article «e is so conAised in all its cases 
that we End he aende se arcehiteop, where it stands for 
the Accnsative. Onr mnddJing of the Dative and Accn- 
satrve is very plain in the sentence he geaf ^one abbotrice 
o» munee. The Plural kua now becomes ha»<u, onr 
htnue* ; the ending a» was to swallow ap all its brethren ; 
this cannot be owing to French influence, as I have 
before said. 

I have now broo^t my readers to the threshold of a 
&esh Period, which was to sweep away nearly all onr old 
Inflections, to weaken disastrously onr power of 00m- 

136 Old and Middle English. 

pounding, to sret rid of thoosandB of onr common words, 
and to ponr French adulterations into our word-etore, 
which had been hitherto all but wholly Tentonic, There 
was to be a marked difference between the English of 
1120 and the fatnre English of 1303. I donbt whether 
any European language ever onderwent changes such as 
have be&Uen oar own Mother>tongae, at least within 
timeB traceable by History.' 

■ Aa ngatda change, nearest to English comes Spanish ; with its 
Latin gionildlrork, and its later infoslan, fll^t of (Hmiaii, then of 
Aiabic. Oennan; and Scandinavia never onderwent any permanent 
fbreign eonqnest, and theFein differ from the other nadons of Europe. 

Middle Etiglish: Cultivation. 



Pebiod I. — Cultivation. 


Enoland has been happy, beyond her Teatonic siatere, 
in the many and Tarioos etorea o£ her oldest literatnre 
that hare floated down the stream of time. Poems 
Bcriptand and profane, epics, war-songs, riddles, trans- 
lations of the Bible, homilies, prayers, treatises on science 
and grammar, codes of law, wills, charters, chronicles 
set down year by yeu-, tales, and dialognes — all these 
(wontd that we took more inttirest in them !) are onr 
rich inheritance. In spite of the havock wrought at the 
Beformation, no land in Europe can show snch monn- 
meate of national speech for the 400 years afler a.d. 680 
as England boasts. And nowhere else can we so clearly 
mark the national speech slowly swinging ronnd &om 
the Old to the New. 

Take the opposite case of Italy. In 1190 we find 
Falcandns holding in scorn the everyday speech of bis 
coonttTmen, and compiling a work in the Old Italian 
(that is, Latin), Bach as would have been easily read by 
Cnsar or Cicero. Falcandna trod in the path that had 

138 Old and Middle English. 

been followed by all good Italian writers for twelve 
centuries ; bat two or three years after his book had been 
written, we find his conntrymaji, Ciullo d'Alcamo, all of 
a endden pntdng forth tbe first known poem in the New 
Italian, a poem that wonld now be readily understood 
by an unlettered soldier like Oaribaldi. 

In Italy, there is a sndden spring from tbe Old to 
the New, at least in writt«n literature ; but in England 
tbe cbange is most slow. I have already traced the cor< 
rnption shown in the Northnmbrian writings. In the 
Peterborongh Gbronicle of 1120, we see an evident effort 
to keep as near as may be to the old Wincbeater standard 
of English. Some of tbe inflections indeed are gone, 
bat tbe writer pats eoXl for the iM that came into his 
everyday speech, and looks back for his pattern to King 
Alfred's writings. In 1303, we find a poem, written by 
a man bom within fifteen miles of Peterborongh : tbe 
diction of this Midland bard differs hardly at all from 
what we speak nnder Qaeen Victoria. Nothing in 
philology can be more interesting than these 180 years, 
answering rongbly to the Hves of onr first Angevin Bang, 
of his son, grandson, and great-grandson. 

The Middle English, ranging between tbe two last- 
given dates, may be divided into three t^s, apon each 
of which I shall bestow a Chapter : — 

I. Caltivation : from 1120 to 1220. 

II. Neglect : from 1220 to 1280. 
m. Keparation : from 1280 to 1303. 

In Age I. English was fairly well oaltivat«d, and few 
old words naed in prose were allowed to slip ; it was 

Middle English: Cultivation. 139 

different with onr inflectionB, at least in the North. In 
Age n., English waa cast aside as something vnlgar, and 
nearly every coltivated writer in onr island betook him- 
self to French or latin ; oar tongne almost lost its noble 
power of componoding, and parted with thonsanda of old 
words. A very few translations &om French and latin 
kept a feeble light barning during these balefal years. 
In Age III. English writers translated copionelj from the 
French, though they gave birth to nothing original ; they 
ihna stopped the decay of onr feat perishing language, 
and French words in shoals were brought in to supply 
the place of the English lost in Age II. 

In going through these 180 years, the plan I follow 
is this. I first give specimens of prose and poetry 
written within the Mercian Danelagh and East Anglia, 
where onr classic New English was for the most part 
bom. These specimens are the first-fruits of the East 
Midland Dialect. To each specimen I add a contrast, 
being some poem or treatise, written outside the aforesaid 
district, either in the South, the West, or the North. 
The samples from within the Danel^h, and from its 
Yorkshire border, will be seen boldly to foreshadow 
what is to come ; the samples from shires lying to the 
South and Weat of the Danelagh will show tokens of a 
fond lingering love for what is byegone. In the Esst 
Midland there was the same mingling of Angles and 
Danes that we find in the shires where the Northumbrian 
Gospels were translated. 

In questions bearing on dialects, clearness and pre- 
cision are of the utmost importance ; I therefore here 
set up a new landmark, which will he of some nse in 

140 Old and Middle English, 

fixing the shires where different poems were compiled. 
If we draw a line firom Shrewsbary through Northamp- 
ton and Bedford to Colchester, we shall roughlj lay 
down the boundary between the shires that were wrested 
from the Celts by Saxon kings, and those other shires 
that were first settled by Angles and afterwards handed 
over to the Danes by Alfred.^ This line I make 
bold to call the Great Sundering Line ; I only wish I 
could write Tongue-shed^ like water-shed. To the North 
and East of this Line (it answers fairly to the Loire in 
France) lived the men whose language, a mixture of 
Danish and Anglian, foreshadowed the New English. 
To the South and West of this Line lived the descen- 
dants of the Old Saxons, such as Cerdic's men, whose 
purer tongue, down to 1400 and even later, showed a 
warm attachment to inflections that had elsewhere passed 
away. The Peterborough Chronicle, written about 
1160, is far easier to a novice in Old English than is 
the renowned Kentish treatise of 1340. The difference 
between the language of the two is explained by 
one simple fact : the Danish settlement of 870. ' Clip 
and pare ' was the watchword of the Danelagh ; * Hold 
to the old ways ' was the watchword of King Alfred's 

* Essex, taken as a whole, belonged to the South. In the Chro- 
nicle of Ralph of Coggeshall, published by the Master of the Bolls 
in 187^1 we read that a ghost, appearing in Suffolk, loquebatur Ang- 
lieS secundum idioma regionia illius. — Bage 1 20. This proves that 
about the year 1200 there was a difference between the speech of 
Suffolk and that of Northern Essex, where Balph lived. I have 
therefore taken care to carry my line to the North of Ooggeshall. 
Mr. Taylor {Words and Places, 110) proves that there was a Banish 
colony in the North-east of Essex, for which I haye made allowance. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 141 

shires. Ab to the corraptions that distingnisli New 
English from Old English, we may pnt two-thirds of 
these down to the Danelagh, the remaimng one-third 
to the Sonihera shireB. The two-thirds are represented 
by a line drawn between York and Coichester ; the one- 
third by a line drawn between Worcester and Canterbury. 
There are various marks which show at once where 
English mannscripts were written. Thns, if the old word 
grceg, after the year 1160, be spelt gray or ifrai, we may 
in general set it down to the North of the Qreat Line ; if 
it be spelt grey or grei, to the Sonth. Either gray or gretf 
is now good English; in this respect the word (not beinga 
proper ntune)stands quite by itsdf.' The ch, that replaced 
c, spread easily over the Sonth, bnt made its way slowly 
across the Line. Theuin m/ach,saoh,iB a snre mark of 
the South, while mikel, swilc, betoken a Northern writer } 
ale or iic prevails in the North, geh/wyle or itch is the 
favourite Southern form ; ech (oar each) seems to be a 
compromise between the two. The Northern gilt and 
the Sonthem gull, two forms of the old gylt, combine in 
onr gmlt. If a writer nses both sets of forms ; if he 
sometimes, not always, clips the Prefix to the Past Par> 
ticiple ; if he oses both keo and the (ilia), both hi and 
thei (illi), both he taken and he taketh ; we may safely 
say that auch a wiiter lived not far &om the Great 
Sundering Line, and must have had much in common 
with North and Sonth alike. Such writers we may 
tntce from the compiler of the Essex Homilies in 1180 
down to the blind Salopian bard of 1420. 

142 Old and Middle English, 

(About 1120.) 

Of all cities, none has better earned the homage of 
the English patriot, the English scholar, and the English 
architect, than Peterborongh. Her Abbot was bronght 
home, sick nnto death, from the field of Hastings ; her 
monks were among the first Englishmen that came nnder 
the Conqneror's frown. Her Minster snflfered more 
from Here ward and his Danish friends than from her new 
French Abbot, Tnrold. At Peterborongh our history- 
was compiled, not in Latin but in English ; the English 
that had grown up from the union of many generations 
of Danes and Angles, dwelling not far from Rutland. 
Without the Peterborough Chronicle, we should be 
groping in the dark for many years, in striving to under- 
stand the history of our tongue. 

This Chronicle beso^ the mark of many hands. It 
is likely that various passages in it were copied from 
older chronicles, or were set down by old men many 
years after the events recorded had taken place. A fire, 
whereby the old Abbey and town of Peterborough were 
burnt to the ground in 1116, marks a date both in 
English Architecture and English Philology. After 
that year arose the noble choir, which has happily 
escaped the doom of Glastonbury and Walsingham. 
After that year, monks were sent out to copy the 
English chronicles of other Abbeys, and thus to replace 
the old Peterborough annals, which must have been 

Middle English: Cultivation. 143 

bamt in the Gre.' The copyists thus handed down to 
US a mass of good English prose, a great contrast to the 
fo^ed Charters, drawn np in the Midland speech of 
1120, which were newly inserted in the Chronicle. It 
is with these last that my business lies, aa also with the 
local annals of Peterboroagh, taken down from the 
months of old men who coald remember the doughty 
deeds of Hereward and his gang fifty years earlier, when 
men of Danish blood in the East and North were still 
hoping to shake off William's yoke. 

I now show how the Old English had changed is the 
Danelagh before the yeai 1131, at which date the first 
Peterborongb compilers seem to hare laid aside their 
pens. This reign of King Henry I. is the most interest- 
ing of all reigns to a stndent of English ; the Yorkshire 
corraptions of the Tenth Century are seen travelling 
down to the South, a process that has always been 
going on in England, both in the fotma and in the 
sounds of words. 

In Vowels, the combination torn was being replaced \ 
by eu ; thus feawa- became fewna, which was perhaps 1 
meant for the corrupt Dative fevan (few). This is in ' 
He forged Charter, inserted in the year 656. Feower 
becomes fowar ; heora and him (in Latin, eorum and ei'g) 
now change into here and kem; this last we still nse in 
phrases like ' give it 'em well ; ' and this Dative Flnral 

' I hero follow Mx. E&rla in liia account of the S&xon ChronIcleB. 
The cock and ball Calea in the forged Charters of the Abbej are 
moit amnsing to any one who knows the true history of England in 
the Seventh Centnr}. Somewhat later, King Edgar it Enppoeed to 
use the word maritet in one of these Chartenl 

144 Old and Middle English. 

drove ont the old Accneative M. The combination et* 
was replacing the older eov!, for we find \eaidiorn, \ e6we> 
becomcB iWe (yonr) : eo is tamed into i, aa betmte and 
mt for hetweox and leoht ; it sometimes changes into e, ' 
as 8re for threo. FyT (ignis) appears aa^r; te was soon [ 
to drop, for h<Bd (jnssit) becomes hed, sonnded aa we 
KOnnd it now; and afre (semper) becomes efre. The 
combination au, fonnd in very few English worda before 
the Conqnest, comes more forward ; it is pronounced as 
in France. It becomes confnsed with o (a circnm- 
stance which has had a Btriking effect npon onr English 
pronnnciatioa) ; the old dber (ant) is seen written oi^er; 
nail, \nnon, become nun, Ikenen. In the year 1124, 
keftning appears; and some old monk, who aimed at 
correctness, has pat the u, the proper letter to be nsed, 
above the t in the manascript. In the year 1123 the old 
Wealat becomes Waks. 

As to changes in Consonants, the old k sometimes 
becomes ch, as hurch for bwh ; this prevailed over the 
Eastern side of England, from London to Tork ; thongh 
gh came later to be more used than ch. Onr old 8 was 
o^n laid aside for tk, the latter being better known to 
the 14'ormana. There is a tendency to get rid of the letter 
g in every part of a word ; thus we find 

Scir-gereia becomeB scirreve (sheiriff) 
Gj-t „ iett 

Dsg „ d»i (day) 

Geatwestd „ iateward (porter) ' 

I G somclimrs changed to y, and then centones lat«r, onring to 
East Anglinn influence npon Standard English, changed back to ? 
iigain i aa we see in this wurd ffa/r. still called by the Scotch getl. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 


becjomes keie"(liey) • 



SfBines (thanes) 


















iomdan (yearned) 

F in the middle of a word ia often replaced by v ; thus 
we geafon becomes toe gmen, and lufe becomes Iwoe ; this 
change was etill more marked in the SoatL. 

In Noons tlie Dative Plnral inTtmhaalongTanislied; 
there is a general break-np of case- endings ; and the 
Nominative Plnral in ae (now eg) ia swallowing ap all 
the other Declensions. The Definite and Indefinite 
forms of Adjectivee are jnmbled together, and the 
^reement of their cases with those of Substantives is 
no longer heeded. 

Seolfer becomes uluer 


eimes (sons) 


nam (name) 


lauerf (lord) 




mimeces (monks) 




lacea (lakes) 

We saw before that the old hv* became huga» ; it 
3 now hiuei, our houses. There is a oarioas instance 

■ Here the NoithsFD k beginB to replace die Old Bi 
' The A before a liquid now begins to drop, ia the approved 
Anglian fashion. 


Old and Middle English. 

of the way in which Nouua become Prepositione to 
be ibimd in the year 1129 ; we read he \\i half ^a 
muntet, ' on this side the monDtaina.' Here we h^ve 
the last word in the Accnsative, and not in the Oeai- 
tive ; after this, a Preposition might easily be fonned 
&oni beside, like behind or before. Bather earlier, in 
the year 1123, on an half him may be seen ; we ahoald 
now say, ' on one side of him.' The old gvnfre (dex- 
tera) was now giving way to right, just as the stiU 
older teso (in Gothic, laihswo) had long before made 
room for eunpre. 

There is a change in Prononna; the AccuBative hi 
(illam) is seen as hire (her) in the aoconnt of the year 
1127. The Neuter Relative fa?t is no longer confined to 
the Neuter Singalar antecedent, bnt follows Plurals, jnst 
aawe use it; thus in the forged Charter of the year 656 
we find ealh pa fimj f. ie wit. In the forged Charter 
inserted in the year 675, swa hwylc swa (quicnnque) ia 
pared down to hteilc pe ; a great cbange. jSIc (qnisque) 
becomes Uea, which still lingers in Scotland. We find 
al instead of the old Genitive Plural ealra (omnium). 

The old English Definite Article se, seo, ptBt, becomes 
hopeleasly confused in its cases and genders ; we are not 
far from the adoption of Ihe to do duty for them all. 

The Verb, as written at Peterlxirough in Henry the 
First's day, is wonderfully changed from what it was in 
the Confessor's time. 




Lufe (love) 


luuede (laved) 


scolde (ahould) 

Middle English: Ctdtivation. 











renneth (cunit) 


blewen (blew) 




Wan (hBve) 

The Infinitire now drops tbe n, as in the Northnm- 
brian Gospels. In Pope Agatho's foiled Charter of 675, 
we find ' ie wUle segge,' I will saj : this should have heen 
seegati. The ge, prefixed to the Past Participle, now 
drops altogether in the Danelagh ; the Danes, having 
nothing of the kind, forced their maimed Participle upon 
na. Still, the ge, slightly altered, is fonnd to this 
day in shires where the Danes never settled. Thns, in 
Dorset and Somereet they say, 'I have a-heard,' the old 
gek'/Tiie. One Past Participle, gehateii, still lingered on 
in the Midland for fonrscore years after the paring down 
of all its brethren. No Teutonic country wag fonder of 
this ge in old times than Southern England. 

Bat we now come to the great change of all in Verbs, 
the Shibboleth which is the sure mark of a Midland 
dialect. The Old English Present Plural of Verbs ended 
in afi, as we h^roA, gS hyraS, hi hijraS. Some have 
thought that, after the common English fashion, an » 
which nsed to follow the a, has heen here cast out. Bnt 
the peasants in some of our shires may bare kept the 
older iorm A^mnS ; as we find the peasants on the Rhine 
using three difibrent forms of the Present Plural ; to 

148 Old and Middle English. 

wit, liebent, li^tet, Knd liebfn.^ Beaiing this parallel case 
in mind, we can understand how the Present Plnral of 
the Mercian Banelan^h came to end in en and not in atS. 
The Peterborongh Chronicle, in Henry the First's reign, 
nses Itt/gefi, haven, for the Plnral of the Present of Verbs; 
wo even find lin for Uggen. This ia the Midland form, 
of which we have already seen an instance in the Hnsh- 
worth Gospels. The Soathern form would be liggeth, 
hnhhelk ; a slight alteration of the Old English. The 
Northern form, spoken beyond the Hnmber, wonld he 
li'gges, havet, aa we saw in the Northnmbrian Gospels. 
Another Shibboleth of Enp;lish dialects ia the Active 
Participle. Tn the North thia ended in ande, the Danish 
form. In the Midland it retained the eiuk, the Old 
English form, thongh in Lincolnshire and Eaafc Anglia 
this was often supplanted by the Danijih iwfe. In the 
South, it ended in in'le, as we shall soon see. To take an 
example, we etand gtnging. 

North. — ^We standee aingande. 

Midland. — ^We standen sinijende. 

South. — We standeth singinde. 
This Midland form of the Present Plnral is still alive 
in Lancashire. The Southern form ia kept in the famons 
Winchester motto, ' Manners maketh Man.' 

A strange idiom of the English Verb is seen in the 
foiled Charter of 656, i^ancod jowr^S it fon cBlmihtif ' be it 
thanked to the Almighty ;' hence comes onr modern he 
hanged to Aim, and snch like, where we form new Im- 
personal Verbs. In the year 1123 stands hit timt don 
' Gsmftt'B Fieaj/s, p. 142. 

Middle English: CtdHvaHon. 149 

Smie jjope to tinderHanden ; ' the Pope was made to un- 
deretand;' hence comes, 'I do ;od to wit.' In 1127 
stands the Beflexive, he be^okie him. The hesitating 
Pi£r mihte beii stands in the same year for )>ter tixeroit. 

Some new Adverbs are seen ; for hw'i in the forged 
Charter of 666 is the forerunner of our wherefore ; whyfor 
remains in some dialecte. The old for pom (igitor) is 
now changed into ^terfore ; aona becomes ton (soon). 
The old (tti (III had formerly meant ' in one body,' or 
* continually ;' in the year 1122 it gets the new sense 
' at once ;' in the Soath it took the form of anon, and is 
not yet dead. la Wi'.t, a Pope dies, and ler he watre wel 
ded, two new Popes are chosen ; here -wel is used mnch 
as in the old well niyh. The Middle English delighta 
in adding et to old Adverbs ; (en^ and tvmoa now be- 
comes cenee (once) and Iwigee (twice). 

As to Prepositions, we 6eefi/r to employed in a new 
sense in the year 1127 ; this follows a Scandinavian 
and French constrnction ; we read, ee kyng hit didefor 
to havene silbe, ' the king did it to have peace.' Hence 
the well-known ' What went ye ont for to see ? ' We 
Buppresa the strengthening for in our modem speech. 
This for now geta a new sense, tliat of enim j here a Pre- 
position becomes a Conjunction by dropping the pam or 
]>at that nsed to follow. In the year 1123, we read that 
' it did not last, for the bishop was against it ;' forfav 
fe vonld have been nsed earlier, .^r also is nsed for cer 
)>um. Onr abvtan (abont) was now encroaching on the 
old ymbe ; for in the forged Charter of 656, the phrase 
is used ' about three miles to a hamlet.' 

Uany words common to ns and to onr brethren on 

1 go Old and Middle English. 

the mainlaiid, live on in the moaths of the common folk 
for hnndrede of years ere they can win their way into 
booke.' Thna Mr. Tennyson pats into the month of bis 
Inncolnahire farmer the word fruizorti-cloci for a certain 
insect. No ench word as clock cao be found in the 
Anglo-Saxon dictionaries, though it is tanked on by onr 
peasantry \a many other anhstautives, to stand for 
varions insects. Bat on taming to an Old German 
gloss of wondrons a^, we find ' cAuZ«^A, acarabmis.' * 
We shall meet many other English words, akin to the 
Dutch and High German, which were not set down in 
writing antnl the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth 
Centuries, when these words replaced others that are 
found in the Anglo-Saxon dictionaiy. Some of the 
strangers are also lised by Danish writers ; it is thos 
often bard to tell whether a Teutonic word came to 
England with Hengist in the Fifth Centoiy or with 
Hnbba in the Ninth Oentoiy. Perhape the safest dis- 
tinction is to keep in mind the Great Sondering Line ; 
in the case of strajige Teatonic words that crop np to 
the North of this line, we should lean to Scandinavia ; 
in the opposite case, to Friesland. Thus, in the account 
of the year 1118, we find tvyrre, our vjar ; this reminds 
OB of the Old Dutch werreiti in Latin, militare. In 
1124, the new form hicrlte, our barley, replaces the old 
here, which still lingers in Scotland. Cnawleae (acknow- 
ledge) is seen for the first time in a forgery inserted in 
the account of the year 963. As might be expected, 

> Compara the Lot LHtio taliare (secnre), nnffulgru {uper), snd 
nunj such Tords, Thicb no good classic writer vonid emploj. 
' See Oaraett't Guayi, p. 68. 

Middle English : Ctdtivation. 151 

ScandioaviaD words, long nsed by the Dano- Anglian 
peasaatiy, were creeping into written English prose. 
The Danish haihe (ambo) drove ont the Old English ha 
and inUu. In the foiled Charter inserted in the annals 
of 656, we read of the hamlet Grsatecroa ; the last ejlla- 
ble of this comes from the Norse hro»», and it was this 
word, not the French croice, that supplanted our Old 
English rod (rood). In 1128, we find the phrase, ' {>nrh 
his micele viiles;' this new word, which is still in onr , 
months, comes from the Scandinavian vcela (decipere). 
In 1131, we see ' )>a wies tenn pieces ; ' the snhstantiTe 
is from the Scaudinavian ptogr; English is the only 
Tentonic tongue that of old lacked this synonym for 
aratmm ; the tme old tulh still lingers in Dorset. Tha 
Scandinavian fra replaces the Old English from ; and 
we still say, ' U> and fro.' Where an older writer 
would have written ' on Be norS half,' the Peterborongh 
Chronicler for 1131 changes on into 0; we have already 
seen arikt ; and we may still write either ashore or on 
ihore. The old English eeofopa had long been written 
giofund in Yorkshire ; it is now written seovefende 
(seventh) in the Midland ; onr present form of the word 
is a componnd of Old English and Scandinavian. The 
letter g was, as a general mle, being thrown out in the 
Midland ; bnt so strong was the Danish influence, that 
the first letter of their Perfect gekk (ivit) was set before 
the Old English synonym eode, and gaed (so well known 
In the Scotch Lowlands) is the result. The verb for-gede 
may be seen in the year 1129. This did not come to 
the South of the Great Sundering Line. 

One effect of the mingling of Danes and Englishmen 

152 Old and Middle English. 

was the Bimplifying of oar constrDction of aenteoicee, 
which, had hitherto been cumbroaa ; the Verb had oftKi 
come last, after the case governed by it. This was sow 
altered ; about the yeur 1125 the Peterborongb Engliab 
becomea most eaey in coustruction. Oar toBgoe was, 
in this respect at least, to rise far above her High 
Gemutn sister. 


Extracts from a forged Peterborough Charter (in- 
serted in the year 656) : — 

Da seonde se kyniug lefter J-one abbode |iet he leaes- 

llien eent the kitiy after the abbot t&ai ht ijwdili/ 

telice Bcolde to bim camon. and he ewa dyde. £)a cweed 

tiauid come to did quoth 

Ee kyning to )>an abbode. La leof Snxnlf. ic hane geseoud 

Lo, loved I have seat 

secgfm for bni. Min broSor Peada and min leone &eond 

<i(^ why brother loved friend 

Oswi ougonnen an mynstre Criste to ]oue and Saacte 

began mitultr lo ChrwCt glory 

Petre. Oo min brojier is faren of ])isBe line, swa swa Crist 

Bui goaefrom li/e as 

wolde. Oc ic wile fe gebidden. la leone freond. fat hii 

^rayto they 

wirce feaostlice on ]iere werce, and ic fe wile finden 

may work diligeniiy the 

\ srto gold end silner. land and ahte. and al peb fcerte 

Middle Eitglish: Cultivation. 

Swa he spedde awa him Crist hnSe. swa ]iet in fenna 

& m granitd few 

geare weee )>at mjnstre gare. Da ])a kyning heorda |>Eet 

y«i» ready. Wken heati 

gesecgOB. )>a wterd 8e swiSe glted. beot aeonden Eeond 
said vxa he right glad he hade Oiroagh 

al hi Jieode tetter alie 1 
hii ptopU 

(>e Gode Innedon. pe.t lii Bcotdon to him cnmene. and 

tiat come 

Beotte ^e. Am hwonne man ecolde ]>at myostre gebalegon. 
let day when , haiioiii 

And ic bidde ealie )>a )>a cefter me cnmen. heon hi mine 
aU those thai be they 

Bnnes. beon hi mine bre8re. onper kyningas |ia eaffer me 

cumen. |>at nre gjfe mote atandeu. awa awa hi willen 

our gift may 
been delnimeode on |)a ece lif. and Bwa swa hi wilen 

fartaktre in the eternal 

letbeorstaD pet ece wite. Swa hwa swa nre gife onjier 

escape jmniehnieat. Whosoever 

opre godene manne gyfe waneiaS, wansle him aeo 

oj other good mm teaseas tie 

heofenlice iateward on heofenrice. And awa hwa awa 

heavenly galeteard hiaven-kiiigdom 

hit eceK. ece him Beo heofenlice iateward on heofenrice. 
m. and )>a (tat gewriten 

154 Old and Middle English. 

mid here fingre on Crifites mele. and ietten mid here 
^Bith thtir crou agreed 

tnnge. . Des writ wsea gewriton sfter nre. 

Drihtnes acennedneBBe DGLXIIII. Jies kpiiiigfta 
Zonff Unk 

IX gear. Leidon |>a Oodes cnrs. and ealre haJgane care. 

Thfy laid Ihtn lairUlf 

and al cristene folces. fe ani fing nndjde fat faar w»s 
gedon, swa beo hit eeiiS alle. Amen. 

(About A.». 1120.J 

Ure hlaford almihti; God wile and ns hot Jiat we hine 
Infie. and of him smaje and epece. naht him to mede ao -^ 
hus to freme and to fnltome. for liim Bei;o alle hiscefte. 
. . . Oif nonmanneltohtof Gode. nonnespoceof him. 
Gif non of him tie spece. non hine se lufede. Gif noa 
hine no Infede. non to him ne come, ne delende. nere of 
his eiidineBse. nof his merhCe. Hit is wel swete of him 
to specene. J>enche jie lelc word of him awete. al awa an 
hani tiar felle ape jinre hieiie. Heo is hefone liht and 
eorCe brihtuesae. loftes leom. and all hiscefte ji'^'^^''^ 
anglene blisee. and mancenne hiht and hope, richtwisen 
Btrenhct>e. and niedfnlle froner.' 

■ Old Engliih Botailiei, edited hy Dr, Hottib (Sarlj Eagliali Text 
Scwirty). p. 217. These goon to p. 245. The pawBge I giToaboTO 
IB an iHginal one of the trauBcriber's. irritten long after SMnii 

Middle English: Cultivation. 155 

Page 219. Seraphim frtrntntfe oSer ajilielend. 

God l^t hi habben d;eii cAir/i, to ehiesefii. 
„ 221. Forging )>a ones tredwes westm. 
„ 235. He cwet a wander worder. 
,, 223. pa werftn foSe deadlice. 
„ 225. Ic wille halden })e and ii wif. 

Ic wille aeitan n» wed (covenant). 
„ 233. He ns forSteh al»t is cyldam,. 

'?tA%T, of warn we siellie habbe^S. 
„ 235. B&m of hire ogen, innoC. 

Qif ic &der ham., 

Wer laJSieres fdoclie. 
,, 239. Win s^ie, wic drednees wurC. 

Bime aUe longe ae ic lefie. 

Thia Sonthem English, as anyone may see, is far more 
archaic than the dialect of Peterborough, After the year 
1000, .^Urio had written many homiliea in the Engliah of 
his day, and these were popular in our land long after 
his deatit. A clean sweep, it is true, was made of a Latin 
sentence of his, wherein he npholda the old Tentonio idea 
of the Enchariflt, and overturns the newfangled Tran. 
Bubatantiation, a doctrine of which Lanfranc, seventy 
yeara lat«r, was the great champion iu England.' But 
otherwise .^Ifrio's teaching was thought sonnd, and hia 
homilies were more than once turned into the corrupt 
English of succeeding centuries. We have one of these 
versions, drawn np about the time of the foi^d Peter- 
borough Charters ; this is headed by the extract given 

■ See Faber'a DiffcuUia of Romanum (Third Edition, p. 2S0) as 
to eraram made in Mfiie'e text b^ theologiniw of a lat«t age. 

156 Old afid Middle English. 

above. The East Midland, with its stem contractions, 
is like the Attic of Thncydides ; the Southern English, 
with its love of vowels and dislike of the clipping process, 
resembles the Ionic of Herodotus. The work we have 
now in hand, being written &r to the South of the Mer- 
cian Danelagh, holds fairly well by the Old English 
forms ; thus, instead of the Peterborough t$6, we find the 
older BBy Bi^ \ai ; aud we sometimes meet with the old 
Dative Plural in -wm, though the old Genitive is often 
replaced by the form with 0/, and the endings of Verbs 
are often clipped. A guess may be given as to the place 
where these Homilies were adapted to the common 
speech. Forms like/er (ignis) and gdi (scelus) point to 
some shire near Kent. The combination ie, used by 
Eang Alfred, is here found ; for chiesen (eligere), hieiri 
(cor), n'e^i (pluvia), and hiemi (esse), with many similar 
words, occur ; this ie does not appear later, except in Kent 
and Essex. We may perhaps pitch upon London as the 
place where these Homilies were compiled ; we know that 
many Danes were settled in that city, drawn thither by 
the same attraction that allured them to Havre and 
Waterford long before King Canute's day. It would 
seem that from this Danish settlement some litde clipping 
and paring of English words must have resulted ; in the pre- 
sent work we see the an of the Infinitive pared away, as 
in come (venire), jte/^ (dare), write (scribere), do (facere), 
ahide (manere). In other parts of the South, the old 
ending of the Infinitive lingered on until Caxton's press, 
and even later ; the poetic Earl of Surrey writes * I dare 
well Bay&n.^ and there is an instance of the same form 
thirty years later still in a common letter. The endings of 

Middle English : Cultivation. 157 

other ten^ss of the Verb are clipped ; we find (B&r loe g^ 
and wer (erant). Ab to this last Verb, I wonld remark 
that we hare tamed the Singnlar nnmber w(e« into u»w, 
the Plnral nnmber wowon into were ; the corruption of 
the old diphthong is due, in the former coee to the North, 
in the latter to the South. Another Rtrong token of 
Danish inflnence ia in page 219 ; we there see not only 
the Old English form tioSe (deoimns), bnt the Danish n 
intruding into the word, as feon^ ; the Danish se/enfije 
at p. 229 replaces the true Old English Ivartd teof<mtui. 
The wordrc (lex) was dropping oat of nse ; bo the Danish 
laga (oar law) is given as an explanation of the older 

New forms are found here which have already ap. 
peared in the North, sacb as |>u aJiti (debes), btffie, hread, 
for (enim), ^erfor, ano^er, *eiS5, anon, na fing, he fiaS iM 
(he hath been), had, he icerefe, me (man), /or to, abSo (in 
Gothic ibukai, onr abaclc) ; in the is shortened into iSe. 
Shakspeare has ' digged i' the dark.' English dislikes n 
coming before a th, and long before this time had turned 
the old Aryan dimta or tontha into (08, onr tootA. Siocer is 
made to do daty for a Belatire as in the North; in 
p. 241 we read of ' ]>e fnnte loer (nbi) he ifnlled his.' Of 
is used most freely instead of the old Genitive. The 
Northern combination et is foond, as in peigne and et^Ser; 
we have not very often kept this.' 

I have hitherto spoken of Danish and Northern in- 

' We k«ep the true old ionnd of ri to words Hks eight ; bnt 
^ier is hopelenBtj degraded ; it ia samrtimeH given ns a pnzzle in 
proanndation, irheChaT the n bsrs should be Bonnded like the Ger- 
man eica the French J. Onr at presaires the tme old sonnd. 

15S Old and Middle English. 

fiuence, as seen in these Homilies, and as bearing upon 
the question of the place where they were written. - I 
now mark other new letters and forms, here to be seen. 
The old (B was corrupted into a or e ; instead of waster 
we find both water and water. The diphthong sometimes 
became ai or e; ; we see both mai and ine^ for the old mceg 
(possum) ; cet (manducavit) becomes oeai ; on the other 
hand, Ic^dde (duxit) becomes ledde. The a was sometimes 
turned into e, for J)e5 (the Latin hi) replaces fas ; the y 
sometimes became e (a mark of the South East), for we 
find evyl cund hedeley instead of the old yfd and bydel ; 
King Alfred's te appears once more, and was used hence- 
forward in Kent and Essex ; we here see chiese (p. 114) 
for ceosan. We find a change that is for ages the sure 
mark of a Southern dialect ; namely, the turning of i or 
y into u. Thus cudc, mycele^ and awvpen ^ here become 
cwuce^ mticele, and swu^en. This change has not greatly 
affected our Standard English, except that we use the 
Southern much and such instead of the old my eel and 
stvylc. In Anglo-Saxon dictionaries we often find two 
sets of forms for one word ; as wiht, wuht^ hyng, burug, 
higan, hugan ; it may be that this difference of vowels, if 
carefdlly searched out, would help to fix the shire where 
the works in question were compiled. The vowel i is 
found to the North, the vowel u to the South, of the 
Great Sundering Line; it is strange that these are 
replaced by e near Shrewsbury and also near London. 
It is curious to mark in Stratmann's Dictionary the three 
forms taken in various shires by words like cim, fur, 
Bunne, guLt 

^ This old "word survives among cricketers only, who make good 

Middle English : Cultivation. 159 

In tbese Homilies we see ieriefef, ixwine, and meZ«fa- 
««nl; the first e io each of these words is something 
new in the Sonth, and we still keep the sound of this a in 
ieriel (bmial), and also the sound of the old i in )>ri and in 
(three and see). We farther find o replaced b; u, for ^ us 
(ad nos) may he seen, #hioh tu we still pronounce as it is 
written in these Honulies. No English word has under- 
gone more changes than tcedwicitt in its progress to onr 
present show ; we here see eeeawode become acewede 
(p. 227) ; eoio is seen as ^eu. There isa tendency to drop 
the vowel altogether at the end of the Weak Participle 
PassiTe ; gelcefod becomes ^elifd, almost as we pronoance 
left now. 

The letter o in this work begins to supplant the old 
a, though not often. This corruption is found in full 
vigour a hundred years later both in Suffolk and Dorset. 
Some town lying nearly half-way between the two shires 
may have given birth to the new form. We now find 
mor, long, ncn, ogen (own), and haXigost, for the old mar, 
lang, nan, dgeti, and hdiig gaet. Moreover, as we learn 
&om the Conqneror's English Charter to London, the 
great city was the abode of a lai^ French-speaking 
population. From these men (Becket's father was one 
of them), it seems likely that their Euglish fellow-sab- 
jects learned to torn the hard c into the soft cA ; ceoian 
and nee into chiegen and riehe. Long before this time, 
the French etutel bad become ck<uteV The ch comee 
into other parts of the word ; moehe, a form long peooliar 
to the London neighbonrhood, appears as well as ntuoele. 

' The FraDcb omit (BchoU] appears in thiju EomiUei (p. 213) 

i6o Old aiid Middle English. 

The cbanges of the a and the c, most sparinglj found as 
yet, are the two main cormptions that our Standard 
English has borrowed from the South* There is another 
sound of ch, found here, as at Peterborough, in words 
like hwrclt^ richtuns, and lichie ; the Old and New are 
mingled in ^eworhcte ; this ch wh^ following vowels tiook 
the hard sound, which it still keeps in the Scotch Low- 
lands. The A is of near kin to c ; it is here often wrongly 
used, or dropped at the beginning of words; we see 
wa for hwa, wic for hwylc^ ham (sum) for am ; wot (quid) 
has held its ground in London till this day. Let us 
hope that speakers of good English will never drop the 
sound of % in hwmt^ hwat. The g undergoes change, as 
at Peterborough; genoh and agSn become irvnoh and 
a^Snes ; we also see a^eiS (debemus) and modinesse. The 
Peterborough iwiges (bis) has become ivnes ; this es was 
to be constantly added on to words for the next 140 
years ; aySnes^ as I said before, replaces agSn, The g is 
softened into y or i, especially at the beginning of Past 
Participles. The letter 3 appears to replace the old hard 
g^ and it lasted for 350 years ; we see jfi and %ev/r for the 
old ge and eotoer. This new letter adds to our store of 
words ; we may talk both of a guild and of the yield of 
fields, both words comijig from the old gildcm (solvere). 
There is a curious interchange of letters in his acemiende 
(generatio) ; this last word stands for the old verbal 
noun acennung. Fourscore years later the aforesaid 
interchange of g and d was to work a balef al effect upon 
the old Active Participle. The n also is much clipped; 
on or an is often pared down into a, and our shortened 
Indefinite Article is now first found ; mm and yin are 

Middle English: Cultivation. i6i 

cnt down into mi and H\ the old myimi&n beoomes mel- 
sUnMmi (p. 241) ; alter this the miln, still found in the 
ScottdshLovrlftDdB, became mullein Oloacestershiro, aboat 
1300. We have still both MUner and Miller as proper 
names. The/iBolao castont; Aa&(habet)replaceB Aib/U; 
there is alBO had. But no word underwent so maoh clipp- 
ing as eaUvM ; it is here cot down into alae, and then into 
u, tiie speediest of all onr changes. We find in these 
Homilies forms like ahe long ee and alse longe as ; the w 
is thrown out of iwa, for we read la fid (p. 233). The 
I is moreoTer thrown out in siiyle, htoylc, and mycelt 
which now become gwiea, vrice, and moehe; further 
changes were to come forty years later. The letter » is 
dropped at the end of the word, for hyrgels (sepnlchmm) 
becomes herkl, whence comes our burial. 

On turning from the changes in sound to the changes 
in the words themselree, we find that the », with 
which many Nonns formerly ended, is tnmed into 
en; eildru becomes eyldren. The Sonth of England, 
unlike the North, always loved the Plural in en, of which 
the Oermans are so fond. Satrede is found for the first 
time, as well as hate. In page 231 the Substantive ia 
dropped altogether after the Adjective, ^at hi aUe be pe 
Idtit to pa de^ie per were ; here time would in former days 
have followed Idtst ; we should now say, ' at the latest.' 
The whole sentence quoted is worth study ; we still say 
'yon must be there to the day,' a very old usage of to. 
The of is used more freely than ever j we see not only 
the old hit goites ^e, but the new giefof hit gatte (the 
gift of his Spirit) ; there is also w-er of (sure of), whera 

l62 Old and Middle English, 

the of expresses the Latin de (anent) ; this sicefr had not 
appeared since Alfred's time. 

A startling change has taken place in Prononns ; we 
now find the first nse of one of onr New English Rela- 
tives. "Rwa and ^tr^Zc had never been so employed of 
yore ; they answered to the Latin quis^ not t^o qyii ; bat 
our tongue had now come under French influence. As 
yet, the Genitive and Dative only of liwdi^y not the Nomina- 
tive, are used in the Relative sense. We saw before that 
Iwoad in Old English answers to aliquid ; we now see it 
nsed for qua . . . qtm, the Romance que . . . que ; in 
page 237, we read, that they hed^ icorrve^ watfrend^ wat 
fd. In the year 1300 we shall meet with a further step 
in the development of this what Enough is now followed 
by the Oerundial Infinitive ; oelc had innoh to donne 
(p. 239). 

There are some changes in the Verb ; we see the 
true Southern Shibboleth, the Active Participle ending 
in inde, as himind for the old himende. Still, so early 
as the year 1000, we find utgangynde in St. Matt. iz. 31. 
Another mark of the South is the clipping the n at the 
end of Past Participles ; we here find icome (ventum), 
j,ern6we (notum), and others, such as ihi for gewesen. 
This in a short time prevailed all over Southern England; 
and we may still hear ' it is broke,' and such like, as 
I have said before. In these Homilies we find come 
(venerunt), come (venire), and icome (ventum), all 
three. This is a specimen of Danish clipping. The 
sentence nmcede hine hli^e (p. 233) shows the con- 
struction that led to our make merry. The verb ddn is 
used for ponere ; don hine into ^iestemess is in p. 289. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 163 

In the older Engliah, ' to live life ' may be foand ; we 
now further Bee, dea^ stoelten. 

One change, here seen very clearly, is so strange that 
I mast retam to it. An Old English word sometimes, 
in this period of Middle English, is split up into two or 
three different forms, each with its own meaning. Thns, 
we here find ealtwa hecoming the parent, not only of 
■dUo (etiam), bat of ag (iit). Chancer sometimes n sea 
both to and as for the Latin ul in the same sentence. 
This splitting is called bi/urcatioa or two-pronging, Thns 
we find &n splitting tip into one and a, a process 
often repeated. Some of the grammars, which delnde 
the yonth of England, still tell ns that Uie article a 
becomes on before a consonant ! 

A few lines on The Grave, printed by Mr. Thorpe in 
bis'Analecta Anglo -Saxonica,' p. 142, seem to belong 
to this time. Here we find for the first time in Eng- 
lish the word lah or lage (hnmilis): 'Hit biS nnheh 
and lak ; te hele>wagee beoS lage' The ScandinaTian 
and Frisian have words akin to this. Fonrscore years 
later, we find the verb to laj,}ie>m (to lower) ; and almost 
two hundred years further on, we light on hi loogh 
^below). We thus in Chaucer's time compounded a 
new preposition out of an adjective. 


(About 1160.) 

We now skip thirty years, and once more return 

to the neighboarhood of Bntland. The Peterborongh 

Chronicle seems to have been laid aside for many years 

164 Old and Middle English, 

after 1131. England was at this time groaning nnder 
some of the worst sorrows she has ever known ; we 
haye come to the nineteen winters when Stephen was 
King. As soon as these evil days were over, and 
England had began her happy conrse (this has lasted, 
with but few checks, for more than seven hundred 
years ^), the Peterboroagh monks went on with their 
Chronicle. Their language was becoming more and 
more corrapt; bat the picture they set before us of 
King Stephen's reign is a marvel of power, and shows 
the sterling stuff that a Monastic writer often had in 

The English, which we are now to weigh, dates from 
about the year 1160. We here find forms that remind us of 
the North, such as vma 9ua (quicunque) ; we still pro- 
nounce the Uy though we write 0, in w7u> ; all replaces the 
former eaM ; k is found instead of c, as smoke and snake. 
From the South came forms such as the clipped Infinitive, 
cumm^ sei ; also onoh (satis), a3ene«, alse, hi namm ; get 
(gotten) ; in these two last the inflection is gone. The h is 
clipped, for wile and it replace hwUe and hit ; the Southern 
encroaches upon a, for more, ormey replace the old mdr, 
d/n ; this last is sometimes cut down into a. The n is 
clipped: there is both nan treuthe and najustise. Still 
the Midland Participle in end is kept, as ridend. Enoughy 
as in the South, is followed by the Qerundial Infinitive. 
The old eow is changed into eu and eo ; for we see both 
treuthe and treothe for treotS, towards the beginning of 
the year 1137. We still keep both truth and troth. 

' Even our few ciTil wars haye commonly in the end farthered 
the good estate of the realm. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 165 


As to new combinations of Vowels : cs is often re- 
placed by a ; as ^ hare, he was, he spac ; onale]^ becomes 
an «lep, not far from onr asleep ; eo becomes u, for aculde 
{fihonld) replaces sceolde ; it becomes 6, as in held 
(tennit). Nea/ro is turned into nareu. Tbe combina- 
tion ou is seen, which was in the end to encroach so 
much npon the old u, as is now seen in owr (ur), 
house (hns), and many snch. We now find Olcnicestre, 
naU^kr, Poitou, Angou, following the ou^Ser (o^er) of 
1120 ; the extended use of this ou must be due to France. 
The true East Midland system of contraction is seen in 
the French word castles, written instead of castelas. 

There is a change in Consonants. The old ic (ego) 
is now i ; on the other hand, c is inserted, for seo (ilia) 
becomes sees (she) ; a most curious addition. In the 
iiccount of the year 1138 we see a combination of letters, 
most common now in our speech ; itiw iMTi'ed* ^supplants 
g and h ; as sloghen (they slew). This soon preyailed 
all oyer the East of England from London to York- 
.shire. The g is sometimes thrown out in the middle of a 
word; Bristowe (Bristol), and lien, replace Bricgstow and 
Uggen ; this g sometimes yields to ^ or z, as in the new 
mrUcBrd and iaf (dedit). The letter h is inserted in tuman, 
which becomes ywribes ; the foreign gu sometimes replaces 
the home-bom cu7, as in quarteme ; th is often found for 
ihe good old ]> and t$. A to is cast out, when suster is 
written for svouster (soror). 

As to Substantives : nefom becomes neves; the Irish 
peasantry still keep this Teutonic form, newies, rejecting 
our French-bom word nephews. The Dative in um is 
«adly mauled; hi the fet replaces hi fotum; we also see 

1 66 Old and Middle English, 

midfcBu men. The Dative and Accasative are hopelessly^ 
confused ; in the year 1132, we read, iaf ^oet dbhotrice arv 
^rior ; in 1135, pais. he maJcede men. 

In Verbs : ecm and cuthe are used freely in the sense 
of the old may and might, just as Tyndale was to 
employ them later. In 1132, we read, hs dide him 
faren (he made him fare) ; in the old time, the 
Gbrund with to would have been used after dide, and 
not this Infinitive. In the beginning of 1140, we read, 
he iaf him alse he dide aUe oUre ; this is a continuation of 
the idiom employed long before by King Alfred. At the 
end of the year 1140 is found, he helde him for fader 
a/nd he him for swne ; here the verb is left out, which 
should stand between the seventh and eighth words ; 
we catch a glimpse of the future freedom of construction 
in the New English. The transitive hon is a Strong 
verb, and its rightful Perfect is heyig ; in the year 1137 
this Perfect is confused with the intransitive henged 
(hanged) ; the jumbling of these two Perfects is often 
found in our day. 

The word cefre (semper) is prefixed to celcy which last 
already contained within itself d, another form of semper; 
CBvric (every) is the result; a hint of this word has 
appeared before. But this newfangled addition ever 
was usually to come at the end of words. The word at 
is also often here prefixed to other words, as alsuilc 
als, and this became a common practice later. We have 
before met with * some of the scribes ; ' we now read of 
m^mi of ]>d casUes. 

What was before written ealge<tdor (omnino) now 
becomes aUegoedere, A new phrase, nevre mare, is found ; 

Middle Englisk : Cultivation. 167 

here more ia applied to express time. The word efaonet, 
with the usual adverbial e» at the end, is a new word 
which lasted many hundred yeara in Eagland as efisoons. 

A new constractioii of Prepositions is seen in candlet 
to aten hi. We have before seen the Relative omitted, 
coming before a Gerandial Infinitive (see page 71), bat 
we now fnrther see, besides the omission of the Relative, 
the Preposition made the laut word in the sentence. 
This gives wonderful freedom to onr oonsimction of 
Bentences; Orrmin, forty years later, wa^ often to imitate 
tiiis idiom, which seema to be Danish. 

The noht (non), which had already been ased with 
verbs instead of the old ne, is now seen once more, as in 
1132, was it noht Icmg, We find to )Ke( (nsqne ad) nsed ; 
and also the AngUan and Danish til, which is now no 
longer followed by [xet ; til hi iafen up comes at the be- 
ginning of 1137 ; thoB til imitated the new constmction 
of fcrr, and was soon to make an end of the Old English 
oS pai (osqae). ... 

The old fe hwite pe lasted down to 1300 in Glonces- 
tershire, bnt it is pared down at Peterborongh ; for we 
read vtUe Stephne wot kingi thns an old substantive ia 
made to express the Latin dum. 

More Danish forms crop np ; we find cyreeutrd (kirk- 
yard) formed on the Danish pattern, instead of the Old 
English cin'cftme. When King Stephen lays hold of 
Earl Randolph, he is said to act thrangh wicd rede. 
This is the first appearance in onr island of the common 
word wicked, a word derived by Mr. Wedgwood from 
Lapland or Esthonia. The verb (afce ia employed in its 
old Scandinavian sense. In that tongne, hann tok at 

1 68 Old and Middle English. 

yrhja means ' lie took (beg^) to work.' In the Chroni- 
cle for 1135 we read David toe to weasien. A glance at 
Gleasby's Icelandic Dictionaiy will show manj senses of 
take, which are not found in Old English books, but 
which are now common to England and to Iceland. In 
1135 we see tocan pa oUre and helden her easiles (the 
others took and held) ; this take replaced the old fang (a 
verb that still lingers in Deyonshire) ; we hear that 'K'lTig 
Henry 11. toe to pe rice. 

There is a new word, scatter, akin to the Dutch 
schetteren. King Stephen, we are told, in the year 1137, 
had treasure, but scatered sotlice, that is * dispersed it like 
a fool.* 


Extract from the Peterborough Chronicle for the 
year 1137, compiled about twenty years later. 

pa the suikes undergeston peX he milde man was and 
When traitors understood 

softe and god and na iustise ne dide. po, diden hi alle 
ffood no then they 

wunder. Hi hadden him manred maked and athes 

homage made oaths 

suoren. ac hi nan treuthe ne heolden. alle hi wssron for- 
Imt held 

sworen. and here treothes f orloren. for ®uric rice .man 

forfeited every mighty 

his castles makede and agsenes him heolden and fylden 


fe land ful of castles. Hi suencten suyf$e ]>a uurecce 

oppressed sore wreteked 

Middle English: estivation. 169 

men of )>e land mid cafitelweorces. pa ]>e castles naaren 

itamen lii ^a men pe hi irenden )»at ani god hefden. bathe 

fA)l f Ae^ thoagH property had 

be nihtes and be dieies. carlmen and wimmen, and diden 

nntellendlice pining, for ne niuercn ntenre nan martyrs 

muptakaH* torture no 

4wa pined alee hi weron. He hedged ap bi the fet and 

Of tjbjf 
smoked heom mid tnl smoke, me henged bi Uie thnmbes. 

other bi the hefed. and hengen brjniges on her fet. Me 

or htad lumg burning Ihmgt 

-dide cnott«d atrenges abnton here halved, and aniTtben 

liead tfvufttd 

to )>at it gsde to ))e hgemes. Hi diden heom in qnar- 
v>eiU braint prittut 

t«me. )>ar nadres and snakes and pades trraron inne. and 

w jers adden ieadi 

drapen heom swa. Snme hi diden in cmcet hns. pttt is 
JtiBad Some honM 

^e ))e man Jierinne. fat 

] hadden onoh to beron onne, pat was sua maced. 

I/O Old and Middle EnglisJi 

]>at is feostned to an beom. and diden an scsdrp iren abnton 

)>a mannes {rote and his hals. )>at he ne myhte nowider- 

neck tfioay 

wardes ne sitten ne lien ne slepen. oc basron al )>at iren. 
(^Mi0c<tofi li» but 

Mani )>nsen hi drapen mid hnngssr. I ne canne i ne- 

mai tellen alle ]>e wundes. ne alle fe pines ^at hi diden 

wrecce men on fis land, and p&t lastede ]>a XIX. wiutre 

wile Stephne was king, and eevre it was nnerse and 


nnerse. • « . 

1154. — On fis gSBT W89rd f e king Steph. ded. and be- 


byried fer his wif and his snne W89ron bebyried SBt 

Fanresfeld. ^eei minstre hi makeden. pa )>e king was 

ded. "Sa was fe eorl beionde S89. and ne dnrste nan man 

don o)>er bnte god. for )>e micel eie of him, 


The year 1135. Micel ping scnlde cumm. 

JSuric man sone rsBvede. . 
W^ia sua bare his byrthen. . 


(About 1160.)! 

Ure feder ))et in heouene is^ 
)>et is al 8ot$ ful iwis. 
weo moten to ]>eos weordes iseon. 
pet to line and to saule gode beon. 

1 Old English Homilies, First Series (Early English Text Society)^ 
p. 56. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 

\%t weo beon swa his eunes iborene. 

)>et he beo feder fmd we bim icwene. 

f«t we dos alle his ibeden. 

sod hu nilla for to reden. 

Loke weo ns wiS bini miedon 

liurh beelzebubcB ewikedom 

he haueS to ub mucbel niS. 

atle ]n deiee of ura riS. 

abuten us he is for to bleDcben. 

Mid alle his mihto be wule us sweachei 

Gif we leomiS godes laie. 

J«DQe of])uncheS hit him aare. 

Bute we bileuen uie ufele iwiine. 

Ne )cepe8 be noht |«t we beon sune. 

Gif we clepieff bine feder fenne. 

&I pet is us to lutel wunne. 

bolde we godes Isje. 

pet we habbeS of hia anje. 

Pa^ 75. lo ilene in god pe fede(r) almihti. ecnp- 
pende and wetdende of heoneoe and of orSe and of alle 
iscefte. and ich ilene on pe helende crist. his enlepi sane, 
ore lanerd. he is ihaten heleode for he moacnn helede of 
pan depliche atier. pet pe aide deonel blon on adam and 
on eae and on al heora ofsprinke. swa pet heore fif-&Id& 
mihto horn wes al binnmen. pet is hore lost, here loking. 
hore blawing. bore smelling, heore feling wes al iattret. 

Page 58. Is afered Xuie peo eorfie hire trakie. 
63. For pe sanle of him is forloren. 
73. Eeh mon Iiabbe mot. 
„ Heo scolen heore iileita cnnoen . . 
83. De snnnfi tckin^ per pnrh . . 
„ Ho nimeS al mouch. 

172 Old and Middle English, 

Pag^ 127. Mxichele mare Inae he scawede us. 
„ 141. Der stod a ricM halae and a luft. 
„ 145. Techd6 tlb bi hwiche weie. 
„ 179. Were we ... . Bwa vnele hicauJUe. 
„ 129. Him fuhfce hicumelic fet we . . . weren 

The poem, part of which I have set out above, is the 
•earliest long specimen of an English riming metre that is 
Btill popular.' Having been compiled somewhere about 
1160, the work stands about half-tvay between the Beo- 
wulf and the last work of Mr. Tennyson. The French 
riming lays, of which our Norman and Angevin rulers 
were so fond, must have been the model followed by the 
English bard, whoever he was. In the same yolume are 
many Homilies, which give us a good idea of the English 
fipoken in the South at this time. The following are the 
main points of difference between them and the HomOies 
of Henry the First's time. 

The old diphthong ob, beloved of our Others, was 
being got rid of in the South ; it is here replaced by e, 
•et, and ea ; Icewede becomes lewed (indoctus) ; cec/^er 
becomes ei^er ; while scBy cBfrey Icsdan^ become sea^ eaver^ 

1 The English rimes, written before the Norman Conquest, must 
have been nothing but an exercise of ingenuity : — 

Flah mah flite'5, 
Flan man hwite'S, 
Burg soig bite's, 
Bald aid «wite«, 
WwBC-fjDC wri«a«. 

This IS a long poem, printed by Conybeare, Anglo-Stuan Poetry, 
p. zziii« 

Middle English: Cultivation. 173 

Ze(u2e». The maintenaiice of the ea, so often used by 
US, is due to the Wessez shires ; they even changed the 
Prench 'pais into j^eoce. The old combination ow^ sonnded 
like the French ou, was also being altered ; this may haye 
come from imitating French spelling. Onr word Stom 
was spelt in Doomsday Book as SUm^ as I have already 
said ; we now see eovo&r (yester) become towr. We also 
find ttrew^ f^ewe^ hireudaKS, The sonndiou (prononnced as 
in the name lUou)^ was a f ayourite one with onr fathers ; 
but we may remark that, when it comes after r, we now 
almost always soand it as if it was simply ou. The 
beginning of this change may be seen in these Homilies ; 
we find roij^e (our ruth) in page 157 ; this seems a com- 
promise between the Old English hreow and the Danish 
hry^, Trowe replaces treowe at page 69 ; and Jieov) 
(color) becomes hou^ onr hue^ at page 83. This same 
change is seen later in a Dorsetshire poem of 1240. We 
find both the old sonnd hleu and the new sonnd liUm 
(flayit). In page 85 is nowe (noyns), while newe occnrs 
elsewhere ; people still sometimes talk of what they call 
nooB. A is here changed into e, as }^€nne for yam/ne (tone). 
It is still oftener changed into 0, a snre mark of the Sonth ; 
we see among^ moWf one, hemoned (manned, page 23). 
The most cnrions thing is the change of a into u; 
at page 157 is fonnd vmme (yte mihi) ; while the 
old wa is seen in the sentence before. The old yro- 
wode (passiiB est) is now written prov/wede (page 17). 
The tty replacing e and i, is always a token of the 
shires to the Sonth of the Great Snndering Line. 
This change comes yery often in the Homilies. We 
here see ueh instead of the Midland ceilc or each\ and 


Old and Middle English, 

hlupeliehe for onr hlithely. The old eaw was now 
written eu and ewe ; we find deu and ^ewe for the former 
deaw and ]>6au;. In page 103 stands sleto^ (sloth) ; and 
in page 107 comes slatt^ ; this a/u was now coming in, 
and mnst have had the sound of the French ou; we 
light npon hlcuuweny nauty and bicauhte. The old gylt 
becomes guU in the South. 






Sceos (Bhoefl) 


Lilijare (liar) 






Jeluwe (yellow) 






SlajetS (dayeth) 



The letter g interchanges with h, for geleafa here takes 
its modem form hileve (belief) ; just as gelitlicm was to 
become helittle ; the English Imperative geyc (ange) is 
seen in Gk>thic as hiauk. The g is also softened, as we 
«aw before, into ^ or y, and this rather later became w 
in many cases. Sagu is here seen as sa^e ; we still have 
the phrase ' I have said my say,* In page 35 esca replaces 
<ixe. H is sometimes misnsed ; hester stands for Easier^ 
and alffoT half. At page 139 the Peterborough mveric 
(quisque) is found in its new shape, efri ; the East Mid- 
land corruptions were working down Southwards. The 
earlier lengten becomes leinten^ our Lent; and hnute 
•(nux) becomes fmte. The new French c is used like the 

Middle English: Ctdtivation. 175 

^Snglish « in tniice (mercy) and mt'fcten (miaereri). 
Hitherto near (propins) had been the ComparatiTe of 
rneo^ (prope) ; bnt we now see a form like ^ amZ neor 
(fu' and near) at page 137 ; the neor points to Scan, 

France was now dictating much of onr pronunciation, 
and many rowels iniiBt in this age have been sonnded 
in the same way on either eide of the Channel. Gh 
replaces e in coantleBs inatancea. Cerran (verti) now 
becomes cherre ; we still say ' on the jar,' ' or ajar. 
We also find ehirehe, leche, diche, teache, biteclie (beseech) . 
Moreover, we see, in page 83, the two forms jci'iM and 
Khine), the last being a new aonnd now creeping into 
English. Sopopnlar did it become, that two hundred 
yeam later we forced French verba in tr to take the sound, 
as peritk. Bat the French cabne has become cabbage, 
jnat as Perusia became Pemgia. The o]djUcas is now 
aeen as fistes. The corrupt forms of 1120, gwite, wice, 
and inoche, now became twvia, tvrwhe, and sulcTte (snch) ; 
teiTcAe, and htoiehe ; muche and muchel. jEIc (qaisqne) 
takes its modem shape of eleke and eclie; and an in 
fastened on to it, thongh as yet very seldom. Thns, at 
page 91, we read ' heo it delden elchun ; ' that is, to eocA 
«ite. Latost (oltimns) is cat down to leite at page 143 ; 
snd py ItBi ye is shortened into letle, which we still keep ; 
this is like throwing out the quo in the Latin quominue. 
Jf rqilaces the old gif ; the first is the Scandinavian ef, 
the Ootfaic t6. 

We sometimes find v sabstitated for / at the be- 

' Pieltaitk »ill keep thij nlive for ever. Mr. JoBlice Stareleigh 
csD hkTB bsen no atodent of Anglo-Saxon. 

176 Old and Middle Ettglish. 

ginning of a word, as veUe ifxf^U, page 81. It is the- 
inflnenoe of the Sonth-Westem shirea that makes nft 
write vusen and vat instead of the old _^awn and/sf ; it 
is a wonder that we do not write voai iatfoa. 

In &nbetantiTes, the coimption of Plurals goes on ^ 
v^ (mnlieres) becomes wifsB. The old endings were 
dying ont, for in page 83 hcelend beoomes helore, our 

We see a new Adjective in page 27, Qodfwrhi, onr 

In Verbs, we sometimes find the Midland heon and 
ItafoA, instead of the Soathem heoth (snnt), and hahben 
(habent) ; this seems to show that these Homilies conld 
not have been written £kf Sonth of the Great Sundering 
Line ; it may be, at Oxford ; the Participle itwned 
becomes itu/md at p^e 157, with the clipped soand that 
we now use, except at chnrch. The Perfect ahte, not 
the Present dge, stands for debet ; this had travelled to 
the Sonth irom Yorlcshire. We liave the first hint of our 
ado (at do) at page 77 ; vum mid me ne/de to dotme ; 
< man had not to (at) do with me.' We see at page 71 
a new idiom, pole im to ieteepen ; this wonld have been 
eulier, 'snSer that we weep.' Again, at page 59,fu^el 
lete he makede ; ' he made fowl lont (stoop) ; ' this would 
havebeenearlier, 'faedidfowl tolout.' What was before 
simply IcBt y(Bt yfel, is now let fet uvele beon ; we still 
say ' let him be,' as well as ' let him alone.' There is a 
new idiom in page 15 ; weren efierward miloe, ' were 
after men^;' a construction strangely difierent from 
the Latin pefebant. The most startling of all new idioms 
come at page 11 ; we are there told that Moses bsted. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 177 

and ec Critt hit toalde hahben idon. In the older £iigliBh 
wolde don mnfiti h&re stood for both faceret and feeitset ; 
we now see the first attempt made at forming our usaal 
Pluperfect SabjimctiTe. The new idiom did not become 
common in England until 1290 ; the above sentence of 
1160 seems Bomething bom out of doe time. It is a 
French constmctioii, most alien to the old Teutonic. 

Ah to PrononnB : we read eum of |re tede in page 133 ; 
sum 0/ might hare been fallowed of old by a Floral, bat it 
is now for the first time followed by a Singular. We have 
seen the new Singolar Belative hvja nsed in the Homilies 
of 1120 ; we now see the Plural of this, jeien pvrk htvam, 
'gates through which' (page 153), and we find moreover 
the neuter hwat employed for the first time in a Belative ' 
sense in Southern England ; Oodes toorde, for kwat (per 
quod) }te seal vorsaken, &c. (page 81). We should now 
say which, not what; bat it was a long time befbre this was 
settled ; we may still say, ' what (quod) I did was this.' 

Change is at work among the Adverbs. At page 35 
we eee ic vmlde fein pinian, 'I woold tain pine;' here 
the Adjective is nsed as an adverb, (libenter). At 
p. 53, we find in two lines both the new alee feire aUe 
and the older iwa gone se ; here the ewa. of right has no 
business to be. OHerlicor now becomes olSer-weis (page 
31). The Latin quum was of old Englished by pa or po, 
more seldom by hmemie (qnando) ; bntin these Homilies 
when often translates ^uunt, and three centuries later it 
swept away its rivals altogether. 

As to Prepositions : 0/ is in constant use, a sure mark 
of the decay of Old English ; eaule of him is put for his 
imd, simply to eke out a rime (hence came one for the 

178 Old and Middle English. 

life of me) ; the ofia sometimes used as an Adverb, with 
a new spelling, u at page 29, $if )n'n hefet were ofe. 
Here oar New English has split one old word into two 
prongs, o/aad off. Moreover, we tarn this off into an 
Adjective, the off hone, an off dny. Before this time, of 
was net before the sobstantive, standing for material ; as 
wrought of gold. Bat now this idiom is stretched farther ; 
at page 123, we find he Tnakede ae freo of }ieotoaii ; ' he 
made ns free inst«ad of onr being thralla.' At page 87, 
ire see an earlj iustance otgo to; we read iwende Oodei 
etigel to. We find op followed by another Preposition, 
gfutwe up el Tiitne ckinne, ' snow np to my chin.' At (ad) 
and to ore always interchanging ; at page 113 comes he 
wio&ea Iwa to an, ' he maketh two (to be) at one,' an 
idiom kept in oar Bible. We find not only furh, but 
yurhut (tbrOQghont). This bad faar hundred years' 
start of the corresponding High German durohaua. The 
old on efn now takes an ej at the end of the word (a 
process often repeated in Middle English), and is seen 
at pc^ 55 as anundee, the later anentig or anent. 

We see wa is me in page 35 ; the Scotch prefer the 
old wea to v>a, in pronouncing this Interjection, the 
Latin vcb mihi. 

ks to tbe pronanciation of these Homilies : there is 
vnk (hebdomada), grik (Grsecne), feren (ire), tpee 
(dixit) ; foreshadowing oar modem utterance of these 
words. We find many instances of worda getting a new 
meaning. Bieuman, which of old stood for acetdere 
(what will become of ns P) now Englishes both deoere 
and fieri (pages 45 and 47) ; in the latter case, the 
French devenir must have been imitated. The old hlot 

Middle English : Cultivation. 1 79 

meant nothing but son ; a new meaning is given to the 
word at pt^^ 31, where we read of a yridie lot (tertia 
pars) ; tfaie comes &om the Scandinaviaii hluti, differing 
from Mutr (sora). The word hrteiire (rather) meant 
dtiiu ; it now gets the farther meaning of potim ; at 
page 45 is milde pes fe redper pet, &c. The old tcBlig 
meant beatus ; in these Homilies it takes the sense of 
(opteiif, page 31 ; bnt this meaning is not fonnd else- 
where; the word is in onr day degraded as alTiUm, oar 
riUjf, the exact opposite of what is seen here. I think 
that this is almost the only instance of one English word 
acquiring two directly opposite meanings at different 
times. Wo shall fnrther see that it meant both felix 
and ittfelix in the Thirteenth Centnry. The old sceadan 
(separare) now gets the sense of fundere (page 15?); 
the former meaning still lingers in ioaterthed, Stoshoyr^ 
used to mean 'worth stealing-,' at page 25 it gate its 
new sense, validita : perhaps it was confounded with 
rtaS«(/erA5. The verb seedwiaa loses its old meaning 
spectare, and get^ its new sense monstrare, though we stUl 
call speetacttlum a s/iom. We know that the word afford 
has pozaled oar antiquaries ; we find it employed in these 
Homilies, page tJ7 ; 'do t>ine elmesse of )ion pet t>n maht 
ifin^ien.' Bishop Pecock nses avorlhi in this sense 
three hundred years later. The old geforfiian meant 
only * to tiirther or help.' Here, at least, we need not 
seek for help from France.' The snbstantive eachepol may 
be seen, in page 97, applied to St. Matthew's old trade. 
The verb cateh is found for the first time with its Past 

■ This waa first poiDted out hj Dr. Morris in tba Allkenaum. 

I So Old and Middle English. 

Participle eauhi& ; this Mr. Wedgwood derives from the 
Picard caeker, meaning the same as ckaeger. There is 
hardly anotherinstanceof an English Verb, comingfrom 
the French, not ending with ed in the Past Participle.' 

We may often find an old pedigree for a word that is 
now reckoned slangy. We are told at page 15 that we 
ODght to restrain the evil done by thieves ; the verb nsed 
is wiistewen, afterwards repeated as stewen in the Legend 
of St. Margaret. Hence comes the phrase, ' slow that 
nonsense ; ' this may be fonnd in Scott and Dickens.* 
Onr verb lick, as naed in polite society, can boast of the 
best of Tentonic pedigrees ; as commonly nsed by 
schoolboys, it is bat a corruption of the Welsh llachiav 
(ferire). From this last may also come ovajiog, even as 
Lloyd and Floyd are dne to one and the same eonrce. 

Some Danish words and forms had crept Sonthwards. 
Thns wenge (alte) is seen instead of the Old English 
/ySn* (pt^^ 81); Hditige, the Danish tiSindi, onr tidings 
{page 77) ; onr oijiim, the Icelandic d mis, is first seen 
at page b7, under the form of onimis, that is, on amis*. 
Three Scandinavian words, skiU, east, and thrugt, may 
be Reen at pages 61, 47, 131. To put is foand at pages 
15 and 53 ; in the former instance it means tmdere; in 
the latter capere, not for from ponere, onr sense of the 
word ; it seems to come from the Celtic potUa : there is 
also a Danish putlen, and some point ns to the French 
hottfer. Pat is a Sonthern word, and has now mach 

■ Chd ncia- havp got caofouDded with the Old English gelaeeaa, 
gcltehf, nifiining the Bime? 

' In Hard Ttiaes cornea the phrnae, ' Kiild«nninBter, Uoa that;' 
i.t. 'he qiiiol,' 

Middle English: Cultivation, tSl 

encroached on the true Old Englwh sat and do. The 
pnzzle abont its derivation shows how many eonrces 
have contributed to form our langoage. The various 
meanings of "box come from Latin, Old English, and 

There are a few words, now first foond, that we have 
in common with the Oerman and other kindred tongues. 
Soch a word is inH&glewen. At page 43 we see our 
gTtwlher (there called tmorHer'), which is nearer akin to 
the Low German of the mainland than to the Old Eng- 
lish smorian. Oni forefathers used to express the Latin 
finuier by wymtre, something wanting in full strength ; 
in these Bomilles this is changed into luft (left), to 
which we still cling. This U the Dutch luft or liteht, an 
early instance of the interchange between e and / (see 
page 86 of my book). We first find mare (radix) at 
p. 103 ; this word is common to Germany and to Southern 
England ; it was used by Hampshire witnesses on the 
impostor Orion's trial, in 1873. Another exclusively 
Southern word is 'ue sUtded horn nawiht' (p. 77), 'it 
bestead them naught;' this is the Icelandic sty^a 

The Moral Ode, printed along with these Homilies, 
(page 159), is a transcript of some long English riming 
poem, written about 1120. I tAiuk the date cannot be 
put earlier than this, since the poem has the French 
words leerve and caught ; the date cannot be much later, 
since in one copy we find «e l»e (he that), a token of great 
age ; this was remarked by Dr. Morris. It is plain that 
this Ode was transcribed a few years later than the 
Homilies; for ouh here replaces oh, a& in nouhte and 

1 82 Old and Middh English. 

^ovMs (nonght and thought) ; iru>u atanda for the old 
genoh. There is also w instead of 17 and h ; folewed for 
fologode (p. 179), lawe for lage (p, 17?), aorewe for torh 
(p. 181) ; these are new Southern corruptions,' In line 
347 are the words wniepe /ojeojie* ; the ie of the first points 
to the South East of England, the ea of the second to the 
South West. The Ode mnst hare been "traoBcribed at 
itome place like Beading, lying on the borders of the two. 
Never did any tongne employ so many variations of 
vowels as the Middle English did, to represent the French 
sonnd d; the form (Ai'e/ came from the South East, iea/ 
from the South West, reef from the North ; the enquiring 
foreign student mnst be mnch puzzled by these products 
of the difierent shires, which all helped to shape oar 
Standard English. 

The interchange between and «, so often found in 
English, was now affecting the Sonth ; we see fo/for Ivfed 
(amavit) in line 2.i7, and iwoned for iteunod (Bolitas) in 
line 57 ; hence our tvont. In line 361 fah becomes fou. 
The old an (boIqb) is replaced by onf, and ]>o stands for pa 
(illi) ; this ]>o lingered on in the Sonth down to the 
Reformation, when the Yorkshire thiigc drove it out ; the 
other form, thae, still lives in Scotland. On lif (in vitft) 
is now seen as alive, in line 21 ; yet onr lexicon- makers, 
even to this day, will have it that alive is an Adjective; 
they might say aa mnch of abed and ashore. The old 
yeliee becomes iliche (line 377), onr aliJce. 

The form aUe tml *e (aa well as) is in line 70. 

' The Torb gitagatt (rodere) liecama gnaw in the Sonth ; bnt the 
old form gnag remained in the North, find ie onr nag ; the latter 
varb, nnlike gnate, \» not reckoned daesic Engliah, 

Middle English : Cultivation. 


There is a wholly new form in line 130, a kwilke time *e 
evre, ' on what time soever;' the everw&s seen before 
prefixed to mlc (every), bat it was henceforth tacked on 
behind Pronouns lilce what, vihoso, &c. Did those who 
hronghtthis in think of 'mtquam and the Latin qv.icunque ? 
The hvnlke, (which,) seema here to be set apart to be 
coupled with a Neat«r SubatantiTe. The Nominative 
hwa is nsed for qui for the first time in line 133 ; moni 
mmt hwa rechi. 

We have seen the Saffix eugf: we may once more see 
the Prefix al in line 144 ; onr fathers were fond of setting 
this al before to (nimis); we here see ailo dore, ' all too 
deu:.' They went on to place it before another to, the 
(0 answering to the German zer ; one solitary rehc of 
this remains in onr Bible, happily spared by the revisers 
of Tyndale, a lover of the old form ; we learn that a stone 
all to-hrake (Abimelech's) tkuU. 

We have already seen never more at Peterborongh ; 
we now see evre ma, evermore. 

As to Prepositions : we find a repetition of the new 
idiom in the Chronicle, ' nothing was seen of him ; ' of 
ofl«n follows to hear, but seldom to lee. In line 381 is 
fo gcuUen more of him. eeon ; * see of the travaQ of his 
soni ' comes in onr Bible. In line 18 we read eie 
ttond^ mett of motme, which, if literally tnmed into 
Latin, would be timor slat hominibw de hfmiine ; we have 
now changed the construction, and say men stand m 
atve of man. The old ymhe (the Greek amphi) was 
Dsed as a Preposition down to 1400, and still lives in 
■uinquhile ; bnt we here see about beginning to en- 
croach npon it; in line 267, theij tveren alruteti echie. 

1 84 Old and Middle English. 

' they were busy about property.' This foreshadows onr 
Fntnre Participle, 'he ia about to tempt.' What was 
before to eoie now becomes for goSe (forsooth) in line 174. 

In line 132 we Bee muchel he AaveS to beten, ' he has 
much to atone for. ' The have here seema to halt between 
the meanings of poseidere and debere, and reminds us of 
the change in the old Northumbrian agon. In line 302 
there is ich Ian beo, y.f I seal, liache ; ' I can be a leech, 
if I be called on, or if it be my daty.' The seal here 
explains a story in Mr. Earle's ' Philology of the English 
Tongue,' p. 204) ; a farmer drove a comer borne into the 
ground, and then said, ' That one'U stand for twenty 
years, if be thouldl ' This old sense of shall Heems to 
have been kept in Wessex alone. 

The Gemndial Infinitive now follows an Adjectire; 
in line 39 cornea siker to habheii, ' sure to have.' 

In line 137 we Bee how barely came to translate the 
lotin iiiiB ; we read of twa bnre tide, two bare hours, or 
barely two hours. 

The process of the formation of new words may here 
be watched. We have seen the first appearance of onr 
larang, wrong ; wU is now added to it, Jnat as riht became 
rihtwis. In line 256 we hear of wrongwise reven; the 
Scotch long kept the word wrangout, corrupted much as 
rightemM is ; they also coined iimeom (opportnnns). 

We find an old English Verb, wealtian (welter), 
which has another form icealcan, the Latin vohore. This 
last takes the new meaning of ambulare in line 237 ; hi 
umZiteS eore. The old begetan meant adipisci ; it now gets 
the sense of (/enerore in line 105, hwi loerea ho biietenf 
Cunig (coney), akin to a Glerman word, now appears. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 185 

Before leaving the South, we may glance at an old 
WincheBter Charter, seemingly drawn np about 1060, 
and transcribed about 1160 (Kemble, 17. p. 260). The 
ge is allowed to remain, and the »c is not yet changed 
into th ; bat the old <b is nsnaUy replaced by e, and cA 
appears. The writer is not certain whether to pat eu or 
eav>, for he sets down ^iv/md&m. He rejoices in the letter 
u, writing frwcup, vrwrstv/pe, and •m.'mJces \ he employs this 
u for the old eo, as ^n for h&on,frvst forpreost. This 
explains why the old heo (ilia) is pronounced in Lanca- 
shire as Au, or aa we now write it, hoo ; strange it is that 
so old-fashioned and common a word shonld linger in a 
Northern shire, and not in the Sonth. The interchange 
between w and eo is veiy old ; for the Sanscrit bku is the 
English beo. We find in the Charter the new Serfore. 
The technical Latin moj^u^ (of a school) is now replaced 
by the French meisire. 

England had not yet lost her love of reading her 
own history written in her own tongne. A Kentish 
copy of the Chronicle seems to belong to this time, for 
we find Bach a form as graichynnene (with the fh sound) 
in the account of the year 1075.' In the beginning of 
the relation of the year 1030, the old byrig is written 
heri, and i;rte/ stands for gee^; these are tnie Kentish 
marks. Farther on, amyrrende is written for amyrrenne 
(rastare) ; this shows how easily snch a form as crienne 
merci (pet«re misericordiam) might become eriende 
merci, in the phrase, 'crying mercy availed little-'* 
About this time, rather before the murder of St. 
> This cop; is kninrn an ' CottuD, Domitian, A. TIIL 2.' 
* Wiekliffe hoa wu ft> do^ngt (facCunu), in St. Lnke uii. 23. 

1 86 Old and Middle English, 

Thomas, we light upon a tale, which shows how fast 
English and French were hlending together. The great- 
grandsons of those that met in deadly grapple at 
Hastings had become so united by intermarriage, that it 
was hard to tell, so a lawyer of the day says, whether 
a freeman was English or Norman by birth. ^ Hugh 
de Morville, a man of renown' in his time, one of the 
future Canterbury murderers, could well understand his 
wife's English, when she wished to give him a sudden 
alarm; *Huge de Morevile, ware, ware, ware, Lithulf 
heth his swerd adrage ! ' Here the adjective wmr 
(cautus) is treated as if it were a verb, the rightful heo 
(esto) being omitted before it ; this is the first instance 
of our shortened phrase, when speaking to a dog, * war 
rabbit,* Ac. The heili (habet) is a clipped hafc^. The 
adrage is the Past Participle, clipped in the true Southern 
way, for it is a Canterbury monk that tells the tale. I 
wish we had more specimens of the off-hand colloquial 

There is an English Charter of Henry the Second's 
that belongs to this time (Hickes, * Thesaurus,* I. xvi.) ; 
here the Old English eow (you) is written jeaw ; the att, 
sounded like the French ou^ was a sound common to 
London and Paris alike. Indeed, so late as 1417, 
Idsieux was written Leseaux (* Paston Letters,' Gaird- 
ner, I. 7). 

About this time, the Old Southern English Gospels 

' Dialogws de ScaccariOt Stubbs's DocumenU, 193. 

2 Materials for BeckeVs Life (Master of the Kolls), 128. See 
Kemble's Charters^ II. 96, for a good specimen of the Kentish of this 
time, or a little later. 

Middle En^isk: Cultivation. 187 

of King iGthelred'e time were fitted for modem nse. 
These, known in their new form as the Hatton Ckjspels, 
are now accessible to all; St. Matthew's Gospel was 
published in 1858.' The main cormptioa is the change 
of c into cA, as mycel into tnychel, and aslc into eleh. The 
endingsare clipped as nsual; thus «un.u becomes sune. The. 
old toyZcum is tnmed into iceleum (welcome), page 48. In 
page 142, something like onr wherewith is seen for the 
first time ; aboat the year 1000, it had been said that 
' a man has nothing hicawm (nnde) be can pay ; ' this 
hmanon in the present version is tnrned into hwcBrmid ; 
many changes of this nature were to follow. 

After this time, about 1160, there were to be no 
more English versions of the Bible, and no more English 
Charters, granted by the Crown. This ecom for our 
toDgae, conceived in high places, was to last for about 
two hundred years, and was to do great harm. 


The first specimen of this is the Anthem said to have 
been dictated by St. Thomas, soon after his martyrdom, 
to a Norfolk priest. We have this as it was set down 
by William of Canterbury.* The first four lines are — 
Hali Thomas of hevenriche, 
Alls poatlea eve(ii)lic!ie. 
D6 niartyra fte understands 
Deyhuaoilicbe on here hande. 

' Jnfflo-Siuon and Northumbrian Veriiong of St. Malthevfi Got- 
ptl, hy Haidwick. 

' MaUriaUfoT Becket'i Hatory {Master of the Bolli), I. 151. 

1 88 Old and Middle English, 

Here the East Midland Imli and wndersiamjdiA (snsci' 
pinnt) have not been changed into the Kentish holi and 
wadLeprstanA^. The clipping of the a in apostles in the 
second line is a snre token of the Danelagh, and comes 
often in Omnin. In the fifth line standi Drichtin 
(Dominns), not Drihten ; the change of h into ch was to 
become common. In the tenth line, the Anglian sinne 
has been altered into the Kentish senne, even though it 
mars the rinie. 

We must now for the third time cast an eye upon 
the Homilies, which throw such a flood of light upon 
. Twelfth Century English.^ Those to which I now refer 
date from about 1180, and seem to have been written in 
Essex, according to evidence brought forward by Dr. 
Morris ; for some of their forms are akin to the Dane- 
lagh, others to the South. They have peculiarities, 
found also in Kent ; such as the chaiuge of t into 6, 
manken for mankind sermen for sinnen ; also, the com- 
bination ie to express the sound of the French e, as in 
liefy hitmien, gier, ]>ief, fiend, friend ; lie (page 229) for 
the older leo^en ; glie for gho ; fiehle (page 191) for what 
we call feehh. This combination is found in King Alfred's 
translation of Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care, and after 
1120 was preserved nowhere else but in Kent and in 
the shire where the present Homilies were written. It 
is pretty clear that they must have been compiled not 
far from Colchester ; the forms peculiar to the North of 
the Great Sundering Line here mingle with those that 

' Old English Homilies^ Second Series (Early Englifih Text 
Society), published by Dr. Morris. These did not come out before 
the end of Hay, 1873. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 189 

come from the South. We have hen, beS, 6m8, all three, 
for sunt: both at)>er and ei))er, bad and bed, gilteg and 
gultesjjlre and^r, clepe and dupe. The old tilian had 
the two meanings of eolere and laborare ; the older form 
of the verb we keep for the former meaning, while the 
iidien of these Homilies, now written toil, expresses 
ihe latter meaning. The Plnral of the Present ends in 
both et! and en. Some have affirmed that the Iiondon 
dialect was East Midland and not Sonthern. I would 
ask snch critics to remark the strong Sonthem dash in 
these Homilies, written at some place to the North of 
London; snch words are here fonod as heo, iok, )>o, 
Hngene (r^nm), queiiinde, ac, konden, urnen (cnrrere). 
It is cnrions to compare the Moral Ode, as tran- 
scribed into this Essex dialect, with that version of it 
noticed at page 181 of this book. The following are 
some of the changes ; — - 











leiojen (me 





I Mai 


ajBD (propriiiB) 




ctep (sale) 






englene(angelonuu) angles 










There are three decided tokens of Northern inflaence in 
theee Homilies : the areiv (sunt), the AeSen (hinc), and 
the clipping of the prefix ge in Past Participles. 

The <B often becomes a, as eai, brae, bigot; the a is 

igo , Old and Middle English. 

oonBtantly changed into o, as /o, wrdd, old, drof, mow, 
sori, enow, two, souZe, Foul ; the e replaoes ea, as ckeke, 
eke,fewe, leve; the t replaces eo, as pt'A, Uht; in aZumS 
(p. 141) u replaces eo. The combination ai, hitherto not 
mnch known in England, comes pretty often ; we aee 
maiden, nai2, glaine ; here the i stands for an older g. 
The new French ou is in great reqnest, for wo find 
j?mMoe8, Uomoen, and snch like ; thera are fower, fuwer, 
and Jbtire, all three forms ; we see both the old n/u and 
the new now. The Peterborough vma (qui) may be 
fonnd; And potest ia Englished by both mat and muge. 
What was bihofHe in the SontherQ Homilies is hero bi- 
houfe (behoof) ; vmmme is found once more, and vmo 
stands for wa (p. 149) ; there is both woreld and vrurld. 
The old Perfect eom (veni) now becomes cam (came), 
p. 145, Some words were prononnced jnst as we sonnd 
them now, as teme, neme, ivel, Inlwine ; these we mnst 
here pronounce as the French would. 

Ab to Consonants : the ge is dipped at the beginning 
of Past Participles, and also the n, their last letter; 
the n of the Infinitiyo sometimes disappears. The g is 
oast out in the middle of a word, for the old gyttgode 
(peccavit) is Bometimes eined ; the older form lasted in 
Salop down to 1400. Oedriyed and hergode are now 
dride and herede (harried) ; the Perfect of tigian is Uid 
(p. 217), leger becomes loire, onr lair. There is here 
also a combination of consonants mnch nsed in the 
Eastern half of England, that of gh replacing the old h; 
wo now find ^oghie and aglite (debnit) ; this was as yet 
strange to the shires South of Thames. Another mark 
of the North and of the Eastern coast, the nse of sal in- 

Middle English: Cultivation. igi 

stead of ekall, is also found. The hard g Bonnd was hence- 
forth little used, except in Eaat Anglia and Northern 
Ebecz ; wo here find foleg&i, hvrg, gvre {vester), heger 
(entptor), gier (annns) ; also the cormpt gede (irit). 
The w, which replaced <; in so many words, is creeping 
np fi:t>Di the Soath ; we see moen, hrww, hiw, for agen, hreg, 
and boga. Such forms occur as gree (gnunen), breSreii, 
reu (pcenitet). In this last word we now transpose the 
voweb. We here see the old genemned, pytidan, tnmed 
into nemmed, pen. 

The g sometimes becomes j as well as w ; in page 20& 
we hear that Christ's body was ato^en (distractnm) ; 
from the old teogan (a three-pronged fork, as it were), 
we get three different cormptions, to Iwg, to toy, and to 
tow. The h is sometimes tnmed into g, asJUg (fngit), 
for the old Jleak ; the k at the beginning of a word 
vauiahes, as vnt (albns) for hwit ; ihewe em is in pago 
57. The ch often replaces c, aa in chireehe (cyrce), 
much, st^neke, riehe. The fact that this new French 
sonnd often replaced the Old English hard c has en- 
riched our tongne with two sets of words, springing 
from the same root ; thus we hare the two distinct 
verbs, icake and tvateh, both from the old waic-an. Bnt 
in 1180 their use was most unsettled ; at page 161 we 
hear that the Devil weccheS (awaketh) evil. It is the 
same with dike, ditch, shriek, screech, drink, drencit, kirk, 
church, egg, edge, owing to this intrusive ch ; wa even 
apply this system to French words, as tack, attach, 
tricksy, treachery. 

The new sonnd, eh instead of sc, seldom foond 
hitherto, is established in the South-Eaetem ehires ; as 

192 Old and Middle English. 

Bhown in hisshup, shijpe^ ahufe (shove), shrifte^ fishes. 
The t$ is sometimes changed into d, as hirden (onus) for 
hyri^ ; this process went on in East Anglia. At page 
111 the w is cast out ; for we see uppard instead of the 
rightful upv^ard; we now often hear forrad shouted 
instead of forwa/rd. The n in the middle of the word is 
cast out; yunresdoeg becomes furesdai at page 61. The 
n of on (unus) is clipped, for we see, at page 165, frcum 
c stede to ofkr ; this for on^ becomes common all through 
the Sonth, and we have had a most narrow escape from 
corrupting all our Strong Past Participles in this way, 
as * I have do ' instead of done. The Preposition on is 
clipped in page 109, for we see anes a dai, * once a day ; ' 
a Oodes nanne. The od or ed of the Weak Verb's Past 
Participle is also clipped, as in lend and fild. An I is 
tacked on to an old Verb, for cneowian is now replaced 
by cnewl (kneel). 

As to Substantives : the old geoc was Plural as well 
as Singular, and it remains so in our Bible ; but at page 
195 we find the corruption giokes. How utterly the 
Dative has vanished may be seen in page 11 3, where 
Tiege dages, without any Preposition, stands for in fastis 
diehus. In page 187 we see a new construction, a kind 
of Accusative Absolute ; he tsforloren, lifand sowle. In 
page 173 we read, * they shall fear, and no wunder nw;' 
we should now drop the last word. 

At page 179 the old gemdkne (communis) is cut down 
to niene^ our mean. There is a wonderful shortening in 
mest man/ne (p. 169), which Englishes rruixima pa/rs 
hominum; most is here applied to number and not to 
magnitude, though we may still say * the most part.' In 

Middle English: Cultivation. 193 

page 165 cornea .from ivAe to werse, where the Adjectivee 
stand without any SnbstantiTes. 

As to Verbs : the oldest English allowed of snch 
phrases as I do eoio to witanrte; this sense of do is 
extended to make at page 213 ; speaking of buyers and 
sellers, he him maJceH to ben bihinden ; the last word 
shows how our hehind Itand in money matters arose. 
As tbe last sentence shows, the Qemndial Infinitive with 
to was coining in ; we see leren pe folc to understanden 
(p. 93); hepenchei to forhten (p. 201); hine ioSeS to 
dritiken (p. 213); hi<Mmelicke to wimien (p. 171); help 
to feed, loth to do. We have seen that the Passive Parti- 
•ciple might follow have, as 'he had itwronght;' we 
now see this nst^ extended to the Active Participle at 
page 145 ; he hadde vnmiende on him ye holigoet. We find 
the Infinitive dropped altogether, at page 193, to save a 
repetition ; no man ite ne leereS, . ... tie Gode nele. ich 
adrada (I fear) ; the two last words are a foretaste of 
one of our commonest English idioms. The new Plu- 
perfect Subjunctive, the work of the Southern shires, 
has not yet reached Essex, as we see in the third line of 
page 133. On tbe other hand, there is an advance upon 
the former Soathem idiom, eie stondeH men ; this becomes, 
at p^e 89, he yat no» eu/e jie stand of, not far &om our 
he that Hands in no awe of &c. In page 187 we find 
another terse English sentence,^A^ ealde neddre ; earlier 
writers woald have set some Preposition answering to 
eoitlra sft«r the first word. The verb healdan waa 
being freely used ; ith held mid hem (p. 211), holden Aire 
wwJS (p. 181), holden weie (p. 161). Verbs were now 
being run into each other; tencan was formerly the 

194 Old and Middle English, 

Transitiye mergere, emcan the Neuter mergi; the two 
foims now get confounded, for in page 177 comep '^e 
storm hiamke^ pe ship. So m p mgo 109 ihe old }i6iitu6 
( vidotar ) boe o mo o f i n J c t HS, whgnn e nnp wi g fhMt B 

As to Nnmerals : in page 224 we find on c^er two Hden, 
** one or two ; " a new phrase. At page 175 we hear of two 
brethren, * pat on is Seint Peter and ))a^ otSer Seint Andren :' 
this is a great change from the se an , , . se d6er used of 
the two men who strove for the Papacy in 1129, as re- 
corded in the Peterborongh Chronicle of that year. In 
Scotch law papers the torn, and the tother may be remarked 
down to very modem times ;^ the confusion between 
letters is like that seen in the nonce. The Masculine 
and Neuter of the Article were no longer to be distin- 
guished ; at least, in Danish shires. The o, which has 
so often replaced the old a, has added to our stock of 
synonyms for umis; we now employ one and an in 
distinct ways, but this had not been settled in 1180 : at 
page 125 we read of ' on old man,' and two lines lower 
down of ' an holie child.' Many years later, the form 
stAch a one was to be written. 

In page 213 there is a most curious new idiom ; the 
old man and the later an (see page 54 of my book) seem 
to be used together ; pe stede per me swo one dririkefij * the 
place where one drinks so ;' the one here stands for ali- 
quis for the first time, not for quidam or imuSf as in 
fore-Conquest days. The French on may perhaps have 


' So in the poem on the Chameleon : — 

* Sin,' cried the umpire, 'cease year pother ; 
The creature's neither one nor tother.' 

MiddU English: Cultivation. 195 

had Bome influence here. In pEtge 203 is a strong proof 
how idiomatic tbe old Indefinite fnan or me was in Eng- 
land ; mncA hlism me bihai w aUe, 'such bliss is promised 
naaU(by God).' 

On looking at the PrononnB, we find that gelfhaa 
been tnmed into a Plural ; at p. 193 is im selven (our- 
selTes). There is the old Genitive wre ech, which lasted 
for ages Icmger; there is also the new form ech of iu, oti of 
hem. At page 191 swa hwcet *wa is pared down to what ; 
attreS huiat hao prikeS ; it may be tliat the quodounque, 
which always translated the Old English gaa hwmt rwa, 
ledoor&thers tolook npon^wat as a good translation for 
the kindred quod. We see a new word, viarhi (whereby), 
page 81 ; somethiog like wherewith had already been 
coined in the South. 

The compounds with the AA-v&ih where lead as on to 
those with Acre ; hermfier alone had been used before 
this time ; we find heritt (herein) at page 113. So 
yonon-iMord had hitherto been the only compound with 
]i(mim ; at page 189 we see ^wa&vforSward (thence for* 
ward). Wo know onr phrase ' to cry off ; ' at page 213 
we see )>e aovle . . . wilne^ ut (desires out), that is, 
desirea to he out. At page 181, we read that the sonl 
tun«S io (sbntteth to) hire gaten. For pam cenes, or for 
fan tenet, becomes iu page 87 for the nonet, ' for that 
alone, for the purpose ; ' a curious instance of the 
confusion of letters, where two words run into each 
other. We also see at work the Middle English tendency 
to ad «« to words. The adverb wel (bene) stands for 
riht (valde) in page 71; hs ia wd god; we etill say, 
weQ worthy. The old well-nigh had been in very 

Ig6 Old and Middle English. 

earlj tuw; at page 1?7 comes, they jofi weZ o»» 

Among FlvpoBitions, o/ is encroaohing more and 
more npon older forms ; Ae ira« of miehel elde (p. 125) 
here the earlier Eogliah wonld have used tlie Oenitive 
BO lete of ^olehv/rdnes»e (pretence of patience, p. 79) 
ortrmee of miWe (diatmst of power, p. 73); redde (rid) 
ofdeoS (p. 171) ; emii of hileve (p. 191) ; ofehamede of 
hem (p. 173); forhi*ne of him selven (an example of 
himself, p. 149). Prom this last comes our ' make an 
example of, makean exhibition of,* Ac. The sense of our 
off oomea more to the front ; at page 89 we hear of a 
man ye was of hit wit ; hence oar ' off his feed ; ' eurU^ of 
rfi'uremnneii(p. 203), we should QOTC say ZeaveoJ^^our ting. 
At page 12<'i there is a new sense of on ; on Au epit»e he 
child itrende (begat) . The preposition to is making farther 
way ; in page 141 we read Ze88e to sunne, . . . Ittve to 
him; at page 157, fremfaUe to einhote; at page 73, 
Jnlimp^ to godciinnesae ; the old Dative is here encroaohed 
npon. The Anglian til, which did not travel far to the 
Soath of the Great Sundering Line until two hundred 
years after this, is now used with a Substantive of 
time ; til amoregen is ia page 75. A wholly new Pre- 
position, formed &om the Noun side, crops ap at 
page 31, supplanting the old wiS ; bitide fe bureh.' 
The old ut of now sometimes becomes ut from, as at 
page 33. We see a wholly new phrase for the latin 
quan at page 117; aee peh it were; here swa would 

' nil sliovt m hcnr be/ore, belimd, beyond, beiatai, were formed 

Middle English: Cultivation. 197 

have been osed earlier. In page 107, <jfiioilci(njv« nt is 
Engliehed by 6e swo ii 6eo ; the Relative force of the 
old Kwa (as) is here seen ; we often use * be that as it 

Many English words were now getting new meanings. 
Before this, ealdaftEder had been need for avug ; it now 
stands for iocer, for the kindred English word of this 
latt«r, evieor, was unluckily dropped, at least in the 
East. At page 157 we see that the old in/llan is hence- 
forward to keep its sense of venders and to lose that of 
tradere. Among the works of darkness mentioned at 
page 13 ore 'chest and citew,' translated by Dr. Morris 
'contention and jaw,' one sense of the old cemoan, oar 
chew. Sir Charles Napier, when finding comfort, ba he 
Baid, in 'jawing away ' at the powers that were, little 
snBpeoted the good antbority he had for his verb. 
There is a famons Mediieval phrase in page 113; 
Christ, it is there sud, 'Iterede helle;' The Harrow- 
ing of Hell plays a leading part in our old literature 
firom first to last. We know onr phrase, ' to take to his 
bed;' we read in page 20, ' )>u takest to huK,' that is, 
'thou keepest at home.' At pt^e '201 we see a broad 
line drawn between napping and eleep'mg. This distinc- 
tion had been unknown in Old English. At page 151, 
tdlai;&«, the old wUbc, is the adjective applied to snow 
melted by the sun ; this may have been confnsed with 
Ideow, and is seen in our luke-warm. 

We find new forms like 'to eroke' or ' make crooked,' 
page 61 ; suMren, our xwelter, page 7 ; snevi and 
mwe (sniff and HnofT), pages 37 and 191. Tnulliehe 
(traetfolly) appears, akin to the Frisian trd^t. 


Old and Middle English. 

There are inanj Scandinavian words, whicli we haye 
followed, rather than the kindred Old English forms. 

