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HISTORICAL REVIEW OF THE
“Hæthen cild bith ge-fullod, ac hit ne bræt na ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
his hiw with-utan, dheah dhe hit beo withinnan
awend. Hit bith ge-broht synfull dhurh Adames (Continued from page 151.)
forgægednysse to tham fant fate. Ac hit bith
athwogen fram eallum synnum with-innan, dheah " Words are the sole expounders of the mind, dhe hit withutan his hiw ne awende." And correspondence keep 'twixt all mankind.” Transl.- A heathen child is christened, yet he The first Anglo-Saxon writer of emi- altereth not his shape without, though he be
within changed. He is brought sinful through nence, who wrote in his own language, and Adam's disobedience to the font vessel. But he is of whom there are any remains, was Cad- washed from all sins inwardly, though he outmon, a monk of Whitby, who died about wardly his shape not change. A.D. 680. The following is a specimen of Anglo-Saxon poetry in that day; it was
We have now arrived at that stage-the composed by Cædmon on the i Work of semi-Saxon period of the language--at Creation,” and is selected, as will be other which the vernacular Anglo-Saxon first specimens of Anglo-Saxon and early Eng- began to pass into modern English. There lish, from Chambers' “Cyclopædia of Eng-exists a production, usually known by the lish Literature":
name of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which Anglo-Saxon.—“Nu we sceolan herian-heofon- gives a view of early English history, and rices weard, metodes mihte and his mod-ge-thonc
is supposed to have been composed by a wera wuldor fæder! swa he wundra ge-hwas ece series of authors, commencing soon after dryhten oord onstealde.” Translation. Now we shall praise the guardian reign of Henry II. The following passage,
the death of Alfred, and continuing to the of heaven, the might of the Creator, and his therefore, gives a frightful description of wonders, the eternal Lord, formed the beginning. the miseries endured by the peasantry A few names of inferior note fill up the must therefore have been written subse
during the disturbed reign of Stephen, and list of Anglo-Saxon variety to the time of quently to that king's death, which took the venerable Bede. His works were very place A.D. 1154:numerous, and consisted chiefly of Scriptural translations, commentaries, religious “ Hi swencten the wrecce men of the land mid treatises, and the most useful of all, an
castel-weorces. Thú the castles waren maked, ecclesiastical history of the Anglo-Saxons. thá fylden hi mid yvele men." Some of his works were subsequently the land with castle works. When the castles were
Transl.--They oppressed the wretched men of translated into the vernacular by the illus- made, then filled they (them) with evil men. trious Alfred, who designed thereby to improve the condition of his ignorant sub- The Norman Conquest produced a great jects. Alfred was born A.D. 848, and died change in the language of the country. A.D. 901.
Norman-French, a modification of Latin The following specimen of Anglo-Saxon, which arose in the middle ages, became the as it existed in the interval of these dates, language of education, of the law courts, is an extract from his translation of Boe- and of the upper classés generally. But it thius.“ On the Consolation of Philosophy,” was destined, in the course of the 12th and is selected from “Spalding's History century, to undergo great grammatical of English Literature”:
changes. Its sounds were greatly altered, “We sculon get, of caldum leasum spellum, syllables were cut short in the pronunciathe sum bispell reccan. Hit gelamp gió thætte tion, and the terminations and inflections án hearpere wæs on these theode the Thracia of words were softened down until they hátte. Thæs náma was Orfeus. He hæfde án
were entirely lost. Dr. Johnson says that swithe anlic wif. Sió wæs háten Eurydice.”
Transl.-- We will now, from old lying tales, to in this manner the Normans affected the thee a certain parable tell. It happened formerly, Anglo-Saxon more than by the introthat a harper was in the nation which Thrace was duction of new words; and this opinion is called. His name was Orpheus. He had a very supported by the evidence supplied by incomparable wife. She was called Eurydice." Lazamon's metrical chronicle, the “ Brut,
Subsequently to Alfred, the next im- which belongs to the end of the 12th portant name is that of Ælfric, Archbishop century, or the beginning of the 13th, of Canterbury, who died A.D. 1006. He, and must, therefore, have been written a like Alfred, wrote much in the vernacular century and a half after the Norman Confor the enlightenment of the people. The quest, and which, notwithstanding, that it following specimen of Anglo-Saxon prose, contains more than 32,000 lines, has few in his day, is a selection from his “Paschal words not Anglo-Saxon, and only about Homily'
fifty which may be regarded as French.