Diife, dmt ^ 

from diifa 

Sleht, fUM 



HolmiTn^ whoiegome 



Mece, meek 



Bote; root 



iShurte, shirt 



Sbiike; shriek 



SmoC; sniock 



There are here also a few words common to England 
and Holland, such as hvist, tvimple, and shiver (findere). 
To scorn is here seen for the first time ; some have derived 
it from the French escomir, to deprive of horns. But it 
is used a few years later by Orrmin, the last of all men 
to use a French word; secern (stercus) is the more 
likely parent of the term. 

Giraldus Cambrensis was flourishing at this time, 
but English philology had still much to learn. In 
page 45, the derivation of king is given; *he kenned 
(directs) evre to rihte.' This is something like Mr. 
Carlyle's well-known mistake, about cyning being the 
man that can act. In page 99 the word husel (the 
Eucharist) has to be accounted for ; we are told that no 
man can say ' hu set (how blessed) it is.' At page 25, 
we get another bit of Old English philology ; God is 
called Father, we are there told, for two reasons ; * on 

' The Old English culver was long used all through the South of 
England, while the Danish dove was used in the North. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 199 

his for |>o )>e he . . , feidx (joined) ))e lemes to nre 
licame . . • oSer is |>at he/et (feeds) alle I>ing.' 

Esexx EouLiEs. Pa^ lOS, 

Jie weren |>o, and get bien mid mannen, fewe gode and 
Um yU are unumg 

fele ivele, and bigan to hinieQ ]'e ivele to gode mid his 

wise wordes )>e he wi8 hem spec mnti wi8 mnSe |>e hwile 
he wnnede lichamllche among hem. And agen )w time 

imeU hoiHy 

^ nre drihten volde him fechen fro |iiB wreche woreld 

to his blisfnlle riche, \q aette he on write |ie wise word 


[>e he spec, and }iat writ sende into chirohen ; and hit is 

cnmen into )ris holi minstre to dai, and biferen gin rad, 

feb ge it oe luiderstonden; ac we wilen bi Godes 
tlioitgh but 

wisBinge and bi his helpe I>erof ca]>en gia peee lit 
guidatMt tkcloTt 


200 Old and Middle English, 


(About A.D. 1180.) 

Da i,et seip ]>eo soule soriliche to hire l(icham) ; 8B&o 
pu were lu]>er ]>eo hwile ]ni lif hssfdest, ]>u were leas and 
lati and unriht liifede(8t and) la]>ere deden ; deredest 
Cristene men and mid worde and mid werke so pu wnrst 
mihte. (Ic weas) from God clene to ]>e isend, ac ]>a 
havest nnc fordon mid pine lupere deden ; fu were gredi 
and mid gromen pe onfnlled ; nnneaj^e ic on ]>e eni wonnng 
ha(fde)for hearde mpe and ofer mete fnlle, for ]>in 
wombe was pia Ood and ]>in wxdder ]>in iscend. 

Forluren ]m havest feo ece blisse, 
Bmumen )ni havest fe Paradis, 
B(mu)men fe is ptet holi loud, 
Den deofle p\x hist isold on hond| 
For noldest ))u nefre (hab)ben inouh^ 
Buten ))u hefdest uuifouh. 
Nu is }KBt swete al a^n, 
D8Bt bittere fe bi(^) fomon ; 
Dset bittere ilest pe efre, 
Det gode ne cume5 ]>e nefre. 

The aboye is taken from a Southern work, the Poem 
on the Soul and Body, printed from a Worcester manu- 
script by the late Sir Thomas Phillipps, to whom English 
Philology owes much. We have here a foretaste of 
Layamon's well-known work; there are some things 
common to the present piece and to the Essex Homilies ; 
as soule for satde, four, Mooso, chirche, drawen, owen^ 
where w supplants g\ qu ]b well established instead of 
cw^ and besides is used as a Preposition. But the sh has 

Middle English: Cultivation. 201 

sot encroached upon the »c ; the old gcal and eerin have 
not yet become shall and shrine in the Severn country. 

In Vowels : ou is making way ; s/rau and claa appear ; 
ei je a favonrito combination, for eihie, clei, neik, and 
etje come ; we still pronounce the two first in the 
proper way, with the sonnd of the French 4 ; the two 
last have been degraded. The diphthong m sometimes 
ranishea j Baada becomes Beda, as happened before the 
Conqnest ; we see the Old and the New in the short 
sentence, ^Ifric abbot fe we Alquin hotep. It in hopeless, 
after seren hundred years of wrong spelling, to lalk 
now of King Alfred. The o often replaces a; at p. 7, 
a (semper), the aye of the North, is written ; rather 
later, in page 301 of this book, we shall find the 
phrase ei/ and 0, an admission of the claims of both 
North and South. The old gdt (beedns) is written got ; 
bat on the Tyne, far to the North, Gateshead (Capnt 
Caprse) has held its gronnd. Dd (dama) and gad 
(stimolns) become do and gode ; rd-deor (capreoloa) is 
changed into Toa-deor, and shows ns the steps by whiuh 
theold a became the new o ; we still write hroad, goad, and 
hoardf a compromise between the North and the Sonth.' 
The sonnd of o can in onr tongue be expressed by about 
ten different letters or combinations of letters ; the stn- 
dent of onr language most here long for the simplicity of 
the Italian. The oh becomes ouh, as in the Moral Ode 
(see pagelSl); we see souhte and inouJi. The u is most 
popnlar, a sore mark of the South ; this vowel replaces i, 

' The old brid. thoagh dov writUn bntad, is pronoaneed moub- 
thing in the old iraj. tot/ QsUke the wnmd of oa in other woidi, 
nch u toad and road. 

203 Old and Middle English. 

for savr (ahire) becomes scitr ; it alfio replaces o, for hym 
becomes hum. Bytt (ater) is now btttte, oar butt. 

Sometimes a Gonsoiiant is dropped in the middle of 
a word, for we see elleoven (eleven) for endleofan. The 
city Cantwaraburh is now changed into Oantoreburi; 
and thnB the French way of spelling (did they ever yet 
spell a Teatonic word right F) ioflnenced ns. The 
Infinitive dreogan (snbire) becomes driten, the Scotch 
dree ; tnantlaga is now monaleia. The g drops at the end 
of a word, for heg becomes hei ; we still keep the pro- 
nnnciation of this word hay. Sometimes letters are 
transposed ; ercBi (corms) becomes terf . Another badding 
change may be seen in gpindd, which is here replaced 
by epindle. The Southern c and the ilfortheni k are 
coupled together, as in eroeke and ^iche. King Al&ed 
had long before used the form orcgea^d instead of the 
commoner ortgeard; the word is now softened into 
orchard. In this way the Old English splot with ns 
becomes splotch. 

Another word, where c has become cA, is etcen, 
ekiken^ in this word both the old and the new sound of 
e are found. The old cealc now becomes chalc, our chalk. 
Dagat is now da^es ; but w is the &vonrito letter in re- 
placing the old g ; we see elbowe, fuweles (fowls), and 
emca (sow). What was lah (homilia) in 1120 is now 
lowe ; )h<. droge (trazisti) is drovx at page 8, An attempt 
is even made to change days into dawes, a corruption 
that lasted long in the South. The word lorhfull is 
tamed into seoruhful. The Strong Verb changed into 
the Weak ia seen in sleptegt, as in the Bnshworth Gos- 
pels ; the Weak Verb turned into the Strong (a most 

Middle English :' Cultivation. 203 

mmBaal thing in English) is found in rungen fbr the 
rightful ringocUn. There is scorede (secavit) for sccer; 
we have now the two forms eeore and iKear, both coming 
from the old sceran. We see the Latin word ajiienwo 
Englished by teUj^erd, the first time that yard is found 
applied to Bhip-gear. Sartrias is here Englished simply 
by heo (ilia), referring to BeamtBre (B&rtor), which had 
gone before ; onr teanutregs still keeps some trace of the 
old seamettre, the right word to use.' Likte stands for 
pulmo, OQT ' liver and lights.' Weaican stands once more 
for atribtdare, as it did in the Sonthem Homilies : and 
the new word deavep (become deaf) appears at page 5 ; 
this is IntransitiTe, bnt the Scotch deave has become 

We have other Bonrces open to ns, besides the Eng- 
lish mannscripts. In the poems of Nigel Wireker, 
written abont 1190, we come apon the names WUlekin 
and Robekin. These are the names of boys, and are most- 
likely due to Flemish immigrants into England. It is 
curious that the new Teutonic ending kin shonld be first 
attached to common French names like William and 
Itobert; it was long before Sobekin became Rob or Bob.* 
Abont the same time, the Coggeahall Chronicle talks of 
MaUkin, a pet name derived from Mold, or Matilda. 

' We find here piator Englished bj balcettre, whence oomea Box- 
IcT. Ster Tea the eoding viually rrBerred for the feminiiie, u 
tpiiuttr ; bnt Fharaoh'a baker was called in QenenB baeiitrt, befbre 
the Conqne^ S«« Esrle'a FhOology, p. 820. 

* Wireker'i poenu iiBre attrihnted, when pnblithed, to Branelloi 
Tigelli. I coDBalted the edition published at Wolfenbfittol in 16112. 
The namu in kin are found in p. 9i at this work. 

204 Old and Middle English. 

lAter in the Thirteenth Century we hear of JanJbtn, 
and other each ; of these names, Ferhin is the most 
lenowned. ^Ifric, iu his Giummar, written about two 
hundred years before this time, had told hia pupils that 
some nonns were diminutiva, giving for an example ho- 
m^ncuZiM, lytle rmmn. He knew not the word mannikin. 

{A.D. 1200.) 

I now return once more to the neighbourhood of 
Colchester, We have a collection of King Alfred's 
saws, dating from about the year 1200.' It seems, like 
the Essex Homilies, to belong to the Great Sundering 
line ; we find the thorough East Anglian forms ffu, gung, 
Mol, vm, arren, dagie (you, young, shall, how, are, days); 
also hea )>u (page 32), where the rightful t is lost at the 
end of the he». On the other hand, the Active Participle 
ends in both the Midland eiit! and Southern iW.and the 
t or 1/ is prefixed to the Past Participle ; the Soathem o 
is preferred to the Northern a, as in no yiiig, ewo, land ; 
such forms as cunne, Englene (Anglorum), are truly 

As to Vowels; mmg becomes may, moge, and muge; 
the different sounds that might be given to one word are 
most curious, and show how unsettled a thing Middle 
English was. The o replaces t, for we find wola forwiU; 

' Dr. Morris printa this, along with a Southern Tersion mode 
tixtj f sun Utar, in hia OUl Englitk Miscellany (E^ly English Teit 
Society), p. 103. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 203 

-of this we keep a trace in our loon'f (will not). The old 
Superlative lengest remains, bnt lengra becomee longer 
at page 113. The English ow sometimeB slides into the 
foreign oii, aa in mouin, tnoain. The Aeo (ilia) becomes 
hue at page 119, and this change spread all over the 
South. The old dohteraaA noAt become douler and TWut. 
The u seems to talce an e before it in pEige 121, where 
the old beogan or bugan tnms into bewen ; mnch about 
the same time, XiaTamon on the Severn was writing 
beautoeden. The sound of the French ou is now expressed 
by a combination of letters new to English scribeB ; in 
p. 132 the old freotoS is written troijie, sounded much as 
we sonod tmth. The Essex tulien was later to be written 
toil. This French oi will be discussed in a later Chapter. < 
Wesaw that King Al&ed was fond of doubling the letter 
o ; this now crops np ^ain ; the old hoe is here written 
iooc. Moreover, wudu (silva) is turned into wood, but 
this must in Essex have been pronounced like mode. The 
words wulf, vmlle, wurtd, bur (gebQ.r, colonns), have 
always been pronounced in one and the same way from 
first to last, thoT^h we have altered their spelling. 

In Consonants there is a great change at work. The 
h is Bometimes wrongly used, as herl for erl, wad for 
what; it vanishes in the middle of Inovit (oportet). The 
fondnese for the hard g is one of the pecnliaritieB of East 
Anglia ; the old gesdmon and rowan are turned into sagin 

' Id the old Latin InjKriptionB we Sod oi»at -vritten where later 
uthotl would bare pnt unua. A bmoiu Oxford schoUr, "•""»'"' "g 
& ichool in FerUuhire about 1820, asked a haj to spell poiion. 
There was no aDswer. ' Hoot, moo,' cried the Khoolmaster, ' can je 
ooipellpaoBlMi?' Tha bojat once spdt the woid right. 

2o6 Old and Middle En^ish. 

and TOgin} Bat mtsg and mga. (die) become may and 
ia.%}, as we have since kept them ; aod aaga, hit in page 
117 is cnt down to teit, a, proof how little tlie h in hit 
was now soanded. The h was replaced sometimes, as 
at Feterborongh, by gh, as degh ; sometimes by e, as 
rict; sometimes by ch, as yochte, pu mieht, htush; some- 
times by g, as migte, rigtin. We find tlie two forms 
Tnukil and inoch. This poem differs from the Sssex 
Homilies in the resistance offered to the newfangled eh, 
which was replacing «;; we find indeed scAeneandgoAefe, 
but sal is preferred to shal, and we shall find the same 
resistance to «% in the East Anglian works of 1230. 
The f is sometimes cormpted into d, as widuten, quad 
(cw(B|t). Sir Thomas More, three hundred years later, 
imitated this, writing quod he (dixit), which at that time 
was langhed at as old-fashioned by his enemies. The 
)> is added to a word, for wela becomes weife ; the con- 
fnsion of this letter with / is seen at page 111, where 
hingeolfe (himself) is written hUietelfe. The old (Boertw is 
now aereis (acres), and ceorl takes the broader form of 
cherrU (chnrl). 

In Snbstantivee : we find that the GenitiTal es, known 
in the North, bnt hitherto nnknown to certain words in 
the Sonth, is now added ; faderit blitie is in page 129, 
bnt the later version keeps the true old English fader 
bliise. We find the corrupt alle cunne madmes in p^;e 
127 (all kind of treasure) ; the later version sticks to 
the rightful Genitive, uyches ewmes madmei (all kind's 
treasures), 'treasure of all (every) kind,' showing how 

< TMa seema to ahow that in the Eastern counties the a of gadvxm 
and tliB of roaan ireie DOt pK>nDnnc«d like the French on. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 207 

the idiom arose. Tlie 'word fKing was about this time 
employed as a compliment ; Alfred is called in page 103 
a htfsum pmg ; a few yeais lat^ it is applied even to 
Christ. We see a &miliar phrase of oars for the first 
time at page 133; elde lyumid to tune, 'a^ comes to 
town,' that is, 'draws near ns.' 

We find the old Idane rather changed at page 138, 
where it is written lonke (lanky). There must have 
been some great difference in sotmd between h on the 
one hand, and c Emd g on the other, when they were pre- 
fixed to I, n, and r ; in such cases h is always lost, while 
c and g remain to this day. 

There is a farther step made as to Belative Fronoans : 
at page 117 we see may he forfarin, hwo hoee^ &c. 
Here the hwo stands after the antecedent he for the first 
time ; the idea of hwo so mnst have been in the writer's 
mind. In p. 137 kewe (vester) stands for tuug, the first 
instance of this TVench idiom in England; it comes 
amidst a crowd of French words. I have set oat the 
passage at page 209 of this work. 

There is a great change in one of the Irregalar Verbs ; 
the old ic mmg (possnm) took |m mikt Cor its second 
person; this is now corrupted into )w tnaist at p. 117, 
thongh the right^l fw micAf comes elsewhere. We saw 
in the Lindis&rne Gospels this paring down of the Strong 
Verb to the level of its Weak brother ; even in the 
8ontb, |>u cuwne, jm d/urre, had become in some parts )>« 
eanat, \u dearat, long before the Norman Conqnest. A new 
idiom starts np at p. 103 ; hegia is cut down to gin, as 
hem he gon l»rin ; and this gon or gan was nsed for ages 
as a kind of Auxiliary Verb, side by side with can ; Scott 

2o8 Old and Middle English. 

has in his 'Lay of the Last UJnstrel,' tl>6ea/riga.-a,s^. At 
p. 136 we see the Pronorm aefc before the ImpemtiTB, Jitt 
gtf him ; this has not yet gone ont, for we still say ' yon 
go there.' The verb like was of old Imperflonal, and we 
may still say ' an it like yon.' Bnt at p. 105 it Englishes 
affiant; we Bee Zovin &im and likin ; another instance of 
this comes rather later. The verb da gets a new mean- 
ing, finire ; mtTte dagis arren nd done is in p. 135. Ihifcen 
is used intranBitively, as we learn by the context, at 
p. 115 ; to diitte it ttdliti driven. We have seen how wrung 
(malum) was first found at London ; we now see a verb 
formed from it at p. 135, fe wronke gume Jm rigtin, 'be 
sure to right the wronged man.' So mva (mouse) creates 
a new verb, applied to cata, at p. 121. Another verb 
crops up for the first time at p. 138, the small man woU 
grennen, eoeken, and chiden ; froni this eocken must come 
our adjective cocky. The new verb betide is seen in 
p. 129. 

The old noM is tnmed into ntntt and nat; it had 
^ready, at Peterborongh, begun to drive out ne, and we 
here find leve pa jwut instead of the rightful ne levefit; 
but the old ne was used in prose so late as Campian's 
time. The Old English fe hmle pe here takes the form 
of hwUis pat, which is kept in our Bible ; the m or e« is 
tacked on to Adverbs in the usual Middle English way. 
We have already seen wel used for »wi")ie (valde) ; at 
p. 103 the two are coupled together, wd notju strong. 
An idiom most common in our Ballads is here first foond; 
ton 10 dere (p. 135) ; here the so is not want«d. A new 
idiom vms now coming down from the !tf orth ; at p. 133 
we read wer (ubi) hachte is kid, per is arnipe ; this wer 

Middlt English : Cultivation. 209 

was before tbia time in the South written ^mr. The new 
Relative forma were crowding in. 

Kb to Prepositions : of as osnal waa employed with 
new meaningB ; it replaced the old on in phrasea like degi 
ofitioi, iotofword. Ihe confosion between on and of 
lastB still, when we hear people talk of ' the whole lot on 
'em;' vpbraid 0/ comes at p. 119; we should now turn 
the of into with, though we still accuse of. The to waa 
often used after uieor^n (fieri) ; this nsage is now ex- 
tended, for we Bee melten to noeht, bringen to nouf. At 
alway a had in English a sense nearly akia to m ; we now 
find (p. 125) god ate nede, a phrase that Scott lored. Bi 
is turned into an adverb at p. 137, he wole be hi. 

The foreign word elerh is now used for tcholar as well 
as for prieit ; for it is here said of Alfred that ' he waa 
king and cleric,' p. 103. This old poem is most Teutonio; 
but at the end of the two last stanzas, the bard, perhaps 
wishing to show off his learning, brings in a few French 
words most needlessly : — 

Ac nim ]« to )ie a stable mon 
)iat wont and dede bisette con, 
and multeplien beure god, 
a sug fere |>e his help in mod. 

Hic ne «ge nout bi )>au, 
fiat moni ne ben gentile man ; 
Jmni Ins lore and genteleri 
be UBendit huge eompanie.' 

This is the first instance of onr word gentleman. There 

are also leiterU and gtU. We find for the first time dote 

' The A is aadlj uMOsed in thu piece, >b we m«. 

210 Old and Middle English. 

(dolt), akin to a Dntcb term ; besides a fevr Soandinariau 
words., from the Xorae v^ga, to frighten. SwlA, 
firotn the Swedish skiAla,. We have also added to oar 
well-known word ham. the Danish sense mal&d,i(XT&, as 
seen in this poem ; the old geban meejit edictwm,. 

I may here remark, that in these Proverbs of Alfred 
we see a great change clearly foreshadowed, that was 
soon to mar the beaaty of onr English speech. There 
is an evident distaste for compoonding Verbs with 
Prepositions ; very few of SDch compounds are to be 
fonnd here. Already in the Essex Homilies there had 
been a falling off from the old system ; it is hard to see 
why this should have been the csw ; for the Scandinavian, 
as well as the Old English, delighted in pre&zing Pre- 
positions to Verbs. Thirty years after this time the 
same distaste will be remarked in other East ^ngli»ti 
works. The Eastern shires, lying between Colchester 
-and Leicester, took the lead in robbing ns of one of onr 
choicest powers ; if Stiatmann's Dictionary be consulted, 
we shall find many verbs, with of, to, ait, an, prefixed ; 
hut these were used by writers, Northern and Soutliem 
alike, who dwelt fa,r from Essex and East Anglia. In 
p. lis our author uses letin lif (vitam perdere) ; tiie 
Soathem transcriber altera the first word into forletea. 
It was unlucky that, of all England, the shires near 
London should have been the ones that started an evil 
habit, elsewhere anknovrn. One consequence of this 
clipping was, that English became more and more one- 

A Latin Charter of King John's to York, in 1200, 
may be here meutioued ; we there see onr word wreck 

Middle English: Cultivation. 211 

for trhe first time, the Scandinaviaii rek, ' somelhiDg 
drifted on shore,' (Stabb's Documents illnatrative of 
English Histoiy,' p. 304). 

I now come to that writer who, clearlier than any 
otter, foreshadows the growth of the New English. The 
monk Orrmin wrote a metrical Paraphrase of the Gospels, 
with comments of his own, somewhere about the year 
1200 ; at least, he and Layamon employ the same pro- 
portion of Tectonic words that are now obsolete, and 
Layamon is known to have written after 1204. Orr- 
min, if he were the good fellow tfaat I take him to have 
been (I judge from his writings), wasa man well worthy 
to have lived in the days that gave.ns the Great 
Charter. He is the lafit of our English Makers who can 
be said to have drunk from the undefiled Tentonic well ; 
no later writer ever used so many PrepositionaJ com- 
pounds, and on this account we onght perhaps to Gs 
upon an earlier year than 1200 for his date. In the 
course of his lengthy poem, he uses only four or 6ve 
French words ; his few Latin words are Church phrases 
known in our land long before the Norman Conquest.' 
On the other hand, he has scores of Scandinavian words, 
the result of the Danish settlement in onr Eastern shires 
300 years before his day. He seldom uses the prefix 
he, which is not Scandinavian. His book is the most 
thoroughly Danish poem ever written in England, that 
has come down to ns ; many of the words now in our 
moatha are fonnd for the first Hme in his pi^s. Had 

' When Te Siid so thorongh a Teuton nsing words like ginn and 
xom, we Hbanld paoBs before ire derire tbsse from France. 

212 Old and Middle English. 

Bome of our late Iiexicogniiphers pored over him more, 
they would have ntnmbled into fewer pitfalls.* 

It is most important to fix the shire in which Orrmin 
wrote, since no man did more to simplify onr English 
frrammar, and to sweep away all nicety as to genders 
and cases. He evidently dwelt not &r &om the Qrent 
Line ; he has !ff orthem and Southern fonns of the same 
word, like 6one and iene (snpplicatio), tre and ireow 
(arbor), ^nis\ and ru?ine[> (currit), cne» and cneimoeti 
(genna). Hod he lived to the Kast or South of Rutland, 
he wonld not have employed their, them, for her, hem, at 
so early a time. He cannot well be pnt far to the Weit 
of Aahby in Leicestershire, for bo Scandinavian a writer _ .^ 
can hardly have lived in any district that does not 
abound in hamlets with names ending in by. I shonld 
myself place him at the old Danish burgh of Derby, not 
far to the North of the Line. He uses ;ffio (the old Tieo) for 
Ula ; and something like this is still heard in the mouths 
of old Derbyshire men. He mnst not be removed very far 
to the North of the Great Line, for he is most careful 
in writing the In6nitive in enn, which was clipped at 
Peterborough. Derbymaybe called the philological navel 
of England ; from Derby a man may go East to Norwich, 
and not step ont of the East Midland country ; he may 
go North West to Lancaster, and not step ont of the West 
Midland country.* Fifty miles to the North of Derby 
is Yorkshire, a stronghold of one dialect ; fifty miles to 

' Mr. White hss gifBD us a capital edition of Ormb'a posm, 
tKe Ormulum. Dr. Stratmann has nude good use of it. 

" There are no regular West Midland wocka before 1300, so I 
here take liule notice of thie district. 

Middle English : Ctdtivation. 213 

the South West of Derby is 'WorcesterBliire,& stronghold 
of another dialect. 

There are many links between Omnin and the 
Peterborough Chiwnicler who wrote forty years earlier. 
The word cfeioten or jeAateiMJ is almost the only Passive 
Participle which they leave undipped of ite prefix. 
They both ose the two great Midland shibboleths, the 
Present Plnral in e» and the Active Participle in enrfe. 
They have the same objection to any ending but e* for 
the Genitive Singnlar and the XominatiTe Plnral of 
Konns, following in this the old Northumbrian Gospels. 
They do not inflect the Article, and are thus lar ahead 
of the EentisL writer of 1340. Ormiin nses ihai as a 
DemonBtrative and not as a Nenter Article ; he knows 
nothing of the Southern iKilk, used in Somersetshire to 
this day. He haa no trace of the Genitive Plural in ene, 
which lingered on in the South for 200 years after hia 
time ; he makes no distinction between Definite and 
Indefinite Adjectives, and their Plurals do not end 

We find in Orrmin what we have already seen in 
other Dano-Anglians, like the Essex writers far to the 
South East; such forms as, forr the natiess, com to 
twt, bum to askeg, at wSl', ffrim of heart, wel (valde), 
arm (sunt), he gan followed by the Infinitive, cneHnug 
instead of cneowunj, hiddl, »noj5, com, (venit). The 
new Subjunctive form that we first saw in the Homihes 
of II 60 is here repeated ; at line 151 of Orrmin's Preface 

I thaU ha/em addUdd. 
Asto Vowels: the <s is often preserved. Bntitsome- 

214 Old and Middle English. 

times becomes a, as hirrte for the old crcBt^ hadd (jussit) 
for hoed, smacc for smoec ; sometimes it becomes e, as 
speJcenn for spcecan, efenn for cefen. Orrmin evidently 
lived not far from the Great Line. A is often clipped 
at the beginning of a word ; thus apostles become possi- 
lesSf as in the Koshworth Gospels : arise and aivake are 
also clipped in the true Northern way ; adun is always 
replaced by dim, our doivn, which is not yet a Preposition. 
On the other hand a is set before the old hufan (snpri), 
whence comes onr ahove^ and the Scottish ahoon, A 
replaces ea, as chappmujin, hard, and darr, for ceapmunn, 
heard, and dear, Orrmin prefers aw to au, most likely 
sounding both like the French ou ; he talks not of Paul, 
but of Paivell, though he has also Saul ; * with him 
claustrnm becomes clawwstre, Orrmin puts e for a when 
changing hita (fragmentum) into htte, at I. p. 300 ; he 
takes care to mark that the i is short, thus distinguish- 
ing it from our word for morsus. E replaces ea and eo, 
as in the Lindisfarne Gospels ; we now find hi-est, calif, 
dep, frend, leriienn, ned, held, lesenn, fe, e^he; nalcedd 
(nudus) is found instead of nacod, and slecJce7iu instead 
of slacian ; this last has given us two verbs instead of one^ 
slahe and slacJc. The interchange between i And y,BO 
common in Middle English, is seen in Magy, the wise 
men from the East ; the y must now have lost the sound 
of the French u, is hardly ever written for the Northern 
a ; we do find iwvnvperr and iiowwharr for the old naio^er 
and naliwar ; otherwise, this favourite Southern change 
is kept at bay. Orrmin writes both aiuihht and oht for 

* The Scotch mrito Laurence, the English Lawrence, 

Middle English : Cultivation. 215 

(diquid, anA we have kept both these forms.' replaces 
ea, as fohh (ctsi) for feah ; it also replaces e ; dogt and 
Aj8 are found instead of the older dSst and (Ze8 ; Orrmin 
writes both the Icelandic bon and the 0!d English bSn 
ioronrprayer, but he sticks to the old jnp/ (nemns) ; our 
grove was to come later. He replaces o by « in fawit 
and buU ; instead of Galileo (CFalilee) he sometimes has 
QdHletc, not OalUu ; this seems to show that eo was not 
always pronoanced like u, as some wish to make ont. 
Orrmin writes jAo for heo (ilia), not Au. He has 
trovnppe, dropping the e that formerly came before the 
0. When we see his iwefr, II. p. 4 (nnnqnam), shortened 
for the sake of the verse, it tells as bow our poetic ne'er 
arose in the North. The old siojian now becomes guJi. 
h^kenn, onr tough. Ornnin is fond of mnning vowels 
into each other, and sometimes cnts short the last vowel 
in temple, mMyitre, shuldre, when they are followed by a 
vowel sound; fiei is written for he it (II. 253), which 
shows how the old hit (id) had lost the sonnd of its 
first letter. 

As to Consonants, geXang becomes hUenge, ' belonging 
to,' jnst as we saw the interchange of h and g in belief. 
The p, of near kin to b, was hardly ever used to begin a 
word in English ; path and play are the only very early 
homebom words, now in ose, that oommence with p ; 
Dearly all Orrmin's words that begin with this Iett«r are 
Church Latin phrases, for p is one of the chief letters in 
Greek and Latin. Hewillnottnm/intovintheSoathem 

' Orrcuii'B aaihlU was written act Mil mri 

in oth<T 1 

jIftceB. not 

)ur itrac. 


hare a hiot us to the MODd of the old am. 

2l6 Old and Middle English. 

w&j, for be writes til/err and heefedd. With him the c is 
often tamed into eh, aa UBchenn, h^mtche, Ueehe, macehe, 
tpaehe, ckotena ; wdkemun, however, holds its ground 
agninattoafeftman. Orrmin was the second English writer, 
BO &ur as is known, who pretty r^nlarly naed gh instead of 
the fbrmer sc ; be wrote thawenn, shall, and $hame. This 
change began in the South, and the older form bad not 
altogether gone oat in the North, for he writes both 
biskop and bUhop. Xowhere more clearly than in tiie 
Ormnlnm can we see the stmggle between the Old and 
tbe New. The g is often supplanted by 3 ; Orrmin Beems 
to find this osefiil in distingnishing the Icelandic gate 
(via) from tbe English geai (porta) ; his word for the 
latter is still fonnd in Scotland as yett, Orrmin first 
placed 2 at tbe end of a word after a vowel, as Jt^ (they), 
jia^ instead of tbe old ne ; a;; as well as a (semper). 
He gave as lay instead of the Peterborough lai. He 
drops the final h, taming /eA (feoh) into/e. The words 
eorplic and eatelice are softened down to er^U% and 
/epeli^ (easily).' DntgoS becomes drukkpe (droath) ; 
we sometimes pat the old g into this last word. We 
have still left the old wagen (wag^n) ; we have also 
ween, Orrmin's teagffi (wain). Not only he^he, bntAeA, 
is written for our high ; hence we talk of the hey~datf of 
yoath. The old eagoa (ocnli) now became e^htts, our 
poetical eyne, the Scotch era. Bat Ornnio will never 
aoft«n the g into id ; be even holds aloof from tbe old 
geimcon. Sometimes be throws out ge altogether in the 
middle of a word ; thus ungelie berames unnZtc (unlike). 

' I ma amiued nt one eride iMing toe tar ming »e)u>larlUt w 
well ta leielarly. Let him bm«h np hii Hiddls En^iah. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 2iy 

Auyadine U cnt down to Aww»tm, as he still appears in 
onr &mily names. The t is sometimes thrown oat; 
haletan becomes he^enn (to hail). This is still more 
the case with tk; the old 0880 (aut) is seen aa o'pyr, and 
this is twice pared down to orr (or), Tyndale, 330 jears 
later, sometimes has the old other for the new or. As 
oS8e became o^yr, so did Orrmin give ne (aec) an r at the 
end ; we find at Vol. II. 223, 

JVer eteyp ne, ne rfnimiepfi. 

This ner (written by Layamon no) ninety years later 
became onr nor ; the newfangled word could not wholly 
drive ont the old me (ased by Gampian) nntil 1580.' 
Orrmin seems to have had a foreknowledge of Grimm's 
Law ; he toms the Latin triplex into yripeU. He once 
QBea the corrupt n«r of the Sonth for the rigbtfol neh 
(prope). He has both the old wv/rT^thipe and the new 
vfu/rrthipe, worship. He often writes uppo for upon; 
this is one of the Derbyshire pecnliarities that have been 
lately brought home to all lovers of good English by the 
authoress of ' Adam Bede ' ; the old v,ppe preceded the 
bter wppan. The « replaces I, for scselode becomes »eo 
nedd (sickened), just as Sol and Sttn are but two forms 
of one old Aryan word. The I isinserted, asincnelerm; 
keatfunga becomes halljlmgeas, a word still in Scotch 
nae ; the eg, as nansl, is now added to roond off the old 
Adverb. The tu is cut off in Tobias, which becomes 
Tobi. Even OrmuD, good Teuton thongb be be, cannot 

' I do not rafer to Bp«iiser'( ne her« ; he did not tub the language 
of his OKU da;. 

2i8 Old and Middle English, 

resist putting the French e for the old ^ in his word millce 
(mercy). When he writes he^a/nn^^ (the coins so called,) 
we see that the ^ is beginning to stand for our z, as well 
as for our y. He keeps near to the Old English in his 
Jvdisskemi BmdJudew (JudsBus) ; he knows nothing of the 
French way of throwing out the d here. He transposes 
letters when he writes greashoppe, fressh, wrohhie ; wyrhta 
(faber) becomes vrnhhte; in his tdbresstenn he follows 
the Scandinavian hresta rather than the Old English 
(etherstan. He unluckily transposes the old hwy writing 
what instead of hwcet^ and so with other words. If we 
had kept the h in its proper place, we should now have 
full in our view the link between the English hwoet and 
the Latin cmd (quid).* As regards the sound of hwoBty 
English stands high above German. Orrmin, moreover, 
transposes consonants when he writes Ihude and rhof. 
At Vol. II., p. 280, we read of talde lai^he (ea antiqua lex) ; 
this change of ih into ^, and this running of vowels 
together, is still found in shires not far from Derby ; the 
houyloft becomes tallot. 

As to Substantives : the old Plural cildru now ap- 
pears as chUldrBy which still lingers in Lancashire; 
* gang whoam to thee childer and me,' as we read in the 
fine modem ballad. Our corrupt Plural children came 
from the South, as also did brethren and hine. We still 
keep the old sunne heavi^ but Orrmin has a corrupt 
Genitive in surmess lihht (II. p. 112). He forms a 

' The interchange between c and h has not died out in our 
island ; I hare heard Scotch peasants talk of a cwirlwind instead of 
hwirlmnd. A Tuscan talks of the Emperor Harlo Quinto ; a Roman 
calls him Cdrlo. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 219 

wholly new Plural when talking of se^ne goiUltiesmu 
(virtntes), in Itis Preface, line 276; he also cormptB 
^or (the Latin /wte) into deoresi (deers) ; we have hap- 
pily not followed him here. The old ^nanva (bominnm) 
is wonderfnlly altered, when we read, in I. p. 243, of 
godc menneet kerrtess. He nseB menn for males and 
females alike in I. p. 165 ; onr wiser age wonld talk of 
iiidividuaU, which is a longer word than jpersong. The 
Dative is mishandled by hint, as much as it is by as ; we 
read that win iciMs hroht^attalldemimim; tolenerm (lend) 
pa menn. The Accnsative replaces the Genitive in the 
phrase whatt gale Miinm lie gannge^]i ; there is a donble 
Accusative in to ledenn hemm pe lee^e. As in the Blick- 
Mng Homilies, we get a hint of onr on the tpot (continao) 
when we bear that Nathanael believed forryrihht i atede 
am 9umm be &c. II. p. 125. The stem terseness of old 
speech comes ont when Christ heads his qnotations from 
Scripture with boc se^p (liber ait), omitting the Definite 
Article, II. p. 41. A new piece of slang has arisen 
of late years, 'it will snit yon down to the gronnd' 
(onmino). It seems to be hinted at in II. p. 133, )>ws 
ivinn iaa drunnlcenn to fe grand. There is now and then a 
word used by Orrmin in a sense that seems strange to ns ; 
the chariot that bore Eli jab aloft is called a hirrte ; the poor 
woman who shared her scanty food with that prophet is 
addressed by him as hffdig ; the word allderrman still 
means a prince, and sometimes an abbot. Father later, 
in a Latin Charter of 1255, given by Henry III. to 
Oxford, aldermaniB nsed of nothing higher than hnrghers; 
(Stnbbs, ' Docnments,' p. 368). We find for the first 
time snch compounds as overlnng, overlord, words happily 

220 Old and Middie English. 

revived in our own day.' WedSlac (wedlock) now ap- 
pears whore of old mjlac would have been used. The 
former word, before Omnin's time, meant no more than 
the Latin pigtms. The Old English uiaruld stood for 
sceeviwti, and nothiog more ; it now begins to stand for 
orbit.^ The latter was earlier translated by mtddan-eardi 
Orrmin, at II. p. 256, oomponnds the Old and the New, 
talldog of the mtddeU wereUd, Lie was the Old English 
word for corpus, though it is in our day found only in 
J/iekjleld aiaA lijch-gate; hodig nsually meant the tnink 
or chest; bat Orrmin nsea hodij, far oftener than lie, 
in our sense of the word. In one line he forms a new 
Substantive oat of the two, speaking of hodi^kk. The 
vord JlaU, akin to the Jlegil of the mainland, now 
first appears in English. Bone (boon) changes its 
meaning; it had meant prater, bat it now eomeismes 
means /avour, as we nee it; in I. p. 263, comes patt bone 
yattlie^eormde(<:rB,yed). In II. p. 125, the word trowwpe, 
oar troth, meane belief; this laflt senae was of old ex- 
pressed by Ireowe. A new word, kinnessmarm (cognatoa), 
now appears; so does cWptitp (clothing). The North 
of England was soon to abound in Verbal Nouns. We 
read, in I. p. 247, that Herod was not crowned o Qodeie 
haUfe ; this is the Scandinavian af ChSa luii/u, and fore- 

' One critic ia mncb disgnBted at my uang overlord; in this I 
simply follow my betters. Ha would probBbly prefer mperior dami- 
nator, or hffptr-despol. He stands up for tociology sa a neat com- 
puand ; BO he Tould of all thinga, I anppose, prefer hyper-domiMLtor. 

' Thia -wotd ia atill rightly prononnrod aa a disayllable in Scot 
laud ; aa id I^dy NaiFne'a MitherUa Lanmiie ; — 

' Bat it wad gae wiUeas the mirald to lee.' 

Middle English: Cultivation. 221 

sbadowB onr hehalf, wluoh came a htuidred years later; 
the passage may be tmnaUted by tyn QotCt part. In II. 
p. 333, IB the first example, I think, of oar oommoa nBe 
oifolk withoat an article before it ; it no longer meaoa a 
nation, bat man ; Christ was baptizing folk. In Orr- 
min's werkkeda^h, the new form of taeotv-dtBg, we find the 
first germ of Shakspeare's workaday world. 

As to AdjectiTeB: in I. p. 280, we see how they 
changed their meaning, iwhiUo mann kkus himmfuU lap 
to nehh^^tenn ; here the lap means odionim ; bnt as years 
went on the Dative iwMllc mann was taken for a Nomi- 
natiTe, and thna the lap got the meaning of invittu. 
Omnin's foUhmmvm (compliant) has not yet the de- 
grading sense of onr fidiome ; indeed, the latter is said 
to be connected with foul. He nses eheepUh in a sense 
far removed from oora, applying the word to a man 
who tneehly follows Christ's pattern. He has, in U. 
p. 182, when relating the miracle at Cana — 
yinforrme win tN tinipe god, 
)in> lattrt tnin im h^tra. 
Here we have the opposition between former and 
latter (posterior) ; the old lator meant only gerior ; this 
new sense of the Comparative is fonnd in Dorsetshire 
twenty years after this time. The /id was coming 
in, as an Adjectival ending ; ws now light on pohiful. 

In hia Pronouns, Omnin shows that he is a near 
neighbour to Northnmbria. He nses I and ice ; pe^ 
peggre, pe^m; but sometimes replaces the two last by 
heore, Aemm.' It was two hundred and sixty years before 
their and them came into Standard English ; they are 
' The Gothic ^rim for illxa is in St. John, ri. 7. 

222 Old and Middle English, 

trae Scandinavian forms. Unlike the Peterborough 
Chronicler, Orrmin sticks to the Old English heo (in 
Latin, ea), which he writes 2;^o. In I. p. 42, there is an 
nnnsual form ; )>tt cwennkesst i ]n sellf modi^nesse. This 
of old would have been pe silf; self seemed to be a 
Noun, something like person*, Shakspeare has 'her 
sweet self.* In I. p. 85, we see our common form 
theirs for the first time; till e^perr peeress herrte. 
Forms like ours and yours were to come later. This 
Scandinavian form took long to reach the South ; three 
hundred years later, Skelton wrote both I am yours and 
I am your. Orrmin employs that before Masculines 
for the Latin t'ZZe, which is something quite new ; London 
kept this at bay and stuck to thilk for two hundred and 
fifty years longer. In I. p. 227, we see— 

whose lit iss \xttt lufepp gripp 

pott mann shaU^findenn Jesu Crist. 

For the Plural of this pati he employs fa, which fifty 
years later was to become few (those) in the North, 
This and that are for the first time coupled together in 
I. p. 328— 

Whatt tiss and tatt firofete. 

That is set before Hike (idem) in I. p. 158 ; paM Hike 

mam/a ; thai same is still used instead of the sa/me in some 

parts of our country. This ylc was being encroached upon, 

though it still lingers in Scotland ; as B>edgauntlet of 

that Qc (de eodem). Orrmin has same once, and once 

only — 

£[e mihhte makenn cwike mean 
peer of pa same staness.^^1. p. 346. 

Middle English: Cultivation^ 223 

This root »ame ia good Sanecrit and Gothic ; the Norse 
Mime means ejusdem generis. Nothing in English is 
stranger than that this Scandiaavian word, which was 
confined to the North long after Orrmin's time, should 
have driven ont the old yle. We now once more see 
TTing Alfred's geonre (iste), after a long interval; o 
^tml hallf t>e jlwrtm (on yonder side the stream), 
II. p. 12. There ia a great change in Relative Pro- 
noons ; a very foreign idiom comes in II. p. 94 : her iss 
Tohamm ptw fctrrf foU^henn ; this is the first time that 
the antecedent se or he before wkamm is dropped. The 
old h-wyic is employed asaMascaline B^l&trve ; all vihillke 
ihvlerm cwemenn me (omnes qni), II. p. 261 ; henoe 
comes onr famoos which art in Heaven. The same hap- 
pened to the German weUker. It had not yet been 
settled how the Nenter Belative quod was to be 
Englished; Orrmin uses the kindred word what. We 
may see how this came to be employed as a Aelative by 
comparing his all whattse i^n einne with his all 'fatt whatt 
itt bitacnepp, I. p. 36 ; he nses it sometimes without an 
antecedent, as in II, p, 91, tv, skallt sen purrh tohatt iu 
ihaUt me cnowenn ; the phrase, they herdenn tnhatl he 
aeSide, II. p. 188, has had a longer life. The old hwyle 
formerly expressed the kindred Latin quaUs ; this hwylc 
waa being replaced by the word we now use; in IL 
p. 120, comes, he sep what lif Jiejj hdemi. Cleasby's 
Dictionary gives ua the Scandinavian idiom hiat manna 
ertu,. The phrase whaXt time is nsed for when, I. p. 251, 
and this is still employed by onr poets. This what had 
already been coupled with the Masculine Plural hlafat 
in the Bushworth Gospels, written not far to the North 

224 Old and Middle English. 

of Orrmin'a abode; he faToare something like this 
idiom when writing vihait monn, II. p. 202. The old 
Iwoat had alwajrs stood for aliquid ; it seems now to 
EogliBh res, as well as qm», qualis, and qaod. The Essex 
gwm del is ia Orrmin's month luitvmwhaH, which we stdll 
keep ; this was of old hweet titles ; we also find srun of err 
and »amtmohwr. The phmse peUt iUke whatt (mAbto les) 
is in n. p. 293. The old guia hwa awa, fijiowed by the 
Verb, is wonderfully expanded in Orrmin's iohate itt wi 
fatt sti^hefP, II. p. 20 ; this it was now being very freely 
used throngboat England ; in II. p. 250, we find ]>urrk 
Qodesa ^ife itt was* fatt &a. ; in I. p. 162, comes tohatt 
witt itt its i pe to &c; in former times Jxef wonld 
have been used instead of this itt. In I. p. 137 is tiiB 
parent of onr if to he that ; Orrmin has %iff faU itt 
fatt he -misdof. Even earlier than this, fast might 
have followed ealle ; we now hear that a man's wife 
most gnard him aU fatt %ho nuxs^, I. p. 214. The oU b 
prefixed by Orrmin in the neaal way to Fartioiples and 
Adjectives. The form firat fonnd in the Blickhng 
Homilies, written not &r from Orrmin's shire, was now 
being imitated; (bIc was taking on after it, whence 
comes the Scotch i2ia ; wo see iUe an off aUe ^a, and ^so 
swQle an (snch a) drattnJcennegte patt, II. p. 137 ; a new 
idiom. So is ure kinde isB swiUc faU, I. p- 20. The 
Subetantive ia now dropped after enough ; we may find 
incj,he fatt ledemi &€., I. p. 10; here we must enpply 

As to Nomerals, an had long been nsed stand- 
ing by itself, answering to quidam ; it is now set 
before a proper name for the first time ; at L p. 287, 

Middle English: Cnltivatien. 225 

we hear of tm Filippe, (one Philip,) 'Philippna qni- 
dam.' We see a new phrase in I. p. 149 ; Omnin 
talke of ehhte tipegt an (eight times one). We find all 
an need in two different senses : at II. p. 193, it means 
that Christ is wholly one mtii God ; at II. p. 40 we hear 
that msji cannot 

bi brad aU one l^bemt. 
This is onr first glimpse of the fotnre alone ; many snch 
forma with at prefixed were soon to follow. Another 
Middle English form for tolut may be seen at II. p. 54; 
he wau himm atie, a Reflexive Dative ; of this the Low- 
land Scotch have still traces.' The word mnet (once) 
had before stood for gemel, it now takes the meaning of 
olim i I. p. 62, he wati asnegi vntrpenn blind. The old 
meaning is fonnd in I. p. 35, patt mats ajj cBitete fe jer ; 
we here see that onr a in otiee a year is hut a clipped on. 
The old (»rest (primus) was now rapidly giving way to 
fint, which was to be the English word in future for 
this number; we hear of the (wa^rMfe menn (I. page 
261) ; here faforman hod would have been used before 
this time.* We come upon the true old long form of 
our phrase three fourths, &c. ; we hear, at I. p. 320, of 
something divided o fowvtre feorfeim daleti ; we now 

' This BefleziTe Dative may be Been in I^j Naiine'a Poetna, 
p. 211 :— 

' Ob I wba will di; the dreeping t«ar 
She sheds her lane, ihe sheds her lane ! 
Thia Ume (aiie) waa at last mutekea for a If onn ; as ia p. 209 :— 
* The kettle, for me, and hae conped its lane,' 
' Which is right, the finl two or the two fint ? Something like 
the former phrase has alirajs been nsed ; the latter dates &om later 
times, and both have bean nsed bygood writers down to 1800. 

226 Old and Middle English. 

drop the last word. Hwuidredd, more akin to the 
Scaadinavian than to the Old English kiMd, is em- 

Orrmin has many changes in the Verb. For the 
Latin runt, we find arm, as well as beon and nnndmui. 
The first of these was hardly ever need in the Sonth or 
West of England; it comes &om the Angles, as we saw 
in the Northnmbrian Oospels. Si wceron sometamee, as 
in the Soathem Homilies, becomes Jie^S viwre ; bnt a 
more wonderfat change is fu vxere tnmed into {ru wom, 
the Ootbio toast (eras) ; ic teeal becomes I »haU. We 
see the last of the pare form of the Old English si 
(in Latin, ait) ; it enrvives, somevbat clipped, in oar yet, 
i.e. ge ei. Seo is in the Ormnlnm cnt down to (e, and 
beon (esse) to hen. Orrmin nses the old ic mot, pu ftwst, 
and also a new Scandinavian aoxiUary verb, which is 
employed even now from Caithnesa to Derbyshire.' 
Snch a phrase as / mun do tkit ia first found in bis work ; 
the mun is the Scandinavian muiM; bot mune in the - 
Ormnlnm implies fntnrity, not necessity. 

The new Plaperfect was taking &st root ; i,iff (he) 
kfBffde fra^nedd, ' if be had asked ; ' here the Imperfect 
wonld have followed if in the oldest English. Oar 
phrase ' he is grown ' is more respectable than ' he has 
grown ; ' for we find in Orrmin 3A0 leass waxewa, also 
waierr waai floviedd; the Passive, not the Active. 
Orrmin shows as the future extension that was to 
be given to the former voice in Enghsh ; he has in 
II. p. 58, Oodd woM peowiBtedd (served) ; in T. p. 294, ^ 

Middle English: Cultivation, 227 

laxiA \ liimmi vost beilenii eehenit ; in II. p. 63 maiaikmn 
forrbodeiin its to faaidenn. None of the Aryan tongaes 
was to nse the Passive so &ee1y as the English now 
does ; Horace's ego proourare imperiyr is Bomething most 
anosoal in Latin. In earlier times men talked of 'a 
lamb to offer ; ' Orrmin has the great change, 11. p. 85, 
fill livtnh to beti offrtdd ; we are more correct than he 
was when we say ' 1 am to blame,' ' this house to let,' 
' if the thing were to do again ; ' onr tme old Gemndial 
forms. He clips the Imperative, writing loc instead of 
lociaS, II. p. 90, where the word is specially addressed 
to many men. The Infimtive is nsed as the equivalent 
of a preceding SabBtantive in II. p. 223 ; all forrsokenn 
higg lare, and kiiam to fullihenn ; ao in I. p. 220, a man 
pleases God wip^ measess aiui w({'|) lo letenn ewiiigenn 
Mvvnt ; we ahoald now use the Verbal J^oon, instead of 
these Gemndial Infinitives, and this moat be kept in 
mind when discussing the hard question of tng final. 
There is a carious change of meaning in neden; Omuin 
uses it in its old sense cogere, but he also employs it for 
egere (in Icelandic, mouS-gjn/a.) ,- menn yalt iieilenn to 
pia hullpe, I. p. 213. He has the Scandinavian verb wuut 
with the Accusative. We still keep the old meaning of 
(te^»(partiri); Orrmin gives it a new sense in I, p. 213, 
iUc 'in, matat 'jatt ohht wipp pe shall tUelenn (have 
dealings with) ; this sense comes from Scandinavia. 
Miss here governs an Accusative, not a Genitive ; in 
I. p. 310, the parents missten fe^re child. 

At I. p. 188, we read of pe hede patl mann hitt in the 
Paternoster ; the hede here bidden still stands for some- 
thing abstract ; it was not until Chaucer's time that men 
Q 2 

228 Old and Middle English. 

coald talk of ' a pair of beads.' A great load has been 
thrown on onr verb hid; we may hid beads, hid to 
supper, ^'if a servant go, or bid at an aaction. The old 
meaning of stirdan was ' to be weary ; ' it now has the 
meaning of ' to leave oft.' See II. p. 92. The old 
nuTnonhad the sense of 'to intend;' it now has the 
further sense of 'to signify.' We hear of the tnrile, 
I. p. 42, that when she loses her mate, ne hepe^^ jJo 
vsiyf ofwr ; here keep means manere, a new sense of the 
word. We find ^att its to seggen, which is a contiiina- 
tlon of an Old EnglUh idiom ; like ' do yon to wit ' ; 
we follow Scandinavian forms in here Jiimm toittnetf, 
hrinngenn till ende. The Infinitive follows enough 
when the latt«r is preceded by an Adjective, as 
straiig inoh lo werrpeiiit. The old Gothic imiandan 
(perseverare) is here seen as stofindeiiu inn to; the 
sonrce of our 'I stand to win,' &c. Orrmin has he ttrae 
inn, from the old drican (ire).' But the Danish take is 
now greatly developed. We find, as at Peterborough, 
the phrase, ' he took to do so and so ; ' Orrmin carries 
this idea a step further ; we hear that some men Uikenn 
hemm till Orist, II. p. 230 ; also that the widowed Anna, 
I. p. 2B6, toe tinp\> nan operr (hnsband) ; the common 
phrase now would be ' take up with.' At I. p. 256 comes 
the Scandinavian shade of meaning, takenn on hce^nig; 
hence onr ' take in joke.' At I. p. 86, the Virgin foe 
oun to fra^nenn, ' went on to ask ; ' hence our * do not 
take on so,' that is, ' go on so.' At I. p. 323, comes 

■ Sir Roger de Corerley at the thrntra I'mck in, hataiag somn 
people talk near him. AddltOQ would have been pnzzled to gire the 
deriratioD of Chit verb. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 229 

toite)t|> lyjporHi juia. At II. p. 148, Cain foe )tt|i jiew 
Ab<xl ; hence onr ' take a fancy to ' &c. The waterpota, 
II. p. 133, tokenn (contained) ^refald mett. At II. p. 117, 
Filippe toe NalaiKuel wipy wordesg (Gnecia victorem 
cepit) ; BO in Bums, * he takes the mother's eye.' It ia 
not enough to etndy the meaning of the word take in 
BoBworth's 'Anglo-Saxon Dictionary;' Cleasby's Ice- 
landic Lexicon mnst be carefdiy Bearched ; this espe- 
ci^y holds good in the case of writers who lived to 
the North of the Great Sundering Line. 

Orrmin naes assken (rogare), instead of the Sonthem 
acsian, and we have here followed him; the Irish still 
employ axe, since the first English settlers in Ireland 
came &om BriBtol and the Sonth. 

We find both bikaehedd and hikdkhi for caught. This 
new word, which we saw first in the Sonth, must have 
spread fast in England. 

He sometimes turns a Strong Verb into a Weak one, 
a process begun long before his time. He nsee heefedd 
(elatnm) as well as hofemi ; he has ehppte (dormiyit), 
where it ought to be 8^ ; weppien (flevernnt), instead of 
weopon ; trededd (depressns), instead of treden. 

As might be expected, Orrmin follows the Northern 
ha/an rather than the Sonthern habban (habere). We 
find a near approach to our modem corraption hatt in 

Himm haffk tu slajenn wittenrlij. — I. page 154. 

Scorcnedd (scorched) appears for the first time in 
English; Wedgwood quotes the Low Dutch »ekrog^en, 
which has the same meaning. 

230 Old and Middle English, 

Ornnin uses both the Strong and the Weak form for 
the Past Participle of shmo ; he has both shcewenn and 
shcewedd. We now prefer the former, though the latter 
is the true form ; just as we mistakenly write strewn for 
strewed. But in the matter of Strong and Weak Verbs, 
we usually err on the other side. 

As to Adverbs : for^ipjf appears for the first time, 
but is used only once by Orrmin, who sticks to the old /orr- 
^rihht. He was the first to use rihht before an Adjective 
instead of stoife (valde) ; the foreign very has now almost 
driven out this old Adverb ; rihht is also employed by 
hira where we should BoyjiAst, ^e^ rihht nohht ne tvisstenn, 
II. p. 333. Wrang is here used as an adverb ; it was for- 
merly a substantive only ; he toe tare all wraiig, II. p. 60. 
Another Scandinavian idiom appears ; wel is used as an 
Adjective in I. p. 251, it tvass wel fat Crist wass h&renn. 
The old uteweard is changed into utterrlike, which, how- 
ever, does not as yet take our sense of the word. We have 
seen ]nirhut arise forty years earlier ; from this purrhutliJce 
(our ihormigMy) is now formed. The si^f^an is here 
used much like our ago; nohht lannge wffemi, like 
Scott's * sixty years since ; * this is the first hint of 
*auld lang syne.* A new adverb suddenly appears 
at II. p. 302 ; * thou makest future arks through the 
one that is all rcedi^ i \>in herrte ' ; what before meant 
jpamtus may henceforth mean^aw, and this we shall see 
repeated in other Danish shires. WhUum is used in the 
sense of quondam^ as in the Lindisfarne Gospels ; a proof 
that Orrmin lived not far from Yorkshire. The curious 
word hidene (in Dutch, by that) is now first found in 
England ; we kept it in use for three hundred years.. 

Middle English; Cultivation. 231 

In I. p. 254, the star, as is there ««k^,fitih na fon\erT 
nuvr; here more is needlessly added, something like Matt 
Highest ; hence comes onr furthermore, a word found 
eighty years later in the Sir Tristrera. Orrmin repeats 
his words in the Old English way, as hett and hett, mar 
and mar; he unites the opposing adrerbs, ni* upp, raw 
dun; her and tcere (here and there). We use merer in 
the sense of the Latin ne or non, as ' never fear ; ' this 
sense of the word is seen in Orrmin, II. p. 4 ; St. John 
madd known that he itaw nafr a» off fe l>reo (non erat 
Ac.). Na mare (non amplins) is need like no longer, 
referring to time ; ' God wonld care na mare to be served 
in that way,' I. p. 352. There is a change in I. p. 258, 
f,iff ^att feji iholldeim oferr nohkt wendenn (go or not) ; 
in the old time this nohht wonld have been nd. Hereof and 
whereof are found ; also her uppe (hereupon), I. p. 38, 
though it in this passage means herein ; tcer abatenn 
(Uiereaboat) appears. The adverb away is more freely 
used; atl. p. 24I,wefaear)>af< JbAept(Ta««atM^«(absent). 
PrepositionB are now much employed as Adverbs; as 
wpp t'rwi hecffne ; %iff {>m toillt habhenn off pin gillt, 
I. p. 188 ; the week waf» gan all uf, I. p. ISO ; htggenn 
vi (redimere), I. p. 271. 

We have already seen ai though ; alls iff (quasi) now 
replaces the Old English noilc. The Dauish t^imm is 
ofl«n used instead of the English twa, and it is still 
heard in whataomever. Tyndale long afterwards need now 
to English the Greek o\m, as in St. Luke r. 36 ; Orrmin 
Foreshadows this in I. p. 153 ; after referring to what he 
had before said, he asks wH se^de ice nu ]'at &c. In I. 
p. 69, he has ns lalde \>e^ nokht te^re Itiim, uppwarrd ne 

232 Old and Middle English. 

(iuniMcami noit-wfen- ; this new phrase is the one instance, 
I think, in which we may now nse that trae Old English 
idiom of the twofold negative. Manj standard authors 
may be quoted for it, down to Enowles in his ' Virginins : ' 
* we needn't say that neither.' Let ns not allow this 
fine old relic to peTish ntterly, Orrmin somewhat alters 
the Old English shape of those Gonjonctions that are 
formed from Prepositions: instead of (E/fer ^a-m, \e 
followed by the Verb, he has affierr yatt ; he has also 
before tkal,/or that, in thai, through that. Ho goeS'Still 
farther, and forms while that, if that, and Tatka^ than 
that; we are now apt to clip the that. 

As to Pi-epositions : there is a new sense of with at 
II. p. 34 i Christ's generations, it is said, go throngh 
werett (men) fowteertif, annd an wif]) Criei hiimn eellfewt ; 
that is, if Christ be added. Oirniin has also to wed wiih, to 
berenn upp wip]i (hence onrjMii up with), I. p. 128. The 
u)i)>)> is made an adverb and repeated, for the sake 
of emphasis; 'I will show you wifp and wipp;' some- 
thing like Orrmin's new withal (omnino). Layamon 
abont the same time was writing through and through; 
by and by was to come later. Orrmin uses the old btnnan 
of time ; he has also wippinnenn in the same sense, as 
wippittnenn sexe ^erees. He employs/or when referring to 
time, aa forr lannge (for long) ; earlier writers would have 
had to instead of this for, and the same remark applies 
in /or the wmee. He has forr nane gode (for no good), H. 
p. 182, and seek for; the last word would have been o/Ier 
in Old English. There is a new Preposition in I. p. 354; 
St. John forbids the Publicans to take anght /orr]) bi ]>« 
kingessfe; thisis the sonrco of the Scotch /orii,j (pneter). 

Middle English: Cultivation. 233 

The pair m and on iaterchauge as asnal. We see don 
him/m i ^Bg^re woMa, II. p. 221, (put him in their power). 
A wholly new idiom appears in I. p. 104 ; Christ is said 
to be Qodi inn himm eelfenn, that is ' teJcen by himself,' 
(per se), in his own natore. Earlier Englishmen called 
to heaven ; Orrmin shows as how the to was replaced by 
on at I. p. 58, Orisi hidde)/]/ uppon hUfaden; he has also 
' to set a name upon him.' Where we say ' to draw men 
on to ' Ac., Orrmin snbatitntes uppcmn, U. p. 180. This 
Mpon marks hostility ; in I. p. 248, Herod thinks that 
the Slaffi were vppotm kimm emnenn with views of their 
own ; the idea may be seen in the Chronicle about the 
time of BnfiiB, and it survives in onr adze upon, eneroaeh 
upon, find ttolen goodg upon a man. The old to is replaced 
by itmtUl (into) when Orrmin boasts of his tarning a 
book innlUl Ennglisshe; he was not polished enough, 
I fear, to talk of gemi-SaM>n.* He has also lammMewn 
(gather) fise mnliU an. Indeed, his inntUl seems to 
foreshadow oar unlH, vnto, when we read in I. p. 250, 
ledenn henvm )ie toejje inn^l ^aU tun. Over is strength- 
ened by all, much as we nse it ; the flood passed all 
oferr erfe. The old gelang on (per) is cnt down ; we 
hear in II. p. 110 that something iw lango Crislees AeUpe; 
Scott keeps this old phrase in his ' Dark Mnsgrave, it 
was long of thee;' but the common folk now prefer 'all 
along of thee ; ' the on and the of, as nsoal, interchange. 
Toward replaces the old for and vrif, as lufe Unoarrd 

' Onrnin, in the eyet of 80m« of our would-be philologem, must 
Bpp«ar as i^orantlj preanmptnouB sa King Alfred bimself. Tha 
idea of thsir barbarona jargon being uxonnted Engljeh '. 

234 Old and Middle English. 

Oodess hu8y 11. p. 188 ; in the Essex Homilies the Prepo> 
sition here employed was togenes. Bi is now nsed before 
a Pronoun to express isolation, like the Greek Jcata ; St. 
John, we hear, grew np and cupe hen himm ane hi Mmm 
sellfemi, I. p. 25. We find at nsed after the verb begin ; 
heretics say that Christ higann (ortns est) att 8annte 
Ma/f%e, II. p. 295; we should now, in snch a phrase, 
nse from. Another new employment of at comes from 
the Scandinavian ; he chces all att hiss wille, I. p. 120. 
From is put before the Danish pepenn ; as fra fepenn- 
forrp (from thenceforward), a needless addition ; in 
Scandinavian, he^Swn fra stands for onr hence, Orrmin 
has both free of and free from, with a Noun following. 
That Preposition, which has been encroached on hjfrom, 
is itself used in many new senses : we find ware of gl4xd 
of rich of kissti'^ (liberal) of; this of replaces the old hi, 
(the Latin de), in think of hear of ash of hear witness 
of higripenn (rebuke) of write of how it was ; the old 
(Jenitive makes way for of in repent of the tale of eight, 
the hope of love of iieed of loss of somewhat of OMght of 
two of upper hand of; in II. p. 125, we find first Godess 
"^ife, and in the next line gife off Oodd; there is the old 
form, Borne hurrh, and the new form, hurrh off '^^rsalem. 
There are such phrases as see ifell ende off himm, I. p. 
174; off si\>re (of late), I. p. 252; wass off his hmti', 
I. p. 8 ; fejj ne frmdenn nohht off himm, I. p. 310 ; like 
•see more of him.* The to is as much developed by 
Orrmin as the of; we find look to himself fresh to (his 
work), hum to ashes ; the Dative is replaced, in herrsumni 
(obedient) till him; the Infinitive, following another 
Verb, has to often prefixed, as forhid to go, help to do, 

Middle English: Cultivatioti. 235 

tet him io do, cltoee them to he, care to, doom to, he loth to, 
/orhian (neglect) to, behoves to. The idiom give to wife 
is one of oar oldest phrases ; Omniii carrieB this a little 
forther in I. p. 255, wkattse pu doit to gode ; we stUI say, 
' I am so mnch to the good.' At II. p. 133, conies )>ws 
Winn ii8 drunkeivn to ])e grimd ; here the to replaces the 
old oS of the Sonthem shires. 

On-min's work proves that the Trent conntiy had 
not yet lost the power of componnding words with 
Preposittona and such prefixes as even,fuU,v,n, and wan. 
This gives wonderful strength and pith to his verse. 
We degenerate writers of New English nse few com- 
ponnds but those with out, over, fore, and under ; in this 
respect Ei^land (it is the weak point of onr tongne) 
blls woefnlly short of India, Greece, and Germany. 
Most striking is the nnmber of Omniu's words begin- 
ning with the privative un. We have lost many of 
them, and have thus sadly weakened onr diction ; bnt 
onr best writers are awaking to a sense of oar Iobb, and 
snch words as unwiedom are coming in once more. 
Ornnin had no need to write the Latin immortality 
when he had ready to hand snch a word aa vnndcBpshil- 
diineate, implying even more than the Latin.' 

Orrmin writes feelingly on the daties of kings to 
their peoples, as wonld be natural in a bom subject of 
the two sons of Henry II. ' A Christian King,' says 
he, ' should be rihhtvns and milde, and god u'ij))> all hiss 

' One profesBor of fine writing wis ^etj wroth in priot with me 
tor mj ideas about English componiidB. He would bs glnd, I hnva 
no donbt, to BBbstitQto iia-pontadaptiAility for Mr. PlimBoU's vulgarly 
Tentonii; word, wnatavxirthintse. 

236 Old and Middle English. 

follc^ or Ood will hold him worse than that heathen 
Emperor who drove out Archelans for oppression, and 
for nothing else/ I. p. 286. Orrmin had doubtless 
heard of the doings of a later Emperor, Henry YI., who 
was the cause of draining England of much gold ; the old, 
bard writes of Augustus as an Bamanisshe Kaaerrking^ 
a title which seems so much to puzzle the English of 
our day. Orrmin must have known all about that sove- 
reignty which was styled in the documents of his day, 
' the Roman name and the Grerman sway.' He talks of 
he^sanrv^ (besants), and evidently has an eye to the 
Crusades in I. p. 153, where he says that no man ought 
to be killed unless he seeks to slay you, forr Grisstendom 
to cv)ennkenn (quench). 

One of the peculiar shibboleths brought hither by 
the Danes was the word ga/r (fiekcere), still to be found in 
Scotland. Orrmin uses the compounds forrgart and 
oferrgarrt. The verb is found neither in High nor in 
Low German. The Scandinavian gow is used by him 
for observare ; hence comes our a-gog, the Icelandic 
d goBgium (on the watch). OrrDodn's Danish Adjective, 
t^igg {fid'^)i ^&s not died out of our Northern speech ; 
hutenn (vituperare), which first appears in Orrmin*s 
work, is a puzzle to lexicographers, and may come either 
from the Welsh or the Scandinavian. England cleaves 
to her own old word leap ; Scotland to the Danish lattpa 
(loup) ; they are both found in the Ormulum. The South 
of England is wont to lark (ludere), the Old English 
lacan ; the North of England follows Orrmin's leg^^enn^ 
the Iceland at leika. When we say * follow my ?eae2,' we 
are using Orrmin's Icelandic word lei^ (ductus) ; the 

Middle English : Cultivation. 237 

Old English Idd meant only iter. We derive our modem 
Dse of the word shift (matare) from the Scaodinavian, 
and not &om the Old English ; in the latter the word 
means ' to diatribnte,' and nothing more. We see the 
two senses in Ornnin's work, I, p. 13, where he speaks 
of Zachariah's service in the Temple, Onr word shift 
(chemise) means only a change of linen. We speak o£ 
' sticking a man into a thing ;' this is Orrmin's steken 
(figere), akin to an old German word. The Scotch say 
' steke the door.' Hia "^errsaltem for Jerusalem ib a tme 
Danish form. His masifilredwale (arch-heretic) is an 
early instance of componnding French and Teatonic 
'Nonns into one word. 'B.eji.s^ hurt for offendeTe,l<Edere; 
this is akin to the Dntch. 

It wonld be endless to point ont all Orrmin's Scan- 
dinavian leanings. In onr word for the Latin siella, he 
prefeiB the Danish «h'eme to the Old Engligh gteorra, 
writing it iterme. He even nses og, the Danish word for 
' e( ' in a phrase lik 055 occ a^j. He employs the Danish 
ending le^c as well as the English nesg in his Sabstan- 
tives, aa moitjlfijse, modiptesge. In tende, his word for 
deeimtu, he follows the Danish tiends rather than the Old 
English teatia ; onr tenth seems to be a compoand of the 
two. The Enghsh Ghorch talks of tithet, the Scotch 
Kirk of teiiid*. He uses a crowd of Danish words which 
I do not notice, since they have dropped ont of nse. 
Inke the Peterborongh Chronicler, Orrmin has fra, wiclce, 
vrrtmg, wilets, ploh, kirrkegcBrd. While weighing the 
mighty changes that were clearly at work in his day, we 
.get some idea of the inSnence that the Danish settlement 
of 870 haa had npon onr tongne. I give a list of those 


Old and Middle English, 

Scandinavian words, used by him, which have kept their 
place in our speech.^ 

Old English, 


Blunda, dottiiire 
Krokr, uncus 

Dvelia, delay 



Gagn, commodum 

Gegnilega, convemently 

Ginna, decipere 

Okr, usury 




k Lopti 




Anngrenn, to anper 
Be^n, to bait 
Bo])e, booth 
Bun, ready^ 
Clip, tottdere 
Croc, a device 
Beje, die 
Dwelle > 
Flitte, remove 
Gate, path 
Gajhenn, gain 
Gum, a contrivance 

Kide, capreolus 
Lofift, akft 
Nowwt, bos 
Oferrhannd, upper hand 
Bulaxe^ pott^-axe 

1 I give in my list the origin of a few Scotdsh phiasee, and the 
reason why Yorkshiremen talk of the gainest way to a place. 
< A ship is outward bound. 

* We still have the old sensei ' to dwell long upon a thooght.' 
The sense of habita/re has not quite driven out the sense of morari, 

* Hence comes our ungainly. But the verb * to gain ' is &om the 
French gagner, 

A Ster was the sign of the feminine for hundreds of years after 
this time/ at least in the South ; we see a change at work when On^ 
min applies the ending ster to a man. 

Middle English : Ct^ltivation. 






Rej^^senB, (o roise 



ScBld, mautrd 



Sierra, *we 











prife, thnve 



Upphald, on <9>A<^n; 



Wand, rod 



WanteDD, corov 






Yol, FuJe 

We have had a great loss in tlie Old Englisli words 
mid (cum) and uiman (capere).^ These are, with little 
change, good Suiscrit ; and the GennanB have been too 
wise to part with them. Orrmin bat seldom employs 
them, and thej mnst have been now djlng oat in the 
North. He is fonder of the two words which have 
driven them ont, i.e. tcith and take. Had the banks of 
Thames been the birthplace of our Standard Ei^Iish, we 
shoold have kept all four words alike. 

In giving a specimen of Orrmin's verse, I have been 
carefol to take the sabject Irom scenes in Conrtly life, 
where, after his time, nnmbers of French words mnst 
onavoidsbly have been nsed by any poet, however mnch 
a lover of homespnn English. Orrmin's pecnliar way 
of doabling Consonants will be remarked. He clings 
iast to the Infinitive in enn, which had been dropped at 

' Eveij one remembun Cowper'B 'Sir Smog.' The old Daoiab 
word hu beeo ndly degraded. 

' The U«t imrviTeB in mmh, nnd in Corponl Sym. 


Old and Middle English, 

Pefcerborongli ; this is one of his few Southern leanings. 
If we wish to relish his metre, every syllable must be 
pronounced ; thus, Herode takes an accent on all three 
vowels alike. 

OBMJJLUKf I. — Page 280. 

Herode king ma^ swife* wel 

])e \&pe^ gast bitacnenn ; 
forr all hiss werrc and all hiss will 

wass ifeU gast fiill cweme,^ 
and onn himm sellfenn was inoh** 

his a^henn* sinne sens ; 
for well biforenn )>att he swallt' 

wass himm J^att wa' bigimnenn 
}«tt he shall dre^henn^ a^ occ a^ 

inn helle wi]>]) ]>e deofell ; 
forr he warr]>' seoc, and he bigann 

to rotenn bufenn^ eor)7e, 
and tohh^ he tocc wi)>]7 mete swa 

]>att nan ne mihhte himm fiUenn, 
and swa he stannc J^att iwhillc™ mann 

was himm full la]> to nehhjhenn ;° 
and all himm wsBrenn fet and \>eoB° 

toboUenn' and toblawenn. 
y& Iffichess ]»tt himm comenn to 

and himm ne mihhtenn haalenn 
he sloh, and sejjde J^att te^^ himm 

ne kepptenn' nohht to berr^henn. 
and he toe iwhillc hsefedd* mann 

ofiT all hiss kineriche/ 
and let hemm stekenn" inn an bus, 

and haldenn 8wi]>e fasste, 
and badd tatt mann hemm shoUde skdn, 

son summ' he shoUde dejenn. 

• right 

b loathsome 

'pleasixig to 
d enow 

• own 
f died 
f woe 

k suffer 

t became 

k atWTB 

i yet 

■> every 
B approach 

• thighs 

q they 

r heeded not 

to protect 

■ head 
t kingdom 

n had them 


Middle English: Ctdtivation. 

ha )ioliht« l<att m&im rnunnde' bean 

olThisa d»|) swi|>e bli)«, 
&Dd wjaate |>att mann mumide )ia' 

for hemm full sare wepenn, 
and wotlde swa fiatt all |>e folic 

[•att time shollde wepenn, 
[•att mann himm shoUde findeon dted 

Jtotth itt forr himm ne wffite. 

Page 283. 

And aSleiT {ntt ta wa«a ha ded 

Id all hiss miccle einne- 
acc |)Br waaa mikell oferrgarrt' 

and modi;^eB8e'> sluBwedd 
abuteun fatt stinnkennde lie' 

[ner itt wass brohht till eor|)e ; 
forr all Jie bssre* waas bilejjd 

wiji|t bietflnn gold and BiUferr, 
and all itt vasa sj^whar* bisett 

wi[iji deorewurrjie' stanes*, 
and all |iatt wiede ■ |ntt trar waas 

uppo )<e btere fiindenir, 
all wHfa itt off )>e bettate pall 

jiatt anij mann ma^j ajhenn," 
and all itt waas wundenn wiplj gold 

and aett ni^i)) deore stanese, 
and all he wass wiuT{>Uke ahridd ' 

alls iff he wieie o life, 
and ODn hiss luefedd wterenn twa 

gildeue crunees sette, 
and himm wass sett inn hiss rihht hannd 

an dere kine jerrde ; ' 
and swa mann barr Jiatt fule ' lie 

till Jner be bedenn haSle." 
and bise cnilibteas alle iiu(ea° 

forth jedenn° wi|>)) t>e bcere. 

■ btngAU- 


242 Old and Middle English. 

wij)j) heore waepenn alle bun,' ' «•*'' 

8wa siimm itt birrf,** wif )) like. * ^* \3kA\b 

and ec j'ser ^edenn wl])]7 ]>e lie 

full wel fif hunndredd ]7ewwes8,' 
to strawwenn gode gresess " faer, ■ \ie&» 

)7att stunnkenn 8wi])e swete, 
biforenn jiatt stinnkennde lie 

])8er menn itt berenn sholldenn. 
and tu88 ]7e^ alle brohtenn himm 

wi])]? mikell modi^neese 
till J)8Br f8Br ' he f ej^j^m liafFde sejjd * where 

))att te^ himm brinngenn sholldenn. 
swillc" mann wass J)att Herode king " such 

]7att let te chilldiH9 cwellenn, 
for fatt he wollde cwellenn Crist 

amang hemm, ^iff he mihhte. 


(About A.D. 1206.) 

(King Leab's Anger at Cordelia's Speech.) 

pe king Leir iwerSe swa blac, 

swilch hit a blac clo5 weoren. 

iwaertS his hude and his heowe, 

for he was 8u])e ihseimed, 

mid paere wraetSSe he wes isweved, 

))at he feol iswowen ; 

late l^eo he up fusde, 

])at meeiden wes afeared, 

])a hit alles up brae, 

hit wes vuel fat he spac : 

Heerne Coidoille, 

ich pe telle wille mine wille ; 

of mine dohtren J)u were me durest, 

nu ]>u eeert me aire Isef^s : 


Middle English : Cultivation. 243 

ne acsit Jiu nsever holdeD 

dale of mine Undo ; 

ah mine dohtren 

ich wille delen uune riche. 

and ^ gcalt worSen warcheo, 

and nonien in wansiSe, 

for navere ich ne wende 

)>at )ru me woldes )ms acandsD, 

fwirfbre [ni scalt beon died ic wene : 

fli J ut of mine eeeh-sane, 

])ii)e suatren scuIsd habhea mi kinelond, 

and )na me ia iqueme ; 

\o due of Oomwaile 

«cal habbe QornoiUe, 

and J>e Scottene Mag 

Bef^ ^t u;one ; 

and ic hem jeve all |)a winne 

\9 ich em waldingt over. 

and al ^ aide king dude 

swa he hafyede idemed.' 

The above linea are taken from Lajamon's Brut, 
compiled, ae it would seem, in WorcestefBhlre about the 
year 1205. The proportion of Teatonic words, now 
obsolete, to the whole is the same as in the Ormalnm. 
The ea becomes leora; tbna earm (brachinm) is written 
<Erm and arm. The diphthong ce is still found here, but 
hardly appears in English after I^yamon's time ; this 
te he sometimes alters into a and «, for he has not only 
6«T (snstnlit), but bar and her; he has fiCTMie (tunc) and 
also ^(vne and )i«nn« ; there is fmren as well as faren, 

' Sir F. Hadden's LayaToon, I. 130. Layamon has added much 
of his own to the original in thia atoiy of King Lear ; and the sddi- 
tionB have been copied b; later Tritere, Shakepeara among them. 

244 Old aftd Middle English. 

lafdies (dominaB) and also leivedu The Old English 
Gdsere (Caasar) now becomes Kaisere. The a often 
becomes o ; JuU and hot both stand for calidtts, and the 
words lond, hond, are written for land^ hand, as in the 
oldest Worcester Charters printed by Kemble (* Cod. 
Dip.' I. p. 100). This is also done by om' Frisian kins- 
men. What Orrmin would have called o lande, Layamon 
calls a hnde. The Verb drcef (pepulit) becomes draf 
and drof\ the former is used in onr Version of the 
Bible, the latter in our common talk. Our modem oc^ 
is found as well as ceS and a^ ; the first-mentioned form 
reminds us of the Worcester manuscript quote at 
p. 200 of this book. There is navnt (nihil) and also 
normt and nauyt ; into all three most likely came the sound 
of the French ou. Orrmin's la (ecce) becomes leo and lou. 
The old weorc is replaced by both were and wore ; this 
seems to show that both Vowels in the oldest form of the 
word were sounded ; the form wurckes also appears. The 
Perfect of ]yyden (premere) was once ]>iddey but it now 
becomes ]>vdde ; hence our thvd. The graifess (nemora) 
of Orrmin is now seen as groven, our groves. The inter- 
change between o and u is going on ; Orrmin's hule 
(taurus) appears ; there is niornede as well as the old 
mumede, wane and vmne ; god (bonus) is found written 
<)oud, just as we now pronounce it. The English 
counterpart to voloy valid is seen in many shapes, as 
wille, wolle, wulle ; walde, wolde, wulde ; the tc wulle 
still lingers in our Western shires as I ool. Our word 
for the Latin est varies as 5e8, 6eo?5, hifS, and bv^ ; and it 
is much the same with the Vowels in the Perfect oifaU 
{cadere). The Plural hcec becomes in Layamon few, fes. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 24 J 

peof, )>M ; we now fallow the Bonnd of the last. There are 
both the old lieowai and the new hmcen (eecare) ; hoth 
(leoioe and Jieow (semiB). The supplanting of « by ou, 
aoimded in the same way, goes on as before ; we find 
foil, turn, and botir. In treowoe (true) there is a com- 
bination of the English tm and the French on. The 
latter sonnd might be expreesed by oi ; we accordingly 
find QloichsBter written for Olonceater. 

Ab to Consonants : the old se beginniilg a word held 
cat against the new »h &r more stedfastly on the Serem 
than in On-min's country ; there are bnt five exceptions 
to this rule in I^yauioii, which are scheld, sckeap, schip, 
trjholdejtcheneheg. Bnt the cA often replaces c; wefindboth 
die and dieh, »wile and euek, mueele, wuchel, mockul, and 
muMe.' There are brech and crwxhe; the old eycene 
now becomes huchene (kitchen). The FreneUc of former 
days turns into Frenchie and Freneee (French) ; the old 
form FrankU lingered a hundred and forty years longer 
in the North and East of England. The word dohter is 
seen as dochler; the k becomes sometimes Si sometimes 
w ; for there are httrk, tMn'je, and bwruwe, all three ; the 
g is clipped or softened, as peni, peni^es, uplircBid (np- 
gebredan), iteied (getigod) ; the h disappears in teal, 
written as well as icftcef ; we find brohle, Irouhte, brovte 
(obtnlit). Some little confusion has been the resalt of 
all these changes; thus with Layamon ^uioea (onr_^w) 

' We have the proper names Mickle ftod MUchtlt formed from 
the old nn/cel. By tha vay.whnt strange ironj fnrnilhed the Celtic 
pKtiiota of IS48 with B leader who boosted the most Teutonic of all 
names, except perbap* Smith I 

246 ■ Old and Middle English. 

replaces the old flugon (yolavemnt) ; the likeness to 
flowcm (fluere) is rather puzzling, to saj nothing offleon 
(fogere). Letters are sometimes cast out in the middle 
of a word ; endlufon is turned into (Bllevene^ and et^e 
(cucullus) into cvle (cowl). We keep the last letter of 
loaf^ the old Udf\ but Layamon in the Plural turns the 
/ into v^ and writes Idves^ our loaves. There is a great 
change in the tenses of leosan (amittere) ; in the Perfect 
losede (our lost) comes as well as the old les ; in the Past 
Participle ilosed (our lost), comes as well as the old 
iloren. Consonants are sometimes transposed, for we 
find both hrvde and burde (mulier). 

In Substantives new Plurals are formed ; hors (equi) 
becomes horses ; the old form of the word lingers in 
'horse and foot.' A great change in idiom, when 
measure is to be specified, now appears ; in Old 
English, age was expressed by the word wmtre 
with a cardinal number, as Tie wees ttoelf wmtre; in 
St. John ii. 20, ann/us is Englished by winter. This 
is now altered, for we find he wasfiftene jer aid. The 
Accusative is further used in the phrase he pleo'^^ede 
his plw^en (played his play). Instead of the Accu- 
sative, we find cenes cm ane tide (once on a time); 
here the cenes stands for olim, as in Orrmin. A few 
Substantives change their meaning ; pliht had hitherto 
meant jpericulwn ; it now takes the sense of conditio, 
which we keep ; "peau had hitherto been applied to 
the mind only; it is now used of the body, as we 
talk of thews cund sinews, Spenser used the word in 
its old sense. Layamon, speaking of a mere, says, 
* Eeower nohed heis\^ hence our word nook (angulus j, 

Middle English : Cultivaiion. 247 

which ma; come from hiidgan (flectere). He Dses 
iop for caput. 

He forms an Adjective from the old h«nde (prope). 
He has indeed, in I. p. 206, an oSer stret Ite niakede tw^e 
heiidi ; bat he nanally employs this word in the eenae of 
eourteout, and in thie sense it was nsed for centnrieB. 
Scott's phra.Be, ' WsJlace wight,' ia seen in liajamon, 
who has itoikt (fortis). The Old English ending ol was 
being corrupted ; for swicol now becomes atoic/ul, just aa 
rather later forgitol was to become forgetful. At III. 
p. 98, we see a spelling derice for marking, as strongly 
aa may be, the difference between two Adjectives ; 
' wonieS her hal and lunil,' ' wholeaud hale ; ' this of old 
would have been gehal and hal (integer et sanns). 

In Frononns : hit wees ia nsed to emphasise a Verb 
following ; hit wes in one ^ol-dteie J>a( 4c., II. p. 532 ; 
hit it umi)e geove jere yat y-u weren liere, I. p. 214, for- 
merly |>tcf would have been nsed for this hit. One sense 
of fosi is fonnd in I. p. 100; makiaii, om eorS has and Jiaf 
inne Bwi^ feire itude ; this is like Cicero's 'andientem 
Cratippam idqoe Athenis.' In L p. 136 comes ' teide to 
hie bortien, yat uxs \e irisie king,' we shonld now alter 
the constmction and say * basy (eager) king that he 
was.* We sometimes find in Layamon peo (illi) instead 
of the Old English hi ; a token that he did not lire very 
far to the South of the Great Line. The hv>cBt is em- 
ployed for the old hu. in icat keo ihoten Keoren (what they 
were called), I. p. 2 ; while is nsed aa a BelatiTe. 

Half is now Ret before an Adjective ; lieo Keoren 
helf ^aru (half-ready), I. p. 361). Layamon was the 
first to pnt the Indefinite Article after many, as moni 

248 Old and Middle English, 

anne (many one), Tfwny erme 'ping (many a thing), so 
also half an hundred. A wonderfol change occurs in be 
eau war^ III. p. 399 ; here the Accnsative eou is employed 
for the IQominative ye. Onr translators of the Bible 
were £ar more careful than Layamon in the nse of these 
Pronouns.^ A form well known in later English comes 
in I. p. 132, qvene navede he nane, ' qneen had he none/ 
The great change in Verbs that we owe to Layamon 
is the alteration of the Present Participle Active. This, 
which of old terminated in ende, became inde in the 
South about 1100 ; and now, in 1204, it turns into inge ; 
we here find heminge, fraininge^ singinge, and waldinge* 
A hundred years later this worst of all our corruptionfl 
reached Lincolnshire, and was unhappily adopted by 
the man who shaped our modem speech. The con- 
fusion between the Active Participle and the Verbal 
Noun is endless ; it led to a wholly new English idiom 
cropping up about 1770. Lest (ne) is ioWawe^hy should 
and would with the Infinitive, instead of the old Sub- 
junctive. Orrmin used the old form wa^s vmrrpenn (factufl 
est) ; for this Layamon has pu weore his man biamien ; 
he writes also Breiines wes awcei iflo^en, I. p. 203. The 
construction of the old gewunian (solere) is altered ; the 
Auxiliary Verb is added to it, as fe utla-^en weoren iwuned^ 
n. p. 94. The Passive Voice, as in Orrmin, is further 
developed ; we light upon heo wes wel itaht^ I. p. 268, even 
though teach governs the dative of the person ; still more 
striking is the phrase pu cert ilete blod, II. p. 372. Thifl 
is the first instance of the Accusative following the 

* They made one slip in Genesis xlr. 8 : ' It was not you that 
sent me.* 

MtddU English: Cultivation. 249 

PflfiBiTe, a most Englist idiom in modem times ; as wo 
saj, ' I am forbidden meat.' We see the phrase hahh^n 
care, I. p. 16. Onr draw taJces the farther sense of 
venire, as well as that of trahere, in II. p. 14 ; lieo 
widlei to )iiB dra^en,. Oar lay on (ferire) appears in 
it<Brdiehe iieom leggen on, II. p. 465. The expletive, 
ieh wene, is fonnd in L p. 131. The old gyrdan 
(cingere) gets the farther sense of ixedere; as he 
garde Suard on pat hte/d, I. p. 68; so Sbakspeara 
has ' he will not spare to gird the Gods,' and we still 
talk of girding at a, man. The oldnonn gyrd had borne 
the meaning of t-iV^a. iSuio^an had hitherto meant sotiare; 
it now got the sense of »woon, I. p. 130. Lajamon 
has int^reoden in the new sense of videre ; of old it 
had expressed oetendere : this is jnst the converse of the 
change in the old «ceatm». Oar allot is first seen in 
Layamon's iioten (destinatum). The Perfect of oar 
roam (vagari), a puzzling word, is first seen in his 
writings as rameden, I, p. 335 ; eighty years later the 
a of this verb became o in the Danelagh. A Strong 
Verb is turned into aWeak one when he says (I. p. 57), 
Am tcipen runden, where we more correctly say his ships 

As to Adverbs ; quieliclte changes its meaning and 
is used for eito in I. p. 200, though bnt once only; it 
comes three times in the later version of Layamon's 
poem, drawn np abont 1260. There is a new phrase, 
at pan laste (deniqne), I. p. 160 ; this seems an imitation 
of the Old English constmction cet nextan. Long seems to 
be nsed as an Adverb in Layamon's new phrases pene 
dtei longe and tdle hnge niht ; the livdang day was to 

250 Old and Middle English. 

oome later. The word ^oZ/* seems employed as an 
adverb in his hit is halfmon and halffisc^ I. p. 57. We 
find her cefier 4m'4ki^Smik4im» in II. p. 19. We see the 
combination weonne so (when as) in 11. p. 206; this 
lasted nntil 1670, and whereas came np after Layamon's 
day. We begin to find a distinction made between so 
and as ; swa he 'per agon ase }>e oiSer hcefde idon, I. p. 288. 
In Old English the idea of difference was expressed by 
ungelice 'ponne. Layamon changes this, for he has al hit 
iwm^ oSer \ene heo iwendeni (other than), II. p. 395 ; 
Chancer turns this otiier into otherwise. In I. p. 142, we 
see 'HO more used for no longer, heo nolden hem no more 
feden\ in I. p. 128 rtwre is used in a different sense, heo 
ne seide na ping ife6, no more penne hure suste. 

Something new appears in hit likede wel pan hinge 
hutenfor arte pinge, III. p. 264; it is sometimes hard to 
tell whether hut stands for nisi or for prceter. There 
is a pleonasm in the sentence heden hine heom rceden, 
oiSer celles Ac, II. p. 82 ; here either o^ (ant) or else 
would have been quite enough. 

As to Prepositions : of is turned into an Adverb in 
of mid here brecJies (off with), II. p. 332; the construc- 
tion of mid here is curious, there being no Verb. There 
is hiswiken of richen (whence our cheat of), and weri of 
sor^en, a mon ofpriti jfiren, a king of miide nuBhte; in 
the older tongue the Genitive was used instead of this 
of The Latin de is Englished by out of in m,ine gumen 
ut of Oalwoei'Sa, II. p. 25. The to, like the of, is some- 
times used without a Verb, as nu heom to, nu heom tOf 
II. p. 468, like Shakspeare's * to it again ! * This to 
begins to supplant the old ofS (usque ad), as stihen to pan 

Middle English: Cultivatton. 251 

hixTR lichen hie (<xr<j, II. p. 428 ; Sydney Smith talked of 
preaching a Chnrch ' bare to the aezton.' Ooe Old 
English aae ot to'ia continiied iu iseten to mete ; ' stand to 
your amiB ' is a survival of this, though wo now, in most 
cases of this kind, prefer ai. Id notions of time tdgeaaet in 
early times was used to express near approach ; this is now 
changed, as in Orrmin, for we read toweard ^an sumere. 
The old ^^ra» ongean, whence comes the Scotch foment, 
is seen slightly altered at II. p. 353 ; »<Btfam aym him. 
The on is used as an Adverb in he hefde brunie &11, 
I. p. 66. We have dropped the on, or a nsed by Layamon 
to mark fotare time ; as, cmn^ to dmi a eeoven nihte, 
I. p. 232. Our threatening phrase, ' on pain of,' is seen 
at I. p. 218, uppe vdte offeoioerti ■punden. The uppa is 
clipped and need in a new sense, sti^en. up fan hulle, 
III. p. 32. Layamon follows the Gothic Preposition 
rather than the Old English purh when he writes twor bi 
ai hevetiliche main, I. p. 146. This lit he uses when 
repeating a Substantive in an adverbial sense, as side bi 
ride. He has also hond wiS honde % the older English 
used to in this sense. It had employed the verb metan, 
followed inunediately by an Accusative ; layamon alters 
this into meet with. He has ran with blood, instead of 
using a siniple case. He talks of having weather mid 
)»on be^slen, II. p. 74 ; whence Prior's line, ' the Colonel 
toasted with the best.' This with or mid had expressed 
inter in the Old English. 

I give a list of many Scandinavian words nsed by 
Layamon, which mnst have made their way to the 
Severn from the North and East ; we shall find many 
more in Dorsetshire & few years later. 

252 Old and Middle English, 

Club, from the Icelandic Idubba 

Draht (haustus), firom the Icelandic drattr 

Hap (fortune), from the Icelandic happ, good luck ^ 

Hit, from the Icelandic kitta 

Hufitinge (house court), from the Norse hu6 and thmg 

Raken (rush), from the Swedish rakaj to riot about' 

Riven, firom the Icelandic rifa (rumpere) 

Semen (beseem), from the Norse samoy to fit 

To-dascte (dash out), from the Danish daskey to slap 

Instead of the Old English word for insuUtj Layamon 
enplojs ceite (ait), a word well known to all Etonians. 
It is the Danish ey with the Definite Article tacked on 
to the end in the nsual Scandinavian way ; ey-it, eyt, as 
"Mr, Dasent tells ns. Layamon writes swain and swein 
(pner), thus following the Vowel sound of the Danish 
sveinn^ not that of the Old English swan. He has the 
Danish form cros (crux) ; but the French. crai4:e was the 
nsual form in Western England. We see the Scandina- 
vian Whitsuntide for the first time in English ; the term 
Pentecost had been employed in the Saxon Chronicle. 
There are some other common words, which he is the 
first English writer to nse. Thus he, living near 
the Severn, has taken gyves (catenas) from the Welsh 
gevyn; and cutte (secare) from the Welsh cwtt^ a 
little piece : this last has almost driven out the Old 
English carve. He employs sturte (started), akin to the 
Old Dutch storten ; and has a new Verb talk, springing 
from tale, Bal (our hall), draf, and picchen (pangere), 

* Hence happen^ happy^ ^taply, came into England and sup- 
planted older words. 

* Hence the Soke's Progress, 

Middle English: Cultivation. 253 

are akin 10 the Dntch op Qermui words ial, draf, picken. 
SucJtert is foaad both is Datch and in Lajamon's work ; 
twenty years after his time it appears as rock (agitare). 
He haa also hahde (dnxit), the Frisian halia ; aa often 
happens in English, the word hale remains, and by its aide 
stands another form havl, which cropped ap ninety years 
after this time ; at first, they were most likely prononnced 
in the same way. Layamon says, * vKoieleden hia flnhtes,' 
his flights became weak (I. p. 122) : the Verb has a 
High German brother, and from this may come onr 
verb tcohhle. At I. p. 275, we see for the first time the 
word agasle (terrnit), whence comes onr aghast. For 
the origin of this word we most go back to the Gothic 
vigeujan. Onr ghostly and ghaiHij spring from widely 
different sources. 

Soon after lAyamon's time the Legend of St. Margaret 
seems to have been compiled.' It has forms akin to the 
Worcester manoscript printed by Sir Thomas Phillippa, 
and in other particolara it resembles a well-known 
Dorsetshire work. Bat it touches the East Midland in its 
forms heon. and aren (snnt) ; and ita Participles terminate 
sometimes in ende, sometimes in inde. The Fast Parti- 
ciple inlein (p^e 11) resembles what we saw in the 
Peterborough Chronicle. There is Layamon's new word 
idOe, and his expression to lay on. This piece may have 
been composed or transcribed not far from his consty, 
bat nearer to the Great Line ; es, not eet, is sometimes 
the ending of the second Person Singular. The Soathem 
far and the Korthem goit are found close together. We 
see here one Towel-change that has had great infinence 
> Early EngliaH Text Socie^, 

254 Old and Middle English. 

upon Standard English ; words like dearc and 'meare 
are written da/rch and marcke ; there is also smart, Henoe 
it oomes that we pronounce Derby as Darby (see 
Domesday Book), a change that we owe to the North 
West. Lajamon was fond of the Old English diphthong 
ce, bnt in the present work this is often altered to ea, as 
in the words clean, heal, least. It is to the Southern 
and Western shires that we owe the preservation of ea, 
a fifiivourite combination of onr forefathers; the word 
flea has never changed its spelling. We see in the 
Legend both the old swa and the new so ; teep replaces 
tep ; roa comes once more. The wimman of the East 
Midland makes way for wummon ; we now follow the 
former sound in the Plural and the latter sound in the 
Singular ; a curious instance of the widely different 
sources of our Standard English. The old cwcep is 
replaced by our modem quoth. There is a struggle 
between the Old English eel and the Latin oleum ; eoli 
is the upshot. Layamon's wroBstle becomes wrestle. The 
old leosan is once written leowse (p. 13). 

As to Consonants : lagu becomes lake, and Layamon's 
gullen becomes %ellen (clamare) ; the e here seems to 
point to Salop, where this vowel was used for the 
Southern u and the Northern i. On reading at p. 13 
ft* fikest (tu fallis), we may perhaps derive from this 
verb ourflh, even as geleafa turns to belief. We find 
the old/ in feat (p. 17), and our modem vet (vat) p. 18; 
these are two forms of one word. The t is inserted ; 
thus glisiiian becomes glistnian, our glisten. 

In Adjectives : the ending fvl was driving out its 
brethren ; we here find fearful (pavidus) for the first 

Middle English: Cultivation. 255 

time. Orrmin'B gcq^nn is seen id a new compoand, 
uttgeinliche (nngaiiilj'). A. new phrase like sleorcndket 
(etuk naked) crops ap; the first syllable probablf 
stands for stenri (caada), with the DSnal interchange of 
t and e. 

Amon^; the Frononns ve find %u>a so eaver (qnicauqiie). 
The Homeral an bears new constractions ; in p. 8 we 
read hire moder wes on. )w frovrede hire, ' her mother wao 
one (person) that ' &c. ; the old tnm of the sentence 
would bave been ' one of those that ' &c. Onr phrase 
* it is all one to me ' is seen in p. 5, al >rw it an. 

As to Verbs : geem gets a sense unknown to 0)*rmin 
and Layamon, that of vid^ri ; hit teefi aemdeii of im 
(p. 9). We find a verb formed from wrenee (dolna), 
torenchen tU of'pe weie (p. 4) ; ovx wrench now implies 
bnite force, not trickery.' In the same page the old 
gelamp (acoidit) is cnt down to lamp ; Mrs. Pipchin, in 
Dickena, says of a thwarted child, ' she mnat lamp it ; ' 
this mnet mean ' take what may cliance.' 

Among the Adverbs we see the first trace of our 
downright, in ' dashed him odimriAt to the earth' (p, 12); 
anonright and forthright have now been swept away. 
The Adverb far is dropped in the ^hnaa fifte-ne wilen 
from Antioehe (p. 2). 

As to Prepositions : out of is employed in a new sense 
at p. 6, ' he was enraged almost at of his iioitte,' oat of 
his wits. The o/with a Substantive is employed instead 
of an Adjective in the same page ; eaioUs of irne. The 
Old English had used phrases like tnid ^isum wordum, 

' I bare mcd wrench nsed for Solus bj Dc. Lay Ion, After the 
begiiuing of tbe English Refoimation. 

256 Old and Middle English, 

he ' &c. ; a Pronoim is now substituted for the l^ouu. 
At p. 22 we read, * wi^ fat they began to yell.* 

There are many new words in this short piece ; among 

them are drujpest (most dropping) and seemly, from the 

Icelandic drupa and scBfniiligrl In the first syllable of 

l^wertover (p. 10) we have followed the Icelandic yoert 

(transversus), rather than the Old S(ng{&h fweorh (per- 

versus) ; our verb thwerU thwart, cropped up twenty years 

later in East Anglia ; it was long before overthtoart made 

way for aihwart. There are many words akin to 

Dutch and Grerman, such as drivel, gape, stutten (whence 

our stutter), and shudder ; toggen (trahere) seems more 

akin in form to the Dutch tocken than to the Old English 

teogan. The word schillinde (sonans), at page 19, akin to 

both the High German and the Icelandic, tells us whence 

comes our shrill, one of the words into which r has 

found its way. The former wifstew is now seen as steto 

(compescere). The verb studge (go haltingly) is found; 

schoolboys still say * I was stodged in my lesson.' Fut 

is used for j307tere (p. 22), as well as for trudere. There 

is a new verb, divert, which is coupled with to dread ; 

hence our dither. 

The Legend of St. Klatherine (Abbotsford Club), 
seems to have been drawn up much about the same 
time as the foregoing piece. It must have been a' 
translation from the French, if we may judge by the . 
many French idioms ; Layamon, though he too was a 
translator, stuck feir more closely to the old idioms. 
The Legend seems to belong to the neighbourhood of 
the Great Line, perhaps to Southern Salop-; we here see 
Layamon's agaste, and Orrmin's took on, an hwat (una 

Middle English: Cultivation. 257 

res) fwmuito, jer (ibi), and d/an.; heo (ilia) becomes haj 
the Latin damns is EngUahed by clepet, not clepeat. 
Cacurrit is Englished by the Northern rtwt, not by am. 
There ia a Southern vereion of this piece, where hitheti 
(incUnat) is mistaken for bueS (est), and is altered into 
ieoS, at p. 20 ; wiS into Tnid, ha into heo. At page 97 we 
find in one line bahsume and beisitme, meaning the same 
thing; the one comes from the old bUgan (flecti), the 
other from hSgean, another form of the same word ; this 
is a cnrious instance of two rariationa of the English 
synonym for obediene mnning on together for 140 years 
after the Conqnest. The former dwiht (aliqnid) is now 
written ewt, showing na that aw was sounded like the 
French ou. The old WodnescUeg now becomes Wednesdei, 
and dol (hebes) becomes dul ; the wimmam. of the East, 
as we here see, becomes vmnvmam. in the West and South. 
The on appears again, replacing the more nsual o; 
we find )>oa. 

The old <Bmtig now becomes empti, with a p 
inserted ; and the Verb itrangian, taking a Consonant, 
becomes gtrengten. 

Fault has often been found with the word melrro- 
polis as applied to London, when capital ia meant; 
onr true English mother-state is Anglen, &r to the 
East. Still, in this piece (p. 3), we bear of fe moder 
hurh (capital) of Alexander's kingdom. In p. 63 timber 
gets the new sense of materia, just like the Greek 
word for wood in Aristotle's 'Ethics.' The old 8nb> 
atantive leaf (vir amatus) is turned into htoe, our love, 
at p. 82 ; we have now mn leof and luftt, the person and 
the thing, into one word. The old mw; (stercus) is here 

258 Old and Middle English. 

used as a term of reproach, and perhaps gave rise to 
our far less severe word mvno^. At page 90 comes slet^ 
whence our bIahbIi maj come, since the old word is here 
coupled with bIo\ our slough. The word fode (cibus) 
took the farther meaning of aZumn/us all through the 
Western half of England, and is used in that sense in 
the Legend of St. Katherine. We now see a French 
word made a Verbal Noun ; as desputing. 

A new Adjective, rudi (ruddy), is formed from rud 
(ruber). The ending fid was coming more into use, 
for we find the new compound pinfid. 

In Pronouns : we see the word self used (Orrmin had 
done this), as if it were the Noun person ; at p. 58 comes 
]>e ilke self (the same person) is Godes sune; in the 
Southern copy of the Legend this has been altered into 
seolf ]>e like. A curious new French idiom crops up 
at p. 110 : ivrecche mon }>at Jnt hit art. At p. 74i comes 
he het hise (he bade his men) ; here the Noun is dropped 
after the Pronoan, as was often the case after mine 
and thine. In p. 128, the Pronoun stands for a Noon : 
hisohte him wi^ pe brond, that is, * besought the man who 
bore the brand.' Something like this may be found in 
Gothic, but not in Old English. 

As to Numerals, the old olSer had not yet been sap- 
planted by the French second ; at page 78, Katherine is 
promised that she shall be pe o5er after pe Gwen ; the old 
d6er stood for both secundus and alius. I have already 
touched upon our phrase, * eveiy other man.' 

The confusion between Strong and Weak Verbs was 
going on throughout England ; what in the South 
was ahongen (the right form of the Transitive Perfect), 

Middle English: Cultivation. 259 ; 

ame honged^n in the Severn country (p. 18); we 

m find arieede inBtead of aras (aroBe). At p. 102 we 

I the old idiom ' me itmjrfl to go,' where the Verb is 

mperBonal ; this is Altogether changed at p. 84, where 

■e find ye oinen lotigede for to senn ■ bnt it may be that 

i here a Datire, A Participle replaces a Noun at 

; )m mm iiceddet (bride). When we see aaoh a 

hrase as that in p. 53, don it hnten evit to hoten (do it 

' ithoat Zonn^ aaght, the French eans perdre), we can- 

ot hdp thinking that the Infinitive in en mnst hare bad 

3ine alight infinence, in forming onr new idiom ob 

^ards what are seemingly Verbal Noana in ing. The 

Id ff u^on had always meant prodesae ; it now begins to 

ike the Scandinavian sense of decere ; in the Northern 

iTsion we read (p. 99) a« Drihtin deali ; the Verb in 

e Sonthem version is altered into ah (debet) ; we 

ft say ' that will do very well for him.' A Verb is 

f seen (p. 89) formed from the old gham (splendor), 

\ another from the old claln/ng. 

i&jnong the Adverbs found in the Legend, liiderio is 

td for the first time at p. 21 ; hwen se eaver at 

(0 ; heonne for^ wtardeg (henoeforwwd) at p. 112. 

y. 37 comes eaoerihwer ; this is the old gehw^er 

pe) with the nsnal Twelfth Century prefix etmr ; 

itry where is now spelt wrong, for this is one of the 

lords in which we still sound a corruption of the 

\ so beloved of onr forefathers. In p. 110 a^t 

ftill then) comes, instead of ' till that time.' We 

ten that mid aUe or i'-i|> alle had hitherto meant 

\ it now takes the meaning of moreover, in which 

|e still nse it ; at p. 99 we hear that Christ came 

26o Old and Middle English, 

himself with many maidens itM alle, A new Adverbial 
sense (it seems to come from Scandinavia) is bestowed 
on up at p. 47 ; cwe'^e hami up, ' give them np.' This 
up was soon to follow many other Verbs. 

The 8wa or c» is nsed in new ways ; at p. 3 we read 
of a tyrant hea^ene as he wes ; at p. 72 heaminde al as he 
was ; the French que must have been the pattern regarded 
in forming this new idiom. The as is nsed, where 
we should put that ; in p. 86, * they saw as (St. Jerome's 
quia) they smeared ; ' other English writers have both 
who so and who that for quicimqtie. Another French 
phrase, par si que, seems to have brought into England 
a new conditional idiom, instead of the old with that ; at 
p. 102 we read * let me live, swa fat (provided that) I 
lose nothing.' The whole of the Legend must be a 
translation from the French, and repays careful study. 

As to Prepositions : we find /or hireself, p. 6, where 
the for is used like the Scandinavian fyrir mer and 
the French pour moi, ' so far as I am concerned.' This 
reminds us of the wis for worM, in the Chronicle of 
the year 1057. The upon is employed in a new sense 
at p. 53 : jdng ]fat is iwent upon him, * a thing that is 
formed after his likeness;' as we now say 'to form 
himself upon BrummeU.' The onont (anent) is used 
most freely. 

There are some new Interjections ; hei is used at 
p. 31, a cry of wonder or pleasure ; this French cry has 
taken deep root in England; in Derbyshire I have 
heard persons (above the lower class) begin their 
sentences with hey, hut ; in other parts of our land it 
is sounded like eh, Chaucer's ey, Orrmin's la here 

Middle English: Cultivation. 261 

l)ecoine8 l<m, our \o. At page 113 cornea Au nu, dame! 
vhich is something wholly new, and points to the 
French ; to them we owe moat of ovi Intetjections. 

We find the Scandinavian word untidi, here applied 
to weather; ^t ia foand in East Anglia not mnch 
later. The word scourge now appears. The French 
inflneuced the speUing of the compiler of the St. 
Katfaerine ; we have seen eoU (oleom) ; this now 
follows the French, and is wTitt«n eoile, prononnced 
e-ooLe, joBt as in Scott'e ' Pirate ' they talk of awbale's 
ulyie or ulxie. The word (see Littr4) was written 
oile in France nntil abont 1280. Shakspeare writes 
vnaneaUd, following the English form (el, bnt the Verb 
anoyle wae written in the year 1588 (' Reliqniea AntiquB9,' 
I. 255). We also find puiton (venenam). The French 
Zei, standing for religUm, even as it did in France, is 
need jnst before the English lahe», our lawi (p. 17). 
What was written manniMe in the Essex Homilies now 
becomes the Frenchified wuwtneMe (humanity) at p. 53. 
The Yerb earn of the Northern copy is tnmed into 
ofierven (deserve) in the Sonth (p- 121). Me, the French 
maM, is often used to begin a sentence. 

The Legend of St. Juliana (Early English Text 
Society) is probably dne to the same hand as the fore- 
going Legends. It has Orrmin's words want and kutin<j ; 
it has Layamon's phrase no more, through flTtd through, 
and his French Intellection ; stew, drivel, out of hit 
vfU, and many snch, are repeated. As to Vowels : the 
a is sometimes out, as Saviinuel (p. 62) ; showing as 
that aiB might stand for the broad Italian a as well 
as for the French ou. Na is fonnd, and also oar 

262 Old and Middle English, 

no ; spearc becomes spa/rke. Contraction is at work, for 
reafode (rapni) becomes refde (reft) at p. 40. The 
Southern version of this piece alters fan (foes) into 
van^ and dry is written dru (p. 33). 

The final Consonant n is, in this Sonthem version, 
altogether pared away ; we find (p. 53) \ni havest ido, cot 
idon ; this Southern corruption all but rooted itself in 
our Standard English two hundred years later. We find 
both milzful and miVi.ful^ showing Orrmin's new sound 
of the 2 ; it was to stand for s as well as for y ; owing 
to it we write citizen and chastise for the old dteien and 
chastijfi. The earlier flugon (fugerunt) is cut down to 
fliie at p. 53. The old appeal heforan Gode appears as 
for Oode at p. 14, the oath so often used in Shakspeare ; 
this was in use in G-loucestershire about 1300. 

We see, at p. 17, the old Adjective eomost turned 
into a Substantive ; thou shalt be beaten, a« on emesse 
(by way of earnest), the Latin pigwus. Our word lust 
still kept its true meaning, for at p. 45 it is used of desire 
to pray. We find such new phrases bb top to toe, fear 
neither wind nor weather, in his teeth, p. 36; that is, 
* against his own will.' 

At p. 70 we see an Adjective coupled with a Parti- 
ciple ; water is walUnde hai (boiling hot) ; two pages 
earlier a Substantive had been used, walm hat, as in the 
oldest English. The Adjective easy is used in a new 
construction at p. 56, we heon e^ to hiwihelen (begnile). 
We see, in the Pronouns, the old ich it dm, which was 
not to last much longer ; we were to use the I am he. 
But the French qiie reappears in this piece ; at p. 65 
(Southern version), stands |h meiden am, ]>a^ ich ami. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 263 

Id Verbs there is the great change seen 250 years 
«&rlier in Yorkshire ; the Second Person Singular of the 
Btrong Perfect ends in e»t instead ofe: ]w Jv/nde»i Mm 
treotee (p. 28) ; and this comes even in the Southern 
version. Another corruption of the Verb for egtet is in 
p. 50 ; hwei te mahte heon ; the Southern version here 
holds to the better form, hwet let were. At p. 61 a 
Participle is treated as an Adjective, and takes a Super- 
lative ending ; Jt&mpene ieoreneil ; we now often hear 
men talk of ' the damdest rogne.' The verb do, after long 
disuse of the idiom, crops up again to save the repe- 
tition of a foregoing verb ; ' eveiy thing shoold pratPe 
thee, OMd iek do,' (p, 64). The do is also once more 
prefixed to the Imperative ; do sei me, p. 40. Bisem^ 
fe (te decet) is nsed st p. 55 of the Southern version, 
where the other has only ssmei. The verb rue (pity) is 
no longer nsed impersonally, but governs an Accusative ; 
at p. 56 comes areow pe eeohen. 

Among the Adverbs we see kwerfore, huxr eo ever, 
cuefoYfi (u, (as far as, p. 47). In the Southern version 
(p. 61) as is nsed for the Latin vbi ; it is the first 
bint of onr wkereru. In the same page we read iw an 
tceorre as he wes ; here the as stands for tiM, which in 
the other version ia Englished by [ler. 

At p. 68 we see ne buten used in the unnsnal sense of 
vix ; nefde ha buten iseid ^at &C., ' she had bnt spoken, 

The Prepositions are used in new senses. In Old 
English, ' to mingle with,' was well known ; the idea^ is 
now carried a little further, and we read in p. 22, ouS 
(acquainted) wiS fe king. At p. 5 comes, he wet wel wtif 


264 Old and Middle English. 

pe king. There is a carious idiom at p. 71 ; aw0k trt5 
hire ut of mine ehsihfkj * quick with her out of my sight ; ' 
we saw something of the kind in Layamon, who also 
dropped the verb. The ut of is nsed in a new sense, 
where the mental canse of an action is to be marked ; 
a tyrant began tendrin ut of ieoney ' to bum, out of an- 
noyance,' p. 29. 

The verb scaldj the Swedish skolla, appears in p. 71. 
There is a new word histapet (constitntns), akin to the 
German ; eighty years later this was to be written 
bestead. In p. 78 we see the Old and the New face to 
&ce ; hitherto England had reckoned the days of the 
month in the Roman way ; this was now to be changed ; 
we read ope sixtenlSe dei of Feovereles mone^y pe forte/nds 
kcUende of Mea/rch pat cwne^ efter. We remark in the 
above sentence, that the Danish n has made its way into 
the nnmeral ; it was kept at bay in Gloucestershire even 
so late as 1300. A curious French word is seen at 
p. 56, gencling, better known to us as jangling ; the g 
seems to have already assumed its soft sound; in the 
Southern verflion this word is exchanged for pihehinge. 

The treatise on HaJi Meidenhad was most b'kely 
written by the compiler of the three foregoing Legends. 
Some of the old words reappear, as eoile, puisun^ vrrenche, 
low (ecce) ; there is the same contraction in words, as 
prof for perof sworn for sworen ; the old sceawian (osten- 
dere), which had already undergone many changes, 
becomes scho (p. 17), as we still pronounce it. The c 
often becomes ch ; we see the two forms side by side at 
p. 35, where the pangs of childbirth are called a si^nde 
sticJie; this last substantive has been rather lowered 


Middle English: Cultivation. 265 

since those Axya. The ending of the Ploial of the PreBent 
is altogether clipped in the yerba twirmi and tolweane, 
p. 13. 

The old hreawUc (triatis) haA beea altered into 
reoiofid; from this we Bee a new Sabetantive formed, 
reov^nesse. We find in the middle of a sentence, mare 
harm m, p. 9 ; an early instance of a parenthesis. The 
exchange between that and as goes on ; hwa yat sehe, 
* whoso seee,' comes at p. 17 ; se eikemette as ha was in, 
p. 7 ; «eiS ase tnuchel ase &o., p. 5, points to the fatnre 
' that is as mncli as to say.' There is also as well at. 
At p. 39 we see moni an ; the lafit word stands for the 
old man. At p. 19 is a wonderfiil innovation; tttirej 
is nsed for the Oenitive Plural (oZioruim). At p. 5 of 
hih stands where we shonM say below ; oar by has often 
replaced an earlier of. Our cnrions phrase for ontnina 
is seen at p. 85, ' leotefor gode.' Oar verb stickle seems 
to be foreshadowed by stUxlinde (steadEestly), at p. 17. 

In Verbs : onr show forth comes for the first time, I 
think, at p. 3. 

As to the Prepositions ; there is a new sense for of at 
p. 5 ; a good maiden is freo ofhtreself, ' has command 
over herself;' hence comes 'free of the gaild,' &a. 
There is a new form of the Partitive o/atp. 21, toilebeon 
of fe htt (tnrba); here one should oome before the 
Preposition. How the of had encroached on the old 
Qenitive form is strikingly shown in hut of a lute hwnle 
(p. 47) ; we shoald here say ' a little moment's pleasare,* 
and this last constraction wonld cleave &st to the Old 
English. Oar /ace '<) /ace was before the Conqnest of 
on^ne to aruine ; this is pared down in the present 

266 Old and Middle English. 

treatise, where it is ne^&e to nebhe, dropping the first 
Preposition. There is an imitation of a Latin idiom at 
p. 21, in the phrase crime upon crime; something like 
this came in the Chronicle. At p. 41 comes kepan half 
dale wi6 mon (keep half measures with). 

We find two or three Scandinavian words, snch as 
eahe and gealde (from geldr, that is, sterilis) ; there is 
also crwpel (cripple), akin to the Dutch. The Old Eng- 
lish ceowom has the sense of jaw, as in ^Ifric and in the 
Homilies of 1180 ; the maiden is told, in p. 31, that the 
husband ' chit te and cheowe^ ]>e.' A little lower down, 
she is further threatened ; for he * beatet$ pe and hustefS 
])e;' this last verb is the Icelandic heysta^ our haste 
(ferire). Hence also the French ha^ston or hdton. Our 
scream is found for the first time, and seems to be a con- 
fusion between the Old English hrewm and the Welsh 
ysgarm, each meaning the same ; there is also a Scandi- 
navian skra/msa.^ 

To this time belong a few pieces printed by Dr. 
Morris in his *01d English HomiUes' (pp. 183-217; 
245-267). They seem to have been compiled in Salop; 
we find the Northern aren (sunt) and talden side by side 
with the Southern ido (factum), vmlle^y and libhinde. 
The old 7ncena/ti (lugere) becomes rrume (p. 211), onr 
7noam,j a change which was long in prevailing throughout 
England ; it was useful, since it distinguished this sense 
of the word from the other sense, atatuere (our mean). 
We also see dol (p. 199) instead of the old dad (pars) ; 
we have now difi*erent senses for the nouns dole and deal. 

* The 8 that has got prefixed to hream renuncb us of cwyscMt that 
has now become squeeze. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 267 

On reading a sentence likoGoddo/aJfejocW^ (p. 209), 
we see what a loss we hxvB bad in the diaappearanoe of 
oar accents; in earlier times tlie accent distugtUBhed 
goda (bona) from Qod (Dens). Iidh (hnmilis) is changed 
into lowe at p. 211 ; it may bave been sonnded like the 
French ou, for it is written b)u% in other parte of England. 
The change of into u is seen in the new Imtte, oar hoon ; 
and gchiUe for the old seeotan. 

As to Cousonanta : the old hurg becomes buri, which 
is kept in names of places like Shrewsbniy ; the other 
old form burug is here seen as hirwwe, whence comes 
onr burrow. The verb egliarmow becomes etlin., onr at?. 
At p. 263 the old cwmp he is tamed into qvod he ; 
this we have already seen elsewhere. 

In Sabstantives the old declensions had been so 
completely lost that eagan (ocali) is coostantly written 
ehnen, as if the old form had been eaganan. English 
was becoming veiy terse ; for we see in p. 205, ieh habbe 
iheved of oier monnes ; we sfaoold say, ' I have had popt 
of other man's goods' The new rit hand (p. 217) waa 
taking the place of the old right half. At p. 249, the 
phrase bi stale (by stealth) is nsed, implying seereei/, not 
robbery. Ir the treatise Saielet Warde wa see h'usebonde 
bearing the two meanings of eonjvx and paterfamilias ; ' 
it ia here opposed sometimes to tiiif, sometimes to kiutvif. 
At p. 265 we read in «re ende, 'in our qnartera,' this 
sense of the old ende was soon to vanish, and to be pre- 
served in proper names only, like Andley End. 

' The latter Bense was borne bj hoieboKde man in WieUiffe ; ae 
St Lnke zii. 39. l^udale ha« beie, goei ma» of the hinue. 

268 Old and Middle English, 

Among Adjectives, fviJi was now supplanting earlier 
endings, as has been remarked before ; we here meet 
rueful and vjiLful, The es was being used for the ending 
of the Genitive Plural, as we saw elsewhere ; at p. 189 
comes alle heljpleses help, Orrmin's lasse (minor) is seen 
as lessere ; onr Bible talks of ' the lesser light.' ^ 

In Prononns : we see the Aocnsative nsed for the 
Nominative, as we do in ' it's me ; ' at p. 211 comes heo 
^e world (dead) to me and me to fe worlde. At p. 265 
we see that the old Dual is being encroached upon ; two 
persons are addressed, first as e^5er of ow, and in the 
same line comes incJeer tuj^es. The old obIc (quisque) 
is spun out to eaver euch an (p. 263), an is steadily 
replacing ma/n ; in the same page comes anes heorte 
(alicujus cor) ; an having long stood for quidam, now, as 
in Essex, stands for aliquis as well. Another idiom 
connected with an is in page 209 ; ich of alle sunfvUe a/m 
on msst ifuled, ' of all sinners I am the one most defiled ; ' 
fourscore years later was to come, * I am one the fairest.' 
There is a new construction at p. 215, twofold of hittre; 
dcel as usual, is dropped ; we should now say, ' twice as 
much bitter.' 

The same terseness is found in the exclamation, 
muchel menske to heon moder, (p. 189) * great honour 
to be mother ; ' here is should come after the first Sub- 
stantive. There is another ellipse in Oodd^ )>t milce, 
p. 211 ; where give me is not expressed. What was ahest 
(debes) in the Hali Meidenhad is here seen as oivest ; 

^ One critic was very angry with me for using this classic Old 
English form. 

Middle English : Cultivation. 269 

tkis is the form of the word we use to imply indebted' 
ttess ; while oughtest implies duty. We have already 
Been cnawleee (confiteor) ; thiB becomes at p. 206 icnou- 
leekie, acknowledge. The idea of onr ' burst with rage ' 
is seen in linn ibuTsl (leo irafcns), at p. 255. 

The old sone nea becomes age gone o»e, at p. 213. 
Onr yea is sometimea impressively used in the middle of 
a sentence ; at p. 265 we read, ■mihti to don al, ffi, makie 
to etnakien &o. 

In Prepositions : the of ia still further employed ; in 
p. 209 stands Jw jeore (donnm) of |>e hoti goate, that is, 
* the Spirit which was given ; ' at p. 213 comes gon me 
hetere ut, ' tnm out better for me,' evenire. 

We light on the new word dingle, applied to a recess 
of the sea ; and ickimimeS or echvmer^ (Ailget) ; these 
are akin to German words. 

In Salop forms that wera nsed in Lothian and 
Yorkshire seem to have clashed with forms employed in 
Gloncestershire and Dorset ; aomething resembling the 
Ormvlvm was the npsbot. In each succeeding oentniy 
Salop comes to the front. The Wohnnge of nre 
Lauerd seems io have been written here abont 1210, 
(Morris' 'Old English Homilies,' First Series, p. 269). 
In 1350, or so, the Romance of William of Paleme was 
compiled here. In 1420, John Audlay wrote his poems 
in the same dialect (Percy Society, No. 47). In 1580, 
Chnrcbyard had not dropped all his old Salopian forms. 
Baxter, who came from Salop, appeared abont 1650 as 
one of the first heralds of the change that was then 
passing over Stuidard English prose, and that was 
snbetitoting Diyden's style for that of Milton, Soon 

270 Old and Middle English. 

after 1700, Farquhar, in his * Recruiting Ofl&cer/ gives 
ns much, of the Salopian brogne. This intermingling of 
Northern and Southern forms in Salop produced some- 
thing not unlike Standard English ; we must always 
keep the G-reat Sundering Line in view. 

One piece, which seems to belong to this shire is 
the Wohunge of ure Lauerd^ which I have already 
named. We here see Orrmin's ^u was (eras), h/wat 
hertef Jdiisman, v^po, and til (ad) ; also the Northern 
am (sunt), ha/ve fat, huliande, I (ego), sin (peccatum), 
raise, he makes \ the strangest instance is fat setis 
up (attoUunt), page 283, which is a more Northern 
form than anything we have seen as yet in the Midland. 
There are also the more Southern forms \oa and Uuide, 
The combination ui for the old y was long peculiar to 
the Severn country. 

There is much paring of letters, as in cald (vocatus), 
offeard ^timens). The old hleahtor (risus) becomes 
lahter. The old la (ecce) at last becomes lo, p. 283 ; we 
have preferred the kiss found in this work to the cuss 
of the South ; hredden (liberare) becomes rid^ p. 273, 
though Scotland still talks of the redding straik. Con- 
sonants are pared away, especially the guttural at the end 
of words; we see gastli, hertili, rewli. At p. 271, fu 
wAxcodest (fecisti) is replaced by \u Ttiades; the same 
change may be remarked a few years later in East Anglia, 
at the other end of the Great Line. When we see such 
a form as hituhen (between) we may be pretty sure that 
the h in the middle of a word had lost much of its old 
guttural sound about 1210 ; ahful was used where we 
Bay a/wful. 

Middle English: Cultivatimt. 271 

We find the Snbatiuitive steeling, wbich was long 
confined to tlie shires near Salop. We see the change 
in the meaning,of cheap ; it was a If oim meaning bargain, 
as at p. 281, bnt at p. 273 we read untntett Iwie Uhtlicke 
cheape. The Preposition not being employed here, men 
in time came to look npon cheap as an Adverb. 

Tnming to the Prononns, we see how the Xominatiye 
hwa oame to be nsed as a Belatire ; at p. 275 is mai he 
luve hwa ne luvet kia hroHer ? the hwo, here stands for the 
old »wa hwo, etea (whoso). At p. 281 comes the idiom 
often nsed by Dickens, ai hwa »e seie (ae who should 
say), 'as if a man should Baj;'^Uie French ased comme 
qui diraii. At p. 285 the writer gives an offering, >vmch 
as hit is. In p. 281 we light on swa slrang a sunitg ; in 
earlier times there wonld have been no Article here. 

Among the Verbs, we may remark that cwSe is 
eucroachingon mihfe (potni) ; at p. 2?1 comes tin blod ne 
et^ies tu vnfihalde. In the same page make is followed 
by a Past Participle, just as have was in earlier times ; 
he makes him, luved. The verb tell takes the new 
meaning of ' to have infinence npon ; ' )rt dea$ telles rikt 
in al my hive, p. 2?5, The old frilA (inclinavi) becomes 
the Weak Perfect, I bvhed, at p. 277. 

The forms kwHa (dnm) and as tah (qnasi), first seen 
in the Esaei neighboorhood, have now made their way 
to Shropshire, at the other end of the Great Line ; hwilt 
becomes kurils pal (p. 275), in Omnin'a fashion. 

In Prepositions: we find Iwe ofpe (p. 273), that is, 
' love given to thee ; ' a diatinctiou was wanted to prevent 
confiision with pi hiv^, that is ' love coming from thee.' 
At p. 283 comes lahhen pe to hokere (laugh thee to scorn). 

272 Old and MiddU English. 

At p. 281 is iean cheap hefdei iuon nu (a dear bai^ain 
hadat thon in me !) ; the on or in here is mnch the same 
as anejit, which is used bo freely in this piece. The in 
ihos employed reappears in oar 'I was mistaken in 

At p. 287 oomes earpe (loqoi). The former Jnoeor 
(trauBversus) is seen as querfcute (p. 285), whence oar 
queer ; a word that we still apply to the doings of a poor 
man that acts in an odd way ; if the man be rich, his 
doings become eccentric. The Scandinavian i rattei (in 
rags) is in page 277 ; the original word is rogg (viUne) ; 
this is a good example of the interchange between t or d 
and g. 

A version of the Ancren Biwle (shortly to be 
described) was compiled in Salop abont this time. The 
interchange between u and o is plainly seen, when tnor 
(pains) becomes mure, onr tnaor, p. 328. The old 
balakful (p. 114) was kept in the Sonth, bnt in 
Salop it was cnt down to baleful. In pronotmoing 
should, we drop the I ; this is seen in whuden at page 
416. The old Qenitive Flnral halgana (sanctoram) is 
strangely altered at p. 94; the haie^ene of another 
version becomes here halehenes; the Scotch have pre- 
served hallovjeea, the one Genitive Plnral of this kind 
left in onr island.' At p. 184 we find a henginge, the 
Verbal Noon atmck off from the Verb. The old lUpmr 
now becomes sltbbri (slippery). A new Adjective is 

' I snipeet that it hw been preserved, from the SooUti mietaking 
tlie but pliable for ten, tveintig- Some parish chnrdifs in England 
were culled Ml iottaitdt (Omnium SBnetonun), and thia name nu; 
perhapa be still alire. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 273 

formed from leomii ; this is lovste (solntos), the iioimd 
of wliicli we have kept onaltered; ia the Southern 
■version this wae written fe»fc. 

At p. ?4<, we see three different forms for ioiifur ; 
io Salop it is sliiet, id another county not br o£F«2i(2eS, 
in the Sonth tlit. Salop preferred tmderloc (p. l\i) to 
underfangen, and the new ooertoken to oftoken (p. 241). 
At p. 2?2 a Past Participle is turned into an Adverb by 
adding liche ; laaaedliche (etnlte). A carions instance 
of the tme Old English alliteration is to be found at 
p. 334 ; the men and wwmm^n and children of one text is 
aAter^d into were avdunf and weTichel. The Scandinavian 
jiloh, grie, vn/ndoh, and uggi (timers), replace the suluh^ 
pig, Jwri, and agrupie of the South.' Salop has the new 
icratteS (scratcheth), where the other version has sc/irepeS ; 
here is the interchange between t and p. In this copy 
there are many iVench torms, snch as aioler (altar), 
brooght in, where the other copies had Tentonio words. 

We now come to the Anoren Riwle (Camden 
Society), as compiled in the Dorset Dialect, about 1220. 
We can see that this is the original version by a sentence 
at p. 76, je patpUiefi (Inditdis), an idea which well soitA 
the context. In one copy of the piece, this Verb has 
been altered into the French pleideS ; in the Salopian 
copy into the English synonym for pleid, molen ; in 
either case the sense of the passage has been mistaken. 
Reference is mode in the Ancren Biwle to the earlier 
Legend of St. Margaret ; bnt the has made farther 
encroachments on the a, as two, wlioio, no, lone for Uen, 

' From thU SttlopisD grii (porctu) comes ouz griMm. 

274 Old and Middle English. 

(commodfttntn), oten (oats), tWi, tope, liflode. The 
combinattoii ea is much in use ; l/sne (macer) becomes 
leane; MaheS (ridet) tnmB into iowAwrf!, the vowels 
of which ne still keep ; it is like the name Stcmntov. 
Here there can be no doubt that au stands for the 
sound of the Italian a. The sounds of o and ti in- 
terchange, for teogan becomes women, our leoo ; inok 
(satis) and eloh become inouh and glouh (slew) ; the 
changed sound of the o was kept at bay for long in tie 
Eastern shires. Ott is here often written for the old «. 
The gest (vadis) of this version was altered into gag in 
Salop, and into the longer-lived giat in some comity 
still farther to the Sonth East. The eo becomes t ; /eol 
Knd eeoenee are now seen asfih and gitmeee ; it sometimes 
becomes e, for herd (pecns) replaces heord. Indeed, in 
the lexicons, heord, herd, and hord are pat down nnder 
the same bead, as varying forms of one Old English word ; 
herd in the present work is set apart for j>ecu*, while 
hord had long before been appropriated to theamirw. 
Macb in tbe same way feoh had stood for pecas (the 
kindred word), pramium, and divitite, oil three. Led and 
spred are found here, and not the lad and sprad of more 
Northern shiies. The old awel (stibnla) becomes avl ; 
it was written both moel and eael rather later in 
Dorset. The iwelgcm of old now becomes eieohtwe 
(swallow) ; the insertion of the Vowel between I and to 
is carious. Tbe letter n is altogether cast ont, when 
nemde (named) replaces the old nemnede. Tbe t is 
added to the old grvnan, which be<K)mes grunten. Tbe 
hard g is often softened ; btelg (venter) becomes belt; 
tiige (hara) becomes iti ; him, and ireien are in the same 

Middle English: Cultivation. 


case. This g is often changed into a v> ; as snuie (dictom) 
for »agit, vxHewen (seqni) for/oijiaw, juio^e for geogui, 
vawenungeioT fmgnung. This last is a good instance how 
the change of a Consonant can mark off a difference in 
the sense of a word ; the harmlesB fain and the base 
favm. are both comiptionB of the same word, the old 
fwgnian, which bad the two senses gaudere and hlandiri. 
In one sentence, in p. 343, we see the two forms acottea 
and gehotten (solvere) ; townsmen pay geot, sailors have 
a shot in the locker. The French e is employed for s, 
as in hitee (oscnlnm) ; also milce (misericordia). The 
2 sometimes makes its way into a word ; menge$ (miscet) 
now becomes monglei ; on the other hand, halg is tnmed 
into bag. A usage of Orrmin's reappears ; the s now 
ends, not only the Oenitive Singular, bat the Genitive 
Plaral ; thus in p^e 106 we read of ' her tears, and te 
o5re Mariea.' The last word is Plnml. 

We hear of St, Jame in p. 10 ; hence comes onr Jem. 
At p. 412, we read, of ham i$ Intel streneSe ; eighty years 
later, this was to be ' of them is little force ; ' one 
handred years later atill, force wonid become matter. 
We read in p. 418 of a parish officer who looked after 
hedges; he ia here called the heiKard,&ad the proper 
name Hayward still lingers among ns. Among the 
Adjectives appears untowea (nntrained), which was 
afterwards to become wanton, the un and the wan having 
the same meaning. The ending /ul was coming in; wo 
here find pinful (painfal) and dredful ; earlier endings 
were disappearing; thns the '^orniht of old was changed 
into )>omt. In ston-etille (p. 414) we have a Substantive 
prefixed to give strength to an Adjeotire. The E^«nch 

276 Old and MiddU English, 

seeniB to bave giren ns mt Aear^ (ma ch&re), p. 98, where 
the Adjective ntands alone. At p. 258 we read, hi* earlich 
aritte ; here earlt/ for the first time becomes an Adjectdve ; 
it had hitherto been only an Adverb. In p. 176 -we find 
a wholly new idiom, which mnat have come froiu France, 
replacing the old English Saperlative, ye metie dredful 
secnesse jfalle. This new form became Terycommoa in 
the following Centnry. 

In Prononns : Orrmin's htoat, standing for the Latin 
B«lative qvod, is laid aside in favour of humcke, the word 
that we still use for the Neater BeUtive ; at p. 354 comes 
peawes, bi kvmeJie me elimb^ to ye bUtse. This was to be 
found thirty years later in Yorkshire as well as in Dorset 
TetthiBAwMofte is almost always employed in the present 
work to BtEtnd for the kindred lAtin qualu ; this old sense 
laiited in the West down to 1400. We find aneren huxu 
hlisse (p. 348) ; this translation of guarwm wonid have 
astonished an earlier generation. The &i (one) is seen, 
as before, standing for swn. man, aliqilit; ter on geS 
(p. 252), ' where a man goes.' We now eay ' yonr enemy,' 
bnt not 'yonr traitor;' this last is fonnd at p. 194. 

Orrmin's new idiom of Verbs is repeated in p. 344; 
we hear of sins of gnuxhwnge, . . .of eitten to longe; 
this last Infinitive is nsed as a Verbal Nonn, something 
like the Infinitive with the Article in Greek. At p. 360 
we see side by side the old Imperative and the later one 
formed with let ; let o8re aUffen . . . abide toe. ' Here the 

' Ws still iomatimeB ose the oUor form ; ' Come wmI, come voe, 
ve'll gutber iind go.' ' Be Thiae the gloiy , and be mine the thanu.' 
Bow much more pidi is there in thtw ImpeistiTes than in the cum- 
broni compound with Ut '. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 277 

writer does not use the Plnniil le&S (sinite) in addressing 
his Anohoreaaea. The Ptirticiple is yoked, like an 
Adjective, to a Snbatantive ; we bear of the vt^inde vuel 
(falling sickness) ; hence oome onr writing materials, 
and many such flexible forms. A pithy phrase vaa 
once applied to onr two Isfit Stnart Kings : it was said 
of Charles that be ' conld if he wonld ; ' of James, that 
'he would if he conld.' On looking to the Ancren 
Biwle, p. 338, we read he n« mei haon he wule, fe nolde 
hvmle pet he muhte. This seems to have been a byword 
well known in 1220. The Transitive Verb stop is foand 
in p. 72. In p. 106 is the phiase bring to nouht, imd also 
hereii him veolMiredden (company). At page 210 we 
hear of jagglers who are said to makien cheres (make 

We find new Adverbs cropping up, each as et enet 
(at once), enes a vrike, hu se ever, hioerse ever, ewnetimje, 
$0'M'uche^eT(^&eT, tij;orenA(»Mi (beforehand), nevertheUsse; 
offeor was later to be written afar ; eaUanga was replaced 
by ■atierliche, which now took a new sense. The al beo 
(onr albeit) is remarkable ; something of the same kind 
occurs in Middle High German ; the al prefixed shows 
the completeness of the concession made. In p. 288 we 
see a mistake, repeated six hnndred years later by Lord 
Macanlay in his I^ys; what shoold be written iwit 
(certe) is turned into a Verb, I wis. Our tquint is foond 
for the first time in the Adverb asquint, p. 212. There 
is wteZe iiwuk, very bad ; iiiouh re8e, very readily (page 
86), A new Adverb, greatly, crops np by the side of 
m,ucli% see p. 426. Nmit (non) is sometimes need for 
the old n«. Hioar ate is in p. 200, translating vhieunqwe. 

278 Old and Middle English. 

We now Bay 'as narrnwly as ever she can,' instead of 
the aae nsniklicke ase heo ever mei (p. 414). The word 
sona (mox) has new oSspring, some aud soTiett. 

An attempt is made to brii^ into vogue a new form, 
to do duty for a Preposition ; at p. 260 comes ' im 
atude of in, his cradel herbonied him ; ' his cradle sup- 
plied the laclc of an ion ; tn hU stead had been used 
before, bnt only referring to a person, not to a thing. The 
for, which wonld have been used earlier all over England, 
Englishes the kindred Latin per at p. 300 ; for this the 
other versions of the Ancren Riwle use ttiiii and \ntTeh. 
Inp. 110 we mark how the old on«/ne came to be changed; 
in the Salopian copy it is fonnd as onevent. in the Dorset 
copy as onont, not far from our anent. In the same page 
we see bow the old Preposition jeowd (per) was dropping 
aai of ase; it wae etill employed in Dorset, but was 
replaced in one shire by oner, in another by in. At 
p. 426 we find onr common expression, pet fur (ignis) go 
Ht. The of was encroaching ; in p. 106 we find the old 
vor his luve and the new tior Jie litve of him. 

The old bac-elitor now becomes backbiter ; there are 
also cheffare (chaffer), overturn, withdraw, withhold. A 
new Snbstantive is formed from tremo ; this is iriwi, 
onr truce. Our Ember days, the Scandinavian Imbru- 
dj'aar, appear for the first time in the gnise of umbridei; 
this and umquhile are the sole survivors in English of 
the many words formed frnm our lost preposition vmhe, 
the Greek atiiphi ; the old umstroke (circnmference) 
lasted down to 1660. At page 46 comes gluffen (to 
blunder), from the Icelandic glop (incuria) ; hence 
perhaps 'to ciufi a regiment,' 8urh (dolor) had taken 

Middle English: CtUtivation. 279 

the Bliape of sewuuie in Dorset, but it remained »vrh6 in 
Salop (see page 64). The old nscentJe becomes riaginie 
(page 140), whence onr ranging.^ In page 128, we aro 
told that a false nim ' chefleS of idel ; ' hence have arisen 
to chatter and to chaff. Torple (cadere) seems to be 
formed from lop (capat) 1 hence comes onr foppfe. 

The East Midland dialect was pushing its conqnestfl 
into the South, for many Scandinavian words are fonad 
for the first time in this work ; as 


Kofa, Icelandic 

Crop, carpere 



Dulak, Danish 


Flaksa, Swedish, vdUart 


Gromr, Icelandic 

Mased. ddirui 

f Maaa, Old Norse, to chatter 
1 fiL,^y 

MdwIbd, grtm, moiOdy 


Skygg, Swedish 


Skule, Danish 


Skal, Danish 


Sktekka, NoTse 


Slffild, Norse 


Smul, Danish, pWi>» 


Vitna, leelaudic, taaan 

Many an Old English word has been driven out by 
these Scandinavian strangers. Moreover, I add a list of 
many words, which Southern England had in common 
with onr Datch and Low Giermau kinsmen. England 
seems now to have rid herself of ber old prejudice 

' So m tbe Latin, j'un^ ig formed &oidj'ui^, and lingo &om lieo. 

280 Old and MidMe English. 

agniiut beginning words with the letter j> we were 
rather later to tarn the Scandinavian hroddr (acnleos) 
into ^od. 

Bounce, punek 







Kcken, to um ( 






Korre t 









Giggen 1 



Spat, nuKuii 



Toetea, blow a 






We find also in this work harlot, a vagabond, from the 
Welsh herlawd, a y onth ; the word is nsed bj Chancer 
withont an J bad sense ; Shakapeare has ' hai|lotiy 
players.' From the same Celtic aomrcecome cudgel and 
griddle, now first seen in English ; also hahan, our fia&e. 
Feoddare, a pedlar, is also fonnd for the first time; 
Forby derives it from jjerf, which in Norfolk is a 
covered pannier.' There are many words in the Ancren 
Biwle, which, as Wedgwood thinks, are formed from 
the sonnd ; snch as gewgaw, ekaiter. The adjective in 
Sh^Bpeare's ' little cwifer fellow ' is found in the Ancren 
Biwle ; it seems to come from the old cuf (impiger). In 
p. 106 comes the new verb hlind/elkn, which we haw 
corrapted into blindfold. 

' Tbia, w DOT, might cipreu a poltroon. 

• The «nding are prove* that ire onght to write, not pedler. but 
p«tUar; the wokI ia aometim«a given u a pnmle in spelling. 

Middle English: Cultivation. 28 1 

The Thiid Teraioii of the Ancren Biwle may have 
been drawn up in Warwicksbire ; at any rate, it cannot 
have been done for to the Sonth of the Great Line. 
The clo)te$ of Salop become the more Soathem elebKet 
(cintohes), p. 174. There is a great clipping of Coneo- 
nanta in AoZpenea and pent (p. 96). The ending er was 
Gomii^ into TOgae ; the old wrendTUca became ennde-bere 
in Dorset, and erende leorere in the present version ; we 
alao find the new word htffer (amator). For talit the 
Prononn ^llich was need (p. 44) ; filke was coining in 
to flxpreBB igte, filke fv,%eleg is nsed at p. 14, where the 
Dorset version has ^eo ilke fuveles. In p. 68 this leads 
to a tnistake ; the Dorset version has tSen ilke hvee, oHer 
^er Ac. (in ettdem domoantnbi),bnt the present version 
has in ^ilhe hus per (in ist& domo nbi). This )n7A«, nsed 
instead of Ornnin's ]iat, soon spread into Gloncester- 
sbire, where in 1300 it is fonnd as ^Ike.^ At p. 26 we 
see the first instance of al olSer sum, the source of 
Dryden's forcible aU and some ; the sum stands for one, 
' one and all.' At p. 222 ire find ourfiatter for the first 
time, the Scandinavian JlaSra ; in Salop the word was 
not anderstood, for it is changed into faXter, making 
nonsense ; in Dorset it \&fiaker. 

In a Sonthem Creed of this time (' Beliqnise An- 
tique,' I, 282) viamhe becomes vmmhe ; we still sonnd 
this M in the old way, thongh we write it womb ; iche 
here stands for what was elsewhere written eche (qnis- 

' In tluB Bhire thuii, or tkitclt, SBBma to have beeD nsed tor UU, 
while ihili or thicJi changed its meaniag to eipresa Ate. A Olouces- 
tenhira witcesB hns been heud to say ' it «a« not ikici vn u hit 
tiaek urn, but thiKk on u hit lUet mn.' 


Old and Middle English. 

qne) ; we stUl keep this old soimd of the i in pronoano- 

We have now beheld the changes wrought by 100 
years ; (he most weighty may be Been in the three short 
words, TOHcA sAtp-owwmj, for mycal, Kxp, agen ; here the 
old Bonnda y, e, ge, a, and g have been all altered. 

Middle English : Neglect. 283 




Up to this time, 1220, English bad been fairly well 
cultivated ; it was now to be tbrowD aside by the en- 
lightened English public, aa something altogether in. 
ferior to French or I^tin. The disaatrons period that 
we are now aboat to consider ia illnatratod by very few 
English writers ; things were very different before 1220, 
and were, moreover, to be very different after 1280. 
Anyone, who reads with due heed the specimens given 
in this chapter, will see that the obsolete terms by 
degrees become fewer in number ; in other words, maoh 
old Teutonic is being swept away. We begin, as before, 

(About A.D.J230.) 

I first call attention to a poem — The Bestiary— that 
is printed in Dr Morris's Old English Miscellany (Early 
English Text Society), This poem is very nearly the 
same in its dialect as the Qenesis and Exodus (Early 
English Text Society), a piece which Dr. Morris refers 
to Soffolk. The common marks of the East Midland 

384 Old and Middle English. 

Nponch aro found in both : the Present Participle eoda 
in aruln in the one case, in both ande and ende in the 
ntlinr ; the Plaral of the Present tense ends in en, or is 
tlroppiil altogether, as luive instead of haven; the Prefix 
to tlio Cut Participle comes most seldom. The Northern 
I'mpoN iti on i /ra and til are fonnd. The Bestiary bears 
HDino mumblanco to the Proverbs of Alfred; it is a 
tmiiNlutiDii made mneh about the time that King 
llixiry the Third was beginning to play the part of 
ittihiilKUun in Kngland, having got rid of his wise 

Hunt wo find the Old English tinden (sunt) for 
lUiittMt tlie Iniit time ; on the other hand, what Omnin 
wroto ii/i itMc (tuilus) has now become o/ott; we also see 
,..!.'« (formerly ,.-r.,.j), the Latin semel. The Southern o 
hitd liMkK ilrivoii out the old Northern a in theee Eastern 
vhinxt. We find Omnin's substitntion of o for on always 
nvurring ht<n>, aa n /hv. But what he calls hrate (fregit) 
is (ovn in tht* prt^eout poem as hrvhf ; our vereron of the 
S««npttiTv«i hiu ailopt(<d the former, our oommon speech 
*h<« Utti<r. W»' also lind mt tamed into ..«/ ; we nw 
aiwtolhiit^ vS tht< kind in the Proverbs cf AUied, 
fVjX .".w i* p(uf(,l tk>wn to t\Ui (fowls). The old g-.-.< 
^whh'h wtNMtt K^h »*,»,-»-.i »od I.-.-wl b*re loses its I, 
thv'^t^'h wv still talk v^ a ^ .'. .'.i. The B«stanr icfas W 

< N.>« vr ^Tv foe ik< Sn« riof a h^ &^::b^ BHtnL «^ ta« 
T■^ Bttwe wvanr "i .->:»* : »jii ;» ii »«5 JV'"^ 

Middle English: Neglect. 285 

the Panther's spottes ; the Genesis and Exodna calls the 
Bed Sea (p. 93) a saUe spot The poet prefers hirden 
(onns) to tyrCen. At page 14 of The BestUry a Verbal 
N'onn is formed Irom Uie word fox ; the Devil lioS a 
foxing (dolus). This formation of Verbal Noons was 
soon to become very commoa in the Dano-Ahglian 
shiree. A confdsion was now arising between the 
endings of Adjectives and those of Adverbs ; we have 
long foand it awkward to write godlily, formed &om 
godly ; the East Anglian writers kept the old Adjective 
reuU (msstns), bat formed the new Adverb reufaUkef 
p. 21; the /ul was rapidly spreading throogh England. 
In p. 18 the Adjective irvirie (merry) is nsed as an 
Adrerb ; mirie ge ringed. At p. 18 we find on hngHe it 
teU him rewen ; the first two words stand for in the end ; 
we see how we came to English tandem by at length. 
In p. 13 hiisebond takes a third sense besides those of 
conjuai and paterfantiliat ; it now means eolomu, whence 
comes onr hwbandman, which was expressed in the 
oldest English by bonda} The old teorian (deficere) 
becomes tirgen at p. 12, where an elephant is said to tire. 
We find here for the first time horlic (bnrly) applied to 
elephants ; it is akin to the High Qerman purlih. The 
word eliver (clever) is applied to the Devil. Mr. 
Wedgwood says it comes from claw ; hence it in this 
passage has the sense of nvmhle-fingered, mnchasropuitM 
comes from ropto. The Adjective /n«, the Icelandic,/mn, 
is seen here for the first time. The word irwte (anont), 

* Lbvbt, moM than three bnndred yeazB later, lued Auiatxj for 

286 Old and MiddU English. 

need of the elepliaiit, is mkin to a Germaa word ; as also 
is hovtn (manera), p. 16. The old Enghsh cm/ is noir 
fonnd in the shape of chavel (in the account of the 
whale) : it is not Ear from onr jouA. The Second Person 
Singular of the Perfect of the Strong Verb andeigoee 
the change already marked in the Lindis&me Gospels. 
What in Old English was |>u hekU, is tamed at page 6 
into fu higte$t (pollicitoB es). 

In an East Anglian Creed of this time (' Reliqnis 
Antaqnaa,' I. 234), we find we onelie loverd, wntten 
where Orrmin wonld hare nsed the old anlepi^ (nnicas) 
for the second word. Thtts a new form drove oat an 
older one. However, in the oldest English we find the 
Adrerb dnliee nsed for eolum. 

In the Version of Qenesis and Esodns, there is an 
interchange between a and e; we find both fer and far, 
hali and heli. Orrmin's ma'^denhadhecomeB inaidsnhed. 
A replaces ib ; slcBht and gUerf become elaght and tlarf. 
The ea tams into et, for we find exlond (insnlft) ; (Et 
(mandncavit) becomes at (p. 97). The t is clearly 
opposed to the Sonthem u ; we meet hUs, wikinde, and 
pride ; the Icelandic lyitir (soror), here written sitter, 
(p. 109), is preferred to the Soatbem tatter; the 
Old Eagtish bad the form sweostor. The i kept its 
own sonnd, when coapled with a, in Sinai, for this is 
made to rime with hi (p. 96) ;/r (ignis) becomes fier; 
the ie was here no longer pronoanced lilce the French 
S, for we meet with both drige and drie (aridas). We 
find both His and fie«e for the latin Plural At ; we now 
prononnce the word in the former way, and write it in 
the Utter way. The old yldeste now becomes eldett ; and 

MiddU English: Neglect. 287 

titt (mamma) becomes tetfe, oar teat. On the other hand, 
feoSa (decimns) is seen as li^e; hence our tithe. The 
poet is fond of doablisg his vowels, as in 'mooA KoA/eet, 
The oomhination oa appears, bat the latter vowel was 
sonnded, for at p. 117 Soa is made to rime with Ftugai 
much as Esau rimes with n* (p. 44). The o, creeping 
up from the Soath, often replaced a; we find almogt, 
frowa^d, hoi, wri^, loS, bond, solde, imd son ; there is 
even towen (videmnt), at p. 86. The goven (dedenmt), 
not gaven, anggeats the ' he gnv,' bo well known to ns. 
TheoldjiMCTmn (qneri), still written men* in other shires, 
became mone in Eaxt Anglia ; wcermi (erant) was 
written wore, which is still alive in some parts ; and ter 
(ante) makes room for or, p. i", which is kept in our 
Bible ; or ever &c. Bat the had often to give place to 
ii ; we see vfulde for loolde (Tolnit), vitnte for tnoste, slug 
&r sloh, ynug for genoh. Both word and ward atand for 
verhvm. Nii is once seen as nou, and tvn as town. 
There is a tendency to contract words by throwing out 
vowels; as kid, Jilt, set, fed. 

This clipping is eqoally apparent in the Consonants : 
great havoc is made with the letter/; had coToes as well 
as haeed ; there is }ta9, and Orrmin's pu hafit now 
becomes jM4 a» (p. 51) ; sulde a gen ia written for ghotdi 
home teen at p. 78, The word evermore is fonnd as ermore 
at p, 9, whence comes onr poetical contractbn e'er for 
ever. Lord sometimes replaces Orrmin's laferd, and 
lemon stands for leofman. Other letters are thrown 
ont ; we find forbi, or, and lie uw; at p. 71 we see both 
tlie old biHgelee (sepnlchmm) and the new biriele, onr 
burin! ; Aacfo! (grando) becomes AotT. On the other hand. 

288 Old and Middle English. 

we are Btmok by the poet's atnrdy cleaving to the Old 
EDgtiah gutturals g and h at the b^niiing of words. So, 
in the Bestiary, we find geveniiie, where the writer has 
gone oat of his way to prefix a g before what was efen 
in English, iafn in Scandinavian. It is East Anglia 
tiiat has kept these hard letters alive. But for these 
shires, whose spelling Caxton happily followed, we 
ehonld now be writing to yive (donare), to yet (adipisci), 
ayain (itenun), and yate (porta).' We have onlaokily 
followed Omnin's oormptdoQ in yield, yelp, yearn, and 
young. These Eaat Angtians talked of a dyke (fosBa), 
when all Southern England spoke of a ditch. Orrmin's 
driAkpe is now turned into drugte (drought), which 
we have followed. The most remarkable ohange is 
deigen (mori), instead of deye. There is also the 
Peterborongh gede (ivit), frigt, lugeytti, wrogt, and, still 
more wondertnl, preige (p. 114) for prceda. But evMi 
into Sofiblk the Soathem w was forcing its way. 
We find mreii (proprias) as well as ogen, and folwen 
(seqni) as well as folgen. Owing to the changes of 
letters in different shires, we sometimes have two 
words where onr fore&tliers had but one, each word 
with its own shade of meaning. ' To drag a man out ' 
is different from the phrase ' to dravi a man oat : ' the 
hard North is here opposed to the softer South. Mca«- 
ovor, we may speak of a dray horse. Oar Standanl 
English is much the richer from having eprang up is 

■ Out pi«p«c o«me Tftmmm (ostiunu) eumot !>•«* mmm m 
KaM AogliK. It U cmicm that ataoe people n; iagnu and b tgrn tt , 
JaMMwl of MmH and bm/onl. patting in a letter haid to ptowxtan. 

Middle English: Neglect. 289 

shiree widely apart. Ab if the foregoing variations of 
drag vrere not enough, we hare borrowed the kindred 
trig-ger from Oermany. 

Some of the other consonants were undergoing change. 
HhefeiS (fides) found here, represents the Old French 
/eid, which was early lost in France (about the Eleventh 
Century) ; fei was the commoner form, especially in the 
oath par ma fay. The contrary change takes place when 
ouSe (potnit) becomes cwde, which we unlnctily no longer 
spell aright; the same change takes place in burden aud 
tweatide ; peofi (fortom) turns into iejie ; both f^fi aud 
fyfl existed in Scandinavia. The Peterborough tas (ilia) 
now becomes sehe or she ; cwen is turned into queii. This 
qu was favoured in East Anglia as much as in Scotland ; 
qumo replaces Au, and the former lasted two hundred 
years, as we see by the Faston Letters. The h at the 
end of a word is clipped; Orrmin's fe is repeated, 
our fee ; nth, our rough, is seen aa ru at p. 44 ; this 
clipping of the final guttural went on all over the South. 
The c is thrown out, for mOMid (factus) becomes nuide, 
as in Salop ; seal turns into ml, as in Scotland ; this is 
just the reverse of the old seo taming into sets (she) 
about 1160. The former getamtiian (congregare) 
becomes semelen (p. 110) ; here the kindred French word 
must have bad some inflnence. The turtre of the Bestiary 
is changed into turtui (p. 27) in the present work; the 
Scandinavian had the two forms turiuri and twrlUdufa. 
The r is added to a word ; hunter (the Scandinaviaji 
Aundter) and tilier (p. 43) replace the old hitnta and 
lUia. The n is clipped at the end of a Participle, as do 
for don (factum) ; this is found in the Paeton Letters. 

290 Old and MiddU English. 

This letter is sometimes added, for oft becomes o/fen 
(p. 109) and tdmihti becomes atmihtin, & change which 
for a time spread all over the North ; the n is inserted, 
for daigening replaces da^ang ; it is replaced by m, for 
eeldon becomes seldu/m (seldom). The t is added, for 
iuryrian (adveraari) is fonnd as ivierl (p. 38) ; the 6 is 
added, for stalu (fartum) becomes sta^. The insertioD 
of d after n in the middle of a word is carious ; this is 
done for the s^e of ease ; iunor becomes Hunder, ami 
what was elsewhere written cunrede is here written 
kindred ; aire (omnium) gives place to aMre (p. 10) ; 
this form last«d to 1600. Od the other hand, d ia some- 
times dropped ; we find gol prenss (golden pins). The 
connexion between p and t is very plain, when podet is 
written for toads at p. 85 ; hence the Scotch pnddoei. 
Milk becomes milclts at p. 79, the source of our milch 
cmos ; wreeke and wrahe, two fbrms of the same word, 
are fonnd in line 552. 

As io . Substantives : Orrmin's sense of world was 
ooming in ; we find at p. 4, middel werld used for the old 
middan eard. The Latin cawta used to be Englished by 
ping, which lasted down to 1340 ; but gake is now en- 
largiog itfi meanii^ ; al p. 106 we find for is gaJce. We 
know OUT common on the spot for proteKos ; at p. 94, 
Moses throws a tree into the bitter water, which becomes 
sweet on lie stede. At p. 10, in so monie limes, we see 
a substitute for so often \ at p. 88 comes hisek God, tis 
one ftSe (time) ; at p. itO is '1 shall come Hit time <^ier 
ger;' that is, 'this time in the second year,' 'a year 
hence.' The Accusative replaces the old Qenitive in o« 
f^er aep (p. 89) 'a sheep of one year.' The same case 

Middle English: Neglect. 291 

becomes prominent in ^m name ururS a lettre mor (p. 29), 
which would have been written formerly ' it became more 
(longer) by a letter,' At p. 73 wo see the source of 
our 'go full speed,' where we drop a preposition; it is 
said that the Hebrews waxen miehil sped. The confnaion 
between Dative and Accnsative is very plain in tofechen 
Yaaac horn, a wif (p. 39). At p. 43 we read of rights, ^e 
gueSen hen Se finae tunei (which are promised the first- 
born sons). The English was becoming more and more 
terse, as we see in this piece. A new Sabstautlve is 
formed in p, 62 ; bi gure iering (your carriage) men mat 
it sen. Another is formed from the word n'dan atp, 112, 
wenle he hia ride, the Scandinavian retS. 

In compounding Adjectives, the Jul of the Sonth 
was employed, as dred/ul and frigtful, the latter for the 
first time ; the lie, cnt down to li, was also in &vour, as 
reuU ; inuglike (p. 60), the Scandinavian uggligr, the foil 
English form is kept. The en of the Adjective is clipped, 
when we read of a gold pot tX p. 95. There is a cnrionR 
instance of the Accnsatiye of the Adjective being kept 
alive by its constant use in common speech ; be bade 
hem godtin dai, 'bade them good day' (p. 41). We 
laugh at OUT modem phrase atofully joUy, but something 
like it may be seen at p. 38 ; Abraham, when prevented 
&om slaying his son, becomes frigU fagen, ' frightfully 
fill n, joyful.' lap. 25 wesee ^ef/olc (multi); here gret 
replaces m^ceZ ; we now talk of 'a great number,' but 
' mncfa people ' is obsolete. 

Among the Pronouns we find Set (illi), which had 
crept down from the North ; it comes but once : ic once 
or twice gives place to I. The Latin tu is twice Bng- 

292 Old and MiddU English. 

lished by rj% used in addressing a superior, at pp. 64, 65 ; 
Jacob's children re^se to obey him and go to Egypt, 
' &af ge (nisi tit) vriS iu tenAsti "Bmiiamin ; ' they afterwards 
tell Joseph's Bteward, (jv.t giher it gu brogt agon. This 
sn^ests the French voue, need for the Latin tit ; this 
East Anglian nsage (see the FroTerbs of Alfred) was the 
harbinger of a great change in onr common speech. 
What Orrmin called fall an and ^att 0^ is seen here in 
a new guise. 

Two lilceneema ... be 
Gftf hire Se (on.— Page 77. 
Dia on wulde don Se to'bar wrong. — Page 78. 
At p. 67 comee qval-to-evere ; at p. CO quilke is used, as 
in the Ancren Riwle, for the Neuter Bel&tire. The ai 
is mnch employed in atrengtheniag phrases, as oZ Ke 
beltre, p. 66. 

The great change in Numerals is that score is nsed 
for twenty ; it comes from the old habit of thearmg 
or scoring notches on wood np to twenty. The Celts, 
Danes, and French counted something in this style, which 
was now fitat nsed in English. In p. 91 we reiad — 

'Gon woren VII scOTe ger.' 
At p. 97, the Numeral thoueand is used as if it were a 
Noun ; iU fti«e«f adile a meitter wold. A new idiom is 
in p. 44 ; oh hundred so mikd tcea: Aw tile ; of old the 
first fonr words would have been expressed thus, hy 
ttund/red fold. 

As to Yerbs, we find an old idiom revived after a long 
sleep ; Hefolc teste dede (p. 57) ; here did rest stands for 
retted ; seventy yean later this usage of do and did 
became very common. In the Old English we find 

Middle English: Neglect. 293 

sentenoes like 'wished him (to) be named;' this nae of 
the Infinitive Passive is now conpled with the Yerb 
hid ; at p. 74 Pharaoh's d&nghter had it hen hrogt. The 
Past Participle had always been used with an Accosative 
after Tmnsitive Verbs, like tee ; this ns^e now began 
to embrace Intransitive Verbs ; at p. 48 is Su^ja it him 
tnitdim; 'it seemed to him misdone (peceo/um*). The 
Passive Voice was spreading its conquests; at p. 24 
comes woren he fereSrs nooren ; * they were sworn 
brothers;' at p. 110 comes Se detert aren he walkeden 
^rg ; ' they are walked.' We see the old nse of like in 
him tnisliked Hat (p. 501 ; also the new nae as in the 
Proverbs of Alfred, where the Verb changes its con- 
straction and becomes Transitive : 

Balaac mialiked al Sis quet^e, 

And ledde hem &c.— Page 114. 

The Verb beget is seen both in its old sense, adipitci, and 
in its new sense gignere ; this last has driven cot the old 
eennan. At p. 21, we see he higat a fune. A new Verb, 
in tat hifel Sarrai, isneedfortheuld (refinijje?! (accidere). 
Up to this time, niinaii had meant capere ; it here 
acquires the farther sease of ire, and this is one of the 
peculiar marks of the £aat Uidland Dialect for the next 
hundred years ; our get has now both of the lAtin 
meanings I have named. The Verb take is need iu the 
same sense at p. 50 ; Laban toe aiid wente and folwede 
on ; this sense of taJce is still alive ; it may be fiirther 
seen in overtalce. Orrmin's phrase of taking with a 
woman is repeated ; and at page 63 we hear of taking 
leave. When we hear that Lot's wife wente in to a slon 

294 Old and Middle English, 

(p. 32), it suggests that of the two old meanings of 
w&ndcLn^ the Latin tVa and mutare, the latter is most present 
to our minds in the phrase, * he went into a rage.' The 
Verb do is mnch used ; we hear that Adam and Eve were 
don ub of Paradis (ejecti sunt). This must be the phrase 
that suggested our modem expression for cheating. At 
p. 69 comes it wuf6 mid him don (actum est de). At 
p. 101 the Israelites deden Aaron in age, * put in fear.* 
At p. 109 they deden fin, * made an end/ or * died.* 
But make is beginning to encroach upon this do; the 
people maden suHuren (sojourn) in t$e desert (p. 94). At 
p. 72, we see that the hard East Anglian form wake 
(vigilare) was to be set apart for one special meaning, 
while the Southern corruption watch was to be in more 
common use; Joseph's body was waked after death. 
Clip is used in Orrmin's Scandinavian sense of tondere, 
not in the Old English sense of amplecti ; the Scandi- 
navian shift (mutare) comes at p. 50. 

When we see stinken smoke at p. 34, where the 
Participle has lost the de at itd end, we understand how 
easily Layamon's corruption of ing for inde must have 
spread through England, and how easily the Infinitive 
and the Active Participle were confounded. A new 
Verb, which we still keep, is seen in p. 41 ; Isaac was 
mourning, but Eliezer eS^ede his sorge. This new for- 
mation from ea^e (fisunlis) may have been confounded 
with the French aaisier. Long before Chaucer's time 
it was settled that in this Verb we should use the 
French s, and not the Old English t$. Our unea^siness 
was formerly written imea^nes. 

Among the Adverbs are found guilum (olim), which 

Middle English: Neglect. 295 

liad long been known in Yorkshire. This word, coming 
South, may have bad some share in driTtng the old hwiUt 
(aliqnando) away from the Soath. Another Torkshire 
idiom is a riede wot (nbi), instead of the old Jner (p. 57). 
There are also moreover, hi time (betimes). The e, that of 
old marked off the Adverb firom the Adjective, is clipped 
in page 96 ; Amalek fagt (fought) hard. Bntthe ending 
like was atUl in use, and was even tacked on to a French 
Adjective, as festelike (hilariter), p. 97. The old nu fa 
(jnst now) is altered at p. 45 j Esan is told, fin broSer 
woe her »u. There is a great change in p. 113 ; Balaam 
gede qui (ie) butefof&i, ' he went bnt a moment for that 
porpoee.' Here hute stands for nomiisi; in the oldest 
English a ne must have come before the Yerb. Orrmin 
bad constantly oaed the ne compounded with Verbs, aa 
nam, nis, and many Bach ; bat onr fine old componnda 
were now waning away tbronghoat Easi Anglia. In this 
poem nil and luilJe alone are left : we still say, loill he, 
nill he ; a weighty link with the Latin volo, nolo.' 

In Prepositione, 0/ is further extended; at p. 47 is 
of fii> sfeie ic sal vwnen (remember) ; Dr. Guthrie, in 
hie Idle, constantly writes ' I remember of it ; ' our more 
claBBic remind of ie akin to this. Bitiden seems to get 
the new sense prteter, as well as its, old sense j'wcta ; at 
page 104 the Israelites, who had received Ught from 
heaven, were consumed with fire ; it is said, fer is on 
hem. bi»iden ligt, Amatig or a/mong is now turned into 
aniongia, p. 47. The ofdtm, which was now well estab- 

' It is curious U> find English more primittre Chan Gothic in thin 
natter. Our old mlat %u (aomie sdi) is foond in Utfilu as niu 
tDaM(SL Johniii. 10), 


Old and Middle English. 

lished as dun^ is nsed more like a Preposition than an 
Adverb in Ae jigt&ti dun herbij p. 101, like onr dotun 

We find the welfSe of King Alfred's Proverbs, the 
dwell of Orrmin, and the Salopian windoWf here repeated. 
Readers of ' David Copperfield ' will remember that the 
Suffolk peasantry speak of a house as a heein ; this is 
explained by the Scandinavian higging, so well known in 
Scotland. At p. 90 we read that was non higin-g of al 
Egijpte without a corpse. This word kept its right 
spelling in East Anglia down to 1440 ; since then the 
g in the middle has been softened down. Id page 61 
OiTmin's verb clapenn (vestire) takes the Past Participle 
clad ; this is the Scandinavian Jdoeddr^ the Participle of 
kloefSa; we still keep this form, as well as Chaucer's 
clothed. There are other Scandinavian words found 
here, such as 

Busk, bush 

Dream, sommum^ 


Levin, lightening * 



Kapen, to hurry f rap out 

Kospen, rasp 


Buskr, Icelandic 
Draumr, Icelandic 
Qlanta, Swedish 
Lygne, Norse 
Mykr, Icelandic 
Bansaka, Norse 
Bapa, Norse 
Baspa, Swedish 
Sky, cloud, Noise 

^ The 01(1 English dream meant only sonus or gaudium, and is so 
used in the Bestiary. 

* This is a curious instance of the interchange between g and/. 

' This as jet only means in English a cloud, and this sense of 
the "word lasted till Chaucer's time. Til skyia in Norse means * up 
in the sky.' Twenty years after the present poem's date sky stood 
for aer in Yorkshire. 

Middle English: Neglect. 


Spejft, Icelandic 


Tins, Norse 


Ugga,/iv'W««, NoiM 

We find the word irk for the first time ; it is akin to 
the Gennan erk&n (fastidire). 

Of manna he ben forhirked to eten. — Page 104. 

We see, in p. 35, ' hem ga,n i^t water lakeii ' (the 
water began to fail them). Thie new word for deesee 
is akin to the Bntch laecke (defect). In p. 26. we 
find mention of tol and takel and orf. The second of 
these SabstontiveB comes from the Welsh taclau, occoa- 
trements. Oar word ikip comes from the Welsh yegip 
(a qnick snatch); hence locnsts are called «ti;>})er«#, p. 88. 

At p. 88, Pharaoh uses the Interjection, hu ! when 
enraged with Moses; this mnat hare come from the 
French comment. What Omnin had called oUfentesa 
(a Teatonic ns^e of 800 years) now appears as hamelet 
(p. 39) ; the old yJp was not to hold its gronnd much 
longer. The old drake (draco) is written by the side of 
the new French dragun. A form like Egypdenia shows 
how the Old EngUah endings of proper names were 
dying out. In p. 94 the road is said to he pert ; this 
form of the French apert is strangely altered in our day 
as regards its meaning. We read of Abraham, p. 29, 
entertaining the angels with flures bred ; we now wisely 
make a difference when spelling Jhur and fiower. We 
see the Preiieh Verb lie sacred^, at p. 27, with its 
English ending ; the Past Participle of this has become 
so common that we now nse it as an Adjective. This 
poem seems to have been written about 1230, and to 


Old and Middle English. 

have been transcribed seventy years later ; by that time 
many of the old words had died out; thus wceshn, 
wastenie (forma) conveyed no meaning to the trans- 
criber, who writes it waspene. 

A Norfolk lad is referred to the Lanercost Chronicle 
for 1244, as bearing the name of Wille (Willy), the short 
of WilUa77i ; the intermediate form most have been the 
WilleJctn, found about 1190. 

(About A.D. 1230.) 

Account op the Flood.* 

Do ' wex a flod Sis werlde wid-hin 
and ouer-flowged men & deres ^ kin 
wiSuten '^ Noe and hise $re sunen, 
Sem, Gani; laphet, if we rigt munen,** 
and here • foure wifes woren hem witS ; 
iSise viii hadden in <5e arche grit$.' 
Dat arche was a feteles ' good, 
set and limed agen ^ flood ; 
t$re hundred elne was it long, 
nailed and sperd,^ <5ig and strong, 
and 1** elne wid, and xxx** heg*; 
^OT buten Noe long swing he dreg^; 
an hundred winter, everic del,^ 
welken or" it was ended wel ; 
of alle der f5e on werlde wunen," 
and foueles, weren ^erinne cumen 
bi seven and seven, or by two & two, 
Almigtin God him bad it so, 
and mete quorbi ° <5ei migten liven, 
'6or quiles he ^ woren on water driven. 


« except 
' peace 

>> dosed 
< high 
1 bit 


« whereby 

' Genesis and Exodus^ p. 16 (Early English Text Society). 

Middle English: Neglect. 

seie hundred ger Noe was hold ' 
Qoan he dade ' him in Se arch»-wold. 

Two 6usiint ger, sex hundred mo, 
and sex and fifti forfi to So,' 
weren of werldea elde niuten * 
Sou " No« wM in to $e arche cumen. 
He * wateres epringe here etrengSe undede, 
and rejne gette' dun on ererilk Btede 
fowerti dua and fowerti nigt, 
80 -wex water wiS magti oJgt. 
80 wunderlike it wex and get 
tiat fiftene elne it overflet, 
over ilk dune,* and over ilc hi], 
Shurge Godes migt and Godea wil -, 
and oHer fowerii ^ore-to, 
due and nigtes atod et w ; 
45o was ilc fleis * on werlde alagen, 
So gunnen ' Se waterea him wiS-dragen. 

De eevend moned was in cumen. 

in Armenie Sat arche stod, 
So was wiS-dragen ^at ilc * flod. 
Do Se tende moned came in, 
. 80 wurS dragen Se watres win '; 
dunes wexen, Se flod wiS-drog, 
It adds lasted long anog.' 
Fowertj dus after Sis, 
archea v^sidogt undon it ia, 
Se raven ut-fleg,' hu ao it gan ben, 
DO ■ cam he nogt to Se arche agen. 
Se duve fond ^ no clene atede, 
and wente agen and wel it dede ; 
Se eevendai eft ut it tog,' 
and brogt a grene olives bog ;* 
eeve nigt uSen * everilc on 
he is let ut flegen," crepeu, and gon, 
wiSuten ' i!c aevend clece der 
Se he sacrede on an aucter.° 

Old atid Middle English. 

Sex iiundred ger end on dan olde 
Noe gag "■ ut of Se arche-wolde ; 
8e first moned and te firat dei, 
be sag erSe drie & te water aim ; 
get he was wis and no^ to rad;* 
gede' he nogt ut, til Clod him bad. 


(About A.D. 1230.) 

Ar ne kuthe ieh Borghe non, 
Nu ich mot maneD nim mon, 

Karful wel sore ich Bjche ; 
QeltleB ihc tbolye miicbele achame; 
Help God for thin swete name, 

Kjng of hevene-riche. 

Jesu Crist, sod Qod, sod man, 

Loverd, thu rew upon me, 
Of priaun thar icb in am 

Bring me ut and makye fre. 
Ich and mine feren eume, 

Ood wot ich ne lyghe noct, 
For othre hahbet misnome, 

Ben in tbys prison ibroct. 

Almicti, that wel licth, 

Of bale is liale and bote, 
Hevone king;, of this woning 

Ut us bringe mote. 
Forjhef hem, the wykke men, 

God, jhef it is thi wille, 
For wos gelt wb bed ipelt 

In thos prisun bille. 

Ne hope non to his live, 
Her ne aai he beliTe, 

Middle English: Neglect. 301 

Tleg'he thegh he stighe, 

Dad him felled to pminde. 
Nu bikd mtm wele imd blisce, 
Bathe he ehal tharof misse, 
"Worldea wele mid ywiae 

Ne lasted huten cm stunde. 

Maiden, that bare the heven king, 
Bisech thin aone, that swete thing, 
That he hsbbe of hus rewsing, 
And bring \ia of this woning 

For his muchele misae ; 
He bring huB ut of this wo, 
And hus tache werchen bwo, 
Id those live go wu eit go, 
That we mot«n e; and o 

Habhen the eche blisce. 

The above poem is tnken from the Liber de Antaqnia 
Legibos (' KeUqnira Antiqate,' I. 274), in tlie possessioa 
of the Corporation of London ; the mannscript hae musi- 
cal noleB attached to it. The proportion of obsolete 
English is macb the same as in the Genesie and Ezodns. 
The poem of page 300 seeme therefore to represent the 
London speech of the year 1230, or so. What was pin Saf- 
folk becomes c here, as in the Twelfth Century Homilies; 
it ia hmel, not hrogt; gelt replaces giU, as in Kent. 
The Ji is sometimes misused, even as Londoners of our 
day misnee it. The gh sotfietimes replaces the old k, as 
we saw in the Esses HomiUes: this change was now 
overspreading the greater part of the Eastern aide of 
Eogluid between London and York. The change of p 
into d in many words ia cnrione. The form habben 
(habere) is a mark of the Sontb. 

302 Old and Middle English, 

(About A.D. 1240.) 

The piece that comes next, a verBion of the Athanasian 
Creed, was most likely written in the Northernmost 
part of Lincolnshire, perhaps not far from Hull. We 
see the Northern forms in gi*eat abundance ; thus whXih 
is used for the Relative; aZs, ti\ sal, ))atV, &c,, come 
often : the third Person Singular of the Present tense 
ends in es, not in eth ; hes (erit) replaces the old beoi6. 
But the Southern o was making great inroads on the 
Northern a, as we saw in East Anglia ; in this piece we 
find 80, non, no mOy whos, \fow (tamen),t/;^o so ; in short, 
the whole poem foreshadows Manning's riming Chronicle. 
The a becomes e, as in the Northern Gospels ; heli 
(sanctus) replaces kali. The g is turned into yh ; and 
many endings are clipped. The Participle gehoren is 
cut down to horn. The writer who Englished this Creed 
has little love for outlandish words ; sauf, sengeUtc, and 
persones are the only three specimens of French here 
found : he commonly calls persones by the obsolete name 
hades. The deep theological terms of the Creed could 
still be expressed in sound English ; though the writer's 
mikel does not wholly convey the sense of our incompre- 
hensible. We see our hifore-sdid for the first time. Bot 
(sed) and with (cum) are prefeired to their other English 
synonyms, as in Orrmin's writings. Unlike that poet, 
our present author will seldom use 7is for the Latin non\ 
he prefers noht, as in the East Anglian pieces : but he 
once has nil {nolunt). We see the Participle lasimd, 

Middle English: Neglect. 303 

wliicli Omnia would h&ve ased. The new hsamd, (the 
Franclt replaces the old wetende. 

This Creed, short though it be, shows os two great 
changes that were takiag root in our spelling; k waa 
being tomed, as in Essex, into gh, and v into ou. One 
or two instances of these changes may. be seen in the 
East Midland poems of 1230 ; bnt the alteration is now 
well marked. We see ri/jhl, noyht, and tkurgkt, instead 
of the old riht, nohi, and tkurh. These words mnst have 
been pronounced with a strong gnttnral sound, which 
may still be heard in the Scotch Lowlands ; there right 
is Bonnded much like the Qerman reckt. Thoh is in this 
Creed written pof, a sure mark of the North ; and this 
shows ns how eough and rough came to be prouonnced 
as they are now.' The letters k and / (or rather p) are 
akin to each other; the primitive Aryan kafrwrie the 
Gothic Jidwor (four), and the Lithuanian dvxy-lika is 
onr twd-lifa (twelve). With us, Livomo becomes 
Leghorn ; and in Aberdeenshire kwa (the Latin ^it) is 
pronounced fa. 

(a.d. 1S40.) 
Who Jnt {len will berihed ■ be, 
So of |>e JiriuDeB '' leve he, 
And nede at hele* |)»t last ».\ aal 
Dat )« fleehede ' ai with a1 
Of oure loneid Jhu Crist forfi • 
Dat be trowe it trewU. 

■ WbfBhonldfxni^A I>« sounded differeoU; from plixi^A? 'I have 


Old and Middle English. 

Den ever is trauth ' right 

Dat we leve with alle oure miht 

Dat oure louerd Jhu Crist in blis 

Godes son and man he his, 

God of Idnde of fadir kinned ■ werid Inforn, 

Man of kinde of moder into werid bom, 

Fulli GKxi, fulli man livand 

Of schilfiil ^ saule and mannes ilesahe beand, 

Eyen to the Fadir ]nirght godhede, 

Lease )>en Fader )>urght manhede, 

Dat )>of he be God and man, 

Noght two frwaefer* is, bot Grist an, 

On, noht l^urght wendinge ^ of Godhed in flesshe, 

Bot {'urght takynge of manhede in godnesshe, 

On al, noht be menginge of stayelness,' 

Bot furht onhede of hode " fat is, 

Dat ]>oled ° for our hele, doun went til helle, 

De pred dai ros fro dede so felle, 

Upstegh ° til heven, sittes on right hand 

Of God Fadir alle mightand, 

And yhit for to come is he 

To deme ]7e quik and dede that be. 

Ate whos come alle men ))at are 

Sal rise with faire bodies fare. 

And yelde sal fai, nil fai ne wil, 

Of pair awen p dedes il, 

And fat wel haf doun fat dai 

Sal go to lif fat lastes u, 

And iyel haf doun sal wende 




i rtill 

k changing 

1 Butatuioe 



went np 


a GOV in my box/ said a Frenchman, meaning a cough m his chest. 
In the short sentence, a dough-faced ploughrwin, coughing and huh 
coughing, went thoughtfidlg throtigh Loughborough^ ve find ou<fh 
sounded in eight different ways. The Scotch still sound rough and 
the proper name Brottgh as if the names ended in kh ; this was, 
until lately, the usage in the Yorkshire dales. 

Middle English: Neglect. 305 

In fire lastend vithouten ende. 

{Mb is ]?e traaht ))at heli <i isse, "i^oiy 

Whilk bot' ilkon with miht hisse ' «»1m8 

Trewlic and fastlic trowe he, 

Saiife ne mai he never be.^ 


(About A.D. 1240.) 

Thk Owl ahd NieRinroALE. — line 098. 

Yut ]m aisheist wi ich ne fare 
In to other londe and singe th&re. 
No I what sholde ich among hom do. 
War never blisse ne com to P 
That lond nis god, ne hit nis este, 
Ac wildemisee hit is and weste, 
Enarres and eludes hoventinge, 
Snou and ha^el hom is genge ; 
That lond is grislich and un-vele, 
The men both wilde and unisele ; 
Hi nabbeth nother grith ne sibbe ; 
Hi ne reccheth hu hi libbe. 
Hi eteth fihs an fiehs un-sode, 
Suich wulves hit hadde to-brode ; 
Hi drinketh mile, and wei thar-to, 
Hi nute elles wat hi do ; 
Hi nabbeth noth win ne bor, 
Ac libbeth al so wilde dor ; 
Hi goth bi-tijt mid ru^e velle, 
Ri^ svich hi comen ut of helle ; 
The^ eni god man to hom come, 
(So wiles dude sum from Rome) 
For hom to lere gode thewes, 
An for to leten hore unthewes, 

* Hickes has mangled some of the words in this piece, which 
1 leave as he printed it. It is in his Thesaurus^ I. 233. 

306 Old and Middle English, 

He mi^ bet sitte stille, 

Vor al his wile he sholde spille ; 

He mi^te bet teche ane bore 

To we je bothe sheld and speie, 

Than me that wilde folc i-bringe. 

That hi me segge wolde i-here singe. 

These lines are taken from a most charming Dorset- 
shire Poem, which seems to have been no translation 
from the French. It was published by the Percy Society, 
No. 39. Most of the forms found in the Ancren Biwle 
are here repeated. We see from the present work how 
warmly King Alfred's name had been taken to England's 
heart. The proverbs attributed to him come again and 
again, 340 years after his death. In p. 44 we read that 
'his worde was goddspeV We find also other saws, 

such as 

' Dahet habbe that ilke best^ 
That fuleth his owe nest.- ^ 

The Vowel o is encroaching upon its brethren; 
mowe replaces the old mawe (metere). The former he 
lyst (amittit) becomes he lost ; this form was not as yet 
transferred from the Present to the Perfect. The « 
is sometimes used for o ; the Past Participle isclwd 
stands in p. 52 for the old gesceo-god ; we here get the 
first hint as to our present way of sounding shoe. The 
old prise (turdus) now becomes our thrusche. 

The most remarkable new effect in Consonants is the 
paring away of the n in the Past Participle of (igon ; in 
p. 18 we read wane thi lust is ago ; the corrupt Southern 

' The French imprecation ddhet shows whence comes our 'dash 

Middle English : Neglect. 307 

fonn kept by ns in Ivnq ago. The olderform remams in 
woe-hegone; the Participle here cornea from legatigan 
(ciroamdare). In the same way a8(i^on,(c/en(TeBper) here 
becomes eve. In another word the / is thrown out, for 
JuBtfterhecomes halter. TheAisprefizedtotheOldEnghsh 
ah (bnbo) ; we may still write either howlet or molet, 
like Hester and Esther. The n is inserted, for nihtegale 
becomes nij^tingale ; in ' Middlemarch,' Mr. Dagley is load 
in praise of the Binfonn (Reform). When we find 
Alfred written Alvred (p. 9) we see a relic of the spelling 
of Domesday Book. The old bnga (ramns) is written 
sometimes bo^e, sometimes bowe. It is easy to see how 
Layamon tnmed the Active Participle iiide into inge, 
when we find at p. 30 nnginge riming with avinde. 

One of the Snbstantiyes here used gains a syllable, for 
morgen becomes }nore^eiing (morning), jnat as AoiA (ca- 
vos) becomes lioleuh (hollow). The old rode had hitherto 
meant erux; it is now seen as rodde, meaning virga. 
The word honda (colonns) becomes hortdeman. We 
find the Substantive sprenge (trap), which comes from 
the Verb spring. 

Afl to Adjectives ; the old gidig seems to have been 
preserved by the Sonth and West alone. This poem 
has many forms, snch as, in the deme (dark), into the 
hare, in the thick, where the Adjective is nsed like a 
Substantive, as in Greek. 

Among Prononns, we find thilke, which is nsed only 
once (p. 36). One of our modem usages is to insert it 
is, when we wish to be emphatic. At p. 40 we read — 

Uervore \t It that me tie ihutieth. 

3o8 Old and Middle English. 

This is stronger than ' on this aocoiint men shun thee/ 
At p. 4 we see oiher referred to past time, as we saj 
* the other day.' — 

That other ^er afaukun bredde. 

The Article cm and the Numeral one, both springing 
from the old dn^ were as yet anything but distinct ; in 
the 4th line of the poem we read of an hide and one 
nijfingale. At 25 the on (unus) appears without a Sub- 
stantive and coupled with a Possessive Pronoun ; having 
spoken of arts, the bird says, hetere is win on (craft). 

In Verbs, we remark the change of meaning in the 
old mot, most ; this Verb, which earlier bore the sense 
of the Latin licet, now takes the meaning of oporiet ; 
this may be plainly seen in p. 45, ]m most of londe 
fleo. Still the Verb m/)t lasted in its oldest sense 
down to 1550 ; it is still, I believe, used in the Free- 
masons' formula, so mote it he. Must, used in the new 
sense, has driven out the Old English thearf; and it so 
entirely got the meaning of oportet, that must us (it 
behoves us) is used in the Townly Mysteries, about the 
year 1430. At p. 39 comes the Passive thu art ishote, 
as if the old sceotan had always governed an Accusa- 

We have seen many Adjectives here used as Sub- 
stantives ; this usage is extended to Participles.. At 

p. 50 comes 

Wanne ich iseo the tohte Uete, 

* The taught (tensus) let out.' At p. 34 solde hi "pollen 
stands for * if they yelled ; * this use of should, in a con- 
ditional sentence, is something new. At p. 20 we hear 

Middle English: Neglect. 309 

of a man tbat ne con 'mj^ lute singe ; here tlie Infinitive 
is used as it were in apposition to the nout/ht, somethiaj; 
like Orrmin's idiom. At p. 56 comes thu nevre mon 
(homini) to gode ne etode ; this snggeets that our ' stand 
tae a pot ' is short for ' stand me to a pot,' ' be worth to 
me for ao much as a pot.' The phrase let he, instead of 
let alone, is in p. 56. We use the verb bode always in a 
bad sense ; this is seen in the present poem. Break now 
becomes intransitive, as ' his heart nolde breke,' (p. 87). 
The verb hihemman is formed irom hem (fimbria). 

We find the phrase for (far) and wide, (p. 25), aa 
well as the old far and near. 

The Prepositions to be remarked are, ' he wonld not 
for his life,' (p. 37) ; ' they are of thy mind,' (p. 52) ; 
■ to miss of ^irhede ; ' in this last the of stands for the 
Oenitive that nsed to follow the Old English folian 
(carere). Hence /ai? o/", come sAorf 0/, dwappoini o/. In 
p. 27 stands ' thoagh all strength were at one,' that is, 
* in one place,' the old onan ; from this we have ' to 
set at one ' (whence comes atonement) ; the at often haa 
the meaning of in. The Preposition behind is used as a 
Snbstantire at p. 21. 

There are a few Scandinavian words, snch as miehap, 
cakeieeald (cuckold), eo^ge (of a wheel), fait (falter), 
utlete (outlet), and shrew, the last comes from skraa 
(sloping) ; we now apply ghreio to women, and soreu) to 
hones. The verb beehreta was formed &om this in the 
next Century, 

There are many words cropping np, akin to the 
Dntch and German, like dock, clench, chite (gleba), 
<remp (contrahere), kacck (parere), luring (torro vnltu), 

310 Old and Middle EnglisiL 

inesh, isliked (whence our sleek) ^ stumj), twinge, xvippen ; 
the last in its intransitive sense. 

In p. 27, we see the first use of a well-known Adjec- 

Mod deth mid strengthe and mid witte ; 

That other thing nis non )n&Jitte,\ 

That is, ' it is no match for man.' This is akin to the 
Dutch viUen (con venire). There is also owesse (com- 
primere),at p. 48, akin to the Dutch quasseny whence 
comes our squash atid squeeze ; and at p. 54 we read, al 
thi sjmUng schal astvinde ; here the Noun, akin to the 
Dutch spuiteriy stands for sermo ; the race of spouters is 
anything but extinct. 

Among the few French words in this long poem are. 
jpie (picus), gente (still used in Scotland as genty^) at (me 
acorde ; stable is found with the French e at the begin- 
ning clipped. The word gahbing is used in the French 
sense of mockery, (p. 22), as in the Ancren Biwle ; this 
old word was English, Scandinavian, and French, each 
with a different shade of meaning ; we still talk of the 
gift of the gab. Master is for the first time prefixed to 
proper names ; as Maister Nichole ; in our surnames we 
now follow the form Nicoll more than Nicholas. 

The Cotton Manuscript (about 1240), in which the 
last poem is embodied, contains many other pieces, 
mostly Southern. These are repeated in the Jesus 
Manuscript, compiled about twenty years later. ^ There 
are here Northern forms, such as whase, sauley and 

* These are printed by Dr. Morris, in his Old English Miscellany, 
(Early English Text Society). 

Middle English: Neglect. 311 

wimmmi; also the Soatherjt vayre. Tke poemB may 
perhaps belong to Oxford, or thereabouts. The a en. 
onaohes npoa <e and ea, as in mast, chapman. The ou 
becoaies prominent, as we auhte (debemas); gUow 
becotaes gle (p. 91). The old hu is written Aou> at 
p. 142. We here find onr modem eye and youhfe ; the 
old smyc becomes smyehe (p. 75), whence our gmvteh and 
smudge. The old gearwa is cut down to i^ere, our gear, 
at page l&i. Lajamon's cormpt IVesent Participle is 
spreading over Sonthem England ; in the one page 180 
we see both the old b&miTtde and the new beminge 

As to Xoone : the Virgin says, at p. 100, ich am 
Qodea vpencke (ancilla) ; the word was henceforth nsed 
only of women, though Orrmin had called Isaac a 
vxnneheU.* We light on many new Enghsh names at 
pp. 188-190 ; snch as Janekm (Jenkin), Wadekin 
(Watkin), Bobin, Gilot, besides iihe old MaUkin. 

We have seen Past Participles coupled with the 
PoeseBsiTe Pronoun, no SuhstantdTe following ; AdjectiTes 
are treated in the same way, after the fashion of the old 
imn geltca ; at p. 82 comes myne gode ; sioularly, at p. 96, 
a maid is addressed as A tteete, * Ah, sweet.' At p. 86 we 
get an insight into the tme meaning of fireo ; it is there 
opposed, not to thralls, bat to poure ; it must hare 
&urly well expressed our genile in gentleman. To ^lis 
word we shall return thirty years later. At p. 144 
comes the curions word elyibe, which means avtdui, to 

312 Old and Middle English. 

jadge bj the context ; it may be another form of the 
East Anglian clvoer. 

Among the Pronouns, we see at p. 85 "pUTce (illi), 
which was slowly spreading through the South, and 
encroaching upon ])o. At p. 96 eu (yos) is evidently 
written instead of \e (te) ; thou and you come sometimes 
in a speech addressed to a single person ; this may be 
seen in (Goldsmith and Knowles.^ At p. 73 we see say 
used as an Impersonal Verb, an imitation of the old it ie 
written ; we here light upon hit aey^ in pe godspelle. The 
ohn of East Anglia now becomes al one (p. 85). In 
Old EngHsh we should have found better he htmdredfold; 
this is changed at p. 98 into he is hetere an hundred f aide. 
What in Essex had been called pat an now becomes fe 
on, which we still keep (p. 101). 

Among the Verbs we remark moste used in the sense 
of oportet, as we saw in Dorset. The old ute, followed 
by the Infinitive, is seen for the last time, I think, at 
p. 141. The Imperative bed^ is cut down to &eo at p. 78. 
The Infinitive /aren is dropped in he schal heonne (hence) 
at p. 94 ; at p. 186 is he made him falle. The peculiar 
idiom with the verb stand, seen before in a Dorset poem, 
is now carried a step further ; at p. 99 comes hit wolde 
him stonde muchel stel (in great stead). 

We see the Adverbs peruppon and panm/pal (pp. 78, 
97) ; in the last, withal for the first time Englishes the 
Latin crnn. At p. 139 after is used, not as a Preposition, 
but for postea. 

At p. 82 we see our Verb hwyne (whine), which 

1 See Matzner's English Grammar, IIL 225. 

Middle English: Neglect. 313 

foUowB tbe Icelandic veina nther than the Old Englisli 
wainan. There ib the Verb ruskit (p. 92) applied to 
bounds rwhing or racing abont ; the tme old form was 
rikmm. A new word for tremere comes at p. 176 : 

For ich echal bemen in fur 
And chiverin Ln iee. 

We Bee in p. 76 a Celtic word bronght into English, 
a word which Shakespere was to make immortal. It ia 
said that greedy monks slutll be bitaukt fe puke (given 
over to the Fiend). The Welsh pweca and bwg mean 
' hobgoblin ; ' hence come onr hugheart and hogiea.^ Tyn- 
dale, who lived near the Welsh border, usee bug for 
something that frightens children ; bogle is employed in 
Scotland for a seareerow. 

The French inflaence in the poem is seen at p. 90, 
where ten or twelve long lines end in one rime ; 
bnt the English conld never hope to rival the French 
in this riming Byetem. At p. 98 we see ymelone, a 
relic of the old gim-stUn, that had been written for 
hundreds of years in England; a few lines further 
back, we find the new French gemine. The English 
of the year 600 had been able to conple words of 
their own with outlandish terms ; the English of 1240 
eaw their own words dying away, and were glad to 

' Good Sisliop Bedell, in n letter to Uiber, bmnds sn oppreaMr 
nitmed Cooks : ' he it the most crjed out upon. loKinincb u he hath 
fuund from the Irish the uicknuue of Fonc.'— P. lOfi of Bsdell's L\fe, 
printed in I68S. Thia seems to show that about 1630 our 00 hiA 
alreod; the soDod of the Freoch on The inteicliaiige of c andp ig 

314 Old and Middle English. 

replace them by purely foreign terms. The new ^^epit^ 
for instance, was used as well as fdh ; \e peple me tolde 
is in p. 92. In p. 122 pe bivnlen, which is in the Cotton 
Manuscript, is replaced by do pe gyle in the Jesus Manu- 
script. When we see quiten (pay for) her die, at p. 190, 
we have the source of our ' we are quits,* that is, ' we 
have paid each other.* 

(About 1250.) 

I now give the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and Belief, 
from a manuscript written in the middle of the Thirteenth 
Century, and printed in tbe ' Beliquisd Antiques,' L 22. 
This must have been used in the Northern part of 
Mercia, perhaps not far from Orrmin's abode ; for the 
a is not replaced by 0, as in East Anglia. We also 
find such Northern forms as tily fra, cds, ahodldand. 
But we have here the great Midland shibboleth, the 
Present Plural of the Verb ending in en ; this is some- 
times altogether dropped. The Third Person Singular 
of the present now ends in «, which is most unlike the 
Genesis and Exodus. The Preposition /or is used in a 
new way ; it might always stand in a sentence like * for 
God's sake ; ' it is now prefixed to the French nierci. 
Omnia is translated by hevirilk ; this, to the North of 
the Humber, would have been ilk an. Sal is used for 
shall. Are is used for the Latin sunt. The Past Parti- 
ciple has no prefix. The letter h is sometimes set at 
the beginning of words most uncouthly. Acewiede 
(genitus) is replaced by begotten. Heli stands for the old 

Middle English : Neglect. 315 

halig, as in the Athanasian Creed given at p. 488*. The 
French lele (fidna) appears, which is Northern. On the 
other hand, we find ham, (iUoa), not pam. We light 
upon the full forme mamkind and kingdom for the first 
time ; the latter was earlier written kingdom. Notting- 
ham wonld be as hkely a town as any for the following 
rimes. We may imagine the great Bishop Bobert hear- 
ing his Mercian fiock repeat these same lines, while he 
inms aaide for a short time &om his wrangles with the 
Bomau Conrt, and &om the studies that made the name 
of Inncolniensis known thronghoat Christendom. 

(About A.D. 1260.) 

[I b]idde huve with milde Bteveue 

prayer raue i-oicc 

til vie fader )ie king of hevene, 

for fo ISTetd of Jia liu», and >il lele hine, 

fail/ffnt hinds 
for alle cristinfolk tliat ib in gode lif, 
that Qod schilde ham to dai fro sinne and fro sicha ; 
for alle the men that are In ainne bundeD, 

that Jbeeu CriBt ham leyse, for is hali wndee ; 

loBM monads 

for quike and for desde and ol mankinde ; 
and )«t we here Ood don in hevene mot pes it finde ; 

may place ia Acarni 

3l6 Old and Middle English. 

kdA for Bile yeX on her)>e U8 fedin uid ibatre ; 
Bide we nu sUe )« hali pater nostei. 