The following is an extract, from a char- except probably the old-fashioned spelling, ter of Henry III., in the common language to prevent any well-informed Englishman of the time:
of the present day from readily under" Henry, thurg Godes fultome, king on Engle standing every word of it. nelaunde, Lhoaverd on Yrloand, Duk on Norman, The following selection is from Chaucer's on Acquitain, Earl on Anjou, send I greeting to
“Canterbury Tales'' :alle hise holde, ilærde and illwelde, on Huntindonnschierre."
“A knight there was, and that a worthy man, Translation.- Henry, through God's support,
That fro the time that he first began King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Nor. To riden out, he loved chevalrie, mandy, of Acquitain, Earl of Anjou, sends greet
Trouthe and honour, freedom and curtesie, ing to all his subjects, learned and unlearned, of
Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre; Huntingdonshire.
And, thereto, hadde he ridden pone more ferre,
As wel in Christendom as in Hethenesse, The following specimen of old English
And ever honoured for his worthinesse." belongs to the middle of the 14th century, and from it will at once be seen the rapid
The name of Wycliffe must ever be conchange the language had then undergone, so
sidered one of the greatest in English hismuch so, that it can be ventured without a tory: In maintaining the great doctrines translation ; it is taken from “The Vision of the Reformation, and defending himself of Pierce Ploughman,” a poem ascribed to against priestly intolerance and persecution, a priest of that day, and written evidently he produced many controversial works of for the purpose of exposing the corruptions great merit; but the work of the most enof the church, the cause which even then during utility was his translation of the was silently preparing the way for the Re- Holy Scriptures into the vernacular. formation. Pierce is represented as falling
The following, a translation of the "Magasleep, and seeing a series of visions :- nificat,” may be taken as a fair specimen of “Out of the west coast, a wench, as we thought,
his style :Came waeking in the way, to hell-ward she “And Marye sayde, my soul magnifieth the looked;
Lord, Mercy hight that maid, a meek thing withal, And my spiryt hath gladid in God myn helthe. A full benign burd, and buxom of speech;
For he hath behulden the mekenesse of his Her sister, as it seemed, came soothly waeking, handmayden; for lo, for this alle generations Even out of the East, and westward she looked, schulen seye' that am blessid. For he that is A full comely creature, truth she hight, mighti hath done to me grete thingis, and his For the virtue that her followed afеard was she name is holy. And his mercyis fro kyndrede into
kyndredis, to men that dreden him. He hath When these maidens mette, Mercy and Truth,
made myght in his arm, he scatteride proude men, Either axed other of this great wonder,
with the thoughte of his herte." Of the din and of the darkness,” &c.*
The comparative number of words in With these imperfect models as his only modern English derived from the mother native guide, arose our first great author, tongue, and the method whereby such num. Geoffrey Chaucer, distinctively
known as the ber has been tested, have been previously father of English poetry.Thoughourlanguage stated. It is not sufficient, however, for å had risen into importance with the rise of thorough appreciation of the importance the Commons in the time of Edward I., the comparatively of the elements of our lanFrench long kept possession of the court guage, that we should know how many and higher circles; and it required a genius words' therein are traceable to the Anglolike that of Chaucer to give literary perma- Saxon, and how many to a foreign original. nence and consistency to the language and The mere question of the number of words poetry of England. Henceforward his so derived has in it more of the curious than native style, which Spenser terms “The the useful; and, when so put, may have pure well of English undefiled,” formed a the effect rather of deceiving us as to the standard of composition. It is unnecessary proper value to be attached to the respective to continue specimens of the English lan- elements. Words which may be very numeguage for the purpose of exhibiting the rous in dictionaries, may be comparatively transitions thereof from one stage to another unimportant as being wholly unnecessary to farther down than the time of Chaucer and the conducting of correspondence, and care Wycliffe. The language they composed in rying on the ordinary business of every day has been called middle English, and is, in life, whilst words, on the contrary, or sorta all essentials, so like our everyday speech, of words that occur less frequently, may that there scarcely exists any difficulty of such importance as to render it impossible
* Chambers' “Cyclopædia of English Litera- to dispense with them. The vocabulary of ture."