Ure &dir Jnt bart in heveDe, 
bilged Im |n name with giflis MTene, 
uunin cume )n kiugdom, 

^ wUle in her|>e ale in hevene be done, 
lue bred Jiat tastes ai 
gyre it bus |>is bilke dai, 

and lire miBdediB )iu forgyve bus, 
alB wa foi^ve pam pat misdon bus, 
and leod us iutol na landinge, 
hat &el8 ns fra alle ivele |>inge. Amen. 

H«l Marie, ful of gmce, 

)>e lavird witli |>e in lievinUc place, 

blisced be )iu mBng alle wimmein, 

and blisced be |>e bloHme of Jii wambe. Amen. 

MaJcliD and moder ^t bar )>e bevene king, 
wer us fro wre wy))er-wineB at ure hendiiig ; 
d^end encmUa ending 

blisced be )>e pappis )iat Qodis sone sauk, 

)>at bargb ure Idnde ]wt |>e nedTS bjauak. 

protMted race ser^tni trieked. 

Sloder of milte and maidin Mari, 

help us at ure bending, for \i meici. 

|iat Buete Jbosu ))at born was of |>e, 

fa give us in iiis godhed luni to ee. 

Jhesu for |ii moder love and for fiin bali wndie, 

)ni leise ue of ]« sinnes ^at we are inne bunde. 

Middle English: Neglect. 317 

' Hi trae in God, fader haJ-micbttende, f>at makede 
heren and Iierde|>e, and in Jheen Kriat, is anelepi sone, 
hoie laTerd, )>at was bigotin of fe liali gaet, and bom of 
the mtdnden Karie, pinid under Pnnce Pilate, featened 
to tke rode, ded and dnlvun, lichi in til helle, |>e }>nde 
dai np ras fis dede to live, Btegh intil heveime, sitis on 
is &dir riclit hand, fadir alvraldand, he fien aal come to 
deme |ie qnike an fe dede. Hy troae by («li gast, and 
bel; kirke, ^ Bamninge of balghes, forgi&ee of ainnee, 
apriaigen of flejes, and life with-hatin bend. Amen.' ' 

(*.D. 12fi0.) 
Pbalm VIII. 
Laverd, oure Laverd, liou selkoutb is 

Nune ^Tine in alle Isjid jiis. 
For upe-hoven es [a mykelhede 
Over beTena fiat ere brsde ; 
Of mouth of childer end eookand 
Made )rau lof in ilka land. 
For ]ii faea ; )iat )>ou foi-do 

Sfid, pe wreker him imto. 
<r I hJ Be {line herenee hegh, 
And werkes of Jiine fingreB slegh ; * 

' Wb find the old genitire atill uncorrnpted, as hevtTU ting,/adir 
Hand. We «tiU aej hell firt. Lady day. It is moat atrange that 
Encb voida tafaKding, vtegk, t,a\ tamninge fbonld ever have dropped 
eat of OQF apeecli, Binee they moat have bran in the montha of all 
Engliahmea thnt knew the simpleat trathn of rali'^oo. 

* Sy (eapiana) has hers a moat exalted aeoBe ; it haa been sadly 
dcgnded. ' Naaty al; gid I ' asja one of Mr. TroUope'a matrooa 
Bpeafciiig of ber eon's eDchanCreBs. 

3l8 Old and Middle English, 

^ mone and stemes mani ma, 

"^at ]k)u grounded to be swa. 

What is man^ )>at ]x)u mines of him P 

Or son of man, for ]h)u sekes him P 

'^ou liteled him a litel wight 

Lesse fra Jnne aungeles bright ; 

With blisse and mensk )h)u crouned him yet, 

And over werkes of \\ hend him set. 

^ou under-laide all ])inges 

tinder his fete )>at ought forth-bringes, 

Neete and schepe bathe for to welde, 

In-over and beestes of ]>e felde, 

Fogheles of heven and fissches of se, 

pat forth-gone stihes of }>e se. 

Laverd, our Laverd, hou selkouth is 

Name June in alle land ]n8. 

The above Psalm is a specimen of the Northumbrian 
Psalter (Snrtees Society), a translation which, from its 
large proportion of obsolete words must have been com- 
piled abont 1250, thongh it has come down to ns only in 
a transcript made sixty years later. This is the earliest 
weU-marked long specimen of the Northern Dialect, 
spoken at York, Dnrham, and Edinburgh alike ; it was 
now making its way to Ayr and Aberdeen, and driving 
ont the old Celtic dialects before it. This was the speech 
that long held its own in the Palaces and Law-courts 
of Scotland, the speech which was embodied in Acts of 
Parliament down to Queen Anne's time, and which bas 
been handled by world-renowned Makers : may it never 
die out ! It will be found that our classic English owes 
much to Yorkshire ; some of its forms did not make their 
way to London until 1520. How different would our 

Middle English: Neglect. 319 

speech have been, if York had replaced London as oar 

This Palter, most likely compiled in Sonthem Tork- 
ahire,' ia nearly akin in its spelling to the Lincolnshire 
Creed in p. 303. We of conrse find the Active Participle 
in aad, the old Scandinavian form ; »al ie nsed for shall j 
thai, thair, thaim occnr, something like the forma in the 
Ormnlnm. We see the correct fow ininee, where we now 
should aay fow mindett ; a twofold cormption. The Third 
Person Singnlar of thePresent ends in s, as giveg, does, has ; 
we follow this Northern nsage in week-day life, but on 
Snnday we have reconrse in chnrch to the old Southern 
forma, giveih, doeth, &c. A remarkable Scandinavian 
form, already fonnd in the Bnshworth Qospels, is seen 
in Vol. I. p. 301 ; |«>u M (ta es) ; fim has, which is also 
fonnd, is not yet grown into thou hast. The old 
ending of the Imperative PInral is sometimes clipped, 
thongh not oft>en ; as understaTtde for inleUi^te ; this 
we saw in the Lindiaf^me Gospels. The Northern 
form of the Present Plural in es appears, as hates, 
(odemnt) ; and Shakeapere sometimes follows this 

As to Towels : the a replaces e and te, aafar, handy, 
brake, spake ; it replaces o, as smwe for the rightful 
tvxnv, and this wrong form has been forced into our 
Bible by Tjndale. The ai replaces a, as /at (hostis), 

' The Midland Present Pinral ending in m Is lometimes foviid, 
as mirlai (laborant) ; I have alread; remwlwd on an iostancs of Uiia 
in the Rnjshirorth QospeU. Ninety yean later, Higden sud that 
this Torkihice speech waa«o harsh and rough that it could be hardly 
nndantood in the South. 

320 Old and Middle English. 

ioT the older fa ; and this sonnd remains in Scotland ; 
ogaines stands for contra, but the first letter is clipped 
in compounds ; gaine-sagh is written where a Sonthemer 
wonld have pnt ayensaiioe. This gainsay is the only 
Verb compounded with gain that we have left. The «aid 
of the Psalter has in the end beaten the Southern seid ; 
there is also alaine. The e stands in meres (jumenta), 
which we still pronounce aright ; the e is often doubled, 
as in feet, neety heest. The old fencan (putare) is care- 
fully kept in the South, that there may be no confusion 
with pink^ (videtur) ; but in the North the former is seen 
as think. Vol. I. p. 3. The o encroaches upon (b, for forgcet 
becomes forgot ; swo and fo are found for stoa and fa» 
There is much confusion between o and u ; we see the 
old luve and the new love (amare) ; what was once 
gebundne his (yinctos sues) now becomes his honden^ 
Vol. I. p. 221 ; new words were soon to be formed iroJXL 
this Participle. The old duru (ostium) becomes doer id. 
the North, Vol. 11. p. 153 ; the earlier form liyes in the 
proper name Bwrward The words written arwe and 
sorwe lose their last letter, and are sounded like a/ru and 
soru ; the u was later to be replaced by o. 

The old Consonants were roughly handled in the 
North. The k is thrown out altogether in takes, iaken^ 
which become ta>s and tam,e\ the latter lives in our 
poetiy. The old cneowun is cut down to newe, Vol. L 
p. 33. The g sometimes becomes w ; the English word for 
arcus is written both hough and howe ; geat (porta) be- 
comes yhaie, the Scotch yett ; here the North followed 
the South, and was perhaps glad to make a distinction 
between this word and the Danish gcet (iter). Heg 

Middle English: Neglect 321 

(JoBfiium) becomes hai. The g is thrown out altogether 
in inorgeny which becomes our morning (Vol. I. p. 157) ; * 
the Scandinavians wrote moman as well as morginn. 
We also find hie for hycgan (emere), slaerj and slavne. 
The old h is replaced bj gh; we see heghest, eighty 
neghbur, sagh. The guttural sound in the middle of 
these words lingered in the Yorkshire dales long after 
the year 1800, and maj still be heard in the Scotch 
Lowlands. We see not written for noht. The / is 
sometimes thrown out, for mper principes is Englished 
by ovnr princes (Vol. II. p. 43) ; hence the poetical o*er. 
The d is sometimes inserted, as in wrecchedness and 
unckedness ; it is replaced by ^, as in left and reft^ where 
the Vowels also have been mauled. The t is added to a 
word, as when hds (raucus) becomes haast ; hence the 
Scotch Tioast. The Scandinavian form was hosti. We 
of the South a hundred years later put an r into the old 
Adjective and called it hoarse. On the other hand, we now 
too often drop the r in horse, and call it Twss, The hoAist 
may have been formed from the old Verb hwostan 
(cough). The t replaces the old |>, for heapo becomes 
heghty our height. The old lengcm has a ]> inserted ; 
elongavi is translated I l&nghped. Vol. I. p. 178. The p 
sometimes slides into s ; what in 850 was aiSeastrade 
smd (obscurati sunt), is now seen as er sestrede, Vol. L 
p. 241. What used to be inlihton (inluzerunt) is now 
Ughtnedf with a strange n. The old yurh (per) has its 

' Morgen of old meant both eras apd mane ; the latter meaning 
ifl ezpremed by the change of conBonanta seen here; the former 
meaning is expressed by the Southern 10 or «» replacing the old g. 
The old word becomes two-pronged. 


322 Old and Middle English. 

letters tranapoeed and becomes ih-ugh. The y is some- 
times prefixed; for yerthe (terra), tbe ScandmaTian 
jojUa, is in p. 3 ; hence the Scotch talk of yUl and yerl, 
' ale and eari' 

A process, lately spread in the North, seemed to 
be replacing the nnmber of old SnbstantiTes that 
England was fast losing at this tirae. We are stmck 
by the jiumber of newly-coined Verbal Noans ; eojjfto 
is Englished by ["e lakeing. Vol, I, p. 105; there is 
also fuiJiUing, fieing ; but far stranger are the nnmber of 
Plnrals, snch as gainges (gressns), not the old gong. 
Vol. I. p. 115 ; |iatr hvi'tges (qn» snperfbenmt), Vol. I. 
p. 41 ; and many others. Romanoe words nndergo this 
process ; fafmlationeg hecotUBB /ahlingM,BAY 61. II. p, 91.' 
Other new Plarals are formed ; iniquitate» had once 
been Englished by ■utireMwi»n,Mse, this now becomes 
vnckedneuee. Vol. I. p. ?5. The Yorkshire bard adds 
nets to old words, as ivelnes, haXnwingnes ; even to this 
day, when we coin a new Substantive, it is iiess that we 
mostly employ for the ending, as pigheadedness and kmg- 
windednegg. Sometimes he tnms an Adjective into a Sub- 
stantive, for ohra kerharum (Vol. 1. p. Ill), is translated 
wortes of greties ; hence onr name for certain vegetables. 
Bona is goddee, onr good*. Snch phraaes as ntuM of 
'might, man of merry, bred of sorw, folk of Igrad, become 
common ; this tarn of speech we owe to transtaters 
from the Latin. Onr nonn wndersta/nding, appeai'ijig in 
1250 for the first time, comes straight from inteU«ctue, 

' The verbal nouD gooentctting ie a conong inHtance of thi* 

Middle English : NegUct. 323 

OS we here Bee; tbongh we always had the verb. The 
phrase nan m« haeMi a dele is nsed in Vol. II. p. 155 ; 
the laet two words stand for aught, and hence comes ' a 
good deal,' ' a hit,' Ac. There are the new Sobstantives 
foandling and han^jmaijdea ; the last is formed like the 
old teood-hon^j ; Enghsh delights in componnding two 
Noans. The Scandinavianword ^-itZm^iafirsteeen.' The 
old loolceit had meant both ^rviamenhim and nubes; the 
second of these meanings is here taken Ceom tlie word, 
and laid npon a wholly new word, ktoude ; it means 
that vapours are drawn np into clods or masses, the 
Dutch clole.^ In Vol. I. p. 43, we read in |»e kknidea of 
\e skmoe, ' in nnbibns aeiis.' Sky has therefore at last 
got its modem meaning ; this shiftiag of the senses of 
words ia most cnrioos. 

In AdjectiTes, we see the ending fvl growing apace ; 
it is found not only in gladful, wonderful^ hlitheful, bat in 
the foreign /rt*t(e/wi and merey/ul. We see adolescentiur 
Englished bj ynige-like in Vol. II, p. 101. Orrmin had 
used the Superlative inwreggl ; we now first find the 
other forms oiiereat, nelkeresl, utlereet ; this last is the 
Scandinavian uiaret. An Adjective is used without a 
• Substantive in Vol. II. p. 177; pair worthi translates 
iiohile$ eorum. Molestue is £nglished by a new word, 
haekande (Vol, I. p, 105) ; hence, perhaps, oar 'hacking 
congh,' Fresh takes the new meaning of recem in Vol. I. 

' Thig word is stttl alive in the North, Burke, vho <sraa often a 
^eat in YorkBhlre, says, in hie great speech before losing the Bristal 
election, that he will neier throw the people any creature to tor- 
ment, ' no, not m much as a kitling.' 

' J have taken this from Weilgvoad, and much besides. 

324 Old and Middle English. 

p. 273. What was nlider in the South was Blvper in 
the North ; and we have followed the latter form for 
luhricus. The Definite Article was dropped before 
an Adjective, as in onr 'handsome is that handsome 
does ; ' in Vol. I. p. 23, peccator is Englished by sinful^ 
no longer by ae synfuLla. 

As to Prononns : the old mildsa niin becomes haf 
mercy of me, Vol. I. p. 71. We find ye wrongly used as 
the Dative, I sail telle al yhe (Vol. I. p. 205). In hie 
self translates in semel ipso. Vol. I. p. 1 09 ; while ipsi 
inciderunt becomes /eZZe pam self, Yoh I. p. 181, where the 
Dative is used as a Nominative. We see an effort made 
after a new idiom in Vol. I. p. 265 ; nan erat quisepeliret 
is there tnmed into was it naiie }^at walde hiri. Bat this 
it could never drive out the old there, A wholly new form 
of Pronouns is found in this Psalter. We have seen that 
Orrmin, first of all our writers, used ]>at, the old Neuter 
article, to translate ille ; and its Plural \>d, to translate 
illi. This pd is still to be found in Scotland (Scott ttflks 
af thae loons) : it held its ground in Southern England 
as po down to 1530. The old Dative of this, Jx^rn, is still 
in use among our lower orders ; as, * look at them lads.' 
But in Yorkshire, about 1250, ]>as, our those, a' confusion » 
with the old Plural of \>es (hie), began to be used for 
f (£.' Vol. I. p. 243 : * Superbia eorum qui te oderunt^' is 
translated pride of pa^ pat pe hates; and many such 
instances could be given. The writer has elsewhere 
pese, as in the Essex Homilies, to translate the Latin hL 

* Hampole, ninety yean later, has the same comxption, )>a» 

Middle English: Neglect, 325 

In this Psalter we see the beginning of the corruptions 
embodied in the phrase those who speak ; a phrase which 
often with ns replaces the rightfdl they that speaky the 
Old English fa ]>e.> 

There are new Relative forms, which took a long 
time to find their way to the Sonth ; as nane es whilke 
Bonife mas ; yhe lohilk standes (qni statis), fest, God, pat 
whilke pou vrroght. Orrmin had forms something like 
these Yorkshire phrases ; the Relative Nominative whx) 
was not commonly used in the Sonth until the Reforma- 
tion ; we do not find in our Bible he who or he which ; in 
our every-day talk we almost always make the old that 
our Relative. We now see the new forms lohatkins, 
nakin, a sure mark of the North ; the everilk of Peter- 
borough now becomes everUkane ; capita multa (Vol. II. 
p. 53) is Englished by hevedes of mani-a/ne. 

Among the Numerals is found four-skore. 

In Verbs: we see the Danish mon employed in 
Orrmin^s sense of faturity ; not to translate oportet, as 
has been the usage of the North since 1440. The Strong 
Verbs delve, cleave, swepe, and wepe take Weak Perfects, 
a process which unluckily has always been going on in 
England ; helped replaces the true holpen, which lingers 
in our Prayer-book. On the other hand, there is some- 

* Addison, in his Humble Petition of * Who ' and * Whichf makes 
these Belatives complain of the Jack Sprat That^ their snpplanter. 
He is vrong : That is the true Old English Relative, representing 
be ; the others are Thirteenth Century npstarts. It is curions that 
Yorkshire had far more influence than Kent upon the language of 
the capital in 1520. If we wish to be correct, wd should translate 
'qui amant' by they that love: those who love can date no higher 
than 1250. 

326 Old and Middle English. 

times an attempt to turn a Weak Perfect into a Strong 
one ; as \ov. herd, where the older versioD has the right 
)iu geherdet. We see the Participial idiom )>»u raade 
dmne lierd in Vol. I. p. 247. The Participle is employed 
• like an Adjective at Vol. 11. p. 161, ten^trmiged tautrt 
(psolterinm decern cordamm). The Active Participle 
bad always been nsed absolntely, as him speaking ; this 
usage is now extended ta the Passive; at Vol. II. 
p. 131, we bear that God smote the firstborn of B)gy}Jt; 
noght one Ujt ]>are. This sentence, standing by itself, 
can hardly be anything else than the Passive Participle 
absolute. In the English of 1000, heom ge^n-eeeiuim 
stands for the Active Participle absolnte. Oirmin's 
change from the Active to the Passive Infinitive is seen 
in Vol. II. p. 75; ■ma'ndasti tnandata hta cwtotliri is 
Englished by ]>ou bade pine bodes to be yhemed ; in the 
version made four hundred years earlier the eustodiri 
was translated by the Active haldan. The constant 
confasion between the Participle and other English 
forms is seen in Vol. II. p. 99 ; tempus faeiendi becomes 
time of makande. A Substantive coald be tamed into 
a Verb, as Shakespere often does ; g«t domiiiatur is 
translated by pat laverdes; the like happens to a 
Comparative Adjective, I betred (pnevalni) ; and to a 
Preposition, for we find to under (subdere), like Dr. 
Johnson's I downed him. In Vol. I. p. 267 a new mean- 
ing is given to epiU i what of old was Mod is agoten 
(efiusas) now becomes blode es spilte. One of the puzzles 
in our langoage is, how ever could the Old English geotan 
be supplanted by the Celtic pour ; this took place about 
1500, The former word survives in the Lincoln goyls, 


Middle Efiglisk: Neglect. 327 

gov^, or canals, and in the Gut, well known to Oxford 
oarsmen. l'heo1dniaaningof«pt72(perdere)iBkeptinonr 
oormpt word tpoii. Seeawian had changed its meaning 
in 1160 from videre to manstrare ; it now further became 
appwrere, at least in the North ; in Vol. I. p. 41 we find 
appa/reho translated 1 aal sckewe. Lady 14'airne, in a 
letter to her brother, aboat 1790, talks of hie thawing 
away in London. We see the sense of ihtint giren for 
the first time to Bcwaian. Eieptdti sunt (Yol. I. p. 291) 
is translated ere out-»chowied-\ the word, with a t at the 
end, had already been need in Salop, with a different 
shade of meaning. In Tol. 11. p. 33, in translating 
quaaiatio cetgweii, the Verb lefte ie employed ; we shonid 
say left off. We find both I mined of (memor fni), and 
also Isoi myne pare names (memor ero nominnm), Yol. 
I. p. 37. In Yol. I. p. 107, think becomes tra,nBitiTe ; 
moikedomes ware fai ihinkand. The old Weak Yerb 
bitencte (demersit) is tnmed into the Strong ganke, Yol. 
I. p. 215, a corruption still kept by qb. This confnsion 
of two Verbs has appeared already. Tut inimici becomes 
yine ilU'willand, Yol. I. p. 59, something like ' the 
Qneen's traitors.' 

Uany new Adverbial forms appear, snch as /or ever- 
mare,frafer (alongd) al at ones, in midet of, downrigfUe, 
yhates of ai (portca eetemales). The old moe swe (sicut) 
now becomes alt it ware, Vol. U. p. 109. The old mniye 
gives way to miket in Vol, I. p. 13 ; h/tel nu get (pnsillom 
adhac) becomes yit a Httel, Vol. I. p. 113. When we 
say that a man funis uip, we imply that he has been 
missed and reappeare ; in Yol. I. p. 15 regreAere is 
Englished by tome upe. It is cnrions to mark the 

328 Old and Middle English. 

varionB compouDtls of wil employed at different times to 
tranelate voVrniiarie. This about the year 650 was wil- 
gwrnUee ; abont 1250 it vraa vjilli ■ in a rather later copy 
of the Psalter it WBB iirtJ/uIfi ; we should now g&j wil- 
lingly. A new phrase crops up to translate fareitan ; 
this is tkurgh hap (Vol. II. p. 115) j it is the foremnner 
of onr mongrel per Aap». 

As to Prepositions : we have already seen intU at 
p. 233 of my work ; we now first light apon unHl, which 
translates ad, (Vol. I. p. 79) ; also tuqw in, (Vol. I. 
p. 189) ; uittil that is in page 315. Unto is seen for 
the first time in England ; multw is Englished by tmto 
worn, Vol. I. p. 225. The Gothic has wid halba (St 
Mark vi. 23), where Tyndale has unto the halfe. In 
Vol. II. 113, adpacem, is translated l^ at pais ; of old, 
on would have been nsed. 

We see that the bard of 1250 was not so good a 
Latin scholar as the former poet of 850 ; euge ia now 
translat«d, not l^ the earlier wel fe, but by wo, (Vol. I, 
p. 107), 

There are many Scandinavian words now fonnd for 
the first time ; ae, 

Brtuatan (brimstone), from the Icelandic 
Dieg, from the Icelandic dregg (sediment). 
OnsiBt (gnash), from the Norse ffituta. 
Kitliuf;, from the Norse ketiingr. 
Lurks, from the None Itirke. 
Molbeij, from the Swedish mWAoer,' 
Slttghtor, from the Norse tldtr. 

' The Old English for this was j 

Middle English: Neglect. 329 

Scalp, &om the None tlad (shell). 
Sculke, from the Danish Mkidke. 
Snub, bom the Norse anu6(a (cut short). 
Haiik, from the Icelandic htwkr. 

It is from this laet, not from the Old English Iteajoc, 
tibat onr word for aedjiiter comes ; in the same way we 
have preferred the Scandinavian »ldir (cEedes) to the Old 
English ikege. A glance at Stratmann'fi Dictionary will 
show that the Sooth held to the Old English forma long 
after the Scandinavian forma, now used by ns, had 
appeared in the North. Tn onr verb whiten, fonnd 
in this Psalter, we follow the Icelandic Kvitna, not 
the Old English hmtian. The Plnial of havd (mantis) 
in this Psalter is head, following the Scandinavian 
form Aerufr. The Old English word for ituiiMa naed 
to be dytig ; this last is fonnd with a new meaning in 
a Northern writer ninety years later, and in the Present 
Psalter insvpiens is translated by fule (Vol. I. p. 169), 
prononncfld as we pronounce the word now. This may 
come from the Icelandic /ol, though the French /oZ is seen 
intheAncrenRiwle. What Orrmin called le^len (elevare) 
now gets onr sound lift, the Icelandic lypta, Yol. I. p. 19&. 
The Icelandic ^U (celeriter) appears here as tite ; it is 
peculiar to Northern England, and stamps Qower, one of 
those who used it, as a Northern man. 

We see rniere, akin to the Dutch siia/rren, to grumble ; 
lA^U (stipola), related to the Dntch stoppel. In Vol. II. 
p. 53 conquattare is translated in three diiferent mana- 
Bcriptfi by s^uat, squaccke, swacche (onr sgnath), all akin 
to the Dntch gaa»»em. The Adjective gmert answers to 
acerbtu, as before; it takes also a new meaning, for in 

330 Old and Middle English, 

I. 211 'pn'ovgefrwm iter is Englished by %nuiri wad : this is 
the source of the Adjective we apply to dress. We see 
yles for inatdcB ; the Psalter being a most Tentonic work, 
let ns hope that onr isle is not derived from the French, 
bnt that it is akin to the High Grerman isila. In the 
more modem text of Layamon, eH-londe is turned into 
ilond. Scald (nrere) is in Vol. II. pp. Ill, 115 ; the poet 
sometimes translates the Noun torrens by scalding ! The 
Nonn chi/mbes is used where cymbalan had been used 400 
years earlier, Vol. 11. p. 179, and they are said to ring, 
Mr. Wedgwood affirms that the word is Finnish, and 
that it is an imitation of a clear sound. Scott employs the 
phrase, ' Gk>d sain them ! ' and the Verb is used in 
Germany ; in Vol. I. p. 195, henedicere is Englished by 
sadne ; the old segnian was preserved in the North alone, 
as was the case with many other old words. In Vol. I. 
p. 79, hicus is Englished by flosche ; Jhise in Danish ia 
* to flow with violence.* 

The poet sticks as closely as he can to the Latin he 
is translating. Thus mansitetiis is always hand-tame, 
legislator is lagh-herer. Sometimes the Latin word is 
imitated, as where henignitas is Englished by hettemes, 
Vol. I. p. 167 ; malitia is turned into malloc, insuper 
becomes in-over, I. p. 37 ; the Scandinavian inn yUr has 
the meaning of over. Two of Layamon's new words 
reappear ; noke and the Celtic Verb cut. 

There is the Latin oli, and also the French form oyle ; 
thus and the newer ou must both have been sounded by 
Yorkshire mouths in 1250 ; the old ele-treoio was now 
replaced by oZive, tor by totir. There i& the old wine- 
yherde and the new vinyhe for viiiea ; lioun replaces leon. 

Middle English: Neglect. 331 

Fantom comes pretty often, and slraite (straiten) Eng- 
lisbee eoiulringere (Vol. I. p. 94). When captivitas is 
translated wrecchednesse (Vol. I. p. 211), we see that the 
word caitiff had already began to take root in oar land. 
In p. 315 Jimeit improperly becomes fainyhes (feigns). 
Cry was becoming very common ; clamare is tnmed by 
make crie, II. p. 103. The old yl (porcupine) made 
way for the French irchon at II. p. 17. The" obsolete 
French /ere* (decet) so oftenfoondin Scotch law papers, 
is to he seen in Vol. I. p. 9&. A few other French 
words appear, snch aa fruUefuU, richessea ; the laat 
being the nsnal translation of divituB, and thns the 
PInral foirm of onr word is accounted for. The older 
pats iasometimee turned into pens (pax). The word ire 
is used to translate the Latin ira ; oar kindred word irre, 
written by Alfred, cannot have died out at this time : 
the Poet would think the Latin form more dignified than 
the Old English. So after all we may hope that onr ire 
is iroxa a Teutonic, and not &om a Idtiu sonrce. The 
word majestas (I. p. 233), is Englished by an ingenious 
componnd, masUkede. It is curions that some old 
French words, such as viavii and leal, linger in the 
l^orth, after having been dropped by the South. 

About the year 1260 Layamon's old poem was tnmed 
into the English of the day ; many Teutonic words of 
1205 are dropped, being no longer understood ; and 
some new French words are found. We may guess at 
the place where the new version was drawn up : it could 
not have been far from the Qreat Sundering Line, aa 
both Northern and Southern forms are mingled ; umen 
(cnrrere), mochel, sock, woch, ech one, the old Genitive 

332 Old and Middle English. 

Plnral ScoUefie (Scotomm), the Past P&rticiple ago, and 
the new )nlit, point to the Sontii; while aZ«e (siont), 
are (ennt), (laie (illi), Hneeman, comes (venit), and 
higge (emere) point to the North. The transcriber's 
honte may perhsps be fixed in the Northern comer of 
Hertfordahire ; the forms ^ier (aimas) and aipe (navis) 
ehow that he belongs to the neighbonrhood of Kssex ; 
he naea sal for onr ehall. The East Midland forms are 
seen to be encroaching an the Soath, and to be establiali- 
ing themBelves near London ; we have in this Version a 
foreBhadowing of Sir John Mandeville a bnndred jears 
later. There is a change in the Vowels : Lay amon had 
tnmed the old Perfect sat (sedit) into set; the 
transcriber has sat, our form. is always replacing 
Layamon'a a, as in foh, »hon (micavit), rope, ohnede 
(possidebat) ; o replaces u ia wont, love, aholder, wonder, 
worj', mom (Ingere), worse ; we see ivominan, the source 
of the first syllable of oar form which stands for both the 
Doraetefaire Singnlar wwrnman, and the Northampton- 
shire Plnral wim/men. The French ou is mnch used, as 
fow for The hemen. (tabre) of the First Text is 
turned into bames ; we keep this sound in our hoom. 

As to Consonants : the A is misneed ; it is wrongly 
prefixed in ham, and hieh, and wrongly docked in alf. 
Dcege is softened Into daiye, and the old gnttoral hrokte 
(tnlit) becomes hrofie and bro]ite; fonr hundred years 
later. Banyan, who came from the same neighbonrtiood, 
prononnced daughter as dafter, making it rime with 
after. An s is added to henne, for henites (hence) is 
found. An I is inserted, as louerdling, oar lordlmg. A 
t is added, for we light on aj,enest (contra) and bitimtie. 

Middle English: Neglect. 333 

The former was repeated & hnndred years later by 
Masdeville, a native of Hertfordshire. 

There are Bome new forme. Bach as tcA &i(i nojn'ncr of 
hit ; the three last words, a doable Ghnitive, replace 
nanne me^Smeg, Vol. I. p. 136. The new Bolative is 
coming in ; where the First Text has Tnoni mf fe, the 
Second Text has many wtmmem W woehs, I. p. 1 13. The 
Plaral of the Old Article was written J>a by Orrmin 
and peo hy Layamon ; it aow becomes oar }iaie fat (itll 
qui). In theii that say, they is Old English ; in thay say, 
they is ScandioaTian ; both they and )>ai are found in 
this Second Text of Layamon. The ever is added to 
tohere in indirect questions ; they wondered ware evere 
. . . sock heoed were iketmed. III. p. 37 ; this ie not in 
the First Text. There is the phrase, for ene omA fiyr 
evere, II. p. 435 ; hence oar ' once for all.' 

There are some new constmctions of Prepositions : 
siff e (since) had never hitherto been employed before 
Nouns; but we see in I. p. I?7 «u))]i6 feilhe time; in the 
First Textwe« followed the mtf^e; the Scandinavians 
employed stxiasaPreposition. Se neon reed mt his monmen 
waain the^BlratText, I. p. 70; thisnaeof at waebc^^inning 
to go oat, at least in the Sonth; and o/is now snbstitnted 
for it. There is also tn his dajfis for the former an 
his d^ea, I. p. 2^^. 

The Icelandic svmpa with its Weak Perfect weipta 
is now confnsed with the Old English ewd-pa/n, which 
hod the Strong Perfect noeop (swoop). Beofs to him 
svjopte, m. p. 65 ; it is no longer suripte, as tn the First 
Text. Oar word leg (cms) is now seen for the first 

334 Old and Middle English. 

time; it comes &om the Scaudinavian leggr, a stem; 
this soon encroached on the Old English shank. Oloh 
(chlamyB), which is found here, is a Geltio word. The 
French tvmhe (tnmnlas), the sound of which we still 
keep, replaces the tunne of the First Text, I. p. 259. 
The French Verb !we comes in the phrase hii naede foi 
craft, II. 598. 

We owe a great deal to the men who, between 1240 
and 1440, drew up the many macnBcript coUectionB of 
English poems that still exist, taken from Tarioas soorces 
by each compiler. The writ«r who copied many lays into 
what is now called The Jesns Mannscript, ranged over 
at IcBBt one hnndred and fort^ years. In one piece of 
his, professing to give a list of the English Bishopricks, 
there is no mention of Ely ; hence the original mnst 
have been set down soon after the year 1100. In another 
piece in the same collection, mention is made of Saint 
Edmnnd, the Archbishop ; this fixes the date of the 
poem as not much earlier than the year 1250. Most 
of these pieces, printed in ' An Old English Miscellany' 
(Early English Text Society), seem to me to have been 
compiled at varions dates between 1220 and 1260 ; for 
the proportion of obsolete English in them variee mnch. 
I have already glanced at the older pieces ; see p. 310 of 
this book. The Southern element is wrfl marked, when 
we find ago and vvlede (secntns est) ; there is the bolle 
(fastis) used by Layamon and in the Anoren Biwle, not 
the batte of the Hertfordshire transcriber of Layamon. 
On the other hand, vn/mmtm, not vmmman, ia emplcqred. 
Two very old forms are now seen for almost the last time ; 
erne morewe{[). 45), and syndon snnt, (p. 145). The last 

Middle English: Neglect. 335 

comes in a tranBcript of a prose piece drawn up soon 
after the year 1100, and waa very likely not onderetood. 
The tranBcriber had been used to see au employed to 
ezpreHB the broad a in French words ; this he now 
transfera to Old English, writing Engelaunde and 
QravMtebrugge, as well as Maudeleyne ; onp French way 
of proQOtmcing Magdalen College is well known ; onr 
pronnnciation of baume (balm) and avnt is a relic of 
this time. We find ai p. 155 the proper name I/ug', not 
Sago. At p. 145, we see how the names of onr English 
shires and towns had been pared down by 1260; 
there are Kanterhury and Cumherlond; the English 
Dtmkolm was still preferred to the French Buregme, 
which we have followed since 1300. Bat Serobsdr was 
written Slohsckire, whence comes oar Sahp ; a corions 
instance of the intercboi^ between r and I. There is 
much paring of letters in common words ; forward 
becomes forward, p. 42 ; on two is tnrned into a to, p. 50, 
An 8 is added to beside, as in Layamoa ; and hisides is 
used as an Adverb in p. 149, Hond and hng rime with 
each other in p. 51. In p. 43, more bold is nsed for 
the tme English bolder, to snit the rime. As in the 
second oopy of Layamon, ^{llie appears ; and hwai miere 
Englishes quodcunque (p. 52) ; the swa that shonld have 
come in the middle of the word is dropped. We find 
ImIJ taking the Xomeial one before it ; on. half hundred 
(p. 146). It is easy to see how an Adverb becomes 
changed into a Preposition, from the phrase bUid om 
adwt ofhym (p. 42) ; all that is wanted is to drop the 
of Inp.45 we seenAiernsedasan Adverb; cert^. There 
are phiaaes like on after oh (p. 40) ; maJce (two) to one 

336 Old and Middle English. 

(p. 145) ; ti^li hire heorte (p. 55). Tbe Latin vix had 
been hitherto Englished by wieape ; bat another phraae 
is Been in p. 42 : nedde he bute itet/d ; thiy ie tbe parent 
of the Torkshire nohbut. 

We find at p. 57 the English to (in Latin dit) set 
before the French Verb partir ; to-partt/ ut of lyve. 
This paved the way for depart (snnder) ; the sense 
which lingered on In England until about 1660, when 
the old form in onr Marrif^ Service, ' tUl death, ns 
depart,' was altered into ' till death ns do part.' 

We mnet glance at the famons English Proclamation 
of Henry the Third in 1259 ; no English deed had issued 
from the Goort, so far as is known, for aboat a bandred 
years before this time.' Tho language nsed is such as 
never wss spoken ; it is that of some French clerk 
basing his English npon old-&shioned deeds ; thus he 
has met with the ancient agen (debent), and therefore 
thinks that ogen will be onderstood in Huntingdonshire ; 
he nses the obsolete diphthong is, as in dcd (pars) ; his 
lo^nde (terra) is a compromise between Iforthem and 
Southern EngUsh. The proper name Jamet, not the 
old Jame, now appears ; and also Perres (Piers, Petms). 
The Terb agan (debere) now gorems an A.ocasatiTe ; 
pti treoidpe ^cst heo iu ogen ; hence our, ' owe much to.' 
This eeeras to be a Frenoh idiom, and marks the com* 
piler's nationality. I may here observe that no word in 
the English tongue has a more curious history than the 

Middle English: Neglect. 337 

old a^wa. (owe). It is the first English word thai we can 
clearly Bee changing its meaning, as I hare shown in 
p. 110 of this book. It now in 12S9 ^ain ohangee its 
oonstmction by taking an AccasatiTe (jasi as the old tteoi, 
did) ; and this is the work of a foreigner. Oi^ more, 
in 1455 it stands out as being the first word, I think, that 
paved the way for the disastroos concision between the 
Verbal Konn and the Active Participle; in Faetolf's claims 
against the Grown (Oairdner's 'Paaton Letters,' 1.364), 
we read, that money y« "un/n^ to the knight aforesaid. 
Here the in or on is dropped that ehonid have come before 
the Verbal Nonn, and the owi/ng therefore seems, most 
deoeptiTely, to be a Participle. We do not now nse the 
rightful 'a storm is a (in) brewing,' bnt say 'a storm 
is brewing;' hence we natnrally come to think that 
hrew is an Intiansitive Verb.' Lord Macanlay, as we 
read in his Life, insisted on saying. ' the tea is a mailing ' ; 
I only wish that he had pnt this fine old idiom into his 
' History.' * The newfangled tea is being made, or any 
such-like conBtmction, was not in vo?ne nntil aboat 
1770. The muing did not stop here, but gave birth to a 
new English version of the Latin Preposition oh; owing 
to ■ this last is a rather late comer. Sach are the various 
meanings and oonstmctions that may be linked to one 

■ flood, about 1810, writes aneut Miba Kilmansegge : 'she is 
Dov ecrawing in' (bwog buried). See Dilke'a Paptn of a Critic, 
p. 06. 

* Bis Uograpber print* or-making, which ia like printing ■ bona 
i^traatUu: Mr. Earle (Eitgliah PhUologii, 486) calls sttention 
to the idiom nsed b; sU classes in Yorkshire: 'Ivant tbe tea 
■ntkiag.' I suspect that this stands for, ' I want tbe tea to be in 

338 Old and Middle English. 

Verb, within the apace of aboat SSOi years ; we have 
here a fine example of the freedom of the English 

For the Southern English of 1260 we most have 
recourse to the Harleian Manascript drawn up in Here* 
fordshire abontl315, which takes in the works of the fore- 
going fifty years and more. We may gaess at their date, 
by reckoning the obsolete Teutonic and the French con- 
tained in eaoh piece.* The Proverbs of Hending, 
(Eemble, ' Anglo-Saxon Dialogoes,' .^Ifric Society, 
Part m., 270), and some of Wright's Specimens of 
Lyric Poetry (Percy Society), seem to belong to 1260. 
The Vowel a replaces e, as mar for ni«rren ; this is later 
found in Salop. The Northern /«fo (stnltus) is found 
as well as the Southern Jol ; the old cymlic is seen aa 
comely (Lyric Poems, p. 39) ; ue replaces eo, as Awe and 
hv£n for heo (ilia) and beoit (sunt). Consonants are 
cast ottt of the middle of a word, for hefule, leoedy, 
become he»t, ledy, the last word being pronounced as it 
is now ; gebrokt is pared down to hroht ; the d is clipped, 
as bende (bent) for the old bended ; on the other hand, 
the d appears at the end of vncked, as in Yorkshire ; 
likes Bometimea stands for likep. The old dayet-eiet 
had not as yet been cut down to daitiies. 

As to Substantives : Omnin's go his gate is repeated. 
A drunkard, when pledging his friends, is said to do 
iiek mon ryht (Hending, p. 279) ; this phrase was used 
long afterwards by Master Silence in his cups. The 
tersenees of onr English comes out in a proverb like 

' The isoportion of dieea in the Thirteenth Centor; may be 
fcmnd in the Table at the end of mj Sereiitb Cbaptec, 

Middle English : Neglect. 339 

%'jht cA«}}, Itk^^R ffiJdei (Hending, p. 277) ; here there ia 
no Verb at all ; this answers to onr liigh interest, bad 

Among other Adjectives, the poet ia fond of lylie- 
whijt, applied to a ladj ; this kind of compound comes 
down from the earliest times. Shakespere's turn of 
phrase, you were hesl go, ia foreshadowed in Hendiiig'a 
advice (p. 279), betere were a rieh monfor te gpottie. At 
p. 30 of the Lyric Poetry comea burde on of the beit ; we 
ahoald now pat the Snbstantive, not first, but last. 

Among Verbs, we remark mint nsed in the Dorset- 
shire sense of oportet ; the do in do h/itrte me reminds as 
of the Ancren Biwle. The Old Engliah idiom in fair to 
see is now farther extended ; in Hending, p. 277, we read 
shulde non he me ylycke to he god ; that is, ' in being good.' 
The French d had most Ukely some influence here. There 
is a new idiom of the Past Participle, comingperhaps from 
tJiel^tin; betere is appel y^evefmi ^-efe (p. 273) ; itisodd 
thai the laat Participle stands without any Nonn. 
SpiUan (spoil) had hitherto been Transitive ; at p, 271, 
it becomes Kenter. We see for the first time our form 
histad (bestead) : so hit wea bisiad (conatitatnm). Lyric 
Poems, p. 11. Omnia had used the Verb undertake in the 
sense of reprehendere ; it now first gets the meaning of 
mseipere, p. 41. 

In Adverba : I^yamon's godltehe (pnlchre) is now 
pared down to godly (p. 38) ; and this is foond after- 
wards in Salop ; we shall sooa see other examples of 
the confasioD thos created between the Adjective and 
the Adverb. The Adverb fayre gets a new meanii^ in 
Hending's Poems, p. 278 ; we there read, abijde fayre 

340 Old and Middle English. 

attd etiHe ; something like Cowper's fair ond soJUy ; hew 
there is & change of meaning from puleker to tran- 

The o/baA followed cyHig (prodigua) in Ormun; it 
here follows fire, when that Adjective keeps its eariy 
meaning poteftt; aman make^kimfreofmygod, Hending, 
p. 277, ' master of my goods ; ' we now say ' makes free 
with ' &c. At p. 29 of the Lyric Poems, we see Orrmin's 
contraction of gelang to long ; mg lyf it long on tht. 
At p. 42, away is used as an Intei^'ection, like the 
French avawit. 

The foreign Verb eervir now gets the sense of traetare, 
that is now so common with ns ; he paf me ene aerae'f to, 
Hending, p. 276. 

In the same Herefordshire manuscript is the fiunoua 
ballad on the Battle of Lewes, in 1264.' It may have 
been the work of some Londoner, for we see that most 
UQOsaal word mryvyng, which is not repeated, I think, 
nntil Chancer wrote. We here find the word host (our 
hoast), which is Celtic. We have already seen the word 
ihreui ; this now becomes shreward, applied to the King's 
son ; the ard here is a short-lived attempt at an imitation 
of the French endings, snch as eou-arfj. Sire is pre&sed 
to a proper name, ae Sir Edward. There is one great 
change; French forms have always been fonnd con- 
venient to lighten the toad thrown on onr English 
Prepositions; and this has gone on for the last six 
hundred years ; for had many meanings, and one of 
these is now laid npon the French mangre, for we 
find mwugTe Wyndesifre. 

■ Political Songt (CiundeD Societ;), p. 69. 

' Middle English : Negieci. 

(About A.D. 1270.) 

The following specimen most have been written mnch 
abont the time that King Henry the Third ended his 
wortblesB life, if we may jndge by internal evidence. It 
was transcribed by a Herefordshire man abont forty years 
later. Of the sixty Nonns, Verbs, and Adverbs contained 
in it, one alone, pray, is French ; and of the other fifty* 
nine, only three or four have dropped out of our speech. 
In the Poems of 1280 we shall find a lai^r proportion of 
French than in this elegant lay, which may be set down 
to 1270. The writer seems to hare dwelt at Huntingdon, 
or somewhere near, that town being almost equidistant 
from London and the three other places mentioned 'in 
the fifth stanza. The prefix to the Past Participle is not 
wholly dropped ; aud this is perhaps a token that the 
lay was written not far to the South of the Great 
Sundering Line. The Third Person Singular of the 
Present Tense ends is eg, and not in the Southern eth. 
The Plural of ^e same Tense ends in the Midland en. 
We find ourselves speedily drawing near the time when 
fiuglish verse was written such as might readily be un- 
derstood six hundred years after it was composed. 


(A.D. 1270.) 

When the uyhtegale singes, the wodea waxea grene, 
Lef ant gns ant blosme springs in Arerjl, y wene. 

Old and Middle Englii/i. 

Icb have loved al this jar, that y m&y lore n> more, 
Ich have nked moni eyk,* leiAiiioii, for thin ore;' 
Me nia love never the ner, ant th&t me reweth aore, 
Suete leimuoti, theoch on me, ich have loved the 

Suete leMman, y preye the of love ODe epeche, 
Wbil y Ijve in world so wyde other nuUe j' seche ; 
With tlij love, m; euete leof, mt hlis thou iiuht«B 

A. sneto cob of thy mouth mihte be my leche. 
Suete lemmon, y pre^e the of a love bene ; ** 
Yef thou me loveet, aee men sayB, lemmon, aa y wene. 
Ant jef hit thi wille be, thou loke that hit be sene, 
So muchel j thenke upon the, that al y waze grene. 
Bitnene Lyncolne and Lyndeseye, Northamptoun ant 

Ne wot y non so fayr a may as y go fore y-bounde ; 
Sueta lemmon, y preje the thiu bvie me a stounde,' ' 
Y wole mone my song oo wham that hit ys on * y- ' 

I have tJready mentioned the ProTerbs of Hending ; 
&om this I give some of the homely bywords of the 
time when Englishmen were drawing their sworcU npon 
each other at Lewes and Eveaham. 

Qod biginning make)) god eudyng. 
Wyt ant wysdom ia god waiyeoun. 

' Percy Society, vol. IV. p. 02, This is a'tiauBcript mads bya 
Hecofbrdshire man, who mnst have altered and bto ant, niil inlo 
mdJ^, kis into ecu. &e. 

Middle English : Neglect. 

Betere ie eyesor ^n al blynd. 
Wei fyjit fat wel fly)). 
SotteB bolt la gone shote. 
Tel t^u never |)y fo |iat )>y fot ake)i. 
Betere b appel y-^eve pen y-ete, 
Oiedy is |>e godles. 

When Jw coppe is follest, )jeiine ber hire feyreet. 
Under boske (buah) shal men weder abide. 
Wben |>e bale is heat, )ietiiie is )>e bote nest. 
hightU remedy vigheet 

Brend child fiir dredep. 
Fer from eje, fer from herte. 
Of luiboht bude men keireli brod )iong. 

Dere is boht |)e bony )iat is licked of ]>e [>orne. 
Ofte mp rewe)). 

Ever out come)> evel sponne web. 
Hope of long lyf fryle)) mony god wyf. 

(About i.D. 1270.) 

A Toz gOD out of the node go, 
Aflngret bo, that him wes wo ; 
He nee nevere in none nise 
Afingret etoiu half so swithe. 
He ne hoeld nouther wey ne ftrete, 
For him wes loth men to mete. 
Him were levere meten one hen. 
Then half an oundred wimmen. 
He stiok swithe over al, 
So that he of-aei ane wal. 
Withinne the walle wee on houa. 
The wox wes thider swithe woub. 
For be thohute his hounger aquenche, 
Other mid mete, other mid drunche. 

344 Old and Middle English. 

Abouten lie biheld wel ^enie, 
Tho eroust lugon the vox to erne.^ 

This, evidently a translation from a Frencli tale, 
is preserved in the Bigby Manascript, compiled rather 
later, about 1290. The Southern dialect is well marked 
in the forms thilkey ago, erne (currere), dest (facis), 
siigge (dico), the Accusative thene, and the Genitive 
Plural widewene, which at once reminds us of the 
kindred Latin vidtuirumy root, ending, and all. On the 
other hand, the Northern I have is encroaching on the 
Southern ich hahhe, for both alike are found ; and the 
form srifty not ahrift, suggests that the piece was com- 
piled not far from Essex; perhaps, like Layamon's 
Second Text, in Hertfordshire. 

At p. 65 we find isiist thou (vides), pronounced as 
we sound the word now. The o is' encroaching on the 
old a ; at p. 59 we see both anne jkik €md on hok in one 
couplet ; shamie becomes shome. The o is also encroaching 
on the u ; wtUf is turned into wolf, though we still keep 
the right old sound ; we find, I was woned (solebam) at 
p. 61. As to Consonants, the guttural sound at the end 
of a word was evidently dying out about this time, all 
through the South of England ; we find lou (risit), imou 
(satis), and dou for the Old English dah, our dough. 
Layamon's hroute (tulit) is here repeated ; the h should 
have come in the middle. The d is ca^t out, for godsib 
becomes gossip, p. 61. The /is cast out, for we see the 
old hofthurst at p. 67, and the new aihtt/rst at p. 60 ; the 
latter form lingers in our Bible. 

1 Hazlitt's Early Papular Poetry, vol. I. p. 68. 

Middle English: Neglect. 345 

Among the Pronoons, we remark the AooosatiTe ou 
(voe) used for tbe XominatiTe ^e, a onriona iii§tance of 
the bod gjMiiTniir that waa flooding Eingl&nd ; togedere 
ou ley (jaoebatifl), p. 65. The lodefinite kU is used 
very freely now ; hU com lo the time, that Ac (p. 66) ; 
the hit also refers to a past eentence ; ' I have bled the 
hens, and the, chavntfxler, hit wolde don goed (p. 59). 

We see half prefixed to Adverbs; afingret half 10 
simthe (p. 58). 

Id Terbs : we see the progress of changes that were 
at work all over England ; Bach a form as might have 
been had been veiy rare hitherto, bat was now freely 
used. The old Impeiatire had been flee thou ; this was 
changed into Ihoufle (p. 59) ; we std! say, ' yon go there.' 
The French was iuflnencing onr Verba ; the fox in 
his trouble says (p. 61), nou ofmei.don hit hiia, (actnm 
est de me). Again, repetition by A. of B.'s previons 
words was something qnite new in English. ' Sei toot I 
ahal do,' says the wolf, ' Do ? qjwd the vox,' Sus. (p. 65). 
In the next page comes the wolfs question, ' Wed^ wolt 
thoit ?' ' Weder ich tmUe ? the vox eede.' At p. 59 we 
learn that five hens maie a flock. 

As to Prepositions : for in the sense of at might 
follow the Verb hold in the oldest English ; this nsage 
is now extended to know ; the vox hine i-hnev. welfor hit 
kwn (kjasman). This for is now, in one of its senses, 
elbowed ont by mid (with) ; since we find — 
Wat mid serewe, and mtij drede, 
Ai his thuret him over-hede.^ 

■ Only the other d>7, 1 heatd a mso »b.j, 'I cumot aee, wUh 

34^ Old and Middle English, 

This with is now always tacked on to our partitive use 
of iohai : ' wbat with one thing, what wii^ another,' Ac 

The poem we have jnst gone through is uninis- 
takeably a translation from the French. The old French 
names of the animals, renowned in fable, are brought 
into England : the cock is Sire Chauntecler ; the wolf 
is Sigrim (Isegrim) ; the fox is Beneuard. We now 
first hear in English of the freren or friars. Some say 
that the French ending ia es had gr&d,i influence in 
making England adopt es for the Plural ending of all her 
Nouns ; so far is this from the truth, that in the present 
piece the poet goes out of his way to alter the French 
freres into yreren, the old Plural form to which Southern 
England steadily clung. The French oath ifaie (i'faith)^ 
which is hardly extinct eyen now, may be seen at p. 64. 
Every second line in the poem rimes with the line before 
it, until we come to the end ; then three lines end in the 
same rime ; a favourite usage of Diyden's is here fore- 

In the Harleian Manuscript (Percy Society), men- 
tioned at p. 338 of my book, there are Herefordshire poems 
which seem to belong to 1270.^ They cannot have been 
compiled &r to the South of the Great Line, for we see 
the Northern forms are, gra/y, he ledes, he gos^ made 
(factum), also the Midland we han. The poet was used 
to express the broad French a in the usual way, as 
romatmz ; indeed his baimi is still pronounced much as 
he wrote it, though we spell it halm. The au might stand 

' In trying to determine the age of these poems, I look most to 
the proportion of French words in an Alliterative piece ; here the 
poet always strives to be as Teutonic as he can. 

Middle English: Neglect, 347 

for either the broad a or the French ov, ; this we know, 
by seeing the French reavme or royawme appear in later 
English pieces, sometimes as reamie^ sometimes as rewnie. 
He employs the au for English words, Yrvitmg fautiing 
(p. 23), which is different from the vawermnge of the 
Ancren Bdwle; unitowen becomes untoun (p. 32). The 
old cerest (primnm) is cat down to erst ; and swan (cygnus) 
is written swon, which comes near onr pronunciation of 
the word. Seolc becomes sylk (silk). There is much 
clipping of Consonants ; Ich haf becomes y ha (p. 31) ; 
Jicefed (caput) becomes hed (p. 34) ; and there is also 
forked. Liht loses the guttural in the middle, and is written 
lyt, riming with v;yt (p. 31). The old Participle gewcetod 
is in p. 80 pared down to toet A form peculiar to the poet 
Is lossumy standing for lovesome (amabilis) ; it comes often. 
There are some new forms in Adjectives. At p. 97 
comes the well-known feyr ant fre^ here applied to the 
"Virgin; this is repeated in the Tristrem of nearly the same 
date, and it has been kept alive to our day.^ At p. 84 
a sinful man is said to be more than umms ; at p. 24 
wyves wUle is called ded wo ; hence comes our ' a dead 
loss.' There is one remarkable change of idiom ; in 
1260, a girl talks of women, and says that her lover 
will soon vachen an newe (capere novam). But a few 
years later, in a piece written about 1270, as I suppose, 
women are mentioned, and w^ then hear of the feyrest 
on ; here the one is added, to avoid the repetition of the 
Substantive that has gone before. 

' I refer to the fourth line of Billy Taylor : ' To a maiden fair 
and free.' Free here means liberalia^ (ladylike). Bnrgoyne, in 1779, 
talked abont ' the hononr of an officer and the liberality of a gentle- 
man.' See his Lifet by Fonblanque, p. 227. 

348 Old and Middle English. 

Coming; to Verbs, we find taht hede, mid hit dotk me 
god (p. 83). At p. 28 we read, heiere is tholten tA«» 
moumen ; we oamiot belp snepecting that this Infinitive 
gave rise to 'better is tholing than mourning;' the 
corruption of form took place a few ^ears later. Again, 
at p, 50, the qneetion is asked, tohet ys the hette bote t 
Bote heryen him ; this Infinitive heryen (landare) looks 
very like the parent of aome of onr seeming Verbal Nonns. 
At p. 35, a girdle, as it is said, ' triketh to the to i^ heuce 
comes trickle, a puzzling word Ew to its derivation. 

The al prefixed is very common in these poems ; at 
p. 23 we find for the first time al thah (qoamvis) ; it took 
aboat ninety years to make its way to London. 

We see the Danish brag, at p. 24, here used as an 
Adjective. At p. 32, erowte is employed in a new sense, 
standing for a clerk's shaven head ; in the Trietrem, 
rather later, the word stands for the top of any man's 
head. Lde (&ithfal) appears here ; it seems later to 
have been whoUy confined to the Ifortli of England. 
There is the woman's name Alyttmn at p. 28. 

The sixty years comprised in this Chapter are the 
unhappiest period in the whole of the English language, 
if we search through all the fourteen hundred years that 
separate the Beowulf from the Sigurd. Few indeed are 
the poems of this parttcnlar period, &om 1220 to 1280, 
if we contrast them with the work done in the first 
twenty years of the Centary, and also with the achieve- 
ments of its last twenty years ! As to prose, there is 
none at all, alwa^ excepting King Henry's Procla- 

Middle English: Reparation. 




Wk had now, by 1280, tided over the worst ; hencefor- 
ward, England was never a^in to throw aside her own 
tonfpie,; our mined walls were to be repaired ; we were 
to light our old candle, now bnniing very dimly, at the 
blazing French torch. The heedfnl reader will rem&rk, 
in the English specimens that follow, an ever-increasing 
number of French words, wherewith the lost Teutonic 
was being replaced. We torn once more to 

f About A.D. 1280.) 

King Edward was now batoning hia yoke npon 
Wales. The first Mercian poem of this time that I shall 
notice is the piece called The Harrowing of Hell, the 
earliest specimen of anything like an English dramatic 
work. It may have been written at Northampton or 
Bedford, "The t«xt has been settled (why did no 
Englishman take it in band, and go the right way to 
work ?) by Dr. Mall of Breslan. With true German 

350 Old and Middle English. 

insight into pliilology, lie has compared three different 
English transcripts : a Hertfordshire (?) one, of 1290 ; 
a Herefordshire one, of 1315 ; and a Northern one, of 
1330. Again we see the Midland tokens ; the Present 
Plnral in en, the almost invariable disuse of the prefix 
to the Past Participle, the substitution of nohi for ?ic, 
"have I for hahhe ich ; there are unto and remie (currere), 
he na/m hiin, like the later Tie gat him. The author wrote 
hm and mariy not the Southern Jcun and mon^ since the 
words are made to rime with htm and Abraham. The 
old a is sometimes, but not always, replaced bj o ; the 
poet's rimes prove him to have written strong, not 
Strang ; he had both ygan and ygon, riming respectively 
with Sathan and martirdom. The Plural form konden^ 
found in all the three manuscripts, and the absence of 
are (sunt), point to the Southern border of the Dane- 
lagh; at the same time, the Northern ^oip (cum) has 
driven out the Southern mid. Thei (illi) sometimes 
replaces hi; both Ich and I are found. There is a 
thoroughly Northern form ; he areu (pitied) hem. The 
Midland form \frist (sitis) has been altered by all the 
three transcribers ; the two Southern ones use jnirst, 
something like our sound of the word : Dr. Mall, by the 
help of the rime, has here restored the true reading. 
Ch has replaced c, for michd, not mikel, is found in the 
Northern manuscript. The dialogue is most curious : 
Satan swears, far mafei, like the soundest of Christians ; 
and our Lord uses a metaphor taken from a game of 
hazard. The comic business, as in the AtUigane of 
Sophocles, &Ils to a warder. The oath God wot^ else- 
where Ooddotf comes once more ; and also the Danish 

Middle English: Reparation, 351 

word qaie (^)} which never made its way into the 
Sonth, except in the form o^gaieB} 

The fondness for new Verbal Nonns was coming 
down from the North ; for at p. 31 "we find \i Goming 
instead of the rightful cwme (adventus), which long 
lingered. The old terseness in the idiom of Prononns is 
seen at p. 27 ; Christ talks of other people's property, 
and then says that Adam wes hoht loif mi/n; here no 
Noun is conpled with the Prononn. The old well nigh 
is now supplanted by almost, p. 27 ; the Scotch still use 
the true old vicest (fere). As to Verbs : the Dorsetshire 
meaning of oportet, as applied to moste, was creeping up 
from the South ; alle mosten to helle te, p. 21 ; here the 
Verb is in the past tense. The old Past Participle 
iwiten is changed ; for at p. 23 we find ich have wist 
(known). A sad corruption, seen in the Alfred Pro- 
verbs, is now repeated ; it is one of the few things that 
has escaped Dr. Mall's eye. The Second Person of the 
Perfect of the Strong Verb is brought down to the level 
of the Weak Verb. At p. 27 we see hou mihtest fou 

' I give a specimen from page 83 of Dr. Mall's -work. Abraham 

speaks: — 

Loueid, Crist, ich it am, 

pat >oa calledest Abraham ; 

pon me seidest, Ht of me 

Shidde a god child boren be, 

pat ons shnlde bringe of pine, 

Me and wi)> me alle mine. 

pon art >e child, >oa art >e man, 

pat wes boren of Abraham ; 

Bo non ^t >oa bihete me^ 

Bring me to heyene up wi^ >e. 

The New English, as wq see, is all bnt formed. 

352 Old and Middle Englisk 


(potes) ; here Orrmin would have used maht or miM 
for the Verb; indeed the Northern transcriber fifty 
years later has altered it into moAj, In line 77, we see 
in the transcript of 1290, 

Sunne xsAfowndett ]h)u neyer non. 

In line 189, the transcriber of 1315 writes — 
Do nou ]>at |>oa hyhOdnt me. 

It was many years before this cormption could taJce 
root ; it is seldom found in Wickliffe, who tries to avoid 
translating dedisii by either the old gave or the new 
g<west, and commonly writes didest give. 

At page 32, we find a line thus written in the tran- 
script of 1290, ' we |>i comaundement forleten ; ' in the 
transcript of 1315, this is ' we ]>in heste d/ude forleten.* 
If this latter represent the original of 1280 best, it is 
an early instance of a reyived Auxiliary Verb, of which 
I shall give instances in the next Chapter. 

Mnch ink was not long ago spent npon Byron's 
expression, 'there let him lay' (jaceat). The bard 
might have appealed to the transcript of 1315 : 

Sathanas, y bynde )>e, her shalt ]>oa Un/ 
}>at come domesdai. — ^Page SO. 

At p. 27 we read, of dper marines ping make mar* 
chcmdise ; the French faire had most likely an influence 
here, and the idiom was now becoming common. 

The Herefordshire manuscript of this piece translates 
donee by the Saxon o pat, where the other two manuscripts 
have the Anglian and Danish til. The Herefordshire 

Middle English: Reparation. 353 

forms Aa)i, loten., and hv^\ (emit), all smack af the West 
country ; as also foleioed (bflptizavit), p. 35, a fine Old 
Knglish Verb that liad now died out of the Soath East, 
tKoagb it wsis well known in Gloncesterahire down to 

Perhaps we may set down to this time the English 
Charters of Bury St. Edmnnd's in the form that they 
have come down to ns. They fill many pages of Eemble's 
great work, from IV. p. 223 onwards ; one of them, as 
we learn by a note in the margin, was read before the 
Barons of the Exchequer. I think that the date of tran- 
Bcription cumot be earlier than 1260, for we see the old 
haiide (manns) written humde, in the French way, VI. 
p. 199; and this conies twice. But there is also the form 
iquUk (talis), VI. p. 11; nothing like this is to be 
foond elsewhere antil the Cursor Mundi, abont 1290. 
We knowfrom Domesday Book that the old stoio (loons) 
was pronounced like the French tUm; we now see a 
further change of form, for in VI. p. 12 is the form 
itmu (loca) ; another proof that the aw must sometimes 
bare had the sound of the French ou. The Consonants 
of the old Charters transcribed hare been much altered ; 
we find Suffolk, Norfolk, ha^eni, yurgh, lewed, tchal, sal, 
everi, hit owen, govel, holy, go, I, no mart, oni, rickte, lent. 
The town, which had sprung np around the great Abbey, 
is liere called Eadmwndes biri. We see the East Anglian 
change of )> into d, as in 1280 ; the form Umd (vivit) is 

■ lyndale, -who know DoUiiiig abont what in bis day wm called 
SoaoR. makM a itupendons mistake al^oat the Wesb-conntr; priest's 
popular titU/oUtceT or voJovxr, deriving it frota the LAtin veto, which. 
esnM into tha Baptiaul smiee ! 

354 Old and Middle Engtisk 

in VI. p. 12. The guttural ia being dropped, for cUntler 
cornea as well as duuehter ; u is tamed into the Freocb 
form ou, as Gnmit, howr. The h is wrongly preExed ; ie 
Jum (concedo) appears. The East Anglian y is in foil 
use ; ae gel (adhuc), ginger (janior). Some of the 
words transcribed could have been barely understood in 
1280, such as sinden (Bunt), ic aucMe (liabni), tuefod 

Bat the greatest Midland work of 1280 is ihe lay 
of Havelok, edited by Mr. Skeat for the Early English 
Text Society. This is one of the many poems translated 
from the French about this particular time, when Eling 
Edward the First waa welding his Frenoh-speakiDg 
nobles and his English yeomen into one redoubtable 
body, ready for any undertaking either at home or 
abroad. The poem, which belongs to the Mercian 
Danelagh, has come down to na in the band of a Sonthem 
writer, transoribed within a few years of its compilation. 
This renowned Lincolnshire tale was most likely girea to 
the world not &r from that part of England where Orrmin 
bad written eighty years earlier ; the Havelok is certainly 
of near kin to another LincolnsMre poem, compiled in 
1303. Mr.Garnett,inp. 75of his 'EsBajB.'haB suggested 
Derbyshire or Leicestershire as the birth-place of the 
author.: Dr. Morris is in favour of a more Sonthem shire. 
We find the common East Midland marks : the Preaent 
Plural ending in en ; the Past Participle oftenest with- 
out a prefix; are for the Latin sunt; niman for the 
Latin ire ; and the oath Qoddot, which is said to be of 
Danish birth . ' But there is also a dash of the N^orthem 

Middle English : Reparation. 355 

dialect ; tbe Secoad and Third FersoQB SiDgnlar of the 
Present t«nae, and the Second Person PloraJ of the Im- 
perative, alike end in e« now and then ; a fashion that 
lingers in Scotland to this day. The Danish Active Par- 
ticiple in avAe ie also foand, and Danish phrases like 
tkVfSgate, hethen, gar, Ivyke, until, gate (via), til, Yerk 
(Eboiacom). Orrmin's ntunm^ has now led to inmin 
or mone, which is almost the Scotch maun, aa in line 

' I wene that we deye (die) inone.' 

The poem was compiled to the East of Orrmin's shire, 
for his 3A0 (the old heo) is now seen as ihe and »ho ; his 
tJiey and their are sometimes met with, bnt have been often 
altered by the Southern transcriber into hi and Mr, 
The Sonthem thUk (iUe) is not foond once in the whole 
poem. We now for the last time see the Old English 
Dnal (tluB we most have brought from the Oxns) in the 
line 1882 : 

' Qripeth eper unker a god tre.' 
Grip tach of you two a good tne. 

This had of old been written ineer. Strange tricks are 
played with the letter A, The letter d is dropped after 
liquids, for we find here sAeZ, liel, bihel ; and the Danes 
to this day have the same pronunciation. Bnt such 
words as He, awilk, mikel, hviilgate, prove that our 
modern corruptions of these words had not as yet made 
their way far to the North of the Great lane ; the Harelok 
shows us our Standard English almost formed, but 
something is still wanting. 

There are Northern forma, which coald never have 
been used in the South in Edwardian days ; sach aa 

356 Old and Middle English. 

fter7W8y tntily Hnte, coupey loupey carle. The Plurals of 
Substantives end in es, not en ; and to this there are 
hardly any exceptions. The Northern wCp has driven 
ont the Sonthem mid. 

There appear again many forms which we saw 
fif^ years earlier in that other East Midland work, 
the Genesis and Exodns of East Anglia. Such are, 
inster, or, clad, fled, fee, they did rest, he had he hroughty 
they were hut a mile off^ leren (discere), goven^ sule ye, 
wore (erant), at nede, aren (snnt), feyth. Understand 
of (recipere de) appears, as in the poem dictated 
by St. Thomas to the East Anglian priest. The qu 
often replaces the n'ghtfnl hw, as quanne for htcanne ; 
the alderhest of East Anglia is now altherhest. The 
Southern transcriber, who went to work perhaps 
ten years after his original was compiled, has taken 
great liberties. He is fond of clipping the Northern 
guttural h ; for he writes fou (qnamvis), plow, ante 
(habuit), though he sometimes leaves this word as he 
found it, auchte. He often writes nouth for the old 
noht, and most likely dropped the guttural h in pro- 
nouncing, for he has Iwoth for I wot. He has michely U 
(ilc) del ; we see the true form ah (sicnt) in p. 16, but 
this is sometimes wrongly changed into ahOy as in p. 10. 
He writes wrohheres (latrones), p. 2, which shows that 
the w had at that time no sound before the r, at least in 
the South. He makes little difference between w and «; 
he has the old hlawe (flare), which, however, is altered 
into hlou at^p. 18 ; owen (proprius) is written oune at 
p. 68 ; lawe (humilis) is changed into lowe, and sawe 
(vidit) into sowe. 

I h. 

Middle English: Reparation, 357 

As to Vowels : the ea becomes a \ for })earh (texit) 
becomes havw^ the same vowel change is in the 
Ormulmn and the Genesis. The verb for monstrare is 
written ahauwe, riming with knawe, at p. 62 ; it is also 
written shevs, riming with hiewe, at p. 43 ; spelling was 
as yet in a most unsettled state. Eorl now becomes erl^ 
and seol (phoca) is seen as sele. Orrmin's lefftetin 
(levare), a Danish word peculiar to the North, is now 
written lift. The old grcep (salens) becomes grip, a 
word still in use. The is in great request ; the old 
are (remus) becomes ore; ea>c (etiam) is sometimes 
written ok. We may trace the Westward march, up 
from East Anglia, of the o replacing the older a ; swa 
has become «o, and is made to rime with Domino ; on 
the other hand, wa (dolor) still rimes with stra, our 
strata. The also replaces li ; as we see in p. 81, where 
the old ireowian (credere) is written tro, just as we 
pronounce it ; we see ^oru written for ^urh in p. 85 ; 
hence comes our thorough. They shoten replaces the 
old Perfect scuton. The w is often written for u ; we 
hear of Bokeshurw (p. 5) ; and hw (quomodo). The 
old form yu and the new form ^ou both appear, the 
Latin and the Greek forms of marking one and the same 
sound; owcfouhten (pugnaverunt) now replaces Laya- 
mon^ sfuhten. The muhte (potuit) of the Ancren Biwle 
here becomes moucte and mouthe ; Tennyson's ' Northern 
Farmer ' says, * it mowt 'a bean so.* The old acofrian 
(recnperare) is pared down to covere at p. 57 ; it is here 

On turning to the Consonants, we see h inserted, for 
the old samening (conventus) of the Genesis must have 

358 Old mid Middle English, 

become semeling and then senibltng (p. 31). F i& 
replaced by v, for cnafa becomes knave. The h is cast 
out in the middle of a word, for lohan is written Ion 
(p. 6). The g is cast ont as nsnal; there are snch 
forms as eyne (oculi), still kept hj onr poets ; also 
penies (p. 86). The g is replaced by ur, for we see the 
proper name Huwe ; there is also drawen (tractns) and 
atoe (terrere). The old galga becomes gcUwe-ire at p. 2 ; 
and farther on, at p. 21, we hear of the galues, our 
gcdlows. At Leicester, (fallow Tree Gkite is found as 
the name of a street to this day. The s is inserted, for 
the old cici6e is now seen as quiste, our bequest The 
sevende of the Genesis is now written sevenpe (septimns) ; 
it is the Old English seofojta with the Scandinavian n 
inserted. We find, by a note of Mr. Skeat's at the end 
of p. 74, that instead of the first letter of ye, onr yea, 
there is f onnd a character that might stand for either 
p, for p (the Old English te;), or for y. The like con- 
fosion may be remarked in other manuscripts compiled 
about 1290 ; we see at once why some still write y* for 
the,^ We find two lines in p. 56 which explain why the 
Irish to this day sound the r so strongly : 

' And he haves on ]K)ru his arum (arm), 
perof is ful mikel harum (harm).' 

* The Gaxton Exhibition of Jnly, 1877, has here enabled me to 
add a note. Gaxton, in printing, well distinguishes the )> firom the 
y. The Bibles of Tyndide and Gorerdale, in 1536» make veiy little 
difference between these characters ; still, there is a difference, if 
the books are closely examined ; the |> is still employed in writing 
the and thai. In Grafton's Bible of l/)40, there is no difference at 
all made between ^ and y. 

Middle English: Reparation. 359 

So the InBh sound Tyndale's hfrren (natas) in the true 
old way. The Scotch waroM (world) is another relic of 
these Bounds. 

We see the Old English word for a well-known 
bird, in line 1241 ; 

' Ne )ie hendt, ue )ie drake.' 

The former sabstantiye, akin to the liatin ana», atuitit, 
was still to last two hundred yeare, before it was anp. 
planted bj the word duck. As to drake, this Poem Erst 
shows ns that the word had lost its old form end-rake, 
that is, anat-rex. There is hardl7 a word in English 
tfaat has been so maoled ; one letter, d, alone remains 
now to show the old root, and this letter is prefixed to a 
word akin to the rajah of Hindostan. 

The poet is fond of oonpling Nonns together, even 
when one of them is French ; we find Iwe-dmrye, grtth- 
lergeam, lerf-horw, romam-reding ; the nonn is some- 
times qualified by another nonn of value, as a fer^ng 
vKMtel (p. 27). The love for new Verbal Ifonns was 
coming down from the North ; even French words were 
snbmitted to this process ; at p. 58 we see utith iaynge 
(cnm gandio). The Accusative of Time is seen again ; 
it is said that something happens pU tid nitkes (p. 58), 
where we should aaj 'this time of night.' We find the 
Genitive employed, without the nsnal nonn following, 
where property is meant ; pit elopes aren pe kokes (the 
cook's), p. 35. At p. 48, Havelok is sent unto pe greyvet 
(the grieve's house). The Grenitive of the Substantive 
is now replacing the Adjective, when material is meant ; 
at p. 78, we hear of gode feteres al of stel ; and at p. 38 

36o Old and Middle English. 

comes a fr^e of fir. Still, at; p. 43, a m&n is called a 
deveUs lime (membrum). Folk now means not only 
popvlui, bat comitaius ; the retinue of a great lord is 
called hit folk at p. 46. An A^ective is turned into a 
Substantive, when a criminal is said to bd led ontaide 
the town vnto a grene, p. 80. Hen are said not to care 
a »traai or a sloe for a thing. The old fedlg (rastrom) 
now givee birth to a new Xoun/oZues, ojirfdUow*. The 
ian (digiti pedis) of the South now become tot ; the 
sonnd is well kept in our toee. 

On tnraing to the Adjectives, we see the new 
Sonthem form with moit encroaching on the old Super- 
lative, as Tnest meke, p. 29. Lolh had hitherto meant 
only molettvt ; it now, no longer governing a Dative, 
gets the further sense of invitut ; we hear that an oath 
is titken of the barons, lef and loth, p. 9. We see the 
word cwic halfway between its old sense of vmia and its 
latfir sense of citua ; certain men are called qyike, p. 41, 
meaning active. The word sarig gets another meaning 
besides it« old sense of trittit ; a bad man is called pa/ 
sort fend, p. 62. A new exhaustive definition of the 
conditions of men is coming in ; all men are summoned, 
|ieu and fre, p. 62 ; in the Tristrem of the same date, 
this becomes bond and fre. This word fre haa another 
side, which we see at p. 82 ; we there hear of a lady, 
that the isfayr and the it fre. The word swlig kept its 
old meaning of fetix down to 14^ in Norfolk ; but it 
here means infelix ; a child, when abont to be murdered, 
is called a teli knave, p. 15 ; the same sense of the word 
is found in Qloncestershire twenty years later. It is 

Middle English : Reparation. 361 

most reioarkable that one word shoold bear two mean- 
ings wide as tlie poles asimder, at one and the samfi 
time. We may gather &om this scelig, that the Havelolc 
wae written in the WeGtemmoat part of the Danelagh.' 

In this Poem, men are often ezhanstiTely described, 
not a^ one and all, hot as hroun and blak. The baUad 
phrase red gold is now in vogue ; the old phrase had 
been nsed long before this time, as we see in Kemble'a 
Ghartora, IV. 292. An Adjective is qualified bj having 
a Snbetantive prefixed; we hear of stan-ded (p. 50), 
a phrase nsed bj Lord Essex in 1641 ; the phrase 
is explained in p. 7b, where an earl falls ded to ani 
ston. At p. 30 we light apon chyeg, al tpan netoe; 
the word comes &om the old ^on, a eh^ ; we should 
now say, bra/tid new. The Scandinavian phrase for this 
was epan-nyr. 

As to Prononns : the French nse voua, when address- 
ing the Almighty ; this took root in the Northern half of 
England. Kavelok, when in earnest prayer, employs 
the word unmusical in Qoaker'a ear : 

u."— P. 41. 
I think we owe onr freedom from this partionlar cormp. 

■ TheB«nBeof u(/iJizT«itBinedtill ISOO. Jamee VI. was called 
bj a Scotch minuter ' GotCi oily vtusal,' Ou >i% neaiu aU^tu 
DD», though it tbooi for boiuu in IdjamOD'a Seoatid Tett : tUi 
reroindfl ns of tlie Qreeh eattha. 

' This stiU lingers in Scotland ; see the Psobiu Cumed wtil 
&w<fu b7 Hr. Wftddell, published in 1871 1 sacb phrases ss 'haigh, 
O Ixod, i' jer ain might,' come constantly. 

362 Old and Middle English. 

tion to our Tereion of tbe Lord's Prajer, where (ti ie 
rightly Englished by the kmdred pw, (Aou; to this we 
hare alwsys st«adfaatly clang. We saw the sense in 
which Omnin employed t}\^hi ; this is now extended ; at 
p. 79 we read, England emkfe for to ben youres. This is a 
sure mark of the North. At p. 2 we see the idiom, well 
known to balUd-m&kers, where it becomes something 
like an Indeterminate Pronoun, as in the Ancrm 

It torn a hiiiff bi are dawtt 

That m Am (nne vxre gode lawet. 

There is another use of the Indefinite tt at p. 3 : tco to 
dede wrong, toere it elere or were it knicth, &c. At p. 68 
we see the earliest instance of a well-known valgariBm: 

' Hwan Godard herde pat per frette.' 

The Obliqne case of the old Article may have had 
some influence here ; ex ilia hard was Englished by of 
)>£ere tide. At p. 29 more is employed in a new sense ; 
Havelok would not rest more fan he toere a best ; we 
should now put amy before this more. 

Th^re is a change in the use of Numerals ; at p. 5I>, 
Havelok has a wound in the side, and on pora hU arum; 
here on is employed without repeating the Substantive. 
There is a new phrase in p. 75 ; two men feU down, first 
pB croune ; we should now eay, crown first ; this is a 
Hnd of Dative AbBolnte. 

We see the Northern Strong Verb weakened in the 
Participle, as pat he be lienged (p. 70) ; the Sonth stock 
to the rightfnl hengen, our hung. At p. 57 knamed 

Middle Englisli: Reparation. 363 

(notns) is written to suit the rime, instead of hnmeeti. 
The Somthem Participle Ao (factam), not (fwt, ts found 
at p. 49, where it rimes with taio. 

We aee both wolde have do (fecisset) and havede 
farned (carniBBet) ; the two later forma of the Flnperfeot 
Snl^nncttTe. There is a startling new idiom in p. 79 ; 
iheqneenwa8brongbt,/wAem/wto<e, ' for them tosee,' 
This is foand 170 ^eara later in the Gorentrj M3:Bterie3, 
which were compiled not far from Leicester. We saw 
in 1160 the phrase, ' he wonld have dose it ;' this nsage 
is now extended to other verba ; in p. 49 comes, he 
viende have tlawe (him), ' be thonght to Iiave elain him ; ' 
the InfinitiTfi Present would here have been nsed earlier. 
J ween comes often as a mere expletive, as in p. 58. The 
nonn watsail is now tnmed into a verb ; men hccveden 
wosaeyled (p. 47). To prick is used in the fine old 
poetical sense that Macanlay loved ; 

An erl, )iat he saw priken poK, 
Ful noblelike upon a stede. — P. 76. 

We find snch phrases as he Ut pe harre Jhye (fly), to aey 
nay, clap fttm on fe erune, crok hie crime, breb up mi dor. 
The old dtigan (valere) appears here, and henceforward 
was confined to the North, except in onr common phrase 
' how do you do ? ' here the first do stands for facere, the 
last for valere. The Scotch, less careless than onreelves, 
make dovi their form for valere. 

We see an Ai^verb formed from a Preposition in 
poTuth-Uke {thoroughly), p. 21. The Scandinavian ncer, 
like the Old English neh, expi-essed the Latin fere; at 
p. 54, we find, ner ah naked so he icas horn. At p. 58 

364 Old and Middle EngUsL 

comes the old SRandioftTian phrase tU ok fra in our 
form, to and fro. The overfwert of p. 80, with its last 
nmnistakethble Danish letter, has amoe been pared down 
to aihwart. 

Some Prepositions are used in a new way. The 0/ was 
encroaching on the on ; a phraee soch as the old gehlettod 
on (inter)iOT^i*m makes way for Ti<dk he hvede qfaUe yinge, 
p. 3. We see at p. 56, it is of him mikel scafe ; hence 
Shakespere's ' O, the pity of it ! ' The 0/ replaces/or in 
the phrase ilker twen.ti kniktee havede of genge (p. 66). 
The with becomes prominent. Layamon had written of 
mid here irechee;- we now see help him. doun with fe 
ivr^ene, p. 28 ) and hwal sholde ich with wif do ? p. 35. 
At p. 41 comes mm in with (le, the forerunner of onr ' get 
along with yon.' The at is employed for the Preposition 
on, where something is specially marked oat, as happening 
within a short time ; at a dint (blow) he alow hsnt yre, p. 50. 
In such-like phrases we see how near a and one are to 
each other. A new sense of against is seen at p. 60 : 
brUkter pan gold ageyn^fe lith(\ight). In tbeAncrenRiwIc, 
unite etonde had stood for nonnunquam ; here it stands 
for gwmdam, when the Danes refer to a deceased king, 
at p. 64 ; the word was altered in Scotland into umbe 
hwile (nmqnhile), with the same meaning of quondam. 

There are a few Interjections ; at p. 36 comes jw 
devel him Umee .' at p. 56 comes Qod-pank in the middle 
of a sentence. In onr thank Ood! the first word moat 
be a noun, the last word most be in the Dative case. 

The Scandinavian verb lei/ke (Indere) is sounded 
in this Poem just as oar Northern shires still pronounce 
it ; we of the South call it lark, following the Old 

Middle English: Reparation. 365 

IjiigliBh ISfan} In onr Bonnd of weak, we lean to the 
Ifortlieni waxket, t}ie ScandmsTian ueiib', rather than 
to the Old English wde, which was at this time pro- 
nonnced 100c aH through Southern England. Chanoar 
ruled in this instance for the Northern form, which 
must have made its way to London bj his time. The 
form ^ol\, for fool, is pecnliar to the Dano-Anglian 
shires, and appears hoth here and in the Tristrem. 

As might be expected, there are many Danish words 
in the Havelot. I give those which England has kept, 
together with one or two to be fonnd in Lowland Scotch. 

Big, from the Icelandic hdga (tumere). 

Bleak, from the Icehuidic JA^cr (poUidus). 

Blinlt, from the Dwiiali bltnke, 

Boulder (a lock), &om the Icelandic bdla^r. 

Coupe, aa in horte-couper, from the Icelandic haupa (etnere), 

Onu (Scotch crmue), from the Swedish knu (excitable). 

Din};, from the Icelandic daigia, to hammer.' 

IXrt, from the Icelandic drit (excrementa). 

Goul (to jowl, vivtare), itaxa the Icelandic gmita. 

Grime, from the None grima (a spot). 

Hempt'from the Icelandic hampr, not from the Old R>igliah 

Put* (to throw), frvm the Icelandic poMo. 

Sprawl, frova the Danish tinitlie. 

Stack, twm the Danish gtaii. 

Teyte (tight, acttre), from the Noise teUr (liTely). 

> Tbia verb %iU BOOH ones more find its way into StandoidEngjish. 
WetlingtoD, bafbre JB16, ipeakiDg of an officer who had got himself 
killed needlessly, said, 'What boalDMS had he larking there?' See 
Lord Jiacautay't Uft, U. 277. 

' Ciui OornMiD '^ in the side' come from this? 

■ Hence comes the phraie, pulling the stone, flisl found in Uiis 

366 Old and Middle English. 

Besides these Scandinayian words, we find in the Have- 
lok other words now for the first time employed. Sach 
are lad (pner), from the Welsh llawd ' ; stroate, oar stnd 
(contendere), a High Qerman word ; hoy (pner), akin to 
the Sna,bian huah ; to hutt, akin to the Dntch hotten ; bui, 
(a houl at wrestling), which Mr. Wedgwood deriTes 
from hv.gan (flectere), and loughl, a word applied to the 
coils of a rope, and so to the turns of things that sno 
oeed each other. File, akin to the Dntch initi, means a 
worthless person ; we may still often hear a man called 
' a canning old file,' In 2499 of the Etavelok, we read, 
' Here him rore, )i«t fule^.' 

To-twe (divellere) is akin to a High German word; 
from it comes the d(^'s name Towger. The Verbal Nonn 
itching, first fonnd here, is -said to be a word formed 
from the sonnd imitated. 

It is cnriona to see in this Lay two forms of the same 
word that has come to England by different channels ; 
we have gete (cnstodire) from the Icelandic gceta ; and 
also wayte, which means the aame, coming from the 
French gaailer, a corrnption of the wahteti brought inlA 
6anl by her Oerman conquerors. Sad havock must have 
been wrought with English prepositional compounds in 
the eighty years that separate the Havelok from the 
Ormulum. In compound words, wnJe, the Greek amphi, 
comes only ttiree times throughout the long Poem before 
OS ; for only five times ; vdtk only once ; of not at all- 
The English tongue had been losing some of its best 

' Lodte, the WeUh female of this word, has become oui ttut. 

Middle English : Reparation. 367 

applianccB. The Preposition to, answering to the Gor- 
man car asd the Latin die, was still often fonnd in com- 
position, and did not a!t(^ther drop until the days of 
James I. ; it was even prefixed to French Verbs. 

(Al)out4.D. 1280.)' 
The Hateloe.— Page 38. 
On )« nith, als Goldeborw lay, 
gory and sorwful was ahe ay. 
For she wende sbe were tnawike,' ' tcioktd 

pat ah[e w]ere yeven unkyndelike,'' "■ "^^ 

O nith saw ihe |>er-iDne a lith, "^ 

A 8wi|?e • fliyr, a swijw bryth, " verr 

Al so brith, al no shir," ° cImt 

So it were a blase of fir. 
She ]okede Do(r))>, and ek south, 
And saw it comen ut of his mouth, 
pat lay lu hire in \e bed : 

No ferliie ' (wu she were sdred. • wonda 

pouthe she, ' wat may this bimene P 
He beth ' heyman yet, als y wene, ' ""U *" 

He beth heyman • er he be ded.' ' nobiem 

On hise shiddTe, of gold T«d 
She saw a Bwi)ie noble croii, 
Of an angel she herde a voyi, 
' GMdeborw, lat \\ »3T7I6 be, 
For HaTelok, ))at hare)! spuaet )«, 
He [U] Mnges sone, and kinges eyr, 
pat tnkemieth " Jiat croii so feyr. ' i"**" 

' In thia Poem nith sunde for night, and other words in tha u 

368 Old and Middle English. 

It bikennetii more, f>ftt he shsl 
Denemark bBven, uid Englond ol. 
He Bhal ben king Btronft and atork 
Of Engelond and Denemark.' 
pat shal )m wit )nii ejus eeu,' 
And ))o ijialt ques and levedi lien.' 

panne she havede herd the stevene * 
Of |)e angel uth of hevene, 
She WB8 80 fele (d|>ea ' blithe, 
pat she ne mithe Uie joie mjtbe.'' 
But Harelok sone anon she kiste. 
And be slpp and nouth ne wiste. 
Hwan pat aungel havede eeyd, 
Of hii slep anon he brajd," 
And seide, ' lemmau, elepes |>ou ? 
A selkuth" drem dremede me dou. 
Herkne nou hwat me haveth met,' 
Me |>outhe y was in Denemark set, 
Bnt on on ^ moste ^ hil 
pat evere yete kam i til. 
It was so hey, )iat j wel mouthe 
Al |>e werd ' aa, als me )K>uthe. 
Als i sat upon )>at lowe,' 
I Ingan Denematk for to awe, 
pe borwes' and |>e castles stronge ; 
And mine annes weren so longe, 
That i fodmede, al at onee, 
Denemark, with mine longe bonea. 
And Imnne ' y wolde mine armea drawe 
m me, and horn for to have, 
Al that evere is Denemark liveden 
On mine armss &ste clyreden.* 
And Jw strongs castles alle 
On knes bigunnen for to falle, 

■ This vaj of prononndDg all the three TOwelsalikB of tba void 
Smgetond had not died otit in Sbakeapere's time. 

Middle English: Reparation. 369 

pe kajes fellen at mine fet. 

Ai)o)>er drem diemede me ek, 

pat ich fley ' over jie sftlte ae ' H"* 

Tit Engelajid, and al with me 

pat evere was in Denemark lyvee," ' '^'^ 

But ' bondomen, and here wives, * e»«pt 

And ]iat ich kom til Engelond, t 

Al closede it intil mine hond. 

And, Goldeborw, j gaf [it] (». 

Deus t lenunan, hwat ma; |qa be P ' 

Sho anawerede and seyde Bone : 

' Jheeu Oiifit, |>at mode mone, 

pine dremee time to joye ; 

pat wite * ))w that sittes in trone. ' aecno 

Ne non stroDg king, ne caysere, 

So )iou ehalt be, fn[r] ]Nm ahalt b«re 

In Engelond corune yet ; 

Denemark shal knele to )n. fet 

Alle ^ castles |iat areu per-inne, 

Shal-tow, lemman, fill wel winne.' 


(About A.D. 1280.) 

Whan Jhesu Orist was done on rade 
And [folede de)) for ure gode, 
He clepede to hym aeiut Johan, 
pat was his oje qenea man. 
And his ojene moder also, 
Ne clepede he hym feren no mo. 
And sede, 'wif, lo her ^ child 
pat on {re rode is ispild : 
Nu ihc am bonged on {tIb tte 
Wel sore ihc wot hit rewe|> )«. 
Mine fet and hondea of bled . . . 
Bifmts gult ihc Jwlie [ds ded. 

37° Old and Middle English. 

Mine men |.Bt ft;tte me U) lovo. 

For •x\imx iLu cum irum liereiie abuve, 

Me hare)! idoD )iis itfae schame. 

Ihc n&ve DO giilt, hi l>u)> to bUme. 

To mi fitder ihc bidde mi bone, 

pat he forjive hit hem wel sone.' 

Marie Btod and sore weop, 

pe teres feolle to hire fet. 

No wunder nag )iej heo wepe sore, 

Of sore^e ne mi^ heo wite no more, 

AMieDDe he |)at of hire nam Mod and flesa, 

Also bia suete ^le was, 

Heng inajled on ))e treo. 

' Aloe, my Bone,' seide heo, 

' Hu ma; ihc live, hu maj ]>i8 beo ? ' 

The above ib taken from the ABSDrnption of the 
"Virgin, printed by the Early English Text Society, along 
with the King Horn and the Floriz, writteo about 1280 
or later. In them we find that the Actave Participle in 
vage, first osed by Layamon, has almost driven ont the 
older inde. The King Horn was written in some part 
of England (Warwickshire ?), npon which the East 
Midland dialect bad begnn to act, grafting its Plnial 
form of the Present tense upon the older form in e(A. We 
find also in the Horn, as in the Havelok, snch Midland 
forma as ^ei., til, cKildre, he nam (ivit), and ioje (pner). 
Forms like fiss (piscia) and digs were foimd rather 
later in Oloncestershire. It is convenieiit to diacosa all 
the three poems of the one mannscript together ; the 
Assumption and the Floriz may perhaps cotne from 
WorceBtershire, for we find Layamon's forms feolle 
(cecidit), Jutren (condncere), and the Salopian pveference 
of the e, as Icenme (genns), keue, meria (hilaris), tenfal^ 

Middle English: Reparation. 371 

tbe -pvitt of the Sonth ia altered into fdte, p. 40 ; it as 
jet means rii«re, oot iotqwrt. Tliere U Omnin'B fttcjgie 
(emere) at page 4i9. The form fowioeZinj (gennflectio) 
is fonad is Layamoa and Robert of Olonceeter. The 
writer is fond of tbe w sound, as dupe for Aepe, gud 
for god (bonns), p. 60 ; fottt (pea) for fot, p. 4 ; he 
baa the Salopian shup (naTia). At p. 27 we aee ires 
(anres) riming with tirei (lacrymae), where tbe first 
-rowel is prononnced as we aonnd it now ; there is also 
strvmeg. The greatest change is that of Iwca swa into ho 
so, (whoso), in p. 59 ; the sonnd of the w is already got 
rid of, and this spread into Lincolnshire twenty years 
later. The v and the ^ are both cast out in the middle 
of a word ; we see both loverd and Itn-d, Apelbrw and 
Aylbnu ; there is also he haf, as in other parts. The s is 
added, for we find wkaimet (nude.) There is a cnrions 
interchange between w and b, which reminds as of the 
two ways in Greek for expressing the first letter of the 
najne Virgil ; the old v»/lm (fervor) leads to the Verb 
bitlmep (fervet), p. 59 ; the French boil may have had 
its influence here. The )> is written like ;, as nsnsl in 
the matiDScripts of this time ; at p. 69 comes hi criej 

Among Snhatantives, we see the new kniphod; also 
■east (jactas). Horn and Floriz, the heroes of two of 
the poema here printed, were bnt children at the ontaet 
-of the tale ; ao the title chUd is ^ven to them throngh. 
out. This synonym for knight is well known in onr old 
ballads, and lasted down to Childe Harold's day. There 
is tbe phrase in p. 2, hit teai upon a someres day. At 
p. 73, comes, ye Admiral he hid god day ; in the IKgby 

Mannscript of tlie some date the rightful Aooasative 
i/oilne day is still kept. At p. 52 an AdjectiTe is employed 
for a Sabstaotive, heofulde of a hrun ; ' she filled from a 
brown (jack);' we now employ broww iorpence. The like 
is seen at p. 31 ; Ae wipedg pat hlake of hie gwere ; tiie 
blacks are well known to Londoners, At p. 56 we 
find fu were ye hetere ; this NominatiTe would earlier 
bate been the Dative pe ; a little lower comes, ' hold 
him /or more panefoV The old interchange between it 
and there comes ont cle&rly in the phrase hit sprang dot 
lij^t, (p. 4). In p. 65 stands erJtai me neere atwite me ; 
the first me is the Gloncestershire form of the Indefinite 

There is a cnrions idiom of a Passive and an Active 
Participle being coupled, at p. 70 ; felom inome hond- 
hahhvng. At p. 29 we see etrike seil, the first instance 
of this. Chiyalrons ideas were now being widely spread 
nnder the sway of onr great Edward, and we find that a 
Verb has been formed from the substantive knight : 
For to kaipi child horn.— P. 14. 

At p. 10 comes her aiule ; we often now tarn an 
Adverb into a Substantive, when speaking of a man's 

We see the Preposition at supplanting on at p. 61, 
because the former was most like the French a ; pleie at 
fe eecheler, (chess) ; most of our indoor games at this 
time came from France ; there is another encroachment 
by at upon wi in p. 36, he at dipe (death) laie. Of 
supplants on at p. 69, hire wriji (weight) of gold. The 
of was being used as freely as in the Havelok ; at p. 29, 

Middle English : Reparation. 373 

comes teZ2e me ol o/)>tns s^elle ; the partitive use oE tbi^ 
«/ailer sum must ]iftve been the model followed here. 

We now light on senp (pera), which comes from the 
Scandiaavian eireppa, and jiore (Bpeetare), akin to the 
Swedish yaZa. Mr. Wedgwood points to ^ala i en bok 
(pore on a book) ; we have the Yerh peer as well aapore, 
like deem and doom. There are also three words akin to 
the Dutch or German; clench (onr clink), ^«f(er, and 
gtteM ; the latter means ' to weigh or calculate,' and has 
long lived as an expletive in America, much as Wicklifle 
osed it. 

Many of the Poems, which remain to as in the 
Harleian Manuscript compiled about 1315, seem to be- 
long to 1280; so old a form as mat/denvton (virgo) is 
here found. They have been printed iu the Specimens 
of Lyric Poetry, (Percy Society) ; in the Political Songs, 
(Camden Socielj) ; in the Poems of WaJter Mapes, 
(Camden Society) ; and in the ' Beliquice Antiqnte.' We 
may safely set the compilation down to the shire where 
the St. Catherine was traualated ; there are many forms 
and idioms common to both pieces. The greatest peculia- 
rity of the present compiler is his changing to into we ; he 
hassi*«nfor»eo»(videre)at p. 100(LiyricP.). We see our 
Khou! (monstrare) at p. 196 (Political S.), though this 
must have had the sound of the French ow. The v is 
cast oat at p. Ill (Lyi^c P.), for devel becomes del, the 
Scotch deil. The form quaqve (tremere) is curions, in 
p. 348 (Mapes' P.) ; here the first qu is pronoanced in 
the English way, the second in the French way. 

The old form man km is now altered into monlcwtde 
(mankind), p. 81 (Lyric P.). Crop was much used in 

374 Old and Middle English. 

the sense of tojpui abont this time, 9A in the phrase crop 
ani rote ; onr cropper differs not much from header ; the 
one belongs to the land, the other to the water. Ched 
is nsed in the sense of feUow^ p. Ill (Ljric P.). Sccre 
is now used for a written account, p. 155 (Political S.)- 
The lad and hoi of the Havelok are here repeated. 
Women now bear the names of Magge and MaUe^ p. 158 
(Political S.). At p. 349 of the Mapes' Poems, the grave 
is called oure long horn. 

Seli, in the Western shires, had changed its meaning 
from heattM to infelix (like our ^pooi' fellow ') ; this we 
saw in the Havelok. An animal unjustly treated is 
.W .'iii^^ on that account called the mI • aggtf, p. 198 (Political S.)- 
In the next page comes dogged, applied to the wolf ; it 
seems here to stand for crudelis. Further on, at p. 203, 
we read of a soH wed, the sense that sort had begun to 
bear in the Havelok. At 68 (Lyric P.) we hear of a 
body beaten hlah ant hlo ; lUce (lividus) is English ; hide 
(c»ruleus) is French. At p. 152 (Political S.) we see 
the origin of our common as good as, where good stands 
for well ; ewe god is swynden anon as so for te swynhe. 
We say * that is as good as saying, &c.' ; here we see 
how the Infinitive in en became ing. Worthy had 
hitherto been followed by the Infinitive ; at p. 71 (Lyric 
P.) comes TTidke me worthi that y so he. 

At p. 58 of the same, we see the Possessive Pronoun 
set after its Substantive ; swete Ihesu, lovei'd myn, as in 
the BUckling Homilies. The Indefinite it is extended 
in meaning at p. 110 ; ' no wight, unless hit hue the- 
hegge.* The ne, even in this Southern shire, is making 
way for nouty as we see in p. 111. At p. 196 (Political 


Middle English: Reparation. 375 

Songs) there is a great change ; we see al fhai, whaie hi 
emr be. The old swa kwai two, is a thing of the paet ; and 
the Nenter Awaf is now used for the Maficaline liwi, or 
perhaps for hvn/U. The modem Belaiave sense of the 
latter Prononn is gaining gronnd at p. 205 ; the poet 
talks of the joy of hearea ; he then begins a new sen- 
tence ; to vihoch joi Orut hring ■m. 

As to Verbs : but (tn ee) ia in 72 (Lyric P.) ; it 
belongs to the Sonth, and was osed three hnndred years 
later by the great Warwickshire bard. The mot and 
Toost were not quite settled as yet ; in 199 (Political S.) 
stands Godit (jTwme meet hi have ; here we should now pnt 
may for moat. In p. 203 comes men mot it hide ; hero 
we should now pnt rmut for niot. At p. 155, comes y 
shal rewen huere redeg ; here rue, as in the Harrowing of 
Hell, is employed in onr modem way ; it wonld hare 
been earlier me shaU retcen of &c. We see snch phrases 
as hetceop aflodqftere»,p. 70 (Lyric P.) ; do wey, 'make 
way ' (p. 90) ; and thy wiUe ne Tcelk y ner a fate, (p. 100) 
' 1 followed thy will never a foot.' We here see the 
beginning of onr idiom, ' to walk the hospitals.' In the 
Political Songs, wed takes a new meaning, for it ia nsed 
of a priest marrying a couple (p. 159). Bnt the greatest 
change in the Verb is to be found in the ' Reliqnira 
Antiqa»,' I. p. 122. Long before this time, we saw in 
Domesday Book French names such as Taillebosc and 
FattagTiam. This compounding of a Verb with an 
Accusative is now passed on to English ; an old man 
is called by his wife tpUle-bred, or as we shonld now say, 
a bread-waeter. This new idiom was to flood England with 
new compounds in the Keformation age ; though it is 

376 Old and Middle English. 

now but little used ; our grooms call a horse a crt&-Hfer, 
not a hite'Crib ; we hare in this stuck to the old Teutonic 
way of compounding. Almost six handred years sepa- 
rate spUle-hred and know-nothing ^ the last similar French- 
born compound that I can remember ; it was a^word of 
great American renown about 1855. Another imitation 
of the French is seen in a piece of this age, in the 
* Rehquisa Antiqusd/ I. p. 133 ; we read of animals called 
the gO'hi-dichj the stele awaty and many such. This 
idiom was imitated by Bunyan in his Mr. Dare^not^lie, 
&c, ; the name Praise Ood Barehones was once well 
known. We now talk of a drink as a * pick me up ; ' a 
slow man is called ' old stick in the mud.' 

At p. 94 (Lyric P.) we meet with the so needlessly 
set before an Adjective, the idiom well known to our 
ballad-makers : 

Levediy seinte Money so fair ant so hriht. 

Wei is used for rihte in p. 80, stond wel under rode, re- 
minding us of the old well nigh. 

At p. 68 (Lyric P.) we find the love of the ; we have 
before seen thi love. But this of was giving way to on ; 
at p. 91 we see the old idiom rewe o^me ; at p. 90, comes 
the new rewe on me, Thjs idiom is repeated in the 
Alexander and the Piers Ploughman, compiled in neigh- 
bouring shires. In the Gothic, ama with the dative 
sometimes follows Verbs of emotion. (Matzner, II. 371.) 
In the Mapes' Poems, p. 347, comes al o fure^ and the 
Alexander, rather later, has setie on fyre. With is now 
used like the Latin ah before a person ; thou art toayied 
(watched) with fader a/nt al my kynne^ p. 91 (Lyric P.) ; 

Middle English: Reparation, ^yj 

this wiih is employed in the aame nay in Piers Plongh- 
man ; we still say, ' I was taken with him.' 

There are some new Tentonic words ; the pains of 
hell are said to he tyhel, p. 346 (Mapes' Poems) ; we still 
speak of a ' ticklish bnainess.' At p. Ill (Lyric P.) 
comes drynke of fol god bone, wheoce comes our hoozy. 
At p. 150 (Political S.), we hear of men that j^yieiA the 
pore fvl clene ; this is akin to the Dutch picken. At p^e 
157, we light apon those ■who polketh a parogghe in pyne ; 
hence comes onr Verb poke, which is found often in 
Salopian writers of the following age with the I cast ont ; 
this also is seen in Dutch. At p. 158, we hear that a 
woman is by-modered (distraught) ; hence perhaps our 
muddled, with the usual change of r aud I. 

About this time, 1280, English was making a new 
start. Some of the pieces iu the Lyric Poems, especially 
those in pages 80, 90, and 110, foreshadow the wonder- 
ful power and ease that our tongue was soon to display. 
1^ English Hymn, as we now commonly have it, 
was beginning to appear: some specimens are to be 
found in this manuscript : the four lines of each stanza 
-end in one rime. I give an example, from p. 70 
(Lyric P.) :— 

Jbesu, wheo icli tbenke on the, 

Ant loke upon the rode tre, 

Thi auet« bod; to-toren j ee, 

Hit maketh heorte to smerte me. 

To this time, about 1280, belongs the tale of Dame 
Siriz, a translation from the French ; it is printed in 
Wright's 'Anecdota Literaria.' It was written somewhere 
on the Great Sundering Line, from its mixture of 

- \ 

378 Old and Middle English. 

Northern and Southern fonoB. We find, as in the 
Havelolc, ^ar, '^a-ng, I num. hethen (benoe), thou bet 
(eris), Qoddot, fair and fre, we hdpen, til, have ; there is 
also tenne (peccatnm), elarc, and noeeting ■ all Severn 
forms. Perhaps the poem was written in Sonth Staf- 
fordshire ; the Sonthem thilke, muehel, and vamon 
(mnUer) appear ; and also the Accosative- of the Adjec- 
tive, have goine dai, a very late instance ; both (rifa 
and mU:e express talis. 

Bed (jnssit) keeps its voweUsonnd to this day. The 
h is wrongly prefixed, as in Aon and howusnrteis; r is 
added to Omnin's old uppo, for we find oppon ; here 
there mnst hare been some confusion with on. Besides 
the form Sirix, we see Sirith (p. 9), which rimes with 
grith ; this confusion we have already seen in the York- 
shire aeetred. 

At p. 5 comes the expression tretne as atel. The e/i 
sone of Dorset now becomes effU(mes (p. 11), At p. 7 
an old woman says, I bidde mi palemotter and mi cnde ; 
this Possessive Pronoun has since been used of books 
that men ought to read ; ' I have studied my Oibbon,' 
says one of Mr. Trollope's heroines. At p. 8 appears the 
origin of the cnmbrons ' if so be that,' well known is 
onr Bible ; if kit he so thai them ms helpe. 

In p. 7 we see go telle mi sereue (sorrow) ; here atii 
should have come after go. At p. 6 comes God ike 
t-&{em; in the next page this is shortened into hlem 
the, bteste the! Forms like 'save us' and 'curse it^ 
were to come lat«r. The old umbo was now being' 
dropped for aboute ; at p. 4 comes ich am i-gon abottte to 
tpeken; the idea of earnest purpose is here prominent. 

Middle English: Reparation. 379. 

and this lasted down to 1611. We find phrases suoh as to 
do /or the (rem gerere pro te). The old ^ef h&d hitherto 
meant adipUd; it now leans towards the meaniiig of 
tvadere ; ich tjette hire to mi wille (p. 8), There is a new 
sense of the verb run in the next p^e ; we hear of eye«^ 
running. A cations idiom, which we saw in the Chro- 
nicle of 1096, is fonnd in the following lines, in p. 9 : 

I aha) insk a lesing 
Of thin heie renrnng ; 

that is, 'I shall tell a lie abont thine eye mnning.' 
Here the Verbal N'oan has a Snhstantire prefixed. 
Some would wrongly say that the renntng was an Infini- 
tive, following the of, jnst as the French de takes an 
Infinitive after it. 

As to Prepositions : we hear of a man being from 
liom (p. 5) ; this is a relic of the old fra/m ^0, 'apart 
from thee,' in the Psalms. 

This poem is a translation from the French ; we are 
not sarprised therefore, on finding bote (bat) naed like 
the French mats at the beginning of a sentence (p. 7) ; 
maU <nii is a truly French idiom. And had been long 
used to English si as well as et : a distinction seemed to 
he called for ; so in the middle of p. II we see the d 
cut off and an (si) used for the first time. In the third 
line of p. 12 we fiud and if used for d ; the two words 
are coapled, and this usage lasted down to 1611, for but 
and if (sed ai) begins a sentence in onr New Testament. 
We here find not only the proper name Wilekin, 
which had long been known, but also Margeri.^ The 

' Ths English MargeH sMins eommoD-plsM bj the side of th« 


380 Old and Middle English. 

fair of Botolfston is mentioned, whicli is not as yet cat 
down to Boston; the prefi^p: Saint has been dropped. Wq 
see for the first time the French words pepis (pips), 
mustard, and juperti (jeopardy), p. 9. 

Along with Dame Siriz are printed a few other 
poems from the Digby Manuscript ; they seem to 
haye been written about 1280, much farther to the 
South ; for there are forms like axseth (rog^t) and bug&i 
(emere). In p. 90 we see the phrases Jier and there, 
-eijjte werof thou were loverd ; here whereof is nsed in a 
new way. In the next page comes to hen agast, tests &c. 

In another poem from the Digby Manuscript, The 
Thrush andNightingale (EEazlitt, * Early Popular Poetry/ 
I. 50) we find sheme for shame, filde for feld (campus), 
just as we now pronounce these words. In p. 57 we 
see a well-known proper name altered into Bedlehem, 
whence comes Bedlam, 

The last piece that seems to belong to 1280 is the 
Tristrem (Scott's edition), a poem which we owe to the 
North; it was transcribed fifty years later, most likely in 
Salop. ^ The Northern forms are gif (si), titly, thou set 
(vides), meii sets (aiunt), swclIu (passer), untrou}eandj 
Jiftend, warld, tan (captus), h^te (calidus), hist (emis), ye 
(tu), which last is always coming. The poem may have 
been written in Yorkshire, not far from the Lancashire and 
Derbyshire borders; for we find hye (ilia), also Orrmin's 
thou was (eras), and han (habent). The doun right of 
the Northern Psalter is repeated. Verbal nouns abound, 

aoUer Scotch Marjory, A wonderful difference is mado by forms of 

* I give a specimen of this in Chapter VIL 

Middle English: Reparation. 38 1 

a sore mark of the North. But the PaBsive IWticiple, 
with the final n clipped, has made its way npwards ; 
the Poet certainly wrote miglit have be in p. 173, as 
we see by the rimes; the Soalbem dra^e has also 
come into Yorkshire (p. 181). The chief tokens of the 
Transcriber's alterations are to be found in to, ieh, 
hoaihe, hrelhem, no, where twa, ilk (idem), hathe, 
brether, and na mnst hare been written. He Bometimee, 
bat not always, tarns again (iteram) into oyain; ia 
p. 100 tlio (qnnm) has been tamed into though. The 
clearest marks of transcription are to be seen in the last 
lines of the two stanzas in p. 152. The Salopian form 
herme (genas) has been snbstitnted for hiniie at p. 82, 
maoh to the injury of the rime ; and of life (de rita) 
has been tnmed into olive, which makes nonsense, in 
p. 105. 

As to Vowels ; the old ttshle (docoit) now becomes 
taught; onr form ilain (ctesas) comes at p. 93. The 
old (fiewe (cantos) ia foimd, and also the new gle, (p. 82). 
The poet had no scmple in using Southern forms, 
when he wanted a rime ; kende (genns) comes in p.l50, 
and the Plaral dayn (dies) in p. 153. At p. 30 we see 
penie, a word cut down to pens in the next p^e. We 
at last come upon onr ought (debet), which had been 
long in gaining its abiding shape ; there is also anough 

There is a strong tendency to cast oat Consonants ; 
the Verb dronJxn (mergere) of the Northern Psalter now 
becomes droun (p. 90), out drown; the old Verb noogan 
isBeenasfitroun(p. 16). The digrdp of former days, the 
rope by which you sHe up, is now written iHrop. The 

382 Old and Middle English. 

old Icelandic mithla was nsnaQj meddle in English ; but 
at p. 189 we see, ike euntre wUh hem meldy a great con- 
traction ; onr slang word miU (pognare) may oome from 
this; Scott writes, dare ye meU wP Donald Caird. The 
French melae is well known. The former ^eAoU (castel- 
Inm) is pared down to hold (p. 168), our hold ; ihe French 
coneiHorie becomes eanstori. The old darep (jacolam), 
is now dart. On is pared down to a in a bed, a fat, and 
a loft; we now ran the Prepositions and the Nouns into 
one word. The waj/u (fluctus) of Lajamon'a Second 
Text now become wawesy a form that was to last nntH 
Tjndale wrote it waves. The old verb siftan (cribraie) 
now forms the Noon sive (p. 114), which was written 
nft in Norfolk so late as 1440. Enough might even 
in the North be pronounced without the guttural at 
the end, as we see by the rimes in p. 182. The intru- 
sive n appears in messanger^ p. 151. 

As to Substantives : the Verbal Nouns are fieust in- 
<nreasing; we find his wining, p. 53; her hlod leteing, 
p. 126, and many others. Orrmin's endeda^ now be- 
<K>mes ending day, p. 102. We hear of something being 
done opon a somers day. We have seen Sir, Dame, and 
Child prefixed to proper names; we now find maiden 
Blaimcheflour, Instead of see, have a sight of is used in 
p. 38. Trland side is in p. 61 ; here the last word is not 
needed ; it shows the origin of our phrase, the whole 
cov/ntry side. Drink of main (p. 97) is used for a mighty 
d/rvnk. We see au idiom well known to our ballad-makers 
in p. 112 ; gavisus est is Englished by glad a man was 
he. In p. 32 the old honda (colonus) gives way to 
■hushondman ; the poet has elsewhere a new meaning for 

Middle English: Reparation. 383 

hovd ; at p. 55 Gomee, to lontf icAoce &en Iwr bond, ' too 
long I have been their thrall.' Hiuhonde of old had 
meant only eonjux and paterfamiliat ; the confnBion ot 
the derivative from the Scandinavian htia with the 
derivative from the Old English hindan is Ukely to puzzle 
the modem stadent. It is strange that the servile mean- 
ing of bond should be found first in a Bhlre much peopled 
by Dfuiea. Already, in the Northern Psalter, bunden 
(vinctns) has been changed into bottden. 

There ia a tendency to nae Adjectives as if they were 
Substantives: at p. 179 cornea Yionde men caUeth that 
Jre ; here lady ahonld follow the last word ; we know 
Hood's 'one more unfortunate.' This bold (p. 116) re- 
minds us of the French ce brave. At p. 57 ia thai 
leylden into the wide ; jnst as we talk of tite open. At 
p. 170 we see the old liflie (vivax) gain a new meaning ; 
it is here applied to imf^es that resemble life ; we now 
make a difference between lively and U/e-Uke. Orrmin'a 
ge^nlike is now seen as gain (promptus), p. 51 ; and the 
word ia still well known in Yorkshire. The Adjective 
long is altogether dropped in the phrase, the vjand wa» 
tuelve fete, p. 147 ; something like the idiom common in 
the oldest English, he wobs twelfwintre (eald). A new 
idiom of time is seen in p. 154 ; a pair live in pleasnre 
for tuelmoneth tkre wmtkes lot ; this wonld earlier have 
been ' less by three weeks.' 

The Pronoun his was now used freely without being 
coupled to a Noun ; in p. 57, two men sail forth, each in 
his own ship, 

Moraunt band his beude. 
And Tristnm lete his go. 

384 Old and Middle English. 

There is a new form for the Reflexive Pronoan ia 
p. 18 ; t\ai maked hem houn ; we still saj, ^ I lay ma 
down.' The Indefinite it gains ground; in p. 98, 
Tristrem wonld have been slain, no were it for the king ; 
Orrmin wonld have written ncare for no were it. The a# 
was being nsed for the Latin qtu)d, jnst as our lower 
class still nse it ; an hUle as hs hadde mett^ is in p. 154. 
In p. 151 comes a poetical idiom that Chancer loved : — 

Who was blithe in halle, 
Bot Ysonde the quen f 

A touch of this lingers in Scott's * Peveril,' chapter xxiii. ; 
Everett says : * he was who but he with the regents.' 

In Verbs : did is coming in ^ist ; as thm dede obade^ 
(manserunt), p. 54 ; [this revived idiom was making 
way elsewhere, as we see in the Havelok. The mosty in 
the sense of oportety had travelled up from Dorset to 
Yorkshire within forty years ; in p. 94 is nedes he most 
abide ; the most is also used for licuit (p. 164) ; ye moten 
is used in the sense of oportet^ in p. 106. The French 
idiom, first found in St. Katherine's Legend, is repeated 
in p. 160 ; we there see Tristrem went, withouten coming 
oyavn ; here the Infinitive comen takes the form of the 
Active Participle.* We should never, I think, presume 
that this ing after a Preposition represents an old Infini- 
tive, unless the Prepositions answer to sans^jpour^ or de^ 
which govern an Infinitive in French. We hear of men Wi- 
in^out of haven; of laying money on a thing; these remind 

' An OT e7i becomes ing, just as the old Abbandtm is now Jbing- 
doTtf and some people turn captain and garden into capting and 

Middle English: Reparation. 385 

ns of BoandiD&Tia. We read, moreorer, of irea&tnir 
heads ; of dealing etrokea ; of letUny a child to lore. 
The Verb bitakeit, naed for b-ad^e in I^yttmou'e 
Second Text, was now pared down to lake ; at p. 21 
comes, gehe lake Bouhctnt a ring ; at p. 92 comes, 
Trwtrem take asaiit to thai dragwm; we still saj, 'he 
took him a crack on the head.' The old Verbs lere 
(docore) and lent (discere) are no longer kept distinot ; ' 
in p. 24 comes, he lemd him. At p. 14?, ttamd gets, 
as in Scandinavia, the sense of /eire as well as stare; 
kie ttrok may no man stand.* Layamon's Verb dash 
had been transitive; bnt we now find, over the bregge 
he deste, p. 149. At p. 25 comes the enqniry, 'What 
wilt thoa lay ? ' tlte answer is, tuenti sckiUingee to 
sat/; we should now put, say tw&nUj shillings. In p. 36 
conies the challenge, who better can tat so ; we shonld 
now B&y, let us see ; here the us is intmsiTe. The 
I^st Participle of ttician (pnngere) had always been 
Weak ; it is now confused with the Strong Verb sleken 
(claadere), and we see mine hert hije hath y-sleke (p. 177). 
Y trowe is nsed as a mere expletiTe in p. 182 ; this is the 
Scandinavian trui eg ; y wene was elsewhere coming into 
nse in the same sense. The Verb is dropped, after the 
Fi-onch fashion, in the request, swete Ystynde, thin are, 
(bestotr pity), p. 123. 

We see snoh Adverbial phrases, as, 'to mate /air,' 
' he was fast by,' 'owi, traitoor, of mi land ! ' (p. 50), 
' she wende al vrrong,' ' he hated him dedehj,' In the 

' I hare saen Um calted the PaimTe V(ac« of Ifrc. 
' Abont the tsof 134S thiro -was a great dispute as to whether 
I ' wsa a phlBae of CrDmveU'B lime. 

386 Old afid Middle English. 

last word, we see the loss that England was nndergoing. 
now that in the Dano-Anglian coontay she oonld not 
mark the distinction between an Adjectiye and an 
Adverb. The old hrcBdlice (protenns) is now seen as 
redUy (p. 39) ; this does not come from Orrmin's r(Bdii 
(paratns). Them (tone) is employed mncb as a Nonn, 
for we find er than and hi than, a nsage which comes 
down from before the Conquest. The old GomparatiTe 
of feor (procnl) was ferre, which may still be heard in 
Scotland as farter \ this was now confounded with 
fwrfher'y and ferther (p. 94), onr fcvrther^ is the result. 
The old Adverb cwicliche is pared down to quih at p. 98. 
We have seen stiUe nsed as adhuc three hundred years 
before this time ; the idiom now comes up again ; it was 
long peculiar to the North, and only slowly made its way 
to London. At p. 117 we find, yif he loveth the stiUe. 

At p. 18 we see over hord used of a ship. The replac- 
ing of into by cm or in is again seen ; it hr<ut on peces, 
p. 92. 

In p. 175 we find wel in the sense of the French eh 
hien at the beginning of a sentence, weH^ whi seistow 


Some Scandinavian words appear; such as hush 
(parare), from hua sig^ 'to betake himself; ' sttU^ from 
the Swedish stylta, a support. To hohhle, which is here 
found, is akin to a Dutch word meaning ' to jog up 
and down.' Stout is also pure Dutch. At p. 42 we find 
stormes histayd hem; this new form, something like heset, 
is akin to the High German. 

There are rimed versions of two supposed Charters of 
King Athelstane's to Beverley and Bipon ; these seem to 

Middle English: Reparation. 387 

belong to 1280; they are In Kemble's CoUection, II, 186. 
The forms are very like those of the Yorkshire Psalter ; 
the e is often doabled. We fiad the line cUltIc, prert, 
parson, or eherel ; pericma was Ei^lisbed by pargim, fol- 
loTring the French nsage. The j/e was wrongly written 
■for you; fan tay lye; give I ye. There ie na num tat 
have at do ; the last two words, a Scandinavian form, 
have become the parent of our a^ ; we have tnmed an 
In6mtive/acereintoa Nonn Cornegotivm. 


To this date seems to belong the Debate of the Body 
and the Sool, printed in the Poems of W^ter Mapes, 
334, (Camden Society). It may have been compiled 
somewhere near Rngby, for there is a mixture of 
Southern and Midland speech. Some of Ornnin's forms 
are repeated, as thou v>aa, sumwat ; the Participle 
jlotoende ; his ner (neqne) now becomes nor, p. 334. 
There is thertil, ding, to and fro, Mrke, retme, are, as 
in the Havelok ; and the trotevale (nonsense) a pecnliar 
word found a few years later in Sonth Lincolnshire.' 
Arise ia cnt down to sise, another link with that county. 
Cloches (clatches) is seen ; it came before in the War- 
wickshire version of the Ancren Biwle ; to ride on /letje 
horse (p. 337), is repeated in the Alexander, a few years 
later ; that poem too may belong to Warwickshire. On 

' Hu the kit «;Uabt« aiiTthuig in eonunon with tillg vailg, 
DpoD Thich the Lurd of Moakbonia dUeoane* so learnedlyf 

388 Old and Middle English. 

the other hand, the Soathem forms in the present work 
are luidy i-hud^ hahhe, niSj honden^ he (illi). We find 
both svwiUc and sumche for talis ; als and a«, unih and 
Ttiity mtkkel and michel : the poem is a work compiled 
close to the Great Sundering Line. 

The aley (sapiens) of the Havelok now becomes d^, 
p. 339 : and god (boDUs) becomes guod, p. 334 ; wo see 
the Vowel in its passage from the old sonnd of o to our 
modem sonnd t», the French ou. The Consonants are 
much clipped ; sawe (vidi) becomes sau ; the old si^fcm 
(post), is pared down to sin^ p. 335 ; and this, like 
frotevcdey is repeated in a South Lincolnshire work, a 
dozen years later. Bidnt (fedsti) becomes diat. There 
*is a curious combination of consonants in jotf^e (joy). 
The hrunstan (suUur) of Northern England now becomes 
hruTnston, p. 339 ; the u was elsewhere changed into t. 
An I is inserted into Lajamon's Verb sturten, without 
changing the sense; in p. 835 is come thotg;^ sterte- 
liiide ; the meaning here is rather different from our 

The Adjective minde now adds a new meaning to its 
old sense meinor ; we hear at p. 336 that a man is mynde 
(inclined) to the world ; this is repeated in the Llncoln- 
sliire work above referred to. We still say, * I have a 
good miud to <fec.' as well as ' mind you do it.' 

In Verbs, we light upon our expletive ic setf^e (I say), 
coming at the beginning of a sentence, p. 335. So lost 
was the governing principle of the old inflexions, that a 
new form of the Auxiliary Verb is struck off; ic mot, yt( 
moat^ were not understood, and thou mostist (debuisti) is 
seen. We have ^enfiedde as a new Perfect of the Verb 

Middle English: Reparation. 389. 

fi&m (fugere) ; this is now found as the Past Participle, 
tiling frervl heonjledde, p. 334. We have already marked 
in the poems of 1270, hetwe u tholie^i. than Tnomen; this 
Infinitive was now made to imitate the Active Participle ; 
at p. 338 ctanea merei criende Iviel availede, crying mesrcy 
(peteremiaericordiam) little availed.'' After this, it was 
easy to look npon criende, not as a Oemndial Infinitive, 
bnt aa an Active Participle, and to write it crying. The 
whole of this sabject is perhaps the most debated point 
in onr English tongae ; I hope I have in this work thrown 
some light npon it. Within the last six bandred yeara, a 
great load has been cast on onr ending ing ; it reprracnts 
(1) the old Southern inde, the ending of Active Parti- 
ciples ; (2) the old ung of Verbal Noims;(3)the old Infini- ' 
tive an and en, aa in the case jtist quoted. All three nsageB 
are foond in the one sentence: ^Searing the roaring, 
witJiODt stirring, I looked.' No. 1 and No. 2 seem to be 
jumbled together in the phrase, ' They left beating of 
Panl.' Owing to this confusion, a wholly new English 
idiom was prodacedaboat 1770. Where the English Gtos- 
pels of 1000 have wyfeAe/omn(St. John vii. 35), Wiokliffe 
has, heiito gotjinge. Dr. Morris traces this usage down 
to aboat the year 1500. In the Poem now discnssed, 
p. 336, we find the contrary form, to mtme was my kinde, 
' it was my nature to ain.' 

We have already seen with osed to express the Latin 
ab ; and in this poem, p. 335, comes btaaen with the idnd. 

' In tii» Ettex BmiiUt ot 1180, p. i9, ve tni to wunifude . . . . 
and to driven ; both of these fonns alike represent tlie old Qerundial 
InfinibTe. Hiitzoer (III. 77) gives maoy FoDTteentli Centu; ex- 
ftinples of the nw of this perpleiiog iitg. 


Old and Middle English, 

In the page before, this wiih seems to express the Latin 
^>er ; noto 'wiili iki sehe thott:^ art forlorn, 

A French idiom here appears in English, something 
like 8% vieux horn com estes; onr cu Beems to get tbe 
meaning of quamvis. The poet, in p. 839, says, ' Christ 
shielded me, a sunful num as I lay thore.* 

At p. 337 we hear of a hoilidere in charge of sheej^ ; 
this new word reminds ns of the dwellers in a Scofcch 
hothie. In the specimen that follows, hw is written ^tr. 



Jwan I bad to leve pride, 

thi manie mee,* thi riche schrond, 
The false world that stode biside 

bad the be ful quo jnte and proud ; 
Thi fleychs with riche robes schride,^ 

nou^t als a beggare in a clou^^t ; 
And on heije horse to ride, 

with mikel meyn^ in and oujt 
Jwan I bad the erliche to rise, 

nim on me thi soule kep.^ 
Thouj seidest thouj mijtest a none wise 

forgon the murie morwe ^ slop. 
Jwan je hadden set your sise,* 

ye thre tray tours, sore I wep ; 
Ye ladde me wid oure enprise, 

as to bothelere doth is schep. 
Jwan thre traitours at a tale 

togidere weren agein me sworn. 
Al ye maden trotevale ' 

that I bayed seid bifom. 




' momiog 

• made your 


Middle English,: Reparation. 

Je ledde me U douue uul dale, 

ftB an oie bi tha hom, 
Til ther ab him is browen bale, 

tlier Ilia throte Rch&l be edioni. 

We redeth i |>e holi ^odepelle ol to dai jntt are lord 
ihesn crist yede one time into one ssipe and Ibo deciples 
mid him into |)e see. And bo hi were in )>q sBipe so aroe 
a great tempeste of winde. And nre lord waa i-1eid him 
don to slepe ine ]>o Bsipe, er ]>ane ^ t«mpeete aroos. 
Hise deciples hedde gret drede of fise tempeste, so ava- 
kede bine, and seiden to him, lord, save as, for we 
perisset. And ha wiste wel )>et hi ne hadde nooht gode 
beleave ine him; fK» aeide to hem; what dret yw, folk 
of Utle beliave. po aroa op nre lord and tok pane wjnd 
and to see, and al-so Ta)>e hit was stille. 

This forma a part of the few Kentish Sermons, 
printed hj Dr. Morris in his 'Old English Miacellany' 
(Early English Text Society), p, 32 ; they are translated 
from the French. We see the old forms, especially the 
Article in ita three Gendera, lingering on in Kent, long 
after they had been dropped elsewhere. This ehire, 
where Hengiat landed, preserved hia apeeoh with pecn- 
liar carefalneae ; nearly two hundred years after 1290, 
as Caxton tells na, the Kentish tongne sonnded most 
atronge in the eats of other Knglishmen. We here 
find forms that remind as of the Homilies of 1120, snch 
as fer (ignis), lenne (peccatum), furti (qoadraginta), 

392 Old attd Middle English, 

apiered (visns est), where tlie te of the South East is 
forced into a French word. The Vowel-combinations in 
thi&fy leaf^ reef^ havebnt one sonnd (formerlj the French e, 
bnt now the French t) ; the three forms come from dif- 
ferent parts of England, much to the puzzlement of 
foreigners. The tirgen (fatigari) of East Anglia now 
becomes targi (morari), p. 86 ; the Old English word has 
got confused with the French targier ; we now make a 
difference between tire and tarry. In the same page we 
find ywre (auris), and something similar is written in a 
famous Kentish work fifty years later ; this seemB to show 
the oldest pronunciation of the English eare. So strong 
was the Southern leaning to o in the place of a, that the 
foreign angel is here written ongeh The Dorsetshire "u 
had not replaced i in Kent, for we find toyman and 
"trdchel. The o is doubled^ as in goodman. What had 
been written Giwes is now cut down to Oeiis^ just as we 
sound the word Jews^ p. 26. 

On turning to the Consonants : we see that Kent, 
like East Anglia, employed forms like sal for shaUf 
theftey maden (fecerunt). There is both loverd and 
lord ; the old guttural in laghe (lex) is kept as strictly 
as in Yorkshire; but there are tokens of a coming 
change, for we find both feUighe (socius) and feh/reAe, 
p. 31. The nicht (nox) and nocht (non) still keep the 
guttural. The new Participle in ing had not yet ovemm 
Kent, which is &r from Worcestershire. The h at the 
beginning of a word is sometimes clipped, and some- 
times wrongly prefixed. The v instead of / was Tyi^^lring 
way. There is siche (talis) as well as 8wiche ; and the 
former may still be heard in our days. In p. 82 bMU 

Middle English: Reparation. 393 

is pat for ahaU ye ; this is the forenumer of a cor. 
rnption now widely spread, lite 'do'ee now.' The sound 
of the fr had become so softened in many instances, that 
tojanes ia written for togeaTies, p. 26. The form ittn( 
(rex) shows how strongly the g in king was qonnded. 

In Substantives, there is a falling away from the 
old standard ; the writer prefers fer of helte to helle-fer. 
The word yldo had been used of old for both (elai and 
aenectv* ; we see in p. 35 a budding tendency to express 
the latter by elde, and the former by the new French 
word dge, already employed in the Horn. Sefeneue is 
ased in p. 26 for the old ha^enne»; this looks like a 
copying of the French ending. 

TheYerbal Noons were coming in everywhere; ieTMM^e 
stands for birth, in p. 26. The old kalend had long gone 
ont ; heUre appears in its place, which had already been 
nsed twice before this time. The preacher addresses 
his fiook as hrdinges and levedit ; we should now say, 
' Ladies and gentlemen.' A new word, goodman, p. 33, 
Englishes pateTfamUias. It is worth while to trace how 
a meaning leaps from word to word ; I place the old 
sense above the new sense in each : 

{1. BoDus homo. 
S. Faterfajnilias. 

12. OobnuB. 
Sonde . . il ^"''"'™- 

Here we see three English words, all within the Thir- 
teenth Century, add wholly new senses to their old 


394 Old and Middle English. 

meanings. This shifting of ideas >£rom word to word is 
most strange. 

An Old English idiom is kept np in, a mX; man seyde 
' Lord, Lord,* ha seide ^., p. 31 ; this repetition maj be 
still heard. 

A new idiom is fonnd in p. SO : leckerie^ sptubreeke, 

roherie, yarch wyche yinkes, Ao. ; here a new Sab- 

siantive, thingsy is conpled with the Relative, to represent 
seyeral other Snbetantiyes. 

There is a strange nnion in p. 28 ; we read si mine 

signefiet vfuUnge go ine pelrimage .... and to do aOe 

|>d gode, Ao. Here we have the Verbal Noun, the pare 
Infinitive, and the Infioitive with to, all governed hj 
one Verb. 

The 9wa of the Bliclding Homilies starts to life 
again, in the sense of igitur ; in p. 32, ' thej feaied, so 
ihej waked him.' The word al-so is nsed for gictU in 
p. 28, a renmant of the Old English form edbwa; 
elsewhere this cdso stood for etiam. There is a new 
Verb, glare, akin to the Low Grerman. 

In the Egerton Mannscript of this time ('Old 
English Miscellany,' p. 198) we see the new phrase, of 
pe hifig he mede^i (made) game. 

The Digbj Mannscript seems ta have been drawn ap 
abont 1290, and contains poems of the previons twenty 
years: like Layamon's Second Text, it may belong to 
Hertfordshire; for, amidst many Sonthem forms, we 
find sad for shcUl ; tU ; and the writer has gone out of his 
way to write pat (illnd), in the Harrowing of Hell, 
p. 35. The Passive Voice was widening its bonnds, for 
at p. 21 comes, he was don some (shame). Lording is 

Middle English: Reparation. 395 

pat for loeerding, in the East Anglian way. The old 
r,iaKr<eden, manrede (honu^) was at this time well 
understood 'm, the ITorth, and long snrnTed in 9ootoh 
I&w deeds as manrent ; bat the meaning of the word 
had been loet in the Sooth ; the present compiler has 
altered moored^ at p. 26 into mani redet, making great 
nonsense of the passage. It was the North that kept 
old Teutonic words, whOe the Soath let them slip. The 
Poet conld not understand fou inlevett aU fin one in the 
same page (manes tn solas), and so tarns it absurdly 
into you letett |>e alone.^ He has the Soathem forms 
hy (ilH), torewen, undo (not undon), and the old Accasa- 
tive . of the Article, pene. The French form neweu 
(nephew) is preferred to the Old English nefe, (p. 21) ; 
and this became common all through Sonthem England. 

Some Herefordshire pieces, from the Ljiio Poems 
and the Political Songs (both qnoted above at p. 373), 
seem to belong to 1290. The old Imperatave llawe had 
become first hloioe and then blou (p. 51, l^rio P.) ; the 
coromnnity of sound between ow and ou conld not be 
more strongly marked. The old Areow (crndns) is now 
pared down to rav! (p. 37, Political S.). A new idiom, 
repeated afterwards in another Western poem, that of 
Piers Plonghman, comes in p. 52 (Lyric P.) ; we hear 
of leggesifet, ant al ; here aU has a backward reference 
to sereral foregoing Nouns. We find the phrases, 
IwynghfTig of an eifi, y inake moivmyng. At p. 52 (Lyric 
P.) comes Chd vjolde hue (ilia) were myn! Here the 
Kolde is Optative ; a few years later, we shall find the 

■ Neither Hallivell, nor ereo Gomett (bm bis Emay>, p. 121), 
could nodentand this pBsaaga in its flrstr shape. 

396 Old and Middle English. 

two first words tnnsposed* In p. 54 we read, heo wdUe 
dele of bote with ihe ; this new idiom with the of seems 
to come from the French dispose of, partake of. In p. 106 
tip becomes almost a Verb ; tip ant he god chamipiomL 
The proper name Goljn appears; also the Icehuidic 
byke (canis), still in Yorkshire nse. There are the Low 
Dntch words momel (mnmble) and poU (caput) ; there 
is also pale ; it may come from the plai crown of a 
priest's head. There are the Celtic words, eopeZ (cahal- 
los), and goblin (p. 238, Political S.) ; this last comeR 
afterwards in Piers Ploughman, who wrote not fiaor from 

These Herefordshire poems lead to the mention of 
an Old English Charter, modernised not long after tiuB 
in the same connty, (Kemble, lY. 218); aboat thu 
time the French faverable must here have been inserted. 
In the Rubric the document is said to be, carta in Ungud 
Saxonicd translata in linguam AngUcctnam, This is one of 
the first instances of the mischievous distinction made 
by our wiseacres between the English of 1066 and the 
English of 1300 ; the Germans and the Irish have been 
too wise to write nonsense of this kind ; they set some 
store by the continuity of the names of their respecttye 
tongues. Bobert of Gloucester, about 1300, opposes, 
though most seldom, Saxons to Normans; the Chro- 
nicles of 1066 talked of English, not of Saxons. In a 
Catalogue of Glastonbury Manuscripts, drawn up in 
1248, the old national Homilies, a sealed book to that 
generation, were described as Sermones Anglici.^ 

' See Seinte Marherete, notes, p. 77> 

Middle English : Reparation. 397 

Aboat 1290, the long poem called the ' Cnrsor 
MuDdi ■ was translated from the French ; most likely in 
the North of Torkahire.' We have not the original 
banslatioD, for eren the oldest rersiou we poBBeee often 
mistakes a word. The Scandinavian element is roost 
obrioDS ; there are forms like f Am-, Oai these (p. 24), a 
phrase that long lingered in Scotch law papers; also 
Qoddote, in p, 220; Jv,r$alem, p. 530; with other snch, 
hereafter to be noticed. In p. 1240, the Icelandic form 
ttanga (pangere) is preferred to the English gtingan. 
In p. 792, heliand, the loelnndic heiland, stands for the 
Verbal N'onnAeoJiru)'. The piece cannot well be dated after 
1290 ; for tiiere are five obsolete Teutonic words in every 
fifty lionns, Verbs, and Adverbs ; if we looked only at 
the obsolete Tentonic, we must date the piece abont 1260; 
if we looked only at the vast proportion of French words, 
we most pnt it as late as 13^. In this strange propor- 
tion of the Old and the Kew, the Gnrsor Mundi stands 
alone in English; no more important piece has ever 
been printed, and Dr. Morris has done it fall jnstice. 

Id the Cnrsor Mnndi, it is moat important to pay 
attention to the change in the sonnds of the Vowels : this 
change soon prevailed all over Northern England and 
Scotland; it made its way to London aboat the year 
1600, where it altered the sonnd, bat not the spelling, of 

' The plaioest tnces of the French original maj be fbnnd in 
p. 1272 ; where we are told Uiot Franch kings ought to wield the 
Bomsa Empire: 

For in >aa kingea sal it stand 

Ai to-quiU W ar lostand. 
The laat uf oil Jtoman Emperonia to be > King of France, who vitl 
go to Jrra*alein, and there jield up his crown to Christ. 

39^ Old and Middle English. 

Englisli words. Nortiheni words and idioms had Iod^ 
been working down Southwards; the sound of Northern 
Vowels was, about 1600, to make the conquest of the 
South. A here replaces e, as 'hared (yastavit), fear (re- 
motus), warren (pugnare) ; rces (cursns) becx>mes rus, 1 
replaces t, as Moai yee (scitis) p. 996 ; it replaces o, as gwary 
(juravit), a corruption which l^dale has brought into 
our Bible. In some words the Southern a was nov 
sounded in the North like the French S ; there is n(d» 
(uuIIub), sten (lapis), draif (pepulit), der (aodeo). The a 
replaces y in p. 710, where kyrwe becomes Aarti^ our har- 
row. The a is dropped altogether in * he drogh him haky' 
p. 908, andmon^ (inter), p. 698 ; also hide (manere). The 
French pandysie is cut down to parlesi^ p. 678, and was 
long peculiar to the North. We see by the rime that in 
Ys'Ori all three vowels were distinctly sounded. The aft 
seems to have been pronounced like the French ott, for the 
old ldku}ed (indoctns) is here written laud^ and Baulamd 
stands for the French Botand, p. 8, showing the inter- 
change between o and otf. Thee was sounded veiy 
broadly in the North, as we find yeit (adhuc) ; Orrmin's 
Jude ( Judflsa), is repeated here, and is still known as 
Judee in America ; the e replaced the o of the South, for 
we find enefU (anent) ; it was dropped before «, for 
there is Hehru ; the e at the end of a word vanishes, as 
in hridod ; also at the beginning, for we find Spaigvve for 
Espaigne^ the lepanie of 1087. The i replaced e, as in 
this are (haec snnt) ; the Icelandic bUnda (caecare) 
comes instead of the Old English hlendan^ gli (gaudium) 
instead of gU ; winnes (putat) instead of toenes ; stUe^ hir, 
are to be found, the sound of which we keep in steel and 

Middle English : iteparatioti. 399 

here. The Perfect ^tette becomeB ipitt, p. 776, whicli 
is still improperly nsed by as. J replaces u, for the 
hnautan, (snlphnr) of the Northern Psalter now becomes 
hringtfOM, p. 170, not far from our brifiuUme. The old 
oaeU (ocddere) now becomes cole, oa the way to our 
}e3.l ; in the Sonthent Tersion, it is replaced by tpille, 
p. 186. What had been written am (sagitta) in ths 
North, is now eeeo as oro, p. 576, just as we now pro- 
noniioe the word ; /ofloio, harrow, and snoh like words 
were to take their new sonnd rather later. On the 
other hand, £he u or ou was making great encroach. 
menta oh the ; we find /oid (gtnltae), buk (liber), dm 
(facit), pur (paoper), lun (moz), dam (jndicare), bute 
(remedinm), Itnuen (Bolvere), and many ench ; this is 
repeated later in the Townley Mysteries, which belong 
to Torkshire. Oar donbling the o to express the eoond 
of the French ou reminds ns that these words above 
cited once had the sound of 0. The tt is inserted ; fiefm 
beoomea fathom (fathom) at p. 136. The dettru at 
p. 378, ahowB what waa the old sonnd ot onr detiroy. 
The old celmesie becomes aZmu«, the amnovs of Scott ; see 
p. 1132. 

As to the Consonants : h ia clipped at the beginning 
of a word, for heturue becomes tuvt, p. 404 ; bihea/ding 
becomes he/ding, aa in ' hanging and heading : ' um- 
heAwile ia seen as uniqtthile. The p is inserted, as detapt 
(damnatos), p. 1316 ; this most be an imitation of the 
French form. The / is cast ont, for oncfeni becomes 
enent (anent), p. 1316; this letter in gifan is mndi 
manled ; in p. 38 we see j/m (dat), and in p. 304 gin 
(datum), jnst as the Scotch sound these words now. 

400 Old and Middle English. 

We find the proper name Steven^ with the modern 
sound of the last three letters. The g diaappeais 
altogether in the middle of herherd^ herhergean^ (har- 
boured), p. 886 ; we find forms like sigh^ laghter, and 
rttgh (rongh) ; sometimes the g^ttnral at the end is 
dropped, as in ^ (ramus), and fou (quamyis) ; noU is 
replaced by not The French nirage becomes ouirake, 
p. 244. The e is inserted, when sufilh (talis) becomes 
squHk, p. 194; and this insertion is most common in 
the Lancashire version of the poem. It is curious to 
find the old form biicop still lingering in the North, 
p. 1208. The d is cast out, godspel now turning into 
gospel ; the t often stands for the old d at the end of 
Verbs, as in lent^ reft^ wont. The noght but of the North 
now becomes 7iobot (tantum) p. 1300 ; a word that 
Wickliffe loved. We find mell (miscere), p. 1294, which 
may come either from the Icelandic or the French.^ 
The tendency to contraction is shown in an Apostle's 
name being pared down to BartiUnieUy p. 762; hence 
comes our Battle, There is a fondness for casting out 
2, m, and n ; carman replaces carlman (homo), and/o^e 
(p. 692) stands for folk much as we now sound the 
word. A fiamous Northern form is first seen in p. 1292, 
where a, riming with fra^ stands for all. At p. 318, 
forme fader follows the Scandinavian forfa^r^ and be- 
comes /or/oder, oux forefaiher \ this form was unknown 
in the South, and is written in the Southern Version, 
formaste fadir. The n is dropped at the end of mine and 
ihime^ even when they come before Vowels ; we see forms 
like \i aueti, p. 224, and mi (9ght, p. 392, the old oh 

> Wicklifife talks of * wyn wtecWrftrf with myrre/ 

Middle English: Reparation. 401, is now emedd, our amid, p. 66. The r is added 
to words ; the old lenge (moisri) beoomea lenger, p. 42 ; 
and nitA«me«{ (inSmne) is seen as nethamuut, p. 532. We 
also find the r inserted in ansrit (anli, only), p. 1318 ; the 
allenarly of Scotch law docnineDts is well known. The 
r is transposed in the middle of a word; the old furUn 
(perforare) becomes lhril,ji. 678 ; the/twiner, (pr«ecarsor), 
at p. 758, is a most shortened form of onr fore-rmrner. 
There is the carious French form of writing a; for s, 
(Dens, Dex), so often found in the ' Paston Letters '; _^ezs 
is here written torfiesh. The a is clipped at the end 
of a word ; for rtkdeU (esnigma) becomes redel at p. 412, 
thongh the old form lingered on in the Sonth. The 
Latin Julim is pared down to Jvly, p. 8; whence 
comes one of onr months. On the other hand, « is 
added to alnoay, for we lig'ht on our aireai*, p. 356. The 
10 is thrown out, for we find wantun, p. 666, for tibe old 
vHtti'iiowen (lasdms). 

As to SabstantiveB : we hare already seen how netn 
was employed in the Korthem Psalter as a favonrite 
ending ; we now find new coinages, snch as seline» and 
drednes; bUmednes (blessedness) appears for the first 
time, p. 976. At p. 436 it is hinted that Ooliath trusts 
in his winnet (armour) ; and this word rimes with 
wrangwimes, formed after the pattern of rihtiovnet. On 
the other hand, the new form In-hede (p. 250) expresaes 
Jndaism; there is also tdkenhid (significatio), p. 1242. 
We find new SnbetantiTeB, like d&nfaU (downfall), ineom 
(entrance, the Scandinavian innkvdma), starmatt (Scan- 
dinavian st^nkasf), windmgelalh, step, ttini, crak; /ate 
man, already nsed in the Lindis&me Qospels, is mtw 

402 Old and Middle English. 

repeated. But on the other hand, the old nesa is sometiines 
cut off; the former wid/rves9e now becomes widey p. 104, 
(the Scandinavian vidd) ; it is on the road to our wid£h ; 
the old foreseownes (providentia) appears as forsightj 
p. 1138; ecipgehrociB sciphreging^ p. 1200.^ An ^wder- 
hte^ p. 126, is the full form of what afterwards became 
lout ; the Northern phrase a mUtt comes at p. 1072, 
and is altered in the other versions into a whit and a 
deed ; this sniitt (fmstom) may be the parent of snUthe- 
reen. The old half is making way for side, pp. 532 and 
436, when family pedigp^es are discussed, and when 
one person takes another's part. In p. 698 we find the 
Nonn hnaulage formed from kyww ; it seems here to mean 
acknowledgment, and the age is not a true French 
ending, bnt a confasion of the French form with the 
Scandinavian leikr^ as in kunnleikr. The Southern 
version, about sixty years later, turns this kn4iulage into 
hiowleche. There are new phrases, such as, the Lord o 
mightes (Lord of hosts), p. 1300; side and side^ p. 110, 
like our neck and neck ; * the feild (victoria) beleft with 
him,* p. 442 ; ' they sought them don and dale ' (high 
and low), p. 1008 ; fat tim it was, p. 1341, like Orrmin*B 
on da^ ; I etemy fill, p. 210, like the French mangi*r 
son soul ; a tvLelfnoth stage^ p. 424 ; gaf a scift to, p. 602, 
whence our made shift to ; km and kyth, p. 734 ; vidke 
his wai, p. 1324 ; wit wil, p. 832, whence ' do it with a 
win ; ' preching had he na inak (match), p. 1126 ; 
tokens 'pat es na nede all reckon, p. 1088. The old pith 

> Our wreck is seen in King John's Latin Charter of 1200, Stnbb's 
Documents Illustrative of English History, p. 304 ; in our Bible we 
read that ' ships were hroken^^ 

Middle English : Reparation. 403 

fmediilla) takes the farther meaning of viret, p. 48. 
"We aee the phrase mans vxrmh, p. 38 ; in the South, wmnh 
had begnn to be reBtricted' to women. "We have already 
heard of OhUd Horn ; in p. 1114 St. Stephen's mnrderers 
hand over their clothes to 'a chUd hight SaaluB.' In 
p. 784 we find beggar used as a term of reproach 'for 
the first time; 'this beggar wishes to teach ns,' say 
the Jews. In p. 470 comes the phrase fere (sanus) dU 
ajUehe, and in p. 682 we find hale swn ani Irvte ; we 
still have tbe expression ' sound as & roach.' In p. 1330 
fare adds to its old meaning iter the new sense of viclus. 
In p. 704 we see, I think for the first time, an haltdai 
connected with play. In p. 1320 an old phrase is pre- 
served, fid mel is him fat &c. (bona fortona est iUi) ; 
this phrase, weU is thee, was inserted in onr Prayer- 
book by Coverdale, aTorkshireman. The I«tiii Jacob-us 
is Englished by Jacob, at p. 728 ; but we also hear 
of Jam, at p. 720. The Substantive is sometimes 
dropped to avoid repetition, as in p, 1232 ; of three 
crasses, they knew not which was the Lord's cross 
and which moght fe thevea be ; here the Substantive 
crosses is dropped before the last word. In p. 1312 
a potter spoils his vessel, and then tries for to mak a, 

A new Adjective is formed by adding i to the root, 
as suTini, p. 1334 ; this was not understood in the 
South, and was altered into somer (summer) prefixed to 
day. Les is added to law, as lavles (axlex) in p. 146, the 
Scandinavian loghnus ; there is also unhappi, uriU, nede 
(panper) ; new Adjectives are formed by aAiingful, to the 
root, as treuftd, wofrd. The uglike of East Anglia now 


404 Old and Middle Engiish. 

becomes ugli. Kind had hitherto meant naturalis ; in 
p. 1146 it gets the fiirther sense of henignus ; sua khtd csr 
fou is addressed to the Virgin. These two senses lingered 
on side bj side for nearly 400 years, as we see in Mxlton. 
The dignfied fus seems to get our modem sense aijust^ 
in p. 18, where it is applied to Martha ; in the Sonthem 
version it is turned into hisy. Sad seems to lose the old 
meaning aatur, and to get the new sense of fessus^ not 
far from our trigiis, when Adam is said to be sad cf 
hiviself, p. 80 ; this sad becomes made in the Southers 
version. The old gemcene kept its sense of cammtmf 
in the South ; in the North, the Icelandic meiwn (vilis) 
was coming in; in p. 762 mene men are opposed to 
lords ; this sense reappears in Manning, the Lincohi- 
shire bard. In p. 282 we hear of redt peniis^ whence 
our ready money ; Orrmin's redi^ in the sense of jam, 
is repeated in p. 998. In p. 1100 we hear that the Jews, 
who were eager to seize the Apostles, icfvr ai curst ; the 
last word, to judge by the context, seems here to get 
its Shakesperian meaning, crdbhed. In p. 70 we read 
of a ded ass ; in p. 226 of a nere cosin ; in p. 1288 of 
dumb hestes; in p. 1080 of a colour that is nwte brun] 
in p. 200 of a mmitel of rede. In p. 36 comes the 
line — 

Frafid hei hefeUfid law. 

We Hght on a phrase well known to oar ballad- 
makers ; in p. 1162 St. John was a ful sari man ; here 
the Adjective might well stand alone. In p. 184 we 
hear that Esau was a/reher wit best of an, a most curious 
idiom that was unknown to the Southern transcriber. 


Middle English: Reparation. 405 

In p. 378 the people were war (aware) o Moyseg. It 
IB seldom that Adjeatives ending \aful form their Com- 
parative like the lorfiiUer (tristior) of p. 1332, 

As to Pronouns : we here first find the greeting mi 
Jevedi ased to the Virgin ; this mt ia cat ont of the 
Sonthem Vei'aion ; and the term was not applied to an 
earthly miatrees till aboat 1440. The process first seen 
in Orrmin goes on ; in p. 1146 stands Mrs am I; in p. 850 
■we find ani of ars (any of onr people) j yonri is also nsed 
without any Snbatantive in p. 291; this is repeated in 
p. 1034, fwght wit pair -might hot kia of heven; the last 
three words are most terse and concise. In p. 742 
Christ is said to fast kig Lenlenlide ; this Possessive hit 
is still very common in this sense. This his now begins 
to be nsed to erpresB the Genitive, as in p. 1220, pe 
Jtret his ffreff; not ' the first's greff.' The form pai fai is 
nsed in p. 1206 for the EVench on dit. The old distinctive 
Mascnline and Feminine endings of Substantives had 
mostly gone oat ; we now light on the cnmhrons 
Scandinavian idiom that was to replace these endings ; 
in p. 44 is the line — 

pe bettet all, bath too <md kt. 

We afterwards hear of a &e latnhe. Still in p. 590 we 
read of bairns, ne mai ne knaoe. It ia nsed in our Inde- 
finite sense ; ' all onght to believe, nnless it be Saracen 
or Jew,' p. 1298. We have already seen that there 
threat ; we now find this gilt here, p. 58. We know how 
in Latin hie and Hie are opposed to each other ; in 
p. 1350 the contrast between the righteons and the 
wicked is drawn ont For thirty lines by the employment 

4o6 Old and Middle English. 

of the Scandioayiaii \ir (hi) and the English ]>ai, the old 
\(i (illi). This Yorkshire nsagemiich pazzled the Lanca- 
shire and Southern transcrihers. The Relative idioms 
abound; there is an evident imitation of thoFi^ench liqydi 
(lequel) in ^e \e law, fe quilk &c. ; and this comes 
very often in this translation. The Relative is dropped 
altogether after a Noun, as in our easy waj ; Loth ye 
herd me tell of, p. 174 ; here Loth should be followed \fs 
that The steward talks, in p. 194, of Isaac, and to him 
the following Relative refers : at (to) sehe a vnif to warn, 
I fare ; this cumbrous construction was unknown earlier. 
The old hwoBper (uter) was unluckily dropping out of 
use ; two children are spoken of in p. 206, and it is 
asked quilk o pir tua ; the rightful hwceper remains in 
our Bible. In p. 534 comes the remarkable new 
phrase, he cun kna/u quilk es quilk (which is which) ; ia 
the Southern Version this is altered into fe ton to knom' 
pe toper fro, for two things are spoken of. We hare 
seen Orrmin's ewillc an; we now read, in p. 840, quHk o 
mi gode dedis an ? Another idiom of Orrmin's is carried 
a step further in p. 982 ; axk quat pou wUl ; this is & 
great paring down of the old swa hwcet stva (quodcnn- 
que). There is a new form in p. 1122 ; priests ought 
to preach, in als mikel ah in paim es ; we now drop the 
first wordm ; forasmuch was soon to arise in Gloucester- 
shire. There is a new phrase in p. 1210 : fat folk Ukan 
ivald ofer stenim; in our *they stopped each other/ 
each is the Nominative, other the Accusative. An had 
already been used for man ; in p. 1030 we find it coupled 
with an Adjective, pat so nvy^ty oon; this Northern 
phrase was used by Wickliffe long afterwards, as, a 

Middle English: Reparation. 407 

ynxgoon (a yoxmg on). In p. 162 we find an allan 
(one alone) ; hers t>he one cornea twice over. We are 
omnsed wben we find in Sooteh writers, snoh as Alison, 
phrases like ' the whole men,' instead of * all the men.' 
This ifi seen in p. 178 ; he taid- Aw mm, kale (omnes suoa 
TOCATit). In p. 972 we find the old nokt tamed into a 
SubstantiTe ; it were dU a Ttoht. A new idiom is seen 
in p. 989, seven myle and a half; this wonld have been 
expressed earlier, like in Gennan and Scandinavian, 
b; eigktk half; and the older idiom lasted down to 
14^. In p. 254 a woman wishes to hear a word or tita % 
hero the a plainly stands for an (one). In p. 1^02 
there is a new Ifiimenil form, which makes an Adjec- 
tive stronger ; ' it was not \e tend part ea clere ; ' 
in p. 1352 we find, an hitndret nth fairer. In the 
sentence hU fader wat nwiety and nine, p. 162, there 
is a remarkable dropping of the old form of ninety- 
nine years, and this is a wholly new nse of the Car. 
dinal Domber. The word tcore was coming in as a Nu- 
meral, Abram viaa fivesarr and nine, p. 160. In p. 1136 
we read of a linen cloth four tquar, a moat concise 

The nse of did with the Infinitive, te express the Past 
tense, is not so common here as it became abont 1300. 
There is a smack of French in the fallowing : ' they told 
birri what tree it fuld ha bene (erat),' p. 1234 ; hence 
our 'whom should I meet, but &c.,' which stands for 
' whom did I meet. 'The Verb jnon seems to be changing 
its meaning &om erit to oporiet ; in p. 276 comes fe folk 
DWn dei ; in the Soathem Version shul de^e is sabsti- 
tnted, not -wil de^. In p. 1342 we see yai tal cun t^ 

408 Old and Middle English, 

(potemnt dicere) ; this curions fomi lasted to about 
1500, with the sabBtitution of mow for ctm. In p. 1132 
there is a translation of ^^enni etre^ for toel max he oomeB 
in the middle of a sentence. The old idiom had been 
ic hU eom, bnt in p. 778 we find fat ilk esl; here, how- 
ever, the 68 is perhaps the Danish for the Latin sum, as 
in Fse a lad (sum pner) . ^ There is a new-born oonciseneBS 
ia the phrase I a/m and ever sal be hir thrally p. 1146. 
Can-not is seen, with its two parts joined, in p. 538. 
The Participle Absolute had hitherto always been in 
the Dative, and this lasted down to 1400 ; bat in p. 500 
comes, SCO laid it be me^ and I slepa/nd in bedd. The Past 
Participle of a certain Verb is now used much like a 
Preposition, and has held its ground in Sootk^d ; in 
p. 314 we hear that nothing was left, ute-toM pe Icmdes ; 
this is the first hint of our except. There is a French 
idiom in p. 806, where Wei ansucurd (bien r^pondu), 
begins a sentence. A curious idiom with the Infinitive, 
standing for an exclamation, is seen in p. 890 ; St. Peter 
says, I to leve fe pus ! hence our ' to think of that ! * ' 
There is a great shortening in the phrase lok j^ do 
ftu, p. 160. Became had long stood for /actus est ; a 
further advance is made in p. 626, he es hicummen sun. 
The change from esse to fuisse^ after a Verb, has been seen 
already in the Havelok ; in p. 1026 a man comes, 

fat Bemed wd to have ben eremyte. 

» Wickliffe has the old j£ it hen, that, in St. Luke xvi. 16. Tyn- 
dale has here, ye are they, whieh. 

' There is something like this in the ChomseB towaida the end 
of iEschylus' Eumenides, 

Middle English : Reparation. 409 

In p. 998 appears the strange idiom uie «aZ yetld Joi^h 
t/ee sal se ; this was not oaderstood in the South. Another 
instanoe of a now familiar phrase crops ap in p. 746 : 
pit VHU not he, yee moI ^u, or, as we should say, you must 
hncne ; in the Sonthem Version it is altered into wUe je 
wde. In p. 1358 standa ' there are manj of ns, 1 ^ede, 
that &ci ' this most hare been a peculiarly Yorkshire 
phrase, for the lancashire and Soatbem Verraons have 
altered it. In p. 1058 stands $ue» we sal haf halden, 
Omnin's new form of the SabjunotiTe mood, which we 
most likely owe to the French, and which long sonnded 
strange to English ears. In p. 856 Christ says, m-i suiw: 
stamdes me for noght, an nnnsnal form. The old phrase 
'man sends for me' was now dropped in the North; it 
was being replaced by the Passive voice ; in p. 806 comes 
he fat was matt forgiven tUl; in p. 814, 1 am sand after. 
This is one of the eaxly instanoee of the wonderfnlly 
free handling that the Passive Voice was to undergo in 
England; Lord Palmerston wrote in 1848, 'he was 
offered t^i be Nnncio at Paris,' (Life, by Ashley, I. bl). 
In p. 138 comes a doable Accusative: he reft fam 
liif; as we still say, ' he fined him a pound.' We come 
upon such phrases as, he gaf a bateU, to set ahoate, he 
tok hit til hert, she did him to be spUt, he hUte an (xun, 
folk fell to pair lare, they ware metle, pie forsaid Mori, 
penis mUk ids ran (such as were current) ; yee er made 
freindes, tak til ur wittnes, the wat takes tw, saiaind mi bede 
(my prayer), com to hand, nil we wil we. We must 
remark in the Cuisor Mondi the following, which 
smack of Scandinavia. ' To give back' (regredi) reminds 
□a that gefa upp means eessare. ' Tok his flight ' brings 

4IO Old and Middle English^ 

to mind the phraae iaika fl6tia* *• The dais was ranna 
nte ' (in the South, were al gone^ p. 869) ; we know thst 
the Scandinavian renna was transitiYe as well as intran* 
sitiye. * It fell Petre to call,' reminds us that the Scan- 
dinavian faU to means accidere. We find * to head or 
hang;' the first Yerfo is the Scandinavian hoflku The 
word get adds to its old meaning of adipteci that of tir, 
something like niman ; in p. 456 the mancal is ordered 
to see that Uriah ndd never gette a/wax. This Torkshire 
phrase is often found m the Percival, which belongs to 
the same date and place. The Scandinavian getn tjd 
means * get to <fee ; ' here the get means something like 
venire. Long afterwards, get acqnired a third meaning, 
that of fieri ; in our every-day talk, we work this Verb 
get very hard. The Verb Uetan (sinere) takes a fresh' 
meaning, for in p. 1138 a cloth was laten (let down). 
The Verb hredan had meant JoveTe\ in p. 1202 it 
means edneare^ for St. John is there said to have been 
hred by Christ. The Verb win gets a new sense, jperrc- 
iiire^ in p. 1214; this is common in Scotland. In p. 1224 
hersteii (bnrst) adds the sense of mere to its old sense 
of ruvvpere. In p. 832 Omnin's word dwell (morari) 
is used in the farther sense of hcdntare ; this word was 
to drive oat the old Verb won. Spare, in p. 1322, means 
something beyond parcere ; it is aliis prcehere ; this \& 
something like one of the Scandinavian senses of the 
>vord. The old reafian (rapere) gets the farther 
meaning of trahere ; in p. 1006 stands he es reft awat ; 
the French ra/vist is nsed in the same sense ; it comes a 
few lines lower down ; the one word may have inflaenoed 
the other. In p. 1016 a man is bidand (ezpectans) to 

Middle English: Reparation. 411 

Be ; this InfinitiTe after bidand was not nnderstood bj 
the compilers of the three other versioiiB. In p. 1066 
u» is prefixed to a Participle, vndeiand (undying). 
In p. 1084 we find to muth a langage ; this new word 
for loqai (it is the Scandinavian mwfifa) was not 
nnderfitood in the South, In p. 64 |>u gafe (dedisti) 
is cormpted into ^ou gafs ; we hare seen this change 
before. In p. 74 cnawen (notnm) is tnmed into kncmd, 
which may still sometimes be heard. In p. 114 a 
French Verb takes a Strong Perfect in English, a thing 
almost unheard of; ne hear that the lain ne fane 
(fined not, non eeteavil) ; the Scotch verdict, not pro. 
veil, is in our days the nearest approach to this Strong 
form. So common had the use of ye for to become 
in the North that it influenced the Imperative mood ; 
in p. 270 is mat, gir, tat noght &c. (ne capias). The 
Verb is sometimes dropped for the sake of avoiding 
repetitions, as in p. 1140, ' Comelins fears the Lord, na 
nuxn more.' The Passive Participle Hade (constitntus) 
comes over and over again in this work ; in p. 90 it is 
written ttaid ; perhaps our Verb slay may come from 
this, as well as from the French eHaier. In p. 136t> 
comes ^(vr es na mending f>e ttat. This is a further de- 
velopment of the Transitive Verbal Noun ; the Accusa- 
tive now comeaafter it, notbeforeit.asin&tiai'n-cennwi^. 
In p. 1344 the new Noun heing is formed from he, to 
express ettetitia. 

Among Adverbs, we find/or^ut put into the middle 
of a sentence, just before a reason is given, p. 92 ; hence 
the cos why that we so often hear. We have now an 
expression, ' it is the best thing oat ; ' this may be seen 

412 Old and Middle English. 

in p. 98, )>e sm l^ai fcm was tUe (in being). In p. 830, 
each man holds his office, h%8 iuelvemoth tUe, This kst 
word supplies the loss of the old purh formerly prefixed 
to Verbs; hafyee fe doM al fasten ute ? p. 380. We see 
in p. 728, the first hint of the Irish ataUataXL (omnino); 
fsBS heneete of aX amd al ; this is the Scotch ooo. Tbe 
Scandinavian of aUt means, ' in every respect.' The 
poet is fond of dropping the ne that should come before 
hut; folk wit hut foil do, p. 108; the hut was now 
Englishing tatdwm, as we saw much earlier. Another 
form of this, whence comes the Yorkshire nohhut, is 
found in p. 1216; ]>a/ was noght hot for to Jlei in tbe 
other Versions, for comes before the noght. The old 
ails lomg sai (swa) 'as long as,' appears in p. 1170; 
but the other Versions have ijtered it into to-g^dUs 
and whiL We use as for pretty often now ; it is seen 
in p. 156, I might hold it als for mine. In p. 196 tbe 
Adverbial ending is fastened on to the Active Parti- 
ciple; sittandliky which in the Southern Version is 
altered into sittyngly. In p. 330 comes sin quen (since 
when) in a question ; and fra fis time forth is in 
p. 240. Behind is used in a wholly new sense, that of 
deficiens ; a man es hehind for poverty p. 352 ; as we 
say, ' he is behind with his money.' The old hecefta^ 
(post) is now changed into o haft, our sailors' ahqfi. 
The cuway was used to express intensity ; he dried away 
(tabescebat) p. 690. We have seen hal in the sense of 
integer ; a new Adverb is now formed from this, to re- 
place the lost eaUunga ; he sal he hali given is in p. 502 ; 
the Southern Version puts hool for this new hali, our 
wholly. Still comes again in the Northern sense of 

Middie English: Reparation. 413 

Umjoarsy p. 742. Wti find contra Englished by on ofer 
aide, p. 748 ; this is of a woman balancing argiuuents. 
An Adverb might be oomponnded by simply adding t to 
a Nonn, aa develi, p. 824; we use now the more 
oambrouB diabolieaUy ■ there is also fotili (stnlte) page 
1332. In p. 824 we hear of a person being ra migkU 
mehe, whence comes Pepys* mighty merry ; swi^t (valde) 
was now unhappily going ont. In p. 830 we hare the 
first hint of onir doing things htm about. 

The confusion between Adjectives and Adverbs is 
very plain ; a honse is eommU dight, p. 870. In p. 1054, 
a man is said to be ungodli (inhoneste) gert. The 
Danish awn is used for the English noa or at; in p. 936 
is the phrase ta frir le rum I can (as &r as I can see). 
In p. 1336 comes the new form Au nem ecer (how so 
ever). In p. 1028 comes, he may gate hit no toayet ; the 
last word stands for the old vrige. We find phrases like 
frajerr and ner, go vn-mig, negh at hand, far apon, her- 
eJUrward. In p. 402 is a wholly new adverbial form, 
quen pat fai yede ; a similar High German form is fonnd. 
By the side of the old lofli, a new word for verh crops np ; 
in p. 284comes, lyow $a4 trali ; this in the Southern Ver- 
sion is altered mto taiUerhj. To thu day onr true wiU 
EnglifA both^jldur and venti ; aooth has almost wholly 
dropped out of sight. A true man (not a thief) keeps 
the <rfd sense honeitvs ; so wb have bad to invent tntthfal, 
to express another shade of meaning. The word namli 
had hitherto meant preeeipui ; it is now made to repre- 


414 Old and Middle English. 

sent the Norse ne/ntZi^a, (by name, expressly) ; we see 
in p. 1094 \a SaduceiSf — nanUi yat lede ijr., (vide- 

The Preposition of is nsed in new senses ; U smelles 
o piement, p. 218 ; fay had might fa/m selven^ p. 206 ; 
hence Pope's mistress of herself ; Adam waxed sad (fessns) 
of himself, p. 80 ; toe m/ik urfd of wrfreimdy p. 1076. In 
p. 1304 comes the eild (age) thritte yere. We have 
already seen to miss of a thing ; we now find, p. 682, tofaU 
of ur a/rt ; this is strange, as the French /atZZir was not 
followed by de. This of is prefixed to Verbal Noons; 
8t. Panl is called a wessde mi chasing in p. 1126. As 
to at, we come upon ai ese, p. 112 ; at OAfi acord^ p. 1344 : 
ut fair talking "pa/m tenid sare (irati snnt), p. 1094. To 
is not &r removed from at ; we here 6nd, it lay to ha/nd^ 
p. 148 ; bete him to "pe hlod, p. 926 ; kest of al to his seric 
(shirt), p. 1232. In p. 1104 comes mani sehe (sick) uato 
fam soght ; this foreshadows onr version of Denteronomy 
xii. 5 ; * nnto the place shall ye seek.' The Icelandic 
scel^a tU means 'have reconrse to.' We see the thai 
dropped afber a Preposition in p. 164 ; fou sal ha/oe ham 
hi I cvm, A new phrase is nsed to express intention ; 
something is done, ' hi wai to do l^e for to se,' p. 1128. 
With is mnch nsed ; wit quam it es noght at ham,, p. 252 ; 
mad offi wit his godd^hed, p. 1076 ; hetohhis hin (lodging) 
wit Nichodeme, p. 1012 ; wit fi leve, p. 984 ; quai yee wiU 
wit me, p.ll40 ; the French mnst have had mnch inflnence 
here. The vp is nsed in the Scandinavian way, to 
intensify a Verb, as pe folk mon dei up, p. 276, like our 
follow up, use up ; thongh we may also say hiU doum, A 
new phrase comes in p, 426 ; seven suns in aU, On^ as 


Middle English: Reparalton, 415 

tiBnftl, marks hostility ; dome et given on us, p, 951 ; it also 
marks a state of fatare activity; the Apostles higan to 
fed apon a gret (fletns), p. 890; Defoe would have 
written it, ' to &11 a weeping,' an idiom which lasted to 
1790. The French idiom pour (qnod atlinet ad), already 
seen in the St. Eatherine, is repeated ; he *al for me be 
bwulen ; the Southern transcriber was puzzled by the 
newfangled idiom (which is also the Scandinavian fyrir 
}aer) and wrote bifore me. The Doreetshire in slede is 
now made one word, in-ited a, p. 74. Two Prepodtiona 
are coupled, in the phrase, ' he took them to betide the 
cross,' p. 12i6. 

In p. 818, we see or nsed as it often is in poetry now ; 
it is prefixed to two different Noans in one sentence ; qua 
trove m me, or man or wUf, ]>ai sal ^e. 

There are here many new Interjections, derived from 
the rr6iich,that have taken root in oartongoe. It is this 
class of words that the poorer classes are most apt tocopy 
from their betters ; French Inteijections are easily pro- 
nounced, and give a supposed air of refinement to every- 
day talk. In p. 248come8 ha ! quat ^aa hestee war hene ! 
it is plain that the two first words of the French original 
mast have been ha que. In p. 286 comes ha, ha, 
IraituTg ! in p. 662, this is, Aha, traitu/r» ! Herod, who 
utt«rs this in his torment, deals in mnch hearty French 
abnse, like fix ap'ttaint. In p. 696, they all cry ho! & 
Scandinavian Interjection. In p. 256 is Oodd/orbedd I 
snld him auike ! this became afterwards so idiomatic that 
it was used to English the firi yivom of the Greek 
Testamcmt. In p. 1286 stands A Laverd! at the begin- 
ning of a sentcmce, jost as Fepys nses Lord I when be is 

4i6 Old and Middle English. 

astoniflhed at anything. In p. 34 comes herk (hark) 
for the first time ; it is addressed to a mob. A new 
phrase is in p. 242 ; lo qttar pe dremer es cwmmen^ where 
h is followed by an Adverb. Our why is here used 
simply as an expletive; in p. 222 comes m, quaikin 
consatl mai Ifegwe f In p. 1186 stands oTUM^for schame! 
here the/or mnst stand for the Latin oh ; we now use 
the Interjection for shame! withoat the alaSy whicb 
governed it. 

Some English words are farther developed: thus 
from the old crwmb (cnrvos) is formed crumpled^ p. 466 ; 
gruhy^ a new form of the old grafan (fodere) is- seen ib 
p. 390. The Verb swedel (swaddle) is first seen in p. G44, 
coming from the old Noan stoepel (£EUicia). We hear 
of a snau dnf for the first time in p. 570 ; and of a 
scott (a shot, missile) in p. 576 ; this last is Scandi- 
navian. In p. 532 comes to-name (agnomen), a strange 
form common to both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The 
cove (specos) of the Lindisfame Gospels is repeated in 
p. 666, Some pnzzling words are now for the first 
time fonnd ; snch as had (mains), lass (paella), hall^ 
(calvns), midwife y which is said to mean ' a woman who 
comes for meed.' In p. 28, a thing is said to be done 
faster than eye may wink ; we shonld now say, ' it was 
done like winking.* 

There are some English words here common to the 
Dutch and German ; snch as- dvken (mergere), Iwrnp^ 
creul (serpere), poke (tradere), hlow (plaga), layu 

> Locke tells ns that gruff was the Mendip minen' name ftr a 
pit. See his L\fe, by Mr. Fox Bonrne, I. 125. 

Middle English: Reparation. 417 

(Ugnla), p. 908, onr la»h, loere (vapor), our whiff, 
p. 1310. 

Th6 ScandiTiaTiaD words foand here are, hark (cor- 
tex), «cow, tpar, squeal, ivmvp (tnndere), cleft, fell 
(mons), groveUngs, p. 674, asliwi, hartk (harsh), tkirt, 
tcail, item (dstere), tlight, miiU, trump (tnba), foil 
(stnltns), oar fond. The Scandinavian gcevnu^ gives 
birth to yomem, p. 184 ; it is here evidently used for ' an 
able-bo43ied man,' and we still talk of ' doing yeoman's 
eervice.' The word often appears as yetnan in later times. 
There are a few words of this kind, still fonnd here 
lingering in Scotland, as »tot (bncalns), gUy (limia ocnlis 
speotare). A kirk is said to teale (disperse); this 
word, fbond in the Cursor, is the Oanish verb thSU. 
Onr phrase, ' I have no time,' comes, not fix>tn the Old 
English word, bat &om the Scandinavian UnA (otiam), 
as seen in p. 130. The Old English aeeapmd (creator) 
row makes way for the Scandinavian tea/per (shaper), 
p. 740. Scutk now means abdere and not laLetcere, as 
in the Nortbem Psalter. Bi (oppidnm) in p. 868 shows 
whance come onr bye-la/w». 

The Celtic words erag and bran are foand in p. 568 
and p. 888. Bid stands for mistaJte in p. 1218 ; this 
noon does not appear again, I think, nntU Milton nsed 
it in his ' Apoli^y for Smectymnnns.' 

To Yorkshire belong the Perdval and the lenmbrae 
(' Thornton Romances,' Camden Society) ; they seem 
to have been compiled about 1290 ; they have mnch in 
common with the Cnrsor Mnndi ; saob phrases as give 
tnoay,ttot,pitk (viree), soman, werpaste, serve (tradare), 

41 8 Old and Middle English. 

come once more. The Yowel-cliaiige is seen as usual in 
the Noi*th ; gat (capra) is seen as g<M^te ; and this sound 
is preserved in Oateshead (caput caprso) ; there is ali0 
mere (equa) ; u often replaces o, as gude fcnr fode, lube 
for lohe ; we see the thoronghlj Northern louse (solvere) 
for the old losian^ p* 72 ; ^ Scotland the change is in 
onr time carried a step farther, and the word is there 
pronounced like the GFerman ZatM. 

As to Consonants : we see how hnawlage (this came 
in the Cursor) was pronounced, in p. 41 ; the g was 
sonnded hard, for the word rimes with make, take^ hlake; 
the ending, in spite of its form, was more akin to the 
Teutonic Iclc, as in wedlac, than to the Romance damage. 
The former swiftlxker (citius) loses its k and becomes 
swiftliere ; I see that some of our best modem writers 
are now reviving these Comparative Adverbs, and 
are disusing the cumbrous more swiftly. The letter m 
is inserted, for midlest becomes medUmaste, p. 96. 

Among Substantives, we find the old Plural gode 
(bona) turned into gude^f our goods ; folkes are used for 
merif p. 45, and hodys have the same meaning, p. 44 ; 
hence comes our somebody, nobody, &c. This use of 
body appeared in Gloucestershire about the same time. 
In those days, knights won their schone (shoes), not 
their spurs, p. 61. In p. 77 we hear that a club's head 
was twelve stone weghte, the first instance of this meaBore. 
The phrase a sevenyght long (p. 84) was coming into 
use. Verbal Nouns are mainly due to the North ; thej 
are found in the Plural, as sygheyngez (suspiria), p. 90. 
The word top was already used, in composition with 
other nouns, as a sea term ; the toppe-casteUes of a ship 

Middle English: Reparation. 419 

are mentiooed in p. 07. Scare is ased as a plural noon 
in p. 44; elleven« Mcore of-mene. 

Aa to AdjectiTsa.- we heat of the thUcketU of the 
jprege, p. 44. In p. 51 comes a sadde Hrohe ; the sad 
had taken the sense of gravis, besides that of taiur ; in 
the North the^ still talk of tad cake. la p. 92 stands 
tlie phrase ' alle als nakede als they were home.' 

The Adverb right was encroaching on the old »tOT)i«, 
as is plainly seen in the Percival ; a new sense of the 
word is in p. 31, where a man is cast reghte in the fyre. 
The Northern sense of siHl is perhapa fonnd in p. 18; 
it is hard to say whether tranquHle or toujoun would be 
the right translation here ; unmoved is the connecting 
link between these two senses. Even had hitherto meant 
aqtie ; being confused with the Scandinavian jafiU, it 
here takes the farther meaning of recti, much as we 
now use jtM( ; the latter indeed actually appears in p. 11. 
In p. 45 is evene over hym hs rode ; in p. 4fi, tille it wot 
evtne at daye lighte ; in p. GG, he hitt hym evene on ih« 
Ttefei-ftorae; we should now substitute just for even, 
though we still say even so, and the e'en is common in 
Scotland. The Superlative innemesie had always 
existed ; we now find a new Comparative innermare, 
p. 48. Two Interrogatives are coupled in p. 81 : he asked 
wherefore and why he banned. In p. 114 comes one* 
appone a daye; the once here stands for olim, as in 
Orrmin ; not for semeL 

Among the Pronouns, we remark the Yorkshire seho 

(ilia) ; thate (illi), which we saw in the Northern 

Psalter, is repeated in p. 50 ; yon, standing by itself, is 

sometimes used for the those or those ; a usage found «.\wt 

■ ■3 

420 Old and Middle English. 

in the GuiBor and still kept in the North. The old 
meaning of hivylc (qualis) was now dropped in York- 
shire, though not in the Sonth ; in p. 8 we see the word's 
place supplied bj trhat manere of thy tig may this heef 
Cnmbrons indeed is onr version of St. Lake tu, 39. 
' know who and what manner of woman ; ' this we took 
from Wickliffe ; the translation, 400 years before him. 
yvsa ' hwiBt and htcylc* 8^c. In p. 61 we see ane employed 
to save the repetition of a previons Nonn; ' if I be not 
yet knight, make me a^ie ; ' this idiom was now coming 
in. We know onr curions phrase ' a jewel of a man,' 
which seems to be French ; ' the earliest instance of this 
that I know is in p. 75 ; the stahcorthest geanl of (mt, 
where one. mnst stand for man. 

There is mnch to remark in the Verbs : the disnse 
of the Indicative m, also found in the Northern Psalterf 
is carried further ; \ch4ii may this hee^ p. 8. The Im- 
perfect and Pluperfect tenses of the Subjunctive are 
oddly coupled together in p. 15 ; he tcened aU c^Oter 
horsez were (mares), and hade bene caUede soo. He hade 
a father to he slayne, p. 2^ is a continuation of one of 
Orrmin's idioms. The get, as in the Cursor, has come 
to mean venire ; he getis nerey p. 85 ; more of the old 
meaning lingers in he get owt (extsnadi) hys swerde, 
p. 79; in p. 20 is he cotUhe not gett of (ezuere) tbe 
armour. The new sense of cfo is seen in p. 53 ; wUh oSr 
that folke hade he done (finished). We see the Northern 
phrases, fall to thairejude, p. 51 ; hold on his way, p. 84; 

> Herodotus, in one of his Earliest ckapten, talks about 'a great 
thing of a boar.' 


Middle English: Reparation, 421 

wyna (pervenire) tUle towm, p. 95, a phrase that liners 
in Scotland ; whale es yottr wilh with vte ? p. 107. The 
Old English wegan (weigh) was traDsitive, bat its 
ScaDdinaviau sister might be intransitiTe ; bo, in p. 77, 
we find the clohe mlieyked reghte wele. 

We still nse the Old English for aU thia, where for 
translates the French malgre ; in p. 34 cornea, for ougkte 
that may betide, I Kill §rc. The teraenese of the fntnre 
New English conies ont in p. 8 ; agat/ne Air (one 30ii« ; 
that is, ' against the time that her son could walk ; ' 
the Prepositions ere and for had been treated in this way 
in the foregoing Century. 

There is a cnrioos combination, in p. 95, of the Mid- 
land lo or til and the Northern vihil, each of them 
meaning jWgu'd ce que; be itille, to wh3i Ifech^, ^e. 

Among the Intoijections are Peter.' Lorde! A, dere 
Ood! Sow! and the old -established What! A cnrions 
new idiom is in p. 11, ' tltat ever eolde I dry gorowe!' 
before this time, eala or some such word mnst have 
stood at the head of this sentence. 

A new word is seen in etremour (vexJWam) ; there is 
also elovite (ictos), akin to the Dntch khtsen. ; crokede, 
which Englishes amtis, is the Scandinavian brokoltr: 
hail had been nsed in connexion with the bear in the 
Harelok ; it now means simply to feed, p. 8. 

Abont 1295 many Lives of Saints were translated, 
almost certainly by Robert of Gloncester, whose rimes 
are in the same dialect. Anything connected with the 
language of this shire is of interest, when we remember 
that Tyndale was bom there, not qnite two hundred 
years later. The Lives of St. Thomas (Becket) and 

422 Old and Middle English. 

* St. Brandan,' have been printed by the Percy Society ; 
many others of the Lives we owe to Mr. Fnmival) 
(Philological Society). I shall hereafter call attention 
to the French idioms, which abound. 

In Beckei's life, the Vowel a replaces e ; her&oe 
(vectula) becomes harewe (barrow), p. 44. We follow 
the at of this piece, rather than the Eastern et^ in our 
Perfect for eat. The old idded is now shortened into 
ideldy onr dealt. The aw, so common in French words, 
is nsed for the broad a in Teutonic words ; in p. 76, hxd 
is written for hale (trahere), and we still keep both 
forms ; though they no longer have one common sound, 
as in 1300. The name Saleahwry^ the first Vowel of which 
we pronounce like liaul, is seen in p. 18 ; the proper name, 
as usual, keeping somewhat of the old sound of a, Tlie 
Willam of earlier times now becomes WilUem^ p. 2d, 
just as voUlan and wUlian (optare) might both he 
written. The author has a practice of inserting i before 
another vowel, and also of turning eu into ue; he has in- 
duced us to write Tuesday^ p. 57, instead of the rightfol 
Teusday or Tiwesday ; he has wne (novus), thue (servus), 
and many such. The u or w ia thrown out altogether 
in ho (quis), not fax from our hoo^ as we now pronounce 
the word. In p. 75, the English wnea^j^ gets confused 
with the French ais^, and unese (difficilis) is the up- 
shot. We see how our pronunciation of the fourth day 
in the week arose, when we find Wendesdai in p. 57. 
Our way of handling the Genitive of a Noun that ends 
in s is foreshadowed in p. 19; (he did) Thomas heste 
(ThomsB jussum) : there is also TJuytnas men^ p. 43. 
The r and the n are both inserted in one word, for the 

Middle English: Reparation. 423 

old Sempigaham becomee Symprittgham, p. 55. The' 
r and I interohan^, when Sarum, or Sarithury becomes 
8a.legbury ; Bishop Jewel long afterwards used the r, ia 
writing the name ot his diocese. The Teutonic hlenck is 
now confonnded with the Frenoh^^Aw; we see in this 
piece hlench, hlmeh, sad'fleeehi ; we may now nse either 
blench OT flinch. 

As to SabetantiTeB : we see sow and then a change in 
the form of words. In the Tristrem, bond had meant 
senmg ; in this new |aece, p. 27, the word becomee bonde 
nton with the same meaning. In other shires, as in the 
country near Bntland, bondeman still bore the old sense 
of coloniw and nothing more. In p. 34, the word end 
(finis) gets a new meaning, that of pwrpOK. In p. 49, 
ia the adjoration merei, for Qodet love ! that is, ' for love 
towards God,' as we see by a like paasage in p. 2. 
Here also is foand, heo sej Aire iyme, ' she saw her time,' 
that is, opportimity. 

The Adjeotive >eli continues to nnite to )ts old sense 
(beatos) jnst the contrary sense infelix, or onr poor, as 
in the Havelok. Heniy II, when attacked by his sons, 
is called a eeli olde 'man. In p. 94 the word may bear 
either meaning. We see for the first time in p. 3 the 
Snperlative Adjective employed like a Substantive ; hi 
dadt here bat (they did their beat). 

Among Prononns, the old he hwa (qoisquis) of 1220, 
is changed into he that ; he that swteneth laneee, haveth 
the nnne, p. 84. The as (as in St. Juliana) is used as a 
B«latiTe ; in p. 5 comes Ihulke hous at he was inne ihore ; 
again in p. 39, ynowi lu to thvlke daye (qnod spectat 
ad). When wefieethephra8e(p. 43),som(nna8)ufAaf 

424 Old and Middle English. 

wole teUe^ we perceive how the old oZ OAxd sum, answers to 
onr one aiid aU. We find a new phrase for the Latin 
non is qvi ; lie nas noj;t the inan that wolde ^c, p. 111. 
In p. 95 comes six ^er a/nd a month ; an had split into 
two forms ; and of these we should have expected one^ 
not a, here. The Old English form of expressing time, 
nti wees Uvd gear^ is changed (an imitation of the French) 
into this was tene ^er after that §^c. p. 95. We can under- 
stand how our ' a fortnight ' sprang up, much earlier, 
when in p. 123 we find a/n eipe dayes. In p. 98 comes 
the tueye of hem, (the pair of them) ; here the Numeral 
seems to stand for a Noun. 

Among the Verbs are found phrases like hreke prisoun, 
cry him milce (mercy), set hond on (attack), set sames 
(the appointed Psalms, p. 54), his hurte hvm jpf ^i, 
p. 60 ; we can now only say, ' his heart misgave him 
that.' There are also hit faith to {he (te decet) ; taiketm 
(procedere, p. 69), nom a/n honde (suscepit, p. 4) heo 
com of gentyl blod, hold thi mouthy the sonne (sun) is over- 
cast. In p. 98 comes a phrase common enough among 
us now, but which is an evident translation of the French 
vous savez; Archehischop ich am, ^e wite, as toeZ cuhe; our 
you know is in our time a never-ending expletive. In 
p. 113 we hear that the monks woke a corpse ; this is ft 
rare instance of a Weak Verb taking a Strong Perfect ; 
it is put here for the sake of the rime. 

As to Adverbs : we see forasmoche as, an Englishing 

of powr autaM que ; )m mi^t as wel heo stille, p. 49 ; heu 

hit ever hifaUe, p. 79, hence our shortened however, A 

new Adverb is formed from brad (this survives in Brad' 

ford), ahrod (late) ; ahrod (foris) came from the Span- 

Middle English: Reparation. 425 

dinATian; 'to noise abroad,' and 'to traTel abroad,' 
mean tsij different things. It is seldom that we 
compound a with an Adjective in this ^Bhion ; with 
SabstantiTea it is different. The first hint of onr 
' follow ap' is in p. 18 : the friends of a murdered man 
swdfe up Iwtn (the morderer) ; this v/p began now to 
be often tacked on to Yerlw ; it is a Scandinavian 

As to Prepositions: ihe fo is employed as in the 
French deferer a ; tbmde to al that hoU ehureke wolde, 
p. 28. Another French idiom is, aryved at Sandwych, 
p. 93 ; nothing can show more forcibly how pl^nly the 
French d (ad) and the English ai are bnt two forms of 
one old word. In p. 63 is, the Kinget m^rt were at 
him; a new phrase marking hoatilify, 

A word, common to ns and the Datoh, is fonnd 
in p. 5; Beoket'a mother, wandering about London 
. and nnable to speak English, is called 'a tnopiMh 

In the Life of St. Brandan, we see herfeti (messiB) 
become hofrveH, which stands for what we now call 
Autvmn. In p. 2*i, we hear of hvliet blowing ; can onr 
bvUy come from this ? It is the Western form of IxBlg, 
belloais. An is pared down to a, for a Godet name often 
comes. We see fur ire (fire iron), p. 30 ; fiehes, p. 21, 
are said to float at one hepe (in a mass) ; hence onr 
* strnck all of a heap.' In p. 30 we hear of an otter's 
hynder fet and his forthere fel, (fore-feet,) expressions 
altogether new. In p. 24^ a mountain is said to bom 

In Mr. Fnmivall's Lives of the Saints, we may 

426 Old and Middle English. 

remark the disappearance of the e in )>e befoi« a Yowd, 
as pen* (the air) ; Cazton was fond of this usage. The 
words tmrafpe (ira) and wrap (iratns) are distinguished 
in p. 98. The old Swmersete is now written Somandey 
p. 49, where many other connties are mentioned. Tlie 
WUtonesohire^ Slohschire^ and Dunholme of 1260 now 
become WUteschire^ Schropschyre^ and Durhcum* Tbe 
Kaiser of the Ancren Biwle is written Oezar^ p. 113 ; 
the former term was confined to the office, the latter to 
the family name ; the c must have been in the seoood 
instance taken from the French original of this poem. 
The n is inserted, when Iptinge (fdlgnr) is seen as 
Upnmgey in p. 117. The h is cast out, for clemde is 
written for cUvihed, in p. 51. The n at the end is 
clipped, for we find gredire (gridiron), p. 65 ; the old 
gescoten is pared down to schet, oar Participle shot, p. 118. 
Serin now becomes schriuy p. 47. 

Among the Substantives, we see one English woid 
encroaching upon its synonym in p. 80 : 

' In ano]>er half of ))e chuiche, al in ])o]7er Me,^ 

The former of these Nouns was soon to drop in this 
sense. The old Plural of cu (vaoca), c^, is still used 
in the North ; but we find a new Plnral of the trae 
Southern pattern in p. 53, hyn ; a third Plural, cov;h 
was yet to come ; all three Plnrals are still used in onr 
isleudd ; this instance, I think, is something quite by 
itself. It may be, that men thought they might talk 
of hine^ since they already used the Plural swive. There 
is another most pronounced Southern form, eirmonger 
(egg-monger), in p. 45 ; Caxton's tale about eir and 

Middle English: Reparation. 427 

ejps, nearly two himdred years later, is well known. 
There is the notm nuue (error), p. 107; and the ex- 
presEiiona neete h-uaie (sweetheart), p. £1 ; jiiti his 
maeehe, p. 59 ; -menie a moder child (mother's son), 
p. 104. In p. 83 comes gode un^, addressed to a. 
woman ; nothing now mora enrages a female in the 
witness-box than to be addieseed by the opposing 
counsel as ' my good woman.' In p. 95 St. Katherine 
addressee a most bloodthirsty tyrant as gode vmn, 
something like onr ' my good fellow,' In p. 71 we hear 
of gode men and tme ; here true bears the meaning of 
honegttis as in the Peterborongh Chronicle; a true man 
is opposed to a thief. In p. 63, we first light on our 
gattliche (ghastly) ; this word, nnlike ghotlly, has never 
changed its first vowel, and comes from agaelen (terrere). 
In p. 94 is Qod' almipie-ei spouse ; so confused had our 
inflexionB now become, that the Adjective, and not &e 
Substantive, here takes a Genitive form. 

There are such new phrases as the li^t vim oute ; he 
niakede moehe of gode reule, p, 35 ' ; moehe ajen his untie ; 
hit fader were belere hahbe, &c., p. 109 ; like Shakes- 
pore's ' you were best go,' where the Pronoun is in the 
Dative. In p. 53 oomes \e valey ferdotuie ; we should 
now say 'down there.' 

As to Frononns : the sharp distinction between )>» 
and je, made in Lincolnshire about this time, had 
not yet found its way to the Severn; in p. 59 and in 
p. 91 a superior nses both pit and ^oure in one line, when 
addrassing an inferior. The Virgin tells the Devil, 

> This phtBse oomea io TTQdala's vsrnoD of St. Luke, Tii. 2. 

'thou beast, your power :b too great,' p. 59. In p. 114 
gum on replaces the old «uni man. In p. 80 we he&r tliat 
BD rain fell, to distnrb a manes mad ; here man, with the 
Indefinite Article prefixed, stands for aliquiti this is 
something new. In p. 50 comes, no pe wars him tiat; 
we shonld now say, 'he was not the worse,* altering tiie 

As to Verbs : we see find out, hou gop pig T makA 
hire mid eiUde, kov, tehal ic do (valere), p. 97 ; hence our 
' bow do yon do P ' In p. 105 the phrase it be is used 
as a kind of expansion of eisi ; gumme pe^ hit beo fevf. 
The Terb gtoear, when used of a fatare event, goTenu 
an Accnsative, hit dep he hadde inoore, p. 116 ; we also 
find in p. 51, bispeke hit dep, a new sense of tbii 
Verb. We know Person's clever bat nnfair lines, 

The OermaDS in Oieek 

Are sadly to aeek. 

In p. 78 we hear of the Devil, noping to siehs (seek) 
he nas (non defuit). Oar phrase 'cast np ooooants' 
is foreshadowed in p. 77, eaite hig num&re. In the same 
line draw gets a new meaning, ' draui figures ; ' this is a 
Scandinavian sense of draw. When St. Dnnstan wu 
enraptured in p. 39, he sat as he were ynoms ; this is &« 
first hint of onr modem numh, coming &om the old 
mwBon (capere). 

Among Prepositions, we find, take erisample bi, lake 
€hd to witnegg, for nought, no love bituene hetn, hi wen 
Mpe (apon) him. 

In p. 83 tiie old d, slightly changed, begins to be 

Middle English: Reparation. 429 

used as on Affirmative ; a qneetioa is asked, and tbe 
answer is aje, gin (aye). Oar ugh of disgust: is seen 
as ou in p. 115. 

We find vrriek, onr wriggle, in p. 36 ; it is akin to a 
Dateh word. Sbakespere talks of poshed eorpsea ; this 
oomeB &oin the Scandinavian fosik, fonnd in p. 98. 

In Sejn Julian, (published by tbe Early Engljah 
Text Society), we see mane (mednlla), «trupe her ntJced, 
make ife tigne of fe cr&is, and tresies. 

Tbe liiie of St. Margaret was published by tbe 
Early English Text Society ; the version of the year 
1295 may be found in p. H, a wonder^ contrast to the 
version pnt forth ninety years earlier. We find in p. 25 
seh^ (ores) ; in p. 27 is chui (elige), and in p. 28 rufe 
(misericordia), just as we now pronounce these three 
words. In p. 29 is atom (domi), just as we now slur 
over the h of tbe second word ; the Scandiuavians said at 
hiin. In p. 32 comes asbmed, long afterwards inserted by 
Tyndale in the Bible; it is a compound of the English 
aeUmdian and tbe French estontwr. In p. 30 the French 
cacche becomes catehe, with the t in the middle. The 
proper name Laurens, in p. 24, foUowe the French and 
not tiie Latin form ; the name Stevene does just the 
reverse. We see the phrase, the hlod ran hi sb-emeg j 
this is a new meaning attached to 6t. The use of the 
of in phrases like of age is fnrUier extended; in p. 29 
comes a ■man of mi ttrengpe. Do, attached to another 
Verb, was becoming very common ; as ptt do*i lede 

From the same Manuscript comes a Treatise on 
Science, published by Mr. Wright, p. 132. Sdr (canus) 

430 Old and Middle English. 

becomes hor (hoar) ; / replaces h in Jwi/ (per), as it did 
before in f o^, J>o/. We see, in p. 138, a seeming pre- 
ference of French to English endings; swearer and 
tvaJcer become sweriere and wakiere, Robert of Olon- 
cester, the probable author of this treatise, has howicf 
(bowyer) in his Chronicle ; this Gloucestershire crotchet 
comes out again in Tyndale, who sometimes writes 
lawear (lawyer) ; Chancer has man of law. The Western 
Poet speaks of his forehead as his for^top^ p. 137 ; our 
seamen use the word in another sense. In p. 139, the 
phrase comes taipiime fourti dayes and in lasse ; here 
the Substantive is not repeated after lasse^ an instance 
of English conciseness. In p. 140 the soul gop to gode^ 
that is, * to heaven ; ' here the Adjective stands for a 
Substantive. On the other hand, souls may heo in Upere 
weye (be in a bad way), p. 140 ; this is an early in- 
stance of a phrase common now. We know Pope's line 
ending with all that, meaning * all such things ; ' this is 
foreshadowed in p. 133 ; many vices are named, and we 
are told that a good man may cleanse himself of aUe 
}ndke. Tyndale has often put in our Bible the corrupt 
shined (micavit) as well as the rightful shone ; schgfide 
is seen in p. 133. The Verb begin is followed by an 
Accusative in p. 132 ; ich wole higynne pe names. We 
find huttoky akin to the Dutch houty and sUib of ire 
(massa), which has puzzled the wise. 