the English language being analyzed in this
way, the obligations it is under to the Anthrough the association of ideas, of recalling i glo-Saxon will appear in a much stronger to our minds, when we are so disposed, a
light than by analyzing it merely in refe- great variety of the most affecting sensarence to the number of words deduced from tions, images, and emotions. the latter. The following are the classes of 6th. The Anglo-Saxon element of modern words in modern English derived from an English is that which supplies us with the Anglo-Saxon parentage.
language of ordinary business transactions ist. Words which imply relationships. --the counting-house, the shop, the marThe importance and necessary number of ket, the street, the farm ;-and of invective, such words will be seen by a careful perusal humour, satire, and colloquial pleasantry; of Locke's “Essay on the Human Under- and thus becomes, among the eminently standing,” Book ii., chapters 25, 28 in- practical people, the medium of practical clusive.
action. 2nd. We owe to the Anglo-Saxon not The organization of the English language only the great body of our adjectives, im- may be regarded as complete at the beginplying, as they do, evident relationships, as ning of the sixteenth century. The rules great, small, 'big, &c., but the nouns and regulating the changes to be made on words, verbs, which are usually denominated by and determining the grammatical structure grammarians irregular.
of sentences, had been definitively fixed pre3rd. We derive from the mother tongue vious to that period. The mere vocabulary the names for the greater number of objects of the language, however, had not been so perceived by the senses, as sun, moon, stars, fixed. Indeed the vocabulary of the lanland, water, wood, stream, hill, and dale; guage may not be said even to be finally to which may be added names for the most fixed, as it continually receives new accescommon animals and plants.
sions, especially in the case of modern lan4th. Whilst from Latin, and in many in. guages, from the necessities for fresh words stances, French, we borrow such particular arising from the numerous discoveries in words as imply an abstraction, and are very science and other causes. During the last general in their applications, those whose three centuries, therefore, our language has signification are particular, we generally been considerably enlarged as it regards the borrow from the Saxon. We materialize a number of words, especially such words as Latin word for instance, when we speak of have been introduced by classical scholars "colour,” but fall back on our mother from a classical stock; otherwise it has untongue when we specify the particular sort, dergone no change since the end of the and describe it as red, yellow, blue, white, middle ages, except changes in style; that black, green,
brown, &c. &c. ' In the same is, varieties in the manner in which'indimanner, we Romanize the expression when viduals, all using the same language, exwe speak of “motion” in general, but are press their ideas. obliged to fall back again on the Teutonic Such is a brief sketch of the history of element when we specify the sort, and say our native language, that language which -he, leap, spring, stagger, slip, slide, has been made use of to awaken in the glide, fall, walk, run, swim, ride, creep, hearts of Englishmen love, hope, patriotcrawl, fly,'&c. &ć.
ism, and a boundless, innumerable store of 5th. From the same origin we derive the the pleasantest associations. It combines great bulk of such expressions as are used strength, precision, and copiousness suffito denote ordinary kinds of feeling and cient to enable it to be the efficient medium affection to name the individuals who are of communication between millions : and the earliest and most natural objects of our these, that part of the human race that apattachment, and those inanimate things by pears most likely to control, in an eminent which we figuratively signify domestic degree, the future destinies of the globe. It union and habits. of this cláss are the is calculated, that before the end of the prewordslove, hate, hope, fear, gladness, sent century, English will be the native and sorrow, smile, tear, sigh, groan, weeping, vernacular language of no less than 150 laughter, father, mother, man, wife, child, millions of human beings; and, from the sson, daughter, kindred, friends, home, restless energy and colonizing spirit of those hearth, roof, fireside, &c. &c. These are who speak it, will yet be written down, in instances of a multitude of words, which, the page of history, as one of the greatest even when they are not the only names for engines for the dissemination of civilization Ehe things called by them, are the first we and christianity throughout the remotest learn to give them; they therefore occur corners of the globe. to us most readily, and have the power,
QUEEN ELIZABETH'S STATE COACH.
which continued eighteen hours. From The accompanying engraving is taken that time to the year 1753, which is fifteen from a very old print representing the state years, she fell asleep daily about three procession of Queen Elizabeth on her way o'clock in the morning, without waking to open Parliament on April 2nd, 1571. until about eight or nine at night. In This was the first occasion on which a state 1754, indeed, her sleep returned to the nacoach had ever been used by a sovereign of tural periods for four months, and, in 1748, England, and it was the only vehicle in the a tertian ague prevented her sleeping for procession; the Lord Keeper, and the Lords three weeks. On February 20, 1955, 1. Spiritual and Temporal, alí attending on Brady, with a surgeon, went to see her
. horseback. It was drawn by two palfreys, About five o'clock in the evening, they which were decked with trappings of crim- found her pulse extremely regular; on son velvet; and, according to an old autho- taking hold of her arm it was so rigid that rity, the name of the driver was William it was not bent without much trouble. Boonen, a Dutchman, who thus became the They then attempted to lift up her head, first state coachman.