We now tnm to Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle, 
published by Hearne. We may safely call it a trans- 
lation from the French, when we see such forms as the 
March (Mercia), Picards (Picts), Daneis (Danes), fe 
Londreis (Londoners), Fountfreit (Pontefract, Pdmfret), 

Middle English: Reparation. 431 

p. 505; Mvhert de Burgh is altered into Hubert de Born, 
p, 523. The Fi-ench par (where ab would have been 
nsed in Latin for the agent) is Englished hj pora in 
p. 271, The original author bad to explain in two 
long lines the meaning of the old word Afehptg, as 
applied to Edgar, p. 354. Homage is quite wrongly 
tomed into mankede, not manrede, p. 421. The poor 
translation, ^0e for vition, is seen in p. 355. It is in 
this poem that we first find the habit of opposing the 
word Santons to Kormans, p. 363, thongh after all 
Englith, not Baaons, is the nsnal phrase employed. The 
8axott* and the Englya»e both alike wage war on tlie 
Britons in p. 225. As to Ejiglisch (lingoa Anglica), we 
are told in p. 125, that fe Saxaws speche it was, and 
porw hem yeome yt ys ; jnst what King Alfred says, if 
Te wonid only believe him. 

The letter a replaces e in the proper name '^ame- 
moupe, Yarmouth in the Isle of Wight, p. 164, thongh 
the old spelling is kept in p. 227; a replaces <b, for 
cemete (emmet) becomes amet, our ant (formica) ; there 
are also grot and brak, as in lAyamon. Au is found In 
aid, which is no longer written awel or iU ; we find both 
Mold and Maud, the short of Matilda, The e replaces 
y, as in Weltte (Welsh) for Wyliae ; gle stands for gleow 
(gaudium). The i or y comes in often; at p. 370 we 
see the proper name Oecyly, which we now call cither 
Oiody or Cecil. The y or t slips in before Vowels in Teu- 
tonic words, as we saw in the L^ends of the Saints ; 
in p. 416 comes the Verbal Noun bodyynge, our boding • 
in p. 541 is howiar, our bowyer ; we need not derive this 
ending from the French ; it is one of the Severn coontr^ 

432 Old and Middle English. 

forms. The o often supplaQts t», as in Layamon's 
Second Text; it stands for 6 in toorrede (pngnavit); 
there is also con for ken (scit), p. 364 ; hence * to con a 
lesson ; ' stands for eo, as ssoppe (shop) for suoppa^ 
p. 541 ; it stands for au, as Morisse for Maurice^ p. 516. 
The u supplants i, as in Wurcester ; we stiU keep the 
old sound of the u in this proper name ; Paul is writ- 
ten Poul. We see the curious compromise between the 
Southern u and Northern yori that makes us write gwM, 
hmld, and such words; in this Poem we haye Jw/r 
(ignis), pruyd (superbia), and Bruyt (Bmte). This 
usage was continued by the author of Piers Plough- 
man, another Western writer. Hugo is now written 
Hue f the ue standing for eu\ a proof how fondly England 
clung to her old sound eow^ the French iou. In p. 116 
Layamon's ywong is pared down to ]>on^. 

As to Consonants : the / or v is cast out of afm 
(vesper), which is seen as ene in p. 394, Holy Thore*s 
em. We see the old targynge in p. 207, and the new 
tarie (morari) in p. 109 ; Tyndale was fond of this 
word. The g is moreover thrown out in neyde (neighed) 
from the old hncdgcm^ and in ninteriej where the first 
syllable has replaced nigon. The h is cut away from 
the old toh, which is now written tou (tough), p. 175 ; 
the South no longer pronounced the guttural at the end 
of words. The old rruioa (socius) becomes mate, 
p. 586, just as we find both condicio and conditio in Old 
Latin ; the relationship of tfimvulus and ctmmlus is well 
known. The ^ is dropped in the middle of Norfmc, 
which now becomes Norwiehe ; forftoeard is seen as for- 
wcardf p. 17, and it may, in our days, be often heiurd 

Middle English: Reparation. 433 

prononnced farrad. The nune we now call Etketheri is 
seen as EyHryt, p. 238. The iat«rch&iige beinreen I and 
d is seen in p. 447, where the OardoU of p. 4 is written 
Carloyl. The I is sometimeB cast out, for pilk (iate) 
and Walter become ]nke, p. 27, and Water, p. 563. The 
final n hss been clipped in tme Soathem &shion in a^e 
(itenun), p. 548 ; on the other hand, yreatef (minatnr) 
is first seen as yretnep, p. 457. In Proper Names, we 
tad b^nn to follow French rather than Latin ; SergiuB 
is pared down to Sergy, p. 255. We also see Jude, Nel 
(Niel), Qemee (James, p. 534), Oeorge, Bamahe, Uinfray. 
King Biohard's enemy was Dnke of Ostrich, not Avtlria. 
There are forma of English places aa yet new to English 
poetry, as Boucegbre, Exetre, Brittotoe, HartipUchire, Qla,8~ 
it/nbttry. Nolhyngam has lost the », which used to stand 
before her first n ; this alteration may be seen in Latin 
Charters of the foregoing Gentnry. Gmunfebrt^^e becomes 
Camhrvgge, p. 6, thongh the old form lasted a hundred 
years longer. In p. 44 the Poet explains why Ltide's 
town is now slightly changed ; tm clepe^ it London, fat 
y» lifffer in pe mouji. Theee last six words give a cine to 
the reason of tbe alterations in many an English word. 
Armorica is called pe latse Breteyne, p. 95, and is held by 
Brii<m«i. The old Burh becomes Petresbont, p. 283. We 
hear of Ih/vytei (Devizes), p. 448 ) in p. 523 this becomes 
The Vise. The old Eadgyf, which had already been mnch 
mangled in Domesday Book, is written Edyfe, p. 331. 
A man named Sobelcin was hanged not long before the 
battle of Lewes, p. 544 ; Halberi must have been very 
early pared down to Ho&. All Saints' Church in Oxford 
is called Alle Halwen, p. 541 ; this old Genitive Plural, 




4 >'■'. 

' r 

'^ hart o/l 
poem we see 

'eminine. 5 

^*»-»». p. 109. 
«* out in p. jj 

^'M formed fit 


n ^«^ 
^ P* -io aaoiis ;« ^ 

Middle English: Reparation. 435 

seen in p. 305. In p. 266, King Alfred leama the 
alphabet ; he cou)« y» aheae, a phrase used hj Tyndale 
later. There are such phntses aa Tiente (take) kerte ; oute 
of hom and hovs, p. 375 ; these noims we now transpose ; 
fot folc (infantry) ; smoke is pnffed against the heathen 
ri/p in her owe (their own) tep, p. 40?. In p. 541 comes 
a phrase dear to Tyndale, men viere atte mete (at meat). 
In p. 555, Sir Edward grants a garrison Uf and lime. A 
mortel wonnd is translated defes wiynde in p. 49 ; Lord 
Uacanlay, in his Lays, called it a death wound. 

Among Adjectives, we find Ure (vacnns), p. 81 ; it is 
carious that this old word shonld have died ont of 
England, except in the Sonth West, after 1310 ; it may 
still be heard in the months of Somersetshire peasants. 
In p. 119 a »ely wenehe is opposed to a lioli prechour ; 
sehj here may perhaps bear the new meaning atulttu. In 
p. 95 comes an gixti \ou»and gode ; we should now make 
good the second word. In p. 393, a Prince borrows a 
hnge sum of money, and pat was emndel stare, like onr 
' coming it strong.' In p. 430 a girl is described as a 
fcii jw old, a wholly new phrase. Bold pe more comes in 
p. 566, because pe bolder wonld not salt the rime. 

As to Pronouns : yl refers to a Mascnline Antecedent 
ID p. 411 ; a Prince thanks it too mach ti-oublo to be 
King, and xayde fat he nolde he yt nop. In p. 420 comes, 
* he was pulke pat ; ' this Sonthem pidke (that one) is 
convenient here, as preventing pat coming twice over. 
In p, 409, the Crusaders helde Iter Ester (kept their 
Easter), a new sense of the Pronoun. In p. 435 some 
tijme is nsed where we shonld say ' once npon a time ; ' 
tbe mm and an were synonyms of old. In p. 561 comeR 

436 Old and Middle English. 

viani an o}fer, a new form. In p. 532 we read of mucle 
folc ; the phrase mtich people is kept in oar Bible. In 
p. 509, we see ifW^t for nait ; here the first stands for 
onr not, the last for oar nought ; the old word had else- 
where been split into two different forms, as two shades 
of meaning had now to be represented. In p. 449 
comes * they knew not wat to do',' the French qiie fain 
is preferred to the Old English idiom of the SubjuDC- 
tive mood. A new French fashion of dating tiise 
comes in ; we see in p. 363 the phrase : in ye j/ere o/ 
Grace a Ipousend and syoee and syxty ; here the Cardinal 
nnmber stands for the Ordinal ; the Old English way 
of reckoning by winters was being dropped^ In p. 995 
comes the Dorsetshire hii were at on ; the very Sontheru 
phrase, ' to set at one/ is in our Bible. 

Among the Verbs, we may remark many new French 
idioms. We find bicomen fr&iides gode, Ood yt schyld me, 
p. 58, (Dien me defende) ; ^eve hym hatail ; smyte a 
hatayle ; do hataile ; to segge ssortlyche (shortly to say) ; 
sette on fuyre ; lie pleyede king ; here armes ; myn herte 
ys on hym. Some Verbs undergo alteration ; thus in 
p. 29 a man falls from a great height and pitches ; tbis 
last verb had up to this time been transitiTe ; much in 
the same way, men are said to spi-ead about, in p. 288 ; 
withdraw is intransitive in p. 388. Set also loses its 
active sense in p. 400, where two hosts sette togadere in 
fight. On the other hand, to swear a many is in p. 348 ; 
to turn your hand to, is in p. 101. We see, it was vorj) 
ipult (proclaimed) ; it com to pes (peace) ; they adde the 
stretes tier (they had, i.e. made, the streets empty), p. 541. 
We now talk of mooring a ship, but in p. 409 the verb 

Middle English: Reparation. 437 

IB used of woods, which are mored rtp (rooted np). A 
town is bamed al adouH in p. 294 ; up and doKi>t are both 
used in our day to ezprees inteneitj-, aa ' to knock np,' 
and 'to kill down.' In p. 354, Harold made hys wey 
(attained his end). We see a cnrions proof of the con- 
fusion between the 7erbal Nona and the InfinitiTC in 
eri, for in p. 291 we bear of a token poJ to comyng teas; 
it aboald be to comen. (veutaram). There is a strange 
idiom in p. 343 ; he mat viel ymg to he k'jng ; it is a great 
advance on Orrmin'a ' good enough to do a thing.' In 
p. 419 we hear of Rnfiia' end ; then comes the moral, 
giich yt y» to he tsretoe (a shrSw) ; here a thing seems 
to be omitted after the sticA. Onr easy idiom ' he swore 
he shonld hang ' comes in p. 448 ; no that follows the 
first verb here. The Verb is altogether dropped, to 
save a repetition ; in p. 523 foar nobles ' fonnd knights, 
ech of horn on' (each of them one). This idiom is rather 
hazy, and is not easy to constme at first sight. One of 
our Biblical phrases is seen in p. 515, «o it was that ^c, 
' it was so, that.' 

Among Adverbs, the nse of a« is mnch developed. 
The old ewa rwa, had been used of yore, when a notion was 
to be ezpressed, illustrated by examples ; this svja. twa 
now beoomcB as. Thus we hear, in p. 359, that the 
Gonqneror built abb^s, as Teoheshunj imd Oeeneye. As 
is farther used to English the French comme ; in p. 37 
Cordelia takes the kingdom as pe rijp eyr. In p. 216 
a hero carries oS a man's body, ded as yt icim. We 
know the phrase, ' as at this time,' in our Collect for 
Ohristmas-day ; something like this is seen in p. 552, 
' they made peace on the twelfth of May, as in a 

438 Old and Middle English. 

Tywesday. In p. 56 comes 'on a hill, as (nbi) many 
rocks were ' ; another mannscript has tJier for the above 
05 ; it is easj to see how thereas and whereas arose. Yet bad 
hitherto been used of time ; it is now employed to restrict 
an idea : in p. 35 we see ' he 'is come with bat one man, 
and ^et yilke in fehle wede.* We find oversore (nimis), 
which replaces the old overswipe ; also asyde, Wei ynou 
(p. 284), means valdefeltx. One of our intensive forms 
is out ; this we see in p. 121, ' they forsook the king al 
out ' (utterly) ; we find in this poem seek out and hwy ovL 
We see more 8ou)^ used as an Adverb in p. 386. King 
Alfred^s clce^ie (omnino) becomes clanliche at p. 100. 
We see up and doun^ p. 552, but there is another form 
in p. 333, where a man ]>reu up to doun (feU upside 
down). This is the first hint of a new English phrase, 
due to the West Country, which is further developed in 
1320 as upsodoun ; the scribe most likely did not under- 
stand the phrase : it also occurs in Seyn Julian. The 
preu here, like the Verb pitch, becomes intransitive. 

The word hid now answers to the Latin quin ; ho^ 
mype we bote be overcome ? p. 306 ; here the French ^ 
must have had an influence. Wheii answers to qwmifm 
in p. 47 ; wen we hep of on hlod. 

As to Prepositions : o/stands for considering \ 'strong 
of her age ' is in p. 110. A law phrase is seen in p. 510, 
to hold vor him and vor his eirs. 

The Interjection Ow^ Lord, pe noble folk ! comes in 
p. 56 ; the common O here got the sound of the French oa; 
the meaning is, * Lord, what noble folk/ &c. This 
Lord is still a favourite Interjection with us ; it seems a 
translation of the French Dam (dominus). 

Middle English : Reparation. 439 

Among strange worda, haA appears, as in the North. 
Orderio Vital had long before written about sterilensii' 
vumeta ; we now find a certein tume of sterlings, p. 563 ; 
the word ia said to come from Germany. 

The Sonthem Yersion of the Castel of have (Philo- 
logical Society) dates from aboat this time ; it resembles 
Robert of Gloncester in forma like pruide and ktiinde ; 
we here find welfare, p. 9, outriht, p. 13. 

Other poems of this date are in the other Volume 
of the Society, after the Pky of the Sacrament. In 
p. 16 we see destrei (destroy) ; the oy in English, as in 
French, had the sonnd, sometimes of the French i, Bome- 
times of the French on or owe. The Verb loh, in p. 14, 
has the sense o!ferire. 

The long poem of the Alexander (Weber's ' Metrical 
Romances,' Vol. I.) seems to hare been translated from 
the French abont the year 1300. We may safely refer 
its translator to some shire near the Greati Sundering 
line. The dialect is mostly Southern ; but certain 
phrases, such as sket (cito), that (iste), they dispises, 
p. 70, tU (ad), han (habeut), bigge (not hugge), unmis- 
takeably smack of the North. The tninslator seems to 
have lived not far from Gloncestershire, for he repeats 
the new form lewyn (tscceb) ; on the whole, Warwick- 
shire seems the most likely place of his abode. We 
seem to have a foreshadowing of Sbakespere in words 
like horeson, p. 41, and in p. 52 comes 

Swithe mury bit is in belle. 

When the burdes (beardB) wawen alle. 

As to Vowels : a replaces eo, as darling ; also e, for 

440 Old attd Middle English. 

snacche (rapere) replaces the snecche of the Aiicren 
Biwle; also t, as in mangle, p. 303 (in the medley), 
hence onr vningle'fuatigle, E replaces y, as 'he had 
yment ' (in animo hahnerat) ; here the old verb myntm 
jnfets confosed with moenan (significare). The cole (ocd- 
dere) of the North makes way for kill^ p. 159. The Old 
English frea (dolor) becomes throwe in p. 78 ; in the 
North it is thraw^ following the Scandinavian frd. The 
oi has the sound of the French ou ; for hu (puer) stands 
in p. 45 for what was called in the Havelok hoy. 

As to Consonants: we find 'the upper Ynde' in 
p. 285 ; this of old wonld have been ufor ; the old fonns, 
upplica or up-flor^ may have had some influence on the 
new term. Overton still survives as the name of many 
a village. There is something like this in p. 272, when 
the Adverb down is supplied with a Comparative douner; 
there are such new forms as roughs laugh, trough. The 
<jh seems not to have been sounded in the middle of a 
word ; we find tighed, (ligatus,) loonyghing, (habitatio). 
The expletive he gan with the Infinitive now becomes 
can; he can chaunge (mutavit), p. 50. C turns into i, 
for the old strcec (directus) is seen as streyte^ whence 
comes onr straightway ; this form must not be confounded 
with the strait gate, coming from the French. The n is 
clipped at the beginning of noedre (ang^is), and adder 
appears. As in the Tristrem, the Infinite in en changes 
into ing, a confusion with the Verbal Noun ; in p. 28 
comes withoute doyng ; in p. 284 comes withotUefi lesyng. 
This is an advance on the huten ewt to leosen in the 
Legend of St. Katherine, at p. 259 of my work ; the 
French sans, governing the Infinitive, was evidently the 

Middle English: Reparation. 441 

model in all theee cases. The r is inserted in tcWl, 
which is now seen as thTxlX ; some say follering instead 
oi following. When we see a form like icrike (vagire), 
it is easy to imagine that the very common change of 
the r into a 10 would long a^rwards prodace aguedk. 
The s replaces the r when loren becomee lo»t ; the old 
loron (amisemnt) remains in p. 152, The e is added to 
words ; amidde becomes amiddet, onr amidat. 

We find such new Substantives as brother-in-lam, 
a bowe-ichote, ciiS-m^n, p. 71. BriMebridge is formed, 
jost as ipilbred, had been. What had hitherto been 
Jvpiter in England is now called Jotai, p. 18. The 
old fdawe is used in the two widely different senses 
that still prevail: the abnsive one is in p. 172, 'Fy, 
felaw, tbeof;' the friendly one is in p. 115, 'He was 
ryght good felatee' A noble top becomes in p. 74 
a top ofnobleys; a strange constmction. The oldpawa 
(pavo) is seen as jpecoch ; and calketrappe (caJthrop) 
appears. Doppe, the bird named by us from its dipping 
or ducking, is mentioned in p. 239 ; tboagh the form 
ende (in Latin, anat-is') lasted a hnndred and forty years 
longer. The Verbal Nonns come in fast ; in hit doyng is 
in p. 311. As in the Cursor Mnndi, they govern the 
Accusative, bearing witness to English conciseness. This 
case may now be Flnral aa well as Singular; in p. 57 
we hear that thar wot tteden lesyng, losing of steeds, In 
p. 325 we are told of dn/ffor the body heoriing, ' burying 
of the body.* The Accusatire Absolute is often found 
in this poem, aa she rod, theo keved al nakid, p. 13. 

We see fine stand before another Adjective, jnst as 
we use it ; in p. 204, fyne hardy men. In p. 263 we 

442 Old and Middle English, 

bear of a cite, on of the tiohlest in Cristianite \ this is a 
new constraction of the Superlative. 

Among the Pronouns, we see the Nominative put for 
the Accusative in Ypray ye, inaister, in p. 22 ; the French 
vovs was here translated. 

As to Numerals : hundred takes a Plural for the first 
time; tlie tayl they hit of hmiArodia fyve^ p. IBo. 

Among the Verbs, the use of have is mnch developed. 
In p. 55 comes they hodden leovere steorve, they had 
rather die ; here have reminds us of the Latin imhi est, 
and the leovere is a Nenter Adjective. The use of the 
iXi-c ^c^ Infinitive, an idiom so contraiy to Old English, is 
now further extended ; it follows Adjectives, as tvorthy 
to he hongid, p. 75. In p. 47 a lady grawntid to heo spoused, 
a verj French idiom ; in Old English "pat with a Past 
tense would have been used after the grauntid^ The verb 
do is freely used ; in p. 11 comes do (put) to theo sioeord; 
in p. 84 is do you honour. The corruption of the Second 
Person Singular of the Strong Perfect goes on; in p. 164 
we find thow snwtest, instead of the old smote ; so peculiar 
a phrase proves the translator to have lived not fiEU* to 
the South of the Great Sundering Line. In p. 154 
cleave (findere) makes its rightful Strong Perfect cfe/; 
in p, 151 its Participle is corrupted into the Weak 
clevyd ; we have happily kept the old cloven alive. There 
are the new Verbs bestir, hewray, overthrow. 

As to Adverbs : we have seen Orrmin's forr ^ 
ncmess (for the purpose) ; this sense now slides into/oJ" 
the occasion', in p. 20 a lady sees something, and is 
agrisen (frightened) for the nones. The old hwil, as at 
Colchester a hundred years earlier, takes the usual 

Middle English : Reparation. 443 

modern e» at tbe end and becomes vshiUt, (wbilst). In 
p. 249 appears here-to-fore ; we aUo find ah fer as, aloud, 
and aside. jlZon^ is now used as an Adverb, p. 141. The 
old cwielieJie is p&rad down, as in the Tristrem ; the gates 
weoren qwyk ytischut, p. 116. 

There are new uses of Prepositions. ' To bid (ask) 
o^aman;' 'the place shon of brightness;' hence our 
' smack of,' ' savoor of.' In p. 270 comes the to of com- 
parison ; ther n'yg to hym no best so feloun ; hence onr ' he 
was a fool to this fellow.' We follow the French in the 
idiom, p. 182 ; this was to Qrece a sory fall. To had from 
the earlieet times the meaning of secuytdicrri ; we now find 
in p. 307, folk that beon to yow honour. In p. 41 is fy 
<m the, and in p. 79, to tume on Sarie. In p. 69 is »eo» 
him in face, which is veiy tVench ; as is, teZ me, bylweone 
the and me, p. 68, We find word for word, to-fore alle. 
The old idiom wonld Imve been ' before his horse's feet 
and nnder : ' this is now changed to onr freer nsage, 
tofwe and tmder his horses fete, p. 136. The old inter- 
change between of and on comes ont, when we see 
afhutigred changed into anhangred ; a phrase inserted 
by Tyndale in our Bible. 

The Int«ijection so ho! so ho ! may be found in 
p. 154. 

There are many works, akin to the German, now 
first cropping np in onr island : snch are girl, mane, pin, 
scoff, shingle, top (tnrbo), and the Verbs cower, ctirl, dab, 
plwnj), scrub, stamp, rotle (rnstle) ; there is also hedlingo 
(pneceps). The word dally appears for the first time. 

The new Scandinavian words are fling, raggedy 
tumble, sturdy, show. 

444 Old and Middle English, 

The Celtic words (we are not very far from the Welsh 
border) are, hicker, hoistotis (boisterons), watly hog, gun; 
this last was most likely some engine for darting Greek 

I may here point out that it is seldom that we can 
express one idea by four words, representing the four 
races that have ruled our island since Boman times. 
But foTjplangere we may nse, (though there are shades 
of difference) either the Welsh wail^ the English moon, 
the Danish ehriekj or the French cry ; this is indeed a 
wealth of expression. We can often find three repre- 
sentative words of this kind, but seldom four ; either the 
Welsh or the Danish synonym is commonly wanting.^ 
The source of derivation is sometimes puzzling. Thus, 
our word cost may come either from the Welsh costiaWf 
from the Icelandic kosta, or from the French coustet \ 
there is, moreover, a Low German hosten ; it is the same 
with j^ot. 

We have now traced the three periods of Middle 
English for 180 years : we have seen its CultivatioD, 
fi^m 1120 to 1220 ; its Neglect, from 1220 to 1280 ; and 
its Reparation, by translators of French works, from 
1280 to 1300: We have seen the old Inflections pared 
away at Peterborough in 1160 ; the disuse of Old English 
compounds, to be remarked in East Anglia, about 1200 ; 
the rush of French words into English, abont 1280, has 
yet to be explained. A greater contrast cannot be 
imagined, than if we compare the Legend of St. Juliana 
(1220), with the Havelok (1280). 

' Bard, Makers Scald, Pdet, are something similar ; but the first 
•comes to us from the Welsh through the Latin, and not directly. 

Middle English : Reparation. 445 ■ 

Let a line be drairn from Whitby throagb Tork, 
Shrewsbnry, and Hereford, to Weymouth. To the 
Soatb and East of this line sprang up tbe mauy 
idioms that we hare jnst coneidered ; all of which were 
iu process of time to convei^ at London. The rough 
chnrls of many a eliire were shaping the language, that 
in the fulness of time was to be handled by Shakespere 
and UOton ; while the better-educated priests were 
traDsIating and bringing in French idioms, fresh from 
the mini over the sea. A strange jumble of words and 
idioms. Old English, Scandinavian, and French, goes to 
form the New English that we now speak. About one 
third of the changes arose in the Saxon shires, to the 
South of the Great Sundering Line.' About two thirds 
of the changes come from the shires that lie between 
Colchester and York, where the new form of England's 
speech was for the most part compounded by the old 
Angles and the later Norse comers. Almost half-way 
between these two towns lived the man, whose writings 
ore of such first-rate importance that they are worthy of 
having a Chapter to themselves.* After his time there 
came in but few new Tentonic changes in spelling and 
idiom, such as thoso that had been constantly sliding 

> I wish that the different idioms in FrsDCh and Garmiu coaid 
be trsMd to thsir local 8onK«*, in man; an ontlTing nook. Here 
is s work veil beStting tome patriotic scholar. 

' llie Hercion Danelagh has clums upon architocb! as wall as 
upon phik)logeTB. A rich treat aw&its the trareUei who shall go 
from Northampton to Pet«lboroitgh and Stamford, and so to Hull, 
turning now and then to the nght and left. Host of the noble 
cbutchea be will «ee, in hia joomsj of 120 milet, date from the time 
between 1260 and 1360. 

446 Old and Middle English. 

into onr written speech between 1120 and 1300. There 
had been a fixed Standard of Old English, the lasfc traces 
of which may be seen in King Hemy the Second's 
Charter, about 1160. There was to be a fixed Standard 
of New English, the first traces of which we shall find 
in 1303. Bat between these two dates, there was no 
Standard of English common to the whole land ; eyeiy 
man spoke and wrote what seemed him good.^ 

' I return once more to the hard question of the Verbal Noom 
in ing and the Infinitive at «;». I advise the reader to look care- 
fully at page 269, at page 384, at page 389, at page 411, at page 
441, and at page 466. Let him moreover rememoer the vast influx 
ence exercised by translators from the French. 

Tke Rise of the New English. 



We Iiare seen the coiraption of speech in the Mercian 
Danel^h and East Anglia : a cormption more Btrikingly 
marked there than in the shirea to the Soath of the Great 
Snndering Line. We shall now weigh the work of a 
Lincolnshire man who saw the light at Bourne within a 
few miles of Butland, the writer of a poem begun in tho 
year that Edward the First was bringing nnder hia yoke 
the whole of Scotland, outside of Stirling Castle. It 
was in 1303 that Robert of Bmnne (known also as 
Bobert Manning) began to compile the Handling 
Synne, the work which, more clearly than any former 
one, foreshadowed the road that English literatnre was 
to tread from that time forward.' Like moay other lays 
of King Edward the First's time, the new piece was 
a translation from a French poem; the Manuel des 
Pech^B had been written abont thirty years earlier by 
William of Waddington.* The English poem differs 
in its diction &o)jn all the others that bad gone before 

' This wofk, with its French origin&l, has been edited for tli« 
Bazbnigh Clnb b; Mr. FnmiTatl. 

* The date of Woddington'a poem is pretty well fixed bj & pauage 
la page 24S (Boxbnrgh Club edition of the ffaiuilyng St/nnt), He 
writes B tale in French, and his tcanBlstar says that the sad &Kii 
referred to bapptnad ■ in the time of good Edward, Sir EeDiy'B son.' 

448 Old and Middle English, 

it; for it contains a most scanty proportion of those 
Teutonic words that were soon to drop out of speech^ 
and it therefore stands in marked contrast to the 
Cursor Mundi. On the other hand, it has a most 
copious proportion of French words. Indeed, there are 
so many foreign words, that we should set the writer 
fifty years later than his true date had he not himself 
written it down. In this book we catch our first glimpse 
of many a word and idiom that were afterwards to lire 
for ever in the English Bible and Prayer-book, works 
still in the womb of Time. The new Teutonic idioms 
that took root in our speech after this period were few 
in number, a mere drop in the bucket, if we compare 
them with the idioms imported between 1120 and 1300. 
This shows what we owe to Robert Manning ; even as 
the highest praise of our Revolution of 1688 is, that it 
was our last. The Handlyng Synne is indeed a land- 
mark worthy of the careMIest study. I shall give long 
extracts from it ; and I shall further add specimens 
of the English spoken in many other shires between 
1300 and 1350. We are lucky in having so many English 
manuscripts, drawn up at this particular time : the con- 
trasts are strongly marked. Thus it will be easy to see 
that the Lincolnshire bard may be called the Patriarch 
of the New English, much as Cadmon was of the Old 
English six hundred years earlier. We shall also gain 
some idea of the influence that the Rutland neighbour- 
hood has had upon our classic tongue.' This was 

' Robert seems to haye been oooscious that he was an innovator, 
for in p. 267 he asks foigiveness 

For foole Englysshe and feble ryme, 
Seyde onto of resiin many tyme. 

The Rise of the New English. 449 

remarked by Fuller in his time; and in our day Dr. 
Latham tells ns that ' the labouring men of Hautingdon 
and Xortbamptoti speak what is asnally called het^ 
EngEsli, because their Temacnlar dialect is most akin 
to that of the standard wnters.' He pitches apon the 
conntiy between St. Neote and Stamford aa the true 
centre of literaiy English.' Dr. Gnest has pnt in a 
word ibr Leicestershire, Mr. Freeman tells as (' Norman 
Conquest,' Y. 543), that when very yonng he noticed 
how little l^e common language of Northamptonshire 
differed from Book English. Our classic speech did not 
arise in London or Oxford ; evea so it was not in the 
Papal Court at Borne, or in the King's Palace at 
Naples, or in the learned Universiif of Bologna, that 
the classic Italian sprang np with sudden and marretlous 

The Handlyng Synne shows bow the different tides of 
speech, flowing from Southern, Western, and Northern 
shires alike, met in the neighbourhood of Bntland, and 
all helped to shape the New English. Robert of Brnnne 
had his own mother-tongue to start with, the Dano- 
Anglian dialect corrupted by five generations since 
our first glimpse of it in 1120. He has their peculiar 
use of viman for the Latin ire, and other marks of the 
East Midland. From the South this speech had bor- 
rowed the chimge of a into o and c into cA (hence 
Robert's moc^,' ec^, taififche, evrgch), of se into th, g 
into u>, and o into ou. From the West came to him one 

■ I visited Stamfonl in 1872, and found that the letter A -wm 
RiuUy misiued in her Htraets. 

I His moche wns need by good wri(«ra dovn to Elizabeth's time. 

450 Old and Middle English, 

of the worst of all our corruptions, Lajamon's Active 
Participle in ing instead of the older form : Bobert leans 
to this evil change, but still he often uses the old East 
Midland Participle in and. With the North' Bobert has 
much in common : we can see by his rimes that he 
wrote the Danish fefew (p. 81) and rmjkel (p. 253), 
instead of the Southern \&n, and mochyl, which have been 
foisted into his verse by the Southerner who transcribed 
the Poem sixty years later. The following are some of 
the forms Robert uses, which are found, many of them 
for the first time, in the Northern Psalter : ehtlder, fof, 
ylJca, tane, ire, gatte, hauh, slagheter, handmaydenf lighten, 
wrecchedy ahye, sle, many one, dounright, he seysj than 
sweres, shy (coelum). He, like the translator of the 
Psalter, delights in the form gh ; not only does he write 
sygh, lagheteTy doghe, nyghe, neghbour^ but also hneugh 
and na^heer (our knew and nowhere). This seems to 
show that in Southern Lincolnshire, in 1303, the gk had 
not always a guttural sound. He also sometimes dips 
the ending of the Imperative Plural ; ' but he tunis the 
Yorkshire thou has into thou hast. In common with 
another Northern work, the Sir Tristrem, Bobert uses the 
new form ye for the Latin iu ; he has also the new senses 
given in that work to the old words smart and crom. 
He employs a multitude of idioms, that we saw first in the 
Cursor Mundi ; the same Danish influence was at work 
in Yorkshire and in Lincolnshire. like his East Midland 
brethren at Colchester and Norwich, he has no love for 
Prepositional compounds. He holds fast to the speech 

^ This is as great a change as if the Latin inteUigiU were to be 
written iiitelUg. 

TJu Rise of the New English. 45 1 

of hia forefathers when writing words like yoZe, Idrh, til 
loerre (pejus). For the Latin tifem and viucte he has both 
same and yche, (probably written ylk,) both ky and keyn. 
We can gather from his poem that Eng:land was soon to 
replace jetJe (ivit) by went, o^er by seamd, sipe by time ; that 
she was soon to lose her siaitke (valde), and to substitute 
for it right and full : very is of rather later p«wth.' 
Almost every one of the Teutonic changes in idiom, 
distingoishing the New English from the Old, the speech 
of Queen Yictoria from the speech of Hengist, is to be 
found in Manning's work. We have had few Teutonio 
changes since his day, a fact which marks the influence 
he has had npon onr tongne,^ In his writings we see 
clearly enough what was marked by Sir Philip Sidney 
almost three hundred years later; 'English is void of 
those cnmbersome differences of cases, genders, moods, 
and tenses, which I think was a piece of the Tower of 
Babylon's cnrse, that a man should be put to sohoole to 
leome bis mother-tongae ; bnt for the nttering sweetly 
and properly the conceit of the minde, which is the 
ende of speech, that it hath eqnally with any other 
tongue in the world.'* The Elizabethan knight ought 
to have been well pleased with the clippings and parings 
of the Edwardian monk. 

As to his Vowels : Robert is inflnenced by the Scan- 

' Tha idea of tuiUhe is kept in Papys's ' mighty merry,' asd cha 
common pbnwe, ' yat be flmin heaT;.' 

' lU, unJfJw, beltnij, tomthoia, t^ptrmoii, imUide U, byt and hyt, 
he £1 being beaten, having beat beaten, oaing to thie, are out main 
Tentonic clunseB since Mancing'a time. 

■ Quoted b; !Uanh, Lectaret on EnglM Langitagt, p. 88. 

452 Old atid Middle Englhh. 

dinarian tradition, and sometimeB clips the a at tbe 
beginning ; he thus makes eyse (oar nia) ont of atiyie, 
p. 289 ; epistle loaen its first e, vhich retninds as of I 
Orrmin. In p. 251 Robert replaces t by o ; the Verb | 
' they vnleii ' beoomee ' they leote,' though another copj , 
of the work has the form wele. He also replaces a by 
o ; Iddiitan (daz) is tamed into lodemian, something 
like loadstar. We see net, and sometimes not (non), 
instead of the Southern nout. In lady (domina) be 
throws the accent upon the last syllable, as is so often 
done in oar ballads : 

For to be holde Jw feyrvst lady.— P. lOS. 

In this piece, the y having lost its old sonnd, is constantlf 
nsed for t, as in lady. The old Iteah (celsos) now becomtf 
kyglie \ we keep the older sound in ' heyday of yonth.' 
The M is used for other letters : we find »unn«r, not 
scmer (citios) ; tug, not teogan (trahere) ; ry^icvt, not 
rihtwis (jnstns). This last shows ns why the Dnke o( 
York in 1452 wrote rigJdiioiis (Gairdner, ' Paston Let- 
ters,' I. lixi), and why Tyndale, seventy years later still, 
wrote righteous ; French words like plenteuovs had nn 
infinence here. The hade (potoit) of East Anglia is now 
spelt coude, p. 133 ; we have thmst an I into the middle 
of this, from a fiilse analogy. The »om of the GnrBor 
Mimdi is now written torow ; of conrse, the souid is 
onchanged. The old /ol (stultns) is written /oyfa, 
p. 94, thus agreeing with the Yorkshire ful in pro- 
nunciation. The old teopa (decinue) is seen as JyK 
p. 288. 

There is mnch paring of Consonants. We see ihtut 

Tlie Rise of the New English. 453 

and khm( for oor sAouWegf and woitWesi; asondre and 
afora replace older formB of tlieee words, the a, comiug 
instead of on. The h, ts clipped, for he or ha. becomes a, in 
Mrs. Quiokly'a style, Orrmin's forrfU (prseter) appears 
asforhj/, p. 361. In p. 374 jtmfre is pared down to neere, 
at the end of a line. Y felte (sensi) is in p. 380. We 
Lave already seen leogan as tiig ; another form of the 
word appears, to express dalliance : 

\ai make]/ nat a mye Jie toye. — P. 2i6. 

The Lindisfame Gospels, St. Lnke, p. 151, bad lotad vnsa 
for perditus e»t ■ this Participle is now written loet, p. 94, 
as in the Alexander. The old [m lure (perdidisti) is seen 
as pou losUet in p. 373. There was stUI some nncertainty 
abont the new sonnd for the hard g ; Bobert has both 
eye and owe for timor, riming with seye and gawe. In 
p. 208 gate (via) rimes with ^ate (porta). Bnmo, the 
German who became Pope Leo in Hildebrand's early days, 
is seen as Bmnyng, p. 286 ; Cazton, long afterwards, used 
Broionyng as well as Bruyn for the bear. Hence comes 
a well-known iBnglish Bnmame, The most startling of 
of all oor clippings and parings is seen in p. 325, where 
St. .^thelthiyth is shortened into St. Andre ; the poet 
had donbtless knelt at her shrine on his way to Cam- 
bridge. Still later, Botolphston was to be cat down to 
Boston ; we know how we shorten words like Oholnion- 
deley and Cxrenceeter. 

There is moch to remark in the Substantives. The 
Verbal Nonns are often repeated ; as J>e metmig (signi- 
ficatio), p, 138, he made hyg endyrtg (mortans est), p. 200. 
There are phrases like serving man, p. 28 ; inelk nU-pe 

454 ^'^ ^^^ Middle English, 

(milksop), p. 18, meaning a bag for milk ; a lioly wdf 
clerk, p. 360, used of an ignorant priest. The Substan- 
tive is dropped after the Participle, for le mart is Eng- 
lished by pe dede, p. 74, and in p. 197 we hear of fe 
dedys ryjjt ; we find the Passive Participle used in this 
waj before the Conquest, as the accursed. We see tbe 
true Old English idiom of time-reckoning, when, at 
p. 154, de cine am esteit is turned into wcu hut fyf^ 
wyntyr olde. In p. 281 stands U7ito pat tyme tvslvemontk 
end\ in Layamon's Second Text a would have oome 
after the word tyme. The bench of Magistrates is fore- 
shadowed in p. 171 ; je stywardes atv benche. The old 
half now becomes behalf; on Qoddes behalve is in p. 281. 
Score seems to get a new meaning, that of ratio, at 
p. 346 ; apeke oute of shore. We see the cause tchy, so 
often used by our lower orders, foreshadowed in gods 
skyl why, p. 6; resun why, p. 131; these come in the 
middle of sentences. In p. 276 stands at alle endes, 
where we should now use the kindred phrase, at att 
events. In p. 361 comes : ' I have shewede myn owne 
lyfe, none oufer mannes y wyl dyscrye.* This Englishes 
ma vie, ne mie autnie ; Robert's sentence becomes veiy 
concise by dropping lyfe after mannes. In p. 86 we hear 
of Loivdun toune, a continuation of the Old English 
idiom used before the Conquest. In p. 194 is the lioo 

Ne slepte onely a lepy wynke, 

Eton Bucks is the name that used to be given to the 
lads bred at King Henry the Sixth's renowned CoUege. 
In the Handlyng Synne (p. 102), we see how the Old 
English bucca (hircus) came to mean a dandy. 

Tlie Rise of tlie New English. 455 

, And of J>eBe berdrde buckt/i also, 
Wyp hem self )>ey moche myBdo, 
pat leve Orystyn meDii;8 Acyee, \ 

And haunte alle pe newe gjee ; 
per whjljs pej hade )>at gjta on honde 
Was neTBre grace ju pys lande. 

These are Robert's own rimes ; for Waddington, wiiting 
earlier, had not thought it needful to glance at the heard 
movement, thongh he bore hard on the ladies and their 
dresB. The Scandinavians nsed hokhi, mnch like onr 
' old book,' ' old fellow.' 

London thieves speak of their boot; as ewag. The 
word of old meant nothing bnt a bag ; the connexion 
between the two ideas is plain ; Bchoolboys still talk of 
hogging their mates' goods. 

pare wu a wjcche, and made a bagge, 
A bely of le)iyT, a giete twagge. — Page 17. 

A SnbstantiTe may be employed almost as an Inter- 
jection. In p. 322, a man, in sore need, wants a 
virtnons priest ; he calls oat, nsing no verb : 
A preat I a prest of cleue lyfe I 

Among the Adjectives, we see migproud, bostfal. 
From pit6 is formed pitiful, and also pilifutnesB, which is 
nowfonnd ; the &>Tmpitow (piteons) was nsed in Kent. 
Eight is employed in a new sense in p. 359, ry%t vyleyn ! 
something as we nse regular. 

We have already seen the Old English god wer am! 
rihtwu ; Bobert slightly alters this by inserting a before 
both of the AdjectivfB ; ' a gode man and a ryjt stede. 
feate,' p. 74. 

456 Old and Middle English. 

In Pronouns, we are stmck by the sharp distinctioii 
now first drawn between fhoa, and ye ; the thou is used 
by a husband to his wife, (alas for the age of chiyafay !) 
as to a person beneath him ; the ye is used by a wife to 
her husband, who is above her. * See the long dialogae 
in p. 322. More than a hundred years before this time, 
Nigel Wireker had complained of the English students 
at Paris, who drank too much and were far too familiar 
in speech : 

Weueil et drinchail, necnon penona secunda ; 
Hiec tria sunt vitiB quss comitantiir eos.^ 

That is, the English would not lay aside their 
national and straightforward \ni, thouy for the polite 
French vcms: The change was at length efFected hy 
1303, and the distinction now made lasted for three 
hundred years. In 1603, an ignorant Irish servant, we 
are told, will tliow his master, and think it no offence.^ 
Coke told Raleigh on his trial that he ihou^ him. 
Rather later, the Quakers held it wrong to make dis- 
tinctions between persons, and they therefore thawed 
every one, from the King downwards ; they clave to the 
old Teutonic fashion, that had never been encroached on 
down to 1200, and they made an earnest protest against 
the Frenchified foppery of later times. King Alfred had 
used fjeon like the Latin i$te, but always with a Substan- 
tive following ; Robert uses yon by itself ; * Yole, is yone 
Vj pS'ge ^ ' P- 13^ ; ^^ idiom is still heard in Lincoln- 
shire. Our poet is fond of repeating a Pronoun after a 

• Wireker, p. 56. 

^ See Ellis' Letters, vol. I. let Series, p. 194. 


TJie Rise of the New English. 457 

Nona ; aa rere sopers, Jtey he ^., p. 226. The phrase oi 
beo (qnamvia) had been used in the Ancren Biwle ; hyl 
is now added in p. 241, and onr albeit is atiil alive. The 
body of OlonceetierBhire is in foil use, aa eum body, p. 120. 
We Bee fyrd and latl, p. 161 ; one or owpar, p. 205 ; one* 
for ever, p. 300 ; one» or IvTyys, p. 263 ; see no more of him, 
p. 341 ; one of fijs dayys, p. 105 ; this last is a thoronghly 
French idiom. In p. 170 ia pey greve hym, alle pat fey 
koM. In p. 324 comes a common idiom : 

As to Verbs : the tkall ia employed in a new sense, 
which lasted to Addison's day, and ia even now need by 
those that affect qnaint speech. In p. 258 ia ' an old 
fool skal become a dystowr, (a prater),' where the idea is 
semper fit, or solet fieri; 'yon shall find so and so,' was 
most common in the SeTcnteentb Century. In p. 334 
comes every man shidde have po^l ; this Pluperfect Sub- 
janctive seldom fonnd before, was now coming in. I 
have already pointed out that will is nsed to eipress 
intense earnestness, as in the case of a - threat or a 
promise ; as ' I'll have yon flogged ; ' ' I'll be down on 
yon.' There is, in our daya, one exception to this mle, 
whenever the Verb be ia followed by a kostiU Adjective ; 
we may say, ' I will be merciful,' or ' I will play the 
tyrant,' but not ' I will be harsh.' Bnt in 1303, this 
exception was not allowed, at least in the North, for we 
find in p. 180: 

J wyl be WTO^, and )>ou ehal be me ]o]>. 
Here the speaker is intensely earnest, bent upon work- 

4S8 Old and Middle English. 

ing oat hie own salv&tion. There is a groat difiisreiice 
between the North and Soath in this most difficult 
qoeetion of thall and will. In p. 256 comes hyt may 
weyl be for fartatte : this ia the Scandinarian md vera. 
We find, not only the Optative, Qod undde, but the more 
long-lived wulde Qod. A Verb ia dropped in p. 3S5; 
piyu mayst ms save, and (et) y have hele; here of old 
another may would have followed the ^ ; we see the true 
New Engtifih conciseseBS. The do and did before an 
Infinitive are often found, as in Gloacestershire ; we do 
jangle, 'fe -neliles dyde byk.^ The Infinitive to he ia 
dropped in p. 163 } better were ^ chylde wtbore, than 
fayle chatiygyng. Sometliing of the same kind ie seen in 
p, 299 ; and also the phraae so vntm/ge for to erygtene ; 
we should now Bnbstitute ae for the first Preposition. 
The Infinitive represents wA«n with a Snbjnnctive, in 
the sentence at p. 8 ; ^ dede outrage, to viaJce pe devyl 
omage. Orrmin's neden (egere), replacing the old paif, 
is now followed hj the Infinitive ; rtedy]i ye take entantple, 
p. 40 ; still tereer Is, JepMhdh avowede, and nedyd naghte, 
p. 92. When we saj * he need not,' there is an attempt 
to imitate the old Irregnlar Verbs, like can and dare, 
which had no s at the end in the Third Person. There is 
an attempt at forming the Fatore Participle in p. 40 ; {nhi 
art yn weye he hrogJite to peyne; ' he is about to tempt 
thee,' in this Poem, denotes not the simple Fntnre so 
mnch ae intense earnest pnrpow ; this last sense lasted 
nntil 1611, ' Why go ye about to kill me ? ' 

■ In Somereetehire, tbe; say 'ho do be' for e$t. Mr. Earle 
{Philology, p. 492), g^rcs instances of this idiom from the old 
Romance of I^t and Grime. 

Tlie Rise of the New English. 459 

The Passive Voice makes farther strides ; any Eng;- 
lish writer before 120U wonld have shnddered at snch a 
seiit«noe as, a man may he H/ve (given) penawtce, p. 3S4. 
The Passive Infinitive is put for the rightful Active 
(Orrmin had done this) in p. 50, pey bep to 6e blamede. 
To kone changes from scire to diieere in p. 38, following^ 
the Scandinavian kynna; hence, to eon a lesson. To 
lore stands for both docere and dUeere, as Uam had 
Stood in the Tristrem. To win adds the sense of 
ailvxre to that of acqwrere ; to wymte a man fro gt/nne 
to godenee, p. 151. Set has, besides poiiere, the new 
meaning of mitimare in tet at nojt, p. 24>2 ; the old sense 
remains, for we hear of a lady setHiig her eroket (arranging 
her chaplet), p. 102 ; in onr da; she wonld set her cop at 
a man. In p. 200, execators endiya (moriuntar) ; in 
p. 21 1 lAzams wishes to pjie crummes ; like the Salopian 
picke (peck, of a bird) in 1220. In p. 246 dwell means 
hahitare aa well as morari ; a new sense of the word that 
was now coming in. The old vw/ve had meant tortjuere ; it 
now means deserere : in p. 258 the Sonthem transcriber 
has written /orsoite above this Danish word, which was 
not understood in the South. In p. 305 a woman is said 
to zyve (give) here to foh/e ; this idiom is coomion to 
France and Scandinavia. In p. 332 comes she dede 
(acted) for kym; this we have seen in the Daiiie Sirix. 
In p. 334 stands pey syiike here »yMie (forget it) ; 
hence onr sink the thop. There is another French idiom 
in p. 340; pe fame ran. Mr. Tennyson's Northern 
fiirmer complains of his parson easHiig vp (objicere) about 
a bairn ; in p. 366 the elder Lincolnshire bard has, fey 
kaste ajens pe prest, fat S/v. ; this is true Scandinavian. 

46o Old aiid Middle English, 

In p. 393 the new iwnt, gapplanto the old Mxoryan {vertert 
or rather ,^eri) ; we see io turn bright, the meaning which 
the Torkehire get waA to acqnire. The verb knoio taken 
the farther meaning dietinguere ; none know ymre fro oure 
bonei. There is a new sense of buTst ; Y hriut on la^lieter, 
p. 288. We have seen in the Cnreor Mondi ' the feast 
was done;' we now find, in p. 31, the Imperative with 
no Accusative following ;comi/)ta2{«ft<»n«,an4J^ii^}i dmm; 
hence the well-known hct done, do ! of our lower ordere. 
Wed takes no Accnsative in p. 55 ; fte hay wedded ynm fy 
kyn. Bnt, on the other hand, run takes one ; he ran hyt 
eot(r«,p. 81,like theScandinavianrennas^S. Pufstands 
in the place of the old do in p. 89,j>«t him to ewere ; in p. 186 
is yey awerejt }farto ; the Old English bind was followed by 
to, and seems to have had inflaence here. A. new verb 
is formed from night in p. 241, he nyghetede, where we 
should say, ' he was benighted.' There are phrases like 
Ydar Kt/e, aytte up at nyghte, holde her tunge, tmuxtyng. It 
Jaliee hint (accidit) is a Scandinavian sense of the verb, 
already seen in the Cursor. Shrew seems to become k 
verb, for in p. 155 we hear of ghrewede sonys (filii) ; the 
verb beshreiD appears in later writers of the Centnry. The 
poet was nsed to write troupe both for Veritas (as in the 
Cursor Mundi) and for pigwm. The last is described in 
p. 330 as (roMfe yn hande wyp hande leyde. From this he 
forms a new Verb in p. 56, fey have troapede ; onr hetnih 
was to come a few years later.' The old ireow»ian had long 
been thrown aside. This remindsusof whathas beensaid 
above, that often in onr language a word is dropped, leaves 
a perceptible gap, and then is revived in a slightly different 
form. Onr common he berey fe hel is first seen in p. 135. 

Tlie Rise of the New English. 461 

Among the Adverbs, we remart a tendency to cnt off 
the e at the end ; as the love^ trew, swore fait ; irubj 
stands for vere in p. 359. Neodliee is pared down to 
nedly, p. 350; there is also ruefully, formed &om the 
remipful of the Ancren Biwle. We see the two seoBes 
of htsty, the bad Ubidirwsue and the good kilaris ; a luety 
PyTig, p. 245 ; y drank lustyly, p. 101. Well is nsed for 
ganut, as we see in p. 324, he was weijl. We find awn 
tyme (olim), p. 241;' fro henne forwarde, p, 220; be 
tymei, p. 221 ; (oW it wp and domino, p. 332 ; oftyn tyme, 
p. 388 ; yn dede (en effat, vere) p. 12. There is a form 
akin to what we have seen in the Cursor : 
For yn ai mochr )»t she douji men synae, 
Yn BO moche shal she have pljghte ynne. — P. 110. 
The sense of qiiantum here was soon to slide into that of 
qutmiam. The ao forH atui 10 feor of 1200 now becomes eo 
fer fuTp - and this may be seen in Tyndale ; we now cut 
off the last word. In p. 85 comes onr Indefinite phrase, 
he hap do so or so. la p. 213 the omission of ne before but 
prodnces the effect of the Latin tanlum, as we saw many 
years earlier ; he dyde frut Itte an hounde hym to ; the 
use of do is a norelty. In p. 247 comes how at evere ; 
there is also what as evere ; the eo and the as are bnfc two 
fomiB of the old swa. The everihwar (ahiqne) of the 
Aucren Riwle is replaced by onr cormpt every where. 
The trae English conciseness is seen again in p. 298, ^f 
je krmTMt, (know not) lemep how to awve t>at Ife.; 
here kun has neither Accnsative nor Infinitive after it. 
Among the Prepositions, for stands instead of the old 

■ Wb may compare auin tymt and mlMu, vhUum; both of them 
.BxprMs aii^uanda and oHm too. 

462 Old and Middle English. 

to ; as, it was for no gode, p. 172 ; the French pour had in- 
fluence in a phrase like he menep alle \ysfoT man, p. 225 ; 
so, to answerefoTf p. 231. The French a clearly prompted 
the poet's ' set at noghte ; ' ^0 or on would have been used 
earlier. In he redy tvyf my cldpys, p. 41, it would seem 
that some such phrase as when dealing should go before 
unth; it is a curious English idiom.' In p. 836 stands 
shepe goun wrong hesyde ]>e pa]> ; here beside adds to jtuUa 
the ^irther meaning of extrOj and we have the key to 
Festus' phrase, *thon art beside thyself.* We are told 
that harm is done, p. 846, hetwyxe fals ande covey t^u; 
the Preposition here implies the agency of more 
than one cause ; what with one, what with the other. 
We see the old Genitive making way for of; and 
this was further developed by the great writers of 
the Fourteenth Century, rather later ; in p. 275 fe sy$is 
of here comes instead of her sight, like Orrmin's lufe 
off himm. 

The Interjections are, the scornful Prut for 'py cursyng, 
prest ! p. 96 ; ' Lorde ! what shall swych men seye f p. 137 ; 
this in the French was Deu ! and we have seen it in the 
Cursor. The French hei of 1220 has now given waj to 
the Scandinavian cs or ay \ ey comes in p. 121, and this 
is the ehj now so widely prevalent in the Northern shires, 
standing at the beginning of a sentence, and expressing 
astonishment. In p. 136 is what devyl I why ^c. ; this 
is Kobert's own, and is not translated from the 

* I knew an Engilishmaii, who thus addressed a waiter abroad: 
* Sojoz vite avec le dinor.' 

2 Prutia is a ScandinaTian verb, ' to shout, when drrving honss.' 

The Rise of the New English. 463 

French ; fy a dehlee was a common phrase in French 

The Scandinftvian words are : first, the form fow 
are (ta ea), p. 162, which comes more than once ; there 
are besideB, 

CuDDJiig (sdentia), from the Noree kannandi. 

Ekeoome (mcknune), from the Swedish oknamn. 

Lowly, from the Nowe ItlgUgr. 

Nygun (nifTgard), from the Norse nyggja, to scrape. 

Flank, from the None planM. 

Stumble, from the Norse ttumra. 

Sqnyler (acuUion), from the Norse tktila, to wash. 

In connexion with this last, naele (lavare) is also found 
in the Poem. 

The Scandinavian Verb gekke was not nnderstood in 
the Sonth ; for the transcriber writes over it Jyl pe bag, 
in the following couplet — 

pe whylea pe executouis tekke, 
Of fe sonle fey ne rekke.— P. 19S. 

We have still the phrase (rather slangy), to saeh a sum 
of money. The Verb hap is oBed, coining from the Ice- 
landic ; Iiayamon had nsed the word only as a Noon, 

The Verb burble represents the later bubble. There 
is the Celtic Nonn maltoe. 

There is a well-known bj-word in p. 286 : 
The nere Jw cherche, )>e ffrjira fro Oode. 
In p. 76 stands ' many smale makep a greto.' 
In p. 161 is — 

He pat wyl nat whan he may, 
He shal nat when he wyl. 

464 Old and Middle English. 

The last tine is a good instance, bow skaXl implies ^aXt, 
■will implies desire. 

We have another Poem, which is almoet certainly bf 
Robert of Bmnne, belongmg to die same date.' This 
is ' The Uedytacinns of fie Soper of onre Lorde,' a tiana- 
lation&om Cardinal BonaTentnra's original. There an 
some Northern forms, which have been lefl by the 
Sonthem transcriber, sach as them and nor. In line Hi, 
the original )>e ijlc has evidently been tnmed into |>eie. In 
line 673 the Nortbem eeys (dicnnt) most have been writ- 
ten hy Robert, riming with dyetTOj/ea (ta evertis) ; these 
have been altered into the Sonthem leyp and dygtroyf, 
mnch to the Iobb of the sense, as regards the last V^. 
The Southern transcriber msy have been a Kentishmao, 
for he has a ver (afar), and teren (lachrymae). I have 
given at page 473 the close of the Poem, the part which 
is Robert's own, and no translation. There is here 
hardly a word, thai, cannot now be nnderstood. 

In p. 35 we see the insertion of gh, a form beloved by 
Robert, in the Teutonic strait of the Alexander ; streyght 
is accordingly fonnd, which we have bnt sligbtlj altei«d. 
Hampole writes it etrek, in the tme old way. The isiBow 
of the Severn has an » at the end, and becomes svmtn, 
as we still sound it. 

The Verbal Nouns abound, snch as i/n here ser/ng 
(visus), J>e dowyng of ^., just as we now prononnM 
doing-, these are both in p. 17. We hear of a mysdoer 
in p. 16 ; in the same p^e people go £y a hypcLp ; thir^ 

' Printed b; the Eaily English Text Societj. At p. rvii- of thit 
work, I bare Bet out my reuom for giving the satboiship of the pieM 

MEobBTtof Bmnns, 

The Rise of the New English. 465 

^ears later Moaning was to write of a biwey (bye-way) 
in anoUier Poem of hie. Here a Nona and Preposition 
form a compound. In p. 2 we read, (it) i/s hyg dyeyplee 
Jete xoaiabyng; a cnriona instance of packing three 
Nonns together ; a foretaste of onr ' Commons Enclo- 
anre Act.' 

On tnming to the Adjectives, Omuin'B wur'^fvl is 
replaced by a longer word, for we find teurickypfuUett in 
p. 15 ; the ful with a Saporlative ending is something 
new. The beautiful word homely is now coined from 
home, to express St. John's familiarily in sleeping on 
Christ's breast, p. 9.' Al is prefixed to heyl (salve) in 
p. 12. 

Among the Pronouns, we see both tbe Southern hetu 
luid the Ifortbem peni, riming with eaoh other in p. 12. 
The jotp (tos) is nsed by the poet in addressing our 
Lord, just aa it had been employed in the Havelok, which 
was written not fkr off. 

As to Verbs, shall and will are confused, or rather 
sJiall is used for' mittt, in myn herte ahulde ha bro»le 
{burst), p. 32, There is a new idiom in p. 6 ; ya gayng, 
he thaeei ohedyent; this mast be a translation of the 
French Participle preceded by en, and it is something 
altogether new in English ; we need not here search 
for an Infiaitive or Verbal Noon. In p. 12 comes, 
OS |)Du Utt (sicut tibi placet) ; before this time, the 
Dative fe wonld have been used. In p. 26 oomee jf 
wyl do ^ai ys yn me (what I can.) In p. 28 is )>ey 

' Bvidie DiDmoot, after kiMing Hiss Lnej, escawa\uLiii9^'Ni1 
■aying, ' tbe C»ptain'a BM hstnel;, h« gnsaii«iOT^V\imwi^ 

466 Old and Middle English. 

lakhji\ slreng]>e; here again the Dative fem wonid hare 
been formerly naed after lakJcee (deest) ; the Verb nor 
gets the sense of carere. He gan had long been nsed as an' 
Auxiliary Verb ; in p. 35 it stande as an Imperative; 
gijn Tce kym cfrete. She rose is tnmed into she rytt, in 
p. 32 ; hence the rii that may sometimes be heard now.' 
A Weak Intransitive Verb becomes Strong; the old 
ttician (hffirere) made its Perfect etieode ; bnt in p. 19 
comes the Perfect, pe nayUK itohjn yn pe tre ; wq have 
Been something like this in the Triatrem. On the othei' 
hand, in p. 31 comes melted instead of the rightful 
molten ; the first form is now used of the mind, the latter 
of metals. There are phrases like say grace, bring eibovi r 
there is also the Scandinavian farewel ; in p. 4, the 
expletive y seye comes in the middle of a sentence; vtf 
now use it at the beginning of a sentence. 

A new Adverb is formed by adding ^ to a Past 
Participle, as hrokedly, p. 18 ; aach a form as lavtjhin^lif 
had been long established. The East Anglian tonafeif 
now prodaceB/e^)>/uUi/e, p. 9 ; the ending ful is in cod' 
stant use, and is a pet form of Manning's. The where-' 
/ore comes in, referring to a foregoing sentence, tike the 
Latin quamolretn ; an instance of this may be fonnd in 
p. 12. 

When we see in p. 27, y prey jow offrenshepe, the of 
lepresents the Danish a/, which stands in the same way 
before Abstract Monns; the French de is used in tb» 
same way. Hence comes ' of yonr charity,' ' of his owk 
accord.' The use of for is extended ; the fyl aa for dedc 

' Coleridge uses rist (saireiit) as a rime. 

The Rise of the New English. 467 

(dead), p* 27 ; the ScandinaTian fyrir (for) Bometimes 
stood for our m ; thus, ' to knoT for certain.' 

There ia anew Terb, wrap, akin to tha FriBian, in p. 31 , 
In my specimens taken from the Handlynge Synne, 
I have choeen parts that are wholly Bobert'a own and no 
translation from the French. I giro first a tale of the 
great Bishop of lancoln, who died bat a few y^rs 
before onr poet's birth : I then give St. Paul's deecrip- 
tion of Charity, a well-known paas^e, which may bo 
compared with oar Version of the Bible pat forth threo 
hondred years after the Handlyng Synne .■ next comes 
a peep into English life in Edwardian daya : next, a tale 
dt a Norfolk bcmdeman or farmer ; last of all comes the 
bard's acconnt of himself and the date of hia rimes. 
Had the Handlyng Synne been a German work, marking 
on era in the national liteiatare, it would long ago hare 
been given to the world in a cheap form. Bnt we live 
in England, not in Germany, I conld not have gained 
a sight of the poem, of which a few copies have been 
printed for the Roxbargh Clnb, had I not happened to 
live within reach of the British Mnsenm. 

Page 150. 

y shall ytyi telle as 7 have herds 
Of pe bjBshope Seynt Roherde, 
TIjs toname * ys QniBteat 
Of Lynkobe, so aeyji fa gest." 
Ife lovede moche to here |)e horpe ; 
For mannya wyt hyt mBkj|i aharpe ; 
Next hya chaumbre, besyde Ii;s stodj, 
Hia harpers cbaumbre was fast )ierhy. 

B H 3 

468 Old and Middle English, 

Maoj tymee be n y g tj B and dayja, 

He had solac« of notes and IsTys. 

One wkede hym 003^,* remn why 

He hadde delyte yn mynstrsl^ : 

He answerede hym on {>ye msnere, 

Why he helde Jw harper so dere : 

' pe Tertu of ]>e harpe, jTu^he skylle and ryj^ 

Wyl deatroye J>e fendes myjt, 

And to J>e croya by gode skylle 

Th ]»e harpe lykenede weyle.' 

Anoper poynt cumforteth me, 

pat God hs)i Bent unto a tie 

So mocha joye to here wy)> eere ; 

Moche |>an more joye ys )«ie 

Wyp Ckid hym eelfe )>ere he wonya,' 

pe harpe {lenif me ofte moDes,' — 

Of fe io3-e and of f>e blya 

Where Gode hj-m self wonyB and ys. 

pare foi, grode men, 30 shni leie,' 

Whan je any glemen here, 

To wimchep Gode at ^oure powens, 

As Davyde eeyy yn |>e sautere, 

Yn harpe, yn thabour, and eymph&n gle, 

Wunchepe Gode, yn troumpee and sautre, 

Yd cordys, an oiganes, and bellya tyngyng, 

Yn al J>ese, wurschepe ^e hevene Icyng.' 

Page 222. 

8e now what seynte Foule seya 
Yn a pystyl, Jie same weys,^ 
' poghe y apeke ae weyl wy{> tung 
Ae any man or aungel ha)i song, 
And y lyve nat wyp chaiyte, 
No ]>yng avayle)) hyt to me. 
For 5 4o ^en Tyj,V* «s\ft\ira». 
And u \^ X^^xa, \M.'Ww* -^tt-. 

The Rise of the New English. 469 

pe brw to ojwr ^jref grete sown, ' 

And bet hym self up and down. 

And )>oghe j Bpeke al yn prephecre, 

And have y« kunnyng of every mayrtrye,' 

And wy)i gode belove myghte aeye 

pe hylles to tame yn to pe valeye, 

Eyf hyt ne be wyf charyte wroghte, 

EUea, he sey)) )>at y ud noglite. 

pog^ y jyre all my -wnrldee gode 

Unto pore mennys fode, 

And Jyre my body for to brenna 

Oputly o{i<iT men to kenne,' 

But Jjf ' Itir be charyte wyf? alle, 

Jiy ro«de pariore shat be ful smalle.' 

Lolie now how many godene^ee pet are 
Wy)) oute charyte noghta but bare. 
Wylt pou know py self, and se 
Cyf |>Du wone ' in charyte P 

' Ohaiytc au&e)> bop ^de and y1, 
And chaiyto ya of reid'ul wyl, 
Chaijte ba)) noun envye. 
And charyte wyl no felunnye ; 
Charyte ya nat irus, 
And chaiyte ys nat coveytous ; 
Ohaiyte wyl no bostfiil preyayng; 
He wyl no^te but ryjtwya pyng ; 
Charyte lovep no fhntome, 
No pyngn pat evyl may of come ; 
He hap no joye of wykkedneH, 
But lovep alle pat aothefast ■ es ; 
Alle godenes he up berep ; 
Alle he suflrep, and noun he derep,^ 
Gode hope he hap yn ryghtewys pyng, 
And alle he euateynep to pe endyng ; 
Charyte ne faylep noghte, 
Ne no ^yng pat wyp him ys wroghte. 
When alle prephecyes are alle gone, 

470 Old and Middle English. 

And ftUe tonges are le jde echone, 
And alia cmftja foido' shul be, 
pan lastefi Btad&st duurte.'* 

pus Bej|> aeynt Fonle, and moche more, 
Yn pyE^l of hys lore. 

Page 227. 

Afi y have tolde of rere * eopere, 

pe same falloji of erly djners; 

Djneie are oute of akyl and tesun 

On y^ Sunday, or hje mesee be doun.' 

pogbe ^u hare haste, here ^ a mesee, 

Al holy,^ and no lease, 

Andnat eymple a sakare,* •tbaooiw 

For hyt jB nat ynow for fa, pS*" 

But I" hjt be for lordjB powere " nni«« 

Or pjl^yiDage )iat hA|i no pere. 

Are fwu oghte ete, pya ys my rede, 

Take holy watyr and holy Irede ; 

For, yn aventuie kas, hyt may Jie save, 

Cyf houael * ne ehryfte ]foa mayet have. * I^chiti : 

AJle o|>er tytnea ys glotonye 

But hyt be prete encheaun ' why. , ra«ioii 

On ofieT hyghe dayys, ^ |)at ou may, 

poghe ]iat hyt be nat Sunday, 

Here )>y mesae or |nn dyne, 

Eyf )iou do nat, ellyaya hit pyne;» ■"«« 

Lordes [lat have preete at wyl. 

Me (wnte)' J>ey trespas ful yl 

pat any day ete, are Jwy here megee. 

But Jjf '■ hvt be Jjurghe harder dystresBe. ' nnl^ 

■ In these twenty-two lines there are thirteen FrMich words, not 
coantuig repotilians; !□ our VersioD of 1611, there are but twelTo 
FrsDch words in the same passage. 

' Bn appeoTH in this piece as or and art. 

Tke Rise of the New English. 

pe meD {wt are of hoi; cherche, 
pey wete ■wej-1 how )wy shul ireivhe ; 
But ewych ' y telle bki^yly, 
pat swycb a preeta dou]) glotonye 
pe levy)> bye messe on ^ auter 
For to go to a dyner. 
So ne shulde be do, for no liyug, 
For loTB no awB of no lordyng, 
But jyf * hyt were for a grete nede 
pat ahnlde bym &Ue, or a grete drede. 

Page 269. 

Td Northfoli, yn a tounne, 

"Wonede a knyj;! beeyde a persone ; ■ 

f^l byt BO, )« kny^tea manere ' 

Was cat fro ^ cherche ful fere ; * 

And was byt J)au, aa oftyn Mies, 

Brake were |ie cberche ^erde walles. 

pe lordes byrdea ofteD lete 

Hya bestys yn to )« chercbe jerde and ete ; 

pe beatys dyde aa )iey mote nede, 

Fylede ' overal («re fey jede.' 

A bonde man My' («,t, aode was wo 

pat f« bestya ahulde {>ere go ; 

He com to )>e lorde, uid seyde hym fiyg, 

' Lorde,' be aejde, ' joure beatyn go my»,' 

Ijoure byrde dof wrong, and joure knavys, 

pat late joure beetyB fyle ))ub ^em gcavys ; 

pere mennya bonye abulde Ije, 

Bestea Bhnlde do no vyleynye.' 

pe lordes answere waa eumwliat vj-le, 

And fat lalle)> evyl to a man gentyle ; 

' Weyl weio hyt do " ryjt for )>e nones 

To wurechyp ' swycb cherles bones ; 

'Wbat wurscbyp abulde men make 

^boute swycb cberlea bodyea blakef 

2 Old and Middle English. 

pe bonds man aiiswerede and sejde 

Wurdya to (tedjT M weyl lejde, 

' pe Lorde {«t made of er|>e erlea, 

Of |7e eame erF>e made he cherlee ; 

Erles myj^t and loidee atut ' 

Aa cherles shal yn er|)e be put. 

Erles, cherles, slie at ones, 

Shal none knowe joure fro oure booee.' 

pe lordo lestenede |>e wuidee weyl 

And recordede hem every deyl ;' 

No mote to hym inilde he seye, 

But let* hym go fur]>e hys weye ; 

He aeyde |)e beatys ehulda no more 

By hys wyl come fwre." 

Se)>en° he clo»ede )>e cbeKhe^erde eo 

pat no best myjt come (larto. 

For to ete no fyle )>er ynne, 

So [lojt hjTU Be|«D |»t hyt was synne. 

pyr are but fewe lordee now 
pat turns a wide so wel to prow ; " 
But who 8ey|> hem any ekyUe,' 
Mysaqre ajen ' fouly pey wylk. 
Lordynges, fyr are j now of fo ; ' 
Of pjntyl men, ])yr are but fo." ' 

Page 3. 

To alle CrvBtyu men undir sunne, 
And to gode men of Bninne, 
And Bpeuoli alle bi name 
pe felaushepe of Symprynghame, 

' la DDO copy of the Harrvmug of &II, Christ calla Satao 
'lording.' In the Genesis aad Exodus, Uoees calls his nbal» 

The Rise of tlie New English. 

BoWd of Brunue greteji jow 

In si godeoease ])at may to prow.* 

Of Biymvoke jn Kestevene, 

Syia myle beeyde Symprynghwii erene 

"Y dwellede jn )» pryorye 

Fyfteno jere yn comp&nye. 

D&DO Felyp was mayster |nt tjme 

pftt y began )>y8 Englyssh rynie. 

pe jerea of grace fyl '' |mn to be 

A ^uajnd and {ve hundrede and ]ire. 

In |»t tyme tuinede y )>yB 

On Englysslie tunge out of Frankys, 

Of a boke as y fonde ynne ; 

Men clepyn )« boke ' Ilandlyng Syime.' 

MEDruciusB OF TSB SopEB OF OURS LoRSE. — P. 36. 

Thenk, man, and ee Cryst aftyr h}-H de|i ; 

For fy Bynne streyght to belle he ge)t, 

Cute of pe fendys bonds to |>e (re, 

And |ie fende bonde to make to Jw. 

penk, also, )>e grete dede of hys powere : 

He tajp, ba sent an angel to save us here, 

But )^D of oure salvacyiin we ahulde nat )>anke bym, 

But calle f« aungel saver of alia mankyu. 

parfor hys &dyr so hertly loved us, 

lie xave us hys owene gete • sone Ibesus ; * •"go"*™ 

pan we onely hym {)anke and do bym onoure, 

As fadyr, as former, socoure, and savyoura. 

paok we now ouie aavyoure, pat salve us hap hrojt, 

Ouio syke Boules to save, whan synne hap hem eojt. 

Of hya grete godenea gj-n we hym grete, 

Seyyng pe wurde of Sakarj'e po holy propbete : 

' Lorde God of larael, bleseed mote pou be, 

' Py peplu )«u hast vysyted and bojt hem to )>e. 

'4 Old and Middle English. 

' Whydi Betyn yn detkenea of def and djsese, 
' pou ly^test hem and ledest yn to !» W6j of peae.' 
To fftt pas perelee we prey f>ou us bryng, 
pat levyBt and rej-nest withoute endyng. 


(A.D. 1338.) 

Now of kyng Ro1:»n salle I ^t speke more, 

& bis bTo)ier Tomlyn, Thomas &1b it 'wore, 

& of Sir AliBandere, |iat me rewes Bore, 

pat bo))e come in akandere, for dedes )iei did {lore. 

Of arte lie had ]w maUtrie, he mad a cotren Igng 

In Cantebrige to }« clergie, or hiB bro[ier wore kyng. 

&i]>en waa iieTer iion of arte au |nt sped, 

Ne bifore bot on, \M, in Oontebrigge red. 

Robert mad his feet, for he was ^re jiat tyme, 

& he Bauh alle )ie gest, ))at wrote & mad )ds ryme. 

Sir Alisnnder was hie dene of Glascow, 

& his brojwr Thomas ^ed spiand aj bt throw. 

Where our Inglis men ware not in clerke haUte, 

& son wild he spare, bot destroied also tite. 

porgh }ie kyng Robyn )>et ^ede )« Inglia to epie, 

Here now of Jier (yn (wni com for t«t folic.' 

> Hearae'B Langtoft't Chronicle, II. 33S. The lines were wriltca 
bj Hanning, t-aae tbirty years after hie HanJigng Sytiae, at a tin* 
when ha lived farther to the North. The Northern dialect is most 
apparent. We here read of his f^etCmg a glimpse of the Bruce family 
■t Cambriiige, aboat the year 1300 or earlier. I can trace the Nertb 
Lincolnshire dialect to IftlS. la Ih« eceountB for building Lontli 

Broach come the words gar, n't, tigging, ipvn (rogaro), liey Jku. 

Poole's Eeelaiettical ArchiUcture, p. 360. Mr. TeDnjBou'a Korilun 
FoTJtier ahonld also be studied. 

The Rise of the New English. 475 


(About A.I.. 1340.) 
San waxee his hert hud and hevy. 
And his Iteved feMe and djaj ; 
S&D w&iea his gMt seke and sare, 
And hk &c« roimdes, ay mftre and mare ; 
His mynde as short when he oght thynkea, 
HU neae ofte droppes, hie hand stynkes, 
Ills ught -nax dym, )iat he has, 
Hia h^ waxes cioked ; Btoupand he gaa ; 
FjDgera saA taes, fote and h&nde, 
Alle hia touches er tremhlande. 
Jlie ■werkea ibr-worthes that he begynnea ; 
His hare nioutee, his eghen rynnes ; 
His eres waxes deaf, aud hard to here, 
His tuDg faylee, his speche is noght clere; 
His mouthe slaTera, his tetbe rotes, 
His wjttes fayles, and he ofte dotee ; 
He is Ijghtly wrath, and waxes fraward, 
Bot to tume hym &a wrethe it ea hard.* 

(About A.11. 1320.) 
Siuij.'b Metrical Hokilies. 
A ttd of this fest haf I herd, 
Hongat it of a widou ferd, 
That luld OUT Lefdi sa welle. 
That scho gert mac hii a chapele ; 

■ Horns, Spteimau of Early Ri^iak, p, 172- This poem ihoald 
be compared with the A'orthem PialteT, at page 317 of my work. 

476 Old and Middle English. 

And ilke day deuotely, 
Herd scho mease of our Lefdye. 
Fel auntour that hir prest was gan 
His erandy and messe hayed scho nan. 
And com this Candelmesse feste. 
And scho wald haf als wif honeste 
Hir messe, and for scho moht get nan, 
Scho was a ful sorful womman. 
In hir chapele scho mad prayer. 
And fel on slep bifor the auter, 
And als scho lay on slep, hir thoght 
That scho in tyl a kyrc was broht, 
And saw com gret compaynye 
Of fair maidenes wit a lefedye, 
And al thai sette on raw fid rathe^ 
And aid men and yong bathe. 

(About A.D. 1320.) 

(Thai) has grantit (and) has letin (the) partenanncis 
evin in line thritti wyntir iere bi iere fomtin oni mene 
foloand, that thai sal g^rind for their fode, (and) sal ^f 
grayting (and) nphalding abate thaim, (and) sal tak 
faayl (fram) tha that comis in thair stede, (giQ ^^^^ ^^^ 
mister (of) gres, water, and other richtwis profitis; 
(thai) sal ger be made (and)" be yemit gaynand biging.^ 

' These, the oldest Teutonic words written in Scotland that hare 
come down to ns, were set down orer the Latin words in a Charter of 
.Scone about 1320. See the lAhtr de Scon (Bannatyne Club), p. 104, 
where a fac-similo of this Charter is giren. I have strung the words 
together as well as I can. There are also the words, four and 
titefUiand/ai (ras) ; autveschipe (senritium) ; laverdscape (dominium). 

TIte Rise of the Nav English. 477 

(About A.D. J360.) 
Sib Ga WAYNE. 
' Where Bchulde I wale ]«,' quoth Ghuad, 'where is ^ place F 
I wot neTer where |h)u wonyes, by hym pat me wiojt, 
Ne 1 know not |>e, koj^t, |>y cort, ne )n name, 
Bot teche me truly \eTU>, &. telle me howe Jiou hattea, 
& I Hcbal wue all my wyt to wynne me ])eder, 
& |iat I Bwere {« for Bo)>e, & by my Beker trawep.' 
'■^at ia bmogh in nwe-;cer, hit nedes no more,' 
Quoth [le gome in |>e grene to Oawan |)e hende, 
' Qif I )w telle triwly, quen I [>e tape have, 
4 pou me smopely hatj amyten, amarUy I f>e teche 
Of my hous, & my home, i mj-n owen nome, 
fen may |<oii frayst my fare, and forwarder holde, 
& if I speude no speche, feirae apedey Jwu J>e better, 
For pou may leug in py londe, & layt no lyrre, 
bot elokea ; 

Tft now py grymnie tole to fe, 

& let ae how J)ou cnokej.' 

' Gladly, syr, for boJ«,' 

Quoth Gawan; hia ax he BtrolceB.' 

(About A.D. 1360.) 


llit tidde after on a tjme, as tellus oure bokea, 
As {ne bold bam his beates blyjieliche keped,. 

' Hoiria, Speeimem, p. 233. In AUiteraliTc Tfrae obs 
alv»yi aliMmd. 

478 Old and Middle English, 

pe riche emperour of Home rod out for to hunte, 
In ]>at faire forest feij^elj for to telle ; 
Wi)> alle his menskfiil meyn^, ]>at moche was & nobul \ 
pan fel it hap, ]>at )^i founde M sone a giete hor, 
& huntjng wi)> hound & horn harde alle aewede ; 
pe emperour entred in a wey eyene to attele^ 
To have bruttenet ]>at bore, & ))e ahaie sej^jien. 
But mifisely marked he is way & so manly he rides, 
pat alle his wies were went, ne wist he neyer whider ; 
So ferforth fram his men, fe]>ly for to telle, 
pat of horn ne of hound ne mi^t he here sowne, 
& boute eny living lud lefte was he one.^ 

(About A.D. 1300.) 

pilke that nulle]> a^eyn hem stonde 
Ichulle he habben hem in honde. 
■ • ■ • • 

He is papejai in pyn that beteth me my bale. 
To trewe tortle in a toiur, y telle the mi tale. 
He is thrustle thryven in thro that singeth in sale, 
The wilde laveroc ant wolc ant the wodewale. 
He is faucoun in friht demest in dale. 
Ant with everuch a gome gladest in gale, 
From Weye he is wisist into Wyrhale, 
Hire nome is in a note of the nyht^gale. 

In a note is hire nome, nempneth hit non, 
Whose ryht redeth roune to Johon.' 

' Morris, Speaimena of Early English, p. 243. 

* Percy Society , Vol. IV. 26. Seo the Preface to this Tolume, 
'where the writer of this Poem is proved to be a Herefordshire msB. 
He here mentions the Wye. He in this piece stands for heo (ilia). 
The two detached lines at the beginning come from the Tersion of 
the Uarromng of Hell, in the same manuscript. 

The Rise of tfte New English. 

WARWICKSimiE (?). 
(About A.D. 1300.) 

The kyng Eijgh, of that cit^. 

That they no mjghte duyre : 

They daascheth heoiit in at the gate, 

And doth hit schutte in hast. 

The tb.j\ they kyt of hundrodis fyre, 

To wedde heo lette baoro lyve. 

Theo othie into the 'n-allia atj'gh, 

And the kyngea men with gonnei sleygh. 

Theo AX6 upon the see Gtod ; 

And hat is al Alieaimdrea blod : 

He hot his folk, so a wod wolf, 

Aeaile the cit6 on the see half. 

So thej dude with mjf^htly hond. 

The pore folic of the load, 

And ladies bryght in bour, 

Seyen that heo ne myghten dure. 

Hy stolen the bayea under their yate ; 

The kyng there hy leten in whate, 

And fellen aknowe in the stretu, 

Tofote and under Ha horses fete.' 


piu come, lo 1 Engelond into Nomunnes honde. 

And ^ Normans ne cou|>e speke )io bote her owe speche. 

And apeke French as dude atom, and hero chyldien dude also 

So fat heymen of fys lond, fat of her Mod come, 
Holde|> alio ]iulbe apecbe, fat hii of hem nome. 

> Weber's Metrical Somanctt, I, 135. 

480 Old and MidiUe English. 

Vor bot« a insa cou)>e French, me to1t> of hvm wel lute. 

Ac lowe men holde^ to EnpkBS, and bo her kimde Epeche ^te. 

Ich wane ]>eT ne be man in world countreyes none, 

pat ne boldeji to her kiude speche, bote Engelond one. 

Ac wel me wot vorto coune hothe wel yt ye, 

Vor !« more )>Bt a man con, Jie more worp he vs.' 

(About A.11. 1310.) 

Jheau, king 0' haven fre, 
Ever i-hle«dd mot thoa be 1 
Loverd, I beaech the, 

to me thou tak bede, 
From dedlich sinue thou ^em me. 

while I libbe on lade j 
The maid fre, that here the 

so swetlicb under wede. 
Do U8 to se the Trinity, 

al we habbeth nede. 
This sang wrojt a frere, 
Jheeu Crist be is aocure ! 
Ijoverd, bring him to the toure ! 

frere Michel Ky tdare ; 
Schild him tnm belle bouie, 

^VhoQ be sal hen fa» t 
Levedi, flur of nl honur, 

cast awei is care ; 
Fram the schoure of pinis sure 
' tbou slid him her and thare ! Amen.< 

' Hmrne's Bobert of Glotuxiter, I. 364. 

= Seliguia AtUiqiut, II. 193. From the Southern dialect of thii 
pieca, we might Teadily gather, evan if history did not help as, that 
the early Knglish Bsttlere in Ireland came, not from Qiester, but 
from Brislul and ftom porta neur Bristol. Tho Wasfbrd dialect it 
«aid to be very Viie ilial. tS ?«rai«i»«, iaA."^y(«(&. 

The Rise of the New English. 481 


(Aljout A.D. 1300.) 

'Whsifore ich and Annas 
To-foDge Jhefliis of Judas, 

Tor thrytty panes to paye. 
"We were wel faste to helle y-wronge, 
Vor hym that for jou was y-etonge, 

in rode a GodeMdaye. 

Man, at Mlojt, ss clialibe j-rad, 
Thy mule ys Oodee hous y-mad, 

and tar ys wasacbe al clene. 
Ac after fullou^ thoruj fulthe of Bytine, 
Sone U mad wel hory wytbinne, 

alday Ikit b j-sene.' 

(About A.11. 1320.) 
Four tonnes tber beoth of bias, 
Al for sothe thus hit was; 
Feole tbinges tber beth ynne, 
Oraftilich ymad with gynne, 
Quic 1»nuuston and other alsuo, 
With wylde fur ymad therto, 
Salgemme and «alpetn, 
Salamiouiac ther ys eke, 
Salnitre that ys briht. 
Berneth bothe day and nyth. 

■ftUgttiajfn/tgiM, U. S42. The eJ<iU«(ich habbf) remindi ns of 
Edgar's dialect in Leax, and of the Somenstshire Ballads in JWvjr'f 
Seligna. The word bad (mains) occo» in this piece, which made 
its fint appeuance in the Curtor ilvndi: it is alea {tfuA \tl BtAivi 
4jf GloucaltT and the Haxdij/itg Si^nnt. 

482 Old and Middle Bri^lis/i. 

This yp in the tonnes vdou, 

Ant other thing^B moni on. 

Berneth bothe nyht und day, 

Ah never quenchen hit re mav. 

In four aprun^s the tonnes lig^th, 

Ane litis philosoplires sugg^th, 

The hete witliynne, water wilhoule, 

Ikfaketh hot ol aboute. 

The two Hprunges umetii yfere ; 

Ah the other tuo beth more clere ; 

'therof ys maked, fill ywis, 

ILal liynguBbnthe ycleped vs.' 

(About 4.II. 1330.) 
Eveiyeh anUere of bred in Jw hejjestrete of Wyn- 
chestre, Jiat is oDt of frannchyBe, shal to pe kynge to 
cnstome, by |>e jere, twey shullynges, aad to t>e clerk & 
peny, jif he sellef- meche by jere ; and jif he aeUef laase, 
npOD |te qnantite. And at ojier stretes, sex pans ojwr 
J>re, oppon [>' handworke ia. And do(> to wetynge, f* 
non of hem ne ebolde fecche here bred, bat fere fe kpen 
Btonde)), upon peyne of |>e amercy of pe byggere and of 
fe aellere, to fore ]ie tyme of none. And Jtat non of hem 
ne fecche no bred of non bakere whaune hii ne mowo 
habbe no warant; and jif hii do, |>at hem self hyt 
waranty. And |>at everych bakere habbe hys eeai 
y-knowe upon hya loff, pat he ne mowe wilisegge jif hr 
is oftake o|>er fan weel.' 

' This piece partieularly mentions Bath, HttlnubuT;, lAjoKk, 
and DeTiEes. 1 tliiok it may be put doirn to Wiltshire. It » i« 
Jtitson's Bomaucts. II. 377. 

' Old ueagea of Wiuohesler, Enc/IM Gil<h, p. 355 . EmIj. Engiiik 

The Rise of the New Engiisk. 483 

(About A.D. 1340.) 
That is fro old HenaiBlade ofre the cliff into stony 
londy wej ; iro the yraj into the long lowe ; fro the lowe 
into the Port-atrete; fro the atreto into Gbarewell; bo 
aMr strem til it shntt eft into Henaiatade — De Bollee, 
Coaele, et Hedyndon. Thare beth hide londeymere into 
Cooelee. Fro Charwell brigge andlong the atreme on 
that rithe. . . . This privilege Traa idith in Hedington 
.... mjn onne mjnster in Oxenford. There seint 
Frideawide .... alls that &edome that any &einynstre 
frelnbeet .... mid aake and mid socna, mid tol and 
mid teme .... and in felde and alle other thinge and 
ryth that y . . . . belyreth and bid na for qnike and 
dede and .... alle other bennyfeyt.| 


(i.D. 1340,) 

Aye )>e Tondi^ea of fe dyenle zay pis fet volje];. 

' Zoete Jean )iin holy blod Jiet (ion aseddest ane |>e rod 

Tor me and vor mankende : Ich bidde ^ hit by my Bseld 

TeztSodety. These usages leem to hare been oompled about 1360 ; 
the docDment ia the most valuable thiog in the vhole of the thick 
Tolnme relating to Gildi. We here Me what Standnid E^lish mnild 
hsTe been, had not London sappUnted the older capital of England. 
The tMche reminds os of Alfred's mule and Aveb. 

' Eemble, Codex Di^. III. 329. This Chart«r is a late fbigeij, 
and seems mnch damaged. The proper names in it iri]l be lecog- 
idsed b; Oxford men. 

484 Old and Middle English, 

ayoreye ]>e wycked vend al to mi Ijves ende. zno bj 

pis boc is Dan Michelis of Northgate y- write an Englis 
of his o^ene hand, ]>et hatte : Ayenbite of inwyt. And 
is of ]>e boc-honse of saynt Austines of Canterberi, mid 
)»e lettres : G : C : 

Holy orchanle MicbaeU 
M. C. G. Saynt Gabriel and RaphaeL 
Ye brenge me to ]x) casteL 
per alle zaulen Tarep wel. 

Lhoid Jheeu almi^ kyng. {vet madeet and lokest alle l^iig. 
Me |>et am )n makyng. to ]7Uie bliase me ]h>u hiyng. Ajnen. 

Blind and dyaf and alsuo domb. Of zeventy yer al vol rond. 
Ne 88olle by draj® to ))e grond. Yor peny vor Mark ne Tor 

(A.D. 1807,) 

Of Syr Edward oure derworth kyng, 
Ich mette of him anothere faire metyng. 
Me thought he rood upon an asse, 
And that ich take God to witnefiee ; 
Ywonden he was in a mantell gray, . 
Toward Rome he nom his way. 
Upon his heyede sate a gray hnre, 
It semed him wel a mesure. 

• • • • • 

Into a chapel I cum of ure lefdy, 
Jhe Grist her leve son stod by, 
On rod he was an loveliche mon, 

* AyenhUe of Inwyt (Early English Text Society), page 1. Here 
we most read a for s, »h for m, and /for v. 

Tke Rise of the Netv EngUsk. 485 

Whom wil epeke mjd me Adam the marclial 
Id Stntfotde Bon% he ia yknown and over al. 
Iche tie scbewe nou^t this for to have made, 
Dot fen Ood aJmi^es drede.' 

(About A.D. 1340.) 

Godjs BODS ^t was so &e, 

Into ^ world he cam, 
And let hym najljn npon a tre, 

Al for jie love of man ; 
His &yTe blod ^at waa so fie. 

Oat of his bodj it ran, 
A dwelful sj^ it was to se } 

His body hang blak and wan, 
Wi)) an O and an I, 

His coroune was mad of \ara 
And prikkedo into his panne, 

Botha bybinde and a-forn ; 
To a piler j-bowndyn 

And Hufiede many a wownde 
pat echarp and betere wore. 
He hadde us evere in mynde, 

Chanoai. Ths tiAk (ills) held its gnnmd m thia d^ for 140 jchi 
longoT. Compare this piwe with ths oldsr London poem at page 8(10 
of my work. 

486 Old and Middle English. 

In al his haide Jnrowe, 

And we ben so unkynde, 
. We nelyn hym nat ylmowe, 

Wi]? an and an L^ 


This ys ye status of ye gylde of ye holy apostyl sente 
peter, bygnnnyn in ye tonne of Lenne, in ye wrchepe of 
god and of onre lavedi sente marie, and of ye holy 
aposiyl sente peter, in ye yere of our lord MCCGXX. 
nono. And yis gyld schal have fonre mome-spechis in 
ye yer . . . And qnoso be somnnd to any mome-speche, 
and he be in tonne, and wyl not come, ne make non 
atnme for hym, he schal a peny to ye lyihe . . . And 
ordeynid it is, y* y* catel of y« gyld y* alderman schal 
delyvere to y* skeveynis, be sufficient boms to biyngyn 
y* catel ageine. . . . And y« dene schal 'have, for is 
travalye in y® jere, vi.d. 

Jis is y* verye copy of ye gylde of sent Petyr y* 
apostyle, holdyn in Lene aforeseyde, wrytyn on y* feste 
of seynte hillari, Anno Domini millesimo GCO^ octo- 
gesimo octavo. 

> Legends of the Holy Bood (Early English Text Society, p. 160> 
This piece seems to me to be the link between Manmng^s Eamdipg 
8yfm$ and MandmnU^s Travels sixty years later. It has fauns im 
to both, and seems to have been compiled half-way between Bntlsnd 
and Middlesex. 

* Biifflish CHlds (Early English Text Society), p. 62. We here 
see the East Anglian ipto for who ; in other Norfolk papers of the 
Gentoary, we find am (sunt^ and everilka (qnisqne), Jkirlif sal, cjfrmdt, 
iipkald, toy (duo). 

Tlie Rise of the New English, 487 

We see what wild anarchy of speech was raging 
thronghont the length and breadth of flngland in the 
first half of the Fourteenth Century ; and this anarchy 
bad lasted more than two hundred years, simply because 
the old Standard had been swept away by foreign con- 
<que8t. But at the same time we plainly see that the 
dialect of the shires nearest to Rutland was the dialect 
to which our own classic speech of 1877 is most akin, 
tand that Robert of Brunne in 1803 was leading the way 
to something new. In another work I hope to weigh 
the causes that led to the triumph of Robert's dialect, 
though this triumph was not thoroughly achieved until 
« hundred and sixty years after he began his great work. 
Strange it is that Dante should have been compiling his 
Inferno^ which settled the course of Italian literature 
for ever, in the selfsame years that Robert of Branne 
was compiling the earliest pattern of well-formed New 
English. Had King Henry the Eighth known what we 
owe to this bard, the Lincolnshire men would not have 
been rated in 1536 as follows : ' How presumptuous are 
je, the rude commons of one shire, and that one of the 
most brute and beastly of the whole realm, and of least 
•experience ! ' ^ 

* I talk of the dialect of the ' Rutland neighbourhood ; ' this 
rtakes in Leicester, Stamford, Peterborough, and Branne ; a fact to 
be borne in mind. 

488 Old and Middle English, 



Cloth of gold^ do not despise, 

Though thou be matched with cloth of friese. 

Cloth of friese, be not too bold, 

Though thou be matched with cloth of g^Id.* 

Thb nearer we approach 1303, the more nmnerons be^ 
come the French words upon which the right of English 
citizenship was being bestowed. In the Thirteenth 
Century was made the greatest change that ever played 
havock with our tongue. A baleful Century it was, when 
we look to English philology; though a right noUe 
Century in its bearing on English politics and English 
architecture. The last word suggests a comparison : if 
we may liken our language to a fine stone building, we 
shall find that in that wondrous age a seventh part of 
the good old masonry was thrown down, as if by an 
earthquake, and was withdrawn from mortal ken. The 
breach was by slow degrees made good with bricks, 
meaner ware borrowed from France; and since those 
times the work of destruction and reparation has gone 
on, though to a lesser extent than before. We may put 

> It is not, I need hardly say, the words used by us in commoQ 
with the Frisians, that I should call < cloth of f rieae.' 

Inroad of French Words into England. 489- 

up with the bailding as it oov stands, but we cannot 
help sighing when we think of what we have lost. 

Of old, no conntrj was more thoroaghly national than 
England : of all Teutonic landa she alone set down her 
annals, year afler year, in her own tongne ; and this went 
on for three Centuries after Alfred began to reign. Bnt 
the grim year 1066, the weightiest year that England has 
seen for the last twelve centuries, has left its mark deeply 
graven both on our history and on our speech. Gvery 
time almost that we open our lips or write a sentence, 
we bear vritness to the mighty change wrought in Eng- 
land by the Nonnan Conqueror. Celt, Saxon, Angle, 
and Dane alike had to bow their necks beneath a grind- 
ing foreign yoke. It is in English poetry that we can 
trace the earliest change. Foetiy always clings fast to 
old words, long after they have been dropped by prose;. 
and this was the case in England before the Conquest. 
If we take a piece of Old English prose, say the tales 
translated by Alfi«d, or iBlfric's Homilies, or a chapter 
of the Bible, we shall find that we keep to this day three 
ont of fonr of all the Nouns, Adrerhs, and Verbs em- 
ployed by the old writer ; but of the Nouns, Adverbs, 
and Verbs used in any English poem, from the Beowulf 
to the Song on Edward the Confessor's death, abont half 
have dropped for ever. Prom Harold's death to John's 
grant of the Charter, English prose did not let many 
old words slip. Bnt it was far otherwise with Eng- 
land's old poetic diction, which muKt have been arti. 
ficially kept up, for long before 1066. Of all the 
weighty words' used in the Song on the Confessor's 

> Subatantiveii, Adjectires, Adrerbs. and Yerbs, I oill '^fM^S:^ 

490 Old and Middle English. 

death, as nearly as possible half liave dropped out of oar 
apeech. In the poeros written a hnadred jeara after the 
Conqaest, say the rimes oa the Lord's Prayer published 
by Dr. Morris, the proportion of words of weight, now 
obBolet«, is one-fifth of the whole, mach as it is in 
English prose of that same date.' In the poem of 1066, 
nearly fifty ont of a hundred of these words are clean 
gone; in the poem of 1160, only twenty ont of a 
hundred of these words cannot now be anderatood. I 
think it may be laid down, that of all the poetic words 
employed by English Makers, nearly one-third passed 
away within a hnndred years of the Battle of Hastings. 
Henry of Huntingdon makes langhable mistakes, when 
he tries to turn into Latin the old English lay on Briinan< 
boi^h fight, though its words mast have been in the 
months of poets only fourscore years before his time. 
English poetry conld not thrive without patrons ; and 
these, the Abbots and Aldermen that thronged the Win- 
chester Court of old, had been swept away to make room 
formentbat cared only for the speech of Bonen and Paris. 
The old Standard of English died out : it Chroniclea 
were written at Feterborongh, or Homilies still farther 
to the South, they were compiled in corrupt English, at 
which Beds or Alfred wonld have stared. As to English 
poetry, its history for one hundred years is all bnt a 
blank. Old legends of England's supposed history, it 

vordB ; ' the; may alter, vhile the other parta of EpFseh (except 
Inte^ectiom) hardlj change st all. I canDot see the use of eonnting, 
a> Hamh doee, eveiy ef and the nnd him, id order to And oat the 
proportion of home'bora Engti'h in different anthocg. 

' Moiria, Early Eni/lith HaoUlitt. Fii^t Scries, I. 55 (Ewly 
English Te»t Society). I gitve n Bpocimoa »t page 170. 


Inroad of French Words into England. 491 

IB tree, Bnch as thoBe that bear on Arthur or Havelok, 
were drcBsed up in verse ; but the verse was French, for 
thaa alone could the minstrel hope that bis toil wonid 
be rewarded. In 1066, England's King wae praised in 
pood ridging English lines, that may have been shouted 
by boiateronB waasailers around the camp fires on the 
eve of Hastings ; sixty years later, England's Qaeen 
waa tenght natntal history in French verse, and was 
complimented therein as being ' mnlt bele femme, Atiz 
nnm^e.' ' Little more than a hundred years after the 
battle of Hastings, an English writer gave the names 
of the wise English teachers of old, Bede, Cuthbert, 
Dnnstan, and others ; he then complained how woefnlly 
times were changed — new lorda, new lore : 

[Nu is] peo leore forleteo. 
and |iet folc is forloreo. 
nu beo)i o)ire leoden. 
))eo lee[rep] ure folc. 
and feole of )ien lor]>eiQea IaBie|i. 
and |wt folc for)) mid.' 

What waa it that enpplanted the old lore, thaa 
forsaken by tiiis forlorn folk P We natnrally tnm to 
the Chronicle, aa the earliest record of the change referred 
to. It is easy to understand why the French word 
eastel should be asedforamncb-bated foreign building.* 

' Wright, FopulaT Triatats on Science, p. "■1- 

' Page G of the Worcester Mannacript, referred to at p. 200 of 
this woA. 

* About 1200, OinniD uses eamtell in one and tli« same page 
(U. 277) ID two seDses. He Brat applies it to a village, that of 
Balim, folloviog the LsUn it the Ooapels, a seiue in vogue irith nt 
long before the Norman Conqnect. Be then applies it to i fortreu. 

49^ Old and Middle English. 

But why should the Chronicler of the year 1066 write 
the outlandish corona^ instead of the old dnehehnj that 
had heen good enough for all onr Kings np to these 
times ? ^ Its new wearer is called WjUelm Bctstcurdj in 
that awfal year. Englishmen soon got into the way 
of using needless French words, which supplanted their 
own old terms. The ancient cweartem makes way far 
pTrieun in 1076. The utterly unneeded French word 
heandon comes in the Peterborough Chronicle for 1069. 
French and English Nouns are componnded, to form 
castelmenn in 1067. In 1079, a soldier is shot with an 
arhlasL A little later, we hear of the mynster est \<BTt 
Bataille (Battle Abbey), hallowed in 1094; three 
years more bring us to the wall built by Rufas about 
the Tdr 'in London ; the old form torrj a relic of the 
Komans, was making way for a new French form. The 
first French Verb, naturalised by taking an English 
ending, was duhhade, in the year 1086 ; we next find 
acordedan in the year 1119 ; demohiliser is, I think, the 
last French Verb that we have admitted to the rights of 
citizenship ; it recalls our watching the Russians on the 
Pmth early in 1877. 

It is curious to mark the changes of foreign words 
in the Chronicle. The FiUppiu of 1075 becomes 
PhUippe in 1087 ; the Frana^ice of 1085 becomes France 
in that same 1087. The TJngerland of 1057 is seen as 
Sungrie in 1096. We get some idea of the old French 

which we ought to build against the Deril ; this is the later French 

* G>rona,b.ow«VQT, h&d. beeu used in the Lindisfame Gospels for 
our Lord's ctowiv oi X-Votia. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 493 

pronunciation, when we find Dnglislimen writing Baius, 
Ouy Teitevin^ Alveamie, Mortoin^ Angeow^ Blais, Puntitc^ 
for well-known Fronch proper names. In the Bunan 
(Bonlogne) of 1096, a relic of the old form Bononia still 
remains ; in the same year Oosfrei shows ns the earliest 
English form of our Godfrey, A Vowel-sound, new to 
English ears, is first heard in the account of that 
year ; the Crusaders tarry in Buille ; this is the 
Normans' way of sounding Apulia, the rich land con- 
quered hy them sixty years earlier. It might have been 
written Poille, for the two forms Corhoil and Oorhuil are 
found in the Chronicle. The old Sexlande of 1129 becomes 
Alamanie thirty years later ; the Heanrig of 1105 appears 
as Henri in 1107 ; rather earlier, we hear of Flandres 
and Natimid^. The months of the year lose their old 
Latin form ; in 1097 comes August ; and rather later, 
Moms montey Junies mon^e, and JuUes mon^. The form 
Johan (John) is found in 1114 The names of Saints, 
if in common use, were shorn of their Latin endings ; 
in 1087, we hear of the Abbot of St, Augustine ; two 
years later, of Martvnes mcBssan (Martinmas) ; here there 
is no Saint prefixed ; in 1098, we read of the Abbot on 
8^ JEdmu/nd ; here the byrig is suppressed. The word 
evangelistaf applied to St. Luke in 1119, shows the first 
inroad of the foreign isty which now too often supplants 
the true Old English er ; some choose to write pldlologisty 
instead of phUologery and I suppose astrologist will soon 
be reckoned the correct thing. About 1120, we had 
begun to prefer French forms to the older Latin ; for in 
the Homilies of that time, we find iscole written for 
the former scolu. 

494 Old and Middle English. 

The Old French most always commaiid earnest 
attentioa from a student of English, and we have a fine 
Bpeoimen of the language that was fashionable at King 
Heniy the First's Court abont 1120. Philip de Thami's 
works have been printed by Mr. Wright ('.Popnkr 
Treatises on Science,' pp. 20 to 131).' We here find 
such good old forms as, Damiiei-Des (Dominos Dens), 
meig (mensis), praier, Cristien, »alveur, pronounced Uke 
the present French galvioitr, one of the noany French 
Boands that England has preserved more faithfully thsn 
France herself. The sonnd of the old ai may be easilj 
guessed, when we find both crois and cruu, Join uid 
Junie; there is also hull, which the French usually 
wrote hoil; poi stands for the modem peu; bloie for 
bleu. In Doomsday Book, the English Gruland (Crow- 
land) appears as Croiland and Cruiland. The French 
have kept the true o]d sound of the oi in j'owtr ; they 
have lost it in joie. We must have reconrse to Littr^'s 
noble French Dictionary, if we woald know the old 
sound oi oi or oy in French and English. SecviUr and 
reeoU were once pronounced alike. When we compare 
the Latin btitiire and bottdlir, its present corruption in 
Northern France, we may safely say that the u orouwss 
pronounced in the first syllable of the word from first 
to last. Tet the word was written boH by French 
authors in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Century; the oi 
was therefore one way of writing u or ow ; it came to 
England soon after the Conquest ; we have already 
seen HoUant written for what is now Sulland. 

' In s Tork on English, it is better to ezaniine thia poem of 
about 11^0, than (o go back to earlier French poeios, mieh H the 
H;mD of St. Eulilie of 900, or the I^egeada of luSO. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 495 

Of all the cormptiona of Nortbeni Oanl, none is 
more aetonnding than that of o^ua into what is now 
pronoonced as o. In the preaent work, p. 45, we Bee 
that acva, ama has already become hve, aa tegui, sequere 
became suivre ; a farther step is taken in p. 36, where 
we find the Plural eices, for v was oft«n confonnded 
with M or w ; in this shape the word came to England, 
and was written ewe in 1320, whence comes onr 
The confnsion between o and u is Seen, for Uume re- 
places Rome ; nune st&nds for n(me (noon). In p. 42, 
quod becomes que, and two lines onward 31*1 becomes ki. 
We see the insertion of 6 in numbre and trembler. In 
p. ?5, there is both the old demoMtrame and the new 
demuttre ; we English have both moTistrance and mvsl^, 
coming from the same Latin word. Filiua has already 
become fiz, p. 83 ; and a few lines later, David loses its 
last letter in the Scotch fashion. Camem is seen both 
as com and charn; horas loses its first letter, and is 
written Tire* (hours) j we English write this h, but do 
not sound it. In p. 124, there is both hume and ume 
(homo). Baptize, in p. 109, was perhaps the first word 
in Me that was adopted in England; the ontlandish 
ending is now far too common. Tirant takes the intrn- 
sive t at the end. We ace the confusion betiveen the 
letters 1* and v, for the old Judeu and the new Juev, 
p. 124, are both fonnd ; the form Jueu was adopted in 
England, while Franco held to Juev, afterwards Juif. 
We have treated lieutenant in exactly the contrary way. 
Quarre (carr4) is written in p. 75 ; hence onr quarry, 
irhere we keep the old French soand. 

We have seen Daiimea (dominns) ; when this word 

496 Old and Middle EngluJu 

was used of a man, it became dwMt^ p. 37; and the word 
Dan was applied to monks in England, down to the 
Reformation. We find, en vain^ vereiy remanarU^ Parait 
(Paradise), hruUe^ cots, Tnde, deseroivy gravel, etUfU 
(qnaint), mave (mavis), sa per (his peer, equal), rickeites, 
Tei and sei are written, not tot and sai. Eetre stands 
for a Substantive, and led the waj to oar being. Defendre 
(p. 112), alreadj stands for vetare. Juste is used in p. 84 
for prope ; it was employed later in England for eren. 
The favoxirite Interjection Deiu is in p. 21. Prise (prize) 
is in p. 76 ; we have now bat one word in English for 
both CBstimare and navis capta. Ma^ister was always of old 
connected with learning ; hence in p. 86, tnaistrie stunds 
for scientia, a meaning it long conveyed in England ; in 
France, it farther expressed dominium at this time. In 
p. 94 we see both of the forms for venari, cocker and 
chacer ; whence onr catch and cJuice ; the hard c comes 
fix)m Picardy, the soft ch from Bargpindy ; chcutel is in 
the Song of Boland of the Eleventh Century, and lasted 
in this shape for five hundred years in France.^ 

The speech of the English castle and the English 
hovel for two hundred years after 1066 was almost as 
distinct as the Arve and the Bh6ne are when they first 
meet. We see, however, that a few French words very 
early foimd their way into English. A shrewd observer 
long ago told us how ox, sheep, and sudne came to be 
called beef, mutton, and pork, when smoking on the 
board. Treading in his steps, I venture to guess how 
our bluff forefathers began their studies in the French 

^ S«e \Xift -^lotd. va lAttc4 8 Dictionary. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 497 

We ina^ imagioe & cavalcade of the new 
ariBtocracj of England, ladies and knights, men that 
perhaps fought at Hastings in their yontb ; these alight 
from their steeds at the door of one of the chnrches, 
that have lately arisen tfaronghont the land in a style 
unknown to E!arl Qodwine. The ridera are accosted by 
a crowd of beggars and bedesmen, who pnt forth all 
their little stock of French ; ' lAdy Counter, ctad in 
£Tra.va6 and tabeXim, look &om thy ■pcAfretj. Be largt of 
thy treaxwre to the 'pix^ and feeble ; of thy charity 
bestow thy riekea on ns. We will pnt np our oHsom 
for thee, after the manere and cwtwa of onr religion. 
EatB oar poverlg in some measure ; that is the best 
penance, as thy chaplain in his sermon says. By all 
the Prophets, Confessors, Patriarohs, and Virgins, show 
as mercy. Feed ns from thy rents and gamers, 
«&<uten the glvdenerie of jogeloure, and sew (follow) 
after Paradise.' Another speech wonld rnn thns: 
■ Worthy Baron, thou hast honour at Cowt ; speak for 
my son in prison. Let him hare justice ; he is no robber 
or lecher, that men should blame him. The sergeatU* 
waited for him in the market ; he paid them noth- 
ing, BO these ealehpoki have wronght him sore tnlseite 
behind the bars. Mend all this ; so Christ accord thee 
jpeaee at the day of Uvreison ! ' A priest would talk 
learnedly of the fntt of the sacrament, the archangles, 
t^toltteion, the miracles, the processiun to the sepulcre, 
ihefeste of the Cireameitiun, the tables of the Law, tho 
tapers to be lighted ; and he wonld explain the Crede. 
The word Baptist, with its strange ending, wonld becoma 
K K 

498 Old and Middle English, 

funiliar.' Not one of these sixty French words was m 
English Dse before the battle of Hastings ; but we find 
every one of them set down in writing within little mora 
than & centnry after that date, so common had tfaeytlieii 
become in English mouths.* Those of the needy, who 
knew hnt little French, must have learnt at least howto 
bawl for justice, charity, mercy, on seeing their betten. 
The first letter of the word justice shows that a new 
French sonnd was taking root in England. The words 
Umperiee and mercy, nsed in these times, bronght in 
new hissing sounds ; the » in English came already 
qnite often enough. 

In the Homilies of 1160 we trace a new chaage. 
Foreign proper names had hitherto for the most put 
nnbendingly maintained their Latin form in England. 
They were now being corrupted, owing to French in- 
flnence ; at pages 47 and 49 we find mention of jSeinf 
Qregori. At page 9 we see both the old form /oie 4 
ludem and the new form pe Qiwia (Jews). Maria and 
Jacobm now become Marie and Jam€. French words 
were being brought in most needlessly ; thus we readtt 
page 51, ' crabbe is an ifiaii«re (kind) of fissce.* 

In the Essex Homilies, the French is seen elbowing 
out the Latin from proper names. Andreas and Midtheie 
become Aiidreu and Matkeu. What was of old written 
leo is turned into leun (lion) ; almegse into altatti 

' We have already seen Bi-angelinf. Now and then a French nt^ 
punlps an English gcrilie ; thns barrage is written for banai 
(barRo), in the Esffx Homiliet, p. 133. 

' They muy be found in the Saxon Chnmide and in the SrnM of 

Inroad of French Words into England. 499 

tnarma, into marhehtone (page 145). Deciph replace^ 
the old learning knight ; it bad appeared as diacijpul in 
the Lindisfarne Gospels. An intruding letter is seen in 
common words ; mazere is found at page 163. This z 
did not become common in England for nearly three 
hundred years. ^ Layamon wrote his long poem the Brut 
about 1205 ; but, though this was mainly a translation 
from the French, he seldom employs a French word, and 
hardly ever without good reason. In this poem we find 
Admiral, astronomy^ hue (in our phrase hue and cry), 
messagere, montainej nornie, pilgrim, image,^ We have 
seen that elep-hde was known to our fathers as ylp^ 
Layamon borrows a new form, olifant, from the French ;• 
the older English form of the word lasted down to 1230, 
the later French form to 1550, about which time the 
eagerness for classic learning changed Skelton's oUfarU 
into elephcmt, as we see in Udall's well-known play. Thus, 
within little more than two centuries, we in England 
employed three different forms of one Latin word. 
Layamon sometimes writes claro instead of derc, and we 
have followed his pronunciation; Da/rby, instead of 
Derby, had come earlier. 

Orrmin is even more Teutonic than Layamon in his 
Bcom of outlandish words. About this time, the days 
of King John, one fiflh of the weighty words in a pas- 
sage Are such as have become obsolete in our days« 
Under John*s grandson, this proportion was to be woe* 
fully altered. The only thing that could have kept up 

1 See the ' P&ston Letters ' (Gaiidner), I. 610. 
' I have mentioned here only the moet common of Layamon's 
'words, borrowed from the French ; he has many other foreign terms 

X X 2 

500 Old and Middle English. 

a purely Teutonic speech in Eogland would hare bsea 
Bome version of the Biblo, a standard of the best Riy. 
lish of the year 1200. Bat this was not to be ; Popt 
Innooent III. and his Prelates had no mind to Amisli 
laymoQ with weapons that might be so easily turned 
against the Church. She was widely diSoront now 
from what she had been in the days of those old 
translators, Bede and Aldhelm. Omnin himself tells oi 
that muiy fbund faalt with him for bringing Scrip- 
ture trath down to the level of the common folk. We 
have missed mncb ; bad be ^ven ns a ^ood venion of 
tite Soriptnrefl, accepted over all England, onr tongw 
wonld have had the present flexibility of the New E^- 
lisfa, and wonld have kept the power of oomponsdiDg 
new words oat of her own stores, the power that be- 
longed to the Old English. 

We may now glance at the Hali Meidenbad, about 
1210 ; a few French words in it may be here mentioned. 
The word fru^non is used not only in its Old EogUali 
sense (deficere), whence comes trvckU, bnt also to 
express the French troquer, whence comes the tmci 
system. The foreign beatt had become so common, 
that tbe Adverb beoiteliehe (p. 9), was formed. As to 
this word, I may remark that the Irish have kept its 
tme proniiDoiation, which has been dropped by Fnnce 
and Ei^land. Ctesar brongbt his Italtan betfitt to tlie 
Seine ; William brought his bette to tlie ThantM ; ud 
StMugbow's soldiery bronght heate (bayste) t» the Mfej. 
France has dropped the Consonant a, England bas cor* 
E^pted the soand of the Yowel e, bnt Ireland keeps tlie 
word just as it was first given to het. Tbia is a eeod 

Inroad of French Words into England. 501 

imtsDce of tJie way that an oatlying colony will keep 
words and Bounds dropped by the parent conntry; this 
waa remarked of the Irish Pale by shrewd observers 
in Elizabeth's days. The same observation holds good 
of the American Colonies in oar own time.* The 
old •^ojia.n, now takes a new sense; hitherto it had 
meant ' to try ; ' at p. 23 it means ' to make clear ; ' 
a third sense, ' to tarn ont,* was to come fonrscore years 
later. One French word, now always in onr months, 
may be seen in p. 41 ; om»Mio is there Englished by 
al owite. Sometimes a writer wonld tarn his English 
into French ; thus in Sawles Warde, p. 247, stands, 
' mefe, fat me meom/re hat.' 

The Ancren Riwle, written about 1220, is the fore- 
FTumer of a wondrous change in our speech. The 
proportion of Old English words, now obsolete, is therein 
much the same as it is in the writings of Orrmin and 
Layamon. But the new work swarms with French 
words, brought in most needlessly. What could we 
want with such terms as cuntinuelement, Bevleset (God 
knows), helwmi, Tnuericorde, and cogitaciun F The anthor 
is even barbarous enoof^ to give us the French ntleiaent, 
where we shonld now write only. I set down a short 
sample, underlining the foreign words. 'Heo weren 
itenled, and Jmrah fe tentaciuns ipreoved to treowe 
fi&otT^'utu, and so mid rihte ofserveden kempene crune.'* 

• Ths noiM KmjM 
old Bome than the » 

' Page 3S6 of tha Camden Societj's edition. I have not noder- 
Used proved, u that fi>ieigQ TOid wna in English ase before tha 
NonDBn Conquaet. 

502 Old and Middle English. 

JMany a word^embodied in the English Bible and Prayer- 
book three hundred years later, is now found for the first 
time in our tongue. These words were accented in the 
French way, on the last French syllable ; the usage held 
its gpround for four hundred years. ^ Indeed, it still mles 
us when we pronounce urbane and divine. 

As to Vowels, the French au is much employed 
to produce the broad sound of a, as saumple, hatmeki 
avaunce ; all that love pure English should sound the a in 
these words as broadly as in father, '^ We see batne and 
sauter ; in these an Hs dropped. The e of the Chronicle 
becomes a in Amperur (emperor), p. 2|4. The ea was 
the favourite way of writing the French sound S all 
through the South West of England ; one copy of the 
Ancren Biwle has beast for the French heste^ p. 58. 
The foreign oi is sounded like the French ou or ou-e ; in 
the Ancren Biwle, the ot has not the sound of the French 
e, as in Moreioin, What is written angoise in p. 212 
appears as anguiae (anguish) in p. 110. In p. 94 ami 
(annoyance) appears in one copy, annu in another; a 
third has ennia.' Noise is first found in p. 66 ; ereaU* 
(crucem) comes often, though it could not drive out the 
Danish Jcross ; we still keep the old sound of the French 
(H in crusade. It was not till about 1290 that oi was 
commonly used in England to express the IlVench i. 

' One of these words, accented in the French way, is preserred 
in the old rimes, ' Mistress Mary, quite contrary* 

' I know some people, well educated, who sound hath someUiiflg 
like bay-eth; a horribl^ travesty of a fine old sound. 

* How few sxxav^^ ^"^ ainnmi «»d emntt are but two fonns of 
one word ? tiie fiiat ioTm^aa^ftft. ^^-^ra. xa \^^ \n.'%TKQ(»^. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 503. 

As to CoDBon&nts : urei (horse) is written withoat 
ihe A. Delit ia written without the gh, which we long 
Afterwardu inserted, to imitate the Latin deleclor. The 
<»ld regala, a Benedictine word, had hitherto beeo written 
regol in England; we were now to throw aside the Latin 
for the Frencb.and to writ«it riio^e (mle). Three hundred 
jeare later, Tyndale was to bring in regiment (imperinm) ; 
■ODT physicians have long talked of a Tegimen ; and in 
onr day, the British pennj-a-liner writes regime for what 
in 1860 was called rufe, government, or tyttem? Here 
are five different forms, coming from the old rego, 
applied to common life, as distingQished from royally . 
The old capitle, founded on the Latin, was written 
in Norfolk down to 1440; but in the Ancren Riwle the 
French form ehea^tre (chapter) is adopted. The French 
«orniption of capitale is seen in p. 224 as chelel (chattels) ; 
the other form, cattle was not set apart for beasts nntil 
after 1400 ; we may also talk of capital. In p. 42 we 
see the stages in the cormption of a well-known word, 
/mtiphona, anteinpne, antefiie ; anthem was to come later. 
When we find forms like leieune and noblesce, we see the 
sourcB of snch forms as taion. We long kept the Old 
French quarrel (bolt) ; we remark in p. 62 the more oornipt 
form qttarreait, prononnced like qjtarriou. When we find 
eruelte in the Ancren Biwle, we see at once that England 
has often kept Old French words in a pnrer form than 
France herself has done. Awattie in p. 174 shows as 
how strongly the u in aguetter was once prononnced id 

' Id my jonth, we tAlkfd of the F«iidal Sjatem ; the apes of 
flhnio cpfinpmant now talk of Ibe Feodal Rig^me, «\i\t\i ■«tiAi 'Nsbx* 
.aatonished HoJlaai. 

504 Old and Middle Eiiglislu 

France; the form oumtter still lingers in Lcnrraine. 
The Willelm and rdiqutce of the Chronicle now become 
Willam, p. 840, and relikesj p. 18 ; Latin was thrown 
aside for French. 

Among the Substantives, we find mte (via), helam 
(long a familiar English term of greeting), deitUe^ Qiwerie 
(Jewry), which shows how g came to be softened in Eng^ 
lish. The French Verbs give birth to English Verbal 
Nouns, as in his departunge^ p. 250. We see jnake drupie 
chere (vultus), p. 88 ; in aiicre persone (in an anchorite's 
person), p. 126 ; trusseau and trusse stand for bundles in 
p. 168; dame is used for mother. The inroad that 
French was to make even into the English Paternoster 
is foreshadowed ; in p. 26 dimitte nobis debita nostra i» 
Englished by * for^if us ure dettes, al so as we voijive^ 
to ure detturs.* We still pronounce these words in the 
French way, though hundreds of years later we imitated 
the Latin, when writing them. Many technical terms of 
religion come in, as silence and wardein. We light upon 
spitel (hospital) and mester (ars), afterwards corrupted 
into mystery y a confusion with a well-known Greek word. 
There is givegou (gewgaw) and beaubelet (bauble). 

Among the Adjectives iafolherdi. We must turn to 
p. 316, if we would know the source of m^ike a fod </ 
myself; we there find ich liahbe tbeon fol of ms tvke% 
(de me ipso). In p. 46 we hear of 'a large creois;' 
this shows that the Adjective was adding the meaning 
of magnus to that of prodigus. At p. 202 we see the 
source of our phrase, ' he is but a poor creature ' ; for 
the term, cowardice is there said to embrace the p(mre 
ifceorted. In t^. \^ ^«5 "^ Sss^a^ 'CsMik ^^osAa^ ^fgtiiHe 

Inroad of French Words into England. 505 

ia%nMnen. Long before the Norman Conqnest foreign 
words bad been forced to take Englisli endinga before 
tliej conld be natnraliaed, as heeh/sam, and regoUice ; in 
the Anoren Biwle, Frencl; Adjeclives have to take the 
English signs of comparison, aa larger and ten4rust. 

Among the Verba is enUrmeten (meddle), p. 172, a 
word well known in Scotland ; also /oil, laee, and cry. 
This French crier is now beginning to drive oat the Old 
Gnglisb gridan. 

If it be tme, aa some tell as, that the mingling of 
the Tentonic and Bomance in our tongue make ' a happy 
mairi^e,' we see in the anthor of the Ancren Riwle 
'die man that first gave out the banns. He was, it 
wonld seem, a Bishop, well groonded in all the lore that 
Paris or Rome could teach ; and he strikes as as rather 
too fond of airing his French and Latin before the good 
ladies, on whose behalf he was writing. For sixty years, 
no Englishman was hold enough to imitate the Prelate's ■ 
BtjlB of composition, 

Oue corions effect, due to the new French worda^ 
must be pointed oat, I have already said that crier was 
driving ont gridan t these kindred words are often fonnd 
alongside each other in this Century ; and, nnfaappily, 
it is usually the French one that has held its gronnd. 
It is now and then hard to teU whether some of our 
commonest words are home-bom or of French growth, 
so great is the confusion between the Teutonic words 
bronght to the Thames by Hengist, and the kindred 
words bnragbt t« the Seine by Clovis and afterwards 
Itome acroBB the Channel by William iha Go>an^«TiiT. 
The kinsmansiup in meaning and bouc^. 'm,'a&\> '^a.^e 


Old and Middle EnglisJu 

bespoken a \7el00me in England for many of these 
Fi^ench strangers that follow. 





















Bias (blue) 



Blencan (Uenc 













Bricke (Old 





BiiflVr (Old 





Butten (Old 













Cost (Old Dutch) Gouster 

















Fladra (Old 






Gaeta (Ice- 





Gagn (Icelandic) Gagner 























Hreinsa (Old 





* The Tdutonic words in French are mostly High German ; but 
Aadir (odisse), now hair, is an exception ; it is plainly deriTod firom 
the Low Germsji; from Katian, not from kasam. The Franks liTed 
on the botdei "b^stWWti \3ti<ft Vs^i ^gCfi^X. Vstona takl^^nsas^ nsi^a^ 

Inroad of French Words into England. 507 
















iBila (High Oei^ Isle 

Speja (Ice- 













Stedja (Ic8- 





















MiSls (Ice- 

























Tumba (Old 


Prisa (Icelandic) Pns 




























Wimpel (Old 









Secao, sechen 





We fnrtber see the English er and the Frenoh ier 
alike nsed as endings, and the English mit employed aa 
a prefix side by side with the French met. The English 
»n answers to the French en. In the Ancren Biwle we 
find kantiler (conncillor), he»thj, ungraciu*. French and 

5o8 Old and Middle English. 

English ending^ and prefixes begin to jostle each other; 
in the Wohnng of onr Lord, we find both debonairte and 

Some of the terms, in the long list set oat pp. 506-7, 
have an obvions resemblance to each other ; bat it may 
be doubted whether the best philologers aliye at this 
time — whether even Giraldns Gambrensis or Boger 
Bacon, snspected that the French dame was akin to the 
English tamer, and that ad and at, pottr and for, were 
bat different forms of one old word. The year 1220 is 
a turning-point ; not only did shoals of French words 
cffbct a lodgement in the English of the Ancren Riwle, 
but many French idioms were transferred into the 
English Life of St. Catherine. 

The Old English poetic word-store, a luxury that 
must have been unknown to the great mass of the 
nation, had passed away immediately after the Conquest; 
the Old English prose kept its old words and its power 
of compounding fairly well (except in the neighbourhood 
of East Anglia), long after 1200. The reason is, that 
all through the hundred and fifty years after the Con- 
quest, some degree of cultivation had been bestowed 
upon the language. The mighty William, his son, and 
his great-grandson, sometimes worded their Charters in 
English.^ They were statesmen in the highest sense of 
the term ; they had none of that vulgar and overbearing 
spirit that finds its choicest trophy in sweeping away an 

> Some of these are set out by Hickes, ThetoHruM, L 15. In one 
Charter, about 1160, eow (vos) is written ^eau; this eeemB to shov 
that the French eau had then the sound of their modem ton, and 
ezplains how we came by bewty. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 509 

old language; this bratish itjie of despotism vpaa 
reeerved for the masters of Poland and Litlmania in 
the days of railwajs and telegraphs. 

Jn the England of the Twelfth Centmy, religion did 
not It^ hehind statecraft. More than one version of 
(he Gospels was pnt forth in the English of 1150 ; and 
in the same way M\fnc'B Homilies were altered so as to 
snit more modem hearers ; this went on, as we have 
seen, all throngh the Twelfth Century. King Henry II. 
himself, though he was anything bat an Englishman, 
seems to have understood English, as we learn from 
a well-known tale in Qiraldua. About this time the 
English Chronicle was copied out at Canterbury, and 
the old inflections were preserved in writing, if not in 
common speech. From 1200 to 1220, ayest quantity ttf 
English, both prose and verse, was given to the public. 
Orrmin and others were the champions of religion; 
Iiayamon undertook to handle history, according to his 
lights.' A brilliant fatnre seemed to be in store for oar 
tongue in 1220 ; mnch pains was being bestowed npon 
its cultivation : if it conld outlive the Xorman Con- 
quest, it need fear nothing ; so at least we might have 
deemed. But affairs took a very different tnm ; English 
was thrust back, at the moment it seemed about to 
recover the gronnd lost a hundred and fifty years earlier. 
The next sixty years are the most disastrous in our 
history, from a philologer's point of view. 

English and Latin had mn on, side by side, as the 
two exclusive vehicles of the langu^e of our government, 

■ People complniD of bia ArtJiurian Legendi; but ereu tboao 
wen better than no Engliih HiBtor; at. &I1. 

5IO Old and Middle English. 

firom 600 to 1160 ; &om the latter dale to 1215, Latin 
reigned withont a rival. No Englisbinaa could fake 
offence if the language of the Ghorch, revered alike \>j 
himself and hj hie French-speaking neighboar, were 
used as the organ of government. To come down to 
oar own daja, there was little strife between Croat and 
Magyar, when Latin was the official ton^e of the whole 
of the Hongariaii realm ; the dianse of this tongne, a 
eiUy innovation, was one of the causes of the bloodj 
civil wars in 1848. In England, linguistic enmities 
never rose to the boiling-point, as on the Danabe. On 
the contrary, in that renowned year 1215, a third 
official langot^ was seen; the Great Charter is said 
to have been put forth in French, not in Latin.' 
French and Latin henceforward ran on side by aide 
down to 1362, when English was once more made the 
language of the Law Courts. It was no insult to the 
English of the Thirteenth Century that public affiuis 
should he discnssed and set forth in the tongue of 
the higher classes, who were doing their ntmost for the 
common welfare of all, and who were working for 
the hovel every whit as much as for the castle or the 
monaateiy. True it was that the nobles in England 
talked French among themselves ; bnt they wen more 
drawn to their English-speaking neighboare than to the 
Court fiivonrites that came over here from Poiton and 
Savoy. The time, when another langua^ besides Lads 
appeared as a monthpibce of the English government, 
ushera in the darkest days of the history of oar language; 

' Earlo, fhilokgg, 63. 

Inroad of French Words into England 511 

its onltivation all but ceased ; after the Ancren Biwle 
comes au ugly gap of sixty years that the philologer 
inost ever hold accursed. No long original English 
poem, except the Owl and Nightingale, was put forth 
from 1220 to 1320. There is no English prose treatise 
at all (written in the easy idiom of the day), &om 1220 
to 1340, except a few Kentish scraps. Strange it ia 
that the same period of time, which heaped upon 
England political boons unparalleled in the world's 
history, shonld have mangled England's speech in a way 
nnkuown to the literary records of other countries. 

What was the reason of the great change between 
1220 and 1230, the Second Division of the Middle 
English, the period of Decay? I answer; all English- 
men, high and low, were flinging themselree headlong 
into the chase after foreign fashions. Our Nobles and 
Bishops spoke French in their own homes, though they 
4<oald make ehift to understand the English spoken by a 
neigljbouT or a vaasal. In 1215 they did a priceless 
service to England ; they acted boldly in the teeth of 
King and Pope alike. Never did any aristocracy so 
nobly earn the thanks of the whole laud ; and this stout 
patriotism never slackened for generations. The wicked 
John, the weak Henry, the mighty Edward, all alike 
had to bow before a majesty greater than their own. 
Well may we be proud of onr Bigods and Bohuns. It is 
no wonder if England imitated her leaders' speech ; in this 
coaiBe burghers and priests would be the most forward. 
If anything ever was fit to draw forth national poetry, 
it was the great struggle that was going on about 1260. 
Of this date we have many Poems, in which the platform 

512 Old and Middle English, 

of the national leaders is set ont, and the English heait 
pours forth its patriotic fire ; but all these Poems, witii 
one short exception, are couched in French and Latin. 

If none of the great Enropean literatures, as HaUam 
has said, was of such slow growth as the English, the 
reason is not far to seek. The French, Spanish, Prc^ 
Yen9al, Italian, Norse, and Oerman literatores wan 
fostered by high-born patrons. Foremost stand the 
great Hohenstanfens, Emperors of the Bomans, ew 
August ; then come Kings of England, of Norway, d 
Sicily, of Castile; Dukes of Austria, Landgraves of 
Thuringia, Counts of Champagne ; together with a host 
of knights from Suabia, Tuscany, Provence, and Aragon. 
A far other lot fell to the English Muse : for many long 
years she basked not in the smiles of Eong or Earl ; her 
-chosen home was far away from Court, in the doistsr 
and the parsonage ; her utterance was by the moutiiB ^ 
a few lowly priests, monks, and friars. Too long was sbe 
content to translate from the lordly French; in tlist 
language her own old legends, such as those of Havdok 
and Horn, had been enshrined for more than a hundred 
years. It was in French, not in English, that Stephen 
of Canterbury preached and Robert of Lincoln rimed, 
good home-bom patriots though they were. In oar 
island there was no acknowledged Standard of national 
speech ; ever since 1120, each shire had spoken that 
which was right in its own eyes.^ It was not until after 

> Many standard F^nch anthon, who litned before 1526* are oov 
commonly reprinted ; we reprint for general use two English antbott 
Alone, Chuucex end Mallorj, o£ all that wrote before that date. 

Inroad of French iVords into England. 513 

1400 tliat all the land to tte Sonth of Trent came to 
acknowledge one Standard, the King's English. The 
Court at Winchester might have made English the 
fiiehion, after the loss of Kormand; in 1205; the 
slightest adrance in that path wonld have been enough. 
Unhappily, the Coort did not take the decisive step ; 
onr tongoe had to plod on for 150 years longer, 
before any English King wonld deign to smile upon 

She had a dangerons rival on the other side of the 
Channel. Ever since the year 1200, the French Conrt and 
nation had been waxing more powerfol than erer before ; 
their influence was felt from the Tay to the Jordan. Pope 
Gregory IX., inl239,Iikened France to the tribe of Judah 
overtopping all others as regarded valour and piety 
French knighta were in request everywhere ; to stom, 
Constantinople, to prop up the falling kingdom of Jerusa- 
lem, to champiou the Pope's cause in Southern Italy, to 
root out the heretics of Langnedoc, to make head againsi 
the German Kaiser, to save England from the ruthless 
grip of her tyrant, Rome's new vassal. French learning 
kept well abreast of French prowess. Hundreds ot 
Englishmen went to study at Paris ; little comparatively 
was thought of Oxford or Cambridge scholarship before 
1230.' French architecture was at this time (1200-1260) 
pushing its conqueste in all directions, as may be seen 
by any traveller who shall visit Leon in Spfun, Casa- 
mara in Italy, Cologne in Genttaay, Westminster in 

514 Old atid Middle English. 

England ; churclies all begun about this time.' It iras 
France that taught other countries how to write. 
Italians such as Martin da Ganale at Venice^ and Bro- 
netto Latini at Florence, threw aside their own mother 
tongue and wrote in French, the best vehicle, as tliej 
thought, of polite speech. Bather earlier in the Gen- 
turj, Germany was seeking inspiration from French 
sources. There are no fewer than three German 
metrical Romances extant on the tale of Sir Tristrem; 
Gottfried yon Strasburg is careful to tell us that he 
searched for his theme in books both Latin and W^ijn^ 
(French).^ Still more did Englishmen, as was natural 
turn to France, the marvellous centre that has always 
had a kind of magnetic attraction for those bom with- 
out her pale. In Paris seemed to be united, at this 
particular time, all the learning of Athens and all 
the valour of Rome. Furthermore, a little later on, it 
was at Paris that a King ruled, in whose person (so it 
might well seem to Englishmen) their own Alfred had 
started once more to life; this foreign King was chosen 
to make an award, famous in our history, between con- 
tending Englishmen. Legends about the mighty Charle> 
magne, who was fondly imagined to have been a typical 
Frenchman, were widely spread. From Paris came all 
the lore, the art, the chivalry, the fashion of the day; 
something of the same kind may be remarked much later, 
in 1670.' If an English scholar were minded to win ft 

' We still fled at WestmiiiBter two distinct inioads of Fiench 
aichiteetare ; that of 1060 and that of 1245, 

* See Soott's Bit THf^rem, p. 254. 

• So\n o^i cr^i^^i,\\. ^^ "'^tkiv^ ^.Val «n^^Iies the English 

Inroad of French Words into England. S I J 

-name for himself, he had to write either in French or 
in Latdn. There was no Standard English that might 
be ondorstood alike at Durham and at Exeter; any 
patriot handling English (a few snch there were), 
translated his short little piece for the Ze7(vZ me,n <ii 
his own Bcighbonrhood, and not for ontsiders. Onr 
shires had become intensely local in their speech. 
The Northern Psalter coald never have been aught 
bnt a puzzle in Warwickshire ; Layamon's Brat mnst 
have fallen flat on Lincolnshire ears. When the great 
Bishop of Lincoln wished to teach the whole of 
England, ho wisely wrote his Oliaeteau d'atiumr in 
French ; fifty years after liis death, it had to be tnmed 
into both Northern and Soathern English. Yet, for 
all these French leanings, Bishop Bobert wae the beet 
of patriots, and could make nse of his mother-tongue 
to shame the greed of Papal underlings, athirst for the 
good things of England.' In the English Legend of 
St. Edmund the Archbishop, another great Ghnrchman, 
we find it stated, as if something wonderfol, that he 
ottered a sentence in English on his deathbed. The 
famons English Proclamation of the year 12-18 iU 
plainly the work of some clerk, who tries to imitate the 
style of the old Charters, and who can only produce 
stilted stnfF that was never spoken ; the piece has been 
compared to the English that a Bengalee, taught ia the 
dovemment schools, might pnt forth. 

thsatro; onr plajwiigbts tr»nalat« (I beg their paidon, ada^) 
French pieces. 

■ Surrexit et confesuna eet Anglici &c. Sea the story in Thomw 
of £ccleitoa, Monumaila FranciKana, (Muter of the Boll*). 

5i6 Old and Middle English. 

It cannot be too often repeated that the disnse of 
English for sixty years after 1220 was the effect of 
fashion, not of governmental effort ; and this disuse was 
compatible with sound political feeling. Something of 
the like kind may be seen in Bnssia now : the higher 
classes at St. Petersbnrgh will speak nothing but French 
among themselves ; yet, let some danger threaten their 
country, they will show as much public spirit as tiieir 
neighbours, the uncouth boors, who have never heard 
of Voltaire. To return to England : one sign of the 
times was the loss of her old Interjections ; for this I 
account in the following way. The great Lady of the 
Castle must have been the glass of fiEishion to all the 
neighbouring Franklins' wives who might be admitted 
into her august presence. The worthy women would 
take as careful heed of Madame's Court phrases as of her 
dress itself: of her 0, her aky her ailaz^ her ^6t, her Deu^ 
and her ^ar ma fai} These charming ezclamatioBS, 
coming with the weightiest authority from such well- 
bred lips, would speedily put to flight the vulgar old 
Teatonic eaZa, walawaj and such like. The women, 
humble missionaries of Fashion, would soon din the fine 
new phrases into the ears of their husbands and children. 
Of all words, an Interjection is the easiest to pick up 
and imitate ; and we have been always adding to our 
store of these expletives, from 1160 downwards.^ 

' The and a may be seen in the Homilies of 1 160. A-weUatosyr 
an ingenious combination, may be seen in the Essex HomUies, p. 18S. 

' Miss Martinean tells ns in her Autobiography, published ia 
187 7i that she iras much struck by the peculiar feminine oaths, relics 
Hi the £\g\LVA«u\i^x^«siV.'<Qai«>)XX«^ and other ladies 

Inroad of French Words into England, ^if 

Long before tbe Conquest, the ladies had discovered 
tbftt homel; Teatonic words coald not expresi the deli> 
cate articles by whieb the feminine mind sets most store. 
In an English lady's will of 995 we find the foreign 
-words Tiwatel, iuneca, cuffian.* In later days, Paris and 
Bonen became the oracles of the fair sex. These cities 
supplied articles of dress, wherewith the ladies decked 
themselves so gaily as to draw down the wrath of the 
pulpit. One preacher of 1160 goes so &r as to call 
smart clothing 'the Devil's moa&etrap ;' yellow raiment 
and hlanchet (a way of whitening the skin) seem to have 
been reckoned the moet dangerous of snares to woman* 
kind, and therefore also to raanldiid.' In the Essex 
Homilies an onslanght is made npon the Priest's wife 
and her dress ; we bear of ' hire chemise smal and hwit, 
hire mentel grene, hire nap of mazere.'* The Ancren 
Riwle does not dwell on this topic of dress so mnch as 
might have been expected ; only a few French articles 
are there mentioned. A little la(«r, the high-lnred darnel 
are tbna assailed : 

peos prude levediee 

pat luvyej> drywories 
And brekep spusynge, 

For heore lecherye, 

Nnllef here sermonye 
Of none gode fiiuge. 

bom sbont the sama time (VoL I. 3S0). I ODce heaid of ao 
Eoglishnian, who bod his aoDi taught t« swear in French by • 
Freach tntor, hired for that purpose only. 

■ Eemble, Codex Difi. YI. 130. 

' Homiiia, Pint Seriet, p. S3. 

* Homitia, Second Series, p. 163, 

51 8 Old and Middle English. 

Heo drawe]) lieore wede, 
Mid seolkene ]7rede 
Baced and ibunde.^ 

In the days of Edward I., we find scores of French 
words, bearing on ladies' way of life, employed by onr 
writers. Many were the articles of Inxnry that came 
from abroad; commerce was binding the nations of 
Christendom together. The English cJiajmian and 
manger now withdrew into low life, making way for 
the more gentlemanly foreigner, the marchand ; the old 
seamer was replaced by the tailor. Half of our trades 
bear French names ; simple hnes like red and blue do 
well enough for the common folk, but oar higher classes 
must have a wider range of choice ; hence come the 
foreign scarlet, vemiilimi, orange, tnauve, and snch Uke. 

But other agents of change were at work in the bud 
after 1220. Few of us have an idea of the wonderful 
revolution brought about in Latin Christendom by the 
teaching of St. Francis. Two Minorite fHars of his^ 
Century, the one living in Italy, the other in England, 
give us a fair notion of the work done by the new Brother- 
hood, when it first began to run its race. Thomas of 
Eccleston and Salimbene * throw a stronger light upon its 
budding life than do all the documents published by the 
learned Wadding in his Annals of the Minorites. Italy 
may claim the founder ; but England may boast that 

* Old English Miscellany, p. 77. 

' The work of the Englishman is in Monumenta F^oHciscanot 
published by the Master of the Rolls ; that of the Italian is in 
Monumenta ad l^vincias Parmensem et Pl^uxntinam pertinentia, to- 
be found m \«\v« '&cv\A%V!L^>3A«vca!L. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 5^9 

she carried ont Hs work, at least for fourscore years 
after his death, better than any other land in Christendom. 
It was she that gave him his worthiest disciples ; the 
great English Franciscans, Alexander de Hales, Adam 
de Marisco, Roger Bacon, Dims Scotns, and Occam, were 
aneqoalled by any of their brethren abroad, with the two 
exceptions of BaonaTentara and LnlU. Some of these 
men songht the mainland, while others tanght in their 
school at Oxford; ander the new guidance the rising 
University shot ap with giant's growth, and speedily oat- 
did her old riral on the Seine. The great Riobert himself 
(ho was not as yet known as Lincolniensis) lectured before 
the brethren at Oxford. English friars, being patternn of 
holiness, wero held in the highest esteem abroad ; when 
reading Salimbene's work, we meet tbem in all kinds of 
nnlikely places throughout Italy and France : they 
crowded over the sea to hear their great coantryman 
Hales at Paris, or to take a leading part in the Chapters 
hold at Bome and Assisi. The gift of wisdom, we are 
told, overflowed in the English province. 

It was a many-sided Brotherhood, being always in 
contact with the learned, with the wealthy, and with 
the needy alike. The English Friar was equally at home 
in the school, in the bower, in the hovel. He could speak 
more than one tongue, thanks to the training bestowed 
upon him. We may imagine his every-day life : he 
spends hia morning in drawing np a Latin letter to be 
sent to the General Minister at Oxford or Paris, and he 
writes much ae Adam de Marisco did. The friar of this 
age has no need to fear the tongue of scandal \ sa va. ^Ida 
afternoon he visits the Lady ot the CBBdfi,v^u»» ^vosciAi 

520 Old and Middle English, 

wish is that she may atone for the little weaknesses of 
life by laying her bones in the nearest Franciscan 
Church, mean and lowly though it be in these early 
days. He tells her the last tidings from Qneen Eleanor's 
Court, points a moral with one of the new Lays of 
Marie, and lifts up his voice against the sad fnaks 
played by fiekshion in ladies' dress. Their talk is of 
course in French ; but the friar, having studied at Paris, 
remarks to himself that his fair friend's speech sounds 
somewhat provincial ; and more than a hundred years 
later we are to hear of the school of Stratford-atte-Bowe. 
In the evening, he goes to the neighbouring hamlet, and 
holds forth on the green to a throng of homy-handed 
churls, stalwart swinkers and toilers, men who earn their 
daily bread by the sweat of their brows. They greedily 
listen when addressed in the uncouth English of their 
shire, English barely understood fifty miles off. Sach 
burning words they never hear from their parish-pnest, 
one of the old school. The friar's sermon is full of pro- 
verbs, tales, and historical examples, all tending to the 
improvement of morals.^ 

A new link, as we see, was thus forged to bind all 
classes together in godly fellowship ; nothing like this 
Franciscan movement had been known in our island 
for six hundred years. The Old was being replaced 
by the New ; a preacher would suit his tales to bis 
listeners : they cared not to hear about hinds or hns- 

* This last sentence I take from Salimbene, who describes the 
new style of preaching practised by the friars his brethren. Italy 
and England must have been much alike in the Thirteenth Contmy 
in this respect. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 521 

baiidmen, bat about their betters.' He would therefore 
talk abont ladies, knights, or stateBmen ; and when diii- 
coursing abont these, he mnst have been almost driven 
to interlard his English with a few French words, snoh 
as were constantly employed by his friends of the higher 
class. As a man of learning, he wonld begin to look 
down npen the phrases of hia childhood as somewhat 
coarse, and his lowly hearers rather liked a term now 
and then that soared a little above their understanding : 
what is called ' fine language ' has unhappily always had 
charms for most Englishmen. It woald be relished hy 
bnrghers even more than by peasants. Many ft-ee men 
mast have known French aa well as English. The 
preacher may sometimes have translated for bis flock's 
behoof, talking of ' griik or pait, rood or eroiz, Heeen or 
voii, lof or praite, gwikeldom or tricherie, stead or place.' * 
As years went on, and as men more and more aped their 

' OoT humbler dtiues dow prefer tbe fictitiona odveiitiirea of 
some wicked Marqnia to all the sajiugs oad doings of Mrs. Gamp or 
Mn. Foym. 

' I take the following sketch from MiddUmarch, ill. 156 (pab- 
liihed in 1872) :— 

' Mr. Trumbull, the anctioQeer . . . was on amateur of eaperior 
phrases, and nerer used poor iangnage without immediate); eorr«et- 
ing himaelf. "Anybody may auk," says he, " anybody may intar- 
rogate. Any one may give their remarks an interrogative turn." 
He calls ImnAoe "a vpry superior publication, it commeneee well." 
Thiugs never bega» with Mr. Trumbull ; they always annmea«ed, 
both in private life and od his handbills ; " 1 hope coma one will tell 
me— 1 hope «ome individual will apprise me of the facL" ' 

Uany of our early Franciscans must have been skin to Mr. 
TmmbnU, Our modern penny-a-linen would say that the worthy 
auctioneer was a master of ^iglish, and a better guide to folW 
than Bunyan or Defoe. 

522 Old and Middle English. 

betters, the French words would drive oat the Old En* 
glish words ; and the latter class would linger onlj in 
the months of upland folk, where a keen antiquary maj 
find some of them still. The clergy were the one class 
that wrote for the people ; they could therefore make 
our Literature whatever they chose. So mighty was 
the spell at work, that in the Fourteenth Century French 
words found their way into even the Lord's Prayer and 
the Belief; the last strongholds, it might be thought, of 
pure English. It was one of the signs of the times that 
the old hoda made way for the new prechur; ^ prayer 
eoid praise both come from France.^ 

But the influence of the friars upon onr speech was 
not altogether for evil. St. Francis, it is well known, 
was one of the first fathers of the New Italian ; a friar 
of his Order, Thomas of Hales, wrote what seems to me 
the best poem of two hundred lines produced in English 
before Chaucer.' This * Luve ron,' addressed to a nun 
about 1250, shows a hearty earnestness, a flowing dic- 
tion, and a wonderful command of rime ; it has not a 
score of lines (these bear too hard on wedlock) that 
might not have been written by a pious Protestant. 
Hardly any French words are found here, but the names 
of a string of jewels. English poets had hitherto made 

* How often does the word predicai (prsedicari) occur in the 
journal of the Franciscan, who afterwards became Sixtus Y. ! 

^ Kzasinski tells us, that when the Jesuits began to sway edaca- 
tion in Poland, the language was soon corrupted by a barbazoos 
mixture of Latin phrases. — Reformation in Poland, II. 202. 

* Old English MiaceUany, p. 98, (Early English Text Society). 
Br. Morris thinks that the friar wrote in Latin, which was afte^ 
wards Englished. 

Inroad of Frmck Words into England. 5^5 

bnt little nse of the Yirgin Maiy as & theme. But 
her worship was one of the great badges of the Fran- 
ciscan Order; and from 1220 onward she inspired many 
an English Maker. HowCTer wrong it might be theo* 
logically, the new devotion was the most poetical of all 
rites ; the dullest monk is kindled with anwonted fire 
when he sets forth the glories of the Maiden Mother, 
To her Chancer and Dnnbar have offered some of their 
most glowing verse. 

The second copy of Layamon's Bmt was written, it is 
thoDgbt, abont 12C0. Scores of old words set down 
fifty yeare earlier in the first copy of 1205 had now 
become strange in the ears of Englishmen ; these words 
are therefore dropped altogether. Some French words, 
unknown to Layamon, are foand in this second copy. 

We have an opportunity of comparing the Old and 
the New school of English teachers, as they stood in the 
Middle of this Century. We find one poem, written 
shortly before 1250, abont the time that Archbishop 
Edmnnd was canonized : this mnst have been composed 
l^^ a churchman of the good old St. Albans' pattern, a 
preacher of righteousness after Brother Matthew's own 
heart. The rimer casts no wistful glance abroad, but 
appeals to English saints and none others; he strikes 
hard at Borne in a way that would have shocked 
good Franciscans. He may have been a patriot, zealous 
for the old tongue : for he is an exception to the common 
rule ; the proportion of English words, now obsolete, 
in his lines is as great as in those of Orrmin fifty 
years earlier.' Most different is another Poem, written 
1 Old Engluh Miacellany. p. 89. 

524 Old and Middle English. 

in a manuscript not later than 1260. The Maker may 
well have been a Franciscan ; he pours out his wrath on 
priests* wives and on parsons ; he handles the sins of 
Jankin and Malkin in most homely wise. He has some 
French words that he need not have employed, such as 
sire and dame instead of father and 7n>oiher ; his propor« 
tion of obsolete English is far less than that which we 
see in the lines of his brother-poet.^ I suspect that the 
Ancren Biwle (it still exists in many copies) must have 
been a model most popular among the friars, who per- 
haps did much to bring into vogue the French words 
with which it swarms. 

Long before the friars had fairly buckled to their 
work in England, a great change connected with our 
baptismal font had taken place. The old national 
Christian names had died out soon after 1066, and had 
been replaced by French names; boys and girls aHke 
received newfangled appellations. Proper names are 
the words most of all under Fashion's swaj. Here and 
there parents might hold to the name of the special 
patron of their shire, as Northumbria to St. CuthberC, 
the West Midland to St. Chad, East Anglia to St Ed- 
mund, and all England to St. Edward. Still, allowing 
for these exceptions, there was a general craving after 
Norman names ; the Teutonic fiEbther was always giving 
his equally Teutonic son a fine French name ; and tbis 
holds true even of villeins. We came across WQleki» 
and Eobehin in 1190. When the author of the Ancren 
Briwle wishes to forbid the divulging of the names of 

* Old English Miacellany^ p. 1 86. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 525 

particular sinners iu Bhrift, he writes, ' yoa need not say 
W^lom or "WaUr ' (Walter), p. 340. Wlien a teacher 
thirtj years lat«r wishes to brand the sins of young men 
and maidens in general, he talks of Bobin and Gilot ; 
Jack and Gill were to come long afterwards.' Robert 
of Bmnne has occasion to mention names that may be 
given in baptism ; he at once refers to ' Robert, Willyam, 
and Jonn.' (Handlyng Synne, p. 297.) 

Matthew Paris is a name dear to all tme-hearted 
Englishmen; bat we sbonld hare set the good monk 
upon a still higher pinnacle had he only trodden in the 
footsteps of the earlier Peterborough Chronicler uid 
written in English. Down to 1220, the clei^ had 
fostered oar earliest Iiiteratore with earnest care; after 
that time, with few exceptions, they seemed to throw it 
aside or to con-apt it. Of all the agents that wronght the 
great change id oar speech, between 1220 and 1280, tbe 
&iars, I anspect, were the class most mighty for evil. 
Law, learning, fashion, and chivalry are topics confined 
to the npper classes ; bnt religion comes home to all men 
alike, to high and to low. Hence, when the Old English 
theological terms were dropped, the worst kind of mis- 
chief was done. We see something of this evil in onr 
Bible at this day ; the Qospels and most parts of the Old 
Testament are readily understood over all the land, for 
they deal with erery-day life. But the Epistles abound 
in deep theological terms, which repel rather than attract 

' TheM DBmei have replaced the old tjpical names for tbe eexee 
in BngUnd, Oodnc and Qodgifa. See f reemaD, Namutn Canqaat, 
V. 9tI2. Our jtb, I belieTB, has been derived &«m Qilot. We know 
onr common ' ereiy man Jack of them ; ' see Qowsr, U, 303. 

526 Old and Middle English. 

the common folk. Here Wickliffe and Tjndale, when 
they translated the Scriptures, could not help themselves; 
they were driven to use Latin terms, such as «anc^t/icaftofi 
and regeneration, owing to the evil anti-national influence 
which had been at work in the Thirteenth Centoiy 
long before their day. A poor man, unless he knows 
Latin, cannot understand the fall force of the word 
Bedeemer; but the old word ^^ain2»u^er explained itself. 
Such a word as propitiation must be an utter puzzle to 
the great mass of Englishmen ; even though something 
like it appeared in the Cursor Mundi, so early as 1290. 
In our day, if writers on religion would be popular, 
they must be like Mr. Byle, intensely Teutonic. An 
English word, that is understood by high and low 
alike, must take higher rank than an English word that 
<;ommends itself to none but Latin scholars ; overlying 
and outcast stand high above superhwumbent and eli- 
minated. The lovers of the Newfangled may talk as 
they list, but they will never convince us that England 
was not wounded in the tenderest point of all, during 
the Thirteenth Century; that age so righteously revered 
by the statesman and the architect, so accursed in the 
eyes of the philologer. 

There is yet another way in which we can measure 
the harm done in this Black Century. Yillehardouin 
and Layamon were dictating or writing much about the 
same time, soon after the year 1200. Any fairly well 
educated English lady will now understand the old 
Marshal of Champagne with the greatest ease, after a 
little practice; but the Worcestershire priest, though 
her own countryman, will be a standing puzzle to her. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 527 

nnless she already knowa Bomething of Old Eagliak* 
The reason for all this is plain : France lias always had the 
good sense to hold fast to her old tongae, and not to 
follow foreign fashions ; in her literature there has never 
been any ogly gap since 1100. Silly England, for sixty 
disastrons years, threw aside her own home-bred speech, 
and thought of nothing but Parisian ways. In oar day, 
a translation is always suppKed for all Knglisb works 
written before the year 1220; after that year a few notes 
are all that is judged needful for learners. 

About 1160, onr inflections were rapidly yanishing 
from written English, at least in the Dano-AngUan 
country ; in Kent, many of them lingered on down to 
1340, and traces of them may be found in Somerset and 
Dorset at this day. One eSect of the Conquest was, 
that the writing of Chronicles was no longer in the 
hands of learned men, bnt was given over to peasants. 
The Peterborough Chronicle of 1160 answers to what 
an TJmbrian monk or peasant might now achieve, 
if ha had a slight smattering of Latin lore and 
essayed to imitate Cicero. The preservation or loss of 
inflectionB is the great mark, whether a language be 
Old or New. Of the three great changes in written 
English, the loss of Inflections (at least in books) dates 
from 1160 ; the loss of the power of Gompoanding dates 
from 1200 in the East Midland, which was to :iet the 
fashion to the whole laud ; the wholesale rush of new 
French words into our tongue dates from 1280.* I may 

■ Any Eogliah writer of 1300 would have been pimled, &Imoat 
as much aa mj imaglnBrj lad;, bjr I^yamoD's poem. 

* The jjncna BiaU abonnda is French worda j but it was not 
imitated tot aizty jean, u thia respect. 


528 Old and Middle English. 

well call the whole of this period, embracmg these three 
dates, Middle English ; it differs alike from what went 
before, and from what was to oome later. A prose piece of 
1120 is nearer to King Alfred than to an East M'^V^^'^ 
piece of 1160 ; an East Midland piece of 1803 is nearer 
to what is written under Qneen Victoria than to what 
was written in 1250. 

But the worst blow of all, inflicted by the sixty years 
of disaster, is the all bnt entire loss of the Old English 
power of compounding. We need not sigh over ow 
lost Inflections; they were waning away in the East 
Midland so early as 1160, as we see in the Chronicle ; and 
the more part must have gone, sooner or later, even had 
Harold conquered at Hastings. Owing to their departure, 
our speech is now the most easy and flexible in the 
whole world. But the loss of the power of compounding 
is a very different thing. This power is the truest token 
of Hfe in languages. It was found in the Onnulum as 
much as in the Ancren Biwle, in the Dano-Anglian 
country as well as in the Saxon shires. But in the first 
thirty years of the Thirteenth Century, in the East Mid- 
land shires that have ruled our New English, we may 
remark a distaste for words compounded with Preposi- 
tions ; they become scarcer and scarcer, though we have 
kept to this day some Verbs which have fote^ oirf, or«', 
and wader prefixed.^ This 1 have already remarked. 
What a noble instrument of thought and speech is 
the Greek, where every shade of meaning can be ex- 
pressed by simply prefixing a Preposition, to some root ! 

1 We sometimes even prefix these to Romance words, as Jotc- 
ordain, out-generaX, over-balance, and under-mine. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 529 

Ifothmg can make amends for England's loBS in iihis 
Tespact. We have now to borrow from tbe Frencli or 
Latin brick-kiln, instead of hewing stones oat of onr 
own quarry. How stands the matter? A jonth 
has his right arm shot ofE; it is replaced by a fine 
piece of French mechanism ; yet we are told by some 
wiseacree that any regret for the loss of the kindly old 
limb is a token of B«trogressive Barbarism. Bnt a 
remnant of oar old faculty is left to ns. We have still 
kept, in some measure, the power of componnding with 
the weightier parts of speech ; though here Participles 
are more employed than SabstantiTes ; we may talk of 
hone-feeding Argos, bnt not of fair-viomaned Acbaia. 
When Shakespere speaks of fiery-footed steeds, we see 
at once that he is possessed of a noble power of striking 
off new words, a power that was denied to Dante uid 
Coraeille. English poets should stir np this gift, and 
shoold never weary of bestowing Bpcm ns new and 
happy compounds. The bards of our day set a worthy 
example, which should be followed by prose*writers. 

We must weigh the proportion of obsolete Teutonic 
words, found in English writers of tbe Three Periods 
into which we hare divided the Thirteenth Centary. 
Es^riments shonld be made, by taking a passage in 
each anther's osoal style, containiDg fifty Nouns, Verbs, 
and Adverbs. In such a passage, written between 1200 
and 1220, ten or nine words will be found to be now 
obsolete ; in such a pass^e, written between 1220 
and 12ti0, from eight to four words will be obsolete ; in 
such a paast^, written between 1280 and 1300, the 

530 Old and Middle English. 

obsolete Tentonio will comprise only fonr or three 

Onr store of bomespTUi terma, aa we see, was bdag 
more and more narrowed. Compare Lajamon's Brat 
with Hobert of Glouorater'a Poem ; we are at onoe 
astounded at the loss in 1300 of crowds of good old 
English words, though both writers were translating Ae 
same French lines. It is mnch the same in the las- 
gnage of religion, aa we see by oomparisg the Ancren 
Biwle with the Kentuh Sermooa of 1290, pnbHshed hj 
Dr. Morris. One seventh of the Tentonio words used 
here in 1200 seems to have altogether dropped oat of 
written composition by the year 1290 : about this &ct 
there can be no dispnte. In the lifetime of Heniy the 
Third, &r more harm was done to onr speech than in 
Ihe six hundred years that have followed hia death. 

I now approach the Third Period of Middle English, 
reaching from 1280 to 1303 ; which 1 have called the Tiioe 
of Bepamtion by translators. In the sixty years beSn< 
ISSO.thengliest gap in the whole of onr literatnre&om 
Hengist down to Victoria, a vast maltitnde of Eagliib 
words had vanished for ever ; the power of componndiiig 
wasallbntgone. fiatabontl280,aBndden tnraoffortnw 
directed the eyes of all tme Englishmen once more to 
their mother-tengoe, which had been of late so shame- 
folly neglected. One long original poem, and but 
one, that of the Owl and Xightiugale, had been pot 
forth since 1220;' besides this, there had been some 
translatioDS, mostly religions, from French and latin; 

< See \ay T^Um at p. SB7. 

* At Inat, it ii tLe oolj one tJut has come down to us. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 531 

these had been few and for between. At length, about 
1280, men began to Bet themaelres eteadilj to translate 
long poems from the French, snch aa the Havelok, the 
Triatrem, the Cnrsor Mondi, the Lives of the Saints, the 
French Pooma on the History of England, the Alexander, 
the Mannel des Feches, the Chostean d'Amonr. Trane- 
lations were better than nothing at all. From 1280 to 
onr own day, English Literature has been thoronghly 
well cnltivated. Abont 1320, England took a farther 
step in advance ; she began to pnt forth long original 
Poems of her own ; soon afterwards Hampole, Minot, and 
the author of Piers Plooghman, fell to work. Both before 
1220, and after 1280, works in English abound ; the 
interval between 1220 and 1280, it shoold be well nnder- 
stood, was the black gnlf of rnin. The wonder is, that 
any one shonld have taken the trouble of modernising 
Layamon's Poem at that particular time, when, as Lord 
Castlereagh would hare said, English Literature seemed 
to be turning her back upon herself. The few men who 
wrought at Engliah in those evil days should be regarded 
as respectfully as that handful of patriots, who kept up 
true English feeling in the score of years after Charles 
the Second's return home. 

Edward the First, whatever he might have been in 
his youth, turned out a truly national King ; and what 
we owe to him is known far and wide. One thing, how- 
ever, was wanting to his glory : he never made English 
the language of his Gonrt, though he afTected to fear 
that his wily foe at Paris was plotting to wipe 
out this despised speech. It was not until long after 
Edward's death that onr language could win Royal 

532 Old and Middle English. 

&Tonr. In his reign most lettaro were written, not 
in lAtin, but in French. He loved ohiTalty, toormi- 
ments, and single comb&ts ; Le bad a high idea of French 
refinement, and this doubtless tended to throw back onr 
speech. The coortly tongue drove alt before it. For 
instance, a word like ending (princeps) was well under- 
stood in 1240; sixty years later, its meaniog had to be 
explained to Englishmen.' Still, with everv possible 
abatement, Edvrard's reign is every whit as great a laod- 
mark in English Philology as in English ConstitntioDsl 
History. Now it was that the great mah of French 
words came into our tongue ; wo cannot call it ' an ugly 
rush,' when we think of the gaps that had to be filled 
up. Any one that reads the Cursor Mundi, the Beclcet 
Legend, the Alexander, or the Handlyng Synne, will 
throw aside all his early ideas about Chancer, who was 
long falsely supposed to have been the great corropter 
of English. So much sound Teutonic stuff had been 
lost before 1280, that vast repairs had to be undertaken, 
if our language thenceforward was to be copious. French 
was not needed in 1220 ; it was badly wanted in 1280. 
One evil resulted, that we grew careless of our old 
national endings, the lie, the dmit, the tuiii, the t«e, and 
othere ; and we ceased in a great measure to attach them 
to Teutonic roofs, since we had always French eynonjiM 
ready at hand.^ Furthermore, the evil habits of Heuij 

' See tho QU EnglisA Miectllany, p. 106 ; ajid then awawn 
Bobtrt of Glouee^ter, p. 35*. 

» WomBjstillUltof/oi*, but we onnot employ /oWic,>Hx, 
anj many other wopde derived (iODi that root. Henco it ia that « 

Inroad of French Words into England. 533 

the Third's reign conld not at once be Bh&ken off; there 
was a gradnal loss of old words, even nnder Edward the 
First. Inl280, the proportion of Teutonic Nonns, Verbs, 
and Adverbs, now obsolete, is four ont of fifty ; in 1290, 
it is bat three out of fifty. About the latter year a firm 
check seems to have been given to careless dealing with 
old words ; comparatively few of them thenceforward 
were lost. The New English, as we know it, was now 
all but formed in the East Midland shires. Its loss of 
inflectionB, its neglect of the old power of compounding, 
and its substitution of French words for Teutonic terms, 
the three main changes in oar speech, all these tendencies 
were as evident in 1280 as they are six hundred years 
later. Edward did not encourage English; hence it 
came that onr Standard speech sprang up, not at his 
Court, but in cloisters on the Nen and the Welland. 
StiU, Edward's reign was a time when all classes 
were drawing nearer to each other. The ballad on 
Lewes fight, in which a few French terms are used, 
seemed to bear witness to the onion of the high and the 
low. The long political struggle of the Thirteenth Cen. 
tnry knit all true men together, whether they spoke 
French or English. From Edward's time dates the 
revival of the glories of England's host, which has seldom 
since allowed thirty years to pass without some donghtj 
deed of arms, achieved beyond onr borders ; for there 
were but few quarrels at home henceforward. Now it 
was, as 1 said before, that a number of warlike French 

use Miltimal, knd benee nofion has encioBched upon JoXk. Hnndredi 
of othar good old Tentouic -words are in thit plight. 

534 ^^^ ^^^ Middle English, 

romances were Englished. The word adventure, brongbt 
from France, was as well known in England as in Ger- 
many.* Our 'per aventure, having been built into the 
English Bible centuries later, is likely to last. Old Teu- 
tonic words made way for the outlandish terms glory, 
renoion, victory, army, host, champioih, England was be- 
coming, under her great Edward, the most united of all 
Christian kingdoms ; the yeomen who tamed Wales and 
strove hard to conquer Scotland looked with respect 
upon the high-bom circle standing next to the King. 
What was more, the respect was returned by the nobles : 
we have seen the tale of the Norfolk £Bkrmer at page 471 ; 
and this, I suspect, could hardly have happened out of 
England. France has always been the country that has 
given us our words for soldiering : from the word caetel, 
used as a military word in 1048, to the word mitraUleuse, 
brought over in 1870. Englishmen of old could do little 
in war but sway the weighty axe or form the shield- 
wall under the eye of such Kings as Ironside or God- 
wine's son ; it was France that taught us how to ply the 
mangonel and trebuchet. We have always been a war- 
like, but never a military nation.* 

* Our word adventurer seems to be sinking in the mire. A lady 
told me not long ago that she thought it unkind in Sir Walter Scott 
to call Prince Charles Edward ' the young Adventurer.' Thus, what 
hut sixty years ago described a daring knight, now conyeys to some 
minds the idea of a scheming knave. It is a bad sign for a nation, 
when words that were Once noble are saddled with a base meaning. 
We should bestow some attention on the changed meanings of the 
Italian pctnitentia and virtus. 

' The Editor of Sir John Burgoyne^s lAfe^ in 1873, complains of 
the poverty of the English military vocabnlaiy, when he talks of a 


Inroad of French Words into England, 535 

The knighta were, moreover, the great patrons of 
Heraldry, whioli is altogether French in its diction ; it 
was an object of interest to all who laid any claim to 
nurture ; the lion couchoTit, or, argent, &c., must have 
heen in the months of every low-born man who aapired 
to gentility, and tried back for a bmily. The French 
poem on King Edward's siege of Carlaveroc bears . 
witness to the cnltivation bestowed on this science in 

The nobles long clave to the French : I have already 
qnoted Bobert of Gloncester's lines abont England's 
high men speaking one tongne in 1300, while her low 
men spoke another. After 1307, Piers of Bridlington 
compiled in French his long Chronicle of English 
history. In 1310 Master Banf de Bonn compiled 
another Chronicle in French, at the request of the Earl 
of Lincoln. About 1332, a prose Chronicle, also in 

oDvp dt main and an allague bnagtUe, Vol. II. S4S. Even ao late as 
IU2, 'we wen foiced to call in Fiench and 0«naan eDginsera, at the 
ontbraakof thsCiTil Won. I am eony to aee that the rank of Gmet 
JoTce aixl Eiuiffn NoTtherton has been arept away ; va are hence- 
forwatd to talk of ttiMieiitntanti. Why ahould Engliah History and 
Litentnre b« bd matiled ? 

' Whan deacribing war, pTin poftrj muit uae Preneb words : u 
io ByroD'a piece, that begins thoa : 

' Warrion and chieft, should the shaft or the awoid 
Pieret me whan leading the hott of the Loid.' 
Onr naval tenni are rery difierent from thia. Bnt not long ago, I 
aaw the crta (as Nelson called it) described bj the Brltiah penny-a- 
liner as the ' ptnonnd of a vessel.' Onr aeaman were of yore stoat 
A. heart and aoond of limb ; they are now said to be ' canspienons «A 
for theic mcrale and pbytique.' Hoe tga mm agittm t 

536 Old and Middle English. 

Frencb, was pnt forth, and was called ' The Bmte ;' ^ 
this many copies still exist. ^ The Scala Cronica was 
drawn np in French prose b j an English knight, about 
1362. Still later, the courtly poet Grower made Iris 
first attempts in French, and most of the letters d 
Henry the Fourth afe written in this language. Manj 
of the Onilds all over the land drew np their laws in 
French ; as was done at Bristol in 1416.* There is t 
French poem on the death of York, the father of 
Edward the Fourth, in 1461. The fashionable tongae 
waa hard of dying i. OTir land. 

For many years did French and English run on Bidfi 
by side. I have already remarked on what we owe to 
the collectors of the literature of the day. Of these, 
the most praiseworthy of all are the scribes that 
flourished in the Evil Sixty Years, the men that drew 
up the Cotton Manuscript about 1240, the Jesus Manu- 
script about 1260, not to mention Layamon's secozid 
transcriber. Between 1290 and 1440 some well-known 
English manuscripts were compiled : the Digby, lAnd, 
Ashmole, Harleian, Auchinleck, Yemon, and Thornton 
compilations are &mous names. 1 would here call 
attention to the Harleian Manuscript, drawn up rathff 
before 1320. The compiler travels over the forgoing 
sixty years, and sets down Latin, French, and Englisb 
poems alike with impartial pen. In some of these 
works the three vehicles of English literature jostle 
each other. Thus we have a Hymn to the Virgin : 

> See Mr. Skeat's Pre&ee to the Hdvdok, vi. xiii. 
* English GUda (Early Eziglifih Text Society), p. 286. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 537 

Mitfden moder milde, 

oliet m/ ortyunim, 
From B}ioiiie thou roe ahilde, 

tdtly malftloim. 
Fot loTe of thine childe, 

me mena de tretoiun. 
Ich weg wod and wilde, 

on lu enpri*ouii\ 

A lady of more eartbly mould is Urns described : 

Ele eit si bete et geute dame egrijfia, 
Cum ele fiiet itnpa-atoriiij3ia 
De beol BemblBnt etpidcra cimtintnda 
Ele est Itt flor in omni rtgii curia. 

Indeed, it seemed as if no English bard conld do fiur 
justice to a lady's charms, vithont a copions sprinkling 
of words drawn from the fashionable language of the 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. I take the fol- 
lowing frtmi the same Harleian Manuscript ; A«o is what 
we now call she -. — 

Heo is dereworthe in day, 
I, stout, and gay, 

' Lgrie Pottiu (Farcy Society), pp. 97, 65. Another mnniiBcript 
(OM Bugluk Mitediamy. 191) has the foilowing: 
Of on ^t IB so fajr and bri^ 

vtlad rnaru iteUa. 
Brij;ter tan )« day-ie lijt, 

parau et pudla, 
Ich cria to t«> )>oa w to me, 
Levedi, prej H sone for me, 

pat ic mote come to tx, 


538 Old and Middle Englis/u 

Gentiljjolyf^ ihejay 

• • ■ • 

Heo is coral of godnesse, 
Heo is rubie of rihtfulnease, 
Heo is cristal of clannessey 

Ant b€mer of health, 
Heo is lUie of largessey 
Heo is parvenke of prouesse, 
Heo IB solsecle of swetnease. 

Ant ledy of lealtS.^ 

The same Frenchified style is applied to the descrip- 
tion of the feasts and the amosements of these fair 
ladies and their lords; we read as follows, in the 
Hayelok of the year 1280. The heneyeun is said, and 
then the guests see before them 

KraneS; swannes, veneysun. 
Lax, lampreys, and god stui^gun, 
Pyment to drinke, and god clare, 
Win hwit and red, ful god plente. 
• • • « • 

Of fe metes hidde I not dwelle, 
pat is fe stoiie for to lenge. 
It wolde anuye ]7i8 fiiyre genge. 

Afterwards, men might see 

pe mosto joie pAt mouhte be. 

. • • • * 

Leyk of mine, of hasard ok, 
Romanz reding on fe bok, 
per mouthe men here fe gestes suoge, 
pe gleymen on )w tabour dinge.* 

» Lyric Poetry, p. 52. » Pp. 47, 65. 

Inroad of Freitch Words into England. 539 

The old hvrUilere now began to be called a Tnitiitrel. 
The singers of gettes, since 1220, had followed Frencli 
rime, and bad forsaken the Old Engbsb alliteiutive 
rhytbrn. In a poem of abont 1230, sixteen lines mnning 
end in the sound eie or eden ; this is clearly an English 
imitation of one of the poetical effects, npon which the 
French bards prided tbemaeives, as is well known. In 
the Havelok, fifty years later, nineteen lines end in the 
same sonnd eiJej lines87-105. A vast number of J<>ench 
words mast have been brought in by translators, simply 
to help themselves to a rime ; thus, in the Horn of 1280 ; 

)» stones beojj of Buche grace, 

pat pu ne echalt in none place, &c.— P. 17, 

J>e knijtes jeden to table 

and Home jede to stable. — P. 17. 

Il is the same In the Floriz and Blancheflnr, of the 
same date : — 

fo porter i« culvert and feluD, 
for^ he wule setteD bis resun, 
and bete upon |>e felonie, 
and »eg^ )iat Jm art a spie. — P. CO. 

We further read in tbis poem : — 

)>anne sede |>e bui^is, 

fat waa wel hende and curtais. 

Leaving the Minstrels, we pass on to other ministers 
to the pleasures of the great. The Tristrero, translated 
about 1280, abounds in words of banting ; in pages 33 

540 Old atid Middle En^^lisk. 

and 34, we learn all the technical names for the parts of 
a stag, when cnt np; in p. 165 we liear of the honam 
knight, who bides repair e in the forest^ who began ckad 
an hart, and blew priis. Onr sire and datn^ now oas- 
fined to horses, are a relic of this age ; also a brace d 
birds. In 1280, it is hopeless to ea:pect anything bat 
French when the amusements of noblemen are set forth; 
in p. 170 of the Tristrem comes this stanza: 

So it befel acas. 

In Seyn Matheus toun, 
That a &ir feat was, 

Of lordes of renoun : 
A baroun that hight Bonifiis 

Spoused a levedi of Lyoun ; 
Ther was miche solas, 

Of al maner soun, 
And gle ; 
Of minstrals up and doun, 

Bifor the folk so fre.^ 

The technical terms of games of chance, like Chanoer's 
dnk and treye, belong to the French-speaking class. * 

Cookery is a science that has always commanded the 
attention of the great; indeed, it was as important a 
business in their ejes as war or hunting. Several of the 
French words used in this art may be read in the Lay of 
Havelok, who himself served for some time as a swiller 
of dishes : we here find pastees, wastels^ veneystmj and 
many other terms of the craft ; our common roaat^ 

> Contrast this with the intense Teutonism of Kr. Swinburoe 
and Mr. Morris when riming 600 years later. 

' Our ^r^y keeps more to the true old Vowel Boond than the modflca 
French trots, just as our deuce preserves the old sound of deux. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 541 

frij, ht<Al, toatf, greate, Ijraien^ larder, bear witness &8 to 
which race it was that had the control of the kitchen. 

We have spoken of the I^dy, the Knight, and the 
Friar; we now come to the Lawyer.' The whole of the 
^Temment was long in the hands of the French-epeak- 
ing class. Henry the Second, the great organiser of 
English law, was a thorongh Frenchman, who lived in 
oar island as little as he could ; the tribunals were in 
his tune reformed ; and the law terms, with which 
Blackgtone abonnds (^lei'ne forte et dure, for instance), 
are the beqnest of this age. The Iloman law had been 
studied at Oxford even before Henry had begnn toreign ; 
and Canceller was one of the earliest foreign words that 
came in. The Legend of St. Thomas, drawn np about 
1300, swarms with French words when the Constitotions 
of Clarendon are described i and a Charter of King 
Athelatane's, tnmed into the English spoken rather 
earlier, shows how many of onr own old law terms had 
by that time been snpplanted by foreign ware.^ Onr 
barristers still keep the old French pronunciation of their 
technical word record; the oyez of onr courts is well 
known; when we talk of an heir male, we use a SVench 
construction ; we do not begin, but commence an action 
at law. A bard of 1220, (■ Old English Miscellany,' p. 76) 

' Thosa who ftdminialriced tb« law wfK eithsi cborchmeD or 

' Kemble, Cod. Dip. V. 235. We here find grantye, eonfirmm, 
aod ciutume$. W« are therefore oot Bnrprised to lean, that few or 
DODe in ITIS could expUia the old English law temiE in the Baron 
of Bradwardine'a Charter of 1140. 'saca et eoca, H thol et theam, et 
inrau^bief et outfnngthief, sire haad-habend, tire bak-barand; ' 
these had toad* waj for Fteoch tertne. 

542 Old and Middle English, 

sets before ns the playdurs^ bo keen in their red and green 
garb, men who give nnright dooms ; for this they will 
suffer in the next world. We get another picture of the 
lawyers in 1280 ; there is the old fellow, who is the best 
sire; his clerkes, who pink with pen upon parchmeiit, 
while they hreve a man. Then there are somenmn 
(hence the proper name Sumner), who are the plagaeof 
the parish ; priests come to the County Court and boast 
of their privilegie from the Pope. Evil deeds are done 
at the chapitre and the constory ; this is the writer's 
experience, * seththen y pleide at bisshopes plee,* ^ 
In the Floriz, of the same date, we hear about — 

Feloufi inome hond-habbing 

For to suffire jugement, 

Bi])ute answere o]ier acupement. — ^P. 70. 

The stately word Parliament is French, while King is 
Teutonic. The same rivalry may be seen in Lords and 
CoTrmumSf JmigTUs of the shire and burgesses, aldermen 
and may or f horough and ciiy. Since 1660, French bas 
replaced Latin as the general language of diplomacy, 
and has therefore given us many new words and 
idioms, that would have astonished Bossuet as much as 

We must now return to the clergy, who did not 
confine themselves to preaching ; all the lore of the day 
was lodged in their hands. Roger Bacon's life sets 
before us the bold way in which some of them pried 
into the secrets of Nature. One of the means by whicb 

* Political Sotigs (Wright), pp. 166-159. Is there a pun hew od 
the English play and the French plaider ? 

Inroad of French Words into England. 543 

they drew to themselves the love of the common folk 
was the practice of medicine ; In tiie friars the leper 
foimd his only friends. To these early forefathers of 
our leechcraft wo owe a farther change in onr tongae. 
There are nutny Enghsh words for snndry parts and 
fonctions of the human frame, words that no well-bred 
man can use; custom haB nded that we must employ 
Latin synonyms. The first example I remember of this 
delicacy (it onght not to be called mawkishness) is in 
Bobert of Gloucester, writing about 1300. When de- 
scribing the tortures inflicted by King John on his 
subjects in 1216, and the death of the Earl Marshal on 
an Irish field in 1234, the old rimer nses terms borrowed 
from the French that he was translating, instead of 
certain English words that would jar npon onr taste.' 
But a leech who flourished eighty yeara after Robert's 
time is far more plain-spoken, when describing his 
cures, made at Newark and London.* Indeed, he is aa 

■ On thb bead thete is s great di9^r«iic« betireen Germany and 
England. Teatonic woids that no well bred Ei^liahman conld me 
before a womaii maj be printed by grave German faiMoriani. See 
VoD Baumw'a account of the ai^e of Viterbo in 1243, GacUcAle 
der Hoigattaufitt. Of conrse I know that this does not prove Oel^ 
mana to be one whit more indelicate than Englisbmen ; cnatom ii 

* John Aideine'e Acoount of him»el^ Stliguia Antigua, L 191. 
Cbarlei II. was the beat bred Englishman of his time, jet ha write* 
to hia Biiter : — ' Poor O'Nial died this afternoon of an alcar in his 
ffuti.'—Curry'i Cirii Wars til Ireland, I. 808. So Swiftly does 
fashion change ', The amusing Life of He Bee. P, SitU'M waa pub- 
lished so late as 1792 b; a worth; Irish clergyman ; still, this con- 
tains many phrases at which oar more squeamish age wonld cry ont, 
BoBwell osad a term atrnck out by Croker fort; years afterwards. 

544 Old and Middle Engti^ 

little mealy-mouthed as Orrmin himself. It was not, 
however, until very late times that j^etvptro^ion replaced 
in polite speech the English word akin to the Sanscrit 
wida^ or that &eZZy was thought to be coarser than 

The leeches, like the lawyers, knew very well what 
they were about when they couched the diction of their 
respective crafts in French or Latin, far removed from 
vulgar ken. A sad picture is drawn in the Cursor 
Mundi, about 1290, of the diseases of King Herod :— 

)>e parlesi (palsy) has his a* side. * one 

. • ■ . a 

In his heved he has \^ scall, 
pe scab oveigas his bodi alL 

• ■ • • 

Wit )w crache him tok ]« scurf, 

pe fester thrild his bodi thurgh, 

pe gutte (gout) ]>e potagre es il to bete^^ ^ mcod 

It fell al dun intil Ids fete. 

Over al ])an was he mesel ' plain, • iqw 

And Jnirwit had fever quartain ; 

Ydropsi held him sua in threat.^ 

So early as 1220, we read of the desputinge of scoU- 
maistres in the Legend of St. EZstherine. The beefc 
English scientific treatise of this Century is * The Pit 
of Hell,' printed by Mr. Wright ; it deals with the 
shaping of the human frame. It is strange to contrast 

* Cursor Mundi, p. 678. As to the last evtt, j^dropsi^ iElfric hd 
called it watersieknesa, when describing the same eTent. I may 
remark, that the common folk always talk of a tloetor, but would be 
puzzled by the word leech, used by Scott and Byron, This is on« 
of the few instances in which a Teutonic word commends itself mon 
to the high than to the low. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 545 

the diction foand here with the obsolete English of a 
treatise on Astronomy, pot forth three hundred years 
earlier, and printed in the same book of Mr. Wright's. 
A Poem by the author of the ' Pit of Hell ' gives ds a 
peep into Oxford Ufe in the days of St. Edmund the 
Archbishop ; we are first told, that he forgat aot his 
oreitoaa for no stadie, ne for ^of,t of letsoun ; he soon 
nndertook arithmetic, thongh he was not a Cambridge 

Of art he radde six jer contiauellicbe ynou^. 

And Bi])}>e, for beo more profound, to arsmetrike he droo^, 

And arametrike cadde in couie, in Oxenford wel fiiste, 

And his figours droug al dai, and his ttumbre caate. 

Arsmetrike is a lore ]iat of figours al is, 

And of droustes as me drawe|> in poudre and in numbre 

^Ifric had employed some I^tin terms in his day, 
hnt he wonid have been astonished at the number of 
these that were flowing in, could he have come to life 
again abont the year 1300. Science in onr land has 
always held fest to foreign words. The Old English 
hyge (mens) had given birth to many compounds ; none 
of these seem to have outlived Layamon's day. Science 
spumed the Teutonic and clung fast to the French and 
lAtin, We are even driven to borrow the French 
sa/vant, to express *a man of lore' in one word.* A 

■ Lif' of Si. Edmtmd (Philological Societ;), pp. 7fi, 77. 

* When the tavaaii onbend in the ereoiug, after a Congreu, 
they go to a ConversatUme. Kothing protM the otter banenneM of 
£ngliiih Bodal life more than the fact, tbat ire have had to borrov 
thU Itidian mnd. 

V K 

546 Old and Middle English. 

Social Science Congress would Bhndder if atUArapoZa^ 
or biolo^ were to be Tentonized. We now find it prettj 
easy to nnderstaud the Chronicle or the Gospels of 
the year 1000 ; while King Alfred's Translation of the 
Pastoral Care is stiff reading indeed. This is betsow 
tlie changes wrought in the Thirteenth Century wen 
pecotiarly hostile to the Old English terms employed ia 
philosophy and deep theology.' 

Architecture was another craft in which the cla^ 
took the lead ; Alan de Walsingham by no means stood 
alone.* English words were well enough when a cot or 
a farm-honse was in hand ; but for the building of » 

' It would be easy, I tliink, in onr day to writ* a btwk on Me* 
phyBiCH, vberein there should not be one Teutonic Ifono nr Vttii, 
eicept am. it. nhall, nnd HMcb like. But it is hatd to <ee rtj 
Natural History iihould resort to foreign temiE, which sevm tboara 
on purpose to confine thi^ study to those who know L«tiD titi 
Greek. A child in the Nationul schools repeats like a parrot vonli 
like ttidaibi nnd gmnU'iity'roite ; lie would at once attach a clear iilti 
to gnawer* and grata-catiag. Our benutilHil old Eugliah namet of 
plants and flowers have been supplanted liy Latin words ; ariarvtl- 
(lira is one of our latest gems. Any man, who would Tenloniaa tbt 
name-systeni of certain ndences, would play Che part of a eODsd 
English pntiiot. We have made a beginning; i;ompare lb' 
plain-spoken works on EHt/litA Hittory, which are now selling ^ 
thousands, with the bombastic stuff that was i n vogue twenty ymn 
ago. The prig aud the pedant wail ovar the chnn^ ; but our natioB. 
taken aa a whole, ie much benefitted. Why should not otber 
branizltes of knowledge be promoted to the level of Hiatoiy ? I hsn 
teen it remarked that children are no fools, bat that their teadiM 
T«ry often are fools. Dickens, in one of bis works, draws a good 
■keteh of Mr. Maccbokemchild, an inspector of sehooU. 

' The clergy wen also great engineers in war. as w« read in tht 
BCCDnnta of the Crusadaa against the Albigenaes and EeediB da 
Itumauo. Tbe renowned Chillir:^'»urlh vvuntod to play tlie nws 
part at the siege of Qloueester in I6tS. 


Inroad of French Words into England. 547 

caetle or a cafbedral, scores of French technical words 
had to be called in : at Ganterbnry, William the Eng- 
glishman doabtless employed mach the same diction as 
hie predecessor, William of Sens. Indeed, the new style 
of bnilding, brought from France more than a hnndred 
years before the time of these worthies, must have nn- 
folded many a new term of art to King Edward's masona 
at Westminster. The u-pprr of Glastonbury Chorch, 
which beheld a monmfal scene soon after the Conqneat, 
has long since taken the name of trlforium. In onr own 
day, the great revival of Architecture has led to a won- 
derfol enlargement of diction among the common folk; 
every working mason now has in his mouth scores of 
words, for the meaning of which learned men forty years 
f^ would have searched in dictionaries.' 

In the Cursor Mnndi, the Tower of Babel is said to 
have been bnilt 

Wit tile and t«r, witiiMn stan. 

Ojier morter was |>er uan ; 

Wit cord and plum \a.\ wn^ht sa faei. 

They thus imagined their work : 

I rede we begin a Uboure 
And do we wel and nitike a loure, 
Wit Huire and Bfantilon ra aven, 
pat may reche hegliur |ian heven.' 

The Tristrem had already employed more than two 
hundred French terms of war, hunting, law, Iccchcraft.. 

' Our vonla oBsd in pninting, Rcnlptore, and mnsie, cobm front 
Ittlj, not from Prance. 

» B. laa. 

548 Old and Middle Englisft, 

religion, and ladiea' dress ; bnt ihe inroad of foreign iroi^ 
was to continue. Abont the year 1290, we find Chureh- 
men becoming more and more French in their speech. 
Hondreda of good old English words were now lost for 
ever ; and the terms that replaced them, having been for 
years in the moathe of men, were at lengtJi being set 
<]own in manuscripts. The Life of a Saint (manj sncb 
KK extant, written at this time) was called a Vie} la 
that version of the Harrowing of Hell which dates front 
the aforesaid year, the transcriber has gone oat of his 
way to bring in the words delay, cotamaiuimeni (thii 
conies twice over), and serce : all these are crowded into 
five lines. Still more remarkable are the few and short 
Kentish Sermons, tranBlated from the French about the 
same time, 12!)0.". Sever were the Old and the New 
bronght face to face within narrower compans. We see 
the old Article with its three genders, »e, «, pet (in Sans- 
crit $a, »«, tat), still lingering on in Kent, though these 
forms had been dropped everywhere else in Eoglanii. 
On the other hand, we find about seventy French wonk, 
many of which, as verray, defenden, tignijiance, orneilui, 
commewxment, were not needed at all. When reading 
the short sentence, ' this is si signefiance of the miracle,' 
oar thoaght« are at one time home back to the abode of 
onr earliest fore&thers on the Oxos ; at another time 
we see the fine language of the Victorian penny-a-liner 
most clearly foreshadowed. After 1290, we hardly ever 

■ Long befora this, the Legeai of Si. Juliana begins, ' her «■■<■ 
teV (commeDce^) )ie vit, Sx,' In thie piece CaUev rtudi for 

■ Old Englui SliixUany, p. 26 (Earlj English Text Sodetj). 

Inroad of French Words into England, 549 

find a passage in which the English words, now obsolete, 
are more than one seventeenth of the whole ; ' the only 
exception is in the case of some Alliterative poem. This 
fact gives ns some idea of the havoc wrought in the 
Thirteenth Century. 

It waa to translators in Edward the First's time 
(this cannot be too often repeated) that onr New 
English owes its present Frenchified gniae. I shall 
now give two passages from the Cursor Mnndi, which 
will show, first the motive of the average translator, 
and next, the flood of outlandish words brought in by 

pia ilk bok its translate 

Into lug'lis tong to rede, 

For the love of Inglis lede (people), 

luglis lede of Inf^land, 

For the commun at understand. 

Frankis rimes here I redd, 

Coniunlik in ilk sted, 

Mast es it wroght for Frankia man ; 

Quat is for him na Fnudds can P 

Of Ingland the QScion, 

Eb Inglis man {>ar in commun ; 

pe Bpeche |)ftt man wit niant may epede, 

Mast {>arwit to speke war nede ; 

Selden was for ani chance 

Praised Inglis tong in France ; 

Give we ilkan {Mtre langage, 

Ale think we do ])ani non outrage. 

' We mnet count ool; the Nonns, Verbe, and Adverbs. 

* We may remark hor thU Torkshiremsii clings t« the rightful 
old iVaaiti, irhich bad been proooonced Fretifih in the Sonth, e»er 
since Idjamon'a time. The Northern poet even toms the foreign 
charge into cork. — P. 1314. 

5S0 out and Middle English, 

To laud kA IngliB man I spell 
pat underatandes }>at 1 tell.— P. 20. 

Oar poet thns beara witness to the fact, that there was 
mach poetry in the England of 1290, but that this poeby 
was all in French, unless some one took pity on the 
Ifwd folk and translated for their behoof. Of the effect 
of these translations the following is a specimen. I h»TB 
nnderlined the French words, which form more than 
one third of the Nouns, Verbs, and Adverbs: — 

A taumpul her be {wieni I say, 

pat rageg in [lare riot ay ; 

In riot aud in rigolage, 

Of all I>ere liif apend (wu )« elaffe ; 

For now is halden nan in cwg, 

Bot qua pat lure caii jxiiamare ; 

pat/rfy luve Jwt vauite, 

pam likes now nan ot^er gle ; 

Ifit neys hot fantum for to say, 

To day it is, to moru away, 

Wyt chaunce of ded, or chaunee of hert. — P. 10. 

This is & Yorkshire poem, aud the passage alone is 
enoogh to overthrow the theory of those who hold 
that French made great conqnests in the Soath of Eng- 
land, hat did not much affect the North. Fifty years 
Inter, the Northern Hampole baa thrice as mnch French 
in his prose treatises as his Keatish rival.' About 1300, 
the Southern translator of Bishop Robert's Ckaeteau 
d'Avwur states that we cannot all anderstand Latin, 
Hebrew, Greek, or French; still every man oaght to 

' There is a mnss of French words, later still, in Barbour aod 

Inroad of French Words into England. 551 

nng God's pntises ' wi|> snoh epeohe ob he con leme.' 
The Bishop had written fifty years earUer : — 

Por cells ki ne serent mie 
Ne tettmre ne cle^ie. 

This his translator adupts to the changed practice of a 
later day — 

On Unglisch I chul mi reaim echoiren 

For >iini [>&t con aot ilmonen 

Noufw French ne I^tyii.' 

Mach abont the same time, another French poem 
was traoBlated and enlarged, the Handlyng Synne, that 
we have already seen. By 1290, the mischief had been 
done ; we most not be hard on Colonel Hamley, or on 
Blackstone, or on the compilers of the Anglican Prayer- 
book, or on the describer of a fashionable wedding in the 
Morning Post, or on the chronicler of the Lord Mayor's 
feast, or on the Editors of the I^noet and the Bnitder, 
becanse they deal in shoals of foreign terms; nearly 
six hundred years ago it was settled that the technical 
diction of their respective crafts mast to a groat estent . 
be conched in French or Latin.* There were about 
150 Romance words in oar tongue before 1066, being 
mostly the names of Church famitore, foreign plants, 

■ Cif^o/ZaM, published by Mr. Wejwoath foe the Philological 
Socistj, paga 3. 

■ It VBB ODceniy lotto treat <tf a cods of law ; I Bad, oa looklDg 
tynz mj book, that Bt least ODe half of mj SnbstantiTes, A^tctlvM, 
Adreibs, and Verbi dealing wiUi this aattject, anof LttlJnUrth; ao 
inposaible is it for the moat eaneet Teuton to shake oS the tram- 
mels lud on Ei^laiid in the Thirteenth Centniy. 

SS2 Old and Middle English. 

and strange animals. Abont 100 moi^ Homance wor^ 
got the right of English dtizenship before the year 120>}. 
Lastly, 800 other Romance words had become commca 
with our writers by the year 1300 ; and before UieK 
came in, many hundreds of good old Cn^lish words had 
been put out of the way. Fearftil was the bavock done 
in the Thirteenth Century ; sore is our loss : but those 
of us who love a Teutonic diction should blame, not 
Chaucer or WicklifTe, but the foreign fashions of an 
earlier age. The time of King Henry the Third's death 
is the moment when our written speech was barrenest; 
a crowd of English words had already been dropped, 
and few French words had as yet been used by anj 
writer of prose or poetry, except by the author of the 
Ancren Biwle ; hitherto the outlandish words had come 
as single spies, henceforward they were to come in 

There was no Standard of English, accepted all OTer 
the country, from 1160 to 1360 ; and the proof of this 
lies ready to hand. Though the Cursor Mundi is mostly 
a translation from the French, there is one exception; 
the matter from page 1148 to 1192 is copied from a 
Southern English poem. As the compiler of the Cursor 
says of this particular part. 

In Sotherin Englis was it draun, 
And tumd it h&ve I till our aun 
Langage o Northrin lede, 
pat can nan oij^er Englis rede. 

The Southern English original, compiled about 1280, 

1 If any one -wishee to divide English info two, not into thre*^ 
parts, I think that 1270 would be the fairest point of division. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 553 

seemB to liave perished ; but we may gain a good idea of 
what it mnst have been by comparing the two Teraions 
of the Assumption, printed in the ' King Horn,' pp. 44 
and 75. The proportion of French vords is here less 
than in the Cursor Mnndi. The Sontbem version 
should be compared with the rather later Northern 
variation, for we may thns see how the tongne spoken 
on the Thames differed &om that spoken on the Tees in 
1290, when the great strife between the two kingdoms 
of Britain was aboat to begin. We have here an nnn- 
snal privilege ; for, though Northern poems were often 
done into Southern English, the process was hardly 
ever reversed. The Old English heo (ilia) had long 
vanished from Yorkshire ; the following Southern lines 
had therefore to be altered, even at the expense of the 

' Alas, my sone,' seide heo, 

* Hu may ihc live, hu may )nfl beo ? ' 

These became in Yorkshire, 

Southern. Northern Traruiatian. 

Wepe Grele 

No wundei nas Was na ferli 

Sehol loky )>e Sal ta kep to fe 

He wakede more Schc wok mar 

Kepta Keped 

pe whiles hi were To^uils fw lenged 

pu were ibore poa was bont 

Na Bchaltu beo Tu men nc^ht be 

Belamy pou suet nmi 

Old and Middle English. 

Ihc bidde )w 
Into hire chaumbre 
He bitraief 
Hem to amendv 
pe derel 
pu {wledest wo 
He clupede 
To bifrge 
Jelde hit ^on 
Of pat ti|niige 
Wend Jni n<^ 
Nahbeti no drede 
No 8orej Bchal come 
Whei (where) hj be 
What U fe P 

JVbrfAern TVaiufafimi. 
Iprai te 

L'Dtil hir chamber 
He biBuikee 
pam to mend 
pou tbold wa 
Scho cald 

Fofydild it jTiu 
Osuilk bodes 
pou part noght 
Has nadred 
Na wn Bal negb 
Quamun )iai be 
Quat ails teP 

The fatare Standard English, ae we raxj cleftrly see, 
was to follow blindly neither the Soathem nor the 
Northern variety of speech, bat was to look for her 
pattern to something that trimmed between the two ; 
the great alep was to be taken rather later than 1290. 
If some dialect abont midway between London and 
Tork were to come to the front, this would have the 
beet chance of being understood all over England, in 
the South and the North alike. When we compare the 
two versions above, we must see that a Franciscan 
Chapter at Oxford or London, including brethren &om 
all the Eugtisb shires, conld not well help having reoonrsa 
to either French or Latin , if the bnsinesB in hand was to 
be nndentood by all the members alike.* 

' When the SlaToniani, Eroia Camiola to OaIIici&, met in Ftr- 
liament in 1848, the; found it needfiil to tue the b 

Inroad of French Words into England. 555. 