but her neck and back were as stiff as her
He hallooed in her ear as loud as EXTRAORDINARY SLEEPER.
his voice could reach; he thrust a needle M. Brady, Physician to Prince Charles of into her flesh up to the bone; he put a Lorraine, gives the following particulars of piece of rag to her nose flaming with spirits an extraordinary sleeper :
of wine, and let it burn some time, yet all “A woman, named Elizabeth Alton, of a without being able to disturb her in the healthful strong constitution, who had been least. At length, in about six hours and servant to the curate of St. Guilain, near a-half
, her limbs began to relax ; in eight the town of Mons, about the beginning of hours 'she turned herself in the bed, and the year 1738, when she was about thirty- then suddenly raised herself up, sat down six years of age grew extremely restless by the fire, eat heartily, and began to spin. and melancholy. in the month of August, At other times, they whipped
her till the in the same year, she fell into a sleep which blood came; they rubbed her back with held four days, notwithstanding all possible honey, and then exposed it to the stings of endeavours to awake her. Ať length she bees; they thrust nails under her finger. awoke naturally, but became more restless nails; and it seems these triers of experiand uneasy than before ; for six or seven ments consulted more the gratifying their days, however, she
resumed her usual em- own curiosity than the recovery of the unployments, until she fell asleep again, happy object of the malady.
DREAM OF KING HENRY I.
A HAPPY FAMILY. A SINGULAR dream, which happened to A gentleman travelling through Mecklenthis monarch when passing over to Nor- burgh, some years since, witnessed a sinmandy in 1130, has been depicted in a ma- gular association of incongruous animals. nuscript of Florence of Worcester, in Corpus After dinner, the landlord of the inn placed Christi College, Oxford. The rapacity and on the floor a large dish of soup, and gave oppressive taxation of his government, and a loud whistle. Immediately there came the reflection forced on him by his own un- into the room a mastiff, an Angora cat, an popular measures, may have originated the old raven, and a remarkably large rat, with vision. He imagined himself to have been a bell about its neck. They all four went visited by the representatives of the three to the dish, and, without disturbing each most important grades of society—the hus- other, fed together; after which the dog, bandmen, the knights, and the clergy,- cat, and rat, lay before the fire, while the who gathered round his bed, and so fear- raven hopped about the room. The landfully menaced him, that he awoke in great lord, after accounting for the familiarity of alarm, and, seizing his sword, loudly called these animals, informed his guest that the for his attendants. The drawings that ac- rat was the most useful of the four; for the compary this narrative, and represent each noise he made had completely freed his of these visions, appear to have been exe- house from the rats and mice with which it cuted shortly afterwards, and are valuable was before infested. illustrations of the general costume of the period. One of them is introduced in this place.
Willoughby states in his work on OmniThe king is here seen sleeping; behind thology, that a friend of his possessed a him stand three husbandmen, one carrying end became so ferocious that they were
gander eighty years of age, which in the a scythe, another a pitchfork, and the third forced to kill it
, in consequence of the bavce a shovel. They are each dressed in simple it committed in the barn-yard. He also tunics, without girdles, with plain close- talks of a swan three centuries old; and fitting sleeves; the central one has a mantle several celebrated parrots are said to have fastened by a plain brooch, leaving the attained from 100 to 150 years. right arm free. The beards of two of these figures are as ample as those of their lords, this being an article of fashionable in- Though not so celebrated as the Eddydulgence within their means. The one stone, the South Stack Light-house is unwith the scythe wears a hat not unlike questionably one of the marvels of science, the felt hat still worn by his descendants and as such may be appropriately described in the same grade: the scroll in his left in our pages. It is erected on the summit hand is merely placed there to contain of an isolated rock, three or four miles westthe words. he is supposed to utter to the ward from Holyhead, and separated from
the main land by a chasm ninety feet in
AN OLD GANDER.
THE SOUTH STACK LIGHT-HOUSE.