I wonld here protest against a common liabit of 
grammarians ; when they find themselves puzzled in 
English, they make the Nonnan Conqnest anawnable 
for anything and everything. In this way they account 
for the Tentonic gnttoral being suppreeeed in tbe middie- 
or at the end of our words ; hvamn is one of the few that 
keep the sonnd of the old & (bnhsom) in the middle. 
But the FrsDoh speech, as we Bee in the Cursor Mnndif 
in Hampole, in Barbour, in Wyntoun, and in Dnnbar, 
had quite aa mnoh influence in the North as in the 
South of our island. I would suggest that men who 
toil in a hilly country, such as extends from Derby 
to Edinburgh, are more likely to keep the hard rough 
sounds than are the easy-going dwellers in the rich 
level plains of Sonthem £ugland.' But it is curiona 
that fium 1290 downwards, the North has always kept 
a far greater proportion of old Teutonic words than the 
South has done ; Dorset must in this yield to Ayrshire. 
Yet the Scotch classic writers (as they are called), such 
as Hume and Bobertson, had at least as mnch love for 
Romance diction as their Southern brethren had. The 
common folk in Scotland have kept the beautifnl old 
form leal, a French word unknown in the South. 

Between 1220 and 1280 the new Freuch words were 
but few ; it was about the latter year that they were 
beginning to ponr into written English. In the Havelok 
the old cvnme, by which a priest's head had been meant, 
was now applied to any man's skull; it is our croum. 

' Lord BroDgbam'i name vas wnmdKl eometMng like ' Brokham ' 
in tl)« Yoikshire Dales long after ISOO, s» Profenor Sedgwick 

5S6 Old and Middle English. 

Tn p. 26 the French mstfne stands for hotJtseholdj whence 
comes menial. Dam, the Frencli cormptioii of the Litiii 
dominus, is in p. 70 ; it ivas prefixed, as Dan, to English 
names twenty years after this, and the title, used 
of monks, lasted down to the Reformation^^ Tbe 
female dame (domina) has been longer-lived; Bt^^t 
Leve comes in this poem, as Sir Edward came twenty 
years earlier. The term mayster had hitherto heen used 
as a title of hononr ; at p. 35 it is applied to a kitchen- 
knave by a King. I remember, ^vben a school boy, 
that we nsed to greet strangers with this title when 
asking a question : ' I say, master.' The French hurgeiji 
is encroaching on the English hurghery p. 40. At p. 79 
comes the phrase to crie merci. The word poure (paaper) 
here keeps its old French sound, for it rimes with Jhcm 
(p. 5) ; there is also lUrage. We hear, at p. 8, that a 
King dede sayse intU his hond al Engeland. It is easy to 
see how this French law term came into common nse as 
a synonym for capere. Stone appears clipped of &o 
vowel that once began it, and Jtistice is used for a man 
in office as well as for a virtae. The French oorraption 
of hceres was taking root in England, and was written 
eyr, jnst as we pronounce it. We see the origin of deiu» 
in the line 

DeuB ! lenunan, hwat may fis be ? 

* A priest in Italy onoe told me the rale for the modem iu« flf 
the word J hmimui ; 

Ccelestem JDamtNVM, teirestrem dicite DomHmwu 

Don is used in Italy, thongh not so much as in Spain. France itXks 
of Doi/i Calmet, Ezigldnd of Dan Ljdgate. 


Inroad of Frtnch Words into England. 557 

The dalheit, first fonnd in Dorsetshire, ia in constant 
nse. The old Inteijection of oottow, eala ytet! now 
takes a French form. 

Alias t )«t he shal jierwith fere !— P. 45. 
The French allaz, now lielas, is often met with. 

In the poem oa the Assnmption, aboat 1280, spaae is 
nsed of time, not of place : ' give them space to amend,' 
p. 48. In the King Horn the French words are many, 
and some of them are forced into English idioms, as I me 
dute (p. 10) for I /ear me.' Sir is attached to words 
other than proper names, as sire Jcyng (p. 23). We see 
he is of age (p. 38) ; there is also iquier, gravel, vnckel, 
bitraie; the verb arrive ia in constant use. We hear of 
a giant from Faynyme (p. 23), and of an oath bi Seiat 
Gile (p. 33). We see gigour (violin-player) at p. 42; 
perhaps onr jig comes &am this. There are also eler, 
oste (boapes), porter, store. Another version of the 
Floriz and Blancheflnr was compiled about twenty years 
after this time ; it is printed along with the other poems 
I have analysed, and begins at p. 101.* We have seen 
that in this Century 01 in English had the sonud of the 
French ou or ou-i ; we now find it once more taking the 
Bonnd of the French at. At p. 106 the proper name 
Doyre rimes with fayre ; soon afterwards the former 
is written Dayre. The French ot was sonnded like 
their ott-i in boil, and like their at in Im. The old eaint 

< We mnj Btill h«ar doiM used fbr/«ar; bi 'I doabt you Wftol 
a dose.' The FreDch tued it in this ny, 

■ la the second page of this we flitd fadtrlondt ; this long ago 
died ont in England, but wm brought otst from Qermsny in onr 

558 Old and Middle English, 

(cognitas) aboat this time changed from the emk d 
Philip de Thaan to queint,^ The old fatble has given « 
two words, foible and feeble ; all three mnst have beea 
formerly prononnced in the same way. 

In the Lyric Poems of 1280 the French words aze 
many ; in p. 75 we see atscapen, a combination of tk 
English ceistyrtan and the French eschaper. At p. lOO 
comes dempjied, a compromise between the Englidi 
deman and the French damner. Abont this year, 128(1 
the two languages were beginning to mingle together. 
We find expressions Hke make my pees (p. 100), h^ 
coimtey p. 152 (Political S.), compos a life, p. 202. There 
are also bailif tax, paroshe, nwtun (ovis), crust. There 
is votichsave, which stands alone, I think, as a combina- 
tion of an Adjective and Verb in one word. Fine is 
nsed for a mulct, p. 202 (Political S.). Trow (trowsere) 
may be fonnd in p. 110 (Lyric P.) ; and douse, in p. Ill, 
is the French Adjective long afterwards applied to 
David Deans. 

Many new French words are seen for the first time 
in the Tristrem; among them are the Nonns mone^, 

^ In France the opposite took place ; for there the ou-i sound d 
oi has almost wholly driven out the e sound of oi. After this time 
ou-i became ou-e in the Fifteenth Centniy and otf-a in the Sizteentlt 
The old/<^ (fides) lost its old sonnd and became f<m-9, fovHi, sad 
fo-a. Palsgrave, in 1530, tells us that droit and vtd^otrs were pro- 
nounced as draat and victoare. Francois (the name of the nation) 
keeps the i sound of ot; Franfoia (the name of the Saint) kMps tli« 
en0-€, ou^, sound. Bot/aume, however, as Littri tails us, was pro- 
nounced rS-o-m by some even so late as the Seventeenth CentQi7> 
On the other hand, even in 1830, Lafayette sounded roi as roul 
imitating Louis the Fourteenth and Louis the Fifteenth. See 
Brachet, Etymoloffieal French Dictionary, LIX. 

Inroad of French Words into Ettglatid. 559 

qMirUfr, hwrbtr^ \uh^, present, lodge. Pain is found by 
the side of the Englisli pine : there is also the French 
nevoii (nephew), which hae now driven oat the Old 
English nefa and the Scandinavian nefi, at least from 
polite speech. The Old £Vench had two cormptions of 
gcamdalum. ; these were eaeandle and eacAandre ; the 
former, with its head clipped, appears in the Ancren 
Biwle ; the latter is first found in the Tristrem nndar 
the form of glaunder (p. 123). Both of these foreign 
forms haTe thriven among ns ; and I see that some of 
onr fine writers have lately taken a great fancy to the 
form esdandre. Mariner is found ; it is one of our few 
French-bom words that are more poetic than their 
English synonyms ; courser and telle stand on the same 
level ; the most earnest of Teutons wonld not, I think, 
objeot to the phrase ' hsod of the Leai.' Cattle killed 
at Martinmas for winter provision are still called martt 
in Scotland ; in onr copy of tiie Tristrem this is written 
martin (p. 32) ; it was a word that the transcriber did 
not understand. In p. 112 tierfu is nsed for poton/ia; we 
still say ' by virtue of this.' The French word aiiUre 
had already been nsed by na for patria ; it now stands 
for popului ', in p. 148, we hear that the citntre was 
y-gadred. A few years later, the word was Ihrther to 
stand for rtu. At p. 92 we hear that a blow no vailed 
o bokmn (button). The Adverb prest (cito) appears 
(p. 183). The Verbs j'oien (enjoy), croiae, wage (wager), 
and depart (sunder) appear; also bisage, where the 
English Preposition has been set before a French root. 
We hear of a fourched tre ; here a French word has the 
English Participial ending in ed &8tened on. We first 


PL ISdf 

to 1^»: ■OTiTT- W 

EiACfL in 
csBl Hfeere k a nev idia^ im p. dO : 1^ 
toitf i>4 {}^) vl-Z^.^ Hkf CcABoer's «^.£# tie dmyl Tk 
O ««fi uaed c>cilr be&re a Vocatzre m LsjaBOft; t 
now beoGQCs &a eTrarnaciTR. azid no case seed foDov: 
O ri' -« #4 :-f;:i (slew) If.Tj* *x (p. 1»), 

We see in tbe Triscrczii. even ■Mm tbaa in tJie odtfr 
Eitgi^ works of \^<.\ Wv tbe ri ■n|atBniai becwea 
Freoch acd Te&:ocie. bcsice^-rcii tt> prerail in <jvr kaiL 
kKine carried <xix. The otokj of osr iBocber>tongie, 
h^d being ?^^^^^ <>^ ^^^ ursj jeais, wms bov at bd 
to be arrested. ^ 

In the Poem on the Bodj and Soul, tiie remazUbk 
Frencii words are ^«Xii':«/^ and Mot^ opposed to maiiifft 
p. 33o. The lacier word had hitherto been nsBalhrt | 
FTnonTm for J'.*r; r. There is fii«r (epola}, and iitiy 
which w^ generailT wrinen oMf . 

I haTe airead T remarked npan the manjr new Frenck 
words to be foond in the Kentish Sermons; we Uf^ 
i-^r,tri^] tt^yy ^c. is a cnzioos idiom. We^ find trmrniL 
dic'^rty *j^?ki^ d-rrfser-fr, tv n?, et^j*- «f-iV, r^irraf. Cars (car- 
pos) faksted in this £cMTn to 1^». There are both jMKitf 

' Scrips, IB ^in^ » frwsuzms to the 7i 
happf as vke* he 'rT'^**^^ the oU 
of HadBv. I will pool ost m ie? 




>ir. ^ iispv' (jae^Ml). jvfr 


Inroad of French Words into England. 561 

(pagans) and Painime whence comes onr Paynim. • 
The French word umhle ia first fonnd in p. 30 ; it is odd 
that this word ehoald first appear in Uriah Heep'sshiro. 
When we borrow French Verbs with an Infinitive in tr, 
we form our new words from the Active Participle in 
■Usant; wo find jjerusi, not penV, (perish) in these Homi- 
lies ; in the next Centnrj the doubled < was to become 
th. Our distortion of these Verba in ir is most coriomi. 
In the Herefordshire Poems of 1290, we see the French 
for the first time encroaching upon English numerals ; 
a doteyn ofdoggen (p. 239, Political Songs.). Jolyfis 
applied to a lady (p. 52, Lyric Poems), and seems here, 
following the French, to refer more to her mind than to 
her body ; our jolly girl may be derived from this. 
The French jolif is said to come from the Yi4e of the 
conqnerors of Normandy ; a few years later, we shall 
find the/ clipped. We see bealte (p. 53, do.); this re- 
presents an old hellitag; the word had been hitherto 
onchanged in England since the Norman Conquest, bat 
ill the Twelfth Centnry, hel in some provinces of France 
was replaced by biau. This new form came to England ; 
the French aw had the sound of their present on, 
for about this year 1290 we find heute written as au 
English word in Yorkahire ; e-we stood with us for 
the French e-ttw (aqua) ; long afterwards, about I6G0, 
beau (bo) came to England, representing a third French 
sound of the Latin bell-us ; the e in the French word 
was no longer pronounced, having been dropped after 

' The old pagaaaa lasted dom to 900 in France in the ahapt of 

$62 Old and Middle English. 

Bezft's tJine,' Wlien we say, 'Mr. Bellamy bas tlie 
bewtj of a bean,' we bear witness to the fWt, that three 
differeot French corrupt Bounds of bellus hare been 
bronght to England in three different e^e. Beanhen 
in HaropBhire w stilt called BokIij; Bowfort and Mmcs 
were written in England for Beanfort and Meanx doini 
to 1470 or so. With this series of varying fonnB, we may 
compare onr treat, trait, tract; leal, loyal, legal; candle, 
ekaiuller, chandelier; gentle, ijenteel. Gentile.' 

The Garsor Mnndi is plainly a translation from the 
French. Bot, the French maia, begins an IinperatiTe 
Bent«iice abmptly, in p. 1036. Quat ia need to English 
the French que, in p. 940; qitat yee er a felun folk! 
Three hundred years later, this appears as ' what a felon 
folk ye are ! ' The French form Marz, not Orrmin's 
Marreh, is used for the month. There are shoals of 
French words in the poem. We sometimes find them 
with an Enfclish prefix, as vnmesur, unresun, impes ; onr 
OAtray is seen as o strai in p. 394 ; there is also a-froH, 
p. 906. The French ete was coming in as a suffix ; we 
find lettiiess in p. 708. But the Old English endings 
were tacked on to French roots, as in faithlesg, elfameti; 
there is also faithful, tretunful ; over ia prefixed to ft 
Frenoh root, as overpas. The Greek Verb-ending I'w, 
which had come through Itoly to France, is now seen 
in England, where it was to form bo many new Verbs in 

' See Littri for tlie vord btan ; tJie Picards still noand binii 
•od bittaU. 

■ Theie different fomiB of oae -word seem to ba most ntttactin 
to EngliBhmea ; a worthy mas, k Dorice in elusic lore, ha* liulf 
put fVirth in print the verb deibieait. not bsini; wtiBfisd with ia 
and dedtu* I 


Inroad of French Words into England. 563 

the Nineteenth Cenfcnry. At p. 18 we hear that Jean 
haplist Johan, and that the latter was named the baptist ; 
wB a]so find evangelist. The Teatonic teaming (admonitio) 
IB Altered into warnieaitig, p. 1254, bnt only in the York- 
Bhire copies ; this is a confusion with the French giiamir, 
garnir, and seems mere affectation. The imprecation 
da^eit is seen, bnt was not to last mnch longer - the three 
later copies throw it out. The old hal and aund (such 
was our love of Alliteration) becomes sauf and tond in 
p. 454; in p. 1348 men see God /nee iifit/ace. The word 
sir now stands alone by itself, as in p. 590. We find 
the English coimptiou of dominvg, upon which I 
have abeady remarked; in p. 762 St. Matthew is called 
Dun Levi. There is both the old Petre and the new 
Peri» (Piers) in p. 764. We see Dijtis and Amhros, 
names of Saints. There is Siitumd instead of Simon, 
in p. 804, a canons way of rounding off a word ; it has 
left it« trace in the proper name Simmonds. We see 
both Latanu and the French form Lazar. Among 
French words need about 1290 in Yorkshire, bnt not 
understood elsewhere, are euneis (canals), p. 114,/raiii;ji-i5- 
lain (dominns), p. S12, which is opposed to thairt 
(servns) ; pelf (onr pilfw), p. 356. The Substantive 
pelf eame to stand for property, just as the Americana 
use the word plunder. At Lincoln is a place called the 
Qredan stairs ; we see the sonrce of this in p. GOR, 
where a Sight of stairs is called a greee. In p. 1230 we 
find fe dai pe vuinde ; hence Mannday Thursday. In 
p. 1246 we hear of the defend Ire (forbidden). To bail 
(dance) was not nnderstood out of Yorkahira (jp.T^"^. 
We see the form alend in p. 1248, tbong^ tt»s '««''* 


$64 Old and Middle Englislu 

oommonlj Trritten tend or feni in Yorkshire. The Tab 
cu^le had been nsed in England ; but we now first M 
the Noun, p. 584. The French save is used for prefer; 
in p. 1116 we hear that all fled, sauve \t apodds. 
The French Verb sacrer gave us the Participle sacrid, 
p. 1116, which we have come to look upon as an A(§eo- 
tive. In p. 1142 we hear that Qod regards not muxi 
persun ; this is what the prosopan of the Grreek Testa- 
ment expresses ; we now often use person for corpii. 
Centurion becomes centener in p. 1140. The French 
venin is tamed into renim (venom), p. 1204 ; jnst as 
the old Teutonic sfiacc (fishing boat) has been bj xis 
turned into smack. There is a curious French idiom in 
p. 1340 : ' they should have sorrow, es far na date;' w« 
should now simply say, no doubt. In p. 1322, a man 
makes metides (amends) ; amendment is also found. 

We see two forms of one Adverb, in certes and 
certainlik. St. John is called in p. 634, a wel goddptee-y 
we still speak of a man as * a piece of affectation/ We 
were losing our English names for «the Five Wits,' 
which we now call senses ; in p. 650 conies the phrase, 
* he had his tost toclied of the Holy Ghost.' The word 
caitif appears again ; it was quite a Northern phrase. 
We now use quantity in rather a loose way, as *a 
quantity of goods ; ' this is first seen in p. 712 ; * we al 
it lengh (lengthen) a quantite ; ' the two last words mnst 
here mean somewhat. The French pari bad abetdj 
appeared ; we now find, * tell )>am, o mi parti^ (oU inj 
behalf), p. 736. The verb grudge had two meanings: 
one Intransitive, m,%irrmirare^ which was to linger on in 
commoxL -ua^ lot V\£c^!^ Q^ivWtvs^ '«&Kst:\!b&£sat appeaianoe 

Inroad of French Words into England. 565 

in the Ancren Biwle ; ' the other Active senBe, that 
■of itividere, which we still keep, now firnt appears ; in 
p. 760 comee pair heling grocked he pain, noght. Tho 
French verb damp (damno) waa replacing the English 
■deine, as in p. 788. The word travail stands for partu- 
ritio as well as for labor ; Behecca'a pecaliar fnivelling 
is described in p. 206, while in p. 212 wo hear that life 
seems travail to an old man ; this word seems to have 
got confnsed with trouble in lat«r times. In p. 200 wo 
first meet with the phrase ' to lose coont^nance ; ' the 
I^onn waa new in England. Country had before this 
been nsed for paina and populus, it now stands for ms ; 
in p. 250, Potiphar goes into the conlre. We find a 
common idiom of onrs in p. 910; fe time was past mid- 
night ; in the later copies over is inserted before the last 
word ; we now use past like a Preposition. The French 
viarelie is here preferred to the English i:warc ; and 
targe, common to both tongnes, is pronoanced in the 
French way ; see p. 574. Pinion stands for pinnacle in 
p. 744. There is maunientri in p. 1258, the word for 
BuperstitiouB juggling, borrowed from the great Arabian ; 
this lingered in England for 300 years. The form 
mahdigkt (cnrsed) is an ingenious attempt to fit an 
English ending to a French word ; the French des Is 
filtered into EngUsh mi^ in p. 858, where inis7nay cornea 
instead of degmofi. The technical word for metre, 
hastune, appears in p. 854. There is a curious attempt 
to turn a French ending into a kindred English ending, 

' This old sense ii kept in oar Bible: 'gradge not against one 
another, brctbron.' But gntdge, where T^ndale used it in tb\& 
laeniHi, has been often stmck out of the Bihle b; vbe \abii lA \%V\. 


566 Old and Middle English. 

when servayid. is written for servant ^ p. 738. In p. ^76, 
Christ washes his disciples' feet, and bids them bar 
with one another, sin I has fns-gat servid yuu. The 
serve here seems to partake of both the meanings thai 
we now apply to the Verb ; servire and tractare. In the 
earliest Yorkshire copy, we come upon spUe^ p. 890: in 
the other copies it is the old dispite ; we here get a hint 
of the quarter whence many of onr clippings have come. 
In p. 896 siyirit appears as spreit. On reading the line, 
to-quils he lai in orisuUy p. 892, we see how the old 
French oreisun had to undergo that thoroughly English 
habit, the thro^Hing back the accent to the third syllable 
from the end. The old Iwnfir is pronounced honuYy line 
6567. It is curious that up is coupled with the French 
word liver (tradere), liver his maister up, p. 908 ; since 
that time the up has been placed after many other 
Verbs, in the Scandinavian way. Sometimes an English 
and French Adjective, with the same meaning, are 
coupled together; as his aim propur might, p, 1074 
We see qtiamer, p. 1096 ; in the three later versions this 
is altered into comer, the form that we still keep. In 
p. 1252 stands * do pair dever ' (duty). In p. 442 come* 
* lie pahul hivi to make ' &c., and in p. 1358, * we mU do 
ur pain ; ' hence our ' take pains to ; ' but the French 
peine usually in England bore a harsher meaning than 
that of labor. There is another attempt at a Middle 
Verb, repentes yow, p. 1094. We hear of King Arthur's 
ronde tahell, p. 8 ; it was this that made rautid so com- 
mon a word that it even became a Preposition, and drove 
out the old nnibe (amphi). We find the phrase do 
jii,«5tice, UTi^ \n\^c> \>cv^ ^^s>^\^^ "^^xVk^v^Xa !j€ hapHsf, *the 

Inroad of French Words into England. 567 

baptized.' In hrek to peiiveaee a foreign word broaght 
in to get rid of the Old English componiid to-brek ; the 
North parted with these componnda long before the 
South West did. In theHavelok, thepiiecesof this phrase 
had been represeDt^d by the English grotea (fragmenta). 

Among other new French words are fonnd proUnuj 
(prologue), prient (print), dubul (doable), /able, fun- 
nel, archer, dinner, foreet, odor, pv/meyor, taseel, force, 
simple, rihodi (ribaldry), page (,puer, a word nnknown, 
it seems, in France before 1200), itece (niece), cosin, 
printig (prentice), faeiun (fashion), still (style), pas 
(pace), gjani (tank), monument, tgnar (tenor), jiarcAemt'ii, 
vieage, mesel (leper), litter, poudre, flourish,, daunt, front, 
affair, allow, meschive, fortune, mer (mayor), bandun 
(abandon), try, mace, lege lord, in vain, gpecial, diademe, 
enienoal (interval), brai, abortive, surfeit, ffrievaiice, range, 
vice, principal, reepile, valley, . tilel, gquare. Idiot is in 
the earheat copy alone ; in the three later ones (p. 600) 
the word, though at the end of a line, is changed into 
fole, and the other line is altered, so as to rime with the 
new word. Noab is ordered to have a taardropp (ward- 
robe) in the Ark, p. 104. A French word and an English 
word are coapled in ternudai, p. ViZd. It is rather 
strange to find so pronounced a Latin form as auctorite, 
p. 1236 ; but this form lasted in France down to 1600, 
though Palsgrave says that the c was not pronounced. 
Tyudale has the same form. 

Among French words made familiar to ns by religion 
are, twpplanler, santuare (sanctuary), propiciatori, sub- 
Mtance, respond, task, testament, stature, confund, creatvr, 
sesttn, provide, concord, savour, iiengeomce, ImeU t^'nA&^i 


568 Old and Middle English. 

conceive, eirour, avocaty orgoM^ la^np^ covenant, recekt, 
violence, confirm, vessel, ravish, translate, transfigure, 
crucify, faint, victory, honest, reherce, supper, rems- 
siun, resurrecdun, nadun, convert, restore, ascendoHj 
langa^e, puplicane, dampnaciun, multiply, condemn, 
descend, dissenciun, discord, sauveur (saviour), moMery 
avail, conquerour, enchanter, affliction, v/ntment (ointment)i 
promission, condivde, communli, getielogi (genenlogy), 
etements, scripture, govern, ordain. The saczBment of 
haptim, a form that lasted with ns down to the Beformar 
tion, comes in p. 730 ; ^ the form seems to show that tiie 
French now no longer pr6noanced the s, which they 
always wrote in haptesme. We find also in this piece the 
Verbal Nonn hapUszing, p. 734.' We see abinie (abyss)™ 
p. 1286. The old Cristendom makes way for the new 
French form cristianite, p. 130. Clergie means sdenUaia 
p. 488 ; we know our * benefit of clergy.' But it takes 
another meaning, and stands for the Latin cleriei in 
p. 1236. Pharaoh's host mount cartes when they chsae 
Israel, p. 360 ; but the French chare (chariot) is also 
employed, as in p. 302. 

As to the French words in the Percival and Isnin- 
bras, the most important is onr common just, used in 
the sense of right, even ; in p. 11 comes his hode was 
juste to his chjnue ; it is curious that just should be 
found in this sense before its meaning of equity appeared 
in England. The new words found in the Tristrem, 

' Littr^ does not give a French infitance of the contraction hcf- 
tSmc earlier than Bossuet ; the 8 seems always to have been insertfid, 
at least in writing. I think that the Curaor Mundi is the earliest 
B^denob a& xa \i}cv<&\«A Ckl>^^'^T«{Ns^ %Sxi^^fi5aiCL<»ixicin^ the word. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 569 

^enH (pertinere) and bisege, are here repeated. There 
are aleo ^aw and cuthimi, I think for the first time. 
Haye (rei) is in p. 8 ; the form roy waa often used in 
Scothind down to tbe Reformation, but never took root 
in Sonthem Engltmd ; egle (aqnila) is in p. 103, tbongh 
the old earn mode a long fight for existence, even in the 
Sonth. A man is said to pray eaterely (in good earnest), 
p. 106; hence the Irish 'I'm kilt entoirly.' Mercy ia 
nsed in the sense of heneficinm, p. 89. The word travel, 
as we saw in the Cnraor, waa being hard worked in the 
North ; the travellamde man (viator) is first seen in 
p. 38. We hear of a vjayte (watchman), p. 47 ; the 
Nonn is not yet extinct in England. The French word 
'ilady now stands for deep thought ; in p. 66 comes ' (he) 
wanne owt of study' Fail takes an aocnsative: the 
Saraxeiies faylede hym, p. 117 ; certeyne is naed as an 
Adverb, p. 74, 

Tbe French words in Robert of Gloncester'a 
Chronicle abound, as was natural nnder the circum- 
stances. We see tbe French ante written aunte, as we 
still write the first vowel ; there is also aumferimr. Wa 
now began to talk of Germanie and Saxonie ; in p. 162 
we £H« told that the former land is Alimayne ; there 
is also Qret^e and Oasconye. We hear in p. 441 of the 
Abbey of Fonteynet. What we call Brittany is Brutayne 
in p. 459. We see both Beavmond and Beuin, King 
John's Abbey; the latter word is in p. 493. I have 
already pointed out that the old sonnd of the Norman 
ea^i (ew) has not yet left the name of ihia Hampshire 
place. Ohalew is in p. 113. The oi ia nsed to expreaatbn 
French^ as well as ew. Hence arose «n,d\esacxraSa»u3u.\ 


570 Old and Middle Efiglisk, 

we see creyserie for a derivative of the liatin crtt-cem ; 
all this comes from the French having used 01 to express 
two different sounds.^ We see pret/e (praeda), p. 270; 
the French wrote it proie, and cormpted their old sound 
of this word, while we English keep the true pronuncia- 
tion. Estrange loses its first letter in p. 510. 

The Latin aer now appears as eyr. In verdyty elit, 
and cors, which are all found here, we have inserted Con* 
sonants since Rohert's time, preferring the Latin to the 
French form. The foreign propos becomes porpos (pnr- 
pose), p. 558. The regn (reign) in p. 254? follows the 
French closely. In the forms Feverer and Jenyver 
(pp. 399, 408) Robert sticks closely to his original; 
there is also Jun. Robert Courthose is called ^ua'^ ^ 
p. 412, showing how the French once pronounced their 
present carre. The Fitz, so common in our proper names, 
is seen as Fix, p. 551. The form viessinger, with the » 
in the middle, is found in p. 128. 

Robert was the first man who dated in English from 
the ' year of grace.* A fashion is seen of rolling French 
and English words into one, as CaurthosSy pecemele ; but 
we must remember that gem-stone came long before the 
Norman Conquest. There are compounds like Jiauiene^r 
vantward (vanguard), a peyre hose, p. 390. Peace is 
freely used : ^make his pes,' p. 57, ' sit in pes,'&c. Peer 
is treated like a Substantive, as in Philip de Thann's 
work : * find here pere ' (their match), p. 103. * Fjte jt 
was to ' &c,, is in p. 305 ; in the same page we first hear 
of a ' poer (power) of folc,' like Virgil's canum tns. la 

' Abont 1630, one of Tjoidale's friends -was knovn as Jay^ /^» 
and Gree, 6\ioVvI^^ >iJa3iX. oi ^^a >Qaa\i. ^>i^^^^£C5:i&ssraxtfy«^«s ay in Bngland. 

Inroad of Fretuh Words into England. 571 

' no manere harm,' p. 350, an 0^ is dropped before the 
last word. EngliBh. asBerts ita growing tereeness, even 
in translating ; the Northern men had a similar form, 
noi-in harm. There are anch very French forma as soiu- 
'prior and Sirik Porg, p. 515 -, these are called in p. 51 )>e 
fijf portts. The clos and the street are coupled in p. 7; 
Scott heartily loved the old term. Onr modem penny- 
a-liners are trying to replace howehold by mSimge ; they 
may fairly ^peal to a passage in p. 183. The word 
rowlier had an awful aonnd in onr fathers' ears ; in 
p. 297 it becomes roter, and Tyndale writes it rutter. A, 
well-known legal term comes in p. 517; an etVe ofjudige 
goes about. In p. 528 we hear of the ctntimune (com- 
mons) of the Oxford clerks. 

Among the Adjectives we see pur blind, where par 
answers to the old dean ; pwre ctene comes in p. 434, 
We know Scott's 'gentle and simple' i the latter word is 
seen as tmmilis in p. 95. The French form of ne^ciW 
is seen as nyce in p. 106. In p. 549 certain men ' hold 
themselves defeneahle,' that jp, defend themselves ; hence 
comes onr word Fencihlet, clipped in the usual Enghsh 
way. This Adjective has an active, not a passive meaning, 
which is rather uncommon in words ending in able 
or ible. Certain ia used for quidam, not for eerlut, in 
p. 107 : 5y eerteyn meseageres. 

The Verb fail governs an Accusative, p. 195, as 
in Yorkshire. The old Teutonic uHcr is now replaced 
by tecvnd, a wonderful change, p. 414. 

The Teutonic adverbial ending is added to French 
roots, as pitoeliehe, feinieliehe, $odeinliche. In 515 ■^a 
see our common scarselicha (yvi) ; eivjiit v& ttMiJSs&'tei. 

572 Old and Middle English. 

alte fine, p. 2? ; for pe cas fat is a new way of Engliah- 
iug quia ; we are not iar from because. 

There are new words like inetal, coucabine, detpise, 
tilted to, gransyre, obligi, Parletn^nt, maim, fosse, baiteret, 
elrnrgian, tnesehaiice, comfort, suit (of clotheB, p. 191), 
e-tllar, souple, tpicer, soveryn, tailor, chair, gJose, tai^ 
onidiii, libel, tretpas, carpenter. 

There are phrases like ' marry my daughter to a 
bachelor,' p. 30; 'have some colour of right,' p, 313; 
' to be in compamj,' p. 429 ; ' to amend such manen,' 
p. 533 ; ' to make wardens of TVenchnien,' p. 550 ; ' to 
compass a thing,' p. 109. 

Milton has a fomoas passage in his ' Areopagitica ' 
aboat an eagle muing her youth ; this French corruption 
oftnutare ia seen here in p. 550, where wardens of castles 
are iremewed (changed). 

In the Lives of the Saints (Philological Society), 
the French Proper Names come in ; anch as Jake 
(Jacqnes), Lucie, and the town of Athenes (Athena). 
An Archbishop elect speak^ to certain messengers aa 
beau freres, p. 82. A child addresses its mother as ma 
dxtme, p. 40. There are also the words iinc2e, percke, 
heverchieffisicien; this last word I^udale nsed instead 
of leech. Contrai men stand for agricoUe in p. 44. In 
p. 52 comes hi eas (by chance). In p. 76 a threat ia 
made wifi so grel eir; hence, 'give himself great aire.' ' 
The French _jo?y/ia nsed as we now employ jolly (Itetns), 
in p. 46. There is a piling up of the Comparative sign 

' Aire waa used for matiiKr in France ii 
It ia Btmn^e that this meaDing could ever c 
Littre litis & long note on thp point. 

Inroad of Fraich Words into England. 573 

in nobkrere (nobiiior), p. 55; they could not as yet 
qnit« nnderatand how to make foreign worda run 
smoothly in English. In p. 78 St. Edmund loaes hia 
txidily power, bnt has all his thoaghta deJyvre ; this 
Adjective came to stand for the Latin liber, and it may 
have inflnenced onr nse of elevsr. We see a French 
Participle appear in p. 41 ; a man is repentant of bis 
deeds. In p. 7S the French Verb itse supplants onr 
own brucan ; {fnii is the kindred Latin word). St. Ed- 
mund iisede onr Lord's flesh (the Eucharist). In p. 11? 
a man wishes ' to pane an apple.* 

In the Legend of St. Bmndan (Percy Society) we 
find lierhs (a word afterwards mnch nsed by Tyndale), 
jiifor (choir), grape (nva), instead of the old win-berry, 
p. 19. This seems to be the tme old French phrase, 
now supplanted in France by raimn ; Littre quotes sane 
de grape (vinum) from a piece of the Twelfth Century. 
In p. 23 comes, ' have a good case of us.' 

In the Treatise of Science, belonging to the same 
mannscript, the new French words are qttalite, ocean, 
deserv" (no longer ofierve), a hare's /wTiie. 

In the St. Margaret (Early English Text Society) 
come tourmenlz, take consail, be in oreisoju, boil, vile, 
npe (at) his cowl, entente, thou hast no part wi|> me, 
gigne of f e croiz ; in p. 26 me and grede are found side 
by side. 

In Hie Becket of th& same manuscript (Percy So- 
ciety), we remark that in 1300 we pronounce use mnch 
as we do now, for it is there written yuse, p. 23. So, in 
this Severn country, ewt was written for imht. TiranU 
p. 36, takes the intruded ( at the eM. TlVa ^wcwifwre- 

574 Old and Middle English. 

ecclegicB, mentioned in the Constitations of Clarendon 
130 years earlier, now appear as personeg, p. 124 ; persone 
is used for curt'i in French poems of that Century. We 
see accounfs, lay fee, advmcson, maner (manor), hold in 
chief, aioil, distrain, pardon, blanket, in prejwliee of him, 
profeefion, o.hggt, eurance {assurance). There ia the 
renowned iieraveiiiure, p. 91, which Tyndale has made 
immortol ; also the oath parde, p. 106. There are phraees 
likit ' pay his court,' p. 11 ; ' do ns grace,' p. 69. In p. 61 
is the cry merci! standing by itself. In the one pa^ 
31, St, Thomas calls himself both warde (cuatos) and 
ward^ijn of the Cbnrch. In this poem, we can watch ibe 
change in the meaning of words ; a clerk is iproved fbr 
felon in p. 35 ; a son proves (evenit) evil, in p. 121,' In 
p. 110 blood runs at round abovie the Saint's head ; this 
is a mixture of Romance and Teutonic synonyms. In 
p. 21 St. Thomas promises to keep the laws, ' sauvi onre 
rijte ; ' in p. 105 this Past Partieiple is tnmod, as it were, 
into a Preposition ; ' I love no man more, ea-af his &der.' 

A new idiom for the Future Participle was coming 
in ; in p. 40 we see he wcu upe tlie poynte to he ica»t; 
about to implied intense earnestness; it could not express 
the bare Futnre until two hundred years later. 

In the Alexander, the chief French words arefairye, 

' J^kjH's rineB, puoDing on tbre« different words, are well 
IniQvn; when Oarrow, in Court, was in vain tiyiog to badger no 
Mg[y old woman ialo the admialion, that a legal t«ndar had been 

' Oarrow, forbear ; that tangh old jade 
Will Derer^roH a Undtr maid.' 

Inroad of French Words into England. 575 

ttyoiir, ajnhlant (of a horae), beef and niofottn, p. 218; 
bonie (bonny) lundit, p. 161; reirwarde, p. 31?; yer- 
J<jrce, ijardin, ierreiie, the remertauiit, launche, p. 155, 
distinguished from the other form lauitce ia p, 71 ; the 
kyngis permne, p. 305 ; be certeyn, give ataut ; dereworih 
is making way for precloite, when jewels are mentioned. 
We have seen how rnund was coming in ; it now b^au 
to be nsed as a Preposition, ' this is round the mydell 
erd,' p. 29. In the Life of Becket, this takes on English 
prefix, and becomes around, Lke a gtrai. The French 
saviiiz, so well known to Shakeapere, is used in aavaiz fayle. 
The word pes (peace) is nsed mnch as an Interjection in 
p. 315. Romance Verbs imitated their English brethren ; 
thus, 'they hulk passed over a water,' p. 87, is clearly 
copied from the Tentonic idiom, ' he is gone over,' &c. 

In the Handling Synne, the French form heaute 
takes in English the form beute ; see p. 394, where 
they stand side by side ; this b another proof that the 
French eaw was once pronounced as they now sound iou. 
We see the English tendency to contract, when parshe 
(parish) appears in p. 12't ; the French word to be 
translated was paroehUne. The word parsone (clericns) 
comes in the French original, p. 152. The French 
deakene (diaconus), p. 275, becomes dekene. In. p. 100, 
eeckarniris Englished by stori;, theword nsed byOmnin 
a hundred years earlier. In p. 30, les tempeste* cessereiU 
is translated by tempeit tecede; we have long confoonded 
the sonnd of e with that of s. In p. 109 we see how 
liquid Consonants run into each other : 

What sej ^e, men, of ladyrs pryde, 

pat ^ne trat/lyng over ayde ? 


576 Old and Middle En^lislu 

This in the French is trahiant; thus Bononia beeame 
Bologna^ and Lacera was sometimes written Nucera. 
Onr language is richer than the French, since we bsTe 
hoth trail and train ; the latter is seen in Norfolk is 
1440. The desiresse of Robert of Gloncester here 
becomes stresse^ p. 89, and this form appears in Noi£)Ik 
140 years later. The de in defeiid is clipped in p. 231, 
where fende appears ; hence onr fenced cities. French 
words, like their English brethren, underwent dipping 
in the Danelagh ; enticer becomes tyse in page 4. The 
r is thrown oat, when pcdlesye (palsy) is written for 
paralysijy p. 370; again in p. 342 sacristan is written 
sekesteyn^ whence comes sexton. The French Verb 
chaustier is sometimes translated ckastyy bat in p. 152 it 
becomes chastyse, without any need of rime ; this most 
have come from seeing the word written chasti-^en ; the 
3 (onr y) was mistaken for a z ; Orrmin had alreadj 
done this. 

There are new words like orryble, properties, tew- 
ment, prayere, renoun, morsel, try/yl, usurer, valeu,difa%T, 
affynyte, dysport, pompes, vycary (vicar), p. 360, c^giiay- 
mmas (squeamish), moreyne (pestis), pestetens, affray 
(tamoltns), customer (solitns), p. 273; proverb, enJter- 
hide, dance, carol, creme, abasched, hutch. Age stands 
for senectus in p. 239 ; it was to drive ont eld for many 
years. Onr bard finds it needful to give long explana- 
tions in English rime of the strange words mattoh, 
sacrilege, and miner (pp. 31, 266, and 331). There are 
phrases like on cU manere (by all means), p. 62 ; oute of 
resoune, p. 71 ; make mention of, p. 324 ; tnake hym \i 
THOioe, p. V2.b, ^\sffias5fe «$««» VW \\\T«ee * make moaths 

Inroad of Freitch Words into England. 577 

at me,' in oiir Prayer-book ; ' ' rerers to holyiies,' p. 3t8 ; 
•yn comune,' p, 322 ; 'ageoil a man ehar,' p. 360 ; ^ go 
home a gode pas (pace),' p. 322 ; ' crge joaj m^'oy,' 
p. 275 ; ' Gode is of huge traffraunce,' p, 302 ; ' know for 
cerleyn,' p. 265 ; ' jywe lijlel fors of ftijm,' p. 318 ; aa 
exact tranBlation from, the French, though we now Bap- 
plant/iTTS by account ; the former word was in this sense 
to last down to UdalVa time. 

The fashion now begins of conferring the mascoline 
geuder npon French Snbstantives ending in S 01 ie^ 
Byron, Bryant, and Longfellow, have continued this 
custom ; Robert speaks of Charyte as he, in p. 469 of my 
Book. The old word sijfemes ia dropped, and the kindred 
French word eobrete is translated by eoherte, onr sobriety. 
In p. 149 TU/cete stands for folly ; it was soon to get the 
farther sense of toantonneis, which it never h&d in 
Fiance. In p. 56, joly stands for riotous ; yf a man he of 
johf life. In p. 228 there is a piling op of Franch and 
Einghsh synonyms ; on maniy man»r dyvers un/te. In 
p. 273 en le qeor is tnmed into yn pe chawneeL We find 
our eojintij court in p. 276, where the ¥rench seouier jilai, 
oum ett cwite, is tamed into lay court, or ellea eotmte. In 
p. 75 the word party gets its modem meaning; 

pys aperyng, yn my svyB, 
Avaylede to bo]>e partys. 

In p. 229 tingle is opposed to married; simples horn 
is Englished by tengle knave. Lap. 152 a$tyse stands for 
a fr-ioZ before a Jadge; it had bome this sense in £Vance 

578 Old and Middle English. 

in the Twelftli Century. In p. 359, geste seems to add 
tlie meaning of ^ocnis to that of historia ; the Magdalen 
langhs neither for game nor for geste. In p. 108, we 
learn that women set their hearts on being called Jfo- 
dame or Lady; 'wnrdys of wnrschyp.' The Sir was 
freely nsed; we hear of Sir Sinumy, pp. 173-174; *fe 
parysshe prest Syre Bohert,* (the first instance of tliis 
clerical title of honour in English), p. 285 ; it was to 
last for 300 years. In p. 340 stands Syre Symahu the 
Pope; in p. 346 folk are said to wed for the love of 
Syre Kateyl (propputy, propputy) ; in p. 363 the poet tcDs 
of his own experience, in reproving sinners : — 

Some sey, as y have herde, 

' A ! Syre ! so sinnef alle Jje worlde.' 

In p. 224 we further hear of Seynt Charyte, a phrase 
that lasted down to Shakespere's time ; ^ in p. 149 
charyte stands for alms, as in the French original ; /<k 
charite luy enveia. The word derc is used, not of » 
priest, but of a notary, in p. 180. An English ending 
is fastened on to a French root in the case of Uurgenetf, 
p. 219, and pityfuUyy p. 49. In p. 72 we see the unhappy 
French word, which has driven out the true English 
afeard, at least from polite speech. Fu tant affraie is 
there turned into he was a frayde? In this poem we 
further see the French peyne driving out the older pi^- 

> Tyndale, p. 21, not far from the end of Vol. II., has to defend 
hia philology from More's attack, and bo gives all the senses borne 
by charity in 1530 ; the whole passage is well worth resding. He 
mentions ' sweet St. Charity.' 

• In Isaiah Ivii. 11, comes, *of whom hast thou been afraid (ff 

Inroad of French Words into England. 579 

We find new Verba like discvmfyte, jiele (spoliare), deyn, 
suppose, aim (festimare), revyle, trenUe, maxter (vincere). 
A child ia daunted (dandled), p. 154; hair is dressed, 
p. 136; we come npon to amount wtlo syn^ie, p. 141; 
' quit thee well,' p. 296, thongli the Verb here means no 
more than liberare. 

In p. 95 we see a sense that has long been given in 
England to the French loueh, ' to speak oi;' y lauchede 
■of yys yche lake. In p. 325 we light on the old coverde 
(convalnit) ; and in p. 222 we see the new French ionn 
recovere. In p. 352 comes pou »haU liaste hyt, a tnms- 
lation of the French transitive verb. 

There are both verement and verryly ; the first in its 
foreign adverbial ending points to mind, the second in 
ita English adverbial eading points to lie (body). 

In p. 323, we Bee the beginning of what was to 
become a well-known English oath — 

' Ye,' he seyde, ' grauntt mrrcy.' 

In the Medytacynns of the Soper of oure Lorde, the 
new French words are real (verns), devoutly, array, 
carry, accept, pryme. Dame is nsed of a hen, p. 10 ; we 
now make a great difierence between dame and dam. 
The Vocative teres, onr girs, comes in p. 27. Prewe had 
hitherto meant laudare in England ; in p. 11 it stands 
for ottimaTe ; we now expresa this meaning of the Verb 
by prize or appraise. In p. 13, a French Past Participle 
takes the English adverbial ending ; amjsyhj (advisedly). 
In p. 11 the meaning of the Latin quia ia expressed by 
hy cause \mt, an improvement on the Gloucestershire 
/or ^e eaa ^at. In p. 29 comea the sentence, ' the otherd 

580 Old and Middle English. 

bore all, save his mother bare liis hand ; ' do tliai corner 
after the savQ \ and Horace's excej^io qtiodj &c. is thus 
pared down in English. * Be of g>ood cam/ort,* is in 
p. 35. 

I again retnm to the Handlyng" Sjnne, for I have 
kept to the last the greatest changes of all that are found 
in that poem ; in p. 321 we find a French ActiTe Parti- 
ciple doing duty for a Preposition : 

Passyn4/ alle fyng hyt haj> powere. 

Mandeville has 'passjnge old'; and sixtj years later 
this French participle was to be used like an Adrerb; 
later still, like an Adjective. Chancer has * he is a 
passyng man.' 

In p. 180 comes 

My body y take fe here to selle 
To sum man as yn bondoffe. 

This bondage (called handehede in the Lancashire versioir 
of the Cursor Mundi, p. 314) is the first of many word» 
in which a French ending was permanently tacked on to 
an English root. I say permanently, for Bobert of 
Oloucester had already coined the word reverye (spoliatio) 
to rime with robbery, meaning the same, p. 193 ; but tlus 
term was not employed later in England ; shretvard bad 
also come in 1264, being coined to rime with Edward; 
but it never took root. We see lestagium (lading-toll) 
in a Charter of Henry the First's to London.^ 

A great change indeed was coming over England 
about the year 1300, from the Severn to the Hnmber ; 
the old Teutonic sonrces of diction had been sadly dried 

* Stu\)\)&, DotumwvU ^WiMfcrolvot of Enw^Udl BUtory^ p. 103. 

Inroad of French Words into England. S8l 

wp, and conld no longer supply all her wants ; Germany 
was to have a happier lot, at least in speech. Nothing 
can more clearly set forth the inroad of the French than 
the following sentence, which ia made np of words in 
the every-day use of the lowest among ns : 

' In the mean time of courie I immediatdy, at half pait four, 
walked quite roand the ucond of the walle, beca^ue perhapi it 
uiig-lit have baon very we*k,_;(M( as it wed to he.' 

We shonld find it hard to change these foreign words in 
italics for Teutonic equivalents, without laying ourselves 
open to the charge of obsolete diction. England, too 
careless of her own wealth, has had to draw upon Franco 
«Ten for Prepositions and G on j auctions. Aft«r reading 
snch a sentence as the one above, we are less astonished 
to find words like face, voire, drei"', Jtoicer, rircr, itncie, 
eoutin, pass, touch, pray, try, glean, which have put to 
-flight the commonest of onr Teutonic words. Strange 
it is that these French terms shonld have won their way 
into onr hovels as well as into onr manor houses ! 

So barren had our tongue become by the end of thia 
unlncky Thirteenth Century, that henceforward we had 
to import from abroad even onr Terminations, if we 
wanted to frame new English Noons and Adjectives. 
We were in process of time to make strange componnds 
like godd-egg, forbear -anee, odihity, fiiyg-ard, npliear-al, 
starvation, tnat-e6,fv,ljil'ment,latclt-et,w}inrf-inger, hing- 
let, Jish-ery, beliata-iour, tiu-Um, love-able, mhiina-ical, 
ialk-aiive, dumbr-mu} What a falling off is here ! what 
a lame ending for a Tentonic root ! 

' Lot ua keep happifff at bay '. The "BOMt Mjm'5(ra.tA\ CRet uiW- 

582 Old and Middle English. 

Desinit in piscem mulier formosa supeme. 

We were also to forget the good Old English Ad- 
jectival isc or isliy and to use foreign endings for proper 
names \^q Alger-ine^ Gael-ic, Syri-ac^ Ohui-ese, Wyhelmm- 
istf Wesley -an^ Irving-ite, Bant-esqu^.^ Cromwell in his 
despatches talks of the Lincoln^eers, 

By-and-by French Prefixes drove out their English 
brethren, even when the root of the word was English ; 
we are now doomed to write einholden and enliqhtenj and 
to replace the old edniwian by renew. We keep the old 
mynan in ' mind you do it ; ' but inyTiegian has made 
way for remind. Mistrust has been almost wholly driven 
out by distnist. I remark a tendency in our days to 
substitute stib for under in composition, and non for un ; 
as suhlety non-jpossessive. We have happily two or three 
Teutonic endings still in use, when we coin new Adjec- 
tives and Nouns ; one of these is ness. It had English 
rivals in full vigour at the end of the Fourteenth Cen- 
tury, but they have now dropped out of use ; what our 
penny-a-liners now call inebriety might in 1380 he 
Englished not only by Chaucer's dronhenesse, but hy 
Wickliffe*s drunJcenliede, by Mire's dronkelec^ and hy 

with was moh-ocrocy. I half foar to point it out, lest the penny-a- 
liners should seize upon it as a precious jewel. What a difference 
does the Irish ending ecii make when added to inquire I In Misi 
Marthieaua Life^ Vol. III., we find such American gems as egy-cnd- 
m ilkism, ant i-amalgamationist, 

* In this last word the old Teutonic ending isc has gone from 
Germany to Italy, then to Frince, and at last to England. We get 
some idea of the influence Home has had upon England, in Tsnons 
ways, when we find no less than four de^i^•atives : Boman, Bomisbr 

Inroad of French Words into England. 583 

Gower'a d/mnkethepe.* Onr lately-coined jngkeadednesa 
and longwinded/oMg show that there is life in the good 
old ness yet ; we shoiild always write oduUaMeneM, 
prcmiptneeg, exactjtesa, not advisahility, promptitude, exaet- 
itiide. The old «r is well preserved in vmeioner ; the 
common people call a Belgian a Belger. Sach new Sab* 
stantivea as Bumbledom, and ragetddom prove that dom 
is not yet dead ; and snch new Adjectives aapeekuh and 
n^hUhy show a lingering love for the Old English 
Adjectival endings. I have lately seen, not only wordy, 
but vietcy. There is a wonderfn! difference between a 
good book and a goody book. 

More than one Englishman might when a child have 
given ear to the first Franciscan sermons ever heard in 
Lincolnshire, and might at fonracore and npwards have 
listened to the earliest part of the Haudlyng Synne. 
Snch a man (a true Neavina), on contrasting the number 
of newfangled Romance t«rms common in 1300 with 
the hundreds of good old Teutonic words of his child- 
hood, words that the rising generation understood not, 
might well monm that in his old age England's tongue 
had become strange to EngUshmen.* But about this 
time, 1300, the Genius of our langnage, as it seems, 

' Other roots, irith all theso four endings, maj be found in 
Stratmaiia's DiclionaT^. 

* ialath« apeMb of leligion, compan the Creed at page 303, 
with the descriptioD of Charity at page 469 ; yet cJtere are bnt sixty 
yean betveen them. In later times, Oazton says that he found an 
amariiig difference between the words of his childhood and those of 
his old age; Kobbea, Cibber, and I«ndor miut hare remarked the 
Eama, as ta torna of azprassioD. Langoagn is so fleeting a tiua^ 
that it is wrong to talk oifimng it. 

584 Old and Middle Englislu 

awoke from sleep, clatched his remaiiiing hoards wiiJi 
tighter grip, and thought that -vre had lost too many old 
words already. Their rate of disappearance between 
1220 and 1290 had been most rapid, as may be seen bj 
the Table in page 587; had this process been con- 
tinued at the same rate after 1290, we should not bare 
had a single Teutonic Noun, Verb, or Adverb left 
by 1830. Some hundreds of these words were un- 
happily doomed to die out before 1520, but the process 
of their extinction was not speedy, as the same Table 
will show. After 1300, the Franciscans began to forsake 
their first love ; one of the earliest tokens of the change 
was the rearing in 1306 of their stately new Loudon 
Convent, which took many years to build, and where 
hundreds of the highest in the land were buried. It 
arose in marked contrast to the lowly churches that bad 
been good enough for the old friars, the first disciples of 
St. Francis. Their great lights vanished from Oxford ; 
the most renowned name she boasts in the Fourteenth 
Century is that of their sternest foe. About 1320 ihey 
were attacked in English rimes, a thing unheard of in 
the Thirteenth Century. We now learn that a fiiar 
Menour will turn away from the needy to grasp at the 
rich man's gifts ; the brethren will fight over a wealihy 
friend's body, but will not stir out of the cloister at a 
poor man's death ; they 

' wolde precbe more for a busshel of whete, 
Than for to bringe a souls from belle out of the hete.' * 

* Political Songs (Camden Society), p. 831. Cbaichmen, lawyers, 
phy8ic\ai\s, Vm^V«., v«v^^Q"^^«^"^^'«^^"e>Ji^^^s&<dUd in thie piece. 

Inroad of French Words inta England. 585 

These rimea were written abont the date of Wiok- 
liffe's birth. Chaacer, rather later, brands the brethren as 
impoBtorB ; and a bard sixty years farther on prefers still 
worse charges againet them.' The Fiunciscans had by 
this time done their work in England, though they were 
to drag on a slnggish life in onr shires for two handred 
years longer. Gnrions it is, that the time of their fiery 
religions activity coincides exactly with the time of 
England's greatest loss in a philologer's eyes.^ 

Robert of Bmnne began bis Handling Synne, as he 
tells ns, in 1303 ; he mnat have taken some years to 
complete it. We possess it, not as he wrote it, bat in a 
Sonthern transcript of 1360 or thereabonta; even in 
this short interval many old terms had been dropped, 
and some of the bard's Scandinavian words conld never 
have been nnderstood on the Thames. The transcriber 
writes more modem equivalents above those terms of 
Robert's which seemed strange in 1360. I give a few 
specimens, to show the change that went on all through 
the Fourteenth Centnry : — 

Bobert cf Hit Tran- Robert of Hit Tran- 

Bmnne, teribrr about Si-unne, tenber about 

in 1303. 1360. m 1303. 13«0. 

Groa Dred bale aorow 

wlatya lofeji vn lowe fyre 

wede (insaniu) made lay]) foule 

' Let a fresT of snin ordnr tecum pernoctare, 

Odur tbi irTff or thi doughtou hie vuU vulan. 
See Beliquia JiUiguie. II. 247. 

' Happy hud it been for Spain if her begging Mars, attont the 
jear 14S0, had been as eluggish and tolerant ai theii Bd^i^ 


Old and Middle En^-lisk. 


His Trmir^ 

Robert of 

His Tran- 


scriber, about 


9criber, aUmf 

in 1303. 


in 1303. 










mote (curia) 












byrde (decet) 































proud woidyr 







hals 1 
swyer J 



ever more 

vnup fe 















he nam 

he jede 



he nam 

he toke 

















Some of Eiobert's words, that needed explanation in 
1360, are as well known to ns in 1877 as those where- 
with his transcriber corrected what seemed obsolete. 
Words will sometimes &11 out of written speech, and 
crop up again long afterwards. Language is foU of 
these odd tricks. ^ It is mournful to trace the gradual 

' Malta renascentur qa» jam oecidere, cadentque 

(X^QOb V^'Hv Bk^TL\. vDL\tfst«st^ ^Ki«5s2w^aa.^ ^x ^^lat uaos. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 587 

lose of old wordfl. This cannot be bettor done than \fj 
compariug tbree Engliah veisioiiB of the Elereu Pains of 
Hell: one of these seems to belong to the year 1260, 
another to 1340, another to 1420.' Each snccessiTe loss 
was of course made good by fresh shoals of French 
TCords. Steady indeed was the flow of these into English 
prose and poetry all thrcngh the Foorteenth Centnry, as 
may be seen by the following Table. I take from each 
anthoT a passage (in his osnal style) containing fifty 
Nonns, Verbs, and Adverbs ; and this is the proportion 
in which the words are employed :*— 

Word* that Ramanct 
are now Woni», 

Old Engliflh Poetry, before 1066 . 
Old English ProBe, before 106» . 
Oimiin and LayamoQ, sbout 1200 , 
Ancren Rjwle, about 1220 . 
Qeneris and Exoduit, Bestiary, about 1230 
Owl and Nightingale, about 1240 
Northern Psalter, about 12fi0 . 
ProTerbe of Hending, about 1260 
Love song (page 341), about 1270 . 
U ivebk, Harrowing of Hell, about 1280 
Kentiah Sermons, about 1200 
Cursor Mundi, about 1290 . 
Kobert of Gloucester, about 1300 . 
Robert Manning, in 1303 . 
Shoieham, about 1320 .... 

Old atid Middle English. 

Wordt that Somantt 
tire titw TPbrds. 


Auchinleck Rouieuces, about ISHO 

Haiupola, about 1340 . 

Minct, about 1350 

Piers Ploughman, in 1362 

Ohsucer (Pardoner's Tale), ii 

Pecock, in 1450 . 

l-yndale, iu 1530 

Defoe, in 1710 

Macaulaj, inlS40 

Gibbon (sometdmes) 

Morria's Si^rd (sometimes) 

Robert of Bronne, the Patriarch of the New English, 
fairly well foreshadowed the proportion of oatlandiah 
gear that was to be the common rale in oar land after 
his time. He has six French words oat of fifty ; a little 
later Mandeville and Chancer were to hare eight French 
words of fifty; this is the proportion in ShaVespere'a 
comic parts ; and it is also the proportion in the every- 
day talk of onr own time, as may be seen in the dialogues 
of MissTonge'B and Mr. Trollope's works.' We English 
are nsoally Teatonic enongh in onr carelesB off-hand 
speech ; bat the instant we prepare any prose to be 
printed, we scorn to tread onr Tentonic mother earth 
with well assured step, and we hobble along, most of ns 

' OdIj NonoB, VerbB. and Adverbs mast be reckoned in ibeee 
computations. As a general rule, these moke np tiro-fifths of n 
sentence ; the other parts of speech (nlmost whoUj Tentonic) nwka 
up the ivmiiinttig Three-fifths. 

Inroad of French Words into England. 589 

very awkwardly, npon Latin stiltB ; Dr. Johnson, not 
Defoe, then becomes onr model. It may be, that the 
good example set by onr poets, and the increasing heed 
bestowed npon the stndy of oar noble tongne in all 
its stages, will in fntnre years abate the Johnsonese 
nniBance ; ' perhaps even onr penny-a-liners and our 
Aldermen may leam good taete '. The Teutonic part 
of onr tongue may be likened both to gold and to copper; 
it is chosen by onr poets, the best of all experts, as the 
noblest vehicle of thonght ; ^ yet at the same time it is 

' One cleTBF initeT has latelj attempted a <lefen<M) of Dr. John- 
aon's pompous atjie, ssTing that the sage drew distinctioDB as he 
diev hia bi«ath. and that he could not ezpcess these dUtinotioDS 
■without couching bii diction in lAtin-bom phrases. The answer is 
most simple : he drew distinctions with equal subtilty when hs was 
talking, and he expressed them id the homeliest Teutonic He hw 
had his reward: Us RaoMer lie* nniead on our book-<helTe» ; his 
tali, u recorded bj Boswell, is perused everj jear bj thousands of 
delighted stndents. Anj writer of our day, who has a mind to be 
read a hundred /ears hence, should lay the lesson to heart. 

■ I was lately much amused by a passage in one of the penny 
papers; the writer bade 'the gentlemen who are good enough to 
watch over the parity of the English language ' consider, that our 
Teutonic words are mostly monosyllables, and are therefore very 
ugly. The British penny-a-liner, it would seem, does a serrice to 
the nation when he Ings in some long Latin word to express a rimple 
idea. ' The mindx of ittll yoatla that Ihink ' is a poor and vulgar 
sentcDce to write ; the idXotyninuia of toMttdiigfnt adolacenU that 
eiistimate, is of course a woodrona improrement. Monosyllables 
aro no disadranlage ; with them Shakespere and Milton pioduco 
most noble effects. The obnoxious woids swarm in our version 
of Isajah, perhaps the grandest pattern of English prose that we 

* I have in my mind Mr. Swinburne's 'ErechUieus' andMr. Uorris's | 
■Sigurd the Volsnng.' These poems, in purity of diclioa, tatiia \n %^ 
back six hundred years at least. 


Old and Middle English. 

always being passed from hand to hand, as, it were, hj 
seventy milKons of our kin in their every-day speech. 
These ideas I hope to draw ont still further in a fntme 

Examples of English. 






(On-) geredn Iuddb 
God auievottig 
^ he walde 

on mdpu gi-stiga 
modig fore 
(ftie) men 

(abof) ic riicDie cuningc 
heafuiites hlafard 
hfelda ic (n)i derBtte 
bJsniKrtedu iingcet men ba 

\e (wigs) mill Diode biatanud 

Girded him 
God almighty 
wheD he would 
on gallowB monst 
proud for 
all men 

I heaved the rich king 

beavea's lord 

heel (over) I durat not 

men mocked va both together 

Kriat wtes on rodi 
hwejine }>er fti«B 
fesnwi kwomu 
lelipiin ti lanum 
ic Imt al bi(h)eal(d) 

mi(f.) 8orgu(m) gi(d)rfB{fe)d 

mi^ Blrelum giwundnd 
alegdun hiee iunie Umwceri^ie 
giBtoddun bim (let) h(iB l)i- 
«e9 (h)eaf(du)m 

n^th blood beemeared 

Ohriat was on rood 
hut there hurriedly 
From afar the; came 
the Prince to aid 
I beheld all that 

with s< 

a harrowed 

with arrows wounded 

tbey laid him down limb-weary 

they stood at hia corpBe'e head 

■ Stspheni, Banic MoaunienU, I, 405. 


Old and Middle English. 

Manitbgript of the 

Nu scylun heigan 

hefaen ricaes uard 

metudees mfficti 

end his mod gidanc 

uerc uuldnr fadur 

sue he uundra gihuaes 

eci diictin 

or astelidiB 
He ffiiist scop 
elda bamum 
heben lil hrofe 
haleg soepen 
tha middon geard 
mon cynnffis uard 
eci diyctin 
asfter tiad» 
firmn foldu 
frea allmectig. 


TiAJt 737, ooNTAumre 


Now must we praise 
heaven kingdom's Warden 
the Creator's might 
and his mind's thought 
glorious Father of men 
as he of each wonder 
eternal Lord 
formed the beginning 
He erst shaped 
for earth's baima 
heaven as a roof 
holy Shaper 
then mid-earth 
mankind's Warden 
eternal Lord 

afterwards produced 
for men the earth 
Lord Almighty. 

' Sosworth, Oriffinqfthe Gtrmanie Lan^uagea^ p. 57. 

Examples of English. 

Dryht', diyht' ur, hu wundurljc ia noma *in in aire «ort!tin, 
for-Son ap-abefea is micelDie X>va ofer beofcDaa, of muSe 
cilda and tuilc-deondn JSu ge-fremedes lof. 

foT-9oa ic ge-sie beofenaa were flngra Sinra, mooAD aod 
steorran & Su ge-steaSulades. 

hwet IB moD Stet ge-mjodig Su aie his, oSJSe buhu montieB 
for-ISon Su neosas tune P 

%u ge-wonedes hiiie hwoene laessan from englum, mid 
wuldre and mid are Su ge-begadea bine, and ge-eettas bine 
ofer were honda Sinra : 

all fm nnder-deodes under fotum his, seep and oxan all ec 
Son and netenu feldes, 

fuglae heofenrta and fiscas saea, Sa geond-gaS atige saes ; 

Dryht', drjht' ur, hu wundurlie ia noma Sin in aire eorflan. 

594 Old and Middle English. 


Ths Lnn>iBPABKB Gospsls, a.d. 960. 

PA&i3Ui 07 THS Ten Visenrs St. Matthew zxr. 

1. Donne gelic bi6 ric beofiia tewm behstaldaii, 
^ onfengon leht-fato heora ge-eodnn ongenn tan 
brydgnma and fmst brjde. 2. fifo nntetlioe of tan 
weron idle and fifo hogo&aste. 3. ah fifo idlo gefengon 
leht-fato ne gcnomnn oele mitS him. 4. hogofieste 
nntetlice onfengon oele in fetelsnm hiora niiS leht-fiitam. 
5. snigo natetlice djde l$e brydgum geslepedon alle and 
geslepdon. 6. middam nntetlioe lueht Ijden^ gvworden 
W898: heonn brydgnma cwom, gees ongson him. 7. fc 
arioson alle hehstalde tSa ilco, and gehrindon leht-&U> 
hiora. 8. idlo nntetlice 6am. snotnun cnoedon : sdes 
us of ole inerre, foW^n lebt-fato asm gedrya iied bito. 
9. geondnoidon hogo cnoe^ndo : eaSe mao^ ne nob is ns 
and inh, gaas gewelgad to tteem bibjcendnm and brg^ 
inh. 10. mi^y natetlice geeoden to bycganne, caom 
tSe brydgnma and tSa t$e . . . "weion innfoerdon mi^ 
him to brydloppnm and getyned wsbs 6e dura 
11. hbstmesto cwomon and tSa o6ro hehstaldo cneSendo: 
diihten, drihten, nntvii as. 12. sotS he ondnearde catiS: 
8o51ice ic cnoe^ inh, nat ic inih. 13. wnccas foitoi, 
foi^km nnoto gie tk>ne dsege ne )K>ne tad. 

Examples of Englisk. 

The RTTaEWOBTE Gospels, a.d. 1000. 

St. Matthew, Ohnp. iL 

I. fa Bo)>lice akenned wfea Hrelend Indeana in 
dagnm Erodes ftes kjningea, henn tongol-kraaftgu 
eastan qnomon in Hierosolimam, 2. cwef>onde, hwear is 
se|>6 akenned is kining ludeana P we gesegon sojilice 
steorra. his in east-diele and caomoa to gebiddenne to 
him. 3. \vit )>a geherde, Bofilice Herodea king wtes 
gedroefed in mode and ealle HieroBolima mid bine. 
4. . . . ealle aldnr-sacerdos, bokeras }>eBe folkes, alisade 
heom hwffir Krist wtere akenned. 5. hise pa cwsedon, 
in Bethlem Indeana, swa BO]>lice awriten fmrh witga, 

cvie|>ende. 6 menigjiinga Ites-teet eart aldnr* 

monnnm Inda, of )>e ao)>Iice gffi|i latteaw ae)>e neccet 
Israluel. 7. Herodea demnnga antegde tongal-kneit^m 
and geome geliomade let l>a tid peBs leteawde him steorra. 
8, Bondende heom. to Bethlem cwsep, g»)> ahaiaS geome 
bi pem cnehte panne ge gemoetop hine a»cga$ eft, pKt 
ic swilce cjmende gebidde to him. 9. pa hie pa ... . 
I^ea kyninges word eodnn ponan, henn pe steorra pe hite 
ST geSEBgon east-dffile fore-eade fai» opptat he oamende 
bnfan Sser se cneht .... 10. hie geaea^nde aoph'ce 
ateorran gefegon gefea miccle swipe. 11. Jngangende 
pffit hns gemootton pone cnebt mid . . . forpfiUlende 
gebednn to him . . . ontyndeu heora gold-hord brohtnn 
lac recils mnrra. 12. andsnari onfeDgon alepe, hie ne 
cerdun . , , pnrh wege gewendon to huora lond«. 
Q « 2 

596 Old and Middle English. 

(About A J). 1090.) 

The FiNDiwa op St. EDin7in)'8 Hbad.^ 

Hw»t ))a, t$e flot-liere ferde )ia eft to scipe, and 
What ihtn fleet-armafnent fared then again thip 

behyddon \Bdi heaf od ])8BS halgan Sadmnndes on j^m 
hid the head holy 

tJiccum bremlum, pSBt hit bibnrig'ed ne wnrde. pa 
thick brambles buried should not be. 

aefter fyrste, 8j55an beo ifarene wseron, com faet iond- 
a time after they gone 

folc to, pe f8Br to lafe fa w«§s, fasr Heor® lafordes li<J 

baton beafde fa l»g, and wurdon swit5e sarig for his 
mthotit head lay were right sorry 

sleeg^e on mode, and bure f sat beo nssf don fsat beafod to 
slaughter mind moreover had not 

J>am bodige. pa saede 5e sceawere, f e hit aer iseah, ^ 

' beholder erst sav 

fa flot-men haafdon fast beafod mid heom, and wses bim 

with them to kii» H 

if ubt, swa swa hit wees fnl sotJ, fast heo hydden |«et 
seemed as tnte 

beofod on f am bolte. For-bweega heo eoden fa endemes 

However went at laM 

alle to fam wude, saecende gehwaer, geond fyfelas and 

everywhere through shntbs 

brymelas, gif beo mihten imeten f aet heafod. Waes eac 
if meet th 

mycel wunder faet an wulf wass isend, furh Godee 

* Thorpe's Analecta^ p. 87. He thinks that this is East AngHaii 
Here we see the Anglian diphthong a at the end of words, just a» 
Otv l\\e BAxV\i\?^CiTC>va,lwst\iSfli5XaNdL'«j^ax% earlier. 

Examples of English. $97 

willange, to biwEerigeime )>ret heafod, wiS )>a oSre de<ir, 

guard agaitut Uaett 

ofer de^ and niht. Heo eoden ^a sescende, and 

cleopigende, BWa swa hit iwanelic is |)£et Sa )>e on wnde 

fflSiJi^ aulonuuy thott thai 

gaf oft: 'Hwwr eart fu nu gerefa?' And him and- 
^0 goitnuT 

Bvjrde pffit heafod; 'Her, her, her.' And swa ilorao 

clfpode andswarigende, o8Set heo alio bicomeu, ])arh 

uaiil eamt 

I'a clypnnge, him i6. pa heg ))e grtegte wolf [>e b^wiatc 

gray guarded 

^«t heafod, ant mid his twam fotam hefde \>tBt heafod 
biclypped, gredig and hnngrig, and for Gode ne djrste 

wnrdon heo ofnnDdrodea jWB wnlfes hordnedene, and 

hecamt amastd at guardiaathip 

Tftbi halige heafod bam feroden mid heom, Jiaiikende 
home carried 

Ac |>e wolf fologede 

forJi mid fam heafde, oSSefc heo on tiine comen, swylce 

ide ongean. 

Da lond-leodan fa BySSan liegdan ]'tBt heafod to fam 

halige bodige, and bnrigdon, ewa awa heo lihtlncost 

mihten on swylce rtedinge, and cyrce arserdon onnppon 

(uci hatie a kirk reared 


598 Old and Middle English. 


(A.D. 1220.) 
Akcrbk Biwlb (Camden Society), 388.' 

A lefdi was ])et was mid hire voan biset al abates, 
lady foes 

and hire lond al destmed, and heo al poure, wi5inD<« 

the poor 

one eoi^ne castle. On mihti kinges Inve was Jwib ^k 
an earthen A hofartr 

tnmd upon hire, so unimete swnfte fet he vor wouh- 

boutuUees very wooag 

lecchonge sende hire his sonden, on efber o6er, and ofte 

messengtrSf one 

somed monie : and sende hire beanbelet bot$e veole and 
at once jewels nutny 

feire, and suknrs of livenet^, and help of his heie bird to 
supplies victuals ara^ 

holden hire castel. Heo nnderveng al ase on nsrec- 

received eareU» 

heleas ]>ing ^ei was so herd iheorted ]>et hire lure t& 


mihte he never beon J>e neorre. Hwat wult tu more ? 


He com himsulf a last, and scheawede hire his feire 


neb, ase t>e ])et was of alle men veirest to biholden, asd 
face one 

Spec swatSe sweteliche and so mnrie w^ordes ]>et hea 
spake pleasant tky 

muhten pe deade arearen yrom deaSe to lire. And 

* This is the only passage, of all the specimens in this Chapttf. 
tVisiX, vj«kft tiO\, '5m\X«tt. \xv ^XsA kw^U«n country, or that did not feel 

Examples of English. S99 

WTonhtifl veole wnndres, and dnde reole meiatries bivo- 

dH grtatworki 

ren hire eihsibjie, aad scheawede hire hia mihtea : tolde 
hire of his kinedome, and bead for to makien hire cwene 

of al ^i he onhte. Al yia ne help nout. Nes fia 

ovtud JulpednoHfflU. Wat itot Ikit 

wnnderlich hoker? Vor heo nes never wurCe vorte 
boon his Hchelohine. Auh bo, yarah his debonert^, lave 

ert iweorred, and pine von beoS bo stronge pet tu ne 

auaiUd fota 

meiht nonesweis, wiSnten Bokars af me, etfleon hore 
is no (Mfp Meajx that 

bonden, )fet heo ne don }« to scheomefole deaS. Ich 

chnlle vor \% Inve of )>e nimen fiis fiht upon nie, and 

jilaU taJct 

aredden )ie of ham pat schecheS pine deatS. Ich wot 

paoh for soSe pet ich achal bitweonen ham nnderrongen 

deatSes wnnde, and ich bit wulle heorteliche vorto of^n 

pine heorte. Nn, peonne, bisecho ich pe, vor pe love pet 

ich kaSe pe, pet ta Invie me, hare and hare, efter pen 

fJlm* ai Unit 

iUce dead deaSe, hwon pn noldes lives, pea king dade 
tame a,iv:e vxniiM not in trty life 

al pna, aradde hire of alle hire von, and waa himsaK to 
iniDdre itnked, and isleien on ende. Pa.T^Vv ttiau^^ 

6oo Old and Middle Englislu 

l^aoh he aros finom deaSe to lire. Nere \eo& ilke le£ii of 


vnele kmrnes knnde, pf heo over alle pin^ ne lave Im 

her efter? 

pes king is Jesu Crist, Grodes smie, )>et al o ^isse wise 

wowude nre sonle, J^et ^ deoflen heveden biset And 
wooed omt deviU 

he, ase noble woware, efter monie messagers, and feole 

god deden, com vorto preoven his Inve, and scheawede 


)mnih knihtschipe ]>et he was Inve-wnrSe, ase weren 


somewhole knihtes iwnned for to donne. He dnde faim 

wmetimes womt do 

ine tnmement, and hefde Tor his leofinonnes lure Iiis 


schelde ine yihte, ase kene kniht, on eTeriche baH 

i-]mrled. pis scheld ]>et wreih his Godhed was his leove 

pttTCtd OOVCTtd oMT 

lioome |>et was ispred o rode, brode ase scheld bnven is 

body gboK 

his i-streiht earmes, and neroh bineoSen, ase ^ on Tot, 

stretched marrow omfoBt 

efter pet me weneS, sete npon fe oSer vote. . . . Efter 
according to mppositiom 

kene knihtes deaSe me hongeS heie ine chirche bis 

mm ha»g 

schelde on his mnn^^onge. Al so is |»i8 acheldy ^t is, 


1^ cracifix iset ine chirche, ine swnche stade ^ me hit 

sonest iseo, Torto ]»enchen ]»erbi o Jesn Criates kmht- 
may aea 


(EiigKsb tninlB uid ktlfn trv hen in 

In nrdsr to find Aviile. Following 11 

Atha Pn&L, le, 2H: it is 
f dipped,81, lis, US, 1S3, 
214, 320. 367, 887, *fi2; it ih 
ohaDged, 16(J ; it is dropped, 

— replaces a, 36, 92, 105, 107. { 
128, 134, 147, 157, Ut. 165, i 
189, 201. 214, 243, 244, 286, j 

' 311,319, 332. 431 | 

— replace* an id the Infinitive, ; 
01 I 

— wplaces an in Nouns, 108 I 

— replaces in as the Article, 
1S6, 160, 163, 164, 424 

— replacea o, 29, 286. 319, 338. 
398, 422, 426. 431, 436, 499, 

— replaces so, 91, 94, 108, 104, 
117, 127, 1*4, 184, 165, 214, 
243, 254, 270, 311, 357 

— replaces to. 103, 106, 133, 
147, 439 

— replaces ^<, 118. 147 

— replaces ■', 249, 269, 398. 440 

— replaces e, 190. 319, 308 

— replaces o/ 116, 2T7 

— replaces on. 70, 71, 72, 104, 

A replaces y, 398 

— used as an InteijectioD, 72, 
421, 616 

— fllands for have, 287 

— atnads for he, 463 

— alands for all, 400 

— is set iiftec an Adjective, 409 
~ its old Bonnd in EnglJBb, 2S, 

206, 602 

— first sounded like French I, 
30, 133 

A better, 403 

A feir, 64, SS 

A good man aod a stead&st, 465 

A hundred, 64 

A bundced so mncli, 202 

A letter more, 201 

A little, 6* 

A man, 66, 428 

A man}' times, 64 

A sorrf man was be, 404 

A word or two, 407 

Al)ack, 157 

Aliaft, 71, 412 

Al.«;e, a, b, c, 436 

Aberdeenshire, 303, 318 

Abingdon, 384 

Able, tbe Bomance SnfBz. 5TI, 




Abner, 76, 108 

Aboon, 214 

Aboat, 149, 183, 413 

About to, (sumding for the 

Future), 878, 458. 574 
Above, 6, 214 
Abroad, 424 
Abye, 450 
Abyss, 568 

Ac, the Romanca Suffix, 582 
Accents, the Old English, 32, 88, 

267, 502 
Accord, 492, 497 
Account, 577 

Accusative, construction of the, 
47, 66. 61, 123, 126, 130, 131, 
146, 192, 219, 227, 246, 248, 

268, 290, 291, 359, 409, 441 
Acknowledge, 150, 269, 402 
Acre, 3, 6, 206 

Adam Bede, the Authoress of, 
217. See Middlemarch. 

Adder, 440 

Addison, 60, 228, 325, 457 

Adjectival endings, 11, 12, 221, 
285, 581-583 

Adjectives, 7, 13, 23, 24, 40, 41, 
50, 70, 213, 307. 822, 324, 
360, 872, 388, 505. Bee De- 
finite and Indefinite 

— no longer agree in Number 
with Substantives, 145. 213 

— used as Adverbs, 116, 295, 
386, 413 

— coupled with a Participle, 262 
Ado, 176, 887 

Adown, 96, 115, 295 
Adventurer, 534 
Adverbial Genitive, 8 
Adverbs, 8, 58-65, 70, 71, 131, 

— made Adjectives, 276 

— made Prepositions, 333, 336 


Adverb formed fiom a NcnSi 

Advisableness, 583 
Advisedly, 579 
M replaces a. 91, 107 

— replaces ea, 145, 243 

— replaces o, 91 

— disappears, 134, 144, 243 

— the Anglian diphthong, 213, 

— the old sound of; 28, 30 
^Ifhetih, 34 
^Ifric, 40, 66, 57, 72. 121. 

122, 154, 155, 204, 266,489, 

509, 544, 545 
-SJscliylus. 408 
^thelred, 187 
Afar, 277 
Afeard, 578 
Afford, 179 
Affray, 676 
Afore, 71, 453 
Afraid, 506, 578 
After, 7, 68, 72, 232 

— used as an Adverb, 70, SI 2 
Aftermost, 8 
Afterward, 176 
Again, 71, 288, 433 
Again-buyer, 526 
Against, 60, 71, 81, 160. 164. 

320, 332, 364 
Agatho, Pope, 147 
Age. the Romance Suffix, 580 
Age, 393, 676 
Age of thirty, 414 
Aghast, 253, 256 
Ago, 306, 332, 334, 344 
Agog, 236 
Aha, 415 
Ai, the combinaUoQ, 37, 107> 

134, 157, 190 

— replaces a, 319 
. — replaces «Mr, 167 

Air. S70. 572 
Ait. 262 

AJ, the Anglian for eat, MS 

^ ispraflxed, 166, 1S3, 224, 277, 

292, 3iB 
~- IN clipped in Scotlnnd, 400 
-- the Roni«nc« SofBi, 681 
Alamnnie, Alimajne, 403, 669 
AIb^. 416. file, 657. 660 
Albeit, 277, 487 

Aldprli'ef«nl, Alderbut, 290, S66 

Aldermnn (a Pnnce). 219 

AUIgate, 30 

Aldhelm. 86, 500 

Aleinniler, the Romance at, 112, 
376. 387, 4S9-444, 464, 631, 
632, 674 

Alfred. King, 27, 29, 32, S3, 36- 
3S. 43, 46, 51. 52, 6S. 69, 61, 
66. 67, 71, 76, 77. 91-93, 98- 
102. 106-106. 115. 118, 188. 
138, I4U. 166, 168, 162, 165, 
166, 186, SOI, 202, 223. 233, 
306. SU7, 331, 431, 435, 466, 
483,480. 490. 614, 628, 546. 
See ' Paatorel Care.' 

— his PrnverbB. 204-210. 284, 
292, 298, 296, 361 

Al^tee. 351 

Alioe, Qneen, 491 

Alik«, " " 



Alison, the writer, 407 

Alire, 18^. 284, 381 

All. 91. 127.138, 164,226 

All and some, 281,424 

All at once. 327 

All day long, 249 

All bail, 466 

All Hallows. 438 

All Hollasdi. 272 

AU night lon^, 249 

Al! kind of, 206 

All OEB to me, 265 

Al! thfit, 430 

AU that she mnj, 234, 457 

All the betrer, 292 

All its backiraTd nfennce, 396 

Allan. 141 

Allenarij, 401 

Alliterative Poetry. 83, 84. 273, 

477, 539, 649, 663 
Allot, 249 

Almighty, 91, 146,290 
Almost. 287. 351 
Alms, 107, 399, 496 
Aloft, 2SS, 382 
Alone. 225. 284, 312 
Along 443 
Alonft of, 71, 283 
Aloud, 443 
Already, 230. 404 
Also, 161, 163, :).^6, 394 
Altar. 20, 87. 273 
Although. 348 
Altogether. 128. 166 
A limy, 68 
Always, 401 

Am, 8. 10, 90, 103, 147, ISO 
Am and erer shall be &c. 408 
AmeU (inter), 08 
Amends, 664 
AmencH, 44. 68. 373, 378, 398. 

501, 663, 582. Set United 

Amid, 401 
Amidst. 441 
Amies, ISO 

Among, 104, 173,295, 898 
Amount, to, 679 
An, the Ind^nite Article, 66, 

127. 134, 194. 164 
~ tile Romance anffli. 2S7. 582 

— —fl/one, AS 

— np\aic\&e and. ^jri>i, Vl^ 





Ad, the Infinitive ending, clipped, 
166, 164 

An eight days, 424 

Anagni, 87 

Analecta AngloSaxonica (Mr. 
Thorpe's), 27. 163. See 

Ance, the Romance Snffix, 581 

Ancren Riwle, the. 272-281, 
306. 310, 329, 334, 339, 347, 
364, 387, 457, 461, 501-505, 
507. 511, 517, 524, 527, 528, 
530, 552, 559, 565, 587, 598 

And, our form of autif 81 

And, 63 

And if; 379 

Ande, the Northern Active Par- 
ticiple, 9, ] 48. 270, 284, 355, 

Andrew, St., 498 

Anent, 71, 178, 260, 272, 278, 
398, 399 

Anger, 238 

Angevin, 138, 172 

Anglen, 257 

Angles, the, 19, 20, 89, 98, 102, 
106, 119, 139, 142, 226,445, 

Angli, the, 17 

Anglian, 19, 93, 127, 145, 167, 
188, 196, 352, 596, 598 

Anglican clergy, the, 85 

Anglo-Saxon, 95. 150, 158, 175 

— Chronicle. See Chronicle. 

— Reader, 27, 59 
Anguish, 502, 506 
Anhungred, 443 
Anjou, 28, 165, 493 
Anne, Queen, 318 
Annoy, 502 
Anon, 149, 157 
Anonright, 255 

Another (a corrupt form), 54, 

Anoyle. 261 
Answer, 81 
Ant, 87, 431 
Anthem, 503 
Any, 122, 128 
ApolloniDs, the, 27. 124 
Apostle, 81, 117, 118, 188.214 
Apulia, 493 
Arabic, 1, 136 
ArVlast, 492 
ArboriciHtnre, 546 
Architecture, its infiueoce oo 

Engliah, 546, 547 
Ard, the Romance Suffix, 340. 

Arderne, John, 543 
Are (sunt), 10, 87, 93. 103, 188. 

213, 226, 314, 350. 354 

— {tu «), 463 
Aright, 125, 151 
Arise, 214, 259 
Aristotle, 257 
Arm, 243, 434 
Around, 575 
Arrive at, 425, 557 
Arrow, 320, 399 
Arrowsmith, 78 
Art («), 76, 87, 103 
Arthur, King, 491, 509, 566 
Article, Definite (Demonstia- ' 

tive), 24, 60, 52, 125, 128, 135. 
146, 194, 213, 252. 391. 548 

— prefixed to one, other^ b1 

— Indefinite, 54, 65, 160, 271 

— dropped before an A4i«*ii^*' 

— used after many, 247 
Arve, 496 
Aryan, 1, 2, 7, 9. 11, 12,13,15, 

16, 33. 42, 84, 88, 89,95,106, 
157. 217, 227. 303 
As {alse, swa), 63, 64, 156, ISV 
163, 164, 302, 366, 388, 437 

— dlatinguished from «?, 250 


As, staodingror the RelalWo. 63, 
IS7, 266. 384, 423, 438 

— the old English Floral, B, 22, 
3B. lOi, 136 

— IB clipped, 217 
As (qvia), 260 
Ab (vbf). 263 

Lt this 


!, 437 

As for as, 263, 413, 443 

As for. 412 

As ^ood SB, 374 

As hew&a, 260, 390 

Aa if, 231 

As it -wew, 48, 327 

Aalongu, \S5. 161, il2 

As much BB. 265, 106 

As cjft aa, 63 

As !i>un as. 269 

As though. 196, 231, 271 

Ab to this, 53, 68, 423 

As vtll OS, 266 

Ashby, 102, 212 

Ashors, lis. ]S1, 182 

Aside, 438, 443 

Ask,aie, 31, 36, 104, 174, 229 

AslsDt, 417 

Asleep. 165 

Assemble. 289. 358, 606 

Assise, ,^60, 577 

Asaoil, S77 

AsBumptioD, the Poem on, 370, 

Astonied. 420, 506 
Astray, 562, 575 
Aitronotny, S45 
Aetrologist, 493 
Asunder. 453 
At, 69, 71. 72,81.178,234,251, 

372, 414, 462. 508 
— used in compounding, 210 
At a blov, 364 
At nil, 126, 135.412 
At all en'ls, 4SI 

At f&se. 414 
At heart, 60 
At him, 425 
At home, 429 
At home with, 414 
At least, 69, 126 


I, 435 

At need. 209, 356 

A peace. 328 

At the last, 249 

At will. 213 

Ate (nanducavil), 286. 422 

Ath. the Plural Ending of the 

Preeent, altered. 147 
Athanaoian Creed, version of. 

Atheling, 431,532 
Athelstane. 77, 541 

— his supposed Chatters, 386 
Athena, 572 

Athirst, 344 
Athwart, 256, 364 
AtioD, the Romance SufRi, 581 
Ative, the Homance Huff t, 581 
Atonement. 309 
Attend, 563 
Attic, 156 

Au, the combination, 36, 107, 

— replaces a. 253, 335, 353, 422, 
431, 502. 669 

Anchinleck Bomances, the, 536, 

Auclorite, 567 
Aadle)'. John, 269 
Audley End, 267 




Augast, 493 

Augastine, St, 29, 217i 493 

Auld laDg syne, 230 

Aunt, 335, 669 

Ava, the Scotch, 412 

Aw, the old sound of, 28, 29, 

206, 214, 215, 267, 261, 396 
Await, 603 
Awake, 214 
Aware, 131 

Awaj, 58, 231, 340, 412 
Awdry, St., 463 
Awe, 368, 463 
Awful, 270 
Awfully jolly, 291 
Awl, 29, 274, 431 
Axe, for<u^, 31, 229 
Ay replaces a, 418 
Aye, the old <i, 12, 166,201,216, 

237, 429 
A^e replaces y, 174 
Ayr, 318, 656 

B inserted in a word, 165, 367, 

— is cast out, 426 

-- replaces^, 174, 216, 264 

— replaces v^ 86 

— replaces to, 371 

— connected with/l 31, 87 
Babe, 280 

Babel, Tower of, 547 

Back, 398 

Bacon, Boger, 608, 619, 642 

Bad {:mdu8), 416, 439, 481 

Bad way, to be in, 430 

Bade (jvMsU\ 144, 189, 214, 378 

Backbiter. 278 

Baere, old Teutonic Adjectival 

ending, 11 
Bag, 276, 466 
Baud, 30 
Bait, to, 238, 421 


Bald, 416 

Balder, the hero, 90 

Baleful, 272 

Ball, 252 

Ball (danceX to, 663 

Balm, 335, 346, 502 

Ban, 210 

Banns, 79 

Baptism, baptim, 568 

Baptist, 497, 563 

Baptize, 495, 568, 567 

Barbour, 550, 555 

Bare, 184, 307 

Barefoot, 41 

Bark {cortex\ 417 

Barkis, Mrs., 76 

Barley, 150 

Bam, 81, 115 

Barnes, Mr., 74, 92 

Baron, 497, 506 

Barren, 498 

Barixjw, 422 

Bartle, 400 

Bask, 98 

Bastard. 492 

Baste, 266 

Bastune, 565 

Bat, 334 

Bath, 502 

Battle Abbey, 492 

Bauble, 504 

Baxter, 78, 203, 269 

Bayonet, 288 

Be, 4, 10, 12, 147, 185, 2U 

— the Prefix, 15, 211 

— IS clipped, 399 

Be, ben, beoth, hutk (mai\ U 

189, 226 
Be hanged to him, 148 
Beadle, 168, 213 
Beandon, 492 
Bear, 4, 243 
Bear arms, 436 
Bear him companj, 277 



Bear him vitnern, 22S 
Bear Uie bell, 460 
Bsar ap with, 232 
BrardB wag. 4S0 
Baturing. 291 
Beast, 320. fiOO, 602 
Bnastlj, 500, S07 
Bean, S61, fi62 
Beaatj, SOS, 661, 662, 676 
BeanUeo, aS2. 56D 
Bean frereB, 672 
Because, 572, S79. S81 
Becket, 16, 169, 426. Ste 
Tbomaa, St. 

— the Legesdof, 121-42S, 632. 
673, 676 

Become (_dtctre), 17S 

Become (/m), 178, 248, i08 

B4!came frirnda, 436 

Bed and board. Si 

Bede, Uia wntar, 19. 36. 86, 39, 

ei. 101, 123. 201, 490, 491, 

Bede (prayer). 227, 328 
BedeU. Bishop, 313 
Bedford, 20, 99, 102, 140, 349, 

Bedlam, 380 
Bedridden, 40 
Beef. 496, 676 
Been (aevtten); tSl, 132, 167, 

BeJkll, 293 

Before, OS. 104, 146, 232 
Before and under, 443 
Beforehand, 277 
Befrresaid, 302 
Beget, 184, 189, 203, 314 
Beggar, 408 
Begin the names, 430 
B<«nile, 506 
Behalf, 221, 464 
Behind, 146. 193, 413 

— nied Bs a Nono, 309 



Behore, 206 

heing (eitrntia), 411, 496 

Being, 303 

Bein); done, 337, 461 

B>-lami, 601. 604, 663, 662 

Belger, a, 6S3 

Belief, 171, 174,21.^,264 

Belittle, 174 

Bell, t 

, 76 

Bf-ilov, 76 

Bellows, 426 

Belly, 274, 644 

Betunging lo, 216 

Beloir, 163, 26S, 461 

Beaighted, 460 

Beni>h. 216,164 

Brngali'e, h, 616 

Beowulf, The, 18, 47. 65. 71, 72, 

102, 103. 172, 34S, 480 
Bequeath. 36 
BequeW. 35S 
Berry, MJms, 516 
Bee (the Latin n), 204 
Beseem. 262. 263 
Beshrew, 309. 460 
Beside, 146, 196, 200, 296, 462 
Besides, 336 
Besiege. 550, S69 
Befpcnk it. 428 
Best, 34 

Bethiokhim, 149 

Beti>l<', 208 

Betimes, 296, 461 

Bctruy, 604, 664, 567 
; Betroih. 460 
I Better, 131, 312 

BettiT an,l better, 231 
I Belter were him Ut &e., 839 


J. 326 




Btitt^rncbS, 330 

Between. 104, 188, 190, 270, 
428, 443 

Betwixt, 30, 144, 332, 309, 462 

Beverley, 31, 386 

Bewray, 442, 506 

Beyond, 104 

Beca, 562 

BezHuts, 218, 236 

Bible, the, 12, 59, 85, 131, 137, 
183, 187. 192, 208, 244, 248, 
268, 287,319,325, 344, 398, 
502, 436, 437, 448, 467, 600, 
602, 525, 534, 665. Sea 

Bicker, 444 

Bid. 228 

— it be Iwnght, 293, 326 

— good day, 371 
Bide, to, 398, 410 
Bidene, 230 

Big, 365 

Bigging, 296 

Billy Taylor, 347 

Bind, 4, 113, 460 

Bird, 105 

Birmingham. 30 

Bishop, 5, 20, 192,216, 400 

Bist (<w), 375 

Bit, 214 

Black, 372 

Black and blue, 374 

Blacken, 34 

Blackstone, 541, 551 

BUimed. \o be, 459, 497 

Blanchet, 517 

Bleak, 365 

Blench, 423, 506 

Bless thee ! 378 

Blessedness, 401 

Blew, 147. 173 

Blickling Homilies, the, 58, 92, 

114-117, 219. 224, 374, 394 
Blimber. Miss, 1 5 


Blind, 32, 398 

Blindfold, 280 

Blink. 366 

Blount, 32 

Blow (fiare\ 174, 190. 356,395 

Blow {ictu8), 416 

Blue. 374, 494, 506, 518 

Blunt, 238 

— the name. 32 

Boast, 340 

Boastful, 455 

Bob, to, 439 

Bode, to, 309 

Boding. 431- 

Body, 112, 220 

Body {ho7no\ 418 

Body and Soul, poem on the. 

387-391, 660 
Bogie. 313 
Bogle, 313 
Bohemia, 103 
Boil, 371, 494, 640, 573 
Boiling hot, 262 
Boisil, 1 18 
Boisterous, 444 
Bologna, 87, 449, 676 
Bond {vermis), 113, 383, 393 
Bondage, 580 
Bonden, 320, 383 
Bondman {jstermu\ 423 
Bondman {colowU)^ 307, 423 
Bonny, 676 

Book, 94. 130. 206, 206, 399 
Boom, 332 

Boon, 94, 212, 216, 220, 267 
Boor, 205 
Booth, 238 
Boozy, 377 

Bopp, his grammar, 88 
Borgo, the, 36 
Bom, 34, 302 
Borough, 104 
Bosom, 128 
Bossuet, 542, 668 


Boston, 380, 453 

Bretons, 433 

Bo8W«ll, 643, 689 

Brick, 606 

Boflworth, 112,229 

Brick (fiagntnium), 75 

Both (rt), 62 

Bridal. 398 

— (amio), 4, 161,155, 167 

Bride, 246 

Bothie, 390 

Bridlington, Piets of, 638 

Boogb, 307, 400 
BooTdM', 365 

Bright, 4 

Brimstone, 328. 388, 399 

BonlogDC, 493 

Bring about, 466 

Bonn, RBQfde, 535 

— forth, 66 

Bounce. 280 

- to end, 228 

Bound, 238 

- to nought, 209,-.277 

Boonden, 121 

Brink, 280 

Bourne, 447 

Bristol, 78, 165, 229, 323. 483, 

Bout, 366 

480, 636 

Bow (fttetfTt), 4, 73, 168, 206, 

Britain, 18, 10,37,101 


British MuBemn, thi>, 467 

Bow(amu), 191.320 

Britlanj, 433 

Bower, 245 

Broad, 201 

Bowshot, 441 

Bowjer, 78, 430. 4SI 

Brake, m, 284 

Jtoi, 73, 181 

Brother, 3 

Boy. 366. 370, 374, 440 

Brace, 640 

Brough, 304 

Brachet, 83 

Brougham, 566 

Bradford. 424 

Brought, 246 

BradmrdiDB, Baron of, 541 

Brow, 3, 191 

Brag, 348 

Brown. 372 

Brake, broke, 284. 319 

Brown and black, 361 

Bran, 417 

Browning, 453 

Brandan, St., the Legend of. 

Bmce, Robert, 474 

*22, 425, 673 

Brqges, 29 

Bread, 96, HI, 157 

Brurn, 463 

Break,!, 189.309, 402 

Bruise, 496, 506 

— up, 363 

— heads. 385 

Brunne, Robprt of. 447-474. 487, 

— prison, 424 

626,585-688. &v Manning 

— to pieces, 567 

Brat, the, 243, 432, 499, 616. 

Braast, 104, 214 


— high, 117 
BtMch, 245 

Brytland. 126 

Breed, to, 410 


Bretiiren, 191,213, 381 

Bubble. 463 

— mine, 116 

Back. 454, 465 




Bi]g, 313 

Bugbear, 813 

BiiU(to«ru<), 215, 238, 244 

^- (error), 417 

Bully, 426 

Bulwer, 64 

Bundle, 113 

Bunyan, 332, 376, 521 

Buonayentura, 464, 519 

Burden, 192, 285, 289 

Burgess, 506, 542, 656 

Burgh, bury, borough, 144, 158, 

160, 185, 191, 245, 431 
Burghers, 104, 506, 556 
Burgoyne, 347, 534 
Burgundy, 496 
Burial, 159, 161, 287 
Burke, 323 
Burly. 285 
Bum {rivua)t 78 

— down, 437 

— strong, 425 
Burnet, 41 
Bums, 74, 229 
Burrow, 245, 267 
Burst, 218, 269, 410 

— out laughing, 460 
Bury, 1